2023 Online Worlds 1st Place - The Many-Faced Clansman

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teamjimby 1961

Wow! I did not see that coming...

I decided to enter the 2023 Online World Championships on a whim as my first solo tournament since FFG stopped supporting the game over three years ago. Due to a good meta call and a lot of luck, I managed to go 9-1 and win the whole thing! I want to extend a huge thank you to the operations team and tournament organizers for keeping the community strong and organizing a great tournament.

I’d also like to thank my USA teammates who played in the World Cup with me and cheered me on during the championship. I developed this deck for the World Cup, went 4-1 in that tournament, and decided to keep it unchanged for the World Championship.

Deck Background and Overview

Having recently re-entered the game, The Many-Faced God jumped out at me as the most interesting new agenda that I wanted to try. Clansmen struggle with icons and historically have relied on Mountains of the Moon, but that archetype relies heavily on jumpers and can be easy to shut down. MFG allowed for a more board-centric build that relies less on jumpers, and the ambush discount is easy to use every round. The addition of The Halfman's Horde further developed the theme of maintaining a large board, as that card prefers more Clansmen and doesn’t synergize at all with jumpers.

My initial build had a simple objective for the agenda - My Mind Is My Weapon to get Timett Son of Timett and Stone Crows into extra challenges and wrack up kills. That specific combo proved to be less effective than I hoped, but I was instead impressed by the overall synergies of the deck and the whole Clansmen package. So I decided to focus on maximizing Clansmen synergies at the expense of typical efficient Lannister cards (like The Hound (TtB)). Of course Tyrion Lannister (LoCR) can dominate a board state, but I found that any of the unique characters can be quite effective when surrounded by other Clansmen.

The deck plays quite aggressively, but what differentiates it from many aggro decks is the ability to hit both the board and the hand at the same time. It’s not uncommon to play Retaliation on turn 2 or 3 and get 3+ kills (Timett/Tyrion/Stone Crows) while also discarding 3+ cards (Gunthor/Tyrion/Horde). If the opponent resets at that point, they usually don’t have enough cards to regain their footing and you can cruise to a win.

Key Cards

  • Tyrion Lannister (LoCR), Painted Dogs, Moon Brothers, Lionstar, and Harrenhal (FFH) for obvious reasons.

  • Timett Son of Timett is an absolute monster when you have a full board of Clansmen, especially if he gets an intrigue icon or stealth from MFG. A good Timett trigger on a power challenge can set up the killing blow on the military challenge. Bonus points if you can trigger him 3 times in one round with Painted Dogs! I’ve never killed a 7 cost character with him, but I’ve gotten up to 6 cost a few times.

  • The Halfman's Horde is mostly valuable for the keywords (useful even from the dead pile!), although the trigger can be icing on the cake. Assault on big locations like Storm's End (BtB) and The Red Keep (R) can be a game changer.

  • Ulf Son of Umar is just a big beat stick in a deck where most characters are 3 STR or less. He’s absolutely critical against burn.

  • Gunthor Son of Gurn is often a 1x in decks, but he’s soooo efficient and warrants a 3x here. With Tyrion and Gunthor, it’s not too hard to discard 4-5 cards in one turn.

  • The Hand's Judgment / Treachery / Nightmares / Sweetsleep all at 2x as a toolbox to shut down your opponent’s tricks.

  • Gold Mine helps pitch useless dupes or unneeded toolbox cards and maintain a consistent draw. This is especially critical after You Win or You Die and you’re top decking. I never build a Lannister deck without 3 of these.

Plots

  • Summer Harvest is a good opener that isn’t restricted by the agenda. Most of the time it will get you 8+ gold and win initiative. If my opponent also opens Summer Harvest, that usually favors me because I like small boards and can still play Lionstar.

  • Bran the Builder is the backup opener and general purpose card draw. Just a really good card, especially given the agenda restrictions.

  • Retaliation should be played turn 2 or turn 3, once you've established some key cards. If Tyrion or Timett are on the board, this is often when you can land the knockout blow.

  • The First Snow of Winter is the ideal reset because you want to keep the big characters on the board. It allows you to start claiming their big guys on military, and you can often discard the small characters from their hand on the First Snow turn before they can replay them.

  • Marched to the Wall wins games, especially after First Snow or after you’ve killed their chuds.

  • You Win Or You Die is the obvious restricted card (since Lannister isn't good enough to warrant any restricted cards :P). Lannister needs draw, 2 claim keeps the pressure on after Retaliation, and going first can usually allow you to kill/kneel their whole board.

  • Close Call is always useful with so many 3x uniques, and it helps you manipulate the dead pile for optimal MFG triggers.

Common Clansmen / MFG Shenanigans

  • Give someone intimidate/insight/renown/assault with MFG and stand that character multiple times with Painted Dogs.

  • Jump in Milk Snakes or Pycelle with Lionstar, then kill them with Shagga Son of Dolf to unlock stealth/insight for MFG.

  • Get Chella Daughter of Cheyk to three ear tokens in one challenge with Timett, high claim, and/or Shagga. Use her renown/intimidate twice with My Mind Is My Weapon or Painted Dogs.

  • Trigger Moon Brothers in a challenge with Ulf Son of Umar for a nice +6 STR.

  • Jump in Milk Snakes mid-challenge and move a gold to Stone Crows for a surprise kill.

  • Jump in Stone Crows mid-challenge and add them to a challenge via My Mind Is My Weapon for a surprise STR boost and kill.

  • Turn your unassuming Lannisport Merchant into a 2 claim death machine with MFG by giving him a military icon and Clansman trait, then bounce him to hand with Tyrion.

  • Put Tyrion into play with Harrenhal (FFH) mid-challenge to get surprise claim raise. Then make him a Clansman so he can bounce himself back to hand.

  • Intentionally kill your Halfman's Horde so you can remove attachments and give assault/intimidate to one of your other big guys.

Tournament Recap:

R1 vs Targ Sea of Blood (Loss) - Burn is a bad matchup because clansmen are mostly low STR and you have to make challenges. I saw some cancels, but it wasn’t enough and Pyro Danny ate me alive.

R2 vs Lanni Free Companies (Win) - I don’t remember much from this match, but Free Companies usually spends a turn or two setting up Casterly Rock (BtB) and The Iron Bank. By that point, I can usually clear the board and destroy their hand.

R3 vs Lanni Rose (Win) - Shadows is also usually slow enough that I can take control in the early game. He pulled off some shadows tricks, but not enough to slow me down. Sweetsleep helped protect my duped Tyrion from Pinch of Powder and I eventually killed Cersei and Mandon Moore after emptying his hand.

R4 vs Martell Wolf (Win) - Another shadows deck where I was able to get ahead and control the board. Between my agenda and Mountains of the Moon, Shadows Arianne and the other icon removal didn’t slow me down. The Halfman's Horde prevented him from triggering The Shadow City to refill his hand.

R5 vs Lanni FC/Wolf (Win) - I was sad to have to face my longtime USA teammate Aaron Groth. He set up Last Hearth Scouts, which can slow me down, but the rest of his draw was mediocre. Timett was able to kill the scouts and force a Valar Morghulis reset. He almost found his footing with a nice top deck by playing 20 gold worth of characters in one turn (thanks to a loaded Iron Bank), but it was too little too late.

R6 vs Bara Summer (Win) - Miha had Storm's End (BtB) turn 1, which can really shut down my aggro strategy. Thankfully I saw two Nightmares to get me 4+ kills on the first two turns and eventually March his Robert Baratheon (LMHR). Ser Imry Florent bought him a little time to reestablish, but at that point I had enough power and he couldn’t afford to trigger Storm’s End to slow me down.

Top 32 - Bye which allowed me to start playing at 8 am instead of 7 am.

Top 16 vs Lanni FC/Wolf (Win) - A rematch from round 5 against Aaron. Like last time, I wiped his board and then he predictably Valared, but this time he had a location advantage and I couldn’t rebuild as fast. He managed to keep Tywin and Eddard Stark (WotN) on the board for a few rounds (thanks to his Treacheries and Nightmares) and get to 11 or 12 power. On the critical round 6 I won initiative with First Snow, pushed through a challenge with Milk Snakes, and raised claim with Tyrion to kill off both Ned and Tywin (and their 5 power) in one challenge. This game was on a knife’s edge and he definitely would have beat me if he won initiative on the First Snow turn.

Top 8 vs Targ Sea of Blood (Win) - I was not excited to see one of my worst matchups at this point in the tournament. This game would come down to whomever can wipe the board first. Feeworth opened with Late Summer Feast, which gave me plenty of gold and the option to go first. Timett survived a Dracarys! (Thank you Hand's Judgment) to kill Kindly Man and Viserion. He got off a Drogon (IDP) trigger on the swing back, but I at least prevented his agenda from triggering. Turn 2 I played Retaliation and survived his military with a Nightmares on Drogon. Timett killed Missandei on the power challenge, stood with Painted Dogs, then killed Viserys on the military challenge and he was forced to claim Drogon and Grey Worm. It was smooth sailing from there. If I didn’t see that Hand’s Judgment on turn 1, he would have destroyed me. We both made some mistakes, but that is to be expected during a long tournament.

Top 4 vs Martell 321 (Win) - Somehow I made it to top 4 without facing the most popular deck, and it happened to be against the defending world champion, Alex! No pressure, right? This turned into an epic game, so I’d suggest watching the stream on Live Thrones Twitch. As usual, I controlled the early board and forced a turn 2 Valar Morghulis. That turn I played a reducer and Timett vs his Greenblood Trader and Tattered Prince, but he surprised me with Choosing the Spear to kill my reducer and leave my Timett exposed to Marched to the Wall. Thankfully, I had a Moon Brothers (and he didn’t have He Calls It Thinking) which allowed me to trigger Timett, wipe his board, and protect Timett from Marched. Round 4 I played You Win Or You Die because I had two Treachery and two Nightmares available to protect from "The Last of the Giants" / Varys, and I wanted to close it out. I tried to trigger Tyrion for extra gold to protect against He Calls it Thinking, but Alex wisely used the 2x He Calls it Thinking on my Tyrion trigger, which allowed him to safely trigger Varys and wipe my board (with zero reserve). I was able to claw my way to 14 power (would have been 15 if not for a clutch Vengeance for Elia), but eventually I ran out of steam. Alex was then in total control, but there was not much time left. I was saved by the clock after 9 plots for a 13-11 win. Alex had a very likely win if we went to the 10th plot.

Finals vs Martell 321 (Win) - After defeating Alex, I got to play against his fellow Frenchman, Mad, who was playing the same deck. Mad’s luck ran out in this game, because he never saw Dorne or "The Last of the Giants" and it was quite one-sided. Timett controlled the early game and Halfman’s Horde closed it out. He had to marshal Mag the Mighty, which is always a terrible sign for a Martell player. Mag promptly died and I was able to use his renown and no attachments keywords to close the game 15-0.

—----

I was obviously very happy with how the deck performed, and it proved to be a good meta call. But any win requires a fair dose of luck, as each of my Top 16, Top 8, and Top 4 games could have flipped if a single card draw was different. Thank you and congratulations to all of my opponents! I hope to make it to Stahleck in November to meet you all in person.

Let me know if you have any questions about the deck. It is not easy to pilot and it takes a lot of practice. But if you figure out how to use it's incredible toolbox of tricks, it can be quite versatile and resilient against nearly any matchup.

10 comentarios

Derry 126

incredible run, congratulations!

YuleOoze 234

Wow, wow, wow! Congrats man! Lovely deck and sooo happy that the OP(!) Martell 321 couldn't take the title! Feed 'em to the Goats!

Slaaneshi 1

I’m very happy to finally see a Lannister win. Even moreso I see no new cards/combinations that people want podded/restricted these days, so that’s even more impressive in my book.

Have you considered playing the other Hound for his potential synergy with MFG?

Palpa 122

Congrats! Beating two Martell 321 (with that RL) in a row, in semi and final, for sure cannot be luck alone. Great achievement!

SonOfBattles1 436

Beyond stoked that you took home the crown! This deck was beyond fun to watch and playtest with during the World Cup. Well done!

teamjimby 1961

@Slaaneshi "other Hound" has some great synergies with MFG, but it's really only good if you have knights in your own deck (which I don't). Also, the original Hound is a much better fit for this deck. If I were to make any changes, it would have been to replace Pycelle with the Hound. That 6 STR body would have been very nice in the Targ matchups.

Req 7

I was your round 3 opponent and as I told you even before our game, I love this. I felt Clansmen were not reliable in a long run, needing a good start and not having much draw. You proved me wrong and I'm glad you won the whole thing over more expected (and let me say, less funny) decks. I think your player's skills made the difference. Welcome back in the game!

teamjimby 1961

@Req Thank you for the kind words! I really enjoyed our game and the friendly banter. I hope this list helps you have done success (and fun) with Clansmen! Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement.

Odrl 1235

Congratulations, a very impressive performance. :)

For those who missed it, here is the final again: youtu.be

IkaPakao 95

Congrats, awesome deck!