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|The Great Builders||95||75||37||1.0|
-Derived from playing the Great Builders deck- (can’t seem to get that to state it)
I keep seeing people in podcasts getting down on the Night’s Watch as a faction, and in some ways I have to say the cardpool for them is hurting a little bit. Between a lack of a re-usable reducing location and the general slightly lower quality of characters at the high cost end, NW does have their woes. That being said, I think they are definitely still a viable faction and thanks to the kneel package of a Baratheon banner, they actually become pretty strong.
I built this deck after trying out the Builders deck listed here, and while that deck is very strong, I personally didn’t enjoy the focus on non-interactive victory. I did however feel that the locations plan was strong and had a place in this take on the Night’s Watch style decks.
Lastly I feel that the Night’s Watch wants you to approach the game a little differently, most factions are rushing headlong at you, trying to kill your board and control the board. This deck is more about the long game, keep yourself in the game, don’t give away unopposed challenges (wall out or not), and make the game keep going. This can somewhat backfire due to some characters being almost impossible to handle, but that’s what the Milks and Kneeling are for.
37 Characters is generally considered close to too many, because often times you aren’t trying to win every challenge you need some extra claim soak, additionally NW in general feel like you wanna flood the board a bit, this is fine, don’t be afraid to dump a fair number of small bodies on the table if you can afford to. Much of this section is pretty strait forward, but here’s my reasoning.
Bastard in Hiding - solid bicon for cheap, NW have a lot of single icon characters, this helps mitigate that issue.
Benjen Stark - I did have this as a 3x originally but because you don’t really want to dupe him I wound up cutting down. Benjen is fantastic, can drop him to wildfire if you need the 2 power, makes military claim give you power if you can afford it, and the best part - Anti-Stealth. People want unopposed challenges, you don’t wanna let em, Benjen makes that happen.
Fiery Followers - R’hllor, Dom, bicon, what’s not to love? If you can slow play them to get an additional kneel by holding it back, often worthwhile.
Ghost - Lets you make some decent counter hits thanks to his super-stealth, also works for letting you block those military challenges before Benjen is around.
Jon Snow - It might seem silly to have only 1, but Jon knows nothing about this decks play style, so he sits at only a single copy. He’s good, largely I find even when I have him in hand he doesn’t see the board, usually something else to do.
Littlefinger - Small fingers make your hand seem bigger, especially when they draw you cards, give you money, and provide icons.
Maester Aemon - This guy is fantastic, why counter kill effects when you can just save the dude? If they don’t use the kill effect, hey free mil claim soak, remember you don’t have to win challenges with the wall out, just participate. Oh, and no attachments? Amazing on this guy.
Maester Cressen - Cressen is probably worth another copy, and if I continue to have games where Jon doesn’t see play, he’ll probably get the slot. Nothing sweeter than freeing up Mel for more kneeling action.
Mel - Not much to say here, she’s absurdly good.
Messenger Raven - Card draw wins games, here’s your engine. This are so effective I’ve drawn milks and Tears of Lys for them, people don’t like it when you draw all day.
Old Bear Mormont - He’s costly and the way this deck runs it can be hard to get his ability off, he’s amazing with the wall so he gets a couple copies.
Ranging Party - I’m all for a 4 cost bicon with 5 str, having the wall for 6str, or Castle Black makes this guy fantastic offensively and defensively.
Samwell Tarly - Sam is a boss and can do some serious work when your opponent is light on Intrigue, draw cards, win games.
Selyse Baratheon - She’s got R’hllor and she can make your Bastards block INT challenges for you. Brought her in after feeling a little light on R’hllor in general and not being able to play Seen in Flames occasionally.
Ser Waymar Royce - 3 str bicon for 3, nothing spectacular but that random discard when he goes down is kinda nice.
Shireen Baratheon - initially didn’t include her but that little bit of extra kneel can be a big deal, another card that could be worth more copies if the deck wasn’t so character heavy already.
Steward at the Wall - Reducer, also a very nice source of an Int icon which helps defend all challenges.
Yoren - Maybe not the best, but still gets a nod because a lot of decks are running cheap guys, so occasionally you’ll get an extra dude.
Longclaw - Renown is completely absent from this deck with the exception of this card, oddly that hasn’t been too much an issue.
Milk of the Poppy - Who doesn’t love Opiates?
These are pretty essential to your long term game plan, but they aren’t something you’re gonna mulligan for, they are gonna help you win the game while you kneel so your opponent can’t play the game they wanna play.
Castle Black - This card is amazing, +2 Str, Stand. Boom, fantastic.
Chamber of the Painted Table - This card is just dirty, and when you’re shooting for the long game this is a card that will help you control that pace, get dom, earn power and slow them down.
The Iron Throne - Get dom, slow them down.
The Roads - Necessary Econ
The Wall - The wall makes all those over costed NW guys suddenly much better, additionally once the wall is down, as long as you can maintain your opposing of challenges and tapping down their all important renown characters, you can usually win the game while losing a lot of challenges.
A Meager Contribution - Not entirely sure this card is worth running, but you do usually want to go second and any little help slowing down your opponent while you drop characters and slowly put down some buildings will help you win the game.
Seen in the Flames - R’hllor, and some very good disruption. Another way to slow your opponent down and get some vital information.
Take the Black - I love this card, there will be turns you don’t have other options and games where your opponent is playing Wildling Horde or decides to attach a Widows Wail onto one of their two cost bicons - so worth stealing.
Edit - Forgot plots!
A Feast for Crows - Can be great for that bit of extra power when your board state is solid, also provides a nice 6 gold which will late you play just about anything in the deck.
A Noble Cause - Econ plot to assist in getting down Mormont, Mel, or Littlefinger for cheap. Not a ton of targets so possibly this could shift to something else but works.
Calling the Banners - Another econ plot that helps a ton when you wanna put down some of those costly locations. You won’t be cleaning up their board with this game so usually you can get 5 gold from the when revealed if not more.
Calm Over Westeros - Another card that will help you slow them down, usually save this for a few rounds when I know I might have to expect a 2 claim or won’t be able to get my usual kneel off.
Filthy Accusations - They have a lot of dirty characters in those other factions, tell the church how naughty they all are, make them spend some time explaining themselves.
Wildfire Assault - Sometimes this card doesn’t want to get played, you’ll have a board full of dudes, and they have some strong strong characters over there. It’s ok, defend 3, use the wall.
I hope this deck gives an idea about how the NW wants to play the game their way, get the wall down, defend 3 challenges, strike back. I feel like playing this deck I lose a lot of challenges that I have the option of winning, because other than power - you don’t care. Aemon will save the Mil claim, Sam and Ravens will refill the hand, Chamber and Wall will give you the power you lack from renown. Give it a go, see what you think.
It’s cold on the wall, but someones gotta defend it