We defend the Wall alone

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Derivado de
We defend the Wall alone 33 22 21 3.0
Inspiración para
Defending (Slightly) Differently to Joe - 3rd Place Summer G 2 1 8 1.0
Defend the Wall 0 0 0 1.0
We defend the Wall alone (Valar Edition) 46 33 30 5.0
The first ranger 0 0 0 1.0

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

While it is the same faction and the same agenda, this deck plays differently from previous versions of “We Defend the Wall Alone.” I considered publishing it as a different deck here on Thronesdb but, after testing, I found it to be superior to the previous iterations of “We Defend the Wall Alone” in just about every way.

Be warned. There is a TON written below. So if you don’t want to know the origins of the changes in play style, you can skip to the + and – section. Or you can just not read this at all. I guess. I mean…I worked hard on this but…it’s cool…

What are the major changes you ask? Well, let me first start by saying that the primary change, the one involving the plot deck, is NOT my original idea. Many of you may recognize the plot deck (except for 1 minor change) is the same as the one used by Tamás Albeck to win Varberg Morghulis. Yes, I’m copying the work of a player vastly superior to myself. The idea of running two copies of Counting Coppers is something that never even crossed my mind. But, in hindsight, it makes perfect sense. I was still a little skeptical going into testing, but I was surprised how much better the deck runs when you’re holding 6 to 10 cards each turn.

It does require a bit more skill, since you’ll be managing a lot more cards with a little less gold but it is still a Wall deck and the primary goal of getting the Wall out and defending it hasn’t changed. The dynamics of the deck have changed, but that’s only because of the aforementioned management of the cards in your hand and the decisions on what to play, what to discard to gain gold (with Old Forest Hunter) and what takes priority over what.

The other major change, (that I came up with by myself :P) , is the inclusion of the two cards that were released in the 2nd chapter pack of the cycle; Dolorous Edd and Craven. These two cards are so incredible; they basically revolutionized the way Night’s Watch is played. I am planning on writing an article about it, but I haven’t even written an outline yet, so I’m not sure if there’s a whole article there. This may even become the first draft for that article. We’ll see.

Before I get into the details of what I added/removed and why, I wanted to also note that several of the changes I made to the deck were based on nearly endless discussions and theory crafting with a gentleman known as @Action_Johnny (He goes by Daye Kaniel on Facebook…also not his real name). He is one of the hosts of the podcast Decklist and Chill, where he and a few of his mates from Ye Olde Englande discuss various deck types and go into detail about what they include and how they came to those decisions. Kind of like this description, but in podcast form. They are two episodes in and you can find those episodes here: https://www.blubrry.com/decklist_chill/

I think he goes by the name Dan on that podcast...He's an enigma when it comes to names.

He has tested the deck as much as me, if not more, and a lot of the card decisions have been based off his experiences in game as well as mine. I am no longer the island that I once was. There are finally people to talk to about the Night’s Watch! :D

Now, on to the details of what changed. There’s a lot. We’ll start with the plots.

PLOTS

+2 Counting Coppers. -1 Confiscation, -1 Building Orders

As I mentioned above, this is probably the largest change in terms of play style. Instead of looking at the top 10 cards of the deck for the Wall, with Building Orders, you instead draw 3 additional cards. This way, you don’t end up looking at the top 10 cards of your deck, see that you would have top decked the Wall and a Craven and get annoyed that you now have to choose between the two. It also provides the benefit of more options. Building Orders nets you 1 specific card, Counting Coppers nets you 3 not as specific cards. It’s a plot that, for all intents and purposes, draws you 5 cards in that turn. This not only gives you more opportunity to see your economy, like Rose Road and King’s Road, but also gives you more opportunities to draw your Benjens, your Cravens, your Milks, your Messenger Ravens or whatever else you need to draw to win the turn. I can see an argument for 1x CC and 1x Building Orders, and it was something I was pondering a bit, but I’ve been so satisfied with the way the deck runs with 2x CC, that I decided to not even test 1 and 1. If you want to, I’m sure it’ll work out fine. I will note that 2x CC does slow down how quickly you get the Wall in some games, but that’s the trade off you pay for having access to so many more options. I’ve found it to be worth it.

I also removed Confiscation because, as you’ll see, the deck is a lot less focused on Old Bear Mormont. So if Mormont is Milked, it’s just something you have to deal with. He’s still a 6 strength bicon, so it’s not the end of the world. I’ve found in my games that you don’t need Mormont to win, so removing negative attachments isn’t a big deal. Again, if you feel like you need this, then you are more than welcome to test it. I found it to be a dead plot more often than not with this reconfiguration of the deck.

-1 Calling the Banners, +1 Winter Festival

Winter Festival or Feast for Crows. You could do either. They both serve approximately the same purpose. Good economy and additional power gain. Both relatively low initiative and the requirement for the power gain is different. I chose Winter Festival over Feast for Crows because, with Kings of Winter running around, reserve has become a very important stat. Having a plot with 4 reserve hurts, nothing much else to say here. The power gain is great and having a Winter plot to combat Winterfell can really help keep your board state alive on that one turn you really need it. A lot of things to consider, though the choice depends on your meta.

CHARACTERS

-1 House Maester, -1 Unsworn Apprentice, +2 Dolorous Edd

The House Maester was added because, if I don’t use Here to Serve early on and already had Aemon out, I’d have a second target to go grab when I played Here to Serve late in the game.

I play Here to Serve on turn 1 or 2 pretty much every game now. The only time I ever chose to fetch House Maester was when my turn 1 hand had both copies of Maester Aemon in it (Really wish Here to Serve allowed you to play a Maester from your deck or hand). This has not happened enough times to warrant a slot, let alone a neutral slot, for an otherwise mediocre character, so I dropped him.

The Unsworn Apprentice, theoretically, was greatest for his versatility, but I found that I don’t have much use for him now as my icon distribution has become extremely even over the last 2 chapter packs (thank you Arry and Edd!).

Adding two Dolorous Edd has been great because, not only is he an unexpected trick, but he is also a 4 strength intrigue icon when the Wall is out. This makes getting unopposed on you more difficult but also makes it so that you can more easily protect the hand that you are now working so hard to build up with the Counting Coppers. Sometimes it sucks having to save your faction kneel for him, but it’s a small trade for a recurring character that can win you intrigue several turns in a row. You can bounce him back to hand after winning, giving you another opportunity to drop him out next turn, frustrating your opponent’s math or you can leave him on the field if you want, in which case you get 3 gold for the cost of a faction kneel. Not bad for the econ of the deck!

+2 Old Forest Hunter, -1 Rattleshirt's Raiders, -1 Ser Alliser Thorne

Another big change was going back up to 3x Old Forest Hunters. This goes in tandem with Counting Coppers, as well as another addition in the event section (Watcher on the Walls ). Keep in mind, there’s an action window in the plot phase, in the draw phase and in the marshaling phase. So, if you’re swimming in cards – a high probability with 2x Counting Coppers, 3x Messenger Ravens, 2x Arry, 2x Sam, 1x Will, 1x Littlefinger and 2x The Watch Has Need – throwing one of them away for a gold suddenly becomes a fantastic deal (I have an anecdote about this that I will tell in the article discussing this deck).

I removed Rattleshirt’s Raiders because, as I said, I don’t really care about attachments anymore since the deck doesn’t rely as much on Old Bear.

I removed Ser Alliser Thorne because I was just sick of seeing his stupid face sit in my hand turn after turn after turn. He’s not worth 6 gold, and saving 4 gold even with Arry in the deck is really punishing if they don’t bother testing your military challenge (which, with Maester Aemon, they may not). Plus, you now have a much better thing to do with your faction kneel in Dolorous Edd. I could see an argument for Alliser, as he is also a trick of the deck. Dropping him and then Watcher on the Walls is a wonderful little trick. But if your opponent is worth their salt, they’ll see that coming. Saving 4 gold and a faction kneel is just too much of a dead giveaway. It wasn’t happening for me often enough to be worth the slot in the deck.

-1 Syrio Forel, -1 Veteran Builder

These were removed because I needed to make room for a few more events, and thus became casualties of deck building. They are both good cards and may make it back into the deck at some point, but they’re a little too conditional right now.

ATTACHMENTS

-3 Old Bear's Raven, +3 Craven

As I said, this deck is not focusing on Old Bear Mormont. The problem with Old Bear’s Raven: It is un-fucking-believable on Old Bear. Like…legitimately a game winning card when you can get it onto The Old Bear…

…Completely garbage otherwise.

Most of your characters can’t hold it. The ones who can (Arry, Edd, Littlefinger, a few stewards and Benjen) don’t really give a shit about stealth except in very specific scenarios. It was just a dead card until you saw Old Bear. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve won many many games with Old Bear + his Raven + The Wall. It is not as hard to achieve as people make it out to be. But in those games where Old Bear didn’t show up, or in games where you just lost him somehow, this card doesn’t carry its weight. Having 9 gold invested in one character can really hurt in certain match ups, especially heavy kill and attrition decks. I tried it at 1x, but then it never lined up with Old Bear and became even worse, so I just cut it.

Craven is….game changingly good. I mean, I cannot understate how good this card is. It is probably the most impactful card the Night’s Watch has, and definitely the best card released in the entire second cycle. Possibly even the best negative attachment in the game. There are so many superlatives you can attach to this card. It has won me so many games already. Negating their best attacker is amazing. Negating their 3 best attackers is game over. What are the odds of seeing 2 to 3 in one game? Well, when you’re drawing 2 to 3 additional cards each turn, on average, you’ll see them. There’s so much draw in this deck that you’ll see them. Trust me on that. This works well with Milk of the Poppy as well, as your opponent often has to choose. Do they un-craven their best attacker? Or do they un-milk their Nymeria? It’s a win-win. And if they blow their Confiscation on something else early on, e.g. Longclaw? Good luck dealing with the rest of the attachments after that.

As the game is right now, the only two factions that have additional attachment hate are Baratheon, with Maester Cressen , and Targaryen, with Core Viserys and Waking the Dragon (and Vaes Dothrak, which may see play soon if these negative attachments keep getting released). The only other attachment hate is Confiscation and the Rattleshirt’s Raiders…and we have an answer for them ;).

Oh, and did I mention that Halder can kneel your Cravens to give your characters +1 strength? Because he can. Abuse it, it’s ridiculous!

LOCATIONS

-2 White Tree, +2 The Iron Throne

This is a preference pick for you. I like Iron Throne because it’s basically a static power gain. It becomes imperative if you choose Feast for Crows over Winter Festival. I chose Winter Festival, but I still value the dominance. Plus, with Samwell Tarly and this card, you can get up to 12 reserve, which really helps with The Watch Has Need. And it helps combat Kings of Winter, which is really strong right now. All things considered, I decided to go with this over White Tree, but it’s your call. Both are excellent options.

EVENTS

-2 Nightmares, -1 The Sword in the Darkness, +2 The Hand's Judgment, +2 The Watch Has Need, +2 The Watcher on the Walls

The events are the final set of changes for the deck, and they are pretty drastic. Credit @Action_Johnny (Daye) for this one, because he has convinced me to put Hand’s Judgments back into this deck, instead of Nightmares. The truth is, you can go either way. Nightmares turns off their threats and there is no denying that that is extremely valuable, especially in certain match ups, such as Greyjoy. Nothing is more frustrating for a Greyjoy player than using Nightmares on Fishwhiskers when they do a single attack with him on a winter plot turn. Or Nightmares on Robert Baratheon when he has +6 strength from knelt characters. Or Nightmares on a number of other cards that change your opponent’s advantage into a disadvantage.

However, I’ve found (and Daye has convinced me), that it is more valuable to stop your opponent’s Nightmares than it is to use your own Nightmares. A Nightmares on your Wall, or on your Aemon or on your Benjen can really suck and being able to cancel that is, arguably, far more valuable than you using Nightmares on your opponent. And it doesn’t stop at Nightmares. In most games, your opponent will be relying on an event to achieve a swing in the balance of the game. Being able to completely stop that simultaneously allows you to stop their play, while benefiting your own win condition (defending the Wall). Hand’s Judgement is a reactive event and very well suited to Night’s Watch/Fealty, a reactive build.

The Sword in the Darkness is a fantastic trick and it allowed me to beat JC Wamma when we were playing a casual game at Gencon (You can read about that in this article here: https://www.wardensofthemidwest.com/joes-feelings-meta-large/), but I found the other events were carrying their weight a little more. Sword in the Darkness was most impactful on a For the Watch! turn, but other than that, your opponent doesn’t really commit to challenges that they can’t win, for the most part. Exceptions include LotC and when they need you to kneel your other characters in order to get another challenge through, but those don’t happen as much as I’d like to commit this slot. I may find a slot for this event again in the future, but for now I have removed it.

The Watch has Need is amazing with Counting Coppers. When you have Sam or the Iron Throne, or both, you can get up to 12 reserve. Real quick, run a simulation of this deck. See how many Rangers pop up when you look at 12 cards in the deck . There are 11 Rangers, 9 stewards and 4 builders in the deck. Don’t call builders. But when you play it, just count how many Rangers you’ve seen and how many stewards you’ve seen. Subtract those from 11 and 9, respectively, and call whichever number is higher. I’ve drawn 6 cards off this event before. I’ve also drawn only 1. But I have not yet whiffed when I used it on a Counting Coppers turn. It is incredible.

Daye even had an amazing play just the other day that didn’t even occur to me. He had a game where he did not have any intrigue icons on the board. His opponent declared an intrigue challenge. So Daye played this card and called Steward. He drew a few cards, one of which included Dolorous Edd. He knelt his faction card, played Dolorous Edd and kept the Wall standing, because of this event. It had never occurred to me to use this during the challenges phase for that purpose, but it can do that as well. More card draw. You can target what icon you’re missing (just don’t call Builder, please). It is a card advantage at least 90% of the time.

And finally, this last card needs a little unpacking to fully understand why it made it back into the deck. As I’ve said before, Craven is game changingly good. Once it hits the board, it becomes your opponent’s number one priority to remove it from the board. And, with how much draw you have in this deck, you’re going to see at least 1 Craven per game on average, probably 2. I’ve had multiple games where I have seen all 3. This stuff happens when you’re seeing ~30 to 40 cards in your typical 5-7 plot game.

So, your opponent’s number one priority is removing these Cravens and Milks that you have in your deck from their big, expensive characters. With the limited amount of attachment hate available in this game, their plan A is Confiscation. So, consider the first negative attachment you play an inevitable loss – your opponent is almost certainly running Confiscation and they will almost certainly play it the turn after you Craven their best attacker. But once you draw and play your second? The only other attachment hate available to most decks is Rattleshirt’s Raiders.

Well, the thing that Rattleshirt’s Raiders needs to do in order to remove an attachment is win a military challenge. Since Night’s Watch has one of the best military presences in the entire game, that means they will likely have to commit multiple very valuable characters to that military challenge. This is the perfect time to play Watcher on the Walls. It kills their Rattleshirt’s Raiders and could very likely take out 1 or 2 valuable targets as well. And, with Hand’s Judgment in the deck, you can even cancel their attempt to cancel Watcher. It’s the perfect storm. You are compelling them to do a military challenge that they need to win in order to get their best attacker back, but then making it so that if they commit too much they may lose their entire army. It’s a lose lose.

You are giving your opponent no good options. Even when you have zero gold, Fealty can play this card. Or, if you have Old Forest Hunter, you can pitch a card for a gold and then play this event. There are multiple ways of playing it and, with Dolorous Edd, your hand is safer than ever before. With the increased card draw in the deck, you have a very good chance of drawing this card. The deck works so well to counteract those big military attacks needed to remove the cravens that you put on their characters. Every card seems to work together in this…amazing symbiosis of completely fucking your opponent over.

Enjoy the deck and please let me know if you have any comments on how you are doing with it or questions on how to play it! :D

77 comentarios

Antrim 208

Amazing, man. I'm gonna be testing this really soon. Thanks!

Antrim 208

You said you usually go early with Here to Serve, but what's your typical plot order? I've never used Counting Coppers so I'm a little lost about how to use it efficiently since it has so little gold. Does it usually go Counting Coppers, Counting Coppers and then Pentoshi? Pentoshi after the first CC?

action_johnny 745

Awesome write up mate, bravo.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@AntrimYea, it's usually Here to Serve, then it depends on my board state and what I have in my hand.

I want to try and get a few games posted on my youtube channel when playing this deck so you can kind of see what my thought process is. Basically, it depends on how many economy locations you see. I try to get at least 1 on turn 1 or set up, so if I do, I'm able to Counting Coppers on turn 2, draw up some cards and see what I can do from there.

The Old Forest Hunter coming out early on is really helpful too, as he can make it 3 to 4 gold on a CC turn, based on what you need to play out your hand.

My personal favorite set up is Ranging Party/Arry + Old Forest Hunter + Sworn Brother + Rose Road. This gives me so much economy on turn 1, between the OFH's ability and the Sworn Brother's location reduction, so I can play the Wall for 3 gold and then maybe a Sam for 1 gold and Fealty and something else for 1 to 2 gold using OFH's discard ability. Then, turn 2 I can Counting Coppers to get back up to about 9 cards in hand, rinse and repeat.

Alternatively, if I have something like Benjen, a King's Road and Old Bear in hand, I may do Trading on turn 2, just to set up my defenses. It all depends on what your set up is. But the plot deck definitely provides flexibility in what you choose to do.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@action_johnnyThanks buddy :P

Kakita_Shiro 667

Really like the explanation for bringing back The Watcher on the Walls.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@Kakita_ShiroThank you! It just made sense to bring it back now that there's something that is compelling people to do big military attacks. Thanks for reading the whole description haha.

TheBrianFactor 7

I have been dying for Night's Watch to become viable in 2.0 and the recent chapter packs have made it possible! I'm not a fan of the Kings of Winter choke idea as it is so restrictive and seems still a bit too swingy with my card draw luck.

This deck, and amazing write-up, has given me food for thought on what I need to do with my own deck and it has come to look very similar to yours! I appreciate the fanboy-dom to Night's Watch as I have been on that bandwagon since release; the boys on the wall are finally getting their time in the spotlight and I love seeing Fealty decks that still pack a wallop against the ever-dominant Lannister.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@TheBrianFactorI agree with you about Kings of Winter choke. Not really my cup of tea. I'm still happy when they place well because it's Night's Watch and they play with the same cards as me, but it just doesn't feel the same. It doesn't feel like Night's Watch. So I too was excited with the last two chapter packs.

I'm glad the write up and deck list have helped you come up with something you're excited to play :D. They're finally starting to compete with the rest of the meta and it is amazing.

Also, if anyone is interested in seeing how the deck is run, Daye Kaniel (the guy in the description, also @action_johnny) and I recorded a game. It is super duper long because of some unfortunate circumstances, but we go through a lot of the thought processes for how to play the deck and when to use what plots.

I intend to record a few more games over the next week or 2 using this deck that will be a bit shorter and easier to consume, so keep an eye out for those. But in the mean time, maybe you can glean some use from this game we played: www.youtube.com

Dydra 1467

I'm very interested as to why keeping a 3x Old Bear without Raven ...

Dydra 1467

Also 'sup with the Fealty? A fellow in the local meta is playing NW/Summer and the only downside to that is the lack of Winter Festival ... which u say can be replaced by A Feast for Crows :)

action_johnny 745

@Dydra I feel that Fealty is the stronger build here. In regards to plots, The only plot I would cut for a deck for a Summer plot would be Trading with the Pentoshi for Summer Harvest, and obviously you'd have to swap Winter Festival for A Feast for Crows, so you're not getting a huge amount of mileage out of the agenda with the exception of the reserve. So you're essentially swapping the Fealty bonus for that. Personally speaking, I'd rather have the reduction.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@DydraHonestly, I kept Old Bear at 3x because I didn't want to remove too many 4+ cost characters. If I removed an Old Bear, there isn't really another 4+ cost card that I could add to the deck that would improve it. That'll change once we get Qhorin in the 6th chapter pack and perhaps when we get Thoren next Thursday. I haven't decided on Thoren, but he could easily be a 1x, so that may be where I go once he is released. Not to mention that, even without the Raven, Old Bear is a quality defender in a lot of match ups. Maybe you don't bother playing him when you are playing against Greyjoy, since he'll just be stealthed each round, but in most match ups, he does just fine :).

As for Summer, like Daye said, the plot deck isn't too friendly for a Summer deck. You're getting, at most, 1 or 2 summer plots into that deck and that just doesn't give you nearly as much economy as Fealty. Your friend may be running 3 to 4 summer plots, in which case I could see an argument for Kings of Summer, especially if he has cards that also use the faction kneel, such as Dolorous Edd, Ser Alliser Thorne and Wildling Horde in that deck.

uBaH 89

@Joe From CincinnatiHow is this deck handling Baratheon? It looks like it just falls prey to it.

HidaHayabusa 73

Oddly enough, KoW NW, feels more like NW to me, but to each its own. The problem I had with fealty was money. Plot-wise I don't see that you are addressing that problem, since you need a huge turn to pay for either the Wall+something or Mormont. It's feasible but tough sometimes. Especially if you are starting with Here To Serve, because...it's just better to get the Maester out early in order to setup the board.

Also don't you think that if you are going to run with 2 Counting Coppers, you'd better be sure that you are not running it on a field with no or at least a few Varys's Riddle? That's a bit tough to come by, because that plot is simply amazing. (Especially in KoW decks).

I've noticed (at least where I play) that the toughest decks to play against are Martell Summer, Lannister (unfortunately any Lannister), good control players using Arbor (usually with Arianne), Stark Fealty and KoW variants (definitely against lucky NW players that open with Trees and Meager).

The write-up is amazing, and I really appreciate the effort you put on your decks, gameplay and finally reports. Plus I love the thought process on Watchers on the Wall.

P.S: It seems that are desperately in love with Old Mormont.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@uBaHI haven't had the chance to play against Baratheon yet, actually. Not many people on OCTGN or my store play it. I'll let you know as soon as I do :).

@HidaHayabusa I have been playing NW for my entire time in this game, so I probably wouldn't know what good economy felt like if it hit me in the face haha. However, the amount of card draw, in tandem with the Old Forest Hunter, creates a lot of economy for you. Plus, when you are drawing ~5 cards per turn, you're going to see more King's Road and more rose roads, as well as your reducing stewards. It actually isn't as tough as it appears on paper. And, with the Sworn Brothers, locations can be pretty easy to drop on the table, even with little or no gold.

If a person wants to Varys' Riddle my Counting Coppers, I'll just shrug and nod. I am really very impartial to what my opponent is doing on any given turn. I know that sounds dismissive, but there isn't much I can do about it, so I just have to accept it haha.

For me, using this deck, the only bad match up I've been able to find is Targaryen Fealty. And that's 99% because of Dracarys. Lannister is annoying, but they aren't too threatening when you Craven their Tywin, Jaime or Mountain. Martell are sloooooooow. I had a game that I recorded and posted on my youtube channel, in one of the comments above against Martell Summer. The game was 7-0 on turn 7, in a game where I hadn't seen a Wall in the top 37 cards of the deck. If I had the Wall even on turn 5, that game ends 15-0. Didn't end up seeing the Wall until card 40....XD.

Stark fealty can get difficult if they get the renown train going because I can find my negative attachments as well. But Targ Fealty is the only one I'd say I lose more than 50% of the time to.

Thank you for complimenting my write up :D. I enjoy talking about these cards and the inclusion of Watcher on the Walls is one of those things that you're excited how well the cards work together in the context of the meta.

I am a little obsessed with Old Bear, but I am prepared to reduce him down to 1 or 2x once Qhorin comes out :D

ironlix 1

@Joe From Cincinnati, great concept! Will try it out for sure. I am "intrigued" by the idea how you put The Watcher on the Walls back and use in the deck. I used to run Night's Watch with Bara but now i may switch to Fealty after seeing this.

Laplante 214

@Joe From Cincinnati : Mmh .. I might sound quite arsh here, but it just looks like the classic Nw build but let efficient cause of Old bear ... I mean, I see no difference outside of that with what I play in Nw since 2 months and what Tamas is playing since allways :P May I ask you what makes it different, I kind of don't get it :).

Right now I would just remove the 3 Old Bear Mormont, 2 Sworn Brother and 1 Will and would add three White Tree, Third Samwell Tarly and third Halder. And adding 1/2 Veteran Builder can't be bad, 4str in power is really good in the current environnment IMHO.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@Laplanteshrug It may be classic to you. But to me, and a lot of people evidently (including basically all of America) had never seen this until Tamas' games recorded at Varberg Morghulis. I credited Tamas as well, if you read the description :).

Plus, no one has ever published a deck like this on Thronesdb either, so it can't be classic haha. At least not in this context.

@ironlixYay! Come back to fealty! haha

Laplante 214

@Joe From Cincinnati : Mmmmh ok ... We might end up adding some more decks from europe then, it might help :P.

Then well done bringing it to the new continent then , it's a really potent archetype with a different playstyle (but quite easy to counter when you know it I think : Pyromancers + Throne + Chamber and boom :p) !

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@LaplanteThat would be fantastic! I know some people were asking about why the American meta is so stale (Lanni Dragon everywhere) whereas Europe seems to be thriving and it all comes back to the innovative deck building of Europeans.

Pyromancers would be quite the blow to this deck (and any Wall deck, really). I'm glad everyone in the Facebook group and CardgameDB said the card was terrible when it was released haha. Just keep thinking that guys ;).

ironlix 1

@Laplante Shh! Keep the Pyromancers a secret. LOL i think people don't like it because of the 5g costs.

PulseGlazer 347

Did you just steal 3/4 of the deck from that stream? Giggle.

HidaHayabusa 73

I will insist that economy is a problem with this approach. Wall gets one turn and I don't think you can support Arry's bounce, Practice Blades, events, Fealty reduction+Dolorous Edd AND attachments. Even 1 gold is too much for a packed up deck like that. If you rely on OFH to generate gold, then you'll be needing Counting Coppers very soon, and the 2 gold isn't helping on staying relevant to the board. Card draw is a bit overrated in AgoT, since unlike most other CCGs you need to pay a lot to use the cards you have.

Economy is the reason why I like KoW better.

Finally, I am not completely sold on Craven, unless you are taking the 100% passive approach of getting to 15 by defending the wall. I mean, a Cravened Gregor, is still holding your military back so I guess, you are planning on getting the long hard route to 15, which means that you need to be able to compete on the board (which in turn means that you need to afford your characters).

hagarrr 579

Lovely deck guys. I can see why @HidaHayabusa thinks you may struggle for economy - I've been playing Tamas's iteration of the deck (or at least as close as I can ascertain) and money can be super tight sometimes and that is without Old Bear Mormont. Granted, you've got Trading with the Pentoshi, but I found that Calling the Banners give almost a similar amount of gold when played.

Also totally agree with Dan re The Hand's Judgment!

SpiritPanda 1

`@HidaHayabusa I understand the critique but I've been playing a similar deck for a little while and my problem has been card draw, not economy. Granted I only run one CC in favor of Varys' Riddle but I'm constantly needing more cards, not gold.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@HidaHayabusaYea, I know the economy looks rough, but I promise it plays better than it looks haha. At least in my experience. I've never had trouble playing the characters I need to defend the Wall. As for Craven, I mean...This deck defends the Wall. That's essentially all it does. It doesn't work as well in a KoW aggro deck (although I'd argue it works almost as well), so I understand the apprehension.

@hagarrrRichy boy! Yea, Trading vs Calling is basically a determination between...do you want immediate gold when you need it, or do you want good initiative tied to good gold a little later in the game? And Old Bear is just a placeholder for Qhorin right now haha. Maybe I could take him out for some dupes of other characters, but I'm in a meta where First Snow can still sneak up on you, so I like to keep my options open. I know he doesn't really fit in this deck all that well haha.

@PulseGlazerHey. Shut up. :) The other 25% is 100% original :P.

TheBrianFactor 7

I think that the critiques of this deck are falling victim of the fallacy that a high-cost character makes-or-breaks the deck. We are used to Lannister with Tywin; Stark with Robb/Eddard/Catelyn/Blackfish; Tyrell with Randyll/QoT/KoF; Targ with Danaerys/Khal/Mirri; etc. Night's Watch does not fall within this overarching assumption.

Night's Watch is underwhelming in its ability to provide a single character that glues the entire faction together. Depending on the board state and the trajectory of the game, Old Bear can be a target for Old Forest Hunter's discard to gain gold to play a more worthwhile card. If you can afford to marshal Old Bear, he is definitely powerful, but Night's Watch doesn't NEED him to win.

By massively increasing the amount of cards you can hold in hand (by reserve value manipulation), your hand greatly increases your possibilities for play. Having such a large reserve value allows a player to adapt to the game state far more fluidly than other less intensive card draw plot decks and mechanics.

@ironlixI have played against a Lannister player that made use of Street of Silk with an ally-heavy deck. He could pull Pyromancers out whenever he wished/needed, and due to being Lannister, gold to play them was not an issue.

HidaHayabusa 73

That's not the case, as far as my critique is concerned at least. My concern is handling the deck costs and not the fact that 'if you play a 7g character you need to support it gold-wise'. You can play Mormont, given a proper setup and some discards to Hunter, the issue I find is that you can't support Arry's bounce, Wall, Practice Blades, Dolorous Edd turn meaning no Fealty, Poppies, Cravens, Hands not cancelling Hands and still be able to marshall Ranging Parties and Benjens.

I've been playing NW exclusively in Agot2 and I've given time to Wall Fealty, Lion Banner and KoW. Economy was an issue ONLY on Wall decks. Card draw can be achieved through good economy, but good economy can't be achieved through card draw. This is where plots come in the equation.

If Joe and the rest of the people trying it say that it's fine, I'll agree with them since I am lately too focused on making KoW/NW as good as it gets and I've almost forgot full Wall defense mechanisms from fealty.

Antrim 208

I was able to test the deck yesterday for a little bit. Any doubts I had regarding the economy have vanished, although admittedly I made a couple of tweaks to the deck: subbed Old Bear Mormont x3 for White Tree x3, and got rid of Shadow Tower (without Sword in the Darkness it feels way less powerful) and 1x of Iron Throne to get down to 60 cards, cause I'm OCD like that. Definitely need to test more (only played a couple of games), but both times I felt like had better economy than I've ever had. Honestly, I actually wished I didn't have a Pentoshi because I didn't need it.

The CC x2 works excepcionally well. Synergies with Old Forest Hunter and The Watch Has Need are really easy to take advantage of. Between that, ravens, Littlefinger and Sam/Will you're basically swimming in cards all game long. It's pretty hard not to get some decent economy that way. On top of that, Dolorous Edd is great and Craven is just the best card we have. With this new playstyle and cards, I feel like this deck is much more viable and competitive. Thoren and especially Qhorin will only make it better, can't wait.

Since I don't think Mormont is necessary for this deck, I'm considering getting rid of Aemon altogether, which would also free up a plot spot: another Winter Festival? Building Orders? Calm over Westeros? I'm wondering what to put in for Aemon. Veteran Builders are great for the cost and prime targets for Practice Blades, but if anyone has any idea I'd love to hear it.

Isian.H 699

I love playing The Sword in the Darkness When playing Nights Watch but I've recently been thinking that The Shadow Tower, which I am also very fond of, is anti-synergistic with The Sword in the Darkness. If you ever get shadow tower out you won't be getting any chump challenges coming your way. Not many people expect Sword or might not calculate it. I haven't been able to trigger The Watcher on the Walls as much as sword. They either have dupes or are very careful about their mil challenges. It would seem to be the card my opponents remember and fear the most. Also if you played it early-ish in a game it would loose its surprise factor and they will be careful about not doing a mil with tywin etc

HidaHayabusa 73

@Antrim: well removing the highest cost character and adding 3 locations that provide 1 gold per turn is quite a step towards 'refining the economy'.

Veteran Builders are amazing if you are planning to keep Will in. Also, as you said, they are the best Practice Blade carriers.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@HidaHayabusaI think we may just have to agree to disagree at this point haha. I don't really have any problems with the economy. The Wall is reduced by the Sworn brothers, you can drop a card for that 4th gold on a Here to Serve turn or Counting Coppers turn, you see more king's roads and Rose roads because you're drawing so many more cards. It just hasn't been a problem for me.

@AntrimThat's an interesting adjustment :D. I am currently playing around with some changes that take Old Bear out entirely as well. My meta is very heavy in Martell and Greyjoy, and without his raven he's just kind of useless in those two match ups. I left him in the deck for this list more as a place holder for Qhorin and Thoren, who I do think are going to make this deck so amazing!

I still wouldn't recommend removing Aemon. He protects all your characters, not just Old Bear. If you're facing a Targaryen deck, you don't want their Mirri to be able to kill your Ranging Parties, or Tyene. You also don't want Lannister to Payne your Sams and builders to death either. And, back to Targ (easily the hardest match up), with their two military challenges per turn, it can be really hard on your board if you don't have Aemon.

You can test it a bit if you'd like, but I've found that Aemon is just absolutely critical when it comes to defending the Wall.

@Isian.HI could see the argument for removing The Shadow Tower. It's a card that I don't mind not having, but I do enjoy not having to worry about those "kneel your defender to get this big guy through on the next challenge" types of attacks when it's out.

Watchers is definitely a controversial card. I like it because, as I said in the description, with Rattleshirt's Raiders being the only viable way for most factions to remove attachments other than Confiscation, your opponent will have to choose between risking it and declaring a big military challenge or just living with the inability to use their best characters. Either way, you win, I'd say. Sword in the Darkness is still a very strong card though, so I completely understand the argument for putting it back in :).

Dydra 1467

@Joe From Cincinnati I've had some discussion with @HidaHayabusa about economy on my TGB deck as well. I guess some people just have a different view on economy.

I say that each deck is unique and can function with unique economy. Other people say that there is a certain threshold without which no deck can function. They often start building a deck by putting the "staple economy" first and the rest of the deck after :)

Isian.H 699

I'm having so much trouble not including Nightmares. It's just too useful and versatile in every way. I've had nightmares save so many of my games. But I don't know what to take out though. Also I'm not sold on the The Watch Has Need. Yeah it will get me a couple characters in hand but won't be very helpful if I can't play them since I'd usually play it on a coppers turn. Can any of you sell it to me?

Tathagata 51

Lovely stuff man. Tempted to go back to Fealty for a GNK next Sunday after seeing your enthusiasm for it!

imabunneh 366

Do you run Old Bear because you think he's good and therefore because you're bad, or despite the fact that he's bad and you know it, and you're just stubborn? :P

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@imabunneh placeholder for Qhorin. You can add whatever characters in his place until Qhorin comes out. I'm playing around with veteran builders and unsworn apprentices. Next week, one of the slots will be a Thoren.

@Isian.H That is one card I wish I had space for. You're right that Nightmares is extremely powerful in a lot of situations. I've just found that protecting against enemy Dracarys, Nightmares and other impactful events is equally valuable. Especially in the case of cancelling their cancel to stop the Watcher.

As for The Watch Has Need, it's more a set up for the next few turns. Nothing hurts more than having a 4 card hand and 3 of them are events haha. Using this card can get you those 2 or 3 characters to play the next turn. Also, it allows you to get the icons that you are missing. If you have 3 rangers on the board, but no intrigue icons, you can use this can go searching for stewards. It's just a versatile event that helps in a lot of different ways. It's targeted card draw :).

@TathagataThanks :D. I am known for my enthusiasm more than anything else haha.

doxop 1

I find the lack of attachment control to be impossible to deal with. What do you think of including Maester's Chain? The deck is big at 62 and I don't know what to take out.

Isian.H 699

@doxopnot worth since nearly everyone but bear and benjen are no attachments except weapon. Maester Aemon is no attachments period. So having to include house maesters too takes up valuable card space for things you don't need.

HidaHayabusa 73

@Joe From Cincinnati: If you say it works, I'll say it works too. Can't say anything more. Same thing with @Dydra deck, which was a NW/Stag with Old Bear/Wall and Melissandre+Kneel Package with only two 5g plots. He said it worked, I agreed.

What I saw this weekend in a tournament that I attended and luckily won with NW/Lion is that most people are focusing on Summer instead of Fealty for obvious reasons (+1g is better than 1g reduction plus an amazing Plot set) so the fact is that powerful economy is the name of the game right now. Most of the decks I faced could spit two high cost characters (4-6g) each turn even during CC's turn, while they maintained good hand size with in-faction draw and plots. Apparently with so many Summers around, KoW is useless, but I also struggled in some of my test games with Fealty (unfortunately I didn't have a Summer version of NW with me) because I just couldn't keep up with their rate of producing good characters. Did you have similar problems? What are you facing mostly in your meta?

Guardian 14

with so much draw with Counting Coppers is The Watch Has Need really necessary?

and i can see removing Nightmares for The Hand's Judgment if you are drawing so many cards you are bound to see your Craven and Milk of the Poppy early on but for me its something to keep me in the game until i see those cards. keeping Maester Aemon healty and alive can be crusial and The Hand's Judgment can help. On the other hand having Nightmares for Winterfell improves the matchup very much and works great against greyjoy until you can setup your defences. i would like to hear you feedback about how it is performing.

i am also thinking of reducing Old Bear Mormont to 2x and Old Bear's Raven to 1x for making room for upcoming cards like Thoren Smallwood witch is easily 1x and The Haunted Forest 2x but i cant seem to be able to ditch him completely since if you get the combo its easy coasting from there on.

do you like Dolorous Edd at 2x because you really want to see him in intrugue heavy matchup but against stark or greyjoy it doesnt do very much and the second copy is redudant.

looking forward to hearing from you guys :)

Isian.H 699

@GuardianDolorous Edd edd is just an amazing card, 2x is a good number for him because you want to see him most games and when you do get unlucky and have both in hand you can always use Old Forest Hunter to gain a gold. For me he's worked beautifully well in games against Martel and lanni. And it just gives you an edge. He can Also help you pull off The Watcher on the Walls if your opponent has seen edd the previous turn for example they will expect edd so you can surprise with watchers. He can also help you get off a The Sword in the Darkness by ambushing and defending intrigue by 5 more. I have managed to do this on a 2claim Greyjoy turn as they didn't calculate the edd

Antrim 208

@Guardian I think The Watch Has Need is pretty great, especially with Counting Coppers given its reserve. You can easily put 3+ cards in your hand and drop them all next turn with Trading with the Pentoshi.

hagarrr 579

@Isian.H I always seem to use The Watch Has Need and pick up a boat load of dupes, which usually end up getting sold for economy. Which isn't a terrible use of the card I guess. I'm always happy to see it though. As for Nightmares, I understand why you like it so much, but I definitely prefer The Hand's Judgment in this deck. Just to be able to cancel my opponents Nightmares, Dracarys, Tears, PTTS etc keeps the tempo in your favour

artyzipp 1

Any other videos of this deck being played? I am thinking of giving this a go tonight. Looks really fun

Isian.H 699

@Dydra I realised last night after playing draft, why A Feast for Crows isn't a good choice for this deck. It only has 4 reserve which sucks. And you're gonna have to discard a lot of cards if played after a Counting Coppers and all those cards are potential gold that could have been used by the Old Forest Hunter

TheBrianFactor 7

I have been playing a Night's Watch deck VERY similar to this for a few weeks, and then this exact deck since its publication on here. For those doubting the efficacy of the deck, I have only lost 1 match (currently 7-1) with this deck and it was due, solely, to my own play mistake (misusing a Castle Black trigger which opened me up to lose a subsequent challenge).

All of that being said, Old Bear rarely hits the table for me, and is more of an "icing on the cake" card when my board is already doing well. Old Forest Hunter is what makes this deck work when paired with Counting Coppers and The Watch Has Need. Night's Watch wall decks are more concerned with icon distribution to defend challenges rather than the actual strength of those icons. Remember: Stewards = INT icon; Ranger = MIL icon; Builder = POW icon. When using The Watch Has Need, it is more to get icons on the board that you NEED rather than to find a powerful character that will change the tide of the match.

Additionally, @Joe From Cincinnati, I'm looking at making room for Thoren when the pack hits stores in a few days, and how do you feel that the following changes would affect the deck? +2 Thoren Smallwood, -1 Old Bear Mormont, -1 Ser Waymar Royce. As Old Bear isn't a crucial part of this deck, making him a 2x is an easy decision; but removing Waymar would make the curve MARGINALLY higher for this deck, won't change icon distribution, and will increase the number of Rangers in the deck by 1 (making Watcher slightly easier to play). Thoughts?

HidaHayabusa 73

What decks did you face on your 7-1 record?

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@artyzippI don't have any other videos besides the one up yet. I hope to play a few games sometime this week. My schedule doesn't really belong to me right now so I just try to fit games in where I have time and that hasn't been often in the past week haha.

@Isian.HThat's the reason I didn't include Feast for Crows either. The 4 reserve, even when modified by Sam and the Iron Throne, can be really difficult to dump, especially when you are running 2 CC that keep your hand size large throughout the game.

@TheBrianFactorCompletely agree that Old Bear is an icing on the cake card. Perhaps a win more card. I have been playing with some builds that exclude him in the last few days, mainly because my meta is very heavy with Martell and, well, they've been holding all those negative attachments all game because none of my other characters can hold them. So whenever I play Old Bear, those attachments immediately find a home on him, turning him into, essentially, an Iron Throne haha.

Right now, I am running 2 Thoren, and a Veteran Builder in place of Old Bear entirely. But I also wouldn't mind removing Will either. I don't know what you, or anyone else's experience is with Will, but I just hate drawing him. In the early game, I can't play him because I can't risk a tricky move to get an unopposed (a kneel, a stealth character, an event, a raiding longship, etc). I can't play him in setup because that's just crazy. One stealth power icon and he's likely off the board. By the time I can play him, when my board is all set, he is no longer really that useful. Plus, he also can receive negative attachments, which is just BS.

I really like Waymar because he's a solid 3 for 3 bicon that can't be given negative attachments and, if I need to kill him, he gives me a benefit from it. I think he's a perpetual 1x until a more efficient ranger comes along, which will be relatively difficult.

action_johnny 745

@TheBrianFactorAgree with you on Old Bear as well. I've removed him from my build of this deck. I was only running him x2 anyway, - replaced him with a 3rd copy of Halder and the Northern Rookery. I swapped out Trading with the Pentoshi as well, (as the 10 gold was no longer needed) and I'm currently running A Feast for Crows instead. I'm yet to have the reserve on it be an issue for me with with Sam, the Iron Throne and Rookery in the deck, but I'll admit I generally play it later rather than earlier. One thing I have noticed is that I can close games very quickly between The Wall, Winter Festival, A Feast for Crows and Benjen Stark.

Halder is probably the third or fourth most important character in the build after Aemon, Old Forest Hunter and possibly Benjen/Ranging Parties. He's essential for the Targ match up, helping to take your low STR cards out of burn range. The inclusion of the Rookery gives him another kneel proc target as well.

When Thoren Smallwood drops tomorrow, I'm going to put a single copy of him in in exchange for Will. I'm not convinced he's worth x2, especially with x2 The Watch Has Need in the deck. He certainly wouldn't survive the Wildfire turn over Halder/Ranging Parties/Aemon, and he's a monocon so x1 feels about right.

Taking this version of the deck: thronesdb.com to a GNK tournament this weekend, so will report back with my performance. Aiming to win all of my games.

ironlix 1

@Joe From Cincinnati i tried this yesterday against my buddy playing his Martell. On his setup, i saw the Pyromancers when i opened with The Wall... On our third turn, my Trading with the Pentoshi hit his Summer Harvest, pretty much gg then and i conceded on 4th. It's a good deck and the economy is easier to deal with that i thought.

But i do have a question which my friend raised, Old Bear Mormont was used as a placeholder for the future Thoren Smallwood & Qhorin Halfhand, both of them non-loyal, will it affect efficiency of Fealty?

TheBrianFactor 7

@Joe From Cincinnati Old Bear Mormont has been dropped from my rendition of the deck, too. Since writing my comment, I did put Ser Waymar Royce right back into my deck and took Will out. I do feel that the way I play this deck, I need to have Thoren Smallwood as a x2 even with The Watch Has Need - I just want to see him ASAP and keep him on the board.

@HidaHayabusa W vs. Lanni/Crossing; W vs. Lanni/Summer; W vs. Stark/Fealty; W vs. Greyjoy/Winter; L vs. Tyrell/Summer; W vs. NW/Sun; W vs. Bara/Fealty

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@ironlixMan, that's a rough way to start a game haha. How did he get a power on his faction card in order to use the Pyromancers?

That's a good point about the loyalties of the new cards being brought in. Without Old Bear, that leaves you with 2 Arry, 3 Messenger Ravens, 3 Old Forest Hunters, 2 Samwells, 2 Watcher on the Walls and 1 Will, if you haven't removed him for something else. I have since added 1 copy of Northern Rookery, as it is a great trigger for Halder. It's not ideal, but the thing with Night's Watch is, once you get one raven, that raven could conceivably be your fealty for the rest of the game. It may impact how often you use Fealty a little, but that's not a bad thing when you have Dolorous Edd in the deck as well :). Overall, I think it'll be fine. We also have 2 more characters that are not yet spoiled, and an event. So there may be a few more loyal cards to bring in from those cards as well.

Maybe Kings of Summer and a slight adjustment to the plot deck may help things, but I wouldn't want to commit too heavily to summer plots. We'll see how things work out :)

@TheBrianFactorThoren is an interesting character because I don't know if he'll actually gain me much power, with the exception of For the Watch turns and the occasional surprise Dolorous Edd/Arry challenge. He will, however, dissuade my opponent from declaring challenges they can't win, similar to The Shadow Tower. He is a 4 for 4 military monocon. Good strength to cost ratio, but a bad monocon, really the worst you can have for the Night's Watch. So on non military turns, he'll essentially be a 4 cost location. I'm excited to play with him, but I'm not sure if he'll be worth 2x slots by the end of the testing. We'll have to see how often those trick plays can occur.

TheBrianFactor 7

@ironlix I was toying with the idea of changing to Kings of Summer for that very reason, but have not made the switch, yet, because as Joe mentioned, I don't want to dive TOO heavily into Summer plots. Playing Kings of Summer would give a hard counter to the Kings of Winter choke decks that have been popping up from time to time in my meta, and KoS would support the need for increased reserve from all the draw in this deck. However, the verdict is still out because as it was mentioned, using Fealty for The Watcher on the Walls or Messenger Raven is never a bad thing (and in terms of mind games, it's easier for opponents to forget about Fealty for events than it is for them to see 1 gold and anticipate it).

@Joe From Cincinnati I'm exactly on board with that thinking. I want to start with 2x Thoren Smallwood to discover how often I see him. If I see him too often, he will certainly become a 1x. I am curious to see if NW gets a Loyal tri-con character in the packs to come (perhaps Lord Commander Snow?). If memory serves, they are the only House that does not have one.

I often find myself routinely winning 1 challenge as defender, sometimes 2 if my opponent is playing The Lord of the Crossing as their agenda and has to push through some less-than-desired challenges to get to that 3rd. When the pack hits stores this week, I'll be fervently testing Thoren to see just how worthwhile he is to NW's present state for Wall decks.

What are your thoughts on Night Gathers...? It is another event that gives use for the Fealty trigger, but feels more of an offensive NW/Choke event. It doesn't seem like it could viably be part of a Wall deck as you don't initiate enough challenges to make the event land you worthwhile marshal targets.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@TheBrianFactorI played a few games with Thoren last night and I was surprised how often people still needed to lose challenges in order to potentially win challenges. Halder helps IMMENSELY when paired with Thoren. I'm not sure if I want to make him a 2x yet, but I'm definitely on board with 1x for now. Dolorous Edd also won me an intrigue challenge as well, so it does have some merit.

As for Night Gathers, I don't think it goes in this deck. There are no good ways to get strong characters into their discard pile right now, except for intrigue challenges. It seems awfully flimsy, especially when I already have several cards I want to include but, sadly, don't have the space for.

I sincerely doubt we ever get a tricon of any kind, honestly. I think the reason we are the only faction that doesn't have an intrigue/power bicon is because they could become a tricon with practice blade. I just don't think FFG wants NW to ever have a tricon in any circumstance unless they spring for Mance. I may be wrong. Maybe they do eventually give us an intrigue/power bicon, but I think practice blade is the reason we don't have one yet.

TheBrianFactor 7

Halder with Thoren does seem like a great pairing. Practice blades, Rookery, even a Frozen Solid on Castle Black...all of it gives NW far more of a chance to win a defense. When testing Thoren, did you notice that the deck rushed to 15 faster?

That's a good point about the tricon. An INT/POW bicon would be AWESOME fingers crossed. I think that their idea for NW not having a tricon also revolves around the fact that NW has so many low-cost characters to provide the defense you need to properly protect the wall. The problem being, in essence, NW becomes very susceptible to First Snow from that.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@TheBrianFactorI mean, he got me maybe 3 power in one game and 2 power in another game, so he decreases the game length by a turn maybe? He's primarily a threat, really. A lot of passed challenges, similar to The Shadow Tower.

I hope we get a power intrigue bicon this cycle. We are definitely due one, but I do understand why they are hesitant. Maybe a chud? That way it wouldn't be winning any challenge, but just opposing any challenge. We'll have to see. I'm hopeful.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@Antrim``@TheBrianFactor``@ironlix``@Isian.HI have posted two new videos playing with this deck. The modifications I made were, basically, remove Old Bear, add Veteran Builder, add Unsworn Apprentice, Add a 3rd Halder. Remove Longclaw, Add Northern Rookery.

www.youtube.com

www.youtube.com

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@artyzippI have posted two new videos playing with this deck. The modifications I made were, basically, remove Old Bear, add Veteran Builder, add Unsworn Apprentice, Add a 3rd Halder. Remove Longclaw, Add Northern Rookery.

www.youtube.com

www.youtube.com

Isian.H 699

With the Old Bear out I'm still hesitant to take pentoshi out just because it lets me play wall and 2-4 other cards. What do I take it out for? Another winter festival?

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@Isian.HDaye has taken it out for Feast for Crows to accelerate the deck more. It works okay, but if you don't see early economy it really hurts.

I, personally, am keeping Trading with the Pentoshi. It isn't a plot that I need every game and, sometimes, I really do wish it were Feast. But I'm still happy knowing it's in my back pocket if I ever need to refill the board post reset or if I need to quickly increase the number of characters I have out.

Unless you're having severe issues with not getting enough power fast enough, I would just leave Trading in.

doxop 1

@Joe From Cincinnati I love the changes you made to the deck. Taking out the expensive Bear and putting in 3 more cards that can't be milked is great; my experience with the Old Bear is that as soon as he comes out he gets milked because the only target that stays on the board is Steward at the Wall. I did change the plot as well, six gold from A Feast for Crows is more than enough from the couple of games I have played. Ironically I have seen less of The Iron Thrones since making the change.

Isian.H 699

@Joe From CincinnatiIs there anything I should be mulliganing for? The wall? Econ? Forest hunter? I usually love seeing roseroads early for the CC boost. Especially littlefinger setup with chuds and roseroads

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@doxopYea, I have noticed that, in about half of my games, I'd prefer Trading be Feast for Crows. But then there's that game where you see absolutely no economy and you have a bunch of rangers in your hand and it just feels good to dump them out in one turn haha. I will have to continue testing it, but I do remember, I think, 3 games in a row where I wished my Feast for Crows was Trading. It's a toss up. Why can't I just have 8 plots :P.

I do like the changes since I removed Old Bear as well. He may have been a bit of a win more card and, like you said, he gets milked or martell attachmented as soon as he enters the game haha. It's really annoying, but it's just the way the game is right now.

@Isian.HThere are 3 main set ups that I'm looking for.

  1. A 4 cost character, like Ranging Party or Arry, a Sworn Brother, a Rose Road and then either an Iron Throne, a Castle Black or an Old Forest Hunter.
  2. A playable set up of 7 or 8 gold and the Wall, either to play turn 1 or played in set up.
  3. The Littlefinger, Sworn Brother, Steward at the Wall, Rose Road set up.

All 3 of those are my ideals. If I can get close to any of those, I may keep it as well.

The curve of the deck is low enough that you can risk a mulligan and get away with it most of the time. But yes, econ and the Wall are my main priorities.

Antrim 208

@Joe From CincinnatiNow that you're talking about setups, have you tested the deck with White Tree? I subbed it in for Old Bear Mormont and I wouldn't go back. A setup of White Tree, The Roseroad, Steward at the Wall, Ranging Party is hard to beat.

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@AntrimI tried it at 2x and didn't feel like it really impacted the game much. I'm not really willing to try it at 3x, as I just don't have the space for that. The economy works well enough for me as it is.

But it's all personal preference. I am, for the most part, impartial to what my opponent is doing during a game, so taking 1 gold from them doesn't really help me all that much. Especially since that would mean I would drop to 30 characters, which is just too low for me :).

I'm glad it is working so well for you though.

Antrim 208

@Joe From CincinnatiI can relate pretty well to the "I don't care what he does and just do my thing", but taking 1 gold every turn from your opponent AND getting it yourself is pretty amazing if you get the tree out before 2nd turn or so (any later than that will probably not be worth it, though). Even if you go usually second, between Arry and the events you can make good use of it in the challenges phase. I do agree it may be too many locations and too few characters, but since you have so many non-unique chuds, it doesn't seem like a big issue.

I think I'm gonna follow you in taking Longclaw out, I haven't gotten any good use out of it so far. Neither Thoren Smallwood has done me any good, but I'd like to give him some more time. Still, so far I think it's gonna be 1x max for him.

Isian.H 699

@Antrim Thoren Smallwood is great. You just have to be sly in your advantages and surprise the opponent with challenge math they didn't calculate like Halder, Arry, Dolorous Edd, The Watcher on the Walls and people also tend to forget Castle Black

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@AntrimIt is amazing. My only issue is my events are pretty much set. I can maybe drop 1 the Watch has Need, but I need to keep at least the 2 Hand's Judgment and the 2 Watchers. The attachments are completely locked and the locations are very close to locked, so the only place to make room is the characters and, in a game with Varys and Valar soon to be running around, I just think 32 or 33 is the absolute minimum for a Wall deck.

@Isian.HI agree that Thoren is great. Like you said, NW is getting a lot of challenge math stuff that makes them formidable in winning challenges or, at the very least, forcing your opponent to not do any challenges. I am currently testing if he is a 1x or a 2x. He is still board dependent in that, if you can't win any challenges due to the board state, he doesn't really improve your board state. So he may be kind of a win more card. But he has done some good things for me in the limited testing I've done with him. Plus, it makes For the Watch kind of like a 1 to 2 power plot in itself haha. I've been testing him at 1x and wanting to see him more, so we'll see if 2x is the right number.

HidaHayabusa 73

There's a difference between not caring what the opponent is doing and not being able to do anything about what the opponent is doing. That said, I'd fit White tree in, like messenger ravens in every NW deck. 2g swing is huge.

By the way...since you completely lack any form of getting renown power how about adding 2-3 Varys?

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@HidaHayabusawhen it comes to defending the Wall, I'm just more interested in including cards that actually protect the Wall. Economy is fine, but it really isn't big enough of a weakness to justify 2 to 3 slots that lend nothing to defending the Wall.

This is just my opinion, of course. I recognize how good of a card it is. I just prioritize things a certain way. And as for being able to do something about what my opponent is doing, Cravening and Milking their characters is a lot of control already, so I don't feel the need to control their economy as well.

I have seen Wall decks play Varys in the past. It's alright, but I don't think it's necessary. 6 gold is a lot, especially when The Night's Watch has a good number of non unique characters that will be wiped away by Varys.

Then you have to worry about him being Nightmares'd, killed, Treacheried etc. I like to keep my neutral character count low because Aemon can't protect them.

i think Varys works better in the NIght's Watch decks that are focused on attrition. This deck loves having a big, impenetrable board. Knocking down your own defenses is very risky, especially since you don't have a ton of hand hate to make sure they can't also repopulate the board.

I think Wildfire is enough of a board control to contain the wide renown heavy boards. But you can definitely give it a try and let us know how it works ;).

HidaHayabusa 73

I have, and I don't think that I'd drop Varys from a defensive NW deck. It's not like you can always build a big impenetrable board on time and Varys helps on games going south. Obviously he needs babysitting but he's powerful.

TheBrianFactor 7

@HidaHayabusa I don't think you're arguing what you believe you are arguing. Varys is not a defensive maneuver, he is a board-state reset. The problem with Varys in THIS deck, outlined by @Joe From Cincinnati is that there are not enough unique duplicate-able characters to make Varys more of a save than a detriment. If you Varys wipe this board, chances are that your opponent has as many, if not more characters that will be saved than you. Additionally, the chances that you need Varys early are slim-to-none as this deck's setup curve is BEAUTIFUL (even with the slight few tweaks I've made for personal preference). So when you'd be using Varys, you'll be hitting your defensive board pretty hard and it'll be even more difficult to defend The Wall, not easier.

HidaHayabusa 73

Varys is a tool. If you have a healthy board, of course there is no reason blowing it up. The thing is (and what I am arguing as you said), is that passive NW lacks any good early game defenses because it relies on getting the Wall and then many bodies to defend it. This takes turns or a perfect draw. If the opposing board gets out of control (and I do mean, even out of Wildfire control), you won't have an easy time keeping up with either power or claim soak.

I won't even visit the scenario that your precious board gets First Snowed since First snow is almost completely out of the meta. In my many games with passive NW, i noticed that the main issues of the deck were a) weakness against Renown, b) lack blue icons, c) weakness against Stealth. You can address most with Craven/Poppy/Benjen, but you can also deal with many problems simultaneously with Varys.

Anyway, I guess we are talking about different decks to be honest, so I'll just accept that Varys won't work in that list.

Trebge68 97

Awesome NW deck, I like them because they feel kind of like the 'underdog' compared to other houses. I will try this deck in a couple of plays, interesting mix!

Joe From Cincinnati 1649

@thronesenthusiastYou can try this version if you'd like, but I've since updated the list when I wrote an article on this deck:

www.wardensofthemidwest.com

There's a deck list in that article that I consider to be better.

I also have several videos of me or Dan playing the deck if you're interested in watching the deck in action: www.youtube.com

Either way, I hope you enjoy it :D