Monocon Heaven (Top8 at The Dockside Brothel Days,)

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Monocancel 0 0 0 1.0
Wolves 0 0 0 3.0

Ash 177

First of all a big shoutout to the organisation of the Dockside Brothel Days. Loved the tournament and all the events around it.

I have been thinking about a direwolf deck since i started playing 2.0, but this obviously seemed like an absurd idea. Running mostly military monocons who have no way to gather power except for unopposed. Yet a few months ago I saw a direwolf deck popping up on this site that apparently did well and decided to give it a go. Some time ago the deck made King of Swiss in a local tournament in the Netherlands (18 players). I had doubts about bringing this to Dockside, but friends from my local meta convinced me to play this deck. What follows is a short summary of the deck and a (hazy) tournament report.

The goal of the deck is to diminish the board of my opponent as quickly as possible after which you maintain the pressure with cards like Grey Wind and Wolves of the North while trying to gain power with unopposed. Sneak Attack is a great opener, and if you follow that up with The Winds of Winter and double Marched to the Wall you will often look at an opponent in despair. This deck is very strong at soaking military claim from my opponents and recovers pretty good from Valar. So do not be afraid of killing your own characters or marching a few to the wall. Most of the time they will return to your hand/board very quickly.

The key cards of this deck are Summer, Grey Wind and Ser Rodrik Cassel.

Summer (Core) must not end up in your dead pile and is used to recover dead or marched characters. Most of the time this will be Arya Stark (Core). Often i use her for claim on military to take her back later with Summer. Summer is crucial. I always march him or use him as fodder for The Pack Survives.

Grey Wind is the card that keeps the pressure on and allows me to have 'extra military claim' each round. I Quickly look for dupes of him with Wolf Dreams and try to keep him safe. Close Call is a way to get him back if he somehow ends up in your dead pile. Robb Stark (Core) and Wolves of the North are Grey Wind's support cast and allow him to eat very big threats. In testing Grey Wind did eat Robert Baratheon!

Ser Rodrik Cassel gives this deck the draw it needs. He refills your hand very quickly and had a power icon to grab that last bit of power. I didn't see much of him during Dockside, but he has proven worthwhile in in the past.

The Tournament

Round 1 vs Stark Crossing (Tom B) Win As I feared my first game would be against someone who knows my deck extensively. Tom and I play most fridays and he knows what to expect of my deck. Rush is in general a great match-up for this deck so that did bode well. During the first round I couldn't use my Sneak Attack on military because Tom had put all the military icons on the board. I used Donella and Winter Is Coming to push a 3 claim intrigue through. Tom didn't find any dupes for his characters and mine were duped very quickly. His hand was empty and Valar hit him hard. After that is was just a matter of time.

Round 2 vs Martel Fealty (Caitlin W) Win I always thought this deck does not like to play against Martel. The combination of Vengeance for Elia and icon strip from Nymeria Sand seems like a bad thing. Indeed on turn one Caitlin left 1 gold open and knelt her fealty when my challenges began. I had a decent board however with one of her characters warded. She didn't have Vengeance and I killed her chuds. I marched another character the turn after. She didn't find more chuds to delay the onslaught of Grey Wind combined with military claim and I had a The Pack Survives ready for the round when she did find a Vengeance. Cailtin did played Valar Morghulis, but I played A Time For Wolves to get Summer (Core). I recovered instantly and closed out the game.

Round 3 vs Greyjoy Rains (Wouter van I) Win My Sneak Attack hit hard because I had a Winter Is Coming and a The Pack Survives cancelled out his Risen from the Sea. The two turns after I played Marched to the Wall to clear this board. He played Valar Morghulis to reset my board, but Summer (Core) clawed me back into the game. My lack of power icons did hurt. When I saw Aeron Damphair (Core), The Eyrie and an The Iron Throne appear it looked a bit grim. Yet I had gathered more power than him and Ward saved me for a round. That was enough to close out the game.

Round 4 vs Night's Watch Fealty (Tamás A) Loss This game was showed on stream. I knew i had the advantage of having lots of No Attachment characters. But my deck runs only 5 intrigue icons. So the The Haunted Forest would hurt a lot. Tamás set up The Roseroad, Castle Black, The Wall and The Haunted Forest. I sighed and still tried a sneak attack. Knowing he was going for Here to Serve to find Maester Aemon (Core). He however also had a dupe for him as well as a Dupe for Halder. My Sneak Attack didn't do much and soon he racked up power. I tried a Valar that he countered with Varys's Riddle and the game was over.

Round 5 vs Start Fealty (Don van B) Loss I do play regularly with Don and he also knows what my deck is capable of. He quickly gathered military icons and played his draw plots to find the dupes he needed. Soon I was behind in power, but a Ward on Sansa Stark (Core) gave me a chance to get back. Normally I would march a warded character immediately, but I figured he didnt want to risk confiscating his own milk when I played marched. I went for A Time For Wolves to set up for the Valar Morghulis in his deck. Yet Don went for confiscation and took Sansa Stark (Core) back. He had Valar Morghulis and Varys's Riddle as his other two plots remaining and didnt want to run the risk of hitting a Marched to the Wall with any of those. Soon after this it was over.

Round 6 vs Tyrell Crossing (Menno S) Win Yay! A crossing deck again. My first hand contained 3-4 limited so I took a mulligan. Menno did the same. His second hand however had a massive 5 limited cards, a Pleasure Barge and a The Knight of Flowers. I opened Sneak Attack, unwilling to walk into his Varys's Riddle with a Marched to the Wall. Menno drew into some more limited locations while I had his board cleared. Menno conceded soon after. I would have done the same with such bad luck...

Round 7 vs Lannister Rains (Jemiol) Win I needed to win this game to get in the cut and it was one of the most intense games I have ever played. Sadly I do not remember all the details. But here we go. Jemiol soon had his Harrenhal (FFH)/Tower of the Hand combo up and going while I was struggling to kill his characters. I found a Frozen Solid to deal with his Tower of the Hand. I managed to get rid of most of his board except for The Hound who kept on evading my stealth. My characters kept on finding their way to the dead pile due Trial by Combat but Summer (Core) got them back as quickly as they went. I think I played Arya Stark (Core) 4 times this game. Going into the last plot I had a big board while he had a Duped Tywin Lannister (Core) with 2 power and a [Ser Lancel Lannister]. (/card/05014). I went for Marched to cover a Valar Morghulis and to be sure to go first on this turn. Jemiol indeed did Valar and Tywin Lannister (Core) went to the Wall. At this moment I was on 12 power while Jemiol was on 10. I topdecked a Nightmares to take out Harrenhall. Even though I had no characters, the lack of claim on Valar Morghulis and that Jemiol had no intrigue presence to trigger "The Rains of Castamere" won me the game. Thanks again for this beautiful game!

Top 16 vs Tyrell Crossing (Ryan W) Win A favorable crossing match again. I opened Sneak Attack but let Ryan go first. I had a Ward and a Winter Is Coming in hand. After marshalling Ryan had a Crowned Randyll Tarly, Margaery Tyrell (Core) and 2 chuds. I took Margaery Tyrell (Core) with Ward and during challenges I stealthed past Randyll to get a 3 claim military. The plots after I kept on applying pressure with Grey Wind and another Winter Is Coming and Ryan didn't draw into anything that could help him.

Top 8 vs Night's Watch Fealty (Tamás A) Loss This man again set up all his locations during setup and the first turn. My Sneak Attack was more effective this time however. Only Benjen Stark and Maester Aemon (Core) survived. Yet in some blur I decided to not follow up with Marched to get rid of Benjen Stark. This did cost me a great deal. My stealth was nearly ineffective now and Tamás managed to get a duped Qhorin Halfhand in play and he also duped Aemon. Soon we both had duped boards, but the Wall was racking up power too quickly. Benjen Stark died do a Valar Morghulis and Tamás won the game.

I was very glad my deck performed this well. It caught people by surprise and even when it didn't it applied enough pressure to make most decks crumble.

Other notes:

I know the deck lacks intrigue icons, but Like Warm Rain took care of that on the table and in my opponents heads. It is kinda like a Dracarys! light. Keep an direwolf standing and have 1 gold. Chances are your opponent is not going to do an intrigue challenge with a big character. And since most chuds have died before they can get to challenges it has to be a big character attacking.

Possible I want to add another Ward. That card was amazing all day. Another Nightmares would have been great to take care of cards like Maester Aemon (Core), Harrenhal (FFH) and Margaery Tyrell (AMAF)

Thank you all for reading and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

27 comments

Chodih 42

Great stuff. The loss for me in round 1 was not unexpected really. I am just glad that in playtesting I got to use this deck to eat your Robert.

r480 47

Love the idea behind the deck. I'll give this a try after this weekend. Have you thought about changing The Winds of Winter for Early Frost? Thanks for the report.

Ash 177

@r480 This deck has remarkable draw, but not the highest economy plots. Hence I prefer 5 reserve over 4. But it could certainly be an option. I preferred the safer choice for the tournament.

Esmo 16

Loved the other wolf deck and this looks great too. Well done!

LGB 85

Super cool! Thank you for the report! It seems a very solid build. How much did you tested it before deciding to use it?

tsullyo 1

What would you try to swap Valar for, if it didn't exist?

Ash 177

@Esmo Thanks! I couldn't find that other wolf deck anymore here. But that was a good one too indeed.

@LGB I did test it in various forms with various cards. Heck I even tried it with Watch Banner to use Chett and Ghost (Core). But no Fealty was too big a miss.
In this form I probably played 50+ games in testing.

Ash 177

@tsullyo First of all. this deck would probably not exist if Valar Morghulis did not exist. Well at least not in a competitive way. Valar is just so good if your opponent commits too much and you can recover so easily.

I would probably add The Long Winter instead.

siegeszug 102

Oh oh oh, I was hoping you'd publish this deck so much! Thank you.

brainu 1276

Awesome !

Wrecko 198

Congrats on your tournament performance! I made the original deck and I'm happy to see a derivative do so well in a big tournament. You can find the original list here: thronesdb.com

I really like the changes you made to the deck. Frozen Solid and Ward both make a ton of sense and dropping some of the weirder locations to make space makes sense as well. When I look at your deck list and mine, I'm at a bit of a loss as to why the cards you changed were in there in the first place. Nice job!

Ash 177

@siegeszug No problem! :)

@Wrecko

Yes! I hoped you would reply on this. Thanks so much for giving me the right inspiration. I was making all kinds of odd direwolf decks. One making less sense than the other. But then your deck popped up and it put me in the right direction. Especially your plot line helped me, as did the inclusion of Rodrik and donella.

Wrecko 198

@Ash - You're welcome. I'm glad you liked the deck enough to bring it to a tournament. I'm amazed the difference the plots can make to a deck. and this one just seemed to click.

Do you have any other tweaks you were thinking about? I find that Ser Rodrik Cassel and Robb Stark (Core) get negative attachments really quickly because so few other characters can take them. I was going to put in a few Rattleshirt's Raiders to help keep them clean. What do you think about replacing Last Hearth Scouts and a Wolves of the North for two Rattleshirt's Raiders? It might help against Nights Watch.

Ser Rodrik Cassel and Bowen Marsh are criminally underrated cards. I dread the eventual Bara/Power version.

Ash 177

@Wrecko

You do realize that Ser Rodrik Cassel has no attachments?

I've never really suffered from the NW negative attachments. Most of the time Robb Stark (Core) or Arya Stark (Core) gets those. But they are terminal. And with double marched you can get rid of them in a different way.

I added the last heart scouts because they are very good against Lanni Harrenhall and Arianne Martell. I would actually maybe try and find space for another one.

More problematic against NW is The Haunted Forest and Maester Aemon (Core). My guess is that NW Wall is always gonna be the worst matchup for this deck. Nightmares and Frozen Solid work the best against that I guess.

I also feel that adding more military monocons wouldn't do the deck any favors. So maybe Arya's Gift if you really fear the those negative attachments.

Cards that didn't perform as I hoped were Sansa Stark (WotN) and Lady. Lady helps for Wolves of the North though.. Not sure what could be cut else.

Wrecko 198

@Ash- Brainfart about Ser Rodrik Cassel. You make good points in regards to handling attachments. I had shelved the deck as Baratheon and Nights Watch became super popular in my meta which I think are the two worst match-ups with this deck. I appreciate your feedback as you are more current with the deck than I am!

hagarrr 192

Good work Franke!

Either Direwolf decks aren't as bad as everybody says they are, or you're a great player! :D

Ash 177

@Wrecko I think you can handle Bara. They easily fall by lots of pressure unless you find all the military hate cards like In the Name of Your King!, Consolidation of Power etc. Frozen solid takes care of their dom package. NW is indeed bad. Just need more Nightmares for them i guess.

I will try a different version of this deck in a few weeks. Ill keep you updated.

Ash 177

@hagarrr Haha, thanks! I think it's the deck. ;)

SirLargeness 459

can the deck drop wolf dreams for nightmares and something else? How important was Core robs stand effect? Could King Robb work in the deck?

Esmo 16

King Robb could work, but he might be tad too expensive. The stand effect isn't super important, but is nice bonus to have. Speeds up the game. About wolf dreams... I found them to be really useful.

NerferNazgul 208

I'm very happy about a direwolf deck who make resoult in a tournament, but vs Targaryen? is a problematic matchup or not? and why?

Ash 177

@SirLargeness Dropping the Wolf Dreams would be bad for setting up against Valar Morghulis. But it worth a try maybe. I'd rather cut the Sansa Stark (WotN) for an extra Nightmares though. The stand effect of Robb Stark (Core) did not go off often. It is not that important either. He's rather expensive support for Grey Wind and a good closer. King Robb Stark (AtSK) certainly could work. The effect of King Robb is certainly better for the deck, but the 7 cost is very steep.

@NerferNazgul Targ is not a very good matchup. Burn and their recursion can be a pain. Yet more often than not they are willing to burn through your Arya Stark (Core) dupes, which is perfectly fine for me, since i have Summer (Core). Against Targ you have to be careful with doing challenges with Grey Wind. I also wanna try and add a Bran Stark to counter some Targ burn.

So yeah targ is not the easiest, but certainly a doable match if you play things right and do not face a lot of early Dracarys!. But early Dracarys! are gonna be a pain for most decks I guess.

Mylosh 1

Is this a variant of TERROR FROM THE WOLFSWOOD? I play that deck by months, and this is very similar. May I ask you something? Why the choice of @Last Hearth Scouts and Osha?

YEEZUS 53

This deck is great! Congrats on your finish. Would you make any changes with the new set out? Possibly add a Bran since targ has another burn card? Summer gives him insight! Also two others possibly: is put to the sword too much? Winter is coming has similar effect but is it worth the extra cost to pick who is killed? Like if you do a 2 claim challenge and their board is two small guys and a tywin. All 3 die regardless of ptts or winter is coming, but ptts means tywin is in dead pile first so he will not come back with ghosts of harrenhaal.

Also what about marriage pact ? Not sure what to cut, but it works with some of the stealth themes and can help make intrigue not as much of a liability.

Ash 177

@Mylosh It is indeed. That direwolf deck was surely an inspiration. Last Hearth Scouts was in there to deal with the lanni jumper decks. Osha is in there because she can effectively do two challenges if you play it right. She is also a good target for Summer (Core)

@YEEZUS I would probably cut Sansa Stark (WotN) for a Bran Stark indeed.

Winter Is Coming is so good in this deck because you can use Fealty to pay for it. As the plot line is now, you will have no spare gold most of the turns. And if you do, it probably is because you lack cards to play. I agree that Put to the Sword is handy against Ghosts of Harrenhal but I fear I cannot afford it most of the time. If you really fear Ghosts of Harrenhal you can always play Marched to the Wall to counter this. This is often not a bad play if you wanna make sure Summer (Core) hits your discard pile instead of your dead pile.

Marriage Pact is an interesting card indeed. Very strong against cards with stealth and it probably should have a spot in this deck. I'm not entirely sure what to cut, but maybe Lady can be taken out for it.

Mylosh 1

"Wolf in the Night" Could be great, what do you think about it?

Ash 177

@Mylosh I like the card, but it doesn't seem to fit in the deck. That +3 strength can indeed push a military challenge through, but more often than not, stealth does that trick for you. I am not happy about expanding the event package and wouldn't know what to take out.