|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|The Green Manchalishi - Manchester SC winner||29||18||12||1.0|
Not sure how much more mangling this deckname can take, but whatever...
This is the list I played to first at the Norwich Regional. At first I wasn't going to bother posting it since Tyrell Rains won Blackwater last weekend, but then I looked at the lists and realised they're 23 cards different, so here you go.
Standard play was to try to set up Arbor, then open either Summer Harvest (if I set up Arbor, was playing against Rains so knew no Riddle, or otherwise knew my opponent didn't run Riddle) or Time of Plenty (otherwise). This led to 6 opens of Summer Harvest and 2 of Time of Plenty (notably in the final when my opponent opened Riddle - phew!). Nothing too exceptional in the playing - just try to pace your bigs, ride the resets, don't overextend on characters before your Valar, don't overextend on locations before your Political Disaster, that sort of thing.
Potentially interesting deckchoices:
- Arbor Vineyard over Great Hall. This was part experiment, but I didn't regret it. Advantages are that you don't have to play a unique (this deck doesn't want to do that every round when you can play non-uniques, or save gold for Arbor, or events, or Ambush); you don't lose too much simply due to some of the big uniques typically coming into play through Margaery; it's reducible by Rose Garden; and it triggers Renly. That said, if anyone wanted to change them back (even with the 4 Summer plots I run), I wouldn't object to that.
- 16 Locations plus Political Disaster. This never felt like a problem - the only game where it might've been a problem is in part because I deliberately overextended on round six, knowing it was going to almost certainly be the last round of the game. Otherwise, just hold'em back before you play Disaster, and potentially try to dupe the Arbor if you can. Even if you do get set back, then Arbor + X is better than almost any other two card combo of locations.
- No intrigue icon attachments. I could trigger Rains anyway, so who cares.
- 6 STR boosting events. I don't regret this at all; in a meta where challenge maths is a consistently big deal, they were always impactful.
- Red Wedding in the plot deck over Wildfire. This was also part experiment. In one game it was solid; in one game I wish it had been Wildfire; and most of the time it just plain didn't matter.
If anyone has any other questions about specific inclusions or cuts, feel free to ask and I'll explain my reasoning as best I can - note that this deck isn't refined though (at least not recently) except for through general instincts. I built the deck the night before, messed up by accidentally including Counting Coppers over Close Call (it ended up being much of a muchness, maybe even slightly better?), then my first game with it was round one. So if the context of your question didn't come up on the day, my answer will probably be "I'unno".
- Round One: win Vs Stark Kraken. This was an army-heavy deck with 2 claim, claim raise, Duel, and no characters above cost 5 except for King Robb's Host. We both opened Summer Harvest, but I set up The Arbor while he hadn't, and it gave me the tempo lead needed to get ahead and stay ahead as my opponent had no Valar, saw little econ and had little intrigue presence.
- Round Two: win Vs Bara Fealty. The first of four games to be recorded on the day, I'll link the videos as and when the White Walkers post them. An early Political Disaster set my opponent back hugely, as he kept Table and Chair at the expense of draw and economy. Despite this he was able to get out Robert, (big) Melisandre and (king) Stannis, with Mel and Bob duped; however, I was able to use Jaqen and The Red Wedding to remove Bob, while getting my own Marge and Randyll duped to disincentivise Valar. Easy to win from there.
- Round Three: win Vs Martell Fealty. I mulliganed into a set up of just Randyll and a limited, and sadly he had to be Marched to the Wall. A cagey game followed where I was able to get the Arbor down and Valar away Nymeria, then slowly come back into it. Ultimately the early Marched cost my opponent, as I was able to copy it with Pulling the Strings to get rid of his duped Ricasso, and the tempo hit allowed me to get over the line. Also of note was this was one of the games when Political Disaster proved very useful, as it forced him to chuck three resource locations to keep a Fiefdom and a Ghaston, preventing him from pushing hard at me thereafter.
- Round Four: loss Vs NW Summer. Yup, lost to the Builders, go figure! The deck has a close matchup with the Builders with both PD and First Snow in the plot deck; however, it wasn't enough here as my opponent got the excellent setup of Gift, Vault and Wall, and spammed out multiple Builders plus a Stronghold and a Forest round one. He also got all 3 Grizzled Miners by round two, making First Snow pointless. I kept in it, but didn't see quite enough to beat the nuts draw (and a well-managed performance by my opponent) and he got a narrow-ish victory.
- Round Five: win Vs Targ Rains. Second recorded game. Essentially a Targ Fealty deck, but using Rains for challenge flexibility over econ. My opponent got off to a better start with Mirri and support; since I had Varys in hand and The Arbor on the table, I decided to Valar turn two. He was able to reflood expertly with Dany and supports, putting my back against the wall, but I got Varys out. Held him off for round two challenges, but Varys had Nightmares in dominance. Next turn I was able to push more, getting out duped Marge and duped [other big guy, I think Renly]. Thanks to the dupes my opponent couldn't guarantee I wouldn't Varys still, and for the sake of Dracarys!-based challenge control had no choice but to Waking the Dragon on Dany in the challenges phase. That then allowed me to use Varys as a challenge participant, forcing him to Drac Varys (because why wouldn't you, he's a ticking bomb as long as he's on the board). That then gave me the tempo advantage (Drac gone, 7-coster knelt and then subsequently disappearing back to hand) to push home the advantage and swing the game back in my favour. It went to time in round six and my opponent conceded, as I would have gone on to win anyway and he wanted the SoS point (which proved wise as he made the cut off the back of doing so).
- Top 8: win Vs NW Summer. Rematch from before. I drew like absolute crap in this game, but thankfully my opponent drew even worse. He couldn't justify getting the Wall out round one, and I pulled it for intrigue claim. That gave me the breathing room for a couple of rounds, and he had to spam cards out, not getting his second Wall until round three. I First Snow'd him (leaving him with zero characters on the board) and followed up with Political Disaster to his Counting Coppers, leaving him with just Brandon's Gift and The Wall. With him only having two gold (and I believe 1 more power), I opted to go first so that I could Nightmares Brandon's Gift in the marshalling phase, and the lack econ he now had stopped him getting enough stuff out to prevent me from taking complete control of the game. With Coppers gone and Eastwatch discarded to PD, he didn't have enough card advantage to come back into the game. It looped round to plot 8 when I could First Snow again, and with my opponent finally seeing a Castle Black Mason I was able to Nightmares him as my next action, preventing him from finding any more answers, and I closed that round.
- Top 4: win Vs GJ Rains. Third recorded game. Similar to round one, I set up the Arbor (and my opponent obviously didn't), and we both opened Summer Harvest. That gave me a tempo advantage, allowing me to get out Tinder Marge and force him to use his Euron (that he'd set up) on defense to prevent me kneeling him with the Rains trigger. Round two I could play out more, and was very fortunate to discard We Do Not Sow for intrigue claim (when I couldn't've prevented unopposed). Round three I duplicated the Arbor and just slowly churned out more people. My opponent similarly put more characters on the board, but the STR pump events allowed me to manage the challenges phases without issue, and I just kinda slowly closed.
- Final: win Vs Targ Rose. Fourth recorded game. I didn't see the Arbor until the last round of this one, so had to play it honestly - where's the fun in that?? The key moments here were: getting Highgarden on setup; altering from Harvest to Time of Plenty and dodging Riddle round one (and then Harvesting his Time of Plenty round two); getting Tinder Marge out duped with Paxter round one, making military challenges a non-starter (with him having Drogo out); and Political Disaster forcing him to discard his econ to keep out Plaza and a 4-Bestowed Astapor, leaving him ruined for tempo for the rest of the game.
Thanks to all my opponents for putting on a great show, the store for running the tournament very effectively (and agreeing to use Jousting Pavilion over TOME, then promptly being amazed by how much better it is!), everyone who came out for the drinks and meal after the tourney, Sweeney and Caitlin for driving 6 hours to make it, Keb and Alex for keeping me company in the car (go Team Chindow!), Rowan for the scroll, and everyone who's wished me well.