Burning Rain - Norwich regional top 4

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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

Von Wibble 113

I saw Dan Mulchrone trying out a Targ rains deck earlier this week, and asked if he had any particular reason for this choice. He argued that Targ don't really need fealty thanks to their strong economy location, and therefore could be a bit more toolboxy.

I had a Targ fealty deck ready for the tournament but decided to give Rains a go instead based on this. I have no idea how my deck compares to Dan's for the record, I literally traded a few cards and plots round. Deck testing was literally 1 game, against Stark Fealty, who saw core Cat and Winterfell plot 1. I lost that one, though it did go to 8 plots and was always going to be a tough match-up, so there was hope there...

In terms of deck choices, I hadn't even thought of neutrals (Littlefinger was already in the fealty deck), and I would want to look at adding in some Silent Sisters at least. Littlefingers Medding wasn't used once all day, as I usually had enough gold left over, and if I hadn't left gold my opponents would have put more into defending the intrigue win by 5 condition (Dracarys! isn't such a threat on 0 gold) so its lose lose. Probably should have went for Game of Thrones instead. It also turned out that Rains was a very popular agenda on teh day - Summer Harvest would have been a very strong choice under such circumstances as you know they can't Riddle. I am tempted to try Reinforcements as an opener just to fox them!

Round 1 - Rebecca Gillard - Stark Fealty - win

So, 5 of us drive in all the way from Northampton, and all bar 1 are paired against each other in round 1. This was the same deck I had faced above, but in the first 3 rounds it saw no Winterfell and no intrigue icons, whilst facing off against Dany, Dragons, Jorah, and Doreah. I used Tears on Robb, and used Crown on the Blackfish, leaving Eddard feeling quite lonely. When Mirri showed up and it was clear I had the game my opponent conceded.

Round 2 - Ashley Durcan - Lannister Rains - Win

This was not what I'd call a conventional build, it was going pillage and hand destruction heavy instead. He got off to a good start with Jaime and pillage Tywin out, and was filtering my deck very nicely. Thankfully I had my Isle to mitigate the worst of it, and started to pull control of the board round thanks to Drogo, who is especially nasty on a Retaliation! turn, and Mirri, removing dupes to ensure Valar goes in my favour (and not his if he is running it). Even with Gregor on the board (having your opponent looking at 2 cards and deciding who to kill whilst you are watching is not pleasant), the game was just about looking in my favour, and when I eventually did Valar I was able to put out duped Dany with a dragon, and control challenges with my 1 Rains trigger and a Dracarys! My opponent graciously conceded at this point as I was only a few power from winning and we had less than 1 minute left - we both know that mod wins are bad...

Round 3 - Ian Pollard - Night's Watch Rains - Loss

When I saw the faction card I wasn't optimistic, this is not a faction I have had much luck against. It was nice to see this was a bit different, lots of Wildlings and aggro 2 claim plots. Unfortunately for me I saw little economy and only 6+ cost characters, so once my board was whittled down with mil claim and Put I couldn't play out anything as it would have just died to claim before doing anything. At about plot 5 I finally found some cards and managed to put up a small fight, but it was way too late really.

Round 4 - Alex O'Feeworth - Martell Fealty - Win

If the Lanni game was tight there isn't a word to describe this one. Alex got off to a strong start as my board was too small to risk challenges and have me pay claim, leading to Alex having a 6-7 power lead on me quite quickly. The 1 positive was that I had pulled Varys for intrigue claim (out of a hand of 10). However, I gradually built up a board, with duped Drogo and duped Daenerys (albeit with no intrigue icon), and a couple of timely events really helped swing the game - I Judged his Tears and Put his Nymeria - the latter was a tough call as Arianne was also on the board, and was stood whist Nym was knelt. I wanted Dany to actually be able to attack though.

Alex by then had a much smaller board, but was able to Tears Drogo's dupe and then Valar, leaving me just Dany. Varys then showed up to discard these (plus the Grey Worm I had played). This was at a cost of tempo to Alex however as I was winning a lot of challenges and even drawing cards thanks to insight. I had also managed to get rid of Arianne with intrigue claim followed by Crone (Retaliation doing a fair bit of damage). By this time both boards were blank of characters, but I had a lead in economy and a 9-7 power lead (vs Alex having more cards).

After this there were a few rounds where resets happened, Political Disaster, my Valar, Alex's second Valar. Both of us were fairly conservative with characters but I just about managed to hold out for the win, helped a lot by seeing 2 Dracarys! and all 3 Fire and Blood. There was a point towards the end where Alex said "That's all the dragons gone now" only to see me play a duped Drogon (Close Called) and a Viserion (the other 2 were in the discard pile). I won the game with a Waking/Drac combo being used to win a power challenge for the last power. Very clse all the way, very swingy, exactly how a game should be!

Game 5 - James Waumsley - Tyrell Rains - Loss

This was recorded and will be on the White Walkers at some point in the future. James has also commented on it in his deckpost on this site.

I started strongly with characters, having Mirri on the board early on with a Plaza. However, James had Highgarden, Arbor, and Randyll, albeit with little backup. I made an early mistake, going for intrigue with Mirri and Doreah together (Mirri works alone!) and James Highgarden'ed my mil, leaving me to use Plaza of Pride to stand Mirri and kill Randyll in power. James used Valar next plot. I got a better board reset than him, with Dany and Rhaegal facing Brienne, but because I couldn't get 2 big military icons out (Highgarden) I couldn't kill her and had to settle for the other challenges. James then saw Varys and whilst I was able to keep him at bay with Nightmares I then made a key mistake next plot - I should have used my 2nd Nightmares and then played Valar (I had a dupe on Dany and Strong Belwas out), but instead used Waking on Dany in challenges and then Dracarys! on Varys. At this point James had Brienne and Renly (duped) out, this was too strong a defense for me with such a large tempo hit. We were close to time at this point, and at the point where the announcement for time began I conceded - on the recording I'm sure you will see my hand come out very quickly there!

Thanks to this concession I made the cut on extended SoS as the 7th seed. 6 of the 8 players in the cut were using Rains as their agenda.

Top 8 - Ian Pollard - Night's Watch Rains - Win

Knowing what his deck actually does helped a lot here, particularly the lack of Valar. I did what I could to flood the board, not worrying too much about cards in hand, just being able to soak up the pressure that 2 claim provides. Ian's deck didn't help him in this game, with him seeing no economy until about plot 4. A well timed Rains trigger of Game of Thrones (plus a Nightmares on Plaza to prevent me standing my only intrigue icon) allowed Ian to escape my Retaliation challenges, but I gradually whittled his board down with more characters on my side, and although his Silent Sisters turned into a bit of a bomb he was forced to defend rather than attack to ensure my Mirri couldn't get away with too much. Time was called in the 6th plot with me edging it - Ian conceded before it was properly counted but we think it would have been 10-8.

Top 4 - Chris Sweeney - Targaryen Banner of the Rose - Loss

Chris wasn't impressed when he saw the agenda was Rains again. However, this was always going to be a tough matchup with our decks doing similar things but Chris having strength pumps. I got Grey Worm out early with Plaza of Pride but had to contend with a duped Khal Drogo plus Astapor early game. A timely Nightmares on the Plaza prevented Grey Worm from putting on the pressure I needed (and he Judged my Judgement). Plot 2 saw Marge turn up on his side, so even with a dragon and Dracarys! in hand I couldn't really burn him. Chris also got out a Host to control my board with his strength 8 intimidate. A nice play from Chris was combining Astapor with Quaithe to ensure that Grey Worm was removed from a challenge, allowing him to intimidate my Drogo, leaving my board knelt out (apart from the Plaza stand). From there Chris had easy enough control of the game, with effectively a +6 strength pump in challenges, and he used Wildfire to limit my own board presence. I was simply knocked out by a stronger player and deck, well done to him!

Props -

Richard Walker and Rebecca Gillard for letting me stay over which nicely split the journey up.

David "Daisy" Guest for providing company in the car on what was still above a 4 hour round trip.

Adam "I won't use Builders" East, just for being the pantomine villain once more. Also his commentary of the final, which I think the White Walkers should consider using as an alternative...

The Northampton meta as a whole - 4 out of 5 of our group made the cut.

Rowan for booking a restaurant for a group of us and generally being a good host, and everyone at the restaurant with us, with our 1st edition table generally annoying Adam with talk about those cards. Even with a £500 prize tournament happening on the same day it was good to see so many people attending this, showing Thrones is about community and not money.

6 comments

mplain 171

Weird to see a Targ deck without Astapor! :)

Acloakofred 1

I think I played a total of 6 rains decks during the course of the day, so no wonder I had a sour face!

Really enjoyed our top 4 game, but I was out to claim vengeance from stoke last year ;)

see you some time soon I hope and great report!

Von Wibble 113

Yeah, Astapor is one I keep going forward and back on. Its a tempo hit, and Political Disaster being big in the meta makes it tough to put a single copy in. Also I have seen a fair bit of Lay Siege. On the other hand, the challenge control it offers can't be ignored. I may well try swapping the Plaza of Punishment for it (I only really got that going in 1 game).

Stormborn 88

How are finding Mirri in Targ generally? I'm not running her in any of my Targ lists but maybe I should. She's expensive and Duelable, I would think Greyworm would be better in Rains. She's not easy to stand with Plaza either.

Von Wibble 113

I think Mirri is very strong myself, was considering upping to 3 copies but 2 is probably right. Once she is on the board she really changes opponents strategies. Comparable to Grey Worm really, both can be Duelled and the 1 cost difference isn't that big.

The threat of the stand with Plaza is a big thing too even if you don't have the 4+ cost card (I managed to do this a few times, using a copy of dead Dany at 1 point).

As far as Duel goes in general, I tend to just make sure I wait until my opponent has played out a non army 6+ coster themselves before playing my second one. Mirri isn't that valuable unless the opponent has a big target for her at any rate. Didn't see Duel at all in the Norwich tournament though.

Stormborn 88

Makes sense - thanks