Big Priestess On Campus - Warboar Regional 6th out of 52.

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Von Wibble 113

This deck was group built by Rowan Gavin, Adam East, Alex O'Feeworth, Dave Bamford and myself after we agreed at Norwich to make a deck featuring the Martell and Baratheon houses.

Originally it was going to be a Baratheon Sun deck that focused on Bob and winning power challenges, but that proved too hard to fund, and diluted too many themes, so the reverse banner was put into play instead.

The main structure of the deck was built by Rowan, and it was just tweaked from there. On the day itself Rowan, Adam and I played our variants of the deck (more on that later) whilst Alex chickened out because he wanted to play Jeynes of Castemere instead. We were not impressed.

The deck does what you'd expect those cards to do - kneel out characters, destroy their hand, and use Table and Chair to win. I was running Counting Coppers whilst the others had a second Filthy Accusations, there were times I was pleased with this decision and times where I wished I had that extra kneel, so I'm still not sure which was better. The only other changes I can recall were that Adam and I ran Caleotte whilst Rowan had Arys - whilst Caleotte only triggered once for me there was one game where the price difference helped me to actually play him! Finally I had 3 Ocean Roads, whilst Adam went for Blood Orange Groves instead, as they reduce more cards in the deck. However, the Ocean Roads reduce the more impactful cards (Mel, Rh'llor stuff, Table and Chair), so its a very tough call.

Round 1 - James Harrison - Tyrell Crossing - Win

James was the king of swiss at nationals last year and knows the green cards inside and out so this was always going to be a tough one. However, the good news was that every time we have faced each other at an official FFG event, the winner has gone on to at least make the cut/ win the tournament.

James set up Flowers + stuff, I set up Fiefdom + less stuff (Fiefdoms are really important as the gold curve isn't the highest). I opened Filthy to kneel Flowers, James played a Seal on Flowers to stand him plus 2 Arbor Knights. I Condemned Flowers and played chuds out as I didn't see anything big. Little happened plot 1. In plot 2 I Riddled James's Confiscation so Flowers lost both attachments. James was less happy about this than me! From there the general pattern of the game was that neither of us really saw many impactful characters - I wasn't drawing many, and James was having his removed from his hand (and Spiked). As I had found my Table and Chair this slower board state suited me fine, but James's board was nonetheless getting bigger than mine and we were both getting a decent amount of power. A key moment of the game was when James intrigued me when I had Arianne out and 2 cards in hand - Areo and Ocean Road. I really wanted to keep Areo to boot Flowers out of military, and got lucky when my Ocean Road was claimed.

The last round was particularly tough. James was on 11 power and had played Tourney, so after marshalling had 5 characters, all knights with renown. However, of these only Flowers had a power icon, and unlike in previous turns he had little money to pump the knights with. I had 10 power, and Ghaston Grey on the board. James had to do a lot of thinking, and decided to chump intrigue (I blocked), mil with everyone except Flowers, (I chump blocked and Ghastoned Robar to prevent a win in plots next turn) and power with Flowers, which I had just enough of a board to block by kneeling out. I had 1 card in hand for Arianne, and it was the perfect one - Myrcella. I got UO power with her and then claimed the last 2 power in dom with chair and table.

Overall a good win, but a very lucky one. James had been relatively cautious as he was expecting Valar, and didn't play out Large Marge when he could, losing her from the hand as a result. The 50/50 on Areo was also a key moment, as was my 50/50 on Spikes (Renly).

Round 2 - Richard Walker - Night's Watch Rains - Win

My second game against a meta-mate. Even though Richard and I have been to many tournaments together we had only competitively played once, at a local GNK. We both knew each others decks, and for a change Richard was playing a deck I hadn't lost to. However, he had made some improvements since.

Plot 1 I Riddled, hoping to hit Here to Serve, but Richard had Aemon in hand and had decided to play Late Summer Feast instead. Early game Richard saw his Wall, and a horde of...1 cost reducers, with Aemon and Satin as backup. Oh, and Qhorin too. Qhorin was knelt and my mighty Bastard Daughter knelt the Wall plot 1. Plot 2 Richard arguably made a game costing mistake (though this was enabled by a mistake I had made). My board was Bastard Daughter, Mel, Pyromancers. Qhorin had been knelt by Filthy, and I used Flames to kneel out Builder at the Wall (his only other power icon). Richard was able to easily win the intrigue by 5. He triggered Rains, using Filthy to kneel my Pryomancers. For me, the better play would have been Throne, to stand Qhorin and mil, killing the Pyromancers and Bastard Daughter in 1 go - though had I held fire with Flames he may have not had the option (as long as he didn't claim it for intrigue). Mel and the Bastard Daughter got their UO challenges through, and my Table and Chair then added 2 more power, giving me a decent lead. Plot 3 saw Valar against my Wildfire. Richard saved Qhorin and played out Bowen. I had enough for a samll chud rush in return, and then used Duel plot 4 to control the board. In plot 5 I Spiked the only non raven character in his hand (Ranging Party), and the game was wrapped up pretty soon after.

As this was a fairly quick game (Table and Chair vs Wall for a quick game!) we got an extra long lunch break for some lovely pork ribs with rice, and then onto round 3.

Round 3 - George Ankers - Greyjoy Rains - Loss

Early game George had Threeon and Asha out, not that Asha was allowed to do that much thanks to Mel. For the first few plots the game was going my way, I was controlling his hand nicely and kneeling his nastiest characters (the right King Balon once he hit the board). I particularly liked the Priestess as she let me kneel Threeon as an extra! However, George had used We Do not Sow on my Table, and my Chair therefore looked a bit silly. George also had dupes and Mines, and I didn't! I had played out an Orphan, and had a tough decision as George could either Valar next turn (with no cards in hand so a risk) or wait. I decided to encourage a gamble and returned the Priestess to hand instead of Mel, ad this would be a double kneel. George used Valar, and I used Wildfire, opting to go first so I could at least guarantee 2 kills (we both knew I wasn't running Valar!) rather than let George spread all the saves round. That left George with the right King Balon, Asha, and the Reader, though he top decked no extras. I had Arianne with a dupe and a Fiery Followers, using a couple of Kingsroads to ensure I got this board state in return. I challenged with Arianne to bait a kneel and then used Axel F (put in with Arianne) to get a challenge through and kneel his intrigue icon. However, discarding Arianne's dupe put me to 8 cards in the discard pile - not a good move when he has 2 Markets. George then top decked Euron and Victarion, and could just about afford both (that mistake was costly!). I held on as well as I could from there, with Duel at least helping, but against that board it just wasn't possible. If he had only been able to afford Euron, Victarion would have went to claim (or George would have held back on attacking) and I wold have got to play Duel twice - that would have made for a very tight game. As it was, the lesson was learned - don't dupe Arianne unless you expect it to be claimed and can take the intrigue hit first.

More to follow.

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Von Wibble 113

Round 4 - Oliver - Greyjoy Rains - Win

So, another Greyjoy Rains deck, the only faction and agenda I have lost to with this deck. Oliver got off to a strong start as well, with Balon and Victarion both out by the end of the first marshalling phase. I had Ghaston Grey out to help prevent him doing too much damage, but elected not to use it as I wanted to Duel plot 2. I used His Viper's Eyes to remove Euron from his hand (this deck hates Euron). Plot 2 I Duelled but Oliver saw this coming and Marched his Victarion, playing out a second copy in marshalling. At least Balon was knelt, and Mel showed up to kneel Victarion into the bargain, allowing me to get a foothold into the game. When I won a military Oliver elected to use his Iron Mines to save his Shipwright (the only small character he had) as this was his answer to Ghaston.

With Duel used Oliver started to build up his board, finding a dupe for Balon and adding Asha too. I was happy to remove Appointed from his hand as this would have been a big problem, but with only 1 kneel per turn I could only really defend for a few rounds, taking the odd cheeky unopposed if he knelt out all icons of 1 type. I had to be very defensive on his Rise turn in particular, issuing no challenges and taking the claim 2 hit with my chuds. Also he had Sea-Bitched my Ghaston, using it on a mighty Bastard Daughter, though I had discarded a second copy of Euron in turn.

The key point came at plot 6, where Oliver used Valar and I Riddled it. This meant that his saves counted for little - in the end he had to discard 2 power from Victarion and use Iron Mines to save him, killing the rest. Balon had power on him too so this changed the power totals from him leading 11-6 to 6-6. Whilst I had lost the kneel from Mel, I had a lot more economy and was able to press the advantage, playing out Davos and having Areo ready in hand. By this stage I also had a duped Throne and duped Ghaston (taking no chances with the NML around). The wrong Theon arrived for him with the Reader to get good board presence back by plot 8 (Rise for him, Filthy for me), and he made a push for the win, with me forgetting his plot and allowing a mil through unopposed (I had a duped Areo on the board and thought I'd just remove 1 for claim, I ended up having to return my Davos to hand as well), and he got to 14-10 with his other challenges made and me kneeling out most of my board. However, in a mirror of the first game I was then able to use my 2 standing characters, one of which was Myrcella, plus win dom, to take the game.

Round 5 - Dan Williams - Night's Watch Rains - Win

Dan was the finalist at Euros earlier in the year so again a tough opponent. He assured me at the start of the game that it would be an interactive deck - before playing out Castle Black. I saw my Chamber early in turn but Dan had the stronger board state having set up 2 Ranging Parties. He also had his Recruiter for the Watch take my Bastard Daughter. Nymeria helped negate the bulk of the damage, and Dan saw little intrigue so couldn't trigger his agenda, so he settled for winning more challenges than me (just about) and winning dom for the first 3 rounds. Round 4 I found my Chair thanks to the Trader, and with opposed challenges everywhere took dom to get to 2-2. At this point the table next to us had finished their game...

Next plot was decisive with Valar played, as I had decent economy and was able to refill (whilst Dan had Aemon and Halder saved). Dan had earlier missed on Building orders and just couldn't find his wall, and I got a decent chunk of power that turn as he didn't have the money to play out characters.

From that lead I was able to take the game even though Dan finally found his Wall and Big Jon, to start to impact my board. Again it was nice to see a game involving Table and Chair and Wall that had plenty of challenges made!

Round 6 - Liam - Tyrell Summer - Win

This one was probably the game I had the most control over, largely because Liam wasn't running resets or Confiscation. He did however have lots of cash each plot - I would estimate an average of 12 per plot.

By the end of the first plot Liam had Flowers, Randy, and Sultry Marge on the board, all duped. Unfortunately for him, Flowers and Randy also both had Condemned attached, and I found Mel early to kneel Marge (having knelt Randy with Filthy already). I Spiked Brienne, and when Renly showed up I Duelled, meaning Liam didn't really see any other power icons until much later in the game when his Close Called Brienne arrived. Liam spent most of the game with lots of money and no cards, letting Mel and Ghaston control his board for the win.

That result meant I made the cut as the 3rd seed. Rowan had managed a respectable 4-2 and Adam got 3-3 (but finished 20th out of 52 showing a strong strength of schedule), so the deck had performed well on the day.

Von Wibble 113

So, the cut - 4 Greyjoy decks, 2 Lannister, 1 Tyrell (James, my first round opponent, made the cut), and 1 Martell. Greyjoy were highly represented in the field as well as the cut, with almost no Targ in attendance. My call that Stark would be popular (due to Rains being prevalent) was also wrong.

Top 8 - Florian - Lannister Rains - Loss

Many people predicted given both of our reputations that this would get to 4 plots and then time would be called.

This game sadly wasn't really a contest so much as a case of "how much can I stall him out for?", as the biggest character I played for the first 4 plots was Areo, whilst he had Tywin and the Hound from the end of plot 1, and Jaime in plot 2 as well. I was able to get rid of the Hound by saving my Vipers Eyes especially for him, and in plot 2 I had Spiked Cersei. Plot 3 I duelled, but he had (as I expected ) not let me win a military the plot before (Jaime vs Bastard Daughter...) and played Ghosts. This led to Cersei being resurrected, and then dying again. At least I got a kneel out of it...

First Snow then made the game a certainty, even with me finding Davos to actually have a higher cost board. Shame, as I would have liked to have seen how that game would have gone if I had Mel or Arianne around, but they obviously saw the writing on the wall.

Props

  • Richard and Rebecca again for letting me stay over to cut the journey time down, as well as driving me there and back.

  • The Northampton meta, with Daisy and James also making the cut (James got top 4 in the end), and Adam only missing out on winning the melee on strength of schedule.

  • All of the BPOC group for their work on this deck.

  • Simon for organising the place to stay overnight for the 10 of us (4 of whom made the cut, and were running a bit late on Sunday morning...).

  • Alex, Calvin, everyone at Warboar for the overall organisation of the tournament.

Slops

  • Alex, for wimping out of our deck in the end just for the sake of a pun (as Rowan put it, not even the best Stark Rains pun).

  • Anyone who derides the deck for having 62 cards. Who wants efficiency?

Echoes of Ice & Fire 1

I'll put the cards together and give it a go