How Does This Deck Even Work? : GJ Rains GenCon 2017 Top 16

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
King of the Sea - GJ rains Fracas 2017 king of swiss 33 22 12 1.0
Inspiration for
None yet.

chimera255 26

So I'll start off by saying that the credit for this deck concept has to be given to Isian Hasmuja, so I won't go too much into detail about the deck beyond how it related to my play at GenCon, but I will say that I love playing greyjoy, and after seeing his Fracas decklist, I was really excited to try it out.

One thing I will say, is that this is not an autopilot, turn your euron sideways deck. Just figuring out the order of challenges requires a lot of thought because since you aren't getting a ton of uo challenges compared to what is thought to be a typical gj deck, I would be in the tank pretty hard before every challenge. You also can't just blow your saves. You have to know when to let something die because you're plan is to blow the board 4 plots from then.

So onto the good stuff.

MVPs: -Euron Crow's Eye: Go figure this guy is at the top of the list. I am in the firm belief he is the best GJ character in the game, especially in this deck where his 6 str int can do work. His reaction never really went off too insanely for me, but opponents had to constantly respect his presence. -Victarion Greyjoy: Intimidate is just good. It helps push through intrigue challenges, it helps win military challenges, it helps win power challenges, it helps win dom, and it allows you to go first with the ability to subdue the crack-back. Basically it just helps, and his built in save is great utility. Pyke: An addition of my own compared to Isian's deck. In testing the deck, especially against builders and other wall deck, I was always in good shape when I drew asha, and in bad shape when I didn't because the stealth was just a necessary tool in those matchups, and of course stealth is good in other matchups as well, it's really what sets GJ apart from other factions. With that in mind, I added a copy of pyke to be able to not have to rely on one character to push through challenges, and it was the best decisioI could have made. Pyke was so important, that an opponent had to treachery it two turns in a row in order to prevent me from just steam rolling the game.

Duds: -Priest of the Drowned God: I hate that I have to play this card. It's a very vanilla 3 cost, that has no synergy with the deck other than the icon. I added a 1 of Aeron Damphair (TIMC) just to get some value of of the buff these guys give. While it is necessary to have in order to help secure more rains triggers due to GJ having very few readily playable cheap intrigue icons, the fact that it costs 3 makes for some very awkward setups hands with all of the 6 and 7 costers in the deck. -Summer Harvest: If it wasn't for the 4 initiative I wouldn't be playing this plot. The important characters are too expensive to be playing russian roulette with, and there were several times where I would hit a Trading with the Pentoshi or Late Summer Feast and just have a bunch of extra gold that didn't go anything. I thought about A Noble Cause, but the 0 initiative isn't much better. Needless to say though, it will be the first plot to go if we ever get a 6+ gold 2+ initiative plot that doesn't make you sac a character.

The Tournament: I'm awful at remembering names, so please bear with me if you're reading this and I don't have your name in the match.

Game 1 (Lanni Rains)-Win: I marshalled victarion, lordsport shipwright, and roseroad to his tywin and chud. I had two risens in hand with some cheap characters, and he has no location econ, so I went for the turn one valar to try and get early board presence. I saved victarion and let the lordsport die, keeping one risen. He flips noble cause, and plays big jeoffery to try and kill vic. I save again, and marshall some small characters. Next turn I march, and it's pretty much over from there.

Game 2 (Bara Fealty)-Win: So I have a very bad history with GJ vs Bara back to when I punted a game to the Minnesota Blackfish to get into the top 16 back in the War of the Five Kings Tournament 2 years ago, I usually tilt whenever I play them, and I thought this time would be no different. I honestly can't recall much of this game, it was a bit of a blur, but I was able to open with Euron when he had no int icons on the board, and snag his Iron Throne after killing it with We Do Not Sow. He ended up getting a duped Melisandre (GtR), Robert, and Barristan on the board, so the game really came down to a rush for power before my valar. I eventually managed to march his mel, and push through enough challenges with asha and nightmares to clinch the game.

Game 3 (Scott Levine-NW/Bara)-Win: Sometimes you just gotta ride the back of Dagmer Cleftjaw to victory. I had Dagmer in my opening draw, and knowing that this was almost certainly a wall deck, I flopped some cheap characters and econ instead of him and a reducer. I opened with trading with the pentoshi, and am able to make him go first. He ends his marshalling with a duped throne and chamber of the painted table on the board. I drop Dagmer and another int icon. During challenges I'm able to trigger rains into Power Behind the Throne, and end up winning 2 challenges with loot poot to take both locations, dupes and all. I always enjoy close games, and I think that game ended faster than either of us would have liked. But Scott was a good sport, and I really enjoyed getting to chat and play against him.

Game4 (Lanni Rains)- Loss: I flop vicarion and lordsport to his jaime, bodyguard, and reducer. I have 1 of each of my big characters in my hand, and I don't want to give him gold since he has no econ, so I summer harvest. Well we must have been thinking the same thing because we both counted 2 gold. The difference is that he was able to draw some cheap characters and force through mil icons after winning the coin toss for initiative. I just kept drawing big guys and couldn't come back. I almost was able to reset with valar after confiscating his bodyguard, but he had another one waiting. The one cool play was being able to kneel Jaime with Aeron Damphair (TIMC) after I finally valaring,but it was too late.

Game 5 (Bara Fealty)- Win: My opponent scooped after the 2nd plot. He drew a lot of non character and small character cards, and I had a lot of duped big characters gaining power, so he was on tilt from the start. It was an unfortunate game, but I was also happy to have squeaked past another Bara deck for the day. I end up being 18th going into the graduated cut.

Graduated Cut Game 1: (Lanni Rains)- Win: This was a really good game with a lot of interaction from both of us. So much so that again, I don't remember much about the intricacies of it. I do know that victarion and pyke were really carrying me through. I was able to gain initiative off him most turns, and threaten large intimidate challenges with my iron fleet scouts. This was the game where he had to treachery pyke twice to stop me from pulling to far ahead. It was definitely the right call, but I could still win challenges, and I just slowly ground out the game with renown and unopposed challenges from Asha.

Graduated Cut Game 2 (Alex Black-Martell/Bara)-Loss: At this point I was the 2nd highest ranked 5-1, and in 4th place, so I was a guaranteed in due to my SoS. Even though I'm fairly certain my matchup was heavily in my favor against the chamber/throne deck, I really wasn't feeling the need to grind out a long game after a long day, and also be a potential dream crusher for a player I respect very highly, so took my loss and gave both of us a rest. Apparently someone told me that worked out well for him or something.

Top 16 match (Tim from Appleton, WI, but really DC meta- Stark/NW)-Loss: This matchup was card for card a copy of the DC nationals deck from May, and while I knew what to expect, I didn't like my odds due to all the attachments. However it was a very very close game. In fact it ended in a mod loss at time 12-11. Neither one of us managed to pull ahead all game, and while he saw 3 cravens, 2 marriage pacts, and 2 milks, he didn't see the wall till plot 4, and I was able to nab 3 nightmares. The real decision point came after I was able to come around to the second valar and clear his board of a 4 renown qhorin, catelyn and some other cards, while I got to keep Asha, and a cravened Euron. I marshalled Victarion while he marshalled Cotter Pyke. Going into challenges he had one card in hand, and only cotter pyke on the field. In hindsight, the safest play would have been to pass challenges so I could confiscate the craven, but I had the potential to force him to kneel cotter pyke or let me get rains off and a free couple power. Unfortunately his card was dolores ed, and I ended up letting him get a mil challenge off that forced me to kill euron. Gg.

Despite the outcome I'm am extremely happy with how things went, especially for all my Wausau, WI boys. Representing 25% of the top 16, and having numerous good showing beyond that really shows all the hard work that our small town group puts into this game. Also a big props to all the other players there. The event was a blast thanks to this great community, and I can't wait to see what next year brings.

4 comments

dockellis 693

Well played Ben. I'll be seeing you soon.

starclown 85

Might I ask how (and why) the Drowned Disciple performed in the deck? As I do not see any character recursion in the deck..

CMonster907 7

So I also recently started playing GJ Rains and I have a couple thoughts.

1) I have also been pretty unenthusiastic about low cost int icons from GJ that don't have much synergy, a la Priests. I tried a 1 of Begging Brother from the newest pack in my deck.I'm considering taking other cards out to add 1 or 2 more copies. Being able to cancel character abilities is great and if you don't have the gold for bestow you still get the same utility out of a single priest. It single handedly won me a game by cancelling Greywind and Robb Stark triggers on the same turn. Might be worth a try for you.

2) Did you have any luck with the Red Wedding as a scheme? I was real excited to try it and just found it to be not worth it. I switched to Wheels within Wheels to dig for Risens and We Do Not Sows.

chimera255 26

@CMonster907 I haven't played around with the new pack yet, but the value from begging brother does seem to be better than the low tier int you get, however, keep in mind that iron fleet scout is a big part in making the priests worth it. I triggered rains off of them a fair amount. Red Wedding is really a meta call. It's a very high ceiling low floor card, that I didn't get much use of because I kept running into bodyguards and dupes, though there were numerous situations where I would have blown them out if they had one less save. WWW is definitely the safer option, but not might not necessarily better. Frankly though I didn't trigger it, I like the threat that Red Wedding offers, and it's not really hurting me by having it in my scheme deck.