|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
This is highly inspired by a deck by Darschocolate, a kind opponent on TheIronThrone, who wowed me by playing something very different using location synergy and putting the Night's Watch character taking cards to great use.
I made some tweaks to it by going even more event heavy with Wheels Within Wheels and going all in on Lannister ambush characters.
The way I play highlights a few possible strategies:
~"Choking" the opponent of gold with White Tree and Meager Contribution. Famine to make characters more expensive. Annals of Castle Black helps by getting a second use of Meager. Isle of Ravens to even put a Meager back in the deck. I've had games where 4-5 Meager Contributions happened.
"~Recruiting" the opponents characters with Yoren, Guarding the Realm, Night Gathers..., and Now My Watch Begins. Queenscrown being an amazing source of placing future recruits into the discard pile for the taking. This play style can also be a form of "choke" because taking control of an opponents unique character stops them from being able to play another copy. Also Flea Bottom was brand spanking new and many players were putting it to very good use. Taking their potential Flea Bottom targets during the marshaling phase before they could bring them in during the challenge phase proved to be incredibly useful and took many by surprise.
~Jumping in and out of play. Ambush is one of the wheels in this machine. Being able to not marshal characters and bring them in during the challenge phase has its perks. Being able to bring them back to hand is another wheel of the machine. The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due has opened the door for extremely fun combos of in and out play while helping fund more ambush or events. One of my favorite combos is to ambush in Gold Cloaks for a measly 2 gold, put them to use in a challenge, Iron Bank them back to hand to gain 4 gold, then ambush in The Hound or Arry.
~Resets (character removal) I toned down the options from the original deck that included the Last of the Giants and Varys combo. Mutiny at Craster's Keep is so incredibly good, especially against decks that rely on their big 7 costers. The majority of the characters on my side are of little cost, making the Mutiny a very easy decision when its an option. Marched to the Wall can be a powerful follow up to a Mutiny. First Snow is often non consequential when I can just ambush characters in. Valar also being fantastic when used at the right time, sometimes not effecting this side of the board at all. I've learned to not be afraid of an early Valar, especially if I can bring one of the "perfect setups" on the other side to just a 0 cost location while I keep my 3-4 locations.
~Location Heavy 21 locations. I've considered more. Yes Political disaster hurts, so dupe when you can and when it hits, think about what is going to benefit you most for the rest of the game. Lots of these are 1-2 gold and its not uncommon to be able to rebuild after they've torn things down.
~Event Heavy 20 events. Considering 8 of them are recruiter events, you can kiiinda think of them as characters instead :) The other events are the cogs to the combos. Wheels Within Wheels helps get the event you want now, while placing others in the discard pile for the Annals of Castle Black turn. The Dornishmans Wife has been seen as a "catch up" card, and while it can be...it is also an amazing power grab. Gaining a power for just having less cards in hand can take an opponent by complete surprise. I've closed games during the standing phase with Tourny Grounds funding this card. With Annals, I've sometimes gained 25% of my power during the game with this card.
~Avoiding opponent's harmful cards. Attachments in particular are easy to work around with ambush when its after the marshaling phase. If they do get you with one, Iron Bank helps clean things up a bit. With characters often being in hand rather than on the board Valar isn't as intimidating, nor First Snow. If they pluck a character with intrigue claim, our own Flea Bottom can bring them back for another appearance. Why I'd LOVE to only pay one gold for The Hound rather than 4 to ambush him in, thank you! :)
This deck is far from unbeatable though. There are plenty of cards that really hinder what it tries to do, Barring the Gates for example. But you can often weather the storm of that round to make a comeback attempt. And it may be worth noting that many games are comeback wins, because of an early Valar with 0 claim, or it takes a round of two to get the combos going or to pick apart their big characters. Less characters in play often means more unopposed challenges you are letting through, which makes Greyjoy one of the worst opponents.
I've had a lot of fun with the deck and have had a number of opponents show interest in it. It was because of the success I was having that I decided to take it to Toronto for Canadian Nationals.
-Rd 1 win against Jon Neale playing Stark Kings of Summer
-Rd 2 win against Sarah Marsh playing Targaryen Fealty
-Rd 3 win against Kevin Austin playing Lannister Kraken https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKCOMkXaOo&t=1s
-Rd 4 loss against Matthew Gehman playing Baratheon Fealty 2-15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46xt2i3Bs1Y&t=12375s
-Rd 5 win against Garret Lowe playing Lannister LotC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6QnzG0e_fI
-Rd 6 loss against Felix St-Amour playing Targaryen Fealty
-Top 8 win against Matthew Gehman playing Baratheon Fealty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB5HnWpHTDc&t=1s
-Top 4 loss against Alex Tonak playing Martell Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noclk0MVBw0&t=1s