A Suitor from the Iron Islands (TOP32 J, 4-1 TE Stahleck)

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Gerion Lannister 235

Dear friends, let me introduce you the deck I played at Stahleck joust and team event. This deck made 11 wins, 2 really close losses, 1 loss after a bad decision and one clear defeat I probably couldn't overcome even with the best play and draw. In joust I finished in TOP32 eliminated by amazing player and person James Waumsley. In a team competition I was able to score 4-1 and my country THE CZECH REPUBLIC took the silver place defeated only in the final by Sweden.

Right at the beginning I would like to thank to all my opponents, team mates and all players who met me and chatted about Thrones, other games and our personal life. I had a great time on my first (and certainly not the last) Stahleck. Special thanks go to Ales Hrabal, one of the best players in the Czech Republic and the original creator of this deck. I made a few changes considering the current meta but most of the credit belongs to him. Then, I consulted the changes in the deck with Andre, Raius and MIl and I didn't regret any of them in the tournament. Great thanks to them too!

ADVANTAGES of the deck:

  • Consistency and setups - Ratio and number of small and big characters is just right and the deck has one of the best setups I have ever seen. And the best thing is that almost all of the characters are crazy impactful in almost all of the matchups.

  • Military pressure - This deck is exceptionally good against builds without abundance of military icons and claim soak. Two militaries with Drogo, Victarion with Plaza, Dracarys!, Viserys and Crown of Gold - all of those threats often catches your opponent unprepared and can crush him before he will be able to consolidate his position.

  • Saves against Valar Morghulis - No need describe this point but it as important as the two above.

  • Location and Attachment control - I would say that the location control in the deck was more than sufficient. The third Viserys and/or the second Iron Bank would have helped though.


  • Vulnerability against Varys, Tinder Margaery and combo decks - I assumed there would be not many combo decks and fortunately I was right. On the other hand, Tinder Margaery and Varys were everywhere and the lack of Nightmares or the second Begging brother in my deck really hurt me repeatedly.

  • The Night's Watch - Defensive NW is not great for this deck although some attachment control and aggression could help. But especially the Builder deck matchup is almost unplayable even if you draw the right cards. Kneeling with Lordsport shipwright helps only for a bit and absence of hard Location control (Political disaster), more resets (Varys, The First Snow), draw and pasive power grab speaks for themselfs. It is necessary to say that every build has its own weak spot and this the one for my Targ Kraken.


  • Summer Harvest - The best eco location for this deck by far. If you start against a big guy deck, the worst thing that you could hit is their own Harvest. And because this deck has almost always a good setup and a lot of cheap and impactfull characters in hand, it favors you a bit. Other options like Time of Plenty, Calm and especially Late Summer Feast and Trading are just amazing. If you are able to play any combination of big characters first round, it almost always forces your opponent to a fast Valar Morghulis. Just don't use this plot as an opener against control and low cost decks!

  • Trading with the Pentoshi - An alternative opener if you are afraid of Varys's Riddle or midgame plot to put the pressure on your opponent with Danny + some dragon or Victarion + Drogo.

  • Counting Coppers - This deck lacks draw without Daenerys on the board.

  • Valar Morghulis - Iron Mines and military pressure to erase your opponents duplicates = Valar Morghulis autoinclude.

  • Marched to the Wall - This plot supports military pressure and it is a good option against aggresive Valar of your opponent (discards saved character). And it is always good to start against Besieged.

  • 2x Heads on Spikes - I really didn't like this plot before but it is just perfect in this deck! It's the third alternative opener; especially against Besieged-decks (you will at least throw a dice/coin). Heads also supports the pushing strategy of Targ Kraken and creates a power pressure at the same time as your characters are pushing military challenges through. If you miss a character, it is always good to see cards like Risen from the Sea on the discard pile.

MVP cards

  • Victarion Greyjoy, Khal Drogo, Daenerys Targaryen, dragons, Iron Mines - for obvious reasons; Mirri Maz Duur is a very good Valar bait.

  • Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) - He should have been a 2-of for sure. Those UNP power and military challenges have won me at least two games.

  • Begging Brother - Also should have been a 2-of - great against so many characters that I will not even try to name them all.

  • Lordsport Shipwright - They were really needed for the Flea Bottom which otherwise reduced the military pressure. And the economy choking is always an option.

  • The Hand's Judgment - The last change before the tournament and I didn't regret. I remember one game which I would most probably lose without this card. Also, Nightmares on Drogo and most importantly on Victarion really must be canceled.

  • The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due - Thank you Ryan Jones! This card is so versatile and potent in so many situations that I really couldn't remember a single one in which I hate to draw this card. For an example look at the second round of the Team event and you will see why I simply love this card.



David Dave - Martell fealty 1-0

David is a very likeable guy. I gave him our promos as I gave them to all my opponents that day and he was very thankful. I also admired his playmat from Zaragoza and was really glad that we chatted before my first match at Stahleck. Otherwise I would have been unnecessarily nervous. Crazy good setups from my deck started to show their strenght because I got all three Iron Mines with some decent small characters. Nothing Burns Like The Cold didn't hurt me much and I was able to put pressure on my opponent from the start with Drogo on the board. My Dracarys! burned one of the Palace Spearman and UNP challenges meant that my powers were on 15 very quickly.

Alexandr T. - Tyrell Summer 2-0

Alex Trigonakis is a great player and a really friendly person. I knew him from the Iron Throne and regionals held in the Czech Republic because Alex is so kind that he travels regularly to our tournaments. Unfortunately for him this was a really favorable matchup for my deck. Alex played Mace Tyrell and some claimsoaker but I was able put Khal Drogo and some support on the table with Daenerys Targaryen in the next round. Lack of military icons made it unplayable for his side. Against Summer deck, Summer Harvest almost always hit some big gold plot and it really helps my early-aggression strategy (and sometimes even supports my draw if it is Late Summer Feast).

Jose Enrique - Targaryen Crossing 2-1

I don't always complain about bad luck but this game was really unlucky for me. I had a good setup but that was all. My Victarion Greyjoy was milked early and we both put Daenerys Targaryen and some dragons on the table in the first two rounds. Heads on Spikes from Jose picked Khal Drogo and (I think) Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) from my hand whereas my both missed. I didn't draw Viserys Targaryen (Core) or Rattleshirt's Raiders the whole game and didn't see any Dracarys!. Any of it would almost certainly won me the game on the spot in three or four situations (removed milk from unkillable kneeling machine or burned character + claim). His intrigue claims picked my Fire and Blood and Iron Mines which were the best cards in my hand at the time and both would have helped me massively.
At the fourth plot I matched his Winter Festival with Summer Harvest and score at the end of the round was 14 - 10 for his side. I needed to use Valar Morghulis and I saved my Daenerys Targaryen against his Ser Jorah Mormont with two powers and betrayal tokens. My milked Victarion Greyjoy died and you can guess what I drew - spiked Khal Drogo and Victarion Greyjoy. I was able to consolidate and cover all challenges of Jose's three characters. He also couldn't use Ser Jorah Mormont because of the third betrayal token or at least I thought so. But crossing power is a passive and it is triggered even before forced reaction and that is exactly the way how Jose won with Ser Jorah Mormont in the last challenge. Great and close game against Reinhard's deck, one of the best this day!

Arkadiusz "Arecki" K. - Stark Fealty 3-1

Arkadiusz is our neighbor from Poland and I was really happy that we exchanged some promos before the game. Pretty solid setups were on both sides and after that he put Arya Stark (Core) into play and Ice on her threatened to kill by exposed Khal Drogo. I was able to drew Iron Mines and stop his Nightmares with The Hand's Judgment. This combination saved Khal Drogo in the Wardens of the North round and double military with some Dracarys! resolved the game very quickly.

James "Bambi" B. - Stark Banner of the Watch 4-1

I was really glad that I could meet Bambi in person but his deck was not a pleasant surprise for me. Right after he revealed his banner I already knew that I was in trouble. Twelve negative attachments and The Wall are too much to handle for my deck if I could not draw the right cards. And if I remember correctly, I really couldn't draw the answers for a long time. Bambi put Jon Snow (WotW) and Qhorin Halfhand into play and all my big characters were decorated by some (or even more) negative attachments. I didn't see Viserys Targaryen (Core) or Rattleshirt's Raiders till late game and had to play Valar Morghulis to have any chance against Bambi's potent board. The only good thing was that Bambi didn't see The Wall for a long time. But mistakes happen even to the best players and Bambi attacked with Jon Snow (WotW) and Qhorin Halfhand in military. He had only them on the board and my Daenerys Targaryen was in a Marriage Pact. He killed my claimsoaker with Qhorin Halfhand and I chose Daenerys Targaryen for claim to discard one of his bombs from play. This was a turning point of the game and I was able to speed up my power grab and claim an unbelievable victory.

James S. - Greyjoy "The Rains of Castamere" 5-1

James is a player from SoCal meta and he acted like a true gentleman! In Europe gossip runs that many Americans are more of the purposeful people with only a little amount of humility. But James was one of the most modest person I have ever met and a great player too. Sorry, I don't remember much from this game because I played three Greyjoy Rains in the row and games blend together. I knew that I had an advantage from the beginning due to my Summer Harvest against his Late Summer Feast. I was able to create a big pressure with Khal Drogo and there was basically no coming back for my opponent.

Alexandre "Alex" C. - Greyjoy "The Rains of Castamere" 5-2

This game was probably the best and most balanced from the Swiss rounds. I had almost no economy but I drew all my great characters during the game. Alexandre had on the other hand all the great economy from the start and he stopped my pressure with Varys in the first round. The game went up and down round after round. He had a serious lead in power for most of the time but I managed to control his board and almost even the game before the time was called. It happened at the start of the last round and the judge decided that we should continue. Unfortunately, my draw was really bad and I was not able to put any big character into play. Alex's great economy resolved the game because he marshaled one of the remaining Greyjoy brothers and I conceded. It was a great game and a great experience for me. I even used my skills from the chess games and played the last rounds before time-call in a blitz pace and it almost saved me the game. I didn't even feel disappointment after a great loss like this.

Mikael "McMike" B. - Greyjoy "The Rains of Castamere" 6-2

Me or Mikael from Sweden? Only one of us could advance in the cut. I was able to catch his Time of Plenty with Summer Harvest and I took a little advantage from the first round. I was pretty lucky with the intrigue claim in this game because I picked We Do Not Sow from his four or five cards before he could use it against my Iron Mines. He was under pressure and he had to try Valar Morghulis with one Iron Mines and Risen from the Sea in his hand. He had three cards and I estimated his play correctly. I tried Heads on Spikes and was lucky again with the Risen from the Sea pull and the game was practically resolved. Mikael was a great opponent but goddess Caissa was on my side this time.

TOP64 Marcin "Vodecki" S. - Lannister "The Rains of Castamere" 7-2

One of the most amazing games I have ever played. Marcin prepared a very cool deck around Cersei Lannister (LoCR) from the Lion box. It was also the first time for me when I have seen someone playing Cersei's Attendant. And I agree that it was not a bad idea in the deck like this because I even voluntarily refused to draw from Insight. Cersei Lannister (LoCR), Heads on Spikes, Tyrion's Chain copying my Heads on Spikes, double intrigue - and Marcin suddenly boosted his power from 2 to 11 in a few seconds. I had to do the best decisions, stopped him from raining and made a full use of my early lead to win this game. And I was really proud that I did no mistakes because otherwise I would most probably lose.

TOP32 James Waumsley - Night's Watch Kings of Summer 7-3

When I have seen that I will play against James, I already knew that this is a terrible matchup and unlucky pairing for me. I have only one Newly-Made Lord, only one Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) and Asha Greyjoy (Core) in my deck and only three cards against Attachments. It didn't surprise me much that for a whole game I had only one answer - Lordsport Shipwright who were useful but not exceptional and Calm Over Westeros stop my Khal Drogo completely in the first round. It may sounds insane but the game was probably decided in the first round when my Mirri Maz Duur was not able to kill Halder by one strength. Then all my big characters got promoted into standing Iron thrones and during the whole game I was able to win only one (or two) challenges in attack. I didn't draw a single Dracarys! whole game. James was the only point which was not frustrating for me in this game. He acted as a true gentleman triggering Brandon's Gift as a master (Bran the) Builder. I tried to save Valar Morghulis as a last but one plot to play it twice in next three rounds but James drew around seven builders with Watch has needs and my countered my Valar Morghulis with Trade Routes like a pro (and he really is a pro :)). I finally drew Theon but James had already the Flea Bottom and Veteran Builder on his discard pile. That was the reason why I conceded and wished him good luck in following rounds.


I was very happy with my result at the first Stahleck. TOP32 was a dream that came true and I met so many awesome people which I knew only from internet before. As a big fan of The White Walkers I really enjoyed meeting with Rebecca and Richard who are both super nice and friendly people. And I am really glad that I can say this: Rebecca is really as positive and as mood uplifting person as I thought from her videos! I really enjoyed whole tournament and I can't wait for next Stahleck.

But I must say that the best experience was only before me and my friends from The Czech Republic:


My 25th place from Joust made me a captain of our representation and that was a great honor for me! André and Liborhood, my team mates, are both really strong players with positive balance against me and I believed that we can make some a very solid result.

FINLAND 2-1: Johannes Järvinen - Tyrell Kings of Summer 1-0

Threat from the North! Very cool words of the Finnish group who were prepared for us suited dressed in jerseys. But I must say that right under their motto should have been also written "Gentlemen from the North!" Johannes picked my Targaryen house card whereas my two Greyjoy brothers chose their opponents. I was pretty lucky that Johannes didn't know my agenda because he would almost for sure picked someone else. His board without many military icons was very susceptible against my Khal Drogo and he couldn't do challenges because of standing Daenerys Targaryen looking at him with Plaza of Pride behind her back. I had all three Dracarys! and no Dragon which was actually not unusual situation that day, but Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) with his UNP power challenges resolved the game almost on his own. The last clove in the coffin was probably crowning of duplicated Ser Ser Robar Royce with 4 power tokens on him. Johannes was a very kind and super nice opponent and he even wasn't visibly disappointed with the game. It was a great experience for me to play against stronger player with such a big amount of calm wisdom in his heart. I had no time to spectate other games, but Liborhood was able to beat his opponent and André lost after very balanced battle with lower amount of luck on his side.

HUNGARY 2-1: Márton Rakovszky - Stark Fealty 2-0

We were in an advantage of choosing the first pairing this game. I knew that I would probably lose against NW and this NW was in hands of Tamas Albeck, so I was completely sure about it. Greyjoy has a better chance and that is the reason why I chose Stark as my opponent. Márton played flawlessly. He had Eddard Stark (WotN) with a Bodyguard from the start and with other 4 bodies he was able to put Dacey Mormont into play. I had Victarion Greyjoy and Rattleshirt's Raiders but I was unable to go through this huge wall of characters. His Dacey Mormont had 4 powers when I had to Valar Morghulis and kept only Eddard Stark (WotN) and my dragon + Victarion Greyjoy with Marriage Pact on the board. But luck was on my side because Martón let me go first and I drew The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due. I played this amazing card on Victarion Greyjoy and forced reaction on Marriage Pact resolved the game. Eddard Stark (WotN) went on discard and I was able to put Daenerys Targaryen with a dragon on the board. Great combo, but game was ruined after this move without a single mistake from Martón. But I must say that I blame Marriage Pact for this. The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due is on the other hand one of the best cards in the game! André sacrificed himself for a team as an opponent of phenomenal Tamas but Liborhood was able to win nicely and sent us to TOP8.

TOP8 SCOTLAND 2-1: Connor "Conniepups" M. - Martell Fealty 3-0

I was in Scotland once and when I have seen Highlands I was completely fascinated. It was one of the few places I have visited and really didn't want to leave them. Connor looked like a typical Braveheart and he really was a heroic Martell. Targaryen is usually a very bad matchup for Rhoynar but this game was close and tense till the last second. I had Victarion Greyjoy, few dragons and other minor characters and I have seen the second biggie (Daenerys Targaryen) not earlier than in the late game. I opened with Trading with the Pentoshi and Connor's Heads on Spikes killed my Asha Greyjoy (Core). I had to choose something else to marshal and I put Begging Brother with three gold on the table. He was probably the main reason why I was able to take an early lead because he blocked Arianne Martell trigger in challenges. His Venomous Blade forced me to use my Iron Mines and negative attachments slowly removed my icons. Victarion Greyjoy with 4 powers became the 5 strength Iron throne and I really needed to do my best to win this game. I was at 14 powers and Connor had around 9. We both had Valar as the last plot (or I at least think so) and I really needed to win in that round. There was no way to win a power challenge but i could get an opposed intrigue and military. I had also Dracarys! in hand but Connor held one card and if he would have The Hand's Judgment he would have oppose everything, defended power and won dominance. If it would be Vengeance for Elia on the other hand, he would have a strong chance to pull my Dracarys! from hand. I decided to do an intrigue first and hoped that Connor will automatically kneel his housecard if he has Vengeance for Elia. That was exactly what he did and I burned his Greenblood Trader alive to get UNP power and win the game. This was probably his only big mistake in the game though! Liborhood had a very strong opponent in this round, the famous Mattastrophic with Tyrell Rains, which is not the best matchup for Greyjoy Rose. But André saved us by a decisive win in his game!

TOP4 NETHERLANDS 2-1: Max Beukelman - Tyrell Kings of Summer 4-0

Max was a likeable guy but he sadly couldn't do much about this game. I was able to catch his high gold plot with Summer Harvest and play Mirri Maz Duur on the board. I had also Victarion Greyjoy with one power at the end of the first round. On the other side of the table was only Margaery Tyrell (AMAF) with a duplicate and some claim soak. We discussed my possibilities with André and I decided that Marched to the Wall couldn't hurt me anyway and in case of Valar Morghulis it will be a big advantage for me. Max tried his Valar Morghulis and I sent his Margaery Tyrell (AMAF)to the discard pile. Rest of the game was one sided because he was not able to survive my tempo with an empty board. André also managed to win his game in tempo and that send our country to finals!

FINALS SWEDEN 1-2: Daniel N. - Tyrell The Lord of the Crossing 4-1

This game started perfectly for me. I caught his Trading with the Pentoshi with Summer Harvest and because I have seen his The Lord of the Crossing agenda, I used the gold and overflowed the board. I had Khal Drogo and Mirri Maz Duur against his duplicated Margaery Tyrell (AMAF), The Knight of Flowers (Core) and some claimsoak. I was thinking a lot about military challenges because it was certain that Margaery Tyrell (AMAF) will put into play something better than The Knight of Flowers (Core). The worst chance for me would have been Varys but I assumed that he would not play him in the Crossing deck... And I was wrong. He grabbed Varys and with help of ambushing Oldtown Informer defended my Mirri Maz Duur. That was basically the game because I had to play Marched to the Wall on Margaery Tyrell (AMAF) as the next plot and Daniel played Randyll Tarly with a duplicate. His power grab was unstoppable. After the game I thought about it a lot but I still think that with Khal Drogo and Mirri Maz Duur I had no other chance than try to push. Otherwise Daniel would have simply win on crossing challenges. That is why the second Begging Brother or two copies of Nightmares must be included to my decklist. André played a great game and defeated his opponent but Liborhood had a bad draw with not enough saves and Greyjoy Rains buried our dreams about the first place.


The Team event and its atmosphere were great as well as our second place! We left Stahleck right after the finals because some friends from our group had to go to work on Monday. But I want to thank all the organizers at least here. Especially to Wolfgang, who was kindly available to solve every single problem, question or wish and he also organized everything perfectly at the same time. And great thanks to all of you! Stahleck was one of the best experiences of my life and I can't wait for the next one!



hagarrr 194

Great write up and congratulations on achieving top 32! :D

Johannes 112

Nice write up and well played! I don't know if I'm any stronger player than you.

Gerion Lannister 235

@hagarrr``@Johannes Thanks to both of you, guys. It was great to meet you!

nikotinlaus 541

Nice deck as usually. One question: I see no Astapor in the list. Do you consider it not good enough or is it just too expensive?

dqthemountie 63

Great deck and nice to meet you at my first Stahleck.

Gerion Lannister 235

@nikotinlaus Thx, it is nice to hear it from you! :) Astapor was in the original verion of the deck but I was afraid of location hate (Greyjoy in general and Frozen Solid). I also think that the biggest advantage of this deck is an early pressure and Astapor is quite of a tempo hit. Moreover, the strongest use of Astapor is with Blood of the Dragon which doesn't fit to my plotdeck. :) In general: I didn't want to pay for something impactful but incredibly fragile at the same time when it does not fit into the deck strategy. :)

@dqthemountie Thank you very much! It was nice to meet you at my first Stahleck too. :)