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|The Secrets of Cancer Black - Top 32 Stahleck 2017||14||9||10||1.0|
[Edit] I reached top 32 of the Champions of Westeros league with this deck as well but I was unfortunate to play vs Tyrell Summer relying on Bigs with multiple dupes, bodyguards etc. 3 resets were not enough.
This deck is basically Jannis Roepert's The Secrets of Cancer Black with just a few tweaks and update with the newly released cards. So a huge KUDOS to Jannis for the amazing deck. This deck is the closest I've felt to Martell 1.0 with a lot of responses to your opponent's actions.
The full tournament info can be found here. This was the first Road to Stahleck 2018 event.
Game Plan I believe the game plan is quite clear - destroy your opponent's hand, reset the board, draw a lot of cards - win. I usually open with Counting Coppers but depending on opponent and setup you can also open with Wheels Within Wheels or Varys's Riddle. From then on you try to keep the board small but focus on destroying your opponent's hand. Then on plot 6 almost always play The Annals of Castle Black - draw 5 cards in marshaling and by that time you should have second Secret Schemes to play in the taxation phase and draw 5 more cards. I've tested the deck since Jannis posted the deck list and in most of the time the games lasted 7-8 plots. After the insane draw of plot 6 it is hard for your opponent to recover with no hand and hopefully no board.
One thing that I've noticed when playing IKEA in any deck is that if you setup both The Iron Throne and Chamber of the Painted Table but no economy - your opponent will call you lucky bastard but you are going to have a hard time. So if I draw the combo but no economy I will probably take a mulligan.
A couple of weeks before the tournament I started experimenting with replacing Valar Morghulis with Valar Dohaeris. The reason was that in most of my games I didn't need Valar Morghulis and just locked it as plot 7 which was not very cool based on all the cards you got from plot 6. Anyway the night before the tournament I decided to follow the 1.0 rule - always play valar and it was the right choice.
Game Reports All wins during the tournament followed the game plan described above so I will not go into details in those but will focus on the lost ones. The game vs Chris and my top 8 match vs Matej were streamed and could be found here
Round 1 - Win vs NW Fealty (Tamas) I was looking forward to play vs Tamas but none of us enjoyed the game as he was drawing only attachments and no characters and it wasn't very remarcable game.
Round 2 - Win vs Martell Crossing (Peter Grujbar)
Round 3 - Loss vs Stark Winter (Chris Meeuwsen) The game was really interesting with Chris pressuring with 2 claim plots and destroying my hand with reserved choke. First turn he had 3 charaters on board I had 3 as well if I remember correctly. He made intrigue with 3 claim and I had Vengeance for Elia in hand and had to make the desicion to risk losing it for intrigue claim but then I could have return his 3 claim military and wipe his board. However I decided to play it safe and play it on intrigue which I think was the right think as I was able to discard his 2nd Winter Is Coming and then make intrigue myself and discard 4th card for the turn from his hand. At plot 6 I made a huge mistake when not counting my gold correctly - I thought that I just marshaled one of my The Roseroad but it was on the board for a couple of turns and I didn't play a limited location but that 1 extra gold that I didn't count was all I needed to better lock his board. I already have started working on his discard pile with Isle of Ravens so I have reduced his Flea Bottom targets. When we started round 7 I was pretty confident for the win although Chris had a lot of power, he had no cards in hand and no board. One of the things I could not handle was if he draw 2 power icons this turn which he did - Arya Stark (Core) and a chud. He had one more power icon to bring with Flea Bottom and he win that round. Anyway it was really nice playing again vs Chris and very interesting game to me.
Round 4 - Win vs Targ Rains (Andreas Vandingenen)
Round 5 - Win vs Martell Wolf (Tomasz Wilk) Key to this game was his late Frozen Solid draw. By that time if I remember correctly I had full control over the board and his hand.
Top 8 - Win vs Targ Fealty (Matej Brunzak) I don't believe Matej knew what mu deck does and he easily fell in most of my traps. That and the fact that I had a few lucky draws got me to top 4.
Top 4 - Loss vs Targ Crossing (David Nagy) Although I lost badly this was one of my most interesting games of the day and I believe I've lost during the setup phase. I drawed Varys, "The Last of the Giants", Gates of the Moon, Vengeance for Elia, The Hand's Judgment, Pyromancers. I decided to keep the hand. My logic was that I could setup Pyromancers and Gates of the Moon (my only possible combination of those cards). This way I will have 4 gold first turn if I open with Counting Coppers which will be enough for Vengeance for Elia to protect my hand and "The Last of the Giants" with Varys in dominance and I was pretty sure that I will have to use it turn 1. Another reason to keep the hand was that I was pretty sure he is playing some events to help him gain power and The Hand's Judgment would be perfect. And the last reason was that I was pretty sure he will open with Heads on Spikes but by setuping only 1 character (and I didn't need that character) I hoped that he is running Marched to the Wall and I will be able to better protect Varys in my hand. So it really sounded like a good plan - economy, reset, cancel - all in place. He had setup of 5 cards - a dragon with dupe, Strong Belwas, economy and a chud I believe. He opened up with Marched to the Wall as I hoped. On turn 1 he marshalled Khal Drogo with dupe and something else I cant remember. I marshalled nothing as I was saving gold for my plan and I also didn't draw a character which was disturbing for the future rounds. Anyway I Vengeance for Elia his intrigue and then I used His Viper Eyes on his power challenge to discard the single copy of Daenerys Targaryen from his hand and there was nothing in his hand that was bothering me. Then in dominance I played Varys and wipe his board but Khal Drogo and the dragon were saved with dupes. So I had to play Valar Morghulis next turn which was quite bad as I had nothing good to marshal and he drew 2 more copies of Daenerys Targaryen and marshalled another dragon with dupe and a chud i think? And so many dupes is something this deck can hardly handle in this situation. And I basically didn't marshal any characters till round 4, it was a game for David.
Anyway great tournament, great people and once again all the respect to Jannis for the great deckbuilder he is. I've always enjoyed playing with versions of his deck as I am a bad deckbuilder myself.