|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
Leading with the most boring bit for most readers because it's the most important to me. Basically I just want to say thanks to a whole bunch of people.
- Liam, Ruben, Remko, and all the people who worked tirelessly throughout the day to put on an incredible Euros. Other than losing Trig's top 16 medal at one point, the entire event ran completely smoothly, which either means you put in a great deal of effort and were rewarded with it going off without a hitch, or you worked through problems with a great deal of effort to provide the illusion of it going off without a hitch. Either way, tremendous work! Also as a supplementary thanks, thanks to Esdevium/Asmodee/FFG for putting on a fine tournament with excellent prize support. I'm always happy to rag on Organised Play but they did a great job throughout the event and really made the game feel valued, so thanks to them for that. Also, Tyrell tokens and a spot gloss Wars to Come? How did you know?? No Retal in the plot deck though, you need to step up your game there.
- Thanks to my ukulele conspirators, Dan, Gabbi, George, Joe, Joel, Matt, Rebecca and Richard, as well as the non-yook of Tagore. A lot of work went into the deck, mostly tweaking the last few cards, and an awful lot of discussion, theory-crafting on matchups, etc., which helped immensely even if it must've driven some of you who weren't playing this deck mad after a while! Further sub-thanks to George, Joe, Joel, Rebecca and Tagore specifically for going through the deck with me. Half of us made the cut (with the other half all only missing by 1 win) and 2 of us made the top 16, which isn't bad going for our humble little deckbuilding group.
- Thanks to the Crosse Keys meta for letting me test various versions of this list constantly over the last few weeks, especially in the faction league (see the deck section for more on that)
- Thanks to Josh and Wedge for giving me zero choice over whether to be humble or not throughout the tournament by reminding me before each round how much of a travesty it would be if I won.
- Thanks to all my opponents across both days, every single one of you was a complete pleasure to play against (even Isian).
- Thanks to everyone who wished me luck before/during, and then afterwards congratulated me, hugged me, shook my hand, etc., it was overwhelming in the absolute best way.
- As a follow-on, thanks to the many dozens of people who congratulated me online. These last two points genuinely give me tears in my eyes; I'm not sure what I did to deserve this kind of reaction, but it's well and truly cherished. One thing I found funny amongst it was the number of people with comments along the lines of "about time" - at the risk of making some people roll their eyes, I really think I massively overperformed on my ability level this weekend, and to see how many people feel like this was not just expected but overdue was really weird!
- Last but by no means least, thanks to Keb for helping me and tolerating me along every step of the way. And for bringing me roughly a million drinks over the course of the knockout day.
So, let's not bury the lead here - the deck is not a particularly original or exciting one. There's a reason I put GoodStuff in the name of the deck, and it's not because I'm thrilled with how wonderfully creative the card choices are. I will say that, while the deck was quite straightforward from a deckbuilder's perspective, there's still a lot of nuance in the actual playing of it, so I would urge people not to feel too down about the game based on the list alone.
In my little build group we were discussing ideas for Euros, and everyone was suggesting all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas, so I decided to be an arrogant sod and put a deck in called simply "The Tyrell Deck". This deck came about through a thing we've been doing in London called the Faction League. Teams of 3 people per faction, 7 weeks, each week your faction is paired against one of the other factions in a round robin format, 3 games where you each play against one of the other team's members, gets points based on wins. You also got a point for each new agenda you used as a team (including No Agenda). What I found from doing this was that I kept gravitating to the same rough set of cards in a mono-faction agenda choice. (With the perhaps understandable exceptions of Brotherhood Without Banners and Faith Militant.)
On balance I decided that the best agenda for that rough set of cards would be Donovan's agenda. My thoughts before the tourney were that the hype over the agenda was a little overblown (although with the agenda overperforming massively I'm probably wrong there), but for this deck, that had a well-functioning draw deck and didn't need to pull in any specific tricks, the versatility of the plot deck was ideal. Plots have, increasingly, felt like the most important part of second edition (a lot more weight on them than first edition had in my opinion), and the extra choices gives you significantly more ways of outplaying your opponent and leveraging the advantages you need. Additionally, it makes room for some spicy-but-situational plots that I'll get into below.
- Time of Plenty is almost always my opening plot (I think 11 games out of 12 I opened with it?). The high gold lets you smooth over rough starts or escalate your gameplan with good starts, it has high reserve, it has no real counterplot beyond Summer Harvest (which, big whoop, I'm not that fussed about), and while your opponent gets to draw 1 card, hey, so do you. This early in the game, that's fine. Please can people stop comparing this to binder fodder plots
- Wardens of the South is a somewhat generic good plot for Tyrell. Tough to always find space for "ok constructive plot with only medium gold" in a 7 card plot deck, but a no-brainer here. You don't always want to do something special with your plot, so having one that just lets your deck chug along is useful, and sometimes, especially against burn and/or Crossing decks, the extra STR is truly important.
- Close Call might feel like a generic GoodStuff plot (or even a generic BadStuff plot depending on your worldview), but it actually had real importance in either moving big uniques out of the dead pile to allow them to be replayed, or Flea Bottom chuds (preferably Left/Right or loyal ones) to set up plays later on. I'll go into detail on that later with general strategy.
- Filthy Accusations serves two functions (and on the day actually only served one). The reason I originally added it to the list was as a way of turning off Arya Stark on a reset turn, as a toolbox plot. As it turns out, kneeling anything is valuable. Obviously some are more valuable than others, but I got plenty of use pretty much regardless.
- Breaking Ties is one of the two most powerful recent plots, along with another one in this list. It's one of the primary reasons I prefer Wars to Rains here, as the Scheme trait means you can only turn into it when you're already in a position to win by 5. I don't want to have my ability to control big non-loyals limited, thanks! The interaction with Flea Bottom is obviously known now, but just for those who don't know - sacrifice a loyal chud for Ties, bring them back in with Flea Bottom, then sacrifice the same chud again. You lost one character (and your use of Flea Bottom for a turn) to bounce two cards, huzzah. Even without it, chucking two loyal chuds (or chucking one, or even just threatening to chuck one) is still good value. I did notice that the better players had broadly built with this plot in mind, and it had significantly less value for me in the cut games than it had in some of the swiss games.
- DAKINGINDANORF! has fast become one of my favourite plots in the game. I get some people don't like cards that say you can't do things, and I do think it's a touch unfair on some factions that the trait can so much more easily be leveraged by some factions than by others, but honestly, Martell (and to a lesser extent Night's Watch) have a lot of trickery right now, and being able to say "for one turn at least I'm not going to have to worry about this" is very gratifying. In genuine consideration for being the most important plot in the deck.
- The First Snow of Winter is in to help deal with minicurve, surprisingly enough. It had felt very important in testing, and it had its moments throughout the tournament, but broadly this is actually quite near the "to cut" end of the spectrum, simply because it's annoying to lose Left and/or Right. This might just be the weird mix of things I played against on the day, though.
- Political Disaster is an amazing plot if you can find the room for it (see: benefits of the agenda). One of the consistent elements of most top tier decks right now is that they have loads of locations. Targ and Martell usually need to spread out across several econ locations, plus both run Flea Bottom, Targ runs Plaza and Martell runs Dorne. Other Tyrell decks often run Pleasure Barge and Trade Routes, and the Barge obviously is immune and therefore sticks around through Political Disaster. One of the main reasons this deck doesn't run Barges is so it can leverage this plot instead. It helps that we're quite low on locations anyway, and a great deal of our econ is unique, meaning can be duped, meaning can be saved from PD. The only thing sweeter than keeping Arbor and Hightower through PD against...well, pretty much any other 2 locations in the game, is also getting to keep Flea Bottom and/or Redwyne Straits too. I want to emphasise again how important this card can be for the mirror match - Tyrell needs a way to play the mirror, without question, and the choice basically comes down to Milks for opponent's bigs (especially Mace) or handling the spew of characters through cutting away the locations. I think that with Wars, the draw deck slots are slightly more costly.
- Your King Commands It was a somewhat late addition, over the obviously-good Counting Coppers. Three reasons for this. Firstly, again it's a strong delaying plot in the mirror (or similar); secondly, it has high gold, and if we don't get Arbor/Straits early the gold is necessary; and thirdly, and most importantly, it's a way of guaranteeing that Drowned God Cudgel madness doesn't go off. Occasionally it hurts you too, but it's almost always worth it.
- Pulling the Strings was the last choice over Coppers, and I believe I was the only one of our build group that actually stuck with Strings over Coppers. Didn't regret it, opponents player Coppers (or, failing that, something else useful) enough times throughout the day that I got better value out of this plot. And once you get Hightower, or even Renly, you really don't need the Coppers draw too.
So, those are the plots - it felt necessary to run them down in order to justify the agenda - but I want to follow up by discussing the general strategy of the deck.
Roy Rogers recently made a video on Tyrell in which he runs down the gameplan of Tyrell very effectively (albeit while discussing a different deck). Essentially it's fighting on three fronts - firstly, a standard challenge-based approach, eeking out small advantages turn after turn; secondly by providing an overwhelming saturation of renown so that you can gather power very quickly; and thirdly by escalating the Mace Tyrell passive power game. This is not a 'Mace deck', in the sense of the gameplan doesn't begin and end with Mace. It runs him 3x, but it also runs several cards 3x. Is this a Nightmares deck? A Rose Garden deck? A Left deck? Mace is, undoubtedly, a win condition. But he's just that - a win condition. Not the win condition. Across 12 games, I believe I only had to play Mace as the way I won twice. He was helpful in a few other games for getting a couple of power and/or forcing a reset, but he only decided the game definitely twice.
So with the game plan in place, the way you play is you force the opponent to reset. With Wars, everyone and their dog (except Tyrell) seems to be running two resets, and while that sounds bad for a constructive deck, it's actually not. We have enough gas in the tank to play out a couple of bigs, provoke a reset, then play out a couple of more, provoke the other, then still have a couple more left. Meanwhile, because the opponent has gone to 10 plots in part to fit these two resets in, they can't rotate round to reset you again for several more rounds. This is why Close Call is so important - you shouldn't be afraid to use Mace, or Renly, or Margaery, as bait for an early Valar M. Even better is if you can use Randyll of course, since then you don't even have to bother wasting Close Call. (Randyll, incidentally, is only 1x because he's non-loyal for Breaking Ties, so for the big characters the rule is loyal = 3x, non-loyal = 1x.) There is no number of resets that should stop you!
On resets, you'll notice we didn't run any ourselves. Why bother? They'd only be useful in the mirror match, because Tyrell is the best constructive faction in the game, so if there's no reset then we win, right? And if the opponent plays around a potential-but-non-existent reset, all the better. There's always Varys as a potential "oh ****" button against attrition, who is of course fetchable with Margaery.
Last general point, combination decks. The plots and the speed should allow us to beat all of them. The only one I'm unsure on is Hyper Viper, with Breaking Ties, King in the North and Your King Commands it all being useless on the money-shot turn. Instead you have to use the plots as spoilers to clear a path to victory before they can stop you. Otherwise, every combination deck I know of will fold to at least one of those plots, or else can't run Hand's Judgement and therefore can't deal with the 3x Nightmares on their win-cons, so just know your matchups and play your plots wisely.
Now, on the draw deck, I'm going to draw some general modules up, and we'll find that every single card in the deck fits into at least one of those categories. The more categories a card fits into, of course the better.
- Garden Caretaker
- Leyton Hightower
- Margaery Tyrell
- Paxter Redwyne
- Great Hall
- Redwyne Straits
- Rose Garden
- The Arbor
- The Hightower
Card Advantage Module
- Garth the Gross
- Leyton Hightower
- Mace Tyrell
- Margaery Tyrell (duh)
- Paxter Redwyne
- Randyll Tarly
- Renly Baratheon
- Ser Garlan Tyrell
- The Knight of Flowers
- Willas Tyrell
- Alerie Tyrell
- Hightower Spy
- Leyton Hightower
- Mace Tyrell (duh)
- Margaery Tyrell
- Oldtown Informer
- Flea Bottom
- The Hightower
Breaking Ties Module
- Oldtown Informer
- Paxter Redwyne
- Ser Colon of Greenpoos
- Willas Tyrell
Challenge/Renown Victory Module
- Brienne of Tarth
- Garth the Gross
- Hightower Spy
- Margaery Tyrell
- Randyll Tarly
- Renly Baratheon
- Ser Garlan Tyrell
- The Knight of Flowers
- Crown of Golden Roses
- Growing Strong
Auto-include GoodStuff Events you need a seriously good reason not to include in your deck (and "I got to 60 without them and don't want to cut stuff" isn't good enough) Module
(Obviously the plots play into this a lot too, but as I already covered them in detail I didn't bother including mentions of them here.)
There's more I could say on the specifics of the value of certain cards and whatnot, but as the deck is quite straightforward and I've rambled on for a long time, I'll just go with "any further questions please comment below" and move on to the tourney report.
163 players, with lots of Tyrell, Martell and Targ; and lots of Wars with a fair amount of Crossing. Let's see if my tournament reflected that. Spoilers: my tournament reflected that.
(All names will be as written on Jousting Pavilion to preserve anonymity for those who might want it.)
- D. Fenu - Martell Crossing. This was one of the only games in the tournament where my deck felt well and truly like a disgusting Mace deck. I got him out duped early with Hightower out too, and just went to town on triggers because I didn't want to give the Martell deck any more triggers from losing challenges than I had to. The end result was a relatively comfortable win where Mace finished with 11 (eleven) power on him. I can only apologise for this one.
- C. Gillespie - Targ Wars. Somehow the first time we've played despite playing in a lot of the same tourneys. I guess I only perform well enough to be in winner's brackets when he's not there, normally! This was a real case of the deck showing what it could do. The Targ deck worked fine, but Mr Gillespie had to use Blood of the Dragon round 2, Valar D round 3 and Valar M round 5, and I still won on round 5. It was kinda frightening, honestly.
- Roland de Rohan - Greyjoy Wars. This was an interesting Pillage discard deck, with Tris, multiple multi-bestowed Silence's Crews, and Euron Crow's Eye all on the table. I had to play a more 'honest' flooding game here, keep Euron in check with Filthy and Nightmares where possible, and focus on winning renown on intrigue where possible. So that's what I did, and I won.
- Dimitris Dogani - Tyrell Stag. Literally the only non-Wars/Crossing deck I faced the whole weekend. I saw the big econ pieces early and Dimitris didn't, and he really couldn't keep up with me on the board as a result. This made it more straightforward than the match has the potential to be. I can't remember if it was this game or round 7 where Renly was Milked, Mace came out and removed the Milk, and no more Milk showed up.
- E. Redondo - Targ Wars. An incredibly tight game. I took a chance on my opener, not being sure if he would be on Nothing Burns Like The Cold or not. I had Hightower as my only location card on setup, and ultimately I kept the hand because I had Littlefinger and Paxter in reserve to help with gold (and draw in the former case) should Hightower go. Just as well, because he did have the plot, and opened with it. This meant I was well and truly behind the 8-ball throughout, and had to really struggle to get a foothold with power. With my opponent keeping gold in reserve constantly I had to play around burn or risk losing my incredibly fragile board position with no resets to return the favour, and as a result quite a few challenges went unopposed, my opponent reaching 10 or so power quite early. My first attempt at getting back into it by playing the Arbor also didn't go according to plan, due to Put to the Torch. Eventually I stabilised, and through denying/cancelling burn triggers where possible and Nightmaresing Dany, got back into the game a bit. The plot sequencing was very nice from my opponent, with You Win Or You Don't going into Annals for the last two turns. He had a lot of burn events in the discard pile (I think it was 2x ADINS, 2x Consuming, 1x Drac, plus some other non-burn events too), and I only had one Judgement, plus a couple of Growing Strongs and a Nightmares. Nightmares had to go on Dany, and my board was very small (just Willas w/ Crown of Golden Roses and Marge and a couple of points of power, as I recall), and I couldn't get Marge to a high enough STR to survive all the burn even with my cancel, so I had to just win a power challenge with Willas and pass. Military obviously wasn't an option due to Marge, and power and intrigue plus a dominance win for my opponent meant we finished the round level on power with time having been called somewhere through the challenge maths grind. Go to cards in deck: 22 for me. 21 for him. An incredibly, incredibly tough challenge seen off at the last gasp - good job my Flea Bottom characters were going to the bottom of my deck while his one kept going back to the discard pile!
- Isian Hasmuja - Greyjoy Wars. Isian is the only man mad enough to take a Drowned God deck and good enough to make it work. This was the full on Driftwood Cudgel affair, aiming to get several power in the plot phase of a reset by bouncing the Cudgels around the psuedo-moribund characters who are all about to die but haven't died yet. Of course, with Isian and I being metamates, we both knew that I knew this was his gameplan, and he knew I knew that this was his gameplan, and that I had DAKINGINDANORF and Your King Commands it to hose him, and that he knew that I had those plots. This created some fun mindgames here. Isian got a better start than me as I mulliganed into garbage (damn you and your mad cut skillz Isian!). Isian saw everything except Ribs, essentially. We had Tarle, we had Damphair, we had a lot of Drowned God characters (including all 3 Priests so they had loads of STR) and we had all 3 Cudgels. My gameplan had to be wait out until I could recover from my awful setup, deny him as much power as possible, not declare a military challenge under any circumstances, and get into a position to come back. On the turn Isian played all three Cudgels, they were on the non-loyal Apostle. Next round, we both knew that if he flipped Valar or Wildfire and I didn't flip Commands or DAKINGINDANORF, he won. However, because flipping either would destroy his board position and if I did flip one he'd be hosed, Isian instead flipped something else (I forget what)... and I'd taken the chance, flipping Breaking Ties instead. This let me wait until the challenges phase that round so he couldn't remarshal them, then bounce the becudgeled character back to hand to prevent it from being a problem next turn. This bought me time. Next round Isian brings out Tarle with the Cudgels and the King of Salt and Rock attachment to turn off one of my answer plots. This put a clock on the game. Thankfully for me, there was already another clock on the game - the one ticking away. Next round Isian Valars because my board necessitates it and I Commands, he can't afford to play out all three Cudgels so the following round he has to play You Win Or You Don't, buying me two more rounds total. However, with his board now worse-off than mine I've climbed above him in power. Time is called during this last round, and even with his 2 claim power challenge I still have exactly 1 more power than him at the end of the round. If it had made next round then he would've won in marshalling with Tarle and Drowned Disciple, unless I'd been able to topdeck my third Nightmares.
- Saman Nowrouzi - Tyrell Wars. Sorry to say that after the previous 2 rounds, this match hasn't stuck in my memory. I think I saw more econ and draw, maybe? It was certainly quite straightforward, but also at the end of a long day, following 2 mods in a row. Sorry Saman! Also, see game 4.
- Top 32 - J. Bamfield - Lanni Crossing. Unfortunately for Bambi this one was quite straightforward. He was only able to set up chuds, so this was the one game the entire tourney where I deviated from Time of Plenty and ran First Snow. Bambi was going first and put out Jaime with a Bodyguard. However, unfortunately for Bambi, accompanying the Garlan I'd set up was a duped Margaery, and it meant he couldn't military without drastically improving my board. I therefore controlled that turn. Next round, with Jaime as his only character (and no locations), I used Filthy and he had to use Trading with the Pentoshi. This meant I had enough gold to flood out my hand. I closed with renown/power claim on round three.
- Top 16 - Carsten Praßini - Martell Crossing. This was a super-close game. Another game where I set up just the Hightower and it got Burns'd away. This time I felt I had to, for two reasons. Firstly, I had duped Right (or Left, one of them) for setup, and figured that if I found the other one it would be super-useful for helping stop the Crossing get unopposed power to rush ahead; and secondly, I had a Hand's Judgement in hand, which I knew would be key against Doran's Game later on. Carsten set up Nymeria Sand who made this a lot trickier - either he gets power for dominance, or gets a chance to pull the Judgement. Thankfully sequencing and maths was my friend, and across the first four rounds I managed to tie dominance twice, lose it once, and win on my DAKINGINDANORF turn once. On round 5 (his 6th plot due to Behest, Littlefinger's Meddling), Carsten was on 12 power after his first two challenges with a duped Bastard of Godsgrace with 2 power on him, The Red Viper with a couple of power on him, and lots of intrigue. He had two cards in hand, one of which I knew was The Prince's Plan, and one of which was a mystery to me. I had Breaking Ties out, so after he declared the intrigue challenge (not before so he couldn't use Arianne to bring him back in) I had to Ties away the dupe on Godsgrace, then use Flea Bottom and Oldtown Informer to Ties him away again. He won the intrigue by 5, climbed up to 12 power (instead of the 15 he would've if Godsgrace was still on the table), and the Doran's Game was cancelled by the HJ I'd been sitting on and furiously protecting since setup. Phew! From there I pushed back, reached 13 power after winning dominance to his 11. I forget his last plot, but it wasn't a reset; I went first and thanks to Filthy on the Viper and his plot count resetting I think I would've been able to push through the challenges to get to 15, but as it turns out I didn't have to as I topdecked Mace, played him and triggered for the 14th power, then use his ability to pull someone out so he'd get the 15th power at the start of the challenges phase.
- Top 8 - L. Paga - Martell Wars. Not that I should be surprised at the top 8 in the European Championships, but I was less than thrilled about facing one of the absolute best Martell players in the entire world. Thankfully the game mostly went my way. I was able to Nightmares Flea Bottom twice, DAKINGINDANORF it once, then Political Disaster it away. This stopped many other tricks too, of course. I managed my characters so that no reset would hurt me at any given point, and closed quite comfortably truth be told.
- Top 4 - A. Trigonakis - Martell Wars. These last two games were recorded. I built up a strong board, found the Valar D, then put down duped Mace. This was the second game of the day where Mace felt entirely responsible for my victory. Trig got out duplicated Varys, and we had a fun challenges phase where I put down Oldtown Informer with 3 Bestowed, and began digging for Nightmares. It took three separate triggers, but eventually I found one and had a Hand's Judgement to back it up in case he had Someone Always Tells. I then put the entire venture in jeopardy by foolishly declaring a power challenge even thought I'd already seen that he was running His Viper Eyes - why didn't I do that first? I don't know. A real rush of blood to the head. Thankfully though he didn't have a second one, I got away with my bad play, Nightmares'd Varys in dominance and he didn't have a cancel for me to cancel. That left my cancel free to cancel his Secret Schemes instead. Trig had to Valar, I saved Mace and re-duped him so he'd survive the Varys, and that was all she wrote.
- Final - Hanno Lunser - Tyrell Crossing. Also filmed. Hanno had a really, really cool deck that he played fantastically all day. We also were both 11-0 going into this game, with him having been King of Swiss due to my two mods. He was, from my side of the table, quite unfortunate in this matchup. He saw KoF, Margaery and all 3 Highgarden Courtiers, plus quite a few events, but no econ early. KoF did great work, but not even he could win single-handedly, and I was building up power myself through renown and challenge wins. I made a silly play error at one point, discarding my second Flea Bottom for reserve instead of one of the 2 Nightmares I had in my hand - I just had a brainfart and completely forgot that he was running Annals and Nothing Burns, so discarding my Burns fodder was a bad call and discarding events I'd get to replay anyway would've been a smart idea. Lo and behold, my other Flea Bottom goes to Nothing Burns next go and I can't replace it any more. What felt like a key turn for me was his Annals turn. He had quite a few good events in his discard pile, but I was going first and 2x Nighmares, 2x HJ and a Growing Strong. I also had been holding my own KoF in hand, so my first action was to Nightmares his KoF (boosting my own). This meant that it became active disadvantageous for Hanno to play events, because I could afford to cancel them and it was only boosting my side of the board in STR for him to do so. This round set me up and let me get an excess of big bodies on the board, and the next round I played Wardens to make sure I could force the game-winning power challenge through, prompting a concession. Thanks to Hanno for a great game, and I look forward to the day sometime soon when he wins one of these himself, as he's a truly creative deckbuilder and fantastic player besides.
This has gone on far too long, so if anyone has any other comments or questions, please let me know below. Thanks for reading!