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|A Wolf In Goat's Clothing - Winner, 2018 Northampton Regiona||32||18||6||1.0|
"Are we going home?" Rickon asked excitedly. "I want my horse. And I want applecakes and butter and honey, and Shaggy. Are we going where Shaggydog is?"
After having my usual rough regional season travelling around going 3-2 or worse, I wasn’t quite sure how much effort I was going to make for this tournament. I’d been playing various decks over the few weeks, and nothing was standing out to me as enjoyable. Stark looked like a possible option, but I was concerned it would be really popular and I’d just get beaten by some of the more experienced players in mirrors for most of the day. I tested Bara Alliance for a few days, built it up ready to go, but felt like I didn’t enjoy anything about it other than it having Qohor.
So after asking Gabbi for the 100th time what I should play, I settled on Stark Qohor. I was not interested in trying to create anything new, so I took Wamma’s winning list (as seen above) that I had helped to test initially so had experience with it in some form. You can see reasoning for a lot of the choices on his initial post.
Expecting Qohor to be popular among other people as well, I made what ended up being the key changes. I dropped the tumblestone knight count to add an additional Rickon to ensure I was able to cancel other Qohor’s attempts at milking my key characters, or trying to combo off like the silver steed deck. Then as I was on 2 Rickon, I figured I should throw in a Shaggydog as well to help him get a bit more use while he’s on the board.
I played 4 mirror matches over the weekend, and won them all. Rickon played a part in a half of the wins, but knowing I had extra access to him helped me be a lot more confident. Also, you can cancel your own Qohor triggers with him to trigger Robb/Wyman’s reactions, a trick that Gabbi taught me long ago and is incredibly relevant in the current meta.
There isn’t much more to say really. The deck is incredibly strong, and likely to be popular for a while until someone can work out a consistent counter to it. It taking 4/16 spots in the cut says a lot.
Big thank you to Dave, Vince & Wamma for organising another great event, Magic Madhouse for hosting, and everyone who made the weekend one I will remember for quite a while!
Round 1 - NW Sun (James Waumsley) - 1-0
First game of the day versus the creator of the list. I think he won euros as well? Unfortunately, he was trying to play a Catapult at the Wall based list, and I had Catelyn and Brothers Robes turn 1 to shut down any fun he was trying to have. I didn’t see any renown, so it took me 7 turns to close out the game.
Round 2 - Targ Crossing (John Taggart) - 2-0
I don’t remember a lot of the details of this past the first turn. I let him go first turn 1, and played milk on his Khal Drogo and Seized by the Guard on his Dothraki Sea, which once his challenges were over I switched into a Bodyguard to protect against possible valars. He never really got going after the first turn, and not expecting much burn I could defend quite comfortably then stand back up to win some challenges in return.
Round 3 - Martell Wars (Matt Herdman) - 3-0
Had Wyman out turn 1 with duped Bran. Played a Jory to cover myself just in case of an early valar. He played last of the giants Jaqen trying to get me to sac the duped Bran, but I let it go knowing I could cover myself with the Jory, and have Jaqen out the way. Eventually got a duped Robb out and drew another Wyman which I kept in hand, focusing on trying to trigger Qohor to go fetch a bodyguard for Wyman to try and bait the VD, which worked as I hoped. So the following turn I just replayed Wyman with the bodyguard .
It was mostly decided when I managed to flip King in the North into his Bloody Flux when he was planning to last of the giants Varys in and wipe my board. Dorne didn’t show up till late which I seized as soon as it was active, and I had Fleabottom/Bran to make sure Doran’s games wouldn’t go off while I pushed toward the win.
Round 4 - Stark Qohor (Simon Martindale) - 4-0
This was a direwolf focused list, so I was playing defensive quite early. He had Robb with Wolf King and a Roaming Wolfpack turn 1 I believe, so I got a milk on Robb to slow down the power and had to just soak the intimidates in the meantime. I started to build my position with my own Robb and Dacey, having a temporary setback when he managed to kill Dacey with Greywind. I played King in the North to try and secure my board while I pushed for the win, as Greywind was able to hit quite a few targets, hoping he wouldn’t see another copy of Wolf King. He got a challenge off, and sacrificed Nymeria to go search for it, but had not remembered it was in his discard pile and was only on the one copy. From there I managed to grab the remaining power to close it out.
Round 5 - Targ HRD Mereen (Darren Hazelden) - 4-1
Wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this. I got a duped Wyman on the board pretty early, and opened Withering Cold to delay his use of Mereen and econ, with the intention of putting a Frozen Solid on it turn 2 or 3. He forgot that I had played Withering Cold and knelt everything anyway, so it was kind of going to plan. I got Robb out alongside Wyman, everything was looking fairly good as I could play around burn. Then he flipped Blood of the Dragon, which I thought I’d be able to manage by just doing nothing. Unfortunately, he also topdecked a Crown of Gold, killing off Wyman and hitting the rest of my chuds with ADINS. I got left with a choice on mil claim to either have my Robb possibly marched and be really far behind on board position, or use a bodyguard and potentially get valar’d but have him lose his board as well. The latter happened, and I was down on cards and characters so had no way back into the game.
Round 6 - Stark Qohor (LaPlante) - 5-1
He started off very aggressively with a Greatjon and a Ward on Rickon, switching the Ward into a Wolf King for Greatjon (I was unaware I could get the Rickon triggers off after the ward was sac’d for cost). I expected the incoming King in the North, so flipped Breaking Ties with the intention of clearing Greatjon off the board. In the process, I managed to luck into a copy of Wolf King myself, meaning I could trigger Summer I played before bouncing Greatjon and killing his initial tempo. From there I just kept the board advantage and pushed out the win.
Top 16 - Stark Qohor (Stefan Fotheringham) - Win
This was a very slow game where we were basically playing out the same cards. The only difference initially was he started with Robb and I started with Wyman, who both got milked fairly quickly. Eventually I managed to see Catelyn and fetch Brothers Robes to start letting Wyman trigger and increase my draw, and in the process saw all my copies of northern armory. We were both also focusing a lot on using Lady on Sansa, but my Wildfire reduced the strength on his side to a lot lower than my own. It ended up going to time with the power totals being something like 7-2 to me.
Top 8 - NW Wars (Rowandra) - Win
I was very worried going into this matchup on day 2 and almost dropped to go draft expecting to lose to turn 1 wall. It didn't show up till turn 3-4 and I had Robb with Wolf King doing all the work. Played around possible character clear like Varys, Mutiny, Valar as best as I could by focusing on fetching bodyguards and trying to keep Arya on the board so avoid a reset into marched. He used Mutiny on Dacey to clear some power, but he had no way of slowing down Robb winning 2 challenges a turn, still getting power claim due to his Iron Throne winning dominance.
Top 4 - Stark Qohor (Rowan Gavin) - Win
Made a conscious effort to not let him win any challenges with Catelyn and Robb turn 1 on his Withering Cold, by opting to play Summer and Last Hearth to defend military over the Wyman I had intended to play. I got the milk on Robb, and we had 2 turns of Withering Cold where they were knelt out. Eventually Wyman got more draw for me while he was topdecking, and the 2 turns where he couldn't use Catelyn and the Brothers Robes he found due to being knelt meant Robb didn’t get to do much all game.
Final - GJ Wars (Oliver McDonnell) - Win
Wolf King Rickon with Shaggydog and Wyman turn 1 on Withering Cold, Qohor into Nymeria to kneel his whole board over 3 challenges. He didn’t know all of the tricks I could do, and I got to truly showcase how quickly this deck can combo off with the 2 cards I had added to the deck. He never really got into the game, and had some bad luck on draw, while I knew all I had to do was get bodyguards on Wyman and eventually Robb because it was highly unlikely he was on Valar Dohaeris.
And that’s how I won Blackwater.