Stark Crossing - GenCon Runner Up

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
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mwoodard 75

Mostly based on a list I received from Stephen Ebrey, which was mostly based on a list he received from Jesse Carpenter, this is a super fun deck to play, and can close games really fast. On games where I saw all of my pieces, it was not uncommon to get at least 6 or 7 power in the first round.

My main changes to the list were adding in Flea Bottom and Breaking Ties, which were absolutely fantastic. I Am No One was probably my favorite card to draw, and works really well with both Sansa Stark (WotN) and Arya Stark (Core), especially if you have Septa Mordane out. Wyman Manderly, Robb Stark (Core), and Dacey Mormont were my closing cards, and pretty much allowed me to win power challenges at will when they were on the board.

Deck went 4-2 in Swiss, losing out to Nick Hansen's Night's Watch Greensight with the new The Wall (TMoW) and Darknoj's Tyrell Wars.

The Night's Watch game swung on his Breaking Ties turn, where he was able to bounce two characters, win a military with Qhorin Halfhand, kill two more, and then march my last character, Dacey Mormont. From there I was playing from behind, and he was able to start filling the board with my guys.

Darknoj pretty much got the classic Tyrell Wars board, with Mace Tyrell (HoT), The Hightower, and Oldtown. He also figured I wasn't running a reset, and was able to flood the board with enough big dudes with renown to prevent me from reliably able to get challenges through.

The whole day is kind of a blur in my mind, I believe my wins came against another Tyrell Wars, a Stark Wars, and 2 Martell Wars, though I could be misremembering having a second Martell Wars game, and it was something else. Apologies if I forgot your game, like I said, the whole day is kind of a blur in my mind.

Cut games:

Top 32: Matthew White -Tyrell Wars:
Heads on Spikes hit Randyll Tarly for me, but he was still able to get out both Renly Baratheon (FFH) and Margaery Tyrell (AMAF) for a strong board position. But since he had them out, I felt like I had to worry less about him hitting me with a reset, and flooded the board with enough guys to consistently get through Crossing Power challenges, allowing me to close out the game.

Top 16: AJ Valle - Martell Wars:
He played At Prince Doran's Behest into Varys's Riddle on the first round to copy Spikes, and we traded The Red Viper (Core) for Robb Stark (Core). I had enough of a board with renown to get off three challenges consistently and gain power fast, though I did at one point forget to include Maege Mormont in a challenge, whose renown would have closed the game, allowing him play a reset and extend the game. I was able to recover and close from that however, as I still had a decent board, and he hadn't been able to gain much power.

Top 8: Jesse Carpenter - Tyrell Wars:
Spikes continued to be my MVP for the day, hitting Margaery Tyrell (AMAF) on the first round. I'm basically playing Jesse's deck, so he knows I don't have a reset and we both end up flooding the board, though he gets out Left, Right, Brienne of Tarth (GoH), and Renly Baratheon (FFH), making him able to defend and still come back at me hard if I am first player. Without the Spikes hit, he gets Mace Tyrell (HoT) out, or forces me to not do military challenges, and, everything else the same, that allows him to close the game out. Jesse's original list also ran a second Heads on Spikes, which he was playing around by emptying his hand and not triggering his Insight draws, which delayed him seeing Mace. He sees Mace on the second to last round, and I go into the last round knowing that the Mace trigger in challenges will put him on 14 power. I'm on 11 or 12 power, with pretty much all my renown out, and am able to win initiative. I have to win my first challenge, as he has multiple renown on all three icons. I swing a power challenge for 27 strength, he has 23 str on the board after I stealth out Renly. He ambushes in Hightower Spy to put his strength up to 25, before the Spy's reaction. After some confusion caused by both of us forgetting he had already triggered The Hightower at the beginning of the phase, and having to go back since he drew with that before triggering the spy, he reveals Blessed by the Maiden meaning I win the challenge 27 to 27, winning the game off of renown. All I can say is that this game was absolutely insane, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen a game with both players having such an even shot at winning the game the entire way through.

Top 4 - Chase Stalsberg - Night's Watch Wars:
This game got pretty grindy, with him getting a wide enough board with a crap ton of power icons, meaning it was really hard for me to push through power challenges. But since he went so wide, I felt comfortable doing the same, and flooded the board with most of my big characters. Political Disaster and Breaking Ties allowed me to limit some of his defensive locations, and I slowly ground my way up, often with renown, as he prioritized winning the power challenge. However, since he had to kneel out pretty much all of his board to defend it, he didn't have much to swing back at me with, so I was able to maintain my lead. The last round, after time had been called, I was able to close the game with a massive power challenge that was somewhere around 36-30 in str, which gave me enough power off of renown to win.

Finals - Tyler Phillips - Martell Wars:
At this point, I've played two straight games that were super close, and both ended after time had been called, so I'm feeling more than a little brain fried, and I'm sure Tyler was feeling the same. I learned my lesson from the last Martell matchup, and did not open Heads, though this deck doesn't have a great alternate opener, but with Robb on the table, I felt pretty good about opening The Withering Cold. Unfortunately he had the milk, though getting out my Wyman helped that not hurt quite as much. I made a few mistakes through here I think, there were several challenges I could have afforded to let go unopposed to give him power for me to steal, and I probably should have waited to sac Robb to remove the milk, since I needed a wider board and didn't have the econ to play out the dupe I was holding in my hand. I also forgot to prioritize protecting Cat, and played her out into a board that was guaranteed to get a Valar Morghulis. Once that happened, I hadn't been able to gain enough power to put me in a position to close, and I didn't have any econ to rebuild my board. I was pretty demoralized at that point, and made several mistakes in the final round, where I could have extended the game, most egregious was passing on retriggering my Forced March before thinking about what happens when he triggers his, allowing him to keep a character with renown standing instead of both of us having knelt out boards. His Doran's Game for 7 power, and an unopposed power challenge with renown closed the game. Even if I play that round right I'm in a bad spot, though Seized by the Guard would have fallen off my Flea Bottom the next round, and Bran Stark (Core) was in my discard, so could have prevented at lease some shenanigans, but I still didn't have any econ and would have needed to draw into some answers to have a shot. All conjecture and mistakes aside, Tyler played a fantastic game, and I would have had to play damn near perfect to give myself a chance to beat him.

Massive kudos to Tyler Phillips for an amazing run, and fantastically played game. Also huge shoutout to all of my opponents, I didn't have a single negative experience and every game was fun. It was great to meet, play, and drink with all of you, and hope to make it back next year.

4 comments

SergSel 1

Gongratulations! A little surprised to see Relentless Assault here, is it ok with Passing the Black Gate - when both require faction card kneel? I personally prefer Superior Claim.

How did Dacey Mormont do? There are slighltly more ways to kill her than other Stark guys with renown - I mean Ward, Venomous Blade and Milk of the Poppy is nasty...

Did you feel the need for a Valar Dohaeris or Valar Morghulis during tournament?

What would you change after the new pack?

mwoodard 75

Ran a list at a regional this last Saturday that replaced Relentless Assault with Superior Claim for basically that exact reason. Superior Claim also has the benefit of being able to be triggered on defense, which can take people off guard sometimes. However, Relentless allows you to trigger renown again, and with the stand in this deck it's not uncommon for it to be worth more than two power, and can be triggered on any challenge, so I go back and forth on which to include.

Dacey Mormont was really good, though def vulnerable to those things you said. But with the amount of Tyrell on the field, it was common for us both to just be flooding the board, and Dacey got up to 10+ strength several times and really helped me push through challenges. She's also can be recurred with Summer (Core), so I don't really care that much if she ends up eating a Venomous Blade or I have to kill her after she gets milked.

There were certainly times that a reset would have been useful, but a lot of times they would hurt me a lot more, and I really don't have the space in the plot deck for it.

Umber Loyalist is fantastic, and definitely gets slotted into this deck.

SergSel 1

yeah Umber Loyalist is just what crossing needs, super good addition, at least when there are lots of Tyrell, one has to care less about attrition decks, which can cause much trouble for crossing. What do you think is this deck as fast as Lanni crossing?

mwoodard 75

Umber Loyalist can also be used with I Am No One, Breaking Ties and Flea Bottom, and I've actually had cases where I triggered Wyman Manderly on them, just to put a specific card in my discard that I could then Flea Bottom.

I don't have a whole lot of experience playing against lanni crossing, but from what I've seen, Lanni crossing has a higher ceiling in terms of speed, but is a little more reliant on seeing and protecting specific pieces. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I've gotten from watching a few games.