A High Skill-Cap Deck, Apparently

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

colonialbob 111

Here's the deck I took to top 32 at Worlds, losing to the cat shirt playing this Stark nonsense.

First off the vast majority of this deck is genuine uncut Nimer, with just a little bit of refinement and updating around the edges. The basic idea of the deck is throwing stuff in the discard to further your economy/filter your deck, and then killing or bouncing everything that stands in your way. I started playing the deck and pretty immediately fell in love - it reminded me of the first deck I really enjoyed in Thrones, Lanni jumpers. Plenty of challenge phase tricks and plenty of murder. Leading up to worlds I was actually leaning away from it for some other ideas, but then the RL happened and then Pinch of Powder dropped and I decided I didn't want to try and re-examine the meta and I would just play a deck I enjoyed playing. This ended up being an excellent decision, as not only did I surpass my own expectations, all of my games were pretty fun with very few blowouts either way.

A few potential items of interest:

Plots: I very much like the plot deck, and it remained essentially unchanged from the original conception. The only change was cutting Nothing Burns Like The Cold for Valar Dohaeris pretty late in the process - this was very much a meta call, as Greyjoy appeared to be the prominent opponent, and I simply couldn't do anything if they just smacked down 2 or 3 seven costers. I was happy with the choice overall, and it was nice for getting rid of Aegon/Robert for additional uses, but I definitely missed Nothing Burns in the Stark matchup, since I have no other attachment control for Frozen Solid. The First Snow of Winter was a killer card all day, flipped to either set up a good Marched to the Wall the next turn, or after a good attrition turn to prevent opponents from recovering with claim soak. Time of Plenty is a solid opener for a deck that wants to see its cards and cannot usually risk going low gold on turn 1. Finally, The Bloody Flux isn't always useful, but when it hits there's nothing like it.

Characters: Hizdahr zo Loraq and Aegon Targaryen is just ridiculous efficiency and card advantage. Tywin Lannister (Core) is still pretty good, turns out, especially if you can see him on setup or turn 1. Daario Naharis is a sensational card, both to fetch with Aegon and for enabling more impactful military claims by stealing chuds. Flea Bottom targets are obvious, as is Missandei. I was very happy with 3x Ser Robert Strong, not only because he is my favorite card of the first 5 packs of the cycle, but also because he can enable very nasty triple kill turns with his ability, a PttS, and claim. Also good for forcing through unopposed or "defending" a challenge without kneeling anybody out. Freedmen are just good targets to ditch to your discard effects, as well as providing claim soak or Marched protection. Catspaw is definitely an underrated card, more ways to clear out claim soak as well as those pesky Flea Bottom bouncers. Bronn is mostly banter, if we're being honest, but he does give you another card to set up Tywin and is a pretty good FB target by himself. Finally only 1x Tyrion Lannister (Core) in a shadows deck might seem strange, but a) slots, b) awkward cost, and c) the timing of his gold can be awkward from when you would like to bring stuff out of shadows.

Attachment: A Pinch of Powder was fine. Added it for the third The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due, saw it twice all day, both times after the game was pretty much decided.

Locations: Pretty obvious set here, only pausing to say Gold Mine is very fun to enable surprise FB shenanigans with.

Events: 3x of both Puts and very happy at those numbers. Killing people and blowing up their stuff is enjoyable and profitable. Treachery is obviously a good card, and TIBWHID is very good both to enable surprise shadows plays as well as bouncing back things you fetch with Aegon to make a little extra cash.

Tournament Report - I tried to take notes and was only moderately successful. Hopefully I don't botch anything too badly.

Round 1: Ben Wesolewski (Greyjoy Wars) I set up a Tywin and a Bronn with no locations, he opens with Valar Morghulis. That's one way to start a tournament. Thankfully I see an Aegon and a FB, so I'm able to hang on well enough early. I saw all 3 Put to the Torch, blowing up two Iron Mines. A Vince was treacheried to let me kill Euron, which was big. Our plots reset, I Marched a duped Asha and pushed across the line. 1-0

Round 2: Darren Hazelden (Stark Fealty) I clear his board round 2 with a Catspaw on Meera letting me march duped Wyman round 2. He plays out a bunch of things including a duped Fat Cat. I burned my VD too early, as he floods the board that turn. I think if I play a somewhat different line during the last turn, I might have had a shot at winning on time, but as it stands he ends up ahead enough I don't have a hope of evening it up without leaving myself completely open. The other play I should have made was claiming the Hizdahr dupe to bait out the Valar into my Bloody Flux (I sort of make up for this later, at least). 1-1

Round 3: Ryan Lenard (Stark Qohor) Unfortunately I did not take notes for my middle games, so I don't remember much about this game except that I was nervous as heck because Qohor can do all kinds of stuff I don't particularly care for. However, I started off pretty quickly, and he just didn't draw the things he needed to stay in the game. 2-1

Round 4: Brett Pidde (Free Folk) The game I most wish had been recorded, because then maybe I could figure out how I came back to win this game. Varymyr on setup or turn 1, Last of the Giants Wun Wun really hurt when I didn't have the Treachery, and he got out all 3 Wildling Bows so defending was pretty much pointless. Thankfully Flea Bottom and The Hound could wait out the initial attacks and jump back in to strike back. I was just barely able to last until he ran out of steam and complete the comeback (including a cheeky last turn Pinch on Mag or something like that). 3-1

Round 5: Neil Kimball (Lannister Dragon) A mirror match that wasn't very much of a mirror! He was on Queensguard Ilyn, getting it out t1. Two critical points in this game that did not go my way: when I only have a Hizdahr in play, Gregor (with noble lineage, natch) hits a second Hizdahr on the power challenge. Then later on my YWOYD turn, I have a duped Hound in play and 2 cards in hand, one a PttS. I discard a card to save The Hound, worried about a potential Valar. Instead, it's Put, and when I attack on military he lets it go through and I have to start angrily at that Gregor. Frustrating, when I should have just used the dupe. 3-2

Round 6: Tyson Villa (Greyjoy Wars) He sets up 2 locations, 2 Shipwrights, and a Raider, to my 3 locations, Freedmen, Hound. Perfect time to open First Snow, as I can TIBWHID back The Hound to play out Tywin and get the Freedmen in the discard to put into play. So naturally I immediately forget that plan and open Time of Plenty, made worse when he drops trip Asha. First Snow comes down turn 2 instead, he plays King Balon but thankfully I have my own King of Discard and Econ, Valar D thins things out and the rest is relatively straightforward. 4-2

Graduated cut game 1: Brett Pidde again (Free Folk again) Oh joy, my grindiest most exhausting game from Swiss and I get a rematch. I'm sure neither of us was particularly thrilled about that. Turn 1 was fun because I set up Bronn and Freedmen with some econ, played out Tywin and sat on a gold. He played a couple things, then used his two gold to steal Bronn twice. I TIBWHID back the freedmen to reclaim Bronn and save enough for my Flea Bottom, while also making sure there's no PttS or Nightmares coming. T2 is First Snow into YWOYD, he does wipe my board thanks to a marshalling phase Nightmares on Tywin but he has to discard just a whole horde of wildlings. Varymyr and Wun Wun are still a potent combo, seeing as I haven't found a Treachery, but March and a duped FB to protect against the Political Disaster saw me safely through. 5-2

Top 32: James Waumsley (Stark Fealty) And I get to face an excellent player playing a deck I'm not sure I match up well against. While the game overall was pretty good (and surprisingly I don't think the people watching affected my play hardly at all), I made two big mistakes, one more a mistake in hindsight. Turn 1 I bring out Aegon to fetch Daario, seeing the potential for some big kills thanks to no-save Arya. Only problem was that Arya was knelt, and even if she wasn't she can simply defend against Daario. Not being able to bring out that Aegon later hurt pretty badly I think. Secondly, my draw throughout the game wasn't the best, so I flipped YWOYD early to try and see a Robert Strong or Catspaw. Unfortunately, I saw both, but only had gold to play one. Granting that it's hindsight, the much better play would've been Trade Routes first, YWOYD second. Anyway, James surprisingly enough played well, and a FroSo on my Flea Bottom while his remained operational likely cemented the game in his favor. At least I hit his Valar M with my Bloody Flux, wiping the board, but drew no characters even after two Gold Mine triggers. 5-3

Overall I was quite happy with my performance, given that I expected to be struggling for a 3-3 finish. The deck generally provides very good games, and thankfully Worlds supplied very good opponents. Thanks to everybody I played and especially to everybody who cheered me on. Special shoutouts to the Chicago Meta, which I feel really came into its own this year, and the Discord Meta, who are all very supportive and good to talk shop with. And if you've actually read this far, thanks to you too.

1 comment

Nimer 2073

So proud of you mate! Very well done and thanks for giving a chance to this deck. I wasn't brave enough to play it in a tournament but luckily you were. I'm really happy that you liked and played so well in such an important tournament. I must say that I like all the changes so... congratz again! ;)