"Marched to the New Wall" - Stahleck Top8

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

domse 99

This is the deck I was piloting into the Top8 of Stahleck this year. I felt like there was some interest in the list, so I feel like publishing it.

I built this deck after german nationals and made some 50+ test games on theironthrone with it. I liked the play style and quickly decided for this to be my Stahleck choice independently of the meta, as I do not play much lately and I felt like playing a deck I know this well will be much better than playing some metacall. It turned out that the deck was even an okay meta call.

The deck has two win conditions: Getting The Wall up and running or play an attrition game with all the character hate you can get. The former is much easier to achieve and I feel like some people seem to see this deck as "Draw-The-Wall-Make-Or-Break" for that reason. I strongly disagree though, because it is perfectly possible for the deck to win without seeing the wall, it's just much harder. I have won both my Top32 and my Top16 match without it.

Setup and plotwise you want to mulligan hard for the wall (note that mathwise that means you keep any 6 or 7 card setups and for 5 card setups its almost neutral to mulligan or not). I always open with Time of Plenty, except if there is a Marchedpowerplay available.

I wont go through all the cards in the deck, but will instead comment on a few inclusions and obmissions. If you have more questions, just ask.

  • Valar Dohaeris over Valar Morghulis: In testing I had switched back and forth between the two and both, but I really feel like Dohaeris does a perfect job in this deck and with two resets I was force-resetting myself way too often (plus I do not see which plot to cut at all). In the end, this boils down to personal taste.
  • Breaking Ties over Flea Bottom: Before restrictions, the deck obviously played both. Flea Bottoms primary target is Veteran Builder and while these additional wall triggers are pretty good, it does not help at all in the much harder games where you do not see the wall. Breaking Ties on the other side... I do not have to explain you that it's good. Also, I think it is necessary to win against The Free Folk.
  • Bloody Flux Arya over Core Arya: Her synergy with Coldhands and Mutiny At Craster's Keep is a subtheme of the deck. The dream play goes like this: You play Coldhands on a duped character, the duplicate falls off and you recruit it with the wall. Then, when the character returns, he is stuck in limbo.
  • Poor Fellows: When I put out Bolton Flayer (see below), I was looking for a bicon weenie and this icon combination suited me best. Then I realized that people will typically give them power, believing they will not stick around anyway. But they surprisingly often do and did a good job in my timed games in Stahleck.

And here are some cards that people were assuming to be in my deck all day, but were actually not:

  • Bolton Flayer has a somewhat redundant icon pair and is antisynergetic with Messenger Raven. I do need the draw desperately though and cut the flayers.
  • Varys: Again, I do not play this as a reset deck. And even if I would, I would skip Varys as he would flood the discard pile with useless stuff.
  • The Bay of Seals is only helpful in the matches with Wall, which do not need additional love.
  • This is the only deck, one would ever put Hardhome in, and even inhere, I dont like it. My opponent will just use his characters in challenges - with no downside for him.
  • Building Orders: Getting the wall and playing it is two different things. A plot that cannot do both is not a good opener, so I will much rather have plots that do stuff.
  • Skagos came out a bit too late for me to thoroughly test it. While it's definitely intriguing with Ramsay Snow, I did not consider it an autoinclusion (location spots are tough!) and passed. Its definitely worth giving a shot though.

As far as the tournament goes, I am intrigued to skip on game by game reports, as I am terrible at remembering details. Rough summary: I steamrolled my opponents with the wall in 4 of 8 games, I had a card counting tie breaker win against Martell Wolf, lost to Stark Fealty and to Targaryen/Wolf in very tense games that were swinging back and forth. The last game (winner makes the cut!) was somehow special, as it was a mirror match against this deck. I had seen Ivans published predecessor list somewhere in the middle of testing and found it interesting, that someone published a list with so many similarities. Still, our Stahleck versions differ quite a bit. We both had the wall early, but it did not do much with out character bases. Still, I could grind this out quite well. So, I made my first Stahleck cut with the additional luck of placing 18th, where 19th onwards needed to play the qualification round. In TOP32 (Lannister Dragon) and TOP16 (HRD Meereen), I did not see a wall, but I could set up immediate pressure and control the game quite well. Both of these games went to time, with me being 4-5 power in the lead.

The Top8 game is available on stream, so I will give some details assuming you watched it:

  • I asked jakob after the game, why he gave me Greatjon Umber instead of Arya Stark (Core) on the first Wall trigger and his (serious) response was: "Do I get to choose? I was playing around it all game." That's an advantage of playing decks no one else plays, even the pros don't remember what your cards do.
  • Jakob and me had played a 6 plots game in Swiss as well, and I did not see his Valar Morghulis there. So I was totally not expecting him to run boths Valars and blindly ran into that one.
  • With that background you might as well understand why I was playing that greedy Coldhands. There is another safety net for such a greed play: Kill the returning character with Harrenhal (GoH) :D
  • Also because of the Swiss game, I dared setup naked wall, but this one went well.
  • Playing that Jojen Reed was just stupid. In my defense: Lack of sleep, bla, bla

Time to say thank you, to everybody involved in running the thing. Special shoutout to the streaming team, I think Stahleck deserves you (and better Wifi). Of course, also a big thank you to my opponents. I enjoyed it very much. Also thanks for all the gentle pats on the back I got during the cut, that felt really good. See you all next year!

12 comments

Diomedes 1379

Congratulations, Domse! It was great fun cheering for you. :)

But you need to think of a fancy deck name! "New Wall Attrition" is unacceptable. ;)

Toaster 14

Congratulations to doing so well, I think I saw your deck being piloted in the Driver event on Sunday.

Do you have any thoughts on King's Landing for this deck?
Is it just too slow? I feel it could be great fun in control mirrors.

And another question about Qhorin Halfhand could he be used to kill the chuds that clutter the discard pile or do you feel like he doesn't fit the bill?

Thank you very much for the insightful write up.

domse 99

@Toaster: I have tried a King's Landing version of the deck, but it is so hard to afford. Also, Harrenhal does so much work even without being recurred. I had Qhorin Halfhand in the beginning, but he did not synergize with Mutiny At Craster's Keep at all. It is okay to sacrifice an opponents 6 coster, as you can get it back with a Wall trigger, but it is not okay to sacrifice a character you paid 6 gold for. Bringing this deck to a driver tournament is kind of funny, it needs a lot of experience if you ask me. So no, that was not my deck.

@Diomedes: I am terrible at fancy names! Want to jump in and help?

jeermaster 734

Congratulations again! Outstanding performance with a deck that not many expected to be playable in the current meta. Here are some deck name suggestions: "All your dudes are belong to us", "Khal Drogo takes the black", "Top 8 @ Stahleck with fewer than 3 Skagos", "Ward, was that a JoJen reference?"

Toaster 14

I see the reasoning there, and I sometimes felt like a proper "finisher" of your own would help out in a deck like this. To me the Martell matchup felt the hardest, because they usually do not rely on strong characters themselves so you are kind of locked in that weird match up of weenies.

Diomedes 1379

  • "Attrition Is Coming"
  • "Now Your Watch Begins"
  • "Marched to the New Wall"
  • "Breaking Ties!? :O"

;-)

Toaster 14

"Hobb to the top of the wall"

domse 99

Thanks everybody for helping out, lets go with "Marched to the New Wall". Still quite descriptive, but I like it.

@ToasterI agree with Martell being the hardest matchup. In general, the bigger and dumber the opponents dudes, the better for this deck. Martell's just the opposite of that.

Raius 252

Hi Domse! congratz on your performance. I was playing similar deck for quite long time, so i have bunch of questions.

With the new wall you often have a chance to get a big guy, which basically disable options to play Mutiny. Have you ever considered to play 2-3 copies of Janos Slynt? I've found out it might be enabler to use Yoren or Guarding the Realm if there is no target for it and is also good target for Mutiny (free enabler how to keep Recruited opponents 6cost guys)

The other reason for me was to play him for 2 golds from shadows and return him with The iron bank will have it's due to get 6 gold, which sometimes solve the problem how to effort The Wall. Also bank is sometimes very useful in combo with Coldhands.

Also... 3 copies of Yoren with addition of 2 Guarding? Would you consider to change 1 Yoren for last Hobb or there is some reason to have all 3?

Another one - once i've left the idea of the Flea bottom and added Breaking ties, i've removed all copies of Veteran builder. Do you think it still worth to have all 3? I've never liked to draw them in the time when i was without the wall. (just read your report again, would you consider to substitute them for Greatjohn Umber?) I think he might be useful in the deck.

Thanks for the answers and congratz again! I am happy to see The wall with weenies so high in the cut :)

domse 99

@Raius I have played The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due before, but I removed them, because I did not want to run it alongside Harrenhal (which went in and out of the deck multiple times). Harrenhal IMO is best, when you have it on the table but don't use it. So a faction card kneel would instantly destroy that threat. I had a second copy of Janos Slynt (TSC), but cut it to not burn even more through my hand, but the Mutiny argument is totally valid. I did not cut the Veteran Builders because they are always good: Early on, a second wall trigger can make all the difference of getting to that big guy. Later on, a 4 for 3 power icon is a very good topdeck, especially in those grindy games without the wall. I never questioned including 3 Yoren and the total of 5 "small recruitment" effects worked well for me. It's those effects that are really important in the games without the wall. Bestowed Second Sons played an important role in both Top32 and Top16. I hope I answered all questions, if you have more, bring them on.

domse 99

Ah forgot to mention Greatjon Umber. To be honest, I did not consider him at all. Now thinking about it, I am undecided. If I had a turn one hand where I can either play Greatjon Umber or set up pressure with Recruiter for the Watch, I think I would go with the latter. Would definitely need testing.

Beornd 1

Ich wußte das die Art von Deck potential hat, leider habe ich es selbst nicht hinbekommen, trotz längerem Testen. Deine Decks haben mich schon im vorigen "Spieleleben" begeistert. Cheers Bernd