GJ: Johnny Pinch, Top 8 Stahleck

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

WorldSerpent 123

Choosing the Deck

I was back to the drawing board after the RL after having a successful summer with Tyrell Wars. I had shortlisted Targ, Stark, GJ and Tyrell, and had a month to test before Stahleck. Targ just didn't end up feeling right. Never got round to testing Stark.

I was thinking about playing Tyrell as they are the only deck that I think can leverage PD, which I thought would be a strong meta call against GJ (though their lack of success at world's made me think we would see less of them). I never got round to building or playing a PD Tyrell deck, I was hoping Wamma would build one (which he did) but it was assault shadows and I didn't have time to test it.

This left GJ, a faction I was considering mainly because you can run barring the gates which I believed to be the right meta call. It is good versus Targ, Martell, and Stark and I was expecting to see a lot of the shadow agenda. Together with Vince l, location control and Pinch, the deck has tools to deal with any deck.

Isian took GJ pinch to Siege of Winterfell in Glasgow and smashed it so I knew the deck had legs. I talked to Isian a fair amount about the deck but he is always playing 64 cards or so and so I built my own 60 card version which was fairly different. A couple of plays at the Keyes and it was garbage, just fealt clunky and I didn't like it.

So I took Isian's big character base. I was playing King Balon before. And cut out all the middle cost stuff and put in chuds. That was my deck.

Chapter pack 6 was released with Rhymes with Meek and I was sold. That card is so good and I was surprised by the other GJ players reading it. Draw 3 cards are always worth looking at and its condition is pretty easy to trigger as it just sits in shadow until it's needed. Printed cost 1 also means it is resistant to HJ.

Card Choices

Core Balon: his ability is very relevant in winning by 5 for pinch. In addition the deck needed a 6 coster to help set ups, as the other bigs are all 7 cost.

Big Dick Vic: this guy basically wins the targ crossing/hrd match, as he can mess with their locations, can't really be burnt and can win every challenge on his own on defence, meaning they can't pressure you. He should wear fucking gloves though, why isn't he wearing gloves? He spends ages putting his armour on (whilst on a fucking boat) and then forgets to put on his gloves?!

Kingsmoot Asha: her stealth and intrigue icon are mandatory for pinch. And her draw is just great. Tried 5 cost but she just threw off the curve.

Chuds: I mostly just shoved in all the 2 costers. 3 acolyte of the waves just happened to the 3x I picked out my box, but it is good with Vince and just a bit of acceleration and I wouldn't change it until the box hits.

Pinch: Is such a strong card even without the raider interaction. I haven't anything insightful to say but it is a key card in the deck.

Boats: you need them for Vic. 3 hulk and 3 scout is a no brainer. Then you only have room for 2 more. I mainly tested iron victory with its crew. Boat was good, crew is not for the curve and sub par if you have drawn iron victory. So I switched to grey ghost to help pinch. Great kraken also has always played like the right choice and did a lot of work for me.

Rhymes with Meek: this card is great. GJ have always struggled for draw and this card has essentially changed that. You can always get an unopposed in a game and it can just sit on the board until needed, and it's good for set up. Would love to have 3 in the deck, maybe I would cut a risen. If you play GJ you need to play this card.

Location Events: I chose 2 Vs 1 for WDNS Vs Raiding the Bay of ice because the deck only has 2 pillage keywords and without Euron it is less good. Think this was the right choice.

Wars to Come: I was playing fealty until the Monday before Stahleck. Isian said he had switched to wars. I played a GNK with wars and I found I favoured the flexibility over the Econ.

Plots: Riddle was there for the expected summer harvest. Barring was as discussed a main reason I chose this deck, it just stops the other top decks’ tricks. Coppers over EoI because with only 3 attachments, I didn't believe the odds were worth the risk but I would definitely test EoI given more time. The rest is just good stuff.

Playstyle: this deck is reasonably straightforward but I would say it has a high skill cap and decision points, given the amount of misplays I made. Essentially, pick the right big for the situation and bully your opponent. Play defensively and don't over extend, until you can break equity and seize your opportunity to close. This deck feels like it has inevitably on your side, at some point you will just play the GJ family and your opponent can't do anything about it, and it feels great.

Tournament Report

Game 1 Vs SMuts GJ Alliance Dragon Qohor: I got better board position and ruined his tempo by bouncing his Euron with pinch. After that he couldn't disrupt my board and I just built up and closed. Win.

Game 2 Vs Adam East Tyrell Dragon: Adam didn't see Econ but managed to get good board pressure going and rack up power with Renly QG. I tutor Grey Ghost with Asha to win by 5 to bounce Renly on the following turn. I fucked up using grey ghost and couldn't push through the power challenge or find a Vince to disrupt Adam. I shake my head and then hands with Adam. Loss.

Game 3 Vs Achab Lannister Summer: An early Valar M killing his Tywin and some poor draw for him led to me locking him out the game with pinch. Win.

Game 4 Vs Philip Targ Crossing: I played out Vic turn 1 and after that he struggled to get a challenge through and couldn't apply pressure to my board. Found my pinches and ruined his tempo then ground out the win. Win.

Game 5 Vs Requiem Martell Wolf: Requiem unfortunately drew nothing and had a poor set up. A march on his arriane turn one and me seeing enough chuds meant he couldn't pressure my board. Two Dave's for Euron on his Valar turn meant there was little he could do to stop me slow rolling a win. Win.

Game 6 Vs Marti Fox GJ Fealty: Fealty should put the mirror match in his favour as he can outpace me but my added flexibility does nothing against GJ. He ruins my back board early but I manage to get a pinch off on Euron 2 turn in a row and he doesn't see his and so my tempo is ahead of his and I grind out the win knowing I have better board position. Win.

Game 7 Vs Wilco Stark Lion: My luck runs out and I Mulligan from no characters to 2 Pinch, Meek and Iron Mines set up. He plays Chop Man and I can't build board presence. I finally get an acolyte of the waves out and get an unopposed power triggering 2 Meeks, WDNS, Raiding the Bay of Ice, and Great Kraken. Despite his heroics it's too little too late and he finishes me next turn. Had a great time and good chat even though I drew shit, I'm glad he won the whole thing. Loss.

Game 8 Vs Bambi GJ Fealty: A tough match for the win and in. We had parity on board until I Valar into his You Win or You Die, he saves Euron and Reader with Risen and 6 cost Vic with his ability, letting me Vince and ensuring he can't close. I close out the turn after. Win and in.

Top 64 Vs Callum Stark Rains: Callum sees little Econ and I just grind out the game and don't take risks. I have Vince's for Ramsay and he can't get in the game. He flips into Red Wedding on his last turn and I flip the table, well played. Win.

Top 32 Vs Narius Targ Fealty: Narius was a bit drunk. I riddle his harvest turn one and pull ahead. I steal his Mereen with Euron and that's it. I walked into a couple of Dracarys but I just played another Big and continued to pull away with the game. Win.

Top 16 Vs Thomas Stark Fealty: I Valar early to clear Wyman and Robb. He gets ahead and still gets to 13 afterwards, but I stall him out, slamming Vic and Euron on trading with the pentoshi. He can't close and is forced to Valar himself when I have Asha, Vic, Euron and Balon on board, only Asha went in the bin. That was all she wrote. Win.

Top 8 Vs Istavan Tyrell Summer: We both get good boards and are on parity. I think I have another turn before he can close so hold off the Valar and play Barring so he can't ambush and to kneel royce, fucked it big time and he closes on Wardens of the West that turn. Loss.

Thanks for a great tournament everyone I played, I enjoyed every game. Feel every game I lost was down to mistakes I made with the deck, my bad luck was only revenge for letting it down in game 2. See you all next year.


SamPigden 1

No burgundy shorts = no win

kweeny 336

You were definitely a good sport about the bad luck you endured during our game with your shitty setup. I remember how after you game you practiced your mulligan and only drew into fantastic setups. I'm glad that helped you into the top 8.

Also, how do you manage to remember all those matchups?


Stormborn 280

Congrats with a great run

hagarrr 357

Nice write up Matt! Congratulations on a good run