Living in a Hellholt - Winner SC Dresden (6-0)

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Derived from
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Diomedes 2748

There is a general consensus among Stannis loyalists that Banner of the Sun is the best deck right now. There are some versions floating around, I prefer the low cost curve with Duel.

This deck is not easy to play. Most of the time, your opponent got the bigger board and to make things worse, their characters are more efficient than yours. The matches totally depend on your correct plot choices. I try to delay Valar Dohaeris as much as possible with the stall plots Fortified Position and Forced March or with Duel. Varys's Riddle also is a high-skill plot difficult to use.

challenge module

Dominance module

Anti SoB

Anti Valar Morghulis

Lose module

Store Championship Dresden 6-0

I missed round 1 and got a loss. :)

Round 2 Win vs. The Wars To Come

He was playing a knights deck, but 2x Traitor to the Crown and Shadow City Bastard+Flea Bottom round 1 had it all under control. Hellholt got some extra power as well as The Starry Sept, so I won very quickly.

Round 3 Win vs. Fealty

His icon control deck pulled off its tricks, but I had several small characters with power icons, while he had the characters with , so I was the only one gaining power. The Red Keep and The Starry Sept dominated this game. Even when his Red Viper hit the board, Starry Sept moving power to him during the challenge prevented me from losing any power challenge.

Round 4 Win vs. Sea of Blood

He was playing a cool Lanni Song deck with Harrenhal and "The Last of the Giants". I had the better board until double Forced March knelt everything. Harrenhal Ser Gregor Clegane led to a STR 10 challenge, but I could ambush City Watch to block SoB. But then he played "Off To Gulltown" and stood Gregor with Tom of Sevenstreams...STR 10 meant I lost my 2 bannermen, so I had to play Valar Dohaeris next turn. He marshaled Tywin, but I had a 2nd Traitor to the Crown for him. Fortified Position gave me some breathing time, so I could get farther ahead with my weaker board. I was able to block SoB with In the Name of Your King! again during his The Annals of Castle Black turn.

Round 5 Win vs. Fealty

Harvesting a Late Summer Feast gave me more gold than I needed. He played Euron and Asha. I Supported The Starry Sept because he better steals this location than The Red Keep. Then we played the perfect counterplots. My Duel killed Euron and knelt Asha. His First Snow left me with an empty board, but I had Flea Bottom. He had only The Reader who got Traitor to the Crown but could Sow the Sept with the challenge. The next rounds he had total board control with 2 Raiding Longships, Maiden's Bane and 3 Fanatics. He was even winning power once canceling 2 Shadow City Bastards on Theon (the 3rd Vince canceled Edric Storm :P to deny a 3 power swing) and triggered The Starry Sept he stole with We Take Westeros!. Well, thank you as I stole the power with my Stormlands Fiefdom :D When he had duped Asha, duped Balon and Theon and an Iron Mine after my Valar Dohaeris, I correctly anticipated Valar Morghulis and riddled it. Asha survived but was a Traitor to the Crown. With Fury and Table I was stealing 3 of his power per turn, so I won quite comfortably even though I never had a decent board.

Semifinals Win vs. Crossing

He had a bad setup with duped Theon as his only character, but then riddled my Summer Harvest. I played Lingering Venom on Theon, which made him die round 2. This left him with a board of Vic, Asha and Euron. He wanted to bait Duel and played Forced March with 4 characters on my side of the board, but I played Fortified Position. With his big characters (Euron had Fleet Captain) and the crossing bonus, my Hellholt was piling up power, 6 in the end. Then we both played Valar (Morghulis and Dohaeris). I triggered Morghulis first and he saved the 2 big guys he placed on the bottom of his deck. I could win power challenges supported by Fury and The Starry Sept, so once again I won comfortably even though I never had a decent board.

Final Win vs. Summer

My metamate played the deck I won a SC with 3 weeks ago. I had very few economy, just 1 Roseroad the entire game. I sacrificed a Shadow City Bastard to protect The Red Keep, but he Nightmares'ed it. In round 1 and 2, I was lacking 1 gold to play Flea Bottom, then I lost it for claim. He flooded the board, but still got a decent hand and 2nd Trade Routes, so Valar Dohaeris would hurt me more than him. Lingering Venom on Randyll Tarly had a big impact as it made him refrain from challenges. I countered Wardens of the South with Fortified Position. With his wide board and STR boosts he did win power challenges against me despite 2 Traitor to the Crown. At one point he forgot to block my win by 5, so I could search for The Starry Sept. In the decisive round, he tried to steal the bannerman, without him I wouldn't be able to win a power challenge myself, but I used a power from the Sept to blank him, then was able to close with claim and Fury.


Diomedes 2748

At the Gates was not legal, I will replace Summer Harvest with At the Gates and reduce the number of econ locations.

SonOfBattles1 239

Congrats! Would you consider running King's Gate?

Diomedes 2748

Yes, 1 or 2 King's Gates to have a good target for At the Gates when you already have Gates of the Moon in setup.

TeamBaraJesses2019 1

@Diomedeswas gracious enough to share this list and his insight with team Bara before Jesse's Name Day. It was a huge help! I played this list for three weeks leading into the tournament and got quite a few reps in with it. While it led me to a couple of 2nd place SC finishes, I only went 2-5 at Jesse's, probably my worst tournament performance ever. This is not an easy deck to play, and it has some specific strengths and weaknesses to be aware of.

Our changes included dropping Hellholt, a Stormlands Fiefdom, and Superior Claim for 2x Privileged Position and Elia Sand, exchanging Dragonstone Ports for King's Gates, opening with At the Gates, and running Beguiled rather than Lingering Venom. I personally liked all of these changes.

We also ran new Shireen Baratheon (MoD) and Uneasy Truce over Riddle because we weren't expecting too much VM.

My tournament games roughly went like this:

W R1 vs. Ben, Lanni Rains I had terrible board position all game thanks to Ser Ilyn Payne, but was able to slow the game down with attachments on Cersei Lannister (LoCR) and claw back a narrow win thanks to Fury.

L R2 vs. Derek, NW Summer Builders He saw the pieces he needed, including the Wall T1. Chamber of the Painted Table and a PP on the Wall kept me close, but two straight turns of power challenge lockdown for him sealed the deal. This is a terrible matchup thanks to having tons of dead cards (attachments, ITNOYK, Desert Raider, Fury, etc).

L R3 vs. Tommy, GJ SoB Trouble defending the intrigue challenge and some magic-finger pulls led to my demise here. T1 I lost Starry Sept (which was promptly stolen) and ITNOYK (best card in the matchup, obviously) to intrigue claim. Despite this, I felt in control and was up in power going into round 3, when he played YWOYD. Starts with an intrigue challenge. I have another ITNOYK in my hand, along with a City Watch. I need one of those to prevent the SoB trigger. I pop two Gates to go up to 8 cards to protect my hand. He pulls ITNOYK and City Watch, proceeds to wipe my entire board and, I believe, blow up the Red Keep. I couldn't play characters from that point on.

L R4 vs. Asa, Martell Wars I controlled the power icons and totals well enough, and cancelled the first Doran's Game, but a draw-7 Secret Schemes into a second Doran's Game was too much.

L R5 vs. Colt, Tyrell Fealty This was a combo deck that I'll let Colt describe, if he wants to. I asked him if there was anything I could have done differently to stop the combo, and he said, "No." (Basically, you need to aggro the board hard to stop it, and this deck doesn't do that).

W R6 vs. Adam, Stark Shadows Icon strip and control elements kept Wyman, Cat, and Robb in check, so it was a pretty straightforward win.

L R7 vs. Marc, Targ Rains Usually Targ isn't a terrible matchup since it doesn't matter if our characters get burnt, though the inability to prevent Rains triggers in this matchup really hurt. He stripped my hand, which made things very hard. The crux of the game came when he won a power challenge on the attack with a single Targaryen Loyalist by burning three of my characters. Also, Daario Naharis did some serious work (he can steal some important stuff from this deck).

So, you'll notice a trend: the weakness in intrigue means Martell Wars and Rains decks are tough matchups. The control elements and plot line give you a positive matchup with regular big guy decks out of Lanni, Stark, Tyrell, and GJ.

The card draw is finicky, one mistake can cost you big time, and surprise power icons from The Prince's Plan and "Off To Gulltown" really stink. On the other hand, it can grind out games that you don't expect to win by cheesing power challenges.

I played a pickup game with Targ Fealty after the tournament and it felt like driving a Ferrari after puttering around in a serviceable Peugeot for a month.

Great deck, Hanno! You really made the most of this! And thanks again!

captainslow 1222

Oops, forgot to log back onto my personal account to post that! ^^^

Diomedes 2748

It looks like you faced a lot of bad matchups. :/

  • Builders is tough for everyone, not many decks right now are built to defeat builders. All the negative attachments are worthless, except my Lingering Venom on a Fortified Position turn, good way to snipe Three-Finger Hobb. ;)
  • This deck has ways to stop Sea of Blood, but not if you lose all your In the Name of Your King! for claim. :P
  • Wars is a bad matchup for sure. I lost 2 games against Doran's Game in a different SC (and it didn't help that it was piloted by World Champion Lennart...).
  • Not much I can say about that combo deck.
  • Burn isn't a bad matchup as you say, but the Rains trigger is almost unstoppable.

Winning with a Peugeot against a Ferrari is so rewarding! ;)

Diavolomaestro 86

Thanks for the write-up! Having played varying versions of this deck for months, it is fun, but oh so fragile. The fact that there are so many different cards in the varying versions points to the lack of very efficient Staples in the eligibile cardpool. You can imagine the Bara/Sun banner getting new cards that could replace as much as 15-20 cards here-- I would love to take out the Dom module and put in more efficient and control-y cards. I'm trying out a heavier R'hllor build at the moment but it's still inconsistent. The Bara box can't get here soon enough.

Diomedes 2748

@Diavolomaestro I totally agree. There are so many different Bara Sun decks, which means we lack lots of must-have cards.

I think the deck is more fragile now than it was before the RL update. It can handle big guys decks really well, but the new restricted list made a wider range of decks viable.

Totally agree on the Bara box part, too ;)