The Tale of a French Guy at Jesse's Nameday WAR event 2019

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DanSolo 79

I decided to share my deck list, thought processes going into the event and experience. I’m sorry for those who don’t find these things interesting, when they're long, because this will be wordy. I would like to thank Jesse Carpenter for holding such an amazing event! Team GJ 2019 and our Great King/Captain Kyle Vancil for making this whole experience and the process up to the event so amazing!!! We got 3rd, but we are #1 in my heart! All of my opponents, you all made this event Super Fun and were all good & cool peeps! Last but not least, my buddy, Sean Emberley, who was super encouraging throughout this whole process and who made sure a GJ player won the event (you were a man on mission during Sunday’s cut!)

Most of our Deck lists weren’t really innovative, however GJ is in a good spot right now in the Meta and GJ Crossing is very solid. The character base is fairly low cost which helps with the icon spread and it’s not the most Rushy of Crossing builds…but it’s probably more stable/consistent! I finished in the Top 16 (11th overall) at Jesse’s Nameday Team Event 2019 and also won a SC with it few weeks prior while I wanted to get the reps in.

Lets talk about the list/cards, here are some decisions we/I took to adapt the deck more for the WAR format (where you play once against each other faction):

1- At the Gates – My original list with which I won the SC ran A Noble Cause, and since the release of At The Gates I did not hesitate to include the plot as my opener. Many players on our team were on the Varys's Riddle train but I chose the safety of having my own At the Gates to build my econ for the other turns and get the deck going faster and not rely on my opponents. Good thing too as I had opponents open with; Peace and Prosperity, Time of Plenty & Name Day Tourney (kinda thematic with the event). Plus, turn 1 is a turn where initiative is not a priority.

2- Beyond Reproach – As a team, many of us decided BR was a must to keep our big Fatties active and doing challenges, especially for Crossing (knowing we would play at least one game against Martell & NW). I chose (after lots of deliberation) to remove Trading which could hamper my ability to rebuild my board vs aggro decks but At the Gates would help give me enough econ to keep marshalling GJ Fatties. (Beyond Reproach is still 5g)

3- Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) X2 – In testing, Theon was just golden! The first challenge at -1 means he can practically always win that challenge. So I for sure needed a 2nd copy to help me see him in more games, this also brought another change to my list. Since I didn’t have to worry about playing against GJ (until the cut) and unlike a SC, the Meta wasn’t flooded by SoB (each Team could only Field 3X) I chose to play more characters (34) and not use bodyguards. In testing this helped me stay active and have more icons vs Martell because I tended to have a wider board by 1-2 characters.

4- Nightmares – My SC list played We Do Not Sow but in testing, I found getting UO challenges vs NW & Martell was difficult. Nightmares is good vs any faction and would help me deal with (Nymeria, Starfall, FB, Abandoned Stronghold, Haunted Forests, Drogon etc.)

5- Gates of the Moon – In testing the deck ran well without it (just grab a GH or an Iron Gate ) but I chose to remove Trading for BR. The week before the event, in a game where all my non-unique characters were my only draws, I figured this card would help mitigate the fact I didn’t run Trading. Turns out this was great! I went close to 50/50 grabbing this or GH with At the Gates, all depends on your hand post set-up. I also preferred opening Gates of the Moon vs more aggro decks.

6- We Take Westeros! – having removed WDNS this plot had obviously less of an impact (except for great Stats!!!) Going into the event, we knew team Lanni & Team Tyrell would bring some Political Disaster decks. Keeping this & Support of the People meant I could rebuild my back board. It was also kept because it’s good when facing SoB and against locations that sacrifice themselves (Ghaston, Ashemark, etc.)

7- Newly-Made Lord - Usually this spot is for Baelor Blacktyde or Qarl the Maid. But having removed WDNS, I switched for 1X NML.

Tournament Report:

Rd 1 – Stark/Rains – Stuart King – Stuart was a cool dude playing the Fat Catelyn Stark (WotN) deck. I knew this was gonna be a race to 15 power. He set-up Winterfell and small characters, that location was a problem all game, not only for the cancel of triggers but the +1 Str screwing with challenge math. Luckily I marshaled Asha Turn 1, which meant I could either win a challenge as attacker (Stealth his eventual Cat) or try to defend Intrigue so he doesn’t win by 5 (depending on the situation). When we both got into closing range, he started to dig through his deck with Return to the Fields, Wyman, etc, because he got to like 13 pow in marshaling. I ended up winning as 1st player in Challenges with Victarion and his multiple options (kneel his locations, Stand Vic, give him renown, etc) After the game, Stuart told me he was digging for Riverrun Minstrel and could have closed the game in Marshaling.

Rd 2 – Lannister/Alliance – Andy – Andy was one of the Magic Players Sam Braatz drafted for 1-2$, he played Lanni-Stag – something deck. I forget his set-up, but I remember turn 1 he had Big Cersei Lannister (LoCR), Myrcella Baratheon (SoD) duped, 2 other unimportant Characters with locations. My set-up was Acolyte and 3 locations, so I knew if he played Political Disaster, I had just played into it. We played turn 1, I chose to get Gates of the Moon in case he eventually PDs, the turn was mostly uneventful except where I cancelled his Cersei trigger (Vince) and we moved on to turn 2. Seeing most of his board was unprotected and that he had a better Intrigue presence than I, I chose to Valar turn 2, to slow him down and figured he would also need to play Close Call at some point (postponing Heads on Spikes to give me time to build my board) he chose PD turn 2. At that point, the game became a slow slug fest. We went to time slowly gaining power… last turn he couldn’t find a Mil icon despite filtering with Lanni Locations, so I hit 15 power on my Rise Plot.

Rd 3 – Baratheon/Alliance – Chris Vac – Chris played a Bara-Rose-Qohor built around Knights, Standy-Randy, etc. This game was a blow-out and I still can’t believe it! The game was won through the Plot deck, Turn 1 At the Gates, turn 2 Forced March, Turn 3 Valar M. He had a board of knights with Randy and Jousting Pavilion . I controlled his side of the board turn 2 with FM and Valar turn 3 when he flipped King Plot (He had Bob in hand and econ to play him). My thought process was I needed to respect the speed with which that the deck can win, so I got rid of all his characters and forced him to save Randy because he had Bodyguard, also he had only 2-3 cards in hand. He flipped King Plot because he had Robert in hand and wanted to shut down my locations and Asha…unfortunately for him that also meant he couldn't use his bodyguard but I could still save with my 2 dupes and the risen I had in hand! GG

Rd 4 – NW/Wars – Roy Rogers – Roy was obviously playing builders, which I practiced against a lot for this event knowing Team NW would bring lots of them. This game played nowhere near what I expected; Roy (despite drawing through most of his deck) never saw Abandoned Stronghold, Haunted Forest or Shadow Tower… The funny thing is, I didn’t see any of my impactful characters I thought GJ needed to win the match-up either, No Vic, Theon, Asha, Balon (actually got Vic on the Last turn). It really was an interesting Grind that felt like a pillow fight. Wex Pike OP!!! – Just so everyone understands, having no big characters to marshal meant I had extra econ, so I bestowed 2X a Wex Pyke and gave him Red Rain (lol) so his tricon builders (Shadow Tower Mason ) couldn’t defend. Roy preceded to Craven him next turn. After the game, Roy did tell me he would have preferred I see Big Characters because he had the attachments to control them (he did Milk a Raider at one point). Beyond Reproach was never played as I never had 2+ attachments to remove off impactful characters but I still won.

Rd5 – Targ/HRD – Matt Gehman – Matt was playing HRD Meereen. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of our game…I know I shot up to like 9 power but Matt built-up his board and around Plot 3 he played Dragon plot and wiped my board. GG, well played Matt, my 1st loss!

Rd6 – Tyrell/KoS – Nathalia – Nathalia was playing a Knights & Ladies rush deck. Nathalia, I’ve been told has only been playing for a little while (+/- October), so she is still learning cards (She picked up Theon twice to read what he does.). I made sure we took our time through every phase and let her take her time making decisions (which being a community builder back home, I’m fine with) so our game went to time. I wasn’t really worried about her knights Rush deck, it’s really fast but once in closing range, my deck can close faster. Plus she didn’t really have any cards to interact or stop my game plan. After time was called, we were unfortunately tied for power at 12 each. So we counted cards left in deck, I felt safe because Tyrell tends to draw more than GJ and I chose not to trigger Asha’s Pillage reaction that last turn, a good decision because I only won by 2 cards. I don’t know what she had left in her Plot deck, but I had Rise Plot or even We Take Westeros (with 1X Refurbished), so I think if we get to flip another plot I win anyways…just sucks hitting tie breakers!

Rd7 – Martell/Qohor – Gerald Crane – This is one of the match-ups I dreaded going into this event, Martell Icon Stripping is really bad for GJ/Crossing and the Qohor version is the worst version because on demand icon control and negative attachments really stop my Big Guys. But hey, that’s why we included BR in our Plot deck, gives us a chance against these decks. Well, Gerald was a really good sport cuz…his deck really sh@! on him! He saw 1 icon removal (attainted) all game!!! Never saw Starfall, and maybe 1 or 2 Ambush characters. I even got to Vince Hotah’s Reaction when he brought him in with Arianne/Obara. It’s like it was over before it began…Thanks for being a cool dude despite it all buddy!

Rd8 – Stark/Rains – Stuart K (again) – I thought I was automatically playing in Day 2 at 6-1 but found out I needed to win the Top 32 game. And when pairings come up, I obviously had to play someone I already played in the event. Luckily Stuart didn’t get Winterfell on set-up/turn 1 this time. We both play the game and he shoots up in power relatively quickly. However, it turns out Red Rain on Theon during the 1st Challenge is pretty amazing (got UO two turns in a row) and dropping Core Balon to help close the game last turn helps also! Stuart was a good dude, I’m glad I got to meet him but I’m obviously happy to be moving on!

Top16 – Targ/Rains – Chris Thompson – I know CT from Canadian Nats last year…he was one of the evil players who brought Ladies-Combo to our event. This time however he’s the King of Targ, so it should be a fair game…well if you find Targ & their burn fair?! In this game, unfortunately for me, not only do I get hit by Variance but my deck choices/changes for the WAR format come to bite me in the@$&!!! Opening hand I can set-up only 1 big Character by itself & locations, so I mulligan. Post Mulligan I get to set-up Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) (and lose his trigger) with a location & Acolyte or set-up all my locations with Acolyte and Vince (Drowned God Fanatic). Vince? Who sets-up up Vince? I chose to set-up the most cards and redraw into more cards and marshal Euron turn 1. I believe its turn 2 (maybe even turn 1) when CT flips his Scheme and it hits hard, he flips The Spider's Web and hits my hand with 2 Int challenges, 3CARDS! Of course he pulls my only 2 Characters (Theon & Vic) out of the 5 cards I have. To add to my nightmare, he crowns Euron next turn, I have Risen in hand but hesitate, do I save him of not?! He’s dead no matter what right? Then I remember I play Beyond Reproach in my Plot deck…so I save Euron! We go to challenges, and I get an UO Mil challenge… I have an action, all I hear is ''uh-oh'' from CT and I proceed to nightmares his Viserys Targaryen (Core) so he doesn’t take him for claim and remove my Risen to Burn Euron! (CT was thinking WDNS, but WDNS is a Reaction…however, Nightmares should have been WDNS in a Regular event!!!! I can’t complain, Nightmares was great all day for me!!) Game continues and I manage to get to like 9 power…once we get to plots and I’m playin with my Plot Deck I think to myself ''Damn, he for sure is playing Dragon Plot!!!'' So my Beyond Reproach will not remove the Crown of Gold before Euron dies…all that hard work and smart play for nothing! I choose YWOYD, he flips Dragon Plot…and I cry because I was right! So he wipes my board and proceeds to play Thrones by himself as I try to dig for characters/answers (Iron gates, etc.) but nothing! Well played CT, Spiders Web is a great Scheme and it crushed my dreams…I’ll be honest you played well, I believe you made no mistakes and really deserved it! GG and Good deck!

WOW, you’re still here reading??? Well if you are, thanks for following my ramblings about this great Journey!!! All-in-all, it was a great experience and I’m really happy with the results! I also encourage you to give this deck a try; it’s really Strong & Fun to play! If you have any comments or questions, feel free to post them, I’ll make sure to answer what I can!


Toaster 35

Thank you very much for the detailed report.
Could you explain the format of the tournament, because I'm not sure I quite understand what the restrictions were, thanks.

DanSolo 79

This event was a W.A.R. style event, just like Thrones W.A.R. by Ryan Jones, Thronestober Fest (Roy Rogers) and soon an event in the UK. Jesse Nominated 8 Kings who were given a budget of fictional $ to bid/draft a House and 14-15 players. Therefore each team of 14-15 players, all played the same House, within this team we had a Restriction of max 3 of each agenda (ex. Team Greyjoy, we had 3 Crossing, 3 Sea of Blood and 3 Banner Sun).

The event is run a little differently also, the ''Swiss'' had each team play every other team once (Rd 1 Team Stark, Rd 2 Team Lanni, Rd 3 Team Bara, etc.) therefore we played 7 rounds before the cut. Highest ranking players of each team face each other, second highest face each other, etc.

This makes for a different Meta as, The field is not Flooded with the BEST Meta deck! Also, you know in advance you will have to play each House once out of seven rounds (which makes Tweaking your deck for a specific match-up harder)

Hope this helps?!?! If you have a chance to attend such an event, you should, it really changes the perspective / approach of the game!

DanSolo 79

Also to note, Free Folk was banned from the event!

Toaster 35

That does sound like fun, I've just recently learned about the Great Hall event rules which I find boring, but this kind of team event seems intriguing.