High Tempo Targ (UK Grand Championship Top 4)

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Targaryen from the high mountain 0 0 0 1.0

Icarus 108

Turns out, people really like At the Gates

The Deck

Hi all, this is the first time I've placed high enough to warrant one of these tournament reports, and it's all down to the MVP plot, Naval Superiority. I've been a fan of this plot on and off since the core set mostly out of Tyrell and Martel at Siege of Winterfell and Stahlek Melee 2017 respectively. With plenty of explosive starts in the meta I wanted to rein in the early game and have a more manageable middle. With the very popular At the Gates being released I spotted an opportunity. The remaining plot deck is mostly also control oriented with two Exchange of Information to refill, and Valar D, King in the North and YWOYD being fairly straightforward. Thanks go to Matt Cannon for the last minute addition of Political Disaster which wipes out econ in the middle game and prevents recovery.

The rest of the deck is build to facilitate a naval opener, explosive economy in The Skahazadhan and Beggar King , military pressure to exploit an early lead, classic Targ cheating into play along with Flea Bottom which provides great value for a deck with low gold, and a bit of burn. A smattering of 2 cost characters make for good setups and along with Khal Drogo, Drogon and Jhogo strong boards that still survive Valar Dohaeris.

The singleton In Daznak's Pit and A Pinch of Powder sometimes feel like win more cards but from experience the deck needs to double down on opportunities to swing the board.

The deck does have some weaknesses and decisions I wouldn't defend if making the deck again, Blood of My Blood was included to give additional bloodrider redundancy for the Raiding Khalasar but ended up not that necessary along with the amount of economy locations, especially given I'm running Political Disaster. Also, most games go to plot 6 or 7 due to a lack of renown so leave the deck running out of fuel and vulnerable to opponents recovering. in future I'd want to include more draw, perhaps a few copies of Funeral Pyre.

Tournament performance

UK Grand Championship was a daunting field and I had no real expectations of how the deck would perform against the bogeyman factions Stark and Greyjoy, with Martel also being a concern.

Round 1 - Ryan Wood, Stark Sea of Blood, win Ryan was a scary round one opponent but this game was mostly a template for how a lot of the games would go at the weekend. Opening with Naval into At the Gates hit his economy hard so I got ahead and stayed ahead in board thanks to Drogo, but Catelyn and Winterfell held off most of my shenanigans allowing Ryan to keep rebuilding and causing the game to go to round 6 before I finally closed.

Round 2 - Paul Geddes, Targaryen Banner of the Wolf, win Paul's deck was very interesting, an attachment heavy deck using soft control to build up a board before going for enormous power challenges with turbo renown. From the outset I was faced with a Last Hearth Scouts which managed to stay around the whole game preventing most of the usual cheating into play i would have liked to do. He was also doing a good job keeping up on board despite a turn one Naval into At the Gates again so I never developed an overwhelming advantage and settled in for a more constructive game. It all came down to our respective You Win Or You Die turns, Paul's came first and he looked set to receive up to 6 power in the power challenge leaving him 1 from victory but attacked with only just enough strength which allowed me to Flea Bottom in Quaithe and win on defence, gaining renown and preventing the power loss. Next turn I flipped my YWOYD, stole a Jorah with power on him using Daario and pushed through power to win.

Round 3 - Roy Engebakken, Targaryen Lord of the Crossing, win

I was unsure how I would do against Targ because of cards like Qotho getting around my economy denial and I have some characters vulnerable to burn, also Roy is a good player who I've lost to in the past. He had a rough set up with just Drogon and a card in shadows so when I hit him with turn one Naval into At the Gates he ended up not playing anything. I went in for military with the Raiding Khalasar and Qotho in case of claim soak being cheated in but there wasn't any so Roy couldn't really recover after turn one.

Round 4 - Daniel Mulchrone, Night's Watch Wars to Come, win

Dan had a nice builders deck which did manage to get a decent board out despite being a victim of Naval into At the Gates as others had been. But this was the match where I really drew a lot of burn, Drogon shunting a lot of builders into the dead pile along with military challenges along with Consuming Flames and Dracarys! for Halder and Dolorous Edd among others. Dan was also set back badly by Political Disaster so even as he did draw a lot more characters to play he wasn't able to get enough out at any one time. The builders were also vulnerable to king in the north preventing them using strength boosts to get around the burn. As a result my board stayed bigger until I closed out.

Round 5 - Martin Lewis, Greyjoy Banner of the Sun, win

Martin was playing a drowned god deck with some Martel control elements like His Viper Eyes and Desert Raider. While I did get lucky again with Naval the low cost curve let him get out some claim soak including a raider, I was also concerned that Vince would be present to stop some of my cheating in of Qotho and Missandei. This ended up not being the case and I was able to keep pressure going with Valar D and King in the North to win by turn 5 at which point Martin had started his combos with Drowned Disciple and would have probably won if the game had gone on.

Round 6 - James Waumsley, Stark Fealty, loss

This was a concern as Wamma is aware of my villainous reputation and exactly what I'd been up to for the rest of the day as well as being a very good player. I had to take a mulligan and still only managed to set up Khal Drogo and some econ against a slightly more resilient board from Wamma. This lead into me getting Marched to the Wall which was still denied by Naval but cost me a 6 coster. I bounced back into a Drogon, with Qotho plus Missandei joining during the challenges phase. At the Gates came out in turn 2 and I was faced with a duped Rob, I spent my crown of gold setting him to 1 strength and finished him off with Drogon. The following turns went back and forth, with Wyman Manderly getting a large amount of card advantage and wearing me out of answers, especially after his Valar Morghulis. Over the course of the game I made the mistake of letting too many unopposed challenges through so i could strike back, which accelerated the game to the point where Wamma closed out from 13-12 with Catelyn Stark.

Finishing swiss on 5-1 in third place and top in faction I came back the next day to my first ever time making the cut, very happy to have got even this far. Although less hungover than I probably could have been, a disappointment to myself and the wider thrones community

Top 16 - Martin Lewis, Greyjoy Banner of the Sun, win/loss

Re matching with Martin from round 5 of swiss I was still concerned by the same potential headaches that could have confronted me earlier, Vince canceling, Desert Raider shutting down military, and power rush. Martin decided to bite the bullet on Naval and opened At the Gates anyway relying on the long term value of early Gates of the Moon. He did draw better this game but I kept the game going up to turn 7 before the combo really went off, ending 15-10. The main stumbling blocks were a Valar Morghulis after I was quite low on cards and Tarle the Thrice-Drowned being constantly able to throw up new walls of claim soak and burn protection from priests. While Martin did get to 15 power, an issue arose which resulted in a game loss being awarded and me moving on to the top 8.

Top 8 - Joe Harrison, Greyjoy Lord of the Crossing, win

Joe's deck is the kind of deck I had been thinking of when I was designing my own, highly aggressive but if I could stop the tempo and turn it around I'd have a chance. His setup wasn't great, just Asha and a card in shadows so when I hit At the Gates with Naval he was unable to build his board. The next turn saw Euron Crow's Eye come down along with other chuds but because he was unable to stand up to potential burn didn't attack and so left me to keep pressuring, finally closing out with my The King in the North and In Daznak's Pit.

Top 4 - James Waumsley, Stark Fealty, loss

Facing Wamma again I had two opening options, tempt a Nothing Burns Like The Cold and not Naval, or stick to my guns and assume like Martin that Wamma would eat the tempo hit and go At the Gates anyway. I went with the second option and this turned out to be the case. In the first turn I decided to stop an Alysane military challenge with Qotho rather than Consuming Flames, I was thinking to build my board more but this was definitely wrong as I was inviting a Valar and ultimately Alysane remained a bane for a few more turns as I was utterly demolished, ending my run.

I'd like to thank all my opponents for some great games and a chance to bump a card that doesn't often come up into the conversation.

9 comments

Ryan4815 1253

Fantastic performance with a great deck. It looked like you hit with Naval every game!

jcwamma 2431

Congrats on the excellent showing. 9 Navals from 9 truly warmed my heart.

Smile Tom 17

U did a good job and showed me how to build an unparalleled deck!I learned a lot!Thx!

hagarrr 570

Well done Ben! Really pleased to see you do well. Also really pleased I dodged playing you too xD

Beknirvana 184

I tried running naval out of Targ Fealty, but while it hits I found my slower version had trouble making the most out of it. As the game went on I would not be able to take advantage of that hit. I think The Skahazadhan was the piece I was missing. Props on making it work.

Stormborn 294

Excellent performance at Nationals, well done!

Would you make any changes to the deck now you have played many competitive games with it and now there is a new RL?

Icarus 108

@Stormbornblood of my blood and pinch of powder never got played so can probably go, along with maybe one each of Port and Market, bring Drogon up to 3x and have 1 funeral pyre.

P_Gedi 55

Well done on a great performance buddy! Was sad about my mess up in that second game and not getting 6 power, but hey ho it was a great game - congrats!

Reader 137

Congrats dude. I enjoyed our two games