|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Alannys Bae-joy: The One True Queen (2nd UK Grand Champs)||0||0||1||1.0|
|Greyjoy Ships N' Stuff||0||0||2||1.0|
|Against no one||0||0||0||1.0|
|The Kraken that was promised - Amsterdam GNK winner (15 peop||9||6||4||1.0|
Yes, yes, I know, another Crossing list. Zzzzzzz and all that. But some people just want to read about Thrones stuff and I like writing about Thrones stuff so I thought I'd oblige.
First off, let me do a thanks or two. Huge thanks to Rebecca, and to the rest of the Northampton meta as always for testing with me and encouraging me to play this despite my reservations!
Thanks also to those who saw the list and gave me support and constructive criticism; primarily James "cut Iron Gates and We Take Westeros!" Waumsley, and Chris "good old fashioned Crossing with Iron Mines can be better than Raider/Pinch" Sweeney, among others.
Thanks also to those who saw the list and said it was shit; Daniel "Good luck-I hope you don't think to yourself, 'damn the f**king French guy was right, Raider/Pinch is super efficient broken in Crossing, I should have played it" Meilleur, and Dustan ".....wtf is this shit" Archer, thereby giving me the desire to prove you both wrong :D
The Deck Idea
This is a deck that runs 3x Alannys Greyjoy (CoS) and tries to trigger her a lot. It has some other stuff in it too for good measure. So, it turns out Alannys is a super reliable draw engine, triggering always once per round, often twice, sometimes three times, and I've even achieved the dream of four times in one round! When you can draw 3/4/5 cards per round, you're much more likely to see your broken 'OP restrict' cards and beat your opponent.
The realisation that I can setup Alannys and trigger her by getting an Iron Gate with At the Gates sold me on her from the start, and just recurring an Iron Mines or Iron Gate with We Take Westeros! and drawing from Alannys is lovely too. Turning a Sea Tower into a cantrip is unbelievable value, and with Silence for the challenge phase trigger, and Nightflyer for an any phase trigger, you'll always be swimming in cards whilst Alannys is on the board.
One of the absolute best things about her is that she's 5 cost. Affordable, a bicon with the green eye, and unassuming. Nobody is going to milk or nightmares her over Balon/Euron/Victarion, but like your faithful old dog, she'll be there, steadily drawing cards throughout the game. Honestly, I felt like I was playing Builders sometimes; "trigger Alannys, trigger Alannys, trigger Alannys....", and if you haven't already done so, check out Ryan Wood's Stark SoB tournament report, where he laments not playing Put to the Sword on Alannys instead of Balon Greyjoy (KotI)! She might be old, but damn, she still got it.
As a result, there are 23 Greyjoy locations in the deck that'll trigger her, and give me more chances of drawing my Vince. As I've said before, if you imagine every location as cantrips, they all become amazing value. The only problem then is, "what if I don't draw Alannys"?
Luckily, I've got a ton of other draw effects to keep the cards flowin'; The Reader, Asha Greyjoy (Km), Great Kraken, Iron Gate, and Rhymes With Meek. You'll find The One True Queen soon enough, don't worry about it.
Now we've got the draw sorted, we have the economy; 8 limited plus 3 Refurbished Hulk and a King Balon's Solar keeps you swimming in gold. Allied with Eager Deckhand for free chuds, and Silence for free boats, this deck rarely has economic issues.
Then I just put some other good cards in.
-At the Gates is a no-brainer. You open this, you get economy, you smooth out the variance. And you draw a card with Alannys when you get an Iron Gate. Sold!
-Forced March is high initiative which is important to keep your Iron Gate accessible, and good against Sea of Blood. Possibly the least impactful plot of the day in terms of When Revealed, and the reserve of 5 was a bit annoying at times.
-Valar Morghulis is a GJ staple when your restricted card of choice is Iron Mines. Drawing plenty of cards means you draw saves and dupes quicker, meaning it's easier to leverage Valar. Nice.
-We Take Westeros! is literally here for the initiative again, and to recur that Iron Gate for another Alannys trigger and then to draw another 2 cards again after you've gained that extra gold for marshalling. I think I stole an opponent's location only twice in ten games.
-Nothing Burns Like The Cold is the only attachment removal in the deck. No We Do Not Sow means that this is important to remove that crucial Milk of the Poppy or whatever. The initiative is solid, and I've got plenty of locations I can sacrifice too. The Winter trait is important because Stark and Winterfell exist.
-The First Snow of Winter was a tech choice. I expected plenty of Stark, so I'd hoped the tempo hit on the lower end of the curve might make them more vulnerable, plus it's Winter traited. This is also a benefit of omitting Raider from Pyke and including Eager Deckhand, as you can bring them back to hand and jump them out again if you've played the Silence. Seems alright.
-A City Besieged is my final tech choice. I knew I didn't want to play a rush Greyjoy deck (otherwise I'd play 3x Balon Greyjoy (Core) and 3x Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) amirite), and wanted to control the locations more, specifically Skagos and Winterfell. In practice, I often ended up kneeling out my opponents Great Halls which is a nice semi-choke when you're on top along with that sweet 2 claim.
R1 - W - Greyjoy banner of the Sun - Florian Hess
Going to do an apology here like a good boi; I previously and publicly said that I really dislike playing against Florian because he's too slow. Sorry Florian, that was rude and mean. You're a good natured opponent, this game was fun, and you were a pleasure to play against.
So, Flo' was playing Drowned God and I feel this is bad because my deck isn't really rushy, but is rather slow and steady. Florian quickly gets out duped Tarle the Thrice-Drowned and two Istvan with Drowned Disciple. I had marshalled The One True Queen and stuff but decide against the . Next round I hit his Trading with the Pentoshi with The First Snow of Winter to slow him down which works for a time but he manages to get come back quite quickly after. Soon, my Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) is hit with a Secret Pact, which is removed with Nothing Burns Like The Cold. If this isn't removed I think I lose the game, as Florian gets around 7 power just on Tarle. Fortunately, those Desert Raiders bouncing in and out are helping me in power, and I just flood with good dudes I've drawn with Alannys, to support Euron and close it out.
R2 - W - Greyjoy Greensight - Isian Hasmuja
We all know Isian as the U.K.'s best Greyjoy player, and so I'm apprehensive about playing another strong opponent so early in the tournament. I don't recall too many details about this, except he had a Euron Crow's Eye (Core) out early, and there was one important play; he'd triggered Greensight and discarded his own King's Landing. I half expected him to play We Take Westeros! turn 2 and put it into play, but he surprised me by playing a choice Political Disaster on my 6 locations. Fortunately, I saved economy and played out some more Refurbished Hulks and keep going. Turn 3 we both played WtW! and my initiative allowed me to go first and take it. All the tempo was going my way from there, and the location base I had basically carried me over the line.
R3 - W - Greyjoy Lord of the Crossing - Alex O'Fee-Worth
This game got recorded for The White Walkers YouTube channel, and was the third Greyjoy deck in a row I had to face. Not only that, Alex is another great player from London with that magic >60% win rate (although he's still no Dan Williams ;-)). This was an actual mirror match, although he was running Balon Greyjoy (Core) and Theon Greyjoy (TFoA) in a more traditional rush style deck.
I won't go into too many details here; you'll be able to watch the game for yourself. But the general gist of it was; he was ahead, I went ahead, he had some excellent defensive play, started to come back, but I was ahead in power when time was called, and I suspect if we'd made another round, Alex would have had a great opportunity to win. But we didn't, and he didn't, so I did. A very fun game though Alex, and I look forward to watching it back!
R4 - W - Greyjoy Lord of the Crossing - Joe Harrison
Christ, a fourth Greyjoy match against a fourth London player! I'm feeling hard done by, having been consistently paired up with players I consider to be among the best in the U.K., and I know Joe is a great young player and one I'd tip for tournament wins in the future.
Early doors, I get out Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) and Silence as Joe plays out Balon Greyjoy (CtA) but no icons. My Iron Fleet Scout and the intimidate of Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) help to limit his ability to hit me back as I bully his board down. A City Besieged helped to kneel both his Great Halls and lock him down for the round as the 2 claim really put the pressure on. Turn 3 he plays The King in the North which really hinders my ability to keep momentum. He uses the plot to play Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) which I cannot cancel despite 2x Vince in my hand. I ride through the round with my own Euron and intimidate, and use Forced March turn 4 on his board of big red icons. After cancelling a second Great Hall trigger of his with Maester Murenmure meaning he couldn't marshal Asha Greyjoy (KotI), it was soon GG. This felt like a strong win where the plots just seemed to perfectly counter everything he wanted to do.
We did both remark on the fact that the three GJ Lord of the Crossing decks between me, Alex and Joe all had the three different Balon's, which I suppose is a triumph for the design team that they can all command relevance in the current meta. Nice work design team.
R5 - W - Stark Fealty - James Waumsley
Finally, my first easy opponent, and he wasn't even playing Greyjoy! As a member of the Long Lances, James is quite obviously over-hyped and the fact that #hebleedsyellowandred indicates he really should see a medical professional about that terrible affliction.
Joking aside, we all know Wamma as the current European Champion, and this game would be no cakewalk with James playing a derivative of his Worlds deck where he made the top 4. This game was recorded for YouTube also, and suffice to say it was a really good game that ended on time with me slightly ahead on power (11-9 maybe?). With Alannys drawing me an excessive number of cards over the game, We felt like I was in a good position to win going forward after he was forced to Valar his own board, so James graciously conceded to hand me the win.
R6 - W - Stark Fealty - Johan Torngren
Johan is a nice fellow I met at Stahleck '18 where he'd destroyed three of us in a melee game despite me screwing him over by accepting Pentoshi gold of all three players, going first, and marshalling The High Sparrow. I could sense he still wanted to cause me harm from the cold look in his eyes, and I was a little nervous to start this game for King of Swiss.
Turns out the cold look in his eyes was simply disbelief after I deviated from my normal plan of At the Gates to open The First Snow of Winter instead on his board of 4 small characters. I went first and consolidated my board, whereas he marshalled a Bear Island Scout to find Dacey Mormont, played Dacey, and then marshalled Arya Stark (Core). Nice recovery. Unfortunately for Johan, I had the Vince for Arya's dupe, so Arya went back to hand from the plot along with all the other chuds, and Dacey Mormont got murdered. The game was essentially over from there, sorry Johan!
T16 - W - Targaryen banner of the Lion - Joe Zimmer
A rematch of the 2018 UK Nationals Final. I hadn't beaten Joe's Targ Lion deck in the test games I'd had against it with various decks, but I knew what it was all about; get a big dude and throw a Queensguard on it and aggro you to death.
I'm a little sketchy on some of the details of this game, but I think by the end of turn 2 Joe had the Mountain, another big dude (maybe Drogon?), and three other characters on the board all unduped. Letting the Mountain go unchecked was a recipe for disaster, and I was fortunate that both my pillages with Asha discarded 2x Gifts for the Widow so Ser Gregor Clegane (TKP) couldn't get a Bodyguard. Of course, Joe predicted my Valar Morghulis and countered with Return to the Fields, but whilst his board was cleared, I saved two characters. Inexplicably, Joe's draw decided to become less than optimal, and he struggled to draw the characters needed to come back into the game, and my board presence became stronger than his. He followed up either turn 4 or 5 with You Win Or You Die and marshalled Khal Drogo and Drogon (IDP), and brought a Queensguard out of shadows. Eek. I had Victarion Greyjoy (MoD), Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) and plenty of chuds that could soak the claim. I manage to defend one of the military challenges, lose the other but Vince the Drogon trigger on Victarion. This allows me to freely use Victarion in the rest of the challenges and I close out from thereon.
T8 - W - Stark Fealty - Johan Torngren
A rematch with Johan, but I knew it won't be a straightforward as the previous encounter. Again, details are vague, but his decent board presence seems to vanish in the face of Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) and a Drowned God Fanatic. I can't really explain why or how this one swung my way from Johan's board of 5/6 characters compared to my 3/4, it seemed like the intimidates and claim just shrunk away his board as mine grew, whilst Our One True Queen drew me cards, until I eventually won.
T4 - W - Stark Sea of Blood - Ryan Wood
Former U.K. Champion is next in line, and I'm not particularly confident about the Sea of Blood matchup (this is recorded for YouTube). I set up only Maester Murenmure and locations, but Ryan sets up Winterfell and two other locations. The redraw doesn't give me much flexibility, and I know he has the possibility to marshal Ramsey/Skagos, but I can only play out 1 big dude because economy. I opt for Victarion with dupe, and Ryan promptly marshals Ramsay Snow and Skagos and risks the Vince, which I didn't have. Bye bye board, and Ryan pokes some UO with characters and triggers SoB for PTTT on Iron Mines.
Turn 2/3 sees The One True Queen arrive with Balon Greyjoy (KotI) and duplicate alongside chud support, and starts drawing me cards. A City Besieged keeps his Skagos and Winterfell down to slow down his combo. Balon triggers to take Ramsey, who reduces Ryan's board a little, and Old Bill Bone stops the SoB trigger for the round, but Ryan plays No Surprises to prevent any Risen from the Sea. In doing so, he revealed a PTTS. I am fortunate when he sees his knelt faction card but doesn't remember to play PTTS as he forgets the Blood token adds to his 1g so he can afford it.
Turn 4 is the turn he Skagos Arya Stark (Core) into Arya Stark (TFM) and triggers SoB for PTTS. He opts to kill duped Balon over duped Alannys. This choice wasn't too bad either way, because my hand was so full with cards, plus Iron Gates were available. Killing Balon meant that although I could no longer take his characters, I could still draw cards via Alannys. This constant stream of draw allowed me to replenish the board quicker than Ryan could, as this turn I had triggered Balon to take Wyman Manderly who died to claim. It was a scenario for Ryan where he had the choice of triggering the agenda for PTTS on a character, but knowing Wyman would die as a result, and I think he made the right choice in doing it. Unfortunately, he couldn't draw any more answer cards quick enough, and my Crossing challenges saw me through.
Final - W - Stark Fealty - James Waumsley
Recorded for YouTube but probably not worth watching, sadly. Initial draw included 4 limited and events, and the mulligan led to me putting 4 cards in shadows with an Iron Fleet Scout alone on the board to James's solid setup. The game was pretty much over from there as I never gained a board, and James never had any problems winning all the challenges he wanted to win. There was no way I'd ever come back into it; the thing with James is that he doesn't ever become complacent. He was always protecting against that potential Euron Crow's Eye (KotI) trigger by keeping Rickon available, before sacrificing him and recurring him so he's back on the board for the next marshalling phase. He was careful to screen for Drowned God Fanatic by triggering Meera Reed under the protection of Catelyn Stark (Core) etc. Of course, the amusing thing was, my hand was literally full of nothing useful for the game state, no Euron, no Vince, no chance! It's always an education playing against this man, and he's a well deserved U.K. Champion.
-All the people that gave/sent messages of support during the event; you know who you are. I'm humbled by your consideration and appreciate your kind words.
-Northampton meta, especially Daniel, Callum, and Stefan for a strong showing on the big stage.
-Me for being the luckiest player in aGoT LCG.
-My mum for giving birth to me so I could have this opportunity.
-George and Tony for running a smooth event.
-Me, for cocking up the recording of both cameras for Top 8.
-Martin Lewis for getting DQ'd so I couldn't smash him in the final.
-My deck for being bad when it mattered.
-Gourmet Burger Kitchen for not having Peanut Butter Milkshake available. That really made irate more than anything and I am super salty about it.
-FFG for putting Vince on the Restricted List. This is a clear attempt at removing Iron Mines from the meta hereby reducing the power of Alannys. I see what you're doing Mr. Schaefer and I don't like it.
Well done bud, really proud of you. I felt we both really needed that peanut butter shake, perhaps that would have made the difference for us on the Sunday.
Excellent deck, excellent performance, excellent write-up. A credit to the community and the game as always!
Gratz an your good performance with an interesting (at least for GJ standards ;)) deck.
With Vince being on the RL would you rather give up Vince or Iron Mines? For the usual GJ decks its not really a question because Vince is just too good, but your deck would also miss out on the draw from Mines/Alannys. Or maybe just accept that you have less saves and replace Mines with other cheap locations like Sea Bitch?
And: How important was Pinch of Powder during the tournament?
Ahhhhh Damn, my Thrones Reputation is down the drain! Now everyone knows I'm a Scrub!!! haha Good job Bud & Great Write-up! You had a great run with an interesting and unconventional deck!
...well unconventional for a Boring GJ deck...
100% agree about the milkshake. That's an absolute travesty and in many ways the worst thing about the whole weekend.
Unexpected apology, Richard. Appreciated and happy to accept ^^
Amazing performance hunbun, I'm really proud of you xxx
Will done Richard. Fantastic Report that I enjoyed reading (apart from the one true Queen bit)
Why Martin Lewis DQ'ed?
Thanks for sharing and well done! Looking forward to seeing the videos.
Congratulation and thx for sharing. I will take it as a base for a true princess deck. So back in the time as she was just a princess and not a queen :-)
Congratulations, once again a great showing and a great write-up too! Unlucky on the final but I'm sure you'll win one in the not too distant future.
What were your considerations for picking pillage balon over king balon? Since you have such a high initiative and usually go first + there are ships to trigger his ability when Victarion is not on the board or you have ships to spare.
I don't think King Balon is bad for the deck though, not at all, I think you could run him and still win most of your games. I just felt that pillage Balon gives me some different options!
Agree that your mum deserves all the credit.
Much love big man, well done. When (not if) you finally win a Grand Champ it will be richly deserved.