Here We Stand on Bear Island!

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Derived from
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SergSel 30

"The Mormonts of Bear Island were an old house, proud and honorable, but their lands were cold and distant and poor." —thoughts of Eddard Stark

"Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is STARK". —Lyanna Mormont writing to Stannis Baratheon

I have always been keen on building a deck that is both thematic and competitive enough. So while playing Bear Island and House Mormont drew my attention. I think that Bear Island is very good yet underplayed non-limited econ and it synergizes well with House Mormont's loyalty theme, hence the deck idea appeared. I have played The House With the Red Door Bear Island for a year in various forms, but it is the injection of Bear Island Scout, Alysane Mormont and recent cards from Fury of the Storm that makes it a versatile deck. If you are tired of playing Fealty all the time, try SUPER fealty :)

DECK CONCEPT

So the deck revolves around Bear Island as an economic base and loyal characters who enable it. Funnily enough and contrary to the citation above Bear Island is a good econ card that you get into play on set-up and which guarantees you +2 gold a turn, if you play loyal characters on the board. The agenda's drawback can be mitigated quite quickly by playing At the Gates turn 1 and and setting up 2 cost characters/locations next to Bear Island.

DECK COMPOSITION

Characters

Most of Mormonts are loyal. The key card in the deck is Bear Island Scout. This chud lets you find any other Mormont when you need it, trigger Bear Island and extend the board, which can be good food for Wyman Manderly or strength pump for Dacey Mormont. The scout is also recurrable with Summer (Core). The Mormonts that do stuff are:

  • Maege Mormont - the draw engine and renown accelerator who works most of the time (there are only 3 neutral cards in the deck);
  • Dacey Mormont - ususally a closer after a reset, or a character to draw hate from opponent. She can be killed and revived by Summer;
  • Alysane Mormont - the new Mormont star character, who can get a lot of challenge wins and is a perfect target for Ice;
  • She-Bear - new addition to Mormonts team, I find her a good tempo econ (fetch a 3-coster or Ice) but only 1 icon does not let me run her more than 1x.

There are no cards like Bear Island Loyalist or Bear Island Host. While you could include them for thematic reasons, they do not give much value.

Besides Mormonts other characters are fairly standard in decks and ensure the required level of competitiveness :). Obviously Wyman Manderly as restricted and Robb Stark (Core), who synergizes with him really well. Either version Catelyn Stark (Core) or Catelyn Stark (WotN) can be chosen to play depending on match-up.

Locations

Pretty straightforward here - Skagos and Winterfell + other econ and utility locations.

Attachments

The stand out attachment here is Ice, which Is really good for control of problematic characters and with Bear Island Ice is 1 gold cheaper!

Bearskin Cloak deserves a 1x spot in a deck full of Mormonts, this one is good on Maege Mormont or Dacey Mormont or Bear Island Scout. But maybe this will be the one to cut.

Events

No Surprises here :)

Passing the Black Gate is a good econ to go with The House With the Red Door and synergizes well with Bear Island, Winterfell Steward and Bear Island Scout. You can run 2x, if you feel poor.

Plots

At the Gates - a default opener

Confiscation - a plot to get rid of some attachment that blanks your Bear Island or key character. It works in tandem with Skagos. Can be swapped if you like another plot, e. g. A Time For Wolves is a good choice or Nothing Burns Like The Cold.

Forced March - control, nuff said.

Political Disaster - the fact that you run an econ location protected by agenda lets you reliably run this plot, if your opponent relies too much on . If you built up your back board, save it for the last plot, or dupe the locations and use up Old Gate to mimimize the drawback.

Rationing - new literally cool plot to stop agendas that care about challenge win reactions or stop Martell :)

Return to the Fields - very good in Stark in general.

Valar Dohaeris - preffered reset based on deck composition.

DECK STRATEGY

Depending on match-up and board you can go for:

1) military aggression with stealthy caharacters, Greatjon Umber, Ice and Winter Is Coming;

2) rush with renown characters;

3) passive with Fat Cat.

DECK'S FUTURE

Obviously more Mormonts are required for the deck to get better, I believe we will get more...Though in its current form the deck plays well.

I ran a previous version of the deck in a small tournament https://thejoustingpavilion.com/tournaments/5969

Unfortunately, I do not have a possibility to play face-to-face, but on the Iron Throne the deck worked quite well. Hope someone tries it out in an onsite tournament.

Thanks for reading!

P. S. Pro Tip - keep Summer (Core) always alive - he will get you nearly all Mormonts back :)

1 comment

Toaster 27

KEEP SUMMER SAVE !