Sneaky Squiddos (3-3 at Blackwater)

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

ChannelDelibird 688

This deck isn't really focused on jank to the extent that I'd write about it on the blog, nor did it do better than 3-3 at the Battle of Blackwater Bay, but nevertheless I thought I'd write about it. Why? Well, not only do I suspect that it's better than its Blackwater record suggests but it's also very possibly the most enjoyable deck to pilot that I've played all year.

The Gameplan

Keep the opponent's board small by dominating military challenges with Balon, Theon and kill effects, using control effects like the Fowler Twins and Caleotte to force opponents into vulnerable positions. Close through unopposed challenges.

This deck was born out of the realisation that I could use the Fowler Twins or Dornish Revenge to force an impotent defender against Balon or Theon, kill that defender with Golden Storm, and still trigger the Seastone Chair as it was considered unopposed. It's far from reliant on that admittedly hilarious trick, however, as it's entirely capable of just bludgeoning an opponent to death more conventionally. It can wring a LOT of value out of very little money, allowing for a brutally effective plot deck that refuses to ease the pressure.

Plots

At the Gates as an opener (fetching whichever one of Iron Gate or Great Hall you haven't already seen on setup, call depends on the hand if you've seen both/neither) pretty much sets you up for life. On round two, you're likely following up with A City Besieged (but perhaps Marched if there's a good hit lined up) and from there you just juggle as appropriate.

Valar should be used aggressively, hence the selection of Iron Mines over Vince, but you may not need to flip it if you can just hit them with claim instead.

Outwit has more than proved its worth in this deck - canceling resets when you've established clear board dominance is highly valuable, and I've almost never had any difficulty in having a unique Maester out to trigger it. 3x of one and two other 1xs seems to be fine.

We Take Westeros! is most often used to recur your own Iron Mines or Iron Gate, but obviously can be used situationally to deprive opponents of big threats. Most of the time, WDNS and Euron will be enough to deal with opposing locations - it's likely only the Wall which becomes a priority to steal outright.

Rise of the Kraken is as valuable for its claim and initiative as for its text box.

Characters

Balon is the most important big, with Euron serving as a backup beatstick if required. Vic and Asha are not very important at all, but they can both be useful in forcing through a key challenge and have some synergy with the aggressive Valar (either by saving themselves or searching for Risens).

Next to Balon, the most valuable players are all cheapos: Theon, the Twins, Caleotte and the Bastard Daughters. Everyone else is pretty much just rounding out the curve. Of the one-ofs, you'll be happiest to see Dorkster, whose intimidate can carve out space for a crucial challenge. I've considered upping him to 2x but, given Valar, I'm just about happier diversifying my banner package. I ran Archibald as my 12th Sun card at Blackwater but, in practice, he's unlikely to make a big impact and this deck doesn't want to hold 4 gold for a surprise trigger, so I've dumped him for Nymeria after the tournament and she's immediately been better. I had an Alannys at Blackwater but she's best in early game and you don't really want to play a 5-cost character without a military icon that early in the game.

Attachment(s)

This deck doesn't have space for Weapons at the Door, but you need a splash of attachment removal that doesn't require an unopposed challenge. The Chain has been very helpful against Bara to clear Hunting Accidents, and against Builders to clear Cravens/Milks. You probably don't want to see it from setup, but I wouldn't cut the card.

Locations

Nothing groundbreaking here. Golden Storm is a bonus, not the goal, so it's only 1x. Great Kraken is sometimes tough to afford but absolutely worth it when you can, so 1x. If you suspect a Political Disaster, play sensibly around it and you should be OK - use Mines proactively rather than dupes/Risens if your backboard gets too large. You probably want one Iron Gate sticking on the board most rounds, but you can probably be safe to sac the others if you get them, or WTW! one back in as a perfectly valid use of that plot.

Events

The other change that I made after Blackwater was dropping 1x Pay The Iron Price, which I have only ever used meaningfully once (read on!), for the third Gulltown, which I was never sad to draw. WDNS is obviously superlative, 2x Risen feels like the right amount due to the other saves available and proportion of non-Greyjoy characters. Dornish Revenge has often been a hammer blow to opponents and I'd be sorely tempted to add a second copy if I had a spare slot, but I think the third Gulltown is a more versatile surprise in that slot.

Blackwater report

(Reminder: at Blackwater, the list had +1 Archibald, +1 Alannys (CoS), +1 Pay the Iron Price, -1 Nymeria, -1 The Knight, -1 Gulltown.)

It should be noted that I arrived at the tournament nursing one of the worst hangovers I've ever had, having woken up at 6.20am to drag an entire collection across a hot London to give away to a newbie. So I was definitely not at my best, from a piloting perspective.

Round 1: vs Martin Lewis, Martell/Wars - Loss

I love Martin dearly, but getting Martelled was not what my delicate head needed at this time of the morning. We're metamates, so I had a broad idea of what his deck was doing (constructive goodstuff with Manning the City Walls, Hosts and Cavalry) and he had a similar idea of mine. I knew the matchup was probably not in my favour, as it's hard to make this kind of Martell deck care about your military aggression.

To underline that point, Martin saw some Raiders and Escorts early, almost immediately putting paid to any chance I had of putting meaningful pressure on his board. He also had a huge amount of economy and I wasn't in much of a position to disrupt his hand. It was a fairly straightforward win for him, although I did get to enjoy flipping Outwit into his Behest when all he had left were 'When Revealed' effects, so he was forced to give up a Manning trigger before the almighty power of Caleotte. Then I lost.

Round 2: vs Matt Chandler, Bara/Prince - Win

This was a terrifically entertaining game against an always-lovely opponent. Naming 'Jeremy' Core Bob as his Prince, Matt was trying to force the issue on power challenges more quickly than I could dismantle his board. It took Bob a couple of turns to show up (partially my fault as I allowed a win-by-5 power coming back at me due to my greed for more unopposed on the attack) during which time I studiously chewed through Cortnay, the Absolute Shitweasel of Nightsong and a couple of chuds. There was a lot of panicking about Hunting Accidents as Matt often saved a lot of gold - Euron sadly ate one as punishment for stealing Dragonstone Castle, though later I stalled on my bigs long enough for an irritating Caleotte to draw the second.

That was not, however, before Caleotte pulled off a juicy Outwit, canceling a Wildfire when I was sitting pretty on a 5-to-1 board staring down the one-man Bob army. It was at that point that, with no majorly impactful characters in hand, I arbitrarily chose to save the money for Pay the Iron Price instead, dropping a Traitor to the Crown onto Prince Bob. Given that I'd already kept him knelt with the stolen Castle anyway, it felt pointless as I seemed certain to close through unopposed that turn, but it got a lot more relevant when I promptly walked into an Ours is the Fury on my first challenge. I was lucky not to have soiled myself in that moment. Thankfully I'd led with intrigue rather than power...

That scare meant that it look a round longer to close, but eventually I just had all of my bigs and too much control on Bob. It was scary how much of a force Bob was all on his own against my entire deck, though - if I hadn't been lucky enough to see Dragonstone Castle hit the discard pile, I'd probably have been bowled over. Great game.

Round 3: vs Joe Zimmer, NW/Wolf - Loss

This was funny. I had only decided to play this deck on the morning of the event. Joe knew all about it and was terrified of getting his Wall stolen. Everything about the matchup depended on whether I could tear it down before he could protect it, and we both knew it.

With Joe on the verge of a nervous meltdown, I kept my opening hand due to having two copies of Euron in it (albeit not set up), though I was tempted to mulligan in search of a WDNS. My heart sank, though, when he set up Murder Arya, as I would not be able to safely marshal duped Euron and begin digging for the Wall for more than a round before he'd be killed. My board, in the meantime, was unopposed-tastic, with Theon, Wendamyr and a 2-bestowed Wex threatening every possible angle against Joe's early board. I saved one gold into challenges just to freak him out, though I didn't have the Sow.

Unfortunately, knowing that I had to avoid any delays in digging for the Wall, I had no choice but to flip Valar round 2 in order to get Arya out of the way for Euron. Not only did I still not draw any Sows and murder my promising board but Euron soon got killed anyway and I was out of resets. In short order, Joe dropped the Wall, stole my Victarion, and won the game easily.

This matchup is winnable, but only if you can steal the Wall. Oh well.

Round 4: vs Simon Martindale, Stark/KotHH - Win

My memory of this game isn't great, but I'd watched the end of Simon's last game against Wamma so knew he was also going aggressively and that I'd have to play around Political Disaster. Mostly, my higher-initiative plots did big work here as I was able to force the issue and shrink Simon's board repeatedly before he could do the same back to me. He was also a little short of intrigue presence so Bastard Daughters did even more work than usual to leave him frequently topdecking. Eventually, my Valar cleared something like four or five characters at once, including Robb, and that was pretty much that.

Round 5: vs Ben Cotton, NW/Kraken - Win

Ben has published his own decklist with a write-up of this game included, and there's not much for me to say that he didn't already say there. The choke was terrifying, especially with White Tree on setup, but I nevertheless opened At the Gates to fetch money and was able to play around Political Disaster just enough to survive with a board that could let Balon run riot. One of my favourite things about this deck is how much work it can do with very little money, and this match really proved that.

Round 6: vs Sam Pigden, NW/Summer - Loss

Needing a win to make the cut, Builders was not what I was hoping to see. I suspected that I would need to push hard in digging for a Wall to steal, and I wasn't able to do that. Sam opened Trade Routes in order to Tricksy Bird me for a turn-2 Valar, which didn't cripple me but set back my plans to hit hard with intrigue pressure. I had some decent characters out, including Balon, Asha and Theon, but Sam constructed a defence that I couldn't quite break through completely thanks to the Haunted Forest, Edd and one too many Practice Blades. I did get to satisfyingly Outwit a Duel that saved me from a complete disaster, and he had to Tricksy my Valar a second time before I eventually felt safe in conceding in round 8.

Sam, of course, went on to win the event, so I didn't feel that bad (and my head wasn't really in a fit state to play even more Thrones that day anyway!).

2 comments

hagarrr 570

Nice write up mate, thanks for sharing :)

Reader 137

Awesome write up from an awesome player for a fantastic and original deck. I've enjoyed watching you play this deck George, and believe it would that if it wasn't for Box Euron and Vince making general GJ T1 decks above and beyond an 'out of the box' build like this, you could go a lot further with it. I hope to see you play this again dude... thanks for sharing.

Note: I don't dislike box Euron or Vince... just sigh!