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|The Green Mill - Thrones WAR UK (4-3)||15||10||7||1.0|
Hi! Today I bring you third iteration of my mill deck and the first one that I actually took to some small non-online tournament, namely European Championships. I didn't make the cut, finishing with result 4-3... but still more than I expected, mainly because I haven't played mill for 3 months and haven't played at all since Fracas. I want to thank once again to all my opponents - each of these 7 games was funny, intense and it was a great day!
It's quite simple - this deck wins only by milling your opponent. It is quite consistent, but needs careful playing, as the whole point is to both force draw/pillage and control your opponent's power. It's one of two approaches - GJ mill is more focused on challenges and triggering pillage (and it also works, I've tried it - but now GJ are too mainstream for my taste). Lanni mill is slower and don't have that many strong pillages (especially with power icon), so it needs to focus more on intrigue and replaying Without His Beard and stalling the game aswell. Greensight is ofc mill agenda by default and I trigger it in 95% cases (on Euros I didn't trigger it once at the very beginning since I forgot and 2x because I had Dragon's Tail on top with no Tywin). Still it isn't only viable choice. I've tested both GJ and Lanni mill versions and there are reliable banners of Rose (Left + Right x3 for defending everything, A Gift of Arbor Red, The Shield Islands) or Watch (Queenscrown, Cravens, Dolorous Edd and Haunted Forests). Here you can also just add GJ banner (I would strongly recommend their awesome good 4-costers - Silence's Crew, Nighttime Marauders, Baelor Blacktyde and Tris Botley are amazing and Scouting Vessel is always welcome). Any banner would need some tuning of the deck though.
I already wrote a lot after publishing first iteration of the deck, but there were some main changes from then. The base of plotdeck remained the same - Fortified Position, Uneasy Truce, A Game of Thrones and Forced March are necessary plots to stop your opponent from gaining 15 power too quickly. Their utility and order of playing depends a lot on your opponent's deck - here everything is around choosing right plot in right time. Valar Dohaeris is my choice over Valar Morghulis since the very beginning, as I lack both economy and saveable characters. What is more, while VM sometimes can wipe your opponent and stall a game for longer, VD is more flexible - even against tons of dupes it equalizes the board state, ofc for the cost of putting cards to you opponent's deck, but... it's necessary. The latest inclusion (by "latest" I mean - I've changed that yesterday morning) were Time of Plenty and Political Disaster, which replaced At the Gates and City of Secrets. It was a metacall and as far as I haven't tested it at all, it was VERY good decision. AtG was never that good here since only 1-cost economy worth playing are Gates of the Moon, which I may setup aswell, especially bringing more copies. What is more, against specific opponents you have to start controling from the very beginning (for example: Forced March/A Game of Thrones against Sea of Blood or Free Folk decks) and sometimes I hadn't time for AtG. Time of Plenty is great substitute, since it 1) gives both players a card (win-win) situation, 2) has as many gold as AtG + Gates of the Moon and the most important part - 3) wins initiative against opponent's AtG. Without AtG City of Secrets is also way less tempting, even with it's forced draw - but the main reason to cut it was need of Political Disaster. Currently it's an amazing plot against many top tier decks, doesn't hurt my deck badly and pairs really well with Pyromancer's Cache when I'm able to shut down economy. Other plots that I've considered include Late Summer Feast (quite nice, but I need big money plot only to play loaded Begging Brother), Your King Commands It (it would be probably better choice than Forced March in current meta) and Supporting the Faith, which I really love, but doesn't make big difference against GJ.
The characters lineup are mainly cheap bicon characters, able to prevent unopposed challenges + pillage package. Begging Brothers are absolutely necessary against Citadel Archivist and shadow tricks, House Maesters cover good icons and have insight even during Fortified Position, rest of characters are quite obvious. As you can see, there is no Ser Gregor Clegane (TKP) - his interaction with Tywin is really cool, sadly I definitely didn't have place anymore for 7-cost monocon. Ser Mandon Moore was a late inclusion because it's amazing card and I needed 4+ cost characters, but he is cuttable. Ah, and missing Ghost of High Heart wasn't expected - I've just forgot to pack it to the box. It should really be here.
Attachments are quite obvious, I would just tell once again how AMAZING are Pyromancer's Cache in mill deck, as they can go both on Silence/Great Kraken or Gates of the Moon. And Glass Candle, besides it's obvious mill purpose, gives maesters insight.
I cut off The Iron Throne lately as it wasn't doing as much as I expected (that reserve bonus was really nice though) and didn't pair up well with Political Disaster. The Inn at the Crossroads is generally "draw 3 cards with no downside" here, sadly opponent's don;t want to trigger it, but it's still a good deal - Lannisters are always hungry for draw. Isle of Ravens has to shuffle only The Dragon's Tail, Without His Beard and rarely other cards.
As for events, Tywin's Stratagem have underperformed on Euros, still being a good card to protect my hand. I already removed Gold Mines, so it's not that good just as a discard fodder, but I still believe that it may shine sometimes - especially against Stark. I have also eventually cut Beneath the Bridge of Dream and after tournament I think I should have left it. Randomness of this event is sick in general, but here it really helps to cycle some plots quickly against specific opponent. If we only had someone like Ser Gerris Drinkwater...
As I had written previously, I know this deck quite good, but didn't test it lately - especially while till last wednesday I was pretty sure that I won't be able to get to Euros. Therefore I packed a little more cards (all that I've mentioned previuosly besides Ghost of High Heart) and updated the decklist to final version right before giving it to TO. Here are my results:
Round 1 - Tomáš Hrnčiar (Stark/Fealty), win I believe that he didn't expect what I'm going to do and drew several cards from his own I Am No One and Umber Loyalist, digging desperately for Fast Eddy. Sadly for him, Eddard appeared right before the mill... during Fortified Position. He lacked a lot of power (7-8 I think) and didn't have any renown besides Eddard (Robb was already milked), while I milled him at 7th plot.
Round 2 - Lord Puky (GJ/Prince Balon), loss Very interesting game, I had a lot of good moments here, but Lord Puky played really well against my deck and I had slow start, setuping only cards worth 5 gold. I managed to win initiative t1 with Time of Plenty and played Treachery on Euron. I have pillaged with candles 3x copies of A Pinch of Powder in a row, while his restrict were Raiders from Pyke. Great Kraken received Pyromancer's Cache. On 3rd or 4th turn I wrecked his fleet with Political Disaster, however he replied with Valar Morghulis into The First Snow of Winterand wiped my board entirely. Having Balon in hand for 5 plots (!), he was smart enough to keep him safe until I ran out of tricks and marshalled him during 6th plot. On 7th plot he started already with 14 power and with my candles I was able "only" to mill him to 7 cards in deck.
Round 3 - Luca Martinelli (Martell/KoSh), win It was my very first game against Kingdom of Shadows, so I really didn't know what should I expect, especially from Martell (I've checked previously Lannister and Tyrell versions). Thankfully he didn't expect mill aswell and Martells are quite easy matchup, because they are slow. He played some attrition and finally I've remained with almost empty board and hand, but he still lacked 9 power with only 2 cards in draw deck, so it was over. Milled in 8th plot.
Round 4 - Kalevi Haukijärvi (Greyjoy/Prince Balon), win Ah, another prince Balon, however in this game I had better start and was able to neutralize Balon early. He appeared in the game t1, but got some Milk and second copy after Beyond Reproach. I think that I didn't let single unopposed challenge during whole game, important especially while he played Rise of the Kraken. Mill in 6th or 7th plot.
Round 5 - Chris Torruella (Tyrell/Rains), win Woooow, I really love Tyrell Rains, but didn't expect it here! Chris (interestingly, nicked Lannister here and on throneteki) probably didn't expect mill like my previous opponents and triggered several draw effects early in the game. He also didn't play Valar Morghulis (what I've expected since he played several unduped uniques early), so I managed to play my intrigue icons + loaded Begging Brother and prevented many tricks. He triggered Wildfire from Rains only, but it hit us both in fact and I still stayed with enough forces to stall the game, especially while I drew all 3 candles very early. Milled in 7t plot.
Round 6 - Vojta Kubicina (Tyrell/KoSh), loss Another shadow deck, but this time I wasn't so lucky. I've baited Valar Morghulis t1 because of Tywin (it wasn't something that I regretted - this deck works without him and being safe from later Valar is nice). Sadly 2x Nighttime Marauders t2 hit me very hard, discarding all my Begging Brothers, absolutely necessary against shadows + many other cards. I was really unlucky because I didn't discard even single copy of TIBWHID, card that provides absolutely insane tempo boost for shadows decks - I have a feeling that pillaging or discarding even one of them would be enough, as I still managed to get him down to 7 cards in deck.
Round 7 - Sam Novrouzi (Stark/Fealty), loss After six rounds I think that too many people heard that mill is real and Sam knew already that he has to be careful. He still digged at the very beginning for several pieces (but not THAT hard - for example, he purposedly didn't trigger draw from Wyman in t1 already!) and I definitely played Fortified Position too soon. I should have waited with that until Fast Eddy shows up. I was also a bit unlucky with my draw, as at the very end I still had 3x The Dragon's Tail and 2x candles in deck. If he hadn't played second copy of No Surprises though I would Treachery his Eddard (how cool in terms of lore!) and if I counted correctly, he would stay with 6 cards and 14 power after 6th plot. Single Dragon's Tail on top of my deck and I would win next turn, but, as I said, he ended in 6th with 6 cards in deck.
So, after 7 rounds I've left only 20 cards in my opponent's decks. I'm really happy to see that deck, which I haven't expected to be something more than a joke, have performed so well. My main concern - time limit - wasn't finally an issue, while I've ended all my games within 50 minutes (and in case of tiebreaker I am always losing due to power tokens count). This deck may be still tuned up and I highly doubt that anyone will purposedly prepare for mill. Of course, it's main weakness are these stupid Citadel Archivists, but they are less prevalent now and still may be canceled. The most important improvement will be Targ box bringing Ser Meryn Trant, the best Archivist counter so far. Still, it's already viable choice if you want to try something different - not a mill we wanted, but a mill we deserved.