|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
|Chain of Salt and Rock - BR||0||0||0||1.0|
This deck was piloted by James Waumsley & Gabbi Trimmings at UK Thrones WAR 2019, with a Top 4 and 4-3 score line. This version is what James used at the event (Gabbi's changes posted below), and was one of the few ideas we wanted to post and talk about, because as a team we knew we had access to a lot of obvious builds that would get us wins #oprestrict , but wanted to try and find some more creative takes on what you can use in Greyjoy.
Greyjoy Qohor was both the biggest accident and biggest success for our team, being born from frustration at the standard Greyjoy decks and wanting to improve set ups. I'd seen a comment about whether Advisor to the Crown would become an auto include in Greyjoy decks when it was spoiled, and it had stuck in my head as one of those thoughts that sounds worse than it is. Initially, was just looking to add them to Rains, but as we had been trying some pillage style decks there was a moment of inspiration, thinking of ways to synergise glass candles and corpse lake, our increased maester pool, and Balon to provide free attachments to sacrifice from your opponent.
Scouting Vessel is one of those cards that everyone knew was probably broken, but never really made its way into the meta along with KotI Balon due to how good the typical good stuff decks got, and Sea of Blood being some powerful. Getting an early Asha and Scouting vessel with this deck could win games alone due to easily being able to build up your opponents discard pile, and turning that into massive card advantage.
Outwit is also an insane addition to Greyjoy with Kerwin having coming out, meaning you can play all the big guys you want and punish anyone who has to attempt to deal with it. We tested a lot with Return to the Fields as well, with the theory that if you missed one you would hit the next, and come out better than your opponent.
If the rumoured restricted list hits soon, I truly believe this could be one of the best builds for Greyjoy, as it showcases all those cards that were always great, but got overshadowed when the deluxe came out. But now, will let James & Gabbi talk about their experiences with the deck as I had to not play it much to avoid being overly jealous :(
Card Differences for Gabbi
Jame's Tourney Report
Before I write my TR-proper, I just want to say: I love this deck. It’s not some completely off-the-wall piece of craziness, what with its 5 different characters costing 6 or 7 gold (and 11 in total). However, a lot of the deck ‘slots together’ in a really satisfying, synergistic way. Let’s outline some of the ways and look at the deck generally:
The initial kernel of inspiration for this list came from a simple source - Advisor to the Crown. Our first instinct wasn’t that we cared about Maesters, per se, but just that it allowed us to run 6x 1g characters to maximise the chances of being able to set up a big and protect them from the opponent opening Marched to the Wall. However, with Greyjoy having 3 different good Maester characters of their own, their text box became relevant too.
This led to one of the main power-plays the deck could make - Outwit. One of Greyjoy’s biggest (some would say only) problems in the meta is a weakness to Valar Dohaeris. Being able to pretty reliably say “nope, cancelled” is a huge, huge deal. It’s good for cancelling more than Valar, of course - Trade Routes is a big one to catch, as are the draw plots like Coppers or YWOYD, and there are several others too.
This led to a decision in the character base to min-max the cost curve. Look at that chart, look at the pristine nothingness of the 4/5 gold slots. This helps a lot with setups, so then the question becomes, which bigs best support this approach, which chuds best support it past the maesters, and how can we leverage it - and the answer is, of course, Pillage Qohor!
Euron, Asha and Balon are all monsters in their own respect for a Pillage Qohor deck. Euron gives you a high STR tricon to force through triggers, renown to speed your game up, and a way of really punishing opponents’ decks. Asha is of course an all-star, especially with Scouting Vessel, often being able to fetch you a card you need now, a card to set you up for later and an additional Scouting Vessel, while also being a Stealth Tricon to help you win on attack. Lastly Balon is arguably the most important of the lot, with his ability being ridiculously versatile. You can bring in opponent’s characters to kill them with the Fanatic, or just to help win a challenge; but perhaps more interestingly, you can also bring in opponent’s attachments, then sacrifice them with Qohor to fetch one of your own. The only wrinkle is that the faction-kneel of his effect clashes with Outwit, about the only anti-synergistic interaction in the entire list.
Gorold and Victarion were high-value one-ofs. Victarion has excellent synergy with King of Salt and Rock - a single successful trigger from any Pillage the round you play him, plus his own renown, and he is Valar-proof. Gorold is, Pillage triggers aside, the quickest route to victory by far. Being 6g rather than 7g, these two also are good for setting up with an attachment as well as a reducer, or for having your limited on set up be a Great Hall.
On the subject of King of Salt and Rock, it wasn’t the most out-there attachment but it was by far the most effective. Being able to search for this is huge when there is zero limit on the amount of power it can generate for you. If you can find Corpse Lake (easier with Asha) and have this out, every time the top card of the opponent’s deck isn’t an event (or the 4th or more character discarded this round), the Pillage keyword basically becomes an if-you-squint Renown keyword. And Scouting Vessel, in turn, says “instead of gaining 1 power for renown, sac this to gain 3 power instead”. You gain power at a truly frightening speed for the opponent.
This above point is what makes Orkmont Reaver such a great include. Cheap Pillage with two icons and, often after second (sometimes even first) round, Stealth? Exceptional value that doesn’t break the curve.
Fanatic as restricted was a given. With searchable Bodyguard plus Outwit, Iron Mines weren’t really justifiable, and in the WAR format Fanatic is even stronger than in the standard format - opponents can be a little slacker with their character triggers, safe in the knowledge they only face a deck that can run Fanatic in one of the seven swiss rounds, and it means they play strategies that you can hose - Varys (either), 6g Yoren, that sort of thing. The synergy with Balon is also disgusting, obviously.
Alongside Murenmure, the other top of the chud curve was Theon. Honestly he was just there because he’s efficient and has traits that take our attachments. If there was a 2-3g neutral unique Maester he’d probably be out on his behind.
That takes us to the attachments, and where we get into some really cool interactions (and the point of the deck generally). I mentioned King of Salt and Rock earlier because it would’ve been rude not to, but really it’s the Glass Candle that I want to wax lyrical about. It’s the perfect attachment for this deck - it can go on anyone you control, triggers as an action - and while that can’t trigger Pillage reactions, it can trigger Corpse Lake and Gorold Goodbrother, as well as seed the discard pile for Asha/Balon/Euron/Reaver, while also letting you know if the next card you’re going to pillage is an Attachment/Location or not - if it is, you can leave it there instead of discarding it to get a trigger from KoSaR! If a Maester is in the challenge you’re winning, you can bring it in from the Qohor trigger for an Insight draw, and when you’re done with it you can bin it off for any other attachment in the deck.
While we’re on the Maester attachments, Maester’s Chain is also lovely. Alongside Valar D, one of the more common and irritating ways people try to deal with big Greyjoy characters is with Milk of the Poppy, Craven, Hunting Accident, Marriage Pact and the like. Being able to wait until the opponent has invested in stopping one of your characters, then searching your deck for the card that clears them, is excellent. Best interaction: going in with a challenge with a big, letting your Baratheon opponent ambush Hunting Accident for 3 gold in a ‘gotcha’ moment, then fetching the Chain to remove the Accident the phase right before it would actually do anything.
Bodyguard, Dirk, Milk and Seized are all good options to cycle through depending on the matchup. I’d love a second Milk but I really don’t know where the cut is.
Locations are mostly econ. Corpse Lake was already mentioned - a third one would be great but again, slots m8 - and Isle is self-explanatory, being great with both Asha triggers and recurring those specific relevant attachments. Scouting Vessel’s role is worth highlighting again though. Between letting you trigger Euron or Asha three times, giving you extra opportunities for KoSaR and Corpse Lake triggers, seeding discard piles quicker for the various effects and being a 0g non-limited setup card, it’s arguably the glue that holds the whole deck together. By far the most common card you use We Take Westeros! On is the Vessel you used the previous round.
Events. 3x Risen, done. WDNS is a nice one to be able to feint, but cut for space and to improve setups.
Lastly, plots. At the Gates is obvious for a bigs deck with 3x Great Halls; Outwit already covered; The King in the North a no-brainer when you can search your deck for your King; Barring powerful against several different decks across many factions, highly useful in a WAR format, with the only downsides for the deck being limiting Balon’s trigger and stopping you recurring Fanatic for a round; Valar M an important option if you’re behind; WTW! more “nice to have” than vital, honestly played more for the numbers than the effect though recurring Scouting Vessels is definitely nice; and lastly, Summons. This was a late call for me, as we had been on Return to the Fields throughout testing. I had an eleventh hour epiphany of “...I don’t know if I’ve ever actually USED Return, and only flipped it when nothing else fits the situation”. There was also a feeling that sometimes when the deck loses it’s because it hasn’t seen any of the bigs, or the one/two big(s) it saw got controlled and it needs more. Summons was a pretty ideal stopgap as a “never bad to flip, sometimes great” plot.
OK, deck write-up done, on with the actual report!
Round One: Isian (Martell Stag)
Isian’s deck was the “deny power with Vanguard Lancer/Orphan, win slowly with dominance power, Chamber of the Painted Table, etc.” style of Martell Stag. Unfortunately for Isian I saw Corpse Lake in this game, and that, King and lots of Pillage meant I was able to get power quicker than he could deny me it. I also had Fanatic to shield from Varys, and the round Isian was finally able to clear my hand of Fanatics is also the round I won through Corpse Lake and KoSaR triggers.
Round Two: Matt (Lanni Crossing)
One of my two filmed matches, and the only game all tournament where both my deck and I were bad. Post-mulligan I saw few characters and no attachments. Matt, meanwhile, had out duped Tywin - the normal way of dealing with such a monster would be to search for Milk, but without any attachments to sacrifice… Round two with no characters in hand I had to Summons, and Matt Spikes’d the character straight out of my hand. I also took a couple of risks that backfired, and completely misplayed the round two challenges phase, had to Valar sub-optimally on round three and Matt won on round four.
Round Three: Josh (Bara Assault)
Josh had a suboptimal mulligan, and I pulled Traitor to the Crown on intrigue claim. Josh didn’t see another all game, and King Balon plus Traitor meant I could completely control his deck, essentially. Victory was pretty quick and straightforward as a result.
Round Four: Simon (Tyrell Lion)
Simon was playing a shadows-heavy build, which under ordinary standards this eats for breakfast. You have round one At the Gates and establish the better board position while they cram cards in shadows, turning into KoSaR; round two KitN to stop them from triggering anything while they ramp up power, then depending on board either Outwit round three and push for the win, or Barring round three and push for the win with Outwit as your insurance. This was the former, and pretty straightforward.
Round Five: Percy (Stark Fealty)
Percy mulliganed into an acceptable hand. I mulliganed into a 7 card setup - 2x Corpse Lake, Scouting Vessel, Sea Tower, Orkmont Reaver, Advisor to the Crown, Maester Kerwin - and drew back into bigs and attachments. His deck didn’t do anything particularly ‘wrong’ but it couldn’t stop me here, I just overran with my bigs and passive power gain.
Round Six: Ben (Targ KotHH)
I got Euron, Chud, Roseroad, Vessel on setup. Ben opened Delay and put me first. Having fetched a Great Hall I got to marshal a second, reduced by 6 and marshalled Balon with a dupe; Glass Candle on Euron; and an Advisor to shield from a potential Marched. Ben marshalled Meereen, then without realising the ramifications of his action, triggered it. With only 3 gold remaining, he couldn’t afford the Crown of Gold or Drogon that promptly showed up, sending them to the bin. With Balon and Euron surviving the Delay (along with Advisor), I could go to town. Ben tried to put in Qotho, discarding Missandei and Freedmen, but I was able to cancel Qotho with the Fanatic. This meant that as well as me getting all three challenges unopposed, I got to use Balon’s trigger to bring in Drogon and then kill him with Fanatic straight away. Round two I improved my board more, and got to bring in Crown of Gold with Balon then sacrifice it for a Qohor trigger. Round three I Outwitted Valar and Ben conceded.
Round Seven: Kostas (NW Alliance Qohor/Rose)
The actual game here was over very quickly. I mulliganed into a normal good hand; Kostas mulliganed into a setup of Roseroad and Isle of Ravens. I had a normal good round one marshalling; after round one draw Kostas only had one character, Yoren, in hand. He marshalled and triggered him, I cancelled with Fanatic and Kostas conceded. After that we played a proper, friendly game and it was a lot closer. I still won it (making me feel better about the obscene example of variance that the first game was), with a key element to the victory being that I was able to Outwit Kostas’s Valar D. Content that it probably wouldn’t matter that he saw I was on that tech, I marched onto the cut in 5th place after swiss.
Top Sixteen: Even (Targ Prince Drogo)
Even set up Drogo, chud, Plaza of Pride, but didn’t get any economy on the redraw; I had Theon w/ Bodyguard, Murenmure, Great Hall. He was able to Riddle my Gates, getting Gates of the Moon while I got a second bodyguard, but that was all he saw for limiteds all game. Having put me first, I was able to marshal Victarion with KoSaR, plus Kerwin. Even marshalled Begging Brother with 2 gold bestowed and passed with 2 gold. I was able to win Military with Victarion, killing chud and kneeling Drogo while putting a Milk on Begging Brother instead of the Bodyguard, basically immobilising Even for the round as Murenmure could cancel a Plaza trigger. Kerwin then pushed through power, and I sacrificed KoSaR for a Candle to shore up my hand. Next round Even saw his chance and flipped King in the North, but unfortunately for him I had the second KoSaR in hand, and I was free to marshal stuff while he was stuck. I was able to turn the Candle into a Corsair’s Dirk for Victarion and went in on a military with Vic and Theon, with Even having marshalled Rhaegal and Flea Bottom and saving 3 gold. Faced with a choice, Even decided to go for Drac + Consuming to clear Vic, and unfortunately for him I had Risen to have Vic survive and win the challenge by 3 STR. This meant Begging Brother died (still Milked and would’ve been Intimidated otherwise), and Even was down to just Drogo and a knelt Rhaegal, having thrown a bunch of burn out of his hand for no benefit. Next round I had my own King in the North to continue the lock, and it was basically game from there.
Top Eight: Percy
Rematch from round five. No seven card setup for me this time, but Percy did struggle with characters. He had Rickon and Bran on setup, with Bran changing to Eddard via Heir and Rickon going to cancel my Summons - had he known that the only character he’d draw in the next two rounds was two copies of Meera, he might’ve kept Rickon for claimsoak. Round one my Gorold Goodbrother got a Marriage Pact on him, but I was able to Qohor into Chain to clear it. Round two he flipped First Snow as my board was Gorold (who he put another Pact on) and chuds, but I was able to marshal Balon. Meera was No One and got Percy insight draw on an intrigue challenge, but for the military he overlooked the issue of Marriage Pact - by claiming Gorold, it meant one of Eddard or Meera would have to be sacrificed, and Meera going meant no Insight. I was then able to trigger Balon, take Meera for myself, stealth past Eddard and kill him for claim (and then get power through with Meera). With no board for Percy it was a quick win from there.
Top Four: Kostas
Rematch from round seven. A filmed game. Really, really good and competitive. I won’t go into too many details because I would strongly encourage watching it, but I will highlight a couple of things. On setup I risked Euron + Sea Tower + Scouting Vessel + KoSaR, as I didn’t think Kostas was on Marched but even if he was I had Balon and a Great Hall in hand, so if Kostas Marched one of his own characters to clear Euron, I was going to be able to marshal Balon with an attachment on then use the trigger to bring in claimsoak and rebuild from there. As it turns out I was correct he wasn’t on Marched, and Euron survived. Round one we then had fun playing attachments in...unusual places, taking the (correct in both cases) calculated risk that we could exchange them out with Qohor before they’d backfire. Lastly, I made three bad errors in the penultimate round. Firstly, on plots - I had out Euron, Balon, Asha, Advisor to the Crown and crucially Kerwin to be able to Outwit a Valar D. Due to our possibly-ill-advised friendly game the day before, Kostas knew I was on Outwit, so we had the mind games of which plot we were going to flip. I correctly guessed he wouldn’t flip Valar D, but didn’t play the correct counterplot - I played We Take Westeros to get back a poxy Scouting Vessel, but Kostas played Forced March. In retrospect I should’ve either still played Outwit, and tried to push through on that round with my bigs; or played Summons to get a back-up Maester in case what happened, well, happened. Kostas marshalled Begging Brother with gold bestowed, then Yoren to steal Kerwin, leaving me with no protection for the following round’s Valar D. Second mistake: I had Euron and Balon dupes in hand, but decided to hold them back so I could re-marshal them after Valar D. However, in retrospect the correct choice would’ve been to dupe one of them (likely Euron as he had loads of power on him and KoSaR), then counter Kostas’s obvious Dohaeris with a Morghulis so that Kostas wouldn’t have been able to keep out 4 or 5 different characters - only whoever he Kerwin’d plus the duped Hobb. And thirdly, the card I did marshal, Gorold Goodbrother (not ideal against an impending Valar D but necessary with my military icons knelt out), should have opposed the military challenge and been claimed. Instead I left it unopposed, for no particularly justifiable reason, and was left with killing a big when I had duplicate of two of them in hand I had chosen not to marshal, killing Gorold inefficiently, or killing Advisor who’d stick around past VD. I killed Advisor, arguably the worst choice. That decision meant that, the following round, Kostas got to exactly 15 power with dominance. Had I had an intrigue icon to oppose the challenge with rather than letting it go UO, Kostas would’ve stalled at 14 and I could’ve Valared to clear his board up a bit and get back in the game. Those three errors in quick succession, however, gave Kostas a route to victory, which he duly took, going on to win the final and be champion of the event. Congrats, Kostas!
Gabbi's Tourney Report
I don’t want to go on too much about the deck, as the others have covered pretty much every aspect, but I do want to say just how much I adore this deck. I’ve always liked pillage tech, I’ve been playing around with King of Salt and Rock since it’s release and have always known it had the potential to be stupidly busted with lack of limit. The tricks this deck can pull feels fantastic to play around with, and playing with the less typical Euron, Balon and Victarion was a refreshing change (although I make no pretense that these cards aren’t also disgustingly powerful, it’s truly a sign of dark days when an opponent high fives you for running core Euron).
Plot wise all my games were fairly typical, I can’t say Return to the Fields ever felt vital, but it did the trick in one game. I can only think of one game where I’d rather have had Summons, but even then I still feel like there’s a better plot out there for us, I just have no idea what it is.
Obviously my run wasn’t as strong as Wamma’s, but a positive record was a strong result for me, and I can generally pin down what happened in my loses. So without further ado, here’s what went down.
R1: Loss vs Ben Royles, Martell/Qohor
This is the only game of the day that haunts me. Tired, hungover and incredibly nervous, I played this really badly. Not to take away from Ben, who played really well, but I’m pretty sure this should have been a win for our deck. Sadly I made one misplay too many and he managed to jump on every mistake to gain too big a lead for me to contest.
Maesters chain was the initial MVP of this game, clearing attachments and stealing them with Balon to Qohor them is always fun. Sadly Venomous Blade killed all my unique maesters meaning I couldn’t outwit the obvious VD, though Returns did some work here at least.
R2: Loss vs Joe Harrison, Lanni/HRD
Had a fantastic start in this game, managing to pillage 3 econ locations with Euron/Scouting Vessel, and managing to flip KitN/barring usually lets you beat shadows decks with ease in these match ups. Sadly however, Joe intrigued an Asha from my hand and that ended up being the moment everything went downhill for me. My deck crapped out on me and I didn’t draw a single decent character for the rest of the game, giving Joe the window he needed to chip away at my board only Euron was left. I did Outwit a Valar M though, 10/10 would recommend
R3: Win vs Kaur Paurop, Bara/Fealty
Can’t say I remember this game that well, but I can tell you being able to Glass Candle a Stannis and Robert from the deck makes you feel way more comfortable with flipping KitN. The biggest issue I found was a fully bestowed Begging Bro, but a quick drink of milk meant this game was a pretty strong win.
R4: Win vs Paul Geddes, Tyrell/Crossing
Another great game, Paul milked one of my bigs meaning I got to blow his mind when I qohored a maesters chain into play. I spent a lot of this game then stealing that milk with Balon and turning it into my own attachments which was lovely. As it was a crossing deck I know I still had to be careful, but with a duped Randyl as his only big and an Asha, Balon and Euron on my side, I knew I could bait a reset by not fetching a bodyguard. The Valar M followed and I once again got to flip Outwit, I felt like a god at this point and got myself in a position where unless ⅚ cards I pillaged was an event, I won.
R5: Win vs Brad Livingstone, Stark/Fealty
This game was brutal to Brad and was the only time the deck felt truly disgusting. Balon managed to pillage then steal Fat Cat and Wyman and Vince them to death two turns in a row. Karhold came out which would have been an issue, but I could easily switch to seized to stop it mattering. Asha plus Scouting Vessels meant I had an answer to everything and unfortunately Brad’s First Snow just meant I got a Vince back to hand. From there it wasn’t hard to hoover up power and win out.
R6: Loss vs Jack Machin, Targ/Crossing
Despite being a loss, this might have been my favourite game of the day. The Targ crossing was a ridiculously fast deck that I was pretty sure I couldn’t keep up with but I gave it a shot anyway. I crawled to 6 power before it became clear it was game over as Jack went to his challenges. He threw a chump military at me and as a joke I decided to defend with every pillage character I had to see how many pillage triggers I could get. I believe I defended with Balon, Euron, Gorold and a Reaver, plus a Scouting Vesel trigger. It was only after I placed the 3 renown that we both realised there was a tiny chance I could win just off King of Salt and Rock triggers. Sadly it wasn’t to be, but I ended on 12 power and made Jack hella nervous so it was all worth it. It’s important to note that if I had had Corpse Lake in play I would have won. This is a deck that can go from 6 power to 15 off of defending a challenge, never forget that.
R7: Win vs Andrew Kim,NW/Summer
I actually played Andrew at worlds, where he was also on Builders, so this was super personal (on my end only). Luckily our deck handles builders pretty well. Andrew was not thrilled to see me bring Maesters Chain into play. He was not thrilled when baby Theon managed to sneak past his builders. He did not enjoy when I Outwitted his VD. I really don’t think he appreciated it when I swapped out his stolen Milk for a 4 gold Seized on the wall. On a fun note, Builders means plenty of attachments you can steal and swap out with qohor, but not a single eligible character on their side, leading to me milking my own guys every turn. Lot’s of attachments and locations means a lot of King triggers, so while I couldn’t win power challenges, I just needed my pillage to trigger to win out.
This deck is so so sick, please don’t ever play it against me kthanx