Fealty can win without the wall (Top 8 UK WAR)

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imabunneh 360

So getting drafted to Team NW by Kostas was lovely. I like playing NW, I like Kostas, score 1 for me.

The obvious choice for me would have been Builders. I've played them before, I finalled at this year's Brighton Charity Joust (losing to Ryan Wood) with them, they're a very good deck. But I didn't want to. They're dull. I wanted to bring back the NW deck I got 2nd at UK Nats with 2 years ago, and almost outrushed Nico's swiss topping Lanni Crossing at Worlds the same year (he won on Turn 2, if he fell 1 power short or I won initiative, I would have won turn 2 instead). This version of the deck is so much like that, even though I haven't bought AGoT cards for over a year and a half, I only had to borrow 11 total cards to finish off the deck.

The basic premise of the deck is simple. Get econ turn 1, Heads on Spikes turns 2 and 3, and just generally leverage your big midrange dudes. A Ranging Party with a mix of Wall/Castle Black/Dragon Glass Dagger/Halder supporting it can beat off basically everyone in a Mil or power challenge, Banjen can stop you getting stealthed on those challenges, and Arry + Doloures helps prevent Intrigue stealth. I won a few games never seeing the Wall, I won games turn 3, overall it ran very well (matchups below). My knocking out of the Top 8 was an incredibly close game to a very good player so.

To answer a couple of questions I already had (can answer more if anyone really cares):

Barring the Gates with Edd and Arry? I control when I flip Barring, and Shadows is really strong (I never ended up facing it but my testing had been incredibly strong vs it). Also randomly stopping Targ or Fleabottom or Drowned God shenanigans isn't bad.

Improved Fortifications were neither amazing nor terrible. They had an impact in maybe 3 games as far as saves go, in the others they just helped with Halder or Shadow Tower Mason. I dropped 1x Superior Claim and 1x Steward at the Wall to put them in, and they were fine.

Yoren was a morning-of add, dropping 1 Shadow Tower Mason for. He's really good.

I didn't use Siege Prep nearly as much as I wanted to and probably should have run Exchange instead. It didn't help that one of the times I could have made good use of it (emptied my hand entirely) I forgot to trigger it and didn't notice til marshalling the next turn. Professional plays.

Round 1: Dustan Archer - Stark Dragon

I guess US players know who Dustan is. He's a good player, and played well. I didn't see my Wall all game, so I hit about 9 or 11 or something when he won. It was a hard game because I didn't see any econ outside of my T1 Gates and only saw like 1 negative attachment all game. Took like 7 or 8 turns for him to win, but only being able to play like 1 card a turn really hurt me.

0-1

Round 2: Wedge - Targ Fealty

Wedge had Burn Dany Turn 1, and by turn 2 also had Drogon, Drogo and Plaza of Pride. Luckily I had Castle Black, and a big ass Ranging Party with a Dagger, and was able to fend the majority of Wedge's attacks. I did lose Halder to a burn turn 1 or 2, but I think that's the only time they managed to trigger Drogon. I think this was also the game where I managed to trigger Benjen 3 times which was fun.

1-1

Round 3: Ian Pollard - Tyrell Summer

I had Wall from turn 1. I accidentally let a knight win a solo challenge turn 1 netting him like 6 power. After that he didn't win a challenge the rest of the game, and I honoured out on turn 3.

2-1

Round 4: Paul Monteverde - Bara Prince (Robert Baratheon)

He got an early 7 cost Stannis down, and I had a tricky turn 1 or 2 (especially when Kneel Mel hit). But overall I think I held him off from triggering his agenda until the last turn of the game (turn 5 or 6), when I honoured out. I found in testing Prince decks just can't tend to get much traction with my chunky guys.

3-1

Round 5: Isian Hasmuja - Martell Stag

This game was recorded. Please don't watch it. I was playing a Wall deck. He had Pyromancer. I had Qhorin. He had Ghaston Grey. I won initiative. He played Begging Brother. He also was doing the Lancer Bouncer bullshit. Time was called on turn 7 and he won 6-3. I'll keep my thoughts on that deck archetype out of it.

3-2

Round 6: Matt Chandler - Lanni Crossing

He had both jumper events and the 2 cost version of Harrenhal and Hound. He saw Core Tywin and 7cost Cersei as well. I think I won with him on 2 power on like plot 5 or so. That was the most power he got all game. Attachments plus big guys is pretty good. Reagent's Guard resetting my attachments is pretty uncool.

4-2

Round 7: Sam Wilson - Greyjoy Prince (Core Balon)

Sam put clothes on for this game, which was different to his other games of the day, so he started the game a loser tbh. The almost naked sailor was a much better look than jeans and T-shirt. He had Core Balon out turn 1, I craven'd him. A bit later he got rid of the Craven but I milked him instead. At one point in the game (turn 3 I think) he had the milked Balon, and each of the following without attachments: Silence Euron, Kneely 7 cost Victarion, Alannys OP Card Draw, 7 cost Tricon Stealthy Asha, Maester Muremure, some chuds. He still couldn't push anything relevant past me, and after a Wildfire (to trigger Benjen) bringing him down to only 6-7 costs, followed straight after by Valar D, the game was wrapped up. But he wasn't doing great even with literally every unique tbh, this deck handles that shit pretty well.

5-2

Top 32: Vince Tee - Greyjoy Rains

His deck did what it was supposed to do, but I saw all the negative attachments pretty much, and the answers I needed. It was a tricky game but I think I had control for most of it. Vince (the card and the person) is good, but this deck is better.

6-2

Top 16: James Parsons - NW Sea of Blood

I enjoyed the format for never having to play mirrors. The downside is I can't negative attachment his shit. The upside is when my turn 1 has 2 Ranging Partys and a Qhorin, stopping Sea of Blood is good. Yoren-ing one of his Ranging Partys basically sealed it. He wasn't running a reset (I TOLD HIM BEFORE THE EVENT TO DO ONE), so I just ground out the game to about turn 5 or 6 where I managed to win. I never saw the Wall, but he kept going first to try and get his aggro off, so I got to keep attacking back.

7-2

Top 8: Chris Meeuwson - Stark Hollow Hill

I thought this game would be really bad for me, but it turned out incredibly close. My real issue with this game was a) not seeing the Wall in all 7 turns, and b) not seeing enough negative attachments, so when King Robb hit I couldn't do much at all to stop him. Also the Mormont clone of Arya not taking attachments is annoying. I could have stalled a little the last couple of turns to force the game to end on turn 6 instead of 7 (I was ahead on power then), probably without it being obvious. I was even asked about this. That's not who I am, I want to play my games properly. So I let us jump through to turn 7 with about 30 seconds left to spare on the clock. We both have empty hands and boards (he played Valar), and draw up, with Chris going first. He plays Harrenhal and passes. Everyone's noise is an audible sound of obviously thinking he has this. I drop Benjen, everybody laughs, he Harrenhals Benjen. He gets 3 unopposed challenges, we end the turn 10 power to 10. First 3 turns of the game I had Isle of Ravensd his deck instead of mine. I'd been using 3 fingered Hobb, and forgot twice but was allowed a takeback to take one of those Hobbs. I only say that because... He wins, 38 cards to 35 :( A fantastically close game overall though, but seeing my Wall basically any time in the first 5 turns would have secured it for me. So that was a sad thing but it was a great game and great ending to go out on.

Kostas then won the individual tournament, so regardless of the results which put Team NW 2nd overall, I think we won overall and everyone in the team did well. Some people on the team I think I underestimated them coming into the tournament and was proved that the right people on the right deck can do well regardless. We had 4 in the Top 16, "we" won individual tournament, and James was King of Swiss (tied with Buzz). A great weekend for the team, everyone contributed, and it was a lot of fun overall. Would definitely do it again.

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