Improvise, Adapt, Retaliate - TOP 8 Czech Grand Champ 2019

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Patrick Naayer - Martell 0 0 0 1.0

Khaleasi1110 83

Hi guys, here is my report from Czech Nats 2019 (I'm Zuzana K.)

Big thanks to organizers for making such a nice tournament once again and also to all the players who participated. I never would have guessed to make it to top 8 with random Martell Crossing deck which I put together - as I've been more of a netdeck&change player. So here we go

The deck is built around small characters and strong location base with the centerpiece of Dorne. That obviously makes for an excellent draw and solid economy - plus a way to rebuild with King's Landing. People never understand why I put this card in most of my decks - maybe I just love recycling so much.. But in this deck it is easily paid for with Water Gardens, filters through cards and provides a save from unpleasant plots plus repeatable Ghaston, River Gates and Dromond. All unique characters have only 1 copy and I tried for balanced character icons. Gameplay is pretty straightforward - setup economy and Dorne, do 3 challanges with chuds (last), control board with Vengeance, Venomous Blades and Dromond, cancel what you can. I found out that the MVP card is The Iron Throne, since it provides me with passive power while I wait for retaliation.

Turn 1 - Lannister/Kingdom of Shadows - WIN

Dorne and econ on setup, copied At the Gates and the game can start succesfully. I managed to control shadow shenanigans with cancel events, then I could focus on challanges and somehow it all worked in my favour. Icon removal with Desert Raiders is cool if you know that those characters are probably going back to shadows soon.

Turn 2 - Stark/Banner of the Rose - WIN

Funny game, as my opponent was also my boyfriend and we know eachother's decks pretty well. Therefore he opened with Winter Festival so I had to throw in Exhange of Information after Behest. I was somehow able to keep up with the ladies rush deck, I managed to kill 4 power Dacey with Venomous Blade and returned quick Eddie with Ghaston. On retaliation turn the opponent was at 14 power, I took 2 claim power and barely prevented him from winning.

Turn 3 - Night's Watch/Wars to Come - WIN

Again, Venomous Blade has been useful - killing kneeling Maester Aemon on turn one, so he would not make trouble when I wanted to Valar. The opponent was struggling with economy and the only turn he was able to trigger his wall, I canceled it with He Calls It Thinking. I could not believe this win, because I know what an excellent player Tamás is.

Turn 4 - Lannister/Kingdom of Shadows - WIN

Yet another shadows deck, though I felt confident because I had won against that kind of deck earlier that day. This game was undecided until the last plot and I had a tough time trying to go around the jumping cards with my challenges. Again, icon removal proved itself + dicarding Bowels with Jade Sea Dromond 2 times - and I managed to win on time. The opponent went on to become the champion - congratulations Marton! :)

Turn 5 - Lannister/Kingdom of Shadows - WIN

Yet another shadow deck, though I felt more confident about the matchup. I played against a friend from czech meta, who I know is really good - so that intimidation made up for the confidence. This was a very fun game, I liked his deck very much. His man-bun Loras commited an accidental suicide, then he discarded my hand with Cersei and double marauders. I managed to milk his shadow Tyrion and I canceled Clever Faint so he could not hide before his own resets. On his last turn he revealed Valar Morghulis to my Behest, so as I didn't need to Valar anymore, I changed to Retaliation and the game was over.

Turn 6 - Tyrell/Assault from Shadows - LOSS

If anyone needed Exposed Duplicity that day, it would be me... a very close game which ended on 8:7 for me, but in standing phase the opponent could trigger his Oldtown and if he guessed correctly, we would tie and I had obviously fewer cards in my deck. He said character and revealed Randyll Tarly.

TOP 16 - Night's Watch/Kraken - WIN

I was expecting a highly chokey deck, but I guess I was wrong. The opponent had very little economy, but built a solid board of characters. I tried to build up my location base, but then he revealed Political disaster - thanks god I had King's Landing in my hand at the time. When there was a perfect time for me to Valar M, he knew exactly and Outwit me. At that point I thought it was over, but I still had a little hope, so I poisoned a dupe from little Theon. His last plot was Valar M, destroying all of his characters with zero cards in hand and I revealed Behest to Retaliation, winning a seemingly lost game.

TOP 8 - Night's Watch/Wars to Come - LOSS

Since the bad setup, I felt uncomfortable about where the game was going - the opponent had great economy and lots of cards. I tried to dig for Venomous Blades, but got one too late. By round 3 or 4 the Wall was already there, untouchable. I tried my best to control the board with no great results - on Valar M turn he opponent marshalled back 5 characters. I guess I can't really feel bad about losing to the world champion, he had a really nice deck and played if flawlessly.

Thanks to all my opponents for making this tourney a very enjoyable occasion


Oxymoronica 127

Hi Zuzana thanks for sharing. What additions might you make with the new CP, and how might you better counter shadows decks?

Khaleasi1110 83

@Oxymoronica hi, thanks for the question. I think after this CP, many players will be afraid to play shadow decks because of so many new anti-shadow cards - especially Expose Duplicity. So I would make a meta call of not countering shadows specifically. If anything, I would put there [Friends at Court], just because it might come in handy in combination with His Viper Eyes and 3 cost, 3 str, icons is a solid card for Martells.. otherwise the new cards are not worth it imo. As I said in report, I highly value core iron throne, so I would not replace it with the new version.

Acloakofred 53

Amazing result and congrats for taking Martel that far! I think what I’m most surprised from watching on stream was no dorans game?

What was the decision on that? Just lack of spaces? Obviously your results show you didn’t need it but would it have helped?

Cas 123

I was really impressed by your deck, it was near impossible to play an attrition game against it. Very well done. :) Márton

Khaleasi1110 83

@Acloakofred thanks for the question :) yeah, basically I hardly ever put together 5 str challange and if I would have put too much resources into it, the opponent would be suspicious and would defend it I think. It might be useful though, I did not test it as I didn't even have the big army guys to support it.

Khaleasi1110 83

@Cashi Márton, thank you very much and again congrats on the win! True, my deck can very resilient to attrition, but yours was very nice too :)

GuardianOfTheFlame 31

A great result for House martell!

I agree that Doran's Game doesn't work in this kind of deck, but what about The Scorpion's Sting ? In crossing decks you often lose challenges and you have a lot of weenies without renown...

Have you ever had issues playing only 23 chars?