|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
"This is the deck I used to make top 4 of the Brighton Prime a few days ago, the largest United Kingdom Prime tournament. Play some of the good cards + play well = make top 4. Play Right, play three of them, ever, single, time. I saw even very good players playing absolutely unplayable trash, and yet no one played Right against me the entire day. If you can find room for garbage like Left, Left and Left, surely you can make room for a card that is the best guard spell in the game and on the very short list for best card in the game. Or don't, and I'll keep messing up decklists. I suppose the choice is yours."
This is the deck I made top 4 with at last weekend's Brighton Prime. On the day I went 4-0 to not-Valyrian Steel, and 0-3 to not-not-Valyrian Steel, so who knows, if you put attachment control in this thing maybe it's even better! (Or maybe it's a tier 2 Valyrian Steel deck but the agenda's so good that's still a great deck, I'll let you be the judge.)
I was intending to play Night's Watch Valyrian Steel, but in the few days before the event I got cold feet - I really liked 69 of the 75 cards in that deck, but Yoren and Bound to the Wall are so over-the-top, and create such "feels bad" moments for the opponents, that I didn't want to play the deck for what's just a prime. Stahleck or Worlds maybe I'd do it, but I didn't want to inflict that misery on people looking for a good time. (Tangential sidenote: yes those two cards take up 6 slots, regardless of deck. If you're playing just two Yoren I firmly believe you're doing it wrong. Let me know if you want a TED Talk on it.)
The deck is 76 cards because of a "most fun 61st card" side-contest. If you only want to play 75, I'd cut a Leyton, a Courtier or Varys, and if for some weird as-yet-unexplained reason you wanted to make another cut, I'd lose Brienne.
Overall the thesis is quite simple - new agenda super-strong, me like Tyrell GoodStuff, me build Tyrell GoodStuff deck out of new agenda. Tyrell sadly doesn't have too many amazing attachments (at least not for this type of deck - if you lean into Knights and/or Ladies they have a few more), but thankfully there're enough worthwhile neutral attachments by this point that you don't really many in-faction ones. Credit for the inspiration goes to Wilco van Dijk, who played a similar deck in the Second Sons Invitational, and immediately made me excited to try something similar myself. Stuff like "multiple Leyton" was definitely his idea first.
Rest of the list is mostly pretty self-explanatory I think, so on with a quick TR.
Round One: Keb Frith (Bara Dragon). I'd built Keb's deck and knew it better than he did, so it was a weird match. It was also recorded for the White Walkers and can be watched here, but, spoilers, I won it.
Round Two: Dan Mulchrone (NW Wolf). This was a really interesting game with a lot of back-and-forth play. A key moment early on was when Dan and I both saved 2 gold for challenges, he won on attack and played Bound; I cancelled with HJ; he cancelled my HJ with HJ; and I cancelled his HJ with a second HJ. I had a good board with Renly as my main outlet, but then he got Coldhands'd. The defining moment came when I was able to use Pinch of Powder to bounce back Coldhands, then next round go first and marshal a fully-bestowed Begging Brother, taking the chance that Dan didn't have Ward. Luckily for me he didn't, and it was plain sailing from there in what was up until the final round's marshalling a very close game that could've gone either way.
Round Three: Joe Zimmer (Targ VS). This was such a weird game. My deck basically managed to give me no attachments, no economy and no bigs, while Joe's deck just went off perfectly. We were playing the same agenda, but I want to say Joe managed about 10 triggers more than me in 5 rounds! Unsurprisingly from that starting point, Joe smashed me.
Round Four: Matt Herdman (Night's Watch VS). A comedy, this one. Matt set up duped Jon with a chud, then round one put Sworn to the Watch on him. He also got to Bound a Courtier and play Halder, play Guard Duty, Yoren my duped Left when I had Right in hand, and just do everything he wanted. My deck didn't exactly treat me badly, but Matt's deck went as perfectly as it possibly could and I had no chance.
Round Five: Paul Geddes (Stark Rains). A combination of poor sleep and having lost back-to-back games meant I was a bit fried here, and started out playing terribly - for example, marshalling a Hightower, marshalling a chud, forgetting to trigger the sodding Hightower, then not having any other cheap characters to play out to trigger it. the only thing that kept me in it was having Left and Right to prevent Paul from getting too much power while he dominated me, Paul only having one Taste for Flesh in that time and me having a Hand's Judgment for it. Eventually the superior draw I had allowed my deck to start bailing me out and I built up a board, including Margaery and Leyton. Paul finally won an intrigue challenge by 5 and turned into Wildfire to reduce my board, but that allowed me to trigger Margaery off Leyton dying to fetch Renly. Next turn with power counts very even, Paul flipped Valar D (I kept Margaery, whichever one of Left/Right was still alive at this point and a Septon) into my King in the North. I had Crown of Golden Roses in hand, but no Lords. I played an attachment, triggered the agenda, drew an attachment. Played that attachment, triggered the agenda, drew an attachment. Played that attachment, triggered the agenda for the third and final time, drew Randyll with exactly enough gold left to marshal him with the Crown and go ham for the win. I didn't particularly deserve to win this game, Paul played better than me, but my deck bailed me out and the agenda gave me so much draw I couldn't lose it.
And now we get to the elephant guarding the room. 3-2 with 3 of my opponents going 4-1 meant I made it into the cut on strength of schedule, and we get to my deck-check... so, the physical version of the deck I built had 3x Left and 3x Right. When I built it online, I somehow skipped over including the Lefts. Sidenote: I think this sort of thing is why British people get so cross when foreign players who only really pay attention to the big tournaments treat me like I'm some amazing genius, rather than the oafish moron I clearly am.
The thing is, I'd stayed round the TO's house the night before and we'd been openly discussing how I accidentally messed up my decklist, and how stupid it was of me to have missed off the Lefts and what they were meant to be. I then updated the list online and... triumphantly closed the browser instead of saving it, didn't realise I did that, and submitted the old decklist. I was truly mentally absent on Friday. So yeah, this list isn't exactly the list I played at the Prime. That had 3x Left instead of the 3rd Leyton, 3rd Courtier, and Varys. But this one is objectively a funnier list to post.
I would've dropped from the cut, but 9th place after the swiss also had a decklist error that had been noticed earlier on in the event - he forgot Desert Raider was restricted and included it plus Flea Bottom. Strictly speaking he should've had a loss the round after it was noticed, but instead he had a bye and giving a loss there just completely ruins his day, so instead the Raiders were just turned backwards and life carried on. So I was left (heh, left) with a situation where I either had to drop for someone who had an illegal deck too, creating the same ethical issue and unfairly treating the 8th-best player who had a legal decklist, i.e. 10th place; drop for 10th place, and unfairly skip over someone who had managed to get to 9th despite gaining zero advantage from their illegal deck (it was noticed at the end of the first round when they were 0-1) and had been playing with backwards cards all day; or just play on myself. I decided to play on myself, and my 3x Left were turned backwards for the cut. Technically speaking by the rules as-written I should've been given a gameloss, essentially forfeiting my top 8 game, but in the spirit of competition that isn't what we did. My sincere apologies to everyone negatively impacted by my stupidity here, I'll try not to do it again. And if anyone has any complaints about the TO letting me continue on, let FFG know, maybe they'll stop Brighton from getting a Prime in 2021... oh, oh wait.
So with that out of the way, on with the top 8.
Top 8: Dave Bamford (Martell Wars). Dave has been an unstoppable juggernaut with this deck. He went 5-0 in the swiss with it here, and has also gone 5-0 with it in the World Cup tournament currently-ongoing. However, things went my way this time. It was a relatively even game for the first few rounds with us both building up power at a similar rate. A huge detail came in round one when I was able to Milk Dave's Obara, stopping a whole cavalcade of potential tricks. Eventually I built up my board to the point where Dave needed to Valar M me. I had duped Margaery plus Garth out; I triggered Marge; Dave played He Calls It Thinking to cancel the Marge trigger; I played Hand's Judgment to cancel the Thinking; he played Hand's Judgment to cancel the Judgment; I played a second Hand's Judgment to cancel Dave's Judgment; Dave made a sad face. Not often you get to have a cancel-train like that twice in the same tournament! From there I closed it out with Randyll/Renly/Marge dreamteam renown rushing.
Top 4: Matt Herdman (NW VS). This game, my decklist stupidity punished me. I mulliganed into a hand of: Scheming Septon, Heartsbane, Redwyne Straits, Hand's Judgment, Hand's Judgment, Blank Card, Blank Card. Now, if those blanks were Lefts, that would've been a nice setup and given me claimsoak. Instead, it was a three card setup with only one character. By round one marshalling, I'd only drawn one more character, Renly Baratheon, who I duly marshalled. I also had Syrio's Training on the Septon, and 2g + The Strangler in hand. Had Matt gone in with the least amount required to win the challenge, I'd have been fine; had he stealthed Septon (the obvious claimsoak) rather than Renly, I'd have been fine; but instead he went in with Cotter Pyke and a 4 STR mil body (I forget who, maybe Shadow Tower Mason with a Dragonglass Dagger?), stealthing Renly. I could only reduce his participating STR to 5 if I used Strangler, not enough to win the challenge, so Septon died for claim and Renly got Marched. If only I'd still had duped Left, I would've been completely fine, but instead I had no board against a deck that was set up to destroy me. There was no route back, and Matt won as straightforward a top 4 game as he could've had.
So yeah, overall it's a strong deck that probably needs some tweaking (definitely add in Left for starters). I had fun with it. Thank you (and apologies for the fuckup) to all my opponents on the day and to Gabbi for an excellent job as TO under increasingly-difficult circumstances. Congrats to Rheece for winning, a shit-eating grin on his face at various points during the day. And remember kids: deck lists. Check them.