A Tool for Every Task - Top 16 Worlds

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

vexien 707

Going into the last world championship, I wanted to find a deck that would be able to deal with the obvious threat of Targaryen. Having spent the last few months playing Targ VS and being knocked out multiple times by Kingdom decks, it was on my radar and I had taken it to the top 4 of a prime a month prior. I spent some time testing more obvious decks like Stark Fealty and NW VS, but didn’t find myself fully agreeing with them. I eventually went back to Lanni and it just immediately clicked for me, so I started getting my reps in.

Through the course of tweaking the list, the main benefit I found with the deck was that every card had its purpose for a specific match up, but were rarely bad in others. As you play more, the quicker it is to know what cards you want to see and know the outs in any match up. Even the worst match ups like Bara Qohor and Stark are absolutely winnable if you prioritise correctly. And in the same way, The Iron Throne is one of the best cards available to you when you start to know what you don’t want to see in a specific moment.

There were a lot of cards I couldn’t decide whether to change the quantities of, typically with the issue being I didn’t want to remove any other cards. I would’ve liked to be able to play 2 Tunnels and 2 Pinch, but I couldn’t justify cutting cards like Pyromancer’s Cache or Poisoned Coin that had shown value when required. The one time I tried to go down to 60 cards I immediately lost my first test game, and decided that was a terrible idea so stuck with 61.

In the last week of testing,I started to question whether I should put a Hired Assassin back in my deck to account for the possible mirror match. I knew people were starting to properly register is as a strong meta answer, but I thought the odds I ran into one all weekend were going to be pretty low so stuck with what had worked for me up until that point. So, onto the tournament..

The Games

R1 - Win vs Lanni KoSh (Lyle Branagan)

Straight into a mirror match, not the way you want to start off your day. I prioritised getting my backboard set up straight off and had Bowels, Red Keep and Iron Throne on the board pretty quickly vs some decent econ and a good amount of bodies, but none of the engine cards beyond Flea Bottom. I initially focused on stopping Red Keep hitting the board so i could maintain the control, while taking out his hand with Cersei. Got the VM played and countered it with my own VD to not lose anything, then kept myself in control of the tempo the whole game.

R2 - Win vs NW VS (Eric Green)

I was happy going into this match up because I’ve had so many games with Wamma, but you can never underestimate a world finalist. I feel like I know the general deck incredibly well, it’s just the bits of plot tech that can be the issue. I don't recall exactly how the setups went, but turn 1 I had killed his Qhorin with a coin and flayed a woodsman so the threats were generally under control. Turn 2 Clydas appeared and very shortly after so did The Wall, so I became very reluctant to flip my Trade routes and needed to get Clydas off the table ASAP. Turn 3 I chose to valar but the first barring came out, and I had to watch The Wall and several uo challenges accelerate Eric to about 9-0 on power. From here, I started to get the gold I was after and brought a KoF out to start accelerating with Tunnels. Eric had some tricks to slow him down, which meant I had to keep getting him back off the board and replaying. Eventually, I had got through enough of the tricks and generated the renown to take the lead as we were going into the final round. I drew the last few tricks I needed to lock up the final turn, so Eric conceded.

R3 - Win vs Targ SoB (Shaun Bohan)

The first of the match ups I was here to beat, and I drew my iron throne on set up to give myself the initial cover. It ended up being a fairly bloody game, with Khal Drogo dying after bringing out a dupe with Womb, then getting mil claimed and poisoned. I caught the KitN with Forgotten Plans and everything else went as I hoped, to eventually get the lock on.

R4 - Win vs Lanni KoSh (Thomas Cornaz)

Time for another mirror! We both started out with Bowels and Throne, but no Red Keeps. However I drew into my copy of Cache so blanked his bowels pretty quickly. An initial few cersei triggers managed to clear a Lay Waste and a Tyrion, which was pretty big, and Marauders came out to try and get some more visibility and pillaged another Tyrion. An unfortunate mistake Thomas was making in this game was that he didnt use the draw trigger from Cache until plot 7, so he was in top deck mode pretty much the whole game. He saw some of his key pieces but I just had the answers for it e.g. KoF showed up, killed him with Varys, I was always up by a good amount in this game, it was just staying safe and making whatever gain I could to slowly win it out.

R5 - Loss vs Targ SoB (Sam Nowrouzi)

This was my first Targ SoB loss with Lanni, and I definitely can’t be mad about how it went. I saw my Iron throne on set up as hoped, but was struggling to fully afford everything I needed on the board. On the first SoB trigger, he fetches a Lay Siege, which immediately made me worry and despite getting 3 random discards with Cersei and intrigue claim, I didn’t hit it so was immediately having to worry about the coming turns. He kept comfortably ahead, starting to do 3 claim power challenges with Khalasar rather than just try to hit military for no reason, which was something I couldn't properly deal with. Then he flipped PD which was the moment I felt like I had lost the game. I managed to keep myself in for quite a while just by getting hit back, but he had all the tools he needed to win.

R6 - Win vs Bara Qohor (Andras Fulop)

I’d been sitting next to Andras most of the games up to this point, and had been dreading the eventuality we’d have to play. Bara Qohor is one of the decks worst match ups, and it was being played by one of the best players of that deck in the world. The card that I know can win the match up is Pinch, and when i saw one in my opening draw I knew I had to take my chance. Andras opened with a duped Shyra and Alester, which made me think opening Marched was the right call into a possible Heir. In hindsight i’m not sure why I thought this would overly matter, but Andras played Loan, so I opted for the initiative knowing I was going to use a shadow priestess to try and get an intrigue through. I play out Red Keep and a Bolton Flayer and get ready to see what he plays out. Robert Baratheon hits the table, which I immediately kneel. Seal of the hand uses up the rest of the gold and I cancel the trigger with Red Keep. I have 6 intrigue strength to Andras’ 0 so i get the pinch through comfortably and Robert is straight back in hand. At this moment it was basically my game because unfortunately Andras didn’t see enough intrigue icons to stop me just repeating the process, and conceded turn 3.

I end up finishing my first day 5-1, and watch on as the other lanni decks finish up their games and hope I can sneak my way to top Lannister, and as luck would have it I got to walk away with a lovely deck box ready for Day 2.

T64 - Win vs Targ SoB (Sean Perley)

This was the start of the open deck lists, and my first game of the day was also recorded for The White Walkers. Being able to see the counter cards as a shadows player is a huge bonus, and seeing he didn’t have PD or Lay Siege just immediately boosted my confidence, and being able to set up Iron Throne and Red Keep just felt like the dream. Sean did a good job working round Robert Strong with his Qotho, finding dupes and standing him before I could fully take him out, unfortunately he spent a lot of resource on doing this which meant he had to flip YWOYD turn 2 and I knew I just had to keep control one more turn then the lock would kick in fully.

T32 - Win vs Targ SoB (Sean Emberley)

I was definitely worried about this one, because even though it was Targ SoB which i usually like, Sean was the only player id see actively beating the Shadows match up. This time i did have to worry about a Lay Siege, but Sean had to start by going wide on chud and wasnt initially able to get his triggers off. Jhogo showed up and started to cause me some issues, and I drew into 3 KoF and a Tunnels which was the way I was going to be able to play out this match up. I believe the game was starting to swing in Seans favour, as he declared a 19 strength military challenge with Jhogo and some other bodies vs KoF and some military chud. I assumed this would be the moment it goes wrong for me, but unfortunately for Sean he forgot to declare stealth and took an action. This meant rather than losing a challenge 19-11 I could win 20-19, and could punish the kneeling out on his side and rack up power. From this point I had a lot of control on the game, and was up 13-5 going into what would possibly be the final turn with just KoF and a dupe. Knowing he had drawn a khalasar, I used Iron Throne to stop him playing that, then realised I had no way to stop a PTTS and started to think I’d just thrown the game. Thankfully, with some trickery I could cover my fuck up. Tyrion went in and out of shadows, put the knelt throne into shadows, and let me bring it back out to cover the PTTS in challenges. With my mistake covered, I just had to only defend what was necessary and closed out in dom.

T16 - Loss vs Bara Qohor (Hanno Lunser)

I thought I was sad when I got the Andras match up, but now I had Hanno in an elimination game, and was starting to think my luck might be about to run out. My initial draw had a Catspaw, but nothing else of use, so I had to opt to mulligan it away and drew into a fairly average hand with Bowels being my main backboard piece, versus Hanno’s Selyse with warhammer, chud and econ. I couldn't afford to use my Valar right away, so went into ATG versus Loan. I don't get to do anything remarkable and Hanno gets to throw out Stannis Lightbringer and Seized with multiple gold on Bowels. This is definitely not how I wanted the game to start and had to take the option of doing nothing to avoid having power then flip VD turn 2 to reduce the board a bit. Hanno flips Barring and can safely put out Beric, and is able to set up some further bodyguards for Stannis while I try to build out my shadows area. I have a Varys in shadows and a Clever Feint in hand, so i’m just having to hope I can hold out till I can flip Forgotten Plans and that he doesn't have a HJ. Thankfully, things start to work out and I can clear a lot of power from the board and Hanno’s draw starts to slow down. I also bring out Tunnels at this point and start to defend some challenges to keep things slower. Turn 4 is when things start to look more promising for me as i’ve survived the tech plots and now have plenty of gold to start using KoF to fight off his remaining board. I’m slowly pulling the game back, but I get Beric off the board so each turn is very tough. Going into the last turn of the game, Hanno is 10-7 up but I have the tempo. He flips Parley and names power challenges, and my chances of stealing the last power I need reduce drastically. I make a slight mistake over the course of this and the previous turn of thinking I can get Hanno to make a mistake and get a good Robert Strong trigger, which he avoids as expected and I don’t take the opportunity to nab an extra power thinking i’ll find a better moment. We end challenges 10-10 and he is able to take dominance, finishing up what was an insanely good game and ending my worlds run!

Final thoughts

While it’s not the end of my thrones career, it was a fantastic send off for the official organized play, and I was very happy to be able to see a lot of people at least one more time. Thank you to everyone who helped in the build up to the event, and those who made the weekend a treasured memory to go with the many others I have of this wonderful community.

1 comment

Diomedes 2739

Congrats on your great run, Joe! You definitely made the right choice playing Lanni Shadows. I was sure this deck would win Worlds, but somehow Francis dodged all Lanni Shadows and Alex Black even beat one.

Our top 16 game was one of my tensest games ever. I never thought I would have to name with Parley, but that saved me against your Tunnels KoF. Maybe I was too greedy not keeping 2x Bodyguard on Stannis. I think even the Bara Qohor matchup is usually favorable for Lanni Shadows now, just open Valar and play more Pinch ;)