|Card draw simulator|
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
|None. Self-made deck here.|
When Bribery and Mercenary Contract were released, it was quite obvious that their combo is super-powerful. In fact, it was so powerful that Bribery got restricted before even winning something. But somehow, the combo never really unfolded its potential in the competitive scene, winning no major tournaments so far. This deck is my attempt to craft a deck around the combo. I had quite good results in german world cup qualifiers (4-2) and in german nationals (losing in the first round of the cut), but between the pandemic and my real life duties I do not find enough time to refine and pilot this deck to greater success. So I am putting it online to give others a chance to explore this deck that I have really fallen in love with.
First a disclaimer: This deck is hard to pilot. You have to keep an overview of your hand, your conclave and the top of your deck and manage the optimal flow of cards between these areas. Also, it is easy to play a bribery combo deck with high variance because of its blowout potential. Playing it in a consistent way is much harder and requires a lot of patience.
I play this deck in a very conservative, patient style. During the first rounds I try to build up a board and an economy base - preferably using Braavos which the deck can leverage almost perfectly. During these first turns I have a keen eye on the power total, denying my opponents power gain where possible and prioritizing my own power challenges much higher than I usually do. Sooner or later you will find the combo - often multiple times per game - and you can put down the hammer to accelerate your power gain quickly.
Plots are a standard mixture of Economy, Draw/Tutor and Reset Control. The deck can handle Political Disaster so well that it would be a shame not to play it. For the other plots, you have some choice to adapt to your play style by rotating in 2nd Exchange of Information, Valar Morghulis or Here to Serve. If you add the latter you can cut the duplicates of Maester Murenmure and Maester Cressen.
Concerning locations it is worth to talk about the three copies of Isle of Ravens. Recurring your important events is key and I think Isle of Ravens works much better than e.g. Lazy Leo. With the setup-friendliness and the needed resilience for Political Disaster, I went as high as three copies and really liked it.
In the event section, The Hand's Judgment is mandatory as countercancel to protect your Bribery. Nightmares is really helpful to apply the combo to No Attachments dudes, which will often come as a surprise to people. And trust me, stealing Three-Finger Hobb is very satisfying. Healing Expertise is important because you cannot afford your board to become empty with Braavos being the main economy engine. Also, it is the only way to save stolen characters that carry a lot of power.
Characterwise, I think that only 3x Archmaester Marwyn, 3x Daario Naharis and a handful of maesters are must-haves. You have some freedom in choosing the rest, but I would not advise you to go lower than 30 characters. I pushed the curve quite low to quickly get big boards, added more Maesters than necessary to get a nice Braavos rainbow and focussed on power icons. The power gain of Viserys Targaryen (AtSK) suits my grindy play style well. Dothraki Honor Guard is a replacement target for Aegon Targaryen with a power icon and a nice strength buff opportunity through Nightmares. Syrio Forel and Varamyr Sixskins can be replaced with whatever cards you like - but I like their versatility and stealth very much.
Finally here are some more or less obvious tricks you should not miss out on:
- Trigger Aegon Targaryen in marshalling to get Daario Naharis and play a duplicate from hand - only use if duplicates aren't super important in the matchup (no direct kill, likely no Valar Morghulis)
- Play Mercenary Contract on your own Daario Naharis to make him an absolute beast
- Do not get attached to Archmaester Marwyn when you got the most important combo pieces from your conclave. E.g. I almost never keep him through Valar Dohaeris but try to replay him instead.
- Trigger the agenda to put Mercenary Contract on the top of the deck and then play Exchange of Information next turn.
- Don't forget that Bribery can kneel any character. It can win games!!!
- Maester Gormon gets much better through Isle of Ravens, Aegon Targaryen and The Lost Message which allow to shuffle the deck to dig for combo pieces.
- Think twice before triggering your agenda: It is easy to shuffle the card away with a tutor plot, Isle of Ravens or the card being pillaged.
Questions and comments welcome.