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|Builders joining Free Companies (Winner Friendly Open s01e04||9||7||3||1.0|
Wall defence using the tremendous strength and the different possibilities of Builders had become a bit complicated, when Exchange of Information and Brandon's Gift entered the Restricted List. The pod with Craven and The Haunted Forest also forces you into difficult decisions, when building a (hopefully) competitive builder deck.
When developing my former Builder Free Companies deck, I decided to keep Exchange and Craven. Adding Alliance for Qohor helped a lot to replace the economy advantage of Brandon's Gift and to have constantly access to Cravens to not miss the Forest that much. It helped also to balance this deck and get board presence and control.
Builders, Qohor and Free Companies
A short deck overview:
The main idea is as simple as in any Wall deck: Protect it, don't lose challenges (at least not challenges) and get 2 power every round. Nevertheless the deck itself is not that easy to play. In the first rounds you try to build your board and get your economy working. In the first rounds Qohor is mostly needed to slow your opponent down (Craven, Milk) and (even more important) change some attachments with Qohor into Miner's Pick for money. No need to play The Wall (Core) too early. In many test games I played Time of Plenty into double Exchange of Information and then play the Wall, when Champion's Challenge is revealed. If you find enough economy (Underground Vault and Eastwatch Carpenter mostly) and the Wall in early game, feel free to start protecting it immediately.
Significant changes to NW Free Companies:
- The Qohor agenda requires a more active playstyle. You have to win challenges as attacker, to get new attachments on board. Owen the Oaf is the key card here to win challenges. Beside Owen you can normally win challenges every round. Halder is helpful as normal. I run three copies here now.
- Isle of Ravens has become even more important in this deck. Also three copies now.
- Seasoned Woodsman is an obvious choice here. It has the right trait and can be triggered two times in marsh and two times in challenge phase, when things are going perfectly.
- We need attachments here. Cravens, Milks and Seized by the Guard are the needed builder-wall-protection-cards. The Daggers and Blades are mostly used once and then changed into money or control. In late game, the Miner's Picks can be switched into something else as well.
- Due to playing with 75 cards, the Balerion - Mole's Town interaction is more unlikely to happen. Nevertheless the brave cat holds a well deserved spot here.
All other cards did very well in NW Free Companies and do very well here. Obviously there are some really bad matchups. I was very happy to not face Lanni Kraken or Targ Burn in this tournament.
A Game of Thrones Friendly Open s05e01
(very short tournament report)
Round 1 Win vs. Banner of the Rose
My opponent felt very uncomfortable with this matchup from the beginning. And sadly for him he was right. I needed a few rounds to build my economy and my board, but was in full control then. No Valar Morghulis on his side (if I remember correctly), so no chance to overcome the builders.
Round 2 Win vs. Kings of Summer
I was expecting some kind of a builder mirror match, with this agenda and felt pretty comfortable running Seized by the Guard. To my surprise it was no builder deck. He run the big wall but did only find Queenscrown in setup. I discarded one copy of the big wall first round and he never saw a second one. My Seized by the Guard (in hand from start) was not needed. Without his most important tool it was a very one-sided match.
Round 3 Win vs. Kings of Winter
I had very good economy early in this match. (Thx to Aged Craftsman -- What a fantastic card!). His deck was full of ambush-tricks, but with The Wall (Core) in first round, I had no need to push any challenges. Craster helped me having a very good board presence even after Valar Dohaeris. I was in control of the Wall and got my power every round.
Round 4 Win vs The Wars To Come (R)
The reigning King at the Wall wrote in his writeup of that tournament: "undeserved wins are the sweetest thing to taste"
I for myself would not fully agree here. Quite the reserve: I still feel a bit ashamed with this win on my side. I played so badly, but luck was on my side.
I had a stable start with good economy, some builders and the Wall round 2. Selyse Baratheon (FotOG) in his The Withering Cold turn hit me as hard as expected, but I came through this and was about to take control. But then I miscalculated the board in two consecutive rounds. The board was hard to count, but that can't be an apology. My (two!!!) brainfarts gave him an eight advantage (Dominance, Gendry (NMG), Chamber of the Painted Table) to get an amount of 14 . He played Heads on Spikes in our last round into my board of three builders and one milk. However he hit the milk and my controlling board got me the win. Oh boy...
Final Win vs. Valyrian Steel (R)
This match went smoother again. My attachments controlled his main characters and I did only very small mistakes, which were not very harmful (like forgetting the intimdate from Nymeria (WotN)). His Frozen Solid on my Mole's Town hurt a lot, but I could wait to play Confiscation until my board was set. At least one summer plot hits one of his two Winter Festivals and his Valar Morghulis could not turn things around. I played it safely to an end.
Last but not least I have to thank all my opponents for the friendly and very fair matches and (maybe even more important) all the organizers of this tournament series. Lets keep this game alive!