Martell BotT: The Wars have Come (Top 32, Worlds 2022)

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Derived from
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Inspiration for
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Deathlysteve 154

The Wars have Come

"In the Boneway and the Prince’s Pass, two Dornish hosts had massed, and there they sat... waiting, waiting, waiting for the Prince of Dorne to loose them on the enemies of House Martell." ~ Arianne Martell, TWoW

Agenda

Battle of the Trident

This unique agenda provides you with a very unique package of unseen tricks, similar to that of "The Rains of Castamere". In essence, it allows you to utilize various War, Edict or Siege plots that would usually be left in the binder; it is the only agenda that allows you to utilize these powerful When Revealed effects, whilst avoiding their usual downsides (eg. terrible gold and/or initiative).

It's a very well-known fact that probably have the most consistent Army characters in the game, most of which can actually work together in the same style of deck. When an agenda is released which interacts directly with that Trait, a good player should definitely be interested in how they can utilize that with the already-good Army package available. Battle of the Trident is currently a fantastic choice for Martell, as the combination of characters, plot mechanics & board-control can absolutely shred any unassuming opponent.

Since this agenda is all about flipping plots, lets start with that first and break down what you should be looking out for, and why.


Plots

Any player who wants to utilize this agenda must think ahead, and leave the right plots to flip at the right moments. You have the opportunity to reveal with Trident, but it is not always the best choice, and may not be necessary every turn. Remember that you still need to reveal plots naturally, so ensuring you are left with the right plots at the right time is crucial to dominating with any Trident deck, not just this one. Lets split the plots up into three separate groups for consideration, with overlaps noted.

Openers

  • For the Realm - If you find an efficient 4 or higher Army in your hand after setup (eg. Knights of the Sun, Warrior's Sons), this plot is treated as an 8 gold opener; always useful to get on the offensive early. Having good Army characters on the board early is extremely valuable. Note: Even if you do have a character for this, it isn't always the best choice if you don't think you can actually hold the board turn 1.
  • A Feast for Crows - If the above does not apply, this is your safest opener. 6 gold, with the added pressure for your opponent to not let you take dominance. Due to Trident, you have the unique option to flip into something else if you can't win dominance and/or want to avoid the low reserve downside.

Regular Plots

  • Manning the City Walls - Fairly conditional, as I'd only recommend revealing this if you find Gulltown, with a Boneway or Cavalry in hand, or if you have absolutely no other choice (which can sometimes be the case). In a deck which struggles for economy, having a potential "10" gold plot is extremely valuable; try not to waste it. This can also be used as an opener, or as a Trident plot for a surprise challenge-phase Army.
  • The Warrior - An amazing mid-game plot for its high gold, high initiative, and potential 2 claim with your The Seven characters. You can usually avoid the low-reserve downside with Trident or your reserve boosting locations.
  • Duel - Either used for its regular stats, or to crush an opponent with bombs; this is a useful tool to have in any deck, and especially here. It can also be used with your agenda as a surprise kneel/kill when the situation arises. Note: If you are doing this during the challenges phase, remember that they cannot choose to kneel an already-knelt bomb, so they will be forced to kill whichever one is not knelt. You can sometimes use this to your advantage.
  • Wildfire Assault - Resets are fairly slim here, and this plot forces the opponent to a smaller board, whilst providing you high initiative to intimidate. In rare cases this can be usefully flipped with your agenda, but usually is better as a natural-reveal.

Exclusively for Trident

  • At Prince Doran's Behest - Martell players must fight the urge to not open with this, as revealing this plot with your agenda essentially turns an challenge into any War, Edict or Siege plot you need. This is extremely useful tool to flip the game in your favour, exclusively to . It gives you access to immediate aggression (3 claim with Desperate Attack), or if you cannot get past their defensive or , it allows you a one-time flip into the plot you need to trigger in order to turn the game (Siege Prep, Reinforcements, Duel, Manning). Note: Be careful as you do not want Behest to be your last plot, as you cannot flip into a new plot whilst there are no plots in your plot deck. You WILL be left with Behest if you do not think ahead, so keep that in mind!
  • Reinforcements - An extremely useful plot to keep a strong board-presence. Adding a surprise 5 cost character into play from your hand (or discard pile!) directly after claim can be really hard to deal with, especially early on. This plot has a very -specific combo with Arianne, as you can return her to hand to put a card into play, flip this plot, then put her straight back into play.
  • Siege Preparations - An invaluable plot to recover a full hand of cards which, in many cases, can completely save your game. Synergises especially well with your reserve boost locations.
  • Desperate Attack - The ultimate power-play plot of this deck; as a Trident player, you have the unique ability to hit an opponent back with 3 claim & , and as a player, you have the unique opportunity to combine this with Behest, and hit with 3 claim rather than . This is one of the "think ahead" plots, as you need to prepare your board in a way where you can win the required challenges to trigger your agenda, plus win the following challenges to absolutely decimate your opponent. Note: If you are not the second player, make sure that you can take the hit from your opponent afterwards, as their claim will be raised by 1.

Cards & Combos

Essential Cards

  • Host of the Boneway - The best Army in this deck, and likely the entire game at the moment. It is an especially useful tool for flipping into Behest and triggering Doran's Game (R); a high STR intimidate is incredible useful in holding the game, with potential stand as an added bonus.
  • Windblown - Pairs extremely well with many cards in this deck, including The Tattered Prince. For example standing a Boneway after flipping into Desperate Attack can be absolutely brutal for your opponent.
  • Arianne Martell (Core) - In a deck which is short of reliable economy plots, having a character that allows you to bring more bodies onto the board is very valuable. Plus, the combo with Reinforcements is extremely efficient here.
  • Ricasso - Although he can cost you a bit, if you manage to get him into play he easily excels the deck in numerous ways by combo-ing very well with other key & supporting cards. Finding him will, in quite a few cases, be the reason you win or lose.
  • Doran's Game (R) - This, along with Desperate Attack, is the primary closer of this deck. In many cases, you can easily steal a win away from your opponent with one or both of these cards combined.

Useful Cards/Combos

  • The Tattered Prince - Tatters is a very unique and useful card in this deck, and I'd consider slotting more of him if I could decide on what to cut. He has the Commander trait for Trident, and his forced interrupt can interact with it to keep him safe in shadows before any natural resets actually hit or after being Flea Bottom'd into play. He can also be (thematically) stood with Windblown and he's generally a cheap/efficient character in this deck.
  • Unbridled Generosity + Any Bestow Card - The value of this is more than it may seem. You can bestow on Ricasso to speed up the deck, and/or surprise boost any Host of the Boneway's whilst they're in a challenge. It allows you to refill Flea Bottom (R) & Begging Brother's, which gives you more board presence/control, and can potentially save you the game by keeping Tattered in play when you need to hold that renown.
  • Meadowlark + Battle of the Trident - Revealing plots frequently can stack Journey tokens real quick. You'll be able to fetch the right card when you need it, especially with all the efficient 3 cost characters available. If you plan your Trident reveals right, you can really supercharge this location with insane efficiency.
  • A Mission in Essos (R) - Generally used as an emergency character-fetch, and extremely valuable late-game. Returning a Cavalry or knelt Boneway to find a Windblown for stand or Knights of the Sun for renown can be game-defining.
  • Hotah's Axe - Extremely useful with various cards jumping into play during the challenges phase. You have various of these effects available (see above 2), as well as through Reinforcements and Manning; you will always love to see this card. Bonus points if you find a late-game Areo Hotah with his axe for a sneaky Ambush (0) 6 STR on defence + claim raise.

Important Tips

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

Although flipping into plots with Trident can be a very enjoyable gaming experience, it is not always the right move. You can really back yourself into a corner, and sometimes holding the current plot in order to plan a more impactful turn next round can be smarter than flipping faster than a 5-star renovator.

Princes Plan Ahead

As previously mentioned, planning your next few plot reveals in your mind before taking action can line up a sequence of devastating blows rather than flipping on a whim. For example, in a turn where you Desperately want to hit hard, consider revealing a high initiative plot and letting your opponent go first, so that their board is likely more knelt out, and they avoid any benefit of DA's claim raise. Another useful example is planning around The Tattered Prince's Forced Reaction; if you do not consider this whilst choosing your challenge order for the most efficient trident reveal, then you'll be playing yourself, not the opponent.

Going First or Going Second

This deck has a mix of different moments that going first is more beneficial over going second, and vice-versa. Generally, if you have enough Intimidate and/or necessary Assault on the board, going first is usually more useful, but there are various plot-moments where going second is the right call. Some cards like Arianne, Windblown, Ghaston Grey and Desert Raider can help with taking a hit from the first player.

Supercharged

There's a very strange scenario you can come across with Trident, which can be specifically utilized in . The "Then" text at the bottom of the agenda is designed to put any removed cards back into your used pile when you have exactly 1 plot in your plot deck, primarily to stop used plot tech during most of the game. This means, however, that when you flip your second last plot (whether naturally or with your agenda), you will have minimum 7 used plots, as each re-enters your used pile. This can be very good to know before it happens, in order to potentially utilize an overpowered Boneway, or use The Prince's Plan effectively. Additionally, there is an even more niche interaction with Tattered here, where if he is in play when this part of the agenda triggers, his Forced Reaction will trigger for each plot being put back in the game, as it enters your used pile. Keep that in mind, as it's both costed me and won me games in the past.

Have fun... No really, have fun

You're playing a deck which is competitive (at least competitive enough to make it to Top 32 at worlds, knocked out by the King of Swiss), but also packing some cards that nobody has seen for the lifetime of the game (looking at you Reinforcements & Desperate Attack). Practice the strategy, and have fun with being able to stumble your opponent with these surprisingly effective card combinations, and feel good about pulling off well-planned combinations.



Worlds 2022

https://thejoustingpavilion.com/tournaments/8097

This deck was my fun, but competitive addition to Worlds 2022. I did not expect to get extremely far with this, but was very pleased with making it to 32nd place, after a cut-throat extended cut game against Aloof, and a surprisingly close loss against Fealty.


Game 1 (LOSS): vs Banner of the Kraken (Radek Z)

Unfortunately starting off weak against an amazing player, Radek made good use of the efficiency with shadow cards. Draw was not on my side in this one, but honestly Radek deserved the win here as he is an amazing player!


Game 2 (WIN): vs The White Book (Leo Midtdal-Larsen)

A very interesting game, and I absolutely loved Leo's deck here; a more traditional White Book with big characters. Unfortunately for him, I found Boneway and Ricasso quite early, and the rest is history.


Game 3 (LOSS): vs Sea of Blood (R) (Flabio Pastén Valenzuela)

Absolutely loved his deck here; was basically a used plot deck, using the agenda to fetch the key events (The Prince's Plan, Doran's Game (R), To The Spears!). Unfortunately for me, he started turn 1 with a 10 STR Quentyn Martell (SoD), and a Doran Martell (Core) being protected by Mellario of Norvos. Well played either way, but not much I could do with a start that strong!


Game 4 (WIN): vs Battle of the Trident (Xander Hintz)

Facing one of the other two Trident decks, this here was an interesting match. I started off strong by finding better **Army*** characters, however he started turning the tides once he saw King Robb's Host. I made the fatal mistake of forgetting that my opponent was also likely playing Desperate Attack, and allowed him to hit me with a 4 claim , thanks to Winter Is Coming. It was a slow crawl back from that almost game-losing mistake, but I managed to snag the win thanks to well-timed plots & Doran's Game (R). Loved his deck.


Game 5 (WIN): vs Banner of the Dragon (Tim Robinson)

Versing one of my fellow Aussies was unfortunate, as it meant one of us was definitely not making the cut due to this match. His deck was extremely interesting, working with Aegon to fetch Army characters, using them, then A Mission in Essos to find a more permanent card with the same traits (usually Army or House Dayne). Also used Griffin's Roost and Jon Connington which was awesome to see! Luckily with this one, I simply found the right cards early on, and made the game very difficult for him with some high claim challenges and intimidates.


Game 6 (WIN): vs Fealty (Richard Walker)

This game didn't go for very long, as Richard decided to concede for family reasons. I did find a very good early lead with this one, and absolutely bamboozled him with simply playing Reinforcements and Warrior's Sons. Good game either way, and it meant that I made it into the cut!


TOP 64/Extended Cut (WIN): vs Aloof and Apart (Weihua Wang)

The entirety of this game was streamed by:

An absolute thrilling game birthed from an unfortunate SOS/ESOS, putting me at the bottom of the 4W/2L group, and in 33rd place. This game was a tough one, and required a whole lot of thinking ahead, or else the strength of would have been overwhelming; due to this I definitely took my time, where needed. He saw Asha Greyjoy (Km) fairly early, and eventually a Victarion Greyjoy (R) with a healthy amount of Warships, meanwhile I had pretty horrible early draw with no Army characters for For the Realm, and only a single Begging Brother which I was forced to Manning into play naturally. I feel I played this game really well, and a good example of that could be a very specific and intentional play that I have never made before; he had triggered Victarion once, and declared him as a defender to defend a 3 claim challenge (DA). I immediately Unbridled to load my 0 gold Begging Brother, and surprise-cancelled Victarion's stand, to then follow up with a 3 claim and flip the game in my favour. I then immediately followed that up with a naturally flipped Duel to correctly predict his Valar Morghulis, leaving him with a knelt Asha in the next round, and I took the win with a Knights of the Sun and an ambush (0) Areo with his Axe.


TOP 32 (LOSS): vs Fealty (Wolf Bian)

This opponent was the King of Swiss, and a fantastic player. I was high off me previous win, and I started off knowing I had a big challenge ahead of me, but ultimately couldn't get the win due to too many bombs on the board, and couldn't hold the control I knew I needed to win. Even with that, this was still a (surprisingly) close game, and I was just happy to make it this far.



Closing Remarks

This is a deck which I've been enjoying, now that I think about it, since Battle of the Trident's release and I think it has incredible competitive potential. Outside of competitiveness, I'm absolutely in love with the agenda itself and the cards it pulls out of the binder; any new release that can make previously bad cards very good is a really well designed card and loads of fun. I do believe this agenda can be really good with various houses, but have very specific interactions here which can make it shine even brighter, with various cards which fit the aggressive Army theme.

If you enjoy playing , and are looking for something new/interesting, give this deck a go and let me know how you like it!

9 comments

Evad 31

Thank you for sharing and the explanation, mate! Congrats on your great performance

hagarrr 584

Great deck and great write up! Shame you're a scumbag but two outta three ain't bad ;) <3

Deathlysteve 154

I'm only a scumbag because you lost to me for the top cut & you're grumpy about it! ;D

TheBlueWombat28 1

Excellent deck, I was hoping you'd post it. Congrats on your performance! :)

hagarrr 584

I'd just like to clarify that although I conceded for family reasons, you were still quite obviously going to win the game so I merely expedited matters :)

mak 278

Thx @Deathlysteve for sharing! Congrats!

Deathlysteve 154

This deck also did fairly well in the Friendly Open Season 6; I was only able to play 2 out of the 5 episodes, but with this deck alone I racked up enough points for the top cut!

Mischco 1

played some 20 games with your deck: here is the result: really weal against kneeling effects (bara qohor) not able to milk melissandre, starks winterfell with crossing is almost unimpossible to beat with just one siezed in the deck. happenned me many times that doubled renown chars won the game for opponent. i was forced to change one plot for pointy end. against voltron decks, your setup has no response. playing starks or tyrells with heavy military is also hard: happens i cant win even a single military to trigger some war plots and in such games winning a power challenge is also really hard (for triggering at dorans behest and then some other suitable card). sooo: against bara kneel and intimidate i was forced to ad Shandystone 2*.

prancingPWNy 104

An excellent run, and a marvelous deck.