The Other Free Companies - Stahleck 2022 Top 16

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

Cas 139

Hi All,

First, I would like to thank everyone for the great experience of this years Stahleck. I have really missed this game, and I'm very thankful that it's alive again.

I have moved on from the game during Covid, but when Stahleck 2022 was announced I had no question in my mind that I should be there. And if I am there, I was not going to go without preparation. I was sure that I want to play Lannister as usual, and I wanted to avoid shadow decks if possible, since I have played that enough in the last year of the FFG era. After trying some of the new cards, I quickly narrowed it down to two options: Clansman with Many Faced God and Free Companies. I liked the clansman deck a lot but it seemed to be much less reliable, so by August, I settled on Free Companies.

The first version I came up with was not very good, but after some trial and error, the deck has reached a state that could carry me to a surprise win in the Season 7 of the Friendly Open. After this, Sebastian has reached out to me and told me that he has been working on a similar concept. In around the last two months before Stahleck we have been sporadically sharing insights and iterations of our decks. For this reason, you can see that there are a lot of similarities between Sebastian and Lennart's deck and mine. However, we came to a few different conclusions:

The main difference is the plot deck. A lot of these choices come down to personal preference. I personally tend to avoid both Late Summer Feast and You Win Or You Die due to their drawbacks, so I went for Summer Harvest and The Warrior. This left me without a restricted card, so I switched Counting Coppers to Exchange of Information. At this point in time I'm not at all convinced that Harvest and Warrior is better than Feast and YWOYD but I really like Exchange. I have never been given fever than 3 cards, and it helps a lot in finding Seized by the Guard and Unbridled Generosity in key moments. Being able to target Winter Festival is also a nice bonus, which won me a very close game in swiss. When Tyrell MFG started to become very big after the restricted list update, Sebastian suggested that we should run The Mad King's Command. At first I was against it, but funnily enough we both switched our stance in the last minute and I ended up running it, while Sebastian and Lennart did not. Ironically, it didn't help me against the single Tyrell-MFG I played, but in general it did pay off, and if I started again, I would still play it.

Another important difference is the single A Pinch of Powder I have included. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made the cut if I didn't have that card. It can make a small advantage into an insurmountable one, and this is extremely useful in the later stages of a long tournament. It's much harder for the opponent to capitalize on any mistake I make from tiredness if I'm already dominating with repeat pinches. I do think it's a bit of a crutch, but this deck can be very draining to play, and Pinch can take off a lot of mental load in some games.

There are some other differences such as including Sweetsleep, including a cheeky Podrick against aggro (which I expected much more of based on the last few days on TIT) and leaving Jaime out, but these are less relevant to the core concept.

In the tourney, I had a terrible start with two losses against Jester's Tyrell-MFG and Melle's Martell-Mummers. I think both of these losses came from both mistakes and bad luck, but after that I was able to ride the submarine. I had some very close games that were nothing short of miracles (in the game against Purchy's Stark Crossing, I was able to punish an unfortunate mistake on 13-13, while aginst Tomas's Greyjoy-Sun my last round mistake was very narrowly not punished enough, so I could finish on 14-13). In the top 32 I started from a very favorable position against Dave's Martell-Hollow Hill, and having played that matchup enough times, I was able to capitalize on this. I have to say that Dave is a joy to play against and I want to give a shout out for his great sportsmanship. The top 16 against Dominik's Stark Fealty started terribly. After the worst setup I had in the tournament, a lucky intrigue pull basically sealed the game on the spot. If I had played 100% optimally, I might have had a little chance to come back but I did not, so the tournament ended for me here. Congrats to Dominik for his great performance, and proceeding all the way to top 4!

I might write a more detailed tourney report if I have the time and energy later, but the last time I promised this, I did not deliver, so I won't promise this time. :D

All in all, I'm very happy with reaching top 16 especially by sticking to my favorite faction even if it's the weakest on paper. I believe there is still a lot of room for improvement left for me, but it looks like I'm going in the right direction.

I would like to thank the organizers for the amazing work they did. This is always true, but the return after Covid restrictions and the official support shutting down must have been especially daunting. Can't thank you enough for not letting Stahleck die.

Also huge thanks to the whole of the GOT for keepig the game alive. After the FFG support finishing, didn't have much hope that it would be possible, but you did it, and I'm extremely grateful. I am amazed at the state of the game and the huge diversity of the meta. There were 7 factions in the top 8! This is crazy! The design team really deserves every praise.

Special thanks to the community and organizers of the Friendly Open for being my playgroup when I had none left at home. The vibrant online tournament scene does a lot for this game. If you are not yet participating, I urge you to join the fun. :) And again, thanks a lot to Sebastian for being an invaluable partner in deckbuilding.

See you all next year, but hopefully sooner! :)

1 comment

SGE 247

Anytime mate! Was great fun.