Martell Sand Snakes - Stahleck 2022 (4:4)

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

LordP 47

Hi everyone,

I did not achieve any exceptional result with this deck, however some of you liked it as it is something a bit different from the casual meta decks so I decided to put it here so you can take a look. :)

Despite playing a game for a while now this was my first Stahleck as I was always not able to come for different reasons so I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere, the games and especially the community and meeting players that I know from theironthrone in person.

I am not usually playing the meta decks as I do not like to meet someone with the same or very similar deck to mine and hate the mirror matchups so I decided to put together something different. With some of the new Sand Snake cards added it finally started to make sense to play a Sand Snakes oriented deck and despite the fact I am not really a Martell oriented player I decide to give it a shot and after a while playing something more agressive than the mid range decks I am usually playing.

To the deck: The idea is very simple, this is a character attrition deck. Solid military claims, some returns to the hand, Venomous blades and the plot line are making it work. Mentioning the plot line: I really needed to add the Naval Superiority as many players are actually opening with a high value Kingdom/Edict plots after the At the Gates was banned and Martell is the only house, where you have the luxury to afford it as you can run At Prince Doran's Behest to check if you can open with Naval. Some players are obviously very careful about that, but even if they would swap their usual plot line to not receive the Naval hit, they still need to continue to play around that plot, because I can reveal anything else first thanks to the Behest, which is still making their plot selection a bit difficult. 2x Marched to the Wall and Valar Morghulis is obvious choice for a character attrition deck. You Win Or You Die for additional card draw and claim as a restricted card as with 3x Summer Sea Port your hand usually wont end up empty. Finally good old Breaking Ties (R) , which usually hits hard and without it the deck would be much weaker. There are enough small loyal characters to play it efficiently and it supports your attrition game plan as you are not only returning one of the characters to hand, but also unblocking your way for winning the military challenge. A very good deal is also to return The Red Keep (R) as this deck really hates cancels. The Agenda is there only for a few cards, but you are able to use it efficiently most of the time. The main target is obviously to feed your Flea Bottom (R) ,which is just great for Martells as we all know. The Iron Bank (R) is also nice to have as this deck runs without any economy plots. And finally you can decide to use it for Seized by the Guard especially if you see The Red Keep (R) or Castle Black (BtB) on the other side of the table. 3x Choosing the Spear and Elia Sand (JS) to increase your military claim. And then all the other cards you would expect in this deck.

Matchups: The deck usually struggles with other control decks or shadows as they dont really care about their character board and build up a strong location base and/or shadow area and slowly turning the game around as this deck has a limited speed and is usually not able to grab 15 power tokens before you start killing yourself with your plot line... However it is still possible to beat them, but it is a long and frustrating game. :D I was able to beat the Reach deck a couple of times within the testing especially if they run The Prince that was Promised as they are usually not able to hold the board in the first round against this and their Randyll Tarly (JS) is going to the wall round 2. Having a lot of locations, they might have difficulties to build the board back again. However the deck can be super fast and is still pretty strong so it is still a difficult matchup. NW AA can also lose against this as they usually fill up their board with small characters and your Venomous Blades and Dorea are having a lot of targets to cut the board and you are sending the big characters to the wall. However they also have a lot of answers such as Maester Aemon (Core) , who you usually want to return on hand or The Watch Has Need to find their dupes and stabilize the board. This is I would say 50/50 matchup depending if you get a good Naval hit. Greyjoys are usually suffering a lot to stay on board against this deck same as Starks. Lannisters can be a huge problem with the amount of cancels they have.

Game report Joust: Round 1: Won vs Stark Crossing (Khudzlin) My opponent set up was Duped Wyman Manderly (R) , Rickon Stark and Old Gate I do not remember mine... I was able to hit Naval against his first plot, which was The Maiden I believe so he only duped his Wyman again (2 dupes) and kept 1 gold. I had Choosing the Spear on hand so I was planning to raise claim to 2, kill Rickon and play Marched to the Wall in the second round. However the opponent played No Surprises and I did not have my cancel so was able to only get one Wyman dupe out. I played Marched as the second plot anyway and I was really happy about that as I saw Heir to the Iron Throne on the other side. I was able to get rid of that last Wyman dupe that round, but the opponent stabilized his board in round 3 including Robb Stark (Core) in play so that was an easy Valar Morghulis call for me especially that I had duped Elia Sand (JS) on board. That Valar finally turned the game to my favor and with Breaking Ties (R) still available and opponents hand empty thanks to my claim 3 with int with Elia Sand (JS) and You Win Or You Die I finished the game.

Round 2: Lost vs Tyrell TMFG (Lannister) I was actually very happy about this game even if I lost as I was able to meet Lannister for the first time after a lot of games we played on theironthrone. He played more stable version of the Reach deck and opening with Time of Plenty while actually not having any Edict or Kingdom plots in his plot deck (if I remember well) so I was not able to hit my Naval. He also played The Iron Throne (LMHR) and after seeing I discarded Flea Bottom (R) on reserve as I had 2 in hand (which was a huge mistake) he started to ban my Flea during the marshalling phase for the rest of the game, which was a great move. He managed to get Randyll Tarly (JS) and some army on board and started to grab some power so that was a clear Valar Morghulis call. He was still grabbing a lot of power with Oldtown and managed to build the board again and preparing to close the game. The last chance was to kill his board completely (Renly Baratheon (FFH) Mace Tyrell (SAT) Wardens of the Reach and some spy) as I managed to get on claim 4 with You Win Or You Die , Elia Sand (JS) and Choosing the Spear . I sacrifised 2x Shadow City Bastard to double remove icons from Wardens of the Reach as he was able to backfill that military icon with his agenda and was hoping he does not have another ambush character on hand to survive with Renly and finish the game. If that character would not be there, I would follow with claim 2 on int and he would end up with no chars on board and no cards in hand, which could potentially be the turning point, however another spy was there and Renly finished me off with power challenge and getting up to 15.

Round 3: Won vs NW Castamere (Joni Lampimaki) Hard hit with Naval into the Late Summer Feast made a very good start despite of Old Forest Hunter on board from setup. Joni was able to build the board again playing second Summer Feast in round 2 and marshalling big Jon Jon Snow (WotW) and Maester Aemon (Core) , but I choosed to sacrifise that turn and return Aemon instead of Jon with Breaking Ties (R) and risking he is not playing Here to Serve, which would be game over for me. However I did not see that plot against my Valar Morghulis and that finally turned the game into my favor slowly finishing Maester Aemon (Core) and other small characters with Dorea Sand and Venomous Blade.

Round 4: Lost vs NW AA (Maximilian.proud) Very fast loose for me, which was decided on the first plot. I played good Naval Superiority into The Maiden , but the opponent had Old Forest Hunter on board from the setup (yes again this guy against my good Naval hit...) so was able to secure 3 golds by discarding cards in each phase and was as an addition to Old Forest Hunter and dupped Bowen Marsh he added another small character and most importantly put Craven on my Elia Sand (JS) , which was the only military icon I had. I also had Dorea Sand on hand so with her and double military claim Choosing the Spear I would be able to March Bowen in round 2 and it could be a different game. The opponent was able to recover his hand with double insight and in round 2 marshaled the big army and found 2 dupes for it with 2x The Watch Has Need . That was an insta concede on my side as I lost the control of the game.

Round 5: Won vs Tyrell Lion (Markus Rohringer) I was expecting a really bad game for me as this was obviously a shadow deck that my deck struggles against. Also his setup was The Arbor and The Red Keep (R) , which is great against me. For the first time I did not start with At Prince Doran's Behest but went directly for Breaking Ties (R) to get rid of that Keep. I almost started crying seeing his first plot was Late Summer Feast , but at the end of the day, the first round somehow ended even better than if I would play Naval. The reason is that I returned The Red Keep (R) and was lucky enough to discard it on int challenge. That was a game winning condition for me. I also returned Ser Osmund Kettleblack with some bestow on hand with Shadow City Bastard and Trystane Martell (BtB) , which allowed me to cut the board. I was able to keep the opponents board on 0 characters despite of knights jumping in and out each round so every round my opponent was starting somehow from the scratch. The last turn I won mainly because of a small error that Markus did not triger his The Hightower to get the 5th gold to be able to play Ser Robert Strong and kill my only power icon Arianne Martell (Core) , who finished my game on You Win Or You Die and claim 2 on power. With that kill I am sure Markus would be able to turn the game around.

Round 6: Lost vs Lannister TMFG (hansen) I was expecting another bad matchup for me as my opponent did not need a character presence on the board. He was playing very well knowing the matchup and did not care about the characters and started to build a strong location base with huge economy. With some jumps, I was not able to be fast enough to finish the game before his investment returns. I think if I would play Political Disaster that would be probably a GG call, but obviously this deck has no space for it and I believe hansen was aware of that. I was able to play Seized by the Guard on his The Red Keep (R) , but he also found a location blank with Pyromancer's Cache on my The Iron Bank (R) and I believe that was the game winning condition for hansen. In the later stage of the game he found Balerion and was able to get rid of my Flea Bottom (R) and Seized by the Guard and that was the last hit for me. Anyway a really nice game and a good awareness of my game plan from hansen.

Round 7: Lost vs Lannister Free Companies (Juan Hernandez) This was the matchup I was afraid of because of the amount of cancels the deck has. However at the end of the day it was not the cancels, but 2x Seized by the Guard on my Flea Bottom (R) and The Iron Bank (R) feeded by the Casterly Rock (BtB) that killed me. Unfortunately I did not see my own Seized by the Guard , which would be extremely helpful against that Casterly Rock, which basically won the game by the amount of gold it was generating. Still was a good game, which was not that one sided as it sounds.

Round 8: Won vs Targaryen Stag (Micha Regelrev) I was really curious about this deck as I did not know what to expect. It seemed like a very good fun deck with Crone of Vaes Dothrak and Heads on Spikes and some other stuff to fill up your dead pile and then count on your inability to play your main characters that end up there + play with your own dead pile thanks to House of the Undying , which I was super excited to see after a long long time. However I was slowly able to cut his board presence and get to 15 power despite 1 round with House of the Undying , which I obviously lost hard :D Anyway super exciting game of 2 fun decks. :)

As the final outcome the only thing I would probably change within the deck is putting 2x Lay Waste in instead of 1 copy of Brimstone and Sarella Sand as I was really struggling from my key locations being blanked by attachments.

I would like to thank all my opponents as all of them were super nice and friendly and I really enjoyed all games. Looking forward for the next year ! :)

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