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|Dragon's Fire - Cambridge Store Championship top 8||3||1||4||4.0|
In preparation for the tournament, I had been trying various builds of , and . When it came down to it in the final preparation week of the regional however, I threw testing in for the older Fealty deck that I have had success with in the past. However, it needed major updates from all the new cards since it was last taken out for a test drive.
What I did remember in the past was that back then it would do well, but some of the other factions had a bit more characters that they could lean on. So, bannering with made their decks more robust and flexible than Fealty. If you don't find Daenerys Targaryen or Khal Drogo back then you were in a bit of trouble. I remember thinking that when gets another good character or two that I would come back to it. With Mirri Maz Duur available along with the money to put her into play with Trading with the Pentoshi and a couple bloodriders, it felt like enough to bring it back and do some playtesting. It performed very well in the prep day before and I decide to abandon ship on the other decks I was trying and use this. I was very glad that I did. Since I have covered many of the play-styles of this deck in previous submissions, I'll cover some small thoughts only and some tournament details.
Naval Superiority hit all day, positioning it sometimes on the second or third term as I felt out the situations and was avoiding in one game at the top 8. That game still ended up in my favor however when it ran into a Calm Over Westeros. It was a star plot of the day.
Fortified Position was one of those plots that I was expecting to use when setup did not go in my favor or to stifle some reknown/shennanigans while other things were getting setup or stalled. It performed well at several opportune times and "almost" kept me in the game in the semi-final round but it still didn't tip the scales then.
Double Summons was amazing at getting what I need when I need it. Whether that's Viserys Targaryen for some attachment removal, a dragon for a missing ability on Daenerys Targaryen or Dracarys! threat, or a big threat to put on the table it has been my starting point for the Fealty deck for me since the last tournament win with it.
The only one I thought would be more helpful was Close Call. I figured it would be my safety button in case one of my key characters got killed that I run triplicates of. When I ran into another one, I saw myself playing this and putting it back into play the following turn to threaten the board again, or to get my dragons back since I no longer run Fire and Blood. However, I didn't really need it in any game played throughout the day and it might have just been better off as Marched to the Wall or something else with some control; perhaps even Blood of the Dragon or Filthy Accusations. It never went to plot 7 (maybe one game) either way in the games anyway.
I went undefeated through five rounds in a field of roughly 33 I believe in Nashua, NH and then progressed into the cut to top eight. I made it through the first round of the top 8 and then lost on time with 8-9 power in the semi-finals to a player that was doing very well at stifling all the nasty components being thrown his way. In the fifth round I was paired up with Steven Cantrell and we shook(soon a thing of the past and I am ok with that) into the cut. I will try and recall what was faced throughout the day, but other details are blurred.
Tyrell Banner of the ?Wolf
This was the closest match that I had throughout the day with me squeaking out power faster than the reknown that was building up on their side of the board and trying to work around Highgarden. It was not a deck that I was prepared for.
Martell Banner of the ?Wolf
Paired up with Mark in this round if I recall. Mark is always enjoyable to play against. There was some choke established in this game from which little recovery seemed likely if I recall and we called it.
Martell Banner of the Wolf
This round I paired up with Chris Lavin; another enjoyable player to match up with. This would be our first of two meetings as we paired up again going into the cut at the top 8. I do recall getting some pressure on early and then keeping the pressure on until the power cut away...oh...and his much needed Nymeria Sand ended up as an Arya Stark dupe, heh.
What I do remember about this game is that I had a lot of tools available to me event-wise, good characters and Crown of Gold in hand. It was a bad setup for him with only Robb Stark and a Little Bird, so I assume a noble/kingdom plot was coming as opened with Naval Superiority into a Trading with the Pentoshi. I couldn't quite kill off enough to clean his board and he held tight for many rounds. But in the end I pulled through with it.
A handshake and intentional draw. It doesn't feel good.
Cut 8 Round 1 - Martell Banner of the Wolf:
This was a rematch with Chris Lavin and the first time my Naval Superiority missed on a Calm Over Westeros. He knew it was in my deck at this point, but I played it on him mid-game in our previous encounter and my setup hand did not have any high cost characters so it felt like a good time to drop it. It turned out ok, as he led off with a duped Tyene Sand and I could follow with Crown of Gold with a Illyrio's Estate and Fealty available to me to take her out of the picture. I continued to put the pressure on and pull a win out to move onto the semi-finals.
Cut 8 Round 2 - Stark Fealty
This match-up started out well in my favor playing Naval Superiority into A Noble Cause and building up a good board position and claiming 3 power or so to open up the game. From there I managed to get a good board state and put pressure on. At some point it started to turn however. He managed to get a bunch of denial pieces such as Winterfell and built up enough and icons on the table that getting my challenges through became difficult. Even with the full dragon suite of characters on the table with Daenerys Targaryen. I knew I had to get some targeted kill off on a reknown character or the three on the table were going to start running away with it. This was the first time that The First Snow of Winter actually hurt me a little bit. I do hear that has a weakness here, but I was hit with it at least 3 times throughout the day and this was the only one that mildly had me worried. But, I didn't have any dragon dupes this time around and it gave him some leeway to get a turn of renown going. I followed up the following turn with Fortified Position to stifle his renown while I regained footing and got some pieces back on the table to prep. This was the round that time was called, and he pulled out 8-9 on power by the end of it. He seemed a bit down that we couldn't finish it off. But, even though I had options available to me, I think this was one of the games that I might have ended up losing to unless I drew into Dracarys! or Nightmares to take out The Blackfish or allow Mirri Maz Duur to target kill one of the reknowns on the table. It was a good deserved win on his side even if it didn't go to the end.