Stage 5: Play Tywin. Moscow GNK Winner

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Derived from
World Champion 1st Place Deck 71 55 30 1.0
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Smirnoffico 11

This is going to be a rather long write-up about a blatant worlds winning deck (credit where it's due) rip-off that wasn't.

After a miserable performance at Nationals, I needed a rebound, so i actually gave a lot of thought into choosing my next Banner (I was playing Lannister, no questions here). Banner of the Dragon was good, but not enough, it seems. Also, having run into so many Targaryen decks, I wanted event protection. That's why i initially came back to Banner of the Wolf that has previously won me the team tourney. Wolf has all the good cards it need - Fast Ed, Arya Stark (Core) for stealth, super useful Ward and, of course, Bran Stark to protect myself against Dracarys!

Coinsidently, Worlds winning deck was Banner of the Wolf as well. So I went and straight up watched the podcast going into the deck and kinda went with it. Initially I had a slightly different set of Lannister cards with no Red Cloaks and Bodyguard but running Syrio Forel and Rattleshirt's Raiders.

In the end I just decided to follow the logic behing the winning deck - play all the good cards and don't play bad cards. I should have probably left three copies of The Hound, but i really like Ser Gregor Clegane and his magic roulette. Also The Boy King is my favourite so i slotted it into the deck, never drawing it for the whole tournament. So I should have been better off running 60 cards. So, again, check out the podcast at The Brotherhood Without Manners, they give a really nice rundown of the deck.

I went 4-1 in swiss (no cut) and ended up first by SoS in the overall standings. Rounds went as follows:

  1. Win against Greyjoy Banner of the Stag
  2. Loss against Lannister Banner of the Sun
  3. Win against Targaryen Banner of the Sun
  4. Win against Lannister Kings of Winter
  5. Win against Targaryen Kings of Winter

First game was a sloppy play on my side with too many unforced mistakes. I had a great opening hand consisting of Tywin Lannister (Core), Put to the Sword, 2x Burned Men, 2x Red Cloaks and The Roseroad. So after setting up 5 cards and drawing all the good stuff I went on to do rather questionable plays like shooting myself in the foot with The First Snow of Winter and the like. Fortunately the deck is resilient enough so that my mistakes didn't cost me the game, but it was a closer affair than it should have been.

For the second match i was paired against Lannister Banner of the Sun. I continued to make rather glaring mistakes like being too greedy to protect Tywin with Bodyguard or messing challenge math so that The Hound was on the table for Wildfire Assault turn. In the end I made three such mistakes, and it cost me the game. I was up to 12 power when i realised the deck is out of gas and characters, so i decided to concede and move onto the next match...

...which was against Targaryen Banner of the Sun. So, before the tourney I figured that there are two Houses I don't want to play against. That's Martell and Baratheon. Obviously I was paired against three banner decks of those two. This time I was much more focused on the game and careful with my decisions, which was due to playing against @MaxSnow who is not only extremely skilled opponent, but also very composed and dilligent player during the match. You kinda have to meet the standards.

On the board side of things I got a good draw and managed to put Nymeria to the sword turn one, which tilted the table in my favor. After that i opened with same plot as the opponent for three turns, which negated Beggar King gold while steadily building power and table presence. In the end I Warded Viserys Targaryen (Core) to discard Imprisoned on Ser Jaime Lannister (Core) and that was it.

My fourth opponent was Lannister Kings of Winter and it was the closest and toughest match of the day. We had similar setup and marshalling to the point of having Tywin and Jaime opposing each other (with Marched to the Wall next turn to send Golden Boy packing), but Winter Kings were stedily gaining power on an unopposed challenges and dominance. By the start of turn 3 I had 2 power to my opponents 11. That's when the wolves hit the table.

Before the game we had a chat about Lannister being a power in itself and Banner being a rather rudimentary choice and my opponent wondered if Stark characters did me any good. By this point I hardly even saw any of them besides chuds, so I was inclined to agree with him. And that, as I said, the wolves hit the table.

I marshalled Eddard Stark (WotN) turn 3 and started gaining power like a madman. By turn 5 Winter Kings had 14 power to my 10. My opponent played Winter Festival against my The First Snow of Winter and I knew I had to win before the end of the turn. I decide to go first and draw cards. One of them is Arya Stark (Core). She hits the table with a dupe, which goes away to Snow, but the only power icon on the table for my opponent is Tywin, so I stealth him for two power. Sitting at 12 power I need exactly 3 to win the game with my only real stab at victory being a military challenge with Tywin, Gregor and Ned for 25 STR. My opponent blocks with Tywin, Gregor and Jaime (yeah, it was that mirror match) for 24 STR. Even playing Widow's Wail doesn't bring him over 25, so I win the match by the skin of my teeth.

Last game was against Targaryen Kings of Winter player who went undefeated for the day. I want to say that it was an epic rematch of Worlds Finals, but it wasn't. I set up with the usual suspects, drawing and marchalling some more of my big guys. I think I had Tywn and Ned on the table by turn two. My opponent sets up a lot of characters and eats The First Snow of Winter into a low reserve plot and I just snowballed to victory from that point.

It was a great tournament with the first place being decided on a tie-breaker after the very last game. Thanks to all my opponents for fun and sometimes difficult matches!

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