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|We defend the Wall alone||69||46||77||4.0|
|New deck: The Night's Watch||2||0||3||1.0|
|We defend the Wall alone SC Winner (5-1)||45||29||44||6.0|
|We Made the Others Pay for This||0||0||0||1.0|
Joe From Cincinnati 1644
Well well well, we are back again, huh?
This time around, there are significantly fewer changes. But, with Valar Morghulis coming out, I decided to release the next version of this deck, that is built with Valar in mind.
Here we go:
No changes to the plots. the plot deck works magnificently. I did play Fortified Position in the deck during a Battle of the Trident tournament (which was held prior to Stahleck and Ryan Wood using it in his deck :P) in which I placed in the top 4 (3rd place), but that's because I was expecting a lot of Stark and Baratheon. The plot is great against those two because it slows down all the renown and kneel nonsense of those two factions, respectively. I took out Winter Festival for it. I may want to make that permanent, but didn't want to fully commit to it right this moment. But, suffice it to say, it's a great option in the right meta.
I also entertained the idea of replacing Trading with the Pentoshi with A Time of Plenty, but haven't pulled the trigger fully on that either. Requires testing. But if you want to make one or both of these replacements, I think they are very solid changes.
-1 Arry, +1 Halder
So, with Valar coming out, it is best to think about what characters you would want to have a good chance of duping, to protect them from Valar, and which characters you don't want to dupe.
Arry does not like being duped. Duping Arry is basically admitting that you're keeping her on the board. Because, as soon as you dupe her, you can only use her ability if you're willing to discard the dupe. For this reason, I'm dropping her to 1x. That means that, if I have her in play, I can attempt to predict the Valar and bring her back into my hand but, if she is killed in a Valar, it's not a big deal because I only have one copy of her.
Now Halder, on the other hand, I have added a third copy for a few reasons. 1.) He's fucking awesome. Especially against Targaryen. Being able to bump your characters up out of Dracarys range makes it a lot easier to defend all 3 challenges. And Halder's ability can increase a character's strength for the entire challenges phase, so they will survive the round if they survived the initial Dracarys. 2.) Keeping him on the board is great on First Snow of Winter turns because, often times, military challenges are only won by 1 or 2 strength on these turns. 3.) Protect him from Valar Morghulis.
+1 Maester Aemon
I already have Here to Serve. By maxing out my Maester Aemons, I maximize my chance of seeing one copy in my set up or turn 1 hand. If I can use Here to Serve to go get Aemon and then dupe him from my hand on turn 1, that's a MAJOR deterrent for Valar Morghulis. Because then, when Valar is used, I can use the dupe to save Aemon, and then I can use his ability to save any one character I see fit.
-3 Old Bear Mormont
The days of the Old Bear deck are past me, for the time being. The Counting Coppers build simply couldn't afford him. Now with Valar, it is even more critical that I do not spend 7 gold on a character that can be killed at a moment's notice. He is a great character, but just doesn't fit the environment right now.
-1 Samwell Tarly
As I said about Arry, I am going to change almost every unique character (with the notable exception of Dolorous Edd) to be either 3x or 1x. 3x allows me to ensure I can consistently dupe them to save vs Valar, and 1x characters dying to Valar isn't a big deal because they don't generate dead draws. Samwell is good, but not 3x good. So I made him 1x.
For those curious, I am keeping Edd at 2x because I love seeing him and, most of the time, he is coming back to hand anyway. So he shouldn't fall victim to too many Valars, if I can manage to continue winning those intrigue challenges that he participates in. Which Halder definitely helps with.
+3 Shadow Tower Mason
These guys are supremely efficient. 3 locations or attachments and they become a tricon. You have 3 Cravens, 2 Practice Blades, 2 Castle Black, 2 Haunted Forests, a Shadow Tower and the Wall. Getting 3 of those out is pretty easy. In testing, I've had them activated by turn 1 several times. They may fall to 2x after more testing but, for now, I think they are going to be just fine at 3x. At least until I see how easy they are to activate in practice.
+1 Sweet Donnel Hill
When equipped with a Practice Blade, this guy is just swell. Stops Jaime and Gregor's renown, Gregor's pillage, other renown on military challenges. For intrigue it stops a good amount of insight as well. Ambushing a Practice Blade on him when your opponent is committing a large military challenge with a bunch of keywords is a really great play that won me 3rd place in my Battle of the Trident (I made top 4, lost in the top 4, beat the other loser of top 4 to get 3rd). Again, he is not good enough for 3x, so 1x it is.
So, when I released the last list, Thoren had not yet been released. So, while it says +1 Thoren here, that is only in comparison to my last published list. I've been running Thoren at 2x for over a month now, so this is actually a -1 Thoren, compared to the list that I've been playing for a while. It makes me sad because, according to my 3x or 1x logic, Thoren does fall into the 1x category.
But I'm not happy about it. I may have to break my rule to make him 2x because, honestly, I don't want to run 3x of a 4 cost military monocon but I was very happy with him at 2x before Valar's release and I could see myself being happy with him at 2x after Valar as well, just keeping in mind that he is an exception to the rule. We'll see how it unfolds.
-2 Sworn Brother
These guys are great, but Shadow Tower Masons are better :). I'll miss the economy, but I won't miss the 1 strength and the fact that they can't become tricons with minor conditions met.
Because fuck Will. Most stressful character in the game.
+1 Veteran Builder
I may end up going with 2 Shadow Tower Mason and 2 Veteran Builder. We'll have to see. They are just so efficient. 3 cost for 4 strength and, in a jam, you can sacrifice him to get the Wall's power gain. That may prove significant in a Valar meta, if you need to repopulate the board but it takes two turns, he can get you that Wall power on that first rebuilding turn.
2 cost attachments are just hard to use. Renown is great but, with Valar out, it's less valuable then before. And while I do have Aemon to save one character, the chances are this is on a Ranging Party, so I can't save this character with a dupe.
-2 Iron Throne
By far the hardest cut in the deck. I may even have to go to 62 just to bring in 1 Iron Throne. It's just so efficient and helps with reserve, which will be important when you're stockpiling draw in preparation for Valar. We'll have to see.
+2 The Haunted Forest
But this is why I had to cut the Iron Throne. I could go on forever about the power level of The Haunted Forest. The fact that it ensures the first challenge declared against you is guaranteed to be opposed (unless they use Nightmares on it or something) is incredible. It basically makes it so that they still need to work hard to win that first challenge in order to hopefully kneel the Wall in the 2nd or 3rd challenge but, suffice it to say, winning the first challenge in order to kneel the Haunted Forest, and then coming back and somehow getting an unopposed challenge through on the 2nd or 3rd challenge will be very difficult. Either I defend the first challenge all out and win, keeping these standing (and making the second guaranteed to not be unopposed either), or I could just not dedicate any defenders to the first challenge, meaning I have all my defenders for the next 2 challenges, but not kneel the Wall because of this location. I react to what my opponent is doing and I'll almost always come out on top. And then, there's its synergy with For the Watch! making me only care about the 3rd and final challenge in terms of kneeling the Wall. It also contributes to Shadow Tower Mason being activated and is more challenge math that your opponent may forget about. Final cherry on top is that this card fucks over Balon Greyjoy and Fishwhiskers. If there's one thing I love doing, it's pissing off Greyjoy players!
-2 The Watch Has Need
This is another cut that was tough to swallow. Especially in a Valar meta where having more cards in hand is never a bad thing. However, with me reducing Sam to 1x and removing the Iron Thrones, I don't have a very good chance of increasing my reserve above the plot's base value. So, this card loses a little steam with those changes. It's definitely a "nice to have" card, but I don't think it's necessarily a "need to have" card. We'll see once I get into some serious testing in Valar if I just miss the hell out of this card, which I very well may.
The reason the Watch Has Need was cut. In my last decklist, I talk about how I decided to trade out Nightmares for Hand's Judgment at Daye's insistence. Well, it's back! Now I'm just running both haha. Best of both worlds man. So many cards to deactivate, so little time!
Enjoy the deck and please let me know if you have any comments on the changes made, how you are doing with it or questions on how to play it! :D