[Tm 2017 - Top Targ] What is Dead May Undie

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
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Benji 752

Hello community !

Here is a close version to the lists that Meilhem ( 7V-2D Top Targaryen) Meilfram ( 6V-2D, Second best targ) and myself ( 4V-3D, I faced three hard counters to the deck in rounds) runned at Paris Tournament. The list was originally created by Nimer, and received the inputs of Zaramis. This is a very pleasant list to play, I hope you will enjoy test it.

Plotline :

Heads on Spikes is the opener. People usually consider this card to be pure luck and remember it because they have been discarded of a faction leader. From my own experience, this plot is an excellent opener because :

1°) 4 gold when you want to marshall small cost characters is enough. 2°) You are almost certain to win initiative and put your opponent in the very bad position of first player at T1. 3°) It eases the powergrab problem of Targaryen a bit. 4°) Whatever the discard, it is always significant :

-> If it is an economic location, you count how much turns of +1 gold has been removed to your opponent -> If it's an event/attachement, you think at the consequences if it has been played. -> If it's a faction leader, you smile. -> The only bad case is a small cost character, but you obtain a consolation price with two points.

The plot have one drawback : if you discard a character, the opponent will have the opportunity to make a power claim at T1 even if first player.

Varys's Riddle was originally a second Heads on Spikes, to feed the dead pile and reduce the hand of my opponent before Valar. But this choice prevent me from marshalling Dany in early game, and hardly doing it for Khal Drogo. Id est, I was not able to make fast start. Moreover, the second Heads on Spikes usually make a less significant discard than the first.

Thus, I change for Varys' Riddle in order to have enough gold to Marshall a faction leader. Since this plot is very flexible, I can keep it in plotline according to the situation, waiting for a situation where my opponent is likely to Counting Coppers. Targaryen struggles with draw, and being able to use opponent's CC solve the problem. The problem of this plot is opponent's Ghost of Harrenhal. This drawback is reduced by Valar Morghulis, but is still annoying and perhaps justify to play a Calm Over Westeros or Summer Harvest instead, Close Call having a very low initiative.

Counting Coppers is needed because of the lack of abundant draw in Targaryen. You need the card advantage is provide more than the specific tutor of Summons. Moreover, Initiative of CC is better than Summons and usually allows to play second, with a non-negligeable probability to have Dracarys in hand.

It also allows to counter First Snow of Winter by increasing the reserve. FSoW is the biggest threat to the deck.

You probably thought of Battle of the Blackwater as : 1°) A removal of dupes for preparing Valar 2°) A removal of dupes for aggro deck 3°) Nothing important. And thought in the end that it was nothing important.

I believed 1°) and 50% 3°) until I see how Blackwater was making game by removing dupes in pre-Valar. Since this deck is not necessarily winning by playing Valar, Blackwater also supports the aggro part. I was expecting people to don't expect it and don't play the counter to it : Duplicating someone, keeping a dupe in hand and marshalling it between Blackwater and Valar. But even if people know you play this plot, they have to play at least one dupe to don't offer you an easy Valar, and must rely on the luck of drawing another one who will not be discarded, either by heads, either by intrigue. And some duped character can be killed with Dracarys or Crown.

When you play this plot, think about keeping your dupes in hand !

Valar Morghulis is necessary in Targaryen because otherwise you loose against rush decks. With Fealty, Slaver's Bay Port, Fire and Blood and a lot of small cost characters you can play on the plot. The Eirie improves your resilience to the plot, and House of the Undying prepare the finish.

The Long Winter allows you to finish the game in post-Valar, preferentially with House of the Undying. Since it's hard for both player to recover from Valar, if you have Khal Drogo you have an opportunity to clean the board. Moreover, discarding one power + suffering one claim 2 in power keeps your opponent away from reaching 15 points.

Marched to the Wall supports many things. Basically, it pushes the advantage after a Long Winter. It could also support an aggro start in early game, alongside the traditional discard of Viserys to remove an attachment, punishing an unlucky setup, removing a useful character on a reduced board, saving a key character from opponent's Valar/Cleaning the duplicated dude on opponent's Valar.

Deck Cards :

Slaver's Bay Port is the reason for the existence of the deck. With Illyrio's Estate and The Roseroad you have 9 constant economic location, with 3 of them having an effect close to Kingsroad on post-Valar. With Fealty you have all the economy you need to efficiently play cards from your hand while keeping other ones in reserve for the future.

Playing Valar requires you to have quite a bunch of small cost characters, thus the decks playes : Viserion Rhaegal and Drogon are incredibly efficient characters for their cost. Ok, Drogon a bit less, but 4 STR in mil tend to fix the board anyway, which is useful with reduced tables. All these characters are playable in *3 without questionning because of Fire and Blood.

Braided Warrior and Crone of Vaes Dothrak, two non-unique, 2 gold characters with strong statistics.

And some unique characters in *1 to kill them withour regrets on Valar : Doreah, Quaithe of the Shadow, Jhogo.

Doreah and Jhogo are loyal, and Jhogo has massive STR in post-Valar.

Viserys Targaryen (Core) excepts this logic because you need attachment counter for Bodyguard. I originally played him in *3, but he died too often without removing an attachment, possibly creating dead card in hand. Thus, after the tournament, Meilhem and me conclude that playing Rattleshirt's Raiders to ease this weakness of the deck was necessary. As a bonus, it also allows us to remove BG as an offensive move when we want to claim opponent's table.

Ser Jorah Mormont also excepts this logic because he his way too impactant on the board and can save himself from death with his ability. If sent back in hand with Waking the Dragon, he is the perfect character on post-Valar turn.

Then faction leaders :

Daenerys Targaryen was originally a late game card, I never played her early. When I start to do it, behavior of the deck improved a lot : With Rhaegal, you have the drawing engine you lack. With Viserion, you win challenge you have to win, possibily unoposed. With Drogon, you obtain grab to cope with the increased powerrush ability of metagame decks. And with Dracarys + Dragon, you have an opportunity to tackle 5 STR characters without playing Valar.

Khal Drogo puts a lot of pressure on your opponent. Since you play Valar, he cannot expand too much. Thus, he will be vulnerable to double military + Marched, possibly with a Dracarys in the equation. In the post-Valar time, you obtain an opportunity to close the game with The Long Winter + Marched. Either in early or late game, Drogo could create a decisive difference on one turn.

Come the time of non-setupable cards :

Crown of Gold. Well. One thing to say is that you don't have too much non-leaders, non-event cards to play with Fealty. So it has chances to cost 3.

Dracarys! is so good. You change the fate of one challenge phase and possibly of the hole game by removing one character. Since you play Fealty, your opponent could forget you pay it by kneeling house card, or think about and start to think (too much) about it.

Fire and Blood is easy economy on valar, mainly. It takes back excellent characters by themselves, with strong bonuses with Dany. There is also the trick of F&B + Dracarys.

Waking the Dragon allows to save a character from Valar, control terminal attachment of the NW, have the uual combo with Jorah and Viserys, mindtrick your opponent with Dracarys...

Choices to finish the deck :

One observation of my deck was the lack of utility of Fealty in situations of Pre-Valar : You will not marshall faction leaders, nor play events (except an unlikely Dracarys on a duplicated dude). The agenda become useful with Slaver's Bay port and House of the Undying, and that's almost all... Doreah, Viserys, Jhogo and Crown being the others loyal of the deck Thus, the agenda has a failure in marshalling intermediate cards, and cards resistant to Valar Morghulis. Which make the Plaza of Punishment a 2 gold location in fact. Exactly what the deck is looking for : a 2 gold location with Valar-synergies. The card is even so versatile that she can supports aggro moves ! To play her efficiently, Astapor will be needed, I wait for this release impatiently.

House of the Undying is far from being broken : Duplicating her is useful in anti-location decks, but technically you simply don't play her versus Greyjoy. You generally need one copy of her, and you don't even need to play it to win. But it secures your post-Valar The Long Winter. And that makes games. It also makes the economy of a marshalling phase. It's also very useful against decks with a Valar-strategy.

Consider that House of the Undying allows you to make an investment for the future, and thus "economise" your regular draw.

The Hand's Judgment is the third event of the deck. Nightmares is too short-sighted to have an impact on the game. HJ allows you to cancel an effet with long-lasting consequences on the game. The original reason is to protect House of the Undying from Treachery vs Lannister, and vs Nightmares against many match-up. But you have a lot of utility outside of that : Cancelling Dracarys from a mirror (especially important if your opponent plays LotC and protect his big guys), Cancelling Seen in Flammes vs Baratheon, We do not Sow vs Greyjoy... And any 1-gold cost events with an impact on the game.

Magister Illyrio is the counter of Baratheon match-up, the reason I hesitate to run him in *2. The rest of the time, he has the pre-Valar icons. Moreover, by standing a character he allows to make "more with less" which is excellent in Valar-metagame. The 2 gold you use for marshalling characters became 2 gold for standing Illyrio or a dragon. He is a Lord for Bodyguard and Doreah.

Littlefinger is economy, it's great. He is draw, it's great. He has pre-Valar icons, it's great in Targaryen. He can be played just to fix a bit the board before Valar while keeping cards in hand. Trouble is : His economy is unuseful on Valar, draw tends to leave at reserve and 5-gold in neutral is quite a lot.

2 comments

Astinus 7

Great writeup!

What were those hard matchup you faced?

Zaramis 247

Very nice writeup! Very interesting to see the small differences between the decks too, and congratulations on the great results in TM!

And, thank you for the great discussions around the deck. I owe a great deal to this!