Hand's Tourney 2017 - On the Isle of Ravens - To

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ShunSokaro 132

Hi everyone ! Here is the list I used during the Hand's Tourney, for my first major result in Game of Thrones.

Link of the final ranking: http://thejoustingpavilion.com/tournaments/3501

Thanks to everyone for these 2 awesome days: The organisers (QT, Laplante, Jon-Z, Lannistark), to the French community which is awesome, to the foreign players who came in Paris, and to all my opponents who where really really nice !

All Men are fools was legal, but the NW Deluxe was not !

And by advance, sorry for my really poor English !

About the list:

I'm a pure NW Defence player, with a kind of play close to Tamàs ( 'cause I started to progress when I looked at his games during Varberg Morghulis 2016). I love having a lot of draw and a low economy, and my deck is like this.

The little originality of this list is Isle of Ravens. When it came out, I found this card really, really interesting for Night's Watch, but I never gave it a try. So I built a deck around this card for the Hand's Tourney, and my 4-5 tests were good.

The point is to recycle attachments. 3 Craven / 3 Poppy is already a lot of pain for an opponent, but if I can shuffle them back in the deck, it becomes a real pressure on him. But the thing that I love the most, it's that it gives you a huge flexibility on the use of attachments. If u face a Lannister, you'll keep Poppy for Tywin/Tyrion/Ilyn/Cersei II, and Craven for Jaime/Mountain/Cersei I. Here, u can easily use your attachments to deal with little guys that could be a threat, such as Edric Dayne, Tickler, Wendamyr, Arya... Moreover, it offers you the possibility to shuffle back some other cards, like dupes (Aemon, Qhorin), Nightmares or Kingsroad. As the game advance, you'll find more and more key cards to dominate the late game.


It's a really standard Plotline for a NW Defence. The only originality is 2x Building Orders, instead of a Winter Festival. I don't really need the +2 powers of Winter Festival, because my main goal is to lock the board with attachments / Nightmares / Qhorin / Locations. So I want as much tutor as possible to get my attachments / my Wall faster, and start recycle my attachments when they are discarded. A standard game will be: Here To Serve -> Building Orders -> Building Orders -> Calling the Banners -> Valar -> Counting Coppers -> For the Watch.

Cards in deck:

  • Qhorin and Aemon were MVP. The first one makes me win some games just by himself, with his renown, his reaction, or both ! The second is absolutely necessary in my mind if you want to keep Qhorin alive.

  • Old Forest Hunter are awesome. I love having them in set up to play Here to Serve, get Aemon and +2 or +3 golds on the turn.

  • Sam: x3 seems a lot, but I prefered to have this unique guy x3, than a 1x Sam/Thoren/Craster. It's more consistant on Valar Morghulis. And the +1 Reserve is really good with Eastwatch by the Sea.

  • Nightmares x2: I often play them in x3, but I can recycle them with Isle of Ravens, and I wanted to arrive to 60 cards, no more. Still awesome, it's always a big deal for opponents to get their entire strategy denied by a little event.

  • Isle of Ravens: It was really really nice in that deck, I love them, I'll continue to use them with the Deluxe. It gives you so much flexibility ! Shuffle back attachments, you can have 3-4 Craven/Poppy in 30 cards, then play Counting Coppers, it can be the jackpot !

Cards that didn't pass the cut:

  • Thoren: I don't try to win in defence, only to oppose. A monocon for 4 is too expensive !

  • Craster: Monocon, poppy magnet and a real message for my opponent: " I will play a Valar"

  • Eastwatch Carpenter: I don't need a lot of golds in my deck... And when I need it is after Valar, but they never survive to it...

The Report

Game 1: Oulala ( Castamere)

My pairing partner for the tournament ( mini challenge: the Round 1 pair with the more points at the end of Swiss Rounds wins a set of tokens, Daario or Jorah Mormont). A really nice player, and the game went well for me. He set-up Jaime and Tickler; I answer with Craven on Jaime et Poppy on Tickler ( I really care about this little guy, he can ruin the game on a gamble). I have the Isle of Ravens, and I block Castamere with Aemon and Dolorous Edd. He makes a great turn of Castamere with Wildfire, giving 5 ear tokens to Chella... But Jaime, Tyrion and Chella had no dupes, and I kill them all with Valar, keeping Aemon and Qhorin. Blocked by my attachments and Edd, my opponent suffered a lot, 15 - 1.


Game 2: Anarchius ( Winter)

I don't really fear Winter, and I know what to do against it. I set-up with Qhorin and Old Forest Hunter, which is close to perfect. He opens with 4/2/2, and has Victarion and Fishwiskers, I Craven Victarion in the turn. Turn 2, I Craven Fishwiskers too. Turn 3, he plays a Rattleshirt Raiders and Pyke, but I blank Pyke with Nightmares, and kills the Raider with Qhorin. I plays the Wall and finish easily, 15 - 1.


Game 3: Walek ( Castamere)

A Polish player, I don't know what to expect. He has Tywin T1 on Late Summer Feast, but I Poppy and Craven him. I find myself in a good position, but Turn 3 changes everything. He triggers Castamere, plays Wildfire. I keep Qhorin, Ranging and Aemon. He wins after this in military, and plays Treachery on Aemon that was saving my Ranging Party. Turn 4, he plays Marched to the Wall and I lose Aemon. Then, Turn 5, it's a double Marched and Qhorin goes in discard pile. He has Mountain, Tywin and Jaime on board, no character for me ! 15 - 5


Game 4: De-mil ( Castamere)

My 3rd Castamere in 4 games ! I absolutely need to win to believe in Top 32, he set-up Ghaston Grey, Boneway and Elia. Good point, I don't want to attack or win challenges ^^ With my Old Forest Hunter, I'm able to have Qhorin T1 after Here to Serve, and his Edric Dayne gets Poppy. I was close to make a huge mistake, defending with Aemon in intrigue, which would have given him a free Tears of Lys on Qhorin. The rest of the game is good, Ariane has no impact, Nymeria gets her Poppy too... And when finally, De-mil triggers Castamere, he plays Wildfire that kills Benjen and give me the victory ! 15 - 0.


Game 5: Feanor ()

I like this match-up because my girlfriend plays it, I have a good training versus it. I make the mistake to open with Building Orders vers Time of Plenty, and he wins initiative. I'm first, I craven Renly, but he gets Knights of Flowers and Brienne. He reaches 10 powers, but my board is in place. He foresees Valar Morghulis, plays Ghosts of Harrenhal... But my plot is Calling the Banners. I get back a Ranging Party he killed with Heads on Spikes... And he gets nothing because he has no dead character. With all my golds (11), I flood the board and lock the game, victory 15 - 9 !


Game 6: Vizzo ()

The game of qualification in Top 32. Only few 4-3 will pass the cut, and I don't want to have a stressful last game. He has a slow start with Roseroad, Drowned Men and Saladhor Saan. I Poppy Saladhor, because I never met this guy and I'm afraid about what he could do. I feel good, Qhorin kills Drowned Men. Then he plays Melisandre and Victarion, and start to have some pressure. But he gets unlucky, he has no dupe, and my Valar kills Melisandre, Victarion, Wendamyr and Saladhor. I keep Aemon, Qhorin and a Mason. He tries to come back with Asha and Robert Warhammer, but I craven her, and finish the game easily with the Wall and Qhorin. 15 - 7.


Game 7: Bambi ( Summer)

Another foreing player (Dutch), a really nice guy ! I hate this match-up, which is the worst for me. He has an awesome start with Melisandre and Iron Throne, and he gains powers faster than me. Moonboy and Red Keep give him a lot of draw. My Valar only leaves him Melisandre, Robert comes out, but take a Poppy and a Craven. Turn 8, my second Valar kills Melisandre, but he gets back King Stannis after Close call, with Illumination. The time rings, I'm 3 power behind him, but I'm in a good position. We make a enormous mistake, he attacks with Stannis and Craven Robert, I don't say anything, but he loses the challenge. Then I try intrigue with Mason, forget Ours is the fury... And then, we see that Robert couldn't attack... The referee advise us to let the state as it is, because I saw his event. Fair-play, Bambi "forgets" to take Stannis' renown. We finish to 13 - 13, so let's see who has the most cards in his deck. I have 20... and he has 15, I win it and he lets me a full win ( I was in a really good position for the next turn)... Wow ! That was close, awesome opponent, really fair play and nice during the game !

So 6-1 ! Before the tournament, I was thinking it would be crazy to be in Top 32... And I'm now 3rd after Rounds. I'm confident, but stressed for Top, I would like to reach Top 8, that would be a great achievement. Moreove, with my Round 1 opponent (Oulala), we finish to a 11-3 record, and we get the tokens for the Companion Challenge ! Top NW will be difficult because there are 5 NW in Tops, and some of them are really more experienced and solid than me.

Top 32: Feanor ()

The Rematch ! I know it's a really good player, so I'm aware because it can be a difficult match-up if he has a good start. He has a fast Eddard - Knight of Flowers - Brienne trio, but I poppy on Eddard and Craven on Loras. Next turn, he plays Confiscation and a Rattleshirt Raider, and I have Qhorin on my side. He has 14 strenght on attach (Brienne, Eddard, Raider), and me only 11 on defense... And I make a huge mistake. I attack to force him to defend with Raider ( or gets him killed)... But I forget that Loras can defend with his Craven ! So he defends with Eddard, Loras and Brienne (4 powers), gets uo challenge with Raiders and discard my Craven... I feel really bad with this enormous mistake... But I'm lucky, he has no save on Brienne and Knight of Flowers. I play Valar, and this time, he doesn't try to predict my Valar with GoH. He only has Eddard vs Qhorin and Aemon ( and Castle Black). He has a bad draw and concedes the game ! Really nice game one more time, and I'm reassured to be able to win with a big mistake like this !

Top 16: Wiewor ( Castamere)

An other Polish player, who just beat one of the best NW French player ( and I think it's good for me, because mirror isn't a good thing... Cycle attachments is useless, my plotline has a low init', I have no Winter Festival...). He plays Lannister Castamere like Walek, so I'm aware of Double Marched... And he opens with Late Summer Feast, so I know it's the same deck. He makes some pressure at beginning with The Hound, while Cersei CS gets a Craven. But Qhorin makes a huge job, destroying his board 2 by 2. With Edd and Aemon, I block Castamere, and he finally needs to use his big guys to come back in the game. But Tywin gets Craven and Poppy, Tyrion gets a Poppy... I'm lucky on draw, because on his First Snow of Winter, I topdeck an Aemon dupe I shuffled back in the deck with Isle of Ravens. So I keeps Aemon and Qhorin on board, it helped me a lot because he had a Marched left. He plays Jaime, I topdeck a Craven, and I win the game ! Finally, he never used Castamere !

Top 8: Alex ( LOTC)

I reach my goal of Top 8, I become Top NW, I'm streamed (I'll edit with the video as soon as it's up) and I face Alex, which is probably the best Greyjoy player in France. So it's just a huge pleasure with no stress. My start is good with Ranging Party, Old Forest Hunter, Messenger Raven and Shadow Tower. He has Victarion and Kingsroad, I feel confident... But I don't see my attachments. He puts a Seal of Hand on Victarion, and gets a Lordsport Shipwright to get rid of my Shadow Tower. Turn 2, I get a Poppy on Building Orders, but he plays a Rattleshirt Raiders and another Shipwright, kneeling Haunted Forest and Shadow Tower. My Valar isn't really great, he keeps Victarion and Raider versus Aemon and Ranging Party. I Craven Victarion, but he plays his 3rd Shipwright, a wildling scout and a Raiding Longship, so I can't block his Raider, and I concede. Nothing to do, 9-1 for him and my Valar as already been used. GG to him, he is a really better and more experienced player than me !

My final ranking is 5th after Tops ! It's unbelievable for me to get a so good place in that type of tournament with many experienced players ( and an awesome winner, check Angry Weenies deck by Brainu). I win Top 8 prizes, Companion Challenge, and I have to Top Night's Watch too ! Thanks to people who will read this entire huge text !!


zack 60

nice NW spin, and bravo for your TM performance!

rzyua 1

Excellent review. Thank you, I felt like I was there :) How the heck you remember all of those games one by one? :) BTW I am proud of my fellow Polish players to make it difficult for you :) Congrats!

oulala 1

Congratulation for you TOP8 Shunsokaro ! At first it was really a nightmare playing against you in round 1, your recycle engine for Craven just stopped me completely. But at the end of the day, we bring the companions challenge !! gg to you

ShunSokaro 132

@rzyua Thanks for your comment ! Well, I made my report day by day ^^ I wrote my Swiss Rounds report Saturday night, I like to keep in mind my games and explain the best as possible my deck and tournament ! Polish players were amazing and really nice guys, 2 awesome games ( but the fact they played the same deck helped me a lot vs Wiewor).

cadupa96 82

Congratulations for your performance, well done!

I like this deck. Now that the Deluxe is out, do you know what changes you would make for this deck?


ShunSokaro 132

@cadupa96Hi ! Thanks a lot for your comment ! About your question: I don't really know ! Thing is I'm not a good builder, or at least, I'm not good to say " this card will be good in that deck". I always need to test and see what's nice or not. Looking at this Deluxe, I feel like maybe I wouldn't change anything. Not that Deluxe characters are bad, this Deluxe is awesome. But in this classic defense deck, I don't see many characters that could replace my cards. But let's see point by point:

  • Plots: Here is the main change I would maybe do: The Fire that Burns is probably an amazing plot. But, one more time, test is needed. My kind of deck plays on neutralizing big characters, and play with little board and low eco. So I'm not sure this is worth it. I can't get Here to Serve out, as 2x Building Orders, Valar and Counting Coppers. For the Watch is really good in some match-up, especially against aggro, or after your own Valar. So maybe that I would replace Calling the Banners, why not. Or Building Orders if I really want to play on high initiative.

  • Characters: 2 main cards have my attention: Grizzled Miner and Jaremy Rykker. Miner can be an awesome play on a Valar/Counting turn, especially with a Practice Blade. It could be a 2 cost combo for an equal value to Ranging Party ! But I'm not sure if it's really stable.

Jaremy Rykker needs more change on my deck. Thoren and Lost Rangers would have to go in, as they are the main targets for him. It's an 8-9 cards change, so probably cut 1 Mason, 3x Halder, 1x Waymar Royce, 2x Practice Blade... And 1-2 cards more. Or maybe no Thoren, cutting only Halder, 2 Practice Blades and Waymar for 3x Rykker and 3x Lost Ranger.

Cotter Pyke could be an interesting choice too ! But I need him 3x, because it's a unique character with high cost, I want him to stay after Valar. 5 cost slot is Benjen, and I don't want to cut him. So maybe get out Arry/Waymar and I don't know what for 3x Cotter Pyke.

Builder at the Wall don't pass the cut ( I prefer Stewards for their icon), Satin isn't necessary at all, New Sam is weaker than Old Sam I think. Denys Mallister isn't that bad, but it's a target for Poppy/Ward/any other attachment. And Pyp/Grenn are too offensive, Jon/Bowen are too expensive ( well, Bowen is like Cotter Pyke, but his ability is really useless in this deck).

  • Attachments: No one ! I don't think Catapult can pass the cut, but I can't really estimate how impactful it can be. I think it's too much cost, especially without Satin and with Valar. Ghost can't be attached, so no way, and same for Sworn to the Watch.

  • Locations: New Gift could take Eastwatch-by-the-Sea slot ! Not sure if it's worth it, but it can be some draw if u keep Sam/Aemon/Steward up. Both are conditional, not in the same way, so why not ! Need test. I tested Abandoned Stronghold, but they didn't satisfy me ( and I was playing Builders at the Wall, Grizzled Miner, Shadow Tower Masons and Halder). With Valar, you don't keep a huge presence on the board. It's more oriented on a heavy builder deck with no reset. Queenscrown doesn't really fit in that deck.

  • Events: Well, I don't need events. I love playing without events, because it offers a better set-up. Still, I think Nightmares are needed to face some situations ( Lannister with Harrenhal/Tower of the Hand combo, some locations or character abilities). "I shall win no glory", "The Watch has need" are more 1 trait based. Watchers on the Wall doesn't convince me ( even with Thoren + Rykker + Lost Ranger).

What I don't want:

  • Big characters, especially if they don't have "No Attachments".. I don't want to run Confiscation and R. Raiders.

  • Conditional cards, like Abandoned Strongholds, Catapult, Satin.

  • No events. You already have 8 cards u can't set-up (+ only one limited), and some more u don't want to (Aemon, Edd).

I'm interested in any test you could do, any feedback that could help me too ^^ I'm sorry if my explanation is really long, and hope you were able to read everything and understand my poor English ^^ I didn't have much time to test ( well, I tested really extreme variant, like full Rangers deck, Castamere Stewards, full Builders deck... but didn't try yet to customize my own deck ^^).

cadupa96 82

@ShunSokaro Thanks for your feedback, very interesting points! I agree with you, the deluxe box contain a lot of good cards but not really for this deck. I will test your version so if I find anything i'll let you know!