Counting Gold - 6th in Swiss, Top 16 @ Dockside

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Targ - Annals of Castle Black (King of Swiss - Canadian Regi 3 3 5 1.0

vexien 673

Do you like card draw? Do you like having lots of gold? Do you want a deck that rewards you long term for flipping valar early? Then Targ fealty might just be the deck for you.

I started putting together this deck over a month ago as there was a lot of talk in chats about how slavers bay was insane, making targs economy too much to keep up with. I'd also been interested in trying out House of the Undying properly, since seeing Richard Walker use it at the Brighton Charity Joust. And to top it off, Plaza of pride was just around the corner. I wanted to try and make as much use of the high levels of economy, and new stand tech, so my first thought was I wanted to see if it was possible to run double counting coppers comfortably. Its been the core of my deck that i've refused to change, and I believe is the reason it performs so well.

The list went through multiple tweaks in the run up to the first tournament, but since then the core has remained the same. It made the cut in every tourney I took it too, with Dockside being the final achievement, and my first time placing in the cut at a Road to Stahleck event.

Thank you to Richard Walker for giving me lots of feedback during the building process, plus all those who made Dockside an amazing weekend. Also Zaramis/Benji for inspiration on the rest of the plot line. This is one of the first deck write ups I've done, so if i've missed anything out or you have any questions, let me know!

Strategy

I will try to outline how I tended to process games, and how I would go through the first few turns. This style may not suit everyone, but if you are interested in trying the deck, it can act as a good starting point before you work out your own.

First thing I'd always want is to start the game with a lot of options going into turn 2, so 90% of the time I would flip counting coppers. You'll often have initiative, so make your opponent first player. Based on what they do, you can start to make a judgement on whether you want to valar. If they had a wide board with minimal dupes, then you will probably want to put enough down that you can trade a bit turn one, but not anything you don't mind losing. Slavers bay/Roseroads are also higher priority this turn than illyrios estates to help going forward.

Turn 2, you go for the valar to get your econ rolling, or heads on spikes to add some to the dead pile, and hit the characters they didnt play turn one. If you go for the valar, you will likely end up throwing away a card or too to reserve at the end unless econ has been very kind. But dont go to hard in this turn unless you know you can protect your newer cards, as you will probably be first player and not able to kill anything new they play. Spikes can allow you to build up a board and play the game out a bit differently, its also a safe pick if you then just opt for the turn 3 valar as you shouldnt have as big an issue with reserve, and enough to go forward how you want too.

From here on, a lot comes down to judgement. A lot of the games I played you feel like you are a bit behind the first 2 turns, but if its going right, you will start to gain board control around turn 3. Khal drogo is a huge part of what can help you maintain this board control, and I often find him more impactful than dany to the overall goal of the deck. House of the undying will often be one of your most effective closers, if you can time it with the 2 claim plot to push through. But its also a great defensive card if you need to keep some of your cards alive for the turn.

Card choices

Plots

2x Counting Coppers

The core of what makes the deck tick. While slavers bay is amazing, there is no point in having a ton of econ if you haven't got anything you can play with it. You also need to find cards to fuel plaza of pride (and actually find a copy of that too), which means that you never really draw a dead card. Being able to find the cards to keep your board going after valars helps it in all matchups, plus quicker access to fire and blood, and dracarys is always nice.

Battle of Blackwater

Sometimes I loved this card, sometimes it was my 7th plot that I couldnt avoid playing. If your opponent looks like their going to valar because their sat happily with a bunch of dupes on the board, then its time to flip it. Barring any nonsense, you will always have initiative and want to take first player when flipping this into valar. So if they are trying to wipe your board and keep their own, you use this first then let the valar reset the board. If you are the one with dupes and this has become unavoidable on both parts, then you activate valar first.

It can cause problems if you flip it a bit too early then they get more on the board, and it is a very clear telegraph if you are trying to set up velar yourself. I see myself dropping this for annals in future builds, but it has its use!

Long Winter

This tends to be the turning point in the game. You will ypically use this when khal drogo is able to do his work and wipe their board, or if you have house of the undying ready and want to do a huge swing. The reason I opted for this over Winds of Winter was not the gold, but the power removal. I anticipated a lot of tyrell, and wanted a way of trying to slow them down if they were going to try and close with clash of kings. Same goes with other rush builds. Its also quite nice to be able to remove one of the power from jorah, so you feel less bad about eventually having to lose him.

Valar Morghulis

This card can turn the deck on immediately if you've seen a Slavers bay in turn 1-2. If I had access to one, I'd often find myself flipping valar as soon as I had the chance to kill 4 characters, if it included at least one impactful card. You sometimes find yourself in situations where you want to hold off on it, there is a lot of judgement in whether what you can kill now is still killable next turn, or whether you do it too early and they put something better down. Play the deck enough and you will learn when.

Heads on Spikes

It puts characters in the dead pile, it gives you power. At worst its a discard. I would rarely ever open with this plot unless the gold was going to get me a very strong board position, as I would never want power on my house card to steal turn one if I went 2nd.

Marched to the wall

High initiative, good for cleaning up after an aggressive turn, good for an escape route for a big character when you know the opponents going to valar.

Draw Deck

Not going to go over everything here as some are pretty standard, just cards that made their way into the deck for a specific purpose

Crone of Vaes Dothrak & Braided warriors

These two came as a pair. They are both cheap bodies that you like to see early on for claim soak. They also make your opponent incredibly nervous in intrigue challenges and help fulfil your decks win conditition. Its not often at all that crone will hit, but the threat can allow your to leverage the challenge order, and provide some knowledge about how much they care about what they have in hand. So in the case you have both out, so an intrigue, if they let it through and you hit something, you can kneel braided. If not, the braided is now a decent body for a military challenge. Extra note, if you hit an amazing card like tywin with crone, and dont have a way of following up with a military, always consider whether they have ghosts of harrenhal.

The Beggar King

I went a while without running this card, instead using bodyguards. They eventually made their way back in two reasons. First, they were giving me access to another bit of econ, which wasnt limited. While not a shocking decision, it was a safety net after losing a top 4 game due to seeing zero economy and starting to worry if 9 limited was enough. Second reason is to help deal with Renly due to my anticipation of tyrell being popular and not wanting him to be able to stay alive longer than planned.

The Hands Judgement

Its always a great thing to be able to cover your own dracarys, but I kept it in inorder to counter Superior Claim & All men are fools, as I expected to see a lot of them. Its also nice to have in hand if you flip valar versus a greyjoy player with no iron mines out, as itll be able to stop risen from the sea. And importantly, you need to be able to cover your house of the undying from treachery & nightmares.

Nightmares

This went in and out of the deck a few times, it ultimately landed back in the deck as a way of dealing with the potential of winterfell, the wall, and randyl tarly on important turns. Putting it back in the deck ultimately felt like the right call.

House of the Undying

You want characters in their dead pile, this lets you then use them. It closed out a lot of games for me during tournaments, and with the decks ability to pull gold in, the high gold cost never felt that problematic. If you can time it with your 2 claim plot, then you should be set for the turn. If khal drogo is out, even better. But you don't have to just use it aggressively, use it defensively too if the scenario requires it.

Plaza of Pride

I think this is one of the best cards in the NW Deluxe, the ability to throw any card away to get a surprise dracarys from a kneeling dragon is brilliant. But it also allows you to leverage military challenges a lot better with khal drogo by being able to send the same character back in. With the double counting coppers, I never really had any problems using it. You will struggle to get consistent stands on dany, but as the deck works well using the lower cost characters, its very powerful. Also a nice way to make some use out of a card youre going to throw away to reserve anyway.

Dockside Brothel Days 2017 – 66 Players

Round 1 - Win vs Stark Fealty

Round 2 - Win vs GJ Lion

Round 4 - Win vs Tyrell Fealty

Round 4 – Loss vs Martell Fealty

Round 5 – Win vs Lanni Watch

Round 6 – Win vs Tyrell Crossing

Round 7 – Loss vs Stark Fealty

Top 16 - Loss vs GJ Rains

O'feeworth Invitational - 15 players

Round 1 - Win vs Targ Lion

Round 2 - Win vs GJ Crossing

Round 4 - Win vs Lanni Stag

Round 4 - Loss vs Stark Winter

Top 4 - Win vs Targ Watch

Final - Win vs Stark Winter

Northampton Grand Championship #2 - 22 players

Round 1 - Win vs GJ Winter

Round 2 - Win vs NW Summer

Round 4 - Win vs Lanni Rains

Round 4 – Win vs Targ Fealty

Round 5 – Win vs Bara Lion

Top 4 - Loss vs NW Winter

11 comments

Zaramis 247

Very nice to see someone develop this further! Glad to be able to be part of inspiring some choices :)

hagarrr 577

Nice write up Joe! I'm particularly interested in that loss to Stark Winter, what happened there? ;)

vexien 673

@hagarrrBetter tune into the white walkers in the next few weeks to find out then ;)

MiSiO 273

Thanks for sharing.

Stormborn 301

Glad to see you have shared your list.

Are the Rattleshirt Raiders worth it? Milk is less seen now so I presume they are in there for Bodyguards and positive attachments.

What tweaks would you make for CP2

vexien 673

@Stormbornrattleshirts are in the deck to deal with Cravens and Martell attachments. The deck can handle getting milked, but not so much having challenges controlled. Being able to deal with positive attachments is nice too.

With cp2, id potentially swap annals in for blackwater. Not so sure on how to fit the other cards in without it becoming a different build.

footlong 102

Excellent write-up. Thanks for sharing this.

Benji 752

Glad to see a further improvement in the concept. I largely share your views on the decklist, we had a debate with French players and it reach the surface that 11 economic cards was the optimal number for having a stable economy without playing too much economic cards.

In targaryen, you have the choice between Tourney Grounds and Beggar King for non-limited economy that complement the 9 regular ones.

HJ very often turns as a dead card, since i lacked the +1 economy so it's not a surprise to see it in x2. I am more surprised by the x2 Nightmares, since as I explained it's bit too much short-term sighted. Waking the dragon turns amazing for Jorah (especially since you play it in x2), saving characters on Valar (especially since you have no BG), winning one challenge or control terminal negative attachments (you don't have Confiscation).

BG removed is coherent, Confiscation is widely played, you cannot really count on this card.

I am surprised by Unsullied instead of Littlefinger ! x2 Drogon is also very much arguable, but I guess you want characters in your deck as well as potential duplicates. (Still, I wait for Strong Belwas in Targaryen).

Crone is out of my deck and Braided in x3. Too few activations of Crone and not the most important icon at this cost, too much impact of the 3 STR of Braided.

I recently realized that Mirri was not a choice, it was mandatory. She is the only way to get out of Greyjoy by countering their numerous saves thanks to the repetitive killing. I would play her in x2 even if it cost me a lot morraly speaking. (It's a stupid card). Moreover, Astapor offers her an immense support to win alone. I would also played Shadowblack Lane for more draw (and thus add Waking).
If you don't open with Heads, the efficiency of this plot decrease and it's arguable to use Varys' Riddle instead, you have an important +1 economy for marshalling big characters and you can copy an additional Counting Coppers.

Glad to see your decklist ! Gg !

vexien 673

@BenjiHey Benji.Thanks for your notes!

Hands judgement was included more to deal with the 0-1 cost events, rather than anything bigger. I highly expected tyrell to appear, so I needed a way to slow down their attempts at superior claim/all men are fools, so they wrent rushing me into a bad position.

I took nightmares out for a long time based on your notes. But during the last few days of testing, coming up against stark and nights watch, it very much felt like I needed the ability to turn off their big locations, even if it was just for a turn.

I also understand the benefits of waking the dragon, but I ultimately decided ti put nightmares in its place. Playing it pre valar sometimes felt like too much of a telegraph, and i had rattleshirts to deal with negative attachments.

Unsullied are a nice threat alongside the dracarys, who i expect tosee a lot more of with the new packs. Given im running 2 counting coppers, littlefinger did not feel necesarry. 3x Drogon is just me wanting as much consistency as possible with dragons. He will likely drop down to 2 going forward now there are some other cards to take the slot.

I agree with the crone activation rate being low, but I like thepower they give you in challenges as your opponent has to weigh up heavily the risk, and you can use this info to your advantage on occasions. Plus i was not lacking ofr military icons, so some extra int seems useful.

Mirri may find her way into decks with astapor given how much you can leverage it, but I tend to not include her as anytime I play a deck with her, I feel like i can never activate her. Largely personal preference.

I could see myself changes heads for riddle, I just stuck with what i knew for the time being!

zack 120

hey, thanks for posting this list! How about A Dragon Is No Slave? i can see how it might not fit the general style of this build (especially given you don't play Blood of the Dragon, but I wanted to ask if it's maybe out for other reasons (e.g., chapter validity maybe?)

vexien 673

@zackIt wasnt legal for the events I ran the list at. Currently I'm not sure how i'd fit it in this list, think itd change the overall style a little bit, such as including dragon sight, more unsullied, blood of the dragon.