Targ Fealty 4th, 8th, 10th in Swiss @ETX US Nats

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dockellis 859

Dr. Draclove or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Burn

To begin, I must say how great an experience ETX Nationals was. Thank you Patrick Day for the awesome event.

Targ Fealty is a known quantity, but with solid card additions from the NW Box and Guarding the Realm and lots of high level results it was the ultimate choice for myself, Zack Decoto, and Robert Brown to play at US Nationals as we played near identical 67 card lists, with Robert eschewing one of the Varys for a Littlefinger. The deck went through numerous iterations including one that won myself the Portland Regional, and Zack the Seattle one.

First let's discuss plot decisions

-Time of Plenty: Solid gold value, high reserve, an init value that will win on t1 a decent number of times, a positive trait that couldn't be navaled, and extra draw to smooth out the econ in the early turns. A strong opening plot.

-Retaliation: The ideal opener for this deck. After 20 or so games with retal in the plot line it became clear that a setup with econ, some mil icons and a drogo in hand led to a favorable t1 retal and the percentages of games lost following this sequence were low to none. Obv not every game will you set up a dragon/jorah/jhogo/econ/plaza'o'pride and have drogo in hand, but when we did retal was the easy decision. There are many free games won in the Swiss of the regionals and Nats where an opponent couldn't handle 4 mil claim on t1. The init allowed you to always go second and drop your drogo after they had marshalled protecting him from t1 milk, and sometimes catching players unawares. Also a solid midgame plot to pressure hand size and power totals. The hands down best 2 claim plot in the game right now.

-Varys's Riddle: Once we had enough games with the deck, it became fairly easy to predict opponents Counting coppers, Valar, Marched to the Wall, and having access to Riddle allows you to punish your opp to the maximum. As long as you fade the trading Riddle is a fine plot and can sometimes even be an opener against summer decks as they often open Harvest. We won't go over that interaction, ;) Fine init, which became a priority for us early on in the testing process.

-Counting Coppers: I'm unaware of many competitive lists that aren't running coppers atm.

-Blood of the Dragon: After Dragon is no Slave was printed, blood of the dragon gave us a way to answer pesky Brans and combo Dragon is no slave to reliably kill aemons on command. The threat of drac on a Blood turn is also particularly daunting for an opponent to work around. Easily the weakest plot in teh line and often pinned, though it fuels the slaver's bay port and has it's uses in particular matchups.

-Valar Morghulis: Don't leave home without it kids.

Marched to the Wall: Cleans ups boards after dracarys and drogo, as well as being the perfect follow up to Varys that will win you init 95% of the time.


Some might find it odd that roseroad and kingsroad have been omitted from this list, but that was a relatively easy decision with the inclusion of slaver's bay port and great hall. Great Hall was insane in testing and allowed for explosive plays on Valar and Coppers turns while not sacrificing your following turns econ and was a direct replacement for the Kingsroads. You trade the tempo of the Kroad on one turn for the consistency of the Great Hall for the entire game. Slaver's Bay Port inhabits the roseroad slot, as in combination with fealty the port is at worst equivalent to roseroad outside of setup and it much stronger in the mid to late game. The econ was stronger than any other decks I've played in 2.0. Partially due to the rest of the factions not having access to their 2 cost limited location, Targ was very appealing for this tournament.

--Util Locations--

We do consider this a burn deck, however Plaza of Punishment is not the All-Star Plaza here. Plaza of Pride is extremely powerful. For awhile we have seen lists start with one, work their way up to two, but it isn't enough. You want to see the card in every game and the best part is, when you draw the dupe, you can happily discard it to itself to stand a dragon or other small character. Punishment is a fine one of, as at times it is the answer to your opponents board state, though I can easily see it being cut with the printing of Astapor.


Dracarys! ,Duh. Fire and Blood was a 2 of but moved up to a 3 of when we realized how prevalent Valar was in the meta. A Dragon Is No Slave fuels the Plaza of Pride with it's recursion and threatens to kill almost any character in tandem with Drac. NIghtmares are versatile, and the Hand's Judgements were a direct consolation to the Targ mirror and the expectation that people would play them to counter Targ as well.


Some very obvious inclusions that I won't go over, like Dany, Drogo, Dragons. Not so obvious inclusions: Mirri x2, Jaqen H'gharx1, you need a certain threat density and Jaqen offers you a similar effect with out the risk of drawing dead or controled dupes in the mid-late game. Rattleshirt was also an affordable tech slot for NW and pushing through multiple 2 claim challenges with Plaza/Retal. Varys was added last minute, as we heard about the NW builders deck and ultimately helped somewhat vs the DC deck. Though we went 0-2 vs it. :( Lack of Confiscation hurt us there.

The deck performed well with my only loss in the Swiss being the mirror match against Zack Decoto which was partially defined by him Riddling my Coppers on what I thought was a non obvious Coppers turn. So, wise play on his part. In the Top 16 I lost to Tyrell Xing, a meta mate and friend Aaron Frede. I can only imagine the deck becoming stronger with the printing of Astapor and Greyworm. Replacements would probably come in the form of Plaza of Punishment and Fire and Blood for the Astapors and Rattleshirt and possibly Ilyrio/Varys for the Greyworm. No attachements will be crucial if the DC deck stays around in the meta for very long. Also I would suggest finding room for confiscation, perhaps for the blood of the dragon which was underwhelming on the day.

Feel free to ask questions about the list, and I will try and answer them as best I can below.


Kain8 39

What will you change to include Astapor? And what plot will you change to include Trading with the Pentoshi (if that's a consideration at all) in order to max out Astapor's bestow?

RainKing 69

@Kain8"Replacements would probably come in the form of Plaza of Punishment and Fire and Blood for the Astapors and Rattleshirt and possibly Ilyrio/Varys for the Greyworm."

dockellis 859

@Kain8I wouldn't just automatically add trading to the plot line as I think Astapor can often be bestowed for 2 and have great value. This needs to be tested, but targ has excellent Econ and the pressure you apply to your opponents board will become less effective if you are giving them 3 more gold in the early to midgame.

martellguy234 1

Good job! But maybe next time play Martell?

Vipess 102

I believe that martellguy is on point with his suggestion. The key advantage of Martell over your deck here is that they have the red viper. I'm not certain why you would want to play this over the red viper. Perhaps next time, by playing Martell Banner to the Dragon you can even make use of the red viper multiple times in a challenge phase with Jorah Mormont. You do lose Dracarys, but with the dragons you can also maybe make some of your opponents think that you might still have Dracarys, which will be good for you. The fealty thing won't be there, but fealty won't help you win challenges with the red viper like lords of the crossing so I think that's okay and I bet that martellguy would agree with me on this one most days out of the week.

martellguy234 1

@martellguy234 I am ashamed to say that I didn't play Martell at this event, maybe next time.

Vipess 102

@martellguy234 Rightfully so.

Stormborn 301

Congratulations on the good run guys. Some very interesting choices, Retaliation as a opener and all those high cost neutral characters.

celric 399

There were a LOT of people playing Targ Fealty so a big Congrats to you for coming up with the best version of it for this tournament. All 3 people playing it making the cut is an accomplishment. Great Job!

martellguy234 1

Thanks @celric and @Stormborn

dockellis 859

My Martell troll account has been exposed, haha. Thanks though @celricand @Stormborn for the kind words.


Thanks for sharing, very cool deck. How was rattleshirt? Looking forward to working in a couple Gray worms

dockellis 859

@YEEZUSRattleshirt was very cuttable. Haha. Greyworm is an obv replacement I think.

MiSiO 273

First of all. Congratulations!

@dockellisThere are not many burn effects in this deck. No Unsullied, 1 Plaza of Punishment. Was this enough to support (I assume that was the role of burn) in kill?

How did Ser Barristan Selmy (LoCR) performed? Was he included to synergize with Plaza of Pride.

Was 2 copies of Nightmares enough? I always find them VERY useful.

We rarely see The Hand's Judgment too. Why did You include those two event for? Any preferable target?

MiSiO 273

Oh... And how You handle Retaliation's Reserve of 4 as a opening plot?

dockellis 859

@MiSiO Unsullied was a consideration and a 1 of in a few iterations of the deck, however, not being unique and being non loyal were both marks against it as great hall needs as many targets as possible. Really the only non uniques we felt were necessary were loyalist and Rattleshirt's Raiders

Plaza of Punishment was very underwhelming and will be replaced be Astapor.

Ser Barristan Selmy (LoCR) is great in everything but the Mirror match as you can easily control your handsize with plaza and events/retal reserve. Due to a large presence of Targ we didn't feel we could justify more than one as he is a prime target for Dracarys!

Nightmares is always nice to have but we knew we would be playing The Hand's Judgment and we didn't want to overload the event slots. If the HJs were cut I could see going back up to x3 nightmares.

The Hand's Judgment was a meta call. We knew targ would be heavy in the field and that "Lord Renly's Ride" was going to be seeing lot's of play, not to mention our opponents HJs. So we hedged against that. Going forward I would say they are not crucial to the deck, unless you think the meta requires them.

Thanks for your questions, I hope my answers are sufficient!

dockellis 859

@MiSiO If you are opening Retaliation then you are usually wiping your opponents board with drogo, double mil claim. So the hand size hit is not that large of a concern, usually only discarding 1-3 cards. Learning when to retal t1 and when not to was one of the important parts of playing this plot line.

MiSiO 273

@dockellis My experience with Plaza of Punishment is great but in tandem with A Dragon Is No Slave but Your deck is more a kill than burn so I get the move. (Still imagine Astapor + Plaza of Punishment combined...

I agree that Unsullied do not work well with Great Hall (a reason I use 1 GH and with Grey Worm I will switch to two copies only).

Ser Barristan Selmy (LoCR) - I ask as I feel he is better choice than Aggo in a deck without too many Summer. Also Grey Worm has INT icon so Selmy can fit well.

dockellis 859

@MiSiOIt's true that Plaza of Punishment can be quite potent, but our meta is awash with bodyguard and other attachments and the opportunity cost has been high when examining some of the new cards. I would still like to fit one in the deck, but it is my first cut for Astapor which I think will be stronger. Hopefully there is room for both. :)