Tyrion's Chain - Fracas 2017 Best Lannister of Swiss

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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet.

Cas 128

This is the deck that I used to go 7-1 in the swiss rounds of Flea Bottom Fracas. I sadly got stopped in the top 32 by Federico Fasullo (I will discuss the reasons -beside him being a very good player - later) but all in all I think the deck performed pretty well. Many of you asked about how the deck works because it's not a standard Lannister build, so I will get into some explanation.

First some background: Those of you who have met me in tournaments before, know that I play mostly Lannister from the beginning and also I really like crossing with them (I used a different build of Lanni-Crossing in last year's Stahleck too for example). After Valar came out I tried the Jumper Rains for a bit but I didn't really enjoy it so I started looking for something else. I found Tyrion's Chain a really interesting card since when it came out but I thought that it needed some more good War plots to work. However when I decided to look for a new Lannister build I wanted to try if I can make it work. I tried all the War plots with at least semi-reasonable when revealed effect but only Heads on Spikes seemed really useable. From there it was obvious to try to build with Crossing (again) and go rushier than ever before.

About the gameplan: It's easy to see that this is a rush deck. I generally want to win by plot 3 or 4. If I have a good enough econmy and/or board position, or I don't have any big character, and I don't expect a Varys's Riddle as an opener from my opponent I flip Heads on Spikes on turn 1 and 2, in other cases I usually begin with A Noble Cause and go turn 2-3 Spikes. If I have the Chain, my priority is using it to trigger Spikes again (obviously), other than that, the deck is a pretty straightforward Crossing rush with Ser Jaime Lannister (Core), Cersei Lannister (LoCR) and Casterly Rock. If I don't win on the second Spikes turn I generally try to close the game with A Clash of Kings or Winter Festival. The deck isn't entirely reliant on HoS highrolls but that's what gives it the push to make it terribly fast in many games.

Some other important things to note:

  • As you see from the plotline, the deck sometimes has to go with really low economy. Maybe surprisingly, it can perform reasonably well without the big key characters thanks to mostly Shae, the Frey Lordlings and the great power-grab potential of the plots in themselves. I won my first round game against Liam Hall without any characters higher than 3-cost (though I had insane luck with the Spikes, getting Renly Baratheon (FFH) and Randyll Tarly in the first two rounds). The biggest problem when I have to go with this strategy is of course The First Snow of Winter.
  • The biggest bane of this deck is negative attachments. It's great to have one character do all three challenges by herself, but when I have to rely on that, getting a Craven or Marriage Pact can be very harsh. For this reason some more attachment-control may very well be called for but in testing I found that Rattleshirt's Raiders is usually not enough when I really need it against Night's Watch for example. However getting owned by a Marriage Pact in the top 32 made me seriously rethink it's exclusion.
  • The lack of card draw (a sole Grand Maester Pycelle and a Shadowblack Lane as pseudo-draw) is not as big of a problem than in other decks because of the speed of the win conditions and the abaility to defend intrigue pretty reliably if needed, but sometimes I got stuck with two dupes of Casterly Rock and late Chains in my hand. Including Taena Merryweather might be a solution for this problem (the credit for this idea goes to everyone's favorite brazilian, Luiz Bretas) and trying Fever Dreams may also be reasonable.
  • An important advantage I had at Fracas was the element of surprise with my deck being both relatively unknown and very explosive. In many cases I was already too far ahead by the time my opponents could adjust their game for my rush. My only loss in swiss was in part due to Isian reading my gameplan very well (on the other part, I made a few mistakes, but more about that later). Congrats for him again!

I will discuss some card choices in depth and write a tournament report when I have the time, but I believe I adressed most of the key points.

Thanks again everyone for the great time and memorable games at Fracas, and see you at Stahleck. (I might take a whole new version of Lanni Crossing there, but I can't promise that :D )


The Rock 1

That deck! ^^ Congratulations again on your great performance and bringing this new Lannister archetype into the lime light. How important do you find the Milk of the Poppy in the current meta/for specific match-ups?

cadupa96 82

Never considered playing Weapons at the Door? Initiative almost assure you to go first and in a rush deck freeing Cersei or Jaime of their negative attachments for one turn can often be enough.

Cas 128

@The RockThank you :) Since the deck has very limited board control potetnial, sometimes the Milk is the only way to stop some really annoying characters. It's the best against Targ with Drogo, Dany or Mirri and Greyjoy with mostly Victarion, but it has good uses in almost every matchup (maybe NW is the excepton). Sometimes milking an Aray is enough to let me concentrate more on attacking and not worrying about stealth Ices or Winter is Coming.

@cadupa96It's a good idea and absolutely worth trying (I have to admit, I didn't). The only problem is that it also bounces my milks and bodygaurds but sometimes it's still worth it (and since i usually don't go trough the plot, there is no real harm in having it in the deck.) So thanks. It seems there is still room for the deck (and for my deckbuilding skills) to improve. :D

Madus 7

Hello Cas, really interesting deck you have here. I play a basic version of it without the heads on spike combo.

Given my little experience, Rattleshirt's Raiders are a really useful, I have x2. But I agree with you it is not always enough, that's why I also play a Tower of the Hand x1. It gets rid of terminal attachments and is pretty useful. Two drawbacks, it can not be used against a Craven and you lose the power on your character, but this card helped me anyway during my games.

Last word, why don't you play Small Council Chamber ? Given the number of challenge you win, it boosts your power really fast.

Reader 87

I find Small Council Chamber to be too vulnerable to GJ, especially Sea Bitch. Seems it would be a dead card in that match up.