Warriors of the True Queen–a Targ deck idea

As my many fans will know, I love playing Targaryen. I also have largely used the strategy of having someone else build my decks so far. I think that this has gone far enough and it’s time to strike out on my own and see what I can do. We’ve been having a decent turnout […]

Profile photo of Buz H. By Buz H. On May 17, 2012 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

As my many fans will know, I love playing Targaryen. I also have largely used the strategy of having someone else build my decks so far. I think that this has gone far enough and it’s time to strike out on my own and see what I can do. We’ve been having a decent turnout at local tournament night (Thursdays in Tulsa, FYI) and I’d like to see what I can do on my own two feet. (your comments below excepted, of course).

So I knew I wanted to run Targaryen, and, as I won a Valar Morghulis Chapter Pack for my win last week at the Team Covenant Tournament, I thought I would like to include Incinerate. I think this is an awesome card, and I flipped through my Targ cards to see what trait I could feature. I don’t have many Dothraki, so they were out, but I did have a decent number of Armies, Mercenaries, and Allies. I further noted that many of them featured War Crests. Is there something there that can synergize around those crests?

Well, looky there: Pike Phalanx. This card lets you raise your claim for the entire PHASE when you declare Pike Phalanx as an attacker with a War Crest character. Not too bad. If I could go first often and run some claim-2 plots (rising to claim 3) it wouldn’t take too long to grab the elusive 15 power that I needed. I did some thinking, and put this list together. I’ll admit it still needs focus and a look at the resource curve, but I think I’ll post the true early version rather than the one with the tweaks I want to make.

Note: my cardpool is 2x Core, Lords of Winter, Kings of the Sea, Queen of Dragons, War of the Five Kings, Ancient Enemies, Refugees of War, Defenders of the North (entire cycle), Valar Morghulis and Tourney for the Hand. My plan to expand is probably to buy the new one as it comes out and work backwards, buying about one a month or so. Tale of Champions seemed like a good start as they have some awesome characters in there for all the houses. Without Further Ado, the list:

House Targaryen

Heir to the Iron Throne

Plots (7)

Siege of Riverrun

Take them by Surprise

Fury of the Dragon (restricted)

Threat from the East

Muster the Realm

Power of Arms (x2)

Characters (32)

Queen Danaerys’s Horde

Jorah’s Cohorts x3

Ser Barristan Selmy x3

Khal Drogo (QoD) x2

Randyl Tarly x2

Pike Phalanx x3

Jhogo

Danaerys Targaryen

Magister Illyrio

Dragon Thief x3

Hired Swords x2

Jack of All Trades x3

Horseback Archers x2

Green Hatchling

Brown Ben Plumm

Refugee of the Plains x3

Locations (17)

Training Grounds

High Ground (x2)

Plaza of Pride

Khal Drogo’s Tent

Great Pyramid x2

Volantis

Street of Sisters

Street of Steel

Temple of the Graces x2

Summer Sea x2

Events (11)

Incinerate! x3

Ambush From the Plains x3

Die by the Sword x3

Support of the Kingdom x2

So that’s the list. In testing, it’s done OK. It beat a Clansmen deck (which is a tough deck) twice but lost to the Power Behind the Throne build. It also beat a Stark Army. However, there are some things I need to take a look at. Basically, I try to win initiative and lean on the opponent, standing armies with High Ground and using Ambush from the Plains to bring in big armies as needed, another use for the initiative on the plots and the Bays of Ice. Three claim 2 plots is a boon, and the high gold on a few others is necessary to marshall everything.

1. Bay of Ice can give its benefit to an opponent. I did not realize that when I stuck it in there. I’ll have to look at that, but the weakness in the deck is certainly draw. Khal Drogo has a pseudo-draw effect, but I need something more reliable. Like Summer, maybe, but I don’t want to sell plasma to afford the pack.

2. Intrigue is a huge weakness. I have a few Intrigue characters in there for defense, but I need a better look at how to handle this.

3. I need more influence in the deck. I need to be assured of triggering Incinerate! and ambushing characters if need be. I probably need to up a Summer Sea and probably an Eastern Fiefdom or two.

4. Volantis doesn’t kneel to reduce and is an influence, but it’s unreliable at best.

5. I may be adding Where Loyalty Lies to the pool, so Jorah and Daario will have a good home here in the deck.

6. Is six targeted kill events too many? Should I take out some Die By the Sword for Price of War? Or something else entirely? Our meta isn’t too location-heavy, so I’m not sure about this one….

7. Free Man is a good fit here as a weenie. I may add a few of him as well. (He stands a War Crest upon leaving play)

Well there it is, with all its warts and flaws. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

  1. As far as tracking down Summer and Winter packs goes, if you look hard enough, you can find them. I sourced one in the Netherlands for retail – pretty much the same time as one went for $100 on ebay. Just took some searching.

    1. Hey Nathan.. I’m another Tulsa player. Fell in love with the card game a few months back after reading the books and watching the show. I’m putting together a targ summer deck and looking for a couple duplicates. You wouldn’t happen to have an extra Red Warlock or Dragon Sight card you would trade or sell do you? In any event, hope to see you around the Tulsa area for a game sometime.

      1. Matt! Good to see you on the site!

        Tradecardsonline.com is a good site to find trade matches too, and Nathan is trying to get a larger community to play online there too
        You might want to check it out.

    2. thanks for throwing that out for me, Buz. I definitely want to get more players onto tradecardsonline.com(from here on out know as TCOL) so that we can grow that community. It would be good for everyone here to be able to play against other metas/players without having to worry about downloading and keeping up with OCTGN sets.

  2. Kings of Summer could really be a cool add here for the draw. It opens up Myrish Villa as a potential reducer (though it has no influence). Beyond that I wonder what other Summer synergy you’re going to get.

    With those crests, Die by the Sword is just too good. Targeted kill is hard to beat. As far as Intrigue, if you can maintain initiative, you use targeted kill to nuke the heavy intrigue hitters that are left after you’ve nailed their claim soak and saves with your high claim challenges. Hopefully. :-)

  3. As far as the deck goes…

    I think switching out Support of the Kingdom for Price of War is the best way to go. You have plenty of War crest characters to make it work.

    You say that Volantis is unreliable, I would drop that and the two Pyramids for 3 Eastern Fiefdoms.

    That’s a lot of Barristan Selmys. He’s pretty expensive so I would drop 2 of him for another Danaerys Targaryen. She will be great for reducing that Horde and help to shore up the Iack of INT icons. Also, up that Hired Sword to 3x, cheap WAR crest characters are hard to come by.

    The Free Man is a card that could work very well in your deck. I would drop Brown Ben and the Green Hatchling for them, with the other slot open from dropping 2 Selmys you’ll have room for all 3 copies.

    Your Initiative on the plots is very low. I would drop Ambush from the plains altogether as it will probably sit in your hand much of the game. A good event here in it’s place would be the aforementioned Paper Shield. Nothing wrong with that card. If you want to up the rush, you could also add in Make an Example. That will be easy enough to trigger with Training Grounds in play.

    Good luck!

    1. Yeah, I was thinking about this. The bays of ice put inititative up and I could add a fiefdom or two. I may just rethink and add some higher initiative plots, though I may also need a reset. Why are plots so hard……it’s almost like you need ten for every deck.

      With Ser Barristan, my thought was that I could control what I discard in order to trigger Ambush. 3x may be too much though. A little renown never hurt anyone either.

      We did get WLL so I’ll also be sticking in Jorah and Daario for crested tricons. Not too bad.

      With Volantis, I just stuck it in cause it’s new and shiny :). It’s not terrible; not awesome. We’ll see how that goes. I may just drop it.

      When I got owned by the Power Behind the Throne deck, I really needed the paper shield. In our meta, I may need it more than Price of War…but probably not.

      More testing required! I look forward to it and thanks for all the comments so far, everyone!

      1. Honestly, your only ambush characters are the Dragon Thieves so I would not put in KR Fiefdom. Unless you have a need for the influence it would be a waste of 2 gold.

      2. I’m thinking of adding more ambush and therefore boosting Illyrio a bit, but I wonder if that will detract from the War synergy. And then if I make it summer Ill want some burn events….I think I have deckbuilding ADD :)

        I think for this week ill keep it war focused and see how it goes. Then I may add in ambush if I need to later.

      3. I know, right? Which is just the syndrome I was trying to avoid with this whole deckbuilding process in the first place.
        Maybe I’ll just rebuild my Wildling deck and be done with it :).

      4. I feel like you’re trying to say this deck isn’t any good! Ha! You’re probably right. I do guarantee that I will be back on the Wildling train sooner than later. They’re just so fun.

      5. Haha, not at all, Buz. I actually think that deck has promise. You just need a slightly larger card pool to make it really work. You have the DotN set already so it’s just so easy to go with Wildlings. LIke you said, they are so fun to play and are still competitive.

  4. One thing that might be worth considering as a purchase is the Brotherhood Cycle. It’s just got so much good stuff. Too bad the House Pack is out of stock, because both Drogo’s Horde and Rakharo fit perfectly within your theme here.

      1. It’s not a bad cycle, that jhogo is amazing!

        My personal favorite is the King’s Landing cycle. So many powerful cards from that set for each house. Neutral cards from that are top knotch as well!

  5. I have been thinking about adding more high initiative to get around the drawback of Bay of Ice. Some plots I’ve been considering:

    Retaliation! I’d have to buy this as a single but it wouldn’t be a bad one to have I don’t think.

    Winter Festival–this works like a charm in my melee deck, but I think the plot ability is very narrow here. Although, with this Steven couldn’t zero me next time I play his Greyjoy winter deck :)

    Songs of Bael the Bard–yeah, initiative is only three, but I have a soft spot for this one. It has wide utility in either making someone an army for use with my locations or making an opponent’s character receive a trait that Jorah or Daario can then discard.

    Search and Detain–another I’d have to buy, but probably one I would get widespread use out of.

    Or I can just chop Bay of Ice and be done with it.

    1. Search and Detain is agree plot. There are some who want it restricted because it’s starting to become an auto-include. It can be death to a rush deck centered on a single character with little downside for you (except that you go second). If you lose initiative and go first, you just pull an ambush character and recycle it. Heck I do that on purpose sometimes.

      1. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on Search an Detain lately.

        It matches against Valar Morghulis decently well if they fall on the same turn. Declare yourself first player and bounce your own guy to dodge the sweep. Or bounce one of their gold/discount locations so they can’t drop as much post-sweep.

        It can hurt against a coming enemy Valar. You bounce their guy, they maybe eat (or don’t make) a challenge because of it, then they sweep you and drop the guy you bounced (because he was so dangerous to you). Particularly if they are running Bungled Orders to stall/threaten super-Valar (all the good, skip on the 2 gold 0 claim), it’s bad.

        It doesn’t match against aggression all that well. The bounce helps, but their bounced card can be replayed — if they still have enough out come challenge phase to hurt you, the bounce hasn’t done anything significant. Arguably the only time it’s decent here is -vs- a renown character that is both key to their victory and for some reason not running any attachments (like Bodyguard).

        It doesn’t match against defensive plots all that well. The bounce is moot because they just replay the card. The hole you’ve made in their defenses can’t really be exploited.

        Search and Detain is tech. It’s a claim 1 plot with an unreliable effect, and not really any better than other stalling plots. I like how well it controls initiative and the gold is high…but it’s definitely not worth restricting.

      2. I’ve probably had the most plot success with Search & Detain. It destroys Renown characters. It destroys duplicates. It puts Newly Made Lord back in my hand. It bounces Cersei. It bounces Beric. Targ can use it to bounce Balerion for another round of tap-down. It saves The Sparr from Valar. It puts Robb in hand before he can play an army for free. Red Viper goes back in. Etc, etc.

        For a 4 gold plot, you can easily set your opponent back 3-5 gold on the bounce. It’s a very big resource swing.

      3. I have to say, I’ve never once regretted having it in my plot deck and my opponents have regretted it every time. But I run Targ… and there are just so many good ways to use that card.

        I will say there are multiple decks in my meta that run the card, but it’s not used as often as I would have thought. but nobody is pulling it out of their decks.