Profile photo of Buz H. By Buz H. On May 30, 2012 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

Hot Targ: Summer in the City

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May 30, 2012

If you live in Tulsa, I’m sure you remember that last summer we set a record for 16 days in a row over 100 degrees (for our Australian readers, that roughly translates as a lot of degrees Celsius). That Global Warming will get you every time. As we round into this year’s hot season, I thought I would celebrate with a Targ Summer deck concept. I may as well share the deck concept and get some discussion and insight going from the masses, but I’d also like to talk about my thought process in creating it as well as what I’m hoping to achieve with each new deck and each card I add. So it’s a micro-look at a deck as well as a macro-look at deckbuilding overall, I guess.

To start with, I always seem to get fascinated with a card or two and try to center a concept around them. I’ve already built one focusing on Pike Phalanx and Incinerate!, and, as expressed above, this particular one will look at Summer as a theme for Targ. Summer unlocks some great options, including Field of Fire, one of the strongest burn cards in the game. As a drawback, it costs 2 influence and it affects ALL characters in a challenge, not just those of your opponent. However, it is not limited in its scope to one or two characters and it comes with its own terminal effect, making it perhaps comparable to Hatchling’s Feast. Including both of these cards meant that I needed a lot of influence to run them.

Looking at the influence that I needed to drop my events, I got to thinking: What if I just threw gold out the window and tried to run my whole deck from influence instead? Also, I’m limited in the number of chapter packs that I pick up at a given time, so that enforces some creativity in choice. For this deck, though, Tales from the Red Keep netted the Red Keep (3 influence) as well as the Dragonpit and Syrio Forel to help fuel it.

The Red Keep made it realistic to try to run an influence-heavy resource curve, but I needed characters to really make the deck go–all decks do. So what characters can I get with influence?

Well, in a word, Dragons. This works well with Field of Fire as my dragons are unaffected by that card. Further, the hatchlings from the Queen of Dragons box are shadow cards, important for the Dragonpit’s requirement. Unfortunately, dragons are expensive and really tilt the resource curve required way up. They almost necessitate running 3x Danaerys Targaryen, as if she gets out the dragons are really tough to deal with. I’ve run dragons in melee for some time now, but never in joust so I’m interested to see how they do.

It’s tough to get all the influence you need for your burn and your dragons at one time, so I just stuck almost every influence-bearing card possible in the deck: 3x Summer Sea, 3x Eastern Fiefdom, 3x Kingsroad Fiefdom, Volantis, 2x Red Keep, Khal Drogo’s Tent–whew! I also added 2x Myrish Villa to take advantage of the Summer reduction.

With this influence-heavy, gold-light strategy, I needed characters who fit the bill. 3x Dragon Thief was a good start. 3x Advisor to the Crown is also a necessity as they each add 2 more influence. I considered Queen’s Knight, but decided against it as they would fall out of play too quickly. I added Magister Illyrio to get some ancillary benefit from this ambush technique. Syrio Forel also adds to this, hopping in and out of shadows every challenge phase.

Filling out the events and attachments was more burn. 2x Forever Burning adds recursive burn, 2x Flame Kissed and 3x Harried by Dragons each give more Ambush options. Add Lady Dany’s Chambers for recursion and Xaro’s Home for influence based draw and you have something. I’m using the Summer agenda, Xaro’s Home, Gilly, and Val for draw. Gilly may just be the best 0-cost card in the game, actually. You can’t leave home without your draw. I also like LDC as it can recur a Raven if it gets discarded. Since I only have part of a Summer pack, I will take all the protection I can get.

Probably the toughest cut was Ser Barristan Selmy. One of my favorites from the books, his newest iteration is strong, allowing targeted burn and a kill effect. However, his 4-cost was just too much for the resources to bear. He had to go. I’m also looking for a spot for Daario Naharis, but our meta isn’t filled with Knights at the moment.

So here is what I have come up with so far (looking below, it’s actually slightly outdated, but it will give the feel of it):

Card list Group cards by RarityTypeHouse
Type: Agenda (1 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Kings of Summer ASoSm 1 Agenda F
Type: Attachment (7 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
2 x Black Raven ASoSm 2 Attachment F
2 x Flame-Kissed Core 103 Attachment T
3 x Harried by Dragons VM 14 Attachment F
Type: Character (30 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
3 x Advisor to the Crown QoD 39 Character F
1 x Black Hatchling QoD 18 Character F
3 x Daenerys Targaryen QoD 22 Character F
3 x Dragon Thief AE 37 Character F
2 x Drogon QoD 23 Character F
1 x Gilly RW 98 Character F
1 x Green Hatchling QoD 19 Character F
1 x Horseback Archers QoD 15 Character F
1 x Magister Illyrio VM 16 Character F
2 x Qartheen Fanatic Core 123 Character T
2 x Rhaegal QoD 24 Character F
1 x Ser Barristan Selmy TftH 10 Character F
1 x Ser Jorah Mormont WLL 72 Character F
2 x Syrio Forel TftRK 77 Character F
3 x Val RotO 117 Character F
2 x Viserion QoD 25 Character F
1 x White Hatchling QoD 20 Character F
Type: Event (8 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
3 x Field of Fire QoD 37 Event F
2 x Forever Burning Core 174 Event T
3 x The Hatchlings’ Feast ASitD 50 Event F
Type: House (1 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
1 x House Targaryen Core H6 House F
Type: Location (19 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
3 x Eastern Fiefdoms QoD 34 Location F
3 x Kingsroad Fiefdom QoD 42 Location F
2 x Lady Daenerys’s Chambers Core 180 Location T
2 x Myrish Villa QoD 31 Location F
3 x Summer Sea QoD 32 Location F
2 x The Dragonpit TftRK 74 Location F
2 x The Red Keep TftRK 78 Location F
1 x Volantis VM 17 Location F
1 x Xaro’s Home Core 126 Location T
Type: Plot (6 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
1 x A Song of Summer ASoSm 20 Plot F
1 x A Time for Ravens ACoSe 59 Plot F
1 x At the Gates GotC 20 Plot F
1 x Summoning Season Core 181 Plot B
1 x Threat from the North PotS 56 Plot F
1 x Wildfire Assault Core 191 Plot L

Plots are a problem. For one, I don’t actually own At the Gates. So I had to cut it. I also am crying out for a 2-claim plot, but none in my pool seem to fit. I almost went for Focused Offense, but I actually decided to try Above the Sorrows with Shores of Ny Sar–a little River plot action. Summoning Season isn’t the best ever for Joust, but Dany is probably worth it. Retaliation! would be a good choice, and maybe Twist of Fate or even Breaking and Entering may help. I may also need a Valar as the deck is so slow. Thoughts here are coveted.

I tested this deck twice today, and both times was hammered. Setup was slow, with only 3 cards once and 4 once. That’s a problem. Also, the deck is super vulnerable to location control, especially River Blockade, Newly Made Lord, and Maester Muremure. That was a tough run-in. However, I think the deck showed enough to keep going with it.

Thoughts for the future tweaks: 1. Is Summer agenda the way to go or do I go for Knights of the Hollow Hill to help address my resource problem? 2. Do I need a different character focus altogether, dropping the dragons? Or can something like this work? 3. Do I have too many attachments/events? Should I cut Forever Burning and replace with resources or weenies, or maybe even swap for Incinerate! and go for raw power?

Thanks for reading, and for commenting. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!


  1. LOVE Field of Fire. I used to never run the card… but it’s because I was an idiot and didn’t realize I could play it as soon as someone declared attackers (duh!) Nathan straightened me out on that one.

    I once had this beautiful moment when my opponent didn’t know I had Field of Fire and during a Power of Faith turn, he attacked me with everything he had… it was beautiful to reduce everything by 2 (and kill some weenies in the process). Brutal card if your opponent over extends!

    I am curious about some of your choices… but you say that list is out of date. I mention it because it still seems you have some high gold cards in there – especially your Dragons. If you plan to Ambush them in instead of pay for them with gold… you’re going to have to kneel at least TWO influence cards (no matter how you slice it) to get one into play. Seems risky from a cost curve perspective. As reliant as your deck is on Influence… there may be too many of those in there as you’ll be burning down your Influence pretty quickly. Just a thought.

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    1. Yeah, curve is really high. I am thinking of swapping Hatchlings Feast with Incinerate to reduce my influence needs. Or I may just need to get rid of the dragons altogether.

      As far as the list being out of date, it’s probably +/- three cards. I cut Ser Barristan, one LDC, and maybe something else but can’t remember what exactly I replaced them with. I’ll have to pull the deck back out later.

    2. Well, it looks like you’re going for a Burn/Rush combo here… so not sure. Dragons aren’t really necessary for Field of Fire – that card is just all kinds of awesome with no Dragons in your deck.

      As far as 2-claim plots go… if you focus on Burn – there’s no downside to Retaliation! You want to go second most of the time anyway, plus it’s got solid income. It’s enough gold to field Dany or a Dragon with no reducers. My only beef with the River plots is the low gold.

      I’d be curious to see how the deck plays… you may find the split theme more problematic as you’re trying to Rush while trying to control at the same time. Depending on your draw (which could be uneven) you’re either going to be starting off trying to dominate using Dragons for the Rush (with Dany) or you’ll be trying to Burn… or, worse, you’ll end up with a little of each and not be able to really grab everything you need.

      BUT – you may find that it’s got a good stride in actual play… Power card comes in along with Burn and you nuke the threat to open the door. Timing would be everything with this deck and Draw is king.

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      1. I guess I don’t see it as Rush, more just slow, high strength characters. I think I’d need 4 or 5 plots to win in almost every case. Maybe that’s a problem, looking at rush-y characters with control events. I see myself using the events to buy time to build a force and then close in 1-2 turns. Very different than say Bara rush, but maybe a mixture of these feels is throwing the tightness off.

      2. Sorry – when I see all three QoD Dragons – I always think Rush because of Rhaegal. I’m testing a Maester’s Dragon deck right now that has won on Turn 2 w/o a Summer or Burn mechanic… so my perspective is colored a bit by that. But, you’re right, Rush is the wrong word.

  2. Hey buz! Looking good so far!

    Dorry to hear about your crushing defeats at the hands of Greyjoy. A couple things to remember for that matchup…

    A) river blockade does not cancel influence from being knelt to pay for ambush as you are paying a cost and not triggering a location effect.
    B) same goes for murenmure. Also, if he cancels an ambish card, it simply goes back to your hand instead of discard pile.

    Back on track…the deck does looks pretty cool. I think it needs more testing with the dragons to see if they are worth it.

    Try Rule by Decree as a plot since you have forever burnings and myrish villas. You could easily use one of them T1 pre-plot and get a huge advantage from the start with RBD. Also, gotta pick up At the Gates and Retaliation!. Amazing plots. How are you living without those? lol

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    1. What! Influence isn’t a location effect? We swore it was…..that changes EVERYTHING. I was kneeling 1 influence locations just to waste his cancel. You can never trust a Greyjoy. I also lost to a Lannister PBtT deck. In both matches I really wanted my Valar on plot 2, or maybe even First Snow. Always the plot problem….

      Rule by Decree is strong, but I am wondering about its utility in a high-draw deck. I guess ideally I’m running cards out there, plus the pre-plot trick is nice. I did that to Larry at the regional and it certainly bought me a plot or two.

      I totally almost pulled the trigger on the pack containing At the Gates, but I had to let it go until next month. Singles are sold out as well–people must know it’s good. I think Retaliation! is in the Martell box unless I’m mistaken. Might make a good birthday present….

      There is so much use for influence that Forever Burning might have to go. Incinerate at least has a terminal effect built in; more testing, as always, is the key.

  3. Updated list:

    Danaerys Targaryen x3
    Drogon x2
    Viserion x2
    Rhaegal x2
    Black Hatchling x1
    Green Hatchling x1
    White Hatchling x1
    Ser Jorah Mormont x1
    Advisor to the Crown x3
    Magister Illyrio x1
    Quartheen Fanatic x1
    Val x2
    Maester Aemon x1
    Dragon Thief x2
    Syrio Forel x2
    Gilly x1

    Black Raven x2
    Harried by Dragons x3
    Flame Kissed x2

    Hatchling’s Feast x3
    Field of Fire x2
    Forever Burning x2

    The Dragonpit x2
    The Red Keep x2
    Lady Dany’s Chambers x1
    Kingsroad Fiefdom x3
    Myrish Villa x2
    Eastern Fiefdom x3
    Volantis x1
    Khal Drogo’s Tent x1
    Summer Sea x3
    Xaro’s Home x1

    Threat From the North
    Wildfire Assault
    Summoning Season
    A Time for Ravens
    A Song of Summer
    Twist of Fate
    Rule by Decree

    1. I like the dragons/influence problem. However, I am looking at a different set of characters as these are just too tough to get out on the table. Any suggestions?

      Ser Barristan Selmy
      Daario Naharis
      Titan’s Bastard
      Khal Drogo (Core)
      Jhogo (core)
      Dany (Gates of the Citadel–still don’t have, but her and the plot are enticing)
      Queen’s Knight
      3x Illyrio
      Pyat Pree
      Blue Lipped Warlock
      Killer of the Wounded
      Bringers of Law
      Horseback Archers
      Shadow Tower Knight (He actually is a great fit for my Targ War deck)
      Silent Sisters
      Thundering Cavalry
      Warlock of Qarth
      Xaro Xoan Doxos

      Hmmm…that’s actually a lot of decent characters there. I’ll have to look at revamping the list totally. Thanks for listening to my thinking out loud…

      1. If you are looking at switching out your character base I would also switch Agendas for KotHH. Right now, in my opinion, it’s the best agenda that Targ can run. With Maesters being a distant second. It just evens out your resource curve so well and gives you an automatic 2 influence from the get go. It’s hard to choke and gives you an increased chance at winning initiative each round, which is huge.

        I love so may of the characters that you have on this list to choose from! If you go KotHH, here is what I would do to your list…

        -1 all 3 Dragons
        -3 Dany
        -1 all hatchlings
        -1 Qartheen Fanatic
        -1 Syrio Forel
        -3 advisor to the crown
        -1 Volantis
        -1 khal drogos tent

        +1 Magister Illyrio
        +3 Queen’s Knight
        +1 Dragon Thief
        +2 Khal Drogo(core)
        +1 Titan’s Bastard
        +1 Pyatt Pree
        +2 Bay of Ice
        +1 Xaro Xoan Daxos

        Just my .02 according to what you have here. If you want to keep the Summer Agenda, I totally agree. It’s just so tough vs Winter decks.

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