What’s the deal with Lannister?

So Lannister is the worst house, right? Or that's what peeps around TC think, anyway. So House of Dreams–Tunnels of the Red Keep is the best build, right? Or kneel strategies are the only way to fly these days, right? Well, sort of….

The real problem with Lannister, in my opinion, is its horrific matchup with Targ burn, which, as you may have noticed, is popular right now. Gold weenies and other important cheap characters get sucked up by First Snow of Winter, and the Military strength Lannister brings to bear isn't enough to keep their board up against the Stark winter decks that are running around. With Incinerate, Price of War, other murder events, and (possibly worst of all) Search and Detain around to wreck Cersei and other key uniques, Lannister has been on a downswing lately.

The other problem, as is commonly held, is that the last cycle wasn't good to them at all. Though Pentoshi Manor and Enslaved were in there, not much else really caught the eye for the Lions of Casterly Rock. There were weird events (influence cost, Walk of Shame? Really?) and weird characters (Yezzan's Grotesquerie? Doesn't that hurt me when I attack in a power challenge?) and characters that divide opinion (is Hugor Hill a world beater? Is Penny good? or not?)

Thus, as is my wont (since I have deckbuilding ADD) I have rolled out a “new” type of Lannister deck. This deck borrows many principles from the Knights of the Hollow Hill builds that Nathan first opened my eyes to and that I've seen some others using recently. I wanted it to be a pretty fast PBJ deck, and thus packed it full of renown. I wanted to keep some control elements in, and am using Pentoshi Manor and Iron Throne (like any good Lannister should).

I've also emphasized an oft overlooked aspect of Lannister–Draw. They haven't got much new in the way of Draw, but that's because their old stuff is just so good. Golden Tooth Mines, Pyromancer's Cache, Tommen–what more do you need? Using the cache means no Castellan and thus (for this first build at least) no overt character control at all in terms of kneel.

What I have tried to emphasize in my event suite is the new Lannister challenge control mechanisms. I find these to be ridiculously strong, but hampered because they use a resource that Lannister doesn't naturally want. Influence is something that is second nature to me as a Targaryen loyalist, so it wasn't that hard to slot in enough for Walk of Shame, Double Bluff, and When I Woke.

The other thing that harms builds that center on Cersei is targeted removal and Search and Detain. Thus, I've got a few positive attachments to keep her safe from Bear Island and S&D, while Futile Gestures is great in the right circumstances. Notice that it can cancel Orphans, Ghaston Grey, No Quarter, Castellan, Incinerate, Bear Island–basically everything except Search and Detain. Jaime, Cersei, Ser Arys, Joffrey and anyone with Longclaw will benefit from this protection–way better than Paper Shield and well worth the Power cost.

The plots are high in initiative and just want to win challenges early. Frey Hospitality beats S&D in a pinch, and Game of Thrones will tie it. Shadows and Spiders slows down Stark decks and others not prepped for it, and, well, it's not like the plot deck isn't standard PBJ stuff. I've tried to find a slot for Power of Blood and just don't think I can.

Anyway, what do you think of the deck? Is eschewing Enslaved a good call? Are there events I've overlooked? Should I look at a bit more control in the character base? Should I look at answering Maesters a bit more specifically? Or is this just a bunch of crap?

Section: Draw Deck (62 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
2 x Bronn's Hireling LotR 17 Character F
2 x Brothel Guard LotR 43 Character F
3 x Cersei Lannister LotR 6 Character F
2 x Double Bluff LotR 34 Event F
3 x Futile Gestures VM 6 Event F
3 x Golden Tooth Mines Core 57 Location L
1 x High Septon LotR 37 Character F
2 x Hugor Hill VM 4 Character F
1 x Joffrey Baratheon PotS 36 Character F
1 x Lady Stoneheart MotM 58 Character F
2 x Lannisport Steward Core 52 Character L
2 x Little Bird RotK 1 Character F
1 x Longclaw ASitD 55 Attachment F
1 x Lyanna Stark ODG 56 Character F
2 x Myrcella Lannister LotR 13 Character F
1 x Norvos VD 36 Location F
2 x Painted Dogs IG 3 Character F
1 x Penny VD 24 Character F
3 x Pentoshi Manor AHM 64 Location F
2 x Pyromancer's Cache W5K 13 Attachment F
1 x Queen Cersei's Chambers LotR 26 Location F
1 x Ser Arys Oakheart PotS 9 Character F
1 x Ser Balon Swann TWH 63 Character F
3 x Ser Jaime Lannister LotR 5 Character F
1 x Ser Kevan Lannister LotR 12 Character F
1 x Ser Lancel Lannister CB 103 Character F
3 x Sunset Sea LotR 25 Location F
2 x The Goldroad LotR 29 Location F
2 x The Iron Throne LotR 31 Location F
1 x Tommen Baratheon SA 106 Character F
1 x Tyrosh AHM 77 Location F
2 x Walk of Shame ARotD 104 Event F
3 x Western Fiefdoms Core 58 Location L
2 x When I Woke… PotS 51 Event F
1 x Widow's Wail LotR 1 Attachment F
Section: Plot Deck (7 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
1 x Breaking and Entering LotR 51 Plot F
1 x Frey Hospitality LotR 49 Plot F
1 x Game of Thrones LotR 53 Plot F
1 x Retaliation! ASoSilen 80 Plot F
1 x Shadows and Spiders LotR 55 Plot F
1 x The Breaking of Oaths KotS 50 Plot F
1 x Valar Morghulis Core 201 Plot S
Section: House and Agenda (2 cards)
Card Set Number Type Rarity
1 x House Lannister Ice&Fire 258 F
1 x The Power Behind the Throne LotR 48 Agenda F