Well, tonight I’ll be participating in my second ever Thrones Joust tournament. I thought it might be useful, especially coming up to Regionals, to post some pre-game thoughts and follow up with a report afterwards. Note what worked, what didn’t.

Tonight we’re expecting anywhere between 10-16 players. I expect after last week we will continue to see a good number of Stark decks, and I suspect because of how successful military swarms were, those decks that weren’t running Valar will be. Might see some more Lannister too – I was surprised last time by the lack of PBTT-based decks.

For my part, I’ll be playing a different deck this week. My Starks are no joke, but they need a rest. I need some practice with some other decks to build some experience for regionals. Looking at what I have together, I really have two choices: Targaryen Burn (Maester’s Path) or Martell Summer. My choke isn’t sleeved at the moment and my Lannister deck… I have a strange relationship with that deck. I’m reasonably happy with it when I play it, but I just can’t get rid of that nagging feeling that it just isn’t tweaked enough. I think the trouble there is that I’m playing PBTT but it doesn’t do much for me and the drawback has ruined me in a few games – I probably just need to switch over to Maester’s Path.

As to my two candidates for tonight… well, I’ve played a *lot* of burn. I’m comfortable with the deck and the build is finely tuned – I’m still not sold on my ratio of Maesters to chains, but it has never been an issue in-game and I’m pretty confident that I could do well with my Targs.

My other choice is my Martell deck. I played a bit of Martell when we first picked up AGOT, but I haven’t played them lately. This build is a “looks good on paper” deck – but I’ve never played it against a human opponent. I know that should disqualify the deck, but every time I fishbowl hands I just think… “wow, this is a brutal start”. It is heavy on control and I have some concerns about its ability to close out games, but I’d love to try it.

Given the decks I expect to face, both decks should perform well. If one of my regular opponents turns up he’ll play either Lannisters or Martell “Hyperviper”, I’d guess. I’m pretty confident that my Targs can handle either, but I doubt my Martell can take on the Viper deck. That said, one deck out of 10-16 – I might not even bump into it.

So, should I go with a proven concept? Or should I go for the shiny? I think I know the answer, but I’m tempted to play Martell anyway! :P