Profile photo of Justin Shearer By Justin Shearer On May 05, 2012 Posted In Game of Thrones LCG

Week 5 – Joust Tournament Wrap-Up (Also, Greyjoy are filthy)

Hi all, here we are again – another weekly Joust tournament wrapup from Good Games Blackburn. Another fairly small field – only 7 players again, which is a real shame only two weeks out from the first of three local regional events. We had a field of 3 Starks (1 Brotherhood, 2 Siege), 2 Greyjoy (Maester’s, Treaty with the South), and 2 Martell (1 Summer, 1 KOTHH). Not as much variety as normal, but some pretty interesting builds represented nonetheless.

This week I opted to pilot a Greyjoy Choke build. My friend Andrew piloted a version of it last week to some success – I made some serious tweaks after running into some issues with it. My initial concern was that I was overly focused to early game choke and that this created avenues for opponent’s to exploit. I had been working on a Maester’s Path version because of the flexibility – after reading the article on CardGameDB, I was able to really develop that idea. You can really see the influence, especially in my choice of chains. I will be making some changes there, but I’m not entirely sure what will switch around yet.

My first match was against Gav’s Stark Brotherhood deck. He piloted another Brotherhood build (out of Bara) a couple weeks back and that was a fearsome build – nonetheless, I knew what I was playing was downright scary, so I liked the matchup. He struggled early and I was able to apply the choke pretty early on. I don’t recall the matchup too clearly, but from the first turn I had a Burned and Pillaged, The Sparr and it was Winter… essentially preventing him from ever really developing his board. Given that he really wanted a couple of key 4-cost characters, it wasn’t really happening.

My second match was against Andrew, playing Stark Siege. This was a horrible game for Andrew – he passed on a decent four drop setup, looking for better… and, of course, if you turn your nose up at a 4-drop, you end up with Blackfish and Carrion Birds only. Yeowch. He opened with Forgotten Plans to protect against Fear of Winter, but I led with Search and Detain and bounced Blackfish. That pretty much sums up our game – he never had a chance to develop his game and it wrapped up fast.

The final match was against Jason’s Stark Siege. Was quite a fun matchup – I enjoy both sides of the Choke v. Siege match. It was also quite an odd game – my start was pretty horrible; I just couldn’t find any locations. I did however have a few good characters – 2 boatswains and 2 wintertime marauders – and I was able to make it winter and stick a burned and pillaged on a location. I couldn’t push military, but I could push power and that allowed me to discard some of his non-unique troops from the board. Because I had no ability to develop my position, I opted to go ‘all-in’ and try and develop a board position lead, hoping that he would have decided against running Valar as I have in my own siege  build. With this strategy, I did manage to pull ahead in troops and I had enough choke effects to prevent him getting away from me in terms of economy: a Newly Made Lord and a Pyromancer’s Apprentice gave me some claim soak and also killed some economy locations. Nonetheless, he had 2 Frozen Outposts, a Frozen Moat and Jumpin’ Cat in his hand, so keeping in the game was tough.

At this point my fears were realised when he Valar’d my board, leaving me with no cards in play. A sad situation for the Greyjoys… lucky for me, however, he didn’t have the cheap characters to follow up his Valar, despite having a pretty sizeable hand. He had drawn his heavier hitters and the -2 gold effects were keeping him from capitalising on my weakness. At this point I was behind on power and in cards on board, but I was able to start to turn things around. My draws were better post-valar and I was able to start laying down some locations and I had a reasonably steady stream of characters.  As I took the advantage I realised that, to my horror, in the next couple turns I’d be forced to Valar it all away and let him back into the game. Luckily I was able to realise what was inevitable, so I started to squirrel away for the future – and when my own Valar came (7th plot), I had plenty to bounce back with. As a result, I managed to wrap up a very close fought game in the final few minutes.

Final standings were:

1 – Greyjoy Maester’s Path
2 – Stark Siege of Winterfell
3 – Stark Brotherhood Without Banners
4 – Greyjoy Treaty with the South (this was a really really cool deck – basically centred around pushing unopposed challenges across with icon control)
5 – Martell Kings of Summer
6 – Stark Siege of Winterfell
7 – Martell KOTHH

My list:

House Greyjoy
The Maester’s Path

Valar Morghulis
At The Gates
Winter Festival
Take Them By Surprise
Fear of Winter
Search and Detain
A Time for Ravens

A quick note on plots – this list changed wildly from my original plot list (which was, incidentally, identical to Jayke’s plots from the Tulsa regional). Originally I had Rule By Decree and Blockade in and opted to take them out – I’m still really unhappy with my plot selections overall. There’s definitely some more to get out of them.  Finding the right balance with plots is absolutely key – I think I need to really spend some time thinking about the kinds of matchups that are like to give this deck problems and plot against those. There’s definitely wiggle room.

3x Oldtown Scholar
Maester Aemon
Maester Murenmure
Maester Wendamyr
2x The Conclave
2x Samwell Tarly
3x Carrion Bird
3x Distinguished Boatswain
3x Island Refugee
1x Pyromancer’s Apprentice
2x Newly Made Lord
2x Ice Fisherman
3x Wintertime Marauders
2x The Sparr (this guy is an absolute boss)
Gylbert Farwynd
Baelor Blacktyde
Asha Greyjoy

2x Support of the Kingdom
2x Risen from the Sea

2x Bay of Ice
2x The Iron Mines
River Blockade
Flea Bottom
Street of Sisters
Shadowblack Lane
Street of Steel
Aeron’s Chambers
3x Gatehouse

2x White Raven
3x Burned and Pillaged
Tin Link
Pale Steel Link (an absolutely incredible card. I need to play with this in more decks!)
Iron Link (never useful)
Bronze Link
Valyrian Steel Link
Gold Link

In general, the deck is very good at what it needs to be good at – but I think some careful changes could position it better against potentially unfavourable matchups. I could drop the Iron Link and not miss it, so that is a very easy change to make. I think I could make use of some more events and Risen from the Sea is fantastic.

In any event, some things to think about. Also of note…

…got my Covenant House Pack! Aside from now being able to really build the Dothraki deck that I’ve been playing around with I also got a bitchin’ Team Covenant Temporary Tattoo. Now *that* is production values.

  1. Team Covenant has temporary tatoos?! Awesome! I wish I could pull one of THOSE from a 50 cent machine…In the right setting, you can’t have more fun with 50 cents than with temporary tatoos.

    1. Yeah, I could see any form of Targ Burn, but especially KotHH being this deck’s bane. Threat from the North hoses you. Overall it looks like a solid list. I would think that Black Iron Link would be a better addition to the deck over Iron Link. More options and what not. Also, lead link would be a chain to consider.

      The plots definitelt seem like they need some work. Take them by surprise and Winter festival just seem out of place. I would probably run something like The Winds of Winter, Dry Season, or Twist of Fate in their place. Rule by Decree is good, but if you are choking them, what does it matter if you make them ditch a few cards that they couldn’t play anyway? Just seems like a wasted slot in Jayke’s deck.

      1. That was the reasoning behind cutting RBD in the first place. I do think that Blockade might have a role to play. Twist definitely belongs here as well (high gold, good initiative).

        Winds would certainly help my match against Targ Burn (which does seem something of a natural predator) – if I can time it against their Threat, there’s a good chance I’ll hurt their board too.

        I think I’ll find room for an apprentice collar for my house card also – helps against Meera and other blanking tech, but also helps for Targ. Puts Wendamyr out of range of threat, for example.

      2. It’s funny, because I see it as the opposite of Justin- if I had to pick in a choke deck I’d often rather have RBD than Blockade. Blockade is a strange plot in my opinion- if you are choking them, they are usually getting close to 0 gold anyway, and if you aren’t it might not help anyway because it doesn’t improve your board presence or hurt theirs actively, just prevents them from improving it.

        Rule By Decree, OTOH, I think is a very strong plot for choke- you are limiting the number of cards they play, so they will naturally probably have more cards than you, and it forces more decision points. That is, it gives them more opportunities to be wrong, keep the wrong card, and it limits their future options as well.

      3. Have you watched the finals video of the Tulsa Regional? Choke vs Choke match and blockade was an amazing plot for Jayke who won the game. Sure RBD ditched a chunk of cards from Steven’s hand, but I think he said it was a bunch of stuff he was never going to have the gold to play. Kinda proves mine and justin’s points.

      4. I think the counter-argument to Rule By Decree over Blockade is what each does if your choke is NOT winning you the game — meaning when it really really counts, which plot is going to do more to keep you in the game? It’s those games where choke isn’t choking that RBD can give you a card advantage so that any play-out leaves them momentarily with no hand. Blockade you can actually hurt yourself with, as it is a claim-1 plot where nobody can play much to change the dynamic of the board. Blockade can be a “more winning” card, where RBD can save you.

      5. Rule By Decree actually strikes me as a great plot to follow First Snow of Winter, but otherwise I’m not entirely impressed with it. Lannister and Martel could hand-sweep with it. The only reason I could say that it synergizes with Greyjoy at all is that Greyjoy doesn’t draw or run intrigue that well and can use it to equalize cards-in-hand a bit.

        Winter Festival I’m wagering is meant as a lunge-ftw card. If you’d rather try to win next turn instead of attempt to maintain control for 2 more turns, it’s not a terrible place to start. I’m surprised not to see a couple of events to help make that lunge.

      6. Rule by Decree does work well with the Kings of Winter agenda though. They’ll keep their 4 most useable cards, so you have a better chance of your random discard hitting something good.

      7. That is an excellent point, A B — Rule By Decree will definitely make intrigue challenges against them “hurt more”. I mention Lannister and Martel because they can hit for multiple cards during the Rule by Decree turn.

        My mind goes straight to Island Rookery. Win the challenge (I think you can get 4 strength), then switch to a higher claim plot for the intrigue challenge. You could also wield Bran Stark which I think gets pretty interesting too. It’s also cycling back to the better choke plots a bit faster.

      8. I use the same logic on both plots. Blockade is redundant – they should be near-zero gold anyway, so why hurt yourself to do what you are probably doing anyway?

        Same with Rule. You’re restricting their gold so they can’t play cards. Therefore, why do you care how many cards they have in hand? Sure, there are events they might want to play, but they’re going to keep them and chuck everything 3 gold and over.

        I just didn’t run either for those reasons 😀 There are, ultimately, arguments for both.

  2. Greyjoy Treaty with the South deck Justin mentioned:

    House Greyjoy
    Treaty with the South

    Fear of Winter
    Rise of the Kraken
    Take them by Surprise
    Storm of Swords
    After the Mummer’s Ford
    The King’s Law
    Valar Morghulis

    The Knight x2
    Island Refugee x3
    Distinguished Boatswain x3
    Baelor Blacktyde x1
    Asha Greyjoy x1 (KotS)
    Ancent Mariner x3
    Brothel Guard x3
    Orphan of the Greenblood x3
    Refugee of the Citadel x3
    Dagmar Cleftjaw x1
    Victarion Greyjoy x1
    Wex Pyke x2
    Darkstar x1 (PotS)
    Tarle the Thrice-Drowned x1
    Bloodthirsty Grew x1
    Balon Greyjoy x1 (KotS)

    The Scourge x2
    Bay of Ice x3
    Gatehouse x2
    Scouting Vessel x3
    Sunset Sea x3
    Street of Steel x1
    Street of Sisters x1

    Support of Harlaw x3
    Taste for Blood x3
    Driftwood Crown x3

    Assault of the Kraken x3
    Distraction x2
    Assertion of Might x2

    1. It looks like you are barely playing any Martel cards. Just taste for blood, orphans, guard, orphans, darkstar, and Scourge. I would think if you are running treaty that you would want a few more martel cards in there? Just my opinion.

      Also, Darkstar is house Martel only. :)

      1. Haha, totally didn’t notice that, nice catch on Darkstar.

        The deck is more of a toy than anything else. I do really like the combo of Assault of the Kraken and Orphan of the Greenblood. Use The Knight or any Greyjoy char with Support of Harlaw in conjunction with Rise of the Kraken, and that’s a lot of power very fast…

        Not the most effective deck, but it’s not meant to be. You can’t always make bitchin good Martell or Stark Siege decks. It’s nice to make something novel =)

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