By Justin Shearer– May 16, 2012
As you’d all recall, I have been working on a Greyjoy choke build. I thought I’d give some updates as to my progress and show some further development of the build.
We left off last time at:
The Maester’s Path
At The Gates
Rule By Decree
Take Them By Surprise
Fear of Winter
Search and Detain
A Time for Ravens
2x Maester Murenmure
2x Samwell Tarly
3x Carrion Bird
3x Distinguished Boatswain
3x Island Refugee
1x Pyromancer’s Apprentice
3x Newly Made Lord
2x Ice Fisherman
3x Wintertime Marauders
2x The Sparr
2x Gylbert Farwynd
2x Alannys Greyjoy
2x Asha Greyjoy
2x Support of the Kingdom
3x Risen from the Sea
2x Bay of Ice
2x The Iron Mines
2x River Blockade
Street of Sisters
Street of Steel
2x White Raven
3x Burned and Pillaged
Pale Steel Link
Valyrian Steel Link
This is a build that I have been quite happy with. But, some OCTGN has shown me that there was still room for improvement. I had the pleasure of getting a beating from Tiny Grimes and some post-game discussion further helped my thinking (ok, the truth is he straight up explained that some choices were inferior to others – once it was pointed out it started to fall into place for me)…
So, some changes. First, I eliminated the 3 Risen from the Seas and the Bays of Ice. Risen was in largely to improve my game against burn – Bays for card draw. What was actually happening was that Bay was worsening an already bad matchup against KOTHH, rather than equalising it. What I’ve done here is switch these five cards out for 3x Finger Dance and 2x Iron Cliffs. The result is that I’m better against burn (cancels), better against KOTHH (again, cancel) and I have a greater number of saves in the deck.
My next change was to cut the Ice Fishermen and the Pyromancer’s Apprentice. I added two Kingsmoot Hopefuls and a Seasick. Kingsmoot Hopeful gives me better INT presence and the Seasick is another cancel effect. The truth is, I *already* choke very efficiently – the difference between your opponent having 1 gold and zero is virtually nil. By focusing too heavily on choking my opponent, I’m simply conceding games to KOTHH decks. Beefier characters and additional angles of disruption give me options in that matchup.
After some more playtesting, I also decided to switch out Take Them By Surprise. In its place I have put Forgotten Plans. I have come to recognize this card as being particularly important – most players will want to disrupt you first turn with First Snow or Secrets and Spiders and this plot can make all the difference in those matchups.
All in all, I think the build is much improved… but again, there’s still more things I’d like to do with it. Some cards I’ve thought about adding:
Street of Silk: I run a good number of uniques and have, in general, a reasonably small resource base. The Street also has the tasty advantage of being fantastic against Choke: it can discard a location that gets Burned and Pillaged… since I already have Tin Link though, that’s a fairly minor consideration.
Longship Iron Victory: The fact is that I lack good draw. Especially in combination with Steel Link, this could give me a beefy board *and* solve the draw issue.
Links: Steel, Apprentice Collar. Would improve my draw and also make the maesters more threatening…
Characters: My character base kinda feels a little heavy now. I’m not entirely sure what to do about it – maybe it just seems that way. I seem to have an awful lot of 3 drops.
Retaliation!: I could do with another 2-claim plot and this one would beat Search and Detain. If I flop a 3drop and 1-2 weenies, I’m much more likely to face S&D than First Snow – this gives me some options there. Hard to find room though. =/
Taxed Dry: Ok, I tried this out… and I only managed to snag one KOTHH player with it. In my view, I didn’t like it, but others might get more mileage out of it, so I thought I’d share for those who hadn’t discovered this tech. Attach to your KOTHH opponent’s house card and bam, choke. I think I’m better served by diversifying my disruption options rather than trying to shore up the choke angle – you might disagree, and for those that do, this might be the answer. You’ll want Maester’s Path so you can drop it in via Pale Steel though.
Pyromancer’s Cache: Speaking of options that I ended up skipping, I have seriously thought about Cache for my restricted card. Maester’s Path lets me play it for free and recur them – although finding the room is challenging. I suspect if I can find the room I’m probably better off with LIV + Steel Link…
Anyway, here’s the build as it stands:
Fear of Winter Forgotten Plans Valar Morghulis A Time For Ravens At the Gates Search and Detain Rule By Decree --- 3x Carrion Birds 3x Distinguished Boatswain 3x Island Refugee 2x Kingsmoot Hopeful 2x Samwell Tarly 2x The Sparr 2x Gylbert Farwynd 2x Asha Greyjoy 2x Alannys Greyjoy 2x Maester Murenmure 1x Maester Aemon 1x Maester Wendamyr 3x Wintertime Marauders 3x Newly Made Lord 3x Finger Dance 2x Support of the Kingdom 1x Seasick 3x Gatehouse 2x River Blockade 2x Iron Mines 2x Iron Cliffs 1x Ocean Road 1x Street of Steel 1x Street of Sisters 1x Flea Bottom 1x Chambers 2x White Raven 3x Burned and Pillaged 1x Pale Steel Link 1x Valyrian Steel Link 1x Bronze Link 1x Tin Link
I’d love to hear some thoughts on this stuff… suggestions definitely welcome!