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Updates to a few old pices

Posted by darknoj , 21 September 2017 · 7775 views

AGoT Game of thrones LCG
So i updated a few of my old entries because of a Facebook post...here they are.

What Tier is your deck
A question often asked by new players is “what do people mean by a top tier deck?”. In simplest terms Tiers are used to measure a deck’s success rate at tournaments. Tiers are not official, or endorsed by Fantasy Flight Games, rather they are attributed to a deck anecdotally in a manner similar to personal reputation. As such, Tiers are not a 100% accurate measure of a decks prowess but rather a rough appraisal of its abilities determined through historical performance and a little bit of guess work. Through experience, many players can also appraise un-played decks and attribute a Tier-level (or what they believe the Tier level to be) even though the deck is un-tested.

Tiers are used for a variety of purposes:
  • it can be used to predict a deck’s chances in a given tournament; once a player has seen the field, a comparison of Tiers can help determine relative chances of success;
  • it can be used to choose a deck; it provides a relative measure of comparability that can be used when selecting a deck to play;
  • it can be used to brag; etc.
While Tiers are community driven, with no defined “standard”, here is my subjective Tier arrangement:

Tier 0 - a.k.a. Zero Tier: The fabled “Unbeatable Deck”. These beasts are the demon spawn of Grand Master Deck Architects and, like the story of David and Goliath, their defeat is a historic event.

Tier 1 - a.k.a. Top Tier: At the top of the metagame, these decks are considered “Champion Decks” and consistently post tournament wins time-after-time.

Tier 1.5 – a.k.a. Near-Top Tier: The Top Tier’s little brother, these decks tend to win more games than they loose, but they have minor flaws that top level players can exploit and when put against true Tier 1 decks lose more then they win. These are sometimes called “Champion level player decks”.

Tier 2: These decks make up the largest contingent on the competitive scene and hence can be called “Tournament Decks”. While their win rate is high against comparable decks they usually fall apart when facing stronger opponents. More than half of decks at any given tournament usually fall into this Tier. Tournament wins with this Tier of deck is often times more a result of great play than the deck itself.

Tier 3 – a.k.a. Bottom Tier: These decks are not competitive – referred to as “Casual Decks” – but are often the starting-point for creating higher-tier decks.

It is also important to bear in mind that Tier standing is not static; as the metagame evolves (errata, new cards, trick discoveries) the Tier rating of a deck will shift.

In general terms, to be competitive, a player must use a Tier 2 or better deck in tournament play (locally and regionally). There are two ways to get a high-Tier deck: find one or build one.

If you are interested in finding a Tier 2 or better deck, I would suggest browsing the winning deck section of thronedb which highlight some strong Tier 2 or better contenders.


The Fraternity of Deck Builders Three Rules to Getting’ Some Loving from your Deck
From the fraternity of Alpha Gamma Omega Theta, here are three simple rules to keep in mind when you are constructing a deck for tournament play.

1. Know who puts out

You aren’t looking for a long-term relationship here, you are looking for a good time and to knock one out of the park. So do your homework. There is no sense investing time and effort into a deck that is going to send you home from a tournament early. Find out which types of deck have been winning in recent tournaments, find out which houses they represent, and find out which decks are being slaughtered. You can use this information in two different ways: to anticipate likely contenders at upcoming tournaments, and to isolate the “competitive” area of the current meta.

For example, if Lanni decks are fighting with Stark fealty decks for wins over the last six-months of tournaments, you may not want to build a Baratheon-Control deck.

2. Know what gets you off…

Everyone has different tastes and chances are that if you don’t like a particular type of deck, you aren’t going to get into the mood and if you can’t get in the mood you aren’t going to get very far. If control decks are dominating the current meta but you are not a control player, don’t play a control deck even if you have to play your Tier 2 choice. Your comfort level with a deck will be noticeable, especially over the course of a long tournament. Trying to pick up and play a deck that is completely out of your comfort zone can be tough. After five or six rounds of play an incompatible deck will grind you down to the point where you will start making mistakes.

For example, I am a “Shaggy”1 player; I am in my “happy place” when using some sort of combo deck is in my hand. Unfortunately combo decks in general are not Tier 1 decks in the current meta. However, some hybrid-combo decks can be Tier 1.5 and knowing that I would not enjoy a full day of playing agro or pure control decks, I would most likely be building a hybrid-combo deck for the upcoming tournament season.


3. Play the @#*! out of your deck…

Nothing will tell you more about your deck than playing it. You can do all the research you want, you can meditate over your inner-most needs and desires, but until you put hand to deck, it is all just pure speculation. When play testing your deck remember:
  • you want to play at least a few games against all the major deck types and houses (don’t forget to keep track of your wins and losses)
  • if you have a setup, pay attention to and see what your average cards down are; keep in mind most “pro players” wont fill more then a 1/5th of their deck with cards they won’t or cant play on set up generally
  • evaluate your cost curve and make sure you can afford your characters while maintain claim fodder
  • watch the order of your responses and combos, and determine the best sequences in play
  • make sure you have a way to draw more cards
If after several games you loose more games than you win, then you may want to dump your deck and start building another. If on the other hand you win more than you loose, it is time to tweak your deck. Remember, while you might have a good deck, it may contain a few unnecessary cards, or bet a bit slow on set up or just not feel smooth when played. It is amazing what five or six cards can do to your win ratio and is often the difference between a Tier 2 deck and a Tier 1.5 (or 1) deck. So make small changes, play against…keep those changes if your win rate goes up and drop them if it does not…then play some more…

Don’t worry: you will not get hair on the back of your hand, nor will you go blind from playing with your deck too much!




Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Practitioners

‘LO! Folly doth spawn from he who practices not! And he who practices, must do so with a fastidious mind and an iron soul. This is the wisdom that I did read from a tomb that I did pry from the claws of a wretched beast on my perilous sojourn into the very depths of the deepest pits of h-

Ok, so I was cleaning up my basement – a response to the incessant requests from my beloved wife – when my son held up a random book and asked me: “Story?”

It was a first year psychology textbook, and it was destined for a reinforced garbage bag, but in a reminiscing frame of mind I gave it a quick flip-through. What caught my eye was a reference to a study undertaken in the early ‘50s. The study proved empirically the correlation between practice and performance.

Through a series of structured scientific scenarios and several herds of young children (ages 5 through 8), it was observed that the more you practice a given task the better you perform. While this is all very interesting, especially the use of children in scientific experiments in the 50s, and somewhat common sense, the study further determined that not only does the amount of practice affect performance thequality of practice has an equal if not greater impact. Specifically, the study showed that by practicing a task in a manner that established the mind-set of the task when performed “for real” the children achieve the highest performance.

How does this relate to playing A Game of Thrones (AGoT)?

Players preparing for a AGoT tournament should be play testing (practicing) their decks using a tournament “mind set” if they want to perform to the best of their abilities. For example, focusing on every game outside of a tournament as if it is taking place in a tournament will establish tournament habits in your overall play. Or from a somewhat existential point of view: to WIN a tournament, you must BE the tournament.

This means that when preparing for a tournament you should maintain a serious – competitive – attitude. It is ok to have a good time, but make sure you take your time and think your actions through just like you would in a tournament setting.

If you prepare for a tournament in a sloppy, unfocused way, these sloppy, unfocused habits will migrate into your tournament play. Perhaps not immediately – you will be able to focus on the first few games in a tournament – but as the day wears on you will be more inclined to slip into bad habits.

Have you ever noticed that in the later rounds of a sports game or near the end of a big exam in school you acted different than you would have at the beginning? This is principally a reflection of fatigue, in that the more tired you are, the more you begin to operate on “autopilot”; practice is about “programming” this autopilot with good habits: winning habits.

In summary: both the amount and quality of your day-to-day play will impact your success at tournaments, so stay focussed, play a lot, and you will find yourself getting further and further in the tournament standings.

Perfect Practitioners Pouch of Practicing Paraphernalia

Online Play (e.g. OCTGN): If you don’t know my view on online play check out my very first blog entry athttp://www.cardgamed...ot-online-play/

Online play will let you play against a wide variety of decks and players with greater frequency that in-person play. You can test against a stock Martell Maesters deck a million times, but what will happen when you sit down across from an opponent running a less control version with more rush in it?

Learning to adapt to different build flavours is a skill you can’t just learn from playing against the same deck over and over. You need to be exposed to other builds and other strategies. In addition I find that those players who play online are looking to improve their game and so take each game a bit more seriously then your normal casual player.

Local Tournaments: While there is something to be said about sitting in front of your computer at home, in your tighty-whities, eating Cheetos, while sipping on a Doctor Pepper, in the midst of an engrossing game of AGoT… online play doesn’t really capture the battle that is face-to-face play. Play testing in person can be very useful for developing “peripheral” habits. For example: you need to make sure you can play at your best while having a conversation with your opponent or dealing with other distractions like a hot waitress. One of the best ways to develop these skills is through small local tournaments.

Local tournaments are also good places to prepare for larger regional tournaments as the players will generally play more seriously once they have paid an entry fee and see a prize dangled in front of them.




How I Married a Dirty Girl

It was all Jonathan B’s fault. He introduced me to the Dirty Girl online one night. I don’t really remember much more than that its all kind of a blur it was so long ago; I had had a few drinks. I’ll admit it, what first attracted me to her was that she was dirty: full of complex tricks and interesting positions, most of which I had never seen before much less experienced.

I was involved with another girl at the time – pretty regular to – but my thoughts kept drifting back to the Dirty Girl. I couldn’t help myself though and pretty soon a casual affair started between us. Eventually I left my old girl and my relationship with the Dirty Girl became a little more serious; I started hooking-up with the "Dirty Girl" over others, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Before I knew it, I found myself… married to a deck.

As silly as it sounds, the phenomenon of "deck marriage" happens more often than you would think. Like any relationship it begins with a casual introduction: a friend mentions an interesting deck they saw online, or you stumble across an unusual combination of cards while putting a tournament deck together. Soon enough you are dating: using the deck in games, getting a feel for her quirks. For many, this is where all deck relationships end, but for some, it is only the beginning.

There is something about a given player and a given deck that just "clicks". You play the deck at all the local tournaments, you find yourself playing her a lot with your friends and you spend a lot of time making subtle changes. Not anything to drastic, but a card here and there as you and she get to know one-another better.

This happened to me. I dated my girl – the Dirty Girl – took her out to two small (14 and 8 player) local tournaments and won both. At one tournament a player had the audacity to call my girl a ***** but I knew better. I treated my girl right and we did well in casual play. Soon enough I realized we had passed the dating stage and we where definitively Man-and-Deck.

But things changed after we got married: two FAQ updates and a few more chapter packs released. And this demonstrates the true "deck marriage" phenomenon: my girl is no longer top tier… but I love her. So much so that I still play with her at every opportunity; I still plan to give her a twirl at at least one regional. Now I realize she isn’t perfect, time hasn’t been good to her. She has some pretty loose holes … that most opponents can quickly capitalize on. But it doesn’t matter, there is just something about her that "clicks" for me.

It was all Jonathan B’s fault. He introduced me to the Dirty Girl online one night. And now I don’t want to think about taking another girl to the upcoming regional dances. But what I blame Jonathan B for most of all is the inevitable heartache – sooner or later I will have to divorce my Dirty Girl, because players change, decks change, and the game changes.





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