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The 2nd Edition Martell thread

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#1
VonWibble

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Hopefully all houses will follow suit.

The idea is rather than having up to 9 different Martell deck-threads (for the 7 banners, fealty, and no agenda), to have a single thread discussing all decks using the Martell House card.

General advice

Firstly there will at some point be a core set review for each faction in turn (Martell to be linked here).

Economy

In the core set environment I think 3 x Desert Scavenger, 3 x Blood Orange Grove and then Roseroads and Kingsroads are essential. Currently I'm at 3x for each of these too, but this is because I'm erring no the safe side for economy at the moment.

Characters

There are 5 loyal characters who I think should be in every Martell deck currently.

The standout character is Arianne, who should be in all decks and at least 2 copies at that (I'm using 3 currently).

The best cards in house for her to drop in are Areo Hotah and Palace Spearman, as both have comparable costs to her, with Hotah giving a reprieve from a challenge for the turn and Spearman having comparable strength and icons.

The other 4 cards are Areo Hotah, the Red Viper, Doran Martell and Greenblood Trader. The latter 2 are particularly important as they provide card draw.

Characters I'm more iffy on are Maester Caleotte and Obara Sand. I'm using both for now but I have a feeling they may be the first to go when more cards appear.

Edit - Having played him some more I like Caleotte. Using him to just oppose a challenge and then weaken the opposing board for your challenges makes him a headache for the opponent. Obara is not so good so far though, imo she should have been given stealth to make her on the same level as other cards.

Locations

Ghaston Grey is a 3 of, as a rare cannot be saved answer to any character in the game (who isn't involved in a challenge with Catelyn Stark at least).

Attachment

Only 1 to choose from. You don't want many copies as it is the last thing you want to see in your setup hand, but plots 5 onwards its really good.

Events

For me Confinement is the winner as is stops a lot of good characters, especially early game when chances are the beefier guys aren't on the table. Catelyn Stark and Asha Greyjoy are obvious targets, but its going to find a lot of use.



Banner choices

Stark - Gives you cheap military icons you may be otherwise missing. Wouldn't be my first choice though.

Lannister - Tyrion and his ambushers are an option. I particularly look forward to getting Tyrion in play with Arianne and then ambushing something in with bonus gold that the opponent totally didn't expect me to have! Widow's Wail is very efficient too even without Joffrey (though he is an option).

Baratheon - The Melisandre kneel module is an option, though note if put into play with Arianne you wouldn't get to trigger Mel's ability (which requires you to marshal or play the card). Vanguard Lancers could slow the opponent a bit to help with the long game, chamber of the Painted Table is also a possibility if the opponent is hesitant to attack (and if Doran or Dawn is on the table your dom strength will be good).

Targaryen - Jorah and Illyrio, plus some cheap bicon dragons. Not the best choice for now.

Night's Watch - Most of the best characters are loyal or only affect Night's Watch. Aemon is OK even if he just saves himself, Weymar is good, Benjen is very strong. Better off using Night's Watch as the main faction and Martell as allies though.

Greyjoy - My alliance of choice for now. Asha, Wendamyr, and Theon all have stealth to help get challenges through with less opposition (thus improving Viper and Doran's Game). Salty Navigator is cheap military and initiative, which are both very useful to Martell. Risen from the Sea is also worth considering as long as you pack at least 10 eligible targets.

Tyrell - Also a great pick, with Margeary, Randyll and Knight of Flowers around, although the latter does not synergise well with Viper or Doran's Game (not that he has intrigue anyway!). Arianne works well with Olenna's Informant, and you can use the Bear and the Maiden Fair to stack the odds in your favour too.
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#2
Zigur

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Are the unsullied loyal?

#3
ingsve

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Are the unsullied loyal?

No.



#4
szczudel

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Ghaston Grey is a 3 of, as a rare cannot be saved answer to any character in the game (who isn't involved in a challenge with Catelyn Stark at least).

 

Do not forget Lannister's Treachery. I suppose there will be some neutral equivalent in the future.



#5
mnBroncos

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Trust me the maester is amazing
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#6
Sulpures

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That maester is good, right. Martel's 4 cost army and 2 cost non-unique are also nice.But Martel is a bit hard to play.



#7
mnBroncos

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I actually have yet to play the martell army in a deck. I am more more a fan of cards with abilities then just big guys with icons. The two cost guy is okay, however, they don't have a draw location like most of the other factions have which really hurts them. 



#8
VonWibble

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I think this is because they get the Trader.

And yes, Unsullied are a good option if you use Targ banner.

#9
chrsjxn

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I've been running Martell with the Tyrell banner. None of the other factions get you as much intrigue strength out of the gate, and The Bear and the Maiden Fair is a brutal control card. Tears of Lys helps you against Greyjoy's typical strong characters, and Doran's Game can close out a game with a huge power jump.

 

It's also a good defense with A Game of Thrones.

 

Weak points: Lannister/Tyrell or other high intrigue combos can be a huge problem. Like Warm Rain is painful, but you don't necessarily need Red Viper or Doran to win the game, given Stark's lack of intrigue icons.


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#10
DavFlamerock

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Some thoughts on Martell, after playing it all night:

 

-Doran Martell is pretty bad right now, as he only pumps three specific unique units (Oberyn, Arianne, and Edric). I run him as a one-of because sometimes he's awesome and I like Insight, but most of the time he's overcosted for what you're getting.

-Varys is MONEY. Pretty much any control wants him because he can wipe the board when you need it without sending people to the dead pile and you can save your guys with dupes (of course your opponent can too, but then you're sitting on an Arianne in hand). That said, 2 is the right number, never 3.

-Doran's Game is your win condition. Make sure you're packing 3x, and you have copies of Hand's Judgement to cancel their cancels (and remember, if you're cancelling The Hand's Judgment, your copy costs 0!) to make sure it gets through. Don't be afraid to pad your hand with chaff if you think they're going to be getting intrigues through against you, either. When it hits turn 5 or 6, hopefully you've got at least 8 power and you can try to get the win.

-I run one copy of The Iron Throne and whenever I get it it seems to do really well for me. That said, it's a unique location that doesn't affect the board so I don't think I'd ever want more than one.

-Gaston Grey is a primary source of removal. Yeah there's a bunch of hoops to jump through but even just being able to take a hit and then spend 2 gold to bounce a 5-7 cost character is usually enough of a tempo hit. Bonus points for then discarding them with Intrigue counterattack or Heads on Spikes.

-Sunspear's usually not going to do much for you. I rarely find myself in a position where I actively want to trade hits with my opponent, as it's usually just better to defend in the early game anyway. I like having it as a 1-of, but I'd never run more than that.

-The Red Viper is mostly only good in the end-game when you can use his super-Renown to end the game, but he's fine as a 7-cost 7-strength tricon.

-ALWAYS RUN THREE GREENBLOOD TRADER. She's fantastic card selection that also serves as a token Intrigue defense or Military claim later on. This is especially important given you're playing a house that lacks a cheap source of Insight (Sam or Pycelle).

-Areo Hotah looks like an awesome Ambush guy, but the truth is you should never pay his Ambush cost. I've played him equally as a three-cost, five strength Military character (which is actually way better than it sounds) and as the same character but at zero cost when put into play with Arianne. As you don't actually need to Ambush him to get his effect (you just need to make him enter play during a challenge... which Arianne facilitates!) I think you're best off just playing him at cost during Marshalling unless you have the Arianne loop going to drop him in and shut down one of their attackers (or defenders... but usually attackers).

-Obara Sand is cute, given that she can defend some of your challenges while knelt, but most of the time she's just a subpar version of Areo Hotah so I'd never run more than one. I do like having a set of one-of uniques, though, and she fits that bill quite nicely (as does Doran, Edric, Dawn, and Sunspear, for what it's worth).

-Ignore the "House Dayne" part of Dawn. It's just an attachment that's going to boost your late-game strength. It'll be good on Edric but I'd rather put it on The Red Viper or a Doran's Game challenger every time.

-Edric's not great, but having an expensive source of stealth can sometimes be good. He really starts becoming worthwhile when aired with Dawn or Doran. But all three of these cards are bad on their own, so beware the trap.

-I haven't been impressed with Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken so far, but I'm not convinced it's unplayable yet either. Stay tuned for more news. Confinement's been quite good, but because it's best served as an offensive tempo play or as a combo piece on the big Doran's Game turn, it will sometimes sit and rot in your hand while you're trying to find cards to weather the storm.

-I've found the best way to control the game is to aggressively go after your opponent's hand. You want them to have depleted their resources by the time you get to your big finishing turn, so consistent Intrigue attacks should be your top priority. I run two Heads on Spikes to help with this and they've been serving me well. Claim is less important than Initiative for this faction because most of your awesome challenge-winning effects come from The Red Viper and Doran's Game rather than through plot claim.

-This faction really wants characters that don't kneel to defend, which at the moment means Left & Right. While a bit wonky, they've been doing pretty good work for me so far (aided by Margaery and the worse-than-he-looks Maester Lomys). You could probably splash other factions instead but I like Tyrell for the defense, the strength boosts, and all the intrigue.



#11
cranked

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Has anyone managed to have good results bannering Baratheon and playing the Melisandre/R'hllor kneel package? It feels like it should work on paper, but you really have to see Mel before all of your other pieces to get the train going, and I'm not sure that it's better than playing Tyrell for stuff like Margaery and TBatMF.



#12
tierdal

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Some thoughts on Martell, after playing it all night:
 
-Doran Martell is pretty bad right now, as he only pumps three specific unique units (Oberyn, Arianne, and Edric). I run him as a one-of because sometimes he's awesome and I like Insight, but most of the time he's overcosted for what you're getting.
-Varys is MONEY. Pretty much any control wants him because he can wipe the board when you need it without sending people to the dead pile and you can save your guys with dupes (of course your opponent can too, but then you're sitting on an Arianne in hand). That said, 2 is the right number, never 3.
-Doran's Game is your win condition. Make sure you're packing 3x, and you have copies of Hand's Judgement to cancel their cancels (and remember, if you're cancelling The Hand's Judgment, your copy costs 0!) to make sure it gets through. Don't be afraid to pad your hand with chaff if you think they're going to be getting intrigues through against you, either. When it hits turn 5 or 6, hopefully you've got at least 8 power and you can try to get the win.
-I run one copy of The Iron Throne and whenever I get it it seems to do really well for me. That said, it's a unique location that doesn't affect the board so I don't think I'd ever want more than one.
-Gaston Grey is a primary source of removal. Yeah there's a bunch of hoops to jump through but even just being able to take a hit and then spend 2 gold to bounce a 5-7 cost character is usually enough of a tempo hit. Bonus points for then discarding them with Intrigue counterattack or Heads on Spikes.
-Sunspear's usually not going to do much for you. I rarely find myself in a position where I actively want to trade hits with my opponent, as it's usually just better to defend in the early game anyway. I like having it as a 1-of, but I'd never run more than that.
-The Red Viper is mostly only good in the end-game when you can use his super-Renown to end the game, but he's fine as a 7-cost 7-strength tricon.
-ALWAYS RUN THREE GREENBLOOD TRADER. She's fantastic card selection that also serves as a token Intrigue defense or Military claim later on. This is especially important given you're playing a house that lacks a cheap source of Insight (Sam or Pycelle).
-Areo Hotah looks like an awesome Ambush guy, but the truth is you should never pay his Ambush cost. I've played him equally as a three-cost, five strength Military character (which is actually way better than it sounds) and as the same character but at zero cost when put into play with Arianne. As you don't actually need to Ambush him to get his effect (you just need to make him enter play during a challenge... which Arianne facilitates!) I think you're best off just playing him at cost during Marshalling unless you have the Arianne loop going to drop him in and shut down one of their attackers (or defenders... but usually attackers).
-Obara Sand is cute, given that she can defend some of your challenges while knelt, but most of the time she's just a subpar version of Areo Hotah so I'd never run more than one. I do like having a set of one-of uniques, though, and she fits that bill quite nicely (as does Doran, Edric, Dawn, and Sunspear, for what it's worth).
-Ignore the "House Dayne" part of Dawn. It's just an attachment that's going to boost your late-game strength. It'll be good on Edric but I'd rather put it on The Red Viper or a Doran's Game challenger every time.
-Edric's not great, but having an expensive source of stealth can sometimes be good. He really starts becoming worthwhile when aired with Dawn or Doran. But all three of these cards are bad on their own, so beware the trap.
-I haven't been impressed with Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken so far, but I'm not convinced it's unplayable yet either. Stay tuned for more news. Confinement's been quite good, but because it's best served as an offensive tempo play or as a combo piece on the big Doran's Game turn, it will sometimes sit and rot in your hand while you're trying to find cards to weather the storm.
-I've found the best way to control the game is to aggressively go after your opponent's hand. You want them to have depleted their resources by the time you get to your big finishing turn, so consistent Intrigue attacks should be your top priority. I run two Heads on Spikes to help with this and they've been serving me well. Claim is less important than Initiative for this faction because most of your awesome challenge-winning effects come from The Red Viper and Doran's Game rather than through plot claim.
-This faction really wants characters that don't kneel to defend, which at the moment means Left & Right. While a bit wonky, they've been doing pretty good work for me so far (aided by Margaery and the worse-than-he-looks Maester Lomys). You could probably splash other factions instead but I like Tyrell for the defense, the strength boosts, and all the intrigue.



I love you man. Lol

I'm pretty new to thrones and I'm trying to understand the deck building, why wouldn't you run 3x of your mains...even doran if you want to see him? If he's not that good might as well use something else, no? Are 1x that good in a 60 Card deck?

Also,me here does Martel get card draw from?
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#13
Wosho

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I love you man. Lol

I'm pretty new to thrones and I'm trying to understand the deck building, why wouldn't you run 3x of your mains...even doran if you want to see him? If he's not that good might as well use something else, no? Are 1x that good in a 60 Card deck?

Also,me here does Martel get card draw from?

Greenblood trader and Littlefinger. Other then that You can include counting coppers but some players prefers not to.



#14
DavFlamerock

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Yup, right now you need 3x Greenblood Trader and 2x Littlefinger, AND you must run Counting Coppers (I think most decks want Counting Coppers tbh).

 

The reason not to run lots of uniques is because of the Dead Pile. I like 1x Doran because sometimes you can get him out and he can buff your three other Mains, but you're just as happy (sometimes happier) to not see him at all. However, if you get him out and he dies (or god forbid he gets hit by Heads on Spikes) than any future copies of him are blank cards. Thrones actually encourages lots of 1x unique characters because of this, as if your 1x unique dies then there's no other dead cards in your deck. On the flip side, if you run 3x then you can hope to get your Main out and put some dupes on them to help them stay alive. That said, dupes aren't the end-all and be-all because anything that says "can't be saved" will just discard the dupes. That's part of why Gaston Grey is so good (it bounces the character and discards the dupes).

 

So in general I'd say run 1x of all the Mains that you like but aren't crucial to your deck strategy and 3x of all the Mains that really are crucial (so you can maximize your duplicates). Littlefinger and Varys are the exception because you do want to get Littlefinger out if possible for card draw and money but he also doesn't help you win, whereas Varys (assuming they don't hit him with Heads or By The Sword or whatever) sends himself to exile rather than going to the Dead pile so you can play your second copy (also, protip: DON'T PUT DUPES ON HIM lol).



#15
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Don't overlook the fact that Doran has Insight.


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#16
Wosho

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Don't overlook the fact that Doran has Insight.

True but also s4 which means dragons loves him..



#17
tierdal

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Yup, right now you need 3x Greenblood Trader and 2x Littlefinger, AND you must run Counting Coppers (I think most decks want Counting Coppers tbh).

 

The reason not to run lots of uniques is because of the Dead Pile. I like 1x Doran because sometimes you can get him out and he can buff your three other Mains, but you're just as happy (sometimes happier) to not see him at all. However, if you get him out and he dies (or god forbid he gets hit by Heads on Spikes) than any future copies of him are blank cards. Thrones actually encourages lots of 1x unique characters because of this, as if your 1x unique dies then there's no other dead cards in your deck. On the flip side, if you run 3x then you can hope to get your Main out and put some dupes on them to help them stay alive. That said, dupes aren't the end-all and be-all because anything that says "can't be saved" will just discard the dupes. That's part of why Gaston Grey is so good (it bounces the character and discards the dupes).

 

So in general I'd say run 1x of all the Mains that you like but aren't crucial to your deck strategy and 3x of all the Mains that really are crucial (so you can maximize your duplicates). Littlefinger and Varys are the exception because you do want to get Littlefinger out if possible for card draw and money but he also doesn't help you win, whereas Varys (assuming they don't hit him with Heads or By The Sword or whatever) sends himself to exile rather than going to the Dead pile so you can play your second copy (also, protip: DON'T PUT DUPES ON HIM lol).

 

thats interesting - i do agree its risky having doubles but you also want your power cards... and there isnt a TON of removal right now... i could see 2x of but at 1x id rather not play a char that ill not see 2/3ish of the time?



#18
mnBroncos

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thats interesting - i do agree its risky having doubles but you also want your power cards... and there isnt a TON of removal right now... i could see 2x of but at 1x id rather not play a char that ill not see 2/3ish of the time?


Magic player? Not asking as in a bad way just think that is going to be common thinking early. So few points when people die that are unique can't play another so risk of dead card, also if do play magic thrones get to draw two cards turn making you get key guys more often not to mention effects that draw cards and tutoring, when it is only core set you will play x2 or x3 key guys but once pool grows will trim most down to one.


Just noticed you have over thousand posts so not new to lcg New to thrones?

#19
tierdal

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New to thrones. Im an SWLCG player (main game).

 

Totally understand the concept of "dead" - which is why i love my FOR THE NORTH direwolf mauling intrigue characters to death deck hehe :)

 

that said - my other experience is SW CCG and Magic - so you wouldn't be wrong!

 

Can totally see how with tutor and draw you would go 1x - but right now i wouldnt go below 2x so sounds like im on the right track.

 

3x might be a bit much - except for things you want to see I am guessing?

 

Thanks for the friendly discussion :)



#20
mnBroncos

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X3 are for characters that can just win you the game or build a deck around. Tyrion, khal, mel, viper, and maybe snow, Danny, and stannis are only characters would consider x3
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