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The Bara Fealty Deck Thread

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#1
sparrowhawk

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Well, it had to be done.

Ashamed as I am to start this thread (as someone who always played "rogue" in MTG, never particularly successfully; it's hubris to think you have devised a deck that nobody else has thought of and tested), neither the Baratheon thread not Tiny's modestly titled thread have been ported to the allegedly Strategy subforum. (Istaril, any chance of gaining moderator rights for this subforum like you have with rules to do this housekeeping please? Anyone OCD completist enough to do Annals as a great hobby service must find this blurred partition incredibly irritating.) So somebody has to start a thread on "The Deck" of the Core Set meta here.

For those who have been living under a rock and need context, the multiple synergistic advantages of Bara Fealty were first starkly detailed in this mid-August post.

http://www.cardgamed...lysis/?p=202201

Now nobody can claim ownership for any Core Set Fealty build as there is so little wiggle room to put your stamp of individuality. You are simply following the glaring neon sign breadcrumbs laid out by the design team.

So why have a thread on this? Because there's still ample wiggle room for perfectionism left in the build. There are decision points in the 45 Bara cards, let alone the 15 Neutral cards. So let's discuss some of them and understand the trade-offs involved in this decision making. Because it is all trade-offs, you gain something and you lose something.

So why does Bara Fealty fail occasionally?

- you don't see your key characters until too late => Summons needed when you have the economy to play what you seek

- you don't see enough claim soak to withstand a good aggro start => more cheap characters and Bodyguards

- Varys => more dupes and Bodyguards, read this is coming (NA)

- We Do Not Sow on Red Keep => Building Orders or 3x Davos

- Unable to play Seen in Flames to disrupt his tricks => more R'hllor characters

- Balon or Stand Characters => more Milk of the Poppy

So these experiences have refined my deck to a particular build. However there is a lot of flexibility. Let's look at some of them.

0-1 Summons, 0-1 Building Orders, 0-1 Calling the Banners, 0-1 Calm Over Westeros (2 of them usually)

0-3 Lancers, 1-3 Selyse, 1-3 Cressen, 1-3 Davos, 2-3 Stannis (you drop 2-3)

1-2 Lightbringer, 1-2 Painted Table, 0-3 Ours is the Fury (you drop 1-3)

Neutrals: 1-2 Iron Throne, 2-3 Bodyguard, 2-3 Milk of Poppy, 0-1 Seal of the Hand, 1-2 Littlefinger (the total of these must equal 9 to go with 6 limiteds).

So the above are the customised ingredient mix to make your very own Bara Fealty dish! Here's one I made earlier...


BARA FEALTY (Varys / Aggro meta)
Total Cards: (60)
Faction: Baratheon

Agenda: (1)
1x Fealty (Core Set)

Plot: (7)
1x A Noble Cause (Core Set)
1x Calm Over Westeros (Core Set)
1x Confiscation (Core Set)
2x Filthy Accusations (Core Set)
1x Summons (Core Set)
1x Wildfire Assault (Core Set)

Character: (31)
3x Bastard in Hiding (Core Set)
3x Dragonstone Faithful (Core Set)
3x Fiery Followers (Core Set)
2x Littlefinger (Core Set)
2x Maester Cressen (Core Set)
3x Melisandre (Core Set)
3x Robert Baratheon (Core Set)
2x Selyse Baratheon (Core Set)
3x Ser Davos Seaworth (Core Set)
1x Shireen Baratheon (Core Set)
3x Stannis Baratheon (Core Set)
3x Vanguard Lancer (Core Set)

Attachment: (7)
3x Bodyguard (Core Set)
1x Lightbringer (Core Set)
3x Milk of the Poppy (Core Set)

Event: (8)
3x Consolidation of Power (Core Set)
2x Ours is the Fury (Core Set)
3x Seen In Flames (Core Set)

Location: (14)
1x Chamber of the Painted Table (Core Set)
3x Dragonstone Port (Core Set)
1x The Iron Throne (Core Set)
3x The Kingsroad (Core Set)
3x The Red Keep (Core Set)
3x The Roseroad (Core Set)


As decks now evolve to beat Bara Fealty, I think having a higher character count with dupes and 3x Bodyguard is pretty essential. The trade-off has been the Table Throne combo (perhaps too passive now?) and only 2x Ours is the Fury (only good going first, ideally need Bob in play too). There are 8x R'hllor characters to support 3x Seen In Flames and 3x Davos (never an overcommit to Wildfire) to combat Greyjoy stealth that can still get the jump on you. I'm a firm believer in Stannis x3 as he is pivotal in controlling the swarm builds and making Bob unstoppably fat.

I am however curious to see how my build differs from others as I'm always willing to learn insights and incorporate them in my decks (it's why we come to this subforum). So let's discuss the tiny differences your build has and the reasons why so that we can all refine The Deck To Beat.

Ongoing, this archetype will continue to be strong but hopefully not too strong. The design team & playtesters dropped the ball with this (let's face it, none of us thought this Hyperkneel would be this strong, it looked a bit janky on paper). I'm hoping for a 1-cost neutral attachment (ambush 2) that you discard to stand host or something like that to weaken this dominant build but but fatally.

So post away with your differences. And let's see how this thread develops (eg. do we drop Lancers for Entourage? I say yes!)

#2
ooo

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Very close: http://thronesdb.com/deck/view/1081

#3
sparrowhawk

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I like the 1x Hunting Party (also defence vs Put events or any attack with Fury) with 1x Raiders. That was a brave departure from groupthink that works. I had 2 Raiders in my 4 Competitive Decks from 3 Core builds (as there was no Confiscation to go round) and they worked surprisingly well.

What builds do you fear the most? 1x Davos makes me feel Greyjoy may have a field day with a good start? Especially if they dump a Risen on Asha to immunise vs Consolidation.

Not that I'm being critical. As said, it's all a trade off, probably a function of your local meta too, and every card kept or dropped has its purpose.

It's good you have challenged the Hunting Party groupthink. I tried in the Bara Thread and was greeted by skepticism. I also like how it helps in the mirror.

#4
scantrell24

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-1 Vanguard Lancer

+1 Cressen (difficult to win with a Milked Robert or Mel)

-1 Bodyguard (two is plenty)

+1 Lightbringer (another R'hllor card)

 

Wildfire isn't necessary when you have Stannis. I'd rather see Building Orders

Without Seal of the Hand or Power Behind the Throne, you'll have trouble with the mirror



#5
ooo

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I think 2nd Lightbringer is almost compulsory.  It's SO good on Robert that you pretty much win the game outright, it's VERY good on Stannis, and without those two guys it's still a repeatable R'hllor kneel (drop on claim soak, soak claim, repeat).

I don't think a 3rd Cressen is necessary if you're still running Confiscate and/or Rattleshirt Raiders.
 


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#6
JoeFromCincinnati

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I think everyone who has ever played with or against this deck recognizes it as pure evil that will be played by an overwhelmingly large population of competitive gamers, and hated by anyone who enjoys innovative, fun or interesting deck building.

 

I understand that every game will have a best deck or best strategy, and if that were merely the case with this deck, I would be fine with it. But this goes beyond just 'the best.' This deck is, far and away, the most oppressive machination ever put into a card game I've ever played.

 

The only good news that comes out of this deck is its overwhelming dominance and ridiculous nature has actually spawned some pretty interesting discussions about how to get around the stupid ass combos and oppression contained within the deck itself.

 

Part of your soul dies each time you play the deck and I imagine there is, at least in theory, a great deal of shame in admiting that it is your only, or your main, deck of choice during casual and playtesting games.

 

The only purpose of playing the deck outside of tournaments is if someone is testing a deck and wants to see how it will fare against the deck that will dominate the next 10 tournaments you go to.

 

The vitriol and hatred I have for this deck cannot be understated and may God have mercy on anyone mean spirited enough to actually play it for 'fun.'

 

Fun should not be zero sum in something like a card game, a hobby played for fun. You don't need to deprive your opponent of any fun or feeling of enjoyment just to win the game. And that's what this deck does. It sucks the fun out of the game in a way that I've never actually seen before in any card game I've ever played.

 

And, for the record, I'm not saying it is unbeatable. I've seen it be beaten by aggro decks before, which is its primary weakness. But even during those games, the winner wasn't even having fun. He was just doing his best to hold down the absurdity of the deck. I can't imagine the mindset of the person who actually enjoys playing this deck.



#7
ooo

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I think everyone who has ever played with or against this deck recognizes it as pure evil that will be played by an overwhelmingly large population of competitive gamers, and hated by anyone who enjoys innovative, fun or interesting deck building.

 

I understand that every game will have a best deck or best strategy, and if that were merely the case with this deck, I would be fine with it. But this goes beyond just 'the best.' This deck is, far and away, the most oppressive machination ever put into a card game I've ever played.

 

 

I've seen many far more oppressive decks in the distant Magic past, in fact I played in the Pro Tour right after Urza's Saga came out and the Tolarian Academy deck exploded onto the scene.  I didn't even get to play my first turn until Game Three because it was a 1st turn win combo deck.

Next to that, Baratheon looks like a loved-up tree-hugging hippy.


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#8
darkbladecb

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Part of your soul dies each time you play the deck and I imagine there is, at least in theory, a great deal of shame in admiting that it is your only, or your main, deck of choice during casual and playtesting games.

gamers, and hated by anyone who enjoys innovative, fun or interesting deck building.

 

I just consider it FFG repaying me for all the years that Baratheon was awful in 1.0 (prior to Bara KotHH). I don't feel bad about my House of choice being the best House in 2.0 at all. ^_^


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#9
Baengsor

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I just consider it FFG repaying me for all the years that Baratheon was awful in 1.0 (prior to Bara KotHH). I don't feel bad about my House of choice being the best House in 2.0 at all. ^_^

 

Same for me :P

 

I only played Bara in major tournaments.



#10
JoeFromCincinnati

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I've seen many far more oppressive decks in the distant Magic past, in fact I played in the Pro Tour right after Urza's Saga came out and the Tolarian Academy deck exploded onto the scene.  I didn't even get to play my first turn until Game Three because it was a 1st turn win combo deck.

Next to that, Baratheon looks like a loved-up tree-hugging hippy.

 

Well, admittedly, Baratheon isn't that bad.  

 
your Magic example sounds like something that was not errata'd or restricted when it clearly should have been. Shame on WotC for allowing something like that in a competitive game.
 

I will say this though, I've watched my friends play Baratheon a lot up at my local store.

 

I've never once see a Baratheon deck lose to anything except Stark and other Baratheon decks. No one in my store plays a NA anti bara deck, so the whole Varys wipe hasn't been fully tested against it yet, so maybe there is a glimmer of hope. But Stark just used Arya and a Tumblestone Knight to sneak attack + Winter is Coming + Ice killed Stannis, Robert  and two reducers on turn 1 (it was pretty much the perfect start for Stark). I've also never seen a Baratheon deck not get at least 1 or 2 of the big 3 out by turn 3. I don't know if it just super luck, or maybe the people at my store are deck stacking cheaters. I dunno. 

 

But the biggest thing Baratheon players say is "well, if I don't see the Red Keep,Mel, Stannis or Robert, the game is winnable for my opponent."

 

If you don't see your draw location, 5, 6 or 7 coster at all in the game, every deck is beatable. I've watched at least 50 games in the last 3 months or so (it would be more if everyone in my entire store agreed that they would only play Baratheon upon request, from someone who wants to test their deck versus the pure evil of it) and that scenario has never happened. Because, it turns out, it's pretty easy to see one of 9 cards of a 60 card deck in your first 12 to 15 cards. Especially with a free mulligan and Summons.

 

I'm very happy with the 2.0 core set because every faction is capable of winning games in their own mostly unique way, which is great. We talk about faction tiers, and even though Tyrell, NW and Martell are consistently ranked the bottom three, they can all beat any deck on any given Sunday. My NW deck has beaten several Greyjoy decks, the faction most people are saying is number 2 or 3. My Tyrell deck has beaten many Lannister decks, the other faction being rated number 2 or 3. My NW beats teh crap out of Targaryen and Lannister banner decks. My Martell deck can beat any combination as well, depending on how the cards come out.

 

Every faction is beatable in the right circumstance.

 

Except Baratheon. You need to specifically build your deck to beat Baratheon. And if you don't, you're guaranteed to lose to them every single time.

 

Some may just say 'then build your deck to beat baratheon.' But I just have issue with an entire core set being built around one super duper easy to build deck that has to do absolutely no meta adjustment for any other faction. The game is way too early to already be having to manipulate your deck build just to deal with one overwhelmingly powerful faction.



#11
Zeetro

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I think everyone who has ever played with or against this deck recognizes it as pure evil that will be played by an overwhelmingly large population of competitive gamers, and hated by anyone who enjoys innovative, fun or interesting deck building.

I understand that every game will have a best deck or best strategy, and if that were merely the case with this deck, I would be fine with it. But this goes beyond just 'the best.' This deck is, far and away, the most oppressive machination ever put into a card game I've ever played.

The only good news that comes out of this deck is its overwhelming dominance and ridiculous nature has actually spawned some pretty interesting discussions about how to get around the stupid ass combos and oppression spawned within the deck itself.

Part of your soul dies each time you play the deck and I imagine there is, at least in theory, a great deal of shame in admiting that it is your only, or your main, deck of choice during casual and playtesting games.

The only purpose of playing the deck outside of tournaments is if someone is testing a deck and wants to see how it will fare against the deck that will dominate the next 10 tournaments you go to.

The vitriol and hatred I have for this deck cannot be understated and may God have mercy on anyone mean spirited enough to actually play it for 'fun.'

Fun should not be zero sum in something like a card game, a hobby played for fun. You don't need to deprive your opponent of any fun or feeling of enjoyment just to win the game. And that's what this deck does. It sucks the fun out of the game in a way that I've never actually seen before in any card game I've ever played.

And, for the record, I'm not saying it is unbeatable. I've seen it be beaten by aggro decks before, which is its primary weakness. But even during those games, the winner wasn't even having fun. He was just doing his best to hold down the absurdity of the deck. I can't imagine the mindset of the person who actually enjoys playing this deck.


I'm pretty much on the same boat here. But my brother is using a Bara/NW deck and may disassemble it to go Bara Fealty. I don't mind because it's my bro. And I'd rather keep playing against it because if my deck can't beat Baratheon, it isn't great.

#12
JoeFromCincinnati

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I'm pretty much on the same boat here. But my brother is using a Bara/NW deck and may disassemble it to go Bara Fealty. I don't mind because it's my bro. And I'd rather keep playing against it because if my deck can't beat Baratheon, it isn't great.

 

Yea, Baratheon has become the barometer for usefullness. If your deck can't beat Baratheon, you may as well take it apart, because that is what is going to be run in every single tournament. My local game store recently had a tournament. It was only 12 people, but 6 people played Baratheon. the top 4 were 3 Baratheon and 1 Stark. The top 7 were the 6 Baratheon decks and the one Stark deck that was built to beat Baratheon.

 

The bottom 5 were a smattering of other factions that were not up to the task of beating Baratheon.


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#13
Zeetro

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http://www.cardgamed...odcast-preview/

This might be of relevance here. :)

#14
sparrowhawk

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But what to lose to accommodate the Warhammer? Stannis becomes even more crucial with such mass kneel. But there is no Fealty discount for them.

I can see them taking the Table slots actually (which is slightly win more). And squeezing Fury. It depends on the meta and what tools everyone else gets. But 3 Bodyguards for Seastone seems probable.

I'm a bit disheartened we've seen 2 amazing faction cards for arguably the 2 strongest factions in Bara and GJ. And Support of the People is exciting but Red Keep helps that as well.

I wish they'd preview a WOW card for Martell, Tyrell or Night's Watch (Will is nice).

Anyway, this is the Bara Fealty thread (though I sympathise with the hate expressed above).

It seems we have a healthy variance of builds - the most eye catching was Magicdave's 1x Hunting Party 1x Raider Variant (less keen on Supporting the Faith).

Has someone tried an aggro build yet? Freeing the Confiscation plot slot because of multiple Raiders and 3 Cressen would open up some interesting Plot variance.

What other interesting variants have been attempted? Success or failure?

Has anyone played a control version with Hand's Judgement? Seeing Mel burn to a Paramour can be disheartening.

I loved Lanni Hyperkneel in 1.0, I played Stasis in MTG but I don't like the deck because of the power disparity and how it distorts the meta. And the first step in beating it is Know Thy Enemy.

#15
Kingsley

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I haven't found Baratheon particularly oppressive or difficult to deal with. I tend to like the more aggressive, military-focused factions (Targaryen and Stark mostly), so perhaps it's merely that these factions have natural answers to Baratheon's kneel shenanigans or that Baratheon's longer game can be done in by early aggression, but I've never really felt a need to tailor my decks to beat Baratheon, even in competitive play.

 

I suspect that Baratheon's dominance is a little overblown - while it's certainly a good deck, with one of the overall more supported "faction themes" of anybody, it hasn't proven to be the incredibly dominant powerhouse that some are claiming, at least in my experience.



#16
ZenClix

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I recently played in a local "Intro" tournament for new players, where the organizer (a play tester actually) stomped the field with this deck.  At first I thought that was a bit much, but then decided that if this deck is going to be so prevalent, then perhaps it was best to be exposed to it and see it in action from the get-go.  Now I know :), so thank you.

 

Of course when I tried it myself for the first time last night, I went the whole game (6 rounds) without seeing Mel, Stannis or Bob!



#17
Sokhar

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Remember when everyone was complaining that HoS was destroying the game instead? Quaint.

#18
Zeetro

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But what to lose to accommodate the Warhammer? Stannis becomes even more crucial with such mass kneel. But there is no Fealty discount for them.

I can see them taking the Table slots actually (which is slightly win more). And squeezing Fury. It depends on the meta and what tools everyone else gets. But 3 Bodyguards for Seastone seems probable.

I'm a bit disheartened we've seen 2 amazing faction cards for arguably the 2 strongest factions in Bara and GJ. And Support of the People is exciting but Red Keep helps that as well.

I wish they'd preview a WOW card for Martell, Tyrell or Night's Watch (Will is nice).

Anyway, this is the Bara Fealty thread (though I sympathise with the hate expressed above).

It seems we have a healthy variance of builds - the most eye catching was Magicdave's 1x Hunting Party 1x Raider Variant (less keen on Supporting the Faith).

Has someone tried an aggro build yet? Freeing the Confiscation plot slot because of multiple Raiders and 3 Cressen would open up some interesting Plot variance.

What other interesting variants have been attempted? Success or failure?

Has anyone played a control version with Hand's Judgement? Seeing Mel burn to a Paramour can be disheartening.

I loved Lanni Hyperkneel in 1.0, I played Stasis in MTG but I don't like the deck because of the power disparity and how it distorts the meta. And the first step in beating it is Know Thy Enemy.

I think they haven't previewed Tyrell/Martell because the packs are partially aimed at the narrative of the first book. FFG said the packs will support every faction equally but that doesn't mean they will hype them through previews though

#19
Alexfrog

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I've never once see a Baratheon deck lose to anything except Stark and other Baratheon decks. No one in my store plays a NA anti bara deck, so the whole Varys wipe hasn't been fully tested against it yet, so maybe there is a glimmer of hope. But Stark just used Arya and a Tumblestone Knight to sneak attack + Winter is Coming + Ice killed Stannis, Robert  and two reducers on turn 1 (it was pretty much the perfect start for Stark). I've also never seen a Baratheon deck not get at least 1 or 2 of the big 3 out by turn 3. I don't know if it just super luck, or maybe the people at my store are deck stacking cheaters. I dunno. 

 

But the biggest thing Baratheon players say is "well, if I don't see the Red Keep,Mel, Stannis or Robert, the game is winnable for my opponent."

 

My Targ/Lanni or Targ/Greyjoy decks are going about 50-50 against it. 

 

Targ/Lanni has a hard time against the Red Keep.  If they get it and you cant board wipe them fast you lose, but if they dont get it the deck tends to do well.

 

Targ/Greyjoy has three stealth power characters (Asha/Theon/Maester) and thus can do pretty well at shutting down the Red Keep.  It then just needs to manage to kill a key character or two and it wins.  I've had many a game where I managed to get 2 or more of Mel/Robert/Stannis into the dead pile. 

 

 

Of course bara has its share of wins too, and when Bara does well the game is often intolerable.  When Targ wins it might board wipe you, and that might feel bad but basically you can just concede.  When bara wins you cant do anything all game, and its a really frustrating, stall-y, long game.



#20
Alexfrog

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I believe the Bara decks should be tuned to win the mirror. 

 

#1 thing that means is to play Seal of the Hand.

 

Stannis isnt great in the mirror, as his effect helps both players. 

 

 

 

The #2 the deck needs to do is meta against the kill decks that are meta-ing against it.  That means play enough small dudes, bodyguards, etc.  You want 3 Seen in Flames for sure to scout and remove kill spells.  You want 2+ Selyse I think, sometimes you can pro-actively give Robert an Intrigue icon when you expect Tears is coming.  I actually think you might want 3 Selyse, because if you draw a duplicate that si a 0 cost claim card.  (But if you do this, you cant let her die easily).  THe Hand's Judgement is actually really interesting as well, but we are short on neutrals space.

 

 

 

I think Kings Hunting Party is actually a fine card that the internet is underrating.  Its not amazing, but its playable, and many people seem to think its garbage.  It can block 5 str military characters, which can be important. 

 

 

 

I also think that lots of Bara-X agenda decks could be strong, but they are a lot harder to build than Fealty.