On Sunday the 28/02/2016 I played in the Stoke Store Championship and managed to win the event. 31 players turned up to challenge the Stoke faithful for the title.
Over the week coming up to the tournament I could not find a deck I was happy with. I had played at Lincoln the Saturday before and managed to take that event down with a Targ Lion deck (http://thronesdb.com...-smash-bros-1.0) inspired from a conversation I had with Nate Holmes at the Sheffield SC and I knew that the Lincoln group were heading down so wanted to pilot a different deck.
I spent my my time going back and further between Targ and Lannister main house but just couldn’t find a deck I really felt had the ability to go all the way. At this point I spoke to (sidge85, Sheffield SC Winner) about his Targ Rose deck (link). We had a discussion about the deck and he mentioned one change, Ser Hobber Redwyne would be added from The King’s Peace so we could find Dany or Margaery dependent on the situation, which I liked. I sleeved the deck up making a few changes from sidge85’s list.
Here is my version – (http://thronesdb.com...ce-stoke-sc-1.0)
Round 1 – Matt Shaw (NW banner to the Lion)
Had a reasonable set up with Dany, roseroad and Targaryen Loyalist. Matt chose to mulligan and it turned out that the second 7 cards were worst than the first. I opened with Calm, I can’t remember the plot Matt opened up with. I drew 2 cards and saw Randyll Tarly, knowing Matt’s setup was bad I marshalled Randyll and passed over to him. Matt then proceed to play two chuds (very sorry for the lack of detail as this was my first game of the day and at the time wasn’t planning on writing a report) but played milk on Dany and Randyll. Turn two I dropped Drogon and Viserys, challenges phase I intrigued pulling “The Old Bear” out of his hand, seeing him hit the discard pile was a relief. On the Matt’s challenge phase he initiated a military challenge, Matt had no gold so no PTTS, I declared unopposed and choosing Viserys for claim removing the milk off Dany. From that point on i had the draw to keep pressuring the board and closed the game out from there.
Matt did not see any economy and this game wasn’t a true reflection of his deck or his skill as he made the cut in 7th.
Round 2 – Rik Hyde (Targ Banner to the Lion)
Rik was one of the Lincoln group that travelled down for our Stoke Store Championship. I drew my starting seven and it was the nuts, I set up 6 out 7 cards using all 8 gold and here we are people: Garden Caretaker, Left, Right, Rhaegal with a dup and a roseroad. Rik took a mulligan and set up 3 cards.
I managed to land Dany early into Randyll again. Rik ended flipping into wildfire around turn 3 which even the numbers up but my characters were far more potent. I managed to marshal Drogo and pushed through military to clear his board. The turn after he dropped Ser Gregor (who frankly I was not happy to see as I knew there was still a seven cost Dany in my deck) alongside his brother The Hound. Rik was first, starting off by the challenge phase initiated a military challenge with both Gregor and The Hound, no gold so again so no PTTS.
His pillage hit Viserion which couldn’t kill anything on my board. I initiated a military challenge he claimed The Hound and then I intrigued with a tears ready for Gregor at which point Rik called it.
Round 3 – Chris Buckley (Boocho) (Stark Lord of the Crossing)
Not much to say about this as it game was a blur, Booch played cards and I saw no economy.
Round 4 – Ryan Wood (Targ Banner to the Lion)
We both had 4 card setups; he managed to marshal Jamie early. I did my best to stabilise with chuds for his military challenges. He was gaining power a lot faster than me and I was very worried. Turn 5, I landed a Varys, I went through that turn with my fingers crossed that he didn’t have the treachery. Dominance came and he went up to 14 power and triggered Varys and we were both left with a Dany. He was at six power and I was sat at eight power. We both flipped Marched and our Danys each went to the wall. I managed to marshal a lot more than him after that and close the game out.
Round 5 – Jack Machin (Lannister Banner to the Sun)
Jack was a very good 1st Edition player and if I am correct was known for playing Lannister. So I knew this game was not going to be easy which is not what I wanted to think as I had set my target for the cut. Jack set up 3 cards and Nymeria as his only character. I set up 4, all chuds (Jorah being the only card of note) this was after we both had taken a mulligan. I played marched to his noble. He landed Tywin and a chud. Jack was the only player all day that had put two cards into play which made a really difficult choice for me, Cersei’s Wheelhouse and Sunspear. If I made him go first he got cards and if I went second he punished me on whatever challenge I was weakest in.
The game slowly crept away from me all down to the economy Tywin game him.
A nervous wait for the cut and *insert drum roll here*
The top 8 after 5 rounds of Swiss:
1. Mike Smith (NW Lords of the Crossing)
2. Tim Pickers (Bara Banner to the Rose)
3. Jack Machin (Lannister Banner to the Sun)
4. Booch (Stark Lords of the Crossing)
5. Nate Holmes (Targ Banner to the Sun)
6. Mike Horan (Targ Banner to the Sun)
7. Matt Shaw (NW Banner to the Lion)
8. Joshua Niemczyk (Me) (Targ Banner to the Rose)
Quarter final – Mike Smith
Drawn against Mike Smith, I would be lying if I wasn’t happy about this. Previously to this tournament I had knocked Mike out of two cuts, one GNK (even game) and Lincoln SC (only down to his deck screwing him and his setup being awful), before we started to play Mike mentioned that he had managed to miss the Targ match up all day and he believed it to be his weakest match up. We drew up and I set up 4 cards, The Roseroad, Garden Caretaker, Rhaegal, and Handmaiden. I drew into Illyrios estate, roseroad, Khal Drogo and KoF.
Mike had a 4 card set up to from my memory but I remember one being Ser Alister so I flipped Calm naming military and he flipped Trading. We drew up and I got Dany. I was sitting there with a decision to make it was either I could play Dany along with Drogon or I could marshal both KoF and Drogo. I chose the latter and managed to keep up the military pressure whilst gaining power through renown. I marshalled Dany the turn after got my draw online. There were a few mistakes from both sides but I managed to close the game out by turn 3 due to renown on Khal, KoF and Dany.
Semi-final – Nate Holmes
I knew this game was going to be a difficult one, little did I know that it was going to my best game of the day for two reasons. Firstly, Nate is known for being a solid 1st edition player. He had already beaten me with easy in Sheffield to make it into the top 4 there. Secondly, I saw this challenge ahead of me and seemed to play on another level because of it.
We both had average setups, both ended up marshalling Dany pretty early expect Nate made my Dany a king by pouring a crown of gold over her. This made it a lot more one sided, I managed to marshal Viserys and march him to the wall a turn later but I was too far behind so I managed to get a Varys off.
I think that put Nate in a difficult position but he didn't give me anything to go off, I marshalled a chud and Drogo to his Syrio he was first play so he stealth passed Drogo I claimed the loyalist. The next turn Drogo got marched the wall by Nate, I marshalled some dragons and Nate played Plaza and Shadowblack lane and passed. I evened the game up to six vs six on power and felt good at this point. I marshalled a second Dany and Nate marshalled two chuds and Varys I managed to get through challenges to 9 v 6 on power and then board was wiped again (At this point Nate mentioned it was like playing 1st edition all over again) I managed to draw into Dany and drop her and a chud. I closed the game from there with my 3rd Dany.
This was truly one of the best games I have every played in 2nd edition so far. And if I didn’t say it enough when we finished the game I really enjoyed it Nate if you read this.
Final – Tim Picker (Bara Rose Knights)
This couldn’t have been a more fitting final, Tim was another one of the Lincoln group that had made the journey and after I won the Lincoln Store Championship on away turf it was time to play off for the Stoke Store Championship.
Tim set up 2 cards Roseroad and Ser Hobber after a mulligan at which I was very happy to see to my 3 card setup which included Dany. I marched first plot and Hobber and a random chud from my side went off to the Wall. Tim marshalled Mel and kept my Military Icon knelt for the turn for the next two to three turns Tim managed to keep Dany knelt and evened up the board.
I flipped summons finding Drogo who ended up getting pulled out of my hand from an intrigue challenge. Tim played Wildfire which put him a little further ahead in my opinion as he had Mel and I had no economy. Left and Right turned up for me and aided in defending the incoming challenges along with helping for dominance. Around turn 5 we were at six power to three in my favour. Tim marshalled KoF and Davos in one turn I played Plaza on Turn 6.
7th Plot Tim flipped Tourney of the King and around 4 Knights on the board, I had Varys in my hand and knew that he had pinned Tourney so I was ready to drop Varys and wipe his board. At the start of challenge Tim play Seen in Flames and took that Varys straight out of my hand and knelt Dany. Tim was now at 11 to my 6.
Plot 8, I summons and found my second Varys, who was instantly marshalled, Tim won a power challenge and got renown on KoF and won dominance taking him up to 14. I pulled the trigger on Varys which even it up to 7 to 5 in favour of Tim. At this point, I felt reasonably happy Tim had 1 card in hand and nothing on board I managed to keep Dany and Rhaegal.
Plot 9, I marshalled my own KoF and another dragon. Due to Tim’s economy at this point, he was able to Hobber for Mel and played her out knelling Dany. I finally managed to Crown Mel off the board. The next turn Tim played Wildfire (I kind of lost track plot numbers due the length of this game) and I kept Dany, KoF and Rhaegal. I dropped Randyll and game him Heartsbane. Tim confiscated Heartsbane off Randyll and managed to drop a lot of low cost knights and dropped his own Margaery, I followed up with my own Hobber to fetch my own Margaery.
The power situation at this point was Tim at twelve and I was sat at five. I managed to close this gap on what I think was plot 14 I played Marched to Tim’s Noble Cause ending that turn twelve to ten in favour of Tim. In the last round I managed to play a chud and pass to Tim who marshalled KoF. With me having my own KoF, alongside a standing Dany I initiated a power challenge which was opposed by Tim’s KoF. I was first player so I played the first Dracarys I had seen all game on to kill his KoF to get the unopposed power, claim and renown at which point Tim extended his hand for the game.
It was one of the best days I had had at a tournament, the Stoke meta represented well in the top cut and the event was ran tremendously well by Eddie and Steve.
All day I had great opponents and great games and I would like to thank everyone who made the journey to play at the store and especially sidge85 for sharing his deck creation with me.
Changes I would make to the deck.....I think the deck is very well balanced on the day I wish I could have seen Fire and Blood more so there is a potential of going back up to the three or trying to find space for a Shadowblack Lane.
I hope to see people at the Manchester Store Championship as a few of us from Stoke are making the journey.
PS - I am sorry if the report lacks detail at certain points, this is the first report I have ever written. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.