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All Things Shagga: The Painted Table

Welcome back to another wild and wooly adventure in the depths of Shagga deck design. This week, we’re going to explore some truly wooly (and scaly) design space brought on with some inspiration from the recently released The Painted Table (TBC).

The The Painted Table (TBC) is a card with a great deal of potential, and strong arguments can be made for the ways in which it represents each of the three player types. Attempting to use it in order to preemptively stop your opponent’s plans is a tricky and risky business that is sure to cause Jaimes some consternation. What is far more interesting to us as Shaggas, however, is the only way that we can make certain of canceling what we want to cancel- our own actions.

The short list of cards with effects that we would actually want to cancel is, well, quite short. The top of that chart though is certainly Varamyr Sixskins (AKitN). Now, to clarify how Varamyr’s ability works, we can divide it (or any ability) into two parts; cost and effect, much like a sentence can be divided into subject and predicate. In this case, the cost of his ability is to put a creature into play from your hand, ignoring any gold cost. The effect is to return Varamyr to your hand, which also creates a lasting effect that returns the creature to your hand.

So, let’s walk through the interaction here. First you kneel the The Painted Table (TBC) and set up the lasting effect that will cancel the next triggered effect, in this case your own Varamyr Sixskins (AKitN), provided your opponent has no action in between. You initiate Varamyr’s ability by paying the cost and putting a creature directly into play from your hand, say Balerion the Black (RotO). Next, the effect would normally trigger, but The Painted Table (TBC) kicks in with its cancel and Varamyr is stopped from returning to hand. Since the effect has been canceled, the lasting effect which returns the character to hand is never created, and when effects are canceled costs always stay paid- thus Balerion and Varamyr both stay in play, free of charge.

Dropping a gigantic 10 strength dragon into play for no cost is exactly the kind of play that Shagga loves, but ideally, this is the sort of thing that we want to trigger as many times as possible per turn. Fortunately, Baratheon has a great way to use locations over and over again- The King's Ground (IG) . Since The The Painted Table (TBC) and Varamyr Sixskins (AKitN) are both Any Phase abilities, you can use them in the challenge phase, then win a challenge and stand the location using Vigilant. Then you can use it again and again, depending on how many challenges you can win and creatures you have in your hand. This is also possible by using the Lannister The Iron Throne (LotR) to provide the cancel.

While Balerion the Black (RotO) is a beatstick, the deck needs more than just him to keep the engine running. Conveniently, the Core Set dragons (Drogon (Core),Rhaegal (Core), andViserion (Core)) are all very solid 4 strength characters with stealth and two icons that can really help push through challenges. While we’re at it with creatures, some smaller, cheaper options are good to round out setup and to use as claimsoak. The cheapest of these are the ravens, which also set up a great draw engine with Samwell Tarly (TRS). The Oldtown Raven (TIoR)also provides a bit of icon diversity, and the option to play
Maester of Last Hearth (HtS) with no out of house gold penalty. The maester boosts your creatures and with the
White Raven (TWoW) in play, can be used to save them from being killed. Leading toward running White Ravens to make it winter also sets up Shadow Stalker (ACoS) for some strong targeted kill.

The plots included here round out the deck with a variety of complimentary effects. Building Season (Core) and Summoning Season (Core) let you search for either of the key parts of the engine, while A Time for Ravens (ACoS)
lets you power up your agenda or keep drawing cards with Samwell. Once you have the pieces in play, gold is mostly irrelevant to you, so
Blockade (Core) is far more likely to harm your opponent.
Outwit (TIoR) gives you the chance to stop your opponent from clearing your side of the board, while
Wildfire Assault (Core) gives you the chance to slow some pressure from your opponent while still keeping your lynchpin characters in play.

Varamyr Combo

House (1)
House Baratheon (Core) x1

Agenda (1)
Kings of Winter (TWoW) x1

Plot (7)
Alliance (PotS) x1
Blockade (Core) x1
Building Season (Core) x1
Outwit (TIoR) x1
Wildfire Assault (Core) x1
Summoning Season (Core) x1
A Time for Ravens (ACoS) x1

Character (28)
Varamyr Sixskins (AKitN) x3
Maester of Last Hearth (HtS) x3
Balerion the Black (RotO) x2
Carrion Bird (ASoS) x3
Drogon (Core) x2
Oldtown Raven (TIoR) x3
Rhaegal (Core) x2
Viserion (Core) x1
Samwell Tarly (TRS) x3
Highgarden Refugee (RoW) x3
Shadow Stalker (ACoS) x3

Location The Painted Table (20)<br />&#91) x3
The Iron Throne (LotR) x2
King Robert's Chambers (Core) x1
Aegon's Garden (Core) x3
Kingdom of Shadows (KotS) x2
Bay of Ice (KotS) x3
Massey's Hook (ASoSilence) x2
Flea Bottom (TGM) x1
River Row (QoD) x1
Street of Sisters (Core) x1
Street of Steel (Core) x1

Event At Night They Howl (6)<br />&#91) x3
Narrow Escape (KotStorm) x3

Attachment White Raven (6)<br />&#91) x3
The King's Ground (IG) x3
  • Kennit and MiSiO like this


You would still have to discard the creature at the end of the phase right? So you'd only be bringing out that creature for one phase, or does the painted table cancel that effect as well?
Nope. Since the effect was canceled it doesn't set up the lasting effect that would discard the Creature.
Curious - why the Core dragons and not the dragons from the Queen of Dragons set? They have the added benefit of add'l effects when attacking together.
While the Queen of Dragons dragons are really awesome, and arguably have stronger effects, they are also House Targaryen only, which precludes playing them in a Baratheon deck. Sadly King's Ground is House Baratheon only and since it is one of the key cards in the engine, the deck needs to stay with Baratheon as the main house.
Hmm. Neat combo, good job finding it and nice deck. Thanks for sharing.

A bit odd though how they chose to word Varamyr... the return-to-hand part should have been the cost and the put-into-play part the effect. They should have seen this coming :)

Will be interesting to see how this combo turns out (and if the painted table can be further "abused", if I may use that term). Will also be interesting to see if it will fall victim to an errata of any kind. FFG doesn't seem to like combos too much. Which I can understand. This combo doesn't seem too hard to interrupt though, as long as one have a triggered ability that can be triggered at any time (and if you know what your opponent is up to), it can be interrupted at least once per turn... which is enough for as long as there are no standing mechanics around :P
Aaah - yes. Missed the House Targaryen only.
I overlooked the Shadow Stalker (ACoS), amazing card.
Bring this deck in one saturday night I want to see it in action looks pretty sweet.
Why Kingdom of Shadows (KotS)? I understand using it for gold, but you have no cards with Shadows crests, so you're just giving your opponent a way to stand any Shadows cards they have.
In general, it's for some non-limited gold production. In specific, it was a holdover from a version of the deck that was running Shadowcat. I wound up cutting the cats as just being more military icons when I really needed some diversity, but wound up leaving the Kingdoms. They could likely be swapped for other resource cards, though gold production is probably the best idea considering the number of out of house cards.
So you can put unlimited Creatures into play (as long as you can kneel The Painted Table (TBC) and stand it with The King's Ground (IG)) without
- paying any gold cost
- dircarding the creatures at the end of the phase.

This is the best combo I ever heard of. Hard to figure out, great effect, realisable, awesome shagga-stlye!