Jump to content

Welcome to Card Game DB
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
New Deckbuilders Coming!
The new and much improved Android Netrunner Deckbuilder is now live. Check out this topic for the details!

Darksbane

Search Articles

* * * * *

Boulevard of Broken Links

Small Council OKTarg

Hi all, OKTarg here. I know you're accustomed to seeing me over there at Fire and Blood, but I had to ban myself from writing that article this session. I just attended the Dallas regional, and I was going to do a tournament report touting my spiffy new Targaryen Black Sails deck, but it just wouldn't come together for me. As a result, I switched away from not only that deck but also from my usual house entirely. I felt OK with the change since I'd played this other deck and was comfortable with how it worked, at least in terms of piloting it correctly. I felt that I could do well, especially since I placed fifth in Tulsa last year and second this year. As my first out of town tournament, I knew I wanted to represent well.

Somewhere along the line, I learned without a shadow of a doubt that forging one's chain isn't about piling success on top of success. Sometimes that learning process involves shattering your links, hammering your fingers, and getting sent on errands like Pate the Pig boy. Dallas was that for me. I offer up this article confessing my failures and hopefully preventing you from making the same mistakes along the way.

Lesson One: Evaluate the Meta Properly

Dallas was a completely unknown meta for any of us traveling down there. Nobody in Dallas (to my knowledge) posts on CardGameDB or the other, lesser sites, so we had to just shoot in the dark as to what would be played. As in any tournament, the top decks shouldn't have been too hard to identify: Greyjoy TLV, Rusted Maesters, and Martell TLV would for sure be there, right, as well as Siege, Dragons, and Bara Rush. These builds all had to be accounted for.

So, of course, I didn't do this properly. I was testing on OCTGN with Libert1ne, one of my preferred sparring partners, and he was giving me some advice about how to deal with these decks. For Rusted Maesters, you need Bastard (LotR). For Greyjoy TLV, you need Fleeing to the Wall (Core) or some other location control. For Stark Siege, you need Forgotten Plans (KotStorm) or Shadows and Spiders (LotR). This seemed like great advice, of course, and then when it came down to brass tacks, I decided to ignore it.

My deck cared about initiative as it was based around the Ser Kevan Lannister (VM) character agenda. I felt that some of those plots were too low and I couldn't decide what to drop. I always intended to slot one or two of them in before the tournament, but in the excitement I couldn't quite remember what I finalized my plot deck too. (Or that's what I'm telling myself)

So of course, Round Two I'm facing Stark Siege. I know for a FACT that he's going to plot Fear of Winter to follow up his three pre-plot epic battles. So I look into my plots, planning to grab Shadows and Spiders and.......it's not there. Ok, no problem. Let's go for Forgotten Plans. Whoops. Not there either. I'm stuck trying Cersei's Scheme when I probably should have been able to handle that match with ease. Maybe I should have Valared first turn, but still.....I lost in like fifteen seconds due to not properly preparing for the meta.

Third round I'm facing Martell Brotherhood. It's at this point that I realize that I don't have any Bastards in my deck either. When he drops two Taste for Bloods, a Thirst for Vengeance, and a Poisoned Knife on Beric turn one, I knew I was up against it. A Bastard wins me that game, hands down, but I don't have one even though I should. What i do have is A House Divided (WLL), but I can't draw into it. I lose that one too, though thankfully it took longer than fifteen seconds. At this point, I can't even regret not including Fleeing to the Wall since I'm not doing well enough to face the Greyjoy TLV decks that are monkeystomping everyone.

Always, always listen to the Aussie champ.

Lesson Two: Good Cards are Better than Bad Cards

This really goes along with lesson number one. You may be wondering why I didn't put the aforementioned cards into my deck. Am I just an idiot? Well, maybe, but it's more likely that I'm either arrogant about my deckbuilding or just too Shagga. I didn't have space for Bastards since I wanted to run ways to make the new Margaery Deadly for fun with her ability. I didn't have space for those reactive plots since I wanted to be more aggressive in my initiative.

In other words, I wanted my deck to do what I wanted it to do, matchups or no matchups. I included a few of what I call "luxury cards" rather than the hyper-efficient cards that can actually win tournament matchups.

You may be wanting an example of these cards. Well, I've got one. How about the new hotness, fresh from exile in out of print land....the To Be events. I bought the pack for To Be a Dragon, but To Be a Lion (SB) was just sitting there so lonely. Since my Kevan deck packed a lot of kneel, I thought this would be a great include and I'd get to include my new shiny events. To make them run, I needed some Intrigue Gambits. Frey Hospitality (LotR) and Breaking and Entering (LotR) were great choices. Of course, I also needed Valar. My deck was slow so I wanted another reset...Wildfire it is. Cersei's Scheme is too good to pass up, and I needed at least one plot that wasn't three gold, so Take them by Surprise fit in as well. I also ran Negotiations at the Great Sept, giving me three Intrigue Gambits for my event. A two-of event, mind you.

What if I had ran two Bastards and instead of those intrigue gambits ran Forgotten Plans and Shadows and Spiders? Well, for one, my deck would have been less original and creative, but it probably also wouldn't have been last.

Lesson learned: ruthlessly cut your fancy cards and go with stuff that really matters. My deck wasn't bad; it was just about five cards and two plots off and at the tournament level you just can't afford that.

Lesson Three: Having Fun Matters

It would have been easy when my Black Sails deck didn't work out to just revisit the Tulsa top-two deck that I ran with success. The problem there was that I just wanted to play something else. I'd already ran that at a tournament and it was time for something new. Would I have won the tournament with my Dragon Maesters? Well, it's unlikely in the face of all the Greyjoy cancel that I would have, but I guarantee you that I wouldn't have been sixteenth. On the whole, though, I don't regret the decision to play something else since my major goal was to have fun. I blame my lack of tuning in my Kevan deck rather than the decision to abandon the tried-and-true.

I had great opponents in Dallas and it was a really fun day. The other three Tulsa guys all made top 8, so at least our meta showed what we are made of despite our inability to overcome the Greyjoy hordes. I'd really recommend getting out and traveling to a regional if you can in any way make it happen.

Hopefully these small lessons and examples from my own tournament failure can help you fine-tune your deck for your next upcoming event. Thanks for reading, and I'd love to hear some stories about deck choices that either backfired or worked a treat in your recent tournament decks, so leave them below in the comments!
  • zordren, Archrono, bigfomlof and 5 others like this


23 Comments

Photo
Raithwalker
Jun 25 2013 05:23 AM
I'm glad to hear you had fun in Dallas despite the tough match-ups. Reading this article makes me think I should start posting more on the site to try and fill people in about the Dallas meta. I fared well against all my match-ups until the blasted Greyjoys. Nice advice on card consideration. I know I tend to include cards that fit snugly into my deck strategies over cards that are better at countering opposing ones. Its a tough habit to break.
    • OKTarg likes this
totally agree on our points! me and 2 friends went from munich to salzburg regionals and my one friend run an nice stark maesters path with the stalwart weenies little did he know that he would face 4 targ burn decks and 1 sow deck so although in another meta he would have easily made the cut with so much targ burn he stood no chance,,, i went with a bara tlv deck (was only one out of 25:P) and running 19 gold location forgotten plans art of seduction and narrow escape really saved my ass and made it possible for me to be on the third place at the end of the event! i was running only 2 non gold/reduce location which is sad but i knew that with so many gj decks more location would be a waste... the awsome part is that due to this kind of deckbuild i managed to beat targ tlv targ maesters gj bs gj no agenda choke and gj tlv.... all of theese are decks which usually are a nightmare for bara but with the cards mentioned above i managed to dominate them even if i lost on semi finalls to a gj kotr choke deck due to 0 location after mulli and second plot!
    • Archrono likes this
Photo
LorasTyrell
Jun 25 2013 10:33 AM
Teching against burn is always a wise choice imo... :)
    • scantrell24 and ProfessorWerewolf like this
I'm seeing more and more a need to build with some of those key tools that throw off an opponents game. (Especially since burn, choke, etc are all about throwing of YOUR game.)

I don't play tournaments, but even in casual games heavy hitting decks like Clansman high claim and Targ Burn, and especially Martell really give me a tough time. Usually because I just don't build with them in mind. Too much Shagga. :P
(Of course my Baratheon Maester burn still wrecks face.)

Really good article. I'm sure I'll keep some of these stories in mind.
    • bigfomlof likes this
Photo
FunnyGeorgeLopez
Jun 25 2013 03:42 PM
I dont really know rusted maesters or Martell TLV. What do they look like?
A lot of what you mentioned Buzz are things we all have to learn to become good players of the game. You can't always do what you want to do at the end of the day. You have to do what you know is good and not what seems like it has the potential to be a blast. Not saying that i'm a better player then you or anything, i think what i just said there could come across as that way. XD Just meant to inform everyone else is all.

Here is a example. At the Missouri Regional i played my Lannister KOTHH deck. Came in 9th over all after playing nothing but top notch players, so i'm happy with the performance over all. However, the day before the event i had swapped in 3 Wars Are Won with Quills along with 3 Judged By The Fathers and 3 Double Bluffs. I thought Wars Are Won With Quills would be a blast with Shadows And Spiders, Lineage And Legacy, and Cersei's Scheme. While i believe i got off the Wars Are Won With Quills with Lineage And Legacy 3 times that day, it never impacted the game as much as i thought. I also noticed a few other things that day. All those copies of cards being a 3 of was really clogging up my hand during those tournaments. I have no doubt that if i was play different event choices and they were 2 of instead of 3 of, i'd probably had a smoother day. Also doesn't help that i went into that day with 19 events in the deck. So, at the end of the day, it also comes down to knowing your deck.

I went into that tournament knowing my Martell KOTHH loved 18 to 20 events, i assumed Lannister KOTHH would as well. I found out at the end of the day that that isn't true, the deck actually likes about 15 events or else is clogs up on itself. So, proper play testing of a deck is crucial as well. Know your deck inside and out, don't take something that is new to you to a event.
I as told by people that played both of us that we had near identical decks, but after reading this it looks like that wasn't the case.
Photo
steinbiggity
Jun 25 2013 06:44 PM
We had a ton of fun hosting you guys here in Dallas. Hopefully we can all get together in the future for more events!
    • OKTarg likes this

I as told by people that played both of us that we had near identical decks, but after reading this it looks like that wasn't the case.

Having seen your list, I'd agree that our decks were very different. We had similar characters in some respects, but mine was much more control and yours much more rush focused. I bet they were twenty to thirty cards different or so.

I should rebuild my deck as a PbtT actually. It'd be better.

I dont really know rusted maesters or Martell TLV. What do they look like?

Rusted Maesters is basically a deck trying to get Archmaester Marwyn souped up with tons of chains and attachments like Rusted Sword (to give a MIL icon; also the deck namesake). Then you can use Meereenese Fighting Pits to stand him repeatedly, especially with Steel Links.

Martell TLV is just using the Long Voyage agenda. Several of these builds have won regionals, including one with an army/high claim theme and some with more of a Martell Goodstuff theme.

We had a ton of fun hosting you guys here in Dallas. Hopefully we can all get together in the future for more events!

Tulsa to Dallas really isn't that far so we should try to keep each other abreast of what's going on!

We really did have a great time, including drowning my sorrows in double sauced "boneless wings" (read: chicken strips) at Plucker's after the fact.
    • Zeiler likes this

Rusted Maesters is basically a deck trying to get Archmaester Marwyn souped up with tons of chains and attachments like Rusted Sword (to give a MIL icon; also the deck namesake). Then you can use Meereenese Fighting Pits to stand him repeatedly, especially with Steel Links.

Martell TLV is just using the Long Voyage agenda. Several of these builds have won regionals, including one with an army/high claim theme and some with more of a Martell Goodstuff theme.

Its Ebrose, not Marwyn. Marwyn is the one that allows you to trigger a when revealed of a plot after he dies. Ebrose is the limited response that claims power for ever chain that is on him.

Its Ebrose, not Marwyn. Marwyn is the one that allows you to trigger a when revealed of a plot after he dies. Ebrose is the limited response that claims power for ever chain that is on him.


Not that Marwyn, Archmaester Marwyn (CD), the one Targ can fetch with At the Gates. Also works with Linked Advisor (TIoR), although he can't be saved so easily.
    • OKTarg likes this
Well, right, but generally i've seen it done with Ebrose. I guess its the ideal situation to do it with him is what i'm trying to get at.

We really did have a great time, including drowning my sorrows in double sauced "boneless wings" (read: chicken strips) at Plucker's after the fact.

I swear we must be soul mates.
    • OKTarg likes this

Well, right, but generally i've seen it done with Ebrose. I guess its the ideal situation to do it with him is what i'm trying to get at.

Weird, in none of the Rusted Maester decks that I've seen/played has there been even a copy of Ebrose. Not being able to use At the Gates to get him is just such a huge loss that needing to draw into several copies of him to get a dupe rather than drawing 1x Marwyn and using the plot to grab another just makes him a worse overall choice.

On the other hand I always prefered to use At the Gates to search out a Linked Advisor unless I had a copy of Marwyn in my opening hand. Their strength just gets so huge in those decks that it's impossible to get challenges through, especially with Aegon's Blade!
    • Kennon likes this

Weird, in none of the Rusted Maester decks that I've seen/played has there been even a copy of Ebrose. Not being able to use At the Gates to get him is just such a huge loss that needing to draw into several copies of him to get a dupe rather than drawing 1x Marwyn and using the plot to grab another just makes him a worse overall choice.

On the other hand I always prefered to use At the Gates to search out a Linked Advisor unless I had a copy of Marwyn in my opening hand. Their strength just gets so huge in those decks that it's impossible to get challenges through, especially with Aegon's Blade!


I'm more or less going off of the list i saw when it first took a large tournament by storm. At least it was around the time of it. It was right at the beginning of this FAQ if i remember correctly and it was playing 3 copies of him. I haven't payed much attention to it since then but i do remember there being 3 copies of Ebrose in the deck to go for a accelerated win. I think it was also playing Iron Mines out of house to keep him around if i remember correctly. Like i said, its been close to 4 months now, i don't remember the list exactly, i just remember Ebrose. I believe it was across the sea is where it won the tournament at. Somewhere in Europe? I could be wrong though.
Ah I see. The first version I saw (and the one I Zeilered) was Greg's a couple weeks after Rusted Maesters became a thing. If he was in the earliest versions on the deck then I wouldn't have seen him. :P
Yeah, those damned Advisors get to pretty absurd levels of strength quickly. And with the Fighting Pits to stand them, things get crazy. That Martell KotHH that eventually morphed into my TLV deck was designed to try to counteract them.

I swear we must be soul mates.


Yep. Why have we only hung out just that once?

Ps: I'm still undefeated against you
    • Zeiler likes this

Having seen your list, I'd agree that our decks were very different. We had similar characters in some respects, but mine was much more control and yours much more rush focused. I bet they were twenty to thirty cards different or so.

I should rebuild my deck as a PbtT actually. It'd be better.


For the Dallas regional I was using a lanni no agenda deck like yourself. My biggest problem was lack of economy (still not sure how that works) and horrid set ups.

For the Dallas regional I was using a lanni no agenda deck like yourself. My biggest problem was lack of economy (still not sure how that works) and horrid set ups.


You were there? How did I miss this? Lol. I thought you were talking about your holy deck from Austin .....
Yeah, our Atlanta Regional came down to my Martell TLV deck vs my friend's GJ TLV. He won. My prediction is that Asha and Alannys make the Restricted List next FAQ, with the banned list going away and new Jaqen becoming Restricted instead.

Current GJ reminds me of where Martell was a year ago - not so much a problem that any one single card was completely ridiculous, but able to field an endless supply of great stuff that shuts down your opponent.

Agree wholeheartedly with the article though. A tournament is the time to figure out how to counter the decks that you're actually going to face, not to get overly cutesy. Consider how Loras beat the Mountain - not because he was the better jouster but because he specifically planned to abuse a known weakness.
    • backdoor likes this