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Let’s break this card #1: King Robert’s Warhammer

Warhammer Strategy Deckbuilding


For our first article, I’ll focus on King Robert’s Warhammer. This is probably against my best interest, since if I manage to make the card popular and I see a meta full of decks attempting to kneel all my characters again, it will be infuriating, but I’ve never let that stop me from giving away strategy advice!

Side note: as much as I hate getting my characters knelt by Baratheon decks, it seems there are other players out there who feel that getting their characters killed by cards like Dracarys is even worse! <sarcasm> How could this be, Dracarys is a perfectly fair card! </sarcasm> :D

How to break it?:

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To start, let’s try to think of the MOST broken thing we can possibly do with King Robert’s Warhammer. Let’s not just try to do something reasonable with this card, let’s try to really break it!

What does it do? The Warhammer lets you kneel any number of opposing characters whose total strength is equal to or less than your character’s strength. Since it sacrifices itself, we are only going to get one shot with the Warhammer, so we need to make it count. Clearly our goal should be to kneel their ENTIRE team, so we are going to want ways to pump our character’s strength. We also want to get good use out of the rest of the turn in which they are knelt, via unopposed challenges.

The two factions that come to mind for this are Greyjoy and Tyrell.

Greyjoy has the following synergies with Warhammer:
  • Iron Fleet Scout pumps the character it is on, increasing its effect.
  • If Balon is made to be high strength he becomes unblockable, guaranteeing a win, and allowing the Warhammer to be used.
  • They have many ways to gain benefit from unopposed challenges created by your opponent having no standing characters, such as their special plot, the Seastone Chair, Asha, Theon, etc.
Tyrell has the following synergies with Warhammer:
  • Margaery, Growing Strong, Heartsbane all increase strength.
  • Loras can carry Warhammer and attack alone, and is very hard to block.
Obviously, the deck will need to include Baratheon. For our Greyjoy deck, the best carrier of the Warhammer seems to me to be Balon, so we will make a Greyjoy banner of the Stag deck. For Tyrell, all of the Tyrell cards we will need are non-Loyal, and if we play Baratheon as our house, we can play Robert (who carries his warhammer well, and synergizes very well with Margaery), and the most reliable card draw location in the game, The Red Keep. Therefore we will make a Baratheon banner of the Rose deck.

Deck #1: Greyjoy banner of the Stag:

Goal of the deck: Play the Rise of the Kraken plot. Spend our 2 gold from the plot to put King Robert’s Warhammer on Balon. Go first, swing with Balon, pump him with Iron Fleet Scouts, win unopposed kneel many opposing characters with Warhammer. Then win two more unopposed challenges since our opponent cannot block, collect many power, win the game.

The decklist and card justifications:
House Greyjoy Banner of the Stag

1x A Noble Cause: Our main economy plot. Gets out Balon.
1x Calm Over Westeros: Probably the least important plot, but we do need another decent economy plot. Good to have against Stark or against Targ with Drogo to keep yourself from getting blown out by military claim.
1x Filthy Accusations: Aids in our unopposed challenge plan.
1x Here to Serve: Fetches Maester Cressen to remove milk of the poppy from Balon. (Or you could play Confiscation, but this plot fetching Cressen is a 6 gold play, confiscation gives 4).
1x Rise of the Kraken: Our key plot to win once we are ready. Gives the 2 gold needed to play Warhammer.
1x Summons: Fetches Balon or Melisandre.
1x Wildfire Assault: Keeps the board small, which is important for stealth decks.

Character (31)
3x Aeron Damphair: Combos with Iron Throne and Fiery Followers, provides us our resilience against military claim or kill spells.
3x Asha Greyjoy: Very solid, especially with a Little Bird.
3x Balon Greyjoy: Literally the best character in the game! The key to this deck.
3x Fiery Followers: Combos with Melisandre, Painted Table, Aeron.
3x Iron Islands Fishmonger: Basic economy and claim.
3x Lordsport Shipwright: Kneels important locations like Gashton Grey, The Red Keep, etc.
2x Maester Cressen: The remover of milk.
1x Maester Wendamyr: Backup Maester to fetch, also just very useful for winning power challenge to get off Support of the People.
3x Melisandre: Another big threat, very solid character.
2x Salty Navigator: Filler that helps us win initiative so we can kneel opposing team before they can make challenges.
1x Ser Davos Seaworth: Additional Stealth.
1x Shireen Baratheon: The best chump blocker in the game.
3x Theon Greyjoy: Additional Stealth and reward for unopposed.

Attachment (5)
2x King Robert's Warhammer: The card we are trying to break. You could try 3 but I worry that the deck lacks in good targets other than Balon, thus I included only two.
2x Little Bird: Critical defense of Balon, Asha, etc. against Tears of Lys. Also works really well on Asha.
1x Seal of the Hand: Amazing on Balon.

Location (17)
1x Chamber of the Painted Table: A good backup plan for laying a long game, fetchable with Support of the people.
2x Great Kraken: Very solid draw location. Could be three, but I figured with Support of the People maybe I should only play two? Not sure.
3x Iron Fleet Scout: The key to our Balon pump and warhammer plan, therefore 3.
2x Sea Tower: Only 2 because we are not playing a huge cost deck, no Euron, and we are split between two factions.
2x The Iron Throne: Playing two because they are so good with Aeron.
3x The Kingsroad
3x The Roseroad
2x The Seastone Chair: In my experience this card is very scary, and since its cheap to play, you would rather just draw it and not have to Support of the People for it. Therefore I added a second copy.

Event (7)
1x Risen from the Sea: Not sure how important this is but I like to have at least 1 just to make my opponent doubt that they can kill my character off for sure with their Tears or whatever.
1x Seen In Flames: I want more but cannot find room!
2x Support of the People: Two copies has been correct in my experience. Drawing multiples can be disappointing when you need more characters to be able to win the power challenge by 5.
2x We Do Not Sow: Combos with Seastone Chair to kill the attachment on the character you want to kill, very versatile.

I didn’t include Euron because he is expensive and doesn’t really fit the theme of the deck. He is a great card of course, but our economy plots are weak and I had trouble fitting him in.

I wanted more events like The Hand’s Judgment and more Seen in Flames, but I cannot find room, as we are very location heavy.

Deck #2: Baratheon banner of the Rose
How about our Tyrell idea?

I wanted to use Growing Strong in this deck to provide extra strength pump sources for the Warhammer and Randyll. The bigger we can get that Warhammer activation the better, as it will kneel out our opponent’s whole team and then we can use Stannis to prevent them from standing. However, my initial list didn’t have nearly enough Tyrell characters, because it was so loaded with Baratheon characters for the R’hllor package. I also just couldn’t fit in everything.

So I decided to try a strange thing and cut out the R’hllor cards. After all, kneeling all my opponents’ characters with Warhammer is better than Kneeling one with Melisandre right? In the end this was the only way to fit in all the Tyrell cards I wanted to play, especially since I wanted to play the Left/Right combo for their synergy with Stannis (when together, they do not kneel to defend!)

The decklist:
House Baratheon Banner of the Rose

1x A Noble Cause: Gets out Robert. We need a guaranteed way to be able to play Robert.
2x Calling the Banners: This deck has big economy needs with Robert, Stannis, Randyll, Loras, plus locations and attachments we want to play. Since I am not killing opposing characters and not playing Wildfire, this card should provide strong economy. Played on turn 2-3 this can often give 7-9 gold to get us going while also having strong initiative.
1x Confiscation: Removes Seals of the Hand, or milk from Robert.
1x Filthy Accusations: Aids the Kneel plan.
1x Sneak Attack: This is our plot to play to guarantee we can go first and finish the game. Alternately, we can go first, do a power challenge, kneel everyone with Warhammer so they cannot hit us back, win dominance, and try to treat it as a ‘free turn’ where we gained a bunch of power and the opponent couldn’t touch us.
1x Summons: Finds the missing Left/Right, or Robert or Stannis.

Character (33)
1x Courtesan of the Rose: I need enough Tyrell characters to play Growing Strong effectively. She helps me block intrigue or win power by 5 to play Support of the People.
3x Garden Caretaker: Basic economy and claim.
3x Left: Yes, I am playing 3x Left/Right. They work well with Stannis. Every time I have played against Tyrell, probably the most annoying thing their deck does is get both of them in play. Also, the duplicates will help provide claim soak, which this deck really needs.
1x Littlefinger: Some card draw, not sure what the right number is, could be 0-2.
1x Maester Cressen: Another way to remove milk.
3x Margaery Tyrell: Pumps Robert to absurd levels, key to our strategy.
1x Melisandre: I had room for 1 of her, she kneels 1 character when played, and then your opponent, not knowing you don’t have R’hllor, will try to kill her.
2x Olenna's Informant: For extra power challenges to close out the game.
3x Randyll Tarly: Works well with all our strength pump, he can also hold the Warhammer.
3x Right: He is actually better than Left, because when combined he cannot be hit with Tears! Left is the weak link, that darn Left!
3x Robert Baratheon: The best Warhammer holder, will also provide a big intimidate in addition, so if he does the attack and gets a pump, it almost guarantees we can kneel the entire enemy team.
1x Selyse Baratheon: Protects Robert and Stannis from Tears.
1x Shireen Baratheon: Best chump blocker.
3x Stannis Baratheon: Works well with many cards in the deck, like Randyll, Left/Right, Warhammer.
3x The Knight of Flowers: Also a great carrier of the hammer.
2x Varys: The backup plan, in case things aren’t working. We have seven unique characters in the deck that have three copies, plus bodyguard, to try and keep something on the board after Varys.
Attachment (9)
1x Bodyguard: Helps protect our key characters, good with Varys. I would like to fit in another but hard to find room.
1x Heartsbane: Great on Randyll or Loras.
3x King Robert's Warhammer: The key card. We have many potential carriers, therefore all three.
2x Little Bird: All our key characters are weak to Tears of Lys, this defends them.
2x Seal of the Hand: Great on Robert, Stannis, Loras.

Location (14)
1x Chamber of the Painted Table: Wins the long game, searchable with Support of the People.
2x Rose Garden: We actually have more Tyrell characters than Baratheon, therefore this.
1x Street of the Sisters: Searchable with Support for bonus power gain. This deck is good at winning by 5.
1x The Iron Throne: Wins the long game, searchable.
3x The Kingsroad
3x The Red Keep: Amazingly powerful, much better than The Mander, which is the main reason we are playing Bara/Rose and not Tyrell/Stag.
3x The Roseroad

Event (4)
2x Growing Strong: Perhaps you could cut to two, but I wanted to try it.
2x Support of the People: Should work very well in this deck, with pump effects to trigger win by 5.

Cards that didn’t make it:

You could definitely try making a R’hllor version with more Melisandre, instead of as many Tyrell and Growing Strong. I wanted to try something different.

I’d like a Lightbringer, another Bodyguard, etc., but couldn’t find room. I want more characters, since I expect to lose some to military claim and to Varys. Perhaps Varys doesnt work here and I need to just play more 1 cost characters and Courtesan of the Rose? But I wanted to try him, as he can be very powerful and gives you a chance if you fall behind.

I expect this deck to need some tuning, and refining of the #s of various cards included in the deck. It’s not a combo that I have seen much of, or played much myself, so we will need to work on it, but I believe it has potential.

If people have ideas about what they think should be modified in these decks, I’d love to hear them! Especially if you have experience actually playing the decks!

Until next time, go forth, and terrorize your opponent with King Robert’s Warhammers!
  • scantrell24, celric, CobraBubbles and 3 others like this


Jan 07 2016 04:31 PM
Now there's two Warhammer articles! :-p
Why not out of Martell? A Red Viper pumped by Dawn with Doran on the table seems the most strength going to me.

Then stand him (Power behind the throne or seal) and easily win int by 5 to get Doran's Game off!

Hand Judgement feels like a must for the Treachery coming your way. Seems Lanni is really popular at the moment.
    • Kaic, celric, Jensen22 and 1 other like this

Enjoyed the article, I like the approach of taking a card, then working from its best case scenario backwards!

Jan 08 2016 12:40 PM

Excellent ideas! I can't wait to read more.

Somehow I missed Davos in the Baratheon deck.  It should probably add a Davos, not sure what to cut. :)

    • ingsve likes this

Now there's two Warhammer articles! :-p

Heh, I guess I missed the other one. :)

What's so nasty about this card on a big character is that there is no good defence against it. The only way to stop it going off is to block the challenge and then you have already knelt characters with more strength than the attachment would kneel anyway. Even Treachery isn't a great counter since the sacrifice is part of the effect so the card stays on your character if it gets cancelled. Not even Frozen Solid works on it anymore when that is released.


Gief Nightmares to stop these nightmares. (Though that has the same problem as Treachery.)

Treachery plus Ghaston Grey seems about the best option then!

Then hope for Heads on Spikes.
I used a hammer Tyrell/Baratheon deck last tournament I have won. Loras or Randyll with heartsbane, hammer and Marge basically shuts the whole turn down and allows few UO+dominance win. Next I will try a Baratheon version with Tyrell banner. I just disagree that Baratheon have better draw. OK. Red Keep can be better than Mander but Tyrells draw way more cards.

It's a bit of a jank build, but is there a way to potentially work it out of Targ (especially to make the least Nedly deck possible) because of lowering STR effects of multiple characters?