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!

Search Articles

* * * * *

Fire and Gold: Portland Dec 12 Tournament Report (Targ/Lanni) (1st)

We had a small tournament (11 people attended) in Portland on Dec 12. I debated between my Targ/Lanni deck that I have been working on since the release of core, or going with a Greyjoy/Bara deck now that it is stronger due to gaining Support of the People, The Seastone Chair, Rise of the Kraken, etc.

In the end I went with Targ/Lanni, because I didn't get much opportunity to test and tune the Greyjoy deck. I found Targ/Lanni to still be very strong, even though it got nothing from Taking the Black while other decks got stronger.

House Targaryen
Banner of the Lion

Plot (7)
1x A Noble Cause
1x Calling the Banners
1x Calm Over Westeros
1x Counting Coppers
1x Filthy Accusations
1x Marched to the Wall
1x The Winds of Winter

Character (35)
2x Braided Warrior
3x Daenerys Targaryen
2x Drogon
3x Khal Drogo
2x Lannisport Merchant
2x Magister Illyrio
3x Rhaegal
3x Ser Jaime Lannister
3x Ser Jorah Mormont
3x Targaryen Loyalist
1x The Hound
1x The Tickler
3x Tyrion Lannister
2x Viserion
2x Viserys Targaryen

Attachment (3)
2x Seal of the Hand
1x Widow's Wail

Location (9)
3x Illyrio's Estate
3x The Kingsroad
3x The Roseroad

Event (13)
3x Dracarys!
1x Fire and Blood
1x Put to the Sword
3x Tears of Lys
3x The Hand's Judgment
2x Treachery

Card Justifications:
Here is my reasoning for my card choices:

For plots, I ended up cutting Wildfire, as I was rarely needing it in testing (and if the game went to turn 7 it would screw me). I nreturn I added a third big economy plot, Calling the Banners, which is amazing in games where both players spam many characters onto the board. My plan for handling an opponent who played a ton of characters is just to play Calling the Banners and play out many characters myself. While this means I wont be able to win by eliminating all their characters, the deck is strong at killing priority targets, so killing their top end characters and leaving them with various small dudes is still quite effective. Additionally, with Wildfire I was playing 2 Fire and Blood to bring back the dragons I killed off with it. By cutting it, playing only 1 Fire and Blood became mroe reasonable and allowed me to fit in 1 extra Hands Judgement.

Counting Coppers is absolutely essential in thi deck and should not be cut, and should not be a Summons. This deck generally draws sufficient big characters that it often has more in hand early than it can play out, with Dany, Drogo, Jaime, Tyrion, and Illyrio in the deck, most with 3 copies. While you might think that the deck would really want to draw Dany (because dragons combo), or Drogo/Jaime for that combo, and thus would want a Summons, in practice it doesnt really matter what large characters you draw, they are all great, and what the deck wants to draw MOST is more event cards. Counting Coppers is three chances to draw a Dracarys, Tears of Lys, etc, and that is what matters. Summons is good in other decks that rely heavily on a certain character like Balon Greyjoy or Melisandre, but this deck does not rely heavily on any particular one of its big guys.

Calm over Westeros is very important against Stark and Greyjoy on turn 1, especially Stark, as the threat of Sneak Attack + kill effect + Winds of Winter + Marched to the Wall next turn and just wiping out your team is very real. -1 claim helps a lot. WHile some decks mitigat ethis by playing Game of Thrones turn 1 vs these decks if expecting Sneak Attack, this deck doesnt want to do that, it needs to be playing a big character each turn.

Marched to the Wall often ruins your opponent after you military claim them down to only big characters, as well as punishing certain setups. Its essential in this deck.

Noble Cause could be a 2nd Calling the Banners, but I find that I sometimes want 7 gold on turn 1 and Calling would only give me 5-6 then.

The Winds of Winter is your finisher, play it when you have solid board control to put yourself further ahead. However, if it is early on in the game, even if your board is stronger you should prefer playing a big economy plot and adding another big character over playing it (because sometimes things go wrong). This deck really needs the 2 claim plot to convert an advantage into a win sometimes, and sneak attack isnt as good in this deck because you have Drogo, and because you often want to make attacks in several challenges.

The only plot I am really sad to not fit in is Confiscation. You could cut Filthy Accusations for it, though I really like that plot as well (though its not quite as effective now as it used to be, since many more people now run Seal of the Hand). Alternately, you could try adding Rattleshirts Raiders to the deck.

Non-plot cards:

3 Dany: Essential, don't cut it or you are wrong. (Note: statements like this apply to the current state of the game. If the meta changed a lot or when expansions come out they may not be true anymore).
3 Drogo: Essential, don't cut it or you are wrong.
3 Jaime: Essential, don't cut it or you are wrong.
3 Tyrion: Essential, don't cut it or you are wrong.

These 4 cards are the heart of the deck. You not only want your big power characters, you also want duplicates of them to keep them safe from kill effects, Varys, etc. Especially Drogo, who has no Intrigue icon and is thus the most vulnerable.

If you are worried about playing so many high cost characters, you must understand the following points:
1) This deck plays a lot of characters, 35, as well as a lot of 1 costers, so that your setups remain strong even with this many high cost characters.
2) the decks plays economy plots in order to be able to support them. If you change the plot deck and cut economy plots you would screw yourself.
3) I am sure it is possible to make a different Targaryen deck that doesn't have all these characters. But that would be a very different deck, it would not be THIS deck. Once you did that, you would start changing many other cards as well, I am sure, to go with those decisions. My decisions in constructing this deck are built around a starting point of having these characters.

2 Illyrio: This could be 2 or 3. If I was mostly playing againt Baratheon I would play 3. But I end up playing against lots of Stark and Greyjoy here, where he isnt as important. He is still great lategame when you run out of things to spend all your money on, so I wouldnt cut him, but I dont find 3 essential in my meta, and I needed room for another small character.

2 Drogon, 3 Rhaegal, 2 Viserion: I like having about 7-8 dragons. Rhaegal is the best dragon (both for ability and for cost/str/icons), so I go with 3 of him. You could play 3 of each of them, but if you do I recommend adding another Fire and Blood.

2 Viserys: This could be anything from 1-3. At 3 your risk of a dead card goes up a lot, but sometimes you are able to remove him from Marched to the Wall to trigger him, and then play another. I am pretty sure that 2 is better than 1. You need 1 costers in setup to help make more setups viable, and he is a strong card.

1 Tickler: He is here because he is decent and helps play Treachery. 1 is almost certianly correct.

1 Hound: I havent had much chance to test the hound, and he rarely came up in the tourney. Still unsure about the correct number, but I think its probably 1 for this deck. He is useful but probably not as good in this deck as he is in main Lannister with Tywin gold to use him more.

2 Braided Warrior: Probably the least important characters in the deck., but still good. Their main benefit is allowing you to successfully block generic 2 cost 2 str military dudes that are in most decks, without requiring you to block with someone big. Could very well be cut for something else, such as Burned Men or Rattleshirts Raiders.

3 Jorah: He is amazing, and when he betrays you you can play the extra copies. I suppose you could try reducing this ocunt, but its probably wrong because he is so efficient.

3 Targaryen Loyalist, 2 Lannisport Merchant: I like having lots of these 1 cost guys, they help setups and provide cheap claim. The deck got significantly better at setting up when I cut things like a Burned Men and a second Illyrio and added these. Also, the deck can have trouble getting Jaime into play if you have already spent your Noble Cause and dont have Kingsroad. Merchant is another way to help afford him.

Character's that didn't make it:
Rattleshirts Raiders and Burned Men could make the cut if you want, replacing Braided Warriors. There are benefits and drawbacks.
Handmaiden I ended up cutting because it only works with Dany, and its only really strong against Baratheon, but its also playable.
Unsullied are at an awkward cost for this deck, which wants to be playing really big characters each turn for a while, and then cannot also afford them. They are better ifn decks with Plaza of Punishment, which I cut.

2 Seal of the Hand: Critical against Baratheon, good against everyone. You have many good targets, foremost among them being Dany and Drogo of course. Note that this card basically replaces Drogo's Arach and is far better. Its often better on Drogo himself because it actually does something if Drogo is knelt by Filthy Accusations or Melisandre. And on anyone else it is awesome instead of unplayable.

1 Widow's Wail: Awesome card, I tried 2 for a while but sometimes drew both which is lame. There are enough good cards that I just want 1 of it.

9 standard economy cards: While you could cut an Illyrio's Estate, I wouldnt recommend it, because this deck is overloaded on big characters. The deck badly needs the gold from Roseroad and the reductions from Kingsroads to play its big characters.

Zero copies of Plaza of Punishment: In other Targ decks Plaza is strong, but in this it isnt. First of all, power is your weakest challenge. This deck is good at intrigue and military but actually is weak at power. Also, I found the 3 cost really hard to fit in, when I am usually spending all my money on a big character and/or wanting to save money for events. Cutting it gave me room for more strong events.

3 Dracarys: Essential, dont cut it or you are wrong. Also, this is actually the best card in the deck. Its so good that you are playing extra cards like The Hand's Judgement just to be able to counter your opponents Hand's Judgements that they are adding in to meta against this card.

1 Fire and Blood: Could be anywhere from 0-2. I liked to at least have a hope of unstranding dead dragons or other characters.

1 Put to the Sword: It surprises some people when it happens, and can be very strong. I actually really want a 2nd in the dekc, but its hard to fit in and pay for. You could easily justify playing 2 I think.

3 Tears of Lys: Essential, dont cut it or you are wrong. This card is amazing. Intrigue is actually your strongest challenge, and this kills a bunch of large characters, including most of the Renown characters in the game.

3 Hand's Judgement: It could be 2 copies instead of 3, but this card is very important. In addition to being generally good, the most important thing this card does is that when your oponent counters your Dracarys with Hand's Judgement, for a cost of 1 gold, you counter their Hand's Judgement with yous for a cost of 0. And people SHOULD be playing Hand's Judgement in this meta, because Targaryen is very strong. (Also the other top decks have Support of the People as a key card for them, which it also counters). playing it yourself keeps you a step ahead of them and allows you to ruin them when they thought they could safely block with Tyrion or Melisandre because they had the counterspell.

(Side note: What percent of my readers just got annoyed by my calling it 'counterspell'?) :)

The other big thing this card does is counter Support of the People, denying your oppoent from going to get the Red Keep, Great Kraken, etc.

If you cut one of these you could fit in a second Put to the Sword, which would also be fine. But I think 3 is probably correct at least for now. (Ironically I did have a game where all three sat in my hand. But I still won).

2 Treachery: Very strong card that counters many strong effects, such as Varys. Also, this card also helps to win the 'counterspell wars' by countering Bran's ability when Bran counters one of your kill spells. Study the potential uses of this card, its very strong.

How to play the deck:
This deck is fairly high skill and requires some practice before you start playing it well.
The deck aims almost exclusively at gaining board control. Sometimes it is able to wipe out your opponent's characters completely, allowing a 'free win', other times it tries to kil ltheir most important characters with events, while overwhelming them with large threats. Dany, Drogo, and Jaime represent some of the largest possible threats in the game, so usually your opponent will not be able to 'go bigger' than you.
Sometimes the deck can rack up power quickly, such as with the Drogo / Jaime combo gaining many renown on repeated military challenges, but other time it can struggle to gain power fast, in which case it needs to focus on maintaining board control and limiting opposing power gain, while it tries to kill its opponents key characters or gain power slowly.

In general, you should focus on getting out one large character each turn, whenever possible, at least until you have 3 large characters in play. The deck has big economy to support this. (Of course, don't do it if you instead need to play multiple characters to survive).

Carefully counting your needed gold and playing the right plot, and/or saving money to play an event is very critical. Of course, if you have Tyrion he will often make this easy for you.

Play Counting Coppers once you run out of big characters in order to search for more (unless of course you require more money than this and have plenty to do). I often end up playing counting coppers on some mid-game turn like turn 3, before I actually run out of cards, rather than after I run completely out of things, to fish for more goodies. (Drawing events is really strong in this deck!).
As to turn order, in general I prefer to go second, but with some exceptions. If you have Jaime, he is better when going first, especially if you are going to need him to block. If you have Tyrion and are relying on him for gold so that you can play a Dracarys on your opponents attacker, for example, you might have to go first to make it happen. Or if you need Tyrion money to get enough gold to play The Hands Judgement on their Put to the Sword if you expect that play.

Against some decks, if you manage to go second, they will end up just having to pass on the challenge phase in order to not get ruined by your counterattack. Its also far easier to math out the combats when you are second.

Be careful about the order you initiate challenges. Sometimes you need to Intrigue first, to get Tyrion money, and then use that to play your event in another challenge. Sometimes you want to
Tears of Lys, but if you do it first and then military afterwards, your opponent will claim the character you put Tears on.

The best way to learn the deck is to build it and practice! Also, dont change the deck a ton when you first make up 'your version' of it, until you ahve had a chance to play it. Seriously! I know that you want to cut card X and replace it with card Y, but it is very likely that I started out with card Y and made the change that I made after testing. You should probably get a feel for how the deck plays before you start tinkering with it.

Also, one of you who is reading this right now wants to cut out one of Dany, Drogo, Jaime, or Tyrion. I hope its not you, because that person is WRONG!

How would I change the deck for next time:
At this point this deck is pretty well tuned, so there isn't much left to improve. I think I would probably try to add either Confiscation (cutting Filthy Accusations) or Rattleshirt's Raiders (cutting Braided Warrior).

I also think I would try playing a 2nd Put to the Sword, cutting either the Fire and Blood or one of the Hand's Judgements. That's about all I would consider changing at this point.

The Tournament itself:
Wow it took me forever to get here didn't it!

Round 1 vs Greyjoy/Stark:
I screwed up turn 1 and played an extra Viserys that I totally didn't need to play and didn't save a gold for Tears of Lys. While my opponent had Bran, and thus the Tears wouldn't have worked, it would use up the Bran and allowed my to play a second Tears on turn 2 which could work. This was horrible.

My opponent started with Balon and Bran Stark, and added Eddard Stark on turn 1. He generated a lot of power very quickly (like ~5 or so on turn 1) and I was on the ropes. I don't remember my setup, but I think it was Illyrio + Jorah + a 1 cost reducer.

On turn 2 I played Tears of Lys on his Balon Greyjoy. My opponent thought that he needed to use Bran later on when the Tears actually killed the character, so he didn't activate it. So when he tried to activate Bran later on at the end of the challenges phase, it was too late. He felt pretty bad about this, however, I had another Tears, so I would have been able to kill Balon 1 turn later and I think I still would've been fine.

After Balon died, my opponent couldn't manage to draw characters, and another turn of military claiming and a marched to the wall left him with only Eddard, who I then managed to kill with another Tears of Lys, at this point he conceded. (1-0)

Round 2 vs Stark Fealty:
This game was quite difficult and I managed to mess up a couple times. Once against Eddard Stark (attacking in the wrong order and letting him stand and block), and once playing an event that my opponent could coutner by sacrificing Bran, causing Robb to stand his whole team.

Robb Stark was extremely hard to deal with all game, and ended up pretty much shutting off my military challenges. From about turn 3 on I pretty much never attacked on military, even though I had Jaime sitting around, because my opponent was going first and I didn't want to kill anyone and let Robb stand his team. He also got out Grey Wind mid-game and started eating my small characters, so I ended up only being able to play guys with 3+ strength. Fortunately I managed to get out all 4 of Dany, Drogo, Jaime, and Tyrion.

We were both managing to score a lot of power, my opponent with Robb and Sansa (before I killed her with Dracarys), and also Eddard. I was scoring power from unopposed Intrigue challenge, and then a big power challenge with Dany + Drogo, plus winning Dominance most of the time due to tyrion money (except for the turns I killed something and Robb stood everyone).

On the final turn I started ahead 14-9 in power, my opponent played Sneak Attack and went first, sending in a big power challenge. I couldn't defend the challenge successfully but I saw that I needed to stop him from winning by 5, or else a Consolidate Power would win the game, so I had to make a big block with Tyrion + Drogo. His one card in hand was a Winds of Winter, which got him claim 3, plus renown on Robb and Eddard, but was barely short of the win. I managed to attack back with Dany (with Renown from Drogon) on power, stand her with Rhaegal, and attack with her unopposed on Intrigue for more Renown, and got enough to win. (2-0)

Round 3 vs Baratheon/Tyrell:
This game started out with my opponent having Loras, Margaery, and Fiery Followers. I killed Loras turn 1 with a Tears of Lys. My opponent added Robert Baratheon a couple turns later off a Summons, which was hard to handle, but he never drew the Red Keep or Melisandre. Robert alone wasn't enough to match the several big threats I put out.

Sadly I don't remember much of what happened in this match, but my opponent never got very much power. (3-0)

Round 4 vs Lannister/Stark:
In the final round I was playing against Kyle James for 1st place, the loser would get 2nd. Kyle organized the event and also was our judge. Thanks Kyle!
Kyle's deck was a Lannister deck with Varys, similar to the Lanni NA deck that is popular online, but improved by cutting out the 12 worst cards to add in Stark banner for Arya, Sansa, Bran, 1 costers, and maybe a Lady or Tumblestone Knight or something. I think this is a far better build than No Agenda, since Arya and Sansa are both very efficient, and Bran is very strong against Targaryen. The increased number of 1 cost economy characters also helps you to be able to play a setup of Tywin + 1 coster (+limited if you have it), which is actually an amazing setup since then Tywin gives +2 gold on turn 1. Without the 1 coster of course you would be marched to the wall.

Our match features a lot of counterspell wars, with my opponent having The Hand's Judgement, Treachery, and Bran, against my Hand's Judgement and Treachery. We actually ended up playing 2 more games for fun afterwards (each winning one), and they featured a lot of back and forth counters. "Dracarys, Counter with Bran, Treachery Bran, Hands Judgement Treachery, etc..." It was a like a blue control mirror match in old Magic the Gathering.

In the tournament game, things started out close, and with both had Tyrion in play. On turn 2, I believe, we both generated 4 gold form our Tyrions (both players attacking). Kyle managed to get me down to just Tyrion and Dany (I think) with military claim. He considered playing Treachery on my Tyrion activation but decided to save it. (A reasonable decision I think, I generally wouldn't think to Treachery a Tyrion activation). However, I had the Hound (the first time I drew him all tournament), and was able to play him using the 4 gold. This allowed me to march the Hound to the Wall instead of having to march Tyrion, which kept me in a small lead instead of being behind.

I ended up pulling ahead by playing several large characters and winning the game, but I don't remember any more of the details.

Later on in one of our 'for fun' games, I had managed to put Seal of the Hand on Dany, with a duplicate Seal as well. My opponent got Rattleshirt's Raiders and killed one copy of the seal. At this point I think he had Tywin, Bran Stark, and the Rattleshirts Raiders. I attacked and played Tears of Lys on Rattleshirt's Raiders, he sacrifices Bran to save them, and I played Treachery on Bran, so they both died, and Marched Tywin to the Wall! Treachery is amazing!

The tournament had a good variety of factions represented. There were several Greyjoy decks, 2 Baratheon, 2 Targaryen, 1 Stark + multiple Stark banners, and a couple Lannisters in the field. (But I don't know if there were any main faction Night's Watch, Tyrell, or Martells. If so I didnt see them).

Targaryen was actually very strong before (the worlds performance for example), and while other decks got stronger with this pack and it didn't, its still a tier 1 deck. I prefer Targ/Lanni, but fealty is good as well, and I am sure you could find other good banners.

Greyjoy and Baratheon are still strong and got better due to Support of the People, and a well build Lannister deck is strong as well. (I really liked the Lanni/Stark combo). That deck is an excellent home for Varys.

All 4 of these factions feel fairly close to each other in power and capable of winning (however, I would say that its really easy to build a good Bratheon or Greyjoy deck, while buildign a quality Targaryen or Lannister deck requires a fair amount of work in figuring out how to build it properly). Stark is right up there as well (Robb Stark is actually amazing, and Eddard was surprisingly good as well, he was really hard to handle in multiple of my games. The Stark banner is actually one of the strongest banners and I think people should try it out more, its way better than I initially thought.

If I was to rank the factions right now, I would say:

Tier 1:
Targaryen, Greyjoy, Baratheon.

Tier 2:
Lannister, Stark. Actually very close to the top decks.

Tier 3:
Martell, Tyrell. Still quite capable of winning. For example, the worlds deck.

Tier 4: Nights Watch. Too many mono-cons, and The Wall is hard to defend against stealth characters, which are plentiful.

Overall I find the format remarkably well balanced and with a surprisingly large number of possible deck types available for just a core set and 1 expansion. There are more viable deck types and viable factions now in Game of Thrones than there were when Netrunner Core came out, by a significant margin.

Thanks for reading!
  • OKTarg, stevehouston, HidaHonk and 3 others like this


Dec 15 2015 03:57 PM

Portland Maine or Oregon?

Dec 15 2015 04:07 PM
Great writeup. thanks for sharing your list and explanations.

You should really put the results up in the Annals...


You're welcome Hynes :)

I'm playing very similar deck (a bit less top heavy with 2x Jaimi and 1x Illyrio) and also no Plaza.


How do You find Calling the banners in this deck ? Isn't it a bit of contradiction to run so many targeted kill events and MIL potential for it to be good ?

I feel like you are reading my mind.

Buz: "Hmmm, he probably doesn't need all those 3x uniques."
Alex: "If you cut one you are WRONG!"

Buz: "Hmmm, Hand's Judgment is a bad card"
Alex: "Not if you call it COUNTERSPELL!"

Buz: "Hmmm, I wonder if he should cut the Fire and Blood and/or the third Hand's Judgment for another Put to the Sword and a third Treachery?"
Alex: "Yeah, that seems good."

EDIT: Formatting sucks. Sorry.
    • BayushiSezaru and MightyToenail like this

"How do You find Calling the banners in this deck ? Isn't it a bit of contradiction to run so many targeted kill events and MIL potential for it to be good ?"


In a strange sort of way, Calling is the Wildfire of the deck. Both are equalizers of a sort. Wildfire rains death and destruction till everyone is on, more or less, equal grounds, while Calling balances the odds if the opponent has a strong board presence, by granting gold aplenty to catch up. Except that Calling doesn't backfire. Smart.

In my decks with a lot of targeted removal, I think of Calling the Banners as an insurance policy.  If I'm not able to draw those cards or meet their triggering conditions, CtB keeps me afloat a few more turns which gives me more chances to use the removal.

Also congrats to Kyle who (if I'm counting correctly) made it to the championship match 3 tourney's in a row between Seattle and Portland with different decks.

    • Alexfrog likes this

Calling the banners is good.  When you are killing characters and are ahead of your opponent you dont need it, but thats the time you play another plot like winds of winter.  When you arent able to get kills and they have 4+ characters, you play it to shove huge guys into play and just 'go bigger' than them.