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Plot Rehab: A Storm of Swords & Fortified Position

Plot Rehab A Storm of Swords Fortified Position ChannelDelibird Plots

"Feed us more written content!" cried the masses, and lo, I have answered the call. "No, but, we meant from really good playe-" Hush, masses. Sleep now. Sleep and dream of unloved plot cards.

Welcome to Plot Rehab, where every now and then I'll pick out a couple of plot cards that are not seeing much play. I'll be considering why they're so rarely used and if they could be worth another look in the right deck.

A common complaint that I hear from a lot of players is that they feel like they're using - and seeing across from them - mostly the same plots in every game. This is starting to change as the card pool grows to give us more options but can we get some use out of the alternatives that have been somewhat buried in the first year of 2.0's life?

My credentials: Would probably have made the cut at Dockside Brothel Days if I hadn't let my Sealed Euron get Marched and I'm not even a little bit bitter about it. Also the proud owner of some Targaryen power tokens. You crave my insight. Now let's rehabilitate some plots!

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Why it might be worth considering:
  • Your opponent is used to planning for three challenges from you. Making it four forces them out of their comfort zone.
  • Sad that most two-claim plots have poor initiative? Here's a pseudo-two-claimer that can give you control.
  • Put to the Sword is "Max 1 per challenge". Why wait another round?
Why it's not seeing play:
  • Three gold is tough and, unlike The Winds of Winter, you're only getting a boost to one challenge type for that economic trade-off.
  • Five reserve makes you less willing to play it early, when it might be best to leverage a stronger military presence, but most decks can probably survive this.
  • To get the pseudo-two-claim effect of its two military challenges, you need to have enough characters on the board to initiate and win two challenges, rather than just the one. This plot might not scare your opponent if your only military icon is Ser Gregor, no matter how much strength he has.
Decks that could use it:
  • Anything running 3x Ser Jaime Lannister (Core). Helps you go first, which adds value to his non-kneeling attack, and can pile on the renown for very little work. That Targaryen/Lion with 3x Khal Drogo and 3x Jaime? In that deck, this can either be a high-pressure plot if you get your pieces out early or your closer. Greyjoy/Lion builds that use Jaime to support their go-first tech might also be able to make use of this.
  • Stark is (very slowly) getting some tech that works off War plots - see Vanguard of the North and King Robb's Host. A heavy military Stark deck might try to make use of that - although, in truth, this one may have to wait for a little bit more support.
  • Military-focused decks in general, obviously. You may prefer this to a plot that has two claim on all three challenge types if your deck is only primarily focused on pushing that one kind of challenge. Going first and trying to wipe their board is potent.
  • Something running Olenna's Informant. What's better than two military challenges? Three military challenges, that's what.
What a deck running this plot might look like:

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This is just a sketch of a deck - you'd probably want to cram in a little bit more draw if possible - but it ought to make decent use of A Storm of Swords. It wants to get Jaime on the board and go first to make non-kneeling military challenges, boosted by stealth and Raiding Longships to push through Put to the Sword. Bonus points if you have both Jaime and the deeply unloved King Balon to really hammer home that non-kneeling renown. It might not be the most competitive thing in the world, but it ought to be a pretty fun play.

What's next?

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Why it might be worth considering:
  • Decks full of big, scary characters (coughLanniDragoncough) are less scary when their characters don't do anything, buying you time to set up your defences for next round and/or control them before they turn back on again.
  • Now's your chance to attach Milk of the Poppy to those pesky 'No attachments' characters (but don't do it to that Messenger Raven unless you want that raven to be wielding a Practice Blade and Longclaw next round. #FEARTHEBIRDARMY).
  • No but seriously this game really, really emphasises powerful characters right now.
  • I guarantee that most of your opponents will quickly forget that this plot is on the table and make mistakes as a result. (You do also have to make sure that you don't forget it as well.)
Why it's not seeing play:
  • It blanks your own characters too. While you control when this plot gets flipped, your deck still has to be able to go a turn with all of its characters blanked without it blowing apart your gameplan.
  • It's ever-so-slightly less of a five-gold plot as some of the other five-gold plots because your reducer characters are blanked. You'll have to be careful not to go over budget when you plan to reveal this one.
Decks that could use it:
  • Decks focused on defending the Wall. Fortified turns off most instances of stealth (still, watch out for Pyke or the Old Bear's Raven), making it easier to oppose challenges, and it turns off your opponent's renown while your main source of power gain is unaffected.
  • Decks that can ensure more strength on the board than their opponents and boost that strength with effects from cards that aren't characters - Tyrell are an obvious candidate as they can reliably get characters from their hand to the board and then pump with cards like Growing Strong. The right Lannister builds can do this as well - yes, it blanks Tywin, but you can leverage the Hound's cost-to-strength ratio without needing to trigger his forced reaction. Gold Cloaks work nicely with this plot, as well - ambush them in and then you don't have to worry about discarding them afterwards.
  • Decks that want to stall in the early game in order to set up longer-term plans. Martell decks looking to capitalise on Doran's Game, for instance. (These decks might also want to consider running an icon-granting attachment or two, to stop Nymeria or Edric being completely useless on the Fortified turn.)
What a deck running this plot might look like:

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Mostly pretty standard Night's Watch defence; the Fortified Position slots in reasonably straightforwardly and ought to be pretty useful more or less whenever you need to flip it.


While it doesn't look like either of these two plots are going to be eliciting cries of "OP, restrict!" any time soon, then, I think that there might be homes out there for them. If you've been inspired to try one of them in one of your decks, let me know in the comments or on the forum! And if you've thought of a way to use them that I didn't cover here - I definitely want to hear about it!

Of course, there are more unloved plots out there. Plot Rehab will return...
  • scantrell24, 14Shirt, theamazingmrg and 12 others like this


Our most recent tournament was won by a Greyjoy+Lion deck similar to the one you posted. It used A Storm of Swords to great effect with King Balon and Jaime. (Link)

    • Zouavez, hagarrr and ChannelDelibird like this

I've played the King Balon + Jamie deck and it's decent, but very susceptible to control (e.g. kneel) and prevents you from using one of the best cards in the game: core Balon. Even without the synergy, core Balon is probably still better.

Sep 27 2016 02:21 PM

That's excellent; wish I'd spotted that before I published! Glad to see I'm not a madman.

Fortified Position is doing just fine in my Nightswatch Wall deck, very similar to the one you posted. Sometimes you just need another turn to stabilize against Tywin / Bob / other big 7-coster and draw into more cravens or milks, and this helps you do that while providing enough gold that you don't feel bad if you miss on the effect.


I may try out A Storm of Swords over the second Winds of Winter in my Targaryen Agrro deck with Beggar King as a three-of.

    • Zouavez, ChannelDelibird and MaShiKai like this

Great article, thanks for it!!!!!

    • ChannelDelibird likes this

I've run Storm of Swords a lot in decks involving Greyjoy and abused the heck out of Asha with it.  Most recently it was Targ/Kraken.  I would spend the first 2-3 turns getting the board state set and trying to limit my opponent's big hammers and keep the number of chuds under control. I did this by a mix of targeted kill (Drac and Put), stealthing through military, marched to the wall and repeatable attackers such as Asha, Drago, and Aggo if summer is out.  Fourth turn on everything is two or more claim or Storm of Swords for 3 military attacks (assuming by that time I've found a copy of Drago to play, which I usually had).  With a smaller opponent board state I could slip Asha through for multiple attacks of her standing back up.  If she couldn't get through at the start, I would save her and attack with the others first to bait out blockers and then push her at the end.  It worked reasonably well in both joust and melee during the two weeks I ran it before I moved on to other ideas.  The deck could reliably make 4 attacks a round with no one knelt between Asha, Dani (with Rheagal), Aggo (if a summer plot was played) and Drago (with Arak).

    • ChannelDelibird likes this

Do Supporting the Faith next! :)

    • ChannelDelibird likes this
Sep 28 2016 02:40 PM

If the masses only cared about content from really good players, I would be out of a job ;).


Very nice article, by the way :D

    • 14Shirt, LoneElfRanger and ChannelDelibird like this
I like Storm of Swords with Lord of the Crossing (Greyjoy Crossing specifically). Gives a bit more flexibility to hit 3 challenges if you don't have all three icons available, or a way to chump attack Mil to get your -1 challenge out of the way and maybe kneel out some Mil defenders before you push hard on the 2nd Mil challenge.
    • ChannelDelibird and MaShiKai like this
Sep 28 2016 02:55 PM

Crossing in general is an excellent point in Storm's favour - Greyjoy, certainly, and probably Stark and Lannister too. Great shout.

Great work! This is a well-thought-out addition to the agot written content collection.

    • KruppSteel likes this
Sep 28 2016 06:54 PM

I think both these plots are on the cusp. I often look at one or both of these plots and keep wishing for a reason to use them.  Fortified Position will probably gain in popularity whenever this new player chosen maester agenda is out, assuming the power it provides lies in character abilities as much as traits.  Storm of Swords is good now for reasons already mentioned, but either needs the obvious new good army for Stark or Greyjoy(love that Seastone Chair), or the Wildlings need to show up.... or direwolves...or clansmen in order to break out.

Great write up with a clean, easy-to-read layout. Nice work!

    • KruppSteel likes this