First order of business, as with any Tournament Report, congratulations to the winner and my meta-mate Ben. We’ve been trying to get a meta up and running in Manchester for a good few months now, but it is mainly just us playing every Wednesday night. I’m delighted that now we have a bit of prestige with a tournament winner, a few more guys might be interested.
About my Deck
I was playing the Lannister City of Shadows deck I’ve been developing for a good few months now. It started as a Tunnels deck, but the ubiquity of City plots (yes, I’m running them) meant the switch to City of Shadows. It was my first tournament since getting The War of 5 Kings, so I didn’t have to run the Refugees as my restricted, opting for the Cache instead. This leads nicely onto running Joffrey, Tommen, Cersei and Margaery, and they in hand lead nicely into running King Joffrey’s Guard for some raw power and a bit of kneel. The rest of the non shadows cards were weenies, Moneylenders, Weaponsmiths and Septas. Earlier drafts had Ser Gregor’s Dog and Penny in there who have nice synergy, but I found they were often just clogging my hand when I really wanted some shadow crests.
Speaking of… it’s all the usual suspects, Tyrion, Jaime, Preston, Arianne, and the Queen of Thorns. I don’t think I paid for Littlefinger to get on the board all day, the Silent Sisters were beasts. Jorah and Young Griff did nothing. Location wise it’s pretty much Lannister staples with added Black Cell’s and a cheeky Moat Cailin boost.
So enough rambling on with the TR…
Match 2 – Ben – Targaryen KOTHH – Hatchling’s Feast
I wasn’t exactly dreading this game, the benefit of having such a small meta (there’s literally the two of us) is that you get to know the opponents plays/decks inside out. Of course this knowledge means nothing if you can’t combat them with your own deck. I knew I’d be playing against Ben at some point during the day, but would have preferred an easier draw to get my head into the game.
I had plenty of opportunities in the early to middle of the game, twice getting a large amount of economy and control locations on the board, unfortunately, Ben hit me with Favourable Grounds both times before I could really start to pile on the pressure. Around the half an hour mark, he’d started to lose his cool having missed some triggers, and a true Jaime player might have taken that as an opportunity to rub salt into the wound. I somewhat naively told him to calm down, that he was still in a fine position, and we generally slowed the pace of play down. More fool me, as five minutes before time and a serious lack of draw and no economy meant the game was lost.
Match 2 – Carl – Greyjoy Old Way – Negotiations
I’ve played Carl a couple of times over at Guys that Game, our last names aren’t that far apart alphabetically so I think that could be why we seem to get drawn against each other early in tournaments. I have yet to win a game against him. As soon as I saw it was Greyjoy Old Way, I knew I was in for a tough game. The previous weekend OCTGN had been particularly heavy on those bloody warship decks. Again this did mean that I knew most of the plays the deck was going to throw at me.
I did have some answers this time as well, I was packing two Condemned by the Council and had a beefed up Silent Sisters ready to pop out of shadows, trigger my Guildhall to kneel the Maiden’s bane and then nothing could stop me from blowing it up and taking down the Longship Iron Victory as well. The problem came from the King’s Law, and in my glorious idiocy I forgot to trigger the Guildhall when the Sisters came out at the start of Marshalling. So no kneeling for me.
Despite this mistake and the game starting to run away with me, I was hanging tough and slowly building board position back. I had Tommen on the board, and used him to reduce his brothers guard for some tasty kneel. With three characters on the board, I stupidly opposed a Military challenge, lost, then realised it was two claim, so I killed everyone except King Joffrey’s Guard, who then died because of the Agenda. And so, I deservedly lost.
Match 3 – Michael Smith (I think) – Targaryen HoD Aegon’s Hill
By this point I’d given up hope of making the cut and instead set my sites on a winning a single game, with a second win being a cheeky bonus. While my initial thought was “great more Targ” the Hill didn’t bother me too much. The shenanigans in this deck come from Shadows, and generally I didn’t leave a character in hand to kill if I could help it. A Harry the Riverlands and a Condemned helped in round one to cut down some influence, and I generally maintained control of the board for the rest of the game.
My memory is a little hazy here, but Arianne did her usual thing of either swapping Valar for a two claim plot or swapping a high economy plot into a gloriously suicidal Valar. Eventually I closed the game with Jaime, Preston and the Queen of Thorns doing their “lets grab power really quickly” thing.
Match 4 – Sam – Baratheon KOTHH – Highgarden Refugee
Feeling a little better about my deck at this point, I predicted I’d be drawn against my friend Sam. His deck is quite a long way off from the typical Bara KOTHH, it generally turns my own cards in shadows against me, with some Black Cells, Mel’s Favour and a Shadow Enchantress pumping up the strength.
Again Condemned and Harry the Riverlands were very useful here, as was the Arianne plot switcheroo when he had committed just a little bit too much on the board turn two. After that it was reasonable plain sailing with my economy up and running, the Black Cells, Alchemist Guildhall and Brothel all keeping his characters knelt.
One somewhat amusing play here was Sam dropping the Power of Blood on my second Valar turn, keeping my Littlefinger alive for more scheming and perving on northern red headed teenagers. I won the game and went 2-2 for the day in usual play, Ben and Carl had both been doing well since then so I knew my Strength of Schedule would be decent, but probably not quite decent enough.
Bonus Game – Andy Lai – Baratheon HoD The Wall – Not sure
I played a pickup match while Ben’s KOTHH chugged away against the GJ Old Way deck that I hadn’t played, against Andy who’d had some reasonably success with his deck and was also sitting on a 2-2. The ‘choke’ of Winter didn’t really effect me that much, and flipping through the City plots generally stopped his non kneeling characters from ruining my day too much. I knocked off his Iron Throne quite early on, then Mel didn’t last that long against a City of Soldiers.
I’m fairly sure that it was Tyrion who finally decided to make an impact in one of my games as I rushed home a couple of challenges with renown and standing him with Kingdom of Shadows.
Final record 2-2 (but 3-2 with a casual game).
What else was out there
Rounding out the two Old Ways and Ben’s KOTHH in the top cut was Michael’s Stark Song of Ice, which in all honesty I’m quite scared of. Going off my (terrible) memory the other two decks on the field were from local guys who hadn’t really played that much Thrones before, one was a Greyjoy no agenda deck that hadn’t been changed in 18 months (remember, tournament policy to get your excuses in when you write your decklist) and the other was a Lannister White Book deck.
1st Targ – KOTHH – Hatchling’s Feast
2nd Greyjoy – Old Way – NatGS
3rd Greyjoy – Old Way – NatGS
4th Stark – Song of Ice – Meera
5th Lannister – City of Shadows – Pyromancer’s Cache
6th Targ – HoD – ?
7th Bara – HoD – Narrow Escape
8th Greyjoy NA – ?
9th Bara KotHH – Highgarden Refugee
10th Lannister White Book – ?
Deck post mortem
The City of Shadows deck is probably never going to be Tier One, especially when its pilot is also a long way off tier one. Fewer mistakes in my opening games and I could possibly have claimed a win in either. But ultimately I didn’t. While Arianne and the Queen of Thorns were both bombs in the deck, I was rarely happy to see Jorah or Young Griff, so those guys are out.
Also on the way out are the Streets, there a too many shadows cards for them to be useful and I’m not entirely sure why I kept them in and not the Twilight Markets. On the day I was running two copies of Lashing Out, which I think might be dropped for some Nightmares or Hand’s Judgement, or I’ll make room for them all.
While I love this deck, I think it’s generally going to be better out of Baratheon, with the recursion from Blackwater Bay and popping guys back into Shadows with Cape Wrath. The Guildhall and Tyrion will still be useful, and I’m thinking I can get maximum use of out of Arianne with the Prayer events, a splash of influence and those delicious Bara Holy weenies. The only thing stopping me building this deck is the fact that Return of the Others and Wolves of North are like gold dust at the moment. So anyone planning on attending the Manchester Store Champs next Saturday can rest easy knowing I’ll be playing the Lanni deck I just dissected and exposed all it’s weaknesses.