Stoke Regional – Top 8 Tournament Report – Exodia the Forbidden One

I’m back with a tournament report! One that’s definitely going to get published, and won’t just languish in the drafts folder around the 1200 word mark when I’ve ran out of steam for making dick jokes about Game of Thrones.

house-of-dreamsThe Deck

After a brief fling but ultimately doomed fling with Targaryen in the Netherlands, which you can read all about here1. I decided to go back to my roots, and play Lannister again. But I wanted to do something slightly different, somewhat janky,  but also just use all the boring efficient Lannister cards that everyone else does.

Around the same time as this, Sam and I were supposed to build each other a deck for the London regional, which I did not get round to attending because I went out drinking the night before and overslept. Oops. But one of the jokes we had while building a deck for the other person in secret would be to make a House of Dreams deck, but make it ambiguous about which location to dream about.

In fact this made me chuckle quite a lot, and the more I thought about it, the funnier the deck seemed. Then after our weekly Thrones session, Wedge and I were in Dry Bar, and I laid out my plans to have a HoD deck with 6 possible locations, all of which are on a similar power level, and just as an added twist, make the opponent pick the location at random. He laughed a lot, and said I had to build the deck, just to see people’s reactions to it.

So we discussed the locations the potential locations that could be used in a deck, threw out the ones that are crap and what might work. Then I went off, put a list together and brought it in the next week for testing. Initially I’d gone way overboard with economy, fearing HoD setups. And while the Increased Levy‘s did mean I could mostly get 5 cards out, the deck was still a tad unbalanced.

With a few polite suggestions from Wedge, and small tinkering from testing, the final list ended up looking like this:

Parts of Exodia the Forbidden One (6)

1x – The Iron Throne (Left leg of the Forbidden One)
1x – Lannisport Brothel (Right leg of the Forbidden One)
1x – The Mander (Left arm of the Forbidden One)
1x – Lannisport Tourney Ground (Right arm of the Forbidden One)
1x – The Westerlands (Head of the Forbidden One)
1x – Volantis Inn (Throbbing bell end of the Forbidden One2)


1x – King’s Landing Coup
1x – City of Soldiers
1x – City of Sin
1x – A City Besieged
1x – City of Spiders
1x – Cersei’s Scheme
1x – Valar Morghulis


3x – Mountain Refugee
2x – Charmander3 (Weaponsmith)
1x – Bulbasaur (Moneylender)
1x – Squirtle (Councilor)
1x – Doubting Septa
1x – Penny
1x – Zollo
1x – The Hound (the bouncy one)
1x – Mord
2x – Tommen Baratheon (the draw one)
1x – Ashemark Councillor
1x – Ser Balon Swann (the shadows one)
1x – Syrio Forel
1x – Janos Slynt (stand draw)
1x – Arbor Guardsman
2x – Enemy Informer
3x – Castellan of the Rock
1x – Varys
1x – Qyburn
1x – Ser Arys Oakheart (Mercenary hate4)
1x – Margaery Tyrell (Melee/kneel)
1x – Tywin Lannister (No kneeling)
1x – Cersei Lannister (No kneeling)
1x – Ser Jaime Lannister (Stand at beginning of the phase5
1x – Tyrion Lannister (Shadows)

Lesser Locations which, on the suggestion of my solicitor, are in no way associated with the Forbidden One

3x – Sunset Sea (Oddly located freckles of the Forbidden One)
3x – The Goldroad (Increasingly prominent grey hairs of the Forbidden One)
1x – River Row (Urine tract of the Forbidden One)
1x – Street of Steel (Sweaty lower calf of the Forbidden One)
1x – Street of Sisters (Sweaty upper calf of the Forbidden One)
1x – Shadowblack Lane (Unfashionable sideburns of the Forbidden One)
1x – Street of Silk (Grazed kneecap of the Forbidden One)
1x – Kingdom of Shadows (Unkempt, but still sexy bed head of the Forbidden One)
1x – The Kingsroad (Pierced left nipple of the Forbidden One)
1x – Golden Tooth Mines (Ostentatious breakup tattoo of the Forbidden One)6


1x – Enslaved


3x – Harry the Riverlands
2x – A House Divided
2x – Condemned by the Council

lannisportRound One – Ryan Kelly – Baratheon Knights of the Realm – Mel’s Favor

So here we were, ready to give Exodia its first outing. Wedge had hyped my deck up to Ryan a bit to be something really janky, and I think the random HoD selection was a tad disappointing in the end. Anyway, I got the Lannisport Brothel, which I was quite pleased with. In my hand after setup I also had Jaime, Tywin and a Castellan, so sensed I could probably rush out a quick(ish) win early doors.

I dropped Jaime turn one, because he’s a knight (the only one in the deck, but still, a bit of added pressure) and because I also got Volantis Inn out for mega lols. Unfortunately I lost the Castellan to intrigue claim, which wasn’t ideal, but I still had a Squirtle, Tywin and the Ashemark Councilor in hand. T2 Ryan flips The Aftermath, and I go for a City of some kind. I decided to marshal Tywin and the Squirtle and try and push a win through. Ryan has drawn a card extra than me from his agenda every turn, and with two renown guys and the Prized from Aftermath, I thought I could make it.

But, then Jaime ended up in the Black Cells, which meant one less power for me. And then Valar Morghulis hit the board and two of my big hitters were gone for good. From here, I kept trying to stall out the game, mainly using a lot of kneel and the Iron Throne to stop Ser Arys Oakheart standing anyone. But I got some bad draw, and Ryan’s board presence just kept growing. My power level dripped away, just as Ryan’s was increasing and he closed the game out in style.

In hindsight, I think I should’ve saved Tywin for one more round, and used the Prized dude. That probably wouldn’t have forced the Valar and I might’ve been able to make it with a little more patience. That is to take nothing away from Ryan, who played very well and continued to do all day (as his performance in the Swiss will testify7)

harryRound Two – Dave Bamford – Baratheon Conquest Lannister – ???

For the second game I got drawn against Dave, and we got ourselves a nice big table next to two of the Norwich guys. After I revealed my agenda, I shuffled down my 6 locations and told Dave to take his pick. Mind blown.

I got the Tourney Ground, which I think a lot of people underestimate as a location. It certainly did a lot of work whenever I got it in play, and an extra kneel a round or someone going out of their way to defend an intrigue challenge is always good, especially if you can get the Prized monocon out turn one, and a Harry the Riverlands.

Turn two I was left with a choice between A City Besieged on Bitterbridge or City of Soldiers on an annoying Marya Seaworth. I chose to get rid of the stand and put the pressure on with the 2 claim. Dave however, saw this coming, and Marya (his only one strength character) got Marched to the Wall, along with my Tommen, and one of my starter Pokemon bit the bullet on from the city plot. Ouch.

Dave then flooded the board with characters, including a copy of Melisandre. I had a few good characters in hand, but I also had 3 more of Exodia’s limbs (The Iron ThroneLannisport Brothel, and Volantis Inn). With my 4 gold, I decided to not play any more characters and just set up the Throne and the Brothel, and weather the storm until next turn, where I could Valar and come out stronger in the long game.

This plan pretty much worked, but I did end up losing Volantis Inn to intrigue claim, which meant I wasn’t going to get all the parts of Exodia into play this game. After the Valar I got 3 unopposed 0 claim challenges through.  quite lucky, as Dave only seemed to draw into Lannister locations, and nicely marshalled a Golden Tooth Mines for me to Besiege next turn for a tasty Prized 2.

I can’t remember exactly what I played on the ACB turn, but I’m fairly sure it was something along the lines of Ser Arys Oakheart, Tywin Lannister, and a Castellan of the Rock. Which was enough to close out the game. I also drew into the other parts of Exodia and managed to get 5 of the locations out, with sad Volantis Inn sat in the discard pile. This was one of the few times all day I was really sad that I’d taken Kevan Lannister out of the deck.

TywinRound 3 – Wedge – Lannister Aloof and Apart – Pentoshi Manor

In testing I’d played against Wedge and this deck a lot. I think I beat it once, so things weren’t looking great for me. My HoD location was the Brothel, which isn’t always the best for Clansmen, but I knew it could do some work against Tyrion who’s pretty key to the deck.

Wedge set up 3 one cost dudes, I was holding A House Divided which I knew would be useful against the bigger Clansmen fellas, an Enemy Informer but no Harry the Riverlands. Until the draw phase.

Wedge and I were tied for initiative with his Retaliation facing my King’s Landing Coup, luckily I won coin flip and made Wedge go first. I bounced the first four cost Clansman to hit the table with the , and then when Tyrion dropped, I had a decent target for my Informer. Between this and the two events I’d taken 5 of the 6 characters Wedge played over setup and turn one, and left myself in a decent position to defend the lone 2 claim challenge from the standing Painted Dogs.

I think I got all three of my challenges through, and kept Tyrion knelt with the Brothel. The following turn I blew up a Pentoshi Manor with ACB, and Wedge took out my Brothel with a Rally Cry. Wedge dropped Timmett, who I think fell victim to a Castellan of the Rock. With Wedge mainly having weenies standing on the table, I made it through the challenges relatively unscathed.

With Tyrion and Timmet poised to give me grief, the easy option was just to keep them knelt with City of Sin, and chance my way through another turn. I was building my board nicely, I think I had Arys and Margaery centre stage, with Cersei and Tywin waiting in the wings.

.The next round I got the most phenomenal stroke of luck. Still terrified of Tyrion and Timmet, I knelt them both with the one gold repeat City plot. This meant that both survived the Valar, but would be knelt anyway. Then on my one gold plot I top decked Zollo and a Street of Steel. Wedge had an awful draw and left three gold in his gold pool. I rubbed my hands, and stole it all. When I played Tywin, Wedge conceded.

So I’d just won two games against people who usually beat me, using a frankly silly gimmick deck. This was a strange day, and I was sure my luck was going to run out soon…

informerRound 4 – Lol Craven – Greyjoy HoD Thunderer – Search and Detain

Despite going to a lot of the same events, I’d never played Craven before this tournament, nor had I ever really spoken to him. Which was a real shame, as he’s both a top player and a gentleman. I was concerned about the Thunderer deck, but this ended up being a pretty much perfect game for me.

My HoD location was The Iron Throne, which would be very useful against Wintertime Marauders and those annoying character based saves that Greyjoy have. I set up three cards, and kept in my hand an Enemy InformerEnslavedHarry the Riverlands and Castellan of the Rock. Not bad.

I won initiative, and with The Sparr already on Craven’s side of the table, decided to go first figuring the that 3 gold is better than two, and I had the Harry to cover any post marshalling kneels. So it went down like this, I dropped the Informer to kneel The Sparr, Craven then marshalled a Wintertime Marauders and Maester Kerwin.

I dropped the Harry on the Marauders, and then cancelled Kerwin’s cancel with the Iron Throne. Craven’s board was completely knelt, and I could get an intrigue challenge through, and get rid of the nasty winter Kingsroad with Condemned by the Council.

In turn two, I used City of Soldiers to kill The Sparr to lessen the choke effects. Craven chose to go first and played out quite a board, including a Carrion Bird. My first action in marshalling was to Enslave said bird, knowing that the stealth and kneel would be enough to push a military challenge through, and shuffle the White Raven away. I also pulled Victarion and Asha Greyjoy on a 2 claim intrigue challenge.

Turn three was an easy plot choice, ACB on Thunderer to take away Craven’s draw. Then I went about kneeling things, and dropped a cheeky Penny for laughs. Craven made a big play and dropped Euron in an attempt to turn things round, however it did leave him with no cards in hand. So Penny took care of him. And I closed out the game that turn.

This was the best the deck played all day, and I got very lucky with the cards I saw. I really didn’t fancy facing the decktype again though, as things could easily have gone far worse. So obviously in round 5 I got drawn against…

qyburnMarco – Greyjoy HoD Thunderer – Search and Detain

The pressure game, the winner of this match was most likely going to make the cut and the loser wasn’t. Or something to do with maths, Marco’s super bye probably meant he was making the cut win or lose. I dunno. Anyway, I got lucky with a god hand in the last game and a useful House of Dreams location. In this game I setup 2 cards and got Volantis Inn. Uh oh.

This game played similarly to the last one, except everything went marginally worse. My Castellan got discarded by a Wintertime Marauder, there wasn’t a valid target for a turn two City of Soldiers, my economy location kept getting discarded, and just about every character I marshalled got killed. My one decent play was keeping Qyburn in shadows for awhile, just to mess with the Distinguised Boatswain.

I never recovered from Marco’s Valar turn, where he kept most of his board through saves, and eventually I was facing down a board full of good characters, and I had nothing. Game over.

By the end of the swiss, I was part of a fairly sizeable group of players who were all 3-2. I had lost to the top 2, so thought my strength of schedule might be enough to see me through to the top 4, if other results went my way. Other results did not go my way. Bambi beat Rheece, and Rowan beat Ryan. And I came in 7th overall, so perhaps I never had a chance of making it. Got a playmat anyway, so that’s legit.

Afterwards – Cleanup on Aisle Bantz.

While the top 4 were playing, Rheece and I played my favourite game of the day. Where we essentially played each other’s deck as randomly as possible. Rheece was playing Dragonpit, but had 3 other unique locations in the deck, so Exodia’d that shit, and Dragonpit became HoD Meereen Tourney Grounds. Which admittedly, was better than HoD Khal Drogo’s Tent (Lite’s of the Hollow Hill).

This game mostly involved, me picking cards for Rheece to put into shadows, that he couldn’t bring out, because of the Iron Throne. And Rheece picking random 3 cost characters or 2 cost locations for me to play. It was a funny, and very silly game. I won it fairly comfortably. Rheece finished the game with about 10 cards in shadows.

Over on the serious tables, it was Marco and Bambi in the final. I was too busy giggling to see much of the game. But Bambi won. Because of comprehensive coverage like this, I’m now announcing my campaign to be the colour commentator on the Top Cut of the Blackwater Bay live stream.

My campaign promises are as follows:

  • I’ll be tipsy, progressing to full drunk by the final.
  • My understanding of the game, and card recognition is somewhat limited, so I’m sure to be informative,  educational, and entertaining.
  • I’ll be unremittingly bias as a commentator, based on little more than personal grudges.
  • I’ll wear a crown like Jerry “the King” Lawler.

Right, I think that’s all I’ve got to say but…

… I’m like seventy words off three thousand. So this is mainly filler text. Oh, Exodia out of other houses. That was something that came up a lot during the day. It probably is doable in every house. But I think it’s more difficult because the good locations are more varied in price. For example, if you’re playing Targ and get Meereen Tourney Ground as your HoD, somewhere in your deck there’s probably an Aegon’s Hill waiting to cost you two more gold.

Also it won’t really work out of any house other than Lannister, because Lannister are the best and all the houses are lame.


  1. Sorry about that,
  2. This isn’t in the Yu-Gi-Oh cardpool, but it probably should be.
  3. If you’re playing Pokemon and you don’t pick Charmander. You’re a fucking coward. Don’t give me any of that weak shit: “Oh he’s not as good against the first two gyms.” Grow up, and just kill a load of Pidgeys until Charmander just smashes that stupid Onyx. Seriously, if you pick anything other than Charmander, you’re worth less to humanity than the scum who race as Toad in Mario Kart.
  4. If you’re not teching against Zollo, you’re gonna be in trouble when you get to big stages like regionals.
  5. I love this Jaime, and he’s hilarious with Volantis Inn
  6. I can’t believe I just spent half an hour writing these. What is wrong with me?