In melee I decided to play my Stark, Siege of Winterfell deck that revolved around epic battles and different ways to make additional military challenges such as Lucas, Storm of swords, After the mummers farce. I did not play storm of swords or after the mummers farce once all day, that could be because none of my games lasted more than 2 plots(if memory serves me correctly.) I liked how the deck could claim power quickly with the epic battles, as well as the fact that it could build power simply from military challenges, including using the Lord commander title to redirect challenges to myself to win. I should have included more renown, and better plots but it played well in its own right.
Melee table one
Bara knights (3) Played by Rachel
Martell no agenda(2) Played by Ben
Stark no agenda (4) Played by Will
Stark siege (1) Played by Derek
My first table started off leaving a bad taste in my mouth, I was forced to play against my wife since the pairing was done alphabetically, directly beside us there were brothers that got paired up as well. I had a solid setup, and drew back into 4 epic battles and a flank. I opened with summoning season and took a hungry mob, everyone at the table was surprised with my choice, but in play testing I often found that if there was a Martell at the table and I had a flank in hand the mob was better than Syrio. I also knew I would not have the gold to play Syrio and my Flank. I won the coin flip and made a deal with the Martell player that I would let him pick where he went, if he did not use Myrcella on me. He agreed and asked to go first, I was able to get the Lord commander title and I knew I had a chance to win if things went my way. When challenges started I finally realized that my flank only was not going to kneel against Rachel, but since she flipped loyalty money can buy I figured I was safe to attack her without destroying her board position making her easy target for my opponents. I believe I ended up winning 7 military challenges the first round, 2 on defense and claiming 15 power in the 4th epic phase. I felt bad for my opponents, and that was the only game all day that the epic battles were on my side.
Melee table 2(feature table)
Martell no agenda (4) Played by Daryl
Targ heir(melee winner)(3) Played by Mathieu
Martell no agenda (2) Played by Dennis
Stark siege (1) Played by Derek
This table had me slightly intimidated because I was playing against the French national champion, Daryl(I thought I recognized his name from the 2 champs 1 chump podcast) and of course Dennis who I know to be an awesome player. I had a good setup, with 3 or 4 epic battles in my hand, but I knew that if I came out too strongly I would be destroyed. I opened with summoning season and ended up making a deal with Daryl that I would give him the summoning if he did not use his orphans on me, and in return he would also trade with me the following round. It seemed like a solid deal because I did not want to give Dennis another character, and the Targ player played building season and my deck did not need any locations. I don't remember the specifics, but I do remember that Daryl not only used 1 of his orphans on me the first round, but revealed Loyalty second round destroying our deal. That left annoyed me greatly, but is well within the rules and he was playing to win the game by breaking our deal. In marshalling the second round Dennis told me that if I let him take first, I'd be in second, all I had to do was bring Syrio out of shadows so his Viper did not kneel to attack me. I agreed, much to the displeasure of the other players because I knew I won my first table and that 2 second place finishes would allow me to make the cut. Everyone finished marshalling and Dennis started to scourge someone in challenges and we continued with pre-challenge actions. When he went to make his first challenge we both realized that I forgot my shadows action and had to rethink what we were doing. Dennis made a few challenges but something happened that prevented him from getting enough power to win the game. He offered to switch the deal around with me, if I let him have an uo challenge then he would give me uo military challenges in return. Seemed like a good deal to me so I took it and won the table. This table taught me a few things, Dragons are extremely scary in Melee, and never trust Daryl with deals.
Melee table 3
Martell no agenda (1) Played by Rick
Martell no agenda (2) Played by Chad J.
Lannister pbtt (3) played by Darknoj
Stark siege (4) Played by Derek
This table almost ruined my weekend, it seriously got me upset with the game and disappointed with some of the players. Rick and Chad were running the Martell combo decks that made it so that Darknoj and I had zero icons on our characters, in combination with the martell players being able to intrigue Jon to claim extra power and every challenge being uo this game was over fast. Jon(Darknoj) was able use a shadow politics to declare an intrigue challenge before they could take all of his icons away to claim some power and take third. I did manage to get revenge on Chad the following day in joust! I was worried that 20 points(2 wins) would not be enough for me to make the cut but it was!
Martell no agenda (1) played by Rick
Lannister pbtt (4) played by Darknoj
Greyjoy no agenda (3) played by Alex
Stark siege (2) played by Derek
Darknoj and I teased Rick beforehand that this was Karma coming back on him, that we were going to pound his board repeatedly to get back at him for the round before. Fortunately for Rick we are not like that and Darknoj started the first round with Asha, Cersie, Myrcella, Jamie and a painted dogs I believe. Having 2 non kneeling renown/power grab intrigue characters with noble crest(2 power of blood turns coming likely) made him a huge threat. Alex was able to play king balans host the second turn which slowed down everyone but Rick's Viper. I played war of the 5 kings epic battle so that we could make Darknoj reveal a random plot and have a chance to Valar his nobles. Unfortunately we hit Darknoj a little too hard, and Rick was able to win the round during my epic battle phase I believe. If Darknoj and I still wanted to make Rick lose, he could have attacked me with a weak Military allowing me to win the challenge and claim for my agenda, then Alex kneeling his host would have allowed Robb to claim renown for me and 2 more for my agenda would have gotten the win, but we did not. Also to note this game, Alex used a few tricks to win a challenge over Darknoj, and if he would not have won that challenge Darknoj would have won the game with Creylens response. This was by far one of the most fun melee games I've ever played. Props to the other players for making it this far and making a game of this one!
I finished 6th in melee(bumped up to 3rd in melee after 3 players were DQ'd)
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In joust I choose to play my Stark Knights deck that won the DC regional. I have made a few changes to it to reflect what I feared the most, I cut 1 copy of Brienne for Varys, cut out a knight of the red fork for a price of war, added 2 knights of harrenhal to replace 2 former champions and took out the 2 frozen outposts to put in 2 borderland keeps. I was happy with how my deck played in every game except 1, and felt like it kept me in the game every other time.
Round 1 bye
Round 2 martell maester (Chad j from Wisconsin)
Chad started the game with 10 links on his agenda(no pale steel link or brass). He proceeded to flop 7 cards to my 4. I don't recall the exact characters but I know he had a maester of war. By the first round I had 2 borderland keeps(likely one of my best cards consistently all day) and some characters. He made a military challenge and I blocked with Luwin and a knight of the tumblestone). Triggered Luwin and he tried to play he calls it thinking but my borderland keep cancelled that. Luwin got a die by the sword and I was able to use it that challenge to kill his maester of the sun with chains. I know this was a good game and Chad is a great player. Martell maester is still a solid deck and I know Chad finished 4-2(with a modified loss) and made the top 16.
Lannister is one of the houses I have the least experience with, but I do run a fair amount of cards to deal with them(dissensions, varys, nightmares(for Cersie). Rings has a reputation as a great player and I enjoyed the game with him. He flopped 5 cards including Cersie, moneylender and 3 reducers. I only had 4 characters all 2 cost or less so I had to burn forgotten plans first turn, and it worked out extremely well since he played first snow of winter. That was one of only 2 things that went well for me the entire game. He knelt one of my knights of harrenhal and enslaved my knight of tumblestone. I had a die by the sword in hand to deal with Cersie but he stole my only war crest. Shortly thereafter the game was over, I played jorah the next round and he was house divided, I played Greatjon umber the following round and he was knelt. Rings only mistake all game was kneeling his aemon to save himself from military claim while I had a borderland keep out so I was able to kill him. Unfortunately it was too little too late and I was dropped down to 2-1 but losing to rings I did not feel bad at all. I believe Rings finished 5-1 and made top 16.
Greyjoy maesters(Alex from Canada)
Alex was playing greyjoy maesters but not a typical build, he focused on nights watch characters using the wall to jump them in on defense. He admitted that he kept a sub optimal draw simply because he had 2 characters that he thought would be amazing against my stark knight deck(maester aemon and shadow tower knight). He also had 2 locations but I had a very good setup as well with 4 characters(3 knights) and 2 locations. He played building orders and I played at the gates I won the coin flip and made him first player. He got the wall and I got a borderland keep. I was able to frozen solid his wall and prevent him from winning any challenges to get tin link. He did have aemon, wendamyr and an iron mine on the table, so I assumed a Valar would come the following turn. I made a military challenge, he saved maester kerwyn with Wendy and his shadow tower knight with his aemon. I cancelled his aemon save but he used the iron mines to save the shadow tower knight. I assumed Valar was coming and played City of Soliders(killing his kerwyn). He used his saves on aemon, Wendy, and kerwyn. Kyle Condon died and I triggered his response to draw into a narrow escape and played it. Alex tossed his hand and it was pretty much all downhill from there. I was able to nuke his wall and iron victory the following turn with a price of war. Alex went 3-3 I believe.
Stark siege(Dan Machado)
This is the third time the 2 of us have matched up in the past 2 months. We both participated in the online octgn tournament that was held recently and both were playing similar decks. We played in the Swiss and also again in the final this past week. My knights came out on top both times mainly because of the superior card draw and some early game luck. He opened with 2 pre plot epic battles(and had a card in shadows already) so I knew I had to forgotten plans first turn just in case he would drop fear of winter. In our first match he did play it turn one but since then he has not. He opened with rule by decree. The first round he ended with 9 power I believe from 3 uo mil challenges. But I was able to clear his board other than a Syrio that I blanked at one point with Meera to keep him on the table. The second round he had Syrio on the board so I knew if he played fear of winter with another stealth character I could not beat his military challenge so I opted to gamble with twist of fate knowing that I could be first player because I had less power than he did. I think he ended up playing retaliation. He got out 2 other characters and duped Syrio but my Brienne, tumblestone military challenge with a die by the sword for his Syrio all but ended the game. I believe he went 4-2 but did not make the cut.
Lannister city of shadows(mark m from Minnesota)
This was by far my weirdest game of the tournament, I had a solid setup with riders of the red fork and Meera in shadows with a reducer and a narrow sea. He had a 2 card setup with 2 cards in shadows. I opened with at the gates for Luwin and he opened with a city besieged to nuke my narrow sea. I knew I needed a knight in play to get my draw going but the only one in my hand was knight of the red fork. I did not want to kneel Luwin so I played old Nan and used her to give Luwin the tully trait so I could play the knight. Mark enslaved my knelt old Nan and my knight of the red fork. I made an intrigue challenge with Luwin and pulled a dissension from my deck with his ability. I also was able to win a mil challenge with riders, he claimed old Nan and I used a die by the sword on the knight of the red fork. He struggled to keep any characters around but kept triggering his black cellsx2 and guild hall so I had to overextend to have any characters to make challenges. On plot 7 he was sure I was going to Valar, but I do not run it. All I needed at this point was 2 power and with 9 characters to his 2 I felt quite confident. He was able to kneel 5 of my characters and hit 2 of them with black cells but my carrion bird and knight of harrenhal were able to get me the last 2 power I needed. This made me 5-1 so I knew I would make the cut and was pretty excited but also nervous because of all the great players that were left in the top 16. I believe there were 4 former champions(Greg A, Bruno, Rings, and Erick).
Top 16 match
Martell maester played by Chad j from Wisconsin
I had to rematch against Chad from earlier and I knew that his deck was a top tier deck and he is an amazing player. He only set up 5 this time and I believe I did the same. He had setup a maester of then sun with Val steel link, so pre plot I hit him with a nightmares to make the link fall off and then played rule by decree to make him discard 3 cards. This was one of those games where I felt very bad for my opponent, there are good draws then there are amazing draws which is what I had. He had no military icons on the board first round but did have about 8 characters including 2 conclaves. He won an intrigue vs. me, but my knight of harrenhal kept him away from my key cards, won a power with power with a conclave and a maester using the iron link to give the other conclave a military icon. He tried to mil with that conclave that had renown from the intrigue and deadly for this, I blocked with Greatjon, knight of harrenhal and a hungry mob. I had 2 borderland keeps out so he was unable to Cyvasse my characters allowing me to play die by the sword on a conclave and no quarter on the other. The next few turns were much of the same, I believe I had 4 or 5 kill events in the first 3 rounds(Luwin got me 2) with some claim 2 plots as well. Defiantly the card that gave me the edge in our matchups was borderland keep(which I had originally put in the deck to deal with red vengeance)
Bruno playing targ kohh
This game had me extremely nervous knowing that a good player with a targ deck was one of my worst matchups. I started out fast, using Varys on his Pyat pree and an early dissension on long lances but a hatchling feast second turn followed by Valar the next cost me 7 characters and I was unable to recover without my draw. This was the only game all day where my agenda drawback hit me(though throughout he game I did draw more than 2 per round on average). I was able to get to 14 power and had a chance to claim an up intrigue to win the game but Bruno was able to play a hatchling feast to reduce jorah strength to zero. Soon after he got his long lances plus street waif combo going and there was nothing I could do. He also had an early aegon hill and bay of ice giving him card advantage over me. I missed 1 trigger with Luwin, but unless I was able to pull a narrow escape with him it was not going to matter. Great game and a great player, I have no shame in losing to Bruno.
Shortly after the top 4 started playing Nate French came up to me and told me I would be the overall champion which made me very happy. Placing 3rd in melee and 5th in joust was an awesome weekend for me, it will defiantly be difficult to top this one!
Congrats Derek on your performance and title. You played well and deserved everything that you earned!
First Snow lives on better than ever!
I was still torn over wanting to break that deal of ours in that first melee all day. But you cleverly made the deal before playing the epic battles, and I didn't want to be "that guy". I am glad that you didn't realize that your Calvery Flank wouldn't kneel simply because "an opponent" was running an agenda. The challenge doesn't have to be directed at them, and I know I didn't have the board position to survive it.
Overall it was still a fun game even if it was only 1 turn. At least there were 4 additional challenges in that turn! lol. Grats again on the win and winnings.
You were probably one of my favorite matches of the day - very nice, polite and a good player. A pleasure meeting you and playing against you. Sorry I had all the answers that game (other than the 1st turn 1st Snow that I almost played 2nd turn…and the Aemon issue…actually I guess I had bad answers!).
King eh, very nice...
There sure has to be some irony that the fact the two players that beat me in joust are the 2 that post! That game against you Rings made me sad, I was nervous, and I hate playing against Lannister but man I would have loved to have beaten you. There is just something about beating former champions that is awesome. I know my wife will never forget the fact that in her first tournament in the LCG she beat Erick. I think one of my favorite games ever was beating Erick in the top 4 at DC regional, especially since he was playing Martell Maesters.
I think you deserve a large amount of credit, playing Lannister as well as you did. I have said all the long that they have a lot of good cards, but it seems as though they don't have quite enough to push past the top decks at this time. And as I said before, Ghost of High Heart was one of my favorite champ cards ever(Meera and blackfish have a special place my my heart because of the Stark house affiliation) especially the original one that couldn't be burnt quite as easily.
Attn: All former champions.
The line for quackjobs forms to the left. No pushing, he's got enough bill for everyone.
[11/14/2012 10:07:06 PM] [REDACTED]: the game is just so much more fun these days with dennis involved
Grats, Derek. You played great in both of our "real" games. Borderland Keep definitely owned me. Nice inclusion in the deck.
Congrats on performing so consistently and solidly over the weekend! Great to see Penn State in the news for something positive!
"Beneath the gold, the bitter steel"
Hehe Derry Sanducky!
[11/14/2012 10:07:06 PM] [REDACTED]: the game is just so much more fun these days with dennis involved
The martial strains have summoned me
To hear your sorrows,
Still your pain.
I am the protector of Justice
Equality - my sole friend.
My vision never blurred by cowardice,
My soul never chained.
Life without honor
Is life in vain.
I am the Dog.
Lol great report and congrats on your overall championship you played very well. I would never trust me when it comes to melee either :P
I'm the friend of the guy who knows that guy who has that thing from that one place.
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