|The Direwolf Banner over the City of Shadows: Part Two
The Chosen Few Tourney Report for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
|A Game of Thrones LCG | Published 22 April 2011|
Hello and welcome back, to our special recap of our Chosen Few Proxy Tournament. If you are just joining us, make sure you read part one of A Game of Thrones’ lead developer and winner Nate French’s comments.
Prelims, Round 3 (vs. Rob Kouba, playing Balan’s Martell Night’s Watch deck)
This was another deck that, on first glance, I was a little worried about facing in the tournament, but in the course of the practice sessions I was able to work out a pretty solid approach. The two biggest problems this deck poses are The Wall (making it very difficult to attack, and almost impossible to win unopposed -- my control effects cannot help against cards in his hand), and Taste For Blood, which eventually gets stacked up x2 or x3 on The Red Viper, as I do not have any means of removing attachments. Also, between Taste for Blood and He Calls It Thinking, the Viper is quickly driven up in STR beyond the threshold of my city plots to kill it. So we almost inevitably find ourself in a situation where we cannot attack -- it’ll end up being defended, and even if we win it will give him more power than it gives us.
So the key, then, is to not attack, which blunts the effectiveness of both The Wall and Taste for Blood. I use the City Plots, Alchemists’ Guildhall, Black Cells (once he’s knelt, Black Cells at beginning of Standing phase), and Milk of the Poppy to restrict the Red Viper as much as I can, and pass on almost every challenge opportunity. (There are times I’ll use Brienne and/or the Seafarer’s Bows to win an important claim 2 intrigue or power challenge.) He doesn’t want to play his big armies onto the board (as they are then vulnerable to kneel effects and Shadows control, and he can no longer defend challenges), and without the Viper he cannot effectively attack me. The second part of the plan, then, is The Queen of Thorns. This works because neither of us is running Valar Morghulis, and because he is running Summoning Season. Between her claiming a power every time I bring a card out of Shadows, winning dominance, and an occasional claim 2 power challenge, I am able to gradually move towards the win without directly confronting the strengths of this deck.
The finals were interesting in that, besides myself, the three players I had met in the prelims all qualified for the top four. How’s that for strength of schedule? In the round of four, I was paired once again with Lukas, and I played against Rob once again in the Finals. The approach and strategy to both games was presented above, and I didn’t deviate too much from my game plan in either game. At the end of the day, Alberto’s Stark City of Shadows deck was victorious. I think that in this format, where all the decklists were posted ahead of time, having the flexibility of this plot deck gave me an important edge. I knew going into each game if my opponent had Valar, Wildfire, Fleeing to the Wall, Power of Blood, Summoning Season, Building Season, etc. However, my opponent didn’t know what kind of approach I was going to take with my own plots...was I going to play for 2 mass kneel effects with City of Sin and City of Spiders? Or was I going to play for 2 big targeted kills with City of Soldiers and City of Spiders?
There were plenty of times that I was comfortable with my control of the board, so that I used City of Spiders to duplicate City of Spies, digging into an opponent’s deck and discarding a key card that could help him back into the game. I also found City of Secrets to be an important card, for both the 4 gold, and in that it allowed me to somewhat disregard early intrigue challenges and not worry as much about effects that discard attachments and locations, with the knowledge that I could recycle the cards back into my deck. (Since the deck plays long games, eventually my discarded cards come back, and my opponent’s do not.) Bran Stark added even more unpredictability to my plots, and the end result was that my opponent was locked into playing a singular set of plot effects (which I knew in advance), whereas I was running plots that could change based on how my opponent was playing.
I’d like to thank Alberto for submitting the decklist, it was a lot of fun to play and quite effective. Also, congratulations to all the decks that were selected for the tournament, there were some challenging and fascinating builds in the field, and preparing and playing for this event was a blast. I’m looking forward to our next deckbuilding contest!
Thanks Nate, and thanks Alberto, for giving us a great report on the exports of a great deck. We hope this contest has inspired all of you out there and we hope you'll enjoy Secrets of Oldtown as it starts rolling out. Until next time!
Based on George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, playable by 2-4 players, brings the beloved heroes, villains, locations, and events of the world of Westeros to life through innovative game mechanics and the highly strategic game play. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Chapter Pack expansions to the core game.
Great write up and TR. Agree that it might be interesting to get articles from the other players perspective.
Congrats to Alberto and Nate! Really nice write-up too. It would be awesome if we could hear more from Nate and Damon.
I would love to read some articles by the other players, their strategies and thoughts on the different decks.
Grats, Alberto! And grats to Nate for using the deck to full effect and taking the win.