Jose has graciously taken the time to break down his much feared Greyjoy Unopposed deck. He came in second at the End of Year Tourney, but the game could have gone either way (he was winning 13-12 before Ronny sealed it on the final turn). It was a great game to watch and we’ll be posting video of it sometime soon (it’s going to take some editing).
I want to thank Larry for all the help he has given to not only me but to our entire meta. Without his insight my deck would not be nearly as effective as it has become. I would also like to congratulate Ronny, he was clearly the best player and deserved our inaugural South Austin Championship. I could not have lost to a more worthy opponent. My deck is designed for board control and to add keywords, like deadly or added strength, to attacking characters allowing me to win challenges my opponents thought they could defend successfully. I have numerous saves and my deck revolves around several key locations (I’ll get into that more later). In my opinion the Greyjoys biggest strengths are their ability to make challenges unopposed, saves and milling decks. So I implement aspects of all three into this deck.
My most successful decks have between 15-18 two cost or lower characters. In my opinion, any character that is cost of 3 or higher MUST have strong justification to be included in a deck. My deck revolves around unopposed challenges, so many of my 3 cost characters have keywords like deadly, stealth, and intimidate. Or have responses that are extremely beneficial.
My plot selection is quasi choke (Fear of Winter and Blockade), many times, due to my low character cost and reducers, I can marshal 2-3 characters without any gold and will want to negate my opponents income for the round. If I am in strong board position I want to limit how many cards my opponent can marshal out and use Fear of Winter. Rise of the Kraken is a must for an unopposed deck. I use At the Gates to get Maester Wendy into play because of his ability to save characters. I tend to open with At the Gates, most of my setups range from 4 – 6 cards. Drawing back up and opening up by putting a character into play from my deck means I usually have drawn 15 cards by turn 1. This is a huge advantage for my deck. I include a reset, Valar, and Retaliation for income and 2 claim and Take Them by Surprise, for income.
I want reasons to include characters in my deck. If you look at my deck list I provide what icons they have and keywords or responses they have. I’ll just provide the main characters that I get the most use out of. Maester Wendy and Moqorro – saves. Newly Made Lord – location hate. Dagmer Cleftjaw and Bloodthirsty Crew – deadly and discard ability of BC. A non-kneeling Asha, after three non character cards are in the discard pile, and of course The Knight. If I have The Knight in play and a Scouting Vessel then it’s an auto unopposed challenge, since he has joust. When you win an unopposed challenge The Knight stands and you discard the top card of the opponents deck.
The locations the Greyjoys have are simply brutal. Longship Black Wind, (Deadly) Longship Iron Victory, (+2 strength) and the notorious Scouting Vessel (reduce defending characters strength to 0) are all solid locations. I have several reducers, Sunset Sea, Iron Island Fiefdoms, Flea Bottom, Street of Steel, and Gatehouse. The Iron Mines is an awesome save, so I added a couple in as well. I usually want to be able to determine who the first player is so I added Bay of Ice and Captured Cog to help with initiative and dominance.
Risen from the Sea is a save and a boon. Assault of the Kraken allows me to initiate an additional challenge of the same type if I have won an unopposed challenge. This event has helped tremendously, for example. I run Longship Black Wind with my Agenda and can initiate a power challenge. People see that I can make the challenge deadly and therefore allow it unopposed. Then I play Assault of the Kraken and initiate another power challenge. If this is done with The Knight and a Scouting vessel in play then it could be between a 4 – 8 power grab, if I’m running Rise of the Kraken. I also play nightmares to blank a character or location.
The attachments I have both add stealth, but Support of Harlaw can be infuriating. If I win an unopposed challenge then I can stand the character. This attachment on a Wex Pyke can usually allow for two unopposed challenges that the opponent cannot defend due to Wex’s text, (only characters with crests can defend) and to lose two challenges of a strength of 1 can be demoralizing.
I can make excuses, but bottom line is Ronny had a better deck and out played me. A few changes I would make. The Knight is so useful, I think I would break my rule and add another one into my deck and take out Theon Greyjoy, giving me three The Knights. I wasn’t getting enough of a draw in several of my games. I thought I addressed the issue enough with Bay of Ice, Longship Black Wind and Longship Iron Victory. But I was not getting enough cards in my hand. In retrospect I think the utility of Longship Iron Victory would be a better use for my Agenda since I can use it as a defender and as an attacker, increasing the likely hood of me being able to draw more cards. I also need to take a long look at my restricted card. Going into the tourney I kept going back and forth between Search and Detain and Fear of Winter. Ronny’s biggest advantage was Bear Island. Being able to return the card to his hand might have slowed him down, but it would have been tough regardless.
Deck: Greyjoy Unopposed
Take Them by Surprise (5, 11, 1)
Rise of the Kraken (1, 8, 2)
Valar Morghulis (2, 0, 0)
Blockade (0, 4, 1)
Fear of Winter (2, 4, 2)
At The Gates (3, 1, 1)
Retaliation (4, 8, 2)
Support of Harlaw
Risen From the Sea x 3
Nightmares x 2
Assault of the Kraken x 2
Street of Steel
The Iron Mines x 2
Sunset Sea x 3
Bay of Ice x 2
Gatehouse x 2 (Limited)
Captured Cog x 2
Iron Island Fiefdoms x 3 (Limited)
Scouting Vessel x 3
Longship Black Wind (Agenda)
Longship Iron Victory
Island Refugee x 3 (M, P)
Distinguished Boatswain x 3 (M, P)
Desperate Looters x 2 (M)
Fishwhiskers (M, P)
Alanyss Greyjoy x 2 (I, P, Kneel or discard)
Kingsmoot Hopeful (I, P)
Maester Wendamyr (I)
Wex Pyke x 2 (M, I)
Theon Greyjoy (M, P, Kneel Locations)
Asha Greyjoy x 2 (M, I, Non – Kneeling)
Newly Made Lord x 2 (P, Discard Location)
Bloodthirsty Crew x 2 (M, I, Deadly)
Dagmer Cleftjaw (M, P, Deadly)
Moqorro x 2 (I, P, Save)
Iron Fleet Captian x 2 (M, P, Stealth)
Baelor Blacktyde (M, P, Stealth)
The Knight x 2 (M, P, Joust)