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Winter is coming? Bah. Martells are coming? RUN!

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#1 LFenix



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:35 AM

I´ve been searching the internet for info about joust martell decks and I have seen very few, plus those didn´t have some cards I love. Even more, in those forums where cards are discussed, the ain´t mentioned at all, so I wanted give out some thoughts for everyone to discuss. Maybe I´m missing something, maybe they don´t see much play in tournamets, not sure, but my deck is playing quite well in my meta so let´s see what you guys think:


1-. Quentyn Martel. And don´t dare ask wich one. Seriously, all unique chars get vengeful and you draw a card everytime any of your chars (unique or not) stands dew to vengeful. Yeah he needs to die at nlnow, but for cost 3, st3 military & power icons + stealth. Not great but average. Not let him die and BOOM! Only reason I would understand not having 2 copies in your deck is playing KoHH agenda to have red vengeance from the start, but still…

2-.Oberyn´s guile. So you want more cards? fair enought, put this into a unique char and everytime you lose a challenge (no matter attacking or defending, or even that char participating), you show 1 card from top of your deck and put it in your hand. Doesn´t even count as drawing, so not draw-cap affected. But my opponent will see the card, some may argue. Yes. Let them see you take a red vengeance and see them start to sweat nervously.


3-. sun stroke. So you now want to kill enemy chars. Of course you got the blade as restricted (or at least probably you have) and you surely have 2 or 3 copies of aero hotah. I want talk about those cause they are used everywhere, wich I understand, no need to talk more about them. Yet you are playing that undying greyjoy deck with lots of salvations. Or maybe a dragons targ with Daenerys duped. No problem. Stop their strong attacks or kill that great char that is hurting you so much. And kill it once and for all. Maybe if your meta is full of attachment-hate cards you might skip this, but it´s worth a shoot!


4-.Southron Mercenaries. Give me 1 simple reason not to have them. Cost? ok, fair enought. Yet this card can be paid in 2 turns, wich means you can pay those 4 gold to take it out of shadows with almost any plot. In the meanwhile, your opponent will probably think you have a blade there, since that´s the most commonly-spread shadow card from martel. Now let´s think that you are about to lose, maybe your opponent has 12-13 points already. You are in trouble. Get this out, use To the lances plot and see how you get 4 point (2 of them stolen), kill 1 char and get 1 card out of your opponent. If you are using Viper´s rage (wich I think you should), that makes it 6 points with 1 single card. If playing it is still too costly in your mind, just add Manning the City Walls to your plots. Use it the turn your opponent used a valar and you will see him cry.


5-. Heralds of the sun. Some people actually use it but not that many in my opinion. With so many interesting chars in martel´s deck, I think 3 are an autoinclude, no matter what kind of deck you have. Either seach for the red viper, quentyn, the southrin mercenaries, the remaining sandsnake you need… So many posibilities… I have a greyjoy discard deck in my meta, still I love this guy.


6-. lost spearman. I usually go 2nd always. so I can defend first, and use vengeful to stand up, since having taste for blood, aero and red vengeance makes it interesting to lose challenges. So, how many times do players not kneel all their locations to marshall 1 more char? In my meta, very few. If you play against another martel or some other influence-using deck, you will simply sacrifice 1 gold to make him lose some influence. If not, you will play a 3st char with 2 icons for 1 gold.


7-. maester of the sun. Our only (or only decent) save for pro chars in play. You need summer for it, but the extra gold goes great, and if you play open market to reuse red vengeance, you need summer anyway. Discard should not be a problem with the amount of cards you can get per turn, but still if you don´t like the idea, add a couple The Prince's Plans. You are martell, paying the influence shouldn´t be that hard. Plus if you have an open market on board, you can combo both effects for a net gein of 2 discarted cards for 4 influence. Not cheap, I know, but influence is your currency, just as gold is lanister´s. If you get to dominance with your red keep still standing (maybe you didn´t have/need your red vengeance this turn?), just use that influence now and recover that dupe from aero you just discarded or something alike ;)


8-.Sir Gerris & sir Archibald. cost 3 st 3, 2 icons & 2 key words. That sounds great on its own, specially considering the common word is reknown (to the spears with therse 2 in play along with Southron Mercenaries and after viper´s rage? No matter how many points you had, your opponent probably just resigned). But these 2 are capable of more. If you don´t play Summer kings (and now it´s restricted…) or KoHH, you probably use Quentyn (see point 1). Well, then these 2 have good news for you. Gerris let´s you stand a char, right after you declare him as defender (maybe that Southron Mercenaries you just knelt with him to defend??? Now you have it standing, yet participating in the challenge!). On the other hand, we have Archibald, wich knells a location right after declaring him as defender (so your opponent is playing Bear Island without house of dreams? Or has that nasty Scouting Vessel that get´s your defenders st out? No problem, Archibald is the solution!) Most players usa nasty locations these days, so it´s worthy against almost any deck. And if your opponent has no locations currently, you still have a better-than-average char in your deck.


These 9 cards are, along with the well known ones, key to most martel decks. Maybe you want have room for all of them, but all are worth a thought in sandsnake, maesters, House Dayne or any other deck you can think of. I personally have played different variations of my same deck, first with no particular set, using side chars like Underhanded Assassin , Silent Assassin & Spiteful Bastard and it was very competitive. Recently I got myself the sandsnakes and I´m playing it with them, and I´m planing on making it house dayne in the near future, maintaining more than half of the cards.


So, these are my thoughts. What do you guys think?

#2 LFenix



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:37 AM

Forgot to mantion, I´m not english, so I may have a few (hopefully not too many) mistakes in spelling and alike. I hope the post is still understanable. My apologies ;)

#3 Skowza



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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:05 PM

Since no one else responded yet I'll jump on this…
Martell got hit quite hard by the new FAQ, tons of the auto-include cards are now restricted, which means new builds will open up.  Many of the cards you mention are good in Martell decks, but may not be the strongest options, so card-by-card:

1.  Quentyn is good, probably the best charagenda along with Damphair.  That being said, he still has to come into play and die to be effective, and not every deck is interested in killing your guys.  If you're really relying on him to become your Agenda, run 3x to be sure you get him.

2.  Guile hasnt seen much play, in part due to the weakness of Attachments with rampant Maesters.  Martell also has better draw/reveal options, and you give up Event/Attachment slots to use this; its hard to give up Taste for Blood and pick this instead.

3.  Best part about it is "attached Character cannot be saved" and the cost.  The Response trigger is not as easy to pull off as you would expect, little Stealthy Deadly guys will win challenges against you without ever getting near the 4-STR needed to trigger it.

4.  Southron Mercs are good and grab power quickly, but Martell has so many other great Characters.  1x for sure if using TVB as your restricted so you can run Manning the City Walls and be sure to always have an Army handy.  VB is also not nearly as useful as it used to be, repeated weenie kill is nice but the card can be totally useless too - cheap high-STR characters are unaffected by it, and other Houses have just as many decent 3+ STR guys available as Gerris, Yronwood, Spearman, Quentyn, etc.

5.  Heralds are ok, mostly useful for grabbing dupes of whoever you've drawn into and want to keep around, but often don't make the cut due to the awesome Character options Martell has.  3x is overkill and just wastes slots that could be filled with more copies of Arianne, Viper, etc.

6.  Lost Spearman - Just downright solid, I'm surprised you haven't seen them in more decks… that will probably change with Refugees and Orphans getting restricted.  But plenty of opponents will be happy to kneel a Sea that they are saving for a future turn to put them back in your hand.  Still great for setup though.

7. Maester of the Sun - only useful if its Summer, which means you used those valuable Attachment/Event slots to put Ravens in the deck.  The Darkstar combo is always nice, but Martell Maesters got hit hard by restricting the Refugees (and Conclave and Tin Link).  Using Summer also makes you extremely vulnerable to Winter builds, maybe less so now that Kings of Summer is restricted, but more copies of your key uniques or just more of those sweet Martell Characters may be a better use of your space.

8. Gerris & Archibald - useless if you use an Agenda, though these guys are good with Quentyn.  Kneeling a location is just ok; many of the Challenge phase Locations have already been used though (Scourge, Masseys, Smugglers Cove, Targ Ambush, Guildhall, etc) or don't care about being knelt (Brimstone, Lannisport Brothel, Dragonpit, etc) or your opoonent just has reducers out; Gerris is a bit better, but you're Martell and you thrive on losing and your guys stand from Quentyn anyway!  Both these guys are all-around solid for sure, Knight-Lord 3-3 with two icons and Renown even without the additional keywords and text is great, but they don't make the cut into decks running an Agenda. 
Who knows what'll become the dominant Martell archetype with the FAQ and with Naval decks hitting the table though,

#4 LFenix



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Posted 10 March 2013 - 02:55 AM

I agree I have had a hard time keeping the number of cards in my deck at 60, but so far, I think the cards are good. For summer for example, I play only the plot o get a raven, 1 black raven and 2 carrion birds. And if I play against a winter deck that beats me in the raven fight, well I just know I have no saving this match, but for most of the matches it goes great in my opinion.


Anyhow, I´d like to ask wich restricted card you think is the best to use in general, and what drawing cards you use. I see some chars with draw abilities in a lot of decks, but they don´t seem quite right in my mind…


Thanks for answering ;)

#5 Skowza



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Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:58 AM

LFenix said:

Anyhow, I´d like to ask wich restricted card you think is the best to use in general, and what drawing cards you use. I see some chars with draw abilities in a lot of decks, but they don´t seem quite right in my mind…

With the new restricted list its pretty hard to say.  I'd bet most people were using Viper's Bannermen if they chose a Martell card as restricted instead of choosing S&D or some other neutral; it's pretty hard to pass up a 7-STR Deadly Stealthy Army that gets you 4 cards outside of the draw cap.  Other draw options include Flea Bottom Scavenger, which only helps if you have no power on your House (so effectively it only helps in Round 1 or 2) but if you play that and a Bannerman in Round 1 you net 5 cards, which often gives you enough options to win the game.  I've actually used my opponent's Round 1 Summoning Season to grab a Scavenger before.  House Messenger is good since it gives you a choice of two cards and again gets around the draw cap.  Both of these guys can be bounced by playing a Round 1 First Snow of Winter and then used again in Round 2.  Dornish Paramour can also be useful, though its an Ally and discards itself to draw, it still helps you keep up steady card draw.  Val is always available too.

#6 tibs3688



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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:41 AM

Your english is quite understandable, to me at least.

My thoughts on Martell:

wtf restricto-hammered.  Since they lost so much stuff it's really hard to tell where they will go from here.  I do think KotHH, already a viable option obviously, will come into prominence for Martell's agenda.  Kings of Summer being restricted sucks for Martell summer since they already have such great restricted cards they want to use; Martell maesters is basically dead with almost all its key cards now restricted; and with Martell's easy/free control options hitting the restricted list they are going to have to rely more on influence-based control effects instead of just using orphans and the like for free.  Quentyn is good as far as chargendas go but chargendas in general are too inconsistent compared to KotHH which is always in play from turn 1 with no opportunity for your opponent to deny you its benefits.

I'm actually a big fan of at least giving Oberyn's Guile a try.  Getting a free card regardless of draw cap every time you lose a challenge is incredibly annoying for the opponent and really needs to be dealt with or else.  If the meta shifts to compensate for the loss of maesters and people start running a ton of attachment hate then it might go back to the bench, but if people can't consistently get rid of it I think this card is golden.

Sun stroke is interesting, but ultimately too inconsistent imo.  In some cases it will be nice but there will be other times when it just sits there and doesn't do much.  It is at least nice against Greyjoy, but Martell has plenty of other cards which you will always be happy to see and I'd rather pick one of those.

Southron Mercs feels like a win more card to me.  If you can afford to drop 6 gold, without using any reducers, on a single char and start winning challenges with it then you probably have a strong board position anyways.  I believe it's also a merc which is terrible given how expensive it is, seeing your 6 gold whisked away for free by a dissension is going to be very bad (correct me if I'm wrong about the merc trait, I can't remember for sure).  I do agree that it's worth a copy or two if you are using the bannermen + manning the walls.

Herald of the sun, I might use in a quentyn deck to make sure I get him, but otherwise I'd skip it.  It's an inefficient character on its own and it technically doesn't even give you card advantage as you still have to draw the card.  It's better to use things that actually draw/reveal for you.

Lost spearman x3 is an auto-include in all Martell I think now that they lost orphans and refugees.  Options for 0 or 1 drops for them are now quite scarce.

Maester of the sun, good in summer/maesters, skip otherwise.

Gerris & Archibald are the same, strong in Quentyn deck, forgettable otherwise.


I think one route for Martell to try now may be an attachment-heavy build as they have some attachments that are extremely powerful and really have to be taken down if they hit the board (Oberyn's Guile, as mentioned, being one, the other big one is probably taste for blood though obviously there are others).  They have a somewhat reliable recursion option available for discarded attachments in the form of the prince's plans as well.

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