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NYC Thronestoberfest: 10/12

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Sounds like a fun tournament!  What was the Targ HoD player's restricted card (unless Dragonpit got restricted when I wasn't looking? ;) )


I'm super curious about Dan's Targ Song of Ice list- no idea what Winter would bring to the table, but it sure has me thinking.

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I find your lack of Lannsiters disturbing...


Thanks for the update though!

We had at least 3 lannister players that I saw (2 tunnels and a clansmen)


Yeah, but none made the cut. I found that surprising, is all.

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More stats from Thronestoberfest:

House Breakdown:
Lannister 4
Greyjoy 4
Targ 3
Martell 3
Baratheon 2
Stark 2

Agenda Breakdown:
House of Dreams 5
No Agenda 4
Song of Ice 3
KotHH 2
Maester's Path 1
Power bt Iron Throne 1
City of Shadows 1
Black Sails 1

TOP 8 by House:
Greyjoy 3
Targ 2
Baratheon 1
Martell 1
Stark 1

TOP 8 by Agenda:
Song of Ice 3
No Agenda 2
KotHH 1
Black Sails 1
House of Dreams 1

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I'm super curious about Dan's Targ Song of Ice list- no idea what Winter would bring to the table, but it sure has me thinking.


This deck was a "tempo" deck that was closer to aggro than it was to burn, though it had a good amount of "lite" burn in it (Dragon Knight, Pyrophobia, the 3-2-2 winter plot, 2x Meereen Tourney Grounds, Venomous Manticores, etc.). The Targ deck was very fast...not rush, but gained the upper hand quickly. I think the 4 Swiss games I won were over in less than 30 minutes.


The rationale for SoI is that Targ burn is pretty good at tearing apart aggro builds, but runs into trouble against heavy control. Basically, a control player can slow play the game until they drop a Favorable Ground or have what they need in the long game. Of course, a Targ heavy burn deck can do the same, but Targ heavy burn (KotHH, HoD, etc.) tends to be a little weaker to Greyjoy, which I thought would be popular. So I was looking for a solution that would allow me to play a tempo Targ build that didn't lose to heavy control.


SoI puts a lot of pressure on heavy control builds, because the opponent can't hold cards in hand and must choose early on whether to win challenges (play characters) or setup the late game but lose a lot of early challenges. I also think the psychological effects of SoI (and winter generally) are pretty strong, because the opponent is forced to play in a way that they normally wouldn't. Again, this typically means the opponent will play more aggressively, which in turn means throwing down more characters that I can kill, rather than locations that I have trouble removing (1+ cost locations are tough for most non-KotHH Targ decks to deal with).


The trick to a deck like this is really building the winter + SoI mechanics into its core. In addition to the 3-2-2 winter plot, I  played First Snow of Winter, so that an opponent running weenies would need to decide whether to discard them or bigger characters at the end of dominance. I think at least half of my characters had Ambush, and I played 3x Ambush from the Plains and 2x To Be a Dragon, so that it really felt like I could ambush anything I wanted...and if I got hit with my own agenda, Ambush could bring the cards back.


Winter has the added benefit in a Targ deck like this of (a) choking out the opponent, so that they play fewer characters, allowing me to concentrate my burn, (b) run the 3-2-2 burn plot (forgetting it's name) as a "soft" Threat from the North that combos with Pyrophobia to choke out an opponent (and generally works well with other burn), and © allowed me to play the new Kingsroad locations to keep pressure on an opponent.


My loss in elemination to the eventual winner had to do with his solid playing and my lack of familiarity playing the deck against Stark. We don't play a lot of Stark in NYC, and I had forgotten how to play Targ against Northern Cavalry Flank, No Quarter and some of the other Targ staples. I just haven't had time to do playtesting much recently. I think if I played that matchup 10 times though, it'd probably split evenly between the two decks, and may just come down to whether the Stark player draws multiple No Quarters in the opening round (as he did) or I draw Ambush from the Plains + Company of the Cats or Horseback Archers.


All in all, I think the approach worked fairly well, but it needs some fine tuning. For example, I think I cut out too much draw in the final version (I cut all copies of Samwell, for example), and I had an especially tough time keeping up with Britt's Harrenhal (on setup) and various search effects. In fact, I'm not sure I would play Targ SoI in the current metagame. I think the main problem was that I didn't face any heavy control decks. The closest thing I faced was another Targ burn deck (HoD Dragonpit), my only loss in Swiss. And while mirror matches are always tough, and this deck was a control build, the main reason I lost was that my influence grouped at the bottom fo the deck. (Not saying I would have won--his deck had more burn, which tends to be a decider in mirror matches--but my lack of influence for 4+ rounds basically put me out of the game.) In the end, if the metagame doesn't have a lot of heavy control, the SoI agenda just doesn't add as much as it needs to. I'm going to do some more testing with the new summer agenda, which I think is probably better for Targ in an environment where aggro is more prevalent.

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