Home Articles Qyburn’s Laboratory #4 – Maesters of the Isles

Qyburn’s Laboratory #4 – Maesters of the Isles

by Kennon
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Boy has it been awhile since we’ve had some good old fashioned jank being built and written about. I mean, sure, folks have been brewing up combo decks left and right these days, but where’s the true art in trying to craft something interesting out of cards that probably shouldn’t be used in that way?

Wait, what’s that? You mean the combo decks are actually capable of winning? Hmmm…. That puts things in a new perspective…

Ehhh….. I’ll stick with jank. Let the other Shaggas handle the successful stuff.

I used to really love the 1ED Greyjoy Maesters decks (took one to the Moonboy Classic finals once…. and lost) so lets see what they could do in 2ED.

The Cards:

The Conclave– The heart and soul of this deck, The Conclave agenda gives us…. Well, card filtering. Yes, kind of awkward, delayed filtering, but filtering nonetheless. Using this agenda and the Maesters that we should hopefully be able to stick on the board, we can reasonably make certain that the top card of our deck is always one of seven that we most want.

Asha Greyjoy– Even more card filtering. This surprises no one, I think, but the latest version of Asha is incredibly good. A the very worst, she essentially has the insight keyword the first time that you use her. After that, she just keeps getting better and better as you cherrypick out of the top X cards of your deck. And you know what makes that even better? More pillage! And the Conclave agenda, which sort of means that her search triggers are for X + 7 cards.

Archmaester’s Key– Well we’re looking at pillaging the opponent’s deck at a higher than average speed, why not go ahead and do something fun with it? Let’s use their events back at them! Well, those that we can anyway. But still, there should be a reasonable number of things like Nightmares floating around that we can utilize pretty easily.

The Plan:

Our main plan here is to have access to virtually anything we need for a particular situation right when we need it. Filtering with The Conclave combined with Asha’s digging already provide some huge tools to help make sure you have what you need at any given moment.  To that, you can even add a few Maester specific tools such as Here to Serve and The Citadel to keep serving up a string of agenda characters. And even if Maesters aren’t specifically what you need, every one you pull out increases the odds of Asha digging into the cards that you need.

Of course, that’s not all on the card advantage front. Staples like Counting Coppers and Time of Plenty make their appearance, but even something like Citadel Novice stands a better than normal chance of netting you cards in this deck. We’ve largely forgone events in this deck in favor of more attachments, so between those and the Measters, we’re looking at 20 cards that he could hit on. 1/3 of the deck, not even counting stacking shenanigans with The Conclave, seems reasonable. Greyjoy is already a leading house in regards to card advantage through keeping their cards on the board with saves, but the ability to land Maester Aemon right at the start of the game can make military claim nearly useless against them, freeing up saves for Valar Morghulis or unexpected situations.

On the answers front, we have a small handful that we’re looking at digging out at the right moment. Maester Cressen can take out problematic attachments, while Newly Made Lord handles a variety of locations. We’re light on character answers compared to some decks, but Milk of the Poppy should help knock out troublesome abilities for a time, while Fishing Net, Theon Greyjoy TFOA, and Pyke can help us push challenges past beefy defenders. With the larger than average Pillage we’ve included, Tris Botley becomes a sort of jack-of-all-trades removing anything that looks like it could be a future issue and delaying the opponent from playing it for as long as we can keep Tris on the board.

Don’t let the card advantage and spot answers fool you, though. The deck is still intended to be fairly aggressive, so be sure that you’re putting the pressure on your opponent. Answer what you have to and try to go around everything else. People aren’t accustomed to dealing with two claim very often in this environment, so make sure to hit them hard with Retaliation, which can often be followed up with a particularly brutal Marched to the Wall.

The Deck:

Also, if adding the 61st card is banter and we’re building a jank deck anyway, why not double the banter? Enjoy the 62 card deck!

House Greyjoy
The Conclave
 Plot (7)
1x  Calling the Banners
1x  Counting Coppers
1x  Here to Serve
1x  Marched to the Wall
1x  Retaliation
1x  Time of Plenty
1x  Valar Morghulis
 Character (33)
1x  Archmaester Ebrose
3x  Asha Greyjoy KM
1x  Balon Greyjoy
3x  Black Wind’s Crew
3x  Citadel Novice
1x  Euron Crow’s Eye
3x  House Maester
3x  Iron Islands Fishmonger
1x  Maester Aemon
1x  Maester Caleotte
1x  Maester Cressen
1x  Maester Pylos
1x  Maester Wendamyr
2x  Newly-Made Lord
2x  Salt Wife
2x  Silence’s Crew
1x  Theon Greyjoy TFOA
1x  Tris Botley
1x  Victarion Greyjoy
1x  Wex Pyke
 Attachment (8)
2x  Archmaester’s Key
3x  Fishing Net
1x  King of Salt and Rock
2x  Milk of the Poppy
 Location (19)
1x  Corpse Lake
2x  Gates of the Moon
1x  Great Kraken
3x  Iron Mines
1x  Pyke
3x  Sea Tower
2x  The Citadel
3x  The Kingsroad