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Qyburn’s Laboratory #6 – Princes of Winter

by Kennon
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And we’re back again in the dank and cramped offices of one former maester, Qyburn. Here among the dripping slime and between the thick walls of crumbling stone, Qyburn continues his dark and gleeful experiments. Why does he do such terrible things and push the boundaries of acceptable science in Westeros? Because he can, of course!

And so we tinker and construct our own jank, pushing the boundaries of acceptable deck ideas. Why do we do so? For fame or glory or the chance to win a tournament? No. Merely because we can.

This time we’re taking a look at something of an unusual idea. Winter is here in the Midwest and desperately cold temperatures pushed even into the South. What if that’s the case in Westeros as well? Perhaps the Princes of Dorne might one day become the Kings of Winter?

The Cards:

Winter Reserves

–  Winter Reserves is one of the key pieces we’ve been waiting on to help pull Winter traited plot decks together. The boost in stats is incredibly beneficial to the rest of the Winter plots which traditionally feature very low gold and reserve in order to balance out their high claim and punishing effects. The problem is that storing up your reserves just takes so long in game terms, leaving you unable to hit those high effect plots until turn 3 if you build up to maximum strength.

Change of Plans

– Enter Change of Plans to speed us up! With this event, we can easily find a way to lose some kind of challenge during the first turn and drop our second Winter Reserves right into the used pile. I wish we could speed up even more, but a full turn is still pretty useful.

Dalla

– With all of the Winter plot focus, why not also include the Wildlings pushing ever further South? Thus, Dalla becomes our draw engine of choice by providing a steady stream of cards as we play out new Wildlings each turn.

Shadow City Bastard

– What would a Martell deck be without icon removal? Here we make certain to include one of the most annoyingly strong icon removal cards in the game which helps give the deck an appropriately Martell flavor as well as creating openings for you to punch through with 2 claim plots.

Desert Raider

– And we would be remiss to not include the newest icon removal on the block in Desert Raider. This is a very powerful option to give us claim soak and repeatable ways to crack open weakness on the opponent’s side of the board. Plus, with 2 claim plots incoming, we may very well be able to kill off the character that we so generously donated a power to.

The Plan:

This deck’s plan is to soup up your Winter plots as fast as possible and then engage in some good old fashioned Wildling powered beatdowns on your opponent.  

Even with the boost from Winter Reserves though, a few of our plots can be on the lower end of the gold curve that is often played these days, at least when you also factor in some of the pseudo income stats of something like Heir to the Iron Throne . To help combat that, we not only have a solid amount of characters at the lower end of the gold curve, but also can lean on a couple alternative income options ourselves – Val and The Water Gardens. Val lets us skip paying gold for a Wildling a turn entirely, which is incredibly powerful from a surprise and economy factor. Plus it grants additional flexibility in triggering Dalla . The Water Gardens also gets powered up faster by dropping the extra Winter Reserves into the used pile, and there are a healthy number of non-character cards that it can be used to reduce. Sometimes just making a Dornish Fiefdom free to play (and then gaining two gold from it) can be a huge advantage.

Additionally, we have an entirely Winter plot line to make sure that the Kings of Winter agenda can be active on every turn that our opponent doesn’t have a Summer plot. While there are still some very popular Summer plots such as Trade Routes , every bit of gold that we can ding off of our opponent is beneficial to us. He Calls it Thinking should be beneficial in that respect as well. Since it’s not a certain cancel, look at using it aggressively to disrupt your opponent’s plans such as canceling a Kingsroad rather than holding it to try to save your bacon in specific instances.

The deck also includes a number of other options on the disruption front. As mentioned, Shadow City Bastard and Desert Raider both offer a lot of capability to deprive your opponent of needed icons to defend, but we also have Wildling Scout to offer stealth to any of our characters for more punching power. Flea Bottom, of course, can serve to recycle Bastards or Scouts every turn that it stays in play and unblanked.

Speaking of Bastards and Raiders, don’t forget that they are great targets on which to place your Venomous Blade. Use your Blade to knock of opponent’s smaller, claim soak characters, then get the Blade back for further use once your character is sacrificed or killed. In a similar vein, Vengeance for Elia offers you a chance to strike back with their own claim, which I would generally recommend to be utilized in military challenges to help clear out more of their board to make way for your own 2 claim.

Last but not least, the deck offers Rattleshirt as an additional way to get around your opponent’s defenders and several options for action advantage to give you the leg up. In this case, it is often going to be stand effects from The Frozen Shore or Rogue Wildling , but discount the ability to effectively get multiple uses (defense, attack, ability) from characters that keep coming back into play from their own abilities or Flea Bottom.

There you have it, folks! Let me know how it goes.

The Deck:

Princes of Winter

House Martell

Kings of Winter

Plots:

1x Early Frost

1x False Spring

1x The First Snow of Winter

1x The Long Winter

1x The Winds of Winter

2x Winter Reserves

Characters:

3x Dalla

3x Desert Raider

3x Mance Rayder

3x Northern Refugee

3x Rattleshirt

2x Rattleshirt’s Raiders

3x Rogue Wildling

3x Shadow City Bastard

3x Val

2x Wildling Bandit

3x Wildling Scout

Attachments:

2x Venomous Blade

Locations:

3x Dornish Fiefdom

2x Flea Bottom

3x Ocean Road

3x Summer Sea Port

2x The Frozen Shore

3x The Kingsroad

2x The Water Gardens

Events:

3x Change of Plans

3x He Calls It Thinking

2x Secret Schemes

2x Vengeance for Elia

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