Let’s start this right: a faction and agenda combination with zero representation on ThronesDB. Inspired by D.C.’s The Night’s Watch, Lord of the Crossing deck that went to Top 8 at Worlds this past year, I began toying with this after the release of There Is My Claim because every Night’s Watch deck got exciting with Shadow Tower Mason and The Haunted Forest, but I was really waiting for Ghosts of Harrenhal to make it click. Dragonglass Dagger had been spoiled in the fan, and I was really hoping for a beefy Steward to supplement the intrigue icons. Instead I got Craster. I got happy.
Anyway. The deck: Rains looks kooky with Night’s Watch, but it really is a classic Wall defense deck with options to go on the offensive or punish chump intrigue challenges.
The scheme plots: The appeal of Rains is its toolbox nature, picking the right plot at the right moment, and Night’s Watch can appreciate a solid toolbox. The utility of surprising your opponent with A Game of Thrones in a defensive deck is obvious. Filthy Accusations as well. Wildfire Assault is there to pick your moment to kill Benjen, Vary’s Riddle to copy a Counting Copper or Building Orders,and Power Behind the Throne because there aren’t any other good options.
The not-scheme plots: The regular plot deck is nothing exceptional. Counting Coppers, Building Orders and Time of Plenty are draw, rather important in a deck that needs The Wall to win. For the Watch! because you’re defending The Wall. Here to Serve because you have Maester Aemon. Winter Festival for power gain. Calm Over Westeros to protect your power or board or hand or whatever. But mostly your power. Calm is the first cut right now, possibly for Song of Summer to make triggering Rains a little easier.
The characters: Character choice is pretty classic. Arry and Unsworn Apprentices are surprise intrigue defenders. Only one Dolorous Edd because his pseudo ambush is anti-synergy with Rains. The plan is mostly just pop him in and keep him around for a cheap 3-strength intrigue icon. Will gives you an option for triggering Rains on the offense. Everything else is obvious.
The everything else: Nothing you wouldn’t expect regarding Attachments, Locations or Events. Dragonglass Dagger pumps your intrigue characters, and that’s about all you need to know.
The performance: It’s been spotty so far. Earlier incarnations were pretty successful, but results have drawn closer to .500 lately, generally against more aggro decks. I’ve only triggered Rains a handful of times, one time kneeling Asha Greyjoy with Filthy Accusations at a critical moment and probably winning the game, so those wins may be more an indication of the general might of Night’s Watch right now more than the unique strength of this deck.
I am particularly interested in seeing it in the Night’s Watch mirror. It may still come down to whomever draws The Wall first, but I feel Rains could give it that little extra spice. Unfortunately, though everyone at casual night is packing a Night’s Watch deck, no one wants to play the mirror. For some reason. We’ll see. It’s fun. It’s a little different. It’s what I like.
You can also see this deck at ThronesDB.