The challenge: to build a deck that can beat not only defensive Walls but also aggressive Lannister jumpers. Walls prefer a wide board. Lannister jumpers can get away with just one or two characters sticking around between turns. Walls are heavy on attachments and short on events. Lannister jumpers are heavy on events and short on attachments. The Wall endures. The Lannisters lay waste. The only common point is that there are specific locations (The Wall, obviously, and Harrenhal for the Lannisters) critical to the success of these decks.
Behold, the first draft to my solution. While my above assessment suggests that Greyjoys and their loyal location control would be most useful, I’m opting to tack different, mostly because I find Greyjoy one note. Instead I’m rolling Martell, a house on the slide against the rise of Night’s Watch. Its reactive game is a lot weaker against a faction that doesn’t care to attack, and its icon-stripping attachments need to attach to work. Still, I like Martell, and they’ve picked up some solid cards this cycle.
This is a delayed power rush deck. Naval Superiority, Burning on the Sand and Vengeance for Elia slow the opponent’s game down. It accrues power where it can through The Lord of the Crossing, The Boneway and unopposed challenges. If the deck is at 8 or 9 power by plot 4 or 5, it’s in good shape. Gossip and Lies is the closer as it can burst power gain in conjunction with The Red Viper or The Scorpion’s Sting. So can Doran’s Game.
Against Lannister: Most of the aggro Lannister jumper decks I’ve seen so far have been Kings of Winter, though I would definitely expect to see more Banner of the Wolf with the release of Roose Bolton. In either case, these decks need to clear and control the board by plot 3 or 4, or they run out of cards and steam. The aforementioned Burning on the Sand and Vengeance for Elia should help a great deal with this, especially on 2-claim turns. Martell’s strength in intrigue should also be useful in emptying their hand even faster.
Against Night’s Watch: Even though Night’s Watch favors a long game to find and set up The Wall and all of its support, this deck slows down for the one-turn power bursts. It favors Arianne Martell, Palace Spearman and Knights of the Sun for dodging Craven and Milk of the Poppy until the big push. Nightmares can slow down The Wall. A well-timed Song of Summer neuters Winter Festival.
The plots: These need work. The only one I am positive on is Gossip and Lies for closing. The inclusion of everything else has a rationale but not a great one. Song of Summer is anti-winter tech and was a double in Sam Braatz’s Targaryen Crossing that made top 8 at Worlds. Who am I to doubt? Naval Superiority slows the game down, and Varys’s Riddle duplicates Valar Morghulis.
The big problem is the generally low economy. Three plots offer three gold or fewer. In Doran’s Name and The Long Plan can mitigate it a little but are more stopgaps than solutions.
That’s the idea, anyway. We’ll see how it plays. I’ll let you know.
You can also find the list at ThronesDB.