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Two Guys, One Deck: Tyrell Banner of the Wolf

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In this article series, Aaron and I will be building a deck together and providing you with the fruits of our labor (along with some discussion along the way). In each article we will choose a specific deck to build and present our deck building process to you in a conversational style. This time, we will be building a Tyrell Banner of the Wolf deck.

Alex
Let’s do Tyrell Banner of the Wolf this time since it is similar to the last deck, but probably better.

Mostly because we get draw in Tyrell with The Mander and Pleasure Barge.

Aaron
That makes sense, there’s a rumor going around that draw = win.

Alex
I’ve heard that too.

Aaron
Let’s begin with the 12 Stark cards for our banner.

I pretty much always want the minimum number unless there is good reason.

Alex
Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Tumblestone Knight x3 each for our 12.

Aaron
What about the Winterfell Steward?

Alex
LOL. You’re right, I totally forgot about the 1 cost characters. Let’s cut the Tumblestone Knight for now to make room for those 3.

As always, setup is a really important aspect of any deck and the best way to build for this is to make sure you use as many cheap setup cards as possible, in this case the 1-cost reducer characters are valued more highly than a “better” character because the lower cost is important. You can always make adjustments after this initial draft, so we may yet find room for those Tumblestone Knights!

Aaron
Let’s move on to the other characters, Courtesan of the Rose over Arbor Knight?

Alex
Absolutely! The power icon is much more important in this deck.

Remember, this deck is basically another version of the deck we built last time, which focused on gaining power through winning power challenges, Sansa’s ability, and Renown characters. This deck has the same focus, so we have to value the power icon appropriately. Even though Arbor Knight might be a better card in general, the power icon is too important to this deck’s identity.

Aaron
3 Garden Caretakers, 1 Left, and 1 Right?

3 Margaery Tyrell? No Olenna’s Informant?

Alex
Of course the Caretakers, need them for setup. Yes to 1 copy of Left and Right, worth it just in case we combo and cheap enough on their own.

Having no Informants in the last deck drew some comments, but the reason we didn’t include it last time still applies: no way to cheat them into play. We aren’t using Arianne Martell or Queen of Thorns and we are highly unlikely to be in a position to use the ability through Ambush. At that point it is an inefficient power icon.

Aaron
Agreed, I would rather not run the Informants without Queen of Thorns, and she is too expensive for this deck.

Alex
Margaery x3 for sure, she helps win challenges, protects from burn, stands Randyll Tarly. And you are correct, Queen of Thorns is not going into this deck. If we use a 7 cost character at all, it will be Eddard, but he’s not on my list for inclusion either.

Aaron
Yeah, I assume 6 cost is our maximum.

2 copies of Paxter Redwyne and 3 of Randyll Tarly?

Alex
Let’s talk about Paxter for a second, he is great, but how many events do we intend to use? He doesn’t have a power icon, so he’s definitely not a x3, 2 copies is probably correct, especially if we have enough events to make it worthwhile.

Aaron
Well, he is non-Limited income, and I would like to include Hand’s Judgement and Support of the People, so there should be enough events for him to get extra value. Let’s go with two copies.

Alex
Yes, Randyll Tarly at three copies and probably two copies of Heartsbane if we can find room.

Aaron
Randyll is our main rush engine, so I’d like both Bran Stark and Hand’s Judgement for protection. Dracarys and Tears of Lys are bad for this deck.

Alex
What about Little Bird x3?

Aaron
I don’t think I want Little Bird in the deck at all.

Alex
Little Bird can be setup, Hand’s Judgement cannot. They both stop Tears of Lys.

Aaron
But Hand’s Judgement is more versatile. It can stop Things I Do For Love, Treachery, We Do Not Sow, Dracarys! and Confinement. Three copies of Bran may not be enough protection from these other events.

Alex
Okay, but since it is a bit clunkier and less setup-friendly, let’s wait and see how many non-setup cards we end up with.

Aaron
Two or three copies of Knight of Flowers?

Alex
Three. Combined with Margaery and/or Heartsbane he can win any attack he wants. Since we aren’t using any of the 7 cost characters, I think three copies will fit.

Aaron
One last Tyrell character to talk about: Wardens of the Reach. I think they are great. We can probably fit two copies into the deck.

Alex
So this means you are planning to use three copies of Rose Garden.

Now, do we use Varys in the deck or not?

Aaron
I think two copies and 1 Rattleshirt’s Raiders for a total of 35 characters.

And yes, three copies of Rose Garden to go with Kingsroads and Roseroads.

Alex
Pleasure Barge x2?

Aaron
Yes. Not all three copies because it can’t be placed in setup and takes an event slot.

1 Highgarden and 2 The Mander?

Alex
Are we going to use Support of the People or not?

Aaron
Absolutely!

Alex
Then I think only 1 of each location. Not enough Put to the Torch to worry about duplicates yet.

Aaron
I’d like to just draw into The Mander though.

Alex
But you can trigger it right away when you get it with Support of the People.

Aaron
But I think we will only have two copies of Support of the People, which isn’t enough to guarantee it and against Greyjoy for example, Highgarden will be way better.

Alex
Well, we also have Pleasure Barge for draw.

Aaron
Okay, let’s go with one of each of those locations. That puts us at 13 locations.

Alex
Should we include Street of the Sisters or not?

Aaron
No, we can’t afford to top deck it later in the game.

Alex
Street of the Sisters actually adds to our victory condition unlike the other locations we discussed. It is cheap which helps setup and can potentially be grabbed with Support of the People and triggered right away.

Aaron
Fair enough, one copy?

Actually, is this any better than The Iron Throne? I think I like The Iron Throne better.

It is a more reliable one power.

Alex
True, but slightly more expensive. I had forgotten about The Iron Throne. Obviously, we could say ‘use both,’ but there isn’t room for that. You may be on to something here. The extra reserve could also help if we get The Mander up and running early on.

Let’s use The Iron Throne instead. I like it!

Now we have 14 locations.

Aaron
Attachments?

Alex
I like Seal of the Hand x3, Bodyguard x3, and Little Bird x3, but you want to use Hand’s Judgment instead of Little Bird and we probably don’t have room for all of those at three copies each.

Also, we talked about two copies of Heartsbane.

Aaron
Two copies each of Seal of the Hand, Bodyguard, Heartsbane.

I think that’s all we have room to include.

Alex
So that’s 55 cards, which 5 events?

Aaron
6 events, two copies each of Support of the People, Hand’s Judgement and Put to the Sword.

Alex
Only 5 events, otherwise we have 61 cards and that won’t be happening.

Aaron
I always run 61 cards. So…

Alex
But I write the article, so…

I would really rather have a Little Bird instead of Hand’s Judgement. I know it can cancel other events besides Tears of Lys, but the icon not only protects from that event on Knight of Flowers or Randyll Tarly, it also allows them to participate in another challenge, giving more opportunities for them to claim power with Renown. Especially Randyll who can participate in up to 3 challenges each round. 4 with a Seal of the Hand.

Aaron
Okay, let’s do 1 and 1?

And we aren’t using any Tyrell events at the moment, let’s discuss that. I’d really like to find room for Growing Strong and Olenna’s Cunning.

Alex
I think Heartsbane and three copies of Margaery are taking the spot of Growing Strong.

Aaron
Olenna’s Cunning could take the place of Put to the Sword. It can allow us to get a Varys or Rattleshirt’s Raiders in a pinch.

Alex
Let’s do it. Since we are focusing on power challenges, we can afford to have no character removal. Even when falling behind on board, we can play defensively and focus on winning those power challenges, combined with Renown we should be able to grind out victories.

Aaron
Does Ghaston Grey just end us?

Alex
We’d just have to play around it. We have multiple good characters that generate power. And don’t forget that Sansa Stark and The Iron Throne can generate 2 power each round without us having to attack.

Aaron
Right, we can always play defensively and get renown that way on Knight of Flowers and/or Randyll Tarly.

One more exclusion to discuss: Bear and the Maiden Fair.

I think it can be quite good, but likely to do nearly nothing for us. If we had a lot of removal then we could use it to deny resources or characters, but without that, it seems irrelevant.

Alex
Agreed, it doesn’t really accomplish anything in this deck. We aren’t fishing for combo pieces or trying to deny our opponent.

This is also why I don’t think Highgarden is necessary for this deck, but Greyjoy got a lot of love in Taking the Black and we can expect to see lots of Greyjoy decks and Highgarden is required to stop Balon Greyjoy.

Are we ready to discuss the plot deck?

Calm Over Westeros, Calling the Banners, A Clash of Kings, Summons x2, A Noble Cause, Confiscation?

Aaron
I don’t think we need the second copy of Summons, switching to Tyrell gives us draw so we can get a little more utility out of the plot deck.

What about Building Orders or Sneak Attack or Jousting Contest?

Sneak Attack should be 2-4 power to close.

Alex
Sneak Attack gives less power than A Clash of Kings, so it doesn’t make sense as a closer unless we already have two copies of A Clash of Kings.

A Clash of Kings > Sneak Attack > 2nd Summons. Not sure where Jousting Contest fits into that inequality however.

Aaron
Jousting Contest helps us if the board gets large.

No appreciation for Building Orders? It can find Seal of the Hand or Heartsbane.

Alex
I always forget that it can get attachments too!

Let’s try Building Orders since we aren’t using three copies of Seal of the Hand or Bodyguard like we were in the last deck. This last spot can switch to A Clash of Kings or Jousting Contest if testing leads us that way.

Are we ever going to play the decks we build?

Aaron
Haha, we should do that one day!

You can find the deck list below, or view the deck on ThronesDB.

Two Guys, One Deck: Tyrell Banner of the Wolf (#2)

Plots
1x A Clash of Kings (Core Set)
1x A Noble Cause (Core Set)
1x Building Orders (Core Set)
1x Calling the Banners (Core Set)
1x Calm Over Westeros (Core Set)
1x Confiscation (Core Set)
1x Summons (Core Set)

Characters
2x Varys (Core Set)
1x Rattleshirt’s Raiders (Core Set)
3x Arya Stark (Core Set)
3x Bran Stark (Core Set)
3x Sansa Stark (Core Set)
3x Winterfell Steward (Core Set)
1x Left (Core Set)
3x Margaery Tyrell (Core Set)
2x Paxter Redwyne (Core Set)
3x Randyll Tarly (Core Set)
1x Right (Core Set)
3x The Knight of Flowers (Core Set)
2x Courtesan of the Rose (Core Set)
3x Garden Caretaker (Core Set)
2x Wardens of the Reach (Core Set)

Locations
1x The Iron Throne (Core Set)
3x The Kingsroad (Core Set)
3x The Roseroad (Core Set)
1x Highgarden (Core Set)
1x The Mander (Core Set)
3x Rose Garden (Core Set)
2x Pleasure Barge (Taking the Black)

Attachments
2x Seal of the Hand (Core Set)
2x Bodyguard (Core Set)
1x Little Bird (Core Set)
2x Heartsbane (Core Set)

Events
1x The Hand’s Judgment (Core Set)
1x Growing Strong (Core Set)
1x Olenna’s Cunning (Core Set)
2x Support of the People (Taking the Black)

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Alex Kern (agktmte)
Alex Kern has been playing Thrones since the summer of 2012. He is fortunate enough to live in the Tulsa area and plays locally at The Covenant Store. He currently writes two columns for The White Book: Two Guys, One Deck and The Deck Doctor. Both are centered around his favorite aspect of the game: deck building. If you ever want to talk shop about deck building, you can usually find him hanging out on the Discord server.
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