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Two Guys, One Deck: Lannister Banner of the Sun

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Welcome to another edition of Two Guys, One Deck. In this article Aaron and I will be building a Lannister Banner of the Sun deck and in the next article I will be building a deck with a special guest: you! That’s right, I am kicking out Aaron and replacing him with one of you, so if you are interested in building a deck with me for the next article, please contact me with some information about the deck you’d like to build. Bonus consideration if you want me to help you build your Store Championship deck and don’t mind sharing it with everyone in two weeks. You can contact me through comments here, on CGDB, on Facebook, on Discord (which I recommend you join if you haven’t), or any other way you can find me. Thanks for reading!

Alex
We talked about building Lannister Banner of the Sun.

Aaron
Let’s do it.

Alex
From Martell I’d like Nymeria Sand for sure, Bastard Daughter, and Confinement. Also 3 Desert Scavengers.

Aaron
I don’t love Confinement. As in, let’s cut it entirely.

Alex
Whoa, really? Too low-impact for you with the STR requirement?

Aaron
It is too low impact. We just have better cards for the deck now. I think we need 2 copies of Hand’s Judgement and 5-6 kill events.

We can only run so many non-setup cards and I don’t think we have room for it.

Alex
I’m willing to try it, but I may come back to it at the end.

Aaron
Fair. 3 copies of Nymeria Sand and Desert Scavenger for sure, I agree.

Probably only 2 Bastard Daughter for now. We’re going to be short on space in the list.

2 or 3 copies of Arianne?

Alex
I was going to leave her out completely. Maybe only 1 or 2? Probably 2.

Aaron
That’s 10 Martell cards. Caleotte and Edric to make 12?

Alex
Sure, unless you want Sunspear instead of Edric, but I think Edric will be fine.

Aaron
I like his Stealth, and it’s something else for Tyrion’s gold.

Alex
Okay, let’s go through our characters by cost now.

1-cost: All 6 reducers.

2-cost?

Aaron
Hard to say this early, not sure what we’ll have room for…and if we need House Dayne Knight, Burned Men, or Queen’s Assassin.

Alex
Yeah. There are a lot of 2-cost options, so let’s just reserve 8 spots for 2-cost characters and then fill those in later. We know four of them will be 2 Bastard Daughter, 1 Edric Dayne, and 1 The Tickler (needed for Treachery). Once we build the rest we can fill in missing icons with the other 4 spots.

3-cost? 1 Caleotte. Any Joffrey?

Aaron
No Joffrey, he’s unneeded. Plus we won’t use all the Lords for The Things I Do For Love.

Maester Pycelle goes in.

Alex
Caleotte, Pycelle, and 2 copies of The Hound.

Aaron
4-cost: Cersei Lannister and 2 copies of Rattleshirt’s Raiders?

Alex
That sounds good for now.

Time for the awesome 5-cost characters now: 3 copies of Nymeria Sand and 2 of Arianne.

Aaron
3 copies of Tyrion Lannister and 1 Syrio Forel.

And we missed something at 3-cost: Brothel Madame. Two copies.

Alex
You think so? I wasn’t sold on her inclusion in the deck.

Aaron
She’s fantastic, even if it only works on one turn, it can swing an entire game. It really puts a hurt on Greyjoy and Stark.

Alex
Okay, let’s put them in. That gives us 33 characters at the moment. (Assuming 4 spots for yet-to-be-determined 2-cost characters.)

Varys?

Aaron
I don’t want Varys.

Alex
None at all? Really? Not even a singleton?

Aaron
Not even. He isn’t needed. We have control and aggro galore.

So let’s finish the characters with 2 copies of Jaime and 3 of Tywin.

Alex
So that’s 34 characters, 38 if we count the remaining 4 2-cost characters yet to be determined.

Aaron
Let’s add those 2-costers.

Alex
What icons do we need? Power? Which is non-existent with this faction combination.

Aaron
We can go up to 3 copies of Bastard Daughter since she can get a power icon.

Alex
3 more spots to put us at 38 characters. Burned Men to help against Greyjoy and other Stealth?

Aaron
I’m not sure we need that help, but let’s throw in 2 Burned Men and stop at 36 characters.

Attachments?

Alex
I think we may need Milk of the Poppy now that Nymeria is out and about. She can be difficult to handle since our removal is based on winning challenges and she can keep that from happening.

Aaron
Two copies of Milk of the Poppy I think.

Alex
Agreed. I also like Widow’s Wail and Seal of the Hand with Tywin Lannister, but that could be too much of a luxury.

Aaron
Let’s add 2 of each for now and cut later if need be.

Everyone uses Confiscation, so I like to have multiple targets if I use any attachments.

Do we want Bodyguard? Removal is king and it could be huge, though it doesn’t work on Nymeria.

Alex
We probably don’t have room, so I think it would take the place of Seal of the Hand, same targets, so if Seal of the Hand ends up too expensive then we can swap them for Bodyguard instead.

Aaron
Let’s move on to locations, then. I have an interesting module to consider.

Do we want to add 2 copies of Sunspear and Cersei’s Wheelhouse?

I kind of like the idea, adds speed either way, which we’re lacking.

Alex
It’s hilarious. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I suppose the question to consider is this: What are those taking the place of? Lannisport? Events? Can we afford to give up those spots?

Certainly that could replace Lannisport, but I don’t know if I want to lose events for that.

Aaron
I think we are going to run 12 events.

Alex
I like the idea of Sunspear and Wheelhouse. Let’s just do it.

Aaron
We can go with 2 copies of Cersei’s Wheelhouse and just 1 copy of Sunspear to save some space for now.

Alex
Let’s do that. I like that we can get a benefit either way if they are in play together, but they also counter each other, so we’ll have to see how that works out in practice.

6 neutral Limited locations. And do we want any of the faction Limited locations?

Aaron
2 copies of Western Fiefdom.

Events: 3 Put to the Sword, 3 Tears of Lys, 2 Hand’s Judgement, 3 Treachery?

Alex
We are up to 53 cards now, so only 7 spots left. Or 8 in your case.

I prefer only 2 copies of Put to the Sword. I find it to be a bit clunkier to trigger and feel like 3 can be too many. I might only run 1 since we have Nymeria and Caleotte to power up our 3 Tears of Lys.

Aaron
I think we can trigger Put to the Sword pretty easily. Don’t forget we also added Syrio.

Alex
Yes, but it’s just more difficult to push through than Tears of Lys, objectively speaking, because the STR differential matters and it does not for Tears of Lys. With that said, we can probably push through a Put to the Sword when we want because of The Hound and Tywin and Syrio, but it is still going to be a little more difficult to use and cost more gold. If we cut down from 3 copies of any of those, Put to the Sword would be the one I cut.

Aaron
If we aren’t running Varys, I hate cutting any removal from the deck. Yes, we cut Put to the Sword before Tears of Lys, but let’s try to trim elsewhere first.

Alex
I forgot we aren’t using Varys. Could we remove Sunspear? Using your events puts us at 64 cards, so we need to cut 3 more for you and I will probably still cut a Put to the Sword as my fourth cut.

Aaron
Maybe Sunspear, but what about going back down to 2 Bastard Daughters and only 1 Arianne?

Alex
Sounds good to me, I was originally going to leave Arianne out of the deck completely.

Aaron
I like 1 because it acts as stand if we need it.

1 copy of Widow’s Wail for the final cut?

Alex
We might need it more with Crown of Gold.

Aaron
I think we just accept that Crown of Gold will get something and move on.

Alex
Do we need 2 Rattleshirt’s Raiders or could we cut that down?

Aaron
We could cut 1.

Alex
And keep 2 Widow’s Wail. I like it. That makes a 61 card deck for you. I will cut a Put to the Sword to make it 60 for me and publication.

Aaron
Plots! The usual?

Alex
Calm Over Westeros, Calling the Banners, A Noble Cause, Marched to the Wall, Summons, Confiscation, and… Coppers?

Aaron
That 2-3-1! We’re short draw so we’ll need it.

Alex
There’s also a second Marched to the Wall (no Varys), a Wildfire Assault (no Varys), or a second Summons that I considered for that last spot.

Aaron
Let’s go ahead and talk through a few of these anyway. Why Calling the Banners and not Trading with the Pentoshi?

Alex
I’m wary of Trading with the Pentoshi right now. I need to see it a bit before I commit.

Aaron
I love it, but only with The Things I Do For Love and Varys – neither of which are in this deck.

Without any resets it becomes hard to play effectively.

Alex
Which reminds me, I think Wildfire Assault could be useful.

Aaron
I dislike Wildfire Assault in Lannister. It’s too easy to get out a big board with all of the economy.

Alex
Well, that’s all about timing, right? You could plan for that and use Wildfire the turn after you play Tywin, then use that economy to play out your big board at that point.

Aaron
True, but I tend to get a big board first.

Alex
That may be true, but I think that’s play-style dependent. I could see the value of using Wildfire Assault for some players with Lannister.

Aaron
The other issue is that it would have to replace Marched to the Wall because we need the other plots, and I like punishing bad setups more than using Wildfire Assault.

Alex
Agreed. Other plots to debate: could we use Trading with the Pentoshi instead of A Noble Cause?

It could be used to help pay for Nymeria and Syrio since they don’t have the Lord or Lady traits, which is a new thing.

Aaron
It’s more gold, but A Noble Cause is safer. We’d get the 2 reduction for sure, even if we get hit with Naval Superiority.

I really don’t want to use it early to play a big guy and have the 3 gold help my opponent afford to use removal on it.

Alex
What if we cut A Noble Cause for a second Calling the Banners? Without Varys or Wildfire Assault, our opponent’s could easily have 3-5 characters. It would give us approximately the same gold value, but higher initiative.

Aaron
I still think A Noble Cause is more reliable for playing Tywin if we really need it.

Alex
I forgot about Wardens of the West. It is 5 gold and safe from Naval Superiority. Could it replace any of these?

Aaron
To play Wardens of the West we need to save gold.

Alex
Not necessarily, Tyrion could pay for the effect. You don’t even need to use the effect, the stats are good enough. Calling the Banners is only there for the stats, this is likely a bit less gold, but does have a potentially strong effect.

Aaron
With all the 5-cost characters, having a plot (Calling the Banners) that can get us 6+ gold pretty consistently is important. It means we can play Nymeria and a Bastard Daughter, or Syrio and a Put to the Sword.

Alex
I can live what that.

So after this lengthy debate we are settled on the initially proposed 7 plots?

Aaron
I think so. Unless you think I’m wrong?

Alex
I still think a second Calling the Banners in place of A Noble Cause could work, but A Noble Cause is more reliable and that can make a big difference, so we can keep the plots as is.

Thanks for reading another installment of Two Guys, One Deck. The deck list will be posted below or you can view it on ThronesDB.

Remember, next time I will be building a deck with one of our readers (possibly you!) so please contact me if you have an idea for a deck that you would like to build with me for the next article.

Two Guys, One Deck: Lannister Banner of the Sun (#5)

Plots (7)
1x A Noble Cause (Core Set)
1x Calling the Banners (Core Set)
1x Calm Over Westeros (Core Set)
1x Confiscation (Core Set)
1x Counting Coppers (Core Set)
1x Marched to the Wall (Core Set)
1x Summons (Core Set)

Characters (33)
1x Rattleshirt’s Raiders (Core Set)
1x Cersei Lannister (Core Set)
1x Grand Maester Pycelle (Core Set)
2x Ser Jaime Lannister (Core Set)
1x The Tickler (Core Set)
3x Tyrion Lannister (Core Set)
3x Tywin Lannister (Core Set)
2x Burned Men (Core Set)
3x Lannisport Merchant (Core Set)
1x Arianne Martell (Core Set)
1x Edric Dayne (Core Set)
1x Maester Caleotte (Core Set)
3x Desert Scavenger (Core Set)
2x The Hound (Taking the Black)
2x Bastard Daughter (Taking the Black)
2x Brothel Madame (The Road to Winterfell)
3x Nymeria Sand (The Road to Winterfell)
1x Syrio Forel (The Road to Winterfell)

Locations (11)
3x The Kingsroad (Core Set)
3x The Roseroad (Core Set)
2x Western Fiefdom (Core Set)
1x Sunspear (Core Set)
2x Cersei’s Wheelhouse (Taking the Black)

Attachments (6)
2x Seal of the Hand (Core Set)
2x Milk of the Poppy (Core Set)
2x Widow’s Wail (Core Set)

Events (10)
2x Put to the Sword (Core Set)
3x Tears of Lys (Core Set)
2x The Hand’s Judgment (Core Set)
3x Treachery (Core Set)

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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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