Welcome to a special edition of Two Guys, One Deck! I’ll be deviating from the typical conversation style because it’s going to be easier for me this time around. But rest assured, this is a result of Aaron and I having an extensive back and forth exchange. Also, we have a spoiler from Wolves of the North for you to salivate over!
As many of you know, we build Lannister decks almost exclusively. This time will be no different.
With the recent popularizing of the Lannister “Jumpers” (aka BAMF! aka Leaping Lions aka Whatever you want to call it), Aaron and I decided to take a crack at it. However, we had the benefit of receiving a new Lannister card that will help us take this deck to the next level.
Since this was built over multiple conversation sessions and I’m not feeling like parsing through the entire conversation and rewriting it for you, let’s look at the deck and talk about the cards we’ve chosen. We’ll start with the plots.
1x A Noble Cause (Core Set)
1x A Storm of Swords (Core Set)
2x Counting Coppers (Core Set)
1x Wardens of the West (The Road to Winterfell)
1x Trading with the Pentoshi (The Road to Winterfell)
1x The First Snow of Winter (No Middle Ground)
The inclusion of two Counting Coppers for a deck like this is already established in the meta and we have no reason to contradict that logic at this time. We also like to have the possibility of marshaling the characters if given the opportunity (especially a Tywin Lannister early game!), so we needed to have an appropriate amount of gold plots, they also help pay for the various Ambush cards we plan to use. So we settled on A Noble Cause (over Calling the Banners, while the initiative is good, it cannot guarantee the gold needed to marshal Tywin), Trading with the Pentoshi, and Wardens of the West for our gold plots.
We decided to use Wardens of the West rather than Calm Over Westeros or Calling the Banners because it has some other potential synergies that the other plots lack, we will get into those when I discuss those cards. That leaves us with two spots left over for “effects.” We definitely wanted to use The First Snow of Winter because we can take advantage of it a lot with Ambush on characters like Burned Men, or The Hound, but also it works well with the events that put characters into play since it is a low gold plot and that is less concerning if you can drop in a Jaime or Gregor for 0 or 1 gold.
That left us with one spot and Aaron wanted The Winds of Winter (probably correct), but I really wanted to try A Storm of Swords (and won!) for a couple reasons. First, it is hilarious if you can drop in Jaime using Hear Me Roar on this turn (or even if he’s in play already!) and second, getting additional challenges is always helpful with The Lord of the Crossing as your Agenda. It also has a similar effect in that if you win both military challenges it is the same as winning a two-claim military challenge, only better because you can get renown twice on Jaime and you could trigger Put to the Sword twice if you had the gold for it. All things considered, I definitely want to try this plot and convinced Aaron to consent for this article.
If you play this using A Storm of Swords, please let me know if you like it or not.
1x Rattleshirt’s Raiders (Core Set)
3x Cersei Lannister (Core Set)
2x Grand Maester Pycelle (Core Set)
3x Ser Jaime Lannister (Core Set)
1x The Tickler (Core Set)
3x Tyrion Lannister (Core Set)
3x Tywin Lannister (Core Set)
3x Burned Men (Core Set)
2x Gold Cloaks (Core Set)
3x Lannisport Merchant (Core Set)
2x The Queen’s Assassin (Core Set)
3x The Hound (Taking the Black)
3x Ser Gregor Clegane (The King’s Peace)
As you can see, lots of uniques for I Never Bet Against My Family and Hear Me Roar, as has been established by earlier versions of the deck. We have decided to include one Rattleshirt’s Raiders because we did not include Confiscation in the plot deck and we need to at least have the potential for attachment removal in the list.
You can see that we’ve included three copies of Burned Men, necessary to take advantage of The First Snow of Winter, as well as two copies of The Queen’s Assassin, also included to take serious advantage of The First Snow of Winter. The dream is of course to remove all but the very best of your opponent’s characters with The First Snow of Winter and then ambush one of these assassins into play! It also helps protect your own board a bit from an opponent that might be in a superior military position on that turn. Gold Cloaks serve a similar purpose, since their ambush cost is so low, it can really help you out while you are stalling for the pieces you need on your low gold turns.
I don’t think any of the other choices are interesting enough to talk about. You are all quite familiar with the power of Lannister’s character base at this point, so we’ve included all of those for all of the reasons you expect.
Widow’s Wail is automatic of course, it is a great card and you have to have a reason not to use two copies if you are playing Lannister. We decided to include the new attachment, Paid Off, because we expect to have a superior intrigue presence and even if the kneel effect doesn’t stick (though it might with ambush!), we can make use of that extra gold, both as a disruption to the opponent’s plans, but also as a way to fund your own ambush or events.
I think these are pretty much the events you would expect to see with Lannister Crossing that utilizes the jumping theme. Put to the Sword is quite easy to trigger with Tyrion, Gregor, Tywin, Jaime, and the STR boost from the agenda, so it’s inclusion at three copies is justified. Hear Me Roar and I Never Bet Against My Family power the entire archetype, so also necessary (though you’ll notice we have only two copies of INBAMF, mostly because you have less control over it, and we don’t like that). If you strongly desire cutting to 60 cards (as I do!) then you could probably cut one of the events, which one, I will leave up to you, the reader.
And now you’re thinking to yourself, probably for the third or fourth time: “We were promised a spoiler! Where is it!?”
Including 8 Limited locations is pretty standard. The only thing atypical about our setup is that we’ve gone with only two copies of The Kingsroad and all three copies of Western Fiefdom, the reason for that is that the jumper deck is less about marshaling the expensive characters and instead, being able to ambush or put them into play through other means. The gold of The Roseroad helps accomplish that more, as does the instant economic gain of Western Fiefdom, allowing you to save a gold the turn you play it, as opposed to losing one gold the turn you play Kingsroad (since you may not marshal a character anyway).
Two copies of Lannisport for draw, as we mentioned in regards to Paid Off, we expect intrigue dominance, so this allows us to get some extra draw for it. Same with Shadowblack Lane, helping to dig for the events that allow us to cheat characters into play. And last, we have Tower of the Hand. And you have no idea why we’re using it because it’s new! So let me tell you a little bit about this card and why it makes this deck click even more than it did before.
Tower of the Hand reads “Reaction: After you win an [intrigue] challenge, kneel Tower of the Hand and return a participating [Lannister] character to your hand to choose a character with lower printed cost controlled by the losing opponent. Return that character to its owner’s hand.”
Now, this plays right into our jumping theme. You may recall that the event cards have the draw back of discarding the character at the end of the phase, well, now we have a way to return them to our hand instead! What could be better than using HMR or INBAMF with The Hound? Having a location that makes Jaime, Tywin, Cersei, Tyrion, Pycelle, and the Tickler work the same way! As an added benefit, it removes a character from your opponent’s side of the board so that it can be discarded with the resulting intrigue claim. Especially if they just had to discard two cards with the reaction on Wardens of the West. Note that in addition to The First Snow of Winter, this gives us another way to bring The Queen’s Assassin back to our hand, while simultaneously removing military claim soak from our opponent! One important thing to note is that the cost must be lower on your opponent’s character, so you won’t be able to use this to return an opponent’s 7-cost character to their hand, until we get an 8-cost Lannister character of course.
Having this location will truly give your opponent nightmares as they struggle to not only control your characters that are bouncing in and out of play, but also keeping their own characters in play or even in hand! The possibilities are endless and I think this deck is going to be very fun to play next week when Wolves of the North hits the street.