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The Deck Doctor w/ Kenno

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In this spin-off of Two Guys, One Deck, I will be building a deck with a special guest. My goal is simple: help them build a better deck. In this first article I am talking with Kenno from the Philippines about a Martell Banner of the Lion deck. If you would like to join me in a future installment of The Deck Doctor, please contact me and I will be happy to help you out with your deck build.

Alex
Thanks for joining me on my first Deck Doctor article.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and where you play.

Kenno
My name is Kenno, from the Philippine meta. I started playing Thrones in October 2014. I immediately fell in love with the game and community and this has become my main game.

I love to build decks. I’ve probably spent more time building decks than playing games.

Alex
I feel the same way, plenty of time to think about the cards and different decks, but never enough time to actually play them.

What kind of deck would you like to build today?

Kenno
I really enjoy the control-oriented mini-curve decks that use Varys. So I’d like to do something with that.

I’d really like to build a Martell Banner of the Lion deck with these elements.

Alex
Let’s do it!

Starting with the key cards, I’m assuming Varys and Ghaston Grey with three copies each?

Kenno
I never leave home without them.

Since we want to do control, I think three copies of Treachery and two or three of Hand’s Judgement.

Alex
Sounds good to me, let’s start with three copies of each and we can cut down later.

Continuing with the control events: do you like Confinement for the deck?

Kenno
I love Confinement. It’s brutal with Tears of Lys, which I would also include in the deck.

Alex
Okay, so we want to add Confinement and Tears of Lys, another good control card. Start with three copies of each for now?

Kenno
Yeah, we can max out events and trim down later as needed.

Alex
What do you think about Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken? Good for the deck?

Kenno
I hadn’t thought about it, but I don’t think we need it for this kind of deck.

Alex
I agree, I don’t think we need the overall challenge control since we are focused on targeted character control instead.

Kenno
Right, with Confinement, Ghaston Grey, and Tears of Lys so far.

Alex
Any other events while we’re talking about them?

Kenno
Would you consider using Support of the People at all? Getting Ghaston Grey could be deadly.

Alex
It depends on the character base, but since we are likely to be low curve and given that Martell and Lannister are generally weak on the power icon. I would leave it out of the deck. Unless we end up using The Red Viper, then perhaps.

What about Put to the Sword in the deck?

Kenno
Do you think we’ll have the military STR to use it? I usually have trouble triggering it.

Alex
It depends on the characters we use, if we include multiple copies of Areo, Jaime, or The Hound, then we could definitely trigger it.

It could be a good event to include once or twice in the deck, but you are right, it isn’t as easy to trigger in a deck like this, but it is character removal.

Kenno
Let’s keep the events where they are for now and maybe consider that later.

Let’s go through the characters next.

Three copies of each faction’s reducer?

Alex
Always. Unless there is a good reason not to do so.

Although, in a mini-curve deck I could see using fewer because you don’t need them to join 6 and 7 cost characters in setup the same way you do in other decks. But for now, let’s use all six reducers and move on to 2-cost characters.

Kenno
That’s interesting, I may try that in a future deck.

Three copies of Bastard Daughter?

Alex
Yes, we could possibly cut to two if needed later. Three copies of Greenblood Traders are necessary though.

Do you like Edric in the deck? I usually use at least one copy.

Kenno
We can put in one for now, but maybe we don’t use him at all.

Alex
The stealth is good, but he isn’t vital to the theme of the deck, so he can be removed later if we need space.

Any other 2-cost characters?

Kenno
Do we need to run House Dayne Knight?

Alex
Possibly some number of them, not sure how many. We do need one copy of The Tickler if we are using Treachery.

Kenno
I agree with that. How about two copies of House Dayne Knight to go with The Tickler?

Alex
Sure, that gives us 10 2-cost characters and 6 1-cost.

Do you like Moneylender or Burned Men more than any of these others?

Kenno
Nah, those aren’t what we need for this deck.

Alex
Agreed. 3-cost characters now, what do you like?

Kenno
The Hound and Caleotte for sure. Two copies each?

Alex
That sounds good to me, we can tweak some numbers later if we need to.

Kenno
One Joffrey for Treachery?

Alex
I think it’s needed, we don’t want to have Treachery and be unable to use it.

Kenno
Do we need Brothel Madame(s)?

Alex
I don’t think we need it, but if we have room for it I don’t think it’s an effect you’ll regret having in the deck.

Kenno
Let’s run one for now and cut it later if we don’t have room.

And we need Areo Hotah as well.

Alex
How many copies? I like two.

Kenno
I used to use three, but we have more options now. Let’s go with two copies.

Alex
I like it because then we could choose him with Marched to the Wall and get another use if we have a second in hand.

What do you think of Dornish Paramour or Obara Sand?

Kenno
I never want to go first, so Dornish Paramour isn’t a great fit. Obara, probably one copy because she’s good with Nymeria.

Alex
Agreed. I don’t really like the Dornish Paramour outside of Targaryen.

Any 4-cost characters?

Kenno
The only ones to consider are Palace Spearman and Rattleshirt’s Raiders.

Alex
We probably won’t have the space to include the Palace Spearman since we want to use so many of the 5-cost characters. But one Rattleshirt’s Raiders is going in the deck at least.

Let’s fill in the rest of the characters and then see if we have room for a second Rattleshirt’s Raiders or a Palace Spearman.

Three copies of Tyrion?

Kenno
For sure. Probably only two copies of Arianne?

Alex
Yeah, I wouldn’t want all three copies. All three copies of Nymeria?

Kenno
I think she’s a bit underwhelming on larger board states. I’m thinking only two copies.

Alex
Having played with Nymeria, I completely agree, I think two is a good number.

Kenno
I want at least one Syrio Forel too. Stealth is so good.

Alex
Okay. Do you want one copy of Littlefinger as well? We might need the draw.

Kenno
I forgot about him. I think we need the draw.

I’d also like to include Jaime, despite calling this a mini-curve deck.

Alex
With Treachery, I think we want at least one copy of Jaime. How many are you thinking?

Kenno
Two. The renown on Jaime also helps speed things up.

Alex
Okay. That gives us 40 characters. We’ll probably need to cut a few at the end.

Any attachments?

Kenno
I was thinking Widow’s Wail and Milk of the Poppy. Two of each?

Alex
Let’s start with two of each. I like those attachments for the deck. Widow’s Wail helps against burn and can give us some surprise challenge wins and Milk of the Poppy is probably needed against Nymeria.

That puts us at 59 cards in the deck. We need to put in economy locations and decide how many copies of Sunspear we want to use.

All six neutral economy cards and two copies of Blood Orange Grove?

Kenno
Agreed. Also add in two copies of Sunspear and let’s start cutting some cards.

Alex
We need to cut 9 cards to get us down to 60. So which cards feel like luxuries and not necessities?

I think Brothel Madame is one.

Kenno
Yeah. Maybe go down to two copies of Hand’s Judgement?

Alex
I think so. Can we cut one Confinement?

Kenno
We could. We have Nymeria now. Maybe cut one Widow’s Wail too?

Alex
Yeah, it always makes me sad to cut that card, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary.

5 more cards to cut, Bastard Daughter and/or House Dayne Knights?

Kenno
I’d rather cut both House Dayne Knights and keep all three Bastard Daughters. We have a lot of intrigue icons already.

Alex
I can agree with that.

Kenno
Can we justify cutting Rattleshirt’s Raiders?

Alex
I don’t think so, it’s tough to remove the possibility of attachment control from the deck completely.

Kenno
I can see that. Go down to only one Caleotte?

Alex
Might have to do that. Now only two more cuts to make.

What about losing Edric from the list?

Kenno
That’s fine with me.

Alex
One more cut to make and I have an idea. What if we add the second Caleotte back in and cut the remaining two Confinements from the deck? With Nymeria and Caleotte we should be able to remove icons for Tears of Lys without needing Confinement.

Kenno
That’s not something I would have considered, but I think it could work.

Plots?

Alex
Probably two Summons and/or Counting Coppers. What about The Long Plan?

Kenno
I like all four of those to start with.

Calling the Banners and Marched to the Wall.

Alex
Absolutely, those two are in. So we have one spot left.

Kenno
I have a few that I like: Confiscation, Calm Over Westeros, Heads on Spikes.

I think it will have to be Calm Over Westeros so we can afford to play our expensive characters.

We could possibly drop the second copy of Summons for one of the others.

Alex
I like Calm Over Westeros for the last plot. Let’s talk about some of those others and if we can replace any of the plots with those.

If we drop the second Summons, we could use A Clash of Kings, Heads on Spikes, or Confiscation in that spot. Thoughts?

Kenno
Summons is really flexible, but we could get some initiative with the other plots.

I like how Heads on Spikes works with Ghaston Grey and the initiative is nice.

Alex
I never use Heads on Spikes so I am tempted to go with it now and try it out.

Kenno
All right, and we can note that this last plot choice is flexible depending on meta and playstyle. But I like Heads on Spikes for now.

Alex
Thanks for joining me and building this deck. I hope you have success with it.

Kenno
I plan to use it at one of our Store Championships, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for reading The Deck Doctor. You can find the deck list below or you can view it on ThronesDB. Feel free to share any comments you have about the deck and contact me if you’d like to be featured in a future article.

The Deck Doctor w/ Kenno (#1)

House Martell / Banner of the Lion

Plots
1x Calling the Banners (Core Set)
1x Calm Over Westeros (Core Set)
1x Counting Coppers (Core Set)
1x Heads on Spikes (Core Set)
1x Marched to the Wall (Core Set)
1x Summons (Core Set)
1x The Long Plan (Taking the Black)

Characters
1x Littlefinger (Core Set)
3x Varys (Core Set)
1x Rattleshirt’s Raiders (Core Set)
1x Joffrey Baratheon (Core Set)
2x Ser Jaime Lannister (Core Set)
1x The Tickler (Core Set)
3x Tyrion Lannister (Core Set)
3x Lannisport Merchant (Core Set)
2x Areo Hotah (Core Set)
2x Arianne Martell (Core Set)
2x Maester Caleotte (Core Set)
1x Obara Sand (Core Set)
3x Desert Scavenger (Core Set)
3x Greenblood Trader (Core Set)
2x The Hound (Taking the Black)
3x Bastard Daughter (Taking the Black)
2x Nymeria Sand (The Road to Winterfell)
1x Syrio Forel (The Road to Winterfell)

Locations
3x The Kingsroad (Core Set)
3x The Roseroad (Core Set)
3x Ghaston Grey (Core Set)
2x Sunspear (Core Set)
2x Blood Orange Grove (Core Set)

Attachments
2x Milk of the Poppy (Core Set)
1x Widow’s Wail (Core Set)

Events
3x Tears of Lys (Core Set)
2x The Hand’s Judgment (Core Set)
3x Treachery (Core Set)

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Profile photo of Alex Kern (agktmte)
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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