Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

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Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by wedge on Wed 20 May - 16:02

Stark no agenda is currently (and normally) one of the strongest decks in the meta. But there are three choices when it comes to seasonalising it. I'd be interested on people's opinions. I shall state the advantages of the options as I see it.

Winter.

The most common option is winter and it has some pretty obvious advantages

- Powering up Meera, Robb, and Arya
- Access to potential free intrigue challenge via kingsroad
- Ability to slightly choke opponent whilst being able to run sufficient economy yourself
- Access to some extra Stark winter tech such as the Ranger of Winter
- Some draw from Sam

Summer.

Summer works to a degree for any house as it offers economy and draw advantages

- Lots of easy draw via kingsroad, Gilly, Sam
- Never risk choking yourself
- Can run fewer economy cards

As well as the downsides of not getting the advantages of the other two options, Summer has the further problems of being weak against other winter decks and cannot run some decent stark cards like Yoren and the older Vyman

No Season.

The least draw-y, but potentially more efficient version

- No need to run cards that are otherwise useless like Sam, Raven attachments, A Time for Ravens
- Not relying on a season to make anything in your deck work
- Spare deck space can be used to make deck more consistent, or more toolboxy
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by JCWamma on Wed 20 May - 16:58

Tagore and I have argued about this a lot. He thinks it's summer, I think it's Winter. You've done an excellent job of summarizing the differences there, but I want to highlight a couple more advantages:

- Winter builds are substantially more resilient to facing against choke than Summer builds are. It is a generally agreed-upon fact that in a Summer Vs Winter match the winter deck is the favourite for a number of reasons, and with both seasons somewhat prevalent right now it's an important point to consider.
- You did actually already mention this, but I want to linger on it more - Meera being powered up. She is the best card in the game in my opinion, and making her effect twice as good is monumental.
- The Winds of Winter. Obviously you can make the argument for Song of Summer, but Winds is better for a couple of reasons - firstly, 2 claim is worth more to an aggro deck than an effective 6 gold; secondly, one of Stark's weaker match-ups is weenie spam, and lowering all opponents' character's STR by 1 is more impactful than raising your own (and also does a great job of shutting down 1 STR characters; thirdly, with A Time For Wolves out, Stark decks are almost all running Grey Wind, and being able to hit 2 STR characters with him (or 3 STR if attached to Robb Stark) is a very valuable boon to have.

Good topic!
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by Vince on Wed 20 May - 17:09

I'ma Winter-convinced guy. For all the reasons you both stated already.

Samwell provides another source of draw, even though it is Summer Kingsroad. The Winter kingsroad, put so much pressure on your opponent. And it gives you multiple possibilities that Summer wouldn't allow. With winter you can stark choking your opponent, with the slight winter breeze and the grandiose Broken Solid. this attachement becomes either a choke card or a location hate card. Add to that Arya and Meera, plus Robb, and Greywind, and... and... and... and...

For me the Winter version is the strongest Stark build ^^.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by OldShrimpEyes on Wed 20 May - 17:12

In a move that should surprise no one, I'm going to come down on the side of winter. in my limited experience of Stark, you can sprinkle in some winter tech without really compromising anything in your deck. If you get the raven out and attached, great. If not, no big deal.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by Vince on Wed 20 May - 17:47

A few years ago, a case could be made for Stark Summer, because of the extra draw the Agenda, and then the Kingsroad provide. But now, that Stark has a lot of tutor at its disposal and the classic neutral draw module, it shines less under the sun :p. And even if you put less resource locations in your deck, the Winter version of the deck will run cheaper characters and have you run the same number of resource card (more or less 1).

For the No Season, it's more debatable to me. You could replace Sam + birds (draw and cheap stealth), and maybe Arya (though an undying character is always cool) and a few things here and there, but to add what? Maybe to be less previsible? Don't take me wrond I sincerely value this. But you would have to be really original to surprise your opponent with a Stark No Season build...

Given that a strong Stark will mostly play always the same cards, and that there is very little surprise tech involved. I would simply go for the stronger version of the deck (imo).

The other possibility being to change the all build and try something really different Smile.


Last edited by Vince on Wed 20 May - 17:54; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by OldShrimpEyes on Wed 20 May - 17:53

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the (admittedly niche) version of Cat who shuts down intrigue challenges in winter. Not very common and jumping Cat is a millions times better, but still, summer ain't got that, yo!
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 20 May - 18:11

I'm a fan of playing Stark NA without a season personally, but I don't think that's necessarily the strongest option. As Wedge noted, it allows you to play more of the toolbox-y Stark cards, and there are a lot of sweet toolbox-y Stark cards. You do hurt for draw a bit without Sam, but between Guard at Riverrun, Kyle, Luwin, Vyman, Hoster, Jaime if you have shadows, and potentially the Blackfish or Tycho, Stark's not as bad in the card advantage department as it used to be. And then there's search of course - Maege, At the Gates, Time for Wolves, Jeyne, that one Sansa and To Be are all great search effects, and Rickon and the Riders make them all better.

The issue with this though is that in becoming more toolbox-y you potentially lose your ability to pack a punch. Winter builds play a really disruptive game, between the choke, discard from the Kingsroad, double-Meera-ing and Winds of Winter, in a way that Summer and no-season builds can't do as well. Still, as a fan of versatile decks with lots of options, the no-season build is my preference.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by OldShrimpEyes on Wed 20 May - 18:17

cobrabubbles wrote:Still, as a fan of versatile decks with lots of options, the no-season build is my preference.

Shocked who are you and what have you done with Rowan?
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 20 May - 18:22

OldShrimpEyes wrote:Shocked who are you and what have you done with Rowan?

Whatever do you mean? What is Clansmen but a versatile deck?
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by OldShrimpEyes on Wed 20 May - 18:26

Claim what you will, Ser. We all know you to be a purveyor of the finest jank in the land.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by ShiftyMcNinja on Wed 20 May - 19:50

OldShrimpEyes wrote:Claim what you will, Ser. We all know you to be a purveyor of the finest jUnk in the land.

Fixed that for you Craven
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by Vince on Wed 20 May - 20:03

I feel a bit strange stating my opinion like that, but I fear we are all talking of roughly the same deck and the inclusion (or not) of a season.

But is there anything, yet potentially realiable and powerful, to build in this house?

The archetypes are what?
- Stark NoA Meera Winter (or not)
- Stark AaA armies (quite brutal)
- Stark HoD Bear Island (I can't believe this is really strong...)
- Stark HoD Harrenhal (basically a NoA but with this to draw)
- Stark Siege (maybe playable again with Bloody gate to boost the marshalling phase?)
- Stark...

I don't know the house enough, but for me it asks the question of the variety in this house. Though it is the one that has the more reliable tutor, it looks like Stark players are struggling around the same thing...

The only ideas I have to overcome that, is to set up some rules to build your deck. Something like:
- Do not play No Quarter
- Do not play Meera
- Do not play Edmure
- Do not play Catelyn
- Do not play NCF
With these, it may force Stark players to go a bit out of their way, and maybe something will arise...

I'll try to see if I can think of something ^^.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by OldShrimpEyes on Wed 20 May - 20:34

I think Stark Maesters and DWDW are strong archetypes as well.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 20 May - 21:35

Vince wrote:
The archetypes are what?
- Stark NoA Meera Winter (or not)
- Stark AaA armies (quite brutal)
- Stark HoD Bear Island (I can't believe this is really strong...)
- Stark HoD Harrenhal (basically a NoA but with this to draw)
- Stark Siege (maybe playable again with Bloody gate to boost the marshalling phase?)

Siege and AaA armies are fairly specific decks, but when building the rest of the ones you mention there are actually several directions you can go in (and the same applies for DWDW). You can play Summer or Winter out of most of them (not Bear Island though), you can focus on strong defense with the various strong location options, you can run a Tully subtheme either for extra defensive ability or card advantage with Hoster and Family Duty Honour, you can play an aggressive armies build with reducer Robb like Bambi took to the London regional last year, you can run Fury+To Be and Rickon for a different style of toolbox, you can slot a Direwolf module now that Time for Wolves is out, you can run Shadow-heavy like Booch did at Winter is Coming, and out of No Agenda there's always the Kindly Man option.

There's plenty of room for variety in Stark! Also, you guys missed Wildlings, which is another agenda option to mix things up a bit.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by Vince on Wed 20 May - 21:41

I forgot Maesters and DWDW maybe, though I sincerely think that with the restriction of the rivers, it is just a good-above-average deck.

I agree wih what you said Rowan, Variety exists, you can do a lot of things, but when it comes to strong deck, I am under the impression, it all narrows down suddenly to NoA Meera/No Quarter classical thing... Maybe I'm just a bored guy, but that's what I have the impression I see the most at a highly competitive level...
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by cobrabubbles on Wed 20 May - 22:47

Yeah, well all of the builds I described run No Quarter and almost all run Meera - they're the best Stark cards, so why wouldn't you? There are a handful of cards like that for every faction. That doesn't mean there's no variety though. It leaves at least 53 slots for other cards Smile
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by ShiftyMcNinja on Thu 21 May - 7:25

We are clearly forgetting the best Stark deck, it runs no Meera but does run summer, albeit without Sam. It also has the bonus of running Guilty! The best of Stark cards.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by markdrive on Fri 29 May - 13:46

I'm surprised no-one mentioned the kindly man!
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by cobrabubbles on Fri 29 May - 13:55

cobrabubbles wrote:out of No Agenda there's always the Kindly Man option.

markdrive wrote:I'm surprised no-one mentioned the kindly man!

Cool
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by MrDav on Sun 31 May - 22:00

The Kindly Man can die in a fire.
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

Post by cobrabubbles on Sun 31 May - 22:07

MrDav wrote:The Kindly Man can die in a fire.

Why? He's great!
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Re: Stark NA - What is the best choice of season?

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