2011 A Game of Thrones: The Card Game World Joust Champion
“There are no men like me. There’s only me.”
Who is Brett Zeiler?
A key member of the highly competitive Missouri meta, Brett has been playing A Game of Thrones: The Card Game since 2008. In 2010 at Gen Con Indy, he exploded onto the scene by winning the World Championship Melee Tournament. The next year at Gen Con, he proved his performance was no fluke by winning the World Championship Joust Tournament, and he is the only player to have earned both the Melee and Joust World Champion titles.
In His Own Words:
While I have only been playing A Game of Thrones for a few years, I have been playing games competitively since I was in high school. I played Magic: The Gathering competitively for several years, making the Top 8 in a few Pro Tour Qualifiers in Missouri and Kansas, as well as traveling to several Regional events. After getting out of Magic in college, I got into Warmachine heavily and won several limited World of Warcraft Trading Card Game events at home and at Gen Con in 2008.
Once I was introduced to A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, I jumped in and got very serious about it very quickly. I am the only player in the game’s history to win both a Melee and Joust World Championship, and I am also a cohost on the longest running and most popular A Game of Thrones podcast, 2 Champs 1 Chump.
On the 2010 World Melee Championship Finals:
I had previously had good luck with Greyjoy decks based around unopposed challenges and brought it to the tourney in 2010 knowing that it had explosive winning power. The final game was incredibly swingy, and at any given time, it looked like just about anyone could win it, except me. My opponents, Sandy, Dan, and Wade, all had good amounts of power on their House cards and strong board positions. I trailed behind most of the game. Then came one pivotal turn where I knew that if everything fell into place I was going to win, and there was nothing anyone else could do about it.
When Wade revealed Take Them by Surprise (Lords of Winter, 52) as his plot, expecting to win initiative and decide the turn order, I knew that I needed to go last and played Ahead of the Tide (Wolves of the North, 8) to make sure Sandy would be the first player. After everyone else made their challenges, no one was at fifteen power, and I knew that I was going to win the game. I grabbed a bunch of power that turn by picking at everyone else where I could. Then on the next turn, I flipped Rise of the Kraken (Kings of the Sea, 54) as my plot and won the right to go first. In case anyone had any tricks, I had several challenges lined up in my mind, but they weren't necessary as I was able to score the two successful unopposed challenges that I needed to win by shooting from four to fifteen power in two turns, all without anyone making a challenge in-between!
Preparing for Tournaments:
In preparation for high-level events like Regionals, Continentals, or Worlds, I usually meet with my core playgroup and talk over different ideas until something jumps out at me. I don't have a ton of time for playtesting, so once I find something I like I usually just stick with that until I find something new. When I won in 2011, I decided on my deck just one week before the tournament after messing around with something Greg Atkinson had put together. I put my own spin on it but never even tested it with my changes before the tournament started.
Brett designed the champion card, Arrogant Contender (Lions of the Rock, 44).