Meta snapshot #2 - March - 16.03 - Season of Bear
New snapshot for everybody staying home and having more free time 😉
Syndicate - Bloody Money | 4,5 stars
Despite the provision nerf in 5.2 patch, blood money is the strongest leader in SY. Leader ability with Filippa Eilhart or Ewald Borsodi gives opportunity to destroy two enemy engines in one turn. You can also make combo along with Hunter. Passiflora creates big value in long rounds and should be protected with defender if possible.
You also have tall removal with poison cards and combo with Luiza and Savolla. This deck also plays some other powerful cards that are necessary in most of Syndicate decks.
You can take flying redarian instead of Moreelse for better thinning. All in all SY blood money is very flexible deck with both control tools and engines.
Scoia'tael - Dedeye Ambush | 4,5 stars
Scoiatel actually has quite a few strong decks. Elves are, next to harmony, the strongest option for Scoiatel at the moment. This version contain Radeyah + scenario (you can go to chapter 1 directly) and can be quite strong in short and long rounds.
Leader ability help us to take Aelirenn from deck when we need additional tempo and to play Yeavin, Isengrim, Oak and Vernossiel effectively. You can change bronze cards, but remember that in this version you can only use one copy of each card.
This deck is difficult to bleed so you can lost R1 having cards advantage.
Northern Realms - Shupe Siege | 4 stars
Nerf of Reinforced Tribuchet has caused the decrease in power of Siege, but it still remains a solid option (and probably best NR deck). Siege with its Siege Engines can generate many points in medium length round. There also are valueable control cards such as Philippa Eilfart, Shupe, Bloody Baron and Falibor. Radeyah + Anseis is powerful combo, which can make up to 29 points with 14 points removal.
This deck has only 8 gold cards, so you should keep as many as possible for the final round. It’s difficult to bleed, especially if you have Siege and Leader ability. You can lose R1 with advantage in cards in most matchups, because you would R2 with Siege if necessary and play R3 with advantage in cards.
You can change bronze cards (but don’t swap too many siege engines and remember that you can have only one copy of each card.
Scoia'tale - Harmony | 4 stars
Classic Scoia’tael deck for the last couple of seaons. Mystic Echo lets you swarm the board with proactive Harmony Engines and is less vulnerable to bricking than Precision Strike. After provision nerfs to Mystic Echo, the deck still has quite strong tempo, although it can often lack removal, so you might want to bleed some of the decks.
Nilfgaard - Double Scenario | 4 stars
In this deck you are able to play scenario twice.
Masked ball is really sensitive to aftifact removal. During first round, if you do have scenario, you should play it and then push to win. On second round you can bleed your opponent, but you need to save scenario for your third round. Take care that your opponent can use purify.
Nilfgaard - Imperial Formation | 4 stars
Nilfgaard presents itself as a good tier 2 deck at the moment. Ramon Tyrconnel and soldier tag cards work fine with creating tempo. This deck is not a heavy control one, but Hefty Helge with tactics give you some control and it should be just enough removal to take care of your opponent’s board, as you can weaken and destroy enemy units.
Most cards give you a lot of value, f.e Leader ability and Affan give you 13 points in last round. You can save Damien for last round for another 13 points or push round 2 with him.
Stefan Skellen will make your way to use bribery again. Short third round seems best with this deck. Damien allows you to use a leader in second round without losing charges in last round or double leader in third round. Skellen with Bribery give many points for finisher.
Alternatives for cards: Bomb Heavier – Imperial Diviner
Skellige - Second Wind Scenario | 4 stars
This deck had a strong showing in the Not-Quite-Masters tournament. It combines the usual long round potential of the Wild Boar of the Sea with the very explosive short round of Gedyneith.
It can bleed quite well if needed and will usually win a short round three. In round three the combination: Gednyneith →Second Wind → Ermion → Freya‘s blessing → any druid can even make it uncounterable for artifact removal. The deck also relies on a strong bronze package, where seven to eight points for 5 provision is not a rare occassion.
In general, this list has not so many removal options, but ones that are there are quite decent. It usually needs to bleed engine heavy decks. You should aim to set up your graveyard with Crowmother, Ermion and a bronze druid in the first two rounds, while keeping your finishers for a preferably short round three.
Very strong short as well as long round potential
Good tools against swarmdecks and highly boosted units.
Relatively little Control
Monsters - Arachas Swarm Organic | 3,75 stars
Monsters with a touch of control seem to be working very well right now. You can destroy or weaken your opponent’s units using Imlerith’s Wrath, Parasite, Natural Selection, Hideous Feast and Wild Hunt Warrior.
These all are great options to control your opponent’s board.
On Red Coin this deck is really hard to handle for your opponent. You can try to win on even cards. It is strong on short rounds thanks to big finishers.
You should play Yghern on first or second round, as it gives you good Ozzrel in third round. It also leads to high tempo and pressure on opponent. Imlerith after last season’s patch is a good card because it gives you 13 points.
Adrenaline Rush is 5 provision cost card and could give you 9 points when you use it on Drone. Ozzrel and Imlerith both look great as round three finishers.
Syndicate - Off the books Passiflora | 3,5 stars
Off the books has been my favorite ability since the release of Syndicate and when this list showed up last season I knew It will feel awesome to play it again. This list needs some experience and knowledge.
Exactly like in every SY list, you should count your coins and balance between spenders and income cards with this list, which is really difficult due to Hoard keyword.
Leader ability being Off the books allows you to earn 2 coins in crucial moments of the game but also gives some additional points with tribute cards. There are 8 tribute cards, so the leader can make up to 14 points, but it often makes around 8-10. It is hard to define this deck’s playstyle.
You have to feel when to play for poison and when to spend all of your coins based on your intuition, as it’s dependent on matchup and also your opponent’s playstyle and so on. All in all Off the books is cool alternative for Blood Money list.
Skellige - Double Swordmaster | 3 stars
Nilfgaard - Hyperthinn Enslave | 3 stars
The general idea of this deck is to thinn out the low strength units relatively early on (e.g. with Artorius Vigo into Impera Brigade) and keep Tibor and Imperial Golem in the deck for Yennefer, Triss and Xarthisius as finishers in round three.
If possible, it is sometimes nice to keep tutors should you be able to play the big units at the end, but usually thinning fast is preferred.
The deck can play a lot of big units and is therefore susceptible to poison and other tall removal, especially since it has at maximum two reliable purifiers. A short round three with Triss, Yennefer, Xarthisius and Vilgefortz is usually a win but the deck can hold on its own in longer rounds since it is often able to remove important engines and can tempo out with venendal elites. It is however quite vulnerable to bricking if it is getting bled in round two.
Vilgefortz will often be used defensively as the last card you play to get Tibor or Imperial Golem out of the deck, but he can also be a crucial removal option in case everything else fails. Against poison or damage heavy lists it is essential to play small units and tactics as long as possible to make the opponent’s plays awkward.
Lots of removal
Strong short rounds
Plays with the whole deck
Some cards brick when played in round one and sometimes round two
Susceptible to tall removal
Northern Realms - Engines | 3 stars
Engines are one of the most satisfying things, as they work alongside really high ceiling. Unfortunately, for the last couple of seasons, Pincer did get a lot of nerfs, especially for this archetype. Nerfs struck such cards as Arbalests/Archers/Adepts/Phillippa.
Overall, Pincer provisions nerf makes it really hard to achieve similar results as in november season for example, especially because of having really weak nr spot in the meta and removal getting a lot of attention lately. The strategy would be to get a long third round, saving as many high provision engines as you can. Then if you don’t matchup against deck that focuses much on removal, you should be victorious in most of the cases.
The deck lacks tempo in first round and so to be able to consistenly move on to the dream scenario, you usually need to invest a lot to be able to get to quite a long third round.
Monsters - Fruits of Ysgith Big Monsters | 2,5 stars
Big Monsters is an archetype that’s been played in Monsters since end of the beta. Playing small thrive units and pointslaming opponent with powerful minions without effect is just easy and fun to play.
This list might not be as ordinary as others though, as some choices may seem quite odd. F.e. Dandelion Poet provides additional tempo to slow plays and synergies well with Naglfar. We’ve also got living armor we can often use with Caranthir to get some nasty points. Adda Striga serves as great control tool, but some basic precaution is recommended, since she can brick your Penitent.
Gameplay is pretty straightforward: try winning round one with thrive units, then bleed your opponent in round two. You can win third round with big finishers such as Ozzrel or Ghouls. This deck isn’t that great in current meta because of poisons being played by NG and ST and Big monsters hate poisons.
Writers, consultants and editors: Olsmer, Bart933, Gregor__, Kozix, Cichy, Tarsius, Fosconboi.