Meta snapshot #14 - 09.04 - Season of the Elves

[09.04] Update: +2 new deck, new ranking.

[01.04] Update: added 14 new fun non-meta decks & gameplan info.

[20.03] Release: 16 new meta decks, new matchups & gameplan info +26 other decks. New statistics.

12 new mighty golds and plenty of minor balance changes have changed the meta significantly. After a few terrible seasons SY came back as the new dominator, but it’s worth mentioning that every faction has now their representation in meta decks and is viable to ladder efficiently.

Syndicate has not only an impressive winrate, but finally its playrate is also similar to other factions. Surprisingly, after decent buffs, Crimes is the most powerful deck and in all fairness the only popular SY on the ladder.

Skellige is close behind with the second winrate. The most popular deck is Warriors with Eist (worth noting, that even though people expected Eist to fully dominate meta – it didn’t happen). Other decks are less popular and focused around Madoc, Pirates or Alchemy.

Monsters have way more available decks representing different strategies. Arachas Swarm is still one of the best decks. After Lockdown change Viy found his place in the meta again. Keltullis has a bit worse matchups than in the previous season, but is still worth considering. Vampires in spite of buffs didn’t find their own place in meta after the experimental stage, and for the moment look even worse than Koschey.

Scoia’tael is the most played faction – most likely coming from the amounts of decks to choose. Old Elves, PS no unit and Symbiosis still looks solid, but after reasonable buffs also Traps and Dwarves are visible on ladder. This diversity gives each player an opportunity to find an interesting Scoia’tael deck, winrates however will vary greatly.

Northern Realms got the weakest cards in the latest patch, and the worst playrate is the best representation of that. Witchers however, despite the Vesemir and Scythemen nerfs, still defend the honour of the Northern Realms. Old Shieldwall is also a viable, but a bit weaker option.

Nilfgaard after big nerfs to Cloggers and Lockdown is still able to fit in the meta. Masquerade Ball, often spices up with spies, is a nice option, and Cloggers have retained reasonable strength, both in Double Madoc and old Nova deck, which enjoys more provisions after liberation from Lockdown. Assimilate also shows on the ladder, but is less popular.

Tier 1

Syndicate - Crime SY | Lined pockets | 4.5 stars

Crimes have without a doubt dominated the ladder in thCrimes have without a doubt dominated the ladder in the Season of the Bear, being not only the single most played archetype, but also elevating the entire Syndicate to remarkable presence in Gwent popculture. High win rates, flexibility in deck building, very strong starters and finishers, combined with carryover potential, made this deck rightfully classified as top of Tier 1 in most of the meta snapshots.

After a season of dominance, everyone expected a nerf to come, and a nerf has happened, not one though which would make any difference to the strength of the deck – after making Drill 1 prov more expensive, Crimes just shrugged off, replaced 1 vicious crime with another. Despite the fact that new decks like Chinese bal appeared , Crimes are still one of the best deck on ladder

We have updated the deck to reflect this change, and present you with what we believe the best lineup of cards for current meta. Please be aware however, that depending on the matchups you may want to look into the replacements sections to find something more suitable. And no, we’re not talking about Yrden 😉

This version runs Heatwave and flying Redarian, but you can play Sigi or Triss as well.Tawern brawl is also an interesting addition being another win coin in some matchups and brick in another

Difficulty: Hard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:
You want to have one or two spenders on hand and access to Novigradian Justice. It is important to have at least one Halfling Safecracker on hand or access to other Crownsplitters unit.

Round 1
Make tempo with Halfling Safecracker and Novigradian Justice and other Crime cards. You want to win this round.

Round 2
It depends on matchup but usually you want to bleed in second round.

Round 3
You should win thanks to Gord, Cleaver and Jacques.

Matchups:

Mirror:

In mirror first say is pretty important. You can setup your Skewertooth, Cleaver and Drill one turn earlier than opponent. Because of that you can try tempo pass on blue after playing Halfling and Justice r1. On red you can try to abuse coin and check if opponent drew as good as you. When Cleaver is gone, last say becomes more important than first say, because of Gord.

Northern Realms:

You have many answers for opposing engines. In this matchup you should win the first round. Your deck is more powerful, so you will win long round. After winning first round you can pass and go for long round 3. You can also try to make tempo in first round with 3 cards: Halfling Safecracker, Novigradian Justice and one other card. Opponent can have some problems to beat you with 4 cards, often can’t bleed second round, and you have long or medium round 3, which you also win.
Bleed or not? You don’t have to bleed in this matchup.
Who will win? Syndicate Crimes will win this matchup.

Scoia’tael:

Traps are the hardest matchup, as they make some of your crime cards useless. Only chance for you is win first round and go for 2:0. In round 3 opponent can play no unit and for finish will use Eldain. Although you will have a hard time against no unit Precision Strike due to their non-interactive play, and most of your crimes being offensive, you have a much easier time against devotion Nature’s Gift due to their lack of removal and tech cards like Heatwave. Most of the time your important engines like Cleaver and Sir Skewertooth should stick easily and get lots of value, while also killing engines like Hamadryads. Tunnel Drill is the MVP here since it can answer multiple engines at once, including Eithne’s Young Dryads. However, it can easily be answered by a Nature’s Rebuke, hence the timing of dropping the Drill is key, to get the maximum value out of the 1 turn of spending available to you.
Bleed or not? Bleed.
Who will win? Scoia’tael is favoured in this matchup, part from Gift.

Monsters:

Second bad matchup is Arachas Swarm with Yrden, and we could see many Arachas with Yrden these days. Opponent can make big tempo and your only one card to kill Drones is Drill but opponent can destroy it thanks to Parasite. This matchup is a little bit better if opponent plays version without Yrden.
Viy is definitely better for Crimes. You have many ways to stop opposing consume cards, which means Viy will not grow that much. In this matchup you should win round 1 and go for long round 3.
Bleed or not? You should bleed Arachas Swarm deck but against Viy you should go for long round 3.
Who will win? Arachas will probably win. Crimes are favoured against Viy.

Skellige:

Crimes are a little bit favoured against Skellige Warriors. You have to win first round and then bleed second round to get Eist from opponent’s hand. Probably he will have to play all good cards to win second round. You have big chances to win short last round.
Bleed or not? It is important to bleed second round.
Who will win? Crimes are favored in this matchup.

Nilfgaard:

Chinese bal becomes the best and the most popular NG                deck. Generate terryfing value so bleeding is necessary.                 Short round is also dangeroud with double Joachim, so                matchup is difficult and unfavoured. On red coin SY have              decent chances, especially if is able to win on even.

You should win first round against  old Ball as in most matchups. Heatwave is your answer for Masquerade Ball. You don’t have purify in your deck, so short round 3 is better.

          Cloggers might be tricky sometimes, but with pretty good              draw you have answers against both defender and                        Kolgrim. You should win long round, winning R1 is also                  quite important

Win condition:

Gord, Cleaver, Tunnel Drill

Good against:

Viy, Northern Realms Witchers, Warriors,

Bad against:

Chinese ball, Arachas Swarm, Scoia’tael Traps

Cards replacements:

flying Redian/heatwave + tawern brawl into Sigi/triss + payday/ smith

Monsters - Crimson Infestation | Arachas swarm | 4.25 stars

Patch 8.3 came out, and impacted the meta game substantially – Gwent feels more fresh than ever, plenty of cards and archetypes found their way back or straight into mainstream. Most importantly – in a way that didn’t create any Viy-like monsters (pre-nerf), which would dominate the entire game. New meta is diverse, and our beloved Arachas feels very good in it, being able to shine against the old deck concepts and the fresh ones alike.

Nothing changed majorly in the way we play this deck, but due to the meta being again more reliant on tall / boosted units, we are suggesting a couple of alternatives depending on the type of opponents you find prevalent in your games.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Clearly you don’t want two Riders, and Knickers. On red, depending on who you play against be wary Riders require dominance. If possible ensure a healthy combination of golds/bronzes, which will last until your first major point slam (Chimera – Adrenaline 4), with at least 1 of yours strong finishers present just in case. If you have Oneiro and Whispess, you can even mull out Yen and CC.

Round 1
Spam, spam, spam, and then boost. Best spam is achieved by using 1 of each – Nest and Evolution. Thin your deck, pulling out Riders and Knickers. If need be, even by playing Whispess and CC, as soon as there’s an opponents row with 8p. Win R1 using your strong bronze finishers, like Bone Talisman, Chimera, Dol Dhu Lokke Chimera, but don’t shy away from ensuring win by one of your super golds – Yen, or Triss (into Talisman, or Evolution on drone if you have space, or on Knickers, Chimera if no space). On red always win on even cards. No problem if you use Behemoth as well. Just don’t play all golds at once, and try to keep close score, without overcommitting too soon.

Round 2
Unless you have a shitty hand without any synergy or point slam, or play Lippy / Kelly, always bleed! And very often you’ll win in the process, even starting on one card disadvantage. Spam, bleed with Yen, Behemoth, whatever you have left. Korathi the scenario. Continue to spam and boost.

Round 3
If by now you haven’t won yet, try to launch your last swarm & boost.  Remember to keep at least one drone from ability for Evolution. In longer R3, use your answers – purify the defender, lock Kolgrim or Gezras, Korathi the most dangerous card, etc.

Matchups:

Mirror: If your opponent swarmed too early, you can use Yen to destroy his swarm. Aim always to have a the last say.

Northern Realms (Witchers):

Make sure to move Veiled Griffin Witcher to ranged, or lock/move the boosted one, which means however you cannot lock Keldar anymore.

Bleed or not? Bleed, and keep your lock / Korathi ready for Keldar.

Who will win? 50/50

Scoia’tael:

Nature’s Gift, Elves Swarm, Dwarves – win R1 cheaply, or at least make the opponent spend some key cards. With Symbiosis and Dwarves consider including Yrden in your deck, and use at the right moment for boosted cards, and keep answers (lock / move / purify / Korathi) to their respective key gold cards depending on the deck (Gezras in Elves, Defender, Resilience, Brouver in Dwarves, Madoc in unitless, etc). Against Traps – time your swarming and boosting, trying to foresee and avoid the disastrous effect of Crushing Trap.

Bleed or not? Usually bleed, but against swarm – pass on even

Who will win? Favoured with unitless control Madoc, Dwarves, slightly favoured with Elves, at small disadvantage with Symbiosis, and bigger one with Traps

Monsters (Kelly):

As long as you keep the right answers for the right cards, just play your game of swarming and boosting. Get rid of Nithral, your only major worry.

Bleed or not? No

Who will win? You’re favoured

Skellige:

Against Lippy – use Yen before all their Roaches and discard units pop out together with Cerys, or in the next round after. Against Eist – bleed him out and / or BoG ability before R3

Bleed or not? Don’t bleed Lippy, else – yes.

Who will win? You’re favoured

Nilfgaard:

Don’t let Yen be Coup’ed. In short round consider consuming / purifying Joachim. Against cloggers – employ Yrden in deck, and consider withholding your drones in R1, even if it means discarding some bronzes.

Bleed or not? Yes, until they spend Ball. Against Clog don’t bleed.

Who will win? You’re favoured with most NG, with Clogrim you’re screwed unless you have Yrden.

Syndicate:

Play your game until advantage established in R1. Get rid ot the Drill ASAP.

Bleed or not? Yes, and don’t stop until Cleaver is out.

Who will win? You’re favoured

Good against:

Control decks, majority of other swarm decks, Kelly.

Bad against:

Row punishment (eg. Traps), Clogrim and Yrden decks, you may struggle with NR Witchers and Symbiosis, which are more greedy.

Cards replacements:

a) Korathi and Knickers out – Yrden and Talisman in

b) Korathi out – Igni in

Tier 2

Monsters - Keltullis | Carapace | 4.0 stars

In spite of the very delicate nerfs, Keltullis is much worse than a season before. Current meta – dominated by SY crimes  provides many bad matchups for Kelly. Cards and strategy are well known for each Keltulls player. Keltullis (+spells pack) – your most powerful weapon and also Ciri Dash to get Card Advantage, Yghern + Ozzrel combo, engines like Beast and Aprarian Phantom and a variety of removals.  Crystal Skull is good , cause your leader ability doesn`t give a veil to ciri anymore

 

Difficulty: Hard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
You want Ciri in first round to abuse red coin or change coins if you are on blue. In some matchup you also need to have a defender in R1

Round 1
Try to play Ciri Dash to get card advantage, use ability to protect her if necessary. It is nice to play Yghern if you can, so that you have access to him with Ozzrel in later rounds.

Round 2
nIn most cases you bleed with Kelly behind defender, spells and beast. Be careful though because sometimes Kelly can be more of a hindrance than a help.

Round 3
Use Ozzrel and charges of ability if you still have them, and you will have a really strong short round.

Matchups:

Mirror:

Mirrors are tricky and depends on draw of best engines and removals. Kelly is a two-side weapon. Because of that you can even spend him in R1 to get an advantage

Nothern Realms:

Witchers deck haven’t got answers for Ciri and Keltullis so it should be easy matchup. You can play easily Ciri and make card advantage. Witchers have many units on table so Keltullis will make big points.

SW is less popular, but have a great deak better matchup against Kelly. Duels can destroy core cards pretty easily

You can bleed witchers, put Keltullis on table with defender and your opponent won`t be able play many of his engines, thanks to that you can make it 2:0.

SW must be bled to get their best engines (and hopefully duels) away before R3

You are favourited against witchers and in bad situation against SW

Scoiatel:

Elves, and Movement are not the easiest matchups for Keltullis. If opponent plays Ciaran and movement cards he can put Keltullis to range row also he can play Heatwave into Ciri.

You should try to win first round and go for short round 3.

Nounits are so terrible for Kelly, the main chance is terrible draw of opponent

Symbiosis often plays devotion version and have problem to destroy ciri/defender/Kelly.

Dwarves have some control tools and deny points from your removals, but you are on nice position.

Bleed, because ozzrel in short round still might provide you a victory

Scoiatael except symbiosis and dwarves is favourite in this matchup

Monsters:

Arachas Swarm with lot of points and removals is really demanding for Kelly (Forktail improves this matchup slightly)

Viy doesn’t have control tools, so Kelly can win this matchup easily.

In these matchups you prefer long round

You are unfavoured against AQ, but Viy matchup should be easy

Skellige:

This is one of easier matchups. Skellige play a lot of removals, but only Hjalmar and leader ability can destroy your best golds. Keltullis feels really strong in this match. You can win round 1 and go for long round 3.

You don’t have to bleed, long round should be good for you.

Nilfgaard:

Both Cloggers and bal have some option to deal with your engines. Matchups are pretty difficult, but still possible to win.

Assimilate have nowhere near as many control tools as other NG decks. You should be able to win long round as well as bleed succesfully

Bleed might be a nice option to win against decks with bigger amount of tall removals than usual.

Cloggers and Ball are rather equal and you are favourite against Assimilate

Syndicate:

Sy crimes – the best deck of meta have enough removals to deal with every of your gold engine and better pointslam. The biggest chance you have if opponent miss some golds

You can try, but it would be really unpleasant

Crimes are strongly favourited in that matchup

Good against:

Warriors, NR Witchers

Bad against:

Sy crimes, AQ, no units

Cards replacements:

Red Haze -> Forktail

Skellige - Eist | Blaze of glory | 4.0 stars

Some veteran players might remember when months ago Gwent forums, Reddit and other Gwent related social media were full of people complaining about the strength of Skellige Warriors. Indeed, those were justified complaints. Despite many nerfs the deck remained a strong contender for the tier 1 spot to this today. Now the archetype has received a new toy to play with, in the form of Eist Tuirseach. The deck excels at removing opponent’s threats, but also has amazing point slam potential. The deck is not perfect though. The bloodthirst 2 requirement for Eist is surprisingly not always easy to satisfy. But if it works, it allows you to gain almost 40 points in 1 turn.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
There are not many bricks in your deck. Make sure you always have a target for Raiding Fleet, Vabjorn and Blood Eagle. Mulligan away your Jutta since this will be your main leader target. If you have a strong hand in round 1 you may consider getting rid of Skjordal since the card is weak in round 1.

Round 1
Set up your bronze engines. Then try to develop your graveyard for Harald and Hjalmar. This is a perfect round to play Raiding Fleet if you have it in hand.

Round 2
This really depends on what deck you are up against. Some decks will beat you in a long round while some will not. This deck is vulnerable to getting bled since once you play Eist you usually want to commit leader with it.

Round 3
Hopefully, you saved Harald an Craite and Eist in this round. Your long round is pretty good in many matchups.

Matchups:

Mirror:

Try to develop your graveyard for Harald and Hjalmar. While final say is important in this matchup, so is hand quality so try not to overcommit in round 1.

 

Northern Realms:

Your deck does a great job at denying your opponent’s boosts. NR witchers is an even match. You are favoured in a long round. The main challenge will be to develop bloodthirst 2, however with so many ways to damage you should be able to accomplish it. Witchers also have plenty of tall punish targets for your leader. Shieldwall have less short round potential but they often run a defender which will not be easy to get through efficiently. Their duel cards can also kill your Jutta and Greatswords.

Bleed or Not? You should take a long round against Witchers. Getting through Shieldwall’s defender might be difficult so bleeding it in round 2 might be a good idea.

Who will win? Both matchups are between 50/50 and slightly favoured.

Scoia’tael:

Dwarves are a tough match. Getting past the defender will prove quite challenging. The armor that dwarves receive from the leader is also a really good counter to your strategy. Elves are also going to be challenging especially if you are facing a trap variant, since they do not go tall. Symbiosis plays a lot of boosts so getting bloodthirst 2 will be tough but they go tall.

Bleed or Not? You should definitely bleed all the decks. Gezras is quite weak in a short round so forcing it out of movement decks in round 2 is useful. A bleed against trap decks is also advisable to make Eldain worse. Against unitless precision strike decks, taking a long round is fine since your opponent will typically not have a lot of points. You should be able to win with Eist + leader finisher since it is worth 17 points and can almost kill off Harald Gord.

Who will win? You are unflavoured against unitless decks and dwarves. Elves and Symbiosis is a tossup and often depends on who wins round 1.

Monsters:

Likely the toughest faction you will face. Your opponent’s Keltullis will be hard to deal with. Ciri can be problematic if your opponent runs it. Viy can also be tricky since it is hard to deal with so many tall units. Set up your bronze engines in round 1 and try to kill as many consume cards as possible with damage. Arachas Swarm is easier than the other two but still a tough matchup. You have efficient ways of killing drones but on the other hand you will almost never get bloodthirst 2.

Bleed or Not? You need to bleed Keltullis and force it out of them. You should take a long round against Viy and save up your tall punishes. You should also bleed Arachas Swarm as their short round is often underwhelming.

Who will win? You are unflavoured against monsters.

Skellige:

There aren’t many viable archetypes in Skellige other than Warriors (which are discussed in mirror section). You might see Lippy sometimes but you have a better short round than Lippy. Bloodthirst 2 is very easy to satisfy. You have the tools to survive a bleed against Lippy. Saving Eist for round 3 will often win you the game.

Bleed or Not? No need to bleed Lippy.

Who will win? You are favoured in this matchup.

Nilfgaard:

One of your weaknesses is the fact that you have no answer to your opponent’s Masquerade Ball. Therefore, you will need to bleed Nilfgaard decks that run it. Against Kolgrim you have a decent amount of thinning. You can always answer your opponent’s Kolgrim with your leader, so if you can bleed out your opponent’s defender, Kolgrim will be defenceless.

Bleed or Not: You need to bleed assimilate and Masquerade Ball lists and force them to play their scenario in round 2. Bleeding out Kolgrim’s defender will be devastating to their strategy.

Who will win: Against Masquerade Ball it is a tossup and it depends on how well you bleed. Kolgrim is a favoured matchup.

Syndicate:

Crimes is the main archetype being played right now. It is not an easy matchup but not the worst either. You have answers to their biggest threats. Winning round 1 however, is hard in this matchup.

Bleed or Not? Taking a long round is preferable.

Who will Win? This still a slightly unfavoured matchup.

 

Good against:

Kolgrim, Northern Realms

Bad against:

Monsters

Cards replacements:

Hjalmar -> Tyrgvi

Northern Realms - Witchers | Uprising | 4.0 stars

The “Way of the Witcher” expansion has introduced a lot of new witcher cards, and as result we finally got a viable witcher deck. This deck excels at bleeding your opponent, even potentially winning 2:0, and also has the tools to defend a bleed. It has a great short round with the witcher trio (Vesemir, Eskel and Lambert) and Amphibious Assault. The deck also includes some of the best carryover cards in the game (with Erland and Vesemir: Mentor). Finally, the deck is also really consistent with the amount of tutor cards, like Geralt: Quen, Amphibious Assault or Selective Mutation. With the recent nerf to Lyrian Scytheman, this deck became more reliant on a short round than before. Having said that, we believe it should still remain a very strong option for players who are hoping to climb the ladder with Northern Realms.

 

Difficulty: Easy

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Look for Erland and Vesemir mentor in round 1. Having one copy of Griffin Witcher and Griffin Witcher Adept is also a good idea. You have a lot of tutors in the deck so make sure you do not brick them. For example, make sure that you have at least one Warfare card in deck for John Natalis. Never keep more than one of the Witcher trio (Vesemir, Eskel and Lambert) cards in hand. Try to avoid taking risky mulligans if unnecessary, especially in round 3.

Round 1
Try to establish your bronze engines. Griffin Witcher and Griffin Witcher Adepts are a good way to push the round. This is the round where you should develop carryover with Erland and Vesemir: Mentor.

Round 2
Apart from some matchups, you will typically want to bleed round 2 and go for a short round 3. If your opponent is far behind, you can play the witcher trio and try to 2:0. Otherwise shorten the round and keep witcher trio for a short round 3.

Round 3
You will struggle against many decks in a long round especially engine decks. Your short round should be very strong.

Matchups:

Mirror: In mirror matches, establishing carryover is more important than winning the round so that should be your main priority. Bleeding does not accomplish much because your opponent can match your tempo.

Northern Realms:

Besides Witchers, Shieldwall is the other most common archetype. Some versions run Madoc, while some versions play devotion cards. Either way, bleeding round 2 is important since their engine value is better than yours. Try not to give them a good Anseis by boosting your important units too tall.

Bleed or Not? You should bleed Shieldwall and try to win in a short round.

Who will Win? You should be favoured against Shieldwall if you bleed them well.

Scoia’tael:

Scoia’tael is a diverse faction with Elves, Symbiosis, Precision Strike Control and Dwarves being strong options. Movement Elves, Symbiosis and Dwarves can overwhelm you with their engines, so bleeding them and breaking their combo pieces is important. Unitless decks can deny your boosts, however since you are not giving them many engines to control, they can struggle.

Bleed or Not? You should try to bleed Scoia’tael decks.

Who will Win? You should be favoured against Symbiosis, control and Dwarves. Movement elves are a trickier matchup.

Monsters:

The strongest strategies are Keltullis, Arachas Swarm, Viy and Vampires. Keltullis is a hard matchup since it is hard to answer both Ciri and Keltullis. Bleeding out Keltullis is important. You have a better chance against Arachas Swarm, especially if you can set up an Igni or Yrden. Viy is a good matchup if you draw your tall punishes. Vampires can struggle against your Griffin Witcher Adepts since these can transform other witchers to remove bleeding.

Bleed or Not? You want to bleed against Kelly deck and force them to play Keltullis. Keldar will be useful here since the 2-point tokens will make their Keltullis worse. You should bleed Arachas Swarm since their short round is usually underwhelming. Against Viy if you have a good hand in round 2, you can try to win 2:0. Otherwise take the long round. You want to bleed Vampires as well because bleeding status is usually not good in a short round.

Who will win? You are unfavoured against Keltullis especially if your opponent saves Keltullis for round 3. You are favoured against the rest of monster decks.

Skellige:

The two most common archetypes are warriors and Lippy. Lippy is a favoured matchup while warriors are more of a tossup. Against Lippy try to establish carryover. Set up your Griffin Witcher Adepts since Blueboy Lugos might not get value in that situation. Sometimes it is okay to pass early and defend a bleed, since you can win card advantage in that scenario. A long round also suits you so going down a card in round 1 if your opponent passes early is fine. Against Skellige warriors try to win round 1 and bleed hard in round 2. Try not to give your opponent bloodthirst especially against blaze of glory. Try to force some of their stronger plays.

Bleed or Not? Against Lippy, taking a long round is fine. Against Skellige warriors you should bleed heavily.

Who will win? If you develop carryover against Lippy you are favoured. Skellige Warriors matchup is a tossup, as it depends on if you can bleed out your opponent’s strong plays in round 2.

Nilfgaard:

The two most common archetypes are Masquerade Ball and Assimilate. Occasionally you might still see Kolgrim decks. Try to win round 1 against Masquerade Ball and bleed out their scenario in round 2. Their round 3 is weaker without it. The same strategy applies to assimilate decks. Against Kolgrim try not to give them a good target to clog you with in round 1. Erland for example is a bad target for them. If you play our version with Igni, you can deal with Kolgrim without having to worry about their defender.

Bleed or Not? You should bleed against assimilate and Masquerade Ball. If you have an answer to Kolgrim you can take a long round.

Who will win? If the Masquerade player has the right answers to your engines, and has enough tall punishes, you will be unfavoured, especially if you fail to bleed out the scenario. Assimilate is also very tricky because of how good their long round is. You should be favoured against Kolgrim because of how much consistency and thinning you have.

Syndicate:

Syndicate Crimes is a tough matchup. Their intimidate engines will overwhelm you in a long round. Save a Boiling Oil for Tunnel Drill since the card will remove boosts from your units.

Bleed or Not? You should bleed your opponent heavily and shorten round 3 as much as possible.

Who will win? You are unfavoured in this matchup.

Good against:

Kolgrim, Symbiosis

Bad against:

Syndicate Crimes, Keltullis

Cards replacements:

Igni -> Prince Anseis, Yrden or Geralt of Rivia

Nilfgaard - Cloggers | Tactical Decision | 4.0 stars

With the introduction of patch 8.3 fear came upon the Nilfgaardian Empire, and a ray of hope appeared for all other conflicted factions, dimming the toxic glow of the Great Sun. The well deserved nerfs to Viper Witcher Mentors, restoring them to their original state, were followed by a very harsh treatment to Kolgrim, with a drastic reduction of Adrenaline to a mere 1 – deserved as well nonetheless.

Both the fears and the hope were exaggerated, as Klogrim is alive and well, albeit no longer OP. Playing this deck requires now very good moves planning, careful targets selection, and general strategy varying depending on the opponents ability to deny your clog. In such state we can clearly recommend it as a very much viable and fun deck to play, without risking being called bad names after the game. Still, don’t count on many GGs after 😉

As much as your game plan is simple – clog, clog more, profit, the execution isn’t, as more and more players are finding the right way to play against it – meaning delaying your clog as much as possible.

There are multiple versions of this deck out there – the one we pick combines supreme thinning (really good consistency), the ability to re-roll a bad hand and play with yourself if your opponent doesn’t play ball, and some serious point-slamming.

The main conditions unlocking your strategy are:
a) Targets played by opponents and the use you make of them. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only 4p bronzes, as you can win easily even clogging with some useless golds.
b) Ability to play with yourself in absence of targets.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:
You don’t want Roach, Knickers, Hounds. If your hand looks fairly good, but you aim for a better one, you can mulligan away Necromancy and Assire, as rarely needed in R1. What you really want, especially on blue coin, is Helge, and if you foresee a long round with close score, Ciri.
Your ultimate goal is to ensure that even if your opponent doesn’t want to play your game, you have enough cards allowing you to play 3 turns with yourself, after which you have plenty more options, or he passed.

Round 1
If on blue, start with Helge, even if low on Tactics. More will come with ability. On red you might as well, as it gives a perfect bait for your opponent to burn their valuable removers / lockers, and they may have none left after you clog them. Cynthia is also a great start, but if you’re short on both, you can always safely play Menno and use one of the boosting Tactics on him. If your opponent started with unlocking Magic Lamp or playing any non critical bronzes, you can start clogging right away with Coated Weapons. If your opponent discards cards or plays key bronzes and golds, do not waste your ability before you can use its maximum potential, and do not waste your cloggers (Viper Witchers) and point slammers (Viper Mentors) – you’ll need each and every of them in the right moment. Your ultimate sacrifice limit should be creating Viper Witcher Adept from location. From 4th turn your options open wide – either your opponent has stopped discarding and passed, which means you have to get ready for clogging in R2, or he started playing, which unlocks targets for Viper Witchers.
Remember that this deck theoretically has 5 of them (or Mentors), as you have Gorthur Gvaed, Vigo and Necromancy, but in most cases Vigo plays best by pulling out 2 Hounds for thinning and wide point slam.
Win this round at all cost, in some cases even on 2 cards down, if you finish off with Ciri. Don’t hesitate to use your Defender or ability – you can bring back Ffion for R3 through Assire, and ability is here purely to generate a better hand.

Round 2
Assuming you won R2, bleed, and bleed hard. If you haven’t used Necromancy and any Mentor yet, play 1 Mentor to have a Necro target to bring him back later. If you clogged well and the opponent hasn’t jumped out of his wincon yet, you may want to use Kolgrim now, if you have at least 1 Mentor for R3, and Ciri carryover. If you’ve used Ffion in R1, and thinned your deck very well, you can use Assire to get him back.

Round 3
Ideally you should have 6/5 cards before mulligans in your deck, which ensures you’ll get what you need. If opponents has no way of using it, put his most valuable card back in deck for Mentor. Pray for no Yrden.

Matchups:

Mirror: Forget about protecting Kolgrim, and try to make more use from boosting and Helge.

Northern Realms (Witchers):

Students are your ideal targets, but you’ll do very well if you flood your opponents with Adepts. Ideally spawn one with your Viper Witcher, and once shield breaks, spawn again with Coated Weapons.

Bleed or not? Bleed, at least until Trio is out.

Who will win? 50/50 – they still can generate a lot of points in R3, and with good hand win R1.

Scoia’tael:

Ideal targets – 4p bronzes and tokens, but some less strategic bronzes will also do, even the Pyros. Against dwarves, remove defender with Joust and two Helge shots, but if not successful, you might as well clog their deck with Figgis as the last resort. Against unitless – survive long enough to win R1 and start clogging at the first opportunity, even with Maxii.

Bleed or not? Yes

Who will win? Favoured with Gift, slightly favoured with Elves and Dwarves, at disadvantage againts unitless.

Monsters:

Kelly – if they start with Defender, play with yourself until you run out of options. If R1 win impossible, clogging with Cave Troll as your last resort can also work. AS – wait until your many token targets appear, and make use of them. Helge is your friend both as bait, and drone removal.

Bleed or not? Yes

Who will win? You’re at slight disadvantage with Kelly, favoured with AS.

Skellige:

Against Lippy, win R1 ideally starting to clog ASAP, before they start their draw and discard porn, and push in R2, remembering that graveyard / deck swap will mess up your Kolgrim and clogging. With Eist, play the regular game and lure out all their Longships – and do not use Coated Weapons on them, unless you want Kolgrim to die on entry…

Bleed or not? Yes

Who will win? You’re slightly favoured with Eist, at disadvantage with Lippy.

Nilfgaard:

Try to avoid Coup on Vigo, and remember that Informants will be used for revenge clog, so you just have to clog R1 and R2 much stronger. Mentor does wonders in winning R1 if Ball in deck. Bait their Yen into Helge ideally, even in Ciri, as Yen on Defender in R3, and lock / poison on Kolgrim can mean missing a few essential points.

Bleed or not? Yes, until they spend Ball and / or Joachim.

Who will win? You’re favoured with most NG, but strong hand Assimilate can outpoint you for 2:0, if you don’t have Kolgrim in R2.

Syndicate:

Spawn those Safecrackers and Muscles and watch them waste their golds. Remember that most of those decks only have 1 purify and 1 Korathi, so try to get at least one out before R3.

Bleed or not? Yes

Who will win? You’re favoured

Good against:

Most of the meta decks out there, with some exceptions mentioned above.

Bad against:

Very greedy decks with strong R3, if your opp managed to win R1, or unitless decks.

Scoia'tael - Symbiosis | Nature's gift | 4.0 stars

With a nerf to the Kolgrim archetype and Keltullis falling out of favour, Devotion Nature’s Gift can be the potential contender for a strong Scoia’tael deck.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
If you have Eithne in Round 1 and have Dunca as well, it can be good to mulligan Eithne since if you plan on playing Dunca, she can boost Eithne which makes all those boosts dead once she transforms. If you can make a Hamadryad stick in Round 1, you can easily take the round by playing just bronze Nature cards due to the passive points you get as a result of the Symbiosis tag.

Round 1
In Round 1 you would like to establish carryover with Dunca and try to win the round by just committing your bronze nature cards which can generate a lot of passive points along with a Hamadryad on board. You can also play your Shaping Nature echo card which plays for a lot of tempo in itself.

Round 2
In engine mirrors you can abuse first say by dropping defender, Pavko in order get ahead of your opponent in terms of engines developed. This can multiply and end up in you being a lot of points ahead of your opponent.

Round 3
For Round 3 you have Eithne (if you didn’t play her already in Round 2), a few bronze Nature cards and a Harald Gord finisher which can be a lot of points in a short round.

Matchups:

Mirror:

In the mirror, the most important thing is first say. Be it about Blue coin vs Red coin in Round 1, or first say in the longest round. If your opponent pushes you very deep into Round 1 you can afford to give up the round since Round 2 will be extremely short and awkward for your opponent to abuse first say, meaning they have to dry pass, hence giving you first say in a longer round 3.

Northern Realms:

Against Witcher Swarm, it can be slightly hard to take round 1 on red coin, however they usually have no control outside of an Anséis (sometimes a Vanilla Geralt). However, if you suspect your opponent is playing Yrden (if they play Kerack City Guards or overcommit very hard to win Round 1), you should answer with your own commitment and bleed your opponent since a long Round against Yrden should be a loss for you.

Scoia’tael:

The matchups you have against the rest of the Scoia’tael decks is not the best. Trap and Precision strike decks have lots of control with which they can easily answer your engines like Hamadryads. However, if you can push both decks hard in Round 2 they can potentially have bad hands which means you could even 2-0 or get out a lot of their control options.

Monsters:

You have a very solid matchup against the most popular Monsters deck – Arachas swarm right now. However, the matchups against Kelly and Viy are really not that great and you will usually suffer quite a bit especially if you are not able to win Round 1.

Skellige:

Against Eist Warriors, you have a pretty decent matchup because you play a lot of tempo and if you avoid stacking a lot of boosts on your Hamadryad, you should be able to deny them lots of leader value and you also deny them lots of bloodthirst since most of your units are almost always boosted or they are 1 power treants that cannot give bloodthirst.

Nilfgaard:

Against Ball Nilfgaard, you usually have a good time since you have access to up to 3 Carresses (and up to 2 veils from your echo card) which can really disrupt the lock-poison control Nilfgaard usually has. You want to win Round 1 and bleed Round 2 in this matchup to get Ball out, since you are a devotion deck and have no answers to scenarios. However, against Kolgrim, you spawn a lot of 1 point treants that can be clogged pretty easily and make mulligans a nightmare for you, hence it is not really a great matchup for you.

Syndicate:

Against Syndicate crimes, they have quite a bit of control to answer your engines. Winning Round 1 and bleeding Round 2 in order to try and catch them offguard with a bad hand might be the most efficient way to win this matchup, however, it is still a very bad matchup for you.

Good against:

Masquerade Ball, Arachas Swarm

Bad against:

Keltullis, Kolgrim Cloggers

Cards replacements:

Pavko + Figgis -> Ele’yas + Frexinet

Ciaran -> Paulie Dahlberg/Morenn

Monsters - Viy | Overwhelming hunger | 4.0 stars

Viy was the king of the game since the “Way of the Witcher” release until his fall due to nerf, which he received at the start of the February. He has lost his popularity and as some people thought power. Nothing could be more wrong. At the beginning of the new season, which introduced 12 new cards, we can see that our king of the game rises once again and wants to restore his past reign over the Monsters land.

 

Difficulty: Easy

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
You don’t realy have any chance to brick something but you have to be careful with Foglets.

Round 1
You always want to contest R1 and have possibility to bleed your opponent. In this round you want Larvas, some consume and your Viy In hand.

Round 2
Bleed, bleed and bleed

Round 3
In R3 after good bleed you have your Viy at massive point level and often only Viy can get you victory.

Matchups:

Mirror:

The most important thing is to stuck your front row in R1 and then your opponent couldn’t summon your Viy with the unicorn. You can also him to your advantage.

Northern Realms:

Recently we don’t see NR often in ladder, but it is still one of the hardest MU if couldn’t win R1.
Bleed or not? If you manage to win R1 you should quite often decide to bleed your opponent.

Who will win? As long as you win R1 you are favourable.

Scoia’tael:

In this monthe we are seeing a lot of traps and no unit Scoia’tel. If you don’t use it to your advantage, your opponent definitely do it.
Bleed or not? If you manage to win R1 you should quite often decide to bleed your opponent. But you have to be carefull with serpent traps.

Who will win? As long as you win R1 you are favourable.

Monsters:

We have several Monsters decks in the meta at the moment: Vampires, Carapace, Arachas and of course Viy. Your main gameplan for this factions is still the same. Win R1 and go for bleed. After that finish your opponent in short R3 with your massive Viy.
Bleed or not? If you manage to win R1 you should quite often decide to bleed your opponent.

Who will win? As long as you win R1 you are favourable.

Skellige:

With Eist introduction to the game and deleting Warrior Tag from Morkvarg, many players decide to cut him from theirs list. With it this MU becomes even easier.
Bleed or not? Defiently bleed if you manage to win R1.

Who will win? You are favourable

Nilfgaard:

Nilfgaard is one of the hardest MU. They have locks and poisons which can shout down your Viy easy
Bleed or not? After winning R1 you should bleed your opponent until you see your opponents win conditions suchs as Masquarde Ball or Kolgrim
Who will win? Chances are rather 50/50, but if you bleed your opponent in smart way you can win.

Syndicate:

Syndicate rises from shadow with their new Crimes Deck. Winning R1 could be sometimes difficult because of big tempo from Novigradian Justice. But if you manage to do it your chances to win are bigger.
Bleed or not? You should bleed your opponent hard. Your Viy will be better with every consume so with it bleed becomes more efficient. After seeing Cleaver and some gold cards you can consider ending your bled.
Who will win? Chances are rather 50/50, but if you bleed your opponent in smart way you can win.

Win condition:

Viy, more Viys

Good against:
Warriors, Crimes, Witchers

Bad against:

Ball with locks

Cards replacements:

Barghest -> Alzur’s thunder

Tier 3

Scoia'tael - Elven Land | Deadeye ambush | 3.75 stars

Good news for Elves fans – they remained strong after the new patch, and most likely their biggest issue in terms of popularity is the crazy amount of viable meta decks in ST these days. In a meta, where Eist is extremely strong, the swarm-y elves can be a pretty strong competitor. It has one of the best long rounds in the game and can put out an extremely scary bleed in Round 2 if given round control.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
The deck has only one brick in the form of Aelirenn. Hence, you can mulligan much more aggressively in this deck, but do be careful about the Aelirenn brick. Depending on the matchup you might either want to mulligan very important golds if you drew Oneiromancy in order to make your hand more playable. Maxii can make the deck a bit more consistent (and Kolgrim-proof) by putting Aelirenn at the bottom of your deck, if you see that you aren’t drawing your golds, which can allow you to mulligan more aggressively

Round 1
You usually want to try and take this round with your bronze cards. The MVP, if you can make it stick, is the Elven Swordmaster, since with a decent number of elves in your opening hand, the card can play as a basically 1 point per turn engine which is extremely strong for its provision cost. However, spending one (or maybe 2) gold cards is not the end of the world if it gives you round control.

Round 2
Depending on the matchup, if you get round control you would like to bleed with your scenario. This can put your opponent in a very awkward spot especially if they cannot answer your scenario since you put so many points on the board, if you pass at an opportune moment you can make your opponent go even 2 cards down or even 2-0 if you feel like your opponent has a bad hand to defend the bleed.

Round 3
Usually you would want to save at least one or two power plays (Vernossiel, Gezras) for your Round 3 if possible in case you are unable to 2-0 your opponent. With one of these cards you should be able to win even a short round most of the time.

Matchups:

Mirror:

The player on blue is usually favoured in this mirror due to order/first say abuse. You can pretty easily win Round 1 unless your opponent commits a few gold cards to win Round control. However, having first say in the round in which you wish to play scenario can be potentially game deciding, since your opponent is basically following whatever you play, just a turn later because of second say in the round.

Northern Realms:

Against Witcher swarm you will have a much easier time winning Round 1 on blue coin, however it is not unwinnable on red coin. If you can purify the veil on the Griffin Witcher or use Curse of Corruption on it, you should be able to take the round without too much commitment, however you may have to thin your Aelirenn out and/or commit a gold or two. This is worth it, because you always have a better long round than Witchers, as you have clean answers and removals to their threats, while they do not have too many targeted removals to answer your swarm efficiently. If they play vanilla Geralt, it should most likely be bricked, which is good for you.

Scoia’tael:

The other popular Scoia’tael decks are Devotion Nature’s Gift, Trap ST and Precision Strike control. Unless you face the Schirrú version of Precision Strike, you should be favoured in this matchup. Against Nature’s Gift, you should be much stronger in a long round since you have tall punish answers while your opponent is a devotion deck and cannot answer your scenario. Against Traps, you can be slightly unfavoured in a long round due to the existence of Crushing Traps, however if you get round control (or if your opponent plays their scenario Round 1), you should be in a decent spot because you can potentially heatwave a Crushing Trap which can be a good heatwave target for you.

Monsters:

The strongest contender for Monsters right now is Arachas Swarm, and your swarm definitely can make it a tough matchup for them. Your own swarm makes their Yennefer of Vengeberg value very bad, and with cards like Toruviel you can destroy their swarm in one turn which plays for a lot of potential points. Against Keltullis you should be favoured too, however drawing your answers at the right time is extremely important (for example, drawing purify for defender, heatwave for Ciri/Kelly and/or movement for Kelly). Against Viy the matchup can be pretty tough for you, especially with Ihuarraquax milling you of a top end gold. However, if you see a lot of Viy you can try to tech a Spores instead of a 4p bronze or a Curse of Corruption instead of Ele’yas/Toruviel which can make the matchup much better for you.

Skellige:

Right now, the most popular Skellige deck is the Eist Warriors deck, which does not play a lot of wide punish. Since you do not play too tall their leader value is mainly limited to the 12 points from Eist. Hence, you should be pretty favoured against this deck.

Nilfgaard:

Right now the strong options for Nilfgaard are Ball and Cloggers. Against Ball you don’t play tall at all which makes their control options extremely weak. Their locks also don’t see too much value because of the fact that you play a more pointslam version. Against cloggers, Maxii can be an extremely strong card since she can shuffle your deck, making your draws potentially better after getting clogged. Having a purify for defender is pretty good for you and if you use Curse of Corruption you can use purify on a potential Ciri: Nova, since Kolgrim can be killed even behind a defender.

Syndicate:

Syndicate can be a difficult matchup. In a long round Drill can kill a lot of your Elven Deadeyes which can make your Verno and Isengrim value pretty weak. Hence, winning Round 1 and bleeding is extremely important in this matchup.

Good against:

Ball Nilfgaard, Eist Warriors, Arachas Swarm

Bad against:

Syndicate Crimes, Kolgrim

Cards replacements:

Ele’yas/Toruviel -> Curse of Corruption

Dol Blathanna Bomber -> Spores

Nilfgaard - Ball | Imposter | 3.75 stars

Nilfgaard’s evergreen archetype, Masquerade Ball, makes yet another appearance in the current meta. With the familiar faces update, Nilfgaard has seen one of its staple Leader Abilities, Lockdown, reworked, as well as the addition of Anna Henrietta and Emhyr var Emrys, both with the Aristocrat tag.  Finally, Cadaverine has also been reworked, offering support for both the poison and Tactics packages.

This list is pretty much unchanged from earlier Imposter Ball lists, with the exception of the inclusion of Emhyr. Cadaverine and Anna Henreitta both have potential, but at the moment are not quite making the cut. Emhyr, on the other hand, is excellent, providing procs to Enforcers and Dame. If your enforcers go uncontested, their pings are often enough to get engines to one health, allowing Emhyr to steal them. Finally, Emhyr’s card replacement effect is often overlooked, but the added consistency is quite a bonus.

To be clear, replacing Emhyr in this list with Vincent Van Moorlehem is probably the more efficient option. That being said, the power level is close enough that this list is a great way to play around with a new card that has a ton of potential while laddering.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan

If you have Ramon, make sure you also have a bronze soldier in your hand so he doesn’t brick. Also, mulligan away any Hunting Packs first if you plan to mulligan aggressively to avoid bricks. Try to have a lock handy to make sure Vanhemar can use his effect.

Round 1

Rely on your bronze engines as much as possible, committing Ramon if necessary. Using Joachim can be acceptable, but pay close attention to the units in your hand. Joachim pulling a high value unit in r1 like Usurper is potentially game losing. If you have a Hunting Pack in your hand, do your best to use it to thin your deck.

Round 2

Matchup and draw dependent. If you have the aristocrats to proc it, using Scenario to bleed is a legitimate strategy if you think you can reserve cards like Usurper and Joachim that do well in a short round.  

Round 3

Pretty straightforward based on how the game has gone so far. Ideally, you leverage value from your scenario to put you over the top.

Matchups:

Mirror:

If your opponent spawns Operatives on their side of the board with Usurper or Lockdown, you can give them spying with Fergus. That way your Usurper’s order will steal them too! Otherwise, try to get them to waste more resources in earlier rounds than you do.

Syndicate Crimes:

This matchup is incredibly challenging. Not only is Syndicate crimes the best deck in the game, but they also have a ton of control to reign in your engines. They can easily destroy your Emhyr with Bloody Good Fun, and many lists run heatwave for your scenario. The good news is that you’ll have no shortage of gigantic units to poison, the bad news is that you don’t have enough poisons for all of them and will most likely drown in points. Don’t let too many charges accumulate on your enforcers, or Phillipa will steal them.

Bleed or no – Bleeding isn’t off the table, but their flexible Leader ability and Flying Redanian carryover makes it extremely risky.

Who wins – You aren’t favoured here.

Unitless Scoia’tael:

This is an extremely challenging matchup, as Unitless Scoia’tael is specifically designed to deny decks like yours value. Your most important cards are high value, proactive units like Usurper and Joachim. Many Unitless Scoia’tael lists run Schirru, so be very careful about lining up your Nauzica Sergeants and Dames. If you get last say, you will still have issues removing their Gord in one turn. If you aren’t running Yen’s invocation, you have to either use Imposter to lock it and kill it with Vanhemar, or double proc your Scenario with Roderick or Joachim into another aristocrat. Try to save Ramon as a counter to Sabertooth Tiger if possible.

Bleed or no – Bleed aggressively, as your engines will most likely be killed by removal/destroyed by Schirru anyway. Relying on Joachim and Usurper in a short r3 is more reliable.

Who wins – You aren’t favored here.

Movement Elves:

This list doesn’t go very tall, so your poisons won’t get a ton of value. However, you are well equipped to deal with their engines since you run so many locks. They rely on row stacking, so can deny a lot of value by filling the row to its limit with a disloyal unit.

Bleed or no – A conservative bleed is good, if they have an awkward hand they could be forced into playing inefficiently. However, you want to make sure you still have a long r3 to take full advantage of your engines, as well as the engine you steal from them with Imposter. Don’t go too hard.

Who wins – A fairly even matchup

Symbiosis:

While they do run a purify, it just makes the unit taller for when you do eventually poison in. They have a decent amount of removal, but not much that gets through Ramon’s extra armor, so you should have no problem getting at least one engine to stick. Since they can’t control which row their symbiosis tokens are spawned, you can force them into awkward plays by blocking a row with disloyal units.

Bleed or no – Bleed if you can, be careful starting a bleed by setting up engines though. Forest Protector is a strong tempo play, and may cost you last say and card advantage.

Who wins – You are slightly favored, as you can disrupt their strategy and gain maximum value from your poisons.

Blaze of Glory:

The good news is that as a devotion list, Blaze won’t run heatwave to destroy your scenarios. The bad news is that they can easily destroy Emhyr with leader, as well as most of your engines with damage spells. However, your own leader ability is pretty strong here too, netting you fourteen points when used on Jutta. If you follow that up with Vanhemar, you’re looking at nearly thirty points in one turn. Fight hard for last say in r1 so you can take advantage of this.

Bleed or no – Yes. Eist plays for insane burst in the shortround, but if you can manage to bleed him out in r2 they may be forced to commit their leader.

Who wins – Fairly even, but it depends a lot on who gets last say and whether an effective bleed happens.

Assimilate:

Your engines are no match for Assimilate’s pure value, but you do far better in the short round. Be careful with saving Usurper, as Double Cross pulls the fully upgraded version when used in r3. Despite your opponent’s ability to steal high value shortround cards like Usurper and Joachim, their deck is famously weak in the shortround, so play aggressively to win r1 then bleed.

Bleed or no – As much as possible. Forcing them to commit leader ability is worth going a card down if you have the right cards to win the shortround.

Who wins – Depends almost entirely on who wins r1.

Crimson Infestation:

Another deck that uses swarm tactics, denying you a lot of poison value. Even worse, they run few units that will net you much value when impostered. Be very aware of their ranged row, if they overcrowd it and let you block it with a spy before they play Yen, you deny them a ton of value. Speaking of Yen, you can easily negate it by spawning it with Coup de Grace. Make sure you play her in the melee row so she does damage instead of boosting. Impera enforcers are absolutely critical for eliminating their tokens before they can be buffed, so make sure to mulligan for them as well as Ramon.

Bleed or no – Bleeding is a good idea, but this deck has a surprisingly good shortround if they can use five leader charges and Yen, so don’t overcommit too much.

Who wins – You are slightly unfavored. While your Enforcers are useful for removing tokens, your opponent will almost certainly plan for that and keep their Natural Selections handy. When protected by Ramon’s armor, Enforcers still die to Parasite. Even using Coup de Grace on Yen sometimes isn’t enough.

Good against:

Symbiosis

Bad against:

Syndicate Crimes, Crimson Infestation, Unitless Scoia’tael

Cards replacements:

Emhyr var Emreis -> Vincent van Moorlehem

Vincent is a real workhouse, bringing consistent, high value removal to the table. While Emhyr has a lot of potential in this list, you’ll probably find more success against opponents who can remove him with Vincent.

Nilfgaard - Assimilate | Double cross | 3.75 stars

Assimilate has been a strong option for Nilfgaard since the release of “Way of the Witcher expansion”. Recently Shaggy brought an assimilate deck to QuillandLance cup (and won). It looked interesting enough to be included in this report. Just like any other assimilate deck the strategy is simple: set up assimilate engines then copy and create cards. The deck has one of the strongest long rounds in the game. While you will struggle against control lists, you have ways to outpoint them especially with some of your cards being able to play multiple engines in one turn.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan:
Typically, you want to ensure that you have not bricked your thinning cards, mainly Portal, Roderick and Joachim. Having around 3 bronze assimilate engines in round 1 is a good number (since this is how long you need to wait for your portal to pull out a 2nd card). Against unitless decks consider getting rid of duchess informants.

Round 1
If you have portal then play it turn 1. Take time setting up assimilate decks.Try not to commit all your strongest plays, especially Masquerade Ball.

Round 2
In most cases you should take a long round. Be careful when getting bled, since when your opponent plays their last card your leader will become bricked. In this case you should be aware of how many points you can make.

Round 3
Your long is good against many deck. You want to save Masquerade Ball for this round if possible.

Matchups:

Mirror: Assimilate mirrors are interesting. Double Cross can be an awkward leader when getting bled. Consider this scenario, you lose round 1, get bled in round 2 and your opponent has 1 card left in hand. Do you use your leader or not? If you do, then you will not have a leader for round 3. If you do not, then your opponent will use their leader and potentially win 2:0 since your leader will become bricked. If you have a good hand in round 2 it can be a good idea to bleed your opponent, otherwise taking a long round is fine too.

Northern Realms:

The two most common archetypes are Witchers and Shieldwall. Both matchups are favored. Against Witchers you can purify the Griffin Witcher to avoid it being 3 points every turn. You will be vulnerable to Igni or Yrden, but with leader ability and Coup de Grace, so will your opponent. Against Shieldwall, you can disrupt some of their engines like frigates by placing spies next to them. Since you run a lot of soldiers, the frigates will provide you with 2 points every turn.

Bleed or Not? You should never bleed either of the decks especially witchers.

Who will win? In a long round you are favored against both decks.

Scoia’tael:

The most common archetypes in Scoia’tael are Elves, Symbiosis, Dwarves and unitless Precision Strike. Dwarves rely on stacking their front row so you can use spies to make fill up their front row, making some of their plays weaker. Elves can win a long round if they play front row Vernossiel and kill multiple assimilate engines, so try to not let that happen. Precision Strike will be able to deal with most of your engines, so you must rely on outpointing them with cards like Triss or Braathens. Symbiosis will have an advantage since they typically do not run good duchess informant targets.

Bleed or Not? You should take a long round against most decks.

Who will win? You are unfavored against Precision Strike. The symbiosis match is more of a toss-up. Elves can be a difficult match up but stealing their movement engines can be devastating to them. Dwarves should be a favored matchup.

Monsters:

The toughest matchup is the Keltullis matchup as you will likely not have answers. This is one of the few matchups where bleeding out Keltullis is useful. Fortunately, Keltullis decks are not really popular. Against Viy you should push round 1 hard and hold on to Masquerade Ball as it can win you the game. Against Swarm you will not have good targets to copy but you have the upper hand of being able to play Coup de Grace on Yennefer and completely ruin their finisher that way. Vampires are awkward at defending a round 2 bleed (since their leader needs 3 turns to get value) so you can use that to your advantage when facing them.

Bleed or Not? You should try to bleed out Kelly. You could also bleed vampires if you have a strong hand in round 2 but passing is also viable. You should not bleed Viy or Arachas Swarm.

Who will win? Keltullis is almost unbeatable. If you face a lot of Keltullis you may run Yennefer’s Invocation or Alba Armoured Cavalry. The other 3 matchups should be favoured. Your Masquerade Ball can punish your opponent’s Orianna or Viy. Your leader ability and Coup de Grace means that Arachas Swarm cannot utilize their strongest play: Yennefer.

Skellige:

Warriors and Lippy are most popular. Against Lippy prepare for a long round 1. Take your time setting up engines. Do not worry if your opponent is 30 points ahead once you start creating cards you will quickly catch up. Try to win round 1, even if it means having a card disadvantage in round 3. Try to win round 1 against warriors as well. This should be much easier since typically warriors spend their round 1 developing the graveyard.

Bleed or Not? You should not bleed either deck.

Who will win? Lippy is a highly favored matchup. Even if you have 9 cards in round 3 and your opponent has 10 cards, the Lippy player will likely not be able to kill all of your assimilate engines. Skellige Warriors is a tossup and depends on how much control your opponent has.

Nilfgaard:

Besides Assimilate, the other popular matchups are Masquerade Ball and Kolgrim. Having final say is useful against Masquerade Ball. While you likely will not be able to answer Kolgrim, it is not a big deal. You have plenty of thinning. Duchess informants will be useful since you can clog your opponent back if they play Viper Witchers. This should make the opponent’s Kolgrim very weak.

Bleed or Not? You should not bleed Kolgrim. It can be worth bleeding Masquerade Ball if they are using the double cross leader ability (for reasons stated when discussing mirror matches) but going into a long round 3 is also okay.

Who will win? Against Kolgrim you are favored. Against Masquerade ball it’s a 50/50 and the person with final say has a small advantage. You are more favored if your opponent does not run double cross however because of the extra provisions your leader gives.

Syndicate:

Syndicate typically plays the crimes archetype and the tribute archetype. Against crimes, you are unfavored. You have no answer to the opponent’s tunnel drill, so your best counter would be to place spies next to it, to reduce the number of adjacent crownsplitters. You are more favored against tribute decks which run a lot less control.

Bleed or Not? You should not bleed either deck.

Who will win: If the opponent’s tunnel drill does not manage to kill your units, you have a chance at winning. But typically, you are unfavored in that matchup. You are favored against Tribute decks.

Good against:

Masquerade Ball, Kolgrim, NR witchers

Bad against:

Keltullis, Precision Strike

Cards replacements:

Cantarella + Gorthur Gvaed -> Yennifers Invocation + bronze card or Angouléme + bronze card

Scoia'tael - No unit ST | Precision Strike | 3.5 stars


When you think about Madoc you automatically link him with Scoiatel and Movement bombs.
On ladder you can find multiple variations of this deck, but we will focus on version with Isengrim Council with Schirru. Our thoughts were simple – there are multiple decks that put 4 or 5 strength units which are great targets for boosted Schirru. We give it a shot and it works kinda nicely. Of course if you do not feel Schirru, you can easily replace him with other cards.
In general this deck want to win round one. What am I saying? You must win round one, even it will cost you selling your soul to the devil. You just can’t afford to be bled. Winning round one is important because you want to be as much uninteractive as it possible in round 3. You obviously do not want to use Saessenthessis and Gord in round 1. They are your key to victory through being untouchable and big finisher card. Gord can’t be killed if it is last card that you play.
Plan is simple, you try to use pirotechnicians, Sabertooth, Geralt, Madoc bombs an even Schirru or your leader to win round 1, then you go to round 3, kill everything what your opponent throw on his side of the board, and finish game with massive Gord.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan: 

Mulligan
Obviously you don’t want to have Gord, Brokilon Sentinels and Madoc on your starting hand. Best scenario is it when you can throw whole your hand in round 1.

Round 1
Plan is simple, win this round or in 90% cases you will lost game.
Make bombardment Madoc useful with your Sabertooth, but remember that Sabertooth is better on blue coin.

Round 2
Pass, you do not have possibilities to bleed. Last say is very important for you.

Round 3
Be uninteractive, kill everything, put massive Gord, hope that is enough to win.

Matchups:

Mirror:

I will not say nothing special. Win round one. Kill Sabertooth with Sirocco, and remember that Schirru can be useful only in round 1 and he can help you win it.

Northern Realms:

Witchers Uprising – this is hard matchup. You need to win round one, purify witcher adepts with Moon Dust, move Griffin Witcher with another bombs. Schirru might be very good in round 3 in this matchup.
Bleed or not? No.
Who will win? 50/50 but with favored to Witchers

Scoia’tael:

Dwarves –This is hard match up, cause of  dwarves toughness. Again, Schirru can be very good in this match up.

Elves – key to win this matchup is win round 1 and keep Schirru for massive annihilation in round 3.

Bleed or not? No.

Who will win? Dwarves are favored
Elves – 50/50 but with good Schirru – you are favored

Monsters:

Kelltullis – This is tricky matchup, because if you win round 1, you probably win the game. Your opponent might use Kelltullis in round 1 due to fact your no unit deck.

Swarm – in this matchup very important would be Schirru and Madoc, cause both of them can deal with swarm

Vampires – in this match up you have to be careful. Blood Moon can be very bad for Saessenthessis, also you have to deal with Elder quite quickly. Key to win here is deny points from bleeding.

Viy – very bad matchup for you, because Viy make massive points and he does not interact with your side of the board.

Bleed or not?
Kelltullis – no, last say is very important here
Swarm – you may consider bleeding here if you are scary of swarm in r3.
Vampires and Viy – no

Who will win?
Kelltullis – 50/50 but you are favored if you win r1.
Swarm – Swarm is favored here, due to overswarm and outpoint you.
Vampires – 50/50
Viy – highly favored for Viy

Skellige:

Mostly you will encounter Eist Warriors and the key to win this matchup is win round one and have last say, because if you will not win first round, in round 3 you may play Gwont the discard gamu, where your opponent will play only last card which gonna be Eist for 25-29 point swing. Also having Schirru in round 3 can be very good, due to  many 4 to 6 points card on the opponents side of the board.

Bleed or not? No.

Who will win?
50/50 but you should be favored

Nilfgaard:

Impostor Ball – this should be good matchup for you. Your opponent do not have many targets for poison or invocation. Schirru might be better in round 3, but you have to remember that Nilfgaard plays units from 4 to 6 power and you will need your leader ability to setup Schirru.

Cloggers – it would be nice to not put bronze targets for viper witchers, but if it helps you win the round it is worth it. Schirru can help you secure round one.

Bleed or not? No.

Who will win?
Against Impostor Ball you should be slightly favored
Against Cloggers it is dependable on hand and how many garbage you will have in your deck thanks to your opponent. 50/50

Syndicate:

Crimes SY – is a bad matchup for you, it would be hard to win first round and very often your Madoc will change sides due to Philippa. Nevertheless try to kill crime engines with Geralt, Madoc bombardment. Schirru in this matchup is rather better for Cleaver and his Muscles.

Bleed or not? No.

Who will win?
Highly favored for Syndicate

Good against:

Kelltulis, Skellige warriors

Bad against:

Swarm, Syndicate Crimes

Cards replacements:

Schirru and Isengrim Council into Dunca/ Serpent Trap, CoC

Northern Realms - Duel NR | Shieldwall | 3.5 stars


With the nerf of Lyrian Scytheman, the era of Uprising’s dominance may finally be over.  As the default leader ability for just about any Northern Realm deck without explicit synergies with other leader abilities, Uprising has been the home of the midrange boost deck as long as it has been around.  If you miss that archetype already, Dueling Shields may be the deck for you.  While it lacks Uprising’s sheer stopping power, it makes up for that with an emphasis on tall removal and engine protection.

Using your leader ability in r1 has a lot more impact in terms of protecting cheaper engines like Frigate and Anna Strenger, though you do miss out on the explosive and near-unconditional finish that Uprising offered.  The consistency issues that have been a weakness in Northern Realm Devotion decks even while they were strong are only more pronounced in the Duel list, seeing as you rely heavily on expensive cards like Viraxas and Anseis that you have no way of tutoring.

Overall, Duel Shieldwall has been a viable archetype quite consistently, but it did not receive any significant amount of support in the latest patch.  The list has remained almost exactly the same, so while it is definitely playable on ladder, it may not always have the same power level as decks that have received more recent buffs.

 

Difficulty: Easy

 

Matchups:

Mirror:

Try to save Donimir for r3, as he can deny a lot of Duel value.  Bloody Baron is also important, as your opponent will most likely have at least one heavily boosted unit.

Syndicate Crimes:

Not only is Syndicate Crimes the best deck in the game, it also directly counters your strategy.  With tons of removal at their disposal, getting an engine to stick is quite a feat.  Worse, even if you do protect your engine properly Phillipa can steal it for massive value.  This is easily your most difficult match up.  Try to bait Phillipa with a lesser engine like Temerian Drummer, and try especially hard to force your opponent to use her in r1.  Reserve an answer for Cleaver, whether a shielded duel or Bloody Baron.  He generates massive value when left alone.  Don’t think you are safe to play an engine if your opponent doesn’t have the coins to remove it with Phillipa or Bloody Good Fun.  The Lined Pockets Buff has made people pretty bold about using their Leader Charges in r1 if the target is good enough.

Bleed or no – If they haven’t used Phillipa yet, forcing them to use her in r2 is much better than getting a shielded Vysegotta stolen in r3.

Who wins- Your opponent.

Unitless Scoia’tael:

Unitless ST is another extremely challenging matchup.  They have more than enough removal to stop your engines in their tracks, they have pings to get around your shields, and they run close to zero good targets for a Shielded duel unit to get value from.  This matchup is extremely dependent on your ability to get last say and duel their Gord, so don’t be afraid to commit important cards in round one if it will net you the win.  Many Unitless Scoia’tael lists run Schirru, so practice extreme caution when using cards like Temerian Drummer and Anna Strenger.  It is easy to accidentally line up an enormous Schirru for your opponent if you aren’t careful.  Try to reserve Adalia as a counter to Sabertooth Tiger.

Bleed or no – If you feel like your hand may be vulnerable to Schirru, it’s better to have that happen in r2 than r3.  Just make sure you retain last say.

Who wins – You are not favored here.

Movement Elves:

This list goes wide, denying a lot of value to your duels.  Their value is based on setup and boardstate, so you do have a small edge in the short round.  Save a duel to remove Gezras.

Bleed or no – You should definitely bleed a little.  So many of your opponent’s cards are based on synergy and boardstate that it is actually pretty easy to force them into awkward plays with even a short bleed.

Who wins – There is little you can do to disrupt your opponent’s gameplan if you don’t win r1, so your opponent is slightly favored.

Symbiosis:

Reserve your duels for Hamadryads, as that is where they will get the most value.  It shouldn’t be too hard to keep your engines above five health, letting them generate value unmolested by Nature’s Rebuke.

Bleed or no – Bleed moderately, not too aggressive.

Who wins – You are heavily favored.  There is little they can do to remove your engines and your duel units make some of their best engines useless.

Blaze of Glory:

The new iteration of Skellige Warriors, as usual, offers a fair amount of removal, as well as plenty of pings.  However, this matchup is less challenging than it looks.  First, as a devotion deck, they don’t have an efficient way to remove your defender in a timely manner without committing their leader ability, and even then they need a ping.  This makes your Donimir/Vysogota combo useful for bleeding in r2.  Second, its reliance on tall units like Greatswords and Jutta gives you plenty of targets for a big duel.  Reserve your boiling oils for Brokvar Hunters.  Without them, this deck has a lot more trouble breaking your shields with pings.  Many people run Tyrggvi, so try to reserve one leader charge to counter him just in case.

Bleed or no – If you think you can force them to commit Eist and leader, it may be worth it.

Who wins – About even

Imposter Ball:

Imposter Ball offers many of the standard challenges you would expect from a control deck with access to poisons.  Do what you can to spread around your boosts to deny your opponents some poison value.  Most of your engines are relatively unconditional, so your opponent’s leader ability is a problem.  Avoid using the absolute best imposter targets, such as Anna Strenger, Seltkirk, and Vysogota, in r3, using them instead in earlier rounds.  Make sure Selkirk is protected from being removed before he can duel, either by playing him behind Donimir or giving him zeal with Siege Support.

Bleed or No – Yes.  An aggressive r2 bleed is a good way to get rid of cards that would be problematic if impostered.  If you can use Amphibious Assault with last say in a short r3, you have a good chance of winning.

Who wins – Fairly even match, if a little skewed in your opponent’s favor.

Assimilate:

Assimilate will outvalue you by using assimilate engines as well as stealing your own engines.  However, these engines often run pretty tall, allowing you to get a ton of value with your duel units.  You also have access to far more short round burst value with cards like Amphibious Assault and Prince Anseis.

Bleed – Aggressively.  The shorter r3 is the better.

Who wins – Depends almost entirely on who wins r1.

Crimson Infestation:

Crimson infestation does pose a problem to Shieldwall, as its reliance on wide boards make getting value from large duels tough.  Your best bet at winning is winning in r1 and bleeding for a short r3.  Many lists run a Wild Hunt Bruiser, so try to keep a siege ladder handy when playing Vysogotta, and do your best to activate Seltkirk with zeal from Siege Support.  Frigate can deny a lot of Yennefer value if you get it going fast enough.  Besides Blood Moon, Crimson Infestation runs very few pings, making your shields great at protecting engines from damage cards.

Bleed or No Bleed – You should bleed, but keep in mind you need time for your own engines to generate value.

Who wins – Infestation is favored, as they are better at denying you value through removal than you are at controlling them.

Good against:

Symbiosis

Bad against:

Syndicate Crimes, Crimson Infestation, Unitless Scoia’tael

Cards replacements:

Griffin Mentor -> Griffin Ranger

One of the biggest weaknesses of this deck is its inconsistent ability to draw the units it most depends on.  Griffin Mentor helps with that consistency, and its adrenaline ability can both help to protect engines and make your duel units more potent.  That being said. If you are encountering a lot of swarm decks, Griffin Ranger can generate lots of value, and be an asset when protecting engines.

Scoia'tael - Dwarves | Mahakam forge | 3.5 stars

Brouver brings new qualities to the Dwarves package, making this deck more playable. This version contains two units with resilience, which provides some flexibility. You can use them in R1 to make bleed easier (or force an opponent to play after losing R1 on even). They also slightly increase bleed potential because you can save (4+5 engine) for short R3 (in some cases). On the other hand, control tools are rather pure – but Heatwave, Ciaran and Paulie can be helpful in some cases.

 

Difficulty: Easy

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Second Mahakam Volunteer, Mahakam Guard in short round. Pyrotechnican, Miner in some matchups.

Round 1
You’ll want to try to win R1 in most cases. You can commit some cheaper golds, depending on your gameplan and opponent reactions. Sometimes you can use better golds like Yarpen or Justice, especially to win on even. You should prefer to keep your defender to protect resilient units (if you didn`t play them in R1) and Brouver.

Round 2
Depending on matchup, but usually bleed. Pretty often you want to use Brouver in R2, unanswered he can win a game 2:0

Round 3
Use other golds. In the best scenario you will have some units form R2 thanks to resilience ability.

Matchups:

Mirror

Most opposing versions don`t play 2 movements. As a result of that you can destroy opposing Brouver and keep yours. You are a bit favoured in long round and resilience can be helpful if someone decides to bleed you.

Northern Realms

Witchers have similar potential in R1. They might increase their tempo in R2 pretty fast and win 2:0. Because of that it might be a bit better to lose R1 with 6-7 cards than 3-4.

Obviously, try to win R1 if possible – cheaply. Oil can destroy your resilience.

Shieldwall is a close matchup. On red you are unfavoured, because opponents will win R1 pretty easily. However, bleeding and resilience should give you an advantage in short-medium R3

Scoia’tael

Lack of units aren’t a problem, because you play uninteractively. Trying to bleed to decrease Symbiosis will make for a pretty close match because they can`t answer Brouver and your removals are also limited. With Brouver and techs/removals you should win long round. If opponent decides to bleed you, resilience should provide a big support in short R3.

Pure elves lose so many points, because of your armor – so this matchup is also nice (bleeding might be a nice option).

Monsters

AQ is a bit of a tricky matchup. Berserkers can destroy tokens, but opponents will have tools to destroy Brouver. You should bleed if you suspect your opponent is running Yrden.

2 Movements and Heatwave should be enough to deal with the most dangerous opposing cards. You can consider bleeding, because giving Kelly control of the round is always dangerous.

Vampires are pretty weak, but bleeding might be painful for Dwarves. Try to win R1 and bleed, an unanswered defender will force your opponent to play all their bleeding onto one target.

Viy is close matchup. You can pass on 7 in R1 and defend bleed with Resilliance or try to win R1 because Brouver might dominate long round.

Skellige

Eist warriors have one wincon – Eist. However, they can’t destroy defenders (protected by leader ability) and set bloodthirst. In theory, with defenders, you should win long R3, but bleeding and setting up resilience would be better. You are favoured in that matchup.

Nilfgaard

Spy Ball is a painful opponent because you can’t answer their ‘machine guns’. Because of that, you should bleed your opponent and hope that armor will be strong enough.

Cloggers are quite a good matchup because you have nice thinning (having Oneiromancy in R1 is important). You can also answer with defenders and kill Kolgrim if necessary. Bleeding is a nice option, you are a bit favoured.

Syndicate

Crimes is the strongest deck in the meta with many mighty cards. Use reasonable removals, your point potential in long round is similar. Watch out for Filippa and boost your cards carefully. Bleeding might be an option depending on your hand.

Win condition
Brouver, Resilient dwarves

Good against
Eist Warriors

Bad against
Crimes

Cards replacement
Spores as additional tech

Skellige - Mad Warriors (Madoc SK)| Reckless flurry | 3.5 stars

This deck is great variant for people who prefer control decks and that deck provide it with a lot of fun thanks to Madoc.
Mad Warriors with Reckless Fury as a leader is an evolution from previous season. In season of love you played Blaze of Glory instead of Reckless Fury, which can still be an option, but keep in mind thing, that with your leader you have advantage to cards like Saesenthessis which is untargetable or a lot of defenders thankfully to ignoring armor ability. Moreover, it is also additional tool to remove unwanted engine cards, so do not be afraid of using it even in round one.
In this deck you have variety of control tools which are going to help you win many, but unfortunately not every match in current meta.
Nevertheless you can still win a lot of matchups. You need to remember that you gonna need some big unit for your Hjalmar, so it is nice to use one Bear Witcher or Gerd in round one, but not both Bear Witchers, cause they make superb combo with Geralt Quen at Adrenalina 3. However Bear Witchers are not only targets for Geralt Quen, you have at your disposal Gerd, Lambert and Geralt Axii, who are great, and better than Bear Witchers in some matchups, so if you don’t draw them, you can use Geralt Quen.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
You rather do not want to have many witchers in your starting hand. You just don’t want to brick your Geralt quen, but it is good do have Gerd or Bear Witcher because you want to have one big card on your graveyard for your Hjalmar in next rounds. Also keep in my thing that best targets for your Birna Bran are Tuirseach Skirmishers.

Round 1
It is always good to win round one. Try to gain advantage with Madoc and not using many cards which provides points on your side of the board (like totem/Birna – it is fine if you will use Birna or Totem, but never use both of them), they are often more valuable in next rounds. Also they are your proactive moves, use them wisely because you do not have them many.

Round 2
Depends on your opponent deck, but usually bleed with Birna or totem.

Round 3
Usually round  3 is just removing  everything that you can remove from your opponents side. Try to save Geralt quen for your Bear Witcher, shield will stop selfdamage, but remember that also you have access with Geralt quen to Axii or Lambert.

Matchups:

Mirror:

You won’t encounter many Skellige Madoc decks due to Eist meta, but if you do, the key is to remove madoc from graveyard with your squirrel or with northern wind and also keep your cards that give you big point swing on your board like Birna or Totem, also very important might be Geralt Axii, cleansing Rupture from Tyrgvii and Lambert, that might be good for Bear Witchers.

Northern Realms:

Witchers – Uprising
This can be hard match up. Try to use your removal tools wisely. You should kill adept griffin witchers with Moon Dust bombs; Keldar with Hjalmar or sirocco; AA with squirrel. Remember about Gerd who might be very valuable in this match up.  As I said, you have every tool to get rid off witcher threats.
Best way to win is to deny as much as possible threats.

Bleed or not? Rather no.

Who will win? 50/50?

Scoia’tael:

No Unit Precision Strike with Madoc is quite good match up for you. You have every tool to win that match up. Try to push round 1 to win it. Remember to use sirocco on Sabertooth, banish Madoc, and kill Saesenthessis with your leader ability.

Traps are very bad match up, the only hope for winning is to win round 1 and bleed Eldain.

Next match from Scoia are Dwarves, which are tricky. Key to win that match up is to win round one and try to bleed out Brouver (he is weak in short rounds). You simply try to shorten rounds as much as possible. Do not scare to use Birna or totem in round 1 and remember that your leader ability ignores armor! Also keep Moon Dust bombs to purify Resilience from Gabor or Zoltan or even for their defender.

Bleed or not?
Against Precision strike there is no need to, you cannot afford to lost last say.

Against trap elfs you need to bleed Eldain or  Feign Death.

Against Dwarves, definitely bleed. You need short round cause many dwarves are engines who works better in longer rounds.

Who will win?
Against no unit Precision strike you are mostly favored
Against traps you are not favored. Even Lambert with last say is less points than Eldain
Against dwarves it is close to 50/50 with little favored to Dwarves.

Monsters:

Currently you mostly going to meet in ladder 4 kinds of Monster Decks.
Viy – It is interesting matchup for you. You have every kind of tool to help you win that match up. Try to win round 1 and bleed out scenario. You can  kill almost every consume engine that will show up.

Swarm – this matchup is very favored for you. You have leader, Madoc and Lambert to help you deal with swarm.

Vampires – in this matchup it is good to win round 1 because vampires love long round 3 or go for 2-0. You are rather favored in this match up, due to simply destroying their engines like Orianna, Dettlaff or Elder. You can easily kill their defender with leader ability or by using purify bomb or Geralt Axii, but Axii can be used to reset Ozzrel if you did not banish his potentially target from graveyard.

Kelltullis – Well, in this matchup you need to have Sirocco and way to purify the defender in your opening hand. We all know that every Kelli player have Cirilla in opening hand, and almost only way to deal with her is using sirocco, but if you do not have it, you can consider using your leader ability with some bomb and keep sirocco for Kelltullis later on. You need to remember that Geralt Axii can do a lot good things for you in this matchup 🙂

Bleed or not?
Viy – Yes, bleed out the scenario, sometimes you can go for 2-0 if you feel that your opponent does not has good hand

Arachas Swarm – yup, you should bleed and deny swarm, but keep something for round 3.

Vampires – Yes, you want to shorten the round or bleed some engine or defender.

Kelltullis – no, the most important thing is last say.

Who will win?
Viy – it is 50/50 with favored to Viy. If Viy has God hand you can’t do anything
Arachas swarm – You are mostly favored.
Vampires – close to 50/50 but if you play it correctly, you are favored
Kelltullis – If you have last say you are going to win. Try to keep your Geralt Axii for big reset.

Skellige:

With Eist warriors is kinda simple matchup for you – you almost for sure will lose. Only hope for you to win is your opponent missed Eist and Harald.

Bleed or not?
Yup, if you bleed Eist or Harald and do not lose CA then you can win

Who will win?
Highly favored for Eist Warriors

Nilfgaard:

Impostor Ball – sirocco for ball. You do not have very good poison, invocation or bronze card targets for brathens. Actually you have answers for almost everything that your opponent gonna play.

Kloggers – it is tricky matchup. It is important to not use birna in round 1, cause you provide great bronze targets for your opponent. Also you should remember that Maxii in this matchup can save you. Nevertheless if you win round 1, you can go for round 3. You have your leader, sirocco and Geralt Axii to deal with defender and Kolgrim.

Bleed or not?
Impostor Ball – You are rather should feel comfortable in both situations, but if you are afraid of not drawing sirocco, it is good to push

Kloggers – no.

Who will win?
Impostor Ball – You are rather favored in this matchup
Kloggers – 50/50, this matchup is very dependable on your starting hand and how much your opponent will set garbage into your deck.

Syndicate:

Crimes SY – It is interesting matchup, because you rather do not have many answers to crime engines in round 1, so probably you going to lose round 1, but crimes SY very often push round 2, and you can easily defend yourself.
Keep in mind that Philippa almost every time will stole your Madoc.
In this matchup you can kill Piggy with your leader ability

Bleed or not?
There is no point for bleeding

Who will win?
50/50

Good against:

Nilfgaard Ball, Swarm

Bad against:

Eist Warriors

Cards replacements:

You can replace your leader for Blaze of Glory and Gerd for Morkvarg. Moreover if you do not face many swarm decks, you can replace Lambert for some other card.

Honorable mentions & memes


Monsters - Sensual Deathwish v2 | Overwhelming Hunger

Succubus and Wererat got a small boost in the latest patch so this is the ideal time to rework the original Sensual Deathwish deck. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, the Sensual Deathwish deck might just be the thing for you. I went 22-7 with this deck, straight to Pro rank.

Round 1 usually revolves around setting up Endraga Larva, Vran Warriors and trying to get a consume loop going with the Wererat. Using the Wererat to consume your low level Deathwish units such as the Foglets and the Nightwraith. To get on top you can also use Manticore or Miruna early (using one Overwhelming Hunger charge if absolutely necessary) and don’t forget to play Dol Dhu Lokke to get a first Succubus in the graveyard. If you have enough rats, Morvudd or Glusty can be used to take that first round. They can’t be effectively used in the same round anyway so they should be used in a round each if you can. Especially if you have a Vran warrior on the board, Glusty is an amazing swing card.

If you manage to win round 1, you should push round 2 in almost every matchup to bleed your opponents best cards. You’ll more often than not even win round 2 but if you feel like you’re losing out, keep Plague Maiden and an Overwhelming Hunger charge in hand in combination with either Morvudd or Glusty. They will guarantee a win on a short round 3.

If you managed to get a Succubus in the graveyard in Round 1, you can use your final 4 turns (of both round 2 and 3 if necessary) to consume your remaining Succubi using Haunt, the Chimera, Barghest, Kayran or Overwhelming Hunger. Each Succubus you destroy nets you an extra 5 points which can stack up quickly. Plague Maiden is a quick way to fill your board and works very nicely with Morvudd as a finishing move, especially since most other units in this deck are also beasts.

Matchup-wise you’re usually favoured if you win round 1 and push round 2. SY Crimes is probably the worst matchup but otherwise this decks smashes anything from SK, NG chinese ball, ST traps and MO arachas swarm.

Check out the example matches in the video above and don’t forget to upvote! For more videos like this check out youtube.com/TroVNutPlays .

Skellige - Drink Up Me Hearties! | Ursine Ritual

Aaarrrrrhh!! Aye me maties! How about we play a round of Gwent with the most stylish of archetypes?

Aye, it is indeed Ships and Pirates! Join me on a trip across the high seas as we smash our enemies to bits!

 

Round 1: Play your Longships either directly or through Raiding Fleet. Directly is preferred since Raiding Fleet might pull a Warhship. If you have Holger in hand you can play him early as well to have some extra support from your pirates and ships. You should play the Dimun Pirates for some easy points and to ensure they are in the graveyard for later rounds. Blueboy can be used in conjunction with Yoana and your leader charges to quickly take round 1 if necessary.

 

Round 2 & 3: Start with Crach and defend him first with Covenant of Steel if you have it (Blood Eagle can grab Covenant too). He most likely will get removed from play but the extra armour goes a long way regardless. Try to armour up the Warships and any other units that are already armoured up (such as the Terror of the Seas). If Crach survives, prioritise to play your Warships next to him. If they die they automatically pull a pirate from your graveyard which will be either 7 extra points (Dimun Pirate or Tuirseach Invader) or 8 for the An Craite Raiders. Dire Bear can be used to block assimilate and monster thrive rows from ever gaining points, just be careful to not put your Priest on the same row. Finishing up should be easy with both Tyrggvi and Morkvarg for some big removal at the end.

Scoia'tael - Elven Trappings (Eldain Devotion)


Difficulty: Standard

 

Mulligan advice:

Keep a few bronzes in hand for Round 1 and definitely avoid having Aelirenn in hand. Remember that Call of the Forest can pull any unit from this deck when deciding what to toss.

Round 1:

Start out slow with your bronzes, Swordmaster is a good start followed up by a few bronze traps if you’re on blue. More reactive with the Bowman and Officers when you’re on red. You can always spend a gold trap in round 1 if you have Iorveth to pull it back. Mahakam Horn can often confuse opponents into an early pass that you can benefit from. Just remember to have two units next to it. Serpent Trap can also be manually triggered when you’re on red to kill that first big boosted unit from your opponent.

Round 2/3:

In a long round you should aim to have about 50% traps (or Hattori) in hand, along with Eldain and as many of your top cards as possible. Remember that Eldain should be used at the very end, especially if you have Feign Death on the field. Eldain will transform the scenario without triggering it so keep an eye on your remaining elves. Play your traps first while trying to anticipate when your opponent is going to play their gold cards, especially for the Pitfall Trap. Vernossiel can be devastating (as shown in the video) when played on a full Deadeye board.

When facing a mirror, try to win round one and end the final round with a few Crushing Traps on your opponent’s elf swarm. If you can play two, this should take out most of the swarm.

Check out the video above for the full deck guide and an example match. Go to youtube.com/TroVNutPlays for more deck guides and analysis videos like this one!

Monsters - Rat clog | Overwhelming hunger

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Has this ever happened to you: your opponent played a bunch of cards and won the game? We have a solution. RATS!!!!! This deck counters your opponent’s strategy of playing their cards.

Do you want to watch your opponents forfeit or suspiciously lose connection? Then try this deck. It has great long round as well as short round tempo plays.

One time my opponent put a Hemdall on top of my deck and I was baited to play Hemdall in round 3, freeing up my opponent’s space. This is the only time I ever lost. The deck will also struggle if your opponent plays Triss Lacerate on their own side of the board.

Gameplan:

Mulligan

Make sure to not brick your Whispess: Tribute. Other than that, try your best to draw your combo for round 3.

Round 1

Win the round at all cost, even if it means committing Haunt.

Round 2

You want to dry pass.

Round 3

Try to clog your opponent’s side of the board as quickly as possible.

Good against:

Swarm Decks

Bad against:

Unitless Invigorate

Card Replacements:

Frightener: Dormant -> She-Troll of Vergen

Syndicate - Pirrrates | Pirate's Cove

Do you need a little sweetness in your life? You are lucky, as Sukrus has just received that sweet, sweet pirate tag. It is a great addition to an already powerful archetype. Additionally, the new buff to Sigi Reuven puts the deck over the edge. This deck is a devotion variant as having veil on your Jacques is actually very important in about 5% of the games. “Release the Bincy” might not sound as epic as “Release the Crachen” but the deck makes up for it with its pointslam potential. If you want to toss your opponents overboard then try the Pirrrrates.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Mulligan non pirate cards for maximum Tidecloak Hideaways value.

Round 1
Play Tidecloak Hideaways for big value.

Round 2
You should bleed most decks.

Round 3

Save Jacques for a short round.

Good against:

Skellige Pirates

Bad against:

Scurvy

Northern Realms - Devotion dun bananer | Royal inspiration

Out of all the 12 new cards added to the game, everyone agrees that Northern Realms received the strongest ones. Starting with King Foltest, not only does he look majestic, but also proves to be a very flexible card. You can use it as a 4 point per turn engine (since it will pull out a Dun Banner every turn). However an even better strategy is to spawn a lot of copies of other units. These units will then remain at the bottom of your deck (boosted by 1) so that Erland can then play for insane value in round 3. Queen Meve is even stronger. A virgin Arachas Swarm player will play a 4-point 11 provisions Triss to boost all their units, while a chad Royal Inspiration player will play a 7-point 10 provisions unit to do the same thing. While the card is vulnerable to tall punish, most people do not run Korathi Heatwave anymore.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Just look for the best cards. Most of the cards you do not want to draw will be at the bottom of your deck anyway.

Round 1
Regarding the strategy, you want to play King Foltest in round 1 and put as many copies as possible of some random bronze unit (preferably not Dun Banner in order to have carryover) at the bottom of your deck. Then set up your Griffin Witcher Adepts and get as many copies as possible. Try to then win the round with engines. If you are struggling, you can always play Queen Meve to force your opponent to pass. If you do not draw either of the cards in round 1, you need to git gud.

Round 2
You want to push round 2 and develop as much value for Erland as possible.

Round 3

You want a short round with immune Erland

Good against:

Mill

Bad against:

Unitless Invigorate

Cards replacements:

Queen Meve -> Archgriffin

Nilfgaard - Yen Ven and the seven Geralts | Double Cross

Did you ever get sad about opening all those cool-looking Geralt cards and not being able to use them in the top meta decks?

Well, it is finally over, I present you the Yen Ven and the seven Geralts absolute metabreaker deck!

The deck uses exactly 7 Geralts and 1 Yen. For reasons…

The deck’s wincon is slamming down all the Geralts and bullying your opponent with them.

What if your opponent doesn’t use units? Then he is a moron. Oh, and you lose. Damnit!

But if this is not the case, then you can play your soldier package (and even a few Geralts, if you feel like it) to win r1, then drypass in r2.

The fun begins in r3, you can use Yen to buff your own units and your opponent’s, but they will be surprised as you demolish their board with all the remaining Geralt’s & Co.

Using Double Cross is nice because you can see the last 3 cards of your opponent and plan accordingly, and in most cases you can grab an extra Geralt as everybody will play this list on ladder.

There are some consistency cards, like Oneiromancy, Geralt:Quen and Maxii, but you shouldn’t need them anyway, just be talented enough and draw your golds!

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Skellige - Self-mill | Ursine Ritual

I bet that you, skeptical Gwent player, are tired of losing games. I also bet that the only reason you lose games is because you never draw your provisions. In fact, I’m certain that you’d be a regular Gwent Masters champion if only you could find all of your golds on ladderyou’re way more skilled than your opponents, obviously, but they always draw perfectly!

Well, have I got the deck for you! Behold the Skellige Automill Machine™, Gwent’s first meta deck that guarantees that you will access all of your cards, no matter how you draw, or your money (scraps?) back! Even the most dominant decks of Gwent’s past (looking at you, DJ, you prick) have failed to reach the potentials of their lists by leaving valuable provisions stuck in the deck at the end of each game, but this meta-defining innovation courtesy of TEB’s greatest deckbuilding minds puts a merciful end to all that inefficiency. This means that you, the superlative player that you are, can now climb the ladder effortlessly, confident with the knowledge that you’ll never miss a card again.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Strategy:

Mulligans:
*drool*
Round 1:
Thin to 0
Round 2:
Accept opponent’s forfeit
Round 3:
What’s round 3?

Matchups:

Northern Realms:

Northern Realms got by far the best cards of the latest mini-expansion, but that doesn’t matter to you. You will run into a lot of Dun Banners, but yours is the superior thinning. Easy win.

Scoia’tael:

No-unit Invigorate is very strong right now, but it won’t play nearly as many provisions as you will. Easy win.

Monsters:

Monsters pretty much only has rat swarm right now, and you run Ursine Ritual for the hard counter. Plus, rats give you even more points anyway. Easy win.

Skellige:

You win the mirror because you’re better than your opponent. Easy win.

Nilfgaard:

Nilfgaard has mill, but you mill yourself way better than it mills you. What’s your opponent going to do instead, clog you? Good luck with that. Shame forfeit, easy win.

Syndicate:

Syndicate doesn’t exist.

Good against:

Gwent players

Bad against:

DDoS attacks

Considerations:

If Farseer becomes too powerful in the meta, swap out one Crow’s Eye for a unit to make it worse.

Scoia'tael - No unit invigorate devotion | Invigorate

Our new kid on the block is a very up and coming deck for Scoia’tael, which could even potentially revive this half-dead faction. It combines a no-unit type of strategy with a carryover abuse along with a strong leader. It also is a Devotion deck, which makes it add quite a few points along with Eithne and Nature cards available to you. Finally, you have a thick Gord finisher and an (ideally) big Skaggs that can play for a lot of points depending on the amount of carryover already achieved in previous rounds.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
You want to mulligan for Sheldon Skaggs in your hand Round 1 since that is a very good scenario for you. If you have too much carryover in Round 1 you can mulligan Eithne.

Round 1
You want to try and get your carryover down in Round 1 as much as possible. If you draw Skaggs in your Round 1 hand it is the most ideal scenario since each point of carryover is worth double on him. On red coin you can abuse with more carryover cards like Dwarven Agitators but that is pretty slow to play on blue coin so you can potentially play Saber-Tooth Tiger in order to defend the round.

Round 2
After getting good carryover you can defend the bleed pretty easily. Usually Round 1 or 2 will be the time you have the most number of units in hand hence a leader ability in that round is most ideal. If you win Round 1, depending on the matchup you want to either bleed or take a long round.

Round 3

You should have enough carryover and a pretty solid Gord finisher which can be very good in a short round.

Monsters - Necrophiliacs Paradise | Arachas Swarm

You know the Arachas Swarm, right? Team Elder Blood was the first one to popularise this amazing deck and bring it to the wider audience, and then everybody just copied us. Let us then please inform you, our beloved readers, and the other Gwent outlets, that it has expired, as our Crimson Infestation has a better, stronger, prettier and smarter big brother!

Did you ever feel sorry for all those poor animated Drones, who serve their purpose so well, and then, after a won round are just dumped into garbage bin due to their Doomed status? Cry no more, we’ve sorted it out! Thanks to this deck all those lovely creatures get a second life – this time as a lovely snack for the one and only Necrophiliac in Gwent – Mourtnart.

And why stop there? This deck gives a similar second life to humanity’s best friends – Rats (who are even more sad than Drones, as not only they are Doomed, but also not animated).

As you can see, we have cut out a few overrated cards from the original Crimson Infestation deck. Crimson Curse – yes, on paper it’s 17 for 10, but in order to unlock its full potential not only you need to target a row with some points, but also wait 6 turns… Gone! Korathi Heatwave, Dorregaray, Taskmaster – all those removers, enemy purifiers and movers are just a distraction, stopping you from your one and only goal – infest the world with rats and drones, pump them up, and then dig them up from the graveyard to have some additional fun! And what do we do with all those saved provisions?

We spend them wisely on essential cards:

    • The always hungry Wererat, who constantly eats whatever he finds, and pukes out more rats for you to purify.
    • The was meant to be great, but turned out to be weak, until we finally found use for him Idr, who constantly sends all your tokens to graveyard (ideally after purifying), and produces more fresh ones.
    • The one and only miss of Necropolis – Plague Maiden, who not only is a beauty, but also gives birth to 7 wonderful rats.
    • The purest man who ever walked the Earth – Siegfried, with his little Spring Equinox friends, to brighten up your day, and purify all the tokens you spawn
    • And last, but not least – the biggest fan of rotting bodies – Mourntnart, who would eat his mother if only she was in a grave – the bright star of the deck, creme de la creme, true champion amongst the monsters.

The gameplan is simple – spam as many token as possible, then boost them, but make sure that before the round ends, you purify them all. Then, in your short R3, take out your Petri’s Philter, and as soon as your Mourntnart comes out as the last say, give him Zeal, and enjoy the fresh injection of gazillions of points from his little necrophiliac fiesta!

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Good against:

Everything!!!

Bad against:

Apart from those pesky Vypper Swarms, who eat your lovely treats before you can…

Nilfgaard - Crossbowmen Extravaganza | Imposter

We all play Gwent differently. While some of us enjoy homebrewing unique decks and playing in surprising and original ways, many others simply netdeck the strongest meta decks available, and practice playing them to perfection, in order to conquer the ranking. Only a chosen few of us combine those two – invent extremely strong new homebrews, and then climb the ladder combining their strength, surprise value, and practice from playing self made weapon of mass destruction.

This deck is one of the strongest homebrews we have ever come up with, and in fact it’s so strong, that in order to keep it secret and not allow too many people to copy it, we play it so far only at the end of season, when we need some easy points to have a strong finish. Surprisingly, the deck is basing on a seemingly weak card – yet this overlooked weakling can quickly and drastically grow out of proportion, if only played correctly.

The Crossbowmen! Yes, this little 3 power, 2 armour card, that causes 2 damage, and 1 more each time we play a soldier. Where do the points come from then, you’d ask? Imagine not having only two of them in the deck, but an entire army!

If we assume that a long round lasts 10 turns, and if we had 10 of them to play, the first one would play for only 5 points, but every next for one more point, creating sort of a mini Viy experience, all for only 5 provisions of the base card, instead of 14. 10 Crossbowmen mean a whopping 95 points in a round. And this is just the beginning – imagine if thanks to other cards in your deck you could spawn and play even more – the points potential is limitless!

Before we move on to the strategy, let us first show you the deck in action – on the photo below you can see the Nilfgaardian Crossbowmen army simply demolishing one of the strongest decks in current meta – Arachas Swarm.

Strategy:

If you drew poor cards, just play two weak bronzes and Maxii, you will win R2 and R3 anyway.

Always start with Idarran – this way every Crossbowman you spawn will spawn double! Then play your Operator, and spawn a Crossbowman on both sides. After that copy / spawn / play it with your Ability, and then copy it with your Informants and Braathens, then copy it with Cadaverine, and follow up with Coup. Don’t forget to make some spare copies with Vigo and Ramon. If you’ve done it right, you may and up even with 15 Crossbowmen, from your starting 2! If you think you’ve tormented your opponent enough, pass and keep 1 Crossbowman for the next round.

After that R2 is just a formality – make sure you bring back your Operator or Idarran with Renew, your Crossbowman with Necromancy, and your opponents with Experimental Remedy. Rince and repeat strategy from previous round.

Please also note, that because of this deck being constructed in such a magnificent way, your Artorius Vigo will always create a Crossbowman, as there are only 3 types of bronzes in the deck!

Additionally it utilises the amazing, yet often overlooked, Deploy ability of Vreemde – if you have 15 copies of your Crossbowman, he will play for 34 points!

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Good against:

Pretty much everything in current meta, apart from…

Bad against:

Redanian Archers Extravaganza – a deck similar in it’s strategy and brilliant execution.

Northern Realms - Charges OP | Stockpile

They kept the truth from us! Charge NR is the most overpowered deck on the ladder, and it is literally guaranteed to win every game. This is assuming, of course, that your opponent doesn’t use any cards like:

Heatwave, Boiling Oil, Payday, Van Moorlehem Hunter, Pyrotechnician, Bloody Good Fun, Coated Weapons, Imposter, Gutting Slash, Nature’s Rebuke, Phillipa, Blaze of Glory, Tunnel Drill, Precision Strike, Yrden, Masquerade Ball, Djenge Frett, Igni, Parasite, Saber Tooth Tiger, Hjalmar, Collar, Schirru, Madoc, Alba Armored Cavalry, and Ramon Tyrconel into a second Alba Armored Cavalry.

You know, the kind of unpopular cards you never run into.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan

Mulligan for as many order units as possible. When they die before activating, you can tell yourself you’re ‘baiting’ enemy removal in between heaving sobs.

Round 1

Win with broken low-provision cost cards on pure value.

Round 2

If your opponent bleeds you, just esc+enter. However, that almost never happens. It’s considered good sportsmanship to drypass against Stockpile.

Round 3

Win with your OP 10 card round.

Good against:

Mill.

Bad against:

Control decks and current meta decks.

Cards replacements:

You can add Defender, but it will be removed immediately so don’t bother.

Northern Realms - Polarized Maneuver | Pincer Maneuver

This new absolute meta deck takes advantage of all the cool Northern Realms golds, and uses some extra bronzes to fit in between all the good stuff. Because in Gwent the bronze cards are just mulligan fodder, this deck utilises this to the extreme. Nowadays our beloved game is all about polarization, and this is how to do it with style!

All you have to do is to use your best strategy to draw your golds. Oneiromancy and Amphibious Assault are great in this manner, as Oneiro can find any gold, and AA can promote a bronze card to a gold level.

There are some matchups when if you’ve drawn all your golds, you can laugh at the mill player who mills all your trash bronzes, the Ball player who can’t get the Viper Witcher Mentors higher than 4, or the Clog player who is gasping at all the chad golds on your board with nothing to clog you with.

Your leader ability is also a great tool, you can mulligan a bronze to get a high-end gold instead. This is what Pincer Maneuver always wanted to be while growing up.

So in short, this deck has one of the most explosive short round, or long round. Assuming you’d drawn your golds, but if you play Gwent, then you know this is what this game is all about.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Skellige - Arnachad the honorary Archdruid | Battle Trance

So, did you ever want to run all the cheese cards in Skellige?

Then this is your time, behold the deck of wonders!

We play with all the fun cards, because why not?

The deck has plenty of synergies, it has the base of a traditional Gedynayna druids deck, but the similarities stop right there.

We have the Olaf + Hym combo, the immortal defender or Arnaghad, provided by Sukrus, a lot of selfwound activity, Kambi discarding your opponent’s wincon, and Gedynayna of course.

The discard package helps thinning your deck, so you can find your golds easier.

The deck is strong in a short, medium, and long round as well, and has no bad matchups.

If you ever wanted to use a deck with 140% winrate, then you finally found it!

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Northern Realms - NR Boost is a thing | Royal Inspiration

If you’re looking for a supremely consistent deck, then Syanna + Erland combo is your safest and best bet. This deck is enabled by renew, allowing you to play defender a second time to protect your Coen/Vysogota combo. Since CDPR will be removing Heatwave from the game any day now, this strategy is completely foolproof.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan

If you draw all three combo pieces, mulligan away Oneiromancy. This will show your opponent that you were born lucky, so they have no chance of defeating you.

Round 1

Syanna + Erland combo, protected by defender.

Round 2

Pass. Especially if you lost r1.

Round 3

Win with a long round and carryover. Keep charges on Vysogota to set up HYPER Coen. Since you can renew your defender, your opponent will absolutely, 100% never punish you for not spending Vysogota charges until your final turn.

Good against:

Some decks that don’t run Yrden.

Bad against:

The very few Yrden decks. And Igni decks, if you pushed it too much.

Cards replacements:

Witchers into anything you like. Maybe sub in some siege engines, I hear they’re pretty good.

Nilfgaard - Mill | Double Cross

Mill is one of the oldest archetypes in Gwent and indeed it stood the test of time. With the introduction of Kolgrim, this deck has been dominating the ladder since the release of the Way of the Witcher. The best way to describe the deck is: toxic, annoying, broken, unbeatable. This deck is extremely frustrating for your opponents, especially the ones who like to play cards. The strength of it comes from the card advantage you can potentially gain in round 3, and from the hordes of opponents who will just rage quit and let you win, calling you a jerk at the same time.

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Look for as many milling cards as possible since this is your win condition.

Round 1
If you are going first, start with Stregobor then play Matta as your second card. If Stregobor survives you will gain card advantage. If you drew Kingslayer and Operator, use it in round 1. Play as many copies with your Duchess Informants. You might even consider playing your leader if it helps you win the round. Don’t worry if you go down a card or two. You should be able to regain card advantage in future rounds.

Round 2
You want to bleed round 2 and mill as many cards as possible.

Round 3

Your opponent should not have any cards left in round 3 so you should win. You might consider spamming emotes to annoy your opponent even more.

Good against:

SK Hyperthin

Bad against:

King Foltest

Northern Realms - Always golds | Shieldwall

Tired of not getting your golds?

Tired of bricking?

Tired of getting your expensive Northern Realms cards getting clocked, destroyed, or poisoned?

If you answer yes to any of the questions above this deck is for you.

25 gold cards in deck give you 100% warranty that you will not miss any important golds in your deck. The most consistent draw ever!

 

Difficulty: Standard

 

Gameplan:

Mulligan
Whatever you don’t need in your current matchup.

Round 1
Play your golds.

Round 2
More golds.

Round 3

100% for getting gold in round 3!

Good against:

All bronze decks.

Bad against:

Some decks.

Cards replacements:

Any other gold card should work fine.

Other decks

Northern Realms

Inspired Zeal

Blue stripes

Royal Inspiration

No decks in the current meta

Mobilization

Pikes in air, swords to sky!

Revenants

Shieldwall

Spellfire Reborn

Stockpile

No decks in the current meta

Pincer Maneuver

No decks in the current meta

Uprising

Frigate swarm

Scoia'tael

Guerilla tactics

Aglaïs

Invigorate

No decks in the current meta

Nature’s gift

No decks in the current meta

Precision strike

Movement

Deadeye ambush

Traps

Call of harmony

Harmony

Mahakam forge

No decks in the current meta

Monsters

Carapace

No decks in the current meta

Force of Nature

Koshchey

White frost

Frost

Arachas Swarm

Sneaky Kiki

Fruits of Ysgith

No decks in the current meta

Blood Scent

Vampires

Overwhelming hunger

No decks in the current meta

Skellige

Onslaught

No decks in the current meta

Reckless Flurry

No decks in the current meta

Battle Trance

Mushrooms

Arnachad

Rage of the sea

No decks in the current meta

Patricidal fury

Bear Wicher Mentor Deck

Ursine ritual

Pirates & warriors

Lippy

Meta breaker Ursine

Blaze of glory

No decks in the current meta

Nilfgaard

Imprisonment

No decks in the current meta

Imperial formation

Double Cahir soldiers

Tactical Decision

Assimilate (not double cross)

Lockdown

No decks in the current meta

Enslave

Ethical Hyperthin

Double Cross

No decks in the current meta

Imposter

No decks in the current meta

Syndicate

Blood Money

No decks in the current meta

Jackpot

No decks in the current meta

Lined pockets

Bounties

Off the books

Tributes

Congregate

Typical Congregate

Pirate’s Cove

No decks in the current meta

Hidden cache

No decks in the current meta

Upcoming events

10-11 April Qualifier #1(cast Sunday around 14:00CEST)

17-18 April Qualifier #2 (cast Sunday around 18:00CEST)

6 May 10:00 a.m. CEST – season ends

6 May around 13:00 p.m. CEST – new season starts

Contributors

Writers, consultants and editors: gregor__ , Olsmer , 9kjer, Crythene , darthlothins, Patsy_1998 , manekk , Szamuro, TroVNut, Jollyish, EmpressBlackSun, Crythene, Noelle69420, Gregory_Black, _Rolero_, Tyronin1, Broglas, zurii69, Truzky, Gandalf0271, enzomarea, INPU_EL

Manager: KissAndRun

 

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