This article has been written by Iancm1997 and edited by Babyjosus.
Since the first Gwent Open that took place in May of this year, people were very intrigued by a particular card art that was revealed for the Master Mirror Expansion. It depicted Iris’ Nightmare from the Hearts of Stone expansion from The Witcher 3, one of my personal favorite bosses in the entire Witcher franchise. Fruits of Ysgith is a leader ability that is not seen as frequently as Death’s Shadow on the ladder, but it is very effective.
The Reasoning behind the Card Set
The following will discuss why each card is included, and the general game plan that this deck has.
Oneiromancy: Oneiromancy is an Echo card that was introduced in the Master Mirror Expansion that allows you to play any card from your deck. With the Echo keyword you can play this card twice, making it the best consistency card in the entire game. With this card there is a good chance that you will manage to play all your gold cards.
Living Armor + Caranthir: This combo is fantastic in any round and plays for a total of 13 points excluding any thrive units that are triggered. Living armor can then play for a 10-point body plus any thrive that is triggered. In total, these 2 cards play as 23 points at a bare minimum, making them one of the best short round pairings in the game.
Yghern + Golyat: These two cards are high tempo and can put round 1 out of reach for your opponent when you are on blue coin and can threaten to win on even if you are on red coin. Good targets for Ozzrel in later rounds.
Katakan + Protofleder: Katakan plays as an 8 spread over two bodies (6 on Katakan, 2 on Ekimarra) with the thrive tag. There is a good chance this card will play for at least 10 points by itself and with the bronze cards included will most likely play for 15. Protofleder is included since there is a high chance that you will have Dominance and will get full value from the card. 3 damage and a 7-power body from drain is quite useful. On top of that it triggers quite a bit of thrive.
Ozzrel: Auto-include in almost every Monsters deck, typically used as a finisher for high tempo. Synergizes well with all tall units.
Ethereal: This card is absolutely insane. At only 8 Provisions, it can easily get 15+ value in a slightly long round. This card synergizes so well with this leader ability since you can get 3 points per turn from it. On top of that, this card is almost impossible to remove since it basically deploys as two bodies and will always tick unless all copies are locked or killed in one go.
The Beast + The Apiarian Phantom: These two cards synergize quite well with big Monsters and act as unconditional engines. The Beast will help to ensure Dominance, while The Apiarian Phantom can damage an enemy unit by 3 on Order and has Veil.
The Bronze Package: Cards included here include Endrega Larva, Drowner, Nekker Warrior, and Bruxa. These units carry quite well in Round 1, and with cards like Noonwraith and Kikimora Worker will trigger all of these units thrives quite easily.
Edit: Since Ethereal was changed from 8 to 9 provisions on July 7th 2020, one of your 5 provisions should be changed to a 4 provision bronze.
The Game Plan
Round 1 is easy, just play all of your bronze cards that have thrive to put the round out of reach for your opponent, throwing one of you tall units on the board to develop your graveyard for Ozzrel later on. Round 2 is when you play Ethereal, laying on a heavy bleed if you win Round 1 and attempting to either win 2-0 or force your opponent to go a card down in Round 3. In Round 3 is when you play your powerful short round cards like Caranthir/Living Armor and Ozzrel.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Strengths are that the deck excels on either side of the coin in Round 1 if you hit the Thrive curve well, High tempo plays such as Yghern/Golyat/Living Armor can force your opponent to go a card down.
The weaknesses are movement, which can cause a problem if one of your tall units is moved to the right of your Ethereals and Wide Punish on your row of Ethereals.
Bartghest for Kiki Worker, Pugo Boom-Breaker for The Apiarian Phantom
Thanks for reading my deck guide if you have any feedback or additions that you would like to make to the deck, feel free to let me know in the comments down below!