Deck Guides: King Bran Pirates and Cerys: Fearless Alchemy

Overview

I’ll be honest: When King Bran was revealed, I got his ability with the excess damage wrong. I thought that the boost would be the sum of excess dealt during the game, yet in fact it’s only one point for each time some excess damage is dealt. So the first idea to utilize Cards like Hjalmar, Carlo Varese or Terror of the Seas with as much armor as possible didn’t turn out that exciting. Instead you need to go for many different excess damage plays and this is where Crach an Craite begins to shine. He can passively kill the opponent’s lowest unit, while often exceeding the damage that is needed for that.

Combine that with the new Onslaught ability and all the armor gained will be put to good use. For that we need lots of ships and pirates of course. Here I go back to an old deck of mine that had many bronze pirates and only the Tidecloak Hideaway as ships. The latter will be among your opening plays in round one, when you have a hand full of pirates. Your stratagem can be the boost target here, otherwise you need to play a different unit first. Otherwise just get the strategy with Crach an Craite going, and try to play the Covenant of Steel first. Sadly, Crach can be controlled rather easily. Afterwards just play cheap bronze pirates if you are far enough ahead on tempo and try to develop some armor hand-buff.

Whether or not you are bleeding in round two depends on the game, I think. Sigrdrifa’s Rite can bring back Crach or the defender to finish what you began. Your finishing plays will be King Bran and Terror of the Seas. Iris: Shade can be played anytime when one unit has too much armor it doesn’t need.

Pros:

  • Crach can be quite disruptive for the opponent if he sticks
  • Lots of armor to mitigate incoming damage
  • Veteran buff by Bran is well utilized despite being no warrior deck

Cons:

  • Strategy for Brans boosts relies on Crachs survival
  • The usual awkward aspects of the pirate archetype
  • Leader ability is rather specific and can be played around with boosts

The Deck

Core Cards

King Bran: Boosts five units in this deck and himself passively, while sometimes amounting a boost of around eight points. Good value.

Crach an Craite: Disrupts the setup of the opponent and feeds the boosting of King Bran. Also the main card that converts armor to points.

Covenant of Steel: Feels like an important card in this deck. Crach alone is a bit vulnerable.

Tidecloak Hideaway: Cheap and good tempo play in the beginning of the game.

Anything with pirate tags: This deck relies on their tags, so that Crach, Hideaway and the leader ability remain effective.

Overview

The obvious choice for Cerys: Fearless would certainly be the selfwound archetype around Ursine Ritual. While that is a relatively functional archetype, an alchemy deck can also utilize Cerys very well. There are many cards in here that harm themselves or their allies and will eventually summon Cerys from the deck, such as Melusine, Svalblod Priest, or Little Havfrue. Be aware though that hitting armor will not count for Cerys, but hitting Armored Drakkar or Dracoturtle with Cerys order ability or Mardroeme pays off quite well instead.

But how do we make more from Cerys after she is summoned? There is no gigantic combo in mind here, because the timing of her summoning can be clunky and we don’t want to invest too much in it. But the Little Havfrues inflict four damage to themselves when calling the rain and damage over time is dealt by Melusine and Svalblod Priests. This damage can be redirected on armor, a weak token or the Crowmother, who will just return when you play the next alchemy card.

The alchemy archetype itself plays as we know it. Gedyneith and The Mushy Truffle are very good cards for this and all the remaining cards synergize around this perfectly.

Pros:

  • Built on an already strong archetype
  • Doesn’t fail if Cerys underperforms
  • Brings a lot of points to the board when uncontrolled

Cons:

  • Sometimes inconsistent, doesn’t use the discard package
  • Can be awkward to play against heavy control decks
  • Few control tools on its own

The Deck

Core Cards

Cerys: Fearless: Hits the board by herself and can be good value. Cards like Roach in comparison have similar provision costs but have nothing to offer once summoned.

Melusine, Svalblod Priest, Little Havfrue: Necessary for the selfwounding and staples in the usual alchemy deck

Dracoturtle, Armored Drakkar, Crowmother: Targets for selfwounding and Cerys damage redirection

Alchemy package: The backbone of this deck

Considerations: Bride of the Sea would be also great in this, but I didn’t find the space for her

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