Okay guys, I think we can keep this one relatively short. Anyone who has played the seasonal mode this month will likely have run into an iteration of Guerilla tactics with Idarran and Snowdrop, because its point generation is ridiculously off the charts. So much that this guide will just revolve around that list: How to play it, how to play against it.
The deck and its strategy
As we all know, the Scoia’tael movement archetype got great support with the latest expansion. Its bronze engines can generate a lot of points now. On top of that, movement itself is a good control tool that can shut down several strategies on its own. That makes movement decks pretty popular right now, even on the conventional ladder. Now consider the seasonal rules which spawn a 1 point copy of each unit you play and you realize that all these passive engines can be set up in a very short time. You can use all these options to take control over the game and win round one, then bleed round two.
What you should save up though is your leader ability, Idarran and Snowdrop for an ideal round 3. This is where you play Idarran, who begins to spawn 1 point copies of himself until the row is full. From then on, he will repeat the same thing for each unit you play, however always in the same row that Idarran is in. That’s why you need your leader charges to move three copies to the other row, enabling six additional spawns of the next unit you play on the other row. This is where Snowdrop enters the chat, cycling through two cards with each copy and piling up an enormous amount of points, approximately 300. And since the original Snowdrop has one more point than all the copies, it even provides a scorch roof. This is pretty hard to overcome if you don’t tech against it.
Stygga Castle deserves some mention here. If you need to spend your leader charges early, you can also go and carry the order ability of the castle over to round 3, serving the same purpose. But keep in mind that if you play the castle in round 1, you either need to save your leader or pull the combo in round 2.
It can always happen that you draw absolutely poorly. In that case, you can take Snowdrop out of the combo and use her for the actual ability, giving you four tries to find the cards you need plus 19 points. In that case, Living Armor becomes your Idarran target, playing for 10 points of each copy. You can also do this if you get bled relentlessly, possibly making the opponent think that he ruined your combo.
I’d argue that the four 5 provision bronze units are the core that shouldn’t be exchanged, just as Oneiromancy, Stygga Castle, Gezras, Malena and the combo pieces mentioned above. Lambert is a tech against Idarran in the mirror, but can also be Gimpy if you want to save provisions. The remaining cards can be exchanged if you want to include other ones. I’d keep a bunch of special cards though, in case the board is full.
There are actually a bunch of cards that can be fun in the Idarran combo. Cheap bronzes like Dwarven Berserkers are becoming a hail of bullets. Yennefer: Conjurer can melt the board down entirely, if she sticks. You get the idea.
How to play against this
What you need is a deck that can keep up in points in the first round, while also bringing the control tools to keep the finishing combo in check. Frankly, the best deck to achieve this is just this one in the mirror match. But other factions can offer decent point generation as well. So if you have an engine core that can keep up the pace, you can counter the big combo in various ways.
Neutral options available to any faction are Yrden and Igni. If you can damage the one original Snowdrop by one and are able to wait a turn, good old Scorch can also be your friend. You can also use certain control oriented leader abilities along control tools to get rid of Idarran immediately. Plays like Lambert/Gimpy along Reckless Flurry for example. An easy way to cheese as Nilfgaard is Cahir obviously, being double as you play him and quadruple with Letho Kingslayer, if you want to humiliate your opponent even further (or the other Cahirs get countered by movement somehow). There’s probably more, but it’s only going to succeed if it’s teching against this deck in one way or another.
After the Damien Cycle that we saw last year, I was hoping that the removal of the Strategic Withdrawal leader ability might open this mode up to more creativity viable strategies this time. Unfortunately, the Idarran interaction feels just as bad and kinda kills it for me in this season. So maybe there will be an update to this guide if Idarran gets hotfixed, otherwise I’m not going to bother finding any decks that can compete here.
Credits go out to Sawyer as well, for participating in deckbuilding here.