12

Calveit and Ardal Psuedo-Hyperthin : Deck Guide for NG

“Our fates are written in the stars.” – Jan Calveit –

“A general commands his force. He does not rush and thrash about like some rabid hound.” – Ardal aep Dahy –

Credit to: Danamariani for inspiring this deck. 

Introduction

Jan Calveit and Ardal aep Dahy reinforce Nilfgaard’s Enslave-Tactics archetype in a much needed update. While these brilliant commanders can augment any standard Enslave deck (with an Assimilate package), today we present something suitably intricate for the Great Sun: Psuedo-Hyperthin

Jan Calveit maximizes the use of one’s provisions and facilitates precise draws. This creates “effective” thinning without the use of actual thinning cards to enable Hyperthin cards Triss Merigold and Yennefer: Divination.

Jan also allows us to circumvent the traditional “12 tactics + 13 units” rule of 6 power Enslave and play a non-tactics/unit card by minimizing “wasted” provisions. Typically, 6-power Enslave requires following a “12 tactics + 13 units” rule. Jan allows us to circumvent this by minimizing “wasted provisions” of a 26th card added purely to follow Enslave requirements as we draw only our best cards. Hence this deck is able to field a non-unit/tactic , Portal, unlike other Enslave 6 decks. 

Ardal like Enslave, is at his strongest in 12-tactics decks. 

Pros

  • Incredibly satisfying, challenging to pilot, 26 card meme-ing. 
  • Consistent across games thanks to Calveit
  • Strong short Round 3

Cons

  • Incredibly frustrating (for opponent and/or  you), challenging to pilot, 26 card meme-ing. 
  • Inconsistent Round 1 and RNG Xarthisius (and mages). 
  • Can struggle to generate points if engines are removed. 

Gameplan

Mulligan: Aggressively dump Triss Merigold and Yennefer: Divination Round 1. The aim is to get Portal, Hefty Helge and plenty of tactics to see through Rounds 1 and maybe 2. Keep the other golds, ensure Fire Scorpions and Imperial Golem are in deck unless you have a plan using “hand improvers” (Snowdrop and Doadrick Leumaerts) to shuffle them back in after Jan so you can draw into more tactics. 

Round 1: Attempt to put down tactics-engines and delete the opponent’s board. If both “hand improvers” are available, they can net you more/better tactics while serving as a 2-point engine. Ardal can be played if he is in hand for more tactics. If the draw was especially poor and Portal was missed, play Jan to ensure it arrives by Round 2. DO NOT play Jan if there are insufficient tactics in hand to survive a Round 2 bleed. 

Round 2: Optimally, the plan is to bleed the opponent, dumping the majority of tactics, thinning out Fire Scorpions with Portal, if that was not done Round 1, and preparing for a short Round 3. DO NOT play Portal if the opponent dry-passes. We need BOTH Fire Scorpions thinned. Save it for Round 3 if necessary. If Round 1 was lost, ideally we are holding the “hand-improving” duo/engine to help fend of the opponent’s bleed. Xarthisius can come in clutch defending bleeds with a tactic for the engines or high-roll Nilfgaardian Knight/Imperial Golem, which should be the only units left in deck. If one is confident of avoiding bricks, Nilfgaardian Knight is a good proactive play to open a bleed. Remember to play Jan here if you havn’t, feel free to play Ardal, especially if you havn’t played Jan

Round 3: Ideally you have as few cards as possible here, with (only) Imperial Golem in deck. Finish off with Triss and Yenn. Try to have a unit that sticks and a proactive play (like Knight) so they have targets. If Ardal is still in hand, having Nilfgaardian Knight in deck ensures he doesn’t entirely brick the mages if he draws Golem. Remember to play Ardal BEFORE the opponent plays their last card. 

Core Cards

  • Jan Calveit: Lynch pin of this deck. Ideally played just before exiting round 2. Keep track of the card order to ensure optimum mulligans/use of “hand improvers”. More below in “Considerations”.
  • Ardal aep Dahy: With 12 tactics, serves as a powerful reset, playing for roughly 15 points and extending the round with “effective” card advantage (as the card you draw should be better than the card you returned to the opponent’s hand). Ideally played in round 1/2 to enable a tactic to be kept in hand or drawn in complement with tactics-engines. CALCULATE your mulligans after playing Jan.
  • Xarthisius: Ideally played in Round 2 with aforementioned chance to highroll on Golem/Knight or play a tactic in complement with tactics engines.
  • Triss Merigold & Yennefer: Divination: Key finishers for the short round 3, play for 22 points pulling Nilfgaardian Knight with a maximum potential of 30 points pulling Imperial Golem. Triss may be played against a high value target Round 2, with 8 power reach. 
  • Doadrick Leumaerts & Snowdrop: Ideally played together, help move bricks into deck and find tactics in Rounds 1/2. 
  • Portal, Hefty Helge & Fire Scorpions: play these as soon as possible to empower your removal tactics. Portal is essential to thinning Scorpions out to enable Yenn and Triss

Combos

  • Blue-coin Crystal Skull on Helge or Fire Scorpion helps kill everything, potentially giving Assassination more value. 
  • Doadrick and Snowdrop combined are hard to remove, creating a 2-point per turn engine. Play Doadrick first so he is ready to boost Snowdrop to 8 points immediately. 
  • Coated Weapons can place a brick on the opponent’s deck for Vilgefortz to pull. 
  • If there is nothing for Vilgefortz to destroy on the opponent’s side, he can be used to pull Imperial Golem/Nilfgaardian Knight for a sizeable amount of points. 
  • Nilfgaardian Knight’s boost is easily negated with Ardal, Vilgefortz and Triss. Play him if you can avoid bricks. 

Considerations

Be AWARE that once Jan is played, you are  locking yourself out of tactics. This can be problematic if you require them in Round 2 and Jan was played in Round 1. Thus be wary of committing him early. Other than those in hand,  Xarthisius’ RNG and the “hand-improvers” can help in getting the needed tactics. Playing the “hand-improvers” AFTER Jan has huge trade-off if one is forced to shuffle units back into the deck, reducing the points Triss, Yenn and Xarth produce or having to keep those cards in hand rather than drawing into them naturally before Round 3 and having tactics to bleed the opponent. 

Be CAREFUL with using Ardal, especially in Round 3 if “hand-improvers” are not available. Bricking the mages can happen especially if Nilfgaardian Knight has been teched-out. Generally, using him in Round 1/2 is preferable to Round 3 (before Jan) to grab an extra tactic for the engines. 

Tech choices are numerous. Ardal, Vilgefortz, Doadrick, Snowdrop, Nilfgaardian Knight and the tactics mix can all be substituted based on piloting skill and risk appetite. For instance, Vilgefortz can be side-graded to Ffion var Gaernal to protect engines or upgraded to Leo Bonhart, while an Experimental Remedy is downgraded to Ointment. Similarly, an Experimental Remedy can be upgraded to Treason while Doadrick is downgraded to Peter Saar Gwynleve. The permutations are endless as long as one adheres to 12 tactics, 13 units and Portal

Conclusion

Draw all your golds and win. 

Deck Guides: FUN-sworn & King of Jackpot

Overview

The time has come for the Firesworns to make a comeback in Gwent and cleanse all the heresy on the ladder! With the appearance of the Hierarch Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart  the firesworn have gain a new morale and this time they WILL impose the righteousness upon the wicked.

The main purpose of Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart is to respawn our mighty Fallen Knights in Round 3.  That way we can use the Fallen Knights in Round 1 to secure a win.

The general game plan of the deck is to swarm the board with Firesworn tokens and then boosting them all up with Dies Irae and Sacred Flame and some important cards like Grand Inquisitor Helveed and Igor the Hook so it’s recommended to save these powerful allies for a long Round 3.

You can use Ulrich to spawn an extra copy of Fallen Knight in Round 1 to get an additional engine because  we need to dictate the flow of the game, winning Round 1 and go into a long Round 3. Otherwise our opponent will drain all our ressources in Round 2 and leave our congregation empty.

Pros

  • Very good in long rounds
  • Lots of points output potential
  • More than enough capable of winning round 1

Cons

  • Vulnerable to row punishes
  • Can suffer from lack of consistency in draws
  • Control decks can kill your engines before you start swarming

The Deck

Core Cards

Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart is what I would say firesworn decks needed for a long time. Before the hierarch entered the fray, you would use your most important engine Fallen Knight in Round 1 to win to secure yourself an ideally long Round 3. But now it’s possible to use those amazing bronze engines both in the first and the third round of the game.

Sacred Flame is a very important card in this archetype, as it not only provides you with 2 additional units but also allows you to boost every Firesworn unit on the board, essentially giving you the effect of Bone Talisman.

Dies Irae allows you to deal 3 damage while boosting all your Firesworn by one point. Which is a substantial effect, as nearly all your cards will be Firesworn, but it also gives you the option of boostin ANY unit instead if you are able to kill a unit with this card’s effect. Although most would say that this might be the best thing about this card, the fact that this card has echo increases its value even more, as I see it. The fact that it can buff your whole army of zealots twice makes it unique and fun.

Overview

Although Francis Bedlam, the King of  Beggars is a synergy card for tributes, he works really well in Jackpot, as the woes of over-profiting are all but lost to this archetype. 

The main purpose of this wily underworld kingpin is to summon himself during the round Savolla is played. And that’s really easy, since Jackpot provides you with a nice and full bank. This combination allows you to spend 9 coins and get it back immediately through King of Beggars, who will also join the fray from your deck to allow you to convert your ill gotten gains into more cold, hard points.

In the early rounds, Sewer Raiders are used to thin your deck which is especially good if you are on blue coin as your Tiger’s Eye stratagem will provide a nice and juicy advance of five coins. Mutants Maker provides you a proactive play which will grant you either 3 coins, or, if your bank is full, 3 additional points. This boost also applies to cards like Tax Collector, Sigi Reuven, Whoreson’s Freak Show and Witch Hunter Executioner. This deck not only includes point slam and coin spenders it also has control options through Whoreson Junior, Freak Show, Executioner and Vigilantes.

Overall the deck has point-slam. control and flexibility.

Pros: 

  • Has control options
  • Can be good in short and long round
  • Massive finisher

Cons: 

  • Can experience some inconsistency
  • Core cards are susceptible to bleed
  • Vulnerable to tall punish

The Deck

Core Cards

King of Beggars allows your bank to refill after paying a high tribute, summons himself to the field and serves as a spender in a pinch, so make sure to mulligan – this smooth criminal will serve you better in your deck. 

Savolla is your King of Beggars summon trigger, either in a short round or when you are being pushed. In order to achieve this combination, your bank has to have at least 7 coins to be able to afford Savolla‘s tribute and to summon the King of Beggars. In a pinch, your leader ability enables this interaction instantly.

Sigi Reuven in this deck has a profit of 10 and ideally you want to deploy him when your bank is full. In a pinch, he can also serve as a tribute enabler for Savolla, but this is not the best use for the linchpin of the Novigrad underworld.

Caesar Bilzen is played between two profit cards usually in-between Sigi Reuven and any other profit cards for maximum value. He is your finisher in most games.

Deck Guides: Metabreaker & Vampires

Overview

Tired of going against meta decks with your home-brews all the time? Want to win against a meta deck with a spicy list? Well, you’ve come to the right place!  With  the return of Araches Queen; new and and better than ever she and her swarm of creepy crawlies will overwhelm any obstacles to her way to victory!

The main purpose of Arachas Queen is to create as many Ruehin as possible in Round 2 or 3 to have an endless supply of targets for your consumes and points throughout the round.

The general game-plan of this deck is to play your Griffin, Archespore and Crimson Curse to secure round control, so you can decide whether you want to bleed or go into a long round. Normally this deck benefits from a long round so ideally you would want to win Round 1 and then go into a long Round 3 so its highly recommended to keep your Arachas Queen, Ruehin and consumes till Round 3.

If your opponent is really pushing for round 1 you can invest cards like Glustyworp and save your Kayran for Frightener: Dormant for Round 3. Also, while your army of drones can be powerful indeed, the bigger threats in your arsenal like Glustyworp are rather susceptible to tall punishes so it would be best to delay playing them as much as possible.

Pros

  • Good Tempo and point-slam potential
  • Has enough control to punish opponent’s engines
  • Is good in both long and short rounds

Cons

  • Win-Condition are susceptible to be bled out in Round 2
  • Susceptible to tall punish
  • Lacks tall punish of its own

The Deck

Core Cards

Arachas Queen is one of the core combo card in this deck as her ability to give you a second Ruehin while also consuming the first one is very good and not to be underestimated

Frightener: Dormant is a nice point slam card and while not really that important in the combo of the deck, the card itself however takes good advantage from you consuming your Ruehin over and over again to activate itself giving you solid 12 points

Kayran is the bread on butter for this deck as played at the last say card and its main target being the 2 copies of Ruehin and another tall unit will allow you to activate both Ruehins at the same time.

Overview

The long neglected archetype is here, and better than ever! Regis, freshly risen from the grave, and his fellow vampires have come to wreak havoc among mortal. Regis: Reborn, as he is known in the game, is exactly the card vampires needed as each turn of bleed increases his base power by 1. He makes for a great finisher when all enemies have been sufficiently relieved of their blood. Not only does he serve as a potent carryover for the  bleeding archetype, this powerful bloodsucker can also drain any unit by 3, adding a 6 point swing to all the carryover he provides.

Thus the main focus of the deck is to apply bleeding to  your opponent’s units as much as possible to have a very huge Regis as the last play. This is achievable with the newly buffed cards such as Fleder, Alp and NekuratAnd let us not forget the powerhouse cards which enable bleeding across multiple units like Dettlaff and Unseen Elder while Orianna slowly increases her power on the ranged row at the left side of Unseen Elder.

 

Pros:

  1. Massive long round potential
  2. Multiple synergies can be achieved
  3. Capable of surviving a bleed

Cons:

  1. Vulnerable to movement/tech tools
  2. Can experience a lack of consistency
  3. Vulnerable to tall punish

The Deck

Core Cards

  1. Regis: Reborn – A very powerful finisher allowing you to get carryover for each turn of bleed plus the drain of 3.
  2. Unseen Elder – A must answer engine as he can single handedly clear the opponent’s board in a long round. Pairs really well with  Fleder.
  3. Orianna – Another must answer engine which utilizes the amount of units affected by bleeding makes her pair really well with Crimson Curse and Dettlaff.
  4. Dettlaff – Mainly used to set the blood moon early for the bleeding to commence.
  5. Crimson Curse – Used in initial rounds for the bleed carryover and Fleder/Garkain synergies.

Radovid and Meve: Deck Guide for NR

Overview

Disclaimer: The Radovid + Uprising interaction has been hotfixed shortly after the publishing of this article. The core of the deck was not affected, but the very combo in question should no longer work. You can swap Radovid for a card of your preference.

The time has finally come for the one and only rightful king to make it back to the game. Radovid allows you to regain some of your leader charges, which not only enhances the original power and utility of the leader ability of your choice, but he can also be used for carryover purposes on top of that.

In the case of this very deck, Radovid‘s main purpose is to (with the correct timing) replay up to two Lyrian Scythemen that can be spawned with the final charge of your leader ability, Uprising.

Following this approach, Radovid can reward you with up to 31 points! Is this intentional? Apparently it is! Will this interaction get nerfed or changed eventually? Well, no idea, but one could guess so, as it seems astronomically busted!

The deck itself aims to get payoff from swarm by utilizing not only your ability, but also Queen Meve and Draug, both being rather undervalued cards. Therefore, your general game-plan would be to preserve at least one of these, if not both, for a long round 3 and  then overcome your opponent there.

This deck is based on a Meve/Draug swarm deck from the last season which saw surprisingly positive results on Pro Rank even without the inclusion of King Radovid V.

Pros

  1. Crazy long round potential
  2. Multiple finishers/potential strategies to follow
  3. Capable of surviving bleeding

Cons

  1.  Vulnerable to row punish and certain tech tools
  2. Can experience a lack of consistency
  3. Swarm can lead to overfilling (especially against NG)

The Deck

Core Cards

King Radovid V: A very powerful card capable of allowing you to reuse your final Uprising charges and thus spawning two additional Lyrian Scythemen. In order to achieve this, make sure to always use all of your charges before you use Radovid‘s deploy and consequently order. Make sure to plan out your spacing and timing, so that you wouldn’t overfill your rows for the “procession” of Lyrian Scythemen under his command.

Queen Meve: A card that is capable of unparalleled power in long rounds. We’re talking about 30 to 40 points if all goes in your favour. On the other hand it might be the number one target for Heatwaves and Invocations of your opponents, bear that in mind. In many cases, her boost potential increases not only the potency of your leader, but also empowers other cards such as Vissegerd or Temerian infantry.

Draug: A very good damage engine provider that benefits from Poor Fucking Infantry in particular. The card also has a lot of second hand utility in many matchups. You can transform Counts Caldwells against Keltullis to stop them from moving to the other side or Joachim and other Spying units against Nilfgaard to block Coup de Grace. Be careful to not transform Meve or other crucial cards which you might opt to preserve!