The leader we’ll be using here doesn’t need any introduction, but just for the Gwent babies out there who started playing recently: There isn’t a single player who didn’t shiver when they saw the Shieldwall, one of the most oppressing leader abilities in the history of the card game. Shieldwall lost popularity in the past few months due to unwinnable match-ups against Lockdown, which was overplayed in the past few metas. Since Lockdown’s been completely reworked, Shieldwall’s worst nightmare is now far less scarier, which is good enough a reason to me to try and make it work.
What Is The Deck About?
So the base of this deck consists in Anseis and Viraxas. That’s the main combo of the deck and that’s how Shieldwall always worked due to the infamous interaction between a banal shield and units that Duel. It has the potential of removing A LOT of points from your opponent’s side of the board.
Now the main problem with Shieldwall (and Northern Realms in general) is consistency, so cards like Amphibious Assault, Natalis and one or two cheap Warfare card/s for your tutor to not brick as often are recommended. (and Assault is just too fucking good, so add that)
Let’s talk about the two remaining combos this deck contains:
Temerian Drummer, Tridam infantry, Anna Strenger – These three beauties have been been forgotten when the mighty Witchers took over the North, but screw the stupid 85% play-rate Witchers. The 3 cards can generate up to 5 points a turn, and each of them is tutor-able. I just really like them and they’re not expensive at all, they fit well within the list, and you’re happy to play them in any round. (Oh, and if opponent doesn’t deal with them in a long round, they’re likely screwed).
Keldar, Griffin Witcher Adept, King Roegner – I made the deck from scratch, but most cards in it have already been used once upon a time in Shieldwall, so this is my innovation and what I believe to be the better, more advanced Shieldwall. Keldar proved me wrong when I doubted him when he was revealed back a couple of months ago as he’s been crucial in NR Witchers – one of the best decks in Gwent, so adding him and the Witcher adepts was a no brainer. Now since we’re a devotion build and don’t have all of those mid-range cost Witchers in the deck, instead of Leo and the Uprising boys, we added the fan-favorite King Pogner, which makes a ton of sense in a SHIELDwall list its a ton of griffin Witchers that have SHIELDS…
OK, fine. Go back to play Eist Tuirseach and complain about Gwent being stale on Reddit. But just if you’re still here, you might just be surprised of how strong it actually is (AND I’M NOT JUST SAYING IT JUST BECAUSE, OKAY?! It’s actually good and IT WORKS!).
See, Amphibious Assault will make it easier for you to get what you need at a time, and I actually don’t believe it’s a draw dependent deck by any means, but if you’re wondering about whether this deck has any value of its own then let’s jump into the the Fantastic Four mid-range (good value on their own) cards section:
Falibor, Queen Adalia, Bloody Baron, Margaritta Laux-Antille – The reason why I’m making a section for these four cards is that all of them are replaceable. THEY’RE GOOD, AND I CHOSE THEM BECAUSE I LIKE THEM, but they ultimately don’t synergize as much with the deck as some of the other cards, but they’re also not dependent of any cards, as they have good value of their own.
On a shorter, more serious note:
The main reason I went for Shieldwall as my first deck guide is because of the rework of Lockdown. Also, NR always had competitive bronzes, which allowed me to polarize the deck (it has eleven 4 provision cards) which means that I had enough provisions left for many expensive top tier cards. I also believe the deck is quite good against both Blaze of Glory (pretty easy to win round 1 and take them into a long round 3) and Lined Pockets, (good amount of tall punish, and a stronger short round) the two most popular decks at the moment.
The only major weakness of the deck is consistency, as we only have John Natalis and Assault for thinning cards, and Assault can only tutor up to the 9 provision limit.
Donimir of Troy and Vysogota of Corvo – Personally not a fan of this in a heavy control meta, but it’s absolutely devastating if unanswered in a long round.
Ildiko and Seltkirk of Gulet + X2 Siege Support – Triple Duel NR used to be very popular and I like this option a lot, might change to it and see how it feels, but it’s slightly riskier and I thought there is enough control in the deck already. I’m guessing this would be better against SY Lined Pockets but worse against SK Blaze Of Glory.
That’s it, thanks for reading the article. Hope the deck guide will serve you well and please consider upvoting it if you like it. Bye-bye!