Deck Guide: Greatswords
August 4, 2019 by Lothari
What year is it? Are we back in Gwent's Open Beta? Axemen, no wait... Greatswords are back and Lothari has you covered with her brand-new deck guide on Skellige's return to unashamed greed!
Gwent's 3.1 Patch has made a very important change: CDPR decided enough was enough with units whose value is tied to damage and started dialling said damage down, which means point-slam and control are not so closely tied anymore. This leaves more room for greedy decks, which means Greatswords are finally back!
Greatswords (this deck list put together by Aretuza's Molegion) is an old-school greedy engine deck that works very similarly to X-Men from Open Beta, using Dagur Two Blades and An Craite Greatsword to amass a truly incredible number of points over a long round.
Skellige bronzes are really good value and can usually take a round pretty much on their own. The first step to having a good game with this deck is to try to make Round 1 cheap. It doesn't matter too much whether it's short or long, but the idea is to get out of the round using fewer provisions than your opponent.
This is a greedy deck, so don't be afraid to use your An Craite Greatswords early. If you wait too long for them to find guaranteed value, they might not find enough of it. Generally speaking, the earlier you play them, the better. The same goes for weather, particularly if you lost Round 1. Don't try to get cute and wait to use them in a long Round 3 - playing Torrential Rain in Round 1 and using Torrential Rain or Ragh Nar Roog in Round 2 while you're being bled allows you to catch up with your opponent much more easily. Just be sure to only play a Greatsword after you play the Rain, and try to play the Rain onto a row with 2 or more units. This makes the Greatsword much more difficult to kill.
Then, you are aiming for as long a Round 3 as possible to get full use out of your Greatswords (sometimes via Freya's Blessing) and Dagur Two Blades. Again, don't be afraid to play them early unless you're playing around control. The earlier you play them, the more value they get. Dagur and Harald the Cripple's leader ability is a great catch-up mechanic and can also be used in a short Round 3 if that is where you find yourself.
In Round 1, you can always mulligan away Freya's Blessing first. After that, Dimun Warship is our Summoning Circle target, so make sure to throw away those too. Then, things get a bit more situational, but if you have no Svalblod Priests, you probably don't want to keep Heymaey Protectors.
Pros and Cons
- (+) Old-school greedy engine deck = lots of fun
- (+) Great in a long round, great in a short round (weaker in a medium-length round)
- (–) More difficult to play against control; sequencing is more important. Emhyr var Emreis is a particularly troublesome matchup, as tall removal and Locks can be replayed.
There are not a lot of flex-slots in this deck, as things either like to see damage or cause damage.
In a meta that has a lot of artifact removal, Summoning Circle can be taken out, as it only exists in the deck to provide you with a cleaner combo that gives your An Craite Greatswords good protection (play Greatsword from hand, Summoning Circle into Dimun Warship to make Greatssword a 7 on the board). At a stretch, it can be replaced with Sigrdrifa's Rite, which allows you to replay a Greatsword or even Dagur Two Blades, but it is otherwise not a very good card. This is worth 9 provisions, so it is also recommended to swap Pellar for Svalblod Butcher in that scenario.
If the meta is about playing very wide, that is playing a lot of units on one or both rows, you can swap out Summoning Circle for Skellige Storm to make the list even greedier.
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