By JMJWilson23, October 14, 2019
Want another deck guide? You’re getting another deck guide.
JMJWilson23 sets us up with a fantastic one today - Mystic Echo Harmony! This Scoia’tael deck is a powerhouse and a ton of fun to play on top of it. This guide is fully set with a decklist, gameplan, and plenty of tech choices to help with whatever part of the meta you encounter.
Deck Guide: Mystic Echo Harmony
The short-lived reign of Dwarves appears to be over after the recent hotfix, which nerfed several cards exclusive to that deck. It remains to be seen whether Dwarves will retain their position as the dominant Scoia’tael deck in the meta, but in the meantime, we will revisit the menace of last month: Harmony. This deck offers more engine value than the more linear Dwarves deck, particularly due to Water of Brokilon. As with all Mystic Echo decks, we rely on our leader ability, which can generate 20 or more points in a long round and 12 points or more in a short one when used on Water. Many of the decisions surrounding this deck involve the distribution of resources in order to make it to Round 3 with our leader ability intact. In general, the order of importance for Round 3 with this deck is as follows: The leader ability is more important than card quality, which, in turn, is more important than card advantage. Therefore, we should not chase card advantage too aggressively when we can enter a medium-length Round 3 with our strongest cards in hand.
The Great Oak
A mainstay in any Scoia’tael deck, The Great Oak is a real powerhouse and one of our key finishers. It does not rely on engines, so we can play it at the end of a round without sacrificing value, unlike many other cards in the list. Its Treant tag is also unique, which makes this card even better in conjunction with our Harmony engines. Another advantage of Oak is its flexibility and perfect distribution of points. We are able to remove key engines when necessary without running the risk of putting too much damage into the target by placing Oak in the correct position on the row.
Water of Brokilon, Call of the Forest and Fauve
The core card of the deck is Water of Brokilon and we surround it with a package of other Nature cards to improve the deck’s consistency. Water is our preferred leader ability target, as it can easily generate enormous value when left unchecked, especially when we can cast it twice in the same round using Mystic Echo. To have it at our disposal in most of the games, we use Fauve as a tutor. Call of the Forest is another target for Fauve that can tutor any card we need.
Munro Bruys, Figgis Merluzzo and Zoltan's Company
In the Iron Judgment expansion, Scoia’tael received mainly new Dwarves and we try to make effective use of them here. Munro Bruys has a high point ceiling that can play for as many as 17 points. In order to fit it into the deck, we must also use cards that generate Rowdy Dwarves. Naturally, this includes Figgis Merluzzo, which can protect our engines through its Defender status, and Zoltan's Company, which is yet another target for Fauve due to its Nature tag. Munro’s value is guaranteed if the round is long enough for our Dwarf Berserkers to fully lose their armor, since most decks do not have effective ways to remove these cards without first damaging the armor.
Weeping Willow and Dryad Ranger
One of the concerns of the deck is losing to greedier strategies in a long round. In some cases, this involves generating a single tall unit that grows in power over time, such as An Craite Greatsword. A potential tech against this are Poison effects, found on Weeping Willow and Dryad Ranger. Removing any unit with Poison while establishing Harmony engines on board is great value, and the ability to counter tall units is a bonus. It should be noted that Purify is more common in the current meta, so we should not rely on Poison too much.
As mentioned above, the key aspect of our gameplan is to make it to Round 3 with our leader ability and our strongest cards. This will drive most of our decisions in the early rounds. We are generally comfortable in any round length, but we usually want to take a long Round 3 if possible, especially against decks that rely on generating value on their own side or against control decks. As with every deck, understanding the matchups plays a key role in determining our strategy.
Our main objective in Round 1 is to shorten the length of Round 2. We play out some low-commitment engines and stay in the round until we are left with only our key cards in hand. A great card to play in Round 1 is Percival Schuttenbach, as we can follow it up with weak bronzes while keeping pace with our opponent. Shortening Round 2 makes it less likely that we lose 2-0 to engine-based decks who develop their engines more slowly than we do. In the process of shortening the second round, we should look for opportunities to win it, especially when we go first and have the boost from Tactical Advantage. If we are able to win the round with mostly low-investment plays, we are in a great spot to play out a long Round 3 with our most powerful cards.
If we won Round 1, we pass into Round 3 with our powerful combos intact. The only case in which we want to play into the second round is against engine decks that will overrun us if we allow them to go first in Round 3. Against these decks, it is key to deal damage (e.g. Pavko Gale) to try to control the board while making Round 3 shorter.
If we lost Round 1, the opponent will dictate how we play Round 2. As detailed above, we should maintain strong card quality for Round 3, so it is important to avoid chasing card advantage when the opponent is bleeding us. Typically, we play some moderately powerful engines to remain close enough to surpass the opponent’s score in one card. When Round 2 nears its conclusion and our hand is stacked with strong cards regardless, we should look for an opportunity to push ahead for good with a tempo play, like The Great Oak or Barnabas Beckenbauer, that would likely not achieve full value in a shorter Round 3.
Hopefully, we still have our leader ability. We open the round with another copy of Water of Brokilon, followed by plays that maximize our Harmony value. If we are without our leader ability, the round will be difficult to win most of the time. In this case, we should play wide with units like Half-Elf Hunter and Figgis Merluzzo. They give us a chance against opponents who deal medium to large amounts of damage.
The deck lacks a Purify that can target an opposing unit and in this faction, the best option for this is Ida Emean aep Sivney. In a Syndicate-heavy meta, it is useful to pack a Purify to disable Poison and Bounty. The backup option on Ida, providing Vitality for four turns, plays for efficient value but is weak to Seize effects, so be mindful of the risks. An additional benefit of Ida is its Elf tag, which makes Barnabas Beckenbauer more likely to achieve maximum value.
Formerly a prominent feature in Harmony decks, Milva has slowly been cut over the past months. The game has developed to the point where slow engines like this are weaker as the prevalence of playing Round 2 has grown. Mostly, Milva is now a defence against tactics like Geralt: Igni on a row of Dryad Fledglings. However, if long third rounds become more prevalent again in the meta, Milva can generate incredible value for its meager cost.
Sheldon Skaggs and Ithlinne Aegli have been staples in Scoia’tael for a long time now. This duo is still powerful and can provide us with short-round plays while also adding removal to the deck. They are typically supported by Hawker Smugglers rather than Dwarven Agitators now, as the latter are too slow in the current state of the game. Smugglers synergize nicely with Pavko Gale, as both have the Human Human tag and demand removal from the opponent. After either Smuggler or Pavko has been removed from the board, we are able to play the other and proc our Harmony units again with the Human tag.
JMJWilson made his first forray into the world of CCG's with Gwent and has been hooked ever since. Since July 2018, he has competed in the game's Pro Rank scene and has participated in most online qualifiers since the official release of Gwent. Wilson serves as a content creator for Aretuza, especially focusing on the monthly Meta Snapshot and the Aretuza Academy projects. He seeks to bring the same analytical mindset to content creation as he does to his own gameplay with the goal of improving others' gameplay experience in whatever way is possible. With the implementation of Gwent Masters Season 2, Wilson aspires to continue his trend of being a consistent competitor in Gwent Masters qualifiers while also remaining committed to coverage of the game's highest level of competition.