Deck Guide: Heavy Hitters
September 18, 2019 by Zade
Zade is back with another deck guide! This time: Skellige, led by Eist Tuirseach.
Looking for a solid Skellige list that’s got huge point potential, and also just a blast to play? Look no further! This deck uses Eist Tuirseach (‘Second Wind’) to deliver massive value in short rounds in combination with staples like Olaf, Knut the Callous, and Vildkaarl. Long live the king!
This deck revolves around getting value from powerful Skellige bronzes, such as Svalblod Priest and Heymaey Protector, and then delivering huge point-slams later in the game via the impactful golds we have at our disposal.
With the changes to some key cards in the latest Gwent Patch 3.2, this deck is very reliable on how it can deliver huge points to the board, with the main downside being its general weakness to tall removal and long rounds.
As we’ve known for a while now, Skellige has a very potent bronze package, and that’s included at full force here. This allows us to confidently play and win rounds even with few gold cards and save those cards in particular for later in the game. The main power here comes from the sheer number of ‘big plays’ we have at our disposal. While you probably won’t get the same one often, there’s so many of them that you can reliably pull off one, two, or even three most games.
We are heavily favored in shorter rounds, so our general plan should be to win Round 1, and then push Round 2. If we can’t get the 2-0, then a bleed will often do the job. Even going a card down isn’t necessarily the end of the world here, as our points-per-card in a short Round 3 can be ridiculously high.
In Round 1, we’re always looking to bring our opponent down to as few cards as possible. While our ability to do this is highly dependent on the coin flip, that should still be the goal. Winning Round 1 is very important, as it allows us to control where the game goes – whether that’s pushing for a 2-0 in Round 2, and going for a short Round 3.
The bronze package in this deck is often enough to get the job done. Card synergies like Dimun Light Longship + Heymaey Protector, or Svalblod Priest + Tuirseach Veteran can offer up a lot of points, and they can snowball if left unanswered.
The first and easiest is just to play something Round 1, whether that’s Vildkaarl, Olaf, Knut the Callous, or Jutta an Dimun. This means we can both get value with it early in the game, and then utilize it again later in combination with another card. Ideally, we’ll have either Knut or one of either Vildkaarl or Olaf in our graveyard by the time we’re looking to close out the game. Then, we can play both in one turn, and in the case of Knut + Vildkaarl, that’s a massive 23-point play in a single turn.
Another option to get something in the graveyard is to use Derran. While we don’t get the immediate value that we would if we just played it, it’s a good way to get something if it’s buried in our deck.
If we’ve been successful in winning Round 1, then Round 2 is for pushing. It’s our choice whether we want to simply bleed our opponent down to just a couple of cards or go for the full 2-0. It’s definitely possible to do the latter, we just need a good hand to do it.
We can use value cards like Harald Houndsnout or Svalblod Totem, but if it’s looking like we aren’t going to be able to successfully 2-0, then we should make sure to keep a couple of big plays, like Jutta an Dimun + Restore or Knut the Callous + Vildkaarl, in order to secure the third Round.
This portion also functions as part of the game plan for Round 2, if we’re going for a 2-0 victory.
In the last round, our goal is to make as many of the big point plays this deck has available happen. Ideally, this round will be quite short, so the value we can pull from just a few cards can often easily be enough to take the game.
There are a lot of opportunities to do so, and these are some of the key ones we’ll have:
- Jutta an Dimun + Restore = 18 points.
- Knut the Callous + Vildkaarl = 23 points
- Knut the Callous = Olaf = 22 points
There’s also great-value single card plays, such as using Sigrdrifa's Rite on Jutta an Dimun or Olaf, Hjalmar an Craite on a big unit in our graveyard, or even just Svalblod Totem + Svalblod Priest.
Potential Tech Cards
Gremist is a great replacement for Derran if we find that we are running into a lot of statuses such as Bounty and Bleeding. As we have quite a few Alchemy cards, there’s a lot of potential – and as Gremist has Zeal, we are guaranteed at least one use. Gremist also has a 6-point body, which is nothing to sneeze at.
Ulfhedinn and Stribog Runestone are both solid inclusions to this deck and would replace the two copies of Freya's Blessing we include. The former will help in getting value against opponents running tall units, and the latter is a decent card in its own right, while also having the Alchemy tag; this means we can pull it with Ermion or use it to give Gremist another shot at Purifying a unit.