Brief Summary of Build
Apologies in advance for introducing this new solitaire carryover cancer to the meta. I've been debating whether or not I should make this decklist public for a while.
But having more than half the games being vs the exact same Skellige list is just as boring so hopefully the presence this of this deck will shift the meta away a little. Or at least force all the carbon-copy Skellige decks to change things up a little.
TLDR: Send Scorch/G:Igni/Dorregaray/Restore to the bottom of the opponent’s deck with Xarthisius, spam Ambassadors on Tibor, double the stats with Fringilla, and Adrenaline Rush for a 25 point carryover.
I’ve been memeing around on the pro ladder with Fringilla lately with some very polarizing results. Almost every single game vs Swim’s Restore Skellige was a win and every game vs Scorch/G:Igni/Vilgefortz/lock is a loss.
Given that the majority of the ladder right now is Skellige, this deck fits an interesting niche where you’re basically coin flipping for the win. If the opponent has Scorch/G:Igni/Vilgefortz, you lose. If not, you win. In most matchups, you know if you’ve won or lost within the first two cards assuming neither player makes any glaring mistakes or has a completely bricked starting hand.
Despite this, this deck is VERY fun to play as it’s essentially a meme deck that still manages to consistently win games by exploiting the current Restore Skellige’s lack of abilities to deal with big gold units (immunity to Artifact Compression and Eskel). Even if Restore Skellige runs G:Igni, you can still out power them by preventing their Restore/Dorregaray chain, locking their carryover, and bricking their hand.
I tested this deck on the normal ladder and went from 4100 to 4400 losing only 3 games total to Dagon/Eredin/Spies. I’m fairly confident this deck can hit 4500, but most of the wins vs non-Skellige are due to the surprise factor which will be gone after this.
Mulligan aggressively for Fringilla OR Rainfarn, Royal Decree, and Xarthisius. Keep Tibor if he’s in your opening hand but don’t mulligan away cards in search for him if you already have a good starting hand.
Throw away cards in the following priority while digging for your golds: Impera Enforcer (we want to pull these with Emissary) -> Vicovaro Medic (if you have two or more) -> Ambassador (if you have 2 or more)
General game plan:
1) Play Xarthisius and throw the opponent’s Scorch/Restore/Dorregaray to the back of his deck.
- Keep track of how many times the opponent can move your units via Whale Harpooner/Drowner/Dorregaray.
- Keep track of the top cards of your opponents so you know when to drop Tibor when he will draw something like Frost/Raider/Harpy/etc.
2) In most cases, you want to win a short round 1 down by one or two cards. You can bait a pass by appearing to misplay, giving the opponent the lead when he’s one card ahead (round 1 Cantarella helps with this). Going down by 3 cards to win round 1 is still acceptable if needed, and I’ve won games where I was down by 4 cards if I Tibor’d round 1. You don’t care about card advantage – either the opponent has an answer or he doesn’t. There’s little you can do to play around it.
- If the opponent is Dagon or Eredin and has Scorch in his hand, line up your own units to give him a big scorch PRIOR to playing any Ambassadors. If he gets baited into Scorching, pass immediately afterwards and play for round 2 + 3.
3) Dump your hand and spam Ambassadors on a gold card; preferably Tibor. Chain the Ambassadors with Impera Enforcers to kill them and Vicovaro Medics to revive them. With Cellach and Decoy, you have 8 potential Ambassadors.
4) Fringilla your big gold unit. Play Fringilla and the copied card at the SAME TIME. Emhyr -> Fringilla or Rainfarn -> Fringilla. Do NOT copy the stats to a non-gold unit if the opponent is running Artifact Compression.
- Don’t half-ass the gameplan if you fear a Scorch/G:Igni. This is an all-in deck. You have relatively little power if you try to play ‘normal’ and your chances of winning drops considerably.
- Try to delay playing Ambassadors as much as possible to hide your deck. If you havn’t played Xarthisius, your round 1 opening can be somewhat disguised as Emhyr Spies.
- Be mindful when using Emissaries. It’s really embarrassing if you pull a Vicovaro Medic or Ambassador when there are no targets.
- Ideally, you want to play Tibor in round 2 to carryover for a round 3 win after the opponent exhausts all his resources catching up to your ridiculous amount of points, but sometimes a round 1 Tibor is also acceptable if you can brick the opponent’s hand when doing so (Tiboring a Raider/Harpy/etc while you have an unlocked Guardian down on the board).
- Having the opportunity to chain Fringilla is rare in this meta with all the movement going around, so you want to use Decoy or Emhyr’s sendback on a different unit (Vicovaro, Cellach, Auckes). Don’t get greedy and risk ending up with a dead Deco/Fringilla in your hand unless you KNOW via Xarthisius that he cannot prevent a second Fringilla.
- It’s very risky and suboptimal, but there are a lot of cute flashy combos you can do with Emhyr + Rainfarn + Fringilla + Decoy if you want to go for the meme factor.
DISCLAIMER: This deck relies a lot on the surprise factor and is VERY easy to tech against, so your win rate is going to drop considerably if this becomes popular.
Emhyr --> Fringilla
Rainfarn --> Fringilla
Xarthisius + Tibor to draw the opponent a dead card at the right time. Which he can't mulligan away due to the Guardian.
Note: The Guardian is REALLY strong in this deck. The opponent will almost always have dead cards in his hand due to the amount of thinning in this meta and your ability to Tibor at the exact moment due to knowing his card order from Xarthisius.
Auckes --> Cynthia + Imperial Golem or Peter
Nauzicaa Standard Bearers --> Impera Brigades or a 3<sup>rd</sup> Impera Enforcer if you aren’t facing a lot of Dagon. Frost isn’t a threat, but Fog absolutely destroys this deck.
Some suboptimal substitutes if you don't have the golds:
Rainfarn --> Cahir
Xarthisius --> Stefan Skellan + Albrich (remove Auckes or Decoy) or Vilgefortz
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