Brief Summary of Build
This is the deck I made and played on stream today. It's a surprisingly nuanced and versatile deck, with a lot of combo potential, and just happens to be the most fun deck I've ever played. You play Old Speartip on the melee row (sometimes the siege row), and then you can "juggle" the amount of units on the enemy row between 2 and 3 to get him to keep transforming, with tools such as Drowner, Wyvern, Zoltan: Animal Tamer, and Iris. Iris can be used to wake up old speartip (who then kills her immediately), but her best application is actually to be used at the end of a round that you're about to pass, without killing her, as she'll die after your golems do, which will make her buff your lesser golems going into the next round. You can also caretaker Iris, which I found myself doing once every few games; surprisingly good combo. Bekker's Twisted Mirror is a meta call as there are a lot of buff strategies right now and the amount of 1 str units this deck has access to it makes it quite reliable.
Crafting Order: Earth Elemental -> Gaunter O'Dimm -> Iris -> King of Burgers -> Avallach -> Caretaker -> Zoltan: Animal Tamer -> Decoy
Gold budget replacements: Yennefer: The Conjurer, Geralt: Igni, Regis, Draug, Geralt: Aard, Woodland Spirit
Silver budget replacements: Alzur's Double Cross, Myrgtabrakke, Katakan, Lambert/Eskel/Vesemir, Ocvist, Cleaver, Crones
Wild Hunt Rider: Standard monster card. I actually think this card's pretty overrated. I use it here because it puts a few units down which is good for Iris, Ge'els, and Speartip, and it's pretty good at enabling that.
Golem: This card's a lot better at 7 STR. You want these ones to die between rounds, so avoid making them your keep with your monsters passive, except maybe on round 1. Play these very early into a round.
Wyvern: This card's solid. The control it provides is quite useful against key targets, and it can help trigger speartip multiple times by reducing the amount of units on that row to 2. It can also trigger Iris in a pinch.
Drowner: This card's utility mostly revolves around triggering speartip multiple times by reducing the amount of units on that row to 2 (or, if you're speartipping the siege row, adding units to that row to wake him up again).
Griffin: This card's a lot better at 7STR. Helps matchups vs ST, NR, SK, and weather monsters. If opponent plays roach early in round 1, consider killing it with wyvern or Gaunter to enable an early griffin to steal it. Against Scoia'tael, aim to steal scorch or lacerate.
Ekimmara: This card seems like a strange choice, but actually offers some utility. It can be used to provide a big carryover between rounds, and can counter some cards such as rot tosser. It's biggest use here is maybe to eat a golem or earth elemental in round 3, to spawn the bodies early. Sometimes I'll actually use this in round 1 alongside golem, if I want the 1STR bodies very early on.
Thunderbolt Potion: Great option for monsters in general. Due to this being in your deck, make sure you position your cards properly; get into the habit of grouping your units together with no gold units between them, so that you can get a valuable thunderbolt potion on 3 units, hopefully with 1 that you plan on keeping into the following round.
Lacerate: Great tech option in general and can really enable Old Speartip to keep triggering.
Old Speartip: This one's really important to the deck. You usually play this on the melee row (although sometimes on the siege row) in a situation where you're buffing a few units and there are 3 units on the enemy row. Optimally, play it such that when it goes off and hits everything for 2, the unit count on that row will be instantly reduced to 2, to pressure the opponent into acting so it doesnt trigger again. If needbe, you can use wyverns before old speartip to set a unit on that row to 1-2 STR to facilitate that. If this card doesn't die it can carry you. Use Drowners, Wyverns, Iris, Lacerate, and Zoltan: Animal Tamer to "juggle" the amount of units on the opponent's row between 2 and 3 to keep him transforming. Using Iris to trigger speartip into killing her offers a truly insane amount of points in a single play, and I sometimes find myself using Caretaker on her the next turn to swing for over 100 points in 2 turns. When you have drawn Iris, your King of Beggars will be pulling out speartip. Using decoy to have your speartip switch from melee to siege or vice versa is actually a solid application, although beware you will lose the base STR buff.
Iris: Another big combo piece. There are actually two MAJORLY different ways to use this card. You can kill it with speartip (or possibly something else) to give you a huge value spike that round, but it's actually better to spam golems and then play iris on the opponent's board and don't kill her. When the round ends, your lesser golems will spawn and iris will buff them all. This play will often be done in round 2 going into round 3, but is useable in round 1 as well. Keep in mind you can always resurrect this card with caretaker, which I actually found myself doing super often. Pull her with King of Beggars if you haven't drawn her yet.
King of Beggars: Hugely important to this deck as it increases the consistency of both Iris and Old Speartip, which are huge combo pieces for this deck to work. In some awkward situations you might pull a wild hunt rider with this card, if you hadn't drawn any in your opening hand but also drew Iris, although this is only awkward if you hadn't drawn Old Speartip yet.
Earth Elemental: Basically just a big Golem, but used in all the same ways. Like with Golem, you don't want them to be kept over from your monsters passive except maybe going from round 1 to round 2, so play this early.
Gaunter O'Dimm: A good way to put a bunch of bodies on the board. Makes Iris, Ge'els, and Speartip a lot better. Can also be used to kill Iris, roach, and possibly to enable re-triggering of speartip (although this card should be played before speartip generally).
Decoy: Amazing card in this list. No shortage of targets to use it on. Using it on Gaunter or Earth Elemental will provide you with 9 value and 3 bodies (Earth elemental as well as golems will spawn their dudes when you decoy them). You can use it on speartip to reactivate his effect or switch his rows, or you can use it on enemy spies to enable a big Bekker's Twisted Mirror.
Bekker's Twisted Mirror: This one might strike some of you as strange, but it has high synergy with all the 1 STR units that you'll have throughout every round in this list. This card grants you really huge reach, meaning the capacity to win in a single turn after the opponent has passed. A common usage of this card will be to slow down the pace of the game with cards like avallach, or decoy onto their spy, and then to continue staying in range of BTM after they pass, at which point you'll win with a 20+ point Bekker's Twisted Mirror. Card offers 20-60 value in some games. Be wary of using this card before they pass, as it's vulnerable to igni/scorch/aeromancy. This card is surprisingly great to keep into your hand going into round 3 (even as your only card), as you'll have guaranteed 1-2 STR bodies being carried over by golems.
Avallach: Best spy in the game. This card is honestly maybe a bit too good. Play it right after playing wild hunt riders in most situations. I like playing it early as you can make your opponent draw roach, aelirenn, redundant musters, etc before having a chance to pull them out. This is particularly useful vs other monster decks. In niche situations, this card can enable a speartip to trigger on the siege row. If you draw this card going into round 2 or later, and you look like you'll have enough card advantage to use this card in round 3 after the pass, keep this card really late until then, as drawing the opponent a card after they pass in round 3 can provide a gamewinning value swing in your favor.
Caretaker: Monsters staple. You can use this card to bring back an Iris into a speartip, but in many situations you can play this card pretty normally. Resurrect high value cards like Elven Mercenary, King of Beggars, Priscilla, etc, with bonus points if you're denying that res from your opponent in cases like Priscilla and skellige's transformed bear.
Zoltan: Animal Tamer: Very solid in this deck. Putting an extra buffable body onto the board for iris or ge'els, and you'll always have a row of units primed to buff with it, even going into round 3. You can also put an agitator bird on the opponents side to trigger speartip or to snipe Iris. Very flexible card, and fits this deck super well. You can also use the 1 str bird as a BTM target.
Blacklist away extraneous wild hunt riders and ekimmaras if you have just one. If you're against monsters or nilfgaard, drop griffin. Against Skellige or Nilfgaard, drop lacerate. If you have 2 ekimmaras, drop one of them as your last mulligan. Overall, pretty simple mulligan for this deck.
Open with Wild Hunt Rider, then if the opponent hasn't put much pressure on you, play avallach. Proceed to play Golems and Earth Elemental, considering using Ekimmara on melee on one of them if you want more bodies on that row. If the opponent plays a roach and you have griffin, Wyvern or Gaunter it to try to steal it. Decide whether you'll speartip melee or siege; It's usually melee but if they're putting more units on siege, that may be a more palatable row. Try to put units on that row (gaunter, wyvern, etc) , and use Wyvern to reduce one of the units on that row to 1-2. When that row has 3+ units on it, preferably with only 2 of them having 3+ STR, use old Speartip on that row to buff your units and nuke his. Try to "juggle" his unit count on that row between 2 and 3 to keep speartip transforming. You can achieve this by adding units with drowner, Zoltan: Animal Tamer, Iris, or Avallach, or removing units with drowner, wyvern, or lacerate. In most situations you don't want to drop Iris this early. If you have an opportunity to BTM, you can play passive and wait for a pass after which you can win in a single card with BTM (as it will swing for 20-50 points. Use Thunderbolt potion very late into a round, hopefully as a 12 point play that increases your last played unit's strength.
If you can win round 1 without playing Iris, proceed into round 2 by playing the rest of your golems, then play one more unit on your side so that none of your golems are being kept by the monsters passive, then play Iris on their side and pass. You'll start round 3 with 30+ points on the board, as Iris will buff your lesser golems after they spawn.
Ultimately, there's only so much I can cover in this guide, as there's so many possible situations, especially with this deck, that would change the proper line of play, so if you're interested in improving further at this deck, feel free to check out my stream to see me play the deck or to ask me any questions.
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