Brief Summary of Build
After receiving multiple nerfs, this deck no longer works in its old capacity.
Hey guys Swim here, with the spellatael deck I made today on stream, and it has been performing exceptionally well for me. This patch has given us huge enablers for this deck in the forms of Stammelford's Tremors and Sage. Additionally, a heavy control deck such as this will perform extremely well for the first week or two of any patch like this, before the meta stabilizes.
Note that as with any list made day 1 of the patch, this list is guaranteed to go through some changes in the next few days so check back here to stay updated. :)
Building This Deck
Check out my VIDEO GUIDE to watch me play this deck with commentary, or free to check out my stream to see me create more decks like this, or to ask me any questions. :)
Dol Blathanna Protector: Your finishers. Mulligan these away and save them for lategame, typically round 3. They'll typically get to around 20 points each by the end of the game.
Sage: A critical component of this list. Keep in mind this can only target Stammelford's Tremors, Alzur's Thunder, Overdose, and Thunderbolt Potion, since it only grabs bronze Spells and Alchemy cards. Basically these are your wildcards; use them for whatever you need at the time and enable them by putting these spells in your graveyard with merc, ithlinne, vesemir, etc.
Elven Mercenary: Your special card grabs, and an enabler for Stammelford's Tremors. Cast this relatively early, but with a unit on the opponent's board so you can get value out of Thunder if necessary.
Farseer: A simple proactive option. On the board, it will buff by 2 every turn you play a spell, as it buffs off of protectors. Play these early.
Stammelford's Tremors: The star spell here. Cast it only when there's a 1-str unit anywhere on the board, from hand, merc, sage, or ithlinne, and play them later generally if possible. Also a great counter to Rot Tosser and Dol Blathanna Trapper.
Alzur's Thunder: Your removal option, and the star of this week1 meta; there are a LOT of juicy removal targets at 7 strength that people are running. In niche circumstances you can use it to set an 8-str unit in range for Stammelford's.
Overdose: Pretty great value option for Vesemir, Sage, and Elven Mercenary. Simple value card, although it can also set a unit to 1 str for Stammelford's.
Thunderbolt Potion: Proactive spell option, to be used typically on your siege row. Additional armor here can protect your units from Tremors, although be careful as in certain situations you need to leave a unit at 1-2 strength to enable Tremors.
Nature's Gift: Pretty essential for any spell list, this gives you access to Skellige Storm, Summing Circle, and your entire bronze special kit. Typically use it for one of the aforementioned silver spells or for a bronze spell you need access to.
White Frost: Your weather of choice here. Cast it as soon as it's hitting 2 targets, to start ramping up in value. In many cases you'll want to reuse this with Eithne, particularly if it gets cleared.
Summoning Circle: Formerly a joke card, Summoning circle underwent a subtle but major change this patch, most notably now being able to copy not only cards you yourself played, but spies that either played played. Right click this card to see what it will cast before playing it; the rules are quite different now, allowing you to copy your own cards as well as cards that weren't played from hand, as well as cards that are no longer on the board. This is also genuinely a very powerful eithne target.
Alzur's Double-Cross: Silver tutor card. Pulls Yaevinn, then Farseer/Morenn, although it will hit Protectors in the lategame. Be aware what strength your protectors are at, as it can affect your usage of this card. This also blocks scorch effects from multiple protectors on round 3.
Marching Orders: Another silver tutor. These will pull Elven Mercenaries, then Sage, then Farseers (usually), then protectors. As always, be sure you know exactly what these are pulling, and I'd highly recommend running a deck tracker such as Gwent-Tracker or GwentUp to this end.
Merigold's Hailstorm: Your option for dealing with high buff strategies. Fairly simple to use; just save it for late and force round 1 out with this.
Ithlinne: A spellatael core card. The main useage for this is to cast Stammelford's Tremors when there's a 1-str unit on the board; the second tremors will kill Ithlinne, spawning two elementals. Otherwise, you can use her to grab Alzur's Thunder from your deck to cast it twice.
Vesemir: Your grab for Overdose or Thunderbolt Potion. Gives you more access to your cards, which enables sage further as well.
Royal Decree: A tutor card that buffs protectors at the same time, although note that this will buff Ithlinne which can sometimes mess with the double stammelford's plan. Try to use it for Vesemir or Aglais if possible.
Aglais: A high utility card that you're typically looking to hit anything decent with; weathers, decoys, tutors, etc. Unless you're facing an opponent who won't play a spell, she'll hit value.
This deck has a relatively straightforward mulligan. Open by blacklisting stammelford's tremors and dol blathanna protectors. Avoid having both Overdose and Thunderbolt Potion in hand, as well as all four gold cards. With any remaining mulligans, remove any excess bronze spells, but keep the Alzur's Thunder in hand.
The idea here is to ramp up round 1 with your various control assets, tutoring out your spell toolkit to enable your Sages to pull whatever they need for the situation, while forcing out round 1 with pressure from weathers while denying most strategies with alzur's. Stammelford's are great tool to keep tempo round 1 while establishing carryover for round 2.
Open with your proactive Farseer or Alzur's Double-Cross for it, developing them on the siege row. Look for opportunities to use Alzur's Thunder to remove threats from the opponent's board; don't be afraid to Nature's Gift or Aglais into it if you need to find it to enable Sages. Develop your White Frost whenever able, and look for opportunities to get value out of Summoning Circle; right click it every turn to check what it will pull, typically aiming to clone the opponent's spy with it, although don't be afraid to settle for less. Develop a thunderbolt potion on the siege row if possible and start looking to get value out of Stammelford's Tremors. Look for opportunities to use Ithlinne for double Stammelford's Tremors, making sure you hit a 1-str unit every time. If you still need to force the opponent out of the round at this point, you can often do so with Overdose. You can commit a protector late round 1 to finish it if needbe, but often you'll save these for later rounds.
In most cases you'll have won round 1, although even if you lost round 1 you'll have established carryover via Elementals. Your objective at these stages is to finish the game out with your 16-20 str protectors. If you're being bled out of tools, you can stay ahead by summoning more Earth Elementals here. If you won round 1 with strong (12+ str) carryover, consider instantly passing if you think you can force 2 cards. As per with most decks, rounds 2-3 will be pretty clean if you played well in round 1, and your ability to finish the game cleanly will depend on how round 1 went. Make sure you mulligan aggressively for protectors, if needbe.
Unfortunately it's impossible to make matchup guides with as much detail as I usually have this early into a patch, as without a developed meta there isn't as devleped counterplay, so this section is going to be a bit lacking for the first week :(
Stammeltael Mirror: This one's tricky. Avoid rowstacking too much to prevent hailstorm (you still need to enable thunderbolt though). This one comes down largely to who can steal the kills with stammelford's tremors. Avoid at all costs ending your turn with a 1 strength unit if possible. Block their tremors from getting earth elemental with either your own tremors, or a thunderbolt potion. Aglais is a huge swing value for this matchup; note that you can deny your opponent's eithne as well as sage by stealing that spell with Aglais, as it moves it to your graveyard.
Mulligan: Hailstorm is a huge boon in this matchup. Tyically you'll pull overdose pretty early here to keep up in tempo, then play deeper with a few very high value tremors, and often be able to force out round 1 with your huge AoE. Hailstorm late to force them out of round 1 after developing 4+ earth elementals. Consider mulliganing away Aglais; I haven't gotten much success out of her in this matchup, particularly early.
Monsters: Should be relatively smooth here, as they play many units and are very vulnerable to the stammelford's. As per usual, play an overdose relatively early (when they develop 5-6 units) to keep up in tempo and enable stammelford's. Otherwise, these matchups play very standard.
Northern Realms: Witch Hunters are your biggest problem here. You may actually want to avoid developing multiple Farseers in round 1, as they'll typically both be reset anyway. Outside of that, this should be a pretty clean matchup that's very favored.
Skellige: Honestly I kind of have no idea what a skellige deck even looks like right now.
Nilfgaard: Should be pretty straightforward; deny nilfgaardian standard bearers and alba pikemen with Alzur's Thunder. Keep in mind you can Summoning Circle their Infiltrator to toggle the disloyal status off your units. Try to use tremors to kill cow carcasses.
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