Brief Summary of Build
Note : I have not updated this deck since a long time. None of the cards were really changed with the new patchs so it might still be a working recipe, but it definitively needs some rework to be competitive, so I don't recommend you to craft this list.
(I'm french, so my english is far from being perfect. Therefore, if you don't understand something I wrote, feel free to ask in the comments !
Hi everyone ! This is Whismirk, and here is my main deck for the new patch. I'm currently having a ~70% WR with it, that i hope will be consistent until the meta stabilizes. This list revolves around a lot of removal, disruption, long rounds and huge bamboozle wombo combo tempo swings, thanks to the new awesome tools that Nilfgaard was provided with this patch, like the Infiltrator, Assassin, and the changes on Ceallach and the Impera Enforcers.
Remember : this deck, as well as this guide, is unfinished. I'm currently trying to find ways to improve the list, so if you have any input, don't hesitate to share it in the comments !
Onward, sons of Nilfgaard !
I want to apologize for the lack of updates during the last 20 days. I'm having trouble to balance and adapt the deck to the actual meta, and I think even this new version needs some rework. Again, I love to hear your input, so if you have any suggestion, don't forget to share it in the comments !
Letho of Gulet just doesn't provide enough value by himself : pretty weak removal for a gold, no longer able to protect your own value since the gold immunity is gone, and I often ended up to use him to achieve the same result than with Infiltrator, so why bother ? Vilgefortz, on the other end, can easily combo with John Calveit and Cahir to make you play the card you want, just at the cost of a low Vicovaro Medic or Ceallach.
I really like Peter, he can provide a huge amount of value (especially against the Dumb Banner HC that everyone seem to love) and I wish I had a 7th silver slot to put him with the rest of the band. However, the silver mage is pretty much a win condition against decks that rely on gold and silver weathers.
I thought this deck provided enough thinning to support 28 cards, but I was wrong. Assassin were really powerful against what i'd call "passive cards" (Clan An Craite Greatsword, Mangonel, longships and stuff like that), but these cards now seem underplayed. Rot Tosser has great synergy with spy decks but is too easily countered to be viable, imho. So I removed all of these cards to add a Nauzicaa Brigade and come back to the original three Infiltrator setup : one for the Nauzicaa, one for Menno Coehoorn, and a backup one.
(See older changelogs inside the spoiler.)
With the new hotfix, Iris got an insane buff. She can now provide a 25 strengh swing with only 5 bodies, while having great synergy with Impera Enforcers, allowing you to play and destroy her immediatly. It's even better than a silver Hjalmar. Auckes was only playable if you won coinflip, as his very low immediate value usually allows your opponent to early pass R1 while being one/two cards up.
28 cards might seem to be too much, but with the amount of thinning and drawing this deck has, I think it might be a good thing, as well as some sort of protection against Mill decks. Added 1 Nauzicaa Standard Bearer as a answer against weather, maybe a second one might be better, but I personally barely encounter any weather deck at the moment, so more Bearers might end up being dead value. Vicovaro seem to have a great synergy with the rest of the list ; it can either resurrect spies, serve as a low body for Fringilla, steal a high value bronze (like strenghened Greatswords) or just ruin a QG deck.
-1 Stefan Skellen, +1 Letho of Gulet : At the suggestion of dickrigorous (who also made a variant of the deck that you can check here). With the gold immunity removed, the new Letho + Peter Saar/Menno combo can end up being an insane finisher.
-1 Infiltrator, -1 Impera Enforcers, +2 Rot Tosser : Without Treason, there isn't any reason to keep 3 infiltrators. Also, with the rise of armor decks, Enforcers seem to be less effective than before, so I think i'll just remove one of them until the meta shifts again. Rot Tossers trigger your Enforcers, allowing you to destroy any low unit that would prevent you to make a good value from the cow.
-1 Decoy, +1 Peter Saar Gwynleve : The lack of proper and consistent "R3 finisher" has been quite a problem with this deck. Peter Saar can be an answer to high value R3 cards like Pirate Captains or Dumb Banana Protectors.
Quick cards review :
Impera Enforcers : Here is my favorite card of this patch. This guy is a pure gem. Basically, it's an improved War Longship. Just put two or three of them on the board, and if untouched, you pretty much won the round already. EACH spy you play will make EACH enforcer to inflict 2 damages to a target of YOUR choice. You can use it to realign an enemy row for Rot Tosser, generate pressure or simply remove annoying enemies.
Impera Brigade : Your core tempo card. Use it as a round finisher, when you already have a lot of spies. Your opponent won't see coming your ~20 strengh bronze. However, if you lost coinflip, I recommend playing at least one early to avoid losing card advantage from an early pass.
Infiltrator : A 9 strengh bronze that triggers both the abilities of your Enforcers and Brigades, and allows you to pick a new spy to interact with.
Vicovaro Medic : This little plague doctor has many uses. He is notably able to ressurect your bronze spies, because you didn't have enough thinning already. Oh, and he can also give you a near auto-win against Queensguard and some other Skellige discard decks.
Assassin : (Outdated) Awesome new spy. Use it to disrupt the enemy strategy by one-shoting his passive cards like Clan an Craite Greatsword, War Longship, Wild Hunt Longship, Mahakam Defender, Mangonel, etc. Needless to say it can also target golds, so cards like Yennefer: The Conjurer or Triss: Butterfly Spell won't ever be a problem. For armored cards like Arachas Behemoth or Ciri, your Impera Enforcers will be glad to finish the job.
Fringilla Vigo : My favorite silver. She is a Double Agent, meaning you can either play her on your side of the board to copy an Impera Brigade's value (or of any other high strengh ally, like one pulled by Joachim de Wett) or reduce an enemy's power to that of an adjacent Emissary or Assassin. Either way, she is a great tool that can easily provide huge swings, especially in long rounds. Don't forget that, since she has the Double Agent tag, she can be pulled by Rainfarn too !
Iris : Well... I mean, without even mentionning the boost to your Brigades, it's still a nearly guaranteed 25 strengh silver, and potentially immediate if you have two Enforcers. Do i really need to say anything else ?
Vanhemar Your lifesaver against gold weathers. His Biting Frost can also help you pressure your opponent, or you can just use his Overdose for a total of 15 value. Avoid using his First Light if you don't have at least two rows under weather.
John Calveit and Cahir : No need to explain how powerful these two cards are. They provide you intel about the top of your deck, thinning and value. They can setup your combos with Joachim de Wett, Vanhemar and Emissary.
Rainfarn : Even more thinning. Use it to pull the tool you need.
Vilgefortz Maybe Nilfgaard's most powerful gold. Especially with Calveit, since you can see which card will be pulled. Try to avoid to use him randomly without knowing what is your top card, it might cost you the game.
Impera Brigade + Fringilla Vigo : Easily used on Vicovaro Medics or Ceallach, the 6 base strengh + the usual 15-25 boost is usually enough immediate tempo to win the round. Be careful though, this combo is easily counterable by Scorch, Geralt: Igni or Dimeritium Bomb.
Letho of Gulet + Menno Coehoorn : Another good R3 finisher, but a bit overrated. Don't forget that Letho won't give any value by himself, so it is only worth if both destroyed cards have a really high value.
Mulligan (outdated) :
Mulligan away Assassins, Infiltrators and Impera Brigade (You can keep one Brigade in case you lose coinflip and you're sure your opponent doesn't run Alzur's Thunder). You need the maximum Emissaries and at least one Enforcer in your starting hand. Against Skellige, try to get your two Vicovaro Medics early, so you can use them to steal his Queensguard, Clan Tuirseach Skirmishers[/cards] or strenghened [card]Clan an Craite Greatswords before he resurrects them. Of course, you don't need Nauzicaa Standard Bearer if you're not facing a weather deck.
Cards Variants :
Superjj's Cynthia + Golem combo seems quite popular and highly effective, but I personnally find it very inconsistent (and that's only my humble opinion). The golem can easily mess with your mulligans, your emissaries, Vilgefortz/Joachim etc... while you won't see Cynthia in every game. Moreover, i'd rather have a nearly guaranteed and versatile 15 strengh silver than a highly conditional ~14-20. However, as I said, the combo can still be highly effective, so don't hesitate to try it !
If weather becomes more prevalent in the meta, this might help.
You may replace any card you don't have by one of these (even though i'd highly recommend you to simply use another deck until you get the actual list) :
Zoltan: Animal Tamer : A pretty versatile card, but you'll mostly use it for the agitator bird, since he counts as a spy.
Stefan Skellen : I really like this card, being able to secure combos or key cards for the next round.
Assassination : Decent removal, but without body. (And I personally hate cards without bodies.)
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