Brief Summary of Build
I thought about the new captain changes and tried to figure out a way to utilize them effectively. With this deck you can combo Tuirseach skirmishers with restore and Svanrige into getting about 21+ str captains. The deck features a lot of thinning to help improve the consistency of this deck. It's pretty common to hit very high str captains by r3. It's done about as well as one can do against ST, it can outpower armor NR, NG, Monsters, and other SK decks.
Edits: Expanded the Gold and Silver sections below for more options for the deck
Edits: Final touches to this deck, been playing it like this for awhile now just haven't updated it. Gold weather can do alot more than Gigni/Coral, and Hailstorm is a must as usual.
Tuirseach Veterans -> Bran Raider Opener
Lugos -> Skirmishers
Ermion -> Skirmishers
The big boy granddaddy combo of this deck, the combo that will make your opponent super confused and wonder what the heck you just did and why you did it.
Restore - > Highest Str Skirmisher -> (Sigdrifa) -> Svanrige -> Discard now +5 highest str Skirmisher -> into now about 21+ captains
Hotfix Patch - Sometimes rezzing a Veteran when you have multiple skirmishers/svanrige/veterans on board is a stronger r3 play than rezzing a skirmisher. Patch buffed up Veterans :D.
You want to blacklist all raiders, and captains usually. If you have Ermion keep two skirmishers in hand. Always keep one skirmisher in deck for Lugos, blacklist Udalryk for Skjall. An ideal hand would be veterans, 1 or 2 priestesses, 1 skirmisher (in case you draw Ermion), silvers and golds.
Round 1 and Opening Plays
Your opening play r1 is usually just veterans and King Bran into raiders, you will definitely fall behind in tempo vs ST but most of the netdecks will keep playing r1 to thin and setup for the dry pass r2. Just keep playing veterans and thinning for your combo pieces with Ermion and Avallach. After discarding raiders be sure to draw with Avallach first for better Ermion discards. Try to avoid using Svanrige and captains. Skjall can be used if you somehow get ahead or you threaten to take the round since Udalryk is a -7 point play. Lugos must be used with a skirmisher and he can help catch up on lost points easily with the high str skirmishers. 1 priestess on round 1 is okay.
Round 2 Skirmisher setup and Restore combo prep
You want to res one of the skirmishers to setup for the round 3 combo. If your hand isn't looking optimal and you have Sigdrifa you can play Svanrige out this round. If playing vs monsters or NG they may steal one of your skirmishers, it's not a problem in fact it helps alot actually with Donar. Everytime Donar moves a skirmisher back to your grave it's +3 points. So your opponent stealing your skirmisher is actually +6 to it's str in r3. Win r2 with high str skirmisher res, Lugos, a captain perhaps. If you feel threatened into losing r2 you can pull off the Svanrige restore combo early to win the round. It still helps carry over into r3 as now your opponent is forced to deal with 21+ str bronzes from both captains and priestesses restoring skirmishers.
Round 3 Big Daddy Slamma Jamma Svanrige Restore combo
Okay you made it to r3, you have svanrige or he's in the grave and you have Sigdrifa. You have restore in hand, time to to restore the highest str Skirmisher which is +5 to it, play sig/svan discard the skirmisher, and now all of your pirates are buffed immensely. Play out your cards and win the round, most decks don't run scorch and sometimes Gigni isn't enough to stop the raw power your cards are putting out. You can even play Veterans to stagger the skirmisher when you res it. 26 str skirmisher and 25 str captains.
A funny story, I was facing an ST spell deck, I pulled off the combo and played a 25 str captain. The ST player hovered the captain, hovered Svanrige, went into my graveyard, hovered Restore, hovered the 20 str Skirmisher. He spent so much time trying to figure out what I did he roped, discarded a card and just forfeited on the spot. We had about 7 cards left in hand still.
Set in stone.
Decoy - for more Svanrige and Sigdrifa combo chances, but mostly decoy ends up as a dead card.
Operator - He can clone the veterans which is really nice for you, but he ends up being another low tempo play in a deck that already has early game low tempo plays.
Hailstorm - Anti-meta card, nearly a must have in every deck, you can use it to replace Skjall here.
Sarah - A nice way of drawing out your combo pieces that you currently lack, or if you had a rather poor mulligan phase.
If you have any other silver card ideas, Skjall or Udalryk would probably be the cards to go, Sig, Svan, and restore are too important to this deck, and Donar is too much utility to give up.
Lugos and Ermion are here to stay.
Gigni is just a good card to have, can be replaced later on when it becomes more common and decks become less greedy.
Avallach improves the consistency and I can't really think of a good replacement for him.
Birna Bran recieves veteran str buffs, and can win alot of points over long rounds. Sadly she loses all value with just 1 row clear which alot of decks do run.
Boar of the Sea is a fun card to use in this deck, place it to strengthen your skirmishers and watch as your captains get much bigger late game.
Ciri:Dash gets stronger the more she's discarded, adds an extra discard target and you'll draw into her more with super thinning of this deck. Good gold to the deck if you find Gigni getting less value.
Coral is two less points than Gigni on rows above 25 and she can't hit two+ targets she can however get rid of pesky cards at 24 and Trololo. She also wins the 1 card vs 1 card r3 pretty well. Good replacement when Gigni is more common.
Gold Weathers are another great Gold I've been experimenting with more and more. This deck doesn't have a good chance of winning r1 so if you make it out of r1 with card advantage most people will dry pass for a long r3. Gold weathers will win you the game if the opponent doesn't run a clear skies. Row clears will lead to row stacking leading to a strong hailstorm. Recommended to run hailstorm if you do decide to run a gold weather.
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