Brief Summary of Build
Hello. D4mian aka AOD here.
You can consider me to be a relict from the old times, as control-oriented players don't have an easy time in the current patch. I've been experimenting with different "scorchy" decks since the beginning of this patch, and while I did have decent results with weather Radovid, which brought me as far as top 20 in regular ranked, I was forced to adjust to a completely different meta after the hotfix had made my list unviable.
It turned out that "Scorchedin" (sadly, "Guess who's back" was already taken) control works much better, and its effectiveness against Spella'tael is what made me upload this list to GwentDB with a short guide, which may be extended if enough requests appear.
The build uses the Wild Hunt package's reactive part and Drowners to prevent the opponent from developing a board and eliminate most threats before they can grow. It utilizes hard removal tools instead of Hailstorm - and while running Drowners without Hailstorm may seem suboptimal, it's more efficient in certain matchups (I'm looking at you, Spella'spell) and situations. On a side note, learning to play without Hailstorm was one of the ideas behind this deck.
Drowners/Frightener into Igni: aligning Igni targets with Drowners is a very obvious combo, but it still requires knowledge of opponent's deck and the ability to think a few turns ahead.
Frightener on Vran's row into Igni/Scorch: a convenient line to force Consume players out of the round.
WH Warrior into Eredin -> Navigator -> WH Warrior: while this line is self-explainatory, it's worth noting that Warriors are good as Eredin targets and choosing them instead of Frost Hounds is often correct when you need a high tempo play.
Frightener -> Circle into Frightener -> Gigni both Frighteners: I usually do this only vs Spella'tael as a round three play. This line is very difficult to pull off as it requires your opponent to play a golden card after your Frightener; it's devastating when it works, though.
Generally speaking, you have to adapt to your opponent while playing a control-oriented deck - that's why I decided to divide this section into matchups rather than into rounds.
This applies to all matchups: Make sure not to be greedy with weather and carefully consider every move where you intend to establish weather. This deck runs less weather than other Eredin lists; going for two rows immediately usually provokes your opponent to clear, thus potentially disabling your Drowners and Warriors.
The outcome of round three depends on Borkh heavily and longer R3's are usually better than short ones, although not drawing Borkh or having him shut down isn't always game-losing. The most significant weakness of this list is vulnerability to getting outtempoed in round one, which makes drypassing a legit consideration if you've lost the coinflip.
1) Spella'tael - one of the most favourable matchups. Spella'tael's reliance on Farseers makes it easy for you to disrupt its round one plan, as the combination of drowners, frost and WH warriors is usually enough to deal with 1-2 Farseers. Caranthir works fine here as an aggressive tempo opener.
Many Spella'spell players treat drypassing in round one as a rule of a thumb in case of losing the coinflip; your actions in round two should depend on the number of full clears in your hand. If you have two full clears, you can feel comfortable with drypassing back; one clear means that you should aim to see at least one golden weather from your opponent; no clears is a rare occurence, but if it happens, I usually go pretty deep into the second round, making me and the opponent enter round three with 2-4 cards in hand.
If you go for the bleed despite having enough clears, the moment when you see golden weather is usually when you want to pass, as your opponent may not be able to overcome the difference in points with one card.
Round three is when you let Borkh and Igni/Scorch shine. It's usually a good idea to save the Frightener for the last round, as having 1-2 CA often allows you to dodge Ithlinne into double thunder - it doesn't happen often, but good players may see Borkh coming and react accordingly.
You're going to have to think ahead in the last round to unstagger the protectors by using drowners or weather, especially if you have only one of your hard removal cards at your disposal.
2) Dagon consume
Dagon consume makes the weakness of Scorch eredin very visible, as it's impossible to win round one on even cards. That's why drypassing (in case you lost the CF) or giving R1 up as soon as your opponent drops his Balanced Spirit (in case you won the CF) is a good idea.
Dagon consume doesn't usually drypass you back in round two, as they want to develop their nekkers and secure carryover for a short last round. The fact that your opponent's partially run out of "burst" high tempo plays means that you'll be able to play a bit slower and get the frost ticking, which allows you to do start disrupting their board with Drowners and WH Warriors.
Aiming for a double scorch on Ekimmaras or Vrans should help you deny card advantage to your opponent by making overcoming your score impossible for him; a properly timed Igni will work in this way as well.
As for round three, it's important to have Abaya ready in case of a Succubus or play around it in a less optimal way, for example by placing your highest unit on a row from which you could drowner the Succubus or even stack everything on one row and frost the opposite row to make a single WH Warrior enough. You'd usually lose more points by letting the Succubus go off than by not playing around Hailstorm.
This is the most difficult matchup if you're the first to see the blue side of the coin; drypassing and opening R2 aggressively (Caranthir, Ge'els -> Caranthir) is probably the best strategy, as the additional card to spend will allow you to survive the tempo race without losing more than 0.5 CA.
Cyprian Wiley is obviously not a fully competitive card - I'd say that "semi-viable" is the most proper word here. The fact that he's got some good targets in this meta made me give him a shot, though, and he did make a lot of Rado/Dagon games easier for me. That being said, the deck may perform better after Cyprian gets replaced. Kicked Cyprian Wiley from the list as both Radovid and Consume Dagon are far less popular now.
Gigni can also be replaced for another gold - e.g. Caretaker or Kayran - if you want to kick Dorregaray or Abaya for Hailstorm.
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