Brief Summary of Build
Hey guys Swim here, with the wolfsbane skellige deck I built on day 1 of the Saovine Event patch. This is a very powerfuldeck and in my opinion the strongest Skellige deck in the game at the moment. It's based off my Restore Skellige list last patch, with some tweaks to help it fit into this one. The original idea of this list was the deck I brought to GwentSlam, after which it's gone through several refinements throughout three patches, ultimately culminating in the above list.
In essence, a very straightforward list, that uses harpooners and warmongers to keep tempo early, often giving up round 1 for card advantage, and then utilizing very high power finishers such as cerys and other large resurrects. The most recent addition to this shell is the wolfsbane, which is a fantastic filler of the 4th gold slot and the 3rd Bran slot, freeing up the silver slot of Olgierd for gremist, a valuable restore target option since dorregaray can no longer be restored.
(obviously a small sample size but it's day 1; take these stats with a grain of salt)
Building This Deck
You can replace any cards you don't own with:
Gold replacements: Villentretenmerth, Hjalmar, Geralt: Aard, Birna Bran, Geralt: Igni, Renew, Eskel, Muzzle, Ragh Nar Roog/Drought
Silver replacements: Olgierd, Iris, Decoy, Holger Blackhand, Summoning Circle, Scorch
Nov 4: +Iris, +Skjall, -Gremist, -Restore
Nov 6: +Muzzle, +Clan Tordarroch Armorsmith, -Clan Haymaey Battlemaiden, Madman Lugos
This is the variant I made for Gwentslam #3 Qualis and made it to the semifinals with.
Muzzle ends up being better than Lugos in most cases, and unfortunately Battlemaiden ends up making your hand awkward too often to be worth the tutor.
This deck has an extremely straightforward mulligan. Blacklist raiders first, then remove cerys/wolfsbane/morkvarg (in that order), then go back for any additional raiders you have in hand. End your mulligan prematurely if at any point you have none of the above cards in hand. Between rounds, you'll mulligan raiders or almost always decline mulligans if you have none, as you typically have 1-3 raiders left in deck you don't want to draw into.
Typically, this deck will give up round 1 relatively early after developing good carryover. After Bran, look for opportunities to extend the round proactively (if beneficial, by playing warmongers typically) or setup for future value with Dorregaray. Keep Wolfsbane's high tempo in mind; in many cases if you can pass ahead on cards with wolfsbane 1 turn away from ticking, the opponent will not be able to keep up in score in that 1 turn. Also keep in mind that wolfsbane will trigger in later rounds if round 1 ends before it can activate. If the opponent gives up round 1 or you have a good hand to push it, you'll have control over round 2 but often times you'll go into round 2 with your opponent down a card and with carryover that you've established. Use your Ekimmaras and Gremist to enable resurrects (using gremist on small targets like freya, battlemaiden, gremist, and dorregaray, and dorregaray's ekimarra on bigger targets), and don't be afraid to sometimes resurrect Ekimmaras from your graveyard with Freyas. Harpoon for value and to enable lacerate. You should always be able to force the game into a round 3 scenario where you have more carryover and a larger finisher than the opponent.
Open with Bran discarding Cerys, Wolfsbane, and Morkvarg (order doesn't mater). You can often play round 1 quite deep, especially if you went second, but don't miss an opportunity to get out of the round with a card advantage. If you're able to get a good bamboozle pass with wolfsbane against a low-tempo opponent who can't keep up with it (wolfsbane has 12 more tempo than olgierd here), or simply if your hand isn't great and you need to get out of the round early, it's always great to do so. If you're able to set up Dorragaray for more carryover without jeopardizing your ability to pass for value, do so. You typically want to Dorragaray for Ekimmara, which also enables any freyas if you want to play them earlier as well. Be sure to manage your cerys ticks to ensure getting her ressed twice; using ekimmara on Cerys may be necessary for this. If round 1 ends up being a long round, you can opt to set up major value with Harpooners and maybe Lacerate.
Going into round 2 with this deck, you'll often have lost round 1 with 1 card advantage, or 2 if you're lucky. If you won round 1, you can pass here as soon as you've established ekimmara value. Otherwise if you lost round 1, the objective is to maintain this card advantage by staying ahead of your opponent's score for the duration of this round, while possibly setting up even more value in round 3 with Ekimmara carryover, or a large Sigrdrifa or restore (sigdrifa on a restored gremist, or a restore on a discarded freya/battlemaiden), and don't be afraid to resurrect vanilla Ekimmaras in your graveyard if any have found their way there. Round 2 is basically all about leveraging your resources properly so you have a great finisher for round 3 but at the same time don't just get 2-rounded by the opponent; not too hard of an objective in most cases. Don't be afraid to Ekimmara a Cerys to continue ressing her. This deck excels at round 3 finishers so you should have a pretty easy time cleaning up.
Consume: Mess with vrans as best you can with Harpooner, making sure to use harpooners right before a vran tries to eat something. If they play a nekker at 3 str, kill it with wyvern, and use coral aggressively for nekker as well (before they play nekker warrior). Consume is a very powerful deck right now so this may be a tricky matchup.
Skellige Mirror: Super straightforward matchup. The key here is lacerates and armorsmith. Stack their melee row with harpooners while using ekimmara to eat your melee row out of there. Play to disable the opponent's armorsmith from getting too much value while setting up a big lacerate, and make sure you leverage your round 3 resources. This matchup comes down to skill with this deck in most cases. Coral a 9+ str morkvarg if you have an opportunity.
Northern Realms: Pretty straightforward matchup. Your gold removal tools will come in handy here; aggressively keep Siege Supports down with Lugos and Coral.
Spellatael: Using Coral effectively is key. If you can Lugos a Farseer, that's fantastic, as it allows you to use Coral for Protector easily. Make sure to save Gremist for weather if needbe. If they have Mandrake you can be in a spot of trouble as it can really hurt morkvarg/cerys.
Spy Nilfgaard: Using Ekimmaras on units that get Infiltratored is pretty valuable; if possible try to save Dorragaray for these opportunities. Use lugos to smash an impera enforcer early and save Coral for either a huge joachim target or iris.
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