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Hey guys, so this is a deck I have been using quite successfully in the pro ladder during the past few weeks. It relies on the Blue Stripes Scout and Blue Stripes Commando package + Armor combos which is nothing new in NR. But what it packs is some heavy removal/locks and control is very good in this meta IMO. Also you will reliably go through all your cards in most of the games.
Good matchups: All monster decks especially weather/hazard ones, Spell Scoia'tael (especially farseer version which is nearly extinct now), Buff Scoia'tael, Skellige discard, even Nilfgaard spies.
Bad matchups: Skellige veteran - basically locks are useless there and they can generate a huge amount value.
Impossible matchup: Any Mill deck variant - a single Avalach mills you so just hit escape + enter if you happen to stumble upon one.
So there are obvious combos such as:
1. Blue Stripes Scout which pulls Blue Stripes Commando all while gradually rising in value
2. Prince Stennis into Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry hitting Redanian Elite or preferably Trollololo
3. Shani into Prince Stennis into Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry (still a nice amount of points - 20 to be precise)
4. Dijkstra into almost anything
Some of the potential/less known combos:
1. Keira Metz's thunderbolt potion onto armorless Redanian Elite for a potential extra 5 points. This is extremely useful when dealing against hazard
2. Shani into Iris (previously used by the opponent) followed by Dethmold into Alzur's Thunder
3. Keira Metz's thunderbolt potion onto already existing armor on Redanian Elite or Trollololo providing extra value for Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry
As with any NR deck, the hardest part is the mulligan. That's why you need to blacklist correctly, you want to mulligan any Blue Stripes Commando/excess Temerian Infantryman/ Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry in that order.Round 1
Your opening move is Blue Stripes Scout pulling Blue Stripes Commando. Ideally, depending on your hand, your next move should be Reinforcement into Reaver Scout into another Blue Stripes Scout/Commando. Ideally of course, you should use the third one as well, however if you don't have the third Blue Stripes Scout you can use Temerian Infantryman to get the third Blue Stripes Commando out. A small tip: if you have a good hand, involving all BSS, you should use Reinforcement first. That might make your opponent think you don't have any more in your hand and will want to use removal very early on. Try to win the round without using the golds except for the muzzle.
Generally just try to get CA but don't overcommit. Use Muzzle if you haven't in round 1 as it can be really hard to pull in round 3 sometimes.
If it's a medium/long round start with trollololo (either from hand or resurrected by Shani). The sad truth is he will most likely get compressed/locked. Good thing is you have many ways to unlock it but sometimes it's not worth it. Your easiest 20 points is Shani into Prince Stennis into Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry. DJ is another finisher, the main strength of this deck is that you usually go through all cards so you can always know what DJ pulls. Unfortunately sometimes the order of those 2 cards is very important but your RNG is put down to the very minimum. Even Shani into Redanian Elite is very solid provided you have a Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry in your hand, of course.
1. Nilfgaard Spies. This match is hard as with any deck especially if you lose the coin because spies are so strong. But with this deck you can more or less reliably defeat them. Your opponent will try not to give you ideal 2 Radovid targets and those are Impera Enforcers. Still as soon as you get 2 targets - lock them, usually a single impera brigade and a single Impera Enforcer. Then use your Dethmold if you have it to remove next Enforcer. With only one Enforcer left, it's easier to win the round. You also have a Muzzle for the third Impera Enforcer or an 8 strength Impera Brigade. I usually save Margarita for Iris. In round 2, you should try to bleed your opponent to some point, like making him use his Infiltrators. This is very important and hard part of the match as if you drypass, he will simply use Guardian which will mess your DJ draws. Try avoiding this at all costs, even going as far as using your last lock. Another possible scenario, using Dethmold's thunder on Guardian in order to Muzzle it. Round 3, Margarita is pivotal again if you haven't used her yet to reset Joachim's pull. Use Dun Banner Heavy Cavalry immediately on Trollololo if he gets Infiltrated. Beware of the opponent's offensive Vilgefortz.
2. Spell Sco. Another Very tough deck especially because Farseer version is not so common anymore and locks aren't that useful here. Still you have Margarita and she is an absolute MVP here, so you should aim to user her twice - Shani Target. They will muzzle your Redanian Elite and it's only worth target for you to Muzzle it back. If you won round 1, try to use Protector you've been given in round 2 so you don't pull it with DJ in round 3.
3. Discard Skellige. Pretty soilid matchup, as soon as Cerys appears, lock her. Morkvarg is an obvious Muzzle target here. Try to bait their Coral by using Keira Metz's thunderbolt onto Redanian Elite for a pretty sweet armor value. Otherwise Trollololo just gets compressed like 70% of the games. Harpooner is your biggest enemy here.
4. Weather based decks. Generally an easy matchup. Oppoent will use drowner on your Blue Stripes Scouts so Redanian Elite will find value here. Keep in mind that Eredin has 3 frosts + Caranthir at least + possible Woodland Spirit and/or White Frost, so don't clear after the first hazard. Use locks for Iris and Wild Hunt Rider. Win Round 1 and then bleed him down to few cards only in round 2 and it's GG.
5. Brouver Hoog movement Sco. Fairly similar matchup because it involves golden weather. Once you deal with Dol Blathana Marksman it becomes significantly easier. Don't forget that this archetype has a finisher now too in the form of Hattori into Barclay Els which is very powerful.
6. Swarm NR decks. Very easy matchup as you have many tools to get rid of their Kaedweni Siege Support. Once they are gone, they have no way to win at all.
7. Consume. It has evolved overtime especially after Gwent Open so there aren't that many consume decks running Nekker Warrior into Nekker strategy. However you are still very favorable in this matchup, you have more than enough tools to counter their play. Margarita is again MVP here.
Dijkstra and Shani are absolute core and you cannot change them. You can tinker with other 2 spots, these listed are the best for this deck in my opinion but you can try Philippa Eilhart or some neutral all rounders like Eskel or Geralt:Igni.
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