[The Fourth Row] (6 players 4.5k+) Tempo Xavier

Created by WowItsMatt Dec 26, 2017

Last Updated Dec 28, 2017 (Midwinter Update)

Brouver Hoog

  • Attack 31
  • Ranged 30
  • Siege 56
  • Total Strength 117
  • Total 25
  • Silver 6
  • Gold 4
  • Scrap Cost 5450
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Brief Summary of Build

The Fourth Row is an international, multi platform Gwent community; comprised of 4000mmr and above members. We work together to challenge the meta and become better players. We have an active chat on the LINE app where we theory craft and provide feedback to raise our rank on the ladder and play at the highest level in tournaments!

Hey guys, WowItsMatt here! During the first day of the midwinter patch, I introduced this deck to the 4th row. 6 hours later I had gone from 4.2k to 4.5k, with an absurd winrate. Since then, five other members have used this deck to climb to grand master. I am currently around top 50 worldwide, and only climbed with this deck since Midwinter update. I decided to finally bring the deck list to gwentdb, so other people can have the success I did. I hope you enjoy!

Card Combos

Hattori + Barclay Els -> This is the main finisher of the deck. Hattori will at minimum bring in 20 pts when used on barclay with a potential for 22 pts. Very standard ST finisher.

Aelirenn -> Aelirenn seems like an odd choice for a dwarf deck, but the tempo it can bring you is absurd. After pulling at least one Wardancer, you only need to play two Elven Scouts or Half-Elf Hunters. When going second, this can typically give you enough tempo to pass for 2 CA.

Wardancer -> This is the card that makes this deck viable. Wardancer is at its best as round 2 carryover after losing round 1. With both spy and summoning circle, your opponent will have to be very lucky to get back card advantage.

Mahakam Guard + Xavier Moran -> Xavier does his best Olaf impression. This card will similarly be the last card you play in a round, and usually part of the finisher.

General Guide

Tempo Xavier is an easy to pilot deck. One of the members who achieved grand master with the deck, SSakulCZ, basically picked up ST for the first time to play this deck. He was able to climb from rank 20 to rank 21 with less than 40 total wins with ST on his account. Tempo is the name of the game, and you will build lots of it.

In your mulligans, you want to achieve a few things:

  • Blacklist Mahakam Guards
  • Keep Aerilenn in the deck/Mulligan her away
  • Mulligan out a Wardancer
  • Keep a  Wardancer in hand if you plan on losing round 1
  • Keep Royal Decree from bricking

Many games will be won/lost in the mulligan stage. Correct mulligans are the trickiest part of the deck next to Iorveth: Meditation math. Optimal Iorveth: Meditation math described below: 

Iorveth Meditation gets the most value if your targets follow the golden ratio(The first target has 61.8% str of the second, or the second target has 161% str of the other). In the optimal case (5 to 8, 8 to 13, 13 to 21, etc) Iorveth will kill one target and leave the other at 1 pt. This can typically lead to massive point swings, especially with ~13 pt target and ~20 pt target. Sometimes you will have to do duel math in your head however, and having a pen and paper at the ready will come in handy. For example, smacking Ciri: Nova with Olaf (30 pts) might be satisfying, but swinging the 18 pt Maruader into that Ciri: Nova is actaully worth more (32 pts), and swinging a 15 point card into that Nova would be even more (35 pts)!

 After that, I am going to quote the guide on the deck written by Fourth Row member Ardihgul:

"Standard Strategy:

The general strategy for this deck is to push R1 for the win vs most decks, bleed R2 and play a 2 to 4 card R3 depending on the opponent and exactly what cards you have in hand. I will usually hold back a pair of finishing plays going into round 3 (some combination of Barclay Els, Hattori and Xavier Moran generally do the trick). Ferdek added that holding back Brover into Hattori (which he will mulligan if he needs to) is his go-to finisher and has increased his win rate. If you draw your spy or don’t need it this is a great strategy.


Systematically round 1 we start with elves, Iorveth (if you are playing the standard version of him) plus your elves to get out Aelirenn and if you are able to play any remaining elves without falling behind those go out as well. At that point you switch to dwarves and / silver cards as needed to push enough tempo to take the round. Sometimes just a few cards is enough, other times you may play most of your hand in round 1."

Card Replacements

The bronzes and silvers in this deck are set in stone-Summoning Circle is very valuable right now and takes the flex slot of the deck, but other than that the other 20 cards were the same in every iteration of the deck.

The golds are mostly tech slots and personal preference-Xavier is the name of the deck but is not an integral part of the strategy. Both him and Aglais are the flex slots of the deck. If you run into a lot of Emhyr spotter reveal for example, you can make that matchup a sure win by replacing Xavier with Schirru and Guards with Dwarven Skirmisher. Other members (including those who reached grand master) added Saskia for more consistent mulligans with Wardancer, and for a while I played Geralt: Igni over Aglais.

Crafting order for silvers and golds (based on their usability in other decks):

Iorveth: Meditation -> Yaevinn -> Summoning Circle -> Barclay Els -> Hattori -> Ida Emean -> Xavier Moran -> everything else

EDIT 12/28: Playing against a lot of NG Mill and Brouver mirrors. Subbed Royal Decree for Isengrim: Outlaw

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