Brief Summary of Build
This is the alchemy deck that I used to climb up to Grandmaster. It can consistently beat any of the meta decks, although most ST matchups, especially Nova and Dorf matchups are very dependent on the coinflip.
Vicovaro Novice into any alchemy card. You will mostly want to hit your Mahakam Ale in round 1, so keeping one ointment in hand is, at times, advised. If you're against consume, your Slave Driver will often hit a Vran Warrior or Forktail, which will make mulliganing them away safer and enable your Ointment for use in the first round.
Viper Witcher combos with how many alchemy cards you have in your starting deck. With the current iteration of the deck, they will hit for 10 value. I find that dropping that value below 9 is very ill-advised, but you have to sacrifice a lot to keep it above 10. So 9-10 alchemy cards for a single deck is the sweet spot until we get some playable alchemy cards.
Alzur's Double Cross pulls Sweers. You will want to reach Sweers consistently against both consume and dorf matchups. If Sweers is already in your hand, ADC will pull a Viper Witcher, which gives nice value and provides much needed thinning. There will be times where ADC will give you 50/50 between Vicovaro Novice and Slave Driver if your draws were horrendous during the game, but this generally amounts to running a Marching Orders in the deck and is not at all a bad interaction.
Mandrake will combo with Cahir if you find the opportunity to use it on your leader Jan Calveit. There are a lot of matchups that Mandrake will not find proper value, so if you can't find that opportunity, mulliganing it away for later rounds is advised.
Win Round 1. You are at an inherent disadvantage against Scoia'tael and Skellige if you lose the coinflip, and giving up round 1 with one card up is often the lesser of two evils. Bleed Round 2 until you have some of your finisher cards like Cahir, Vilgefortz, Trial of the Grasses or Ointment chain into more novices and eventually a slave driver or witcher. Win a relatively short round 3.
This gameplan is not easy to execute especially against Ciri: Nova decks (alchemy's worst matchup imho), because their finisher is often stronger than ours and they have very strong tempo plays backed up by a Wardancer to punish you for going a card down. You either have to retain card advantage to burn Ciri with Vilgefortz or to play more cards in general, or bleed them dry in round 2.
The dwarf matchup is tricky because it is again very dependent on the coinflip. Drawing out Ithlinne in round 1 will often be a good enough result. If you manage to punish them for mulliganing all of their Dwarven Skirmishers away with Sweers, you have a huge opportunity to draw out their powerful gold cards, since they won't be able to use the dwarf package. Their round 3 will still be powerful though.
People like using Roach and Assire in combination with Mandrake so that you can later pull off a humongous Jan Calveit play with Cahir. This is a powerful combo and you can certainly opt to go for this and replace ADC and Vanhemar with these two cards. However, there are some matchups such as the greedy Nekker decks and Dorfs that not drawing Sweers will downright lose you the game. Because Assire blocks the ADC into Sweers, I opted out of the combo. I also found that not having Vanhemar against Axemen or Reveal decks running Drought will often lose you the game.
Cadaverine actually gives you 20+ points against Scoia'tael and Skellige. If Skellige bear decks come back and you want your Viper Witcher to hit for 11 damage, consider adding this to your deck. Adding a Petri's Philter is also imaginable but bronze slots are very tight and you would have to cut either a Mahakam Ale or Viper Witcher.
Blue Dream is theoretically a very good card against Scoia'tael because everyone is running Isengrim: Outlaw, Aglaïs, and/or Iorveth: Meditation. I didn't have the time to test it because I was having success with Trial of the Grasses and Blue Dream will generally be useless against greedy consume. Although I will test it later on.
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