[top 1 global] rotten spies (guide included)

Created by soukous Feb 21, 2018

Last Updated Feb 21, 2018 (Mahakam Season Update)

Jan Calveit

  • Attack 8
  • Ranged 27
  • Siege 78
  • Total Strength 113
  • Total 25
  • Silver 6
  • Gold 4
  • Scrap Cost 5300
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Brief Summary of Build

top 1 | 21.02.2018: https://imgur.com/a/k95PY

Not the easiest deck to play for sure as it requires quite a lot of planning and sequencing your moves but once you get a hang of it and perfect your strategy for every matchup on RANKED LADDER it will be very rewarding for you. This guide is ment to help you with piloting the deck in the most efficient way and understand my card choices and available combos. Also sorry for my english ;)

To start off playing this build you need to know how does ENFORCER BUG work in order to avoid it. To have all the pings from enforcer you need to start the round by playing a loyal unit on your turn first (any unit). You cant start of with emissary into enforcer because then you will have only one ping instead of two and this will follow throught the rest of the game.

Once we know this lets enter the MULLIGAN PHASE. What cards do we want to have R1 and reasoning behind it:

General rule is to mulligan away R1 our golden combo LETHO / REGIS and have some amount of silvers on our opening hand in order to draw most of our bronzes throughout the game. We always keep IRIS, LAST WISH, JOACHIM, CELLACH and if we face a weather deck also VANHEMAR. We hold on with playing CANTARELLA until R3 unless we have to play it earlier:

  1. Our opponent plays his spy R1 on red coin with a deck like BROVER elfes or HENSELT machines
  2. Our elf opponent plays infamous WARDANCER R2. In this matchup its good to have RAINFARN R2 and play CANTARELLA with an extra body but its also conditional (more on this topic in DRYPASSING section)

The reason for playing CANTARELLA R3 is to regain or gain CA and pair it up with the biggest unit avilable on the row for our LETO REGIS COMBO. Its positive points then.


We always start with blacklisting (if possible) units like ROT TOSSERS, ENFORCERS, EMISSARIES and as mentioned before we also remove LETHO and REGIS (we can keep him if we know we are facing consume deck).

1. DRAW ENGINES - we always want our drawing engines R1 but not too many, perfect an safe proportions would be as following:

  • 1x CELLACH (highest chance to chain emissaries), 1x VICOVARO MEDIC*

*We want this one vico in our hand in order not to brick them while drawing with emissaries, 2 is ok to keep but 1 is better in order to get a chain EMISSARY into VICO later on.

In worst case scenario we CALVEIT to fish for EMISSARY or CELLACH or use RAINFARN



  • We always want to have as many IMPERA BRIGADES as possible because they are retroactive (they gain points from all spies on board).
  • We don't want too many IMPERA ENFORCERS because they are low tempo from hand and we want to draw into them from emissaries or joachim thats why I usualy keep maximum 1 copy and play it early when I can, meaning I know it wont be removed straight away and I will get some value from it for few rounds at least. You cant play it early vs alchemy or ST decks (more on this topic in matchup section). If your enforcer in hand cannot be played early due to above, play it strategicly to kill of one emissary while having vico in hand to continue drawing next turn.

3. GOLDS - our most important gold card early is RAINFARN because its just so flexible and allows us to use one of our 2 power plays with IRIS or JOACHIM on demand. We also keep CAHIR and never let to a situation we play into R1 having CAHIR on hand while not using CALVEIT this round. The reason for this is we want to drypass R2 and play into the longest possible R3 with our combo.

As mentioned before we mulligan away LETHO REGIS R1 - this is very important because if we are forced to play a long R1 we don't want them to brick our hand.

Card Combos

Apart from our LETHO REGIS COMBO we also have 2 other power plays in this deck with IRIS and JOACHIM that we want to use early in order to win R1 or R2 if we are drypassing R1 on blue coin.

What are the most efficient combos with JOACHIM?

  • JOACHIM into IMPERA ENFORCER - this way as 16 power unit our enforcer will be hard to remove and will gain extra value through the course of the round. We can maximise our chance for this combo by thinning or using CALVEIT in order to see what cards come next and set up our JOACHIM play.
  • JOACHIM into VICO or CELLACH - drawing more cards is always good so make sure that before using JOACHIM you have at least one EMISSARY in your opponents graveyard.

How do we proc IRIS?

We always want to use IRIS as early as possible (before JOACHIM) when its easier for us to proc her so depending on our available options we can do it as follows:

  • 2x ENFORCER on board into IRIS - the easiest setup to proc here insta when you have 5 units on board. If we fulfill this condition we should do that straight away even if it means using RAINFARN for this.
  • 1x ENFORCER on board + frost from VANHEMAR - we setup this combo starting with frost from VAHEMAR on a row where we dont place our emissaries (dont place your emissaries randomly on different rows). Once we have one ENFORCERS on board and five units total we proc IRIS.
  • 1x ENFORCER on board + cow caracass from ROT TOSSER - this is basicly our last resort option, cow caracass activates on your opponents turn end (after 2 turns) so if we ping IRIS once on timer 1 it will most likely go off unless locked or healed.

You can also play naked IRIS if your ahead in points and proc it with EMISSARY into ENFORCER (2 pings), a risky play so you need to evaluate when is the best time to try it while having guaranteed draw into ENFORCER from EMISSARY.


If we know we will have a short R3 we need to save CANTARELLA for R3 in order to place it next to any unit on your opponents row (the bigger the better of course). It usualy happens when we loose the coin flip and drypass R1. Even if your opponent uses his spy R2 dont answer with your own spy unless you get far ahead in points and maintain safe point advantage after playing CANTARELLA. This way you will be card ahead R3 but keep in mind that if you dont have JOACHIM as an extra power play for R3 its still better to keep CANTARELLA on even cards for R3.

General Guide

The general startegy is to ALWAYS win R1 on RED COIN by using your power plays with IRIS / JOACHIM. You can PASS only if you didnt use your power plays this round or at least have you JOACHIM left and your opponent goes 2 cards down but remember its more risky like that and its still better to win on even and drypass R2.

When on BLUE COIN always DRYPASS vs any ST deck apart from EITHNE if no wardancer, you should be able to win R2 with silver combos. You can also consider drypassing (depending on your hand) VS:

  • any NR deck apart from HENSELT  

(when you drypass r1 dont keep more than 1 piece of the final combo, if you have CAHIR on hand u may use CALVEIT first before passing)

You can't drypass VS:

  • HENSELT here you also need to play your CANTARELLA after he plays his spy in order not to trigger cavalary. Its a hard matchup on blue coin because when you commit into R1 you need to win it, meaning you need to beat HENSELTS ability with your combos and play around SCORCH. ROT TOSSERS are a key to win R1 so always keep as many as possible on your oppening hand. 
  • ALCHEMY - its the hardest matchup for this deck on blue coin but you need to win R1 anyway here and play in such a way to bait their VIPER WITCHERS first with initial cards played while setting up at least 3 spies for minimum 12p IMPERA BRIGADES (a key unit to win the round). You can start with CALVEIT / ROT TOSSERS later INFILTRATOR to tag one of their units. Place all EMISSARIES on the same row and never kill their VIPER WITCHERS, focus on killing units that they spawned from SLAVE DRIVER. You want them to brick their OINTMENTS in R1 or use them on any unit apart from VW. In this matchup I dont kill my EMISSARIES R1 so that they cant use OINTMENT on it. I rather res a unit from a SLAVE DRIVER since its more value usualy.


Card Replacements



Apart from the fact its a very cool card design they provide distraction on your opponents side of the board often messing up their plans for the following turns. They also buff your IMPERAS and are key to win some matchups like HENSELT or CONSUME (use them R3 to block VRANS on timer 1 from eating NEKKERS). Don't look for huge value, focus on strategic COW placement - like for example if you want to kill your IRIS with only 1 ENFORCER on board. 


Because its a card that allows you to mulligan away your LETHO REGIS early and find one of this combo pieces R3. Its also thinning when needed so it works like a "ROACH" for this deck. Its a bit worse CAHIR but i cant imagine not running it in this list. Remeber that LAST WISH shows you 2 random cards so even if you place something on the bottom of your deck with CANTARELLA you can still fish for it with this card !! 

Why only 2 VICOS?

Two reasons for that. First and most important is that you dont want to brick them with EMISSARY or JOACHIM play - if you do its game over usualy. This deck cannot afford to loose tempo. Second is that I already thin to 0/1 card left with this build and you will almost always want to use them to res EMISSARY so no need for 3 here. They can be very hard bricks for this deck. I am using 3 only in EMHYR spies.


Because its a solid bronze and will provide you at least 16p value and as I mentioned before this deck cannot afford to risk with 3 vicos and potentially brick the gameplan. Its also a very good card VS Alchemy (the hardest matchup) to setup 3+ spies so you get out of range of VIPER WITCHERS with you IMPERA BRIGADES.


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