Brief Summary of Build
Hey guys, this is a kind of flexible build of Moonlight Monsters. Previously, I tried to make it work with Dagon but it was purely weather Attrition deck that had problems with short rounds and therefore hit a wall at around 4100 MMR. This, on the other hand, is more of a Midrange build capable of different strategies against different types of decks with which I climbed from roughly 3900 to GM in about 2 days of gameplay. Proof of achievement below.
Additionally, if you have any questions after reading this guide, hit me up in the comments sction. I will try to answer any inquiries. Also, I am going to update this article after trying out the new cards so do not forget to check back in a few days.
- If present, always blacklist Moonlight first. Otherwise, blacklist a bronze card with blacklist value (a card of which you do not have full quantity in hand) or a bronze card you may not need in the upcoming matchup or R1 (Cockatrice).
- If Moonlight was not present in your hand and you drew one, blacklist it now.
- Check how many Organic cards you have in hand. If none, mulligan another bronze. If one, check whether you have access to Whispess: Tribute (either in hand or through Ge'els). If yes, stop mulliganing. If not, you either have to mulligan the one Organic in hand or stop mulliganing. In case both Organics are present in your hand AND you do not have access to Whispess: Tribute, keep the one you want to play R1 and mulligan the other away. With access to Whispess: Tribute, counterintuitively, you want to mulligan away the one you plan to use in R1 in order to avoid messing up your draws later on.
If you did not blacklist Moonlight in your first two mulligans, you have to stop.
For the purpose of this guide, I am going to work with three general types of decks: Attrition (excellent long round, sub-par short round), Midrange (reasonable long round, reasonable short round), Setup (sub-par long round, excellent short round).
This being Midrange, you have to adjust your strategy based on what your opponent is playing. Therefore, you have to understand your matchups and thus strengths and weaknesses of your opponent's deck. There is no general line of play. Deck-specific strategies will be analyzed in the Matchup Guide section. Almost always, even with bad hand and after losing a coinflip, you want to play into a round a little in order to both setup your graveyard and thin a bit in order to prevent game losing draws.
Nevertheless, there are a few tips to get you started during a round.
Against every deck except Weather, open with Siren into Full Moon. Against Weather decks, Moonlight functions as row clear, therefore play it as late as possible (since it has positive effect on you units retroactively, your opponent is losing more points by not playing weather). You should not need more than 2 Full Moons ticking during a long round. When you are pushing for win in R1, you can use additional Blood Moon as mini-Lacerate. Depending on coinflip, hand state and accessibility of Frightener, you either want to win R1 or make a favourable pass with established carryover (Monster Nest into Barbegazi).
Depending on the result of R1 and deck against you are playing, you either want to dry pass, bleed your opponent or retain card advantage. Different approaches are listed in Matchup Guide.
Regarding R3, keep in mind that you need at least 4 cards in hand for Siren to be competitive (4 ticks, 12 points total). Add one card for each additional Siren/Nekurat in hand. That amount should be your minimum hand size in mid-long round.
For the purpose of this guide, I am going to use 5 different performance statuses: Extremely Favourable (EF with over 70% WR), Favourable (F with over 60% WR), Even (E with around 50% WR), Unfavourable (U with less than 40% WR), and Extremely Unfavourable (EU with less than 30% WR).
As a rule of thumb, this build is Extremely Favourable against Ciri: Nova decks (Setup decks in general) since Unseen Elder is basically 5 points on top of Ciri. Therefore, it is imperative to gain/retain last action. It is often right to take Frightener into a short last round so as to have that Ciri target available. Since the core of the deck is often sub-par in short rounds, you should still be able to win in the reasonable amount of cases.
Deathwish Dagon (E): If possible, play Full Moon AFTER your opponent played Impenetrable Fog (Moonlight has effect on your units retroactively, therefore your opponent is losing points by not playing weather). Try to Muzzle Archespore. Try to Mandrake D'ao after being resurrected. Save Cockatrice for opponent's Ozzrel. If only one CA Spy has been played, beware of opponent's Ozzrel. Ozzrel and/or Caretaker opponent's Deathwish units in order to deny Brewess: Ritual and/or Slyzard.
Alchemy Nilfgaard (EF): As soon as your opponent plays Jan Calveit, Mandrake it. This alone often wins the match. During mulligan, Werewolf takes precedence over Alpha Werewolf (easy Viper Witcher target). Muzzle either Viper Witcher or boosted Roach. In addition, longer rounds are beneficial. If you suspect opponent may play Trial of the Grasses, save Cockatrice.
Reveal Nilfgaard (E): Very similar matchup to Henselt Machines. Coinflip dependent. Muzzle onto Mangonel. Row stack in order to play around Korathi Heatwave. When not in control of the match, save Frightener and Mandrake for R3 and play them after Villentretenmerth. If you are having problems or are facing Villentretenmerth a lot, switch Ozzrel for Manticore Venom.
Henselt Machines (F): Very coinflip dependent. You either want to win R1, bleed Villentretenmerth AND King Henselt in R2 and win short R3 or establish CA and/or carryover to take into R2. If you won R1 and have access to Caretaker, play him onto Ronvid the Incessant for 11 point resurrection. If opponent takes Henselt into R3, try to deny his targets with Muzzle/Mandrake. When not in control of the match, save Frightener and Mandrake for R3 and play them after Villentretenmerth OR if opponent played Dethmold/Margarita of Aretuza, you can Unseen Elder Villentretenmerth and then kill him with Caretaker into Dethmold and Alzur's Thunder. If you are having problems or are facing Villentretenmerth a lot, switch Ozzrel for Manticore Venom.
Foltest Swarm (E): This matchup is basically about having the last action since the finisher of this deck is Hubert Rejk which can be countered by Unseen Elder, Mandrake from several sources and Cockatrice from several sources.
Brouver Mulligan (EF): The Yaevinn into Cleaver combo is virtually non-existent against this build since the tempo swing can be mitigated by Cockatrice and/or Mandrake (while also establishing big finisher for Monster Nest into Ghoul or Ozzrel). Avoid giving them Alpha Werewolf early in R1 as a targer for Cleaver. Often in this matchup, you want to use Monster Nest into Barbegazi in order to eliminate Wardancer. Mulligan has better long rounds than our deck so either make a favourable pass R1 or bleed them R2 while retaining CA since their short round is weaker.
Eithné Control (F): Last action often game-winning, try to find it and retain it throughout the game. Play Werewolf several turns apart so as not to give your opponent huge Scorch/Schirrú or Mandrake onto Yaevinn in order to shield yourself (plus establishing big finisher).
Greatsword Skellige (U): Try to Muzzle An Craite Greatsword. Try to disrupt their engine with Frightener and Monster Nest into Drowner. Try to deny resurrection of big units with Caretaker and Ozzrel. Save Cockatrice and Unseen Elder for Dimun Light Longship (Unseen Elder may be used for An Craite Greatsword with the right timing). Beware of Hym since the create choice guarantees your Ozzrel.
Bronzes: Both Cockatrice are optional and meta-dependent. If you are encountering more engine-type decks, switch Cockatrice for Cyclops. You might be tempted to play one of each but the thing is that it weakens your Slyzard targets. If you are willing to sacrifice additional Slyzard value, add one Cockatrice/Cyclops and one Lacerate to make Whispess: Tribute more reliable.
Silvers: Ozzrel is a flexible spot. You may want to tech in Manticore Venom instead in order to make Villentretenmerth matchups more favourable AND Whispess: Tribute more reliable. Other techs would be Artefact Compression (improves Greatsword/Consume matchup) or Morvudd.
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