Brief Summary of Build
This deck is inspired by one of my opponents on the ladder: CichoCiemni1
Changelog at the bottom of the guide.
Hi everyone! Thanks for checking out my guide to Patch 0.8.37 Control Monsters. This deck has been played successfully at Rank 10 (2500+) at the time of this update on Jan 18. Your mileage may vary at higher AND lower ranks.
If you like the guide, and want to see this, and other decks, please follow me at https://www.twitch.tv/mcbearded. On Jan 16, I played this deck on stream (with Frightener), and on Jan 17 and 18 (With Decoy, Stammelford's, Caretaker). I've seen some very interesting ranked matches. Check my past broadcasts if you're interested.
This deck focuses on making Eredin the sole unit that your monster passive will keep on the board. Ideally you win round 1, keep a huge Eredin and pass Round 2 immediately to gain card advantage (Or pass round 1 at a good time). The rest of your units are backup units, and/or your pushing power in round 3.
Pros: As of right now, in a Cycle Scoia'Tael dominated meta, this deck performs very well. It handles most all threats while maintaining imposing strength. It demands power plays from your opponent and denies many of their combos and opportunities through removal and weather.
Cons: This deck has major weaknesses, such as Geralt: Aard, Scorch, and in some cases, Geralt: Igni (if they have influence over your melee row). Since this deck is built to combat the ST meta, these issues come up rarely enough that it's worth the risk. Skellige is where you'll find Aard most commonly, Igni is avoidable to some extent (Keep Eredin at 18), and Scorch is very rare.
Eredin > Swallow Potion: When not removing threats, try to get Eredin to 18. Anything more is risky.
Eredin > No units: Your Foglets and Ice Giant are considered backup units until Round 3.
Caranthir/Woodland Spirit > Manticore Venom/Lacerate: It's in your best interests to remove your own small units if it will prevent you from keeping Eredin or one of your other units. It may seem counter intuitive, but the minion spawning gold cards are still very valuable, swingy, help your other units reach full potential, and are fully playable in round 3.
Last Wish: Sometimes this card will find you an answer you need to win Round 3. You may also need to use it to find a Swallow Potion in Round 1, or specific answers, like Mardroeme.
Triss Merigold: Triss in Round 1 to support a buffed Eredin creates 26 strength that can be hard for a weathered and controlled opponent to surpass. I often win Round 1 with an Eredin/Triss board.
Round 1: Going first? Eredin. Going second? React if you need to stop a combo, otherwise Eredin. Use a Swallow to get him to 18. Use Triss for a 12 point swing and then remove, remove, remove. If you're going to get Igni'd, it's better to happen early so you can recover with a Foglet or Ice Giant while the score is low. Triss is the best gold in Round 1. If you get scorched, Aard'd, or something else manages to kill Eredin, Play Ice Giant or Foglet if you have the other Swallow potion, otherwise you may have to give up the round. This deck can win from behind, but winning Round 1 is ideal.
Round 2: If you won, and kept Eredin, pass. Often your opponent has to make up 18 strength (or more if you used Adrenaline rush), and that allows you to go last because you'll make up at least 2 cards. If you lost, this can be a tricky round. Keeping a Wild Hunt Hound isn't the worst thing because they are weather immune, but try to avoid it anyway. Don't be afraid to use Lacerate or Manticore Venom on your own row/units to improve your passive.
Round 3: You should still have a large unit on board, unless you ran into a very able opponent that could stop this specific strategy. As this is new, not many people are there. Now you can freely play all units. Lead with Ancient Foglets if you have no threats to remove. Follow with weather, and pump out strength with remaining units and removal. If you act last, save weather or Commander's Horn.
Against Skellige: (Edit: Jan 15) This matchup can be night and day.
- Harald isn't good when you don't have many units.
- You're running Alzur's Thunder, and you'll want to keep them to kill Ocvist. Don't wait on killing Ocvist because of the timer - if he gets buffed, it can be a real pain. Ocvist can only come back so many times. You can tax your opponents patience and force Sig and/or Decoy and/or Restoration all in round 2 and still get him down.
- Save Skellige Storm/Aeromancy for Round 3, generally.
Against Scoia'Tael: This is actually the best matchup for this deck.
- There are so many ways to kill Elven Mercenaries, you're going to limit effective deck thinning.
- You're also immune to Aeromancy.
- Milva can make round 2 a little easy for Scoia'Tael if they bounce Eredin back, but you may still get close to equal card advantage, anyway.
- Many lists don't run Geralt: Igni, so you can even get away with Commander's Horn in round 1, but this is always risky.
- Forcing your opponent to use First Light for weather clearing is ultimately a good thing.
Against Northern Realms: Toughest matchup, in my opinion, but winnable.
- Demoted Baron and Yennifer with Shani is oppressively strong, there's only so much you can actually do to keep your opponent's strength down.
- Every round is explosive for NR, I recommend playing weather and removing very liberally in Round 1 (sometimes it's still not enough).
- Deleting King of Beggars, Priscilla, and (removing) Nenneke are all good ideas, but they are all threatening and it's hard to kill them all. Try to kill Nenneke with non-Spores so you can delete other units that can be brought back/decoyed.
- Consider keeping both mushrooms to reduce a demoted Baron to 0, if possible.
Against Monsters: These matches are interesting, but I believe you're favoured. I have the least experience in the mirror, as Monsters are not popular right now.
- Ge'els decks struggle to get a row going due to your Weather, Lacerate and Manticore Venom.
- Weather decks don't harm you, and you have Lacerate and Manticore Venom (and your own Ancient Foglets) to make things difficult.
- Consume/Value Monsters are weak to your weather, and Caranthir. Try to time it so you ruin a good Kayran. Dealing with Witchers can be a swing for you. I won't hit them right away if I think I can get them to spend a Swallow before weather.
I've gone through a lot of silver cards. Aeromancy wasn't in the first version of this deck, but I would lose games looking for rain.
- Sarah might not be bad, but, like Frightener, she probably just gets killed before ever becoming a threat.
- I replaced Commander's Horn, but there may be a configuration that works and makes use of it.
The gold cards in this deck are meant for support for Eredin, and are chosen because they are large units that help with board strength. Some losing rounds make Caranthir/Woodland Spirit hard to play and win round 1/2, so I'm likely to experiment with other golds. The other units do need weather to hit their potential, so I feel like these are still the best picks for now.
- Imlerith, is comparable to Triss, though I prefer Triss for removal.
- Geralt can work in a budget version of the deck.
- Kayran might be interesting as reliable golden strength that help you keep Eredin if you have to play other units to push round 1.
- Caretaker is always very good, and normally a round 3 play, anyway. Keep in mind that the targets you bring back (if non-monsters) do not stay on the board.
Thanks for reading, please comment with any questions, and upvote if you liked the guide!
Changes: Jan 17
- -1 Draug, +1 Caretaker
- -1 Adrenaline Rush, +1 Stammelford's Tremors
Draug is fun and different, but there's a lot of removal in the deck, and Caretaker is one of the best golds in the game. Stammelford's can help you win a busy round one... it can be strongly in your favour if you only have one unit out.
Changes: Jan 16
- -1 Frightener, +1 Decoy (He just dies all day)
Changes: Jan 15
- -1 First Light, -1 Alzur's Thunder, +2 Adrenaline Rush
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