I've been using Henselt for climbing for a while and I made it to Rank 18.
However right now I keep running into Alchemy, you know that deck with broken amounts of removal and brainless point smashing.
I don't know what I am supposed to do to protect my Henselt targets and actually win the game, I need serious help as I am frustrated with playing against this stupid deck archetype that everyone seems to be playing.
Hi Berkolas, I've noticed the same thing lately with Henselt. Every season I get to around rank 18-20 before I find it near impossible to get higher. I've tried multiple tweaks and reworks to my current Henselt deck. And nothing seems to be working. I just think northern realms is a bit too weak. (Like usual) I'm thinking about trying out some new Radovid decks with Ciri.
At least it feels good to see that I'm not alone. Are you having difficulty with only the Alchemy matchups or other matchups as well?
One problem I had with Radovid decks was that, running Kaedweni Cavalries against Slave Drivers makes it really frustrating as well. I've seen Mogwai try a Radovid deck without running them but using Vincent as a finisher, you might wanna give that a shot.
Other than that, a few ideas I had against Alchemy was to use Siege Towers, (since they are harder to kill) and switch out Villentretenmerth for Gold weather (alchemy likes to use all 3 rows). We could also possibly switch it out for Vesemir and run Mandrake to deny their Calveit or Viper witchers
However just the fact that we would need to use a Gold and a Silver slot to counter an archetype tells me that things are getting outta hand a little bit
Another good idea could be to play swarm decks. I've been doing pretty well with Foltest swarm, however Imlerith tryhards tend to destroy that deck as it lacks removal.
Thanks for your reply, it took my frustration away at least a little bit if not more
I have one small tip, which helped me sometimes against Alchemy:
Use bluffing like a poker player ;)
What i mean: when you play Winch and got your favourite henselt target, don't play it very fast.
Act like "Oh, i do not have the right target, hmmm... let me think about it which machine is the best in this case"
When i thought for a while after i played Winch, sometimes the opponent did not destroyed it, even at 4300+ the last two seasons. Next turn, or even some turns later you can play your 3 Machines with Henselt.
Not sure what your set up is by for an alchemy player, henselts machines are far and a way the most challenging matchup. In fact it so bad that I switched to elves. I’ll eventually try machines as well.
It's possible that my setup is not the most optimal against Alchemy and like I said I am at rank 18 so there is a possibility that I am not the best Henselt player out there :)
That being said, you have to acknowledge that the amount of removal in Alchemy decks has made a lot of the engine decks out there unplayable. As for me, I find it very difficult to keep my Henselt targets alive and I consistently have a dead Henselt in round 3 against alchemy match ups.
I was playing the deck you linked early in the season, but even with that one I had issues as it ran multiple engines. I think if you try Henselt machines you would see where I am coming from.
Anyway, do you maybe have any other tips as to what I could try, perhaps share how Henselt players played and won against you? Did they usually leave Henselt for round 3, have you seen any of them running Borkh? What particular machines they were running?
Those are some viable ideas we could try to target against alchemy based decks. In my own personal Henselt deck I run scorch. I try to set up big scorch plays round 3. Earlier today I was able to manipulate and 2-0 a swim tier Nekker deck, as well as a Brouver deck. But then I follow with a loss against a Radovid hyperthin deck. Either way the meta is still strange and changing this season. I love Henselt but right now the mass amount of removal is making it frustrating to get a good foothold in the meta. I'm going to tamper with a few ideas and get back to you.
Well I am playing alchemy third season now and henselt is one of the more problematic matchups for me... My advice for you would be to not save henselt as a finisher but rather use it to bully out the alchemy player out of the round. Especially don't try to be too greedy and Nenneke back your machines because then it is obvious what is your Henselt target.
If you win coinflip, I think you have like 80% to win. You can force the alchemy player out with Thaler + Cavalry (ideally you should also have ADC to increase your chance to draw Thaler. This way you will force a spy out of the alchemy player (if he doesn't have it he is forced to pass if you won the coinflip). You are generally going for a long round because you need to setup your crewman pockets (alchemy has something like 7-8 removals in an ideal scenario but they will be saving it for the "crucial" targets, so something is bound to stick. As I said earlier, don't be greedy with your henselt, I have won like 10 games just by Assireing the last machine in the graveyard that my opponent was going to ress by shani. Therefore he bricked his Henselt by being greedy. If you manage to win the first round by making the Cavalry come out. You can dry pass and Nenneke them back in the third round which puts the alchemy player to a difficult situation because unless they brick they don't have that many low tempo plays.
If you lose coinflip, I would think about dry passing, in order to get a long round, where (with Thaler and Cavalry) you are likely to keep the card advantage, you have far fewer bricked draws than alchemy player and sometimes they will just pass to get the card back and then you have a super long round 3 where you are favourite. Of course these tips vary based on the variant you play, but I think that all the lists I have seen in recently are based on winning a long round. You can have an incredibly strong short round with henselt + 3-4 machines, but that is unlikely to happen against alchemy...
And just one last thing - be careful with your removal. The alchemy player is forced to keep 1-2 ointments in their hand on the first round and if you don't kill any reasonable target (for example kill only the targets they got from slave driver) they cannot use them. Same goes for Calveit, because Cahir may be in their hand...
Wow, thanks a lot for the such detailed response man. It's good to see that there are so many strategies to explore. I've actually been doing some of the things you mentioned, like Nenneke back cavalries and make sure I am not too greedy with Nenneke machines. I usually try to have at least 2 cards to pull from the deck for each of my 3 targets. Also, I don't bank on Shani as someone actually used that Assire trick on me before and I had to forfeit instantly. Now I also keep at least a few copies in my hand and try to go into round 3 around 4-5 cards.
One thing I've been doing is using Siege towers. I know they are juicy targets for Viper witchers but people usually use vipers on my other units anyway. Siege towers are too large for Vipers to be killed and I can reliably target them. I also thought about using spy to block the Scorch on the first one.
Another thing I've been doing was running Muzzle. It works well against Deathwish, SK and mirror. I can also use it to steal a Viper Witcher but not sure if it is worth it. Like you said I've been paying more attention to not killing Vipers and Calveit.
I also started playing Scorch like LordSirTony suggested and it's been doing well. I am also planning to try and switchout Muzzle with Triss: Telekinesis, and Shani for Baron. I am also going to try Drought in place of Muzzle.
One thing I am not sure about is dry passing. I just don't feel good about dry passing r1 on blue coin, I usually try to reverse it with spy and possibly get my cavalries out. I know that could result in me getting bleeded in r3 but I am scared of drawing into Dun Banners.
Thanks again for the amazing response man, wish you good luck in your games as long as you don't play against me :)
I am glad Siege Towers have been working for you as well, and damn that winrate is quite impressive, good job :)
I've actually played a lot of Henselt today. After talking with a streamer and my buddies in that stream, I decided to give Baron and Triss: Telekinesis a shot. It was a version one of the guys in the stream was playing and the results were simply amazing. I used Battering Rams and Reinforced Ballistas like my friend suggested and I was able to get my Baron to above 20 in most of my games.
The nice thing about Baron is that you don't have to use Henselt as a finisher in R3. By using Henselt earlier you can get last say or CA which allows you to play your Baron safely. So at the end of the day, it's a choice you make. You can go for a more reactive style with Baron and other machines or go for a more proactive style with Siege Towers. Either way Henselt feels pretty strong right now.
I don't really have any screenshots or anything but today I played it from rank 19 to 20. Took me a total of 13 games, 10 wins 2 loses and a draw. I definitely got pretty lucky most of my games.
Also the streamer was ofthewhale. He doesn't have a lot of viewers but we usually stick around and make it an interactive stream. Feel free to stop by.
Thanks again for your response, good luck with the rest of your season.