In my last post, I discussed which cards were best for an early game Northern Realms deck. Now, we will go over strategy to win better cards and transition into a stronger, end-game deck, which will be discussed in my next post.
3 Blue Stripes Commandos, 3 Dragon Reavers, 2 Catapults, Dun Banner Medic, Thaler and Prince Stennis, 2 Scorch, 2 Commander Horn, 2 Decoy, 2 Ballista, 2 Trebuchet, 3 Gaunter O’Dimm: Darkness.
All other empty spaces can be filled with whatever cards you desire to reach the 22 Unit card minimum. If you’re missing Thaler and a second Scorch card, you can just fill in the space until you arrive in Skellige. I’d recommend maybe throwing a Biting Frost or a Clear Weather into the mix, and then whatever high value cards you have.
First, let’s start with how to actually use this thing. On first draw, you’re going to want at least 1 spy, 1 Decoy, and 1 Gaunter O’Dimm. If you have those, try and get your Medic or as many Tight Bond cards you have. Now the main goal here is to make your opponent use as many cards in the first round as possible. Losing the first round here is actually what you want (though if you can win it with a card or two it’s sometimes worth it). The second round you use your Tight Bonds and randoms, and the third round you use your Siege cards.
You’re going to want to start with your Darkness card. This will take the other two cards out of your deck immediately, giving you a nice 12 points to start the match and taking the other 2 cards out of your deck so you don’t run the risk of drawing them from your spy cards. If your opponent has a Scorch they might throw it down here as well, taking it out of play and making your last rounds a lot easier on you. After that, you’ll want to start using your spy cards to build your hand up, the goal being to add on to the Tight Bond cards you hopefully started with.
If your opponent throws a spy your way, use a Decoy and hit ‘em with the Uno Reverse. If you don’t have a Decoy, use your medic in the next round to play it back on them then. Have a medic and decoy but no spy’s to pick up? Use 2 cards with a Tight Bond ability, let your opponent use more cards then you to catch up and win the first match, then in the second round play your medic to bring one back, decoy the medic up, play it again to bring the other back. Or you can use your decoy to take your high level card off the field, Scorch the high level cards on the other side, then play yours again. Playing a Monster Deck and they’ve unloaded 100 points into the bottom row? Decoy your cards off the field, Biting Frost, Scorch, now they’re gone.
Second round is where the Tight Bonds and Commander Horns come into play. If you played the first round correctly, you should have at least a few more cards than your opponent. Paired with the numbers these Tight Bond cards will give you, by the end of the second round you should be beating your opponent fairly easily.
Leading into the third, your opponent shouldn’t be left with more than a few cards. If you’ve saved your Seige cards, you’ll want to slowly filter those out while the other player exhausts the rest of their cards. End it with your leader ability, and even if they’ve thrown down a Torrential Rain they simply won’t have the points to contest you.
The world isn’t perfect, and neither is Gwent. Sometimes, you’ll get a shit hand. It happens. When it does, it’s important to remember that you have a free Commander Horn for your Siege row in your back pocket. No seige cards? Then you almost certainly have Tight Bonds on the field, utilize those for the win instead of the seige units. No Tight Bonds? Then you almost certainly have Commander Horns, Spy’s, and Decoys which can be used to get you more cards.
The great thing about this early game build is its adaptability. If the main strategy above doesn’t pan out, there is more than enough wiggle room to still easily manage the win. In my next post I’ll discuss where we start to win our end game cards, along with which ones to use and the updated strategy that goes along with it. To start, challenge the Bloody Baron for the Gwent: Velen Players questline. His card will prove the most useful in your journey.
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