Hello and welcome to the Honest Deck Guide with Weissenberg! In this segment your humble servant and the loyal subject to the Nilfgaardian Emperor provides a written testimony of his adventures in the realm of Gwent. Each time we will present you with a creative and off-meta deck to kill time with and each time we will be completely honest about its flaws and shortcomings.

Tactical Recruitment

As we all know Enslave has been a fairly popular leader ability for at least three to four months now. While the most popular version of it has been constantly changing due to expansions and balance patches the most recent iteration of it is not necessarily the community’s favorite. And the reason behind it is create. It’s a concept that has been in Gwent for almost two years now and in that time has gone through quite a few significant changes, but it’s always had a fierce and vocal opposition to its sheer existence. With the power creep increasing with every single content update and with defenders promoting greedy playstyle ever since their addition to Gwent, create is once again being heavily criticized with Stefan Skellen and double Bribery frequently causing riots on Reddit. So, let’s say you like Enslave, but you’re an ethical player who likes his deck to be create-free. How do you design an Enslave list that wouldn’t cause people to rant on social media? Don’t worry my friend, Weissenberg got you covered.

Decklist

With a staggering amount of 14 soldiers yours truly has come up with a true tactics-soldiers hybrid that makes your opponents GG every single match. While we’re usually fooling around with ideas that have a slim chance of working, this deck actually has a solid winning record. Interested? Let’s get down to the basics then! This deck resolves around a number of tempo plays and soldier combos while having a fair amount of control. Ramon Tyrconnel in combination with either Recruit or Venendal Elite is a 10-12 point play on average and it also serves as the first piece of the soldier setup. Vrygheff is a 9-10 point play if played in a soldier pocket and is meant to be played in the same round as Ramon. And last but not least we have Albrich into Affan Hillegrand. It can be an opening play that thins another card or two, but it can also serve as a decent finisher. Damien de la Tour, while protected by Ffion var Gaernel, is meant to refresh your leader ability in order to get you another 10 points in the later stages of the game. Because these setups obviously require your hand to include very specific cards we included Roach, Royal Decree and War Council to thin enough and to make sure your hand doesn’t brick so hard it would make an appearance on Shaqtin’ A Fool.

Gameplay

If we’re to be honest the course of your average R1 depends massively on what you drew. The most obvious opening on blue is Nauzicaa Sergeant. Keep in mind though that sergeants seem to have a rather short lifespan, so don’t be surprised if your opponent removes it right away. Another important thing to remember is that Venendals gain value depending on the number of tactics in your hand, so if you intend to play them R1 or if you wish to use them in combination with Ramon and Vrygheff, you have to play them early. But, for the most part this round will be highly reactive. There are engines and order based cards that you’ll either want to steal or remove right away and you should always have enough control options at your disposal. One thing to avoid is being stuck with Battle Preperation. Its main purpose is to be mulligan fodder and it usually is the first card you’re going to get rid of. Also, remember to properly manage your tempo. It’s fairly easy to overcommit and you don’t want to end up with double Battle Prep and a Recruit in your hand R3. I know that it’s easier said than done and I know that I’m often guilty of overcommitting myself, so be like Jan Calveit and don’t repeat Emhyr’s mistakes.

How you’re going to play out round 2 depends on whether or not you won R1. There are many decks that need to be pushed no matter what, while in other matchups a longer R3 may be in your favor. This is where the tempo management we mentioned earlier gets really important. You lost R1 and don’t know what to do next? Well, you’ll probably want to fight tooth and nail to keep your card advantage as having the last say against certain decks is crucial. If you have Damien in your hand or you played War Council and you know that you’re going to draw him you may even spend your leader ability this round. But, if you won the first round you may see R2 as a dumpster of sorts where you sneakily dump the undesirable cards much to your opponent’s frustration.

If I was to name three cards that you’d want in a short R3 then it would be Ffion, Damien and Albrich. But, that’s highly matchup dependent. Sometimes you’ll want to draw Peter Saar Gwynleve, other times you’ll need Yennefer’s Invocation. Especially if you’re expecting cards like Harald Gord or Ozzrel or if you suspect your opponent might want to defender up and brick all the control that you have in your hand. Generally speaking this deck fares well in a shorter round, three to five cards if you mulliganed properly and got the tools you need. You don’t need to be afraid of tall removal since none of your R3 units will ever grow taller than 7 points, which is still under the usual threshold of 9.

Conclusions

This actual tactics and soldier hybrid is a fun and ethical alternative to the more popular Enslave deck everyone despises. It offers enough control and tempo to lead R1, but it also has a tendency to run out of gas in later rounds which makes tempo management quite crucial to in order to succeed. When it comes to matchups against the meta lists, it’s a mixed bag. Certain decks like Pincer Maneuver aren’t that much of a problem while others like Mystic Echo constantly get you tilted. If you’re wondering how this list fares in practice please check the Weekly Stream Recap #12. Your success depends on a lot of factors that would take much too long to list them all. But, one thing is certain, nobody will write an angry Reddit post about your highroll Bribery.

Thanks for reading!

That does it for this episode of the Weekly Stream Recap! Thanks for joining us today, I hope you enjoyed the read. You can catch us live at: www.twitch.tv/weissenberg

See you next time!

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