At the beginning of the month we received four exciting new leaders. As the meta continues to develop, we’re seeing which of the new leaders have cemented themselves as a staple in the meta. At the moment, Queen Meve and Gernichora are the most prevalent of the new leaders on the ladder and there is a good reason why. Find out more below.
Special thanks to my teammates.
This Crach An Craite deck list that uses Commander’s Horn as a finisher is dominating the meta with its consistency and unstoppable tempo. It’s very similar to the Crach lists that we’ve showcased in the last few meta snapshots that utilize the power and consistency of the discard package, with a few minor changes. The addition of Dimuritiem Shackles gives you an answer to engines that are too tall to counter. It’s also great if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t wait until you’ve developed bloodthirst to answer a card. Alternatively, you can swap out Dimuritiem Shackles for a bomb heaver if you are matching up against too many decks utilizing Mastercrafted Spears. Herald Houndsnout is a great addition to the deck list, it can easily develop bodies for Commander’s Horn in a short round. Some variations are using both Commander’s Horn and Scorch.
Gernichora has made a huge splash in the meta due to the tempo it offers, the synergy of it’s thrive ability through Forbidden Fruit, and the ability to bleed round 2. The deck is very similar to Big Woodland but the archetype has shifted to Gernichora because it’s less reliant on getting last say and it’s simply strong in all three rounds.
This variation of the popular Monsters leader Gernichora offers more control than Big Gerni through cards like Enraged Ifrit, Dorregaray of Vole, and the unicorn package. It sacrifices some tempo by cutting the Old Speartips but makes up for it by running two Ice Giants. Another advantage of this deck is that it doesn’t run Ozriel or Ghouls. This allows it to avoid graveyard hate by other Monsters decks that might consume your giants or steal it with Hanmarvyn’s Blue Dream.
Queen Meve has brought back the engine lists that were popular with King Foltest a couple patches ago. Her ability to protect engines make this deck a real contender on the ladder. Overwhelming your opponent while simultaneously keeping your engines alive is the game plan here. Cards like Yennefer: Conjurer and Vysogota of Corvo are great immunity targets for Avallac’h and will secure a long round for you. Ves is essential for immediate removal and to give other cards zeal, which can turn other order based cards into additional immediate removal. This deck has a great long round, especially if some engines go unanswered, but its weakness to being bled and the few options for instant removal make it a tier 2 deck.
The provisions and value Queen Meve offers make it a great Shupe deck. It’s similar to other Northern Realms decks, but cuts a few cards to make room for the 13 provision cost of Shupe’s Day Off. Overall, this is quite a strong deck on the ladder with a great long round due to Northern Realms engines and Queen Meve’s leader ability. It can also hold its own in a short round due to Shupe and other high tempo plays the deck offers.
Morvran Voorhis has become the best Nilfgaard leader. He can protect engines with his leader ability and deny bloodthirst against Skellige decks. He also offers more provisions than other Nilfgaard leaders. For example, the extra provisions allow you to fit cards like Octivist into this deck list which can easily be protected from removal by using the leader ability on it. Since the change to unicorns people have been saving removal for them to deny the extra 4 points, but with Morvran’s leader ability they will have a hard time trying to disrupt it. Nilfgaardian Knight is great addition to the deck that allows for a nice proactive play and can even be used to unbrick Leo Bonhart in certain situations.
Nilfgaard Shupe has shifted from Emhyr to Morvran due to the provisions and value he offers to the deck. Once again, Morvran being able to protect unicorns is priceless. Enraged Ifrit can be swapped in for Octivist if you need more immediate removal. We chose to keep Octivist in since it finds great value in an average to long round and can be protected by Morvran’s ability.
This deck has finally made a comeback in this meta since the launch of Homecoming. It was used most recently by Molegion to win the February Open Qualifier #8. Saesenthessis is used to protect the value from unicorn with its immunity for a strong round 3 finisher. The traps tend to find great value on their own and can even be used as a way to get your opponent to pass, allowing you to have the round. If you’re looking for a good midrange Scoia’tael deck this is a great option.
This deck list was created and optimized by Wusubi and Gnurrgard. The inclusion of Lippy allows you to replay high value cards again in round 3, allowing you to exceed the provision limit. The flexibility of Harnmarvyn’s Blue Dream really suits this deck. It can find great value if you get a Unicorn or Chironex from the opponent’s graveyard. It can also be used to deny Woodland’s strategy to consume a tall unit with Ozzriel or Ghoul. Skjall and Donar an Hindar offer great immediate removal. Wolf Pack can also be great engine removal combined with a ping from Crach. Overall this is still a great deck but doesn’t compare to the Crach Horn variation.
Eredin Slyzard, by Saber97, began as a meme and has evolved into quite the competitive deck. It’s weakness of being bled round 2 has been minimized by the addition of giant cards such as Old Speartip, Old Speartip: Asleep, and Count Caldwell. The aforementioned cards give you the tempo needed to win round 1 and avoid the round 2 bleed. The general gameplan for this deck is to use your thrive and giants to win round 1 and get a long round 3 with an immune Slyzard. If all goes according to plan your opponent will have quite a few dead control cards since you consume all your points with the immune Slyzard.
Eredin Mourntart has a similar game plan as the Slyzard list. The deck aims to populate the graveyard and combo Eredin’s ability with Mourntart for a strong finisher, which can only be dealt with by Scorch or Geralt: Yrden. Round 1 is extremely important for this deck since it can easily be bled round 2. Nekkers are essential to adding more bodies to the graveyard and providing thrive tempo for winning round 1. Cyclops and the consume cards synergize nicely in this deck to further populate the graveyard in a pinch and trigger deathwish units. The thinning cards such as Witchers, Naglfar, and Wild Hunt Riders help ensure you find Mourntart.
The heavily favored Big Woodland list that has been taken over by Gernichora has finally evolved into a more midrange list. This variation of Woodland Spirit, by Aifbowman, removes the giant and consume package to make room for spears and other control tools. These changes make it a lot more interactive, which is what made it weak to Northern Realms decks.
This deck list hasn’t changed much since the last patch and is less popular since the addition of Queen Meve. It has an extremely strong finisher using Princess Adda’s ability combined with Hubert Rejk, which tends to single-handedly secure a win with last say. The combo has even more synergy and can see a massive point swing when combined with Mastercrafted Spears, Tainted Ale, and Octivist in a long round 3. The Reinforced Trebuchets can see good value in a medium to long round and tend to force row stacking resulting in more value from Sabrina Glevissig. Vincent Meis pairs great with the Kaedweni Revenants and can get great value on its own in certain matchups, like in the Woodland Spirit matchup. In conclusion, if you’re going to be playing Northern Realms, Queen Meve is the obvious choice.
Brouver Shupe has emerged in the current meta, but isn’t the greatest if you’re keen on playing a Shupe deck. This deck features Geralt: Yrden which can be a win condition in most Monsters match-ups, especially against any of the Eredin lists.
Master Aep Dahy
Ardal Aep Dahy is somewhat viable in the current meta. Nilfgaardian Knight has seen a buff and is one of the best blue coin cards in the game now. With the addition of Aep Dahy, we see the return of Master of Disguise. Aep Dahy’s leader ability allows you to pull off a great combo using Operator to make another Master of Disguise and steal it back. By having two of them spawn on the same turn your opponent will only be able to counter one of them. It’s nice to see this archetype getting some love and the resurgence of cards like Rainfarn of Attre, Nilfgaardian Knight, Infiltrator, and Alchemist which have great synergy in this deck list.