Handbuff Nilfgaard


-- 5,880

Want to play 20+ point bronzes? 

Replace the Adrenaline Rush cards, Arachas Venoms, and Biting Frosts with: 

3 Wyvern Scale Shield: boost an ally by the base power of a bronze or silver unit in your hand

2 Ointment: Resurrect a bronze unit with 5 or less power

2 Reconnaissance: look at 2 bronze units in your deck and play one

Glorious Hunt: If losing spawn an Imperial Manticore, if winning spawn Manticore Venom (playing this on an even score does nothing)

Note: Letho: Kingslayer -> Glorious Hunt will factor Letho’s 5 point body into the play, so only play it (for the manticore body) when you are more than 5 points behind your opponent

Replace Avallac’h with Letho: Kingslayer

Magne Division have been changed to: Play a random bronze item from your deck. In this deck it is either Wyvern Scale Shield or Ointment.

Round 1 mulligan Ointments and fish for Letho/Glorious Hunt/Nilf Knight, Mandrake/Vesemir/Royal Decree, Alchemists/Leo Bonhart/Royal Decree. These combos are your win conditions. With this decklist I have only had one or two matches where I did not have what I needed in my starting hand. Keeping one Scale Shield in your starting hand is valuable, as your opponent is likely to pass after you return your strengthened unit to your hand, which leaves you with few options of winning round 1 only 1 card down.

If on blue coin either play Nilf Knight or, if you’re feeling lucky, a vanilla spotter. Playing a 5 point spotter in that situation is guaranteed to enable your Glorious Hunt on your next turn, and it adds that spotter to your graveyard. If on red coin, Glorious Hunt will be enabled on your starting turn. If opponent dry passes round 1, play a spotter. 

After you’ve established your big body, you can either Peter -> strengthen for an extra 3 points (though it’s a dead giveaway of your gameplan and gives your opponent another turn to counter) or Emhyr -> Mandrake (Mandrake through Vesemir is preferred) strengthen your high value target and return the now 18-22 strength unit to your hand. (If your opponent kills both your Manticore and your Knight you can apply the strengthen to an Alchemist)

Reveal it with Leo and remove a target, or reveal it through Alchemists. 

After that you want to play your spotters in rounds one and two, so your Ointments will have targets round 3. Use Magne Divisions in late rounds when Ointment is not dead, and use the Shields to boost. Try to stagger your units values to avoid lining up a nasty scorch. 

Try to win Round 1, bleed your opponent well in round 2, and set up a strong finisher in a short round 3. 

The most difficult match-ups for this deck are Reveal/Conceal decks, a NG deck running Vicovaro Medics, and Alchemy NG.  

When playing a Reveal/Conceal you will want to keep your Alchemists in hand ready to counter him concealing your boost target. You can use your Shields before revealing to try and get his conceal cards out of his hand. If they Venendal Elite, don’t worry, Spotters and Shields boost by base strength. 

When playing against a NG deck with Vico Medics, play your Spotters last and your Shields first. This will mean your Ointments will be dead, but it is what it is. 

Alchemy NG will simply play your deck, but without having to do all set up. Slave Drivers counter this list hard. You can only counter play by not revealing your Strengthened target, and try to only boost. But it’s not effective, and they can create Alchemists to reveal it anyway. Which is really fun. Don’t we all love Alchemy NG.

I’m currently 50-1 with this deck, having only lost to a conceal deck. 

Update: replaced Avalla’ch with Letho: Kingslayer, and Summoning Circle for Marching Orders. Letho tutors Glorius Hunt, Marching Orders, and Recon. Adds a bit of reliability and is worth value even if you have everything you need in your hand, whereas Avalla’ch could draw something that bricks your hand. 

Latest patch didn’t change anything for this deck besides the Ointment change, adding more emphasis on getting Spotters into your graveyard. 

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5 thoughts on “Handbuff Nilfgaard

  1. Muradin
    February 16, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    really inconsistent and easy to counter, most of the time if the enemy is not brain dead he can kill your knight or play around the glorious hunt + as a matter of fact the magne division’s are really bad rn even with 3 shield vs 2 ointments pulling most of the time the ointments and so loosing a good finisher [ointment+spotter] in the end round.Its too risky to play it before any spotter is dead but its also a core mechanic in winning the game so those 2 headbutt each other.

    • Johnnydepo - Author
      March 6, 2018 at 7:51 am

      Yea, if your opponent knows the match-up for any deck they can easily play around it. If they manage to kill both your Nilf Knight and your Manticore I have won games by boosting an Alchemist and returning it to my hand.
      Don’t play Magne Divisions until they’re no longer a possible dead card, if you have no choice but to play them round 1, well, you’ve already lost.

  2. Nentii
    February 12, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Although i was wondering, is double cross just for milling and pulling cantarella or do you use it after you play her to get nilfgaard knight?

    • Johnnydepo - Author
      March 6, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Either or. I would rather have Cantarella in hand and be able to pull Nilf Knight with ADC. Can be used to pull an Alchemist or, in rare games, Peter.

  3. Nentii
    February 12, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for the detailed guide looking forward to trying it out


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