Midwinter mulligan item abuse


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Additional cards from the Midwinter update: 


Paulie Dahlberg

Mahakam Horn


Wyvern Shield x 3

Spear x 3

I’ll add these to the deck as soon as they’re added to the database. Take away First Lights, Alzur’s Thunders and Arachas Venoms from the deck and add the cards mentioned above.

General gameplan:

Very straightforward. If you don’t have Milva or Saskia, use Francesca to get one of them. If you don’t have either, Milva is more important since you have plenty of mulligans in your disposal. Strengthen a Dwarven Skirmisher with Barclay, Mandrake, Zoltan and Mahakam Horn (whichever you have). Milva your strengthened dwarf into your deck, use Saskia to get it back. You can throw the first round, and even use Saskia in the second or third if you so wish. Whenever you decide to do that, every one of your bronze cards (besides your extra Dwarven Skirmisher and Wardancers, which you mulligan away) hits/boosts for 20ish with Wyvern Shields and Spears. 

In the worst case scenario where you don’t get Saskia, you can use Paulie Dahlberg to revive your Dwarven Skirmisher, or use Necromancy to boost with it. Yaevinn and even Vrihedd Sappers make for semi-decent substitutes, offering values of 13 and 11 after the patch for your shields and spears. If you’re all set with Milva and Saskia, you can use their value with Vrihedd Officers for high tempo and to obtain said shields and spears. 

Card specifics: Golds

Saskia: CORE. Use to retrieve your Dwarven Skirmisher (and an additional Elven Mercenary).

Milva: CORE. Puts your strengthened Dwarven Skirmisher back into your deck. 

Zoltan: Additional strengthening for your dwarf. The deck is very straightforward, but Zoltan offers some variety: light counter for weathers, mind games with enemy row positioning or power. Your opponent probably doesn’t know what you’re trying to do, so feel free to mess around his/her head a bit. Another one of Zoltan’s strengths is that the power increase for your Dwarven Skirmisher isn’t as obviously deliberate as something like Mahakam Horn. 

Royal Decree: Fetch Milva or Saskia. 

Alternative for Zoltan or Royal Decree: Renew. The ability to renew Saskia in round 3 negates any randomness for your pulls. Throw any undesirables back into your deck and draw more items. 


Mahakam Horn: CORE. Strengthen your Dwarven Skirmisher. Don’t bother with the RNG feature unless you used Mandrake and accidentally pull this in the last round. 

Mandrake: CORE. Additional card for strengthening. You need one or the other, or if you’re confident (and have Paulie in hand), you can use both. Use both with Barclay for example and you can one-shot a Ciri Nova. 

Paulie Dahlberg: CORE. Resurrection for your Dwarven Skirmisher. Useful if you get Scorch’d or the like or if you want to use your trump card on the board twice. And why wouldn’t you? 

Barclay Els: Additional strengthening for your Dwarven Skirmisher. It’s a strong play early on too with a value of 17 points, 20 if you can Francesca for it. I sometimes end up winning the first round by accident with this, which is always a pleasant surprise. Keep in mind that you could accidentally pull Paulie, so you might decide against adding this. 

Yaevinn: An additional mulligan or a tutor for a Vrihedd Officer. Easy to kill off with a strengthened Dwarven Skirmisher in hand if need be. 

Decoy: A highly versatile card. Strength for your Skirmisher, an extra item or another Paulie if you run into someone spamming Scorch. This spot used to belong to Necromancy, which is pretty much a worse version of Paulie. 

Alternatives: Pavko Gale gives you an additional value of 5 for your item pulls, but that isn’t significant enough in my opinion. Dennis Cranmer I won’t even consider. The strongest contender in my opinion is Stregobor, but I suggest taking Sappers out if you want to do that. Another one would be Ele’Yas, and I am thinking of testing these two out. 

Edit: I tested out Ele’Yas and Stregobor, the former was just plain pointless and the latter was alright, but not really much else. Adrornalin suggested Nature’s Gift in the comment section, which is a strong contender. However I’m struggling to throw Barclay or Yaevinn out as it is. 


Dwarven Skirmisher: CORE. The card this deck is build around.

Spear: CORE. Deal damage equal to your strengthened Dwarven Skirmisher. 

Wyvern Shield: CORE. Like Spear, but boosts instead. 

Elven Mercenary: No reason not to run this. An additional point and thinning. 

Vrihedd Officer: Additional chances to draw what you need. No reason not to run this either. 

Vrihedd Sappers: Tutor for Vrihedd Officers and a last resort tutor for Spears and Wyvern Shields. 

Elven Wardancer: Not really needed, but since you’re going to mulligan for a lot of stuff anyways, you might as well include one of these. 

Alternatives: If you absolutely love someone out of the Scoia bronzes you can swap Sappers or Wardancers for it, but there really isn’t anything that pops out for me. I am thinking of adding a Dwarven Agitator IF I have to take Barclay out. 

I’ll go more into detail with this when the cards from the patch are added to  Gwentify. Any and all feedback/improvement suggestions/questions are appreciated and encouraged! 

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16 thoughts on “Midwinter mulligan item abuse

  1. Abdullah
    January 28, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Can you make a video on how to play with this deck please?

  2. Adrornalin
    January 1, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    I was totally blind: Gold card Letho: Regicide(?) ‘King Murder’. Draw a tactical special card. Perfect. Skellen out, Letho in.

    • Vonchipper - Author
      January 3, 2018 at 4:32 am

      I tried to reply to you about this but it got registered as a separate comment. How is the deck treating you? For some reason I’m having a hard time with Nilfgaard. It’s a shame half of the Alchemy cards are Items as well.

      • Adrornalin
        January 3, 2018 at 6:15 pm

        I added The Guardian, Alzurs Double Cross, 1x Alchemist and 3x Ointment to revive the Spotters, and Fake Ciri to play it right after Emhyr.
        With Guardian or Manticore, Vesemir or Mandrake, Letho or Alzurs Doublecross or Glorious Hunt, Alchemist or Bonhart, I get what I need to fulfill the gameplan most of the time. But, as you said, sometimes I am having a hard time too. +17 or +19 pts each turn sounds much, but in fact, when you see improvements of other decks, the games are still close.

        So it is not gonna be my favourite deck ; ) My favs atm are the “Spam Decks”, pushing many small units in short time like wellknown Monsters, NR and NG with the new bronze cards, as well as Reveal and Consume, even if they changed the former deathwish (p.e. Nekkers do not revive after the round). And I am figuring out a performing deck with Kambi since long. I nearly had it before the first patch but then it got destroyed because they changed Bekkers Mirror, now after Midwinter patch it got destroyed because they changed Regis. There are still a lot of options but it is really tough to manage a working play. Does gwentify get an update soon with the cards? Then I will post the deck and experience some suggestions.

  3. Ehndur
    December 31, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Hey !

    Thanks a lot for this deck, it’s actually the first “real” deck I chose to build, after playing 1 week trying to get scraps and craft the needed cards.
    I honestly didn’t want to play overused and popular decks, so I struggled an entire week in normal queue farming money and scraps, and I have to say, it’s quite worth it. So thank you 😉 More than a good deck, it’s also a very fun one to play.

    I’m pretty new to the game and had some trouble figuring out what the gameplan is. I don’t know if it’s just me or the way you wrote the explanations, maybe both (Or maybe JUST me ^^). For someone familiar enough with game, it might be clear, but for me it wasn’t at first, is all I’m saying 😉

    Anyway, I haven’t played a lot of games with this deck yet, but so far so good. Also haven’t played against strong meta decks like Dwarves or Nilfaard spies/reveal.

    PS : And I kinda feel bad about saying that here, but don’t you want to publish this deck on the-other-site-we-shall-not-name-here ? It’s taking a lot of time to updates the cards here (honestly too much). and even though, publishing over there might mean that it’ll get more popular, therefor being played by more people (meaning it would feel less “unique” to play this deck ^^), I think you deserve the extra visibility.

    • Ehndur
      December 31, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      I noticed that I’m getting scorched and Igni a lot in round 3. any advice whatsoever ? Maybe on what card to keep/get for the last round ?

      • Vonchipper - Author
        January 3, 2018 at 4:28 am

        Hi Ehndur, thanks for the comment! I’ve updated most of the stuff from the discussion into the general info area, hopefully most of it is comprehensible to you 😀 English is not my first language and I presume Adrornalin is using the game on another language as well, that might explain some of the confusion. Ask away if anything sounds unclear.

        You have a couple of options for those Scorches and Ignis. If your opponent’deck looks like it’s build around them, personally I’d avoid using Shields, in quick succession at least. If you have to, try placing your Elven Skirmishers into hazards such if you can. Renew into Milva is a kind of like a “Scorch of your own” with E Skirmishers. You still have an over 20-powered finisher in hand, so you should be in a good position to play the waiting game too. You can also try to lure them into Scorching early in the first round, then use Paulie to get your Skirmisher back (and Decoy on Paulie if you get burned again).

        Some cards like Scorch hit this deck terrifyingly hard, so there’s always going to be a hint of improvisation in the game plan 😀 I’ll be the first to admit that it ain’t bulletproof in its current state.

        About the other site thingy… I might, but like you said, it’s kind of neat having it as a semi-secret I guess 😀 Glad you liked the deck, and don’t be afraid to modify things if you feel like it would benefit your playstyle!

        • Ehndur
          January 3, 2018 at 1:17 pm

          Honestly, the explanations are fine, but you might want to put like a sentence at the top of “General Gameplan” area to say that the deck is built around strengthening a skirmisher and using it to spam items in rounds 2 and 3, before going straight to the “how to do it”. But that’s just my opinion, if you feel like keeping it like that, then don’t bother ^^

          One scorch is fine, I usually win last round even if the opponent use it 😀 But when the guy is playing Scorch + Schirrù + Yennefer… It’s just impossible to win ^^ But at the end, when I lose or at least struggle to win, it’s usually because I had a hard time setting up the gameplan in round 1, or if the opponent passes at an inconvenient turn.
          Also, I usually use only Mandrake + Barclay and sometimes Zoltan to boost my skirmisher (getting it to 20). That way, if I place my elven mercenaries on different rows, I can prevent the Igni at least. And 20 is almost always enough to kill units with spears. And if I managed to use only Mandrake and keeping the Horn, I can use it as a last emergency play to create either Barclay or Paulie.

          And I might replace the sappers with decoy, because I never really play it, and I rarely need officers too.

          Thanks for the advices. 😉

          (Also, English isn’t my first language, but your writting is very clear, don’t worry ^^)

          • Ehndur
            January 3, 2018 at 4:15 pm

            So I replaced Sappers by Decoy as I said, and it changes everything ^^ I feel a lot safer. Being able to Barclay twice because Paulie came out of the first one, replaying a Skirmisher because the only boost card I have in my hand is Zoltan, playing Paulie twice in case I got scorched twice or I used Paulie on the second round to res the strenghten Skirmisher I didn’t Mulligan back on the first round because I won it, playing 2 Mercenaries on the last round… So much utility compared to Sappers. ^^

  4. Vonchipper - Author
    December 30, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Yeah, that does sound better! Letho: Kingslayer for Glorious Hunt, with him and Royal Decree getting it shouldn’t be a problem. Maybe Xarthisius as the 4th gold to deal with those pesky Artefact Compressions? I feel it might need a good backup option, since we won’t hit both Glorious Hunt and Mandrake in every game. Well, I guess with Skellen we might… Another option could be Lesser Demons with Alzur’s Double Cross, but that’s two silvers for one thing that could backfire.

  5. Adrornalin
    December 24, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Hello Vonchipper,

    the gameplan with this deck is just a m a z i n g – thanks a lot for that! I was not aware of this tactic. It works great by now. One of the coolest things is (besides adding a lot of points with only one card) that if you play Milva and reducing your own points more than the opponent points in this moment, he often plays another card although being way in front. I guess they are confused and insecure what we are doing there. So most of the games end with card advantage in 3rd round.

    Problem is, if you neither draw Mahakam Horn, Mandrake and so on (and unluckily it happened a lot of times that I drew all items and Elven Mercenaries), the gameplan crashes. My suggestions for (maybe) improving this deck:

    ▪ Silver – In: Gift of Nature; Out: Necromancy. Doubles the chances for getting Mahakam Horn or Mandrake; Necromancy plus Paulie seems not necessary I think.

    ▪ Gold – In: Royal Decree; Out: Renew. As you said, more consistency.

    ▪ Bronze units I am fine with them. Adding another dwarf is too risky with Barclay. Another elv is not useful. Sapper as a last resort tutor makes sense. Wardancers dito if you can win 2nd round without placing a card. Alternatives: Vrihedd Brigade instead of Sapper, because of clearing ability and 11 to 9 is okay. Throwing out Wardancers, bringing in the third Vrihedd Officer and reducing down to 15 bronze cards.

    ▪ Question: How about switching Francesca with Eithne? Do we need Francesca if we have Royal Decree and three Officers? Normally consistency seems more important, sure. But using Mahakam Horn or Mandrake twice is tempting. A 34pts Skirmisher (3pts itself + 3pts Barcley + 2pts Zoltan + 6pts Mandrake + 7pts Horn + 7 pts Horn) is huge – but not too huge for many factions pushing their units fast and easy.

    Nothing more to improve here, I think. This deck is just great, thanks again.



    • Adrornalin
      December 24, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Hmmm… What do we do when the opponent passes too soon and the Skirmisher on the board is not strengthened enough yet… Placing Milva and losing CA or placing the 2nd Skirmisher in 2nd round or we really need Renew to Milva the 1st Skirmisher revived by Paulie again. Tricky… but fun to play using the brain! 😀

    • Vonchipper - Author
      December 25, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Good points. You’re probably right with Necromancy out, since often you won’t even need Paulie. Gift of Nature is a very good shout, in fact so painfully obvious I can’t understand how I overlooked it.

      After messing around a bit and adding Gift of Nature, I really would love to have Decoy. It’s a weak play on its own, but it’s always at least 3-point strengthen or one item more with E Mercenary. Using it on Paulie could really save your ass, practically it works as a better Necromancy. But what do we take out? Yaevinn I guess?

      Wardancers often force opponents to play something in the second round, which is sometimes needed if you can’t do everything in the first round. Saskia you can play anytime, but if you get really mugged in the draw, you might have to Milva in the second round. But yeah, as you said short rounds are very hard to manage with this deck 😀

      I don’t think weather clear is really needed either, sometimes hazard even helps, since cards under it are rarely targeted. Reducing the bronzes by one seems beneficial though. Maybe one spear out, since if you end up using all three more often than not at least one of them is just straight up overkill.

      Eithne is tempting, but on the other hand it just makes more sense to use Francesca since there are a lot of cards you absolutely need to get.

      I’ll edit this after I’ve tested out these (and maybe something else as well). Thanks for the long comment and glad you liked the deck!

      • Adrornalin
        December 26, 2017 at 8:40 pm

        I removed one spear too. Francesca is definitely more worth than Eithne, true. Yaevinn makes sense to keep for Officers and for equal amount of cards at least, but we do not need him really for the gameplan.

        One question: Why do you want to decoy Paulie? If Skirmisher gets scorched twice? It rarely happened to me, more often it gets Artefactcompressed 😣 Thats why I also have taken out Paulie atm. Now Barcley plays a Skirmisher in every case. I added King of Beggars to try to make a t least a draw in round 1 or get CA.

        The last games I lost a lot. The cards allocation was horrible and I always ran out of cards in the end. Nevertheless this deck is really fun and if it works – it truly works like boom. 😉

        • Vonchipper
          December 29, 2017 at 4:29 am

          I definitely don’t want to 😀 But yeah, you’re right, it’s very conditional. Probably the most useful situation is when your opponent passes early in 1st and you bring it back with Paulie only to be scorched. What I like about Decoy is that it effectively counters Alzur’s Thunders and the like, also adding 3 point strength through Skirmisher’s ability in the process. It’s also a better version of Elven Skirmisher, since it’s plus 2 power… Not necessary by any means, but adds consistency since you can use it in almost any situation as a substitute for something else.

          Artefact Compression is a real pain. I’m thinking of trying Spears and Shields with Emhyr, spies and Nauzicaa Brigades, hoping that the enemy concentrates on Impera Brigades and Impera Enforcers with their Compressions. No Mahakam Horn might make it a foolish endeavour though.

          • Adrornalin
            December 29, 2017 at 9:59 pm

            Good idea! Even better seems to be: Spears and Shields with Emyhr and with Imperical Manticore. Seen it today and tried it, as far as I could follow the other deck. Pity that gwentify is not updated yet with the new cards.

            Gameplan: All you need is the tactical card Glorious Hunt (I guess it is called like this in the english version). If the opponent starts and plays a unit, we play Glorious Hunt and generate the Imperical Manticore. If we start, we play some useless card lower than the opponent ones. Followed by Mandrake, followed by Emhyr. Now we have a 19 pts Manticore in our hand – after only 3 cards played. Additionally to the Spears and Shields we can reveal the Manticore – except against Voorhis – with Bonhart (aka another Spear) and play our Spotters (aka another three Shields). This is really powerful.

            To get the cards we need, I am figuring out atm: I cant see a way to bring out Glorious Hunt with Nilfgaard. At least with Stefan Skellen. Vesemir for getting Mandrake. Royal Decree for sure. Maybe Avallach. Bonhart but maybe an Alchemist is enough. Silvers Cantarella, Albrich after Skellen, maybe Decoy, Summoning Circle. Bronzes besides Spotters are Division Magne for getting Spears and Shields, Recrute for getting Division Magne or Spotters, and some of this and that (but no other Soldiers) to play around the game start.

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