Swim’s Anti-meta Queensguard (4600+ MMR)


-- 6,150



This is my new Queensguards list that I’ve been playing on stream for the past few days, reaching ranks up to top300 or so; quite good for such a niche deck.  It’s surprisingly dominant in this meta, achieving a >60% winrate against every meta deck except for consume monsters, which it’s only slightly unfavored against.  The deck may look very weak to graveyard disruption (vicovaro medic, griffin), but ultimately the opponent doesn’t have a lot of windows to do so, and you can win after losing 1-2 queensguards, as they aren’t the entirety of your win condition.  Generally you Alzur’s Double Cross the operator out early, cloning a queensguard, then Bran the rest and start chaining.  You should be able to res all 4 queensguards in all 3 rounds, using Cerys as an additional round 3 finisher if needbe.  Cyprian Willy helps against nekkers and fulfills a 2nd ADC target which this deck needs. 


Crafting Order: Sigrdrifa -> Ermion -> Cyprian Willy -> Operator -> Alzur’s Double–Cross -> King of Burgers -> Geralt: Igni -> Coral -> Roach -> Cerys


If you have any of the following cards, you can replace any cards you don’t own with:

Gold replacements: Yennefer, Wild Boar of the Sea, Madman Lugos, Renew, Hjalmar, Geralt, Birna Bran.

Silver replacements: Decoy, Draig Bon–Dhu, Udalryk, Ocvist, Restore.


Check out this VIDEO GUIDE if you’re interested in watching me play this deck while commentating. 





Queensguard: The core of this deck.  The idea is to clone it with operator, giving your opponent a useless 3, while giving you a 4th queensguard to res every round and grow with your passive.  Make sure to save resses in your hand to bring these out in all 3 rounds, although sometimes you’re forced to bank on drawing into the resses.  Try to mulligan for exactly 1 of these in your hand, but 2 is OK if you have Ermion and no raiders.  You want to clone 1 with operator and discard the other 2 from your deck with Bran.


Priestess of Freya: Essential to the idea of the deck, as with basically all Skellige decks.  Res your queensguards, watch points fly onto the board.  Be aggressive about mulliganing this card away; more often than not it’s my first mulligan to achieve blacklisting value and you don’t want more than 2 medics (freya, KoB, sigrdrifa) in your opening hand at very most, as they’ll hurt your ability to push round 1. 


Clan an Craite Raider: Gives Bran a bit of extra value (as you typically discard 2 queensguards), and enables Ermion to achieve higher value as well.  In mulligan, note whether you have Ermion or not and mulligan these accordingly.  Mulligan them away if you don’t have him, but keep up to 2x queensguards/raiders if you do. 


Clan Heymaey Skald: 10 value card that also happens to be agile, which is great when you want to avoid overstacking rows.  Not too much to say about these.  They’re your best res targets in round 3 typically after queensguards. Use them to keep stuff out of scorch/igni ranges.  Play around lacerate and weather by positioning them in less populated rows. 


Clan Tordarroch Shieldsmith: Solid card.  Achieves 11 value if used in round 1, while more importantly staggering one of your queensguards from scorch/igni in round 3, which is ultimately its purpose.  In niche situations, can be used on roach (or a guaranteed res target like a clan haymaey skald) if you have no queensguard for whatever reason. 


Clan Brokvar Hunter: Honestly the reason this unit is in the deck is largely because it’s on the ranged row.  It’s very important especially with a deck that’s very unit-heavy to avoid row-stacking, and this plays around lacerate/weather value for that reason.  It can also deny key targets, of course, such as lubberkin, or to pull out nekkers.  Kill off neophytes vs scoia’tael to potentially swing for 9 total value if they end up using Saskia. Bonus points if you use it on a cloned queensguard vs Northern Realms and mess up their field medics with that. 


Clan Tordarroch Armorsmith: Amazing against weathers, trebuchets, manticore venom, and lacerate.  It’s not too often a 5 point play.  When playing vs trebuchets, try to align a bunch of damaged units together for this to heal. 




Operator: Part of the core idea of this deck.  Pull it with Alzur’s Double Cross (if needbe) to use early on a queensguard in hand.  Don’t do this turn 1 against scoia’tael if you went first though, as that would enable milva roach as operator is relentless.  Sometimes I end up using this on Sigdrifa if I don’t have queensguards, although that can be a pretty awkward situation to be in. 


Sigrdrifa: Skellige core silver.  Priestess of Freya on literal steroids.  I like to imagine her voice getting deeper as she gains strength.  Play her early in round 3 if possible, ressing king of beggers (into freya), or just directly ressing queensguards.  I find myself ressing Cyprian vs monsters quite often. 


Alzur’s Double–Cross: Essential to the idea of this deck.  Increases reliability of operator on round 1 which is completely essential.  After that, hits Cyprian Willy, which is still pretty great.  After that, it will roll between Armorsmith, Shieldsmith, and Hunter, which isn’t amazing but it’s still solid value.  Don’t bother ever mulliganing cyprian or operator away if you have all 3 in your hand.  Just use this to pull a bronze in that case.


King of Burgers: Very near uncuttable in skellige.  Synergy with freya’s is quite strong, and it actually allows you to blacklist more efficiently, as you can get rid of a 1x freya you see, and pull it out with this card.  If you have both KoB and Sigrdrifa in your hand, (and at least 2x freya left in deck), feel free to use KoB in round 2 and then Sigrdrifa him back for another freya in round 3 for massive value.  The reason Skellige loves playing medics is because they stack multiple bodies for the faction passive in round 3, and the same idea applies to King of Beggars.


Roach: Likewise amazing in Skellige.  Note in this deck, since it’s very graveyard reliant, you’re incurring less risk by having roach, as the opponent will have better tools to deny with their Cyprians, Griffins, Caretakers, and Katakans.  Keep roach in mind when deciding about your golds. It can be very important to try to pull roach in as many rounds as possible, so if you can spread out your golds effectively, do so.


Cyprian Willy: This card may seem like a questionable choice to some, but he’s absolutely amazing in this deck.  He counters monsters (by denying nekkers), which this deck needs help with, and can always be used to kill off a roach, which MANY decks are running.  Cyprian has been run by MANY decks in the top 100 in the past week, mostly scoia’tael, but he finds additional use here as he provides a secondary target for Alzur’s Double Cross to pull, which is quite important.  When used on nekkers, even if they survive the hit, they WILL NOT spawn a new nekker when they go to the graveyard, as 0 str units get banished instead of dying.




Coral: Uncuttable Skellige Gold.  This card is nutty.  Extends your reach very far, and even if you don’t have card advantage, generates great value.  Very worst case scenario, it achieves 6 more value than the opponent’s Clear Skies, which is still OK.  Against control scoia’tael, always put this in the ranged row.  Against henselt, use this on turn 1 in the siege row.  If they don’t have clear skies, proceed to punish them by picking off their towers with hunters.  Against monsters, if this can force dagon to clear skies, then you’re denying his ability to frost/rain, which is likewise super important. 


Geralt: Igni: Solid card all around.  Make sure to use it in round 1 against scoia’tael, drawing the round out to do so if you have to, because you might not be able to get value from this otherwise. 


Ermion: Solid value which gives you more access to your medics, which can be very important in some games.  When mulliganing, always note whether you have ermion or not.  If you do, keep up to 2 queensguards/raiders (beyond the 1x queensguard you always keep for operator).  If you don’t, mulligan them all away except 1x queensguard. 


Cerys: This card’s effect is almost useless, actually.  The ability to res her is not used in 99% of games, simply because you’re losing the valuable gold body in round 3, and you need to use a valuable silver res for it, which can always be used on something better, in many cases just queensguards actually.  That being said, it’s a very strong finisher (akin to madman lugos) in round 3, that generally achieves 14+ value. 


Unincluded Cards


Clan Dimun Pirate: Thinning isn’t inherently worth having a 5 point bronze, in addition to messing up your mulligan.


Draig Bon-Dhu: Card’s actually quite solid for this deck, providing a secondary operator target and a huge amount of value over 3 rounds.  It’s basically a silver version of a shieldsmith.  Ultimately, silver slots were too tight and it didn’t really enable my win conditions, particularly against monsters. 


Donar an Hindar: Not a huge fan of spies in general, and this one is overcosted and in a faction with tight silvers.  Oh also it blocks ADC which is super bad. 


Birna Bran: Honestly much better than Donar here, although I still find this archetype doesn’t really benefit from spies personally.


Regis: I actually think this card is amazing and can find a place in a lot of decks.  It can’t find a place in this one because you don’t need more round 3 help; it makes you more vulnerable to being 2 rounded which this deck is vulnerable to already.







Immediately note if you have Ermion or not.  If so, try to finish your mulligan with 1 queensguard and 1 of either an additional queensguard or clan an craite raider.  If not, try to finish your mulligan with 1 queensguard and no clan an craite raiders. If you drew way too many of both, particularly if you don’t have Ermion, make kicking those a priority. Otherwise, start blacklisting freyas aggressively; you want to start with no more than 2x medics (including KoB and sigrdrifa). If you have all 3 of Alzur’s Double Cross, Cyprian Willy, and Operator, don’t mulligan any of them and just use Alzur’s Double Cross to pull a bronze unit eventually.  Mulligan roach last. 


Round 1


Open by playing Bran on 2 queensguards and a raider (if you have 2 queensguards in hand, do 1 queensguard and 2 raiders).  Followup by playing operator on a queensguard, and then if you have it using Ermion to discard your cloned queensguard and an additional queensguard or raider typically.  Then play a queensguard from your hand, pulling the 2-3 in your graveyard out, and pick one to use 1-2 shieldsmiths on.  If at any point opponent plays nekker or roach, use Cyprian Willy on it to banish it.  When used on a nekker, even if the nekker is buffed, it WILL NOT pull a new nekker when it dies as 0 str units don’t go to the graveyard.  Play round 1 as deep as possible in most cases (which usually isn’t very deep, as your medics prevent you from committing).  You should in more cases than not expect to lose round 1, hopefully forcing the opponent to go down 1 card to do so, although this deck often loses round 1 on even cards and then wins the game.  If you can win round 1 with this deck, your opponent should no longer be able to win in most cases.


Round 2-3


If you did manage to win round 1, dump a king of beggars or if you don’t have it, priestess of freya to res your queensguards, and play additional shieldsmiths if you have them, and then pass and take it into round 3 with another res.  I assume you lost round 1 though as is typical with this deck, and will further proceed under that assumption.  Here your opponent’s plan will majorly depend on their deck.  Henselt will often pass immediately, or draw out the round.  If they make the mistake of doing the latter, you should be able to outpower them and take both remaining rounds.  Scoia’tael will often try to bleed you out in round 2, using your own 3 str queensguard, yaevinn, dragoons, etc to force out your hand.  Your typical line of play in this situation is actually to rush ahead in tempo with your queensguards and often cerys etc, passing when you feel they cannot beat you.  This is not something that most decks attempt to do in this situation, so you may need to really think about their potential to beat you.  You CANNOT let them bleed you out of your last medic.  However, this deck can very often beat scoia’tael even going 1-2 cards down in round 3.  Don’t worry about being bled out of your cards, your 25+ point res chain at the end will be very hard for them to top.  Against monsters, it’s a bit tricky.  If they won round 1, they should be able to force out all your cards round 2.  Hopefully you were able to deny their nekker strategy and have at least either coral or Igni to have kept their value at bay.  Try to keep ahead of them and as against scoia’tael, don’t let them bleed you out of your last medic.  Keep a hunter to hit grave hag if you’re going to have card advantage. 





Ultimately, as thorough as I try to make these guides, there’s only so many situations I can possibly cover. Feel free to check out my stream to possibly see me play the deck or to ask me any questions you might have.  

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2 thoughts on “Swim’s Anti-meta Queensguard (4600+ MMR)

  1. MareCZEk
    May 5, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    I am missing few important cards for this deck but I wanna try it, it looks like it might work pretty good… thanks for detailed guide 😉

  2. Will
    May 4, 2017 at 8:51 am

    So, I’ve been trying this deck, and I have to say, it’s not too bad. I do wonder, however, how effective this deck is against a pure weather monster deck.


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