Swim’s Axemen Spellige Deck List Guide (Top 5 Global Rank) – Open Beta

Deck

-- 6,250
9
Melee
22
Ranged
5
Siege
45
Multiple
81
Total

Hey guys Swim here, with my current iteration of my wounding “spellige” deck that I created and climbed with on stream yesterday.  The deck basically uses frost and stammelfords in conjunction with axemen to achieve huge value, and often ends up 2-rounding opponents.  After going through some iterations, the deck was able to reach top 5 global.

Crafting Order

OperatorDeploy: Choose a Bronze Unit in your Hand and create a base copy of it in both players' Hands. -> GremistDeploy: Spawn Impenetrable Fog, Clear Skies or Bloodcurdling Roar. -> MorkvargWhenever this Unit is Discarded or Destroyed, Resurrect it and Weaken it by half its Power (rounding up). -> RoachWhenever you play a Gold Unit from your Hand, play Roach from your Deck on a random row before that Unit's Deploy ability resolves. -> Donar an HindarVeteran 1. Deploy: Toggle a Unit's Lock. Discard a random Bronze card from your opponent's Deck to your Graveyard. -> HjalmarDeploy: Spawn the Lord of Undvik on the leftmost side of the opposite row. -> Avallac'hDeploy: If neither player has passed, both players draw the top 2 cards from their Deck. -> Wild Boar of the SeaEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Strengthen the Unit to the left by 1 and Damage the Unit to the right by 1. -> RenewResurrect a Gold Unit from your Graveyard.

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

Gold Replacements

CoralDeploy: Pick a Unit and Damage all Units on its row by half their Power (rounding up and ignoring Armor). Regis: Higher VampireDeploy: Look at 3 random Bronze Units from your opponent's Deck. Consume 1, Boost self by base Power of the consumed Unit, then shuffle the others back. Yennefer: The ConjurerEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Damage all the Highest Enemies by 1. Geralt: AardDeploy: Push 5 adjacent Enemies to the row above them and Damage them by 2. CiriAt the end of the Round, return this Unit to your Hand if you lost. YenneferDeploy: Spawn a Unicorn or a Chironex. Geralt: IgniDeploy: Destroy all the Highest Units on the opposite row if that row totals 20 or more Power. Ragh Nar RoogApply Ragh Nar Roog to all rows on your opponent's side. Ragh Nar Roog: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Highest Units on the row by 2. /DroughtApply Drought to all rows on your opponent's side. Drought: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Lowest Units on the row by 2. , VabjornEvery turn, at the end of your turn, Damage by 2 every Damaged Enemy with 2 Power or less. , Madman LugosDeploy: Discard a Bronze Unit from your Deck and Damage a Unit by the Discarded Unit's base Power. (replace hunter with raider).

Silver Replacements

UdalrykDeploy: Draw the top 2 cards from your Deck. Keep one and Discard the other. White FrostApply Frost to a row on your opponent's side and the row above it. Frost: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Lowest Units on the row by 2. Marching OrdersBoost one of the Lowest Bronze or Silver Units in your Deck by 2 and play it. Alzur's Double CrossBoost one of the Highest Bronze or Silver Units in your Deck by 2 and play it. , SigrdrifaDeploy: Resurrect a Unit. , AeromancyPlay a Bronze or Silver Weather card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back into your Deck. , Blueboy LugosVeteran 1. Deploy: Spawn a Spectral Whale on your opponent's side. .

This deck’s BUDGET VERSION actually works very well, as the deck is oriented around its core bronze slots with a lesser reliance on silvers and golds.  Very powerful for only relying a couple big crafts from the starter collection.

Check out my VIDEO GUIDE if you’re interested in watching me play this deck with commentary, or free to check out my stream to see me create more decks like this, or to ask me any questions.  🙂

Card Combos

Bronzes

Clan Tuirseach AxemanWhenever an Enemy is Damaged, Boost self by 1. Deploy: Gain 2 Armor. : Obviously a huge enabler of this list. Frost and especially stammelford’s tremors are incredibly powerful bronzes, and these cards allow you to make the most out of them.  These are your operator targets, as well.  In round 1, play them early (after morkvarg and boar), and start frosting.  Generally you play one, then frost, then play another one, to stagger them against igni/scorch. I typically play one to the left of morkvarg and one on the ranged row.  Don’t play more than 2 of these in round one in most cases; your objective is to force them out of round 1 and then take round 2 or 3 super long (often instant passing on 2 but sometimes trying to 2-round).

Damage up to 6 random Enemies by 2.

Stammelford's TremorsDamage up to 6 random Enemies by 2. : This card is pretty nutty.  This deck is almost based around this card more than it is axeman.  The ability for this card to so easily achieve 16 value in long rounds is incredible for a bronze, and axemen only make that better.  Try to have ~1 in opening hand, but opt for as many as possible in round 2-3, provided they’re looking long which they should.

Clan Drummond ShieldmaidenDeploy: Damage a Unit by 2. If it was already Damaged, play a Clan Drummond Shieldmaiden from your Deck. : DO NOT play this card in round 1 if at all possible.  This card is meant to be saved for round 3 typically, which means mulligan away all copies on round 1 typically, unless there are more important mulligan targets, and can be considered using on 2 if you lost round 1 or if you’re trying to 2-round the opponent.  Many times you’ll have to play this before the Avallac’h.

Biting FrostApply Frost to a row on your opponent's side. Frost: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Lowest Units on the row by 2. : Solid weather option for this list.  Triggers axemen more than the others, otherwise fog would also be a consideration.  Play this somewhat early, typically when you have 1 axemen already on the board, although certain boardstates incentivize you to play frost before any axemen are on board, if you need to catch up quickly and start putting pressure on them and assume it won’t be cleared immediately.

Priestess of FreyaDeploy: Resurrect a Bronze Unit. : Re-use your axemen, either in later rounds or if they get destroyed.  Can also res your hunter, or the card discarded by Donar.  Mulligan them away in round 1, but often look for them later as additional options to re-use any axemen you may commit to round 1.

Clan Brokvar HunterWhenever a Unit adjacent to this Unit is Damaged, Strengthen self by 1. Deploy: Damage a Unit by 3. : Bit of a filler card for the slot.  Achieves pretty decent value as the card often does, and can enable shieldmaidens in otherwise awkward scenarios.

Silvers

OperatorDeploy: Choose a Bronze Unit in your Hand and create a base copy of it in both players' Hands. : Important card in this list, as axemen are major enablers and they can often be in short supply.  Note that while this is your first target from crach, you actually would prefer to pull morkvarg with him as morkvarg can more fully benefit from the base str buff.  Hopefully you end up with operator in hand and are able to do that, but if not you always have the reliable operator for more axemen.  In some niche scenarios you can use it on a shieldmaiden to mulligan back, but even if this opportunity presents itself I would recommend waiting for another round to find an axeman. Deploy: Choose a Bronze Unit in your Hand and create a base copy of it in both players' Hands.

MorkvargWhenever this Unit is Discarded or Destroyed, Resurrect it and Weaken it by half its Power (rounding up). : 2nd target for crach to pull. Hopefully you draw operator, and are able to mulligan away this card and pull it from crach early.  Also provides a pretty great wild boar target.  Play this very early, and play wild boar to the right of it.  Be sure to put crach to the right of that as well, so that if the morkvarg dies, the boar doesn’t start damaging it.  If morkvarg either finds itself killed and on the wrong side of the boar, at very low hp compared to its base, or just locked, use decoy on him to solve any of these problems, in addition to increasing his base strength.

DecoyReturn an Ally to your Hand, Boost it by 3 and play it. : Huge utility for unlocking or healing your cards or re-using gremist, freya, or donar.  Has a hard time not finding value throughout a match.  If morkvarg either finds itself killed and on the wrong side of the boar, at very low hp compared to its base, or just locked, use decoy on him to solve any of these problems, in addition to increasing his base strength.

GremistDeploy: Spawn Impenetrable Fog, Clear Skies or Bloodcurdling Roar. : Pretty auto-include in Skellige.  Provides insane utility, and all 3 of his spells are very useful at different times.  I end up fogging as a default with him, although you can also clear any threatening weather or possibly roar, although you generally gain more value from fog with this deck than roar for the most part.  However, Roar can actually be used to “unlock” one of your axemen, by sacrificing it and then ressing it with a Freya.

Donar an HindarVeteran 1. Deploy: Toggle a Unit's Lock. Discard a random Bronze card from your opponent's Deck to your Graveyard. : Your lock/unlock utility.  Mostly useful to remove locks from your own Morkvarg or Axemen, although if that’s not needed you can always use him aggressively.  Sometimes you can gain some utility from aggressively discarding a useful bronze from the opponent, or by enabling your freya on such a bronze, although this seldom happens.

RoachWhenever you play a Gold Unit from your Hand, play Roach from your Deck on a random row before that Unit's Deploy ability resolves. : Roach might seem like a bit of a strange inclusion in this list, but is actually quite important for tempo reasons.  Typically this list operates in a very snowball-y manner, playing cards like axemen, frost, and wild boar that each take several turns before they start giving even reasonable value.  While this snowball fashion is amazing for the long round 3, it can leave you vulnerable to passes in round 1, which the extra points from roach really help with.  Beware that it can be drawn from Avallac’h now that roach’s priority has been changed.  It also might randomly go to the right side of wild boar, which is why crach is played on the right side of boar.

Golds

HjalmarDeploy: Spawn the Lord of Undvik on the leftmost side of the opposite row. : VERY strong gold card in this deck.  Play it in the long round 3, typically into frost, as a way to enable tremors, trigger axemen, and ultimately provide huge value.  Be very aware of the fact that you can choose exactly where the lord of undvik spawns, as blocking off opponent’s strategies such as wild boar is very valuable when it works. You should always have a very easy time killing the undvik, as frost, stammelfords, and shieldmaiden are all great resources to be able to deal damage to it.  Avoid playing this card round 1 if possible, unless you have renew and no other golds. Deploy: Spawn the Lord of Undvik on the leftmost side of the opposite row.

Avallac'hDeploy: If neither player has passed, both players draw the top 2 cards from their Deck. : Despite not being a huge fan of this card in general, it does achieve really significant value in this list.  You can play the card very early in round 1 (often after morkvarg and boar) to force the opponent to draw cards they don’t want to draw into yet.  If you have to go first against Nilfgaard, you can open with Avallac’h to force them to draw Imperial Golems.  It also increases the reliability of your combo, as not drawing into axemen can be a significant lose condition for this deck.  Lastly, the ability to renew this card is very powerful against decks that thin aggressively, most notably nilfgaard, as forcing them to draw 4 times will very often make them overdraw.

RenewResurrect a Gold Unit from your Graveyard. : A very underrated card that gives you the ability to re-use key cards throughout the game.  Using it on Avallac’h can sometimes force the opponent to overdraw, and often times an opponent might try to deny your wild boar value by passing, only to have it re-summoned in the next round.  Lastly, the ability to resurrect your opponent’s golds can prove quite powerful sometimes; e.g. if your opponent uses King Bran on a Cerys, renewing that on round 1 can generate great value.

Wild Boar of the SeaEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Strengthen the Unit to the left by 1 and Damage the Unit to the right by 1. : Generates very great value in round 1 by buffing morkvarg’s base strength.  Play it to the right of Morkvarg but to the left of Crach, so that it doesn’t damage roach if roach is pulled to the melee row.  If the opponent can’t deal with the boar and elects to pass, you can Renew it in round 2 for the same effect.

Unincluded Cards

Yennefer: The ConjurerEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Damage all the Highest Enemies by 1. : This card not being in this list might seem a bit surprising to many players, especially oldschool axemen players, but it provides a bit of an unnecessary amount of control and is also way too slow; this deck already has so many tools that require it to build up momentum and doesn’t need more of them.  Somewhat win-more in that regard as well.

CiriAt the end of the Round, return this Unit to your Hand if you lost. : Quite good actually but list can lack the tempo to get full value out of her.  Possible I may actually switch to including this card in an update.

Geralt: IgniDeploy: Destroy all the Highest Units on the opposite row if that row totals 20 or more Power. : Pretty solid option here as well.  Can deal with high-health threats with only minor overlap with your frost and tremors.  Possible I may actually switch to including this card in an update.

CoralDeploy: Pick a Unit and Damage all Units on its row by half their Power (rounding up and ignoring Armor). : On the same level as Igni here.  While you’d rather in most cases kill a high str target than to halve them all, this card has huge axemen synergy in a way that igni doesn’t.  Possible I may actually switch to including this card in an update.

Ragh Nar RoogApply Ragh Nar Roog to all rows on your opponent's side. Ragh Nar Roog: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Highest Units on the row by 2. /DroughtApply Drought to all rows on your opponent's side. Drought: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Lowest Units on the row by 2. : Pretty redundant with the weathers this list is already putting down.  Honestly still a very solid budget option though.

VabjornEvery turn, at the end of your turn, Damage by 2 every Damaged Enemy with 2 Power or less. : Card’s…really not great, unfortunately.  Given frost effects, this card often ends up killing things that would have died to frost anyway.  Honestly still a solid budget option though.

Harald the CrippleSpawn Harald the Cripple Deploy: Damage a Unit by 5. If this Destroys it, repeat this ability with Damage Power reduced by 1. : Pretty terrible unfortunately, and most of the reason why most axemen decks don’t work.  While it has synergy with axemen, it has antisynergy with frost and I can use my bronze slots for these kinds of effects.

Blueboy LugosVeteran 1. Deploy: Spawn a Spectral Whale on your opponent's side. : Not great unfortunately, it’s too counterable, provides effects that are made redundant by some of your bronze options, and dies to frost and stammelford’s anyway.  Can be run as a budget option in a pinch.

White FrostApply Frost to a row on your opponent's side and the row above it. Frost: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage one of the Lowest Units on the row by 2. : Honestly this card should be great on paper but most decks don’t occupy the ranged row, which is the only row this card always has to target.  Ends up being a bronze frost too often.  Still a close consideration given how valuable frost is in this list.

UdalrykDeploy: Draw the top 2 cards from your Deck. Keep one and Discard the other. : While this card seems very good for this list as it dies to frost and stammelfords, and provides more strength to axemen, as well as thinning through your deck to find your combo pieces, I found it to be a bit win-more.  Bad in round 1 which is what this deck needs more presence in, and it has insane anti-synergy with shieldmaidens as you have to choose to discard them or keep them in your hand, neither of which you often want.  All that aside, still a very legit budget consideration and I may change my mind about him.

SigrdrifaDeploy: Resurrect a Unit. : Not a lot of great silvers to res honestly, and resses in this decktype are generally worth a lot less as well.  Still a solid budget consideration.

Mulligan

Open by blacklisting shieldmaidens and freyas, as we want to use those in later rounds.  If possible, get rid of all copies of those, although also be wary that roach, as well as morkvarg (if you have operator in hand) also need to be kicked out of the hand.  Keep morkvarg in hand if you don’t have operator but also have wild boar.  Next, look to get rid of superfluous stammelford’s tremors or hunter; we don’t want more than 1-2 tremors going into round 1 (although we want all we can draw later), and we can kick the Brokvar hunter as well if we have nothing else.  Lastly, consider dropping Renew if you have no other golds in hand.

Round 1 

The objective with this deck’s round 1 is to use non-crucial resources to force the opponent out of the round.  Basically, you want to win round 1 quickly and without committing more than ~2 axemen, and then force a very long round 3 that decides the game, as your deck excels in long rounds.  Then go into round 2, either pass immediately or maybe if you have a morkvarg + wild boar and a powerful hand, you can consider playing round 2 as your round 3.  Following is your round 1 plan, deviate from it as necessary but ultimately your goal here is to win round 1, even if it means going 2 cards down.

If you’re going first against Nilfgaard, consider using Avallac’h as your opening play to force them to draw Imperial Golems.  Otherwise, open by playing Crach onto Morkvarg (if you have operator in hand), being sure to place morkvarg to the left of crach.  Then play Boar between them, if you have it, and then you can start playing axemen.  Play your first axeman (unless it’s also your last one, in which case operator it first, via crach if needbe) on the left side of the melee row, so that if Morkvarg dies your boar still has a target.  If morkvarg either finds itself killed and on the wrong side of the boar, at very low hp compared to its base, or just locked, use decoy on him to solve any of these problems, in addition to increasing his base strength.  At this point I often find myself frosting, although you can frost earlier if you need to put more pressure on, although you generally expect them to clear it immediately and would rather have an axeman on the board first. Try to play your 2nd axeman on the ranged row unless you have yet to play operator and are playing around Ragh Nar Roog and Rot Tossers, in which case put it to the left of the first.  Your optimal formation will look something like this:

Avoid if possible playing more than 1 frost at a time, as the opponent will often be waiting for you to commit to a 2nd frost to clear them both.  At this point, you can often force out the round using a stammelford’s tremors.  Try not to commit more than 2 axemen into this round as you’ll generally need 2-3 in round 3 to be able to close out the game.  If your axemen or morkvarg get locked, you can unlock them with decoy, donar, or possibly unlock axeman with Gremist’s Roar to sacrifice it and then resurrect it with freya, unlocked.  Try to avoid playing Hjalmar in round 1, unless you have renew and no other golds, or the opponent forces it out of you late round 1, as you’d rather have him in round 3.  Ultimately, unless the deck has a very bad draw (which cards like Avallac’h and Operator help substantially with), you should be able to take round 1, although your low-tempo can sometimes force you to go 2 cards down to that end.  Against Nilfgaard you may have to get a huge distance ahead to get them to pass as the ability to swing for 30+ points with peter is very strong.

Rounds 2-3

As previously mentioned, barring any sort of really bad hand, you should be able to force out round 1.  In most cases, round 2 is an instant-pass, although you can play into round 2 if you have Morkvarg, Wild Boar, and all the tools in your hand that you need to be able to force out the game (2+ stammelfords, 1-2 frosts, 1 shieldmaiden, etc).  Either way, decide whether 2 or 3 will be your long all-in round, and play for that.  Order of play is pretty straightforward and similar to previous.  Develop axemen and establish one row of frost once it’s apparent the best row for you to frost.  As before, be very wary of committing multiple frosts at once; you expect them to be waiting on a clear; as long as you hold onto your additional frosts, you force him to hold onto his clear while your first frost just eats away at him.  Play Hjalmar, hopefully into frost, and noting that as mentioned in his section above you can control where on the row the Lord of Undvik spawns.  It should be no hard task to kill the Undvik using your frost, stammelfords, and shieldmaidens.  Play (hopefully multiple) stammelfords last as a huge finisher, swinging for massive value even if you only have 1x axeman.  It’s VERY hard to lose a long round 3 with this list even with a slightly mediocre hand.

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