Swim’s Machine Combo Deck List Guide – Open Beta, Weather Patch

Deck

-- 7,900
0
Melee
3
Ranged
0
Siege
121
Multiple
124
Total

Hey guys Swim here, with my Machine Combo deck I was playing on stream earlier today.  The deck was performing VERY well for me on ladder, and can accumulate a ridiculous amount of power to be able to shut down opponent’s strategies.  The idea of the list is to use Ballistas in conjunction with Reinforced Ballistas to decimate the entire enemy board, while setting up your own value with Siege Supports, Witchers, and Dandelion.  You can in round 3 elect to Neneke two witchers back into your deck, and then Shani the third one back as a finisher.  Special thanks to nalnal1 from my stream for his idea of using Witchers in Northern Realms, albeit in a very different deck.

Crafting Order

VesemirDeploy: Play a Bronze or Silver Alchemy card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back./EskelDeploy: Destroy a Bronze or Silver Enemy that is not Boosted./LambertDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 5 and Damage up to 4 copies of it on its side by 4. -> RoachWhenever you play a Gold card from your Hand (note: does not include Leaders), play this Unit from your Deck on a random row before that card resolves. -> NennekeDeploy: Shuffle up to 3 Bronze or Silver Units from your Graveyard into your Deck. -> ReinforcementPlay a Bronze or Silver Soldier, Machine, Officer or Support Unit from your Deck. Shuffle the others back. -> ShaniDeploy: Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Unit and add 2 Armor to it. -> DandelionDeploy: Boost up to 3 Units in your Deck by 2, then shuffle your Deck. -> Vernon RocheDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 3. If it was Destroyed, Spawn a Blue Stripes Commando on a random row and repeat the Deploy ability (one time only).

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

Gold Replacements

CiriAt the end of the Round, return this Unit to your Hand if you lost. Deploy: Gain 3 Armor.DijkstraDeploy: Play the top 2 cards from your Deck.Royal DecreePlay a Gold card from your Deck. If it is a Unit (but not an Agent or Double Agent), Boost it by 2. Shuffle the others back.Yennefer: The ConjurerEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Damage all the Highest Enemies by 1. Revenge: Damage all the Highest Enemies by 2.Bloody BaronIf this Unit is in your Deck at the end of the Round, place it on top. Whenever an Enemy is Destroyed during a Round while this Unit is in your Deck, Boost it by 1., Avallac'hDeploy: If neither player has passed, both players draw the top 2 cards from their Decks.Keira MetzDeploy: Spawn Aeromancy, Epidemic or Thunderbolt Potion.

Silver Replacements

DethmoldDeploy: Spawn Torrential Rain, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder.ThalerDoomed. Deploy: Look at the top 2 cards from your Deck. Draw 1 and shuffle the other back.BotchlingDeploy: Boost all Lubberkins in your Hand and Deck by 6. Deathwish: Play a Lubberkin from your Deck./LubberkinDeploy: Boost all Botchlings in your Hand and Deck by 6. Deathwish: Play a Botchling from your Deck.OperatorDoomed, Stubborn. Deploy: If neither player has passed, choose a Bronze Unit in your Hand and create a base copy of it in both players' Hands., Margarita Laux AntilleDeploy: Reset a Unit and toggle its Lock.

This deck’s BUDGET VERSION is VERY cheap, as this deck relies mostly on its solid bronze core more so than its silvers and golds. Obviously, it will be lacking the power of the full deck, and could in some cases have a tricky time finishing out the other rounds, but in most cases the sheer amount of power you’re able to output with your bronze combo will be enough to secure two rounds.


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.  🙂

Update 1

June 14:   –DethmoldDeploy: Spawn Torrential Rain, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder., –Keira MetzDeploy: Spawn Aeromancy, Epidemic or Thunderbolt Potion., +RoachWhenever you play a Gold card from your Hand (note: does not include Leaders), play this Unit from your Deck on a random row before that card resolves., +Vernon RocheDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 3. If it was Destroyed, Spawn a Blue Stripes Commando on a random row and repeat the Deploy ability (one time only).

Dethmold gives kind of a weak amount of utility given the lack of need for clears, but more importantly Roach provides a very strong Nenneke target, which is something the round 3 wanted most of the time.  I tried switching the Keira slot for many alternatives, but eventually decided on Vernon Roche, as it gives you additional round 3 power and synergizes with siege supports.  Try to use Roche in later rounds if possible, as he’s not generally needed in round 1.

Card Combos

Bronzes

Kaedweni Siege SupportWhenever an Ally appears, Boost it by 1. If it's a Machine, Boost it by 1 and add 1 Armor. Crewmen 1.: A HUGE enabler for this deck.  Generates you massive value, and it’s what allows you to push really hard for round 1.  Also synergizes with roche, witchers, roach, etc.  Play them on the row you have the least amount of “fixed” power on (typically siege or sometimes ranged), and stack that row with these and your machines.  As with all crewmen, play these adjacent to each other, to create “pockets” where you can get triple deploy effects.  Play 2-3 of these asap in round 1 (just after foltest), often pulling them out with scouts.  Against Radovid, you may want to play just 1 so as to not give them a great option for Radovid. Whenever an Ally appears, Boost it by 1. If it's a Machine, Boost it by 1 and add 1 Armor. Crewmen 1.

BallistaDeploy: Damage an Enemy and up to 4 other random Enemies with the same Power by 1. Fresh Crew: Repeat the Deploy ability.: A large part of your round 1 win condition, in most matchups.  Set units to the same value (~3) with these, and sometimes Reinforced Ballistas, and then play one in a “pocket” between two crewmen to slam the opponent’s board HARD.  Against monsters, I’d recommend actually popping their harpy eggs before slamming their 3 strength units, so that the harpies die too.  The trick with this card is knowing when to use it on high strength units (5-7+ str) to prep them to die when you slam their low strength units (1-3 str), or to avoid doing that and just start with their low strength units.  Make sure to be aware how many more ballista deploys you’re able to use in your entire hand (crewmen pockets, reinforcements, reaver scouts, etc), and play accordingly.

Reinforced BallistaDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 2. Fresh Crew: Repeat the Deploy ability.: Pretty great value card. You typically don’t need more than 1 in your opening hand, unless you’re in a matchup where Ballista gives you limited value (such as skellige).  They enable great value in terms of setting up your Ballistas, or in later rounds.  They can also be used to slam units for up to 6 value by playing them into crewmen pockets.  These make very quick work of axemen, bears, ocvist, and any other threat under 6 strength (note that this ignores armor completely).  However, while you can kill Arachas Behemoth in this way, typically you don’t need to worry about them as you kill all the 3 strength units with Ballistas as your round 1 finisher regardless.

Blue Stripes ScoutDeploy: Boost this Unit and all Bronze Loyal Temerian Units with the same Power in your Hand, Deck and on your side of the Board by 1. Crewmen 1.: Your anti-weather, in addition to a nice crewman alternative in later rounds, as you often might not have any Siege Supports going into later rounds.  In terms of countering weather, be sure to play more Kaedweni Siege Supports BEFORE trying to clear weather, as there will always be more weather to clear and you’d like to have Siege Supports down before fighting to clear it.  You can mulligan all of these in round 1 in matchups where weather isnt anticipated (outside of Dagon, Eredin, or Eithne), although you can keep 1 if you have no Kaedweni Siege Supports.

Reaver ScoutDeploy: Choose a different Bronze Ally and play a copy of it from your Deck.: Fantastic Northern Realms card in general.  Huge utility here as it gives you better dominion over your Siege Supports, and the swarm aspect here synergizes with Foltest.  This will be your Reinforcements target decently often, when you don’t need Nenneke or anything that you don’t already have on the board.

Silvers

VesemirDeploy: Play a Bronze or Silver Alchemy card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back./EskelDeploy: Destroy a Bronze or Silver Enemy that is not Boosted./LambertDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 5 and Damage up to 4 copies of it on its side by 4.: The witchers make a pretty fantastic addition to this deck. They have huge synergy with Dandelion, Foltest, Nenneke + Shani, as well as providing great finishers which this deck has been in need of.  You can play these on round 1 if needbe, although it’s better to save them for later rounds if possible.  Try to keep Eskel or Lambert in your hand over Vesemir, to allow you to Dandelion and stay staggered.  I’ll often play these on round 2 (if I have Nenneke and Shani), then in round 3 I’ll Nenneke two witchers and roach, and then shani the last witchers to pull everything out. Deploy: Play a Bronze or Silver Alchemy card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back.

RoachWhenever you play a Gold card from your Hand (note: does not include Leaders), play this Unit from your Deck on a random row before that card resolves.: Even with only 4 points, still finds a pretty good use in this list.  If you buff this card with Dandelion, it gets pulled out directly after resulting in a 15 point play.  Typically you might buff roach and both witchers with Dandelion, then play witchers on round 2 if you have both nenneke and shani, then on round 3 you can nenneke roach, and two witchers, to pull them all out with Shani.  Overall great synergy with dandelion and Nenneke.

NennekeDeploy: Shuffle up to 3 Bronze or Silver Units from your Graveyard into your Deck.: Great card that allows you to re-use your resources.  Namely, you want to use this card in most cases on roach and 2 witchers, if you have Shani to resurrect the third, although you can also use it on units you want to pull from reaver scouts, or possibly on all 3 witchers if you don’t have Shani and hope to draw into them later. This card will be your most common Reinforcement target.

ReinforcementPlay a Bronze or Silver Soldier, Machine, Officer or Support Unit from your Deck. Shuffle the others back.: This card is honestly pretty bonkers.  It’s basically Nature’s Gift for units and units are fundamentally absurdly better than spells.  You’ll note this deck has basically just one silver Reinforcement target, yet still runs it, because the ability to play any bronze/silver unit you want is extremely powerful.  Use this for Nenneke if you need her, although otherwise you often pull Reaver Scouts, Kaedweni Siege Supports, Blue Stripes Scouts, or possibly even Witchers if you can’t draw them.

Golds

Philippa EilhartDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 5, then Damage random Enemies by 4, 3, 2 and 1. The same Enemy cannot be Damaged twice in a row.: This card is actually ridiculous.  I can’t imagine playing Northern Realms without this card, regardless of deck. Note that if this bounces between 2 units, it deals 9 to the first target and 6 to the second.  Thus, it’s 100% reliable to use this as not just 5 points of removal, but even up to 9 in the early turns of a round, all on top of being worth 16 points.  Try to avoid using this card in round 1 if possible, although if an opportunity presents itself with a great removal target, take it.  Don’t be afraid to use this on 2 savage bears, for example.  Deploy: Damage an Enemy by 5, then Damage random Enemies by 4, 3, 2 and 1. The same Enemy cannot be Damaged twice in a row.

DandelionDeploy: Boost up to 3 Units in your Deck by 2, then shuffle your Deck.: High value Northern Realms card.  Typically you use it on roach and 2 witchers, although you can use it on 3 witchers if you haven’t drawn any, and in a pinch you can use it on any cards you plan to pull out with reaver scout. Pretty effective way to generate value.  Play it round 1 as a way to put points into later rounds.

ShaniDeploy: Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Unit and add 2 Armor to it.: Great finisher card here.  Typically you use it on round 3 to get back a witcher after sending 2 of them back to your deck.  At a worst case scenario, she often represents a Kaedweni Siege Support in a round where it generates decent value.  Note that in some games you may res Nenneke; if you do and send back roach with Nenneke, the roach will be pulled out immediately by the Shani even though you already played it.

Vernon RocheDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 3. If it was Destroyed, Spawn a Blue Stripes Commando on a random row and repeat the Deploy ability (one time only).: Pretty great inclusion to this list.  Be ware that you typically don’t want to use this in round 1 in this list.  You’re better off if possible securing your round 1 with machines, and using this as a round 2/3 finisher.  Right now there’s many low str units in later rounds to enable this to see value, although outside of that option, you can set enemy units to 3 str with tools such as Reinforced Ballista, Phillipa Eilhart, or Ballista.

Unincluded Cards

This section is simply for explaining why many cards that look very fitting in this list aren’t run, and in many cases aren’t actually as great here as they seem.

John NatalisDeploy: Play a Bronze or Silver Tactics card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back.: While this card seems like a major enabler for the machine archetype, it ultimately provides very little of what machines actually want from their gold slots.  It’s contingent on running more machines than you actually want to, and it can only gain you value in a late round 1 scenario where you want to swing for 20+ points, which should basically never happen with this deck, and even if it did, it provides more control than you typically need.  This card is fundamentally hugely antisynergistic with how the machine archetype actually plays.

Yennefer: The ConjurerEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Damage all the Highest Enemies by 1. Revenge: Damage all the Highest Enemies by 2.: Another card that looks super synergistic with this list but falls short in reality.  While it can set up your Ballistas, you don’t really want your golds in this list to help secure your round 1, and instead you want them to act as finishers; effectively supplementing your bronzes instead of being redundant with them.  It’s very important to realize when something that looks like synergy is in fact somewhat of a redundancy instead.  All that aside, this card is still a decent budget replacement.

DijkstraDeploy: Play the top 2 cards from your Deck.: Honestly not awful, but way too random.

Geralt: IgniDeploy: Destroy all the Highest Units on the opposite row if that row totals 25 or more Power.: Achieves most of its value in round 1, which this deck doesnt want to use its golds for; ultimately meets the same fate as Yen:Con, John Natalis, etc.

Bloody BaronIf this Unit is in your Deck at the end of the Round, place it on top. Whenever an Enemy is Destroyed during a Round while this Unit is in your Deck, Boost it by 1.: Too unreliable. The fact that its currently bugged to be the top card of your deck starting the game, and in conjunction with it not getting buffed in your hand makes it ultimately a bit win-more here.  While it’s very true that in many cases the card can reach 20 or so value, there are too many more cases where it’s 6.

Prince StennisDeploy: Gain 3 Armor. Play the top Loyal Bronze or Silver Unit from your Deck and give it 5 Armor.: Honestly this card is just kind of bad.  The numbers on this card don’t really do enough for a silver.  Again, it incentivizes you to run more machines than any competitive deck should run, and even then the payout isn’t great, and it’s vulnerable to control.

Kaedweni Siege Platform: This card’s…not great.  On paper it looks OK, but when you compare it to reaver scout, it falls short.  Crewman tags are definitely useful, although the fact that if you want the crewman in round 3 with no other sources, you will be wasting this card’s deploy effect, and its base strength isn’t great.  Somehow just feels much stronger than it objectively ends up being.

TrebuchetDeploy: Damage 3 adjacent Enemies by 1. Fresh Crew: Increase the Damage dealt by 1.: Not really much room for this.  Ends up giving you more removal options than you ultimately end up needing here, and you get by just fine with your Ballistas and Reinforced Ballistas.

Reaver HunterDeploy or Bond: Boost all copies of this Unit in your Hand, Deck and on your side of the Board by 1.: Card’s good but this deck can’t find the bronze synergy cards to make it work, and instead likes to finish with the witcher combo.

Reinforced Siege TowerDeploy: Boost self by 2. Fresh Crew: Repeat the Deploy ability.: Hard to find room for.  Typically it’s proper to evaluate machines based on getting their crewmen off once, as the triple-deploy takes crewmen pockets, which you have a finite amount of.  Therefore, it plays most commonly as a 9 that gives a bit of armor, which honestly isn’t great.  Can be run as a 1x instead of the third scout, maybe.

Mulligan

Take note of the matchup.  If weather, start by blacklisting any superfluous Reinforced Ballistas (in weather matchups you only need 1), otherwise drop any Blue Stripes Scouts.  Take note of the number of witchers you have in your starting hand.  If 2, remove one with your second mulligan, then proceed to remove a third additional card if you need to.  If 1, if you mulligan twice and don’t find a second, decline the third mulligan.  If 3, remove both the extraneous ones with your 2nd and 3rd mulligan.  Prioritize keeping Eskel and Lambert in hand over Vesemir, as you want to be able to stagger with Dandelion.  Overall this list’s mulligan is pretty straightforward.

Round 1

Open with Foltest turn 1 as always.  Then, start playing out Kaedweni Siege supports, typically playing them in the Siege row, as it’s your least-occupied row, making sure to always keep your crewmen adjacent to each other, to create “pockets” where you can play a machine between them for a one-time triple deploy effect.  Note that a large part about playing this deck is to know when to put machines between 2 crewmen for triple deploy, and when to save the opportunity for later that round, as you will only be able to utilize a couple triple-deploys throughout the round. Typically play 2-3 Kaedweni Siege Supports before starting to deploy your machines.  If you don’t have any Siege Supports in hand, you might need to start with a Blue Stripes Scout to get 1 crewman down, as it’s very important to have one down for all the machines you play.  Use Reinforced Ballistas to keep threats down (note it goes through armor) and to align units down to 3-5 strength for the Ballistas to start destroying.  Typically you want to avoid using your triple deploys for these, unless you need to kill something important or it allows you to align things just right.  Look for an opening to play Phillipa: Keep in mind that if there are 2 units that she bounces between, she’ll deal 9 to the initial target and 6 to the secondary target.  So if you need to kill something at 6, use her on the second unit to either kill them both or swing for 16 while removing a high value target.  Don’t be afraid to use her to kill 2 savage bears, etc.

When the round is 4-6 turns deep, you’re normally able to start playing Ballistas to absolutely smash the opponent’s board of aligned units.  Note that some of the most important decisions you need to make with this deck are about what to start hitting with Ballista’s.  If you have enough Ballista shots and don’t need the immediate tempo, you can play a bit of a slower game, starting your ballistas at something higher like a 7, and working your way down to kill the entire board.  However, sometimes, you’ll need to play them much more aggressively, and ignore units that are 2-3+ points higher than the group.  You can slow down the round by playing Dandelion on Witchers if you want, and don’t be afraid to play your witchers if you need to for the round, particularly if you have either Neneke or Shani in hand.  This deck so excels at being able to win round 1 against basically any strategy, so at a worst case your opponent will be able to force you out of valuable options such as buffed witchers, etc

Rounds 2-3

You may elect to give up round 2 quickly here, although if you do have Shani, Neneke (or reinforcements), and Witchers, you could elect to force cards out of your opponent with witchers here, to then reuse them in round 3.  Playing a single Crewman (often a scout) enables your Reinforced Ballistas to be very easy 10 point plays, with removal options, which are pretty strong.  Finish with Witchers, and possibly other high value cards like Phillipa or Vernon Roche. Your typical combo (if you have the pieces) is Nenneke to return 2 witchers and roach, and then use shani to resummon all your witchers and roach.  Note that if you ever find yourself having to Shani your Nenneke, returning roach to your deck with it will resummon roach with the same chain from the Shani.  Ultimately, as with any decks, for the most part, rounds 2 and 3 will in many ways be a culmination of how round 1 went, and you’ll have a very easy time if you were able to assert your presence hard enough in round 1.

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15 thoughts on “Swim’s Machine Combo Deck List Guide – Open Beta, Weather Patch

  1. Rakun94
    July 7, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Somewhat weak compared to the value before the update, but still fun and does the job. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Ozjohnd
    June 25, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I started to see a number of powerful machine decks in play about a week or so ago, and had not ever played one before so I was clueless how to counter.

    This is a fun deck to play … have spent some of the weekend using this deck to understand its gameplay, strengths and weaknesses. Popping a second Witcher trio as the last card in Round 3 has won me a number of games.

    Also appreciate the write-up on the deck, too many just post decks with no strategy, and only sometimes a YouTube link .. you provide both, thank you. Have subs’ed your YouTube channel.

    Reply
  3. Nagandrea
    June 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    I wonder what people think about Alzur’s Double-Cross? I don’t have Neneke yet so I tried it and managed to pull the witchers last round with no problems, after dande and foltest you end up with 31 power, 13+9+9, and don’t have to keep a Watcher in hand.

    If you have Neneke, how consistent do you think it’d be to run both over, say, Reinforcement (which I also don’t have, tihi)? Witchers normally, when Neneke is in hand, next turn Neneke them, then Alzur’s them again? 3 cards needed for 2 turns of witchers. Keep in mind that Nenneke is the only card with more str than number 1 Witcher. Pre-Edit: Maybe no Roach, reinforcement the witchers, next turn nenneke and alzur’s? Also 3 cards and you STILL don’t need them in your hand.

    Reply
  4. ojehosaphat
    June 22, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Awesome deck. One thing I’ll note is that I had real trouble keeping my Siege Supports alive, so I threw in a couple Quen Sign cards to help them out and my win rate has increased dramatically since. I am missing some of the golds but the greater reliance on bronzes really make this a nice, relatively cheap deck. Also, grade A write-ups and analyses on all your decks. Much appreciated.

    Reply
  5. Croakperson
    June 21, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Great deck and great guide! I am currently running a few different variations on the ladder, but I’m not sure yet what works best. Maybe I should finally craft Dandelion, because I often find myself losing only because of a few points at the very end…

    Having Thaler in the deck helps a lot, imo, so you can get card advantage over your opponent and play the Shani-witcher-res-combo at the very and without the enemy ruining everything with their last card (or Kambi -.-).

    Also, I just uploaded a video of the very barebones version of the deck (only 740 scraps) for beginners. So if you’re new to the game you might want to check that out 🙂
    https://youtu.be/OU6y9-Gu4lE

    Reply
  6. Max
    June 21, 2017 at 9:48 am

    – 3400 scraps,- 500 MMR THX……..

    Reply
  7. Madmax171068
    June 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    thank you Swim, for sharing your knowledge with us!!!

    Reply
  8. Darwing
    June 19, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Swim, you put a ton of thought and time into these decks, than you for sharing your information and expertise with the explanations and demonstrations!

    Reply
  9. Karthikjusme
    June 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I dont have Vernon Roche. What Can i Replace it with?

    Reply
    • erelghania
      June 22, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      You can replace it with triss.
      Triss has the same purpose of value as vernon and sometimes can be more beneficial if the enemy has units above 3 strength.

      Reply
  10. fantoj1
    June 17, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Good deck but, but i think that Dijkstra is better than Shani after prove it.

    Reply
  11. WCKD18
    June 16, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Awesome deck – really fun to play and incredibly powerful! Especially great now since Monsters are really popular. Hats off to Swim.

    Reply
  12. SeaEagull
    June 16, 2017 at 11:01 am

    My friend uses this deck, and my god, is it potent. I have tried multiple card combos and factions to counter it, but I just couldn’t do it. Right now, this might be one of the most powerful decks in the game.

    Reply
  13. Cylee6
    June 16, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Agree with the previous comment. This is a great deck; watch the video or just start playing around with it. It’s got a good win rate and it just destroys monster decks. Use the Ballista and Reinforced Ballista to line up about 10-15 “3” strength Monsters and just obliterate 45+ points of value with a triple Ballista or Kiera Metz’s Epidemic. Skellige and the wounding axemen/bears are probably the hardest matchup due to lack of targets, so don’t be afraid to knock those pieces out early and make them use a res on them.

    Reply
  14. Craigle
    June 15, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    This deck is really fun. I highly recommend this

    Reply

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