Swim’s Open Beta Queensguards (Updated)


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It’s that time again. This is my new-and-improved Queensguards list for the new meta of open beta! The deck works VERY well, and while it is counterable, until the meta settles this list is incredible. The savage bears and shieldmaidens are both great additions to this deck; shieldmaidens providing huge value and the savage bears blocking out enemy vicovaros or freyas. 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, which forces the opponent to answer a ridiculous amount of strength.

Crafting Order: 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. -> GremistDeploy: Spawn Impenetrable Fog, Clear Skies or Bloodcurdling Roar. -> Draig Bon-Dhu -> 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. -> Ragh Nar RoogApply a Ragh Nar Roog Hazard to all opposing rows. Ragh Nar Roog Hazard: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2. -> HjalmarDeploy: Spawn the Lord of Undvik on the leftmost side of the opposite row. -> CoralDeploy: Transform a Bronze or Silver Unit into a Jade Figurine. -> Madman LugosDeploy: Discard a Bronze Unit from your Deck and Damage a Unit by the Discarded Unit's base Power.

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

Gold replacements: 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. Deploy: Gain 5 Armor., 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., Madman LugosDeploy: Discard a Bronze Unit from your Deck and Damage a Unit by the Discarded Unit's base Power., RenewResurrect a Gold Unit., DroughtApply a Drought Hazard to all opposing rows. Drought Hazard: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Lowest Unit on the row by 2., Triss: Butterfly SpellEvery turn, at the start of your turn, Boost all other Lowest Allies by 1. Revenge: Boost all other Lowest Allies by 2., Zoltan: Animal TamerDeploy: Spawn Field Marshal Duda Companion or Field Marshal Duda Agitator..
Silver replacements: DecoyReturn a Bronze or Silver Ally to your Hand, Boost it by 3 and play it., Draig Bon DhuDeploy: Strengthen up to 2 Units in your Graveyard by 3., 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., OcvistAfter 4 turns, at the start of your turn, Damage all Enemies by 1, return this Unit to your Hand and transform it into Exhausted Ocvist., UdalrykDoomed. Deploy: Look at the top 2 cards from your Deck. Draw one and Discard the other..

This deck’s BUDGET VERSION is very cheap, requiring you only craft Ragh Nar Roog and Gremist in addition to some rares.  It plays for the most part the same, although you will be discarding Clan an Craite Raider instead of Cerys as your third Bran target, so mulligan it away.

Sorry for the delay, was finally about to make a 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.  🙂


-Cerys, -Sigrdrifa, -Alzur’s Double-Cross, -Donar An Hindar, -2x Clan Haemaey Skald
+Madman Lugos +Decoy, +Draig Bon-Dhu, +Roach, +Clan An Craite Raider, +Clan An Craite Warrior

Cerys was ultimately cut because she put points into later rounds pretty inefficiently, and while Draig was overkill given her being in, he achieves her job better, in terms of improving your round 2-3 presence.  Lugos ended up being swapped in instead, and you typically can use him on a Clan An Craite Warrior to swing for 15 value while removing potentially valueable targets, although if you don’t draw Operator, you may Bran 3x queensguards, and in that case you would Lugos the Raider if you have no need for the extra damage.  Sigrdrifa was ultimately cut for Decoy, which also allows you to re-use your silver cards, although decoy does it in a more immediate way.  Alzur’s Double Cross was cut because Operator is less important to pull out given the frequency of the queensguard mirror, and the fact that Warrior blocks further silvers from being pulled.  Donar was cut due to having more control options with Lugos, and wanting more presence in round 1, which Roach gets me.  Lastly, the Raider was added to supplement the Cerys as the Bran target for when you have Operator in your hand.

Guide: If you have Operator in hand, you should save a queensguard in hand and use Bran on 2x queenguard and the raider.  If you’re against another Bran though, mulligan the operator away as well as the rest of your queensguards, to Bran them all out.  In that case, use Lugos on Raider, unless you need the extra damage from discarding Warrior to remove something. If you don’t have Operator in hand, and have 1-2x Freyas, you should instead elect to get rid of your queensguards, so you can use Bran on all 3 of them and get them back with a freya.  Ultimately though, the rest of the deck plays the same.  Use Draig when you Bran to buff your queensguards, and use Decoy on Draig, Holger, Gremist, or possibly Freya/QG depending.

Card Combos


Deploy: Resurrect all copies of this Unit.

QueensguardDeploy: Resurrect all copies of this Unit.: 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.  Mulligan for exactly 1 of these in your hand; you want to clone 1 with operator and discard the other 2 from your deck with Bran.

Priestess of FreyaDoomed. Deploy: Resurrect a Bronze Unit.: Essential to the idea of the deck. 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 1 medic (freya or sigrdrifa) in your opening hand, as they’ll hurt your ability to push round 1.

Savage BearAfter an Enemy is played from any Hand and its Deploy ability resolves, Damage it by 1.: A new addition to this deck, and a very powerful one.  Damages enemy units before their battlecries trigger, so it can destroy enemy Priestesses of Freyas and Vicovaro medics while preventing them from going off at all.  Play this before using Bran vs Nilfgaard.  Try to play 2 of these vs Northern Realms, as they have a lot of 2 strength units that they won’t be able to play anymore.  If possible, spread these out so they don’t get killed by Arachas Venom.

Clan Heymaey SkaldDeploy: Boost 3 Allies by 2.: 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.

Clan Drummond ShieldmaidenDeploy: Damage a Unit by 2. If it was already Damaged, play a copy of this Unit from your Deck.: Another new addition to this list, this card has a hard time achieving low value.  Combos very well with Savage Bear to be able to muster out a few units at very high value, preferrably in round 2 or 3.  Now that every faction has the between-round mulligan, this card has a very easy time achieving good veteran bonus value and you should try to avoid using it in round 1 unless you need to.  Can be used to poke Hjalmar’s dude as well.


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.: 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. If you don’t have queensguards, you can use this on a Shieldmaiden with the hopes of mulliganing them away in future rounds, or possibly on a Priestess of Freya that you plan to block with a Savage Bear.

Doomed. Deploy: Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Unit.

SigrdrifaDoomed. Deploy: Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Unit.: High value skellige silver.  Try to use her in round 2 or 3 on a high value silver target, although if needbe she can be used on a queensguard or possibly a bear.

Alzur's Double CrossBoost the Highest Bronze or Silver Unit from your Deck by 2 and play it.: Increases reliability of operator on round 1 which is very powerful.  After that, hits either Donar or Holger Blackhand, which is still pretty great.  Very great card here.

Donar an HindarDeploy: Toggle a Unit's Lock. Move a Bronze Unit from your opponent's Graveyard to your Graveyard.: Basically just a lock on a stick.  If you use it in a later round, you can actually discard a queensguard from your opponent’s deck to your graveyard if they mulliganed away the queensguard you put in their hand.  Also, if your opening hand is bad and you’re stuck with freyas, he can allow you to push deeper for round 1 by enabling your otherwise useless freyas.  Don’t use this to unlock your queensguards though; them being locked doesn’t affect their effects from activating.

GremistDeploy: Spawn Impenetrable Fog, Clear Skies or Bloodcurdling Roar.: Great card, like all of the other silver “mage” cards.  If nothing else, can be used to Roar one of your Freyas for value, although sometimes you can Roar a queensguard (if you already have a couple in the graveyard) to res them all back.  Be very careful about using this card too early; I would highly recommend keeping this card in hand late to ensure you’re never vulnerable to a big weather effect, unless maybe you also have your First Light.

Holger BlackhandDeploy: Damage a Unit by 5. If it was Destroyed, Strengthen the Highest Unit in your Graveyard by 3.: A new addition to this list, and a great one.  Generally, your first two moves will be Operator and Bran, and if you can find a window to use this card before you play a queensguard from hand to res them, then it’s great value.  Otherwise, you won’t be getting value from his secondary effect, but if anything else can be used to kill Hjalmar’s dude.


CoralDeploy: Transform a Bronze or Silver Unit into a Jade Figurine.: This card is nutty.  Extends your reach and generates great value.  Use it late to swing for massive value.

Deploy: Transform a Bronze or Silver Unit into a Jade Figurine.

CerysCounter 4: While in the Graveyard, decrease the Counter whenever a Unit is Resurrected on your side. When the Counter reaches 0, Resurrect self.: Discard this card with Bran alongside two queensguards on turn 1 or 2, and get it back later several times.  Adds to your lategame potential.  If you’re finding your opponents renewing this card a lot on round 1, you can consider swapping this card out for a Clan An Craite Raider (as a third bran target) and another gold.

HjalmarDeploy: Spawn the Lord of Undvik on the leftmost side of the opposite row.: This card’s pretty powerful, as it will always provide you at least 10 value and can have huge value if you can kill the Lord of Undvik, which you’re generally able to do.  Lord of Undvik will always spawn on the opposite row, allowing you to combo it with Ragh Nar Roog, Holger or Shieldmaidens, and his Lord of Undvik will always spawn to mirror its would-be location on the other side (credit to Mortomeh and nossr50 for figuring that out)

Ragh Nar RoogApply a Ragh Nar Roog Hazard to all opposing rows. Ragh Nar Roog Hazard: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2.: Very powerful card that can never really achieve low value.  DO NOT be too greedy using this card; don’t use it too early into a round.  Use it when the opponent has at LEAST 2 rows occupied, so that if it gets cleared right away it will always at least trade up to your opponent’s bronze by 6 points or to their silver mage by 3.  If it goes uncleared, it wins you the round, or possibly the game.

Unincluded Cards

Clan Dimun PirateDeploy: Discard all copies of this Unit from your Deck.: Thinning isn’t inherently worth having a 5 point bronze, in addition to messing up your mulligan.

UdalrykDoomed. Deploy: Look at the top 2 cards from your Deck. Draw one and Discard the other.: A quite solid card otherwise, but it blocks ADC here and it’s not hugely necessary.

Birna BranVeteran 1. Deploy: Apply a Skellige Storm Hazard to the opposite row.: Honestly this card’s not great anymore, has a really hard time building up value fast enough.  It can rarely steal the cloned queensguard from the opponent’s graveyard, but even that’s not amazing 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. Deploy: Gain 5 Armor.: Not actually terrible, but like Draig, you already have such a round 3 presence with queensguards that you don’t really need to establish more of one.

Clan Tordarroch ShieldsmithDeploy: Strengthen an Ally by 2 and give it 2 Armor.: This card is quite decent, but ultimately it can’t really help you push round 1 and without needing it to stagger your queensguards (which you now have holger for), it loses value.  You can sometimes be blocked out of winning round 1 if you use this card.

General Guide

Be sure to read the “UPDATE 1” section near the top to see any changes to gameplay strategies.


Your mulligan goal is 1 queensguard, 0-1 Freyas, and 0-1 shieldmaiden (preferrably 1), blacklisting at first whichever of them has more blacklist value.  You also want to get rid of Cerys as she’s one of your Bran targets.

Round 1

Open by playing 1-2x Savage Bears (2 is very effective against Northern Realms decks), then play Bran on 2 queensguards and your cerys (if you have no queensguards, do all 3 queensguards, if you have 2 queensguards, do a freya).  Followup by playing operator on a queensguard. At this point, if there is a target you can kill with Holger Blackhand, do that to buff one of your queensguards in grave. Then play a queensguard from your hand, pulling the 2-3 in your graveyard out. Save the last (cloned) queensguard for round 2 to res them all back. Play round 1 as deep as possible in most cases, if needbe using shieldmaidens, hjalmar, and ragh nar roog to force the round. If you can win round 1 going no more than 1 card down with this deck, your opponent should no longer be able to win in most cases, as it’s very difficult to match the value of queensguards 3 rounds in a row.  Use Rag Nar Roog when your opponent has at least 2 rows occupied with damageable units, so that if they clear it immediately, it will still achieve value.  DO NOT be too greedy with using gold weathers like this; use them a bit later when they hit for immediate value so that if they’re cleared immediately they’re still good.  Also be wary of using them in a situation that would illicit a good pass opportunity from the opponent.  If you can save shieldmaidens for a later round, they can have a very strong presence there, although there’s nothing wrong with using them in round 1.

Round 2-3

If you did manage to win round 1, play your 2nd queensguard here to res all 3 of them back and then pass, which will force generally at very least 2 cards out of the opponent. If you lost round 1, do the same and try to stay ahead of them passively without letting them force you out of your last medic.  Ultimately many games are decided by how round 1 went and if you won it fairly, you should be able to easily force the game.  Use shieldmaidens at any point where you need to get huge value out of them if they weren’t forced out in round 1, and always be sure to have a plan for Hjalmar (Holger, Sigrdrifa, Shieldmaidens + bear, rag nar roog, etc).  Make sure not to take any risks with your between-round mulligans; if you have 1 shieldmaiden in hand, decline the mulligan as it’s too risky that you’ll find another one.

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23 thoughts on “Swim’s Open Beta Queensguards (Updated)

  1. karetost
    September 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Is this still good ? Ive seen your new QG deck but i get wrecked by NG spy decks, especially those Vicovardo Medics. This one seems like it has more counter play for that than the newer deck you made. Which one would you recommend for a beginner ?

  2. Aaa1scotty
    June 26, 2017 at 4:50 am

    Solid deck mr. Swim! I subbed out the shield maidens for axmen, and buff them when bran comes out. I find that draig plus a decoy makes the shield maiden res effortless. I only suggest ermion plus a clear skies over gremist. For a low value card it’s not enough to carry when your opponent plays weather.

    • Ragnaar
      July 28, 2017 at 7:30 am

      I agree! This deck is great! Wish i could dig through the deck more. I keep missing the operator…still winning though!

  3. Missingno
    June 15, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Since Ragnarok is so nerfed what should i play instead?

  4. foolpr00f
    June 13, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Should I include axemen on this deck? Since shield maiden and ragnaroog are in yhis deck.

  5. Ailyes1992
    June 6, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    I play this deck with some variation. It’s insane.

  6. cxy
    June 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    the cards in the video are different as in this guide , whats the better /consistant version ?

    • Oyzion
      June 4, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      As Swim said, more than once in the video, the guide’s version is the most consistant and will be updated to stay that way.

  7. Idefl1x
    June 2, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Hey swim, you and your guide inspired me to play queens too (only play since open beta and don’t have the legendarys yet)
    I tried a few variations myself and found quite many spots where I can’t use Holger with the wanted effect since I need to push out the queens vs a nilf medic or sth. With that said I don’t see any overwhelming option to replace him… any thoughts?
    Second thing is about roach. I’ve seen you use it in quite a lot of your decks (YouTube) and I was thinking if sigrdrifa may be the better option since you already have a lot of mulligan targets /cards you don’t want and you can almost always guarantee a 5 points play with sigr. Also I’m thinking about cutting the first light since grem + decoy + sigr has done me well with the weather. What do you think?
    I hope you find the time to answer 🙂

  8. BattleRorqual
    June 1, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Deck in other site is different than this. which is more recent one ?

  9. Burnt Burrito
    May 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    SWIM, thanks – this is a fantastic deck and has helped me progress very well since open beta. However over the last 48 hrs I’ve really noticed how others have wised up to it and are using monsters with weather effects to counter pretty successfully. Myself, I’ve swapped out Donar for an extra first light to some degree of success, however wonder what others are doing to beat those with strong counter abilities?

  10. hiddenpebble
    May 31, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Literally just about everything in ladder counters this deck now, because of how popular it is. Ranked is swarming with weather/Nilfgaards rolling 2+ medics/consume monsters. Deck is also extremely hard to mulligan well for a decent opening hand due to a consistent cluster of queensguards/shieldmaidens/and priestess. Honestly

  11. h4z3y
    May 30, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Spent a little bit of money along with all the free scrap and was able to craft this deck in full. Had to mill some cards, but it was worth it. As the deck feels really strong and seems to be able to do its thing and win on a consistent basis.

    Looking forward to that video guide. Keep up the good work!

  12. michalred
    May 30, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I want watch video guide, please add in topic.

  13. Bharmanica
    May 29, 2017 at 3:16 am

    This seems tough against the monster weather deck floating around. Generally have to save clear skies for Rag and if I dont find Gremist it’s pretty rough… Feedback?

    • tsukufrizzt
      May 31, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      it dosnt kill the deck to run an extra first light or 2 (since even if you dont need it you can mull it or use rally and ive been winning consistently against monsters by baiting there weathers out in turn one to take a turn one loss and then using the value of queens guard to push the win and nilfgard medics dont hold up against the savage bear

  14. Dubstephure
    May 28, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    So where is the Video Guide he mentioned ? 🙁

  15. El_Toine
    May 27, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Ciri: Dash works very well too.

  16. Inpurity
    May 26, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Technically King Bran should be the number one craft priority 😛
    Great guide btw! Very descriptive especially for the card combos. However, it’s only been day 3 and I see a flood of players netdecking this already

    • Elyoslayer
      May 26, 2017 at 6:41 am

      There is no reason to Craft King Bran, get him from the Sigle player Challenges

      • Inpurity
        May 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm

        Haha yeah no worries just trolling. Good info for new comers tho incase i made them craft bran by accident

  17. Elyoslayer
    May 25, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Note. Transmute Coral, she looks fucking sick along with a Transmuted Ragh Nar Roog, the rest of the cards don’t matter.

    • datdnl
      May 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

      I just transmuted my coral, it is really great. Next will be Ragh 🙂 Thanks for the tip.


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