Varranis’ Monsters: Weathering the Storm Deck List

Deck

-- 6,430
0
Melee
0
Ranged
0
Siege
124
Multiple
124
Total

Howdy Gwenters!

I recently got into the Gwent beta and have enjoyed playing the game. I have a lot of experience playing card games competitively (I’m on a professional esports team for Hearthstone/Hex, I used to do well at Hearthstone, and now I am one of the top Hex TCG players), so naturally my inclination was to build a highly competitive deck. I was initially drawn to the Monsters faction largely due to it seeming powerful and also having really cool art. Weather cards also seemed incredibly versatile in the Monster deck since they can be played for card advantage with Foglets.

Recently, I’ve been playing with the list above.

Let’s talk some specific cards and strategy.

Weather

Apply Ragh Nar Roog to all rows on your opponent's side. Ragh Nar Roog: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2.

When I first started playing Gwent I was using Biting FrostApply Frost to a row on your opponent's side. Frost: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Lowest Unit on the row by 2. and Impenetrable FogApply Fog to a row on your opponent's side. Fog: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2. for my weather effects. However, while weather can be incredibly powerful in this game, I found the bronze weather cards were often dead draws. Since Biting Frost has no effect other than to reduce the strength of troops in the front row, it is very poor against decks which don’t play front row troops or hands which don’t draw those troops. Attaching frost to a troop or fog effect lets me play frost effects while providing some value regardless of my opponent’s weakness to frost. I feel a split of 1x 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 the Highest Unit on the row by 2., 1x 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 the Lowest Unit on the row by 2., 1x Woodland SpiritDeploy: Spawn 3 Rabid Wolves and apply Fog to the opposite row., and 1x CaranthirDeploy: Move an Enemy to this row on its side and apply Frost to that row. provides ample opportunities to induce weather while still providing card advantage. I would go so far as to say that Woodland Spirit and Caranthir are the linchpins of this deck. Each puts a massive amount of strength into play on their own while also potentially crippling our opponent’s units.

CiriAt the end of the Round, return this Unit to your Hand if you lost. Deploy: Gain 3 Armor.

This card is amazing with the Monster faction passive. I’ve found that playing EredinDoomed, Stubborn. Deploy: Spawn a Bronze Wild Hunt Unit. round 1 and passing usually forces my opponent to commit 2-3 cards to win the round. This lets me have significant card advantage in future rounds as I get to keep my powerful gold unit while my opponent is out 2-3 cards. Ciri allows me to commit 18 strength to the board round 1, requiring a significant commitment of cards from my opponent. If I lose the round, I keep both units. If I win the round, it was only at the cost of 1 card.

Giant Toad

Giant Toad is one of Monsters only options for card draw. Being able to eat a powerful troop, gain the majority of its benefits, AND draw a card seems huge (giant?). Alternatively, it can be used to eat a FogletWhenever you apply Fog to an opposing row, play a Foglet from your Deck on that row on your side. If there are no Foglets in your Deck, Resurrect a Foglet on that row on your side. When all Fog has been cleared from the Board, Destroy all Foglets. to increase the efficacy of my hand.

SarahDeploy: You may Mulligan a card, but draw a card of the same color to replace it.

I am not completely convinced Sarah is necessary in this deck, but it is an intuitive inclusion given our weather effects. Sarah is nothing more than a pile of strength, but sometimes that’s all you need to win. She works particularly well with 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 the Highest Unit on the row by 2. and 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 the Lowest Unit on the row by 2. as they each add 12 and 8 strength to Sarah respectively. The downside is that she is exceptionally terrible if you draw no weather effects. I will likely experiment with other cards in this slot, but Sarah has been strong for me so far in testing.

FogletWhenever you apply Fog to an opposing row, play a Foglet from your Deck on that row on your side. If there are no Foglets in your Deck, Resurrect a Foglet on that row on your side. When all Fog has been cleared from the Board, Destroy all Foglets./Wild Hunt RiderIncrease by 1 the Damage dealt by Frost on the opposite row.

Whenever you apply Fog to an opposing row, play a Foglet from your Deck on that row on your side. If there are no Foglets in your Deck, Resurrect a Foglet on that row on your side. When all Fog has been cleared from the Board, Destroy all Foglets.

Foglet and Wild Hunt Rider are two of the cards which make deckbuilding interesting for Monsters. They are similar in that you’re usually searching them out of your deck rather than playing them from your hand. This thins your deck and increases the consistency of future draws. Unfortunately, this is often at odds with our strategy to concede round 1 and maximize our passive. Additionally, neither unit is one you’d like to keep off the passive. They are also poor draws themselves. Drawing any copies of Foglet or more than one copy of Wild Hunt Rider is as bad as having one less card in your hand. This is huge in a game which places significant emphasis on card advantage. All that said, I’ve had a hard time finding anything to replace them. Both are immune or benefit from our weather effects, meaning they play well with our most powerful cards. The Foglets also make your weather effects act as a unit in addition to their other benefits. As I mentioned previously, a card like Biting Frost may have absolutely no effect depending on the opponent I’m facing. However, White Frost will at a minimum put 6 strength worth of Foglets on board while also providing potentially game winning weather effects. Foglet is likely too critical to the deck’s success, but I will likely look to remove Wild Hunt Rider from the deck to reduce the number of dead draws in round 2 if I can find a suitable replacement.

Removal

A powerful unit base needs powerful removal to complement it. I am a huge fan of ScorchDestroy all the Highest Units. as it is often a 2 for 1 and can deal with strategies which look to build a massive unit and give it Adrenaline RushToggle a Unit's Resilience.. I settled on Stammelford's TremorsDamage all Units by 1. If any were Destroyed, Spawn a Lesser Guardian on your side. as my primary removal since it will usually result in the highest reduction in opponents’ strength. Tremors also conveniently clears units inhibited by weather. I often hold Tremors until the very end of a round in order to maximize its impact. I’m currently playing a singleton Lacerate alongside two copies of Tremors in order to diversify my answers, but I may switch to the full 3 copies of Tremors if it continues to test well.

Let’s talk about a few cards I’m not playing.

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.

This is one of the cards I’m least sure about, but most excited to try at some point. What I like most about the card is that it gives me the ability to “pass” a turn after its effect triggers. Gwent is very much about being reactive and bluffing, so being able to play Ocvist on turn 1 of a round and then again on turn 6 allows me to keep the board status quo, forcing my opponent to commit more cards without sacrificing any advantage or information. The fact that it has powerful inevitability in affecting strength totals is icing on the cake.

Avallac'hDeploy: If neither player has passed, both players draw the top 2 cards from their Decks./Geralt: IgniDeploy: Destroy all the Highest Units on the opposite row if that row totals 25 or more Power./ImlerithDeploy: Damage an Enemy by 4. If the Enemy is under Frost, Damage it by 8 instead.

These all seem like great gold cards that I’d love to play, but I’m not sure any one of them is better than the current four gold cards I’ve chosen. Many will likely point to Ragh Nar Roog as weaker than most other gold cards, but I feel it is fairly integral to our deck’s strategy. If we were to cut it, we would play either Skellige StormApply Skellige Storm to a row on your opponent's side. Skellige Storm: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the leftmost units on the row by 2, 1 and 1, respectively. or AeromancyPlay a Bronze or Silver Weather card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back. and also cut SarahDeploy: You may Mulligan a card, but draw a card of the same color to replace it. or Giant Toad.

I hope you enjoy the deck and I look forward to running into some of you in game!

Varranis | Twitch | Twitter | Team Fade 2 Karma

Varranis is an analyst for professional gaming organization Fade 2 Karma. He has played countless TCGs over the last eighteen years and brings a unique lens to theory crafting and deck building based on his historical experience. Varranis has numerous tournament wins and top finishes to his name across several popular TCGs and has coached and supported players in world championship level events.

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One thought on “Varranis’ Monsters: Weathering the Storm Deck List

  1. XTetsujin
    November 13, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    This deck has me on a 15 win streak right now. I’m currently 20-2 with it. Skellige is the only deck that seems to cause any trouble for it. Good stuff! 🙂

    Reply

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