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Northern Realms - How Are You Fairing?

I finally made it to Rank 10 - but I doubt I'll get much further.
The Tier 1 decks are all difficult to face, however, I'm finding Skellige to be the strongest among them.
How are fair you, my Northern brothern?

I'd also have to say, I personally loathe the MMR system; I want nothing to do with elven vermin, nor the savages of skellige, and I'd rather die than accept nilfgaarden despotism. So, why am I punished for my honor, for my loyalty and my unyielding courage!?


Feels like any more than a 50% winrate is not possible with NR considering the decks that are played, you just get destroyed by anyone playing Wolfsbane or Regis, and thats while not even trying to play order units.
I think NR got hurt the most by removing tutors, because it is the faction that is most dependant on getting it's combos off, so I don't know if NR would get really "viable" even if control got nerfed
Short answer, not well.

If you run engine builds it's extremely difficult to get them running against any control deck. Surprise, the current meta is dominated by control. Eithne obviously stands out. Although any deck with elves or artifacts, short of carrying 2+ removal, can easily shut down most engines. SK can run reasonable control in anything and reliably thin the deck down to the marrow. NG can control your board, albeit less so because it's less directed damage for most of the popular builds. Even NR control decks can shut down the engines. About the only faction you have much opportunity to get engines rolling against is MS. There it depends on what they're running. Big MS = good. Cunty Woodland artifact decks = no good.

Even if you run engine units with a large enough body to resist most removal many of those can be locked or moved. This is assuming the other player doesn't carry cards able to kill big body units in one salvo.

If you run buff based builds more toward deploy units you still, oddly enough, have to run setup to keep them alive and/or buff them to begin with. Case and point, anything relying on Anna/Tridams. You almost need to run buff artifacts to make it work. Otherwise Anna gets clobbered down out of buff range. Even if you do that they can shut most of it down with artifact removal. Other means rely on orders units or conditional buff units, barring Kaedwani Sergeants. The former is a dead giveaway of, "Kill this unit.". The latter doesn't work well unless you put the little 3 body buff unit on the board first, in which case you risk losing points, or put down the cards you intend to buff first, in which case they get sniped.

Dema fits the same theme, although I haven't played him at all. I've faced it enough to know killing the engines constantly can really put a dent into it's point potential. Barring that, many of the units are susceptible to movement.

If you run a control based build it still feels objectively inferior to control in other factions. Even there it's reliant on order units with small bodies.

Many NR bronze cards are hampered by reach 1, highly conditional abilities (Riven Pikemen, as one example), can brick (Rivian Pikemen again, BS Scouts as another example) and/or feel over-provisioned.

I'll be honest. I don't think I've ever seen one faction get so utterly fucked by an existing meta. It feels like you need to draw well, play perfectly and out-play the other player to win. Even if you do so you still might lose. It's possible I'm doing something wrong. If any NR connoisseurs wish to correct the above and set me straight please feel free to do so.
Im one of those 'skellige savages' but i admire any NR player who sticks with that faction, specially if he uses Demavend or Henselt.

The Foltest decks with revenants are the least vulnerable vs control since they rely more on immediate effects and not so much on engines, unlike the charge decks.

The biggest whoopings i've had in HC were probably vs those charge decks when i didnt have enough counters. Those players are smart and run a ton of engines, and play first the most expendable engines, so that when they start putting the gold engines i had run out of control options... but vs SC decks with 5 or 6 elves who do 3/4 damage, i imagine its a nightmare, stay strong!
I've had success with 2 NR decks so far (see attachments). They're not tier 1, but I've managed to climb to rank 7 so far, and they are fun to play.

value Foltest - lots of engines, try to bait removal with things like trebuchet, cavalry, arbalest first before commiting to your real combos (tridams + anna + botching). Avallac with Immune is really strong if you pull it off on a boosted Ana or Vysogota. Cards like Ocvist, Chort, Seltrikk and Gaunter can be zealed and are your go-to finishers).

control Adda - try to fish for Sihil (should be easy with Royal Decree, Avallac Sage and Caretaker) and your spears and destroy everything you can. Your bronze cards are mostly to get some extra pings with Tridams. For R3, you have a strong finisher with a hopefully charged Sihil, spears, Sabrina or Adda's skill before you play Hubert (on average 20-30+ points swing). This one is more of a memey deck.

For both of these decks, you usually want to drypass R2 as they thrive on long rounds.

It's probably the hardest faction to play at the moment.


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Your first build is similar to what I threw together. The only differences is I have the BS Commando/Scout combo in place of Trebuchet/Sorceress, PFC in place of the Arbalest and 2 Tbolts+Germain Piquant in place of Vysogota, Avallac'h and Cow.

If you're wondering...

PFC is a lead off card. Plus he's a guaranteed 5 and and can't really enter damaged territory vs SK.

The BS Commando/Scout combo is more for the tempo. I'm not fond of the combo, particularly the 2 Scouts, because they can brick. I still felt the tempo was needed since the Tridam/Anna concept doesn't provide many points up-front.

The trouble I had with just 2 shields is any artifact removal shuts them down. With 2 tbolts and 2 shields it's incredibly unlikely the opponent will get all of them. Most decks running removal carry 1, maybe 2, removals.

Piquant is probably a head scratcher. Long story short it puts 5 units on the board in one card. So on blue you can drop it then immediately slap down Anna and drop TA on her. Otherwise you need to have 2 units up before dropping Anna to get the double ping. Plus, the cows throw a lot of people for a loop. They expect some type of row buff so start blowing damage on the 1 pt cows. Even further, certain spell/artifact decks immediately get certain specials blocked from getting peak value.

Another consideration with the Sorc's is they're a liability vs Reveal. 1+3 damage is good but I didn't like them for this reason. Not in a buff deck.

I'm not criticizing, btw. Just clarifying.
I'm a Demavend full charge player. The deck is extremly fun if it gets going, but extremly frustrating against heavy control, as more units will get killed immediantly than life at least 1 turn long. But if it isn't interrupted it generate insane value. There is nothing better than Dandelion into Vysgota for generating +4 every turn if kept unanswered. Or a Bloody Baron into Ban Aard Tutor as a finisher for a 30 point swing.
The biggest problem that I see with that deck except enemies removing everything, is that half the deck consists of cards not working on charges, because they either support the archetype or are necessary as general counter cards. Thus, you easily loose a lot of value from Demavend, because there are no targets.
I'm just got to rank 15 and am having some real success with a deck built around spells and revenants so far. I use Ivo, Mentor Vesemir, witcher trio w/roach and blue stripes to try and win round 1 with overwhelming points. They will usually try to lock or repeatedly shoot ivo, which is fine because I can live without his orders and he's taking it so my blue stripes can come out. Dry pass round 2. Round 3, I have thinned my deck enough to reliably get Ves, both my revenants and some of my thunders/shackles. I probably still have at least one specter sorc as well. I just try and use a variety of damage values to line up the opposing board for some revenant abuse with my foltest buffs. Seems to do alright. I can't beat Eithne or Crach but I can beat anyone else.

I've just tried a similar but more complex deck revolving around the Draugr. The potential is there but its too risky. I'm basically attempting to get all my commandos and scouts out in rd 1 like normal and then trying to enter round 3 with princess pavetta and necromancy. Necromancy brings back one commando, then I have to pray he doesnt get burned/locked that turn and next turn I use pavetta to send another 3 commandos back into my deck and summon them on the same turn. Then I turn them all into revenants along with any other human cards I've managed to get out. I'm not having enough success with this, mainly because if I miscalculate and send my commando out too early in rd1 and he gets bricked/killed before I can use the scouts, it all goes to hell.
Armor will solve this. NR would become viable faction again. And I would possibly get back to this game as I dont play anything outside NR ever.
NR is my most successful faction atm and I got to pro ladder with Foltest (only leader worth playing)
Crach and Eithne are hard but not impossible, artifact control is autoloss, everything else is fair game
It's not so much NR cannot win. It definitely can win against anything. It feels as if it takes way more work and pristine play is the concern. It's similar to past meta's where a build or deck was solid, in the sense you could get GM+ with it, but considered T2 because, well, you had to play well above the competition.

The larger concern is many of the bronze cards feel unplayable against existing decks. Either because they are guaranteed to get sniped or they're held back by some other mechanic. There is only so much engine baiting you can do to get the important stuff up and running. Against certain decks it's damn near impossible for baiting to matter because they can kill it more than you can bait.

Looks pretty solid. Appreciate the idea :).
Why is there a Lyrian Arabalest in the deck? There is exactly one other card that works on charges. Or is it just a bait?
Probably because all the order units give it charges if it sticks. It's another way to kill Sabrina, line up Revenants and has synergy with Cavalry too. Would be my guess.