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SC current problems

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Hi, I was a big SC player before HC, and I barely stopped to play it in the current season. I think I'm not alone, just achieved rank 4, and I've meet only two SC decks between rank 4 and 10 (and both were easy win for my NG deck). i don't want to make a whine post about "make my favorite faction great again" so I'll try to make a list of what I fell broken in the faction now, and why it is so unpopular.

Leaders - Meh

Ethne - arguably the worst leader in the game now. She was nerfed into oblivion after the release, and the second patch nerfed half of the cards which she had synergies for (Sighil, Gerald: Igni). Actually you will use her ability only for Shiru (a two gold card combo with a very difficult setup) and Geralt: Professional (a one card removal). This is quite useless in the current meta of engines where you want to kill opponent cards before they get strong, not after it. She also don't have any synergies with SC cards (except Shiru).

Fransceca - Possibly the best leader on paper - but the SC don't have any synergies with the best special cards for her, you have no way to have them in graveyard in the round 3, so very draw dependent. Most people persist to try to use her with scorch, which imho isn't the best solution, as you're screwed against most control deck, or if you lose R1 (90% of time with SC). I had some better results using her as a mega Woodland Spirit with garrison, or even with the Horn, but there is no synergies between SC and tactics cards. Also require to win R1, to bleed during R2 for optimal effect.

Broover - A good leader with a balanced ability. He just suffers from lack of cards for the move archetype, making his plays extremely predictable.

FIlavandrel - I can't decide if this one is good or not. On one hand it's a raw 10 point bonus, with possible synergies with a lot of different cards. On the other one, you're forced to play your ability R1, leaving you naked for R3. Maybe someone more experienced with him shoul write this at my place.

A slight thing that always suprise me - the move archetype is an efl one, while the handibff is mostly dwarf. Maybe Broover and Filavandrel should be inverted?


Bronze cards - some tempo but no engines and no synergy

SC have a lot of removal and damage cards; with no real synergies between them.
I usually favor the Dol Blathana archer and bowmen (both 5 points for 5 provision), the second being a genious Nekker removal.
The Panther may be useful in a non-elf archetype deck
The Vrhiedd officer may be useful to remove some enemy engines like the Nauzikaa Brigade, but I feel it's overpriced (6 provision for the same 5 value)

Arguablye the best bronze SC tempo card is the Vrihedd vanguard (but only for the elf archetype)

However the engines are quite bad, in a very engine heavy meta. The problem imho, is that most SC engines don't buff themselves, and have usually 3 strengh. There is a ton of cards in each faction, able to inflict 2-3 damage, while 4 point damage cards are rare, what make Magne Division or Blue Stripe Commandos good engines.

Pyrotechnician and Elven scouts are way too situational to be considered as engines. Same for the Sage, as there is no real spelltael playable archetype so far.
Sworldmaster and Dol Blathana Sentry will probably die the round when you play them. The first is restricted to elf deck, the second has a very difficult setup to be really useful.
Mahakam defender is more resilient, but is usually buffed by Filavandrel, so you need to inflict only 2 damage on him to "lock" him.
The Dwarven mercenary is a copypaste of the elven blademaster for dwarf decks.
Finally the Hawker smuggler is arguably the best SC engine, but very overpriced (7 provisions!) for a random effect (you may have an unwanted buff on Shiru, or just some boosts on cards that don't synergize with it.

Gold - No Synergies

The Gold SC cards have the same problems as the bronze ones. There is barely no synergies among them.

Some frequent combos
Aelirenn + Call of the forest. A good one, but a total of 18 provision cost, and usually Aelirenn will shop up R1.
Isengrim + Eleyas. Very played before, now less because all archetypes have boosted cards. 19 Provision for a very random effect.
Shiru + Ithilinne. About each SC deck that I've met was playing this one. I don't really like it - overpriced (22 provision), draw dependent, and very difficult to setup.

A lot of SC gold cards are similar to damage making bronze (Braenn, Toruvel, Milaenn). Most are quite overpriced.

A good (Milva) and a bad (Pavko Gale) engines.

Some good gold cards for the dwarf archetype, but usually not played because of lack of good bronzes. Same for the traps - only two of them are really playable now, and they need to play the move archetype.

Don't see anyone playing Aglais anymore - to R1 win dependant.

Overall

I think the devs overstreched the SC faction. They wanted to have a cool Elf archetype, a dwarf archetype, a moving archetype, (possibly) a dryad archetype), a spelltael archetype, but frankly, due to lack of cards, only elf, and to some extend move are playable right now.

Engines really need a rework. Blademaster would be far better at 4Str for +1 provision.

More synergies for damage cards. For the moment Skellige is better at control then SC. Possibly a long sworld equivalent. Or a gold card that buff your damage. So far, you just can't keep it with other deck, tempo-wise.

I'll post a bit more later.
 
Also a good portion of SC in form of Dwarf decks suffer greatly from Geralt Yrden as most dwarf cards rely on buffs. R3 will be decided if enemy has GY or not.
 
Well said that man. I see my beloved Aglais+Garrison+francesca combo is no longer viable now. When HC came out this combo was what I used as my win condition and it either worked, or didn't. I also had the option ressing her if I had to use her in an earlier round to stay in the match.
I mean, you can still ress her now and use her in two rounds as a 12 point card (or whatever her base score is) I haven't plaed Gwent for a while...
So..I always had ress/agalis/garrison/card that pulls Aglais as some of my golds. then I had a deck where for 6 provisions, you play that gold neutral that plays a random gold card. I deliberately ran less golds to make sure if all else failed I would definetly pull agalis R3 using the neutral card.

Maybe some of these plays are still relevant? Anyway, all the best!
 
Also a good portion of SC in form of Dwarf decks suffer greatly from Geralt Yrden as most dwarf cards rely on buffs. R3 will be decided if enemy has GY or not.
Well, I think a lot of archetypes are suffering from Geralt:Yrden. This card has become mandatory in all decks, as it counters dwarves, consume, NR buff, SK longsworlds and Beastmasters, Woodland/Ghouls,....I really hope they fix it someway.

Well said that man. I see my beloved Aglais+Garrison+francesca combo is no longer viable now. When HC came out this combo was what I used as my win condition and it either worked, or didn't. I also had the option ressing her if I had to use her in an earlier round to stay in the match.
I mean, you can still ress her now and use her in two rounds as a 12 point card (or whatever her base score is) I haven't plaed Gwent for a while...
So..I always had ress/agalis/garrison/card that pulls Aglais as some of my golds. then I had a deck where for 6 provisions, you play that gold neutral that plays a random gold card. I deliberately ran less golds to make sure if all else failed I would definetly pull agalis R3 using the neutral card.

Maybe some of these plays are still relevant? Anyway, all the best!
Hum, I believe they're still relevant, but with win R1 as an absolute condition, to no be Yrdened, or lose Aglais someway. I think you really need more golds, to use them to win R1 at any cost to be sure to play Aglais as the last card. I'll try it in my current Francesca instead of Eleyas/Isengrim which is really hard to place.
 
Tried ladder again last night with (my own) deck. It's engine based power creep but has no thinning. The sentinel is terrible card, but the dwarf is okay for 6 points (should be 4 provisions)

Anyway, I lost all three. Wasn't even close haha I forfeit two of them, just tedious playing this game at the moment.