Unusual win condition
Easy to play around
Vulnerable to being bled
The introduction of Dol Blathanna Swordmaster revitalized on of Gwent’s oldest archetypes and brought Handbuff back to competitive play.
The core cards in this deck are obviously the handbuff units (Vrihedd Dragoon, Hawker Support). Both of these allow you to create huge round 3 finishers, and put more power into your future plays especially if the Dragoons stick on the board. Obviously a handbuff Scoia’tel deck needs some units that benefit from being buffed, and represent a strong finishing play. For this purpose the deck includes Swordmasters. These directly benefit from handbuffs as each buff doubles their swing potential. Ithlinne is used for Quenn Sign to not only buff the Swordmasters once again, but also make sure Vrihedd Dragoons more easily stick to the board.
The major weakness of the deck is getting bled. If the opponent does not pass on you, even if he would receive 2 cards of advantage by it, and ends up winning round 1, he is able to bleed out most of your buffed units. The deck is also slightly vulnerable to Scorch effects if you lose card advantage. You can stagger, but you’ll always have at least one large unit providing your opponent with Scorch value.
Lastly, the deck is vulnerable to Swarm, since they play smaller units and don’t give you proper targets to hit with your Swordmasters.
Gwentlemen Gravez’s handbuff list is a more classical one, focusing on proactive plays and simple point generation with the possibility of mind tricks by including Toruviel.
Using Francesca as a leader, Newpiece’s deck also includes a small mulligan package to increase consistency and bypass small carryover.