Unparalleled control of the boardstate
Great tempo potential in all rounds
Nerfs to deck’s key pieces make it slightly draw-dependent
Hard to operate efficiently
This archetype has gone through many permutations throughout Gwent’s history, and it’s as strong now as it’s ever been. With the new cards which alleviate the archetype’s weaknesses, there are but a few decks that can give Spella’tael a run for its money.
The deck’s success hinges on two cards - Dol Blathanna Protector and Farseer. Farseer was added to the game in the last major patch and it gave elves the proactive play which they severely lacked. If not removed quickly, Farseers can grow out of control, forcing an opponent out of the round. Two core golds in the archetype are Ithlinne and Aglais, the former allowing you to cast any bronze spell twice, while the latter gives you the ability to steal a spell from opponent’s graveyard - cards like Merigold’s Hailstorm and Restore become colossal liabilities for your opponent. Aglais used to rule the roost in Closed Beta, regarded as the best gold in the game by some. Her old effect was transferred to Eithne and Aglais had fallen out of favor - until now, when so many decks run special cards that she’s almost guaranteed to find great shock value.
In general, the deck has few weak matchups - the arsenal of bronze spells allows you to remove nearly any threat, while the tempo generated by Farseers and Protectors can be hard to match. It’s not, however, without weaknesses. Should you fail to draw any DBP in your opening hand, you lose your main tempo generating tool - Farseers. They will fail to function if you don’t have any unit which is boosted either on the board or in your hand. Additionally, since your win condition hinges on Protectors, should they be removed or neutralized (with cards like Scorch or Mardroeme), it can be hard to recover from that loss.
Lorenthiel offers a fairly standard version of the deck which many players know by heart due to its prevalence on the ranked ladder. Golden weathers provide you with a solid control over the round, and the plethora of removal tools disrupt your opponent’s game plan while allowing your Farseers to grow.