Ability to include a large number of tech options without weakening the main strategy
Great tempo potential in all rounds
Strategy can be easily disrupted
Who knew that elves would have such a strong affinity for Mahakam’s spirit? A card which has been largely unnoticed at the beginning of this patch had found its new, Spella’tael-shaped, house and it’s nothing but a breath of fresh air for the archetype.
As you might know, the effects of alcohol are unpredictable and can turn even the most timid of characters into raging brutes. Spella’tael which, for the majority of its history, controlled the board state with surgical precision, is now more focused on their own half, generating so many points that it makes other decks jealous.
As always, Dol Blathanna Protectors remain as the key cards of the archetype, acting as huge round 3 finishers. Farseers, on the other hand, had to pack up and leave, to give space for Sages which allow you to replay any bronze Alchemy/Spell from the graveyard. And you will really need their power to play as much Mahakam Ale as possible - your main point-maker for the majority of the game.
The beauty of the deck is that safe for the core package of Protectors, Farseers, and Ale, everything else is interchangeable, and the deck can easily adapt to a new meta, without losing its potential. Granted, those variations will still see a lot of repetition - cards like Ithlinne, Artifact Compression and Marching Orders/Alzur’s Double Cross became almost synonymous with the deck - but they’re not as necessary as it might seem at the first.
Where deck stumbles is its draws. A bad starting hand can make or break the game sometimes. Not drawing early game power plays can make the navigation of the deck awkward, as the deck loses its ability to contest the first round. Furthermore, now that the people familiarized themselves with the deck’s game plan, the opponents can try to disrupt your ale buffs by either removing targets or stacking all your units on one row. Though, in reality, the scenarios in which both things happen in the same game are pretty rare, so an unbeatable match up is more of an oddity than a commonplace for brand new Spella’tael.
The man himself brought the eyes of the public to the new spin on Spell’ale’tael. If you’re playing against ST on the ladder, it’s almost a guarantee that you will be facing this deck. After some theory crafting and game testing, Swim decided to ditch Quen and replace it with one-off Farseer, although, unlike in Farseer focused Spella’tael, drawing Farseer is not as important and games certainly could be won without it. If you feel uncomfortable with playing Farseer, you can replace it with Quen.
Vaysh’s list proved itself in pro ladder - it utilizes the toolbox characteristics of Spella’Tael with some new tools from the most recent patch, like Iorveth and Crow’s Eye. Crow’s Eye can be replaced by Mahakam Ale as a simple tool to generate value. The deck contains the classic package of Farseers and Protectors to serve as a core to the deck.