Northern Realms as a faction has suffered from a severe lack of variety in previous patches. Specifically, most NR builds have relied on Reaver Hunter for the bulk of their bronze strength. After the nerfs, I tried to find a way to make a NR deck work without the use of Reaver Hunters and instead wanted to create a deck that would make the greatest use of Reaver Scouts, which I personally believed were one of the strongest bronze units in the game. This deck is the result of that.
The overall strategy of the deck is pretty simple: in round one use Reaver Scouts in conjunction with Redanian Elites in order to thin the deck and put a lot of strength on the board. In round two use Medics (hopefully with Reaver Scouts) to revive targets from graveyard to thin the deck some more and again put a lot of strength on the board. If you have the opportunity in either round, demote Bloody Baron in order for the revives to become stronger and use King of Beggars and Priscilla to grab needed lacking cards. The deck has a solid gameplan for all three rounds that it can execute with great consistency while still maintaining power and resistance to disruption.
Field Medic is a great value card, as after round 1 you probably have a lot of great targets in your graveyard, possibly even including some spies to potentially even gain move advantage.
Kaedwani Sergeants are crucial to developing the secondary goal of this deck which is demoting gold cards for later reusage. Sometimes they are used for demoting opposing cards if that’s going to give you an advantage or own Redanian Elites to make them regain gold status and the faction bonus in the process.
Reaver Scouts are the centerpiece of the deck and the whole reason it works as it does; if you have at least one copy of a unit they guarantee you can get more of them. Thinning the deck of bronze cards also makes it more likely that you will get more silver and gold cards which are the meat of every deck, even moreso in this one.
King of Beggars is a really important consistency tool; if you don’t have Priscilla, you can grab her to have a choice of 2 cards, or if you do have Priscilla you can either grab a Reaver Scout or a Medic, both of which are really important, or if they’re all thinned out of the deck already (not all that uncommon) you can go ahead and grab Nenneke for awesome value. And you can do all of these in a single game if need be.
Shani is a really powerful medic that makes the resurrected target immune to a lot of harmful effects. She is the usual beginner of game-ending comboes, because she can not be resurrected herself (unless with Renew).
Redanian Elite is effectively an 8-strength gold card in bronze, as assembling the trio (even multiple times) is not a hard task. The fact that after they’re assemblied they’re mostly invulnerable and that they don’t die to Fireball Traps makes them a premium choice for the deck’s main bulky unit.
Priscilla is a great multipurpose unit whose usage mostly depends on what you need at the moment. She can either be used in the setup phase to grab a card you need to make the setup work or after it to be more likely to grab crucial cards like Prince Stennis or Decoy.
Nenneke is just a medic, but don’t disregard the power of that in this deck, being a medic means that she’s 4 strength added to the best unit you currently have in the graveyard, and that means a lot.
Bloody Baron is a great and very versatile card. He can be used in the first round to play the Botchling to have some staying power while still being a 12 strength swing, he can be used as a 9 str medic that’s great when decoyed. And most importantly of all, he can be used as a non-permadeath medic when demoted, meaning that he extends your summon chains by 7 strength, which is really impressive. Whenever you have a demoted Baron in graveyard and using one of the other targeted resurrections (Shani, Nenneke or Decoyed Lubberkin), it’s usually the correct play to summon Baron first, then summon Lubberkin and then whatever it was that was going to get resurrected.
Decoy doesn’t need any introductions and as always it’s best used with cards that spawn other cards… like almost the whole entirety of this deck. Remember that you need not always decoy a spy, decoying a medic to replay the spy from graveyard is actually more valuable.
Prince Stennis is first and foremost a Move Advantage tool, but he’s also the only card in the deck that can actually dig for gold cards, which is invaluable. That’s why, if you are not forced by the circumstances, you should always hold your Stennis until the deck is sufficiently thinned so that he has a better chance of grabbing gold cards.
Foltest is one of the most versatile leaders in the game, even moreso in this deck. If you only have one Reaver Scout, he can copy it to go grab the other two copies from the deck and then still continue to grab a copy of something else on the field. He can copy a medic to have an additional resurrection. He can copy a missing Redanian Elite to complete the trio. He has even more utility depending on tech choices, but I’ll talk about these below.
The core still lacks a few cards; 4 bronze, one silver and two gold. Those are mostly dependant on the metagame and personal preference.
Lacerate, Alzur’s Thunder, Manticore Venom; they all do mostly the same thing; remove strength from opponent’s board, some are more effective at neutralizing threats, other at just pure strength gain, but the best choice depends on the metagame, with Lacerate definitely being the best choice at the moment.
Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog, Torrential Rain; just like above, bundled the bronze weathers together as all of them kinda hurt us in the same measure, in the current metagame I’d not play any of them as it’s pretty hard for them to be reasonably good in every matchup.
First Light; a card that is a very good countermeasure towards weather or a great unit-grabbing tool packed into one. I’d definitely recommend running at least one because of the prelevance of Aeromancy and Coral.
Mardroeme; another metagame call, while the deck itself could somewhat benefit from the card, you’re most often better off runing actually good units, but the removal part of this could be important for counteracting some opponents.
Redanian Knight; if you need a solid body that doesn’t care about being weathered and then first lighted again or about Fireball Traps, this is your man.
Blue Stripes Commando; a solid unit that gets bigger and bigger as game progresses, the biggest value of this is that you’re only playing 5 now but actually you’re getting 4 value for later that you can concentrate and drop all at once, which is really good for avoiding removal. Superb interaction with Foltest (3 Commandoes being buffed means that each Commando is 2 strength more effective).
Blue Stripes Scout; another solid 8-drop, this time split into two set of fours. It both is great against weather (even inside a Ragh Nar Roog it’s going to be a 5) and awful against it (weather onto a buffed unit removes the buff forever). Also interacts nicely with Foltest in that buffs onto a copied unit carry over. Additional advantage is that it’s ranged and thus makes you less stacked in the other rows.
Trebuchet; mostly a reverse Blue Stripes Scout, shoots opposition for 4 instead. Has some positive synergy with Igni by setting up better targets. The main issue is that it’s a siege unit and thus stacks our siege row even harder.
Aeromancy; this is a really strong card that is useful in nearly all circumstances. It’s really good against decks that try to stack one row for huge power gains on it through the likes of Hawker Healer or Commander’s Horn, with which this deck struggles otherwise.
Dimeritium Bomb; similar to Aeromancy in that it removes buffs, but it’s otherwise really bad against decks that don’t use such. Helpful against mass wounding like that of Harald and in ‘removing’ weather.
Myrgtabrakke; a solid 10-value unit that allows to spread it’s 6 damage accross 1-3 targets, making it probably the most versatile pinpoint removal in the game. A solid pick if you’re struggling with single really powerful cards such as…
Ocvist; it’s the only member of the ‘silver 4 club‘ (4 strength silver units without an immediate effect) that’s worth running, even in a removal-heavy metagame, simply because of how utterly powerful he is, provided he survives (or gets resurrected). This is the only card in the game to be able to grant more than one move advantage alone and that’s a powerful ability that should never be disregarded. Currently not recommended because of how often opposition runs Mardroeme which kills Ocvist for good.
Reinforcement; while it may be weird for some to see Redanian Elite being ran without it’s second part, Reinforcement is mostly redundant with Reaver Scouts in the deck; you still run out of cards in the deck to search pretty quickly and reinforcement just… reinforces that effect.
Thaler; another really strong consistency tool that pretty much guarantees you’re going to get to your setup/your golds when you want to.
Geralt: Aard; really strong with weather, but extremely weak without it. Run exclusively with aeromancy and when you also expect your opponents to run weather themselves.
Geralt: Igni; really good at answering big threats, but fails at answering more than one big threat at once (if opponent is smart) and can sometimes just be a painfully weak 8 strength vanilla guy in certain matchups.
Renew; really strong card allowing you to reuse your gold cards, mostly Shani (Renew can resurrect permadeath targets). The main issue is that you plan to demote most of your other gold cards so it’s really easy for Renew to have no target in graveyard.
Triss Merigold, Vernon Roche; solid 14-value guys that have removal bundled onto them, their reliability and ability to remove important targets (Ocvist, the single strongest card against this deck) make them a solid pick. The decission to choose one over the other mostly depends on how many 5-strength targets there are.
Villentretenmerth; a really powerful card that has the potential to swing the game around. The problem is it can sometimes swing the game around against you when being demoted or when you’re playing against a deck that can play small like trap variant of scoiatel.
Yennefer; a card whose strength depends a lot on how much of a difference between unit counts there is between yourself and your opponent, which, in this deck, is usually a lot. When demoted alongside baron allows for a huge power play in third round; Shani into Baron into Lubberkin into Yennefer into Unicorn is a really reliable 31 strength out of a single card.
Zoltan: Animal Tamer; he’s mostly just a weaker Yennefer, but he works off of units in a row instead of units difference. The main issue with him is that he can’t affect gold targets, which is a big downside.
John Natalis; a solid 16 strength unit that spreads buffs around. A big downside is that you don’t always have 3 targets on the board (especially after demoting him and hitting him with the first medic). He’s usually just worse than Triss or Roche despite theoretically being better by 2 strength.
Keira Metz; she’s a really strong way to protect your units against weather. The issue is that it’s really hard to actually time her correctly and that if you have a weather immune row, your opponent is likely to just hit another row of yours. She also doesn’t protect against destruction which additionally makes her too clunky to use.
Philippa Eilhart; a really strong power play against decks that stack one row, especially if they’re doing that using Weather-Immune units (I’m looking at you, Light Longship). The issue with her is that against certain matchups, like trap scoiatel, it’s really hard for her to even break even, much less gain an actual value.
Here is the current version of the deck I personally run. I will try to update it periodically as I update the deck itself.