The Northern Realms Starter Deck and How to Improve It for Zero Scraps

If you picked the Northern Realms as your first faction, you will notice that its starter deck has a hodgepodge of charge, order, and boost cards without a very clear archetype. This guide will show you some resources on how to pilot the Northern Realms starter deck, and how you can make some very simple changes for zero scraps to help create better synergy.

This article is apart of Budget Deck series in the Ultimate Guide to Gwent.

How to Pilot the Northern Realms Starter Deck

Once again the best resource out their for learning how to play the starter decks is Jaggerous’s series on YouTube. One thing to keep in mind is that this video is a couple months old, so some of her suggestions on how to improve the starter deck are a little outdated. You should still watch at least the first 26 minutes where she goes over in detail how every card in the starter deck works, how the cards can combo with each other, and shows you the deck in action.

How to Improve the Northern Realms Starter Deck for Zero Scraps

Improved Northern Realms Starter Deck
  • Add: Uprising, Lacerate, Elder Bears (x2), Alzur’s Thunder (x2)
  • Remove: Lyrian Arbalest (x2), Siege Support (x2), Field Medic (x1)

The first big change here using the Uprising Leader ability in place of Inspired Zeal. The starter deck simply does not have enough cards with the order keyword that require zeal to justify Inspired Zeal. Uprising will play much better considering all of the units, such as Nenneke, Prince Stennis, Thunderbolt, Anna Strenger, Temerian Drummer, and Siege Tower, that can be used to create green boosted units. Certain cards with the inspired tag- like Anna Strenger- have a special ability triggered when they are boosted. Playing the card and then using a leader charge can trigger this ability as soon as you play the card. Your general goal in round 3 is to play as many boosted units as possible using those unit abilities, then use your last leader charge to plop down a big fat Lyrian Scytheman as a finisher.

Adding Lacerate will help your Reinforced Trebuchet. Since the Reinforced Trebuchet only damages units in the ranged row, a smart opponent is going to start stacking the melee row. The more units on a row, the bigger the Lacerate since it will damage every unit on a row by 2.

The original starter deck had no way to counter enemy engines. Adding two Alzur’s Thunders gives you the ability to damage a card by 5 points. Since most enemy engines are 5 or less points, this gives you the ability to take them off the board in one turn before they start accumulating points.

The Elder Bears are just a 6 point cards. They will give you more value than the Lyrian Arbalest and Siege Support cards, and more consistency than a Field Medic. While the Field Medic does create boosted units, it requires set-up as it needs to be played in between two units in order to get full value. The Elder Bears will give you full value every time you play them, and you can play them at anytime.

What’s Next?

The Northern Realms starter has quite a few cards such as Anna Strenger, Ballista, Tridam Infantry, Temerian Drummer, and Siege Tower that are useful in the best Northern Realms meta decks, but you need better Gold cards in order to climb ranked.

The next part of the Budget Deck series will go over how to improve this deck and really bring out the best in Uprising! Feel free to ask any questions if you have in the comments below, or join the Gwent.us Discord!

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