The Scoia’tael Starter Deck and How to Improve It for Zero Scraps

With Harmony and Elves as traditional powerhouses in the meta, choosing Scoia’tael as your first faction is a sound choice. The guide will go over some easy changes you can make for zero scraps to instantly improve the Scoia’tael starter deck.

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

How to Pilot the Scoia’tael Starter Deck

Jaggerous on YouTube has a really good series on all of the Gwent starter decks. This first part of the video below goes over all of the cards in the starter deck, and has a video showing the deck in action. Just keep in mind that since the video is a couple of months ago, the second part that has offers improvements maybe a little dated.

How to Improve the Scoia’tael Starter Deck for Zero Scraps

Improved Scoia’tael Starter Deck
  • Add: Guerrilla Tactics, Thunderbolt, Lacerate, Alzur’s Thunder (x2)
  • Remove: Invigorate, Elder Bear, Elven Wardancer (x2), Dwarven Agitator (x1)

After some good feedback and discussion on Reddit and Discord, I decided to update the list and change the leader ability to Guerrilla Tactics. Invigorate is one of the worst leader abilities in the game, and there are not too many units in the deck outside of Sheldon Skaggs that really benefit from it. Guerrilla Tactics can be used to disable enemy row-locked cards, send Pavko Gale back to ranged if he is moved, and enable your Dwarven Defenders the same turn you play them. Strong arguments can be made for other leader abilities like Makham Forge since you are playing a lot of dwarves or Deadeye Ambush that plays for a consistent 9 point.

However, your choice of leader at this point will not matter too much. The Scoia’tael starter deck is so poorly designed that one of the first thing you should do is a craft two Brokilon Sentinels, so that you can switch the leader ability to the more powerful Precision Strike.

Elder Bears have been added to the improved version of our other starter decks, we are going to remove them from the Scoia’tael deck, because they make your best card- Pavko Gale – worse. Pavko generates two-points of damage when only Scoia’tael units are on the board, but only one-point when there are neutral units on the board. As you already playing neutral cards like Geralt of Rivia and Dorregaray of Gale, taking the Elder Bear out of the deck will help decrease the likihood of debuffing Pavko.

The deck is also a little oversaturated with handbuff units which have less value without Invigorate. To better balance this, you should cut the Elven Wardancers . You will want to move away from handbuff as soon as possible. Sheldon Skaggs is the only handbuff target in your deck, so there is no need to carry a second Dwarven Agitator.

Adding Lacerate gives you long round value and a row-stacking punish. The two Alzur’s Thunders gives you much need control with the ability to instantly answer opposing engines. Thunderbolt synergizes with your Dwarven Defenders as it gives you another way to enable the engine or renable them if they are damaged.

What Next?

Like mentioned above, Pavko is the best card of this bunch and is reliable staple of Harmony decks. The Vrihedd Dragoons, Vrihedd Officers, Dwarven Marauders, and Dwarven Skirmishers give you a very solid core of commonly used four and five provision cards. However, you will quickly find out that Scoia’tael needs some better cards to establish a consistent archetype throughout the deck.

The next part of the Budget Deck series will go over how to improve this deck and what cards you need to add in order to change your leader ability to something more powerful! Feel free to ask any questions if you have in the comments below, or join the Gwent.us Discord!

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