Hey everyone! Spyro here with yet another deck guide. This time we will take a look at the new Crach Control deck that has emerged on the pro ladder. While being a strong leader on his own, Crach has some extremely one-sided matchups, for example he is very favoured against engine decks like Henselt. This deck is great for laddering and tournament play.
Marauder on blue coin, or the 2nd copy if you have both in hand
Your 4 provision bronzes in order: Ravager -> Butcher -> Captain
Svalblod/Arnjolf - favoured
Calveit Shupe, Emhyr Midrange and Ardal Control - highly favoured
Any NR deck - highly favoured
Eithné - slightly favoured, but close to a 50/50
Mirror matches - can go either way
Arachas Queen - highly unfavoured
No unit decks - you can just forfeit
Most of your matchups vs other meta decks are favoured
You can completely shut down any engine-based strategy
Your cards trade up on your opponents' cards, which makes your long rounds powerful
Lack of proactive plays
You can't deal with immune units, this deck is vulnerable to non-interactive strategies
Curse of Corruption or Geralt of Rivia
Hen Gaidth Sword
Summoning Circle -> Ulfhedinn and An Craite Marauder -> Dimun Warship
Svalblod/Arnjolf (favoured matchup)
There are a couple of ways to play this matchup. If you have a good hand and lose the coinflip, you can try to win Round 1 so that you have the last say to have guaranteed Vabjorn value. In that case, you can drop Summoning Circle as your first play in Round 1 and fully commit to winning the round.
If your hand has a few weak cards and you don't believe you will win the round, you should play a few bad bronze cards, preserve Roach and take the early pass in Round 1 without losing card advantage.
If you won Round 1, take the dry pass here, you have nothing to gain from bleeding. If you lost Round 1, you should play Summoning Circle early in Round 2 and use it to threaten card advantage if your opponent bleeds way too deep.
Try to save your Vabjorn for Round 3. However, if you are forced to sacrifice Vabjorn to get card advantage, feel free to commit him, because without the last say, Vabjorn isn't that great in a short Round 3.
Play your Summoning Circle if you still have it and try to tutor two bronzes out of your deck if the round is long enough. When you don't have Vabjorn, but you have the last say in a long Round 3, it's correct to pull Vabjorn from Circle, as he can murder Champion of Svalblod. Make sure to kill all of their engines, try to keep your Muzzle to yoink Svalblod Priest.
Olaf is your ideal Djenge target. Don't be too trigger-happy with your Vabjorn against Svalblod, especially if you haven't seen their Renew yet. It's better to wait until they play their Renew before you kill their big boys.
Nilfgaard (highly favoured matchup)
You should have an easy time winning Round 1 in this matchup. You can usually win the round without overcommitting. NG has terrible bronzes, so force them to use some of their valuable golds if they want to win Round 1. If they refuse to commit their gold cards, your bronzes trade up on theirs, meaning you win the round.
Be careful with your Tactical Advantage. You don't want anything to ever go over 8 power in this matchup, as one of the reasons it is so favoured is your ability to deny Leo value. If you suspect False Ciri or Shupe, play Summoning Circle in Round 1, because losing it in Round 3 would hurt you a lot more.
You can mulligan Summoning Circle if you suspect a bleed, as False Ciri and/or Shupe are fairly common in NG and you don't want to be trading down like that whilst being bled. If you won Round 1, dry pass Round 2 unless you're sure that your opponent is playing a soldier swarm deck. If that's the case, you should try to bleed a bit to break up their combos.
If you lost Round 1 and they try to bleed you, punish them and make them go a card down. You shouldn't have trouble with getting ahead of their score, so it's very likely that you will have the card advantage if they push too far in Round 2.
Round 3 is fairly standard, kill everything and try to maximize your value. Be careful with Muzzle. Serrit and Auckes may seem like ideal Muzzle targets, but they give your opponent Leo value. Save your Muzzle for Slave Infantry. If possible, you can keep denying their optimal Vivienne targets.
Northern Realms (highly favoured matchup)
Try to win Round 1 without wasting your valuable removal such as Cleaver, Cyprian, Muzzle or Skjall. At the same time, you can't lose on even cards, so use your removal accordingly. The last say isn't important, so don't commit too much.
With that said, if your opponent plays low tempo and you are able to get a few favourable trades by killing their engines, feel free to pressure them and force out their valuable cards if you are on red coin.
If you won Round 1, you can dry pass unless you suspect Draug. You should bleed Draug decks and force medium/short Round 3, but be careful and don't lose card advantage. If you lost Round 1, they will dry pass.
Some maniacs might try to bleed you, in that case feel free to commit Summoning Circle early in Round 2 for the added pressure and play for card advantage. Trade up on their engines. Don't stack one row too much since they play Sabrina.
This is where you go full SMOrc mode and kill absolutely every engine your opponent plays. Don't let any engine stick to the board and this matchup should be a breeze. Use Summoning Circle to help you deal with multiple engines at once if you are struggling to stay on top of the engine extermination.
Eithné (slightly favoured matchup)
On red coin, you can easily win Round 1 on even cards in this matchup, as Scoia'tael struggles with early game tempo. Pressure your opponent into playing good cards. On blue coin, feel free to play your bad cards and you will likely still take the round. I prefer playing Summoning Circle in Round 1, as they always have Ida and I would rather make that trade in Round 1 than in later rounds.
Immunity is your biggest weakness in this matchup, so you might want to bleed a bit and force out their Milva or other immune units in Round 2. If for some reason you lost Round 1, your opponent will almost always dry pass. You should get an easy card advantage for Round 3 should your opponent try to bleed you.
You should save a few proactive plays for Round 3 if you weren't able to bleed out all their immune cards. Your opponent can play non-interactive cards for a few turns: Milva, Gabor or Saesenthessis. Try to react with proactive cards yourself. Houndsnout, Totem, Longship or Djenge. Kill as many units as possible to deny The Great Oak value and also mitigate their Barnabas value by killing dryads and dorfs.
Mirror matches (50/50)
Try to win the round without committing too much value. Never play Summoning Circle in Round 1, as it will give your opponent an easy pass while preserving their own Circle for Round 3. Being able to act second in Round 3 is valuable.
You both play a reactive deck and having the last say makes things awkward for your opponent. Resource management is crucial in the mirror matchup. You need to preserve your resources for Round 3.
Round 2 doesn't exist, both parties will dry pass. If your opponent tries to bleed, punish them and get card advantage.
If you have Summoning Circle, open with it to potentially brick their Marauder. Otherwise open with Totem, because its the second best play against Marauder. Always play your Houndsnout early. Don't proc your skulls if you don't need to, as you might need them to potentially "block" your opponents skull procs.
Arachas Queen (highly unfavoured matchup)
This matchup is extremely tough, as you are unable to efficiently shut down many of their power plays. You should be able to kill their Slyzard and Barbegazi to ensure that they have no Deathwish enablers. Try your best to win Round 1.
You can't hope to beat them in a long Round 3. You will often have to commit a few valuable cards to secure Round 1. Keep your Muzzle or Djenge for Dettlaff: Higher Vampire.
While you can't win in a long Round 3, you likely won't be able to win in a short Round 3 either, which is why you should try to force a medium length Round 3. Try to bleed out their artifacts and continue killing their consume engines so that they can't instantly consume their Dettlaff. Once they play Dettlaff, yoink it with Muzzle or lock it with Djenge. However, if your only way to answer their engines is Muzzle or Djenge, you're forced to use them.
Pretty much the same strategy as in Round 2. If you have free leader charges available, combined with Longship you should kill Arachas Drones to deny Glustyworp value.
No unit decks
You can forfeit and move on.
Spyro is a 24-year-old South African who started with Gwent at the beginning of Closed Beta. Since then he quickly grew as a player and found his place in Top 100 of the Ranked Ladder. He recently started streaming and creating youtube content. Spyro is constantly looking for new ways to improve. His ultimate goal is to eventually reach the very top of the Pro Ladder.