Hey guys, I am Pajabol, bringing you a deck guide for Hemmelfart Crimes. This list combines a powerful swarm package with Intimidate engines and crime cards, making it very good in any round length. Your leader charges can be used with Sacred Flame as a 9 point play that also grants you 2 coins. In a shorter round, comboed with Grand Inquisitor Helveed, these two cards provide a massive burst of points. In long rounds, you can rely on Novigradian Justice into Bare-Knuckle Brawler and Portal into Cutup Lackeys. Usually, you want to play Novigradian Justice in Round 1 to thin Brawler and thus guarantee your Portal to pull two Lackeys. The coins you gain from crimes can be spent on swarm package and removal.
Mulligans are one of the trickiest things about this deck. You need to find the optimal balance between having enough crimes to profit from your engines, while also having enough ways to spend the coins. Your main mulligan targets are Bare-Knuckle Brawler and Cutup Lackeys, as you want to tutor them from your deck.
Generally, you want to have more crimes in hand in Round 1 and one or two spenders. In Round 3, you would rather have the elements of your swarm package. Feel free to mulligan Procession of Penance in Round 1, as you usually want to swarm in Round 3.
- Deck has really good long and medium rounds when you can get a lot of value from Brawlers and Lackeys, but its short round is even stronger since your swarm package offers an insane amount of points
- Crime package can oftentimes win you Round 1 by playing just bronze crime cards while your opponent needs to use golds to answer your engines
- Great short round means that you can bleed engine decks in Round 2 with cards like Whoreson Senior and Portal, which can cause a lot of trouble to decks like Henselt that lack immediate answers to Cutup Lackeys
- Sigi Reuven was omitted from this deck, which means that you will sometimes lack the coins in the bank to deal with opponents engines (e.g. Svalblod Priest) since you need more time to generate coins
- This deck can definitely struggle with having awkward hands, some of your cards are dysfunctional without other cards
- Going wide makes this list vulnerable to row punishment such as Lacerate, even though such cards aren't very popular
- Kalkstein can be useful in Syndicate mirrors to deny Bounty and can also be used to deny bleeding or unlock an engine
- Horst Borsodi is another proactive spender and Tunnel Drill can be a win condition vs artifact decks like Arachas Queen
Nilfgaard (highly favoured matchup)
You want to play your Novigradian Justice and try to win the round with bronze crimes. Try to keep as many crime cards in your hand as you can to boost your engines. Witch Hunter Executioneer is useful, especially combined with Slander.
If you feel that your opponent overcommitted to stay in the round, you can pass without committing your better cards. But against Nilfgaard, you should be able to secure Round 1. On Blue coin, if the opponent pushes you really hard and tries to win on even card, you can use Philippa Eilhart for a massive swing that should help you to get out of the round.
If you won Round 1, you usually want to pass and take the long Round 3, but you can think about playing Portal if you have more than 7 cards in your hand to potentially trade it for one of the Witchers since your Lackeys will most likely get answered in Round 3 anyway.
Should your engines go unanswered, you can push a little by playing crime cards to get some good cards out of them. Your opponent might choose to bleed you if you lost Round 1. In that case, open with Portal and Whoreson Senior on a Firesworn Zealot spawned by leader to possibly gain card advantage.
You should still have some elements of your crime package left. Start off with Portal or Whoreson Senior. You want to use 2 leader charges right after playing Sacred Flame to play around False Ciri and get some value from your artifact. You should stack one row, so that your second row is free for Grand Inquisitor Helveed that you want to use as your main spender this round. Try to play him when you have 4 coins to maximize value before your opponent will kill him.
Against Emhyr, you want to spend your coins with Ewald to disrupt their soldier package. Try to save Dips in The Pontar, as they are amazing vs Daerlan Soldiers. Finish the round with Procession of Penance, if you don't have last say you can mulligan it to play around tall unit punish like Leo Bonhart.
Harald and Svalblod (50/50 matchup)
On red coin, if the opponent pushes with Houndsnout and Svalblod Priest, just play for carryover with cards like Swindle. If your opponent chooses to start with Longship and Protector, you can play Justice to pressure the round and either get more good cards out of your opponent or even win the round.
On blue coin, you almost always want to open with Justice and try to push and win the round. You can use your Philippa to steal a Svalblod Priest as a huge tempo swing that denies your opponents engine.
If you won Round 1, you can dry pass. If you are above 7 cards, feel free to play for some carryover with Swindle. If you lost round 1, your opponent will probably try to bleed you, so you want to open with Portal and try to gain coins quickly. This way you can deal with Svalblod Priest, Olaf or Dagur if they decide to push you with leader. Try to save your swarm for the shorter Round 3 and use leader charges to stay ahead and gain card advantage.
Start with Portal. If you didn't draw it, play non-interactive crime cards first to potentially brick your opponents removal. Try to save 6 coins for Moreelse's Tribute ability to deal with Olaf, Dagur or Champion of Svalblod. If you don't have the last say, play around Geralt by playing Procession of Penance with only 3 Firesworn Zealots on the board.
Crach (highly favoured matchup)
On blue coin, start with Novigradian Justice and try to win the round. If the opponent pushes you, avoid losing on even.
On red coin, you can consider playing a bunch of non-interactive crime cards. Then you can try to stay in the round by spending your coins. You can also pass and go into Round 2 with coin carryover.
If you won Round 1, you usually want to drypass, unless you suspect that your opponent plays Scorch version of Crach. In that case, you want to bleed them to either get the Scorch out in Round 2, or make it a lot worse in a short Round 3.
If you lost Round 1, your opponent could try to bleed you, in which case you can start by playing your non-interactive crime cards and either force an early pass or make a big point swing with one of your spenders to gain card advantage.
Open with Sacred Flame and 2 leader charges to avoid playing high power units. If you still have some crime cards left, play them at the start of the round. You usually want to spend coins with Helveed, but if you suspect Scorch, try to play around it with Coerced Blacksmith.
If you still have Novigradian Justice, play it on Cleaver's Muscles to make use of their shields to possibly brick opponents removal cards. Make sure to mulligan Procession of Penance if you don't have the last say, because it plays directly into Vabjorn and Geralt: Professional.
Brouver/Eithné (unfavoured matchup)
On blue coin, try to win the round by using the least amount of good cards you possibly can, as your opponent will usually play for carryover in this round. You can commit Justice if your hand is very good.
On red coin, try to push your opponent to win on even or get good cards out of him, sometimes it might be better to give your opponent a pass and take the round with bad cards to save your good cards for round 2. If your opponent used a lot of good cards like The Great Oak or buffed Sheldon Skaggs, you can consider passing.
If you won round 1, you want to bleed your opponent in round 2. You can consider two lines of play and either play your Portal/Whoreson Senior to pressure with a bunch of crimes in hand or try to out tempo your opponent by playing Sacred Flame with all leader charges. You could also play Grand Inquisitor Helveed and Procession of Penance to possibly gain card advantage while bleeding cards like Sheldon Skaggs, Novigradian Justice or The Great Oak from your opponent.
Remember to always use all your leader charges after playing Sacred Flame to get some more value before your opponent destroys the artifact with Ida. If they were foolish enough to play their Gabor early, try to steal it with Philippa.
If you committed swarm package in round 2, start with Portal and try to kill as many opponent units as you can to deny their Oak value. If you opted to play Portal round 2, use Sacred Flame and Helveed as finisher with leader charges. If you lost card advantage in round 2, you might need to mulligan Procession of Penance to deny them a good Skaggs target.
Gudrun/KoB/Whoreson (slightly favoured against all three)
Play your Novigradian Justice round 1 and try to win the round with your bronze crimes. Try to save Ewald and Moreelse for round 3, as they will be important to remove opponent's spenders or to deal with Bincy vs Gudrun.
You can consider playing only for carryover on red coin if your opponent opens with Sigi Reuven. You can use Philippa in round 1 to steal The Flying Redanian.
If you won round 1, you can drypass and go into long round 3. If you lost round 1, your opponent could try to bleed you. Don't hesitate to use your Portal and Whoreson Senior to gain card advantage while potentially using leader charges to stay ahead of your opponent. If they drypass, you can consider playing Ferko into Swindle if you have Justice in your hand.
Open immediately with Portal to try to bait their Ewald. If they don't have coin carryover from earlier round, they might struggle with dealing with your Lackeys. Use Philippa to steal a spender like Caleb or Ewald. Versus Gudrun save 6 coins in the bank for Moreelse tribute to destroy Bincy.
Be careful with spending your coins as you might need to remove opponent's spenders. Try to play around their Bounty by avoiding to play high base power units at the start and don't play your Procession of Penance early to play around their Graden.
Hemmelfart mirror matches (can go either way)
Try to win round 1 with justice and push your opponent hard to win the round. Don't commit your Ewald as you're going to need him in future rounds. If you see that your opponent over commits to win the round and you're on red coin, consider playing for carryover and passing. Try to save Portal and Whoreson Senior as you want to play them round 2.
If you won round 1 push round 2 with Portal and Whoreson Senior, as that means establishing your engines on board first before they gain coins to deal with them via Ewald. It also means they can't play their own Portal, as you will just snipe their Lackeys with your own engines.
Consider pushing for 2-0, if your hand is very strong. If you lost round 1 and your opponent pushes you, try to play slanders on cutup lackeys before playing Ewald and killing their engines.
If you are in a short round 3 and you both committed your engines in earlier rounds, try to maximize your value from Helveed and play him when you have 4 coins in the bank with at least one leader charge left, spend all your coins on Helveed. Use your Ewald, if needed, to kill their spenders or engines.
In a long round 3 be careful to not over swarm, play all your cards like Flame or Portal on melee row to leave a full ranged row for Helveed. You can use Philippa to either steal a spender or Cutup Lackey. If you have first say in a long round, start with Whoreson Senior on Zealot from leader charge and Portal to have your engines present on board before your opponent.
Arachas Queen (50/50 matchup, favoured with Tunnel Drill)
Pressure round 1 hard and try to win almost at all costs, as you need to get their artifacts out in round 2. If you have tunnel drill in your deck, you can take a lighter approach since you have an answer for them.
Try to save your Moreelse as your tall unit punish for round 3. Start with Justice and consider following it up with Portal to apply pressure to your opponent. You can use Whoreson Senior's tribute in this match up since your opponent will lack removal for Cutup Lackeys. Use slander on their Deathwish units to earn coins for free.
If you won round 1, bleed your opponent with Portal(if you didn't commit it r1) or start with a couple crimes and then use a spender to apply pressure. You want to get some artifacts out of their hand.
Try to save 5 coins to steal Detlaff with Philippa. If you don't have her in hand, pass after your opponent played it to avoid losing card advantage, as you need last say to destroy Glustyworp or huge Kayran with Moreelse. You can commit Flame and Helveed to this round to apply even more pressure to your opponent.
Try to save 6 coins for Moreelse tribute to destroy Glustyworp or huge Kayran. You can use Ewald to kill ones on their board to deny Glustyworp value.
If they are a no unit variant of queen, save your Helveed and leader charges for last play or try to kill all their remaining units then use Moreelse with last say on their Glusty. You can even consider discarding other cards from hand, if you have last say vs no unit variation.
Foltest (unfavoured matchup)
Push round 1 hard and try to deny their combo by killing their commandos. You can use Philippa on Commando spawned by Adalia to deny them a lot of value. Start with Justice and consider using your swarm package if your opponent doesn't want to give you round control as it plays into their Draug, as well as Lacerate, in round 3.
Start with Portal and Whoreson Senior to establish your engines early, then try to snipe humans off their board. You can use your swarm package to push even harder and get their Draug or Commandos shuffled back by Pavetta out. You can attempt to go for 2:0 if you can kill most of their humans with Ewald. Otherwise, save him for short round 3.
Use your coins with Ewald to wipe humans off opponent's board. Start with Portal, if you didn't use it earlier. If you don't have last say, play around their Eyck by playing Procession of Penance with only 3 Zealots on board. You can use your leader charges and Helveed with last say to avoid creating more bodies for their Draug or Lacerate.
Pajabol is an 18-years-old Polish Gwent player who spends way too much time in Twitch chat. His favorite faction has to be NR, as he takes great pleasure in destroying control friends with engine overload decks like Badda. If he doesn't play Gwent, he's most likely busy watching his favorite football team, Manchester United. GGMU!
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