Hello everyone, Spyro here with another deck guide. Henselt is a popular leader in the current meta. You can completely overpower your opponents thanks to the sheer amount of engines. This deck thrives vs proactive decks that lack enough removal to answer all of your threats. If you manage to establish a few engines, you can easily take control over the game.
Additional copies of Arbalest and possibly Revenant
Adept and Envoy when you suspect they might not get a lot of value
Svalblod/Arnjolf - slightly favoured
Big Monsters - highly favoured
Arachas Queen - highly favoured
Mirror matches - generally 50/50
Eithné - slightly unfavoured
Nilfgaard - unfavoured
Crach - highly unfavoured
Extremely powerful in long rounds, if your opponent can't answer engines, you win
Vulnerable to being bled and to control heavy decks
Eyck of Denesle and Roach help you with the Svalblod/Arnjolf matchup specifically
If you play against Midrange/engine decks more often, cut them for Cleaver and Ves
You can also consider playing Roach + Vandergrift, Frienzied D'ao or even Margarita
Svalblod/Arnjolf (slightly favoured matchup)
If your hand is good enough to win Round 1, you should try to take the round. However, if your opponent is able to answer the first couple of engines, look for a well-timed pass instead and play for card advantage while they bleed you in Round 2.
If you have Portal, definitely play it and try to survive the bleed while preserving your leader for Round 3. Ideally, you would like to get card advantage and/or go into Round 3 with your leader ability. Keep Vincent for Olaf/Vildkaarl against Svalblod. Vincent is great against Arnjolf's leader ability. Speaking of Arnjolf, if they commit their leader in Round 2, you will probably have to use Henselt in order to not get 2-0’d.
At this point, you pretty much play whatever you have left and try out value your opponent. If the round is shorter and you have the last say with Vincent, you can answer their big finisher. Otherwise, if the round is long because you won Round 1, you're fairly favoured. You should be able to develop your engines while denying Svalblod Priests and Heymaey Protectors.
Big Monsters (highly favoured matchup)
If you believe you can win Round 1, you should fully commit. This grants you a long Round 3 where you're very favoured. You can play Portal in Round 1 just to give you that extra power to force your opponent out of the round. You can invest cards like Botchling if you don't have Portal to pressure your opponent. But if your hand isn't good enough, you should pass at 7 cards and go for the long Round 2.
Your only lose condition in this matchup is misjudging your ability to secure Round 1 and losing it after dragging it out. You should never allow this to happen, because your opponent can simply bleed you to death in a shorter Round 2 and then easily outvalue you in a short Round 3.
You should play Portal if you haven't already and try stay ahead of your opponents score to possibly get card advantage. You can try to save your Henselt for Round 3.
Round 3 is relatively straightforward. If you managed to win Round 1, you will obliterate your opponent in a long Round 3. If the round is short, you will often have card advantage and/or leader ability, which should be more than enough to win.
Arachas Queen (highly favoured matchup)
You should be able to win Round 1 regularly in this matchup. For example, if your Kaedweni Revenant sticks to the board, it can single-handedly carry the round. Always try to kill Slyzard and Barbagazi, as it denies their engine power in Round 1. You can keep killing Arachas Drones to deny Glustyworp. You usually don't even have to use your Portal to win the round.
You typically want to dry pass Round 2, but if you think you're playing against the artifact variant, you should bleed them. Summoning Circle and Yennefer of Vengerberg can actually beat you in a longer Round 3. You start with Portal, force out Circle or Frightener, then pass and go for a medium Round 3.
Your main goal here is to deny Glustyworp value by killing all Drones. Revenants are insane in this matchup, so try to keep at least one of them for Round 3. Although be careful with the row limit, you should play your Revenants in different rows.
Henselt mirror matches (50/50 matchup)
This matchup is all about board control. When you see that you can take Round 1 without committing too much, go for it. Keep your removal for later. Whoever goes first in Round 2 or 3 is going to have a huge advantage in this matchup, as they can develop 2 engines immediately and acquire board control.
If you won Round 1, push for a 2-0. Open with Adalia/Arbalest and Henselt. If you queue into way too many Henselt mirrors, Cleaver is a good tech. He can kill your opponents tall engine when they answer with the same play. You should be able to kill most of their engines with your already established ones combined with removal. Maintain the board control and 2-0.
Technically, there shouldn't be any Round 3. However, if you lost Round 1 on purpose and your opponent didn't bleed you for some reason, you open with Henselt and win the game. If your opponent pushed you in Round 2 and you survived the 2-0 attempt without losing the card advantage, it's pretty much a battle of top-decks.
Eithné (slightly unfavoured matchup)
Try to win Round 1 without using anything too valuable. The last say really isn't important in this matchup and Eithné can't bleed you very well, so there isn't any pressure to win Round 1. On red coin, try to use that to your advantage by forcing out your opponents removal, or punish them by winning on even if they try to hold onto their removal. Keeping your Portal for Round 3 is crucial here, as you're looking to overwhelm your opponent by presenting more engines than they can answer.
If you won Round 1, dry pass Round 2. If you lost Round 1 and your opponent tries to bleed you, commit Portal and play for card advantage. Try to save your leader for Round 3 if possible.
You usually open with Portal, followed by Adalia/Arbalest and Henselt. In an ideal scenario, your opponent won't be able to answer everything and you should take control over the board.
Nilfgaard (unfavoured matchup)
This can be a very difficult matchup, but the one positive thing is that Nilfgaard has an incredibly weak Round 1. Use this to your advantage and try to force out your opponents removal in Round 1. When you're on red coin and they try to avoid committing their removal, you can even try to win on even cards. You should be able to take Round 1 regardless without having to use too many resources. Don't waste Portal in Round 1.
You can try to bleed your opponent in Round 2, as it represents the best odds that they won't have the full Witcher trio. Generally, if you dry pass and opt for the long Round 3, they will likely draw the most of their removal and you will lose. They might have a godlike hand which grants them card advantage and you lose because of the failed bleed attempt. However, you would have lost to such a hand in Round 3 anyway.
If you ever get into a long Round 3 against Nilfgaard, you can just pray that your opponent doesn't have enough removal. Try your best to play around huge Auckes value, as well as Cleaver.
Crach Control (highly unfavoured matchup)
On red coin, you can play some bronze engines such as Spellweaver and maybe Revenenat. Try to pressure your opponent into either answering your cheap engines or going a card down. If they hold onto their removal, you can punish them by potentially making them lose on even. Don't be afraid to play your more threatening engines such as Botchling for some additional pressure, as it will very likely force out their removal in Round 1.
On blue coin, you need to watch your tempo. You can only trade down to removal so many times before you are risking to lose on even cards. Consider playing Botchling or even a dragon to try and get out of the round if you have to. Don't waste Portal in Round 1, because it's very important later on versus control decks.
If you won Round 1, you have to dry pass. If you lost Round 1 and they bleed you, you have to commit Portal, otherwise you won't survive the bleed. Once you have played Portal, you can try to play for card advantage. In reality, it's pretty unlikely that you will get the card advantage in this matchup, due to how favourably they will be trading up on all your engines.
Depending on how the previous rounds went, your opponent might eventually start running out of removal. At this point, you simply play out the rest of your engines and hope that they don't have enough answers left to deal with every threat.
Spyro is a 24-year-old South African who started to play Gwent at the beginning of Closed Beta. Since then he quickly grew as a player and eventually found his place within the Top 100 of the Ranked Ladder. He recently began streaming and creating youtube content. Spyro is constantly looking for new ways to improve as a player. He's trying to reach the very top of the Pro Ladder.