Hello everyone, Spyro from TLG here with my thoughts on the new additions to Monsters. A lot of the new cards synergize with already existing archetypes, for example big boy decks. There are also a few really good additions to the bronze core, such as Plumard. The new cards open up strategies revolving around vampires and bleeding.
Dettlaff van der Eretein used to deal 2 damage. Before the nerf, he was completely dominating the entire meta, quite possibly the strongest leader ability up to date. After the nerf, I'm not so sure about this leader. I don't think his ability can be utilized with the big boy package as before. In order to get the most value, you will likely have to rely on a Midrange strategy with control cards, while still having strong plays in Katakan, Protofleder and Gregoire.
Crimson Curse can obviously reach remarkably high value. However, it does have a hard time making it into the meta. It's relatively easy to play around. You can force it out before Round 3. People usually run this card in a deck with specific vampire cards, which gives their strategy away quite easily. The fact that the card is a negative tempo play means that it will give your opponent a pass while they're bleeding you. This card has the surprise factor value. When used in a long Round 3, you can generally expect to get at least 20 points.
Dettlaff: Higher Vampire is possibly the most intimidating new card. This card used to have 3 charges before the nerf, but it's still an immensely spooky one. You will mainly see it played in Arachas Queen consume decks, where it plays for 15 points. That's awesome for just 10 provisions. You can also combo with Caranthir Ar-Feiniel and Whispering Hillock for more value. When unanswered, it often wins you games.
The Dominance keyword in Gwent means that you control the highest unit on the board, but it also works on ties. When your opponent starts the round off with a 4 power unit, you can still make use of Protofleder's Drain ability.
Protofleder might be the strongest addition to Monsters. This card can fit in every deck, making an extremely viable addition to the faction. You will easily assert Dominance when playing Monsters, meaning Protofleder is usually a 10 point swing, while potentially killing an engine and procing your Thrive engines. Unbelievable card.
Katakan is a glorious card. On top of being a proactive play,
it also has Thrive and Deathwish tags. You can Thrive it with your big boys, or make use of its Deathwish with Cyclops or Brewess. This card is very versatile and useful in every deck.
Orianna has some potential in the right deck, but it does require the deck to be built around her. Bleeding/vampire decks are somewhat lackluster compared to the good old big boy decks. Orianna is pretty easy to answer. This card could surely get stronger with more support in the future.
Queen of the Night doesn't see too much play currently, but I like the design of this card. She's basically an unlock with the benefit of being a 9 for 8 when used offensively. You can fit her into decks where you want to ensure your important cards don't get locked, such as consume decks with Detlaff: Higher Vampire. If Monsters ever shift towards more of a bleeding/vampire oriented playstyle, Queen has the potential to become very popular since she's so flexible.
Gael could be a tech choice in certain metas, albeit he's difficult to get value with. He saw some play in pre-nerf Dettlaf, who dealt 2 damage each charge. With Dettlaff dealing 1 damage now, it's too risky to play Gael because you're already playing Gregoire as your Deathblow card.
Nekurat is an interesting card, but at the moment there isn't enough support in the current card pool to warrant running this card. If there was ever a time with a greater amount of viable organic cards to be included in a deck, you could consider playing it, though it's easy to answer.
Alp is dependant on how strong Crimson Curse is... and it's pretty weak in the current meta. Without Blood Moon, Alp plays as a 5 for 5, which is underwhelming for 5 provisions.
I would gladly play her in Crimson Curse decks as a 7 for 5.
Fleder isn't a bad card per se, but there are currently more efficient ways to achieve the same goal with cards such as Cyclops and Brewess. You can play him in vampire decks.
Garkain is clunky, as you need to set up a decent amount of bleeding in order for you to get good value from it. The card damaged by Garkain bleeds out faster, essentially making the bleeding irrelevant. He can be effective against a high power unit in a long round, but he's only playable in a fully dedicated bleeding/vampire deck with Crimson Curse in it.
Feast of Blood is a pretty bad filler card, as it can be easily played around, while also being a low tempo play. This card has some synergy with bleeding/vampire archetype. It can empower your Nekurat. Whispess: Tribute can pull it from your deck. The problem is that all these cards are just trash.
Bruxa is the Monsters equivalent of Wolf Pack on steroids. You can put her into your deck if you're playing the big boy Thrive strategy, but there better 4 provision cards that are fighting for the same spot. The main downside is that she plays right into Deatblow effects. Overall a decent card for the bleeding/vampire decks. Currently better than Nekkers.
Plumard is definitely the best bronze card addition to Monsters this expansion. Solid 5 for 4, with the second copy potentially being up to 7 for 4. You can surely put two copies into any deck. On top of offering bleeding synergies, they don't give your opponent an easy Deathblow effect. That's it for my card review, thanks everyone for reading.
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