Welcome to this beginner’s guide to Winter Pact. Note that this was authored before the elders and ancients were introduced to the game, so it is not the most up to date strategies for Winter.
- Make the deck
- How to use
- Fix your deck
Make the deck
The deck has two different goals:
- Clear the board whenever needed
- Use 2-tiles moving units to deal damage to the enemy’s base
To do so, certain cards are required—and will be the core of our deck—while others can be swapped depending upon their levels.
This guide was written before the July 2020 update which included some consequent nerfs to Frozen Core and Gift of the Wise. The guide remains viable, but some things might have changed a little.
- Gifted Recruits
- Westwind Sailors
- Broken Earth Drakes
- Gift of the Wise
- At least two 2-tiles moving units: First Mutineer, Warfront Runners, Hearthguards, Wolfcloaks
- At least one dragon other than Broken Earth Drakes: Yowling Weavers, or alternatively both
- Fort of Ebonrock + Hearthguards if both are leveled up
- Green Prototypes, Frosthexers, Lawless Herd
- Confinement (only if level 4+)
- Rimelings (only if level 3+)
- The Hearth + Fleshmenders if both are leveled up
- Mystwives if it can be triggered often
If you have doubts about which cards to use, skip to How to use > Best combos and then decide.
My Winterfell deck which took me and some other players to high Platinum/low Diamond with level 4 cards. So don’t worry, you don’t need max cards to actually get high! Find a full explanation of the gameplay below.
For a more comprehensive deep-dive into building successful and efficient decks, refer to the deck building guide.
How to use
The playstyle is quite simple: you play the usual game, and additionally you send the 2-tiles moving units into the enemy’s base, while also clearing out enemy units with your Broken Earth Drakes.
The strength of this deck relies in Broken Earth Drakes paired with dragons and buildings: you’ll keep your frontline (or at least, part of it) while the enemy most likely won’t, giving you the opportunity to apply pressure or just send 2-tiles moving units into the enemy’s base.
Here are some of the best combos this deck can offer, so try to play as many as possible if you have the cards, and the card levels, to do so.
- Clear the map #1: Broken Earth Drakes will deal damage to anything that isn’t a dragon or a structure, for this reason players usually use Fort of Ebonrock/Rockworkers first, and then Broken Earth Drakes the next turn. The building will stay alive, while the troops won’t—you’ll keep your frontline while the enemy won’t.
- Clear the map #2: Broken Earth Drakes won’t kill dragons—as such, if you play Yowling Weavers or Beasts of Terror, they won’t die due to Broken Earth Drakes’s effect.
- No units: Wolfcloaks has -1 strength for every friendly unit on board, so it’s usually played after Broken Earth Drakes (since most friendly units will be dead).
- Clear a spot: Yowling Weavers will kill a non dragon unit every time it attacks, you can use it to kill a friendly unit on the enemy’s baseline, then send some 2-tiles runner to seal the deal.
- Buildings: Rockworkers/Fort of Ebonrock and then Hearthguards (best combo in terms of sheer 2-tiles moving unit strength to mana ratio)
As for the remaining cards of your deck, it’s a good idea to add what you have leveled up—let’s analyse my thought process while making my deck, posted in the page above.
- I have Hearthguards level 1 so I opted not to add them as well as Fort of Ebonrock.
- I added Felflares just to have something to target tough spots.
- Since my Green Prototypes is level 2, I opted to add Beasts of Terror to face Satyr decks as well as Shadowfen High Priestess Klaxi decks, which after the last update have seen quite the rise compared to how popular they were before. I didn’t want to have Frosthexers or Lawless Herd because they’re static cards (they don’t move when played).
- Rimelings is my heavy tank as well as the finisher: since I don’t have Hearthguards and Wolfcloaks leveled up, I won’t deal a lot of damage via 2-tiles moving runners and as such I needed something to actually finish the game once it started to become long.
Finally, here are some advanced advices which you should keep in mind while playing.
Broken Earth Drakes
Broken Earth Drakes triggers only if it’s killed outside the baseline, so if needed use a unit (possibly a cheap one) to gain frontline if you’re pushed back in your baseline and then use Broken Earth Drakes.
Keep in mind how much damage your Broken Earth Drakes does–as a general rule, always sacrifice it against one of the opponents’ heavier units on board.
Sometimes, you can play a bit different by just moving the Broken Earth Drakes up one tile, and then the enemies will kill it as soon as their turn starts—disadvantage: they’ll lose their units but not their frontline.
You can also play Broken Earth Drakes so that it will die your next turn. This will cause the opponent to use something to kill it, and then drop the units, or just play the units but have Broken Earth Drakes deal damage to all of them as soon as your turn starts.
Yowling Weavers will kill one of your non dragon units every time it attacks, including when it enters the enemy’s base to deal damage. As such, don’t use it to attack the enemy units if you have strong units on board, but rather use it as a shield (like you would use Fort of Ebonrock in front of a heavy units). Yowling Weavers are usually used to attack as the first unit you play if you don’t have any other friendly units, to avoid killing your troops.
If you’re placing Yowling Weavers in the enemy’s baseline, place it on the right if you have other units (even more if they’re quite heavy)—as you may know, units starts moving from front to back and from left to right, which means if the enemy’s baseline is full of your units and Yowling Weavers is in the right corner, it will be the last troop to go in, thus avoiding killing your units.
Don’t play them on your baseline unless you’re sure the drop won’t be in the central tiles of your baseline–if the drop is in said spots, you’ll have an unreachable spot between Fort of Ebonrock and the corner. Same thing applies while playing Fort of Ebonrock.
Use other units to direct the Fort of Ebonrock drop in 1+ spots—close off the “bad tiles” where you don’t want the drop to go, and leave only 1 or 2 opened.
Cards such as Yowling Weavers, Rockworkers, Mystwives, and Cabin Girls can help maintain board presence until you have at least 7 mana, when you ideally play Gift of the Wiseand Lady Rime in an aggressive position.
It’s also important to have a secondary runner such as First Mutineer, Warfront Runners, or Wolfcloaks to finish games in a Lady Rime deck. Ideally, you would have First Mutineer in addition to a more expensive runner.
Other important cards may include Frosthexers for slowing any large-strength enemies, Freebooters to help maximize Gift of the Wise in case Lady Rime isn’t able to be played, and, as always, some cheap neutral cards such as Green Prototypes and Rockworkers.
Gift of the Wise
That’s most likely your 8+ mana play at each turn you get it—if you want to swap a card, I’d recommend making sure that you can still play Gift of the Wise afterwards.
Example: you have 8 mana left and 3 cards, two cards are Gift of the Wise and Rockworkers. If you play Rockworkers first, then swap a card, you won’t be able to playGift of the Wise anymore (as you’ll have only 6 mana left), and may miss the opportunity to play the card you just got.
2-Tiles Moving Units (2-TMU)
If you’re confident you can defend the next turn, prioritize sending the 2-TMU into the enemy’s base rather than keep adding strenght to the board–remember your best card is Broken Earth Drakes, and you don’t want a lot of your units to be cleared by it if you do play it the next turn to defend.
If you do lose your frontline, don’t worry—these runners can take it back quite quickly, so it’s not a big issue. If the enemy plants units in your baseline, it’s always good to have 2-TMU to clear multiple units at once.
However you make your deck, remember one thing: some games have a late game, but every game has an early game. You want to make sure you have something cheap that can move, gain frontline, and kill the enemy troops. Adding 2 more buildings just because Broken Earth Drakes won’t kill them isn’t viable—your objective is to win by sending units into the enemy baseline, and as such you need something that moves.
Remember to swap a card every turn, unless your think your current hand is the best possible one in that situation!
Fix your deck
You’ve followed the guide but something isn’t quite working? Let’s take a look at the possible scenarios.
The deck doesn’t work in the early game
Too many static cards or too many expensive cards. Solution: swap out something you don’t use a lot (most likely, the card you cycle the most) and add a cheap card.
The deck doesn’t work in the late game
This deck archetype is really good in the late game—if it doesn’t work, you may have too many cheap/static units, and you need something to actually seal the deal: more 2-TMU or Visions of the Grove.
I don’t usually use all my mana
That’s because you have too many cards with either an odd or even mana cost—just swap some.
I can’t defend against the enemy’s pressure
For more detailed advices & responses, please check out the Stormbound Discord and we’ll be happy to help. Best of luck in your matches!
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