Winter Guide

By WinterBoii and Helios · June 2019 · PlaystyleBack to guides

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.

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.

July 2020 nerfs

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.

Core cards

Filler cards

  • 2 mana2
    Gifted RecruitsGifted Recruits3
  • 3 mana3
    FelflaresFelflares3
  • 3 mana3
    First MutineerFirst Mutineer3
  • 3 mana3
    Westwind SailorsWestwind Sailors3
  • 3 mana3
    Yowling WeaversYowling Weavers3
  • 4 mana4
    Beasts of TerrorBeasts of Terror3
  • 4 mana4
    Warfront RunnersWarfront Runners3
  • 5 mana5
    RimelingsRimelings3
  • 5 mana5
    RockworkersRockworkers3
  • 6 mana6
    Broken Earth DrakesBroken Earth Drakes3
  • 8 mana8
    Visions of the GroveVisions of the Grove3
  • 9 mana9
    Gift of the WiseGift of the Wise3
Winterfell by WinterBoii High Levels

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.

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.

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

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.

Rockworkers

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.

Lady Rime

Lady Rime spends the mana leftover in your turn to gain strength, meaning that mana gain cards like Frozen Core and Gift of the Wise are crucial to making her work.

Cards such as Yowling Weavers, Rockworkers, Mystwives, and Cabin Girls can help maintain board presence until you have at least 9 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.

Another option is using Collector Mirz instead of First Mutineer: Mirz’s 0-cost tokens synergize well with Lady Rime as they don’t detract from Lady Rime’s strength when played.

Gift of the Wise

That’s most likely your 9+ 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 9 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, 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.

Cheap units

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!

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

The causes may be the same ones as why you might struggle in early game or you might be misusing Broken Earth Drakes—either way I’d recommend to read again How to use.

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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