Gwent - Guide to Build the Best Scoia'tael Deck

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Kyle Orland

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Gwent Card Game - Deck Guide: Scoia'tael's Best Deck - Continue our full-bodied guide to Gwent another strategy to climb the leaderboard and become the most powerful players in the kingdom. Scoia'tael is the name of the Elven, Dwarf and Halfing guerrillas also known as Squirrels because they fight dressed in animal tails dangling from their hats. In The Witcher's universe they are allied with Nilfgaard and used by the imperial army as a diversion, but there is Gwent no alliance on the table!

DECK 1 - Vrihedd Vanguard Strategy

- Composition of Bunch Cards 1
- How to Play Deck 1
- Deck 1 Secondary Game Strategies
- Perfect Hand to Start with Deck 1


- General Strategy Deck 2 (coming soon)
- Composition of the Cards of Deck 2 (coming soon)
- How to Play Deck 2 (Coming Up)
- Secondary Game Strategies of Deck 2 (coming up)
- Perfect Hand to Start Deck 2 (coming up)


Always fighting against the Northern Kingdoms because of the racial discrimination they suffer from human beings, the Scoia'tael are divided into various units and meet only for certain events. Composed of elves, dwarves and halflings, the Squirrels have appeared several times in Witcher's adventures and have played a key role in the war against the Wild Hunt. The most famous unit, which we will also find in the bunch, is the Vrihedd Brigade, commanded by Isengrim, another member of our bunch, and the enemy/friend of the striker Geralt. Also part of the Scoia'tael is Zoltan, friend of Geralt and Ciri and important character for the events of The Witcher 3. Sacrificed in the name of peace by the other kingdoms and forced almost to extinction, this union of races continues to act in the shadows, moving silently through the woods and waiting to regain its rightful place.



The Scoia'tael deck is one of the most functional when it comes to fishing for cards and replacing the cards in your hand. Many of the exclusive cards in this deck allow you to repechage the cards and, thanks to the construction of a good deck, to practically always get the cards you need. This faction does not have units with a high basic strength but thanks to the many skills present this is not a problem, so that even playing a card with very little strength will bring you advantages in the economy of the game. The Scoia'tael deck is also one of the decks that bases its potential on RESISTANCE: this ability, typical of many cards in the deck, allows units to stay in the field for a second turn in addition to the one in which they are deployed. As you will have understood Scoia'tael is a faction that relies a lot on the interconnection between the cards, a continuous exchange of cause and effect that will bring you benefits only by perfectly fitting the allied skills within your deck. Be careful though, because the great strength of the deck is also its main DEBOLEZE. Often opponents will try to dismantle your strategy by eliminating fundamental cards or BLOCKING your units' stamina through the DIMERITIUM CATHENSES or the numerous characters with the block/unblock ability. Finally, even TIME SPECIAL CARDS can be very annoying because they can destroy your units with the lowest strength in a few turns.


In Gwent , as in any other card game, there are no decks that can guarantee you a permanent victory. There are, however, excellent strategies that can easily pave the way. We will show you some of these strategies trying to make you build a deck that can cope with every situation. The Scoia'tael Faction has several strategies that are mainly based on these 3 elements:

  • - repechage and replacing cards to power up and attack;
  • - the changing ranks of the units to reinforce and attack;
  • - the ability the RESISTANCE that allows cards to stay in the field for several rounds.
HEAD 1 - Vrihedd Vanguard Strategy


The cards marked SP after the name are the Special cards, more information about which can be found in the guide at the link above.


-Elf War Dancer x 3
-Vanguard Vrihedd x 3
-Command x 2 Recruitment
-Officer Vrihedd x 3
-Hunter Dol Blathanna x 3
-Tremors of Stammelford SP or Thunder of Alzur SP x 1
-Elf Mercenary x 1
-Roar Roar SP x 1
-Heaven Terso SP x 1

-Dimeritium Burst or Bomb x 1
-Olgierd or Aelirenn x 1
-Esca x 1
-Moren or Toruviel x1
-Dennis Cranmer x 1
-Barclay Els x 1

-Shirrù x 1
-Saskia x 1
-Insengrim or Geralt x 1
-Villentretenmerth or Yennefer The Mage x 1


The strength of this deck is all in being able to FISH the cards, i.e. change one card from your hand to one in the deck: at the beginning of the game you can draw up to three cards from your deck, instead, in the second and third round you can only draw one. Why is it so important to draw cards? Let's see it in the following strategy!

You can start by placing the RECRUITED COMMAND card on the field, with a base strength of 6 plus 2 armor points, which damages an opponent's unit by 2 points each time a card in your hand is REPLACED. Each time you replace a card, then, the VRIHEDD ADVANCE increases by one point wherever it is (even in the deck), so it is always best to have three copies in the deck and keep them in reserve for the final round after they have been upgraded by the numerous rep draws. In fact, if you consider that the card has 6 basic strength points, only with the 3 initial draws, allowed by the game, plus one for the second and another for the third round the card will reach 11 strength points. But this is not the only way to give Vanguard power, in fact the FRANCESCA commander allows you to draw three cards from your hand and replace them with three cards from your deck. In addition, the OFFICIAL VRIHEDD, every time he goes down, replaces one card from your hand with one card from your deck. So you could get to the last round with only a couple of VRIHEDD ADVANGUARDS that, as a replacement, will have reached a destructive potential and may have more than 15 strength points each. But which cards to replace to reach this result?

The ELF WAR DANCER comes to us, and it is good to have three copies of it in your deck. When this is REPLACEED during the repechage, instead of returning to the deck, it is directly deployed. A great nuisance for your opponent who, even before starting the game, may already find cards waiting for him in your half of the pitch. Replacing the dancer you will have, in addition to the cards already lined up on the field, also new cards to play in your hand and points to add to the strength of the AVANGUARDIA. The same concept applies to the SASKIA gold card that you don't need to have in your hand because it will be automatically deployed thanks to its ORDER ability. Cards with the ORDER ability automatically enter the field when the commander is deployed. So if you have SASKIA in your hand it is always better to replace it. And again, if you only have one UPDATED card, it is better to insert it as ISENGRIM gold card. This character automatically deploys an ambush card from your deck so if you already have ISENGRIM in your hand it is useless to keep the ambush in your hand since it will be deployed automatically. If instead you want to insert a couple of ambushes choose, depending on the situation, which one to hold and which one to replace with another card from the deck, so that ISENGRIM will deploy the one you have replaced. The MARKED cards are those cards that are deployed covered and that are activated only when certain conditions occur: MOREN is activated when a unit is deployed in the opponent's field and damages it by 5 points. TORUVIEL, on the other hand, is revealed as soon as the opponent passes and at the same time increases by 2 points four cards, two on his right and two on his left, so it is advisable to place him in a row with as many cards as possible.

The deck we are illustrating is mainly composed of elves but among the silver cards it is good to have dwarves like BARCLAY ELS and DENNIS CRANMER. The first one has in fact strength 2 and once deployed calls directly from the deck another dwarf by increasing it by 3 points. Having no other dwarf units in the deck, DENNIS CRANMER will enter the deck, which has a basic strength of 8 points and will rise to 11 points, in turn boosting it by one point BARCLAY ELS. So, once again, if DENNIS CRANMER is among the cards in your hand, you can replace it, still boosting the AVANGUARDIE, but still having the security that can take the field with the help of Barclay.


Not only power, however, because the avant-garde alone is not enough to ensure victory and therefore will have to be accompanied by other fierce cards ready to ignite the opponents. First in this category we find the DOL BLATHANNA HUNTER, a bronze card of strength 4 that allows the player to line up, in a row chosen from those of the opponent, a FIRE TRAPPOLE. This bronze strength card 1 will self-destruct after one turn by removing 3 strength points from each card in that row. A card that could be devastating for the opposing decks that play many units like the Monsters, especially if you have 3 Hunters in the deck that become 4 with the ESCA because this special card allows you to take back any card in the field, upgrade it by 2 strength points and reuse it again. The ESCA card is perfect to use in combos with the Vrihedd Officer who will allow you to replace the cards once again and to strengthen the Vanguard. But the Bait is also great to use to twist against the Nilfgard deck the CHEESE CARD, which after two rounds destroys your weakest cards in the row or the SPECTRAL BALANCE of the Skellige deck, which jumps from one row to another decreasing by 1 all the cards in the row and also the FIRE TRAPPOLE of the Scoia'tael deck. If you want to defend yourself well from these annoying enemy cards that break into your field it is good to have also the special card RAGGELANTE RAGELANTE that transforms any ally, so any card (not gold) lined up in your half of the field, in a Bear of 12 strength points. A nice affront for the opponent who sees his Cow carcass transformed into a powerful 12-point bear that goes to strengthen your army, don't you think? To hit your opponent you can also use the STAMMELFORD TREMORS, which take away 2 strength points from 8 different opponent's cards or the ALZUR YOUR, which can take away 7 instant strength points from an opponent's card. However, it is likely that at some point you will need to summon a certain special card or you will need the THIRD SKY to remove the climatic effects of an enemy special card. In this case you will be presented with the Elf Mercenary, a bronze strength 2 card that is played in the opponent's field but that allows you to draw two special cards, play one and put the other back in the deck. In addition, if you play an ambush, all the Elven Mercenaries on the other side of the field will return to your half. OLGIERD, if you have him in the deck, will be very useful in the last card rounds because he is able to return to the field every turn, a real nuisance for opponents. However, every time he enters the field he will decrease his strength by 2. In addition there is another card that is called back on the field as soon as there are 5 elven units lined up (and consider that with this deck is a situation that is easily reached) and it is AELIRENN, another real nuisance for opponents. If you have chosen to put YENNEFER in the deck: LA MAGA will be another great character to weaken your opponent with. This gold card reduces by one the strength of the most powerful enemy card at the beginning of each turn. However, this means that if your opponent has 3 cards of strength 6 each, the sorceress will reduce all 3 of them by inflicting a hard blow to your enemies. Finally, to completely devastate the opponent you can use the BURN, which burns the most powerful card on the field and the DIMERITIUM BOMB which brings the strength of 3 cards adjacent to its initial value and turns them into silver if they are gold. For opponents in several ways, we recommend to accompany the Burn with the SCHIRRÙ gold card, an elf of force 10 with an ability that may not even be activated. By putting Schirrú in the field the player can choose whether to destroy one of the cards in his hand and turn it into BURN, in this way you will have two of them in the deck and we assure you that they are a perfect ace up your sleeve to play especially if you choose to put also VILLENTRETENMERTH.

This GOLD card with high destructive power, after 3 rounds destroys all the most powerful cards in the field twice in a row. In practice, it acts as a DOUBLE BURST, as well as deploying a dragon of force 6. Using it and not being burned by it is very complicated so we suggest you to break it in or otherwise change it with another GOLD card. VILLENTRETENMERTH is great to be played at the beginning of the game, completely displacing the opponent who will be unable to move towards any strategy and will often pass giving you the victory of a round. You can play it and then for the following rounds play other gold cards so as not to be affected by its destructive power, it's up to you how to get it into the game depending on the strategy or card draw you had at the beginning. Consider him a bit like a Joker but with hot breath and very sharp teeth. It is also possible that your dragon's ability is blocked by the DIMERITIUM CHAINS, in this case you can release him using this card again on him, or use it to chain and block an ability of an enemy card, or one of your other characters, in short it is always useful to have the ability to chain someone or have the key to free yourself from handcuffs!

So with BURN, SCREEN and VILLENTRETENMERTH you will have 4 powerful destructive cards in the deck, sometimes controlling them could be very difficult and all these flames could backfire on you. Consider putting the golden dragon to rest and replacing it with GERALT, a 10-strength gold card that can reach 13 if, after being fielded, the total of the opponent's strength continues to be greater or equal to yours.


Being a card game a lot depends also on luck, if you have followed our advice up to here but you will see that luck will depend on you because the cards you will need will enter you by force and you will be able to set in motion all the strategies of the deck. The best hands include at least 2 of the 4 gold cards present, SCHIRRÙ AND GERALT are perfect but also GERALT AND ISENGRIM or VILLENTRETENMERTH and ISENGRIM would not be bad. SASKIA instead it's always better to replace it since you don't need to have it in your hand because it will be recalled in the field when you use the Commander. At least 2 silver cards, OLGIERD is great to annoy the enemies and to draw their wrath on him leaving you free to continue undisturbed with the strategy of your deck, not to mention the DIMERITIUM BOMB or the ESCA. AELIRENN instead is better if you return in the deck because it will be automatically recalled when you deploy 5 elf units and so also TORUVIEL and MOREEN that so much can be recalled in the field from the gold card ISENGRIM. For the bronze we recommend the BLATHANNA DOL HUNTERS, the VRIHEDD OFFICIALS and at least one RECALL OF THE COMMAND. The ELF WAR DANCERS should always be replaced in order to automatically enter the field and from the second round it is good to keep for the final at least a couple of VRIHEDD VANGUARDIES that will have to be greatly enhanced thanks to the numerous repechage occurred in the first rounds. For the rest depends a bit 'on what faction you have against and how the opponent uses it, in principle pay attention to the climatic cards and how you use the numerous BURNS in this deck.

I only have to wish you good luck in controlling a pack of drunken dwarves, proud elves and spirits from the depths of the woods!

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