SK Pirates feels awkward

the witcher and ciri gwent

So I'm pretty new to Gwent in general but I hit Pro last season as well as this one. My only experience with SK was with a homebrew self-harm deck I made using starter and starter-adjacent cards.

First of all, the discard package. I've seen a lot of people complain about it and for good reason, without setup you can put 25+ points on the board as well as deal some damage if Coral is present. It's a stupid amount of points that almost guarantees a first-round win and beautifully thins your deck. In my opinion it's one of the strongest combos in the game. It's also awkward as all hell. If you don't get this package off the ground you have a couple uber-bricks that accomplish very little and clog up your deck and have no synergy with Pirates. Furthermore your early game becomes much weaker and I usually lose the first round unless I commit hard to winning it. It's also so powerful that it feels like it's worth including regardless of this glaring issue.

Besides this package which seems to act as a blackhole of deck building, inexorably pulling every SK deck towards its inclusion, much of the rest of the deck feels similarly awkward. The idea is to ping your opponent's cards to generate carryover potential into the later rounds with Onslaught and Veteran cards.

The problem I find however is that I often cannot stay comfortably ahead enough and am forced to burn the value I have so carefully constructed for less than it is worth. Crach an Craite, even behind a Defender, never seems to stick around long enough to act as the engine of control I need it to be.

In conclusion, without a strong opening round I typically fail to convincingly win and often lose without it. What am I doing wrong and is it worth playing Pirates without the discard package? If so can someone share a such a list here?


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