You’ll want to bump up your Hoard to 175 to get Potion of Shielding. Starting with Barrier to all Allies should buy you more time.
You don’t have to, just makes it easier.
Unfortunately, the middle rooms are very high variance and some of them are just nasty. Probably has the most variance of all delves out so far.
This week is actually a good time to do this pure faction as you can smartly cast The Maraji Queen to pop those stray Gargoyle Gems.
The key to using Maraji Queen is not just to look for alignments, but to use it in a way that leaves the least amount of Doomskulls on the table after casting. Something like 3 3 match conversions that loses your turn is still a big gain on damage output. Avoid setting up skull trades. Even with Maraji Queen Skull Reduction and the Skull Reduction potion, you don’t want to trade if you don’t have to.
Try to leave 1 of the Maraji Queens full at all times unless there’s an alignment available after a Maraji Queen cast. (Since the top slot is more likely to die, I use that more often)
Don’t be in a rush to cast Water Elemental or Drowned Sailor until after they use at least 1 of their Drowned Sailors. Take advantage of the bless to avoid being Death Marked from the first few turns.
I just did it at Hoard 199, Bright Forest 15 on my 2nd try after reading this topic. The first room had the Siren/Azura room that gave the Tidal Affix and that’s just a bad day in the last room if your Maraji Queens die out. The successful attempt had Coral Golem/Sea Troll/Merlion/Leviathan (and Leviathan casted once) and Pirate/Pirate/Pirate/Bonnie Rose.
The Maraji Queens did most of my damage, though I kept things stunned with Water Elemental.
I used the team Kyle listed with the Sorrowful banner:
The Maraji Queen
The Maraji Queen
Sorrowful Banner (+2 Blue, +1 Brown, -1 Yellow)
I did this prior to the 6.3 update with a much larger Hoard. I don’t have my game open to double-check, but I’m inclined to say mid-260s. The potions from the 6.3 update are invaluable; if I had that option available to me at the time, I almost certainly could have made a lower Hoard work because a lot of problems are related to the combination of a potentially-very-painful middle pair of rooms plus the possibility that Death Marks could end your run early.
My recall is that my team was “one of everything”; Water Elemental has a much higher damage potential (obviously), but the Crab Man fills up pretty quickly and the bleed can be useful both on its own and to “reset” the timing of a Death Mark. But you’re probably going to want some good fortune with Death Marks to help things along.