Team Bandit Gang

Babyjosus

Welcome to BG JSN991!

Another Academy Player arrives… 

With JSN being a 17 year old, he is one the youngest team members and thus we like to think that he is a Gwent
prodigy to keep your eyes peeled on. He also will be representing the blue colors.

You can read more about JSN991 here.

Bandit Gang Present: Duel Of Dogs, A Gwent Contest

The Duel of Dogs is a Gwent contest of skill that will be a fantastic community tournament with some of the best teams and names in the Gwent scene. Question is, are you ready to fight?

The Duel of Dogs will feature a 250 USD Prize Pool with a variety of prizes for the top three winners of the dog fight.

If you would like to participate you can register for the Duel of Dogs Qualifiers here and have a shot to qualify for the Main Tournament.

For more information & ruleset, please join our Discord and locate the tourney channels. We look forward to you participating in the Qualifier and watching this big event on the last weekend in October!

KingDenpai Doing The Impossible, Jhugs’s First Tournament, ZigZak Hoping For More Next Time, OneChristo Making Mistakes, Bomblin Sharing His Thoughts

Intro

The swiss of the Gwent Open Partner Tournament #3 is over. And oh boy, what a roller coaster that was. We send five Gwent Partners from the team to participate in the tournament. And thus, I had a little talk with them about the tournament. Note: Most of their lineups didn’t surprise me because at BG we like to create memes. So, you have been warned and shouldn’t be surprised either.

KingDenpai's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a8017a2947b5d6f65ddc3fecf988b4aa

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/bcce44a0ce08441703a787ad68298cb0

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/ecb72d4681b71d83af4af9ef3dc2d86f

KingDenpai's road to top 8:

”This was my first proper tournament experience – and I have to say first and foremost that I have the upmost respect for people who do this for a living. I really tip my hat off to the pro boys and girls out there grinding day in and out to try and reach top of the ladder. Because doing this swiss, even though it was segmented over the last few days has been one of the most mentally taxing things I’ve ever done in terms of this game. Thinking of doing what I did this week all in one go gives me such a headache…

I play for fun. I don’t play for any reason other than I love memes and surprise factor. I love having weird ass cards and having to make em work. So going into this tourney, I expected to just have a few laughs and dork about a bit. Yet somehow, I’m in the top 8. To describe that feeling… just almost not real.

Day one was an interesting one, because I started with a 0-2 from Doberman. It was a rekt fest – and I thought. “Yeah, this is the reality of the meta I’m facing.” and that was it. Yet – as the days progressed, we started to get progressively more and more hype. 2-0’s a plenty and I started to feel this energy and rush unlike anything I’d had in this game. The pressure was insurmountable, and yeah, I know, it’s a card game yada yada – dude I play Hym for gods sake. I shouldn’t be up here, or so I thought to myself.

My favourite round was my face off against AlanitoBandito with SK vs SK, for sure. Because that was a real meta face down with my memes, no BS. I played an older style of SK that many have forsaken for easy drop and damage nonsense without setup of the current meta. I love self wound to death man, thinking about saving a card like protector for a possible Mork down the line or trying to keep bleed for Hym targets – or even manipulating GS for more points with Hym. It’s SO fun.

One thing that also got to me about this experience was watching everyone unite. Everyone showed a lot of love to all of us, and for the most part we all cheered each other on. It was lovely. I enjoyed watching our BG boys play and seeing them win and lose. I made new friends in my opponents, shoutout to Branca, Handreader, PiotrCNS, Sanxessss, Dobermann, and Alantito Bandito. CDPR even featured one of my plays, which is awesome because they could easily organise this and just leave it to finish on it’s own without bothering to check streams and stuff. But Repek for example, he was in every stream trying to ensure things went smoothly. In closing. This whole experience does not feel real to be honest, but I’m happy that I did it. I can’t sum it up any better than that.”

Jhugs's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/eda74e55c5ce218cd6647ec0a5a41ccc

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/12a22a18e077c536beec234c7b8f83be

SY

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/8a25af82a67f59b68035eee6fb2cd62b

Jhugs's experience:

”This was my first Gwent Partner’s Open and going into it I was really excited but nervous at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to decks to bring, some people were bringing memes and others were bringing full on meta decks. I ended up just going what I was most comfortable with which ended up being SY congregate, NG Lockdown, and NR Shieldwall. I felt pretty confident in my SY and NG while I think NR was my weakest faction of the three. I think people were expecting a lot of Shieldwall because I even played against someone who used Tesham Mutna sword!

The faction I was most scared of in the tourney was Skellige. They have an insane amount of removal and control so I ended up banning SK in almost all of my match ups. In the match I didn’t ban SK I played against my own BG teammate Zig Zak and he absolutely crushed me! I didn’t want to play against anyone else from BG but it was bound to happen. I played against TheOneChristo and was able to beat him 2-0 but on the other end I lost to Ziggy 0-2. I’m proud of how all my teammates performed especially KingDenpai for making it to top 8!

Overall, I had lots of fun playing against great players and fun decks. I even got to play against the infamous Misterhabbla1 for my last match where he brought royal inspiration dun banners and devotion elves. I was able to beat him 2-1 but I think he got some unfortunate draws. I ended the Swiss phase with a 3-3 record so I did not qualify for top 8. There were definitely some games I could have played better and perhaps I could have made top 8 with a 4-2 record, but I will take it as a learning experience and train to do better in the next tournament.”

ZigZak's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/2bcfc117ebc4ab5b4895da83d921ae33

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/7fe26f0f6d090761e4f9732b0583e912

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/0c5e475540a1b57171603ffe209e8217

ZigZak's hopes:

”The tournament was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m glad that CDPR can make this type of tournament that allows Gwent Partners to show their style of playing Gwent and building their signature decks. And many of those decks also do very well, shout out to our team manager “KingDenpai” who managed to reach top 8 in this tournament with only meme decks. The only downside for me and many streamers that I’ve been talking to is Swiss mode with 6 rounds spread across 3 days might be a little bit too long. Maybe if they can squeeze it down to only 2 days it would already be much better. 

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach top 8 as I expected. This time due to my lack of focus during so many games and massive amount of misplays that I made. Got me to realize that next time I need to practice more before the tournament and be more cautious when it comes to making decisions during the match. I hope next time I won’t make the same mistakes and that I will make it to top 8!”

OneChristo's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b3e8b84cfc075a5705dd545f32755697

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/adefc8fb40f9a1669740e7b6c8332018

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/cf7158fa088283adaf8992317cea6a90

OneChristo's mistakes:

”I joined the Partners Open on a whim. I remember getting accepted into the program the day before the previous tournament and was bummed I couldn’t participate. I thought this was finally my chance! I figured it would be a fun opportunity to play against other content creators, but boy was I mistaken, the tournament didn’t go exactly as planned.

Part of this is my fault, since apparently, I struggle with time zones. I realized, after registering, that the tournament was going to be in the middle of my workday. Not only would I not be able to stream my games, but it turns out playing Gwent while on a zoom call was more difficult than anticipated. Nevertheless, I had my heart set on playing. A Partner’s Tournament should be fun right? I planned to bring some well intentioned non-meta decks that would at the very least be entertaining. I bothered my Bandit Gang brethren for whatever decks they had lying around and I finally decided on NR – Double Commando Draug, ST – BJ’s Double Schirru (because BJ puts Renew in everything) and iancm1997’s NG – Imposter Deck (which demolishes Shieldwall).

I had played the last two decks about 3 times each, but what could go wrong? NR is for blue coin, ST for red and NG to target Shieldwall. We discussed my first mistake being times zones, mistake number two was bringing decks I had basically never played, mistake number three was expecting my opponents to play fun decks as well. After having to choose between banning Rage or Shieldwall in my first three matchups, I had had enough. I probably came into this whole thing with the wrong mindset and after the first two losses it began to show.

Shout out to misterhabbla1 for bringing some fun stuff, but by the time I played against him at 0-3, I was just trying to make the biggest Renew Schirru possible. After the game I chatted with him a bit and told him what my goal with Renew was, his response was brilliantly simple “yeah but open decklist bro”. Plenty of mistakes, plenty to learn from and I would do it all again in a heartbeat, knowing that next time maybe I should take a day or two off…”

Bomblin's lineup:

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b48b9a649f2a412fee6fbfa9954130b6

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d673ba744997b13ad8db3bb64f25fefd

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a16d05ddc886556eb9920070bc8b0dd3

Bomblin's thoughts on the tournament:

”The organization aspect was very good. I knew exactly when and how to submit decks when my games start, what are the rules etc. I kind of hoped to test more the tournament platform made by CDPR, but Challonge was working pretty good as well. I love the idea of a community coming together and have fun. It promotes a friendly environment where people can watch unique players that compete on a bit different level of seriousness. I hope we will see more of it in the future. Also, I have to mention, everyone that I played was super nice, friendly and I did not have a single crap encounter. We all love Gwent I guess.

Date and time were actually ideal for me, but I heard some people couldn’t participate because of having to play in the middle of the day. I guess there is no way to make it perfect for everyone. It would be cool if we could see the game mode with half the timer for each turn. It was so annoying to wait 45 min for one pair roping every turn. But can I really blame someone for thinking in a game where you are supposed to think? Another thing that would be cool is if we had swiss cast as well. I believe some would be more than happy to do it. It might be a logistic nightmare though.

Also, I was hoping for more people in the tournament. We have around 250 partners in the discord and there were only 34 participants. I  know that not everyone can play but I expected twice as many to play. And another thing is the decks that have been played. So, there are some rewards for winning the tournament, but I do believe it was made mostly for fun and to promote the game. I do believe viewers that watch Gwent are a bit tired of looking at the same decks over and over. And this is the perfect occasion to show that Gwent can be played a bit differently and you still can have good results and have fun (like Kingdenpai). If viewers want to see the competitive environment, then they have regular Open every 2 months. I would love to see the next Partner have some bans decks, cards, or specific rules like you have to play x, etc.”

Final Remarks

We haven’t stopped laughing because we still can’t believe that KingDenpai was able to beat almost all of his opponents with memes. Its truly an amazing achievement by our General Manager to reach top 8 with that lineup. We will all be rooting for him on Saturday and hope you will do too! Note: Briberyplayer, MoriartyUK and TweedleDumdee got accepted to the Gwent Partner Program this week. Hopefully they will be representing us in the next tournament as well.

EnerGiiX Not Being A DrawGod, First Qualifier For Sikamouk

Intro

The TOP 64 qualifiers for Gwent Open #4 has come to an end last weekend and our very own consistent TOP 64 Pro Player enerGiiX and Academy Player Sikamouk participated in it. And thus we talked to them about what they have to say about the qualifiers. Note: Both their lineups showed some of that BG identity that we aim to share with the world and hope to attract new fans with.

EnerGiiX's lineup:

NG

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/8ccd891c6b7ed296cfc9f3bb8b88b2ad

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d5dbdca6dfa6e42b3cce25fd224ad0b5

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/696e1a3fbd79776c33db03bfba18d378

EnerGiiX's reasoning behind his lineup:

”My NG deck is teched against NR Shieldwall, but does very well against other decks like ST gord and Firesworn devotion. The amount of control through poison and locks give you all the answers to deal with engines and tall units. Getting a round 3 with Vattier is game winning cause of huge point swing potential. The deck did really well in this qualifier only lost ones to a lockdown NG deck.

Shieldwall is overall a very strong deck, but almost everyone in this qualifier teched against this deck. It was a mistake by me not bringing a NR that is teched against the Shieldwall meta deck. Cause this deck in the end made me lose the games I did. Missing Prince Anséis in the Shieldwall mirror is game losing and that is what happened to me two games.

The SK list is teched against NR Shieldwall and ST Natures Gift. Cards like Gremist, Decoction and Hammond work really well against NR Shieldwall. Gremist to purify defender, so cards like Hjalmar and Skjordal can target engines or high level threats like a Prince Anséis. Hammond to move Seltkirk or a Vysogota.  It also works surprisingly well against the Carapace match up. Hammond disables the Keltullis, which is game winning in a long round 3. Even got a win through with my SK against a MO Carapace deck.”

EnerGiiX's in-depth analysis:

”Going into this qualifier I felt really good about my line up, my strategy was to target NR and ban SK. This ladder season didn’t matter. So, I had all the time to prep in scrims and make the line up I thought was best suited facing this meta. I started off the day with a 0-2 loss, not the start that I wanted. Normally I never tilt, but this time I was really upset with how this game went. I lost due to draws, I queued the match ups I wanted and  played round 1 really well both games. But ended up drawing way to many bronzes and missed key cards in round 3 to win the games. Missed Anséis in the Shieldwall mirror which loses me the game. I even baited out his Anséis round 1 by playing Seltkirk as my first play to threaten to win on uneven. A trade that is game winning if I just end up drawing my own in round 3.

After that I took a break and vented my frustration away to focus again for game 2. It started really good because I won game 1 with my NG vs NR Shieldwall. Then I lost the second with my NR against NG Lockdown. Went way too deep in the first round and lost on even because of it. So, I would say I played this game out very poorly. The final deciding game, another NR Shieldwall mirror. Again I take the line to use my Seltkirk to bait out his Anséis round 1. And yet again I end up not drawing my own. Which means his Seltkirk and defender stick on the board in round 3 which is just game losing. Draws really weren’t on my side that day.

Already 2 down in loses, I needed to win my next series very badly. This time I played against someone that was hard teching against SK. Something I came in prepared because I did allot of prep for this scenario. First game I lost as SK vs ST, pushed round 1 real hard to get final say with my Morkvark. But, he had the perfect hand to win round 1. There was nothing I could do about that. Round 2 he bled me dry almost completely , which meant his round 3 with Gord single-handedly won him the game. Next game was NG vs MO Carapace, a match up I prepped for a lot and I knew all the winning lines I had to take this game. The deciding game was my SK vs his MO, a match up that should be unwinnable. But, with cards like Decoction, Gremist and Hammond I stand a change to win against this monster deck. Round 1, I managed to win the round, and kill off his Ciri Dash cause he didn’t play around Decoction and 1 leader charge (a bit lucky cause I taught he would see that line from a mile away). Having Hammond to answer his Keltullis meant that all my units would stick on the board and in a long round 3 with Morkvark in hand I managed to take the win in this match up.

Finally a win, next up facing BeardyBog, with his line up that hard counters NR Shieldwall. I knew this was going to be a though series for sure. First game I managed to win with my NG vs his NR, close one but the Vattier point swing won the game ones again. Second match up it was his NG imposter vs my NR, managed to win round 1 decided to go into a long round 3 with a lot of veiled units. As the round progress I taught I would win this one, but in the end NG managed to still control my board too much to get the points to win this match up. Up next was his NR (hard teched for the NR Shieldwall deck) vs my NR Shieldwall. I decided to go in very aggressive round 1 and try to win uneven to get double final say in round 3. But, he had just the hand to defend my aggressive attacks in round 1 and didn’t lose on uneven. With all the control and tech cards for round 3, I didn’t stand a single change to win this. Maybe going in that aggressive wasn’t the right move, but the match up is almost doomed from  the start and there is only hoping he missed key cards in the final round. Overall this was a very enjoyable series and I felt the player who brought the better strategy won this one.

At this point I knew my changes of even making day 2 were very little. Even though I didn’t have a change to make day 2 anymore I felt the need to continue just to proof to myself that I could still win the remaining matches. And that is what happened. After all, the games didn’t matter anymore, but it was still good to get these wins through. Looking back at this qualifier, I was just really unlucky at the first 2 games and the chance is that if I drew better at those games I would have made day 2. Sadly, sometimes Gwent is just the Gwent the draw your golds card game.”

Sikamouk's lineup:

ST

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/2a2c0a9432091489ebaba59095c41e44

NR

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d08798b1f0adc46574d38e75ac46cc17

SK

Instantly download this deck to your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/c4ffb467b9002186c66c3e5ce82bdfa6

Sikamouk's experience:

“I was anxious but also excited for my first time participating in TOP 64 qualifiers to get into Open. I practically didn’t sleep the night before because I was nervous about my lineup right up until the final moment. After only three hours of sleep, I woke up and loaded up on caffeine. I started off the day by winning my first two series 2-0, each win giving me a boost of confidence. Unfortunately, the third series slipped through my fingers because of a misplay. Each game tested my patience more and more which affected my ability to play properly. I finished 2-3 but I still wonder if I had won my third series if I would have been in better spirits which would have helped me go farther. Despite the upset, I think that this has taught me how important it is to take your time when playing in a tournament, that even one small error can make a big difference and that I have to work on my mental. Thank you to my team for their continued support before and after the event and thank you to Sonneillon for coaching me and smurfing with these decks. This experience was both disappointing and encouraging at the same time. I hope to do even better next time.”

Final Remarks

We didn’t quite make it to day 2 and had no chance to get to the Gwent Open #4 because of it. Our competitive interim-manager said the following: ”I am proud of the time and energy our members have put forth practicing and preparing for tournaments like these.” We believe that if they continue to work hard they can do well. Especially if enerGiiX can be a DrawGod and Sikamouk also works on his mental. And perhaps then they can steal the show and qualify for a Gwent Open. At last Sikamouk has shown that he is no longer an Academy Player and so we will be promoting him to the Pro Team. The official announcement will be very soon!

Deck Guide: Vylcount’s Nature’s gift

I should really call this deck “The Bait” because this deck goes really tall with units like Aglaïs, the Hamadryads and the Elven Scouts. The occasional vitality boosts from the leader ability, the Dryad’s Caress and the two Dryads Enchantresses on some of the units can function as removal and poison bait since they are not necessarily the win condition. Aside of that I also have cards like Enchanted Armor, Dunca and two Circle of Life’s that buff my Scoia’tael units in hand. Many times, your opponent can’t deal with all of them and thus allows some of our taller units to live.

This is more of a hybrid ST list since it has some control cards that can stop your opponents strategy. But, it also has some engines that can generate a lot of points due to the nature of the cards and the leader (no pun intended). You have the ability to gain tempo in R1 and bleed in R2 with cards like Eithné Young Queen who provides us Young Dryads that have the Symbiosis tag. Aside of that cards like the Hamadryads and the Crushing Traps can be useful to make tempo swings.

We are also running cards like Call of the Forest, Isengrim’s Council, and Fauve that thin the deck for us. This allows us to get an amazing top deck for R3 because every card synergizes with each other. You got traps to play un-interactively and catch your opponent off guard. Aglaïs can be used as a finisher but also a tool to win you rounds if you are way behind. In the right conditions, Forest protector is 13+ all time. I would say he truly is an MVP.

Double Cross suffers against this deck because nearly all cards you keep till 3 cards in hand are dependent upon Nature and Scoia’tael units. The last 3 cards are preferably Aglaïs, Crushing Trap, and Forest Protector. That’s it, I hope you will enjoy playing the deck!

VYLCOUNT IS A GUEST WRITER FOR TEAM BANDIT GANG. IF YOU LIKE THE DECK THEN FEEL FREE TO LEAVE AN UPVOTE. IF YOU WANT TO BE A GUEST WRITER FOR TEAM BANDIT GANG THEN FEEL FREE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO BABYJOSUS#6844 ON DISCORD.

The Deck

Instantly download this deck into your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/guides/143176

Deck Guide: BJ’s Ethical Shieldwall

From the creator of Gudrun Shupe and definitely 100% independent creator of Triple Siege, Triple Masquerade Ball, Triple Haunt, Triple Passiflora & Triple Commandos. Babyjosus presents you: Ethical Shieldwall. A shieldwall is a protective wall formed by interlocking the shields of foot soldiers. If you are someone that is protective of others then this could very well be the deck for you.

Shieldwall is a brand new leader ability for the Northern Realms faction. With Shieldwall you have 3 charges at your disposal. Each charge boosts a unit by 2 and gives it a shield. This allows you to get a lot of value from Prince Anséis and Seltkirk of Gulet. And if you want you can even use your last charge on one of the duel cards and reset the order ability with Viraxas Prince. This is most likely the reason that Shieldwall only adds 14 provisions to the deck because the shield on a duel card seems pretty binary. Especially since you can boost your duel cards with the Kerack Marines and Royal Guards to make them even more powerful.

With the recent patch the already strong meta deck for Northern Realms from last season seems to be untouched. With powerful cards like Amphibious Assault and Viraxas Prince not getting any nerfs the deck is still tier 1. Most people have changed the Uprising leader ability for Shieldwall and made some slight adjustments. This version is a lot different since it has cards like King Roegner also known as King Pogner (because of the value that it can get). The average value of King Pogner is between 15-25 points from my experience.
The reason for this is because alongside the 3 shields that we can get from our leader we also play Queen Adalia, Prophet Lebioda and Windhalm of Attre. Of course you can decide to run more shields but I personally wanted this deck to be a competitive meme deck. Especially in the mirror match King Pogner can do really well. It got me from rank 3 to rank 1 relatively quick. In case you don’t believe me:

In round 1 I usually open with Kerack Frigate and protect it with the Crystal Skull. After that I play a Temerian Drummer on the left from it so I get 2 extra points from the boat every turn. In this very same round I  also like to thin my deck with the Dun Banners. So, make sure you setup a Temerian Drummer or Anna Strenger so you can easily get them out. Other cards that have good synergy with these engines are Tridam Infantry. If not necessary I like to keep my Amphibious Assault for round 2 and round 3. Especially because it makes your round 2 push even better. If you don’t push then just keep it for round 3. Your shield package and duel cards you prefer to keep for round 2 and/or round 3. If you play against NG its best to not give them a long round 3. Against other decks you should be fine going into a long round 3. Double ball seems to be our arch-enemy so be wary of them.

The rest of deck is pretty self explanatory but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them. You can ask them down below by leaving a comment or ask them when I am live on Twitch. You can find me here. Enjoy playing the deck and make sure to not let your opponents get through your shieldwall! If you are not much of a reader you can check our video deck guide down below:

The Deck

Instantly download this deck into your client with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/guides/142891

Update 7.2 Patchnotes

Hey everyone!

Update 7.2 is coming to all platforms tomorrow, September 1st, and we are all hyped about it! There will be multiple balance changes for existing cards and leader abilities. Down below you can find all the changes that have been mentioned in the Developer Patch Overview. Credits go to Euerfeldi for writing them down.

Changes:
– Menu will now stay in the game mode you played before (less accidental queuing into ranked with seasonal deck).

Neutrals:
– White Frost: Renamed to Blizzard
– Ciri: Damage pings are no longer random
– Ethereal: 9 provisions -> 8. Ability changed to: Doomed. Deploy: Gain Zeal. Order: Transform unit to the right into base copy of self.
– Oneiromancy: 12 provisions -> 13
– Watchman: 4 power -> 5
– Highwaymen: 3 power -> 4
– Iron Falcon Knife Juggler: 1 power -> 2

Monsters:
– Carapace: 15 provisions. Boost an allied unit by 3 and give it Veil. Charge: 3
– Force of Nature: 15 provisions. Spawn and play Woodland Spirit.
– Woodland Spirit: 9 strength, Relict, Token, Doomed.
– Death Shadow: Gone
– White Frost: 15 provisions. Move an enemey unit to the other row and Spawn Frost on its row for 2 turns. Charge: 2
– Auberon: 6 power -> 5. 11 provisions -> 12
– Alpha Werewolf: 5 power -> 6
– Arachas Behemoth: 2 power -> 3
– Caranthir: 8 provision ->9
– Wild Hunt Rider: 3 power -> 4
– Foglet: 3 power -> 4

Northern Realms:
– Mobilization: Spawn a base copy of a bronze allied Soldier on its row and buff it by 3.
– Pincer maneuver: Draw a Northern Realms card of your choice, then shuffle a card from your hand back into the deck. If drawn card was a unit, boost it by 5.
– Vicious Slash: Gone
– Shieldwall: Boost an allied unit by 2 and give it Shield. Charge: 3
– Siege Master: 4 power. 5 provisions. Order: Boost an ally by 2. Resupply: Boost adjacent Siege Engines by 1.
– Rivian Pikeman: 4 power. 5 provisions. Order: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Resupply: Boost self by 1.
– Field medic: Power 1 -> 2
– Dun Banner: Provision 5 -> 4
– Blue Stripes Commandos: 6 provisions -> 5.

Scoia’tael:
– Call of Harmony: 15 provisions. Spawn and play Dana Meadbh.
– Dana Meadbh: 6 power. Relict, Token, Doomed, Harmony.
– Harmony: Nerf reverted, so both rows count again
– Nature’s Gift: 15 provisions. Symbiosis. Order: Give an allied unit Vitality (2). Charge: 3
– Guerilla Tactics: 15 provisions -> 16.
– Zoltan’s Company: Additional ability: If you control Zoltan, give 1 armor to all dwarves on that row.
– Vriheed Brigade: Deploy ability is now targeted
– Duen canell Guardian: 3 power -> 4
– Mahakam Volunteers: 3 power -> 4
– Eithne: 11 provisions -> 12
– Dol Blathana Sentry: +1 armor
– Dwarven chariot: 3 power -> 4
– Dol Blathana Bomber: 1 power -> 2
– Dwarfen Skirmisher: Boost +1 -> +2
– Brokilon sentinel: 5 provisions -> 4

Nilfgaard:
– Tactical decision: 15 provisions. Spawn and play Morvran Voorhis.
– Morvran Voorhis: Human, Soldier, Token, Doomed. 6 power. Deploy: Draw up to 3 cards, then put the same number of cards on top of your deck.
– Strategic Withdrawal: Gone
– Imprisonment: Lock an enemy unit and damage it by 3. Charge: 2.
– Imperial Formation: 16 provisions. 3 Charges instead of 4
– Impera Brigade: 4 power. 5 provisions. Deploy: If you control a soldier, summon all copies of this unit from your deck to this row.
– Nauzicaa Brigade: Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 1. If the enemy unit is boosted, damage it by 3 instead.
– Battle Preparation: Boost increased by 1
– Imposter: Provision 14 -> 15
– Braathens: Power 4 -> 3
– Vivienne: Provisions 10 -> 9
– Vincent: Power 5 -> 3. Provisions 11 -> 10
– Usurper: 11 provisions -> 12
– Ffion 2 power -> 1
– Ard Feid light cavalry: 2 power -> 3
– Hunting pack: 3 power -> 4
– Siege engine category added to Hefty Helge, Rot Tosser, Fire Scorpion & Mangonel

Syndicate:
– Pirate’s Cove: 15 provisions. Spawn a Sea Jackal on an allied row, then gain 4 coins.
– Sacred Flame: Order changed to: Boost all allied firesworn units by 1.
– Ewald Borsodi: 5 power. 7 provisions. Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. If Horst Borsodi is in your graveyard, damage an enemy unit by 4 instead.
– Horst Borsodi: 4 power. Deploy: Gain 3 Coin. If Ewald Borsodi is in your graveyard, gain 6 coins.
– Whoreson’s Freak Show: 4 power, 8 provisions. Profit: 2. Fee 2 (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2.
– Jaques de Aldersberg: 11 provision -> 12
– Sausage Maker: Provision 10 -> 9
– Casino Bouncer: Fee 2 -> 1.
– Sewer raiders: Power 3 -> 4
– Cleric of the flaming rose: Now has cleric category

Skellige:
– Sacrifical Vanguard: Gone
– Second Wind: Gone
– Battle Trance: 16 provisions. Spawn and play Mardrome. Whenever you play an Alchemy card, Heal a random allied unit by 1.
– Rage of the Sea: 14 provisions. Spawn Rain on an enemy row for 1 turns and a deafening Siren on the opposite row. Charge: 3.
– Holger Blackhand: 6 power, 8 provisions. Added Deploy: Damage a unit by 2, rest stays same
– Brokvar Hunter: Zeal. Order: Damage a unit by 2. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play a Beast, reduce cooldown by 1.
– An Craite Greatsword: 10 power. Deploy: Damage self by 5. Whenever an enemy unit takes damage, heal self by 1.
– Harald an Craite: 11 provisions -> 12
– An Craite Marauder: 2 -> 3 power
– Trgyvvi Tuirseach: 11 provision -> 10
– Crow Messenger: 3 power -> 4
– Blood Eagle: 11 provisions-> 12
– Birna Bran: 5 power -> 6
– Tuirseach Skirmisher: 3 power -> 4

Gascon’s Most Wanted #6: Anna Podedworna

This is ‘’Gascon’s Most Wanted’’, a series by Babyjosus where he sits down with fellow content creators and pro players within the Gwent community. Our favorite content creators and pro players tell us about themselves but also about the happy, the sad and the most memorable moments throughout their careers. In this edition, Babyjosus speaks with Anna Podedworna, who is the Lead Concept Artist for Flying Wild Hog but known within the Gwent community for her work when she was a concept artist and illustrator for CD Projekt RED. They talk about her career, the process when working on an art piece, but also about her future plans.

Babyjosus: First of all, thank you for taking the time to have this interview with me. I remember that you said to me that you were swamped up with work. Could you give some insight of what you have been working on?

Anna Podedworna: I always have a few projects going at the same time. Unfortunately, most of the stuff I work on has not been announced yet so I cannot talk about it. All I can say is that at the moment a solid chunk of my time is allocated to working on Magic the Gathering.

BJ: Has the situation regarding COVID-19 affected your work in any way?

AP: If anything, the COVID situation had a positive effect on my work. I have no complaints when it comes to working from home plus I’m a nocturnal creature by nature. My productivity has been through the roof in recent months. 

BJ: Working from home has its advantages. I read that you studied architecture and engineering and while attending your university you did a ton of work as a freelancer. Mostly book covers, fashion designs, comic books, tattoos, and I believe an assortment of private commissions. Now you are involved in the video game industry through your work for Flying Wild Hog. And have been before, because of the work you did for CDPR for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game. How do you look back on your journey?

AP: Well if you put it like that, it almost sounds like my professional career was a continuous vortex of chaos. No solid plan, just dumb luck and me randomly smashing into opportunities with surprisingly great timing. Which is very true and makes for a fun journey. So, I would rate it a 10/10.

BJ: Your art in Gwent has gotten a lot of praise by the Gwent community and you even won the Into the Pixel award in 2018 for your art piece on Ida Emean. Do you have a personal favorite when it comes to card arts that you made for Gwent?

AP: My favorite card is the recently released “Squirrel”. It was the very last card I’ve illustrated for Gwent. It is also a card with a little bit of a back story. The first game director of Gwent had a very strong and mysterious dislike towards squirrels. Upon the discovery of that fact I made it my life goal to put as many squirrels into Gwent as possible. The first attempt of smuggling one into the game was the “Iorveth: Meditation” card. But of course, such a small squirrel would not suffice. Unfortunately, many more of my Gwent squirrelification attempts were tragically thwarted. Five game directors later, when I already knew I was leaving the company – it was now or never. I’ve illustrated the darn squirrel and left it for the game designers to figure out what to do with it. They did not disappoint. Now the Squirrel is in the game and it brings me a lot of joy.

BJ: Alongside your personal favorite. Is there a Gwent card you worked on that stands out to you, for a good or bad reason?

AP: I suppose “Damned Sorceress” was a bit of a pain in the ass to paint. That contorted arm gave me a lot of trouble.

BJ: She truly was a damned sorceress to draw then. What is the process when working on an art piece – where do you get your inspiration from for example?

AP: The process of creating illustrations for card games is pretty streamlined. I start with three different composition sketches. One gets picked by the art director. Then I paint it in a grayscale to ensure correct values. Later, I add color, sprinkle some more details and Photoshop magic and ta-dah: you get a finished illustration. As for the inspiration – I find it everywhere. Everything from day-to-day life, through people, movies, books, or games can be a source. 

BJ: Was there a moment when it was very difficult for you to finish an art piece?

AP: Definitely. Sometimes, I don’t plan out the illustration well enough and end up paying for it close to the finish line. 

BJ: So, what is the average duration you spend on an art piece such as a card art for Gwent?

AP: It used to take me around 40 hours to finish Gwent illustrations. Now I’ve managed to streamline the process better and cut the time down to closer to 25 hours.

BJ: That’s an insane amount of hours when you think about it. But, I suppose that’s why the quality of the card arts are so high. Aside of having worked on card art for Gwent, I was wondering if you have ever played the game yourself?

AP: I’ve tried to get into Gwent many times. Unfortunately, I’m absolutely HORRIBLE at it. In the early days of Gwent, we had a placeholder AI that randomly picked out and played cards. I was losing games against THAT. I’m literally worse than a random card generator. Much time has passed and I’m still garbage and resigned to remaining garbage at Gwent.

BJ: Going back to you, what would you like to work on some day – any project you have been dreaming of? 

AP: I don’t really operate with any particular end goal or dream project in mind. I’m happy with my current projects and I’m sure at some point I’ll smash into something else that will make me happy too.

BJ: Fair enough. I saw that you have done a lot of artwork on your ArtStation – ever thought of publishing some of them in the format of an artbook?

AP: I was thinking about it for some time now. I would like to create more original, non-client work first though.

BJ: I would love to get a copy; in the meantime, I will keep an eye out for when you publish anything new. What is your advice to someone who does traditional art but would like to get into painting digitally?

AP: If you have a decent base knowledge of traditional media you’ll have no problem picking up digital art. It’s way easier, just grab the cheapest tablet and you’re good to go. Most software is pretty intuitive, plus all of the basics will be covered by free online tutorials. 

BJ: We are nearing the end of the interview. Do you have any favorite artists that you would recommend to the reader to check out?

AP: It feels that I have a new favourite artist every day. Here are few artists definitely worth checking out: Andrey Surnov, Piotr Jabłoński, Johannes Voss, Simon Stålenhag, Kazuo Oga.

BJ: To finish the interview, just one more question. What is your last wish Anna?

AP: I wish for more squirrels in Gwent. Lorenzo, it’s up to you now.

BJ: I will make sure to send this article to him!

IF YOU WANT TO SEE MORE OF ANNA PODEDWORNA THEN YOU CAN FIND HER ON TWITTER, TUMBLR AND ARTSTATION.

A Recap Of The Second Gwent Open Of Season Two

This article has been written by Babyjosus, in collaboration with Sawyer1888.

With the amount of positive feedback regarding our first recap, Team Bandit Gang has decided to continue to write recaps for the official tournaments in this season. The Gwent Open #2 of this season was being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28th. So, if you were going to a cottage in Quebec to go kayaking or just want to feel a little nostalgic, we got you covered with another recap. And just like Gwent Open #1, Gwent Open #2 was being broadcasted from the home offices instead of the famous studio at the headquarters of CDPR. WatchFlake was unfortunately not able to cast, instead we got to see Shinmiri cast alongside McBeard. 6 Shupe plushies were spotted throughout the tournament, which is 1 more than last time.

Before we head to the matches of day 1, we would like to mention that the prize pool amounted 22000 USD thanks to the community purchasing the Earth Pack & Overgrown Bundle. This meant that each player received extra 2000 USD in addition to the base prize pool distribution. On top of that, each participant received 500 USD for reaching the Quarterfinal, 1000 USD for reaching the semifinal and 1000 USD for reaching the finals. The winner received an additional 1000 USD. For the community that was watching the tournament at home, they were able to receive Twitch Drops. After watching for 4 hours, viewers were able to get a unique Germain Piquant avatar. And after 8 hours – a brand new Master Mirror Keg, to be opened when the expansion releases on June 30th (which is tomorrow!). If you strive to qualify for a Gwent Open yourself, then book yourself a coaching lesson to make this dream a reality. For more information about coaching click here. Let’s jump into the matches now!

Day 1

The first match was between Tailbot vs Green-knight who is a member for Team Leviathan Gaming. Green-Knight is not a brand new face. We have seen him before when he qualified for the Gwent Open #8 in season 1. He played against Molegion from Team Aretuza in the quarterfinals who managed to win 3-0 over him. And to face Tailbot now is definitely not an easy task for the Brit knowing that he is the underdog if you look at the poll. 78,5% of the fans voted in favor of Tailbot. If you look at Tailbots decklists you will see that he was not bringing The Great Oak but Saesenthessis instead for his Mystic Echo. Not sure if this was a key factor for him to win the first game but it ended up working out perfectly. In the second game Tailbot pushed Green-Knight in round 2 just like he did in game 1 and managed to beat the Harmony archetype with Blood Scent in round 3. It was now 2-0 for Tailbot and perhaps this caused flashbacks to the Gwent Open #8 for Green-Knight. In the third game Talbot managed to win again, this time with a satisfying board sweep from Wild Boar of the Sea which caused a lot of girls to scream in the Twitch chat. A 3-0 from Tailbot over Green-Knight meant that the curse of the quarterfinals for Green-Knight is continuing. Hopefully he will manage to overcome this someday. Because it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see him another time. You can check their decks here:

The second match was between Wangid1 vs Magpie131, winner of Challenger #5, who managed to bring a very unique lineup to the table. 56,2% of the fans rooted for Magpie131. Sadly for Magpie, the unique lineup wasn’t enough for him to continue in the tournament as he lost 3-2 to Wangid. But, he definitely got our mad respect for bringing memes to the tournament. If you are interested about what Magpie has to say about the games that he played against Wangid, you can do so here. You can check their decks below:

With the third match between Team Aretuza member Redrame, the best player of North America, vs Iluxa228 a member from Team Legacy, we know we were gonna get treated with skillful displays. For both it was actually their first time playing a Gwent Open. 65,1% of the fans voted in favor of Redrame. While Redrame was unlucky to draw twice into Affan, and a card down in the last match, he still managed to win 3-2 over Iluxa coming back from a 2-1 in favor of Iluxa. The excitement that Redrame had for playing this series resulted in people spamming BIGRAME in the Twitch chat. Does this indicates that the fans have found their new champ to root for? You can check their decks here:

The last match of the day was between Ineverhood vs kams134 from Team Leviathan Gaming. And just like Green-Knight, kams also played in the Gwent Open #8. He was playing against wangid1 and lost 3-0 in the quarterfinal. But that didn’t stop the fans to not vote for him with 70,4% being in favor of kams. It must have been a surprise to most of the people that INeverhood ended up winning 3-1. When kams lost the first round on even, which meant he was a card down in round 3, it was simply not possible for him to win to make it 2-2. You can check their decks here:

Day 2

With day 1 coming to an end, eventually day 2 had to arrive. And everyone was not only waiting for the outcome of the final day, but also on a razors edge about what will be the last cards to be revealed. We will discuss those cards and share our opinions about the upcoming changes here

The Semis were fought out between Tailbot vs Wangid1 and Redrame vs lneverhood. In the first game, casted by McBeardCH and Shinmiri2, two veterans from Open faced each other: Tailbot, one of the fans favourite, against Wangid1, one of Chinas top class players, who just qualified for Open 3 at the latest qualifier last weekend. After both of the players picked their faction to ban (Tailbot banned Wangids Elder Bears Imperial Formation, Wangid1 bannend Tailbots Uprising Draug), the first game was a clash between two of the strongest decks on ladder right now: Tailbots Vampires against classic Mystic Echo from Wangid1, which went in favour of Wangid1 in a close final round. Game two Wangids Crones faced the midrange SK deck and maybe was decided, not only be very unfortunate draws for Tailbot, who missed Wild Boar and Hemdall with some other golds, but also by an offensive Ozzrel, which was used to eat the Morkvarg right away in round 2. Now only Wangids Draug was left, which got beaten in game 3, also by a perfect clapping from Hemdall, which killed 2 revenants. The last game went in favour for Wangid1 again, who just lore friendly beaten up Talilbots Scoiatel with an overwhelming display of NR Uprising. 

To be fair and in all respect for the other players, but seeing Redrame reaching the semis after a nailbiting day 1, was for many fans the highlight of the Open so far. While his double ball deck got banned by Lneverhood, he banned syndicate himself. The first game of this series seemed to be the perfect matchup for Redrame, playing against elves with Draug on blue coin. With a lot of tempo, he tried to win round 1 here, even committing royal decree for a thick Voymir, which was his biggest mistake and cost him maybe the whole series, Redrame admitted later on. Cause not only missed Draug in round 3 to just lose by a small amount of points, he also wasn’t able to get his Draug through all the time. In the second game Redrame managed to get a win with his trademark Mahakam Forge deck against Lneverhoods Overwhelming hunger, just to take a heavy pointslapping in game 3 against it with again, Draug. Game 4 went into a tie and after that was decided in Redrames favour with just one single point, to get his syndicate list through against greatswords. The final game not only was decided by the power of a wild boar greatsword combo at the end, but also by unlucky draws and missing some key cards for Redrame again.

Before the final we got treated with a developer update. You can check it here:

With the developer update revealing lots of new cards and abilities everyone was hyped up for the final matches of the day.

So, after two intense Series we had the final between Wangid1 and Lneverhood. Wangid1, which was beaten round 1 in the last Dpen by the eventual finalist Nik_R, was the 2nd consecutive Chinese player making it into the final, after Demarcations impressive performance last month.
This time Wangids Mystic Echo got banned rather than his Imperial Formation, so it was the first time in the entire series that we saw this deck. On the other side, there was no love for Lneverhoods Tactical Decision Shupe Ball deck. The first game was a strong performance of the old school Elder Bears, who managed to win on even and clapped Greatswords with a double last say in round 3. Game number 2 was interesting, cause both players played different monster decks, which was eventually decided by a misplayed Yghern in round number 2 by Wangid1, which allowed Lnerverhood an aggressive Ozzrel. Games number 3 and 4 both went in favour of Wangid1, who managed to get a smoth victory with Draug yet again against Greatswords, continuing the roll with a heavy control focused display of his crones against elves.

And, like last month, the winner of Open number 2 was a Chinese player, Wangid1. Congratulations on a strong performance and a great respect for all the other participants.

After day 2 came to an end, CDPR announced that the next Gwent Open will be held in August. 29th-30th of August to be precise. Aside of that, we would like to inform you about The Invitational, which is the largest independent tourney that has ever been organized. A total of 100 players, including 6 players from Team Bandit Gang, will battle it out for a $1000 prize pool. Watch the trailer here: