Mercernn

Kalvino’s First Interview | Welcome To Bandit Gang | Exclusive

Babyjosus: What does it mean to you now you are officially part of BG?

Kalvino: It means a lot honestly. I always knew this was the Team I wanted to be a part of. It means I can work closely with fellow content creators I’ve admired since getting into Gwent. I look forward to exploring new types of content and collaborating with my teammates.

BJ: What made you join BG?

K: I was inspired by the many people I interacted with on Twitch and YouTube when I first took a deeper interest in the game. I always enjoyed my time on BG Members’ streams and I was especially interested in the unique approach they took to the game compared to others. After appreciating it so much, I wanted to do my part and contribute further to this great community.

BJ: What can people expect from you now you are on BG?

K: They can expect more Streams and many Memes! I plan to assist further with the Meme/Theme Snapshot and might try to write some of my own articles or guides. I’ll also make regular appearances in BG video content when I can.

BJ: How well suited do you think you are to the life of a content creator for BG?

K: I think I’m pretty well suited as it’s a creative outlet I relish being able to explore. However, I know I have much to learn from my teammates. I plan to improve on all aspects of content creation and hope I can be a benefit to those working on the existing BG projects.

BJ: What message would you give to the supporters of BG?

K: First would be thank you for your support! The Gwent Community and by extension Team Bandit Gang wouldn’t be the same without the fans showing their interest. I’m looking forward to more great content focused on bringing fun to your games.

You can find out more about Kalvino here.

Bandit of the Month (September) | Exclusive Interview with Bomblin

It’s our pleasure to award Bomblin with the BOTM this time! We are astonished by your dedication to the team and all the individuals within it. You’ve done a great job leading the Meme Snapshot project as well as by taking responsibility for our Reddit presence. Your morning streams have become a staple of the Gwent Twitch and we are all proud of you for it! 

Babyjosus: Hey Bomblin! What does it mean to you to receive your first BOTM?

Bomblin: It means a lot to me! It tells me that my work matters not only to me, but also to the whole team. It also makes me happy that I have been recognized for allthe things I keep on trying to do for the team. At the same time, I do believe that many other team mates of mine also deserve this title and I hope more people can get to know them.

BJ: How have you been enjoying your road to Twitch Partner?

B: It was harder than it might look, but I enjoyed it a lot. I have spent a lot of time on and off my stream to make sure my channel grows. Achievements like this send me the message that I am doing things (at least partly) right and that people do enjoy my content. It is also wonderful to spend every day doing something you love.

BJ: You have been leading the project for Meme & Theme Snapshots, what has it been like?

B: Yes, I have been leading the project, but without people like Babyjosus and other team members the project would not exist. I proudly treat this project as my content creation baby. It is probably the most important thing I create every other month and it is honestly a blast! I always considered myself a meme enthusiast and these kinds of snapshots let me share my passion and crazy ideas with the Gwent Community. I also love that we, as a team, can provide people with something unique and something that has not been yet presented by other teams. I hope I will be able to work on this project for a long time.

BJ: What can people expect from you in the future?

B: I hope to write more articles in the future, especially in cooperation with some of my teammates (looking at you Mercernn). Moreover, I hope to engage in new projects that Bandit Gang will come up with. On a personal level, you can expect a lot of fun and memes on all of my platforms! Especially so, as I enjoy making videos that are not only regular deck guides.

BJ: What message would you give to the supporters of BG?

B: First of all, I love you all! The amount of support I got from all of you is extraordinary. I would also like to highlight that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy what you do! Stay safe!

You can find out more about Bomblin here.

Slavic Saturday: Baba Yaga (EP7)

𝘎𝘸𝘦𝘯𝘵'𝘴‎‎‎‎‏‏‎ ‎ 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯‏‏‎ ‎‏‏‎𝘰𝘧 𝘠𝘢𝘨𝘢

Introduction

To the early Slavs, forests and swamps were omnipresent. Around farms and villages as well as on the mountains, the woods were inescapable. And in the shadows of those trees, spirits lurked.

One of the most well-known supernatural creatures in the Slavic Mythology is Baba Yaga. It’s not hard to imagine how she looked like as she had the appearance of an old ugly lady with long hair flying on a broom or in a mortar.

She lives in a forest in a hut on chicken legs. This hut is surrounded from all sides by a fence made from human bones and skulls.

Etymology

Different variations of the name Baba Yaga can be found in all of the Slavic countries.

The first part of her name, Baba, is most likely a babble word. In Russian the word “babushka”, meaning grandmother, derives from it. In the Eastern part of Slovakia the word “baba” is used to call your grandmother, as well. Baba” is also used in Serbo-Croatian and Bulgarian with the same meaning.

The second part of the name, Yaga, can be found in various Slavic languages. In Serbo-Croatian “jeza” means horror or shudder. In Slovenia “jeza” is anger. Or in Polish “jędza” witch, evil woman or fury. There are also some other variations in other languages.

Behaviour

In various legends we can see that she cannot clearly be identified as a positive or a negative being.

On one hand Baba Yaga is a being that has cannibal inclinations and strong magical abilities, some of which are being able to spread diseases and create thunderstorms. Some cultures even portray her as the death itself. The cannibal inclinations mostly include young men or children, who she tries to trick into coming inside her house and then Baba Yaga roasts them in a big furnace.

On the other hand, in many tales she helps the heroes of the tales to achieve their goals. Baba Yaga can do that in many ways. When the hero gets to the house of Baba Yaga she offers him a warm steamy bath, a delicious meal, lets him get a rest he needs and provides them with valuable advice and gifts – for example a flying carpet or the Seven League Boots.

One of the tales where she plays the positive role is a tale about Koshchey in which Baba Yaga helps Ivan, the hero, to beat Koshchey so he can free his dream girl. Yaga gave Ivan a magical horse so he could keep up with the speed of Koshchey’s horse.

A Slavic folktale about Baba Yaga

One morning, a young girl named Natasha was walking through the forest. She came upon Baba Yaga’s strange house and thought she would knock on the door and ask for directions. After she walked inside, however, the door slammed shut behind her and Baba Yaga locked her in!

Baba Yaga told Natasha that she would have to stay there forever to clean her house and do all the chores. Baba Yaga told Natasha that if she were ever lazy or didn’t complete her work in time, she would cook her up for dinner. Natasha was scared, but as soon as Baby Yaga went to bed she planned her escape!

First, she gave a bone to Baba Yaga’s hungry dog. He happily began chomping away and couldn’t be bothered to bark at her as she sneaked out of the hut.

As she shut the door behind her, she heard a loud hiss. She found it came from the skinny cat that lived beneath Baba Yaga’s front porch. Natasha searched in her pocket and found a piece of cheese leftover from her breakfast. She offered the cheese to the cat, who gratefully took it. The cat was so busy eating the cheese that she forgot to scratch at Natasha’s ankles or to meow for Baba Yaga.

Natasha was almost out! She only had to get through Baba Yaga’s garden gate and escape into the forest. The gate was so squeaky that Natasha thought Baba Yaga would be sure to hear her open it, so she searched around Baba Yaga’s fence until she found an old can of oil. She poured the oil over the gate’s hinges, and it swung open silently. Natasha ran through the gate and out of the forest as quickly as her legs could carry her!

Because Natasha was clever and kind, she was able to escape from the witch and arrive safely home.

Conclusion

This was the seventh episode of Slavic Saturday. There are many other creatures I am ready to cover for you, my lovely fans. If you missed our previous episodes then you can find that here. I hope to see you all return next Saturday!

DrDenuz is a guest writer for Bandit Gang. You can find him on Twitter, Twitch & YouTube.

40 Card Foltest – Archetype History (EP2)

This article was written by Bomblin and edited by Mercernn. Make sure to check out Bomblin, the self-proclaimed meme ambassador, on his Twitch channel. Furthermore, if you found this article interesting, let us inform you that this is the second episode of Archetype History and we’ve also published one dedicated to the first iteration of the most beloved and cherished archetype in the history of Gwent, NG Mill. Thank you for your attention and we hope you’ll enjoy the article!

Introduction – How Did It Work? 

One of the most fundamental rules of all card games is to make your deck as consistent as possible. Be it 25, 40, or 60 cards,it doesn’t really matter, as there always seems to be a minimal amount of cards in your deck that you usually do not want to go beyond. Why is that so? Well, to make it on average as reliable as possible, and to make sure that you always draw your win conditions. For this reason, you want to put in as few cards as possible. What if I told you, though, that during the Beta Gwent times there was a deck, a deck so unique and unusual, that broke this rule, yet was still more than playable? Ladies and Gentlemen, let me tell you the story of 40 Card Foltest.

The main premise of the deck was to get the most out of the old Foltest leader ability: “Boost all units in your hand and deck by 1.” To get the best of this ability, you would play a lot of easily tutorable units that could flood your board and overcome your opponent, as the more units you played, the more you got ahead of the balance curve, as each and every unit played was boosted by the extra one point thanks to your leader ability. There was a downside to this strategy, of course, that being bad draws and bricks, especially due to the extensive inclusion of tutors and summon targets such as Temerian Infantry. Due to its draw-dependant nature, the deck was never a tier one material but was considered a solid off meta pick that could compete with anything provided it got the stroke of rng luck for its opening draws. 

With introduction out of the way, now let us take a look at a few specific examples that gave the archetype its identity. 

Deck Building in Beta Gwent.

The provision-based system was introduced in Homecoming, before that players were restricted by the amount of cards of a certain color that they could include in their deck. These restrictions distinguished:

Golds – Most powerful/unique cards in the game, often finishers with limited leader/special card interactivity. Max amount in deck: 4. Max copies of each: 1.

Silvers – Slightly weaker but with a higher degree of interactivity. Often spells (Scorch) or tech choices (Locks or Silver spies – Could provide card advantage). Max amount in deck: 6. Max copies of each: 1.

Bronzes – The backbone of your deck. Often your finishers too, e. g. you could have 3 bronze Harald Gords in ST in the presence of Dol Blathana Sentries (I know, crazy!). Max amount in deck: 30. Max copies of each: 3.

Your deck needed to be between 25 and 40 cards in total so most decks included 4 golds, 6 silvers, and 15 bronzes. 40 Card Foltest Included the standard 4 and 6 set up  but differed in having either 30 or 27 bronzes.

The Leader

All leader abilities in beta Gwent were effectively cards that you deployed on the board similarly to Morvarn or Dana right now. King Foltest wasn’t any different in this regard. While his ability changed over time and he started as a card similar to the current Mobilization (spawning the copy of a friendly bronze unit) he became a staple, unique leader with his all-boosting potential. Interestingly enough, CD Projekt also had to change the ability to not copy spies after the introduction of the Nilfgaardian faction. In any case, the power of 40 Card Foltest emerged in the final version of the ability – Boost all units in hand and deck (and eventually on the board as well) by 1, similarly to the (as of now) very popular Erland of Larvik. The ability rewarded you for playing more units in the deck than you would usually do, but only if you managed to get them out… But how could you get so many boosted cards from the deck?

Broke Peddlers

If you know my stream, you might know this guy very well. He is the original broke-as-shit pedler – not only the author of my favorite voice line in game but also one of the most powerful bronze cards in Beta Gwent that has seen play in almost every NR deck. The all-mighty: Reaver Scout. The cards ability was simple, yet powerful: Choose a different Bronze ally and play a copy of it from your deck. This allowed you to thin your deck and capitalize on the boost from Foltest. Just in this simple combo you got +2 value on playing two units in a single turn and the tutored unit could of course summon/play more units on top of that as well! I hope we will see this guy again in the near future, even if CDPR decided to change the card’s ability. One could ask, though, was Reaver Scout enough to make this humongous deck work?

AYE AYE SIR

Of course not, but here comes a card with one of my favorite abilities in the game! I hope it will return one day, maybe in a modifed form to suit the new direction the game has taken. Before we talk about it, I need to explain one thing. Card advantage was a very important aspect of beta Gwent. You only drew two cards after Round 1 and one additional card after Round 2. This is much less than the current 6 cards one can draw in Homecoming Gwent. You really didn’t want to go first and you really did not want to fall behind as that could translate into game over for you. Well, unless you had Dun banners in your deck, always ready to relieve you in the toughest fights. That’s not where it ends, though, remember that your Foltest boosted everything in your deck by 1. And furthermore, don’t forget that you had 3 copies in the deck. This could change the gap of 20 points to 5 points for „free”? Very nice!

The Temerian Package

Ok, how about we pick up the pace now and talk about 3 different cards at the same time? Yes? Perfect! There are just way too many cards in this giganormous deck, trust me! The staple of many NR decks: Temerian Infantry was a classic thinning card with a simple ability: Summon all copies of this unit to this row. Blue Stripes Scouts let you boost all Temerian infantrymen on the board and deck by 1 and finally Blue Stripes Commando would be summoned from the deck every time you played a Temerian ally with the same power. Do you see it now? Boost, boost, thin, thin! That’s all you need! THIS I LIKE!

The White Frost is coming

To thin your deck even more people didn’t hesitate to add Aretuza Adept to the deck. Her ability? Simple. Play random bronze weather from your deck. Why would you like to play weather in a swarm deck? 3 reasons! 1) Thinning. 2) For a long time weather in Gwent had NO TIMER. That’s a lot of damage for a bronze card. 3) A lot of carryover value for a card that we’ll refer to for now only as „Big Boi.”

The Traitor

To add a bit of control and even more thinning to the deck, Witch Hunter made its way to the deck. The same card that you may know from Syndicate in today’s Gwent. Yes, thats right. The Syndicate card used to be part of the mighty Northern Realms. Its beta ability was to reset the target unit. However, if you targeted a mage, you could play another Witch hunter from the deck. Let’s rimind that you’d canonically run Aretuza Adepts, so you could target your own unit too to thin two extra units units from the deck and then reset an enemy unit on top of that as a cherry on the top as more than often you could find offensive value from them too! Just imagine reseting three boosted enemy mages and pulling out three units from the deck in a single turn! Boom!

The Big Boi(s)

Bloody Baron was one of the main payoff cards of this deck. His ability changed many times in the Beta, but the one that made him work in this deck was: „Whenever an enemy is destroyed during a round, while this unit is in your deck, boost self by 1?” That’s nice Bomblin, I see the synergy with some damage filler cards and Frost ticking now! But Bomblin, I also need to draw this card from this mess of a deck! Well, what if I told you the card would always place itself on top of your deck? I’m not joking, this is what used to be a part of the card’s ability.

Then the midwinter patch came to Gwent. Dark Clouds came to our friend Bloody Baron and he lost the tutoring part of his ability. However, we got one new big boi in his place.. Hubert Rejk, or Hugebert as some called him. His synergy with the deck was perfect, even better than the one of Baron’s. The ability itself was quite simple: „Drain all boosts from units in your deck.” This means, that you no longer needed to draw Baron for a finisher, but also all units boosted by Foltest could still be useful, even if you didn’t manage to thin them from the deck! We could once again draw a comparison with Erland of Larvik here.

Speaking of the Mulligan nightmares, the biggest problem with the deck was of course its inconsistency. The number of units that you wanted to keep in the deck was enormous. There was one feature in Beta Gwent that helped it a bit, though. Blacklisting. How did it work? If you mulliganed away one card, you could NOT draw the same card, or a copy of it, from a Mulligan. This meant that for example: If you had one Dun Banner in hand and you want none in hand, you wanted to Mulligan it away first, so you are sure that you can’t get it and in fact reduce the possible draws by taking away two more cards out of the selection. Blacklisting was removed in Homecoming, but in return we got a flexible mulligan system and the amount of copies you could draw was reduced by limiting bronzes to two copies, so we could argue that the removal of blacklisting made sense.

The Future of 40 Card Foltest

I love concepts that reward you for unusual, original and out of the box deck building. Putting more cards in your deck was something fresh and very rare in card games in general, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunatelly, there is not really a space to do this tn Homecoming Gwent apart from meme decks such as Enslave 7 that requires you to play at least 29 cards. We have , however, been many throwbacks to the Beta Gwent times with cards like Erland, for example, (basically old Foltest + Hubert in one card) or recently added King Foltest that feels like a tiny nod to the old idea of puting more units in your deck. Nonetheless, Homecoming Gwent also heavily reduced the number of tutors in the game, especially bronze/cheap ones. Moreover, provisions keep you in check now, so the dream of a similar deck might be actually impossible.

I personally hope we will some more throwbacks to old days with perhaps returning ability of Dun banners and of course, I am also still waiting for the return of Broke as a shit peddlers.

Final Thoughts

40 Card Foltest was one of my favorite decks ever in Gwent. It had a unique playstyle and made mulliganing feel meaningful. It was also a swarm deck and I adore every single swarm deck. I genuinly hope we will see more support for creative deckbuilding with unique playstyle and win conditions. For now, though, all I can say is AYE AYE SIR and bid you farewell!

Thank you very much for joining me on this historical adventure. Furthermore, thank you Mercernn for giving me this opportunity. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and make sure to comment to share your thoughts about 40 Card Foltest!

Gwentdata.com – Interview with the Website’s Developer, André Peres

The community of Gwent is without a doubt a very diverse group of streamers, youtubers, pros, artists, writers and every-day players that share their thoughts, emotions and ideas with one another on social hubs and forums. Today, we’ve got an opportunity to interview a content creator falling into a category that could be easily forgotten about in such as wide selection, a developer. In our case it is not a developer of the game itself, but of a data gathering website gwentdata.com by the name of André Peres


Q: Hi, thank you for sitting down with us today! First of all, can you tell us something little about yourself?

A: Hello, I am grateful for the invitation of Team BG for this interview. My name is André, I’m a Computer Scientist and a Brazilian Gwent player. I love digital games, mainly RPGs and I am also a very curious person, I like to know how things work and to analyze it.

Q: Working on such a project must require a lot of determination. How did you find your way to Gwent and would you consider yourself to be a „hardcore“ Gwent player?

A: My first contact with Gwent was in The Witcher 3, as I believe it must have happened to a decent part of the community. During my first playthrough, I didn’t have much interest in the cardgame and ignored most of the opportunities to play Gwent. However, in my second playthrough I really loved the game and took every opportunity to have a round of Gwent 😊 . After that, I figured that a standalone version of it should exist and searching for it I found that there was a beta version of Gwent Online. I immediately started playing. Unfortunately, at the time due to studying for a master’s degree, I ended up moving away from the game and only returned after HC when I had more time to play and get involved. I don’t consider myself a “hardcore” player, at least not recently, although I play Gwent every day in a more casual way, I like to test different decks and mechanics that are not very used in the meta.

Q: Could you introduce the website to us? How can we access it, what can it do and what would one use it for?

A: The website is called gwentdata.com (Yes, not a very original name 😊). You can see with the website the current Gwent Pro Rank stats and how each faction is performing. There are data such as winrate and playrate for each faction and an overview of the players with the best winrate per faction. You can also filter this data by date, and adjust the number of players in the sample (Top 100, 500, 1000, etc.). Data is collected every 4 hours. There are also charts showing the historical behavior, day by day, of the same data, showing how each faction evolved during the season. In addition to that, we have a table with the Leaderboard of the 500 best players, again with a filter and the possibility to sort the data. Also, an interesting feature is that you can see the individual profile of the players that contains a series of charts and information about their performance on the Ladder. It is important to emphasize that the site is still in the early stages of development and may have bugs and a lack of resources. The site can be used by people who are interested in more detailed Gwent data, can track the performance of each faction and the players at the top of the Ladder. If you are in Pro (in the top 2800), you can also track your individual performance, see what your status is and how you have progressed. I believe it is a tool that would help both the curious and competitive pro players.

Q: Where did the idea to make your website come from? Do you have any experience with similar projects?

A: Ironically, the idea came when CDPR restricted several data. This caused a certain level of discomfort in a part of the community at the time. Until then, I had not thought about collecting data at all, nor that it would be possible. Nonetheless, from there I started the project as a personal hobby, developing some algorithms, collecting data and analyzing it through spreadsheets. After the algorithms reached a certain maturity in the collection and compilation of the data, I started to work on a page to present this data that would create charts in an automated way. Basically, I showed it to some people in the community that were also fond of data, and they found it interesting, so I decided to create a page to share it with them easily. After that I also decided to make it public for anyone interested in having access to such data. Yes, I have some experience in data collection and analysis, I worked on some internal company projects and I also have a master’s degree in Computational Intelligence which helps in the development of the project too.

Q: What method does the website use to gather the data? Have you encountered any difficulties with extracting it from the game, or rather the players’ statistics?

A: Unfortunately, CDPR is not very generous when it comes to making data available, let alone raw data for analysis. So, the biggest source of data is the Gwent Master page and the public Profiles. Unfortunately, there are some limits to this. The Masters page, for example, allows you to consult only the 2860 players with the highest MMR. Despite this being a generous number, the way the MMR is calculated can cause for good players to end up appearing later in the statistics, as they possibly can focus on a certain faction until they have a good fMMR and only then work on the other factions which increases their MMR and makes them visible. There are several difficulties in collecting this data, as mentioned, but beyond that, there is also the fact that any player has the option to make his profile private, which makes it impossible to collect several pieces of information. This affects the quality of the data heavily. For instance, approximately 9.5% of Pro Ladder players have their profile set to private. In many cases, I do a manual data feed by looking directly at Gwent in-game profiles, as it is possible to obtain more information within the game than on the website.

Q: Do you have any plans for the website to the future?

A: For now, the only plans are to make more charts and add some search feature and filters, perhaps the publication of some data analysis articles. The lack of data makes development very difficult.

Q: CDPR regularly shares data with the community too, such as the monthly leader ability winrates. Would you say that the community is well-informed by the devs in this regard? Could something be perhaps improved in your opinion?

A: The monthly release of the leader abilities’ winrates was a great initiative by CDPR. It definitely helps the community to understand some changes made in the balance patches. I believe, however, that many things could be improved, such as the availability of an API for obtaining public data such as the leaderboards and some other information that  is only possible to obtain within the game today and not on the website. Also, reverting the format of the Masters website to show the fMMR data of the players again, I honestly did not get why this was removed, while the opposite should have been done in my opinion. I believe that the more transparent the competitive scene becomes, the better it will be for everyone.

Q: Have you by a chance noticed any interesting phenomena coming from the visualised data that wouldn’t be as obvious in the game alone? I was personally shocked by the very low play-rate of NR at the beginning of this season… Dark clouds gather over Temeria indeed!

A: Yes, it is common to see some trends, though it is difficult to say if it would not be possible to observe in the game, as it depends a lot on the level of MMR the player is at. A phenomenon that I always find interesting is the popularity of Nilfgard, even when the faction is underperforming, its playrate is greater than one would be expecting. Apparently, people really like the faction, maybe because they find it fun or feel more comfortable with the play style. There are also temporary changes due to a particular deck becoming popular. Recently, for example, there has been a huge jump in the popularity of Nilfgard after the release of a certain deck. Indeed, NR is going through a bad phase in its popularity, despite having presented slight improvements on the last days it is still well below the others. Scytheman and Vesemir nerfs, and Yrden being a thing have made the faction become much less attractive perhaps. Furthermore, the new cards didn’t help too much with rekindling the interest. What I realized is that normally any nerf NR has a significant impact on the popularity of the faction. NR is my favorite faction and, although I don’t like the witchers deck personally, it is very sad to see it so low on the ladder.

Q: Is there any way we can help you as a community? Are you searching for more people to help you with mantaining or expanding the website?

A: As it is a small project, no more people are needed right now, however, any suggestion is always welcome. I believe that the best way to help as a player is to turn your profile public, because your profile can still be seen inside the game if you are on pro, and thus restricting it only makes the data analysis difficult, but does not prevent anyone from accessing it if they want to do the extra step.

Q: Final Question: If you were forced to name your first-born child after a Gwent card, which one would it be and why?

A: Hard question. I’m thinking if it was for a girl, I always liked the names Yennefer and Philippa. Not to piss off Triss fans, I’ll stick with Philippa 😊, I like the name and I think she is a super interesting character from the Witcher world.


With the last and arguably most important question having been answered, I would like to thank again to André for sharing with us his insight into the fascinating world of Gwent data and also to you, our dear readers, for making it to the very end. If you were interested in this topic make sure to let us know by commenting and we will see you next time.

NG Mill – Archetype History (EP1)

Mill, Mill, Mill, always go for a two nil,” is something that you might hear from an experienced Gwent player that has been cursed to only speak in rhymes, probably for playing with Viper Witcher Alchemists. While the current state of everyone’s favorite archetype has been that of a usually non-competitive entity that reappears every now and then, but gets crushed by almost anything for as long as the formula that we’ve opened up with is followed, Mill has been a force to be reckoned with in the past. When do you ask? And what made it so strong? Well, let’s go together on a journey through hell then!

Nilfgaard Added to the Game – Closed Beta

The oldest possible point to which we can trace the history of Mill as an archetype is the day Nilgaard was added to the game. It was on February 6th, 2017 – over 4 years ago. Even though pinpointing the starting point is more than easy, covering every single change would be more difficult, as exactly 20 Beta updates came out after the Nilfgaardian faction was added to the game, and thus not every single stage of the cards of interest will be covered, but the basic ideas and overarching themes of what made the very cards important for Mill’s identity will be highlighted. With that out of the way, we can finally draw some conclusions, or cards? Hmm…

 
Tibor Eggebracht

What other card could we start with, but the manliest commander gifted with a voice that would keep Luciano Pavarotti in shame, the one and only Tibor Eggebracht. Tibor had been included in the initial NG card batch and became a staple for his raw power and very thematical ability. The card synergized with Mill, but also Reveal, an archetype lost to time. Notice the lack of tags and provisions. The prior of the two was addressed in due time, when Tibor was given an officer tag that has been abandoned in an attempt to presumably simplify the game with homecoming’s arrival. The latter was only introduced with homecoming, as the Beta deckbuilding was only limited by the amount of Gold (and Silver) cards you could put into your deck, 4 and 6 respectively.

After Tibor was added, many minor changes followed to mitigate his sheer power. A very interesting observation can be made by noticing the “Regressing” keyword that was given to him on August 29, 2017, though his ability had been nerfed by it before, but only at that very point it was codified as a new keyword. Back in the Beta times, cards could increase their base value (Strengthen) just as the Veteran keyword or Viy do today, but it was much more common to see such an occurrence, in fact you could actively strengthen almost any card with various tools. Furthermore, the existence of Renew allowed you to resurrect Tibor and not only use him as a finisher, or mill an extra card, but also to get unstoppable + 15 points by strengthening a card that had been already given this treatment. Other nerfs included adding Permadeath (=Doomed) to cards or allowing them to only work when the opponent didn’t pass (=Truce) to make milling a bit harder.

Vilgefortz

Hand in hand with Tibor, Vilgefortz became immediately a fan favorite because of his badass card art, chilling voice lines, and a powerful, flexible ability. On top of that, he was also included in the initial batch, and allowed multiple archetypes to branch out, most notably Mill but to a smaller extend also Reveal. Contrary to Tibor, though, Vilgefortz had a “Truce” condition in a certain form for his offensive ability from the very beginning, presumably to allow opponents a counter-play to such a powerful blow, but also to make milling more difficult. We also have to note that there was no such thing as card limit for your hand, so making your opponent draw a card could never result in them just discarding it. Lastly, “drawing a bronze card” could seem both as a drawback and an advantage, but we’ll elaborate on how this could be further interacted with further down when we’ll talk about the Mill Bronzes. In any case, Vilgefortz was contrary to his current form, possibly one of the best and strongest NG golds and found his place in many decks, regardless of whether they aimed to mill opponents cards and soul, or not.

Avallac’h

The very first Bronze card that we can mention and what a beast it is. Avallac’h’s potential to Mill used to be out of this world. Two cards to get out of your opponent is a very impressive start, but this is where we just begin. First of all, getting 2 cards yourself allows you to potentially hit some of your important deck inclusions, prolong the early rounds and Mill even further. Furthermore, if you manage to mill your opponent, Avallac’h gives you 2 card advantage just like if nothing happened. Well, and beyond that all, you can of course resurrect him with Renew, replay with one of the NG leader abilities with a bit of setup, re-enable the leader ability with Cahir (who’s role was taken over by Damien in Homecoming Gwent), oh and have I mentioned that the re-enabling was done on deploy? Naturally, orders were only introduced with homecoming. As if that wasn’t enough, you could get 3 bronze Snowdrops that would boost self by 1 whenever you draw a card… Are you scared yet?

Sweers

No, your eyes are not misleading you, the border isn’t gold, as Sweers is the very first example of a now abandoned card categorization, the very first Silver card. It is not as important what Silver cards used to do, but for the sake of clarity, we can say that they were basically cheaper golds that you could get more of in your deck and had more interactions with specials, leaders and other cards. Back to Sweers, though. The first thing we need to mention is that there were more than two copies of bronzes available to be placed into your deck in the Beta, the maximum you could get were three. Furthermore, there were many ways to multiply the copies, most notably the infamous Nekkers, who would boost self regardless of where they were by 1 whenever you consumed a card and pulled out another copy of self if you consumed them. Do you know Viy? Well, put every single boost he makes on a bronze unit and allow the unit to be multiplied by a different bronze unit, Blue Stripes style. It was… Broken! But, here comes mister Sweers! In a single turn discard 10 cards, each of them possibly worth over 15 points, EZ! While other match-ups could work very well too, this was the point of completion, absolution, the Nirvana of any NG player. There have been attempts to nerf Sweers by making him weaken self for every card he sends to “the farm”, but ultimately, the card was completely reworked due to its binary nature and the change to the amount of Bronzes you can have in Homecoming.

Albrich

Is there even anything to be said? Albrich is, or used to be, a pretty decent card. Consistency, milling, Reveal support. Alongside with Stregobor, whose ability used to be almost the exact same to the current one of his (Both players draw a one-powered unit from the top of their deck.) but it procs on deploy akin to Albrich, you had a relatively reliable way of pushing your opponent to their limits. Bear in mind that the usual number of cards hasn’t changed with homecoming and tended to be 25, just like it is now, though exceptions existed, such as the 40-card Foltest. Albrich was eventually given the Truce treatment, so that he couldn’t keep on milling after an opponent passes.

Alba Spearman

Imagine Snowdrop’s passive, times three, in an archetype that draws everything, everywhere, and in every possible way. Sounds great! Alba Spearmen became one of the many bronze engines that were scratched in the minimalist vision of the early Homecoming and their ability was later reintroduced, at least partially, on a gold card. Beta NG Soldiers weren’t as much of an established archetype as Alchemy, Reveal or Spies (Think of cards such as Ramon or Ard Feainn Crossbowman that were only added in the Iron Judgment expansion.) and therefore, it would be rather difficult to find more use for Alba Spearmen outside of Mill. Nonetheless, there used to be a combo that you could theoretically pull off in any deck, as it was the game itself and its most basic mechanics what became your partner in crime, the enabler to the Spearmen’s point potential… What could that be, you’re asking?

Combat Engineer

Resilience? Would you guess that? You’re missing the final piece of the puzzle, my dear Watson. When Resilience is given to Alba Spearmen not only is the engine sent to the next round, but the process of drawing and shuffling away cards at the beginning of your next round actually boosts the Spearmen for every card touched!  And this affected both players! To be frank, this was more of a funny combo, but still, resilience itself is scary enough. Have I also mentioned that for a decent chunk of the Beta’s cycle, the resilient cards would not reset at the start of next round? Beta Dwarves PTSD still makes some of us wake up in cold sweat to this very day.

Magne Division

The best, or the worst, depending on how you look at it, for the last. Magne Division is, well was, essentially a conditional, Bronze card advantage provider. If you managed to make your opponent waste his bronze cards, this lovely bunch of chaps would draw you a card and not give anything else to your opponent, easy! Do you find Ciri Dash problematic and too powerful? Here’s her cousin that works out 24/7, no in fact there’s at least three cousins, so get ready for a beating! Of course, if even a single crafty Bronze card decided to stay in the deck of your opponent’s, it would be if not much more difficult, then almost impossible to achieve this effect, nonetheless that card still shines even outside of that. Drawing synergies and consistency the card offers allowed it to function on its own, nonetheless it was its borderline broken potential that made it a lurking threat. The card was changed to become a special cards tutor, and finally reworked in early Homecoming to become an engine.

 

The Conclusion

It would be difficult to point out exactly what the status of Mill was, as it is over a year of a game’s cycle with many balance changes that we’re a bit awkwardly cramping together, nonetheless if we were to look at what made Mill so much more viable in the Beta than in its current form, and keep the most general point of view, we could possibly mention among the main reasons:

  • Powerful cards that provide both milling and tempo.
  • Possibility to replay cards many more times and exploit their potential.
  • More thinning in general. For instance, Bronze tutors existed in the Beta.
  • Bronze card support for Mill + Three cards of each.
  • Binary Match-ups – such as Nekkers.
  • General level of “brokenness.” Beta balance was not as neat as the one of Homecoming.

And what came next, you might ask? Homecoming Gwent threw the idea of Mill as an archetype overboard and while a lot of cards actually kept their abilities, or were given very similar ones, the absence of tutors that had been either reworked or did not find enough play, limitations of bronze support cards (With the exception of the so expensive then Viper Witchers, now Kingslayers.) and further changes to the game’s environment pushed Mill to the sidelines. Most recently, Kolgrim has brought the archetype back to the public eye, but we can presume that it won’t be enough to push it into the fully competitive circles in a long run. Only time will tell, though. With that we must part our ways. Thank you very much for reading our article and if you’ve enjoyed it, make sure to comment about what archetype would you like to see next time.

Favoritism in the Gwent Partners Program during Reveal Seasons

Introduction

A reader unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the Gwent community might falsely assume that they might have discovered the only gaming community fascinated with vegetables, well leeks to be more exact, and presumably healthy lifestyle. Have all the news segments and articles about obesity and junk food among this sedentary subculture been fabricated out of thin air? Well, that’s unfortunately not what this article aims to delve into, but allow me nonetheless to place this topic question on the window sill of my article, for any crafty passing-trough writer to steal.

The legendary Gwent “Leek Season” describes a period of approximately a month before the release of an expansion for the game, during which content creators that have entered the official Gwent Partners Program as well as CDPR themselves and other affiliated individuals such as artists, or popular personalities from the Gwent community reveal cards that will be coming to the game in the upcoming expansion. Seems pretty cut and dried, not? Well, it might be, but not in the sense you might think at first perhaps.

The aim of this article is to analyze the process of card reveals with a focus on the peculiarities of what precedes the revelation itself, that is the selection of the limited number of Gwent partners that will get reveals, and to provide partial insight into how the distribution of card reveals is made among the partners. Ultimately, the article seeks to provide an alternative to the established system through the means of constructive criticism as well as arguments for the change.

 

The Case

I think I should introduce the body of my article by stating that I am a Gwent partner and I have experienced two expansions with their two respective leek seasons (Master Mirror and Way of the Witcher) and I have not had a reveal before. Before I started working on this article, it was rather difficult for me to find a position where I could dodge any bias and judge the situation fairly and objectively considering I am a cog in the machine that I aim to rewire, if not to dismantle, by my words, nonetheless, I believe that thanks to the method that I have chosen to use and a few rules that I made for myself, the article should be as fair and as objective as possible.

What was my methodology then and the reasons for it? In short, my suspicion for a very long time was that some partners are prioritized in the selection over others, therefore I have gone through every single season of card reveals and noted who got a reveal before, nonetheless due to the fact that there were numerous variables in play in each and every season, be it the number of reveals, preceding expansions, cards revealed by CDPR, etc. I have decided to only focus on the state of the latest expansion, Way of the Witcher. The potential article covering the whole entirety of Gwent expansions reveals therefore rests for now right next to one about the healthy lifestyle of the Gwent community.

Alongside individuals that have had a reveal before, I have also naturally noted the ones who haven’t and finally made a special category for CDPR’s official reveals and affiliated individuals (tournament casters, faction ambassadors, etc.) as well as anomalous cases (e.g. card artists). More than three categories could be made, but considering how small the selection pool of one expansion is, I decided to not divide the numbers any further for clarity as well as to minimize the impact of abnormalities.

 

The Gwent Faction Ambassadors have been proudly bearing their banners for almost two years now, one of their privileges being regular card reveals of cards from their chosen factions. 

Finally, to take emotions out of the equation, as I will be technically speaking (or writing) about some of the most beloved members of the Gwent community, I have decided to not mention who I have placed into which category, in fact, the analysis will stay completely anonymous, each individual being represented just as a numerical fraction. Thanks to the fact that all of the card reveal threads have been archived on Reddit, I can and will share all of the sources that were used for making this article at the very end for anyone that would like to verify my data.

Mentioning verification, I do believe that some individuals could be placed in two categories based upon how you judge their involvement with CDPR. A perfect example of this would be chat moderators for CDPR’s Twitch account, which I have personally decided to not include among CDPR and misc. but one could place them there, therefore the approach that I have chosen to go with does not evade statistical flaws completely, which would disappear if a larger pool of compared reveals could be used and more categories to be made, but for the aforementioned reasons, this isn’t an option in my opinion. Furthermore, there was also a case of an individual who got a reveal before, albeit not for their personal channel, but for a project with another creator. This case I have counted as a repeated reveal, especially considering the other co-creator also had numerous reveals before. Also, one case of a Gwent team getting a reveal appeared, this one was counted as the first reveal, despite the fact that multiple members of the said team had been given reveals before.

Ultimately, a very limited amount of reveals from previous expansions had no traceable link to whoever revealed them and therefore the sources are not perfectly clear either, paradoxically though, two out of the three categories would not get reduced, even if the links were there and I believe that this imperfection in fact only emboldens the argument that I want to make. That being the fact that some partners are prioritized over others as the only outcome possible from the uncharted reveals could possibly be an increase in size for the “had a reveal before category” in the latest and future reveal seasons.

 

The Data

Finally, let us take a look at the data itself. The reveal campaign for the Way of the Witcher expansion has brought us exactly 71 card reveals. In spite of that, there can be found 75 cards on the WotW reveal page, but 4 of these cards are tokens that were not given a reveal of their own, these being Red, Blue, and Green mutagen and Saber-Tooth Tiger: Stealth. Interestingly enough, there was in fact another token that was given a reveal, that being Witcher Student, which will be naturally counted among the normal card reveals.

If we break down the 71 cards into the aforementioned categories, the largest group becomes what I decided to dub “Regular Reveals” (CDPR, Faction Ambassadors, Casters, Community hubs’ representatives) with 30 reveals that add up to 42.25% of the entire card reveals’ pool. The numbers are much closer with the remaining two categories that I have named “First Partner reveals,” for, surprisingly, partners that had their first times with this expansion, and “Recurring Partner Reveals,” for partners that have had at least one reveal before, but some of them in fact have had even up to 4, potentially even more if we count in cooperative projects! These two categories split the pie (And there is a lot of pie analogies and metaphors in this article, isn’t it?) by getting 22 reveals (30.99%) and 19 reveals (26.76%) respectively.

For even closer comparison we can omit Regular Reveals which leaves us with 41 and sets the numbers to 53.66% for First Partner Reveals and 46.34% for Recurring Partner Reveals.

Taking into account all the statistical factors that I’ve mentioned before, that is among others a rather small card reveal pool, individuals with ambiguous categorization, forced simplification, and more, we cannot make any final statement that would unequivocally prove anything, nonetheless, we can observe that a very high number of partners is getting their second, third, or maybe even fourth reveals, such high amount of them in fact, that they almost even out with first-timers.

 

The Questioning

Now you might be asking yourself, does it even matter? Surely some content creators deserved getting more reveals, right? And I wouldn’t disagree completely, though I would like to present an opposing view to such mentality. Yes, some people have been making their name in the Gwent community, uploading, writing, streaming, or competing for years, nonetheless, while it makes sense in their individual cases, what sense does it make in the greater scope of things? What sense does it make for a brand new content creator that is wondering whether they should or shouldn’t apply for the Gwent Partners program? Is it even worth it to enter a group of fellow creators, provided that those who win win more and those who don’t win are either ignored or pushed to the sidelines?

Now, to be fair, the Gwent Partners program isn’t only about card reveals, in fact, it is very generous towards those who enter it, nonetheless there is so little coming from it on the basis of involvement and cooperation from your side that in the end, the reveals is all that it can boil down to in the case of your active participation unless you enjoy providing regular feedback (which you can also on the CDPR forums or community hubs) or participate in the very sparse Partners tournaments.

Furthermore, it can be so impactful and beneficial for a new or a smaller content creator to be able to shout: “Hey, I exist! I’m revealing a card for the game that I love and while you’re at it, feel free to check out my channel and help me out.” Creativity has no bounds and small steps like this, if done correctly, can jumpstart a new channel, bring a bunch of new followers, gain some public awareness. For instance, I have never before heard of Xioniz, but thanks to his very clever card reveal I have visited both his Youtube and Twitch channels and had a good time there, despite him making content predominantly in Polish, simply because of the card reveal, of the way I could be introduced to him as someone that cares about what they do and they do it with passion. On the other hand, I dare to argue that for larger content creators with established viewer bases that already are in the public eye and have ties to other individuals that they can cooperate with and mutually expand their viewer bases (which is exclusively what the Recurring Partner Reveals category consists of), it is almost negligible whether they get a handful of new followers or not from getting a bit more attention thanks to the card reveal, in the end, it is more of a fun and exciting opportunity to get a sneak peek for what is to come.

If CDPR wants to stay on good terms with the most successful of Gwent content creators, why not engage with them in some way that goes beyond the Partners program? Add easter eggs to the flavor texts of the new cards, allow them to participate in PTR’s, make card arts with something that is connected to them, or even use their resemblance and their personalities to give life to completely new characters, I could see it already… But I’m digressing here! The topic of shortcomings of the Gwent Partners Program has been also brought up before by my fellow teammate, Babyjosus. 

Back to the topic, I simply do not know why are “those who already won” prioritized over those who are only starting their climb to the top, presumably because the prior are considered to be reliable long-term participants in the program or literal “partners” and CDPR wants to stay on good terms with them. That being said, while I do not want to take away anything from them and I think they deserve what they were given, at the same time I would like to give what they have to the small, fragile, and growing partners, that might actually find a great use for the spotlight. For as long as this “VIP reveal club” is a thing and the selection is done purely on the personal choice of whoever is in command, a strong aftertaste of favoritism will be left in the mouths of those who hoped to get a chance for a card reveal but were not chosen over someone who had 3 reveals before.

This is especially painful as this expansion was one of the first where the selection was done purely by CDPR. To explain this, in the previous expansions Partners were asked to let the person in charge know whether they want a reveal or not in a dedicated text channel which usually resulted in an avalanche of requests and demands on what type of card would people want and how their viewers would be excited by it, etc. In short, convince us that you’re more worth it than the guy next to you. I personally have been very disappointed by this approach as it brings the worst in people in my opinion. Individuals who haven’t been active on their respective platforms reappeared magically, people who had had a reveal or two before presented their preferences for what they’d like to get this time, and worst of all some of them were actually selected because why not. I think I cannot judge anyone, in fact, I’d be guilty too because we all want a card of our own, but for as long as this is meant to be a program without any hierarchy, where all are given equal opportunities to participate and cooperate, such approach just feels flawed and corruptive. In fact, the influence of “asking and potentially getting” has been so strong that many requests were made in the respective channel this year even in spite of the fact that they supposedly shouldn’t have affected much and while I cannot show messages of other people without their approval, many of the ones who asked were given reveals and at least one of them was given the exact type of card they asked for, that being a meme card.

I have asked for a reveal before once, not really expecting anything. This reveal season I didn’t do so both because I have grown critical of the system and because I wanted to stay as unbiased as possible.

 

The Proposal

So, what would be the solution? Before I present my take on what would make the system fairer in my eyes, let me mention that it’s completely up to CDPR to do whatever they want with the Partners Program, it is purely their initiative and in fact, there is no legal involvement of the individual partners, no closure on how many reveals they have to get or anything like that, so nobody is bound to do anything, everything is based upon goodwill. Furthermore, I can see pros and cons for both the established system and for the one that I would like to propose, therefore, one could object to mine just as critically as I have been trying to throughout this article to the current system and that is completely fair and a correct thing to do.

I personally believe that in order to make anything as fair as possible you need to take the human factor out of the equation. Without anyone deciding who deserves it more than anyone else, who would fill a certain category well and how to make it so, so that nobody would feel offended, but also without anyone trying to not to mix their personal preferences and opinions in the selection process, without any person being tasked with a burden like this, it would be much easier to find a state of balance, perhaps seemingly unfair sometimes, but unfair in a “fair” way. How to achieve that you might ask and what does it mean in the first place? Well, there are multiple ways with their respective nuances, but I’d personally argue for just making a list of all the Gwent Partners, alphabetical, randomized, it wouldn’t matter as much in my eyes for as long as there would be one criterion followed and that is: “Those who have had a reveal before go to the bottom of the list. The more reveals you have had, the further down you go.” When a new expansion arrives, you could go from the top down taking only Partners that haven’t had a reveal before, and once the reveal campaign would end, you would just take those who got a reveal before and placed them on the bottom. Next expansion the process would repeat. When new partners join the program, you either shuffle them among those who haven’t had a reveal before or put them on the top. Once you’d have no partners without first reveals, you’d move on to second reveals. Over time, as new partners regularly join the ranks of grizzled veterans, a healthy mix of first-timers and recurrent partners could be achieved in every expansion.

The arguments for this system:

  1. Treats all partners equally.
  2. Is very beneficial for new partners.
  3. Simplifies the selection process.
  4. Introduces more creators to the community.
  5. The chances of each partner getting at least one reveal are higher.

The arguments against this system:

  1. While the selection process is simpler, making and updating a list of partners is required.
  2. It isn’t as beneficial for old partners (especially those who have had reveals before).
  3. Prevents CDPR from highlighting certain individuals.
  4. The chances of getting your second or more reveals are lower.
  5. Introduces new creators that might not be seen as reliable (might leave Gwent for something else).

 

Conclusion

In reality, I could easily see the current system stay unchanged, all that is need for a more fair environment to be achieved is to reduce the amount of recurring partner reveals. You can still highlight anyone that deserved it in that period of the year, but the numbers shouldn’t be almost 50:50 in my honest opinion. If we take into account how many partners there are (This list is obsolete, by the way, there are many, many more!) and that some people were given a reveal almost every single expansion season despite being on the same level as anyone else, participating in a system like this may feel very, very underwhelming and might even discourage people from ever asking for a reveal in the future, it certainly discouraged me.

Whatever the situation will be when the future expansions come out, I hope that as many new partners as possible will get a chance to cooperate and show proudly what they have achieved. Not only what they build on their channels, blogs, and ladder reports, but also where has that all lead them, that they became the official Gwent Partners and can cooperate with those who made a game that means so much to them. Merry Christmas and thank you for reading this article everyone!


Sources

The Etiquette of Gwent – How to Duel Like a True Gwentleman

This article was written by Mercernn and edited by Weevil89

Chivalry, pride or honour are oftentimes the first casualties of any battle, but what about a game representing a battle of two armies? Does it apply there as well? Can you use any means necessary to best your opponent? Are there any repercussions for doing so? What are the unspoken rules of playing Gwent?

The chances are that you’ve been asking yourself some of these questions before, unless you main Nilfgaard, that is… Well, regardless, perhaps at least a sparkle of conscience made your black matter consider the concept of a fair and noble fight being a possibility, so let’s not give up yet.

So, where do you find the answers to your questions regarding Gwent manners? Well, just like in the case of real life manners, there is no ultimate, omniscient rulebook that would clearly state what is or isn’t required of you in every single situation, although some pretend to be. Most of the rules are unspoken and are learned by simply playing the game and communicating with other players. For those of you, our dear Gwenty players, who would be completely new to the game or just preferred staying in their comfort zone of a nice wall to hug, for you we’ve got a short summary of Gwent’s Etiquette in 9 easy steps.

1) Sending GGs

GGs, standing for Good Game, can be sent by clicking a button found in your final score screen at the very end of your match. By clicking it, you essentially let your opponent know that you’ve enjoyed the game and send them a bit of resources in return. Sounds simple enough? Well, so is potato salad and yet your mother will always argue with your aunt whether you should add celery or not in it… The problem with GGs is that each and every person experiences their sending and receiving differently. Some people think that you should send them always – it’s just a game after all, kinda like you should always eat your potato salad regardless of celery infestation as it’s food after all… food is perhaps a strong word, but let’s say it won’t poison you. Other people send GGs only when they actually enjoy the game, and then there are such people who never send them. What is the proper way of using them, then? It depends solely on you and there are virtually no repercussions for not sending anything. Nevertheless, we can recommend doing so if not for keeping the spirit of the game, then for an in-game contract called ‘United We Stand!’ that can reward you with up to 15 reward points simply for clicking a button. Well, clicking a button 5000 times, but still…

2) Roping

No, it is not a BDSM technique, nor a rodeo term. Roping, coming from the metaphorical “burning rope”, indicating how much time you have left for making your turn or shuffling your cards, describes a situation in which either you or your opponent take more time than necessary to take your turn. This makes the game significantly longer and arguably less enjoyable, though the connoisseurs among you who look forward to traffic jams, just so that they could feel the time being wasted, might actually like this… For the rest of us, roping means wasted time. But on the other hand, making hasty plays just so that you would evade roping isn’t correct either. Take your time if you need to think about your play, there’s nothing wrong about that, just try avoid doing so every turn as that can be very infuriating for your opponent.

3) Emote Spam

At least one of your friends is like that: whatever happens, whether it is a ground-breaking piece of news or just some trivial information, they have to react to it as if it were the discovery of the Americas. Furthermore, as you’ve surely noticed, a small speech bubble next to your leader model allows you to communicate with your opponent through a series of about half a dozen of voice lines that are unique to each and every leader. I guess you can see where I’m heading with this. Some opponents will be more keen than others to use their emotes beyond their intended meaning. This can get annoying very fast, especially with the limited emote selection you’ve got at your disposal. Although, you can actually mute your opponent by clicking a speech bubble next to their leader model, it is still considered a rather rude behavior. Once again, the emotes are there for a reason, so please do not be afraid to use them, perhaps just limit your usage of them to no more than 5 emotes per match – unless you genuinely feel the need to click “Well Played” when your opponent plays well. Sounds strange, I know.

4) Quitting and Passing

This is a fairly simple one. In short, you’ve got two ways of ending your matches: either by holding the pass button situated on the coin in the right side of the screen that is also used by ending your turns, or by using the Esc key. Using the pass button is virtually always better, because both players get more resources or progression as a reward as by rule the shorter the game is, the less gracious the algorithm that decides what kind of reward you get becomes. Using the escape key, however, is a big no no in this rule book. If you were very annoyed with your opponent, though, your game got glitched, or you had to step away from your PC very fast, do not hesitate to use the Esc button, since there is a reason it is in the game – just don’t end every game with it, as you’re depriving both yourself and your opponent of additional resources. It’s more like an emergency exit.

5) “Overplaying”

Speaking of ending matches, a very common (yet also a very controversial) sight that you’ll encounter is that sometimes, your opponent will still keep on playing even though they have already won the match mathematically. This not only makes the game last longer, but you’re also forced to watch your opponent beat you (while likely taunting you several times in the process). Just imagine a chess player winning a game in 2 turns (which is possible, by the way) and then proceeding to play the rest of the game while their opponent has to watch. Besides this type who enjoys rubbing salt in the wound, a special case of overplaying would be when you’re trying to fulfil a certain achievement, contract or quest, e.g. by playing 20 fee units in one match, which is usually quite obvious to spot in casual play or seasonal mode.

6) Netdecking

Netdecking describes a process in which one person, oftentimes either a pro player or a popular content creator, builds a deck that is then shared with the public either via a screenshot or a linked decklist on sites such as playgwent.com, the official Gwent website, or sites of Gwent gaming teams that regularly make meta reports. These decks are then downloaded by numerous users and can completely change the gaming experience for other players. This can negatively impact the so-called metagame for many reasons. Firstly, it saturates the meta with a particular deck, the effect usually lasting for a couple of days. Secondly, it makes it difficult for new players to cope since the meta is changing constantly. On the other hand, though, it normally doesn’t last very long because of how quickly experienced players will move to counter it. While they can be fairly troublesome, there is nothing wrong with using netdecks, perhaps just the fact that it might discourage you from experimenting on your own, which can be a lot of fun, too. Not everyone will hold such a stance, though, so every now and then someone might not GG you, send you an angry message or complain about you on Reddit. But at the end of the day, you’re not breaking any rules and if you actually enjoy the game this way, there is nothing stopping you. The fact is, master deckbuilders often underestimate the knowledge and awareness needed to build competitively viable decks efficiently, so for many players (especially new ones) netdecks provide a nice alternative.

7) Streamsniping

Streamsniping describes a very despicable tactic which is present not just in Gwent but in many other games as well. In this case, it refers to identifying your opponent as a streamer (perhaps one you know already) by their username, deck, playstyle, leader model, etc., opening up their stream and basically peeking into their hand to gain an unfair advantage. There is probably no need for us to explain how unfair and disgraceful such behavior is, but perhaps just a cherry on the top is the fact that more often than not your sniped prey will find out where the shots came from. Truly, playing with the knowledge of what your opponent is holding in their hand makes you play your own cards in such an unusual way that it’s very easy for your opponent to see through your tricks, so we strongly advise you not to roll the dice – especially if you actually enjoyed watching the stream before this!

8) Smurfing

Yes, we know that the word ‘smurf’ can be used for literally anything in the popular kids show, and no, we’re not smurfing about smurfing your smurfing uncle Billy-Bob in this smurfing article you smurfing donkey! Jokes aside, Smurfing or playing with a smurf account describes a situation in which an already experienced player makes a secondary account on which (s)he, of course, has to climb from the very bottom of the ladder back to the top. While there is nothing wrong with this, you also have to keep in mind that less experienced players will not be able to spot this at first. The experienced player will also have a lot of in-game knowledge, allowing them to prioritize cards to craft for deck-building, among other things. This makes the game very unenjoyable for the rows of greenhorn players that they’ll stampede over on their way to pro rank. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this from happening, though there are a few ways of minimizing the impact it can have on the new players, such as not playing with the strongest Meta decks out there to give them at least a bit of chance, or even letting them win if you can see they struggle even with the basic rules of the game, though this is completely up to you of course. If you are a new player and you feel like you were summarily stomped by Mystic Echo several times in a row, it is possible that you have found one of these players and you are well within your right to “forget” to GG them.

9) Just follow your heart

Often times all that is needed is to imagine being in your opponent’s shoes. No need to read lengthy forum posts and articles, as after all, there is a human just like you behind that Gaunter O’Dimm or blobulous Svalblod leader model.

And this is where our journey ends, dear readers! We hope that this article will help you with answering any questions about what is or isn’t rude in Gwent and that you’ll not have to worry about making any faux pas in the future. Thank you for stopping by and please accept our personal GG for making it to the very end!