Concepts and Keywords
While there are many other concepts prominent or unique to Syndicate, these are the most common and important to look out for.
Syndicate is all about coins and the advantages they provide. Inflicting statuses like Bounty or Poison and gaining points through Spending, Tributes and Intimidate are your main modus operandi while leading the forces of the Novigrad underworld into the fray. Fallen Knight, Casino Bouncers, Witchfinder being the most generalized of these. Casino Bouncers in particular being a staple of many Syndicate decks with one of the easiest thinning pre-conditions available in Gwent. (highlighted green)
In this category you will learn about every keyword that you can use in the Syndicate faction
These are of special importance to Syndicate, particularly the gang category ones. Which are necessary for triggering Sigi Reuven, arguably the strongest card Syndicate has. (highlighted red)
The most important keyword for the syndicate faction as almost all cards revolving around syndicate requires coin in one way or another while in some cases to trigger hoard or to gain as profit’s or just to spend for various benefits from spender cards. Ways to gain coins can be direct from cards, stratagems and leaders.
An ability that requires you to own a certain amount of coins is called Hoard. While it may require you to have x amount of coins to trigger the ability, it will not spend the coins you have and if it’s a continuous working ability it will keep triggering the ability as long as you hold on to x amount of coins. But as soon as you go down that required amount the ability will stop triggering. Most common cards that require hoard are Sewer Raiders and Passiflora Peaches
A very similar keyword as fee but instead of just using coins as a form of payment it gives you an option to use your health as payment to trigger the ability of certain cards. You can also use insanity again if you can heal a card back to its full health of over the cost of its ability which can be strong since you can trigger it more than once without coins
Gives boost to a card with intimidate keyword each time you play a crime special cards works almost the same as harmony from Scoia’tael but instead of units it triggers when you play crime spell cards
The most direct way to spend your coins, think of it as an order ability but with zeal and charges, as long as you have coins to spend you can keep triggering it.
One of the most easiest ways to get coins from cards, some units and specials when played can give you a certain amount of coins which is your profit
An optional deploy ability of some cards that require coins to spend while it is not necessity for you to spend the coins for tribute it can however be a powerful deploy ability in certain situations for example with professor while normally you may not use his tribute but if an engine is protected by armor you can spend some coins to use his tribute to bypass that protection and kill the engine
A status that you can give to an enemy unit and if that enemy unit dies you will be compensated by coins equal to the base power of that enemy unit. Keep in mind bounty will not work on a unit protected by veil and it can also be nullified by purify, the best course of action would be to just use a spender to kill the unit you gave bounty to in the same round to not give an opportunity to your opponent to purify it.
While coins are very nice mechanics to have with a lot of pro’s it also has its cons which is an upper limit for the coins you are allowed to own which is 9. You cannot own more than 9 coins per game and any coin you gain afterwards will go to waste which is why it is important to use a bit of coins before you play cards that can make you over profit.
Grants you 1 coin per charge and can be used 6 times in total as well as giving you 1 coin whenever you play a crime card .Lined pocket used to be really bad because the only support it had was intimidate and Townsfolk which could be used with Igor which was basically meme’s but if left unchecked it could generate a lot of points, LP was also used with Portal, Gord and Senior but now that it has the support of Cleaver, Junior, Professor, Drill and leader having an extra charge it has turned into a powerhouse of the faction. Not only can you generate a lot of points quickly with cheap 4 point crime specials you also have the option to decimate your opponent with Drill. In terms of control and point slam LP is as good as if not better than the Arachas Swarm list from the Monsters faction.
Grants you 9 Coins, then boost an allied unit by any coin that goes over profit, whenever an allied unit gives you Coins, boost it by any excessive coins gained. Before the buff in patch 9.0 Jackpot was seeing almost no play at all in the ladder. After the patch however it has been one of the 2 most played leader from syndicate faction mainly due to the fact that not only did it get easier for new players to play with, it also became very good in generating a lot of points in short and long period of times making it essentially be good in long and as well as in short rounds. It is also very forgiving in case you over profit in fact it encourages you to over profit. And lastly while it may get nerfed by 1 provision in the next patch it will still be a deck that will terrorize the ladder and remain at tier1.
Spawn a Sea Jackal on an allied row which can be used a total of 2 times. Before patch 8.5 Pirate’s Cove saw no competitive play on the pro ladder. After the buff it became one of the most popular Syndicate leaders for a while. Being able to spawn a spender on demand allowed people to avoid over-profiting and be far more lenient with their coin economy in general. Having 2 charges allowed you to regulate your coins in two of the potential three rounds in a game of Gwent, which was, frankly speaking, pretty amazing. While the recent buffs to Jackpot made Cove fall from grace a bit, it is still a very strong leader capable of playing competitively on the pro ladder.
Spawns a Firesworn Zealot on an allied row and grants you 1 coin which can be used 3 times. While a little weaker than its patch 3.0 counterpart it was last nerfed in patch 5.1 and has been left untouched ever since. It’s really good with cards such as Fallen Knight, Sacred Flame, Eternal Fire Priest and Dies Irae, Congregate is a really good leader for Fireswarm decks however, since those have fallen somewhat out of favour, the leader sees hardly any play on the pro ladder.
While it was last nerfed in patch 6.2 but buffed again in patch 7.1 Hidden Cache used to be the leader of choice in Syndicate for most players before the buffs to Jackpot, Pirate’s Cove and Lined Pockets. Being a really good leader for Hoard decks, Hidden Cache was the go to leader for Passiflora decks allowing you to not only gain 9 coins overall, but the passive of reducing Hoard triggers by 2 allowed for some amazing leeway. Overall, a fun and decently powerful leader.
Off The Books
Gives you 2 coins which can be used 3 times as well as making every allied Tribute costs 1 Coins less. Before this leader got the support of the last 2 expansions it used to be a leader not really played competitively because it did not had enough support to compete with other leaders of the faction, however with the recent bounty package getting buffed in the Price of Power expansion it has started seeing competitive play with decks including cards such as Witchfinder, Professor, Graden and Moreelse.
An archetype is essentially a bunch of cards synergizing each other and being strong enough to construct an entire deck or in other cases can support each other in smaller packages.
The point of the swarm archetype is to spam out as many Firesworn Zealots as possible while your engines are on board and then boosting as many units as possible with cards such as Sacred Flame and Dies Irae there are a few noteworthy supporting cards in this archetype such as Fallen Knight’s, Firesworn Scribe, Eternal Fire Priest and Grand Inquisitor Helveed while its strength lies in its ability to quickly fill your side of the board with as many tokens as possible and then boosting them all, its weakness consists of row punishes and control heavy decks such as Skellige’s warriors, Nilfgaard’s ball and Syndicate’s bounty decks.
Self-poison is a really fun archetype to play around with. It focuses mainly on poisoning its own units and was more of a package before the Way of the Witcher expansion because there was little to no support for the archetype. Way of the Witcher brought a sort of renaissance to the archetype and sparked quite a few decks focused on the mechanic, including some silly memes which feel oh so satisfying to unleash upon your unsuspecting opponents. Essential cards for this archetype are Salamandra Abomination, Bleinheim Brothers and Salamandra Hideout while the memes consist of Salamander, Madame Luiza and Renew. One of the main foci of this archetype is to continue poisoning Salamandra Abominations or using the Bleinheim Brothers to poison your whole board, while turning in a tidy profit. If you manage to stick a unit with the Veil status, you can, in theory spend as many coins as you want to boost the unit to a ludicrous size, with only the timer hampering your shenenigans. Certainly a strong archetype after the buffs and new cards it got in the last expansion, it is however hampered pretty significantly by Nilfgaard, a faction which likes to dabble in poison as well and control heavy decks in general.
Intimidate is all about establishing your engines and then using crime cards to boost them by the specific value of intimidate on an engine, while it was super strong in the last seasons due to the Halfling Safecrackers, Cleaver, Drill and Gord. It has been nerfed a bit in the last season but that does not stop people from still playing this strong archetype with a few changes like Portal, Mutants and Whoreson Senior. Overall a very strong and reliable archetype to play on the pro ladder.
Bounty archetype mainly focuses on putting bounties on your opponent’s cards to capitalize on them. Before the recent price of power expansion the archetype was just not really strong at all but with the recent bounty cards added from the expansion it has been the go to archetype for pro ladder climb. The Witchfinder, Fabian Hale, Professor and Caleb Menge are your high end cards to apply bounties. Some of the low cost bounty givers are Hysteria, Kurt, Slander and Witch Hunter. Graden, Witch Hunter Executioner and Whoreson’s Freak Show are some of the spenders that you can use to kill the opponent units with bounty. One of the few engines this archetype has are the Vigilantes.
Hoard is essentially an archetype where you put a lot of engines and cards that require the Hoard keyword. This archetype used to see a lot of plays before intimidate and bounty archetype’s got strong. Your main high-end cards in this archetype consists of Passiflora, Lieutenant Von Herst, Saul and The Flying Redanian. The cheaper bronze cards consist of Sea Jackal, Passiflora Peaches and Sewer Raiders. The main goal in this archetype is to always have enough coins to trigger the hoard of your cards, especially The Flying Redanian which can provide some fun interactions with Kikimore Warrior. Passiflora is to be used with the Peaches, Overall this archetype generates a lot of points. Some of its weaknesses can be tall punishes.