Team Bandit Gang

Gwent

Deck Guide: Shupe Special’tael (100% winrate from rank 3 to 2)

From the creator of Gudrun Shupe, BJ’s Blue Balls, Madoc Hyperthin, and definitely 100% independent creator of Triple Siege, Triple Masquerade Ball, Triple Haunt & Triple Passiflora. Babyjosus presents you: Shupe Special’tael. The definition of special is better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual. And that last part I would say is a great description for the deck.

Intro

''Oh god, this deck...''
Sawyer1888
BG Writer

You might wonder if Creedance  Clearwater Revival’s ”I Put A Spell on you” has been an inspiration for me to create this deck. Well, the answer is no but if you adjust the  lyrics a little bit it gives a good introduction to the deck in my opinion. Let me write it down for you.

Shupe puts a spell on you, because you’re his
You better stop the thing that you’re doin’
He said, “Watch out, I ain’t lyin'”, yeah
He ain’t gonna take none of your, foolin’ around
He ain’t gonna take none of your, puttin’ him down
He put a spell on you because you’re his, all right

Sorry for the cringe, but if you read through the lines you will realize that I am huge fan of Shupe charm. And so without further ado, let’s talk about the deck.

What Is The Deck About?

''This guy is freaking bonkers to play Shupe in this meta. I LOVE IT!''
Zubedoo
BG Streamer

As you might have noticed is that this deck is running Shupe. So, when I wanted to create a deck around the card Shupe I was looking for a deck that would fit the card at its best. I figured since Shupe is a spell card it would give Harald Gord +1 boost and thus I looked for other cards that could fit the archetype. Quickly I put Oneiromancy in the deck because that card can give me +2 on Harald Gord and can tutor my Shupe when its not in my hand. And so I figured Madoc alongside a few bombs would work wonders as well since, if Madoc is unanswered, gives you a lot of points in return. Plus the bombs, again synergize with Harald Gord. The choice for this leader ability is also because it plays for another special card. As you can tell the deck is all about special cards and the best ways to combo them with units.

What Is The General Gameplan?

''I see Shupe and I love it. Otherwise it seems like there is a LOT going on. It looks like a deck I would play and then wonder why I can't climb.''
GhostArya
BG Streamer

In the opening round I want to play Isengrim’s Council on Sage and play as many special cards as I can. This is also the round I want to get Madoc out of the deck and try to get a lot of value out of him to secure the win in this round.

What my usual go to plan in round 2 (if I decide to push for 2-0) or 3 is to combo my Shupe with Saber-Tooth Tiger. And this needs a further explanation. Basically when you play the Saber-Tooth Tiger you want to trigger its order ability to transform it into its stealth version. This usually puts your opponent in a corner by forcing them to play a unit. Depending on the value of the unit you can then decide to Shupe charm it by moving the unit to your side of the board.

Of course this requires a little bit of luck and to click the Saber-Tooth Tiger again at the start of the turn. An example is that my opponent was playing Northern Realms and he played his defender. This was a great opportunity to charm it and I gladly succeeded and got myself a 14 point swing. You can also abuse this strategy when you are on red coin and your opponent uses its stratagem to boost one of its engines. In this meta you see a lot of Ciri: Dash with Keltullis decks being played more. When you don’t have the opportunity to charm something to your liking then there are plenty of other abilities to explore with Shupe.

Cards that I prefer to keep for round 3 are Forest Protector, Yarpen Zigrin and Harald Gord.

Tips & Tricks

''After reading these tips & tricks this deck will work like a charm for you 😉 ''
Babyjosus
Content Manager
  • Your leader target is preferably Yarpen Zigrin, although Pyrotechnician can be a great target as well to not lose a point when using the order ability.
  • Fauve and Sage are the only dryad and elf in this deck which means that Isengrim’s Council will always show them if they are sitting in your deck.
  • Miner can be used on Yarpen Zigrin to transfer the armor into boost which makes it an 8 for 4.
  • As mentioned before, playing Saber-Tooth Tiber before Shupe to see if the opponent plays a unit worth charming. You can also stall this by playing other special cards from your hand first and kill the units with.

Final Words

''You ruined a wholesome leader by putting Madoc in your deck.''
JSN991
BG Pro

If you still have any questions, you can ask them in the comments down below. You can also ask me questions when I am streaming the deck live on Twitch if that is something you prefer more. But for now, have a nice day!

The Deck

Instantly download this deck with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/guides/198070

My Climb From Rank 3 To Rank 2

Deck Guide: Madoc Hyperthin (92% winrate from rank 5 to 3)

From the creator of Gudrun Shupe, BJ’s Blue Balls and definitely 100% independent creator of Triple Siege, Triple Masquerade Ball, Triple Haunt & Triple Passiflora. Babyjosus presents you: Madoc Hyperthin. If you are someone that can’t choose between Yen and Triss and opted to romance them both in The Witcher 3. Then this deck should be able to suffice your needs in Gwent because you can play with both of them!

Intro

''This is the most unique deck for Gwent that you have seen in a long while and all you have to do now is soak this information in and try it out yourself.''
Babyjosus
Content Manager

With the 8.1 update we got introduced to a brand new card: Madoc. You may have seen him being played on the ladder already since a few decks from the meta snapshots include him. But I haven’t seen a Madoc Hyperthin list anywhere. Perhaps the creators of the meta snapshots overlooked the archetype or simply lacked the creativity that we have at Team Bandit Gang to come up with decks like this. Now they know about the deck, I would say a honorable mention in the meta snapshots would be appreciated.

Anyways, you came here for the deck guide although you might not even be reading this because you quickly netdecked the deck after seeing the winrate in the title and I am merely entertaining myself while writing this. But for the dear readers that have faith in my ability to write a deck guide and are eager to find out how this deck works, I won’t disappoint you.

What Is The Deck About?

''My god this deck is...brave? Kinda neat tbf.''
Driftbling
A person who does various things for TA

It already says it in the name, the deck is about Madoc & thinning. You want to thin and get the most value out of Madoc by making usage out of the bomb package (2 Moon Dust, 2 Northern Winds, 1 D-Bomb). And thin the deck with Royal Decree, Madoc, Marching Orders, Affan Hillergrand, Menno Coehoorn, Impera Brigade and Hunting Pack. You either get the Impera Brigade or the Hunting Pack out of the deck with Artorius Vigo. Best case scenario would be Menno Coehoorn > Marching Orders > Artorius Vigo > Impera Brigade/Hunting Pack.
Side Note: D-A-C from Reddit recommended to change out Bomb Heaver for Alba Cavalry. He has the soldier tag and gives a status for the Hunting Pack.

By thinning your deck accordingly as planned you can with certainty reveal Tibor with Xarthisius, Yennefer: Divination & Triss Merigold. And also get Tibor out of your deck with Vilgefortz by destroying one of your lower point units.

What Is The General Gameplan?

"You do know that a boost by 13 finisher comes cheaper for Nilfgaard these days, right?"
Escanbryt
BG Writer

Before we go into round 1 the gameplan already starts with your mulligans. Sometimes its better to keep Affan in hand in case you need to use your leader ability early on. Simply because you only want to use your leader ability when you have Affan in hand otherwise you won’t be able to thin him out of the deck and are forced to play him from hand. A rather unfortunate situation in that case. You rather focus on mulliganing cards like Madoc, Impera Brigade and/or Hunting Pack.

Now you are done with the mulligan phase, its time to start putting your cards on the table. On red coin there is not much to worry about, on blue coin you require to have pro-active plays. You could enable the Magic Lamp and play a Tourney Joust on it, play Maxii Van Dekkar to put Tibor on the bottom of the deck or play the best case scenario that I mentioned at the end of the previous paragraph. You want to thin your deck as much as possible before you go into round 3. In round 2 you could decide to push and try for a 2-0 or go into a round 3 with a few of your removal cards left and of course Xarthisius, Yennefer: Divination, Triss Merigold & Vilgefortz.

Tips & Tricks

''Every decision matters and you have to adapt to whatever your opponent is playing and to what you draw. Mulligan is tricky, which gives another layer of a decision to the gameplay. You have to recognize when it is good to keep cards like Affan or Tibor in hand.''
Bomblin
BG Streamer
  • Mark Affan first when you play your leader ability;
  • Sometimes its better to have Affan in hand for when you want to play your leader ability;
  • Know what your opponent plays and understand how to use your bombs efficiently against them. For example: A Moon Dust could kill a Hefty Helge in the blink of an eye, while a Northern Wind can banish a Cerys to prevent your opponent 8 points when its Lippy. And sometimes you can even use the D-bomb to give your opponent a status by not killing a unit in order to release your Hunting Pack;
  • Coated Weapons can be used to put something bad on the opponents deck for when you want to use a offensive Vilgefortz;
  • Reminder that Impera Brigade needs you to control a soldier. Menno Coehoorn, Voorhis & Affan have the soldier tag. Menno Coehoorn is my go to soldier;
  • It is often correct to use leader in round 1 or round 2  because you really like last say. If leader is not needed, then the extra 11 points are quite nice for round 3;
  • Make sure to play round 2 until 7 cards if you want Xarthisius to hit Tibor and not the chance to hit a special card.

Final Words

''Hyperthin was always one of my favorite archetypes and I think I haven't had this much fun in Gwent since beta.''
Bomblin
BG Streamer

If you still have any questions, you can ask them in the comments down below. You can also ask me questions when I am streaming the deck live on Twitch if that is something you prefer more. I am planning on returning to Twitch after my long absence. But for now, have a nice day!

The Deck

Instantly download this deck with the following link:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/guides/196831

The Video Deck Guide

My Climb From Rank 5 To Rank 3

Guide to the Irresistible Attraction Seasonal Mode

The season of love makes a return and it features some of the most charming rules for the monthly seasonal mode: For each unit you play, you are seizing a unit with the same power from the other side of the board, if there is any. So when it comes to deckbuilding, you want to go for a specific strategy when it comes to aligning the power of your units. In this guide, we will cover three factions, each with a different approach.

Nilfgaard

Let’s start with the most popular kind of deck – Nilfgaard Assimilate. There are many iterations of this deck around, utilizing the create mechanic to roll just for the power you need in a certain situation. On top of that, the Duchess’s Informants play a key role in copying a bronze that is right there to steal. Add some 4 power golds that create other bodies and you’re good to go. Last but not least, Double Cross is a great leader for this and brings so many provisions.

Now there are many iterations of this and most of them work. In this guide, we want to bring in a risky element called Ciri: Dash. Probably not as efficient but way funnier. Give it a try if you like, credits to Sawyer for this idea. If not, it won’t be difficult to find a regular list.

Monsters

Most decks that are being played use and fish for midrange card. You take advantage of this if you use the consume mechanic. Playing the beast twice will serve you well when it comes to the development of tall units on the field. And in the end you will have the tools to align tall units with your consume-on-deploy-units or ghouls and make very point-swingy steals that win you the game. Very efficient and much fun to play, my personal favourite.

Syndicate

Our third deck is a deck that want’s to align everything on three power. Syndicate offers many bronzes that can align on this power and eventually your opponent will run out of options to steal those 3-power-units. A bit of a swarmy approach, which gets rewarded with a decent Dies Irae as final play. Features many cards that are rarely played and works better than one might think.

Scoia'tael

The initial inspiration for the Syndicate strategy used to be a Precision Strike list provided by candybomberz, so credits for that, but I found that Syndicate works a bit better with this. However if you want to play Scoia’tael, you can often utilize pings for alignment and find a strategy that works for you.

Skellige

Haven’t tried anything here. Maybe Onslaught can be useful, but overall I guess that Skellige lacks flexibility. Might be wrong though

Northern Realms

As unpopular in this mode as Skellige in my experience. Engines are too risky to play most of the time and I’m not sure if Formation works the way you intend here. Also not sure if I have seen anyone play this faction in this seasonal month.

Final Remarks

This mode is more about your strategic approach than the faction itself. So don’t take the fact that we didn’t provide decks for ST, SK and NR as an assumption that you can’t do anything with them. It’s just that this season is only three weeks again and we are already halfway through it. So there would be no point in releasing this guide too late. But as always, be encouraged to build your own decks if you want to play things differently, there’s room for that in seasonal. And if you enjoy our lists, then that’s great. Thank you for reading and have fun playing.

Meme Series: KRV vs BG

On Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th, Team Kreve and Team Bandit Gang face off to determine which team has the superior memers. Five different Best of 5 matches will be played between the two teams with each match having a different theme, in the style of the old Gwent OCE meme tournaments. Whichever team wins the most matches will be crowned winner of the series. And to make sure you can’t miss out on this big event, we have prepared a casting team. Each duo has a different theme that they cast. So make sure to keep an eye out on our Twitter and to join our Discord for additional information!

Players & Casters:

Themes:

  1. Gold Rush – Each player’s decks can only consist of gold cards
  2. Not Even That Odd – Each player’s decks can only consist of either all even or all odd provision cards
  3. One Man’s Trash – Each player sends their decks to the opponent at the start of the game and the opponent gets to play with those decks (must use full provisions, have 25 cards and use no neutrals)
  4. Stay Neutral – Each player’s decks can have at most 8 faction cards.
  5. ABC’s Each player’s decks can only consist of either cards starting with letters A-M or cards starting with letters N-Z.
    Note: Any stratagem can be used in every theme apart from ABC’s, stratagems do not count towards the limit in Stay Neutral

Ruleset:

  • Decklists are closed so the opponent does not see the decks before the match (don’t want to spoil the memes)
  • There will be no ban phase
  • Each player prepares 3 decks, each from a different faction
  • Decks that win a game cannot be used again in the same match
  • Players alternate who has blue coin (who goes first) each game
    • This first player with blue coin will be decided by a tournament admin before the match
    • The player on blue coin invites their opponent
  • In the case of a tie, the game will be immediately replayed with the same decks and same player on blue coin

Times:

  • The meme series will be played on the 13th and 14th of February
  • With 3 games on the first day and 2 games on the second day

Guide to the Trial Of The Grasses Seasonal Mode

If you have played Gwent lately, you might have heard that many people aren’t exactly satisfied with the meta that was introduced with the Way Of The Witcher expansion in December. Unfortunately the hope for a balance patch in January was in vain, so maybe you feel like exploring the seasonal mode might be an alternative to ranked play. If this is so, then this guide is for you.

This month we have the Trial of the Grasses going on, which means that every unit that appears on the board gets damaged by 2 first, before receiving a 4 point boost. Witchers however skip the damage part and just get boosted by 4. Note that a unit doesn’t need to be “played” for this effect to happen, summoning or spawning a unit works as well, transforming doesn’t however (looking at you, Griffin Witcher Adept). Now with all the new witcher cards that have been introduced lately, this mode plays quite differently compared to last year. The decisive difference is probably that several factions now have the option to swarm witchers, raising the average points to a whole different level. Games can be very greedy and the point swings massive. So let’s have a look at the different factions.

Northern Realms

I want to start with my personal favourite, which is the Northern Realms variant this time. It’s probably because it features a card that I never played before – Coën. Usually very hard to set up properly, this seasonal mode makes him easy to use for significant points. In the same spirit, you can go for strong Ignis, while slamming lots of points with the NR Witcher core. Read more in the deck guide:

Skellige

Skellige brings the best bronze core for this mode, especially with Armor Up and Bear Witcher Quartermasters. The approach is usually very straightforward – lots of points, good thinning, a bunch of removal options, it’s got it all. Probably the most popular faction because of that. More details to my approach in the deck guide:

Scoia'tael

Scoia’tael has a competitive movement deck on the normal ladder, featuring many of the new Cat Witchers, so it’s only reasonable to try it for this mode as well. Unfortunately though, the strength of its engines can’t really keep up with the pointslam of other factions here, so it’s only the third best faction in my opinion. To succeed, you need to utilize movement resourceful – aligning Yrden and Igni while mitigating your own rowstack that Gaetan and Gezras would usually love. This is the deck that I threw together:

Nilfgaard

Viper Witchers do not really fit in here, mostly playing for their usual value +4, without many synergies. Of course you can always play Assimilate for useful bronzes, and with all the control tools that Nilfgaard has, this might even make a decent deck. I have no list for you though.

Syndicate

My favourite deck of last year was in fact a Syndicate Wild Card deck. That one had Novigradian Justice for 18 points available on leader and played Greater Brothers to mitigate your opponent’s Yrden value. Bloody Good Friends could align Ignis easily as everything was boosted. With Wild Card gone and no new cards that give you an advantage, Syndicate unfortunately falls behind this year. Salamandra experiments make no witchers at the end of the day.

Monsters

It’s a seasonal mode of witcher cards, monsters need to step aside. Seriously though, I don’t think that I played against a monster deck so far and I also can’t think of an approach that might work.

Final Remarks

I think that the point curve favours Cursed Scroll Stratagems, as the right hand will serve you better than measly 5 points. An exception is maybe the Crystal Skull for Griffin Witchers, but only if it doesn’t get removed. Generally speaking, you need to watch out when you are on blue coin and wager to take a pass before you lose it all. If your red coin opponent pressures you too early though, it might pay off to pull it through and trying to regain control.

Speaking of the decks themselves, I think that my NR and SK lists are fairly optimized, while ST probably has room for improvement left. But since the current season is a short one, I don’t want to release the guide when there’s only one week left. Thank you for reading and enjoy yourselves!

Once upon a time… – New Years resolutions for Memery in Gwent

Introduction - Current State

So, the Way of the Witcher expansion is now a month old, Pajabol is the winner of the Gwent Masters Season 2 and 2020 lies behind us.
What is the current state of Memery in Gwent right now in my opinion and what would I wish for in 2021?

As mentioned in some articles before, which you can check out here, I already talked about the power gap between memes and meta, tried to define what the term “meme” in general might mean and which obstacles you have to overcome to be a memer, if you desire to.         
In this current Season and also the Season of the Wolf, starting this week, we know what we have to expect from the meta. It will be a mix between Viy and Lippy decks, paired with Lockdown and ST Movement. Sometimes you face good old SK Warriors, Hidden Cache, some Kolgrim piles or even NR Witcher Swarm.
You can argue that this might be a good sign to see a viable meta list for each faction and indeed, every faction has his dark horses cruising on ladder. The problem I and also some people in the scene see is, that many matchups feel very binary. You need certain techs, certain coins, certain matchups to make each strategy powerful or at least being able to compete. A strong hand for Lippy on red coin feels overwhelming, with the recent buffs to some thinning cards and new added cards like Snowdrop. Without the removal options against Viy you will struggle to keep up with the points, while you also want to have removal abilities to handle ST’s Cat Witchers and other movement engines. Oh right, do you have a purify? Heatwave already used? How do you want to get through the defender to deal with Kolgrim?       
The Way of the Witcher introduced us some cards, which will see balance changes for sure in February, but it kinda shows the direction I already talked about in the past. Meta decks become more rock paper scissors like, where some certain cards can be game deciding or certain matchups are really hard to deal with. And that’s where my thoughts and fears as a memer come in play.

Meming in the Way of the Witcher

As a memer I want to make some combos outside of meta synergies. A memer sees potential in cards you wouldn’t see regularly on ladder, while building a deck around it and making them viable. But in this current state of the meta, you kinda have to fit certain tech cards to survive long enough against these decks, to play out your combo. This costs you some provisions and reduces your meme potential. Therefore memes right now, like Alzur Arch Griffin decks, Enforcer Idarran swarms or some movement decks getting pretty rare and are also kinda a hybrid between meta and meme. Lockdown kills almost every meme, heatwave deals with your key card. Viy outpoints you while you can’t make it to round 3 against Lippy. And a 2:0 vs. an early Gezras might be certain anyway.   
If you look around on PlayGwent, you don’t see many meme decks on its own. They are all hybrids, some “meme” versions of meta lists, including every important card and then just a few surprise cards. The powercreep of some leaders, units or specials also reduced the variety of memes and their potential to work. Every deck right now has the same key aspects: powerful thinning, neutral removal, oneiromancy and some good working faction own engines. Lippy is just a neutral thinning and removal deck, build around double Cerys and the SK discard package and location. 

The question is now, what to do?

The Evolution of Casual and Unranked

Well, this also leads me to another problem, mentioned before, which has grown with this new expansion: casual or unranked mode. Many people get sick of facing Viy and Lippy, they don’t want to play on ladder, are afraid or don’t see the point. But they want to try out their Tier 2 or Tier 3 lists maybe, so they go in casual mode to play some games, farm some crownpoints and do their quests. Some people in my Team, like KingDenpai or Bomblin, experienced the same: casual is swarmed by meta lists and is sometimes even harder to play than reaching pro rank. The amount of people already being in pro rank, over thousands of games experience, deciding to play their meta lists on unranked has grown tremendously.
So as a memer, the need to have at least some tech cards and answers in your deck to deal with some of the known meta combos is huge, which means trying out full meme combinations seems almost impossible. Sure, this might change this month when actually CrownPoints are on the stake, nevertheless the struggle to be a memer continues.

Alternatives and Solutions

As a change, I don’t want to just complain, I want to offer solutions. And the solutions don’t need to be setting up a safe space for memers, but to evaluate the importance of flexibility in playing Gwent in general.

Draft Mode and Arena

With the removal of classic Arena, we now have Draft which is, with no disrespect, terrible. You don’t get any rewards for winning and it doesn’t cost you anything to play, so you just redraft till you have some broken ass combo deck. Multiple thinning vs. charge spamming decks can be considered as the standard Draft experience. I would like to see a rework of Draft in terms of the packages and the possibility to pick them. One thinning package is enough. Let us pick between 3 special packages and don’t give us random packages which have no synergy at all. At least our legendary should always support the leader ability we just picked. I see a high potential to make Draft a cool alternative to play, but right now it is not really enjoyable.

Seasonal for everyone

And what about seasonal? Well…it kinda depends on the season. With all these new witcher cards it might be interesting to see how the Season of the Wolf might play out, but why don’t we have every seasonal mode available? Make the season about the rewards and certain items, maybe even create an own seasonal ladder where people can compete if they want to. And then have every seasonal mode available for friendlys, please make it happen! It would give every noncompetitive player the possibility to try out fun stuff with their friends, while also, if being tired of the actual ladder, try to give seasonal a shot and see some progress there as well. Imagine being able to play vs. streamers in viewer battles and select a certain seasonal! I know, that’s not for everyone, but I bet a huge amount of people would enjoy it.

Old but gold

In terms of card…it was already announced that the next expansion will take another 3 months. Okay, but why not try to make a “rework” kind of expansion in between? An overhaul of all the left-over cards which nobody touched in years. Why are new cards reworked two or three times, while Wolf Pack remains as it is forever? How can Iorveth’s Gambit be 13 provisions…while Viy or Harald cost 12? Dandelion: Vainglory kills a beast…cool, but the only beast seeing played right now to make it worth it’s 10 provision is a specter! Maybe I am lucky to kill a boosted Slyzard or a Bear Abomination, but that seems to be it. Make it 8 provisions, so at least you get the value back, if you even face a deck with beasts in it.
So my solution here would be to think of some cards which can support certain archetypes but are out of their provision value or rework some leftover cards to fit them in into the meta. The NG Sergeant or SK Hunter changes were awesome, so I know it’s possible.

Conclusion

As a conclusion I would say that we have to be careful to not left the more meme and casual oriented audience behind, when creating new cards. The kinda easily handled meta lists right now opened the door for many maybe not so skilled players to reach higher MMR, while being stuck with autopilot decks like Lippy, Viy and Kolgrim.
The ability to create own homebrews decreased in my opinion, which you can see in unranked and seasonal, where nothing is tested, just optimized. People scream for a meta list for ladder and seasonal in the first 3 days after a patch, relying on the provided snapshots. Small tournaments end up being meta battles as well, because nobody wants to be the one bringing “memes” and getting slaughtered on stream first round, that’s how weak the potential of memes is right now.
The optimization of the Draft mode and the ability to play different seasonal modes with friends would help to create a healthy alternative and break from a quite meta heavy ladder, while an update on leftover cards might help to make memes more viable and increases the deckbuilding process in general. Let’s hope for the best this year, I’m really looking forward to it! Stay safe, stay humble and don’t let your memes be dreams!

Bandit Gang’s Worst 5 Cards of The Way Of The Witcher Expansion

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Bomblin.

After Bandit Gang’s Top 5 cards of The Way of The Witcher Expansion, we of course had to do a 5 Worst Cards of The Way Of The Witcher Expansion. So here we are. All members had the chance to put in their votes based on card art and/or ability.  In the end 17 members voted, including 11 from Content Team and 6 from the Competitive Team (Pro Team & Academy Team). We ended up with the following 5 cards, from least voted card to the most voted card.

*Hnnnh…* hm, wha? Sorry, nodded off.

#5 Fallen Rayla

This cool-looking chick of a card has unfortunately gotten the #5 spot in the 5 worst cards. Its too conditional and only playable with Salamander which is a meme combo card.

Most of the votes came from the Competitive Team, hence the grey color.

#4 Viy

After playing with Viy and having to face the card quite a bunch on ladder. The members have decided its one of the worst cards in the game. Not worst as in its a bad card, but worst because its not healthy for the game. The ability is pretty binary and ”dumb”. Some of the members didn’t even want to say Viy out loud since they are still experiencing PTSD.

Most of the votes came from the Competitve Team, although it was a close call because the Content Team also massively voted on this card. Hence the grey color.

#3 Cosimo Malaspina

If it was for SpecimenGwent it wouldn’t be included in the 5 worst cards at all, but that guy is no Bandit Gang so there was no way he could bring out his vote. The average value is not high, this has been tested by Bomblin. You can see the work in progress data here.

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color. If the Content Team of Bandit Gang can’t even make this card work than maybe CDPR should rework or buff the card…

EnML1mQXEAIexvT

#2 Maxii Van Dekkar

This card has no synergy with whatsoever that exists in the current card-pool. Which means that the card is just a 6 for 6. Absolute garbage.

Four from the Content Team and three from the Competitive Team. Which means almost the whole Competitive Team has voted this card to be trash. Hence why we decided to give it the grey color.

#1 Arch Griffin

While it was included in the top 5 cards, it turns out that everyone except Babyjosus* has changed their opinion about the card. The reasoning for this is that its a meme card that can easily be answered by tall removal and/or heatwave. People say that because of this weakness its a worse version of Viy, who has been dominating the meta.

*Babyjosus’s Arch Griffin Deck for the few cool people out there. If a Deck Guide is wanted, Babyjosus will provide. Let him know in the comment section down below the article.

Six out of the eight votes came from the Content Team which means that two of them were the Competitive Team. Hence why we decided to give it the pink color. Babyjosus wants to let the six people of the Content Team know that he is very disappointed in them. They will soon re-evaluate their position on the Content Team.

This is team Bandit Gang’s worst 5 cards of the WOTW expansion. We hope you have enjoyed our top 5 and worst 5 cards of WOTW. Do you agree or disagree with us? Let us know your worst 5 cards! We are looking forward to do these type of articles again whenever an expansion releases.

Announcing a New Podcast for Gwent

Hereby we would like to announce our first Bandit Gang podcast: the Iron Falcon Report. 

A podcast is an episodic series of spoken word for easy listening. A podcast series usually features one or more recurring hosts engaged in a discussion about a particular topic or current event.

What is the Iron Falcon Report?

The Iron Falcon Report is a news/podcast segment where some of your favorite members of Team Bandit Gang meet up and talk about a variety of topics covering Gwent.

How Can I Listen to the Show?

The Iron Falcon Report will be available on our YouTube channel and later on other platforms as well. We’ll let you know on our Twitter when other links are live.

When Does the Show Launch?

The Podcast page and first episode of the Iron Falcon Report has launched yesterday on the 3rd of January 2020.

How Can I Support the Show?

Subscribe on our YouTube, leave your thoughts  and suggestions for future topics covering the game in the comment section and we would be more than happy to include it on future episodes.

End of Year Interview 2020 Babyjosus: ‘I would love if the coronavirus fucks off the world in 2021’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Weevil89: Well BJ, it certainly has been an interesting year, with an equally interesting set of interviews. I’m happy I was chosen to do yours. First, how would you reflect on the year 2020?

Babyjosus: Where do I start? Well, I suppose I could start with the trip to Warsaw not getting through because the whole situation surrounding the virus changed very quickly all of a sudden with borders closing. Which, first of all, meant that I didn’t see someone that I was looking forward to seeing again, but also that Gwent Masters 1 didn’t go through. And the other thing that was unfortunate was the money loss because I didn’t get a refund from the hotel. So fuck them to be honest, they lack compassion. The Moxy hotel better not be fully booked next time. And that’s where everything happens too. By not being there you miss out.

So yeah, that was that. Two months later I graduated from my bachelor studies which was 1 year later than originally planned. That was mostly my own doing and I can’t believe I actually managed to pull it off. Let’s say that my bachelor thesis didn’t go as smoothly and that I didn’t get the reward for being the best student. But hey, I did graduate in the end and I am just delighted I am done with all that for now. And that I was able to piss off my mentor. The idea of doing a masters has come to my mind at some point, but I don’t need it for the job that I am doing now anyway. And I don’t have the drive right now to go back to school either. Maybe in 5 years or something.

Which leads up to the other thing that I wanted to talk about and that is that I have been very fortunate with being able to keep my job during these special circumstances of today’s world.  Although there was 3 months of unemployment in between. At least I have the certainty now that in 2021 I will have a job so I can pay for my dream apartment. Which is something that I’m working on right now. I finally moved out and took the next step into my life by living on my own. In my opinion, this will do a lot of good for me and will definitely work in my favor. For example, inviting that girl over to my place so I could give her a crash course for Gwent 😉

All in all it has been a good year for me because of my accomplishments, but I would love if the coronavirus fucks off the world in 2021.

W: You have really stepped things up this year in Team Bandit Gang, taking on a lot more responsibility. How have you been enjoying that? 

BJ: It’s been a great ride to be honest. I joined the team after leaving Team Rankstar. Team Rankstar was sadly falling apart and because of that I simply wanted a new experience. In contrast, Bandit Gang was a small group of people that I was friends with, so joining them made a lot of sense to me. Other than that its exciting to be a member of a new team because you are building something from scratch and then see where it will all go to.

Of course, when you are on a team and you get more responsibility, you start to get in the middle of politics, which means you get to see the whole picture of stuff that is happening behind the scenes. And that can be frustrating sometimes. Especially when certain things are out of your control. Like team pouching. But I would say it has all been an interesting learning experience.

W: Let’s talk about what has changed in the team. Members have come and gone, but I think we have grown so much this year as a team and, in a way, as a family. What are your thoughts on this?

BJ: You know, even with the politics happening and having to deal with that, the team itself has been fantastic because we have had some amazing collaborations on Twitch, YouTube and article writing on our site. Nobody can take that from us. Especially when you consider that it has only been the first year of Bandit Gang.

And I can say that when it comes to content creation, Bandit Gang is the team to look at. The most established teams in the Gwent community might have the biggest streamers, but they lack the creative minds to come up with the ideas that we get. I mean, we even outplayed CDPR by writing an article about the Faction Ambassadors and properly introducing them because CDPR didn’t.

So yeah, we should be damned proud of ourselves, even if we don’t always get the recognition for it. And like you said, members have come and gone. Some left due to personal reasons, some left because they didn’t enjoy the game as much as before anymore and some left to join a more established Gwent team. But you know, someday they will tell their grandchildren that they were a part of Bandit Gang. Because we are going places.

Therefore I want to thank all the current members, but also former members like BanditP1g, Driftbling, VilleKS, SemperEU, DrDenuz, TweedleDumdee & JAExs . They have all contributed in 2020 to the team in their own way.

W: I notice you always have Spotify on when you’re going about your day. Is there any artist that particularly inspires you while you work? 

BJ: Not necessarily any artist, while working I like to use Spotify to get to find out about new music. Every week you have a new playlist that has been specially made for you. But if I don’t use it for that I would say that techno does the job. Especially when you need to write reports. If you want to call someone, I wouldn’t say it’s convenient.

W: What hobbies/ activities, if any, have you picked up for the first time during 2020? How have you been passing the time? 

BJ: Article writing has become a new activity for me. Early this year, I published my first article about the Gwent Partner Program. I enjoyed doing it so it has become more of a hobby throughout the year. I like to write about certain subjects. Like that one time when I was writing an article about tilt with Mercernn.

So yeah, writing for Bandit Gang, managing the website and doing admin related tasks for the team has helped me a lot with passing the time. There were also periods of time when I streamed, but I have stepped away from that because it’s not easy to combine it with the things that I already do for Bandit Gang and my full time job. It’s all very exhausting so I’d rather watch a movie or TV show in the evenings nowadays. Other than that I have recently been playing Cyberpunk 2077 and I am planning to play more of that so that will help me with passing the time in 2021 as well haha.

W: What TV show hooked you the most in 2020? Or even a film?

BJ: Poah, too many to name really. But recently I have been hooked on Better Call Saul, Ozark & Manhunt: Umabomber. And before that The Queen’s Gambit. I totally binged watched those. Regarding film I would say that this year I have fallen in love with Xavier Dolan’s movies. That guy is so talented. When he was 20 years old he debuted his first movie ‘I Killed My Mother’ already. This one I haven’t watched yet because I can’t find a place to rent it in my country, but I have almost watched all his movies. To be fair there are only 8 movies he directed since he is only 31 years old. But I would definitely recommend watching his repertoire if you are a sucker for drama! 

W: Do you have any aspirations or goals for 2021? Or any New Year’s resolutions. 

BJ: I would like to start painting again and pick up my music. Music usually comes and goes, but it has been ages since I made some paintings. So I would like to explore that more. Especially different techniques.

Other than that it would be nice to develop myself in getting better at cooking. Not only do I need to cook for myself now, but it’s also a nice skill for when you have someone visiting. Regarding New Year’s resolutions, I wouldn’t say that I need them 😉 

W: What do you think of the state of Gwent this year, including the most recent expansion. Have CDPR done well? 

BJ: Hmm, the state of Gwent has been on and off to be honest. At times it’s a lot of fun to play and then you have these months when it’s just stale meta. I usually take a break from Gwent when that is the case. And in my opinion it’s because they have released less expansions than before. Now I would say that the most recent expansion offers a lot of unique and interesting cards. But then I start to wonder again how long it will last. Overall I would say that CDPR has done alright, but I expect a lot more from them in 2021. 

W: I have to ask: do you have a shirt that you really love, or one that is comfortably lovely? If so, what is that shirt? 

BJ: My favorite shirt is bordeaux red and my guess is that it’s made of silk. It just feels really nice when you touch it. I usually combine it with my dark grey pants made of cloth. Some black boots and voila – I am ready to go. To me clothing has become an important part of me. One day I decided that the expiration date of my clothing has been expired, and I wanted to buy clothes that I would say describe me. Because I like to dress to impress. Plus clothing can make you feel more confident. If I wear my shirt with the Gwent logo I would feel less confident than if I wear a shirt that I really love. And if you have your own style, girls will dig that.

W: If I were to buy a shirt that would meet the BJ standard, what would you recommend?

BJ: I especially love my shirts that I buy from the brand OLYMP. They have all kinds of shirts, but I am loving the ones with a pattern and/or are colorful that make sure you stand out.

W: Thanks for the answers and see you at the end of next year!

BJ: Anytime. Let’s see what 2021 has to offer!

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*Babyjosus's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*Babyjosus’s honorable mentions are Amphibious Assault, Pavetta & Iorveth’s Gambit.

10. Shupe – I had my best competitive season with Jackpot Shupe (previously known as Gudrun Shupe). I put the deck together on stream and started rolling with it. This got me to almost 2550 mmr. Something that I had never reached before. The key was that Shupe could charm the opponents Bincy after having banished The Flying Redanian with Northern Wind. This would make the match against the meta version a lot better for me. Once I reached this high mmr, people started to even netdeck me. That was an amazing feeling.

9. Bincy – My little girl Bincy. Definitely a card that I have enjoyed playing throughout the year. Its such greedy card, but if you can put a defender next to it, it pops off.

8.  Oneiromency – I love myself some tutors and with this card I can tutor two cards to my liking in one game. Except if those Squirrels happen to eat it for their meal. Definitely an auto include for me.

7. Lippy  – Many people won’t like me for including Lippy, but the design of this card is just spectacular. Early homecoming it was the Silver Witchers that you would tutor again from the deck. Nowadays it has a lot better tempo with Cerys and Shieldmaidens.

6. Coën – The only WOFW card in my top 10 because the card works so well in my triple commando deck. It gets me a lot of value.

5. Blue Stripes Commando/ Blue Stripes Scout – These two cards will have to share the 5th spot to be honest. Making copies of the commando’s with the scouts is so satisfying. And then after you use Pavetta to put them all back in the deck and play them out from Roche: Merciless is a wet dream for every girl.

4. Siege – This was the best scenario to play three times in a game. Triple siege even hit the Reddit threads and that is something I am fond of.

3. Caretaker – Because of him, we could play scenario’s twice. And if you Renew him you could play the scenario three times. This reminds me of the good old days when I streamed together with Driftbling and fooled around by trying to play a scenario every round since they were so strong that time there was absolutely no reason not to.

2.  Renew – As previously mentioned, this was a key card for the triple scenario shenanigans. With the nerfs and reworks that is not possible anymore. But I still like to rock this card in my triple commando deck by using it on Pavetta.

1. Matta Hu’uri Matta Hu’uri is my favorite card from Gwent so far. Not only because of the ability, but I am also 100% sure she is based on Mata Hari who is a dutch exotic dancer that was born in my hometown Leeuwarden.

End of Year Interview 2020 KingDenpai: ‘She loved seeing me happy in the way I was and truthfully, haven’t felt in quite a while’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus:  The one and only GM, that is also a king.  Who other than KingDenpai is here. I hope you are doing well man. Recently I read something about the word simp. Did you know that it has become an insult on Twitch? Which might mean that you can no longer do simpathons and call your community the simp gang. What kind of impact has this on you?

KingDenpai: First things first, hello my friend! Thanks for having me for one of my favorite things we’ve done this year. Onto your question…

Well, technically what they said is that they’d be doing a push to shut down outright bullying using the term. And have since stated that they won’t police it being used in a lighthearted way.

However, I’m going to air on the side of caution and try not to overdo it with the term. But I won’t be going mental and never saying it again, you know?

I mean come on, Simpathon was brilliant. I’m so proud of that! So yes, I’ll be saving it for quality rather than quanity in the future.

BJ: Yeah, its pretty hilarious. And Simp becoming an insult is just one thing that happened in 2020. How would you reflect on the year 2020 in yourself?

KD: 2020 has been unlike any year a lot of us have had, unlike the older generation who have felt some level of chaos akin to what we have. I started a new job this year working in a local surgery right as the pandemic reached the UK.

To say it was the most chaotic start to a job I’ve had would be an understatement. Medical industry and Covid was NOT a fun spot to be in. But I hunkered down and did what I needed to.

Working that job got me to appreciate just what we’re all going through right now. I’ve spoken to elderly people over the phone who were bright and chipper one morning to say “We’ll get through this.” and then the next morning you get a notification that they passed away and it can just rock you to the very core.

For me, it showed me the strength of humanity. Seeing people, faced with this incredibly terrifying situation we’re in – rally together has just left a lasting impression on me. It’s been rough, trust me – I miss my family in the states so much. But we’re all slowly taking the steps across the world we need to move forward.

2020 was crazy, but it was another building block for people to take with themselves to the future.

BJ: Yeah, I truly hope that we can all learn from this and that we take measurements to avoid an epidemic from happening again. Another thing that happened this year was that you joined Team Bandit Gang as one of their first streamers for Gwent and are now the General Manager for the team which means you have gotten more responsibilities. How have you experienced this year on Bandit Gang?

KD: I really did didn’t I? I really don’t know what Joe saw in me when I was just rocking like 54 followers but I’m incredibly proud to call myself BG. 

Joining BG was this lovely experience where as a naive smol time streamer, I was just happy to be accepted. I wasn’t sizing up the competition at all – despite playing since Beta and knowing some of the other teams – just the idea that BG wanted me was more than enough.

I never saw the whole – taking over thing coming and if I had to be honest with you…

The team as a whole? Proud as hell. Everyone has killed it and I’m so happy with every guy and girl that is and has been a part of the team in any small way.

Myself? Not happy.

Joining you and the boys when Joe left was a daunting task, and I was incredibly excited to try and move us forward in the direction we wanted. However, I don’t feel I’ve elevated us in the way I would have liked and done the things I wanted just yet.

There is SO much more I want for the team, every little achievement man. I want it so badly for the crew. We’re getting there, but personally, I feel like I need to ramp it up and continue to build us further. All of us on management have our own qualities to bring, and I just want to know that I’m doing what is right in my role.

I’m not happy just yet, but I’m gonna make sure we reach that mountain top come 2021 mate.

BJ: Sounds promising. From my understanding you are now a full time streamer, how is that going for you?

KD: It feels strange to acknowledge it, when I left my job due to stress based complications – I was full steam ahead on a new gig. However, and I haven’t told this story yet…

My wife and I had a talk one morning. We had a really good talk over breakfast and she just said to me “You’re really shining lately.” and I was a bit surprised by that. We talked it out and she just told me that I’m doing what I want and that is why.

Keep in mind, I’m married and want so much for us. So doing something like ‘full time streaming’ is a bit… well, yeah. But my wife was all for it, she loved seeing me happy in the way I was and truthfully, haven’t felt in quite a while.

So yeah, I’m full time streaming. There’s not particularly a game plan, and as selfishly as I wish it could last forever – I don’t think it can. I’d love if it did. But at this moment, I’m blessed to be in a situation where I have the ability to do so.

It’s been really fantastic, I’ve made such a fantastic family of incredibly awesome individuals. Like, I joke about simps this and that but I really do love learning about everyone who comes into my streams. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting fathers of families, single mothers working their butts off, students working towards their degrees or working professionals who absolutely kick ass.

I’ve done a lot of 24hr streams, had giveaways, subathons, all sorts of crazy wacky fun events but truthfully – I’m just happy to have people to talk to. None of the clout or cash stuff, just knowing I can have a good chat with someone makes all this worth it.

So yeah! It’s been going well!

BJ: That brings tears to my eyes. I am glad you have found your niche. And I saw that you were building your new PC on stream, any games you are looking forward to stream on your new rig next year?

KD: You saw me huh? Say something soon ya dork! Miss ya in my streams. But no no, it was my first build and I owe my success to KilogramSam, CheddarPaul and a lot of other helpful peeps in chat who held my hand for the experience.

In terms of games I’m excited to try on the rig, I’d have to Cyberpunk is the obvious choice. It’s felt a bit like the Crisis of this generation. “Can my computer run Cyberpunk?” kinda thing and to have a PC that can makes me so happy!

I’m the most excited to start my journey through Witcher 3 actually! Viewers will know I’ve played W1 and W2. (W1 being my fav.) and I’m hyped to go through 3 with my family of peeps because I LOVE meeting the Gwent cards I’ve played with for ages, lore tidbits, and just experiencing a good game ya know?

Others include DS3, Devil May Cry 5, the Yakuza series… that kinda stuff.

BJ: Haha, I will don’t worry. And aside of streaming, you wrote your first article for Bandit Gang and it has gotten a lot of great response. Is this something you want to explore more next year for Bandit Gang?

KD: Absolutely! I used to write for a few years when I worked in the games industry and it was a joy – stressful when you had to make crunch for article per day and this and that. But I really did love it to bits.

Writing my piece for BG helped me hit that creative mark I had before, and it was nice. I think moving forward I want to try and dip my feet into something more serious – granted I think the chest article was pretty darn serious anyway, don’t ya think?

But yeah, I want to properly put some effort into something more akin to what Sawyer, You, and the others crank out.

I guess you could call the first article a ‘warm up.’ 

BJ: Exciting stuff. Is there anything else that you would like to do next year?

KD: I’m gonna echo Synergy here and say gym. I live in the middle of nowhere man, but I miss hitting the free weights area of the gym and busting out some good deadlifts. I don’t think I’ll be living in the city anytime soon so I’m gonna have to motivate my ass to do some home work out stuff.

I did some RingFit on stream which I dropped and I’ve certainly felt the shockwaves of that choice – so I’d have to say the biggest thing I want to do next year is just get my body back to a spot I’m comfortable with. Everyone in my life says they love me the way I am – but you know that saying right? You’re the one who has to live in your body.

BJ: Yeah, in the end you need to be satisfied with yourself. Outside of the things you want to do. Are there any new year’s resolutions?

KD: Nah, never do those. If I did, I’ve have a LOT of years to catch up on….

BJ: Fair enough. Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

KD: I want to personally thank whoever is reading this. If you took the time to read this and the other interviews we have released, THANK YOU. If you have supported BG in any way, THANK YOU. If you’ve just been a fan of myself, THANK YOU. Like, legit this whole bit of word vomit I’ve put forward for the interview would be nothing without someone wanting to actually peek it.

In respect of 2021, I want to just say keep those eyes peeled. BG is going to go places, we’re gonna do a lot more than we did this year. You can be sure that’s gonna be the case and you guys are gonna have a front row seat for this whole thing. No other team has done this level of personalisation. Nobody is out there putting out the amount of articles we have, supporting their team members the way we have with co-ops and interviews, and we’ve got so much more in store!

2021 is gonna be a great year for BG and just wait for what we’ll be bringing to the world of Gwent!

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*KingDenpai's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*What can we say, the guy loves to meme. But a memer that got top 8 in the Gwent Partner Tournament. And that, we will never forget.

10. Tidecloak Hideaway – This card became a favourite of mine out of left field really, I was surprised and loved Escan’s pirate deck so much and it’s all thanks to this card. The tempo from this card is absolutely mind blowing if you have a dedicated pirates deck. Honestly, this will be a card people complain about when we get more pirates support. Mark my words on that.

9. Noothwraith – This card has always been a favourite of mine, and I’m plopping this chica here because of my passion for RAT SWAAAARM. Before Speci ever copy pasted some Rat words, I was memeing it up with my Rat decks and have a few commands dedicated to it. I’ll always love this card and the option of absolute degenceracy that it brings.

8. Sigdrifas Rite – I’ll always love this card, and honestly there just aren’t a lot of revive based cards out there. I love that SK gets this bit of extra kit, with Second Wind dead – I use this to bring back those vital memes. My Draco, Olaf, that kinda stuff.

7. Odrin – I’ll only say this. In the words of someone I adore from my community… Odrin is bae.

6. Harald Gord – People who watch me know I love this card in my classic crimes deck, which I’m not sure will ever make a return with the change to portal… but I love this dang dude when paired with it. Seriously, I think paired with the right decks that Gord is just stupid value for his provisions. Never change this card CDPR.

5. Vypper – This card has made me laugh so much, the meme has passed – but gosh dangit it was a blast to enjoy.

4. Hym – These next ones will be no surprise but I LOVE this card man. I’ve been using it for years and it’ll never stop being something that makes me smile. Wether I’m pairing it with Vildkaarl, Olaf or a bled Yghern… I just love Hym. It’s pretty bad, but it’s surprise factor is god tier.

3. Olaf – Honestly, Olaf rarely gets me value. I mean, it does with Hym. But outside of Hym, it’s usually just not enough to sway the tide of battle… but why? Why do I keep using him? He’s actually got my 2nd favourite card art in the game. First being Covenant of Steel, but Olaf is just… aunno, when I think SK, I think Olaf.

2. Dracoturtle – I call this bad boi the points behemoth. Seriously, Draco is such a dangerously powerful card if left alone. It’s ability to turn the tide of a point difference is unreal. Mard on this bad boy is just game over, and when paired with Iris and Vlod… well, it got me to Pro Rank for the first time. So nuff said.

1. Ihuarraquax: This comes as no surprise I’m sure to a lot of peeps. I fucking love this unicorn, playing memes usually means that the higher provision cards are what destroy my day. So quax has saved my ass so many times, the only issue is that CDPR needs to STOP buffing cards! Olaf at a 10 makes my choices so much harder! I can’t include other 10ps without worry now! NO MORE BUFFS FOREVER THX.