Gwent

Bandit Gang’s Meme Snapshot for Gwent #3

Introduction

A meme deck can be considered many things. Some people believe that a meme deck is mainly played for fun, to make yourself and the opponent laugh, and not to win with. A deck like Thicc Aglais would be a good example. Other people believe that meme decks have their own theme like the bandit archetype, which makes it a lore friendly deck. And most people would agree that a meme deck is also considered an off-meta deck: a deck that has its own unusual strategy or inclusions, but that can still win you plenty of games. You could think of a deck like Triple Commandos here.

But I digress. Welcome to the third edition of Bandit Gang’s Meme Snapshot! In case you missed out on the other editions, you can find them here. Once again, we want to use new concepts that weren’t included in the first and second edition, but you might also see different versions of decks that were included already. The main goal, as always, is to show you the diversity that is possible in Gwent, beyond all the top tier meta lists. As before, we kept the same 3 categories:

1. Fun But Garbage Decks: these are the decks that are just for fun but will not win you any games 90% of the time. 

2. Lore Friendly Decks: these are decks that are based around a certain theme that is often lore based. 

3. Becoming A Pro Decks: these are decks that are considered off meta, but are decent to climb to Pro Rank with. Nonetheless, they are not included in the Meta Snapshots.

Note: Click on the image of the deck to get directed to the PlayGwent website in order to import the deck to your client.

Fun But Garbage

Overview:
With recent changes to tactics provision, the dream of enslave 8 is finally possible! You have to play 33 cards in your deck but this is a small price to pay for a great meme. The plan is to somehow survive round one and then delete everything from your opponent’s side and finish the game with a juicy (potentially) 16 point leader swing.

Pros:
-Biggest Enslave on the planet
-You are very annoying to your opponent
-Can win against heavy engine decks

Cons:
-Inconsistent due to 33 cards in the deck
-Doesn’t play a single gold unit
-Struggles with proactivity.

Core cards:
Bribery: you do not run any big gold card or win conditions so you heavily rely on playing your opponent’s cards. This card can win you a game if you play it in the end and yoink something like Gord or Gerhart.

Fire Scorpion: this is the best engine in your deck. Your deck consists of mostly tactics so this card can generate a chargé every turn.

Glorious Hunt: A snipe card. It is kind of similar to predatory dive but for the biggest card on the board. It is especially powerful against the monster or Skelige cards like She-Who-Knows, Yghern, or Greatsword. Look out to not kill your Ard Feainn Tortoise!

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
It’s no secret that Gezras of Leyda is my favorite card! With that simple fact in mind I think you
can imagine how this deck came to be. The great potential created from Land of a Thousand
Fables’ order along with Dwimveandra to refresh it was too enticing for me to pass up. If all
goes well you can play Gezras in all 3 rounds with adequate swarm or have a decisive round
with multiple copies of him! We always wish for RNG to be in our favor, but on the off chance it is
not I have kept the alternative cards you can find in mind.

Pros:
-Intimidate your Opponent with Triple Gezras.
-Has targets for Simlas & Munro also.
Verno & Eithne work as more swarm.

Cons:
-Susceptible to bad draws, not much consistency besides Maxii & Fables thinning a card.
Iorveth’s Gambit is a brick if not transformed.
-Absolutely RNG dependent.

Core Cards:
Gezras: The man himself can single handedly carry the game for you.
Land of a Thousand Fables: The centerpiece of the deck, allows you to transform those 12p
specials into another Gezras with a whopping 1 in 5 chance! I usually like to pull Zoltans Company with its
Deploy ability
Dwimveandra: Must be played Ranged to refresh the Order (I played her Melee once…there
was no row protection warning)

Written by Kalvino.

Overview:
If you played Gwent exactly 2 years ago, you still might have PTSD from playing against this deck. Time has changed and townsfolks have fallen from their old glory but with a combination of some new cards, they can easily win games. Just make as many of them with Igor and every greedy game is yours to take!

Pros:
-Absolute killer of long, greedy rounds
-You are playing an old, forgotten archetype
-Still have some control tools that help you fight other decks

Cons:
-Vulnerable to bleed
-You often rely on your opponent having no answers
Yrden is your biggest fear

Core cards:
Igor: Try to make a lot of townfolks with his ability and spend coins on him! Lookout, with enough townfolks it is more points to copy tax collector – That’s why you should always play him in the ranged row.

Witchfinder: The ability of „banked” coins works exceptionally well with townfolks. Each bonus coin boosts your townfolks.

Doadrick: Most known for being an annoying engine in NG+Snowdrop decks but he is also just a good point slam card that can fix your hand. Especially in a combo deck like this, he can save your skin by finding a spender or another Townfolk.

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
The idea of the deck is to make the biggest Protofleder possible. If everything goes according to plan and your opponent cannot interact with your important cards like Syanna, you can have a finisher of 50-70 points! The problem is that vampires in general are not that competitively viable.

Pros:
-You are playing Vampires!
-Can win greedy matchups
-Has a nice, juicy finisher

Cons:
-A lot of combo pieces
-RNG with Land of a Thousand Fables
-You are playing bad cards.

Core cards:
Land of a Thousand Fables: You want to use this card on renew to transform it into a second Syanna. Sadly, it is not 100% possible because there is another 12 provisions neutral card – Radeyah.

Protofleder: The most important card in your deck. It is your finisher and reason this deck exists. In the final round, try to put as much bleed as possible on one card, then use Protofleder with double Syanna.

Orianna + Unseen Elder: This is not a devotion deck so these cards work together! Especially if you can get a long round and hide both behind the defender, the amount of points they generate is wonderful!

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
The nerf hammer hit Monsters at the start of September but some archetypes got tiny buffs. Including Deathwish Ruehin. Succubus is also one of my favorite cards in the game, so I decided to combine both ideas into one nice and beautiful Deathwish deck. It is very greedy but can get tons of value in both a long and a short round.

Pros:
-Can work in both long rounds (with double ruehin) and short rounds (scenario/succubus)
-Deathwish cards make being reactive awkward for your opponent
-You are playing Succubus

Cons:
Wererat interaction with your core cards blocks it from being amazing
-Finding a balance between Deathwish and Consume units can be hard
Korathi Heatwave or Experimental Remedy can ruin your gameplan

Core cards:
Elf and Onion Soup: If you decide to go with double ruehin, EnOS is in theory a 5 provision Uma’s Curse! It can be also used on other gold deathwish cards to trigger them. In desperate times, you can use it on bronzes, especially on tokens generated by Dol Dhu Lokke.

Succubus: The win condition of the deck. It is a bit problematic early in the game because you have to play it for zero tempo. You are, however, rewarded by it in a round 3. Each of your Consumes is a bonus of 5 points. This is amazing, especially in a short round.

Caranthir: The card got nerfed in September’s patch but it still works in this deck. You can use Caranthir with Detlaff or Ruehin for maximum value. In some cases, it is good to use him with Miruna or Imperial Manticore and in extreme situations even with Wererat or Barghest.

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
This deck was made as a joke to counter all Nilfgaard Assimilate decks I met on rank 2. It was working surprisingly well and I managed to climb with this deck! The plan is simple: Play big boys -> win. You have 4 bronze units so don’t mind using your golds whenever.

Pros:
-You play big units and don’t think much

-Assimilate players cry when they face you

-Deck has the potential of an amazing short round

Cons:
-Not that many engines -Long rounds are not amazing
-Big units can be bad against popular LP with Bounty

Core cards:
Ciri: Nova: Great carryover card that also has  veil and a shield. Provision change to a royal decree made this type of deck much more consistent.

Imlerith: Similar to royal decree, provision change unlocked the possibility to add this card to ciri nova deck. It synergizes well with pugo, goliat, Count Caldwell.

Whispess: Tribute: very flexible card because it gives you access to wide removal (Lacerate) and direct removal (Parasite/Natural Selection) but can also be used also as a thinning card.

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
One day I thought: I hate NG Mill! So I pondered how to make it more wholesome. The answer was obvious: Play it in a different faction! And that’s how NR mill was born. The plan is to mill your opponent’s win conditions in round one with all draw cards and Syanna and then win round 3 with the Istredd/Snowdrop combo. Just a note: I had an amazing 1-12 score with this deck!

Pros:
-It is not Nilfgaard Mill
-You use cards that no one uses
-It is kind of fun

Cons:
-You cannot win
-Usually, your opponent receives too many points from your „mill”
-It is still a Mill deck

Core Cards:
Istredd + Snowdrop – This combo can generate a lot of points in round 3. Use Istredd in round 1 and then resurrect him in round 3 with Renew. His Patience should be big enough to draw full hand.

Syanna – Lets you double mill with Ihuarraquax or Matta.

Stregobor – On the blue coin, you can achieve the most disgusting and toxic combo available in-game. Start with Stegebor and follow with Matta for a card advantage combo.

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
The deck was supposed to be a big meme using forgotten leader ability. I brought it to the pro rank and… It performed quite well! The deck is a control heavy list that works very well in the current meta. Try to set up units like Crach and Holger for long rounds. Use your engines to generate points and set up finishers like Svanrige or Wild Boar of the Sea to close the game.

Pros:
-Deck has both tall removal and wide removal
-Can be devastating in long rounds, especially against decks with limited boost
-Come on, you are playing fricking pirates! ARRR!

Cons:
-Cnitless decks are problematic
-Decks that constantly boost (Frost monsters) are problematic
-Your leader ability is problematic

Core Cards:
Gerd + Wild boar of the Sea: this combo can be incredible against decks that tend to swarm their boards. A good example is ST that decide to go into a long round with Whisperers of Dol Banana

Svalblod Priest: Card looks completely out of place in this deck but it is surprisingly synergistic! A lot of cards in the deck have armor, which guarantees + 2 points every turn. You also have a small combo with Dimun Warship and Terror Crew Axe-Wielder for bonus points!

Terror of the Seas: a very underrated card that can quickly evolve into a high removal card. With Crach, it is instant 4 power removal alongside 5 point body. If you are playing against a greedy deck, it can be even more powerful.

Written by Bomblin.

Lore Friendly

Overview:
Are you interested in wielding the full
power and wrath of the warriors of Brokilon!?
Then this deck is for you! I’m pleased to present this Symbiosis-Handbuff hybrid deck. We have
Eithne with supporting Symbiosis bronzes and some nature cards. My favorite part of the deck
is the Aglais with multiple handbuff cards, who are also supported by the Invigorate leader. Since many of the handbuff cards have a Deathblow requirement I have included cards with Damage on Order (Braenn, Guardian, Boar) to help ensure our desired card gets buffed.
The choice of Stratagem is up to you. I liked the idea of Lamp to let Matrons be proactive, TA can protect
Dunca, and Scroll can draw your Aglais, so adjust according to your needs.

Pros:
-Devotion
-Confuses the opponent
Gezras + Eithne are an unstoppable duo
-Feels good to protect the Forests of Brokilon.

Cons:
-Devotion
-Can struggle in Round 1
-Possible to overswarm vs NG Spies

Core Cards:
Eithne: Great in round 2 or 3 to allow more value from your nature cards, pairs well with Gezras
Aglais: Primary handbuff target, while we are not all in on Aglais in this deck she can still get
many points.

Braenn: Her Zealed Order ability is easily attainable in this deck and is very useful to set up.

Deathblow cards
Sirssa: Very satisfying when the Deathblow is achieved. Her Harmony ability can be triggered
by Gezras & Freixenet.

Written by Kalvino.

Overview:
All the bears! Yeah that’s pretty much it.
However for those that would like a further explanation: This a Beast deck with multiple pay off cards/ finishers allowing for a flexible game plan. Ideally intimidate your opponent round one by just dropping chonky bears and spawning
more with Megascope, while setting up an Axel and your Flaminica.

Pros:
-Bears!!!
-Pointslam
Musicians of Blaviken is in the deck.

Cons:
-You might win with Memes.
-Vulnerable to Tall Punish.

Core Cards:
Olaf: An amazing finisher, ideally with Hym. Can gain value from other self damage cards/
abilities.

Hym: Key combo piece for big points with Olaf. Can also be used on Champion of Svalblod, or set
up offensively.

Flaminica: Great in R3 to get value off of all the beasts played in earlier rounds
Dire Bear: Very useful in denying your opponents Engines or even pay off cards like Gord (if
they don’t pay attention).

Written by Kalvino.

Becoming A Pro

Overview:
The number one power of this deck is its consistency and the power to make huge tempo plays at almost any moment thanks to the Combo of our Leader, Snowdrop, Affan and the Mage Assassins. Other great tempo plays include the Dead Man’s Tongue and the Blightmaker. Best part about those is that they help us thin alongside with Roach, Knickers and the Impera Brigades making this deck really reliable at drawing our strong combo.

So, with all the tempo, thinning, consistency and the strong finisher, this deck is reliable even in Pro Rank.

Pros:
-Great tempo options with Blightmaker into Mage Assassin, Dead Man’s Tongue and even Leader with Snowdrop if we are pushing win on even (can work as an effective play when pushin R2 as well).
-Thins to 1-2 cards meaning you always draw your combo.
-Plenty of control options.
-Huge point output possible in every round.
-3 card Round 3 is almost always a win with Germain, Slave Infantry and Vrygheff.

Cons:
-Playing against Mill is just sad.
-Sometimes you can miss your Snowdrop and you don’t play Leader for full value.
-Getting pushed R2 and losing all important cards (you can prevent it with your tempo).

Core Cards:
Our thinning cards are the reason we can play huge tempo and draw our strong finisher cards in the future rounds. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Last tip:
If you know your opponent is playing a lot of engines, don’t banish your Alba Armoured Cavalry with Dead Man’s Tongue. Keep in mind that Ramon Tyrconel also works on these hampering cavalrymen. Good luck!

Written by DrDenuz.

Overview:
With everybody using Simlas to pull out Orbs people are missing out on other cards that can be played out with him. One of them being Bone Talisman and with ST’s ability to swarm it’s a sin to not utilize this card for a magnificent finisher.

Pros:
-Good tempo in R1 with Feign Death.
-We can swarm even in R1 making it possible for us to use Isengrim and Yaevinn.
We have many engines to gain points over time.
-Plenty of control options.

Cons:
-At times pushes can be a problem for us as we might have to play our combo.
-Mill stealing our good golds.

Core Cards:
Vernossiel, Simlas, Leader and Bone Talisman are our main combo that can play for a huge finisher in R3, so we try to keep them if possible.

Written by DrDenuz.

Overview:
In my opinion, the design of Collusion is one of the most fun and creative in the entire game! I am not a big fan of Syndicate, but Collusion is always fun! You need to constantly try to balance all your gangs on the board and in hand to get the most out of Collusion. The classic legendary cards like Witchfinder, Professor, and Junior can also help you win the game.

Pros:
-You are playing the most fun Syndicate card
-A lot of control works well in the current meta
-C-O-L-L-U-S-I-O-N

Cons:
-You have to play suboptimal cards
-Can be awkward against control decks
-Truth is, this deck is LP, but worse.

Core Cards:
Collusion: How many times I can repeat the word Collusion? As many times as I can! Remember to use your leader ability before Collusion for an additional gang tag!

 

Gellert: In round 1, after you play your thinning cards, use Gellert for a lot of tempo! It works great (unless you are playing against other poison decks) to secure the round 1 win.

 

Whoreson’s Freak Show: This is a budget Drill in your deck. As in Lined Pockets decks, it can work wonders with bounties from Witchfinder and Professor. It is just an amazing control too

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
You know, Coën was not an expensive card at 7 provisions before the latest patch, but the change to 6 provisions turned out to enable the deck that we are talking about right now. Because pulling him out of the deck with Amphibious Assault places him at 6 strength now, which is where you can combine him with a row of Blue Stripes Commandos, boosted by Commanders Horn. The rest of this deck plays like a Double Commandos list, you can find a more detailed guide by clicking on the deck image.

Pros:
-Plays a hidden combo with potential for a lot of points.
Coën is actually useful.
-Can still win as Double Commandos without the Coën combo.

Cons:
-Easily countered if the opponent can read your strategy (which should be rare).
-Has little options to reestablish the combo if the 6 power units get disaligned.
-Draw dependent, and you need to be resourceful with tutors.

Core Cards:
Oneiromancy & Amphibious Assault
: You need to have both available in the last round usually. Oneiro draws Commandos and AA gets you Coën. You can’t play Coën from hand, because he wouldn’t be boosted.

Commander’s Horn: Important card to align a row of Blue Stripes Commandos on 6 power. You need it in hand or available through John Natalis for the combo.

The entire Blue Stripes core: Would be pointless without it, right?

Written by Escanbryt.

Overview:
This has to be the most fun deck I have played since the start of the PoP expansion. It has a lot of possible plays, you can do a lot of misplays, lose points here and there, and also get punished for this. And you know what? I love it! I love when I can see that I am making mistakes and I can learn from them. Moreover, this deck rewards you for playing perfectly. It also includes a game of chicken: should I bait more removal, or can I start my greedy gameplay? TRY THIS DECK!

Pros:
-Impressive amount of points can be generated in long rounds
-Have underused combos like Mad Kyian
-Can defend Bleed

Cons:
-Heavy control decks can be problematic
-Thinning problems can make you miss crucial golds
-Can be tricky to navigate perfectly

Core cards:
Tissaia: An absolute beast! She often plays for 15-20 points with cards like Ildiko, Sile, Aretuza Student: Recent provision buff made this card so much better and it’s one good mage card away from being a meta card. You will see!

 

Mad Kiyan: Sort of a duel card that you use for pure value. He is too big to remove and you can easily boost it with Kerack Marine, Students, and Ildiko. Then just damage the highest unit and look how big the gap in points change in your favor.

Hubert: I have always been a big fan of this card. It can help you with tempo and thinning in round 1 or can be „free” points in round 2 or 3. Just remember to look at his counter when he is in the deck and decide on your plays accordingly!

Written by Bomblin.

Overview:
I feel like SK druids just need more love. However, I realized that decks with only one win condition are just not working for met his season and so this deck was created. You ideally want to thin and play Melusine and/or Gedy early on. This will generally confuse you opponent enough so that they won’t expect your perfectly curated combo in R3. What is that combo? Defender, Dagur, Offering to the Sea and Wild Boar of the Sea. Do you SEE the points? Rite can be used to get double Defender, double Melusine or even Coral.

Pros:
-If one win condition doesn’t work, try another.
Gedy can generate lots of points even in short round on its own.
-You can basically play all your cards anytime apart from the Dagur pew pew combo.

Cons:
-If you don’t draw discard well R1 well then…
-Doesn’t work well against decks with boosted units or few units.
Dagur is fragile if you don’t have defender.

Core cards:
Dagur Two Blades – your ultimate goal and possible a very tall unit that can easily turn the game in your favour. If he stays alive.

Wild Boar of the Sea – works perfectly with Dagur. If played after offering then your chances of hitting most units twice are usually increased.

Trophy Catch – extremely underrated and never played. Core card because we want to see more cards seeing more play. Also, sometimes it just works so well.

Written by GhostArya.

Honorable Mentions

Wait, an actual deck from our Pro Team? That’s neat as fuck!

Since we published a deck guide on the website this season, we decided to include it in the Meme Snapshot. You can read the in depth guide here.

This is the perfect deck if you love meme decks and love Geralt! It’s my 5 Geralts deck! I usually use Thaw on Griffin Witcher and no, I never, never transform my Geralts into Griffin Witcher Adept! I usually switch the Lyrian Scytheman with the Squirrel or some other cards too like Ivo of Belhaven or Erland. The main cards in this deck are the 5 Geralts, Roach, AA, Griffin Witcher and Thaw and the Boiling Oil to BOIL everything!

Written by Buni_314

Conclusion

This was our third Meme Snapshot, we hope you enjoyed it! Hopefully we can all agree on the fact that there are plenty of decks included for all kinds of players that don’t want to contribute to the meta. For players that would like to have a good time, that want to role-play and want to go put their boot in the meta and claim their seats among the kings.

A big thank you to Kalvino, DrDenuz, GhostArya, Escan, AcidBunny, Ian & Buni_314 for providing us with their decks! Otherwise it would have been somewhat one-sided, with only decks from Bomblin and myself. We hope that we inspired you to create your own memes or own versions of the decks with this Meme Snapshot. But for now, Bomblin and I will fare thee well, and we’ll see you again in Meme Snapshot #4!

Please consider checking out our article section where you can find plenty of articles. From member interviews to deck guides and more!

Deck Guide: Germain MetaBreaker

Introduction

Hello guys & gals,today I have prepared something special for you! After creating a lot of meme decks, one has proven to be really viable so here’s the guide to it!

This deck is a really great fit in this Meta as it doesn’t play into the countless Korathi Heatwaves and other tall removals as we play cards with value spread out over the board. We usually thin to 1-2 cards and we are strong in both short & long rounds.

Difficulty

This deck is medium in difficulty as you have to think about when to push your opponent with your Leader and Snowdrop combo in order to gain card advantage.

GamePlan

Mulligan:These are going to be the easiest mulligans of your life as you just mulligan bricks and all the cards you want to use in your combo. Easy as that.

PS: Don’t worry you if you have some bricked cards in your hand as you can always use Leader and Snowdrop to get rid of them. Same goes for the cards you want to use in your combo.

Round 1:In round one our gameplan is to thin our deck as much as we can.

Your thinning cards are the Impera Brigades (remember to have a Soldier on board before playing them), Blightmaker and Dead Man’s Tongue. These cards you definitely want to use in Round 1 to prevent bricking your hand later on. Roach and Knickers will thin themselves eventually.

The Deck

If you have started second in the first round you may consider using Snowdrop and your Leader to gain card advantage over your opponent in the upcoming rounds with putting Affan and Mage Assassin on top of your deck for an amazing tempo play.

PS: You don’t have to worry about not drawing your Nauzicaas as they are not your win condition, they just work nicely with this deck if you happen to draw them R1. Otherwise feel free to Banish them with Dead Man’s Tongue.

Round 2:You can do the same combo (Leader, Snowdrop, Affan, Mage Assassin) after winning Round 1 without the use of these cards in Round 2 to push your opponent and get the extra card in Round 3.

Other than this commit as many cards as you think are needed to gain the best advantage against your opponent in the upcoming round. You can even 2:0 or use Heatwave/Invocation if your opponent uses sufficiently juicy targets.

PS: You can use every card but Germain, one Slave Infantry and Vrygheff if you still want to have a strong Round 3. If you are playing against Gord or other tall finishers deck keep one of your tall punishes too.

PS 2: Make sure to keep an eye on the number of cards in your deck so you don’t commit more cards than you can. We thin to 1-2 cards so be careful not to leave a piece of your combo in the deck. The one or 2 cards that should stay in your deck are usually Squirrel, Assire, Nauzicaa or Alba Armored Cavalry – not your combo pieces!

Round 3: Our strategy to win Round 3 is the Germain/Slave Infantry/Vreemde combo which plays for a big amount of points. If you happen to have all parts of the combo play them in this order if possible –Germain, Ramon (on the Slave Infantry -> Very Important! Play the second Slave Infantry adjacent to the first one), Vrygheff (in between the 2 Slave Infantries) and Vreemde as a finisher for a ton of points!

PS: You might want to keep your tall card removal as a last say so you can deny your opponent’s finisher.

Pros and Cons

PROS

  • Even if it doesn’t look like it this deck plays with really high tempo if played correctly.

  • Your Leader + Snowdrop combo allows you big point swings and gains you card advantage very easily.

  • We think perfectly to 1-2 cards most of the time so you will always draw your combo pieces.

  • 80% winrate in my all matches + 95% winrate against Lined Pockets.

CONS

  • If not controlled correctly Syndicate can get out of control and you lose, this depends mostly on if you draw a lock in Round 1. But it wasn’t a big problem in my 40 matches with the deck.

  • Mill can destroy you.

Considerations

You may consider kicking Assire to fit a card of your choice in the deck but from my experience she works nicely in the deck. A card I was considering adding instead of Assire was Myrgtabrakke.

Conclusion

This deck is really strong in this current meta of tall removals as it flies under the radar. Our four/five pieces of control are usually more than enough to handle our opponent. So this deck ticks all boxes as we have a decent amount of control, great tempo, perfect thinning and also a hefty amount of points in your combo.

For more info and some gameplay of this deck check my Video Tutorial here: https://youtu.be/M24Bdi6j8mI

I, DrDenuz, am a guest writer for Bandit Gang. You can find me on Twitter, Twitch & YouTube.

Thanks for reading, and happy gwenting!

Guide – Dual Casting

This article is part of a Bandit Gang series, covering the many different seasonal modes with brief descriptions of each, as well as some strategies and deck ideas. Not every deck will always be up to date, given the weekly rotation. Instead we display each deck based on its date of creation, so that you can retrace what may have changed in the game since then. Feel free to adjust the decks with new cards or old cards that you like better and, as always, have fun! – MAIN PAGE

Once per turn, when you play a special card, spawn and play a copy of it immediately after.

This iconic and flavorful mode originates from the Season of Magic and wants you to go all in on special cards. So you want to pack all the 12 special cards that you can include into a deck and also add some units that play specials on their own. That way you avoid missing out on the double casting effect most of the time or even at all. However, you only get to duplicate the first special you play each turn, all following specials will only be cast once.

As you can assume, removal is quite prevalent, so engines will have a hard time. Removal, both of the tall and the wide variety, tends to be abundant, so It often comes down to fighting for last say.

And there is one very popular finisher that three factions have access to: Harald Gord.

This, oftentimes deceptively large, dwarf is useable only by Scoia’tael and Syndicate, but Nilfgaard, having access the Double Cross leader ability and Bribery, sometimes manages to utilise Gord as well. No wonder that these three factions seem to be the most popular ones during this seasonal mode. Not only because of Harald Gord, but also because they have fleshed out archetypes with Nature/Spell cards, Crime cards and Tactic cards. An Arachas Swarm list from the Monsters faction can also be considered a nice archetype for this game mode, since it tends be be quite special-card-heavy while not providing great removal targets. Northern Realms doesn’t seem to offer much at first glance, but an unconventional deck with mages, spells and Cintrian Royal Guards has proven surprisingly effective. Skellige is pretty rare, but there is a Lippy deck that focuses on duplicating Shupe as much as possible.

So while the Dual Casting mode can be very punishing and control-heavy, it is surprisingly versatile with  all factions having something viable to offer.

Scoia'tael

coming soon

Slavic Saturday: Vampires (EP5)

v10
𝐺𝑤𝑒𝑛𝑡'𝑠 𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑣𝑎𝑚𝑝𝑖𝑟𝑒

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.

Most spirits in Slavic mythology aren’t depicted in a positive light. Tales of demons in the shadows of the night spread all across the Slavic tribes and nations, and one of the most frightening tales told was that of vampires.

These creatures, especially those of Transilvanian origin, are fairly well known through pop culture osmosis or an interest in folklore, but what about the Slavic vampires? How did they come to be and what were they like? Let’s find out!

Etymology

The word vampire has its roots in Serbia (вампир, vampir in latin) or in Hungary (vámpír).

In other languages…

  • Bosnia – Lampir
  • Czechia and Slovakia – Upír
  • Poland – wąpierz, upiór
  • Russia – упырь, upyr in latin
  • etc.

How did vampires come to be?

According to the Slavic beliefs, one of the main causes of vampirism is dying an “irregular” death, such as committing suicide. Other factors that could lead to one becoming a nightstalker are being born on a wrong day, being born with teeth, tail or a caul (the amniotic membrane enclosing a fetus), not getting to know the proper religious rituals as a child or getting killed by magic or a practitioner of the black arts. Another possible reason for becoming a vampire was a sloppily or disrespectfully executed burial, which caused the recently deceased to rise from the grave.

Other sources claim that even a living person could become a vampire by suffering from a disease, having bodily deformations or from commiting sinful actions.

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Preventive measures against vampires

When burying a person, a good preventive measure to take so they didn’t turn into a vampire was to put a crucifix in the coffin, placing blocks under the chin to prevent the body from eating the burial shroud (a length of cloth or an enveloping garment in which a corpse is wrapped) and itself (it needed to do that to survive), nailing the clothes to the coffin (for the same reason), filling the casket with sawdust (a vampire awakens in the evening and must count each grain of sawdust, which takes up the entire night, so the creature will die when it rises from the grave at dawn) or piercing the body with thorns or stakes. Sometimes the head of the body was cut off so it couldn’t eat anything or, instead of straight up decapitating it, a scythe blade would be placed over the neck of the body so it would behead itself when it rose from the grave.

Other sources claim that people back then would even put stones over the grave, bury the person with its stomach facing down or put a stone in its mouth to prevent the self-eating.

The different burial preventive measures

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The image of Vampires

The description of vampires varied from location to location. Mostly, though, they were depicted as men with extraordinarily pale complexion. If women became vampires, they were said to be uncommonly beautiful and, similar to their male counterparts, white skinned.

Many nations thought of vampires as creatures that could easily blend with humans, with the difference being that the bloodsuckers seemed to be more active during the hours of the night, as they were avoiding the sunlight. Supposedly, they feasted on human blood, but it was said that they could gain their sustenance from the blood of animals as well. This method was said to be avoided though, as it drained their energy.

When a vampire arrived at a village the dogs went wild, and the cattle were restless. Telltale signs of a nightstalker in the vicinity were dead livestock, relatives or neighbours. Also, the sight of an exhumed body in a lifelike state with newly grown fingernails or hair, a body swelled up like a drum, or with blood on the mouth coupled with a ruddy complexion could be strong implications that a creature of the night was on the prowl.

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And yes, they are afraid of garlic!

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Conclusion

This was the fifth 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.

Skill beats Luck Ep. 5 – About the Hispanic Community with Team Nova’s Content Manager Miketocome

Introduction

So far we’ve already talked with Pro Players from Team Bandit Gang, a tournament champion from Team Phoenix and in the last episode the casting and streaming expert TheOneChristo.  

But how does it look behind the scenes of a Gwent Team? What does it take to manage a bunch of people and trying to achieve a common goal? For this purpose I talked to Miketocome, the Content Manager and one of the founders of Team Nova. Now we are also heading deep into the Hispanic community, after we had the chance to learn more about the CIS community with Arch1.

So let’s take a look on his experiences as a manager and the growth of the Hispanic community in general!
Also for our Hispanic readers, check out the Additional Information to find the interview in spanish!  

Meet the Player

Name: Miquel Esteban Cortés

Age: 28

Hobbies: Basketball, Music (Guitar), series and gaming

Section: Management (Team Nova)

Favorite Faction: Nilfgaard

Favorite Card: Ciri Nova

Team Nova and Liga Foltest

Most of us are aware of the bigger community events, which are cast by different streamers and in which many people participate. Such as the TLG Invitational for example, about which we talked about in episode one and three a bit. 

On the other side, we have a lot more diversity in the tournament scene than you might think. The Liga Foltest, one of the oldest Hispanic leagues and events in Gwent is already taking place in its 7th edition this year. With a crowdfounded pricepool of 800 euros it is certainly something to keep an eye on, but only if you have roots in the Hispanic community. This is one of the criteria to be able to participate. 
The league is organised by Hispanic teams like Viper, Sensual, Manticora and of course Team Nova. They created a huge and continually evolving community, of which you might know the recent Open No.3 finalist Poisound (GranMazorca2021) from Columbia, for example. 
(For more information about the team or Liga Foltest, check out their homepage)

In the following interview we want to talk with Team Novas Content Manager Miketocome about what it takes to manage a team, how he sees the development of the Hispanic community and much more.

Additional Information - Información Adicional

For our readers from the Hispanic  community, we also prepared the interview in spanish, which you can find here in an GoogleDocument
También hemos preparado la entrevista en español para nuestros lectores hispanos. Puede encontrarlo aquí en un GoogleDocument!

The Interview

Sawyer: Before we start with the specific questions, you may want to introduce yourself. 
What drew you to the Gwent Community and what do you like about the game? 

Miketocome: Hi everyone, I’m Mike and I’m in charge of managing everything behind Team Nova. I started playing Gwent in The Witcher 3 and then I made the jump to the standalone version at the beginning of the closed beta. After a few months of playing, I found the Gwent Esp community that had just been created and joined to share my passion for Gwent with more people.

What I like most about the game is the freedom it gives you to manage your resources, from the moment you create a deck to the moment you start playing. In that sense it reminds me a lot of chess. In addition, the RNG is much more controlled than in other card games and that allows you to depend more on your skill than on luck to win.

S: True, the reference towards chess was made before. 

There are many different Gwent teams on the circuit, Team Nova being one of them. Created by your teammate Jamedi in 2018, it became the largest team in the Hispanic community. 
Tell us about your journey in the team and how it has evolved over the last years. 

M: Well, the truth is that it’s been an exciting journey. When Jamedi told me about the idea of making a team at the end of 2017 I didn’t think twice and volunteered to help as one of the founders. After all, we were a group of friends who enjoyed playing Gwent and wanted to take it to the next level. I started as a competitive player, but for work reasons I’ve ended up being in charge of running the organization so that everything runs smoothly.

We started with a clear objective: to put the Hispanic community on the map and make the competitive scene aware of the talent we have in Spain and LATAM, since we were the only active project in our community. Throughout these years we have been growing little by little and consolidating ourselves on an international level, opening the doors to players from all over the world, but without forgetting where we come from.

S: Sounds like you had a clear path in your mind already. 
As a content manager, you are not only responsible for your own content, but also for the whole team. 
What is it like to be a manager? What is necessary, in your opinion, to be a good team leader besides having time for your personal stuff?

M: Being a manager requires empathy towards the people you oversee, because in the end, we are all people with busy lives and Gwent unites us as a hobby, not as a job.
Therefore, you can’t pretend to demand anything beyond their will. But you can get personally involved with each content creator and get to know them better to discover their potential and help them focus on the content that can work best for them.

S: Team Nova is known for some of its best players, such as Poisound. You have also recently joined forces with another Hispanic Gwent team, Manticora. 
How would you describe the Hispanic community in general, perhaps in comparison to the Russian or Polish community? 

M: The Hispanic community is one of the oldest and most active on the international scene. It is true that the language barrier hasn’t perhaps made us generate much impact in the English-speaking world, but there is a lot of life.
Also the four Hispanic teams (Manticora, Sensual and Viper) maintain a good relationship and motivate each other, working together to continue growing.

S: Some may not know it, but there is a big Hispanic league, now in its 7th edition: “La Liga Foltest”. This time, together with other teams like Sensual and Viper, you have raised more than 800 euros in the prize pool.

Can you tell us more about the evolution of the league and maybe the motivation behind it?

M: Well, yes, the Foltest League is one of the oldest tournaments that exist in Gwent. We held the first edition in 2017 and since then more than 500 players have played it and we have been improving the competition in all possible areas.

Our motivation has always been to offer a space for Hispanic players to compete against each other and develop themselves. We have been working to offer an experience that not only motivates the hardcore players, but is also enjoyable for anyone who wants to get started in the competitive world.

S: You often hear about the players in the leagues, the tournaments, and the events, but not from the people in charge.
How would you describe your behind-the-scenes experience in organizing a league?

M: It’s normal, although, as time goes by, people begin to recognize the work behind the competitions they enjoy. In the end, organizing any kind of event is an energy-draining experience.
Coordinating groups of people is exhausting and even if you try to make it easy for the participants, there are always doubts and unforeseen events, so you must learn to be patient.

S: Based on my own experience I can tell how exhausting organising an event can be, so I can relate to that. 

Besides the Qualifiers, Opens and Masters, there are not many official events in Gwent.
What would you also ask for in the future, and how important would you say these community events are for the player base?

M: In my opinion, community events have been what has kept the game active for several years. We are fortunate to have a community full of very committed people and organizations, who have carried out impressive projects in a totally altruistic way and without resources.

I would like to see a little more support from CDPR and thus have real support for this kind of projects that goes beyond a publication on social networks or in-game rewards. I firmly believe that Gwent still has potential to grow thanks to its community, but an effort from the publisher is needed.

S: Definitley. The community has been amazing but a little bit more support wouldn’t hurt for sure. 

And about you, what are your goals for the future in Gwent alongside with Team Nova?

M: It has been two very good years for the team. We continue to be the Hispanic reference within Gwent, and we have managed to grow and have representation in two Gwent Opens (with Poisound). In addition, several of our players have been close, but they continue to fight in the Qualifiers.
So in the future we will work hard to continue developing Hispanic talent to be represented in the Gwent World Masters.

Regarding content, we are working on several interesting proposals to raise awareness of Hispanic content within the international community. Our goals are set on remaining at the forefront, leading the way forward.

S: And I am looking forward to see what you can achieve!
Also, as always, we ask for some advice.
Can you give some insights for people who are thinking about setting up an Esports team? What to look out for and what to expect?

M: Thinking about getting into this world? Tip #1: Don’t do it!
Now seriously, any personal project requires a lot of work and sacrifice to get ahead and although many of us see video games as a hobby, the world of Esports is a very competitive environment.

As a piece of advice, it is vital to have clear objectives for a team and be realistic when it comes to growth. Rushing is not good, and you should always learn to walk before you run. And above all else, it is essential to surround oneself with a group of competent and passionate people. Because you can’t shoulder everything yourself in the long term and colleagues always help to keep things moving forward in difficult times.

S: Having goals and a plan surely helps to achieve things in the long run!

Thank your for participating, I am excited to see the growth of the Hispanic community. Also good luck and I wish you good fortune in the wars to come! 

M: Thank YOU for giving me this opportunity to be here and for your work. It is a pleasure to collaborate with Team Bandit Gang and make the community known in this space.
From Nova we extend our hand to you for any matter in the future!

Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #8

After reading The Last Wish, I was impressed by the character Renfri and realized that this unique and interesting character was entirely absent from the game of Gwent. What a travesty! I decided to remedy this situation by posting a custom card every day until Renfri is added to Gwent. The custom cards from the last week appear below.

Smash 'n Grab

Much like the real-world crime of the same name, this card is designed to provide instant value with little to no setup. Like Graden, it allows for the unconditional removal of any unit with a bounty, even if highly boosted or armored. Unlike Graden, this card can often play for its provisions even without any bounty. Additionally, it can act as a same-turn removal against a number of threats, as long as they are neither boosted nor armored. Due to its high floor, this card would probably still be playable at 10 provisions.

The original art source can be found here, on ArtStation.

Cintrian Bride

 The Northern Realms boast among their ranks a number of valiant souls who stare bravely into the face of danger and stand toe-to-toe with Nilfgaard’s toughest knights. But there is another side to Northern Realms, and a reason their soldiers have for risking their lives so fearlessly. For without wives, lovers, and families, what reason would they have to fight? This card is for those women. And men, too. I’m sure that Ves has a sweetheart somewhere, for whose embrace she longs for while on the battlefield. Well, besides Geralt.

Cintrian Bride is designed to synergize with Amphibious Assault and act as both an engine and a finisher. Optimally, one would play her at the end of a long round, just before Lyrian Scytheman is dropped. On the other hand she can be an awful card in a short round, but this is intentionally part of her design.

The original source of the art can be found here, on ArtStation.

Crazed Bear

Sometimes I wish Skellige had a card with the Consume ability. The faction’s graveyard focused identity means that they often want to move units to their discard pile quickly. Since they already have the ability to discard units from hand or deck, I don’t think it’s a stretch to give them the ability to move units from the board to the graveyard.

This card’s design is fairly simple, and it can be low tempo on the turn it is played. However, its primary purpose is not as a tempo play, but as a carryover card. When it destroys a unit with high base strength like Jutta An Dimun or Melusine, it becomes a prime target for Sigrdrifa’s Rite – but unfortunately also for your opponent’s Korathi Heatwave or Yennefer’s Invocation. Ouch.

Good card design is hard.

The original art source is here, on ArtStation.

Chappelle

Chappelle was the éminence grise of Hierarch Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart and the head of Novigrad’s secret service. I don’t actually know what an éminence grise is, but it sounds pretty scary and I honestly don’t think I want to find out.

This card provides delayed tempo that proves quite difficult to disrupt. He can be locked or banished, but other than that, he’s a reliable 14 point play. There is also some synergy with Tatterwing, for what it’s worth. Sadly, if this card were printed, it probably wouldn’t make Firesworn more viable, but would probably end up in the latest flavor-of-the-month Syndicate midrange deck instead.

It looks like the art was drawn by Mitchell Malloy, who deleted the original from their ArtStation account. You can still view the original art on Pinterest, here.

Kvletta

Kvletta supports the self damage archetype by providing a substantial payoff when there are a large number of damaged allied units. She naturally synergizes with self damage cards such as Bear Witcher and Heymaey Spearmaiden, as well as Haern Caduch. However, her low floor and high provision cost could let her brick significantly in a short round.

I’ve always been intrigued by the self-damage archetype in Skellige, and would like to see it shine someday. Part of the problem the archetype is facing currently, is that many of the payoff cards play into tall removal. A card like Kvletta would change that, helping to push self-wounding into relevance.

The original art source for this card is here, on Pinterest.

Fergus Graem

You may recall Fergus Graem as the dwarven blacksmith at Crow’s Perch. Although he posed as a master of his craft, it was later revealed that it was his assistant, Yoanna, who possessed all the talent. Fergus had leveraged his Dwarven privilege to obtain employment, as it were. I felt that the temporary tempo ability fit this character, since he turned out to be a total poser.

This card explores the concept of temporary tempo. It’s most useful when attempting to prevent Red Coin Abuse, though it can also be used during a bleed. Finally, the Barricade ability allows the card to avoid its downside, making it potentially a decent value play.

The original art can be found here, on artist Dean Spencer’s personal website.

Armistice

As much as I hate playing against Mill decks, the archetype is undeniably part of Nilfgaard’s faction identity. Therefore I present to you Armistice, an extremely unique card with a distinctly Nilfgaardian flair. However, this isn’t just  something that would find value in a Mill deck. In fact, it has a number of carefully thought out synergies with Soldiers, Spies, Assimilate, Hyperthin, and even Tactics.

Since it summons a unit to the melee row, it automatically creates a target for Alba Pikemen. Furthermore, it provides double thinning without playing into the opponent’s tall punish, and would be a worthwhile addition to Hyperthin lists. And since it places a bronze unit on the board, it guarantees a target for Dutchess’s Informant.

In general, good targets would be either Ard Feainn Tortoise, Nilfgaardian Knight, Impera Enforcers, or Alba Pikemen. Summoning two engines and boosting them with Imperial Formation or just two high tempo bronze cards could be an extremely strong play indeed.

The original art source is here, on ArtStation.

Slavic Saturday: Dryads (EP4)

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𝐺𝑤𝑒𝑛𝑡'𝑠 𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑑𝑟𝑦𝑎𝑑

Introduction

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

Most spirits in Slavic mythology aren’t the friendliest creatures. Tales of demons in the night’s shadows spread all across the Slavic tribes and nations, and one of the most frightening tales told was that of Dryads.

Dryads in Greek mythology are portrayed as nypmhs, goddesses or demigoddesses. Their counterpart in Slavic mythology are “vily”(the plural form of vila).

Vila, or víla, rusalka, diva, samojuda or samodiva is a Slavic fairy – a supernatural, beautiful female.

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Etymology

The Slavic term “vila” allegedly comes from the word viliti meaning being possessed, crazy. The name “rusalka” either came from the Czech term rusovlasá, meaning women with ginger hair or the word rusa, meaning river.

The origins

Some of the historic accounts claim that vily are souls of girls that died too soon, not by a natural cause, especially the souls of the girls that committed suicide or drowned.

They are similar to creatures named “Navky”, beings that came to life from unbaptized children that were drowned by their own mothers. They either have the form of small children or beautiful half-naked women, who hurt people.

The types of dryads in Slavic mythology

Mountain Dryads

In the Balkan countries there were the mountain dryads (vile planinkinje, samovile samogorske), that lived in caves and could shapeshift to snakes. Their counterpart in the Czech mythology could be Runa, the wife of Lord of the underground Kovlad. She is the Queen of the Permonics as well.

Air dryads

Once again in the Balkan countries, there were air dryads (samovile oblankinje). These were flying through the air and could affect the weather – especially in making the sky cloudy and making thunderstorms. Allegedly they used lightnings as arrows.

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Forest dryads

The forest dryads are called žínky or žienky, in Czechia and Slovakia. They live in the trees and are described as beautiful translucent ladies in soft dresses with golden or ginger hair. Their hair was supposed to be the source of their power, making them able to shapeshift into various kinds of animals such as horses, wolves, falcons or swans. They were also very good at healing and fortune telling.

Supposedly, they used to go hunting on deer- or horsebacks, danced & sang in the forests and only showed up when the dew was falling or when there was a rainbow.

Water dryads

The water dryads are called rusalky, living near the springs, rivers and lakes and they were close to watermen.

Their hair must be wet at any given moment because if it’s not, the rusalka perishes & when they are combing their hair, they can cause a flooding.

There are also dryads/fairies called judy or jezinky – being incredibly beautiful and living in the water or forests, but they were truly vile and were trying to drown people and lead travellers off the paths.

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The relationship with humans

Negative

The water dryads like to drown people (similar to the watermen) and are very mad when people use their wells. They get especially dangerous during Letnice (Pentecost, the festival when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit, celebrated on the Sunday 50 days after Easter), when they not only drown and tickle travellers to death, who don’t manage to solve their riddles, but they flip over ships, break bridges, water damns and tear fishing nets.

The forest dryads try to lure you to their dancing circle so they could dance you to your death.

Fairies/dryads are also allegedly responsible for stealing children from the cradles and changing them for their own ugly, mentally and physically disfigured children (notice the similarities with Mammuna).  In Latvia they say that dryads cannot even have their own children so the thing that they leave in the cradle is just a magical soulless creation.

The child was most vulnerable to be stolen during the first two days after being born so in that period the mother couldn’t leave the child alone. If the child was stolen, mother should beat the changeling so the fairy pities it, comes for it and changes it back. Notice the similarity with Mammuna once again, could even mean Mammuna was some sort of a dryad/fairy.

Dryads don’t need to be portrayed as vile and vengeful even if they often are, but their terrible deeds can be attributed to their carelessness and recklessness. When dryads are actually vengeful it’s mostly when you kill animals, cut down trees and disrupt their peace.

When one wants to protect himself against the wrongdoings of the fairies he should use mint, silver sagebrush or lovage.

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Positive

Dryads are not only a negative creature but also a very kind one. Sometimes they don’t hurt young man but are keeping them safe and give them gifts (in Serbia the dryads are called “posestriny”, imaginary sisters and guardians).

It’s even possible to wed a dryad (voluntarily or by forcing them to (by stealing their belonging without which she cannot leave her husband). But when the marriage is voluntary it usually has a condition which when is broken, the fairy leaves the husband and takes the kids. In most of the stories the husband usually breaks the condition (never confront her about her origins of being a dryad, cut her hair or try to find out what she is doing in a locked room at night), but if he doesn’t and the dryad stays with the husband, she is helping him with her knowledge or magic and the husband is prosperous.  The kids that they have together are extraordinarily smart and have a great memory.

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Conclusion

This was the fourth episode of Slavic Saturday. There are many other creatures I am ready to cover for you, my lovely fans. If you missed episode three 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.

TheKalvino – What’s In My Deckbuilder?

This is ”Whats In My Deckbuilder?”, a series by Babyjosus in which he asks Bandit Gang members and other people from the community to share their insights about what kind of lists they have in their deckbuilder. The decks in one’s arsenal often say a lot about the person. The player could be a creator at heart and enjoy running his/her own homebrews and even personalize their deck loadout by naming their creations. But of course, you also have the kind of person who looks at a meta snapshot, starts netdecking the best lists from it and might not even bother giving them unique names. Oh well, there is only one way to find out and that is by exposing them through this series!

TheKalvino's Deck Picks

Invigorating Witchers

It’s no secret that ST is my favorite faction! This (recently updated) deck in particular has a place close to my heart, and so it has been a mainstay in my deck builder! Soon after I started streaming, I was inspired by Mercernn to focus on the Mastery challenges, and of course I had to go for that beautiful ST Mastery Squirrel border. I created Invigorating Witchers to get those 100 Invigorate Wins (before the Leader was changed, I must add) and enjoyed every second of running that list. The idea is a classic ST movement with a bit of inspiration from NR Witchers’ approach of double carryover (Leader & Vesemir) with many flexible slots for whichever Witcher you prefer to run.


Shupe’s Soup

Don’t tell anyone (especially Mercernn), but I love me some pure RNG, and there is no better list to employ this concept than NG Assimilate. As you can tell by the title of the deck, this one is focused on Shupe, everyone’s favorite Troll, along with Elf & Onion Soup, which recently got even cheaper to run! Highrolling your way to victory has always been a staple in NG’s gameplan but with this deck this tactic feels even more dirty. Viewer discretion is advised!

Unbearable Bear Swarm

I’ve always been an SK fan; it was one of the first factions I fell in love with, thanks to Ace of Plays and his passion for Queensguard/Selfwound. This deck is a more recent creation I built after reaching Pro Rank a month or two ago and getting a bit bored of climbing. The idea was simple: Play Bears and Win somehow! It resulted in a Corrupted Flaminica deck with an Olaf/Hym finisher and Dire Bear coming in clutch more than a few times.

Bomblin Restores My Hope In Humanity

In all honesty, the majority of my deckbuilder is filled with Bomblin’s creations. I consider myself an apprentice to his Meme Genius and am always inspired by his creative brand of deck building. I was on vacation in August and didn’t play as much Gwent as I usually would, but the list I ended up running the most was this beautiful Bomblin creation. The uninterruptible combo of Idarran and the Patricidal Fury leader to set up Restore or Bekkers Dark Mirror was just so satisfying!

Decode + Igor Is A Crime

You may notice a theme in my deckbuilder: I’m inspired by many fellow Bandits! Decode is one of the most dedicated creators I have ever met, and many of my favorite decks can be attributed to his mind. I have fond memories of discovering the great potential of Igor’s synergy with Fallen Knight! The deck shines with an Intimidate package, including Cleaver & Whoreson Senior (who at the time got quite a bit of value in NG matchups by transforming Joachim). When I received the initial version of the deck, I used it to climb to Pro that season. I recently felt nostalgic and decided to try my hand at recreating it for the current patch.

Who Is TheKalvino?

TheKalvino is a streamer on Twitch and co-owner of Dh’oine Sanctuary.  With his wholesome presence and his homebrew decks he will accompany you in his streams, but don’t expect a lot of winning to happen! TheKalvino has joined Bandit Gang on a trial and will bring his passion for Gwent and creativity for Content Creation with him to make sure he can help bring BG to endless glory. You can find TheKalvino on Twitter here.

If you missed the twelfth edition of ”What’s In My Deckbuilder?” then you can check that out here. Also please consider checking out our article section where you can find plenty of articles. From member interviews to deck guides and more!

Slavic Saturday: Kikimore (EP3)

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𝐺𝑤𝑒𝑛𝑡'𝑠 𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝐾𝑖𝑘𝑖𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑎

Introduction

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

Most spirits in Slavic mythology aren’t the friendliest creatures. Tales of demons in the night’s shadows spread all across the Slavic tribes and nations, and one of the most frightening tales told was that of Kikimora.

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Etymology

In every Slavic country, the concept of an evil, noxious creature called kikimora/mora/mura/zmora was spread. It was an evil demon which suffocates sleeping people, drinks their blood, and is able to shapeshift into different objects.

In Poland, Kikimora is known as “mora”, same as in Slovakia or Croatia. In Serbia, she is called “noćnink”, meaning “nightgown” in English. In every case, no matter the name in the various languages, her nickname is “nightmare”.

In some literature, she is known as “sziszimora” or “szyszymora”.

Her name also has origins in Finnish from the word kikke mörkö”, meaning scarecrow.

Saying her name also resembles the sound of a spinning wheel (a tool used to spin sheep wool), which is a bad omen in Slavic countries.

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Characteristic

Legends describe kikimora as a being without a body, a wraith or as a nightmare, which when settled in your house, will not want to leave and will make living in the house hell for its inhabitants.

She is also a sign that something bad is going to happen.

Kikimora – The sleep paralysis demon

Kikimora is said to be the cause of sleep paralysis and the nightmares accompanying sleep paralysis. The trouble of not being able to breathe is apparently caused by kikimora sitting on your chest and the nightmares or demons you see while suffering from sleep paralysis are the product of kikomora herself.

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How does a Kikimora come to life?

It is believed that kikimora is conceived from a dead or a stillborn baby. In some cases a ghost of kikimora could also come out of a body of a woman that died during labour. In that case kikimora resembles the mother or grandmother of the unborn child.

Behaviour

When the kikimora inhabits a house, she lives behind the stove or in the cellar, and usually produces noises similar to those made by mice in order to obtain food.

Kikimora is said to travel around the rooms in the house through keyholes in doors. To stop this, people tried to clog the keyhole at night with bits of paper or by leaving keys in the keyhole.

Looking at kikimora’s eyes is dangerous so little kids were taught by their parents that when they suspected a kikomora in their room they should look at the pillows or windows. Under any circumstances they can’t look at doors, wardrobes or chests because it was right there where Kikimora hid the most.

Kikimora sometimes took on a disguise of an incredibly beautiful young woman and haunted the dreams of married man. She would drive the man crazy with desire and destroy the relationship with their wife. Men weren’t the only victims to kikimora as she also infiltrates the dreams of women and makes them jealous or makes them think that their husbands preferre some other woman.

Different kinds of kikimora

There are two different kinds of Kikimoras. The one that comes from the forest is married to the Domovoi.

The other one comes from the swamp and is married to Leshy. It is said that she can be identified by her wet footprints. When home builders wanted to cause harm to someone buying a house, they would bring in Kikimora. Once she is inside, it is difficult to get her to leave.

Swamp Kikimora was described as a small, ugly, hunchbacked, thin, and scruffy old woman with a pointed nose and disheveled hair. She was said to use moss and grass as her clothes. It was believed that she frightened people, knocked travelers off the road, and also kidnappped children.

Conclusion

This was the third episode of Slavic Saturday. There are many other creatures I am ready to cover for you, my lovely fans. If you missed episode two 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.

Deck Guide: Mobilization Draug

Introduction

Although this deck did not see much play in the last few patches, with the recent provision buff to Kaedweni Revenant’s this deck is back in buisness with a little bit of spice to offer as well as lots and lots of control.

Game Plan

Mulligan: Try to get John Natalis or Amphibious Assault to play Ban Ard Student on turn 1 so we can start gaining patience value quickly. In an ideal situation, we also need to draw Queen Adalia with Reinforced Ballistas to gain control in the round. Lastly, try to search for Falibor which can be our round 1 win condition in most cases.

Round 1: First and foremost, you need to play Ban Ard Students to enable the patience and then we can play Queen Adalia with Reinforced Ballista’s which will enable you to get full value from Falibor. Try to win round 1 if you can, especially against decks like Monsters and Scoia’tael, so we can bleed out their win conditions in round 2.

Round 2: As mentioned, our goal here is to bleed out the win conditions of Monsters and Scoia’tael, while maintaining card advantage. You can approach this round in various ways, but the best way is to go all out from the beginning by playing Lyrian Arbalest and then using leader on it. You can then use Reinforcement to copy another Arbalest and hopefully snowball from there. Afterwards, you can play Shani to bring back your Ban Ard Student and play our Kaedweni Revenants, Draug and Sabrina Glevissig as finishers.

Round 3: In an ideal situation in round 2, we have bled our opponent to their last card with engines and can play stuff like Sile de Tansarville and Amphibious Assault to win the game. But in case you were not against Monsters or Scoia’tael, we can dry pass round 2 and commit to a long round 3 with our engines. 

Pros and Cons

PROS:

  • Lots and lots of Control
  • Good on blue coin

CONS:

  • Lack of point slam potential can leave you behind against greedy decks
  • Struggles a lot against no unit decks

Considerations

One of the main changes you can make is to get King Foltest and Dun Banners to  make up for the lack of pointslam and in this case you can remove Heatwave to replace it with Bloody Baron so we can achieve Devotion. You can also use Siege Ladder because of its synergy with Kaedweni Revenants. If you are looking for a Devotion version, you can replace Maxii Van Dekkar with another Boiling Oil or Winch, as appropriate.

Combo

Maxii Van Dekkar allows you to look your deck in order and shuffle it again. In most cases, you will use this deck to see or fix the draws you will get in round 2 and 3.

Sabrina Glevissig is basically a Devotion Lacerate with a condition which can be easily achieved with this deck.

Pellar, while on the surface may look unnecessary, is useful to purify any unit whether that’s your opponent’s defender or one of your own poisoned units or a unit with bounty.

Hubert Rejk gives you thinning and 5 points of carryover which can be achieved very easily.

Heatwave is pretty self explanatory. You use this to banish anything unwanted, such as pesky scenarios or tall units.

Queen Adalia gives you an additional engine and also protects it with shield allowing you to get an extra Ballista or Arbalest.

Lyrian Arbalest, while not so popular lately, is a very interesting card as it gains a charge every time you play a unit with order (which in this case is almost your entire deck).

Draug’s recent change allows you to play this card on the opposite lane to allow you to have 1 more space for your Revenants to spawn in.

Conclusion

A very fun and simple deck to kick off the season with which offers you a lot of control and fun interactions. Very strong against Monsters and Scoia’tael in particular, both of which appear frequently on the ladder. However, the deck is quite weak against no units which are also lurking on the ladder nowadays.

Thanks for reading, and happy Gwenting!