Team Bandit Gang

Deck Guide

Deck Guides

Guide to the Switcheroo Seasonal Mode

We are now in the season of the cat and the seasonal mode of last year makes a return. This means that each player makes a turn and the hands are being switched every time. It forces you to play pretty awkward when it comes to sequencing of your cards and deckbuilding choices. Let’s see why this is the case.

How to play this

First of all, the first round is pretty much always played until the last card is depleted. If you pass early, your opponent will play the remaining cards instead. That leads to a long first round and one or two very short and very topdeck-depending subsequent rounds. It’s not hard to conclude that carryover is really worth it under these conditions, but we will come to that later.

The first turn of your deck always belongs to you so you want to make that count. After that, your opponent has straight access to the high value cards in your hand. So ideally you have one reliable and important first turn and a lot of synergy-dependant plays afterwards. For your mulligans that means that you should hold one valuable first turn play in your hand while possibly deliberately shuffling other high value cards back to your deck for better topdeck chances later on. Synergy-dependant cards can be kept though, because you have to make points somehow.

Possible synergies for you to utilize are:

  • Faction-specific tutors (Menno, Fauve, Natalis…) – low point cards that your opponent can’t utilize unless he is playing the same faction, with the exception of tactics or organics maybe.
  • Anything that plays from your deck – Your deck is your inaccessible safe space, so anything that interacts with it will have no or at least a different use for your opponent.
  • Singleton decks – this is rather about Shupe and not as much about Radeyah, as the latter is still 8 points without deckbuilding requirements. Shupe however is just a zero point card for your opponent if his deck doesn’t fit
  • Coins – this is for Syndicate only of course, but your opponent has no access to your bank account. I will say though that we didn’t come up with a satisfying syndicate list, because it’s hard to get some consistent gainer-spender-balance with all the meddling.

What else is there to consider? Card advantage doesn’t matter. Don’t bring removal that might hurt yourself more than the opponent of course. Use the information from your opponent’s hand to play accordingly. There’s no need to wait with a tall play if neither of the two hands counter it. Also try to shape the last two rounds in your favour. This might be more important than actually going for round 1, depending on what you play.

And one last side note: Don’t listen to those guys who think that playing only garbage is a good idea. That garbage is distributed in a very socialist way, while you miss out on your opponent’s synergy-bound points.

Nilfgaard

Let us begin with a carryover heavy list that capitalizes on lots of Phoenixes to build up a lot of pressure for the last one or two rounds. If everything goes well, you can have an advantage of 12 points or maybe more when entering those. Detailed description in the deck guide:

Northern Realms

A bit contrary to that is our northern realms list, as it doesn’t care too much about carryover and rather brings tools to counter carryover of other people. Instead the Siege scenario gives you a nice edge in round one and your leader ability in combination with Prince Anseis (or Seltkirk as backup) alone is good enough to secure one of the short rounds. Detailed description in the deck guide:

Skellige

This is a bit of a middle ground between both strategies we had before, using carryover in Phoenix and Crowmother, but also using the Gedyneith Scenario for the long first round. Read the deck guide for details:

Final Remarks

Credits also go to Sawyer1888 for assisting in the refinement of these decks and sharing his opinions in the creation of the guide. Thank you for reading this and have fun playing. Until next time!

Deck Guide: Radeyah’s Elves

INTRO

Hey guys, Zedi here.

You may remember from my last article that Deadeye Ambush was the first deck I used to get onto the pro ladder. What you may not have learned from that is that my obsession with Scoia’tael’s Elf package is unhealthy, both to my mental and my faction MMR. In recent times, Deadeye Ambush has failed to hold a place in the competitive meta, often being ignored in favour of spellforge archetypes, such as Nature’s Gift or Precision Strike control. In the two months since the release of Master Mirror, I have had to bid my good Elves ‘adieu’ in order to find any success on the Gwent ranked ladder… that is, until now.

One of the greatest challenges for Deadeye Ambush was the inability to successfully run Feign Death on the competitive ladder. The value of Bomb Heaver as a response to Masquerade Ball made the card an ‘auto-include’ in most decklists. Unfortunately for Scoia’tael, Feign Death is one of the only scenarios that loses a trade against Bomb Heaver, making the card a liability in most deck lists. However, the absence of Nilfgaard in the current metagame combined with the popularity of Devotion lists means that Bomb Heaver is nearly nonexistent on the competitive ladder.

I started playtesting with Feign Death again after all of my favourite decks were killed off in Patch 7.2 (goodbye forever, Ethereal). The deck feels strong, and despite its susceptibility to power-creep, it has enough control tools and tempo plays to claim round control starting from either side of the coin.

In this iteration of the deck, I decided to go for an old-school Singleton list, using Radeyah to set up Aen Seidhe Sabre. The ability to complete your scenario quickly with the use of the stratagem makes Feign Death a devastating card in any round. The deck goes wide, which is great in today’s “Korathi Heatwave” meta. The revert to Harmony also helps this deck a lot, since you’ll be free to place your units wherever you please, without needing to overflood any particular row.

The Deck

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

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/e9b6f1868d66a682321b9a0a0ddc0e96

DECK OVERVIEW

Before we talk strategy, let’s take a look at some of the deck’s key cards and how they synergize with the rest of the list.

RADEYAH – Radeyah is one of Gwent’s most unique cards, providing an incredible amount of tempo and flexibility in singleton decks. On melee row, it allows you to finish your scenario quickly and sets up more Elves on the board for Yaevinn and Isengrim. On ranged, it plays for an immediate value of 13pts and can help you fill your row for your other finishing cards like The Great Oak.

FEIGN DEATH – Feign Death is one of the most undervalued scenarios in the game. Since the omission of Bomb Heaver in most competitive lists however, it often finds value on the board, setting up the rest of your gold Elves for big point finishers.

VERNOSSIEL – Vernossiel is your core gold in this list, as she synergizes incredibly well with all the other contents of your deck. In the right situation, she can fully clear an opponent’s board, while overpopulating yours with a myriad of Elven bowmen to set up for Yaevinn, Isengrim and the Great Oak.

YAEVINN – Yaevinn is one of your strongest assets in this deck, as he represents strong point swings and high removal value against enemy engines. Yaevinn finds value in nearly every matchup, synergizing well with your Half-Elf Hunters and leader ability charges. He can be used to clear off a low health unit, or set up for Waylay to make even more tokens.

ISENGRIM FAOILTIARNA – Isengrim is your best finishing card. He is your most reliable follow-up to Feign Death. After completing your scenario, he can represent a ton of points in a short round, especially when combined with your leader charges.

THE GREAT OAK – The Great Oak is one of Scoia’tael’s most staple golds. It is a flexible enough card to be useful in long or short rounds. In this deck, The Great Oak will find most value when used in combination with your other row-flooding cards like Vernossiel and Feign Death, since you will almost always be able to fill up a row using your cards and leader charges.

Feign Death (Astor Alexander)
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GAMEPLAN

In today’s metagame, the ability to bleed in round two is very important in most matchups. This means that your job is to do whatever you can to win round one, even if it costs you a few resources.

Like most Scoia’tael decks, this list thrives when you can bully your opponent on red coin and force a short Round 3. In this situation, you’ll want to use your low-provision bronze cards to keep up pace behind your opponent, threatening their engines with your poison package. After winning the first round, you’ll need to bleed your opponent down a few cards so that you can shorten the length of the final round. Ideally, you’ll end the game with your big finishing cards like Vernossiel, Great Oak, and Isengrim Faoiltiarna.

From blue coin, you’ll have to expend a few more resources to make sure you secure round control. Since this deck naturally runs Aen Seidhe Saber, you’ll be able to combo your stratagem with Feign Death without needing to Radeyah. Once you’ve committed your scenario, you’ll be able to follow up easily with cards like Yaevinn and Isengrim to take advantage of the multitude of Deadeye tokens currently on your board.

TECH OPTIONS

The deck already runs a number of tech cards for certain matchups. Crushing Trap is your core wide-punish card against swarm decks, such as SY Firesworn or NR Kerack Frigates. Vrihedd Sappers are used to counter enemy Defenders or to protect your tall units from poisons. Squirrel is used to deny echo cards such as Oneiromancy and Blood Eagle.

If you find that these tech choices are not enough, you could consider replacing Maraal for Korathi Heatwave for more removal, or Novigradian Justice for some extra thinning. However, without Maraal, your poison package feels quite lackluster, since you will only have two poisons remaining in your deck.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I’ve enjoyed using this deck on the pro ladder so far this season. While the deck lacks the engine strength to keep up against the likes of NR Shieldwall, it does very well from red coin against popular short-round bully decks like ST Nature’s Gift or SY Hidden Cache. As much as I love Deadeye Ambush, it will be a while before it becomes a strong enough leader to see play in Gwent tournaments and the like. I do believe however that this deck can be very strong on the ladder, and is a very strong list to use as you climb your way to pro rank.

I hope you enjoy using this deck in your games. Big thanks to [BG] Sonneillon for helping me build this deck and playtest it on the ladder. If you end up using the deck, let me know what you think of it! You can find me in the Bandit Gang Discord, or on my Twitter (@lolzedi).

Guide to the Seesaw in the Season of the Dryad

The season of the dryad returns and while the rules of the according seasonal mode remain the same, the experience will be quite different this time. The overly dominant Arachas Swarm deck from last year is no longer possible, while a bunch of new possibilities emerged. So, let’s have a look at the rules in particular and how to utilize them.

Rules and general approaches

At the end of your turn, all units with even power will be boosted by one, while all units with odd power will be damaged by one. Plain and simple right? At least in theory. Practically this involves a lot more calculating when considering a pass, depending on the current state of the board. Engines work differently as well, especially those that boost by one in some way. To explain that, let’s first have a look at the sequencing of the effects at the end of your turn.

The seasonal boost or damage is what is coming first, all the other end of turn effects come afterwards. So your engine can be either accelerated by this or brought to a halt, depending on its power. Engines that boost by one after being boosted by seasonal rules will find themselves at even power on the next turn, as they gained +2. Same scenario but odd power leads to one point damage by seasonal rules and one point engine boost, effectively staying the same. So having it all well aligned is the key to success.

Vitality and Bleed work the same way. Just remember that you want to put Vitality on even allied units and Bleed on odd enemy units. Speaking of Bleed, just as you want to keep your units/engines at even power by the end of your turn, you want to do the opposite to your opponent. This can sometimes interrupt their point generation pretty well.

Shields and Armor will be affected by this as well, diminishing and disappearing every turn on odd power.

We present you now three different decks that make great use of all this. Monsters, Nilfgaard and Syndicate are not being covered this time, as the other three factions seem to stand out more. However that doesn’t mean that these factions do not offer decent options for these rules, so feel free to get creative.

Scoia'tael

Since it is the season of the dryad, let’s start with the dryad deck. Mystic Echo got replaced by Nature’s Gift in the last patch, and vitality as a mechanic is a tremendous match to this mode. As mentioned before, you can create a lot of cheap 2 point engines with vitality, which holds great potential to overwhelm your opponent in points. Yet as effective as it is, it falls a little short to decks that focus on turning your units to odd strength. It’s still fun to play though and definitely able to win a lot of games.

I like to open the game with some dwarves and go for the round while saving up symbiosis and nature cards for later. If you do not draw accordingly, it’s not a big deal to change that plan. Zoltan is a neat card to end the first round on. Keep in mind that the vitality status carries over, but also that Dryads Caress on Zoltan is a bad idea. Your leader charges are best used on the two young dryads spawned by Eithné and they are often also helpful to keep Malena alive. The rest works pretty intuitively I’d say, so just give it a try:

Northern Realms

Probably the champion of the month. Meve’s Royal Inspiration ability has already been very strong last year and with the change on Arachas Swarm it’s likely the best leader you can play this time. You just have so many engines and ways to keep them alive, while all the pings and boosts help you to have everything aligned in every round. Ale of the Ancestors is a wonderful addition to the leader ability, as it grants you the opportunity to have an uneven boost on each turn. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. Sawyer argued that this list probably has too many engines so that those ones played late will not unfold their value. He’s got a point there, since the only real finisher cards are Vissegerd and Scytheman here. I still like it the way it is, but changing a few engines for some finishers like a Geralt card of choice is always worth a consideration. Here you go:

Skellige

Skellige can kinda be regarded as Northern Realms’ evil twin in here. While the Royal Inspiration deck focuses on single boosts on allied units, Skellige has many ways of annoying the opponent with multiple damage pings. An obvious leader choice for this can be Onslaught, which works well and is just exactly the opposite of Royal Inspiration, but we thought that Rage of the Sea has some more potential here.

Sawyer put the main work into this list and you can find his in depth description in the linked deck guide. So, I will not bore you with too much text here. Here is the list:

Final Remarks

Thanks for reading our guide to the Seesaw in the Season of the Dryad! It may take a little time to get used to calculating the points right, but you will get the idea after a few games. If you have any feedback or additions/changes you would like to us to make to the deck, feel free to let us know in the comments down below!

Deck Guide: Vylcount’s Nature’s gift

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

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

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

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

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The Deck

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

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

Deck Guide: BJ’s Ethical Shieldwall

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

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

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

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

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

The Deck

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

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

Guide to the Battle Rush in the Season of the Draconid

Okay, so you might now wonder. “Does this mode even require any guide? The only thing that changes is the pace.” This is not wrong, but the pace eliminates some of the more complicated decks or simply some time-consuming mechanics. That’s why not every deck from the common ladder will work in the seasonal mode and why we want to go through a bunch of decks here that do.

Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t have to consider too many options on every turn. It sounds stupid, but autopilot decks are the easiest to manage here. Also consider practicing a new deck on casual first if you need to get familiar with the strategy of that deck.

Faction specific approaches

Syndicate:

What you want to avoid when playing syndicate is too much micromanagement with your coins, your gainers and spenders. So hoard is the mechanic that you probably want to aim for, providing nice engines and relatively simple coin management. Coincidently, there’s already a popular Hidden Cache list on the ladder that is pretty good. And since it only takes a few tweaks to make it suitable for the seasonal mode, you can run this pretty successfully. So this is what I’ve been running, but similar lists are just as good:

Northern Realms:

You should utilize engines as well when you play Northern Realms of course. Using too many orders and targeting abilities will cause serious conflict with the timer though. So your best bet is going for simple order abilities and boosting. Uprising is the perfect match for extensive boosting of course but keep in mind that using this ability while your turn ends often leads to another charge being unwillingly used. So if you don’t need to do it earlier, you best save all charges for the turn you want to spawn the Scytheman. This list combines Kerack Frigates with several boosting engines for a solid point generation. This is the deck:

Monsters:

Monsters and its simple thrive mechanic is appealing when it comes to quick turns. That’s why there are several thrive decks floating around, some of them very minimalistic, some using Ethereal and Fruits, some combining it with Wild Hunt or Vampires. I’ve been playing a list with Frost and Wild Hunt, using Force of Nature to progress that mastery to be honest. That leader ability can be changed if you like, but it’s quick and if you use it early, it shortens your turns with autopass enabled, forcing your opponent to play quicker. Here is the deck:

Skellige:

KingDenpai has been playing a Dracoturtle list with Ursine Ritual recently that has massive point swing potential in your final combo. I felt like Ursine Ritual takes a bit too long under some circumstances. For example if you tutor Cerys with Oneiromancy and play the leader charge on the Shieldmaiden, you may not be able to target that leader charge before the time runs out, or another charge you want to save gets used. So I removed Cerys, Shieldmaidens and Vildkaarl and switched the leader ability to Sacrificial Vanguard. Then I added a small discard package and Gedyneith, as the deck already contained 4 druids to utilize here.

What you want to do here is playing Gedyneith in round one, generating massive points while preparing the Dracoturtle combo with your leader ability. What you need in hand by round 3 is Dracoturtle, Mardroeme, Vlodimir and Iris, or access to them with respective tutors. The defender is very useful as well, of course. You set up the dracoturtle (with a Svalblod Priest if you have it), then use Mardroeme to bring it to low armor and high points, revert that with Vlodimir to high armor and low points and finally harvest the high armor with Iris. I noticed that Gedyneith baits some removal in round one, so the Dracoturtle combo doesn’t get interrupted as often as I assumed in the beginning. Really fun to play, give it a try! The deck is down below:

Scoia'tael:

Driftbling mentioned that one of his viewers named aidspit shared a dwarf list that served him well. I played a few games with it and I can confirm this. It’s very straightforward, play some dwarves, utilize their armor and generate nice points while doing that. Portal along Mahakam Marauders seems a little strange at first, but pulling one of them out immediately enables the bonded mechanic for the other one. Still you rather like to pull the Miners and Pyrotechnicians of course. It also features a bit of resilience, which is nice. This is the list:

Nilfgaard:

I’ve got no list for you this time, sorry. Also haven’t seen Nilfgaard that much, a few Hyperthin lists and that was it. But you can always try your favourite list from common ladder and you will see which cards or combos take too long for this mode and adjust according to that.

Final Remarks

What many people enjoy about this mode is that the games are over way quicker than usual. So, this is a great opportunity to progress your masteries in the contract book, as well as some of the keyword contracts (e.g. Hoard contract with the aforementioned Syndicate list). And of course, the experience and journey progress goes way faster as well. So if you want to go for a grind, this is the right time. Otherwise just enjoy the pace.

Seasonal Deck Guide: Ciri Supernova

This article has been written by Escanbryt and edited by Babyjosus.

Introduction

Welcome to this quick deck guide for the griffin seasonal mode called „Power Shift“. The rules this time are simple, as every unit in the starting deck (does not apply for created or spawned units) gets its provision cost as base strength. This sets some units way above their usual curve and others way below. This has various effects on your deckbuilding decision, for example implementing way more tall removal than usual, choosing units with a good value despite their lack of synergy and utilizing thinning cards that would be a little overpriced otherwise.

Strategy For This Deck

Now forget what I just said, because we ignore tall removal and thinning while using very synergistic units. Instead, we are just bluntly going in on enormous amounts of value from our main consume targets in this deck, which are Ciri: Nova, Ruehin and Dettlaff: Higher Vampire. Also forget common ambitions to preserve your leader ability for later, because here we use it early so that we can make use of Ciri. As you may know, she only returns to your board if there’s no unit in your graveyard, so we want to make use of the doomed tag as much as possible. The Ekkimaras from the leader ability are doomed, so removing them will not disable Ciri. Following up with Ancient Foglets keeps your graveyard empty as well, as they come back and then receive the doomed tag.

That way you can at least play a few rounds until your opponent is even able to brick Ciri. Bronze consumers will likely be the units you want to play afterwards, continuing to harvest value from Ciri, while the first one removed can be brought back by Necromancy. If executed well, the points you gain in round one can pose a massive challenge for your opponent to keep up with.

The second or third round will be relatively similar, using Ruehin instead of Ciri though. Kayran and Dettlaff are preferably your big point finisher, especially if you secured the last say.

Additional Card Explanations

Royal Decree, Alzur’s Double-Cross, Whispering Hillock: This deck really relies on your key consume targets, so we have three tutors for consistency. It is important to find Ciri in round 1, she can be tutored by Decree and ADC (shares the 11 strength spot with Ruehin). Hillock cannot find Ciri, but Ruehin, Detlaff, Manticore or Foglets.

Ozzrel: Always plays for 20 points on your round 1 Ciri. However it’s often smarter to eat Roach from your opponent’s graveyard when you are playing against Skellige or Nilfgaard.

Saer’Quan, The Beast: Filler with good value. Saer’Quan avoids tall removal in the first turn.

Imperial Manticore: Sometimes has a difficult spot in this list, as you can’t play it while Ciri is up and running and you probably won’t preserve a leader charge for it. However due to the overall high base strength in this mode, the manticore can be a good backup consume target. It can’t compete with the value of the main targets though.

Bronze Consumers, Cyclops: Self-explanatory.

Endrega Larvae, Nekkers: Great value below the tall removal threshold. Can jeopardize Ciri though so rather not play them round one.

Final Remarks

The most popular decks in this mode are probably Skellige lists resolving around Lippy Gudmund. This has the unfortunate side effect that tech cards like Fortune Teller or Squirrel also happen to be effective against this deck. There’s not much we can do about squirrel, but it’s worth a consideration to run a purify against the Fortune Teller’s doomed tag on your Ruehin. I’d suggest to cut a Cyclops for a Pellar in that case.

What’s left to say is that this deck doesn’t play very elegant, it really is just points, often so much that the removal options of your opponent can be just outnumbered. It had an incredible 22 – 2 win rate for me early this season and still is pretty good after the decks have shaped out a little. Also, if you play against these popular Lippy decks and take round one, don’t hesitate to push them with a full scale Ruehin round 2 to put them in an awkward position. You can still keep Kayran and Dettlaff for the short round 3 then.

Thank you for reading this guide, have fun with the deck and good luck!

Seasonal Deck Guide: Imposter Double Masquerade Ball

This article has been written by Sawyer1888, and edited by Babyjosus.

Introduction

First of all, playing seasonal is not something everyone enjoys. It’s like Arena or Unranked, an area where you can test out stuff, take a break from grinding the ladder or just meme around. Mostly it is used to grind achievements or like stuff in the reward tree.              
Anyway, in order to do so, it can be helpful to have a deck which works, to make it more efficient, whatever you want to achieve in seasonal.

Season of Griffin

In the season of the Griffin, every unit’s power is set up to its provision cost, which means like Damien comes down as an 11p strong unit, while for example Joachim comes down as a 10p spy. Our goal is to slam points, to get great value from our cards and be able to deal with whatever the opponent throws at us.

Reasoning Behind the Card Set

Oneiromancy – Great Consistency, to get the units or even the ball, if need be.

Vattier – Together with Imposter it’s a strong combo, because of the high power of every unit. You want to throw it on the board pretty late, to make sure it sticks and doesn’t get interrupted by locks or other great removal cards. Because of the seasonal ability, it comes down as an 11p strong unit, which makes it almost unstoppable.          

Roach – Just for the tempo or, in some cases if you are not able to play your 2nd ball, you can do the old school Assire combo.             

Avallac’h – Great tutor in seasonal for our 2nd Ball, because we don’t want to use Roderick as a spy or Matta.

Leo Bonhart/Shilard – While Leo can get insane value, playing at least for 19p. Shilard can also trigger our Ball and downgrade one strong key unit of our opponent, which makes him favorably played in Round 3, so our opponent can’t mulligan the targeted card.

Spotter – Always play for 9p minimum, gives you insight of your opponents’ deck and are good proactive plays.

Toussaint KnightErrant – Arguably the weakest cards in our deck but can be used to take a round and play for 6-8p.    

Juggler – Decent value in this seasonal mode, which also can trigger our dames twice.

The Game Plan

The general idea of this deck is to control your opponents’ site of the board, like you always do with your scenario. Therefore, we need additional poison cards and some efficient other removals. While in the normal ladder Rot Tossers can get a bit clunky, in seasonal almost every card guarantees us a big target, so the chances to get a valuable poison are high. Cobras play for 5 strength with poison ability, the only downside maybe is, that your fangs stay pretty much the same as in normal.

Tips & tricks

Well, you try to get the first round with one Ball and have to decide if you can push round 2 or not. Obviously, cards like heatwave can hurt us, but therefor is roach as a backup plan. You don’t want to use Avalac’h in round 1 and prefer to get your first ball out from hand or with Oneiromancy. Use your poisons on tall units and be aware of your number of backup poisons and your Rot Tosser placements. It’s better for us to get the first round, so that we can decide how far we want to push round 2 but losing round 1 without using our ball is acceptable. Lose cons can be a Heatwave, a strong swarm push from Lippy decks, using the Witcher Trio and other stuff, or a bad placement of our dames and other units, so we run into an Igni. 

Feel free to maybe adjust cards like Shilard for Ffion var Gaernal or maybe change Cupbearer for a Treason.

Oh and by the way, if you accidentally queue into ranked… don’t worry 😉

@ZigZak_Guy

Final Note

Thanks for reading our deck guide! If you have any feedback or additions/changes you would like to us to make to the deck, feel free to let us know in the comments down below!

Deck Guide: Strategic Withdrawal Masquerade Ball

This article was written by Iancm1997 and edited by Babyjosus.

Intro

Since the release of the Master Mirror Expansion about a week ago, there are a few decks that have been dominating the ladder. These decks include Second Wind Midrange/Greatswords and Fruits of Ysgith Ethereal (multiple versions). What is the best answer to counter these decks you may ask? Why some wholesome Nilfgaard of course! In this case some dirty poison decks. I know, I know “Poison!? What is this!?”.   Poison is one of the best control options in the game, and in this meta so far, tall punish and engine punish is the way. Imperial Formation was the way to go in past seasons for poison, but Strategic Withdrawal has shown itself to be a reliable alternative so far. This choice will be explained later.

Reasoning Behind the Card Set

The following will discuss why each card is included, and the general game plan the deck has.

Masquerade Ball: This is the centerpiece of your deck, your Piece de Resistance. Probably the best Scenario in the game at the moment, this card can get you upwards of 20 points of value. It works really well in the long round and can still work well in a shorter round. The spawned Fangs of the Empire have the Agent tag, which works with Usurper and cards with the Assimilate tag (Braathens and Cupbearer).

Usurper: The new evolving card introduced for NG in the new expansion is no joke. The third form of Usurper has Veil, spawns an Operative in each enemy row, and boosts self by one whenever you play a card with the Agent tag. This means it synergizes well with the spawned Agents from Masquerade Ball and Braathens, who is also an Agent.

Vincent Van Moorlehem: Your leader target, your most valuable removal piece in the entire deck. With all the statuses out there, one of them being Veil, it can play for 20 points in one go in certain situations. With leader, it can play for another 15+ points. He also procs Masquerade Ball since he has the Aristocrat tag.

Braathens: One of the new cards released, this is probably the best Assimilate engine that NG has. Can be used as a leader target for more Spying enemy units, making it synergize with our bronze engines very well. There are three options that you will always have to make a choice between. The three options are Informant, Emissary, and Infiltrator. Infiltrator can help you to counter Endrega Larva.

Ramon Tyrconnel: The most versatile card NG has, can be used on Enforcers for Spy synergy or Ard Feann Tortoise for high tempo. Pretty much an auto-include in NG.

Joachim de Wett + Yennefer’s Invocation: Invocation is one of the best control options that NG has. This card can be used along Joachim to play one of your opponent’s units as a tall card. This also gives us a Spy tag to work with and an Assimilate proc. You can also play Invocation in Round 1 or 2 on a card of your choice to eventually draw it into your hand.

War Council: Consistency card, can help us thin our deck and access Golds that we don’t have in our hand.

Fergus var Emreis: This card gives three enemy units Spying since this is a Devotion deck. Has the Aristocrat tag, which means he can proc Masquerade Ball. Can get 15+ points of value if you have Seditious Aristocrat, Thirsty Dame, and Impera Enforcers on the board. He can also setup your Vincent Van  Moorlehem.

Van Moorlehem’s Cupbearer: Versatile, can be used for extra poison or purify. Also, an Assimilate engine that synergizes well with spawned units from Masquerade Ball and Braathens.

Rodertick of Dun Tynne: Tutor for your gold cards. Since he has the Aristocrat tag, he can be used to proc Masquerade Ball in one turn. Disloyal tag gives value for Seditious Aristocrat, Thirsty Dame, and Impera Enforcers.

The Bronze Package: The stars of the Bronze package are the Impera Enforcers, the Seditious Aristocrat, and the Thirsty Dame. They synergize so well with all the Spy tags that the Gold cards give that each of these bronze cards can get 10+ value. Ard Feann Tortoise and Magne Division give proactive options. Arbalest and Tourney Joust are good control bronzes.

The Game Plan

The goal of this deck is to get a long round with your Masquerade Ball, and if forced, a short round with your taller units. Winning Round 1 is important, but not at the cost of spending all your high-end Gold cards early on. Leader target is Vincent, Usurper, or Braathens. Double playing a Poison card also works quite well for removal. Having good Aristocrats and Masquerade Ball for a long Round 3 is quite important and keeping your engines alive will translate into a ton of value. Masquerade Ball is good for defending the bleed and saving Vincent and/or Usurper for Round 3 with leader is a good short round option.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The main strength that this deck has is that there are so many control options and leader targets. It is very versatile with the plays you can make with your Gold cards and Bronze cards alike. Can defend the bleed quite well and is quite powerful on Red Coin.

The main weaknesses that this deck has is the vulnerability of Masquerade Ball being removed. Losing the scenario can translate into losing the game depending on the matchup. While Strategic Withrawal has more versatility, not using Imperial Formation means you can’t protect your engines right away.

Tech Choices

War Council + Cupbearer + 1 Deithwen Arbalest -> Ffion var Gaernal + 2 Rot Tossers

War Council + 1 Tourney Joust + 1 Deithwen Arbalest -> 1 Amnesty + 2 Rot Tossers

Final Note

Thanks for reading our deck guide! If you have any feedback or additions/changes you would like us to make to the deck, feel free to let us know in the comments down below!

Deck Guide: Fruits of Ysgith Ethereal

This article has been written by Iancm1997 and edited by Babyjosus.

Intro

Since the first Gwent Open that took place in May of this year, people were very intrigued by a particular card art that was revealed for the Master Mirror Expansion. It depicted Iris’ Nightmare from the Hearts of Stone expansion from The Witcher 3, one of my personal favorite bosses in the entire Witcher franchise. Fruits of Ysgith is a leader ability that is not seen as frequently as Death’s Shadow on the ladder, but it is very effective.

The Reasoning behind the Card Set

The following will discuss why each card is included, and the general game plan that this deck has.

Oneiromancy: Oneiromancy is an Echo card that was introduced in the Master Mirror Expansion that allows you to play any card from your deck. With the Echo keyword you can play this card twice, making it the best consistency card in the entire game. With this card there is a good chance that you will manage to play all your gold cards.

Living Armor + Caranthir: This combo is fantastic in any round and plays for a total of 13 points excluding any thrive units that are triggered. Living armor can then play for a 10-point body plus any thrive that is triggered. In total, these 2 cards play as 23 points at a bare minimum, making them one of the best short round pairings in the game.

Yghern + Golyat: These two cards are high tempo and can put round 1 out of reach for your opponent when you are on blue coin and can threaten to win on even if you are on red coin. Good targets for Ozzrel in later rounds.

Katakan + Protofleder: Katakan plays as an 8 spread over two bodies (6 on Katakan, 2 on Ekimarra) with the thrive tag. There is a good chance this card will play for at least 10 points by itself and with the bronze cards included will most likely play for 15. Protofleder is included since there is a high chance that you will have Dominance and will get full value from the card. 3 damage and a 7-power body from drain is quite useful. On top of that it triggers quite a bit of thrive.

Ozzrel: Auto-include in almost every Monsters deck, typically used as a finisher for high tempo. Synergizes well with all tall units.

Ethereal: This card is absolutely insane. At only 8 Provisions, it can easily get 15+ value in a slightly long round. This card synergizes so well with this leader ability since you can get 3 points per turn from it. On top of that, this card is almost impossible to remove since it basically deploys as two bodies and will always tick unless all copies are locked or killed in one go.

The Beast + The Apiarian Phantom: These two cards synergize quite well with big Monsters and act as unconditional engines. The Beast will help to ensure Dominance, while The Apiarian Phantom can damage an enemy unit by 3 on Order and has Veil.

The Bronze Package: Cards included here include Endrega Larva, Drowner, Nekker Warrior, and Bruxa. These units carry quite well in Round 1, and with cards like Noonwraith and Kikimora Worker will trigger all of these units thrives quite easily.

Edit: Since Ethereal was changed from 8 to 9 provisions on July 7th 2020, one of your 5 provisions should be changed to a 4 provision bronze.

The Game Plan

Round 1 is easy, just play all of your bronze cards that have thrive to put the round out of reach for your opponent, throwing one of you tall units on the board to develop your graveyard for Ozzrel later on. Round 2 is when you play Ethereal, laying on a heavy bleed if you win Round 1 and attempting to either win 2-0 or force your opponent to go a card down in Round 3. In Round 3 is when you play your powerful short round cards like Caranthir/Living Armor and Ozzrel.

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths are that the deck excels on either side of the coin in Round 1 if you hit the Thrive curve well, High tempo plays such as Yghern/Golyat/Living Armor can force your opponent to go a card down.

The weaknesses are movement, which can cause a problem if one of your tall units is moved to the right of your Ethereals and Wide Punish on your row of Ethereals.

Tech Choices

Bartghest for Kiki Worker, Pugo Boom-Breaker for The Apiarian Phantom

Final Note

Thanks for reading my deck guide if you have any feedback or additions that you would like to make to the deck, feel free to let me know in the comments down below!