Team Bandit Gang

Deck Guide

Deck Guides

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!

Guide to the Seasonal Mode in the Season of the Magic

Hello everyone. This is my second seasonal mode guide that I provide for Team Bandit Gang. This time covering the season of magic and several approaches to make the most out of the ruleset.

Rules

The rules remained the same as last year, which means that any first special card you play on a turn gets duplicated. If you play a second special card in that turn, by create or tutoring for example, that special card will not be duplicated. Quite simple.

General approach to deckbuilding

To make the most out of the rules, you probably want to keep your unit count at the minimum of 13 when building a deck. On top of that, units that create or tutor spells are very good here, because you don’t want to miss out on the double casting effect in more turns than necessary. The same applies to leader abilities that enable some sort of special card play in turns where you are playing a unit (Mystic Echo, Double Cross, Wild Card, Tactical Decision, Pincer Maneuver and many more).

Removal is running very strong, so it may be hard to stick engines to the board. There are some decks like Mystic Echo Harmony that are able to stick some engines due to the large amount of them, for many other decks they probably are not worth their provisions. So, it’s good to work with point slams and immunity, where it is possible. Last say is often very important and the coin-flip can sometimes be as decisive as in old beta Gwent. Another thing to note is that swarm and mid-range approaches will serve you better than tall units, because there are some cheap tall removal cards that you see very often.

Speaking of which, these are some neutral cards that fit well in many decks regardless of faction:

Neutral
  • Korathi Heatwave: Double tall removal and artifact removal of choice. You don’t want to run Bomb Heaver for the occasional scenario you face, so this is a good middle ground.
  • Devil’s Puffball: Double poison means instant removal and it offers some damage to adjacent units on top. Totally great for 6 provisions.
  • Triss: Telekinesis: Counts as a unit, works as two special cards.
  • Royal Decree or other tutors: Great for consistency and thinning units out of your deck. Faction specific tutors are sometimes better though.
  • There’s also Uma’s Curse, Aguara: True Form, faction runestones and many more. You get the idea.

Faction specific approaches

Scoia’tael:

Scoiatael

Probably the most popular faction this season. The synergy that Mystic Echo offers is very obvious, and the modified version of the well-known Harmony deck has proven to be quite strong. Waters of Brokilon create four Dryad Fledglings at once and it can be cast twice (once per round most of the time), so that’s a lot of units which are hard to remove in their amount. Although facing it rather often, I didn’t really want to play it, so I don’t have a decklist for you. I am certain though that you can find or build one easily.

What I did play is a more control-oriented deck that is not capitalizing on harmony points. Instead it has some great swing potential in very few cards. It features a dwarven package that gains points off a quick rowstack, lots of removal, Harald Gord of course and a very tall Aglais as your last play. More on this in the deck description:

One quick comment on the Elven Sage: Don’t run this as a lonely engine, as it will very likely be removed anyway. When facing Nilfgaard Assimilate however, this card can backlash pretty hard due to obvious reasons.

Syndicate:

Syndicate

The other faction that runs Harald Gord. The crime synergies are also pretty great here, making the intimidate mechanic quite strong. Sir Skewertooth is a terrific engine due to its immunity, so good that it’s even worth to run Renew just for that. Fisstech is one tall removal and 8 coins for 4 provisions, which is totally crazy. This however means that you shouldn’t go entirely without spenders. I made a list that feels quite balanced on coin management to me, even though most cards don’t require or create coins. I also chose Off The Books solely for Skewertooth’s immunity, you can change that for something else if you want to.

Monsters:

Monster

I think there are mainly two approaches for monsters. The first is a simple Arachas Swarm that can just vomit points on the board with which the prevalent tall removal cannot really keep up with. Predatory dive is a painful card for those decks who do not swarm their board with low strength units. The weakness would be lacerate, but I feel that this is often not played. So that’s one way to go here, but again I didn’t play it or create a list.

What I did try was the second approach which stores points in immune units and plays the remaining units as deathwish or swarm, so that it doesn’t hurt too much to get hit by removal. It sometimes feels mediocre but has also shown to be really good in other matches:

Nilfgaard:

Nilfgaard

I didn’t play Nilfgaard this season, but there are some ways to make it work. While assimilate has plenty opportunities to trigger, the engines might not stick, so it can be countered quite well actually. Sometimes it just comes down to find the opponent’s key cards (most prominently Gord) with Bribery or the Double Cross leader ability. If you aim for Gord, keep Bribery for your last turn. The low unit count in seasonal decks contributes to Bribery’s consistency at least.

Skellige:

Skellige

I’ve seen two decent approaches for Skellige so far. One is playing Gedyneith and druids which leads to many duplicated alchemy cards and well boosted crow clan druids. The other one is playing Shupe-Lippy decks to multiply and cycle Shupe as much as possible. I haven’t played either so I can’t provide you any list for that. Sorry.

Northern Realms:

Northern Realms

I haven’t seen any convincing NR list so far. Maybe there is something in playing a siege deck and launching bombardments on your opponent, but you need your siege engines to stick for that. This is not easy, even though reinforcement triggers twice. I’d give it a pass this month.

Final remarks

I do not really have the time to create an entire snapshot on my own, so I only shared the decks that I created and played myself. As mentioned before, popular decks like Mystic Echo harmony are not part of this guide, despite being very good. However, if you don’t find these lists elsewhere, get creative in deck-building on your own. The seasonal mode tolerates unoptimized decks and it is part of the Gwent experience 🙂

ESCANBRYT IS A GUEST WRITER FOR TEAM BANDIT GANG. HE’S BEEN A DEDICATED SEASONAL MODE PLAYER FOR A WHILE NOW AND LIKES TO GET CREATIVE IN SEASONAL DECKBUILDING. IF YOU LIKE THE DECKS THEN FEEL FREE TO LEAVE AN UPVOTE.

Deck Guide: Imposter Vattier

This guide was written by Iancm1997 and edited by BanditPig. The video guide was made by Mercernn

Imposter is one of the leader abilities that was introduced in the leader expansion back in April. While this is not the best option as a leader ability for Nilfgaard decks, there are a few interesting combos that can be done using this ability. This deck is built around the inclusion of Vattier and Vanhemar, the two main control options in the deck. Vattier is a card that seizes a Locked enemy unit on Order, and Vanhemar destroys a Locked enemy unit on Deploy.

With the inclusion of both of these control cards, Damien de la Tour fits quite well into this deck. Having the ability to reactivate your leader ability in Round 3 helps if you draw both Vattier and Vanhemar and you don’t have lock cards in your hand. Since this deck has no way to protect Damien other than Defender, it is incredibly important to play this card after you’re opponent has spent most of their movement or removal cards. The same goes for Vattier, since he is Melee locked and his ability is on Order.

Lambert is an inclusion that helps against the recent influx of Swarm decks that are appearing on the Ladder. Lambert damages an enemy unit and all its copies by 2 on Deploy. This can make for some incredibly high tempo swings that can win you the game if you’re opponent is relying on boosting all their units (Uprising or Elf Swarm).

Ramon is one of the best cards for Nilfgaard, especially when you include a bunch of Bronze soldiers as the core of your deck. The versatility of this card is almost unrivaled, and can be used to create an engine, boost other cards, or play for high tempo. When making a Nilfgaard deck, this guy should almost always be included.

Ffion is the only protection that you have for both Damien and Vattier, so sequencing him properly is quite important. If your opponent is able to remove him, there is a high chance that you won’t be able to re-enable your leader ability or use Vattier’s ability. No need to worry, however, since Vanhemar is good to fall back on if your Vattier plans fail.

Helge is included as a control option which can easily play for upwards of 12 points, which is great for an 8-provision card. With the inclusion of this card, this deck also runs 6 tactic cards to help give it charges. This card can be played in any round, which makes it quite versatile. It does work best however in Round 3 in tandem with Ffion. Sweers is a good inclusion into any Nilfgaard list since he’s 9 points (or more if you’re able to seize an engine) as a low provision Gold, and Menno is included to help tutor your Tactic cards for Helge.

The Bronze core of this list is pretty standard for a Nilfgaard soldiers list. Ard Feainn Crossbowman and Alba Spearman work well with Ramon, and Nilfgaardian Knight is a good proactive play. Deithwen Arbalest helps to get rid of pesky cards like Crowmother and Flying Redanian, and Alba Armored Cavalry synergizes well with both Vattier and Vanhemar.

The original version of this deck used Vincent van Moorlehem as the main control option for leader, and didn’t include Vattier, Damien, or Vanhemar. It also had a combo between Matta and Cynthia, where you would play Cynthia to spawn The Guardian in your opponent’s deck in Round 3 and use Matta afterwards so they would draw into it. Alternatively, Vilgefoltz could be used with Cynthia to destroy a tall unit on your opponent’s side and bring out The Guardian to their side. The issue with the old version of this deck was the fact that it lacked point output, despite having Ramon, Lambert, and Helge. This shows the importance of tuning a deck, trying to optimize how cards work with each other. In this case, Vincent did not work as well with the soldier package compared to Vattier and Vanhemar. The Vilgefoltz – Matta – Cynthia combo is cool but doesn’t output enough points for how much each card costs. Optimizing for the soldier package is quite tricky, but when done correctly can work wonders for you.

A video guide done by our Team Bandit Gang member Mercernn can be found below:

Deck Guide: Death March (Cursed NR)

This deck is brought to you by Mercernn, if you want to see gameplay and a more in-depth video guide then you can check it out here:

The key part of this deck is using Forbidden Magic to create Revenants and swarm your board with them, making it very difficult for your opponent to keep up with them. Triss gives you a way to spawn a third forbidden magic, which means you should always be able to access one although she is less reliable against decks with bronze specials of their own, such as NG Tactics. This is reinforced even more by the inclusion of Royal Decree, however that can also be used for whatever the situation calls for. All of the bronzes deal damage (aside from Royal Guard, however these are used to enable your Archers) and therefore all make it much easier to start damaging units and set up 2-point targets for Forbidden Magic. Once revenants are on the board, you can use the damaging bronzes to set up 1-point units for those as well. Most of the bronze units in our deck are great proactive plays meaning that you do not need to target any opponent cards on deploy. You should try to open with a bronze card that deals 2 damage, which hopefully will allow you to use Forbidden Magic as soon as possible.

With the bronze synergies out of the way, we can now move on the key gold cards. Ronvid the Incessant is a great card for this deck as it provides a Revenant target if you have no others, and it also provides carryover throughout all of the rounds if you play him in round 1. Vincent is primarily there to make 1 power units, to then be finished off by any of your engines. Remember that it ignores armour, too, so it can see great value against Savolla if you’re against Syndicate. Voymir can be used to re-active the Archers although in some situations it can also be a decent finisher if you have lots of revenants on the board. Then we have Adalia, who can spawn a shielded bronze card which keeps your damage flowing and makes it much easier to set up revenants whilst also giving your opponent yet another card to deal with. A high priority to use her with is an Archer as they have the highest potential and are also the most vulnerable, as well as giving Voymir more value if he is used on them.

The leader ability in some rare cases can set up a revenant, but mainly it represents good value and having flexible removal is always handy. Especially when against heavy engine decks if you are stuck in a long round 3, such as Harmony or Greatswords. It can also be used to remove a Defender, even against the SY or NR defender you still have plenty of small pings of damage to deal with those. The bleeding it gives also lets you squeeze in a few more points allowing you to get up to 15 value, although that is very situational you can still reasonably expect 8-10 value since you can deny engines and set up revenant targets with it.

It is good against engine decks such as Greatswords and Harmony since you have plenty of tools to shut down their engines before they get started. It’s also good against poison since you are focusing on spreading your units thin, and swarming the board with many lesser power bronze engines which will leave your opponent with a hard time picking what to poison as most of the time nothing will seem like a great choice. Finally, it can work well against uprising since you can shut down any targets that they want to boost before they even get the chance.

The Deck

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

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/23907564ed8a0b356e636ec36c65c5a7

Guide to the Seasonal Mode in the Season of the Elves

With the intention of the Bandit Gang to cover the monthly changing seasonal mode of Gwent as well, I’ve been asked to become a guest writer for this segment. So in this guide I want to present you a quick explanation of the ruleset, general approaches to deckbuilding and a few examples of decks that work very well.

I also want to remind new players that this mode has no matchmaking and you might up queueing into very experienced players with whom you will have a hard time to compete. The ranked mode of each season is the one called “classic”, where you will match with similar players most of the time. However, if you enjoy the seasonal mode rulesets, then maybe this guide will help you to take the challenge.

Rules

The current seasonal mode remained unchanged compared to last year. That means on each unit card that you play you will pull out a unit card with the same provisions out of your deck, if there is one. Your deck contains an additional copy of each card for that. While the description says that it’s the unit you play from your hand, it really is just the unit that you play first on each turn. So if you create a unit from a special card, this unit will pull a same provision unit from your deck. If you revive a unit from your graveyard, if you tutor one from your deck, the same applies. Keep in mind though that it’s always about the unit’s provision, not the special card’s provision.

This effect will only trigger once per turn, always on the first unit that is played. So let’s take one example to demonstrate how this works:

  • You play Menno Coehoorn to tutor Bribery from your deck. This will cause you to pull another 8 provision unit as Menno from your deck, while the Bribery unit will not trigger the effect, as it is the second unit that is played. If Menno doesn’t pull a unit because there is no other 8 provision unit in your deck, you’re out of luck. The effect doesn’t carry on to the next unit.
  • If you play Bribery from hand, you will pull a card according to the provision of the created unit, as this one is the first unit to be played.
  • If you play a spy as the first unit, this will cause you to pull a same provision unit from your opponent’s deck, if there is one.

General approach to deckbuilding

First of all, you don’t want to miss out on the pulling effect in any of your turns. This limits your use of special cards and artifacts significantly to those that play a unit in any way. A leader that plays a unit can mitigate the use of another special card though.

Second thing to consider is the random outcome of the pulling effect. It’s a good thing to have certain purposes for each provision number. If you, for example, open the round with an engine and then pull a control card on an empty board, that’s wasted. If you can align proactive and reactive cards on different provisions, this will increase your consistency significantly.

Thirdly, engines are strong here, as the big amount of them is hard to handle. Be aware that Geralt: Yrden is a popular counter to boost-heavy engines, so damaging engines may be more reliable.

And at last you only have 18 slots on your side of the board, even though the amount of played cards has doubled. Make sure not to brick your last plays of a round and keep an eye on the space for row-locked cards.

Neutral cards that work well in many decks:

Neutral
  • Royal Decree is a great card to include in every deck. Can tutor any provision number that you didn’t draw and increases the consistency of your 50 card deck by a large amount.
  • If you design your deck so that it contains lots of cards with 9 provisions or lower, Renew is one that adds a lot of flexibility and consistency as well.
  • Matta Hu’uri is a useful card in the right deck. The high provision cards to pull should be specials like Renew or Royal Decree though, as there is no point in pulling both copies of the one 12 provision unit you have. Playing many 9 provision units diminishes the chance of playing both Mattas in the same turn though.

Faction specific approaches

Nilfgaard:

Nilfgaard

For Nilfgaard, assimilate is running crazy here. It triggers on every card that wasn’t in your starting deck, which includes every additional copy added due to the ruleset. The added copies are no premium cards, so you can tell them apart from your starting list cards if those are premiums. There are many different ways to build a deck successfully here, if you just include the assimilate engines. Cahir should be mentioned as well here, as he can grow by an insane amount of points against the right deck. While all leaders work well and Double Cross does exceptionally well, this is a list that I created to progress the locks and purify nodes in the reward book:

Northern Realms:

Northern Realms

As the faction of engines, Northern Realms is going even stronger than Nilfgaard in my perception. Charges can get out of hand exponentially, which can overwhelm the opponent pretty fast. Former Demavend’s Stockpile ability has its competitive month of the year under these conditions, with archers, arbalests and such raining down on the opponent’s units, while Dandelion and Vysogota create an enourmous amount of points on your side of the board. Once again, there are many ways to build a successful deck around these mechanics.

Personally, I like the approach with Pincer Maneuver for more flexibility, this is a deck that I came up with:

Skellige:

Skellige

Skellige has emerged with the strategy of playing Artis which damages each unit that is played by half. This makes the Wild Boar of the Seas a very strong finisher. Greatswords and Dagur Two-Blades can grow easily along this setup and several berserk units can feed off the effect of Artis. You can also include a little surprise factor with double Kambi, which can shorten the game by two turns and deny your opponent’s last play if the last say is yours. This is a deck that I came up with:

Monsters:

Monster

The thrive mechanic can be triggered quite easily in a Monsters deck, so you would increase the amount of thrive units in relation to their triggers here. In order not to reach a ceiling too fast, you can combine it with consume units that play ever taller. This is of course very vulnerable to tall removal and Geralt: Yrden. While it may lack control options itself, Monsters may struggle in comparison to other factions because of that. There’s some kind of an underdog approach though, considering the boards can get very crowded.

The Noonwraith spawns two worthless rats on your opponent’s side of the board, which can sometimes brick their last plays. If you keep your own unit count low with consumes, you can play a heavy swing with double Jotunn. Skellige and Northern Realms have options to attack their own units though, so this strategy might fail often. This is a list that is tricky to play, but works quite reliably to get this setup done:

Syndicate:

Syndicate

Syndicate suffers from the fact that crime cards are inefficient in this mode. It offers quite some engines that synergize well, such as the Sly Seductress and the cheap hoard units if played with Hidden Cache. All the double playing messes up the gaining and spending of coins though, so I haven’t really found an enjoyable approach to Syndicate in this mode yet.

Scoia’tael:

Scoiatael

The engines of Scoia’tael don’t really seem to benefit off this mode. Harmony doesn’t trigger more often than usual, since the amount of diversity doesn’t increase. So it’s just outscored by the competition of other factions. What’s noteworthy is that elf-swarm-tactics can develop very fast and burst out in points and control in a short round. But once the board is full, you’re in a difficult spot. So ironically, the Season of the Elves just doesn’t seem to be made for the elves.

Final remarks

This became quite a lot of text, but I hope that I could help you navigate through this topic with some impulses on deckbuilding. Keep in mind that there is no hard competition here so you can get creative with deckbuilding and still have success with it. It’s also a great opportunity to progress contracts of certain mechanics. Reaching 1000 assimilate triggers for examples goes really fast here.

Happy gwenting!

ESCANBRYT IS A GUEST WRITER FOR TEAM BANDIT GANG. HE’S BEEN A DEDICATED SEASONAL MODE PLAYER FOR A WHILE NOW AND LIKES TO GET CREATIVE IN SEASONAL DECKBUILDING. IF YOU LIKE THE DECKS THEN FEEL FREE TO LEAVE AN UPVOTE.