Team Bandit Gang

Memery

Memery Compilation – Part One

Introduction

It is time folks, some of you asked and now I deliver! This will be the first part of hopefully a monthly series, combined with my Thoughts and Impressions on Memery, where I try to build and create some Meme and Lore friendly decks you witnessed me playing against my fellow BG TeamMates and some other Streamers as well. 

To start, all Deck Guides are written in a mix between serious deck strategies and even more serious thoughts on whatever came to my mind while writing this… You can check out the Deck Guides by clicking on the Faction Name!

As we all know, the Meta can be dull and a bit depressing, but it also can be really exciting, for example when you change out Meta cards for Memes. These decks are meant to be fun and also to experience synergies in Gwent, outside current meta lists. I try to create even lore friendlier descriptions of decks in the future, for a certain atmosphere, but that’s something for Part Two I suppose. 

The Decks

  • Nilfgaard – A Faction we all love and has proven to be one of the strongest (reddit, 2020) in the last months, suffered from some expensive nerfes. But even without the new buffed Vicovaro Novice, this Deck might stand a chance against a distracted opponent with a bad connection, while abusing the Doom Package around one of my most favourite cards in the game – Cyprian Wily.
  • Northern Realms – Who needs shields to protect engines when you don’t play many engines? Who needs a defender to protect order units, when you can just give Zeal to anyone? Who needs Viraxes when you can play Allgod? Like Jay-Z said, what’s a Human being to a God…and what’s a meta to a meme, which doesn’t believe in laddering?
  • Skellige – Imagine playing Crows for carry over, when you can just include a Phoenix into your Deck to win. We don’t need tutors, we draw our Golds, cause that’s what skilled players do. We establish hard earned 30points, with a wholesome Deck and a 5Card Combo, instead of just playing Novigradian Justice or Dethlaff leader.
  • Syndicate – You know what happens if you bully me for playing memes in unranked, while you try to farm Quests and Crown Points with meta lists? I’m gonna call my Greater Brothers and let loose the Dogs! I also play a random Iron Falcon Troubadour. 

Last Words

I really hope you enjoy these Decks or at least that they give you some ideas to experiment around with new stuff! It’s not only about grinding, it’s about having fun. And for people who might get easily offended by a certain amount of sarcasm, just remind yourself what this wholesome dude said, while being attacked by a rich guy in a bat suit – Don’t be so serious 🙂

Thanks to all of my fellow BG mates, especially to the victims of my memery demonstrations on and off stream (MercernnJHugs and Ziggy)!

To Meme or not to Meme – An update on Memery in Gwent

This article is written by Sawyer1888 and edited by Babyjosus.

Introduction

After watching the Gwent Partners Tournament #3 and experiencing the recent changes, I was thinking about memery again, just like Geralt is doing in the banner, and where my place as a memer might be. If you are interested in the match I played there against Trynet123 then go check out the viewer battle here.

So, here we are again, another month another meta…or at least kinda. With the recent patch we got some changes, which nerfed NR a bit, helped SY to create new decks around Cesar and saw finally the end of double scenarios. Not mentioning that NG is overall in a bad shape right now or into the top tier meta lists, this updates goal is not to criticize the meta, but to take a new look on memery in Gwent. For that, anyhow, we need to break down at least some things in the current meta.

Struggling to make memes work and where to go

To create a meme, you want to make unique synergies. You want to play cards outside the meta, think outside just pointslam, removal and techs. You want to focus on whats happening on your side of the board, at least most of the times, and seek for combo-value from cards, which are almost useless on their own. For that, you need to put in a whole bunch of cards to work together, which you also need in one round, just to make it work. And if it works, pretty often you just only get the equal value of some high prov meta cards. Take an Aglais deck for example, which needs a lot of work to do to make her real big. Syanna maybe, some Thunderbolts, a Defender, also you want to have last say and so on. Or you just play Anseis and Viraxes, click Shieldwall leader twice. That’s maybe not the same amount of points, but you get the idea behind this thought. (Currently we are working on a detailed data bank, which will try to show the numbers between meta and memery, so stay alert for new stuff on this page!).

Maybe you get there, you made it work and outpoint your opponent once. And people might say “damn, Aglais is huge”, but that might only work once in five matches like that. Also, you don’t only pay the provisions for all the meme cards you need to make it work, you also passively pay the price of not putting in all these autoinclude cards mentioned before. So therefore you need to still find cards and other strategies than your main meme, to just stay alive in the match. And trying out stuff outside the meta, while getting permanently clapped can be pretty exhausting. Of course it makes fun, when you are a streamer, have a community cheering for you and your placements are done. But when you are alone on your own, kinda tired of seeing the same stuff all over on ladder, where can you go? 

You could suggest that unranked might be the place for memery, but in my experience so many people play meta lists there as well. I witnessed enough experienced players, playing their meta lists on unranked, just to farm crown points for journey, cause new players or memers in unranked are easy prey. And yes, they have every right to do so. So where and when to meme around? The common reddit user might just answer: “ree, opponent plays better deck than me, that’s not fair” but that’s not the point behind these thoughts.

You also want these crown points, cause you like to have the journey stuff. Therefore you need to win rounds…which can be a bit harder when you meme. And when pro ladder takes to much effort for maybe newer players, the higher you get in ranks, the more meta you see. Seems like finding a place for memery can be difficult.

The gap between memery and meta

As stated before, the power gap between memes and meta list is quite huge. The last partners open showed us, that memes can win some games, but only if the hand is almost perfect to get the whole synergy, while the opponent mustn’t interrupt the ongoing meme as well. In the end, none of the memes could prevail, and the Gwent partners who choose to bring normal meta lists shaped the later stages of the tournament. Yes, I acknowledge the competitive character of these events and the will to achieve a victory here. And yes, I respect all the people to make these choice…but it feels kinda depressing to have the chance to actually show entertaining decks, difficult synergies and funny moments, but rather pick the meta we can witness daily anyway.

In my opinion, the problem here is that the new expansion kinda increased the power gaps between meta lists as well as between meta and memes. The new cards, including the scenarios and some stuff from before, make older faction archetypes almost obsolete. We see warrior SK and sometimes a beast/druid package. We see a control/engine NR, MO with hunger or Kelly and some ST symbiosis and elve decks now. Reading this, you could argue that’s at least a few options for every faction right? 
Well, only on the topside. On the bottom, every faction uses a whole bunch of cards, which are almost autoinclude in every deck. Doesn’t matter what type of deck you want to play, these cards are just to good to skip. That means, that only slight changes are made, which makes playing against these factions kinda repetitive. And that’s where the memery dilemma comes in.

Conclusion and Outlook

This update wanted to take a look on the problems memery faces right now in Gwent. I didn’t come up with any solutions, but I am working on some ideas right now, as mentioned before. We will try to come up with more suggestions to make memes great again, while also keeping the competitive environment and character of the game in mind!    
     
With the recent card changes, all focused on what its to strong or to weak in the current meta, the memes are left behind. Old cards like Fringilla are still in the starter deck, but never got touched. Wolf Pack stays the same forever, while the new expansion cards got reworked twice sometimes. It feels like every expansion there is a new layer of cards worked on, while stuff deep down sets on dust. Also some memes around Caranthir, like Phoenix spam, which could be actually valuable right now after the provision buff, got killed, cause of the Ethereal meta. The power gap between memes and meta where shown in the latest partners tournament, where the chance to think outside the meta was missed by some contenders. And with no tournaments to qualify for the next months, with the vanishing of the arena mode in a week…whats left to meme for?

I know its hard work to please everyone and certainly the competitive scene might need more focus. But maybe we could try to think about different archetypes, which represent the identity of each faction, work on cards which are left behind and remember that Gwent is also about fun and the ability to let as forget the dull everyday routine…so therefore we need to break out of a dull everymonth meta, to always say YES to the question: Up for a round of Gwent? 

Memery in Gwent – Thoughts and Impressions

This article is written by Sawyer1888 and edited by Babyjosus.

Introduction

First of all, what is the goal of this little comment or even essay cause to be honest, most of the people know what a meme might be and what memery in gwent might look like. I guess generally speaking most players or viewers would even say, that a meme is synonymous with bad cards or a bad deck or at least not really competitive in the top ladder. So does it mean everything which is not tier 1 to tier 3 is automatically a meme? Does this mean including certain cards for different strategies which might not be as strong as others are meme cards?
The outcome and goal of this article should be to discuss the topic memery in general, describe what memes may look like and how they work, what they want to achieve and why it is so contrary to the meta.

What is memery in gwent?

When we try to remember any meme decks, we normally think of some piles we saw in viewerbattles on some streamers channels, like Synergygod, KingDenpai or decks played by streamers like Trynet and Redrame. Sometimes we even think of Magpies decks during the open and Myamons alternative decks on ladder. What most of these decks have in common is, they will be hard to find in any meta snapshot. Also instead of playing out strong synergies and being able of handling many threats you see on ladder, they are more focusing on a certain outcome which most likely is called something like “for the meme”, “memery” or whatever. The Rat decks swarming their opponents boards with rats, the Turtle meme plays around with armor, Skellige Crows has its goal to get as many crows as possible, to let them fly in every round and Nilfgaards Mill…well, it wants to mill their opponents deck, so there’s nothing left to draw. The winrate with those decks are quite low, said politely, cause to get their meme working, they lack many tools which are needed to compete with a certain meta on ladder.
That doesn’t change, most of those memes are existing for many months and even if some alternative cards or flexible options through the expansions will help their goals, like Oneiromancy for consistency or provision changes, sometimes these decks even get bullied. Triple Gedy for example seems quite impossible now, because of the leader and provision change of Second Wind. So, it is not possible to play Lippy out 2 times to get your scenario back. Well, you can try it with Masquerade Ball, Renew, Avalach and Assire, but I don’t really think that would be a fun experience…for you or your opponent.

So, when memery does not really want to stay competitive, what is its task? Most of all, except from maybe suprising your opponent on ladder with random cards to sneak some wins, it is more like the fun aspect of those decks. Playing out weird combos with Syanna and the Runewrights, seeing your opponent unable to play meta cards cause they are filled up with rats or milling their high provision cards with Cantarella and Tibor, that can be pretty funny. Also creating lore friendly decks, full of Witchhunters and Bounty cards, going in with a full NR Mage deck or trying out Viper Witchers around Letho, with now maybe Ciri Nova might sound pretty cool. But there is one problem…

The struggle to be a memer…

With all these new cards from the Master of Mirrors expansion, the provision changes on some cards and the announcement that “double card” leaders, like Second Wind, Pincer Maneuver and so on, will be changed in the upcoming patches, memery feels way harder to do. The biggest threat to memery are actually the strong power capped cards for all those factions right now. SK warriors are controlling the meta once again, together with Hidden Cache. Also NG Ball with their soldiers and aristocrats does it for like half a year now. NR seems kinda back on ladder, with maybe a midrange deck or a devotion version around Pincer Maneuver or even Uprising. And yes, Monsters are in there as well, with Haunt, Auberon and Ethereals. But how can a crow or rat swarm compete with all this? When there were elves and harmony, you could try to swarm them, but now, most of the decks want to bleed, want to push, most of the factions have 12p cards or more on their own, like Harald and Ursurper, so no synergy is needed. And playing lore friendly decks? I think the Frost/Wild Hunt package is a good start, like the Spy combo right now, but it needs more like that. Where is the NR Mage buff? Is Tamara the only synergy card for playing more Witchhunters? And…why is Vesemir Mentor still such a bad card, which except for NG, will never get its value? With Mahakam Forge you could think, dwarves might be seen more often, but the only real way to play it right now, is to focus on spells, for one thick dwarf: Gord.

You can see, it’s not only pretty hard to compete with all those disadvantages as a memer on ladder, but these days it also feels sometimes even harder to create a working meme pile to make it work…and to survive long enough to see the outcome.

Conclusion and Outlook

As a more moderate player which is not really involved in Top 64 ladder gameplay, I count myself to the majority of gwent players in general. Yes, some changes need to be done for a more competitive environment, to get a healthier balancing and maybe a different route in qualifying for tournaments, like open decklists or whatever, but this should and certainly will be discussed in some other article in the future.
What I find problematic here, is the growing distance between “meme” oriented fun decks and meta snaphot lists on ladder. To be clear, I will never expect that Mill can deal much damage in pro gameplay and I certainly don’t want to buff Rat Swarms as a deck to easily climb with. In my opinion though, there are many synergies and cards in every faction left over in gwent, which we might never see again except in viewer battles. Every expansion creates a new, stronger card pool, which not always synergizes well with the old stuff and almost always replace the previous played piles. While a few months ago Druids with Boats and even Dracoturtle were quite competitive, now its more like a meme. While there was once a Blue Stripe Commando meta, now its something between a meme pile and maybe a tier 3 ladder deck. With all this stuff going on in Gwent, lets not forget that some people say “memes are to culture what genes are to life” and “for a meme to survive and spread in a competitive environment it must have attributes which give it advantages over other memes” …or in this case maybe other decks.

Things are changing in gwent and that’s good but keeping an eye open for what’s left behind to maybe close the gap between meme and meta synergies would be valuable for the game. Meme decks show us the variety of what’s possible, so it might be worth it to take them seriously. Maybe not in a competitive and professional way, but more as a friendly reminder of what gwent is also all about, to keep us a little bit longer in the fantastic world of the witcher, by telling us small stories we enjoy, with old friends from books and games.