Gwent

Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #6

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

King Demavend

I played through the Thronebreaker game recently. (Not gonna lie, I only did it for the animated Kelltullis and Dagur Two-Blades.) I remember King Demavend being such a chill dude, a true ally of Meve and an all around bro. Now, I usually do a bit of research on a character before making a card out of them because I want to the card ability to match their personality. So when I started reading about King Demavend I was massively surprised to learn that he’d imprisoned and tortured quite a few people and also was responsible for numerous pogroms against the Scoia’tael. Holy shit, dude. Not cool.

Anyway, my idea for this card was to have a unit that produces unique effects based on what targets he boosts. In this case, he synergizes with mages, soldiers, and siege engines all in unique ways. With this design, he synergizes with both Uprising and Vysogota of Corvo. My intention was to reward boosting units in such a way that doesn’t play into Geralt: Yrden and also allows flexibility of gameplan. For example, in round 1 you might play him between two mages in order to build up some sweet carryover. On the other hand, in a long round 3, you can play him to the ranged row to protect siege units while also pining down the enemy for some brutal attrition.

Alseid

CDPR is clearly taking the Scoia’tael “spellatael” archetype in a very different direction from what I would have. Their version focuses on elves and Spells, while I would have envisioned an archetype focusing more heavily on Nature cards and the Symbiosis mechanic. Personally, I like to build upon and add nuance to existing archetypes before creating wholly new ones. Yet, now that part two of the Price of Power has been released, I think I see their logic more clearly. Other than a few cards that miss the mark entirely (particularly Saov Ainmhi’dh), Spelltael seems quite powerful.

In this card, I envision a pointslammy bronze card that adds to Symbiosis and Harald Gord value while also introducing a minor threat to the board. Though fairly easy to remove, the Alseid with trade up versus most removal cards, making it an extremely strong bronze in nature decks.

Original art source is here.

Lyrian Officer

Northern Realms competes with Monsters for the most greedy engine heavy decks in the game. Currently Monsters has them beat just a bit due to cards like Selfeater and The Bloody Mistress, but Northern Realms has some impressive bronze engines such as Reinforced Ballista and Cintrian Artificer that truly give Monsters a run for their money. I’d like to see Northern realms get some stronger bronze engines that synergize heavily with their other engines, allowing them to snowball if left unchecked. In that spirit, I present you Lyrian Officer, who acts as a payoff card for engine heavy decks. Particularly in a long round, this card can reach an extremely high potential value.

Original art source is here.

Alsana Gwyn Crevan

The powerful eleven sorceress hovers in the air, her eyes narrowing as she judges the distance and angle to her target. She takes aim and utters the magic word as the flames well up in her hands. The bolt of flame connects with an arrow midair, converting it to harmless ash before it connects with its intended target. Moments later, a great explosion marks the grave of her human adversary.

She lands lightly on the ground, glancing around quickly. When she is sure that her last foe is vanquished, she breathes a sigh of relief. Her power drains her, but she never lets it show. “Why, oh why, must the humans fight us so?” she wonders, asking a question that will never truly be answered.

From a gameplay perspective, Alsana is a powerful engine with a very high floor. Yet her self-damaging behavior, absence of veil, and tall body mean that she is often an ideal target for Korathi Heatwave. To derive value from her, you’re going to want to either bleed heatwave from your opponent, or queue into a very greedy matchup.

Original art source is here.

Zovik the Mad

There’s a fine line between bravery and madness, between courage and stupidity. Skelligers have never truly found that mark, always erring so far into foolhardiness that one can only gaze in awe at the sheer pluck. Truly, their philosophy showcases the difference between fighting to live and living to fight. For if the violence and chaos of battle are what one lives for, then is it foolish to avoid battle? Even if there were a definitive answer to that question, do you think the Skelligers would care? No! They just fight because they love the clash of steel and smell of blood!

ROOOAAAAARGGGGGHHH!!!!!!!

Original art source is here.

King Radovid V

King Radovid V is truly an excellent villain, as he portrays everything we love to hate. Cold, arrogant, cruel, vindictive, and borderline insane. And most importantly, defeated in the end by our favorite white-haired witcher.

When Radovid returns to Gwent, I’d like to see him at the forefront of the brutal onslaught presented by the Mobilization Revenants archetype. In this card, we see him taking the role as a brutal damage dealer as well as a lock. Since the deck is highly dependent on deathblows, they’ll get a lot of value out of the weakened and muzzled enemies who will become fodder for their endless army of Kadwaeni Revenants. Fight! Maim! Kill!

Svivi Folskar

So, I got in an argument with someone the other day over whether Skellige or Nilfgaard has more tall punish. Of course, Skellige only has a couple tall punish cards (Champion’s Charge, Morkvarg, Hjalmar An Craite) while Nilfgaard has more than they ever need (Vincent Van Moorlehgem, Yennefer’s Invocation, Vilgefortz, Peter Saar, Vanhemar, Poison, Ivar Evil-Eye, Leo Bonhart) so I thought it would be a short argument. After my opponent started claiming that 4 provision raids were a form of tall punish, I stopped tearing out my hair and calmly threw my computer out the window instead. Gotta love Reddit!

Anyway, given SK’s surprising lack of tall punish, I decided to create something that would count as true tall punish while feeling very much like a Skellige card. Behold, I give you Svivi Folskar. Svivi synergizes excellently with Armor Up and Bear Witchers, as well as Patricidal Fury. Patricidal Fury basically enables this as a kill-anything card.

Oh, and Svivi can be tutored by Blood Eagle, replacing the role old Morkvarg: Heart of Terror used to serve before he lost his Warrior tag.

Original art source is here.

Bandit Gang’s Top 5 Cards of Price of Power Expansion: Thanedd Coup

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

After the latest expansion, Price of Power (PoP), got announced, we know that you all were eager to find out what we think about it. And so, we have decided to make a Top 5 cards of the PoP: Thanedd Coup expansion. All members had the chance to put in their votes based on card art and/or ability. In the end 16 members voted, including 8 from Content Team and 8 from the Competitive Team (Pro Team & Academy Team). We ended up with the following 5 cards, from least voted card to the most voted card.

So pay attention now, you might just learn something!

#5 Offering to the Sea

Nobody wrote a reason why this card should be included, but Bomblin and I assume that it was included because it has a cool interaction with self-harm, such as Witcher decks that are build around Bear Witcher Mentors

Since we always use pink and grey colors, we decided for this one to give it a blue color to honor our underrated Academy Team.

#4 Artaud Terranova

While nobody picked Artaud because of the bug people were abusing, we did pick him because of his great meme potential. It’s an amazing inclusion for assimilate and spy decks. But, perhaps it will also benefit the return of Masquerade Ball?

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#3 Bloody Mistress, Mammuna & Selfeater

First time in the history of the Top 5 we have three-way tie for cards that support the same archetype, so there was no way we couldn’t have a shared #3. Bloody Mistress, Mammuna & Selfeater were recognized by our team members as a powerful trio that will dominate the meta. 

For no specific reason, we gave them the pink color.

# 2 Melusine

Melusine has a really unique design which is considered ”nice” by most of the team members. It also introduces one of the old abilities from beta that is called Strengthening. It enhance the graveyard power of Skellige, especially in a short round when you play Melusine from Sigrdrifa or Bride of the Sea.

There was 1 more vote coming from the Competitive Team, hence the grey color.

#1 Simlas

Simlas can be both competitive and memey. He can be very strong with the Orb of Insight and has lots of meme potential with cards like Waylay. He also potential with Lacerate and Bone Talisman, but so far it hasn’t been chosen by many players. This is a card that can only improve as more bronze special cards are introduced to the game. 

10 out of 16 members have voted for this card. 8 out of 10 were competitive players, hence why we have given the grey color.

And that’s it for Team Bandit Gang’s top 5 cards of the Price of Power: Thanedd Coup expansion. We hope everyone will have tons of fun in the upcoming weeks with these cards while we wait for the next installment in a couple of months. Let us know what your top 5 cards are in the comment section down below.

Best of luck,

Bomblin & BJ

Charity Tournament: Gascon’s Gift (Main Event)

Introduction

And just when you thought things were about to get dull… day 2 of the ShupeTV/Bandit Gang charity event appears! After the battle on the 7th of August between a troll and a pig, where the pig ended up gaining the upper hand in the end, will today be the showdown between some of the best players from the best Gwent teams!

Gascon’s Gift has the same goal as yesterday, to entertain people and collect money for a good cause, while this time each of the nine invited teams picked their charity they want to fight for.

Without any restrictions or special rules, we can expect a more competitive and meta oriented battlefield… but who knows, maybe someone will surprise us with some spicy line ups which prevail to be the winning strategy.

So again, let’s take a look on the tournament settings, the invited teams and who will participate trying to duke out Gascon’s Gift tomorrow!

Charities

Each team will choose a charity of their choice. There is no limitation on this charity in terms of the cause it supports, its political affiliation, or its geographical location. All that Bandit Gang asks is that it is a public non-profit charity. All donations during the weekend will all be entered into the prize pool and donated accordingly by player placement.

Prize constellation

1st Place – 65% of the prize pool towards this team’s charity

2nd Place – 25% of the prize pool towards this team’s charity

3rd Place – 10% of the prize pool towards this team’s charity

Rules

Each player will submit four (4) decks each from different factions. Each player bans ONE deck, win with the remaining 3. Deck Lists will be released ONE hour prior to the start of the tournament.

Failure to queue a match against the opponent within 10 minutes of a match starting will result in an 0-3 match loss.

All draws will be replayed using the same deck and same coin according to the guidance of tournament admins.

Tournament Format

Start Time: Sunday August 8th @ 8am CDT

Nine (9) teams will be invited to participate in the main event. Representative From these teams will participate, making a total of 16 players.

One (1) top 16 match will be casted, and one (1) quarterfinal match will be casted. Additionally, one semi-final, 3rd place match, and finals will be casted. The casting channel are going to be as following.

For ShupeTV the tournament will be streamed at

For Bandit Gang the tournament will be streamed at  

Participants

JSN991
_EuronCrowsEye_
SpecimenGwent
xcyberz
Rykov
HotAndrej2001
Sebasar
Gankz
WhiteWolf19
ILBESTIO
Shaggy
Kerpeten
2S1_Arch1
Forever_Tabaki
Lemon444
PBLead

Casters

chris_pink
TheOneChristo (BGTV)
Xibalba (STV)
flakeyboi
WatchFlake (BGTV)

Guide – Entrench

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

Every played unit has resilience.

The Season of Mahakam once brought us this flavorful mode that salutes to the times of the Gwent beta, when Resilience was a substantial part of the dwarven archetype. Times have changed since then, and the gameplay around statuses has become more diverse. We have potentially powerful statuses like Poison, Bounty, or Lock and also mechanics like Veil and Purify to counter those. But we’ll get back to that later.

First of all, the immediate value of the cards that are played doesn’t change at all. But it is important to keep in mind that the end of a round is by no means a reset of the board, so if one player wins a round dominantly and also has resilience on his engines or high strength units, he continues to dominate in the next round as well. So it becomes a crucial part of a successful strategy to purify or remove the opposing units. Now coming back to the statuses that were mentioned before, you certainly don’t want to purify your own resilient units in this mode. That’s why Poison or Bounty can be really strong here. But it’s also a good choice to play some sort of aggressive engine setup. Northern Realms has various approaches to this. Nilfgaard’s Assimilate archetype has proven effective in the past, as well. No matter what you play, purify cards are really powerful and Siegfried of Denesle can be the sometimes necessary hard reset, even though your own units will be purified as a result. One more thing to mention is that artifacts gain resilience as well for some reason, and they cannot even be purified. So once infamous cards like Sihil will sometimes make an appearance here as well, even though it’s not as threatening as it used to be.

Right now I have a nice bounty deck for you, which is only one of many viable strategies. More decks might be added later, once I find more time to create and test them out. But Syndicate has been slightly underrepresented in most of the guides that I post here, so I want to give it some time in the spotlight. Hope you enjoy!

Charity Tournament: ShupeTV vs Bandit Gang

Introduction

Il était une fois…months ago when ShupeTV casted the Kalkstein Horror Event, organized by Team Elder Blood, they were able to watch some of our Bandits in action. Since then both teams developed a deep friendship, especially with our French players Xhanthiax and Sikamouk. Some Bandits, like Sawyer1888 even managed to win the weekly Shupe community tournaments, in his case it was under the motto Blitzkrieg.
(Who else could have won it…)

Based on this history both teams always wanted to have a face off against each other, so we thought why not combine it with a good cause? The idea was to make it entertaining but also unique and challenging. So, for that reason day one of the charity event is meant to be the day Shupe finally catches the Pig…or maybe ends up like Robert Baratheon.
A troll fighting against a pig for a good cause, what more to ask for on a Saturday afternoon?

Let’s take a closer look on what the tournament will be about, its participants and what to expect.

Charities

Each team will choose a charity of their choice. There is no limitation on this charity in terms of the cause it supports, its political affiliation, or its geographical location. All that Bandit Gang asks is that it is a public non-profit charity. All donations during the weekend will all be entered into the prize pool and donated accordingly by player placement.

Prize constellation

Winning Team – 65% of the prize pool towards this team’s charity
Second placed Team – 35% of the prize pool towards this team’s charity

Rules

The event will be played under a special ruleset with certain restrictions. This means for example Team Bandit Gang have to include Gascon or other Bandit cards, while ShupeTV obviously has to play singleton Shupe or other ogroids. The team with the most wins will also win the whole event. In total that means each player has to play one Best of 3 with his or her faction against their opponent, so we have six games to cast.

If the event ends in a draw in total, each team picks someone for a final face off in a Best of 5, where all decks has to get a win.

Tournament Format

Start Time: Saturday August 7th @ 8am CDT

Six players of each team will face their opponent in a regular Best of 3
(Three decks, one ban etc.)Each player will receive one faction which he or she represents, means that this specific player has to create three different decks with different leaders of the same faction 🡪 The teams decide for themselves which player will represent which faction

Some deckbuilding restrictions count for all decks together, means for example if you need to play Shupe, at least one deck must be a Shupe deck, the others can be non-singleton.

For each team there will be different restrictions, fitting to their team’s name or based on other things, which will be worked out together by ShupeTV and Bandit Gang.

For ShupeTV the tournament will be streamed at

For Bandit Gang the tournament will be streamed at

Participants

BattleVs

Sacrebleu11
Sacrebleu11
VS
Smogo
Sm0g0
berend
Berend
VS
Graine
GraineDeCourge
hawgy
Hawgplex
VS
Xibalba_yellow
Xibalba
renova
Renova
VS
poggiesss
ArtNhr
Xanthiax
Xhanthiax
VS
Fab
Faberstein
Sawyer
Sawyer1888
VS
Kaneki_yellow
Kaneki_Yamori

Casters

chris_pink
TheOneChristo(BG)
xib
Xibalba(Shupe)
flakeyboi
WatchFlake(BG)

Skill beats Luck Ep. 3 – Special Guest: Arch1 of Team Phoenix

Introduction

While in our recent episodes we talked with some of BG’s Pro Team Players, this time we took the opportunity to invite a special guest: Arch1 of Team Phoenix, who just won the TLG Invitational II tournament in an impressive flawless run. Unbeaten in the swiss phase (7:0) a few weeks ago, he also won every series in the playoffs, defeating Poisound of Team Nova in the final. You can check out the whole battle here on the TLG YouTube Channel! With this victory, he secured himself a decent paycheck of $600 in addition to honor and glory.  

So let’s have a look at the Team Phoenix player himself, likely to be a strong participant in the upcoming charity tournament!
(Special thanks at this point to Gnomberserk for helping out with the translation!)

Meet the Player: Arch1

Name: Artyom

Age: 18

Hobbies: Table Tennis & Basketball

Section: Pro Team (Phoenix)

Favorite Faction: Skellige

Favorite Card: Boris

A special guest and a newly crowned champion

As we already talked about the event in episode 1, let’s keep it simple. The TLG Invitational II is the biggest community tournament in Gwent, where over a 100 players from all Teams participated. (For more information, check out episode 1 or the TLG Homepage).
To win such an event unbeaten in each stage is a tremendous achievement. Arch1 of the rather new Team Phoenix managed to do so and made room to talk with me about his experience, his thoughts on Gwent in general, and his role in Team Phoenix. 

But on top of this, he will also represent his Team in the upcoming charity event, organized by Bandit Gang and ShupeTV on day 2, Sunday the 8th of August. You can find more information about the event here

The Interview

Sawyer1888: First of all, congratulations on your recent triumph! But before we talk about the tournament, many of our readers might not know you.

Do you want to introduce yourself a bit, telling us how you ended up playing Gwent and being part of Team Phoenix?

Arch1: Thank you very much! I started playing Gwent a bit during closed beta thanks to my friend, butthen, who showed it to me. I came back for about 2 months before Homecoming and started playing constantly. But at that time, I didn’t know anything about Esports, so I was playing just for fun. 

In spring 2020, I was invited to GwentDetta Junior and was promoted to the main team (GwentDetta) very fast. I was there for about a year, then moved to Team Phoenix where I currently am.

S: An interesting journey which seemed to pay off so far!

You made it look very easy, going undefeated through the swiss-phase and not losing a single series either in the play-offs. How does it feel to win in such style?

A: It’s nothing special. However, I didn’t expect it from myself, but it turned out quite nice. I just caught convenient opponents with convenient lineups. And after my victory many people congratulated me, even those from whom I did not expect it. 

This was very pleasant for me and I want to thank everyone for the congratulations.

S: Very convenient indeed, I would say. 

When it comes to joining an event like the Invitational, what motivated you in the first place and how did you continue “pushing yourself” through the tournament, to maintain your focus?

A: Initially, I came to the event with the belief that I’d have a 0-2 record and drop out of the tournament. But it turned out, that I guessed the meta with my lineup perfectly which helped me get to the playoffs. I especially remember the games with Gravesh, whom I respect very much. It was nice to beat him.

Also, it was cool to play against Superspock, even if the game was not particularly decisive since we both qualified already. Even so, this game turned out to be very exciting, with two draws, and then to top it all off my computer decided to shut down unexpectedly. 🙁 

Thanks to Spock for allowing me to replay this matchup, which thankfully I managed to win. In the top 16 among my four opponents, there were three former teammates, and I wanted to show them my skills 🙂

The most difficult opponent for me was Poisound. In the final, I was very nervous so I made a lot of mistakes, but eventually I won. And as a final point, for the whole tournament I played with music in the background, mostly rock. It helped me to concentrate.

S: Yeah I remember the games with Spock and also with Poisound. Both intense series. 

Did you prepare for the Invitational? What would you say was the key part for your success in the swiss-phase but also in the playoffs?

A: I was preparing for the swiss stage for a few days with one of my Gwent friends, Sartndf. We came up with our own line-up and played quite a lot of matches. It helped us both to succeed in swiss. 

Before top 16 I played less and analyzed my opponents’ decks instead. A week before the tournament, I already realized what kind of line-up I wanted to take and started testing it with my teammates. For that I thank Yurochichek, who helped me preparing for the playoffs.

It’s hard to say what exactly helped me to get through my opponents so confidently, but most likely it was luck and good preparation for the tournament.

S: I am sure that preparation and luck are important things for Gwent in general.

When you think about the meta right now, what would you wish to change in the upcoming patch this week?

A: Now it’s not the best meta I’ve played in, but not the worst either. It’s bad that there are a lot of brainless decks and even Syndicate, which used to be very difficult to play, has now become quite easy to use. I would like CDPR to pay more attention to Scoia’tael in the next patch, because recently they have not added any new strong cards that could compete with those that other factions have now, so the ST boost is what I would like to see the most. 

(Note from the Author: This interview took part before the new Patch went live…Arch1 added later that ST seems at least more playable than last season, but still needs some love!)

S: The first “test” for the new changes will be the charity event organized by Team Bandit Gang in collaboration with ShupeTV. You will represent your team in there, which we really appreciate!

What do you think of such community events in general?

A: Community events are very important for the entire Gwent audience. Many people have a chance to show their more competitive side, because it is not always possible to stay at the top of the ladder to play in qualifiers.

There are no such problems with community events. You can show your skills outside the ladder. Donating to charity is very important too. It’s very cool when playing the game that you can also benefit an important cause.

S: That’s true, it allows more people to perform on a bigger stage.

One specific question many asked themselves before might be about the CIS community. Recently we interviewed different players, including your teammate Ch.ase.
Can you think of any reasons why Gwent is so popular in your community and why you are so successful, especially in Season 3 so far?

A: It seems to me that the main reason for the success of Gwent in our region is its really huge fanbase. I think that the Witcher’s fan base in the CIS is as big as in Poland. So many Witcher players later moved to Gwent and slowly, our community has grown to such a scale.

And the second reason is that in open beta and early Homecoming the CIS region had only one strong team, GwentDetta. Now new CIS teams with strong players have begun to appear, so everyone can choose a team in which they can improve and develop as players. 

Most likely this is the reason for such a success of the CIS in the 3rd season of the Gwent Masters.

S: Interesting, I never thought about this that way before. 

So Team Phoenix is rather new to the scene, while consisting of many known players. What are your goals for the future together with your team and for yourself?

A: Phoenix is indeed a new team, however four of our players have already qualified for Gwent Open tournaments. Our team goals are to be a small but friendly circle of people who achieve results not by grinding, but by pursuing quality through long-term growth.  

We put particular emphasis on the social component of our team, regularly arranging debates, watching movies, participating in quizzes, and so on. The main goal of the team is obviously to prepare its players for the Open and Masters. My goals as a player are always to strive for this, as well as to help teammates and to maintain the morale in the team.

The main strength of Phoenix is unity. We always support each other, we spend a lot of time together, and if someone needs help, for example, in preparing for a tournament or qualifying, there will always be players who will volunteer.

The secret of such good internal workings is that we take into account the mistakes of GloriousGaming, Gwendetta, and other teams – we don’t take anyone just because they showed some good results on ladder. It is also important to us how we interact with a player, whether we will be able to improve their game with the help of the team, and how s/he can help the Team.

S: Wow, you guys sound like a united family. A really good approach to build up a team! 

Last question, do you have any advice for new players trying to get better?

A: Try to play for fun and don’t pay attention to the results. And if you play really well, the results will come by themselves and at some point you will realize that right now you’ve become a top player. 

A team also helps a lot. I have developed much thanks to the people from GwentDetta and Phoenix, who taught me a lot. So when you consistently start getting into the top ranks, it is better to join a team so that your development does not stop, but only accelerates.

And perhaps it is you, the one who is reading this article, who will soon become the new Gwent Star.

S: That’s good advice and also a nice message for our readers. Thanks a lot for taking part in the interview and I wish you good fortune in the wars to come! 

A: Thank you, I will try my best! 

Deck Guide: Relict Koshchey

MO

Introduction

Koshchey decks have been played ever since the card was released with varying success, but the recent expansion’s relict package has not only given this deck a boost in provision efficiency but also a lot of tempo and point slam potential.

Difficulty

A very straightforward deck.

Game Plan

Mulligan: Try to get at least 1 Endrega Larva and since our Ghoul depends on eating Gan Ceann from graveyard in round 2 or 3 we don’t need it in our hand in round 1. We also need to avoid drawing both Archespores so they do not get bricked. Other than these, it’s pretty straightforward mulligans as we need Endrega Larva as well as Witch Apprentice to contest round1. Try to get as many crones as possible to progress their abilities as early as you can.

Round 1: First and foremost, the most important thing you need to understand for this deck is to play on the same row to activate your Sabbath as soon as possible. Summoning your Sunset Wanderers on even is acceptable to win the round but try to avoid summoning it on blue coin. Usually in round 1 you want to establish your thrive engines and activate your Sabbath for Witch Apprentice.  You can also use She Who Knows if you can activate her Sabbath ability.

Round 2: If we win round 1, we always bleed in round 2 and if you still have your Sunset Wanderers, it can enable you to bleed the win conditions from your opponent, and if we lose round 1 it is easier for us to defend the bleed with Sunset Wanderers. Because of the tempo this deck provides in round 2, it is more than capable of 2-0ing your opponent. 

Round 3: It’s all about Koshchey in round 3. Make as many as you can and then win. Simple as that.

The Deck

Pros and Cons

Pros:

-Generates a lot of tempo.

-Can win you round 1 easily and very cheaply.

-Good in both long rounds and short rounds.

Cons:

-Not enough control in the deck.

Koschey is a crucial win condition, so if you don’t draw it you will likely lose.

-Predictable enough for your opponent to play around you.

Considerations

Because of the provision efficiency this deck offers, there are a lot of different variants of this deck. One of the most played variants of this deck consists of Heatwave and Parasite to make up for the control this deck lacks.

Combo

Oneiromancy is the only tutor in this game and makes up for the deck’s lack of thinning.

She Who Knows can activate her resilience once you activate her Sabbath ability allowing you to have 10 points of carryover.

Whispess allows you to have a bit of control if you advance her ability by playing the rest of the crones before her.

Brewess is a really important card and as well as the only card in our deck that has a consume ability.  We will usually use her on Archespore.

Witch Apprentice is basically a 5 provision version of The Beast with a Sabbath condition. This card is one of the reasons why winning round 1 is so much easier with this deck.

Gan Ceann is a solid 9 for 5 bronze when you place it between relict cards, acts as a point slam card and also the best target for your Ghoul.

Archespores will be always played with Brewess and allows you to thin your deck.

Cave Troll is a defender that can protect your She Who Knows and Koshchey and is usually going to be the target of your opponent’s Korathi Heatwave.

Caranthir ArFeiniel can make another copy of our Koshchey and is essential in this deck, allowing you to have 1 Koshchey in each row.

Rat Catcheress increases her base power by 1 whenever you play a relict, so be sure to play her before your other relicts for the best value.

Conclusion

A very straightforward deck that can win round 1 easily with its bronze engines in a long round, while also having the tempo to win in short rounds. It is strong against many decks you will see in pro ladder, and i have been using this deck for my monster faction’s placement for this season and have managed to get 2482 fmmr in 25 games,  so I highly encourage you to give it a try. 

Thanks for reading, and happy Gwenting!

Guide – Switcheroo

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

After 2 turns the players switch hands.

The Switcheroo seasonal mode from the season of the cat is an interesting one. What happens is that you switch hands with your opponent after every turn you make. That has some consequences which reflect in rather unusual strategies being successful. To begin with, the first round is pretty much always played until both hands are depleted. If one player passes earlier, the other one just plays cards from both hands until he is ahead. Another thing is that the strong cards are being played first, otherwise you leave them for your opponent. And of course it brings transparency as you can see early if there is a counter to a card in one of both hands.

What does that mean for deckbuilding? Playing points from deck interaction is one of the pillars of your strategy, because the deck remains inaccessible and exclusive for the other player. This can be simple self-playing cards like Roach and the like. Faction-specific tutors like Menno Coehoorn or John Natalis are also only useful to you unless you play a faction mirror match. Also cards like Blightmaker and Braathens are not that powerful if they don’t have the correct deck for them. And the Cursed Scroll should be the stratagem to pick most of the time.

Then there are also small advantages you can get by deckbuilding. It could be a decision to play a devotion list, or else a singleton list to use Shupe which is otherwise a zero point card. Or maybe you even combine both to a devotion singleton list and wait for your opponent to deal Shupe to your hand? I don’t know if that’s worth it but it sure sounds funny.

And the last pillar that I would mention here is the cultivation of carry-over. As mentioned before, the round one is played for a length of ten cards and then the game comes down to one or two short rounds afterwards. Here we can talk about Shupe again and his ability to become resilient. But cards like Phoenix or Crowmother can do the trick as well. Alternatively some good consistency for strong cards in the last rounds can do the trick as well. Pincer maneuver can be recommended for that.

For some reason there are still people who claim that you just need to play trash cards in this mode. It is correct that both good and bad cards are accessible to both players and the sum of the direct value of both hands isn’t that impactful. However all the other things that are mentioned in this guide will likely make the difference in the end. I hope you have fun with this mode!

Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #5

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

Triss: Royal Advisor

As an unapologetic and devoted member of Team Triss, I can’t help but notice that Yennefer has four separate Gwent cards, while Triss only has three. In order to remedy this situation, I’ve developed this card which recognizes Triss’ longstanding role as Foltest’s advisor.

Balance wise, the card’s design resembles Amphibious Assault, and has powerful synergies with the newly reworked Cintrian Spellweaver. This card also cements the reliance on core bronze cards which is part of the Northern Realm’s faction identity. Also, she can’t tutor Oneiromancy, which limits her power a bit. The existence of Oneiromancy makes it difficult to make balanced tutors for spell cards, which Triss’ condition neatly sidesteps.

Credit for the art goes to AlienAlly on DeviantArt.

Seduction

We humans have been fascinated with vampires ever since… well, ever since we created them. But what is it about them that we find so compelling? I’ve always felt that their cold, yellow eyes and sharp fangs hiding behind a beautiful face serve as a poetic metaphor for the dangers of a cruel and selfish heart concealed by physical beauty. Thus, there’s a sense in which vampires–far from being confined to myth–are everywhere. Watch out, folks!

In this Gwent card, I’ve attempted to capture the concept of vampiric seduction. This card is balanced relative to cards like Imlerith’s Wrath, Yennefer’s Invocation, and Korathi Heatwave. There’s really two conditions required for this card to achieve full value, since you must control a vampire and also destroy the Human Prey. Therefore, I think the substantial provision discount relative to Heatwave and Yenvo is justified.

Credit for the art goes to CGlas on DeviantArt.

Ivor Breckenriggs

Dwarfs have been a perpetually underpowered archetype for as long as pretty much anyone remembers. A buff here, a tweak there and yet it’s never enough. Dwarfs remain sadly and soundly mired in the bowels of tier 3 and far, far away from the competitive scene. Truly, the state of the Dwarfs archetype stands among life’s little tragedies, unnoticed and forgotten.

Yet, I do dream on occasion of a powerful dwarven deck able to go toe to toe with even the mighty Syndicate, packing tons of proactive points and difficult-to-counter and heavily armored engines. And maybe a smidgen of removal? Hey let’s not get too crazy…

Anyway, Ivor Breckenriggs is the father of Zoltan’s fiance. Clan Breckenriggs is among the wealthiest dwarven clans, and it’s probably about time they received some recognition in Gwent cards.

Credit for the art goes to KilartDev on DeviantArt

Vienne

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Vienne was an elven girl who Lambert and Geralt interrogated at the Seven Cats Inn while tracking down Aiden’s killers. Before her membership in Jad Karadin’s gang, she was a Scoia’tael guerilla, though her unit was eventually decimated, which led her becoming an assassin. Though she’s only a minor NPC in a side quest from the Witcher 3, I’ve found her character to be quite interesting, more than deserving of a Gwent card.

Balance wise, Vienne acts as a payoff for unitless Scoia’tael decks, allowing them to clean up a large number of weak units while also synergizing with Dol Blathanna Sentry and Sabrecat. In many cases, she competes with Schirru for value, having a much higher floor but also a lower ceiling.

Credit for the art goes to Linda Lithen, who can be found on ArtStation here.

Penny Styles

CDPR has made a few feeble attempts to assemble a pirate archetype within Skellige, but nary a one at establishing the Syndicate Tidecloaks archetype. Personally, I think that Syndicate pirates could actually be quite compelling, provided they receive a few more core golds.

This card is quite interesting, as it allows you to replay bronze crimes from your graveyard. This can have interesting effects, such as converting Dip in the Pontar into a 6-power removal tool, and allowing same turn removals with Fisstech. Alright, I admit that this card isn’t really balanced, but I think it would be reasonable if its cooldown were increased to 2 or 3. Personally, I’d like to see more support for the “slow” engine tags such as Harmony, Resupply, and Intimidate, which is what motivated me to create this card.

Credit for the art goes to mist XG on ArtStation.

Lonely Axeman

There are still a few of us who remember when An Craite Greatswords were more than just the optimal Megascope target. Back in the day, you’d make sure to get last say so you could play one from hand and then play Morkvarg: Heart of Terror from your graveyard with Second Wind. If the enemy controlled a highly boosted unit–Ozzrel, for example–you were pretty much guaranteed a win. In those days, Greatswords acted as a payoff card for what Skellige does best: damaging units. A payoff for which they are now sorely lacking. Honestly, 10-for-6 is a rather poor payoff for something so closely tied to Skellige’s faction identity.

But I digress. This card is intentionally reminiscent of old style Greatswords, allowing players to gain significant points provided they are prepared to deal heavy damage. Their veil prevents them from being locked or poisoned–which are really just ways for the enemy to cheesily deny you points that you rightfully earned. Thus, the card is reminiscent of Ancient Foglet, which gives a similar payoff to the Monsters faction for generating weather. Ideally, this card acts as a 3-point-per-turn engine when the devotion condition is met, which synergizes wonderfully with Harald An Craite‘s final form.

The original art source for this one was tricky to pin down, but I finally discovered that the work is titled Viking Repose and was created by one Seb McKinnon.

The Putrid Grove

The Putrid Grove first appeared in the Witcher 3, sought by Geralt in his quest to find and help Triss Merigold. The Putrid Grove served as the headquarters of the King of Beggars as well as a sanctuary for the mages of Novigrad who were now relentlessly persecuted by witch hunters. That Triss would appear here instead of at the side of great monarch only served to show how far the Eternal Fire’s all-consuming hatred and zealotry had spread. For shame, Novigrad!

This card is the latest in a series I’ve been doing of high-provision artifacts, one for each faction. (You may recall Ancient Sarcophagus and Gnomish Forge from previous weekly recaps). My intention is to design powerful artifacts that generate value over time that trade up versus heatwave. In this case, the artifact rewards an almost coinless playstyle for Syndicate, with deliberate antisynergies with Jackpot, the dominant SY deck. The card provides an extremely enticing 2-point-per-turn engine which lasts over 2 rounds. Of course, the downside is that it forces players to spend all their coins at the end of each turn, which drastically reduces the versatility that is one of Syndicate’s greatest strengths.

Credit for the art goes to MarkusML on DeviantArt.

Deck Guide: Reckless Flurry

SK

Introduction

While we see Eist decks fall out of Meta, Reckless Flurry remains a solid Skellige deck to climb the ladder with. Not only does the deck provide you with a lot of round control, but it also provides enough points to close out a round with.

Difficulty

A fairly easy deck to pilot.

Game Plan

Mulligan:  First and foremost, make sure we don’t have Madoc in our hands so we can summon him from the deck via bombs. Secondly, keep at least one bomb in your hand to get Madoc out of your deck in round 1. Avoid drawing and holding Bear Witcher Adept in hand because it bricks your Portal. And finally make sure to have at least some proactive play in your hand.

Round 1: Main plan for round 1 is to keep the opponent’s side of the board empty with bombs and potentially an early leader. If you are going second, you can even play cards like Portal for the tempo to potentially win on even. Starting on blue coin can be a bit awkward for us in case we miss our proactive cards and using Portal to gain tempo on blue can be an overcommitment. Our main goal is to thin Madoc out of our deck and potentially win on even so we can bleed our opponent.

Round 2: Depending on how round 1 went and whether you still have your Sunset Wanderers available, we can bleed our opponent with An Craite Greatsword and Megascope, as well as Bear Witchers and Haern Caduch. Our main goal in round 2 is ideally to shorten the round as much as possible so we can go into a short round 3 with only 3 cards.

The Deck

Round 3: At this point, we can close out the round with Svalblod Totem and Junod of Belhaven. I would recommend using your leader early in the round if you want to find a Junod target as the chances of finding one decrease as your opponent continues to play.

Pros and cons

Pros:
-Good against engine decks as well as decks with slow tempo
-Very good on red coin resulting in you abusing Madoc and potentially win on even with Portal

Cons:
-Lack of proactive cards can lead to awkward situations on blue coin
-Bad against decks that can point slam and swarm

Considerations

There are a lot of variants of this deck and one of the other strong variants is Discard Package with Birna, Coral and Skirmishers. For that, you will have to remove the Portal and the Bear Witcher Adepts. Another consideration is replacing Djenge Frett with Champion’s Charge.

Combo

Portal is going to be your tutor for your Bear Witcher Adepts. This will not only to give you tempo, but also thin out your deck.

Haern Caduch would mainly be used to play Bear Witchers for some control options.

Maxii Van Dekkar’s true value comes when your opponent dry passes, in which case you can use her to look at your deck in order and put those useless bronzes at the bottom.

Haern Caduch’s Order ability will almost always be used to heal your Bear Witchers or any other cards that are damaged. 

Mask Of Uroboros is useful in case you draw your Madoc. You can use the stratagem to draw another card and ditch him until you play a bomb.

Northern Wind can be used to either banish your opponent’s Madoc or  Flying Redanian if you’re facing Syndicate. In some situations, you can even use it to banish a Joachim on your side of the board.

Hjalmar An Craite is a very good removal option and your Greatswords further improve its value. Slam those points!

An Craite Greatsword is vulnerable at first, but he can reach 7 power easily with just a single leader charge. The following turn, you can use Megascope to make another one – an easy 10 for 4.

Korathi Heatwave is self-explanatory. Use it to banish any threats you have no other way to deal with, such as enemy scenarios, Kolgrim, or Foltest. 

Djenge Frett’s bloodthirst is easily enabled in this deck with the amount of control you have with your bombs and as well as your leader ability. Use him to lock your opponent’s important engines that are out of removal range. 

Svalblod Totem is mostly used in round 3 to give us the tempo we need to take the game. 

Conclusion

Reckless Flurry is a fun and simple deck to play for anyone who wants to climb with Skellige. It has a lot of good matchups and is more than capable of holding a place in the current meta. But at the same time, it also has some bad matchups like Syndicate’s Lined Pockets and Jackpot, both of which are solid tier 1 decks. Keeping that in mind I would place this deck at tier 2. 

Thanks for reading, and happy Gwenting!