Gwent

Deck Guides: Saskia’s Gift & Milva’s Witchers

Overview

Saskia: Commander has arrived on the battlefield to lead your Scoia’tael commandos to victory! Prepare to summon your troops and topple some kings with the full arsenal of the Scoia’tael. Saskia said it best herself: “We’ll win!”

Saskia: Commander’s ability revolves around being mindful of the tags (Witcher, Human, Dwarf, etc.) you have on board and in deck. In this deck, you specifically want to utilize her to summon your bronze units onto the board in Round 1. Her Immunity ensures she cannot be easily countered by your opponents and allows you to thin the deck multiple times. 

With Round 1 secured, you can push Round 2 as much as you want. You have a big point slam card in Barnabas Beckenbauer, which you can play for 15 points with an Elf, Dwarf, and Dryad target on board. Saskia (the one with Harmony) serves as a Swiss Army Knife, providing any tag you might end up missing.

Round 3 is reserved for the final form of Eithné: Wrath of the Brokilon with a few Nature cards and Harald Gord.

Your Nature’s Gift leader ability enables many of your bronze engines and adds points to your Nature cards. Saskia: Commander, ensuring an early round victory, allows you to decide how best to approach the later rounds with your multiple combos.

Pros

  • Round 1 plan is solid on both Red or Blue coin
  • An overwhelming amount of engines
  • Can be very consistent with all your thinning
  • Multiple finishers
  • Can survive if bled or combo missed round 1

Cons

  • Devotion 
  •  Minimal control, no tall punish
  • Difficult mulligans
  • Can over swarm in a long round

The Deck

Core Cards

Saskia: Commander An amazing thinning tool which also gives you bronzes you want to have early. You have 5 sets of bronze units for her to call forth into the fray. Mulligans in Round 1 are crucial, since you want to guarantee a wide selection of targets for your draconic general. Your Cursed Scroll stratagem is very useful to guarantee her and put any unwanted bronze back in deck.

Eithné: Wrath of the Brokilon– Round 3 form is a big payoff for being Devotion. Adds 3 points to your Nature cards.

Simlas Finn aep Dabairr– A carryover play with Orb of Insights which can be used on Elven Seers to create multiple copies or on Hamadryads to gain an extra point for each vitality.

Saskia– Spawns an Elf, Dwarf, or Dryad specifically to be combined with Barnabas’ deploy ability.

Harald Gord– Usually gets to his 12 point cap thanks to Elven Seers creating multiple copies of your specials. Our ultimate Round 3 finisher card.

Abandoned Girl Never want to have abandoned girls in hand the same round you play Saskia: Commander as you want to utilize their transform into a Dryad ability to summon the other Human copy from deck later. 

Overview

Pierce your opponents heart in a flash with Milva: Sharpshooter, the lightning fast removal card! Your opponents will be left wondering how their units disappeared and all the while you will be setting up for a devastating combo of your own thanks to your various Feline Witchers and their leader Gezras of Leyda.

Milva: Sharpshooter turns your Guerilla Tactics leader ability into 5 damage removal! She jumps from the deck whenever you move a card (you have leader and many cards to do this). Her Deathblow is very important as it allows you to use her multiple times in a turn and throughout the game. Deathblow must be achieved by her 2 damage order so do not leave her on board if you don’t have a way to kill a 1 or 2 point card! She can be combined with your many offensive movement cards to remove opponents’ threats. 

This powerful control tool allows you to remove any threatening engines your opponent throws at you in Round 1 supported by your various offensive movement bronzes. We have multiple carryover plays to set up for a devastating short Round 2 or a long Round 3 with a fully set up Gezras of Leyda.

Pros

  • So much control 
  • Flexible game plan
  • Good carryover 
  • Tall punish 

Cons

  • Unitless decks 
  • Can be inconsistent (Cursed Scroll is a consideration)
  • No Heatwave 
  • No Purify 

The Deck

Core Cards

Gezras of Leyda– Does this legendary Witcher need any introduction? Loves a long Round 3 with a full back row to boost! Also is known for cheeky 2-0s when the opponent is unprepared.

Simlas Finn aep Dabairr– Your targets in this deck are Bountiful Harvests and Rock Barrage! Usually best to go for Harvests in an early round to thin and get 4 points of carryover.

Milva: Sharpshooter– with Rock Barrage she can remove a 7 power unit. If you have a Dol Blathanna Sentry on melee your movements will deal an extra point of damage which can be useful but often makes Sharpshooter’s Deathblow more awkward to achieve. 

Stygga Castle– Most often spawning you a Cat Witcher Saboteur who’s very useful to target a unit on a crowded row but also works just fine with Sharpshooter on a row only consisting of 2 units. The carryover location order is very useful to move a Sentry from Melee to Ranged or to move any 3 cards to ensure Gezras value.

Brehen– Your one destroy card is pretty easy to set up thanks to all your movement cards. Pairs perfectly with Malena or Vrihedd Dragoon as they do not deal any damage themselves and take away from your destroy value. 

Gaetan– Used to move a full row of cards from one of your rows to the other. Usually melee to ranged to give Gezras guaranteed value. Loves to be combined with Cat Witcher Mentor from Stygga Castle.

Milva– A very useful proactive play to force your opponent to play something worth removing. We play many units to trigger her ability. She can be a cheeky target for Harvest’s hanbuffs too.

Malena– Specifically combined with Sharpshooter she turns into a 3 power removal. She is also used on your side of the board with Treant Boar or to set up your own back row for Gezras

To improve the Madoc match up an Elven Swordmaster at 4p could be swapped for a Squirrel or Milva at 7p could be swapped for Xavier Lemmens at 6p and Elven Swordmaster at 4p could be upgraded to a Cat Witcher Saboteur at 5p. 

Deck Guides: FUN-sworn & King of Jackpot

Overview

The time has come for the Firesworns to make a comeback in Gwent and cleanse all the heresy on the ladder! With the appearance of the Hierarch Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart  the firesworn have gain a new morale and this time they WILL impose the righteousness upon the wicked.

The main purpose of Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart is to respawn our mighty Fallen Knights in Round 3.  That way we can use the Fallen Knights in Round 1 to secure a win.

The general game plan of the deck is to swarm the board with Firesworn tokens and then boosting them all up with Dies Irae and Sacred Flame and some important cards like Grand Inquisitor Helveed and Igor the Hook so it’s recommended to save these powerful allies for a long Round 3.

You can use Ulrich to spawn an extra copy of Fallen Knight in Round 1 to get an additional engine because  we need to dictate the flow of the game, winning Round 1 and go into a long Round 3. Otherwise our opponent will drain all our ressources in Round 2 and leave our congregation empty.

Pros

  • Very good in long rounds
  • Lots of points output potential
  • More than enough capable of winning round 1

Cons

  • Vulnerable to row punishes
  • Can suffer from lack of consistency in draws
  • Control decks can kill your engines before you start swarming

The Deck

Core Cards

Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart is what I would say firesworn decks needed for a long time. Before the hierarch entered the fray, you would use your most important engine Fallen Knight in Round 1 to win to secure yourself an ideally long Round 3. But now it’s possible to use those amazing bronze engines both in the first and the third round of the game.

Sacred Flame is a very important card in this archetype, as it not only provides you with 2 additional units but also allows you to boost every Firesworn unit on the board, essentially giving you the effect of Bone Talisman.

Dies Irae allows you to deal 3 damage while boosting all your Firesworn by one point. Which is a substantial effect, as nearly all your cards will be Firesworn, but it also gives you the option of boostin ANY unit instead if you are able to kill a unit with this card’s effect. Although most would say that this might be the best thing about this card, the fact that this card has echo increases its value even more, as I see it. The fact that it can buff your whole army of zealots twice makes it unique and fun.

Overview

Although Francis Bedlam, the King of  Beggars is a synergy card for tributes, he works really well in Jackpot, as the woes of over-profiting are all but lost to this archetype. 

The main purpose of this wily underworld kingpin is to summon himself during the round Savolla is played. And that’s really easy, since Jackpot provides you with a nice and full bank. This combination allows you to spend 9 coins and get it back immediately through King of Beggars, who will also join the fray from your deck to allow you to convert your ill gotten gains into more cold, hard points.

In the early rounds, Sewer Raiders are used to thin your deck which is especially good if you are on blue coin as your Tiger’s Eye stratagem will provide a nice and juicy advance of five coins. Mutants Maker provides you a proactive play which will grant you either 3 coins, or, if your bank is full, 3 additional points. This boost also applies to cards like Tax Collector, Sigi Reuven, Whoreson’s Freak Show and Witch Hunter Executioner. This deck not only includes point slam and coin spenders it also has control options through Whoreson Junior, Freak Show, Executioner and Vigilantes.

Overall the deck has point-slam. control and flexibility.

Pros: 

  • Has control options
  • Can be good in short and long round
  • Massive finisher

Cons: 

  • Can experience some inconsistency
  • Core cards are susceptible to bleed
  • Vulnerable to tall punish

The Deck

Core Cards

King of Beggars allows your bank to refill after paying a high tribute, summons himself to the field and serves as a spender in a pinch, so make sure to mulligan – this smooth criminal will serve you better in your deck. 

Savolla is your King of Beggars summon trigger, either in a short round or when you are being pushed. In order to achieve this combination, your bank has to have at least 7 coins to be able to afford Savolla‘s tribute and to summon the King of Beggars. In a pinch, your leader ability enables this interaction instantly.

Sigi Reuven in this deck has a profit of 10 and ideally you want to deploy him when your bank is full. In a pinch, he can also serve as a tribute enabler for Savolla, but this is not the best use for the linchpin of the Novigrad underworld.

Caesar Bilzen is played between two profit cards usually in-between Sigi Reuven and any other profit cards for maximum value. He is your finisher in most games.

Deck Guides: Metabreaker & Vampires

Overview

Tired of going against meta decks with your home-brews all the time? Want to win against a meta deck with a spicy list? Well, you’ve come to the right place!  With  the return of Araches Queen; new and and better than ever she and her swarm of creepy crawlies will overwhelm any obstacles to her way to victory!

The main purpose of Arachas Queen is to create as many Ruehin as possible in Round 2 or 3 to have an endless supply of targets for your consumes and points throughout the round.

The general game-plan of this deck is to play your Griffin, Archespore and Crimson Curse to secure round control, so you can decide whether you want to bleed or go into a long round. Normally this deck benefits from a long round so ideally you would want to win Round 1 and then go into a long Round 3 so its highly recommended to keep your Arachas Queen, Ruehin and consumes till Round 3.

If your opponent is really pushing for round 1 you can invest cards like Glustyworp and save your Kayran for Frightener: Dormant for Round 3. Also, while your army of drones can be powerful indeed, the bigger threats in your arsenal like Glustyworp are rather susceptible to tall punishes so it would be best to delay playing them as much as possible.

Pros

  • Good Tempo and point-slam potential
  • Has enough control to punish opponent’s engines
  • Is good in both long and short rounds

Cons

  • Win-Condition are susceptible to be bled out in Round 2
  • Susceptible to tall punish
  • Lacks tall punish of its own

The Deck

Core Cards

Arachas Queen is one of the core combo card in this deck as her ability to give you a second Ruehin while also consuming the first one is very good and not to be underestimated

Frightener: Dormant is a nice point slam card and while not really that important in the combo of the deck, the card itself however takes good advantage from you consuming your Ruehin over and over again to activate itself giving you solid 12 points

Kayran is the bread on butter for this deck as played at the last say card and its main target being the 2 copies of Ruehin and another tall unit will allow you to activate both Ruehins at the same time.

Overview

The long neglected archetype is here, and better than ever! Regis, freshly risen from the grave, and his fellow vampires have come to wreak havoc among mortal. Regis: Reborn, as he is known in the game, is exactly the card vampires needed as each turn of bleed increases his base power by 1. He makes for a great finisher when all enemies have been sufficiently relieved of their blood. Not only does he serve as a potent carryover for the  bleeding archetype, this powerful bloodsucker can also drain any unit by 3, adding a 6 point swing to all the carryover he provides.

Thus the main focus of the deck is to apply bleeding to  your opponent’s units as much as possible to have a very huge Regis as the last play. This is achievable with the newly buffed cards such as Fleder, Alp and NekuratAnd let us not forget the powerhouse cards which enable bleeding across multiple units like Dettlaff and Unseen Elder while Orianna slowly increases her power on the ranged row at the left side of Unseen Elder.

 

Pros:

  1. Massive long round potential
  2. Multiple synergies can be achieved
  3. Capable of surviving a bleed

Cons:

  1. Vulnerable to movement/tech tools
  2. Can experience a lack of consistency
  3. Vulnerable to tall punish

The Deck

Core Cards

  1. Regis: Reborn – A very powerful finisher allowing you to get carryover for each turn of bleed plus the drain of 3.
  2. Unseen Elder – A must answer engine as he can single handedly clear the opponent’s board in a long round. Pairs really well with  Fleder.
  3. Orianna – Another must answer engine which utilizes the amount of units affected by bleeding makes her pair really well with Crimson Curse and Dettlaff.
  4. Dettlaff – Mainly used to set the blood moon early for the bleeding to commence.
  5. Crimson Curse – Used in initial rounds for the bleed carryover and Fleder/Garkain synergies.

Radovid and Meve: Deck Guide for NR

Overview

Disclaimer: The Radovid + Uprising interaction has been hotfixed shortly after the publishing of this article. The core of the deck was not affected, but the very combo in question should no longer work. You can swap Radovid for a card of your preference.

The time has finally come for the one and only rightful king to make it back to the game. Radovid allows you to regain some of your leader charges, which not only enhances the original power and utility of the leader ability of your choice, but he can also be used for carryover purposes on top of that.

In the case of this very deck, Radovid‘s main purpose is to (with the correct timing) replay up to two Lyrian Scythemen that can be spawned with the final charge of your leader ability, Uprising.

Following this approach, Radovid can reward you with up to 31 points! Is this intentional? Apparently it is! Will this interaction get nerfed or changed eventually? Well, no idea, but one could guess so, as it seems astronomically busted!

The deck itself aims to get payoff from swarm by utilizing not only your ability, but also Queen Meve and Draug, both being rather undervalued cards. Therefore, your general game-plan would be to preserve at least one of these, if not both, for a long round 3 and  then overcome your opponent there.

This deck is based on a Meve/Draug swarm deck from the last season which saw surprisingly positive results on Pro Rank even without the inclusion of King Radovid V.

Pros

  1. Crazy long round potential
  2. Multiple finishers/potential strategies to follow
  3. Capable of surviving bleeding

Cons

  1.  Vulnerable to row punish and certain tech tools
  2. Can experience a lack of consistency
  3. Swarm can lead to overfilling (especially against NG)

The Deck

Core Cards

King Radovid V: A very powerful card capable of allowing you to reuse your final Uprising charges and thus spawning two additional Lyrian Scythemen. In order to achieve this, make sure to always use all of your charges before you use Radovid‘s deploy and consequently order. Make sure to plan out your spacing and timing, so that you wouldn’t overfill your rows for the “procession” of Lyrian Scythemen under his command.

Queen Meve: A card that is capable of unparalleled power in long rounds. We’re talking about 30 to 40 points if all goes in your favour. On the other hand it might be the number one target for Heatwaves and Invocations of your opponents, bear that in mind. In many cases, her boost potential increases not only the potency of your leader, but also empowers other cards such as Vissegerd or Temerian infantry.

Draug: A very good damage engine provider that benefits from Poor Fucking Infantry in particular. The card also has a lot of second hand utility in many matchups. You can transform Counts Caldwells against Keltullis to stop them from moving to the other side or Joachim and other Spying units against Nilfgaard to block Coup de Grace. Be careful to not transform Meve or other crucial cards which you might opt to preserve!

Bandit Gang’s Meme Snapshot for Gwent #4

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

4. Honorable Mentions: these are decks from community members that we wanted to give that extra spotlight.

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

Fun But Garbage

Overview:

The deck consists of two strategies – you should use them in two rounds to win a game. The first one is a classic soldier strategy. Play a lot of Pikemen, Infantry or illusionists and use Vrygheff + Vreemde. The second strategy revolves around the recently buffed Ointment and old-school Alchemist meme. Swap the power of a small unit (a cow) with living armor or…. With Tibor, so you can use ointment on him!

Pros:

– Soldiers

– Cows

– Can battle both control and greedy decks.

Cons:

– Limited amount of maximum points

– Your combo can be bled

– Low control

Core Cards:

Triss Telekinesis: lets you play one bonus Ointment but can be replaced with a control card like Koko heatwave or Jennifer Invocation.

Germain Piquant: Core card for both of your strategies. An extremely important card so try to keep it for a final round

Mushy Truffle: Amazing for swarming and for keeping your cards healthy. You can use it for Pikemen in round 1 or Illusionists in round 2 or 3.

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

This is an incredible deck whose goal is to play double Cahir and finish the game with Regis: Higher Vampire.

Pros:

– Can’t lose against greedy boosty decks.

– No one expects Cahir in Enslave

Regis, duh

Cons:

Yrden is your enemy

– Bleedable

– Control decks can screw you

Core Cards:

Garrison: you want to use it on your opponent’s card to boost both your Cahirs and then steal the boost with Regis. With Steffan, you can do it twice!

Letho: Most of the time you want to use him on Cahir, however, in some situations, it is better to use him on the defender, Hefty Helge, or even your opponent’s card!

Enslave: is not a card but a leader that is unique and quite good in the current meta!

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

With the recent addition of Mushy Truffle to the game along with some Provision changes it’s now easier than ever to attack your opponents with Cutup Lackeys! I went for a bit of good ol’ Congregate Crimes and Fireswarm with a twist. 

Pros

– Fallen Knight’s can power through round 1 

– Fun to watch Cutups go Pew Pew 

– Damnation Value 

Cons

– Really needs Cutups to survive

– With so many combo pieces, you don’t like to be bled 

Core Cards

Whoreson Senior: We use full leader to ensure we have both targets and coins to allow Senior to give us 2 Cutups on board easily. 

Cutup Lackey: The bonded ability is what we’re aiming to make use of. We have Idarran and Igor to copy them as many times as possible. I like to be as greedy as possible and have them all on board before using any of my Crimes.

Mushy Truffle: Give us quick access to a Cutup Lackey and also does a great job of buffing them out of removal range. The Golden Froth is also very nice on our 2 defenders. Remember to have Idarran down before using Mushy Truffle as it’s a spawn!

Written by Kalvino

Overview:

This deck is silly. This idea is to get Dol Dhu Lokke and set Yghern, Pugo, Griffin, or Radeyah at the top of your deck. From there you have a few options. You can drop Imlerith for a thrive friendly pointslam, you can decoy one of the spawned drones or you can let Sunset Wanderers do its thing. With Dwimveandra you can do this multiple times and since Dol Dhu Lokke stays on the field for multiple rounds you have less pressure to draw both Dwim and Dol in the same round. The teleport facilitates an extra Dwimveandra proc but in a pinch you can replay a locked thrive unit or one Griffin/Elder bear for extra thriveyness.

Pros:

Radeyah and Shupe are really just there because you have no reason not to include them.

Cons:

– It’s a cute combo deck when you draw all the pieces but don’t expect easy wins even when you do draw all of the right cards.

Core Cards

Dol Dhu Lokke: Try to win r1 without playing DDL so you can use it to bleed r2 into a short r3.  

Glustyworp: Glusty is there for the cute Dwimveandra/DDL combo spawning a ludicrous amount of drones on your board. Glusty can and will save you from overswarming your board while also proccing thrive.

Written by Carrost

Overview:
Once upon a time there was a fella that figured out a new strategy for Iris: Shade. This new strategy contained Queen Meve, who gains armor for every boost that she gets, which became an ideal target for Iris. Therefore he put in a bunch of cards that synergize with this strategy and thus the following deck was created.

Pros:
– Thicc Iris
– Synergy between cards
– It is kind of fun

Cons:
– Being bled in round 2
– Missing out on combo cards
– Opponent has answers for your combo pieces

Core Cards:

Queen Meve + Iris Shade: Already explained why they are the core cards in overview kinda.

Donimir of Troy: It protects Meve from not dying, and also protects Vysogota of Corvo who equals a lot of points.

Iris’ Companions: Great tutor, when picking Iris from the deck you can also choose a card to discard. So it doesn’t have to be in hand.

Foltest + Dun Banner: This combo allows you to win round 1 easily which can guarantee you a long round 3.

Written by Babyjosus

Overview:

The meme decks disguised behind the Siege. The plan is to use the scenario in Round 1 to win it and go to a long Round 3. In Round 3, use as many Griffin Witchers as possible with Idarran and then purify them each turn after they are locked.

Pros:

– PEW PEW PEW

– Very good control

– I love to stockpile

Cons:

– Destroyed by total control decks

– Only good in long rounds

– Have bad cards and leader!

Core Cards:

Purify cards: use them on the row with Griffin Witchers for a replay of 3 damage each!

Idarran: Can work with Kaer Seren, Siege, and many more!

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

Probably the best Regis deck is the Nilfgaard spies deck but if you want to try something different, I strongly suggest Skelige Regis! The deck is incredible in long Round 3 if you manage to line up everything nicely and can guarantee you a victory against a lot of decks.

Pros:

– It is a Regis deck

– Amazing long round potential

– Huge, satisfying finisher

Cons:

– It might be hard to set up Regis

– You cry when you see Dagur banished

– Bad against decks with a low amount of units.

Core Cards:

Dagur Two Blades: You can play him twice because of Fucusya and he can give you a CRAZY amount of points with Regis.

Discard package: A classic, yes but worth mentioning because it lets you get Regis into your hand which is crucial for the deck and allows us to not play Matta.

Whale Harpooner: This card got a nice buff and it feels good in a Regis deck – helps you line up power and move units to one row.

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

 Elf and Onion Soup 4 Times in one game! What else do you need to hear? This one is pretty janky but lots of fun. Due to Soup being an alchemy it’s very easy for it to find value in a Druid deck. First Soup is the one from deck, Second is from Bride of The Sea, Third is Bride of the Sea again with Fucusya, Fourth is from Alissa putting it back and then playing it with Ermion. The perfect sequencing of this can be difficult and is dependant on your draws. 

Pros:

– RNG Casino Fun

– Gedy and Preachers offer many points

Cons:

– Very vulnerable to graveyard punish

– Preachers need to survive to give us points

Core Cards:

Elf and Onion Soup: We want to destroy our low power gold cards to find more useful ones. Main Target is Crowmother since she comes back, Morkvarg does as well. Ermion and our 4 power golds are nice targets too. Can be used one low power bronzes if needed, like Crows. 

Bride of the Sea: Since we need at least 1 turn of Rain on board to access Soup when we play Bride I went for Rage of The Sea to guarantee it always works. We want to use Fucusya and play Bride again so we must make sure we get her in the graveyard in either an early round or by destroying her with Soup. 

Alissa Henson: Used to shuffle the Soup back in deck to be tutored out again. 

Derran: Can be useful to put Crowmother in the Graveyard.

Written by Kalvino

Lore Friendly

Overview

With the recent expansion focusing on Mages, Bomblin & I felt inspired to highlight some Nilfgaardian Mages with this deck. At first glance it may look like a worse version of popular meta Assimilate decks, which might be true, however we have the power of underused cards on our side! You can look forward to surprising your opponent with Fringilla Vigo’s fiery pew pew and if you so dare you can even use Assire to put her back in the deck and do it again! The most fun card is definitely Cosimo Malaspina for good ol’ RNG nonsense.

Pros

– Surprise opponent 

– Highroll to victory 

– Play both Fringilla & Artorius Vigo

– Master of Puppers 

Cons

– Almost a Meta deck

– Cosimo Lowrolls are painful

Core Cards

Fringilla Vigo: She makes great use of all our mages and feels great played next to a Blightmaker and their spawned Guardian 

Cosimo Malaspina: Has many targets to transform in this deck. His value is not always assured but its always interesting to see what he finds you. Best on 4p or 5p cards.

Assire var Anahid: Very flexible but probably best used to put Roach or Cosimo back in deck for later.

Written by Kalvino

Overview:

Fully agent deck that can get a lot of value in a long round with a False Ciri! Also, if you missed Ball, you can play it again! Plus, no one is using the Lockdown leader ability!

Pros:

– Huh? ah…

– Nice in long rounds

– Struggle in Round 1

Cons:

– Bad leader ability

– Limited amount of points which can be generated

– Overswarm

Core Cards:

False Ciri: Not only the art and the voice line are incredible. The amount of points this card can provide for 6 provisions is amazing!

Seditious Aristocrats: You have a lot of spies so this card can get you a lot of value.

Emhyr: I just like my big boi.

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

In my opinion, dwarves are a super boring archetype. This version makes it more fun. It is also not a bad deck but lacks a tiny bit of control. The combo is to use Filavandrel from Isengrim’s Council to create Zoltan’s company. With Francesca and the original card, you can create a lot of Rowdy Dwarves! Then, you finish the round with Zoltan: Warrior.

Pros:

– Cute, big combo

– A lot of points outside of combo with Brouver

– Armor can protect you from pings

Cons:

– Yrden

– A lot of setup

– Be careful not to overswarm

Core Cards:

Brouver: helps you win the round where you don’t use your combo.

Francesca: Mostly used for Zoltan’s Company but can be flexible with Council or Call of the Forest

Dwarven Chariot: Spawns Rowdy Dwarves and gives armor to set up Brouver or to protect engines.

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

I built this list to revisit the self poison archetype after the Wretched Addict received a nice buff recently. However I ended up with a hybrid list that features several sketchy locations and a nice Syndicate vibe, so it suits this category.

Your strategy is starting your engines early and harvest points from overspending. You can play your cards as you draw them, but save your spenders for the end of the round. So the coin management is pretty simple, and so is your point generation.

Pros:

– Wretched Addict is a pretty good card now

– Three different possible targets for Dwimveandra

– Beggars work well with Caesar Bilzen, if Sigi Reuven is not available

Cons:

– Little removal in this deck

– Self poison package is a bit clunky, Wretched Addicts often need a second round before they get started because Gellert is vulnerable

– Fisstech is bad for you

Core Cards:

This deck is not as much about particular cards, but more about the theme.

Written by Escanbryt

Overview:

I am trying to make Vampire deck good every single season. I’ve tried full-on vampires, mixed them with Frost and now it is time for a control heavy decklist. And it works quite well!

Pros:

– Nice combo with Orianna

– A lot of control

– Vampires

Cons:

– You lose against Veil and no unit decks

– Small cards that require setup

– Can be bad in short rounds

 

Core Cards:

Toad Prince: amazing 4 point removal that can bypass shields and armor for relatively low provision

Orianna: winner of a long round if hidden behind the defender

Yghern + Ozzrel + Golyat: old combo is back after recent provision changes!

Written by Bomblin

Becoming A Pro

Overview:

The core idea of this deck is to use one of the recent additions to the game, Mushy Truffle, to protect possibly one of the greediest cards in the game – Vattier. You might be asking yourself why use Mushy Truffle over cards such as Armory, Petri’s Philter, Thunderbolt or perhaps even your Defender. The answer is cost-efficiency, as all of the previous cards either rob you of way too many points alone, or can take place of other, better cards and thus weaken your deck overall. Mushy Truffle provides you with some extend of protection and even if Vattier gets answered or you don’t draw him, you are still left with a stellar card capable of generating over 20 points. The deck has been proven by reaching Pro Rank and is capable of climbing further. 

Pros:

– Vattier’s crazy potential unburdened by wacky tech/support cards.

– A very strong Assimilate and control packages.

– Multiple finishers/plans for the final round – flexibility.

Cons:

– Difficult to pilot and susceptible to a degree of rng with draws.

– In some matchups even 5 power won’t be enough to keep Vattier alive.

– Finding proactive plays can get tricky depending on your hand.

Core Cards:

Vattier de Rideaux: Freedom has never been sweeter as Vattier can exist without a bunch of silly cards now. Usually your R3 card but in some heavily unfavorable matchups (Swarm, Control or Movement decks) you can also play him earlier if you know he wouldn’t stick anyways. Unbelievable potential, he can reach over 30 points of value quite often. Most often played as the penultimate card and boosted by Mushy Truffle immediately for protection. 

Mushy Truffle: Can protect Vattier, triggers Assimilate twice, Allows you to use your opponents bronzes against your opponent, provides you with carryover if played in R2. This card is crazy. You always wanna draw it regardless of whether you plan to play Vattier or not. Illusionists are both quite powerful and very fun to play with. 

Ramon Tyrconnel + Soldiers: The reason for why I opted for Ramon (Aside from loving the card!) was that he can provide you with an additional lock that could potentially unblock your Vattier. Furthermore, he can give you extra Assimilate engines and more proactive control setup with Slave Hunters and a variety of useful things with Illusionists. Ramon can be really draw dependent and you should keep it in mind, though, when using Roderick, Joachim, or when shuffling in general. 

Written by Mercernn

Overview :

The main idea of the deck is to punish your opponent with their own strategy. Usually Vilgefortz Renegade targets include Heatwave, Echo cards or Combo cards which you can pull off with Artaud Terranova and Coup de Grace. Ideally in round 1, you thin with Blightmakers, set up spying with Turncoats and Mage Torturer. Then Fercart into Dead Man’s Tongue for thinning and tempo. Nilfgaard usually prefers a longer round, so when you win round 1 proceed to dry pass round 2 and  take the long round 3. There are some exceptions depending on you matchups like Traps, Relicts, Double Cross, etc. 

Pros:

-Great on red coin

-Has good control like locks and tall punish

-Has engines and tempo to win r1

Cons:

-Can be bled out of good cards

-Less proactive

-Disciplined mulligan is required to not brick your mage assassins

Core Cards:

Vilgefortz Renegade: Great punisher for when the opponent has used tall punishes or echo cards for you to steal. Basic idea is to swap their best card with a bronze tactic from hand which you can then later play with Lydia’s ranged ability.

Lydia van Bredevoort: Pairs really well with Renegade as she can take back the tactic you put in opponent’s GY

Vincent Van Moorlehem: Pairs really well with Imposter

Coup de Grace: The deathblow really helps setting up your Renegade, when the opportunity strikes take it. Use Renegade to get that card you killed with Coup in your hand.

Artaud Terranova: All the spying tags in the early rounds really help you in setting up combos with the Renegade in Round 3/Final Round.

Fercart: Helps you to thin your deck and set up targets for Coup and Artaud. Great when he plays Deadman’s Tongue or Invocation .

Thanned Turncoat : Utilized with Fercart it becomes a nice engine combo that also sets up your Artaud

Blightmaker : Always wants to thin your Mage Assassin

Deadman’s Tongue: Used on Emissary and  Informant most of the time.

Written by Decode789

Overview:

If you know me I always enjoy some wholesome Scoia’tael and this particular deck has quickly become a personal favorite. You may take a look at this list of cards and be confused but I swear it makes sense! The original deck idea was to play as many Sorceresses and Bountiful Harvests as possible; I first tried it with Idarran but have since opted for a more consistent variant. With this final version the idea is to create 2 Bountiful Harvests (while leaving the original 2 in deck) then put them back in deck and play all 4 at once through Simlas. For a sweet and simple explanation, GhostArya (who has enjoyed success with her own version of this deck) said it best; “Get Simlas and 4 Harvests or lose”! Also shoutout to Danamariani from Twitch chat for the perfect deck name. 

Pros:

– Quite consistent

– Very satisfying finisher

– Sorceresses intimidate opponents 

– Great carryover

– Actually likes Blue coin 

Cons

– Falls apart if core cards are missed

– Fears running into Graveyard punish

– Can overswarm in bad situations 

Core Cards

Filavandrel aen Fidhail: One of our ways to guarantee an early Harvest. Ideally we handbuff him with a Vrihedd Saboteur or with a well placed handbuff from another Harvest. Cursed Scroll is used as the stratagem mainly to guarantee Fil on hand so he can be buffed. 

Triss Telekinesis: Our second card with pretty high potential to guarantee an early Harvest. Almost always works unless you run into an opponent with many specials. We are running only 2 sets of bronze specials to make her more consistent. 

Johnny & Sarah: Very underrated cards that work extremely well with our gameplan. We can commit one of them in an early round to secure victory but would love to have both for our final Simlas combo. Can often find them handbuffed or use a leader charge to get them out of removal range.

Alissa Henson: The centerpiece that enables our combo, she shuffles 2 copies of a bronze (Bountiful Harvest) from your graveyard back to the deck. It’s very important you play her before you go for your Simlas. It’s risky to do this before the final round because you could draw into the shuffled cards so ideally it’s done in the same round as Simlas.

Simlas Finn aep Dabairr: The glorious Elven Sage himself who allows for our giant point swing of playing 4 Bountiful Harvest in a single turn. Remember to give yourself ample time as the sequencing of clicking 9 cards in a turn sometimes lasts the full timer. It’s advised to not get a Whisperer in longer rounds as you will often run out of space. Also keep a unit in hand as to not miss out on all the handbuffs from the Harvests, its great to see them all go on Gord for example.

Written by Kalvino

Overview

The main idea of the deck is to have the highest Skaggs as often as possible. If you miss Skaggs in the early game do not worry as you have Filavandrel, Defenders and Sorceresses. 

Pros:

– Can use Red Coin to secure carryover

– Strong engines

– Skaggs offers great removal

– If everything goes well our finisher is huge

Cons:

– Easily punished on Blue if your hand is bad

– Luck of the draw

– Torque can miss target cards if there’s too many units in hand

Core  Cards:

Torque: Bread and butter of the deck, always have to handbuff him when you get the chance

Filavandrel aen Fidhaill: Ideal number for him would be 8 or 10, 12 can sometimes backfire so if you are sure that getting the Waters of Brokilon would win you the game then go for it.

Dunca/Hawker Smugglers: Smugglers should be protected with the leader ability whenever possible because these are your handbuff engines.

Simlas Finn aep Dabairr: Bountiful harvests is a great combo often used to defend the bleed from the opponent and simultaneously handbuffing your cards.

Forest Protector: Bountiful harvest can get you out of a tight spot when you need that small tempo. Into Rebuke for the control option as well.

Vrihedd Saboteur: Filavandrel / Sorceresses

Written by Decode789

Overview:

I love Glusty. I love AQ. I love Shupe. I love She-Troll. I love Renew. How about combining all of these ideas in one deck? It is perfect. Use your Glusty in round 1 because you want to use him again the round 3!

Pros:

– A lot of control

– No one expects double Glusty

– Nice combo finisher

Cons:

– Resets

– Korathi heatwave on Glusty

– Sometimes it is slow

Core Cards:

Renew: Most of the time you want to use it on Glusty to have your combo again. However, there are situations where it is better to use it on Whispess, defender, or even she-troll!

She Troll + Vran Warrior + Wererat: if you can get the combo going on, you get 3 points per turn!

Shupe + Radeyah: Nice value cards!

Written by Bomblin

Overview:

Deathwish has recently been buffed so I wanted to give it a try. Do you want to slam Rotfiends in your opponent’s face? Then this is the deck for you!

Pros

–  Can generate a lot of points in a short round

–  Has a control aspect where people are forced to play either around Fiends, Miruna or Toad Prince 

Cons:

– Goes tall on consume cards

-Opponents can play around Miruna or Toad Prince

Core  Cards:

Mushy Truffle : This card can enable your bonded ability for your Harpy when required.

Penitent: This card can be used early to thin out either Pugo/Golyat from your deck which enables your Ozzrel later on.

Haunt : This is the core deathwish enabler of the deck. Helps you proc Dettlaff, Miruna or Harpies when you are short on consumes.

Cyclops: I would like to call it an offensive consume where you just yeet the Fiend dealing 5 damage and also procing the deathwish of 5 damage. It is a flexible card among deathwish.

Dettlaff: In a short round, Dettlaff and your leader can generate a huge amount of points.

Urn of Shadows: Another useful tool to enable your deathwish abilities when you are short on consume cards. Usually for Archespore thin, Miruna seize or Penitent thin.

Written by Decode789

Introduction:

So first of all, keep in mind that this deck is supposed to be an attempt to use different neutral cards together with the power of Northern Realms to create some unique combination.
It surely has its strengths but also lacks some sort of tempo or heavy control options for certain matchups.

Gameplan:

The core idea is to play your Poor f* Infantry, turn them into Kaedweni Revenants with Draug and overwhelm your opponent with your specter army. Then, using Land of a Thousand Fables to turn your second Amphibious Assault into another Draug, you do all this again. Maybe with some Poor f* Infantry you have left, maybe with some other humans. 

Obviously, you can also use your Radovid’s Royal Guards, Dun Banner or Maxii Van Dekkar in addition to some leader charges in round 1 to place humans on your side of the board, turning them with Draug instead of your Infantry. 

Core Cards:

The Mushy Truffle is there to give you more Poor f* Infantry, while Casting Contest can help you to reenable the Revenants Order Ability and also boosting it up. While cards like Vincent Meis and Margarita Laux-Antille give you some control options on your opponent’s side of the board, the Siege Ladder is necessary to move around your Revenants, making them more flexible in what row you want to spawn more. You sometimes might overswarm a row pretty fast if you are not careful, so see them as your strategic movement.
Mandatory to this list is the Land of a Thousand Fables on Amphibious Assault, as only its order can turn AA into Draug…otherwise the core strategy won’t work. Therefor we have Pincer Maneuver as our leader ability in addition to also playing Oneiromancy…just to be sure. 

Tips:

Anyway, that’s basically it. You might find decent matchups, you might get in trouble versus other decks, but it surely teaches you sequencing in Gwent and can be a lot of fun if everything works out, while also strong enough to overwhelm your opponents. If you want to, you can change cards a bit, like a second Aedirnian Mauler or even including Sabrina Glevissig.

Written by Sawyer1888

Overview:

This deck is very control-heavy and has a few cards and combos that can slam down quite some points. The signature move is a three card combo of Tuirseach Veteran, Megascope and Idarran that yields 27 points for 17 provisions. This can usually only be countered if the Veteran is removed right away, which is kinda easy, but not obvious. And the Veteran can be made harder to remove, if one of the locations has its Order available. If you play greedier, the locations can both benefit from Idarran, if played after the combo.

Otherwise you have the Portal with the Bear Witcher Adepts and almost exclusively high base power units. So you can just play Triss Merigold as a plain removal card whenever needed, the only real brick being Geralt: Quen. Maxii van Dekkar and Cursed Scroll help your consistency.

Pros:

– Can create a lot of pressure on red coin

– Has a lot of options to disrupt engine decks

– Bleeds well and has a good short round with Geralt: Quen and Bear Witcher

Cons:

– Feels awkward if the Tuirseach Veterans get answered early

– Falls short if the removal doesn’t really disrupt a strategy

– Can sometimes have a clunky hand

Core Cards:

The combo cards are the core obviously, but beyond that it’s also not easy to change cards here. Cards like Portal, Marching Orders and Triss Merigold have specific deckbuilding requirements. And this deck feels really synergistic if you consider that this is a control-pointslam-deck. So I wouldn’t recommend changing too much here.

Written by Escanbryt

Honorable Mentions

Overview:

This is a highly greedy, inconsistent but super awesome SY meme deck to have fun with. Off the Books leader is essential as we don’t have a lot of ways to generate coins. Some cards can be used for Tribute (0). Basically has 3 main combos that can be utilized to make your opponent’s eyes roll back and forth while trying to understand what is going on!! 

Pros:

– Super greedy!!!

– Fun interactions/combos

– Feels good to pull off

Cons:

– Inconsistent

– Super draw dependent!!!

– Very vulnerable to tall removal

Core Cards:

Gellert Bleinheim + Salamandra Abomination: Can be used in any round, only if you have a full hand. Main goal is to have Abomination poisoned then add veil to it (via Crystal Skull or Stolen Mutagens). Try getting as many coins as possible and maybe commit a leader charge as well (not more than 7 though). Use Bleinheim and spam its fee order on Abomination. 1 coin will equal to a 4 point boost on Abomination (Veil will protect Abomination from second poison), with enough coins you can get about 30-40 points in a single turn. Can be spammed until Adrenaline 6 (Abomination self-purifies on turn end). Can help pushing your opponent to pass or bait a tall removal

Madame Luiza + Tinboy & Savolla: Can be used at any given moment to win a specific round or get out of a nasty bleed situation

Greater Brothers + Apothecary + Teleportation + Vlodimir: Make sure to initially use Greater Brothers while you don’t have any coins in your purse. Use Insanity until power drops to 2, then play Apothecary using Tribute for both heal and boost then use Insanity again to further boost your armor. Rinse and repeat (second apothecary or via teleportation) for a sweet 35-40+ armor on Greater Brothers. Last card should be Vlodimir to swap armor with power for a nice big finisher.

Bekker’s Dark Mirror: Can be used offensively but also as an extra/backup heal/boost on Greater Brothers for even greater boost!!!

Triss Telekinesis: Chance to get extra Stolen Mutagen or Teleportation 

Written by Pokkas88

Conclusion

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

A big thank you to Carrost, Escanbryt, Sawyer, Mercernn, Decode and Pokkas for providing us with their decks! Otherwise it would have been somewhat one-sided, with only decks from Bomblin, Kalvino and myself. We hope that we inspired you to create your own memes or own versions of the decks with this Meme Snapshot. But for now, Bomblin, Kalvino and I will fare thee well, and we’ll see you again in Meme Snapshot #5!

Do you have a unique meme deck? Then please contact us on Discord and we will consider putting it in our next Meme Snapshot!

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

Skill beats Luck Ep. 6 – A chat with the new Duke of Dogs: Danirai

Introduction

Long time no see, but we are back again with another episode of Skill beats Luck. After our recent community event Duel of Dogs No.2 – The Big Heist, I thought it was a good timing and decided to have a chat with the champion and newly crowned Duke of Dogs Danirai from Team Legacy.

Right now it is the non-competitive time in Gwent, where especially community tournaments are an interesting opportunity for all the Pro Players to stay in shape. Also there were some recent events happening shaking up the Gwent community a bit. 

With this in mind, how about we listen to what Danirai has to say about his recent success, his experience in the team and his opinion on many other things! 

Meet the Player

Name: Daniel Matthias

Age: 18

Hobbies: Music, Photography and Japanese Culture

Section: Pro Team (Legacy)

Favorite Faction: Syndicate

Favorite Card: Gellert Bleinheim

Duel of Dogs No.2 - The Big Heist

The Duel of Dogs is one of the special community tournaments in the Gwent scene, hosted by Team Bandit Gang. This year was already the second edition under the motto The Big Heist, with a price pool of 250$. 

The top teams of Gwent were invited, like GwentDetta, Phoenix, Aretuza, Legacy, Leviathan Gaming and many more. In addition, a certain number of players who managed to qualify over a two day qualifier took part as well.

The main event took part on the 13th and 14th November, where after an intense swiss phase on the first day 16 players fought out the champion on day two. 
In the end, Danirai from Team Legacy could seal the deal with an overwhelming 3:0 over Nequiz, from Team Phoenix.

For more detailed information check out the tournament article here or even watch the whole top16 event of day 2 on BanditGangTV here. Also, you might want to have a look at all the decks from the players

(If you want to go straight to the final click here)

The Interview

Sawyer: First of all, congratulations on winning the second edition of Duel of Dogs! What a performance, especially with such a strong line-up.

But before we start, you may want to introduce yourself a bit.
So tell us about yourself, how you ended up playing Gwent and your fascination about it.

Danirai: Thank you! I got introduced to Gwent by my friend who was a Witcher universe enthusiast before I was. My PC at the time couldn’t handle the Witcher 3 and so he said I should try the standalone Gwent. It was around December 2017. I liked the game but eventually got bored and left for months only to come back right before Homecoming.
Since then I have been playing regularly. My fascination with Gwent has a lot to do with my competitive nature and the community. At many points I wanted to leave but where will I find a second community like this?

S: True, our community is very unique. 

You are also part of Team Legacy, together with players like Iluxa or Tailbot.
When and why did you join the team and how is it like to be together with multiple Open Champions?

D: I joined in July 2019, just a couple days after the team was established. So I’m one of the core members of Legacy. I got the offer randomly after playing in a community tournament and finishing 2nd there. My initial reaction was to just decline and wait for better offers but I ended up joining, at first just to trampoline to a better team. But Legacy started making progress so quickly I dropped the idea and just wanted to be a part of the process. 

Of course it’s nice to have your teammates winning tournaments and playing on Masters. We’ll soon have the finals of season 3 and I’ll try to help both of those guys to win it all.

S: I am already looking forward to this event as well!

As you are a tournament champion of your own now, let’s discuss your journey to victory about more. 

D: Day 1 started with me having to face Kams134 in round 1 immediately. I lost the game and had to play under the knife for the next rounds. I eventually made a comeback all the way to 4-1 and secured a spot for day2. Making top16 was the minimum goal for the weekend. 

Day 2 had one problem called bringing a 4th deck. We had to send them before the whole event too. I thought my Deathwish pile was a disaster and  would lose me the tournament. But it actually didn’t lose me a single game and everything went basically perfect. I had an easier side of the bracket, I was queueing the right matchups and I was not making many crucial mistakes. It was a very pleasant tournament for me because of that.

S: It turned out quite well for you in the end for sure.

We have noticed you also changed your nickname to SPIDS_ZBAWICIEL六十九 … what is this all about and how important you think nicknames might be in general thinking about reputation, public etc.?

D: So let’s start with the SPIDS_ part. It’s a meme team on Gwent Pro Polish discord. Consists of Xioniz, TailBot, Lerio, me and basically everyone who wants to just put it before their nicknames. The creator of SPIDS was some mysterious guy who one day just appeared on the server announcing he would make his own team and shake up the Gwent pro scene. What happened instead is he quickly realised it’s not that easy and just quit. But then Xioniz thought it would be funny to just continue his will. I joined as a “loan” for the duration of Polish Championships which are currently happening. We now even have a website https://spids.pl/ and are basically keeping the joke alive.

Zbawiciel means Savior in Polish. Because I was the first person to join the team and it sort of encouraged others to do so too.

And 六十九 just means 69 in Chinese. Not funny I know. 

I’m a bit of a hypocrite because I actually dislike the whole nickname changing fiesta in competitive Gwent. But I do it too, just in the off-season though. Official tournaments are where the line should be drawn imo. We should have only one nickname we can choose for those. To not confuse the audience.

S: Wow, thats quite interesting and also a bit hilarious. Players are known for their creativity even behind the scenes sometimes. 

Going through your decklists, you also brought some interesting stuff. Overwhelming Hunger MO or Imposter NG…which was pretty unique compared to the rest.
What was the thought behind those lists  and how did you prepare for the event?

D: I prepped simultaneously for the Polish Championships and for the BG tournament. Overwhelming Hunger was Truzky’s idea. He said it’s good against Skellige so it should be a viable 4th deck choice. I trusted him and just sent the adjusted decklist without any playtesting.

The idea to play Imposter came when Truzky, 9kjer and I were looking at how we can improve the current meta lists. Imposter has one provision less than Double Cross and doesn’t synergise with Assimilate, but gives you a control option and doesn’t force you to drop your leader early when you’re being bled. I thought it seems better for tournaments if you ban NG cause it improves NR matchup and maybe someone will get baited and won’t ban it because it seems worse on paper. I played about 100 games prior which is not a lot but enough to understand everything quite well.

S: So being in touch with your teammates surely helps.

You managed to place 10# after the swiss-phase but from there you kinda cruised through your games. You think it is important to follow a unique playstyle and deck building process to become successful?

D: Surely. Being a good deck builder definitely helps in competitive Gwent as on the highest level those never-seen-before lists are often confusing and hard to approach for others. Obviously you can overdo it and end up with an unplayable list but in my opinion it’s definitely worth trying different off meta lists if they fit your lineup idea.
As for the playstyle it’s whatever. If roping to the last second helps you – do it. You like jamming cards immediately – do it. There’s not much room for playstyles in Gwent. You’re either good or you aren’t.

S: I see, well Gwent gives you a lot of options how to approach it. 

When it comes to playing, we already had the chance to talk about your taste in music…one side question: did you listen to music during the event? If yes, what was it?

D: One of my favourite artists – Aries dropped an album a day before the tournament so I was just looping it for the whole 2 days.

https://open.spotify.com/album/1eLp5qe0nJkOb3rzqnbme0?si=KZxyuKHRTeWaeYBfaMIvTQ

S: Oh cool, I will give it a try for sure!

What else would you say, as a piece of advice, can players do to stay sharp for such a long tournament day all the time? 

D: See I have a problem with it myself. Usually before the tournaments end I’m pretty tired already. But I’d say go outside/to a balcony between the series. Or just go away from the PC for some time.

S: It was interesting to watch all these players outside just a qualifier or open for sure.
How would you describe the competitive scene in Gwent…and yourself in it right now?

D: Right now? It’s a mess. The whole Wangid situation, players leaving for SBB, the prize pools decreasing, the tournament platform still being broken. But I like our scene regardless of that. I feel like I’m an important component in the pro community during those times. I try to play in almost every tournament there is.

And I think a lot of the casual audience have a wrong perception of me after the terrible Open performance. I’d definitely like to be remembered as a flashy player who one day will be one of the best. Also next year I’m planning on making content and documenting my way all the way to World Masters.

Also just less than a month ago we had a big meetup for a weekend in Warsaw with over 20 gwenty people and it was amazing. Moments like those make you realise Gwent is much more than just jamming ladder by yourself. I’m glad I was a part of it too.

S: That’s awesome to hear! I also already had the chance to meet fellow Bandits in real life.

Sadly, it becomes more difficult these days. Without going into too much detail, but do you think the whole pandemic situation, android release etc. had an impact on the scene?

D: Sure, the first season of Masters 3 had almost everyone who competed for the highest ladder spots playing almost a 1000 games despite the season being very short. 

The mobile release saw a big player base increase in China. But both those things are fading away by now. One bad outcome were the online tournaments. Even when the pandemic ends I don’t think CDPR will want to go back to LAN events.

S: Maybe, we have to see what will happen.

Recently we also had some discussions about certain players, rules, cheating etc. I don’t want to open up this topic too much as you’ve already mentioned it, but rather focus on the person behind nicknames.

You think Gwent, playing in a competitive environment in front of streams, for a team etc. also influences the person behind Danirai/ SPIDS_ZBAWICIEL六十九? If so, in what direction?

D: Gwent makes me more mature. You spend time with a bunch of people who are years older than you. I’m basically learning English by being in an international environment all the time. The rng nature of Gwent also makes me accept things in life easier. I think in Gwent tasks, like: “okay our team is unfavoured so we need to score a goal and park the bus to have the biggest chances”.

I can handle pressure better nowadays. Obviously it would be a shock to perform in front of hundreds of real people instead but I don’t seem to care if people watch my games any more.

S: Interesting, but I can relate to that. 

Last question, what are your goals for the near future? Maybe not only in Gwent but in general. Winning an Open would be another nice achievement for sure I guess.

D: I spent this year thinking whether it’s finally time to quit Gwent. I have spent almost 5000 hours perfecting it. And my mindset was: there are people who are my age and famous worldwide. Compared to them me being a “Gwent Pro” is basically nothing. But that was a flawed mindset, there’s no need to rush and right now Gwent is the best chance for me to do something I enjoy and get some pocket money in the process.

I still have a year and a half until I graduate high school (Polish Educational System for y’all) so my best shot would be to fully commit to Gwent for the whole next year, either win an open or qualify to Masters through crown points. And then become a world champion.

As I also said, I’d like to make some content for YouTube and Twitch next year too. I don’t know for how long Gwent will still live and if the people I met through Gwent will still keep in touch so I want to do it beforehand.

S: I am pretty sure you can and will achieve all of that! But sounds like you are a man on a mission. 

Thank you for the interview and as always, I wish you good fortune in your wars to come!

D: Thanks, you’re welcome! 

Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #10

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.

Feint Cavalry

Ah, here it is. The elusive “Adrenaline” keyword, not seen seen since the release of the Way of the Witcher expansion. Using Feint Cavalry, you can put extra pressure on your opponent in round 1, either defending on blue or forcing your opponent to commit harder than they’d like on red. The obvious downside of this card is the fact that you can only play four cards. Play a fifth card, and all those juicy boosts disappear.

It might seem reasonable to buff this unit’s adrenaline condition to 4, but that allows this card to be used to tempo ahead and possibly gain card advantage on red. Remember, if you pass with five cards left on redcoin, your opponent has only 4. This means that if you are ahead after five cards, your opponent can’t regain card advantage even with a drypass. This card is more of a tool to force a long round three than to gain card advantage. Thus, the adrenaline condition must stay at five.

Original art is linked here.

False Flag

A false flag operation is when you stage an attack against yourself and then blame some other party for the attack. It’s like punching yourself in the face and then going to your dad and saying “Billy did that!” so that your dad goes and beats up Billy. For an example of a real false flag operation that was performed by the USA, click here or here to read about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. In that case, the US military pretended that an allied ship was attacked so that the American people would rally to support the war effort, allowing them to justify their planned attack on North Vietnam. America basically went full Nilfgaard on that one.

This card lets you put a card in your enemy’s graveyard. Preferably you’ll want to put Vypper, but I also thought of a 200 IQ combo where you put Count Caldwell in your opponent’s graveyard. If your opponent passes and they have no units taller than 12 points, you can use Gorthur Gvaed to put Caldwell on top of your opponent’s deck, and then summon him with Tibor Eggebracht for a 23 point swing. Very dastardly.

This card can also put Ard Feainn Tortoise or Nilfgaardian Knight in your graveyard for 7-8 points of damage. In those cases, this is a worse Bekker’s Rockslide but with the upside of thinning, as well as the fact that you control the amount damage.

Finding the original art source for this one was a little tricky, but this might clear things up.

Azarazar

Ah, yes. Evil Yoda. Fun fact: there’s like 5 different ways to say this guy’s name. I’m going with Az-er-uh-zar.

This card gives you a massive amount of points, but also plays very heavily into tall punish and generates negative carryover. If you’re forced to play this card from hand at the end of a round 2 bleed, you’re almost certainly very screwed.

I have to be honest, this card in its current form is way too strong as can easily play for 30 or more points with minimal setup. It’s going to be used as last say, making it unanswerable in most cases. Although its always important to get last say, the penalty for failing to do so shouldn’t be so severe.

Given the above, I still think its an interesting ability and can be fixed in a number of ways. For example, we might give it initiative to prevent it being tutored from deck. We also might limit the number of targets to three or four. It could become an order ability like Mourntart, though this would necessitate the use of Petri’s Philter. We might also limit the ability to bronze units, though even this would be oppressive.

Original art is linked here. Apparently this really is evil Yoda.

Klappermaw

Klappermaw is a robust gold thrive card that provides scalable removal in a long round. He’s also an alternative target for Caranthir if Koschey is missed, and can stand on his own feet if played in a different round from Koschey. At 6 power, he’s just strong enough to thrive Koschey while also having his own thrive triggered by popular 7-power thrive units such as Kikimore Worker and Aen Elle Conqueror.

Until Klappermaw’s order is used, each point of armor on him is worth 2 points, making it potentially worthwhile to consider buffing him with Armory. From the opponent’s perspective, it might be worthwhile to damage his armor to prevent him from getting his order off.

Klappermaw’s main weakness is lock. He trades even with Korathi Heatwave and is very difficult to remove via damage. He’s not amazing tempo, so it’s wise to decide whether to commit him fairly early in a round. All in all, a solid card but not inordinately oppressive.

Original art is linked here.

Loki

Although Loki isn’t a part of Skelligan mythology as far as I know, I felt comfortable giving him a custom card due to his place in the Norse pantheon.

Here, Loki acts as a sort of Wabbajack (Y’all played Skyrim right?) that transforms highly boosted enemy units into random units. His intended use is to place Mischief on a high-powered enemy unit, wait until it transforms into something useless, and then purify it to ensure that it doesn’t do anything scary like transform into Damien de la Tour or Gezras of Leyda.  This ability is complicated so I’ll explain its interactions in more detail.

Mischief is a status, and status effects are processed after end-of-turn abilities for a card register. If you give Mischief to Gezras of Leyda, he’ll move to another row one more time before he turns into a chicken. If you give it to Damien de la Tour, he’ll still be able to activate his order ability. Thus, Mischief isn’t usually very effective as a lock. I will note that status effects are processed before counters, meaning that Loki does counteract cards like Stregobor and Ciri: Dash.

Since Mischief uses the transformation mechanic, it means that the old card is removed from the game permanently. Loki can be used to effectively banish cards like Madoc and Crowmother, especially if those cards are boosted. Their power will change to the base power of the new unit, which may not be ideal, however. In fact, playing Loki onto an allied card such as Madoc may be a viable strategy if you don’t intend to play any more bombs. In this case, you’ll want to use purify to stop the transformations once something useful appears.

Original art is linked here.

Face Stealer

In a typical Gwent match, you play your cards and end your turn, whereupon your Nilfgaardian opponent’s turn begins and they also play your cards. In fact, there’s room for debate whether there are really six factions in Gwent because everything–from Vysogota of Corvo to The Great Oak–is actually a Nilfgaardian card if you assimilate hard enough.

Face Stealer is no exception. He ensures that all the gold cards on your opponent’s board find a nice and cozy spot in your deck, where they can be replayed in later rounds to devastating effect.

This card has some interesting interactions worthy of note, by the way. First, it can easily transform Mage Assassins into cards that aren’t summoned from deck, which makes them unlikely to be included in the same deck as Face Stealer. Second, it can put enemy bronzes in deck, thereby enabling the use of tutors from your opponent’s faction. Stealing Amphibious Assault via Double Cross suddenly becomes a viable strategy. And finally, this card has considerable antisynergy with Fercart, which gives spying at random, often to tokens.

As you can see, not all of these interactions are positive. My goal is not to show that the card is weak or strong, but merely that it is very interesting.

Original art is linked here.

Sabrina: Schemer

Honest to god, Sabrina Glevissig deserves a better card than the scene of when she’s on the pyre. About to burn to death over petty political squabbles? Not a good look for such an impressive and powerful sorceress. I contend that Sabrina should get a real card, and that the current Sabrina card should be renamed to Sabrina: Pyre.

Much like Face Stealer, this card truly enables some truly impressive 200 IQ bigbrain plays. It requires a sharp knowledge of Northern Realms engines and their provision costs, as well. For example, John Natalis can become Draug if boosted by 5. Five provision units boosted by 1 can become Kerack Frigates, Alumni, or Vincent Meis on a good day. And Lyrian Scytheman can become Foltest, Falibor, or even Gerhart of Aelle with enough luck.

Note that if there’s no card of a specified provision level, the card won’t transform. So you can’t boost a 9 provision unit by 5 and get a 14, because Northern Realms has no 14 provision units. The highest provision card in NR is Draug, so everything becomes Draug eventually. The easiest way to get Draug is to simply boost Sabrina by 1, forcing her to transform herself.

Original art is linked here.

Slavic Saturday: Vodyanoy (EP10)

dagon1
𝐺𝑤𝑒𝑛𝑡'𝑠 𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑉𝑜𝑑𝑦𝑎𝑛𝑜𝑦

Introduction

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

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

Vodyanoy is an evil male water spirit who looks like a naked old man with a frog-like face.

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Etymology

The word Vodyanoy comes from the Russian “водяно́й”, read [vədʲɪˈnoj] with the meaning “he from the water”.

Some of his other names include Wodnik, Vodenjak, Vodyanyk, Vodník or Hastrman.

The many faces of Vodyanoy

As mentioned above, Vodyanoy has the appearance of a naked old man with a frog-like face, green hair and beard. He has black/gray/green fish scales instead of skin and his body is covered in algae and muck. Instead of hands with fingers the river demon sported paws with membranes, their eyes were red as burning fire and their backside sprouted a tail which every fish would envy.

In Slovakia and the Czech Republic the Vodyanoy is called Vodník and Hastrman respectively, and his appearance changes from a frog-like creature to an anthropomorphic being. The features that make them different from humans are gills, membranes between their fingers and, most remarkably, green skin covered in algae. They were also sporting fashionable pale green hair, and could as such be considered true trendsetters, if one were to compare them to influencers nowadays.

Usually, Vodník would wear really odd clothing: patchy shirts, water-soaked coats or bizarre hats, ranging from boaters with long speckled ribbons to bright red top hats.

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Behaviour

Vodyanoy could often be seen riding around along the river on half-sunken logs, while loudly splashing in the water so it was hard to miss them. While they might appear whimsical, harmless even, they were rumored to be the responsible for the lion’s share of water related deaths, together with water dryads and rusalky.

When Vodyanoy were in a good mood, they might have even been inclined to help people, but most of the time the water dwellers were a menace to life in early Slav villages. When angered the wrath of a Vodyanoy is hard to escape, dams were broken, water mills washed away, people and their animals drowned. When the water-bound demons felt especially vindictive, they subjected their victims to slavery in their underwater dwellings, which the poor wretches, who were subject to every whim of the benthic miscreants, could not escape.

 

In Slovak and Czech lands, the river fiends were said to store the souls of their victims in tea pots, which represented their status in Vodyanoy society. Those with the most soul pots enjoyed greater societal privileges.  Fortunately for the victims, their souls could be freed by opening the tea pots.

In their free time Vodníci(the plural of Vodník) played cards, smoked pipes or just lazed around on rocks near rivers and lakes.

The fish in the river or a lake, in which the Vodník resides, were the servants of the green men.

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Precautions against Vodyanoy

In order to appease the Vodyanoy, people, mostly fishermen and millers, would make sacrifices. For example, fisherman would place a bit of tobacco on the surface of the water and recite a line saying “Here’s your tobacco, Lord Vodník, now give me a fish”.

Other types of preventive measures included sacrificing animals or even other people. Less drastic ways of averting a Vodyanoy’s attack come from the Ukraine, where sage advice recommended burying a horse’s skull near the water, and from Belarus, where the people suggested burying a black rooster under the mill’s doors or populating said mill with black cats and roosters.

DrDenuz is a guest writer for Bandit Gang. You can find him on Twitter, Twitch & YouTube.

Deck Guide: Deathwish MidRange

Introduction

Deathwish is back on the menu! With the latest provision and point buffs to many important cards of this archetype, the classic Monster list focused on consuming units looks quite tasty indeed and is very much on flavour for this exciting Savoine season.

Game Plan

Mulligan: Ideally we want Yghern, Adda Striga and Haunt with some added bronze Deathwish and Consume units in our hand. To complete the shopping list, you would preferably add some additional Deathwish units like Manticore or Miruna to our stew pot to be able to disrupt any nasty surprises your opponent might have in store.

Round 1: You can start playing your cheap bronze Deathwish units such as Archespore to thin your deck as well as  play Yghern to establish Dominance for Adda Striga. Your main goal should be to win the round, so you can decide whether you want to push the opponent or not. If you flipped the Blue Coin, make sure to use your stratagem to draw any important card that you missed before getting out of the round.

Round 2: Usually Deathwish decks prefer a short Round 3, so feel free to bleed your opponent vigorously in Round 2 to leave them starved of win conditions. That means that you can unload pretty much your whole pantry in this round but your choice cuts would be Haunt with Succubus for tons of tasty points as well as Golyat and Yghern to prepare a tasty treat for your Round 3 Ozzrel.

Round 3: Ideally this round should just be a short dessert. Playing Dettlaff Higher Vampire and then consuming it with your leader charges will net you a hefty amount of points. After that tabling Ozzrel to consume the previously prepared Yghern or Golyat should leave you gorged on points and your opponent both hungry and in the dust.

The Deck

Pros and Cons

PROS:

  • Lot of Point slam potential
  • Enough control to deal with opponents important engines

CONS:

  • Lack of tutors can lead to us missing out on important cards
  • Bad against Lock heavy decks

Considerations

You can replace the stratagem with Urn of Shadows to synergize with Miruna or Manticore but i chose Scroll because of the lack of tutors in this deck. Xavier Lemmens is also a good option to counter any graveyard shenanigans that opponent might want to pull off against you.

Combo

Haunt is one of the most important cards in this deck as it not only provides you with more consumes but also gives you the option to proc your Deathwish units the same round you play them.

Heatwave may look out of place at first but its usage as removal of any pesky defender, scenario or tall unit is very important in the current state of the meta.

Toad Prince is a card that many players would be looking forward to using this patch as with its buff it’s now possible to consume any unit at 4 points or less allowing you to deal with almost any engine on your opponents side of the board.

Succubus is basically a bronze Dettlaff with no counter restriction, netting you a nice 5 points each turn, provided you can afford the consumes. It’s best used with Haunt.

Adda Striga is an exceptional 4 point removal piece that can take care of most of your opponent’s engines with the small condition of Dominance which can be achieved easily by this deck.

Yghern or Golyat should be played before you reach round 3 so your Ozzrel can get decent value from your graveyard.

Conclusion

With Bomblin’s help I present you a deck that is more than sufficiently capable of earning a spot in this season’s  meta lists. A very simple deck that offers lots and lots of points while also providing a decent amount of removal. Please try this deck out and tell us how your games went.

Thanks for reading, and happy gwenting!

Theme Snapshot #2: Shupe

Article edited by Weevil89 & banner made by Decode789.

Introduction

Since you all have to wait for the next Meme Snapshot to be released next season, Bomblin and I have decided to introduce the Theme Snapshot. This snapshot will focus on different themes, such as Ciri: Nova decks. but only 1 deck for each faction with potentially a few Honorable Mentions. Our plan is to release the Theme Snapshots between each Meme Snapshot.

Today, we will be focusing on Shupe-only decks in honor of Repek. We hope you will enjoy these decks during the dry period of no meme decks from us!

SHUUUUUUUPE!

Overview
Try to not queue into a regular meta deck and also try to win one more round than your opponent. Don’t use leader with full hand.

Edit: Even if the first statement is truly an important aspect to be successful, they key strategy with this deck is to use its tools as effective as you can.

You have access to removal, tall punishment, versatile locks with the Letho of Gulet and his buddies, but also some amount of consistency and the board purify Siegfried of Denesle.

Use these wisely, improve your hand with cards like Vicovaro Novice, Maxii Van Dekker, the classic leader + Snowdrop combo or especially Doaderick Leumaerts, who can help you find certain key cards. Courier can not only improve your hand, but also synergise with Vilgefortz.

Obviously, if possible, you want to have Vilgefortz: Renegade in hand together with Vypper, to maybe grab an early echo card and get your points back on board. 

The question now is: Can you help Shupe and his Vilgefortz escort to prevail in this season?

Written by Sawyer1888.

Overview:
With the last BG Snapshot I showed you, my fellow Scoia’tael Dh’oine, the beauty of
Triple Gezras. Today I bring you yet another chance to improve your happiness three times with
Triple Shupe! We have our base copy of Shupe and as I’m sure you’re aware Alissa allows you
to shuffle Shupe back to the deck. I like to do this first then Oneiro out the second Shupe while
Francesca is on board to play Two Shupes at once. We also have Alzur and Spells for some
nice points!

Pros:
-3 Whole Shupes!
Uma can highroll
Alzur can highroll
-Can 2-0 with perfect hand

Cons:
Alzur can lowroll
-No engines
-Bad in long round 3

Core Cards:
Shupe: Good Gwenti Card, Bestestest

Alissa: Ideally used for Shupe

Radeyah: Nice pointslam, sometimes Cursed Scroll comes in clutch

Francesca: Best to double play Shupe, also nice on Uma

Alzur: Save Orb, Oneiro, and Uma for nice value

Written by Kalvino.

Overview
New expansion, new cards. specifically for the bounty archetype! And with Shupe being one of the notorious hunters in the universe of Gwent, the Witch hunters decided to take him in to succeed in their cause of destroying the meta. This deck is all about killing your opponent’s units with bounty and spending the coins you get from them.

Pros
SHUUUUUUUPE.
– A variety of control options.
– A spender whenever you need one because of leader ability.

Cons
– Bounty can be a bit slow since you have to apply the bounty on a unit before you can destroy the unit.
– Can only apply 1 bounty.
– Because its a Shupe deck you can only run 1 bronze of each.

Core Cards
The Brute: While its a bit of an expensive card, Octavia makes sure you will always be able to play it, and if you are able to kill a high base powered unit then this card get easily its value.

The Witchfinder: Great setup for Graden.

Shupe: You can charm your opponents units, what else do I need to say!

Written by Babyjosus.

If you want to read the full deck guide then I would like to suggest you to click on the deck image.

Written by Mercernn.

Overview
Inspired Zeal is one of the strongest Northern Realms leader abilities. There are a lot of cards that synergize with it well and Shupe decks allow to play a few of them in a deck. At the same time, you can squeeze in some tech choices and cool bronzes. The deck looks very similar to the current devotion meta deck, It just uses the power of Shupe instead.

Pros
SHUUUUPE.
-has few very powerful spells.
-can be powerful in long, greedy rounds.

Cons
-lack of consistency.
-bronzes generate points very slowly.
-you are often forced to commit in earlier rounds.

Core Cards:
Duel cards: the staple cards of Inspired Zeal leader ability. Also, Radeyah can create a stratagem with a shield. If you combine it with a duel card, you can get a huge tall removal.

Lyrian Arbalest and Lyrian Cavalry: almost every card you play has an order ability so both cards are basically 1 point per turn engines.

Raffard’s Vengence: Amazing card that lets you play two engines at the same time. It also has a great synergy with a leader ability and has a bonus, underrated, crew ability (Remember that Siege Support can reduce its CD!)

Written by Bomblin.

Overview
With the introduction of Alissa Henson in a new expansion, every faction can play Shupe twice! Skellige, however, can do it four times! Yes! This is quadruple Shupe Skellige! The plan is to spend all your powerful golds in round one and then replay them in later rounds after using Lippy Gudmund.

Pros
SHUUUUUUPE.
-very consistent.
-can fit in a lot of „tech choices” cards.

Cons
-can be awkward to play.
-the maximum amount of points you can generate is limited.
-rely on perfect sequencing.

Core Cards:
Discard package: Alongside Snowdrop, the discard package can help you with finding key cards and also generate a lot of points. Especially, if you can greedily play Snowdrop and Coral.

Xavier: This is a tech choice card that works especially well against Skellige (Rain deck in particular). He can also be used to kill echo cards and carry overcards (e.g. Orb of Insight, Crowmother, Flying Redanian).

Siegfried: Another tech card, this time to counter meditating mages. Feel free to change it to other cards like decoction if you do not encounter NR.

Written by Bomblin.

Conclusion

And that was our second Theme Snapshot, we hope you enjoyed it! We hope that we inspired you to create your own memes or own versions of the decks with this Theme Snapshot. But for now, Bomblin and I will fare thee well, and we’ll see you again in Theme Snapshot #3!

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