End of Year Interview 2021 Gabelheld ‘2021 would certainly qualify as interesting times in both the good and the bad sense of the proverb’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: First things first. Could you tell me something about yourself?

Gabelheld: Hm. I would probably classify myself as an Austrian, meme connoisseur, literature and game enthusiast, enjoyer of fine metal music, aspiring teacher, semi-professional proofreader and last, but by no means least, fledgling bandit.

BJ: Awesome! How would you reflect on the year 2021?

G: There is an old Chinese curse that states “May you live in interesting times”. 2021 would certainly qualify as interesting times in both the good and the bad sense of the proverb. I caught Corona, found an interesting job, joined a Gwent team, had quite a bit of upheaval in my personal life so … not boring.

BJ: What was your most memorable moment this year?

G: In a positive sense? Probably joining the team. Especially since it happened so suddenly. As I have previously stated, 2021 was full of interesting moments. Most of them unexpected. And some of them, while memorable, I would rather forget.

BJ: You joined Team Bandit Gang as an editor after you finished your 1 month trial, how are you liking the journey so far?

G: It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience thus far. I would have never seen myself being part of an e-sports team, but here we are.

BJ: How have you enjoyed the atmosphere within the team?

G: I like it a lot. The folks are rather nice. I have enjoyed hanging in BG streams quite a bit before and now … well I get to hang with the highwaymen and women even more. So … I’d classify that as a clear win-win situation for myself.

BJ: Is there anything (else) that you would like to do next year?

G: If I can be completely candid? Have a more boring year. I’ve had enough upheaval for a while now.

BJ: Fair enough! Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

G: Hm. No, not really. I never really bothered with those.

BJ: Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2022?

G: Too much salt is bad for one’s health. Well, to be fair, that’s something I should probably tell myself as well. Maybe I’ll give that new year’s resolution a shot after all.

BJ: Cheers and happy holidays!

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Gabelheld's Top 10 Cards of 2021

10. Cleaver – I enjoy a good crime spree and this stout underworld mogul can put out some sizable value. I enjoyed playing crimes a lot even before Syndicate rose to prominence and I honestly loved that I could finally play Lined Pockets as a proper special focused list, before everything devolved into the drill fiesta it became in the end. And even after the piece of mining equipment got hit by the nerf-bat the dwarven kingpin can move some … rather big molehills.

9. Succubus – Monsters is by far one of my least played factions, but I do have a certain soft spot for this horny gal. I love graveyard interaction, so Deathwish is a surefire way of making the gribblers somewhat palatable to me. No Team Triss or Yen here. My rose goes to the fluid tapping tart with a heart in that regard.

8. Salamander – Gwent has been a rather recent addition to my canon of games which I enjoy. The big TCG devil of Magic: The Gathering has had my soul firmly in its grasp for many years now. One of the most enjoyable aspects of said game for me is wiping the board. And Salamander is the one proper boardwipe we have in Gwent. So it is, naturally, very enjoyable to me.

7. Lippy Gudmund – I am a self-proclaimed degenerate when it comes to Gwent. And I do, as I stated previously, like recursion strategies. Being able to reuse some of my previously played haymakers is oh so enjoyable.

6. Tinboy – This Blindeyes enforcer is very much a janky card with a hefty cost both in provisions and in coins. But … I do so hate swarm decks. And there are few things as satisfying as dropping a Tinboy onto the board when the opponent is playing AQ, Deadeye Ambush or Firesworn.

5. Ivar Evil-Eye – This legendary witcher is somewhat of a red-headed stepchild in the cadre of scary boys and girls Nilfgaard can field. Especially since he prevents the play of All Star Joachim de Wett (well, he does not prevent it per se, but … there are high levels of sodium involved, should the most unfortunate of topdecks happen) Nevertheless, I have a big soft spot for this mincemeat-faced monster slayer.

4. Lydia van Breedevort – When I first beheld this card I was … flabbergasted. A cheaper Triss: Telekinesis with a bigger backside and the ability to outright steal a special from the opponent’s graveyard? Now this sounds like something I could enjoy. And I did, a lot. Not as format-warping as some people have predicted, but a lot of fun to field.

3. Artaud Terranova – Having arrived at this point in the Top 10 list, my favorite factions should not be a secret to the esteemed reader. I do love the Great Sun and (nearly) all of its sons and daughters. This stocky spellcaster managed to dethrone the mighty Van Moorlehem family of ruthless revelers, which is an amazing feat in and of itself. In lore, he got dispatched rather unceremoniously by an owl to the face and subsequent steel poisoning by one Geralt, but in Gwent he reigns supreme.

2. Fucusya – Similar to Lydia, I was absolutely aghast when I saw the spoiler for this magnificent beast. The mighty sea witch will stomp your enemies, revive your armies, cook your dinner, read your children to sleep at night and lead you to victory. A fine lady of many talents indeed. This high up in the list, the difference between cards is miniscule and so there is only one card that managed to beat the mighty Fucusya by a hair’s breadth.

1.Cantarella (With an honorable mention of pre-change Viper Witcher Alchemist) – While I do love to reanimate my creatures and inflict copious amounts of damage, there is one thing I enjoy above all – Mischief. Certainly the most sodium inducing choice on this list, Carthia van Canten has brought me lavish amounts of joy – and despair. I do like a good gamble and the ability to – potentially- steal one of my opponent’s best cards is just lovely. Of course, she can also whiff completely and consequently cost me the game, but that is a risk I am willing to take. I will mention the formerly best dry-pass card Nilfgaard had to offer in this entry as well, since both used to serve very similar functions. Despised by most, this old brewer has won me many a game. And also lost me quite a few when he was employed against me. But I would be a huge hypocrite if I would get irritated because of a line of play I use myself. And … let’s be honest here … being able to exchange a worthless 4 Provision card with a scenario, a Viy or a Gord … feels pretty damn amazing.

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