Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #13

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.

Alraune

If you follow the books and games, the Scoia’tael are portrayed primarily as angry and vengeful vestiges of a bygone era, and as victims of so-called progress. Though sometimes portrayed in a sympathetic light, their violent attacks against major characters often render them irredeemably villainous.

It only takes a little imagination to consider the motivations of the Scoia’tael, however. In part, they fight because they are goaded and persecuted by humans. But there is another reason: they hate humans because they correctly perceive them as a threat to a way of life that is beautiful. When I see the Scoia’tael faction, I don’t focus on their violence. That’s just them having a bad day. I focus on their ways of beauty and harmony, which are their true nature. And that’s why the green team will always be my favorite faction.

And so I present you Alraune, fading ember of a dying age. I see Alraune as a unique type of dryad who maintains a living garden deep in the forests of Brokilon. She only wishes peace and beauty on those around her–human, elf, dryad, even dwarf–alike. But alas, it’s not to be. One day her garden will burn while her precious trees and flowers are converted to lumber and perfume, to be sold for a few coppers in Novigrad. In response, there isn’t really much to say except…

Bloede dh’oine!

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Apex Predator

I was going to call this card “Food Chain” but in all honesty, “Apex Predator” sounds way cooler. This card gives monsters players double bronze thinning and allows them to play and thrive a card in the same turn. Since thrive’s biggest weakness is initial fragility, this card makes it hard for opponents to cheese away Nekkers with targeted or ping damage. It also encourages monsters players to pack their deck with 3-4 bronze big boys. You know: Aen Elle Conqueror, Frost Giant, and Griffin and so forth. Also known as the total chads that the monsters faction is known for.

With the devotion condition met, you can tutor gold thrive units like Koschey and thrive them the same turn, but there’s major antisynergy with Caranthir in doing so. Apex Predator requires the thrive unit in deck, while Caranthir requires it in hand. Sometimes, a little antisynergy is good, as it balances otherwise potentially OP combos.

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Nine Lives

In my headcanon, Nine Lives is a young and spunky street urchin who offers tours of Novigrad to anyone who will pay for such a service. If she likes you, she’s true to her word and you’ll be treated to the best shops and sights the city can offer. Rub her the wrong way, however, and you just might wake up to an aching headache and an empty wallet–if you wake up at all. More than one foul soul has attempted to take advantage of this young girl, only for the predator to become the prey. Yay for street justice!

In terms of gameplay, this card offers a new meaning to the “place at the bottom of your deck” card abilities scattered throughout the Syndicate faction. As long as mulligans don’t get in the way, you can sequester cards there, safely out of reach of deck manipulating shenanigans. That means you Nilfgaard!

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Ice Titan

In Skellige, there is no shortage of young men willing to hurl themselves at some ancient and deadly monster in hopes of earning the heart of a maiden. If that fact could have a card, this would be it right here.

Without synergies, this card is merely a 1-point-per-turn engine. But being the astute Gwentlemen (and Gwentladies) that we are, we know that Skellige gets a lot of use out of healable bodies. When cards like Heymaey Flaminica and Bear Witcher Mentor come to the table, this card is a powerhouse indeed.

In all honesty, I think that Gwent is too tempo-focused at the moment and that we need more synergy-focused engines like this one. If Ice Titan were maybe 1 provision higher and had veil or immunity, it might have the means to survive for more than a turn or two and actually be meta defining. On the other hand, we could lower the provisions by 1 so that the card could be replayed by Fucusya.

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Fabio Sachs

Fabio Sachs was a dude who helped Ciri, got knighted at one point, and eventually became an explorer. This card recognizes him in his shining moment, as he made his famous discovery.

In this case, playing Fabio Sachs allows you to add an extra gold card to your deck, though it can’t be played immediately. This allows you to plan around the created card, even deciding whether you wish to play it at all. Since the card is always an epic, it can’t add too much value to your deck. At the same time, because it isn’t played immediately, you can plan for the perfect moment to drop your card.

This card synergizes with Oneiromancy to a substantial degree. In a lot of ways I try to avoid adding Oneiromancy to my decks because its so expensive and adds no direct value. It also makes matchups a bit more predictable due to the increased consistency. Yet, there is a time and a place for Oneiromancy, and I do think it should occupy a substantial place in the meta. Thus, a card like Fabio is a consideration for people who play Oneiromancy and still have the good fortune to draw all their golds.

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Interferator

Ah, if it isn’t our old nemesis, the dastardly Nilfgaard faction making an appearance. In what ways will this monstrosity mangle the strategy of our pitiable opponent? Let’s take a look.

In this case, the Interferator is a mage who connects the Lock and Spying archetypes. Giving spying to units as they are locked is already devious, but true Nilfgaard mains will turn up the nefariousness to level eleven by triggering the devotion condition. A combination of Interferator, Emhyr var Emreis and Phillipe Van Moorlehem could be the Nilfgaard equivalent of Sukrus and Arnaghad.

Alright, let’s move on. I already feel like I’m going to puke.

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Tedd Deireadh

It’s the end of the world! No, I’m not being dramatic, it really is! That’s what Tedd Deireadh means, anyway. The end of the world is often seen as a bad thing, but sometimes the old must die in order to pave way for something new and better. So goes the Aen Ithlinnespeath prophecy: “The world will die amidst frost and be reborn with the new sun. It will be reborn of Elder Blood, of Hen Ichaer, of the seed that has been sown. A seed which will not sprout but burst into flame.”

In this highly unique Gwent card, the player is encouraged to seek out three specific bronze units which are marked at the start of the game. The quest gains resilience whenever a marked card is played, offering the player an additional chance to find other cards from the set. Overall, it’s worth quite a few points, since it plays for roughly 6 points per round. It’s effectively an 18-for-14, but it’s not even played from hand, making it closer to a 24-for-14. (Note that we can add the value of the weakest bronze in our deck to the value of cards played not from hand. In most cases, that’s a 6.)

Tedd Deireadh’s greatest weakness is that the Wild Hunt (and Monsters in general) tends to have poor consistency, with few direct tutors. For this reason, I created an additional custom card to support this quest. With access to a direct bronze tutor which can itself be tutured by Ge’els, Wild Hunt should be able to reliably complete the quest… to bring about Tedd Deireadh and THE END OF THE WORLD!!!

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