Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #2

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.

Jailbreak

This is a card that plays off of one of Syndicate’s greatest strengths: versatility. It’s reminiscent of Collusion, yet can achieve full value on an empty board or with minimal setup. It also encourages diversity in deckbuilding, since having a variety of bronze units from different gangs in your graveyard allows you to choose the exact effect needed. For example, if you need more crownsplitters for tunnel drill, you can Jailbreak a Coerced Blacksmith from your graveyard. Need raw tempo and a spender? Jailbreak into Sea Jackal‘s got your back. Accidentally drew an odd number of poisons? Resurrect a Salamandra. You get the idea.

The original artist is a chap by the name of Jesper Ejsing. His art is visible on artstation, linked here. In the uncropped art, it looks like a dude on a dragon is breaking an eleven lady out of jail. I could be wrong, though. Maybe he’s attacking her? I don’t really know.

Ilya the Merc

Whenever I play bounty, I find it’s pretty easy to overprofit from killing a tall unit, or simply from having too many coins in the bank. Ilya allows you more breathing room when handling bounties, and provides a payoff for killing units with greater than 9 points of base strength. Her order ability isn’t extremely strong, but it can gain her an extra 3 points if she destroys the Flying Redanian. It can also give extra reach to damage spenders.
 
I’ve determined that a fellow named Rudy Siswanto is the original artist. You can find his Artstation account here. He’s quite talented, so I suggest you check it out. He appears to have done the art for Protofleder. Pretty cool. 

Grottore

Grottore appeared in the Witcher 3 as the boss during the quest Feet as Cold as Ice. Although he’s just another quest boss, I found him to be quite interesting and memorable. He seemed to have a bit of personality, collecting random stuff in his cave and killing off those insufferable knights of Croissant… I mean Toussaint.

It’s been a while since deathwish was a viable archetype in the Monsters faction, outside of Viy. Personally, I’d like to see it make a comeback, as yeeting enemy units with Imperial Manticore and yoinking them with Miruna is simply too much fun. This card acts as a companion to Dettlaff: Higher Vampire, providing a similar high tempo play. Due to the Sabbath condition, you can choose whether you want to summon the deathwish unit from your graveyard or deck. Summoning from the deck is usually better, as it provides thinning and also avoids the possibility of summoning a bricked Archespore.

Original art source is here. On second thought, let’s not go to DeviantArt. ‘Tis a silly place.

Nightshade

The seconds tick by, stretching into minutes and then hours. The sun sets and the moon rises while Nightshade waits for the perfect opportunity. Late in the night her victim steals by, convinced that he is secure under the cover of darkness. He is wrong. A blade flashing in the moonlight and an eerie silence are the only clues that Nightshade has done her work. The corpse is dragged into a nearby alleyway and disposed in a sewer, never to be seen again. Another clean kill.

I don’t think anything captures assassination any better than a unit leaping from the top of a Nilfgaard player’s deck to destroy a unit the opponent played. It’s so elegant and unexpected, and fits in perfectly with the deck manipulation theme that CDPR has chosen to take with Nilfgaard. I’d love to see a card like this in play, though to be on the receiving end especially would be pretty rage inducing.

The card art in this case was designed by an artist called AReum Kim. Additional renders of Nightshade can be found here.

Mercurus

One of the problems with trap cards is that they tend to punish the player for playing high cost cards. The result is that traps can easily be avoided by simply playing low cost cards. There need to be more traps that punish the player for playing low cost cards. It’s this observation that lead me to create Mercurus, which acts in a manner similar to a trap card, and penalizes the opponent for playing a low provision card. If your opponent has Red coin (goes second) and repeatedly plays weak cards, Mercurus can be used to set up a tempo pass, forcing a long round with Masquerade Ball.

With Nightshade and Mercurus in the same deck, you can put the opponent in a situation where they don’t know whether to play a high end gold or a low prov bronze. Mind games!

Also, this card’s flavortext is oddly appropriate as playing a 10 provision or higher card causes Mercurus to destroy himself. If he were added to Gwent, it’d be cool if he had a special voiceline that triggered only if he was destroyed. A long, drawn out “Noooooooooooo!” is exactly the sort of thing that Gwent needs more of.

I wasn’t able to track down the original art source, though it looks like it appeared on the cover a DnD book at some point.

Surprise

This card acts as potentially 6+ removal, while also setting up your deck for some manipulation. A downside of this card is that the damage dealt may reveal the card moved to the top. For me, this card is on the edge of being able to be bronze. As long as there aren’t too many agents with 7+ strength, it’s probably safe to make it bronze. 6 prov is a neglected range anyway. What’s cool about this card for me is its flexibility. It can act as removal, deck manipulation, and soft tutoring.

I was going to make it able to move any unit, but I don’t think we need any more ways to abuse Tibor Eggebracht than than already exist. 13 damage on a 6 prov card would be pretty broken.

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how hilarious this art is? This dude is just chilling and writing some shit down while this assassin girl stands behind him with the most mischevious expression on her face. Poor dude’s about to get bellclapped with a pair of daggers. Ouch.

This appears to be the original art source, though I’m told this art was used to advertise an expansion for Elder Scrolls Online.

Vanmuutugleek

I’ve always found life deep in the ocean to possess a singularly bizarre majesty. I imagine the witcher universe is no different, with great monstrosities like Dagon and Vanmuutugleek hidden beneath the waves, living far outside the ken of man.

I came across this beautiful squid art and instantly knew I had to make a Gwent card out of it. It was pretty obviously monsters faction material, so I came up with an ability designed specifically to synergize with Koschey thrive decks. I’ve played Koschey a fair number of times, and the two biggest issues are choosing what to play before Koschey’s adrenaline kicks in and getting stuck with monsters that can’t proc thrive. This card is designed to solve both issues.

I’ve also introduced a new status, called Invisibility. Invisibility acts as temporary immunity, and is countered by ping damage. Invisibility allows low-strength order cards and engines to be viable, without being completely unanswerable or hard countering decks which rely on pure damage such as Skellige Warriors.

The card art is unfortunately a cropped version of the original, which can be found here. Mark Facey is the original artist.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *