Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #5

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

Triss: Royal Advisor

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

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

Credit for the art goes to AlienAlly on DeviantArt.

Seduction

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

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

Credit for the art goes to CGlas on DeviantArt.

Ivor Breckenriggs

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

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

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

Credit for the art goes to KilartDev on DeviantArt

Vienne

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

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

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

Penny Styles

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

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

Credit for the art goes to mist XG on ArtStation.

Lonely Axeman

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

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

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

The Putrid Grove

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

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

Credit for the art goes to MarkusML on DeviantArt.

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