Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #7

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.


You know, there ain’t much to tell about this guy. You have locked units, he damages ’em. You have hair, he makes you pull it out. Classic Nilfgaard stuff. You know, I really think we need more engines like this, that act as payoff for completing a specific task that involves a good deal of setup. What do we get instead? Point-vomit relicts and an Alzur that can be fully procc’d in one turn. Yuck.

Credit for the art goes to Andre Riabovitchev on Artstation.


Since we’re still in the removal meta, all bronze engines are sweating pretty hard on that first turn they come down. Even the ones with 6 strength. This card would be no exception, as it generates carryover while also adding a bit of extra removal for your bronze raids and whatever unga bunga damage your Skellige deck is throwing at your opponent. Personally, I think that this card is close to the ideal for a Skellige bronze. It’s an engine, it gets decent value even when locked or in a short round, and it generates carryover on Harald the Cripple by strengthening itself.

This appears to be the original art source.

Lambert: Prick

Lambert was such an interesting character in the Witcher 3 that I think it’s really a shame that he has only one Gwent card. Technically two, but I don’t think the triptych ability really counts.

The astute Gwent player will recall that Lambert: Swordmaster damages all copies of a unit by 2, making it a devastating tech card that still functions as a decent value play against most opponents. I don’t have any problem with this card, but I don’t think it really fits Lambert or his perpetual snark. The beauty to the right, on the other hand? Perfection.

I think that this card’s strength could really go up to 6. It’s substantial downside means that it has potential to backfire, except versus Berserk-focused Skellige decks or maybe unitless Scoia’tael, provided it doesn’t mess up their Harald Gord.


Among the dead and dying archetypes scattered throughout the Gwent deckbuilder, one that catches my eye from time to time is Plague Maiden and Monsters rat swarm. One of Plague Maiden‘s most serious issues is that fact that she essentially clogs an entire row, making it easy for her lead to overswarming in a long round. In addition, over time she’s become understatted, making her the opposite of an autoinclude. A not-oinclude? I don’t even know anymore.

This guy’s purpose is to breath life into Plague Maiden by allowing her to set up an extremely oppressive combo. Additionally, he connects Deathwish to the Sabbath keyword and makes Nightwraith into a key bronze instead of worthless filler. All good stuff, in my opinion.

Oh by the way, the dude’s name is taken from a boss in a game called Hollow Knight. You should give it a try, if you never have. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

Original art is here.

Nilfgaardian Embassy

That the Nilfgaardians possess a seemingly infinite capacity for subterfuge is learned quickly by anyone playing even a modest amount of Gwent. In this case, this subterfuge takes the form of an embassy which is quite blatantly spying upon everything in its immediate vicinity. Leave the Nilfgaardian embassy unchecked for long enough, and soon Nilfgaard will have conducted a thorough surveillance of their foe.

Unless, of course, their embassy should happen to suddenly tranform into a bear for no particular reason. Oh Gwent, never change. (For those of you out of the loop, Bearification is a 6 provision spell that transforms an artifact into an Elder Bear).


This card potentially introduces 5 or more engines to the board in one turn, making it able to compete with top-tier Monster engines like Koschey and Gernichora. Arachne also gives you motivation to run Koschey in round 1 or 2 if you really want to hurt your opponent later on. However, since her ability is a deploy effect, it means she doesn’t directly synergize with Caranthir. It would be pretty insane if she did, to be honest.

I set her power to 2, meaning that she can thrive Nekkers on the turn she is played, but not Endrega Larvae. I also gave her 3 armor in order to increase the likelihood that she survives. Sometimes its a bit disappointing that interesting high-end gold cards get removed so fast, since it gives you little time to admire their art.

This card might lead to a gameplan where Caranthir and Koschey are played in round 2, and then a 3 card round 3 with either Dandelion: Poet or Auberon: Conqueror being used to trigger thrives three times in two turns. Scary!

Original art is here.

Empress Ciri

In the Witcher 3 (Spoiler Alert!) there’s an ending where Ciri defeats the white frost and becomes empress of Nilfgaard. Although Nilfgaard has been known to operate in an unethical manner (to put it mildly), someone like Ciri with a compassionate heart and strong will could do a lot of good in such a position of power. Even if becoming empress isn’t strictly what she wants, it’s what the world needs.

In terms of gameplay, Empress Ciri allows Nilfgaardian players to commit their leader abilities much earlier than usual, especially if their opponent hasn’t already used their leader. Although she can be played around to some extent, she still affords the Nilfgaardian player a good deal of control. Defending a bleed, for example? Don’t play Ciri until your opponent passes. Trying to win round 1 on even? Play Ciri before your opponent has a chance to use theirs. Playing enslave 7, you beautiful degenerate? Boom, Empress Ciri.

You get the idea.

Original art is here.

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