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.
Smash 'n Grab
Much like the real-world crime of the same name, this card is designed to provide instant value with little to no setup. Like Graden, it allows for the unconditional removal of any unit with a bounty, even if highly boosted or armored. Unlike Graden, this card can often play for its provisions even without any bounty. Additionally, it can act as a same-turn removal against a number of threats, as long as they are neither boosted nor armored. Due to its high floor, this card would probably still be playable at 10 provisions.
The original art source can be found here, on ArtStation.
The Northern Realms boast among their ranks a number of valiant souls who stare bravely into the face of danger and stand toe-to-toe with Nilfgaard’s toughest knights. But there is another side to Northern Realms, and a reason their soldiers have for risking their lives so fearlessly. For without wives, lovers, and families, what reason would they have to fight? This card is for those women. And men, too. I’m sure that Ves has a sweetheart somewhere, for whose embrace she longs for while on the battlefield. Well, besides Geralt.
Cintrian Bride is designed to synergize with Amphibious Assault and act as both an engine and a finisher. Optimally, one would play her at the end of a long round, just before Lyrian Scytheman is dropped. On the other hand she can be an awful card in a short round, but this is intentionally part of her design.
The original source of the art can be found here, on ArtStation.
Sometimes I wish Skellige had a card with the Consume ability. The faction’s graveyard focused identity means that they often want to move units to their discard pile quickly. Since they already have the ability to discard units from hand or deck, I don’t think it’s a stretch to give them the ability to move units from the board to the graveyard.
This card’s design is fairly simple, and it can be low tempo on the turn it is played. However, its primary purpose is not as a tempo play, but as a carryover card. When it destroys a unit with high base strength like Jutta An Dimun or Melusine, it becomes a prime target for Sigrdrifa’s Rite – but unfortunately also for your opponent’s Korathi Heatwave or Yennefer’s Invocation. Ouch.
Good card design is hard.
The original art source is here, on ArtStation.
Chappelle was the éminence grise of Hierarch Cyrus Engelkind Hemmelfart and the head of Novigrad’s secret service. I don’t actually know what an éminence grise is, but it sounds pretty scary and I honestly don’t think I want to find out.
This card provides delayed tempo that proves quite difficult to disrupt. He can be locked or banished, but other than that, he’s a reliable 14 point play. There is also some synergy with Tatterwing, for what it’s worth. Sadly, if this card were printed, it probably wouldn’t make Firesworn more viable, but would probably end up in the latest flavor-of-the-month Syndicate midrange deck instead.
Kvletta supports the self damage archetype by providing a substantial payoff when there are a large number of damaged allied units. She naturally synergizes with self damage cards such as Bear Witcher and Heymaey Spearmaiden, as well as Haern Caduch. However, her low floor and high provision cost could let her brick significantly in a short round.
I’ve always been intrigued by the self-damage archetype in Skellige, and would like to see it shine someday. Part of the problem the archetype is facing currently, is that many of the payoff cards play into tall removal. A card like Kvletta would change that, helping to push self-wounding into relevance.
The original art source for this card is here, on Pinterest.
You may recall Fergus Graem as the dwarven blacksmith at Crow’s Perch. Although he posed as a master of his craft, it was later revealed that it was his assistant, Yoanna, who possessed all the talent. Fergus had leveraged his Dwarven privilege to obtain employment, as it were. I felt that the temporary tempo ability fit this character, since he turned out to be a total poser.
This card explores the concept of temporary tempo. It’s most useful when attempting to prevent Red Coin Abuse, though it can also be used during a bleed. Finally, the Barricade ability allows the card to avoid its downside, making it potentially a decent value play.
The original art can be found here, on artist Dean Spencer’s personal website.
As much as I hate playing against Mill decks, the archetype is undeniably part of Nilfgaard’s faction identity. Therefore I present to you Armistice, an extremely unique card with a distinctly Nilfgaardian flair. However, this isn’t just something that would find value in a Mill deck. In fact, it has a number of carefully thought out synergies with Soldiers, Spies, Assimilate, Hyperthin, and even Tactics.
Since it summons a unit to the melee row, it automatically creates a target for Alba Pikemen. Furthermore, it provides double thinning without playing into the opponent’s tall punish, and would be a worthwhile addition to Hyperthin lists. And since it places a bronze unit on the board, it guarantees a target for Dutchess’s Informant.
In general, good targets would be either Ard Feainn Tortoise, Nilfgaardian Knight, Impera Enforcers, or Alba Pikemen. Summoning two engines and boosting them with Imperial Formation or just two high tempo bronze cards could be an extremely strong play indeed.
The original art source is here, on ArtStation.