Renfri Needs a Gwent Card #9

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.

Vigi The Loon

Fun fact: You haven’t lived until you’ve played the Witcher 3 and met Vigi the Loon. For those who have never had a chance to play the Witcher 3, the quest “The Lord of Undvik” follows Hjalmar An Craite and his men as they hunt the frost giant Myrhyff. At a certain point, Geralt discovers that one of Hjalmar’s best fighters–Vigi–has been trapped in a cage in the giant’s lair.  Once Geralt gains the key, Hjalmar warns him not to free Vigi until Myrhyff is defeated. Of course, I disregarded this warning purely for curiosity’s sake. I wasn’t disappointed when Vigi immediately ran up and promptly kicked Myrhyff in the head, awakening him so he could give Hjalmar’s men a proper battle. By comparison, Hjalmar’s plan to kill the giant in his sleep now seemed rather cowardly.

Truly, this man was balls-to-the-walls insane, so obsessed with proving his valor in battle that even his fellow Skelligers correctly identified his condition as lunacy. Such a character is more than deserving of a Gwent card, solely due to how memorable he was.

Original art source is here.

Tavern

Heroes and travelers of every stripe gather in taverns every night to sing, cavort with maidens, and get utterly drunk. After all, why else would they bother to delve into dungeons littered with ungodly abominations, traps, and ego-maniacal wizards? There’s gotta be a payoff somewhere, right?

Simply put, Tavern allows you to play two bronze cards in one turn. The astute Gwentleman can use this card to put two engines onto the battlefield at once, protect a scenario from Heatwave, or play poison twice in one turn. In retrospect, I’ve proably created this card too cheap by one or two provisions, even without the deck condition.

The deploy condition rewards decks for excluding four provision cards. My intention is to provide a powerful payoff to compensate for the reduced deck polarization. Even if this card is never added to Gwent, it would be interesting to see this unique deckbuilding condition some day.

Original art source is here.

Nirvana

In Buddhism, “Nirvana” means “No wind”. Meaning, the end of struggle as one transcends the physical world of conflicting desires and attains enlightenment. As a wise man once said: “Just like the lotus, we too have the ability to rise out of the mud.”

In Gwent, however, “Nirvana” means “No units”, because with a card like this, you probably aren’t playing any. And given the sheer number of bombs you’ll be playing, your opponent won’t have any units either. The only unit that matters after this is the juicy Gord you’re going to be dropping with last say. How’s that for enlightenment?

Original art source is here.

Fallen Seana

Although Seana (Pronounced shay-nah) is not a character from the witcher books or games, she has an interesting story nonetheless. Seana was banished from her clan after being falsely accused of killing her own son. She swore to track down his true killer, eventually tracking down a band of pirates and their captain–the boy’s own father. Enraged and frustrated beyond reason, she ran him through with her sword, whereupon the ship’s crew fired upon her with arrows. She fell face down in the snow, a triumphant grin on her face as she quietly bled out. Her son avenged and her honor proven, Seana proudly died a warrior’s death.

In Gwent, Seana appears as a major support for the self-wounding archetype. A current weakness of self-wound is that the payoff cards like Bear Witcher Mentor and Giant Boar play heavily into tall removal. This allows significant counterplay against a strategy that already requires fairly complicated setup. Because Seana doesn’t play tall, she provides a much more robust payoff.

It appears that this work of art was uploaded to DeviantArt and ArtStation and later deleted. You can still view the original image here.

Ciri: Destiny

A recurring theme in the Witcher novels is the notion of two individuals connected by destiny. This theme is explored notably between Geralt and Ciri, as well as between Geralt and Yennefer and Duny and Pavetta. Heck, even Eskel had a child of destiny named Deidre Ademeyn. Personally, I don’t believe in destiny. I don’t mean to say that two individuals can never share a special connection. Rather, I view destiny as a distraction from the aspects of my life that I can change.

This card directly counters the removal meta, which renders many other engine cards unplayable. Due to its immunity, this card allows you to gain passive points while forcing your opponent to play proactively. The resilience helps the card recover some value if it defends a round 2 bleed and justifies its low floor, but also means that it cannot be used to obstruct a round 2 drypass like other resilience units.

Original art source is here.

Alluring Lamia

Yes, she has enormous bazonkas. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss her ability and see whether she’s worth 13 provisions.

Alluring Lamia has a consume on cooldown, which is similar to Slyzard. But if you think that this card is essentially a weaker Slyzard with immunity, you’re missing the mark. Because she spawns and plays a copy of herself, she also triggers thrives and activates relict synergies with Selfeater and Rat Catcheress.

Triggering thrive every turn is extremely important when attempting to play cards like Koschey and Kikimore Queen, as these cards tend to be removed quickly. By thriving them on the turn they are played, their abilities can be triggered instantly.

Her immunity means that she doesn’t play into tall punish nearly as hard as Slyzard does. And of course, she also allows you to trigger the abilities of deathwish cards before they are locked or banished.

On the downside, she plays for 1 tempo initially, is horrible in a short round, and high bleedable. Also, her 13 provisions is high enough to exclude her from most Viy decks. Though her drawbacks are substantial, such weaknesses are crucial in order to balance a card like this.

The uncropped, original version of the art is here.

Fortress

What’s the difference between a castle and a fortress? According to some guy on a forum somewhere, a castle is a special type of fortress that houses members of the aristocracy, anywhere from a lowly baron to the monarch himself. Thus, all castles are forts, but not all forts are castles. Probably.

This fortress was likely built by Redanian forces in order to hold off Nilfgaardian invaders. In terms of gameplay, it establishes crew pockets, provides flexible tempo, and allows for carryover. Realistically, this card is going to be appearing in Pincer Maneuver Seige decks, providing extra value for cards like Battering Ram and Foltest’s Pride.

The the uncropped, original version of the art is here.

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