The TOP 64 qualifiers for Gwent Open #4 has come to an end last weekend and our very own consistent TOP 64 Pro Player enerGiiX and Academy Player Sikamouk participated in it. And thus we talked to them about what they have to say about the qualifiers. Note: Both their lineups showed some of that BG identity that we aim to share with the world and hope to attract new fans with.
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EnerGiiX's reasoning behind his lineup:
”My NG deck is teched against NR Shieldwall, but does very well against other decks like ST gord and Firesworn devotion. The amount of control through poison and locks give you all the answers to deal with engines and tall units. Getting a round 3 with Vattier is game winning cause of huge point swing potential. The deck did really well in this qualifier only lost ones to a lockdown NG deck.
Shieldwall is overall a very strong deck, but almost everyone in this qualifier teched against this deck. It was a mistake by me not bringing a NR that is teched against the Shieldwall meta deck. Cause this deck in the end made me lose the games I did. Missing Prince Anséis in the Shieldwall mirror is game losing and that is what happened to me two games.
The SK list is teched against NR Shieldwall and ST Natures Gift. Cards like Gremist, Decoction and Hammond work really well against NR Shieldwall. Gremist to purify defender, so cards like Hjalmar and Skjordal can target engines or high level threats like a Prince Anséis. Hammond to move Seltkirk or a Vysogota. It also works surprisingly well against the Carapace match up. Hammond disables the Keltullis, which is game winning in a long round 3. Even got a win through with my SK against a MO Carapace deck.”
EnerGiiX's in-depth analysis:
”Going into this qualifier I felt really good about my line up, my strategy was to target NR and ban SK. This ladder season didn’t matter. So, I had all the time to prep in scrims and make the line up I thought was best suited facing this meta. I started off the day with a 0-2 loss, not the start that I wanted. Normally I never tilt, but this time I was really upset with how this game went. I lost due to draws, I queued the match ups I wanted and played round 1 really well both games. But ended up drawing way to many bronzes and missed key cards in round 3 to win the games. Missed Anséis in the Shieldwall mirror which loses me the game. I even baited out his Anséis round 1 by playing Seltkirk as my first play to threaten to win on uneven. A trade that is game winning if I just end up drawing my own in round 3.
After that I took a break and vented my frustration away to focus again for game 2. It started really good because I won game 1 with my NG vs NR Shieldwall. Then I lost the second with my NR against NG Lockdown. Went way too deep in the first round and lost on even because of it. So, I would say I played this game out very poorly. The final deciding game, another NR Shieldwall mirror. Again I take the line to use my Seltkirk to bait out his Anséis round 1. And yet again I end up not drawing my own. Which means his Seltkirk and defender stick on the board in round 3 which is just game losing. Draws really weren’t on my side that day.
Already 2 down in loses, I needed to win my next series very badly. This time I played against someone that was hard teching against SK. Something I came in prepared because I did allot of prep for this scenario. First game I lost as SK vs ST, pushed round 1 real hard to get final say with my Morkvark. But, he had the perfect hand to win round 1. There was nothing I could do about that. Round 2 he bled me dry almost completely , which meant his round 3 with Gord single-handedly won him the game. Next game was NG vs MO Carapace, a match up I prepped for a lot and I knew all the winning lines I had to take this game. The deciding game was my SK vs his MO, a match up that should be unwinnable. But, with cards like Decoction, Gremist and Hammond I stand a change to win against this monster deck. Round 1, I managed to win the round, and kill off his Ciri Dash cause he didn’t play around Decoction and 1 leader charge (a bit lucky cause I taught he would see that line from a mile away). Having Hammond to answer his Keltullis meant that all my units would stick on the board and in a long round 3 with Morkvark in hand I managed to take the win in this match up.
Finally a win, next up facing BeardyBog, with his line up that hard counters NR Shieldwall. I knew this was going to be a though series for sure. First game I managed to win with my NG vs his NR, close one but the Vattier point swing won the game ones again. Second match up it was his NG imposter vs my NR, managed to win round 1 decided to go into a long round 3 with a lot of veiled units. As the round progress I taught I would win this one, but in the end NG managed to still control my board too much to get the points to win this match up. Up next was his NR (hard teched for the NR Shieldwall deck) vs my NR Shieldwall. I decided to go in very aggressive round 1 and try to win uneven to get double final say in round 3. But, he had just the hand to defend my aggressive attacks in round 1 and didn’t lose on uneven. With all the control and tech cards for round 3, I didn’t stand a single change to win this. Maybe going in that aggressive wasn’t the right move, but the match up is almost doomed from the start and there is only hoping he missed key cards in the final round. Overall this was a very enjoyable series and I felt the player who brought the better strategy won this one.
At this point I knew my changes of even making day 2 were very little. Even though I didn’t have a change to make day 2 anymore I felt the need to continue just to proof to myself that I could still win the remaining matches. And that is what happened. After all, the games didn’t matter anymore, but it was still good to get these wins through. Looking back at this qualifier, I was just really unlucky at the first 2 games and the chance is that if I drew better at those games I would have made day 2. Sadly, sometimes Gwent is just the Gwent the draw your golds card game.”
“I was anxious but also excited for my first time participating in TOP 64 qualifiers to get into Open. I practically didn’t sleep the night before because I was nervous about my lineup right up until the final moment. After only three hours of sleep, I woke up and loaded up on caffeine. I started off the day by winning my first two series 2-0, each win giving me a boost of confidence. Unfortunately, the third series slipped through my fingers because of a misplay. Each game tested my patience more and more which affected my ability to play properly. I finished 2-3 but I still wonder if I had won my third series if I would have been in better spirits which would have helped me go farther. Despite the upset, I think that this has taught me how important it is to take your time when playing in a tournament, that even one small error can make a big difference and that I have to work on my mental. Thank you to my team for their continued support before and after the event and thank you to Sonneillon for coaching me and smurfing with these decks. This experience was both disappointing and encouraging at the same time. I hope to do even better next time.”
We didn’t quite make it to day 2 and had no chance to get to the Gwent Open #4 because of it. Our competitive interim-manager said the following: ”I am proud of the time and energy our members have put forth practicing and preparing for tournaments like these.” We believe that if they continue to work hard they can do well. Especially if enerGiiX can be a DrawGod and Sikamouk also works on his mental. And perhaps then they can steal the show and qualify for a Gwent Open. At last Sikamouk has shown that he is no longer an Academy Player and so we will be promoting him to the Pro Team. The official announcement will be very soon!