My brief love affair with Idr and the importance of playing bad cards and failing

When Idr was initially teased, I was excited. It was a monster card that did something out of the ordinary and lent itself (in my admittedly overeager estimation) well to the at the time beleaguered MO swarm archetype. Hindsight is a better teacher than the theorycrafting of one excited MO main. Deckbuild after deckbuild trying to make the plucky centipede work led me to the inevitable conclusion that the bug was bad, the worm had turned and the many-legged freak was, in fact, a flop. And there are players all over, many of whom are either new or experienced, who are going through the same experience with fever-dream deckbuilds that usually end up as discarded dreams at the bottom of the deckbuilder after a few crushing losses. Bear with me now as I explain how that’s a good thing.

I’m not saying you should go out and play all-in harpies but if you have fun playing a deck that is sub-optimal then I encourage you to do so! Find the fun where you can. My argument here is that playing bad decks and more importantly failing will make you a better and more knowledgeable player. The best players that inform the meta with their deck picks aren’t just shaking the deck builder until a good deck falls out. They are playing sub-optimal decks and, through often exhaustive trial and error, rebuilding them into behemoths you see and fear on the ladder today. The difference between the pros and the perma-low-pro players is in experience. Think of it as the opposite of Bruce Lee’s famous quote, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

I’m not afraid of a player that has only played thrive their whole career. I’m terrified of the player that has tried out every other combination in the game at least once.

Seriously, try it. The next time you match into the big-dog meta deck think about how well your cards interact with their deck and how easily you were able to execute your win-condition. Think: “do I have anything in my deck that can give me the advantage over their deck?”, or “could I have out-pointed them?”, or “what cards do I never seem to be able to use?”. Approach the deckbuilder with those questions in mind. Assuming you’re rank 1-3 or a high-MMR Pro Rank player, odds are you’ll be running into the same few decks that define the current meta and you’ll have a much easier time sculpting your deck to give you a leg up. Doing so will not only create a depth of knowledge about the cards and systems that you may initially overlook but it will also offer a fresh perspective on some of the better cards in the faction. Not to mention: once the monthly patch rolls around you’ll have that much more experience with the cards that are receiving some much needed attention. The players that will benefit the most from the inevitable archespore buff will be the players that have attempted to use archespore in the past.

In the end, you won’t learn how to ride a bike by using training wheels, and you can’t learn Gwent if you let someone build your deck for you. So I’ll be over here trying to make Idr work. Who knows, you may see my deck in a meta roundup one day.

Carrost is on a 1 month trial for Team Bandit Gang’s Content Team and has quite the skill-set for when it comes to content creation. While he has been playing Gwent for over a year, he is relatively new to streaming on Twitch. His charisma and passion for memes is something that we liked about him. Not to forget to mention that he is a Voice Actor in his daily life and you can expect to hear his voice on a few projects that we have planned on the Bandit Gang YouTube channel. And at last, Carrost is a talented article writer as you have all been able to witness today yourself, so keep your eyes peeled on this man.