Expansion

Calveit and Ardal Psuedo-Hyperthin : Deck Guide for NG

“Our fates are written in the stars.” – Jan Calveit –

“A general commands his force. He does not rush and thrash about like some rabid hound.” – Ardal aep Dahy –

Credit to: Danamariani for inspiring this deck. 

Introduction

Jan Calveit and Ardal aep Dahy reinforce Nilfgaard’s Enslave-Tactics archetype in a much needed update. While these brilliant commanders can augment any standard Enslave deck (with an Assimilate package), today we present something suitably intricate for the Great Sun: Psuedo-Hyperthin

Jan Calveit maximizes the use of one’s provisions and facilitates precise draws. This creates “effective” thinning without the use of actual thinning cards to enable Hyperthin cards Triss Merigold and Yennefer: Divination.

Jan also allows us to circumvent the traditional “12 tactics + 13 units” rule of 6 power Enslave and play a non-tactics/unit card by minimizing “wasted” provisions. Typically, 6-power Enslave requires following a “12 tactics + 13 units” rule. Jan allows us to circumvent this by minimizing “wasted provisions” of a 26th card added purely to follow Enslave requirements as we draw only our best cards. Hence this deck is able to field a non-unit/tactic , Portal, unlike other Enslave 6 decks. 

Ardal like Enslave, is at his strongest in 12-tactics decks. 

Pros

  • Incredibly satisfying, challenging to pilot, 26 card meme-ing. 
  • Consistent across games thanks to Calveit
  • Strong short Round 3

Cons

  • Incredibly frustrating (for opponent and/or  you), challenging to pilot, 26 card meme-ing. 
  • Inconsistent Round 1 and RNG Xarthisius (and mages). 
  • Can struggle to generate points if engines are removed. 

Gameplan

Mulligan: Aggressively dump Triss Merigold and Yennefer: Divination Round 1. The aim is to get Portal, Hefty Helge and plenty of tactics to see through Rounds 1 and maybe 2. Keep the other golds, ensure Fire Scorpions and Imperial Golem are in deck unless you have a plan using “hand improvers” (Snowdrop and Doadrick Leumaerts) to shuffle them back in after Jan so you can draw into more tactics. 

Round 1: Attempt to put down tactics-engines and delete the opponent’s board. If both “hand improvers” are available, they can net you more/better tactics while serving as a 2-point engine. Ardal can be played if he is in hand for more tactics. If the draw was especially poor and Portal was missed, play Jan to ensure it arrives by Round 2. DO NOT play Jan if there are insufficient tactics in hand to survive a Round 2 bleed. 

Round 2: Optimally, the plan is to bleed the opponent, dumping the majority of tactics, thinning out Fire Scorpions with Portal, if that was not done Round 1, and preparing for a short Round 3. DO NOT play Portal if the opponent dry-passes. We need BOTH Fire Scorpions thinned. Save it for Round 3 if necessary. If Round 1 was lost, ideally we are holding the “hand-improving” duo/engine to help fend of the opponent’s bleed. Xarthisius can come in clutch defending bleeds with a tactic for the engines or high-roll Nilfgaardian Knight/Imperial Golem, which should be the only units left in deck. If one is confident of avoiding bricks, Nilfgaardian Knight is a good proactive play to open a bleed. Remember to play Jan here if you havn’t, feel free to play Ardal, especially if you havn’t played Jan

Round 3: Ideally you have as few cards as possible here, with (only) Imperial Golem in deck. Finish off with Triss and Yenn. Try to have a unit that sticks and a proactive play (like Knight) so they have targets. If Ardal is still in hand, having Nilfgaardian Knight in deck ensures he doesn’t entirely brick the mages if he draws Golem. Remember to play Ardal BEFORE the opponent plays their last card. 

Core Cards

  • Jan Calveit: Lynch pin of this deck. Ideally played just before exiting round 2. Keep track of the card order to ensure optimum mulligans/use of “hand improvers”. More below in “Considerations”.
  • Ardal aep Dahy: With 12 tactics, serves as a powerful reset, playing for roughly 15 points and extending the round with “effective” card advantage (as the card you draw should be better than the card you returned to the opponent’s hand). Ideally played in round 1/2 to enable a tactic to be kept in hand or drawn in complement with tactics-engines. CALCULATE your mulligans after playing Jan.
  • Xarthisius: Ideally played in Round 2 with aforementioned chance to highroll on Golem/Knight or play a tactic in complement with tactics engines.
  • Triss Merigold & Yennefer: Divination: Key finishers for the short round 3, play for 22 points pulling Nilfgaardian Knight with a maximum potential of 30 points pulling Imperial Golem. Triss may be played against a high value target Round 2, with 8 power reach. 
  • Doadrick Leumaerts & Snowdrop: Ideally played together, help move bricks into deck and find tactics in Rounds 1/2. 
  • Portal, Hefty Helge & Fire Scorpions: play these as soon as possible to empower your removal tactics. Portal is essential to thinning Scorpions out to enable Yenn and Triss

Combos

  • Blue-coin Crystal Skull on Helge or Fire Scorpion helps kill everything, potentially giving Assassination more value. 
  • Doadrick and Snowdrop combined are hard to remove, creating a 2-point per turn engine. Play Doadrick first so he is ready to boost Snowdrop to 8 points immediately. 
  • Coated Weapons can place a brick on the opponent’s deck for Vilgefortz to pull. 
  • If there is nothing for Vilgefortz to destroy on the opponent’s side, he can be used to pull Imperial Golem/Nilfgaardian Knight for a sizeable amount of points. 
  • Nilfgaardian Knight’s boost is easily negated with Ardal, Vilgefortz and Triss. Play him if you can avoid bricks. 

Considerations

Be AWARE that once Jan is played, you are  locking yourself out of tactics. This can be problematic if you require them in Round 2 and Jan was played in Round 1. Thus be wary of committing him early. Other than those in hand,  Xarthisius’ RNG and the “hand-improvers” can help in getting the needed tactics. Playing the “hand-improvers” AFTER Jan has huge trade-off if one is forced to shuffle units back into the deck, reducing the points Triss, Yenn and Xarth produce or having to keep those cards in hand rather than drawing into them naturally before Round 3 and having tactics to bleed the opponent. 

Be CAREFUL with using Ardal, especially in Round 3 if “hand-improvers” are not available. Bricking the mages can happen especially if Nilfgaardian Knight has been teched-out. Generally, using him in Round 1/2 is preferable to Round 3 (before Jan) to grab an extra tactic for the engines. 

Tech choices are numerous. Ardal, Vilgefortz, Doadrick, Snowdrop, Nilfgaardian Knight and the tactics mix can all be substituted based on piloting skill and risk appetite. For instance, Vilgefortz can be side-graded to Ffion var Gaernal to protect engines or upgraded to Leo Bonhart, while an Experimental Remedy is downgraded to Ointment. Similarly, an Experimental Remedy can be upgraded to Treason while Doadrick is downgraded to Peter Saar Gwynleve. The permutations are endless as long as one adheres to 12 tactics, 13 units and Portal

Conclusion

Draw all your golds and win. 

Bandit Gang’s Top 5 Cards of Price of Power Expansion: Thanedd Coup

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Bomblin.

After the latest expansion, Price of Power (PoP), got announced, we know that you all were eager to find out what we think about it. And so, we have decided to make a Top 5 cards of the PoP: Thanedd Coup expansion. All members had the chance to put in their votes based on card art and/or ability. In the end 16 members voted, including 8 from Content Team and 8 from the Competitive Team (Pro Team & Academy Team). We ended up with the following 5 cards, from least voted card to the most voted card.

So pay attention now, you might just learn something!

#5 Offering to the Sea

Nobody wrote a reason why this card should be included, but Bomblin and I assume that it was included because it has a cool interaction with self-harm, such as Witcher decks that are build around Bear Witcher Mentors

Since we always use pink and grey colors, we decided for this one to give it a blue color to honor our underrated Academy Team.

#4 Artaud Terranova

While nobody picked Artaud because of the bug people were abusing, we did pick him because of his great meme potential. It’s an amazing inclusion for assimilate and spy decks. But, perhaps it will also benefit the return of Masquerade Ball?

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#3 Bloody Mistress, Mammuna & Selfeater

First time in the history of the Top 5 we have three-way tie for cards that support the same archetype, so there was no way we couldn’t have a shared #3. Bloody Mistress, Mammuna & Selfeater were recognized by our team members as a powerful trio that will dominate the meta. 

For no specific reason, we gave them the pink color.

# 2 Melusine

Melusine has a really unique design which is considered ”nice” by most of the team members. It also introduces one of the old abilities from beta that is called Strengthening. It enhance the graveyard power of Skellige, especially in a short round when you play Melusine from Sigrdrifa or Bride of the Sea.

There was 1 more vote coming from the Competitive Team, hence the grey color.

#1 Simlas

Simlas can be both competitive and memey. He can be very strong with the Orb of Insight and has lots of meme potential with cards like Waylay. He also potential with Lacerate and Bone Talisman, but so far it hasn’t been chosen by many players. This is a card that can only improve as more bronze special cards are introduced to the game. 

10 out of 16 members have voted for this card. 8 out of 10 were competitive players, hence why we have given the grey color.

And that’s it for Team Bandit Gang’s top 5 cards of the Price of Power: Thanedd Coup expansion. We hope everyone will have tons of fun in the upcoming weeks with these cards while we wait for the next installment in a couple of months. Let us know what your top 5 cards are in the comment section down below.

Best of luck,

Bomblin & BJ

Bandit Gang’s Top 5 Cards of Price of Power Expansion: Once Upon a Pyre

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Bomblin.

After the latest expansion, Price of Power (PoP), got announced, we know that you all were eager to find out what we think about it. And so, we have decided to make a Top 5 cards of the PoP: Once Upon a Pyre expansion. All members had the chance to put in their votes based on card art and/or ability. In the end 18 members voted, including 12 from Content Team and 6 from the Competitive Team (Pro Team & Academy Team). We ended up with the following 5 cards, from least voted card to the most voted card. Side Note: 5 cards of the expansion pack didn’t got any votes at all.

So pay attention now, you might just learn something!

#5 Gerhart of Aelle

The main reason why this card is in the Top 5 is because Content Team member Mercernn got to reveal this card. And the second reason must be of course that its a legendary card that supports the Mage archetype that has been neglected for a very long time by Jason Slama and co!

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#4 Fulmar

Fulmar, Hjalmar, whatever its name is, it got included in our Top 5 because just like Gerhart of Aelle, this card supports a forgotten archetype in Gwent, which is the druid archetype. Fulmar is a great card to use alongside Gedyneith.

Most of the votes came from the Competitive Team, hence the grey color.

#3 Megascope

Megascope gets the third spot in our Top 5, mainly because it has great potential with Idarran, paired with a high value bronze like  Cintrian Royal Guard. A more meme approach is to play it on a Crow Messenger.

All the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

# 2 Francesca Findabair

The ability and card art from Francesca Findabair is a blast from the past. It allows you to play specials twice, and because it’s not faction restricted, you can play Shupe twice. Nuff said.

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#1 Blightmaker

Blightmaker is flexible because it can be played on a Mage or a special card, but it will be at its most powerful paired with the Mage Assassin.

Pretty much everyone that voted voted for this card. Since the card will see a lot of play in the meta, we decided to give it the grey competitive color.

And that’s it for Team Bandit Gang’s top 5 cards of the Price of Power: Once Upon a Pyre expansion. We hope everyone will have tons of fun in the upcoming weeks with these cards while we wait for the next installment in a couple of months. Let us know what your top 5 cards are in the comment section down below.

Best of luck,

Bomblin & BJ

Bandit Gang’s Worst 5 Cards of The Way Of The Witcher Expansion

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Bomblin.

After Bandit Gang’s Top 5 cards of The Way of The Witcher Expansion, we of course had to do a 5 Worst Cards of The Way Of The Witcher Expansion. So here we are. All members had the chance to put in their votes based on card art and/or ability.  In the end 17 members voted, including 11 from Content Team and 6 from the Competitive Team (Pro Team & Academy Team). We ended up with the following 5 cards, from least voted card to the most voted card.

*Hnnnh…* hm, wha? Sorry, nodded off.

#5 Fallen Rayla

This cool-looking chick of a card has unfortunately gotten the #5 spot in the 5 worst cards. Its too conditional and only playable with Salamander which is a meme combo card.

Most of the votes came from the Competitive Team, hence the grey color.

#4 Viy

After playing with Viy and having to face the card quite a bunch on ladder. The members have decided its one of the worst cards in the game. Not worst as in its a bad card, but worst because its not healthy for the game. The ability is pretty binary and ”dumb”. Some of the members didn’t even want to say Viy out loud since they are still experiencing PTSD.

Most of the votes came from the Competitve Team, although it was a close call because the Content Team also massively voted on this card. Hence the grey color.

#3 Cosimo Malaspina

If it was for SpecimenGwent it wouldn’t be included in the 5 worst cards at all, but that guy is no Bandit Gang so there was no way he could bring out his vote. The average value is not high, this has been tested by Bomblin. You can see the work in progress data here.

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color. If the Content Team of Bandit Gang can’t even make this card work than maybe CDPR should rework or buff the card…

EnML1mQXEAIexvT

#2 Maxii Van Dekkar

This card has no synergy with whatsoever that exists in the current card-pool. Which means that the card is just a 6 for 6. Absolute garbage.

Four from the Content Team and three from the Competitive Team. Which means almost the whole Competitive Team has voted this card to be trash. Hence why we decided to give it the grey color.

#1 Arch Griffin

While it was included in the top 5 cards, it turns out that everyone except Babyjosus* has changed their opinion about the card. The reasoning for this is that its a meme card that can easily be answered by tall removal and/or heatwave. People say that because of this weakness its a worse version of Viy, who has been dominating the meta.

*Babyjosus’s Arch Griffin Deck for the few cool people out there. If a Deck Guide is wanted, Babyjosus will provide. Let him know in the comment section down below the article.

Six out of the eight votes came from the Content Team which means that two of them were the Competitive Team. Hence why we decided to give it the pink color. Babyjosus wants to let the six people of the Content Team know that he is very disappointed in them. They will soon re-evaluate their position on the Content Team.

This is team Bandit Gang’s worst 5 cards of the WOTW expansion. We hope you have enjoyed our top 5 and worst 5 cards of WOTW. Do you agree or disagree with us? Let us know your worst 5 cards! We are looking forward to do these type of articles again whenever an expansion releases.

Bandit Gang’s Top 5 Cards of The Way Of The Witcher Expansion

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Bomblin.

After the latest expansion the Way Of The Witcher (WOTW) got announced, we know that you all were eager to find out what we think about it. And so, we have decided to make a top 5 cards of the WOTW expansion. All members had the chance to put in their votes based on card art and/or ability. In the end 13 members voted, including 9 from Content Team and 4 from the Competitive Team (Pro Team & Academy Team). We ended up with the following 5 cards, from least voted card to the most voted card.

So pay attention now, you might learn something!

#5 Ivar Evil-Eye

He looks cool, contains a lot of tempo, is a good control card and will carry Nilfgaard on its own. If you really want to, you can put this card in any Nilfgaard deck!

Most of the votes came from the Competitive Team, hence the grey color.

#4 Snowdrop

Snowdrop can be lots of value in Nilfgaard when you pair it with cards like Doadrick, Isbel and the leader ability Tactical Decision. If you are not a big fan of the faction, you can also play it in Skellige with the Discard archetype.

All the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#3 Salamander

This card has crazy potential when you combine with Syanna and Madame Luiza. Molegion confirmed it in Crozyr’s chat that you can play the card twice in one turn. If you want to play it in a more of a meta version, then you could kill it with self poison and play it again with Renew. Or if you don’t benefit from self poison then you could even kill it with Offering. Or if that’s too memey for you, then you could destroy it with Mutants Maker.

All the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#2 Arch Griffin

Arch Griffin has huge meme potential, but at the same time might work in hybrid off-meta decks with Pincer Maneuver. Which finally makes that leader ability somewhat playable again. You most likely want to play it in round 1 or round 2.

Most of the votes came from the Content Team, hence the pink color.

#1 Viy

Almost all the people that voted picked Viy as their number 1 card of the expansion. Perhaps, because the card feels very beta Gwent. The members are looking forward to make it as tall as possible, most likely you would have to build the deck around the card.  Of course if you do that, Heatwave is your worst enemy. But then again, Caranthir is your best friend.

Most of the votes came from the Content Team but its worth mentioning that three out of four people from the Competitive Team voted on Viy. Hence why we decided to give it the grey color.

This is team Bandit Gang’s top 5 cards of the WOTW expansion. We hope everyone will have tons of fun today! Let us know what your top 5 cards are in the comment section below.

A Recap Of The Second Gwent Open Of Season Two

This article has been written by Babyjosus, in collaboration with Sawyer1888.

With the amount of positive feedback regarding our first recap, Team Bandit Gang has decided to continue to write recaps for the official tournaments in this season. The Gwent Open #2 of this season was being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28th. So, if you were going to a cottage in Quebec to go kayaking or just want to feel a little nostalgic, we got you covered with another recap. And just like Gwent Open #1, Gwent Open #2 was being broadcasted from the home offices instead of the famous studio at the headquarters of CDPR. WatchFlake was unfortunately not able to cast, instead we got to see Shinmiri cast alongside McBeard. 6 Shupe plushies were spotted throughout the tournament, which is 1 more than last time.

Before we head to the matches of day 1, we would like to mention that the prize pool amounted 22000 USD thanks to the community purchasing the Earth Pack & Overgrown Bundle. This meant that each player received extra 2000 USD in addition to the base prize pool distribution. On top of that, each participant received 500 USD for reaching the Quarterfinal, 1000 USD for reaching the semifinal and 1000 USD for reaching the finals. The winner received an additional 1000 USD. For the community that was watching the tournament at home, they were able to receive Twitch Drops. After watching for 4 hours, viewers were able to get a unique Germain Piquant avatar. And after 8 hours – a brand new Master Mirror Keg, to be opened when the expansion releases on June 30th (which is tomorrow!). If you strive to qualify for a Gwent Open yourself, then book yourself a coaching lesson to make this dream a reality. For more information about coaching click here. Let’s jump into the matches now!

Day 1

The first match was between Tailbot vs Green-knight who is a member for Team Leviathan Gaming. Green-Knight is not a brand new face. We have seen him before when he qualified for the Gwent Open #8 in season 1. He played against Molegion from Team Aretuza in the quarterfinals who managed to win 3-0 over him. And to face Tailbot now is definitely not an easy task for the Brit knowing that he is the underdog if you look at the poll. 78,5% of the fans voted in favor of Tailbot. If you look at Tailbots decklists you will see that he was not bringing The Great Oak but Saesenthessis instead for his Mystic Echo. Not sure if this was a key factor for him to win the first game but it ended up working out perfectly. In the second game Tailbot pushed Green-Knight in round 2 just like he did in game 1 and managed to beat the Harmony archetype with Blood Scent in round 3. It was now 2-0 for Tailbot and perhaps this caused flashbacks to the Gwent Open #8 for Green-Knight. In the third game Talbot managed to win again, this time with a satisfying board sweep from Wild Boar of the Sea which caused a lot of girls to scream in the Twitch chat. A 3-0 from Tailbot over Green-Knight meant that the curse of the quarterfinals for Green-Knight is continuing. Hopefully he will manage to overcome this someday. Because it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see him another time. You can check their decks here:

The second match was between Wangid1 vs Magpie131, winner of Challenger #5, who managed to bring a very unique lineup to the table. 56,2% of the fans rooted for Magpie131. Sadly for Magpie, the unique lineup wasn’t enough for him to continue in the tournament as he lost 3-2 to Wangid. But, he definitely got our mad respect for bringing memes to the tournament. If you are interested about what Magpie has to say about the games that he played against Wangid, you can do so here. You can check their decks below:

With the third match between Team Aretuza member Redrame, the best player of North America, vs Iluxa228 a member from Team Legacy, we know we were gonna get treated with skillful displays. For both it was actually their first time playing a Gwent Open. 65,1% of the fans voted in favor of Redrame. While Redrame was unlucky to draw twice into Affan, and a card down in the last match, he still managed to win 3-2 over Iluxa coming back from a 2-1 in favor of Iluxa. The excitement that Redrame had for playing this series resulted in people spamming BIGRAME in the Twitch chat. Does this indicates that the fans have found their new champ to root for? You can check their decks here:

The last match of the day was between Ineverhood vs kams134 from Team Leviathan Gaming. And just like Green-Knight, kams also played in the Gwent Open #8. He was playing against wangid1 and lost 3-0 in the quarterfinal. But that didn’t stop the fans to not vote for him with 70,4% being in favor of kams. It must have been a surprise to most of the people that INeverhood ended up winning 3-1. When kams lost the first round on even, which meant he was a card down in round 3, it was simply not possible for him to win to make it 2-2. You can check their decks here:

Day 2

With day 1 coming to an end, eventually day 2 had to arrive. And everyone was not only waiting for the outcome of the final day, but also on a razors edge about what will be the last cards to be revealed. We will discuss those cards and share our opinions about the upcoming changes here

The Semis were fought out between Tailbot vs Wangid1 and Redrame vs lneverhood. In the first game, casted by McBeardCH and Shinmiri2, two veterans from Open faced each other: Tailbot, one of the fans favourite, against Wangid1, one of Chinas top class players, who just qualified for Open 3 at the latest qualifier last weekend. After both of the players picked their faction to ban (Tailbot banned Wangids Elder Bears Imperial Formation, Wangid1 bannend Tailbots Uprising Draug), the first game was a clash between two of the strongest decks on ladder right now: Tailbots Vampires against classic Mystic Echo from Wangid1, which went in favour of Wangid1 in a close final round. Game two Wangids Crones faced the midrange SK deck and maybe was decided, not only be very unfortunate draws for Tailbot, who missed Wild Boar and Hemdall with some other golds, but also by an offensive Ozzrel, which was used to eat the Morkvarg right away in round 2. Now only Wangids Draug was left, which got beaten in game 3, also by a perfect clapping from Hemdall, which killed 2 revenants. The last game went in favour for Wangid1 again, who just lore friendly beaten up Talilbots Scoiatel with an overwhelming display of NR Uprising. 

To be fair and in all respect for the other players, but seeing Redrame reaching the semis after a nailbiting day 1, was for many fans the highlight of the Open so far. While his double ball deck got banned by Lneverhood, he banned syndicate himself. The first game of this series seemed to be the perfect matchup for Redrame, playing against elves with Draug on blue coin. With a lot of tempo, he tried to win round 1 here, even committing royal decree for a thick Voymir, which was his biggest mistake and cost him maybe the whole series, Redrame admitted later on. Cause not only missed Draug in round 3 to just lose by a small amount of points, he also wasn’t able to get his Draug through all the time. In the second game Redrame managed to get a win with his trademark Mahakam Forge deck against Lneverhoods Overwhelming hunger, just to take a heavy pointslapping in game 3 against it with again, Draug. Game 4 went into a tie and after that was decided in Redrames favour with just one single point, to get his syndicate list through against greatswords. The final game not only was decided by the power of a wild boar greatsword combo at the end, but also by unlucky draws and missing some key cards for Redrame again.

Before the final we got treated with a developer update. You can check it here:

With the developer update revealing lots of new cards and abilities everyone was hyped up for the final matches of the day.

So, after two intense Series we had the final between Wangid1 and Lneverhood. Wangid1, which was beaten round 1 in the last Dpen by the eventual finalist Nik_R, was the 2nd consecutive Chinese player making it into the final, after Demarcations impressive performance last month.
This time Wangids Mystic Echo got banned rather than his Imperial Formation, so it was the first time in the entire series that we saw this deck. On the other side, there was no love for Lneverhoods Tactical Decision Shupe Ball deck. The first game was a strong performance of the old school Elder Bears, who managed to win on even and clapped Greatswords with a double last say in round 3. Game number 2 was interesting, cause both players played different monster decks, which was eventually decided by a misplayed Yghern in round number 2 by Wangid1, which allowed Lnerverhood an aggressive Ozzrel. Games number 3 and 4 both went in favour of Wangid1, who managed to get a smoth victory with Draug yet again against Greatswords, continuing the roll with a heavy control focused display of his crones against elves.

And, like last month, the winner of Open number 2 was a Chinese player, Wangid1. Congratulations on a strong performance and a great respect for all the other participants.

After day 2 came to an end, CDPR announced that the next Gwent Open will be held in August. 29th-30th of August to be precise. Aside of that, we would like to inform you about The Invitational, which is the largest independent tourney that has ever been organized. A total of 100 players, including 6 players from Team Bandit Gang, will battle it out for a $1000 prize pool. Watch the trailer here:

A Recap Of The First Gwent Open Of Season Two

This article has been written by Babyjosus in collaboration with Iancm1997, Mercernn & Banditpig.

Disclaimer: We have edited a section of this article (on 01/06/2020) in which we mentioned Santtu2x had chosen to not play a druid from Ermion and suggested this could’ve changed the outcome of the game – this is in fact a mistake as it turned out that no druids were drawn therefore that was an impossible suggestion, not a misplay.

Gwent Open #1 came to our homes in the weekend of May 30th-31st. If you were not able to watch it or just want to get a bit nostalgic, we got you covered with our recap of the event. Among some of your favorite veterans there were a lot of new faces this time. Definitely keep your eyes peeled on them because they could very well be seen again in any of the future tournaments. The Gwent Open #1 was being held from home due to global circumstances aka COVID-19. Which allowed us to get a peek inside of the casters and the players their personal homes. We spotted exactly 5 Shupe plushies during the tournament.

Before we head to the matches of day 1, it is worth mentioning that the prize pool of the first Gwent Open of season 2 was almost tripled thanks to the community purchasing the Flaming Pack & bundles which amounted in a total of 29200 USD. This meant that each player received extra 2400 USD in addition to the base prize pool distribution. On top of that, each participant received 500 USD for reaching the Quarterfinal, 1000 USD for reaching the semifinal and 1000 USD for reaching the finals. The winner received an additional 1000 USD. The community that was watching the tournament at home had a chance of getting all kinds of goodies. 50 Meteorite Powder or 3 Kegs during the tournament days, and if you watched the official stream for a total of 4 hours, you would also get a unique Pavko Gale avatar. Alright, let’s jump into the matches now.

Day 1

The first match of day 1 was between Team Aretuza member Kolemoen vs SuMo. Fans predicted Kolemoen to win by a large mile. 88% out of the fans that voted were in favor of Kolemoen. With Kolemoen making a joke of the current situation that we are in and bringing Lockdown. It was unfortunate for him that Lockdown seemed to have quite a disadvantage in the mirror and he did not manage to win. The disconnection from the spectator mode prevented us from seeing it, but Kolemoen got the score back to 1-1 in the second match. SuMo had to wrestle his way back into the series and got ahead 2-1. And although Lockdown did quite well for Kolemoen in the fourth match, the pure power of Morkvarg, Heimdall, and Wild Boar of the Sea was just too much to handle for him. The discard package included by SuMo really helped him draw into his high-end gold cards and he ended up winning 3-1. This was a shock to most of the people watching but it shows that the Chinese players shouldn’t be underestimated. You can check their decks here:

The second match was between Wangid 1 vs GwenDetta team member Nik_R. Also, this time, the results from the polls were not very close to each other with 77% of the fans rooting for Wangid1. This could be because Wangid1 has won a Gwent Open in season 1. Funnily enough, Nik_R managed to win the first match with a beautiful display by putting back Invocation in the deck with Assire and drawing it with Matta to eventually put Anseis on the top of the deck to play it with Joachim. The second match was horrible for Wangid1. He ran out of time and couldn’t use a leader charge of the Blood Scent ability in time and ended up having  to use all three leader charges to get an Ekkimara to win the first round. Since Korathi Heatwave would only get him a draw. Alas, because of his mistake Wangid1 lost the match and it was 2-0 for Nik_R. Wangid1 didn’t manage to get a reverse sweep and Nik_R was able to win 3-1. You can check their decks here:

Next we got to watch the clash of the titans. Demarcation vs Tailbot (also known as Tailgod). Although, 78% of the fans voted for Tailbot. This could very well be a wrong indication since Twitter is banned in China and therefore it’s likely that the Chinese fans were not able to vote for Demarcation. Demarcation lost the first game from Tailbot which was a brutal victory for the Polish man. After the first game, the second game resulted in a draw because Demarcation got unlucky with his RNG from Bribery and they had to play same matchup again. Demarcation said that the first two games made him tilted but ultimately he brought back the tension by winning the third game when he got his Zen back. He hard pushed Tailbot in the fourth game which proved to be the correct and fruitful tactic for Demarcation. Thanks to his charge possessing leader with more flexibility, he was able to conserve part of his leader potential for R3 while Tailbot had to invest it in R2. And ended up winning the fourth and fifth match from Tailbot as well. With the fifth match being a win by only 1 point. Another veteran was quickly wiped out of the tournament by one of the new faces. Does this mean that the end of the era of the Gwent veterans is near? You can check their decks here:

The series was followed up with a break, where we got presented a card art leak that was fresh from the press:

Could this be the Squirrel that is seen in the card art of Iorveth’s Gambit? In current Gwent, Iorveth’s Gambit is all about the trap archetype. Therefore, this could very well be a new Scoia’tael trap card.

After the break and many hours into the tournament we finally got our final series of the day. 66% of the fans predicted Santtu2x from Team Aretuza to win this series from Andi99, who is a member from Team Legacy. Santtu2x is a well-known community tournament player and made it for the first time to a Gwent Open, just like Andi99. Although, the way things played out was not how Santtu2x expected things to end up. Santtu2x won the first two matches due to internet issues on Andi99’s side. According to the rules you automatically lose the match whenever you get disconnected from the game. In the third match Andi99 was allowed to turn off his webcam and they were able to play their third match without any issues. Unfortunately for Andi, this was too late, and he lost the match which got Santtu2x a quick 3-0 win over Andi99 without him having to speed Gwent. This series was certainly a consecutive of tragic circumstances and hopefully CDPR will come up with something that won’t allow this to happen a second time. In competitive play of League of Legends, the match is being paused whenever any issues occur. After the issue is fixed, the game will then resume from where it was left at. This is something that CDPR could look into. You can check their decks here:

The following video pretty much sums up day 1:

Day 2

After an eventful day 1 and a night of sleep, day 2 arrived for all of us to get excited about. Not only because of the match ups but also because on the PlayGwent website there seemed to have appeared a thick fog with a countdown in it. The early morning fog loomed as far as we could see, it was almost tangible, shrouding everything in a thick white veil, the countdown barely managing to penetrate the haze. More things seem to appear overtime. This raised a number of question marks. Will we get a new expansion announced in the new season of Gwent? Fans have been predicting the fog indicates that we will get a return of Dagon who was a leader in beta Gwent for the Monsters faction.

With all the fans getting excited about the news, the match between SuMo vs Nik_R was about to start. 61% of the fans had put their vote in for Nik_R. Which made a lot of sense since he played really well on day 1. In his matches against SuMo, he also played really well and ended up winning 3-1 that got him through to the finals. It seems that the CIS community have gotten a new star to cheer for.

After the first semifinals, we got to the semifinal that everyone was waiting for, Demarcation vs Santtu2x. Demarcation that beat Tailbot to get to the semi’s and Santtu2x only having to do very little to reach it, meant that Demarcation was slightly favored with 59% of the fans voting for him. The first game between the two resulted in a draw, unfortunatley Santtu2x did not manage to draw a bronze Druid, which left Gedy at 1 charge unspent. Perhaps that could’ve made all the difference. They had to play again, with Demarcation ended up winning it thanks to his better defense that prevented Santtu2x from countering his vital engines. The match after that was also won by Demarcation. Santtu2x did got back into the series by winning the third match which got some fans excited. Some of them were yelling perkele in the Twitch chat and got a timeout for doing so. Unfortunately this didn’t helped out Santtu2x that much because Demarcation won the fourth match and got to the finals with a score of 3-1.

Before we got to watch the final between Nik_R and Demarcation we got treated with even more leaks than during day 1. Aside of a new board, a new Arachas Queen skin, a new border and a new avatar we got presented with a couple more card art leaks:

When you think the art in Gwent can’t become any better than the current art that we already have, CDPR keeps surprising us because so far it’s truly outstanding. The first card art leak of the day reminds us a of Aloy, who is the protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn and the sole playable character throughout the game. The second card art is a golden Nekker who is sitting in a cave. This might be a reference to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol, more commonly referred to as the Golden Idol, which is a fictitious artifact that appears in the opening sequence of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first entry in the Indiana Jones franchise created by George Lucas. There have also been rumors that it could be a reference to a Cthulhu Idol and that the speculated expansion will be horror themed. The third card art leak is Ethereal, who is a demon-like, nightmarish creature appearing for the first time in the Hearts of Stone expansion from the Witcher 3. For Iris, it takes on the form of her husband, Olgierd.

After the card art leaks, the final was starting. If you have looked at the bracket, so far Nik_R has only played against Chinese players with Demarcation, another Chinese player, being the final boss. With Demarcation winning the first match, the second match resulted in a draw. Nik_R played Dagur and it got Gradened by Demarcation, however Nik_R decided to not revive it with his leader. Instead he played Morkvarg and then Wild Boar of the Sea.  Nik_R’s decisions may have been influenced by the fact that Demarcation did not spend his last 6 coins on Sea Jackal, which could be considered as a big brain play by him. They had to play again and Demarcation beated Nik_R which got him to the point he had to win one more game to be crowned the winner of the first Gwent Open of season two. While Nik_R needed a reverse sweep against Demarcation. He did manage to win a match, but Demarcation was simply too good for Nik_R and ended up winning the fifth game of the series by a huge amount of points. We can therefore crown Demarcation the winner of the first Gwent Open of season 2, which got him a ticket to the Gwent Masters that is being held at the end of the year. Demarcation said in his interview that he will slow things down the next season and focus on his studies, but after that he will try to play as much Gwent as he can and maybe will achieve many more wins.

With day 2 coming to an end, and being a lot smoother than day 1, CDPR announced the upcoming Gwent Open that seems to be around the corner. It will be held on 27th-28th of June so keep that weekend free in your agenda.