mercernn

Meta Snapshot #1 Rock Paper Scissors

Introduction

After years of playing card games. After thousands of hours put into Gwent. After millions of teardrops poured over the RNG dictating the outcome of the game, Bandit Gang decided to leave Gwent content creation. We are concerned about the horrible balance of the game and we no longer want to be a part of it.

King is dead, long live the King! We are not, however, moving away from content creation! We have agreed to finally move to a game that has a proper balance. That’s why today, we present our first Meta Snapshot for the greatest and most balanced game in the world: Rock Paper Scissors!

A Tier

They work hard and play hard, that’s what you can expect from most Rock players. Hard as a rock? Well, it’s harder than a rock as ACDC sing. The reason for this is that playing Rock puts the most pressure on your carpal tunnel out of all the signs in this month’s meta, and therefore you can just feel the dedication of the players, willing to play in their style in spite of risking their health. This season, Rock finds its deserved place in A tier with an amazing match up against Scissors, but no longer as stellar results against the other signs. Some speculation found in the Chinese RPS Meta Reports indicate that a potential alternative to Rock, the Wok sign, could find it’s place in the international meta soon. For the time being, nonetheless, we have to rely purely on Rock that should stand strong against this season.

Rock is especially great against confident players that like an aggressive, fast pace playstyle. The experienced player often starts with scissors so a rock starter is great against those. It is also expected for a rookie, especially men, to open with rock – try avoiding the mistake. Rock is a solid strategy for new players that want to experiment with a strong sign. 

  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Good Against – Scissors
  • Bad Against – Paper
  • Underwhelming Mirror Matches

Papers, please. No? Oh well, maybe just Paper will do fine then and for as long as you want to succeed in RPS, this meta it couldn’t be closer to the truth! Paper, the simplest and most ergonomic sign isn’t neccessarily a fan-favorite.  As if slapping your opponent cheekily with it and asserting your dominance, Paper gives you a direct edge over any Rock archetype, nonetheless it will have trouble against its historic counter-sign, Scissors. This sign is also ideal for players with sweaty hands, as the natural airflow resulting from using the sign helps you with battling this condition, just genius! 

Paper is statistically the least common strategy. Use it as an opening against new and inexperienced players. Because it is often considered weak, soft, and unappealing by players. It has a surprising effect on your opponents. Do not play against people that like an aggressive approach.

  • Difficulty – Advanced
  • Good against – Rock
  • Bad against – Scissors
  • Underwhelming Mirror Matches

Running with Scissors is a great idea, at least for as long as you’re running into a lot of Papers, perhaps not as much in any other cases. Scissors are well known for their Aggro potential which they’ve been upholding for a very long time. The core of what makes Scissors such a dangerous, and at some points even disliked sign, is that its sharp nature as if encouraged the players utilizing it to pressure for victory harder than usual. Channelling all of your pokerface reading skills when playing against a Scissors main is a must! 

The ideal aggressive sign. Usually associated with people that play fast and want to trick your opponent. Play it mainly against females opponents and more experienced players. It is tricky to use against new gamers and males. Scissors are a sign that can easily backfire against new players. Use Scissors in a skilled way against more sophisticated opponents.

  • Difficulty – Medium
  • Good against – Paper
  • Bad against – Rock
  • Underwhelming Mirror Matches

Conclusion

After writing the meta snapshot and analyzing many guides, we got to the conclusion, that Rock Paper Scissors is actually… not a perfectly balanced game! According to the data, people use rock and scissors around 35% of the time, while paper only in 29% of cases! Moreover, people tend to change their strategy when they are on a losing streak and at the same time -> they keep the symbol if they are on a winning streak! Well, If even RPS is not a balanced game, I guess we will go back to Gwent soon…

If you wanted to find out more about RPS check out some of thse websites: 

And that was our very first (and possibly last) Meta Snapshot for Rock Paper Scissors, we hope you’ve enjoyed it! See you next month when, who knows, what we’ll bring to you. 😉 

For more content, please consider checking out our article section where you can find all kinds of things. From interviews to deck guides and more!

End of Year Interview 2021 Mercernn: ‘I’d lie if I said that I wasn’t nervous about such a big change initially’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Welcome Mercernn, you are in line after Christo. How would you reflect on the year 2021?

Mercernn: To be fair, 2021 was very similar for me in comparison to 2020, in fact it’s a bit difficult for me to distinguish these two perfectly, as they blend together a bit. The one thing that was different, I’d say year-defining even, was that my grandfather got a stroke in July and moved on with us as he needed someone to take care of him. This changed our everyday lives completely, but I think it actually helped us to work together as a family more and for me to get closer with my granddad, so I see it as a very positive change, actually, though I’d lie if I said that I wasn’t nervous about such a big change initially. A lot more has happened, I re-evaluated my opinions on a lot of things, got to know (better) a lot of people that became an important part of my online life, such as Weissenberg whom I cooperated with on a bunch of his projects, or our Number 1 Meme Customer, Repek, or Bomblin whom I used to get in touch a lot more than before, as he started streaming right before my timeslot. I’d say that overall it was a very cathartic year, full of tension, stress, radical changes, but in the end also relief, satisfaction, acceptance and positive view of the future.

BJ: How the tables have turned in your life. Glad it all resolved in a positive end of the year. You have been quite involved behind the scenes of Bandit Gang. How do you look back at this journey?

M: Right, so once again, things kinda blend for me, but I think we’ve managed to accomplish quite a lot. I’d say the highlight of our team efforts was the second iteration of Duel of Dogs, but there have been other cool projects and a lot of individual achievements that just connect together in a really nice way. Me, personally, I never looked at the team as a way of gaining some benefit for myself, rather than to provide for others and make their experience better. I could paraphrase JFK by saying: „Ask not what your team can do for you, but what you can do for your team.“ 😀 Right, and “working behind the scenes” as you called it is exactly what allows you to do this. You can help other people with their personal projects and just feel good about it even if you don’t necessarily like the task or activity you helped them with. I’d say that would kinda summarize my involvement with the team, I don’t really do much of my own projects, but I provide assistance to other people a lot in a variety of things, a bit of a jack of all trades, and this experience fulfills me a lot.

BJ: And we are forever grateful of your assistance! A somewhat personal project of yours is of course streaming. What has it been like to stream Gwent on Twitch this year?

M: So, streaming Gwent on Twitch has been a little tricky for me this year, since life got a bit busier for me, in particular because of school, so I haven’t been streaming as much as I would have wished, but I still am able to stream quite regularly, so can’t really complain. Outside of that, I attempted to hit top 500 on pro ladder twice and each time failed because of stroke of bad luck. The first time, right after Way of the Witcher I made it to top 300 with a day or two left and then CDPR prolonged the season by a week. 😀 I was so burnt out that I just gave up and naturally didn’t make it. The second time I placed 502nd and I had moved by the 2 places in the last 15 minutes of the season. Had I gotten 1 more mmr I would have stayed in there! So this is something that will definitely stay with me. Also, it’s been a great pleasure for me to help Weissenberg with multiple of his projects on Twitch and I couldn’t leave without mentioning that the one thing that helped me with overcoming all the tilt and burnout coming from the game was Nickelback… no, just kidding, it was the incredibly kind people in my chat, but there was a lot of Nickelback too this year!

BJ: May you continue to enjoy listening to Nickelback in your streams, even when its often at times forcefully… I know you are a huge fan of total war games since we play those games together. Which total war game got most of your attention this year and how so?

M: Yes, we do! Every Thursday after our meetings, it became a tradition that I am very fond of. We’ve finished Shogun 2 at least once, I believe, played Rome, Napoleon, Thrones of Britannia, yeah, it’s been an amazing experience. Back to the question, so, I’m not a big fan of Warhammer which is what the games have been focusing on for a while, so I’ve been looking more to the past and I think the most fun I’ve had was with you when we played Shogun 2. It was my favourite entry in the series before we started our campaign coops, but playing these together and just talking about nonsense really adds to the experience. In any case, I absolutely love Shogun 2 for it’s simple design, unique setting and superb atmosphere, easily my favourite strategy game.

BJ: May we continue our tradition in 2022! Is there anything (else) that you would like to do next year?

M: I would like to read more. It’s been something I’ve been trying to get back into for some time, but I keep on avoiding it, because I’m lazy. A few days ago I started reading The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus which I’d like to finish soon and after that, I’d like to just move on to another book and don’t stop for the rest of the year. I hope it will last, because my reading list is almost as bloated as the list of films I’d like to watch, that’s another thing I should get to, actually!

BJ: Do you have any new year’s resolutions?

M: Not really, I don’t really give them much value.

BJ: Fair enough. Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2022?

M: I wish you and your closed ones happy holidays and I hope you are safe and well. While I don’t think the world will change radically, I hope at least your personal lives will get/stay warm and calm and if you ever found yourself lonely, remember there are dozens of friendly Gwent streamers on Twitch that can help you with that problem. Stay awesome, Gwent community!

BJ: Cheers and happy new year!

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*Mercernn's Top 10 Cards of 2021

*It seems that Mercernn is trying to send a message to the reader with his top 10.

1. Ignatius Hale

2. Ignatius Hale

3). Ignatius Hale

4. Ignatius Hale

5. Ignatius Hale

6. Ignatius Hale

7. Ignatius Hale

8. Ignatius Hale

9. Ignatius Hale

10. Peasant Militia

Gwentdata.com – Interview with the Website’s Developer, André Peres

The community of Gwent is without a doubt a very diverse group of streamers, youtubers, pros, artists, writers and every-day players that share their thoughts, emotions and ideas with one another on social hubs and forums. Today, we’ve got an opportunity to interview a content creator falling into a category that could be easily forgotten about in such as wide selection, a developer. In our case it is not a developer of the game itself, but of a data gathering website gwentdata.com by the name of André Peres


Q: Hi, thank you for sitting down with us today! First of all, can you tell us something little about yourself?

A: Hello, I am grateful for the invitation of Team BG for this interview. My name is André, I’m a Computer Scientist and a Brazilian Gwent player. I love digital games, mainly RPGs and I am also a very curious person, I like to know how things work and to analyze it.

Q: Working on such a project must require a lot of determination. How did you find your way to Gwent and would you consider yourself to be a „hardcore“ Gwent player?

A: My first contact with Gwent was in The Witcher 3, as I believe it must have happened to a decent part of the community. During my first playthrough, I didn’t have much interest in the cardgame and ignored most of the opportunities to play Gwent. However, in my second playthrough I really loved the game and took every opportunity to have a round of Gwent 😊 . After that, I figured that a standalone version of it should exist and searching for it I found that there was a beta version of Gwent Online. I immediately started playing. Unfortunately, at the time due to studying for a master’s degree, I ended up moving away from the game and only returned after HC when I had more time to play and get involved. I don’t consider myself a “hardcore” player, at least not recently, although I play Gwent every day in a more casual way, I like to test different decks and mechanics that are not very used in the meta.

Q: Could you introduce the website to us? How can we access it, what can it do and what would one use it for?

A: The website is called gwentdata.com (Yes, not a very original name 😊). You can see with the website the current Gwent Pro Rank stats and how each faction is performing. There are data such as winrate and playrate for each faction and an overview of the players with the best winrate per faction. You can also filter this data by date, and adjust the number of players in the sample (Top 100, 500, 1000, etc.). Data is collected every 4 hours. There are also charts showing the historical behavior, day by day, of the same data, showing how each faction evolved during the season. In addition to that, we have a table with the Leaderboard of the 500 best players, again with a filter and the possibility to sort the data. Also, an interesting feature is that you can see the individual profile of the players that contains a series of charts and information about their performance on the Ladder. It is important to emphasize that the site is still in the early stages of development and may have bugs and a lack of resources. The site can be used by people who are interested in more detailed Gwent data, can track the performance of each faction and the players at the top of the Ladder. If you are in Pro (in the top 2800), you can also track your individual performance, see what your status is and how you have progressed. I believe it is a tool that would help both the curious and competitive pro players.

Q: Where did the idea to make your website come from? Do you have any experience with similar projects?

A: Ironically, the idea came when CDPR restricted several data. This caused a certain level of discomfort in a part of the community at the time. Until then, I had not thought about collecting data at all, nor that it would be possible. Nonetheless, from there I started the project as a personal hobby, developing some algorithms, collecting data and analyzing it through spreadsheets. After the algorithms reached a certain maturity in the collection and compilation of the data, I started to work on a page to present this data that would create charts in an automated way. Basically, I showed it to some people in the community that were also fond of data, and they found it interesting, so I decided to create a page to share it with them easily. After that I also decided to make it public for anyone interested in having access to such data. Yes, I have some experience in data collection and analysis, I worked on some internal company projects and I also have a master’s degree in Computational Intelligence which helps in the development of the project too.

Q: What method does the website use to gather the data? Have you encountered any difficulties with extracting it from the game, or rather the players’ statistics?

A: Unfortunately, CDPR is not very generous when it comes to making data available, let alone raw data for analysis. So, the biggest source of data is the Gwent Master page and the public Profiles. Unfortunately, there are some limits to this. The Masters page, for example, allows you to consult only the 2860 players with the highest MMR. Despite this being a generous number, the way the MMR is calculated can cause for good players to end up appearing later in the statistics, as they possibly can focus on a certain faction until they have a good fMMR and only then work on the other factions which increases their MMR and makes them visible. There are several difficulties in collecting this data, as mentioned, but beyond that, there is also the fact that any player has the option to make his profile private, which makes it impossible to collect several pieces of information. This affects the quality of the data heavily. For instance, approximately 9.5% of Pro Ladder players have their profile set to private. In many cases, I do a manual data feed by looking directly at Gwent in-game profiles, as it is possible to obtain more information within the game than on the website.

Q: Do you have any plans for the website to the future?

A: For now, the only plans are to make more charts and add some search feature and filters, perhaps the publication of some data analysis articles. The lack of data makes development very difficult.

Q: CDPR regularly shares data with the community too, such as the monthly leader ability winrates. Would you say that the community is well-informed by the devs in this regard? Could something be perhaps improved in your opinion?

A: The monthly release of the leader abilities’ winrates was a great initiative by CDPR. It definitely helps the community to understand some changes made in the balance patches. I believe, however, that many things could be improved, such as the availability of an API for obtaining public data such as the leaderboards and some other information that  is only possible to obtain within the game today and not on the website. Also, reverting the format of the Masters website to show the fMMR data of the players again, I honestly did not get why this was removed, while the opposite should have been done in my opinion. I believe that the more transparent the competitive scene becomes, the better it will be for everyone.

Q: Have you by a chance noticed any interesting phenomena coming from the visualised data that wouldn’t be as obvious in the game alone? I was personally shocked by the very low play-rate of NR at the beginning of this season… Dark clouds gather over Temeria indeed!

A: Yes, it is common to see some trends, though it is difficult to say if it would not be possible to observe in the game, as it depends a lot on the level of MMR the player is at. A phenomenon that I always find interesting is the popularity of Nilfgard, even when the faction is underperforming, its playrate is greater than one would be expecting. Apparently, people really like the faction, maybe because they find it fun or feel more comfortable with the play style. There are also temporary changes due to a particular deck becoming popular. Recently, for example, there has been a huge jump in the popularity of Nilfgard after the release of a certain deck. Indeed, NR is going through a bad phase in its popularity, despite having presented slight improvements on the last days it is still well below the others. Scytheman and Vesemir nerfs, and Yrden being a thing have made the faction become much less attractive perhaps. Furthermore, the new cards didn’t help too much with rekindling the interest. What I realized is that normally any nerf NR has a significant impact on the popularity of the faction. NR is my favorite faction and, although I don’t like the witchers deck personally, it is very sad to see it so low on the ladder.

Q: Is there any way we can help you as a community? Are you searching for more people to help you with mantaining or expanding the website?

A: As it is a small project, no more people are needed right now, however, any suggestion is always welcome. I believe that the best way to help as a player is to turn your profile public, because your profile can still be seen inside the game if you are on pro, and thus restricting it only makes the data analysis difficult, but does not prevent anyone from accessing it if they want to do the extra step.

Q: Final Question: If you were forced to name your first-born child after a Gwent card, which one would it be and why?

A: Hard question. I’m thinking if it was for a girl, I always liked the names Yennefer and Philippa. Not to piss off Triss fans, I’ll stick with Philippa 😊, I like the name and I think she is a super interesting character from the Witcher world.


With the last and arguably most important question having been answered, I would like to thank again to André for sharing with us his insight into the fascinating world of Gwent data and also to you, our dear readers, for making it to the very end. If you were interested in this topic make sure to let us know by commenting and we will see you next time.

NG Mill – Archetype History (EP1)

Mill, Mill, Mill, always go for a two nil,” is something that you might hear from an experienced Gwent player that has been cursed to only speak in rhymes, probably for playing with Viper Witcher Alchemists. While the current state of everyone’s favorite archetype has been that of a usually non-competitive entity that reappears every now and then, but gets crushed by almost anything for as long as the formula that we’ve opened up with is followed, Mill has been a force to be reckoned with in the past. When do you ask? And what made it so strong? Well, let’s go together on a journey through hell then!

Nilfgaard Added to the Game – Closed Beta

The oldest possible point to which we can trace the history of Mill as an archetype is the day Nilgaard was added to the game. It was on February 6th, 2017 – over 4 years ago. Even though pinpointing the starting point is more than easy, covering every single change would be more difficult, as exactly 20 Beta updates came out after the Nilfgaardian faction was added to the game, and thus not every single stage of the cards of interest will be covered, but the basic ideas and overarching themes of what made the very cards important for Mill’s identity will be highlighted. With that out of the way, we can finally draw some conclusions, or cards? Hmm…

 
Tibor Eggebracht

What other card could we start with, but the manliest commander gifted with a voice that would keep Luciano Pavarotti in shame, the one and only Tibor Eggebracht. Tibor had been included in the initial NG card batch and became a staple for his raw power and very thematical ability. The card synergized with Mill, but also Reveal, an archetype lost to time. Notice the lack of tags and provisions. The prior of the two was addressed in due time, when Tibor was given an officer tag that has been abandoned in an attempt to presumably simplify the game with homecoming’s arrival. The latter was only introduced with homecoming, as the Beta deckbuilding was only limited by the amount of Gold (and Silver) cards you could put into your deck, 4 and 6 respectively.

After Tibor was added, many minor changes followed to mitigate his sheer power. A very interesting observation can be made by noticing the “Regressing” keyword that was given to him on August 29, 2017, though his ability had been nerfed by it before, but only at that very point it was codified as a new keyword. Back in the Beta times, cards could increase their base value (Strengthen) just as the Veteran keyword or Viy do today, but it was much more common to see such an occurrence, in fact you could actively strengthen almost any card with various tools. Furthermore, the existence of Renew allowed you to resurrect Tibor and not only use him as a finisher, or mill an extra card, but also to get unstoppable + 15 points by strengthening a card that had been already given this treatment. Other nerfs included adding Permadeath (=Doomed) to cards or allowing them to only work when the opponent didn’t pass (=Truce) to make milling a bit harder.

Vilgefortz

Hand in hand with Tibor, Vilgefortz became immediately a fan favorite because of his badass card art, chilling voice lines, and a powerful, flexible ability. On top of that, he was also included in the initial batch, and allowed multiple archetypes to branch out, most notably Mill but to a smaller extend also Reveal. Contrary to Tibor, though, Vilgefortz had a “Truce” condition in a certain form for his offensive ability from the very beginning, presumably to allow opponents a counter-play to such a powerful blow, but also to make milling more difficult. We also have to note that there was no such thing as card limit for your hand, so making your opponent draw a card could never result in them just discarding it. Lastly, “drawing a bronze card” could seem both as a drawback and an advantage, but we’ll elaborate on how this could be further interacted with further down when we’ll talk about the Mill Bronzes. In any case, Vilgefortz was contrary to his current form, possibly one of the best and strongest NG golds and found his place in many decks, regardless of whether they aimed to mill opponents cards and soul, or not.

Avallac’h

The very first Bronze card that we can mention and what a beast it is. Avallac’h’s potential to Mill used to be out of this world. Two cards to get out of your opponent is a very impressive start, but this is where we just begin. First of all, getting 2 cards yourself allows you to potentially hit some of your important deck inclusions, prolong the early rounds and Mill even further. Furthermore, if you manage to mill your opponent, Avallac’h gives you 2 card advantage just like if nothing happened. Well, and beyond that all, you can of course resurrect him with Renew, replay with one of the NG leader abilities with a bit of setup, re-enable the leader ability with Cahir (who’s role was taken over by Damien in Homecoming Gwent), oh and have I mentioned that the re-enabling was done on deploy? Naturally, orders were only introduced with homecoming. As if that wasn’t enough, you could get 3 bronze Snowdrops that would boost self by 1 whenever you draw a card… Are you scared yet?

Sweers

No, your eyes are not misleading you, the border isn’t gold, as Sweers is the very first example of a now abandoned card categorization, the very first Silver card. It is not as important what Silver cards used to do, but for the sake of clarity, we can say that they were basically cheaper golds that you could get more of in your deck and had more interactions with specials, leaders and other cards. Back to Sweers, though. The first thing we need to mention is that there were more than two copies of bronzes available to be placed into your deck in the Beta, the maximum you could get were three. Furthermore, there were many ways to multiply the copies, most notably the infamous Nekkers, who would boost self regardless of where they were by 1 whenever you consumed a card and pulled out another copy of self if you consumed them. Do you know Viy? Well, put every single boost he makes on a bronze unit and allow the unit to be multiplied by a different bronze unit, Blue Stripes style. It was… Broken! But, here comes mister Sweers! In a single turn discard 10 cards, each of them possibly worth over 15 points, EZ! While other match-ups could work very well too, this was the point of completion, absolution, the Nirvana of any NG player. There have been attempts to nerf Sweers by making him weaken self for every card he sends to “the farm”, but ultimately, the card was completely reworked due to its binary nature and the change to the amount of Bronzes you can have in Homecoming.

Albrich

Is there even anything to be said? Albrich is, or used to be, a pretty decent card. Consistency, milling, Reveal support. Alongside with Stregobor, whose ability used to be almost the exact same to the current one of his (Both players draw a one-powered unit from the top of their deck.) but it procs on deploy akin to Albrich, you had a relatively reliable way of pushing your opponent to their limits. Bear in mind that the usual number of cards hasn’t changed with homecoming and tended to be 25, just like it is now, though exceptions existed, such as the 40-card Foltest. Albrich was eventually given the Truce treatment, so that he couldn’t keep on milling after an opponent passes.

Alba Spearman

Imagine Snowdrop’s passive, times three, in an archetype that draws everything, everywhere, and in every possible way. Sounds great! Alba Spearmen became one of the many bronze engines that were scratched in the minimalist vision of the early Homecoming and their ability was later reintroduced, at least partially, on a gold card. Beta NG Soldiers weren’t as much of an established archetype as Alchemy, Reveal or Spies (Think of cards such as Ramon or Ard Feainn Crossbowman that were only added in the Iron Judgment expansion.) and therefore, it would be rather difficult to find more use for Alba Spearmen outside of Mill. Nonetheless, there used to be a combo that you could theoretically pull off in any deck, as it was the game itself and its most basic mechanics what became your partner in crime, the enabler to the Spearmen’s point potential… What could that be, you’re asking?

Combat Engineer

Resilience? Would you guess that? You’re missing the final piece of the puzzle, my dear Watson. When Resilience is given to Alba Spearmen not only is the engine sent to the next round, but the process of drawing and shuffling away cards at the beginning of your next round actually boosts the Spearmen for every card touched!  And this affected both players! To be frank, this was more of a funny combo, but still, resilience itself is scary enough. Have I also mentioned that for a decent chunk of the Beta’s cycle, the resilient cards would not reset at the start of next round? Beta Dwarves PTSD still makes some of us wake up in cold sweat to this very day.

Magne Division

The best, or the worst, depending on how you look at it, for the last. Magne Division is, well was, essentially a conditional, Bronze card advantage provider. If you managed to make your opponent waste his bronze cards, this lovely bunch of chaps would draw you a card and not give anything else to your opponent, easy! Do you find Ciri Dash problematic and too powerful? Here’s her cousin that works out 24/7, no in fact there’s at least three cousins, so get ready for a beating! Of course, if even a single crafty Bronze card decided to stay in the deck of your opponent’s, it would be if not much more difficult, then almost impossible to achieve this effect, nonetheless that card still shines even outside of that. Drawing synergies and consistency the card offers allowed it to function on its own, nonetheless it was its borderline broken potential that made it a lurking threat. The card was changed to become a special cards tutor, and finally reworked in early Homecoming to become an engine.

 

The Conclusion

It would be difficult to point out exactly what the status of Mill was, as it is over a year of a game’s cycle with many balance changes that we’re a bit awkwardly cramping together, nonetheless if we were to look at what made Mill so much more viable in the Beta than in its current form, and keep the most general point of view, we could possibly mention among the main reasons:

  • Powerful cards that provide both milling and tempo.
  • Possibility to replay cards many more times and exploit their potential.
  • More thinning in general. For instance, Bronze tutors existed in the Beta.
  • Bronze card support for Mill + Three cards of each.
  • Binary Match-ups – such as Nekkers.
  • General level of “brokenness.” Beta balance was not as neat as the one of Homecoming.

And what came next, you might ask? Homecoming Gwent threw the idea of Mill as an archetype overboard and while a lot of cards actually kept their abilities, or were given very similar ones, the absence of tutors that had been either reworked or did not find enough play, limitations of bronze support cards (With the exception of the so expensive then Viper Witchers, now Kingslayers.) and further changes to the game’s environment pushed Mill to the sidelines. Most recently, Kolgrim has brought the archetype back to the public eye, but we can presume that it won’t be enough to push it into the fully competitive circles in a long run. Only time will tell, though. With that we must part our ways. Thank you very much for reading our article and if you’ve enjoyed it, make sure to comment about what archetype would you like to see next time.

End of Year Interview 2020 Mercernn: ‘2020 became one of the most impactful years in my life’

At Bandit Gang, the end of the year means the end of year interviews. All members are put to the test one by one about the events of the past year that shaped them. Private as well as business. In these interviews in which no mince of words will be stated, no taboos exist, sometimes harsh words are used and where you get a nice insight into the soul life of the interviewee.

Babyjosus: Hey Mercernn, thank you for taking your time to sit down with me near the fireplace. Its warmer here than in the office. Especially when you are shirtless. Anyways, it has been an exciting year for you hasn’t it? How would you reflect on the year 2020 yourself?

Mercernn: Well, 2020 became one of the most impactful years in my life, I’d say, if I exclude things that have affected all of us, such as the pandemic or Gwent-related stuff. I have managed to partly overcome health issues that caused me to change schools in the last year of my bachelor’s degree which I have seen as a huge setback and a personal failure, but ultimately, I am happy as things are progressing steadily towards a more stable future. I have also met more friends this year than ever before, I could see myself affecting lives of others, helping them with finding out who they are and what they want to do, what their talents are. I’m glad that I decided to start streaming, it was probably the best decision of my life.

BJ: That’s really nice to hear, and in this same impactful year you joined us. While you originally joined Team Bandit Gang as a Youtuber for Gwent, you are now fully focused on streaming on Twitch. What made you decide to change platforms?

M: There are multiple reasons. though, I think that the most important one was that I stopped enjoying Gwent as much and for as long as you want to upload on Youtube every other day (I used to upload circa 3-4 times a week) you need to edit and play all the time. Taking that into account, you find yourself just grinding the Youtube algorithm, staring at the game you hate all alone and forcing yourself to enjoy it, there is no added value, just the game in it’s purest form with it’s most glaring issues. On Twitch there is less work, more fun and even if you don’t like the game as much, you can listen to music, chat with people, or just start another game, something that was practically impossible on my Youtube channel, or there was a price for it that I didn’t want to pay. Youtube is an anonymous mass medium, I knew a few people from the chat, but just barely and we always talked exclusively about Gwent. On the other hand, on Twitch I can communicate with both my viewers and fellow creators about both the game and their personal lives in a more pleasant and a more efficient form. Streaming on Twitch is like going to a pub with a group of friends, uploading videos on Youtube is like doing homework.

BJ: Aside of that of you do a lot more than streaming on Twitch, and seem to be talented in writing and graphic design as well. Would you call yourself a man with many talents?

M: I enjoy being creative and helping people, but I probably wouldn’t call myself a man of many talents as even these two are limping a bit, haha. I used to write a lot back in high school, but I’m too self-critical or perfectionist even, so I would usually just scrap anything that got beyond page one, the only exception being haiku and works that had to be done for some purpose as I had an additional level of motivation for those. Writing for BG for instance was quite helpful in that regard as our articles are of a rather sparse quantity and I felt the higher purpose in just me putting words on paper, that was helping with getting traction for the website. Graphic design, if you even wanna call it like that in my case, was something that I’ve learned all by myself as I was in a need of Youtube thumbnails when I started uploading there. It is a relaxing activity for me nowadays as I have always enjoyed doodling, so I love playing with my imagination in Gimp or even MS Paint as well. I’ve done quite a lot of stuff for BG, most of it was rather rushed or imperfect to be honest though. I’m not a professional graphic magician, but I still did my best. To close this then, I’m not sure if I could call myself a man of many talents, but I dare to dub myself a man of many interests that is willing to take many opportunities to explore said interests!

BJ: There were times that you dedicated your streams to listen to Nickelback. How much time have you dedicated to listening to Nickelback this year? And do you think you can listen even more to Nickelback next year?

M: Haha, no Idea! Nickelback used to play a huge role on my channel as a sort of joke reward, but ultimately I decided to ice Chad Kroeger and the rest of the boys as it got a bit annoying. Not really the music itself, but just sorting everything out in Spotify whenever someone requested a song. Honestly though, Nickelback isn’t as bad. I used to think they are terrible, but the longer you listen to them, the more you find out that while you wouldn’t listen to them on your own, you don’t really mind them being a background noise. Most of their songs are ok for what they are, but God on Earth, never and by that mean never ever play their cover of Devil went down to Georgia!

BJ: Haha, all good. Is there anything that you would like to do next year? This can be regarding streaming or anything else.

M: I’d like to explore new games on stream to diversify the content, apart from that I’m not having any huge plans or such, I have a lot of wishes and expectations, but I wouldn’t add those to the “plans” category.

BJ: Do you have any new year’s resolutions aside of your wishes and expectations?

M: Not really, I’ve had some before, but my sinful mind has decided to reevaluate them.

BJ: Anything you want to say to the reader in anticipation of 2021?

M: Play with your own cards, both in Gwent and life, because while most often it won’t be the easiest path to success, the satisfaction of doing something your way is worth it.

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*Mercernn's Top 10 Cards of 2020

*It seems that Mercernn is trying to send a message to the reader with his top 10.

10. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

9. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

8. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

7. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

6. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

5. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

4. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

3. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

2. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!

1. Allgod – All praise the almighty Allgod!