netdecking

Deck Guide: Vysogota on STEROIDS!!!

briberyplayer deckguide #2

This article has been edited by Babyjosus and Weevil89

Intro

Hello wonderful people! Looking for a horrible deck that will make your opponent break their keyboard? Look no further! Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the most irritating Northern Realms deck of all time – Vysogota on STEROIDS!!!

''OMG OMG OMG! tell me more...''
definitelynotbriberyplayer
A random fan

Basics of the Deck

Well, first of all let’s explain why this is such an irritating deck to play against – the heart of the deck consists of two units: Vysogota of Corvo and Ciri: Dash. Ciri is there to ensure winning the first round in order to get that sweet round control. What do you do with round control once you got it? You pass (most of the time). Simple enough, right? After that yo-

''Hah! ''eNsUrE''?! winning round 1 is easier said than done mate, what if they kill Ciri? Also, Vysogota is so risky man... Unconvincing so far, Bribery.''
definitelynotbriberyplayer
A random fan

Don’t interrupt me please. Where was I…Oh yes! As I was saying, Ciri makes the job of winning round 1 much easier most of the time. If you go second and therefore don’t have the luxury of veiling Ciri with the stratagem, you can always use a leader charge to protect her. If the opponent plays a control heavy deck, you might even consider defending Ciri with Donimir of Troy, and this is where it gets interesting…

Renew – This deck runs Renew. Why? Well, Ciri is only good if she sticks, so you might need to play defender in round 1. Vysogota’s also only good if he sticks. If only we could play Defender in 2 different roun… Oh wait! This is where Renew comes in… 

Consistency

I’ve got you covered, mate. There are a couple of tutors in this deck that will make it much easier for you to find what you need:

The Deck

John Natalis – This dude is good because he can get you the even better thing right below.

Amphibious Assault – No explanation needed.

Geralt: Quen – He can get you Ciri, Keldar, Berengar, or some bronze witcher. A must in this list.

Also, to put the icing on the cake, I added Yrden too just because I can.

Summary

On a shorter, more serious note:

The idea of making this deck came from a previous idea of making a strong deck with Ciri: Dash that isn’t Kelly. I thought she’d be very hard to remove with Shieldwall charges and to make it even harder I added defender and since I had defender, I obviously added Vysogota. The original deck contained Madoc instead of Renew and a few bombs here and there, but the current version just makes much more sense, since there are so many good renewable targets.

Pros:

  1. Easy to win round 1 with Ciri: Dash and most times you’ll win it on even (regardless of the coin). You have plenty of ways to protect Ciri and it’s also fairly easy to get her on the battlefield, as well.
  2. Unbeatable in a long round 3 against a control-lacking deck and still very much favored even against a control heavy deck (in a scenario where you play Donimir, Vysogota, and Keldar, your opponent might be able to deal with one or two things, but almost never with all of them. Unlike your average Vysogota deck, this one doesn’t suffer as much from him dying because your opponent will still need to deal with other threats.) 
  3. Griffin Witcher Adept + Keldar + King Roegner combo is a monument of points

Cons: 

  1. Awful matchups against Super-Duper-Mega Control lists (thankfully they aren’t too popular at the moment)
  2. Not having access to Ciri in round 1.
  3. NOT. HAVING. ACCESS. TO. CIRI. IN. ROUND. ONE!!!
  4. Ciri dying in round 1.
  5. Ciri being locked in round 1.
  6. Ciri being dealt with in any way, shape or form in round 1.
  7. I can’t stress myself enough to tell you just how important it is to protect Ciri in round 1. WHY? because:
  8. If your opponent wins round 1 and bleeds round 2, you’re fucked 😀


Final words
 

There you have it, boys! (and girls) I hope this deck will serve you well (unless you’re facing me) and just a friendly reminder – please consider upvoting if you like it. Bye!

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.

To Meme or not to Meme – An update on Memery in Gwent

This article is written by Sawyer1888 and edited by Babyjosus.

Introduction

After watching the Gwent Partners Tournament #3 and experiencing the recent changes, I was thinking about memery again, just like Geralt is doing in the banner, and where my place as a memer might be. If you are interested in the match I played there against Trynet123 then go check out the viewer battle here.

So, here we are again, another month another meta…or at least kinda. With the recent patch we got some changes, which nerfed NR a bit, helped SY to create new decks around Cesar and saw finally the end of double scenarios. Not mentioning that NG is overall in a bad shape right now or into the top tier meta lists, this updates goal is not to criticize the meta, but to take a new look on memery in Gwent. For that, anyhow, we need to break down at least some things in the current meta.

Struggling to make memes work and where to go

To create a meme, you want to make unique synergies. You want to play cards outside the meta, think outside just pointslam, removal and techs. You want to focus on whats happening on your side of the board, at least most of the times, and seek for combo-value from cards, which are almost useless on their own. For that, you need to put in a whole bunch of cards to work together, which you also need in one round, just to make it work. And if it works, pretty often you just only get the equal value of some high prov meta cards. Take an Aglais deck for example, which needs a lot of work to do to make her real big. Syanna maybe, some Thunderbolts, a Defender, also you want to have last say and so on. Or you just play Anseis and Viraxes, click Shieldwall leader twice. That’s maybe not the same amount of points, but you get the idea behind this thought. (Currently we are working on a detailed data bank, which will try to show the numbers between meta and memery, so stay alert for new stuff on this page!).

Maybe you get there, you made it work and outpoint your opponent once. And people might say “damn, Aglais is huge”, but that might only work once in five matches like that. Also, you don’t only pay the provisions for all the meme cards you need to make it work, you also passively pay the price of not putting in all these autoinclude cards mentioned before. So therefore you need to still find cards and other strategies than your main meme, to just stay alive in the match. And trying out stuff outside the meta, while getting permanently clapped can be pretty exhausting. Of course it makes fun, when you are a streamer, have a community cheering for you and your placements are done. But when you are alone on your own, kinda tired of seeing the same stuff all over on ladder, where can you go? 

You could suggest that unranked might be the place for memery, but in my experience so many people play meta lists there as well. I witnessed enough experienced players, playing their meta lists on unranked, just to farm crown points for journey, cause new players or memers in unranked are easy prey. And yes, they have every right to do so. So where and when to meme around? The common reddit user might just answer: “ree, opponent plays better deck than me, that’s not fair” but that’s not the point behind these thoughts.

You also want these crown points, cause you like to have the journey stuff. Therefore you need to win rounds…which can be a bit harder when you meme. And when pro ladder takes to much effort for maybe newer players, the higher you get in ranks, the more meta you see. Seems like finding a place for memery can be difficult.

The gap between memery and meta

As stated before, the power gap between memes and meta list is quite huge. The last partners open showed us, that memes can win some games, but only if the hand is almost perfect to get the whole synergy, while the opponent mustn’t interrupt the ongoing meme as well. In the end, none of the memes could prevail, and the Gwent partners who choose to bring normal meta lists shaped the later stages of the tournament. Yes, I acknowledge the competitive character of these events and the will to achieve a victory here. And yes, I respect all the people to make these choice…but it feels kinda depressing to have the chance to actually show entertaining decks, difficult synergies and funny moments, but rather pick the meta we can witness daily anyway.

In my opinion, the problem here is that the new expansion kinda increased the power gaps between meta lists as well as between meta and memes. The new cards, including the scenarios and some stuff from before, make older faction archetypes almost obsolete. We see warrior SK and sometimes a beast/druid package. We see a control/engine NR, MO with hunger or Kelly and some ST symbiosis and elve decks now. Reading this, you could argue that’s at least a few options for every faction right? 
Well, only on the topside. On the bottom, every faction uses a whole bunch of cards, which are almost autoinclude in every deck. Doesn’t matter what type of deck you want to play, these cards are just to good to skip. That means, that only slight changes are made, which makes playing against these factions kinda repetitive. And that’s where the memery dilemma comes in.

Conclusion and Outlook

This update wanted to take a look on the problems memery faces right now in Gwent. I didn’t come up with any solutions, but I am working on some ideas right now, as mentioned before. We will try to come up with more suggestions to make memes great again, while also keeping the competitive environment and character of the game in mind!    
     
With the recent card changes, all focused on what its to strong or to weak in the current meta, the memes are left behind. Old cards like Fringilla are still in the starter deck, but never got touched. Wolf Pack stays the same forever, while the new expansion cards got reworked twice sometimes. It feels like every expansion there is a new layer of cards worked on, while stuff deep down sets on dust. Also some memes around Caranthir, like Phoenix spam, which could be actually valuable right now after the provision buff, got killed, cause of the Ethereal meta. The power gap between memes and meta where shown in the latest partners tournament, where the chance to think outside the meta was missed by some contenders. And with no tournaments to qualify for the next months, with the vanishing of the arena mode in a week…whats left to meme for?

I know its hard work to please everyone and certainly the competitive scene might need more focus. But maybe we could try to think about different archetypes, which represent the identity of each faction, work on cards which are left behind and remember that Gwent is also about fun and the ability to let as forget the dull everyday routine…so therefore we need to break out of a dull everymonth meta, to always say YES to the question: Up for a round of Gwent? 

The Etiquette of Gwent – How to Duel Like a True Gwentleman

This article was written by Mercernn and edited by Weevil89

Chivalry, pride or honour are oftentimes the first casualties of any battle, but what about a game representing a battle of two armies? Does it apply there as well? Can you use any means necessary to best your opponent? Are there any repercussions for doing so? What are the unspoken rules of playing Gwent?

The chances are that you’ve been asking yourself some of these questions before, unless you main Nilfgaard, that is… Well, regardless, perhaps at least a sparkle of conscience made your black matter consider the concept of a fair and noble fight being a possibility, so let’s not give up yet.

So, where do you find the answers to your questions regarding Gwent manners? Well, just like in the case of real life manners, there is no ultimate, omniscient rulebook that would clearly state what is or isn’t required of you in every single situation, although some pretend to be. Most of the rules are unspoken and are learned by simply playing the game and communicating with other players. For those of you, our dear Gwenty players, who would be completely new to the game or just preferred staying in their comfort zone of a nice wall to hug, for you we’ve got a short summary of Gwent’s Etiquette in 9 easy steps.

1) Sending GGs

GGs, standing for Good Game, can be sent by clicking a button found in your final score screen at the very end of your match. By clicking it, you essentially let your opponent know that you’ve enjoyed the game and send them a bit of resources in return. Sounds simple enough? Well, so is potato salad and yet your mother will always argue with your aunt whether you should add celery or not in it… The problem with GGs is that each and every person experiences their sending and receiving differently. Some people think that you should send them always – it’s just a game after all, kinda like you should always eat your potato salad regardless of celery infestation as it’s food after all… food is perhaps a strong word, but let’s say it won’t poison you. Other people send GGs only when they actually enjoy the game, and then there are such people who never send them. What is the proper way of using them, then? It depends solely on you and there are virtually no repercussions for not sending anything. Nevertheless, we can recommend doing so if not for keeping the spirit of the game, then for an in-game contract called ‘United We Stand!’ that can reward you with up to 15 reward points simply for clicking a button. Well, clicking a button 5000 times, but still…

2) Roping

No, it is not a BDSM technique, nor a rodeo term. Roping, coming from the metaphorical “burning rope”, indicating how much time you have left for making your turn or shuffling your cards, describes a situation in which either you or your opponent take more time than necessary to take your turn. This makes the game significantly longer and arguably less enjoyable, though the connoisseurs among you who look forward to traffic jams, just so that they could feel the time being wasted, might actually like this… For the rest of us, roping means wasted time. But on the other hand, making hasty plays just so that you would evade roping isn’t correct either. Take your time if you need to think about your play, there’s nothing wrong about that, just try avoid doing so every turn as that can be very infuriating for your opponent.

3) Emote Spam

At least one of your friends is like that: whatever happens, whether it is a ground-breaking piece of news or just some trivial information, they have to react to it as if it were the discovery of the Americas. Furthermore, as you’ve surely noticed, a small speech bubble next to your leader model allows you to communicate with your opponent through a series of about half a dozen of voice lines that are unique to each and every leader. I guess you can see where I’m heading with this. Some opponents will be more keen than others to use their emotes beyond their intended meaning. This can get annoying very fast, especially with the limited emote selection you’ve got at your disposal. Although, you can actually mute your opponent by clicking a speech bubble next to their leader model, it is still considered a rather rude behavior. Once again, the emotes are there for a reason, so please do not be afraid to use them, perhaps just limit your usage of them to no more than 5 emotes per match – unless you genuinely feel the need to click “Well Played” when your opponent plays well. Sounds strange, I know.

4) Quitting and Passing

This is a fairly simple one. In short, you’ve got two ways of ending your matches: either by holding the pass button situated on the coin in the right side of the screen that is also used by ending your turns, or by using the Esc key. Using the pass button is virtually always better, because both players get more resources or progression as a reward as by rule the shorter the game is, the less gracious the algorithm that decides what kind of reward you get becomes. Using the escape key, however, is a big no no in this rule book. If you were very annoyed with your opponent, though, your game got glitched, or you had to step away from your PC very fast, do not hesitate to use the Esc button, since there is a reason it is in the game – just don’t end every game with it, as you’re depriving both yourself and your opponent of additional resources. It’s more like an emergency exit.

5) “Overplaying”

Speaking of ending matches, a very common (yet also a very controversial) sight that you’ll encounter is that sometimes, your opponent will still keep on playing even though they have already won the match mathematically. This not only makes the game last longer, but you’re also forced to watch your opponent beat you (while likely taunting you several times in the process). Just imagine a chess player winning a game in 2 turns (which is possible, by the way) and then proceeding to play the rest of the game while their opponent has to watch. Besides this type who enjoys rubbing salt in the wound, a special case of overplaying would be when you’re trying to fulfil a certain achievement, contract or quest, e.g. by playing 20 fee units in one match, which is usually quite obvious to spot in casual play or seasonal mode.

6) Netdecking

Netdecking describes a process in which one person, oftentimes either a pro player or a popular content creator, builds a deck that is then shared with the public either via a screenshot or a linked decklist on sites such as playgwent.com, the official Gwent website, or sites of Gwent gaming teams that regularly make meta reports. These decks are then downloaded by numerous users and can completely change the gaming experience for other players. This can negatively impact the so-called metagame for many reasons. Firstly, it saturates the meta with a particular deck, the effect usually lasting for a couple of days. Secondly, it makes it difficult for new players to cope since the meta is changing constantly. On the other hand, though, it normally doesn’t last very long because of how quickly experienced players will move to counter it. While they can be fairly troublesome, there is nothing wrong with using netdecks, perhaps just the fact that it might discourage you from experimenting on your own, which can be a lot of fun, too. Not everyone will hold such a stance, though, so every now and then someone might not GG you, send you an angry message or complain about you on Reddit. But at the end of the day, you’re not breaking any rules and if you actually enjoy the game this way, there is nothing stopping you. The fact is, master deckbuilders often underestimate the knowledge and awareness needed to build competitively viable decks efficiently, so for many players (especially new ones) netdecks provide a nice alternative.

7) Streamsniping

Streamsniping describes a very despicable tactic which is present not just in Gwent but in many other games as well. In this case, it refers to identifying your opponent as a streamer (perhaps one you know already) by their username, deck, playstyle, leader model, etc., opening up their stream and basically peeking into their hand to gain an unfair advantage. There is probably no need for us to explain how unfair and disgraceful such behavior is, but perhaps just a cherry on the top is the fact that more often than not your sniped prey will find out where the shots came from. Truly, playing with the knowledge of what your opponent is holding in their hand makes you play your own cards in such an unusual way that it’s very easy for your opponent to see through your tricks, so we strongly advise you not to roll the dice – especially if you actually enjoyed watching the stream before this!

8) Smurfing

Yes, we know that the word ‘smurf’ can be used for literally anything in the popular kids show, and no, we’re not smurfing about smurfing your smurfing uncle Billy-Bob in this smurfing article you smurfing donkey! Jokes aside, Smurfing or playing with a smurf account describes a situation in which an already experienced player makes a secondary account on which (s)he, of course, has to climb from the very bottom of the ladder back to the top. While there is nothing wrong with this, you also have to keep in mind that less experienced players will not be able to spot this at first. The experienced player will also have a lot of in-game knowledge, allowing them to prioritize cards to craft for deck-building, among other things. This makes the game very unenjoyable for the rows of greenhorn players that they’ll stampede over on their way to pro rank. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this from happening, though there are a few ways of minimizing the impact it can have on the new players, such as not playing with the strongest Meta decks out there to give them at least a bit of chance, or even letting them win if you can see they struggle even with the basic rules of the game, though this is completely up to you of course. If you are a new player and you feel like you were summarily stomped by Mystic Echo several times in a row, it is possible that you have found one of these players and you are well within your right to “forget” to GG them.

9) Just follow your heart

Often times all that is needed is to imagine being in your opponent’s shoes. No need to read lengthy forum posts and articles, as after all, there is a human just like you behind that Gaunter O’Dimm or blobulous Svalblod leader model.

And this is where our journey ends, dear readers! We hope that this article will help you with answering any questions about what is or isn’t rude in Gwent and that you’ll not have to worry about making any faux pas in the future. Thank you for stopping by and please accept our personal GG for making it to the very end!