Hello everyone. This is my second seasonal mode guide that I provide for Team Bandit Gang. This time covering the season of magic and several approaches to make the most out of the ruleset.
The rules remained the same as last year, which means that any first special card you play on a turn gets duplicated. If you play a second special card in that turn, by create or tutoring for example, that special card will not be duplicated. Quite simple.
General approach to deckbuilding
To make the most out of the rules, you probably want to keep your unit count at the minimum of 13 when building a deck. On top of that, units that create or tutor spells are very good here, because you don’t want to miss out on the double casting effect in more turns than necessary. The same applies to leader abilities that enable some sort of special card play in turns where you are playing a unit (Mystic Echo, Double Cross, Wild Card, Tactical Decision, Pincer Maneuver and many more).
Removal is running very strong, so it may be hard to stick engines to the board. There are some decks like Mystic Echo Harmony that are able to stick some engines due to the large amount of them, for many other decks they probably are not worth their provisions. So, it’s good to work with point slams and immunity, where it is possible. Last say is often very important and the coin-flip can sometimes be as decisive as in old beta Gwent. Another thing to note is that swarm and mid-range approaches will serve you better than tall units, because there are some cheap tall removal cards that you see very often.
Speaking of which, these are some neutral cards that fit well in many decks regardless of faction:
- Korathi Heatwave: Double tall removal and artifact removal of choice. You don’t want to run Bomb Heaver for the occasional scenario you face, so this is a good middle ground.
- Devil’s Puffball: Double poison means instant removal and it offers some damage to adjacent units on top. Totally great for 6 provisions.
- Triss: Telekinesis: Counts as a unit, works as two special cards.
- Royal Decree or other tutors: Great for consistency and thinning units out of your deck. Faction specific tutors are sometimes better though.
- There’s also Uma’s Curse, Aguara: True Form, faction runestones and many more. You get the idea.
Faction specific approaches
Probably the most popular faction this season. The synergy that Mystic Echo offers is very obvious, and the modified version of the well-known Harmony deck has proven to be quite strong. Waters of Brokilon create four Dryad Fledglings at once and it can be cast twice (once per round most of the time), so that’s a lot of units which are hard to remove in their amount. Although facing it rather often, I didn’t really want to play it, so I don’t have a decklist for you. I am certain though that you can find or build one easily.
What I did play is a more control-oriented deck that is not capitalizing on harmony points. Instead it has some great swing potential in very few cards. It features a dwarven package that gains points off a quick rowstack, lots of removal, Harald Gord of course and a very tall Aglais as your last play. More on this in the deck description:
One quick comment on the Elven Sage: Don’t run this as a lonely engine, as it will very likely be removed anyway. When facing Nilfgaard Assimilate however, this card can backlash pretty hard due to obvious reasons.
The other faction that runs Harald Gord. The crime synergies are also pretty great here, making the intimidate mechanic quite strong. Sir Skewertooth is a terrific engine due to its immunity, so good that it’s even worth to run Renew just for that. Fisstech is one tall removal and 8 coins for 4 provisions, which is totally crazy. This however means that you shouldn’t go entirely without spenders. I made a list that feels quite balanced on coin management to me, even though most cards don’t require or create coins. I also chose Off The Books solely for Skewertooth’s immunity, you can change that for something else if you want to.
I think there are mainly two approaches for monsters. The first is a simple Arachas Swarm that can just vomit points on the board with which the prevalent tall removal cannot really keep up with. Predatory dive is a painful card for those decks who do not swarm their board with low strength units. The weakness would be lacerate, but I feel that this is often not played. So that’s one way to go here, but again I didn’t play it or create a list.
What I did try was the second approach which stores points in immune units and plays the remaining units as deathwish or swarm, so that it doesn’t hurt too much to get hit by removal. It sometimes feels mediocre but has also shown to be really good in other matches:
I didn’t play Nilfgaard this season, but there are some ways to make it work. While assimilate has plenty opportunities to trigger, the engines might not stick, so it can be countered quite well actually. Sometimes it just comes down to find the opponent’s key cards (most prominently Gord) with Bribery or the Double Cross leader ability. If you aim for Gord, keep Bribery for your last turn. The low unit count in seasonal decks contributes to Bribery’s consistency at least.
I’ve seen two decent approaches for Skellige so far. One is playing Gedyneith and druids which leads to many duplicated alchemy cards and well boosted crow clan druids. The other one is playing Shupe-Lippy decks to multiply and cycle Shupe as much as possible. I haven’t played either so I can’t provide you any list for that. Sorry.
I haven’t seen any convincing NR list so far. Maybe there is something in playing a siege deck and launching bombardments on your opponent, but you need your siege engines to stick for that. This is not easy, even though reinforcement triggers twice. I’d give it a pass this month.
I do not really have the time to create an entire snapshot on my own, so I only shared the decks that I created and played myself. As mentioned before, popular decks like Mystic Echo harmony are not part of this guide, despite being very good. However, if you don’t find these lists elsewhere, get creative in deck-building on your own. The seasonal mode tolerates unoptimized decks and it is part of the Gwent experience 🙂
ESCANBRYT IS A GUEST WRITER FOR TEAM BANDIT GANG. HE’S BEEN A DEDICATED SEASONAL MODE PLAYER FOR A WHILE NOW AND LIKES TO GET CREATIVE IN SEASONAL DECKBUILDING. IF YOU LIKE THE DECKS THEN FEEL FREE TO LEAVE AN UPVOTE.