So You Want To Play Nivellen!

Hello you wonderful lovers of the forgotten, the damaged, and all the bastard and broken things! We all know why we’re here; let’s lift another forgotten card out of the murk of disuse and, for just a moment, give it a spot in the limelight.

A Primer

Today, Nivellen bares his fangs and we’ll see if this big softie’s bite is as bad as his bark. Nivellen bears a striking resemblance to Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve’s titular Beast from the ever popular and frequently adapted “Beauty and the Beast”. As crazy as it sounds, Villeneuve’s story is based on that of a real life individual, Pedro Gonzalez. Gonzalez suffered from a condition called hypertrichosis which caused him to grow an abnormal amount of hair on his face. Henry II, the king of France, brought Gonzalez to court and attempted to find a match for him (admittedly an attempt to breed more children with Gonzalez’ condition to send to other courts as gifts). A match was found and while Catherine at first detested her match, it is on record that love blossomed between the two.


Will we be able to see through the rough exterior of this card like Catherine did for Pedro or is Nivellen doomed to his cursed existence? Let’s look at the data first. Nivellen is a 5 power 6 provision card in the neutral faction. His ability is thus, “Deploy: Move 3 adjacent units to the other row”. Power per provisions, this card is underwhelming. Its raw efficiency is 0.83, being beat out by the other “elder bears” that play on parity for their provision cost with an added effect. Frenzied D’ao plays as a 7 for 7 that allows you to move one unit to the other row. By numbers alone, Nivellen is outclassed. Playing a card below parity is a painful feeling no matter how you cut it, but maybe points aren’t everything…

Deckbuilding Ideas

Nivellen won’t be able to beat out Frenzied D’ao in points but our fluffy friend may have a better foothold when it comes to making larger plays. Alone, Nivellen can clog space that your opponent may want to keep open to play certain row-locked cards. In addition, Nivellen can move both the defender and the card beside the defender in one go, neutering cards like Keltullis, Damien or Vysogota.

As for cards that synergize with Nivellen, let’s start with the obvious: “Lacerate” and “Surrender”. Both cards reach their potential when targeting a full row. Nivellen can leverage these rowbusters against decks that may not go heavy enough on units to provide an opening under normal circumstances. The ever annoying Madoc can brick wholesale if he ends up on the wrong row but you can use Nivellen to move enough units to guarantee the bomb-lobbing cretin always finds his mark. Last, but certainly not least, are Geralt Yrden and Geralt Igni. As a jank-peddler, I cannot in good conscience condone their use but sometimes, just sometimes, you have to fight dirty. Nivellen can be the key to setting up the perfect “you played well but I played Yrden.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’re here once again. So we’ve put Nivellen through the ringer and now we decide: is his card good and just awaiting a shift in the meta, bad and awaiting a buff, or ugly and in dire need of a rework? As it stands now, I believe that Nivellen is a good card. His opportunities to shine are limited at the moment. There are few occasions that require you to move three adjacent units at once,which makes his poor power-per-provision efficiency sting all the more. With offensive purifies, Korathi Heatwave and other powerful removal cards in vogue there doesn’t seem to be much of a need for our fuzzy friend. With time, maybe the world will see what a beauty this beast can be.

That’s my take on Nivellen! Did I do the card justice? What changes would you make, if any? Leave a comment below! This has been Carrost, your friendly neighbourhood jank-peddler, saying “don’t let anyone tell you what cards to play.”

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