patch 10.4

Deck Guide: Runemage is Nilfgaardian

Runemage Is The New Black

Overview

The newest card drop has changed the way how we approach Gwent games, and Runemage is no exception. He allows all your Create/Assimilate cards to have a more precise choice as he increases your options to 5 rather than 3.  Not to mention that it includes even your leader ability Double Cross. He’s just too good to not include in Assimilate lists! 

Apart from Runemage  there are two more new cards in this deck: Ring of Favor and Prophet. Ring of Favor helps to secure a win in round one with its plus two per turn tick, or allows you to draw the top card of your deck when the opponent passes.  Whereas Prophet is a bit more niche card as you need to know what your opponent is going to do next. Fortunately, with the help of Runemage and leader Double Cross you are able to view 5 cards from the opponent’s hand, thereby giving you the exact details you need to completely ruin the opponent’s sequencing. 

The game-plan of this deck is to get Runemage  before your create cards so you have a choice of 5 instead of 3 options. Braathens  is the only card that does not benefit from this (for now). So, he is mostly used in tandem with Ring of Favour to secure round one .  Roderick is used to fetch  the gold cards such as Runemage  or Vigo for earlier rounds. As you can see, this deck does not run the Blightmakers and Mage Assassins as this is more of an old-school approach with the Vigo  + Hunting Pack combo. As a somewhat spicy tech choice, the list runs a poison package for the tall removal, so Yennefer’s Invocation is not the only option you have while playing this deck. 

Pros:
– Create options become easier/precise.
– High tempo.
– Has some control options.
Cons:
– Slight Inconsistency.
– Core cards can be bled
– Goes Tall

The Deck

Core Cards

Runemage – The star of the deck! Allows you to see 5 options instead of 3 is a huge game changer!

Ring of Favor – Always starts in your hand in round one and has literally no downsides. Either gives you points to catch up and potentially win round one, or draw your top card.

Artorious Vigo – With the help of Runemage, this crafty spellcaster shows you all 5 bronzes in the starting deck and thus gets rid of the weakness of an inconsistent Vigo  if you run more than 3 bronze units. Pairs superbly well with the Hunting Pack.

Prophet – Strong card that allows you to take control of the opponent’s sequencing, especially with 5 options from Double Cross as you can plan ahead as to when you can drop prophet. He can be played during a bleed to make your opponent stumble with their sequencing.

Artaud Terranova – Still the greatest Assimilate card, as he can create anything that you have applied spying to.

Joachim
– A great card for the final round point-slam.

Rigged Casino

Overview

The Deck

So you’re tired of beating the snot out of people with Assimilate, I mean it’s been AGES since we played anything else. You need a bit of excitement in your life, you have considered playing Shupe and/or RNG decks before, but they only win 10% of the time. Well congrats, now we can double that win rate!!!

This deck adds some substance to the style of winning with whatever RNGesus throws you. Runemage is the evident key to expanding your options, so you can pull good solutions to problems on the board with your create cards. Like any Casino deck, we stuff it full of create cards. The most important of these is Shupe’s Day Off. Shupe’s biggest flaw is the RNG element. You may not get the option you want from him. Runemage guarantees all of these options are possible, maximizing Shupe’s utility.  

You REALLY want to play Runemage ASAP. Cursed Scroll on blue coin can help with that. Otherwise, try to win Round 1 with some tempo from Radeyah and your thinning cards like Roach, Knickers and Blightmaker. If you find this too inconsistent, check out some of the tech options below that you can swap in. 

Mysterious Puzzle Box is an option to be played Round 1 for tempo, though it is ideally played in later rounds when you would gamble your bricks off and have Will o’ the Wisp on hand to delete Thing From The Box should your opponent win the bet. 

Once Runemage has been played, go wild with your create cards and pray you roll high. Artorius Vigo is your sole native (Assimilate) engine, so play him early, ideally in round 3. He is NOT nailed down to guaranteed options, but can be (look at tech section). You want medium to longer length rounds to facilitate your pay-off finisher in the form of Tourney Shaelmaar, so soft bleeds are useful to utilize Squirrel or other “trash” cards. 

Pros: 
-Casino EXCITEMENT
-Maximum versatility
-Decent point-slam

Cons:
-Casino STRESS
-Lack of engines, mediocre pay-off
-The house usually wins

Core Cards

Shupe: Shupe is potentially a huge amount of points with 15 different POWERFUL options, now fully available thanks to Runemage. 

Arcane Tome: Many of the create cards are specials. Play this card after Runemage to access all your create cards. Prioritize the expensive ones first, as some opponents don’t want to play their own specials or don’t have specials. Consider it a tutor for your high value specials. 

Tech Cards

Cards you can consider switching out:

Aguara: True Form: This is one of the weakest create cards and very expensive. Its create pool is heavily polluted by specials that are NOT useful and niche use, especially from Syndicate. 

Lydia van Bredevoort: Without assimilate engines to score points from creates, Lydia is substantially weaker than in Assimilate decks. She can, however, provide removal or situational cards that complement other created cards. 

Arcane Tome: This card is definitely risky, as some opponents can benefit heavily from playing their own high value specials. Consider a safer tutor. 

Elf and Onion Soup: You may find yourself without good targets (or even any targets at all) to sacrifice for this card, so it often plays for fewer points than other alternatives. Granted, you can use it as Box gamble fodder. 

Pellar and Squirrel: Very useful but pollutes Vigo’s creation pool, swap out for specials. 

Cards you can consider switching in:

Removal cards: Korathi Heatwave, Yennefer’s Invocation, Vigo’s Muzzle, Leo Bonhart, and Vilgefortz are all good options if you have provisions to spare. 

Create cards: Dazhbog Runestone and Summoning Circle are two alternatives/additions one can consider. Dazhbog Runestone especially as it can provide you assimilate engines (in place of Elf and Onion Soup). 

Consistency: Fisher King, Roderick of Dun Tynne and Maxii Van Dekkar are all good consistency options for ensuring you draw/play the cards you want/need. 

4 Provision Specials: In place of Pellar and Squirrel, in order to guarantee Artorius Vigo only has a pool of 5 bronze units to create from. Options include, Dimeritium Bomb, Mahakam Ale, Obsidian Mirror, Spores. 

Deck Guide: 10.4 Drill/Cleaver/Candle Crime

Overview

Since the release of 10.4 a variety of decks have resurfaced (e.g. dwarves). one of these more recently viable decks that has caught my eye is crime with the Lined Pockets leader ability, having used crime decks intermittently over the course of my two years playing GWENT, I can safely say there’s a special place in my heart for crime.

This deck has benefitted greatly from the addition of Conjurer’s Candle and Ring of Favor as the Ring of Favor helps  win the first round (something crime normally struggles to do without expending a lot of resources) and Conjurer’s Candle helps to protect engines and acts as a spender when needed.

Although the deck is packed with control options and removal, access to cards like Cleaver, Conjurer’s Candle,  and Eventide Plunder, provide valuable spending options when there are not many good targets on the opponent’s side of the board. Overall I’ve had a heap of fun playing this deck and I’d highly recommend it if you want to play something a little bit more off-meta.

The Deck

Core Cards

Cleaver – Power play at the start of a round that will be less focused on the removal of your opponent’s points, able to achieve intimidate 3 from adjacency bonus (easily done with Ferko + Justice to nestle him between) so that crimes play for 3 extra points, able to spend 4 coins to summon Cleaver’s muscle  a 5 power body with shield.

Tunnel Drill – Secondary major engine alongside Cleaver,  able to deal 3 damage for 2 coins if a crime has been played within the turn, the BEST damage tool in the deck for a sustained round, can be protected by Conjurer’s Candle  at 7+ Power so it’s out of range of low-cost removal such as Boiling Oil and Natural Selection, or slightly bigger plays like Enslave and Vigo’s Muzzle.

Conjurer’s Candle –  Useful Spending tool that turns X coins into X + 1 points on board, can be used to protect important engines such as Tunnel Drill and Whoreson’s Freak Show, or used to boost a unit to deny dominance for a Nithral, dodge a schirrú explosion, ruin a Geralt: igni lineup etc…

Ring of Favour – Perfect addition for reinforcing round 1 advantage the turn before opponent wants to pass, often plays for 10-14 points for only 8 provisions, protects low health targets e.g. Giantslayer marks, thins for 1 card if opponent passes, so not terrible punishment for misplaying it.

Ferko The Sculptor + Novigradian JusticeFerko can tutor any crime out of the deck, however, when tutoring Justice the condition that requires a Crownsplitter to be one Board to summon a Cleaver’s muscle is automatically fulfilled, thins 2 cards potentially and plays for  between 10 and 15 points depending on what engines are already on board.

Deck Guide: Skellige and the Magic Compass

Overview

21 new cards have been added to the game and I am having tons of fun with all of them! In this article, I have two decks for you that include Magic Compass – a card revealed by me, Bomblin. The first deck is actually the creation of one of the Bandit Gang pro players – Energix. He had a crazy 85% win rate with it on pro rank and I absolutely love it!

The plan of the deck is quite simple. You want to go through your deck as much as possible with the discard package, Knickers, and Roach. You can generate a lot of points behind the defender using Messenger of the Sea and rain/storm cards.

Try to also set up a carryover with Ciri: Nova and use your Golden Nekker to thin 3 more cards and generate tempo. Magic Compass can often hit cards that are not crucial for the victory and it doesn’t generate any big problems. Moreover, it can be used to put Morkvarg on the board.

In round 3, you want to use Magic Compass when you have 2 or fewer cards in the deck to generate a legendary card. In most cases, you want to use Fucusya with Messanger of the Sea for a lot of value or Lippy to get instant 10 point play (Roach and Knicker) plus a chance to go through the deck (and Golden Nekker!) again!

Pros:

-Can generate a lot of points in the short and long round

-Has a carryover in form of Nova and a sort of Compass

-Can give you any legendary you need in round 3

Cons:

Magic Compass can sometimes screw you

-It is not easy to play – you have to keep in mind many possible scenarios

-Can struggle against some greedy decks.

The Deck

Core Cards

Golden Nekker: Crazy value card. You play 3 cards that can generate even more cards! It can easily give you more than 20 points in one turn.

Ring of Favor: Amazing card that can help you play for round 1 easily. Especially with the number of Mill decks currently on the ladder – this card can let you survive round 1 and in the worst case, it is another thinning card!

Messenger of the Sea: The most crucial engine in your deck. Especially against decks with a lot of units, this card can generate an absurd amount of points.

Overview

The Deck

The second deck of today is my take on the Skellige raid deck. Not only does the new card Highland Warlord supports the unitless or control heavy decks, but I do believe it also helps an old-school archetype – devotion warriors.

Deck has a bit of a slow round 1. You want Mulligan for both Highland Warlords, Derran, and thinning cards. Try to not use your high provision golds and attempt to win round 1.

Because this deck lacks tempo in early rounds, you will be often bled in round 2. If you see that this might happen, play your Eist and any other card apart from Eist. If necessary, you can even use your leader ability on a scary engine.

In round 3, combo your Eist with leader ability (if available), and in combination with Magic Compass – because this is a devotion deck, Eist will summon moved cards on the board.

Pros: 

-Big finisher with a lot of points even without the leader’s ability

-Not relying on engines – instant points in most cases

-A lot of control tools

Cons:

-Slow

-Can be easily bled in Round 2 if you are not careful

Magic Compass is way more clunky in round 1 than in the first deck

Core Cards

Eist: Not only does he synergizes with a leader’s ability, but the Magic Compass also gives it more flexibility and can generate a lot of points as a finisher in round 3.

Primal Savagery: The best card after the boost out of all raid cards. Not only it is a removal, but it also creates a unit on your side of the board.

Derran: In most cases, you want to use it with Morkvgar but it can also be used to set up a nice Magic Compass.