Seasonal Mode

Bandit of the Month (February) | Exclusive Interview with GhostArya

Arya has gone above and beyond this month to not only make us all have fun together, when she organised the first BG Game Night, or when she reached semi-finals in the Gwentfinity War tournament, but also when she collected 1K USD during her Charity stream for a good cause! We couldn’t be more proud of you!

Babyjosus: Hey Arya! What does it mean to you to receive your second BOTM?

Arya: It means a lot! Streaming and BG has become a stable thing in my life and although I might not have that much time for the team (and I would love to have more), I know my teammates are always there and I love seeing them on stream or catching up in the discord! But I am a bit surprised to be a bandit of the month!. 🙂

BJ: How do you look back at the game night that you organized with Kalvino?

A: It was a lot of fun, definitely brought back memories of when Kalvino was visiting me in Prague! It gave us a lot of ideas on what (not) to do next time and it felt like a good way to bring the team more together.

BJ: Tell me about your experience in the Gwentifity War Tournament.

A: Gwentfinity was a way for me to play factions and decks I wouldn’t normally play which made it valuable but fun thing to do. I played against Bomblin in the last one and I never want to do that again (because I felt sorry I won!). I am always happy to see more causal tournaments and I think the community enjoys them too.

BJ: What can people expect from you in the future?

A: I haven’t made an official announcement yet (so this is top secret, fresh news!), but you can expect more charity streams because I partnered with Softgiving. And you should also stay tuned for the witcher saga streams that are currently ongoing. 

BJ: What message would you give to the supporters of BG?

A: Thank you for your support and just know that every lurk or hi in chat is appreciated and we LOVE when you guys try decks from our snapshots! Take care and see you around – if you ever miss your bandits you can always find us in the team discord.

You can find out more about Arya here.

Bandit of the Month (October) | Exclusive Interview with Escanbryt

Your unceasing hard work and dedication made our Seasonal Mode page what it is today and we are all impressed by the amount of passion you put into it. Your card reveal of everybody’s favorite Meditating Mage brought a lot attention to our website and we hope that BOTM will bring as much attention to you as possible, because you truly deserve it! May the season of Escan never end!

Babyjosus: Hey Escanbryt! What does it mean to you to receive your first BOTM?

Escanbryt: I appreciate your appreciation. 🙂

BJ: How have you enjoyed working on the seasonal mode page in the last months?

E: I wanted to find a way to continue the seasonal guides after the monthly rotation became a weekly one. The format that we have today is possibly the best way you can do it. While not all decks remain up to date all the time, they often remain viable due to the fact that there are few shifts in seasonal mode metas. So I think I am pretty satisfied with this compendium.

BJ: What can people expect from you in the future when it comes to the seasonal mode?

E: The seasonal mode page will receive an update from time to time if there is a nice new deck to share, but otherwise I consider this project completed now. Most seasonal metas are solved and stay solved, basically.

BJ: What message would you give to the supporters of BG?

E: I appreciate your appreciation as well. 🙂

You can find out more about Escanbryt here.

Guide to the Plus One Seasonal Mode

Okay guys, I think we can keep this one relatively short. Anyone who has played the seasonal mode this month will likely have run into an iteration of Guerilla tactics with Idarran and Snowdrop, because its point generation is ridiculously off the charts. So much that this guide will just revolve around that list: How to play it, how to play against it.

The deck and its strategy

As we all know, the Scoia’tael movement archetype got great support with the latest expansion. Its bronze engines can generate a lot of points now. On top of that, movement itself is a good control tool that can shut down several strategies on its own. That makes movement decks pretty popular right now, even on the conventional ladder. Now consider the seasonal rules which spawn a 1 point copy of each unit you play and you realize that all these passive engines can be set up in a very short time. You can use all these options to take control over the game and win round one, then bleed round two.

What you should save up though is your leader ability, Idarran and Snowdrop for an ideal round 3. This is where you play Idarran, who begins to spawn 1 point copies of himself until the row is full. From then on, he will repeat the same thing for each unit you play, however always in the same row that Idarran is in. That’s why you need your leader charges to move three copies to the other row, enabling six additional spawns of the next unit you play on the other row. This is where Snowdrop enters the chat, cycling through two cards with each copy and piling up an enormous amount of points, approximately 300. And since the original Snowdrop has one more point than all the copies, it even provides a scorch roof. This is pretty hard to overcome if you don’t tech against it.

Flexible plays

Stygga Castle deserves some mention here. If you need to spend your leader charges early, you can also go and carry the order ability of the castle over to round 3, serving the same purpose. But keep in mind that if you play the castle in round 1, you either need to save your leader or pull the combo in round 2.

It can always happen that you draw absolutely poorly. In that case, you can take Snowdrop out of the combo and use her for the actual ability, giving you four tries to find the cards you need plus 19 points. In that case, Living Armor becomes your Idarran target, playing for 10 points of each copy. You can also do this if you get bled relentlessly, possibly making the opponent think that he ruined your combo.

Flex slots

I’d argue that the four 5 provision bronze units are the core that shouldn’t be exchanged, just as Oneiromancy, Stygga Castle, Gezras, Malena and the combo pieces mentioned above. Lambert is a tech against Idarran in the mirror, but can also be Gimpy if you want to save provisions. The remaining cards can be exchanged if you want to include other ones. I’d keep a bunch of special cards though, in case the board is full.

There are actually a bunch of cards that can be fun in the Idarran combo. Cheap bronzes like Dwarven Berserkers are becoming a hail of bullets. Yennefer: Conjurer can melt the board down entirely, if she sticks. You get the idea.

How to play against this

What you need is a deck that can keep up in points in the first round, while also bringing the control tools to keep the finishing combo in check. Frankly, the best deck to achieve this is just this one in the mirror match. But other factions can offer decent point generation as well. So if you have an engine core that can keep up the pace, you can counter the big combo in various ways.

Neutral options available to any faction are Yrden and Igni. If you can damage the one original Snowdrop by one and are able to wait a turn, good old Scorch can also be your friend. You can also use certain control oriented leader abilities along control tools to get rid of Idarran immediately. Plays like Lambert/Gimpy along Reckless Flurry for example. An easy way to cheese as Nilfgaard is Cahir obviously, being double as you play him and quadruple with Letho Kingslayer, if you want to humiliate your opponent even further (or the other Cahirs get countered by movement somehow). There’s probably more, but it’s only going to succeed if it’s teching against this deck in one way or another.

Final Remarks

After the Damien Cycle that we saw last year, I was hoping that the removal of the Strategic Withdrawal leader ability might open this mode up to more creativity viable strategies this time. Unfortunately, the Idarran interaction feels just as bad and kinda kills it for me in this season. So maybe there will be an update to this guide if Idarran gets hotfixed, otherwise I’m not going to bother finding any decks that can compete here.

Credits go out to Sawyer as well, for participating in deckbuilding here.