Switcheroo

Guide – Switcheroo

This article is part of a Bandit Gang series, covering the many different seasonal modes with brief descriptions, strategies and deck ideas. Not every deck will always be up to date, given the weekly rotation. Instead we display the date of creation, so that you can retrace what may have changed in the game since then. Feel free to adjust the decks with new cards or old cards that you like better and have fun! – MAIN PAGE

After 2 turns the players switch hands.

The Switcheroo seasonal mode from the season of the cat is an interesting one. What happens is that you switch hands with your opponent after every turn you make. That has some consequences which reflect in rather unusual strategies being successful. To begin with, the first round is pretty much always played until both hands are depleted. If one player passes earlier, the other one just plays cards from both hands until he is ahead. Another thing is that the strong cards are being played first, otherwise you leave them for your opponent. And of course it brings transparency as you can see early if there is a counter to a card in one of both hands.

What does that mean for deckbuilding? Playing points from deck interaction is one of the pillars of your strategy, because the deck remains inaccessible and exclusive for the other player. This can be simple self-playing cards like Roach and the like. Faction-specific tutors like Menno Coehoorn or John Natalis are also only useful to you unless you play a faction mirror match. Also cards like Blightmaker and Braathens are not that powerful if they don’t have the correct deck for them. And the Cursed Scroll should be the stratagem to pick most of the time.

Then there are also small advantages you can get by deckbuilding. It could be a decision to play a devotion list, or else a singleton list to use Shupe which is otherwise a zero point card. Or maybe you even combine both to a devotion singleton list and wait for your opponent to deal Shupe to your hand? I don’t know if that’s worth it but it sure sounds funny.

And the last pillar that I would mention here is the cultivation of carry-over. As mentioned before, the round one is played for a length of ten cards and then the game comes down to one or two short rounds afterwards. Here we can talk about Shupe again and his ability to become resilient. But cards like Phoenix or Crowmother can do the trick as well. Alternatively some good consistency for strong cards in the last rounds can do the trick as well. Pincer maneuver can be recommended for that.

For some reason there are still people who claim that you just need to play trash cards in this mode. It is correct that both good and bad cards are accessible to both players and the sum of the direct value of both hands isn’t that impactful. However all the other things that are mentioned in this guide will likely make the difference in the end. I hope you have fun with this mode!

Guide to the Switcheroo Seasonal Mode

We are now in the season of the cat and the seasonal mode of last year makes a return. This means that each player makes a turn and the hands are being switched every time. It forces you to play pretty awkward when it comes to sequencing of your cards and deckbuilding choices. Let’s see why this is the case.

How to play this

First of all, the first round is pretty much always played until the last card is depleted. If you pass early, your opponent will play the remaining cards instead. That leads to a long first round and one or two very short and very topdeck-depending subsequent rounds. It’s not hard to conclude that carryover is really worth it under these conditions, but we will come to that later.

The first turn of your deck always belongs to you so you want to make that count. After that, your opponent has straight access to the high value cards in your hand. So ideally you have one reliable and important first turn and a lot of synergy-dependant plays afterwards. For your mulligans that means that you should hold one valuable first turn play in your hand while possibly deliberately shuffling other high value cards back to your deck for better topdeck chances later on. Synergy-dependant cards can be kept though, because you have to make points somehow.

Possible synergies for you to utilize are:

  • Faction-specific tutors (Menno, Fauve, Natalis…) – low point cards that your opponent can’t utilize unless he is playing the same faction, with the exception of tactics or organics maybe.
  • Anything that plays from your deck – Your deck is your inaccessible safe space, so anything that interacts with it will have no or at least a different use for your opponent.
  • Singleton decks – this is rather about Shupe and not as much about Radeyah, as the latter is still 8 points without deckbuilding requirements. Shupe however is just a zero point card for your opponent if his deck doesn’t fit
  • Coins – this is for Syndicate only of course, but your opponent has no access to your bank account. I will say though that we didn’t come up with a satisfying syndicate list, because it’s hard to get some consistent gainer-spender-balance with all the meddling.

What else is there to consider? Card advantage doesn’t matter. Don’t bring removal that might hurt yourself more than the opponent of course. Use the information from your opponent’s hand to play accordingly. There’s no need to wait with a tall play if neither of the two hands counter it. Also try to shape the last two rounds in your favour. This might be more important than actually going for round 1, depending on what you play.

And one last side note: Don’t listen to those guys who think that playing only garbage is a good idea. That garbage is distributed in a very socialist way, while you miss out on your opponent’s synergy-bound points.

Nilfgaard

Let us begin with a carryover heavy list that capitalizes on lots of Phoenixes to build up a lot of pressure for the last one or two rounds. If everything goes well, you can have an advantage of 12 points or maybe more when entering those. Detailed description in the deck guide:

Northern Realms

A bit contrary to that is our northern realms list, as it doesn’t care too much about carryover and rather brings tools to counter carryover of other people. Instead the Siege scenario gives you a nice edge in round one and your leader ability in combination with Prince Anseis (or Seltkirk as backup) alone is good enough to secure one of the short rounds. Detailed description in the deck guide:

Skellige

This is a bit of a middle ground between both strategies we had before, using carryover in Phoenix and Crowmother, but also using the Gedyneith Scenario for the long first round. Read the deck guide for details:

Final Remarks

Credits also go to Sawyer1888 for assisting in the refinement of these decks and sharing his opinions in the creation of the guide. Thank you for reading this and have fun playing. Until next time!