Always Go Greater: Gaunter's Mathematics
Green Cricket asks us to consider the question: Is Gaunter O’Dimm really the “bad card” that people always say he is? The numbers will give us the answer we seek.
Reliability & Winrates
How reliable is any card, especially when we think in terms of winrate?
When we check the meta reports of GwentUp, we see that good cards have a winrate of somewhere around 50-52% (4250+ games) and not-that-good cards are at 48% and below.
Since this covers all matches played, the statistic does not care about the fact that one card might have 80% winrate in a particular deck.
However, if discovered by the community, this deck would see more play, which would make it visible in the statistics, which then would lead to a nerf or shifting metagame (like how Restore Skellige started with 65% winrate and now is down to 52%).
Gaunter’s ability is:
“Deploy**:** Guess whether a random Unit from your opponent’s Deck is Higher or Lower than 5. Success: Play any card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back. Failure: Your opponent draws the top card from their Deck. Tie: Both players draw the top card from their Deck.”
Gaunter does not see enough games currently to be included in the statistics, but even if we would always guess 100% right with Gaunter, then this would not mean that we would always win with this card, since it depends on which card we want to play out of the deck as well.
Let’s establish the following statement:
· Winning Gaunter’s bet increases your chances to win greatly
· Getting a tie, makes Gaunter a 5 Point card, decreasing your chance to win slightly
· Losing the bet decreases the chance to win greatly
Easy conclusion: to bump our winrate with Gaunter, we need to increase the chance of guessing right.
Looking at the current meta and generally on the distribution of power among the current Gwent cards, I must say that guessing with Gaunter is currently quite in our favour.
Let’s look at some decks, which I would say are valid decks in the meta at the moment.
For my calculations I have been using this version of the deck:
If we just look at the deck without any gameplay-relevant context, we get following distribution:
· 6 Units below 5 Power
· 4 Units with exactly 5 Power
· 9 Units stronger than 5 Power
Start of the Game
Thanks to that distribution the likelihood that Gaunter will pull a card of a certain category at the start of a game (before card draw) looks like this:
· <5 Power = 32%
· 5 Power = 21%
· >5 Power = 47%
The distribution is way too close together, to be sure to guess correctly.
It gets even worse after the mulligan!
Let’s assume players keep cards like Woodland Spirit, Yennefer, Celaeno Harpy, etc. in their hand, while they mulligan away cards like Roach, Harpy, Foglet and co.
Then the probability per category would be:
· <5 Power = 45%
· 5 Power = 18%
· >5 Power = 36%
Not a good day to make a bet with the Man of Glass.
Tilting Your Odds
Let’s say Swarm Dagon uses one of his typical Round 1 tempo openers: Woodland Spirit, maybe preceded by a Celaeno Harpy (also depending on coin flip win).
Both cards will also pull out following <5 Power cards of the deck: Foglet, Roach, 2x Harpy, leading to a distribution of:
· <5 Power = 15%
· 5 Power = 15%
· >5 Power = 70%
Suddenly the odds of losing Gaunter’s bet is only 15%!
Note: I was not sure if Emissaries, Iris & co counted as units or as special cards, so I included both statistics in here.
Here we see, that the distribution is very depended on when Raiders, Freyas & co are played.
Spella’tael depends very strongly on when you play Gaunter.
What We’ve Learned
· Wait with the Gaunter play until you get a glimpse of the remaining cards in the deck
· Always choose >5 Power! ALWAYS! (except against very special decks like Spella’tael)
· By waiting for context, you can lessen the chance for losing the Gaunter bet to <20%
· You need to know the current decks in the meta to maximize your chances
Gaunter will never be 100% reliable (except in a Spella’tael Round 3 scenario), but every card’s “worth” depends on the played context and this is where probability, knowledge of the meta and a Gaunter supportive deck come into play.