Patch Discussion#1 ~ 0.8.25

546171s2This time we present you an article about the newest Gwent patch. In this article Rysik and GumGumFacePunch will go over the biggest changes that were brought by the 0.8.25 patch. We will go briefly over how each of us will think these changes will work out in the upcoming patch. We will start with more specific description of changes to the neutral cards and then we will focus on each faction as a whole. At the end we will post our “surprise card”, basically a card that we believe got much stronger this patch and will see a lot of play.


Neutral:


Revamped Clear Skies: it is now called First Light and lets you choose to either remove all Weather effects or play a random Bronze unit from your deck.

GumGum:

Geralt: Igni now requires 20 strength on row

Geralt: Igni now requires 20 strength on row

“ This card will see a lot of play in the upcoming Patch.  Choice-cards have traditionally in Gwent and in Card games in general been very popular cards. This card not only gives you a choice, but at the same time it also thins your deck making it much more likely to draw your key-cards in the next round. This card will also diminish Weather by a lot. Playing Weather will now have a huge risk attached to it and may see not too much play as a consequence.   Skellige and Scoia’tael are benefitting the most from this change.”

 

Rysik:

“Definitely the biggest change in this patch, Clear Skies aren’t the awkward card in your hand anymore. With the added ability I think many players will include it in their decks, definitely something I am looking forward to include in at least one of my decks. It is potentially a very good card in almost every faction, at worst it’s something that – in my opinion – will keep Weather Monsters archetype at bay for whole patch.”

 

 

Geralt: Igni now requires total strength of 20 instead of 15.

Rysik:

“Geralt: Igni is not an auto-include anymore in most decks, with this change we will probably see some more variety with gold card picks. At least i hope so…”

GumGum:

“ I like this change. Adds more variety to the Roster of viable Gold-Cards, while still being a strong card.”

 

 

Stammelford´s Tremors now deals 2 damage to both sides of the board.

GumGum:

“This change will mix up a lot, like the current Scoia´tel who wanted to include them for their mercenaries. Overall this card will not see much play, but maybe it might find a place in a Harald deck combined with Warcry.”

Rysik:
“No more the bread and butter for Scoia’tael and
Monsters decks, it’s not a brainless board clear anymore. Now players will have to put some thoughts behind using it. In my opinion this card will still see play, mostly in new Harald decks, but I can also see it being played in Scoia’tael or promote, weather Henselt decks.”


Northern Realms:


Basis for our paragraphs: promote, dandelion, buffs to bronze cards, new tag: permanent death for Shani, Nenneke, Lubberkin.

Rysik:

“Northern Realms are the real losers of this patch, from

Play Nithral with Wild Hunt Riders for shotgun effect

Play Nithral with Wild Hunt Riders for shotgun effect

top 1 fraction two patches in a row they suddenly – most likely – fall to the last place. After the dominating performance NR had before patch 0.8.16, they took a big hit with the changes to Reinforced Trebuchet and Philippa, however the changes weren’t enough to stop NR in their tracks. Northern Realms had one more archetype that kept them on #1 spot. By switching from Foltest to Henselt/Radovid and adding more buffing cards they created the “new cheese”, which was hated by many. With the 0.8.25 patch, promoting Roach, Botchling and Olgierd won’t be as effective anymore.

These changes possibly completely annihilate whole archetype, that leaves us with question: What left NR has going for them? I can see faint light coming from the buffed bronze cards. Buffs to trebuchets, reinforced ballistas and – let’s not forget about the beautiful and kind lady – Philippa could save NR from the misery in the upcoming patch. I think many ppl are going to disagree with me on Philippa but with the addition of First Light (which makes weather less scary and probably less common as a result) and Coral in the near future (who forces all Skellige cards on one row) we could see her return in full majesty.”

GumGum:

“ The past Month Northern Realms was  dominating the Meta, especially at a more competitive environment.                                                                                                                                 With the last Patch 0.8.16 Northern Realms already got hit to some extent and a lot of people already counted them out,- it turned out the Patch did not hit any of their “problematic” core-mechanics built into their Cards   This change however is different. It does not only change and basically delete a card from competitive existence like it did with  Phillippa and in this Patch to some extent does with Dandelion.                                                  This time  it also affected  core-mechanics for Northern Realms with both Nerfs & Changes to how Promote works and medic-chains being nerfed further.The light in the end of the tunnel is coming from the buffs for a lot of  the bronze units.                                                               I can see a new Archetype coming up for Northern Realms in the horizon, but for now they might very easily become the weakest Faction in the upcoming Patch. “


Scoia´tael:


Basis for our paragraphs: Isengrim, dwarves, fleeting mechanic, Vrihedd Vanguard, Aelirenn.

GumGum:

 Scoia´tael got some really interesting changes this patch, CD Projekt Red reworked Aelirenn and Isengrims abilities and the new added  game-mechanic  fleeting  having a huge impact on the current Scoia´tael gameplay a lot has to change, but the buffs and changes will surely make up for those.  While looking dark at first sight, this is surely a new life for every enthusiastic Scoi´tel player and maybe even dwarven-fanatics.

It will definitely take some time until the new top decks for Scoia´tael have been refined and revealed, but i am sure at the end of the day the Scoia´tael Faction as a whole is looking for a bright future, with at the very least being amongst the 2 strongest Factions and maybe even Dwarves might finally find their spot within a competitive deck, – one can only hope. 

Rysik:

Some of you may know me as a Scoia’tael main. Personally I’m super excited for the changes, first and foremost, finally we will have different archetypes, not only this boredom incarnated  “play specials, play

Sarah is buffed by both First Light options

Sarah is buffed by both First Light options

Isengrim, win game”. Finally CDPR breathed new life into new and more interesting Squirrel archetypes. The biggest thing I’m looking forward to are the changes to Isengrim and Aelirenn, those two cards make for an unique combination. For those who don’t know, Isengrim now spawns 2 neophytes on random rows after allied specials are casted and Aelirenn is automatically played from deck when there are 5 elves on board (elven tag is a new one as well!) resulting in +1 buff to every elf on board. Those two changes alone are shaking whole fraction upside down, some ppl are already calling for Manticore Venom meta, I wouldn’t look as far into the future but that’s definitely a possibility.

Secondly dwarves finally received some love, they aren’t laughing stock anymore like they used to be. Even in the previous patches there were some enthusiasts who intensively tried to make them work (Devilczych here comes to mind) however those attempts were usually in vain because whole archetype lacked in power and synergy. With the buffs to Barclay Els, Mahakam Defender and especially Mahakam Guard we could see rise of new powerhouse.

For these changes we had to pay big price. Our beloved friend (not) Scoiastall is no more. This patch brought us changes to game changing cards, I’m talking about fleeting tag on some cards. Fleeting is effectively a banish. Banished card simply disappears from the game i.e. is not put in the graveyard. One of the culprits and at the same time biggest victims of that change is Decoy, card which split the community into two groups. Haters and lovers. These changes effectively make Scoiastall much weaker and as a result possibly turn Aglais from an auto-include to good card that could be included.

This part was longer than I anticipated but as a Scoia’tael player I couldn’t pass the opportunity to write a little bit about the changes. Summarizing, ST could be even stronger than before but ppl will have to discover new archetypes all over again and that makes me happy.


Skellige :


Basis for our paragraphs: Warship, Harald, Sigrdrifa, First Light, Relentless-mechanic, Madman Lugos, Birna Bran, Shieldsmith, Clan Dimun Pirate Captain.

Rysik:

Skellige my old lover, new day has begun, stand up and look forward without doubts in yourself. You are strong again. This patch will make Skellige great again, with the changes to War Longships and Clan Dimun Pirate Captain, I’m pretty sure we are going to see some of these. These cards suffered from instant removal, now with their higher base strength it won’t be as easy anymore. This is not the only positive change this patch. Skellige finally has a second leader, King Harald is waking up from his slumber to rule his lands (seas?) again. Those changes should make him completely viable now, not an awkward, requiring lots of setup old man who would do better playing dice chess in home for the elderly. Second youth isn’t granted for free however, the ritual had to be paid with blood. Whose blood was sacrificed you may ask? The answer is really sad and cruel, it was blood of animals. Savage bears in specific, they were one of the biggest losers of this patch, this nerf makes them more suited for zoo than for front line Skellige defenders.

Nonetheless it’s an interesting patch for Skellige, I’m looking forward to try it out!

GumGum:  

  Green grass is growing again for Skellige. This Patch might lift them up again to old heights and we finally might set our spotlights on our favourite viking-leader Harald the Cripple.

While being laughed at in his previous iterations, he finally emerges to a real threat in this Patch and will for sure see a lot of play. -Poor ever-drinking Bran is still not on par with anyone and some might wonder if he ever will fix his drinking problems ?  

 In the introduced Patch-notes a few of skelliges bronze

Dandelion has great synergy with Queensguard

Dandelion has great synergy with Queensguard

units saw some significant Buffs to them with Clan Dimun Pirate being more resistant against removal, Shieldsmith getting more strength and last but definitely not least War longship got 2 extra strength, which makes for a huge deal.  Not only were some of these units a stable in any good skellige deck the past patch already, their biggest weakness was being very easily removed.

A good thing about this change in my opinion is, that it also makes the skellige mirror matchups more interesting. In the past Patch whoever would start and get their War longship out first was in most cases easily able to win the first round and abuse the opponent with the spy and stall power of skellige in round 2.

 Also with Harald very likely being the strongest leader the war longships are gaining additional value and the timing on the use of Harald will be crucial. The War Longships are very dangerous and they have to get removed before getting out of hand.

Alzur’s Thunder might rise in popularity, if Skellige can rise in the tiers, which they actually might.  

Also: R.I.P Queensguard-Operator.


Monsters:


Basis for our Paragraphs: Drowner, First Light, Dagon, Monster Passive Change.

GumGum: 

” Monster themselves had the least changes in terms of core Mechanics and Design within the existing Monster Archetypes, but got heavily affected by the change to Clear Skies.       Weather in general has taken a big hit this patch and might not see much play in the next patch, since a lot of decks can and will include first light in their decks.                                      This may open up for new space for other archetypes to shine within the Monster faction.   As for now, despite small buffs for Dagon, Nithrall and Gaunter O´Dimm i would predict them to stay behind Scoia´tel and Skellige for this patch “

Rysik:

”Monsters, the bane of reddit. This patch brought relatively small changes to this fraction, most of the changes were small tweaks to power in some cards, Gaunter O’Dimm, Nithrall and Wild Hunt Warrior are the major ones.  

  In my opinion those changes won’t influence Monsters playstyle very much, the more important change is the new ability added to Clear Skies. First Lights is probably going to be quite common this patch and as a result we are going to see lower impact from weather, that alone makes Weather decks much weaker. In the end I think “Value Monsters” are going to be the most common deck on ladder.”


Conclusions & Predictions:

 

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This Patch had over 140 changes, some small ones, but definitely also some big changes as well as the introduction of new game mechanics: relentless, fleeting, permadeath and the change to the promote mechanic, which in consequence will have Northern Realms looking for a new identity and a new way to deal with the upcoming threats.

The most influential change of this patch was the introduction of a second ability to Clear Skies. We believe this one change is going to be dictating the meta of the current patch. This one card is most likely going to keep monster weather deck at bay and at the same time improve Skellige and Scoia’tael archetypes. For ST this change is very useful for 2 major reasons: deck thinning and adding more power on board. This card with addition of Elven Mercenary creates very powerful power building tool. Skellige however with this card could finally drop some of their cycling cards that would in the end allow them to run more diverse silver and gold cards.


We would like to conclude this article with our prediction of the upcoming meta. We believe Scoia’tael is going to be the strongest faction in this patch, at least until new cards are going to be released sometime this month. Scoia’tael may have lost their powerhouse finisher card in form of Isengrim, they however gained an amazing cycle bronze special card and even more synergy coming from elven tribe. In our opinion these changes are going to be influential enough to make ST the most powerful deck of 0.8.25 patch.

Skellige takes the 2nd place, but only by a very small margin compared to Scoia´tael. The main reasons for that are the buffs they got this patch, specifically for Harald and the War Longship and additionally they have a decent matchup against Scoia´tael, who might end up being the faction to beat.

After those 2 factions we have Northern Realms and Monsters who are slacking a bit, we aren’t entirely sure how strong they’re going to be in the end, but we believe they’re not strong enough to compete with Scoia’tael and Skellige decks this patch is going to offer. They’re not only lacking consistency but also synergy between their cards. Those are the two major difficulties those factions will have to overcome in order to take games from ST and Skellige.That said we still believe both factions have the potential to take games from their opponents if they manage to fix their internal problems with deckbuilding.

We believe Northern Realms is going to be the weakest faction to start with, but they might get stronger as time progresses and until the new identity doesn’t show up they’re going to occupy the last place on our list.

  • Bones

    Something to also consider regarding Skellige discard decks in particular is that in the mulligan round the discarded cards no longer go to the bottom of the deck. That makes it less predictable when you get to the last round at the end of your deck. Also, though initially it doesn’t seem like much, Birna Bran lost one card on your choices there. This actually makes it a little more difficult to get through your deck unless you are using Last Wish. But, there is little room for it in the deck without sacrificing something else you may want.

    • GumGumFacePunch

      Yes, i agree. Luckily you can still get through all your deck easily with the inclusion of First Light, but those changes definetely made Skellige harder to play and correct mulliganning less impactfull.

      Also after now playing in the Patch itself for a few days,- it seems like me and Rysik underestimated Northern Realms in this current meta.
      -The Radovid Control-decks seem to be pretty good and have a decent matchup against Scoiatel specifically. So keep your eyes out for those 😉

  • Bones

    With regards to getting through your Skellige deck easily. Yes and no. I usually end up with around 2-3 cards left give or take with RNG.

    Let’s say you place 3 First Lights in your deck. So, typically your going to to use your Pirate to discard the others. Most decks use about 9 units and 3 Freya. So with our pirates out of the way and if we were to have and use all 3 First Lights, that would leave you with 6 units. I usually like to keep my Freya’s for as long as possible if I can. So, you basically have 3 units (often Raiders) to use for discard ideally.

    What this leaves you, even if you are able to hit everything just right which never happens, is having to make some really difficult decisions especially if you’re trying to squeeze out every card you can.

    I actually don’t have 3 First Lights in my deck because it’s not worth it in my opinion. If you have a better way or I’m missing something, I’d be happy to hear it. I’m still testing some decks atm. I have some ideas, but still a WIP.

  • GumGumFacePunch

    “Easily” was maybe not the right word, but also before this Patch you needed to use all Discard-Cards to get through your whole deck (assuming you only use as many discard-cards to get max 25 cards out of your deck and not more).¨
    So in my opinion it has not become significantly more difficult to get through your deck with the help of 1x First Light,- i certainly think 3 is way overboard but 1 or 2 definetely find a home in my current Skellige decks.

    “What this leaves you, even if you are able to hit everything just right which never happens”
    I am not sure if i agree on that part. It is certainly not every game you manage to get through all 25 cards…but very close to it or even getting through them all is not that rare in my games.

    But we ourselves haven´t found the “perfect” Skellige Deck yet and it has yet to reveal itself to as strong as me & Rysik anticipated.
    -Harald and the War Longships are definetely doing huge work though.

  • Bones

    Well, I’ve been quite happy with how well the below deck is working out and I’m getting the best results from it yet and it’s quite fun to play. I thought I’d share here since I was talking in the comments here alot about SK. Hope that is ok. I’ll have to write up a guide on it sometime when I have the chance.

    http://www.gwentdb.com/decks/8192-advanced-discard-weather-deck-0-8-25-by-bones