Rogues Gallery #3: Cyprian Wiley
Rogues gallery is a weekly column on some of the strongest, most interesting or meta defining cards in the game. Each week Gravez takes a closer look at a single card; its strengths, weaknesses, applications and its place in the Witcher Universe.
DISCLAIMER: The article contains minor spoilers of Witcher novels and games.
DISCLAIMER: The article is written on patch 0.8.72, some information might be outdated
The Witcher universe is full of dark and tragic stories. Tales of horrible men and women alike committing despicable and gruesome acts. These horrifying tales can’t help but touch you in some way. There are tales of monsters: wraiths, curses and other creepies and crawlies. Yet, there are some… for the lack of a better word, let’s call them twats (and trust me, I am not a man to use that word lightly), that you can’t help but develop a personal grudge against. Cyprian Wiley Junior, also known as Whoreson Junior (unlike our beautiful red-feathered friends at the CDPR, I do not have to keep my ramblings PG-13), is one of them.
I mean, there are werewolves tearing those they love into unrecognizable pieces, and there are the wild spirits praying on everyone that dares cross into their lands, but that is their nature, their being. Hell, even Eredin, an asshole that literally built a world upon corpses of an entire civilization, is just kinda evil, so you take him as he is. Our twaty little friend, with a deceitfully cheery name on the other hand, tells a different story. Wiley inherited his criminal empire from his father, Whoreson not-so-Junior. Illegal casinos, fighting rings, and brothels are what the Whoresons have turned into a family business. King Radovid, who is arguably an even bigger twat than Whoreson, hired our beloved sociopath to start a gang war between the criminal big-leagues of Novigrad by having their leaders assassinated, plunging the city into chaos and conquering it with ease. Our ever-so-handsome protagonist spends quite some time investigating and hunting Wiley until he finally catches him and finds out just what a major “willy” the guy really is. Delighting in torturing and murdering captive woman was one of Whoreson’s prime leisure activities that CDPR managed to present to the player in a lot more impactful way than my silly little article can hope to. Regardless, Geralt lets Whoreson go, knowing that letting him live will be a much worse punishment than death.
In Gwent, Cyprian Wiley is a neutral silver, 7 strength siege row unit, with the ability to remove 3 base strength from an opposing unit when it enters the battlefield.
The Streets of Gwentsglow: Episode III
Cyprian Wiley, the notorious killer for hire… If one said he wasn’t born a sadistic, twisted little toddler, one would lie. Since he’s learnt to walk Cyprian has spread nothing but violence grief and misery amongst everyone around him. Born into a wealthy family, young Cyprian spent most of his youth on his uncle’s ranch, where he developed a special liking for killing horses and torturing other children. When he was 16, he was suspected in the disappearing of his nanny, but charges were never filed against him. At the age of 18, Wiley conscripted into the army and was dishonorably discharged after he was found torturing enemy prisoners of war. After serving six years as a mercenary in the Foreign Legion, he took all his savings on a ship to the New World and headed straight for Gwentsglow.
Before the five families, Gwentsglow was a whole different city. Every street was run by a different thug group, people were turning up dead on the streets with their throats slit, and no matter who you had paid for protection to, there was always someone else who broke into your little bakery and broke everything in sight. Wiley loved that city. Within a month he ran a street. Within a year a district. He had the money to pay the toughest thugs to guard his assets, and his reputation sent shivers down the spines of anyone who has heard stories about him. Wiley ran most of the brothels in Gwentsglow, using his Madame’s black books to keep the Yard and the politicians under control. Cyprian’s biggest source of income were the backroom casinos and dog fighting rings he started running as a hobby. Once Gwent caught on, he was able to basically print his own money by printing out rare versions of various cards and running the black market with them. He bred his own dogs, long generations of his strongest hounds bred with the biggest, strongest beasts he could find. Some even claim his oldest dog, Morkvarg, is nothing short of a werewolf, and that Wiley fed him nothing but those that crossed him.
Everything changed when the Cosa Monstra first rode into town. His thugs were no match for the Kayran’s wise guys, mostly war veterans and mercenaries who fell out of grace once the war was over. Cosa Monstra overtook the Gwent Casino business and forbade the dog fights, making an example of any man who was found to practice it. Once his whorehouses were shut down by the Nilfgaardians, under the Whoreson disappeared. A couple years after, the newly instated commissioner Geralt stumbled back on Wiley’s trail, during the investigation of several disappearances of young women in the Lower Whorelam. During a raid on an alleged drug dealer, he stumbled upon a hidden room, filled with possessions of the disappeared women and Nekker gang memorabilia. From the fingerprints found in the room, they’ve concluded Wiley has been behind the abductions and murders, but only a single body of one Jay Nekker was ever found in the vicinity. Based on the bite wounds on the victim and the gigantic cage found in the hidden room, Geralt has concluded it was one of Wiley’s dogs, most likely Morkvarg behind the missing people. In the following months, several gigantic paw prints were found close to the areas where victims disappeared, but no conclusive evidence of Wiley’s whereabouts was ever found.
What will the next week bring to Gwentsglow? Will Geralt finally track down the infamous Whoreson? Will the families welcome the political reform rumored to hit Gwentsglow next week? Can the old bosses whether the storm? Find all this and more, next week on The Streets of Gwentsglow.
Cyprian Willy is no less sadistic in Gwent than he is in Witcher. As most neutral cards, he is an excellent tech choice, arguably a hate card. His ability to remove 3 base strength from a unit has several applications. The most common one and the one most people run it in the current metagame for, is to prevent a deathwish effect from occurring on Nekker units, as units with 0 base strength get banished instead of sent to the graveyard. As such, Cyprian Willey has quickly been adopted to combat the high frequency of Consume Monster decks on the ladder.
Wiley’s second most common target is Roach. As she’s a common inclusion in Scoia’Tael and Northern Realms deck, Wiley is highly unlikely to end up without a target. He is also great at preventing Northern Realms and Skellige from resurrecting certain high-value low-strength units such as Priscilla.
Cyprian is a very safe tech choice as it’s unlikely to ever provide less than ten points of value. When hitting Roach, Nekker or Priscilla however, he can prevent upwards of 20 strength plays for your opponent, making him incredibly easy to include in almost any deck.
The third, and perhaps final card we’ve looked into before we move on into the open beta, is also our first tech card – one that has heavily influenced the decks in the sunset of the closed beta. I sincerely hope Willey doesn’t see any large changes, as he is a very balanced and (at least as far as removal goes) fairly interesting card.