Rogues Gallery #4: Peter Saar Gwynleve
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.
The first week of the open beta has been a hoot. The transition brought a heap of changes and shook up the meta significantly. Without a doubt, one of the frontrunners of the week has been Nilfgaard with John Calveit at the helm. One of the stars of the deck, and undoubtedly one of the most meta-defining cards has been Peter Saar Gwynleve - the first card to make the Rogues Gallery in the open beta. The commander of the Nilfgaardian outpost near the White Orchid is well known to anyone who has played the Witcher III. During the search for Yennefer, Geralt takes a Griffin contract from Peter, in exchange for information on her whereabouts.
Peter Saar Gwynleve is a 6 strength, melee row silver unit, only available to Nilfgaard. When played, Peter can target a friendly or enemy unit, resetting it and increasing or lowering its base strength by 3 respectively.
The streets of Gwentsglow
When the Nilfgaard crime family first looked to spread their influence overseas, they began recruiting men with experience surviving in hostile territory, war veterans, survivors. People with little to nothing holding them back on the old continent. Peter Saar Gwynleve was one of their top picks. During the war, Peter was too young to be conscripted, so when his older brother, who had just gotten a baby, got called for duty, Peter took over his identity and went instead. As a son of a Jaeger veteran, Peter was raised in a strict household, where mental and physical strength and discipline were valued above all else. His father’s teachings help him rise through the ranks swiftly, and within a year he commanded his own regiment.
Peter was well respected amongst his subordinates as well as his enemies, as he treated every man with care and compassion. It came as a surprise to everyone when Peter was dishonorably discharged from the army after it came to light he has used brutal punishments for transgressions of people under his command. Unwilling to face his father, young Gwynleve began work as a bouncer in one of Calveit’s lounges. When the family offered him to be one of their ambassadors in Gwentsglow, Peter gladly accepted. Upon arrival, Peter and his crew were ambushed by what they later learned to be a Scoia’tael death squad under the command of Eithne. Peter managed to quickly subdue and incapacitate one of her protectors while the rest of his companions took care of the other, lesser threats. That was the first act of war between the two families.
Gwynleve continued to prove himself over and over again. The Nilfgaardians nearly ran the Cosa Monstra and the Scoia’tael out of town, and would most likely succeed if their shipments from the old continent did not get continuously stolen by the harbor based gangs of Skellige. Relying on their brute force, skilled sharpshooters and inhuman body proportions, the marauders kept proving to be too tough for even Peter to combat.
Aided by the gang of mindless, trigger-happy sociopaths known as the Golems, and Calveit’s personal Brigades, Peter is currently preparing for one last attack on the harbor to try and reclaim what the pirates have stolen from him. Meanwhile, Kingpin Rethazki and his advisors are trying to find a way to balance the gang’s turfs once more, bringing relative peace and prosperity to the streets of Gwentsglow.
A few weeks ago, we’ve taken a closer look at Cyprian Wiley, a neutral card similar to Peter, which left its mark on the meta at the time. Similar to it, Peter single-handedly shuts down entire archetypes, most notably Consume. His ability to reset any non-gold unit’s power is incredibly powerful, as can be evident from Mardroeme, but even more so when it’s attached to a body.
A few weeks ago, we have taken a closer look at Cyprian Wiley, a neutral card similar to Peter, which left its mark on the meta at the time. Similar to it, Peter single-handedly shuts down entire archetypes, most notably Consume. His ability to reset any non-gold unit’s power is incredibly powerful, as can be evident from Mardroeme, but even more so when it’s attached to a body.
The 6 strength Peter provides is nothing to look down upon to begin with, but when paired with a minimum of 3 value of his deploy he is scarcely ever a below average play. The reset part of his ability can often get upwards of 10 value, and can be devastating when paired with Decoy or Emhyr. Cards like Ekkimara and Nekkers get obliterated entirely, and without the removal of veteran tag, a similar fate awaits the Queensguard.
The only real ways to counter, or better put, play around Peter, is to try spread your buffs across several units, try and bait the play early in the game, or simply secure enough card advantage to play your key buffed cards (such as Dol Blathana Protectors) when the opponent cannot respond to them.
Peter Saar Gwynleve has without a doubt left his mark on the start of the open beta. With a patch dropping in the next few days, CDPR will be lowering his strength from 6 to 4. Alongside all the other changes to all five of the factions, will Peter secure his spot in the Nilfgaard? Opinions on the impact the change is going to have are divided, some claiming he’s going to be unplayable, others certain he should be nerfed further. One thing’s for sure, next week will bring a new face up on the Rogues Gallery!