Hello and welcome to the Weekly Stream Recap with Weissenberg! In this segment your humble servant and the loyal subject to the Nilfgaardian Emperor provides a written testimony of his adventures in the realm of Gwent. Each week we will try our luck with a creative deck and non-competitive and each week we will design a set of rules we have to follow throughout the broadcasts.
Imperial Academy of Magic
Nilfgaard Mages is a deck idea that initially gained some recognition in the early days of patch 3.1. The deck was revolving around Fringilla Vigo with the preferred leader being Emhyr var Emreis. In order to maximize the value of her ability other mages such as Vilgefortz and Assire var Anahid were included. This allowed Fringilla to be played in a mage pocket. While that deck was quite creative and generally regarded as fun to play it did not offer enough value to be played competitively. This resulted in the idea being largely forgotten (luckily, cause otherwise yours truly might be accused of netdecking, which would harm our reputation).
We then decided to build our own iteration of the list that would revolve around a number of high tempo plays. This made the deck an ideal list for our “smorc or lose” experiment. We swapped the leader to Jan Calveit in order to get a better access to our deck and gain 2 more provisions which in turn allowed us to include more expensive cards provision-wise. Albrich, despite being a low tempo card himself, was added to make sure we get the high value cards whenever we need them.
The list also includes a number of tech cards. For example Slave Infantry (mostly to counter Syndicate’s bounties, but it also is very pleasant to look at) and False Ciri (to counter both row-locked gold engines and artifacts). The bronze core is a mix of the soldier and tactics packages and despite the cards having seemingly very little in common, the bronzes are as much synergized as the overall theme of the deck allows (“not very much then” – some unfriendly bystanders might say).
Patch 3.2 changed very little in regards to this deck. Vilgefortz received a small buff and while not being included in the list at the moment. The complete list can be found below, but feel free to swap cards as you please.
The set of rules we designed for this episode is “smorc or lose”. This means that regardless of the coinflip, the opponent, or the hand, we are to push round 1 and round 2 to the point where we either win the game 2:0 or we are no longer able to stay ahead and have to pass. This ruleset usually results in us either smorcing our opponent or going into round 3 with a pathetic hand and nearly non-existent chances of actually winning the match.
Match #1: Queen Meve – Engine Overload
Engine-heavy decks are the natural enemy of our list. While various control options like Tourney Joust or Vigo’s Muzzle are included to deal with a limited number of engine cards, playing against decks that revolve around engines poses a serious threat. That means that you would usually end up being outran in a longer round.
In this specific case we queued into one such deck and had to go first. This farther increased the difficulty of the task ahead. With multiple control and removal options in hand, round 1 could be easily described as resource management (that unlike other Nilfgaardians, your humble servant is not very good at). Do we remove the Kaedweni Sergeant and prevent it from generating more points in combination with Tridam Infantry or we do hold onto our control tools in wait for better targets? In the end we decided to deal with the potential threats as soon as they presented themselves. This explains our early use of Vilgefortz in order to remove an already boosted Tridam Infantry. Towards the end of the round our goal was to stay ahead (or alive as some might say) as long as possible. Because of this, we ended up spending a huge chunk of our gold card capital. In the end such strategy allowed us to win the round with one card less.
Round 2 was to be the main part of our “smorc or lose” strategy. With Artorius Vigo enjoying his time off at the bottom of our deck, we lacked one of our key tempo elements. In addition, the premature use of Xarthisius did not yield the profits we were hoping for… though it did allow us to complain about RNG. Considering the state of the board and the neverending point generation by our opponent, we were forced to play Fringilla Vigo using our leader’s ability. In the end we had to play the last tempo card which was Assire var Anahid reviving Roach. As a result we not only failed at smorcing our opponent, but considering what was left in our deck we were at a significant disadvantage going into round 3.
Luckily for us, our opponent had to spend most of his high value cards as well, meaning round 3 was very draw-dependent. In the end, Artorius Vigo and both Impera Brigades relaxing at the bottom of our deck allowed us to play this 10 point combo as our finisher and eventually win the game by 1 point.
Match #2: Eist Tuirseach
One of the main problems with playing this early into the patch is that you never know what you are playing against. Especially if the leader you encounter just had its ability reworked.
With that being said we queued into Eist Tuirseach, a leader that has never been really popular. This made the overal feeling of confusion even worse. Luckily we started the game on red, which allowed us to play less than optimally. After a brief exchange of courtesies in the form of high tempo plays our opponent revealed themselves as a regular Bloodthirst and Berserk breed. Though, since my opponent was slowly lining up my units, I have to admit the thought of them potentially playing Regis crossed my mind and was not very comforting. Eventually we decided to treat the first round the same way we opened against Meve. Meaning we used our limited control to deal with potential dangers immediately. Which, I have to say, is not what most competitive players would advise one to do. Luckily, being a non-competitive player allows one to make mistakes like that without any farther consequences. While our opponent’s Hemdall took us by surprise we maintained enough composure to realize that the Vildkaarl that just hit the board completely ruined our “smorc or lose” approach. We were forced to pass.
With our opponent drypassing round 2 we played the least valuable card in our hand and moved on to round 3.
In said round we still had both the Artorius and Fringilla Vigo combos at our disposal, or at least we thought so… because our opponent immidiately ruined our mage pocket. Luckily, our opponent drew much worse than we did and it even allowed us to get decent value out of False Ciri and Peter Saar Gwynleve. With Hemdall being revived it seemed our doom was inevitable. Though without any tall unit on the board our opponent played his dead Geralt of Rivia and once again we managed to escape a painful loss.
Thanks for reading!
That’s it does it for this episode of the Weekly Stream Recap! Thanks for joining us today, I hope you enjoyed the read. You can catch us live at: www.twitch.tv/weissenberg
See you next week!
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