Hi Gwent lovers and welcome back to another installment of WotW- Theory Crafting and Thoughts. Today, we will be discussing Skellige!
Generally speaking, the strength of the Skellige cards revealed, so far, have been lackluster in my eyes. The dev team have decided to develop into already existing archetypes with the new set, the problem is the Witcher cards do not have tribal synergies with existing cards such as Warriors, Cultists & Druids. Lacking these tribal synergies in my opinion may well doom the new witcher cards to being niche choices or techs in certain decks. Regardless there are some cards with powerful effects coming our way in the new expansion which i will definitely not shy away from trying to make work!
Without further rambling lets get onto some cards…
Thoughts- Arnaghad may seem extremely powerful at first glance, however, I believe that many people are overvaluing its effect. I think the problem arises due to its role in the deck being assigned incorrectly. This seems to be a common symptom of reveal season across all CCG’s, as many players compare new cards to the current meta and trying to find space for revealed cards.
I believe the main role that ‘Arnaghad’ will settle into is a disruption tool, that can snipe high value targets if played correctly. Being able to take out an opponents key card on your opponents turn is very rare in Gwent, allowing you to play more freely on your turn.
Some potential snipes include, Gezras of Leyda, Coen & Kolgrim etc.
Strengths- If played carefully, can allow you to snipe a key card from your opponent or force them into awkward sequencing. Some potential combos can turn this card into a huge threat if not answered.
Weaknesses- Requires a decent amount of setup or smart play in order to produce good value. If played recklessly can result in a sum of 0 points for 10 provisions when the ‘Adrenaline’ effect kicks in.
Potential Synergies- Combined with ‘Sukrus’ this card can potentially play for up to 7 points each round if unanswered. Can attain some additional value through ‘Restore’ (Alchemy card) in a potential Battle Trance deck.
Thoughts- Armor up is not as flashy, nor does it have huge tempo like some of the other cards I have covered so far.
What excites me most about this card, is what it sets out to do and the efficiency with which it does. It seems that ‘Armor Up’ will have a home in the existing archetype of Self-harm (Battle Trance) as well as a new archetype that may be emerging around Witchers and swarming. We may potentially see a deck that is a hyrbid of both, taking the best of both worlds.
Skellige sorely needs support for its other archetypes as Warriors have come to define the faction.
Strengths- Efficiently produces three tokens on your board while also creating a damaged unit on enemy board. Facilitates further synergies with efiiciency.
‘Armor Up’ is a Raid card, and thus can be tutored out with Vabjorn.
Weaknesses- Low tempo, not a great card on its own, no synergies means 5 power for 5 provisions.
Potential Synergies- Haymaey Flaminica, can heal the tokens up in one turn ensuring ‘Armor up’ plays for 8 points. Damaged tokens also have synergy with Battle Trance in an Alchemy heavy deck, ‘Trial of the Grasses’ is an Alchemy card so can be tutored out with ‘Ermion’ making one of your ‘Witcher Student’ tokens a 12 power card.
Thoughts- ‘Bear Witcher Quartermaster’ is all upside in a Self-harm, Witcher swarm hybrid. It feels like this card and Armor-up were designed with each other in mind.
‘Bear Witcher Quartermaster’ is also flexible enough to fit into multiple archetypes with little to no trouble. For the Witcher swarm archetype the 1 armor given by ‘Armor-up’ to ‘Witcher Students’ allows you to dodge the self-harm aspect completely. Overall I adore flexibility in cards like this as allows it to be played in multiple decks and multiple archetypes, yet play out differently in each one.
Strengths- Flexible, can fit into many decks and emerging archetypes. May not find its place in the coming meta, however it will definitely find its place eventually.
Weaknesses-Half of the cards points are tied up in its charges, so susceptible to removal before you can extract its value
Potential Synergies- Immediate synergies that come to mind are self-harm cards such as ‘Blueboy Lugos’ ‘Armor Up’ (as mentioned earlier) ‘Drummond Queensguard’.
Bear in mind, this enhances an archetype and depending on which path you choose potential synergies may be altered with pay off cards.