Hi Gwent lovers! As the name suggests ‘Way of the Witcher’s expansion set is all about Witcher’s and their origins. In the lore, Witcher’s are tasked with killing Monsters, in this set, instead of getting a Witcher school like the other factions, Monsters are getting, well…monsters. What good is a Witcher if there are no monsters to slay, am I right? Let me tell you, boy, are we getting some monsters!
The reveals so far seem to be centered around ‘Consume’, ‘Thrive’ and Swarm support.
The two legendary cards that i will be covering today have interesting designs that may see a few decks centered around them. The remaining cards for the faction can have some neat interactions, however, none have particularly caught my eye. That’s not to say they are bad.
Time for a deeper analysis…
Thoughts– My initial thoughts with ‘Viy’, is that it will need its deck to cater to it. Without this buildaround, ‘Viy’ will only be an 8 for 12 provisions, which is not particularly great. So, to make use of its effect we would need to build our deck in order to squeeze value out of ‘Viy’. I see two possible ways we can approach the deck building.
Firstly, you can go all in, filling your deck with tutors and consumes that make use of ‘Viy’s’ effect. This type of deck leads to a very tall board, this can make you vulnerable to tall removal, but, how much tall removal can the opponents deck have. Additionally, you can work around cards like ‘Korathi Heatwave’ by using ‘Caranthir’, to secure a second copy or Defender, to protect ‘Viy’. This deck will also need to run a few tutors like ‘Matta Hu’ri’ ‘Alzurs Double-Cross’ ‘Oneiromancy’ & ‘Naglfar’ to allow you the thinning and constant access to ‘Viy’. Now for the cards that ‘Consume’ ‘Viy’. Units that have ‘Order’, such as ‘Kayran’, ‘Barbegazi’ & ‘Slyzard’ are preferable because we can prepare the board for ‘Viy’, giving him protection from cards like ‘Korathi Heatwave’ due to the immediate consume, it also allows ‘Viy’ to be tutored out again next turn. As you can see, ‘Viy’ can grow very rapidly in a deck like this. You would want to play to win round 1 and bleed round 2. Securing a short round 3 can allow you to slam ‘Viy’ for huge points.
The second route you can take with ‘Viy’ is more subtle. I can see it being a Midrange OH deck that has the ability to tutor ‘Viy’ a few times. Generally, in this deck ‘Viy’, would not be the only win condition. Again, like before, you would aim to win Round 1 and bleed round 2, using a short round 3 to play ‘Viy’ for a large amount of points. This deck would generally aim to play ‘Viy’ 2-3 times over the match
Strengths-Will always go back into your deck unless locked or banished. If opponent cannot deal with it, will play for a huge amount of value. High power and high provision cost allow tutors like ‘Matta Hu’ri’ & ‘Alzurs Double-Cross’ to pull this out of deck.
Weaknesses-High provision cost for deck along with high provision cost of tutors, puts a strain on deck lists. Against control heavy line-ups opponent can neutralise your consumes neutering ‘Viy’s’ power. Some planning required as if round ends without triggering ‘Deathwish’, ‘Viy’ will go to the graveyard.
Potential Synergies- Many of the synergies were mentioned during the thoughts section, so I won’t repeat myself. I will, however, touch on the deck building aspect of ‘Viy’. ‘Viy’ is very demanding on a deck, I see many players make the mistake of cramming in as many synergies as they can. This can lead to your deck having broken synergies, as if every card relies on another, there will be a time when you don’t draw these synergies. Even in a deck that goes all in with ‘Viy’, to be successful it needs some strong proactive plays. Bear that in mind, when tinkering with ‘Viy’ on release day.
Thoughts- 31 points, that’s the amount of value this card can produce. That is obviously in the ideal scenario but the ideal scenario doesn’t really seem to difficult. I won’t go into details, as I don’t want this article to be any longer than it already is. Here is a link to the visual representation of how much value this card can really have https://i.imgur.com/33YhmOU.png. Essentially, what you want to do with this card is put it down at Adrenaline 4, then lengthen the round with ‘Matta Hu’ri’. You can also combine this with ‘Caranthir’, as when spawning ‘Koshchey’ it will immediately proc ‘Thrive’ spawning ‘Endrega Larva’. Either way, choosing to play one or two through ‘Caranthir’, ‘Koshchey’ will net you a lot of points if it not answered, at effectively 7 power (with armor) it is quite hard to answer.
Strengths- Hard to remove as quite a large body. Distribution of power to armor allows ‘Thrive’ to proc quite easily. Can generate insane amount of value, through ‘Thrive’ curve.
Weaknesses- Long round can make your hand awkward to play, due to ‘Thrive’ curve. Medium round length may be preferable, this can lead to success being draw dependent.
Potential Synergies- ‘Koshchey’ wants ‘Thrive’ to trigger every round, for this you don’t need any particular cards, but you do need cards that fit the ‘Thrive’ curve. Cards like ‘Aen Elle Conqueror’ ‘Ghoul’ ‘Golyat’ etc all do the job. A notable mention is ‘Auberon’, if you get the correct choice you can trigger ‘Thrive’ twice, in one turn.
Another effect that benefits ‘Koshchey’ is increasing round length while the ‘Adrenaline’ effect is active. ‘Matta Hu’ri’ can do this while also triggering ‘Thrive’ and is the most reliable card that comes to mind. ‘Ciri: Dash’ can also achieve this with a bit of setup but can be removed very easily.
Due to how long this article already is, and the fact that out of the current reveals nothing else has caught my eye I will not be covering a third card like usual. Apologies for any disappointment caused.
If the final legendary reveal for Monsters does pique my interest I will update this page, so keep an eye out.
Thank you for your time and enjoying this great game with me!