I’m a bit of a brewer myself… For the 2nd edition of Polish Gwent Champs I’ve decided to bring some really fresh ideas and challenge the meta a bit at the same time. While the qualification mission will probably fail, I enjoyed playing my lists so far and I see even more potential for improvement. All PCh. Swiss Stage lists could be found here.
The main idea is to use Allgod, Offerings and Triss:Butterflies to boost Nilfgaardian Knight / Ard Feiann Tortoise to even 17/16 power. Then every Spotter played has a chance of rising to 20/19 points for 6 provision, and every Slave Driver 21/20 for 5.
I feel considerable potential in this idea, as the payoff potential is really great, with cheap bronzes playing at top pointslam golds value (Teleportation on Slave Driver could touch 20 points in favorable circumstances).
The list presented above is probably very suboptimal. The leader used – Imperial Formation comes from more all-in Spotter Swarm build with Braathens, Informant and Operator. Imprisonment instead is a consideration; Formation may still not be terrible if meta decks could deal with armor. Moreover Imprisonment could also setup Offerings when necessary.
Enemy-boost package feels a bit awkward without tutors and Guillame – exchanging at least Palmerin for Roderick is a consideration. Finally, Enchanted Armor stratagem is a meme-oriented part – the risk of losing on even cards is too high. Moreover, it forces keeping boost target in hand. For MMR grind I’d recommend switching to Djinn’s Lamp.
Deck has (no joke) potential to become Tier 1 when list gets fully optimized [EDIT: I was too optimistic]. Not playing engines, Spotters Swarm could contest Skellige Warriors and with more control also Harmony matchup is not this clear. (kudos to Kozix from Team Elder Blood for suggestion to revisit Spotters Swarm)
Firesworn is a pointslam archetype, relying on swarming the board to achieve maximum value from payoff cards like Dies Irae or Saint Gregory. The main struggle of the vanilla Firesworn archetype is to control the board well enough. There is no natural tall punish, nor typical removal cards.
Therefore Whoreson Junior is a natural addition to devotion Firesworn. A step further is changing the leader to Off The Books and adding Moreelse to punish decks going tall / remove instantly threat beyond Whoreson reach. OtB is also synergistic with Jacques, Scribes and Keepers of the Flame. Cyrus Hemmelfart with access to Scribes on graveyard sets up double threat and could play for absurd points when not controlled.
After Frog Mating Season card got released and subsequently buffed to 8 provision, Filavandrel got an interesting target. Playing for total of 4+12 = 16 points for 12 provision, Filavandrel into FMS is on the verge of power vs provision curve. To push it further, payoff is needed.
But how to setup Fila on 8 points? There are various ways, but one is new. Gwent 10.12 patch introduced Offering and Allgod reworks. Keeping Fila in the deck and boosting it twice unlocks FMS play. Along with FMS played from hand, we could get 8 frogs jumping on the board, which is main meme value.
How to get payoff from double Frogs? Movement and vitality. For example Cat Witcher Mentor played into a row with 4 Frogs could grow to 14 points thanks to movement and replacement. Vitality impacted by Cat Witcher Adept could proc 3 times a turn up to 9 points ceiling; easy 13 for 4 play.
Deck surely could be improved for more competitiveness; Stygga, Gezras and Geralt: Quen are not strictly necessary (none of them is from the School of the Frog), while Isengrim Council with few targets setup may be a good way to make Filavandrel pull more consistent.
NG Enslave 6 seems like good matchup for this deck – double Offering could deal with Scorpions and Helge, while Allgod boost could lead Gezras out of seize range.
Last weeks of offseason… Good luck and have fun!