Gwent Community Patch July 2024 – Review


In this article I’d review Gwent: The Witcher Card Game Community Patch July 2024 generated by democratic voting via Balance Council tool. I’d sketch the situation before the patch, analyze the changes one-by-one and then provide summary and a general review.

Check out the discussion of balance changes on Reddit and for the influencers suggestions before patch check out Vote Map by A_Reveur here.

In this council for the first time we have formed a balance coalition with Shinmiri and published our suggestions on Reddit. I welcome you to check out new ‘Balance Council‘ page on leriohub.

Before Patch

As the June 2024 was a holiday season in Gwent Community Masters cycle, i took a break from competitive play and instead streamed various funky decks on Twitch (check out also kungfoorabbit YT channel if you are interested). Therefore I had little touch with high mmr ladder meta.

Two factions which received most buffs in the June community patch apparently also had the lowest winrate in Top100, even after making the mirror correction. The situation changes when going up with the players threshold: 

The main decks played on high ladder according to my experience were:

MO | Tatterwing, Deathwish Nekker
NG | Formation Shupe Soldiers
NR | Inspired Zeal Temple Devotion, Knights
SK | Warriors, Pirates Warriors, Crowmandos, Compass Tempo
ST | Guerilla Tactics Harmony, Invigorate Harmony, Guerilla Schirru Midrange
SY | Bounty, Crimes Vice Lined Pockets

I didn’t reach really high mmrs though, so treat this list just as my impression. Out of all factions and popular decks probably NG Formation Shupe felt strongest to me and strong players I asked.

Balance Council Results

Nerf Brackets

(++) Change I like a lot
(+) Change I like
(/) Okay
(-) Change I dislike
(- -) Change I dislike a lot

CN = China Coalition
N = Necrotal
MD = Metallic Danny
LS = Lerio & Shin Coalition
Comm = independent

-1 Power Decreased

Saskia: Commander (5 -> 4) (P_Star***,CN*)

(+) Okay, natural change. 

Svalblod (9 -> 8) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

Henry var Attre (8 -> 7) (N**)

(-) Henry was just a good value high end card, not any close to the most broken ones. Henry would have played for about ~15 raw points when rolled 10p unit for self and 3p for opponent, which was already a decent roll in many matchups. One can hate the RNG aspect of Henry, but it wasn’t so problematic in my opinion. 

Brewess: Ritual (5 -> 4) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

Jan Calveit (7 -> 6) (MD**)

(/) I’d prefer a provision nerf for Calveit if possible. Power nerf would mean little for NG decks played from red-coin, while making the main liability – the risk of losing on even from blue coin – even more of an issue. 

Also with Mage Assassins and Slave Driver getting buffs, Calveit becomes even less essential for NG in this patch – it should be easy to achieve perfect thinning with cards playing on or even above power vs provision curve 🙂

Skjordal Drummond (4 -> 3) (CN**)

(/) Okay revert as Skjordal was a bit overtuned at 4 power compared with similar cards. One could have considered provision nerf instead, which would make this card more interesting.

Milton de Peyrac-Peyran (6 -> 5) (MD***)

(++) Perfect power nerf target – it was easy to get 20+ effective value from Milton in enemy boost decks or just in small package with False Ciri and Sangreal. At 5 power Milton would be easier to bleed out effectively or removed with damage.

Nauzicaa Sergeant (4 -> 3) (Comm)

(-) The only good thing about this revert is that Slave Driver got buffed. Sergeant though is only one of many Slave Driver targets and for example copying Illusionists in Bandits decks is a way stronger play.

Knight-Errant (3 -> 2) (N*, LS*)

(++) Explanation

Dryad Fledgling (6 -> 5) (CN***, P_Star*)

(++) Obvious nerf, Dryad Fledglings were too much raw power especially when played from Water of Brokilon, which at 12 tempo / 9 cost suddenly became an autoinclude for every ST.

+1 Provision Increased

👑 Onslaught (15 -> 16) (N**)

(+) Onslaught is a low raw points leader, reliant on cards supposed to play over power vs provision curve thanks to stacked armor. While Pirates were still decently popular in June, that’s an okay revert after Pirates got overnerfed in the last patch.

War Council (11 -> 12) (MD***)

(/) I wouldn’t go for immediate revert myself, because card is more annoying in carryover aspect than outstanding in my opinion,  but its fine. The question is why the community picked already played and possibly carryover abusive card as a buff target last patch in the first place.

Lara Dorren (11 -> 12) (CN**)

(+) Nerf directed against Tatterwing Arachas Swarm netdeck, which was strong and popular in June 2024.

Tatterwing (11 -> 12) (CN, MD)

(+) Same

Water of Brokilon (9 -> 10) (Comm)

(–) None of the main influencers suggested this change, everybody who I came across discouraged it, it was absolutely clear Fledglings get power nerfed. Yet still we get a revert to the card which deserved a slight buff with respect to prior state. Wasted vote, step backwards.

Azar Javed (9 -> 10) (N***, P_Star*)

(+) Good change, Azar is one of the nasty to deal with defenders and joined the Defenders to 10-cost campaign.

Necromancer’s Tome (8 -> 9) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

False Ciri (6 -> 7) (MD**, LS*) 

(++) Explanation

War of Clans (5 -> 6) (CN***)

(/) Change alone is justified, but shortsighted. Highland Warlord was extremely likely to get reverted by community and it just happened. Now Raids are back to the underpowered state from the previous patch. 

Highland Warlord (5 -> 6) (Comm)

(/) Same

Buff Brackets

+1 Power Increased

Rience (6 -> 7) (N*, LS*)

(++) Explanation

Lieutenant von Herst (4 -> 5) (MD***)

(++) Lieutenant definitely deserved a buff as stems from my Firesworn experience. It is possibly a good +2 per turn engine, working well with Fallen Knights and Fireswarm payoff cards and fee sometimes also comes handy. In reality though, he sat in the mid provision range, was vulnerable to removal and Cleric on the board condition made Herst harder to use. 

Anna Strenger (4 -> 5) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

Blue Stripes Commando (4 -> 5) (CN**)

(/) A huge impact change, which I like to see for science. Commandos feel a bit powercrept at 4 power,  let’s see if they are broken at 5 and if they could be balanced then with provision nerf. If not, then we could just go to 4-cost 4-power and buff other archetype specific cards, like Roche: Merciless.

A downside of making this change early is the probable omnipresence of King Foltest + Defender starter, which discourages playing any deck without proper answers and makes it hard for more subtle patch changes to shine. As a binary card, King Foltest is a good candidate for provision nerfs in the incoming patch in my opinion; i’d like to see old style Commandos with Draug instead of R1 cheese one day. 

Moreover BSC now need no setup to instantly combo with Coen played from AA for huge value (5+3*no.of commandos). Coen in the past always looked better on paper than in reality, but now he is a guaranteed kick-ass payoff card.

Duén Canell Guardian (4 -> 5) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

Shady Vendor (3 -> 4) (CN*)

(-) Controversially nerfed in the last patch, but for a reason – Shady Vendor was an autoinclude in package with King of Beggars in 99% of non-Nekker SY and gave random access to 5-cost specials powerful in certain archetypes. Imagine trying to buff something new instead of going for immediate revert to see the same deck winning again. What a waste of time and energy it would have been!

Bare-Knuckle Brawler (4 -> 5) (CN***)

(/) At 4 power Brawler was too weak; let’s see if at 5 power he would be finely balanced, or annoying board-wiper again. Good change, but personally I wouldn’t rush with it. 

Coerced Blacksmith (4 -> 5) (MD*)

(/) Okay buff, Blacksmith becomes harder to remove and simply plays for more points as a spender. The possibility of buffing threats out of removal range probably would be more of a synergy to explore for extra points than a game breaking abuse.

An Craite Marauder (3 -> 4) (MD**)

(+) Decent buff in the context of gradual Ulula Warriors improvements.

Griffin Witcher Adept (4 -> 5) (N*)

(+) A revert, but the only way for NR Witchers to have thematic and decent early play. In spite of the possible +3 per turn shielded value, GWA didn’t prove this broken because the ways to generate low power Witchers are limited and usually play for underwhelming points by themselves.

-1 Provsion Decreased

Geralt: Axii (11 -> 10) (P_Star*, LS*)

(++) Explanation

Vivaldi Bank (10 -> 9) (N**)

(-) Dedicated to players who felt sad putting 10 provision cost tutor to their Devotion Midrange Syndicate deck. Now same deck would grow stronger and also Bank becomes autoinclude in every Golden Nekker Syndicate. As subtle and exciting as a German hotdog with 10% longer sausage.

Yennefer of Vengerberg (10 -> 9) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

Moreelse (9 -> 8) (N***)

(-) Moreelse was generally a slightly underpowered tall punish card, which still seen play from time to time in various decks, mainly Off The Books midrange. Now it will be an easy include in every Devo Midrange which was the most played SY deck. As subtle and exciting as a German hotdog with 10% more ketchup.

Conjurer’s Candle (8 -> 7) (CN***)

(-) A revert of February(!) patch nerf. Already played as an uninteractive spender, freeing the hand thanks to carryover for the next round and also as a way of buffing engine threats out of removal range. Buff as subtle and exciting as a German hotdog with 10% thicker brot.

Bride of the Sea (8 -> 7) (LS**/***)

(++) Explanation

Mercenary Contract (7 -> 6) (MD*, P_Star*)

(+) A good buff which makes this card not only considerable, but possibly very good in some decks. MC could help to tutor crucial units in time (for example Sausage Maker) or contribute to engine overload in Nekker decks.

Slave Driver (6 -> 5) (CN, Comm)

(–) I think Slave Drivers were in a perfect spot at 6-cost, but who cares, community wants to win with their old decks as the season before, hardship not allowed.

Teleportation (5 -> 4) (CN**)

(/) I don’t mind this revert; nerf to 5-cost was designed to make bronze replay strategies more expensive. In my opinion though at least for a part it was possible to nerf archetype specific cards instead, which comes with the downside of nerfing less abusive, non-Teleport versions of the decks though. 

Mage Assassin (5 -> 4) (MD***)

(–) Blightmaker becomes 11 for 6 and Tactical Decision gets +2 extra provision. Is really winning games with overtuned bronzes in Renfri / Location carryover abuse NG the future we dreamt of when getting the Balance Council tool in our hands? As this change and Slave Driver revert shows, probably yes.


The outcome was almost exactly as predicted by us before votes in the prediction sheet. Syndicate got most love, while Monsters and Scoia’tael received nothing but for a small support from our coalition.

Votes attribution by Matol
  • S – Shinmiri & Lerio (11/12)
  • CH – China Coalition (12/17)
  • D – MetallicDanny (13/16)
  • N – Necrotal (9/12)
Presumed order of the number of votes. Table by a_reveur, data mined by awi3.
  1. The chase for immediate impact changes didn’t stop after the last patch. There are loads of buffs to archetypes which are already strong (Mage Assassins) or even top in a given faction (Soldiers Locations NG, Devotion KoB SY, Nekker Bounty SY…). Such changes as reverts come from the independent community, but also the influencers suggested many powercreep buffs instead of searching for the new ways.
  2. Provision nerf to Water of Brokilon wasn’t supported by any coalition, yet sadly went through as 8th most voted nerf. Coalitions impact in the number of votes is comparable with natural community sentiments when it comes to nerfs (Highland Warlord at 6th, Nauzicaa Sergeant at 10th). In the case of buffs it is harder to judge, because few buffs were supported by both sentiment and CN coaltion and finished high (1st Slave Driver, 4th Shady Vendor). 
  3. Votes supported by our coalition with one-star got relatively high number of votes (3rd False Ciri, 5th Geralt: Axii, 3rd Rience, 3rd Knight Errant). It may suggest that people tend to spontaneously reorder votes suggested by Balance Coalitions according to own taste. 
  4. Our Balance Coalition reached very high impact with 11/12 changes going through. Thanks to everyone who supported our votes!

What To Try?

  • Monsters | Arachas Swarm Golden Nekker with Yennefer  
  • Nilfgaard | To have fun when facing another Soldiers with Blightmakers / Tactical Decision
  • Northern Realms | Zeal Commandos, Shieldwall Golden Nekker with Griffin Adepts, Golden Nekker with Queen Meve and Anna Strenger, Uprising Witchers (winning is not everything)
  • Skellige | Crowmandos with extra provision; Rain with golden engines, Sigrdrifa’s Rite and Bride of the Sea.
  • Scoiatael | Duen Cannell Guardian in Nature’s Gift and Midrange ST with Nature cards.
  • Syndicate | Mainly not to curse when facing same decks as year ago but stronger after balance councils, but also Firesworn with Lieutant Von Herst, which would be weak, but thematic.


Thanks for reading! While I’m happy and surprised with how much impact our joint coalition with Shinmiri had, I rate this community patch as one of the weakest, with very visible impact chase and changes which may lead to narrower meta of powercreeping Tier 1 / Tier 2 decks. To keep the game diversed we would have to again revert a good deal of buffs made this patch. Hard to say how much would be possible to achieve at making Balance Councils better as a whole; independent voters picks also do not bring much hope, with unavoidable straighforward or recurrent buffs/nerfs and no adaptation to influencers suggestions.

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