I qualified to Gwent Masters 5 Midseason Tournament after winning Top64 Qualifier taking place 29th – 30th of April 2023. On this occassion I’d like to share a short recap and some thoughts regarding current state of Gwent: The Witcher Card Game.
Complete info on Qualifier:
– Top64 Swiss on Challonge (Day 1)
– Playoffs Main Bracket (Day2)
– Decksheet from both days
– Megathread on Twitter
– Official Final Match Cast by Ceely&Kungfoorabbit; Polish Cast by Pawloex; Russian Cast by Nik_r
Lineup And Strategy
Self-wound was added for Day2 as the 4th deck, no changes in other decks.
- Blood Money Nekker
Based on the standard 2759 fMMR list by SaNvAnTeR from the preceeding season. The only difference is 1x Slander => 1x Hysteria to have extra answer with leader to 1st form Dana Meadbh and Kurt => Kalkstein. Retrospectively Stolen Mutagens => Mutated Hound may be a good idea as Mutagens barely find good value in R1 and has no synergy with poison/bounty at this stage.
With Roland, this variant of Bounty is more oriented on engine play and has better matchups against weak control decks like Frost or Deathwish. For these matchups also Kalkstein is a better pick than Kurt (purifying Ancient Foglets/infuses from Dagon). Syndicate Bounty Nekker is a Tier 1 deck overall and the one I felt most convenient with.
- White Frost Devotion
Standard ladder list. Aen Elle Conqueror in 4p slot for proactivity – White Frost sometimes struggles in this aspect. I also prefer to play 2xRed Riders over 2xBruiser as frost is crucial for other cards to get value. It also enables carryover on Tir Na Lia and almost non-interactive playing for the reach with Winter Queen on red coin.
I also considered Ozzrel + Yghern version as played by kams134 in the preceeding Qualifier which he won, but it appeared to have worse matchup vs Enslave 6 Assimilate.
- Guerilla Tactics Harmony Simlas
Simlas into Backup Plans fills the gap of none damage removal in Guerilla Tactics Harmony. It especially excels with Mysteries of Loc Feiann first chapter already triggered, where tags would provide about +6 extra points to combo.
Dwarven Chariot is very useful vs Golden Nekker Pirates, where Armor tanks damage and helps to bring units out of removal range.
Dwarven Mercenary is nothing but a target for Saskia:Commander; it is good unconditional value.
In the absence of Brehen, Cat Witcher Adept provides additional tag for the Mysteries of Loc Feiann and Harmony. The card is also really good value for 4p when played from hand, but obviously inferior Saskia pull.
- Ursine Ritual Self-wound
Most creative out of my lists as nobody played this particular take on Self-wound. Heatwave got cut and replaced with Royal Decree. Obviously double tutoring is not something advisable in normal decks, but Self-wound is heavily reliant on combos between cards. These also have to be found early. Melusine in R1 for carryover. Sigvald + Knut combo at least in R2 to not defend the bleed with disfunctional hand.
Tesham Mutna is obviously less flexible than Heatwave, but enough to remove the most annoying threats of 1st form Dana Meadbh or Dagon:Risen.
Also none of two other Self-wound lists brought to Day2 run Brokvar Warriors. While not dedicated to S-W archetype, this bronze is simply very good value, while has some synergy with Rain damage and Armored Drakkar bloodthirst.
The Day1 lineup was picked as a soft-target of Golden Nekker Pirates. As the strongest deck, Syndicate was the default ban.
As the fourth deck i considered many options. NG Formation Cultists go well with SY ban, having very favored matchups against decks without enough control. Pincer Maneuver Priestess are supposed to be favored from blue coin vs Pirates, which would go well with soft-target.
I decided to pick Self-wound in playtests as the most solid option.
Impressions And Thoughts
- First three matches of Day2 were extremely close. It was 0:2, 1:2 and 1:2 in them respectively.
- Amongst opponents decks, Mobilization Reavers were MVP. They were present in each lineup (before final) and won each game.
- Amongst my decks there wasn’t any weak link. Syndicate performed best with 100% winrate and wasn’t banned but for the last series.
- Binary decks like Mobilization Reavers, Self-wound and Cultists are scarily good in Bo5 environment.
- My tournament decks were identical with the lists I ran on Gwent Pro Ladder. I hit my most efficient score ever with them: 53.8 LEI on Top4 factions.
- With Golden Nekker Pirates commonly running Bearification right now, SY and ST lists wouldn’t perform so well anymore (but still fine of course).
Hope you enjoyed this short recap. More content to follow…