The Tide Rises expansion for Gwent: The Witcher Card Game introduces 36 new cards: 6 cards per faction with no neutrals. In this article we would look into each card and review them. Then we would move to power rating and design discussion.
For the list of all reveals check out the Megathread on Reddit.
I also recommend very comprehensive ‘First Impressions’ cycle by Mercernn on the recently launched blog.
Card by Card
Card-by-Card analysis is done in a structured Google Doc. That’s the main analytical body of the article – be sure not to miss it. Each card is evaluated, often along with some basic math and various thematic applications.
(group title more important than position)
- Meta Definers
Cyclops Warrior, King Chrum, Battle Stations, Ravanen Kimbolt, Kaer Trolde, Riordain
- Potential to unleash
The Acherontia, Ixora, King Demavend III, Ship Ballista
Lord Riptide, Admiral Rompally, Flotsam, Angus Bri Cri, Hjalmar: Seawolf, Sticky Situation (for R1 contest), Funeral Boat, Imperial Marine, Hostage Taker
Captain Yago, Bacallà, Tugo The Elder, Girdle Of The Giant Strength, The Catriona, Naval Supremacy
- Archetype Support
Abordage, Yustianna, Deception, Trapmaker, Onager
- Underpowered/ Awkward
Imperial Fleet, Bernard Loredo, Mercenary Contract, Magpie, Acherontia Deckhand
Design And Balance
- King Chrum is a troublesome card designwise and a predicted meta definer at the same time. Outside of possible 40+ points ceiling if unanswered, King Chrum would be abusable from red coin, closing the point gap and establishing carryover for R2.
- Cyclops Warrior is too strong at 4 provision cost. This type of card is necessary for Ogroids to work, but should cost 5 or 6 provisions (compare for example with Nauzicaa Sergeant). Of course it would require some dispersed buffs and reworks to Ogroids, because bronze package doesn’t seem competitive right now outside Cyclops Warrior.
- Battle Stations and Ravanen Kimbolt could bring engine overload to oppressiveness not known before.
- New Pirate cards: Hjalmar: Seawolf and Yustianna are highly variant with respect to draw RNG
- After cautious Claw&Dagger expansion, The Tide Rises went in a different direction. Powercreep is visible, the meta would surely turn upside down. As various abuses and high ceiling cards/combos got introduced, pretty sure the space of wholesome pointslam decks (Harmony, Renfri Beasts, White Frost, even Deathwish) will shrink. I predict the meta to be a contest between efficient control (Pirates, Bounty?!…) and greedy decks (NR Mutagenerator Engines, Cultists…).
- The Tide Rises is a great playground for creative deckbuilders! ‘Potential To Unleash’ and ‘Challeging’ cards come in plenty.
- Designwise my favorite cards are Lord Riptide – thematic control tool for Ogroids, Ship Ballista – interesing bronze which blends deckbuff with Order Engine Overload; possibly may open the space for new strategies, Naval Supremacy – adds some fire to control SK and requires tailored decks, Flotsam – a location perfectly fitting in Order NR decks; card with flexible use, requiring decision from player everytime.
The Tide Rises expansion in spite of many abusive cards seems exciting! Whole meta would have to be build from scratch. Absurd flashy combos and giant value plays would be more common than ever. Just don’t take the game too seriously; instead of malding on 20p King Chrum Ogroids stomping you from red coin, enjoy the card art and always concede before losing too much hair.
See you on ladder!