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By Luis, June 22, 2020

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Welcome to our third Aretuza Report. This report covers more details on the Master Mirror cards, the upcoming Gwent Open, and some end of season reminders.

Aretuza Report # 3

Gwent

Journey Quests - Week 12:

This is the final batch of Journey quests. Make sure to finish all the quests before June 30 to complete the Perfect Companion, Unlikely Friendship, and Completionist contracts.

  • Play 3 matches in any online mode (Normal)
  • Play 15 cards with the summon keyword (Premium)
  • Play 20 cards with deathwish (Normal)
  • Play 3 Lacerate Cards (Premium)
  • Play 15 Wild Hunt cards (Normal)
  • Finish 3 matches in any online mode (Premium)

Here are two suggested decks for these quests:


Gwent Summer Festival:

The Storytellers won the Gwent Summer Festival. Three bundles for each side are now available in the shop for a limited time. The bundles of the two losing sides, Bards and Troubadours, cost 400 meteorite powder each while the Storytellers’ bundle costs 200 meteorite powder.

Mechanics Changes:

The card reveals from the Monsters faction have introduced three mechanic changes to the game with the upcoming patch:

  • Biting Frost - now deals damage to the highest unit. This effect previously belonged to Impenetrable Fog. Dealing damage to the highest unit now allows Monsters to easily and consistently maintain dominance.
  • Impenetrable Fog - now deals damage to the lowest unit. This effect previously belonged to Biting Frost
  • Applying the same weather effect in a row now stacks - it increases the remaining duration instead of overwriting the original effect.

Pro Rank Cutoffs:

Here are the cutoffs for Pro Rank as of June 22 at 2 am CEST. 

Top 16 10,182
Top 64 10,022
Top 500 9,771

Events


Gwent - Master Mirror Card Reveals

We have seen the cards for Nilfgaard, Syndicate, Skellige, and Monsters - each promoting fresh and unique archetypes. Northern Realms is next on June 22. Visit the card-reveals channel in our Discord server to stay up to date.

The Invitational

We are less than a month away from The Invitational. For more information join Team Leviathan Gaming’s Discord.

Team Aretuza

Gwent Open # 2

Best of luck to Redrame in the upcoming Gwent Open # 2 this weekend, June 27 to June 28.


Stream Schedule:

Here is the stream schedule of Team Aretuza’s Pro and Stream Team for the week of June 22 to June 28.

Name Social Schedule (All times are in CEST)
Ceely Twitch , Twitter Tuesday to Friday at 5pm
Sunday at 5 pm
Crozyr Twitch , Twitter Monday at 4pm
Thursday to Sunday at 4:30pm
Lionhart Twitch , Twitter Weekdays at 12noon to 4pm
Redrame Twitch , Twitter On hiatus until further notice. 
Shaggy Twitch , Twitter Weekdays at 8pm
Shinmiri Twitch , Twitter Monday to Thursday at 5pm
TheaBeasty Twitch , Twitter Weekdays at 4 to 8pm

Ceely will be having a subathon on July 5. Join her Discord for the latest updates. 

Player Spotlight: Redrame

I am a stegosaurus.

First of all, congratulations on securing a spot in next week’s Open. Could you tell us about your journey on your way to landing a spot in it?

I grinded out a lot of ladder, which was fairly straightforward for me since I played a lot on stream anyway. Then in the top 16 qualifier, I beat kolemoen in a very close match in round 1, swept Pajabol, got lucky a few games against wangid, and finally reverse swept a Siege pile from lNeverHood.

Were there any challenges that you faced along the way?

The most challenging part of making it to Open was not bringing a Monsters deck to the qualifier, which every bone in my body wanted to do. Shoutout to my teammate Sergio for talking some sense into me the night before. I never really thought of myself as a player as much as a deckbuilder, but I proved that I could beat the best of the best through the old fashioned way by not going out of the way to handicap myself. The second most challenging part was starting to play at 5am in the morning. No wonder nobody has qualified from NA before this.

How are you preparing yourself?

Ladder is in such a state of disarray right now that I’ve mostly just been spamming the Aretuza prep channel and trying to play as much as I can against credible opponents with relevant matchups. It’s been hard given that most of them are European and are also busy with their own prep for various tournaments, which often involves more conventional lists than the stuff that I often like to bring.

How does it feel to be the only US player to qualify for a Gwent Open?

Personally, I didn’t really care that much at first, since I don’t really see my nationality as a major part of who I am. However, the amount of people who have come to rally behind me for this reason has definitely made me take preparations a lot more seriously. I went from thinking that I wouldn’t even really worry too much about prep and just outplay people to flat out canceling my stream to practice, because I realized what really mattered right now.

You stream regularly while also providing high quality and informative gameplay. How do you manage to do both?

I don’t think there’s really any major secret to it. I play too much Gwent and I tend to ramble a lot when talking to people that I trust. The biggest trick I can offer is to play what you feel like, rather than what will help you climb the most or pandering to what people in chat want. More than anything, people want to see me take the game seriously, even if my deck is a meme or just plain bad, which is a lot easier for me when I enjoy what I’m doing.

Any thoughts on the revealed cards from Nilfgaard, Syndicate, Skellige, and Monsters and the archetypes that they are trying to encourage?

  • Nilfgaard - I’ve heard a lot of people worry about the power level of the Nilfgaard cards, but I think that they’re really cool. I like that they didn’t just republish beta spies but brought back some of the flavor. Old spies is an enigma of Gwent in that most people hated the deck back then, but are super nostalgic for it now. It feels like they were able to keep some of the flavor of spies but also change up the deck a bit and not rely on Emissary chains and Impera Enforcers that offered a crazy but also random amount of removal. It also melds well with assimilate or poison potentially without obviously breaking either deck. I really hope something is happening to Masquerade Ball though, as the only semi-redeeming factor of Masquerade Ball is the scarcity of the aristocrat tag, and the card is already overpowered.
  • Syndicate - I’m happy to see Firesworn get some love, although I was a little worried at first that a critical mass of good Firesworn cards may actually break the archetype since the good Firesworn cards are really good already, it's just that there are nowhere close to 25 of them. CDPR even said some of these cards would receive buffs, which is terrifying if they buff something like Grand Inquisitor Helveed, Sacred Flame, or Eternal Fire Priest. So far, the new Firesworn cards seem appropriately powered to make it possible to fill out the existing Firesworn deck but not add any other ridiculously good payoffs, so I think they’ve walked the line really well here. Fallen Knight is a bit overhyped and is largely just another Eternal Fire Priest for 2 more provisions that might net a couple extra points on a Congregation, but the veil status could be relevant and just having two more Eternal Fire Priests is still very nice.
  • Skellige - Definitely most disappointed by this one. While some things about Skellige are imperfect right now, such as Wild Boar of the Sea double proccing Dagur Two Blades for no real reason other than to infuriate new players, it is undeniable that all of the Skellige cards work really well with each other and have a lot of cool interactions that offer a lot of play and counterplay. It feels like instead of building off of this, CDPR is just printing a few overpowered cards and calling them an archetype because they have the word warrior on them, with the other warriors being filler at best and not included at worst. I see warriors as a tag, not an archetype, and the only card that seems to attempt to change that is Blood Eagle, which to me just looks like it could still just be used to tutor Tyrggvi and Harald. A lot of the bronze warriors suck, and the ones that don’t have very specific gameplans like Heymaey Protector or An Craite Greatsword that don’t really lend themselves to a warrior deck. Tyrggvi in particular looks really unhealthy for the game.
  • Monsters - I’m excited to see Wild Hunt back, but kind of disappointed to see no love for other monster decks. It feels like Monsters are getting the fewest buffs to existing decks despite being the weakest faction, and so far the frost cards are playable but not very impressive. The only card I’ve seen that clearly looks designed for an existing Monsters deck is Ethereal, and it’s not even a monster card. I don’t like every new card being for a new archetype that could just flop, especially for a faction that needs the help.

As a competitive player and as a streamer, what changes would you like to see in the upcoming Master Mirror expansion?

More than anything else, I really hope that the new expansion isn’t being put forth as a distraction from the existing issues with the game. I’m excited for the new expansion to shake things up, which this one will definitely do, but it won’t make every issue that the game currently has magically disappear. Scenarios will only get better with devotion decks not able to run Bomb Heaver, and cards like Geralt: Igni simply have no place in the game in their current form. I like scenarios, but hate the interaction with Bomb Heaver and hope that they will be rebalanced instead, though I’m a bit pessimistic about them doing this unfortunately, since the scenario-Bomb Heaver problem is difficult to solve and CDPR has often neglected significantly simpler balance issues.

The season ends in less than two weeks. There is still time to climb the ladder and make that final push. Don’t forget to finish off the seasonal trees in the reward book.

Author

Luis

Luis Luis is Aretuza Member

Luis has been a gamer for most of his life. His first console was a Playstation 1 which he got at age 7. A few years later, he acquired a Gameboy Advance that became his gateway to the Pokemon series. He spent multiple hours playing through the Kanto and Hoenn Region with his friends. In 2011, he started playing Dota 1 and was his entry to the MOBA genre of games. Shortly after, he started playing League of Legends which he played from 2012 to 2017. Towards the end of the year 2017, he bought a Playstation 4 and played Destiny 2 and a few single player games on the side such as God of War, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Witcher 3 which he enjoyed the most. His first exposure to Gwent was back in Witcher 3. He realized that he was spending most of his time playing Gwent and collecting all the cards instead of doing side quests and story quests. Fast forward to 2019, he found out that Gwent, the standalone game, would be released on iOS. On the release day itself last October, he immediately downloaded the game and chose Northern Realms as his first faction since this is the faction he played the most back in Witcher 3 Gwent. 

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