Seasonal Mode Guide: Season of the Wolf
January 16, 2020 by Veruis
Hey everyone, I am Veruis, a casual player of CCG and RPG games, and I love spending my time having fun tryharding on ladder. That is why I decided to combine my strength with Team Aretuza and prepare for all of you something to help with the best mode in Gwent: Seasonal. Enjoy!
What Is Seasonal Mode?
Seasonal Mode is a special game mode, rotating each month, with a unique ruleset where you fight another player. To join the queue, you need to be at least Level 10.
Playing this mode allows you to complete some quests in the seasonal Reward Tree. Also, this mode is the best place to complete contracts quickly, which will grant you Reward Points (RP). While spending RP, you will encounter special nodes marked with a chalice. Some of these will stop you from proceeding further until you finish a quest. Few of them can be done exclusively in seasonal mode, but most can be done in any mode in game.
What if I don’t have time and Reward Points for this season’s Reward Tree?
Fear not! CDPR provides a solution: Each month, you can find a Seasonal Bundle in the store which contains everything that was available in the season four month prior with an additional bonus cosmetic- a new border or an avatar. Accordingly, the Seasonal Bundle of the Season of the Wolf will be in the store in May 2020.
Season of the Wolf
This month, you fight for the Wolf card back, three unique avatars, four Wolf borders, and two premium Griffins. To complete the Season of the Wolf Reward Tree, you require 80 RP, while the fastest way to the White Wolf border requires 51 RP. To complete the Leader Tree (Geralt of Rivia), you need 79 RP, while the fastest way to the Wolf card back requires 51 RP. I would like to point out that this season’s border is an improved version of the open beta one.
“Whenever a unit appears on the board, damage it by 2 then boost it by 4. If it’s a Witcher, the damage is not dealt.”
It might seem like there is nothing new in this Seasonal Mode, as its rules resemble the rules of the Season of the Dryad, but the ability to play cards which even when summoned will get damaged and boosted adds a whole new dimension to deck-building. Witchers not being damaged leaves room to think about using previously unusable cards.
When building a deck, it's a good idea to avoid playing units with a strength of 1 or 2, which will die as soon as they appear; unless we want that of course, as in the case of Archespore or Firesworn Zealots.
When it comes to leader abilities, the possibility of playing two cards in one round (e.g. with Tactical Decision or Pincer Maneuver) is still top. However, there are also utility skills to consider, such as the Patricidal Fury or Jackpot.
This month we have a significant number of neutral cards, mainly due to all kinds of Witchers.
- Geralt: Yrden, Geralt: Igni, Geralt of Rivia: These cards are ideal for this mode and you should add at least one of them, preferably two, to your deck.
- Ciri, Ciri: Dash: Less necessary than the Geralts, but still worth considering, especially in a deck which has the ability to protect them.
- Vesemir: Mentor: This card is viable in a deck with multiple Witchers.
- Eskel, Vesemir, Lambert: The Witcher trio which was destroyed by numerous nerfs, celebrates its return to being playable. These three cards will find their place in virtually every deck.
- Eskel: Pathfinder: It can be considered when you don't have many alternatives for 9 provision cards.
- Ivo of Belhaven: A great card in any deck which deals 2 points of damage every second turn.
- Iron Falcon troubadour: The perfect choice for when you want to turn Armor straight into points. Do not use it on Witcher units.
- King Cobra: It's easy to get tall units in this Seasonal Mode, so Poison is quite good here.
Don't play Monsters. These may be hard words for Monsters fans, but honestly, they're totally failing in this month's Seasonal Mode.
Jamedi from Team Nova and I came to the conclusion that the only thing Monsters players can do is to use cards that give good points on their own, such as engines with numerous Consumes. However, because of the various Geralt: Igni, Geralt: Yrden or Geralt of Rivia inclusions, this is ultimately an extremely risky tactic.
Winning is not unfeasible, but the main goal would be to bait out all tall removal from the opponent, to finish them quickly with Ozzrel and Golyat in Round 3. But don't fool yourself: Monsters are too weak and I don't recommend playing them.
I seriously suggest you play a different faction.
Last month, Damien de la Tour and Strategic Withdrawal ruled Seasonal Mode and this month, we continue to stick with Nilfgaard. Maybe the Empire is really as powerful as they say?
This Nilfgaard Witcher deck is a slightly modified version of a deck from almost a year ago, when it reigned on the ladder for a short time. You can find Vesemir: Mentor here who boosts half of the deck by 1, numerous control cards such as Letho of Gulet, Serrit and Auckes, four cards that apply Poison and Van Moorlehem Hunters. Between Locking the opponent's most important cards, you get your own points from Cahir Dyffryn, the Witcher trio and Standard Bearer. Finally, you have Letho: Kingslayer to use your opponent’s cards against them or to get another copy of your own important cards.
With this deck, it's rare that you don't draw all your golds. It is a very good choice for people who love both Nilfgaard and Witchers.
- Changing Tactical Decision to Strategic Withdrawal is a consideration. The deck contains Poisons or Locks that can get your opponent very confused.
- Cahir Dyffryn is the ideal card for this mode, but due to the many cards that destroy it (e.g. all the Geralts) it can be exchanged for Maraal or Yennefer's Invocation.
- Eskel: Pathfinder is in a similar situation, so consider switching to Maraal or Yennefer's Invocation.
Northern Realms are doing well – both in Pro Rank and in this Seasonal Mode.
This deck is based primarily on the use of the Shields to protect your units from the instant damage in this mode as well as boosts for several Inspired cards. Prince Anséis is ideal to remove your opponent's essential cards and Geralt: Yrden and Bloody Baron are perfect as a last-say combo when your opponent has played numerous boosts. Immortal Cavalry and Caravan Vanguard, combined with Queen Adalia and Reinforcements, are typical point-slam cards. Radovid's Royal Guards are a great addition to Anna Strenger, Prince Anséis and Mad Kiyan. Be careful with Mad Kiyan though: Too many boosts can end its life!
While setting up your units, it's worth taking a moment to think about whether playing another Immortal Cavalry is a good idea, especially with so many Geralt: Yrden and Geralt: Igni in this mode. Sometimes you will not draw into all your golds with this deck, but fortunately the bronzes provide good value by themselves.
- Mad Kiyan doesn't always work, so good alternatives are Vissegerd or Black Rayla.
- Instead of Siege Ladder, consider Lyrian Scytheman, which has a high point ceiling for a 4-provisions card.
- Caravan Vanguards can be exchanged for an additional Temerian Drummer. The remaining 2 provisions can be used to further improve another card.
In this mode the guerilla fighters don’t wreak as much havoc as on ladder. Nevertheless, Scoia’tael is a force to be reckoned with.
This deck works well in medium-long rounds when you can use Novigradian Justice with Mahakam Defenders and Dwarven Mercenary. The low number of control options in this list doesn’t allow us to extend rounds, especially against Northern Realms we might get overwhelmed. Most of the deck is able to produce a lot of points, but you also have Geralt: Yrden to keep NR in check.
- Sometimes, it won't be possible to protect your engines, so consider changing Ciri: Dash to Figgis Merluzzo.
- The Great Oak used as a finisher doesn't necessarily result in a win. You can think about swapping it for Geralt: Igni, which works especially well with Dwarven Mercenarys.
Oh, wonderful islands of Skellige! Why are your people still at the end of the ladder and only come out to play Seasonal Mode? I don't know, but one thing is certain: You can definitely play Skellige this month's Seasonal Mode.
The fact that each unit is damaged when played can be used to your advantage. An Craite Greatswords, along with Dagur Two Blades, work well with Patricidal Fury because the Deafening Sirens take double damage. The rest of the deck either allows the Greatswords to be reused (Freya's Blessing) or supports them (An Craite Longships, Morkvarg: Heart of Terror, Hemdall, Delirium and Gigascorpion Decoction). Geralt: Yrden has your back if your opponent can deal with Greatswords or Dagur or if they have Cahir Dyffryn.
- You can consider using another Geralt instead of Hemdall.
- Apart from An Craite Greatswords, almost every bronze can be exchanged for another useful alternative, such as Mantlet, Dimun Light Longship, Dimun Warship or Caravan Vanguards.
This deck was created by Jamedi and the main idea is: everything or nothing. There is no great philosophy behind playing this list. You just invest everything to push the opponent out of the round with Madame Luiza and Savolla, Philippa Eilhart, Poisons, Townsfolk and Bincy Blumerholdt. Grand Inquisitor Helveed and the corresponding bronzes Firesworn Scribe and Eternal Fire Priests – the latter can be multiplied with Igor the Hook. Two Scribes and Helveed can enable a combo that generates points via Townsfolk or Bincy until the round is over, which usually allows you to beat any score your opponent might reach. If you can get that combo started and click fast enough, that is.
- Gascon: Iron Falcon can be replaced by any of the Geralt cards.