“There’s no RNG in Gwent,” as the old meme goes. This is usually said while rocking in the corner with bloodied tears streaming down your cheeks as you foolishly risk your last mulligan to find the win condition you desperately need. Gwent has always been praised for its high skill ceiling where many games are determined by the micro-decisions you make, such as choosing to play your silver mage offensively or defensively.
However, that’s not always a good thing. Because of a lack of mana system, small deck sizes and simple to learn game mechanics, the meta is easy to figure out. This leads to tier one decks being theory-crafted days after a new patch hits and, while each faction is diverse in its own right, can lead to some casual players shying away from ladder play.
“What Gwent needs is a draft mode,” is a common claim from many Gwent veterans. Recently, we have seen the developers, CD Projekt Red, release more cards that tend to depend on more RNG than past releases. Not only that, but with popular figures like Merchant and Swim controversially calling for further RNG, the evidence is pointing to an upcoming draft or arena mode.
Thanks to the recent developer streams announcing and gradually revealing 100 new cards, we now, as a Wild Hunt Navigator would say, “know the mysterious of time and space.” And those mysterious are prayer, holding your breath and spamming BlessRNG in the chat. Join us as we present our nominees for the Hearthstone Award for Gwent’s most bonkers RNG card.
1: Avallac’h: the Sage
We’re taking liberties with our first nominee as it’s already in game, but it’s too bonkers to go without recognition. This was a card released as part of the “agility change”, which made a vast majority of cards already in game agile for a future game mode. It’s still less than a season old and even the most talented of theory-crafters are struggling to make it viable. And they probably won’t anytime soon, because only a madman – or a meme-lord – would run this on the ladder. Therefore, it’s earned an honourable mention.
On deploy, Avallac’h: the Sage spawns a copy of a random silver or gold unit from your opponent’s deck. Yes, really. Fortunately, “spawn” works in Gwent the same as “discover” in Hearthstone, so you are not stealing your opponent’s card, because that would be disgusting. Shame on you for even wanting to.
2: Saskia: Dragonfire
Gwent has a mulligan system unlike any other CCG. In games like Hearthstone, Eternal and Magic, at the beginning of the game you can choose to shuffle your whole hand back into the deck and redraw another. On the other hand (OmegaLul), a Gwent player will keep their initial hand but can choose to redraw up to 3 cards before round one begins.
Due to various muster cards existing within the game, this suits the style of Gwent over a traditional mulligan system. It allows players to set up their tutor cards like Rainfarn and John Natalis so they don’t become bricked. Having to redraw a whole hand in Gwent would be suicide.
But life’s too short to be boring. Enter Saskia: Dragonfire. And in her sexy, half-human/half-dragon style, she will banish – yes, banish (monkaS) – your entire hand and draw you that many cards. Could her upcoming inclusion imply the meta will be shifting towards 40 card decks? Perhaps, but playing Saskia: Dragonfire on the ladder will require nerves of steel. And real men will play her in Skellige, the resurrect faction, because banished cards are deleted from the game, not sent to the graveyard. As Udalryk would shout, “You only live once!”
3: Uma’s Curse
Forest Gump’s mother once said that “life is like Uma’s curse – you never know what you’re going to get”. Okay, maybe she didn’t say that. But she should have. Many fans of Witcher lore were delighted to see Uma (aka the Ugliest Man Alive) confirmed as a new card in Gwent.
As a gold special, Uma will spawn a choice of three different gold units and let you choose one to play, which he will then transform into. This will make a great inclusion to any deck with a flexible gold slot, giving you many creative ways to win the round. Or, more realistically, you will probably lose the round for not running that specific tech card, but screw consistency – we’re high rolling now, boys! Uma is love, Uma is life.
4: Slave Driver
Slave Driver: Deploy – spawn a bronze u
When you’re laddering for those end of season rewards, Gwent can become a grind real quickly. Fortunately for Nilfgaard players, CDPR have a solution to that. After all, why stick to playing your own cards when you can just play your opponents, instead? Slave Driver will spawn you a choice of three bronze units from your opponent’s deck.
Not only will this give you important information on your opponent’s playstyle, but running three of these will soon make your laddering a different experience with each game. Even if the bronze card it spawns lack any synergy with the deck you’re piloting, sometimes you’ve got to live life on the edge.
People will tell you that this card will never be viable and it’s intended for an arena mode. But to be fair, you have to have a really high IQ to play Slave Driver…
5: Lesser Demons
Gwent has many tutor cards that let you search for the game winning combo you’ve been strategically planning since round one. Running specials like Royal Decree, Nature’s Gift and Reinforcement give you double the odds of drawing a specific card. But something is missing. They are lacking RNG. Well, look no further than our last entry, and perhaps the most insane card to have ever been created in any CCG, Lesser Demons. Many fans were happy to see these characters from the Hearts of Stone expansion of The Witcher 3 make it into Gwent. That was until they saw the ability.
On deploy, the Lesser Demons will let you place any unit from your deck into your hand. Wow, thanks! I hear you saying. Wait for it, there’s a catch. That would mean it provided card advantage, and that would be OP. So, you will need to discard a card from your hand. That’s okay, you say. Cards like Toad Prince make you discard after drawing anyway. Yeah, about that – after placing the unit in your hand, you will then discard a random card. So yes, there is a chance of discarding the card you drew to your hand. (NotLikeThis)
Playing Lesser Demons on the ladder will be a Crap shoot and not for the faint of heart. However, if you want to live it up in Las Vegas but don’t have the money, just craft this epic for 200 scraps, close your eyes, hold your breath, and see what fate these mysterious relics deal you. It works the same as a roulette wheel but for less money. Although we can’t guarantee you’ll wake up in a trashed hotel room with a blistering hangover and a tiger in the bathroom.
Those were our nominees. Which of these Gwent cards do you believe deserves the Hearthstone Award? Let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, as the mid-winter update is fast approaching, let’s get ready to welcome our new RNG overlords.