The end of the year is a time to sum up what one has achieved, where they have improved and what still needs some work. It is no different in our case either.
Today I am pleased to invite you to a roundup of cards from the world of Gwent in 2022.
We have prepared several categories in which we will present candidates and winners of individual titles. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy.
Who knows, maybe your favourite card will be listed here?
The best balanced card of 2022
Here we proposed universal cards that could support many different decks, good, but also balanced, which signed up in our heads as cards worth their rake, with limited value at the same time.
Candidates for the title of the best balanced card released this year were:
With the advantage of 4 votes over the Magic Compass, the title is won by the Vial of Forbidden Knowledge, becoming the best balanced card of 2022.
Let’s take another look at these 4 commission gems.
Zeal: An Order ability can be used on the same turn the card is placed on the battlefield.
Order: An ability triggered manually by the player. Cards with Order cannot be used for 1 turn after being placed on the battlefield.
Vitality: Status that boosts this unit by 1 on its turn end. Note: Vitality turns can accumulate; 1 turn of Vitality cancels out 1 turn of Bleeding.
Summon: Move automatically to the battlefield (not considered played).
The card is very convenient to use. With no extra requirement, it’s 8 for 4 when Vitality activates. You can play the card to wait thanks to the order and it is also an artifact, thanks to which it gives us additional possibilities in Nekker decks.
The alternative ability allows us to look at the opponent’s starting deck in each of our turns, thanks to which we know what to expect, how to play safer and more effectively. The card has found its place in the decks of every faction, from ST Elves, through Selfwound SK to NR Knights, where it works phenomenally.
“A single globule of the magical liquid can turn a simpleton into a savant.”
The worst card of 2022
Each of us has a private candidate for this title. This year we got cards that were unbalanced, weak, toxic, binary, not forming a coherent archetype with others.
Candidates for the dubious title were:
Although each of us plays in our own individual way, with different decks, based on different tactics, hitting different opponents, the choice of card was almost unanimous, beating Renfri’s votes by three times, Ornate Censer won this category.
The rework of the card did not caused regaining a good opinion among players. The ability at launch was so problematic that it often amassed more points than the opponent had in all their plays combined.
When this card is played, the strength of the strongest and weakest units on the battlefield are swapped.
Adding to this small commission at the time, we received an unbalanced, toxic card, for which we had no response.
“The burner is suited for such tasks as warding off evil spirits, diffusing pleasant aromas, or creating spooky atmospheres for one’s lair.”
The best archetype of 2022
When selecting candidates, we wanted decks that performed well across metas, were fun to play, and were distinctive enough to be easily identifiable with the year ending.
There were many lists that could be considered worthy of competing for the title. We decided on the following positions:
Devo SY KoB
Poison Nekker SY
Milva – Harmony ST
The winner was a very strong list, being present for several months, that brought victory to many of us many times. Poison Nekker won over Harmony ST by a huge amount.
Several factors contributed to the success of the deck. Card reworks, including Failed Experiment and Stolen Mutagens, successfully revived the salamandra archetype and led it to the top. The well-known Tunnel Drill has returned, which thanks to Azar and Gellert can stick for a few turns, giving us an alternative to removing units if we don’t have poisons to pair. In seasons where harmony cards, knights, or vampires grew to sky-high points, the idea of removing them was tempting for many of us.
“Even failed experiments can serve a purpose. How else would one be expected to push the boundaries of knowledge?”
The worst archetype of 2022
Many of our opponents played toxic, annoying decks that made us feel bitter, frustrated, and powerless. We have gathered some of the best candidates for this title:
The battle for first place was fierce and long, but Renfri’s Imprisonment deck won the title of the worst archetype.
The leader is very conventional, the most effective is still Imprisonment, but the deck appears on the ladder with Double Cross and the Imperial Formation too.
The problem of the deck is not only unbalanced bronze soldier cards. Ivar, now an even better Censer, boils blood every time he appears on the table. The high control and points of the deck make it frustrating to play against and the deck itself is very effective.
“There’s a terrible tale behind each and every scar—you’d be surprised just how many are true.”
The card that defined 2022
There have been a lot of cards this year that we see regularly in ladder decks. We got new scenarios, new mechanics, and keywords… Despite the large selection, only two cards were worthy of claiming the title of the card defining the ending year, and they were:
According to most, Renfri was the card that influenced the players more. Perhaps this is because the limit to max 9 provision cards in decks was already there (Ciri Nova decks), and the 25 unit requirement is new. A large percentage of players also prefer to play Renfri-based decks because they are much easier to use. There is practically no risk of breaks at all, which is a big problem for Nekker decks, where it is always worth having 3 types of cards in the deck to reach the full potential. Renfri’s ability itself gives the player some freedom and the ability to adapt his next plays depending of the situation in the match.
“In this fairytale, the princess and the monster are the same person.”
Best mechanic or ability of 2022
I just mentioned the new scenarios, units, and special cards we got this year. Some of them brought a breath of fresh air and new mechanics or keywords to the deckbuilder. We have prepared a list of keywords, mechanics, and tactics that offered us the most interesting gameplay solutions this year:
Hen Gaidth Sword ability
Magic Compass ability
Puzzle Box ability
As you can see, this is a unique competition because we also considered reworks of cards that were present early in the game, but after the changes, they were completely new cards.
These candidates divided our votes the most, but the title went to the keyword – Infuse.
Infused: Status that adds effects or categories to a card. Removing the status also removes all added effects and categories. Lock disables Infused abilities.
Thanks to the new mechanics, forgotten archetypes returned, new ones were born, and those that were playable, got more possibilities.
In terms of adding new mechanics, interesting reworks, and new synergies, this year has been very successful and we hope that the next seasons will be just as good, if not better.
“Who ever said you had to be dead to haunt the seas?”
The biggest disappointment of 2022
During the presentation of the new cards, the description of their skills promised new mechanics, interesting synergies and decks focusing on a fresh style of play. Unfortunately, expectations were not met and disappointment made the cards go into oblivion. These cards fought for this sad title:
Scenario: Progress whenever you play a Tidecloak.
Prologue: Spawn Gudrun Bjornsdottir on this row.
Chapter 1: Hoard 8: At the end of your turn, gain enough Coins to fill your pouch.
Chapter 2: Damage the highest-power enemy unit by the number of Coins you have.
This is the least played scenario, and in addition, the card has one more problem – it introduces another leader to the game – Gudrun Bjornsdottir, and not in the way we would like.
We hope the card gets some love and Gundrun comes back stronger as befits a pirate hungry for gold, coins, and victories.
“Fabled, elusive, unmapped. This place sparks the wildest dreams and turns stately sailors into swashbuckling adventurers.”
The prettiest card of 2022
We realize that this is probably the most subjective of the categories, as everyone has their own taste. However, what would a summary of the year be without ratings for the visual part of the card game, in which art attracts many fans of the universe and lovers of aesthetics? The last title of this year was fought by:
For a long time, the favorite was a cat that likes to play with other people’s eyes, but finally it gave way to the real star of this list, and taking the second place.
What else could reflect beauty and aesthetics if not mother nature in the form of Loc Feainn itself? This year’s prettiest card is the Scoia’tael scenario, which we’ve seen a lot on the ladder this year.
Scenario: Progress whenever you play a unit with Harmony.
Prologue: Spawn Lake Guardian: Dawn Aspect on this row and set its power to the number of Scoia’tael units with unique primary categories in your starting deck.
Chapter 1: Whenever you play a Scoia’tael unit, boost it by 1 for every category it has.
Chapter 2: Spawn and play Loc Feainn: Convergence.
“Here, all nature returns to its source; all life finds renewal.”
We would like to thank everyone for the jointly played ladder games and tournaments during the ending of 2022 as well as everyone actively helping in the preparation of categories, candidates, and winners of today’s gala.