Summer Cycle

After finally completing the Summer Cycle after 2 weeks here's my thoughts, for what they're worth. Apologies in advance for the wall of text.

I applaud the effort to try and shake up the meta, it's a great idea, and for those of us of a more acquisitive nature it's too tempting not to try and get that shiny new card back. Getting that card back has been a slog, though. Painful. I've read the phrase "this gives me Ciri Journey vibes..." and I fully agree with that. I realise that I've done this slightly more quickly than CDPR has probably expected (though not as swiftly as players who really understood how to game the system) but it's taken a win/loss ratio of 1:2 to complete it. I can't remember losing so many games (63!) in a season. If I was a higher level player playing in Pro Rank then this would have irked me no end. - bad enough slumming it in the normal ranks knowing that I can lose as much as I like and not drop down any ranks. Perhaps the really good players might be able to achieve this while ranking up but I couldn't - I just decided that I'll take the losses and not rank while I'm doing this and then start playing actual decks once it's done.

I'm undecided on the approach of using expansions as a means of delineating what cards should be used. The problem is that in the main the cards don't really align to any particluar game style. For example, one of the targets is to play Insectoids from Way of the Witcher but of the 5 cards in that list 1 is thrive, 1 is deathwish and 1 is swarm. How on earth are you expected to be able to hit targets of playing a certain number of these cards if they can't be used together in a coherent deck? It's easier for some other targets (notably Witchers or Vampires) but that can take quite a few re-rolls to get the 'right' targets to hit and only veteran players will have the ore or scraps to burn to do this. I don't have a solution to this, perhaps others will have some ideas.

I don't understand how newer players can possibly achieve the target of 250 levels given that it requires the use of cards from particular expansions and with the time limit of 3 months . If they don't have the requisite cards then they're plain out of luck because they can't afford to re-roll quests. A target you can't reach isn't really an incentive to play different decks. I understand that they still have rewards for completing objectives every 3 or 4 levels but still, the overall objective of 250 levels completed is probably out of their reach.

On a personal note, I do wish that US time conventions weren't used - for a while I thought I had until January to complete this ('Summer Cycle, ending in January, that's weird...') before I realised it meant September. The vast majority of players don't use that system. Better to spell out the dates in words (Sep 01 2023) if you want to continue to use the US system.

Overall, I'm glad this is over and I can now play a variety of different and actually cohesive decks (even if I don't win with them - I don't pretend to be actually good at the game). That is, until the next cycle starts and I feel the need to do this all again. Ciri Journey vibes, indeed.
I would also like to give feedback on summer cycle mechanics. Because my priorities are weird, this might very well reflect no other players — but it may be helpful to observe aberrations that occur when players are pressured into playing differently than their normal choice.

First, I do not play ranked matches — or I didn’t before the appearance of Cycles. I don’t want to be pushed to playing competitively (there are too many unavoidable sources of stress in my life to voluntarily add another) and I don’t like the tendency of ranked play to push one up in rank to a level where one can no longer win, (although now that I actually own the cards to create competitive decks, this might no longer be an issue). Summer is also by far my lightest season at work (I am a teacher) so I have more playing time than usual.

Because of my distaste for ranked play, I almost decided to sit cycles out. I don’t need the resources and have no interest in avatars. I occasionally enjoy a new title or card backs, and reward points (to get missing leader skins) also interest me. Only because it was summer did I even choose to participate. I am presently at level (rank?) 100 in the summer cycle — not rushing it but well on track for the card back.

My reaction so far has been mixed. I appreciate the attempt to provide ongoing, ever changing rewards — the failure of journeys to do that will be a limitation if not addressed.

And, at least at first, playing ranked matches again was fun. Having dropped to rank 25, I originally enjoyed being competitive with simply dreadful decks. Play was interesting because it no longer was only about vomiting points or removal every turn. But that enjoyment is fading — I tire of opponents who play horrendously but still succeed because of luck or significantly better cards.

And the garbage decks I create are starting to get repetitive. Although the quests themselves are very diverse, my deckbuilding has become rote — simply take as many of the targeted cards as are available and then fill the deck with as many tutors for the targeted cards as I can find, (or with targets cards for other quests when possible) and complete the deck with random junk from the base card set.

Oh, and my primary goal is not to win matches — it is to complete quests. In fact, I often go to great lengths to lose as I do not want to advance in rank — even one or two level advances a cycle will eventually bring me up to ranks where I don’t enjoy playing. I also don’t want to take advantage of obviously weak players or those whose card acquisition is limited. There is challenge in losing against horrendous play while still using target cards! But I also need to keep my opponent from forfeiting. And then there is the occasional match that is interesting enough that I want play in a way that I can see how it turns outs.

To this point, I have not found cycles unduly grindy, but I will say they have totally eliminated my play in seasonal modes (even though this months modes are my absolute favorites), and my play in unranked is substantially diminished.

I certainly enjoy the option of cycles — but I am not certain they are healthy for the game. If significant numbers handle cycles the way I have, it will certainly change dynamics of ranked play. It is unclear whether these changes are for the better.
That's a really interesting take on Cycles from a casual player perspective, thanks for the response. I'm not a completely casual player but I'm far from a competitive one; I hover around Rank 3 , sometimes making Pro Rank, sometimes not, but with no real desire to make it to Pro - I've always just played for fun rather than with a serious competitive attitude. If it happens that I make Pro in a month then great but really I just try to avoid slipping down to Rank 7 which I've always found to be the hardest Rank to escape from.

The line "my primary goal is not to win matches — it is to complete quests" mirrors my experience. The cycle has made me create decks that can't necessarily win games but are decks that include as many cards from the required sets as possible, playing as many of those cards as I can for 3 entire rounds (hoping the opposition player doesn't forefeit or you get a 2-0 loss) and just doing whatever I can to advance the Cycle.

I echo your statement that it becomes repetitive - even though a few of my decks aren't complete trash (vampires can actually win matches - shock! horror! especially with the change to Morvudd), the entire process rapidly became a case of turning the handle, grind, grind, grind. Not the most fun I've ever had but......I did get that shiny cardback....and I use it all the time (look at me! I made level 250 in the cycle! aren't I great! I am great...right?!...I need this affirmation that I'm good at something...). Self-awareness can sometimes be a terrible thing. If I'm honest, it's 2 weeks of my life I'm never getting back.

I agree that the impact of the changes is unclear. It would be interesting if CDPR gave us an update on how impactful the cycle has been on what cards have been played in the next developer update.
I tried to complete cycle quest with an inferior deck (NR Witcher) is too boring. I have to lose like 10+ games while several games even 2-0. This is such a waste of my time and no fun. One thing that very surprise me is I never pair against player who are using inferior decks like me. I never see anyone using NR Witcher but I pair against top tier meta deck NG assimilate. But even I play against NG soldier, NR Witcher can't stand a chance.

I wish Rank mode split between season cycle and normal which people can play against someone on their own format which have much more fun and not being crush by top tier meta.
I'm having issues getting the quests to progress. Cycle quests either get stuck or don't progress at all. I make sure I'm playing cards that address the quests' requirements. What really blows is that often I'm forced to play decks thar aren't as competitive on ranked play, therefore often lose. I'd appreciate it if at least I could get the cycle quests to progress. And yes, I log in and out, from galaxy, etc.
The summer cycle is bugged, not showing me which quests I have completed and not updating the stats. The funny thing about this mode is playing with old cards only to realize how bad they are now. The way of the witcher cards are powercrept out with the exception of salamandra cards, at least I can play some golden nekker style game with those quests.
I have the same problem as RCBroeker, my quests don't progress. I play required cards, but they're not counting toward those quests.
Contracts are still not advancing, you would think after years of being on things like this should have been worked out, but it seems all new events are bugged


Forum veteran
I think i've figured out how the buggy cycle quests work by now. What i havent figured is what are some of the rewards in the cycle path, they seem like avatars but i dont find them in my trinket collection. Maybe they were and i didnt find them in that giant page of stuff.

Can someone please instruct me on what those are, and what are the rewards on the path to level 250 other than resources? Thank you.

(EDIT) Nevermind, i did find them in the avatar section, but they werent at the end as i had supposed, but somewhere in the middle. Some of them are nice, but it can be argued its a bit lazy to just put existing card arts through a filter and call it a day.
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I was amazed when some of the summer cycle quests were completed after a friendly match. Is this a bug or they changed it somehow?


Forum veteran
Now its my turn to share my thoughts on cycles and some other things.

I returned to Gwent a week ago. Was in Rank 17. Took me 6 days to get back to Pro rank. With cycle decks. My initial idea was to hover in lower ranks, but that would imply losing on purpose many times, even using subpar decks. I breezed through until rank 6, going several ranks without losses and quickened by winstreaks. (This is not meant to brag, its relevant for a topic later :smart:)

I am now summer cycle lv 100, in 7 days, which is a lot, but still a bit less than some of the players records in this thread, which is OK, i didnt mean to be the fastest, only to perhaps complete it before its over.

At the beginning it was fun, but now im very tired of the 4 cycle decks i made and want to try out new things, but cant if i want to progress since the quests are always related to crimson curse and way of the witcher. I wished these cycles CYCLED through expansions more quickly, rather than 3 months focused on a couple of sets of cards.

Now, i only think i was able to rank up so easily because i did it at the end of the season, and was surprised to find so few metadecks. My guess this happens because by now all netdeckers are already in pro rank. Now i pro rank all i face are absolute tryharders and the meme decks or cycle decks i used have very little chance, and i think because my accumulated winrates before reaching pro were so high, im not facing low pro rank as i wished but freakin NR sieges and NG marine spammers everywhere. :giveup:

Fortunately the season will reset soon, will consider declining pro rank next season if i think rank 1 is more diverse than pro then (because years ago, it definitely was NOT).
I'm a casual player who loses far more than I win (I've been stuck in the teens for MONTHS because I forfeit a lot). I completed the Summer Cycle last week but omg it is BUGGY. So many times I found myself finishing matches only for the Quests to not register that I had cleared them! It got so bad that I started shutting down the whole game after every match, just so the .exe would refresh and start tracking my progress again. MAJOR waste of time (I'm on summer break too, but I still have light work hours to account for).

So if your time is of the essence, there are just nowhere near enough cards in each faction to bother with the Way of the Witcher quests. Crimson Curse has like double the cards per faction (except SY, sadly, my main faction), so stick with those IMO. Thronebreaker only offered 2 cards per faction, so they had no choice but to lump it in with Starter/Base quests.

I wish the rewards were better as you progress. (The avatars are starting to freeze/lag my Trinkets page, it's becoming a problem; meanwhile we get no new borders or coins, and barely enough Keys to farm the Reward Book for more Ore to re-roll buggy or worthless Quests).

All in all Cycles seem like a nice way to incentivize different builds & keep things interesting (the cardback is lovely), but it definitely needs some fine tuning.
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