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The state of Northern Realms as a viable faction

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Philologus

Junior Member
#1
The state of Northern Realms as a viable faction

As some of you know, I play NR exclusively, and have done so ever since I finished the training modules, and entered ranked play. I started playing around June/July 2017. I do this because of my emotional attachment to NR from playing The Witcher games. While I understand and sympathize with any developer's endless (and seemingly futile) efforts to balance a CCG, I believe that each faction should have a card-pool from which one may build competitive archetypes. By using the word "competitive", I refer to a deck that has a roughly equal chance to make GM compared to other faction archetypes; this way, skill determines wins and losses. In Gwent's current state of point-spamming (which I think still prevails even after the latest patch), I don't think NR has a competitive archetype outside of Henselt Machines. The Foltest 40? No. Swarm? For me, it seems to work until one gets to R19+, where it really sputters. Cursed? Heck no! It's so slow to start, and easily shut-down.

I play a custom Radovid control deck. I am not doing well this session. I think I will attain R20 again, but it will be such a grind, and my record will be abysmal. I've tried out Henselt Machines, but it's just not my "thing", especially since I do not like to net-deck. Question: Is Henselt Machines viable at R20+? Regardless, I am getting side-tracked..

What is your opinion on NR? I think it is a very limited faction compared to others, especially NG. (IMO NG is by far the most versatile faction, and the most powerful, at the moment) I think NR lack synergy and must rely heavily on neutral cards. NR does not have much chain-summoning/resurrecting compared to other factions. It doesn't have hand-interaction (like SC and NG). It doesn't have movement and barely has swap. It does have swarm synergy, but I question whether it is as effective as NGs or SCs. Heck, SK has the bear archetype which resembles a swarm when the priestesses get going. (I kid you not: I had a two-to-one card advantage going into R3 against a SK opponent, who vomited so many points on chain-resurrecting, that he/she beat me by 10 points)

So, what could be done to make NR more synergistic with its different archetypes? Cursed needs a LOT of help. It's incomplete, IMO. Armor archetype needs more cards that interact with armored units. Right now, what do we have? Vincent? K-Cavalry + Redanian Elite?
 

4RM3D

Moderator
#3
Philologus;n10476062 said:
Really? No one?
Well, pretty much everything you've said I agree with. So, not much left to discuss. NR isn't the strongest faction now. It has a lot of archetypes but everyone of them is missing a few more bronze cards. Some players go for Henselt, but I don't really like the deck and it's a bit risky. Most go for the Nova Armor deck, which is more reliable and can get a lot of points on the board and thins pretty well, too. Though, Ironically, Nova Armor is a mixture of archetypes without a single identity. In the end, NR still has some viable decks, but it still needs more bronze cards to support the weaker archetypes.
 

OG.laloquaint

Junior Member
#4
I feel like a lot of their cards have zero synergy with each other and the faction suffers a lot because of it. I normally play armor with this faction and it's kind of good I guess? I think NR could use some reworks for sure.
 

Tschjo

Junior Member
#5
One important solution: Give us back the resuffle medic. A very special and unique card that could fight those ressurect chains with reshuffle chains.

Im same as you never got warm with the other factions so im only playing NR. What i came up with after my Foltest swarm got axed is this
Its a nice shupe cursed synergy deck that is doing decently. Not the best but way more interesting than maschines. I mad some small changes to this list

- tutor
- Sabrina
-Tremors

+ Reconnaisance
+ Redanian Knight
+ Olgierd van Everec

The commandos horn nerf hit this deck hard aswell but im doing quite ok. Be warned though the deck is hard to pilot you need to keep track of your cards in your deck well. If you want play vandergrifts blade for the NG leader revival nonsense cutting Margareta.

PS: I also got not a single reply on the deck. Nobody cares about NR it seems.
 
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Philologus

Junior Member
#6
Tschjo;n10476622 said:
One important solution: Give us back the resuffle medic. A very special and unique card that could fight those ressurect chains with reshuffle chains.

Im same as you never got warm with the other factions so im only playing NR. What i came up with after my Foltest swarm got axed is this
Its a nice shupe cursed synergy deck that is doing decently. Not the best but way more interesting than maschines. I mad some small changes to this list

- tutor
- Sabrina
-Tremors

+ Reconnaisance
+ Redanian Knight
+ Olgierd van Everec

The commandos horn nerf hit this deck hard aswell but im doing quite ok. Be warned though the deck is hard to pilot you need to keep track of your cards in your deck well. If you want play vandergrifts blade for the NG leader revival nonsense cutting Margareta.

PS: I also got not a single reply on the deck. Nobody cares about NR it seems.
Wow..it's an interesting deck. Off-hand, I am wondering about its tempo? For me, it looks slow (no offense), but it's definitely unique and interesting, for me. I'd like to play against you sometime.
 

Philologus

Junior Member
#7
4RM3D;n10476142 said:
Well, pretty much everything you've said I agree with. So, not much left to discuss. NR isn't the strongest faction now. It has a lot of archetypes but everyone of them is missing a few more bronze cards. Some players go for Henselt, but I don't really like the deck and it's a bit risky. Most go for the Nova Armor deck, which is more reliable and can get a lot of points on the board and thins pretty well, too. Though, Ironically, Nova Armor is a mixture of archetypes without a single identity. In the end, NR still has some viable decks, but it still needs more bronze cards to support the weaker archetypes.
Just out of curiosity: When was NR a strong faction? Because it certainly has been weak and non-synergistic ever since I have been playing.
 

Void_Singer

Junior Member
#8
The ones I keep seeing are the 3 Henselt variants (Machines, Armor, Seige/Swarm), and the Foltest / Blue Stripes... Siege/Swarm seems the strongest
 

4RM3D

Moderator
#9
Philologus;n10477192 said:
Just out of curiosity: When was NR a strong faction? Because it certainly has been weak and non-synergistic ever since I have been playing.
The strongest meta was probably after the armor buff (before it got nerfed again). During that period most players were playing NR Armor. Also noteworthy was NR Ballistas during the Monster Swarm meta because Ballista wasn't capped back then and could basically eliminate your opponent's side with one of those. As a bonus, I'll mention closed beta when NR could promote units to gold. The first iteration of NR promote was literally unbeatable (and horribly balanced). The 2nd iteration was still pretty strong and difficult to beat.
 

Philologus

Junior Member
#10
Void_Singer;n10477762 said:
The ones I keep seeing are the 3 Henselt variants (Machines, Armor, Seige/Swarm), and the Foltest / Blue Stripes... Siege/Swarm seems the strongest
Trust me.. swarm does not work well at about R20. It just gets stomped by other decks that spam points better (e.g. dwarves, bears) or decks that control well (e.g. just about any NG). Monster consume also tends to out-do NR swarm because most of them don't have enough tech to eliminate the nekkers before they get copied. Of course, one can insert more tech to control, but then it really messes with the synergy of the typical NR swarm deck, and it just can't spit out the points.

Maybe I didn't experiment enough with trying to make a balanced tech-swarm NR deck, or maybe I'm just not seeing it. But right now, I don't think it's a viable deck to take to GM.

4RM3D;n10478412 said:
The strongest meta was probably after the armor buff (before it got nerfed again). During that period most players were playing NR Armor. Also noteworthy was NR Ballistas during the Monster Swarm meta because Ballista wasn't capped back then and could basically eliminate your opponent's side with one of those. As a bonus, I'll mention closed beta when NR could promote units to gold. The first iteration of NR promote was literally unbeatable (and horribly balanced). The 2nd iteration was still pretty strong and difficult to beat.
Ah.. interesting. Thank you for that information. I wish I would have been playing back then (during what I assume was closed beta).

Is there a particular reason NR is in the current weakened state? Have the developers acknowledged it in any way?

ps- I just checked the latest GwentUp, and NR popularity is dead-last (by a big margin) at 7.1%when looking at the top-tier analyzed (4000+MMR), and
Henselt leads the popularity percentage of all NR leaders at a whopping 3.1%

pps- At this point, I don't even feel bad anymore about my atrocious outing so far, this season. It's not like I am making many mistakes when playing.
 
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Tschjo

Junior Member
#11
Philologus;n10477172 said:
Wow..it's an interesting deck. Off-hand, I am wondering about its tempo? For me, it looks slow (no offense), but it's definitely unique and interesting, for me. I'd like to play against you sometime.
Non taken. And its definitly an impression this list could give. When playing though almost all of your cards are 11+ plays. You can generate a lot of Tempo with Adda, shupe, or botchling, lubberkin when having a siege support out. Also naturally natalis is fine i recently cut him though for Aguara and Seltkirk ( also cut muzzle and added thaler for horn). Really a lovely couple in NR that prolly should see way more play together. Cursed knight on tormented mage is gas aswell as on your 2 power olgierd from round 1 (most enjoyable play is to hit your oppoonents Iris with it :D).

If you are playing on PC feel free to add me name is the same ;)


PS: The 40 card Foltest deck like this https://imgur.com/a/Ne5dn was imo the best NR deck to exist ever.
 
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PrincessMassacre

Junior Member
#12
Lacks tempo (except Henselt), lacks synergy, relies on cards with effects to be played which can be shut down, relies on neutral cards to compensate for weakness of NR golds/silvers.

Decent deck thinning, but sometimes random. Can make powerful plays in later rounds, but requires setup, and lacks burst/tempo for round 1. Easy to disrupt or negate win condition.

Not much to say about NR after the Machine nerfs. On the other hand, Henselt is even more powerful because of 8 bases strength Siege Towers instead of 4 previously and Winch. You can set them up on separate rows, and they can't be d-bombed. Although if your opponent can line up their HP and doesn't have 10+ strength units, they can be scorched. But... but... that still requires at least 2-3 plays... tempo is just broken right now.

Foltest is literally infantry spam... might have been an interesting game mechanic, if it wasn't... 40 card Foltest/Hubert is trash.

Radovid just lacks any sort of tempo, and the Undead archetypes lack tempo, synergy, diversity, etc... they all basically begin with Revenants, which have low value and can be shut down.

Pretty much just Henselt is pseudo-viable, since if you know how, then you can shut down all Henselt builds with ease. Too predictable and requires too much chaining setup to get going.
 
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Void_Singer

Junior Member
#13
Philologus;n10478462 said:
Trust me.. swarm does not work well at about R20.[...]
True enough, didn't mean to imply they were a good carry to 21... just the archetypes I've currently seen strongest all of them except machine are fairly low tempo R1

 

Philologus

Junior Member
#14
PrincessMassacre;n10484322 said:
Not much to say about NR after the Machine nerfs. On the other hand, Henselt is even more powerful because of 8 bases strength Siege Towers instead of 4 previously and Winch. You can set them up on separate rows, and they can't be d-bombed. Although if your opponent can line up their HP and doesn't have 10+ strength units, they can be scorched. But... but... that still requires at least 2-3 plays... tempo is just broken right now.
Agreed, and I want to further comment on Henselt Machines. It (likely) has one good burst-play or finisher, in Henselt + Towers or some other machine. However, this biggest issue with this archetype is that it's too slow to set up the condition for a machine to get it's maximum value, which as you know is placing a machine between two crewed units. And then once you DO place a machine between two crewed units, you have to place another crewed unit to create a "pocket" for the next machine to get its max value.

Now, you may say, "Not every machine needs to get top-value", but let's look at the NR machines:

Ballista (6): Deal one damage to up to four enemies with same power. Repeat if crewed. So it ranges from 7 points at worst, to 18 points if everything is set up perfectly (i.e. placed between two crew units and there are four targets of equal power, with at least 4 power each) It's not reliable.


Battering ram (6): Deal 3 damage, and if enemy is destroyed, deal another 3. Increase damage by 1 if crewed. It's a minimum 10 points (assuming there is a target with at least 3 power) and a max of 17 IF placed between two crewed units. Again, unreliable.

Trebuchet (7): Deal 1 damage to three adjacent units. Increase damage by 1 if crewed. Here, if there are three adjacent units to hit, it's worth a min of 10 points and a max of 16 if conditions are perfect.

Reinforced Trebuchet (8): Deal one damage to a random enemy at the end of a turn. This is my favorite machine, not because of its ability (which I think is weak), but because it serves as a decoy target for opponents removal, so that I can set and keep some other more valuable unit on the board. It's funny how most opponents seem to panic when this unit is set on the board; IMO it takes at least two of these staying on the board to pose any serious threat. That's hard to do.

Siege Tower (8): Boost self by 2. Repeat for each crewed unit adjacent to it. So it's 10-14 points.

Most of these machines have good value under ideal board conditions, but from my experience, it's well-nigh impossible to gain full value of even half the machines in one's deck, during a match. Typically (for me), they seem to under-perform. Furthermore, when comparing the setup required to gain higher value, to say, slapping a half-elf hunter or dwarven skirmisher, or slave driver on the board? Well, the tempo is damn low for the machines, because as I mentioned before, one has to keep creating "pockets" of two "crewed" units to gain maximum value for each machine, and even then, the requisites for a particular machine have to be met (e.g. having three units adjacent, or four units of the same power).


 

W12

Junior Member
#15
Why NR in bad state:
1) No garanteed carryover (wardancer/bran) - blue coin win leaves you 1 card down R3
2) No spy tutor. (Hym, Brouver..)
3) No hand/graveyard play
4) No cheating (reveal, knight in hand, Aerilin)
5) Unflexible leaders
6) Lack of no-setup 15-20 bronze play ( viper, ST swap officer or 6 elfs combo opening)

I suggest to play other factions for a while
 

Philologus

Junior Member
#16
W12;n10485232 said:
Why NR in bad state:
1) No garanteed carryover (wardancer/bran) - blue coin win leaves you 1 card down R3
2) No spy tutor. (Hym, Brouver..)
3) No hand/graveyard play
4) No cheating (reveal, knight in hand, Aerilin)
5) Unflexible leaders
6) Lack of no-setup 15-20 bronze play ( viper, ST swap officer or 6 elfs combo opening)

I suggest to play other factions for a while
Well, I refuse to play another faction. It's absurd to have various factions, and then have at least one of them be crippled by inexplicable lack of synergy and tempo, compared to other factions. (I think monsters is the next weakest) I mean, what's the point? For me, it this nerfing of NR has been going for at least three patches. Why have NR as a faction if the devs continue to keep it weak?

Of the points listed above, I think #1 and #3 are by far the most crippling. With point #1, if I don't "win" the coin toss by going second, I usually lose the match even if I win R1. And point #3 is baffling to me. Other factions have this interaction; extend it to NR.
 

Therealmorkvarg

Junior Member
#17
Got about 90% winrate this season with a vernon roche blue stripes deck :) running kiyan + trial of grasses finisher one aretuza for abit of point gain per turn and seltkirk amazing this season with royal decree i sometimes manage 25ish point plays with em hes great, i do believe a few archetypes may need a buff but im just waiting for skellige discard to have a buff
 

Philologus

Junior Member
#18
Therealmorkvarg;n10485362 said:
Got about 90% winrate this season with a vernon roche blue stripes deck :) running kiyan + trial of grasses finisher one aretuza for abit of point gain per turn and seltkirk amazing this season with royal decree i sometimes manage 25ish point plays with em hes great, i do believe a few archetypes may need a buff but im just waiting for skellige discard to have a buff
90%? Wow. You need to enter the Gwent Challenger Open, immediately with your Roche/Stripes deck.

I have you beat, though. I give a 190% win-rate with my 40-card random deck. (I just threw a bunch of *&^t together).

How do I have a 190% rate? Because I play in two parallel universes, and have a 95% win-rate in each. Oh yeah.. forgot to mention I'm a genius quantum physicist who has invented wormhole technology.​
ps- My random deck has ZERO units, yet I still win.
pps- I would have a 200% win rate, but I take mercy on some opponents.
 
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SigilFey

Moderator
#19
Let's keep responses less edgy, please. We can make points without all the scathing sarcasm. Do not assume your opinion or experience is in any way superior to others.
 

Therealmorkvarg

Junior Member
#20
:hai:What is with the rudeness, haha well 90% winrate in lower ranks havent even reached 3300 yet, im certainly meeting the scoia mulligan spam now and struggling. I wasnt trying to boast i was just saying my winrate with blue stripes pretty solid, but i experiment constantly so my winrate overall is probably 50/50 :cheers: