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Usurper, Viper Witchers & Traheaern. When?

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When will this leader and these cards receive a make-over? I'm talking principles and standards here: Why is this type of fun-ruining stuff created and put in the game? You build your deck and then see it getting destroyed before you can even play it. Nice way to have a "strategic battle between two armies". It is just really disappointing.
 
Yup. Nothing wrong with these cards.
The three are fine. Play them and you will see.
I have played enough against them and also with them to understand. Usurper's ability is removing leader ability fun for one player, there's no question about it. With Viper Witchers, Traheaern and other "mill/summon enemy card"cards, it's simply disgusting to see important cards being removed or getting bricked from your deck. Doing it myself, I felt disgusted as well, ruining an opponent's strategy and deck by taking out and bricking important cards and leader ability. It feels like cheating. To me, it is cheating to remove cards from an opponent's deck, no matter if it is a "legit mechanic". That's not how I want to "win". And that's the principles and standards I'm talking about. But I guess when people don't see or feel this, discussion is pointless, because they apparently have different standards.
 
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Guess you've never played Magic the Gathering where it's possible to remove cards from the opponent's hand and deck. Furthermore, there are multiple ways to even steal cards from the opponent's hand and deck.
I haven't, but if I had, I would very much dislike it all the same. I hope mechanics for Gwent are not simply copied from other card games.
 
I see these three cards being called annoying, frustrating, bad for the game etc. so often that I think it's time I commented on them in more detail and depth.

First off, I have been playing Usurper since October, and I have always kept two Viper Witchers in my deck, so yes I am biased when it comes to those cards. I will, however, explain my reasoning and opinions in as much detail as I can.
Traheaern I tried out once, but he was too inconsistent and so I replaced him with something that actually synergized with the core of my deck.

What follows is my personal opinion, and I do use a fair bit of imagination to explain my views.


Usurper
Yes, he disables the opponent's Leader, but that is literally all he does; he has no actual ability, and he provides very little extra provisions in deckbuilding. If the opponent's strategy is not dependent on their Leader ability, Usurper is not much of an issue and can in fact be inferior to the other Nilfgaard Leaders.

If a deck is entirely dependent on its Leader, then Usurper will completely ruin the strategy, sure. But is it ever a good idea to have a deck (an army) that cannot manage without its Leader (general)? Leaders (generals) can get disabled (killed, injured, or captured), but the battle can still be won by either side as long as they have a (back-up) plan and are smart/strategic with their moves. Usurper only eliminates one, although admittedly major, aspect of the opponent's strategy. He does not touch the deck itself, not by himself.

And yes, I have played against Usurper as well, with Leaders who have actual abilities. Yes, it is annoying to not have my Leader ability available, but it is not the only annoying scenario when it comes to opponent Leaders.

Lastly, about Usurper's ability as a game mechanic. Nilfgaard is a faction that likes to mess with opponents' strategies: stealing units, gaining boosts from stealing units, spying on opponents' decks (Reveal), infiltrating enemy ranks (spies, Infiltrator). In this light, Usurper's ability makes sense. He is a Leader, so he should have a stronger ability than non-Leader cards. Keeping in mind the game is, at its core, designed to be a battle between two armies, Usurper's ability translates to incapacitating the enemy general. Maybe he slips them non-lethal poison, maybe he has them captured on false charges, maybe he distracts them or lures them away from the field of battle. Usurper is not a fighter, but he is cunning and determined to gain an advantage using less than fair methods. He is, as his very name says, a usurper; he does not play fair.


Viper Witchers
They can be extremely good, or they can be extremely bad and even help the opponent by hitting filler cards, or they can be "meh". It all depends on RNG, which automatically makes Viper Witchers potentially be worth far less than their provision cost. In my opinion, that by itself means the card is not "OP" or even "auto-include". Which in turn means they are not an optimal choice for a deck, unless of course the deck's purpose is to mess with the opponent as much as possible. That is one of the purposes of my deck (the other being witcher synergy), and so Viper Witchers have never left my deck despite the fact they sometimes hit low-value Bronzes like Wolf Pack.

I won't deny it's satisfying to see a key Gold get Banished, and I won't deny it's annoying to see one of my key Golds get Banished if the opponent plays Viper Witchers and is lucky with their RNG. But all things considered, I like the current Viper Witchers more than the Alchemy ones in beta. *grimaces at the memory*

About their ability: it, just like Usurper's, fits Nilfgaard. I see Viper Witchers as assassins; they strike out of nowhere, and kill their target instantly. They don't shoot arrows, which would be the Scoia'tael way, but instead use stealth to get close to their targets for a melee attack. They are witchers, so they know how to use a blade effectively (Banish rather than discard).


Traheaern var Vdyffir
Like I already said, I don't consider him consistent enough to have in my deck. He looks at the top three cards in the opponent's deck, which is an RNG ability just like Viper Witchers'. Sure, you can see a key card among those three, but they can also be low-value Bronzes that would not do much for the opponent anyway. Plus, because Traheaern puts the selected card in the graveyard, the card can be revived later (unless of course it is Doomed). In fact, if the opponent has a bricked revival in their hand, Traheaern can actually be helpful to them and bad for his player.

As for his ability: this one is trickier. He is not a fighter, but an emissary with orders and a soldier escort. His ability could translate to him being attacked by a group of enemy soldiers, and his soldiers eliminating the group's leader (the card that gets discarded) thus stopping the attack.
(I did say I was going to use a fair bit of imagination!)

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If you've read this far, regardless of what you think of what I wrote, thank you for taking the time. I had a good time writing this post, putting into words what I have been thinking for a long time now.
 
If you've read this far, regardless of what you think of what I wrote, thank you for taking the time. I had a good time writing this post, putting into words what I have been thinking for a long time now.
You are welcome! :cool::beer:
 
It all depends on RNG, which automatically makes Viper Witchers potentially be worth far less than their provision cost.
It's this kind of RNG I personally dislike. It's one thing you are high rolling with Gascon, but having a bronze card potentially erase a gold card from existence is just wrong. Traheaern as a one-of gold card is okay. Still RNG, but somewhat less and you get some free information.

I rather see Viper Witchers become a 4p 4str card with the following ability: Reveal the top card from the opponent's library. This would make them competitive without becoming intrusive.
 
Maybe Viper Witchers could reveal a random unit and reduce it to 1 power like some cards used to do in the Reveal archetype back in Beta.
 
Maybe Viper Witchers could reveal a random unit and reduce it to 1 power like some cards used to do in the Reveal archetype back in Beta.
Careful, drawing into a (bricked) 1 strength unit might actually be worse than having a gold card banished.
 
Guess you've never played Magic the Gathering where it's possible to remove cards from the opponent's hand and deck. Furthermore, there are multiple ways to even steal cards from the opponent's hand and deck.
Thoughtseize is one of my favourite cards
 
Sure, I read it.

In short, the key point is that these leader, cards and mechanics ruin the fun and frustrate players. I want to feel that I got outplayed or outsmarted. I do not want to feel that I lost (or won for that matter) due to some crappy automatic leader disable and RNG banishing or milling good cards from a deck. These mechanics have nothing to do with being skilled, smart or strategic. And that's the principles and standards I'm talking about. On top of that, it goes against all advertisement of Gwent being a strategic game.

You have a nice story about Nilfgaard and I appreciate that, but this is a card game. Perhaps introduce a Nilfgaard card that shuts down the opponent's Gwent application so he/she must quickly restart it. That seems very "Nilfgaard" as well. Would you like that or does that go too far? That Viper Witchers and Traheaern are inconsistent doesn't matter (if they were not it would be even more ridiculous!) It's the idea behind it, principles and standards.

So, my proposed standard would be that the "battle between armies" takes place on the board (battlefield). No messing with opponent's decks and leader abilities. You can even sneak an Infiltrator into my deck if I'm unable to kill it on the battlefield, but you cannot remove cards from my deck or disable my leader. Simple.
 
So, my proposed standard would be that the "battle between armies" takes place on the board (battlefield).
There is more to battles than what happens on the battlefield itself. Gathering intelligence, strengthening one's own position by sabotaging the enemy, and more. Those areas happen to be what Nilfgaard excels at.

Perhaps introduce a Nilfgaard card that shuts down the opponent's Gwent application so he/she must quickly restart it.
Might've been a good suggestion for April Fools. Probably too obvious, though.
 
There is more to battles than what happens on the battlefield itself. Gathering intelligence, strengthening one's own position by sabotaging the enemy, and more. Those areas happen to be what Nilfgaard excels at.
I fully agree, but this is a card game. The rules of a game should be fair and enjoyable for both parties. This is different from a real conflict or war. It seems you get carried away a bit by your Nilfgaardian spirit :cool:

Might've been a good suggestion for April Fools. Probably too obvious, though.
True! I think if this would be introduced, there would be people playing it. Would be a nice social test.
It's a ridiculous proposal, but it was to make you think. Where is the limit? My limit is removing cards and abilities from an opponent's deck, uncounterable at that.
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Man, I love using Viper Witchers. It's like I'm fishing for cards, y'know? *rubs his hands* Let's see what I'm gonna catch THIS time!
Nicely worded! Fishing and gambling, RNG. Soon we'll get a slot machine in Gwent where we can use our ore :facepalm:
 
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Personally I think playing Usurper and Viper Witchers is very fun. It's a sabotage deck, so what? Just one of MANY different tactics to use in the game.

For me, pretty much everything I do with Usurper is to sabotage the opponent as much as possible the first round. Viper Witchers are essential for this. There are also some rather awesome combinations of Nilfgaard cards you can use which also includes Vipers.
I see no reason to change them at all. They are 6 provisions which is not really cheap, and all they do is banish 1 card. So 12 provisions to banish 2 cards. That's not very much. A 4 power card. Pretty perfectly balanced. If someone would argue it's too cheap, I would rather say it's too expensive.

So far in this game, Usurper is my favourite deck by far. It's great against alot of try-hards and THEIR annoying decks. But then again, I've only played NR and Nilfgaard so far, and NR I find very underwhelming. Most other Nilfgaard decks are to me, so so, meh..
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I have played enough against them and also with them to understand. Usurper's ability is removing leader ability fun for one player
Same goes for locking units or taking them out, removes the fun for the other player.
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Plus, because Traheaern puts the selected card in the graveyard, the card can be revived later (unless of course it is Doomed). In fact, if the opponent has a bricked revival in their hand, Traheaern can actually be helpful to them and bad for his player.
I read your whole post actually, but I want to highlight this point about that particular card, that I personally use. It's a nice card, but risky.

Ps. It's extra cheasy to use it together with Viper Witchers and/or say a card like Cantarella (even Tibor)
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These mechanics have nothing to do with being skilled, smart or strategic. And that's the principles and standards I'm talking about. On top of that, it goes against all advertisement of Gwent being a strategic game.
That's not true at all. Beyond just disabling the leader ability of the opponent, you do actually have to be skilled. And using Usurper is a strategy in itself. One that comes with a 160 provision tradeoff, which makes his deck extra strategic to balance right.

With so many different strategies in the game, many that are not compatible at all, and which bricks your deck from the very getgo, Usurper is a welcome addition to strategies. Depending on how you make the deck, it can be a very powerful strategy against a broad range of decks, not just specific type of decks.
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I fully agree, but this is a card game. The rules of a game should be fair and enjoyable for both parties.
If that's the case, I think people should forget about having a look at Usurper, and rather have a look at say Skellige, or many other strategies in the game, a good example being trap decks.

Many decks are annoying for different players. Usurper might just be annoying for you. Personally I would much rather play against a Usurper deck than a trap deck.
 
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