Well that's interesting. I do much appreciate the art of SY (although some is too cartoony), but it is worthless to me if the gameplay and balance suck. The problems there with SY I have already mentioned above. If you don't like artifacts, it's hard to like SY. The SY coin mechanic of hoarding untouchable coins is the culprit.I will leave the questions of balance to others who know better than me. If you're interested, scroll back, I did it and read many interesting things. From the perspective of a more casual player; I've lost and won to Syndicate players but I never felt cheated, so they don't seem too strong for me, especially since I don't see many of them.
From an aspect that hasn't been touched on much here - I think they did a splendid job with the syndicate as an in-game faction. The cards look amazing. The factions feel very well defined and stand out from one another. Much more than they ever were in Witcher 3. So what the developers did here was they took out a very general idea of the gangs in Novigrad and fleshed it out and made it real, adding new things onto it along the way. I think that really needs to be noticed and appreciated rather than only focusing on gameplay and balance.
Especially since it seems to me like Gwent has the best visual design of cards in any computer card game that I've seen. I've played a few but if anyone can correct me on this, please do so.
On the gameplay side of things - I find most of the leaders good (Not you, Junior) and I like the fact that each faction has their own school of tactics, making them feel as distinct in gameplay as they are in apperance. On the flipside I also like that you can mix and match, combining the factions.
The Crowns mechanics i also like - it brings a new mechanic to the game, just like Blood Curse brought ticks of vitality and bleeds. And the more there is of those, the better it is for the game (so long as the mechanics aren't rushed). It remains to be seen if and how they will be used or expanded on in the future.
So to summarise - the Syndicate looks great, feels fun to play and brings new options to the game.
Now we wait for the Iron Judgement. I wonder if and what Syndicate changes that will bring.