Deck Updates 2020/08/31: Three Big Questions About the Leader Update

This was a big weekend of Gwent with TailBot taking Gwent Open 3 and the new leader changes being revealed before the finals. You can check out those changes on the Gwent YouTube channel or Reddit. Here are three questions I have about the leader rework.

Big Question #1: How OP will Shieldwall Be?

Overall, it is safe to say that NR Devotion has been one of the best decks over last couple of seasons. Viraxas was the only evolving card that did not see a provision or power reduction. The new Shield Wall ability, pretty much Carapace moved over to Northern Realms, will likely make NR a de facto Tier 1 faction. Not only will this make protecting your big engines like Temerian Drummer, Kerack Frigate, Anna Strenger, and Reynard Odo much easier, but it also help you keep Viraxas and his targets on the board. NR players are already salivating at the juicy Prince Anseis duels that this shield-and-boost-at-will combo will generate . You will also have the possiblity of getting greedy with Seltkirk and Vysogota. If anything gets a Week 1 hotfix, its going to be this.

Big Question #2: Will Harmony Return to the Meta?

Until the current Schirru resurgence, the nerf to Harmony took Scoia’tael completely out of play. Now with the nerf reverted, will Harmony make a comeback? Gone is Mystic Echo and the ability to play Waters of Brokilon twice. In its place is a reworked Call of Harmony that allows you to play Dana Meadbh a 6 power unit with a unqiue relict and harmony tag. On paper, Dana & Waters gives you the same point output as double Waters, but with one less harmony engine. However, the significant upside of double Waters was the able to split Waters in order to defend the bleed Round 2. Viable this season is still TBD.

Big Question #3: Will Skellige and Monsters Be Viable After Nerfs?

Monsters took the biggest nerf of the patch. Ethereal has now become a glorified Kikimore Warrior with its transform now being an order ability and can be susceptible to 4 damage removal. Caranthir (+1 provision) and Auberon (+1 provision and -1 power) were some very commonly used cards that were balanced, which will threaten Monster’s place as a possible top 4 faction.

Skellige saw provision increases to both Blood Eagle and Harald an Craite, which will take some power out of the warriors archetype. The faction is in a little better place than Monsters, because of a buff to Holger Blackhand, which will synergize with Ships and Pirates, and the 12+ point potential for new Rage of the Seas leader ability. Will also have to see how the how Greatswords rework, capping them at 10 points, will impact their use.

Want to discuss the new patch? Leave a comment below or make sure you join the Gwent. us Discord and give me a follow on Twitch. Good luck on your last day!

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