Gwent – Patch 5.2 review

Posted by lerio2 March 3, 2020 in Patches and Hotfixes

Link to Playgwent patch notes:

https://www.playgwent.com/en/news/32083/update-5-2-is-now-available

Overview

Update 5.2 for the Gwent Season of Bear 2020 is rather of cosmetic character due to planned World Masters Finals. The patch is not supposed to shake the balance nor turn the meta upside-down.

The policy of hiding nicknames on the Pro Ladder gets completed with unified avatars and hidden prestiges during Pro Ladder matches.

Also, hidden fMMRs policy, introduced season before for the Gwent Masters Ratings website is now completed by disabling Ratings tab in public profiles. This change is of brute force nature, as hiding rating was supposed to be governed by player decision of having private/public profile.

Cards adjustments

In the original Playgwent patch notes a motivation behind each change is presented. We will omit these comments to keep the article more vivid and concise. We appreciate such policy and refer you to the notes, if you want to know the reasoning behind particular adjustments.

Neutrals

  • Bekkers Dark Mirror provision changed from 9 to 8. 

Comment: Bekkers Dark Mirror is a situational card and could see systematic play only in specially crafted decks. The card was dead, so the change is good. Maybe some meme decks, like Alchemist+Tibor will rise in popularity at lower ranks.

  • Caretaker provision changed from 14 to 9.
  • Caretaker power changed from 2 to 7.
  • Cartaker ability changed to: Zeal. Order: Purify a unit. Cooldown: 2.

Comment: This rework is supposed to prevent Scenario abuse, which often leads to matches predetermined at the moment of R1 draws. It should be denoted, that abuse is still possible in Nilfgaard decks via Assire+Matta/Roderick. New Caretaker is a meta dependent card, which maybe will find regular application in decks going tall, like some Monsters builds.

  • Tesham Munta Sword provision changed from 8 to 7

Comment: Good direction, but the card is still unplayable

Monsters

  • Brewess provision changed from 8 to 7.
  • Brewess power changed from 6 to 5.
  • Weavess provision changed from 8 to 7.
  • Whispess provision changed from 8 to 7.

Comment: Reasonable changes. We do not understand power nerf to Brewess however. As Brewess is usually supposed to be played as the first Crone, 5p makes her very low tempo for aggressive MO decks.

  • Mourntart provision changed from 9 to 8.

Comment: Good direction, but row lock should also be dropped. Have a look at “Alphabet of Factions and Leaders: Monsters” for more details.

Skellige

  • Second Wind provision bonus changed from 15 to 14.

Comment: Understandable nerf – Second Wind was meta defining in the last patch with its powerful Greatswords/Dagur combos.

  • An Craite Longship power changed from 5 to 4.
  • An Craite Longship Armor changed from 0 to 1.

Comment: An-Craite Longship was unbelievably annoying if unanswered, developing bloodthirst and reaching great effective values. After nerf it will probably leave meta decks movement will trade up with this card and it will be susceptible to Stunning Blow

  • Freya’s Blessing ability changed to: Play a bronze Skellige unit from your graveyard and give it Doomed.

Comment: Understandable nerf – immortal Svalblod Priest will no longer be the case.

  • Wild Boar of the Sea provision changed from 11 to 12.

Comment: Deserved nerf, which may tweak Skellige fashion a bit towards Gedyneith once again.

Northern Realms

  • Added Machine Category to Reinforced Trebuchet.
  • Reinforced Trebuchet’s ability changed to: Ranged: At the end of your turn, damage a random enemy unit on the ranged row by 1.

Comment: Making card unplayable to make Scenario worse. Not what we would like to see.

Scoia’tael

  • Deadeye Ambush provision bonus changed from 16 to 15

Comment: Understandable in the general context, a bit odd in the context of Precision Strike and Mystic Echo dominance in Scoia’tael. We still support this slight nerf.

  • Precision Strike provision bonus changed from 16 to 14

Comment: Deserved nerf for outstanding leader ability

  • Dryad Ranger damage changed from 2 to 1

Comment: We will have to see how Dryad Ranger perform, but probably after the nerf it will be substituted with Dryad Matron. Indirectly it would be also Weeping Willow nerf.

  • Percival Schuttenbach Armor changed from 3 to 2

Comment: To check in Pro Ladder reality. Percival was already dropped in many Harmony builds, so this nerf will be no real harm to archetype.

  • The Great Oak power changed from 8 to 7

Comment: Reasonable nerf.

  • Water of Brokilon provision changed from 11 to 12

Comment: Waters of Brokilon had already relatively high cost for intial value – we have no opinion on this adjustment.

Nilfgaard

  • Tactical Decision provision bonus changed from 17 to 16

Comment: We do not understand this nerf. Tactical Decision is inconsistent, and just weak, unless it draws one gold card among many bronzes left in the deck in subsequent mulligans. It is not compensated by combo possibilities, as combo builds are always susceptible to bleeding.

  • Glynnis Aep Loernach Armor changed from 3 to 2

Comment: There is no symmetry in quality between Assimilate and Harmony, and there would be no harm if Glynnis had more armor than Percival for the time being. The topic will be discussed in details in “Alphabet of Factions and Leaders: Nilfgaard” article soon.

  • Yennefer’s Invocation ability changed to: Place an enemy unit on the top of your deck

Comment: Necessary for symmetry, definitely not necessary for gameplay, as Bomb Heaver exclusive license to kill artifacts makes the game even more binary.

Syndicate

  • Blood Money provision bonus changed from 16 to 15
  • Wild Card provision bonus changed from 14 to 13

Comment: These nerfs are very slight, we believe that Syndicate should’ve received more nerfs, as it was just slightly behind ST in power level. It might be the strongest faction after this patch.

Summary:

We agree in general with the most of card adjustments, except for Northern Realms and Nilfgaard. We are a bit concerned with Pro Ladder fMMR and opponents hiding. We believe that taking anti-wintrading and anti-sniping measures at the expense of lowering user experience on the Pro Ladder is a bad timed decision. Pro ladder scene gradually rebuilds itself after a year of sandbox play. If the Pro Ladder consisted of few thousands of greedy, tryharding professional gamers, then the changes would be logical. Now it is killing mosquito with a cannon ball.

We are disappointed with ‘watch your head’ binary situation, but acknowledge that introducing any changes to this before World Masters Finals would be very risky, especially when there is no good solution invented. The alleviation of this problem will be crucial for the next patch – we keep fingers crossed for game developers to do their best!

Review by: Team Legacy

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