Binarity in Gwent

witcher gwent cards

Gwent's amount of binary cards has substantially increased over the years, amongst other things simply because the card pool itself has grown tremendously. While previously, you could only add so many binary gold cards and binary removal options to your deck, soon we will be approaching a point where for close to all of your gold card slots you can choose a binary needs-removal card or a binary does-removal card from the available card pool. This does balance out and Gwent is playable that way, but recently games boil down to who has more of these binary cards in r3, the matches gets less exciting to watch for casuals, and less exciting to play for pros. For instance, soon it'll be possible to create an perpetual lock deck, just because there are so many locking cards/leaders there now. Not that it'd be good – it's just that because of the larger card pool, Gwent has to be wary that all-x decks will soon be a doable thing in the deckbuilder. Previously, if you wanted to create a deck with as many locks as possible (a couple expansions ago), you were forced to utilize quite a lot of other cards, some of which weren't even synergistic. And that was okay and still viable because other players were forced to do the same. Now we've got synergy on yet another synergistic effect and if you're missing but one card you're missing out on multiplie instances of synergy. The games and metagames were probably not more varied than they were today, but the games felt a lot more casual and ended much closer in points than they do now. I'd argue Gwent was more Gwent then than it is today. Anyone remember the exciting of the first beta gwent tournament? It was quite unreal.

Anyway, I would like to discuss a new deckbuilding resource in this thread and the effects it'd have on Gwent, especially in regards to bringing back old deckbuilding restrictions. For instance, if we reserved the extreme cards which define your archetype, as well as the most potent removal options (heatwave …) for another rarity, like a mythical rarity (we got the teal border for that already), or had some archetype-defining cards you build your deck around require something more than just Provisions, let's just say X Provisions and 1 Mutagen / Place of Power / who knows what, and any deck would be restricted to X number of those, then we might be able to create more deck variety and closer games yet again. Alternatively, it could be a single queue requiring you have not more than X number of mythic rarity cards / the other type of provisions in your deck, and you will only face equally restricted decks there.

Why? Because there's starting to be too many stupid 7-card-ultra-combo-win-all finishers in r3 starting to float about and yes, I agree it's your fault in the deckbuilder that you can't remove enough cards, but still – that upholds the binary nature (needs removal or is removal) of the whole thing. What if I told you that there's decks waiting to be created out there that you simply can't create because you leave the deckbuilder with too little removal? Too little synergy? While there is just a few maximum-synergy decks per faction also allowing for the maximum amount of removal (removal in the broadest sense possible, not just hard removal), there's a ridiculous variety in decently synergistic cards with a decent amount of removal options that would make for fine duels versus a lot of other factions. They are however unviable because they are ridiculously match dependent (ie bad decks) and against a lot of meta decks, they are just instalose because … not enough removal. Or, you just don't have that ridiculous ultra power wombo combo finisher in r3.

I've stopped playing Gwent competitively earlier this year, but have been trying to get back multiple times. I recognize I'm burned out, however I'm not burned out of Gwent, but rather the current system and this perpetual binarity. I no longer have the chance to create my own decks and stand a chance on ladder – I have to copy decks that simply got it all figured out and have ridiculous synergy and removal. Please let's not go further down this road?

Either way, I think that a single deckbuilding resource – provisions – just does no longer cut it with our ever growing card pool, both for pro (balancing) as well as casual (game excitement and watch-ability) reasons. Thanks for reading

tl;dr another resource during deckbuilding next to provisions or a new card rarity to simulate Gwent when options were more restricted to combat binarity, do you like it or hate it


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