Tl;Dr: Only way to use Decoy currently is building a deck around it or using 2-3 card combos to get underwhelming result. Decoy is very hard to use and isnt worth it. Decoy should either put decoyed unit bottom of the deck or banish decoyed unit so you wont accidently play decoyed unit and you can make sure what are you drawing thanks to deck manipulation. Giving it a Tactics tag would be nice as well.
First of, lets see what Decoy currently does. When you choose a card to decoy, first you put it somewhere in your deck, it could be top or bottom of your deck or somewhere between (you have no control over it) then you play a top unit from your deck. Of course, unless you know what is your top unit is or you put an unit top of your deck with cards like Vicovaro Novice, decoy plays an unit which you have no control over it. And on top of all of this, decoyed unit can be put on top of your deck so you can play decoyed unit again. This is why decoy is so unreliable and doesnt see play.Now, im gonna give you folks a few scenarios and show you a few ways we can use decoy currently.
- All Random, All Bullshit.
You can just YOLO it. You have no power it and anything can happen. You can play; a key card from your deck early, a trash bronze, Roach or similiar thinning decks or decoyed card itself. Noone does this because it can screw you over pretty hard.
- Manipulating Top Unit in Your Deck
Probably easiest way to make most of decoy is manipulating your deck so you know what you are gonna play with decoy. Morvran Voorhis is most reliable way to do it. Just pop the leader and put which card you want to play next then play decoy on a card and you are good to go. Problem here is which card is important enough you to play it twice that you are willing to choose a leader for it. Thanks to power level of Eist, Blaze of Glory is seeing play but is decoyed card strong enough to makes you play Morvran instead of other leaders? Other problem is you can put decoyed card top of your deck as well so there is a chance that you can play decoyed card instead of your desired top card you just picked with Morvran.
- "Hey, You Can Decoy Doomed Units as Well"
Yep, you are right. If you decoy doomed units, doomed unit will banish and you will play an unit from your deck reliablely. In Nilfgaard, you can decoy your leader after you put your next card you wanna play or you can just not put decoy in your deck and play the card you were gonna play normally. After a long brainstorm in toilet, i found out a totally new, never heard before location + decoy combo. Behold the "Dol Dhu Lokke + Decoy" combo. Order ability of Dol Dho Lokke will put highest strength unit in your deck on top of your deck then spawn 2 doomed spiders we can decoy. This way you can tutor your big units like Yghern, Goliyath or even your Viy. While this is a very reliable combo, i havent been able to make a good deck that uses this combo. Im currently trying to make a Ciri:Nova / Succubus deck with this combo. Highest unit in the deck is Ciri:Nova so if we cant draw Ciri:Nova, we can have an alternative way to draw her thanks to our combo. Im still experimenting with deck so all help is appreciated.
- Empting Our Deck (From Units)
Alternative way to make sure decoy plays what we want is making sure our deck has no other units so when we decoy an unit, we always play it again. This means we need to built a whole deck to make sure decoy draws what we want. So we need a card so powerful that we want to play it twice. Answer is easy, Salamander. Salamander is currently a meme card that is used to wipe entire board to win. Most people either use Renew or Syanna to play it twice but both of these cards are pretty expensive. Salamander is already wants deck built around it so it isnt too far fetch to put a decoy and make sure we played all of our units in our deck before r3. Once again im experimenting with the idea, i just need to make it more reliable and i may share the deck with you guys.
- How to Improve Decoy?
Decoy currently has tons of veriable we need to take into consideration while playing it. Just with a few tweaks, it can be a useful card imo. Most basic way to make decoy viable is either making decoyed card go bottom of your deck or putting decoyed card into deck after you play your top unit from your deck. This way, you wont risk playing decoyed card again. Counter-argument here would be this will enable self thinning cards like Roach, Knickers, Madoc etc to be decoyed to play top card from your deck then thin themself again. Other argument against this would be this would be only useful in one faction only, Nilfgaard. Im gonna admit this, im a Nilfgaard player who is trying to make Decoy useful in Nilfgaard and Decoy is a card that hasnt been used since homecoming if i remember correctly. So i think giving Decoy a tactic tag and making it a card playable in Nilfgaard shouldnt be a huge problem imo.
Of course, making decoy playable has a side effect since game isnt balanced around decoy because it has been so long any deck played decoy. Like i said, in beta gwent, decoying enemy silver spies were a powerful move and with current Metabreaker Ng that plays 4 Joachim can be countered by just decoying first Joachim but noone does it because it is unreliable and everyone forgot about existance of Decoy. Making Decoy will surely open new toxic strategies that make use of playing strong card multiple times with no downsides. So my second way to fix decoy is make decoyed card gets banished similiar to
If you have made this far, thank you for reading. English ksnt my first language so please point out the grammer mistakes so i can fix them. Like i said im a scrub at gwent, so if you think im wrong, there is a high chance you are right. Please just be civil about it. (And i know, im not the first person to thought about fixing decoy. My question is why CDPR doesnt do anything about it?)