The state of assimilate and Double Cross on Gwent

witcher gwent cards

Good night all,

I very rarely come to Reddit, the last time I was here if I'm not mistaken was to suggest a buff to Onslaught and to cards that would sinergize with it (and that was really long ago). I don't really believe the devs would appreciate or even care to read this, but as someone who cares for the game, plays for a good amount of time and with some decent results (not top 64 yet, but maybe soon tm?) I find myself capable to argue about how some things are getting way out of balance with each and every patch.

First of all I would like to state that I will focus mainly on double cross leader ability and the assimilate mechanic, afterwards I'll suggest some slight changes that would make the impact of these mechanics to be lessened. Also, I don't see the previous changes that we received in past patches as the problem to what we face, but what we don't see on this patches being the biggest offender.

  • First of all I would like to adress the older problem in my opinion: Double Cross

This leader survived the nuke on "play 2 cards a turn" era where Pincer Manuever, Second Wind and others were changed because turns out playing 2 cards a turn can be somewhat problematic. Back then if I'm not mistaken during the Dev. Stream the reasoning behind keeping its ability was that it was more of a "meme" leader and even tough it really was back when Lockdown reigned supreme we could always find someone playing full on Assimilate from time to time and it was cool, just another pointslam deck.

But it's been a while now that we've been getting more and more strong gold cards with capability of swinging the tide of the game (like Fucusya, Terranova, Mammuna) and that makes this leader exponetially better, not to mention that because the way the Ng tools are distributed nowadays it allows for it to play you high end cards 2 or 3 times more than you do with ease while activating assimilate.

I know there's always been the meme that "Ng plays your cards better than you do", but when that starts to affect competitive to the point where a leader is capable of playing for 20+ points (when hitting a Mammuna, Fucusya, She Who Knows, Simlas, etc) before he even plays his turn card is because something is very wrong.

  • Having said that about this leader that I really think it's overstaying its welcome I would like to adress another Ng problem: Assimilate

Gwent evolved a lot since the start of Homecoming along with it's mechanics, we got a few that were changed, but mostly they all are still there. Now assimilate is where I see a very big problem still existing, normally this mechanic was planned to be activated once per turn(at least I imagine so), at max twice since the "birth" of Duchess Informant and Braathens. But nowdays we got many triggers that sometimes generates more and more assimilate engines to a point where a simple point mechanic turns into a beast of an engine, the last time we saw something like that was Harmony back in 2019 (if Im not mistaken) and after it overstayed it's welcome on the meta was nerfed to the ground and never got up again.

I don't intend to really go full on ranting about assimilate, I just strongly feel like this would be one of the best time to review not only it, but the cards that have Assimilate and do something about it because as the game naturally gets stronger cards it will become more and more rewarding for a Ng player to copy, steal, Coup them and as a player I would really hope we don't keep going on that path.

I don't see the necessity to kill the mechanic like what was made to Harmony, just make it so Ng have an "identity" and not only play assimilate, board copy, hand copy and grave hate because it will always be more points.

  • Last but not least I would like to make some sugestions just so this don't go out as purely a rant:

As for Double Cross I would really really love to see it removed from the game,not cutting provisions, not nerfing cards on the deck, just changing to something else. Again, give it the Harmony treatment, make it spawn and play a Glynnis, I don't know. That would shake up the game a whole damn lot. Nowadays let's assume you have a powerful card in your hand, you either play it and it gets spying and its played twice against you, or thrice sometimes. Or you keep it in hand, lose some round value it would get and even so Double Cross plays it all the same.

For the assimilate mechanic I would like to see it capped for 1 proc a turn per unit, not a huge change and would not definately kill it, but would make it more fair and would allow to deal with those units in a easier manner (given you have the cards to deal with it).

Also I would like to see cards like Mage Torturer that in a long round may play for 11~12 or more to receive the same treatment as Halfling Safecracker did and lose the assimilate tag. I would go as far to say that she's a biggest offender then he was since her ability allows for way more "problematic" interactions.

All that said I just want to thank anyone that read all this and apologize for my english since it's not my native language. Also in regards to the recent patches (and I mean 2021 as a whole) I really like the state the game is going, I just think that some things are passing under the radar for a while and those things end up hurting the experience more then making it enjoyable (in my own opinion, of course, I can't argue about how other feel).

Thanks again and I hope with these commentaries I can help to make the community a bit better.

Take care out there (:


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