I have been playing a lot of Gwent Arena lately and for good reasons. The format is wacky, fun, experimental and most of all, interesting. Thus, today’s write up is again going to be about the Gwent Arena and my attempt to try help out the Gwentlemens out there. With my humble knowledge and experience, these are some of my Arena tips.
1. ALWAYS DRAFT SINGLETON IF ABLE
Shupe’s Day Off is a game winning card and is a must pick when present in the draft pick. Unfortunately, Shupe can only be played in a singleton deck and can appear at anytime during the draft including at the end of the draft. Thus, it is best to pick up singleton cards to open up the possibility of being able to pick up Shupe when he appears.
However, this is not always the case; for instance, when you are presented with a very good Gold or Silver again in the draft like Dijkstra or Joachim, then it is better to pick them up.
2. ALWAYS PICKUP ONE FACTION MAGE
Faction Mages like Vanhemar or Ida Emean are a must pick as a single weather on the board can be game breaking. Gold Weathers are worse as they are very hard to be played around and you are forced to stack a single row on the board which can open up a huge Geralt: Igni or Lacerate. Additionally, certain Faction Mages like Ida Emean and Dethmold are great removal on its own having Alzur’s Thunder as one of its choices. Furthermore, Ale of the Ancestors is a great card in Arena and Faction Mages can nullify the boon by spawning a weather on the row.
3. CARRYOVER POINTS
Like in Rank Format, carryover strength is powerful in Arena. Cards like Morkvarg, Oldgierd and Wardancer are great cards to avoid Round 2 dry pass from your opponent. It will still require certain strategic plays since removals like Artefact Compression, Vandergrift’s Blade or even their own carryover can cause your carryover to be obsolete. Still, carryover units are so powerful that they should be instant picks whenever they present themselves in the draft. Even cards like Yarpen Zigrin and Barbegazi, although they are more vulnerable to removals.
4. TEMPO BEATS COMBO
Unlike in Rank Format where you can build a good engine deck that is consistent, Arena decks can be too inconsistent for combo or engine decks. Therefore, it is better to draft cards that are high tempo when played on its own like Cynthia, Joachim, or Bearmaster. Cards like Derran, An Craite Greatsword or Dol Blathanna Bowman although can give high output in a long round, do require other cards to work which will be too unreliable in a draft. Still, there can be Drafts where you are presented with great two card combos that can work like Germain Piquant and Yennefer, or Dol Blathanna Bowman and Nivellen.
5. UNITS THAT KILLS
Engines like Siege Support, Vrihedd Dragoon or even Arachas Behemoth can provide huge tempo swings in a long round. Thus, removing them with removals cards are crucial to not let the engines carry the round. Unfortunately cards like Alzur’s Thunder or Elven Blade are bad on their own since they may remove the opponent’s card, but they themselves do not provide Points for your board. Thus, Removal on Units like Cleaver, Striga, or even Nithral are great cards to pickup. Not only do they remove your opponent’s crucial engine, they themselves provide Points for your board. Again, Faction Mages like Ida and Dethmold are great since they have Alzur’s Thunder when you are in need of them.
6. LOCK ‘EM UP
There are times where the opponent’s engines are too huge to remove, like Yennefer: Conjurer, Wild Boar of the Sea or Villentretenmerth may require Lock Units to remove their effects. Margarita and Morvudd is the best lock among the lock Units available as they provide additional effects that can be huge tempo swings.
Of course, when you are presented with his highness King Radovid V as your leader choice and there are no other better choices, pick him up. Radovid is a constant threat for the opponent as they are restricted in their plays and strategy and can be game winning on its own by providing a 14 point swing.
7. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
There is a debate on whether you should pass when you go first (a.k.a the dreaded Blue Coin) since going down two cards most of the time is a death sentence. Personally, I judge each game differently depending on the cards in my hand. For instance, when I know I have enough tempo to either win the round or at least keep myself ahead in tempo that my opponent has to play two cards to win the round, I will play the first round on Blue Coin. Even more, if I drew one of my carryovers like Morkvarg or Oldgierd, I would try to play the first round. Personally a short Round 3 with your finisher intact is easier to win than a long Round 3 where anything can happen.
8. HAVE FUN!
Finally and most of all, have fun in the Gwent Arena! Try out new combos and interactions that are not available in the Rank Format. Gwent Arena provides a great return for its costs, always awarding at least one keg even on a No Win run and even more when you do better. The format is, as I mentioned, all about wacky and exciting things that you may not have known.
That is it for today and I hope my humble knowledge and experience in the format will help you out in the Arena!
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