Gwent Weather Infographic

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Introduction

Up until now, weather effects have been undisputed the most powerful ones in Gwent. Even after the Weather Update (0.9.7) with the nerfs to Gold weathers, Ragh Nar Roog and Drought, reducing damage from three to two. With the most recent HOTFIX (0.9.8) and nerfs to Bronze weathers, this is up for a change. This guide should give you an overview over all weathers and weather related cards in the game. And a prediction of how the actual changes will likely affect the game. It is aimed at the lesser experienced players to get a good grasp of the overall concept, to recognize interactions as well as to evaluate the most recent changes.

Definition

By definition, “weather is an effect applied to one or more rows on the board that serve as a [recurring] debuff to units.” [source]. All weather cards are labeled “Special” and belong to the “Neutral” faction. In contrast to direct damage cards, the weather effect trigger at the start of each turn rather than only once. Gwentify labels Merigold’s Hailstorm a weather too, but it is, in fact, an area damage effect like Lacerate. The distinction in between weather and other damage is nevertheless important as it enables interaction with supporting cards like Aeromancy.

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Predictions for 0.9.8 Patch

Predicting the outcome of the nerfs is difficult, but there are a few arguments that can be made as of now:

  • Biting Frost will lose its position as the best Bronze weather
    Biting Frost is a worse Torrential rain now as it hits only one unit per turn. Therefore, it causes a maximum of two damage per turn. Therefore, it needs to be on the board at least four turns to be somewhat worthwhile.

  • Torrential Rain seems like the best Bronze weather by numbers, but...
    Torrential Rain was good before the nerf. Potentially, it could deal five damage per turn now - as much as Skellige Storm and more than White Frost. The setup to achieve all that damage is extremely difficult, though. Therefore it only is theoretically the most powerful Bronze weather in an unrealistic scenario. Realistically it will be bottom tier.

  • Bronze weather will be played a lot less as stand-alone cards but rather in conjunction with cards like Aretuza Adept or Wild Hunt Hound
    As Bronze weathers are losing a lot of their pushing powers, likely a lot of players will refrain from playing them. They just need to much time to bring the desired value and an opponent passing can render them low value. Therefore, cards that bring out weather from the deck, thinning it in the process, will likely be the way to go as it feels more worthwhile to get some 3-5 Strength added on top.

  • Aeromancy is a lot worse
    Aeromancy can no longer pull your precious Silver weather from the graveyard to play it again which makes it a lot worth. With the changes, it is just another deck thinning tool like Alzur’s Double-Cross and the likes.

  • White Frost is no longer the prime Silver weather (?)
    As Biting Frost gets nerfed hard, White Frost is indirectly nerfed too. The maximum value you can squeeze from it after the change is four per turn. As a result, you need to hit two units for three turns to render this card decent value which is a lot harder than before but a lot better in line with the Gold weathers. Skellige Storm seems to be in a better spot, but both also is partly counterable (see below). The prediction is that both see a lot less play.

  • Skellige Storm is numerically the best Silver weather, but ...
    This Silver weather will deal the highest amount of damage to a row each turn with a maximum of five. But beware, it is rather easy to block damage with Golds or Leaders set on the left to Block damage, reducing its effectiveness. So beware of playing it too early to get its effect blocked out by one or even multiple Golds.

  • Gold weathers have become a lot more attractive once again
    Looking at the numbers, Drought and Ragh Nar Roog start to look attractive once again. They provide both a potential of six damage per round which would render them worthwhile after two rounds. Realistically, you have to downgrade these numbers to four per turn, resulting in twelve after three turns. Why weren’t they played before? They were bad compared to Bronze and Silver weathers which offered a comparable or even superior damage output per turn without blocking a precious Gold slot. Now, the situation has changed, and less weather removal will be present in decks because of that.

General Strategies

Playing as a weather deck:

  • Play weather in a meta where few decks run Clear Skies and other weather removal.

  • Alternatively, play enough weather effects to be able to apply pressure through them continually and being able to squeeze value even if there are clear effects played. An example of such a deck is Nadrac’s Fog Frost deck (Top 20 World 0.9.8).

  • To maximize value, play Bronze weathers through Units like Aretuza Adept, Wild Hunt Hound, and Elven Mercenary.

  • Try to bait weather removal by playing Bronze weathers before you drop your high-value Silver or Gold ones.

  • Include Skellige Storm in your deck in a meta with a high prevalence of row stacking.

  • Golden weathers are most effective if minions are spread over the three lanes.

  • Drag out rounds to gain maximum value of your weather effects.

Playing against weather decks:

  • As a general counter, play some flexible weather removal.
       - Mages are flexible enough to be worthwhile in almost every deck.
       - Clear Skies is no dead card and can serve a deck thinning by using “Rally”.

  • Counter Skellige Storm by placing Golds on the left of Bronze Units. You may even hold a Gold back to play a reactive block after a Skellige Storm.

  • Counter Gold weathers by row stacking.

  • Learn to do simple math quickly to calculate win/loss ratio. With that decide if it is worth playing deep into a round in contrast to just passing.

Fun Facts

  • All Mages that have the ability to spawn a weather or Clear Skies have three strength despite Ida Emean. She is considered the worst Mage though.

  • All classes but Skellige have a Bronze card that clears weather in the row it is played on. They can use the Neutral Clear Skies, though.

  • Monsters is the faction with the most cards that interact with weather (Frost and Fog) followed by Scoia’tael.

  • Scoia’Tael has only high weather interaction through cards that interact with Specials.

  • Nilfgaard and Skellige have the least interactions with weather.

  • Skellige Storm, despite its name, does not belong to the Skellige faction.

  • Hemdall, the Token that spawns from Kambi, is the only cards that can clear weather on both sides.

Annex: Weather and Weather-(Anti-)Synergy Cards

The actual number of weather cards is relatively low with only seven in the open beta. This mechanic is obviously hard to balance, and it has been a focus of changes lately. Pawel Burza described it [not literally] as “the child you love which causes trouble all the times” kind of thing.

There are five that affect a single lane, one that involves two lanes, and two that wreak havoc on all lanes with varying damage effects. Following you see an overview of all weather cards with a short description. Please note that all the upcoming changes of the “July update” (most likely 0.9.8) are already taken into account in this article.

SINGLE-LANE (4)

  • Biting Frost (B): Turn Start: Damage one of the lowest Units on the row by 2.

  • Impenetrable Fog (B): Turn Start: Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2.

  • Skellige Storm (S): Turn Start: Damage the leftmost Units of the row by 2, 2, and 1.

  • Torrential Rain (S): Turn Start: Damage up to 5 of the Lowest Unit(s) on the row by 1.

DUAL-LANE (1)

  • White Frost (S): Turn Start: Damage Units on the row by 1

TRIPLE-LANE (2)

  • Drought (G): Turn Start: Damage the Lowest Unit on the row by 2.

  • Ragh Nar Roog (G): Turn Start: Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2.

Direct and Indirect Weather Interaction Cards**

**Abbrev. in parenthesis: Bronze = (B), Silver = (S), Gold = (G); e.g. Bronze, 4 Strength = (B4)

There are numerous cards in all factions that interact with weather effects. There is even a deck of the Monsters faction that revolves around Impenetrable Fog with Dogan as the Leader and (Ancient) Foglets as Bronze support cards. The other interactions are mostly either playing weathers, spawning or removing them. Clear Skies is the most basic of these interplays by simply removing all weather effects on your side. You will find all weather related cards in a visually comprehensive way in the infographic that is tied to this article. Atop, all cards and their effects are listed below, sorted by faction, rarity, strength, and last but not least interaction. Please note that combos above two cards as well as RNG related combos are not included in the infographic to keep it clean. If there are some combos worth mentioning, the will be described for each faction in a paragraph below the card list.

NEUTRAL (3)

  • Aeromancy (S) - Play a Weather card from your Deck. Shuffle the others from your Deck back.

  • First Light (B) - Spawn Clear Skies or Rally. [Clear Skies (B) - Trigger all Weather on your side, then clear all Weather from your side. | Rally (B) - Play a random Bronze Unit from your Deck.]

  • Royal Decree (G) - Play a Gold card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back.

MONSTERS (13)

  • Ancient Foglet (B6) - Every turn, at the start of your turn, Boost self by 1 if Fog is anywhere on the Board.

  • Archgriffin (B7) - Deploy: Remove Weather from the row.

  • Caranthir (G7) - Deploy: Move 3 Enemies to this unit’s row on your opponent’s side and apply Frost to that row on that side only.

  • Dagon (L7) - Deploy: Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.Foglet (B2) - Whenever you apply Fog to an opposing row, Summon or Resurrect this unit on that row on your side. When all Fog has been cleared from the Board, Destroy this Unit.

  • Eredin (L5) - Deploy: Spawn a Bronze Wild Hunt Unit.

  • Ice Giant (B5) - Boost self by 5 if Frost is anywhere on the Board. Damage self by 5 when the last Frost is removed from the Board.

  • Imlerith (G8) - Deploy: Damage an Enemy by 4. If the Enemy is under Frost, Damage it by 8 instead.

  • Nithral (S7) - Frost Damage on your opponent’s side is increased to 3.

  • Water Hag (S4) - Deploy: Spawn Clear Skies, Lacerate or Torrential Rain.

  • Wild Hunt Hound (B4) - Deploy: Summon Biting Frost.

  • Wild Hunt Navigator (B3) - Deploy: Summon a copy of a different Bronze Wild Hunt Ally.

  • Woodland Spirit (G7) - Deploy: Spawn 3 Rabid Wolves and apply Fog to the opposite row.

Further noteworthy combos: Nekker Warrior are able to put more Foglets to be pulled by Dagon, Woodland Spirit and Impenetrable Fog.

NILFGAARD (2)

  • Nauzicaa Standard Bearer (B5) -  Boost 1 Ally or Revealed Unit in your Hand by 3 and clear Weather from the row.

  • Vanhemar (S3) - Spawn Stammelford’s Tremors, Clear Skies or Biting Frost.

Further noteworthy combos: Emissary into a randomly drawn Nauzicaa Standard Bearer or Vicovaro Medic on an already played Emissary with the above mentioned outcome. Joachim de Wett is also able to draw the Standard Bearer randomly if it is in your deck in the first place.

NORTHERN REALMS (5)

  • Aretuza Adept (B3) - Deploy: Play a random Bronze Weather card from your Deck.

  • Blue Stripes Scout (B6) - Deploy: Clear Weather from the row.

  • Dethmold (S3) - Deploy: Spawn Torrential Rain, Alzur’s Thunder or Clear Skies.

  • Reinforcement (S) - Play a Bronze or Silver Unit from your Deck. Shuffle the others back.

  • Sile De Tansarville (S6) - Deploy: Play a Bronze Special card from your Hand, then Draw a card (including Golds).

Further noteworthy combos: Nenneke can shuffle weather cards back in your deck to be drawn again but this is a very fringe and unreliable play. There could be a deck that has less Rain in the deck than Aretuza Adepts that relies on Nenneke that way. Nevertheless this is again no straight forward play and therefore not included in the infographic.

SCOIA’TAEL (8)

  • Nature’s Gift (S) - Play a Special card from your Deck. Shuffle the others back.

  • Aglais (G10) - You may Resurrect a Special card from your opponent’s Graveyard. Effort:Weaken self by 4.

  • Dol Blathanna Protector (B2) - Whenever you play a Special card, Boost self by 1 wherever this unit is.

  • Eithné (L5) - Deploy: Resurrect a Special card from your Graveyard.

  • Ida Emean (S4): Deploy: Spawn Quen Sign, Impenetrable Fog or Clear Skies.

  • Ithlinne (G5) - Deploy: Play a Bronze Special card from your Deck, then Spawn a copy of it. Shuffle the others back. Disloyal.

  • Vrihedd Brigade (B2) - Promote this Unit when you play a Weather card.

  • Yaevinn*** (S12): Deploy: Draw a Unit and a Special card (including Golds). Keep 1 and shuffle the other back. Disloyal.

*** All other Spies that draw cards are also able to randomly draw a weather from your deck but Yaevinn will do so a lot more reliable. Therefore, only he is listed in the annex.

SKELLIGE (2)

  • Gremist (S3) - Deploy: Spawn Impenetrable Fog, Bloodcurdling Roar or Clear Skies.

  • Hemdall [Spawns from Kambi] (G16)- Deploy: Destroy all Units on the Board. Clear all Weather. Banish all Allied Kambis.


Author: Martin ‘OtakuMZ’

Logo_OtakuMZ_flat.jpgHearthstone enthusiast, real life physician. Content creator for the Good Gaming, Gwentlemen and BlizzPro. Martin is best known for infographics which focus on Gwent and Hearthstone cards or game mechanics.

 

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Citations:

Card images and illustrations: CD Project Red, http://en.cdprojektred.com/

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