Season of the Dryad Guide – Veruis667

Hey everyone, I’m Veruis and I welcome you to the guide for this month’s Seasonal Mode. Have fun!

What Is Seasonal Mode?

Seasonal Mode is a special game mode, rotating each month, with a unique ruleset where you fight another player. To join the queue, you need to be at least Level 10.

Playing this mode allows you to complete some quests in the seasonal Reward Tree. Also, this mode is the best place to complete contracts quickly, which will grant you Reward Points (RP). While spending RP, you will encounter special nodes marked with a chalice. Some of these will stop you from proceeding further until you finish a quest. Few of them can be done exclusively in seasonal mode, but most can be done in any mode in game.

What if I don’t have time and Reward Points for this season’s Reward Tree?

Don’t worry! CDPR provides a solution. Every month you can find Season Packages in the store, which contain most of the trinkets available in a given month and one additional cosmetic.

The Rules of “Seesaw”

“At the end of turn: Friendly odd-value units are damaged by 1; Friendly even-value units are boosted by 1.”

The rules for this mode look pretty straightforward, but this appearance is deceiving. There are always a lot of things happening on the board and it will be hard to calculate the correct math, especially when engines are ticking.

In order to make full use of the rules of this mode, it is necessary to understand how the sequences in Gwent run and where the principle of the Seasonal Mode is activated in this whole bastard. First the “Seesaw” is activated then all other rules. This is all the more important because an individual who has 1 point of strength will die without activating his skill. There are a few other rules, but this will come out in the wash.

While building your deck, it is important to answer one simple question: Would you like to take advantage of this mode yourself or do you want to be a parasite benefiting off of your opponent? An example for a deck that focuses on its own side of the board is, as presented below, Northern Realms with Royal Inspiration, whereas the deck that mainly benefits from the opponent is, for example, the White Frost Monster deckt. The version in between is the Scoia’tael deck with Nature’s Gift.

The suggestions of cards and decks in the next sections of this guide are, as the name suggests, only suggestions and I encourage everyone to tinker with them. This is particularly important when you are having problems against specific decks. Tech choices are just as important in Seasonal Mode as they are on the ladder.

Let’s take a look at the cards and decks!

Monsters

One of my spectators sent me an interesting deck. At first I was skeptical about it, but after a little modification it turned out to be quite efficient.

It controls the opponent’s side quite well, at the same time throwing out a lot of points from the units with Thrive. Sometimes she can ricochet, so be careful with mulligans, if there are Ge’els on the hand, and the Winter Queen is still lying on the deck.

We start with the Endrega’s Larvas as a standard, or alternatively we respond to the opponent’s actions with the White Frost or with the Parasite/Ard Gaeth.

Special attention should be paid to Yghern, which with 13 points of strength will lose 1 point of armor every turn until it is destroyed – we use it only in r1 and when bleeding in r2 not as the penultimate/last card, or at best we eat it with Imlerith.

Nilfgaard

I present Nilfgaard with a classic Hyperthin deck with Ciri: Nova.

Most of you have certainly seen this deck in action whether on the stream, at your opponent’s place or playing it by yourself, but let me briefly discuss what we should do when playing it.

One of the main goals of this deck is to use cards like Hunting Pack and Impera Brigade together with Artorius Vigo to play as many cards as possible in r1 and r2 in order to keep high strength cards in the deck, preferably Tibor Eggebracht.

In the first round we try to win with the help of Hefty Helga and Tactics cards. To consider is to use Xarthisius, Vilgefortz or Yennefer Invocation – the latter only if there is nothing else to play.

In case of a bricked or an unsuitable hand, we can remedy the situation with a revised Tactical Decision. Remember that you have to have 7 or less cards in your hand, at least 3 cards to draw, and that the cards will be placed at the top of your deck in the order of their selection when you put them down (so if the Affan Hillergrand is in your hand, you choose it as the first card).

Northern Realms

The Kingdoms look their best this month of all the other factions, as they did last year. With the help of single reinforcements and multiple Inspiration cards, they draw the best results from all engine decks. I was considering using the Stockpile and a small modification of the deck towards the cards with charges, but it seemed a little less stable than the version on Royal Inspiration.

The main purpose of the deck is to use the Royal Inspiration (strengthen the unit by 1 point every 2 turns) to set the cards to even values, such as Redan Knight, Kerack Ciry Guard, Temerian Drummer, Anna Strenger or Vysogota from Corvo. The only card you don’t want it to keep even is the Immortals, who in such a situation generate 2 points every turn on themselves.

A lot of attention should be paid to the possible row stacking. Due to the quite high values of the Boosting the deck is susceptible to cards like Geralt: Igni or Geralt: Yrden. Therefore, one of the alternatives, if the opponent does not play the deck under Devotion, is to keep medium-long rounds and possibly bleed. Especially in mirrors, it is worth remembering about bleeding, because engine decks gain advantage if they start.

Scoia’tael

In recent months, I have had the impression that the Elder Races have nothing special to offer, except for the repetitive, sometimes slightly modified, deck based on Symbiosis. And so it is in this case.

The deck that is presented to you today is Nature’s Gift, in which I gave up Devotion for the presence of Geralt: Yrden. This may seem a bit overwhelming, especially since this card is useless in some places and its cost is high, but it helps with difficult matchups – like the Northern Kingdoms.

Besides that, it is a typical deck for Symbiosis, Nature and Vitality. The Shaping Nature is most often used with Hamadryad as an option “Strengthen by 5, give 5 vitality”. In addition to this, the Mahakam Defenders are great as pro active plays, as they enter for 6 points at the very beginning and increase by 2 points throughout the entire round if they maintain an even number of points.

I also decided to modify the deck a bit by adding Malena and Milaen, which you won’t find in most ranked decks. Their task is to disturb the opponent. Malena is supposed to move the Defenders, to get to the opponent’s side, while Milaen, mainly in her Deploy: Range option, is supposed to modify the point values to odd/even as needed.

Skellige

The islanders seem to be the funniest faction this month. They are the only ones to have a significant number of cards both for self-wounding and strengthening. On top of that, they benefit from the opponent’s loss of strength and all of this things combined make it a perfect deck.

Generally all the abilities of the Skellige leaders are to be considered, but I have personally opted for Ursine Ritual and most of the cards under self wounding such as Hemaey Protector, Drummond Berserker and Dracoturtle. All of them, properly set up and modified with damage from the leader ability and the rules of the Seasonal Mode can generate a significant amount of points. Particularly noteworthy is the Berserker Drummond, which takes one point of damage every turn and deals a random point of damage to the opponent. When we use one charge of the Ursine Ritual on it and by knocking down its strength to 4 we create a perpetuum mobile.

Dagur Two Blades acts as a kind of win con. When it survives a turn or two, it can generate significant points, so it is worth using it even in r1 to win on equals on the red coin and then resurrect with a Sigdrifa’s Rite in r2/r3.

One of the cards that is not necessarily needed in this deck is the Wild Board of the Sea, which can be replaced with the Bloody Eagle to add a little more stability to the deck.

Syndicate

The Syndicate has lost a lot of its uniqueness after repeated changes, giving at the moment they do not have very interesting archetypes and possibilities to play differently in the new Seasonal Modes.

The deck, with which I have achieved positive results is the recently reborn swarm with Eternal Fire. If everything goes well, it can even sometimes draw the necessary points to beat the better decks. However, this requires incredible luck on the side of the user, and great bad luck on the side of the opponent.

What I lack mostly in this deck is control over the opponent’s side, whether in the form of one of the Geralts or more Crimes. Unfortunately, this deck almost requires Devotion, so a ditch of punishment can’t be placed in, and more Crimes simply can’t be fit without disturbing the stability of the deck.

That is why this deck is only for fans and contract-hunters, otherwise I do not encourage to use it and I would treat the Syndicate only as a curiosity.