Geralt and Ciri from The Witcher 3 playing a bit of Gwent

Gwent's Midwinter Update arrived last year with 100 new cards and a variety of balance changes. In theory this should've created an interesting metagame where each faction has a couple of competitive decks they can go head to head with, but in reality it just resulted in Scoia'tael and Nilfgaard stomping all over everyone else.

After quite a long wait, I am very glad to say that the nightmare will soon be over as the Gwent PTR (Public Test Realm) has just been updated with a whole bunch of balance changes and much more interesting card names. Crach is now once again Crach An Craite, Iorveth: Meditation has been reworked, Ciri: Nova has lost 3 points, Dwarves has been toned down in a couple of ways, and the list goes on. What might come as a bit of a surprise, however, is that Nilfgaard's Impera Enforcers (the pew-pew guys) have not been touched in any way!

There are no official patch notes, so if you're looking for all of the details I would suggest you head over to Yejakas' thread on Reddit as he has compiled all of the changes. On the other hand, if you would like to join the test servers and see what the balance changes have resulted in, you should visit the official website for instructions. The PTR will only be available until 12:00 CET on February 5th, so if you're interested make sure to jump in as soon as you can.

Personally, I'm of two minds about these changes. On one hand it's great that the incredibly boring Dwarf-spamming deck is being brought down a peg, but on the other hand it's also saddening to see that none of the currently underused archetypes or factions have received any relevant changes. It would be a real shame if we just transitioned from one incredibly stale metagame straight into another, though this time around with different artwork decorating the cards.

Thankfully this is just the test server we're talking about, so hopefully CDPR will listen to community feedback and throw some of the underused decks a bone, just to make things a bit more interesting for everyone.