Interview: Pawloex

This time we have an interview with Pawloex who is a professional Gwent player, the winner of last week’s Gwent Partner Open tournament, and a streamer, from team Elder Blood. The series will consist of 10 interviews, one each week. So, check in every Sunday for some Gwent reading!

How did you come up with the idea of banning Monsters instead of Skellige?

Actually, I was banning SK in the first few rounds of swiss. However, every time I was facing MO I struggled a lot. In this matchup, I was always under pressure and felt like my opponents had control over the game. So, I decided to ban it in the next match to see if I can play with less stress against SK instead. It worked and I continued with “MO ban strategy” .

Would you change something about the way Partner Opens work?

Yes, there is 1 thing I would change. Since the tournament goal was to promote content creators I feel there were too few rewards for people watching and cheering. For example, I’ve got only 10 kegs for my viewers for winning the event! I hope for more rewards in the future…

As the main prize of a Partner Open you get to reward your viewers with premium kegs. You decided to choose the recipients through a contest. Was it hard to pick a winner?

Well, I could’ve selected viewers randomly but since I’ve never organized anything creative, this time I gave it a try to see if people like it or not. “Create a meme with me” contest was a big success and picking a winner was actually tough. You can see short summary here:

The new season has just started, but do you have any contenders for new meta decks?

I expect SY to rise in popularity. With this many buffs faction should be strong enough. Gord Crime Congregate? Blood Money Bounty? Hidden Cache Passiflora with Engines? I wonder if any Ciri’s decks will make to the meta… – they are quite fun 🙂

What are your thoughts on the recent balance changes?

I was sad Scoia’tael didn’t get any buff and surprised Nilfgaard didn’t get a small nerf. But the positive surprise was that Syndicate got some love. Totally I don’t get it why Skellige got buff. In my opinion, Vissegerd got too hard a slap on the ass.

Skellige still seems overpowered, what you think needs to be nerfed to make this faction equal to other factions?

SK is too consistent in my opinion. I was suggesting nerf for Blood Eagle but CDPR gave it a tutor instead which make SK even more powerful. Still my solution is to make Harald the Cripple 12p and change Blood Eagle Deathblow effect to: play warrior 11p or less. This way players won’t be able to access Harald the Cripple and Hemdall so easilly, but still tutor out Morkvarg  or Tyrggvi.

Was the nerf to Scoia’tael too big and should it be reversed?

Right know Harmony is painful to play. So many cards are row locked and it feels like you play against yourself not your opponent in order to get value from your cards. I would like to see Harmony being reverted especially with upcoming changes to “2 cards per turn” leader abilities.

Good Northern Realms decks are usually control decks but the purpose of this faction was to be engine heavy. What stops this from working?

The control version of NR is simply better in terms of consistent results. You can play NR engines with Princer Maneuver for example but it can be frustrating when you facing NG or SK with so many removal options. The other problem is: if your opponent knows you have a lot of engines, he will push you hard in R2 – making your strategy weaker. To sum up I don’t think engine NR is in a bad spot.

Was the nerf to Vissegerd the last nail in the coffin for Northern Realms?

Of course not. You simply play another card in his place. Remember that Adalia got buffed, so for example, Devotion NR should still be very strong. It’s a shame that Vissegerd is weak right now but it’s not the first time that a card was “killed”, right?

Will we always have a damage meta, where the strongest faction is the one that can do the most damage?

Engine meta would be much more annoying – for me at least. You don’t want a meta where you play without interacting with your opponent. Deciding a game-winner by whoever plays his engine first seems not fun :/ Right now I feel like meta is in quite a good spot. Little tweaks to some cards and it will be even better.

Do smartphone players visit Twitch? Or is it a separate group from usual viewers?

I have many viewers that are watching on their mobile devices. Some of them even admitted that they started playing Gwent with Android release, so it’s definitely NOT a separate group.

What do you think about the three changes to Ciri cards? Will they find a place in the meta?

It’s great that CDPR is trying to “revive” some rarely played cards. I believe that with an introduction of Ciri Journey it was a great moment to rework Ciri cards. Unfortunately, I’m worried that they are still a little bit underpowered to stay in the meta. Ciri: Nova decks are fun – perhaps one will become strong enough?

How did being in the best Gwent esport group in the universe helped you to win the tournament?

Being part of the Elder Blood team was life-changing experience. Training together, discussing meta and exchange of information made my gameplay and general Gwent experience much better. At least that’s what they make me say 😉

If you want to train with me and other pro players or be a part of fast-growing and hardworking team join Us!

Unlike other snapshots, Elder Blood reviewed Skellige not as a 5-star deck.  You showed in the tournament that really Skellige was beatable. Do you think there were any 5-star decks in past?

No.

Soon you will be playing in the qualifiers for the Gwent Open, any plans for a lineup?

It’s too early to decide. I’ll play whatever I feel is strong and I feel comfortable playing with.

The Gwent team is looking for a deck brewer. Do you plan to apply for this position?

No.

For a long time, we have not been getting dual faction cards. Any ideas for that type of a card?

It’s very difficult to create a card that works well in both factions. It is possible (see: Gord and Hammond) and I’ll gladly see more of these cards being printed in the future. I don’t have any ideas tough 🙁

You worked as part of the Polish cast of TLG’S Invitational, what do you think about spectator mode at this stage of development? What are the key features you looking forward to?

I wasn’t using it directly – only was accepting invites as a spectator from organizers – but it was looking really promising. I hope that there will be more than 2 slots for spectators and that you will be easily able to swap between different games.

On Twitch in points reward you have juggling, how did you learn to do this?

One day I wake up and said to myself: “You are 21 and still can’t juggle. What are you doing with your life?” Then I ordered juggling balls and started trying. Youtube videos were helpful and within a few days of practice, I did learn this skill 🙂

Who do you think will win Gwent Masters?

In my eyes Demarcation is the biggest favorite to win. His consistency and decision making is very impressive. I was watching Gwent Open #1 and he clearly deserved to win. Moreover, his ladder scores are also insane! But I will be cheering for my fellow polish brothers 🙂

What starter (from release day of card) card would you like to see again?

Ves because her jiggly effects, it was unnecessary nerfed and she jiggle no more.

CDPR announced they’d look into double card leaders somewhere in the future, how problematic do you think they are for the game?

From the beginning of the time leaders that enable playing two cards in one turn where viable in meta. Some of the combos they made possible were too oppressive. I’m positive about upcoming changes, I think they will change Gwent for the better. I can’t wait!

Thank you for your time, and good luck on the ladder!

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