Northern Realms Review

Hey what's up everyone! This is Green-Knight coming at you with a review on all the Crimson Curse cards which were added to Northern Realms. I suppose the best place for us to start is with the new leader, Queen Calanthe.

Queen Calanthe is a really cool new leader for Northern Realms. If she wins Round 1, she can be one of the more scary leaders to face. Although she has great potential, she has a critical weakness. When she loses Round 1, she's very susceptible to being bled in Round 2. Partly because she's a single use leader, but mostly due to the fact that she's combination oriented, an example could be Yennefer of Vengerberg with Hubert Rejk. Basically, once you're effectively bled out, winning the game is normally going to be difficult for you, even if you're a card up in Round 3.

Queen Adalia is from a design perspective really intriguing. She allows you to play a shielded Bronze, which is powerful. She's a good card, very similar to Operator, but much better. The downside is that Adalia is a 11 provision card that ideally you would like to keep as a finisher, but she requires you to keep a Bronze card that can utilize the shield in your hand.

Formation is the new important keyword introduced to Northern Realms. When you play a card with Formation on the melee row, it gains Zeal. If you play it on the ranged row, it boosts itself by 1. This offers you nice versatility.

Prince Anséis is similar to Seltkirk. He's much more flexible due to the new Formation tag, which enables him to behave like Seltkirk when played in the ranged row. You can use him immediately when played in the melee row. The sheer flexibility allows him to control your opponent's board reliably without Zeal. He has ridiculous synergies with cards that can boost and shield him, so he can duel big targets. Prince is included in every popular NR deck.

King Roegner has a lot of potential to be a powerful card, similarly to Vincent Meis in Open Beta Gwent. If there are
2 shielded units on the board, he's worth 10 points already. His value can rise to insane levels with more shields played. The drawback is that he plays directly into any tall removal. Unlike cards such as Hubert Rejk or Glustyworp, it's a much harder to save him as your finisher. You usually have to play him when you have the highest amount of shields available.

Vissegerd is a great addition to Northern Realms. You can compare him with Saesenthessis: Blaze. He becomes more effective with the more boosted units you have on board and therefore he has a very high ceiling with potential to control your opponent's board. His only drawback is that sometimes you lack boosted units. Even then he's worth like 6 or 7 points, which isn't too bad for a 8 provision card.

Knighthood is a welcome addition that supports plenty of cards in Northern Realms that rely on boosts. One of many ways to use Knighthood effectively is with Tridam Infantry. When Tridam is the only card on the row, Knighthood plays for 12 points, which is pretty crazy for 7 provisions. The small drawbacks to Knighthood are creating tall units and maybe sometimes playing 6 points for 7 provisions just isn't good.

Windhalm of Attre has arrived and Northern Realms have a new engine with ridiculous potential. He plays for 4 points as soon as he hits the board. Due to his shield, it can be very difficult to outright remove him. There are also a lot of cards which re-apply the shield quite effectively. If left unchecked, he could be worth up to 20 points. Sadly, he's vulnerable to locks and tall removal. Nice addition to engine heavy decks.

Purify is another new keyword. It removes all statuses from a card, such as lock, which is useful against Nilfgaard.

Do you want some comic relief? Play Coodcoodak! His ability to purify the adjacent units often comes in handy, especially vs control decks. Being able to imitate Mick Jagger or a rooster on a pub table is even more important.

Cintrian Artificer is an insane addition to the bronze core. He has a place in any Northern Realms deck. The ability to give units a shield is really good and annoying to deal with, as it forces your opponent to answer your 5 provision card with either removal or a lock. This increases the chances of your more important cards to survive later on. Artificer has synergy with the dueling cards, Seltkirk and Prince Anséis.

Cintrian Spellweaver is a solid addition to the bronze core. Similar to Lyrian Arbalest, but with 1 more strength. If you build a deck with enough mages in it, Spellweaver can be incredibly good. You can use cards such as Reinforcements, Necromancy and Queen Adalia to play multiple copies of Spellweaver. Really well designed card with huge potential.

Cintrian Royal Guard could hypothetically be really good, but in reality, it seems to be underpowered. The return you get from playing multiple copies of this card isn't worth it.
I think the entire setup is way too conditional and difficult, not to mention that it plays directly into Gimpy. This card isn't terrible, but it would be nice to see Royal Guards truly snowball, similarly to Reaver Hunters in Open Beta Gwent.

Contrary to popular belief, Cyntrian Envoy isn't my favorite Bronze card from the expansion. She's an interesting card. Efficient in decks that revolve around charges. For example, she would be very useful in basically every Demavend deck.

Bonded is yet another keyword added this expansion. It rewards you for playing multiple copies of a Bronze unit.
Vitality is a status which boosts a unit by 1 on turn end. Deathblow ability triggers when the card destroys a unit.

Cintrian Enchantress must have enchanted me indeed, because I've included 2 copies in most of my NR decks. She's a quite consistent card, 5 points for 4 provisions on paper, with the second copy being potentially 7 points. Great synergy with engines, especially Tridam Infantry, not to mention the dueling cards. Amazing staple for NR.

Cintrian Knight is a very cheap removal tool and when you proc Deathblow, he will get at least 6 value for 4 provisions. When Cintrian Knight boosts himself, he also adds further value to other cards such as Vissegerd or Lyrian Scytheman.

Runeword is another useful addition to the NR bronze core.
A cheap card that supports the shield archetype, while also working with boost reliant cards. Decent engine protection.

Thank you for reading. I hope you've learned a thing or two.
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All images were taken from https://gwent.seven7y.com/?lang=en

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