Reading time 4 mins

Winter Wanderlands: Deep Dive on cards and winning strategies





Good day Mortals! Today we’ve got game designer IMBryn in the hot seat, and we’re picking his brain on all things Winter Wanderlands! Scroll lower to learn about his fave cards, the least popular ones, the best strategies for winning decks, and more in this super fun blog post.  

P.S. He’s dishing out some never-heard-before apha if you can read between the lines. Let’s get started.

Hi IMBryn; it’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Can you please tell the community about your role?

Hey everyone, in case you haven’t met me, I’m IMBryn, a game designer for Gods Unchained. My role involves designing cards and their mechanics so players have the most fun, balanced game. In my free time, I nerd out on other card games.

Let’s begin with an easy question. What’s your most fun card to play from Winter Wanderlands?

Oh, thank you the easier, the better. Well, I must admit there’s something deeply satisfying about jumping to 40 health out of burn range using Winter’s Bounty when facing off against an aggro deck. But even more surprisingly fun for me has been Woodcutter Imp, as although it’s a fairly simple aggro card on its face, I find myself thinking more about how much damage I can afford to take when using it aggressively!

Can you tell us your most popular card predictions?

While designing the set, I did think the aggro cards, such as Sleighmaster Valka or Take The Reins, would be top-rated, and my hunch was correct. Woodcutter Imp and Sleighmaster Valka are seeing a lot of play as they go into a reasonably simple & winning aggro strategy. The aggro war vs. control nature matchup can get very sharp now because of their respective decks' burst damage and healing potential. I’d love to see how popular these cards remain in the long run.

What’s your favorite card to play. We’d love to hear your winning strategy for it!

Spirit Storm, without a doubt! It is kind of a sleeper card in that it’s not very good right now, but with the right shell, it will go absolutely nuts. I can only imagine the combos to play it. This whole Winter Wanderlands set printed a few cards like this and broke new grounds for archetypes. All I can say without revealing too much is to keep an eye on Spirit Storm and Frost Queen Neferu in the future. When one begins to connect the dots, there’s a lot of potential for these kinds of cards.

Getting a little spicier, what was the most complicated card to design for Winter Wanderlands?

I hope you’re not trying to get me in trouble! To be honest, it was fascinating to figure out whether a treachery-style card like Take the Reins worked in the context of Gods Unchained, and I’m so glad we took a leap of faith. It’s one of the cards we’ve been pleased about in Winter Wanderlands, and we want to explore this avenue more. Fun fact: we were unsure whether it would need further post-release patching.

You answered that exceptionally well! Let’s see you wiggle your way out of this one: most despised card and why

Personally, it’s Guiding Light, but that’s because Chosen One has proven to be quite painful to get working - The first design for Guiding Light was as a Chosen One-themed removal piece, but it consistently broke the game! I can’t bear to look at it anymore. I also thought Reinnapper would be included in more decks than it has been as a tempo card, which is a shame because his card art is delightfully gross. Wouldn't you say say too?

Okay, last question. Let’s do it rapid-fire style. Say the first card that comes to mind and tell us how you'd use it in-game

  • The best card from the Light domain for Winter Wanderlands? Merry Kadmos, as it’s a clean, flexible piece for almost any light archetype.
  • The best card from the War domain for Winter Wanderlands? Woodcutter Imp, since it’s a very aggressive card that’s pulled Slayer War back into the limelight.
  • The best card from the Magic domain for Winter Wanderlands? Snowshaper Pallas, a solid repeatable removal.
  • The best card from the Nature domain for Winter Wanderlands? Winter’s Bounty because it makes control nature work again! 
  • The best card from the Deception domain for Winter Wanderlands?  - Candy Chain,  we aren’t quite there yet, but there is so much design room here that I can’t wait to get ideating on this one.
  • The best card from the Death domain for Winter Wanderlands? Spirit Storm. The potential for this card is very high, even if it doesn’t quite have a working shell right now. Quite underrated right now.

Thank you for letting us pick your brain, IMBryn, we hope to see you soon!
Remember, the Winter Wanderlands set is closing in less than 36 hours. Now is your last chance to get your hands on the first festive set by Gods Unchained. Make your move now, or forever live in regret!