Gwent: The Witcher Card Game | A Beginner’s Guide to Open Beta

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is the standalone take on the critically acclaimed Witcher 3’s time killing card game with the same name. Like Geralt of Rivia in the Witcher, Gwent will have players searching far and wide for cards to build decks to defeat their opponents with. Fortunately, unlike Geralt you won’t have to save anyone from griffins to play, as Gwent: The Witcher Card Game just entered open beta. Head over to the official website to sign up.


Basics

  • Gwent does not have resources such as mana or land and there are no limits on the amount of cards you can play each turn.
  • There are numerous factions in Gwent with their own play styles. Each faction also has different leaders with different abilities adding another layer of complexity.
  • The game board has three rows which restrict where cards can be played. The front row is the melee row, the middle row is for ranged and the back row is for siege units. Some units can be placed on 2 out of 3 rows, some units can passively move from row to row each turn, etc.
  • Certain disloyal cards can also be played on your opponent’s side of the board.
  • Weather cards can be played which persistently affect one of the three rows of the game board.
  • There are 3 rounds per game and whoever wins 2 rounds wins the game. Tricking your opponent into playing as many cards as possible and then losing the round on purpose is a common tactic.
  • Cards can be bronze, silver, or gold power. Each standard deck can only have 6 silver and 4 gold cards.
  • Cards can be obtained through campaigns, daily rewards and an in-game shop.

The Game

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

The Game Board With Weather Effect Played

Drafting

  • Each player starts with 10 random cards from their deck.
  • More than one instance of a bronze unit or spell can be drafted.

Mulligan

  • Each player can choose to redraw up to 3 cards.
  • Players can choose to not redraw any cards.
  • Each card that is redrawn will be different than the original card.

Round 1

  • A coin toss determines who is allowed to go first.
  • During their turn a player is allowed to play a card, use an available leader ability or pass.
  • If a player exceeds their turn limit they will automatically discard a random card from their hand.
  • Whoever has the most points with all 3 rows combined wins the round.

Round 2

  • Each player draws 2 more cards at the start of the round.
  • The player that won Round 1 will go first in Round 2.
  • Whoever has the most points with all 3 rows combined wins the round.
  • If the player who wins Round 1 also won Round 2 they win the game.

Round 3

  • Each player draws 1 more card at the start of the round.
  • The player that won Round 2 will go first in Round 3.
  • Whoever has the most points with all 3 rows combined wins the round.
  • If both players run out of cards then the player with the most points wins the round.

Cards

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

Triss Merigold — Gold Quality, Gold Rarity, Ranged Unit

Cards in Gwent come in a variety of different types, qualities, and rarities.

Types

  • Melee: Units that can only be played on the front (1) melee row.
  • Ranged: Units that can only be played on the middle (2) ranged row.
  • Siege: Units that can only be played on the back (3) siege row.
  • Loyal: Units that are played on the player’s side of the game board.
  • Disloyal: Units that are played on the opponent’s side of the game board.
  • Agile: Units that can be played on any row.

Quality

  • Bronze: Basic cards that are vulnerable to all effects and damage. Each deck can have up to 40 bronze cards with a limit of 3 per unique card.
  • Silver: Generally have more power than bronze cards or have special effects. Each deck can have up to 6 silver cards with a limit of 1 per unique card.
  • Gold: Unique cards that are usually immune to effects. Each deck can have up to 4 gold cards with a limit of 1 per unique card.

Rarities

  • White: Common cards with a white square in the lower right of the card’s border.
  • Blue: Rare cards with a blue square in the lower right of the card’s border.
  • Purple: Epic cards with a purple square in the lower right of the card’s border.
  • Gold: Legendary cards with a gold square in the lower right of the card’s border.

Factions

Factions in Gwent are what offer variety from deck to deck. Each faction has its own passive, card archetypes and leaders that a player will have to build around as well as strategize against.

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

Francesca of the Scoia’tael vs. Foltest of the Northern Realms

Monsters

Monster decks focus on consuming smaller unit cards to buff larger unit cards and quickly overwhelming an opponent.

  • Passive: At the end of each round, keep the last loyal non-Gold, non-Fleeting, non-Resilient Neutral or Monsters played from your hand to the battlefield.
  • Archetypes: Buffing, Consume, Weather
  • Leaders:
    • Dagon
      • Deploy: Spawn a Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog, Torrential Rain or First Light card.
    • Eredin
      • Deploy: Spawn a Bronze Wild Hunt Unit.
    • Ge’Els
      • Deploy: Consume 3 Allies to Strengthen this unit by their power.

 

Nilfgaard

Nilfgaard decks rely on planting spies on the battlefield to reveal an opponent’s cards. Being aware of what an opponent has allows Nilfgaard decks to cripple their strongest units.

  • Passive: After drawing cards at the start of rounds 2 and 3, redraw up to 1.
  • Archetypes: Milling, Reveal, Spy
  • Leaders:
    • Emhyr var Emeries
      • Deploy: Return an Ally to your hand, then play a card from your Hand.
    • John Calveit
      • Deploy: Look at the top 3 cards in your Deck. Play 1 and place the others back.
    • Morvran Voorhis
      • Deploy: Reveal up to 3 cards from either player’s Hand.

 

Northern Realms

Northern Realms decks focus on reinforcing units by promoting them to Gold status and making them immune to weather and spells. While commanders inspire units by doubling their power.

  • Passive: Add 2 strength to each gold unit when it appears on your side.
  • Archetypes: Buffing, Control, Gilding, Unit Spam
  • Leaders:
    • Foltest
      • Deploy: Boost all Units in your Hand and Deck by 2.
    • Henselt
      • Deploy: Summon all copies of a Bronze Ally to its row.
    • Radovid
      • Deploy: Lock two adjacent units and Weaken them by 4.

 

Scoia’tael

Scoia’tael decks utilize setting ambushes by playing cards face down which reveal themselves only when the trap has been sprung. Many Scoia’tael units are able to deploy on any row, avoiding enemy spells.

  • Passive: Choose who plays first one round per game.
  • Archetypes: Ambush, Control, Dwarf Buffing
  • Leaders:
    • Brouver Hoog
      • Deploy: Look at all Silver cards in your deck. Play one and place the others back randomly in your deck.
    • Eithné
      • Deploy: Resurrect a special card from your graveyard.
    • Francesca
      • Deploy: Redraw up to 3 cards.

 

Skellige

Skellige decks revolve around the unthinkable, killing off units on purpose only to bring them back from the dead stronger than ever. Many Skellige units can wound themselves to incite themselves into a bloody rage, doubling their strength.

  • Passive: At the start of Round 2 and 3, add +1 base strength to every non-Gold unit in your hand, deck and graveyard.
  • Archetypes: Discard, Self-Wounding Warcry, Weather, Wounding
  • Leaders:
    • Crach an Craite
      • Deploy: Play the highest Loyal unit in your deck. Strengthen it by 5 then damage it by 1.
    • Harald the Cripple
      • Deploy: Damage a unit by 5. If this Destroys it, repeat this ability with damage -1.
    • King Bran
      • Deploy: Discard 3 cards from your Deck (including Golds) and Strengthen Units among them by 1.

Obtaining Cards

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game

Card Kegs In The Shop

Cards in Gwent can be earned either from smashing Card Kegs or through the game’s crafting system. Card Kegs work like card packs in similar games but with a slight mini-game twist. Crafting cards allows you to target the exact card that you want for your deck.

Card Kegs

  • Can be bought for 100 Ore. Ore is a currency in Gwent that can be earned through leveling up, ranking up, daily quest rewards, or by receiving a commendation from  an opponent at the end of a game.
  • Can be bought with real life currency. Kegs can be bought in various amounts and buying larger quantities is more cost effective.
  • Kegs contain 5 Gwent cards with one guaranteed to be of rare, epic, or legendary rarity. When smashing a keg 4 cards will be revealed face down. After the 4 cards are revealed you will be presented with three additional cards of the same rarity. You will be allowed to choose one of these three cards bringing your total to 5.

Crafting

  • Scraps are a currency in Gwent that can be earned through milling, leveling up, ranking up, daily quest rewards, or by receiving a commendation from  an opponent at the end of a game.
  • You can browse through the card index to find a particular card that you want for your deck. Selecting this card will allow you to spend scraps to craft it.
  • You can also browse cards you currently own and mill any cards you don’t use or cards that you have duplicates of.
  • It is not recommended to craft cards until you have leveled up and collected all the cards that are rewarded to you. This way you don’t accidentally craft a card that would otherwise be given to you for free down the road.
  • White cards cost 30 scrap to craft. Blue cards cost 80 scrap to craft. Purple cards cost 200 scraps to craft. And Gold cards cost 800 scrap to craft.