v The basic rules of Gwent, how to win the game, what cards to use, how to become a real master, how to build a deck correctly
The Witcher 3 is a cult action role-playing game that has become (and, perhaps, remains) a real masterpiece of our time. Not surprisingly, the title has several plot additions, and as a cherry on the cake, you can specify the Gwent card. This is one of the best “games within a game” in the history of the industry. Looking ahead, it should be noted that in 2017 Gwent was released as a separate title “Gwent: The Witcher. Card game”.
Gwent is both a deep and intuitive game: make it so that there are more of your units on the board, and in a 9/10 case, you will be the one to win. To win a round, you need to score more points than the opponent, and to finally win the battle, you need to win two out of three rounds.
Despite the simple premise, this card game, beloved by many gamers, has many subtleties that are worth learning in order to become the king of all inns.
Play with everyone and collect a collection of cards
Bruce Lee once said, “I am not afraid of someone who learns 10,000 different punches. I fear the one who learns one punch 10,000 times.” How does this relate to Gwent? It’s very simple: if you want to improve your skills, don’t turn down any Gwent player you meet. Sit down at the table and lay out the cards whenever the opportunity arises.
In The Witcher 3, you can compete in Gwent with merchants, settlement/city champions, and Geralt’s comrades. Whenever you see the option “How about a party in Gwent?” in the dialogue, agree without question. Not only will you benefit from the practice of the game, but for each game you will receive new cards.
Leave strong cards
The key to winning the game of Gwent is to try to win rounds with as few resources as possible. Treat this game like a war. Would you like to win the battle, having lost most of the troops already in the first battle? Certainly not. You need to save the lives of the soldiers for the next attack (in this case, a round), since the war will end after someone wins two rounds.
So, just like in Yu-Gi-Oh or any other card game, don’t put all your cards on the table too quickly. Save strong cards for critical situations. For example, for the third round, in which the final outcome of the battle is decided. A good rule of thumb is to always have one or two powerful heroes in hand.
Use “Scarecrows” to return the cards
Scarecrow is the most underrated card in Gwent. It is available in the very early stages, but you will probably ignore it and not even try to use it until you meet an NPC who unexpectedly uses the Scarecrow card, turning the situation on the board upside down. The principle of the Scarecrow is simple – you can change this card for any other card that has already been used up in battle.
So if you have a powerful card that you prefer to use in the later stages, discard Scarecrow to get it back. This card becomes especially useful when Spy (a card your opponent plays on your half of the board) comes into play.
Build a small deck
The best thing that could happen in Gwent is the ability to create your own deck and choose only those cards that you need (the rest can be ignored and not taken). Your deck must have at least 25 cards. Most experienced gamers adhere to this value, although often the total number reaches 30 units.
This is a common mistake newbies make when they overload their decks by expanding them to 40 cards. To put it mildly, not the best solution. In this stack of 40 cards, you will probably have a lot of unnecessary units, which, if you have to use them, will only do harm. Therefore, limit yourself to a deck of 25-30 cards.
Don’t be afraid to lose the round
And again, back to the analogy with the war: remember the famous words of Napoleon? “You can win the fight, but lose the battle; you can win the battle but lose the campaign; You can win the campaign but lose the war.” This is very important in Gwent. And this rule is valid in many sports or various activities, which consist of several stages.
In Gwent, it’s much more important to save resources for the next round than to spend most of them in one round. Even NPCs understand this and will sometimes let go of rounds without sacrificing cards. You should strive to have more cards than your opponent, because once they run out, consider the war lost. Therefore, don’t go crazy and get excited by using all the cards for a mandatory victory in the first round.
Think Twice Before Using Execute
The Execution card is one of the most unusual special cards in Gwent. If you use it, it will destroy the strongest card (unit) on the battlefield, excluding heroes, but taking into account your cards. The same indicator, then both of you will screw up.
Although, since we are talking about your Execution card, then in this case it was you who screwed up, because you just spent the card on weakening yourself. It may seem like this card does more harm than good, but when used correctly, it will allow you to destroy most of the enemy board. If your opponent has multiple units with the same power value, and this value is higher than yours, be sure to play Execute!
Weather cards are useful in the beginning, but quickly lose their effectiveness
When you first start playing Gwent, you will most likely have several cards from the Weather category in your deck. There are four different weather maps in total, but with the exception of one, they all pretty much do the same thing. When you play a Downpour, Haze, or Frost card, you reduce the power of units in that category to 1 (siege, ranged, or melee units, depending on the weather card played). Another weather card is Clear Sky, which cancels these effects. Weather cards can ruin a game, especially if you’ve invested heavily in a particular type of unit, but most of the time it’s almost never worth it. Just keep Clear Sky up your sleeve as sometimes NPCs use weather cards. Oh yes, later came the card “Storm from Skellige”,
Avoid the Scoia’tael and the Beast
The Scoia’tael and the Behemoths aren’t that bad, as their cards are fun to play. But compared to the decks of the Kingdoms of the North and Nilfgaard, they are disproportionately weak. While the Northern Realms and Nilfgaard decks focus on the Spy and Medic abilities, the Behemoths and Scoia’tael use the Doppelgänger.
When such a card is played, any units with the same name will also be played. For example, if you play a Scoia’tael dwarf with this property, three of the same will immediately appear from the deck. The problem is that it conflicts with saving as many cards as possible for later rounds, and thus hurts more.
Cards with the Spy ability are the best in the game
Another reason Northern Realms and Nilfgaard decks are the best decks in Gwent is because they use the best card ability, Spy. When you play a Spy card, you place it in your opponent’s half of the field, giving him an extra unit, but allowing you to take two extra cards into your hand.
Spies essentially break the game. If your opponent is spying on you, then you will quickly understand this by the fact that in his hand there will be 13-14 cards, while you have 6 of them. That’s the deal, so make sure you counter your opponent with a similar ability.
If in doubt, it’s better to stop
This is the main advice for Gwent. This is why you should bet on cards with the Spy ability and keep as many cards in your hand as possible for the final rounds. It doesn’t matter how devastatingly the opponent won in the first or second round, the only thing that matters is whether he can repeat it more than once. This means that at the beginning you should not only lay out the worst cards, but also come up with a way to stop if something happens.
Use the effects of Clear Sky even when there are no weather cards in play and lure the enemy into a trap. Use our tips and you will soon get the hang of it. And when you’re ready, feel free to take part in the Gwent tournament in Novigrad!