Hello everyone and welcome to Twinstick Gaming. Today we have a Witcher 3: How to play Gwent A Beginner’s Guide for you.
Even though the tutorial, during the game, gives you the basic rules it doesn’t really explain how to win. In this guide we go over the basic rules and also give you a few tips on how to best those Gwent players out there.
The rules of Gwent are pretty simple. You start the game with around 37 cards in your inventory. You can add to your initial deck by collecting cards from traders and merchants, some are randomly awarded to you during quests or you can beat the various Gwent players dotted around the map. Here’s what happens when you challenge a Gwent player.
1) A coin is flipped to decide who starts
2) At the start of the game, players pick 10 randomised cards from their deck (it’s worth selecting your deck first). You can at this moment discard two cards in the hope of receiving two better cards from your deck or you can stick with your deck. This is your hand for the remainder of the game. That means for all three rounds you have only 10 cards (special ability effecting cards not withstanding). Any card used in one round cannot be used in the next round, so use your cards wisely and save some of your better cards for the final round.
3) The game consists of three rounds. Win two rounds and you win the game.
4) The board consists of 3 combat rows for each player. They consist of Close Combat, Ranged and Siege troops. Each player takes it in turns to place a card on the board. Each card has a number value and is placed on the appropriate part of the board, depending on whether the card is a Close Combat, Ranged or Siege card. The total values of all cards placed on the board is the players score. You must out score your opponents total score to win one round.
5) Weather cards affect the total of one particular row (Close Combat, Ranged or Siege). Sometimes they often decrease the score. For example, this can be useful if your opponent favours using Close Combat cards for the duration of the round. Some weather cards only effect Close Combat units. In some cases a weather card may reset the value of all Close Combat cards to 1. So if your opponent has used four Close Combat cards and gathered a total value of 15 points, play this card and the total would come down to four. Placing you in the lead. But remember your infantry cards would also reset to 1 as well.
Weather Cards are not part of your 10 card deck and can be drawn without sacrificing one of your cards.
6) Leader cards can only be used once in an entire match, during the players turn. These cards have catastrophic effects on your opponents cards, so use them wisely and at the best time. Initially you start with one leader card, but click here for a full list of leader cards and their locations.
7) You can skip your turn. Useful for two reasons. If you are winning by some margin it is better to hold your lead than to keep adding to your total. Remember you only have 10 cards for the entire game. Similarly, you could be really far behind in a round and it would take using your best cards to stand a chance of perhaps catching them. This could be a trap to make you lose your best cards for the final round. So don’t be afraid to fold on occasion.
8) The round ends when all cards are exhausted or if the player skips his turn and their score outweighs their opponents total.
When collecting Gwent cards you will see four basic deck types, Northern Realms, Nilfgaard, Scoia’tael and Monster cards. To find them all we have a guide here with their locations.
Amongst your deck are Unit Cards, Leader Cards, Special Cards, Hero Cards and Neutral cards.
Unit Cards – These are your bread and butter. They make up a bulk of your deck. Think of them as the pawns in a chess game.
Leader Cards – There are only sixteen leader cards. Four representing each of the four main factions (decks) Northern Realms, Nilfgaard, Scoia’tael and Monster. Here is our guide for their locations.
Special Cards – These are mainly weather cards that have a negative effect on a row of troops: Close Combat, Ranged or Siege. Some weather cards counter the effects of all-weather cards, effectively making the use of a weather card null and void, so be wary when playing your weather cards, your opponent may have a trick up their sleeve.
Hero Cards – These cards often have a high point value and are immune to the effect of weather cards and are unique to their faction deck type.
Neutral Cards – These are the same as Hero cards but are not tied to a faction deck type.
Tips for Winning
1) Collect as many Gwent cards as you can. You can mainly buy Gwent cards from Traders or are randomly given one as a quest reward. You’ll also find that you can easily beat many Gwent players with your initial deck. When you beat them they’ll give you a new card. However, some opponents are proficient at Gwent and you’ll need to obtain ‘rare’ Gwent cards. Below is a set of links for every card in the game, how to obtain them and where to obtain them from. REMEMBER YOU CAN ONLY OBTAIN CERTAIN ‘RARE’ CARDS DURING CERTAIN MISSIONS. YOU MAY ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO COLLECT
2) Take your time, DO NOT PLAY ALL YOUR BEST CARDS IN THE FIRST ROUND. It’s very tempting to open up with a great hand but you have 10 cards remember. If you use your best straight away how will you beat them in the latter rounds? Either stay within touching distance of your opponent or let them win. There is no shame in losing a single round, after all it’s about winning the entire game. So if it looks like your opponent is using up all of his/her best cards, then let them. They have no hope of beating you in the next round.
3) Pass your turn. If you are ahead by miles don’t keep adding to your total by aimlessly adding cards to the board. The idea is to make your opponent use up his cards catching you up. But remember he’s trying to make you use up your best cards. So getting far ahead in one round can mean that they have ‘played’ you for a fool. If you are ahead don’t be afraid to pass your turn. Also if they are miles ahead let just give up. There is always the next round.
4) As mentioned before, weather cards effect your cards as well as your opponents. Play them later in the round, paying close attention to the cards your opponent is using. If your weather card resets all Ranged cards to 1 and he is using more ranged cards then you, it may be worth risking it, but work out the totals first. You don’t want to find that you’ll handicapped your best card. Also, once again, patience is key. Your opponent won’t play anymore Ranged cards if you have rendered that row useless. Sometime hold on to see if he adds to a certain row.
5) Organise your Deck. These cards are randomly picked and you are assigned only 10 per game. If you have a large deck to choose from you have a smaller chance of getting your better cards on the board. So bench the lesser cards in your deck.