Welcome to Gwent, The Witcher Card Game! Gwent was originally created as a mini game in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but its standalone version was designed almost from scratch; just to make sure that it’s properly balanced, providing gamers with a great multiplayer experience. Even if you’ve already played Gwent, you should remember that many changes and upgrades have been introduced to make the standalone Gwent an exciting new experience. Gwent is a game of two armies clashing on the battlefield. The objective is to overwhelm your opponent by using combos and well planned strategies, some of which are unique to the faction and cards that you’ve chosen. This tutorial is based on a closed beta version of the game, so stay tuned for continuous updates and additional features.
In the main menu you can select to play a casual match, invite a friend, practice against an AI opponent or learn how to play Gwent with a step-by-step tutorial. There are four starter decks available. Each one features a different faction and leader card from the game. Let’s choose the monster deck and start the battle. At the start each player draws 10 cards, and may redraw up to three.
To win a game of Gwent, a player needs to emerge victorious in two out of three possible rounds. Your hand will appear at the bottom of the board. Your deck and graveyard are in the corner, and the crown is the round score indicator. There are three rows on the board, Melee, Range, and Siege. Each unit card will be placed on the board according to its type.
Every turn, both players must play one card or pass. Each unit card has a strength value. The player with the highest point value on the board wins. The values are calculated when both players have passed. Passing on a round makes sense when you already have way more points than your opponent, if you aim to keep your strongest cards till the decisive moment, or if you want to trick your opponent into playing their best cards first. Once you’ve passed you may not play any more cards for the round.
Your opponent may play as many cards as they wish until they pass or run out of cards in their hand. Win two rounds and the game is yours. If a round ends in a tie both players earn a round victory.
Remember you only draw ten cards at the start of the game, two cards at the beginning of the second round, and one card for the third round. Some card abilities will summon more units to fight for you, draw more cards from your deck, or revive a unit from your graveyard. Trick your opponent into playing their best cards and bluff your way to victory. Use a decoy to return a desired card to your hand or save your best cards for last.
You can mislead your opponent and lose a round on purpose only to use your best combos and strategies in the decisive round and win the game. Now let’s build a deck. First, choose a faction; each one has a special, unique ability. The cunning Northern Realms gain more strength each time a gold card is being played on your side of the battlefield. The shadowy Scoia’tael lets the player choose who goes first. The brutal Monsters faction keeps one random unit on the board after every round, whether it was lost or won.
The proud faction of Skellige adds strength to each unit in your hand and deck at the end of a round. More factions will be available in the future, including the imperial Nilfgaard. Once a faction is chosen, select a leader card. Each leader has a specific ability that can only be used once per game. With the faction and leader card chosen, it’s time to build your army.
There are three type of unit cards. Gold Cards are unique, meaning you can only use one per deck, per type, and they’re immune to most effects, good or bad. There are some exceptions where a gold card will have the ability to perform an effect on any card. Silver cards are also unique, but appear more often than gold ones, and finally Bronze cards, which you can have up to 3 copies of. Each deck requires a minimum of 25 cards, and can have a maximum of 4 Gold and 6 Silver cards. 25 is the optimal number of cards in your deck.
The fewer cards you have, the higher the chance of drawing the desired ones. There’s a wide range of cards in Gwent: regular units, cards with special abilities, spells that can boost your troops, or area cards which buff or debuff entire rows on the battlefield. Weather effects reduce all non-gold unit cards to the strength value of 1. Frost affects melee, Fog weakens ranged units, and Rain hinders siege cards.
Card Kegs contain additional playing cards that bolster your entire card library. Upon opening one, a Card Keg produces 5 cards — one guaranteed rare or higher. Opening Kegs is always a thrill because every time you do so, you’re granted the opportunity to choose one of three rare or higher cards of equal value. It doesn’t matter if you play Skellige, Northern Realms, Scoia’tael, or Monsters — with each opened Keg, you always have a fair chance of boosting your favorite faction. Gwent rewards players for both taking risks, as well as playing it safe, and every strategy in between. Focus on abilities that maximize your deck’s potential, from Ice Giants empowered by biting frost, to a cunning spymaster who can strip away your opponent’s advantage on the battlefield.
Thanks for watching. Stay tuned for more updates from CD Projekt RED by visiting playgwent.com.