Best Gwent Strategies

Best Gwent Strategies – Guide

Below we’ve made a collection for you with our best Gwent strategies and hints in the Witcher 3 Game how to win against all Gwent players in the Northern realms. If you’re locking for specific cards check our list of all Gwent cards or check our guide through all Gwent quests in the game.

Deck Building:

Well, well, well to beat your opponents in Gwent the best strategies start of course with having a real effective Gwent deck prepared. And the most effective deck contains as few but strong and effective cards in your deck. Since you only draw 10 cards at beginning and no more during the game (except faction perks and spies but we’re getting to that later) having few cards in your deck raise your chances of getting the cards you want.  The minimum amount of cards you must have in your deck is 22 unit cards. Try to not exceed this number of cards and only use the strongest unit cards you have available, meaning especially hero cards and cards that have abilities that assist your strategy (medics, spies and so on). For special cards the minimum of cards is 0 (!) and the maximum is 10 special cards per deck. Also here it’s highly recommended to use as less special cards as possible. Think twice about the weather cards before you put them in your deck. You really need this Impenetrable Fog card? It will only be useful against a few Gwent decks, so if you’re not sure if you should really have this card then rather remove it from you deck. Best Special cards are the Decoy (this card’s essential when you’re playing with a spy-strategy), Commanders Horn, Torch (depending on the situation) and one clear weather should probably in your deck if you’re not playing northern realms faction.


Deck Building Summary

  • Always try to keep your deck count as low as possible
  • Use only the strongest unit / hero cards
  • Use maximum 22 unit cards
  • Put all your available Spy cards in your deck
  • Use unit cards with special abilities
  • Try to keep the special cards also as low as possible.
  • Remove unnecessary weather cards and horn cards if you have a lot of hero cards in your deck

Choosing Your Faction

Every faction has it’s strengths and weaknesses, so if your looking to improve your Gwent skills you should play around a bit with every 4 factions to get a feeling for their cards and strategies.

thumbsup-icon Northern realms faction

Northern realms are always a good option, as the Northern realms deck offers you a good selection of strong cards and good leader abilities. Their faction ability is really helpful as drawing cards is essential in Gwent. They also have 3 spies available with a unit strength from 1 to 5, this allows you to have up to 4 (!) spy cards with the Avallac’h hero card in your deck. Compound with the Northern realms faction ability to draw an additional card after a victorious round and you’ll have a pretty effective combination in your deck since drawing cards is super crucial for playing Gwent. In addition to your neutral hero cards the Northern realms offer you a good collection of strong cards, especially in the Siege row. The Catapults are the best bond cards in the game, if played with a horn on that row only those two cards alone provide you with a  unit strengh of 64. Combined with the double Siege unit strength ability of the The Siegemaster leader card or the, always useful, clear weather leader ability, the Northern realms faction gives you a really wide range of strong combinations for your Gwent deck. During the early chapters of your Gwent adventures the Northern realms are for sure your best choice for building a strong Gwent deck at an early stage.

thumbsup-icon Niflgaardian Empire Faction

The Nilfgaardian Empire deck is played with a bit more advanced strategies but their card collection offers you a lot of interesting combinations and a well chosen Nilfgaardien Empire deck can be one of  most effective decks in the Gwent game. Although, their faction ability is not really effective at the early parts of the Gwent game but it can be helpful in combination with some spy strategies and outnumbering your opponent with your hand cards.  Their higher level leader abilities are also really nice with the ability to cancel the opponents leader ability or the even better draw a card from your opponents discard pile ability of the The Relentless leader card, especially in combination with a spy strategy deck.  The Nilfgaardian deck itself contains a big collection of strong unit strength 10 cards, also unit cards that are no heroes cards which means they are affected by the commanders horn card or medic abilities! The deck also contains 3 Nilfgaardian spies with a unit strength range from 4 to 9. With the A’vallach card you’re able to contain 4 spy cards in your deck and after the High Stakes Gwent quest you are equipped with a leader ability that lets you regain one of your spies from the opponents discard pile. In combination with some Decoy cards you can draw a hell lot of cards while your opponent gets desperate with already playing his good cards at earlier stages or passing and gifting you the round victory with still having less hand cards.

thumbsup-icon Scoia’tael Faction

The Scoia’tael faction includes mostly elfish unit cards for your battlefield. That means they have a high agility represented by lots of cards that have the Agile card ability. This let’s you choose to play the unit card in the Close or Ranged Combat row, very useful for the later stage of a round when you choose which row you will focus on and maybe assist them with a commanders horn. Anyways the Scoia’tael has their best unit cards in the Ranged Combat row, therefor you should most of the time focus on that row. The leader cards Daisy of the Valley and  The Beautiful offer you very good leader abilities that are helpful in a lot of setups – card drawing is always crucial in a Gwent game. The Scoia’tael deck offers you also a lot of good hero and medic cards, though the lack of spy card in this deck is a downside in the deck. The Scoia’tael faction has it’s benefits, though we recommend to go with the Northern Realms or Nilfgaard deck in the big Gwent quests when you want to make sure to win.

thumbsup-icon Monsters Faction

The monsters Gwent faction comes along with a lot monsters that you actually met and killed in the Witcher 3 game. The monsters deck stands out for its Musters unit cards. This allows you to play one unit card and also place instantly all other cards with the same name from your hand and your deck (but watch out: NOT from your discard pile).  So playing one card can bring you a combined unit strength ranged from 24 to 32 on your deck, pretty good – though always be careful to not have unit cards with the same name and the Mulders ability on your hand, this will just make you loose more hand cards when playing it. But to really take advantage of the Mulders ability you’ll need to have a big collection of the monsters cards deck, otherwise you’ll not be able to fully benefit from this ability.  The leader abilities of the monsters deck are pretty epic and out stand the leaders of the other factions. You can’t really go wrong with picking your monsters leader, though the Bringer of Death and the Destroyer of worlds have pretty good abilities.

Although, the monsters faction have a big problem. They have no medics, and even worse – they have no spies. When playing against a well setup Northern Realms or Nilfgaard deck you probably won’t stand a chance – you might win one round big time but the others you’ll loose though to your lack of hand cards. If you want to win against the big Gwent players we rather recommend you go for Northern Realms or Nilfgaard deck.

Faction Summary

  • All in all, every faction has interesting cards and abilities and it’s definitely fun to bring some diversification to your Gwent games and to get a feeling for all of the decks and the strategies.
  • Though, If you’re looking to win, your best choice is still the Northern Realms and the Niflgaardian decks. Their faction and leader abilities combined with their big selection of spies is your road to victory.
  • Drawing cards and outnumbering your opponents hand cards should always be your main focus, always keep that in mind. Also just put the cards in the deck you need to higher your opportunities of drawing the right cards at the start of the game.

Gwent Game Strategies

Here we listed our most effective Gwent Game Strategies for you. Since the game’s rules are pretty simple you still have plenty opportunities to setup some very effective combinations and tactics for your Gwent decks. And you’ll need them once you come along the big players in the Gwent business.

thumbsup-icon Drawing cards

First things first: The most important tactic to get advantage in Gwent is having more hand cards then your opponent. This can be achieved through different strategies, though the most important are spy cards of course. Leader or faction abilities (like the Northern factions is offering) are also ways to stock up your hand cards. Make sure you have enough options in your deck to draw cards in you deck and try to draw as much cards as possible in the first round of the game. Lose the first round and never mind, the upcoming rounds should be your while outnumbering your opponents hand and watch him play his best cards while you still have enough opportunities to turn his army down.

thumbsup-icon Spies, Spies and even more Spies

Well, as mentioned before, spies are the most important cards in your deck – they often make the difference between winning or loosing the game. The strategy is pretty basic but effective: You try to play a lot of spies in the first round of the game to get as much hand cards as possible and have at least a 2 card advantage to your opponent for the 2nd round. Therefor you’ll have to make sure you to have enough spy cards at the beginning of the game in your hand. You’ll achieve that by having 4 spies in your deck (possible with Northern Realms and Nilfgaard deck – 3 basic spies plus the A’vallach card you get from the Skellige Style Gwent quest) and a low deck count meaning max. 22 unit cards and as little special cards as possible. The unit strength of the spy does not mather, you’ll just focus on keep drawing cards at the first round cause you wanna loose it anyway. Starting by the 2nd round you take advantage of your hand card bonus by playing the bad cards first while you’re opponent struggles with playing his best cards or “gifting” you the 2nd round with passing because he is too frightened already. No mather what happens, if you have an 3-4 card advantage at the beginning of the 2nd round you pretty sure gonna win the game. The leader ability of the Relentless leader of the Nilfgaard deck comes in handy here, as you might wanna torch one of your spies and take it back to your hand while your opponent keeps playing cards and you keep stocking up.

thumbsup-icon Spies and decoys  – a pretty lovely relationship

Well, decoys. They might not look so mighty on the first view, though they can be really helpful with assisting your Gwent strategy. They can get you back cards with good effects like medic or torch cards while keeping you the same hand card count.  But their hidden strength lies in getting you the spies your opponent played into your hand and again keep drawing cards. Combined with the standard spy tactic you’re able to really stock up your hand cards number in the first round and smash your opponent in the two upcoming rounds. For standard spy decks also 2 decoys are recommended but of course fine tuning makes the difference.

thumbsup-icon Villentretenmerth FTW

Our favorite card in the Gwent game. Really. If possible we’ll try to play it 3x times a game if not more often (Revives, decoys or steal from opponents discard pile). This dragon is a really good tool against the Mulder monsters and annoying stuff your opponent may come up with. You can revive him, you can swap it with a decoy card and play it again, torch all enemy close combat cards n combination with the biting frost card (like in the video below) or even pick it from your deck or your opponents discard pile with leader abilities since he’s no hero card.  Villentretenmerth is for sure one of the best cards in the Gwent came.

Gwent Villentretenmerth FTW

thumbsup-icon Keep your good cards for the end

Gwent is won in 3 rounds and not in the first round. Always try to keep your best cards for the last round(s), first round is often the one you want to loose and let you opponent play his best card. Make sure to play your bad cards upfront in the game and try to draw your enemies best cards on the battlefield on the first round.

thumbsup-icon In the final rounds – Heroes first

When it comes to the crucial parts / rounds of the game you should always play your Hero cards first before you play your other unit or special cards. Hero cards can’t be effected any other effects –> weather or torch cards for example. So playing your heroes first will give you more freedom on your strategy and the last important cards played in the game.  When you send your heroes first into the combat you’ll be saving up time and can see what your opponent is doing or on which row he’s focusing while you find the best answer to his actions.

thumbsup-icon The battle is won, but the war’s not over

Gwent is structured into 3 rounds. You’ll only be victorious if you win two rounds, never forget that! Sometimes it may be better to pass then to get stuck into a big battle in the 2nd round or playing too many hand cards in that round. Always make sure you stick to your strategy of winning 2 rounds and don’t get drawn into not thought-through decisions by trying to already win this round if not needed.

thumbsup-icon Medic Loops

Medics are import cards in the game. But did you know you can revive a medic with another medic and also trigger his ability? With the right deck you’ll be able to revive several cards with only one medic and increase your unit strength with only playing one card. Though medics are important cards and depending on the circumstances of the current game situation this strategy can’t be played that often.

thumbsup-icon Heroes are not always the heroes they seem to be

Well, of course heroes are very good cards and often come with unit strength 10 and another ability they are not always the mighty as they seem. They can’t be effected by cards like weather or torch cards but that’s also their weakness. Hero cards can’t be revived, they can’t be triggered through leader abilities and their are not affected by your Commander’s horn cards. And then can be a drawback sometimes. Make sure your hero cards are in your deck because they have a good reason to be there and follow your strategy. If they are just there because they’re heroes you’re doing it wrong.

thumbsup-icon The weather man

Weather cards, a two-edged sword. One the one hand the can make the difference between winning and loosing a game when played at the right time, on the other hand (especially at a late stage of your Gwent adventures) they often are useless in lots of games and just make your deck count bigger and prevent you from drawing your needed cards. In our personal experience we often keep only one weather card in the deck for the Combat row we’re not focusing in the deck and even then often they are not that helpful. Test and play your deck but once you’ve reached a bigger count of good hero cards for your deck you won’t need the weather cards anymore to win and at that stage you always wanna keep your deck count low as possible.

Gwent Strategy Guide Summary

Thanks for reading our strategy guide, we really hope it helps you to become a better Gwent player. This tactics should help you to successfully complete the Collect ‘Em all Gwent quest since you’ll need to defeat all Gwent players in the Northern realms. If you want to know how to receive special cards mentioned in this strategy guide youan check out our list of all Gwent cards or have a look at our Top 10 best Gwent cards in the game.


Happy “Gwenting”!

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