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This is a guide on how to play the card game Gwent in the game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Read on to learn the basic rules of the game, the differences between each deck, and the details of gameplay.
List of Contents
Gwent is a strategic card game in which players compete with decks of Unit Cards and Special Cards to have the most total Power on the board. Players are required to win two out of three Rounds to claim victory.
Before starting a game of Gwent, Geralt will be able to choose a Deck to play with, each based on a Faction in the world of The Witcher series. The decks available are Northern Realms, Nilfgaardian Empire, Scoia'tael, and Monsters, with an additional Skellige Clans deck available in the Blood and Wine DLC.
See our list below to learn about what cards are available in each Deck.
Geralt must play using the cards he has obtained throughout his travels, and he can choose which cards from a given Faction he will use in a Deck. Neutral Cards and Special Cards can be used with any Deck.
To use a Deck, a minimum of 22 Unit Cards are required. Geralt starts out with a full Northern Realms deck, and it will take some time playing Gwent to acquire enough cards in the other Decks to be able to use them. A deck can also include anywhere from 0 to 10 Special Cards.
Each Unit Card has a Power from 0 to 15 which determines how many points the card provides to the player. At the end of the game, the player with a higher total Card Power on their side of the field wins.
The field is divided into three rows on each player's side – close combat, ranged, and siege. Each Unit Card has an icon showing its Range, which determines which of the three rows it can be played in.
|Close Combat||This unit fights on the Close Combat row.|
|Ranged||This unit fights on the Ranged row.|
|Siege||This unit fights on the Siege row.|
|Agile||This unit has the flexibility to be placed on either the Close Combat or Ranged rows.|
Players can use Weather cards to affect the Power of Unit Cards in each row. Biting Frost will reduce the power of all Close Combat Units to 1; Impenetrable Fog will reduce the power of all Ranged Units to 1; while Torrential Rain will reduce the power of all Siege Units to 1.
|Weather: Biting Frost||This appears as a non-unit Neutral card. It sets the strength of all Close Combat cards to 1 for both players.|
|Weather: Impenetrable Fog||This appears as a non-unit Neutral card. It sets the strength of all Ranged cards to 1 for both players.|
|Weather: Torrential Rain||This appears as a non-unit Neutral card. It sets the strength of all Siege cards to 1 for both players.|
|Weather: Skellige Storm||This appears as a non-unit Skellige card. It sets the strength of all Ranged and Siege cards to 1 for both players.|
|Weather: Clear Weather||This appears as a non-unit Neutral card. It removes any current weather effects across the entire battlefield.|
Each player will draw 10 cards from their Deck at the start of the first Round. Aside from card-drawing Effects and Abilities, these are the only cards you will be able to use for all three Rounds, so it's not always best to play all your strongest cards in the first Round!
At the start of the first Round, a coin flip will determine which player goes first in the first Round. In the second Round, the winner of the first round will go first, while in the third Round, the winner of the second Round will go first.
Each turn, each player will play a single card from their hand. This continues until both players have either run out of cards, or decided to Pass.
After a player Passes once, they won't be able to play again until the Round is over, so their opponent will be able to play as many cards as they want in a row. Be sure to wait until you're done playing cards to Pass.
When a Round ends, the player with more Card Power on their side of the field wins.
To win a game of Gwent, a player must win two of the three Rounds. If a single player wins both of the first two Rounds, the third Round is skipped.
Each Deck has a special, unique Perk that benefits players who use it.
Some cards have special Abilities which usefulness beyond simple Card Power and brute force. A card's Ability is indicated by a special icon appearing on the card.
|Berserker||This unit changes into a much stronger version of itself if a Mardroeme is played before or after it.|
|Commander's Horn||This appears as a non-unit Neutral card (place on any row), or as a character’s ability (affects only the row the character is played on). It doubles the strength of all unit cards in that row. Limit to 1 per row.|
|Decoy||This non-unit Neutral card allows you to swap it with a card on the battlefield to return it to your hand.|
|Hero||This unit is immune to any special effects or abilities.|
|Mardroeme||This appears as a non-unit Skellige card (place on any row), or as a character’s ability (affects only the row the character is played on). It triggers transformation of all Berserker Cards on the same row.|
|Medic||After playing this card, choose one card from the discard pile and play it instantly (no Heroes or Special cards).|
|Morale Boost||Adds +1 to all units in the row (excluding itself).|
|Muster||Find any cards with the same name in your deck and play them instantly.|
|Scorch||Destroy enemy’s strongest unit in a specific row, if the combined strength of all his or her units is 10 or more. “Scorch” and “Clan Dimom Pirate” cards affect the whole battlefield. “Scorch (Specific Row)” cards (which are all “character” cards, beside the Clan Dimom Pirate) affect only one row.|
|Spy||Place on your opponent’s battlefield and draw 2 cards from your deck.|
|Tight Bond||Placing this unit next to a card with the same name will double the strength of both cards.|
In addition to Unit Cards and Special Cards placed within a Deck, each Deck uses a Leader card which is held separately. Leader Cards each have a unique Ability usable during any Round of play. Some Leader Abilities are activated at a specific point during the game; others have a continuous effect lasting throughout the game.
If both players have the same Card Power at then end of a Round, the Round will count as a loss for both players.
If the third and final Round ends in a draw, the game will end with no rewards or losses, and Geralt will have a chance for an immediate rematch.
|All Gwent Cards||All Gwent Players|
|How to Play Gwent||Gwent Card Effects|
|List of Gwent Cards by Faction||Northern Realms||Scoia'tael||Nilfgaardian Empire||Monsters Deck|
|Skellige Clans||Special Cards||Weather Cards||Neutral Cards|
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