Welcome to the second part of our Beginner’s Guide series! We hope you’ll enjoy reading through the rest of the guide!
3) OKAY, SO I’VE PLAYED SOME MATCHES. HOW DO RESOURCES WORK, AND HOW DO THEY ALLOW ME TO BUILD A DECK?
Game currency / Resources
The types of game currencies
The reward system in Gwent is a little more larger in scope than most games. There are a few different resources you can see at the top right of the main menu:
- Reward Points: Look like a key and can be used to unlock different stuff in the Reward Book (explained below).
- Ore: Looks like a gray rock. This is the main currency of the game. It is used for buying Kegs (card packs) or Mirror Shards (Arena passes). You gain it from playing the game and winning matches, completing Daily Quests, completing Arena runs, and through unlocks in the Reward Book. It is the most commonly awarded resource.
- Scraps: Looks like colorful paper scraps in the shape of a card. This is the resource used to craft cards. Scraps are spent on crafting new cards for your collection. You can gain Scraps as rewards through multiplayer games, milling cards (destroying cards you own), and as rewards from the Reward Book. It is accrued more slowly than Ore.
- Meteorite Powder: Looks like green powder. Powder is the main currency for cosmetic goods. It is used to transmute a normal card you own into a Premium card, and can also be spent on a few cosmetic bundles in the shop. It is mostly gained as a rare reward from gameplay and the Reward Book.
It is also possible to spend real money to receive Kegs and Powder, as seen below:
Getting new cards: Card packs? Choices in card packs? Crafting?
Note: For the sake of guide flow, card anatomy and explanation is in the deck building section right after this. To maximize your chances of selecting the best cards in kegs, be sure to read the card explanation section.
You can get cards from either opening Kegs (card packs), or by directly crafting desired cards.
Opening card packs, like any other card game, leaves a lot up to chance. Each keg gives you 5 cards, with at least 1 guaranteed to be Rare or higher. In general, high rarity cards are rarer to receive, so expect a lot of Commons. Don’t worry, I will explain card rarities and types later.
The first phase of opening a Keg
The second phase of opening a Keg (choosing one out of three cards)
It’s fairly easy to get the necessary 100 ore to buy a keg, so it’s something you can do repeatedly over time.
Unlike most games, the guaranteed rare in each keg is actually a choice – it will display 3 options of the same rarity that you got by chance, and you get to pick one to keep. This makes it a bit easier to get the cards you like. If you have anxiety over these choices, fret not – just simply pick the coolest looking cards to you. Most of the cards you receive will be Bronze cards, including the ones you are given a choice for. Due to their lower rarities, you can expect to get these far more often.
If you get lucky and receive a choice of Gold cards (which is not often), this is where it is a little bit tricky. Due to the rarity of receiving these cards by luck, you’ll want to think about which card you’re more likely to be excited about using, as they can help you form a deck you want to play or help you experiment with new decks. If you’re still unsure, go with a card that provides value without too many conditions (e.g doesn’t require a deck full of synergies to just use it). It’s also worth considering Neutral rare cards as they are less restricted since any faction may use them.
Alternatively, you can directly craft a card you want by spending Scraps. Scraps are attained at a slower rate, but allow you to skip leaving things up to chance by simply making the card outright for your collection. Scrap costs of each card can be viewed in the Deck Builder by right clicking a card and reading the numbers near the bottom. You’ll see that crafting a card will cost -X Scraps.
The crafting price of a Legendary card
Rarity affects Scraps cost, as rarer cards cost more to craft. Common cards can cost a very small amount (30), but Legendary cards can go up to 800.
Remember that Premium versions cannot be crafted with Scraps, and instead requires transmuting a standard card with Meteorite Powder.
Milling cards will remove them permanently from your collection, generating Scraps (you’ll see +Y Scraps) from their demise (as well as Powder if it’s a Premium card). This is especially useful if you happen to have more copies of the same card than can be used in a deck (remember, you only need 1 copy of each Gold card and at most 2 copies of each Bronze card in your collection).
Milling cards generally grants far less Scraps than it takes to craft them (usually 4x less, or 25% of its crafting cost). Sometimes, if cards are changed through new patches, the developers may decide to allow full mill value refunds on them. This means that some cards may temporarily grant more Scraps upon milling than normal, although this is expected to be a rare occurrence.
Alright, but you still didn’t explain what are Bronze and Gold cards? Or what are card rarities?
The explanation for these are in the deck building section below! I just had to explain how card packs work in one section so I don’t spread out info all over the place.
SLOW DOWN, WHAT IS A REWARD BOOK? WHAT ARE CONTRACTS? WHAT SHOULD I UNLOCK FIRST?
The tutorial covers this briefly, but the Reward Book is a cool, consistent way to receive rewards. As you receive Reward Points from completing Contracts and winning matches, you may spend them to unlock nodes in the Reward Book.
Each Faction, as well as each Faction Leader, has a ‘tree’ comprised of multiple nodes. You may spend your Reward Points as you please to unlock more and more things. The rewards will vary (resources, kegs, cards, etc.) but you can see what’s in a tree and decide which paths to take and what to unlock first. The final prize in a Leader tree is an alternative Leader Skin.
Contracts are essentially in-game achievements. There are contracts for almost everything you do in the game, whether it be winning matches, playing certain cards, and even sending GG’s to opponents and taunting / emoting with your leader at least once per match!
This means when you’re new to the game, you’ll be unlocking Reward Points at a fast pace. It’ll feel very good, but be aware that this will obviously slow down as the Contracts, like level-ups, start getting more difficult over time (ex., after playing 10 matches, you’ll need to play 100, and then 1000, etc.). The wide diversity of Contracts means it can be rewarding to play all kinds of different cards over your career too (e.g doing something with keywords like Deathwish and Order cards).
Nowadays, we also have the Seasonal reward trees. As the name implies, these are time limited trees that are mainly attached to the Seasonal game mode, but you get quite a few quests that can be completed in any game modes.
Those being said, let’s recap with one of BeeBoBoop’s videos and learn more about the basics when you start playing Gwent:
If you liked the video, be sure to check out the entire ‘Gwent for Dummies’ series on BeeBoBoop’s Youtube channel!
4) OKAY, SO I UNDERSTAND HOW RESOURCES WORK AND HOW TO OBTAIN NEW CARDS. HOW DOES DECK BUILDING WORK? HOW DO CARD RARITIES WORK? CARD TYPES?
What’s the big deal with cards?
One of the biggest aspects the tutorial does not teach is how deck building works. But first, you’ll need to know how the cards themselves are categorized.
Cards are divided into two major categories: Bronze, and Gold. You can tell what a card type is by looking at the border of each card; it’ll either be Bronze or Gold colored. The card type is important in deck building.
Every single card is also assigned a rarity type/color, similar to other card games. The rarities stand for Common (Gray), Rare (Blue), Epic (Purple), and Legendary (Orange). You may identify a card’s rarity by looking at the top left corner of each card – you’ll see a small gem colored one of the above colors.
The vast majority of Common and Rare cards happen to be Bronze type cards, with Epics and Legendaries being assigned the Gold type.
Rarities generally denote cool factor and interesting gameplay effects, but are’t necessarily always essential – just because a card is Legendary doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be useful for you. Rarer cards generally tend to have cooler, more varied effects however.
When it comes to opening Kegs (card packs), there is a far lower chance of receiving high rarity cards (Legendaries obviously being the rarest).
As for aesthetics, cards come in standard form, and Premium form. Premium cards are this game’s version of ‘foil’ or ‘shiny’ cards. They are animated and have sound that plays when you inspect a card with right click. These cards appear animated for all players in a match when they are used. Functionally, they are the exact same as their standard counterpart – they simply just look cooler and breathe life into otherwise normal cards. Premium cards are no longer crafted with the double amount of Scraps but using only the Meteorite Powder.
How does deck building work?
Decks in Gwent must be built with a few restrictions in mind.
Every deck must have:
- A minimum of 25 cards (you can go higher, but this is not recommended);
- Must be within your chosen leader abilities maximum Provision cap;
- Cannot have more than 1 copy of each Gold card, and no more than 2 copies of each Bronze card;
- May only use Neutral cards as well as cards belonging to the respective Faction;
- Has to include at least 13 units (to avoid the ‘no units’ decks).
Every card has a number in the bottom right corner, while inside the Deck Builder. You can easily see this in the Deck Builder by right clicking individual cards.
This number is the Provisions cost. Provision costs restricts decks from being completely bonkers as you cannot exceed your deck’s maximum Provision cap, which varies with each leader ability (lowest being 160 cap). The Provision cap is shown when creating a deck with a leader ability chosen, adding their listed Provision bonusto 150. For example, Carapace has a Provision cap of 150 + 16 = 166.
There are several cards that have high Provision costs, which is why decks often need to balance out the need for cool and strong Gold cards, with multiple low cost Bronze cards. In addition, only one copy of each Gold card may be added, and no more than two copies of each Bronze card can be added. This means Gold cards are unique in your deck, and the only way to replay them or gain multiple copies in a match, would be through other means (card effects) during said matches. Meanwhile, since you can have 2 copies of the same Bronze card, it is easier to have multiple Bronze cards.
In general, you’ll need to worry about the Provision costs, as this is the major limiting factor in all decks. Try to shove too many expensive cards in and your deck just won’t be playable – it’s a balancing act after all. In general, stronger cards cost more, e.g, a 4 strength card will cost far less than a 10 strength card. There are exceptions of course, based on the card’s effect.
It should be noted that there is also another hidden categorization of cards, which is what kind of card it is in terms of function.
- Special (Spells)
Units are the most obvious types of cards. Many cards with strength (number near the top left of card) are considered units, and usually represent beings in the world, whether it be soldiers or monsters or something else. These cards can be buffed (boosted) to increase your round score, or damaged / killed to decrease it. They tend to have keywords and can interact with almost any other card. They generally form the core of most decks, as they are usually the most reliable way of increasing one’s score.
Artifact is an official term for cards that often represent weapons and tools. They are usually identified with a gold chalice icon near the top left, where the strength number normally would be. They are not units and often do not provide score – instead, they provide other benefits like being able to damage enemy units. While they do not count as units, they are placed on the board similar to units. They usually cannot be removed unless a card that specifically removes artifacts is used.
Special is an official term, usually used as a general phrase for cards that play an effect but are neither a unit nor artifact placed on the board. Instead of having a number representing strength near the top left, they have a fire icon. Special cards represent things like potions, concepts, events, and magic spells, rather than beings in the world. The alternative term is ‘spells’, which is also an official term. Examples of Special card effects include cards that simply deal damage, summon weather, or spawn units. It just does something, and then it goes to the graveyard. The game has specific categories for various ‘spells’, such as Alchemy, Tactic, etc. for certain interactions.
Note: Artifact cards do not count as special cards.
It is not recommended to go over the minimum of 25 cards in a deck. This is because in general, you want to limit the chances of having non-useful cards show up at the wrong time. Given the nature of the game, where card draws are extremely important, filling up your deck with more than 25 cards tends to ‘bloat’ your deck with cards that won’t be useful in said situations. Also, most games only draw 16 cards in a match (10 in round 1, 3 in round 2, and 3 in round 3), so you want again to limit not being able to draw a card you need.
Lastly, a deck can only use Neutral cards as well as Faction specific cards. For example, a Monster leader ability means Monster faction cards may be used, but not Nilfgaard faction specific cards. You can tell the Faction of a card by the general background color of each card, and you can also sort by factions in the Deck Builder. Neutral cards are a simple brown color and may be used in any deck.
That’s it for now! Thank you for your time and see you in the third part of the guide!
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