Gwent Tips for Hearthstone Players

Gwent is a card battling game set in the The Witcher universe. It pits two players against each other in a battle of wits, numbers and bluffing.
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In some ways, it is similar to Hearthstone. In others, it’s vastly different. Getting into the former while having a background in the latter can be difficult. We’ve been playing the closed beta since it started, and we’d like to offer some Gwent tips for Hearthstone players, to ease the transition for those looking to switch.

gwent tips for hearthstone players

Win conditions & match progression

Gwent is played in best-of-three matches, with every match consisting of up to three rounds of combat. You don’t actually attack the enemy, like you do with a hero in Hearthstone. Instead, you just place cards on the board, amassing Strength, and whoever has the most at the end of the round wins. Having three rounds in a match creates an interesting dynamic – you can lose a round on purpose in order to get a card advantage.

Table / play area

The table is split in half, but each side is further divided. Each player’s side has three rows – melee, ranged and siege. Certain cards can only be placed in one of the three, while others allow you to choose where to put them. The battlefield still feels whole, it just introduces more opportunities later on, letting you target specific rows.

Hearthstone classes vs Gwent factions

Factions are Gwent’s equivalent of classes. There are four of them at this point: Monsters, Scoia’tael, Skellige and Northern Realms. At least one other will be added at a later date. Each of them has a distinct flavor, and every deck can be enriched with neutral cards. Each faction has a leader, which is like a hero – they have an ability that can be triggered once per match, often turning the tables entirely. As you progress, you’ll discover new leaders, who will allow you to further customize within factions.

Gwent special cards vs Hearthstone spells

Special cards are basically spells. They can take many forms – potions, weather effects, specific attacks, etc. When all is said and done, they act the same way as spells – playing them will have a unique effect on the board. This ties into the table segmentation nicely – some spells affect only specific rows, giving you a reason to think about grouping your units.

Card drawing differences

You’re not going to draw cards that often in Gwent. What you have in your starting hand will be most of what you’ll get. You’ll draw a few cards after each round, and there are some special cards that allow you to draw more (either from your deck, or from the graveyard/discard pile), but your starting hand is incredibly important. Be very careful when redrawing cards from your it.

Deck building differences

Gwent has a minimum and maximum number of cards a deck can hold (25 and 40, respectively). Having more cards in your deck means more opportunities, but it also means lower chances of drawing any one card. If you’re basing your tactic on drawing specific cards, you should try to keep the card count low.

There are four rarity levels of cards: common, rare, epic and legendary. These don’t affect deck-building in any way – they only signify the chances of finding them. On the other hand, you have three tiers – bronze, silver and gold. These do tie in with creating decks – you can only have 6 silver and 4 gold cards in a deck.

Gwent card kegs vs Hearthstone card packs

They’re both booster packs, and they’re pretty much identical. Kegs will give you five cards, one of which is guaranteed to be at least epic. You can buy them using Ore, the in-game currency, or actual money.

When you open a card keg, you’ll get four set cards first. After you’ve inspected them, you’ll get a choice between three for your fifth. You can only choose one here, the other two will be discarded.

Gwent card crafting

Card crafting is also fairly similar to Hearthstone. While browsing your card collection, you’ll be able to mill certain cards and get Scraps. You can then use those scraps to craft other, more desirable cards. You’ll get scraps from time to time as progression rewards, but your main source will be disenchanting unwanted cards.

Basic Gwent Tips

Here are some tips for those of you that already know the basics of Gwent, what it is and how it works:
  • Sometimes losing a battle is required to win a war. Don’t be affraid to let a round go to your opponent, if that means you have the upper hand in the next one.
  • Bluffing is important. Having the opponent believe you have an advantage is sometimes as useful as having one. Similarly, having the opponent think you know what you’re doing can mask the fact that you really, really don’t.
  • Hand advantage generally beats board advantage in the early rounds. The board is wiped after every round, but cards in your hand are there for the long run.
  • Play a little with every faction. You won’t be able to memorize all the card abilities at first (there are simply too much of them), but having a sense of a what a certain faction is good at will let you counter it in combat.
  • Always go second. If you’re playing Scoia’tael, it’s almost always advisable to let the other player go first. You’ll get a glimpse of his tactic before laying down the first card, and being reactive is much easier than leading.
  • Almost every card in the game has an ability, and most of them are unique. Keeping track of who does what can be overwhelming at first, but our Gwent card database will help you.
  • The Prize Winning Cow spawns a Chort after it’s destroyed. Keep in mind that if you leave it until the end of the round, the monster will spawn at the start of the next one.
  • Try having a Clear Skies in your hand at all times. Don’t redraw it unless it’s absolutely necessary. It’s an extremely useful card to have.
  • After they’ve been cast, weather effects don’t stop you from buffing units affected by them.
If you’ve got some advice of your own, feel free to share it in the comments.

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Ketchua has been writing about games for far too long. As Señor Editor, he produces words (and stuff) for Gosunoob. There are a lot of words (and stuff) there, so he's terribly busy. Especially if you need something.

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