Skellige Gwent Deck and Tournament | Witcher 3 Blood & Wine

Skellige deck is a new addition to Gwent in Witcher 3: Blood and Wine expansion. Beside adding new cards it also offers new interactions/buffs not seen in other Gwent decks.
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Getting all the cards also finishes the appropriately named achievement/trophy I Have a Gwent Problem. It is not difficult to obtain, but we thought we should provide you with some info on how to get all the cards in the deck and win the tournament in Beauclair. Once you arrive in Toussaint you will probably visit the Cockatrice Inn. If you decide speak to the innkeeper there you will also be able to play Gwent with him. This will start two new quests; Gwent: Never Fear, Skellige’s Here and Gwent: To Everything – Turn, Turn, Tournament!

Gwent: Never Fear, Skellige’s Here takes you on a hunt for new Skellige Gwent deck cards. Our recommendation is that you first go visit Count Monnier in the Phaesentry and finish the Obtain a basic Skellige deck step of the quest. This provides you with some basic cards of the deck so you can play around with it and also signs you up for the tournament. Now you need to collect the other 19 cards to complete the full Skellige Deck. Make the step Collect all the missing cards in the Skellige deck active in your quest journal and this should show you the location of remaining 18 Gwent players in Toussaint. Beat all of them (with whichever deck) and they will all reward you with a new Skellige card. Once you complete this quest feel free to go to the tournament.

skellige gwent deck cards player locations map witcher 3 blood and wine
Map of all Skellige Deck card locations

Skellige deck has several strengths:
  • Good combo minions. Pair up Shield maidens, War Longships and Clan an Craite Warriors for massive damage.
  • New Berserker/Mardroeme buff. You have several minions that transform into very powerful versions once you apply the Mardroeme buff. Once you draw – keep the combo if you have it – otherwise just look for something else.
  • New Leader abilities. Crach moves all cards from graveyard into the deck. This is useful against decks that like to bring minions back from their graveyard (like Nilfgaard and Northern Realms) and it can be helpful for your combos. King Bran makes all weather effects remove only half the attack power from units. This is good if you are playing big minion deck and you don’t want to bring Clear Weather card.
  • Cerys is the new Hero card that lets you draw all Shield Maidens from your deck or hand. This creates a huge board with just one card (three shield maidens with 12 attack + 10 attack Cerys). Here is a nice combo. Round 1 play two of your shield maidens. If they end up in the graveyard use Crach an Craite leader ability to put all cards in graveyard into your deck and play Cerys afterwards. That is twice the shield maidens and many decks will struggle with removing that.
  • Skellige is basically a deck that relies on pure strength with huge minion presence on the board.

How to win the tournament with Skellige Deck in Blood and Wine

Once you have all of the cards go play the tournament. You will have to face four opponent decks – Monsters, Nilfgaardian, Skellige and Scoia’tael. I recommend you adjust your deck for each of the opponents and you will manage to overpower them. Here are some tips on how to win the whole tournament:
  • Don’t keep cards in your deck that do not create good combos. Brothers Lugos may seem cool, but if you draw into them they are just a 6 minion that does nothing. You would rather draw into that second shield maiden for 16 attack combo. This is the deck I used to win the tournament (I’ve added different cards when playing versus different factions so this is just a base deck):

    witcher-3-blood-and-wine-gwent-tournament-skellige-deck-example
  • Versus Monsters deck (your first match) you want to include more removal and Biting Frost cards to deal with their overwhelming board presence. So, use two Scorch and add an additional Skellige Storm (or Biting Frost). Just overpower them with your superior combo minions.
  • Versus Nilfgaard deck you have to be careful against its spies. It is imperative you have three decoys in your deck and that you draw into at least one at the beginning. Use this to draw cards yourself. Bait him into using his scorch against only one unit and overpower him because your minions are stronger if he doesn’t draw into his whole deck.
  • Versus Skellige have at least two Scorch because he is vulnerable against removals. This matchup can go either way, but I’ve noticed that you win more than you lose here.
  • Last match on the tournament is against Scoia’tael deck. I have a 50:50 record here. His leader ability kills you strongest close range units (like scorch for close range). Try to play around it. Use two scorch of your own and perhaps look for your ranged and siege combos. I found Kambi to be a very useful card in this matchup.
If you win all four matches you will get 1000 Crowns and a trophy you can place in your new house. If you lose the last match you will still get the trophy, but only 500 crowns. Skellige Gwent deck might not be for Gwent purists but I am glad to see the Skellige heroes make an appearance in this cool Witcher 3 side activity.

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27 COMMENTS

    R
    Ray

    How are you supposed to know to challenge that innkeeper? Everyone you talk to you can play gwent with so I only do it when I see a yellow color. Was it supposed to be yellow? I am confused and now worry if I needed to play gwent with everyone in the main game.

      P
      Phillip Scott

      innkeepers have been go to for gwent from first inn, both to buy cards and to win…is not an innkeeper in main game that wasnt part of card collecting

      P
      Phillip Scott

      Yellow is for triggered quest usually not for quests not yet started or non quest gwent card collection. Is well worth going back and scowering merchants and innkeepers even if just to get 5 Blue Stripe commandos. I just starting this and a little intimidated by new deck so excited to have challenge again 😀 once I had the medics/spies and commandos I was destroying everything.

    L
    legend

    where to get cerys?

      H
      Humus

      The quest before entering the tournament adds markers for ALL of the skellige cards on your map.

    C
    Crab

    This tournament is the worst thing in this game by far. Most people are going to scum reload to win the tournament and CDPR knows that so they don’t allow saves during and then having to sit through loading, which is thankfully quick on my system, the story recap if you decided to do the gwent on a playthrough that hasn’t finished the main story, the tournament intro another load random banter then interrupted by dwarfs before you can reload if you happen to fail. One of my favorite games of all time and this quest is just infuriating because you have to rely on a deck with bad draw and relies on combos that you can just not draw.

      S
      Shane

      Completely agree. I will never understand why a game designer would think that making the only way to win the primary trophy for a specific part of the game is to completely remove something you’ve spent time investing in and practicing (i.e. your normal deck). It’s not an interesting curveball, it’s frustrating and the opposite of fun. An unfortunately huge miss on an otherwise great game.

      D
      Dog

      I have won the tournament on my first try 😉

        F
        Frost

        That’s pure luck, in that case. That’s the infuriating part, it all comes down to how lucky you get with the draw. You can’t “skill your way” past a bad draw with Skellige, you either get a good draw or you lose every time.

        That’s why people savescum and keep reloading until they win, as well, it’s incredibly annoying to lose just because you didn’t get cards that could beat the opposition.

          I
          Iain

          I did it first try too. It’s not that hard if you know how to play.

          S
          SUBGAMER

          Take a few practice round with BB a find the right combination of cards. Its important to focus on Berserks or Double bonus cards. If you put in both, then you have almost no chance to win with exeption of lucky picks.

          J
          jack

          Sorry dude, but the tournament was very easy and skellige is a fun deck. I beat it my first try on hard, and have only lost one game ever with the skellige deck (against majordomo with monsters, I was being stupid af). If you lost its your fault for making a shite deck or playing poorly.

      I
      I Have A Gwent Problem

      I loved this tourney just cuz I love playing Gwent :p. the deck powers are cool and it was fun experimenting with the new cards to see what could and couldn’t be done. I think I only lost to one guy in the tournament and it gives you checkpoint saves before each match so its not really a huge deal to not be able to manually save. I don’t think ive ever lost with my Northern Realms deck and that’s a bit boring. Having to use Skellige was pretty fun

      B
      Bill

      Dunno, I was able to win straight through on my first try as well. Wasn’t that hard.

      W
      Wodan

      Hmm last time I played I was up against Nilfgaard and Alt-tabbed then Right click closed witcher before bed. Just logged on and hit continue and it placed me at the deck creation stage. I was unsure if it had reverted to the first match but nope sure enough straight to second match. No story recap etc.

    B
    Badabing

    Scumloading all night…. I had so much fun untill this quest.

    V
    Vispilio

    Skellige is definitely among the strongest of decks, it chews through Scoiatel and Monsters like butter, only the most SPY / Resurrect heavy Northern or Nilfgaard deck has a chance against it, even then Skellige just has the brute force advantage with 12-16 powered cards all over the board. If you are not almost always winning with Skellige in that tournament, you are not a strong GWENT player…

      R
      Radley of Rivia

      I agree with Skellige being stronger than Scoia’tael and Monsters. Cerys, Kambi, and the Pirate card are all very good. The Berserker/Mardroeme cards kind of dilute your deck and aren’t really that worth it IMO. Or at least, you have to pick either those or the Longships and not go over 22 unit cards. I think the issue is Nilfgaard is damn overpowered. Since maxing my Nilfgaard deck I’m pretty sure I have lost maybe 1 or 2 games. Spy/decoy/resurrect abuse is too strong and you can potentially play 25-27 cards during a match. That deck either needs lets Spy cards or the other factions need some answer to them.

    N
    Novotas

    More than 200 reload against the Nilfgaard deck… after that I just “space” space” and leave this shit. When he draws all of his cards by spies… and you can only play with 10… good fucking joke. Gwent was fun and they managed to fuck up. Even the NPCs spit on the skellige deck in the game. Is that irony?

    C
    C

    Only tough match is if the Nilfgaard guy gets all his spies. I lost once, barely, when he literally drew all of them and then grabbed the melee scorch guy from graveyard and zapped my front row. Won fine the second time and did all the others first shot.

    Skellige is OK, though it’s very draw dependent. Still better than scoi’etel and at least as good as monsters. Problem is Nilfgaard is way overpowered because spies are so damn good.

    W
    Witcher in Los Angeles

    Fantastic mission. I love the Skellige deck even though it is not my favorite overall. I really enjoyed the new Gwent playing tournament. It is an expansion game and they are giving you something new to do. So much crying for nothing. If you follow the directions above, collect all cards BEFORE you enter the tourney and use your brain a little it is easy to win it all. Amazing expansion game. Thank you!

    G
    Gwentoline

    Is there acreason I can’t play my leader cards during the tournament? It wasn’t an issue before.

    P
    Per Björk

    Weii took some rounds to final it but, not so hard if you learn them strong rows, everyone has a weak spot.

    T
    The White Wolf

    I had some problems with the checkpoint saving. Playing on a PC, you get saved every time you face a new opponent, but if you load three times the checkpoint saves over that point where you lost. So what I did was take backups of the saves every time I won a matchup. I didn’t need them though because I won the tournament after that from the start.

    Everyone knows Skellige is utter carbage. Decks with spies have the most combat power. What I noticed when playing all these decks was that Nilfgaard was the toughest due to the spies. The NPC had four decoys, I think. So he just kept rolling his spies onto the board so I used King Bran’s hero power to shuffle them back to the deck so he can’t pull them from the graveyard. When ever I play a spy deck my unit combat strength is over 100 in one turn atleast. Skellige comes nowhere near that.

    W
    Wodan

    Great tips on how to fend against spies, use leader cards appropriately and using an enemy cards against them. Cheers

    C
    CyborgJesus

    If you are wondering how to beat the Nilfgaard deck it’s really easy. Pack your deck with front row power houses, and pack weather cards that effect the first two rows. Don’t bother packing scorches since weather is a bigger problem against all of the Nilfgaard revival cards. Horns are great but Dandelion is better especially if you can pull him and Birna/Yen(more room for weather cards) Make sure you load 3 decoys and the elf so you have SOME draw. Kambi/Cow are great for forcing the Nilfgaard deck to waste more cards on round 2. Round 3 Resurrect any spy in your discard pile or Dandelion(If you are really lucky they will get pulled from your race ability).

    If you are extremely lucky your first round will be spent playing Elf spy, Kambi/Cow, Dandelion, Olaf, Weather Card, then Cerys with a as many decoyed spies as you can manage as it happens. If the Nilfgaard doesn’t Scorch after Olaf it will probably pass after cerys. Just pass after round 2 then round on round 3 use Yen and Birna to resurrect dandelion or any spies then use your ruler to shuffle the discards into the deck.

    I won the tourney with this style and I only got one decoy no Birna or Cerys and no elven spy and I seem to beat Nilfgaard decks about 70% of the time.

    N
    Nick

    Great guide, super informative, thank you for this. I was playing with the same deck except I had two slight differences, differences I would actually change from your deck. Drop the berserker, yes it’s a good card when it transforms but it’s a close combat card and your Ermion (the minion 8 that’s also maradroeme) is ranged. So if you get rid of the berserker you can also drop your Mardroem cards (or keep just one), this increases the chance you’ll draw a young berserker on the draw or with your spy. And those war longships are just awful. Sure it’s a 6 minion with tight bond and its nice if you can get the two and drop a commanders horn or Draig Bon-Dhu (seige commanders horn) but I have never in 20 games managed to get all 3 together. Not even playing with triple decoys and grabbing up all the spys on the board. That’s just my two cents and thank you again for the guide, it helped me win the tourney on my 2nd try.

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