Gwent Strategy Guide | The Witcher 3

Gwent is a popular card game played by many characters in The Witcher 3. You can play it too, and with a little work, you can even earn some coin and become a well known player. We’ve already shown you a full list of Gwent cards, and now we’re going to talk about the best Gwent strategies.

You can also check out our new guide on Gwent Players and Merchants.


Choosing Your Faction

Every faction has interesting cards and abilities, so if you want to get a feel for things, you should play around with each a little. If you’re just looking to win, choose the Northern Realms. Their faction ability is drawing a card every time you win a round, and your strategy should focus on drawing a lot of cards.

When you get to White Orchard, buy the Foltest, Lord Commander Of The North leader card from the innkeeper. When played, it clears all weather effects from the board.

Building Your Deck

You’ll have to buy/win some cards in order to get the optimal deck, but you can patch something together even with the starting cards. Don’t pick any weather cards – they shouldn’t be a part of your tactic. Put one or two Decoy cards in the deck. You can throw in a Commander’s Horn for good measure, but you won’t need it most of the time.

Now we’re onto the unit cards. Pick those with special abilities first – Spy, Medic and Tight Bond should be the basis of your deck. Spies are placed on the enemy’s side but let you draw 2 cards – the less damage they do, the better they are. Medics allow you to draw cards from the discard pile. Units with Tight Bond have double the strength when placed in pairs.

When you get to the point where you have hero cards, you should throw them in. They aren’t essential, but will help a fair bit. Fill the rest of the slots with various 5+ strength units.

Playing The Game

You need to win two out of three rounds to win the game. Our plan relies on playing through all three rounds, so we have a different tactic for each. If you want to know more about the rules of the game, take a look at our Gwent Basics guide.


First Round

You’re going to lose this one. You don’t have to – if the opponent does something stupid that lets you win while playing only one or two cards, by all means, take the chance. But do not invest into the first round.

Your goal is to play all the spy cards in this round, starting from the weakest. If the opponent plays a spy card, be sure to use Decoy on it. At the same time, you’ll be trying to bait your opponent into playing as many cards as possible.

If you haven’t used a Decoy, play a strong card to draw out your opponent, then use the Decoy on it. You can also sacrifice some weaker, ability-free cards to bait him further, but there’s always a risk he’ll just pass.

Second Round

If your opponent made a mistake and you won the first round, you can just dump all you’ve got onto the board, use Foltest to clear any weather effects he plays to counter you, and win.

More likely, you’ve lost the first round, which means you have to win the other two. That’s no big deal – at this point, you’ll certainly have more cards than the other player. The advantage is yours. Use a Medic or two to put some free units onto the board, helping them out with a pair of Tight Bond soldiers. Play a hero or similarly strong card, making the opponent think you’re going all in.

Your goal is to make him fold, to make him think you’re willing to invest more than you actually are. If a weather effect is ruining your play, you’ll have to choose between playing Foltest and putting another unit on the board.

Third Round

Just dump everything you’ve got onto the board. If you’ve kept Foltest, play him to clear any weather effects. Provided you have two Catapults in your hand, you’ll most likely outgun anything.

And that’s it. Our strategy may not be the most elegant or fail-proof, but it’s the best you can do with the least cards. We’d love to hear about decks you’ve tested in battle and strategies you’ve found to work.

Author Ketchua profile picture
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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  1. G

    I thought about dropping a full advanced guide but I’ll just leave a couple of tips for late game decks. By now I have at least 5 hero cards on every deck, with an average of 150 unit points on each.
    1. Always ‘equip’ every spy card. Can’t say this enough.
    2.If you keep a compact deck(22 units) make sure you balance heroes and weather cards – especially if you’re using the Nilf deck and/or you’re going vs a Monster deck.
    3.Use Hero cards to force your opponent to use their effect cards, since they can’t be effected by, say, scorch. DAMN YOU SCORCH! (Extra useful when using Northern Deck and/or vs a Scoia’tael)
    4. Place Commander’s Horn before you place Unit cards, this allows you one or two rounds of watching the opponent’s strategy.
    5.Villentretenmerth FTW.
    6.Use Medics to ‘heal’ Medics out of the discard pile, you get 3 cards on the board for the price of one. Thus, avoid using two medics in the first 2 rounds.
    7.Use medics to heal Spy units.
    I hope this helps anyone struggling.

  2. G

    There are two Dun BannerMedics if you look at the graphs,but I just checked a full list of Gwent cards and you can only get one,how did he get the second?

  3. R

    To be honest, I always save the spy cards for the last round, for a simple reason. Most likely your opponent has medic units on their deck, so if you play the spy card on round 1, they play their medic unit on round 2, and most of the times their priority goes to the spy card from the discarded pile. And there goes your 2 card advantage from the previous round. If you save it for the final round (either the 2-1 or 2-0), the only way they can pick the spy card up is with a Decoy. Unless, of course, it’s a hero spy, that card is used only once and they can’t pick it up with decoy or recall it with a medic, so you can basically play it whenever you want.

    I blazed through all gwent quests and tournament with a Northern Realms deck, with some neutral heroes, like Yennefer, Ciri, and a few others that I don’t recall. All my “normal” deck cards had special habilities (tight bond, medic, spy). Also had a few special unit cards (1x scorch, commander horn, torrential rain, clear weather), though I admit I could’ve left most of those out except for clear weather. My leader was Foltest Siege Commander, so my double 8 tight bond catapults basically could win almost any round alone, provided my adversary was out of scorches or torrential rain. Hence, it was important to have a clear weather on my deck.

  4. M
    Mikell Schmidt

    I’m really pissed im missing like 3 cards and i can’t find then. I’m missing one spider card in my monster deck and i can’t find a list that has where u get it from. And that’s not my only other card in missing i hope this last doc Blood n Wine had plenty of gwent in it cuz I’m goin nuts

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