Gwent got pulled from consoles back in December, but it's still going strong on PCs, and is available on Steam as of today. If you're starting over fresh on PC, or breaking in for the first time, here are some ideas, based on pro-player speculation, for the best decks in the current game.
Best Gwent Decks 2020
Competitive Gwent players refer to the "meta" a lot. When they say it, it's in the original acronymic sense, referring to "Most Effective Tactics Available." As the game continues to get updated, the meta tends to shift by degrees as cards get introduced, nerfed, buffed, or what-have-you.
That meta is currently in a state of flux. Before patch 6.2 on May 5th, the Syndicate faction was considered the strongest of the available options for Gwent players. However, the patch made big changes to two of Syndicate's key cards, Hidden Cache and Madame Luiza, and has dethroned the faction. It's still good, but it isn't dominate-the-game good, which means now is a great time to get into the game. You'll actually see a variety of opponents playing a variety of cards, instead of getting punched out by sneak thieves all day and night. Here are some ideas for decks to build, while you're learning the ropes and playing online. Click on the links in each header to find an example deck from the official Gwent website.
The squirrel-tailed guerilla fighters of the Northern Kingdoms are appropriately sneaky in Gwent, favoring ambushes--cards that are played face down, only to activate once certain criteria are met--and fielding teams of irregulars. Towards that end, Scoia'tael players currently favor a deck built around Harmony, a mechanic where you get boosted by 1 whenever you play a card of a specific type for the first time. Play an Elf, get boosted; play a Dwarf, get boosted; use Water of Brokilon to summon two Dryads, get boosted again. Play as many different kinds of cards as you can and forge a bunch of disparate guerillas into a single, game-winning force.
These decks are built entirely around Masquerade Ball. The Nilfgaard are designed around being underhanded, so it relies upon the Scenario mechanic to gradually weaken an opponent and strengthen the player. Every time you play an Aristocrat under Masquerade Ball, it progresses the Scenario, adds more useful minions into the fray, and takes out troublesome enemy cards with Poison.
Syndicate: Hidden Cache
The 6.2 nerfs slowed down the Hidden Cache deck, but didn't exactly stop it. The Syndicate's underworld dealings generate Coins for you, which then activate Hoard passives like those found on Saul de Navarette and Passiflora Peaches. With Hidden Cache watered down, you do need to add more Coin-generating cards to the deck like Tax Collector, but the overall strategy is still good.
Northern Realms: Uprising
The same 6.2 nerf also hit Uprising, lowering its number of charges by one, but it still makes a deck built around it and Draug surprisingly effective. If you like shrugging off damage with Armor and deploying tons of units, both the faction and the general deck strategy are for you.
There are a lot of cards for the death-worshipping Skellige faction that involve doing a little bit of damage to enemy units as soon as they're played. That, in turn, feeds into a host of effects with this deck, particularly the An Craite Greatsword. You do a little direct damage here, and a little there, and before you or your opponent know it, your Greatsword is a heavily-boosted tiny titan that's tearing through everything in front of him.
Check out some of our other articles about Gwent and the Witcher universe while you're here, including:
- New to Witcher III? Here's how to romance every available character you can
- 5 awesome things to do while you're playing as Geralt
- How to get more Ore in Gwent for free
It's a little weird that Gwent has taken this long to get onto Steam. It's already got a few hundred players, to go by its charts, but breaking into the card-game market on Steam is a tough sell, even for a game from an established, popular universe. Speculate about Gwent's chances with us via our official Twitter, @PrimaGames.