I was listing to Commander’s Horn #15 and during their interview with Jan Engelmann aka Faramir and they were discussing how all the categories of cards could confuse new players. The addition of fleeting, permadeath, and relentless, in Faramir’s opinion, could only make this worse. I decided at that point that a nice, short visual guide about the information found on Gwent cards might be in order.
Before I get started, it was a treat to hear the interview with Faramir because I used to watch stream Hearthstone back when I liked the game. It was great to hear his opinions on Gwent.
Things will likely change in future patches and I will try to keep this guide up to date with those changes. One of the changes I suspect is something that Faramir talked about on the Commander’s Horn podcast, indications on the card related to the new categories: fleeting, permadeath, and relentless.
The cards we play in Gwent are full of information. Most cards have at least 5 pieces of information displayed, special cards only really give us 3 pieces of information.
The unit cards like the Giant Toad, gives us the following information.
- Card Color
The Giant Toad is a 5 strength card that is played on the siege row and is a silver epic card in the Monsters faction. I will go over what all this information means below.
On the special card, scorch, you only get faction, card color, and rarity. In this case, scorch is neutral, bronze, rare card.
There are 3 card colors in Gwent. Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
The color of the card does not have a bearing on it’s rarity of the card or it’s scrap value. The colors matter because the number of gold and silver cards are limited in each deck you build. Gold cards are normally the strongest cards in the game and there is a limit of 4 gold cards per deck. Silver cards are next up and you are limited to 6 of these in each deck. Bronze cards have no limit aside from the max limit of overall cards in your deck.
Rarity of the Cards
The rarity of cards relates to your chances to get certain cards from opening a keg.
Legendary cards are the hardest to get and according to my unofficial odds, the chance at receiving a legendary card from a keg is 1 in 17. The next hardest cards to get are epic cards and I am seeing a ratio of 1:5 kegs. You should see at least one rare per keg and in most cases 4 commons.
It goes without saying that the strongest cards in the game are “Legendary” cards.
At this time, there are only 4 factions: Northern Realms, Scoia’Tael, Monsters, and Skellige.
In addition to the 4 factions, we have the neutral category. Each of these are identified by the banner on the card. In the image above, you can see an example of each. From left to right, neutral, Northern Realms, Scoia’Tael, Monsters, and Skellige.
Each of the 4 factions has 3 different faction leaders. Faction leaders are pulled from kegs just like other cards. Initially, they were legendary cards, but they were changed to epic not too long ago.
- Dagon (L) – Spawn a First Light, Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain card.
- Ge’els (M) – Set the strength of all non-Gold units on one of your rows to 6.
- Eredin (R) – Play Eredin a 10 strength unit that is immune to frost)
- Radovid (L) – Remove 8 strength from any unit.
- Foltest (M) – Choose a Bronze unit on your side of the battlefield. Spawn an exact copy on the same row.
- Henselt (R) – Convert all units on one of your rows to Gold until destroyed or the round ends.
- Crach an Craite (L) – Spawn 2 Clan an Craite Warriors.
- Harald the Cripple (M) – Remove 3 strength from all weakened opposing units and 2 strength from all other opposing units.
- King Bran (R) – Discard 2 cards and add 2 base strength to them. Choose any card in your deck and place it in your hand.
- Brouver Hoog (L) – Play a Silver card from your deck.
- Francesca (M) – Redraw up to 3 cards.
- Eithné (R) – Return a non-Relentless unit on your side to your hand and immediately play it again.
There are several icons on the cards in Gwent and I expect there will eventually be even more. These icons indicate various things about the particular card.
Position Icons – There are 3 positions or rows in Gwent: melee, ranged, and siege. Here are the icons that indicate the position they can be played in.
- Melee Position is indicated by a sword icon. The Mahakam Defender above on the left is a melee position unit.
- Ranged Position is indicated by a bow icon. The Dwarven Mercenary is an example of a ranged unit and is 2nd from the left above.
- Siege Position is indicated by a catapult icon. The Dwarven Skirmisher is a siege unit and is the 3rd card from the left above.
- All Positions is indicated by the icon that looks like two clockwise arrows. Finally, on the right is a Hawker Healer and this unit can be played on any row.
Action Icons – These are the icons that are lower on the card’s banner that tell us that this card has something special happening.
- Skull Icon – I am not sure what it’s officially called, but I call it deathrattle, a term I took from Hearthstone. The icon tells us that something will happen when this card is killed off or removed. One of my favorite cards that has this icon is Sabrina Glevissig. When she is killed or removed, 4 strength is removed from all non-gold cards on that side of the board. Another example is the Prize-Winning Cow. When it’s removed or killed, it brings a Chort onto the field. In other words, this icon means something is going to happen when this card is killed or removed.
- Disloyal icon – This icon is indicated with a red eye on top of the position icon. This mean that this particular card can only be played on the opponent’s side of the board on the indicated position. Sabrina Glevissig is also a good example of this. She is always played on the other side of the board.
- Hourglass Icon – The hourglass icon will be accompanied by a number and it means that something will happen in a certain number of turns indicated by the number. The Reaver Hunter is an example of a unit with this icon. The Reaver Hunter will play another Reaver Hunter from your deck after 2 turns.
- Flame Icon – This icon indicates that something will happen when something else is done. Just like an IF/THEN conditional in programming. For example, the Elven Wardancer will Gain 4 strength whenever an Ambush card is played. Speaking of ambush cards, all the ambush cards have this icon, since they will only trigger when something else happens to trigger them.
… and one bonus icon, the Fist Icon.
- Fist Icon – This icon is not on the cards as they sit in your deck, they are on cards that indicate that they will remain on the board to the next round. Several cards have this effect built in like the Mahakam Defender, but the icon can also be added to cards that are affected by Adrenaline Rush.
I expect more icons to show up at some point, but that is it for now.
New Card Categories added in Patch 0.8.25
There were 3 new categories added in patch 0.8.25 and currently Gwent cards do not have any bold indication of these statuses on them.
- Permadeath cards were put into place in attempt to take away the rez chains that some players were pulling off. Most of the cards in this category are rez units like Field Medic, Shani, Priestess of Freya, etc. Permadeath cards are defined as units that can not be resurrected.
- Relentless cards are units that can’t be moved from the board to a player’s hand, for example using Decoy or Eithne to pull this unit off the board in order to play it again.
- Fleeting cards are cards that, if used, are removed from the game. This means that they are not able to be pulled from the graveyard and used again. Cards that are discarded to the graveyard are not removed from the game until they are actually used.