The Gwent card game was one of the best features of The Witcher 3, but since that time it has expanded into a standalone card game with the first full closed beta scheduled to begin on October 25, 2016 for Windows and Xbox One. In this article we cover some of the best ways to build a deck so you have a strong deck no matter which faction you choose.

Deck building is an extremely important part of Gwent and this article should serve as a starting point for new players. We already covered a lot of Gwent tips in our Witcher 3 coverage, but the game has changed a bit in the standalone form. We’ll continue to update this article as new changes are made between the beta periods and the official release of the game. We’ll also have specific deck tips for each faction over the coming weeks and months.

Number of Cards

The number of cards in your Gwent deck is extremely important. While you can have a large number of cards in your deck, you can only go into a game with 10 somewhat random cards. The more cards in your deck, the harder it will be to narrow down which cards you will actually play with. Ideally you want to have as close to 25 cards in your deck as possible. Any more than that and you will have a hard time formulating strategies.

In most cases you’re going to want a decent variety of cards in your deck (more on that in a moment). You’ll have some powerful cards, some weather cards and other various card types. Let’s say you have 35 cards in your deck with 10 powerful cards, 10 weather cards, then 15 other varied cards. With so many cards in your deck, there’s a chance you could wind up in a game with 10 weather cards, virtually securing your loss. You can redraw two cards, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get anything better.

Having 25 cards in your deck means you have a high probability of getting 10 very good cards. Even if you only get five or six good cards, you can swap out two cards of lesser importance in hopes of getting more powerful cards. The lower number of cards in your deck gives you a higher chance to get the cards you need to win the upcoming game.

Know Your Strategy

It’s not difficult to toss in a bunch of powerful cards into a deck, but without a set strategy your chances of winning will be lower. When you’re building a deck you want to have a set strategy in mind. In fact, good players will have a variety of strategies they can use with the cards in their deck. This covers a number of options so you have a set plan going into each game no matter which 10 cards you end up with once the match begins.

A good example of this is having a strategy to attack your opponent with weather cards, while also having cards that can still work in weather. If you draw a few weather cards in your game, you can use them to stop your opponent, while getting cards that still work in weather will allow you to defend against any weather attacks should your opponent have weather cards available.

You should also have multiple cards that you can combo to finish off your opponent in later rounds. Every card in your deck doesn’t need to have combo abilities with other cards. What you want to focus on is making sure every card in your deck works toward your general strategy. You should have more than one strategy, so these cards don’t need to specifically work with one strategy, so long as they are beneficial to the strategies you want to use with your deck.

Quality is Important

Examine every single card you have in your deck and make sure they fit with the strategies you want to use, and that there isn’t a better card you should include in its place. After each game you should evaluate your deck and how it played out. Did you get the strategies you wanted? Were the cards you drew functional? If you lost, what could’ve changed the outcome of the match?

Once you’ve been playing for a few days, take a closer look at your deck to determine how you might be able to change it to improve your odds of winning. Perhaps you have too many of a specific card type? Maybe your deck focused too much on weather and didn’t leave you with enough options for other types of attacks. It’s important to make sure you always have the highest quality cards in your deck and that every card serves a purpose.

This evolving article will constantly grow over time, but for now we hope you have a good head start on deck-building so you can plan ahead and win more games. We’ll have more on the standalone Gwent card game in the coming weeks and months.