Is it just me, or is winning Gwent games almost impossible with the starting deck?

Enemies seem to have a ton of special cards - spies, pack cards, heroes and other nasty effects.

I, on the other hand, have only managed to get a buff spell and a training dummy, as well as some generic grunt cards. As it is, I'm really not interested in playing gwent any more, because I get beat up almost every single time...

Do I need to scour the lands for all the cards I can find before this becomes any kind of fun, or is there a trick to this game that I seem to be missing?


4 Answers 4


Basically, yes, you need a better deck to beat better opponents.

The starting deck is not really powerful without a lot of surprise cards. You don't have a lot of powerful spells or heroes to really overpower an opponent.

In the beginning, your goal should be to do a quest for zoltan where you receive 3 heroes which you can keep (you can also get a bit of money, but I highly recommend the cards!). After that, you start beating the guys which are your quest objectives. Mostly, these are innkeeper which give you powerful heroes (I highly recommend beating the innkeeper in oxenfurt, he gives you a yennefer card, 7 strenght, can revive someone from the graveyard) or good spell cards. Also, you might be able to purchase some cards from merchants.

Some tips:

  • If you have multiple spys on your hand, spam them in the first round and let the enemy win. You get more cards while your enemy loses some, making it easier to win the 2 other rounds.
  • Do not play your high cards early. If you play your 10 strength hero early and your enemy counters with 2 catapults and horn of command, you wasted it. Only play heroes to finish an enemy with a high number.
  • Keep special effects in mind. Playing a 6 strength card might be good in the first round if you can revive it with another card.
  • Weather effects. Blocking a unit type while you have none of them is a good idea. For example: If you have no melees, you can play a frost card and passing, it prevents the enemy from playing high-strength melees himself, which might force him to pass.
  • 4
    Just out of curiosity - why is a 10-strength hero card wasted if it was countered with 3 cards? You might loose the round, but you've got a card advantage... (Assuming the enemy doesn't use the free actions to play all their spies and regain the cards back...)
    – MBender
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 13:24
  • 1
    Yeah, that might be true. But you have to keep in mind that, if you use a hero, he is gone. You can't get it back from graveyard. So losing a hero hurts a lot, especially when you can place a strenght 5 or 6 card instead which you can get back. The enemy AI is rather easy to exploit. In general you're right, he looses more, but in order to win against the AI, it's better to "bait" his strong cards out before placing your own heroes. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 13:37

Just adding to the accepted answer. You can, with a bit of strategy and luck, defeat merchants with your starting deck. If it's getting too hard though, you can purchase cards from some merchants. Each time you defeat a merchant/blacksmith, they give you a card. The card may not always be from the faction you were playing, but every they stack up eventually to the point where you can build an entire deck out of the cards that you have won. Just a thing to keep in mind, one opponent only gives you one card, ever, and blacksmiths are harder to beat than merchants.

Then again, as mentioned, you'll have quests to play innkeeps as well as some other people who'll give you their special cards. If you can defeat them, that is. So, don't give up easily, it can be a lot of fun!


You have to start in the lower level area's. There are the opponents the easiest, just win as much games as you can and you will get better cards along the way, so you can face stronger opponents.


Simple strategy:

1) Get second Foltest from White Orchard (from saved merchant or inkeeper) He can get rid of any weather effect - because you have only units (ad 2)) and specials, you will win at least one round when enemy relies on weather.
2) Get rid of all weather cards apart from Clear weather (maybe have 2 of those)
3) Only keep units with highest dmg and keep the unit count on minimum (22) - that gives you better odds of drawing a strong card.
4) Spies are game winners - more cards usually mean victory. If enemy has lots of spies next time you play him, pick more decoys (2-3) in your deck.

When the enemy plays spy, just use decoy on him and play him as well (can also be used with medics, medics/decoy combo)

5) If you already won one round, stall in next one and make him waste all good cards, because enemy will not pass round before you do.

Basically with Foltest 2, few decoys and Clear weather you can beat all starting merchants Baron, Nilfgradian noble, etc. and you will expand your deck with good cards.

  • 1
    Just to add to this: the enemy will sometimes pass before you do, particularly if they're relying on weather. A strat which has worked for me is to let the weather sit on the battlefield, and keep playing units into the affected area. The enemy will get a large lead, and eventually pass. Once they do that, use the clear weather ability of the second Foltest to make your score jump higher than the AI planned. This works even better if you have decoys available to pull back units from outside the weather, to lower your score further and encourage the AI to pass.
    – Liesmith
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 0:30

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