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Gwent: The Witcher Card Game Beta Spotlight

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Gwent: The Witcher Card Game Beta Spotlight

I'm still playing The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt. The game is just so vast and every side quest has me wandering from the main story all the time. I love it, but what I failed to grasp was Gwent. I had played a couple games and I don't know whether it was the tutorial or my attention, but I didn't grasp how Gwent worked. 

Fast forward to Gwent getting itself its own release with stunning visuals and cross platform play, I've been playing the Beta for the last week, and I've been thoroughly enjoying it. 


Some cards have little animation, Triss is my favourite I managed to pack, the constant fire animation...

Mechanically, there is no difference between the Gwent we know from The Witcher 3. But there's been a lot of streamlining, loading is fast and the visuals are clean cut. Explanations are a lot easier to understand too, with the new tutorial system gently guiding the player through combat and the deck builder, shop and recycling cards for new ones. 


Deck builder is easy to use, maybe a couple more filters wouldn't go amiss. Search by unit class etc.

There are 5 factions to choose from, Northern realms, Nilfgaard, Monsters, Scoia'tael, and Skellige. The beta offers a starter deck for each faction and a leader associated. There are a number of leaders for each faction and each have their own ability to change up gameplay. However, from experience of playing with different decks, each deck is suited to a different play style. Monster decks, led by Eredin, have been my constant problem as a lot of monster cards are seriously overpowered compared to other decks. Monsters tend to rely on weather cards to disrupt their opponents cards. 


The Skellige deck has been my favourite so far, simple to use, yet effective.

I tried a variety of decks out but I'm now comfortable with the Skellige starter deck that I have customized. I now have Yennefer the conjurer, so 3 gold cards that are neutral and can be used in any deck. I'm trying to collect the other Witchers to complete a witcher set to add to my decks. However the strength of this Skellige deck comes from units that weaken themselves on play. Sounds bad, but it's a minor debuff. Especially when ever round all units in the deck gain 1 additional power. The strength of the Skellige deck is resurrecting units with resurrection buffs, but the clincher is using warcry, a special card that doubles the strength of weakened units. 


Saving cards is important, especially if it goes to a final round. 1 point is all you need.

As I said before, each deck has their strengths, Nilfgaard get large bonus from spotting cards and revealing players hands. Scoia'tael possesses a lot of warrior troops that buff each other and cards to redraw your hand. The Northern realms play a slower game, dealing damage over time and utilizing a lot of siege type units. 

If anything, I would like to see more cards added in the final product. I am thoroughly enjoying Gwent and I'm a little disheartened I can't take it mobile. Games range from 5 minutes to nearly 15 minutes, it's highly satisfying to get the better of your opponent, especially when it appears their deck is crammed with a lot better units. But like all card games, its all a bit of luck. You feel the mistakes and misplays. The visual feedback from cards and the little features such as Vesemirs "I'm too old for this s***" really make gameplay enjoyable. Building decks isn't just pour all the hardcore units in once, you have to have a minimum of 25 cards and an available maximum of 40 cards. Your first instinct is to fill the 40 but that means you are less likely to see your rare cards. But if you have cards that summon others, you want a lot to dominate the game early on.

Looking ahead, release couldn't come sooner. I hope CD Projekt Red continue to update and add more cards as well as new faction leaders. Be sure to try it for yourself if you can grab a Beta Key.

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