Gwent The Witcher Card Game: Which Faction Should You Play? It can be difficult for new players to choose a faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, but this guide outlines everything they need to know.
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In Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, players have a choice of six factions that each have their own unique characteristics. These factions are Monsters (abbreviated MO, with a Red card back), Skellige (SK, Purple), Scoia”Tael (ST, Green), Northern Realms (NR, Blue), Nilfgaard (NG, Black), and Syndicate (SY, Orange). One of the most interesting aspects of Gwent is that the experience playing each faction is different, and among the factions, there are many several decks and archetypes that players can choose to use. Each faction is based on the lore of Witcher (except for SY) that is somewhat translated into the playstyle and mechanics of the faction.
Related: 10 Most Powerful Characters in Witcher!
When players first start the game, they need to choose a starter deck from a faction (except Syndicate) as the base for their collection. Having this many choices for someone who is just starting out can be pretty overwhelming. Players can follow this guide in order to choose the right deck for their playstyle and interests. This guide will include the mechanics, keywords, and archetypes unique to each faction as well as its strongest deck currently in the meta.
- 1 The Monsters (MO) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
- 2 The Skellige (SK) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
- 3 The Scoia”Tael (ST) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
- 4 The Northern Realms (NR) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
- 5 The Nilfgaard (NG) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
The Monsters (MO) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
The lore behind the Monsters faction is pretty self-explanatory. It”s made up of natural and unnatural beasts and species found in the Witcher universe, and the units in these decks follow suit. Monster decks tend to focus on the player”s side of the board and have little interaction with the enemy board.
Archetypes of the Monsters Faction
Swarm: A strategy that involves creating multiple, weaker units to overwhelm the opponentMidrange: A strategy where players use efficient, high-value units that gain their maximum value immediately. These units are usually called “tall” units because they are big and have a high value.
Mechanics of the Monsters Faction
Thrive: When on the board, units with Thrive gain one value whenever a unit with a higher value is played.Deathwish: Units with abilities that activate once they”ve been killed.Consume: Units with abilities that activate by killing an allied unit.
Strongest Deck for the Monsters Faction
Overall, Monsters is a great faction for beginners to use because the value and mechanics are focused on the player”s side of the board and aren”t too concerned about what the opponent is playing. The strategy of this faction is generally to put as much stuff on the board over and over again. Deathwish and Consume are also relatively simple keywords that work well together for beginner players to use in order to understand basic card combos and synergies.
The Skellige (SK) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
The Skellige faction in Gwent is full of Viking-like raiders and plunderers from the world of Witcher. Like the characters they represent, the Skellige faction focuses on different kinds of damaging effects to increase and lower the value of their own and enemy units respectively.
Archetypes of the Skellige Faction
Resurrection: While this archetype isn”t exclusive to Skellige, SK has many more instances of this mechanic. This refers to the focus on playing units and using abilities from the graveyard. These units combo well with other mechanics that Skellige uses, such as Discard and sometimes Berserk.
Mechanics of the Skellige Faction
Discard: Units that gain their effect when discarded.Berserk: Units that gain their effect when they”ve reached the specified damage threshold.Bloodthirst: Units that gain their effect when enemies are damaged.
Strongest Deck for the Skellige Faction
Skellige is for players who like chaos. A lot of their strength comes from damaging or discarding their own units that set up high value plays later into the round. Discard can also help thin out a player”s deck by continually drawing after discarding cards. This will allow them to reach their more powerful cards faster.
The Scoia”Tael (ST) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
The Scoia”Tael Faction is made up of the various races of Witcher who have faced discrimination from society, especially humans. The faction primarily holds the Elves, Dwarves, and Dryads of the world of Witcher. The archetypes and mechanics of this faction really focus on the struggles that the Elves and Dwarves have to undergo in their history.
Archetypes of the Scoia”Tael Faction
Swarm: Players can create strong swarm decks by using units with the Elf or Dwarf tag since they tend to combo well with other units of the same tag.
Highlander: Highlander decks refer to decks that only have a single copy of each card in it. With the Harmony keyword, this makes the deckbuilding restriction much easier to overcome.
Mechanics of the Scoia”Tael Faction
Movement: Moves cards into different rows, which can render them useless.Harmony: Harmony cards gain one value when a card with a different tag is played.
Strongest deck for the Scoia”Tael Faction
ST is a faction with mechanics that are less straightforward than the previous two. Mechanics such as Movement and Harmony can be more difficult for newer players to fully grasp, but they can be quite rewarding because of the versatility they provide throughout a match. Players should try out ST if they like Elves, Dwarves, or deck building.
The Northern Realms (NR) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
The Northern Realms is comprised of different human states located in the northern area of the Witcher universe. They are strong when united against a common enemy but often find themselves at war with each other. The mechanics and archetypes of this faction follow the war relatively closely.
Archetypes of the Northern Realms Faction
Engine Control: One of the best decks in the game uses Engines in order to gain tons of value over time. Engines aren”t strong on their own since the opponent can take them out, but combined with other protective cards, they can easily win rounds.Boost: With Order, players can boost themselves and their allies in order to keep a board with high value. This strategy is not too concerned with what the opponent is playing.
Mechanics of the Northern Realms Faction
Order: Units with Order will boost the value of themselves or allies, or damage enemy units.
Strongest Deck for the Northern Realms Faction
The NR Faction is a great choice for players that want to play out longer rounds. Many of their archetypes use units that do not gain their maximum value until later on in the game. This Faction can be difficult to learn for new players, but it is also a great way for them to understand how to formulate a game plan and plan out strategies a couple turns ahead.
The Nilfgaard (NG) Faction in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Nilfgaard is the most powerful empire in the world of Witcher, and the archetypes and mechanics in Gwent follow suit.
Archetypes of the Nilfgaard Faction
Soldiers: Nilfgaard uses a lot of Soldier type units that tend to benefit when used in conjunction with each other.Control: A strategy that focuses on lengthening the rounds of the map and slowly using up the opponent”s resources. It makes the game a sort of war of attrition.
Mechanics of the Nilfgaard Faction
Spy: Units that are played onto the opponent”s board. It gives them value but gives the player that played them even more.Assimilate: These units generate random cards that players can then use.
Strongest Deck for the Nilfgaard Faction
The NF Faction is a very flexible faction for new players to use depending on their playstyle. Players can use Soldiers to overwhelm their opponent and brute force their way to victory or use their resources to mess with the opponent”s combos and gameplan. Assimilate is also useful for players to learn different kinds of cards since they generate random ones.
Syndicate is the newest faction added to Gwent and follows the criminal underground of Novigrad where money rules the streets. This lore is actually pretty close to the mechanics and archetypes newly introduced to the game.
Archetypes of the Syndicate Faction
Swarm: Using Coin effects, the SY Faction can generate a lot of units and overwhelm the opponent.Midrange: This strategy combines efficient, high-value units with the extra value generated from Coin effects to out value the opponent.
Mechanics of the Syndicate Faction
Coins: A resource gained by leaders and units that can be spent by other units to activate different effectsCrime: Special and Spell cards that boost allies, damage enemies, and generate Coins.
Strongest Deck for the Syndicate Faction
The Syndicate Faction is not recommended for new players. First of all, Gwent does not offer a starting deck for the faction, so players will have to build their deck from scratch. Also, they will have an extra resource in Coins that they need to manage throughout the game.
More: The History of Nilfgaard
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and iOS.