Gwent Crafting Guide

Coming into Gwent can be a daunting experience. The various leaders, factions and playstyles are not truly covered by the tutorial, making it hard to discern which factions you should spend your scraps on and how to build your first deck.

Nimraphel has joined forces with wusubi and atrsharpe to give you solid pointers on which cards are worth crafting and which cards are safe to mill. Our meta report can be used as a reference to the apex decks; the very best decks in the current meta and what you should ultimately aim towards with your crafts.


We evaluate the crafting priority using the following legend: Essential > High > Medium > Low.

While a low priority card might strike you as a very discouraging card to craft, we must stress that these ratings should be viewed in a wider context. A low priority card is better than cards which aren't mentioned at all.

Additionally, some of the recommended cards aren't featured in any of our meta report decks (i.e. Enraged Ifrit or Ocvist). Why would we mention them? We include cards that are primarily geared towards helping new players achieve success.

Thus, there is an emphasis on Midrange cards or mildly synergistic cards that provide you with decent value on their own. Be it in terms of the actual points or consistency and versatility they offer. As a newcomer, meta decks are relatively far off. Besides, the meta changes monthly. We rather focus on giving new players a strong foundation.

Each spoiler also includes a concise list of cards that can be safely milled. Knowing which cards to mill in order to acquire more scraps is crucial, as scraps are the most important resource when starting out with Gwent.

It is worth nothing that if you completed Thronebreaker, you should own base and premium copies of all the cards from the Thronebreaker set. Milling their base copies grants you 8120 scraps, which is more than enough to craft a meta deck.

Feel free to join our Discord server if you have any questions.

Carlo Varese (200 scraps)
Crafting priority: Essential

Carlo is a good addition to starter decks. He offers very high damage ceiling, which comes in handy given how Thunderbolts are a part of the starter set. He will always find himself a target, especially in Round 1 on red coin when your opponent uses Tactical Advantage.

 

 

Roach (200 scraps)
Synergies: Assire var Anahid
Crafting priority: Essential for Nilfgaard, Low otherwise

Roach can easily fit into any deck. Nice additional tempo in Round 1, on top of extra thinning. While always decent, Roach is a core card if you are playing Nilfgaard.

 

 

 

Portal (200 scraps)
Synergies:
Numerous 4 provision cards that don't rely on any Deploy effect, such as Fire Scorpion or Sly Seductress

Crafting priority: High

Portal thins your deck while developing two engines in the same turn. For example, Ardal plays Portal with two Fire Scorpions, as the deck relies on tactic cards and can thus generate massive value with Scorpions. Sigi Reuven can play Portal into Cutup Lackeys in a crime-based deck, which results in extra pings with each crime card played.

 

Ocvist (200 scraps)
Synergies: Zeal abilities or any boosts to keep Ocvist alive
Crafting priority: Medium

Ocvist is one of the best long round cards if unanswered. In a starter deck, it is difficult to match Ocvist's bang for the buck at a mere 200 scraps.

 

 

 

Enraged Ifrit and Regis: Higher Vampire (200 and 800 scraps)
Synergies: Any leader with damage pings can bring crucial units within removal range
Crafting priority: Low for Ifrit and Medium for Regis

For the most part, these cards are very interchangeable. Ifrit is the budget option and Regis is the premium option with the added utility of being able to banish carry-over units like Blue Stripes Commando or The Flying Redanian. At 10 provisions, both cards can be slotted into any deck, irrespective of its overall gameplan.

 

Vigo's Muzzle (800 scraps)
Synergies: Any leader with damage pings can bring units down to 5 power for Muzzle
Crafting priority:
Essential

Muzzle is one of the most versatile and powerful neutrals. It presents a solid power-play on its own, with the added flexibility of being able to effectively remove any engine. Muzzle never plays "below the curve" since the removal often makes it worth more than its immediate "10 for 12."


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

Hanmarvyn's Blue Dream - Overpriced and too situational. Relies on your opponent playing valuable units.

Phoenix - Costs too many provisions for only 4 power. Weak to Banish cards and artifact removal.

Ragh Nar Rook - Again, overcosted and situational. Requires a long round to reach decent value.

Syanna - An awesome ability, but she is too hard to make stick to the board and is vulnerable to Seize abilities.

Sihil - Rquires a 10 card Round 3. Its damage builds up too slowly and artifact removal is obviously devastating.

Ciri: Nova - Her condition is nearly impossible to meet and the pay-off is laughable. Hot candidate for a rework.

Ihuarraquax - The pony is difficult to utilize. Can be a liability even in decks that were built to make him work.

Aguara: True Form - Tthe risk of getting three useless bronze specials is just too high for an 11 provision card.

Dandelion: Vainglory - Despite the epic artwork, this card will rarely find any meaningful value.

Vesemir: Mentor - Even in Witcher decks, Vesemir struggles to find enough value to meet his high provision cost.

Angoulême - There are plenty of decks out there that don't run any artifacts, meaning that it can play as a 3 for 10.

Wolfsbane - An underwhelming card that won't have much effect on the enemy board, even in low-unit decks.

Ciri: Dash - Keeping her alive for 5 turns is easier said than done. She will always get bolted by your opponent.

Trial of the Grasses - Unfortunately, Witchers aren't a popular category, which makes Trial of the Grasses useless.

Tesham Mutna Sword - If there are no shielded targets on the board, this card deals 5 damage for 8 provisions.

Lambert: Swordmaster - Resilience is a rare ability, which makes it very unlikely for Lambert to find a target.

Ciri - You don't want to play a card that relies on you losing the round. She is also very easy to remove.

Gascon (800 scraps) - You could get good value, but it is just as likely that you will lowroll. The risk is too high.

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Dragon's Dream - Requires too much setup. The card doesn't have use outside of a dedicated movement deck.

Merigold's Hailstorm - Unless you're playing a longer round, it is difficult to find 5 different targets to damage.

Dudu - Your opponent would have to play a round-winning engine, or a very tall unit for Dudu to find any value.

Vivienne: Oriole - If the opponent isn't playing any artifacts, Vivienne will play as a 1 for 10. Too situational.

Iris' Companions - Drawing a card of your choice is great, but discarding a random card from your hand is bad.

The Last Wish - Imagine having two gold cards at the top of your deck and being forced to banish one of them.

Skellige Storm - Requires a long round and row stacking on your opponent's behalf.

Mandrake - There are plenty of better and cheaper cards with a similar ability.

Glorious Hunt - Unless you're playing against big variants of Monsters or Skellige, Glorious Hunt won't be worth it.

Decoy - Shuffling an allied unit back into your deck can be useful, but being forced to play the top card is too risky.

Tempest - You could Purify Vitality or Shields, but it's unlikely that you will find 3 adjacent units with such statutes.

Vaedermakar - Row effects aren't popular, so Vaedermarak's ability is useless.

White Frost - There usually won't be enough artifacts on the board for this card to be effective.

Prize-Winning Cow - A 1 power unit with Order? The chances of Prize-Winning Cow surviving are incredibly slim.

Johnny and Sarah - They will hit random units, which isn't optimal and 3 base power makes them easy to answer.

Ivo of Belhaven (200 scraps) - The Witcher archetype is bad and there are far better engines for Demavend decks.

Elf and Onion Soup (200 scraps) - You will rarely have 2 that units you can destroy, hoping to get something good.

Northern Realms (NR) starting leader is Foltest, who is a strong leader for their starter deck. You don't have to immediately craft another leader. As NR generally favours engine-based and combo decks, this faction requires very expensive crafts in order to create a cohesive and powerful deck.

Leader unlock order: Queen Meve > Queen Calanthe > King Henselt = Princess Adda > King Demavend III


2x Kaedweni Sergeant (60 scraps)
Synergies: Tridam Infantry, Reinforced Trebuchet, Anna, Nathaniel Pastodi, Vissegerd, Prince Anséis and Seltkirk
Crafting priority: Essential

Kaedweni Sergeants are very cheap and offer awesome synergies with some of the boost-oriented cards in the starter deck, such as Tridam Infantry or Anna Strenger.

 

 

2x Cintrian Enchantress (60 scraps)
Synergies: Tridam Infantry, Reinforced Trebuchet, Anna, Nathaniel Pastodi, Vissegerd and Queen Adalia
Crafting priority: Essential

Another low-cost craft which significantly improves the starter deck due to the sheer amount of great synergies. When Bonded, you can get up to 8 value for 4 provisions.


The Blue Stripes package

 

Since the NR starter deck includes 2x Blue Stripes Commando, you can easily expand on this package and make your deck a lot stronger in the process. Despite the recent nerfs, Blue Stripes Foltest is still a quite powerful deck. The whole package gets much better once you craft Royal Decree (800 scraps) for the fundamental consistency.

 

2x Blue Stripes Scout (160 scraps)
Synergies:
Blue Stripes Commando

Crafting priority: Essential for this package

Adding 2x Scout to empower your Commando is a cheap and simultaneously a decent craft you can make early on while playing Foltest. If you're willing to invest 1000 more scraps into crafting Pavetta and Roche: Merciless, you will have the core of the insanely good Blue Stripes package.

 

 

Pavetta (200 scraps)
Synergies: Commando, Roche: Merciless and Draug
Crafting priority: Essential for this package

Pavetta is the card that makes the Blue Stripes package truly terrifying. Shuffle several Commandos back in your deck and then play them again, using a Foltest charge. Coupled with the fact that Pavetta is a 6 for 8 provisions, there are almost no downsides to running this package.

 

 

Ves (200 scraps)
Synergies: Any Order unit that benefits from Zeal
Crafting priority: Medium

Ves can enable a strong Order unit if left unanswered and costs only 200 scraps. The 2 damage she deals on Deploy can be used on a 4 power unit to setup the Deathblow for Roche: Merciless, which makes her a very useful addition.

 

 

Roche: Merciless (800 scraps)
Synergies: Blue Stripes Scout, Pavetta and Draug
Crafting priority: Essential for this package

The undisputed MVP of the recent NR patch. He spawns another Commando, making the package more resilient. On top of that, he plays for a crazy amount of points if his Deathblow is triggered. He is usually used as a Round 3 finisher with Draug, but can also work as a Commando tutor in some niche cases. Roche is an outstanding card.

 

 

Draug (800 scraps)
Synergies: Human bodies, especially the Blue Stripes package due to its swarm nature
Crafting priority: Medium

No matter how you want to build your deck, it's difficult not to include Draug. He synergizes extremely well with the Blue Stripes package and provides a lot of points by turning all the humans in a specific row into Revenants.


The Meve package

 

While Foltest is a decent leader for the NR starter deck, Queen Meve is arguably more useful. She can enable the Inspired ability of Anna Strenger and Reinforced Trebuchet, protect one of your engines, or boost Tridam Infantry. Meve is currently the leader of choice for NR and you can craft a few cheap cards to make her leader ability worth more than 1 point per charge. You will have to sacrifice 15 Reward Points to unlock her in the Thronebreaker tree, but it's great investment if the blue faction is right up your alley.

 

2x Dun Banner (60 scraps)
Synergies: Any source of boosting
Crafting priority: Essential for Meve, Low otherwise

Dun Banner provides a cheap thinning option. On top of synergizing with Meve's leader ability, they can always be played next to Anna Strenger or Drummer. On blue coin, you can activate them with Tactical Advantage.

 

 

Nathaniel Pastodi (200 scraps)
Synergies: Any source of boosting
Crafting priority: High for Meve

While Nathaniel has a bad habit of stacking his Bleeding on a single enemy unit, he will always generate plenty of value in a longer round. Thanks to his synergy with Meve, Temerian Drummer and Anna Strenger, Nathaniel is the core component of the majority of boost decks.

 

 

Vissegerd (200 scraps)
Synergies: Boosted units
Crafting priority: High for boost-oriented decks

Vissegerd has quickly become a key card for Meve and even made his way into Foltest decks. Often acting as a powerful finisher, Vissegerd can always played earlier if you already have some boosted units and need him to remove a threat. His pay-off in boost decks can be huge.


Powerhouse crafts

 

Queen Adalia (800 scraps)
Synergies: Blue Stripes, Enchantress and bronze engines
Crafting priority: Essential

While being a remarkable card on its own, Queen Adalia works incredibly well with both recommended packages. Regardless of tuning in upcoming patches, we expect her to remain a staple of the faction since her ability suits the engine-based playstyle beautifully.

 

 

Bloody Baron (800 scraps)
Synergies: Zeal and boost cards
Crafting priority: High

In a meta where people boost their units to big numbers, Bloody Baron acts as one of the most terrifying counters. He rarely plays below his provisions and synergizes with two of the most popular NR leaders, Meve and Foltest.

 

 

Keira Metz (800 scraps)
Synergies: Tridam Infantry and Nathaniel Pastodi
Crafting priority: High

Despite the recent nerf, Keira is still a nice bomb that can be slotted into many NR decks and offer excellent value. She is very strong against Bleed-oriented Vampire decks, as she can negate two bleeds.

 

 

Prince Anséis (800 scraps)
Synergies: Foltest, Meve, Any boosts, Shield-giving and Zeal-giving units
Crafting priority: Essential

Very similar to Seltkirk, with the added versatility at the cost of 1 extra provision. Arguably the best addition to NR from the Crimson Curse expansion. The applicability of removal makes Anséis a wonderful craft for any NR deck.

 

 

Seltkirk (800 scraps)
Synergies: Foltest, Boosts of any kind, Shield-giving units (e.g. Cintrian Artificer) and Zeal-giving units (e.g. Ves)
Crafting priority: High for Foltest, Low otherwise

Another great card. Seltkirk works best in Foltest decks, where he functions as reliable removal. The faction has wide access to boosts and its starter deck even more so, making his potential value exceed the 9 provision cost.


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

Mad Kiyan - Interesting design, but ultimately requires too much attention in form of boosting to be effective.

John Natalis - Warfare cards aren't impactful at this stage of the game. The keyword needs a lot more support.

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Sabrina's Inferno - Difficult to setup and the pay-off isn't very impressive, especially after the nerf to Draug.

Vandergrift's Blade - A possibly strong card in the future, but for now there aren't enough playable Knights.

Odrin - Similarly to Natalis, the good old drunkard Odrin is underwhelming due to the lack of Warfare cards.

Bloody Flail - This card requires a big target and a sizeable amount of soldiers to be consistent. Not worth it.

Nilfgaard (NG) gravitates towards control and Midrange decks, or utilizes Shupe's Day Off for mildly inconsistent, yet high-rolly powerful decks that circumvent the faction's inherent inferiority in terms of raw power. While that might not sound attractive, Nilfgaard is a decent faction after the rework and buffs, due to its mixture of control and Midrange value cards. NG starting leader, Emhyr var Emries, is not the greatest leader, but not awful either. We do recommend opting for either Ardal or Usurper.

Leader unlock order: Ardal Aep Dahy = Jan Calveit > Usurper = Anna Hentrietta > Morvran Voorhis


Assire var Anahid - if you have Roach (200 scraps)
Crafting priority: Essential with Roach

Assire and Roach have been the infamous Gwent combo since time immemorial. They are core of most NG decks. Given the cheap scrap cost, every NG player should craft this combo, as it provides a potent proactive power play.

 

 

 

Peter Saar Gwynleve (200 scraps)
Crafting priority: High

Peter is another card that is too versatile not to include, due to his low provision cost. The ceiling on this card is insanely high, especially on the lower ranks, given how boost cards are an integral part of most starting decks. Peter usually meets his provision cost and can severely punish an opponent who gets greedy.

 

 

Vreemde (200 scraps)
Synergies: Brigades, Slave Infantry and Daerlan Soldier
Crafting priority: Medium

The reworked starter deck now has 2x Impera Brigade and 2x Slave Infantry. This change makes Vreemde too good to be ignored. His value will almost always exceed his 7 provision cost.


The tactics package

 

The recently buffed tactic cards are a core of every competitive NG deck. The starter deck already has Treason, so if you throw in 7 extra tactics, you can seize a 5 power unit with Ardal's leader ability. Vigo's Muzzle is one of the best neutrals and also a tactic, which leaves us with 6 tactics to craft. Marching Orders are another good neutral tactic and is usually used to tutor Artorius Viggo or Menno Coehoorn.

 

2x Assassination (160 scraps)
Synergies: Fire Scorpion and Menno Coehoorn
Crafting priority: Essential

Since removal was nerfed last patch, Assassination has become the go-to removal for NG and a card most other factions wish they had. There are virtually no downsides to including two copies in your deck.

 

 

2x Tourney Joust (60 scraps)
Synergies: Fire Scorpion and Menno
Crafting priority: Essential

As if Assassination wasn't enough, Tourney Joust further cements Nilfgaards forte as the disruptive, pain in the ass to play against faction. It penetrates shields and still acts as on-curve removal. Additionally, Joust has the flexibility and can be used to protect one of your cards, for example an engine like Fire Scorpion. A must-craft.

 

 

2x Imperial Diplomacy (160 scraps)
Synergies: Fire Scorpion, Menno and Artorius Vigo
Crafting priority: High

Two copies of Diplomacy present a cheap proactive play, while fulfilling the 8-tactic-quota for empowering Ardal's leader ability. On top of synergizing with Fire Scorpions or Assimilate engines, Diplomacy can often come in handy when your hand is too reactive.

 

 

Now that you have crafted the crucial tactics, you can craft a few very effective cards that will benefit from them.

 

2x Fire Scorpion (60 scraps)
Synergies: Portal and any tactic card
Crafting priority: Essential

Tutor both Fire Scorpions with Portal and your opponent is in for a very rough ride. Any given NG deck will as of last patch run a lot of tactics, making Scorpion a brilliant card.

 

 

 

2x Venendal Elite (60 scraps)
Synergies: Tactic cards in your hand
Crafting priority: High

Venendal Elite is an excellent proactive round-opener for tactic-based decks. Unlike Nilfgaardian Knight, Venendal can be used on either side of the coinflip and also doesn't play into Syndicate's Bounty. Given the cheap scrap cost, this card is great once you've acquired some tactic cards.

 

 

Menno Coehoorn (800 scraps)
Synergies: Any tactic card
Crafting priority: Essential

With the buffs to tactics, Menno has become a staple of any NG deck and impossible to ignore as a craft. He will always be useful, as he tutors removal or proactive plays. Menno also provides an alternative option for Assire when the opponent banished or stole your Roach. For example, you can play Vigo's Muzzle, shuffle it back into your deck with Assire and play it again with Menno.


Powerhouse crafts

 

Xarthisius (800 scraps)
Synergies: Any special card, units with high base power
Crafting priority: High

Xarthisius will often play at least on curve, but sometimes he will pull one of your tactics, enabling nice swings once you have thinned the deck. While he can be unreliable in Round 1, he is a solid card as of last patch and is quickly becoming a staple for tactic-based decks.

 

 

Yennefer's Invocation (800 scraps)
Synergies: Jan Calveit and cards such as Dandelion: Poet
Crafting priority: Essential with Calveit, High otherwise

This card is an extremely potent addition to NG's toolbox. For just 9 provisions, you get reliable removal, as well as the option of using the removed card to your advantage. Yennefer has quickly found her way into most NG decks.

 

 

 

Letho of Gulet (800 scraps)
Synergies: Serrit and Auckes
Crafting priority: Medium

The NG starter deck has Serrit and Auckes, both of which synergize with Letho. While he does require you to have the other Witchers in hand for the added value, Letho is going to be decent most of the time. He provides crucial damage or lock, while having a tenacious 6 power body.

 

 

Artorius Vigo (200 scraps)
Synergies: Impera Brigades and create cards
Crafting priority: High

Artorius has gained prominence in a great way of pulling Brigades for thinning and pointslam purposes. He grants you some much-needed tempo right out of the gate and due to his very low base power, he can easily be tutored with Marching Orders.

 

 

Since Artorius will show 3 random bronze units from the starting deck, most players go out of their way to not play more than 3 different types of a bronze unit in order to guarantee the key thinning. Generally, the 3 bronze units are 2x Fire Scorpion, 2x Nauzicaa Sergeant or 2x Venendal Elite and 2x Impera Brigade for Artorius.


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

Damien de la Tour - Strong ability, but rarely survives until your next turn. Damien often plays as a 5 for 11.

Vattier de Rideaux - Even worse than Damien. Very low base power and forces you to use a lock card first.

Stefan Skellen - Similarly to Damien, Stefan has a powerful Order ability, but he will usually get answered.

Letho: Kingslayer - There are very few engines worth copying with Letho, making him an overpriced card.

Cahir Dyffryn - Another Damien/Stefan-like card. On top of being susceptible to removal, he is row-locked.

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Rainfarn of Attre - The Spy archetype lacks support, which means that Rainfarn won't get that much value.

Cadaverine - Bad card. It's difficult to setup a good blow to the opponent without damaging your own units.

Imperial Golem - This card is just a worse version of Tibor. For a Hyperthin deck, save up the 600 extra scraps.

Caellach Dyffryn - Finding a row with multiple allied units that need Purifying isn't a very common scenario.

Cantarella - Weak on average. You have a high chance of pulling a trash bronze card, helping your opponent.

Vanhemar - Requires build-up and the pay-off isn't worth it. Your locks are often used on low power engines.

Caveat emptor: Syndicate (SY) sadly doesn't have a starter deck and is designed to be a more advanced faction. Thus, it requires a higher scrap investment. On the upside, you can focus on Novigrad kegs if SY appeals to you. The faction itself has proven to be very strong since its inception and the coin mechanic is unique and powerful. Understanding it is key to becoming a decent SY player (i.e. you need to balance coin generation and spenders).

The free Syndicate leader, Gudrun Bjornsdottir, is a good leader but overshadowed by Dijkstra, Whoreson Junior and King of Beggars. You should opt for one of them instead of Gudrun.

Leader unlock order: Sigismund Dijkstra = Cleaver > Cyrus Hemmelfart = Whoreson Junior = King of Beggars


Bronze crimes and spenders

 

We have chosen to categorize the Syndicate cards into different packages because they are all greatly synergestic. You should look to complete one package at a time after crafting the "auto-include" cards that are simply too good and agnostic to whichever version of Syndicate you're playing. All cards in their individual packages are considered to be essential crafts. Let's start off with the bread and butter of Syndicate decks - the bronze crimes and spenders.

 

Crimes underpin Syndicates deck by providing uninteractive points (coins) without a body, which is insanely strong. Regarding how many crimes you should craft, that's ultimately at your own discretion. You can easily run 2 of each, but ultimately, they're like spice in a good dish. Use too many and you ruin it, use too few and the dish will be bland. Confer our meta report and various deck guides to get the rough idea of the ideal amount of crimes and spenders. Furthermore, in order to benefit from Slander, make sure you craft Ewald Borsodi and 2x Witch Hunter Executioner.

 

2x Sea Jackal (60 scraps)
Crafting priority: Essential without Portal, Low otherwise

Sea Jackal is the perfect non-committal bronze spender. He's very cheap to craft while taking up only 4 provisions. Not having any profit makes him a great play when your bank is full and you need to free up some coins. Jackal is an incredibly versatile card. In Round 1, he can enable SY to catch up to huge point gaps, in Round 2 he prevents SY from being bled. In Round 3, he can be your finisher.

 

It should be noted that Sea Jackal becomes a hindrance once you craft the Seductive package. Until then, you can use him as your prime spender, alongside of the "auto-include" and Bounty packages.

 

2x Coerced Blacksmith (60 scraps)
Crafting priority: Essential

Also known as "Emergency-smith" this card is another non-committal spender that can free up your bank or utilize leftover coins. In some matchups, he can keep other spenders alive. He's crucial in Syndicate mirrors, where he makes opponent's Bounties hard to collect.


1. The "auto-include" package (2000 scraps)

 

Crafting order: Ewald (200 scraps) → Moreelse (200 scraps) → Philippa (800 scraps) → Redanian (800 scraps)

These 4 cards are essential to the majority of Syndicate decks. They all provide amazing value relative to provisions.


2. The Bounty package (1220 scraps)

 

Crafting order: 2x Slander and 2x Executioner (220 scraps) → Caleb Menge (800 scraps) → Graden (200 scraps)

Despite being able to have only one Bounty going at a time after the recent change, the synergy between Bounty, removal and spenders is still a very potent one. While not as strong as it used to be, the Bounty package continues to be one of the cornerstones of Syndicate's playstyle and power level.


3. The Seductive package (560 scraps)

 

Crafting order: Portal and 2x Sly Seductress (360 scraps) → Adriano the Mink (200 scraps)

Deceptively simple, this package has proven to be strong in the current meta, where playing 2 engines in one turn through Protal is extremely prevalent. As far as two engines go, double Seductress can be very pesky with Adriano, who can Spawn another Seductress. This grants you a cheap and powerful engine that's quite resilient to removal. One of the best and most accessible packages to play in every Syndicate deck. If you want to craft it, make sure to avoid playing any other 4 provision units. The only exception is one copy of Bare-Knuckle Brawler, which has to be pulled out of your deck with Novigradian Justice before playing Portal.


4. The Crime-engine package (1630 scraps)

 

Crafting order: Novigradian Justice and 1x Bare-Knuckle Brawler (830 scraps) → Ferko the Sculptor (800 scraps)

Novigradian Justice is a wonderful tool for both thinning and tempo. On top of being able to create a threatening double Crime-engine in the form of Bare-Knuckle Brawlers, Justice is a staple card for Scoia'tael, and so crafting it gives you some faction versatility. Every Syndicate deck plays a good amount of crimes, making Ferko a natural fit. He can always grab Slander or Fisstech, the luxurious option being Novigradian Justice into Bare-Knuckle Brawler. This package enhances the above-mentioned packages, providing you with extra consistency and Round 1 power.


Tech choice cards

 

Tunnel Drill (200 scraps)
Crafting priority: Medium

When this card finds a target such as Summoning Circle, it can often outright win you the game. If you don't get to remove an artifact, Drill is a respectable 6 for 6. Not great, not terrible, a solid 3.6 roentgen card in terms of risk with a potentially very high reward.

 

 

Adalbertus Kalkstein (200 scraps)
Crafting priority: Medium

A card not too dissimilar to Tunnel Drill, but with a lower upside if his ability finds a target. He can remove Bounty, Poison, Bleed or Lock, always playing as a decent 7 for 7.


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

The Sausage Maker - For 10 provisions, this card is too expensive to include. The alternatives are more effective.

Vivaldi Bank - An interesting concept, but ultimately not worth it for 9 provisions. Also inferior to Royal Decree.

Sukrus - Unfortunately, Sukrus can't protect units against locks or movement. Again, overcosted for his ability.

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Damnation - Even when Hemmelfart was popular on the ladder, Damnation didn't see play. Too conditional.

Hvitr and Aelydia - While Hoard 6 isn't a difficult condition, good luck trying to maintain it for multiple turns.

Hammond - There sadly aren't enough pirates and ships to support this archetype. Give it a few more patches.

Caesar Bilzen - The value you can get from Caesar is fairly limited and his Fee ability is straight up horrendous.

Excommunication - Extremely situational. Requires an expendable unit and pulls a random card from the top.

Whoreson's Freak Show - Since its big nerf, Freak Show is useless. A strictly worse Witch Hunter Executioner.

Rico Meiersdorf - Only effective against decks that play tall units, otherwise Rico is a terrible 6 provision card.

Wheel of Fortune - Random effects are a big no-no in Gwent. Similarly to Gascon, a lowroll can be devastating.

Scoia'tael (ST) has recently seen major buffs to Francesca and several key faction cards such as Call of the Forest and Water of Brokilon, making it one of the most popular and powerful decks in the curent meta. While numerous ST leaders remain either niche or simply unviable, Francesca's power makes it an attractive faction to invest into.

The majority of the following card recommendations will rest on the assumption that you've unlocked Francesca. Many of the cards can likely be slotted into decks of other leaders and excel there. Filavandrel, the starter leader, is sadly not viable and we can't recommend sticking with him.

Leader unlock order: Francesca Findabair > Dana Meadbh > Eithné = Brouver Hoog > Eldain


2x Elven Swordmaster (160 scraps)
Synergies: Any Elven unit
Crafting priority: Essential

Swordmaster is an engine that demands to be answered, which means that your stronger engines are more likely to stick afterwards. On top of synergizing with the starter decks' Elves, Swordmaster works with cards like Dwarven Skirmisher. When combined, they kill units with 4 power.

 

Morenn (200 scraps)
Crafting priority: High

Not a flashy card, but certainly versatile and functional. Morenn offers you a crucial lock or a respectable 7 for 7 when played in the Melee row.

 

 

 

 

Milva (800 scraps)
Synergies: Any Scoia'tael faction unit
Crafting priority: Essential

As you start fleshing your deck out with more ST units, Milva becomes a staple which is impossible to look past. Having an Immune engine getting boosted each time you play a unit is obviously invaluable in a longer round.

 

 

The Great Oak (800 scraps)
Synergies: Row-stacking
Crafting priority: High

The Great Oak provides some much needed long round potential and reach. His flexibility allows you to remove engines without losing value if you place him correctly.


The Nature/Harmony package (3290 scraps)

 

Crafting order: Water of Brokilon (800 scraps) → 2x Panther (60 scraps) → Fauve and Dryad's Caress (830 scraps)
Call of the Forest (800 scraps) → Barnabas Beckenbauer (800 scraps)

Water of Brokilon is the bread and butter of ST decks, spawning two copies of Dryad Fledgling, a potent 4 power engine with Harmony. Call of the Forest can fetch any ST unit, significantly improving the consistency and power ceiling of ST as a faction. Fauve is a tutor for cards with the Nature category. Given how powerful these cards are, she is an essential craft coupled with both Water of Brokilon and Call of the Forest.

Throwing in one copy of Dryad's Caress is a cheap and effective way of ensuring that Fauve will have a third target. Two copies of Panther are a decent inclusion on their own, but most importantly Panther has the Beast tag, which procs Harmony. Barnabas is a power bomb, perfectly synergizing with the Harmony-oriented playstyle of ST decks.


The Poison package (260 scraps)

 

These three units will offer both Harmony synergy and a potent source of removal, provided that your opponent doesn't run Purify. Provision-wise, they are easy to slot into any ST deck, granting you some paramount removal. This package benefits from the recent buff to Call of the Forest, making it very reliable.


The Dwarf package (1000 scraps)

 

This package takes advantage of the starter decks' Mahakam Defenders. In a shorter round, you can use Francesca on Novigradian Justice, that can pull a Mahakam Defender from your deck into the Melee row and spawn a second copy adjacent to it. You can play Dennis inbetween, activating their ability to boost self by 1 at the end of each turn.

With two powerful engines demanding immediate answers from your opponent before they spiral out of control, Francesca gains access to another game-winning combo outside of the Harmony package with Water of Brokilon. The fact that Novigradian Justice is popular in Syndicate decks gives you yet another compelling reason to craft it.


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

Iorveth's Gambit - This card is very expensive and isn't played at all. Even trap-based Eldain decks ignore it.

Aglaïs - After the recent buffs to Harmony, Francesca doesn't have to rely on vulnerable finishers like Aglaïs.

Yarpen Zigrin - Only works in low-unit ST decks that focus on traps and specials. Susceptible to tall removal. 

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Ele'yas - Basically too difficult to setup and if he ever ends up seeing some play, he's fairly easy to play around.

Xavier Moran - Laughably easy to deal with due to his low base power, plus the fact that he's also row-locked.

Treant Mantis - While Poison is prevalent in Scoia'tael decks, Treant Mantis doesn't synergize with Harmony.

Braenn - She can play as a 7 for 6 if you control 2 or more Dryads, making her a below-average Midrange card.

Éibhear Hattori - Much like the sword he gives you in The Witcher 3, Hattori is garbage even in full-trap decks.

Skellige (SK) starts out with Crach an Craite, who is one of the more solid starting leaders. If you want to unlock additional leaders, there is a wide selection of viable choices, though we would recommend focusing on Svalblod. The self-wounding archetype is simply the most fleshed out and powerful in Gwent's current iteration of Skellige.

Leader unlock order: Svalblod > Harald the Cripple = Arnjolf the Patricide = Eist Tuirseach > Bran Tuirseach


We have chosen to first focus on cards that are staples in basically every SK deck, enabling you to play a leader of your choice and dabble in different archetypes. Secondly, we take a look at two potent packages that can improve any SK deck thanks to the sheer amount of points and synergies they offer.

 

2x Svalblod Priest (160 scraps)
Synergies: Harald Houndsnout, Heymaey Protector, Svalblod Fanatic and Totem, Tuirseach Veteran, Drummond Shieldmaiden and Queensguard etc.
Crafting priority: Essential

The strongest engine in Skellige that provides abundant synergies to any deck. If left unanswered, Svalblod Priest can win the round. A must-craft regardless of your leader.

 

 

2x Heymaey Protector (60 scraps)
Synergies: Svalblod Priest and Totem, Light Longship, Harald Houndsnout, Svalblod's leader charges etc.
Crafting priority: Essential

Priest's partner-in-crime. When you manage to combine these two cards, they create one of the most threatening engines in Gwent. Heymaey Protector is among the best 4 provision cards and hence the core part of any SK deck.

 

Harald Houndsnout (200 scraps)
Synergies: Svalblod Priest and Butcher, Svalblod's leader charges, Olaf, Blueboy Lugos, Drummond Shieldmaiden and any other unit that benefits from being wounded
Crafting priority: Essential

A proactive play that puts decent points on the board, while providing numerous synergies within the faction. Houndsnout is a key card for SK, especially alongside of the insane Svalblod Priest + Heymaey Protector engine.

 

Svalblod Totem (800 scraps)
Synergies: Svalblod Priest and Butcher, Drummond Shieldmaiden, Heymaey Protector, Olaf etc.
Crafting priority: Essential

Similarly to Houndsnout, Totem is a great proactive play that synergizes with self-wounding units. This card is the backbone of every SK deck, mostly due to its versatility.

 

 

Hjalmar an Craite (800 scraps)
Synergies: Olaf, Tuirseach Veteran, Jutta an Dimun, Vildkaarl (Champion of Svalblod) etc.
Crafting priority: Essential once you acquire some of his synergestic cards, High otherwise

Hjamar provides a flexible removal option that allows you to take out the key engines. While not synergestic per se, his value scales with the power of units in your graveyard.

 

Ulfheddin (800 scraps)
Crafting priority: Medium

Ulfheddin never trades below his provision cost and his ceiling is potentially very high, particularly against other starter decks due to Thunderbolts. A solid craft given how cheap he is provision-wise. Ulf is a meta call against decks that play tall units like Monsters or Hyperthin Nilfgaard.


The Svalblod self-wounding package (2180 scraps)

 

Crafting order: 2x Drummond Shieldmaiden (160 scraps) → Vildkaarl (200 scraps) → 2x Tuirseach Veteran and
2x Svalblod Butcher (220 scraps) → Olaf (800 scraps) → Knut (800 scraps)

The self-wounding package is incredibly coherent and powerful, yet in its entirety only recommendable if Svalblod is your leader. It also synergizes quite well with the Alchemy package outlined below. Furthermore, if you still have some provisions left, consider crafting Cerys an Craite (800 scraps) and 1-off Drummond Queensguard (80 scraps). Cerys can either thin out your Shieldmaiden in the Melee row or create a Queensguard engine in the Ranged row.


The Alchemy package (1600 scraps)

 

Crafting order: Jutta and Restore (400 scraps) → Sigrdrifa and Ermion (1000 scraps) → Gremist (200 scraps)

This package is usually played alongside of the self-wounding package, as it enhances is greatly. Ermion can tutor any Alchemy card and Gremist can immediately Purify a unit, refreshing his ability whenever you play an Alchemy, which is invaluable in the current meta filled with Bounty, Poison and other annoying statutes. Sigrdrifa is used to revive Champion of Svalblod (transformed Vildkaarl) or Jutta an Dimun. The starter deck includes 2 copies of Freya and you can play one copy in the majority of SK decks. Jutta-Restore combo has already proven to be outstanding.


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

Wild Boar of the Sea - While this card is decent enough with Crach, it doesn't do much for the other leaders.

Kambi - Easy mill, as the card can be more damaging to you than to your opponent. 10 provisions? No thanks.

Artis - He could work in a dedicated self-wounding deck, but is quite easy to answer. Not worth the provisions.

Madman Lugos - Unless you are a die-hard Arnjolf player, you can mill the poor old Madman. Too conditional.

Coral - Only partly effective in a Bran Tuirseach deck, but even then she's fairly underpowered for 8 provisions.

Lippy Gudmund (800 scraps) - Lippy died with nerfs to cards worth-recycling, such as the neutral Witcher trio.

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Holger Blackhand - Similarly to Hammond, there sadly aren't enough ships or pirates to benefit from Holger.

Champion's Charge - There are better alternatives for 7 provisions. Bloodthirst 3 can be a difficult condition.

Yoanna - SK has the ideal bronze engine, and so Yoanna is redundant. She still makes the best armor though.

Derran - The only time he's useful is when you draw him earlier than Morkvarg. Otherwise, Derran is rubbish.

Corrupted Flaminica - Beasts are currently severely underpowered, so don't bother trying to play Flaminica.

Draig Bon-Dhu - Since he has to be played in the same round as your warriors, his pay-off will often be small.

Monsters (MO) have the most polarized selection of leaders in the current version of Gwent. Arachas Queen and Dettlaff are both viable and strong leaders, yet Woodland Spirit and Eredin are outright unviable. Unseen Elder still needs more Deathwish support. Gernichora offers a respectable leader ability, but she tapered off in power due to recent power creep. Given that Arachas Queen is skill-intensive and demanding in terms of deck building, we would recommend opting for Dettlaff or Gernichora initially.

While Dettlaff requires some further investment in the form of the Vampire package, he's better than Gernichora. On the other hand, Gerni synergizes with the starter decks' Griffins and can take advantage of cheap crafts like Ice Giant. If you can invest 1640 additional scraps, go with Dettlaff. Otherwise you can opt for Gerni and keep it relatively budget-friendly. The important part is to forget about Eredin, who is certainly the worst starting leader.

Leader unlock order: Dettlaff > Gernichora > Arachas Queen > Woodland Spirit > Unseen Elder


There will be an overlap between the Vampire package and the general recommendations that are about to follow. Protofleder and Katakan are respectable cards even outside of the Vampire tribal synergy.

 

Old Speartip or Golyat or Pugo (800 or 200 scraps)
Synergies: Ozzrel
Crafting priority: Essential

The MO starter deck has Ozzrel, so it makes perfect sense to craft another big boy to accompany Speartip: Asleep, also ensuring that Ozzrel won't fight for food with Ghouls. Old Speartip is the lucrative option. Golyat is much riskier, yet a considerably cheaper choice. Pugo-Boom Breaker works well with Gernichora's Fruit or any Deathwish units.

 

Protofleder (200 scraps)
Synergies: Tall units to enable Dominance, Orianna
Crafting priority: High

Along with Katakan, Protofleder is amongst the best MO cards from the Crimson Curse expansion. His Dominance is easy to assert and he stays outside of tall punish range, while offering decent value and potential engine removal.

 

 

Katakan (200 scraps)
Synergies: Tall units to proc Thrive, Orianna
Crafting priority: High

As one of the stronger proactive plays within the faction, Katakan is a versatile card and has become a staple for many MO decks. He synergizes with big boys, as well as with the Vampire archetype.

 

 

Whispess, Weavess and Brewess (600 scraps)
Synergies: Each other (craft all three together)
Crafting priority: High

Crones are incredibly functional for their provision cost. Brewess triggers Deathwish units, Weavess often keeps your units out of the Deathblow range and Whispess is the very potent removal option. Three crucial MO crafts, mainly due to the flexibility and power they can provide.

 

Naglfar (800 scraps)
Synergies: Dandelion: Poet
Crafting priority: Medium

A powerful tutor for only 9 provisions, Naglfar guarantees access to golds. It gets better with each strong gold card added to your deck, making it an essential later craft, but only of medium importance early on.


The Vampire package (1640 scraps)

 

Crafting order: 2x Bruxa and 2x Plumard (220 scraps) → 2x Nekurat and 2x Garkain (220 scraps)
Orianna (800 scraps) → Queen of the Night and Gael (400 scraps)

This package forms the backbone of Dettlaff Vampire decks, along with Katakan and Protofleder. It revolves around a Bleed-oriented attrition style with Orianna as the crucial engine, providing extreme value if unanswered. For this exact reason, the whole package is solely viable in Dettlaff decks. Bruxa, Plumard and Queen of the Night can find their use in decks of different MO leaders like Gernichora.


Additional worthy crafts

 


Cards that can be milled

 

Legendary cards (200 scraps per mill)

 

Ruehin - Doesn't see any play even in consume decks. Too expensive and vulnerable to locks and Banish cards.

Weavess: Incantation - Very underwhelming ability. As such, Weavess isn't played within the big boy archetype.

Ritual Sacrifice & Geels - Both cards are bad in Deathwish decks, which is one of the reasons why Elder sucks.

Crimson Curse - Another meme card. Still weak despite the recent provision buff, mostly due to being so slow.

Imlerith - The only reason to play this card is the synergy with Eredin, who is currently one of the worst leaders.

Whispess: Tribute - Monsters are lacking in strong Organic cards, which leaves Whispess in a very weird state.

 

Epic cards (50 scraps per mill)

 

Mourntart - Similar to Prize-Winning Cow. Order units with 1 power are unfortunately too risky to play in Gwent.

Morvudd - Basically a worse Isengrim or Dethmold. Monsters don't really have a Beast archetype going for them.

Arachas Behemoth - Literally ruins your Glustyworp. Only makes sense in some meme Zoltan: Scoundrel decks.

Abaya - A slightly worse version of Maerolorn, not to mention that Deathwish is a pretty disappointing archetype.

Alpha Werewolf - While the Immunity can have some uses, Alpha Werewolf is a Nekker Warrior for 6 provisions.

Jotunn - Hot candidate for a rework, as Jotunn didn't see play in unitless decks, nor when Hemmelfart was meta.

Writing: Nimraphel, wusubi and atrsharpe

Consulting: Hippotompotomus and thekeyer

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