With the new update to Gwent, many of the games fundamental mechanics have dramatically changed. I recently wrote a guide on The Slightly Better Way to Open Kegs which is now completed outdated, so I thought I’d take a look at writing a new one. Due to playing the beta a fair bit, I had unlocked enough achievements to buy around 100 kegs straight out of the gates, which allowed me to do a fair bit of experimentation so that you don’t have to. If you’ve felt anxious about making the wrong choice when picking that fifth card, read this guide and hopefully it will help you make those decisions a little easier.
Note that if you played the beta and have hundreds of thousands of scraps lying around, this guide doesn’t really apply to you – just buy any cards you want and save your ore for a special event.
So first things first: everything’s different. There are no more silver cards, just bronze and gold. You can have as many gold cards as you want in a deck (so long as you have at least 25 cards total and the rest of your cards fit within the capacity limit), and you can only have two bronze duplicates in your starting deck at any one time.
Why does this matter? Because it changes which cards are a priority, and informs how many of each card to get.
Let’s talk about the mechanics of kegs. Here’s an example of one I opened recently:
See the brown and green indicators underneath the cards? Those refer to the number of standard (non-animated) and premium (animated) cards I already possess in my collection respectively. So in this case, including the cards I’ve just received I now have 3 standard Temerian Drummers, 2 premium Brokvar Hunters, 3 standard and 1 animated Trebuchets, and 3 standard Venedal Elites.
Here’s the all important next screen: picking the 5th card.
You can see the same indicators underneath. The green diamond with the “!” indicates it’s a card I don’t yet have in my collection.
So which card do you prioritise? Here’s what I’d recommend.
1. Any premium card.
Surprisingly, the answer is not to immediately choose the card you don’t have yet. Premium cards are worth way more when you mill them than standard cards, so if your long term goal is to be able to access extra meteorite powder and scraps to craft your perfect deck I would pick the premium cards first. Note that unlike the beta, you can’t tell if any of the cards are animated until you move the cursor over them, so make sure to manually check each one before making your decision.
2. Cards that belong to the faction that you’re currently focusing on.
The new Gwent is absolutely huge; there are half a dozen viable strategies for any given faction. To minimise brain overload, I recommend picking one faction and focusing on building one working deck at a time. If you’ve only got one copy of a bronze card in your preferred faction (including neutral), go ahead and snatch up that duplicate.
3. Cards that you don’t have yet.
Assuming that one day you might want to have a large enough collection to build several decks from different factions, having every card in the game is not a bad starting point. Even if a card doesn’t seem like anything special on face value, maybe in combination with other cards it might just lead to some mindblowing strategies that no one else has thought of. I like to think that every card is useful in the right situation. And besides, if a card really is useless, there’s a good chance the devs will alter it in future updates to make it more viable.
4. The standard version of a premium card.
If you’ve got one premium version of a card, grab its standard counterpart. That way you’ll have one of each, and will be able to add two cards to your deck if you want to use them both as part of your strategy.
5. Cards you only have one copy of.
Snap up those bronze duplicates. You can have a maximum of two premium and two standard copies of each bronze card in your collection, or one of each for gold (though to be clear, you can still only USE two copies of a bronze card or one copy of a gold card in a deck).
6. Any other card.
Anything else is just going to get milled anyway, so don’t worry about what you pick. Rest assured that when you’re being shown three cards, they’re all equally valuable (rare or higher) so you can’t really make a wrong choice.
And that’s it! Doubtless they’ll release some major update in a few months that will make all of this outdated, but for the moment these are my best tips for making the smartest selections. May goodest cards you get, ‘uman deserve it!