Cheap Gwent Budget Decks for Open Beta!

Even though CDPR did a much better job with the starter decks than in Closed Beta (because they start with 4 Golds and 6 Silvers each), they’re still far from perfect. I’ll try to build a new, budget deck for each of the factions that should be a significant upgrade over the basic decks. They’re still, sadly, much worse than a full meta decks, but they should be good enough to farm the kegs with.

Here are the rules I was following when building each of the budget decks:

  • Only starting Gold cards. Every Gold card is now Legendary, so it might be hard for players who didn’t open a lot of kegs to craft them so early. The starter Golds are rarely optimal for the deck and should be switched out as soon as possible once you get better options. I’ll give the list of high priority crafts for the deck.
  • Only the most important Silver cards outside of the starting ones. Every Silver is now Epic, so they cost 4 times less than Golds. Silvers have a higher crafting priority than Golds now, as you can get 4 Silvers for just 1 Gold. Each of the decks has some Silver cards that are simply necessary and not including them would be really bad for the deck. I’ve tried my best to not add too many of them and stick to max 2 or 3 extra Silvers per deck.
  • No limits on the Bronze cards. Bronze cards are backbone of every deck. And the starting options are pretty… limited. It’s easiest to get a solid Bronze collection through Keg openings (even after ~50 Kegs you should have majority of the necessary Bronzes). Also, since Commons are only 30 to Craft and Rares only 80, you should be able to craft some of the ones you’re missing.
  • No limits on the Leader cards. You can get every Leader card through the free Challenges, not to mention that you’re getting quite a lot of Ore in the process (750 in total – 7.5 kegs!) which can boost your collection by a bit.

If the builds are still too expensive, e.g. you’ve just opened your first Kegs and have no resources from the Closed Beta, I’m afraid that you will have to use the starter decks until you get some more cards. They aren’t perfect, but should easily be good enough to get you to Tier I rewards if you play every day (maybe even Tier II if you grind more).

Budget Decks for Gwent Open Beta

This is a pretty basic Weather deck. The deck gets significantly stronger if you can put Gold Weather cards into it – you first bait Clear Skies with your Bronze weather cards and then drop a big Gold weather and either force your opponent to pass or get a lot of value over time. But even as a budget list it’s still quite strong. Most of the decks run only 1 or 2 ways to clear the weather, so if you play the game right and bait them early, you can then snowball the game very easily. If you bait all the Clear Skies early, you can then cover the whole board in weather and watch your opponent’s strength shrink.

The basic strategy is to first play units that grow under weather like Ancient FogletIf a Fog Hazard is anywhere on the Board at the start of your turn, Boost self by 1. or Ice GiantIf a Frost Hazard is anywhere on the Board, Boost self by 6.. You want your opponent to commit to one row first so you know which one you can weather. If you know that your opponent’s deck plays heavily into one row, you can weather it first, but against decks with a lot of flexible units that might be a waste. Anyway, once your opponent plays something on a row, play the weather there. Biting FrostApply a Frost Hazard to an opposing row. Frost Hazard: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Lowest Unit on the row by 2. is generally better against multiple units and Impenetrable FogApply a Fog Hazard to an opposing row. Fog Hazard: Every turn, at the start of your turn, Damage the Highest Unit on the row by 2. is better against a single unit.

Continue Reading: Gwent Monsters Budget Deck List Guide.

This budget Nilfgaard decks is based on spies. It utilizes the insane synergy between EmissaryDeploy: Look at the top 2 Bronze Units from your Deck. Play 1 and shuffle the other back. and Vicovaro NoviceDeploy: Look at the top 2 Bronze Alchemy cards from your Deck. Play 1 and shuffle the other back. plus the stacking strength of Impera BrigadeWhenever a Spying Enemy appears, Boost self by 2. Deploy: Boost self by 2 for each Spying Enemy. (which you can move to the next round with Combat EngineerDeploy: Toggle a Bronze or Silver Unit's Resilience. Crewmen 1.).

First Emissary you play is not that powerful. You end up giving your opponent +2 strength for playing a Bronze unit. Yes, it’s deck thinning and yes, you can choose that unit, but it’s still only alright. However, the card gets insane when you start playing the Vicovaro Novices. Now, instead of putting 2 strength on your opponent’s board, you put 3 strength on your own. So you keep the same effect, but you get 5 more strength in total. Similarly, Ambassador is normally only +8 strength, but if you proc it with Vicovaro Novice, you get a +13 strength Bronze. That’s quite powerful.

Continue Reading: Gwent Nilfgaard Budget Deck List Guide.

This is a budget Dwarf deck for Scoia’tael. The basic strategy is to Resilient units and buff them. Since the units are resilient and will carry over to the next round, each buff on them should count twice. If your opponent has no answers, like multiple locks, ScorchDestroy all the Highest Units. etc. then you can often 2-0, because you might start with ~30 strength or so in round 2.

There are a few things to think about when playing this deck. First, the order you get your units out. You want to get out Dennis CranmerDeploy: Strengthen all other Dwarves in your Deck, Hand and on your side of the Board by 1. and Yarpen ZigrinWhenever a Dwarf Ally is played, Boost self by 1. Deploy: Gain Resilience. as soon as possible, but remember to play Yarpen first. If you play Cranmer first, they both sit at 8 strength and you give your opponent an insane Scorch value. If you play Yarpen first, then playing Cranmer will buff it to 9, so the board is no longer that vulnerable.

Continue Reading: Gwent Scoia’tael Budget Deck List Guide.

So far this is my favorite deck in the Open Beta. The deck’s basic strategy revolves around QueensguardDeploy: Resurrect all copies of this Unit.. It’s the card that revives all its copies whenever one copy gets on the board. It means that if you have 2 copies in your Graveyard and you play 1 from your hand – you get the 2 from Graveyard back. If you have all 4 (counting one from the OperatorDoomed, Stubborn. Deploy: If neither player has passed, choose a Bronze Unit in your Hand and create a base copy of it in both players' Hands.) and resurrect one, you get all 4 back. While they don’t directly carry over to the next round like a Resilient unit, once you buff them, you can get them all back each round and get a powerful tempo swing. In round 3 this swing can be as much as 30+ strength with just a single Bronze card (Priestess of FreyaDoomed. Deploy: Resurrect a Bronze Unit.).

Continue Reading: Gwent Skellige Budget Deck List Guide.

The decks basic strategy are mass-buffs on the units in your hand/deck. Kaedweni SergeantDeploy: Gain 2 Armor and clear Hazards from the row on your side. Crewmen 1.s are the base for this strategy. You have 11 Units that start at 3 strength in your deck. You play FoltestDoomed, Stubborn. Deploy: Boost all other Units in your Hand, Deck and on your side of the Board (except Agents and Double Agents) by 1. Crewmen 1. first to buff everything up to 4. Then you start playing your Kaedweni Sergeants and mass-buffing a lot of the units in your deck (including themselves). Kaedweni Sergeants are not only mass-buffing units, but they also pull out Blue Stripes CommandoWhenever a different Temerian Ally with the same Power as this Unit is played, play this Unit from your Deck (1 copy max) on that Ally's row.s from the deck, since they’re at the same strength all the time. It means that you’re having nice tempo on the board, you’re thinning your deck and you invest into the future all at the same time.

Continue Reading: Gwent Northern Realms Budget Deck List Guide.

27 thoughts on “Cheap Gwent Budget Decks for Open Beta!

  1. Enzee
    December 9, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Any chance you can update this article? I just started yesterday, and there’s a handful of things that don’t make much sense. I’m guessing some cards or game mechanics changed after it was written, because the description of the decks and what some cards do don’t totally line up, as far as I can tell. It still is helpful overall, though.

  2. Anustoucher
    July 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    This guide is terrible. I only have 1 second to play each day, how am I supposed to reach rank 1 in ranked

  3. Xanderz
    June 3, 2017 at 11:11 am

    which one of these decks is the most effective on the ladder?

    i have some scraps to craft just one of them but i can’t decide which one.

    • WolfSif
      June 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      I havent tried all decks, but nilfgaard seems to be pretty good, both reveal and spy archetype. The revive queensguard skellige deck seems to do pretty good aswell (at least it beats my ng deck quite consistantly)

  4. Y2Jack
    June 3, 2017 at 9:08 am

    If you are really impatient or have decided what you want early, you can mill all the leader and gold cards etc that you won’t be using, that gives you 3200 points (3 leaders plus one gold for 4 fractions). 400 more if you mill the other two leaders… Once you get more resources, you can get them back.

  5. Ackborg
    June 2, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Props man, a very nice guide to get new players started.

  6. raaaahman
    June 1, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Hi, I’m really new into Gwent and I appreciate the effort you’ve made to share budget deck lists.

    On a side note though, having to draw trio of rare bronze cards seems to be a chore, as they don’t come nearly as often as common cards, and don’t have as much impact when they’re single than silver or gold. So beginners like me should wait quite some time to play decks like your Skellige one since it’s 12 rare cards plus 3 epic to get. Scoia’tael seems much more affordable with it’s 3 rare and 2 epic only.

  7. Etorfil
    June 1, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Hey tyvm its very helful for new player like me. Quick question, my friend is playing your monster weather deck and keeps beating me, which deck would be the best to counter it?

    • Stellae
      June 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Depends on which faction(s) you are playing. For budget decks however, usually 1 First Light with around 2 Bronze “weather clear” cards should be enough. For Monster deck it’s the Archgriffin, for Nilfgaard it’s Nauzicaa Standard Bearer, for NR it’s Blue Stripes Scout, sadly these are the only available Bronze cards to counter weather. If you can afford, get 200 Scraps for Silver cards, every faction has a Silver which can Spawn Clear Skies. For even more protection get a Decoy on your deck, usually Nilfgaard is the best to counter weather.

  8. Wagi the arrogant
    May 31, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Stonekeep i read and appreciate every article you writed on hearthstonetopdecks so i’m curious about your idea about this: as a navigated player you find more enteresting Gwent or Hearthstone?

    • Stonekeep - Author
      May 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

      It’s hard to say. Too many people try to compare both games “directly” and that’s, in my opinion, wrong. First of all, Gwent is still in the Open Beta and it might look completely different a year from now. HS is out for ~3 years already. It has a huge head start, so I think that Gwent will improve if it will be popular enough.

      Those games target different audiences. HS is supposed to be more “fun” and “casual friendly”, it has mobile version (which is a big advantage), clear UI etc. On the other hand, Gwent aspires to be more “hardcore” kind of card game, the one that makes no compromises, no “too confusing for new players” and it has much less RNG. Gameplay itself is completely different, the only thing in common is that both games use cards, really…

      F2P model is much, much better in Gwent. In HS you don’t get any Epics or Legendaries at the start, Gwent gives you 5 Neutral Epics + 3 Neutral Legendaries + 1 Epic+Legendary from each faction. In Hearthstone, unless you grind a lot, you earn like 0.6 packs per day. In Gwent you’re guaranteed to get a Keg every day + some random stuff (more gold/dust) just by getting to the first tier of rewards, which is 6 round wins. It’s like doing quest in Hearthstone. But in Hearthstone that’s it, you’re done for the day. In Gwent you can still play and easily get 2 or 3 Kegs every day. On top of that, Epics/Legendaries are twice cheaper to craft in Gwent.

      That said, right now I enjoy playing HS more, because it has more “content”. There are simply more things to do. When I log into Gwent, I usually do the first two tiers of rewards, maybe play a bit more, but I get bored pretty quickly. But this is mostly because Gwent isn’t even out yet, it will surely get better with time.

  9. Heishima
    May 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Can I replace the Royal Decree with Avallac’h?

  10. Lykos23
    May 30, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Thanks Stonekeep, just started playing Gwent from your post on HeartstoneTopDecks. This helps a lot.

  11. Maraace12
    May 29, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    Many thanks for the budget guide. I am multiple Hearthstone legend​ but find it harder to deckbuild in the Gwent…

    • Maraace12
      May 30, 2017 at 9:03 am

      I was lucky to obtain renew, I use it instead of royal decree. It is far more powerful right?

      • Stonekeep - Author
        May 30, 2017 at 10:40 am

        Yes, definitely! Especially since you can also revive opponent’s Golds. Sometimes you can really surprise him with that 🙂

      • Y2Jack
        June 3, 2017 at 9:12 am

        Playing both could be good if you want more consistenty. But you lose out on lucking out with multiple gold.

  12. LuckyCat
    May 29, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Stonekeep, I crafted Ithlinne for the Scoiateldeck, but I cannot play her. What I am doing wrong?

    • Stonekeep - Author
      May 29, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      What do you mean by “cannot play her”. As in can’t put her into the deck or can’t play her in the game, put her on the board?

      If it’s the first one, I have no clue. But if it’s the second one, she’s Disloyal – you play her on the OPPONENT’S side on the board, not yours. You give her (luckily small) body to the opponent in order to get a powerful effect, which is – in this case – casting a spell twice.

      • LuckyCat
        May 29, 2017 at 3:53 pm

        thank you for your help, I did not read disloyal on the card text. now everything is clear. I like the deck very much and winning a lot of rounds, still in casual play.

  13. DaMaddin_V1
    May 29, 2017 at 10:07 am

    hy arent you making content for Heartstone too ?

    • Stonekeep - Author
      May 29, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Yes, I am 🙂 In fact, I write for the sister-site of Gwentify ( quite often.

      I’m playing both games right now (as much as the real life lets me) and I’m looking forward to write more about the Gwent.

      • DaMaddin_V1
        May 30, 2017 at 5:35 am

        oh nice keep up the good work ! 🙂

  14. Ydhaes
    May 29, 2017 at 6:03 am

    This is really helpful. But for Skellige deck, Madman Lugos isn’t starting gold card for Skellige.

    • Stonekeep - Author
      May 29, 2017 at 6:14 am

      Yes, sorry, my bad. I’ve changed the deck already and added Ermion instead!

  15. LuckyCat
    May 29, 2017 at 5:20 am

    Thank you very much. I am an absolute Gwent Beginner in the open beta and appreciate these guides very much!

    • Stonekeep - Author
      May 29, 2017 at 6:15 am

      No problem, I’m glad that you like it!


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Register to keep track of your comments. You can also build and favorite decks!

Comment Policy: Any comments that are overly derogatory will be removed and could result in an account or site ban.