How to Play a Decoy Deck and Win
When playing Gwent there are a couple things that make your life easier. Especially early on when you simply lack the cards to beat stronger opponents.
There is however a easy way to beat most of them and that involves buying the decoy card at the Inn of White Orchard. Its one of the cheapest cards and also the most misunderstood one.
So go buy that card and make you check by the Inn a couple times during the first part of the game so that you get around 3 to 4 decoy cards.
Now the first thing you gotta know about Gwent is that whoever has the most cards in the hand usually wins.
Specifically this often involves the cards with the eye ability which will give the player 2 more cards on the hand (unless the hand is full). Those cards however are very hard to come by, especially early on in the game.
And that's where the decoy comes in. Eye symbol cards are not placed on one's own playing field but rather to the enemy's. So when you play a match of Gwent make sure your decoys are in your deck first. Then when you have the chance to re-draw cards you should try to get about 2 decoy cards into your hand. Discard cards with the lowest power, including weather cards (more than 1 weather card in your hand is usually too much of a disadvantage). There is an exception however. Don't discard cards which have abilities that could come in handy with your current hand. This means instead of discarding the power 1 card that boosts siege cards (while you have 1-2 siege cards in your hand) you should rather discard a card with power 2 and no ability.
Now you have your hand prepared and now we're of to the interesting part.
When the enemy plays an eye ability card it will be placed on your field and it increases their card count. Enemies tend to do this in the first round. This will boost their total hand cards.
Noe that you should not play eye cards while you have more than 10 cards on your hand. Your hand will not increase if you do so since you can only have 11 cards on your hand. This limit however is ignored by npcs. Bug or not I do not know.
Now once this has happened this usually leaves you to lose the game in most cases as the enemy simply has more cards.
And here is where it gets interesting once an eye ability card has been placed on your side then that's the moment where the decoy's time to shine has come.
Play the decoy and place it on the eye ability card. Now you have the npcs card in your hand and you will be able to even out the hands again.
So now your aim is to win the first round. Once that is done you should play all eye cards you stole in the 2nd. You will now have more cards than the npc since you gain an advantage by playing the decoy card as it returns 1 more card for you. Meaning you will not lose any cards in a turn where you use the decoy and will additionally gain 1 more card when playing the eye card.
So at this point you are gonna be in advantage. Now let the npc try to beat you. Play the worst cards you have to just keep the npc putting cards on the field. Don't forgot to also use your leader ability if you don't think you need it.
There is one rule here however. Do not play any card after the npc has passed or you may lose your advantage. This only applies if you did not have an eye card in your hand from the start however.
Now we approach the last round and its currently a draw. Now is your time to shine and give all you got. Since at this point you should have more cards then the npc you will usually win.
How to Fight Monster Decks
The basics are the same as always.
Have the most cards and never place a card after the enemy passed.
However this time the key to winning is not the decoy.
I suggest going with a deck that has the frost card in it. The monster deck players usually go for swordfighters so you will need this card to win.
Additionally a eye ability card, a couple hand-in-hand cards and a health-plus card will help you win this.
Usually the npc will try to win by sheer mass, usually with swordfighters. So if you are stocked with frost cards and not many swordsman in your deck then you usually should not have any problem here.
Be careful however. The enemy may take your eye cards with a decoy on his own.
- Buy all Gwent Cards you come across. Well don't overdo it but it can help very much. Especially early on.
- Battle NPCs whenever the option is there and you have not defeated them yet. Just to make sure that you beat them before they meet a tragic end, or worse.
- Some NPCs let you challenge them without paying. It is occasionally possible to set the bets to zero. If it's possible and you are not certain you are gonna win then do this!
- Generally when you want to use weather effects it is more wise to use leader abilities than actual cards. Having more than 1 weather card in your hand usually puts you into disadvantage.
- To pass your turn press and hold spacebar.
- The decoy combined with the dun banner medic (or any heart-plus card) is a powerful combination. Play the medic and then take him back with the decoy to play him again for double the resurection.