Leader Abilities

Contributors: Writing: lordgort & Easha Dustfeather, Review & Editing: SwanDive.


Welcome to Aretuza Academy's lesson on leaders. After this lesson, you will know about Gwent's leader ability system and how they affect deckbuilding and gameplay.


Multiple Leader abilities for Each Faction

Every faction in Gwent offers a choice of several leaders, each with a unique ability. Some abilities enhance one strength of a faction. In the Monsters faction, Death's Shadow works well with Deathwish cards, while Arachas Swarm does the same with Organic cards.

Most abilities also give the player points or take away the opponent's points. In the Northern Realms faction, the Inspired Zeal ability boosts units in addition to giving Zeal, and on the other side, Vicious Slash can damage a single enemy unit by 8 and even apply bleeding.

Last, a few leader abilities directly interfere with the opponent's plans. In the Nilfgaard faction, Lockdown disables the other player's ability, making it useless for that game.


One Faction, Many Ways to Play

Leader ablities

The choice of leader abilities allows players to enjoy each faction their way. For example, one player may enjoy putting lots of units on the board and winning with raw power, and Invigorate encourages playing lots of units by boosting all units in a player's hand. Another player might like clever combinations and big finishing moves. The Mystic Echo ability to replay a Scoia'tael special card is a perfect match.


Leader skins

Leader skins are decoupled from the ability and purely cosmetic. They can help players enjoy the world of The Witcher by using their favorite characters. In the Skellige faction, for example, a fan of the books might choose Eist Tuirseach, a fan of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt might go for Crach an Craite, and a fan of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales might pick Arnjolf the Patricide.


Leader abilities and Provisions

Every leader ability adds to a deck's basic recruit cap of 150 provisions. The number of provisions added varies, depending on how strong the leader's ability is. For example, as of game version, Lockdown adds 10 provisions, but another Nilfgaard ability, Double Cross, adds 16 provisions! 

The provision system helps keep leader abilities balanced with one another. If an ability is too powerful, the developers can reduce its provision bonus, making it less powerful but not changing its ability. An ability seeing little play can get an increased provision bonus to make them more viable.



In this lesson we covered leader abilities. You have learned how Gwent has multiple leader abilities per faction, how the variety of leader skins helps a wide range of players enjoy Gwent, and how leader abilities affect deckbuilding through their provisions.

You are now ready to take the quiz and apply what you learned. Good luck!


Your friend has a deck that makes heavy use of the Royal Inspiration leader ability [Order: Boost an allied unit by 1. Cooldown: 2.], and you want to build a Nilfgaard deck to stop that plan. Which leader ability is the best choice?

A newly added leader ability has one of the lowest provision bonuses in Gwent. Which of these statements about Gwent's designers is MOST likely to be true?

Which of these is LEAST true about the various leader abilities and skins in a faction?