In Gwent, many units and artifacts have an Order ability. In fact, every game has at least one card with Order: The Tactical Advantage card given to the player going first. In this lesson, we'll take an in-depth look at Order and how to use cards with it.
When a card with Order is on the game board, during your turn, you can use the card's Order ability to get the stated effect. Unless another keyword modifies it (see below), Order abilities can be used only once and only in your next turn after playing the Order card at the earliest.
Not only units and artifacts have Order effects, many leader abilities use this keyword as well.
On your turn, you can use any number of Order abilities in any sequence you choose. You can use Order abilities before playing a card, after playing a card, or even both in the same turn. This enables advanced strategies: For example, you can use an Order ability to damage two enemy units to the same power and then play Geralt: Igni to destroy both cards at the same time.
Once you use an Order ability, you cannot pass the turn without playing a card, so plan ahead!
Lyrian Arbalest with its Order not ready yet, holding 2 Charges (see below) and Charges depleted.
As already mentioned, you cannot use a unit's Order ability until the turn after you play it. The exception is when a unit has another keyword, Zeal. If you've played other collectible card games, you can think of Zeal as like Charge in Hearthstone or Haste in Magic: The Gathering. Zeal allows you to activate an Order ability in the same turn you played the card with this effect.
While most Order abilities can be used only once, others have multiple Charges. Unless otherwise restricted, you can use any number of a card's Charges in one turn.
On the game board, a card with Charges will show the number of Charges remaining. Once the last Charge is used, the Order ability is no longer available unless an effect gives the card another Charge.
Some cards with Order have multiple Charges or no cap on the number of uses, but to prevent them from breaking the game, they have a Cooldown: a number of turns you must wait to use the Order ability again.
A one-turn Cooldown means you can use an Order ability once every turn, a two-turn Cooldown means you must skip a turn between uses, and so on.
Cooldowns appear on the game board as an hourglass icon with a number beside it. Use this information to plan your future turns!
Order is among the most complex keywords in Gwent, with several other keywords devoted to making it work. Understanding Order and how to use it alongside cards you play is critical for success. Good luck, and have fun!