By Green Cricket, April 4, 2018
One of the biggest choices as a new player is: What to craft next and what cards are the best investment?
In this article, I try to answer this question, by suggesting good cards, that not only fit in one, but many different decks, while providing you solid value!
Suggested cards to craft with an empty card collection
In this article you will find:
- 2 tips on crafting
- Crafting recommendation: Gold cards
- Crafting recommendation: Silver cards
- The article in video form (for those of you, who don't like to read that much :-))
There is a lot more to crafting, but those two tips are the most important ones:
Don't start crafting the gold cards, since they don't define the deck you're playing, they are just boosting its power.
Try to craft all necessary bronzes and silvers first, while using substitute golds in the meantime.
Adding the golds later will further increase your win rate, but perfect golds without a solid deck core won't take you far.
Focus on two decks from two different factions.
It is very tempting to try out new stuff all the time, but if you want to rise up in the ladder early and therefore get more rewards to complete your collection, then try to focus.
If you are bored with one deck, then jump to the other one and focus on selecting cards for the two factions, when you open kegs.
Don't mill cards from other factions though, since at some point you want to switch and then every card you already have will help you big times.
Gold card suggestions
I'd suggest to craft Neutral cards first, since you can re-use them in all of your decks, regardless of the faction.
Geralt: Igni is probably the most versatile card, which can fit into every deck.
By lining up enemies or simply by hitting a big buffed up enemy, this card can easily get you 20 points and more.
Muzzle is not as potent pointwise but can steal an enemy engine like a An Craite Greatsword, making it impossible to be re-used again.
If you just kill it, it could be rezzed by a Priestess of Freya for example.
Vesemir: Mentor in combination with Mandrake is very potent in the current meta, where it not only hits for amazing points if you, for example, hit a big buffed up Vran Warrior, but it also disables entire decks.
The enemy plays Imlerith: Sabbath?
Play Mandrake and the enemy will forfeit pretty soon.
Mandrake on an enemy Jan Calveit will also make Cahir Dyffryn a dead card, so never underestimate the power of Mandrake!
Triss: Telekinesis and Dandelion: Poet fit into a broad range of decks as well, since they enable you to play a card and get 6 / 5 extra points.
The difference is that Dandelion: Poet lets you draw a card and then play something from hand, while Triss: Telekinesis either uses an enemy bronze spell or a spell you added to your own deck, like Reconnaissance.
Last but not least I would also recommend Gold Weather (Korathi Heatwave & Ragh Nar Roog), since in the current meta weather clear is not used often.
When played at the right time, those two cards can generate a lot of points for you.
If you want to get rid of small units or you play Scorch, then choose Korathi Heatwave otherwise I'd go with Ragh Nar Roog because it will hit for slightly more value, by not killing off 1 point units.
Whispess: Tribute is the monster version of Vesemir: Mentor, with the benefit that it can pull Monster Nest in addition, because it tutors organic cards.
If you already crafted Vesemir: Mentor, then I would not go for it, but if you focus on Monsters this is a great choice.
Graveyard hate is pretty powerful in the current meta, so a card like Caretaker can often interrupt an enemy's gameplan by stealing him his resurrection target.
The empire of Nilfgaard has quite some potent gold cards and depending on the decks you want to focus on, you may want to choose between those cards:
Cahir Dyffryn lets you resurrect your leader and therefore enables you to make use of his ability again.
Except maybe in Reveal decks (and even there if you do it right) Cahir Dyffryn offers great versatility and a power spike!
Combining this with playing Mandrake on the leader before resurrecting him with Cahir Dyffryn makes this play even stronger.
Stefan Skellen lets you improve the consistency of your deck because you can put the card on top, that you will most likely need in further rounds while buffing it up by 5.
Combining Stefan Skellen with Jan Calveit or Vilgefortz lets you even play the card in the same round!
Vilgefortz is just a solid power play, by sacrificing one of your smaller units and therefore playing another unit.
In some cases, you can also use him to destroy a big enemy unit like Ciri: Nova.
Personally, I think that Shani is the most potent gold card in Northern Realms, enabling you to resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and adding 2 points of armour to it.
You can use her to setup a decent King Henselt or play an additional Prince Stennis.
Sigismund Dijkstra lets you play the top 2 cards from your deck.
Just plain powerful, especially if you thinned your deck before and you know exactly what you will get.
Seltkirk of Gulet duels an enemy, which makes him a 19 point card if you duel an enemy with 11 power.
Basically, Seltkirk of Gulet combines good value with the power to remove an enemy engine.
In the January Season, Scoia'tael was THE faction with the most amazing gold cards, but since then some of them were nerfed.
Now I would recommend Aglaïs and Schirrú for crafting.
Aglaïs steals an enemy bronze or silver spell from his graveyard and lets you play it, which give you a minimum of 17 points if you only steal an Alzur's Thunder, but can explode depending on the spell you steal.
Mandrake, Expired Ale, Alzur's Double–Cross, Scorch, there are just so many ways Aglaïs can turn the tide of the match.
Schirrú is basically a Scorch with a 4 point body, enabling you to play 2 Scorches per game or even 3 if you have Eithné as your leader.
That makes Schirrú solid value as well and he can fit almost any Scoia'tael deck.
I don't know any Skellige decks in the current meta except Axeman, which does not include Coral because it is just such a powerful card.
Coral casts Artefact Compression, enabling you to turn an enemy bronze or silver unit into a 2 point one.
This and her 5 point body combines denial and value!
Hym currently plays a big role in the meta as well, especially in combination with Skjall.
Hym enables you to tutor Skjall into Udalryk, Harald Houndsnout or Berserker Marauder, making this a fit for every deck.
If Hym has no target left in the deck, you can also use it to create a Silver unit from the enemy's deck.
Those would be my recommendations for the gold cards, but there are also some Silvers you want to look out for.
Mandrake was already mentioned quite often in this video, so it should not be a surprise to find this on my recommended list.
As already mentioned before: Mandrake can achieve a ton of value and singlehandedly win you the game by denying the enemy's win condition.
Alzur's Double–Cross and Marching Orders are Tutor cards, able to get you the cards you need while thinning your deck, so crafting them is never a bad idea.
Same goes for Roach if you're missing on Silver cards to put in,, because he adds some extra punch to your gold cards!
Spies & Mages
Before we start with the factions, one word about Spies and Mages.
All of them are worth crafting, except maybe Abaya and Vanhemar, since their removal is not a potent as a straight Alzur's Thunder.
Also, having a spy and not having a spy can be the difference between 1 card up and 1 card down, so invest the little extra scrap and get them!
Mages of every faction have the ability to weather clear, which is a good thing to have when you need it and if you think your enemy does not run clear, then they can also conjure weather!
So they combine weather clear, denial and solid points in one card, which makes them a good crafting recommendation!
Monster Nest is a card that gives you options and having options wins you games!
It can give you carryover with Barbegazi, a lot of points with Ghoul or other useful monsters depending on the situation.
If you also crafted Whispess: Tribute, then you have easier access to this card as well.
Ozzrel consumes a unit from your or the enemies graveyard and like Caretaker can be used to deny the enemy's winning strategy while getting a lot of points in return.
Especially in the current meta this often proves useful.
Nilfgaard features my personal favourite card of the game: Assire var Anahid.
She enables you to put two cards back into their owner's decks, which again lets you destroy winning condition.
But she also lets you setup your own deck, by putting back cards you have already played, enabling you to play them again.
Joachim de Wett is solid value and thinning, searching for a random loyal unit from your deck, buffing it by 10 and playing it.
If you play Joachim de Wett through Rainfarn of Attre, then your value spike with Joachim de Wett will even bigger.
Reinforcements let you tutor any bronze or silver unit except spy and mage, which gives you options and options are good!
Prince Stennis plays a random non-spying bronze or silver unit and adds armour to it.
The benefit of Prince Stennis is, that you can also Decoy him, triggering his ability again.
And by resurrecting him with Shani you can even play him a third time.
Ronvid the Incessant is solid 11 points and in the case he dies, he will come back as a 1 point unit at the end of your turn.
Since he also has the Crewman tag, he basically acts as a permanent crewman and if you include machines in your deck, then you should also include Ronvid the Incessant.
Even after the nerf, Restore is still pretty powerful, enabling you to resurrect a Skellige card and set it to 8 points.
Since Skellige has a lot of low unit cards, which tutor or spawns other cards, this can create huge value spikes.
Play it onto Dimun Pirate Captains, Heymaey Spearmaidens or Tuirseach Bearmaster for example.
Sigrdrifa lets you resurrect not only bronze clan units but also silver units like another Skjall, Djenge Frett or Derran.
This way Sigrdrifa really pushes the consistency of your deck and I heartily recommend to craft her.
Like already mentioned with Hym, Skjall is really shining in the current meta and if you want to play Hym, then also think of Skjall for the 5 extra points, when looking for Derran, Harald Houndsnout, Udalryk, etc.
I hope my suggestions help you build your card collection and if you are more an audio-visual guy or gal like me, then I recommend following video, which is basically the article in video form :-)
Green Cricket is one of the heads of Aretuza, creating an environment where players and content creators can thrive and continuously improve themselves. In addition to his work at Aretuza, he runs a Gwent YouTube channel for beginners and advanced players alike. He teaches how to become better at Gwent and offers one in-depth Gwent guide each week as inspiration.