With multiple factions, hundreds of unique cards, and an infinite number of potential deck builds, Gwent can initially feel overwhelming to anybody that picks it up. The resource scarcity at the start of the game often amplifies this feeling to a much higher degree.
Fortunately, the Monsters faction provides players with a ton of great units early on in this game, while letting them craft other powerful ones with a few scraps. This Beginner’s guide to building a Gwent Monster Deck should equip you with enough knowledge to use these units build a powerful card set and start climbing up the ranks.
The famous card game Gwent, developed by CD Projekt Red was released in 2018 on PlayStation and Microsoft systems. It was released on mobile devices over the next 2 years, making it as popular as it is today.
Beginner Monsters Deck Strategies
Each faction in the Gwent card game has a unique flavor. The cards in these factions come with abilities that synergize with each other to play into this theme. Understanding these synergies and building strategies around them is the best way to move ahead in the game.
One of the main early-game themes of the Monsters faction is its reliance on big numbers. These high numbered cards don’t only increase the total score, but also boost other cards with abilities like Thrive to increase their score.
One of the main attributes that Deck synergizes with is ‘Thrive‘. This ability increases the power of the card that has it by +1 if a card of a higher power is played. When multiple cards with this ability are strategically placed, the effects can be astounding.
Building a Beginner Monsters Deck (Building a generic deck – tips)
Your Gwent Deck will require a minimum of 25 cards. These cards go from common to Legendary, depending on their provision. Legendary cards are usually stronger but also have a higher provision cost and are more expensive to craft. You will have to find the right balance of cards when you craft your deck.
Fortunately, the Monster Deck comes with amazing free cards. The cards that you craft to build your deck Synergize well with these cards as they too focus on the same attributes.
The monster Deck has many great leader abilities suitable for various strategies. However, I found Fruits of Ysgith to work the best for this type of strategy.
Fruits of Ysgith lets you place one card with the Thrive ability. This means that you will get a +1 to your score every time you play a card with a higher power than it currently has. If the card is destroyed, you can just place it again.
Cards with the Thrive ability, when stacked, will give more points than your opponent might know to deal with. Since most of these cards start off with less power, you can play cards with increasing power levels to always allow Thrive to activate.
Endrega Larva should be the first Thrive card you focus on. It is the best Thrive unit for its provision cost and will greatly benefit your team. Upon being placed on the board, it will summon another copy of itself. This, along with its armor makes it very difficult to deal with.
Drowner is another low provision thrive unit that can help you cross initial ranks. It can move an enemy and damage them too. For the low crafting cost of 30, this is a good early game bargain.
Moving up the crafting price, Katakan is an excellent Thrive unit. It will place another Doomed card on the board when deployed while the Deathwish ability will discourage enemies from killing it, making it an excellent addition to your deck.
The Beast (Necessary mention )
This unit does not have the Thrive ability but works in a very similar way. It also may be one of the best cards in the deck.
If the beast is not the highest-powered card on the board, it adds a +2 to its power, which makes it a must-have card in your deck.
Other Thrive units
You will find many other great Thrive units in the monsters deck that you can work towards getting when you have a few extra scraps to spend. Units like Abaya and Alpha Werewolf can be fun early-game thrive cards.
Thrive also synergizes well with big numbered cards played later in the game since it continues to let them grow.
High power cards
In addition to the obvious advantage of awarding more points, high-powered cards synergize well with units from the monsters deck. These cards can trigger abilities like Thrive and boost potent units like The Beast with their power levels. While they do have their weaknesses, these monsters come with a lot more Strengths to cover them up.
While Ozzrel does not seem like a high-power card at first, its unique ability easily pushes it into this category.
The biggest counter to most High-Power cards is Geralt being in your opponent’s hand, as he can destroy them in a single turn. Fortunately, Ozzrel can counter this counter by consuming any unit from the graveyard and adding its power to itself.
This ability is not limited to the round that they are destroyed in or whose graveyard you want to pick a card from, making him a true threat to the opponent.
The Ice Giants that are available in the starter set are great low-provision additions to the game early on in your Gwent Journey. Their mid-range power levels will let you take up the Thrive units.
Old Speartip: Asleep is an Epic Level unit and works well and you level up. He comes with a great base power of 9 which makes him a worthy early-game craft.
As you progress further, you might want to replace it with the Old Speartip legendary card or just keep them both in your deck. The legendary card will cost you 800 scraps. It is not a cheap unit to craft, but it can give you those bonus points that you might need.
Other High-Powered Cards
Golyat is an amazing unit with a huge risk. If Golyat is destroyed (Which can easily be done by Geralt), he summons the highest-powered card from the opponent’s deck onto their team. However, he also comes with 10 base power which makes him worth keeping eye on.
Most other high point cards in this Deck are fairly mid- ranged so pick the ones with the best utility to go with them,
These cards may cost more as a result of their power levels, but their effect on the monsters deck is undeniable. You can invest in these as you gather the scraps to do so.
Gwent is about a lot more than just numbers. You will often come across abilities from other factions that cannot be dealt with by just stacking up a high score. You will need to counter these by using specific units of your own.
Geralt of Rivia
This is one of the most useful cards you can have early in the game.
Geralt of Rivia shreds any card that crosses the power level of 9, which instantly makes playing it at the right time at least a 12 point round for you.
Dorregaray of Vole
With the potential to shut down almost every ability a card on the battlefield, Dorregaray is one of the most versatile cards in the game.
You can use this card from your hand to lock any unit on the playing field from triggering its ability. This can be used to stop your opponent’s order abilities or pause debuffs on your units.
As an epic card, crafting Parasite will take 200 scraps. However, the impact it has makes it all worth it. This card works as a 6 point play bt by either damaging an enemy unit or boosting your own!
Other control cards
You will find many other control units in this Deck with various other effects.
Cards like Barghest can consume allied units to get rid of spy cards, while offensive cards like Adda: Striga and The Apiaran Phanton cause damage to opponents so they can be destroyed before triggering their powers.
An Ideal Deck
Here is a sample of a Monsters deck that you can use while starting out.
- Nekker x 2
- Drowner x 2
- Harpy Egg
- Wild Hunt Riders x 2
- Ice Giant x 2
- Endrega Larva x 2
- Alpha Werewolf
- Dorregaray of Vole
- The Apiarian Phantom
- The beast
- Adda: Striga
- Old Speartip: Asleep
- Geralt of Rivia
- Old Speartip
While this Deck (If played correctly) should get you through the starting ranks of the game it is, by no means, a perfect deck. It is one that you work towards getting fairly early on and one that can be upgraded as you progress further.
You can even replace the cards of this deck with any other ones with similar abilities if you cannot afford them yet.
Your game plan with this deck should be to use the Thrive units and your Leader ability to stack up against your points and beat your opponent. You can use the control units to turn the tide in your favor when they play a card you did not expect, so you can always have the upper hand.
Upgrading the Deck
The Deck and Strategies in this guide are a great way to start off your Gwent Journey. Most of the cards you require are cheap to craft and the strategies are simple to play. You can use the win-streak that this deck gives you to craft other decks and have fun with the game.
The monster Deck has a lot more to offer than the strategies mentioned in this guide. You can add powerful neutral cards like Portal and Oneiromancy to your collection when you have more scraps to experiment with. These neutral cards work in decks belonging to other factions too.
You can also experiment with weather effects using weather cards or Auberon King with Wild Hunt units.
Did you find this guide helpful? Do you think other Monsters deck cards can help out beginners? Let us know in the comment section below.