In this guide I wanted to take a look into some of the best uses of early account scrap, since there are a multitude of interesting cards that require crafting, and all the better decks in the game require a lot of expensive gold (legendary) cards to be effective.
Therefore below you’ll find the top five crafts for each faction (including neutral) that I believe to be some of the most universally useful for newer players, since they can fit into more than one archetype, and be at least decent most of the time during deckbuilding. Of course if you have a certain type of deck in mind you want to play, there will be other core pieces ahead of the ones in this guide – you do not need to get them all.
As a relatively new (returning) player myself, my account does not have everything crafted. However, I will eventually accumulate the scraps to reach these goals. The top fives are not ranked in any sort of order.
Top Five: Neutral
Generally adds no points on its own, yet can take the form of any card in your deck, twice (echo) giving you access to your best cards. Expensive but worth it.
- Korathi Heatwave
The ‘Nope’ card. Removes one thing (unit or artefact) from the board, an answer to anything and everything. Naturally much better against decks that play tall (stack a lot of points in one unit) and weaker against decks that go wide (try to distribute points across many units). Can also remove a threatening engine that will generate your opponent a lot of points.
- Ciri: Nova
A unique card that forces a strict deckbuilding condition (meaning you can’t play it together with the other cards in this section) but grants a very powerful bonus in Resilience, keeping this card on the board at the end of the round. Quite useful for newer players since you won’t have many higher provision cards anyway.
A cheap craft at 200 scrap, portal is great at thinning out 4 provision bronzes and helps develop engines and points on your board more quickly. Make sure not to have any 4 provision units in your deck that have a ‘deploy’ effect, since it won’t activate when summoned by the portal. Order effects, high power cards and passive bonuses however are all good choices.
An interesting card, which, like Ciri, encourages a different kind of deckbuilding that won’t be too restrictive to newer players – since the bombs required to make use of Madoc are probably not being exchanged in lieu of something better. It’s also unlikely at lower ranks you’ll encounter any kind of specific removal targeted at Madoc himself, making it easier for him to rampage across the board.
Top Five: Monsters
Monsters love playing big, tall units and Yghern is the biggest and baddest of the bunch. Great for proccing thrives and as a tasty snack for your Ozzrel if he’s in the graveyard. Just be careful – most factions (especially Skellige and Scoia’tel) can deal 4-5 points of damage with a single card. Playing Yghern early is good if you want to keep him alive, although you can try to bait out removal and risk playing him later as well.
Another big monster unit, and like Yghern, plays for more points than provisions. The downside here is if the opponent manages to bring Golyat down, their top unit will jump out from their deck to join the fray (this can also be good for you though, if it causes the opponent to overcommit to an early round).
- Adda: Striga
Monsters don’t get access to a lot of dedicated removal, so this makes the Striga very useful for removing threatening engines. It’s hefty 5 point body also helps proc your thrives, and is almost always good point to provision value.
- Endrega Larva
The only non-gold card in this list, Larvas are well known as one of the strongest 5 point cards in the game. Like the humble Nekker, they immediately put down two thrive engines on your side of the board, but also come with the benefit of 2 armour, making them require more commitment from your opponent to remove.
- Auberon King
A decent evolving card, I was torn between this and Haunt. Auberon works best in a devotion/Wild Hunt list but can find value anywhere, boosting Monster’s short round by playing two units in one turn. When devotion, aim for the 7 point conquerors. Can double trigger thrives which is nice.
Top Five: Skellige
- Hjalmar an Craite
Skellige is all about dealing damage, and Hjalmar offers some nice tall removal to compliment your smaller damage pings. Works best when you’re playing either Greatsword(s) or Jutta.
- Morkvarg: Heart of Terror
Morkvarg: HoT has a very high ceiling, being able to damage boosted units until they are wounded (turn red). A good finisher card in most scenarios.
Offers some wide punish against swarm lists, also with an 8 point body a decent pointswing on his own.
- Champion’s Charge
Can remove any unit based threat as long as the bloodthirst is active. Smart opponents might try to deny you use of this card.
- Harald the Cripple
Very strong in a short round, just make sure there’s a bronze warrior in the graveyard for his ability.
Top Five: Nilfgaard
- Coup de Grace
One of my favourite cards in the game, Coup de Grace has almost limitless possibilities due to the effect activating on any unit with either a deathblow or the spying tag. You can play any of your big finishers (like Joachim) up to 4 times with some clever manevouring. Since Coup is an echo card, you get two uses.
- Joachim de Wett
Coup’s best friend. Offers a lot of points played multiple times. You can put it on the top of your deck again by using Yennifer’s Invocation. Or in the subsequent round you can use Gorther’s Gvaed’s order ability to put it on the top of the opponent’s deck, and use canterella to steal it.
- Ramon Tyrconnel
A strong card that gives you another solider engine or pointslam with some added protection. Works in most decks as Nilfgaard usually plays at least one decent solider (Impera Enforcers, Nauzicaa Sergeant, Ard Feainn Crossbowman/Tortoise).
- Masquerade Ball
Ball is a feared card that is usually the target of an enemy heatwave. The dual poisons it creates can wreck the opponents top cards whilst generating points on your side – also through assimilate procs. With the new 8.5 changes however it remains to be seen if it will still be a top tier card.
- Artorius Vigo
Another one of my favourites, Vigo is a nice addition to most decks since a free spy, or bronze deploy is quite welcome (think Viper Witcher Mentor, which is already at 1 power). Can also be used to thin out Hounds or Impera soliders if you don’t have them in hand and meet their conditions. If you only have three bronze units the choice is always guaranteed.
Top Five: Syndicate
A very popular and flexible card used since the debut of the lined pockets crimes deck. Mainly used to set up a ‘pocket’ of Crownsplitters for the Tunnel Drill. Cleaver is also an engine with his intimidate tag and a spender for Syndicate’s coins.
- Novigradian Justice
A longtime player favourite that shares ownership with Scoia’tael. Great at slamming points and building momentum.
- Philippa Eilhart
A truly terrifying card that can steal up to 9 points from the enemy board, resulting in a massive 21 point swing (+9 player/ -9 opponent max value + 3). Can also be used to steal important engines or cards with a resurrect feature (like Madoc).
- Harald Gord
A popular finisher played in round 3. Many Syndicate decks revolve around their strong bronze specials and crimes.
- The Flying Redanian
Most Syndicate decks seek to generate coins. The Redanian supports this by offering some points and automatic thinning improving overall consistency. Can also be repeatedly consumed by Kikimore Warriors, or self poisoned for coins.
Top Five: Scoia’tael
- Gezras of Ledya
Works great in a movement themed deck or with rowstacking (moreso elves than dwarves, since dwarves want to stack melee, and Gezras boosts the range row). Can also punish the opponent for swarming their melee row. Will probably be answered without protection, since he’s worth a lot of points.
- Forest Protector
A strong card that works well with Nature’s Rebuke, since it also benefits from that card’s deathblow effect, being a treant.
- Call of the Forest
Good for when you want to keep your list devotion, or in general to improve your chances of getting access to your best cards. The small boost can help keep cards out of typical removal ranges.
Strong in a long round, especially with Cat Witcher Mentors. Play the CWM on the left of a row to gain their adrenaline boosts. Elven Sentries are another excellent combo piece. A fantastic card for its cost.
- Feign Death
Most Scoia’tael lists play some elves, and therefore can make use of Feign Death. Naturally good in an Elf list, with Eldain/Vernossiel Traps, or one that wants to stack rows (i.e. movement).
Top Five: Northern Realms
- Amphibious Assault
A very strong card that has multiple uses: thinning, pointslam, protecting engines, AA can do it all, and it can do it twice.
- Prince Anseis
An excellent card in shieldwall, with Viraxis, or just in general, offering solid removal, which Northern Realms (NR) sometimes lacks.
- Donimir of Troy
A Defender is almost a must for NR, since many of their cards are able to generate a lot of points when left uninterrupted. Donimir keeps your strategy safe.
Great in a NR Witchers deck, or one that likes to rowstack and boost. Keldar helps you out every turn after adrenaline 4.
- Queen Adalia
Double-playing a bronze with some added protection is usually great for NR lists, especially ones that make use of Royal Guards, who are dependent on the number of Guards in play.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any other ideas or suggestions in the comments.
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