I was recently lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Gwent while it is still in its closed beta. Due to Gwent currently being in closed beta, that means there are likely to be changes before the game is formally released.
Gwent is a card game made by CD Projekt Red based off the popular card game in the Witcher 3.
Gwent is based around 5 different factions, each with their own unique faction power, and then has 3 heroes inside each faction, all of whom also have their own unique powers, allowing for a myriad of playstyles. Much like Hearthstone, Gwent has a set of neutral cards accessible to all the factions, and faction cards that are unique to individual factions.
To start a game of Gwent, you draw 11 cards, and mulligan 3 of them (also, the minimum deck size is 25). Gwent is played in a best of 3 style, with the player that is the first to win 2 rounds winning, meaning that it is quite common to have games where you win the first round, and proceed to lose the next two. In Gwent there is no combat between minions, instead they are simply played and generally don’t interact any further with the board unless they have text that specifies otherwise (more on that later). There is also no draw phase in Gwent except between rounds, with both players drawing 2 after round 1, and 1 after round 2, meaning that card advantage is one of the biggest factors in the game.
Both players have three rows on their side, the melee, ranged and siege rows. Each minion card in Gwent has a value near the top left that is their attack power essentially, and most have text that has them do something when a condition is met, whether this be when they are played, if a minion is damaged, or if they are resurrected. A round in Gwent is won by the player that has the most combined attack power, meaning that it doesn’t matter if you have less power in a single row (or even two), as long as you have a greater combined attack power. You can improve your attack power or lower your opponents through the use of spells, which might destroy the highest attack value minion on either side, or reduce the attack value of all minions in the melee row to 1, or through minions, who for example might remove a certain amount of attack from an opposing minion.
I’ve found Gwent to be simple to grasp after playing the tutorial, but there is a lot of depth to the game, such as card positioning, timing of certain plays etc…
Gwent doesn’t have any game modes apart from single player against the AI or multiplayer against other opponents, though it is quite possible this will change during or after the closed beta.
Overall, you definitely should check out Gwent (I’ve attached a link down the bottom to sign up for a beta key). It is a complex card game, that I’ve personally enjoyed far more than I have games akin to Hearthstone, as I have found the game to have more strategic depth. Even in the closed beta Gwent has a lot of enjoyment to be offered and I really hope that it grows out in ever more complex and interesting ways (also, aggro decks are next to impossible to play due to the gameplay style of Gwent, so hooray.)
Link to sign up for beta: Gwent (you might not get a key, as it’s closed beta, but good luck)