Battling a Backstreet Gwent Grand Master in The Witcher 3

PC Gamer has wrangled up a play-by-play account of battling Marcus TK Hodgson in a high stakes card game of Gwent within The Witcher 3's trading district of Novigrad. It's a fun read, particularly since a standalone version of Gwent is headed our way:

I’m playing as Northern Realms, he’s Scoia’tael. I open by placing a Spy, as is my wont. Spy cards are played to an opponent’s board, increasing their attack total but drawing two extra cards to my hand. Having more cards is a big advantage. It’s always worth doing.

The bookseller plays Decoy, taking my Spy off the board and into his hand. He’ll likely play it next turn, negating my advantage. To protect my lead, I play another Spy. This is when things get silly. As expected, he plays my original Spy. I decoy it. He plays another Spy, and I replay my now twice-decoyed original. Finally, we’re both out. I still have the card advantage, but it’s close. This guy is good!

Next, Marcus TK Hodgson—he has proven himself worthy, so I shall use his real name—plays Dandelion, a melee card with the Commander’s Horn perk. Every card now placed on his melee row gains double attack power. He follows up with a five point melee card, and then another—the Havekar Smuggler—which has a special ability that instantly calls any card with the same name. In just two moves, he’s added 40 points to his attack value.