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Gwent's draft-based Arena mode deals 10 new cards (Updated)

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Update: After unveiling its new draft-based extension a couple of weeks back, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game's Arena mode is now live. 

As reported below, the new mode lets players build decks with no restrictions on rarity, factions and duplicates—before going card-to-card against the Man of Glass, Gaunter O'Dimm.

The bold Gaunter makes me feel uneasy. He's on typically creepy form here:

Alongside Arena mode, an eponymous update brings with it ten new Gold cards—featuring Dandelion, Yennefer, Triss, Imlerith, Vernon Roche, Ihurraquax, Cerys, Morren, and yer man Geralt.

Check out the new roster in this direction, and our original story below. 

 

Original story: 

CD Projekt unveiled a new draft-based Gwent mode today called Gwent Arena that will enable players to build decks with no restrictions on faction, card rarity, or even duplicates, and then try their luck against Gaunter O'Dimm, the Man of Glass.

It will cost 150 ore or $2 to take part in an Arena run, and runs will come to an end after the completion of nine successful contracts, or three player deaths. Players are guaranteed a minimum of one Keg, even if they don't complete a single contract, but obviously better performance will lead to better rewards, including a randomly-chosen premium Legendary card for winning all nine battles. 

As per the arena mode in other CCGs, Gwent drafts will include all available cards, including premiums, and not just what's in a player's collection. Because of that, CD Projekt recommends focusing on individual high-value cards rather than trying to dive too deeply into synergistic strategy.     

Gwent Arena is still in testing and elements of the new mode are therefore subject to change, so naturally a rollout date hasn't been set. But a draft mode is something players have been after for some time now, so even though things are still preliminary this is bound to come as good news for players. 

Separately, CD Projekt also announced a new Faction Challenge that will pit the forces of Skellige against the Elven commandos of the Scoia'tael. Players can take part by selecting the Faction Challenge option from the in-game News section, choosing a faction, and then winning games in Casual, Ranked, and Por Ladder modes.

Wins with either faction during the challenge period will count toward rewards even if you haven't pledged yourself to them, as long as you pick one or the other before the end of the event at 11 am ET on February 20, and matches played through a Friend Challenge don't count, so you can forget about cheesing your way through with the help of a buddy. Full details on the Skellige vs Scoia'tael fight are available at playgwent.com.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.