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.