Gwent devs tease draft mode, announcement tonight


Despite being in open beta since May of last year, something has been missing from Gwent. No, it’s not my fan fiction in which Gaunter O’Dimm teams up with the Witches of Crookback Bog to form the heavy metal supergroup, The Crookback Gaunters (make me an offer, CD Projekt Red.) It is, in fact, a draft mode. This staple of many collectible card games, from PC stalwarts like Hearthstone, to tabletop favorites such as Magic: The Gathering, has been curiously absent from the Witcher card game.

A new game mode for Gwent was announced last year, but the devs have remained tight-lipped as to the nature and mechanics of it. However, if this cheeky little teaser is anything to go by, it seems that they have listened to both fans and content creators and intend to implement the mode soon.

The video itself is made up of a series of short clips, each one containing a streamer or Youtuber demanding a draft mode, leaving little doubt as to the intended meaning of the teaser. Gwent has sorely needed a new play mode for some time. While the game’s mechanics, card art and general balance are top-tier, the lack of any variation in how you can play has been keeping the title in the shadow of Hearthstone and, to a certain extent, The Elder Scrolls: Legends.

You can watch the full announcement live at CD Projekt Red’s official Twitch channel from 8pm GMT/9pm CET/3pm ET tonight. If you haven’t checked out Gwent yet, it can be played for free by visiting the game’s official website.


  1. Kefren says:

    What is a draft mode?

    • Fahrengeit says:

      In another words, it is an arena mode.

    • Curg says:

      You take cards from sealed packs to build a deck from without having been able to see what’s in there first (at it’s very basic level anyway)

    • Nelyeth says:

      A draft mode is a mode in which players pick the cards that’ll go in their deck from a limited pool, which means you can’t rely on pre-made strategies, and instead need to create a decent deck from scratch. Most of the time, when you hear “draft”, it specifically means the pool is shared between both/all players, so players have to pick the best cards first, or their opponents will steal them.

      In MTG, in the most common draft mode, you open a pack (which contains 10 common cards, 3 uncommon and 1 rare), pick a card, then give what’s left to your neighbour, who’ll then pick a card, give it to his neighbour, etc… So you have to chose what you pick depending on the cards’ rarity, strength, and, more deviously, depending on what you think your opponents want.

      Another type of draft is called “sealed play”, which is closer to what happens in Hearthstone for example. In this kind of game, you open several packs, then use these to make a deck. What you open is what you get, plain and simple, and you have to make do with it. Meanwhile, your opponent does the same. This, obviously, isn’t as strategic as the “shared pool” draft mode, but it makes it simpler to play, and less time-consuming (which is important in online videogames).

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      More importantly, what is the Witches of Crookback Bog and/or Gaunter O’Dimm a reference to?

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        Ninja Dodo says:

        You would know if you played Witcher 3 + Hearts of Stone. Probably don’t google either unless you don’t mind spoilers.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      It’s when they pour the cards from a tap instead of giving them to you in a bottle.

      • Darloth says:

        I would love this to be the case.

        Especially as Gwent cards already come in kegs…

  2. Raoul Duke says:

    Having only played Gwent in the Witcher III, I am curious as to why everyone in the picture above appears to be some sort of Novigrad hipster.