The Free 2 Play Full Collection: Insangpha's How-To Guide
Hello, fellow Gwent players! I am Insangpha, a F2P Gwent streamer, and I achieved a full collection on September 30th. I would like to share my journey and some statistics, and I feel that I can give new players or those who intend to play F2P a good estimate of the time and games it takes to complete a whole collection.
By full collection, I mean at least one copy of gold and silver cards, premium or regular, and three copies of bronze (common or rare), premium or regular. I started playing and streaming on the F2P account starting on June 1st, and according to GOG account, my playtime was 695 hrs when I completed it. My account was “zero base” in a sense that I deliberately made a new account, meaning I didn’t get card keg privilege from inheriting a closed beta account.
My win rate overall is on the higher end of the 50% range, solid, but not spectacular. I did get a help of 60 kegs courtesy of a generous gift from CDPR,for organizing a tournament. Prior to this, I stayed within the top 500 on the ranked ladder and held my own in tournaments. Also I spent a significant portion of time disenchanting my cards when the scrap return for bronze cards was only half as valuable (10 for rare, 5 for common), so overall it roughly balances out.
Total rounds won: 1700
Most played faction: Skellige- over 500 victories
Least played faction: Northern Realms - 50 victories
The stats above are from the profile page. I usually achieve daily rewards around the 30~34 rounds range, sometimes I did get full 66 rounds rewards. As a streamer who used to stream Gwent two times a day (I stream once a day now), I think my daily playtime of Gwent hovers between 5-6 hours, and the total hours I posted reflect that. 695 hrs divided over 120 is 5.79 hours.
So since I consider my playtime to be 1.5~2 times greater than what a “committed Gwent player” averages per day, I can confidently say that a relatively skilled F2P player who regularly plays Gwent semi-competitively will achieve a 100% full collection in 6 or 7 months. In terms of absolute hours, good players who strive for a full collection from beginning should reasonably be able to achieve a full collection in 500 hrs. It took me nearly 700 hrs, but my games are significantly longer as I explain my games on stream to viewers, and I didn’t go for full collection from beginning, disenchanting many cards to get competitive cards, and crafting them again later on, which cost me lot of scraps.
In 300 hrs, it is reasonable to build a sizeable collection which will allow you to build reasonably strong meta decks across all five factions. It is definitely achievable since the mill value of bronze cards went up notably. Consider this - a competitive wild hunt deck (I am looking at Redrame’s Eredin list) costs 3660 scraps to make on zero-base account, because the deck uses many cards from the starter deck. There are top-tier decks that use starting golds and silver, so it does not take too long to build reasonably strong collection. For example, Cahir and Imlerith are starter golds in their respective factions and see competitive play frequently.
I cannot think of one card game where one can achieve full collection, let alone a competitive collection on F2P without literal years of time invested. Sure, Gwent is a fairly new game, but it’s still remarkable. And Gwent’s meteorite powder resources allow user to craft premium cards without milling cards for card-purchasing resources. CDPR deserves all the credit in nailing the F2P part of Gwent down, the F2P option is completely viable and quite satisfying.
Now some helpful tips for those who want to build strong collection with viable cards F2P way:
Start with a strong starter deck (Skellige, Monsters) and work on strengthening these decks first. Crafting one silver (Morkvarg for Skellige, Abaya for Monsters) will help you get off to a great start.
Hold onto cards that are likely to be nerfed next patch. On every patch so far, CDPR has nerfed many of the cards that are considered to be OP by the community. Those nerfed/adjusted cards can be milled for full value, so any extras or spares you have on those cards will be of great value. You don’t need a fortune-telling crystal to tell you what cards are going to be nerfed. Read reddit posts, play the games yourself, get a feel for the meta. For example, pretty much everybody saw the Merigold’s Hailstorm nerf coming (pay attention to events like the weekly Gwentlemen Talkshow or the r/gwent subreddit where leaks about future changes are discussed and revealed).
Don’t disenchant Starter gold cards. The Starter gold cards are: Vanilla Geralt and Triss, Royal Decree (Neutral) and Ermion (Skellige), Cahir (Nilfgaard), Philippa (Northern Realms), Imerith (Monsters), and Saesenthessis (Scoiatael). Basically all these gold cards are currently all seeing some level of play except for vanilla Triss. If you do mill them, there will come a moment you will regret milling Starter golds. Hell, I milled all golds listed here except Triss, because at the time the other golds didn’t fit my style or decks I was running, and I wanted quick scraps so bad to get cards I desired. It wasn’t a smart decision as I ended up crafting those golds pretty soon when new meta demanded it.
If you aim for full collection, don’t mill golds and silvers. You lose massive scraps if you disenchant silvers or golds, and craft them again. For gold cards, that will be a net loss of -600 scraps. You can override this rule if the cards you want to mill are in the full value mill nerf window that follows any major patch by CDPR - at that point you can turn any nerfed card into its equivalent scraps to liquify your assets at no cost.
That’s all, and may luck shine upon your future kegs!