The Best Premium Cards in Gwent: The Witcher Card Game
Fair warning: this article contains some spoilers for The Witcher games.
After months in closed beta, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game has finally entered open beta on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. For anyone who isn’t aware, this is the new version of the beloved trading card minigame from The Witcher 3, and it has been dramatically enhanced, rebalanced and expanded into its own game.
One of these many improvements is the addition of premium cards, which are fully animated versions of a standard card’s art with unique sounds and effects. Of course, they are much rarer, much more coveted and, most importantly, much more costly in the game's currency. Given that you’ll have to save up for a while to buy even one of them, here’s our picks for the 15 most impressive premium cards available in Gwent so far – ranging from cool to funny to downright creepy.
Credit to MrDenai on YouTube for his helpful videos of the cards – click the timestamps on each entry below to see them for yourself!
Roach – 6:12
Let’s start off with what is debatably the best premium card in the game: Roach. Remember how hilariously buggy and unpredictable Roach was every time you called her in The Witcher 3? CD Projekt Red certainly does, and they’re not at all shy about reminding you with this card. The premium version shows Roach teleporting on top of a house, getting stuck in a wall, and floating through the air. It also plays that catchy Gwent music– using horseshoes and whistling.
Vesemir – 7:10
Ah, Vesemir. Gone too soon— if you call being killed after a few hundred years of monster hunting “too soon.” (I do.) Still, this premium card is a good way to commemorate how cool he was by showing him wrestling with a griffin. Vesemir gives it a good stab in the head while holding it down, and we can hear the resulting shriek of pain from the griffin.
Villentretenmerth – 9:11
Sure, he may have a ridiculous name, and sure, he may be one of the most annoying cards in the game, but Villentretenmerth is one of the rare cases of a premium card that is fully animated on a loop, and it looks awesome. It shows the mighty draconid swooping over the burning remains of a land he’s just incinerated, and you can get a great view of everything by turning the card.
Ciri – 9:30
The Lady of Time and Space also has an exceptionally well-animated premium card. As wolves run towards the screen, Ciri warps in and cuts them down in one fluid slice. The speed, depth of field and nice blade effects are what set this one apart, and it has even been used as the promotional art for the game.
Crone: Whispess – 6:08
While all three of the Crones have some pretty good premium cards, Whispess is the best one. In addition to playing the memorable theme of the Crones, Whispess has a grim flair of her own as she taste-tests the severed head of one of her many human victims. She also caresses it in a weird way, putting this card firmly in the “creepy” category.
Woodland Spirit – 8:31
Judging by the name of the card, you might think this entry is about a lovely little forest sprite or nymph. You’d be wrong. It’s a leshen, one of the spookiest and most powerful enemies in The Witcher 3. It bursts into the frame of its premium card with a howl, scattering crows everywhere and giving me flashbacks of the time I ran into one by accident. (In the middle of a forest, in the dead of night, at level 9.)
Draug – 9:24
At first, this premium card has nothing on it besides a few janky-looking soldiers. Then you hear the thundering footsteps of the Draug, who runs into view and brandishes its giant flaming sword and shield. Aside from its intimidating subject matter, the card also has some very well-done background and foreground effects, from raging fires to flying artillery.
Draig Bon-Dhu – 5:18
The most famous bard in all of the Skellige Isles has a fittingly musical and jubilant premium card. He plays a jaunty tune on his lute while Skelligers drink, eat and cheer all around him. It’s almost like you’re there watching! Well, maybe not. But this premium card is as close as you’re going to get.
Holger Blackhand – 5:42
There is some exceptionally impressive sound design on this premium card, in addition to its solid animation. You can hear the rolling of the sea, the creaking of the ship, the muffled screams of the captives and the jeering of Holger all at once. It perfectly captures the cruelty of Holger Blackhand and his band of pirates.
Birna Bran – 7:26
This particular premium card is interesting in that it reveals the fate of an important character from The Witcher 3. It shows Birna Bran, having been found guilty of treason and the mass murder of her compatriots, chained to a boulder and left to die as the waves beat against her. Yikes. Not a quick or easy way to go.
Coral – 7:40
In another example of a premium card with some very good visceral screaming. We see and hear the mad sorceress Coral engaging in her favorite pastime: turning people who even mildly irritate her into miniature statues of themselves. The pitch of the screaming even gets higher as the man shrinks, and we get a delighted giggle from Coral at the end.
Iorveth – 6:12
Iorveth’s premium card has some truly awesome motion and depth of field effects. He leaps down from the sky, firing an arrow directly at the viewer while the forest blurs past him in the background. There’s also the satisfying thwack of the arrow hitting its target, and you can move the card around to really see the depth of field from all angles.
Saskia – 6:41
The Saskia premium card starts off cool and just gets cooler: Saskia lunges and swipes her blade across the screen, creating a swathe of flames in its wake. Then you hear her belabored breathing as she transforms into her dragon form, letting out an echoing roar at the end of the process.
Letho of Gulet – 7:18
If you can remember how badass the opening cinematic was for The Witcher 2, then this card will probably amuse you as much as it did me. It contains a number of little nods to the witcher Letho and his motivations: the sounds of the frozen royal ship collapsing, King Demavend’s neck being sliced, and the hiss of a snake to symbolize the Witcher School that Letho fights for.