The Ultimate Guide to Kegs – GwentEdge
Hey what’s up everybody, TroVNut here and welcome back to GwentEdge. If you’ve spent any amount of time in Gwent, you know about kegs. You earned some, you bought some from Shupe and you’ve let the big boy smash them between his massive fists to amass new cards. These cards vary in rarity from white Common cards, blue Rare ones, purple Epic cards and finally the elusive orange Legendaries. You get 5 cards from each keg, where the first 4 can be anything from the set that the keg draws from and the fifth one being at least a Rare card. On top of that, Gwent allows you to choose your fifth card by giving you a choice between 3 cards from the same rarity. So if you are lucky enough to pull a Legendary as your fifth card, you’ll immediately be able to choose between three of them instead of randomly being assigned one which allows for more chances of getting the card you want. If you manage to reach level 60 for the first time, you’ll also gain a perk which makes one of your first 4 cards a guaranteed Rare card or higher as well, increasing your chances at better cards even further.
We can’t say for sure what those chances are precisely however. I reached out to CDPR to get official numbers but they don’t give them out to anyone. Players have done extensive research into this and come up with a series of numbers that are close to the actual percentages but since these can be changed by CDPR at any time I don’t want to talk about those numbers in today’s article.
Instead I want to focus on something a bit more useful. There are so many different types of kegs in the game right now, that it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which one is best for you. So in this article, we’ll attempt to answer the question, if I’m looking for a specific card but can’t craft it with scraps, which kegs do I need to buy to have the most chance of getting that specific card. Let’s first go over all the different types of kegs to understand how we make that decision properly.
The most common keg you get since the last patch actually just changed from the Base Set Keg to the Ultimate Keg. The Base Set Keg used to pull from the original set of cards from the base game, hence the name, for a total pool of 453 cards. The Ultimate Keg however, pulls from all cards in the game, for a total of 902 cards, almost double the pool of the base set keg. This effectively halves your chances of getting a specific card. For the purpose of our main question, remember, we’re looking for a specific card, this is actually a really bad change. We’ll come back to the Ultimate Keg in a minute since it’s only bad in a very specific situation. If you’re wondering why my numbers are different than what you can see on the PlayGwent website, I counted all cards manually in the deck builder of the game while I’m pretty sure the website counts all cards that exist, even if you can’t collect them separately such as the different forms of the evolving cards, token cards and leader cards which explains why there’s a lot less in the deck builder. Since you can’t directly collect those cards, I don’t count them.
But back to the kegs. Aside from the Ultimate Kegs, we also have faction kegs, one for each faction for a total of 6 different kegs; Monsters, Nilfgaard, Northern Realms, Scoia’tael, Skellige and Syndicate. Each of these faction kegs pulls from all cards of that faction regardless of expansion. For most factions, this boils down to 114 cards in total, except for Syndicate which has 120 cards. Each of these has a lot smaller card pool which automatically increases your chances of getting the card you want. These also allow you to focus your resources into one faction which is ideal for starting players. We’ll get into the actual numbers in a minute.
The final category of kegs are the expansion kegs. There have been 5 expansions so far; Crimson Curse, Novigrad, Iron Judgment, Merchants of Ofir and most recently Master Mirror. These expansion kegs only pull from the cards introduced in their matching expansion. The totals here are 101 cards for Crimson Curse, 91 for Novigrad, 81 for Iron Judgment, 70 for Merchants of Ofir and 71 for Master Mirror, the latest expansion. As you can already see, the expansion kegs pull from a significantly smaller pool making it more likely to pull the card that you want. But let’s dive even deeper than that. Since the chances of getting a Rare, Epic or Legendary card are the same across all kegs, we don’t need to keep those chances in mind when deciding which keg is the one we want to buy to get a specific card. Because of this, we can compare kegs by calculating how much chance you have to get a specific card for any rarity when you actually pull a card from that rarity.
For example, if you’re looking for Harald an Craite, because why not? He’s a very strong legendary card that can be found in both the Ultimate kegs, Skellige faction kegs and Master Mirror kegs. We will compare the chances of pulling him when you actually get a legendary card as your fifth card in any of these kegs. Let’s start with the Skellige keg, there are 27 legendaries available in those kegs. Your chances of getting Harald out of those 27 is 3,7%. But Gwent is generous and gives you the choice between three different legendaries if you get one as your fifth card, tripling your chances to 11,1%. Not bad, right?
The Master Mirror keg however only has 21 legendaries in its pool making the single chance go up to 4,76% which, when tripled, gives you a 14,28% chance to pull Harald, a whopping 3% more than the Skellige keg, proving what we just said before. In general, in expansion kegs the odds are slightly more in your favour to get the card you want so if you have the choice, go for the correct expansion keg.
On the other end of the spectrum, just for fun, the Ultimate keg has 240 legendaries to choose from, making the tripled chance only 1,23%, just over 1%, 10% less than the Skellige keg and 13% less than the Master Mirror keg. Which begs the question, what’s the point of the Ultimate keg? We’ll get to that in a minute.
I first want to walk you really quickly to the percentage differences between faction kegs and expansion kegs per rarity. Faction kegs are pretty consistent across all 6 factions aside from Syndicate because they have a few more cards, making the odds a little lower for each. From now on I’ll always talk about tripled chances, assuming you get your rarest card from the fifth card, giving you three options.
We just discussed legendaries with the Harald example, faction kegs give you around 11% chance to get a specific legendary while Crimson Curse and Novigrad have the same chance as Master Mirror with a 14,28% chance. This drops to 12,5% for Iron Judgment kegs and back to 11% for Merchants of Ofir because of the stratagems that were introduced there. So if you want a legendary from that expansion, it does not matter whether you go with the faction or expansion keg.
Epics have a different percentage spread. Faction kegs give you around 9% chance to get the epic card you want while expansion kegs ramp this up a lot more than with the legendaries. Crimson Curse gives you around 10% chance, Novigrad 12%, Iron Judgment up to 17,64% and both Merchants of Ofir and Master Mirror clock in at 20% because of the low amount of epic cards in those expansions. So for epics, definitely grab the expansion keg if you can.
Rares are plentiful since you’ll get at least one or two with the level 60 perk in every keg but those end up with a 12% chance in faction kegs and something between 13,62% and 21,42% depending on the expansion. Again, more chance in the expansion kegs, so why would you ever pick a faction keg?
Well, faction kegs guarantee that you get all cards of the same faction, duh, but that means that you can focus your resources into one type of deck, making it the best way for newer players to make specialised decks. Pick a faction and within just a couple of kegs, you’ll have enough cards to make a faction specific deck. The chances of getting a specific card that you can also get in an expansion keg are lower but you trade that for the guarantee that you can use all the cards you get. But if you want to finish your collection in a more directed way, pick the expansion kegs. If you’re not sure to what expansion the card you’re looking for belongs to, you can always check the deck builder and view the card in detail. The card’s set is indicated in the top right with a lovely icon.
Which leads us to the final topic of this article, the new Ultimate keg. If you’ve been following the calculations, you might know where this is going. The chance to get a specific legendary you want from an Ultimate keg is 1,23%, for an epic card it is 1,12% and for a rare card it is 1,68%. Abysmal chances and as a we saw before, it’s about half of what the old base set keg provided you with. You might think that it doesn’t really matter because you can get those cards in the other kegs right? The ultimate keg is just for when you want to spin the wheel and make your rewards more random? Well, there’s one group of cards that you cannot get out of the other kegs, the original neutral cards from the base game. A lot of these contain some of the most iconic characters from the Witcher so it’s sad that specifically those cards are now a lot harder to get from kegs.
But let’s not forget that Gwent is relatively generous with all it’s resources, including the card scraps you can use to create a card you want. If you’re looking for a specific card and don’t get it after a number of kegs following the rules in this article, chances are you have enough card scraps collected in the process to just make the cards. And that’s the beauty of the system.
So once more:
- If you’re new and looking to expand in one specific faction, go for the the faction kegs.
- If you’re looking for a specific card that is in one of the expansion, buy a few expansion kegs from Shupe to smash.
- If you’re feeling really lucky, buy that Ultimate keg.
- But most of all, have fun playing this amazingly beautiful game because every card, even the common ones, are graced with gorgeous art pieces.
And that’s it for this article, I hope you enjoyed the Ultimate Guide to Gwent Kegs. How do you feel about Gwent’s rewards and keg system? Do you feel it’s generous or have you opened too many single Rare card kegs to trust in the system any more? Let us know! Check me out on Twitter at @TroVNut if you want to talk. Thanks enormously for reading and I hope to see you guys in the next GwentEdge. Goodbye!