Gwent for Newbies: How to Build a Consume Deck

Tips and best card picks from the Monster faction to eat your units for fun and profit!

Gwent, the new card game from CD Projekt Red, has just released in open beta -- and it’s already made a splash with digital card game lovers around the globe.  There are lots of factions, decks, and playstyles for fans to try their hands at, and a number of different strategies that can lead you to victory.

We've already talked about how to build a Weather deck for the Monster faction, but that's only one of the two mechanics that you can lean on if you like to do the Monster Mash in Gwent. So this guide will go over how to build a Consume deck to swallow your opponents whole. 

Keep in mind, this isn’t a guide to get you top-ranked in the leaderboards, and it isn’t an explanation of how to play.  If you need help with that, you can check out our Gwent beginner’s guide to get started on the right foot.

How to Build a Consume Deck for the Monster Faction in Gwent

Consume is a fun, flavorful mechanic that really makes you feel like a Monster (in a good way).  Whenever you play a monster with Consume, usually as a Deploy ability, you’ll have to tell it what to eat.  Once you do, whatever the Monster consumes will go to your graveyard (or be banished, if it was already in your graveyard), and your new Monster will be Boosted by the Strength of whatever it ate (with a couple exceptions, which we’ll go over). 

For you impatient types, here’s the Consume Deck list up front, using Unseen Elder as the leader:

  • Gold (4/4)
    • Ciri: Dash
    • Kayran
    • Regis: Higher Vampire
    • Royal Decree
  • Silver (6/6)
    • Giant Toad
    • Grave Hag
    • Katakan
    • Necromancy
    • Olgierd
    • Prize-Winning Cow
  • Bronze (15)
    • Arachas Behemoth x3
    • Celaeno Harpy x3
    • Ekimmara x3
    • Ghoul x3
    • Nekker x3

Source: Unseen Elder

Let’s explain my choices here.  Unseen Elder as the leader gives you a unit that won’t go down to Scorch, even though he’s going to have one of the biggest Strengths on the board.  Additionally, his ability specifically states that he’s Strengthened, not Boosted, so his new Strength isn’t affected by abilities that Reset units. 

Kayran is similar, but he’ll eat something from your hand.  If you don’t mind losing another Gold from your hand, Ciri: Dash is probably your best bet, since she’ll just get stronger and go back into your deck, anyway.  With that in mind, you can use Royal Decree to pull out any of your three Gold units. But Ciri: Dash will probably be your best choice, especially if you save it until round 3, where she should have bounced out of your graveyard at least once already.

Source: Kayran

Regis: Higher Vampire is a great first-round pick, as he can immediately get rid of a decent bronze from your opponent’s deck -- but be careful using him against Skellige decks, as they like to pull things out of their graveyard. 

Source: Ciri: Dash

Katakan and Ghoul both like to eat the dead, but it’s Grave Hag you need to use at the right time.  She eats everything in your graveyard, but only gets boosted by 1 for each unit consumed -- so she’s a better second- or third-round pick, and only after you’ve sent out ghouls and Katakan. 

Source: Regis: Higher Vampire

The only other strange option is Giant Toad. You can use him as a budget Kayran, eating Ciri: Dash, and drawing a card (even Ciri again, if you’re ridiculously lucky!). 

Finally, we have all the cards that support the Consume mechanic.  Olgierd is fun to use during the second and third rounds, as he keeps coming back to get eaten.  Prize-Winning Cow isn’t used to its full potential in this deck, but it’s a really good boost to your overall Strength.  If you play it right, you can get 10 points off of consuming the cow and spawning the resulting Chort

Arachas Behemoth spawns Arachas whenever you Consume something, and takes a damage each time -- but the rounds should be short enough that you won’t kill it.  Similarly, Nekker loves to see others use Consume, and grows everywhere except in the graveyard.  You’ll want to try to only play one Nekker at a time, since you’ll always summon another when the first one dies. 

Lastly, we have Celaeno Harpy, which spawns two Harpy Eggs.  Consume the eggs, and your unit will get boosted by 6 -- not 1 -- and a Harpy pops out.  If you get lucky, the Harpy will spawn next to a Nekker or another Harpy Egg, netting you another Nekker or another Harpy!

That wraps up our guide for creating a Consume deck in Gwent. In our next guide, we’ll take a look at Skellige’s strategies and main themes!  In the meantime, what’s your favorite tactic to use for a Monster deck?  Let us know in the comments!

Published Jun. 1st 2017

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