Prepare … to reload your save.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine – Gwent: To Everything – Turn, Turn, Tournament
This quest is acquired automatically the first time you win a Skellige card by playing Gwent in Toussaint – likely at the Cockatrice Inn during The Beast of Toussaint.
Head to The Pheasantry, an inn to the south of The Gran’place in Beauclair. Speak to the count – the easiest way to get there is to take the stairs from the west. He’ll explain where this mysterious new faction came from – good on CD Projekt RED for explaining why the canon has suddenly expanded.
Once Geralt has all the goss from the optional dialogue you can ask to sign up, and the count will give you a basic deck. Depending on how many and which cards you’ve won so far, this might give you a good enough deck to compete. Otherwise, go away and win as many Skellige cards as you can; see the Gwent: Never Fear, Skellige’s Here quest page for some tips.
When you have a good enough deck, report back to the count and he’ll say the tournament starts in two days.
Playing Gwent as Skellige
If you haven’t yet got a handle on the Skellige deck, make sure you’ve done your homework before you come back! Practice with Basil at your home base, perhaps.
We’ve already discussed successfully playing against Skellige, but playing as Skellige can be equally difficult.
If you’re a seasoned Gwent player, used to a full Northern Realms or Nilfgaard deck, the comparative lack of Medic and Spy cards can be painful – you really only have your initial draw to count on. On the other hand, Monster players will understand how to use Muster effectively, and Scoia’tael champions will know the value of hitting hard and fast, and fighting back with Scorch.
The key to playing as Skellige is not to spread yourself too thin. Try to pick one or two killer combos – berserkers, warships or shield maidens, maybe – and leave the rest of your cards at home, or you’ll end up with half of each set and nothing to show for your pains.
It’s really important to think about your redraws carefully; you don’t need berserk cards if you haven’t got the trigger, for example, and you can’t bank on a second card in a set turning up later. You should also discard anything you can draw with a Muster card, because, well, you can draw it with a Muster card.
Skellige is all about going in hard and fast with raids – small groups of powerful combos. One of the best tactics to use against any deck except another Skellige is to force a quick pass in the first round, lure your opponent into dropping a lot of rubbish in the second, and then throwing the second round to take advantage of the third. If you have the Cow or Kambri card, throwing one or preferably both down in the second is devastating for the third round.
Cerys or Gaunter O’Dimm will almost always result in an instant pass from your opponent in round one, even if they went first, as long as their first card wasn’t too valuable (it rarely is). If you have either of these cards in your initial draw, try to get rid of their Muster pals in your discard so you get extra units on the table at no cost.
An alternate trick if you have your Drummond Shield Maidens and Cerys is to play the shield maidens early, then use Crach an Craite‘s leader ability to shuffle your graveyard into your deck at the start of a subsequent round, and play Cerys to get the myster cards out again. Be very wary of Scorch with this one!
Winning the Tournament
When you return for the tournament, you’ll find the tavern besieged by dwarven protesters. Make a save before speaking to the count so you can try again if you mess up, as unfortunately there’s no save point from here until the end of four rounds of cards.
Endure the introductions. You can optionally bet your sword on the first match (although there seems to be a bug here, as I chose this every time, but on one occasion the game acted as if I didn’t). Your first opponent uses Monsters, which means your best bet is to carry lots of Scorch cards to smash his Musters. Because the Monsters deck does use Musters, don’t carelessly use Crach an Craite’s ability to shuffle back into the graveyard, but do take advantage of your third round advantage by tricking him into throwing his best cards during the second round, if possible.
It turns out you won’t have to play as many matches as originally forecast, so your second opponent is a Nilfgaard player. As such, bring plenty of Decoy cards and be very conservative in placing cards on the table, to help counter his many spies. If you play several of his spies back at him in a hand, use Crach an Craite’s ability to take them out of his graveyard where he can’t rez them with medics. Again, if you can win the first round with a cheeky muster, throw the second to get him to use up some of his cards, and you’ll get two extra units for the third round, which is a help.
Win or lose the first two matches, the tournament is interrupted by the protesters. The resulting brawl’s a bit tough because you can’t block clubs with your bare hands; just dodge and make sure the three dwarves don’t block you up against a wall. When you’ve beaten everyone up you can talk the dwarves down. If you suggest a drink, things end particularly amicably.
If you won the two matches so far, you now face the count. (If you are not, I don’t know what happens; I rage quit and reloaded my save because I am the eternal emperor of Gwent.) The count plays with Skellige so you’re expecting plenty of Musters and Bonds; bring Scorch, as with Monsters. The count usually carries up to two Scorches, too. Try to force a win in two rounds if you can, as you won’t have an advantage in the third.
Finally, you’ll be playing Yaki, who fronts a Scoia’tael deck. Scoia’tael is a really balanced deck so there’s no obvious weakness to exploit; you must bully Yaki with Musters and use Crach an Craite’s ability to keep his Medics down during the second or perhaps third round. As a Scoia’tael player Yaki can be expected to have at least one Scorch in reserve. If you’ve got a single berserker and the appropriate trigger, this can tempt him to use it early. As ever, throw the second round for an advantage in the third. This isn’t as tough as the Nilfgaard or Skellige matches, to my mind.
Here’s a video of me beating Yaki, complete with torturously long pause for thought in the second round (sorry):
For your pains you earn a golden trophy and a sense of great satisfaction. Well done you.