What are kegs?
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 that makes one of your first 4 cards a guaranteed Rare card or higher as well, increasing your chances at better cards even further.
Types of kegs
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 is referred to as the Ultimate Keg. It’s predecessor, 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, which currently sits at more than 1000, more than double the pool of the base set keg. This effectively halves your chances of getting a specific card. For our purposes, to find a specific card, this is actually a really bad change. We’ll come back to the Ultimate Keg in a minute since despite its large pool, it has its own uses.
When we get to the section on specific numbers, you may be wondering why our numbers are different than what you can see on the PlayGwent website. This comes from the website counting 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, we won’t count them when calculating odds.
But back to the kegs. Aside from the Ultimate Kegs, we also have a keg for each faction: Monsters, Nilfgaard, Northern Realms, Scoia’tael, Skellige, and Syndicate; giving us 6 more keg options. Recently, the Neutral “faction” keg was also added with about 240 cards. Each of these faction kegs pulls from all cards of that faction regardless of expansion. For most factions, this boils down to around 150 cards in total, except for Syndicate which has a bit more. Each of these has a considerably smaller card pool than the base set, which automatically increases your chances of getting the card you want. These also allow you to focus your resources on one faction which is ideal for starting players. We’ll get into the actual numbers ahead.
The final category of kegs is the expansion kegs. There have been 7 expansions so far: Crimson Curse, Novigrad, Iron Judgment, Merchants of Ofir, Master Mirror, Way of the Witcher, and Price of Power, plus a few card drops which do not have their own kegs. These expansion kegs only pull from the cards introduced in their matching expansion. Each expansion ranges 70-100 cards, so the exact odds vary a bit, but for simplicity, we will just assume each has 75 cards, and two legendaries per faction (including neutral). As you can already see, the expansion kegs pull from pools around half as big as the faction kegs’ pools, and a twelfth the size of the Ultimate pool. 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.
Let’s say, for example, you’re using the starter Monster deck, and want to add Auberon Commander to your deck. You can find him in three kegs: Ultimate, Monsters, and Master Mirror. Assuming the legendary you pull is the fifth card in the keg, you get a choice of three cards, making the odds of pulling any one legendary 3 out of the number of legendaries in that pool. These numbers aren’t exact, but if you take the number of cards in any given pool, you will have a roughly proportional number of each rarity card (Merchants of Offir being the big outlier, since all of the stratagems add to the legendary pool size, lowering individual odds). This means that a card pool twice as big will have roughly half the chance of pulling any one specific card.
With this in mind, and looking back at our pool sizes, we can say that you have about a 1/6 chance of your legendary being the one you want in the expansion kegs, 1/12 in faction kegs (1/18 for neutral), and 1/72 in the Ultimate keg. For epics, the distribution is a bit different, but the relative numbers are similar. Rares and commons are the same, but are so plentiful that you generally aren’t looking for a specific one.
So with these obviously skewed numbers, why would anyone pick a keg other than expansion kegs? Well, first and foremost you can no longer buy expansion kegs for ore. But, let’s pretend you could, because they have specials every once in a while to do so. (Currently the Price of Power kegs are in the store for example.) Remember, the expansions are comprised of 6 (7 with neutrals) factions, so the odds of you getting a specific legendary are higher yes, but if you don’t get the legendary you want, the odds of being a legendary not in your main faction are much higher. For players that have just started playing, this can be a problem. It is much better to start with one strong faction to grind with than try to get cards for all 6 and end up with 6 weak decks you can barely use.
So faction kegs are better for new players, but what about Ultimate kegs? The chance of getting anything you want it terrible, right? Well, the short answer is yes, by a long shot. It used to be that Ultimate kegs were the only way to get base set neutrals, but now we have neutral kegs, so there is literally no reason to get them. A bit anticlimactic to be sure.
Ways to get kegs
So now that we have all this information about which kegs are best, where can you get them?
Buying kegs for scraps ingame
The first, and most obvious method is to purchase kegs for 100 ore. Each daily typically gives around 50 ore, and you can trade 1 reward point (RP) for 50 ore as well. The story nodes can give up to 100 ore per RP if its the fourth one in the tree. You have access to the faction and ultimate kegs this way, and occasionally (but unreliably) some expansion kegs.
Unlocking kegs by spending reward points
The next location, naturally, is the reward book I briefly mentioned above. Besides buying ore for kegs, or getting scrap directly to craft the cards you want, you have the option to trade RP for kegs. This comes in three general types: 2 RP for one keg, 3 RP for two kegs, and 5 RP for two kegs plus scrap and meteorite powder. Milling rares and commons are worth 20 and 10 scraps each, so a keg will always give you at least 60 scraps if you disenchant it. This means that the 5 RP bundle is worth a maximum of 5 kegs worth of scrap, but with kegs you have the chance of getting and epic or legendary. This is only useful when you have most of the collection, and just need the scrap to just fill in a few target cards. For the most part, you want to get the 3 RP whenever possible, as they are worth 67 ore per RP, instead of the usual 50 ore per RP. The story nodes are the best, averaging 70 ore per RP (slightly worse than the 3P) but having the option to pick any faction keg instead of the one that is offered in the 3P.
Unlocking kegs by progressing in Journey
The third way of getting kegs is through the Journeys. In general the Standard rewards are just RP, which can be exchanged for kegs, and the Premium can occasionally give you premium kegs or premium legendaries. If you don’t buy the premium, and just play regularly and complete quests, you can expect around 50 levels of 2-3 RP, so its definitely worth doing. The premium can be worth it if you play often, as the extra quests are worth 30 levels (~75 RP) and the premium rewards may contain legendaries you want.
Buying kegs for money
The last option is just to shell out some hard-earned cash. The bundles vary greatly in price and practicality. For my American friends, the price is 5 USD for the starter and faction packs, and 35 USD for the ultimate pack.
The starter pack is 10 ultimate kegs and a random legendary. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, as you can get good value in theory, but the random nature is more likely to give you a bunch of cards for different faction and archetypes than the legendaries you actually want.
The faction packs give you the Master Mirror evolving cards along with 5 faction kegs. The cards have all been powercrept in recent expansions, and only five kegs is kind of lackluster.
The ultimate pack gives you 4 kegs from each expansion and 4 premium ultimate kegs. The expansion kegs are nice, but if you just buy an even amount of all of them, they average out be not much better than ultimate kegs anyway.
Gwent is generous with rewards, and free to play players can do just as well as premium players. If you do want to spend some money, the Journey, for 10 USD is by far the best option if you play regularly. If you don’t play regularly, the starter pack is the most kegs for your buck of anything in the shop.
Getting kegs by using MillionPugs
MillionPugs is a new platform that let gamers get in-game vanities and resources in exchange for shopping online without any additional cost.
They just added Gwent to the list of games they support. Now you can exchange credits or pugs (earned while shopping online in shops being part of this program) for kegs, meteorite powder, Ultimate starter pack, Shupe leader skin, and more.
Pugs (kind of a rewards points in that platform) can be earned by shopping, then use to get content in Gwent for free. Shop send you Pugs as a thank you for shopping.
Credits (bonus rewards) you get every time you shop. You can use them to get free Gwent content instantly.
So how many credits will you get? It depends on your net purchase amount, which excludes taxes, and fees.
What shops provide Credits and Pugs? List is long and consists of 889 online shops. But unfortunately at the moment of writing this article, those are all shops for USA and Polish users, however, the website promise support for more countries soon.
Some examples of shops in a program: GameStop, Best Buy, Grubhub, Walgreens, Gap, ASOS, Walmart, HP, Razer, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, Samsung, and much more. You can check the full list of supported shops here.
Gathering Pugs and Credits can be done just by visiting shops, but installing a browser addon has some benefits. When you visit any store that has prepared offers for MillionPugs members, the extension will notify you with a pop-up on screen about the offer. Also, there is an extra reward for installing the addon.
In that topic, there are in total 5 ways to get additional free Pugs:
- Signing up.
- Visit one of the listed stores for a first time.
- First shopping.
- Installing extension.
- After making 5 purchases.
If you already shopping online in supported shops, it doesn’t cost you to use this as an opportunity to receive free kegs and other in-game vanities.
Winning kegs in community tournaments
If you think you are a Gwent god, bigger community tournaments offer kegs as a part of the reward, for example:
You can win in Kreve League up to 15 premium kegs! (But you would have to be bringing optimized meta decks to even have a chance at that. If only there was some place to find the season’s meta decks… )
After logging on PlayGwent.com you can here generate a link that you can share with friends that never played Gwent before. When any of your friends reach a milestone while playing the game, you’ll both earn its reward! Milestones are for example: finishing tutorial, completing “The Jarl” contract, reaching level 20 etc.
If you learning about Gwent from this article use this link to install Gwent and to get those extra rewards for yourself 😉
Gwent is generous with all its 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.
- If you’re new and looking to expand in one specific faction, go for the faction kegs.
- If you’re looking for a specific card that is in one of the expansions, buy a few expansion kegs from Shupe to smash.
- If you’re feeling really lucky, buy the Ultimate keg.
- Use MillionPugs if you are from the USA or Poland to get free kegs while shopping without additional cost.
- Play in tournaments to be better in the game and get a chance to earn some rewards including kegs.
- Have many friends? Share with them invite link to install Gwent and make them earn rewards for you both.
- 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 it. How do you feel about Gwent’s keg system? Do you feel it’s generous or have you opened too many single Rare card kegs to trust in the system anymore? Let us know in the comment section below!