The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its massive popularity is not any surprising spectacle. Its engaging storyline, fabulous graphics, and enjoyable gameplay have made this game a top choice among gaming aficionados. If you have been playing The Witcher 3 for a while, you may have played Gwent against NPCs quite a few times already. In spite of that, playing Gwent in the Gwent tournament in the ‘High Stakes’ side quest can be a complicated affair for first-timers.
Why? It is because this quest demands decent decks and strategies. In this walkthrough, I will discuss how to be victorious in the Gwent tournament in ‘High Stakes’ and bag the rewards.
How to Sign Up for the Passiflora Gwent Tournament?
To start this quest, you, as Geralt, can simply leaf through a notice board post by St. Gregory’s Bridge. After that, you can follow the waypoint to Passiflora and take part in the tournament.
Warning: Once you have entered the tournament, you cannot quit it to gather more cards. So, I suggest you save the game here if your cards do not seem sufficient enough and go out to add stronger cards to your collection.
Once you feel you have decent cards, you get two options – you can either go talk to the players or converse with Sasha and start playing right away.
Although it is not mandatory to win even a single match to complete the quest, do not take it casually. Winning the tournament will reward you with unique Gwent cards that will be necessary to complete the ‘Collect ‘Em All’ quest.
How to Get Cards for the Tournament?
Having a strong deck is the key to winning the tournament. Hence, if you do not gather powerful Gwent cards and enter the tourney unprepared, you will end up sabotaging yourself. There are several ways in which you can collect Gwent cards in Wild Hunt:
➡️ Buy from Vendors
You can just visit the vendors selling Gwent cards in the game. It is undoubtedly the easiest method of gathering cards.
Here’s a little tip: if you are looking for duplicate cards, you may try leaving a store and popping back in. Following this tactic can occasionally give you a chance to buy duplicate cards for your deck.
➡️ Play Against NPCs
You can obtain Gwent cards by playing matches against NPCs and being triumphant over them. However, the card rewards you get from winning the matches are only one-offs, after which you will receive random items. There is no specific card belonging to the opponent you are playing against; all rewards are completely random.
Also, I have noticed that the quantity of Gwent cards to collect this way is limited. After receiving a certain number of cards, you will stop winning any card despite challenging new characters. Once you reach this stage, there is no point in utilizing this method anymore.
➡️ Complete Quests
Last but not least, you can complete Gwent quests that will reward you with exclusive Gwent cards (not too exclusive, as sometimes random NPCs may have them in their decks). Needless to say, your opponents in these quests will be better than typical NPCs.
While some of the Gwent quests available in The Witcher 3 are easily missable, the game utilizes fail-safes that ensure your possession of a card even if the character associated with it becomes inaccessible later. In such instances, selecting the Gwent quest and trailing the waypoint will take you to your card.
Note: The fail-safes do not work for all cards. So, I recommend playing and winning Gwent quests when the characters are still available, instead of diving into all the uncertainty.
How to Beat Bernard?
Your first opponent in the Gwent tournament will be Bernard Tulle, who utilizes the Northern Realms Gwent deck.
His leader card is Foltest: The Steel-Forged. This is ironic because the Foltest: The Steel-Forged card shows maximum potential against Northern Realms decks, relying primarily on siege cards. Therefore, if you are inclined towards using the Northern Realms deck, the game will be harder.
Provided that you have the Hearts of Stone expansion, you can use Foltest: Son of Medell to ease things up a bit. Try utilizing your Catapult as a shield instead of your chief strength point source. What is the logic behind it? Well, this way, if Bernard destroys the Catapult with a Scorch effect, you can use the other one to protect your remaining siege units.
On the other hand, if you use the Nilfgaardian Empire Gwent deck, you get more medic cards (five) than Northern Realms (two). This gives you an advantage in drawing more cards by recycling spy cards of both you and Bernard.
How to Beat Sasha?
Sasha is, no doubt, the toughest opponent in the tourney. She is known for using the Nilfgaardian Empire Gwent deck and being greatly dependent on spy cards.
Sasha also likes to use her decoy and medic cards generously, with her leader card being Emhyr var Emreis: The Relentless.
The best strategy for you here is to use the Nilfgaardian Empire Gwent deck as well and opt for the Emhyr var Emreis: The White Flame to even the game.
Also, I suggest your deck should consist of 34 cards; no more, no less. This is to make sure that you can draw up to 24 cards against Sasha even if you max out your decoys and medics to recycle spy cards.
These 24 cards are 8 cards for the 4 spies, 6 cards for the 3 decoys, and 10 extra cards for 5 medics.
How to Defeat Finneas?
In Round 3, you will face Finneas. Truth be told, defeating Finneas will not take much effort, as you have already defeated two of the strongest opponents in the tournament.
For the unaware, Finneas uses a Scoia’tael deck but is pretty weak at Gwent, and you will realize it as soon as the match starts. So, beating Finneas does not demand much of a strategy.
However, there is a little twist in the end. After losing, Finneas will initiate a fistfight. Take care of the bad sport so that you can move on to your final match.
How to Defeat Count Tybalt?
Your last opponent in the tournament will be Count Tybalt, who possesses a Monster deck.
However, there is a catch: although his deck is quite strong, he lacks the necessary expertise to utilize it to its fullest potential. And that is where you get an opening.
Use the Biting Frost card to nullify his units so that he does not get the upper hand.
What I did was allow him to play out his deck and run out of his top cards, before overwhelmingly freezing his units.
Apart from that, you can also make use of spy cards that are incredibly effective against a Monster deck.
How to Help Sasha Find the Thief?
Regardless of the winner, when your final match against Tybalt ends, you will get to know that somebody has stolen the prize money.
Sasha tells you that she did not steal the money and gives you a proposal to join forces to retrieve the stolen money.
If you deny her proposal, the quest will end then and there. However, if you accept her proposal of collaboration, Sasha and you go to the second floor and investigate the crime scene using your Witcher senses.
Here you will find a dead body, a trail leading out of the building, and a crossbow bolt. Outside, you have to follow a strange scent that will take you to a crate on the street.
Upon identifying the guild seal on the crate, Sasha asks you to join her at a warehouse on the docks.
Once you reach the warehouse, Sasha will inform you that the door is locked. Therefore, you must enter the building another way.
While in the area, you will notice the wagon the thieves used and sense that it has the same scent as before.
Head towards the back of the warehouse, and you will see a wooden platform there. Climb on it to enter the building through the window.
Inside, you will discover the thief – none other than Bernard Tulle.
How to Fight Bernard Tulle and His Henchmen?
Upon entering the warehouse, you will find Bernard has stolen all the prize money and committed the murder. But he is not alone there. He will be surrounded by his henchmen.
After a brief conversation, a fight will ensue, and you have to brawl with both Bernard and his lackeys. Nonetheless, neither Bernard nor his henchmen are too big of a threat. Hence, land a few swift strikes, and the wicked team should bite the dust without much hassle.
What I like most about this stage of the quest is the sophomore twist that comes in the form of Sasha revealing her true identity. You will realize that she is a Nilfgaardian spy.
Anyway, Sasha will assist you during the fight – a fight that is already undemanding. So, the battle will end pretty easily, despite you being outnumbered.
After you have defeated Bernard and his henchmen to retrieve the prize money, Sasha will offer you an invitation to have dinner at the Kingfisher Inn to rejoice.
You are free to either accept her invitation or decline it – which immediately ends the quest.
However, if you accept, you can only stay satisfied with just the dinner, or you can elevate things a bit by being physical with Sasha.
Remember that making love to Sasha will not affect your relationship with Yennefer or Triss. So, whether you romance Sasha or not depends solely on your interest.
Rewards for completing this quest
Defeating each of your opponents in the Gwent tourney and completing ‘High Stakes’ can offer you several cool rewards. They are as follows:
- 25 XP + Foltest: The Steel-Forged for defeating Bernard Tulle
- 50 XP + Emhyr var Emreis: The Relentless for beating Sasha
- 50 XP + Francesca Findabair: Queen of Dol Blathanna for beating Finneas
- 80 XP + Eredin: Bringer of Death for beating Count Tybalt
- 40 XP + 4,500 Crowns for successfully finishing the quest
As you can see, the ‘High Stakes’ side quest is one of the quests in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that you simply cannot complete rewardingly without proper preparations.
I made it clear in the above discussion that the stronger your deck is, the higher your chances of winning the Gwent tournament. So, it would be a self-sabotaging move to rush to enter the tourney even when you know your cards would barely suffice. Also, I shared tips on how to get the upper hand on each of your opponents and win the matches.
Hope this walkthrough helps you to advance a bit further in your Witcher 3 journey and bag the awesome rewards the quest has to offer.
Now, you may read about how to get the Aerondight; one of the rarest swords from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, through the ‘There Can Be Only One‘ Quest.