Quick Links

Lost Ark's closed beta has just been released for western audiences. Players can delve into the beta to try out various classes, skills, and experience some of Lost Ark's leveling and endgame content. Gearing will take up most of your time once you reach the level cap, acquiring new gear pieces and cards to enhance your character.

Related: Lost Ark: Beginner Guide

Cards are an underappreciated aspect of Lost Ark's gearing endgame. These collectibles can be obtained from just about every activity, granting everything from small stat bumps to full damage conversion when you create a deck of cards. We'll be going over what Card Decks are, how they differ from Card Books, where to obtain cards from, and some good Card Sets you should keep an eye out for.

What Are Card Decks?

Card Decks are loadouts comprised of various cards that grant offensive and defensive buffs. The more cards from the same set you have equipped in your deck, the more buffs you'll receive. You can only have six cards equipped at a time. Similar to your standard weapons and armor, you can create and swap between card loadouts to suit your current needs.

Additionally, cards are also tied to Card Books that grant permanent stat increases when filled. Card Book bonuses are always active, even if you aren't using cards from that set. Card Sets are only active while they're allocated into your Card Deck—accessed by pressing "Alt + C" by default. Not every card is in a Card Set, but every card is part of a Card Book. In other words, you can't equip every card, but each card is part of a book that can increase your character's stats.

Cards themselves come in all forms of rarities, Uncommon all the way to Legendary. Each card that can be equipped also has five ranks that you can increase (explained here), enhancing the bonuses that set grants while equipped.

Return to Quick Links

How To Obtain Cards

Cards can drop from just about every activity in Lost Ark. As long as you're playing the game, you'll come across a few of these cards. Below is a short list of the most common sources of cards:

  • Daily and weekly missions
  • Dungeons
  • Raids
    • Guardians can drop their own Legendary card
  • Chaos Dungeons
  • Vendors
  • Rapport Rewards

Most of your cards will come from dailies, weeklies, dungeons, and raids. Raids are an especially good spot to farm for cards, as Guardian bosses in certain raids have a small chance to drop their self-named Legendary card. Legendaries cards are the hardest of the bunch to obtain, and some of the game's best sets require multiple Legendary cards to receive their full set bonus.

Where Can I Find Card Drop Sources?

Lost Ark's in-game codex lists out the drop sources for every card in the game. You can find it right under your mini-map. It's the left-most option. Open it up, scroll down to "Cards," then look up the specific card you need. The codex will then list every drop source for that card.

Return to Quick Links

Upgrading And Awakening Cards

Cards that you can equip each have five ranks. This rank is referred to as the card's Awakening Level. As you increase a card's rank, its value within a specific Card Set increases, unlocking additional set bonuses when the level of your deck surpasses certain thresholds. To get the most out of your deck, you'll want to level up or "Awaken" each card to its maximum level.

Related: Lost Ark: Founder's Pack Guide

Upgrading cards is done through the Enhance submenu in the Card Deck interface. There are two steps to this:

  1. Upgrade: Feed the card XP or duplicate cards to increase its XP gauge.
  2. Awaken: Once the card's XP gauge is full, you must feed duplicates of the same card to fully upgrade it.

Since you'll need duplicates of the same card to Awaken it, we recommend you stick to using XP cards for the first step. Just like your character's level, a card's XP threshold increases with each Awakening Level.

Each Awakening Level requires the following duplicate cards:

  • Awakening Level 1: One duplicate
  • Awakening Level 2: Two duplicates
  • Awakening Level 3: Three duplicates
  • Awakening Level 4: Fourduplicates
  • Awakening Level 5: Five duplicates

The XP cards in Lost Ark are the following:

Card XP Amount Rarity
Starflower 500 Uncommon
Ardopine Bottle 1,500 Rare
Debris of Time 3,000 Epic
Rune Liar Tome 9,000 Legendary

Return to Quick Links

Decks And Books

As you collect cards in Lost Ark, you'll be building up your roster of Card Books and Card Decks. While similar in name, both card sets do different things:

  • Card Books: Permanent, passive bonuses that grant insignificant stat increases.
  • Card Decks: Equippable items that grant powerful set bonuses.

Related: Lost Ark: What Is The Powerpass?

Think of Card Books as a collectible hunt and Card Decks as another means of gearing your character. There are 27 Card Sets in Lost Ark and 173 Card Books to complete. Decks can grant defensive or offensive bonuses to your character, while Card Books focus more on stat increases. A list of what each Card Book and Deck grants can be found on the Lost Ark Codex website.

Return to Quick Links

Card Sets can provide some incredible defensive or offensive capabilities when used properly. While none of the 27 Card Sets are bad on their own, some provide much more useful effects than others. There are two sets we highly recommend you use: Forest of Giants and We'll Meet Again

Forest Of Giants

Deck Deck Details
Set Size
  • 3
Cards In Set
  • Caspiel (Rare)
  • Mokamoka (Epic)
  • Tir (Rare)
Set Bonus Requirement Set Bonus
3 Set Bouns
  • Recovery items are 15% more effective.

3 Set Bonus

(9 Awakening)
  • +10% Phys. Defense.
  • +10% Mag. Defense

3 Set Bonus

(15 Awakening)
  • +20% Phys. Defense.
  • +20% Mag. Defense

The best part of this deck is the three-piece bonus: recovery items are 15% more effective. This makes potions and other recovery items much more potent, mitigating the downsides of the Cursed Doll Engravings alongside other regen-reducing effects. Pair this with another three-piece set to make a powerful defensive deck.

Return to Quick Links

We'll Meet Again

Deck Deck Details
Set Size
  • 3
Cards In Set
  • Madnick (Epic)
  • Vrad (Rare)
  • Sian (Rare)
Set Bonus Requirement Set Bonus
3 Set Bouns
  • -12% damage taken while at 50% or lower HP.

3 Set Bonus

(9 Awakening)
  • -16% damage taken while at 50% or lower HP.

3 Set Bonus

(15 Awakening)
  • Quickly restores your HP for 5s when attacked while HP is under 20%.
    • Cooldown: 10 minutes

The second three-piece set we recommend is We'll Meet Again, granting a sizable amount of damage resistance against enemies while you're under 50% HP. The final set bonus is the star of the show, regenerating your HP when you take damage while under 20% HP. This is a lifesaver for PvP and tough PvE encounters. You can pair this with Forest of Giants to greatly increase your character's survivability.

Return to Quick Links

Next: Lost Ark: What Class Should You Play?