In Lost Ark, you can collect cards of notable NPCs and enemies to unlock stat boosts and buffs.
At the beginning of the game, cards don’t matter that much, but in the end-game, cards and their sets are a major source of damage increase.
Recommended Read: Lost Ark – Engraving Effects Guide
Though the card system might seem a bit overwhelming at first, you can quickly get an understanding of how it works and use it to boost your character.
There are two overall components of the card system – Card Deck and Card Books.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about the cards system in Lost Ark, from how it works to what the best card sets to use are.
Table of contents
- What is the cards system?
- How does the cards system work in Lost Ark?
- How to get cards
- Card deck and book bonuses overview
- How to enhance cards for awakening
- Best card sets to use
- What to do with duplicate cards
- Card pack odds
- Are cards account-wide?
- What are XP Cards?
- How to expand Card Catalog
- Can you delete a card?
What is the cards system?
The cards system in Lost Ark is a collection-based system, where you can collect cards to unlock boosts and buffs.
There are tons of cards to collect in the game, and each card represents either a notable NPC or an enemy in Lost Ark.
Along your journey in Lost Ark, you’ll obtain cards of specific NPCs by completing quests from them or by defeating specific enemies.
The majority of the cards that you get in the game do, however, come from card packs that give you random cards.
With the cards that you’ve collected, you can build card decks to unlock card deck bonuses.
As you collect cards, you’ll also fill up card books, which are collections of specific cards. These also provide boosts.
You can access the Card Catalog by pressing ‘Alt+C’ on your keyboard or by clicking Roster and then Card Catalog in the bottom-right menu.
In the Card Catalog, you can see all your cards, decks, and book collections.
How does the cards system work in Lost Ark?
When you’re first introduced to the cards system in Lost Ark, it might seem a bit overwhelming. But once you get the hang of it, it’s really quite simple!
The cards system in Lost Ark works by you collecting cards from quests, enemies, and card packs and using those cards to build Card Decks and fill out Card Books to unlock various bonuses for your character.
There are two overall components of the cards system – Card Deck and Card Books.
Card Deck, the first component of the cards system, is a selection of 6 cards that you can put together like a deck to unlock bonuses.
All cards in the game belong to one of the many card deck sets, which represent a specific type of bonus.
Depending on the composition of cards that you use from the same sets in your card deck, you unlock different card deck bonuses for your character.
To build a card deck in Lost Ark, open up the Card Catalog, head to the Equip tab, and click or drag your cards on the left side into the card deck in the middle. What bonuses your card deck gives are displayed on the right side.
Most card deck sets have different levels of their card bonus, which are unlocked when you have a specific number of cards from that set in your deck.
It could be that 2 cards from the same set in your deck unlock that set’s level 1 bonus, 4 cards unlock that set’s level 2 bonus, and 6 cards unlock that set’s level 3 bonus.
Some sets have additional bonus levels beyond just having a specific number of cards from the same set in your deck, requiring so-called awakening pieces to be unlocked. Awakening pieces are obtained by awakening cards.
Card Books, the second component of the cards system, are collections of specific cards that give you permanent bonuses upon being collected.
Like all cards belong to a set, all cards also belong to a book of cards.
You can see all the different books of cards that you can fill out in Lost Ark by opening the Card Catalog and going to the Books tab.
Unlike card decks, there is no limit to how many books of cards that you can get bonuses from. If you fill out 10 books of cards, you’ll get bonuses from all 10 at the same time permanently.
You can see the specific cards within any book of cards by clicking it on the left side of the Books tab.
To unlock the bonus from a book of cards, you need to collect all the cards in that book.
Books of cards also have additional bonus levels that you can unlock by collecting awakening pieces of the cards in that collection, which are obtained by awakening the cards in that collection.
You can see all the bonuses that you are getting from your collection of books on the right side of the Books tab in the Card Catalog.
The last tab in the Card Catalog is Enhance, where you can see all of the cards that you’ve obtained, their current awakening level, their number of duplicates, and is where you can enhance and awaken cards.
How to get cards
Now that you know how the cards system works, it’s time to fill out your card deck and books of cards.
You can get cards in Lost Ark by completing quests, defeating enemies that drop cards, and opening card packs.
While leveling through the game, you’ll get most of your cards from quests and enemies.
Once you reach the end-game, you will, however, get the vast majority of cards from opening card packs.
Here are the different ways to obtain card packs in Lost Ark:
- Mari’s Secret Shop in the Store
- Loti NPC exchange on Peyto Island
- Collection rewards
- Abyssal Dungeon
- Adventure Island through Procyon’s Compass
- Trade Merchants in your Stronghold
You can also get the card of specific Guardian Raid bosses by defeating them.
Other one-time ways to obtain cards in the game include rewards from the Adventurer’s Tome and Collections.
Card deck and book bonuses overview
The goal of collection cards in Lost Ark is to build a strong deck and fill out books to unlock bonuses for your character.
There are 31 different card sets to collect and build in your card deck.
Each card set gives a unique bonus and consists of between 2 and 7 cards.
To see how many cards a set consists of, check the number next to its name on the left side under the Equip tab in the Card Catalog.
The bonuses a card set gives at its different levels can be checked by clicking the Set Effect Details button also located next to its name.
There are 200 different books of cards to collect, consisting of between 2 and 10 cards each.
In total, there are 788 unique cards to collect for different books of cards, so you can see that it’s quite a task to fill out all books of cards.
You can see what cards a specific book consists of and what bonuses it gives when filled out completely and with additional awakening pieces by selecting one on the left side under the Books tab of the Card Catalog.
How to enhance cards for awakening
If you want to unlock the higher levels of bonuses each set of cards and book of cards can give, you need to enhance cards, also known as awakening cards.
Here is how to enhance a card in Lost Ark and raise its awakening level:
- Open the Card Catalog
- Go to the Enhance tab
- Right-click the card you wish to enhance
- Drag the scroller on the right side to the maximum to give the card full card XP
- Click Enhance to give it the XP
- Click Awaken to increase its awakening level
- Your card will now be awakened to its next level!
When you awaken a card, it gains an awakening piece, which is displayed on its icon in the Card Catalog.
A card can be awakened up to five times, which means it can get a maximum of 5 awakening pieces.
To enhance a card, you need card XP enhancement points and silver, and to awaken a card, you need duplicates of that card and silver.
You can see how many duplicates you have of a card by looking at the blue cards icon with a + next to it on a card’s icon. The +X describes how many duplicates you have of that card. If there is no blue card icon, you have no duplicates of the card, at least not that you have used.
Here is an overview of how many duplicates of the same card you need to upgrade its awakening level.
|Card Awakening Level||Duplicate Cards Required|
|0 -> 1||1|
|1 -> 2||2|
|2 -> 3||3|
|3 -> 4||4|
|4 -> 5||5|
As the duplicate card requirement increases steadily as the awakening level increases, it’s better to focus on bringing cards in the same set or book to higher awakening levels at the same time.
Upgrading a card’s awakening level from 4 to 5 gives you only one more awakening piece for the cost of 5 duplicate cards while bringing a card from awakening level 0 to 1 also gives you one more awakening piece for the cost of just 1 duplicate card.
Best card sets to use
There are a ton of card sets to build in your deck, but you can only choose 6 cards for your deck.
So what are the best sets to use, and how should you build your card deck?
These are the best card sets to build in Lost Ark:
- Lostwind Cliff
- Light of Salvation
Even though you can activate several card set effects by using cards from different sets in your card deck, it’s best to focus on only one set and activate it to its highest level.
Both of the sets listed above need to be upgraded to higher levels with awakening pieces than just their base 6-set card effect before they become the best sets to use.
At its maximum 6-set 30 awakening piece bonus level, the Lostwind Cliff set gives +25% Dark Damage Reduction, +7% Crit Rate, and +3.5% Holy Damage on foes for you and your party.
The Crit Rate and Holy Damage boost is what makes the Lostwind Cliff set so powerful. These boosts are first unlocked upon acquiring 12 and 30 awakening pieces on the cards in the set.
At its maximum 6-set 30 awakening piece bonus level, the Light of Salvation set gives +30% Dark Damage Reduction, changes damage type to Holy, and gives +15% Holy Damage.
Again, the change to Holy damage and Holy Damage boost is what makes the Light of Salvation set so strong. These are first unlocked when you acquire 12, 18, and 30 awakening pieces on the cards in the set.
For card books, there is no specific one that is the best to go for, as there is no limit to how many books you can get boosts from.
Over time, you’ll start unlocking more and more books to increase your total permanent bonus from card books.
If you want to actively finish card book collections, go for the ones that give either Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, or any combat stat that you need for your build.
What to do with duplicate cards
When you’re farming cards and opening card packs, you’ll end up with duplicate cards – multiple of the same card.
You should use any duplicate card that you get, as you need duplicates of the same card to increase its awakening level.
If you haven’t unlocked a card, you need a total of 16 duplicates of that card to unlock it and bring it to level 5 awakening level.
You can see the duplicate card cost to increase the awakening level of a card at each awakening level above in this guide.
To see how many duplicates you have of a card, find it in the Enhance tab of the Card Catalog. If there is a blue card icon on it with a + next to it, you have duplicates of that card. The number next to the + is how many duplicates you have of that card.
If there isn’t a blue cards icon on a card’s icon in the Enhance tab, you do not have any duplicates of it, at least not used.
After you’ve fully enhanced a card, which means bringing it to awakening level 5, duplicates of that card will be turned into card XP when used instead of being added to your Card Catalog, as you cannot upgrade the card further.
You cannot sell cards on the Auction House in Lost Ark, so you should always just use duplicate cards, even if you’ve already fully maxed out a card.
Card pack odds
Ever wondered what the chances of getting the different rarities of card packs when opening card pack packs?
Here are the probabilities of getting the various rarities of card packs in Lost Ark from different card pack packs:
Legendary – Epic Card Pack Odds
|Card Pack Rarity||Probability|
Legendary – Rare Card Pack Odds
|Card Pack Rarity||Probability|
Any Card Pack Odds
|Card Pack Rarity||Probability|
These are the official numbers provided by Lost Ark. Probabilities are only provided for packs that are sold in the Store, which means we don’t have odds for the Legendary – Uncommon Card Pack, for example.
The probability of getting a specific card from a card pack is the same for all cards in the pack. If a pack can give 100 different cards, the probability of getting each one is 1%.
Here are the odds of getting a specific card in each of the five rarities of card packs:
|Card Pack Rarity||Number of Cards||Probability Per Card|
There is a small discrepancy between the number of cards and the probability of getting each card in the pack for all card packs except for the legendary one.
The number of cards in each pack and the probability of getting each one is, however, provided by Lost Ark, so we’ve decided to not calculate the actual probability, which would differ slightly from the ones listed.
Some packs are on a select basis, which means you can pick the card you want from the card pack yourself. But most card packs give a random card.
The card packs that let you pick a card manually are recommended to keep till you know what cards you need for your card setup.
Are cards account-wide?
Yes, the Card Catalog is shared across the roster, which means all characters on the same server.
Any cards that you use on one character on a server show up in the Card Catalog on all other characters on that same server. All card enhancement progress and card XP does the same.
In other words, everything about the Card Catalog is shared across all characters on the same server but not the entire account.
As the card system is shared across the roster, you can farm cards on alt characters to build up your card deck and books faster.
What are XP Cards?
XP Cards are cards that do not add any NPC or enemy to your Card Catalog. They only give you Card XP used for enhancing the awakening level of cards.
There are different rarities of XP cards in the game, each of which gives different amounts of card enhancement XP.
It isn’t obvious from the description of XP cards that they just give card enhancement XP upon use.
These are the different names of XP Cards in Lost Ark:
- Soul Leaf (Uncommon) = 500 Card XP
- Eternity Essence (Rare) = 1,500 Card XP
- Creation Fragment (Epic) = 3,000 Card XP
- Menelik’s Tome (Legendary) = 9,000 Card XP
If you get any of these XP Cards, you should just go ahead and use them to get the card enhancement XP from them.
You can see how much card enhancement XP you have stored up at the top of the Enhance tab in your Card Catalog.
How to expand Card Catalog
When you start farming lots of cards to build up your Card Catalog, you’ll find yourself in need of more card slots.
If you get the message ‘The Card Catalog is Full’, you need to expand your Card Catalog before you can add more cards that you don’t already have to your collection.
To expand your Card Catalog, so you have room for more cards, go to the Enhance tab in the Card Catalog, scroll down, and click the first Expand Catalog Slots button you see.
Expanding the number of card slots in your Card Catalog costs 30 Blue Crystals and adds 10 more card slots.
The Enhance tab in the Card Catalog is where you see all the cards that you have, so when that gets full, you need to expand its slots before you can use more cards.
Can you delete a card?
Yes, it is possible to delete a card in Lost Ark, but it is never recommended that you do it.
There is no reason to delete cards, as you need all cards in the game to fill out various card books for permanent bonuses, and you need duplicates of the same card to enhance their awakening level.
If you still want to delete a card, you can do so by going to the Enhance tab in the Card Catalog, clicking the Delete Card button, right-clicking the cards you wish to delete, and clicking OK in the bottom-right corner.
Again, it is not recommended to delete any cards as you need them for both card book bonuses and card enhancement, even if you aren’t planning on using them in your card deck.
That’s everything that you need to know about the card system and how it works in Lost Ark!
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