Lost Ark Card Collection Guide: everything you need to know (2023)

The Card System in Lost ark is one part collectible, one part horizontal progression. This guide covers everything you need to know about this system!

Cards are an interesting part of Lost Ark, as they serve as both a collectible via the Card Book and a horizontal progression system via Card Decks. While it’s easy enough to get card packs, there’s a bit of luck when it comes to getting a specific card. In a lot of cases, Card Books and Card Decks will often be long-term goals for character progression.

What are Cards and how they work in Lost Ark

Cards are one of Lost Ark’s many Collectibles. However, as opposed to other collectibles they can provide both passive bonuses, as well as active bonuses. Passive bonuses are tied to Card Books, while active bonuses are tied to Card Decks.

In addition to the Collectible cards that add to Books or Decks, there are special cards only grant Card XP. These exist in rarities from Uncommon to Legendary, ranging from granting 1,000 Card XP to 10,000 Card XP based on the rarity.

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The Card XP gained can be used to Awaken a Card, increasing its level. This will increase the benefits offered by any given Card Deck, or Card Book at certain points in the Awakening process.

How to get Cards in Lost Ark

Cards can generally only be obtained from Card Packs, however, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Most of these exceptions are Dungeon, Abyss Dungeon, Guardians, and Raid Bosses. Most in-game Events will also offer various Card packs, which can help build up your collection.

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In addition to card packs, most bosses can drop their own cards if they have one. However, Legion Raid Bosses like Valtan can not be dropped from Card Packs and will only drop from the boss itself making it a rarer card. Abyssal Dungeons can also drop individual cards instead of packs. Some Quests and achievements will also award certain cards, but these are also available in Card Packs.

Card Book System

The Card Book is one half of the Card System, which provides passive bonuses for collecting a ton of cards. Typically this provides value to lower rarity cards that only contribute to this part of the system.

The bonuses granted by this system come from collecting certain cards, and the minor bonuses they provide can be increased by Awakening the cards that are part of each set. This is more of a completionist type of thing, as there are other cards that play into the other system which provide better bonuses when used as Card Decks.

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On the left side of the Card Books UI is a list of all the Card Books sets. This tells you at a glance which card sets you already have and those that are close to complete.

The middle section of the UI is active once a Book is selected, and it displays the cards that are part of a selected set, and their Awakening Levels.

The right side of the UI lists all of the active bonuses from all active Card Books sets. The bonuses it lists will include the additional bonuses from Awakening sets as well.

Card Deck System

The Card Deck System is the other half of the Card System, which provides active bonuses for creating and using a Card Deck. Unlike the bonuses granted by the Card Book, the bonuses of a Card Deck can be quite powerful. Typically, most of the better Card Decks that can be used are made of several high rarity cards, which inherently gives value to many of these higher rarity cards.

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Similar to Card Collections, there are specific sets of cards that provide a set of bonuses. This bonus can be increased by getting more cards of a set, or Awakening the Cards of a set. Typically these sets will consist of six or fewer cards, but some sets do have more than six, but very rarely.

A Card Deck can only consist of 6 Cards, meaning one set will typically occupy your Deck at a time. If a Card Set has more than six cards, it will only ever use 6, and which six you use and upgrade don’t matter. This leads to bonuses of a card deck often being broken up into 6 stages of bonuses at the following thresholds:

  • 2-piece Set Bonus
  • 4-piece Set Bonus
  • 6-piece Set Bonus
  • 12 Awakening Set Bonus
  • 18 Awakening Set Bonus
  • 30 Awakening Set Bonus

Usually, the bonuses for 2-piece, 4-piece, and 6-piece sets will grant very minor bonuses, like a small increase in stats. However many sets offer much stronger bonuses when Card XP is invested to Awaken the cards of the set to their specific requirements. This can often be a change to your damage type, bonuses to damage, Crit Rate, Crit Damage, and other worthwhile effects. Not every set will use every threshold

Awakening Cards

Awakening levels up a card, and can boost the effects of its corresponding Card Book or Card Deck. Cards that are part of a Card Book will grant a small increase per Awakening Level of each card. Those that are Part of a Card Deck will only increase the Card Deck’s strength when its specific total awakening requirement is met from the equipped cards of a set.

The Awakening process requires two things, Card XP and Card Duplicates. Each Awakening level will require more and more Card XP and Duplicates are they progress. In total, Awakening any given card to its maximum Awakening level of 5 will require 16 copies of that card. Each Awakening level will require Duplicates equal to the level its being upgraded to. The Card XP needed varies by card Rarity, with Legendary Cards requiring the most Card XP to fully awaken

To Awaken a card, you need to open the Card Collection Menu, and head over to the Enhance Tab. This tab is where you can see your Card XP as well as all the cards you own, regardless if they are part of a Card Book or Card Deck.

From this area, you can select the card you wish to awaken on the left. This will slot it into the Awakening area on the right side of the window. You’ll then have the option to give it Card XP.

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When you select the option to apply Card XP, the UI will tell you exactly how much Card XP is required for the next Awakening Level. You can apply Card XP to cards you don’t have duplicates to upgrade, but you will be unable to Awaken it until you have the required amount of duplicates.

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After applying the Card XP, you’ll need to finish the process by using the required amount of Duplicate Cards.

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When you confirm this step, you’ll have added an Awakening Level and possibly increased the bonuses provided by the card System.

Best Card Decks to use in Lost Ark

Despite how many Card Sets exist to be used in card Decks, there are really only seven Card Decks that will often be used. These Decks consist of 3 Early Game options, 2 Late Game options, and 2 Utility Decks. A couple of the Early Game Decks are a bit niche and really only work well for specific classes, while the Late game Decks are very broadly applicable.

Early Game Decks

There are three decent early game Card Decks we’re going to go over. These Decks are a Defensive Deck, a Back Attack Deck, and a Max HP Deck. Each of these has a different use and purpose, but all of them are great early options.

Defensive Deck

The Defensive Deck consists of the We’ll Meet Again and Forest of Giants Sets. This is a very easy to set up and widely applicable Deck for DPS classes that help to allow them to stay in the fray a bit longer than usual. It’s also helpful for GvG until the proper GvG set can be completed at a later date.

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Thanks to being a Defensive Set, requiring no legendary Cards, and not requiring all cards to be maxed for a benefit, the Defensive Set is among the easiest card Decks to set up and make use of. It works for all classes really but is more DPS-oriented as Supports have an even easier set that helps them more.

When all cards are maxed out, you gain 30% Physical and Magical Defense, Healing items recover 15% more health, 28% Reduced Damage when under 50% health, and an emergency heal when hit while under 20% health.

All of these effects are great and come together to make a great Defensive Deck that’s widely applicable. Though You’ll likely want to aim to max out We’ll Meet Again as a priority as it has stronger effects.

Almost all of these Cards can be farmed in some manner along with a few one-time sources too, making upgrades a bit easier. Below is a list of these options for this card set.

  • Sian
    • Shushire Wandering Merchant – Jeffery
    • Shushire Quest – Daybreak
  • Madnick
    • Shushire Wandering Merchant – Jeffery
    • Shushire Adventurer Tome – 30% Completion Reward
  • Vrad
    • Shushire Dungeon – Vrad’s Hideout Final Boss
    • Shushire World Quest completion
  • Mokamoka
    • Tortoyk Wandering Merchant – Oliver
    • Mokoko Seed Collection – 350 Mokoko Seeds
    • Mokamoka Rapport – Trusted Stage
  • Tir – Tortoyk’s Heart Dungeon in Tortoyk
    • Final Boss Drop
  • Caspiel – Caspiel Field Boss
    • Tortoyk – Shyreach Steppe

Back Attack Deck

The Back Attack Deck consists of the Three Umar Families Card Set and one of the 2 sets from the Defensive Deck. This Set is great for Back Attack heavy classes like Deathblades, Shadowhunters, Wardancers, Strikers, Deadeyes and other similar classes.

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This set is good because it only uses a single Legendary Card as part of the Three Umar Family Set. However, that card and the Three Umar Family Set will need to be maxed for it to be an effective Deck.

When all cards are maxed out, you gain 12% Back Attack Damage, take 28% Less damage when under 50% Health, get an emergency heal when hit under 20% health, and Guardians deal 7.5% Less damage.

The big effect we want from this set is the Back Attack Damage. While the other bonuses are nice, the Back Attack Damage is the priority and reason for making this deck.

Unfortunately, the cards of the Three Umar Family set can only be gotten from Card packs and don’t have any easily farmable sources. However, they do each have one-time reward options. We’ll Meet Again is framable, though doesn’t contribute to the main effect.

  • Eikerr
    • Yorn World Quest “With the Ancestors”
  • Naber
    • Black Anvil Mine “Ka-BOOM!” Una Reputation (15 days)
  • Galatur
    • “Legendary Pacifist” Achievement
      • Completion of a Legendary Secret map without dealing damage.
  • Sian
    • Shushire Wandering Merchant – Jeffery
    • Shushire World Quest – Daybreak
  • Madnick
    • Shushire Wandering Merchant – Jeffery
    • Shushire Adventurer Tome – 30% Completion Reward
  • Vrad
    • Shushire Dungeon – Vrad’s Hideout Final Boss
    • Shushire World Quest completion

Max HP Deck

The Max HP Deck consists of the Field Bosses II 6 set, or 6 cards out of a set of 7. The Max HP Deck is the ideal starter deck for Supports, as it’s very low cost and provides a good amount of extra health to boost their shield power.

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This set is great overall as it only requires Rare Cards, and none of them even have to be upgraded. You can still choose to upgrade them for the extra effects which do help Support Classes a bit more, but it is not necessary.

With this Deck maxed out, we gain 12% Max HP, 2% Crit Rate, and 4% Attack Power while solo.

We’re really only after the HP here, which doesn’t require an upgrade and only the 6 set bonus.

Below is a list of the Locations these cards can be collected.

  • Maneth
    • Maneth Field Boss – Shushire (Icewing Heights)
    • First Maneth Defeat Reward Chest
  • Sol Grande
    • Sol Grade Field Boss – Alteisen Island
    • “World-Leading Technology of Cykins” Achievement
      • Defeat Sol Grande
  • Aporas
    • Aporas Field Boss – Oblivion Island
    • “Resort Site” Achievement
      • Defeat Aporas
  • Adrinne
    • “For Adrinne” Quest – Phantomwing Island
  • Tarsila
    • Tarsila Field Boss – Shushire (Lake Eternity)
  • Kagros
    • Kagros – Spida Island
    • “World’s Largest Egg” Achievement
      • Use a Mining Bomb on the Spida Island Egg
  • Brealeos
    • Brealeos Field Boss – Frostfire Island
    • “Hot and Cold” Achievement
      • Defeat Brealeos

Late Game Decks

There are two Late Game decks we’re going to talk about. Both of these are fairly well-known and one is a VERY long-term goal for some classes. These both can be used by most classes, and both work well together in group play. These two Decks are Lostwind Cliff and Light of Salvation. Thankfully most of these cards do have a farmable source, but it’s tied to weekly task.

Lostwind Cliff Set

Lostwind cliff can be used as a late-game DPS Deck until Light of Salvation has been upgraded to the necessary level. Though it will always be the Recommend final Deck for Support Classes, as it will boost the effects gained by Light of Salvation.

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Lostwind Cliff can be a bit tougher to get but has decent options making getting it and using it much easier. Unlike Light of Salvation, there are a couple of non-Legendary cards that make upgrading much easier to do.

As a DPS, you only need the 12 Awakening bonus that grants Crit Rate, but further Awakenings are still good. This can be achieved by farming Seria and Solas, and a bit of luck with getting a duplicate of any two other cards.

As a Support you’ll want to get the full 30 Awakening effect, so it can boost the damage of a DPS using Light of Salvation’s Awakened effects. This is a long-term goal, not something that absolutely needs to be rushed.

Fully Awakened, this Card Deck provides 25% Dark Damage Reduction, 7% Crit Rate, and increases Holy Damage by 3.5% for yourself and the party.

Here are the non-pack drop locations for these cards. The quest for the Solas Card can be done once per character but takes several hours to get a new character to that point.

  • Armen
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Seria
    • East Luterra Wandering Merchant – Burt
    • West Luterra Adventure’s Tome Reward
  • Solas
    • East Luterra “Holy Inquisitors” Quest
  • King Thirain
    • Thirain Rapport – Trusted
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Kharmine
    • “Start of Endless Chaos” Achievement (100 Chaos Gates)
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Delain Armen
    • Ignea Token Collection – 10 Ignea Tokens
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward

Light of Salvation Set

Light of Salvation is one of the be-all, end-all Card sets For DPS. It provides the most damage increased of any Card Set currently available. This makes it highly desirable, while also being one of the hardest sets to complete.

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Only one card of the Light of Salvation Set has alternative farming location compared to most of the cards, making the set hard to get in a reasonable amount of time. Most of these cards do have one-time reward options as well, but this set also provides next to nothing without the 18-piece awakening set bonus.

Ideally, you get at least the 18-piece awakening bonus, so you get 7% increased damage. However if you cna get the full 30-piece that is increased to 15%.

Fully maxing out this set provides 30% Dark Damage Reduction, Damage type is changed to Holy, and self Holy Damage is increased by 15%.

Below are the Drop Locations for these cards.

  • Azena and Inanna
    • Azena Rapport – Trusted Stage
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Balthorr
    • “The Show Must Go On” Achievement
      • Complete Yorn’s “Let There Be Light” Chain Quest
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Kadan
    • “Tears of a Bird” Quest
      • Requires completion of Isteri’s Una Task
  • Nineveh
    • Nineveh Rapport – Trusted
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Shandi
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Thirain
    • East Luterra Adventurer’s Tome – 80% Completion
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Wei
    • “Boss Hunter: Expert” Achievement
      • Defeat Field Bosses of Alakirr Island, Forpe Island, Spida Island, Island of Time, and Erasmo’s Island
    • Annika Wandering Merchant – Mac
    • Masterpiece Collection – 36 Masteripieces
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward

Utility Card Sets

These last two sets will only be used for GvG and quickly traversing islands. These have limited uses, but work well for what they do.

Destined Encounter I (GvG)

This set is specific to Guild vs Guild and Island PvP activities. On the current Patch, this set cannot be completed, as two cards need for it can only be obtained from activities on the Continent of Rowen, which is not available.

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This set is the go-to GvG Set once it can be completed, as its bonuses are very helpful for that type of PvP combat. This set will take a long time compete as in additon to two cards being unavailable, those same two cards will require luck from Rowen-specific Card Packs.

Fully maxed, this Deck provides 21% Reduced damage from Adventurers, 5% increased damage against Adventurers with less than 50% health, 10% Movemnt and Stand Up Skill Cooldown Reduction, and Deals Lighting Damage when hitting an adventurer with less than 10% health.

Below are the drop locations for these cards.

  • Armen
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Thirain
    • East Luterra Adventurer’s Tome – 80% Completion
    • Abyssal Dungeon Reward
  • Sien
    • Secret Map Reward
    • “Just Our Secret” Achievement
      • Share 100 Secret Maps
  • Guardian Luen
    • Secret Map Reward
    • “Something Buried” Achievement
      • Obtain 200 Treasure Maps
    • Masterpiece Collection – 46 Masterpieces
  • Myun Hidaka
    • Rowen Card Packs
  • Osphere
    • Rowen Card Packs

Romanticist (Mobility)

This deck generally isn’t necessary. However, it can help classes that don’t typically use Swiftness or don’t have Swiftness Set for this purpose. Unfortunately half of these cards only come from card packs.

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This Deck only provides Mobility, and is only a 4 card set. So the last two slots can be any 2-piece effect you wish.

Fully Maxed, this set provides 10% Movement Skill Cooldown Reduction, 10% Chance to reset Movement Skill Cooldown on use, and 12% Movement Speed.

Below are the Cards used in this set that have alternative Drop locations.

  • Zenri
    • Zenri Rapport – Trusted
  • Kaysarr
    • Yorn Wandering Merchant – Laitir
    • Kaysarr Rapport – Trusted

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