Lost Ark has many systems that you’ll have to deal with to improve your characters while leveling and at engame. One system that isn’t explained too well is cards, collectibles that can offer noticeable buffs if you have the right sets. In this guide, we’ll go over cards and why you’ll want to start farming them.
What Are Lost Ark Cards?
Cards are consumable items that are added to your collection upon use. They’re gained from a number of sources, including dungeons and achievement rewards. All cards you have collected can be viewed from the Card Catalog in the Roster menu, which is also where you’ll go to equip them.
Cards come in sets of varying sizes, with each set providing a different bonus when equipped in a card deck. The effect of each can be seen by mousing over the relevant “Set Effect Details” button. The number before Set (i.e. 2 Set) indicates how many cards in the set must be in your deck to apply that bonus. “Awakening” meanwhile is tied to upgrading cards — more on this later.
Gaining Card Effects in Lost Ark
Equipping cards is as simple as dragging them from the left side list into the middle card deck slots. A deck is made of 6 slots, with the most powerful effects requiring you to fill all slots with cards from the same set. You start with 2 deck slots, with more being purchasable with gold.
However, cards can also apply beneficial effects even if you don’t have them equipped. This can be seen in the Books tab under “Total Books Bonus”. This gives you stat bonuses, though you won't see any noticeable effects until your collection has grown significantly.
Both collected cards and the Total Books Bonus will apply to all characters in your roster, meaning that alt characters can benefit from premade decks that have been acquired on your main.
Enhancing Cards in Lost Ark
Card enhancement is where things get extra grindy. There are two requirements for enhancing a card: Card XP and duplicates. The former is primarily earned via deleting cards (done via the “Delete Card” button above the card list), but can also be gained via XP Card Packs. XP Card Packs are sometimes offered as login rewards, but can also be bought using crystals via the cash shop.
Enhancing requires a certain amount of XP per card, with higher rarities requiring more overall. Once you’ve fed a card enough XP, you must then use up duplicates to make it reach the next awakening level. As you increase the level further, even more duplicates will be required. This is where the main grind sets in, especially for cards only earned via card packs.
For set effects that list “Awakening”, your deck must consist of both a certain amount of cards from the set, and have a high enough total awakening level. For example, a “6 Set (30-piece Awakening)” effect would require you to equip an entire deck with fully upgraded cards from that set.
Without the awakening effects, many sets are stuck with bonuses like elemental damage resistance or minor HP gains. However, the awakening effects can increase attack speed, damage to certain tiers of monsters, and more.
The acquisition method of cards can be checked via the Codex under the Guides menu. Just keep in mind that all cards can be gained via card packs of their specific rarity. For cards listed as achievement rewards or other single time events, this is the only way to get duplicates.