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Meta Snapshot #9

Patch Overview

Updated: 27 July 2019

First published: 15 July 2019 (Game version: 3.0.3)



Consultants: Adzikov, Damorquis, Jamedi, JMJWilson23, KochuaKolemoen, MolegionSanttu2x, Sergi2Vamos.
Editors: Apero, Kochua
Manager: JMJWilson23

Tier 1

Decks in this tier have favourable matchups against the majority of lower tier decks and some favourable matchups against other Tier 1 lists. Another criterion is that these decks should be able to win against lower-tier decks on blue coin most of the time.


Tier 2

Decks in this tier can beat Tier 1 decks if the player can access its full potential, or are strong decks with a clear counter; in addition, these decks should win consistently against lower tiers.


Tier 3

While decks in this tier remain good laddering options that can successfully achieve high winrates, they can struggle to achieve the same winrate when matched up against decks we place in higher tiers. They may make for strong tournament options.


Honorable Mentions

Decks here aren't strong or popular enough to be tiered, but have enough potential to be better with the adequate support cards. They may win against unsuspecting opponents and can make for interesting tournament options, but are otherwise worth just keeping an eye on.

Written by Jamedi; Consultation: Damorquis, JMJWilson23 and SwanDive


What is a Meta Snapshot?

A Meta Snapshot is a comprehensive list of the decks which are played in a CCG. The decks are ordered by criteria, accounting for their power level through a tier (used by Team Aretuza & Team Nova), star or numerical system. If you would like to discuss our current Meta Snapshot, you can join our Discord server.


Which kind of criteria are used to classify a deck into a tier?

While the list of criteria is extensive, here are the most important aspects:

  • Power level is the amount of points a deck can output in comparison to others in the meta. In general, decks of higher tiers tend to have a greater number of unconditional points without depending on what rival decks do.
  • Consistency is focused on the draw dependency of a deck and the amount of thinning this deck has. Better thinning means more consistency, which usually means easier access to higher-value cards. If a deck is too dependent on drawing one or two certain cards but runs no thinning, it lacks consistency.
  • Counterability is the difficulty that other decks have to tech for the matchup against a certain deck and how much they need to sacrifice to improve the matchup. In Gwent, there are a lot of ways to prepare a deck for a concrete matchup and we can expect players to tech against the strongest/most popular decks of the metagame. The capability of a deck to win despite teching plays a role in its tier placement.

The data are collected by the players in several hundred matches and is then translated into the Snapshot. While the normal ladder experience can be different, tiered decks are good to climb the ladder to Pro Rank with relative ease.


What is the meaning of the different tiers?
  • Tier 1: Decks in this tier are the strongest, the most difficult to counter and heavily influence how decks in other tiers adapt.
  • Tier 2: Usually this tier covers decks which are still good, but due to some reason, they cannot be qualified as Tier 1. They usually have less strength than Tier 1 decks or have another factor that makes them slightly worse than top tier decks. In some particular metagames, a deck can be Tier 2 due to how easy it is to tech against it.
  • Tier 3: Decks in this category are still viable for climbing the ranked ladder, but they encounter more difficulty at high fMMR. They can still be used as tournament picks (in formats in which you can ban). They may still have favorable matchups versus some Tier 1 decks, but they are usually unfavored. Decks which are inconsistent or too draw-dependent also fall into this category.
  • Honorable Mentions: Here, we put decks whose strength is not enough to be tiered, but which have the potential to be much better with some support. These decks are always worth keeping an eye on. A deck which has been discovered recently and has not been played enough to be tiered can also fall into this category.


My experience differs from what you describe in the Snapshot. Does this mean that the Snapshot is not accurate?

Short answer, no. Long answer, there are a huge number of factors that can influence the development of a matchup between two players with their respective decks, which includes player skill, knowledge of the matchup and the respective decks, cards drawn and how they have played the match. Also, it is worth noting that a meta snapshot represents a picture of how the meta is in a particular moment. “Tiers” as defined above are never rigid constructs. In any given day, the meta can shift dramatically.

In general, inexperienced players tend to play worse and with more unpredictable lists. As we move up on the ladder, decklists tend to be more optimized, sometimes influenced by content creators such as popular streamers or the most recent meta snapshot. Reaching Pro Rank, we can expect to face the best possible players with the most optimized decklists.


I have a different list from the one shown in the Snapshot. Does this mean that one of the lists is incorrect?

Lists provided in our snapshots are usually stock lists, which are supposed to be a base to be modified according to the meta you are currently facing and your own playstyle. The tech section provides some card replacement options which may be more effective within a particular meta. This normally does not affect a deck’s overall consistency.


I haven’t seen this deck which appears in the Snapshot / I play this list or this archetype and it isn’t in the Snapshot.

The Snapshot tries to be as accurate and complete as possible. We release an initial snapshot as soon as the meta has settled after a game patch and make as many updates as possible afterwards. If a deck is not included, it will most likely be added in one of the next updates, as we try to prioritize the most popular and relevant decks. Despite that, we have to skip some decks which are unpopular or are very similar to existing ones. If you would like to be informed about our updates, feel free to check our website regularly or follow Team Aretuza or Team Nova on Twitter or Discord.


Are you just including the most popular decks/FOTM lists? Do you keep the best lists for yourselves?

No. While it is true that part of our work is to try and create a representation of the meta that is as accurate as possible and this, of course, includes the popularity of decks, popularity has no impact on how decks are tiered. We do not keep the best lists for ourselves. We are creating meta snapshots to share our collective knowledge of this game and provide players of all levels with a more enjoyable Gwent experience.


Do you have more questions? Join the discussion on Discord!

Tier 1

Tier 2


After the meta has been shaken up with the Novigrad expansion, Svalblod Selfwound has once again become one of the best options in the meta. The deck is played similarly to classic Greatswords from Gwent’s Open Beta; one engine to cause damage to our own units each turn (Svalblod Priest) and another to receive boosts from the damage caused next to it (Heymaey Protector). Our gold cards are part of our short-round win condition - Vildkaarl and Olaf can easily outvalue our opponent and are good Svalblod Charge targets, making Svalblod a much better leader than the 0-point description suggests. The ability to consistently slam points onto the board, turn after turn, makes this deck one of the best to fight against the stronger factions and remains competitive in any round length.


Essential Cards

  • Vildkaarl/Champion of Svalblod is an interesting card that is virtually 12 points for 9 provisions; far above the average points-per-provision ratio. It is one of the targets for Svalblod, as we can immediately proc its effect. Its Order is interesting in combination with Harald's Pals or Knut the Callous.
  • Knut the Callous is a very flexible card in this deck. It gets the most value when used with Olaf or Champion of Svalblod, but it can also be used to trigger Harald’s Pals or to remove a must-answer engine.


  • Competitive in any length of round
  • Bronze engines are good enough to fight for rounds on their own


  • Vulnerable to control decks, especially those that bring multiple tall removal cards
  • Reliant on drawing high-impact golds, less consistent than other Skellige decks


Tech Choices

  • Royal Decree, Disgraced BrawlerVigo's Muzzle, Cutthroat

While Royal Decree ensures accessing our high-impact gold cards, Vigo's Muzzle is a great way to give us more control, improving our matchups against engine-oriented decks and giving us decent value in others. A different, but still interesting, option is using Renew to play some of our high-impact golds in Round 1 and reuse them in Round 3, but this makes us more vulnerable to some kinds of graveyard hate.


7,070 25 22 167

  • 17
    Svalblod Order: Damage an allied unit by 1. Charge: 5. Once all Charges have been exhausted, Spawn a Bear Abomination and Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 13
    Renew Play a unit from your graveyard.
  • 11
    Royal Decree
    Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • 8
    Olaf Order: Boost Olaf by twice the amount he is damaged.
  • 10
    Svalblod Totem
    Svalblod Totem Deploy: Spawn a Svalblod Fanatic on both sides of this card. Order: Damage adjacent units by 2.
  • 3
    Geralt of Rivia
    Geralt of Rivia Deploy: Destroy an enemy unit with 8 or more power.
  • 5
    Vildkaarl Berserk: Transform into a Champion of Svalblod.
  • 4
    Harald Houndsnout
    Harald Houndsnout Deploy: Spawn 3 of Harald's Pals and Summon them to your other allied row. Order: Damage an allied unit by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 6
    Blueboy Lugos
    Blueboy Lugos Whenever this unit takes damage, damage a random enemy unit by 2.
  • 6
    Knut the Callous
    Knut the Callous Deploy: Damage an allied unit to the right by half of its current power, then damage an enemy unit by that amount.
  • 3
    Skjall Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy unit by 4.
  • 4
    Ulfhedinn Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by half of its current power.
  • 7
    Disgraced Brawler
    Disgraced Brawler Deploy, Bloodthirst 3: Lock self. Berserk: Destroy self.
  • 5
    Dimun Light Longship
    Dimun Light Longship Order: Damage self and an enemy unit by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4
    Drummond Shieldmaiden
    Drummond Shieldmaiden The next time this unit takes damage, Summon a copy of it from your deck to this row.
  • 3
    Svalblod Priest
    Svalblod Priest Every allied turn, on turn end, damage the allied unit to the right by 1, then boost self by 2.
  • 4
    Svalblod Butcher
    Svalblod Butcher Deploy: Damage an allied unit by 2, then give an enemy unit Bleeding for 3 turns.
  • 3
    Heymaey Protector
    Heymaey Protector Whenever an adjacent unit takes damage, boost self by 1.
  • 2
    An Craite Marauder
    An Craite Marauder Deploy (Melee): Split 4 damage randomly between all other units.
  • 2
    Svalblod Ravager
    Svalblod Ravager Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Bloodthirst 2: Give it Bleeding for 2 turns.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions