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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

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions


Demavend Charges is certainly an archetype which initially looks attractive, but which in reality is difficult to make work due to its numerous weaknesses. Its main strength is being able to generate an enormous amount of value if its engines remain unanswered. It is challenging to pilot, as sometimes unintuitive plays are required to achieve the maximum value. The deck has found some moderate success on ladder recently, revitalizing a previously forgotten archetype.


Essential Cards

  • Portal's value in a long round is incredible, easily reaching 20 points with Lyrian Cavalry. It makes mulligans more difficult, but its value is enough to justify running it.
  • Bloody Flail is probably one of the most valuable cards in this deck. When using our leader ability to gain Charges, it assures that we can still get points from those Charges even if the Charge receptor is removed.


  • Great long round if engines are able to stick


  • Vulnerable to control
  • Lack of points in short rounds


Tech Choices

  • Hen Gaidth SwordNenneke
  • Roach, Hen Gaidth SwordFoltest's Pride, Kiyan

As we can see, the most flexible spots in this list are occupied by Roach and Hen Gaidth Sword. In a first substitution, we can use Nenneke as an alternative Charge receptor. However, this loses us the extra thinning provided by Hen Gaidth if used on Vernon Roche (with this list, we are almost able to thin to 0). 

Another option is to go for the greediest engines in the game, Foltest's Pride and Kiyan, who can singlehandedly win us the match but are vulnerable to being disrupted.

5,700 25 20 167

  • 17
    King Demavend III
    King Demavend III Order: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Cooldown: 2.
  • 12
    Portal Deploy: Summon a random unit with 4 Provision Cost from your deck on both sides of this card.
  • 3
    Vernon Roche
    Vernon Roche Spying. Deploy: Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 1
    Avallac'h: Sage
    Avallac'h: Sage Deploy (Ranged): Play an artifact from your deck.
  • 3
    Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 9
    Hen Gaidth Sword
    Hen Gaidth Sword Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deathblow: Spawn and play a base copy of it.
  • 9
    Marching Orders
    Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • 4
    Priscilla Zeal. Order: Give a unit 1 Charge. Cooldown: 1.
  • 5
    Dandelion Ranged: Whenever an allied unit gains a Charge, boost it by 1.
  • 7
    Bloody Flail
    Bloody Flail Zeal. Order: Damage a unit by Bloody Flail's Charge count, then remove all Charges. Charge: 1. Whenever an allied unit gains Charges, gain the same amount.
  • 5
    Thaler Deploy: Remove all Charges from an enemy unit and give them to Thaler. Order: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Charge: 0.
  • 6
    Winch Play a bronze Machine from your graveyard.
  • 5
    Siege Master
    Siege Master Whenever a Machine is placed on this row, give it Zeal.
  • 3
    Aretuza Adept
    Aretuza Adept Zeal. Order (Ranged): Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Cooldown: 2.
  • 3
    Cintrian Envoy
    Cintrian Envoy Formation. Order: Give 2 Charges to an allied unit.
  • 3
    Lyrian Arbalest
    Lyrian Arbalest Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a card with Orders.
  • 3
    Reinforced Ballista
    Reinforced Ballista Order: Damage a unit by 2. Charge: 1.
  • 3
    Trebuchet Order (Ranged): Damage 3 adjacent enemy units by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 3
    Lyrian Cavalry
    Lyrian Cavalry Whenever you play a unit with Orders, boost self by 1.