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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


Portal Arachas Queen is an Arachas Queen deck which generates more value than the original AQ list due to the inclusion of some unusual cards like Portal and the new Novigrad card Kikimore Warrior. As we are playing multiple threats against our opponent, such as artifacts, Caranthir Ar-Feiniel and units from Portal, some of them tend to survive unchecked, making this deck much better against control options than the original AQ list.


Essential Cards

  • Just as in every Arachas Queen deck, Glustyworp is the centerpiece here. In a long round, Glustyworp can play for a massive point swing and serve as a major win condition. The point floor of the card is also quite high as it can play as 12 points when we use the 3 Arachas Drones that may be Spawned from our leader ability.
  • The main difference between this AQ list and the classic one is the inclusion of Portal. While it is tricky to play it in Round 1 due to the presence of Foglets in our deck, its power made its inclusion valuable enough to have become almost a staple in the archetype.


  • Better consistency than original AQ
  • Higher ceiling than most other Monsters decks


  • Unstable Portal in Round 1
  • Difficult to pilot


Tech Choices

This is a really specific list with not really much room for changes. The most flexible spot would be Geralt of Rivia, which can be swapped out for Carlo Varese to reinforce our red coin and to punish engine decks. Another possible change is using Caretaker, which makes the list much more unstable but also improves the ceiling of the deck.


5,740 25 21 165

  • 15
    Arachas Queen
    Arachas Queen Order: Spawn an Arachas Drone and Summon it to an allied row. Charge: 3. Whenever an allied unit is destroyed during your turn, Spawn an Arachas Drone and Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 12
    Portal Deploy: Summon a random unit with 4 Provision Cost from your deck on both sides of this card.
  • 5
    Dettlaff: Higher Vampire
    Dettlaff: Higher Vampire Deathwish: Summon this unit from the graveyard to the same row. This unit's ability is limited to 2 uses and does not refresh when it leaves the battlefield.
  • 3
    Geralt of Rivia
    Geralt of Rivia Deploy: Destroy an enemy unit with 8 or more power.
  • 9
    Frightener: Dormant
    Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • 9
    Tainted Ale
    Tainted Ale Zeal. Order: Damage a unit by 2. Charge: 3.
  • 3
    Glustyworp Deploy: Destroy all units with 1 power. For each unit destroyed, boost self by 2.
  • 8
    Summoning Circle
    Summoning Circle Zeal. Order: Play a non-Token unit from your deck whose Provision Cost is less than or equal to Summoning Circle's Charge count, then remove all Charges. Charge: 1. Every allied turn, on turn start, gain 1 Charge.
  • 6
    Brewess Deploy: Consume 1 allied unit(s). Increase the number of targets by 1 whenever you play Whispess or Weavess.
  • 5
    Kayran Zeal. Order: Consume an allied unit. Charge: 3.
  • 5
    Weavess Deploy: Boost an allied unit by 2. Increase this boost by 2 whenever you play Whispess or Brewess.
  • 4
    Whispess Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Increase this damage by 2 whenever you play Brewess or Weavess.
  • 3
    Caranthir Ar-Feiniel
    Caranthir Ar-Feiniel Deploy: Spawn a 1-power copy of a unit from your hand and Summon it to this row.
  • 5
    Barbegazi Order: Consume an allied unit. Charge: 2.
  • 4
    Slyzard Order: Consume an allied unit on this row. Cooldown: 1.
  • 3
    Harpy Egg
    Harpy Egg Deathwish: Spawn a Harpy and Summon it to this row.
  • 3
    Foglet Deathwish: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3
    Kikimore Warrior
    Kikimore Warrior Order: Destroy an allied unit, then Spawn a Kikimore Warrior and Summon it to this row.
  • 3
    Vran Warrior
    Vran Warrior Whenever a unit is destroyed during your turn, damage a random enemy unit by 1.
  • 1
    Ancient Foglet
    Ancient Foglet Deathwish: Summon this unit from the graveyard to the same row, boost it by 4, and give it Doomed.

Honorable Mentions