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Meta Snapshot #10

Patch Overview

With a huge new patch has come a brand-new meta. In the early days, we have seen Northern Realms and Syndicate stand out as the dominant factions, though the meta is always developing and counter options have begun to develop. In particular, buffs to King Foltest and the advent of Sigismund Dijkstra have vaulted these leaders to the top of the meta. Much of the developments have centered around finding advantages against these two leaders.

In the first update of this Meta Snapshot, we present 19 updated decks that focus on key archetypes seen in the metagame. Included are options from each faction, although some factions have been explored more than others. While Sigismund Dijkstra has emerged as the predominant Syndicate leader, we have included other options for players seeking alternatives. In Skellige and Monsters, fewer decks are included due to their lower popularity, but we will monitor the situation closely to identify decks from these factions that emerge later in the patch cycle.

We hope you enjoy our Meta Snapshot and happy Gwenting!


Update: 17 August 2019

First published: 12 August 2019 (Game version:



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


In the latest update, Scoia’tael received some upgrades to their so far rather underwhelming bronzes. Cards like Elven Swordmaster, Vrihedd Officer and Dwarven Skirmisher are all much more efficient now. This list incorporates those as well as the newly buffed Fauve and Water of Brokilon combo into this well-known Brouver Midrange deck. 


Essential Cards

  • One of the most important features of a strong deck is being card efficient, having the ability to make impactful plays on most of our available turns. The Great Oak definitely fits this criterion. The tempo swing afforded by this card in a longer round, especially a long Round 2, will almost certainly assure us card advantage for the final round. Oak also has synergy with Brouver Hoog's leader ability, allowing us to stack even more units on the same row and extract even more value from Oak.
  • Brouver Hoog is a seemingly low-value leader, providing only 6 raw points with added utility from movement and the ability to either boost or damage. However, Vrihedd Officer helps us get extra value from our leader.
  • The Fauve and Water of Brokilon combo can help us play for Round 1 if we choose to contest it as well as being great tempo in Round 2. Of course, we can also save it as a value play for Round 3. 


  • Resists bleeding from the opponent
  • Able to take advantage of carryover effectively


  • Can be pressured into expending valuable resources or losing the round on even when going first
  • Has no tall removal, making it weak to Nilfgaard decks running Tibor Eggebracht, and struggles to keep up with Northern Realms


Tech Choices

  • Royal DecreeCarlo Varese
  • MorennIda Emean aep Sivney

At 10 provisions, Royal Decree is a strong card that helps us find our key golds like The Great Oak, Ithlinne Aegli and Fauve. Its downside is that we sometimes draw all of our golds and in that case, we would rather have another powerful card like Carlo Varese.

Morenn provides an additional Dryad for Barnabas Beckenbauer and it is also the only Lock in this deck. If we face a lot of Sigismund Dijkstra with Summoning Circle or other artifact decks, it may be worth running Ida Emean aep Sivney instead.


Written by Jamedi, JMJWilson23 and kolemoen.


7,070 25 23 164

  • 14
    Brouver Hoog
    Brouver Hoog Order: Move a unit to the other row. If it's an enemy, damage it by 2; if it's an ally, boost it by 2. Charge: 3.
  • 8
    The Great Oak
    The Great Oak Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by the number of cards to the left of Great Oak, then boost self by the number of cards to the right of Great Oak.
  • 11
    Water of Brokilon
    Water of Brokilon Spawn and Summon a Dryad Fledgling to an allied row. If you control a Dryad, Spawn 2 Dryad Fledglings and Summon them to an allied row instead.
  • 5
    Ithlinne Aegli
    Ithlinne Aegli Deploy: Boost a Scoia'tael unit in your hand by 4.
  • 10
    Royal Decree
    Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • 6
    Barnabas Beckenbauer
    Barnabas Beckenbauer Deploy: Boost an allied Elf, Dwarf, and Dryad unit by 2.
  • 5
    Gabor Zigrin
    Gabor Zigrin Deploy (Melee): Gain Resilience. Deploy (Ranged): Gain Immunity. Whenever you play a Dwarf, boost self by 1.
  • 4
    Milaen Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 4. Deploy (Ranged): Damage 4 enemy units by 1.
  • 3
    Sheldon Skaggs
    Sheldon Skaggs Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by Sheldon Skaggs' current power.
  • 5
    Morenn Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Lock a unit.
  • 2
    Fauve Deploy: Play a Nature card from your deck.
  • 3
    Milva Immunity. Boost self by 1 whenever you play a Scoia'tael unit.
  • 4
    Dol Blathanna Archer
    Dol Blathanna Archer Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Damage 2 units by 1.
  • 3
    Panther Deploy: Damage a non-Scoia'tael enemy unit by 3.
  • 3
    Vrihedd Brigade
    Vrihedd Brigade Deploy: Damage a random enemy unit by 2. Whenever Vrihedd Brigade is moved to the other row, repeat its Deploy ability.
  • 4
    Dryad Fledgling
    Dryad Fledgling Harmony.
  • 4
    Elven Swordmaster
    Elven Swordmaster Order (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 1. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play an Elf, decrease Cooldown by 1.
  • 3
    Blue Mountain Elite
    Blue Mountain Elite Deploy (Ranged): Damage an enemy unit by 3 if it is the only unit on its row.
  • 3
    Vrihedd Officer
    Vrihedd Officer Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Boost an allied unit by 2.
  • 2
    Dwarven Agitator
    Dwarven Agitator Deploy (Ranged): Boost a Dwarf in your hand by 2.
  • 1
    Dwarven Skirmisher
    Dwarven Skirmisher Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 3. If it survived, boost self by 1.

Honorable Mentions