This GWENT Meta Snapshot, created by Team Aretuza and Team Nova, attempts to establish the best decks to play on Ranked Ladder and Pro Rank, given the current state of the metagame, in order to maximize the chances of winning games and climbing.
Every deck is accompanied by a short text explaining a little bit about the archetype, showing the reasons for placing it in its tier alongside the pros and cons of the deck and a tech section.
Meta Snapshot #11
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Update: 26 September 2019
First published: 17 September 2019 (Game version: 188.8.131.52)
- 26 September 2019:
- Added: Calanthe Shupe, Cleaver Crimes, Emhyr Soldiers and Greatswords
Foltest Commandos as an archetype has transformed from a memey all-in deck playing cards like Operator and Dudu to an absolute powerhouse over the course of several patches. This latest improvement utilizes Northern Realm’s reworks and buffs in patch 3.1 to fill in some previous weak spots. Despite several nerfs in the latest patch (3.2), the deck is still one of a handful of Northern Realms decks that do not care much about opponent removal. It has both a powerful long round with Draug and an explosive short round with Blue Stripes Commando carryover, making it one of the top-tier decks of the current meta.
- Princess Pavetta allows us to play our Blue Stripes Commandos twice in one game. They come out all at once, so they flood our board with Humans very quickly for Draug.
- Roche: Merciless is a great way to pull out Commandos in Round 1 and especially in Round 3.
- Insane power level when we draw well
- Nearly unbeatable in a short Round 3 if we have last say and the right setup
- Can occasionally lose to bad draws and not having access to combo pieces
- Vulnerable to Usurper
- Queen Adalia, Alzur's Double-Cross, Alzur's Thunder ⇒ Bloody Baron, Síle de Tansarville, Margarita Laux-Antille
- Vincent Meis ⇒ Sabrina Glevissig
The first tech option makes our list slightly more about having answers to potential threats. The main sacrifice is Queen Adalia, which vastly improves the point ceiling of the deck when we draw the correct combo pieces in Round 1. In return, we get Bloody Baron as a punish for heavily boosted units. Due to the lower power level and also necessary removal of Alzur's Double-Cross (Baron blocks Alzur's Double-Cross on Princess Pavetta), this change should only be made if the meta demands an answer to boosted units.
The second suggested tech option is about punishing tall units with Vincent Meis or wide rows with Sabrina Glevissig. This deck opts for Sabrina due to its high ceiling and strength in many meta matchups. If the meta were to favor matchups where we require more direct removal or need to punish high base-strength units, Vincent Meis is an option as well.
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59Seltkirk of Gulet
46Blue Stripes Commandox2Order: Summon all copies of this unit from your deck to this row.
35Lyrian Landsknechtx2Formation. Order: Damage a unit by 1. Inspired: Damage it by 3 instead.
44Blue Stripes Scoutx2Deploy (Melee): Spawn a copy of a bronze allied unit at the bottom of your deck.
44Aedirnian Maulerx2Order (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2.
44Cintrian Enchantressx2Deploy (Ranged): Give an allied unit Vitality for 2 turns. Bonded: Give it Vitality for 4 turns instead.
34Kaedweni Sergeantx2Zeal. Order: Boost an allied unit by 1. Charge: 2.
34Siege Supportx2Deploy (Melee): Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Deploy (Ranged): Boost an allied unit by 1. Order: Give an allied unit Zeal.