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Meta Snapshot #11

Patch Overview

Update: 26 September 2019

First published: 17 September 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


This season, it is Francesca Findabair's (‘Mystic Echo’) time to shine, thanks to the buff to its provision cap, the rework of Call of the Forest, and the nerf to last season’s best leaders, Sigismund Dijkstra and King Foltest. Because of its ability to play each Scoia’tael special card twice and its higher consistency compared to previous iterations thanks to Call of the Forest, this deck can achieve a high number of points with a great deal of reliability.

The deck can be piloted in two different ways, depending on our starting hand and the match. We can either play a slow, passive Round 1, in which we get rid of most of our bronzes and then pass. This might give the opponent Round 1, but the deck is very resistant to bleeding and it is relatively easy for us to get card advantage if our opponent decides to push Round 2. Alternatively, the deck can afford to spend some low-commitment golds, such as Novigradian Justice or Saskia, in an attempt to win Round 1. Since the deck can achieve tremendous value within a small number of turns, thanks to Water of Brokilon, our leader, the Poison package (which punishes tall strategies), and Barnabas Beckenbauer, it can effectively bleed most decks or even aim for a 2-0 with the right draws. 


Essential Cards

  • Water of Brokilon is one of our main strategies for generating a high number of points, as it can generate two engines instantly. It is also the most common target for our leader, in which case we can get four engines immediately, making it extremely hard for our opponent to remove all of them quickly. Furthermore, the variety of different tags within the deck allows Harmony to proc several times, which allows each of our Dryad Fledglings to grow to 8 or even 9 points in the best case scenario. 
  • Call of the Forest is the new key card used with Francesca Findabair. It is effectively a better Royal Decree, that Francesca can replay. It can target Fauve to get Water of Brokilon if needed, a second Poison unit to destroy an opponent card or even The Great Oak at the end of a round. This allows the deck to have more flexibility and consistency, since it will always let us play our most important cards.


  • Strong in any round length
  • Very resilient to bleeding, which allows the deck to be played as a bronze dumpster in Round 1 if needed
  • More consistent than the Francesca Findabair decks from previous seasons thanks to Call of the Forest


  • Poor quality bronzes, which makes us vulnerable to getting tempoed out of Round 1 when we have to go first
  • Low amount of removal, which makes us slightly vulnerable to engine decks


Tech Choices

  • Saskia, Pavko Gale, Vrihedd OfficerDennis Cranmer, Ciaran aep Easnillen, Mahakam Defender
  • Novigradian Justice, Saskia, Milva, Panther, Cleaver's MuscleIthlinne Aegli, Sheldon Skaggs, Hawker Smuggler x2, Dryad's Caress

This deck has some flexibility in the 7-8 provision slots. Saskia and Pavko Gale can be removed if they are constantly being answered or if we need the extra Lock from Ciaran aep Easnillen. Mahakam Defender is an additional target for Novigradian Justice and it becomes a powerful engine with the boost provided by Dennis Cranmer.   

Another option for the deck is to employ carryover value with the addition of Ithlinne Aegli and Hawker Smuggler. Unlike the previous usage of Dwarven Agitator, these units are not low tempo due to activating Harmony effects and can even serve as another engine of sorts in the case of Smugglers. The engine value is even higher when we account for Harmony value, as we are able to use the Human tag to proc Harmony again if the opponent removes our Smuggler.


Written by Kara and JMJWilson23.

7,240 25 21 165

  • 15
    Francesca Findabair
    Francesca Findabair Order: Play a Scoia'tael special card from your graveyard.
  • 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
    Novigradian Justice
    Novigradian Justice Play a bronze unit from your deck. If it was a Dwarf, Spawn a base copy of it and Summon it to the same row.
  • 11
    Water of Brokilon
    Water of Brokilon Spawn 2 Dryad Fledglings into the row.
  • 10
    Call of the Forest
    Call of the Forest Play a Scoia'tael unit from your deck and boost it by 2.
  • 6
    Barnabas Beckenbauer
    Barnabas Beckenbauer Deploy: Boost an allied Elf, Dwarf, and Dryad unit by 2.
  • 4
    Milaen Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 4. Deploy (Ranged): Damage 4 enemy units by 1.
  • 5
    Pavko Gale
    Pavko Gale Order (Ranged): Damage a unit by 1. Cooldown: 1. If you control only Scoia'tael units, damage a unit by 2 instead.
  • 5
    Saskia Order: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Cooldown: 4. If you have an Elf, Dwarf, or Dryad in your hand, decrease Cooldown by 1 (limited once per category).
  • 2
    Fauve Deploy: Play a Nature card from your deck.
  • 6
    Weeping Willow
    Weeping Willow Harmony. Deploy (Melee): Gain Shield. Deploy (Ranged): Poison an enemy unit.
  • 5
    Morenn Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Lock a unit.
  • 3
    Milva Immunity. Boost self by 1 whenever you play a Scoia'tael unit.
  • 5
    Cleaver's Muscle
    Cleaver's Muscle Shield.
  • 3
    Dryad Ranger
    Dryad Ranger Harmony. Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2, then give it Poison.
  • 3
    Panther Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 4 turns.
  • 4
    Dryad's Caress
    Dryad's Caress Purify an allied unit and boost it by 3. If you control a Dryad, also give it Vitality for 3 turns.
  • 4
    Elven Swordmaster
    Elven Swordmaster Order (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 1. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play an Elf, decrease Cooldown by 1.
  • 4
    Mahakam Marauder
    Mahakam Marauder Deploy: Gain Vitality for 2 turns. Bonded: Gain Vitality for 4 turns.
  • 3
    Vrihedd Officer
    Vrihedd Officer Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Boost an allied unit by 2.
  • 1
    Dwarven Skirmisher
    Dwarven Skirmisher Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 3. If it survived, boost self by 1.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 2

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions