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
Thanks to the rework of several cards, mainly Cerys an Craite and Restore, Svalblod (‘Ursine Ritual’) has found a niche in the current meta. This deck plays the traditional Skellige package that was already popular in previous seasons, which includes bronzes such as Svalblod Priest, Heymaey Protector, and Drummond Shieldmaidens as well as some golds such as Olaf, Svalblod Totem, Hjalmar an Craite, and Vildkaarl to take advantage of our leader ability.
The immense power of this package allows us to play a strong Round 1, where our engines (Priest, Protector or even Harald Houndsnout or Carlo Varese if more tempo is needed) will often win us the round. In Round 2, this deck is fantastic at bleeding our opponent. It can put a lot of tempo on the board in just a handful of turns, thanks to Vildkaarl (which we don’t mind playing early, as we can resurrect it again later with Sigrdrifa's Rite) and the combos of Olaf into Knut the Callous and Jutta an Dimun into Restore. If we are able to bleed out most of our opponent’s resources and go into a short Round 3, we can win with our point-slam cards Svalblod Totem and Sigrdrifa. Lastly, Cerys an Craite's rework is a great addition to the deck, providing us with another way to get our Drummond Shieldmaidens out in Round 1 or to play an engine at later stages of the game with Drummond Queensguard.
- Vildkaarl is one of the key cards of this deck. Not only does it provide a huge amount of tempo, but it also synergizes with Svalblod, which can make Vildkaarl’s Berserk ability proc instantly. Champion of Svalblod also combos well with Knut the Callous, since we can Heal Champion by destroying a small unit (ideally one of Harald's Pals). Additionally, we can resurrect Vildkaarl/Champion with Sigrdrifa's Rite if we played it in Round 2. In short, Vildkaarl is a key element to both bleed our opponent successfully in Round 2 and win Round 3.
- Svalblod Priest is the main engine of the deck. Not only is it hard to remove, as 5 points of removal are hard to come by in most matchups, but it also synergizes with Heymaey Protector, making this engine even more efficient. Priests also combo well with Harald Houndsnout to trigger Harald's Pals and all our Berserk cards, such as Tuirseach Veteran.
- Can achieve high tempo instantly, thanks to cards such as Olaf or Vildkaarl, and also generate a lot of points over time, thanks to the bronze package; this makes this deck strong in any round length.
- Excellent at bleeding: The deck can make the opponent waste their resources in Round 2, which gives us an advantageous Round 3.
- Plays little to no removal, so we are vulnerable to engines that our stronger than our own and Francesca Findabair (‘Mystic Echo’)
- The bleeding strategy is a double-edged sword, as we can lose card advantage if our opponent can out-tempo us.
- Carlo Varese, Sigrdrifa's Rite, Ermion, Jutta an Dimun, Restore ⇒ Vigo's Muzzle, Triss: Telekinesis, Gremist, Alzur's Thunder, Freya's Blessing
If more removal is needed (if we run into a lot of engine decks for example), the deck can be changed around to play a more removal-oriented list with Vigo's Muzzle, Triss: Telekinesis and Alzur's Thunder to deal with engines quickly and reliably. Furthermore, the addition of Freya's Blessing allows us to a replay bronze card, with the best target being Svalblod Priest.
Written by Kara.
6,410 25 22 167
410Cerys an Craite
310Hjalmar an Craite
128Jutta an Dimun
68Knut the Callous
85Tuirseach Veteranx2Deploy: Damage self by 3. Berserk 2: Heal self.
45Drummond Shieldmaidenx2The next time this unit takes damage, Summon a copy of it from your deck to this row.
35Svalblod Priestx2Every allied turn, on turn end, damage the allied unit to the right by 1, then boost self by 2.
44Svalblod Butcherx2Deploy: Damage an allied unit by 2, then give an enemy unit Bleeding for 3 turns.
44An Craite Blacksmithx2Order: Boost an allied unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Warrior.
44Heymaey Protectorx2Whenever an adjacent unit takes damage, boost self by 1.