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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

Tier 2


Sigismund Dijkstra (‘Lined Pockets’) might not be as overpowered as it was in the previous patch, but it still is very strong in this meta. While it might not be able to generate 10 or more points of carryover or combo with Townsfolk into an extreme amount of points anymore, Dijkstra’s reworked ability still grants around 10 points each game (and even more if we play more than five Crimes), which is more than any of the other Syndicate leaders. Dijkstra also has the highest amount of flexibility in how we can choose to use its Charges, making it the standard Syndicate leader for a second season in a row. 

This deck plays similarly to last season’s Bounty deck. However, it is less focused on Bounties because of the slight nerf they received in patch 3.2, which no longer allows us to set up more than one Bounty on the opponent's board at a time. This list includes the classic Bounty package of Caleb Menge, Slander, and Witch Hunter Executioner, as well as the usual Coin spenders Ewald Borsodi, Philippa Eilhart (to disrupt the opponent’s strategy), and Coerced Blacksmith (to boost our own units). Furthermore, we rely on our 4-provision engines, Bare-Knuckle Brawler and Sly Seductress, to generate additional points. 

The game plan of this deck is to take control of Round 1 with Novigradian Justice into Bare-Knuckle Brawlers, followed by a few Crimes to fill our Coin purse...spending them with Coerced Blacksmith, Witch Hunter Executioner or even the Bounty package if needed. Then, we can choose to either play a long Round 3, where our Sly Seductresses can shine thanks to Portal and Adriano the Mink, or instead bleed the opponent if getting out a few of their key cards is needed for us to win the match. Lastly, Triss: Telekinesis helps us draw our Crimes, which either punish tall strategies (Fisstech) or play an extra Bounty (Slander). 


Essential Cards

  • Ewald Borsodi is arguably the most valuable Coin spender of the deck. It can be used to fully control our opponent’s strategy by destroying several units in one turn as well as synergizing with our Bounty cards.
  • Portal has been a staple in Syndicate for a long time, but it has become even stronger this season as we play Sly Seductresses instead of Cutup Lackeys. The Seductresses are hard to kill because of their Bonded ability, and they will generate 2 extra points per turn if they remain unanswered. Additionally, Adriano the Mink can put an extra Seductress on the board, which makes this engine package even stronger. 


  • Strong in any round length
  • Very flexible, as we can spend Coins in different ways, either by boosting, Seizing, Bleeding or damaging; we are also playing the most flexible leader of the faction, Sigismund Dijkstra


  • Draw-dependent: If the deck cannot find Coin spenders, it becomes difficult to sustain a round. Additionally, Novigradian Justice needs to be drawn early during the game to not make Portal awkward later on.
  • Vulnerable to bleeding in Round 2 and awkward draws if the deck is forced to play a short Round 3


Tech Choices

  • Walter VeritasGraden
  • Adalbertus Kalkstein, Dip in the PontarTunnel Drill, Eavesdrop

Walter Veritas can be swapped out for Graden as another tool to punish engines or tall units, if Queen Meve (‘Royal Inspiration’) or Svalblod (‘Ursine Ritual’) become more popular.

If we encounter a lot of artifacts, Tunnel Drill is a great tech choice. 

Written by Kara and JMJWilson23.

6,420 25 16 165

  • 15
    Sigismund Dijkstra
    Sigismund Dijkstra Order: Gain 1 Coin. Charge: 5 Whenever you play a Crime card, gain 1 Coin.
  • 12
    Portal Deploy: Summon a random unit with 4 Provision Cost from your deck on both sides of this card.
  • 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.
  • 4
    Triss: Telekinesis
    Triss: Telekinesis Deploy (Ranged): Create and play a bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 3
    Philippa Eilhart
    Philippa Eilhart Deploy: Spend a number of Coins equal to an enemy unit's power, then Seize it.
  • 4
    Moreelse Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 4. Tribute 6: Destroy it instead.
  • 4
    Walter Veritas
    Walter Veritas Deploy: Create and play a bronze Syndicate faction card.
  • 6
    Adriano the Mink
    Adriano the Mink Profit 2. Tribute 5: Spawn a Sly Seductress and Summon her to this row.
  • 5
    Caleb Menge
    Caleb Menge Profit 3. Fee 3 (Melee): Place a Bounty on an enemy unit. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4
    Ewald Borsodi
    Ewald Borsodi Profit 2. If Horst Borsodi is in your graveyard, increase this card's initial Profit by 2. Fee 2 (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2.
  • 2
    Ferko the Sculptor
    Ferko the Sculptor Deploy (Melee): Play a Crime from your deck.
  • 5
    Adalbertus Kalkstein
    Adalbertus Kalkstein Profit 2. Fee 2: Purify a unit.
  • 6
    Eavesdrop Profit 5. Draw a card, then put a card from your hand at the bottom of your deck.
  • 5
    Dip in the Pontar
    Dip in the Pontar Profit 3. Damage an enemy unit by 3.
  • 4
    Coerced Blacksmith
    Coerced Blacksmith Profit 1. Fee 1: Boost an allied unit by 1.
  • 3
    Witch Hunter Executioner
    Witch Hunter Executioner Profit 2. Fee 1: Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 1 turn. If it has a Bounty, damage it by 1 instead.
  • 4
    Fisstech Profit 4. Poison a unit.
  • 4
    Slander Profit 3. Place a Bounty on an enemy unit.
  • 4
    Bare-Knuckle Brawler
    Bare-Knuckle Brawler Intimidate.
  • 4
    Sly Seductress
    Sly Seductress Fee 3: Gain a Shield. Whenever your opponent plays a unit, boost self by 1. Bonded: Whenever your opponent plays a card, boost self by 1.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions