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: 220.127.116.11)
- 26 September 2019:
- Added: Calanthe Shupe, Cleaver Crimes, Emhyr Soldiers and Greatswords
While Queen Meve (‘Royal Inspiration’) was viable during the previous patch, it was living in King Foltest's (‘Inspired Zeal’) shadow. In fact, players had close to no reason to play Meve instead of the – slightly – overpowered Foltest. But thanks to the nerfs to the latter in patch 3.2, Meve has found a solid spot in the meta. We use our leader ability to empower our engines, making them harder to disrupt. Additionally, we can guarantee with Meve that cards which need boosts can be played to their full potential, such as Dun Banner for thinning, Anna Strenger as an extremely strong and highly synergistic engine or our Formation units (Prince Anséis, Bloody Baron, and Lyrian Landsknecht) by playing then on the Melee row and boosting them with Meve. Lastly, Tridam Infantry allows us to play each boost for two points.
Our game plan is relatively straightforward. Since this deck is better in a long round, the goal is to take over Round 1 by quickly deploying our engines, for example Reinforced Trebuchet and Tridam Infantry, and spend some low-value golds like Nenneke and Botchling. If our engines go unchecked, we will generate a lot of value with Anna Strenger, Keira Metz, and Temerian Drummer (which is one of the preferred targets for Queen Adalia). While the deck is often favored in a long Round 3, we are also able to bleed our opponent, which is necessary in some matchups, especially against Francesca Findabair ('Mystic Echo'). To achieve this, we quickly set up our engines to put pressure on the opponent. Then, we play high-tempo cards like Falibor or Vigo's Muzzle, which can also be key cards to compete in a short Round 3. Overall, Meve Engines shines against point-slam decks thanks to its ability to passively generate several points per turn.
- Anna Strenger has been a staple in boost-focused Northern Realms decks for several seasons. Anna can quickly become the most powerful engine of the deck if our opponent doesn’t answer it. Its ability to generate 2 points per turn makes it a huge threat, while it can protect our other engines and synergizes perfectly with Tridam Infantry, generating even more points each turn.
- Tridam Infantry is another staple in NR boost archetypes: Every 1-point boost a deck can provide through, for example, Temerian Drummer, Anna Strenger, or leader abilities is doubled through it, which increases the deck’s point ceiling. Although it can be punished by Resets or tall removal, this card combined with one of the previously mentioned engines can generate enough points to win the game by itself if it goes unchecked.
- One of the best long round potentials of the game, while still being able to play in most round lengths
- Queen Meve's boost makes our numerous engines even harder to deal with.
- As any engine deck, it is vulnerable to bleeding. We are also vulnerable during a long Round 1, where too many of our key resources might be spent.
- Vulnerable to control archetypes, such as Ardal aep Dahy
- Vissegerd ⇒ Prince Stennis
- Margarita Laux-Antille ⇒ Nathaniel Pastodi
Prince Stennis is a card that can provide extra boosts to either get some tempo or protect an engine. It is a good option if Vissegerd cannot find value, which can sometimes happen in shorter rounds or if all boosts are directed onto the same target.
On the other hand, if our Lock is not needed, we can play an extra engine in the form of Nathaniel Pastodi to get even more value out of our boosts. However unlike Tridam Infantry's damage, Pastodi’s Bleeding can be awkward if there are few units on the opponent’s side.
Written by Kara.
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45Reinforced Trebuchetx2Ranged: Every allied turn, on turn end, damage a random enemy on the Ranged row by 1. Inspired: Damage a random enemy unit by 1 instead.
35Dun Bannerx2Whenever Dun Banner receives a boost, Summon all copies of it from your deck to this row.
44Tridam Infantryx2Whenever this unit receives a boost, damage a random enemy unit by 1.
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.