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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


After the nerf of King Henselt (‘Mobilization’) and concurrent rework of Queen Calanthe, the latter has become the engine-based leader of choice for Northern Realms. The advantage to Calanthe is simple: This leader allows us to develop more than one engine in a single turn, which opens up the possibility to outpace opponent removal options and gain an advantage in matchups against other engine-heavy decks. This deck in particular features a heavy dose of Order-based units, such as the mage package with Cintrian Spellweaver and Aretuza Adept and other engines to support the use of Charges. The gameplan is fairly greedy and relies heavily on playing first in key rounds to develop damage-dealing engines that allow us to interact with the opponent's strategy. As such, it is common to see this deck play for a 2-0 victory against other engine decks or any time that the opponent passes against us early in Round 1.


Essential Cards

  • Portal is one of three main ways in the deck (Queen Calanthe's leader ability, Portal, Vernon Roche) to develop multiple engines in a turn and is perhaps the strongest. While the options are a bit random at times in the deck, we can mulligan in a way to reduce the variance and pull units from Portal that are key in the given matchup.
  • Falibor fills a unique role in the deck, as it is a card which can be played late in a round without losing value because it is not an engine. In the deck, it is simple to set up Falibor to play for solid value while also providing flexible removal.


  • Can play multiple engines in a turn in several ways to help us against control and other engine decks
  • Greedy gameplan that is difficult to beat without counters


  • Relies heavily on going first in a lot of matchups, so coin flip variance can harm the deck
  • Still an engine-based deck at the end of the day, so control tools are effective against us


Tech Choices

  • Thaler, Lyrian Cavalry, Kaedweni SergeantVincent Meis, Reinforced Trebuchet, Kaedweni Revenant
  • ThalerVysogota of Corvo

The first change is made to reduce the variance on our Portal. We are able to incorporate Vincent Meis as well, which is a useful card to give us instant removal, when paired with our other Orders, and occasional tall-unit punish. The change does reduce our ability to burst for tempo because Thaler is one of our options to do so.

One change to make the deck even more greedy is adding Vysogota of Corvo. Using this card will sometimes require us to commit our leader ability to protect it from opponent removal, so it is a weak card when facing other engine decks that can deal with it. The potential point ceiling is quite high when we factor in its synergy with some of the other boost cards, but we must make this change only in a meta with very little removal.


Written by JMJWilson23.

5,220 25 24 165

  • 15
    Queen Calanthe
    Queen Calanthe Order: Play a Northern Realms faction card from your hand, then draw any card.
  • 12
    Portal Deploy: Summon a random unit with 4 Provision Cost from your deck on both sides of this card.
  • 3
    Vernon Roche
    Vernon Roche Spying. Deploy: Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 7
    Falibor Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 3. Deathblow: Repeat the Deploy ability and decrease the damage by 1.
  • 6
    Bloody Baron
    Bloody Baron Formation. Order: Reset a unit. Inspired: If it was boosted, give it Bleeding for a duration equal to the amount of boost it lost.
  • 4
    Prince Anséis
    Prince Anséis Formation. Order: Damage an enemy unit by 4. Inspired: Duel an enemy unit instead.
  • 4
    Nenneke Zeal. Order (Ranged): Boost a unit by 1. Charge: 4.
  • 5
    Thaler Formation. Order: Give 3 Charges to an allied unit.
  • 5
    Vissegerd Formation. Deploy: Gain Charges equal to the number of boosted allied units. Order: Damage an enemy unit by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 5
    Hubert Rejk
    Hubert Rejk Zeal. Order: Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns. Charge: 1.
  • 5
    Margarita Laux-Antille
    Margarita Laux-Antille Zeal. Order: Lock an enemy unit.
  • 4
    Síle de Tansarville
    Síle de Tansarville Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Order: Damage an enemy unit by 2.
  • 4
    Aretuza Adept
    Aretuza Adept Zeal. Order (Ranged): Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4
    Cintrian Spellweaver
    Cintrian Spellweaver Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Mage.
  • 3
    Cintrian Envoy
    Cintrian Envoy Formation. Order: Give 2 Charges to an allied unit.
  • 3
    Lyrian Landsknecht
    Lyrian Landsknecht Formation. Order: Damage a unit by 1. Inspired: Damage it by 3 instead.
  • 4
    Lyrian Cavalry
    Lyrian Cavalry Whenever you play a unit with Orders, boost self by 1.
  • 3
    Kaedweni Sergeant
    Kaedweni Sergeant Zeal. Order: Boost an allied unit by 1. Charge: 2.
  • 3
    Lyrian Arbalest
    Lyrian Arbalest Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a card with Orders.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions