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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


While Sigismund Dijkstra (‘Lined Pockets’) has been the most powerful and popular among all Syndicate leaders from the time of its inception, Cleaver (‘Wild Card’) has existed at the opposite end of the spectrum, receiving basically no competitive consideration. This all changed when Tailbot came to Challenger #5 armed with a Cleaver deck in tow. For the most part, this deck functions in many of the same ways as more traditional Dijkstra Crime decks. Cleaver’s leader ability, however, presents some unique opportunities. Often, Cleaver will simply tutor a Slander from deck, which allows us to use Graden in the same turn or generate even more damage with Ewald Borsodi. Additionally, Cleaver can fetch a second Fisstech from the deck, which allows us to use two Poisons in one turn. Both are solid uses of our leader which nullify the effectiveness of opposing Purify effects.


Essential Cards

  • Novigradian Justice is one of the most important cards in the deck for the early rounds. Not only does it thin out a 4-provision Bare-Knuckle Brawler, so that Portal is guaranteed to pull double Sly Seductress, it is also one of our only ways of generating proactive points. This card is especially important when we go first because without it our opponent is almost always in a position to pass us in a single card.
  • One of the strong suits of Cleaver is that it is able to extend your removal range by playing a Slander from our deck. This makes Ewald Borsodi even more dangerous, as it can come down in this deck and remove as many as four or even five opponent engines when paired with two Bounty effects.


  • Has strong answers for all kinds of opposing threats, including engines and tall units
  • Portal with Sly Seductress is difficult to answer for some decks and can run away with a round.


  • Very reactive deck that can struggle at times going first, especially without Novigradian Justice
  • Sometimes the deck will lowroll and provide a hand with a bad ratio of Coin generators to Coin spenders.


Tech Choices

  • Horst Borsodi, Adalbertus KalksteinWalter Veritas, Eavesdrop
  • Madame LuizaWalter Veritas

As our first suggestion, we sacrifice one Coin spender that is sometimes inefficient in order to gain a potentially powerful card in Walter Veritas. Walter is versatile and is often a lot of value, while providing Coins or a Coin spender when needed. In return, we also add Eavesdrop to increase our consistency in drawing our remaining Coin spenders and other key cards, notably Portal.

Madame Luiza is a card with a high point ceiling, as it can save up to 6 Coins in the deck when utilized with Moreelse's Tribute. The advantage to Luiza can be problematic if we find ourselves in a position where we have too many Coins rather than too few. If this situation arises too often, we can simply replace Luiza with Walter Veritas to have more flexibility with spending our Coins.


Written by JMJWilson23.

5,990 25 17 165

  • 15
    Cleaver Order: Play a Syndicate special card from your deck. If its provision cost is 10 or less, gain 2 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.
  • 3
    Philippa Eilhart
    Philippa Eilhart Deploy: Spend a number of Coins equal to an enemy unit's power, then Seize it.
  • 6
    Madame Luiza
    Madame Luiza Intimidate. Deploy: Your next Tribute this round is free.
  • 4
    Moreelse Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 4. Tribute 6: Destroy it instead.
  • 3
    Graden Deploy (Melee): Destroy an enemy unit with a Bounty. Tribute 5: Boost self by that unit's base power.
  • 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.
  • 4
    Horst Borsodi
    Horst Borsodi Profit 2. If Ewald Borsodi is in your graveyard, increase this card's initial Profit by 2. Fee 2 (Ranged): Boost an allied 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.
  • 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