Meta Snapshot #12
Update: 17 November 2019; First published: 16 October 2019; Game version: 220.127.116.11
- 17 November 2019:
- 7 November 2019:
- 1 November 2019:
- Added: Enslave 6, Mystic Echo Spells, Pincer Maneuver Control, Swarm Arachas Swarm
- Updated: Blood Scent Vampires, Death’s Shadow Consume, Mystic Echo Dwarves, Mystic Echo Harmony, Second Wind Armor, Wild Card No Portal, Wild Card Portal
- Tier adjustments:
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!
This deck plays on the existing theme of self-wounding Skellige, but instead of allowing the damage to hit our own units, we protect them with the new (old?) armor mechanic. As with most Skellige decks, our main advantage is the ability to push in Round 2 which forces the opponent to invest key resources. As a result, winning Round 1 is often important, so we can use our strong bleeding capabilities as well as develop strong units in our graveyard for Round 3. The deck features several satisfying combos, especially with our bronzes, that harken back to the days of open beta in many ways. Overall, the deck is quite combo-heavy and, as a result, is fairly difficult to pilot on a high level.
- Mardroeme, Svalblod Priest and Armored Drakkar form our core bronze package and help to enable armor synergies. Svalblod Priest and Mardroeme are our primary ways of extracting value from armor, so it is important to have access to these cards in almost every round we plan to play. Armored Drakkar has one of the best payoffs when it comes to removing armor. When paired with Priest, we form a two-part engine that is difficult for the opponent to remove and generates at least 5 points every two turns. One of the convenient aspects of Drakkar is that it will reach exactly 13 power when damaged by Mardroeme, setting up Jutta an Dimun for full value.
- Jutta an Dimun is a card that Skellige decks have tried to include for many patches with varying degrees of success. In the past, playing Jutta for 12 points (i.e. when there is a unit on the board of 13 power or more) was fairly rare and often depended on combining Jutta with Olaf in one round. This is no longer the case thanks to the addition of armor to the game. We now have multiple options to grow a tall unit: Using Mardroeme on an armored unit to offset the 3 damage dealt by the card, allowing a Svalblod Priest to grow, or boosting Dracoturtle. With Second Wind, we even have the opportunity to play Jutta for 12 points twice in some cases.
- Hjalmar an Craite, Svalblod Butcher ⇒ Sigrdrifa's Rite, Raging Bear
If we find ourselves with excess control tools, we can consider cutting Hjalmar an Craite for an additional power play. Sigrdrifa's Rite finds solid value when Summoning Jutta an Dimun or Dracoturtle, although this displays overlap with the Second Wind leader ability. Making this change further increases our reliance on developing a graveyard, so it should be made in a meta where we are relatively confident in winning Round 1 regularly.
Written by Jamedi and JMJWilson23.
7,170 25 19 167
510Morkvarg: Heart of Terror
310Hjalmar an Craite
128Jutta an Dimun
68Knut the Callous
5Mardroemex2Damage a unit by 3, then boost it by 9.
45Armored Drakkarx2At the end of your turn, if Armored Drakkar has no Armor, gain 2 Armor. Exposed: Boost self by 1. Bloodthirst 2: Boost self by 2 instead.
45Dimun Smugglerx2Deploy (Melee): Damage a unit by 1, then boost the same unit by 2.
35Svalblod Priestx2Every allied turn, on turn end, damage the allied unit to the right by 1, then boost self by 2.
24Terror Crew Plundererx2Deploy: Damage a unit by 2. If it's an ally, boost self by 4.