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Meta Snapshot #12

Patch Overview

Update: 17 November 2019; First published: 16 October 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


Syndicate decks have fluctuated heavily since the faction’s inception three months ago. Decks have transitioned from relying on the Bounty mechanic to engine-heavy approaches with Portal, trimming down the Bounty package and relying on synergies with Crimes instead. The new wave of Syndicate decks this month includes the best of both worlds, playing powerful card after powerful card with a mixture of control tools, engines, and carryover. This flexibility is also noticeable in gameplay: The deck is comfortable in any round length and can typically adapt to the matchup and situation at hand. With this deck more than others, almost every card can be considered a key part, as they are highly dependent on the situations presented. 

For more information on this deck, see JMJWilson23’s guide here.


Essential Cards

  • Far and away the strongest of the new Defenders is Azar Javed. Spreading the Defender status to two bodies is very powerful, as it does not allow the opponent to Purify the first one. Azar plays for a total of 13 points while forcing the opponent to deal with the Scarabs before developing their own strategy. We can take advantage of our Defender by playing our engines or Coin spenders like Dire Mutated Hound, Ewald Borsodi, and Sea Jackal on the same row.
  • The addition of Savolla greatly strengthened the power of Syndicate in short rounds, as we are now able to burst for 26 points in a two-card combo, assuming we have a way to spend the two Coins generated by Savolla. Savolla alone sometimes allows us to spend a full bank when we do not pair it with Madame Luiza. In turn, we have strong alternative targets for Madame Luiza when required. Both Graden and Moreelse allow us to punish the opponent for playing tall and Madame Luiza saves five and six Coins respectively when paired with them.


  • Good in both short and long rounds
  • Flexible gameplan makes the deck strong against both proactive and reactive decks


  • Hard to play optimally
  • Weak against swarm decks


Tech Choices

  • Ferko the SculptorCaleb Menge

Ferko is a solid choice that will help us to pull off our combos more regularly, though the addition of Mutated Hounds has increased our redundancy with Poison effects already. Caleb Menge can potentially be a powerful Round 1 or Round 2 engine while also giving us additional proactive play potential. To reach the full potential of Caleb Menge, we do increase our reliance on having a steady supply of Coins, so the change can be awkward if the meta demands that we have Coins on hand to deal with threats at any given time.

For more information on tech choices, see the full deck guide here. 


    7,190 25 17 164

    • 15
      Wild Card
      Wild Card Order: Play a Syndicate special card from your deck. If its provision cost is 10 or less, gain 2 Coins. This ability adds 15 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
    • 6
      Professor Deploy: Put a Bounty on an enemy unit and damage it by 3. Tribute 3: Ignore a target's Armor.
    • 3
      Philippa Eilhart
      Philippa Eilhart Deploy: Spend a number of Coins equal to an enemy unit's power, then Seize it.
    • 9
      Vivaldi Bank
      Vivaldi Bank Profit 1. Look at the top card from your deck plus an additional card for every Coin you possess. Play the top card for free, or play another card for a Coin cost equal to its distance from the top. Shuffle the remaining cards back into your deck.
    • 6
      Madame Luiza
      Madame Luiza Intimidate. Deploy: Your next Tribute this round is free.
    • 6
      Savolla Profit 2. Tribute 9: Spawn a Savolla's Frightener in this row.
    • 4
      Moreelse Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 4. Tribute 6: Destroy it instead.
    • 3
      Azar Javed
      Azar Javed Profit 3. Deploy: Spawn a Scarab in this row. Tribute 3: Spawn 2 Scarabs in this row instead.
    • 3
      Graden Deploy (Melee): Destroy an enemy unit with a Bounty. Tribute 5: Boost self by that unit's base power.
    • 4
      Dire Mutated Hound
      Dire Mutated Hound Barricade: At the end of every allied turn, boost self 2. Fee 4: Gain 1 Armor.
    • 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.
    • 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
      Sea Jackal
      Sea Jackal Fee 2: Boost self by 2. Hoard 7: Boost self by 3 instead.
    • 4
      Witch Hunter
      Witch Hunter Deploy: Place a Bounty on an enemy unit.
    • 3
      Mutated Hounds
      Mutated Hounds Deploy (Melee): Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns. Deploy (Ranged): Poison a unit.


    Favorable against

    Tier 2

    Tier 3

    Honorable Mentions