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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

Tier 2

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions


As with all Enslave decks, this variant, which allows the player to Seize a 6-point unit, is centered around gaining a strong advantage out of our leader ability while supplementing it with proactive Assimilate engines to gain points on our own side of the board. Many of the cards are predominantly reactive (our leader ability, many Tactics, Hefty Helge, Sweers, etc.), so the base of Assimilate engines is crucial for the deck’s success. The improvement of our leader ability from Enslave 5 to Enslave 6 gives us a stronger degree of control against some key targets (notably strong against Northern Realms engines) while also making the opportunity for counter-play from the opponent worse in some cases (such as boosting their engines out of range of our Seize effect). In return, we sacrifice some of our key cards, including Portal and Yennefer's Invocation, that represent power plays for the deck.


Essential Cards

  • With such a powerful leader ability, we want to dip into the ability whenever possible. One such way is through Damien de la Tour, which allows us to directly reuse our leader ability. It is then important to leverage as much of an advantage with this card as possible, meaning that protecting it is a must. The simplest way is through the use of Ffion var Gaernel which makes targeting Damien impossible, but we also can smartly time its deployment on the board to maximize our chances of Damien sticking.
  • One of the key enablers to our strategy is Bribery, which represents the Tactic card in our deck with the highest potential point ceiling. Conversely, it can also show only poor options situationally, making it a high variance option. Still, it ties together several synergy packages, representing a Tactic, an Assimilate enabler, and our best target for Stefan Skellen all in one.


  • Strong control options to shut down most engine strategies
  • Assimilate cards can generate a great deal of value when left unchecked


  • Loses a great deal of its power when the opponent can control our key cards
  • Relies on high-variance cards, such as Bribery, that can single-handedly swing games


Tech Choices

  • Avallac'hLeo Bonhart

One thing the deck lacks with the removal of Yennefer's Invocation (in comparison to Enslave 5 decks) is a means to punish opponent tall units. We can remedy this by simply substituting Leo Bonhart if the meta calls for one of these effects. This hurts our own gameplan, however, because removing Avallac'h for Leo reduces our number of means to proc Assimilate effects.


Written by JMJWilson23.


7,440 25 13 166

  • 16
    Enslave Order: Seize an enemy unit with 3 power or less. This value is raised by 1 for every 4 Tactic cards in your starting deck. This ability adds 16 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
  • 5
    Damien de la Tour
    Damien de la Tour Order: Refresh your Leader's ability. If it's disabled, enable it instead.
  • 5
    Stefan Skellen
    Stefan Skellen Order: Spawn and play a copy of the last Tactic card you already played this round.
  • 4
    Avallac'h Deploy: Spawn and play Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog, or Torrential Rain.
  • 2
    Ffion var Gaernel
    Ffion var Gaernel Defender. Deploy: Spawn and play Battle Preparation.
  • 8
    Bribery Create and play a unit from your opponent's starting deck.
  • 8
    War Council
    War Council Look at the first 3 cards on the top of your deck and play one of them.
  • 4
    Hefty Helge
    Hefty Helge Shield. Order: Damage a unit by 2. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Tactic.
  • 4
    Tourney Shaelmaar
    Tourney Shaelmaar Deploy (Melee): Damage a Nilfgaardian enemy unit by 7. Deploy (Ranged): Boost self by 2 for each allied unit from a different faction.
  • 3
    Sweers Deploy (Melee): Seize an enemy unit with 3 or less power.
  • 2
    Artorius Vigo
    Artorius Vigo Assimilate. Deploy: Create and play a 1-power copy of a bronze unit from your starting deck.
  • 2
    Menno Coehoorn
    Menno Coehoorn Deploy (Ranged): Play a Tactic card from your deck.
  • 4
    Glynnis aep Loernach
    Glynnis aep Loernach Assimilate 2.
  • 6
    Experimental Remedy
    Experimental Remedy Play a Bronze unit from your opponent's graveyard.
  • 5
    Assassination Damage a unit by 6. Decrease the damage by 1 for each unit adjacent to it.
  • 5
    Imperial Diplomacy
    Imperial Diplomacy Create and play a bronze card from your opponent's faction.
  • 4
    Imperial Diviner
    Imperial Diviner Assimilate. Deploy: Purify a unit.
  • 1
    Duchess's Informant
    Duchess's Informant Spying. Deploy: Spawn and play a base copy of a non-Spying bronze enemy unit.
  • 4
    Battle Preparation
    Battle Preparation Boost an allied unit by 3 and give it 2 Armor. If it's a Soldier, boost it by 5 and give it 2 Armor instead.
  • 4
    Tourney Joust
    Tourney Joust Remove an enemy unit's Shield and damage it by 4, or give an allied unit a Shield and boost it by 4.