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Meta Snapshot #13

Patch Overview

Update: 26 January 2020; First published: 24 December 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


Elves – an old archetype which just needed some cards to improve its short round and become competitive again. The Merchants of Ofir expansion has brought this archetype back to the top of the meta, thanks to newly added synergistic cards and the rework of Precision Strike. While Elves are still not the best contenders in short rounds, the deck’s raw power in longer ones makes it scary to play against. They are also excellent at developing early tempo, especially when going first because of the new stratagem Aen Seidhe Sabre. The Elves have come back to stay. While there are several versions of the deck around, the current meta lends itself nicely to a Scorch variant, with many targets that are easy to align. There is potential to include a number of Poisons to put the opponent in a particularly difficult spot if their only defense to Scorch is boosting a tall unit and we will continue to monitor this version's position in the meta.


Essential Cards

  • Isengrim Faoiltiarna is the fire for the gasoline that Elves are in long rounds. If they effectively swarm the board, which is really easy due to how the deck is built, Isengrim’s Deploy is enough to generate 10-15 points. Its secondary effect is a decent extra to an already strong ability.
  • Vernossiel can be used to improve our swarm strategy, while it can also give us a decent short round by improving the value of The Great Oak. Probably the best card Scoia’tael received with this expansion.


  • Great in long rounds, but also flexible in terms of round length with Radeyah and Feign Death combo
  • Highly synergistic cards, usually playing for more than their provision cost


  • While being a great deck in short rounds, it is still vulnerable to hard bleeding.
  • Difficult mulligans due to the inclusion of Brokilon Sentinels for our leader ability


Tech Choices

  • Avallac'h, Dwarven Skirmisher, Vrihedd DragoonSchirrú, Vrihedd Saboteur (x2)

This is a slightly cheesy change that seeks to catch the opponent off-guard, which is why we don't see a small package surrounding Schirrú in the main decklist. The main use of the change is as a bit of a tech, as we can struggle to deal with decks that go wide at times. Examples of matchups like this are those that utilize a swarm of Elven Deadeyes or Draug (creating a number of Kaedweni Revenants), both of which line up perfectly with Schirrú at 3 points. This means that we commit relatively little to align these with our limited number of damage effects from our leader ability.

Written by Jamedi and JMJWilson23.

7,150 26 24 166

  • 16
    Precision Strike
    Precision Strike Order: Damage unit by 1. Charges: 3 Once all Charges have been exhausted, Spawn and play Brokilon Sentinel. This ability adds 16 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
  • 0
    Aen Seidhe Sabre
    Aen Seidhe Sabre Order: Spawn and play Scoia'tael Neophyte.
  • 13
    Scorch Destroy the highest unit(s).
  • 8
    The Great Oak
    The Great Oak Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by the number of cards to the left of Great Oak, then boost self by the number of cards to the right of Great Oak.
  • 5
    Vernossiel Deploy (Melee): Each allied Elven Deadeye damages a random enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Spawn 2 Elven Deadeyes in this row.
  • 4
    Avallac'h Deploy: Spawn and play Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog, or Torrential Rain.
  • 6
    Matta Hu'uri
    Matta Hu'uri Deploy (Ranged): If neither player has passed and your opponent's hand is not full, they draw the lowest-cost card, and you draw the highest-cost card.
  • 6
    Isengrim Faoiltiarna
    Isengrim Faoiltiarna Deploy: Boost all other allied Elf units by 1. Whenever you play an Elf, boost self by 1.
  • 5
    Aelirenn If on turn end you control 5 or more allied Elf units, Summon this unit from your deck to the melee row.
  • 4
    Etriel Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 3. If you control Muirlega, damage it by 7 instead.
  • 4
    Muirlega Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 3. If you control Etriel, also damage adjacent units by 3.
  • 4
    Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 1 for every other allied Elf unit.
  • 3
    Half-Elf Hunter
    Half-Elf Hunter Harmony. Deploy: Spawn an Elven Deadeye into this row.
  • 5
    Elven Swordmaster
    Elven Swordmaster Order (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 1. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play an Elf, decrease Cooldown by 1.
  • 5
    Vrihedd Dragoon
    Vrihedd Dragoon Deploy (Melee): Move an enemy unit to their other row. Deploy (Ranged): Move an allied unit to your other row.
  • 5
    Vrihedd Sappers
    Vrihedd Sappers Deploy: Purify an allied unit. If you control an Elf, Purify any unit instead.
  • 4
    Dol Blathanna Archer
    Dol Blathanna Archer Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Damage 2 units by 1.
  • 2
    Brokilon Sentinel
    Brokilon Sentinel Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deathblow: Summon all copies of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 3
    Vrihedd Officer
    Vrihedd Officer Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Boost an allied unit by 2.
  • 2
    Scoia'tael Neophyte
    Scoia'tael Neophyte Deploy: Spawn and Summon a base copy of this unit to the other allied row.
  • 1
    Dwarven Skirmisher
    Dwarven Skirmisher Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 3. If it survived, boost self by 1.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions