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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

Tier 3


The addition of Scenarios into the game with the Merchants of Ofir expansion has breathed new life into Skellige, bringing it back to a better state than it was in the previous patch. With our leader ability, we can sometimes complete the entirety of Gedyneith in a single turn if we set up our combo correctly. The idea is that we can play Gedyneith and immediately follow with Second Wind to resurrect Ermion into Freya's Blessing on a Crow Clan Druid, which plays both required Druids. In support of the Scenario, we play the common Skellige self-damage package of Svalblod Priest and Armored Drakkar. Most of the time, we will try to win Round 1 and then push the opponent in Round 2, so we can get to a short Round 3 where our big-time Gedyneith finisher reigns supreme.


Essential Cards

  • Gedyneith is the core of the deck and represents our major win condition in most matchups. As mentioned above, we can actually fully complete the Scenario in a single turn if we correctly develop our graveyard in earlier rounds and mulligan for our goal. Even when we are not seeking to complete the full Scenario in one turn, we still gain great value out of Gedyneith, especially when we develop an Armored Drakkar as a target for Mardroeme. The hotfix buffed Crowmother by 1 point, which is huge for a card of this type.
  • Not only do we now get an additional point when we play Crowmother, we also double-dip on this value each time Crowmother returns. We are often able to get Crowmother out of the graveyard in every round, so sometimes it is even okay to Royal Decree for Crowmother in Round 1, since it sets up our graveyard nicely and also helps us to thin toward Gedyneith for which we have no direct tutor.


  • Huge power in a short round with Gedyneith finisher
  • Can generate a ton of pressure with bronzes in Round 1 when unanswered


  • Slightly weak to tall removal effects
  • Can't play many gold cards due to some high-provision cost cards


Tech Choices

  • Harald Houndsnout, Raiding FleetMorkvarg: Heart of Terror, Delirium

In our deck, Harald Houndsnout is our backup leader ability target if we are unable to utilize Ermion. If the meta is playing highly boosted units (typically Monsters or Skellige mirror matches), we can put Morkvarg: Heart of Terror into the list as a punish for these tall units.

Written by JMJWilson23.

6,770 26 15 166

  • 15
    Second Wind
    Second Wind Order: Play a Skellige unit from your graveyard. This ability adds 15 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
  • 0
    Crystal Skull
    Crystal Skull Order: Purify an allied unit and boost it by 3.
  • 14
    Gedyneith Scenario: Progress whenever you play a Druid. Prologue: Spawn a Crow Clan Preacher in this row. Chapter 1: Spawn and play Crow's-eye Rhizome. Chapter 2: Spawn and play Mardroeme.
  • 4
    Triss: Telekinesis
    Triss: Telekinesis Deploy (Ranged): Create and play a bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 10
    Royal Decree
    Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • 3
    Crowmother Deploy: Spawn 2 Crows in this row. Whenever you play an Alchemy card, Summon Crowmother from your graveyard to a random allied row.
  • 4
    Harald Houndsnout
    Harald Houndsnout Deploy: Spawn 3 of Harald's Pals and Summon them to your other allied row. Order: Damage an allied unit by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 8
    Marching Orders
    Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • 2
    Ermion Deploy (Ranged): Play an Alchemy card from your deck.
  • 7
    Raiding Fleet
    Raiding Fleet Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 4 turns and play a random bronze ship from your deck.
  • 6
    Gremist Zeal. Order (Ranged): Purify a unit. Refresh this ability whenever you play an Alchemy card.
  • 6
    Gigascorpion Decoction
    Gigascorpion Decoction Damage a unit by 1 six times.
  • 6
    Freya's Blessing
    Freya's Blessing Play a bronze Skellige unit from your graveyard.
  • 3
    Svalblod Priest
    Svalblod Priest Every allied turn, on turn end, damage the allied unit to the right by 1, then boost self by 2.
  • 5
    Stribog Runestone
    Stribog Runestone Create and play a bronze Skellige faction card.
  • 7
    Raging Bear
    Raging Bear Deploy: Damage an allied unit by 2.
  • 4
    Armored Drakkar
    Armored Drakkar At 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.
  • 4
    Crow Clan Druid
    Crow Clan Druid Deploy: Boost adjacent Beasts by 2.
  • 3
    Crow Messenger
    Crow Messenger Deploy: Summon all copies of this unit from your graveyard to this row. If you hold an Alchemy card, also Summon all copies from your deck.
  • 4
    Stunning Blow
    Stunning Blow Damage a unit by 4. If it has Armor, increase damage to 7.
  • 4
    Svalblod Butcher
    Svalblod Butcher Deploy: Damage an allied unit by 2, then give an enemy unit Bleeding for 3 turns.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Honorable Mentions