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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

Honorable Mentions


Although this deck uses Radeyah, it isn’t its most important characteristic. This is a “unitless” deck, that means it only includes 13 units, as per the deck-building limit. We win against our opponent by aligning multiple units into a board wipe, trying to use a single high-tempo play. As this deck has a unique playstyle, it seems to be closer to solving a mathematics problem than actual gameplay: All of our efforts are focused on getting the most value out of our board wipes and making our side of the board as non-interactive as possible for our opponent, so they lose removal points. This deck makes players curse when they queue into it so don't be surprised if you suddenly stop receiving a "Good Game" from opponents!


Essential Cards

  • Cadaverine is a Nilfgaard-focused board wipe and probably the most difficult to align; however, its payoff can be huge if we are able to use our artifacts and Tactics to get the exact value where we can nuke the board without affecting our units, with the help of Imperial Formation.
  • Radeyah is the main enabler of this singleton deck. With the versatility of getting different stratagems, we can use it to align units or as our last big tempo play.


  • Difficult to play against if we win Round 1
  • Cheesy


  • Lack of points if our opponent can play around our board wipes
  • Once known, the list loses power


Tech Choices

This is a really strict list and it works because all of its elements are focused in the same direction, which makes changes difficult. Black Blood can be considered a flex card, as its value fluctuates too much to be considered good, but still, it fulfils its own part in the list.

Written by Jamedi.

6,050 26 13 165

  • 15
    Imperial Formation
    Imperial Formation Order: Boost an allied unit by 2. Charge: 4. Once all Charges have been exhausted, move a Soldier unit from your deck to the top. This ability adds 15 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
  • 0
    Magic Lamp
    Magic Lamp Order: Transform into Lamp Djinn.
  • 13
    Scorch Destroy the highest unit(s).
  • 6
    Vincent Van Moorlehem
    Vincent Van Moorlehem Deploy: Destroy an enemy unit with status.
  • 8
    Radeyah If your starting deck has no duplicates, Deploy (Melee): Spawn your faction stratagem in this row. Deploy (Ranged): Create Neutral stratagem in this row.
  • 4
    Ramon Tyrconnel
    Ramon Tyrconnel Deploy: Spawn and play a base copy of a bronze Soldier from your hand and give it 2 Armor.
  • 9
    Tainted Ale
    Tainted Ale Zeal. Order: Damage a unit by 2. Charge: 3.
  • 5
    Affan Hillergrand
    Affan Hillergrand If moved to the top of your deck, Summon this unit to the melee row.
  • 3
    Sweers Deploy (Melee): Seize an enemy unit with 3 or less power.
  • 8
    Thunderbolt Zeal. Order: Boost an allied unit by 3. Charge: 2.
  • 7
    Black Blood
    Black Blood The next time an enemy receives a boost, destroy that unit and self.
  • 7
    Cadaverine Zeal. Order: Destroy self and all units whose power equals Cadaverine's Charge count. Charge: 0. Every allied turn, on turn start, and whenever you play a Tactic, gain 1 Charge.
  • 7
    Mastercrafted Spear
    Mastercrafted Spear Zeal. Order: Damage an enemy unit by 1. Charge: 4. Limit 1 Charge per turn.
  • 2
    Roderick of Dun Tynne
    Roderick of Dun Tynne Spying. Deploy: Look at 2 random gold cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 5
    Alzur's Thunder
    Alzur's Thunder Damage a unit by 5.
  • 5
    Assassination Damage a unit by 6. Decrease the damage by 1 for each unit adjacent to it.
  • 5
    Moon Dust
    Moon Dust Purify a unit and damage it by 4.
  • 5
    Piercing Missile
    Piercing Missile Damage an enemy unit by 4, ignoring its Armor.
  • 7
    Ard Feainn Tortoise
    Ard Feainn Tortoise Exposed: Boost an enemy unit with the most power by 3.
  • 7
    Nilfgaardian Knight
    Nilfgaardian Knight Deploy: Boost an enemy unit by 2.
  • 4
    Imperial Diviner
    Imperial Diviner Assimilate. Deploy: Purify a unit.
  • 3
    Ard Feainn Crossbowman
    Ard Feainn Crossbowman Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Barricade: Damage a random enemy unit by 1 whenever you play a Soldier.
  • 4
    Spores Reset a unit.
  • 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.
  • 3
    Magne Division
    Magne Division Every allied turn, on turn end, boost self by 1 if this is the only card on this row.
  • 3
    Recruit Deploy: Boost an allied Soldier by 3.
  • 3
    Van Moorlehem Hunter
    Van Moorlehem Hunter Deploy (Melee) Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns. Deploy (Ranged): Lock a unit.