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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


The golden days of beta Spies are long gone, but this deck brings back a bit of the flavor of this beloved archetype. Poison Spies combines Poison, Assimilate and Spying synergies through cards like Masquerade Ball, Rot Tosser and our leader ability Imperial Formation, which allows us to keep one of our Impera Enforcers in hand while tutoring the other one with Joachim de Wett. The goal of this deck is to force a long round where our Spy engines get out of control due to explosive plays from Masquerade Ball and Joachim in combination with Hen Gaidth Sword. Very few decks can keep pace with it over a long round, especially as we also have Poison to kill key threats. In Round 1, at least one Duchess's Informant should be played to set up our opponent’s graveyard for Experimental Remedy.


Essential Cards

  • This deck’s explosive power comes from Joachim de Wett. Not only does it guarantee us a second Impera Enforcers with the help of our leader ability, it’s also an Aristocrat that advances our Scenario Masquerade Ball for Poison and Assimilate value. Because of Enforcers and Hen Gaidth Sword, we are able to play Joachim twice.
  • Masquerade Ball is crazy with Spies: Even if our opponent has artifact removal, it Spawns Thirsty Dame, an engine that boosts with each Spy or Poison status we play. If Masquerade Ball remains unanswered, it plays for a total of 12 pure points, two Assimilate procs, a free Poison kill provided by the two Spawned Fangs of the Empire as well as additional triggers for our Enforcers and Thirsty Dame, as we can advance Masquerade Ball’s Chapters via our Aristocrat Spies Joachim de Wett and Roderick of Dun Tynne. Masquerade Ball is the number one reason why this archetype is much stronger now than in previous seasons.


  • Incredible long round with lots of powerful plays through Masquerade Ball and possible double Joachim de Wett (via Enforcers and Hen Gaidth Sword)
  • In addition to Enforcers, our Poison package allows us to kill almost anything we need.


  • When going first in Round 1, proactive plays can be difficult if we don’t draw into Glynnis aep Loernach or Imperial Diplomacy.
  • As this is a combo deck, being bled in Round 2 can be a problem if we don’t draw what we need at the right time.


Tech Choices

  • AssassinationThirsty Dame
  • Van Moorlehem HunterTourney Joust
  • Vincent Van MoorlehemTriss: Telekinesis

All of these three tech choices are in favour of more proactivity if we find it a problem. An extra engine in the form of Thirsty Dame can be nice Round 1 and Triss: Telekinesis can play for additional Assimilate value, a Spy via Experimental Remedy or just removal.


For some more information on this deck, see Mole's guide here.

Written by Mole.

6,870 26 17 165

  • 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.
  • 14
    Masquerade Ball
    Masquerade Ball Scenario: Progress whenever you play an Aristocrat. Prologue: Spawn a Thirsty Dame in this row. Chapter 1: Spawn and play Fangs of the Empire. Chapter 2: Spawn and play Fangs of the Empire.
  • 6
    Vincent Van Moorlehem
    Vincent Van Moorlehem Deploy: Destroy an enemy unit with status.
  • 4
    Joachim de Wett
    Joachim de Wett Spying. Deploy: Play the top non-Spying unit from your deck, then boost it by 8.
  • 9
    Hen Gaidth Sword
    Hen Gaidth Sword Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deathblow: Spawn and play a base copy of it.
  • 9
    Yennefer's Invocation
    Yennefer's Invocation Place an enemy unit or an enemy artifact on the top of your deck.
  • 5
    Maraal Deploy: Poison an enemy unit. Order: Poison an enemy unit.
  • 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.
  • 6
    Van Moorlehem's Cupbearer
    Van Moorlehem's Cupbearer Assimilate Deploy (Melee): Poison a unit. Deploy (Ranged): Purify a unit.
  • 4
    Glynnis aep Loernach
    Glynnis aep Loernach Assimilate 2.
  • 2
    Roderick of Dun Tynne
    Roderick of Dun Tynne Spying. Deploy: Look at 2 random gold cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 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.
  • 5
    Rot Tosser
    Rot Tosser Deploy (Ranged): Spawn and play a Cow Carcass.
  • 3
    Impera Enforcers
    Impera Enforcers Order (Ranged): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Spying unit.
  • 1
    Duchess's Informant
    Duchess's Informant Spying. Deploy: Spawn and play a base copy of a non-Spying bronze enemy 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.
  • 4
    Fangs of the Empire
    Fangs of the Empire Deploy: Give an enemy unit Poison.
  • 3
    Van Moorlehem Hunter
    Van Moorlehem Hunter Deploy (Melee) Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns. Deploy (Ranged): Lock a unit.