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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


Masquerade Ball is an exceptionally powerful card when it is not removed, enough so to form an entire deck centered around the card. We play a deck with double copies of our bronzes (thus playing without Radeyah) in order to increase our synergy and improve our chances of playing Masquerade Ball twice in a game through the use of Assire var Anahid. Our deck is strong in any round length, making it flexible to deal with any given situation. Our ability to replay Masquerade Ball if we do not fear artifact removal means that we can potentially commit it in Round 1 if winning Round 1 is important for the given matchup. In general, playing some golds in Round 1 is acceptable to win it because we want to play reactively in Round 3 many times and we also are able to recycle a gold back into our deck with Assire anyway.


Essential Cards

  • Masquerade Ball is the heart and soul of the deck, providing us with a large portion of our power. We can sometimes complete the whole Scenario or at least one Chapter with our leader ability to play around artifact removal to a degree. Make sure to hold enough Aristocrats to make Masquerade Ball work, even if you have to keep multiple bronzes in hand to do so.
  • The Tactical Decision leader ability is a bit weak on its own (due to the nature of mulligans) so we need a way to strengthen it. Yennefer's Invocation is a core card in many Nilfgaard decks, but none more than this one. We are able to put a strong opponent's card on top of our deck and replay it through our leader ability or with Joachim de Wett. Invocation is especially necessary in matches against other Nilfgaard decks, as we need to be prepared with an answer to an opposing Masquerade Ball.


  • Completely wipes out decks that utilize tall units in their gameplan
  • The large power spike provided by Masquerade Ball can quickly swing a large number of points in our favor.


  • Weak against decks that play wide rather than tall
  • Some weakness to artifact removal, as the last Chapter is equally strong to the second


Tech Choices

  • RoachAvallac'h

Roach gives us a decent backup target for Assire var Anahid if we are forced to leave Round 1 early without putting a strong gold in the graveyard to recycle. It also is an option to give us extra tempo in Round 1, which we often desire. At the same time, we do sacrifice an additional slot for a gold, which we can fill with Avallac'h. Avallac'h is just a strong card that also has minor synergy with our Assimilate engines and helping us deal with tokens to a degree. We also gain a potential answer to Scarabs from Azar Javed if Syndicate decks are common in the meta, which allows us more freedom in playing this matchup.

Written by JMJWilson23.

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  • 17
    Tactical Decision
    Tactical Decision Order: Look at the top 3 cards from your deck and play one. This ability adds 17 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
  • 0
    Collar Order: Lock an enemy unit and damage it by 3.
  • 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.
  • 3
    Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 9
    Yennefer's Invocation
    Yennefer's Invocation Place an enemy unit or an enemy artifact on the top of your deck.
  • 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.
  • 5
    Maraal Deploy: Poison an enemy unit. Order: Poison an enemy unit.
  • 6
    Assire var Anahid
    Assire var Anahid Deploy (Melee): Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy (Ranged): Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 4
    Thirsty Dame
    Thirsty Dame Whenever an enemy unit receives a status, boost self by 1.
  • 1
    Duchess's Informant
    Duchess's Informant Spying. Deploy: Spawn and play a base copy of a non-Spying bronze enemy unit.
  • 4
    Fangs of the Empire
    Fangs of the Empire Deploy: Give an enemy unit Poison.
  • 3
    King Cobra
    King Cobra Deploy: Poison an enemy unit.
  • 3
    Van Moorlehem Hunter
    Van Moorlehem Hunter Deploy (Melee) Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns. Deploy (Ranged): Lock a unit.


Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions