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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


We have seen several decks develop with either Siege or Draug as large, win-condition cards. These decks have displayed some weaknesses to bleeding out this main condition, at which point they have utilized the combo of Radeyah and Prince Anséis to help fight the bleed and preserve a strong win condition or to give us power in a short Round 3 if our main win condition card is forced into Round 2. This deck adopts a different approach which can be even more powerful: We utilize both cards with the idea being that the opponent is likely unable to force both into Round 2, giving us the opportunity to hold one into Round 3, likely with card advantage. The real payoff, though, is when the opponent is playing a deck with weak ability to push in Round 2, at which point we may be able to keep both Siege and Draug into Round 3 and crush almost everything in a longer round.


Essential Cards

  • Siege is one half of our double win condition. Typically, it is the one we want to play in Round 3 if we have a choice, as it will play for reliably high value even in a shorter round. We will of course drop it in Round 2 if we have a larger number of Siege Engines than Humans. In particular, Siege is strong against decks that seek to develop their own board, such as Elf decks, as we gain a large amount of removal potential with it. It is often used in conjunction with our leader ability to prevent the opponent from gaining extra value on their artifact removal.
  • Draug is the other half of our double win condition. In a long round, it can be devastating, while playing it in Round 2 will typically spell the end of the opponent's push due to the huge amount of value incoming on the following turn. It is thus a useful tool to determine how long the opponent is able to push us in Round 2 depending on the matchup and our own hand quality.


  • One of the best long rounds in the game with Siege and Draug
  • Great removal through its golds and Siege


  • Draw-dependent, as we often need certain combo pieces together before Round 3 for maximum potential


Tech Choices

  • Vincent MeisSabrina Glevissig

Sabrina Glevissig is a pretty greedy choice, as it will sometimes brick due to our relative shortage of damage aside from Draug or due to an opposing Defender. If the meta plays particularly wide (such as with Elf decks) it is not a bad tech choice to further empower our Draug by providing a perfect 1-power target for Kaedweni Revenants with the potential for creating more with the 2-damage to all units on the row.

Written by JMJWilson23.

7,880 26 23 165

  • 15
    Pincer Maneuver
    Pincer Maneuver Order: Play a Northern Realms faction card from your hand, then draw any card. This ability adds 15 provisions to your deck's provisions limit.
  • 0
    Magic Lamp
    Magic Lamp Order: Transform into Lamp Djinn.
  • 14
    Siege Scenario: Progress whenever you play a Siege Engine Prologue: Spawn a Reinforced Trebuchet in your Ranged row. Chapter 1: Spawn a Battering Ram in your Ranged row. Chapter 2: Spawn and play Bombardment.
  • 7
    Draug Deploy: Transform all allied Human units in this row into Kaedweni Revenants, without changing their power.
  • 7
    Falibor Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 3. Deathblow: Repeat the Deploy ability and decrease the damage by 1.
  • 3
    Queen Adalia
    Queen Adalia Deploy: Spawn and play a base copy of a bronze unit from your hand, then give it a Shield.
  • 1
    Philippa: Blind Fury
    Philippa: Blind Fury Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 4, then damage a random enemy unit by 3,2,1.
  • 6
    Bloody Baron
    Bloody Baron Formation. Order: Reset a unit. Inspired: If it was boosted, give it Bleeding for a duration equal to the amount of boost it lost.
  • 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
    Reinforcements Spawn and play a base copy of a bronze allied unit.
  • 2
    Vincent Meis
    Vincent Meis Zeal. Order (Melee): Set the power of a non-boosted enemy to 1.
  • 3
    Caravan Vanguard
    Caravan Vanguard Deploy (Melee): Boost self by 3. Deploy (Ranged): Spawn a base copy of self in this row. Bonded: Use both abilities.
  • 5
    Carroballista Order (Ranged): Damage a unit by 2. Crew: Gain 2 Armor.
  • 4
    Bomb Heaver
    Bomb Heaver Deploy: Destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 4
    Reinforced Ballista
    Reinforced Ballista Formation. Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Resupply: Gain 1 Charge.
  • 4
    Siege Tower
    Siege Tower Deploy: Gain Vitality for 3 turns. Crew: Boost self by 3 instead.
  • 4
    Aedirnian Mauler
    Aedirnian Mauler Order (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2.
  • 4
    Siege Ladder
    Siege Ladder Deploy: Move an allied unit to other row. Crew: Boost it by 2.
  • 3
    Ballista Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 1. Order: Damage an enemy unit by 2.
  • 3
    Radovid's Royal Guards
    Radovid's Royal Guards Formation. Order: Boost an allied unit by 2. Inspired: Give it 2 Armor.


Favorable against

Tier 2

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions