Preview: Meta Snapshot #6
February 7, 2019 by Jamedi
After the recent patch at the beginning of the month, the master chefs of Team Aretuza and Team Nova have once again entered the kitchen and are hard at work cooking up a new Gwent Meta Snapshot. While you are waiting, we would like to treat you with a small taste of some of the decks that define the flavor of the patch and the current metagame. Here, we present you a pro player-picked aperitif of five archetypes, one from each faction, which we hope will make your mouths water for the full Meta Snapshot to be delivered soonTM.
Northern Realms: The Queen of Engines
Queen Meve is the newcomer to Northern Realms. The basic premise of this deck, which was created by shinmiri2, is to play a seemingly endless stream of engine cards. Our opponent will eventually run out of answers which allows us to keep several engines on our rows for a lot of value. The deck uses Queen Meve’s leader ability to boost and protect our engines, making them difficult to remove.
- Hubert Rejk is the best non-Order finisher in this deck, as he boosts himself by the amount of damage that was dealt to enemies in the turn in which he was played. Other notable non-Order finishers are Tridam Infantry and Lyrian Scytheman.
- Ves is the only immediate reaction/removal card in the deck. If you still have Ves’s Order ability of giving another card Zeal, you will have access to secondary reactionary removal in the form of Seltkirk of Gulet or Saesenthessis: Blaze.
- The most potent engines of the deck are Vysogota of Corvo, Anna Strenger and Yennefer: Conjurer.
- Very strong in long rounds
- Has an absurd number of points if even a couple engines go unanswered
- Weak in a short round and vulnerable to bleeding
- Very limited immediate removal options
- Eyck of Denesle, Prince Villem ⇒ Regis: Higher Vampire, Damned Sorceress
- Prince Villem ⇒ White Frost
We use Prince Villem to have easier access to golds. Additionally, it can be a free card with Sabrina Glevissig or discounted with Ocvist. Include White Frost or even Bomb Heaver if you encounter lots of Artifacts.
Skellige: Lippy’s Skellige
Crach an Craite is used as a leader in this deck due to its high number of provisions and his ability to allow combos such as Olaf into Hym. Playing Lippy Gudmund feels at times like cheating the provision system, as it enables us to play our gold cards in two different rounds while discarding any low quality or tech cards in bad matchups. This deck was created by Gnurrgard and Wusubi.
- Lippy Gudmund’s ability of swapping cards from the graveyard back into the deck is the core of this deck. Besides being a tool for easy disposal of our low value cards, it also allows for a longer than normal Round 1, as we are not afraid to commit our finishers, which are usually reserved for Round 3 in others decks. Thus, we are able to win the first round easily and remain in control for the rest of the game.
- Hym is a good card to combo with Olaf, which can carry the deck in some matchups against tall units, like Big Woodland. While Olaf/Hym is the most stable combo in our deck, Hym is strong by itself in connection with our leader’s ability.
- Higher quality of cards than in other decks due to Lippy Gudmund
- Great consistency because of discard package (Birna Bran, Heymaey Skald, Morkvarg and Tuirseach Skirmisher)
- Stronger going second than going first
- Tough games when we cannot draw into Lippy Gudmund
- Gimpy Gerwin ⇒ Skjall
- Chironex ⇒ Enraged Ifrit
Although Chironex and Enraged Ifrit have the same plain value, Chironex can be used as a removal bait. Nevertheless, if the meta sees a popularity rise of Hanmarvyn's Blue Dream and Unicorn, swapping it out for Enraged Ifrit is a good option.
Nilfgaard: Tactic Disguises
Ardal aep Dahy is the newcomer to the Great Empire. His ability facilitates a lot of combos with Operator, whose main target in this deck is Master of Disguise. The buff to Nilfgaardian Knight made it a valuable card by itself, but in addition to Rainfarn of Attre, it also improves the stability of our combo with Master of Disguise. Buffing enemy cards enhances the value of some of our Tactics cards, such as Treason. After its provision buff, Infiltrator is another valuable card in our disruption strategy. This deck was created by shinmiri2 and Gwent2town.
- Operator is used to copy Master of Disguise which Ardal aep Dahy will immediately steal. This synergizes with the main idea of our deck, while protecting us against the possibility of removal.
- Master of Disguise is the bread and butter of this deck. Its ability facilitates our enemy boosting cards, making it effectively positive points for ourselves.
- Absurd possibility of comeback due to Master of Disguise in combination with our other enemy boosting cards
- A lot of control options making our matchup against engine decks really good, while our tempo matchups are covered by Master of Disguise
- Vulnerable to hard control and locks
- Excluding Nilfgaardian Knight and Infiltrator, this deck is very reactive, which can be a problem when we have to go first and draws are suboptimal.
- Vigo's Muzzle, Alchemist ⇒ Bribery, Slave Infantry
- Vigo's Muzzle, Traheaern var Vdyffir ⇒ Commander's Horn, Strays of Spalla
Because Vigo's Muzzle locks the enemy cards it seizes, it is probably overcosted. Bribery, on the other hand, allows a more flexible deck composition despite its recent nerf: With it in the deck, we can remove the niche card Alchemist and upgrade its spot with Slave Infantry, which synergizes, for example, with Slave Driver.
Another alternative to Vigo's Muzzle is running a more raw value card, like Commander's Horn, which forces us to rowstack. However, this lack of control is compensated by including Strays of Spalla due to the great quantity of row-locked Order units popular in the current meta.
Monsters: Big Monsters
This decks relies on the same core principle as Big Woodland but instead uses Gernichora's ability to get extra Thrive value from its Fruits, improving our long round while not losing too much in short ones. Giant units, such as Old Speartip, Count Caldwell and Golyat, represent our tempo plays in Round 1 or 3 as well as a carryover in the form of our graveyard consumptions. Gernichora’s Fruits protect us from different removal effects in some matchups, like against Unseen Elder. In summary, we are playing an improved giants deck whose long round is better and which carries extra removal for engine matchups.
There is no one card that this deck relies on. That being said, our giants are our principal tempo plays and our Round 3 point carryover in the form of graveyard consumption with Ghoul. Cards like Cyclops, Brewess and Celaeno Harpy proc our Deathwish units and enable us to rid ourselves of Gernichora’s Fruit when it is too big to continue Thriving.
- Because of our giants, we are capable of huge point swings, while our Thrives represent engines which can increase our points exponentially.
- Superb short round, which enhances our ability of bleeding in Round 2
- Zero interaction with our opponent's side of the board, which makes us vulnerable to engine-based decks, such as The Queen of Engines
- If we rely too much on our Consumes, we are vulnerable to Resets and Scorch effects.
- Count Caldwell, Dorregaray of Vole ⇒ Adda: Striga, Imlerith's Wrath
- Golyat ⇒ Naglfar
Removing Count Caldwell and Dorregaray of Vole from our deck makes our tempo plays weaker; however, by adding some control sources in the form of Adda: Striga, whose effect will always be triggered as we are running giants, and Imlerith's Wrath, we improve our matchups against engine decks.
Another option is swapping Golyat for Naglfar, granting us extra consistency and thinning in our deck, which is one of our weaknesses.
Scoia'tael: Midrange Scoia'tael
If we had to summarize the spirit of a Midrange deck, it would be something like “add only good cards to your deck and be able to adapt to any situation.” With the general provision buff to Traps in the recent patch, it is interesting to use Iorveth's Gambit as a way to thin the deck in combination with Crushing Trap and Pitfall Trap, reminding us of old Beta Morenn. The Unicorn and Chironex combo is still good, despite their slight ability change, and they provide decent value. Count Caldwell can be risky if we face a lot of Big Monsters, but it can be mitigated by using Ciaran aep Easnillen on it.
- Saesenthessis with its ability to gain Immunity is the perfect boost target for Unicorn, which will help us control the highest unit on the board to keep Count Caldwell on our side.
- Crushing Trap is a one turn delayed Lacerate, but it costs one provision less. Additionally, it synergizes with our leader and Vrihedd Dragoon. Pitfall Trap is also noteworthy, as it can be used to deny our opponent’s finisher if played at the right moment.
- As with any other Midrange deck, this deck can fight in any length of round without too many problems.
- Crushing Trap has the potential of generating a lot of points. Generally, playing Traps will force our rival to think about what type of card we have played, punishing any mistake they make.
- Traps are easily countered by Artifact removal, and they can be low tempo plays.
- During longer rounds, the deck can lose fuel.
- Ida Emean aep Sivney, Wolf Pack ⇒ Milva, Vrihedd Sappers
- Iorveth ⇒ Schirrú
Iorveth generates a lot of points with the possibility of reusing, for example, Pitfall Trap, but Schirrú can be massive if used in the correct moment, as it synergizes perfectly with our leader Brouver Hoog.