This Meta Snapshot, created by Team Aretuza and Team Nova, attempts to establish the best decks to play in Pro Ladder and Ranked Ladder, given the current state of the metagame, in order to maximize the chances of winning games and climbing.

Every deck is accompanied by a short text explaining a little bit about the archetype, showing the reasons for placing it in its tier alongside the pros and cons of the deck.

Legend

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 (e.g. MO Consume has a massive power level but can be countered with a simple tech); in addition, these decks should win consistently against lower tiers.

 

Tier 3

Decks in this tier are generally viable for normal ladder and for some cheesy picks at tournaments. These decks can surprise opponents and win matches, but without that surprise factor their potential is significantly reduced. A deck at this tier should lose against Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks the majority of the time

Patch Overview

Almost two months have passed since Swap Update was released. While top of metagame looks really similar to what we described in last Meta Snapshot, a lot of new spicy lists have appeared during this time. Shupe's Day Off is the star card in game right now.

Old archetypes have seen a new resurface, new archetypes have been developed, making this metagame broader than other ones. Nilfgaard is still strong, but factions like Scoia'tael and Skellige also have their Tier 1 decks. Northern Realms looks a little bit weaker than others, but has improved its situation since last Meta Snapshot.

Published: 27th of July, 2018 (Patch 0.9.24.3.432)

Overview

Soldiers stay in Tier 1 as one of the most solid decks in the game.  It has one of the strongest bronze packages on a pure points basis, solid golds, and flexible silvers, with a range of good matchups across the meta.

The core of this deck is the Slave Infantry and Sentry combo, which can provide up to a 26 point play in an optimal case. While past versions of this deck ran additional bronze engines, the meta has generally solidified around the Ointment-focused version that allows the main bronze combo to be played in multiple rounds. 

Vicovaro Novice is used in this list as thinning and a tutor for Ointment. Often, a single copy of Mardroeme or Mahakam Ale is added to the list to reduce the possibility of bricking Vicovaro Novice in Round 1.

Pros:

  • Insane value in long rounds without easily disruptable engines.
  • Basic gameplan is relatively straightforward.
  • Can be teched to your local meta, particularly in the silver package and choice between Mardroeme and Mahakam Ale.

Cons:

  • Struggles dealing with short rounds - often relies on card advantage to win.
  • Can be weak against control decks and weather unless teched properly.
  • Certain cards (Ointment, Vicovaro Novice, and even Jan Calveit if you are tragically unlucky) can brick if the graveyard is not properly developed.

Tech choices

  • Triss: Telekinesis=>Villentretenmerth or Yennefer: Enchantress
  • Vilgefortz=>Dandelion: Poet
  • Vanhemar=>Roach
  • Decoy=>Artefact Compression

The deck's gold core is strong, and it doesn't typically allow for too many changes. However, we can make some modifications if we want to run a more control-oriented version, running Villentretenmerth and Yennefer: Enchantress alongside with Scorch. Another possible change is Dandelion: Poet for Vilgefortz if we want to add some early tempo to our plays. Cahir Dyffryn has been used in older versions as an alternative win condition.

Some players have also tried swapping leaders, removing Jan Calveit for Emhyr var Emreis to get more utility in exchange for the tempo that Calveit provides to this archetype.

While Vanhemar and Vreemde work well together, we can opt to swap out one of them and add Roach, preferably Vanhemar. The last silver spot can be flexed between an control option such Mandrake or Artefact Compression; or a more general utility option such as Decoy. We also have the option of using Sweers, if we want to hard-counter Consume, which we can then also include Nilfgaardian Gate to tutor out.

In the bronze slots, we can change all the alchemy package for an engine package composed of Alba Armored Cavalry and Standard Bearer, which improve our long rounds, but makes us weaker on short rounds and more vulnerable to removal. Among high elo players, Nauzicaa Sergeant has become popular as an alternative to running Vanhemar, as it achieves essentially the same function (clearing weather).

The list presented is a variation of a deck created by Saber97.

  • 5 Jan Calveit Jan Calveit Look at the top 3 cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 9 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Destroy an ally, then play the top card of your deck; or Truce: Destroy an enemy, then your opponent draws and Reveals a Bronze card.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 5 Rainfarn of Attre Rainfarn of Attre Play a Bronze or Silver Spying unit from your deck.
  • 5 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Destroy the Highest units on an enemy row if that row has a total of 25 or more.
  • 13 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards. Keep one and move the other to the bottom of your deck.
  • 11 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Return 2 Bronze or Silver cards from either graveyard to their respective decks.
  • 5 Joachim de Wett Joachim de Wett Spying. Play the top non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit from your deck and boost it by 10.
  • 4 Vreemde Vreemde Create a Bronze Nilfgaardian Soldier.
  • 4 Vanhemar Vanhemar Spawn Biting Frost, Clear Skies or Shrike.
  • Decoy Decoy Replay a Bronze or Silver ally and boost it by 3.
  • 8 Sentry Sentry x3 Boost all allied copies of a Soldier by 2.
  • 3 Slave Infantry Slave Infantry x3 Spawn a Doomed default copy of this unit on your other rows.
  • 2 Vicovaro Novice Vicovaro Novice x2 Look at 2 random Bronze Alchemy cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 1 Recruit Recruit Play a random different Bronze Soldier from your deck.
  • 1 Vicovaro Medic Vicovaro Medic Resurrect a Bronze unit from your opponent's graveyard.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Mardroeme Mardroeme Choose One: Reset a unit and Strengthen it by 3; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 3.
  • Ointment Ointment x3 Resurrect a Bronze unit with 5 power or less.

Matchup Table

Overview

Shupe's Day Off is a unique card which looked very meme-y when it was announced but has proved its competitive viability over time. Its combination with Scoia'tael and Brouver Hoog has proven to be one of the strongest decks in the current metagame.

As we have to carry only one copy of each card to trigger Shupe’s effect, the best faction for using him nowadays is Scoia’tael, since most bronze cards represent around 12 points of value on average, improving the consistency of the list. After the Swap Update and the nerf to Brouver Hoog to no longer be able to pull Yaevinn, the list composition has changed and we carry more spells. While the deck is no longer assured to draw Shupe with Yaevinn, the additional spells help with thinning, provide anti-tall-unit tech, and allow you to run more targets for one of your secondary win conditions, Éibhear Hattori.

As mirrors has become more prevalent, Geralt: Igni has gained its slot over Schirrú.

Pros:

  • Shupe's Day Off is the best gold card in the game.
  • Éibhear Hattori into Barclay Els provides a win condition apart from Shupe.
  • Possibility of using some weather effects. 

Cons:

  • Low and linear bronze value.
  • No blacklist on mulligan possibility.

Tech choices

  • Triss: Telekinesis => Isengrim Faoiltiarna
  • Geralt: Igni => Schirrú
  • Vaedermakar => Paulie Dahlberg

As Shupe is one of the most variable archetypes in this meta snapshot, talking about tech choices is a little bit difficult. Instead, it is more correct to talk about possible options of deckbuilding.

In golden cards, the options largely revolve around the fourth gold slot, which in this list is used for Triss: Telekinesis but can be filled with several options. One of them is taking Isengrim Faoiltiarna and carrying some ambush units, giving us some strong tempo. A slightly meme-ier option developed this patch is to use this slot for Wolfsbane in combination with the silver card Johnny, because most of the gold cards your opponents may run in this meta are useful. Last, but not any less importantly, cards such as Dandelion: Poet have been also played in this slot. Geralt: Igni has risen as mirror matches have become more prevalent, but Schirrú can reenter the list if we are facing other archetypes.

Among silvers, the most flexible slot here is used for Vaedermakar, providing us additional removal via Alzur's Thunder or a hazard for long rounds. We can fill this spot using cards such as Paulie Dahlberg (we are carrying a lot of Dwarfs in this list) or, as mentioned before, Johnny.

Bronze composition varies between decks, as Scoia'tael cards average around 12 points, but the most notable change is removing Mardroeme for Alzur's Thunder in the case we want some additional removal.

The list provided in this Meta Snapshot is a standard version carrying Mardroeme and Vaedermakar over other options.

  • 4 Brouver Hoog Brouver Hoog Play a non-Spying Silver unit or a Bronze Dwarf from your deck.
  • 8 Aglaïs Aglaïs Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card from your opponent's graveyard, then Banish it.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 5 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Destroy the Highest units on an enemy row if that row has a total of 25 or more.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • 13 Yaevinn Yaevinn Spying. Single-Use: Draw a special card and a unit. Keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 4 Ida Emean aep Sivney Ida Emean aep Sivney Spawn Impenetrable Fog, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Resurrect a lower or equal Bronze or Silver Scoia'tael unit.
  • 2 Barclay Els Barclay Els Play a random Bronze or Silver Dwarf from your deck and Strengthen it by 3.
  • Decoy Decoy Replay a Bronze or Silver ally and boost it by 3.
  • 10 Vrihedd Neophyte Vrihedd Neophyte Boost 2 random units in your hand by 1.
  • 9 Vrihedd Brigade Vrihedd Brigade Clear Hazards from its row and move a unit to this row on its side.
  • 8 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary Move a unit to this row on its side. If it's an ally, boost it by 3.
  • 7 Hawker Support Hawker Support Boost a unit in your hand by 3.
  • 6 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If the unit was not destroyed, boost self by 3.
  • 6 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter Spawn a Doomed default copy of this unit to the right of this unit.
  • 5 Pyrotechnician Pyrotechnician Deal 3 damage to a random enemy on each row.
  • 5 Elven Swordmaster Elven Swordmaster Deal damage equal to this unit's power to an enemy.
  • 4 Mahakam Guard Mahakam Guard Boost an ally by 7.
  • 4 Panther Panther Deal 7 damage to an enemy on a row with less than 4 units.
  • 2 Sage Sage Resurrect a Bronze Alchemy or Spell card, then Banish it.
  • 1 Elven Mercenary Elven Mercenary Look at 2 random Bronze special cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 1 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator Spawn a default copy of a random different Bronze Dwarf from your deck.
  • Mardroeme Mardroeme Choose One: Reset a unit and Strengthen it by 3; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 3.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.

Matchup Table

Overview

Greatswords is one of the strongest archetypes in the game right now and is the best pure engine deck after the Swap Update. The list remains almost unchanged since last Meta Snapshot, with the exceptions of the change of Heymaey Spearmaiden for a Tuirseach Bearmaster and the fourth gold slot. As there is a lot of anti-Greatswords tech on ladders, Djenge Frett is included as another win condition

We use the Dimun Light Longship as one of the point generators of this deck, used as the damage source to make our An Craite Greatsword stronger. In an ideal round, we can manage to get nine points per turn of passive value if we can set up three Longship-Greatsword combos.

In addition, if our An Craite Greatswords are being strengthened in the first two rounds, a short third round is very good for us, as we can resurrect them with Priestess of Freya, often supplying us with more than 20 points per play.

Pros:

  • Strong in long rounds. Dimun Light Longship in combination with An Craite Greatsword generates an average value of six points every two turns (four points made by the Dimun Light Longship and two points made by An Craite Greatsword strengthening).
  • An Craite Greatsword represents good value in a short round via Priestess of Freya resurrections, and can sometimes surpass Ciri: Nova (22 point) and other finishers.
  • Due to its strong short round, it's one of the best list for bleeding on Round 2. 

Cons:

  • Very vulnerable to early removal and control-oriented lists.
  • As with most Skellige lists, it is very weak against graveyard hate such as Caretaker, Ozzrel, or Vicovaro Medic.
  • Resurrections often limit the length of our first round, making us unable to push harder.

Tech Choices

  • Muzzle => Renew
  • Dandelion: Poet => Vesemir: Mentor
  • Djenge Frett and Harald Houndsnout => Mandrake and Black Blood

While the bronze core is highly optimized and difficult to improve, except for the change of Tuirseach Bearmaster for Heymaey Spearmaiden, two of the gold spots are flexible, with Hym and Coral considered auto-included in every Greatsword deck. The other two can be filled by various cards, which we will talk next.

Muzzle is used as a self-protection card for avoiding an enemy's Muzzle; Dandelion: Poet gives us extra thinning and tempo, helping us to deal with early plays, and also acts as a coin abuse mechanism; Renew, one of the new meta calls, allows us to reuse one of our other gold cards; Vesemir: Mentor, if we want to play with the Alchemy package; Wild Boar of the Sea, another engine which also improves our matchup against Alchemy if used wisely; Geralt: Igni, an extra removal tool; and Royal Decree, only used if we need desesperately draw one of our gold cards.

The other major changes consist of swapping Djenge Frett and Harald Houndsnout (an second win condition) for the alchemy package in the case we want to use Vesemir: Mentor. It also assures a An Craite Greatsword of 10-strength being pulled by Crach an Craite. Gremist is an posible option for make the combo with Harald. Morkvarg is the new flavor of the month, granting the best matchups on blue coin.

The list shown in this Snapshot represents the standard Djenge Harald version.

  • 5 Crach an Craite Crach an Craite Strengthen the Highest non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2 and play it.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 5 Coral Coral Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • 3 Hym Hym Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck; or Create a Silver unit from your opponent's starting deck.
  • Muzzle Muzzle Charm a Bronze or Silver enemy with 8 power or less.
  • 13 Udalryk Udalryk Spying. Single-Use: Look at 2 cards from your deck. Draw one and Discard the other.
  • 10 Djenge Frett Djenge Frett Deal 1 damage to 2 allies and Strengthen self by 2 for each.
  • 6 Harald Houndsnout Harald Houndsnout Spawn Wilfred to the left of this unit, Wilhelm to the right, and Wilmar on the opposite row.
  • 5 Skjall Skjall Play a random Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck.
  • 3 Sigrdrifa Sigrdrifa Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Clan unit.
  • Restore Restore Return a Bronze or Silver Skellige unit from your graveyard to your hand, add the Doomed category to it, and set its base power to 8. Then play a card.
  • 8 An Craite Greatsword An Craite Greatsword x3 Every 2 turns, if damaged, Heal self and Strengthen by 2 on turn start.
  • 7 Dimun Light Longship Dimun Light Longship x3 On turn end, deal 1 damage to the unit to the right, then boost self by 2.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Resurrect a Bronze Machine.
  • 1 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x2 Play a different Bronze Dimun unit from your deck.
  • 1 Priestess of Freya Priestess of Freya x3 Resurrect a Bronze Soldier.
  • 1 Tuirseach Bearmaster Tuirseach Bearmaster Spawn a Bear.

Matchup Table

Overview

Deathwish is a flexible and popular archetype among Monsters players. The archetype is not strong enough to be considered Tier 1 but its power allows it to be categorized as high Tier 2. The use of Weavess: Incantation has revitalized this archetype.

Its combination of engines and Fog makes the archetype one of the strongest decks in long rounds, allowing access to a massive quantity of passive points thanks to Archespore. The other power cards for this list include D'ao, which represents a good tempo play when paired with Griffin (17 points) and Cyclops (19 points), but is a low-tempo play by itself.

Deathwish has proved to be very flexible and great against many different archetypes, but also presents some weaknesses that make it unable to reach a Tier 1 power level. 

Pros:

  • Great in long rounds.
  • High tempo plays when all the engines are setted.

Cons:

  • Low tempo plays such D'ao and Archespore without tutoring.
  • Reliant on being able to trigger D'ao deathwish.

Tech choices

  • Woodland Spirit => Muzzle
  • Weavess: Incantation => Whispess: Tribute
  • She-Troll of Vergen => Alzur's Double–Cross

Every Deathwish deck shares two golden cards, Ge'els and Brewess: Ritual. The other two golden spots can be ocupped by different options, such as Weavess: Incantation for some extra tempo on Maerolorn and Relict synergy; Woodland Spirit, as a Fog generator; Muzzle, a flexible card which allows us to get a better Greatswords matchup and can be used defensively in other situations; Caretaker, providing some graveyard hate; Kayran, an versatile card which improves Greatswords and other engine matchups; Miruna, a risky but powerful finisher; and Whispess: Tribute if we want to carry the organic package(Mandrake and Monster Nest).

Among silver cards, we can try to take out She-Troll of Vergen to use Alzur's Double–Cross as a way to double our probability of drawing our card advantage spy, really useful as this list usually drypasses on blue coin. Another option is using the organic package (Mandrake and Monster Nest). Morvudd is usually included as another Relict card. Crones could be also included, making our mulligans really risky. In some tournaments, Abaya has been used as a tech card for mirrors.

  • 8 Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 5 Woodland Spirit Woodland Spirit Spawn 3 Wolves on the melee row and apply Impenetrable Fog to the opposite row.
  • 4 Weavess: Incantation Weavess: Incantation Choose One: Strengthen all your other Relicts in hand, deck, and on board by 2; or Play a Bronze or Silver Relict from your deck and Strengthen it by 2.
  • 1 Brewess: Ritual Brewess: Ritual Resurrect 2 Bronze Deathwish units.
  • 1 Ge'els Ge'els Look at a random Gold and Silver card from your deck, then play 1 and move the other to the top of the deck.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 6 Morvudd Morvudd Toggle a unit's Lock status. If it was an enemy, halve its power.
  • 5 Ozzrel Ozzrel Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from either graveyard and boost by its power.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 4 Maerolorn Maerolorn Play a Bronze Deathwish unit from your deck.
  • 1 She-Troll of Vergen She-Troll of Vergen Play a Bronze Deathwish unit from your deck, Consume it and boost self by its base power.
  • 11 Cyclops Cyclops x2 Destroy an ally and deal damage equal to its power to an enemy.
  • 9 Griffin Griffin x3 Trigger the Deathwish of a Bronze ally.
  • 8 Rotfiend Rotfiend Deathwish: Deal 2 damage to units on the opposite row.
  • 7 Archespore Archespore x3 Move to a random row and deal 1 damage to a random enemy on turn start. Deathwish: Deal 4 damage to a random enemy.
  • 6 D'ao D'ao x2 Deathwish: Spawn 2 Lesser D'ao on this row.
  • 4 Foglet Foglet x3 Whenever you apply Impenetrable Fog to an enemy row, Summon a copy of this unit to the opposite row.
  • 2 Slyzard Slyzard Consume a different Bronze unit from your graveyard, then play a copy of it from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

Consume is one of the classic archetypes remaining from Closed Beta with some variations. We can define this archetype as a "high-risk high-reward” option as you depend on one card, the Nekker. If we can execute our entire game plan, consisting of copying Nekker with Nekker Warrior and boosting them with every consume effect, then we will be able to generate a massive quantity of points.

As we can see, most parts of the traditional list remain, with only a few changes introduced: the use of Weavess: Incantation for tutoring Maerolorn, gaining some extra tempo, and the addition of Frightener for improving blue coin situations and being more resistant to bleeding strategies if we lose R1.

Consume remains as one of the most powerful decks in metagame, with Brewess: Ritual and Phoenix one of the strongest finishers in the game.

Pros:

  • Doesn't care much about card advantage and can win two cards down.
  • Insane amount of points if you can use Vran Warrior from the beginning of the match.
  • Great tempo swings at the end of the match.

Cons:

  • Addition of Frightener also can block the pulling of a Nekker Warrior via Alzur's Double–Cross.
  • Low-tempo plays at the start of the match, which leads to winning R1 down by two or more cards.
  • Easy to tech against.

Tech Choices

  • Ge'els => Royal Decree
  • Weavess: Incantation => Dandelion: Poet
  • Frightener => Morvudd
  • Summoning Circle => Decoy

While Brewess: Ritual and Phoenix are essential for Consume, the other two cards can be changed to reflect what we need in the meta. Royal Decree instead of Ge'els gives easier access to the gold card a situation calls for, while Ge'els assures the draw for next round. Dandelion: Poet helps us drawing, and in combination with Ge'els it apports some extra tempo to that silver card we get. If we are facing a lot of mirrors, we can choose to tech with Whispess: Tribute and the organic package of Mandrake and Monster Nest. If we need aditional graveyard hate, Caretaker looks like a good option, while if we want some engine hate, we can use Kayran.

Among silver cards, the only one which is untouchable is Maerolorn as the other ones are not necessary to make the deck work, although Alzur's Double–Cross and Marching Orders are highly recommended. This meta suggests the use of Frightener, but if we feel it is blocking too much our Nekker Warrior we can substitute it for other cards that can assure our Nekker, like Operator or Decoy. Morvudd can be used if we feel that we are bricking too often with our Weavess: Incantation, and if we need some extra tempo, Roach can be included in the deck. Lastly, if graveyard hate is needed, we should use Ozzrel, getting an extra consume tick.

The bronze core is really tight, but we can use Barbegazi for some carryover instead of Forktail.

  • 7 Arachas Queen Arachas Queen Immune. Consume 3 allies and boost self by their power.
  • 5 Phoenix Phoenix Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Draconid.
  • 4 Weavess: Incantation Weavess: Incantation Choose One: Strengthen all your other Relicts in hand, deck, and on board by 2; or Play a Bronze or Silver Relict from your deck and Strengthen it by 2.
  • 1 Ge'els Ge'els Look at a random Gold and Silver card from your deck, then play 1 and move the other to the top of the deck.
  • 1 Brewess: Ritual Brewess: Ritual Resurrect 2 Bronze Deathwish units.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 4 Maerolorn Maerolorn Play a Bronze Deathwish unit from your deck.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Monster Nest Monster Nest Spawn a Bronze Necrophage or Insectoid and boost it by 1.
  • Summoning Circle Summoning Circle Spawn a default copy of the last Bronze or Silver non-Agent unit that appeared.
  • 9 Nekker Warrior Nekker Warrior x3 Choose a Bronze ally and add 2 copies of it to the bottom of your deck.
  • 8 Forktail Forktail x3 Consume 2 allies and boost self by their power.
  • 6 Vran Warrior Vran Warrior x3 Consume the unit to the right and boost self by its power. Every 2 turns, repeat its ability on turn start.
  • 4 Nekker Nekker x3 If in hand, deck, or on board, boost self by 1 whenever you Consume a card. Deathwish: Summon a copy of this unit to the same position.
  • 2 Slyzard Slyzard x3 Consume a different Bronze unit from your graveyard, then play a copy of it from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

NG Alchemy continues to be one of the most popular archetypes in the game, and one of the most powerful. It's still strong, but due to the great quantity of swarmy decks in meta, Alchemy has fallen to a Tier 2 deck.

The core of this deck is composed of bronze alchemy cards (Ointment, Mahakam Ale and often Swallow or Mardroeme); Viper Witcher (usually a 16-point bronze which acts as engine hate), and Vicovaro Novice to pull out bronze Alchemy cards. As we don't have many proactive plays in our core, The Guardian has been added as a tool to make a solid opening when we're on blue coin.

The gold composition is variable, but the common factor across all versions is Vesemir: Mentor, a reliable tool that gives us access to our silver alchemy cards. The other gold choices may vary. As for the silvers, Assire var Anahid is one of the most versatile silver cards in this deck. She can be used either to disrupt the opponent's gameplan by returning bad cards to their deck or as a way to avoid bricked tutors and overthinning.

Pros:

  • High-tempo bronzes.
  • Strong removal via Viper Witcher and/or Mandrake.
  • Strongest short R3 in the game.

Cons:

  • Lack of area-of-effect removal, which makes it vulnerable against swarm lists.
  • Vicovaro Novice shows two random alchemy bronzes, and sometimes could offer us two bricked Ointment.
  • Complex mulligans due to the great quantity of tutored cards included in the deck.

Tech choices

  • Vilgefortz => Dandelion: Poet
  • Cahir Dyffryn => Rainfarn of Attre
  • Roach => Joachim de Wett
  • Black Blood => Expired Ale

Alchemy has many versions. The first decision we have to make is to choose between Vilgefortz and Dandelion: Poet. The first one is usually used as a high-tempo finisher, but also can be used early if we need to make an Ointment playable, and also in an offensive way for burning big targets such as Handbuff's Spotter. The second one is included as a proactive play for R1.

Another conflict point is whether or not the deck runs Cahir Dyffryn. While it makes our mirror match worse due to the potential for the opponent to brick our Cahir with a well-timed Mandrake, it will also improve other matchups such as Scoia'tael, providing us a very reliable finisher and allowing us to use Mandrake as a carryover source, improving our R3. We can also consider running cards such as Rainfarn of Attre with Joachim de Wett as a silver complement, which is also useful for denying an even spy trade, which in some scenarios may deny a spot for our rival to play an spy and be still ahead, or the versatile Triss: Telekinesis. If we feel that we need more proactive plays, we can also include Stefan Skellen, which will improve our draws and enable very good combinations. Trial of the Grasses was popular in the first Alchemy versions, but its popularity has declined.

Some players has been seen playing Xarthisius instead of Stefan as another type of proactive play. Xarthisius also allows us to know the deck of the opponent, and if we have enough knowledgement of the meta, we can guess the opponent's hand.

For silver cards, we can consider running Expired Ale as another tempo and removal play, useful in long rounds but easy to minimize if your opponent plays around it. After the Swap Update's create rework, Dazhbog Runestone is not a solid option anymore. Cadaverine can be use in an extreme case in which we want to soft tech against Soldiers. Another popular tech card if we want to target Consume in tournaments or ladder is Sweers, with the possibility of adding Nilfgaardian Gate to tutor him. In bronze, a tech option is running a Vicovaro Medic as a tool to make our Skellige matchup better, but it is another reactive play and difficult for us to play on blue coin. Mardroeme has lost popularity, since most lists run 11 alchemy cards to counter An Craite Armorsmith in Veterans.

The list presented here is the standard Cahir version.

 

  • 5 Jan Calveit Jan Calveit Look at the top 3 cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 9 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Destroy an ally, then play the top card of your deck; or Truce: Destroy an enemy, then your opponent draws and Reveals a Bronze card.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 6 Vesemir: Mentor Vesemir: Mentor Play a Bronze or Silver Alchemy card from your deck.
  • 1 Cahir Dyffryn Cahir Dyffryn Resurrect a Leader.
  • 13 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards. Keep one and move the other to the bottom of your deck.
  • 11 The Guardian The Guardian Add a Lesser Guardian to the top of your opponent's deck.
  • 11 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Return 2 Bronze or Silver cards from either graveyard to their respective decks.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a Gold unit from your hand, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Choose One: Heal a unit and Strengthen it by 6; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 6.
  • Black Blood Black Blood Choose One: Create a Bronze Necrophage or Vampire and boost it by 2; or Destroy a Bronze or Silver Necrophage or Vampire.
  • 5 Viper Witcher Viper Witcher x3 Deal 1 damage for each Alchemy card in your starting deck.
  • 2 Vicovaro Novice Vicovaro Novice x3 Look at 2 random Bronze Alchemy cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • Swallow Swallow x3 Boost a unit by 10.
  • Ointment Ointment x3 Resurrect a Bronze unit with 5 power or less.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Mahakam Ale Mahakam Ale x3 Boost a random ally on each row by 4.

Matchup Table

Overview

Nilfgaard Handbuff relies on the ability of Emhyr var Emreis to return a card from the field, which we use to take back a unit that has been strengthened previously with Mandrake. As it has become more known, more decks have teched for this matchup, so it has lost some of its power.

The early plays of Handbuff don't have great tempo, but once the gameplan is set up and our power source is revealed in hand, almost every play will surpass 20 points per turn, thanks to Wyvern Scale Shield and the ability of Spotter.

The deck carries Leo Bonhart and Alchemist for revealing the strengthened unit and enabling value on Spotter. Magne Division acts as a tutor for Wyvern Scale Shield, which is another massive point play. In summary, every card in this deck is designed to reach great values from the buffed unit, or else thin through the list and improve the relability of the deck's combo. 

Pros:

  • High tempo plays after spending the first two plays strengthening a unit and returning it to hand.
  • Great thinning, which makes it a very consistent deck.

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to control if not played correctly.
  • Lack of early tempo can make blue coin a really difficult situation.

Tech Choices

  • The Guardian => Glorious Hunt
  • Roach => Peter Saar Gwynleve
  • Black Blood => Marching Orders

Nilfgaard Handbuff has really strong and consistent golds that are nearly essential to the strategy. Nevertheless, spicy changes can be made among the silver cards, including such interesting options as Glorious Hunt, which can spawn an Imperial Manticore, a unit that makes possible a 19 point target for handbuffing.

Another silver option is Peter Saar Gwynleve, which allows us to get a stronger unit but represents another low tempo play and makes our Skellige matchup worse due to Hym's prevalence on that faction. Alzur's Double–Cross can be used in the non-spy version (greedier than standard list) for assuring the draw of Nilfgaardian Knight. Another kind of option is running Marching Orders instead of Black Blood for tutoring a Magne Division or including a Recruit, which adds a little bit of RNG to our list. Including Sweers will improve our matchup against Consume. Lastly, we have seen Vaedermakar included in Handbuff as another Emhyr target if we don't want to do the combo.

In bronzes, we can tech a Vicovaro Medic to make the Skellige matchup easier.

Other versions Morvran Voorhis as the leader, swaping Reconnaissance for Imperial Golem, improving early tempo but losing it on later plays. It's another way of running this archetype and has achieved interesting winratios on the Ranked Ladder.

The list presented is the standard version made by Molegion.

  • 7 Emhyr var Emreis Emhyr var Emreis Play a card, then return a Bronze or Silver ally to your hand.
  • 7 Leo Bonhart Leo Bonhart Reveal one of your units and deal damage equal to its base power to an enemy.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 6 Vesemir: Mentor Vesemir: Mentor Play a Bronze or Silver Alchemy card from your deck.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a Gold unit from your deck and boost it by 2.
  • 13 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards. Keep one and move the other to the bottom of your deck.
  • 11 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Return 2 Bronze or Silver cards from either graveyard to their respective decks.
  • 11 The Guardian The Guardian Add a Lesser Guardian to the top of your opponent's deck.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a Gold unit from your hand, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Choose One: Heal a unit and Strengthen it by 6; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 6.
  • Black Blood Black Blood Choose One: Create a Bronze Necrophage or Vampire and boost it by 2; or Destroy a Bronze or Silver Necrophage or Vampire.
  • 12 Nilfgaardian Knight Nilfgaardian Knight x2 Reveal a random card in your hand, with priority given to Bronze, then Silver, then Gold. 2 Armor.
  • 9 Alchemist Alchemist Reveal 2 cards.
  • 5 Spotter Spotter x3 Boost self by the base power of a Revealed Bronze or Silver unit.
  • 3 Magne Division Magne Division x3 Play a random Bronze Item from your deck.
  • Wyvern Scale Shield Wyvern Scale Shield x3 Boost a unit by the base power of a Bronze or Silver unit in your hand.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x3 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.

Matchup Table

Overview

Temerian Foltest is a classical archetype which utilises the Temerian package (Blue Stripe Commando, Blue Stripe Scout, and Temerian Infantry) for early tempo and thinning, combined with some machines for additional points and a small control element. As the meta has continued to evolve, this deck has become known as the strongest deck for Northern Realms players.

We can best define this archetype as a hybrid between Foltest Swarm and old Henselt Machines, archetypes that were competitive before the Midwinter Update. It is a really consistent deck, and is reasonably strong in both long and short rounds, thanks to its versatility.

Pros:

  • Consistent deck due to its great thinning.
  • Can play against any archetype with some success.
  • Quite strong on red coin.

Cons:

  • Lack of a real finisher.
  • The Temerian package can sometimes brick painfully.
  • No spy, making it possible to be spy abused on blue coin.

Tech choices

  • Vernon Roche=>Keira Metz
  • Battering Ram or Siege Tower=>Trebuchet
  • Ronvid the Incessant=>Germain Piquant
  • Siege Tower=>Redanian Knight-Elect

The core of this deck is really powerful, so it's not too open to changes. In the gold slots, we can choose between the higher power level and synergy of Vernon Roche versus the flexibility of Keira Metz. There are also some players that like to include Ale of the Ancestors for improving long rounds and as an alternative weather clear. If you want to make any change to the silver cards, you can swap Dethmold for Margarita of Aretuza, gaining one of the most versatile lock units in the game, but sacrificing removal, rain, and weather clear.

In the bronze selections, you can change the targeted removal of Battering Ram or the point spam of Siege Tower for an area of effect removal via Trebuchet. This can be useful in a swarmy meta.

During this last week, a version which runs Germain Piquant over Ronvid the Incessant, and Redanian Knight-Elect has become the most successful on Pro Ladder.

  • 5 King Foltest King Foltest Boost all other allies and your non-Spying units in hand and deck by 1. Crew.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 4 Sigismund Dijkstra Sigismund Dijkstra Spying. Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 3 Vernon Roche Vernon Roche Deal 7 damage to an enemy. At game start, add a Blue Stripe Commando to your deck.
  • 11 Ronvid the Incessant Ronvid the Incessant Resurrect on a random row with 1 power on turn end. Crew.
  • 4 Dethmold Dethmold Spawn Torrential Rain, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 3 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Play the top non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit from your deck and give it 5 Armor. 3 Armor.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Play a Bronze or Silver Soldier, Machine, Officer or Support unit from your deck.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 8 Siege Tower Siege Tower x2 Boost self by 2. Crewed: Repeat its ability.
  • 6 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If it's destroyed, deal 3 damage to another enemy. Crewed: Increase initial damage by 1.
  • 3 Blue Stripe Scout Blue Stripe Scout x3 Boost all Temerian allies and your non-Spying Temerian units in hand and deck with the same power as this unit by 1. Crew.
  • 3 Temerian Infantry Temerian Infantry x3 Summon all copies of this unit to this row.
  • 3 Blue Stripe Commando Blue Stripe Commando x3 Whenever a different Temerian ally with the same power is played, Summon a copy of this unit to a random row.
  • 1 Reaver Scout Reaver Scout Choose a different Bronze ally and play a copy of it from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

While Brouver Hoog's Shupe deck can be considered the Hazard Shupe of Scoia'Tael, Eithné is the controlling version of this archetype. Silver slots which in Brouver's one are ocupped by silver mages (Vaedermakar and Ida Emean aep Sivney), in this version are occupied by special cards as Marching Orders and Artefact Compression.

By general consensus, this version is weaker than Brouver Shupe, but it shines when paired against Nekker Consume. The playstyle is different, as this version has fewerpoints, but it offers the possibility of smart control of enemy engines. Lacerate takes the spot of Mardroeme in this list, making Sage not worth running.  

This version is different enough from Brouver Shupe to constitute an archetype itself, reaching a lower power level, which makes us classify it as Tier 2, but with the possibility of becoming Tier 1 if the meta turns enough.

Pros:

  • More controling than Brouver Shupe.
  • Good matchup against engine-based decks.
  • Eithné's ability is really useful.

Cons:

  • Lower power level than Brouver Shupe.
  • No blacklisting due to our list nature.

Tech Choices

  • Triss: Telekinesis => Schirrú
  • Lacerate => Mandrake

As this list is highly specific in its needs, teching it is a really difficult task. We can say that Triss: Telekinesis's gold spot is basically a flex one, so we can use it for different tasks such as removal with Schirrú, generating a Scorch which we can reuse with Eithné or Geralt: Igni. Another significant option is running Dandelion: Poet for extra tempo and thinning. Isengrim: Outlaw and Aglaïs are considered core in this deck, so there's not much sense in changing either.

Silvers are really tight, with the only possible changeable spot the one which is used by Artefact Compression, leaving Mandrake one of the best possible options.

In bronze, if we want to continue running Sage, we should swap Lacerate for Mardroeme. Other interesting options are Vrihedd Officer and Vrihedd Sappers.

  • 5 Eithné Eithné Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card.
  • 8 Aglaïs Aglaïs Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card from your opponent's graveyard, then Banish it.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 2 Isengrim: Outlaw Isengrim: Outlaw Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver special card from your deck; or Create a Silver Elf.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • 13 Yaevinn Yaevinn Spying. Single-Use: Draw a special card and a unit. Keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Resurrect a lower or equal Bronze or Silver Scoia'tael unit.
  • 2 Barclay Els Barclay Els Play a random Bronze or Silver Dwarf from your deck and Strengthen it by 3.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Decoy Decoy Replay a Bronze or Silver ally and boost it by 3.
  • 10 Vrihedd Neophyte Vrihedd Neophyte Boost 2 random units in your hand by 1.
  • 8 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary Move a unit to this row on its side. If it's an ally, boost it by 3.
  • 7 Dol Blathanna Archer Dol Blathanna Archer Deal 3 damage, then deal 1 damage.
  • 7 Hawker Support Hawker Support Boost a unit in your hand by 3.
  • 6 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If the unit was not destroyed, boost self by 3.
  • 6 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter Spawn a Doomed default copy of this unit to the right of this unit.
  • 6 Dol Blathanna Bomber Dol Blathanna Bomber Spawn an Incinerating Trap on an enemy row.
  • 5 Pyrotechnician Pyrotechnician Deal 3 damage to a random enemy on each row.
  • 5 Elven Swordmaster Elven Swordmaster Deal damage equal to this unit's power to an enemy.
  • 4 Panther Panther Deal 7 damage to an enemy on a row with less than 4 units.
  • 4 Mahakam Guard Mahakam Guard Boost an ally by 7.
  • 1 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator Spawn a default copy of a random different Bronze Dwarf from your deck.
  • 1 Elven Mercenary Elven Mercenary Look at 2 random Bronze special cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • Lacerate Lacerate Deal 3 damage to all units on a row.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.

Matchup Table

Overview

Control Skellige is a new brand archetype whose rise has been seen during this last month. Its name can confuse people, being not a real control deck and more of a Dimun Clan's deck. 

This deck shares the bronze core of Axemen, using Skellige Machines for getting high bronze value, while using Dimun Clan units for thinning and tutoring Dimun Warship, and the resses of An Craite Whaler. As some other Skellige decks, it uses carryover via Morkvarg and passive points with Birna Bran to win card advantage, which will be its real win condition. Dimun Pirate is used as a tool for thinning in this deck.

Archetype has a great potential, and we will see more of it during the next months.

Pros:

  • Solid bronze value.
  • Favourable matchup against most of decks.

Cons:

  • Hard to master.
  • Lack of proactive plays.

Tech choices

  • Renew=>Geralt: Igni
  • Birna Bran=>Muzzle
  • Morkvarg and Skjall=>Djenge Frett and Harald Houndsnout
  • Morkvarg=>Scorch

As other relatively new archetypes, it's relatively difficult to talk about how to tech it. First card that took our attention is Renew which forces us to play a gold card relatively early, but granting us a second Hym or Coral. However, it can be replaced for Geralt: Igni, which synergizes with An Craite Whaler ability. If we are facing a lot of weather clears, Birna Bran loses most of her value, being more useful running a Muzzle for dealing with engine decks.

In the silver part, while Morkvarg and Skjall have greatly improved this deck, we can opt for using Djenge Frett and Harald Houndsnout for extra tempo, or for forcing our rival to use some removal or buff in Harald's skulls. Another versions carry Scorch or Decoy for an extra control tool.

List showed in this Meta Snapshot is Lockin's one.

  • 5 Crach an Craite Crach an Craite Strengthen the Highest non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2 and play it.
  • 6 Birna Bran Birna Bran Apply Skellige Storm to an enemy row.
  • 5 Coral Coral Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • 3 Hym Hym Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck; or Create a Silver unit from your opponent's starting deck.
  • Renew Renew Resurrect a non-Leader Gold unit.
  • 13 Udalryk Udalryk Spying. Single-Use: Look at 2 cards from your deck. Draw one and Discard the other.
  • 9 Morkvarg Morkvarg Whenever Discarded, Resurrect on a random row; and whenever destroyed, Resurrect in the same position. Then, Weaken self by half.
  • 7 Champion of Hov Champion of Hov Duel an enemy.
  • 5 Skjall Skjall Play a random Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • Restore Restore Return a Bronze or Silver Skellige unit from your graveyard to your hand, add the Doomed category to it, and set its base power to 8. Then play a card.
  • 11 Dimun Pirate Dimun Pirate x3 Discard all copies of this unit from your deck.
  • 8 An Craite Whaler An Craite Whaler x3 Move an enemy to the row opposite this unit, then deal damage equal to the number of units on that row.
  • 7 An Craite Armorsmith An Craite Armorsmith Heal 2 allies and give them 3 Armor.
  • 7 Dimun Warship Dimun Warship x2 Deal 1 damage to the same unit 4 times.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Resurrect a Bronze Machine.
  • 1 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x3 Play a different Bronze Dimun unit from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview


Veterans are arguably the strongest archetype within Tier 2, almost reaching the power level of Tier 1 decks. One of the most linear archetypes we can find in Skellige, the basic strategy revolves around the ability of Tuirseach Veterans to strengthen other bronze cards, such as Tuirseach Bearmaster and Tuirseach Hunter, making the Veterans  worth 14-15 points or more.

This strategy guarantees a strong round three, especially when Restore is played onto a Heymaey Spearmaiden or a Tuirseach Bearmaster. One interesting technique is to use a Tuirseach Bearmaster in round 1, kill it with Heymaey Spearmaiden, and then Restore it. This way it will get buffed from the Tuirseach Veterans played, as it is in the hand and not in the graveyard. This archetype is fairly easy to play but difficult to master.

The list is completed by support golds, such as Coral and Dandelion: Poet; and resurrections, which often dictate the length of round 1 for you if you have not yet developed a graveyard.

Pros:

High-value bronzes.
Strong round 3 due to Priestess of Freya and Restore.

Cons:

Resurrections often bricked on round 1.
Lack of early tempo plays.

Tech Choices


Dandelion: Poet=>Triss: Telekinesis
Geralt: Igni=>Birna Bran
Morkvarg=>Champion of Hov
Alzur's Double–Cross=>Decoy
As most of the golden cards are supporting the main archetype, they are really flexible and we can swap them depending on player preference. We have some options. If you want some extra tempo, choose Dandelion: Poet and Triss: Telekinesis, while you can opt for control with Geralt: Igni and Birna Bran.

While Morkvarg is a very useful card, providing you with carryover, you can change it for Champion of Hov if you want to have a good removal tool. Another possibility is changing Alzur's Double–Cross for Decoy which is really useful in situations where ADC would be bricked by Udalryk.

As Alchemy is prevalent in the metagame, we have included an An Craite Armorsmith. Most Alchemy players will target our Bears, avoiding killing units to deny resurrections. An Craite Armorsmith allows you to heal these.

ProNeo's Open List deserves a special mention., He included Tuirseach Archers for insane synergy with Sihil, surprising his opponents in the first round, and the audience.


The list presented on the Meta Snapshot was built by Gnurrgard

  • 5 Crach an Craite Crach an Craite Strengthen the Highest non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2 and play it.
  • 5 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Destroy the Highest units on an enemy row if that row has a total of 25 or more.
  • 5 Coral Coral Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 3 Hym Hym Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck; or Create a Silver unit from your opponent's starting deck.
  • 13 Udalryk Udalryk Spying. Single-Use: Look at 2 cards from your deck. Draw one and Discard the other.
  • 9 Morkvarg Morkvarg Whenever Discarded, Resurrect on a random row; and whenever destroyed, Resurrect in the same position. Then, Weaken self by half.
  • 5 Skjall Skjall Play a random Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck.
  • 3 Sigrdrifa Sigrdrifa Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Clan unit.
  • Restore Restore Return a Bronze or Silver Skellige unit from your graveyard to your hand, add the Doomed category to it, and set its base power to 8. Then play a card.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 7 An Craite Armorsmith An Craite Armorsmith Heal 2 allies and give them 3 Armor.
  • 7 Tuirseach Veteran Tuirseach Veteran x3 Strengthen all your other Clan Tuirseach units in hand, deck, and on board by 1.
  • 6 Tuirseach Hunter Tuirseach Hunter x3 Deal 5 damage.
  • 2 Heymaey Spearmaiden Heymaey Spearmaiden x2 Deal 1 damage to a Bronze Machine or Soldier ally, then play a copy of it from your deck.
  • 1 Priestess of Freya Priestess of Freya x3 Resurrect a Bronze Soldier.
  • 1 Tuirseach Bearmaster Tuirseach Bearmaster x3 Spawn a Bear.

Matchup Table

Overview

Moonlight is the only successful Boon archetype that has developed in Gwent to date. Combining positive "weather" (Boon) with negative weather (Hazard), this archetype's success is based on getting a large amount of passive points per turn.

Moonlight is a versatile card, which in combination with cards such as Werewolf can make strong bronze plays. It has enormous potential in long rounds but usually lacks power in short rounds, leading to the inclusion of graveyard hate cards in the deck to try to fix this weakness.

Cards like Bridge Troll allow us to not carry triple Impenetrable Fog in our deck, yet still pull triple Foglet, which helps us to thin. We included Miruna, as most Moonlight players play it due to the surprise factor and because it always represents good value if it successfully activates.

Pros:

  • Great long round with the combinations of Boons and Hazards.

Cons:

  • Lack of short round finishers.
  • Difficult mulligan.

Tech Choices

  • Miruna => Muzzle
  • Werewolf => Alpha Werewolf

As this is a relatively young archetype whose potential was mostly only discovered after the February 2018 patch, there aren't many known options for changing the list at this point. The most detectable change in golds could occur between the "high risk-high reward" option of Miruna, which can be an enormous R3 finisher or (in the worst case) a four-point gold, and the safer option of Muzzle, which is much more designed for R1 than for R3.

In the bronzes, the composition of this deck varies between the high single point unit of Werewolf and the option of fewer points but more bodies in the form of Alpha Werewolf, which is an interesting incluson if there are more Scorches in the meta.

The list provided in this Meta Snapshot is a variation of the popular list by DGThunderer.

  • 8 Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 6 Whispess: Tribute Whispess: Tribute Play a Bronze or Silver Organic card from your deck.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 4 Miruna Miruna After 2 turns, Charm the Highest enemy on the opposite row on turn start.
  • 1 Ge'els Ge'els Look at a random Gold and Silver card from your deck, then play 1 and move the other to the top of the deck.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 5 Ozzrel Ozzrel Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from either graveyard and boost by its power.
  • 5 Nekurat Nekurat Spawn Moonlight.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Choose One: Heal a unit and Strengthen it by 6; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 6.
  • Monster Nest Monster Nest Spawn a Bronze Necrophage or Insectoid and boost it by 1.
  • 10 Bridge Troll Bridge Troll x2 Move a Hazard on an enemy row to a different enemy row.
  • 7 Werewolf Werewolf x3 Immune. Boost this unit by 7 on first contact with Full Moon.
  • 4 Foglet Foglet x3 Whenever you apply Impenetrable Fog to an enemy row, Summon a copy of this unit to the opposite row.
  • 4 Siren Siren x3 Play Moonlight from your deck.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Moonlight Moonlight x3 Choose One: Apply a Full Moon Boon; or Apply a Blood Moon Hazard.

Matchup Table

Overview

Tempo Calveit is the answer to the question  “what would Reveal be like if it had a good leader?”  While classic Reveal lists use Morvran Voorhis as the leader, Jan Calveit has proven to be better. It has a better power level curve which is much more stable during the match than Reveal's one. You lose tempo in round 1, but gain it in round 3, when it really matters.

While traditional lists have to include another type of finishers to complete their core, we have the luck of being able to use proper Nilfgaard finishers such as Cahir Dyffryn and Vilgefortz. As this list reveals fewer cards than traditional ones, we can include Nilfgaardian Knight, whose ability allows for additional reveals.

Pros:

  • More stable than traditional reveal.
  • Powerful finishers.

Cons:

  • Hard learning curve.

Tech choices

  • Leo Bonhart=> Geralt: Igni
  • Cynthia=> Roach
  • Vicovaro Medic=> Fire Scorpion

As this is a really specific list, teching it is certainly a difficult task. The list has taken a few iterations to get to this highly optimized form. In golds, we can consider the Leo Bonhart spot. This can be substituted for other cards such as: Geralt: Igni if you are looking for extra control; Stefan Skellen for consistent draws; and Vesemir: Mentor, which was used in combination with Mandrake and Black Blood.

Silver slots are really tight, but you can consider changing Cynthia for Roach, one of the most popular alternatives to this core.  This represents a little extra tempo on golds. As for bronzes, you can include a  third Fire Scorpion over Vicovaro Medic, or alternatively take a Spotter, which situationally provides more points.

The list presented in this Meta Snapshot is a variation of Lewt's original one.

  • 5 Jan Calveit Jan Calveit Look at the top 3 cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 9 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Destroy an ally, then play the top card of your deck; or Truce: Destroy an enemy, then your opponent draws and Reveals a Bronze card.
  • 7 Leo Bonhart Leo Bonhart Reveal one of your units and deal damage equal to its base power to an enemy.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 1 Cahir Dyffryn Cahir Dyffryn Resurrect a Leader.
  • 13 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards. Keep one and move the other to the bottom of your deck.
  • 11 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Return 2 Bronze or Silver cards from either graveyard to their respective decks.
  • 11 The Guardian The Guardian Add a Lesser Guardian to the top of your opponent's deck.
  • 6 Peter Saar Gwynleve Peter Saar Gwynleve Reset an ally and Strengthen it by 3; or Reset an enemy and Weaken it by 3.
  • 5 Cynthia Cynthia Reveal the Highest unit in your opponent's hand and boost self by its power.
  • 4 Vanhemar Vanhemar Spawn Biting Frost, Clear Skies or Shrike.
  • 12 Nilfgaardian Knight Nilfgaardian Knight x3 Reveal a random card in your hand, with priority given to Bronze, then Silver, then Gold. 2 Armor.
  • 9 Alchemist Alchemist x3 Reveal 2 cards.
  • 5 Fire Scorpion Fire Scorpion x2 Deal 5 damage to an enemy. Whenever you Reveal this unit, trigger its ability.
  • 4 Daerlan Soldier Daerlan Soldier x3 Whenever you Reveal this unit, play it automatically on a random row and draw a card.
  • 3 Imperial Golem Imperial Golem x3 Summon a copy of this unit to a random row whenever you Reveal a card in your opponent's hand.
  • 1 Vicovaro Medic Vicovaro Medic Resurrect a Bronze unit from your opponent's graveyard.

Matchup Table

Overview

NR Armor is an archetype with a lot of potential. At the beginning of the Open Beta, a version of it with Henselt was dominating the meta, but since then, even with the popular Radovid Africa list, this archetype has not been particularly strong. 

The version presented here uses the Temerian package (Blue Stripe Commando, Blue Stripe Scout and Temerian Infantry) for getting early tempo and thinning, while cards as Prince Stennis and Redanian Elite provide the armor core combined with Kaedweni Cavalry. Cards as Shani and Sigismund Dijkstra are used as finishers.

The archetype is really flexible and has seen a lot of different paths of deckbuilding, with certain versions featuring King Radovid V, Ciri: Nova, or Vincent Meis.

Pros:

  • Great thinning, very consistent.
  • Can resist the effects of weather and other hazards.

Cons:

  • Lack of solid finishers.
  • Some low-tempo plays.
  • Can be bricked easily.

Tech choices

  • King Foltest=>King Radovid V
  • Vernon Roche=>Keira Metz

While lists can change a lot between different versions, one of the first decisions we have to take is to choose a leader. King Foltest represents solid value, also helping us to thinning Temerian package, while King Radovid V is better in an engine meta, allowing us to lock two engine pieces. The other relevant changes in gold structure are teching a Muzzle if we want to punish our rival, or cards as Keira Metz or Vernon Roche to grant us removal and some tempo.

There are some versions on the meta which use Tormented Mage as Thunderbolt tutors, using Redanian Knight-Elect as another kind of engine. Another popular version doesn't have Kaedweni Cavalry and uses Vincent Meis as a finisher combined with engines like Redanian Knight-Elect.

  • 5 King Foltest King Foltest Boost all other allies and your non-Spying units in hand and deck by 1. Crew.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 4 Sigismund Dijkstra Sigismund Dijkstra Spying. Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 3 Vernon Roche Vernon Roche Deal 7 damage to an enemy. At game start, add a Blue Stripe Commando to your deck.
  • 13 Thaler Thaler Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards, keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 6 Margarita of Aretuza Margarita of Aretuza Reset a unit and toggle its Lock status.
  • 4 Dethmold Dethmold Spawn Torrential Rain, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 3 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Play the top non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit from your deck and give it 5 Armor. 3 Armor.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Play a Bronze or Silver Soldier, Machine, Officer or Support unit from your deck.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 8 Redanian Elite Redanian Elite x3 Whenever this unit's Armor reaches 0, boost self by 5. 4 Armor.
  • 8 Kaedweni Cavalry Kaedweni Cavalry x3 Destroy a unit's Armor, then boost self by the amount destroyed.
  • 3 Blue Stripe Scout Blue Stripe Scout x3 Boost all Temerian allies and your non-Spying Temerian units in hand and deck with the same power as this unit by 1. Crew.
  • 3 Blue Stripe Commando Blue Stripe Commando x3 Whenever a different Temerian ally with the same power is played, Summon a copy of this unit to a random row.
  • 3 Temerian Infantry Temerian Infantry x3 Summon all copies of this unit to this row.
  • 1 Reaver Scout Reaver Scout Choose a different Bronze ally and play a copy of it from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

Dwarfs is another of the classic Gwent archetypes. It has changed over all metas, yet always has been present somewhere in the Gwent metagame. After receiving nerfs in February, Dwarfs were relegated to the fringes, but after the general tempo nerf associated with the Swap Update, they are back in the meta. 

Combining Blue Mountain Elite with Dwarven Mercenary, you can get some extra tempo, and adding Mahakam Volunteers you gain extra thinning, making this list really consistent. As we can use Éibhear Hattori and Paulie Dahlberg in R3, we also have a really good short R3.

While Brouver Hoog looks like the ideal leader for Dwarfs, Eithné in combination with some spells like Marching Orders and Decoy has proved to be a strong leader, potentially stronger than Brouver in a pure Dwarfs deck.

Pros:

  • Strong short R3.
  • Great thinning, synergistic deck.

Cons:

  • Difficult mulligan, with five cards we want to avoid in R1 hand.
  • Paulie Dahlberg makes us weak against graveyard hate.

Tech Choices

  • Dandelion: Poet => Geralt: Igni
  • Dandelion: Poet => Muzzle
  • Paulie Dahlberg => Artefact Compression

In this archetype, the bronze core is close to optimized and there are not too many possible changes. Generally the changes are limited to swapping the number of copies of Dwarven Skirmisher and Dwarven Mercenary, while we can remove Mahakam Volunteers for Mahakam Guard to add more diversity to the list at the cost of less thinning.

In the gold and silver package, we can take a more control-oriented version using Geralt: Igni instead of Dandelion: Poet. As we are using Eithné as leader, we can opt for using Artefact Compression or Ida Emean aep Sivney instead of Paulie Dahlberg, leaving us Éibhear Hattori as the only real finisher.

The list presented in this Meta Snapshot was made by Jamedi.

  • 5 Eithné Eithné Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card.
  • 8 Aglaïs Aglaïs Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card from your opponent's graveyard, then Banish it.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Schirrú Schirrú Spawn Scorch or Epidemic.
  • 2 Isengrim: Outlaw Isengrim: Outlaw Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver special card from your deck; or Create a Silver Elf.
  • 13 Yaevinn Yaevinn Spying. Single-Use: Draw a special card and a unit. Keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 3 Paulie Dahlberg Paulie Dahlberg Resurrect a non-Support Bronze Dwarf.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Resurrect a lower or equal Bronze or Silver Scoia'tael unit.
  • 2 Barclay Els Barclay Els Play a random Bronze or Silver Dwarf from your deck and Strengthen it by 3.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Decoy Decoy Replay a Bronze or Silver ally and boost it by 3.
  • 8 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary x2 Move a unit to this row on its side. If it's an ally, boost it by 3.
  • 6 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher x3 Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If the unit was not destroyed, boost self by 3.
  • 5 Vrihedd Officer Vrihedd Officer Swap a card and boost self by its base power.
  • 3 Blue Mountain Elite Blue Mountain Elite x3 Summon all copies of this unit to this row. Whenever this unit moves, boost it by 2.
  • 3 Mahakam Volunteers Mahakam Volunteers x3 Summon all copies of this unit.
  • 1 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator x3 Spawn a default copy of a random different Bronze Dwarf from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

Elf Swarm can be considered as the spiritual succesor of Elf Nova from the last patch. As the Swap Update nerfed several cards that were core to that archetype, its composition has changed to a version with more removal tools while not losing its swarm potential.

We can see that the bronze core remains stable, only adding Blue Mountain Elite as a thinning tool and using the potential of Elven Scout of getting extra swaps with Vrihedd Vanguard, which makes our long round very good. As we don't use Brouver Hoog as leader, we need to use Marching Orders for getting access to the infamous Barclay Els - Cleaver combo.

Using Eithné as leader allows us to carry more control-oriented cards, such as Artefact Compression.

Pros:

  • Strong long round.
  • Barclay Els - Cleaver combo remains a very powerful early tool.

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to area-of-effect removal.
  • Some of the golds are really situational; for instance, Iorveth is far stronger at the early steps of game.

Tech Choices

  • Eithné => Brouver Hoog
  • Iorveth => Saskia

As we are carrying a more control-oriented list, it's true that Eithné is the most common option for marking our control nature, but Brouver Hoog can be used if we want to have access to any particular non-Agent silver card.

We can change Iorveth for Saskia, making our mulligan much better and stronger in mirror matches. Another good option would be to include Muzzle as another engine hate tool.

The list shown in this Meta Snapshot was played to a high Pro Ladder score last season by Santtu2x.

  • 5 Eithné Eithné Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card.
  • 8 Aglaïs Aglaïs Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card from your opponent's graveyard, then Banish it.
  • 7 Isengrim Faoiltiarna Isengrim Faoiltiarna Play a Bronze or Silver Ambush from your deck.
  • 6 Iorveth Iorveth Deal 8 damage to an enemy. If the unit was destroyed, boost all Elves in your hand by 1.
  • 2 Isengrim: Outlaw Isengrim: Outlaw Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver special card from your deck; or Create a Silver Elf.
  • 13 Yaevinn Yaevinn Spying. Single-Use: Draw a special card and a unit. Keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 7 Cleaver Cleaver Deal 1 damage for each card in your hand.
  • 6 Aelirenn Aelirenn If 5 Elf allies are on the board on any turn end, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 2 Barclay Els Barclay Els Play a random Bronze or Silver Dwarf from your deck and Strengthen it by 3.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 11 Vrihedd Sappers Vrihedd Sappers x2 Ambush: After 2 turns, flip over on turn start.
  • 10 Elven Scout Elven Scout x2 Swap a card.
  • 6 Vrihedd Vanguard Vrihedd Vanguard x3 Boost Elf allies by 1. Whenever you Swap this card, trigger its ability.
  • 6 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter x2 Spawn a Doomed default copy of this unit to the right of this unit.
  • 5 Vrihedd Officer Vrihedd Officer x3 Swap a card and boost self by its base power.
  • 3 Blue Mountain Elite Blue Mountain Elite x3 Summon all copies of this unit to this row. Whenever this unit moves, boost it by 2.

Matchup Table

Overview

Axemen is one of the most difficult archetypes to review. The deck is still difficult to classify into a tier, but as there is more weather clears in the metagame and Greatswords' popularity has risen, its power level is lower than in previous times.

Most matches aren’t won by Tuirseach Axeman but by the effect of Ragh Nar Roog, Korathi Heatwave, and Skellige Storm ticking every turn, which can provide more than 30 points in a long round. An Craite Whaler helps the deck maximise weather effects and reach these values.

As this meta features more weather clears than previous ones, the list has lost some of its power, but it continues to inspire fear in many players.

Pros:

  • Strong long round.
  • Can deal with practically any deck without drawing its Tuirseach Axeman, which helps us win the match without using an essential win condition.

Cons:

  • Draw-dependent; no access to weather makes you struggle to maintain the tempo of other decks.
  • Weak in short R3.

Tech choices

  • Iris von Everec => Derran
  • Dimun Warship => Priestess of Freya
  • An Craite Whaler => Priestess of Freya

Axemen has a pretty tight gold and silver core, showing only a few replacement options. The only one which seems clear is the option between Derran and Iris von Everec. While the first could be more valuable as a win condition in long rounds (using Derran is like having a Tuirseach Axeman in each row at the same time), making matchups against swarm archetypes like Temerian Foltest easier, it is very vulnerable to control and hard removal, making matchups against control decks like Alchemy harder.

Another possible tech could be swapping some Machines to include resurrections for our Tuirseach Axeman via Priestess of Freya. This will improve the long round potential of the deck but makes short rounds weaker than the standard variation.

The list presented in this Meta Snapshot is Damorquis's standard list, and a video featured by Green Cricket.

  • 6 Harald the Cripple Harald the Cripple Deal 1 damage to a random enemy on the opposite row. Repeat 9 times.
  • 6 Birna Bran Birna Bran Apply Skellige Storm to an enemy row.
  • 3 Hym Hym Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck; or Create a Silver unit from your opponent's starting deck.
  • Ragh Nar Roog Ragh Nar Roog Apply a Hazard to each enemy row that deals 2 damage to the Highest unit on turn start.
  • Korathi Heatwave Korathi Heatwave Apply a Hazard to each enemy row that deals 2 damage to the Lowest unit on turn start.
  • 13 Udalryk Udalryk Spying. Single-Use: Look at 2 cards from your deck. Draw one and Discard the other.
  • 5 Skjall Skjall Play a random Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck.
  • 3 Iris von Everec Iris von Everec Spying. Deathwish: Boost 5 random units on the opposite side by 5.
  • 3 Sigrdrifa Sigrdrifa Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Clan unit.
  • Skellige Storm Skellige Storm Apply a Hazard to an enemy row that deals 2, 1 and 1 damage to the leftmost units on the row on turn start.
  • Restore Restore Return a Bronze or Silver Skellige unit from your graveyard to your hand, add the Doomed category to it, and set its base power to 8. Then play a card.
  • 8 An Craite Whaler An Craite Whaler x3 Move an enemy to the row opposite this unit, then deal damage equal to the number of units on that row.
  • 7 Dimun Warship Dimun Warship x3 Deal 1 damage to the same unit 4 times.
  • 6 Tuirseach Axeman Tuirseach Axeman x3 Whenever an enemy on the opposite row is damaged, boost self by 1. 2 Armor.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Resurrect a Bronze Machine.
  • 2 Heymaey Spearmaiden Heymaey Spearmaiden Deal 1 damage to a Bronze Machine or Soldier ally, then play a copy of it from your deck.
  • 1 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x2 Play a different Bronze Dimun unit from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

Boats was once one of the most popular Skellige archetypes amongst high-MMR players. The decks relies on the potential of Dimun Light Longship to generate points and damage other units in order to make Berserker Marauder bigger.

While it shines in a long round, it is true that it lacks a real finisher in an short round, except for Restore. However, the main strategy of the deck is to get card advantage in R1 using Wolfsbane and carryover via Morkvarg. While the Olgierd von Everec rework has hit this archetype, this is partially compensated by the fact that carryover has been generally reduced in the game, making Morkvarg stronger in turn.

Mostly known as a tournament list rather than a ladder deck, it's a good list for playing on blue coin due to its carryover. We also use An Craite Blacksmith for streghtening boats and empowering Dimun Corsair.

Pros:

  • Natural carryover with Morkvarg.
  • Great early tempo R1 due to Wolfsbane.
  • Strong long round due to Dimun Light Longship in combination with Berserker Marauder.

Cons:

  • No real finisher except for Restore.
  • Very weak against engine hate lists.

Tech choices

  • Geralt: Igni => Muzzle
  • An Craite Blacksmith => An Craite Whaler

There aren't many changes commonly made to this list. Muzzle can be chosen as a tech option if you want to improve the matchup against other engine decks, and it which can also be used as a defensive tool to counter the opponent's Muzzles, while Geralt: Igni is better as a removal tool in long rounds. A last possibility is Birna Bran, which can shine in a non-weather clear meta.

The numbers of An Craite Blacksmith and An Craite Whaler included in the deck may vary depending on meta, focusing on if we want a stronger R3 and ressurrections or if we want to disrrupt the opponent's gameplan.

A possible choice is using Ciri: Nova and modifying the list, adding some copies of Tuirseach Bearmaster and Reconnaissance, with two of each bronze. This will make the list play differently and add an additional win conditional and more Restore targets.

  • 2 Bran Tuirseach Bran Tuirseach Discard up to 3 cards from your deck and Strengthen them by 1.
  • 5 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Destroy the Highest units on an enemy row if that row has a total of 25 or more.
  • 5 Coral Coral Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • 3 Hym Hym Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck; or Create a Silver unit from your opponent's starting deck.
  • Wolfsbane Wolfsbane After 3 turns in the graveyard, deal 6 damage to the Highest enemy and boost the Lowest ally by 6 on turn end.
  • 13 Udalryk Udalryk Spying. Single-Use: Look at 2 cards from your deck. Draw one and Discard the other.
  • 9 Morkvarg Morkvarg Whenever Discarded, Resurrect on a random row; and whenever destroyed, Resurrect in the same position. Then, Weaken self by half.
  • 6 Harald Houndsnout Harald Houndsnout Spawn Wilfred to the left of this unit, Wilhelm to the right, and Wilmar on the opposite row.
  • 5 Skjall Skjall Play a random Bronze or Silver Cursed unit from your deck.
  • 3 Sigrdrifa Sigrdrifa Resurrect a Bronze or Silver Clan unit.
  • Restore Restore Return a Bronze or Silver Skellige unit from your graveyard to your hand, add the Doomed category to it, and set its base power to 8. Then play a card.
  • 9 An Craite Blacksmith An Craite Blacksmith x2 Strengthen an ally by 2 and give it 2 Armor.
  • 9 Berserker Marauder Berserker Marauder x3 Boost self by 1 for each damaged or Cursed ally.
  • 8 An Craite Whaler An Craite Whaler Move an enemy to the row opposite this unit, then deal damage equal to the number of units on that row.
  • 7 Dimun Light Longship Dimun Light Longship x3 On turn end, deal 1 damage to the unit to the right, then boost self by 2.
  • 4 An Craite Raider An Craite Raider Whenever you Discard this unit, Resurrect it on a random row.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Resurrect a Bronze Machine.
  • 1 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x2 Play a different Bronze Dimun unit from your deck.

Matchup Table

Overview

Consume Swarm is a different take on the consume archetype which is not focused only on the power of Nekker. Using Arachas Drone and Harpy we obtain a list that is really strong if played on the red coin, but can struggle on blue.

The ability of Arachas Behemoth tutors Arachas Drone from the deck, while every Beast consume triggers the tutoring of Harpy. The principal idea of this list is to use this R1 tempo burst to gain control of the match, and to thin enough to get our combo elements for R3: Draug, Yennefer, and Ruehin.

Pros:

  • Strong R1, great tempo burst.
  • Great thinning via muster cards.

Cons:

  • Difficult mulligan.
  • If Arachas Behemoth are removed and we cannot tutor Arachas Drone, our mulligans become a nightmare.
  • Weak on blue coin.

Tech choices

  • Kayran=>Triss: Butterflies
  • Royal Decree=>Woodland Spirit
  • Toad Prince=>Ifrit
  • Celaeno Harpy=>Nekker

This archetype is really flexible in this composition, and we can make changes to it as we wish. We can bet for a more engine oriented R3 with the inclusion of Triss: Butterflies instead of Kayran, which represents insane value if unanswered. Another option is including Woodland Spirit, spawning another three beasts for the combo with Arachas Queen.

In silvers, the most interesting option is including Toad Prince as a thinning tool instead of Ifrit, allowing us to also clean our hand of bricks. Another option would be running Sarah or some type of graveyard hate tool such as Ozzrel.

In bronze, the most interesting option is the addition of Nekker as a second win condition, and the best spot to include it is instead of Celaeno Harpy. If we want to make our mulligan riskier, we can include a Slyzard for some extra thinning.

The list provided in this Meta Snapshot is a variation on Freddybabes' Swarm Consume list, with a featured video by Green Cricket.

  • 7 Arachas Queen Arachas Queen Immune. Consume 3 allies and boost self by their power.
  • 10 Draug Draug Resurrect units as 1-power Draugirs until you fill this row.
  • 6 Yennefer Yennefer Choose One: Spawn a Unicorn that boosts all other units by 2; or Spawn a Chironex that deals 2 damage to all other units.
  • 5 Kayran Kayran Consume a unit with 7 power or less and boost self by its power.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a Gold unit from your deck and boost it by 2.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 10 Germain Piquant Germain Piquant Spawn 2 Cows on each side of this unit.
  • 8 Ruehin Ruehin Strengthen all your other Insectoids and Cursed units in hand, deck, and on board by 1.
  • 6 Toad Prince Toad Prince Draw a unit, then Consume a unit in your hand and boost self by its power.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Monster Nest Monster Nest Spawn a Bronze Necrophage or Insectoid and boost it by 1.
  • 8 Arachas Behemoth Arachas Behemoth x3 The next 4 times you Consume a unit, Spawn an Arachas Hatchling on a random row.
  • 8 Forktail Forktail x3 Consume 2 allies and boost self by their power.
  • 6 Celaeno Harpy Celaeno Harpy x3 Spawn 2 Harpy Eggs to the left of this unit.
  • 4 Harpy Harpy x3 Whenever you destroy an allied Beast, Summon a copy of this unit to the same position.
  • 3 Arachas Drone Arachas Drone x3 Summon all copies of this unit to this row.

Overview

Eredin Duels, as I call this archetype, is a new flavor deck we saw in Gwent Open #6 in the hands of Damorquis. This deck is the new adaptation of the old Monsters archetype, Ogroids combined with Frost. While Imlerith: Sabbath can carry this deck alone, this deck is really different from other Sabbath decks.

The combination of Biting Frost hazard with the ability of Ice Troll can cost the opponent many points. As we can see, the idea of the deck is gaining card advantage with this combination to get a safe spot for playing Miruna, while in other cases, with the combination of Imlerith: Sabbath and organic cards, we can rush some matches.

Pros:

  • Some matchups, like Consume, can be won alone with Imlerith: Sabbath.
  • Counters some of the best archetypes, such as Greatswords.

Cons:

  • Not enough point generation.

Tech Choices

  • Imlerith: Sabbath => Old Speartip: Asleep
  • Whispess: Tribute => Caranthir Ar-Feiniel

As said before, this deck is based in an old archetype from last patch called Ogroid Monsters. As that archetype is based in the strength of dueling with Ice Troll, using Old Speartip: Asleep strenghtens it by one point. Using Caranthir Ar-Feiniel for an extra Biting Frost can help us with the duels of Trolls. Ge'els can be used as a gold card tutor.

Among silver and bronze cards, we can modify deck to look more like a conventional Wild Hunt deck or center our power in other types of Ogroids, such as Jotunn or Cyclops, in combination with Ghoul as a finisher.

The decklist in this Snapshot is Damorquis's Open #6 list.

  • 5 Eredin Bréacc Glas Eredin Bréacc Glas Spawn a Bronze Wild Hunt unit.
  • 6 Whispess: Tribute Whispess: Tribute Play a Bronze or Silver Organic card from your deck.
  • 5 Imlerith: Sabbath Imlerith: Sabbath Every turn, Duel the Highest enemy on turn end. If this unit survives, Heal it by 2 and give it 2 Armor. 2 Armor.
  • 4 Miruna Miruna After 2 turns, Charm the Highest enemy on the opposite row on turn start.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a Gold unit from your deck and boost it by 2.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • The Last Wish The Last Wish Look at 2 random cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • Monster Nest Monster Nest Spawn a Bronze Necrophage or Insectoid and boost it by 1.
  • Parasite Parasite Deal 12 damage to an enemy; or Boost an ally by 12.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Choose One: Heal a unit and Strengthen it by 6; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 6.
  • 7 Drowner Drowner x3 Move an enemy to the row opposite this unit and deal 2 damage to it. If that row is under a Hazard, deal 4 damage instead.
  • 4 Wild Hunt Hound Wild Hunt Hound x3 Play Biting Frost from your deck.
  • 4 Ice Troll Ice Troll x3 Duel an enemy. If it's under Biting Frost, deal double damage.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x2 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush Toggle a unit's Resilience status.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost x3 Apply a Hazard to an enemy row that deals 2 damage to the Lowest unit on turn start.

Overview

Eredin Bréacc Glas is a leader that generally has only been used in his own archetype: Wild Hunt Frost. As most of Wild Hunt units are really weak now compared to other options, he is often used for a Ciri: Nova list, which tries to cover most of the weakenesses of a pure Frost list.

While we use our Wild Hunt Hound for thinning and putting the Biting Frost Hazard and generally play like another Frost list, there are cards like Ghoul and Cyclops that are not usual in this archetype, which grants us better tempo.

As we have a double finisher with Ciri: Nova and Golyat, our list can also compete in short rounds.

Pros:

  • Good finishers.
  • Strong long round if no weather clear.

Cons:

  • Lack of early tempo.
  • Very vulnerable to bleeding.

As this archetype is only supported by a very specific list, we are not going to make a Tech section for this archetype. The list provided in this Meta Snapshot was made by OceanMud.

  • 5 Eredin Bréacc Glas Eredin Bréacc Glas Spawn a Bronze Wild Hunt unit.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Caretaker Caretaker Resurrect a Bronze or Silver unit from your opponent's graveyard.
  • 1 Ciri: Nova Ciri: Nova If you have exactly 2 copies of each Bronze card in your starting deck, set base power to 22.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 10 Golyat Golyat Boost self by 7. Whenever this unit is damaged, deal 2 damage to self.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a Gold unit from your hand, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 3 Iris von Everec Iris von Everec Spying. Deathwish: Boost 5 random units on the opposite side by 5.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 11 Cyclops Cyclops x2 Destroy an ally and deal damage equal to its power to an enemy.
  • 10 Wild Hunt Rider Wild Hunt Rider x2 Increase the damage dealt by Biting Frost on the opposite row by 1.
  • 7 Drowner Drowner x2 Move an enemy to the row opposite this unit and deal 2 damage to it. If that row is under a Hazard, deal 4 damage instead.
  • 4 Ghoul Ghoul x2 Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from your graveyard and boost self by its power.
  • 4 Wild Hunt Hound Wild Hunt Hound x2 Play Biting Frost from your deck.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x2 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Lacerate Lacerate x2 Deal 3 damage to all units on a row.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost x2 Apply a Hazard to an enemy row that deals 2 damage to the Lowest unit on turn start.

Overview

Including Shupe's Day Off in other factions than Scoia'tael has become the flavor of the month, and after a successful run on the Ranked Ladder, this way of playing Shupe into Monsters has seen the light of Pro Ladder. Dagon is the perfect leader for this archetype, grating us a Hazard and thinning a Foglet.

While Shupe decks in other factions are based on direct points via units, this one is more centered on passive points with hazards and Moonlight. The main idea of this deck is to get card advantage, to make Miruna uncontestable, and deploy a really powerful finisher.

Pros:

  • Passive point generation.
  • Great thinning.

Cons:

  • Less consistent than other Shupe decks.
  • Vulnerable to weather clear.
  • Depends on card advantage.

Tech Choices

  • Dandelion: Poet => Korathi Heatwave
  • Dandelion: Poet => Weavess: Incantation

While the bronze core can be changed, the most important changes have been seen in the fourth gold slot, where originally it was used a Korathi Heatwave for getting more passive points. Dandelion: Poet is an option for thinning and tempo, while Weavess: Incantation grants us the same but is restricted to Relict cards.

The list shown in this Meta Snapshot is a modification of Haiku's original list.

  • 8 Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Miruna Miruna After 2 turns, Charm the Highest enemy on the opposite row on turn start.
  • 1 Ge'els Ge'els Look at a random Gold and Silver card from your deck, then play 1 and move the other to the top of the deck.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 8 Brewess Brewess Summon Whispess and Weavess to this row.
  • 6 Whispess Whispess Summon Brewess and Weavess to this row.
  • 6 Weavess Weavess Summon Brewess and Whispess to this row.
  • 5 Ozzrel Ozzrel Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from either graveyard and boost by its power.
  • 5 Nekurat Nekurat Spawn Moonlight.
  • 11 Fiend Fiend No ability.
  • 11 Cyclops Cyclops Destroy an ally and deal damage equal to its power to an enemy.
  • 10 Archgriffin Archgriffin Clear Hazards on its row.
  • 10 Alpha Werewolf Alpha Werewolf Spawn a Wolf on each side of this unit on contact with Full Moon.
  • 7 Drowner Drowner Move an enemy to the row opposite this unit and deal 2 damage to it. If that row is under a Hazard, deal 4 damage instead.
  • 7 Werewolf Werewolf Immune. Boost this unit by 7 on first contact with Full Moon.
  • 7 Archespore Archespore Move to a random row and deal 1 damage to a random enemy on turn start. Deathwish: Deal 4 damage to a random enemy.
  • 6 Cockatrice Cockatrice Reset a unit.
  • 4 Ghoul Ghoul Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from your graveyard and boost self by its power.
  • 4 Wild Hunt Hound Wild Hunt Hound Play Biting Frost from your deck.
  • 4 Siren Siren Play Moonlight from your deck.
  • 4 Foglet Foglet Whenever you apply Impenetrable Fog to an enemy row, Summon a copy of this unit to the opposite row.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Moonlight Moonlight Choose One: Apply a Full Moon Boon; or Apply a Blood Moon Hazard.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost Apply a Hazard to an enemy row that deals 2 damage to the Lowest unit on turn start.

Overview

Relicts is a new archetype first appearing after the Midwinter Update. The ability of Weavess: Incantation strengthens all Relicts in your hand, deck and table, which makes this another kind of point spam archetype using Fiend in early rounds and letting Crones carry your last rounds, in combination with Ghoul, which assures a strong Round 3.

While this archetype lacks early tempo due to our first play with Weavess: Incantation, the next plays are strong, averaging 13 points or more. Mixing this archetype with Impenetrable Fog makes it powerful and a possible alternative for tournaments.

Pros:

  • Strong short R3 due to Crones.
  • High average bronze value.

Cons:

  • Hard mulligan due to not blacklisting.
  • Ghoul bricked until graveyard is developed.

Tech Choices

  • Caretaker => Imlerith: Sabbath
  • Caretaker => Renew
  • Morvudd => Adda: Striga

While Weavess: Incantation and Royal Decree are staples in this archetype, the other two gold cards can be modified in order to adapt the deck to the meta. If we are facing many Greatswords opponents, Caretaker looks like the correct option, while if we are not facing removal, Imlerith: Sabbath is an option that can auto-win some rounds. Renew for a second Weavess is an attractive option, making our Crones a final play of 32 points.

While the silver core is largely fixed, Morvudd can be changed for Adda: Striga if we want additional removal. Among bronzes, we can opt for carrying some Cockatrice for high tempo resets if we are facing weather decks.

The list showed in this Meta Snapshot was created by HightDetal.

  • 8 Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 5 Woodland Spirit Woodland Spirit Spawn 3 Wolves on the melee row and apply Impenetrable Fog to the opposite row.
  • 4 Weavess: Incantation Weavess: Incantation Choose One: Strengthen all your other Relicts in hand, deck, and on board by 2; or Play a Bronze or Silver Relict from your deck and Strengthen it by 2.
  • 4 Caretaker Caretaker Resurrect a Bronze or Silver unit from your opponent's graveyard.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a Gold unit from your deck and boost it by 2.
  • 13 Frightener Frightener Spying. Single-Use: Move an enemy to this row and draw a card.
  • 8 Brewess Brewess Summon Whispess and Weavess to this row.
  • 6 Weavess Weavess Summon Brewess and Whispess to this row.
  • 6 Morvudd Morvudd Toggle a unit's Lock status. If it was an enemy, halve its power.
  • 6 Whispess Whispess Summon Brewess and Weavess to this row.
  • 5 Ozzrel Ozzrel Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from either graveyard and boost by its power.
  • 11 Cyclops Cyclops x2 Destroy an ally and deal damage equal to its power to an enemy.
  • 11 Fiend Fiend x3 No ability.
  • 10 Ancient Foglet Ancient Foglet x2 Boost by 1 if Impenetrable Fog is on the board on turn end.
  • 4 Foglet Foglet x2 Whenever you apply Impenetrable Fog to an enemy row, Summon a copy of this unit to the opposite row.
  • 4 Ghoul Ghoul x3 Consume a Bronze or Silver unit from your graveyard and boost self by its power.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x3 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.

Overview

Imlerith: Sabbath is definitively one of the most polarizing cards in Gwent history. While there are several ways to counter it, it's basically an autowin if unanswered, which may be a little bit unfair and is definitely rage-inducing at a minimum.

This snapshot shows a list that focuses on a Sabbath win condition with Adrenaline Rush. The deck's secondary win condition comes from the inclusion of the core of the Moonlight archetype. We carry Iris' Companions as a method to bring any card we need into our hand, and include Royal Decree as a way to further increase our reliability of drawing Sabbath (the extra two points on deploy are quite helpful as well). Mandrake and Mardroeme both make our Sabbath much more dangerous, and Renew provides Sabbath a second life if the opponent is able to deal with it once.

Pros:

  • Strong bronze core in long rounds.
  • High reliability of drawing Imlerith: Sabbath
  • Imlerith: Sabbath wins the match if unanswered.

Cons:

  • Really polarized list: Is mostly all-in on the Sabbath gameplan.
  • Weak to opponents' removal.

Tech choices

There are varying options for a Sabbath list. We can play a black-and-white, all-in Sabbath, for example the sample list provided in this Meta Snapshot or the one utilized by Damorquis in Gwent Open #6 (featuring Eredin Bréacc Glas as leader). Alternatively, we can play a version of Sabbath mixed with other archetype such as Relicts, as popularized by the streamer Swim. While the mixed one is safer than the all-in version, the all-in version can be quite effective in sniping particular opponents, most notably in a tournament environment.

  • 6 Whispering Hillock Whispering Hillock Create a Bronze or Silver Organic card.
  • 6 Whispess: Tribute Whispess: Tribute Play a Bronze or Silver Organic card from your deck.
  • 5 Imlerith: Sabbath Imlerith: Sabbath Every turn, Duel the Highest enemy on turn end. If this unit survives, Heal it by 2 and give it 2 Armor. 2 Armor.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a Gold unit from your deck and boost it by 2.
  • Renew Renew Resurrect a non-Leader Gold unit.
  • 11 Iris' Companions Iris' Companions Move a card from your deck to your hand, then Discard a random card.
  • 5 Nekurat Nekurat Spawn Moonlight.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Choose One: Heal a unit and Strengthen it by 6; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 6.
  • Parasite Parasite Deal 12 damage to an enemy; or Boost an ally by 12.
  • Monster Nest Monster Nest Spawn a Bronze Necrophage or Insectoid and boost it by 1.
  • 10 Alpha Werewolf Alpha Werewolf x2 Spawn a Wolf on each side of this unit on contact with Full Moon.
  • 7 Werewolf Werewolf x3 Immune. Boost this unit by 7 on first contact with Full Moon.
  • 4 Siren Siren x3 Play Moonlight from your deck.
  • Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush Toggle a unit's Resilience status.
  • Moonlight Moonlight x3 Choose One: Apply a Full Moon Boon; or Apply a Blood Moon Hazard.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x2 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Mardroeme Mardroeme Choose One: Reset a unit and Strengthen it by 3; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 3.

Overview

Reveal is another classic archetype seen in Gwent since the start of the Open Beta. It is also characterized as one of the strongest R1 archetypes due to the combination of Mangonel and Morvran Voorhis, which can often be used to force an early pass from our opponent, putting control of the match into our hands. During the development of this patch, we have seen options like Dandelion: Poet and silver Witchers become more popular. 

While R1 is really powerful, the principal problem with this deck is the lack of R3 finishers, which makes it weak when playing against decks that can deal with a R1 tempo burst or when it is on blue coin. Since Reveal doesn't have real finishers, it has to utilise other card combinations as finishers, most often the Letho of Gulet and Regis combo. 

Pros:

  • Strong R1, great start of the game.

Cons:

  • Really weak on blue coin.
  • Lack of archetype related finishers.

Tech Choices

  • Letho of Gulet and Regis => Villentretenmerth and Leo Bonhart
  • Silver Witchers => The Last Wish, Scorch and Artefact Compression
  • Mangonel => Venendal Elite

Reveal, as an archetype with no specific finisher, has seen many gold slot variations to solve that problem. While the classic list carried Villentretenmerth and several Scorch effects as finishers, as this list is a hyperthin list, the combination of Letho of Gulet followed by Regis is very popular, as the deck has last say in the majority of matches due to strong early plays. An interesting choice is using Stefan Skellen and Ihuarraquax, a really nice combo that is unique in Gwent. If we want to use a control-centered list, we can use Yennefer: Enchantress in the place of Dandelion: Poet. Korathi Heatwave can be the answer if we want to play long rounds.

Silver cards may change, especially between silver spells, as several options can be used, for example Artefact Compression, The Last Wish, Alzur's Double–Cross, Scorch, and a risky Merigold's Hailstorm, which can slot in nicely with Korathi Heatwave.

For bronze cards, an interesting choice is using an extra Mangonel or trying to run a Venendal Elite, which is risky but worthwhile for if you manage to reveal your Cantarella, providing you with a one-point card advantage spy.

  • 7 Morvran Voorhis Morvran Voorhis Reveal up to 4 cards.
  • 11 Vattier de Rideaux Vattier de Rideaux Reveal up to 2 of your cards, then Reveal the same number of your opponent's randomly.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 1 Letho of Gulet Letho of Gulet Spying. Apply Lock status to 2 units on this row, then Drain all their power.
  • 1 Regis Regis Drain all boosts from a unit.
  • 13 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards. Keep one and move the other to the bottom of your deck.
  • 7 Vesemir Vesemir Summon Eskel and Lambert to this row.
  • 6 Eskel Eskel Summon Vesemir and Lambert to this row.
  • 5 Vrygheff Vrygheff Play a Bronze Machine from your deck.
  • 5 Lambert Lambert Summon Eskel and Vesemir to this row.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 9 Alchemist Alchemist x3 Reveal 2 cards.
  • 7 Mangonel Mangonel x3 Deal 2 damage to a random enemy. Repeat this ability whenever you Reveal a card.
  • 5 Fire Scorpion Fire Scorpion x3 Deal 5 damage to an enemy. Whenever you Reveal this unit, trigger its ability.
  • 4 Daerlan Soldier Daerlan Soldier x3 Whenever you Reveal this unit, play it automatically on a random row and draw a card.
  • 3 Imperial Golem Imperial Golem x3 Summon a copy of this unit to a random row whenever you Reveal a card in your opponent's hand.
  • 1 Vicovaro Medic Vicovaro Medic Resurrect a Bronze unit from your opponent's graveyard.

Overview

Spies used to be the strongest archetype in Gwent before the Midwinter Update, and probably the most skill-rewarded archetype., This gave it a special place in the heart of Gwent players. After several nerfs in previous patches it is still playable and a really good option in the hands of experienced players.

The strength of this deck resides in the combination of strong bronze cards like Impera Enforcers, Impera Brigade, and Emissary. Their synergy allows this deck to beat most opponents using only bronzes during round 1, while preserving the golds for round 3, where they can shine.

As this deck can thin consistently to zero, it's one of the most stable decks., This makes it a safe bet for ladder climbing, but its power level is significantly worse than other top-tier decks.

Pros:

Thins to zero, really stable list.
Strong long round, when engines are developed.

Cons:

Difficult to play if your engines are removed.
No Emissary in hand can cause a real problem.

Tech choices

Menno Coehoorn and Muzzle=>Letho of Gulet and Regis
Vreemde=>Iris von Everec
Roach=>The Guardian

While the bronze core doesn't have any huge variance, except for the possible change of the Nauzicaa Brigade for a third Infiltrator, there are some interesting variants possible in the gold slots. You can take the classic spy core, and then use it as a hyperthin list to find the Letho of Gulet / Regis combo, which provides a more powerful round 3. Another possible gold option is Geralt: Igni in place of Muzzle if you want to have some big unit removal. We can also change the nature of our thinning tools by swapping Vilgefortz with Dandelion: Poet, making our deck a little bit more proactive.

In the silver slots, an interesting variant is an inclusion of Iris von Everec instead of Vreemde. The latter provides a more proactive round 1 play, creating an additional soldier which could be one of our engines, while the former provides an additional spy unit which can be procced instantly if you have two Impera Enforcers on the board. If weather makes a comeback in the meta, another interesting change is taking out Roach and teching in Vanhemar which is stronger against hazard-based lists. If you want more proactive plays, you can include The Guardian instead to brick your opponent's hand.

  • 7 Emhyr var Emreis Emhyr var Emreis Play a card, then return a Bronze or Silver ally to your hand.
  • 9 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Destroy an ally, then play the top card of your deck; or Truce: Destroy an enemy, then your opponent draws and Reveals a Bronze card.
  • 8 Menno Coehoorn Menno Coehoorn Deal 4 damage to an enemy. If it's Spying, destroy it instead.
  • 5 Rainfarn of Attre Rainfarn of Attre Play a Bronze or Silver Spying unit from your deck.
  • Muzzle Muzzle Charm a Bronze or Silver enemy with 8 power or less.
  • 13 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards. Keep one and move the other to the bottom of your deck.
  • 11 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Return 2 Bronze or Silver cards from either graveyard to their respective decks.
  • 5 Joachim de Wett Joachim de Wett Spying. Play the top non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit from your deck and boost it by 10.
  • 4 Vreemde Vreemde Create a Bronze Nilfgaardian Soldier.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a Gold unit from your hand, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 2 Ceallach Dyffryn Ceallach Dyffryn Spawn an Ambassador, Assassin or Emissary.
  • 10 Infiltrator Infiltrator x2 Toggle a unit's Spying status.
  • 6 Impera Enforcers Impera Enforcers x3 Deal 2 damage to an enemy. For each Spying enemy that appears during your turn, deal 2 damage to an enemy on turn end.
  • 6 Impera Brigade Impera Brigade x3 Boost self by 2 for each Spying enemy. Boost self by 2 whenever a Spying enemy appears.
  • 5 Nauzicaa Brigade Nauzicaa Brigade Deal 7 damage to a Spying unit. If it was destroyed, Strengthen self by 4.
  • 2 Emissary Emissary x3 Spying. Look at 2 random Bronze units from your deck, then play 1.
  • 1 Vicovaro Medic Vicovaro Medic x3 Resurrect a Bronze unit from your opponent's graveyard.

Overview

Cursed Armor is a new archetype created over one idea: Redanian Knight-Elect is the best engine card in NR. Building a deck with this card as the central archetype requires some Thunderbolt to refresh the possible loss of Armor due to enemy damage, which forces us to carry Tormented Mage as tutor, while adding some Cursed Knight as finishers.

While this engine is really powerful in long rounds, deck lacks a little bit of short round power. Including these cursed cards made using Sabrina's Specter a viable option which also provides a proactive play, which the deck lacks. 

Deck is still under study, but it has a great potential to become the best NR deck in game.

Pros:

  • Strong long round, due to Redanian Knight-Elect.
  • Removal against engine decks.

Cons:

  • Lack of proactive plays.
  • Lack of short round finishers. 

Tech choices

  • Alzur's Thunder=>Bloody Flail
  • Dandelion: Poet=>Keira Metz

While Dandelion: Poet has been performing better in nowadays meta, and it can be used as a spy abuse mecanism, Keira Metz offers us an extra removal option, while Thunderbolt helps us to preserve our engines. A potential change in the silver core, is swapping Roach for Dethmold, granting us a weather clear and an additional removal.

In the bronze part, we can change Alzur's Thunder for Bloody Flail, if we want to change the deck to a more midrange version, while not losing our removal potential against decks as alchemy.

This deck is the result of a collective effort lead by AniviaPls.

  • 5 King Foltest King Foltest Boost all other allies and your non-Spying units in hand and deck by 1. Crew.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 5 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 13 Thaler Thaler Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards, keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 6 Margarita of Aretuza Margarita of Aretuza Reset a unit and toggle its Lock status.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a Gold unit from your hand, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 4 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Spawn Biting Frost, Impenetrable Fog or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 3 Sabrina's Specter Sabrina's Specter Resurrect a Bronze Cursed unit.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 8 Cursed Knight Cursed Knight x2 Transform a Cursed ally into a default copy of this unit. 2 Armor.
  • 7 Redanian Knight-Elect Redanian Knight-Elect x3 If this unit has Armor on turn end, boost adjacent units by 1. 2 Armor.
  • 2 Tormented Mage Tormented Mage x3 Look at 2 Bronze Spells or Items from your deck, then play 1.
  • 1 Reaver Scout Reaver Scout Choose a different Bronze ally and play a copy of it from your deck.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x2 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Alzur's Thunder Alzur's Thunder x2 Deal 9 damage.
  • Thunderbolt Thunderbolt x2 Boost 3 adjacent units by 3 and give them 2 Armor.

Overview

"Foltest 40" or 40-Card Foltest (more accurately 41 cards, due to Vernon Roche) is another classic archetype, present since Season 1 of Open Beta. The deck benefits from using King Foltest's ability to massively buff the deck and trying to play as many units as you can, trying to maximise that value, in combination with as many Temerian units possible.

After the addition of Hubert Rejk in the Midwinter Update, this archetype has seen a new golden era where it has a strong finisher, potentially of more that 40 points. It also uses Aretuza Adept to pull Biting Frost, killing as many units as possible to gain boosts for Bloody Baron which will be absorbed by Hubert, all while gaining tempo using the Temerian package (Blue Stripe Commando, Blue Stripe Scout, and Temerian Infantry).

This is definitely a very fun archetype, but clearly not the most consistent.

Pros:

  • Strong finisher; Hubert is superb.

Cons:

  • Difficult mulligans, often bricked hands.
  • Inconsistent.

Tech Choices

This list is definitely very versatile and open to changes, especially the bronze core. The most important change in bronzes would be the swap of the machines package (Ballista and Siege Master) for a more point oriented option, like Witch Hunter and Poor F'ing Infantry.

Thaler is another tech option, but at the cost of not 100% drawing our Hubert Rejk. We can conclude that there are as many variants as there are players of this deck.

  • 5 King Foltest King Foltest Boost all other allies and your non-Spying units in hand and deck by 1. Crew.
  • 9 Bloody Baron Bloody Baron If in hand, deck, or on board, boost self by 1 whenever an enemy is destroyed.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 6 John Natalis John Natalis Play a Bronze or Silver Tactic from your deck.
  • 3 Vernon Roche Vernon Roche Deal 7 damage to an enemy. At game start, add a Blue Stripe Commando to your deck.
  • 7 Hubert Rejk Hubert Rejk Drain all boosts from units in your deck.
  • 6 Margarita of Aretuza Margarita of Aretuza Reset a unit and toggle its Lock status.
  • 4 Dethmold Dethmold Spawn Torrential Rain, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Play a Bronze or Silver Soldier, Machine, Officer or Support unit from your deck.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 6 Ballista Ballista x3 Deal 1 damage to an enemy and 4 other random enemies with the same power. Crewed: Repeat its ability.
  • 6 Siege Master Siege Master x3 Heal an allied Bronze or Silver Machine and repeat its ability. Crew.
  • 6 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If it's destroyed, deal 3 damage to another enemy. Crewed: Increase initial damage by 1.
  • 4 Dun Banner Dun Banner x3 If you are losing by more than 25 on turn start, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 3 Blue Stripe Commando Blue Stripe Commando x3 Whenever a different Temerian ally with the same power is played, Summon a copy of this unit to a random row.
  • 3 Aretuza Adept Aretuza Adept x3 Play a random Bronze Hazard from your deck.
  • 3 Blue Stripe Scout Blue Stripe Scout x3 Boost all Temerian allies and your non-Spying Temerian units in hand and deck with the same power as this unit by 1. Crew.
  • 3 Temerian Infantry Temerian Infantry x3 Summon all copies of this unit to this row.
  • 1 Reaver Scout Reaver Scout x2 Choose a different Bronze ally and play a copy of it from your deck.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost x3 Apply a Hazard to an enemy row that deals 2 damage to the Lowest unit on turn start.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.

Overview

After the Swap Update, King Henselt has been one of the less popular leaders in Northern Realms. The Winch rework and Dun Banner nerf made this leader and his archetype significantly weaker, passing from a strong Tier 2 deck to Tier 3.

As there are no more "Aye, Aye, Sir," the list has become more consistent, and it now has space for more proactive plays sch as Kaedweni Sergeant, which also provides us a weather clear. While no Winch means Henselt can pull only two machines, it has opened the deckbuilding to more types of machines, such as Ballista for dealing with swarm lists.

Pros:

  • Really strong against swarm lists due to Ballista.
  • Strong on red coin.

Cons:

  • Weak on blue coin.
  • Most of plays are reactive.

Tech Choices

  • Bloody Baron => Villentretenmerth
  • Muzzle => Korathi Heatwave

With respect to teching this list, the most common change is to remove Bloody Baron for Villentretenmerth as a different win condition, but this choice revolves around whether the meta is filled with swarm decks or not. While Muzzle is an excellent card against engine decks, if the meta is more swarm-heavy, Korathi Heatwave in addition to our White Frost can be the terror of the ladder.

For bronze cards, we can change the machine line-up, choosing what we think is most suited to the meta, discarding Ballista if the meta is more Greatsword-heavy and teching in Siege Tower if we want to play a more proactive list and to counter Alchemy.

The list shown in this Meta Snapshot was made by Tailbot.

 

  • 3 King Henselt King Henselt Choose a Bronze Machine or Kaedweni ally and play all copies of it from your deck. Crew.
  • 9 Bloody Baron Bloody Baron If in hand, deck, or on board, boost self by 1 whenever an enemy is destroyed.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • Muzzle Muzzle Charm a Bronze or Silver enemy with 8 power or less.
  • 13 Thaler Thaler Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards, keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 11 Ronvid the Incessant Ronvid the Incessant Resurrect on a random row with 1 power on turn end. Crew.
  • 4 Síle de Tansarville Síle de Tansarville Play a Bronze or Silver special card, then draw a card.
  • Scorch Scorch Destroy all the Highest units.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • White Frost White Frost Apply Biting Frost to 2 adjacent enemy rows.
  • 9 Kaedweni Sergeant Kaedweni Sergeant x3 Clear Hazards from its row. 3 Armor. Crew.
  • 7 Reinforced Ballista Reinforced Ballista x3 Deal 2 damage to an enemy. Crewed: Repeat its ability.
  • 6 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If it's destroyed, deal 3 damage to another enemy. Crewed: Increase initial damage by 1.
  • 6 Siege Master Siege Master x3 Heal an allied Bronze or Silver Machine and repeat its ability. Crew.
  • 6 Ballista Ballista x3 Deal 1 damage to an enemy and 4 other random enemies with the same power. Crewed: Repeat its ability.

Overview

Including Shupe's Day Off in factions other that Scoia'tael is really challenging, as other factions' bronzes are significantly weaker than Scoia'tael ones, but Finnish deckbuilder Santtu2x has made it. He has created a King Radovid V list which has achieved moderate success on the Pro Ladder.

Using Tormented Mage with two tutored cards in Alzur's Thunder and Bloody Flail as a thinning and control tool, and pivoting the rest of the deck around Machines, with the exception of Redanian Knight-Elect as an alternative engine and Kaedweni Knight as an extra tempo tool, this list looks really spicy and an interesting alternative for those who don't want to stick to the meta.

Pros:

  • Good thinning.
  • Difficult to brick.
  • Hard for opponents to anticipate.

Cons:

  • Win con is not always drawn.
  • Difficult to pilot.

Tech Choices

  • King Radovid V => King Foltest

As this is a very specific list, there aren't many changes that it can afford without losing its potential. The most remarkable change is the swap of leaders between King Radovid V for better engine control and King Foltest if we prefer to go straight for points.

Another possible option is the change of Roach for Síle de Tansarville for another type of thinning, losing a little bit of tempo with golds but winning it on bronzes or silvers.

The list showed in this Snapshot was provided by Santtu2x.

  • 6 King Radovid V King Radovid V Toggle 2 units' Lock statuses. If enemies, deal 4 damage to them. Crew.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 6 John Natalis John Natalis Play a Bronze or Silver Tactic from your deck.
  • 4 Sigismund Dijkstra Sigismund Dijkstra Spying. Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • 13 Thaler Thaler Spying. Single-Use: Draw 2 cards, keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 11 Ronvid the Incessant Ronvid the Incessant Resurrect on a random row with 1 power on turn end. Crew.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a Gold unit from your hand, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 3 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Play the top non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit from your deck and give it 5 Armor. 3 Armor.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Play a Bronze or Silver Soldier, Machine, Officer or Support unit from your deck.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 9 Kaedweni Sergeant Kaedweni Sergeant Clear Hazards from its row. 3 Armor. Crew.
  • 8 Kaedweni Knight Kaedweni Knight Boost self by 5 if played from the deck. 2 Armor.
  • 8 Reinforced Trebuchet Reinforced Trebuchet Deal 1 damage to a random enemy on turn end.
  • 8 Siege Tower Siege Tower Boost self by 2. Crewed: Repeat its ability.
  • 7 Reinforced Ballista Reinforced Ballista Deal 2 damage to an enemy. Crewed: Repeat its ability.
  • 7 Siege Support Siege Support Whenever an ally appears, boost it by 1. If it's a Machine, also give it 1 Armor. Crew.
  • 7 Trebuchet Trebuchet Deal 1 damage to 3 adjacent enemies. Crewed: Increase damage by 1.
  • 7 Redanian Knight-Elect Redanian Knight-Elect If this unit has Armor on turn end, boost adjacent units by 1. 2 Armor.
  • 6 Ballista Ballista Deal 1 damage to an enemy and 4 other random enemies with the same power. Crewed: Repeat its ability.
  • 6 Battering Ram Battering Ram Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If it's destroyed, deal 3 damage to another enemy. Crewed: Increase initial damage by 1.
  • 6 Siege Master Siege Master Heal an allied Bronze or Silver Machine and repeat its ability. Crew.
  • 2 Tormented Mage Tormented Mage Look at 2 Bronze Spells or Items from your deck, then play 1.
  • Bloody Flail Bloody Flail Deal 5 damage and Spawn a Specter on a random row.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Alzur's Thunder Alzur's Thunder Deal 9 damage.

Overview

Tempo Henselt, perhaps more accurately named Engine Henselt, is an new archetype for Northern Realms based around the strength of its engines and the ability of King Henselt. Combining the snowballing of Redanian Knight-Elect and Reinforced Trebuchet with the tempo from Kaedweni Knight, this deck is pretty solid in long rounds while still having some tools for short ones.

Battering Ram is included as another King Henselt target. It represents better value than most other machines without needing crewmen, as triggering its second tick is not really difficult in this meta. The deck's silver core revolves around Prince Stennis and two tactic cards, Marching Orders and Decoy.

Tempo Henselt has proven to be strong enough to reach the top spots of ranked ladder, and has started to see some play on Pro Ladder as well.

Pros:

  • Extremely strong on long rounds if engines developed and not countered by the opponent.
  • King Henselt generally represents an insane amount of tempo.

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to control.
  • Some bricks can make the mulligan difficult.

Tech choices

  • Triss: Telekinesis=>John Natalis
  • Síle de Tansarville=>Thaler
  • Mandrake=>Margarita of Aretuza
  • Thunderbolt=>Reconnaissance

As we can see, we carry a total of four (sometimes five) tactics cards, which allows us the option of replacing one of our golds (often Triss: Telekinesis) for John Natalis, which tutors tactics. Other possible gold substitutions include Dandelion: Poet, granting the deck some extra tempo; or Geralt: Igni, for extra removal.

In the silver slots, we typically have a total of two flexible spots, filled in this version by Síle de Tansarville and Mandrake. Other versions use these spots for cards including: Thaler, to enable spy usage and encourage longer rounds; Margarita of Aretuza, a really versatile lock; and Vaedermakar, which provides the option of removal or a weather hazard.

With regard to bronzes, while the unit core is tight on this deck, we can modify the bronze specials somewhat, taking out Thunderbolt for an extra Reconnaissance to provide additional thinning.

The list shown in this Meta Snapshot was provided by Shinmiri.

  • 3 King Henselt King Henselt Choose a Bronze Machine or Kaedweni ally and play all copies of it from your deck. Crew.
  • 8 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Duel an enemy. 3 Armor.
  • 6 Keira Metz Keira Metz Spawn Alzur's Thunder, Thunderbolt or Arachas Venom.
  • 6 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Create a Bronze special card from either player's starting deck.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 4 Síle de Tansarville Síle de Tansarville Play a Bronze or Silver special card, then draw a card.
  • 4 Dethmold Dethmold Spawn Torrential Rain, Clear Skies or Alzur's Thunder.
  • 3 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Play the top non-Spying Bronze or Silver unit from your deck and give it 5 Armor. 3 Armor.
  • Decoy Decoy Replay a Bronze or Silver ally and boost it by 3.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Choose One: Heal a unit and Strengthen it by 6; or Reset a unit and Weaken it by 6.
  • 8 Reinforced Trebuchet Reinforced Trebuchet x3 Deal 1 damage to a random enemy on turn end.
  • 8 Kaedweni Knight Kaedweni Knight x3 Boost self by 5 if played from the deck. 2 Armor.
  • 7 Redanian Knight-Elect Redanian Knight-Elect x3 If this unit has Armor on turn end, boost adjacent units by 1. 2 Armor.
  • 6 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If it's destroyed, deal 3 damage to another enemy. Crewed: Increase initial damage by 1.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x2 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Thunderbolt Thunderbolt Boost 3 adjacent units by 3 and give them 2 Armor.

Overview

Control is a Scoia'tael archetype whose main virtue is also its main weakness: As you carry a lot of single target removal, your list is basically an automatic loss against swarmy and non-engine lists.

As swarmy lists have become more popular with the time, we opted for using a more point oriented variety using for example Dwarven Skirmisher, a better card than Dol Blathanna Archer in a question of point spamming. Scorch has been dropped from the list, as Artefact Compression does the role of anti engine tool.

Half-Elf Hunter remains as our proactive play. It is a decent point spam tool, but often not enough to compare with those in other meta decks.

Pros:

  • Strong against engine decks.

Cons:

  • Weak against swarmy lists.
  • Not enough point generation.

Tech choices

  • Muzzle=>Villentretenmerth
  • Artefact Compression=>Mandrake
  • Dwarven Skirmisher=>Dol Blathanna Archer

While this list's main purpose is to control engine decks, this version can deal with other type of lists because of its point generation tools. Golden core is difficult to change, as it's really tight, only allowing the change of Muzzle for Villentretenmerth, adding a Scorch effect to our list.

On the silver side, while swapping Artefact Compression for Mandrake is an obvious change if we are facing a high boosted units meta, another possibilty of change is dropping the Dwarf core (Éibhear Hattori and Barclay Els) for Ida Emean aep Sivney and Scorch, getting additional control tools in our deck.

On the bronze core, the possible change is dropping Dwarven Agitator and Dwarven Skirmisher in favour of Dol Blathanna Archer and some additional units, as Sage, allowing us to have a more efficient Scorch allignment.

List presented is the modification of Shinmiri's over the Hive King's original control list.

 

  • 5 Eithné Eithné Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card.
  • 8 Aglaïs Aglaïs Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card from your opponent's graveyard, then Banish it.
  • 4 Schirrú Schirrú Spawn Scorch or Epidemic.
  • 2 Isengrim: Outlaw Isengrim: Outlaw Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver special card from your deck; or Create a Silver Elf.
  • Muzzle Muzzle Charm a Bronze or Silver enemy with 8 power or less.
  • 13 Yaevinn Yaevinn Spying. Single-Use: Draw a special card and a unit. Keep one and return the other to your deck.
  • 6 Aelirenn Aelirenn If 5 Elf allies are on the board on any turn end, Summon this unit to a random row.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Resurrect a lower or equal Bronze or Silver Scoia'tael unit.
  • 2 Barclay Els Barclay Els Play a random Bronze or Silver Dwarf from your deck and Strengthen it by 3.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • 8 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary Move a unit to this row on its side. If it's an ally, boost it by 3.
  • 6 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter x3 Spawn a Doomed default copy of this unit to the right of this unit.
  • 6 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher x3 Deal 3 damage to an enemy. If the unit was not destroyed, boost self by 3.
  • 1 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator x3 Spawn a default copy of a random different Bronze Dwarf from your deck.
  • 1 Elven Mercenary Elven Mercenary x2 Look at 2 random Bronze special cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • Mahakam Ale Mahakam Ale Boost a random ally on each row by 4.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance x2 Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.

Overview

Spella'tael or Spell Scoia'tael is another of the classic archetypes that has been seen throughout much of Gwent's lifetime with some variations. It relies on the ability of Dol Blathanna Sentry, and to maximize it the deck plays a list full of special cards.

The exact composition of the deck may vary across different versions, notably with regards to the choice of Swallow over Mahakam Ale because it allows our Elven Mercenary to be an proactive play. We include Elven Mercenary as our bronze spell tutor. The selection of other bronze spells may also vary across different versions, including the potential to carry Golden Froth and Alzur's Thunder as targets for Ithlinne Aegli.

Garrison is a card whose primary function is to unbrick our Aglaïs against Skellige, as many SK lists run Restore as their only bronze or silver special card.

In theory, if you are able to reach R3 without using your Sentries, you have a strong win condition. However, in the actual meta, the deck requires a great investment to usually have only a 15-20 point finisher. 

Pros:

  • Good R3 finishers if set up properly.
  • Really good against engine decks due to inclusion of control tools.

Cons:

  • Lack of card advantage spy.
  • Vulnerable to bleeding.
  • Sentries are vulnerable to any kind of reset.

Tech choices

  • Muzzle=>Triss: Telekinesis
  • Garrison=>Operator
  • Artefact Compression=>White Frost
  • Swallow=>Mahakam Ale

As Spella'tael's composition is quite variable, we can modify the list freely and its principal gameplan will remain unchanged. In gold selection, it is interesting to consider potentially running Triss: Telekinesis over Muzzle. While Muzzle reinforces our anti-engine power, Triss provides more tempo and an additional thinning tool. Another interesting option is including Renew, but it also forces us to play a gold card in the first round.

In the silver cards, we are using Garrison to create a favoured SK matchup, but we can also take the traditional option of running Operator for a fourth Sentry (note that this choice restricts our deckbuilding to not run another unit with more than 5 power). Another interesting choice is dropping Artefact Compression for cards like White Frost if we want to improve our long rounds, or Manticore Venom if we are facing a lot of Villentretenmerth. While Mandrake is a good option, we don't recommend it as it would make our mirror match an autoloss. If we want to counter Greatswords, using Necromancy is a spicy option.

The bronze core is really variable, with Farseer and Half-Elf Hunter being used as our proactive plays, in combination with Elven Mercenary. If we deal with a lot of swarm, we can tech a Lacerate as a way of playing against them.

The list presented in this Meta Snapshot is the result of a collective effort, with particular insight from Netherworld, one of the most well-known Spella'tael players.

  • 5 Eithné Eithné Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card.
  • 8 Aglaïs Aglaïs Resurrect a Bronze or Silver special card from your opponent's graveyard, then Banish it.
  • 2 Isengrim: Outlaw Isengrim: Outlaw Choose One: Play a Bronze or Silver special card from your deck; or Create a Silver Elf.
  • 2 Ithlinne Aegli Ithlinne Aegli Play a Bronze Spell, Boon or Hazard from your deck twice.
  • Muzzle Muzzle Charm a Bronze or Silver enemy with 8 power or less.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Boost the Lowest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Transform a Bronze or Silver unit into a Jade Figurine.
  • Nature's Gift Nature's Gift Play a Bronze or Silver special card from your deck.
  • Garrison Garrison Create a Bronze or Silver unit from your opponent's starting deck and boost it by 2.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Boost the Highest Bronze or Silver unit in your deck by 2, then play it.
  • The Last Wish The Last Wish Look at 2 random cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • 8 Farseer Farseer If any of your other allies or units in hand are boosted during your turn, boost self by 2 on turn end.
  • 6 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter Spawn a Doomed default copy of this unit to the right of this unit.
  • 2 Sage Sage x2 Resurrect a Bronze Alchemy or Spell card, then Banish it.
  • 2 Dol Blathanna Sentry Dol Blathanna Sentry x3 If in hand, deck or on board, boost self by 1 whenever you play a special card.
  • 1 Elven Mercenary Elven Mercenary x3 Look at 2 random Bronze special cards from your deck, then play 1.
  • Alzur's Thunder Alzur's Thunder Deal 9 damage.
  • Swallow Swallow x3 Boost a unit by 10.
  • Reconnaissance Reconnaissance Look at 2 random Bronze units in your deck, then play 1.
  • Golden Froth Golden Froth Apply a Boon to an allied row that boosts 2 random units by 1 on turn start.

Overview

Handbuff Scoia’tael was an archetype that appeared for the first time after Gwent Open #1. Despite its early appearance, it has never been particularly popular due to the distinct lack of early tempo and its difficulty to master. It relies on the ability of Elven Swordmasters.

With the changes to some golds and the general tempo nerf in February’s balance patch, Handbuff Scoia’tael became a viable deck that can easily counter lists based on engines, such as Skellige Greatswords. The Swap Update also helped the archetype by generally reducing the amount of tempo found in other decks. Adding Blue Mountain Elite and Sheldon Skaggs as a way of providing early tempo has made this list more competitive.

The buffs provide a really strong round 3 and Handbuff Scoia’tael has become one of the most interesting decks in current meta. While it is not at the top tier of competitiveness it is nonetheless very fun to play.

Pros:

Strong round 3.
Multiple removals, making engines matchup good for the deck.

Cons:

Lack of general tempo.
Vulnerable to bleeding.

Tech choices

Aglaïs=>Aguara
Sheldon Skaggs=>Cleaver
Blue Mountain Elite=>Vrihedd Dragoon


While this archetype is very rigid in its golden core, there is a viable option used by AndyWand, swapping Aglaïs for Aguara. This improves its Skellige matchup. In terms of silvers, Sheldon Skaggs is used for early tempo, you may choose to run Cleaver, for an extra removal.

Bronze cards are flexible, with the possibility of swapping Blue Mountain Elite for Vrihedd Dragoon. This provides an extra engine, making our matchups against non-removal decks really good.

The list shown in this snapshot was prov