This GWENT Meta Snapshot, created by Team Aretuza and Team Nova, attempts to establish the best decks to play on Ranked Ladder and Pro Rank, 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 and a tech section. 

As the meta continues to shift, we will consistently update our Snapshot as well as add more decks in the following days and weeks. Updates are announced on our Discord and Twitter.

 

Tier 1

Decks in this tier have favourable matchups against the majority of lower tier decks and some favourable matchups against other Tier 1 lists. Another criterion is that these decks should be able to win against lower-tier decks on blue coin most of the time.

 

Tier 2

Decks in this tier can beat Tier 1 decks if the player can access its full potential, or are strong decks with a clear counter; in addition, these decks should win consistently against lower tiers.

 

Tier 3

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

 

Honorable Mentions

Decks that aren't strong enough to be tiered, but with enough potential to be much better with the adequate support cards. These kind of decks are always worth keeping an eye on.


Written by Jamedi; Consultation: Damorquis, JMJWilson23 and SwanDive

 

What is a Meta Snapshot?

A Meta Snapshot is a comprehensive list of the decks which are played in a CCG. The decks are ordered by criteria, accounting for their power level through a tier (used by Team Aretuza & Team Nova), star or numerical system. If you would like to discuss our current Meta Snapshot, you can join our Discord server.

 

Which kind of criteria are used to classify a deck into a tier?

While the list of criteria is extensive, here are the most important aspects:

  • Power level is the amount of points a deck can output in comparison to others in the meta. In general, decks of higher tiers tend to have a greater number of unconditional points without depending on what rival decks do.
  • Consistency is focused on the draw dependency of a deck and the amount of thinning this deck has. Better thinning means more consistency, which usually means easier access to higher-value cards. If a deck is too dependent on drawing one or two certain cards but runs no thinning, it lacks consistency.
  • Counterability is the difficulty that other decks have to tech for the matchup against a certain deck and how much they need to sacrifice to improve the matchup. In Gwent, there are a lot of ways to prepare a deck for a concrete matchup and we can expect players to tech against the strongest/most popular decks of the metagame. The capability of a deck to win despite teching plays a role in its tier placement.

The data are collected by the players in several hundred matches and is then translated into the Snapshot. While the normal ladder experience can be different, tiered decks are good to climb the ladder to Pro Rank with relative ease.

 

What is the meaning of the different tiers?
  • Tier 1: Decks in this tier are the strongest, the most difficult to counter and heavily influence how decks in other tiers adapt.
  • Tier 2: Usually this tier covers decks which are still good, but due to some reason, they cannot be qualified as Tier 1. They usually have less strength than Tier 1 decks or have another factor that makes them slightly worse than top tier decks. In some particular metagames, a deck can be Tier 2 due to how easy it is to tech against it.
  • Tier 3: Decks in this category are still viable for climbing the ranked ladder, but they encounter more difficulty at high fMMR. They can still be used as tournament picks (in formats in which you can ban). They may still have favorable matchups versus some Tier 1 decks, but they are usually unfavored. Decks which are inconsistent or too draw-dependent also fall into this category.
  • Honorable Mentions: Here, we put decks whose strength is not enough to be tiered, but which have the potential to be much better with some support. These decks are always worth keeping an eye on. A deck which has been discovered recently and has not been played enough to be tiered can also fall into this category.

 

My experience differs from what you describe in the Snapshot. Does this mean that the Snapshot is not accurate?

Short answer, no. Long answer, there are a huge number of factors that can influence the development of a matchup between two players with their respective decks, which includes player skill, knowledge of the matchup and the respective decks, cards drawn and how they have played the match. Also, it is worth noting that a meta snapshot represents a picture of how the meta is in a particular moment. “Tiers” as defined above are never rigid constructs. In any given day, the meta can shift dramatically.

In general, inexperienced players tend to play worse and with more unpredictable lists. As we move up on the ladder, decklists tend to be more optimized, sometimes influenced by content creators such as popular streamers or the most recent meta snapshot. Reaching Pro Rank, we can expect to face the best possible players with the most optimized decklists.

 

I have a different list from the one shown in the Snapshot. Does this mean that one of the lists is incorrect?

Lists provided in our snapshots are usually stock lists, which are supposed to be a base to be modified according to the meta you are currently facing and your own playstyle. The tech section provides some card replacement options which may be more effective within a particular meta. This normally does not affect a deck’s overall consistency.

 

I haven’t seen this deck which appears in the Snapshot / I play this list or this archetype and it isn’t in the Snapshot.

The Snapshot tries to be as accurate and complete as possible. We release an initial snapshot as soon as the meta has settled after a game patch and make as many updates as possible afterwards. If a deck is not included, it will most likely be added in one of the next updates, as we try to prioritize the most popular and relevant decks. Despite that, we have to skip some decks which are unpopular or are very similar to existing ones. If you would like to be informed about our updates, feel free to check our website regularly or follow Team Aretuza or Team Nova on Twitter or Discord.

 

Are you just including the most popular decks/FOTM lists? Do you keep the best lists for yourselves?

No. While it is true that part of our work is to try and create a representation of the meta that is as accurate as possible and this, of course, includes the popularity of decks, popularity has no impact on how decks are tiered. We do not keep the best lists for ourselves. We are creating meta snapshots to share our collective knowledge of this game and provide players of all levels with a more enjoyable Gwent experience.

 

Do you have more questions? Join the discussion on Discord!

Contributors

Writers: Jamedi, JMJWilson23
Consultants: AdzikovArgeiphontes, Ash_philoBrazilianbeast, DamorquisGwent2town, Jamedi, JMJWilson23, Kara_LisakolemoenMiketocome, Molegion, Poisound, Santtu2xshinmiri2
Editors: Easha Dustfeather, lordgort, Lothari, SwanDive
Manager: SwanDive

Patch Overview

Updated: 14 June 2019 (Game version: 2.2.0.24)
First published: 13 May 2019 (Game version: 2.1.0.57)

  • 14 June 2019:
  • 07 June 2019:
    • Updated the following lists to reflect the recent balance patch:
      Arachas Queen Consume, Artifact Arachas, Brouver Midrange, Calveit Swarm, Crach Control, Dana Harmony, Eithné Deathblow, Emhyr Midrange, Henselt Draug, Svalblod Selfwound.
    • Temporarily removed the following lists, as we have yet to adjust them to the recent balance patch:
      Ardal Tactics, Arnjolf Control, Big Woodland, Brouver Traps, Deathwish, Dwarves, Humans Northern Realms, Shupe Nilfgaard, Shupe Northern Realms.
    • Tier adjustments:
  • 24 May 2019:
    • Added an FAQ
    • Added Artifact Arachas and Brouver Midrange
    • Updated Crach Control deck list
    • Tier adjustments:
      • Big Woodland Tier 2 ⇒ Tier 3
      • Shupe Nilfgaard Tier 2 ⇒ Tier 3
      • Ardal Tactics Tier 3 ⇒ HM
      • Shupe Northern Realms Tier 3 ⇒ HM
      • Dwarves Tier 3 ⇒ Tier 2
      • Crach Control Tier 3 ⇒ Tier 2
  • 19 May 2019:
    • Added links to PlayGwent.com for easy deck importing.
  • 17 May 2019:
    • Added Ardal Tactics, Arnjolf Control, Dana Harmony, Deathwish and Humans Northern Realms
    • Added new matchup section for Tier 1 and Tier 2 decks
       

Tier 1

Tier 2

Overview

This deck is yet another so-called “midrange” deck. While it should be able to compete in any situation, the basic game plan is starting Round 3 on equal cards and relying on the point output of Shupe's Day Off to pull us ahead of our opponent. Shupe is coupled with other strong cards such as the Nilfgaardian Witcher trio, Serrit, Auckes and Letho of Gulet, or the Assire var Anahid-Roach combo for even more point potential. The only change from last patch that has affected this list is the use of Jan Calveit as leader, due to the extra provisions it received, in combination with the nerf-rework to Morvran Voorhis.

  

Essential Cards

  • Shupe's Day Off is the most powerful card and the main win condition of this deck. Since the Shupe: Hunter nerf, the safest option is playing Shupe: Knight, often for a total of 12 points. In most matchups, this is enough of a swing to tilt the scales in our favor.
  • Serrit, Auckes and Letho of Gulet form the Nilfgaardian Witcher trio. By nature, they each reward drawing the other two. They do force us to play them in a predetermined order, which gives information to our opponent concerning our hand, but this minor downside can be disregarded due to their high value. As with most midrange-worthy cards, their points-per-provision value is quite efficient.

 
Pros

  • The raw power of Shupe's Day Off is more than enough to overcome the downside of having only one copy of each card.
  • Attempts to hard-counter this deck will usually prove futile, and we have good consistency since our thinning helps us draw our win condition most of the time.

Cons

  • Shupe requires a single copy of each card to be functional (and that means running 9 4-provision cards, which makes our draws inconsistent)
  • Shupe has some level of randomness which can hurt our matches by showing the wrong options. If Shupe does not reach the point ceiling we want it to, our possibility of victory might be lower, since it thereby will not pay off what we expect from it given the inherent deck-building cost.

  

Tech Choices

  • Shilard Fitz-OesterlenGimpy Gerwin
  • AlbrichRoderick of Dun Tynne

Shilard is good at punishing two kinds of deck: ones that handbuff (for example Scoia’tael archetypes focused around Sheldon Skaggs) and ones that play tall. While it is tricky to play - it is particularly risky in the Svalblod matchup if you have already seen Olaf - it rewards you with a lot of indirect points. On the other hand, Gimpy Gerwin can be used to improve our other matchups; those against Nilfgaard and King Henselt, where it almost wins on its own. In the worst case, it is still a 6-point card for 9 provisions that is a solid replacement should Shilard be struggling to find value.

The second possible change regards consistency. While Albrich is a great card which combos with our leader if we draw it in Round 3, usually we do not find enough value on it, especially if we have to look for Shupe (losing the boost value). An alternative to Albrich is Roderick of Dun Tynne which can help us dig for Shupe or other gold cards without having to combo and has synergy with Lacerate.

  • Jan Calveit Jan Calveit 17 Order: Look at the top 3 cards from your deck and play one.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off 13 Doomed. If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • 3 Roach Roach 10 Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3 Cleaver Cleaver 10 Deploy: Damage a unit by 1 for every card in your hand.
  • 3 Sweers Sweers 10 Deploy (Melee): Seize an enemy unit with 3 or less power.
  • 5 Serrit Serrit 9 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 3. If Auckes is in your hand, damage that unit by 5 instead.
  • 4 Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen 9 Deploy: Set the power of the highest unit in your opponent's hand to 1.
  • 6 Letho of Gulet Letho of Gulet 8 Deploy: If Auckes is in your hand, Lock an enemy unit. If Serrit is in your hand, damage an enemy unit by 3. If both are in your hand, Lock a unit and damage it by 3.
  • 6 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid 8 Deploy (Melee): Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy (Ranged): Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 5 Palmerin de Launfal Palmerin de Launfal 8 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deathblow: Give adjacent allied units Shields. If Milton is in your hand, trigger this unit's Deathblow ability even if the enemy unit survived.
  • 5 Milton de Peyrac-Peyran Milton de Peyrac-Peyran 8 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 1. Deathblow: Damage adjacent enemy units by 2. If Palmerin is in your hand, trigger this unit's Deathblow ability even if the enemy unit survived.
  • 5 Auckes Auckes 7 Deploy: Lock an enemy unit. If Serrit is in your hand, Lock all copies of that unit on the opponent's side.
  • 3 Albrich Albrich 7 Deploy (Ranged): Move any card from your deck to the top. If it's a unit, boost it by 2.
  • 5 Slave Infantry Slave Infantry 7 Deploy: Transform an allied unit into Slave Infantry.
  • 3 Peter Saar Gwynleve Peter Saar Gwynleve 6 Deploy: Restore a unit to its base power.
  • 6 Nilfgaardian Knight Nilfgaardian Knight 5 Deploy: Boost an enemy unit by 2.
  • 4 Alba Pikeman Alba Pikeman 5 Melee: Every allied turn, on turn end, damage a random enemy unit on the melee row by 1.
  • 3 Alba Armored Cavalry Alba Armored Cavalry 5 Deploy (Melee): Lock an enemy unit.
  • 4 Deithwen Arbalest Deithwen Arbalest 4 Deploy (Melee): Banish a card from your opponent's graveyard. Deploy (Ranged): Banish a card from your graveyard.
  • 4 Infiltrator Infiltrator 4 Melee: On round end, shuffle this unit into your opponent's deck.
  • 3 Nauzicaa Sergeant Nauzicaa Sergeant 4 Whenever you play a unit with Deploy, boost self by 1.
  • 3 Cutthroat Cutthroat 4 Deploy: Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns.
  • 3 Oxenfurt Scholar Oxenfurt Scholar 4 Deploy: Give an allied unit Vitality for 2 turns.
  • 2 Magne Division Magne Division 4 Every allied turn, on turn end, boost self by 1 if this is the only card on this row.
  • 2 Slave Driver Slave Driver 4 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Increase damage by 1 for each Locked unit.
  • 2 Toussaint Knight-Errant Toussaint Knight-Errant 4 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. If it has at least 6 power, damage it by 4 instead.

Matchups

Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions