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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
While the list of criteria is extensive, here are the most important aspects:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Writers: Jamedi, JMJWilson23
Consultants: Adzikov, Argeiphontes, Ash_philo, Brazilianbeast, Damorquis, Gwent2town, Jamedi, JMJWilson23, Kara_Lisa, kolemoen, Miketocome, Molegion, Poisound, Santtu2x, shinmiri2
Editors: Easha Dustfeather, lordgort, Lothari, SwanDive
Updated: 14 June 2019 (Game version: 18.104.22.168)
First published: 13 May 2019 (Game version: 22.214.171.124)
This deck plays in a similar way to most other Skellige decks, but there are some notable differences. In terms of power level, this deck is comparable to the other main proactive Skellige decks in the meta with Svalblod as the leader. This deck may actually reach slightly lower heights when both decks draw all of their most powerful cards. However, this deck is highly consistent due to the inclusion of Royal Decree, which is deemed necessary to secure our main win condition Dagur Two Blades, while also offering us consistency in drawing the combo of Olaf and Knut the Callous. We do not run as many control tools as Crach an Craite control decks, but Harald the Cripple's leader ability gives us more removal potential in comparison to Svalblod decks, which helps in engine-based matchups as well. In terms of a gameplan, this deck will often try to win the first round while playing powerful Skellige bronzes, such as Svalblod Priest, to gain control of the game. From this point, it is often desirable to play a few cards in the second round to set up for a powerful medium-length Round 3 where our finisher of Harald the Cripple and Dagur Two Blades will overpower most decks.
Donar an Hindar is a card that plays for a lot of points for its provision cost while also providing removal value, assuming the condition of Bloodthirst: 2 is met. This is a slight downside against some decks, especially Northern Realms lists running Botchling (which can boost low-power damaged units with the Lubberkin form), as the condition is not likely to be met early in the round when we want to remove engines often times. With so much of the value of Donar being tied to damage, it is a weak card against decks that play many cards we cannot damage. If we come across these decks often, Frenzied D'ao is probably a better option because it allows us to trade up on any artifact the opponent plays by 6 points. It is important to include artifact removal that provides solid value even when the opponent does not play an artifact, so that we are likely to carry it to Round 3 when the opponent could surprise us with an artifact.
Ulfhedinn is another card in this list that is simply an efficient point card, with little utility outside of this purpose in many cases. While it is never really a bad card, there are better options available in certain matchups. If we face engine-based decks often, we can use Djenge Frett as a tech choice to shut down any engine we are unable to remove. The condition on Djenge merely requires Bloodthirst: 1, which is not difficult to enable in our deck. This card faces some of the same issues as Donar an Hindar because it can sometimes be dead early in the round, but this is usually not a concern.