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

Consultants: AdzikovArgeiphontes, Ash_philoBrazilianbeast, DamorquisGwent2town, Jamedi, JMJWilson23, Kara_LisakolemoenMiketocome, Molegion, Poisound, Santtu2xshinmiri2
Editors: Easha Dustfeather, Kochualordgort, Lothari, MortheousSwanDive
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

Overview

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.

 

Essential Cards

  • The most important card in the whole list, and in any Harald the Cripple list, is Dagur Two Blades. It plays for 20 points in a single card when paired with our leader ability while also providing for removal potential. It can typically be saved for last play to avoid opponent tall removal, but when we feel safe from such cards, playing Dagur and our leader early into the round can provide a huge number of points when paired with all of our damaging effects that will boost Dagur over time.
  • While they appear in many Skellige decks, Knut the Callous and Olaf are some of the strongest cards in this list in particular. The Olaf portion of this combo is the most vulnerable and this deck reduces the risk in a number of ways. We play several tall units, so opposing tall-removal cards already will find value in most games. We also play several engines, so the opponent will most likely be forced to use their Locks on other cards or allow those engines to survive while saving a Lock for Olaf. The combo is highly consistent due to the inclusion of Royal Decree to tutor for either missing piece when necessary.

 
Pros

  • Highly consistent deck with high power level due to the nature of Skellige bronze cards
  • Has a solid mixture of engines, removal and proactive points to help us adapt to most situations and matchups

Cons

  • Vulnerable to tall removal in some matchups, especially against other Skellige decks
  • Sacrifices some power to fit in Royal Decree, so some decks can be more powerful if they are able to draw their most powerful cards

 

Tech Choices

  • Donar an HindarFrenzied D'ao
  • UlfhedinnDjenge Frett

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.

 

Deck Guide

  • Harald the Cripple Harald the Cripple 15 Order: Split 8 damage randomly between all enemy units.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree 11 Play a unit from your deck.
  • 8 Olaf Olaf 11 Order: Boost Olaf by twice the amount he is damaged.
  • Svalblod Totem Svalblod Totem 10 Deploy: Spawn a Svalblod Fanatic on both sides of this card. Order: Damage adjacent units by 2.
  • 4 Dagur Two Blades Dagur Two Blades 10 Melee: Whenever an enemy takes damage, boost self by 1.
  • 3 Geralt of Rivia Geralt of Rivia 10 Deploy: Destroy an enemy unit with 8 or more power.
  • 3 Hjalmar an Craite Hjalmar an Craite 10 Deploy (Melee): Banish a unit in your graveyard and damage an enemy unit by its power.
  • 4 Harald Houndsnout Harald Houndsnout 9 Deploy: Spawn 3 of Harald's Pals and Summon them to your other allied row. Order: Damage an allied unit by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 6 Knut the Callous Knut the Callous 8 Deploy: Damage an allied unit to the right by half of its current power, then damage an enemy unit by that amount.
  • 4 Donar an Hindar Donar an Hindar 8 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by 2. Bloodthirst 2: Damage an enemy unit by 5 instead.
  • 3 Skjall Skjall 8 Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy unit by 4.
  • 4 Ulfhedinn Ulfhedinn 7 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by half of its current power.
  • Primal Savagery Primal Savagery 5 Damage an enemy unit by 2. Deathblow: Spawn a Bear Abomination and Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 5 Dimun Light Longship Dimun Light Longship x2 5 Order: Damage self and an enemy unit by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4 Drummond Shieldmaiden Drummond Shieldmaiden x2 5 The next time this unit takes damage, Summon a copy of it from your deck to this row.
  • 3 Svalblod Priest Svalblod Priest x2 5 Every allied turn, on turn end, damage the allied unit to the right by 1, then boost self by 2.
  • 4 Svalblod Butcher Svalblod Butcher x2 4 Deploy: Damage an allied unit by 2, then give an enemy unit Bleeding for 3 turns.
  • 4 Svalblod Fanatic Svalblod Fanatic 4 Berserk: Transform into a Bear Abomination.
  • 3 Heymaey Protector Heymaey Protector 4 Whenever an adjacent unit takes damage, boost self by 1.
  • 3 Cutthroat Cutthroat 4 Deploy: Give an enemy unit Bleeding for 2 turns.
  • 2 Svalblod Ravager Svalblod Ravager x2 4 Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 2. Bloodthirst 2: Give it Bleeding for 2 turns.

Matchups

Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 2

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions