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

With a huge new patch has come a brand-new meta. In the early days, we have seen Northern Realms and Syndicate stand out as the dominant factions, though the meta is always developing and counter options have begun to develop. In particular, buffs to King Foltest and the advent of Sigismund Dijkstra have vaulted these leaders to the top of the meta. Much of the developments have centered around finding advantages against these two leaders.

In the first update of this Meta Snapshot, we present 19 updated decks that focus on key archetypes seen in the metagame. Included are options from each faction, although some factions have been explored more than others. While Sigismund Dijkstra has emerged as the predominant Syndicate leader, we have included other options for players seeking alternatives. In Skellige and Monsters, fewer decks are included due to their lower popularity, but we will monitor the situation closely to identify decks from these factions that emerge later in the patch cycle.

We hope you enjoy our Meta Snapshot and happy Gwenting!

  

Update: 17 August 2019

First published: 12 August 2019 (Game version: 3.1.0.47)

Changelog:

Tier 1

Tier 2

Overview

Despite being outshone by Francesca Dwarves due to the recent buff to Dwarven Mercenary, the Harmony-based Francesca Findabair is still powerful enough to be played and it is less brickable than the classic Dorfs build. The goal of this deck is to use Round 1 to generate carryover, play most bronzes, and give the round to the opponent (although sometimes we must play Novigradian Justice so as not to lose the round on even). Afterwards, if the opponent chooses to bleed, the deck can strongly resist to it thanks to Fauve and Water of Brokilon, Barnabas Beckenbauer or even The Great Oak after a lengthy Round 2. When the deck is given a long Round 3, it shines thanks to being able to play Water of Brokilon twice, putting four Dryad Fledglings on the board and achieving incredible value if they are not removed, which is difficult for the opponent. Further, the deck runs the already powerful Scoia’tael gold package, with cards such as Oak, Barnabas and the Ithlinne Aegli/Sheldon Skaggs package. 

 

Essential Cards

  • Due to the buff in the strength of Dryad Fledgling a few patches ago, Water of Brokilon has become key to this archetype. Played in combination with Fauve for maximum value, it is our primary mulligan target, along with the bronze thinners Mahakam Volunteers and Cleaver's Muscle. Water of Brokilon’s long-round value is extremely threatening for our opponents.
  • Sheldon Skaggs is not really a key card, but it is still an important carryover tool that improves the value of this deck a lot if we are able to play our handbuff cards. It is vulnerable to Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen in the Nilfgaard matchup, but still represents great value against decks that play tall units or engines.

 
Pros

  • Great long round due to our Harmony procs
  • Less bleedable than other Scoia’tael decks

Cons

  • Francesca Findabair has an incredibly low number of provisions, making our deck more unstable
  • Like any other Scoia’tael deck, this list has a poor Round 1, making it very vulnerable when going first.

 

Tech Choices

  • Ciaran aep Easnillen, PantherDryad Grovekeeper, Ida Emean aep Sivney

Basically, Locks are really useful in today’s meta due to the prevalence of engines, and Panther grants an extra trigger from Harmony due to its Beast category. That said, we can decide to change Ciaran aep Easnillen for Ida Emean aep Sivney if we need to counter artifact-based lists. Dryad Grovekeeper enters to adjust provisions, while gaining us a lot of points if we do double Water of Brokilon with our leader.

 


Written by Jamedi and Kara_Lisa.

  • Francesca Findabair Francesca Findabair 13 Order: Play a special card from your graveyard.
  • 8 The Great Oak The Great Oak 13 Deploy: Damage an enemy unit by the number of cards to the left of Great Oak, then boost self by the number of cards to the right of Great Oak.
  • Water of Brokilon Water of Brokilon 11 Spawn and Summon a Dryad Fledgling to an allied row. If you control a Dryad, Spawn 2 Dryad Fledglings and Summon them to an allied row instead.
  • Novigradian Justice Novigradian Justice 11 Play a bronze unit from your deck. If it was a Dwarf, Spawn a base copy of it and Summon it to the same row.
  • 5 Ithlinne Aegli Ithlinne Aegli 11 Deploy: Boost a Scoia'tael unit in your hand by 4.
  • 6 Barnabas Beckenbauer Barnabas Beckenbauer 10 Deploy: Boost an allied Elf, Dwarf, and Dryad unit by 2.
  • 3 Sheldon Skaggs Sheldon Skaggs 9 Deploy (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by Sheldon Skaggs' current power.
  • 4 Dennis Cranmer Dennis Cranmer 8 Deploy (Melee): Boost adjacent units by 2. Deploy (Ranged): Boost all other units on this row by 1.
  • 2 Fauve Fauve 8 Deploy: Play a Nature card from your deck.
  • 5 Ciaran aep Easnillen Ciaran aep Easnillen 7 Deploy: Lock a unit and move it to the other row.
  • 3 Milva Milva 7 Immunity. Boost self by 1 whenever you play a Scoia'tael unit.
  • 5 Cleaver's Muscle Cleaver's Muscle 5 Shield.
  • 4 Mahakam Defender Mahakam Defender x2 5 Every allied turn, on turn end, boost self by 1 if this unit is boosted.
  • 4 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary x2 5 Order: Damage an enemy unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Dwarf.
  • 3 Panther Panther 5 Deploy: Damage a non-Scoia'tael enemy unit by 3.
  • 3 Mahakam Volunteers Mahakam Volunteers x2 5 Deploy: If there is a Dwarf on this row, Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 4 Elven Swordmaster Elven Swordmaster x2 4 Order (Melee): Damage an enemy unit by 1. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play an Elf, decrease Cooldown by 1.
  • 4 Dryad Grovekeeper Dryad Grovekeeper 4 Deploy: Give an allied unit Vitality with a duration equal to the number of other allied Dryad units.
  • 4 Dryad Fledgling Dryad Fledgling x2 4 Harmony.
  • 2 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator x2 4 Deploy (Ranged): Boost a Dwarf in your hand by 2.

Matchups

Favorable against
Struggles against

Tier 3

Honorable Mentions