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. Discard Beasts 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.

  • Jan Calveit Jan Calveit Order: Look at the top 3 cards from your deck and play one.
  • 6 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Deploy, Melee: Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy, Ranged: Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 6 Rainfarn of Attre Rainfarn of Attre Deploy: Boost an enemy by 3, then boost self by 3.
  • 4 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy unit, then your opponent Summons the top unit from their deck to a random enemy row. Deploy, Ranged: Destroy an allied unit, then Summon the top unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Vreemde Vreemde Deploy: Boost a Soldier ally and all copies of it by 2.
  • 4 Joachim de Wett Joachim de Wett Spying. Deploy: Play the top non-Spying unit from your deck, then boost it by 8.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • 2 Vanhemar Vanhemar Deploy, Ranged: Destroy a Locked enemy unit.
  • 2 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Deploy, Melee: Destroy the highest unit(s) on an enemy row with a total of 15 or more power.
  • 1 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Deploy: Play the top card from your opponent's deck.
  • Decoy Decoy Shuffle an ally on the battlefield into your deck, then play the top unit from your deck.
  • 8 Sentry Sentry x3 Boost all allied copies of a Soldier by 2.
  • 5 Slave Infantry Slave Infantry x3 Deploy: Transform an allied unit into Slave Infantry.
  • 4 Recruit Recruit Deploy: Reveal a random unit in both decks. If yours has higher power, boost self by 2.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Vicovaro Novice Vicovaro Novice x2 Deploy, Ranged: Draw a card, then place a card from your hand at the top of your deck.
  • Ointment Ointment x3 Boost a bronze Soldier by 2 and repeat its Deploy ability.
  • Mardroeme Mardroeme Damage a unit by 3, then boost it by 9.
  • Experimental Remedy Experimental Remedy Play a bronze unit from your opponent's graveyard.

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.

  • Brouver Hoog Brouver Hoog Order: Move a unit to the other row. If it's an enemy, damage it by 2; if it's an ally, boost it by 2. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 4 Ida Emean aep Sivney Ida Emean aep Sivney Deploy, Melee: Destroy an artifact. Deploy, Ranged: Boost a unit by 3.
  • 4 Barclay Els Barclay Els Deploy: Boost an ally by 1 for each Dwarf ally.
  • 3 Yaevinn Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for every Elf ally.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Order: Play a bronze artifact from your graveyard.
  • 2 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Deploy, Melee: Destroy the highest unit(s) on an enemy row with a total of 15 or more power.
  • 2 Aglaïs Aglaïs Deploy: On turn end, double the amount of boosts on self.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off Doomed. If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • Decoy Decoy Shuffle an ally on the battlefield into your deck, then play the top unit from your deck.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Vrihedd Brigade Vrihedd Brigade Deploy: Damage a random enemy by 2. Whenever Vrihedd Brigade is moved to the other row, repeat its Deploy ability.
  • 3 Sage Sage Whenever you play a special card, boost self by 2.
  • 3 Hawker Support Hawker Support Deploy: Boost an ally by 1. If you control an artifact, boost by 3 instead.
  • 3 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each artifact you control.
  • 3 Elven Swordmaster Elven Swordmaster Order, Melee: Damage an enemy by 1. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play an Elf, decrease Cooldown by 1.
  • 3 Pyrotechnician Pyrotechnician Zeal. Order: Destroy an allied artifact and damage a unit by 2. Cooldown: 2.
  • 3 Panther Panther Deploy: Damage a non-Scoia'tael enemy unit by 3.
  • 3 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary Order: Damage an enemy by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Dwarf.
  • 2 Scoia'tael Neophyte Scoia'tael Neophyte Deploy: Spawn and Summon a base copy of this unit to the other allied row.
  • 2 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator Deploy, Ranged: Boost a Dwarf in your hand by 2.
  • 2 Mahakam Guard Mahakam Guard Deploy: Boost self by the number of Dwarf allies on the other row.
  • 1 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher Deploy: Damage an enemy by 3. If it survives, boost self by 1.
  • Mardroeme Mardroeme Damage a unit by 3, then boost it by 9.
  • Waylay Waylay If there is an Elf ally on the battlefield, destroy a random enemy unit.

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.

  • Crach an Craite Crach an Craite Order: Damage a unit by 1. Cooldown: 2.
  • 6 Djenge Frett Djenge Frett Bloodthirst 1: Lock an enemy unit.
  • 4 Harald Houndsnout Harald Houndsnout Deploy: Spawn 3 of Harald's Pals and Summon them to your other allied row. Order: Damage an ally by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Coral Coral Order: Discard a card, then draw a card. Charge: 3. Whenever a special card is Discarded, damage an enemy by 2.
  • 3 Udalryk an Brokvar Udalryk an Brokvar Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. Bloodthirst 2: Gain Zeal.
  • 3 Skjall Skjall Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy by 4.
  • 1 Hym Hym Deploy: Swap this unit's power with a damaged unit's power.
  • Restore Restore Heal all units on a row.
  • Vigo's Muzzle Vigo's Muzzle Seize an enemy with 5 or less power and Lock it.
  • Sigrdrifa's Rite Sigrdrifa's Rite Summon a Warrior from your graveyard to an allied row.
  • 5 Dimun Light Longship Dimun Light Longship x3 Order: Damage self and an enemy by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 3 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x2 Deploy, Bloodthirst 2: Damage an enemy by 3.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Deploy: Damage a unit by 1 for every Ship in your hand.
  • 3 An Craite Greatsword An Craite Greatsword x3 Whenever an enemy on the opposite row takes damage, boost self by 1.
  • 1 Tuirseach Bearmaster Tuirseach Bearmaster Deploy: Boost a Beast ally by 2. Increase the boost by 1 for every Beast in your graveyard.
  • Freya's Blessing Freya's Blessing x3 Play a bronze unit from your graveyard.

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.

  • Woodland Spirit Woodland Spirit Order: Boost a unit in your hand by 8.
  • 9 Primordial D'ao Primordial D'ao x2 No ability.
  • 6 Morvudd Morvudd Deploy: Boost all Beast allies by 1.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 5 Ge'els Ge'els Ranged: Whenever you play a unit with Deathwish, trigger its Deathwish ability.
  • 4 She-Troll of Vergen She-Troll of Vergen Melee: Whenever an ally is destroyed during your turn, boost self by 2.
  • 3 Weavess: Incantation Weavess: Incantation Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit in your hand and draw a card.
  • 2 Ozzrel Ozzrel Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit from your opponent's graveyard. Deploy, Ranged: Consume a unit from your graveyard.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • Ritual Sacrifice Ritual Sacrifice Trigger all allies' Deathwish abilities.
  • Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 5 Cyclops Cyclops x2 Deploy: Destroy an adjacent allied unit and damage an enemy by its power.
  • 4 Slyzard Slyzard Order: Consume an allied unit on this row. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4 Rotfiend Rotfiend Deathwish: Damage a random enemy by 4.
  • 3 Foglet Foglet x3 Deathwish: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3 Maerolorn Maerolorn Deploy: Trigger a bronze ally's Deathwish ability.
  • 1 Archespore Archespore x3 Thrive. Deploy: Damage a random enemy by 2. Deathwish: Repeat the Deploy ability.
  • Predatory Dive Predatory Dive x3 Each player destroys their lowest unit.

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.

  • Arachas Queen Arachas Queen Whenever an allied unit is destroyed during your turn, Spawn an Arachas Drone and Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 5 Phoenix Phoenix On round start, if Phoenix is in your graveyard, Banish it, then Spawn Phoenix Hatchling and Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 5 Ge'els Ge'els Ranged: Whenever you play a unit with Deathwish, trigger its Deathwish ability.
  • 3 Weavess: Incantation Weavess: Incantation Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit in your hand and draw a card.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • Summoning Circle Summoning Circle Zeal. Order: Play a unit from your deck whose Recruit Cost is less than or equal to Summoning Circle's Charge count, then remove all Charges. Charge: 0. Every turn, on turn start, gain 1 Charge.
  • Ritual Sacrifice Ritual Sacrifice Trigger all allies' Deathwish abilities.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • 5 Forktail Forktail x3 Deploy: Damage all other units by 1.
  • 4 Nekker Warrior Nekker Warrior x3 Thrive.
  • 4 Slyzard Slyzard x3 Order: Consume an allied unit on this row. Cooldown: 1.
  • 3 Vran Warrior Vran Warrior x3 Whenever a unit is destroyed during your turn, damage a random enemy by 1.
  • 3 Maerolorn Maerolorn Deploy: Trigger a bronze ally's Deathwish ability.
  • 1 Nekker Nekker x3 Thrive. Deploy: Spawn a base copy of this unit and Summon it to this row.
  • Arachas Nest Arachas Nest Spawn 4 1-power Arachas Drones and Summon them to an allied row.

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.

 

  • Jan Calveit Jan Calveit Order: Look at the top 3 cards from your deck and play one.
  • 6 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Deploy, Melee: Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy, Ranged: Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 4 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy unit, then your opponent Summons the top unit from their deck to a random enemy row. Deploy, Ranged: Destroy an allied unit, then Summon the top unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Vesemir: Mentor Vesemir: Mentor Deploy: Boost all Witcher allies in hand, deck, and on the battlefield by 1.
  • 4 The Guardian The Guardian No ability.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Cahir Dyffryn Cahir Dyffryn Melee: Whenever an enemy receives a boost, boost self by the same amount.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • 1 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Deploy: Play the top card from your opponent's deck.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Reset a unit.
  • Black Blood Black Blood The next time an enemy receives a boost, destroy that unit and self.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Viper Witcher Viper Witcher x3 Deploy: Reveal the top card from your opponent's deck and Banish it.
  • 4 Vicovaro Novice Vicovaro Novice x3 Deploy, Ranged: Draw a card, then place a card from your hand at the top of your deck.
  • Ointment Ointment x3 Boost a bronze Soldier by 2 and repeat its Deploy ability.
  • Mahakam Ale Mahakam Ale x3 Boost a unit by 4 and remove its Lock.
  • Swallow Swallow x3 Boost a unit by 6.

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.

  • Emhyr var Emreis Emhyr var Emreis Order: Move a card from the battlefield to your hand, then play a card.
  • 6 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Deploy, Melee: Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy, Ranged: Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 4 Vesemir: Mentor Vesemir: Mentor Deploy: Boost all Witcher allies in hand, deck, and on the battlefield by 1.
  • 4 The Guardian The Guardian No ability.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3 Leo Bonhart Leo Bonhart Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy with 8 or more power. Deploy, Ranged: Destroy a Witcher.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • 1 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Deploy: Play the top card from your opponent's deck.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Reset a unit.
  • Black Blood Black Blood The next time an enemy receives a boost, destroy that unit and self.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • 6 Nilfgaardian Knight Nilfgaardian Knight x2 Deploy: Boost an enemy by 2. If there are no enemy units, destroy self.
  • 4 Scout Scout x3 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Alchemist Alchemist Deploy, Ranged: Swap the power of 2 allies.
  • 3 Magne Division Magne Division x3 Every turn, on turn end, boost self by 1 if this is the only card on this row.
  • 1 Spotter Spotter x3 Deploy, Melee: Reveal a random unit from your opponent's deck and boost self by its power.
  • Wyvern Scale Shield Wyvern Scale Shield x3 Zeal. Order: Boost a unit by 1. Cooldown: 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.

  • King Foltest King Foltest Order: Boost an ally by 1 and give it Zeal. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Deploy: Boost an ally by 2 and give it 2 Charges.
  • 5 Dethmold Dethmold Order, Ranged: Damage an enemy by the amount Dethmold is boosted.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 3 Vernon Roche Vernon Roche Spying. Deploy: Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 1 Ronvid the Incessant Ronvid the Incessant Deploy: Boost self by 5. Whenever you play a Soldier, Summon this unit from your graveyard to a random allied row.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Spawn a copy of a bronze allied unit and Summon it to this row.
  • 4 Blue Stripes Scout Blue Stripes Scout x3 Deploy, Melee: Spawn a copy of a bronze ally at the bottom of your deck.
  • 4 Blue Stripes Commando Blue Stripes Commando x3 Order: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 4 Sigismund Dijkstra Sigismund Dijkstra Spying. Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 4 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deploy: If you control a Soldier, destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 3 Temerian Infantry Temerian Infantry x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each boosted unit on this row.
  • 3 Siege Tower Siege Tower x2 Order, Melee: Boost adjacent allies by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 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.

  • Eithné Eithné Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. On round start, refresh Eithné's Charge count.
  • 4 Barclay Els Barclay Els Deploy: Boost an ally by 1 for each Dwarf ally.
  • 3 Yaevinn Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for every Elf ally.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Order: Play a bronze artifact from your graveyard.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • 2 Aglaïs Aglaïs Deploy: On turn end, double the amount of boosts on self.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Lock a unit and restore it to its base power.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off Doomed. If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • Isengrim's Council Isengrim's Council Look at a random Dwarf, Dryad, and Elf from your deck, then play one.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Decoy Decoy Shuffle an ally on the battlefield into your deck, then play the top unit from your deck.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Pyrotechnician Pyrotechnician Zeal. Order: Destroy an allied artifact and damage a unit by 2. Cooldown: 2.
  • 3 Panther Panther Deploy: Damage a non-Scoia'tael enemy unit by 3.
  • 3 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary Order: Damage an enemy by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Dwarf.
  • 3 Dol Blathanna Bomber Dol Blathanna Bomber Deploy: Damage a random enemy on each row by 2.
  • 3 Dol Blathanna Archer Dol Blathanna Archer Deploy, Melee: Damage an enemy by 2. Deploy, Ranged: Damage 2 units by 1.
  • 3 Hawker Support Hawker Support Deploy: Boost an ally by 1. If you control an artifact, boost by 3 instead.
  • 3 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each artifact you control.
  • 3 Elven Swordmaster Elven Swordmaster Order, Melee: Damage an enemy by 1. Cooldown: 2. Whenever you play an Elf, decrease Cooldown by 1.
  • 2 Mahakam Guard Mahakam Guard Deploy: Boost self by the number of Dwarf allies on the other row.
  • 2 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator Deploy, Ranged: Boost a Dwarf in your hand by 2.
  • 2 Scoia'tael Neophyte Scoia'tael Neophyte Deploy: Spawn and Summon a base copy of this unit to the other allied row.
  • 1 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher Deploy: Damage an enemy by 3. If it survives, boost self by 1.
  • Lacerate Lacerate Damage all units on a row by 2.
  • Waylay Waylay If there is an Elf ally on the battlefield, destroy a random enemy unit.

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.

  • Crach an Craite Crach an Craite Order: Damage a unit by 1. Cooldown: 2.
  • 5 Morkvarg Morkvarg When this unit moves to the graveyard, Summon it to the melee row and give it Doomed.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 5 Birna Bran Birna Bran Deploy: Draw 2 cards, then Discard 2 cards.
  • 4 Coral Coral Order: Discard a card, then draw a card. Charge: 3. Whenever a special card is Discarded, damage an enemy by 2.
  • 3 Skjall Skjall Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy by 4.
  • 3 Udalryk an Brokvar Udalryk an Brokvar Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. Bloodthirst 2: Gain Zeal.
  • 1 Hym Hym Deploy: Swap this unit's power with a damaged unit's power.
  • Restore Restore Heal all units on a row.
  • Champion's Charge Champion's Charge Damage a unit by 5. Bloodthirst 3: Destroy a unit instead.
  • Renew Renew Play a unit from your graveyard.
  • 5 Dimun Pirate Dimun Pirate x3 Deploy: Move the top card in your deck to your graveyard.
  • 3 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x3 Deploy, Bloodthirst 2: Damage an enemy by 3.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Deploy: Damage a unit by 1 for every Ship in your hand.
  • 3 An Craite Armorsmith An Craite Armorsmith Deploy: Boost an ally by 1. If it's a Warrior, boost it by 3 instead.
  • 1 Dimun Warship Dimun Warship x2 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 three times.
  • Trophy Catch Trophy Catch x3 Move an enemy to the other row and damage it by the number of units on that row.

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

  • Crach an Craite Crach an Craite Order: Damage a unit by 1. Cooldown: 2.
  • 5 Morkvarg Morkvarg When this unit moves to the graveyard, Summon it to the melee row and give it Doomed.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Coral Coral Order: Discard a card, then draw a card. Charge: 3. Whenever a special card is Discarded, damage an enemy by 2.
  • 3 Skjall Skjall Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy by 4.
  • 3 Udalryk an Brokvar Udalryk an Brokvar Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. Bloodthirst 2: Gain Zeal.
  • 2 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Deploy, Melee: Destroy the highest unit(s) on an enemy row with a total of 15 or more power.
  • 1 Hym Hym Deploy: Swap this unit's power with a damaged unit's power.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • Sigrdrifa's Rite Sigrdrifa's Rite Summon a Warrior from your graveyard to an allied row.
  • Restore Restore Heal all units on a row.
  • 8 Tuirseach Veteran Tuirseach Veteran x3 Deploy: Damage self by 4.
  • 3 Brokvar Hunter Brokvar Hunter x3 Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you Discard a card.
  • 3 Heymaey Spearmaiden Heymaey Spearmaiden x2 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 3, then damage self by 2.
  • 3 An Craite Armorsmith An Craite Armorsmith Deploy: Boost an ally by 1. If it's a Warrior, boost it by 3 instead.
  • 1 Tuirseach Bearmaster Tuirseach Bearmaster x3 Deploy: Boost a Beast ally by 2. Increase the boost by 1 for every Beast in your graveyard.
  • Freya's Blessing Freya's Blessing x3 Play a bronze unit from your graveyard.

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.

  • 5 Ge'els Ge'els Ranged: Whenever you play a unit with Deathwish, trigger its Deathwish ability.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 4 Miruna Miruna Deathwish: Seize an enemy with 3 or less power.
  • 2 Ozzrel Ozzrel Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit from your opponent's graveyard. Deploy, Ranged: Consume a unit from your graveyard.
  • 2 Whispess: Tribute Whispess: Tribute Deploy, Ranged: Play an Organic card from your deck.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Reset a unit.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 5 Nekurat Nekurat Spawn Moonlight.
  • 4 Werewolf Werewolf x3 Immune.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Bridge Troll Bridge Troll x2 Deathwish: Boost the highest ally by 4.
  • 3 Siren Siren x3 Deploy: Boost a Deathwish ally by 3.
  • 3 Foglet Foglet x3 Deathwish: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • Arachas Nest Arachas Nest Spawn 4 1-power Arachas Drones and Summon them to an allied row.
  • 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.

  • Jan Calveit Jan Calveit Order: Look at the top 3 cards from your deck and play one.
  • 11 Imperial Golem Imperial Golem x3 Deploy: Reveal the top unit from your opponent's deck and damage self by its power, then shuffle it back.
  • 6 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Deploy, Melee: Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy, Ranged: Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 6 Cynthia Cynthia Deploy, Melee: Spawn The Guardian and place it at the top of your opponent's deck.
  • 4 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy unit, then your opponent Summons the top unit from their deck to a random enemy row. Deploy, Ranged: Destroy an allied unit, then Summon the top unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Cahir Dyffryn Cahir Dyffryn Melee: Whenever an enemy receives a boost, boost self by the same amount.
  • 4 The Guardian The Guardian No ability.
  • 3 Leo Bonhart Leo Bonhart Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy with 8 or more power. Deploy, Ranged: Destroy a Witcher.
  • 3 Peter Saar Gwynleve Peter Saar Gwynleve Deploy: Restore a unit to its base power.
  • 2 Vanhemar Vanhemar Deploy, Ranged: Destroy a Locked enemy unit.
  • 1 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Deploy: Play the top card from your opponent's deck.
  • 6 Nilfgaardian Knight Nilfgaardian Knight x3 Deploy: Boost an enemy by 2. If there are no enemy units, destroy self.
  • 4 Daerlan Soldier Daerlan Soldier x3 When you Reveal this unit, Summon it from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Alchemist Alchemist x3 Deploy, Ranged: Swap the power of 2 allies.
  • 3 Fire Scorpion Fire Scorpion x2 Order, Ranged: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Tactic card.
  • Experimental Remedy Experimental Remedy Play 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.

  • King Foltest King Foltest Order: Boost an ally by 1 and give it Zeal. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 5 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Deploy: Boost an ally by 2 and give it 2 Charges.
  • 5 Margarita Laux-Antille Margarita Laux-Antille Zeal. Order: Spend 3 Charges to Lock an enemy unit. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Dethmold Dethmold Order, Ranged: Damage an enemy by the amount Dethmold is boosted.
  • 5 Thaler Thaler Deploy: Remove all Charges from an enemy unit and give them to Thaler. Order: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Charge: 0.
  • 3 Vernon Roche Vernon Roche Spying. Deploy: Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Spawn a copy of a bronze allied unit and Summon it to this row.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • 8 Redanian Elite Redanian Elite x3 Whenever this unit's Armor reaches 0, boost self by 5. 4 Armor.
  • 4 Kaedweni Cavalry Kaedweni Cavalry x3 Deploy, Melee: Remove all Charges from an enemy, then damage it by the amount removed.
  • 4 Blue Stripes Scout Blue Stripes Scout x3 Deploy, Melee: Spawn a copy of a bronze ally at the bottom of your deck.
  • 4 Blue Stripes Commando Blue Stripes Commando x3 Order: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 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 Temerian Infantry Temerian Infantry x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each boosted unit on 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.

  • Eithné Eithné Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. On round start, refresh Eithné's Charge count.
  • 5 Paulie Dahlberg Paulie Dahlberg Order: Boost the unit on the left by 4, or give the unit on the right Immune.
  • 4 Barclay Els Barclay Els Deploy: Boost an ally by 1 for each Dwarf ally.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 3 Yaevinn Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for every Elf ally.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Order: Play a bronze artifact from your graveyard.
  • 2 Schirrú Schirrú Zeal. Order: Destroy all other units with the same power as Schirrú.
  • 2 Aglaïs Aglaïs Deploy: On turn end, double the amount of boosts on self.
  • Decoy Decoy Shuffle an ally on the battlefield into your deck, then play the top unit from your deck.
  • Isengrim's Council Isengrim's Council Look at a random Dwarf, Dryad, and Elf from your deck, then play one.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • 3 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary x2 Order: Damage an enemy by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Dwarf.
  • 3 Mahakam Volunteers Mahakam Volunteers x3 Deploy, Melee: If there is a Dwarf on this row, Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 2 Vrihedd Officer Vrihedd Officer Deploy, Melee: Damage an enemy by 3. Deploy, Ranged: Boost an ally by 3.
  • 2 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator x3 Deploy, Ranged: Boost a Dwarf in your hand by 2.
  • 1 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 3. If it survives, boost self by 1.
  • 1 Blue Mountain Elite Blue Mountain Elite x3 Deploy, Melee: Damage an enemy by 4 if there are no other units on its row.

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.

  • Eithné Eithné Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. On round start, refresh Eithné's Charge count.
  • 5 Aelirenn Aelirenn If on turn end you control 5 or more Elf allies, Summon this unit from your deck to the melee row.
  • 4 Barclay Els Barclay Els Deploy: Boost an ally by 1 for each Dwarf ally.
  • 4 Isengrim Faoiltiarna Isengrim Faoiltiarna Deploy: Boost all other Elf allies by 1. Whenever you play an Elf, boost self by 1.
  • 3 Cleaver Cleaver Deploy: Damage a unit by 1 for every card in your hand.
  • 3 Iorveth Iorveth Deploy: Return an allied Trap to your hand, then play a Trap.
  • 3 Yaevinn Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for every Elf ally.
  • 2 Aglaïs Aglaïs Deploy: On turn end, double the amount of boosts on self.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Lock a unit and restore it to its base power.
  • Isengrim's Council Isengrim's Council Look at a random Dwarf, Dryad, and Elf from your deck, then play one.
  • 4 Vrihedd Sappers Vrihedd Sappers x2 Deploy: If you have an Elf in your hand, destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 3 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter x2 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each artifact you control.
  • 3 Elven Scout Elven Scout x2 Whenever an allied Trap is triggered, boost self by 2.
  • 2 Vrihedd Officer Vrihedd Officer x3 Deploy, Melee: Damage an enemy by 3. Deploy, Ranged: Boost an ally by 3.
  • 1 Vrihedd Vanguard Vrihedd Vanguard x3 Deploy: Boost self by 1 for each Elf in your hand.
  • 1 Blue Mountain Elite Blue Mountain Elite x3 Deploy, Melee: Damage an enemy by 4 if there are no other units on its row.

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.

  • Harald the Cripple Harald the Cripple Order: Split 8 damage randomly between all enemies.
  • 5 Iris von Everec Iris von Everec Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy artifact. Deploy, Ranged: Clear all row effects from your side.
  • 5 Birna Bran Birna Bran Deploy: Draw 2 cards, then Discard 2 cards.
  • 3 Udalryk an Brokvar Udalryk an Brokvar Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. Bloodthirst 2: Gain Zeal.
  • 3 Skjall Skjall Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy by 4.
  • 1 Hym Hym Deploy: Swap this unit's power with a damaged unit's power.
  • Restore Restore Heal all units on a row.
  • Ragh Nar Roog Ragh Nar Roog Apply this row effect to an enemy row: Every turn, on turn start, damage the highest unit on this row by 2.
  • Korathi Heatwave Korathi Heatwave Banish a unit or an artifact.
  • Skellige Storm Skellige Storm Apply this row effect to an enemy row: For 2 turns, on turn start, damage all units on this row by 1.
  • Sigrdrifa's Rite Sigrdrifa's Rite Summon a Warrior from your graveyard to an allied row.
  • 3 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x2 Deploy, Bloodthirst 2: Damage an enemy by 3.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Deploy: Damage a unit by 1 for every Ship in your hand.
  • 3 Heymaey Spearmaiden Heymaey Spearmaiden Deploy: Damage an enemy by 3, then damage self by 2.
  • 2 Tuirseach Axeman Tuirseach Axeman x3 Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy with half or less than half of its base power.
  • 1 Dimun Warship Dimun Warship x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 three times.
  • Trophy Catch Trophy Catch x3 Move an enemy to the other row and damage it by the number of units on that row.

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.

  • Bran Tuirseach Bran Tuirseach Order: Discard a card, then draw a card. On round start, refresh this ability. Whenever you Discard a card, damage a random enemy by 1.
  • 5 Morkvarg Morkvarg When this unit moves to the graveyard, Summon it to the melee row and give it Doomed.
  • 4 Coral Coral Order: Discard a card, then draw a card. Charge: 3. Whenever a special card is Discarded, damage an enemy by 2.
  • 4 Harald Houndsnout Harald Houndsnout Deploy: Spawn 3 of Harald's Pals and Summon them to your other allied row. Order: Damage an ally by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 3 Udalryk an Brokvar Udalryk an Brokvar Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. Bloodthirst 2: Gain Zeal.
  • 3 Skjall Skjall Deploy: Damage an undamaged enemy by 4.
  • 2 Geralt: Igni Geralt: Igni Deploy, Melee: Destroy the highest unit(s) on an enemy row with a total of 15 or more power.
  • 1 Hym Hym Deploy: Swap this unit's power with a damaged unit's power.
  • Sigrdrifa's Rite Sigrdrifa's Rite Summon a Warrior from your graveyard to an allied row.
  • Restore Restore Heal all units on a row.
  • Wolfsbane Wolfsbane Damage all enemies with even power by 2, or damage all enemies with odd power by 2.
  • 9 Berserker Marauder Berserker Marauder x3 Boost self by 1 for each damaged or Cursed ally.
  • 5 Dimun Light Longship Dimun Light Longship x3 Order: Damage self and an enemy by 1. Cooldown: 1.
  • 3 An Craite Blacksmith An Craite Blacksmith x2 Order: Boost an ally by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Warrior.
  • 3 Dimun Pirate Captain Dimun Pirate Captain x2 Deploy, Bloodthirst 2: Damage an enemy by 3.
  • 3 Dimun Corsair Dimun Corsair x3 Deploy: Damage a unit by 1 for every Ship in your hand.
  • Trophy Catch Trophy Catch Move an enemy to the other row and damage it by the number of units on that row.
  • Gutting Slash Gutting Slash Damage a unit by 4. Bloodthirst 2: Damage a unit by 6 instead.

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.

  • Arachas Queen Arachas Queen Whenever an allied unit is destroyed during your turn, Spawn an Arachas Drone and Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 7 Draug Draug Deploy: Transform all Human allies into Kaedweni Revenants without changing their power.
  • 4 Kayran Kayran Zeal. Order: Consume an ally. Charge: 3.
  • 4 Ruehin Ruehin Deathwish: On turn end, Summon this unit from your graveyard to a random allied row.
  • 4 Germain Piquant Germain Piquant Deploy, Melee: Spawn 2 Cows on both sides of this unit.
  • 3 Toad Prince Toad Prince Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit with 3 or less power.
  • 2 Yennefer of Vengerberg Yennefer of Vengerberg Deploy, Melee: Damage all other units by 2. Deploy, Ranged: Boost all other units by 2.
  • 2 Arachas Behemoth Arachas Behemoth x3 Spawn 2 Arachas Drones and Summon them to this row, then boost all other Insectoids on this row by 1.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • 5 Celaeno Harpy Celaeno Harpy x3 Deploy: Consume an allied unit.
  • 5 Harpy Harpy x3 Doomed.
  • 5 Forktail Forktail x3 Deploy: Damage all other units by 1.
  • 1 Arachas Drone Arachas Drone x3 Doomed.
  • Arachas Nest Arachas Nest Spawn 4 1-power Arachas Drones and Summon them to an allied 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.

  • Eredin Bréacc Glas Eredin Bréacc Glas Order: Boost a unit by 4 and give it Immune.
  • 5 Imlerith Imlerith Order: If you control the highest unit, damage a unit by 2. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4 Miruna Miruna Deathwish: Seize an enemy with 3 or less power.
  • 2 Whispess: Tribute Whispess: Tribute Deploy, Ranged: Play an Organic card from your deck.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • The Last Wish The Last Wish Look at the top 2 cards from your deck, then play one and Banish the other.
  • Parasite Parasite Damage an enemy by 6, or boost an ally by 6.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Reset a unit.
  • 4 Ice Troll Ice Troll x3 Every turn, on turn end, if you have less units than your opponent, boost self by 1.
  • 4 Scout Scout x2 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Wild Hunt Hound Wild Hunt Hound x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1. If you control the highest unit, damage by 3 instead.
  • 2 Drowner Drowner x3 Thrive. Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2 and move it to the other row.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost x3 Apply this row effect to an enemy row: For 4 turns, on turn start, damage the lowest unit on this row by 2.
  • Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush Give or remove Resilience from a unit.
  • Arachas Nest Arachas Nest Spawn 4 1-power Arachas Drones and Summon them to an allied row.

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.

  • Eredin Bréacc Glas Eredin Bréacc Glas Order: Boost a unit by 4 and give it Immune.
  • 10 Golyat Golyat Deathwish: Your opponent Summons the lowest unit from their deck on the opposite row.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 5 Ciri: Nova Ciri: Nova On turn start, if this is the only unit in your graveyard, Summon it to a random allied row.
  • 5 Iris von Everec Iris von Everec Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy artifact. Deploy, Ranged: Clear all row effects from your side.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3 Caretaker Caretaker Deploy, Ranged: Play an artifact from your graveyard.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • 5 Cyclops Cyclops x2 Deploy: Destroy an adjacent allied unit and damage an enemy by its power.
  • 4 Wild Hunt Rider Wild Hunt Rider x2 Deploy: If you control the highest unit, Summon a copy of Wild Hunt Rider from your deck to this row.
  • 4 Scout Scout x2 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Wild Hunt Hound Wild Hunt Hound x2 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1. If you control the highest unit, damage by 3 instead.
  • 2 Drowner Drowner x2 Thrive. Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2 and move it to the other row.
  • 1 Ghoul Ghoul x2 Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit in your graveyard.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost x2 Apply this row effect to an enemy row: For 4 turns, on turn start, damage the lowest unit on this row by 2.
  • Lacerate Lacerate x2 Damage all units on a row by 2.

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.

  • 5 Alpha Werewolf Alpha Werewolf Immune. Thrive.
  • 5 Ge'els Ge'els Ranged: Whenever you play a unit with Deathwish, trigger its Deathwish ability.
  • 5 Whispess Whispess Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2. Increase this damage by 2 whenever you play Brewess or Weavess.
  • 5 Weavess Weavess Deploy: Boost an ally by 2. Increase this boost by 2 whenever you play Whispess or Brewess.
  • 5 Brewess Brewess Deploy: Consume 1 allied unit(s). Increase the number of targets by 1 whenever you play Whispess or Weavess.
  • 4 Miruna Miruna Deathwish: Seize an enemy with 3 or less power.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 2 Ozzrel Ozzrel Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit from your opponent's graveyard. Deploy, Ranged: Consume a unit from your graveyard.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off Doomed. If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 8 Griffin Griffin Deploy: Destroy an allied unit on this row. If there are no units, destroy self.
  • 5 Cyclops Cyclops Deploy: Destroy an adjacent allied unit and damage an enemy by its power.
  • 5 Nekurat Nekurat Spawn Moonlight.
  • 4 Werewolf Werewolf Immune.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Foglet Foglet Deathwish: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3 Fiend Fiend Deploy: Boost all Deathwish units in your hand by 1.
  • 3 Wild Hunt Hound Wild Hunt Hound Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1. If you control the highest unit, damage by 3 instead.
  • 3 Siren Siren Deploy: Boost a Deathwish ally by 3.
  • 2 Drowner Drowner Thrive. Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2 and move it to the other row.
  • 2 Cockatrice Cockatrice Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2 for each adjacent Beast.
  • 1 Ghoul Ghoul Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit in your graveyard.
  • 1 Archespore Archespore Thrive. Deploy: Damage a random enemy by 2. Deathwish: Repeat the Deploy ability.
  • Biting Frost Biting Frost Apply this row effect to an enemy row: For 4 turns, on turn start, damage the lowest unit on this row by 2.
  • Moonlight Moonlight Choose One: Apply a Full Moon Boon; or Apply a Blood Moon Hazard.

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.

  • Woodland Spirit Woodland Spirit Order: Boost a unit in your hand by 8.
  • 6 Morvudd Morvudd Deploy: Boost all Beast allies by 1.
  • 5 Whispess Whispess Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2. Increase this damage by 2 whenever you play Brewess or Weavess.
  • 5 Weavess Weavess Deploy: Boost an ally by 2. Increase this boost by 2 whenever you play Whispess or Brewess.
  • 5 Brewess Brewess Deploy: Consume 1 allied unit(s). Increase the number of targets by 1 whenever you play Whispess or Weavess.
  • 3 Weavess: Incantation Weavess: Incantation Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit in your hand and draw a card.
  • 3 Caretaker Caretaker Deploy, Ranged: Play an artifact from your graveyard.
  • 2 Ozzrel Ozzrel Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit from your opponent's graveyard. Deploy, Ranged: Consume a unit from your graveyard.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • Frightener: Dormant Frightener: Dormant After 3 allied units are destroyed, awaken Frightener.
  • Dagon Dagon Spawn Impenetrable Fog or Torrential Rain.
  • 5 Cyclops Cyclops x2 Deploy: Destroy an adjacent allied unit and damage an enemy by its power.
  • 4 Scout Scout x3 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Foglet Foglet x2 Deathwish: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 3 Fiend Fiend x3 Deploy: Boost all Deathwish units in your hand by 1.
  • 1 Ancient Foglet Ancient Foglet x2 Deathwish: Summon this unit from the graveyard to the same row, boost it by 4, and give it Doomed.
  • 1 Ghoul Ghoul x3 Deploy, Melee: Consume a unit in your graveyard.

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.

  • 5 Alpha Werewolf Alpha Werewolf x2 Immune. Thrive.
  • 5 Imlerith Imlerith Order: If you control the highest unit, damage a unit by 2. Cooldown: 1.
  • 4 Iris' Companions Iris' Companions Deploy: Draw a card of your choice from your deck, then Discard a random card.
  • 2 Whispess: Tribute Whispess: Tribute Deploy, Ranged: Play an Organic card from your deck.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Reset a unit.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • Royal Decree Royal Decree Play a unit from your deck.
  • Parasite Parasite Damage an enemy by 6, or boost an ally by 6.
  • Renew Renew Play a unit from your graveyard.
  • Whispering Hillock Whispering Hillock Destroy an allied unit, then Spawn and play a base copy of it.
  • 5 Nekurat Nekurat Spawn Moonlight.
  • 4 Scout Scout x2 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Werewolf Werewolf x3 Immune.
  • 3 Siren Siren x3 Deploy: Boost a Deathwish ally by 3.
  • Moonlight Moonlight x3 Choose One: Apply a Full Moon Boon; or Apply a Blood Moon Hazard.
  • Mardroeme Mardroeme Damage a unit by 3, then boost it by 9.
  • Adrenaline Rush Adrenaline Rush Give or remove Resilience from a unit.
  • Arachas Nest Arachas Nest Spawn 4 1-power Arachas Drones and Summon them to an allied row.

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.

  • Morvran Voorhis Morvran Voorhis Order: Reveal a random card from your opponent's deck. If it's bronze, boost an ally by 3. If gold, boost by 4 instead. On round start, refresh this ability.
  • 11 Imperial Golem Imperial Golem x3 Deploy: Reveal the top unit from your opponent's deck and damage self by its power, then shuffle it back.
  • 4 Letho of Gulet Letho of Gulet Deploy: Remove all redraws from the enemy Leader.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 4 Vesemir Vesemir Deploy: Summon Eskel and Lambert from your deck to this row.
  • 4 Lambert Lambert Deploy: Summon Eskel and Vesemir from your deck to this row.
  • 4 Eskel Eskel Deploy: Summon Vesemir and Lambert from your deck to this row.
  • 3 Vattier de Rideaux Vattier de Rideaux Order, Melee: Seize a Locked enemy unit.
  • 3 Vrygheff Vrygheff Deploy: Trigger the Deploy abilities of adjacent bronze Soldiers.
  • 2 Regis Regis Deploy: Damage all enemies on a row by 1. If any were destroyed, repeat this ability.
  • 1 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Deploy: Play the top card from your opponent's deck.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • 4 Daerlan Soldier Daerlan Soldier x3 When you Reveal this unit, Summon it from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Alchemist Alchemist x3 Deploy, Ranged: Swap the power of 2 allies.
  • 4 Mangonel Mangonel x3 Whenever you Reveal a card, damage a random enemy by 1.
  • 3 Fire Scorpion Fire Scorpion x3 Order, Ranged: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Tactic card.
  • Experimental Remedy Experimental Remedy Play 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.

  • Emhyr var Emreis Emhyr var Emreis Order: Move a card from the battlefield to your hand, then play a card.
  • 6 Assire var Anahid Assire var Anahid Deploy, Melee: Shuffle a card from the opponent's graveyard into their deck. Deploy, Ranged: Shuffle a card from your graveyard into your deck.
  • 6 Rainfarn of Attre Rainfarn of Attre Deploy: Boost an enemy by 3, then boost self by 3.
  • 5 Ceallach Dyffryn Ceallach Dyffryn Deploy: Remove all statuses from all units on the battlefield.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Joachim de Wett Joachim de Wett Spying. Deploy: Play the top non-Spying unit from your deck, then boost it by 8.
  • 4 Vilgefortz Vilgefortz Deploy, Melee: Destroy an enemy unit, then your opponent Summons the top unit from their deck to a random enemy row. Deploy, Ranged: Destroy an allied unit, then Summon the top unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Vreemde Vreemde Deploy: Boost a Soldier ally and all copies of it by 2.
  • 2 Menno Coehoorn Menno Coehoorn Deploy, Ranged: Play a Tactic card from your deck.
  • 1 Cantarella Cantarella Spying. Deploy: Play the top card from your opponent's deck.
  • Vigo's Muzzle Vigo's Muzzle Seize an enemy with 5 or less power and Lock it.
  • 4 Infiltrator Infiltrator x2 Melee: On round end, shuffle this unit into your opponent's deck.
  • 4 Impera Enforcers Impera Enforcers x3 Order: Damage an enemy by 2. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Spying unit.
  • 3 Nauzicaa Brigade Nauzicaa Brigade Deploy: Damage a boosted enemy by 3.
  • 3 Impera Brigade Impera Brigade x3 Deploy, Melee: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 1 Emissary Emissary x3 Spying. Deploy: Boost an ally by 7.
  • Experimental Remedy Experimental Remedy x3 Play 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.

  • King Foltest King Foltest Order: Boost an ally by 1 and give it Zeal. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Margarita Laux-Antille Margarita Laux-Antille Zeal. Order: Spend 3 Charges to Lock an enemy unit. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 5 Vaedermakar Vaedermakar Deploy, Melee: Increase all row effect durations by 1. Deploy, Ranged: Decrease all row effect durations by 1.
  • 5 Thaler Thaler Deploy: Remove all Charges from an enemy unit and give them to Thaler. Order: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Charge: 0.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 4 Dandelion: Poet Dandelion: Poet Deploy: Draw a card, then play a card.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • Sabrina's Inferno Sabrina's Inferno Damage each non-Specter unit by 1. If any were destroyed, repeat this ability once.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • 7 Redanian Knight-Elect Redanian Knight-Elect x3 If this unit has Armor on turn end, boost adjacent units by 1. 2 Armor.
  • 6 Cursed Knight Cursed Knight x2 Deploy: Transform an allied unit that is not a Cursed Knight into a Cursed Knight without changing its power.
  • 4 Scout Scout x2 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 1 Reaver Scout Reaver Scout Choose a different Bronze ally and play a copy of it from your deck.
  • Thunderbolt Thunderbolt x2 Zeal. Order: Boost a unit by 2. Charge: 3.
  • Alzur's Thunder Alzur's Thunder x2 Damage a unit by 5.
  • Forbidden Magic Forbidden Magic x3 Damage an enemy by 1 for every Specter ally.

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.

  • King Foltest King Foltest Order: Boost an ally by 1 and give it Zeal. Charge: 3.
  • 6 John Natalis John Natalis Melee: While this unit is on the battlefield, all allied units with Orders gain Zeal.
  • 5 Margarita Laux-Antille Margarita Laux-Antille Zeal. Order: Spend 3 Charges to Lock an enemy unit. Charge: 3.
  • 5 Dethmold Dethmold Order, Ranged: Damage an enemy by the amount Dethmold is boosted.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 4 Bloody Baron Bloody Baron Order: Double an allied unit's Charge count.
  • 3 Hubert Rejk Hubert Rejk Deploy: Boost self by the amount of damage you dealt to enemies on this turn.
  • 3 Vernon Roche Vernon Roche Spying. Deploy: Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Spawn a copy of a bronze allied unit and Summon it to this row.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Blue Stripes Scout Blue Stripes Scout x3 Deploy, Melee: Spawn a copy of a bronze ally at the bottom of your deck.
  • 4 Blue Stripes Commando Blue Stripes Commando x3 Order: Summon a copy of this unit from your deck to this row.
  • 4 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deploy: If you control a Soldier, destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 4 Ballista Ballista x3 Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 4 Siege Master Siege Master x3 Whenever a Machine is placed on this row, give it Zeal.
  • 3 Dun Banner Dun Banner x3 Deploy: Gain Zeal if played adjacent to 2 Soldiers. Order: Damage an enemy by 3.
  • 3 Temerian Infantry Temerian Infantry x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each boosted unit on this row.
  • 3 Aretuza Adept Aretuza Adept x3 Zeal. Order, Ranged: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Cooldown: 2.
  • 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 this row effect to an enemy row: For 4 turns, on turn start, damage the lowest unit on this row by 2.

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.

 

  • King Henselt King Henselt Order: Play a copy of an allied unit on the battlefield from your deck, boost it by 4, and give it Zeal.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 5 Thaler Thaler Deploy: Remove all Charges from an enemy unit and give them to Thaler. Order: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Charge: 0.
  • 4 Síle de Tansarville Síle de Tansarville Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2. Order: Damage an enemy by 2.
  • 4 Bloody Baron Bloody Baron Order: Double an allied unit's Charge count.
  • 1 Ronvid the Incessant Ronvid the Incessant Deploy: Boost self by 5. Whenever you play a Soldier, Summon this unit from your graveyard to a random allied row.
  • Scorch Scorch Destroy the highest unit(s).
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • White Frost White Frost Destroy all artifacts.
  • Vigo's Muzzle Vigo's Muzzle Seize an enemy with 5 or less power and Lock it.
  • 4 Siege Master Siege Master x3 Whenever a Machine is placed on this row, give it Zeal.
  • 4 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deploy: If you control a Soldier, destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 4 Ballista Ballista x3 Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 3 Reinforced Ballista Reinforced Ballista x3 Order: Damage a unit by 2. Charge: 1.
  • 3 Kaedweni Sergeant Kaedweni Sergeant x3 Zeal. Order: Boost an ally by 1. Charge: 2.

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 John Natalis John Natalis Melee: While this unit is on the battlefield, all allied units with Orders gain Zeal.
  • 5 Thaler Thaler Deploy: Remove all Charges from an enemy unit and give them to Thaler. Order: Give 1 Charge to an allied unit. Charge: 0.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 5 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Deploy: Boost an ally by 2 and give it 2 Charges.
  • 4 Roach Roach Whenever you play a gold card, Summon this unit from your deck to a random allied row.
  • 1 Ronvid the Incessant Ronvid the Incessant Deploy: Boost self by 5. Whenever you play a Soldier, Summon this unit from your graveyard to a random allied row.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Shupe's Day Off Shupe's Day Off Doomed. If your starting deck has no duplicates, send Shupe on an adventure.
  • Reinforcements Reinforcements Spawn a copy of a bronze allied unit and Summon it to this row.
  • Bloody Flail Bloody Flail Zeal. Order: Damage an enemy by Bloody Flail's Charge count, then remove all Charges. Charge: 1. Whenever an allied unit gains Charges, gain the same amount.
  • 7 Redanian Knight-Elect Redanian Knight-Elect If this unit has Armor on turn end, boost adjacent units by 1. 2 Armor.
  • King Radovid V King Radovid V Toggle 2 units' Lock statuses. If enemies, deal 4 damage to them. Crew.
  • 4 Siege Master Siege Master Whenever a Machine is placed on this row, give it Zeal.
  • 4 Battering Ram Battering Ram Deploy: If you control a Soldier, destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 4 Sigismund Dijkstra Sigismund Dijkstra Spying. Play the top 2 cards from your deck.
  • 4 Reinforced Trebuchet Reinforced Trebuchet Ranged: Every turn, on turn end, damage a random enemy on the ranged row by 1.
  • 4 Ballista Ballista Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Kaedweni Knight Kaedweni Knight Deploy: If played from the deck, boost self by 4.
  • 3 Reinforced Ballista Reinforced Ballista Order: Damage a unit by 2. Charge: 1.
  • 3 Trebuchet Trebuchet Order, Ranged: Damage a unit by 1. If it was destroyed, damage units adjacent to it by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 3 Kaedweni Sergeant Kaedweni Sergeant Zeal. Order: Boost an ally by 1. Charge: 2.
  • 3 Siege Tower Siege Tower Order, Melee: Boost adjacent allies by 1. Charge: 1.
  • 2 Siege Support Siege Support Deploy: Give 2 Charges to a Machine ally.
  • Alzur's Thunder Alzur's Thunder Damage a unit by 5.
  • Forbidden Magic Forbidden Magic Damage an enemy by 1 for every Specter ally.

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.

  • King Henselt King Henselt Order: Play a copy of an allied unit on the battlefield from your deck, boost it by 4, and give it Zeal.
  • 5 Seltkirk of Gulet Seltkirk of Gulet Order, Melee: Duel an enemy unit.
  • 5 Prince Stennis Prince Stennis Deploy: Boost an ally by 2 and give it 2 Charges.
  • 5 Dethmold Dethmold Order, Ranged: Damage an enemy by the amount Dethmold is boosted.
  • 4 Síle de Tansarville Síle de Tansarville Deploy: Damage an enemy by 2. Order: Damage an enemy by 2.
  • 2 Triss: Telekinesis Triss: Telekinesis Deploy, Ranged: Create and play a bronze special card from either player's current deck.
  • 2 Keira Metz Keira Metz Deploy, Ranged: Play a Spell from your deck.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Mandrake Mandrake Reset a unit.
  • Decoy Decoy Shuffle an ally on the battlefield into your deck, then play the top unit from your deck.
  • 7 Redanian Knight-Elect Redanian Knight-Elect x3 If this unit has Armor on turn end, boost adjacent units by 1. 2 Armor.
  • 4 Scout Scout x2 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Kaedweni Knight Kaedweni Knight x3 Deploy: If played from the deck, boost self by 4.
  • 4 Battering Ram Battering Ram x3 Deploy: If you control a Soldier, destroy an enemy artifact.
  • 4 Shani Shani Resurrect a non-Cursed Bronze or Silver unit and give it 2 Armor.
  • 4 Reinforced Trebuchet Reinforced Trebuchet x3 Ranged: Every turn, on turn end, damage a random enemy on the ranged row by 1.
  • Thunderbolt Thunderbolt Zeal. Order: Boost a unit by 2. Charge: 3.

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.

 

  • Eithné Eithné Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. On round start, refresh Eithné's Charge count.
  • 5 Aelirenn Aelirenn If on turn end you control 5 or more Elf allies, Summon this unit from your deck to the melee row.
  • 4 Barclay Els Barclay Els Deploy: Boost an ally by 1 for each Dwarf ally.
  • 3 Éibhear Hattori Éibhear Hattori Order: Play a bronze artifact from your graveyard.
  • 3 Yaevinn Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for every Elf ally.
  • 2 Schirrú Schirrú Zeal. Order: Destroy all other units with the same power as Schirrú.
  • 2 Aglaïs Aglaïs Deploy: On turn end, double the amount of boosts on self.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Lock a unit and restore it to its base power.
  • Vigo's Muzzle Vigo's Muzzle Seize an enemy with 5 or less power and Lock it.
  • Isengrim's Council Isengrim's Council Look at a random Dwarf, Dryad, and Elf from your deck, then play one.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • 4 Scout Scout x2 Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 3 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each artifact you control.
  • 3 Dwarven Mercenary Dwarven Mercenary Order: Damage an enemy by 1. Charge: 1. Gain 1 Charge whenever you play a Dwarf.
  • 2 Dwarven Agitator Dwarven Agitator x3 Deploy, Ranged: Boost a Dwarf in your hand by 2.
  • 1 Dwarven Skirmisher Dwarven Skirmisher x3 Deploy: Damage an enemy by 3. If it survives, boost self by 1.
  • Mahakam Ale Mahakam Ale Boost a unit by 4 and remove its Lock.
  • Waylay Waylay x2 If there is an Elf ally on the battlefield, destroy a random enemy unit.

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.

  • Eithné Eithné Order: Damage a unit by 1. Charge: 3. On round start, refresh Eithné's Charge count.
  • 5 Ithlinne Aegli Ithlinne Aegli Deploy: Boost a Scoia'tael unit in your hand by 4.
  • 2 Aglaïs Aglaïs Deploy: On turn end, double the amount of boosts on self.
  • The Last Wish The Last Wish Look at the top 2 cards from your deck, then play one and Banish the other.
  • Isengrim's Council Isengrim's Council Look at a random Dwarf, Dryad, and Elf from your deck, then play one.
  • Serpent Trap Serpent Trap Ambush: Destroy the next special card played by your opponent before it triggers any abilities.
  • Marching Orders Marching Orders Play the lowest unit from your deck.
  • Garrison Garrison Boost a unit by 10.
  • Artefact Compression Artefact Compression Lock a unit and restore it to its base power.
  • Alzur's Double–Cross Alzur's Double–Cross Play the highest unit from your deck.
  • Vigo's Muzzle Vigo's Muzzle Seize an enemy with 5 or less power and Lock it.
  • 4 Scout Scout Deploy: Remove a row effect from an allied row.
  • 4 Farseer Farseer Deploy, Ranged: Reveal a random card from your deck. If it's a special card, boost self by 2.
  • 3 Sage Sage x2 Whenever you play a special card, boost self by 2.
  • 3 Half-Elf Hunter Half-Elf Hunter Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for each artifact you control.
  • 3 Dol Blathanna Sentry Dol Blathanna Sentry x3 Melee: Whenever an enemy is moved to the other row, damage it by 1. Ranged: Whenever an ally is moved to the other row, boost it by 1.
  • Golden Froth Golden Froth Boost all units on a row by 2.
  • Waylay Waylay x3 If there is an Elf ally on the battlefield, destroy a random enemy unit.
  • Swallow Swallow x3 Boost a unit by 6.
  • Alzur's Thunder Alzur's Thunder Damage a unit by 5.

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 provided by Green Cricket.

  • Brouver Hoog Brouver Hoog Order: Move a unit to the other row. If it's an enemy, damage it by 2; if it's an ally, boost it by 2. Charge: 3.
  • 4 Ida Emean aep Sivney Ida Emean aep Sivney Deploy, Melee: Destroy an artifact. Deploy, Ranged: Boost a unit by 3.
  • 4 Braenn Braenn Deploy: If you control 2 or more Dryads, gain Zeal. Order: Damage an enemy by 1. Charge: 3.
  • 4 Barclay Els Barclay Els Deploy: Boost an ally by 1 for each Dwarf ally.
  • 3 Yaevinn Yaevinn Deploy: Damage an enemy by 1 for every Elf ally.
  • 3 Iorveth Iorveth Deploy: Return an allied Trap to your hand, then play a Trap.
  • 2 Schirrú Schirrú Zeal. Order: Destroy all other units with the same power as Schirrú.
  • 2 Sheldon Skaggs Sheldon Skaggs Deploy: Damage an enemy by this unit's power.
  • 2 Aglaïs