Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG – February 2021

ESC Card Gaming is happy to present our new Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG!

In this new Season of Gwent the Meta has undergone several changes, also thanks to the adjustments made by Patch 8.2.

The most radical change involved the Viy archetype, which, after the nerfs, literally disappeared from the Ladder.

In Tier 1 we find Witcher Swarm, a solid deck, capable of producing a huge amount of points very quickly.
Alongside the Northern Realms deck, we have Ursine Warrior and Keltullis, two decks capable of countering Witcher Swarm, that’s why they are placed in the highest Tier.

Ursine Warrior’s strength lies in its ability to quickly reach the opponent decks thanks to the Cerys play and a more easily expendable Leader than Patricidal Fury.
Keltullis is a Control deck that answers really well to the needs of this Meta.

In the Tier 2 we find Lippy, who has not suffered so much the nerf of the Patch, and Nova Kolgrim, which, with the buff to the Mentors, has become even stronger.

Immediately after them there is a sequence of Scoia’tael decks, first of all the Deadeye Movement, a deck with a very solid tempo plays.

The Madoc No Unit archetype, which remains very performing with the Red Coin, also carves out a place in this Meta.

In the Tier 3, however, we find the two most played Syndicate archetypes, which, despite the buffs, still fails to be that playable.
Going side to side with the Crimes Gord and Off the Books we have a new Madoc deck, Nilfgaardian branded, the Double Madoc, suitable for players who love to make their opponents suffer.

TIER 1

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/a9f243dfcf9b1453008be0407677bcef

AUTHOR

Ci_87

INTRODUCTION

The warriors of Skellige have been the main faction archetype for months, today after the Lippy’s nerf even more, and, if we combine warriors with a leader like Ursine Ritual, which has 17 provisions, the result is the most solid deck of the current Meta. Ursine Warrior is the best deck in our Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG.

STRENGTHS 

  • Cerys an Craite is literally the extra card of this deck that guarantees to have a very strong short round, and if on Red coin the possibility of abusing of it.

  • The deck has several Tutors and thinning capabilities, greatly increasing the possibility of not mixing the fundamental cards.

  • Removing practically anything the opponent puts on the board, we will easily take Control of the game.

WEAKNESSES 

  • Being a deck based on damaging units, it suffers terribly from No units.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • You can add Gremist to get a Purify or Djenge Frett to get a Lock by removing Tyrggvi Tuirseach and modifying the bronze card pack.

DIFFICULTY

Easy

 

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/0c985d5d622dde5a6d05c51c2dcd21c1

AUTHOR

Fritzdecat

INTRODUCTION

Witcher Swarm is confirmed as one of the best performing decks in Meta. The deck has a high amount of favorable match-ups, and is only countered well by the other two decks in Tier 1 in our Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG.

The deck maintains its strength thanks to its ability to produce a disproportionate amount of points through quick plays.

STRENGTHS 

  • A very strong push thanks to cards like Keldar and Vesemir: Mentor, and the carry over that Erland of Larvik gives us that we prefer to use in Round 1.

  • A very strong short Round 3, where ideally you get there with the Witcher Trio and the ability of the Leader, which makes us score a great amount of points.

  • The deck is very solid thanks to many Tutors.

WEAKNESSES 

  • Weak in Yrden.

  • Many cards have Adrenaline 4 or less making the fourth or fifth round a very complicated part of the game.

  • Few control tools.

  • The lack of Erland and the Tutors to be able to take him in Round 1 can be compromising for the match.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • The 10/11 Slot is variable, Yrden can be removed for cards like Geralt of Rivia or Prince Anseis.

DIFFICULTY

Easy

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/3e8d9c08ba017ad63bef80c51ff8861b

AUTHOR

Matteo2497

INTRODUCTION

Keltullis is one of the most solid decks in the meta.
The deck is difficult to manage given the plays that must be made on time and at the right time.
In order to play this deck at its best, you need to know the Meta well to know what removal your opponent will play and how to play around them.

The Ciri and Defender combo must be invested as soon as possible. In certain match-ups they will have the answer to this combo, but delaying this play makes no sense. It is the most important play and must be done as soon as possible.

STRENGTHS

  • Very strong leader in defending his engine and win conditions against the various blocks, very present in the current Meta.

  • Possibility to reverse the Coin and draw a card with Ciri which, in a game like Gwent, is a huge powerplay.

  • Free win against Ursine Warrior and very positive match-up against  Witcher Swarm, which are both very strong decks and very present in the meta.

WEAKNESSES

  • Totally dependent on draws, missing crucial gold will often lead you to lose the game.

  • Difficulty in facing round 2, because it is not always easy to understand whether to push and until when to do it, it will take a lot of ability to analyze both the match-up you are facing.

  • It suffers too much from tall removal or cards that resolve Defender. The more answers your opponent’s deck has, the harder your game will be to play.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • None.

DIFFICULTY

Difficult

TIER 2

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/8d72563d9374a1c5f885df1474a65aa2

AUTHOR

Clauz

INTRODUCTION

The February Patch tried, without too many results, to nerf the Lippy archetype by increasing the cost and decreasing Lippy‘s body; despite this, with some small changes between the bronze, the deck remains almost unchanged.

STRENGTHS

  • The deck is capable of abusing the Red Coin; can spend a lot of resources to win the first round and pilot the game.

  • Cerys is a card capable of producing many indisputable points, in the short run it remains one of the strongest play of the game.

  • A high amount of tempo play due to the numerous Gold cards on the list.

  • Very solid bronze package mainly due to the Discard mechanics.

  • Excellent counter of the main Tier 1.

WEAKNESSES

  • Doesn’t have a great long Round 3.

  • Susceptible to Lockdown.

  • Some hands in Round 1 have very high brick potential.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • You can insert Snowdrop, to improve your draws, by removing a choice between Svalblod Totem and Curse of Corruption. It depends on what is in the meta and your needs.

DIFFICULTY

Easy

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/30c683107f4c34e5eb17dbfd4f0650e4

AUTHOR

Fritzdecat

INTRODUCTION

Kolgrim Nova is one of the most talked about decks in Meta.
The deck is based on the mechanics of the new Nilfgaard Witchers, that is, filling the opponent’s top deck with useless cards, to generate value through Kolgrim and the Viper witcher mentors.

Blocking the draws useful to the opponent is a mechanic to prevent him from drawing important cards or answers to our plays.

The deck is one of the most countered in Meta, so it wasn’t included in Tier 1 in our Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG.

STRENGTHS

  • Hefty Helge in the early rounds ensures important combo control with Strategy cards.

  • The deck is built to thin out a lot, it’s nearly impossible to miss important cards.

  • Viper Witcher Mentor with Adrenaline 3 is one of the strongest cards in the game.

  • Ciri: Nova is extremely useful for bringing reach into later rounds.

  • Unanswered Kolgrim is an absolute win condition.

WEAKNESSES

  • Weak against Yrden.

  • The deck suffers from match-ups against decks like Lippy and Keltullis that counter Kolgrim Nova‘s mechanics well.

  • Difficult to play mirror matches.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • The deck has no particular slots to change.

DIFFICULTY

Medium

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/52e2446099250f56b27e8331fbeab60d

AUTHOR

QuiGon96

INTRODUCTION

Many Scoia’tael lists have taken a hit due to recent changes to Novigradian Justice, Elves Scenario is not among them. In fact the deck is still very solid and indeed is enriched with new answers to face every opponent. Is the best Scoia’tael deck in our Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG.

STRENGTHS

  • The leader’s charges skill together with the multiple tempo play that are available, allow you to reach the opponent’s points in one move during Round 1.

  • It possesses great versatility as excellent results can be obtained on both short and long rounds.

  • It does not use engines that tend to grow too much, the points are therefore distributed among the various units present on the field and consequently the value of the great opposing removals is significantly reduced.

WEAKNESSES

  • Despite possessing one of the strongest long Round 3 in the Meta, it fails to overpower the Skellige Warriors and Witcher Swarms.

  • During a long round there is a risk of filling the lines, especially if you face a Nilfgaard who uses Spies.

  • Little thinning of the deck, games can then end without seeing some gold.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • A Vrihedd Sappers can be inserted as an additional answer to Keltullis, and Gaetan can be preferred over Cirian aep Easnillen. Finally, Call of the Forest can be played in place of Curse of Corruption, thus giving the possibility to add 2 Vernossiel’s Commando.

DIFFICULTY

Medium

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b9228a77815b5ae485df3da2117b0433

AUTHOR

Simo4dlc + Edo

INTRODUCTION

This new season’s patch has made some changes for this deck, first of all the nerf to Novigradian Justice which is now much more difficult to play outside of a Dwarf deck. The second change concerns the upgrade of the Dimeritium Bomb which goes from doing only 3 damage to doing 4, which makes it the only neutral removal at 4 damage for 4 commissions.

In this new version it is preferred to play Triss: Telekinesis instead of Geralt: Professional to use an extra Bomb, and the addition of cards such as Saesenthessis and Dunca.

STRENGTHS

  • The deck is very strong on Red Coin thanks to the multiple removals.

  • He is also very solid on Blue Coin thanks to the presence of the Saber-tooth Tiger that heavily conditions the opponent’s plays.

  • It has great responses against decks like Keltullis and Kolgrim having cards like Korathi Heatwave, Curse of Corruption, and Moon Dust useful against Defender cards.

  • Having few units to play takes away from opponent removals.

WEAKNESSES

  • It is less solid without the Novigradian Justice tempo play.

  • Need to win round 1, at the cost of playing Leader, to have last say with Gord.

  • It is weak against decks that put a lot of units in the field, not being able to remove them all.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • If you feel the need for an extra strong removal, replace Triss: Telekinesis with Geralt: Professional.

DIFFICULTY

Difficult

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/38d961ded9f3cb2aa4b163691df36908

AUTHOR

Yami8

INTRODUCTION

Despite the nerf to Novigradian Justice the movement archetype continues to give some good results, even if it is not that present in the ladder we, of the ESC team, highly recommend it, as this deck has given us many results.

STRENGTHS

  • The deck features many control tools, which, together with the leader, allow us to control the board very well and respond to almost every important engine, if there is the need to.

  • It features many engines and it is very difficult for the opponent to answer to all fo them.

  • Also manages to abuse the Red coin very well, in fact 3 engines are very often enough to be able to win on even cards.

  • Has many positive match-ups, like Keltullis and Witcher Swarm.

  • The combo of Figgis Merluzzo + Malena + Gezras + Leader (in order to be able to put on the board many pieces) if not resolved will practically always win the round and consequently, the game, since it is our finisher.

WEAKNESSES

  • This deck must always win round 1, in order to push tin the round 2, losing round 1 very often can mean losing the game.

  • The nerf to Novigradian Justice can be problematic when we fail to do a 2-0, in fact on a possible short round 3 our only strong play is Forest Protector, which is often not enough to win the game.

  • Decks with many control tools like Skellige are negative match-ups.

  • If Round 1 goes very long, chances are we’ll be forced to spend too many resources.

  • Sensitive to cards that target single rows, like Hemdall.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • It is possible to play a Devotion version with the Guerrilla Tactics leader, at the expense of some control tools, and a leader who allows us to make board really quick, playing with a DevotionEithne guarantees us many more points with Symbiosis.

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/88a7e9178ce0fd9fc11b00f6f2454bf8

DIFFICULTY

Difficult

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/d71cc3d484de564ec7d3d26d5f424282

AUTHOR

gigifacile

INTRODUCTION

Nature’s Gift has never been the first choice for those who decide to play ST, mainly because is not focused on controlling the opponent’s board but rather on generating points in our own half of the board.

Thanks to the upgrade that CDPR has brought to locks, however, this deck has been given low-cost control options in provisions that could bring more players to try this archetype.

STRENGTHS

  • If we can manage to keep the dryads with Symbiosis to stay on the board, each special card with the Nature tag can play for more than 10 points.

  • Very strong short round thanks to Eithnè and Gord.

  • A long round that is capable of generating many points if the opponent does not contest our engines.

WEAKNESSES

  • Longer round weaker than other decks in Meta.

  • It suffers some match-ups like Keltullis or Nova Kolgrim, due to the very few control options and the fact that, since it is a Devotion deck, it can’t play Korathi Heatwave.

  • Geralt: Yrden.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • You could insert Freixenet and a 4-provision card instead of the two locks, if you prefer to have even more points at the cost of a little control over the opponent.

DIFFICULTY

Easy

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/730626e97c87f7701063276218e593af

AUTHOR

Clauz86

INTRODUCTION

Patch 8.2 brought few actual changes to the meta, and Nilfgaard’s Scenario version indirectly suffered from it, being overshadowed by the recent Nova Kolgrim.

Nonetheless, its excellent match-up against Keltullis and Kolgrim himself makes it a fairly performing deck.
The extra provisions provided by the Double-Cross leader give us the possibility to add an extra removal like Vincent and an utility gold such as False Ciri which, not being able to block the opponent’s leader, helps us to improve the match-up against Keltullis.

STRENGTHS

  • Great long round 3.

  • Various control tools that help us manage all 3 rounds.

  • The deck has a solid tall pack-removals.

WEAKNESSES

  • The deck suffers the push, especially from Top Tier decks.

  • The deck has a weak and fragile short round.

  • Korathi Heatwave on the Scenario removes many points from the deck.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • Ramon Tyrconnel.

DIFFICULTY

Medium

TIER 3

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/4e88b3b9700369719c7c2cb8bf4aa16d

AUTHOR

Invictatop

INTRODUCTION

The February patch brought some buffs to the Syndicate faction, however, it still struggles to find a place in the Gwent’s meta.

This Gord list based on Crime cards will make many Syndicate nostalgic fans happy, being an archetype that has disappeared from the meta for several months now, however it has been widely used in the past.
A good choice for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG.

STRENGTHS

  • The Portal in combo with the various engines that have the Intimidation tag give us a significant amount of points in the first round.

  • A tutor such as Oneiromancy guarantees consistency to this archetype, which was a problem in the first versions of the deck.

  • The lack of direct removal for the Defender tokens against most of the decks.

WEAKNESSES

  • It is difficult to win matches against Full Control or No unit decks.

  • Weak against Nilfgaard, especially against a very popular list like Lockdown.

  • Not being able to play Portal in the first round can destroy our strategy during the game and drastically decrease the win percentage.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • You can insert Kurt.

DIFFICULTY

Easy

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/147bc09b8dc1bc1a1d65cbd76c1b3e26

AUTHOR

QuiGon96

INTRODUCTION

After the changes made since the last patch, the Syndicate faction sees the rebirth of a very popular archetype, it was popular before the arrival of Hidden Cache, going back in time to one year ago.

This deck is based on Tribute cards, thus offering tempo plays not present in other archetypes of the Novigrad faction.

STRENGTHS

  • Recent upgrades to Salamandra: Mage, Fallen Rayla and Madame Luiza make this deck capable of generating a huge amount of points once you get to Adrenaline 5.

  • The fact that the leader ability is equipped with charges, allows us to reach, only in one turn, the amount of coins needed to steal important cards such as Ciri: Dash with Philippa Eilhart.

  • Very strong against the No Unit lists thanks to the huge number of proactive available plays, moreover the efficiency of the deck is not invalidated by the Lockdown leader.

WEAKNESSES

  • This deck is very difficult to capitalize with this deck since you may be forced to use your resources in the first rounds or to lose the match for the lack of points.

  • It requires a thorough knowledge of the opponent’s list to keep the right answers in hand.

  • Off the books suffers from decks that can generate the most points in medium/long rounds such as Skellige Warrior or the various Movement versions of Scoia’tael.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • Jaques, Ludovicus Brunenbaum or Kurt can be added, for Fallen Rayla, Pickpocket and Adalbertus Kalkstein.

DIFFICULTY

Difficult

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/7bc819ca7b9790b85ad230d28ba506df

AUTHOR

Yami8

INTRODUCTION

The recent introduction of Madoc has led many people to experiment it in every faction, in fact, you can find many decks based on this card in ladder, although it plays better with the Scoia’tael archetypes.

Nilfgaard, on the other hand, has the opportunity to play an archetype that uses a Double Madoc.
An interesting choice for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #11 – ENG.

STRENGTHS

  • It is a very oppressive deck with the red coin and it often wins on even cards, with the combo of Warrit the All-Seeing and the Viper Witcher Alchemist the deck manages to put the opponent in a difficult spot without negative sides.

WEAKNESSES

  • It suffers the Blue coin, in fact when this deck starts first, it will very often lose on even cards.

  • If the opponent manages to banish our Madoc with cards like Korathi Heatwave before Letho: Regicide copies it, the deck’s strategy is destroyed and we could lack the points to win the game.

TACTICAL CHOICES

  • You can think of removing the Korathi Heatwave or Knickers to insert Kolgrim in order to have another win condition in the deck, however without the faction Defender, Kolgrim is likely to find an opponent’s response very often.

DIFFICULTY

Medium


Our Meta Snapshots represent the set of decks considered competitive by our Team Analysts, decks specially selected to reflect the Ladder’s meta.
These decks are chosen based on several criteria: frequency at which specific archetypes are encountered in Ladder, win rate of the selected lists, ratio between negative and positive match-upspersonal tastes of our Competitive Players.

Tier 1 = This section contains decks that tend to define the meta, to be competitive against other Tiers 1 and not to be disadvantaged starting from Blue Coin. They provide a favorable match-up against the lower Tier decks.

Tier 2 = This section contains decks that are less consistent than Tier 1 even if with a high win rate, slightly lower than those in Tier 1. They have a slightly higher amount of negative match-ups.

Tier 3 = This section contains decks that can have a good win rate but suffer the match-ups against decks of the upper Tiers.

Special Mentions = Decks difficult to pilot, but in the right hands they can compete against the upper Tiers. Eventually, they have the advantage of the surprise effect which should not be underestimated. Usually these decks are not recommended for inexperienced players.

Star symbol meaning:
The increasing number of stars indicates the strength that the deck expresses within the Tier of belonging. The greater the number of stars, the greater the force expressed.

Each Faction does not need to be represented by at least one list.


Consultants and Deckbuilders: Movius00, Gigifacile, Ci_87, Clauz86, Yami8, Fritzdecat.

Writers: Fritzdecat, Gigifacile, Clauz86, Ci_87, Invictatop95, Quigon96, Yami8, Matteo2497, Edo, Simo4dlc.

Management/Editing/Translation: Fritzdecat, Miranda, Gaeriv, Giordaniko, Ghostemane, BenDjarin.


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