Welcome back with the ESC Team! Let’s analyze the news of the February meta with our new Gwent Meta Snapshot #17 – ENG
A few days after the Open Qualifier top 16 and at the same time as the top 64, the situation is clear:
First of all let’s start with the news: the Syndicate Off the Books deck aggressively enters in meta with a version that adds to the traditional Savolla + King of Beggars combo, also the possibility of managing coins at will thanks to its Leader. In this way it removes Jackpot from Tier 1 which still dominates the Tier 2 remaining almost unchanged.
Same deck also for Nilfgaard with Assimilate Double Cross: thanks to the departure of Scoia’tael and Monsters, it grabs the first place in Tier 1 without suffering any pressure from the amount of points of the other decks. Let’s also point out the reconfirmation in meta of the evergreen Hyperthin which will delight of the followers of the Great Sun.
Northern Realms, thanks to the February patch and the Resupply buff, comes before us with three lists: the reinterpretation of the wizard deck allows the Realms to remain stable in Tier 1 and to bring two more lists in Tier 2, both with Siege but with different Leaders. An oppressive combo to start with and units (which damage) which reactivate Order in a single turn. Who would have thought that a Winch could change the game? (editor’s note)
Skellige does not give up and fights back with three decks for all types of game: control, slam point, midrange and more: pirates, warriors and beasts. A really tough faction to meet!
As in the original story, the Realms bring war in the squirrel lands and at the same time expel the Monsters. Both factions terribly suffer its engines and are unable to control them all or to score enough points to take the lead. Not a good time for them. A little relief for Scoia’tael thanks to its innate control, but otherwise things are going badly.
Enjoy our Gwent Meta Snapshot #17 – ENG comment and tell us your opinion!
The Double Cross Leader opens the way to a wide choice of possible moves, which the opponent cannot play around. Furthermore, it is one of the few interactions in the game that allows you to play two cards in a single turn, activating the engines with assimilates.
Thanks to the Blightmaker and Jan Calveit, the deck has excellent tempo plays also in Round 1. While in Round 2, with Joachim de Wett and Fercart you also have the possibility to bleed or push the opponent in a consistent way, also increasing the Artaud Terranova target thanks to spy statuses. This is very good for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #17 – ENG
The Assimilate mechanic remains one of the strongest in the game, allowing you to deploy the opponent’s engines on the field, adding them to your points and simulating their synergies.
It is one of the few decks in the meta that can afford to lose at even and still manage to win.
In some Match-ups, being pushed or bleeded means negatively exchanging your opponent’s bronze for your gold.
The lack of some control tools such as Korathi Heatwave and Vigo’s Muzzle, could be relevant against decks that have a great number of engines.
The deck is predictable, due to the texture given by Jan Calveit.
You can use a version with the Imprisonment leader. We recommend the list created by Maruth24:
The ability to put engines first, which generate points during the round, gives the deck a strong initiative. Thanks to tempo play like Seltkirkof Gulet and Raffard’s Vengeance, it’s strong and consistent even when playing in response.
The great number of engines in the deck makes it really difficult to remove them all: the number also increases thanks to cards such as Raffard’s Vengeance and Chapter of Wizards, which allow you to deploy two engines in one turn.
The changes to the Siege Master solve the main problems that the deck had, namely thinning and draws, while putting points on the field.
In some match-ups, being able to get the Zeal for the Alumni could be complicated, albeit fundamental. In the event that the minimum patience is not achieved, the deck could be in great difficulty. Not so good for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #17 – ENG
It generally suffers from full control decks.
Not drawing the Chapter of Wizards can greatly affect the game.
The Leader allows you not to waste the excess coins by transforming them into upgrades.
It offers excellent control of the enemy’s board: Moreelse is a good removal for opposing cards with a lot of points, while Philippa Eilhart gives a tempo play that most of the time allows you to win the round.
The King of Beggars in combo with Savolla remains the currently strongest tempo play in the game and guarantees a very strong short round.
The nerf to the deck is felt: the reduction of points to King of Beggars and 1 provision less to the leader forces you to resize some cards, losing fundamental points.
The Devotion version is the one that scores the most points but suffers from the draws due to the lack of thinners.
Overall, the deck struggles to hold up the points of the decks in the meta.
It is one of the few decks that can start with both blue coin and red coin, being able to count on an excellent Tactical Advantage to defend your engines and a red coin that very often allows you to win on even cards without using too many gold cards.
The deck has almost the totality of units that score points over time, so it is complicated for the opponent to manage the various threats that will be present on their board. In addition, the renewed Cooldown mechanic allows you to riactivate order of the units very quickly, also thanks to the Winch.
The presence in the deck of cards such as Raffard’s Vengeance and King Henselt allow you to play more than one engine in a single turn and this makes it difficult for the opponent to face all threats. They also ensure a lot of consistency by removing cards from the deck.
Not having cards such as King Henselt, Siege Master or Raffard’s Vengeance in your hand in the first or second round could slow down the thinning of the deck, then risking to not draw essential cards.
While the deck may seem intuitive at first glance, using too many resources in the first game round to secure victory can lead to a severe resource deficit in the next two rounds. This is why the cards must be handled wisely.
You have to win Round 1, to be in control of the second round and to be able to push. In a long Round 3, after the completion of Siege, the deck suffers all the power play of the other decks now in meta.
Thanks to the ability to play twice key cards such as Melusine, Sigvald and Coven of Steel, Round 1 is very strong and difficult for the opponent to contest.
Pushing this deck is very dangerous thanks to the many engines on the list such as Knut the Callous and Sigvald.
If not resolved during the course of the game, Melusine alone gives a devastating short Round 3.
It is certainly not one of the best Skellige ladder lists, in fact Battle Trance and Onslaught are more solid; in fact it should be remembered that this is a tournament deck and that it can express its maximum potential in a line-up such as the one of Kams who knew the lists of opponents and what to ban.
As in any self-respecting Skellige list, you are very dependent on the Discard package (to be used in Round 1 if you start with red coin or in Round 2 if you start with blue coin). However, if it is not drawn, or is partially used, there is a risk of having cards that do not score points in Round 3.
The moment you can secure the bond with Crow Clan Preacher the points generated per turn will become unsustainable for most of the decks currently in the meta.
Sunset Wanderers makes it particularly difficult for the opponent to be able to make an effective push without losing the card.
The Resilience keyword on The Mushy Truffle makes the card devastating in this archetype, as it is capable of generating carryover and important value with the Dwimveandra also reactivating it in the round following the one in which it is played.
Against archetypes control you risk not being able to do the desired setup with a sufficient number of Crow Clan Preacher.
The discard if not played in Round 1 affects the consistency of the deck and at the same time makes it difficult to contest the first or second Round.
In match-ups against decks that abuse a particular combo, the Korathi Heatwave alone may not be enough.
It is possible to replace the Gigascorpion Decoction with Dorregaray of Vole or add the second Dwimveandra instead of a Freya’s Blessing.
The deck in red coin always finds its natural predisposition, thanks to the numerous control plays, which may also include the total use of the Leader ability winning on even, thinning the deck and offering greater consistency in subsequent draws. Very good for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #17 – ENG
If not removed in the turn in which she is played, Francesca Findabair is a very strong play. She can be a good condition for a round win, in particular if used with cards like Korathi Heatwave, Bountiful Harvest, and Vigo’s Muzzle.
Simlas Finn aep Dabair remains Scoia’tael‘s strongest power play: with its main target in Bountiful Harvest it allows an easy reach, especially when combined with Whisper of Dol Blathanna. If necessary, it can also be played during the first round to bring carry over, thinning the deck and winning on even if in the red coin.
Precision Strike leader ability is particularly synergistic with Vigo’s Muzzle, as it allows you to bring units with 7, 8 or 9 body to be targetable.
The deck has potentially some bricks which are an obstacle, especially when you need to find core cards. Not very good for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #17 – ENG
The deck’s game plan is to shorten both Round 2 and Round 3 as much as possible, so it is highly dependent on winning the first round, even using strong tempo plays like Simlas Fin aep Dabair or the leader ability, to have the chance to push in Round 2 and have the last say with Harald Gord in the short decisive round.
Being a control deck and with few important tempo plays, suffers particularly all the tempo decks, and often the single play of Simlas Fin aep Dabair, the leader ability and Harald Gord last say may not be enough to compete with other decks in the meta.
A copy of Whisper of Dol Blathanna can be replaced with Maxii Van Dekkar to increase the consistency of the deck.
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-ups, personal 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.