Welcome back to a new appointment with the ESC Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG ! The patch at the beginning of the season gave a bit of sparkle to a meta dominated by the Northern Realms and Nilfgaard, bringing news especially to thinning and some archetypes.
To suffer a first blow was Skellige: the nerf of the provisions cost to the Tuirseach: Warrior had his weight for a “discard-dependent” faction. Or maybe you just got bored with the usual decks?
Squirrels sprout from the bottom Tier 3 directly to Tier 1! This faction was barely played last season, back in a big way thanks to the buff of the elven units. This allows Scoia’tael to take the first place in our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG . Each unit does its duty, good tempo plays and Feign Death with Vanadàin setting a rain of Waylay (buffed). Squirrel raids are back!
Northern Realms does not give up and returns to our court with the classic wizards and with two versions of Siege. We must talk about the Siege Master unit that has been “nerf-buffed”: extra provision cost for this thinner unit, but also an extra effect that goes well in combination with both siege units but also with the mages (The Raffard’s Revenge that activates after one turn is poetry)
Nothing to report for Nilfgaard. Small nerfs that don’t detract much from the consistency of Assimilation. High Tier 2 but only because other factions have strengthened.
Congregate seemed to have been the great change of the Syndicate… and instead… A few more points to this archetype compared to its classic version do not in any way guarantee the possibility of entering the meta. Special mention just for the attempt. The past’s versions were better.
Monsters would like to return into the meta in a big way as done by Scoia’tael. But it can’t come even close to being a Tier 3. We prefer to include a White Frost version in our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG as a special mention, not for its strength, but for the sheer fun that playing Frost can give. Nice? Yes, fun? Yes, but suffers enormously from any other factions.
Enjoy our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG and let us know what you think of the new season.
After a few seasons of absence, elves return to dominate the ladder; the rework of some cards (Waylay out of all) has greatly increased the power level of the deck. First place for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG
The elf archetype has always had speed as its strong point: in fact, thanks to the leader’s charges, Aelirenn, Yaevinn, etc; it is possible to score many points in one play.
Deadeye Ambush has a great ability to push or resist the push in Round 2.
Last say is huge with Simlas on (up to) 5 Waylays, thanks to the Vanadain in combo with Alissa Henson.
The deck has no thinning, but having a lot of gold cards, has the problem with the finisher combo Vanadain – Alissa Henson – Simlas dependent on the draws.
It has negative matchups mainly with Siege playing decks, Stockpile out of everyone.
Northern Realms didn’t receive nerf to its dominant mage-patience archetype, indeed what should have been considered a nerf to the Siege Master’s provisions, actually it proved to be a real buff to the archetype. This is why we decided to insert this archetype in the high tiers of the meta again, thanks to its numerous power plays and its numerous engines.
The buff to Siege Master has given further speed to Raffard’s Vengeance draws, with which, thanks to the combination with the Winch card, you can now make the second draw in the immediately following turn;
The deck enjoys a lot of solidity thanks to the numerous draws provided by Raffard’s Vengeance, Siege Master and Istredd, as well as tutors such as Amphibious Assault, Royal Decree and Jan Natalis;
The large number of engines makes it very difficult to remove them, even for meta control decks such as Elves;
The deck enjoys an excellent initiative thanks to its engines, which makes it very strong even in the blue coin, with which, thanks to the Crystal Skull, it manages to defend its engines;
It also has many time plays such as Gulet’s Seltkirk, Raffard’s Vengeance and Gerhart of Aelle, but also the same Alumni once he reaches the zeal;
Being an engine deck, it suffers particularly from control decks, which are able to make difficult the Alumni zeal, especially if the deck is on red coin;
Not drawing Ban Ard Student, Aretuza Student and Leticia Charbonneau in round 1 creates problems for achieving the Zeal for subsequent rounds with Alumni, losing a lot of potential in power play;
Not drawing Raffard’s Vengeance and Siege Master makes the deck very weak in draws;
You can substitute Vigo’s Muzzle for Royal Decree to give more control but losing much of the consistency of the deck; you can replace a copy of Cintra’s Mage with another Siege Tower to have a better chance of activating Siege Master, and replace one between Istredd and Margarita Laux-Antille with Necromancy.
In the last patch the game’s devs patched almost all the cards that allow you to thin the deck and among these, they also raised the provision cost of the Mage Assassin. This weakening of the deck, however small it may seem, has forced Nilfgaard to give up cards that are very synergistic with his own Assimilation engines and such as Lidya Van Bredevoort, to maintain his power play with the Blightmakers, so that it can continue to contest the first round of game. First place of Tier 2 for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG
Consistency and solidity of the deck have remained unchanged from the last patches.
The use of the leader Double Cross grants the possibility to activate multiple times Assimilation and It forces your opponent not to play ideally.
Artaud Terranova, with the help of the Mage Torturer, puts a very high pressure on the opponent. He will not be able to play his strongest cards lightly, cause he will risk giving you the same play with Artaud Terranova.
The lack of key cards in the first game round can make the game itself complicated. Without the presence of cards like Blightmaker or Calveit you will be forced to play the deck in a non-ideal way.
Despite the presence of the new spy for Braathens, the Mage Infiltrator, the deck suffers archetypes that are strengthened by the swarming into the field of small units, multiple point generators in a single turn, or cards with a low ability to score points, but which in the original deck have strong synergies.
Losing the first round of play leads to being “victims” of the management of the second round by your opponent. So whether you have played Calveit, or if you have not drawn in Round 1, you will go into a Round 2 controlled by the opponent. He could make us lose strong cards for the decisive round, or even make them go for a 2-0 hoping that the strongest cards in the deck are still in the deck.
If you want to try to use the following list in an open list tournament, there is the possibility, in case you expect several opponents using the Mushy Truffle, or scenarios, to exchange your Mushy Truffle for Angouleme.
After being already played in the last meta, also this month Northern Realms finds in Siege, Inspired Zeal version, a solid alternative to the ever-present mages archetype.
Raffard’s Vengeance remains one of the strongest cards in the game, capable of putting a lot of pressure thanks to the deployment of multiple siege engines in the same turn, especially if played in combination with King Henselt;
In a meta where the means of control are limited, even just playing a couple of siege engines in the first few turns of a round can translate into an advantage over the opponent;
Siege Master was supposed to have been nerfed, but by no means is perceived as such, thanks to the extreme synergy it offers with the Cooldown mechanic and the fact that it remains an excellent consistency card, which also offers valuable units with the soldier tag for the Drew keyword.
The deck is at its best when it has time to develop its siege engines. To do this it is generally important to win the first round and have the first say in the second one to have a more effective push;
The proposed version has improved playability against swarm decks, but risks of going into troubles if it is unable to answer specific combos having only Seltkirk of Gulet as a direct removal;
There remains the problem, albeit limited, of having many of the points generated as removal on the opponent’s board and the deck might suffer if the opponent has the opportunity to play in a non-interactive way.
You can remove Falibor and Foltest’s Pride to put Vigo’s Muzzle and Korathi Heatwave, perhaps replacing Margarita Laux-Antille with Boiling Oil and the two Kerack: Marine with as many Royal Guards.
In this meta full of swarms decks, the siege engines of the Northern Realms find their perfect spot, using, for the first time, the Stockpile skill.
King Henselt alongside Foltest’s Pride is the strongest play of the deck: with the charges it guarantees the removal of practically all the enemy’s units. Also, King Henselt‘s second ability generates a lot of points on our half of the board.
For each Stockpile charges, in addition of adding 1 of recovery to all our engines, we will generate a soldier unit, which will allow us to make the most of all the units with Crew.
In fact, the Siege scenario can be considered an added value and, unlike in the past, even if removed we will not end up with a huge deficit of points.
You need to win the first Round for 2 reasons: to bring the game to a short round, where the King Henselt + Foltest’s Pride combo is at its best; but above all to avoid being pushed, otherwise you will risk having to spend all the resources in Round 2 and find yourself discharging points in the decisive round.
Against no unit decks, all siege engines lose value and suffer greatly, as there is nothing to remove.
You can insert Raffard’s Vengeance in place of Vigo’s Muzzle to add an additional engine to the deck, but losing one of the strongest removals in the game
You can insert the Kaedwen: Revenant in double copy, removing one of the Bombardments.
Thanks to the change to the bronze cards of the Firesworn Category, Syndicate can finally count on a bronze package not relegated to bounties and poisoning alone. Although conceptually designed for a swarm archetype, the “new” bronzes also fit perfectly into the Tribute archetype with King of Beggars, softening round 1 a lot and providing mini tempo plays that can keep up with those of many of the other factions.
Solid Round 1 thanks to the Firesworns Bronze Pack.
Optimal short Round 3 thanks to King of Beggars and Savolla.
Long round effective thanks to various control tools such as Professor and Whoreson Freak Show and solid faction golds such as Tinboy and Jaques Miraculous Child.
Despite the buffs and reworks, tyou will still suffer the coin not being in your favour.
The lack of thinning that was one of Jackpot‘s strengths thanks to Redanian sometimes makes it extremely draw dependent.
In some specific matchups the miss of a particular card leads to an almost certain defeat (example: Moreelse against the Sigvald decks, Tinboy against Elves Swarm etc)
In place of Whoreson Freak Show and Kurt you can put the two Borsodi brothers who have an optimal generic value for the deck and depending on the meta, you can consider Filippa Eilhart instead of Tinboy, gaining the possibility of upgrading one of our 4-provision cards.
In a meta represented by swarm decks, unlike last season, the pirate deck this time cannot physically generate enough points. Despite this, it still remains the best performing deck in the Skellige faction. High Tier 3 for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG
Wild Boar of the Sea is the finisher card of the deck, it allows us to have a good long Round 3 and it is often a win condition against Elves which is a tier 1 of the meta.
Very performing against engine decks, thanks to our control tools such as Korathi Heatwave, Vigo’s Muzzle, Terror of the Seas and the two leader’s charges.
With the leader’s passive, Crach an Craite alongside our armored units, it expresses his full potential, allowing us to have control over the enemy board.
It particularly suffers from swarms and no units decks.
Not having the discard package at Round 1 often leads to having to commit to winning Round 1 or not to lose at even.
The pirate deck doesn’t physically have the points to hold up against some meta decks.
It’s all a matter of creating the right alchemy. This deck is a classic Slam Point that wants to counter decks that have few control tools and therefore do not have an optimal response to Melusine. This list benefits from the introduction of Knut the Callous and Sigvald, giving us a good finisher, which was kind of what this archetype was missing. It can generate a really important carryover and with cards like Gedyneith and the druid pack, it manages to win even those games where the opponent has any answers to Melusine or Sigvald. It has a decent match up against Elves, which is the top tier of the meta so we can say it is a good deck to use in the ladder. Very dependent on the draws as the discard package has been nerfed and is no longer very consistent.
With two or more Crow Clan Preachers on the field, the deck generates a lot of points in the long round and even better in the short round.
The synergy between Melusine, Knut the Callous and Sigvald resulted in one of the most devastating combos in the game.
The keyword Resilience of the Mushy Truffle makes the card very strong in this archetype, capable of generating carryover and significant value with the double copy of Dwimveandra even in the round following the one in which it is played.
Against control archetypes you risk not being able to do the desired setup with a sufficient number of Crow Clan Preachers.
We only play one tutor and may not have access to Gedyneith or Korathi Heatwave with the right timing.
Not having access to Melusine in Round 1 significantly reduces the points we will have in the decisive round.
The morning breeze becomes even colder, the upgrades given to the fearsome Wild Hunt brings it back and after their passage there is nothing but ice on the board.
The deck prefers the red coin and enjoys good tempo plays, it basically wants to win round one on even where possible even by engaging the Winter Queen in the first round, which after her previous change leaves her opponent in a stalemate.
With the leader’s charges and with the help of Wild Hunt Bruiser, the deck has excellent control of the board, putting the enemy units linked to positioning in a specific row in difficulty and with the upgrade of Wild Hunt: Warrior you get an easy final blow.
Auberon‘s change in its final form makes it a very solid card, guaranteeing the Wild Hunt bronze that suits better every situation and allows you to optimize your points.
It is a deck that has a good round one but as for the other rounds it lacks points compared to other decks in the meta that’s why it wants to win round one on even.
Has certain predetermined plays such as Imlerith on Griffin that may fail during the game causing the deck to lose consistency.
As a removal to particular units like Sigvald and tall body units we only have Imlerith’s Wrath that requires an Imlerith setup first and if not resolved can make you lose points in the long run as domination is lost.
With the new patch, the Firesworns have received countless buffs and reworks, greatly increasing the strength of the deck. However it cannot yet be considered a Top tier, but in the hands of an experienced player it can steal victories even from the top of the meta. Last place for our Gwent Meta Snapshot #18 ENG
Finally you have the opportunity to see Cyrus Engelking Hemmelfart in action, played by 13 points which, if not resolved, allows the Lonely Champion to be kept on the field.
Damnation used on the new Eternal Fire: Inquisitor allows you to play an additional Cyrus Engelking Hemmelfart, but in general this card with the new adaptation will always play for a lot of points
The deck is very versatile and thanks to the two points mentioned above, it allows you to play important cards with a light heart even during the first round
It has a consistency problem, has only one thinner and MUST see the Lonely Champion in the starting hand.
Has little control of the opponent’s board, if the rounds do not go as expected it will be difficult to get the right answer to the opponent’s play.
Vivaldi’s Bank can be used instead of Ferko the Sculptor and the 6 and 5 provs spots are highly customizable.
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.