Team ESC is happy to present you the seventh italian Gwent snapshot!
The last patch introduced just a few small balance changes, but anyway there have been some important update to the meta, along with a few new archetypes.

Northern Realms and Scoia’tael keep their role as the best factions in the meta, for both strength and flexibility, in fact in addition to a deck in tier 1 both factions have also a very solid deck in tier 2.

Monsters and Skellige are just a little step behind, both have a very strong presence in the meta, with one or even two decks in the highest positions of tier 2.

Very close follows Syndacate with Congregate and Hidden Cache which are both good options, still missing something to be higher in the snapshot.

Instead we must go really deep into the meta to find a resemblance of a Nilfgaard good deck, which to be fair should have is own Tier 4 dedicated, being so far behind to not be able to compete with other factions.

Along with our project of ESC Academy, in almost every guide we have one of our player with an Academy member, to help them each other and to help the Academy member to enter the dynamic of the team.


Snapshot represents the set of the main competitive decks which, divided by tier, create a complete vision of the current meta. Snapshot varies according by the changes introduced (about every month) each time a new season begins.

Tier 0 = This section contains t decks that tend to monopolize meta. Decks so superior to others in every aspect that they cannot be placed in Tier 1. Capable of winning easily in any situation, often regardless of the draws.

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 Coins. They provide a favorable match-up against the lower tier decks.

Tier 2 = This section contains decks that are less consistent than Tier 1 but, with optimal access to all the resources of the deck, they could win against Tier 1 decks. They suffer more from the Blue Coin.

Tier 3 = This section contains the decks that can have a good winrate but suffer the match-ups against decks of the upper Tiers. In some cases there may be variations of some cards compared to the stronger Tiers.

Special Mentions = Decks difficult to pilot, but in the right hands they can compete against the major tiers. Finally, they have the advantage of the surprise effect which should not be underestimated. These decks are also 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.


Writers/Consultants: Movius00, Calupama, Clauz86, Maruth24, Gigifacile, Ci_87, EleganceJR, iamunframed, AnthonyTheStampede, Invictatop95, Fritzdecat, Whitewolf19__, X-reis, Matteo2497, Quigon96, Yami8, Simo4dlc, kris870, Lightman.

Management/Editing/Translation: Movius00, Miranda, Giordaniko, Fritzdecat, Ghostemane, Simo4dlc.

TIER 1

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/95c34dc892e5533380e9fcd215f8e75c

AUTHORS

Ci_87, X-Reis

INTRODUCTION

If this deck was considered the best among the Tier 2 decks in the last season at least, today, with the nerfs that have hit the other factions but have just slightly scratched Scoia’tael, Nature’s Gift represents the most solid and valid deck of the meta.

STRENGTHS

  • Very strong tempo plays such as Novigradian Justice combined with engines such as Hamadryads or Treant Boar make this deck perform very well in a long round.

  • In short rounds it expresses his maximum strength thanks to plays capable of producing many points, including Harald Gord and Forest Protector, and removals such as Korathi Heatwave.

WEAKNESSES

  • Not having the last say means exposing Harald Gord to the removals of the opponents, for this reason it will be necessary to win the first round against almost all the opponents.

TACTICAL CHOICES

Figgis Merluzzo can be inserted in place of Ele’yas to have a protection but sacrifice one of the strongest tempo plays.

Squirrel can be played in place of a Miner.

DIFFICULTY

Medium

DEKCKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/eabce0319ef5ddfd9187d23ca83a6559

AUTHOR

Movius00

INTRODUCTION

Shieldwall is confirmed to be one of the strongest (and most present) deck in meta, the nerfs compared to the last patch do not make themselves felt that much, and the strength of this deck remains unchanged both on long round and on short round, so that several decks were born played just to counter this, not always successfully.

STRENGTHS

  • A very strong long round thanks to engines like Vysogota of Corvo, Temerian Drummer and Anna Strenger.

  • A very strong short round thanks to the ability of our leader in combo with cards like Prince Anseis and Seltkirk of Gulet.

  • Also thanks to the mentioned combo, the deck has an enormous ability to remove enemy high-powered units.

WEAKNESSES

  • The meta has adapted to defeat this deck, inserting cards that specifically cause us various problems, especially removals that ignore shields such as Korathi Heatwave or Curse of Corruption.

  • Some decks tend not to push units to very high strengths, so the risk of not getting a lot of value from our duels can be a factor in some match-ups.

TACTICAL CHOICES

The same archetype can be played in Uprising version, in this case we give up Seltkirk of Gulet and Vysogota of Corvo, as well as the possibility of potentially devastating duels, but we get greater resistance to being bleed round 2 and in general a stronger short round.

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/aa404a206d8e145e028374a810bdddc8

DIFFICULTY

Easy

TIER 2

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/f4279eb79d2677cbce22bd4418da111c

AUTHOR

Invictatop, Quigon96

INTRODUCTION

The update 7.3 shook the meta; the Overwhelming Hunger Devotion version is still solid but, due to quite all factions using big engines, non-Devotion version is slightly better because it uses Korathi Heatwave.

STRENGTHS

  • Solid round 1 thanks to key cards such as Endrega Larva, Miruna and Yghern.

  • Versatility because this deck has a great short round and a good long round, giving the possibility to choose the better strategy depending on the opponent.

  • Oneiromancy assures key cards like Haunt or Korathi Heatwave, essential to remove most problematic opponent cards.

WEAKNESSES

  • Unlike Devotion version this deck lacks cards that permit to obtain more points with less provisions such as Aen Elle Conqueror.

  • Long round 3 weaker than other meta decks one (Shieldwall, Congregate).

  • Possibility to not have key cards when needed, being important to draw specific cards in round 1 like Foglet and Yghern.

TACTICAL CHOICES

Good alternatives are Parasite, The Apiarian Phantom, Barghest and Endriaga Warrior.

There’s a similar list with Devotion: https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/ffe7e87a91bed26a06cd88cf9ebd3945

DIFFICULTY

Medium

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b9db8a74c2848b80a2b693328f00fd7f

AUTHORS

EleganceJr, Lightman

INTRODUCTION

This Skellige archetype is mostly the same from last season, with the core cards unalterated. The deck always relies on the Warriors package, which even after the nerfs has proven to be very strong and consistent.
The slight difference from the last season is a higher presence of removals, in order to contrast the actual meta made of strong engines.
In addition the Devotion mechanic is still very solid, remaining very efficient even without playing some strong neutral cards such as Korathi Heatwave.

STRENGTHS

  • The numerous removals grant a good control on the opponent board.

  • The Warriors package provides both some control tools along with strong tempo plays.

  • Thanks to the synergy with the leader, the deck has a strong short round.

  • The Devotion mechanic allows the deck to play some very strong cards such as Harald An Craite and Skjordal Drummon.

WEAKNESSES

  • Differently from the past, the deck now suffers a lot the opponent push, often forcing the player to give up the leader ability.

  • Using the Devotion mechanic means that we are not able to remove opponent Scenarios.

  • Not having a generic tutor like Oneiromancy means that from time to time the deck can miss some gold cards.

TACTICAL CHOICES

Second An Craite Greatsword can be added removing Morkvarg: Hearth of Terror and adding Madman Lugos.

DIFFICULTY

Average

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/641e76e632ad65c0add73f46cab49cd6

AUTHORS

Yami8, Simo4dlc

INTRODUCTION

During this Gwent season this deck has risen in popularity in the meta, mainly thanks to the synergies between the new Leader, Svalblod Priest and Dracoturtle.

STRENGTHS

  • The deck is able to realize strong tempo plays thanks to the Discard packgae, which at the same time grants a good consistency to the deck.

  • The deck has a good long round thanks to Svalblod Priest combined with Dracoturtle or the Defender.

  • It has a strong short round too, thanks to the combo between Leader ability and Dracoturtle, worth alone 17 points.

  • Sigdrifa Rite allows the player to re-use the Defender or Dracoturtle, both core cards.

  • Gedyneith grants a second win condition to the deck, combined with the numerous druid present in the list.

WEAKNESSES

  • Missing a card like Oneiromancy means that the possibility of missing Gedyneith or some other core card is quite high, if we haven’t thinned the deck with the Discard package in the first 2 rounds.

  • Being forced to play Gedyneith round 2 while being pushed can be quite an hard blow to our gameplan.

  • It is vulnerable to all the tall removal so present in the actual meta.

  • It doesn’t run a lot of removal options, having only Gigascorpion Decoction and Korathi Heatwave as control tools.

TACTICAL CHOICES

You can remova Sigdrifa Rite, Gremist and Svalblod Totem to add Oneiromancy, Morkvarg and Stribog Rune, to add some consistency to the deck but losing some good plays.

DIFFICULTY

Easy

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/ec8cdf86235266c7e4a40cab9133f8ac

AUTHORS

Calupama, Simo4dlc

INTRODUCTION

This type of archetype since the last Season, characterized by Ardent Adepts, has not received interesting changes, the only notable difference is the introduction of a double removal at 5, Payday, which replaces Casino Bouncers.

STRENGTHS

  • In presence of an optimal hand, Congregate manages to express the best of his potential in the long round.

  • In case the opponent forces us to play in round 2, Ulrich in combo with the Fallen Knight, Whoreson Senior, Sacred Flame, Dies Irae or Grand Inquisitor Helveed, often manage to guarantee the advantage card in round 3 .

  • The Jacques Evolution card on the short round is often a win condition.

WEAKNESSES

  • Starting first, so on blue coin, the archetype often has difficulty in generating points on the field with only bronze cards, outside of the Halfling Burglar.

  • We will often find ourselves having to invest some of our key cards and in the worst case to lose the first round on even.
    Therefore, not having an optimal hand we will often find ourselves suffering during round 2.

TACTICAL CHOICES

You can replace Novigradian Justice with Aazar Javed and change Bare-Knuckle Brawler into a Cleric of the Flaming Rose.

DIFFICULTY

Hard

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/2586317ced43a31e401082b084ab1509

AUTHORS

EleganceJr, WhiteWolf19__

INTRODUCTION

Even after numerous evolutions of the meta, Hidden Cache is still a nice and solid option for Syndacate, even more after the changes to Bomb Heaver so that now is easier to complete Passiflora’s chapters.

STRENGTHS

It’s very hard for the opponent to deal with all the engines this deck is able to put on the board, such as Saul de Navarette, Imke and Passiflora Peaches, able to generate a huge amount of points in a long round.

Passiflora, as all the Scenarios, is able alone to generate a very big amount of point, usually granting us the win of the round where we play it. Anyway it’s key to protect it with Azar Javed, in order to prevent to see it destroyed by Korathi Heatwave.

The Poison package, supported by Maraal, in addition to Philippa Eilhart and Korathi Heatwave grants a lot of possibility to control opponent threats.

WEAKNESSES

This deck really need to win round 1 in order to not being pushed round 2, so the coin is really impactful, going first can be a huge problem cause we risk to lose round 1 and being pushed to a short round 3, where the deck lacks options.

TACTICAL CHOICES

Jacques and Vivaldi Bank can be removed for Oneiromancy and Adriano the Mink, giving more consistency to the deck but giving up on one of the few strong plays for a short round.

In addition you can find the space for Lieutenant Von Herst, another very good engine.

DIFFICULTY

Average

DEKCKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/560073124ac02712468f1ee2fd4cdd6b

AUTHOR

Quigon96

INTRODUCTION

In this meta dominated by Shieldwall and Nature’s Gift, Precision Strike is the perfect weapon of war against them. Compared to last month’s version, the Devotion mechanic has been abandoned and Schirrù has been set aside.

STRENGTHS

  • A devastating short round, thanks to all the cards capable of accumulating power during the game such as Harald Gord, Sheldon Skaggs and Saesenthessis.

  • Although there are no strong engines, it has a very good long round 3, since the numerous removals available allow you to eliminate the most dangerous opposing units.

  • The Leader skill allows you to remove any enemy shields and prepare Deathblows.

WEAKNESSES

  • Difficult to manage round 1 while going first.

  • It suffers the decks that manage to distribute power among multiple units, such as Overwhelming Hunger and Congregate.

  • A complicated mulligan due to some cards like Brokilon Sentinel.

TACTICAL CHOICHES

With the necessary substitutions you can insert Geralt of Rivia, Schirrù and Squirrel.

DIFFICULTY

Average

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/bf965ea2a6a6079afe5f580645db98ba

AUTHOR

Clauz

INTRODUCTION

Due to the dominance of Shieldwall in the last season, this leader has proved itself to be a good solution to the problem with this list thanks to his natural synergy with engines and multiple removals such as Forbidden Magic and Boiling Oil, and at the same time it represent the main alternative for Northern Realms.

STRENGTHS

  • Incredibly strong long round thanks to the possibility to summon multiple copies of Redanian Archer and Kaedweni Revenant giving the absolute control of the match.

  • Great and almost infinite removals to counter all other control/engine decks also having really powerful faction gold cards such as Queen Adalia, Falibor and Philippa: Blind Fury.

  • It doesn’t give strong targets in terms of points to Korathi Heatwave (card included in almost every deck).

  • It has Korathi Heatwave.

WEAKNESSES

  • Marginal short round because it can only rely on Falibor as tempo play in a round of 4 or less cards.

  • In case of blue coin there’s the risk to be too slow against another control deck or even to be forced to respect cards such as Philippa Eilhart or Yghern.

  • In case of lost round 1 the opponent will always push, forcing us to play key cards in round 2 making round 3 inevitably short that is disadvantageous for the reason above.

TACTICAL CHOICES

Being a deck main created to counter a specific type of meta, changes are limited. The main and maybe unique significant changes could be:

  • Change a copy of Carroballista with Kerack City Guard to counter specific cards like Keltullis or An Craite Longship.

  • Change Egmund and a copy of Aedirnian Mauler with Vincent Meis and a copy of Redanian Elite or Kerack City Guard to improve match-ups against Monsters and Skellige also putting in 2 anti-push cards.

DIFFICULTY

Very difficult

TIER 3

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/6b2add69f2af3755b87783a8c836fe6d

AUTHOR

Iamunframed

INTRODUCTION

Inhale deeply, close the eyes, start the match, reopen the eyes and hope to see Ciri: Dash in your starting hand, with some other sober cards like Korathi Heatwave, Oneiromancy and Cavern Troll.
A Ciri: Dash ending her dash can mean winning the game at first round after 4 cards.

In addition to have a bit of luck, you can use your mulligan to find the Defender in order to protect Ciri: Dash, and so playing around the huge amount of tall removals present in the meta (Manticore, Korathi Heatwave, Champion Charge).

If you have Ciri: Dash at round one, and you manage to draw the card, you can either flip the coin at your advantage or obtain a embarassing double card advantage. The addition of the “normal” Ciri can make the situation even worse, for your opponent of course.

For Keltullis it is mostly the same, it’s important that it remains alive but against certain archetypes it will destroy only tokens of 1-2 strength, compromising the deck strategy.

A more detailed guide to this deck is coming soon.

STRENGTHS

  • Ciri and Ciri: Dash allows to flip the coin or gain an insane card advantage.

  • The vanish of Nilfgaard from the ladder indirectly buffed this archetype, since Vincent Van Moherlem is not a frequent threat anymore.

WEAKNESSES

  • Missing both Ciris on round 1 can highly compromise your game, in particular while going first.

  • Against certain archetypes, if we invested too much in the previous rounds, even going into round 3 with 2 card advantage it can be not enough if our hand is garbage.

TACTICAL CHOICES

Squirrel to banish an Echo card or an opponent Yghern, this would help our round 2. Same problem as Bomb Heaver last patch tho, playing Squirrel means hoping of not drawing it in a match-up where we don’t need it.

DIFFICULTY

Hard

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/4cf89d56db5a4a9c541173d3c191d5fe

AUTHOR

Calupama

INTRODUCTION

Unluckily even this season Nilfgaard remains in the abyss of Tier 3. The lack of strong engines and of a solid bronze package keep this faction a step behind the others.

STRENGTHS

  • The deck owns a strong short round. Cards such as Yennefer: Divination, Triss Merigold and Xarthisius revealing TIbor Eggebracht are able to generate a huge amount of points.

  • The leader ability is very strong in this engine meta. 

  • Ciri Nova is an important addition to the deck, both used in round 1 for more points in a round 2 push/bleed, or used in round 2 for additional points in round 3.

WEAKNESSES

  • In the case of failing the thinning process of the deck, the risk of not revealing TIbor Eggebracht can often compromise a game.

  • Being forced to play the win conditions in round 2 can leave the player without good plays in a short round 3.

  • It suffers all the tall removal, so popular nowadays.

TACTICAL CHOICES

None.

DIFFICULTY

Average

Special Mentions

DECKLIST

https://www.playgwent.com/en/decks/b80518cda25c199eeb373e5b0c0adbd2

AUTHOR

Maruth24

INTRODUCTION 

This particular version of Ursine Ritual comes from the buff to Olaf, which at 10 provisions is now a very interesting card, granting the archetype a great option for a short round 3, allowing the deck to adopt a flexible gameplay, deciding to go for a short or long round 3 depending on the opponent deck.

STRENGTHS

  • Very strong tempo plays, Cerys An Craite as the best one, which if played while going second will often assure the win of round 1, with the possibility of winning on even too.

  • A lot of good engines such as Svalblod Priest combined with the Defender or Dracoturtle, granting 2 or 3 points every turn.

  • The Discard package: Birna Bran, Morkvarg, Heymaey Skald and Tuirseach Skirmisher perform both as a strong tempo play and as thinning for our deck, giving more consistency to it.

  • Special mention to the Olaf/Leader on Olaf/Knut combo, which allows the deck to have a devastating short round.

WEAKNESSES

  • The deck is still a work-in-progress archetype and still need some testing on the various match-ups, for this reason it is placed in the special mentions section. If played correctly it seems to be able to compete with almost every other deck in the ladder, but at the same time it can lose with everything if played badly.

TACTICAL CHOICES

The gold cards of the deck are mostly staple, instead the bronze package can be modified quite freely, for example Savage Bears and Terror Crew Plunderer can be switched for Heymaey Protector or an additional removal with Gutting Slash.

DIFFICULY

Average/Hard


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