Welcome to our 18th meta report! The whole meta is shaping around Shieldwall due to its incredibly powerful interactions with Prince Anséis, Seltkirk and Anna Strenger. SK continues to dominate the other factions, with their Warrior deck being as strong as ever. ST players fell in love with Nature’s Gift, but Precision Strike is the better option.
While SY’s playrate is at an all-time low, the faction still performs well with Passiflora. Sacred Flame received a huge buff, so Congregate Firesworn swarm is finally playable. After the harsh nerf to Ethereal, MO players have settled for Carapace or the usual Hunger deck. With their top-end cards nerfed, NG struggles to keep up with the rest of the field.
Moving forward, our reports will also include a data analysis section to give you a rough idea of what the current playrates and winrates are. We will update the report regularly in order to provide the community with a spot-on representation of the pro rank meta. You can join our Discord if you have any questions.
Writers: Minuano, Gravesh, McP0yle, Pajabol, SpyroZA, Thekeyer
Consultants: Green-Knight, Saber97, KingChezz93, Qnerr, xCyBerZz
The mighty SK Warriors are still dominating the meta. Rage of the Sea is a very flexible leader ability, allowing you to contest the first two rounds with ease. Additionally, reworked Greatswords are arguably better than they used to be, acting as solid 10-for-6 value plays. With a Greatsword in your graveyard, Hjalmar becomes threatening removal tool. SK can apply a lot of pressure on the other factions, which makes it one of the best decks to ladder with. -Wusubi
- Very consistent due to Vabjorn, Blood Eagle and Raiding Fleet
- With a strong bronze package, a myriad of control tools and some pointslam options, you can bleed in a lot of matchups while still having a good short round
- Given the Midrange approach of this deck, you can get outvalued by engine-overload decks if you lose Round 1 and thus can’t bleed them
- Morkvarg: HoT → Tyrggvi if you’re facing too many mirrors
- Hammond, Herkja, Gremist with Decoction, Savage Bears
This control version of Gord includes Geralt: Professional and Saesenthessis instead of Schirrú and Isengrims Council, making it more flexible in the current meta. Needless to say, the deck can feel unfair to play against when it gets Red coin, because it can generate tons of carry-over. Novigradian Justice helps you with finding a pass on Blue coin, especially when used on the buffed Mahakam Volunteers. With reliable removal and huge finishers, you can go toe-to-toe with any deck. -Wusubi
- Extremely powerful with last say due to its reactive playstyle
- A great mix of carry-over, efficient control tools and big finishers in Sheldon and Gord
- Omitting Schirrú makes the matchup vs swarm decks worse
- The deck relies on finding specific pieces at the right time, so missing Oneiromancy can definitely hinder your game plan
- Try this version with Schirrú
- Alzur’s Thunder, Adrenaline Rush, Mahakam Marauder, Squirrel
The mighty empire of NG got the short end of the stick this patch, with mainstays like Braathens and Vincent Van Moorlehem losing power and not looking quite as menacing as before. What NG has going for it is still one of the most effective Scenarios in Masquerade Ball, granting you an excellent long round with Seditious Aristocrats, Thirsty Dames and spying units. The deck can punish engines, anything that goes tall, and is Shieldwall’s kryptonite. -McP0yle
- Improved proactivity with double Magne Division, Thirsty Dames and Tortoise
- The Poison package will send the opposing engines to the shadow realm, Imposter further enhances this trait and makes the opponent’s cards work against them
- Artifact removal, Masquerade Ball is the centerpiece of this deck
- Swarm-based decks like Firesworn are your Achilles’ heel, as you lack wide punish
- Rot Tosser, Deithwen Arbalest
Welcome to the second September update. Starting this week, we’ll have another stat added to the chart called “Pure Winrate,” attempting to eliminate mirror matches that pollute a faction’s winrate, assuming that mirrors resolve in an overall 50% winrate across all games. -Minuano
Due to a lack of a better measure, draws have inevitably been counted as losses in specific faction winrates (draws per faction isn’t a publicly available stat). However, for Overall winrate, draws have been counted as half a win, since the total number of draws per player is available on their profile page.
With less that a week remaining until the end of the season, one would expect that the meta would have fully settled by now. However, as is customary after each qualifier, the meta has been shaken one last time before the Season of the Dryad dies out.
SK is still, by and large, riding in the front with an outrageous Pure Winrate of 63.25% and PAT4F of 94.94% which indicates that almost the entirety of Top 500 have SK in their Top 4 factions. SK’s insane winrate explains why it’s no longer leading in playrate, as it’s safe to assume that most people have brought their SK fMMRs high enough and are looking to climb with other factions.
The situation for NG is looking extremely dire. The faction’s playrate has practically nosedived by -3.13%. The recent increase in winrate doesn’t in the slightest account for this loss. NG’s PAT4F is at an all-time low of 36.55% which means just over a third of the Top 500 have NG in their Top 4 factions. It’s probably best to stay away from NG until next season.
MO is the biggest surprise of this week after magpie131 qualified for yet another Gwent Open. Many players are trying out his Carapace deck with Keltullis and Ciri. A fact which this report cannot accurately account for, as this is a recent phenomenon and the overall numbers simply haven’t had time to reflect this change. Nevertheless, you can spot the spike in MO playrate down below in Keyer’s day-by-day chart.
And last but not least, despite the resurgence of Keltullis and its adverse effect on Firesworn, it appears that SY has picked up the slack, improving in winrate, playrate and in PAT4F. Passiflora decks are slowly but surely being replaced by Firesworn, so it remains to be seen what next season may have in store for SY.
Some other cool stats at the time of capturing this data that we couldn’t fit into the chart:
- A total of 174844 games were played across all 500 players and from the 435 publicly available profiles, a total of 151650 games were counted towards the stats represented in the chart.
- Out of those 151650 games, 32170 ST games, 26011 NR games, 20703 NG games, 18185 SY games, 24703 MO games and 29878 SK games were registered.
- About 14.5% of the total games that were played didn’t contribute to Top 4 fMMRs.
The most efficient player so far is Ryazanov13 with an efficiency score of 3.260.
Play and winrate by day (7th-24th of Sep)
Statistically speaking, this is a great season to observe. The players keep trying to find ways to counter popular decks and the meta changes rapidly, causing constant winrate fluctuations. After magpie131’s success in the Top 16 qualifiers, many players decided to take his Carapace deck for a spin in search of a fourth faction. -Thekeyer
The aforementioned Carapace deck with Keltullis is a nice counter to SK, so we could observe MO’s playrate skyrocket to 24.13%. To react to the meta shift, ST players moved from Nature’s Gift to Precision Strike, usually ditching Schirrú for more tall punish, which proved to bring great results, landing ST on the second best winrate (and playrate) as of late.
While NR holds the 2nd best overall winrate in Top 500, the faction has been struggling to maintain a decent winrate recently due to the resurgence of control ST. This resulted in players giving up on NR, causing it to drop in popularity.
SY is played in various forms and is proving to get decent results in the hands of experienced players despite the lower playrate. NG’s popularity continues to drop deeper and deeper (currently sitting at a sad playrate of 9.09%) and even though NG recently started to show some improvement in winrate, it’s still the worst performing faction.
Play and winrate by day (7th-26th of Sep)
Looking at the development from the last two days, we can see that ST’s playrate has increased by 5% while its winrate dropped due to the large sample size and the prevalence of mirrors. With control ST being so popular, MO’s playrate dropped by 5%.
Here we can see NR dominating the day-to-day winrate chart once again. Despite ST’s playrate being so high, MO manages to maintain a respectable winrate. This is most likely due to Keltullis being so favored against SK.
September 17 - Updated the Data Analysis section, kudos to Minuano and Thekeyer. Several changes to decks and ratings.
September 26 - Another update to Data Analysis. Added Carapace to Tier 2, rated at 3.75 stars.