Welcome to our 24th meta report! The introduction of Blightmaker and Mage Assassin, the perfectly balanced 11 points thinning combo, has resulted in NG being not only the most played, but also one of the best factions. Meanwhile, SY has continued its domination thanks to the buff to Jackpot, giving the orange faction yet another strong leader ability.
After nearly a year, the reign of Warriors is over, which leaves SK in a rough spot. If you enjoy control decks, Reckless Flurry with the Discard package is a viable option. ST is also struggling, despite the release of Sorceress of Dol Blathanna and the buff to Avallac’h being great news for Nature’s Gift.
NR connoisseurs, however, can finally rejoice - Siege is back on the menu, boys! Sadly, this means that Arachas Swarm has been bullied out of the meta. Moreover, Carapace and Viy took a large hit with the resurgence of Masquerade Ball. Luckily for MO players, after the change to Endrega Larva, the perfect killer Koshchey is here to save the day.
SpecimenGwent has prepared a quick video overview of the meta report, going through all the decks. Check it out here!
We will update the report regularly in order to provide the community with a spot-on representation of the current meta. You can join our Discord if you have any questions.
Editing: Wusubi, Sebodunum
Writers: Anda, Avades, Cyberz, Gravesh, Lorakko, Pajabol, SpecimenGwent, SpyroZA
Consultants: BantonioBanderas, McP0yle, Qnerr
If you thought Pirate’s Cove made piloting SY easy, then let us introduce you to the recently buffed Jackpot. The ability to avoid losing any points when you’re forced to go beyond the threshold of 9 coins allows you to get away with awkward hands or poor spender management. You can also run the notorious Profit  Sigi Reuven and Caesar Bilzen for a massive amount of points. Since the meta is more engine-oriented, Philippa Eilhart has made a comeback, allowing you to answer the opposing engines along with Whoreson’s Freak Show and Whoreson Junior. -Pajabol
- Powerful in a long round and an even better short round with cards like Sigi Reuven, Jacques and Caesar Bilzen
- Very efficient control tools with the leader ability always being able to setup coins for Philippa Eilhart and Whoreson’s Freak Show
- Somewhat vulnerable to Round 1 tempo abuse, e.g. King Foltest with Dun Banners
- Saul de Navarette, Beggar
The ladder fears him. Reddit despises him. CDPR dreams of him at night. Who am I talking about? The Cloggers player. A hero so boundless in his benevolence, he hands out more cards than your hand could ever carry. A hero so kind, he takes the burden of high MMR away from you and trades it for some more of your favorite 4-provision cards and tokens. A hero no one needs and no one deserves. It’s on you now, netdeckers. Get your drain cleaners out and flush the ladder clean of the cloggage. -Gravesh
- Can be very abusive against decks that lack direct answers or just don’t draw them
- Strong Round 1 presence with Roach and Knickers, which allows for Red coin abuse
- If your opponent answers the Defender and Kolgrim, the deck completely falls apart
- Not recommended for new players, you won’t get any GGs, lowering your income of the precious scraps and ore
- War Council
After the buff to Reinforced Ballista, Commando decks have incorporated Siege as a tempo and control tool. Initially, a Devotion approach was popular, utilizing the extra boosts from King Foltest and Kerack Marine. The lack of consistency has proven to be the Achilles’ heel of such builds, since a combo-oriented deck can’t afford to miss the crucial pieces. As such, the archetype has returned to its Oneiromancy roots. The inclusion of Megascope makes your Blue Stripes Scout more reliable while also creating more Commandos. This allows you to sacrifice card advantage in order to bleed the opponent and force a short Round 3 where you come out on top with your massive finisher. -Wusubi
- Extremely strong in a short round with the Commando finisher
- The deck can offer to give up card advantage and go for a powerful bleed with Siege and the first batch of Commandos
- Still reliant on drawing its combo pieces, especially on Red coin
- The shortage of removal tools makes the deck vulnerable to engine-based strategies
- Seltkirk of Gulet, Margarita
After spending a month in the shadows, the Golden Sun finally shines again. The ridiculous Price of Power additions helped the faction to swing right back to the top of the meta. You can now play Blightmaker and Mage Assassin, totally balanced bronzes that offer 11 points and thin your deck. Dead Man’s Tongue offers even more thinning and is currently bugged - the card shows the entire deck in correct order, which allows you to map out your game plan. NG’s biggest weaknesses were lackluster bronzes and inconsistency, but with both issues resolved, the faction is better than ever. -Cyberz
- Masquerade Ball remains one of the strongest cards in Gwent
- Blightmaker and Mage Assassin offer an absurd amount of points, allowing you to win Round 1 or defend the bleed rather cheaply
- Given the high playrate of the faction, you’ll run into decks that attempt to counter NG
- Difficult to pilot and still a bit vulnerable to being bled in Round 2, especially if you get forced out of too many resources or Aristocrats
- You can try out this version with Fergus var Emreis
While not as prevalent on ladder, Lined Pockets proved to be relevant during the Top 16 qualifier. As a control-heavy deck, this version of SY will perform best against engine-overload opponents. It can be devastating when left uncontested, however the deck can often be disrupted by a Round 2 bleed, forcing out a card like Cleaver and thus breaking up your Tunnel Drill pocket. Originally, this deck ran Oneiromancy, but Whoreson Junior’s Devotion ability is too good to ignore. The resulting reduction in consistency means we have to give up round control more often than desired. -Specimen
- The deck has a myriad of control tools and also excels at turning coins into damage
- You still have a strong Round 1 presence with Novigradian Justice and some Crimes
- Losing Round 1 often results in Tunnel Drill being less impactful due to a soft-bleed
- Being a Devotion deck brings consistency issues, even with Vivaldi Bank’s inclusion
- Fisstech Trafficker
Popularized by Wangid, this deck had great success in the recent Top 64 qualifier. It combines the best NR has to offer, namely Shieldwall’s package of Viraxas and Duel cards along with Siege and high value cards like Gerhart of Aelle and Shani. It gives up the consistency of Pincer Maneuver for the option to play stronger golds and a better leader ability. Inspired Zeal with Seltkirk, Prince Anséis or Shani into a juiced-up Ban Ard Student are efficient control tools, allowing you to shut down opposing threats. If you’re talented enough to draw all of your top-end cards, you’ll be able to outpoint most decks and even rival SY. -Cyberz
- Strong high-end gold cards give you a multitude of pointslam and control options
- Good on either side of the coin, because you don’t necessarily need to win Round 1
- Very draw dependent; the power level varies a lot if you miss one or two gold cards
- Coodcoodak, Kerack City Guard
The recent expansion was great for NR, adding powerful cards like Gerhart of Aelle and Casting Contest while reworking a fair amount of forgotten staples - Shani, Hubert Rejk, Foltest’s Pride and Reinforced Ballista being some of the most eye-catching of these changes. The ridiculous amount of damage from Siege allows you to nuke the opposing board, which is scary if you’ve got the first say in Round 2 or Round 3. The deck also includes some pointslam cards, making it more reliable in a short round. While King Foltest loves seeing his Siege Engines, in this deck he prefers the company of Dun Banners. -Anda
- Reinforced Ballista will wreck the opponent’s board if left unchecked, especially when combined with Siege and Queen Adalia
- King Foltest with Dun Banners plays for a gargantuan amount of points on Blue coin, forcing the opponent to either pass or commit a card like Korathi Heatwave
- Struggles against decks with an abundance of control tools (e.g. most versions of SY)
- While Pincer Maneuver is great for consistency, the leader ability ironically becomes less valuable if you’re talented enough to draw all of your golds
- Donimir of Troy, Coodcoodak
Reckless Flurry remains a solid option for ladder, with the recently buffed Avallac’h: Sage being a strong addition. He can tutor your Portal and other artifacts, making the deck fairly consistent without having to include Oneiromancy. This gives you some tempo in Round 1, allowing you to get round control and threaten to win on even. With an abundance of removal, the deck has sufficient answers for the opponent’s engines. You also have multiple powerful combinations of cards at your disposal, such as Greatsword into a Megascope or Geralt: Quen into a Bear Witcher. -Pajabol
- Great Red coin abuse potential with Portal and Madoc, allowing you to win on even
- With an abundance of control tools, you’re able to shut down the opposing engines
- Lacks proactive plays, which can be a problem on Blue coin
- Usually gets outpointed by SY while potentially struggling against pointslam decks
- Northern Wind
Who doesn’t like to turn their brain off from time to time and just slam one big card after another, simultaneously producing more and more points with Thrive? Well, Koshchey decks are certainly an embodiment of such a game plan. The deck can rely on its Relict package, high power utility cards and some control tools, which is a very flexible combination. When you factor in the Thrive chain from Caranthir, 2x Koshchey and Force of Nature, you’ll realize that the deck excels in medium length rounds, but can also potentially threaten to 2-0 its opponents. -Lorakko
- The deck can win Round 1 cheaply, usually forcing the opponent to either overcommit or give up round control
- Not only do you have a crazy amount of points, but you can also rely on control tools and other means of interrupting your opponents game plan
- Struggles in a long Round 3 against SY and NG, since they can answer your engines without having to delay their own
- Despite including Oneiromancy, Maxii Van Dekkar and Archespore, you will still lose some games because you didn’t draw Koshchey
- You can try out this version with Yghern and Ozzrel
Nature’s Gift was given a powerful new weapon with the introduction of Sorceress of Dol Blathanna. She allows you to answer taller targets or shut down two engines in one turn. With her and Avallac’h, you’re also playing more units that create specials, increasing your Harald Gord value. The general strategy is to pray for Blue coin, so that Dunca sticks to the board. From there, you can usually secure round control with high value bronzes and special cards. You can then bleed your opponent to force as short of a Round 3 as possible without losing last say, which allows you to drop a juicy Gord finisher. -Avades
- Fairly consistent with multiple tutor options and a powerful 15+ point finisher in Gord
- Strong Round 1 presence especially on Blue coin, with sufficient answers for engines
- Struggles without the last say, can easily fall behind in a long round
- Relies on its key engines surviving (Dunca, Hamadryad, Sorceress of Dol Blathanna)
- You can try out this version with Francesca Findabair
If you’re talented at Russian roulette and can successfully dodge that one bullet in the chamber, Carapace might be the deck for you. With NG being omnipresent on ladder and Vincent Van Moorlehem being a popular choice, Keltullis isn’t having the best time. However, the deck saw a lot of play in the Top 16 qualifier, because it’s decent against some of the other archetypes, especially Siege, which is close to an auto-win. The trusty Cave Troll and Ciri: Dash combo is incredibly abusive if the opponent lacks the direct answers. So, if you’re feeling lucky enough to dodge NG, this deck can still put in some work. -Cyberz
- Preys on decks that have a limited amount of control tools
- Keltullis, Nithral and Ciri: Dash combined with efficient removal tools allow for various ways to take over games, even in bad matchups
- Vulnerable to control decks like Imprisonment and Reckless Flurry
- Even with Oneiromancy and Maxii Van Dekkar, you’re still prone to missing key cards and having very awkward hands
- Dimeritium Bomb, Forktail
Initially, Arachas Swarm has vanished from the meta due to the resurgence of Siege. The matchup against SY got worse since Freak Show is a staple card, but the deck still performs well against NG. As such, it started seeing some play again and Truzky even used it to win the recent Top 64 qualifier. The deck relies on swarming the board using Organic cards and then boosting the Drones with Yennefer of Vengerberg, Bone Talisman and Chimera. You also have great control tools like Korathi Heatwave, Curse of Corruption and Parasite, allowing you to deal with the crucial threats. If you manage to play this deck at the right time and avoid the awful matchups, it can still be used to push your MO peak. -Wusubi
- If you manage your resources properly, the deck excels at playing into all three rounds
- Good Round 1 presence with cards like Crimson Curse, powerful in a long round where you can utilize cards like Bone Talisman to their full potential
- Struggles against decks that can easily remove Drones, e.g. Siege and Reckless Flurry
- Dorregaray, Noonwraith
June 24 - The meta report has been officially released.
June 26 - Updated the decklists for Jackpot and Reckless Flurry.
June 28 - Moved Imprisonment to Tier 2 and Carapace to Tier 3. Added Viraxas Siege to Tier 2.
July 1 - Updated the decklists for Commandos and Lined Pockets. Added Arachas Swarm to Tier 3.
July 5 - Updated the decklist for Cloggers and moved it to Tier 2.