Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by. We're very proud to present our third meta report.
After the release of the Crimson Curse expansion, the new Monster leader Dettlaff has been dominating the meta to such an extent that CDPR had to hotfix his ability. After Dettlaff was patched, we were patiently observing, waiting for the meta to settle down. Northern Realms engine decks are popular, with none other than King Henselt in charge. This means that reactive decks are still alive and kicking, for example Eithné is prevalent in the meta. Monsters rely on the big boy package as per usual. Woodland Spirit is the current leader of choice due to the high amount of provisions and a ridiculous finisher.
Skellige is as consistent as ever. Bran Tuirseach offers you a decent combination of proactive plays and removal, while also thinning your entire deck. Anna Henrietta is a great new Nilfgaard leader, potentially providing you with a powerful swing, similarly to Woodland. Morvran Voorhis is played with a completely new approach - slamming tons of points on the board.
Under each faction, you can find the very best decks available, along with a brief summary of their strengths, weaknesses and various considerations. Don't be shy and join us on our Discord if you have any questions: https://discord.gg/uSUSJZr
Updated on 22 April 2019 - added Gernichora, Filavandrel, Control and Shupe Bran. Adjusted the rest to reflect the meta.
Enjoy the report and we hope to see you all again when the meta shifts! -Wusubi and Callonetta
Big Woodland has been one of the strongest and most relevant decks in Gwent since the release of Homecoming. The ability to create a finisher out of one of the cards in your hand is still as valuable as ever.
- A solid mix of tempo and reactive cards makes the deck quite versatile
- Remarkably powerful in short rounds, but you're also fine in a longer round against Midrange decks
- Very susceptible to any form of tall punishment
- Geralt of Rivia and Regis: Bloodlust -Orphantears
Consume Arachas Queen
With 15 provisions and an extremely strong leader ability, Arachas Queen is one of the best leaders in Gwent. She is usually worth around 15 points throughout the entire game, which is much better than the vast majority of leaders.
- Most decks can't effectively deal with Slyzards and Barbegazi in Round 1 without being forced to overcommit
- Incredible long round potential thanks to Summoning Circle, Yennefer of Vengerberg and Glustyworp
- Capable of generating more points than any other deck in the game
- The artifact package makes the deck vulnerable to being bled, especially by 2x Dimeritium Bomb Bran
- Very difficult to pilot
- Gimpy Gerwin
- Summoning Circle and Frightener -> Tainted Ale and Manticore Venom; 1x Barbegazi -> 2nd Archespore
- You can replace Roach with Naglfar for more consistency while sacrificing some Round 1 tempo -Saber97
Losing 2 provisions ended up hurting Gernichora a lot, but she can still be a scary leader. While Big Woodland has more provisions to work with and a consistent finisher, Gernichora's Fruit usually allows her to secure Round 1 and bleed the opponent effectively.
- Very strong when you win Round 1 and then successfully force out your opponent's win conditions in Round 2
- Gernichora's Fruit significantly improves your tempo and allows you to get into a huge point lead very quickly
- Compared to the rest of the leaders, you're working with a very low amount of provisions
- Having limited resources forces you to overcommit and push the first two rounds, otherwise you get outvalued
- This deck is strictly worse than Big Woodland
- You can cut Old Speartip to free up the provisions for Protofleder, Geralt of Rivia and Count Caldwell -Wusubi
After his early patch dominance and subsequent nerfing, Dettlaff has been left in an interesting position. Whilst no longer the go-to leader in Monsters for the big boy package, some players have had a fair bit of success with him in more control oriented decklists.
- You've got plenty of control tools and coupled with Dettlaff's leader ability, you can shutdown engine decks
- Similarly to Eithné, Dettlaff is quite oppressive on Red coin and with last say in Round 3
- Vulnerable to being denied Dominance, which can be problematic against big boy decks
- Lacking proactive plays can be awkward, especially on Blue coin
- Naglfar, Roach or Old Speartip: Asleep instead of Geralt of Rivia
- Alpha Werewolf or Predatory Dive instead of one of the Wild Hunt Hounds -Aifbowman
Being the leader with the highest amount of provisions, Eithné offers you plenty of freedom when building a deck. With the addition of the Deathblow mechanic, she has found her place in the meta as one of the strongest leaders.
- Capable of completely shutting down your opponent and denying value from their engines
- With so many provisions, you have more gold cards at your disposal than most other decks
- Deathblow mechanic is a very powerful addition to control oriented decks such as this one
- Performs worse when you can't benefit from your reactive playstyle
- Can be awkward on Blue coin, because a lot of your cards are either reactive, or low tempo
- You can upgrade Saesenthessis to The Greak Oak while downgrading Ida to Dwarven Mercenary
- Geralt of Rivia, Roach, Hen Gaidth Sword and Gimpy Gerwin -Spyro
This deck is one of the best engine decks in Gwent due to one very important factor: it's extremely difficult for your opponent to bleed you successfully thanks to the amount of carryover this deck generates. You usually don't like to fight for Round 1 when playing this deck, look for a card advantage pass instead.
- Naturally strong vs Northern Realms, as Brouver's leader ability deals with their row locked engines
- Surprisingly good againt control decks, you can keep boosting your engines out of removal range
- Getting forced out of Round 1 because you lack tempo, especially on Blue coin
- Bran decks often run 2x Dimeritium Bomb
- Gregoire de Gorgon and Summoning Circle -KingChezz
Early into the Crimson Curse expansion, our favourite effeminate elf was nowhere to be seen. However, as the meta has settled and people realized that Dana isn’t as powerful as anticipated, Filavandrel has seen a bit of a resurgence.
- Insane long round potential, while also being somewhat resistant to a Round 2 bleed
- Filavandrel's ability is more flexible than Brouver's and Dana's and it also protects your 3 and 4 power engines
- Very predictable game plan, without any crazy one turn combo that can win you the round
- Vulnerable to being forced out of Round 1 and then bled effectively by decks like Big Woodland and Value Bran
- You can include Cleaver if you feel like you lack control and tempo too often
- Sirssa when the meta is favourable for her 2 damage Deathblow -Aifbowman
Since our last meta update, the most successful Dana lists have moved farther away from engines. They now focus on Immune units, paired with the points provided by Fauve and Barnabas. These lists often back up their proactive plays with a few control golds and the poison package. There isn't a fully optimized list, but multiple strong choices.
- Dana's ability is useful in both long and short rounds, or for keeping card advantage while getting bled
- Very strong opener in the last round with Fauve into Waters of Brokilon combined with another engine
- Performs relatively poorly on Blue coin
- Can be bullied in the first two rounds
- You can include Ida Emean aep Sivney if you're running into too many artifact decks
- Cleaver instead of Gabor Zigrin to have a stronger Round 1 -SirLoathing
Welcome to the Bran Tuirseach faction. While leaders like Eist, Crach and Svalblod see a little bit of play in the meta, we don't believe that they can offer a deck refined or powerful enough to be worth mentioning. The main upside of Skellige is the consistency. Bran can usually see his entire deck, so he's the clear leader of choice for a serious climb.
With the nerf to Commander's Horn, the overall power level of this deck has been decreased, but it's still extremely strong and consistent. The nerfs to the discard package didn't hurt Bran as much as the rest of the Skellige leaders. As the meta has shifted more towards engines, Bran had to include stronger control options such as Vigo's Muzzle.
- The most consistent deck in the game
- Crazy tempo in Round 1 while thinning your deck
- Very functional combination of proactive plays, control cards and finishers
- I honestly can't think of any, perhaps having Coral and Birna at the very bottom of your deck
- Djenge Frett and 2x Savage Bear instead of Harald Houndsnout and two of your 4 provision units
- Enraged Ifrit, Northern Wind, Trophy Catch and Brokvar Hunter -Green-Knight
This version was tailored by TA's Santtu2x and Gwent2town. It omits the tall package in favour of more control cards. You brick your opponent's tall removal, while making your matchup against engine decks nearly impossible to lose.
- Similarly to Deatblow Eithné, you effortlessly annihilate any deck that relies on setting up engines
- Curse of Corruption allows you to put an end to degenerate decks, for example no units Francesca
- Performs worse when consistently forced to play proactively, and/or when your removal doesn't find value
- Poor matchup against Big Woodland
- Enraged Ifrit, Primal Savagery and Trophy Catch -Wusubi
Shupe is arguably still one of the strongest and most flexible cards in the game. With the already mentioned nerf to Commander's Horn, Shupe fits the role of a finisher perfectly.
- Thanks to Bran's consistency, you will find Shupe in every game
- With the solid combination of tempo and control, you don't really have a terrible matchup in the current meta
- Your opening hand can be very awkward at times
- Faces a worse matchup against Big Woodland than Value Bran
- Skjall instead of Gimpy Gerwin
- Djenge Frett instead of Ulfhedinn
- Disgraced Brawler as another targed for Hjalmar an Craite -BeardyBog
There are currently so many variations of Henselt on the ladder. This version runs a fair amount of engines, but is also very resistant to being bled thanks to the inclusion of a few power plays.
- Powerful in both long and short rounds thanks to a healthy combination of engines and high tempo plays
- Thanks to having so many pings, you can easily set up your cards while controlling your opponents board
- Henselt's ability to develop two engines in a single turn gives you a head start, especially vs engine decks
- Losing the coinflip to Deathblow Eithné and Control Bran
- Your Mage synergy is limited, so a smart opponent will save their removal for bigger threats
- Gimpy Gerwin
- You can upgrade Regis: Bloodlust to Prince Anśeis and downgrade Sergeant to 2nd Sorceress -Aifbowman
Meve Engine Overload
Meve has once again found her place in the meta after the nerf to Dettlaff. The Queen of engines is back with more potent tools to keep her engines alive, as well as strong new cards that complement the Northern Realms playstyle.
- Extremely powerful in long rounds thanks to the sheer amount of engines
- Proactive decks such as Woodland or Bran lack the necessary control tools
- Vulnerable to being bled if you're unable to win Round 1
- Decks that are dedicated to answering engines are a huge problem, especially Deathblow Eithné or Control Bran
- You can replace Roach with Ale of the Ancestors and downgrade 2x Kaedweni Sergeant to 2x Runeword
- You can also consider incuding Vincent Meis if big boys are prevalent in the meta -Spyro
Doppler decks aren't exactly the newest archetype in Gwent, however the Crimson Curse expansion presented some really strong cards with the Human tag. Morvran Human decks are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
- Huge tempo with Dopplers, who can provide you with 10 points for only 6 provisions
- Reliable short round finishers
- Control was omitted in favour of point slam, which means that losing coinflip to engine decks is annoying
- Any resets and tall removal
- Slave Infantry and Vreemde package -Orphantears
Sadly, Crimson Curse did nothing to eliminate Nilfgaard's lack of faction identity and Assimilate didn't prove to be anywhere close to a competitive archetype. As such, Nilfgaard's tradition of resorting to Midrange decks continues. Anna Henrietta provides you with quite a powerful leader ability and thus presents a decent alternative to Morvran.
- Anna shines in a medium Round 3, where her ability provides both crucial information and a big point swing
- You can force awkward plays from an opponent who's trying to counter Anna's leader ability
- This deck can lose momentum in a long round because it doesn't play any engines
- Anna's ability is usually powerful, but can also be inconsistent and certain decks can play around it with ease
- Slave Infantry and Vreemde package-Nimraphel