Hello guys and welcome to our 5th meta report,
We're releasing this one a bit earlier than usual, mostly because the last update didn't really manage to shake the meta. Overall, we included 15 decks that we think are currently the most powerful across all ranks. As per usual, each deck is accompanied by a concise summary of its strengths and weaknesses.
Updated on 23 June, 2019 - Svalblod and Crach decklists were optimized to reflect the meta and Arnjolf was removed. Both Arachas Queen decks and Henselt dropped 0.25 stars in power rating. Organic Eredin was replaced by Gernichora. Emhyr decklist was updated. Usurper Shupe added to NG at 4 stars.
Under each faction, you can find the strongest decks in the current meta, as well as their power rating from 1 to 5 stars. If you have more questions, please join our Discord.
Enjoy the meta report and see you all again when the meta shifts! -Wusubi
Harald the Cripple is once again the most powerful Skellige leader and possibly the best deck in the entire game. The cards are undercosted, the points abound, all the while the removal doesn't lack. You have a 20 point Dagur finisher backed by effective gold cards, as well as by the meat and potatoes of incredibly point-efficient bronzes.
- High point combos with Dagur Two Blades and leader ability and Olaf + Knut
- Your proactive plays in Houndsnout and Svalblod Totem present sticky threats
- Some longer round potential thanks to Svalblod Priest and Heymaey Protector
- Strong removal cards such as Geralt, Hjalmar an Craite, Skjall or Djenge Frett
- Henselt Draug has enough engines and tempo, a wily NR player can beat you
- Decklists with fewer units can abuse your reliance on cards that deal damage
- Hjalmar → Carlo Varese
- Djenge → Frenzied D'ao and then Disgraced Brawler → Butcher OR Cutthroat
- Heymaey Protector → Cutthroat -SirLoathing
Svaldad is fairly prevalent and dominant in the current meta. Blueboy Lugos has been buffed and now represents a strong inclusion. Even without Carlo Varese, you can comfortably secure Round 1 in most matchups and then usually proceed to bleed your opponent. This playstyle makes Svalblod annoying to deal with. Thanks to his leader ability, you can make even better use of Skellige's absolutely ridiculous bronzes. With the meta shifting away from Emhyr and favouring Harald the Cripple a lot, our recommended decklist now includes Royal Decree and Geralt of Rivia.
- Very powerful finisher and you can adapt to any matchup and round length
- The sheer amount of points and control allows you to take control over R1
- As long as you aren't facing Henselt, you should be fine in a longer round
- Engine-based decks wreck you in a long Round 3
- While you can try to play around tall punishment, you can't always avoid it
- Hjalmar → Carlo Varese OR Roach and Disgraced Brawler → Primal Savagery
- Skjall → Frenzied D'ao OR Donar an Hindar -Wusubi
As one of the strongest control decks in the game, Crach is able to completely shut down his opponents and break apart any synergies they might be relying on. Combined with Skellige's strong proactive plays, this deck is a force to be reckoned with, especially in certain matchups. We are including Kolemoen's Scorch variant since it performs pretty well in the current meta.
- Capable of shutting down a lot of strategies
- Very favoured against all versions of Henselt
- Crach can struggle against "unitless" decks
- Carlo Varese, Hen Gaidth Sword, Frenzied D'ao and Djenge Frett -Spyro
Everyone is teched for this matchup, yet Arachas Queen prevails. This version plays for pure value and can punish players who try to bleed you. It runs plenty of removal options, which can also be used to set up your Glustyworp. Pellar allows you to either unlock your units or to remove the Doomed tag from Ancient Foglet.
- Unlike the other versions of Arachas Queen, this one is resilient to a R2 bleed
- A lot of removal vs engine decks, which can also be used to set up Glustyworp
- Dettlaff: Higher Vampire and your consume engines can generate huge value
- Difficult to pilot
- This version is weaker in a long round than the other Arachas Queen builds
- Carlo Varese → Geralt of Rivia
- Caranthir Ar-Feiniel → Whispering Hillock
- Manticore Venom → Roach can significantly improve consistency -Andasama
Season 13 draws to its close and the Monsters meta had a last minute shift. Arachas Queen's power level doesn't feel as high as it used to, with or without the artifacts. As a result, everyone's favourite pointslam archetype was given an opportunity to reappear.
- Fruit is very powerful and Gernichora can play deep into R1 and bleed in R2
- The Dominance change is circumvented by Fruit, allowing you to play Riders
- The Cyclops nerf leaves the deck less versatile in terms of control options
- You suffer in a long round against any engine deck if you fail to secure R1
- Ice Giant → Adda: Striga
- One Ghoul → Parasite, Cealeno Harpy or Nithral
- Wyvern OR Drowner → Wild Hunt Hound -Aifbowman
This deck has more polarized matchups than the consume version. It plays fewer units in order to get sick value from Yennefer and Forktail. While the matchup against leaders like Svalblod can be painful, you're very favoured against control players. Your opponent can't interact with your board, which counters a fair amount of the meta.
- Your artifact package can be extremely frustrating for any deck that relies on playing reactively, for example Crach
- Absurdly powerful in long rounds, capable of massive point-swings, especially when your Summoning Circle sticks
- Very difficult to pilot, not to mention that artifact removal is popular on ladder
- Struggles against decks that don't rely on dealing damage, the deck performs much worse when you lose a longer Round 1 and get bled effectively in Round 2
- Prince Villem, but he can be quite awkward in a lot of situations -Andasama
Last patch, Brouver rose up as the new best leader in Scoia'tael and after the last update, he remains at the top. Following the recent provision nerf, Cleaver was replaced by Hen Gaidth Sword, which you can enable with your leader charges. The deck still relies on The Great Oak value while having powerful short round plays in Sheldon and Vrihedd Brigade combined with leader charges.
- Great in long rounds thanks to The Great Oak, as well as in shorter rounds with cards such as Sheldon or Vrihedd Brigade
- Just like every other Scoia'tael deck, you benefit from winning the coinflip since it allows you to abuse carry-over
- You can have a hard time on blue coin, as a lot of your cards are low tempo, you need to fight hard to avoid losing on even
- Unfavoured against Skellige, they can easily bleed you and cards like Totem and Houndsnout make your Vrihedd Brigades weaker
- Geralt, Carlo Varese, Roach, Saesenthessis, Cyprian, Gimpy and Lacerate -Pajabol
Whilst the minimum unit requirement of 13 had no effect on "unitless" Arachas Queen, it means that players can breathe a sigh of relief when facing the continent's most beautiful elf. Francesca no longer relies on Saesenthessis and all the special cards you could imagine. This deck promises wholesome proactivity and a flock of sexy dryads.
- Very powerful in a long round, only matched by Henselt
- The dwarf package is incredibly strong on red coin, with the added bonus of your opponent usually being forced to bleed you due to the nature of the deck
- Lack of control, which makes your matchup against Henselt tough
- Very draw dependent, only one good special to be used by leader
- Gimpy Gerwin and Deithwen Arbalest
- One gold can be replaced with Alzur's Double-Cross, it tutors your key cards reliably and grants you a decent special card that can be used with Francesca
- Ciaran → Ida OR Treant Boar, downgrade Panther to Vrihedd Officer -Aifbowman
Eithné is still a solid control deck, even though the chain of nerfs throughout the last couple of patches definitely ended up making her weaker than she used to be. With that said, 168 provisions is a lot to work with, giving you plenty of room for various meta adaptations, as well as allowing you to play more gold cards than your opponent.
- Capable of shutting down your opponent and denying value from engines
- Thanks to the inclusion of The Greak Oak, you're good in any round length
- Awkward on Blue coin, your cards are either reactive or low tempo
- Performs a lot worse when you can't benefit from reactive playstyle
- Dragoon, Ciaran, Gregoire, Geralt of Rivia, Carlo Varese and Saesenthessis -Nimraphel
With the meta currently favouring leaders that rely on their leader abilities to execute their game plan, we have witnessed the swift rise of Usurper. On top of rocking the sexiest bald man look thanks to his correct head shape, Usurper can grant you some free wins due to having a few favoured matchups. Despite having 7 fewer provisions to work with than Calveit, you can easily compensate for it by cutting the infamous Roach and Assire combo. Shupe power play can often tip the scales in your favour, making the deck versatile enough to deal with anything.
- Good matchup vs popular leaders, most notably Harald, Crach and Arachas
- You have enough control to answer every engine presented by your opponent
- Scoia'tael can be a difficult matchup, especially when you don't find Shilard
- Like any NG deck, Usurper is draw dependent and your bronze cards are bad
- Gimpy → Leo OR Carlo Varese and Alba Pikeman → Alba Spearman
- Roderick → Albrich and Alba Pikeman → Vicovaro Novice -Wusubi
Pajabol's creative variant of Midrange Emhyr combines the control offered by Muzzle, Sweers and the witcher trio with proactive points provided by the soldier package. This makes the deck very flexible and it also allows you to get more value than usual with Emhyr's leader ability.
- Very favoured against any engine-based deck
- The soldier package represents a lot of proactive value and can carry matches
- Flexible game plan, can adapt to multiple strategies and various round lengths
- Gimpy Gerwin
- Very draw dependent due to the inclusion of witcher trio and soldier package
- Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen, Leo Bonhart, Vivienne de Tabris and False Ciri -Pajabol
The recent provision buff resulted in Calveit finally finding his place in the meta. While his leader ability isn't the best, 167 provisions really help you with compensating for it. This Shupe build includes more "highroll" cards than usual. Nilfgaard in its current form needs all the advantages it can get, otherwise you simply get outvalued.
- Good in medium and short rounds, as you have control and proactive options
- Shupe is a very flexible card and can create an answer for a hopeless situation
- No form of tall removal or row punishment
- Since the deck runs a lot of filler cards in order to fit in Shupe, you can have trouble with getting out of Round 1 on blue coin without having to overcommit
- Very draw dependent, not drawing Shupe or Serrit can be extremely punishing
- Leo OR Carlo Varese, Lacerate, Prince Villem OR Albrich -Spiderchicken9
This greedy list includes Draug, Vernon Roche and Hen Gaidth Sword. If that wasn't enough, we also have Portal. Your good hands are great and your great hands are unbeatable. However, Vernon Roche can pull Lyrian Cavalry into a bricked Portal. This is the NR casino, where the pilot's job is to maximize their odds. You still have insanely powerful damage-based engines that can effortlessly take over the board when not answered. Additionally, your tempo plays provide many ways to take over a round. Draug presents a ridiculously potent win condition and is unstoppable now that Gimpy took another provision nerf.
- Draug is an incredible long round finisher
- Games are hilariously easy when your engines are unanswered
- When you highroll, this deck becomes nearly impossible to beat
- Vulnerable to decks that are heavy on removal, backed by effective bleeding
- Gimpy Gerwin
- Draug → Prince Anséis and Kaedweni Sergeant → Síle de Tansarville -SirLoathing
In the current meta, Henselt Dragons is weaker than Henselt Draug. With that said, not relying on Draug, which is a card the requires a long round to reach its potential, or on Vernon Roche who requires a bit of luck, this version provides a touch of consistency and flexibility in rounds of varying lengths, regardless of how your deck behaves.
- If your opponent can't answer the crucial engines, they will lose the game
- Portal and Roach ensure your Round 1 and Eyck of Denesle usually has Zeal
- Offers less raw power than Henselt Draug
- Vulnerable to heavy control and being bled
- Necromancy, Margarita Laux-Antille -SirLoathing
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