With 5 days left to the end of the October Season 2023 of Gwent: The Witcher Card game (for the first time the transition would be at Wednesday midnight CET!), I present to you a report on ladder meta and my experience.
Along with meta showcase I’d present my scores and decks used.
More scores data are on GwentData profile.
My Climbing Decks
- Monsters (2650 fMMR/63 games)
Before balance patch I’ve run Carapace Puzzle Box and Renfri Mourntart Relicts. After patch, from about 2580 to 2650 my pick was Force Of Nature Koshchey.
Monsters are my oldest peak and the list may need tuning for the current meta. I think the provision buffed Endrega Larva is a very strong card right now, while Sir Scratch-A-Lot is an outstanding engine for its provision cost. Also Regis:Bloodlust abuse is very effective in Monsters with Ozzrel, while the downside is rather low after rework; banishing 3 top cards is mathematically neutral in decks with little thinning and (no) tutors.
- Skellige (2625 fMMR/ 59 games)
I do not miss Golden Nekker Pirates meta, so I’ve built an alternative Golden Nekker Rain deck, which proven very strong. With Anglerfishes as well as Roach and Knickers, the deck thins very efficiently for Compass, while Corrupted Flaminica value is outstanding.
Finally, Delirium found a perfect fitting deck. Not only 10+ provision humans/beasts are all available in the rolls, but also Echo effect let us play Double/Single Compass at will (to play single: Delirium used R1, to play double: R2/R3).
- Northern Realms (2606 fMMR/67 games)
I’ve run a variety of decks, but the main one I climbed with at high mmrs was Devotion Stockpile which I rebuilt from Sanvanter.
This deck doesn’t run a single ‘cheat’ card complained on like Temple Of Melitele, Mutagenerator or recently provision buffed Reaver Scouts. Why does it perform well then?
The deck is highly synergistic. Damage cards work perfectly with Kaedweni Revenants. Onagers are even better than in mainstream decks; each Stockpile charge with a single Reinforced Ballista is 2x Onager damage.
Amphibious Assault then has huge ceiling targets and also triggers Resupply. Finally, Radovid: Judgement is a big handicap whenever Round 3 gets shorter; what used to be lost by 5 points is now won by 6.
- Scoia’tael (2553 fMMR/ 73 games)
I played a variety of decks, but my peak one is an author Golden Nekker Spella’tael Pendant. This deck balances high tempo offered by Musicans of Blaviken, Roach and Knickers with rich carryover tools: Orb of Insight, Armorer’s Workshop, Saov Ainimhi’dh.
Unique deck, very demanding when it comes to gameplay. If you could make 2500+ with this deck from scratch you are likely a very good player. Every decision matters and the scope of things to put attention to is huge: placement of units for Workshop/Frog Mating Season/Commander’s Horn, sequencing with Orbs of Insight, mulligans… Deck lacks control and isn’t strong enough to win without good play – that’s how i dropped back to 2500 😉
Scoia’tael plays a variety of decks, i’d say the most popular by an inch is Nature’s Gift Symbiosis.
Syndicate runs mostly Gangs Cove, but also a bunch of other stuff is met (Yago Jackpot, Cache Engines, Bounty…)
Nilfgaard players I have met tried still to play Enslave 6 Assimilate in spite of nerfs. NG is clearly the worst performing faction on high Pro Ladder.
- With no competitive rush, one could use deckbuilding knowledge to come up with own ‘meta’ decks and be successful. In my case 3/4 of decks were author and Stockpile NR was netdecked from Sanvanter.
- If there is any main offender in the meta, it would be Inspired Zeal Nekker – many players are successful with this deck even when struggling with other factions. Its point output is exceptional and Mutagenerator abuse reaches extreme level. Next in the order are Golden Nekker Compass decks.
- The variety is good at high ladder, but worse than in the preceeding season; NR and SK are clearly dominant.
- Kaedweni Revenants with +5 per turn engine ceiling are outstanding 4p bronze card and still underused (mainly because of 5c Mutagenerator abuse).
- Gwent Pro Players Balance Council on Reddit
- Chinese Pro Players Balance Council on lyingdi
- Truzky’s Balance Council Ideas on Reddit
- Buffs > Nerfs
- NR and MO are in a good spot; if need any changes it would be nerfs rather than buffs.
- NG deserves significant buffs and should be the main point of interest.
- SK is in a good spot, but hanging on rather unhealty Compass Nekker decks. If Magic Compass gets nerfed, then SK likely has no tournament competitive decks (but still some decent ladder options: Warriors, Alchemy, Renfri Beasts / Non-Nekker Compass Beasts, classical Self-Wound). Small buff is needed.
- ST has engine/pointslam options in Harmony/Symbiosis and control in Guerilla Tactics Schirru / Precision Strike, but each of those is lacking a bit power, especially for ladder. Small buffs would be welcomed.
- Syndicate is in a similar situation to Scoia’tael.
My votes are mostly in line with Gwent Pro Players Balance Council (including considerations), so I would not elaborate on particular changes.
The only exception is Mahakam Forge, which I regard as the weakest leader in the game and I think a +1 provision buff is justified and impactful for Dwarves to see more competitive play. I place changes which I view as unlikely to happen on top – order do not show my priorities.
Hope you enjoyed this report and it provided some insight on how meta and ladder experience at high mmrs look like.
More articles to follow, stay tuned!