Gwent Meta Breakdown: February 2021

Welcome to Team Duello’s monthly Meta Breakdown! This month, the game seems to be in a healthier place with the nerfs to unhealthy decks such as Viy and Lippy.

While the Nilfgaard Lockdown Ciri Nova deck is shaking up the ladder, the trusty NR Witchers are still performing great. Skellige, with its many different options, proves to be the most consistent faction in the game for quite some time now.

Even though Scoia’tael is in a rough place after the Novigradian Justice nerf, this could be interpreted as a positive thing. (as a Scoia’tael player [referring to quendan]) at least the Unitless Madoc decks are struggling at the moment. On the other hand, Elves have been carrying the green faction this month .Even though Monsters have lost their place as the strongest faction, Kelltullis decks have proven to be quite good in the meta. Unfortunately, the buffs to Syndicate couldn’t even elevate the faction to a playable level.

We are in the middle of the month, but Gwent’s meta is quite dynamic. So against a possible Meta Shift, we will be here to update this Meta Breakdown. If you are interested you could join our Discord group to be notified of streams, videos and chat with other Gwent players.

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Skellige - Ursine Ritual

Ursine Ritual has been one of the most used leaders in Skellige. Even after the nerfs to Lippy and the change in Lockdown’s popularity, Ursine Ritual has no problem being the leader of choice for a Midrange Warrior List.


• Consistency, well optimized Control, Engine, Pointslam and Tech options.

• This deck does not go taller then 7 which makes it able to “brick” tall punishes from the opponent.


• Since this is a Midrange list you could struggle against Pointslam decks in a short round and Engine Overload decks in a long round.

• Morkvarg being the only dedicated tall punish can leave this deck vulnerable versus greedy lists.


• Svalblod Totem, Herkja, Hjalmar

Northern Realms - Uprising

After the patch where Shieldwall was introduced, it was rare to see any Uprising decks on ladder. But fear not, during the last 2 months, Uprising has made a comeback. Because of the quality of the NR Witcher cards and their synergy with neutral Witchers this deck easily became the best option NR has to offer .


• Flexible gameplan, Engine and Pointslam cards suited for both short and long rounds.

• High consistency because of all the Tutor and Thinning cards.


• With the lack of control tools, you might be unable to answer threat from your opponent.

• With a lot of tall units, naturally weak against decks who like to control your side of the board.


• Geralt of Rivia, Kaer Seren, Griffin Witcher Mentor.

Nilfgaard - Lockdown

This deck which became popular during the end of last month utilizes the expansion’s most controversial but powerful card Viper Witcher Mentor as the source of its points which the deck can play up to 4 times. It also uses the new Clogging tools and the RNG factor they bring to the table.


• With the help of tempo plays, strong round 1, carryover and short round power you can execute your gameplan quite nicely.

• Consistency, thanks to Roach, Knickers, thinning tools and tutors there will almost never be a game where you miss out on some of your golds.


• Lack of control tools, you might find yourself struggling as decks that go tall since the deck lacks a tall punish.

• The deck can fall apart if the opponent draws a perfect R1 hand, also the threats it has can be played around or answered by the opponent.


• Berengar, Peter, Assasination.

• If you are not interested in Kolgrim and would like to try out a deck just as annoying, we’ve got you covered. You can check out Double Madoc here.

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Scoia'tael - Deadeye Ambush

Deadeye Ambush always used to be an above average deck but it was always outclassed by other Scoia’tael decks. Even thought the Novigradian Justice nerf hurt this deck it wasn’t as crippled as some other ST decks like Precision Strike.


• Movement engines, control tools and midrange elves make for a flexible gameplan.

• Since the deck stays low to the ground, the opponent will have a hard time getting value from their tall punishes.

Cons :

• The deck can struggle in terms of consistency since it lost the thinning from Novigradian Justice.

• Since the deck’s gameplan is stacking the Ranged row for Gezras value, you could have a bad time against Yrden and row punish cards.

Considerations :

• Gaetan, Vrihedd Sappers, Spores

Monsters - Carapace

The Carapace Keltullis Ciri Dash deck made by Magpie has been a part of the meta for quite some time now. This deck excels at exploiting the lack of control tools from popular decks like NR Witcher and Kolgrim.


• Because of the amount of threats this list has, the opponent can have a hard time answering them all.

• The deck is powerful on both sides of the coin. On Blue Ciri:Dash can get you card advantage. On Red you can coin abuse with your tempo plays like Yghern.


• Since the deck goes insanely tall, tall punish cards from the opponent will find great value for them.

• Keltullis and Ciri are the core cards of this deck. You might find yourself in unwanted situations where both ( or just Ciri:Dash ) get answered .


• Frenzied D’ao, Alzur’s Thunder, Wild Hunt Hound.

Nilfgaard - Lockdown

After the nerfs to Lippy and Viy classic Masquerade Ball Lockdown’s matchup table got slightly worse. Even though there were no changes to this Lockdown deck, since the value gained from locks and control decreased it started to get outclassed by other Nilfgaard lists.


• Lockdown can still gain a lot of value denying the leaders of lists that rely on it.

•Packages that help you thrive in long and survive in short rounds. The addition thinning bronzes helps this deck contest Round 1 more easily.


• The 10 provision limit of the Lockdown leader makes you unable run some good high end gold cards like Leo Bonhart .

• You can struggle against


• Crossbowman, Tourney Joust, Tortoise.

Skellige - Ursine Ritual

Lippy was one of the most whined about and powerful decks last month.The Haern Caduch and the nerf to Lippy itself takes away the power Lippy gained when both Roach and Knickers both went down a provision. The deck is still solid and a lot less annoying to face.


• High consistency. With the help of Onieromancy and thinning cards this deck very rarely misses its cards.

• Thanks to your high tempo plays in R1 you can end up winning on even on Red Coin.


• The deck contains a lot of brick cards and if you are unlucky the bricks in hand can cost you games.

• If you fail to get round control, you can struggle versus most decks in a long round 3 especially decks which have a lot of engines.

Considerations :

• Snowdrop, Bear Witcher Quartermaster, Mask of Uroboros.

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Scoia'tael - Precision Strike

Highly reactive and No Unit type decks are some of the most hated decks in Gwent history. For some bizarre reason CDPR had been buffing the archetype with the introduction of cards like Madoc and Saber Tooth Tiger. Luckily the Novigradian Justice nerf hurt this deck a lot.


• Strong on Red Coin thanks to its removal and uninteractive cards.

• The control cards such as Rebukes and Bombs help you deal with the opponent’s engines while your cards like Heatwave, Geralt:Pro and Curse of Corruption help you answer the opponent’s tall units.


• You could lose on even on Blue as the deck lacks tempo plays.

• You could get punished if you fail to secure Round Control.

Considerations :

• Knickers, Bomb Heaver, Rockslide

Nilfgaard - Double Cross

This Assimilate list used to perform great at the start of the expansion since it did well vs opposing Nilfgaard and Skellige. Since less decks started to run the Location cards you can see Angouleme is no longer in the list. The list might not be the strongest Nilfgaard list but it can definitely be the most fun one.


• With the help of the many engines in the deck it can reach very high scores in long rounds.

• Masquerade Ball helps the list have some more control options.


• If you lose Round 1, you can get bled and get forced into a short round.

• Masquerade Ball can brick as the deck only has 2 Aristocrats + Coup de Grace

Considerations :

Another Nilfgaard deck utilizing Double Cross, Thirsty Dame, Bribery.

Skellige - Battle Trance

Battle Trance is one of Skellige’s fun options . If you are tired of playing Lippy and Warriors this deck using the power of Druids and Gedyneith is just for you.


• High consistency thanks to its Tutors and the thinning provided by Portal.

• Flexibility, this deck can bleed for a short round 3 or decide if it is favored in the long round 3.


• Besides Decoction and Heatwave the deck can’t really interact with the opponent’s side of the board.

• The inclusion of Portal and Adepts can make the deck awkward during the Mulligan phase.


• Covenant of Steel, Cerys, Dracoturtle

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