Like any other trading card game, Gwent keeps rebalancing itself and adding new cards, thus changing the meta constantly. Gwent may not be at its peak in terms of popularity anymore, but it is still a haint in the genre and skilled players have crafted the best decks to use competitively. We'll take a look at how you can build them too.
The Basics of Building a Good Gwent Deck
If you aren't much of a metagamer or lack most of the cards to make some of the decks we'll list work, you can always try your luck at customizing a deck. To do that effectively however, you have to know what you're doing and what an ideal structure looks like in this game.
The very first rule is that you need to have 3 unit cards for each three rows at least. These rows - Close Quarters, Ranged and Siege - can be affected by various negative effects depending on enemy card use, so if you crowd all of your unit cards into just one they might be able to take out that entire row. Spread your unit cards out evenly.
Following this same train of thought, assume that your opponent thinks like this as well and stock up your weather cards appropriately. Your stack of Impenetrable Fog cards will be useless against an opponent who doesn't rely heavily on Ranged unity, but since there is no way to know what kind of deck you are facing you have to be prepared for every eventuality, so add a variety of weather cards to your deck. These have a very important role in Gwent strategy.
Selecting a good Leader can be the lynchpin in a match. Carefully take stock of the abilities each leader has and pick whichever one is best suited to the deck overall. A poor choice here can completely negate any benefits your Leader might have if chosen ineffectively.
All that being said, you'll find some decks that we're about to list which do not satisfy these guidelines. In these cases the entire deck's composition is built on a framework of complex co-dependencies and cascading effects where the benefits gained outweigh the risk of having an imbalanced playing field. Most starting players dipping their toes into deck customization won't be experienced enough yet to pull off something as lopsided as the Skellige Berserker.
The Best Gwent Decks
This is a very Close Quarters focused deck with a brutal style. There aren't any Ranged cards used here at all, and it shouldn't take a new player too long to get all the cards needed to put this together. The mentality here is to drop a high-value card like Geralt during the first round and be willing to lose it in order to get the enemy to use up their better cards too. The crux here is to play the Clan An Craite Warrior cards with their Warcry. You can whip out the stronger unity like Crach An Craite in round 2 or 3 once the opponent has lost their advantage.
This debuff deck is all about taking away the advantages that the enemy player's unit cards bring to the field and leaving them without a strategy. The combined use of Weather Immunity units with powerful Weather cards that affect both sides of the field let you significantly hinder the other player while suffering no negative effects yourself. Some of the Monster Units like the Drowner can get the jump on buffer units in Close Quarters, leaving the opponent weakened. In the latter rounds you can unleash Caranthir or Woodland Spirit which allow the summoning of even more cards for the death blow. Eredin acts as a failsafe.
Northern Realms: Doubles
Duplicates, duplicates everywhere - this is what the best Northern Realms deck is all about in the current meta. Led by Foltest, unlike some of the other decks where you hold off the big guns for the last round here you need to lay down the weight at the first possible opportunity. Prize Winning Cow and duplicate Blue Stripes Scouts with Promote of the Swallow Potion need to be played as soon as possible - the Cow will spawn a Chort in later rounds that is key to victory. These cards played early on can later be revived with the Field Medic, and once you have plenty of duplicate cards on the field in later rounds its time to play Foltest with Commander's Horn.
This deck completely avoids the use of the Siege row, packing up the Close Quarters row instead with some light Ranged support. This deck relies on a positive feedback loop mechanic where many Close Quarters Dwarven cards have buffs affecting other Close Quarters cards, so they just keep buffing each other. The leader ability of Francesca Findabair will let you redraw Mahakam Defenders and Guards ad Infinitum for a permanent advantage. You can use First Lights to get rid of any Biting Frost effects, and if you save up Geralt and Sheldon Skaggs for rounds 2 and 3 you can draw out the best cards the opponent has early one without wasting too many summons yourself.
This deck is all about spying on the enemy playing field, but not just for the reason you'd suspect - beyond the obvious advantage of seeing the opponent's cards, playing the Impera Brigade early on will give them stacking buffs each time a spy card is played. You can set up a repeated loop by playing an Emissary, killing them with Nauzicaa Brigade, then resurrect the Emissary with the Vicovaro Medic or Treason if you have no medics available. Keep your opponent on their toes by occasionally triggering a leader ability.
We'll keep this article updated as the meta changes with new updates and cards!