Monsters, the pointslam faction
Deathwish: Using cards like Haunt, Miruna, and Dettlaff: Higher Vampire, the deck has huge pointslam options. The gameplan sounds easy, play the Deathwish cards first, then eat them. It can be a little tricky to find the right distribution of deathwish and consume cards, and drawing them in the right time.
Thrive: The deck is pretty straightforward. Play your thrive units from smaller to bigger, and get those thrive procs each turn. Because of this, you have little control, but the sheer amount of points should be worth it. Notable cards: Koshchey, Endrega Larva, Yghern.
Vampires: The creatures of the night patiently wait in the shadows as they apply bleeding, and wait for the effect to work its wonders. The deck operates with lots of cards that put bleeding and get payoff from it. Some core cards for this deck: Unseen Elder, Dettlaff van der Eretein, and Orianna.
Nilfgaard, the skillful deck manipulation faction
Clog: YEP, CLOG! If you enjoy watching your opponent suffer from the bad draws, then you’ll love this as you can guarantee those draws for him. Putting trash cards into the top is his deck will weaken his lategame, and most of the time they won’t find their golds through all the crap. Kolgrim, Gorthur Gvaed, and Cynthia all help you in this gameplan.
Hyperthin: Also known as Ultra Consistency. The deck thins to 1 (which should be the Imperial Golem or Tibor) then using Xarthisius, Yen:Divination, and Triss to gain huge amount of points in a few cards. This plan could fail if your opponent has some deck manipulation for you, or if you’re getting heavily bled in r2. However, few decks can drop that many points in a few cards as this one.
Mill: Some might argue that Mill is even more hated than Clog, and they might have a point. Milling the opponent’s whole remaining deck takes away all their cards that they couldn’t get early enough. Unfortunately (for the Mill player) the deck lacks reliable points, so it can be 2:0d easily, if the opponent knows what’s happening. Traheaern, Cantarella, and Kingslayer are the main cards to delete your opponent’s deck.
Northern Realms, the engine faction
Mages: Mages were unplayable until recently they got some new cards to take them into the meta. They studied patiently and waited for the opportunity, so when the time comes they unleash all the power they spent preparing and studying the mystic arts. They use cards like Raffard’s Vengeance, Alumni, and Gerhart.
Revenants: What’s better than having an army? Having an undead specter army back from the grave. The army of revenants won’t stop until they devour all opposing units, or until they fill the row. The deck has great control tools and the revs are engines themselves. Some cards to consider: Forbidden Magic, Idarran, and Kaedweni Revenant.
Siege: If you are into heavy machinery (and who doesn’t lol) then you’ll like operating all those ballistas, trebuches, battering rams to lay siege on the opposing fields. Henselt is already salivating on these thoughts. Key cards: Siege, Raffard’s Vengeance, and Reinforced Ballista.
Scoia’tael, the swarm faction
Elves: If you ever wandered into a forest all by yourself then you might’ve felt eyes in your back, and a strange feeling that you’re being watched. You were probably right. The elves are very fierce to protect their territories, setting up ambushes, and traps. Pure elves is usually the deck choice, with cards like Feign Death, Vernossiel, and Aelirenn.
Dwarves: “Ever had your kneecaps broken?” That’s exactly what will happen if you underestimate the sturdy dwarves. They are resilient little creatures that are loyal till the end. The dwarf tribal deck is resurfacing time and time again, in certain metas, and can be quite powerful in certain matchups. Some of the important members are Brouver Hoog, Yarpen Zigrin, and Xavier Moran.
Harmony: All Scoia’tael units belong to a big family, they deserve to be together, and there’s nothing better way to achieve that than using the Harmony keyword. Harmony itself was so good that it was nerfed at some point (although that nerf was reverted later). If you skillfully put down the Harmony units one after the other, then they’ll all proc, and give you awesome buffs. Well, not that awesome as Assimilate, but beggars can’t be choosers. Key cards for Harmony: Water of Brokilon, Weeping Willow, and Percival Schuttenbach.
Skellige, the control faction
Alchemy: The deck can’t die, it always comes back stronger, now with some new additions, it can smurf hard. The druids keeping the cult of Gedy alive, and their word is the law in Skellige. The raw power of the deck is bonkers, it can produce a huge amount of points in a few cards, but the engines also love a longer round as well. Cards that you’ll need building the deck: Gedyneith, Crowmother, and The Mushy Truffle.
Control: Skellige decks have a special bond with graveyards. Especially if they are the ones that can put you there. Skellige decks have a great variety of control tools at their disposal, so they can be creative in ways of killing your stuff. Which can be annoying, but at least you can get a better view of the game board, with no units to distract you. Nowadays Control SK uses Fucusya, Morkvarg: HOT, and Junod.
Rain: I bless the rains down in Zerrikania, they deserve it too. And on that topic, maybe everyone deserves some rain, life would be boring with constant sunshine, right? So SK brings the weather with itself, prepare your umbrella. While we wait for Dagon, our lord and saviour, we can jam those raindrops in the meantime. The whole strategy of this deck is to soak the opposing board, and put down those Messengers. If your Rioghan missed his date with the squirrel, then you can get the biggest pointswing in the history of Gwent with your last play resurrecting him (for real). Necessary cards: Messenger of the Sea, Rioghan, and Melusine.
Syndicate, the combo faction
Bounty: The deck utilizes Bounty-giving cards and cards that damage them. This sounds simple enough, right? There’s a catch though, sometimes you won’t have some of those, and the whole strategy collapses. Or you won’t draw spenders, and overfill the bank in time, which is not a problem for Jackpot leader, but still, some spending won’t hurt closing the gap. The deck can struggle against decks with no good bounty targets, but has a good shot at everything else. Key cards: Witchfinder, Graden, and Professor.
Hoard: If you like earning money, but hate spending it, then you’ll love this archetype. With cards that need a certain amount of coins to work, you can fill the bank, and have all those passive engines ticking over time. The deck is very engine-heavy, so it can struggle against heavy-control, but can beat other decks. Notable cards: Passiflora, Von Herst, and Saul de Navarette.
Swarm: It was once a noble crusade, and at the top of the meta, now the SY swarm decks are practically non-existent. While we hope for some support, we can play with the old powercrept cards, and have some nostalgic feeling while we have a losing streak. Now, if we set those thoughts aside, there are some matchups where the swarm can come out on top, against decks with too many tall removals, they won’t topple the army of Zealots. Important cards here are Ulrich, Dies Irae, and Sacred Flame.