To WIN at Gwent right now, you must play FOTM Decks or Perish! Is trap ST the secret pally of Gwent? If PFI still the best? No. OK. I admit it, the title is just a little link bait to get you here to hear me talk about my ranked experience so far.
I have mentioned before that I am just an average player.
I don’t consider myself a great card game player. The only other card game I’ve ever played is Hearthstone. I played Hearthstone for about 5-6 months over the life of the game. I took lots of breaks. I played when Hearthstone launched and never made it past rank 18. I left and returned about a year later and played 2-3 months. During that time, I peaked at rank 2 but finished most of those months rank 4 or 5. Before I finally quit Hearthstone 4-5 months ago, I played another 2 month span where I never made it past rank 5. Even though I was gold with 8 or the 9 heroes, I never liked playing the “strongest decks”. My goal of hitting 500 wins with all 9 classes had me playing some of the weaker classes often.
That said, I have had some peaks and valleys in Gwent so far. I am far from one of the most competitive players, but I can pilot competitive decks decently. This morning, I read an article from GumGumFacePunch where he talked about the ranking ladder so far in his experience. In his article, he detailed his struggles up and down the ladder although his definition of “dumpster” and mine are quite different. If rank 400 is the dumpster, the dumpster looks nice to me right now.
My Experience So Far
Since ranked mode has come out, I have moved up and down the rankings. In the 1st couple of days, I got to rank 150 with a PFI cheese deck and then I faced, ironically enough, GumGumFacePunch in a PFI mirror match. That was the highest I have been since. I started playing a variety of decks to be more well rounded. My 65% or so win percentage started tanking to below 50%. I dropped all the way into the 2000s. I still refused to play the “Flavor of the Month” decks for the most part and I paid for it with loss after loss. This was a combination of average play and average decks trying to wade through a sea of the same 2 decks, both Scoia’Tael. The ST trap decks and the deck that Swim made popular were everywhere with a sprinkle of PFI Cheese.
A couple of days ago I decided to use one of the strongest decks I have faced and the one that I have seen piloted on Twitch streams with great success and make an attempt at hitting rank 6 and see how high I could get. I chose a deck that I learned about from watching Dale Martel (TheWhiteWolph) on Twitch. It’s the Scoia’Tael deck that I talked about the other day that Swim took to the top 10. It makes use of Geralt: Igni and was super strong for a few days. I was stuck at rank 5 and each time I was a win away from rank 6, I would slide down 100 MMR. With this deck, I moved up from the 1500s and rank 5 to 1800s and rank 6. I made it into the top 200 before I started to slide again.
Now I am back to playing a variety of decks again and I am back to winning 50% again. I have fallen back out of the top 1000 as well. I can confirm what GumGum talked about, different tiers on the ladder have a different feel. As I’ve fallen, I am seeing more and more PFI and Monsters. When I move back up, those decks thin out and I see almost all Scoia”Tael. The lower in rank you get, the more variety you’ll see. I can’t tell you what the top 100 feels like, but I can say that it looks like a BUNCH of Scoia’Tael.
I plan to keep playing almost all ranked matches no matter what deck I play. I am having fun and while it would be nice to be a top player, I am not and I am ok with that. I am playing all 4 factions again and you might see me 2-3 times in the evening and see 2-3 different decks. I have played over 500 ranked games now and I am back under a 50% winning percentage.
This isn’t the highest I have been so far, but it was the last time I’ve been over a 50% winning percentage, 3 days ago.
To summarize my rambling, you must play FOTM Decks or Perish! I am kidding of course, the better players “Can Win” with other decks, but it’s just like Hearthstone, play FOTM or lose more. The meta in Gwent has shifted pretty fast since 0.8.33, but there are simply not enough cards to have a huge variation of decks yet.