Rethaz Reveals Leader Win-Rates, And They're Not What You Think

In response to another "meta report" by the developer of the GwentUp deck tracker, Gwent's Lead Game Designer "rethaz" responded in-depth explaining that these type of reports do not portray an accurate view on the strength and win-rates of Leaders in Gwent. He summarizes his own post at the end very well so i'll repeat it here, but the whole post is very interesting and i highly recommend everyone to take the time to read it!

All leaders in GWENT are viable, in-fact the majority of cards in general are viable and far too many are discounted too quickly or called "trash" (note I said majority). There are and always have been people who maintain 50%+ win-rates and higher playing whatever is considered the weakest Faction / Leader (for example Nilfgaard at the moment).

The popularity of leaders is very much community driven and in all honesty there's very little that we can do to change that.

I've held off on doing this for some times because I am sure the guys at GWENTUP only mean well, but these statistics do not portray the full picture of what is happening in the game. They paint a skewed view of what is really happening in the game and many players are taking it at face value as facts.

I will touch very lightly on leader popularity and say that for the majority of the ranked system we see a good and fairly even distribution that we are generally happy with. The only exception to this is Harald the Cripple.
However at the top end of the game we have a large subset of competitive players that tend to switch exclusively towards whatever is deemed the "best" by our top players, this leads to a much narrower distribution of leaders. In reality there is little we can do to combat this other than by limiting certain mechanics so that mathematically they cannot generate more than the intended points for the color of the card (Bronze, Silver, Gold). The trade off is that in many cases this leads to those cards being less interesting and fun (for the user) because they cannot generate large point swings or the same moments of drama. We try to judge how and when to do this, a recent example of this is Villen, who is now less interesting, but ultimately more balanced.
Despite what some of you may believe, Dagon's peak play rate is lower than Crach's was during the Skellige meta, which in turn was lower than the Calveit peak during the Nilfgaard meta.

Regarding win-rates:
For example I can tell you that in the lowest brackets Brouver Hoog actually has a win rate of 53.21% in contrast to what is presented here as 43.1%. The lowest his win-rate ever drops to within a specific MMR range is 45.99%. Across the entire ranked system Brouver's win-rate averages out to roughly 50.39%.
The Highest win-rate in the top MMR bracket is King Bran at 55.8%, the Lowest is Harald the Cripple with 47.21%. The difference between these is 8.59%. In contrast the GWENTUP Data shows the highest win-rate comes from Dagon at 54.9% and the lowest comes from Harald the Cripple a 37.7%, the difference here is significantly more at 17.2%.

I am going to post the current win-rates at the top end of MMR per leader for the last week. I am not going to make a habit of this though, so please do not expect it with every patch / week.


Here's a graphical representation of how this looks on a 0-100% scale:

There are many factors that play into the above, it doesn't specifically mean King Bran is the best and if I play him I will win more, the issue is far more complex than that. The fact that the majority of them are this close is a positive sign from our perspective, we'd obviously like these to be closer together though and this is something we work towards making happen with each update.

In summary, all leaders in GWENT are viable, in-fact the majority of cards in general are viable and far too many are discounted too quickly or called "trash" (note I said majority). There are and always have been people who maintain 50%+ win-rates and higher playing whatever is considered the weakest Faction / Leader (for example Nilfgaard at the moment).

The popularity of leaders is very much community driven and in all honesty there's very little that we can do to change that.

With this post in mind, why not try out a less popular Leader? We've got the most popular decks for each one right here!

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