What is Shadowverse?
Shadowverse is a PVP Japanese card game that was released in 2016, developed by Cygames. Shadowverse is known to be quite popular among Otaku in Japan. If you have played/seen Hearthstone before, the dominant mobile card game on the market, this game plays very similarly to Hearthstone, with several major differences. Games are generally fast-paced and typically last 5-9 turns, or 2-10 minutes.
The Basics of Shadowverse
In a typical game of Shadowverse, players start with 20 Defense for their leader. When their leader’s Defense reaches 0, the player loses and the opponent wins. This is the goal of every game in Shadowverse. There are minor exceptions: Some cards literally let you win the game when their effect activates. Also, when a player draws a card from their deck when it’s empty, the player will instead draw a Reaper card that immediately destroys the player’s leader and lose them the game. These exceptions are rare and are currently not viable ways to win the game.
Players play cards to achieve the goal of reducing their opponent’s Defense to 0. There are 3 types of cards in the game: followers, spells, and amulets. Cards can be created with vials.
Followers are cards you play on the battlefield, and they have an Attack and Defense stat. Attack determines the damage they will deal when they attack. Defense determines the amount of damage the follower can take before being destroyed. They can typically attack once per turn and cannot attack the turn they are played/summoned. A common keyword followers have is Storm, which allows them to attack the face (the enemy leader) immediately – such followers are popular due to their ability to burst down the opponent. As Shadowverse has released 20 expansions since its launch, numerous keywords have been introduced. There are many in-game explanations on such keywords for new players.
Followers can also Evolve, starting from turn 5 if you go first, turn 4 if you go second. Evolving normally consumes an evolution point, which players have 2 or 3 of every game, depending on whether they go first or second respectively. Some followers have Evolve effects, so players may be more incentivized to Evolve them. By Evolving a follower, most followers will gain +2/+2 (Attack/Defense) and the ability to attack enemy followers immediately. This is not the case for every follower so players may need to be familiar with such exceptions that they put in their deck.
Spells are cards that activate an immediate 1-time effect. The effects spells have can vary from follower/amulet removal to summoning followers/amulets, from directly damaging the enemy leader’s Defense to restoring your own.
Amulets, like followers, are cards you play on the battlefield, but have neither Attack nor Defense. There are 2 types of amulets: amulets with Countdown and amulets without Countdown. Amulets with Countdown will get destroyed when the Countdown reaches 0, potentially activating a Last Words effect, an effect that activates when the amulet is destroyed. Countdown is also a way to give powerful amulet effects a limited lifetime. Amulets without Countdown typically have an effect that persists throughout the game or get destroyed after a condition has been fulfilled. Generally, amulets are considered “slow” cards as they cannot attack enemies and are typically only considered when they are cheap or have a powerful effect. Amulets are also difficult to remove as effects that remove them are uncommon and players do not always put cards with such effects in their decks.
As mentioned, followers and amulets are cards that are played on the battlefield. There can only be 5 cards present on the battlefield at a time. Followers and amulets cannot be played on the battlefield while there are 5 cards on the battlefield. Sometimes followers summon more followers or amulets with their innate effects, and such cards will simply not be summoned.
There are 8 classes with their own unique playstyles and strategies. In the standard constructed format, each deck must contain exactly 40 cards – no more, no less. The cards must all be neutral or from the chosen class. Additionally, each deck may not have more than 3 copies of the same card.
Typically there are 4 main types of decks: Aggro, Midrange, Combo, and Control, indicating in ascending order the speed at which the deck plays at. The Renascent Chronicles expansion was released recently, and many new decks have arisen. This article to will through the most popular and newest decks and how to play them.
Neutral Tech Cards For Every Deck
First, here are some neutral tech cards that may be good to consider for many decks.
Ramiel is usually good for any deck that cares about reaching a certain turn faster. Her primary appeal is her evolve effect, giving you a free empty play point (ramp) if you have more evolution points than your opponent after evolving her. She is a very strong turn 4 evolve play when you go second. She is also just a generally good card to play on turn 2, as she is also immune to effect/spell-based damage. She is a good include for combo decks and slow decks.
Archangel of Evocation
Archangel of Evocation was popular before Ladica Forest was nerfed, and it is still a good card to play now. His evolve effect raises your maximum Defence by 5, which is still strong against aggressive decks (aggro) combined with his Ward (must be attacked by followers before they can attack face), and some combo decks that may have limited damage. He also has a Fanfare effect that increases the cost of spells and amulets in the opponent’s hand without evolving, adding to his value against combo decks that usually depend on spells, and potentially buy you a turn. He is a good include in many midrange decks and combo decks.
Cosmic Angel is not a common include as he is outclassed by Archangel of Evocation. He provides you with a face shield (prevents the next damage your leader takes), Ward, and 3 Last Words healing. The face shield doesn’t stack, but can last through the turns if it is not broken, which can win the game against slow/combo decks that lack chip face damage (small damage to break the shield). He is also decent against aggro. He additionally has an Invocation effect, summoning him automatically if you float 5 play points (unspent play points in a turn). He is typically included in slow decks such as Chaos Rune, Phoenix Roost Dragon, and Sanctuary Haven, alongside Archangel of Evocation, but can otherwise a be replacement for the Archangel if you are short on vials.
Wind God is a card many midrange decks can consider. She has an Invocation effect, summoning her from your deck automatically at the start of every turn after you have Rally 10 (you have summoned at least 10 followers during the game). She gives your board +1/+1 every turn, making her a priority kill for your opponent even if you have stronger followers on board, and generally improving your board, which is what midrange decks want.
The Other Neutral Filler Cards That Make Up A Great Deck
This set of cards is generally the best set of neutral followers to include if you plan on building a deck with less class-specific followers, most commonly Sword and sometimes Rune decks.
You can also include these cards as filler to be replaced later if you are missing some cards and lack the vials to create them. These cards are generally cheap, strong for their cost and efficient cards that any deck can include. The image shows the exact order of priority of adding these neutral cards. But of course, this can vary depending on your play style or the deck you are playing.
These cards are Archangel of Remembrance, Ramiel, Vyrn Li’l Red Dragon, Quixotic Adventurer, Combustion Demon, Wandering Chef, Vagabond Lizard, Rivaylian Bandit, Goblin Queen and Fluffy Angel.
Forestcraft Card Decks
Forestcraft is the first class every new player will be introduced to. If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Forestcraft is most similar to the Rogue class, with its focus on playing multiple cards in a turn and returning cards to your hand (bounce).
Many of its cards gain bonuses according to the number of cards you’ve played prior in the turn. As such, Forestcraft has many cards that create 0-cost or 1-cost cards in your hand and bouncing them is a typical strategy employed in the most powerful Forest decks. Despite being the first class a new player is introduced to, Forestcraft is the most difficult class to play well as many of its decks require preplanning, card counting, and evaluating when to expend cheap resources to survive or to save them for more powerful cards.
Ladica/Aria Combo Forest Deck
Ladica Forest was one of the best decks to play in Shadowverse before Heroic Resolve got nerfed due to its Ward effect that gave Ladica players a fallback plan. Now that Heroic Resolve does not give Ward nor does it help with card counts, the card is no longer a core card in the deck, and the deck is much less consistent and is more prone to getting rushed down by aggressive decks due to its lack of healing outside of Fairy Slugger and Tree of Wonders.
Regardless, every other aspect of the deck is untouched, and all combos are still possible without Heroic Resolve. The core combo involves playing Ladica, who can storm the opponent’s face for 16 damage, in addition to other damaging cards to deal the remaining 4. The full combo ideally involves playing multiple 0-cost followers and bouncing them to replay them. It is also theoretically possible to combo on turn 5, but that scenario is too unlikely to aim for.
The combo can however be prevented if the opponent has a substantial board of wards, which not many popular decks currently do. For greater consistency, the deck should relegate back to the previous iteration of Sekka/Aria Forest decks from the previous expansion.
Even if you don’t draw Ladica, the deck has other ways of creating massive boards using Life Banquet and Heroic Resolve, which can also just win the game if the opponent is unable to clear it.
Ladica Forest is quite difficult to pilot well, and core cards include 4 legendaries and 1 gold and more highly recommended supporting legendaries and golds, so it is not recommended for newer players.
Here are 3 more supporting cards that give you a small boost to your chip damage with Walder, who can be Invoked with the 2 accelerate bounce cards Wind Fairy and Deepwood Wolf.
If you wish to invoke him more consistently, Reclusive Ponderer and Giant Pastures are, in order, the next best accelerate options. With these tips in mind, you can then build your own Forestcraft deck here.
Accelerate Forest Deck
Accelerate Forest is making a minor comeback since Ladica Forest got nerfed, and players have started experimenting with other Forestcraft decks, by finding other ways to abuse Ladica’s double attack effect. If you’ve played Shadowverse several expansions ago, you may recall the old Accelerate Forest deck that abused Irene, Harvest Defender’s double attack ability, combined with Fairy Flowering, to give her Storm and +2/+2 for 12 burst damage.
Similarly, this deck aims to play Fairy Flowering on Ladica to give her Storm and +2/+2 for 14 burst damage, completely ignoring her card count condition abilities. Alternatively, playing some vehicle amulets to “pre-buff” Ladica can increase her damage to 20. The deck includes the best accelerate cards available to meet the 6 accelerate condition of Fairy Flowering as soon as possible, and potentially burst the opponent down by turn 6. The deck relies on chip damage to burst the opponent down, making it play more like a midrange deck. Outside of this combo with Ladica, the deck has a solid foundation with Walder and accelerate cards to provide chip damage. Walder Enhanced also gives you a strong Storm follower as an alternate win condition. Similar to Ladica Forest, this deck has a lack of healing outside of Aerin and has a weakness to Wards and healing as most of your burst damage is in the form of Storm.
The deck has a straightforward gameplan and a lack of card counting, so it is a little easier to play than most Forestcraft decks, but it is still more difficult than most decks especially when Alberta’s effect is active. Its main difficulty comes in hand management, as it is extremely easy to run out of steam and brick from accelerating so often. You generally want to prioritize saving a crystallized Xeno Sagittarius as a bounce target and evolving Aerin for more draw.
However, if you are a new player, several accelerate cards are rotating next expansion, so build this deck only if you are interested as it may not work as well next expansion. But who knows, maybe more accelerate support cards will be printed next expansion.
Feyfolk Sage and Aerin both help the deck with its draw issues. Alberta gives you extra chip damage to help you close games with Fairy Flowering. Levon can be good against board swarm and an alternate Fairy Flowering target.
Best Matchups To Use Ladica/Aria Forest & Accelerate Forest Decks
Evolve Natura Dragon, Evolve Rune, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven. These Forest decks have combo potential starting turn 6, which is earlier than most other combo decks. Despite this advantage, the deck is still prone to bricking.
Worst Matchups To Use Ladica/Aria Forest & Accelerate Forest Decks
Aggro and Midrange decks, which are quite common right now. Forest does not have the best tools to fight off aggression and has trouble with Wards that Midrange decks tend to run. Chaos Rune is quite rare but they can cause Forest problems as well.
Swordcraft Card Decks
Swordcraft is a class that typically focuses on swarming the board, but also houses the strongest midrange Storm followers who are typically also rather beefy in stats and become a priority kill. If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Swordcraft is most similar to the Paladin class.
Swordcraft is heavily focused on followers, with many of their spells summoning more of them, buffing them, or tutoring for them. Most of their followers have traits, such as Officer or Commander, and Swordcraft has many ways to tutor for these cards, leading to interesting deckbuilding challenges.
It is for this reason why Sword typically runs more neutral followers than other classes in order to tutor their most powerful Officers or Commanders more consistently. Throughout many expansions, Swordcraft midrange decks are widely considered the easiest to play.
Mid-range Rally Sword Deck
Midrange Sword is one of the most powerful decks thanks to Mistolina & Bayleon from the new expansion, giving Sword the reach to end games more reliably and quickly.
This deck is able to beat every deck, not really countering anything while not having any big weakness, just playing slightly ahead of the curve every turn to pressure the opponent. The deck is quite cheap, with core cards containing 2 legendaries and 4 golds while not being difficult to play, so overall, it is a good deck for a newer player to pick up.
Due to the nature of Mid-range Sword, it is quite flexible and allows for various deck changes depending on your collection and personal preference. The cards below have seen some play in Mid-range Sword, albeit uncommonly.
Best Matchups To Use The Swordcraft Card Deck In
Combo decks such as Forestcraft decks, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword. As a midrange deck, the combo deck should have a hard time fighting off your aggression, while you should play enough wards to deny their combo.
Worst Matchups To Use The Swordcraft Card Deck In
None! This deck does not have any matchups that it is particularly weak to.
Dramatic Mistolina & Bayleon Sword Card Decks
While a good card on curve, Mistolina & Bayleon is also a potential build around card for a cheese combo. The deck relies on drawing multiple copies of Dramatic Retreat to play Mistolina & Bayleon up to 4 times in a turn, storming the enemy for 6 damage every time they are played for up to 26 total damage as early as turn 6.
The deck can play only 1 copy of Mistolina & Bayleon and multiple spells that tutor for Swordcraft followers, so the rest of the followers in the deck are neutral. As such, this is a very cheap deck as newer players can trade for just 1 copy of Mistolina & Bayleon and fill their deck with their best aggressive neutral followers so the chip damage provided can help lessen the damage the Dramatic Retreat combo has to deal. The deck’s main weakness is its lack of tutor for Dramatic Retreat, so it is very inconsistent, yet satisfying to pull off the combo as it kind of feels like playing the roulette.
Recently, players have been experimenting more with this concept, attempting to have a less all-in approach to the deck regarding the combo. The idea is still to play many neutral followers, but also to play more targets for Dramatic Retreat – so more copies of Mistolina & Bayleon, and possibly other strong Storm followers such as Albert, Thunderous Doom, and possibly even Average Axeman, the original “good” target for Dramatic Retreat when the cards were first released.
Some also consider Radical Gunslinger and Scrupulous Preparation, due to her being a 1-cost follower with the Bane keyword and making her an extremely efficient follower for her cost.
Eahta Evolve Combo Sword Decks
This is a deck that existed from the previous expansion, with its main goal being activating Eahta, God of the Blade’s Skybound Art effect, reducing the costs of multiple Jeno, Fanged Tyrants and Albert, Thunderous Dooms. To activate the effect, you need to evolve followers at least 2 times while Eahta is in hand if you want to combo on turn 8, 3 times if you can combo on turn 7 with the help of Ramiel. Then, play your Jenos and Alberts (in that order) for up to 30+ damage worth of Storm, possibly with the help of Seofon, Star Sword Sovereign. Most Wards can be cleared with Eahta, Seofon, or excess Storm damage, so the combo can be quite difficult to counter.
Because the full combo deals quite a lot of excess damage, drawing the full combo is unnecessary and the combo is thus quite flexible. Expending Jeno to clear a dangerous evolved enemy is always worth it when you have another in hand.
The deck should run multiple tutors for the core combo pieces and fill the rest of the deck with card draw and neutral followers. The deck is generally easy to play with a straightforward gameplan, but it is possible to brick with only combo pieces in hand. Drawing Eahta is your number one priority in this deck as alternate win conditions are unlikely for the deck.
The deck is rather open-ended in how you build it, due to having very few core cards. Generally, you should avoid adding too many Swordcraft followers to find Eahta more reliably.
Best Matchups To Use Eahta Evolve Combo Sword Deck In
Evolve Natura Dragon, Machina Portal, Sanctuary Haven. This deck thrives against slow decks, as you have the time to assemble your combo without worrying too much about survival.
Worst Matchups To Use Eahta Evolve Combo Sword Deck In
Aggro and Midrange decks. This deck does not fare well against the most aggressive decks, such as Aggro Shadow and Wrath Blood. Midrange decks are a better matchup but still unfavorable.
Runecraft Card Decks
Runecraft is the spell-based class. If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Runecraft is most similar to the Mage class. Since the launch of Shadowverse, Runecraft has been infamous for its Spellboost mechanic, where cards can be Spellboosted to gain a bonus effect whenever you play any spell.
Many cards that can be Spellboosted have a cost reduction effect, which is considered the most powerful due to the ability to amass multiple low-cost Spellboosted cards and play them all in a single explosive turn. In recent expansions, Cygames (the developer) appears to have recognized the problem many players have had with Spellboost and created a few powerful Spellboost cards that do not rely on cost reduction.
At the moment, however, most of the powerful Spellboost cards are no longer in rotation and Spellboost is not very strong right now (in rotation format). In the newest expansion, Runecraft has received instead strong supporting cards for a burn deck, burning the opponent’s leader’s Defense with spells. Runecraft is generally difficult to play and more prone to bricking (drawing bad hands) compared to other classes.
Evolve Machina Burn Rune Deck
This is most popular Rune deck at the moment, the deck has high burst potential with its spells and effects, such as Maiser, Tetra, Vincent, and Grimnir.
It also has snowball potential with Marie, Flowery Magician, and Dogged Detectives for early free evolves, if Marie is left unchecked. With the new cards that give you free evolves, Grimnir can be activated as early as turn 5.
Other than the 10 supporting cards above, you can consider these 5 supporting cards to make up the deck. They are, Mirror Witch, Elixir Mixer, O. Lhynkal The Fool, Magic Missle, and Madcap Conjuration.
Best Matchups To Use Evolve Machina Burn Rune Deck In
The deck has a fairly decent matchup against most decks, while not really countering any. Regardless of the matchup, the deck can snowball when it draws well.
Worst Matchups To Use Evolve Machina Burn Rune Deck In
Shadowcraft Decks. Any good Shadow player will be running Celeste Omega in their deck, who can completely prevent you from winning with spells for a turn and buying your opponent time to set up lethal.
However, the game is winnable if you have a good start, but avoid playing Rune when Shadow is popular. Some players started running more aggressive followers such as Rivaylian Bandit, Quixotic Adventurer and Mirror Witch to close the game faster against Shadow.
Mysteria/Less Than 20 Rune Card Decks
A deck from the last expansion that unfortunately did not receive much support in the new one. It is a combo deck that relies on playing the spells created by Anne, Mysterian Prodigy and Grea, Scorching Fury once there are 5 or less cards left in the deck for massive direct face damage.
The deck also runs several ways to duplicate these spells, such as Arcane Duplication and the new card Eleanor, Glorious Flower. Elixer Mixer also goes well with Grea when there are less than 20 cards left in deck for a big heal.
Best Matchups To Use Mysteria/Less Than 20 Rune Card Deck In
The deck is unfortunately not very good, as it was last expansion. Its main issue is drawing Anne and Grea consistently, which the deck currently has no way to guarantee.
Worst Matchups To Use Mysteria/Less Than 20 Rune Card Deck In
This deck pales in strength when it is up against Shadowcraft Decks.
Spellboost Rune Card Decks
With many of Spellboost Rune’s strongest cost reduction followers out of rotation, the deck lost most of its typical tempo options in a tempo oriented meta and has relegated to a control deck with board swarm potential.
For the players who are still dedicated to playing Spellboost Rune, there are still a few good Spellboost cards such as Runie, Absolute Diviner and Ghios, Sparkling Prism. The deck is heavily reliant on drawing these cards and Spellboosting them early to reap their benefits as soon as possible. The deck ends up swarming the board constantly with followers who have weak stats, with occasionally strong threats from Ghios.
However, with only 6 copies of these cards in the deck and the fact that they cannot win on their own, Spellboost Rune has trouble closing out games against most decks. It doesn’t help that there are currently no good Storm followers nor strong direct face damage effect for Spellboost Rune.
Spellboost’s best chance is to control the board as long as possible and cash in on face damage from followers, and hopefully win through direct face damage from Runie, Impalement Arts, and Magic Missiles.
This expansion, Spellboost Rune is rather difficult to pilot and build, and is prone to bricking. As such, this deck is not recommended for new players.
Best Matchups To Use Spellboost Rune Card Deck Against
The deck is unfortunately not very good, as it was last expansion. Its main issue is a lack of a consistent win condition.
Worst Matchups To Use Spellboost Rune Card Deck Against
This deck pales in strength when it is up against Shadowcraft Decks.
Chaos Rune Card Decks
Chaos Rune is the big deck where most of the cards have high cost and high impact to take the most advantage of Whims of Chaos. Whims of Chaos gives both players the same effect – randomizing the cost of all cards in their hands at the start of every turn, between 1 and 10. Cygames has been careful not to release any high-cost cards in Neutral or Rune that can potentially win the game with Chaos, so the deck ends up being mostly very defensive.
This is a decent deck to play if you are expecting to play against Forest often, as Whims of Chaos can completely disrupt their gameplan. That doesn’t mean Forest is a free win though as you still need to roll decent costs on relevant cards yourself. Forest also almost always plays Wind Fairy, which is 10 evolved storm damage, up to 22 if they drew all 3. Chaos is not as effective at disruption against most other decks however, making this deck almost purely a counter deck to Forest.
Apart from Forest, the deck also fares decently against more popular Rune decks, such as Mysteria Rune and Evolve Burn Rune. Against most other decks such as Midrange and Aggro, the deck runs enough big Wards and healing to potentially lock your opponent out of the game, but the game will be very draw dependent. It is also quite likely that you never get the chance to play Chaos before losing the game. The issue can be compensated by adding cheap defensive followers with Enhance keywords, so they won’t be as bad after Chaos is played.
The deck has very niche matchups and is extremely expensive, so it is not recommended for new players.
Best Matchups To Use Chaos Rune Card Deck Against
The Chaos Rune line up excels against Forestcraft decks. Generally, the Chaos buikld messes up with a Forestcrafter’s gameplan the most.
That said, a Forestcrafter deck has comes with its own big threats, so this matchup is definitely not a guaranteed win.
Worst Matchups To Use Chaos Rune Card Deck Against
A Chaos Rune deck fares the worst against Portalcraft decks. You might as well concede defeat when faced against a Portalcraft deck.
Machina Portal has a Belphomet card that benefits immensely from Chaos, while Chaos Rune has no good way to clear a Belphomet board. Meanwhile, Absolute Tolerance centric decks just kill you even faster.
Dragoncraft is the ramp class and houses the strongest late-game Storm followers. If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Dragoncraft is most similar to the Druid class, but has a greater emphasis on strong, expensive followers.
In recent expansions, Dragoncraft has also been receiving a lot of support for aggro and midrange decks, which include cards that still benefit from ramping. Dragoncraft is known for having strong burst damage from both follower Storm and various effects that bypass Wards. Dragoncraft decks are also generally not very difficult to play.
Natura Evolve Combo Dragon Deck
A Natura Evolve Combo Dragon Deck is a strong combo that primarily intends to use Grimnir as a win condition to burst down the opponent for a staggering 20 damage in 1 turn.
Despite being a Natura deck, it does not use Valdain, Forest Shadow; rather it just uses the trees as a cheap draw engine, and as fusion food for Great Mother’s Embrace to guarantee a free evolve for Grimnir.
The deck also tries to ramp up to 10 play points as fast as possible to discount Disrestan, Ocean Harbinger, which when played for 0 play points, usually guarantees a board clear (except for a Belphomet board, leaving behind the ambush follower at 0/1 stats).
Of course, if you happen to have Valdain, he is by no means a bad card to play in this deck. This is because, he is a strong midrange Storm follower and speeds up the deck’s kill potential greatly.
However, if you do decide to include him in, note that he should be played alongside with at least 1 copy of Ghandagoza for the full burst potential.
Best Matchups To Use Natura Evolve Combo Dragon Deck Against
Midrange decks. The deck runs enough removal for midrange boards and healing to survive their burst damage.
Worst Matchups To Use Natura Evolve Combo Dragon Deck Against
The Natura Evolve Combo Dragon Deck doesn’t fare well against combo decks such as Forestcraft, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword decks.
This deck sacrifices combo speed for survival, so your combo will be much slower than your opponent’s. When going up against these decks, your best hope is having the Archangel of Evocation giving you enough extra maximum Defense points to fend them off.
Buff Dragon Deck
The Buff Dragon deck is a midrange one that focuses on buffing the stats of its followers in the deck to create sturdy boards. Due to this emphasis, its followers often end up being difficult to remove normally and can catch opponents off-guard when their normal midrange removal is less than effective.
The deck runs quite a few Storm followers and direct face damage to pressure the opponent, whilst having strong draw options to ensure it doesn’t run out of steam. The deck is also quite reliant on drawing its buff cards before the cards you want to be buffed. As such, the game may get significantly more difficult when you draw your cards in the wrong order.
Keep in mind that you should avoid adding neutral followers as only Dragoncraft followers can be buffed.
Best Matchups To Use The Buff Dragon Deck Against
The Buff Dragon deck shine when facing evolve decks such as Evolve Rune and Evolve Dragon. They may have trouble clearing your large board for Grimnir’s damage to go face reliably.
Pro tip – Try to go wide with your followers so that your opponents can’t just play a couple of Resolve of the Fallens cards to clear 2 large followers and cash in on Grimnir’s damage.
Worst Matchups To Use The Buff Dragon Deck Against
This deck does not have any matchups that it is particularly weak to. However, this deck can brick due to drawing too many high-cost cards early before getting the chance to buff them up, especially cards like Flame Pillar Dragonewt and Rock Whale.
Shadowcraft is a class that focuses on board swarm, with Ghosts (1/1 and banish themselves at the end of turn) as their primary source of Storm damage.
Unlike Swordcraft, Shadowcraft has multiple effects that destroy their own followers for benefits which include more drawing cards, summoning more powerful followers, or to activate powerful Last Words effects.
If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Shadowcraft is quite unique as it does not really bare any resemblance to any class in Hearthstone barring the Warlock class’s minor minion-sacrifice cards.
Additionally, Shadowcraft focuses on Necromancy, which consumes Shadows as a resource for additional powerful effects. You gain Shadows when your followers/amulets get destroyed and when you use spells.
Although Shadowcraft is the only class with cards that actively consumes Shadows, every class can gain Shadows in the same way, but there are very few cards outside Shadowcraft that consumes or even considers Shadows for any condition (other than Path to Purgatory, Elf Queen, and Holylord Eachtar).
Overall, Shadowcraft decks are not difficult to play, but midrange Shadowcraft decks can be surprisingly difficult to build and pilot well.
Machina Shadow Deck
Machina Shadow is a midrange deck that repeatedly swarms the board to eventually overwhelm the opponent.
This deck also runs Necroimpulse, which can summon up to 4 ghosts and grant your board +1 Attack for burst damage with 10 Shadows. It also consists of Nicola, Enduring Steward which can provide a cheap 4 damage spell, potentially dealing 10 damage with 20 Shadows.
Most iterations of the deck includes Reanimate 3 cards to revive Aenea, Creative Amethyst as often as possible, as she supports the board swarm strategy extremely well.
The deck is currently quite popular as it has a higher potential tempo thanks to Aenea over other midrange decks.
However, this deck struggles if Aenea is never drawn, or if the only copy you draw gets banished early.
You may wish to prioritize destroying at least 1 copy of Aenea if you face a class with banish effects (such as any Haven deck, niche Rune decks, and Natura decks). This lets you have the ability to still Reanimate her.
Whatever you do, you should avoid adding any other 3-cost followers, as pulling Aenea with Roly-Poly Mk II and Reanimate cards is usually the ideal set up.
Best Matchups To Use The Machina Shadow Deck Against
The Machina Shadow Deck triumphs when facing combo decks such as Forestcraft, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword decks.
As a midrange deck, the combo deck should have a hard time fighting off your aggression. This deck does not run many wards so try to kill them quickly.
Worst Matchups To Use The Machina Shadow Deck Against
This deck does not have any matchups that it is particularly weak to.
Last Words Shadow Deck
With Amulet Haven nerfed, Last Words Shadow deck has less banish effects to worry about and is seeing more experimentation now.
This deck is a midrange one that focuses on swarming the board. Unlike Machina Shadow, Last Words Shadow has access to Chris, Beyond the Patch’s effect, where all followers with Last Words will gain +2/+2 and Ward at the end of every turn.
Last Words Shadow is slower than Machina Shadow in terms of board swarming, but has more comeback potential and defensive tools at its disposal.
Best Matchups To Use TheLast Words Shadow Deck Against
The Last Words Shadow deck excels against combo decks such as Forestcraft decks, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword. As a midrange deck, the combo deck should have a hard time fighting off your aggression. You should prioritize activating Chris’ effect as soon as possible.
Worst Matchups To Use TheLast Words Shadow Deck Against
This deck does not have any matchups that it is particularly weak to.
Aggro Shadow Deck
Aggro Shadow from the previous expansion has remained relatively untouched and can still easily end the game on turn 5 with the perfect curve. Full on aggro decks are not very popular at the moment so playing this deck line up can catch some people by surprise.
However, this deck is still weak to multiple wards and healing, so watch out.
Best Matchups To Use TheLast Words Shadow Deck Against
The Last Words Shadow deck excels against combo decks such as Forestcraft decks, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword. As an aggro deck, the combo deck should have a hard time fighting off your aggression.
Worst Matchups To Use TheLast Words Shadow Deck Against
The Last Words Shadow deck pales in strength when going up against slow anti-aggro decks such as Natura Evolve Dragon, Ward Haven and Sanctuary Haven. Midrange decks that run a lot of Wards, such as Midrange Sword who may run Sera, will also give you a run for your money.
Bloodcraft is a class that houses many cards that damage your own leader in exchange for more powerful stats and effects, as well as restoring or protecting your leader’s Defense.
If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Bloodcraft is most similar to the Warlock class. Due to the higher stats and stronger abilities to compensate for self-damage, Bloodcraft has been widely considered, throughout the expansions, the aggro class.
Bloodcraft currently has 3 unique conditions for many cards to activate more powerful effects: Vengeance, when your leader has 10 Defense or less; Wrath, when your leader has received damage during your turn during at least 7 instances of damage; Avarice, if you have drawn at least 2 cards this turn.
Bloodcraft also has several effects that activate Vengeance, Wrath, and/or Avarice for you even if the condition is not met. Bloodcraft decks are not difficult to play, but when going up against aggro matchups, managing your defense can become very risky.
Mono Combo Blood Deck
This deck’s main win condition is storming with followers after they have been buffed by Mono, Immortal Garnet. The deck’s main strength is its early presence that can fend off midrange decks well while being somewhat aggressive despite being a combo deck.
Credits go to the potential pressure of Hallessena that some decks have problems dealing with.
Best Matchups To Use TheMono Combo Deck Against
The Mono Combo deck triumphs against Evolve Natura Dragon, Machina Portal and Sanctuary Haven decks.
This deck thrives against such slow decks, as you have the time to assemble your combo without worrying too much about survival.
Best Matchups To Use TheMono Combo Deck Against
The Mono Combo deck is weak against Aggro and Midrange decks. This deck handles aggression rather poorly, so try not to fall behind in tempo. Midrange decks are more difficult due to their Wards.
Wrath Blood Decks
This deck focuses on damaging your own leader to activate Wrath as early as possible.
It is usually built very aggressively with many cards capable of dealing Storm or Burn damage to the opponent due to the more higher stats early game followers.
Despite usually being an aggressive deck, Cygame has introduced quite a few Wrath support cards with greater cost value, allowing it to play more midrange or control.
Best Matchups To Use The Wrath Blood Deck Against
The Wrath Blood deck slays combo decks such as Forestcraft, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword decks.
As an aggressive deck, the combo deck should have a hard time fighting off your aggression. This deck does not run many wards so try to kill them quickly.
Worst Matchups To Use The Wrath Blood Deck Against
This deck does not have any matchups that it is particularly weak to.
However, once you’ve activated Wrath, you should start being careful about your leader’s Defense, and try to stay out of reach of your opponent’s potential burst damage.
Bloodtroth Epitaph Blood Deck
This deck is built around the Bloodtroth Epitaph amulet, which activates Vengeance, Wrath, and Avarice for you while the amulet is in play.
The amulet has a countdown of 3, so you will often have only 2 turns to take full advantage of this effect since the amulet costs 4 play points. As the deck is built around Bloodtroth Epitaph, finding it is of utmost importance and the deck is rather inconsistent, since there is no tutor for the amulet.
Shemyaza is usually played to draw through the deck more quickly to find it. With Shemyaza in your deck, you will likely rather be build the deck more aggressively due to her immense card draw. The deck should also run a small Wrath package in case the amulet is not drawn early.
You may find it strange to see Mono in this deck, but in this lineup, she is played as a regular 2-drop. Her main role is to be drawn by Aiolon’s Remains for Avarice to be activated early on for Skull, Freedom Rider to gain a free +2/+2 on turn 2.
Alternatively, you can also play Lone Promise to be drawn by Aiolon’s Remains instead – this is the only other possible Machina card for Bloodcraft. In this case, adding Showdown Demons to discard the Repair Modes generated may be a good idea.
I also wouldn’t recommend adding both Mono and Lone Promise though, as the spirit of the deck is still about taking advantage of Bloodtroth Epitaph, which neither card does.
Best Matchups To Use The Bloodtroth Epitaph Blood Deck Against
The Bloodtroth Epitaph Blood deck shines when going up against combo decks such as Forestcraft, Absolute Tolerance Portal, Amulet Haven and Combo Sword decks.
As an aggressive deck by nature, the combo decks mentioned will have a hard time fighting off your aggressiveBloodtroth Epitaph Blood deck. A point to note – this deck does not run many wards so try to kill them quickly.
Worst Matchups To Use The Bloodtroth Epitaph Blood Deck Against
ThisBloodtroth Epitaph Blood deck struggles when going up against slow decks such as Evolve Natura Dragon, Ward Haven and Sanctuary Haven decks.
This is because, this deck is incredibly inconsistent due to its reliance on drawing Bloodtroth Epitaph.
Havencraft is the healing and amulet-based class. Havencraft has an emphasis on amulets that Countdown and summon followers that are ahead of the curve when the Countdown finishes, as well as accelerating the Countdown to summon powerful followers earlier.
If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Havencraft is most similar to the Priest class except that it has an identity outside of healing. Due to the slow nature of amulets, Havencraft typically runs a lot of healing cards to compensate.
Alternatively, many Havencraft cards not involving amulets have also been released, and instead grant powerful effects when Defense has been restored. Havencraft decks vary in difficulty depending on the deck’s game plan.
Amulet Haven Deck
With Jatelant, God of Prosperity and Vengeful Sniper nerfed, Amulet Haven is no longer one of the most powerful decks.
Jatelant is no longer an auto-win against most decks, and Vengeful Sniper is more expensive and more difficult to play against aggro. Regardless, the deck can still function as Vengeful Sniper’s damage was not reduced. Jatelant is no longer necessary; Vengeful Snipers will now become the deck’s main win condition.
Best Matchups To Use The Amulet Haven Deck Against
Evolve Natura Dragon, Ward Haven and Sanctuary Haven. These decks are slow enough to give you the time to ramp up your Vengeful Sniper damage.
Worst Matchups To Use The Amulet Haven Deck Against
Aggro and Midrange decks. This deck does not fare well against continuous pressure.
Ward Haven Deck
Ward Haven has a strong matchup against Forest and aggro decks due to their focus on playing Ward followers.
Your primary goal is to play Anvelt and Sacred Groundskeeper early or set up an early Sarissa to snowball. The deck plays like a slow midrange deck, and thus can be overwhelmed by faster midrange decks. Some players add Grimnir to potentially end the game faster, as the evolve condition can be met with the help of Abdiel and Lumerian Paladins.
The deck is quite easy to pilot but requires many legendaries, with several important cards rotating next expansion, so newer players should only craft the deck if they are really interested.
Best Matchups To Use The Ward Haven Deck Against
The Ward Haven deck really stands out against aggro decks, and Forest and Blood Mono Combo decks. These decks are especially weak against Wards and your deck is filled with them.
Worst Matchups To Use The Ward Haven Deck Against
The Ward Haven deck crumbles when facing Midrange decks. This deck’s tempo is usually lower than Midrange decks, so they will almost always be ahead on the board.
The Ward keyword also doesn’t help much when your opponent intends to establish board control. Your best hope is drawing an early Anvelt to clear their board
Sanctuary Haven Deck
Sanctuary Haven was notorious for being a popular oppressive control deck in past expansions.
Its main purpose was to counter Face Dragon, a popular high burst deck at the time, while gatekeeping any other aggro decks or decks that relied on spell/effect-based damage.
However, its most obnoxious cards have rotated (such as Yukari and Blind Justice), and it is now considered a weak, slow deck with no real win condition other than surviving, essentially making it easy prey for combo decks and other slow decks with stronger win conditions.
Despite this, Sanctuary Haven can still compete due to its strength against aggression and ability to fend off midrange decks.
The deck runs a lot of healing cards, which activate the Holy Sanctuary amulet’s effects, which help control the board by dealing 3 damage to a random enemy, summoning a 4/4 tiger, and giving a random ally Ward and Can’t be Targeted by Spells and Effects keywords.
The deck is currently not popular and is rather open ended due to having a rather slow and non-specific gameplan.
Players have tried in the past to include Grimnir as a finisher, but Abdiel is usually too slow compared to other evolve decks who can activate Grimnir much earlier.
Ultimately, the deck is mostly just a counter to aggression, so just add cards that suit your personal play style the most.
Best Matchups To Use The Sanctuary Haven Deck Against
The Sanctuary Haven Deck is excellent against aggro decks. This deck focuses on healing and clearing the board simultaneously. And aggro decks are matchups that you should always be winning against.
Worst Matchups To Use The Sanctuary Haven Deck Against
The Sanctuary Haven deck is bad when facing combo decks.
If you notice your opponent not playing for board as much, chances are they have combos lined up their sleeve.
As bad as this deck is at facing combo decks, players who use this deck is the aggressor, so activating Holy Sanctuary’s third healing effect at every turn should become the priority.
This is because, Holy Sanctuary is the best way to aggro these combo decks down. Alternatively, draw for Archangel of Evocation to raise maximum Defense, and hope that it is enough to survive the combos to come.
Portalcraft was the newest class released in Shadowverse 1 year into its initial launch, starting off at a weak power level, but has since many expansions established itself as a powerful class to play.
If you’ve played Hearthstone before, Portalcraft does not resemble any class in Hearthstone.
Portalcraft has multiple directions to build decks with. Its initial archetypes are Artifacts and Puppets, both encouraging a board control gameplan due to their Rush keyword. This is the ability to attack followers immediately, but not the face.
At the moment, Artifacts are rather weak as a deck due to its lack of early game in rotation, while Puppets play a decent supporting role for Machina Portal decks and Evolve Portal decks. Portalcraft decks vary in difficulty depending on the deck’s gameplan.
Machina/Puppet/Absolute Tolerance Portal
After the nerfs, Machina Portal is suddenly seeing experimentation due to its worst matchup, Amulet Haven, no longer being rampant.
There aren’t enough Machina cards in Rotation for Portal to consistently fuse cards to Belphomet – at this time you can only put 18 copies of Machina cards in a Portal deck, with Magna Zero being rather questionable.
Most players opt for splashing Puppet cards in for a half-Machina/half-Puppet deck. Puppet cards help increase the follower destruction count, so Storm cards such as Illganeau, Horror Astray and Maisha, Purgation’s Vessel are commonly played.
Absolute Tolerance is also seeing increase in play, although it is reliant on being drawn early. Generally, players try to play the deck like a midrange deck, but it is ultimately slower than others. This is a trial deck too, so you are more likely to see newer players with this deck.
Best Matchups To Use TheMachina/Puppet/Absolute Tolerance Portal Deck Against
Shawdowverse players watch out – this deck triumphs against Evolve Natura Dragon, Machina Portal, Sanctuary Haven decks. It also thrives against slow decks, as players of this deck should have a stronger late game.
Worst Matchups To Use TheMachina/Puppet/Absolute Tolerance Portal Deck Against
This deck is weak when facing Midrange decks. It is slower than most midrange decks so they will usually be ahead on board, and this deck has trouble clearing midrange boards.
Evolve/Puppet/Machina Portal Deck
Evolve Portal’s goal is to evolve your followers as early and as fast as possible, activating powerful effects from Grimnir, Feower, and Tien.
With a good draw, they can be activated as early as turn 5. Like Machina Portal, Puppet cards are usually splashed into this deck, especially since several Puppet cards give free evolves.
Some players also opt for splashing Machina cards due to Mega Enforcer providing free evolution points. Due to its core cards and many supporting cards being gold and legendary, it is not recommended for newer players.
The deck is rather open ended due to the large variety of win conditions Portalcraft currently has, and the number of options for free evolves.
Overall, however, the deck is lacking efficient unconditional card draw, so the deck can brick depending on how you build the deck.
Best & Worst Matchups To Use TheEvolve/Puppet/Machina Portal Deck
The deck has a fairly decent matchup against most decks, while not really countering any. Regardless of the matchup, the deck is fairly draw dependent due to a lack of unconditional draw.
Artifact Portal Deck
Artifact Portal lost its strong early cards from the rotation and is no longer the most powerful and popular deck.
It still retains its core combo of Mobilized Factory, Paradigm Shifts, and Bahamut, so the deck still works, but will be less consistent due to poorer early game.
Best Matchups To Use TheArtifact Portal Deck Against
The Artifact Portal Deck excels when facing Evolve Natura Dragon, Machina Portal, Sanctuary Haven decks.
This deck thrives against slow decks, as players have the time to assemble your combo without worrying too much about survival.
Worst Matchups To Use TheArtifact Portal Deck Against
The Artifact Portal Deck is bad when facing Aggro and Midrange decks. This deck does not fare well against aggression based decks like those.