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That time I thought this would be my year but failed and entered hell instead.

Here’s a picture of the best girl doing something she loves. Source: pixiv / 冬風まり(fuu)

Hi all, I’m Tempest and I would like to share a snippet of my experiences playing Shadowverse in the past year. For the majority of people that don’t know me, just click the Meet The Team page. Read my introduction that the amazing Praetorian wrote for us.

Okay I’m guessing you guys didn’t click it anyways. So for the past two years, I have been competing in the SEAO region, where the highlight of my career so far was winning SVO April Cup 2020 with my beloved Artifact Portal and two braindead decks. Sadly, I couldn’t translate the success over to the following months, and I fell short of qualifying for Contenders. When I look back at the past year, I regret not putting enough effort into playing Levin Sword in Ultimate Colosseum or mastering my decks for Fortune’s Hand (or believing in Burial Rite Shadow). I can tell myself that I was busy with internship and school work but I know it’s just an excuse when I still have time to play other games at night. 

Me good player. Me play Al Machinus and go brrr. Source: SVO Esports Youtube

So sure enough, I began to play Shadowverse less, as I started playing some games like Atelier Ryza, Persona 4 Golden and Apex Legends. I also spent too much time reading Shoujo mangas, watching trashy animes when I could’ve spent it all playing Shadowverse, a game that I thought I really loved. Even after the SVO season ended for me this year, I was still looking forward to playing the latest expansion after seeing Maiser revealed. I swear I’m straight as hell, but he really looks a lot like Chuya from Bungo Stray Dogs and I really love Chuya. 

I swear it’s totally not because of the top hat. Source: Shadowverse (left), pixiv / 祐貴 (right)

Just like every expansion, I tried my own brews before playing the meta decks after Week 1. I tried Milteo OTK, Dirt Rune with Maiser, Buff Maiser Rune but they were all just not strong enough. Even though I knew that my decks were at best memes, I was kind of frustrated at the meta in the first week – Anvelt was stupidly oppressive with the Sarissa highroll and Control Heal Haven was so annoying to play against with all the strong control tools. To be honest, I think I was just fed up and tired of the dumb cards that have been released this year – which started with everyone’s favourite Al Machinus. I reached the point that I was just so tired of playing the game that I finally uninstalled it just as the chest event began. 

So while hoping for some balance changes, I started to play other games more, like Farm Grand/Order, having fun in Priconne and Dragalia Lost (ironically still succumbing to being KMR’s slave). I also spent more time catching up with friends, catching up on old anime like Haikyu! and watching the League of Legends World Championships. These activities were really helpful for me since I used to spend too much time checking Twitter constantly for JCG results, new deck lists, meta changes and whatnot. I was able to finally spend less time on Shadowverse for a while but at the end of the day, it felt wrong to not play the game. Just like during Verdant Conflict last year, I barely played the game since it was during the off-season but I just felt guilty as a “competitive” player if I were to take a break from the game for too long. 

Just wanted to share my new Priconne waifu. Halloween Tsumugi is just so cute. Source: Princess Connect! Re:Dive

Fast forward to three days ago (at the time of this writing anyways) and I was watching the West Contenders Cup with the team, where there were some disgusting highrolls that reminded me why I hated this game sometimes, but also some amazing plays that also reminded me why I enjoy playing this game so much (Dolan’s Portal clutch victory against Hishiro’s Sword was actually insane with his anime protagonist powers). 

So I installed the game again today, painfully cleared my leftover daily missions where I had to play the really stupid format a.k.a Unlimited in order to clear Rune AND Blood dailies. I loaded up a new version of the Shadow deck that popped up today and in the span of 5 games, I either lost to some memer playing Sword with Decisive Maneuver or Amulet Haven with the god curve, while drawing ALL my Gremorys. But unlike a few weeks ago, I realised I wasn’t as mad or upset anymore. I guess taking a break from the game helped to untilt me since I wasn’t pressuring myself to climb to GM as fast as I can or master Deck X’s matchups. I told myself that if I was tilting too much, I could just stop playing and go back to Tsumugi waiting for me in Priconne or farming with Summer Marie. Sure enough, it’s the off-season right now so I’m pretty much stress-free but at least I’m beginning to enjoy playing Shadowverse again, even with degenerate decks waiting. I mean, could Ward Haven or Nahato nee-san be any worse than not getting any 5* from 50 rolls in Genshin Impact?

Imagine caring about the meta in a game when you can just only care about waifu. Source: Fate/Grand Order

What I’m trying to say at the end of the day is that if you’re like me and you’re getting tired of playing against Turn 1 Anvelt or Za Warudo in every deck, here’s my piece of advice for you:

Stop playing the game for a while, go do other things, discover new waifus and come back with your new found waifu power. 

Waifu will give you the strength to overcome the despair of drawing 3 Za Warudos. 

Waifu will give you the power to draw Anvelt on Turn 1.

Waifu will give you the power to go first in every game.

If you haven’t already, follow me on my Twitter (@tempest_sv) where I will always share amazing fanart of my waifus, Team Dawnbreakers’ Twitter (@DawnbreakersSV) for our team updates and join our Discord channel where you can share your salt/crazy highrolls or just your waifus.

August SVO Deck Summary

by DB Zhiff

In this meta we saw all classes have a viable deck – something that hasn’t happened in a long time! With so many decks being playable maybe you struggle to find which one is the best but fear not, we have some stats that could help you!
Here are the most popular decks that players brought to the Shadowverse Open:

First was SVO WEST in which Dirt was the most popular deck with 60% of all players having it in their lineup. Shadow was another obvious pick but we also had some “new” decks show up – Elana and Roach.

SEAO wasn’t much different and we can see the same decks in the 10 most popular slots with some minor differences in their order. Players in this region seem to favor Discard Dragon and Sword more while Control Blood and Terror Forest are less popular than they were in WEST.

You can find the full documents with some other interesting stats here:
WEST Stats
SEAO Stats

Best Cards from Fortune’s Hand

By Team Dawnbreakers

With every new expansion we like to make card reviews for fun. This time we’ve decided to pick one card we think is really good for every class and showcase them here! Keep in mind that those reviews are mostly for fun and they were made before the pre-release so don’t go out of your way crafting all those cards… yet.


Deepwood Wolf (7)
Follower
Accelerate (1): Return an allied follower or amulet to your hand. Draw a card.
———-
Storm.
When you play a card using its Accelerate effect, evolve this follower.

3/3 // 6/6

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
Better guidance, why. You’ll probably never play it for the follower
but it does have storm. The problem is you’d rather just bounce
your roach with this. Also supports the accelerate deck.

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
Reprint of nature guidance in follower form. This card
also is 6/6 storm with an accel on 8. Great card.

Petrus – Rating : 4.5/5
Seems very powerful, synergize with accel package + roach.
Nature’s Guidance in disguise actually, 7 PP is heavy but can create
huge threat on turn 8 or potential finisher. and even if you don’t go
face, you can clear a big thing with value.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
Nature Guidance, nuff said, but if u reach turn 7 you can’t play him as your first card, there is that.

Tempest – Rating: 5/5
I mean, it’s nature’s guidance.


Decisive Strike (1)
Spell
Deal X damage to an enemy follower. X equals the attack of the highest-attack Commander follower in your hand. Enhance (5): Deal X damage to all enemy followers instead.

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
Why??? This effect is really dumb.
The good commanders are 1-4 attack but even then 1pp deal 4 is
insane or 5pp deal 4 but only to all enemy followers. You can even
play that stupid noble to highroll for 9 damage. Really annoying
effect because you can’t tell how much damage your opponent is
going to do and being able to play around your opp’s aoe cards is
key for board based decks.

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
Why. Play this in all sword decks.

Petrus – Rating : 5.5/5
Insane card, you can’t really play around it, will generally deal 4
because key commanders have 4 attack. Your commander don’t
need to be on the board ???? Can deal 4 dmg to ennemy board
for 5 ? Nah this sucks for sure :^) , remember ivory sword and cry.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
1pp deal 3-4 is nuts, 2pp deal 3 is already annoying, now 1pp? and even 5pp aoe? this is just a crazy card, if midrange sword becomes nuts, this card is part of the deck for sure

Tempest – Rating: More Cancerous ISD/5
bUt nOw mY OpPoNenT kNows wHAt cArd I HavE


Adamantine Golem (6)
Follower
During your turn, when this card is added to your hand from your deck, if there are 2
allied Earth Sigil amulets or less in play, reveal it and summon an Earth Essence.
———-
Fanfare: Randomly activate 1 of the following effects. Earth Rite (X): Do this X more
times. X equals the number of allied Earth Sigil amulets in play.
-Summon a Guardian Golem.
-Put a Witch Snap into your hand and change its cost to 0.
-Deal 2 damage to the enemy leader. Restore 2 defense to your leader.

5/6 // 7/8

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
Magisa replacement. Obviously only good in dirt but not only is this
a good pressure tool and finisher but you also get random free
sigils out of it. Kind of dumb tbh.

Nitro – Rating: 4/5
This is the card that ties dirt together this expac. I don’t know
if dirt will be tier 1 ut its looking like tier 2. The revealed effect
is just a bonus.

Petrus – Rating : 5/5
Very storng boss monster for Dirt. More designed for a control/tempo
gameplan rather than a burn one but looking good. Still not sure
since no Magisa but since the deck is now more turned into a mid
deck it can maybe work.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
This is what turn dirt into a very control-ish deck, good tempo that opp has to deal with and the fact you can potentially roll into 4 3/3 ward is insane, good effect overall very happy with this card

Tempest – Rating: 4.5/5
Dirt is gonna be back, and it’s gonna be thanks to this card. Arguably, it could be better than Orichalcum since you activate it the same turn you play it and you can get wards/0pp deal 3 which can be really huge


Turncoat Dragon Summoner (3)
Follower
If this card is discarded by an effect, put a Crimson Dragon’s Sorrow into your hand.
———-
Ward.
Fanfare: Discard a card. Put an Azure Dragon’s Rage into your hand.

2/3 // 4/5

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
I think it’s better to discard this than to get the fanfare but either
way its really good in disco dragon. That deck is starting to look
scary.

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
One of the est discard payoffs I’ve ever seen. This card gives you a ward on discard that discards more cards or a storm
boi. Both evo and showdown will love this

Petrus – Rating : 5/5
In love with the design, adds alot of things to the discard archetype
and really help with the Plesi nerf. The whole package seem strong
enough to compete with at least the whole Tier 2. You can just
exhaust them and out value them to death.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
All i see is pure value, some discard are already a direct minus, some are not, this just turn your discard into value and even more value.

Tempest – Rating: 4/5
Thank god plesi was nerfed. I don’t think dragon can discard fast enough to cheat either of the tokens early, but it’s still a card with really good value.


VI. Milteo, The Lovers (5)
Follower
Fanfare: Burial Rite (2) – Reanimate (X) and Reanimate (Y). X and Y equal 6 split
randomly.
(To perform Burial Rite (2), there must be at least 2 open spaces in your area after
this follower comes into play.)
Enhance (9): Do not perform Burial Rite. Evolve this follower instead.
Can’t be evolved using evolution points. (Can be evolved using card effects.)
Last Words: Draw 2 cards.
At the end of your turn, destroy 6 other random followers. Then, if the enemy leader
has 7 defense or more, deal damage to them until their defense drops to 6.

4/4 // 6/6

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
The backbone of the bural rite deck, this is why you want to play it.
Does a lot of things and all of them good. There is only one type
of shadow in this new set so I guess unless shadow sucks this
card will be played

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
The first main reason to play the new shadow this expac. Strong turn 5 board similar to cerberus. Enhance 9 is just a benefit. The deck is looking good.

Petrus – Rating : 5/5
Since your deck will be mixed with amulets and followers and you
have so much survability this card is your game ending one.
The first effect is quite meh, give you tempo but a bit costly but the
enhance will legit swipe the ennemy board leaving The Lovers at
6/6 on your board + will like always trigger the dmg to 6HP remaining.
To me if burial is viable it’s because this card give enough power on
her own.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
This card just spells stonks all over it, free 2 body as long you dun roll 0 on one of the rng, and even draw 2 when it dies, this will be your turn 5 power play and even later on, just a stonks card really and the evo eff is just a kill more

Tempest – Rating: Cerb 5/5
Bro there’s like so many combos you could do with this and even if you can’t evo this, you could reanimate shuten/sora/shovel and evo it to clear boards for you and if you have the 2pp crystallize popping this turn you can just evo that lmao this is so much value


Silverbolt Hunter (1)
Follower
Fanfare: Deal 1 damage to your leader.
Last Words: Give +1/+1 to a random allied follower.

1/2 // 3/4

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
Wow, this is just really good. Better than ambling wraith maybe?

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
Best 1 drop in the game. Wrath is looking good this expac.

Petrus – Rating: 5/5
Insane powercreep to ambling wraith, best stats for a 1 cost,
synergize with Wrath, aggro/tempo last word.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
power creep gobu

Tempest – Rating: 5/5
Bruh. Hopefully this makes pain blood a thing


Reverend Adjudicator (5)
Follower
Ward.
Fanfare: Restore 2 defense to your leader. Draw a card.
During your turn, whenever your leader’s defense is restored, summon a
Snake Priestess.

2/3 // 4/5

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
Elana support AND ward haven support and draws cards. I’m sure
it will fit at least one of those decks really well.

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
Nevermind, Elana Ward Haven is a Thing.

Petrus – Rating: 4.5/5
Draw, heal and a 3/6 divised in two bodies with ward. Synergize
with Elana and Ward Haven perfectly.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
Elana trigger, draw, free 1/3, stonks

Tempest – Rating: 4/5
Very strong synergy with elana and give you board + heal for just 5pp and an evo.


Artifact Scan (0)
Spell
Put copies of 2 random allied Artifact cards with different names destroyed this
match into your hand. Then, if more than 6 allied Artifact cards with different names
have been destroyed this match, change their costs to 0.

Praetorian – Rating: 5/5
This looks insane. 0 pp cards are usually busted and I think this will
be no exception. This might keep the p-shift deck alive even after
the lost of bestowal.

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
Good card but not busted until you proc the second effect. If artifact deck is playable, its because of this card.

Petrus – Rating : 5/5
Ok so glad bestowal rotated with this card now printed. 0pp put
artifacts in your hand, later on ( kinda difficult to pull but ) they can be
played for free ? Broken card, can legit maintain Artifacts.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
Breaks unlim, shows a small hope for artifact but i dun think this op card alone can save the deck

Tempest – Rating: 5/5
This card is clearly stupid as fuck but too bad bestowal is gone. At least artifact can easily always get back analyzing/ancient now


Fieran, Havensent Wind God (4)
Follower
Invocation: At the start of your turn, Rally (10) – Invoke this card.
——
Fanfare: If you have more evolution points than your opponent, gain +0/+2 and deal 2
damage to an enemy follower.
(You have 0 evolution points on turns you are unable to evolve.)
At the end of your turn, give +1/+1 to all allied followers.

1/1 // 3/3

Praetorian – Rating: 4/5
Very strong, you can use it in swarm decks like rally sword or maybe
some aggro shadow build. Invoking cards for free is always good
and the buff is pretty strong.

Nitro – Rating: 5/5
One of the best cards printed this set. Any board swarm deck will
love to have her.

Petrus – Rating : 4.5/5
Insane Neutral. Rally (10) so must be played in some tempo or
board heavy decks, thinking mostly Sword/Shadow maybe Forest.
The fanfare is kinda bonus but the end turn effect carry the whole
card.

Crisome – Rating: 5/5
Broken, free and invoked on turn 6 consistently with sword or shadow. this is wat will make aggro deck return on day 1, very strong card and even if u drew it, still can play it out unlike Riley or the Dreadlord

Tempest – Rating: 4.5/5
Insane card, really easy to invoke early for rally decks and on the off chance you can trigger the fanfare you can make insane tempo plays. We might see the return of board based interactive Shadowverse after all

Top 10 Most Hated Cards

An article by DB Praetorian

Shadowverse World Uprooted Rotation

We’re right before a new set so let’s take a look at what’s fun and what’s not and hopefully we get less of these cards in the future…

Of course this list is very subjective, let me know if you agree or disagree!

10. Dragon Oracle

Starting off with a classic dragon card. While in Hearthstone druid had their version of Dragon Oracle nerfed for being too good and always in every deck, it doesn’t look like Cygames has any plans to change this card. It’s usually an auto 3 of in every single dragon deck, the only exceptions being dragon decks that really want early tempo or madlads that choose to play less than 3 copies because they’re playing Highlander or for some other unexplainable reason. This is easily the most powerful basic card in my opinion. The only downside here is that this card is only as strong as the strongest follower you can cheat out early so as annoying as it is it’s only a problem when there’s a powerful card that you don’t want to face a turn or two earlier.

9. Kel, Holy Marksman

I really disliked this card when it came out and while it’s not as popular now I still get PTSD when I hear his voice lines. It’s almost impossible to play around this card after turn 4 because now with Al Miraj they can deal anywhere between 2 and 8 AoE damage and wipe your entire board depending on what they have in their hand. If you’re playing an aggro deck you’re better off not playing around it and just hoping they don’t draw him because it’s almost impossible to come back. Not only will your board get cleared but your opponent will also heal and that’s a combination that crushes any aggressive strategy. The only thing saving this card from being higher on the list is that it only beats fair decks that win through board which we don’t really have right now.

8. Nerea, Beast Empress

This is another card similar to Kel that just does too much and destroys every board you can make around turn 6. The upside here is that not only is it an amazing clear and protection because of the ward but it’s also just a lot of stats, way too much stats for one card in fact. It isn’t the most played card right now because blood decks prefer to focus on machina cards but it did see some play even in those decks not because it has synergy with them but just because of how strong this card is. I expect to see it a lot more in the next expansion. The only people who love this card are weirdos who want to get stepped on.

7. Zeus, the Supreme

This isn’t a card you see very often but when you do see it at least one player in the game will get upset. This card is a win condition and it requires some setup which is fine but even then whether you get the win or not is random which also makes it very difficult to play around. Your best bet is to stay at 20 hp behind a ward but that doesn’t always save you as sometimes he decides that he doesn’t care about wards. Other times however, Zeus decides to do nothing at all and then the player who played him will be very upset. At least he costs 10 play points so I don’t think he will ever be super popular because of how fast the game is right now.

6. Whirlwind Rhinoceroach

Going from 20 to 0 is never fun when you’re on the receiving end. Not only that but this card is a lot easier to use than the previous roach which required a fairly big brain that can perform mathematical operations quickly and without error. Not only that but you needed to hold cards and play them all together in one turn so your opponent kind of knew how much damage they can expect. The new roach lethal, however, is the easiest part of the deck. Just play as many roaches as fast as you can and keep at least one so you can kill your opponent. This deck has also been relevant for far too long although it did change a bit over the months. One good thing about it is that the rest of the deck does actually require skill to play properly so it was never a huge problem on ladder. But hey, sometimes you just draw all your roaches at the start and then everyone can play it.

5. Ravening Corruption

This card has corrupted our previously fair and balanced card game and managed to tilt many people just for the one month it’s been in the game. I really hope we get some way to remove or temporarily stop leader effects because we have so many at this point and a lot of them don’t really cost you anything to put them in your deck – just like this card. Not only does it have full stats and a decent fanfare but the leader effect is relevant for every deck because.. Well every deck draws cards. That’s the most common thing in card games. Not only that but the effect itself is random which means a lot of games get decided by where the pings land. As terrible as all of this sounds, I didn’t put this card higher on the list because I believe that a certain other card is the culprit but we’ll get to that later.

4. Belphomet, Worldreaver

All the machina cards we had for portal were pretty bad but just because you can fuse them to Belphomet, this abomination became a playable deck. I really dislike decks where you have a lot of bad cards supporting one good card, I feel like cards should be more balanced and you shouldn’t have to rely on one specific card. But that wouldn’t even be that big of a problem if the card you had to rely on wasn’t completely random. It might not seem like the most random thing at first because you fuse a lot of cards and you always get some effects but the problem is that one of the effects is a lot better. When belphomet gets his stats buffed not only does he become hard to deal with but he also draws you cards. What happens when you miss that effect is that you’ll run out of cards in hand but your board will also get cleared more easily so you’ll just lose the game. The only saving grace here is that if you have a deck that clears big boards easily you’ll probably be fine even if belphomet has a very good roll.

3. Natur Al’machinus

Probably the most iconic card of World Uprooted. This is so powerful that a lot of classes just use all the fusible cards with this and they have a decent deck that would probably beat everything we had before this set. It is played in a lot of top tier decks and it’s such a crazy power play that everyone is trying to play this card one turn before their opponent which isn’t the most fun thing ever. There is also some randomness in the cards you draw and discount with this which can certainly decide games. Probably a card that most people would put on the top of their lists but while I agree that it’s very powerful I don’t dislike the core design of the card and wouldn’t mind if it just got tuned down a bit.

2. Valdain, Cursed Shadow

While Al Machina terrorized the game for the last 3 months, this bad boy has been around since Verdant Conflict, and always in a top tier deck as far as I can remember. Not only is he super popular but his effect is very unfun to play against. Dealing damage every turn without having to actually play cards is not very interesting and the nature of this card makes it so some games are decided very early. In card games you usually always have a small chance to pull a crazy comeback but against this deck, once you fall behind, it’s very difficult to win and in some cases it’s straight up impossible. It’s very frustrating because you can see your demise a few turns ahead and when this happens against other decks you can always pray that they don’t draw the cards they need, but here the dragon player doesn’t actually need to do anything once he has Valdain set up with a large enough number of trees destroyed. I guess the only positive thing you can say about this card is that it only works in the Natura Dragon deck and it does have some weakness against early aggression.

Before we get to number 1, let’s go over some honorable mentions!

Ines, Maiden of the Clouds

This isn’t a very popular card but I always get upset when I see it. If you don’t have an answer for it right away, good luck. It’s not really good because most decks do have an answer right now but if you don’t draw it you’re still screwed.

Changewing Cherub

Probably not the most annoying card but it is very popular so you’re surely tired of playing against it by now. What makes it really annoying is when you get both effects and heal while killing something. That’s a bit too much for a 2 cost follower.

Aenea, Amethyst Rebel

What made this card a contender for this list was the buff that changed it to 4 play points. This makes it come a bit too early and it can sometimes be very difficult to remove if played on curve.

Ivory Sword Dance

This card was mostly a problem in the past when Leod was played in Sword. I still don’t like it though and I remember getting screwed by it a lot back in the day so I’m happy it rotates.

Rino, Cleansweep Archer

Another card you don’t really see often nowadays but back when it first came out it was pretty obnoxious. Not only is the damage random but it’s random across the board which made those moments where she deals 4 to everything very tilting.


And now, the most annoying card to play against:


1. Karyl, Catty Sorceress

Probably a bit unexpected but if you know me you know that this card is number one. It may not be as common as Al Machina or Valdain but that doesn’t make it any less tilting when you lose to it. Where do I start with this card? It helps you set up the Riley OTK in NTR Rune which is its main use but it also created a deck that literally only plays Karyl as its runecraft follower and a bunch of cards that just draw or copy her so you can play 3 of her in a row and win the game. That’s just stupid. Reducing max hp is such a bad mechanic, nothing is more frustrating than dying with a ton of healing in your hand because you can’t use it. And not only does it reduce your max hp but it has a union burst effect that can both clear the board and damage your leader. But that’s not all, she also has an evolve effect where she destroys everything with 3 defense or less for some reason. Usually my plan is to make them play Karyl for the evolve effect before they can activate her union burst but then they just have a second one in hand and kill me. Not only is the card super annoying but the deck where it’s played is very inconsistent. Some games they just have nothing and other games they kill you on turn 7 and you can’t do much about it with most decks.

Paradigm Shift Portalcraft

A guide by DB Zhiff.

Portal was one of the decks that got discovered later since it didn’t use Al Machina but once people learned how to build and play it it quickly became a top tier deck.

Introduction

Artifact – Paradigm Shift Portal is a new archetype of portalcraft that was introduced in World Uprooted Expansion. The era of putting artifacts into deck and tutor has gone. Now you can simply add it to hand or summon them immediately using spells.

This is currently the most versatile deck that is available in rotation format. This deck has all access to any type of utilities and your gameplan will adapt heavily depending on matchups and the initial cards that are available in your hand. This deck can be an aggro-midrange or midrange-control deck depending on how you utilize your cards, especially Syntonization. Deck will feel different depending on the pilot.

Changelog

  1. Version 1 (12th April 2020) : Initial Release
  2. Version 2 (5th May 2020) : Added Additional Decklist, Syntonization choices, Tech card writeup, Mulligan, General Tips, Matchup Table, Specific MU added ( Mirror, Valdain Dragon, NTR Rune, and Machina Haven )
  3. Version 2.1 (8th May 2020) : Added more details on Syntonization choices.

Decklist

This list was piloted by Riowh/GxG in GM Ladder. He achieved 20 winstreak with this deck at 17k-19k MP. A bit unconventional list since not many people running Belphomet. But I feel this list is the best suited for the current ladder meta (as of early April) . I will elaborate it further during card selection and matchup scenarios. This list is preferred for Mid-Control Strategy. VOD can be found https://www.openrec.tv/live/nqr63160lr6

5th May Update :

Ladder and competitive meta has changed since the 1st time this article was published. Machina blood has lost its dominance, machina forest is nowhere to be found. Valdain dragon, Natura rune, and Machina Elana popularity rises. In order to get a better advantage against the former two, A more aggressive list without Belphomet is now preferred since it can perform Aggro-Mid gameplan in a more consistent manner . Below are the sample of the list 

Vibrochakram and Belphomet were completely cut from the list. More aggressive cards such as Ameth and Mugnier were preferred. 

Card Choices

Syntonization

One of the most versatile card ever printed in Shadowverse history. This is a card that you want to keep in your mulligan most of the time, together with Augmentation Bestowal, Android Artisan, and Vertex Colony. The choices that you made when playing this card will dictate how you play the game. Generally for aggro-midrange approach : analyzing/bifurcating . for midrange-control : bifurcating/paradigm shift/analyzing. But there is also a situation where you go for Pshift in aggro-midrange. Turn when you play this card also matters, since bifurcating value falls off late game. Only choose radiant for lethal / lethal setup. Below, I listed syntonization decision making as reference, but take note that this is just a reference based on my experience and observation, There might be a better decision depending on the matchup and opponent board state.

Handy Syntonization Decision Making reference 

Current Turn Hand SituationDecisionSuggested Play
1Artisan exist , no Vertex ColonyBifurcatingT2 Artisan T3 Bifurcating 
1Vertex Colony exist, no ArtisanAnalyzingT2 Vertex T3 Golem + Analyzing
1Vertex Colony + Artisan exist, no AugmentationAnalyzingT2 Vertex T3 Golem + Analyzing T4 Artisan + Golem
1Vertex Colony + Augmentation + Artisan existBifurcatingT2 Vertex, T3 Golem, T4 Artisan + Golem, T5 Augmentation + Bifurcating
OR
T2 Artisan T3 Vertex, T4 anything, T5 Augmentation + Bifurcating + Strike Golem + Guard Golem
1Technomancer exist, no Artisan or ColonyAnalyzingT2 Analyzing + Technomancer
3Colony is on board, no Augmentation in handParadigm ShiftT3 Golem + Syntonization
3Colony is on board, Augmentation in handBifurcatingT3 Golem + Syntonization, T4 Augmentation + Bifurcating + Golem
3Colony is on board, Augmentation and Artisan in handAnalyzingT3 Artisan + Syntonization, T4 Augmentation + Strike Golem + Guard Golem + Analyzing
AnyWhenever you draw Syntonization using Augmentation draw effect after you play bunch of artifactsParadigm Shift

Credits to https://twitter.com/tenkochankawaii 

Paradigm Shift Generators

Paradigm Shift is the engine that makes this deck running. Android Artisan is the cheap generator that you want to keep in mulligan for most if not every single game. Ironsting Archaeologist is a strong evo target that also has a huge board presence. Vibrochakram can be treated as 3pp removal, most of the artifact list omitted her because her accel cost is a bit expensive, but she is a good addition in this deck because of Belphomet. All these cards are machina and only good when played early game. Fuse these cards into Belphomet for late game.

Board Swarm/Artifact Generators

These cards are your board swarmer. Their job is to fill the board and pressure the opponent in aggro-midrange / answer opp board in midrange-control as well as reducing paradigm shift costs. Technomancer primary copy targets are ancient, analyzing, and vertex colony artifacts. Copy those artifacts and prepare it in your hand for augmentation combo or simply clearing your opponent next board. Magic Gunsmith is a staple follower that can summon analyzing/ancient depending on the situation. Rebel against fate is a good clear and board presence. Comboing these cards with augmentation and shion is pretty nasty.

Combo Enabler

Augmentation Bestowal lets you cheat PP and draw cards at the same time. Shion can buff your board so it will be harder to remove and makes your follower hit face harder and makes your board a constant threat. These two cards makes artifacts highroll can be even stronger than other class. Also we have Absolute Modesty which her leader effect enables this deck to deal ping damage for free in later turn. These ping damage will snowball as the game further goes.

Late Game Dominator

These are your game deciding cards. These cards’ job is to outflip the tempo and if your opp can’t clear it, you practically won the game. Artifact Duplicator is your main tempo swing card. It will summon max 4 different types of artifacts that has been destroyed in the game. In a certain matchup, you need to plan what kind of artifact that you need to revive by controlling the type of artifacts that you play in previous turns. It can get nastier when you combo it with augmentation and shion on turn 8. 

Vertex Colony is your finisher on turn 9. It will demolish your opponent’s board and also hitting face as a bonus. If you somehow managed to activate modesty effect in previous turns, this face damage is technically doubled which helps you end the game. Vertex Colony is also a versatile card which is also good for early game. 

When you went for a midrange-control plan, Artifact duplicator is really crucial to have on turn 7-8. However with just 3 copies, sometimes you won’t be able to draw him. Here is where Belphomet comes into picture. All Paradigm Shift generators are machina and they are usually no longer useful late game. Belphomet will fill the role of artifact duplicator tho it is a bit RNG Based. Also it has a chance to draw cards which will help you to secure vertex colony on turn 9. Belphomet also helps to decrease your hand size to avoid overdraw when you combo augmentation bestowal with artifacts swarming.

Tech/Support

These are cards that usually exist in the list, they are not directly contributing to main gameplan, but good cards to tech.

Ameth is a very flexible card. It really shines when you committed to an aggro-midrange gameplan in a non-belphomet list. The best case to use her is  when you have something that is being left on the field. Evolve it, Buff it, go face with it. Since it only costs 1pp, you can still play a lot of cards this turn. At the end of the turn, you have big ward and bunch of followers on the field. Even without evolved follower, having additional ward is a big deal in this current meta, especially with the rise of NTR Rune. Not only for blocking lethal finisher, there is various board manipulation that you can do with a ward. For example, protecting artifacts on board by giving technomancer/gunsmith ward so it can survive before you play shion on next turn.


Ralmia can be a clutch storm finisher. However most of the time you will always play her as 2/1 rush or 4/3 rush with free evo. She is good for Belphomet Lists since she is a machina. non-Belphomet list starts to reduce her since you want to maximize Magna Giant’s chance to search for Paradigm Shift Generators. Magna Giant is used mostly for searching your deck and sometimes being fused into Belphomet.

Cat Gunner : 2pp Removal, makes absolute modesty accelerate effect viable

Mugnier : Disrupt your opponent gameplan, removing ward for lethal.

Clash of Heroes : Value trades, Enables to go face and clear opp board at the same time, airstrike artifact damage cheese, Ralmia lethal bypassing ward cheese.

Focus : Thinning the deck, can be played as 0 to avoid overdraw before/during augmentation. Usually the list includes 3 copies of Focus, 3x Magna Giant and only 0-1 Ralmia.

Gabriel : Help to finish the game / Protect artifacts / Big ward against Natura Rune

Gameplan and Tips

This deck has emphasis on board control and overwhelming your opponent with board presence every single turn. Ideal situation for this deck would be generating P-shifts while at the same time pressuring the enemy and increasing the types of artifacts that have been played in this match.  By turn 7 onwards, you should have enough artifacts to resummon it using Artifact duplicator and keep controlling with the 2nd Duplicator/Belphomet/Vertex Colony until you win.

Playstyles

Your very first few cards in a game dictates your overall gameplan. Unlike other decks which require you to draw your “Key Card” in order to win. This deck can adapt without the said key card. Though, some matchup does require Paradigm shifts or Absolute Modesty effect as early as possible in order to increase your chance. In general, I would like to separate two main playstyle : Aggro-Mid and Mid-Control

Aggro-Mid

Early Key Cards : Syntonization, Android Artisan, Technomancer, Magic Gunsmith, Augmentation Bestowal, Shion

This is a situation where you try to play this deck as an aggro deck. Starts with early syntonization into either analyzing/bifurcating. Copy them further with technomancer. Try to have board presence as soon as possible against slower deck and buff ’em with Shion. Basically your gameplan is to rush the game as early as possible before your opponent can achieve their wincon.

This kind of playstyle is a bit risky, but it is needed to fight against a deck that has fast but rigid wincon. So you need to be aggressive and try to win before they can complete their wincon.

Mid-Control

Early Key Cards : Syntonization, Android Artisan, Vertex Colony, Ironsting Archaeologist (2nd), Absolute Modesty (2nd) 

Late Key Cards : Artifact Duplicator/Belphomet/Vertex Colony

Your gameplan is to generate as much artifacts types as possible during t2-t6 in order to maximize the value of Absolute Modesty and Vertex Colony. Syntonization might be used for shift / filling artifact that has not played yet. Contest enemy board and try to survive until your power turn on 7 onwards. 

Mulligan

There are 4 cards that is good to keep in general

  • Syntonization
  • Android Artisan
  • Augmentation Bestowal
  • Vertex Colony

There were some other cards that are worth keeping based on matchups or 1st/2nd.

Syntonization and Android Artisan is a must keep since they are your main engine. Vertex colony is your best 2 drops that makes your games smoother. While you might only play Augmentation Bestowal later in the game, this card is the main reason why artifacts can overwhelm other classes, so it is really a valuable keep.  

Technomancer is a good keep if you have Syntonization / Vertex Colony in hand. 

Magic gunsmith is a good keep if you have an artisan on hand.

Archeologist and Modesty is also a good keep when you are going 2nd. Modesty is a must keep in matchup against Control Forest since it really helps you to close the game against that deck.

Paradigm Shift Artifacts

These artifacts are your most efficient tools in order to control/end your opponent. By itself, they are already strong enough and they make Artifact duplicator become high value card. Don’t be too frugal when you are going to use paradigm shift. you don’t need to reduce their cost to 0 before you can play them. If you look at their original cost (5) , it means that as long as it is below 5, you already have advantage. Also there is no need to hoard many paradigm shifts as you probably won’t need that many to win and it may backfire.

Barrier Artifact is a strong Bane+Ward card which is the most annoying artifact to remove. It will block you from big storm threats like Mono/Riley/etc. Make sure to use it against them since it will drain their resources

Keenedge Artifacts is a rush+drain card which solves artifact past problems : Lack of HP regen. The value of the card increases significantly because it can be resummoned using duplicators. Clearing the board and at the same time healing your HP is pretty neat. This card makes artifact better against early aggression/aggro.

Airstrike Artifact is a storm+last word card which usually acts as your finisher. Use this to end the game / setting up lethal. Comboing this card with shion lets you deal tons of damage. Beware of setting up lethal when playing against rune and haven since they can banish this card and your last word effect won’t trigger.

Combos and Example of Strong Plays

T6 Double Augmentation + Rebel against Fate

Double augmentation into rebel is a really nasty combo. 4pp card for free and draws 4 cards. This is also one of the reason he run belphomet since he tends to overdraw his hand. Btw, he keeps augmentation bestowal in his starting hand together with android artisan.

T6 Augmentation + bifurcating + analyzing _ shion

Notice that the moment he saw his starting hand, there is no need to go for a paradigm shift using syntonization.  

T9 The Power of Lord Belphomet RNG

Belphomet draws a lot of cards, it means that it is a way to secure vertex colony lethal.

T8 Augmentation + Artifact Duplicator + Shion

Self-Explanatory

General Tips and Play Utilization

  • Always remember that Paradigm Shift is your tool, not your wincon. Don’t let your chance of making strong board with artifacts gone because of your greediness of hoarding paradigm shifts
  • If you have syntonization and technomancer in your first hand, going with analyzing artifact + technomancer t2 is usually a good move even if you went for a mid-control gameplan. You add pressure early and can draw more cards that you need for late game.
  • Vertex Colony is usually your best play on 2, not android artisan. The reason for this is that you want to play both artifacts generated as cheap and as soon as possible for 2pp. Since 4pp is too expensive and you want to play as many cards as possible in the early game. Turn 2 vertex -> turn 3 Guardian/Strikeform -> turn 4 Artisan + Guardian/Strikeform is usually an ideal play.
  • Your board of artifacts are a constant threat to your opponent since they can be buffed by Shion. 
  • When you Evo Ironsting Archaeologist, in some cases, there is no need to trade ancient artifacts into your opponent follower. You can have archaeologist trading instead and retain board presence 
  • In general, only use augmentation bestowal if you have 2 artifacts or more
  • Think carefully when you are going to use augmentation bestowal. Only use that card if you have a strong play that your opponent can’t counter or in dire need of key cards for late game (Duplicator/Vertex). I have seen someone spamming board turn 6 with augmentation and just waiting to be obliterated with Nereia. 
  • When using augmentation bestowal, take care of overdrawing and take note of cards that are being burned. You might want to fuse your machina into your Belphomet first during or before augmentation
  • Double Augmentation bestowal is a very strong play. Abuse it when situation arises and don’t be afraid of milling cards.
  • Augmentation bestowal effect is based on each artifact that comes into play. So remember that for double bestowal : Rebel against fate is 0pp and bifurcating artifacts actually gives you +1pp. T5 double bestowal + bifurcating or T6 double bestowal + rebel against fate is very strong.
  • Don’t be afraid to use your paradigm shift at high cost (especially Barrier/Keenedge). Sometimes they are the best play that you can make during that turn and your opponent can’t handle that without spending resources. Playing them early means better value of Artifact Duplicator later
  • In general, Syntonization late game is reserved for paradigm shift/radiant only.
  • You can control your types of artifacts generated by artifact duplicators. Sometimes it is a right decision to not summon bifurcating in order to get guaranteed artifacts
  • Don’t force to evo Absolute Modesty just for the ping effect if your opponent board is threatening your hp. You can still win even without her effect.
  • When you play Ralmia together with an artifact, there is no absolute need to evo her in the same turn. In fact, you can leave her unevolved and she still has her free evo effect in the next turn in case your opponent couldn’t kill her.
  • Technomancer artifact copy can be held until you have your augmentation bestowal combo
  • You can fuse your useless furies into Belphomet.
  • You might not want to play pshift generators anymore after t6 if you have Belphomet in hand.
  • Generally it is better to use Ameth on non-artifact follower to protect your board of artifacts. Because if your artifacts survives, it will be a bigger threat when you buffed them with Shion. 

Matchups

Summary Table

This is my opinion about the matchups and what I think might be the best gameplan. Take note that even though we know the ideal gameplan for a certain matchup, executing it might not be possible since we didn’t have the cards in starting hands. Your starting hands dictates more on your gameplan and you kinda need to stick with it instead forcing yourself to go with a recommended plan. Also there is a more detailed info for selected matchups, but here are the general table

Deck ArchetypeWinning ChanceQuick tips for AFQuick tips for MU
Machina Blood55% (No Nerea List)50% (Nerea)Mid-ControlVertex EndPre-Evo behemoth*
Turbo Zeus/Discard Dragon40%Aggro-MidGenesis Dragon Keep
Valdain Dragon50% (Pure List)45% (Belph List)40% (AOE removal tech) Aggro-MidGo WideForce opp to interact with boardMore chance if there is aoe removal
Spellboost Rune50%Aggro-MidEarly BifurcatingStall with KeenedgeJust Highroll Kuon
Natura Rune60%(Pure List)50%(Belph List)Aggro-MidForce opp to interactDouble ward during riley turn / Evo Barrier ArtifactPyromancer / Stormelementalist  
Control Forest50%Mid-ControlExhaust resources and hand sizeAbsolute Modesty is game changer
Machina Forest65%Mid-ControlEarly ModestyWard up during Damian turnEnd the match ASAP / pray for double damian discount
NTR Shadow50%Mid-ControlTry to Thoth ASAP
Machina Haven50% Mid-ControlAbuse t4-t5 if they don’t have kel in their list.
Make board that is taller than their Duplicator boardBetter chance with Kel
Belphomet Portal55%Mid-ControlPlan for Belphomet TurnsIt depends on your Belphomet Rolls
Machina Sword55%Mid-ControlJust survive till late gameDominate early game
Evo Sword55%Mid-Control

*see detailed MU description

Mirror Match

Tips for Mirror

  • Going 1st usually has advantage since you can set up your things faster, and most importantly you reach Artifact Duplicator and Vertex Colony faster than your opponent. 
  • The one who has absolute modesty active usually has an advantage, but it might not be wise to full mulligan for her since you also need early cards like syntonization and artisan.
  • Always keep track of their paradigm shifts. 
  • Prioritize value trading and having more boards than your opponent instead of chipping damage in early game since artifacts can easily heal.
  • Game is usually decided when the other party can’t clear the big board. Proceed to capitalizing that big tempo advantage to end the game with shion buff/vertex colony/ralmia lethal

Machina Blood

50 – 50 between these two decks. Artifacts might have a dominant board before turn 5, but Nerea will flip the tempo, and if artifact doesn’t have an answer, it will be Machina Blood game. 

If somehow artifact can answer Nereia, Al-Machinus into a double mono then it is machina blood advantage. Other than the mentioned scenario, it is usually Artifacts advantage. Neun board can be cleared by artifacts and they can set ward at the same time. Turn 9 vertex will boardwipe any blood board.

Tips for Artifact Player

  • Go for midrange-control route, you need at least 1 paradigm shift for nereia turn
  • You want Artisan/Vertex Colony on turn 2. Keep Modesty if you are going 2nd and evo her t4 to start your ping engine asap. 
  • Beware of going wide on turn before nerea, play something tall like archaeologist/modesty if possible.
  • Play your paradigm shift at full cost on 5 if you don’t have better play and you expect nereia at turn 6, this will make it difficult for them
  • With Clash of Heroes, your Ironsting Archaeologist can single handedly kill Nerea
  • Always take note of what cards are being fused into Al’machinus. Keep track of the number of remaining Neun and Mono in their deck.
  • Stay out of mono lethal with available heal and wards late game. Don’t be too greedy on hitting face. You need to survive until T9 vertex, ideally.

Tips for Machina Blood Player

  • Always count the number of paradigm shifts and type of artifacts
  • If you notice your opp doesn’t have a paradigm shift, PRE-EVO Flood Behemoth during Nereia turn. It’s a checkmate.

Valdain Dragon

While early Al’Machinus might be devastating and artifact can’t deal with it when they rolls like crazy, I still think that this MU is 50-50. The weakness of valdain dragon is that they lack of AOE board clear. If your hands allow you to punish that weakness, the game is yours. Another thing is that when they don’t manage to ramp early, their board can be easily punished by artifacts value. Tho I kinda agree that if dragon tech more board clears, it will be favoured for Dragon.  

Tips for Artifact Player

  • Aggro-Mid gameplan is your best chance
  • Always try to go wide, abuse their lack of AOE board clear
  • Threaten them with board and make them guilty for ramping. If somehow they don’t clear your artifact board, punish them with Shion if possible.
  • If you have mugnier, you might delay their ramp/tree progression with her by banishing core or trees

Tips for Natura Dragon Player

  • Having AOE board clear like Genesis Dragon or Ian may increases your chances for this matchup
  • Be wary of artifact boards, you might need to rethink your choices on ramping or clearing threats. Always prioritize to clear artifact follower and not a non-artifact.
  • Generally when your ramp and Al-Machinus pieces are coming together, the game is yours

Natura Rune

Artifact seems to have an advantage against natura rune, especially the non-belphomet list. While natura rune always plans to end the game by turn 7 or 8 , it can be a tough challenge for them to constantly clear artifact boards at the same time while playing enough trees. Moreover, artifact is a class that can generate wards to block riley. Either using Barrier artifacts, or multiple wards such as guardform golem, mystic artifact, or ameth effects.

Tips for Artifact Player

  • Aggro Mid Gameplan
  • Go wide, but try to play around pyromancer clear
  • Always count their tree count, you can force them to delay their riley turn / make them use unnecessary evo.
  • Try to set up Big ward ( Barrier artifact pre-evo ) or Double ward during riley turn, that’s usually enough to close the game

Tips for Natura Rune

  • Storm Elementalist and Pyromancer is your best allies against artifacts
  • Save clash of heroes for final push

Machina Haven

Machina Haven matchup is kinda even, Artifact will have more chance to exert pressure during early game, while Haven will swing the tempo after Al’Machinus turn. The game is usually decided by that turn. If haven managed to create board big enough that artifacts cannot clear, it will be Haven game. Otherwise, Artifacts will win due to their snowballing

Tips for Artifact Player

  • Punish their early game, since most of the list omitted Kel , they have no good way of clearing wide boards. 
  • Clear their early mech board to prevent limonia discounting al’machinus too early
  • Make their Limonia’s turn as awkward as possible. Usually by going wide. When they force themselves to play limonia and leave a bunch of stuff on your board uncleared. Buff your board with shion and Ignore limonia to end the game as soon as possible is usually a good strategy.
  • Playing variety types of artifacts combined with modesty effects may help to clear machina haven boards. 
  • It’s usually a good idea to hoard paradigm shifts in this matchup
  • Keep track of combined mech, especially the number of Vice and Robowhip remaining. 

Tips for Machina Haven Player

  • Early Elana helps this matchup a lot. Elana can help to setup big board during Al-Machinus turn as soon as possible. 
  • Don’t build a half-baked board after machinus. Your board needs to be very tall to ensure artifacts can’t clear the board so that you can settle the match in the next turn. Keep track of their duplicator capabilities of removing your board
  • Having Kel as a tech would help to survive early artifact aggression 

Spellboost Rune

50-50 between these two decks. If you have cards that are suitable for mid-control gameplan, Early Kuon (T6) is kinda difficult to handle as artifacts since usually we don’t have enough tools to clear their board. So the best chance to win it is actually when your hand is suitable for Aggro-Mid gameplan since they have difficulty handling your early boards. Spellboost also has a lot of ways to clear your late game boards. But if you have dealt enough damage, vertex colony push should be able to push them to the edge.

Tips for Artifact Player

  • If your starting hand is ideal, go for aggro-mid gameplan
  • Play shion and go face when your opponent failed to clear your board.
  • Barrier Artifact has less value late game since Spellboost has Fiery Embrace/Mystic Absorption. Trying to survive using Keenedge is usually a better choice. 
  • Beware of using airstrike artifact for lethal. Mystic Absorption can banish your airstrike

Tips for Spellboost Player

  • Always try to clear their boards, especially their artifacts. You don’t want to see them hitting your face after being buffed with shion.
  • Good tempo swing on t6 is usually what decides the game and it doesn’t need to be exactly kuon. If you manage to clear their boards while having wards or big bodied followers before their tools are online, the game is yours.

Turbo Zeus/Discard/Evo Dragon

Big disadvantage for artifacts. Boards presence of artifacts can be cleared easily with genesis dragon / plesiosaurus discards. Most artifacts can’t deal with “can’t be attacked” follower except for vibrochakram. 5 goblins can obliterate any board that artifact has.  Artifact must somehow close the game as soon as possible.

Tips for Artifact Player

  • Pray your opponent brick and they don’t have any ramp
  • Go for aggro-midrange plan, don’t bother generating paradigm shift if you have a better card to be aggressive. Syntonization early into analyzing for more cards
  • Pray for augment shion highroll

Tips for Turbo Zeus

  • Just don’t brick, stick to your gameplan and win
  • Keep Genesis dragon for board clear effect, esp going 2nd.

Machina Forest

Big Advantage for Artifacts, especially after damian nerfs. Artifacts can recover from early aggression of Mech Forest with Keenedge Artifacts drain effect. It has a lot of access to wards that will block Damian from directly hitting face. Machina forest might still win if artifacts didn’t have access to their Pshift generators so they can’t recover. Also Double Damian reduction may bypass wards given by artifacts board.

Tips for Artifact Player

  • Try to achieve a big board with shion if possible before turn 7. Machina forest need to use all their resources to clear it or they simply can’t clear it
  • Get prepared to clear Al’Machinus board on turn 7 by playing all your necessary ( 1 ward and 2 rush ) artifacts before this turn
  • Always try to ward during their damian turn ( 7, 8, 9 )
  • Play early modesty evo when the chance is there. 1-2 Pings early is enough to clear small followers

Tips for Machina Forest Player

  • Try to be as aggressive as possible and aim to kill them as soon as possible if you notice their lack of paradigm shifts
  • Hope for Double Damian

Conclusion

Artifact – Paradigm Shift portal is a versatile deck that can fight and have decent chances against any deck. This deck requires practice to master and even the author himself still has a lot to learn from this deck. Playing this deck feels rewarding since there are a lot of decision making inside the game and it feels good when you make the right decision that helps you win the match. 

As I said in Introduction, This deck will be played differently depending on the pilot. This writing is based on my analysis and my experience so other players might think differently and may not agree with some points that I have raised. But I hope this convinces you to try playing this deck or helps you understand more about this deck if you have played it. 

Machina Bloodcraft

A guide by DB Crisome.

Machina blood quickly became popular after the nerfs for discard dragon and mechforest and has stayed at the top for a long time.

It is no surprise that mech blood is one of the best decks in the format right now. Before Mech Forest and Discard Dragon got nerf, this version of mech blood was already popular and winning games in most ladder and now with the disappearance of turn 5 or 6  Damian/Al’Machinus or Nuke damage from Discard Dragon, mech blood’s late game is more viable as their survivability to reach turn 7 Al’Machinus to set up insane board or lethal is much more possible compare to pre-nerf. As mentioned, the main game plan is to hit turn 7 Al’Machinus to set up a powerful board on the same turn u played Al’Machinus or the turn after. At first glance, the deck might look super bricky but once you understand the use of each card, you will realise the deck is pretty consistent.  I will explain the general use and powerplay for most cards and other tech that u can use. 

The Mech Fodders

These are your not so important mechs to fuse into Al’Machinus. Each of them have their use on  curve. Only Robogoblin is not that great when being pulled by Al’Machinus eff and reduced to 0. Robogoblin is only used as a turn 2 play that guarantees  a fodder for Al’Machinus. You can consider cutting him to 2 to play other tech cards mentioned later but generally Robogoblin is needed to ensure consistent fusion. Hoverboard Mercenary has it’s use after Al’Machinus reduction. You can use her to trigger Nerea’s free evo which is quite good in some situations. A consideration to keep her after tutoring her with Al’Machinus’ effect instead of playing her for a  1|2 that might die. On turn 2, she is a great tutor that allows you to tutor your other mech option but keep in mind you might tutor Mono or Core which is no longer good since you want to tutor these with Al’Machinus effect. Armored Bat is a powerful follower on turn 3 and the turn u reduce it via Al’Machinus. On 3, Armored Bat is an almost guaranteed fodder to trigger Neun’s free evo but this means missing out on your other powerful tutor like Confectioner or Unleash the Nightmare. You can consider this line in a match up where going wide is a huge advantage but in most cases playing the tutor to filter is mostly correct because this deck tends to end game in the late game but you can end it early since mech blood has good early aggression. Armored Bat after Al’Machinus is also good pressure, killing it gives u 2 mech for Mono lethal so with that in mind, it will often be left alone and still do 3 damage with Mono. Cherub is the most important card as a fodder compared to the other 3 because she has the Natura trait. Fusing her alone triggers Al’Machinus’ condition for the 3 cost reduction so keep that in mind when you decide to play her. Ask yourself, do you have a guaranteed method to fuse both traits if you play Cherub? Is it that important to play Cherub that you risk not having nuff traits fused? Can you afford to evo her to give you the Natura trait fodder? Playing Cherub on 2 going first is often a big miss play if they are not careful or even in general. Cherub is an amazing card going 2nd as she can remove your opponents tempo play while being a 1|3 that is hard to remove. This applies both on normal cost and reduced cost. she even has an evo effect that gives you a fodder to replace her.  

The Tutors

These 3 are the most important tutor in the deck. They search out important cards in the deck and are often kept in mulligans regardless who goes first or second. Confectioner is important because she guarantees you 2 of the 3 cards, Cherub, Nightprowl and Al’Machinus. She is your bread and butter to enable your turn 7 Al’Machinus’ turn since she adds a Natura trait and even Al’Machinus himself. Adding Nightprowl is not a big thing since she herself is a Natura that can fuse to Al’Machinus but you will just use her to trigger Nerea. You want to play Confectioner on 3 to thin out your deck. She has a weak body and an awkward cost so you want to play her out as soon as possible to avoid weak plays on your later turns but you can consider playing her on turn 5 in hopes of tutoring Nightprowl, allowing you to play Nightprowl’s crystallize on the same turn. Unleash the Nightmare has been a consistent card in almost every blood deck. This card is another bread and butter as you get 2 random follower and 2 1|1 follower which could be mechs if you’re lucky. This allows you to randomly tutor any card and even if you hit mech cards, you get free mech followers to help with  your mech destroyed count. The question is, on turn 3 do you play Confectioner or Unleash? Honestly both are fine but Unleash does give you the option to tutor out mech and produce mechs that can be used as a fodder for Neun. Confectioner on the other hand allows you to avoid weak play on later turns because Unleash is still a strong play compared to Confectioner. Ultimately it depends on what you need in the game itself. Consider the following, is Unleash on 3 going to push more damage? Is there a necessary play on turn 4-5 which blocks you from play Confectioner? How desperate do you need the cards that Confectioner’s tutor  in this match up?  Are you looking for cards other than Confectioner’s tutor pool? Nightprowl’s main purpose is to trigger Nerea’s free evo. She tutors Natura and is a Natura herself which is very neat since she can self tutor to filter your deck for better draws on later turns. The only bad thing about her is that her follower effect is not that great so getting her with Al’Machinus  might hurt your chances of winning. In that case, you want to play all 3 Nightprowl to avoid that from happening, that is why people often play her on turn 1 even if it is better to save her to trigger Nerea. You can still get her back from her own effect or the other 2 powerful tutor we talked about before. The only consideration for keeping her after Al’Machinus turn is to trigger Nerea but then again you have a 2nd option (0 cost Hoverboard Mercenary) and you can even trigger Nerea on turn 9 with the mentioned tutors above. In general you try to thin out all your Nightprowl because you will only trigger Nerea on turn 6 in most cases but you can consider keeping Nightprowl on later turn if you deem it necessary. 

The Broken Late Game

All five of these cards are your powerful late game cards. They might even be useful in early stages of the game but in late game they are often your win con or your emergency plays to survive.Only 4 of them(Io is not a Mech nor Natura) are Al’Machinus target and you will want to see these cards when you play Al’Machinus. Io is a very powerful card that can deal with early game aggro with her evo eff and even heals you for 3 if she trades. In late game, her Union Burst saves you from big boards or might even give you lethal. Generally you don’t want to play her as a turn 2 tempo, I would rather pass the turn and miss the turn 2 tempo. The reason being is that Io’s value is much more in the late game and even as an emergency card in early game, evoing to avoid being rushed down. Her Union Burst is easy to trigger once you go into your Mono turn as Mono will reduce the Union Burst. Mono is your finisher and your main target that you want out of your Al’Machinus. Nothing much is there to say about her besides you not wanting her in your hand. If you can find 3 Mono with Al’Machinus effect, that’s 18 damage alone with the cost of 5 PP and you can still play other cards with your leftover PP.  You can always mull her away because you only want her from Al’Machinus unless there is a consideration to smorc your opponent early and finish the game on turn 7. Her being a 0 cost card allows so many powerful plays that are related to 2 cards in the same topic, Core and Neun. Mechashot Devil is your main source of destroyed mech count as she generate free storm 1|1 mechs every turn once you evo her on your previous turn. You want to evo her once in the early game to start those mech count and in the late game with Al’Machinus reduction, she is a free 3|3 that gives you back a free evo point. The value of free evo in this deck is really strong, you can evo your Io after playing her Union Burst and you can even trigger the Core. You want to keep her in your mull but only one to trigger her evo effect. Sanguire Core is your emergency card in case you are really behind in health and need so healing to survive the game. Even after using up all your evo points, you can still trigger your Core with Mono, Neun and a free evo point from Mechashot Devil so there is no problem using up your evo to survive the early game. You only want Core as a 0 cost from Al’Machinus effect because healing 10 in the early game is not needed in most cases. Consider Core a brick if you draw it early and a fusion fodder since you won’t use any of its effects in it’s normal cost. Neun is your powerplay maker in this deck. He allows you to go aggressive in the early game, triggers evo for early Io’s Union Burst if you need it, gives you 2 free 1|1 mechs and also makes the scariest board in the current meta game in late game. You will play Neun as 1 cost during the turn you drop Mono or Al’Machinus to create a board full of Mech ward and a +2/2 for all your other mechs. Turning your Al’Machinus and Mono to a 8|8 ward alongside other played mechs. He is your alternative way of winning the game if you can’t finish the game with Mono as his board often wins games as it is hard to remove or it buys you a turn to dig out your last Mono for lethal. 

The Core of the Deck

The reason why the deck is tier 1. You might have noticed I mention Al’Machinus in almost every section, well this card is that important. No Al’Machinus no life, this card is your main boss card to enable all your powerplay. Reducing all your 2pp and 3pp mechs to 0pp, allowing you to play them on the same turn you played Al’Machinus. Al’Machinus can be tutored by the mentioned cards so it is not hard to have it in your hand, consider mulling it away for a better option. Al’Machinus also avoids milling cards from overdrawing as you can fuse him before you end your turn. In general you will fuse 6 or more cards to increase the chance of you hitting Mono or any strong late game cards. You want to play Al’Machinus on turn 7 to apply pressure after your opponent spend their resource killing Nerea on the previous turn or playing it on turn 8 with a 1pp Neun( assuming you hit it) to create a scary board , buying you a turn or even winning the game from there. Is important to play Al’Machinus in any match up, if you don’t plan your game to set him up with good amount of fusion and board, you are playing the deck wrong even with an aggro game plan, you want to have an emergency plan in case you fail to end the game and that plan is winning with Al’Machinus. Nerea is the most powerful powerplay card in this current meta. You want to trigger her on 6 by playing a crystallize Nightprowl on turn 5 but even if you can’t do that, you can still manually evo Nerea. Nerea summons Behemoth, a 4/6 ward that has a powerful clash effect. Consider pre-evoing the Behemoth in the mirror or even in general because a 6/8 is very hard to remove in the current meta and they still need to find a way to kill your Nerea which is a 5/5 and that is not easy to kill as well. Nerea can also be useful in the late game with a Neun board so keep in mind that Nerea works in most stages of the game when you can play her. Keeping her in your Mull depends on your match up. If you need a board clear or a powerplay that might win you the game then you can keep Nerea in your hand. 

Other Viable Options

The deck only has 2 viable changes in my opinion. Vampiric BloodBinder gives you the option to trigger Nerea if she dies and is a cycle on her own but she does not have Natura or Mech traits making her pretty bad after Al’Machinus turn. If you are looking for a stable 2 drop while giving you the option to trigger Nerea more often on turn 6, she is a good consideration. Technolord is a mirror tech. Often, Io is not good enough to kill a Neun board in the late game but Technolord on the other hand is very reliable. In mech blood your destroyed mech count is extremely high, often you can hit more than 15 destroy. The only problem with Technolord is that you might hit him with Al’Machinus instead of your powerplay which might make things awkward. Technolord is also not that great in the early game and might end up being a Al’Machinus fodder. Consider him if you find the mirror being a problem for you in the late game. 

Match ups

Turbo Zeus-favoured 55%

Turbo Zeus might be one of the popular matchup but you are favoured because of your early game aggression option and Dragon way of dealing with Nerea is only with Pleisaurus evo or Cursed Furor. Your game plan is just to go wide but not necessarily giving up your tutor option for Al’Machinus. You don’t have to rush him down too hard, just apply enough pressure so when you play your Al’Machinus turn, you should be able to set up a good double Mono+free Mechshot Devil evo Mech for 15 damage. The only way out for Dragon is often playing their first Zeus into another Zeus with only less than 7 evo. They are forced to play Zues to force you to answer the Zeus and avoiding lethal but that really depends on the Zeus rng so if you got high rolled by 2 Zeus with high storm and ward, is just part of the match up hence why is not super favoured since you can still lose in that manner but if the Dragon player miss even 1 ramp, the game should be highly favoured.

NTR Dragon-50/50
Ntr Dragon difference with Turbo Zeus is that they don’t need to rely on a rng wincon to win the game. Valdain damage is always constant and since is a Dragon deck, ramping will be an issue again for you. Once they ramp up enough to do similar powerplay with Al’Machinus, the game might be very hard to win from there. The plan is to set up Al’Machinus for a power play board with Neun to buy you a turn to lethal him next turn. You can also heal with Core so you won’t die to Valdain’s effect. Similar to Turbo Zeus, you should be highly favoured if they miss ramp but they can deal with Nerea and Behemoth since Valdain has bane. Going wide is also a good option since Ntr Dragon don’t run Genesis Dragon but remember to not over commit and stick to the Al’Machinus game plan. 

Paradigm Shiftfavoured 60%
Paradigm shift matchup differs as it really depends if the Paradigm Shift player knows how to beat Mech blood. It might be 50/50 if Paradigm Shift is able to be aggressive and answer the Nerea board but it will be 70% Favoured the moment u make a evo Nerea with Pre-Evo Behemoth board and they can’t answer that. The way you lose is when P-shift is able to go into their late game plan with Vertex and Modesty lethal. In case you might face that, try making a Neun Board with a 8 defense follower like Mono or Al’Machinus cause most of the time the damage from Vertex is 7. The general game plan is to make a Nerea Board on 6 with Behemoth Pre evo because the only way they deal with Behemoth is using the bane P-shift, evo it and trade or make some crazy Shion buff trade but that is unlikely. Prioritize Nerea turn and the game should be easy from there. 

Control Blood-favoured 60% 

Control Blood only wants to go into the late game and try to win from there, sadly for them we reach our lethal set up earlier then but we can still lose if we do not deal with their Nerea turns since they are more consistent in setting up Nerea. The game becomes very 50/50 the moment they go first with a Nerea+Behemoth pre-evo board because your own Nerea and Behemoth won’t be able to clear that. The game plan is to set up a 8 damage Al’Machinus to remove the Behemoth or at the very least 5 or more to remove Nerea then trade our evo Al’Machinus into their Behemoth. Even going second, we need this game plan and we might consider eating 5 damage from their Nerea as a result of being unable to clear their Nerea. After that the game should be easier and we just need to set up lethal since the way Control Blood wins is either with the 3 damage ping or Zeus. Focus on setting up a way to deal with Nerea while planning your Al’Machinus fusion.

Mech Forest-favoured 65%

This match up requires you to survive the early game damage from Mech forest and maybe heal up with Core. Mech forest has a very weak turn 6 so capitalize on that with going very wide or just make a Nerea board. Mech forest way of winning is smorcing you very low and then winning with a turn 8 damian set up so be wary of that. You can heal with core as mentioned or make a Neun board to avoid that from happening as well. Io is very helpful in this match up so you might consider keeping her for her evo. Avoid pre-evo Behemoth if the Mech Forest hand is pretty big because Cleft can deal with that easily. Prioritize removing the Beatle because that card will give him stat value the longer it stays in the game due to the fact most of our followers are 1 attack including the mech token. In general just avoid dying and the game should be easy. Your plan is just to exhaust his resources but do note you can still die with a lucky double damian so bewaring of that, play wards so u won’t die to that combo. 

Spellboost-50/50, with Kuon Unfavoured 40%, without Kuon favoured 60%
Spellboost is a very powerful board base deck with storms that can cause you to make weak Al’Machinus turn since you have to deal with all their strong turn 5-7 board. Nerea can be easily answered with Embrace and Windblast and the early game aggression you make can also be answered with Kyoka. Generally you still go aggressive but you will still prioritize setting up Al’Machinus and try saving Io for her Union Burst. The key factor of this game is being able to survive the late game, once you reach the late game, spellboost should run out of steam and the game should be easy from there. The mid game for this match up is very bad for mech blood and can even go as far as unfavoured since you don’t have a consistent way to deal with kuon board before turn 7. Technolord might be a consideration but you might not have enough mech destroyed. The other reason why this is not really unfavoured despite the bad mid game is because missing kuon completely changes the match up, without kuon the game is very favoured since you don’t have to worry about the bodies and can just make Al’Machinus board. 

NTR Rune-50/50
Ntr Rune is not as slow as it was anymore, the deck tends to vomit out Riley on turn 7 Consistently thanks to the new Gold.The biggest problem is that Mech blood now wants a turn 7 which is what Ntr rune wants aswell.So to avoid this, mech blood has to be very aggressive in this match up. Going first helps a lot because you can play Neun early. Consider keeping 1 Mono because you might just end the game from there instead of Al’Machinus. This is the few matchups where going for Al’Machinus’ game plan might be very bad unless Riley is not coming down early. Considering just going wide, evoing Mechshot Devil is super important, Nerea board will only help if Riley is not coming on the same turn cause they can just Clash of Heroes on your Behemoth. The match up sounds unfavoured but is really 50/50 because Ntr Rune can’t play their trees optimally if you just keep being aggressive, the only card that save them is pyromancer but that is a 3pp card, means is a total of 4pp including playing the tree again for 1 tree count, slowing down the tree process. The worst thing for mech blood is Stormelemantist spam. That game plan might cause the match up to go south for you. Just focus on killing them as soon as possible and be annoying as possible with going wide. This matchup is pretty hard for both sides.

Control Forest-favoured 60%

The theory that this is unfavoured is not true unless Control forest turbo Roach but that’s super unlikely. The current Control Forest is unable to remove wide boards consistently anymore and has to rely on Gaia to help them out. Without Gaia the game becomes very easy. Just focus on setting up Al’Machinus for a double Mono lethal, no matter how much they heal, they can’t stop storm damage. Try to aim for a OTK kill instead of tempo Mono cause the healing might help them. Just focus on making Nerea Board as well to bait out evo and Gaia cause you can Al’Machinus their Gaia board.




Other decks- favoured 60-65%
I decided to put all the other decks as one group because there is nothing special to play around. Most games are won with Nerea being a big problem for the deck to deal with and with a follow up Al’Machinus. Most shadow and sword deck find Nerea being a problem, just make Nerea and follow up with the Al’Machinus game plan. Mech Elana might have a scary board but Io and Mono can deal with them, just go late game setting up your removal and it should be easy. The general rule of thumb is, set up fusion for Al’Machinus, make Nerea board, make powerplay or set up lethal.

Conclusion


This guide is based on my ladder experience and discussion with the team or outside sources. I believe Mech blood is a must bring deck due to the amount of good matchup and the potential forced ban in many other strat. I hope this guide can help you learn about the deck more and realise it is actually super consistent. 

Spellboost Runecraft

A guide by DB Honeyhill.

Spellboost has been a relevant deck ever since Kuon was released and it got some new support with Daria in the new set.

Introduction

Spellboost has been popular because of Kuon, Founder of Onmyodo. A powerful card that can overwhelm your enemies by filling your board instantly and with its own risk when removing them. The risk of spellboosting the other cards of course. The idea to play this deck is to spellboost kuon as much as possible and place him (I honestly thought it was ‘HER’) on the board on turn 6 and keep other cards to win by board. A lot of cycle cards are used in this deck to find kuon faster and at the same time doing spellboost.

Explanation of each card.

Draw and Cycle

Finding kuon is your top priority. If you haven’t got one early, these cards will surely help you to find one.

Spellboost boosters

Not only these cards could spellboost your card better than other, both of them could be useful to maintain the board in the early game.

Keep your opponent busy

Both of these cards basically have two bodies when summoned. Ward and rush effect are also compatible with kuon’s underlings. Even without pairing them with kuon, then can maintain the board on their own. Ward is helpful to prevent leader damage in spellboost deck because this deck lacks healing. Demoncaller also useful for clearing the board. Furthermore, their summon has spellboost to help placing kuon early in the game.

Tempo Destroyer

In the early game, sometimes you get easily overwhelmed. But using windblast and mystic absorption, you can save yourself now. Against portalcraft, mystic absorption is useful to banish and reduce their ‘different artifact’ effects. Wind blast and fiery embrace are useful against many decks especially bloodcraft/nerea.

Leader Damager

Kuon is basically your wincon. Clarke could be used to clear boards, but since you are using the ‘tempo destroyer’ cards on board, you might want to keep clarke to damage the leader.

Alternatives

Mysterian project is useful to duplicate your follower to match with your situation sadly it is not a spellboost card. Sagacious core is not that popular anymore since daria got introduced, but basically, it is good for recyclying. Twinblade mage might replace zealot of truth because of the storm and could disrupt the opponents tempo. But it is a lot weaker than zealot and could easliy killed. Flame destroyer has a good body but less flexibility. Personally, i prefer the 7+ cost card to be demoncaller and traditional sorcerer than twinblade or flame destroyer because of more flexibilty and have more purpose in this decks. Update : Magic missile might serve a good purpose on recycling to replace mysterian project. The main purpose is almost the same, to get more kuon. Gabriel can be considered too since it boost the follower. At the late game, it is possible to have +7/+7 storm follower. For example from kuon’s token.

Mulligan

1. Prioritize: Kuon, Shikigami Summon, Clarke, Chaos Wielder.

2. Situational:

a. If you already had kuon or chaos wielder : any spell with cost less than 2

b. Kyoka if you are going second or against deck that build big board like artifact.

c. Mystic absorbtion against deck that use last words card early for example natura dragon (desert pathfinder & ptera), against portal to banish the artifact instead of destroying them, or against shadow to prevent reanimate

d. Daria, traditional sorcerer, demoncaller, if you already had kuon and one low cost spell.

e. If you are going first, at least keep one low cost card. If you are going second and not satisfied with your card you can hardmull.

Strategy and matchup table

General mindset:

–        Spellboost win with board. Try to hold your kuon until you can spam at least 2 times in a row or guaranteed kill.

–        With this deck, the chance of drawing non spellboost card is 16/40 roughly. About 1/3. Expect daria to draw 1-3 cards. To be blunt. Just treat this as 0pp draw 1 card. If your hand is at 8. Just play it. It’s not like your hand will be full.

Matchup Table

Shadowcraft

Friends forever is a good addition to this deck because it could easily create board to overwhelm spellboost. To counter this, mystic absorbtion could banish follower and not destroying them. Meaning? Friends forever could not reanimate them.

o   Ginsetsu 50/50

Ginsetsu’s deck tend to play in two style. The first one is to find the exodia. The second is to overwhelm spellboost early. Find out what pattern they are going. If they drop miyako, they most likely going for the second pattern. Because handling early games is more difficult, try to keep low cost spell like shikigami, windblast, and mystic absorbtion. If they went for the first pattern, either setup the fiery embrace, windblast huge damage, or kuon.

o   Natura  50/50

Try to kill natura shadowcraft before thoth activate. You can go face more because natura shadow tend to trade in order to activate their last word quicker.

 Portalcraft

o   Paradigm shift 50/50

This deck tend to have suddenly big board on t3-t4. Prepare mystic absorbtion to banish artifact. Also prepare low cost follower like kyoka and shikigami to hold them. If you could, if you survive the early game at t5 with a board bigger than them, you will most likely win.

o   Belphomet 60/40

Even if belphomet could build the board with the help of heavens gate, spellboost is much better in building the board than belphomet. Basic idea, try to build big board before the belphomet come.

Dragoncraft

o   Discard 60/40

After the nerf, this deck is less popular because it mainly destroy the board. But spellboost could just spam kuon and build another board.

o   Zeus  45/55

This is a bit tricky deck. Low cost follower and Clarke will needed to just go face. If they ramp too much, they wont be able to destroy the low cost follower. But if they managed to highroll all the ramp, goblin, and zeus, pretty much done.

Try to build big board with big defense. Work well with daria. The goblin couldn’t clear my board and i was going face all the time.

o   Natura 45/55

Build your board and hope for the best. Big board tend to force natura dragon not to build tree damage from corrosion.

Runecraft

o   Spellboost 50/50

Mirror. Hehe. The one who can spam kuon better wins

o   Natura 55/45

Try and kill them before the tree counts reach 7. If you are too late, build a big ward so Karyl won’t be able to clear a path for riley.

Forestcraft

o   Machina 60/40

If you see low cost follower like beetle and robotic bagworm, kill it. If you see the mechaboomerang elf, banish them. Make it harder for them to setup damian.

o   Control 60/40

Still lack of data. But I feel like control forest good addition is the gaia. But losing carbuncle is massive for cforest. Going with the last expansion matchup table, spellboost has the upper hand.

Havencraft

Basically, kel is the main problem here. Force them to use their kel to clear up useless board. After their evo points are gone, just setup your board.

o   Elana 55/45

Haven’t faced it. But I feel like this deck lacks the power to clear the board if kel was gone. Death vice grip is nice, but still hard to pass the 4/5 ward.

o   Natura 55/45

This decks has a lot of storm like meowsker, agnes, meus, Justine. Just make sure you don’t let them survive more than one turn until turn 4-5 and have ward from trad sorc or kuon in the late game.

 Swordcraft

o   Mech 60/40

Still not enough data. Just play normally. They have lots of rush and ping to face. But still hard to them to deal with kuon big board.

Bloodcraft

Anticipate nerea all the time. Keep your wind blast or fiery embrace at least one.

o   Machina 55/45

Until turn 6, let them kill their own machinas. Just focus on building a big board. Drop shikigami or even kyoka. Prioritize going face in early game. In the late game, make sure the alpha drive can’t kill you. In a nutshell. Priotize keeping your hp above 12 while chipping the opponents health.

On that image, i haven’t use any of the kuon. T1 skip, t2 use sorcery in unity, t3 kyoka and he couldn’t kill her. T4 clarke face, kyoka evo face. Just go face before t6 and make sure on t7 onwards the alpha drive couldn’t kill.

o   Control 50/50

Their heal really is annoying. But it is on the late game. Try to kill them before they heal themselves like crazy.

Machina Forestcraft

A guide by DB Praetorian.

Machina forest was the strongest deck at the start of the expansion but slightly fell out of favour after some quick nerfs.

Gameplan:

There are 2 gameplans with mechforest, either you go all-in early and try to kill your opponent with your storm cards and wide boards or you play a little slower and focus on clearing his board and drawing while setting up your turn 7 al machina so you can start chaining damians from turn 8 onwards

Card Choices and mulligans:

Bagworm (3) – Amazing, you play 3. Allows you to do combos and push extra damage with damian. You usually play it with damian on 7 or turn 4-6 to activate cleft or you bounce it with mechagun to draw. You keep it in your opening hand only if you also have guard or mechaclaw. 

Beetle (2-3) – Amazing but i’ve seen some people cut it. Its really good against decks that play 1/1 and fight for board but some decks like dragon can just ignore it. It is really nuts in some board based matchups though so I wouldn’t cut it. You can keep it if you’re going first against a slow deck or if you have mechaboomer or some other draw in your hand or if you’re fighting against a deck that plays 1/1s or 1/2s and you want to clear them

Hoverboard Merc (2-3) – Not as impressive but you really need to keep your hand full with this deck. You can keep it if you’re going first and don’t have mechaboomer because you really don’t want to run out of cards when you go first

Wayfaring Illustrator (0-2) – Keeps your handsize big. Not really crucial, you could play something else. Never keep it

Cherub (3) – Insane but i don’t need to explain, every deck plays 3 and so should you. Keep it if you’re going second unless you’re playing against something like dragon because they just want to oracle on 2

Cleft (3) – Amazing board control tool, he deals crazy damage. Although it’s a 2 cost card he gets better the later the game goes so you usually play him on turn 5+. I don’t think you ever keep him unless maybe you’re going second and you’re playing against a very aggressive deck but that has never happened to me

Guard of the Machinatree (3) – Good for reusing cards + draw and the only ward in the deck. Only keep if you have bagworm in your hand.

Mechaboomerang Elf (3) – Your best 2 drop. It gets worse later so this is the number 1 card you want to see in your hand.

Confectioner (2-3) – You don’t have to play 3 of this but now that the deck is slower i really want to have more draw and a guaranteed turn 7 al machina. Keep if you’re going first and sometimes even if you’re going second against a deck that you don’t want to pressure early

Mechaclaw Elf (3) – Lets you smorc people, good card. Keep going first if you have bagworm or if you’re going first vs dragon/ntr rune or some other slow deck. 

Ironbow Sniper (0-3) – Not necessary but I like it because now the deck is slower and this is useful to help you survive. You can play it on 4 or you can play it with bagworm if you’re desperate or if you draw this + bagworm with al machina on 7 you can reduce it to 0 and play it then. You can keep it going first if you have mechaboomer in hand

Ironglider Elf (2-3) – A lot worse than before but you really need the draw. I keep it going second. 

Natur Al Machinus (3) – You know how broken this is, you play 3. I don’t think you ever keep it in your opening hand though.

Damian (3) – Your wincon. You want to see him late so you never keep this.

Kokkoro (0-3) – Helps you keep your handsize full but you never activate the UB and not being a mech + the bad stats hurts you a bit

Airbound Barrage (0-3) – Good removal but you don’t need more and you don’t want more low cost cards

Guidance (0-3) – Some people played this but I don’t get it, this is not a deck that wants to let go of the board

Robogoblin (0-3) – Helps you keep your handsize while being a full statted 2 drop. If you do play it, this is a card you keep in your opening hand. Probably the best out of the cards that I’m not playing currently.

May (0-1) – Sometimes you can get it for free but I feel like drawing into it will probably put you in a really bad position and you don’t really need it

Mechalance Elf (0-1) Haven’t tried it but it’s probably very slow

tl;dr – if I’m going first im looking for mechaboomer and confectioner and if I’m going second I’m looking for cherub and mechaglider

Ideal turns:

Turn 1 – Beetle – you can pressure some slow decks, against faster decks you might want to hold it to clear. You can technically bagworm beetle if your opp plays a 1 drop but I’ve honestly never seen that

Turn 2 – Any 2 drop is fine but you wanna play mechaboomer elf to set up your future plays unless your opp has a good target for cherub. Another good play is bagworm into guard of the machinatree

Turn 3 – Confectioner if you can afford to take it slow or bagworm mechaclaw elf if you want to pressure but there are honestly a lot of things you can do

Turn 4 – Ironbow or Glider or double 2 drop

Turn 5 – 2 drop + mechaclaw or a combo with cleft or confectioner + cherub – pretty common since confectioner fetches the cherub

Turn 6 – Confectioner or hoverboards to set up your al machina turn or you might need to play cleft to clear

Turn 7 – Al machina unless you have a really good bagworm + damian setup which destroys your opponent’s board. Al machina is very strong because it often redraws into cards that have immediate impact like cleft. I fuse everything except damian because if you keep damian and the cheat cards from al machina you can do a big turn on 8

Turn 8 – A lot of cards + damian and end their career. Or double damian if you’re really skilled

Turn 9 – You don’t want to get to that point but if you do you wanna play another damian

Evo Targets:

Ironglider on 4 is a good evo target since you want to keep a lot of cards in your hand. Mechforest is very explosive but all the cards require other cards to work so if your handsize gets really low you can’t do much.

Cherub is often another good evo target since you want to keep a natura card in your hand and if generates a free card and as I said keeping a big hand is key.

Cleft can help you clear the board of smorc for 2, I often smorc for 2 if I don’t need to kill and extra follower and trade with the cleft

Evolving to go face with whatever – sometimes you need the extra pressure

Matchups:

Sword:

– Mech Sword (60/40) Mechforest is the better mech deck, they can clear mech boards easily and damian will crush sword

– Evo Sword (60/40???) Never played this, no idea. This is pure speculation but my reasoning is that this isn’t a very strong deck and they need to stick a board to win usually

– Ambush Sword (50/50) No idea, haven’t really played it but you don’t have any defense or things that kill ambushed followers. You have to race them which I imagine you can usually do if you go first

Dragon:

– Zeus Dragon (45/55) This deck has even more aoe so it’s pretty difficult to kill them with your earlygame. Their lategame isn’t as absurd but  you’ll need some luck to dodge the zeuses. You can get the 2/2 ward in their way but they can just roll ignore ward sometimes

– NTR Dragon (55/45) Dragon dies to pressure but also its a highroll deck so if they go first ramp and clear your board there’s absolutely nothing you can do in the lategame to compete with them. Idk what you do, the only thing that matters is their hand so you just smorc them and hope for the best I guess.

Forest:

– Mech Forest (50/50) The mirror match. Going first is important because you can play your al machina first. Al machina can answer it but the damian follow-up might kill you.

– Control Forest (50/50) You can’t really stop the roaches and they have healing but you can also do a lot of damage out of hand after turn 8. Possibly worse than I think because I dont trust ladder cforest players

Blood:

– Mech Blood (45/55) You can keep clearing their board but mechblood is just the better deck – it has more tools and you can’t really race them. Nerea is a problem too but playing your al machina first should give you an edge

– Control Blood (40/60) You have to kill them with multiple damians or they need to not draw nerea

Portal:

– Paradigm Shift (50/50) If they go first and have a big Colony on 9 they can clear your strong turn 8 play. If not they’ll probably lose. Its difficult to kill them before turn 8 so you have to take the risk

– Belphomet (60/40) Sometimes they cant play heaven’s door safely and if they do they can help you discount your al machina

Rune:

– Spellboost Rune (50/50) If they go first and play kuon on 6 they will hit your weak turn. If you go first you can deal with their good hands usually

– NTR Rune (50/50) You can pressure them and kill them if they don’t draw the aoe card but you also don’t have any wards to stop them once they set up Riley. Seems to really depend on their draw

Shadow: 

– Ginsetsu Shadow (55/45) They need big boards to win and mechforest is great at clearing boards. Just don’t try to race them, shadow has too much healing 

– PTP Shadow (60/40) You can pressure them a lot and can usually kill them faster. Just beware the 3 damage aoe

– NTR Shadow (65/35) They lack the defensive tools to stop your damian and are generally slower than you + their earlygame isn’t very good. The only way you really lose is to really big dogos and not having cleft

Haven:

– Elana (55/45) If they limonia into al machina it can be difficult to deal with but forest can generally deal with big boards and elana can only with through their board

– NTR Haven (65/35) NTR haven is a tempo deck and mechforest can deal with tempo quite well Conclusion: Not bad for ladder but probably not the best idea for a tournament format. If your opp really knows what they are doing maybe some of those winrates will be lower. Also I like these types of midrange decks so I could be biased

Ginsetsu Shadowcraft

A guide by DB Tempest.

Shadowcraft was a very strong deck at the start of Ultimate Colosseum but has fallen out of favor somewhat. Is it possible to make ginsetsu work with some of the new card?

This is not my list I took it from a Jap shadow main (I play 2 Shinobu instead of Sora).

General Playstyles: 

  • Accel mechs early, try to reanimate shovel/shuten with Friends Forever
  • Classic go 2nd into t4 shuten evo t5 ceres t6 vow t7 ginsetsu
  • Stall the game with fleeting joy/yuki

Things to take note of while playing against it:

  • This deck gains shadows REALLY FAST, keep track of their cards played/followers destroyed (see what they’ll reanimate) if you can and always be ready for early legendary skeletons/puddings because theyre very easy to proc now
  • Friends forever can heal 4, in case you guys didn’t know
  • HE WHO ONCE ROCKS REANIMATES 8. If they played fleeting joy for 9, please don’t kill mechawing first. If you kill slash first he’ll usually reanimate ceres

Matchups (from Shadow’s perspective i.e. favoured means favoured for shadow):

  • Machina Blood – Slightly favoured 55/45
    • I know you guys will shit on me but if they have their bane followers/the perfect friends forever this deck can easily deal with nerea and they’ll usually try to stall with fleeting joy/technolord/heals/wards
    • Try to otk with mono/spam mechs to get to 10 and neun will destroy this deck
  • NTR Dragon – Slightly unfavoured 45/55 (without prison and/or rola)/ Unfavoured 40/60 (with prison or rola)
    • Without cards like inori/kaya/ian, good shadow players might be able to take advantage of dragon’s weak early game with high tempo plays like gin accel on 5 
    • If you ramp fast into al machinus and create a huge board, shadow usually can’t clear it unless they have the bane followers/yuki to lock the board
    • If you ever get valdain active early like t4/5 the game should be over
  • Turbo Zeus/Discard Dragon – Unfavoured 40/60
    • I haven’t played this matchup at all but I’m guessing that it should be very difficult for shadow to win if you ramp really fast and have plesio since you can heal up easily while clearing their board (genesis will make shadow cry)
  • Artifact – 50/50
    • Assuming you know how to pilot this deck, you should be able to edge it out especially with the right draws (duplicator into drain/modesty/vertex)
    • Shadow’s late game is still strong if the game drags out since they have a lot of healing and higher burst damage too
    • Belphomet will likely to destroy shadow if you get good rolls
  • Spellboost – Slightly favoured 55/45
    • Same thing as last expac, except that there’s more bane and spellboost has less burst potential now (unless you play gabriel) and shadow can heal up easily too
    • If you can drop early flame destroyers behind wards or t6 kuon + flame destroyer you should win easily
  • NTR Rune – Unfavoured 40/60
    • Assuming you get t7 riley, the game should be really since shadow has one less ward now without grudge knight (or maybe some play it idk)
  • PTP Shadow – Slightly Favoured 55/45
    • Not so much to say about the matchup but more of ptp’s weakness – you have less ways to draw now/proc lara now so yea
    • You still win if you can proc ptp on6 tho but that should win almost any deck anyways
  • Elana Haven – Slightly Unfavoured 45/55
    • If you can get limonia active early into t6 machinus you should be pretty good to go unless shadow has shuten active with yukis/sora/skele/shovel
    • If you can produce a tall boards with at least 2 wards shadow shouldn’t be able to clear unless it’s t8 onwards when they have pudding/technolord active usually
    • Try not to let them play vow as that’s the only way they can stall out for the late game where they’ll likely outgrind you
    • Please don’t even try to commit the aegis unless you can force them to pudding something else
  • NTR Shadow 60/40
    • Pretty tough to beat since you have almost no heals if they pressure you hard and gin is still a problem unless you have your own crazy lubelle turn with at least 2 0 cost trees
    • If you’re playing al machinus/manage to play t6/7 thot you might have a shot then
  • Evo Sword 60/40
    • Not much has changed since shadow should still be favoured unless you aggro them fast but if you can keep pressuring with tall boards/threaten the burst from wildcat it could be possible to win
  • Control Forest 45/55
    • You have to be more cautious with your evo points now but you should still be able to outheal and outgrind shadow but the difference is that they have fleeting joy/more wards now so otk becomes harder