The State of SVO – Brigade week 1

Over the weekend we had the first Shadowverse Open for the Brigade of the skies expansion. Going into the week many players had expectations of what would perform and what would not be worth bringing. It was widely accepted throughout the community that Havencraft (Tenko and Lion) would likely be the most popular class/deck choice. This would be followed up by Swordcraft since many players were familiar with the class from last expansion and remains a powerful deck in the current format.

For many Havencraft and Sword would be their go to choices with the 3rd deck being less agreed upon.

# of players in PAM – 122
# of players in EU – 90

How many players in PAM took Haven?       98 / 122   or 80.32% 56% win rate
How many players in EU Took Haven?         68 / 90     or 75.55% 50% win rate

The popularity and dominance of Haven did not surprise anyone. From day 1 of BoTS Eris proved herself to be a top contender and the recent announcement of nerfs aimed towards Tenko’s Shrine only further supports this. I would expect the nerfs to Sealed Tome and Tenko’s Shrine to cause popularity in the deck to degrade. Lion Crystals however will feel much less of an impact from these soon to be nerfs. Players who were once playing Tenko’s may find themselves moving to Lions in future weeks.

How many players in PAM took Sword?      87 / 122   or 71.31% 52% win rate
How many players in EU took Sword?        65 / 90       or 72.22% 58% win rate

Sword had the highest average win rate of the weekend at 55%

As mentioned earlier, Sword was a class many players had their eyes on after the release of BoTS. The stats here show us that Sword was the second most played class, falling behind haven by 9% in PAM and 3% in EU. Swordcraft is a class that has a good shot at winning in most matchups. Its strength is that it is a solid and consistent deck. It makes sense that a deck like Midrange Sword had this much popularity this week. With nerfs being announced for Haven, Swordcraft also did not get off so lucky. Chromatic Duel and Valse, Magical Marksman will both be taking a hit. Both of these nerfs will likely directly affect the Sword vs. Forest matchup. Valse being a 2/1 makes him very poor against forest and the change to Chromatic Duel will cause sword to have a harder time blocking Cassiopeia/Bramble boards since both queens tend to be important in the matchup.

This will bring us to the 3rd most popular deck of the weekend and one to watch moving forward.

How many players in PAM took Forest?       68/122 or 55.74%          51% win rate
How many players in EU took Forest?           49/90 or 54.44%             55% win rate

Going into the weekend Forest was a class many players had their eye on but a class less players were willing to take. With Sword having an average play rate of about 72% as the second most played class Forest takes a drop to 55% as the third most played class. Forest has a lot of great things going for it. The class is very robust being able to take a game fast or slow depending on the nature of their draw and opponents draw. Forest also has access to one of the most powerful board control tools in the game with Wood of Brambles and ways to abuse it with Starry Elf and Airbound Barrage. These things combined made Forest a very strong choice for the weekend. Moving into the weeks to come both Havencraft and Swordcraft will be getting hit by nerfs. Forest is also getting a slap on the wrist with a nerf to Ipiria but Forestcraft is far from relyant on the card considering only 1 player in PAM and EU top 4 actually had Ipiria in their deck.

I would like to take a moment to discuss the impact the coming nerfs will bring. The nerfs will bring changes to Chromatic Duel, Valse, Tenko’s Shrine, Sealed tome and Ipiria. Valse and Chromatic Duel are currently some of the strongest cards in Midrange Sword since they give the class so much needed flexibility. Midrange Sword will likely survive these nerfs but will absolutely feel the effect of them in most games of Shadowverse. Tenko’s Shrine by itself spawned a new archetype for Haven. It is hard to say how Tenko’s will do post nerf. Sealed Tome instantly became a 3 of in every haven deck and now that the card will have a PP cost we will have to see if it is still worth the deck slot. The most interesting nerf here is the Ipiria nerf. Ipiria often does not make the cut for forest decks but is sometimes able to hard carry the decks it makes its way into. What is most strange about the Ipiria nerf is that for forest it really did not change anything. This means that while the top contenders of Haven and Sword are going to go through changes, forest will not be obligated to. In the weeks to come I believe that it is possible for forest to become the top dog of the format while other classes figure out their position in the meta after nerfs.

To finalize this weeks state of SVO I would like to leave you with the remaining 5 classes win rates of the weekend and some thoughts on them all.

Portalcraft: Puppets, Artifacts and hybrid are the popular archetypes
Winrate in PAM: 52%          Winrate in EU: 47%
Moving forward with Sword getting weaker Artifacts may also likely drop in popularity. Puppets however has been having some recent success and with a hit to Haven and Sword may find itself the breathing room to be a top contender.

Dragoncraft: Dragon decks are a grab bag, most often ramp into big storm follower of choice.
Winrate in PAM: 29 %         Winrate in EU: 43%
The PAM win rates that Dragoncraft as don’t look very promising. I would not bet on Dragon making any big moves unless nerfs cause unforeseen changes.

Runecraft: Spellboost, Dirt
Winrate in PAM: 40%         Win Rate in EU: 39%
Rune keeps a close win rate to Dragon this week at 40% but the difference between highs and lows are drastic. Rune having a consistent 40% may mean that the class is not too far off from becoming a powerful force in the metagame. The nerf to Chromatic Duel also significantly helps out the Spellboost vs. Sword matchup. We may see a surge in runecraft popularity moving forward.

Bloodcraft: What do you even call a blood deck in this day and age?
Winrate in PAM: 14%     Winrate in EU 39%
Somehow blood managed to not be in last place this week. Bloodcraft will likely find itself in a bind until someone brews a deck nobody saw or until it gets more support cards. Likely the latter.

Shadowcraft: Arcus Midrange or Burial Rite
Winrate in PAM: 7%      Win Rate in EU 22%
Sub 10% win rate. Nothing to see here. Shadowcraft is in a dire position and like blood it can really use some TLC. Shadowcraft likely won’t be making waves any time soon.

Written by HSK Szerro
The state of SVO will be a weekly article during the SVO Season
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