The State of SVO: Brigade Week 5

State of SVO week 5
This week of SVO concludes the open weeks of the season. The format played over the weekend was Rotation. We have seen the Brigade meta develop over the past weeks and it is time to say goodbye. With the mini expansion now live the metagame as we know it will likely shift drastically.

Pam Standings

EU Standings

In the future weeks of SVO we will be moving to a Top 8 bracket for the Brigade of the Sky. The players we see in top 8 fought hard for their positions here. The games we will have in future weeks will be played by the true veterans of the format.

pam week 5 statsClass popularity in PAM: Out of 76

EU week 5 stats.pngClass popularity in EU: Out of 64
Forestcraft: Featured deck piloted by ECHO CureMango:

86% of players took Forestcraft this week. Forest have reigned as king for weeks on end. It is hard to say if the mini expansion will hurt forest’s overall performance. Though Forest has been dominant for so long we are also seeing a shift in Forest. Decks that rely on Korwa and White Vanara have been gaining popularity. Perhaps as a counter to all of the aggressive forests being played recently.

Havencraft:   Featured deck piloted by ECHO CureMango:          

68% of players took Haven  over the weekend. Decks that play Summit Temple, Tenko’s Shrine and everything in between seem to be the most dominant ways to play the class. Haven  has multiple archetypes, all of which are great at different things. The mini expansion will need to do alot to shake Haven out of the top 3 classes.

Portalcraft: Featured deck piloted by DIS. Himari:
61% of players took Portal over the weekend making it the 3rd most popular class for the event. Puppet’s have proven their worth as a mainstay of the format since the first week of Brigade.  With cards like Silva and Nicholas and Paracelsus the deck got the push it needed to be a top dog. Moving into the mini expansion puppets will be getting Cucouroux, Green Gunsmith. This card will likely make Puppet Portal’s early turns stronger and thus be a boon to portal.

During DawnBreak NightEdge the mini expansion had a larger effect than anyone expected. Because of this I do not want to make any predictions as to what we may see in the early weeks of Brigade part 2. Many of the new cards look exciting and as though they may be able to breath new life into some of the formats more forgotten classes. We will have to wait until the next State of SVO to see what these new cards will change.


The State of SVO: Week 4

State of svo week 3.png
Another week, another SVO. This time we got the pleasure of playing and watching the Unlimited Format. Unlimited is a relatively unexplored format in the West since there are not large-scale Unlimited tournaments. This makes it so that there are many viable decks in Unlimited and rewards a player for their familiarity with a given class. This is not to say that the format doesn’t have any dominant decks. Unlimited has a few boogiemen you need to be prepared to deal with.

In PAM Tempo Storm took home 1st place once again. This week TS Potwasher piloted White Wolf, Mid-Range Shadow, and Elana Haven. Mid-Range Shadow and Elanas were both popular decks leading up to the weekend. Although White Wolf hadn’t been popular during the months leading up to this SVO, the inclusion of White Wolf made Potwasher’s lineup more robust.

For EU, Disastra (DIS) Sheepy won with a similar lineup to Potwasher’s. Like Potwasher, Sheepy took Forest and Shadow. However, the decklists had key differences. Sheepy had a dedicated OTK Roach Forest, a different Mid-Range Shadow build that fell back on Lord Atomy and Deathly Tyrant, and Daria.

Class Popularity in PAM: 76 Players total

Week 4 NA
Class Popularity in EU: 51 Players total

Week 4 EU

In previous weeks of the SVO there was more consistency with the most popular decks. Normally, the deck in the #1 or #2 position held their position in both regions. This time there was no such consistency other than Rune and Shadow making top 2. This shows how Unlimited is still open and has room for growth.

Rune: Featured Deck piloted by TK Dubski:

Overall Win Rate: 53.5%

In Unlimited, Rune has many different ways it can be built — all of them are formidable decks. Due to an abundance of archetypes, it makes sense for Rune to make it into the top 3. Between Dimension Shift, Daria, and Dirt Rune it is virtually impossible to build a lineup that is prepared for all three while remaining competitive against the rest of the field.

Shadow: Featured Deck piloted by DIS. Onion Sheep:

Overall Win Rate 53%

With Demonlord Eachtar’s nerfs recently being reversed it is no surprise to see such a resurgence in Unlimited Mid-Range Shadow. The deck can play an on-the-board beat down game and with the help of Eachtar it can close the game out or pull itself back onto the board on turn 7. Shadow has access to a few different solid builds, the main thing that seperates them is if they opt to play Lord Atomy or not.

Featured Deck piloted by TS Potwasher:

Overall Win Rate:  52.5%

Some of the most iconic decks in Unlimited are OTK style roach decks. Whether an aggressive build that splits the combo or a slower deck focused on one-turn-kills there is room for decision-making. Roach is the type of deck that rewards players for familiarity with specific lists play-style. Roach has the ability to end games without giving opponents opportunities to interact barring warding and healing.

PAM top 8 week 4

Blood: Featured Deck piloted by Shadow Shadet:

Overall Win Rate: 48.5%

Over the weekend there were two versions of Blood that had reasonable success. One popular type was the all-in Vengeance deck that relies on storm damage from Dark General and Emeralda. The other popular Blood archetype was Darkfeast Bat. Both of these decks have similar builds. The difference is how quickly they plan on getting into Vengeance and how integral Vengeance is in the deck’s success.

Dragon:  Featured Deck piloted by LiL Raindrop:

Overall Win Rate 43%

After Bloodcraft, there was a significant dip in win rate. In Unlimited, Dragon enjoys all of its best ramp cards as well as the Sahaquiel package. This week’s Featured deck stays away from the ramp package. The deck relies on some of Dragons most aggressive cards and ends the game with high-power storm finishers like Dark Dragoon Forte and Phoenix Rider Aina.

Sword:  Featured Deck piloted by TK Dubski:

Overall Win Rate 42%

In Unlimited, the two most popular decks for Sword are full-on Aggro Sword and its slower counterpart, Mid-range Sword. In a tournament format, people tend to be less willing to play an Aggro Sword deck that relies on a fast-opening hand since the players don’t have many decisions throughout a game. Mid-range Sword has a similar plan to Aggro sword though more focused on board-control. Between cards like Arthur and Dragon Knights Mid-range Sword has a lot of endgame power. Both style Sword decks have access to Round Table Assembly  a card that helps you flavor your deck in what it is trying to do.  

Haven: Featured Deck piloted by TS Potwasher:

Overall Win Rate 37%

This weekend Haven was relatively unsuccessful but worth watching. Although Haven had a low win rate it did win PAM.  The version of Haven that found success was Potwashers dedicated Elana build. It is possible that Potwasher found success because his lineup was tailored to best take advantage of Elanas. It is also possible that the other Haven decks that were played were simply not well-constructed. Potwasher has shown that Elana Haven is a force to fear in the Unlimited format.

Portal: Featured Deck piloted by HSK Symphonus

Overall Win Rate: PAM: 0% EU 75%

Portalcraft is the most interesting thing to happen over the weekend. In PAM, not a single person played a game with portal, leaving it with a very misleading 0% win rate. In EU, Portal played 12 games total, leaving Portal with an incredibly small but promising sample size. Could it be that players are sleeping on Portal in Unlimited? Artifact Portal is already a strong deck in Rotation and now that the class has had a few expansions it may soon be reaching a break-out point in Unlimited. Only the future will tell.

EU Top 8 4
The next State of SVO will be in 2 weeks after the next SVO. Then we will see a return to the Rotation format for NA and EU followed up by SEAO playing Take 2.

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The State of SVO – Brigade Week 3

Week 3 Sate of svo.png
With Take 2 week being over, this week we had another week of Rotation format in the Shadowverse Open. This week South East asia did not get to participate in the Open, this leaves us with just PAM and EU playing.

On the PAM side of things TS Crumsion has continued his dominance in this season of the open getting his second 1st place finish. When it comes to the PAM region Crumsion has displayed a mastery in the Brigade format that is on another level of other players. We will have to see if this will stay constant throughout the season. Crumsion is absolutely a player to study if you are trying to improve your game. This week Crumsion piloted Midrange Forest, Puppet Portal and Garuda Summit Haven to victory.

As for EU this week PG Akamarured took home the gold medal, bringing him to the #2 spot of the Brigade of the Sky standings. For Akamarured, he decided to bring Midrange Forest, Puppet Portal and PDK Dragon.

                                                              PAM Class Popularity
week 3 NA
This week 109 players participated in the PAM Open.

                                                               EU Class Popularity
Week 3 EU

                                  This week 65 players participated in the EU Open

With Puppets/Forest winning both NA/EU this week and SEAO last week these two classes have likely solidified themselves as the most popular decks as well as the decks to beat moving forward. The pick rates of these classes seem to back this up. The third deck however is less agreed upon among the regions.

                                                                  Top 8 Stats

Week 3 charts

Forestcraft: Featured Deck piloted by PG Akamarured:

Combined Win Rate: 57%

This week Forestcraft asserts its dominance as the most powerful class in the format. Out of 16 players in both top 8’s a whopping 13 players had forest in their arsenal. Forest currently has quite a few strong archetypes under its belt. Between Aggro, Korwa and Yggdrasil builds of the deck it becomes hard to build a lineup that will be favored against all of the different strategies the class has access to. It seems that Forest will reign as king unless some major changes happen.

Havencraft:   Featured Deck Piloted by TS Crumsion:

Combined Win Rate: 51.5%

A few steps below Forest but just above Portal, Havencraft sits with the second highest win rate this week. 9 players in this weeks combined top 16 chose to play Haven. It seems that the Summit Temple lists of Dawn Break Night Edge season have been updated with some of the new cards from BotS like Whitefang Temple,  Garuda Ruler of Storms and De La Fil. This version of Haven dominated the PAM side of the open while EU had one of each, Garuda Summit, Lions and Tenko’s Shrine.

  Featured Deck Piloted by TS Crumsion:

Combined Win Rate: 51%

11/16 took Portalcraft to the top 8 this week. Between Puppet and Artifact builds puppet proved itself as the better build of the deck with 10/11 top 8 decks being puppets. Puppets ability to consistently end the game with Orchis/Noah on 8/9 as well as its strong tools to control the board like Basileus, Substitution and puppets is where the classes strength lies. Portal just barely broke the above 50% win rate mark this time. It is possible that with some creative deck building in future weeks the class can be dethroned since it is less diverse than Haven and Forest.

Swordcraft:   Featured Deck Piloted by Hishiro:

Combined Win Rate: 47.5%

Week after week Swordcraft dulls just a little bit more. 7/16 players brought the class to the top 8 this week. Sword continues to do what it has always done since DBNE format. The deck excels at controlling the board with good followers and has giant tempo swing cards like Arthur and Sky Fortress. Sword has likely seen most of its drop off in win rate….. However if a special somebody in Dragoncraft grows in popularity we may see Sword continue to fall.

Runecraft:   Featured Deck Piloted by LiL Raindrop:

Combined Win Rate: 44.5%

5 players managed to get Runecraft to their regions respective top 8 this week. Spellboost was the more popular archetype this week however we saw the birth of a new rune build that managed to get second place in the PAM side of the open. I will be very interested to see if this was a fluke or if Earth Rite Summoner will continue to grow in popularity in future weeks.

Dragoncraft: Featured Deck Piloted by PG Akamarured:

Combined Win Rate: 43.5%

While there were only 3 Dragon’s in both top 8’s the class overall preformed pretty well in the later stages of the event. Most interestingly although the class has a below 50% win rate Prime Dragon Keeper finished in 1st for EU. PDK also got a first place finish in team Disastra’s Monkey of the Week tournament. That makes for 2 very strong finishes for PDK in the week, this may lead us to a rise for Dragoncraft and in turn, more of a fall to Swordcraft.

Bloodcraft: No Featured Deck.

Combined Win Rate: 41.5%

Along with Shadowcraft, Blood did not make it to either top 8 this week. Blood currently lacks good tools to recover from a losing board and has no real ways to pull itself ahead in the early game. Much like last time, Blood will need some serious help of it is going to make a break into the competitive rotation scene.

Shadowcraft: No Featured Deck.

Combined Win Rate: 38%

Sadly for Shadowcraft it again holds the lowest win rate in PAM/EU. Shadow simply excels at nothing right now. Both its Arcus and Reanimate archetypes are slow and they have no good ways to pull ahead enough so that they can play their big threats.

The State of SVO will return next week. The next open EU and PAM will be playing Unlimited. This may be Blood and Shadow’s time to shine. The classes both have powerful archetypes in Vengeance Blood and Midrange Eachtar Shadow.

The graphs used were provided by XiaoKen. You can find his tier list here:

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Written by HSK Szerro

The State of SVO Week 2

This weekend was the second week of the Shadowverse Open. This was a Special weekend for 2 reasons:
1) This week South East Asia has one of their 3 Opens (Rotation Format)
2) PAM and EU played Take 2

Before we talk about take two I would like to break down what happened in the SEAO Rotation Metagame.

                                                               Overall Stats of SEAO


Total players this week in SEAO: 126

How many players took Forestcraft?    87 / 126 or 69% 52% Win Rate

This weekend Forestcraft boasted the highest win rate at 52%. This falls in line with my predictions from last week. The nerfs to Swordcraft and Havencraft had some strange effects on this weeks metagame but we will get into that later. What is important to note here is that while Forestcraft had the highest win rate this week it was barely over 50%.

How many players this week took Swordcraft?        86 / 126 or 68% 51% Win Rate

The nerfs to Swordcraft did not change too much this week. Swordcraft clocked in as the second most played class just like last week but its play rate dropped by a small 3%. Interestingly enough last week I predicted that the nerfs to Swordcraft would only make the Sword Vs Forest match up better for forest but this week Forestcrafts worst matchup was Swordcraft with the matchup being 56% for Swordcraft.

How many players this week took Portalcraft?      78/126 61% 50% Win Rate

This week Portalcraft makes its way into the top 3 classes. Portal was already pretty popular last week so it is not too surprising that after dodging nerfs it made its way to the top 3. Out of the 2 versions of Portalcraft Puppets preformed much better than its Artifact counterpart getting 6 copies into the top 8 with only 1 Artifact making its way to the top 8.

                                                                     SEAO TOP 8


This week the 3 most popular classes absolutely dominated the top 8. We The top 8 metagame was controlled by strong Mid Range decks that if given a chance can beat down incredibly hard. Moving into future weeks it will be very important to bring decks that can compete with these style strategys if you want to be successful.

The most interesting thing about this week is how close all of the class win rates were. Last week we saw a difference of 40% between the most successful and least successful deck of the weekend. This week however the difference was only 6%. This can be due to a few factors, the most outstanding being the Recent nerfs shaking things up. It is also possible that the SEAO Metagame has developed differently than the PAM / EU metagames did and this may be causing these widely different win rates. I am very interested to see if this trend continues in PAM / EU next week.

                                                                  PAM / EU Take 2

Take 2 is always an interesting beast. The format doesn’t get too much attention in the competitive scene and due to this the format has a lot more opinion than it does hard fact. The format has tons of nuance to it and allows the player to draft closer to their own play style.

This week in the Top 8 was heavily represented by 2 classes in both EU and PAM. Out of 23 games (46 total class picks):

Portal was picked 14 times and won 8 times leaving it with a 57% win rate.

Dragon was picked 12 times and won 7 leaving it with a  58% win rate.

Falling further behind is Runecraft 6 picks and 3 wins giving it a 50% win rate.

Haven was taken 5 times and won 2 times giving it a 40% win rate.

After Haven we really start scraping the bottom of the barrel with swordcraft being taken 4 times. Of these games it won 1 time leaving it with low 25% win rate and an even smaller sample size.

This leaves us with 5 more picks. Of these picks they were all split pretty evenly between Forest Blood and Shadow. Cumulatively they had a 40% win rate.

The players in Take 2 clearly had classes in mind they wanted to take. Dragon and Portal made up over 50% of the picks this time around making them clear winners this SVO.

The graphs used were provided by XiaoKen. You can find his tier list here:

Written by HSK Szerro

The state of SVO will be a weekly article during the SVO Season

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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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