The Shadowverse Gems of Fortune cup event is a bit strange. To the average player, it can seem like a roll of the dice. However, there is a varying amount of skill that goes into card selection and crafting your hands. Before we get into the strategy of the format though, let’s talk about the rules of the format itself and how it works.
When you begin a run on this arena event, you get to choose a card class (besides neutral). However, no matter what class you pick, your deck will be the same. It will have 20 Gleaming Gems and 10 Radiant Gems. You can use these cards to change cards in your hand into random cards from your chosen class. Gleaming Gems are completely random, while Radiant Crystals will always give you a legendary or gold rare. This mechanic seems completely random and hard to take advantage of, but there are ways to abuse this depending on the class you’re playing.
The class you pick largely affects how you’ll do. Frankly, there’s a large discrepancy between classes in this Shadowverse format. I’ll always say to play whatever class you enjoy the most and are the most comfortable with, especially since knowledge of the cards in your class goes a long way. However, based on my experience in the format, a simple tier list can be made:
All of the top-tier classes are up there because their mechanics easily allow them to abuse the system. Runecraft can easily abuse spellboost cards since all the gems are essentially 0-cost spells. Couple that with plenty of card draw and utility, and it’s not surprising to die to a massive G. Chimera or Truth’s Adjudication. For a cherry on top, there are a lot of Rune cards that want you to have 20 or fewer cards in your deck. Since we’re playing a small deck size to begin with, achieving this upside is easy.
All the spells also count as shadows for Shadowcraft, so any necromancy effect is easy to access. Eachtar is easy to fuel; card bonuses are accessed quickly and easily — you name it. All of Shadow’s cards are also high-value and easily replace themselves, so there’s that too.
Forestcraft is arguably the best deck in the format. Forest has always been about playing 2+ cards a turn, and wow, your entire deck is full of ones that cost 0! How convenient! Couple that with card draw like Harvest Festival and strong legendary finishers and suddenly Forest is dominating everywhere.
Swordcraft and Havencraft have very good generic cards but don’t take advantage of the spell mechanic as the other classes do. They also may struggle to put together a game plan as not all their cards synergize at times. Despite this, they do have incredible bombs that can swing games, so don’t count them out.
Portal struggles to find a win condition without specifically building the deck around it. There’s also a large number of bricks within the class. Dragon struggles even harder. If it can’t find ramp cards early, it often struggles to overwhelm the opponent with powerful threats. Games tend to go long in this format, so outracing with storm isn’t always viable either.
The hardest part of the Shadowverse Gems of Fortune Cup format is deciding what cards to keep and what to throw away. First things first: Card advantage is everything. If you can’t match the card selection of the opponent, you’ll never win. Grinding out value is essential. To do this, focus on playing cards that replace themselves or put another card in your hand. Even if that card is utter trash, it gives you fodder to throw away to gems. Also of note, do not play a two-drop, especially going first. Unless you feel you can tempo your opponent out, or you’re playing sword, holding the cards for a stronger three-drop is usually better. Also, obviously throw away any cards that rely on pulling things from deck or focus on an archetype gimmick your hand can’t support. You’re better off trying for something better.
The tournament will follow standard structure per usual. Prize pool rewards are as follows:
The card packs noted are from the next set, Verdant Conflict. Winners will also receive an exclusive Spinaria emblem and sleeves.
What do you think of this new format? Did I miss any critical tips or strategies? Have you solved this Shadowverse format? Let us know!
I’m a veterinary student based out of Illinois. I enjoy (and sometimes stream) Shadowverse and MTG in my spare time. Follow me on twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/elpieps