Shadowverse’s Steel Rebellion has unfortunately been one of the least dynamic rotation formats we’ve had in a while. For the fourth JCG Shadowverse open in a row, Midrange Swordcraft and Holy Lion Havencraft decks have dominated the meta. Out of the top 16 finishers of the last tournament, 87.5 percent of players used Midrange Swordcraft and 68.75 percent used Holy Lion Havencraft as one or both of their two decks. A few players using Arcus Shadowcraft, Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft, and Cocytus Ramp Dragoncraft managed to sneak in, but these left Runecraft, Forestcraft, and Portalcraft completely unrepresented in the top 16.
It’s no surprise to many that Swordcraft is dominating as hard as it is. The deck was already in a strong position prior to Steel Rebellion, and the addition of Lecia, Sky Saber only served to push it past all others. That card alone gives Swordcraft a free evolution point extremely consistently, a tempo play on turn 5, and a finishing option on turn 10. Her requirement of playing an officer card alongside her is extremely easy to meet, too. Quickblader and Rapier Master fill the role well and were already cards Midsword was playing prior to her release. With a new update coming up, it’s highly likely she will be nerfed in some form. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our guide to the deck.
As for Holy Lion Havencraft, the deck is mostly seeing a resurgence because it counters Swordcraft incredibly well at the moment. The massive removal package it can play, coupled with wards and a consistent win condition, make it incredibly hard to deal with. The deck had fallen out of favor in the last meta because interactivity was heavily discouraged. Ramp Dragoncraft and Mysteria Runecraft preyed on decks like this by simply ignoring the opponent and racing to their win condition. But as long Swordcraft and Machina strategies are popular, expect to see Lion Havencraft in the top 16 of future Shadowverse tournaments.
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