Anyone who’s played Shadowverse in the past few weeks has easily noticed that both Rotation and Unlimited have been garbage. Both formats were ostensibly overwhelmed by Havencraft and Bloodcraft decks. Don’t believe me? Check out our article on the dominance of Vengeance Bloodcraft if you want to see how bad it was getting.
In response to player outcry (and likely reduced player numbers), Cygames decided to nerf three different cards in the top two decks. All three cards are key components, so it’s likely to shake up the metagame.
Elana, Purest Prayer took Machina Havencraft from being a rogue deck to tier one singlehandedly. She was the key card in the self-healing decks in unlimited as well. Her evolve ability eliminated the entire downside of normally playing her amulet (that being a tempo loss). It’s no surprise she was the target of the nerf. In her updated state she is now an understatted 3/4 for 4 pp. This eliminates the normal strategy of playing her on turn four, evolving, and then healing twice to turn her into a 6/6. Will she still see play? Possibly, but probably only in Shadowverse decks completely dedicated to healing.
This nerf was probably the most universally expected and hoped for out of the three. Seductress Vampire granting Vengeance for free with no life penalty and no pp cost was insanely broken. It’s the very definition of pushed card design, to say the least. Entirely cheating the Vengeance mechanic allowed Bloodcraft in both Unlimited and Rotation to absolutely dominate against every deck. No bad matchups, no drawbacks, just pure power.
Seductress’s new text still gives you Vengeance for free but sets your max life total to 10. This is still very powerful but is much more balanced. Decks like Burn Rune and Machina Forest can now sneak in wins due to raw damage. Turn one draws of Seductress Vampire are no longer instantly game-winning, and that’s a much-needed change (and how it should have been from the start).
Out of the three, Heartsick Demon getting hit is the most surprising (but not unexpected). With Vengeance Bloodcraft being this dominant, multiple cards were bound to get hit. Yurius, Traitorous Duke was a more expected target, but Heartsick Demon is still an excellent hit. Coming down on turn two and making all your stuff cost next to nothing was insanely game-breaking. Then again, pp cheating usually is, but that’s beside the point. The point is Heartsick Demon is now a 6/6 for 6 that makes cards cost cheaper if you have Vengeance. Will he still see play? Maybe, if Rotation Vengeance is still a thing. Otherwise, I’d vial him away in a heartbeat.
Havencraft and Bloodcraft both took extremely heavy nerfs, hopefully strong enough to shake them from dominance. We highly expect Roach Forestcraft decks in both Rotation and Unlimited to see an increase in play, especially in the latter. Rotation could also see the rise of a very diverse metagame, featuring decks like Machina Sword, Machina Portal, Machina Blood, Spellboost Rune, Ramp Dragon, Path to Purgatory Shadow, Puppet Portal, Ginger Rune, and many more. There’s a massive amount of potential and we look forward to what the format might bring.
Do you think the nerfs were strong enough, or did more cards need to be hit? What Shadowverse decks do you plan on playing going forward? Let us know down in the comments below!
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