Midsword was a dominant player in Omen of the Ten rotation for Shadowverse, and once again it’s back in full force, consistently posting results that can’t be denied! The only problem is that no build is quite the same, so players new to the deck are unsure what choices are optimal. In this guide, I’ll break down the deck, letting you know what you should be playing, what you should be cutting, and what some of your alternative options are.
Quickblader is once again the aggressive one drop designed to put decks under pressure from turn one, hitting early and hard while opponents struggle to catch up. The card got it even better with the new edition of Lecia, Sky Saber, enabling her self-evolving ability as early as turn five. Play 3.
Rapier Master is one of the most flexible Swordcraft followers ever printed, and it shows. Its ability to fill out your curve at any stage of the game makes it always live in your hand. Even better, it gains Storm under Latham, Honorable Knight’s effect and allows you to self-evolve Lecia, Sky Saber. Play 3.
Sky Commander Celia has been a staple since the Brigade of the Sky expansion, and it shows no sign of being replaced. A fine two drop and that flexes between a defensive five points worth of followers and a late-game Storm finisher makes it a must-include in any deck. Play 3.
Leod, the Crescent Blade singlehandedly turned rotation Swordcraft into the aggressive deck that it is now, giving it a powerful ambush effect and small spot removal that the Machina decks within the meta can’t seem to deal with at the moment. Play 3.
Ivory Sword Dance is the hot new removal spell, granting sword a powerful sweeper effect that doesn’t target for only two play points. Its enhance effect grants it even more late-game power, easily sweeping away the boards of 1/1s and 2/2s that Midshadow, Artifacts, and Lion Haven like to put out. However, the significant drawback of the card is that it does virtually nothing against Vira, Knight Fanatic, a staple in DFB Bloodcraft. It’s worth the slot though, so unless you’re worried about playing against Bloodcraft all night, play 2-3.
Aether of the Warrior Wing gets your best commander cards, has an evolve buff effect, and has fine stats for a 3-cost card. It lost one of its best targets to search when Frontline Cavalier rotated, but it still is way too powerful to not run at any less than 3.
Lecia, Sky Knight is the powerful new addition to the deck. Her self-evolving ability grants the craft yet another tempo play, leaving behind a 1/1 bane follower as an added bonus. What’s even better is on turn 10 she gives you a sweeper that doubles as a finisher, dealing 5 damage to all enemies! The ultimate Swiss army knife for the deck, play 3 and enjoy rolling over unprepared decks.
Apostle of Usurption still is just as good as he was in the last format: Sweeping away boards is still hard to beat. Wait until at least turn 6 to play him if you can, as you’ll be rewarded for your patience (and for playing 3).
Dragon Knights, the other Swiss army knife. The card does everything sword wants to do with the ability to summon four different followers, all with just the ability you need to take down boards, defend yourself, or close out games. Pair the knights together for bonus effects. Play 3.
Latham, Honorable Knight acts as the nail in the coffin for many decks. Play this card, and you gain the ability to make a knight with every attack and give all 1-cost followers Storm. This allows you to easily sweep away boards and close out games. Coupling this with an Accelerate effect that allows you to fill out your curve early on makes him a must-play at 3.
Chromatic Duel has always been a staple for the deck, but this new iteration is much more aggressive than in the past. Taking turn one off to get your 4 drop is often times too slow. Damage board wipe effects are also at an all-time low for the format, rendering Queen Magnus the Black all but useless. Queen Hemera the White is still a fine option though. Play 0-2.
Servant of Usurption is a strong choice against a lot of the follower-based removal that is pervading the format. With the ability to clash and gain a loot card and grow, he is extremely difficult to remove once he gets big and trades up extremely well. He also complements Apostle of Usurpation. Run 2-3.
Ernesta, Magical Dealer is fine card filtering on a two-drop body, letting you discard and then draw a card. This allows you to fill out your curve and fix your hand. Do note that she draws you a card naturally when you’re empty-handed. Play 2-3.
Valse, Magical Marksman used to be a mandatory three-of, but lately, he’s just not as good at what the meta is doing. Lishenna, Omen of Destruction is no longer played, and as swords only counter to her he’s been relegated to just being generic removal on a stick. Play 0-2.
Octrice, Omen of Usurption complements any usurption package, giving you free loot cards and a late-game evolve effect. There aren’t many Last Words effects in the format at the moment, but stealing the few that are is still a blowout in itself. She also is just a generically solid 3 drop. Play 2, 3 if you expect a lot of Shadowcraft.
With Blazing Lion Admiral being nerfed, he just isn’t good enough to see play at the moment. Drawing him essentially bricks your entire hand. If he ever goes back to being a 7 drop, he’ll be viable as a one-of Invocation.
Oathless Knight was only playable because of Lion Admiral, giving you two followers to fuel the Invocation. Same goes for Goblin cards in general.
Cybercannoneer seems tempting but is better suited for Machina decks.
Usurping Spineblade is essentially replaced by Ivory Sword Dance.
Zeta, Crimson Lancer is too big and bulky to deal with all the go-wide strategies at the moment. You can play her as one-of if you really want, but expect to die in a couple turns after you play her from losing tempo.
With all of the strong options available, midrange Swordcraft is sure to continue to be a dominant force in this Shadowverse rotation. The ability to adapt is the most key thing (as it is in most midrange-style decks), but by paying attention to what your opponents are doing you can easily tweak your deck to take on any foe. If you’re unsure of how the deck plays, try it out in unranked matches for a while to get the feel for it. I can’t promise you’ll win every match, but I can promise with competent piloting skills you will see a high win percentage.
I’m a veterinary student based out of Illinois. I enjoy (and sometimes stream) Shadowverse and MTG in my spare time.