Rebirth of Glory turned out to be an extremely impactful set for Shadowverse, reshaping the entire metagame of both Rotation and Unlimited within a day of its release. Players quickly realized how incredibly good Vengeance Bloodcraft was with the new cards. Other decks have an agonizing time just keeping up. Is it even possible to beat, or have we reached a new level of power creep?
For those who may not know, from Shadowverse‘s inception Vengeance has been the key mechanic for Bloodcraft. It rewards players for having a life total below 10 with powerful effects on cards. It could be extra power on a creature, an added attribute like Storm or Drain, or dealing damage. The drawback is that having such a low life total makes you vulnerable to dying. It’s inherently a skillful balancing act.
However, Cygames decided that Shadowverse game balance is a secondary necessity. Who needs a mechanic that’s fair? With two new cards in Rebirth of Glory, Vengeance was cracked wide open. The first card to do this was Seductress Vampire.
What the card does when you play it barely even matters. What’s important is drawing the card or adding it to your hand. When it’s put into your hand, it banishes itself and turns on Vengeance for the entire match regardless of your health. You can be at 20 life, draw it on your first turn, and have Vengeance forever. Suddenly every card you play has a huge upside with no risk of a low life total.
The other main culprit of this sin is Azazel, the Depraved.
Azazel deals 2 damage on fanfare to an enemy follower, which is pretty fair on rate. However, if Vengeance is active he deals 6 damage instead. The truly unfair part is his ability on evolve. Your maximum life total becomes 10, and you can’t take more than 3 damage at a time for the rest of the match. With many decks relying on large-damage spells or storm followers to finish games, this completely counters them. The risk of being at such a low life total is suddenly nonexistent. You have to be hit four separate times, dealing at least 3 damage three of those times, to die.
So Bloodcraft can cheat Vengeance now, but how does it benefit the deck? In rotation, previously unplayable cards are now suddenly bombs. Calamity Bringer was a joke of the community for the longest time. Now it’s suddenly a walking boardwipe that ends games. Laura, Enraged Commander gives followers storm for free and Yurius, Traitorous Duke evolves for free and becomes a nightmarish follower to deal with. Unlimited format uses a lot of the same tricks but also gets a few more powerful cards like Dark Airjammer and Belphegor.
Vengeance Blood is, in its current state, the top-tier deck in both formats. The results that it’s posted are undeniable. Unless Cygames decides to nerf the deck, it will continue to dominate. However, Cygames is notorious for lying about its metagame and its game balance. During Steel Rebellion Rotation format Midrange Swordcraft and Holy Lion Havencraft were the two best decks by a wide margin, and they refused to acknowledge or address the imbalance then. Until something changes, expect to see the deck everywhere. We played 10 matches of Master rank Rotation and Unlimited games each to see how wide of a deck queue we would see. Nine out of 10 Rotation decks and eight out of 10 Unlimited decks were Vengeance Bloodcraft.
What decks are you playing to counter Vengeance Bloodcraft? Or are you playing Vengeance Bloodcraft and enjoying it? Let us know down in the comments below, and be sure to check in with us again for more Shadowverse content!
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