Verdant Conflict shook up the Shadowverse metagame quite a bit. Both formats experienced a shift in the dominance of decks, with new decks emerging and old ones getting more support. In this article, we’ll focus on ranking decks from the Unlimited metagame and give you the top five decks for grinding your way to Grandmaster! Let’s jump into it.
Before we get into the best decks, we should talk about the ones that didn’t make the cut. All Swordcraft variants are out of the running; they’re way too slow this format and have no tools to counter the metagame (sorry, Spartacus). Aggro Dragoncraft isn’t fast enough either for most of the metagame. Everything else has either been powercrept or just can’t keep up.
These decks are just good enough to show up now and again but aren’t fast enough to be a presence in the metagame. Midrange Shadow got a major buff with Gremory’s enhance effect being set to 6. However, Haven and Rune’s extensive ability to control the board have left the deck unable to stick followers. It can compete but just isn’t quite good enough to get there.
Phoenix Roost Dragon is still as viable as it was the last format but does struggle to close games. The deck loses to itself more times than not, and if it can’t assemble the Dagon, Lord of the Seas OTK it tends to lose hard.
Lastly, Portacraft Artifacts got a nice new toy in Artifact Call, but board clearing and a turn 7 OTK just aren’t good enough in a format filled with turn 6 storm from hand decks. All of these decks could be poised to break through next format with the right card or buff.
Roach decks were pretty infamous the last format, and they’re back again to scare people with that unstoppable OTK! Unfortunately for Forest players though, the control plan just isn’t as good this format. The decks it has to deal with at the top can flood the board fairly quickly or pressure life totals while putting up wards. The strategy does remain the same though: bounce roach, kill followers, repeat until dead. Maybe consider teching Ariana’s Whirlwind for a boardwipe if you’re worried about getting overwhelmed.
I included all the Bloodcraft variants under this slot since the decks tend to bleed together a bit these days. Vengeance Blood was a powerhouse last format and lost none of its gamebreaking tools. However, it didn’t exactly gain any new ones in Verdant Conflict. Azazel allowed it to ward off Roach decks easily, but now that Roach isn’t on top, the effect isn’t as good. The deck can steal some wins here and there, so if you enjoy playing at a low life total, give this deck a shot. As for DFB/Flauros decks, turn 3 Flauros high roll is still powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated. Aggro blood can also get under a lot of decks, but make sure you have a way to deal those last points of damage.
Do you like hitting face? Do you like unconditional removal? Do you hate having to wait? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then City of Gold Havencraft is for you! City of Gold is an amulet you get for free on turn two and allows you to cheat the time on your amulets. This turns cards like Heretical Inquiry into a 2pp kill anything. Couple that with storm finishers like Agnes, Hollow Feather (a new addition from Verdant Conflict), and you can close out games incredibly quickly, as in 17 storm damage on turn 5 from an empty board. This sample list should probably be running Priest of Excess over Iridescent Sphinx, but either is a fine choice.
You may notice this deck list is in a different format than the others. Well, it’s because it’s the list I used to grind to Grand Master myself this format!
The deck is very well positioned in the format, with its only bad matchups being irrelevant (Portalcraft) or our No. 1 deck. People will often assume you are on City of Gold Haven and wrongly mulligan. In addition, Elana’s Prayer and Kel, Holy Marksman are still incredibly powerful. Being able to wipe boards, put up several wards, and make your followers huge all contribute to this deck’s fantastic gameplan. On top of this, the incidental healing your deck generates drowns out many aggressive decks by principle and makes the City of Gold matchup a cakewalk (thanks to cards like Unica, Unicorn Maiden, and Whitefang Temple).
Your biggest weakness is huge boards, but Themis’ Decree is available as a tech if you find yourself struggling. I was running Sonia, Protector of Hope since she helps swing the No. 1 deck’s matchup in your favor. It’s also very strong against City of Gold Haven, as the enhance prevents its removal by anything but Priest of Excess. Overall, I think this deck is an exceptional choice.
One card was all it took to put Daria Runecraft back on the map. The deck has been steadily getting support the past few sets, but it wasn’t until Chaos Wielder was added that the deck became so prominent again. The card adds consistency and an additional spellboost effect on its evolution. The strategy is simple: spellboost your cards and then dump them all at once to kill your opponent quickly. Most decks can’t handle 5 storm followers on turn 5, so if you can pilot this deck well enough, you should easily be able to tempo out many opponents. This deck has a high skill ceiling though, so be careful.
And that concludes our top 5 picks for Shadowverse Verdant Conflict Unlimited! What do you think of our picks? Is there a deck I missed? Let us know down in the comments!
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