WD Tournament Tier List
July 18, 2017
Next major update after nerfs
Excelsior Gaming is proud to present the first Shadowverse tier list organized by a team of competitive players.
This tier list is more tournament-oriented, and there are few archetypes that perform significantly differently in tournaments than on ladder. This means that archetypes that may succeed on ladder due to "surprise factor" may be rated lower than a ladder experience would indicate. Also note that tournaments generally limit players to one decklist per class, so relative performance is a critical metric: archetypes are compared not only to the meta, but to their class archetypes as well.
Click any archetype name to skip down to the decklists and explanation. Click the icon to the left to open the featured decklist.
Neutral Abyss Blood is the Midrange Blood deck that we've always wanted. By utilizing the new neutral package (Alice, Wonderland Explorer; Goblin Leader; Actress Feria), Tove, Big Knuckle Bodyguard and Scarlet Sabeur, Blood can apply insane pressure until they play their new win condition card, Spawn of the Abyss. Spawn of the Abyss is very hard to deal with for most classes and if the Blood player is even slightly ahead, can seal the game as early as turn 7.
Aegis is currently incredibly powerful, as it has the ability to easily outgrind most current Neutral lists, with the notable exception of Abyss Blood. However, its matchup against Abyss Blood is not particularly bad, as it is one of the few archetypes that can hope to deal with an accelerated Abyss, and Snow White gives it amazing defensive flexibility in the early game. Furthermore, with the complete absence of combo decks in the current meta, Aegis no longer suffers from severely one-sided matchups. Aegis received a lot of support this expansion, and could be next in line to dominate the meta when Neutral Blood is felled.
Dirt Rune was already seeing some play in TotG, but was countered by one of the most popular decks at the time, Ramp Dragon. In other matchups it performed decently but often lacked card draw and early game consistency. Wonderland fixes those issues by giving Dirt Rune multiple new tools. Witch's Cauldron is a simple but powerful addition, and Master Mage Levi gives one more board clear against the current popular decks that flood the board with neutrals.. Mutagenic Bolt is not new but deals cleanly with Spawn of the Abyss (and the occasional Beauty and the Beast or Dark Alice). Finally, Wizardess of Oz is a powerful draw engine and is often used on turn 6-8, either to refill the player's hand or to find lethal by drawing and reducing the cost of burn spells such as Mutagenic Bolt, Demonic Strike, Dance of Death and Piercing Rune.
Midrange Shadow is back but with a huge twist. Instead of only relying on sticky minions and Eachtar to close out a game, this deck now tries to get as much value from Last Word effects as it can. With incredibly powerful Last Word effects and synergizing draw cards, Midrange Shadow is almost impossible to out value. This deck's primary goal is to stall out the game while drawing as much cards as possible and ending the game with with Eachtar, Immortal Thane and Death's Breaths.
This variation of Midrange Shadow is currently a great deck to use in ladder as well as in tournament play. It grinds out most of the neutral decks that are currently being used and it can withstand the onslaught of the Blood if played correctly. These factors make Midrange Shadow a strong deck and it deserves this spot on the tier list.
Ramp Dragon has continued to see widespread use in ban-style tournament formats, where both its control and updated Storm variants continue to exercise TotG-era dominance. However, it largely suffers on ladder and in no-ban tournament formats due to its inherent inability to either out-tempo Neutral Blood early or deal with Spawn of the Abyss once played. Looking towards forthcoming nerfs, a heavy-handed nerf to Abyss may allow Ramp Dragon to regain its spot as a dominant force in the meta, now with elevated burst combos from Queen.
NEUTRAL STORM HAVEN
With the recent Wonderland Dreams Expansion, Storm Haven faces hard competition by faster Neutralcraft decks. Although they have tools such as Snow White to fight for early board presence, the amulets which give Storm Haven its power are too slow in comparison to the board flooding abilities of Neutralcraft, which can have a Alice-buffed board on turn 4, while all of Storm Haven's amulets are still ticking. Against slower decks, however, the deck excels in dealing unstoppable face damage and creating massive midgame boards with Lion. Being able to immediately activate an amulet from the hand at low cost is an extremely strong effect, and can trigger finishers and combos for Storm Haven.
A new variant to SwordCraft, Control Sword is a great deck to counter early game Neutral plays. Running early game removal like Whole-Souled Swing and Shield of Flame, the deck can deal with aggro quite well. Further additions would include White Ridge Swordsman, a solid ward with bane, and for late game, the deck has Hero of Antiquity to hold the board, and Roland the Incorruptible to limit explosive damage. It is important to note, though, that Control Sword is barely a control deck given its feeble healing and AoE, and it should seek to win most of its games by turn 9.
Roach Forest is traditionally strong versus any deck that wins beyond t7, but the current meta ends games on turn 2-4. Without any powerful early tempo plays to contest the likes of Neutral Blood, Roach Forest is largely relegated to using removal spells early and pushing for a turn 6-7 combo kill to win the game. It's not clear what blend of neutral synergy is optimal for Roach Forest, but Elf Twins' Assault is mandatory given the dominance of massively-statted early followers in the current meta.
Neutral Sword is the new Midrange Sword, but with more Wonderland cards! With the release of the neutral card package and Cinderella, Sword has a more threatening early game, yet continues to exercise massive Storm reach with Alwida's and Albert. Sword also received a new spell- Council of the Card Knights- that applies split pressure on your opponent much like Alwida's Command, as well as refuel ability in Attendant that it always needed to support a hand-vomit playstyle.
Once popular in the Darkness Evolved expansion, Elana's Prayer has made a comeback in Wonderland Dreams. With its strong survivability due to the numerous healing options in the deck, the deck can also produce strong followers with the amulet's power, especially with new Tenko synergy. Cards such as Themis Decree serve as a mid-game reset for the board to deal with aggro and Spawn, whilst Princess Snow White can deal with early board presence, and Aegis can be used to handle the late-game. One weakness of the deck, however, is that there is still no consistent way of drawing Elana's Prayer, especially since the deck runs other amulets such as Sacred Plea and Beastcall Aria.
One of the most anticipated cards in the expansion, Beauty and the Beast is the main reason to play a neutral-heavy Forestcraft deck. It is essentially a stronger Hulking Giant, which can push 7 (9 if evolved) damage per turn, and has very few counters. Even if it dies immediately, it usually trades 3 for 1 and forces evolutions from the opponent. However, most decks in the current meta are teched against Spawn of the Abyss, which happens to share some counters (in particular Mutagenic Bolt, Pixie Mischief), making this turn 6 bomb less effective than it could be. The other tool neutral forest got is Elf Twins Assault, potentially the most efficient removal in the game but situational. It is one of the few ways to recover from a Goblin Leader into Alice curve, and it can allow massive tempo swings especially when paired with a 2-drop evolution on turns 4-5. There is no settled list yet, as some people choose to play a "flood" deck with no roaches while others still rely on combos, playing fewer neutrals and utilizing Through The Looking Glass to trigger synergies.
As the name suggests, this deck utilizes new Neutral synergies in Rune, along with the Alice engine, to push massive early-game pressure. However, Neutral Rune largely lags behind the other neutral decks due to its comparative lack of early-game presence: compare Witch of Sweets to Tove and Cinderella. This deck's unique characteristics lie in its powerful trading ability with Falise, its refill with Wizardess, and its spawn counter Mutagenic Bolt.
NEUTRAL LEDGER SHADOW
The TotG Shadow deck is not enough to stop the power houses that are Neutral minions. One of the solutions to this problem for Shadow is join the Neutral side and create a deck that focuses on raw power over Last Words effects (see Midrange Shadow). High-valued Shadow cards with the support of the Neutral cards might not be so bad after all.
This deck is designed to have the best tempo plays on every single turn and to snowball it into a victory. One of the major weaknesses of this deck is that without a board, this deck cannot win no matter what. It is not equipped with any comeback tools and it will struggle without a proper board. Your main goal is to preserve and maintain a strong board as this is your primary way of winning-- especially with the continued strength of Eachtar--but without the once-legendary stickiness of Reaper and Catacomb, this is much harder than it once was.
Aggro Blood is one of the aggro decks that does not rely on the Neutral engine. Rather, it runs cards from previous expansions such as Yurius, Levin Duke and Blood Wolf to build up early pressure. Its main addition from the expansion would be Disagreeable Demon. With the ability to gain 2 Attack or Ward depending on the board, she's a flexible card that is seen in most Aggro Blood decks, alternating between offense and defence.
The deck has also found a possible new top-end in Carabosse. She helps to ensure that the deck does not run out of steam, and helps apply pressure on the opponent. As Aggro Blood rarely requires more than 6 play points per turn but runs out of gas fairly quickly, her skill helps the deck to continue running, and to not lose to hard control decks.
Known in Tempest of the Gods for its powerful turn 4 vengeance activator, turn 5 Dark Airjammer sequence, and powerful vengeance-activated cards such as Dark General to finish off the game, Vengeance Blood has nearly been rendered obsolete in Wonderland Dreams by the even more powerful and consistent turn 5 Baphomet into turn 6 Spawn of the Abyss sequence. The archetype also makes less efficient use of the powerful new tools granted to blood, preferring to play Belphegor or Soul Dealer on turn 4 instead of Big Knuckle Bodyguard, and Dark Airjammer on turn 5 instead of Scarlet Sabreur. While the archetype still strives against slower or unoptimized decks, and is able to compete even against faster decks with the right draws and Airjammer pulls, it is often simply too dangerous to place oneself at 10 health against the powerful early and midgame of the neutral package so prevalent in today's meta, especially since Spawn of the Abyss has the ability to deal near lethal damage directly to face.
A popular deck from the Rise of Bahamaut expansion, Daria is one of the decks that can hope to compete with Neutralcraft in terms of speed, as the spells it churns out work not only as small bits of removal, but also help build the deck's presence on the board. A new inclusion for the deck would be Mutagenic Bolt. Although Mutagenic Bolt itself is not a new card, most Daria decks have included it to deal with Spawn of Abyss, improving the matchup against Abyss Blood. Unfortunately, the deck does not have any practical 1-cost followers, unlike Neutralcraft, which can use Goblin and Wise Merman. This makes the deck slightly slower than Neutralcraft, although it does pack more removal.
DShift was always the best deck to counter heavy control decks but with the new release of the Wonderland cards, DShift is really struggling due to the splurge of Midrange Neutral decks. DShift is not particularly a bad deck, but has a lot of hard match-ups against the slew of fast midrange decks. Some new tech cards people are including in DShift are Red Hot Ritual, Golem Assault, Winter's Caprice (largely for Abyss) and Wizardess of Oz. A neat interaction with Wizardess of Oz and Winter's Caprice is that when Oz becomes all snowman, all your other spells still cost 1 while and you don't receive the drawback from Oz.
Seraph Haven saw a minor resurgence in the latter half of TotG due to the Lightning Blast nerf, but suffered from little play. Now, in the WD meta where combo archetype are sparse and weak, Seraph Haven has, like Aegis, full room to maneuver into a new and dominant position. As one of the few archetypes that can efficiently counter Abyss Blood, Seraph has great potential, but still suffers from little experimentation due to the widespread belief that it is worse than Aegis. **We consider Seraph Haven to be a Tier 1 archetype, but would like to see more testing.**
NEUTRAL AGGRO DRAGON
One of the more aggressive and faster Dragon decks, Neutral Aggro Dragon opens using the Neutral mechanic, using cards like Alice and Lyrial. However, it packs a unique top end, with additional cards such as Dark Dragoon Forte, Phoenix Rider Aina and Hippogryph Rider, all which are powerful Storm cards finishers. Phoenix Rider Aina in particular can punish the opponent for playing too many cards on the board, in an effort to fight against the surge of followers Neutralcraft produces. The deck plays little to no ramp, and has a similar playstyle with other Neutralcraft decks. One weakness, however, is that most of the mid-game finishers can be easily stopped by Wards-- but few are played in the current Neutral meta.