So I’ve been playing a fair bit of Shadowverse since getting into it a week or two ago. When getting into the game I decided that I’d go with Swordcraft and Havencraft. The former because the leader looked cool and the latter because the mechanics looked cool.
After looking through some netdecks to see what archetypes worked with them I started putting together a mid-range Swordcraft deck and an Elana Seraph Havencraft deck. I got very lucky with drops for my swordcraft deck, most of the top-tier decks are “expensive” to make (i.e. they use a lot of legendary cards which cost 3500 vials to craft). The deck uses 7 legendaries, 3 Aurelia, 3 Sea Queen Otohime and 1 Tsubaki. I got 1 Auerila and 2 Otohime from opening card packs. So I decided to spend a fiver and get the one-time 600 crystals for 5 quid offer. I then bought the pre-constructed Swordcraft deck which gave me another Aurelia and Otohime, a few days later I got enough vials to craft a Tsubaki so now all I’m missing is 1 Auerlia (though I’d like to craft Odin to test). So with luck, money and time I was able to fairly quickly put together one of the top-tier decks in the old meta. A deck that I enjoyed playing. But at the same time my Havencraft deck was going nowhere and I didn’t want to spend any more real money. So I had another look at the Havencraft deck archetypes people were using and saw that a Havencraft Rush deck, which relied on doing a lot of damage to the “face” as quickly as possible, was pretty popular.
I didn’t have enough cards to make a perfect version of it, but I had enough to try it out, and playing it in ranked I really enjoyed it. One of the best things about it was the fact that win or lose it was generally over fairly quickly. Don’t get me wrong I like long matches with control vs control or dragging things out. But if you want to get a few matches in one session quicker is faster. So that set me off looking at aggro decks, which honestly is a style that I generally avoid in traditional CCG’s (being very much a Blue or Black MTG player). Forestcraft and Bloodcraft seemed to offer the two most competitive aggro decks, reading on the forums a lot of people felt that the new Rise of Bahamut cards had really helped Aggro Blood and as I had a fair few Blood cards I decided to try it out.
I’m pretty happy I did, the deck is fast, furious and fun, I’ve won quite a few matches by turn five and honestly it just feels good to win that quickly (I’ve also lost a few matches almost as quickly). One of the mental pitfalls you need to watch out for with Shadowverse is that while each faction has its own mechanic you don’t necessarily need to build around that mechanic. I’d been associating Bloodcraft too closely with the Vengeance mechanic but with Aggro Blood you don’t really want to have your health fall low enough for Vengeance to activate. So with that wildly wordy introduction out-of-the-way its time to talk about the actual deck.
-> Cheap – You can make competitive versions of the deck without using any legendary cards at all (in fact most of the popular versions of the deck don’t use legendaries and cost ~5000 vials).
-> Versatile – While there are some central cards you will want/need to include there’s also a fair amount of room for tweaking the deck to your liking or experimenting
-> Fast – If you are grinding out ranks or dailies this deck is your friend. Most matches end fairly quickly, I’d say a good 1/3-1/2 my matches end before we hit 10 Power (admittedly I’m only in the C ranks so this might change)
-> Fast – If things go wrong you can lose almost as fast as you win. The deck has some removal but is somewhat weak to board clearing effects.
-> Popular – Aggro Bloodcarft got a big boost with the recent release of Rise of Bahamut. A lot of people are playing it so you’re likely to run into mirror decks and also to see other decks prepare defences specifically for Aggro blood.
First I’ll lay out a basic framework for the deck and then suggest alternate options you may want to consider. I’m going to label some cards as essential as they help form the core playstyle of the deck or really aid its consistency. If you want to quickly make the deck you can head here and create a deck code which you can entire into the games deckbuilder.
Goblin x3 – A cheap neutral one drop, this is something of a placeholder, ideally you would use Cursebrand Vampire. But Cursebrand Vampire is expensive to craft and is only better because of its Vengeance effect, which this deck often wont get to use.
Ambling Wraith x3 – Essential – A great 1 drop at 1/2 and its Fanfare effect lets you start hitting the “face” as soon as possible (which is the main goal of an Aggro deck)
Blood Wolf x3 – Essential – This deck is largely built around two drops, while its stats and fanfare effect, aren’t top-notch the fact it has Storm more than makes up for this, being able to hit the face for four (when evolved) on the round its played can be a clincher in later rounds.
Vania, Vampire Princess x3 – Essential – A great source of face damage that synergises with all the bat generation cards in the deck. Slightly vulnerable to early removal it can be worth saving her to drop with a Summon Bloodkin on Turn 4.
Yurius, Levin Duke x3 – Essential – One of the new cards and a big part of why Aggro Blood is so competitive right now. Being 1/3 makes him difficult for a lot of early removal effects and you can regularly expect him to do significant amounts of face damage or force the opponent to deal with removing him.
Razory claw x3 – Essential – A staple in basically every type of Bloodcraft deck, you can use it for follower removal, to put pressure on with face damage or to finish things off in later rounds.
Summon Bloodkin x3 – Essential – Good for maintaining board presence and recovering from large board wipes, it also synergises well with Vania and Night Horde and if you can spare the evolution an ignored 1/1 can do some damage at 3/3.
Killer Devil x3 – A little weak for 3, but what you give up in raw stats you get back in board presence and synergy with Night Horde and Vania.
Mini Soul Devil x3 – A 3/2 will often trade favourable with other 3 drops and the fact her ability triggers for both allied and enemy followers mean you can often rely on two or three points of face damage and healing from her.
Veight, Vampire Noble x3 – Essential – Another part of why Rise of Bahamut was so good to Aggro Blood. His ward ability helps keep your more important damage dealers in play and his Clash effect synergises well with Vania and Night Horde.
Night Horde x2 – Arguably essential this card works well with Vania, Veight, Killer Deviland Summon Bloodkin, forming part of the “Bat spine” that supports the deck.
Dance of Death x3 – While not strictly essential this deck has very few pure removal options and the extra two damage to the face synergises really well with an aggro deck.
Imp Lancer x3 – Essential – Imp Lancer will often serve as your finisher for a match, it’s almost always worth trying to save an evolution for her as delivering 5 damage to the face on the turn its summoned frequently decides the match.
Demonic Storm x2 – If it falls behind in terms of board presence this deck doesn’t have a lot of ways to catch up and regain dominance, this card can frequently be the answer of that problem while also allowing you to do damage directly to the face if you need to bypass big ward creatures to clinch the match.
As you can see the core of the deck are its 1 and 2 drops with some help from 3’s and higher. Your main options for mixing up the deck comes from changing up the latter as the former are more or less set in stone. While the meta is evolving quite quickly at the moment here are some of the more popular variations.
Firstly how do we make room for new cards? Generally by dropping some of the options above from 3 down to 2 cards. The first candidate is Dance of Death, one way or another matches with this deck probably arent going to go on too long so two Dance of Death should be more than sufficient. Similarly there can only (generally) be five evolutions per match so you can afford to pack only two Mini Soul Devils. So that gives us two spare slots already.
The most common option for this slot is to include Vampiric Fortress x2, it synergises well with the bat generation abilities of the deck and can offer a sizeable chunk of unavoidable face damage.
Another popular variant, largely because it just won a tournament in Japan, is to remove Killer Devil and Mini-Soul Devil replacing them with Goblin Mage x3, Angel of the Word x1 and running Night Horde x3 rather than x2. Personally I don’t like this variant. It never really felt like getting a 2 card into my hand was worth their sub par stats, the additional abilities of Mini-Soul Devils or Killer Vampires seemed more useful. Perhaps the Goblin Mages helped a bit with consistency, but just didn’t feel as “fun”.
You can also play around with the higher cost cards in the deck, I’ve seen people running Mastema x2 (a powerful card that basically demands your opponent deals with it or risk losing the game) or experimenting with Bloody Mary. Once you focus on the key goal of an aggro deck, dealing damage to the face consistently and quickly, you probably can’t go too wrong when experimenting. Or try mixing up your 3 drops by using a Midnight Vampire to buff early bats.
How to play
You want to be doing damage to the face early and consistently. In many ways its critical to make maximum use of your power in each of the early turns. When re-drawing your priority is absolutely to get a 1 drop card (Ambling Wraith is ideal but if not then Goblin/Cursebrand Vampire), your ideal starting hand will have a 1,2 and 3 cost card (against most decks your optimal play will likely be a turn one Ambling Wraith followed by a turn two Yurius). Your 3 drop will often be Veight, but you can play it be ear, possibly preferring a 1 and 2 drop combo on turn three. (or a turn two Vania into a turn three Summon Bloodkin and Goblin/Ambling Wraith).
However you may want to save your Vania’s for the mid-game where you can possibly drop Vania and Summon Bloodkin along with evolving Vania for nice board presence and face damage. In the mid-game you should focus on keeping pressure on the face and avoid trading followers unless it keeps your high damage cards on the boards or removes significant threats.
In the late game you should be close to finishing the opponent off, evolved charge minions like Blood Wolf and Imp Lancer can finish the opponent off or soften them up enough that you can finish them off with direct damage cards like Razory Claw, Dance of Death, Demonic Storm, etc.