2017 April 10 - April 16 Meta Analysis TotG#3 (2017 Apr Week 3)

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Meta Analytics: April 10 - 16

Updated weekly, the following are statistics based on Shadowverse Log, a site that aggregates player matches. Click to learn more!

Meta Analytics: April 10 - 16
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is the GamePress Meta Analysis?

A: The GamePress Meta Analysis goes through match up data from ranked matches every week and structure a Ranked Tier List based on those data while providing analysis regarding the meta shifts that happened in the past week. 

Q: What is the GamePress Meta Analysis based on?

A: The GamePress Meta Analysis is based on weekly match up data from Shadowlog (http://shadowlog.com/trend/)

Q: Do you take all the match up data into account when preparing the Meta Analysis?

A: No. The Meta Analysis uses game stats from only Master + AA ranked. (It's 238,560 games for 2017 April 10 - 16)

Q: I noticed that there are other Tournament/Deck Tier Lists on GamePress/other Shadowverse sites and they usually rate the decks differently from the Ranked Tier List here. What causes the discrepancy?

A: Firstly, it's improper to judge a deck's strength in a vacuum. A deck is only good or bad when compared to the environment around it. Hence there exist Tournament/Deck Tier Lists which rate decks based on various tournaments while the Ranked Tier List judges decks based on their past performances in the Ranked Ladder.

Q: Shouldn't a Tournament/Deck Tier List be sufficient? If I netdecked a tournament winning deck list I can be successful in climbing the ladder as well?

A: While that may be true to a certain extent, more often than not a tournament deck aims to win as many matches as possible as since any single loss could be detrimental. To achieve that most tournament decks will include various tech cards in order to prepare for even the least possible match ups which might be unnecessary in the ranked ladder.

Besides, the tournament meta is usually slower compared to the ranked ladder as aggressive decks are mostly deemed as high risk high reward type of decks which are less suitable for competition use. On the other hand, aggressive decks will almost always be prevalent in the ranked ladder since an efficient deck to climb the ranked ladder is a deck which gain the most score in the shortest time.

Thus the main purpose of the Ranked Tier List is to rate the decks based on their past performances while helping players to understand the status of each deck archetypes in the current meta and how they would generally perform against the rest of the ladder.

Q: I can't find (put deck archetypes here) in the Ranked Tier List. Why?

A: As much as we would like to cover all the various deck types in the ladder, there is honestly too much variety of decks run by players in the ladder. In order to provide a more detailed look into the current meta state, the Ranked Tier List will generally include decks above 2% usage rate (which covers about 70% of the ladder opponents) and Deck Write Ups will cover Tier 1 and 2 decks only unless specified otherwise.

Tier Rating Explanation
  • Tier 1 (Strongest decks in the current meta) (Very high win rates + more than 3% plays)
  • Tier 2 (Strong and viable decks) (Positive win rates + more than 2% plays)
  • Tier 3 (Sub-optimal decks) (Negative win rates + more than 2% plays)
  • Tier X (Off-meta decks that performed well) (High win rates + between 1% and 2% plays, potentially strong decks but need to see more plays to confirm)
The Meta Top 10
  • No change to The Meta Top 10 decks last week.
Deck ArchetypeApr Week 1Apr Week 2Apr Week 3
Neutral Ramp Dragon17.92%15.93%15.81%
Midrange Shadow5.51%8.10%12.94%
Aggro Shadow15.58%13.99%12.06%
Aegis Haven8.86%7.27%5.56%
Roach Tempo Forest1.55%2.56%4.83%
Vengeance Blood3.48%4.58%4.36%
Midrange Sword2.32%3.90%4.28%
Storm Ramp Dragon2.50%3.23%3.57%
D-Shift Rune4.74%3.32%3.25%
Aggro Blood2.63%2.41%2.38%
Deck ArchetypeApr Week 1Apr Week 2Apr Week 3
Midrange Shadow57.51%59.01%57.83%
Storm Ramp Dragon61.45%58.72%57.75%
Aggro Shadow56.26%54.14%55.24%
Aggro Blood54.67%52.75%51.75%
Roach Tempo Forest56.51%52.80%51.39%
Midrange Sword49.82%52.00%50.73%
Neutral Ramp Dragon49.86%50.48%49.85%
Vengeance Blood44.33%49.81%48.18%
Aegis Haven51.61%48.34%47.07%
D-Shift Rune43.20%41.95%40.06%
What Happened to the Meta Last Week (Classes Overview)
ClassUsage Rate Win Rate 
 April Week 2April Week 3April Week 2April Week 3
  • Although the overall class win rates remained rather similar, 5 out of 7 classes had decreased number of plays with most players joining the dark side (Shadowcraft) and the rest of them turning to Forestcraft.
  • Midrange Shadow continued to top the win rate chart while overtaking Aggro Shadow in terms of popularity as well putting Shadowcraft far ahead the rest of the classes.
  • Dragoncraft had highly similar usage and win rates for both of the Ramp Dragon variants for the past week.
  • Forestcraft continued to rise in popularity yet the class's win rate went down for yet another week.
  • Havencraft had another small drop in number of plays but took another big hit to its overall win rate as Aegis Haven struggled to find much success in the current environment.
  • After the big surge in popularity on the previous week (possibly due to the launch of Gawain) Swordcraft's usage rate fell notably due to the main deck archetypes not performing as well last week. (Midrange SwordFace/Aggro Sword)
  • Vengeance Blood was still the most played Bloodcraft deck but Aggro Blood was still the more successful archetype in the ladder (The only Blood meta deck with positive win rate)
  • Runecraft broke its own record for another all time low usage rate as well as win rate and non of its meta decks were able to make it past 45% win rate.
  • For more meta analysis discussion, please feel free to visit the Shadowverse subreddit post here.
Effects on Ranked Tier List
  • Roach Tempo Forest moved from Tier X to Tier 2.
Ranked Tier List
Tier 1

Midrange Shadow

(12.94% Usage Rate, 57.83% Win Rate)

  • After an extremely convincing showcase of power on the previous week, Midrange Shadow saw a significant spike in its usage rate and continued to dominate the ladder last week.
  • With positive win rates against every class and almost every meta deck in the ladder, Midrange Shadow was undoubtedly the best deck available in the current meta.
  • This was further proven by one of the best Shadowcraft player, fririn, when his Midrange Shadow deck was posted last week with him leading far ahead in the Master race.
  • More information on fririn's deck can be found at GameAI's special write up here.

Previous Week Notes:

(8.01% Usage Rate, 59.01% Win Rate)

  • Although Aggro Shadow experienced a notable drop in popularity last week, Shadowcraft's overall popularity remained high above the rest thanks to the rise of Midrange Shadow in the ladder.
  • While the deck did put up solid performances on the first week of TotG launch, Midrange Shadow put up an even stronger showing last week and topped the win rate chart with a whopping 59% win rate.
  • The deck achieved positive win rates against each and every class in both the Master and AA rank as well as beating almost every archetype currently available in the ladder.
  • This was all thanks to the consistency of the deck as well as its versatility to handle almost any situation. With the right draws, the deck can go as aggressive as Aggro Shadow but when needed it can also play out the long value match thanks to the addition of Prince Catacomb, Zombie Party, Immortal Thane as well as Goblin Princess. If immediate burst was what the player need, there's the good old Cerberus as well as the newly added Demonlord Eachtar to provide some instant damage.
  • As of last week, Storm Ramp Dragon was the only deck with significant number of plays to have an edge against Midrange Shadow (mostly thanks to its ability to close out game with its Zell + Israfil/Ouroboros/Bahamut combo) which we might see more in the ladder if the Shadow deck continued to run rampant.

Aggro Shadow

(12.06% Usage Rate, 55.24% Win Rate)

  • Although less effective than Midrange Shadow, Aggro Shadow was still highly popular mostly due to its relatively lower vials cost for not running Demonlord Eachtar and Immortal Thane. (or even Death's Breath)
  • However, the lack of board refill tools did open up some vulnerabilities in the deck.
  • One of the toughest match up for Aggro Shadow was Aegis Haven. Due to most of the Haven deck running multiple copies of Forbidden Ritual, Prince Catacomb was no longer able to maintain the board state effectively and the deck loses out on valuable shadows for Cerberus + Phantom Howl combo as well.
  • Nonetheless, Aggro Shadow will still be one of the most prevalent aggro deck since it was able to replicate most of Midrange Shadow's success in the ladder.

Previous Week Notes:

(13.99% Usage Rate, 54.14% Win Rate)

  • Aggro Shadow's insanely fast set up speed made it one of the prime Ramp Dragon counters on the first week of TotG launch.
  • While Prince Catacomb increased the resiliency of the deck, Aggro Shadow was still troubled by the issue of running out of steam from time to time.
  • The problem became more obvious when the deck faced Havencraft where it was unable to refill the board as fast as the Haven players clear it.
  • Combined with the rise of Midrange Shadow which runs Death's Breath, Aggro Shadow was having a harder time notably to perform in these match ups.
  • Although Aggro Shadow will mostly maintained its position as the best aggro deck available currently, its popularity and performance are expected to dip down further as Midrange Shadow see more plays in the upcoming future.

Storm Ramp Dragon

(3.57% Usage Rate, 57.75% Win Rate)

*Do note that the win rate for Storm Ramp Dragon might be inflated slightly due to player misinterpreting the deck as Neutral Ramp Dragon and reporting the losses incorrectly in Shadowlog. Nonetheless it remained as one of the Tier 1 decks due to its solid performances after being play tested by the GamePress team as well as its solid performances in recent tournament appearances.

  • Besides Midrange Shadow, Storm Ramp Dragon was the only other deck that attained positive win rates against every other class out there.
  • It was also one of the only few decks that managed to eek out an advantage against the extremely powerful Midrange Shadow in the Master rank.
  • The dragon deck, however, faced more trouble in dealing with Aggro Shadow.
  • Such occurences was due to the slower start of Midrange Shadow which allowed Storm Ramp Dragon to have enough breathing room to stabilize the board and put down their own threat while sealing the game with storm followers or Wind Reader Zell combos before things started to get out of hands again.
  • Although Storm Ramp Dragon was also highly capable of board clearing when playing against Aggro Shadow, the lack of AoE banish cards like Forbidden Ritual means the opponent will gain enough shadows for their Phantom Howl combos when necessary.

Previous Week Notes:

(3.23% Usage Rate, 58.72% Win Rate)

  • Although it can be hard to diminish Storm Ramp Dragon from its neutral variant, the decks' playstyles and approach are still different enough to warrant them to be recorded separately. (Albeit this might change in the near future when people finally figure out the most optimal balance between Storm and Neutral Ramp Dragon build)
  • Compared to the first week where a number of the Storm Ramp Dragon took out Sahaquiel and Lucifer and opt for more storm followers such as Genesis Dragon and Zeus, the deck took another spin on last week where these cards were taken out and Sahaquiel, Israfil became a more common addition to the deck.
  • Such occurrences were mainly due to the higher number of aggressive Shadow decks in the ranked ladder where survivability was becoming an issue for the Dragon decks even with the help Dragon Fervor and Sibyl since both of these cards were less able to deal with the pressure put out by the opponent.
  • Things was made better after people play tested with Israfil. Combined with Sahaquiel (and sometimes Wind Reader Zell), the deck was able to play more proactively by putting the opponent in lethal range while clearing their board. Besides, the Fanfare and Last Words effect of Israfil and Ouroboros also helped in survival department while turning the tides of battle in favor of the Dragon player.
Tier 2

Aggro Blood

(2.38% Usage Rate, 51.75% Win Rate)

  • Aside from being overshadowed by Shadowcraft, Aggro Blood was doing quite well in the ladder in this new meta.
  • On the last week, however, Aggro Blood suffered another drop in its win rate not only due to the continual increase of Shadowcraft players but also due to the notable spike in Roach Tempo Forest as well.
  • As of recently, quite a number of Aggro Blood decks are utilizing more Vengeance cards such as Belphegor, Dark Airjammer and Dark General which are very powerful cards in the right situation.
  • However, these cards do come with drawbacks as Aggro Blood runs minimal to none healing cards and this puts them in lethal range for decks like Roach Tempo Forest as well as Midrange Sword.
  • Combined with the fact that both of these decks saw an increase in usage rate for the past week, the meta was shaping up to be even tougher for Aggro Blood decks to flourish.

Previous Week Notes:

(2.41% Usage Rate, 52.75% Win Rate)

  • Although Aggro Blood was dominating most of the match ups, Aggro Shadow remained as one of its toughest enemy and the Shadow deck was doing an even better job at decimating other ladder opponents.
  • However, similar to Aggro Shadow, Aggro Blood was facing the same issue dealing with the fast rising Midrange Shadow.
  • Besides, due to the self damaging nature of its cards, match ups such as Midrange Sword and Roach Tempo Forest turned out to be unfavorable as these decks were capable of dealing huge burst damage with their storm followers. (Albert and Rhinoceroach)
  • Nonetheless Aggro Blood will still be played by players looking for a cheap budget aggro decks as Aggro Blood can still be rather effective without legendary or gold cards.


Roach Tempo Forest 

(4.83% Usage Rate, 51.39% Win Rate)

  • After few weeks into TotG, one of the strongest deck in RoB - Roach Tempo Forest, was finally making a comeback.
  • When pit against the most popular meta decks, Roach Tempo Forest held up well against Neutral Ramp Dragon, Aegis Haven, Vengeance Blood and some others.
  • The deck, however, did suffer heavily against Midrange Shadow, Aggro Shadow as well as Storm Ramp Dragon.
  • Nonetheless, due to its highly refined state from RoB coupled together with some tweaks from TotG (Crytalia Aerin comes into mind), the deck was considerably effective and consistent against the rest of decks in the ladder.

Previous Week Notes:

(2.56% Usage Rate, 52.80% Win Rate)

  • Ever since the card adjustment was made to Goblin Mage which causes an indirect nerf to the Rhinoceroach OTK combo, Forestcraft's popularity as a whole has been going downhill and the trend seemed to continue even after the launch of TotG.
  • The huge drop in usage rate, however, does not directly reflect the deck's performance in the new environment.
  • With the introduction of Sukuna and Beetle Warrior, the deck regained some of the early game strength which enabled the deck to close out the game even faster if things went right.


Midrange Sword

(4.28% Usage Rate, 50.73% Win Rate)

  • After a decent showing in the ladder on the previous week, Midrange Sword continued to rise slightly in number of plays.
  • Its performance, however, was much less impressive when compared to another highly similar meta deck - Midrange Shadow.
  • This became even more apparent when the two decks faced off each other with the match up highly favoring the Shadow deck.

Previous Week Notes:

(3.90% Usage Rate, 52.00% Win Rate)

  • Midrange Sword was slowly but surely creeping back into the meta trying to regain some of its glory from the RoB days.
  • Compared to the performance in first week, Midrange Sword was doing much better by making some rather minor alteration by fitting Grimnir and Luminous Mage into the deck.
  • Although these changes helped the deck to edge out in most of its match ups, the biggest problem still lies in the face off with the two most popular class, Dragoncraft and Shadowcraft.
  • Midrange Sword was putting up some punches against the more popular Neutral Ramp Dragon and Aggro Shadow but it was definitely an uphill battle against the growing Storm Ramp Dragon and Midrange Shadow. 

Neutral Ramp Dragon

*Do note that the win rate for Neutral Ramp Dragon might be lower than actual slightly due to player misinterpreting Storm Ramp Dragon as Neutral Ramp Dragon and reporting the losses incorrectly in Shadowlog. Therefore it was still placed in Tier 2 despite its win rate dropping slightly lower than 50%

(15.81% Usage Rate, 49.85% Win Rate)

  • As the number of unfavorable match ups continued to increase for Neutral Ramp Dragon, its performance continued to deteriorate as another week passed.
  • Midrange Shadow, Aggro Shadow as well as Roach Tempo Forest were all tough enemies for the deck and on the other hand easier match ups such as Aegis Haven showed up less in the ladder.
  • If Neutral Ramp Dragon does not find a way to stop the bleeding soon, Shadowcraft might just take over the ladder entirely.

Previous Week Notes:

(15.93% Usage Rate, 50.48% Win Rate)

  • Neutral Ramp Dragon was still the most popular deck in the current meta but was only ranked 7th in the win rate chart.
  • Its position in the current meta was quite balanced with a rather equal numbers of good or bad match ups across the ladder.
  • However, despite getting much more early game support in TotG, the deck can still feel rather clunky depending on the draws.
  • With the right draws, Neutral Ramp Dragon can outlast almost any opponent in a convincing fashion but missing a crucial board clear or ramp in the earlier turns might just lost you the game right there.
Tier 3


Vengeance Blood 

(4.36% Usage Rate, 48.18% Win Rate)

Previous Week Notes:

(4.58% Usage Rate, 49.81% Win Rate)

  • Overall, one could say that Bloodcraft was the most impacted class in TotG. Since the early days of Shadowverse, there has been various discussion revolving around the Vengeance mechanic as one of the most underutilized class mechanic.
  • Aggro Blood was always the better Blood deck while Midrange or Control Blood never had much significant success since in order to utilize the Vengeance mechanic was one huge risk to take.
  • In order to solve this issue, TotG brought many new cards revolving around the class mechanic such as Blood Moon, Belphegor and Maelstrom Serpent.
  • As a result, these cards opens up brand new possibilities for even some of the oldest Bloodcraft cards (Soul Dealer, Azazel and Demon Commander Laura came to mind) for some extremely sick combos.
  • Although the class's performance last week was less than satisfying, that was mostly due to people are still play testing a huge amount of variation of Vengeance Blood since it has became one of the most complex deck currently available.



Aegis Haven 

(5.56% Usage Rate, 47.07% Win Rate)

Previous Week Notes:

(7.27% Usage Rate, 48.34% Win Rate)

  • Heavenly Aegis, one of the most famous card in TotG due to the extremely bold design of the card's ability. Once the card came down on the field, there is currently no way to remove it from the board.
  • Although Heavenly Aegis comes online 1 turn later than Seraph, it quickly became the crowd's favorite due to the less restriction Aegis has in terms of deck building when compared to Seraph.
  • With deck building limitations removed, Aegis Haven can put all the focus in surviving the first 8 turns of the game while cycling through the deck to look for the ultimate win condition.
  • Although Aegis Haven matched up advantageously against both of the most popular decks, the deck faced difficulty in surviving the continuous onslaught of Midrange Shadow and Storm Ramp Dragon while having minimal chance against the OTK combo from D-Shift Rune and Vengeance Blood.



D-Shift Rune 

(3.25% Usage Rate, 40.06% Win Rate)

Previous Week Notes:

(3.32% Usage Rate, 41.95% Win Rate)

  • Although D-Shift Rune did not get much new tools in the TotG expansion, the addition of Freshman Lou does help slightly in the tutoring department and further improved the deck's consistency.
  • Just when some people thought that they could prey on the array of control decks expected to pop up in the TotG expansion, they were proved totally wrong.
  • While D-Shift Rune fares extremely well against Aegis Haven, the huge number of aggressive Shadow and Blood decks in the ladder spells doom for D-Shift Rune. 
  • The match up against Ramp Dragon was even to say the least but it is expected that the storm variant will soon be favored more and that will be another tough match up for the Rune deck.


Tier X


Face/Aggro Sword 

(1.29% Usage Rate, 52.67% Win Rate)

Previous Week Notes:

(1.45% Usage Rate, 53.86% Win Rate)

  • As another one of the strongest deck in the RoB era, Face/Aggro Sword was already an extremely refined aggro deck.
  • The deck was putting up rather decent performances in this new ladder environment despite getting close to nothing from the new expansion cards.
  • However, similar to Aggro Blood, the deck get outshined by the brand new Aggro Shadow while also losing to it most of the time in their direct face off.