|Deck Cost: 52,400|
So, I finally got some free time to really dig in to the new expension, and I feel its time to share my obligatory Forest list of the season. Unlike last expansion, I have seen a fair number of people working on versions of this, but nobody has seemed to find the right mix that isn't just trying to be a worse version of Fairy Aggro.
That said, I feel I have finally nailed down a solid build that isn't Aggro or Neutral. Similar to last time, I am leaning into the realm of control, but embracing it more wholly this time. While control is always a tenous claim in Shadowverse (especially sans bahammut), I think you will find this list both deserving and rewarding when played well.
Airbound Barrage ×3 -- Spot removal and creature re-use, a Forest staple since its release. Common targets are Insect Lord, and Cassiopeia, but always keep an open mind with what you can do with this card.
Fairy Whisperer ×3 -- Staple Fairy Generation for Forest. Sometimes possible to clog your hand, but too good to not use. Just don't bounce her too much unless you are desperate or pushing hard.
Fairy Dragon ×3 -- Once a trash Legendary, now surprisingly useful. Dragon switch hits from Cheap ward to Late game Closer depending on how many Fairies you can get killed. It is tempting to try to build and play purely for the Fairy Dragon OTK, but honestly, Aggro Fairy does the same thing better. Dragon works best as an option not a mandate, and it is often more rewarding to lock opponents down with smart play (Like FD and Brambles) if neccesary.
Insect Lord ×3 -- Combos like Roach, hits Board Like Elf Child May but bigger. Excellent tempo card vs aggro, and fun spot plays with Demon Dress (from Fashionista).
Sylvan Justice ×3 -- Spot removal and Fairy generation that flexes out curve play. Fun spot plays with Demon Dress (from Fashionista).
Wood of Brambles ×3 -- Heavy board control or attrition generator. Lets you trade up with "weaker" creatures in your early to mid game. Really important in aggressive matchups. Keeps cards in hand to convert to different kinds of advantage.
Rayne, Elf Smith x3 -- Fun combo tricks to help you take care of awkward boards. Kinda like a mini Sahaquiel.
Purehearted Singer x1 -- Two cards on a body. Rocket Fuel. Never underestimate the power of raw draw in this deck. Games without card draw get really dicey, making this nice to get in as many copies as we are comfortable with. Watch out for overdraw and remember that if it happens, its ok. its often better to have too many options than none at all.
Starry Elf x1 -- Tutor for Brambles. I don't like overdrawing brambles too much so I only use one. Interchangeable with Purehearted Singer.
Forest Whispers x1 -- Singleton Creature removal do deal with really tricky situations without dumping your hand.
Fashionista Nelcha x2 -- Tech in the Evo Tempo slot. You ALMOST always want Demon Dress to pair up with Cass or spot removal, but Angel Dress is sometimes useful (and easier to get out of your hand if you are clogged). *Special remindertext: Demon's Dress is one of your most potent tools for beating Haven and Sword -- usually combo'd with Cass.
Jungle Warden x3 -- Stepping back up to the Plate as a potential Closer, his function as a ward on curve is actually more relevant now with so many aggresive decks in the format.
Venus x3 -- Serious advantage on a big body. Fishing extra cards from your deck keeps your hand Fueled and Filled, often converting fairies into raw card advantage. Double Harvest Festival can sometimes be awkward and hand clogging, but you can always bounce or transform one if you need to free up board space -- and as stated with Singer, games without card draw get really dicey making Venus a neccesary and potent addition.
Crystalia Aerin x2 -- Massive tempo card. Gain life, ward, and potentially regain an evo point. While it is tempting to try and hold her for full value, playing her as a 6pp Ward/Body is sometimes the right play... especially vs aggro.
Cassiopeia ×3 -- Another returning staple, Board Clear on a body. Great vs Aggro, and can even clear huge boards with Demon Dress (from Fashionista).
Yggdrasil x3 -- The world tree is one of the most interesting cards in the new set. Just as a body, a 2/6 drain is no small threat capable of clawing you back into hotly contested games. Also, because Forest manages evos so well, Iggy is often able to body in as a 4/8. Blessings of Creation can drag you back into games where your other card draw is failing you, and set up combo plays if you really want to use its enhance (Very Rare). Wrath of Nature allows Iggy to come in as a 3/6 Drain Rush on 7pp without using Evo, or save use the boon to use on another creature. Conversely, holding Wrath for its enhance allows you to craft Game ending burst out of a single big creature, or many small ones (looking at you Fairy Dragon).
Cards that Didn't make the Cut -- (or did at first but are now gone)
Water Fairy -- Best as a turn 1 play, but not worth mulling for. Pretty weak anytime else. We aren't playing aggro. Best leave this slot to other things.
Firespite Grove -- Similar to Water Fairy but more control oriented. I could see it in here, but I wouldn't cut anything I already have to get it -- also, makes us really amulet heavy later in the game.
Paula, Icy Warmth -- Really awkward tempo. Works best in a build that is actively burning Fairies (or Wisps) trying to force tempo. Aggro Fairy just plays that game better.
Elf Song -- Good tempo and Fairy Generation, but often forces you to over commit to board or sit on it for fear of hand flood. Might come in if I need additional Fairy Generation.
Magical Fairy Lilac -- Really good control card, but doesnt quite mesh. Somewhat reliant on Evo, I am happy with the control I have, for now.
Grasshopper Conductor -- SHOULD be a really good card for forest. however the 3 cost puts it in competition with Purehearted Singer. Raw card advantage beats out Grasshopper's inability to tutor Fairy Dragon.
Moon and Sun -- A fine card and good in many decks. May work as a one-of in this deck eventually, but of all the tools in the the game, a re-usable off tempo creature isn't needed. Maybe if we want to squeeze in a touch more lifegain.
Fairy Driver -- Another option best for builds that want to burn cards. If you want that style, you should be playing fairy aggro. Hybrid builds are just looking to run out of gas at awkward times,
Aria, Guiding Fairy -- Mentioned only because it IS a really strong card. it just doesn't fit in here.
Swiftgate Okami -- If we were more reliant on Fairy Dragon as a win condition, maybe this guy would make the cut. But playing FD that way sets you up for bad/awkward tempo, and Okami just makes it worse. We don't want to burn EVO on Okami, just to return it to hand. We are playing control, not tempo. Stick to that.
White Vanara -- This guy is for aggro/buff builds. hes useful at times, but awkward in this list.
Elf Queen -- Yggdrassil has taken her place in this list in terms of lifegain (more tempo oriented than mass recovery). Hard to get her in without becoming more topheavy.
Early game you are primarily focused on Fairy Generation and light trading, just trying to to keep aggro decks from completely running you over. Get in chip damage when you can, but mostly just have a board so that you aren't getting blown out of the game during EVO turns. Having Wood of Brambles on the board in preparation of EVO turns is pretty keen, but most of the time you are going to have just a bunch of 1/1 and 1/2 dorks on the board.
EVO turns are when the game starts to heat up. You will usually be doing one (or more) of 3 things during Evo Turns.
- Leaning on Wood of Brambles for Trades while conserving EVOs
- Combo-ing Insect Lord and/or Airbound Barrage to retain board presence while sculpting your hand (creating/drawing cards).
- Playing on Curve with Fashionista, Venus and/or Cassiopeia
If you are board dominant, you can go for face damage, but mostly you are focused on board control at this stage. Save EVOs when you can, but don't be afraid to use them if it means better board control and you are getting pressed.
Get in chip damage when you can, but play for smart advantage and board lockouts. IF you can, bleed your opponents of EVOs and sculpt your hand to deal with wombo's from your opponent -- most times this is preserving Cass and Demon Dress in hand when you can (especially vs Haven and Sword).
Play your first Yggdrasil as soon as tempo allows, so that you can sit on Wrath of Nature and Fairy Dragon and inch your way to closing the game. Don't gamble on big tempo plays that don't outright win. MOST times you will just win through advantage or your opponent bricking. If you aren't closing the game, play to stay on board and in control. You don't have to try and FORCE a combo out.
Just remember that you have amazing tools in your deck. Use them well and you can win.
Most games your are just going to out-attrition your opponents while surviving their onslaught. When they burn out, you win. However, you should always keep an eye on ways to close the game early if you can.
Your Primary Combo-out OPTION is Wrath of Nature + Fairy Dragon xN. More Fairy Dragons means fewer dead Fairies needed to close, but also more likelihood that you might need to use Dragon as a ward since you aren't drawing other control cards. The dream is all 3 Dragons at 7/4 With Wrath of Nature, but in a rare case model, this is rarest of all.
Super long attrition games usually hinge on Jungle Warden coming out for enhance. This is even stronger when one of them survives allowing you to bounce for reuse.
4/18/18 -- Edited to reflect current build. I have tinkered with many permutations trying out different tech, and this build is hands down the most consistent in my experience.
Cards like Elf Song and Aria, force us to play in ways that are inconsistent with the rest of the deck, making the deck bi-polar. This hurts a lot when you start playing the game one way, then you start getting cards for the other style of play. Paula, Icy Warmth is in a similar place. While generally useful, she isn't providing choices that we need often enough to include her, and using her as anything but a vanilla 2/2 forces us, again, to burn cards in ways that are dangerous to the macro function of our deck.
As Forest stands, you want to be playing proactively and are often playing multiple cards in a turn either for different effects or even combo count. This places Card Draw at a premium, since slowing down often ends up being a lethal loss of tempo. Venus (3) Yggdrasil (3) and Purehearted singer (1) Is about as low as we can go and still maintain the consistency we need for most of our games. This results in some games with multiple Venus Drawn. Good proactive play can mitigate the chance of getting handclogged. This wins out versus running fewer draw spells, because you absolutely need to keep your hand fresh to stay competitive -- And in the games where all 3 Venus are buried in your deck, you will need every draw you can get to either fish one out, or just keep your hand size large enough that you don't stall out.
Fasionista and Forest Whispers are the Tech Core that give us choices versus most if not all of our relevant matchups, and Rayne's Sahaquiel-esqe evolve lets us ambush our opponents in ways that are impossible to defend or predict. These cards are where most of the deviation of the deck should occur based on meta -- but these are the most consistent all around performers.
|Airbound BarrageSpell - Starforged Legends||1||x 3|
|Sylvan JusticeSpell - Standard||2||x 3|
|Forest WhispersSpell - Dawnbreak, Nightedge||1||x 1|
|Fairy WhispererFollower - Standard||2||x 3|
|Fairy DragonFollower - Wonderland Dreams||2||x 3|
|Rayne, Elf SmithFollower - Chronogenesis||2||x 3|
|Insect LordFollower - Chronogenesis||2||x 3|
|Purehearted SingerFollower - Starforged Legends||3||x 1|
|Starry ElfFollower - Starforged Legends||3||x 1|
|Fashionista NelchaFollower - Dawnbreak, Nightedge||4||x 2|
|Jungle WardenFollower - Tempest of the Gods||5||x 3|
|VenusFollower - Starforged Legends||5||x 3|
|Crystalia AerinFollower - Tempest of the Gods||6||x 2|
|CassiopeiaFollower - Starforged Legends||6||x 3|
|YggdrasilFollower - Dawnbreak, Nightedge||6||x 3|
|Wood of BramblesAmulet - Wonderland Dreams||2||x 3|