|Deck Cost: 21,150|
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WARNING! This is a long guide, so if you just want the build, then scroll to the bottom. I am very confident that it is one of the best.
I would like to begin with me saying that I don’t win that often. An average of 60% of my matches lead me to wins. Yes, there will be times when you will get sweet 7-10 win streaks, but then the next day you will be losing 80% of the time. No deck is a flawless deck. Just know that there is no point in being afraid of losing. That being said, let’s begin.
Before taking time to think through my own deck build, I countlessly looked at other decklists, used the preferred ones, talked with players that played the same decks, and based off of all that information and my personal experience of playing the game, I built my own deck. Please note that this build was made pre-nerf, yet no changes were made, and that this deck is medium paced. Not too slow for control. Not too fast for aggro.
For simplicity, I’ve divided the usable (actually, recommended. Any card can be usable to some extent) cards into 3 groups: Staples, Considerables and Borderlines.
A staple is a card that is suggested to be used, and as many cards as possible of such status should be used. In Mid-Shadow there are way too many staples, and therefore, there can be competition for each pp slot.
Considerables are cards that can be used, but they don’t function in the deck as well as staples do. They do their job well, so you aren’t loosing much if you decide you want to use them. Some are actually staples of a different playstyle, which is simply not as great as the strongest Mid-Shadow playstyle (which, if you haven’t guessed, is medium-paced (or Classic) Midrange)
Borderlines are cards that are better than Considerables, but not as good as Staples. If not for the competition, then I would’ve put them as a Staple.
Starting with Staples:
1 MANA SLOT
His power comes from his low cost. That’s it. He is a lame Skull Beast. He is also good for filling up you turn, making sure you don’t waste your mana (Goblin + Demonlord Eachter on turn 8 as a small example). Sometimes I keep him in my hand simply to kill of big threats late game with Necroassasin (see below). People tend to run 3 of him, so I suggest doing the same.
2 MANA SLOT
I adore this card if it isn’t countered (It has tons of counters from anywhere but forest). This card is lame for starting hands, unless you are killing off Yurius, Levin Duke, Mars, Bladed Hedgehog, and anything early game that should die asap. I try to hold it for late game, because even if it is countered, it generates a lot of shadows in the long run. Try to have a mindset that, unless urgent, this should be used with its enhance effect. Run 3 period
Best boy for starting the game (on the same level as goblin turn 1). Also amazing against forest. Good for Skull Ring shenanigans. Anything where Demonlord Eachter is involved, use it. RNG with it seems godlike to me, simply because of how many situations I’ve been, where I would’ve lost if not for the last words effect hitting the right target. Run 3 period And, unless Belenus, use…
Oh, how many amazing combos can you have with her. The trick though is guessing when you should throw her down. Skull Ring can resurrect the bugger, which is good, but having her die without cause is lame. Necroassasin is a good wombo combo card, but usually you are not in need of killing 2 things at the same time. Try picking out Bahamut with this, be aware of banishes, and Morton The Manipulator if you ever meet them in any game (I am yet to see him in masters). Run 3, or 2 if you are allergic to her effects.
Draw. Draw is something any deck needs. Killing off things can be harmful, however. I try to sacrifice skellies, Lurching Corpses are good for wombo combos, and even Belenus sometimes (but this usually happens against forest). Be aware of milling the deck. It can happen. I run 3, and you should too, unless you have oh so many draws, then run 2.
I try to evolve her if I’m going second. There isn’t much point waiting if your going first with her, so you can confidently drop her on turn 2. Be cautious when evolving, because milling cards from her is painful to watch, and I’ve had this happen to me oh so much. I run 3, you must too.
I always forget that she exists until I find out my opponent has evolved, and I fortunately can remove something quite annoying for only 2 mana and put a 2/1 body on board. Its been nerfed a while ago, so I don’t run 3 anymore, because as a card for playing, she isn’t a stable 2/2 Like Belenus or Lyrial, Celestial Archer. Therefore, I don’t recommend her in your starting hand at all. You can run 3, but to your own risk. I try saving space by running 2.
3 MANA SLOT
Skellies are useful for sacrifices and shadow producers, even though the amulet eats up 2 (-1 including the fact that the amulet is destroyed, which generates a shadow). Mind you it’s possible you can resurrect a follower if you only have 1 shadow, so have that in notice. Demonlord Eachter (if you play the ring on turn 5 or 6) shinanigans, resurrect lurching corpse, Belenus or Andrealphus (so you don’t miss the opportunity of evolving her). Best staple for an un-nerfed architype-- at least now that Thane got nerfed. Run 3.
Gourmet Emperor Kaiza
This is quite the good 3 drop card for midrange. Why? Infinite resources, which is quite important for the architype. Mills are expected with a overpopulated Andrealphus card pull, therefore, don’t try to have more than 1 of him in your deck
4 MANA SLOT
Has the most common use of the 3 (and is the best option to have). It didn’t have much popularity in SFL due to the Ceres hysteria and love for Catacomb. Proves good against big threats, so keep her for late game to be a nuisance to thy foe. It makes Mid-Shadow slower, but at a decent rate, which works very well with this current meta. Something that didn’t occur last expansion, where it was completely cool to use faster paced Mid-Aggro runs (something I got to master with). 2-3 because you need the removals.
Ceres Of The Night
Actually, a threat for the opposition, especially against forest decks (forest is absurdly weak against shadow). Best use it when you’re going second without an Andrealphus to evolve. It’s basically top counter to any aggro deck, which is why it’s rarely used these days, because aggro has a huge lack of cards in the modern rotation format meta. If you tend to control with it, try to make sure your clash effect kills the trade. 2-3 copies are recommended.
5 MANA SLOT
Aisha, Ruler Of The Underowld
Albert, Levin Saber for Shadow (oh, not one of those reference again, come on!!!!!). Your Finisher, which is something Shadow was lacking. It really shines when you get to turn 10 with lethal from your hand. Run 1-2. This varies, because some people cope with 1, while I tend to think 1 is not enough.
6 MANA SLOT
Odile, Black Swan
This card basically tells forest that there is no chance. Also this is anti-meta against shadow (just like Ceres Of The Night in a certain way). Controlling like Master Mage Levi is major for fighting hordes of enemies. A lot of followers stop growing health higher than 2, so usually you should be clearing boards. Me running 1 always made me think “dang, I need Odile asap” or “wish I had saved my only copy for this board”. Run 1-2.
Demonlord Eachter’s best friend. Only sad that he gets countered more often than not. As board presence he does his job greatly, so really a no backlash (kinda) card to play for 6pp. Run 1-3 to your taste.
7 MANA SLOT
Ask anyone – They’ll say you must run him. He’s the guy that does the push, or at least makes control if things get out of hand. Good in very, very different situations. Problems come only with shadow maths. Backlash – time and time again my hand gets clunky with him in it. Run 3 hopefully.
8 MANA SLOT
This card should be nerfed to 8-- wait, it finally is. Finally, the card’s value equals its cost. This card used to be so good, that it rivalled the greatness of Demonlord Eachter. The difference was that Immortal Thane was, and still is, a card that sets you for a longer game (unless you are in drastic need of controlling the board with balance lord). Demonlord Eachter is a “final push” when you have a board to play him on (that’s what you initially hope for). Thane is best played with a board for Wight pinging. Dropping this at any time late game is good value if your face is healthy enough, and killing thane to get a ward/bane is a control mechanism. Wight King at the moment is crucial in a deck where no wards are in place. The only problem with sacrificing thane is that you can’t do it with Demon Eater before turn 10. Run 2. I could’ve recommended 3 when he was still 7pp (even though I didn’t use 3 myself), but at this rate you don’t want to overuse him
1 MANA SLOT
One of my favourite Chronogenesis shadow cards, which makes me not using it sound stupid. I, although, used it as something to kill Lurching Corpses off last December. People still, but rarely, use this card. I would run it in slower decks, which turns Mid-Shadow into Control-Style. If you have good synergy with it (Attendant Of Night for an example) then run 2. You won’t be disappointed.
2 MANA SLOT
Staircase To Paradise
These days the deck is overpopulated by followers. If you like running something like a staircase, then your deck of choice should have resurrecting followers and some lack of card draw. Really, this isn’t something worth playing seriously in such decks, unless you absolutely want to (you can, because any card is good if it has a good purpose)
3 MANA SLOT
Grimnir, War Cyclone
I honestly don’t know why people rarely use this guy in Mid-Shadow. He is such a good clearer for preparing Aisha lethal. Try it out because there is big value in him late game (but for some reason, I don’t use it).
Attendant Of Night
This is a good card for Control-Midrange-Shadow decks. It is slow, allowing you to gain some kind of momentum later with its last words effect. Nobody wants to touch this at all, so shenanigans and wombo combos are going to happen. Run 2-3 in a deck where slow and steady wins you games.
If Necroassasin isn’t enough for you, this might help out. It may replace her after she rotates out. It also helps that the follower is targeted, but more often than not, that’s not the priority (the game has an ability like ambush, you know). Again, this is something I would try in a slower playstyle. Unlike her, this Is a spell that doesn’t summon anything, making a 1 pp 3/3 much more valuable.
All I’m going to mention, is that this will take Demonlord Eachter’s place in half a year’s time.
When I saw this used on me, I thought this actually should be considered. But only with a Prince Catacomb combo and board filling decks. Besides that, this is simply a bad meme.
4 MANA SLOT
Fall From Grace
It’s a great Control Tool, but it is also a tool for niche situations (like transforming your own followers to heal).
5 MANA SLOT
Almost nobody plays her. She is very useful for her price, and can be an important ward in situations that require her. I don’t suggest her in most runs, because a great card that is better than her can be used instead. If you run slow paced plays (you can see a pattern here), then play 2-3 of her.
7 MANA SLOT
Underworld Watchman Khawy
He’s a bit too slow for this deck. Again, with the slow drill, but can be used anywhere essentially. Heal is so important these days, especially when you think about him as a Bahamut counter.
8 MANA SLOT
Looks like anything that isn’t staple, is edgy Control-Mid-Shadow, which is what this card is: Edgy meme lord of chronogenesis, that acts as a slow paced deck finisher. I think I should make a guide with a contro-mid-shadow decklist. People usually run 1-2 of him in slow decks, so I suggest doing the same.
Finally, the Borderlines:
2 MANA SLOT
Lyrial, Celestial Archer
Your Belenus underdog (kinda). People like her a lot, because she helps out as a stable card if Best Boy Belenus is missing. Basically, all the same reasons for using him. I used to put her with staples because she is quite useful, but now I think it is a borderline card, because there is too much competition for 2 pp. People don’t usually run 3 of her. 2 Mostly. This is where you have to play around a little bit, because I don’t really use her in my decks that often, unless I play Aggro-Mid in Unlimited, which this deck is definitely not.
3 MANA SLOT
An amazing card draw card, which is what will replace a rotated card out in the future. If not for Gourmet Emperor Kaiza and a lot of card draw already in the deck, then I would put it as a Staple. If you want to run her, then try 2-3 copies.
4 MANA SLOT
If you find your decks have to rely on skellies, then you might want to use him (Shadow Reaper memes), because boy can he generate a ton of followers (which also generate shadows). Backlash – If there is nothing to really play on, then the guy becomes a “Sad Catacomb” (quote from BlueReboot). A 1/1 for 4 is a very bad board presence. That is the mighty backlash that makes me very questionable of using the guy, although a big reason for using him is that he is one of the only Bahamut counters, so have that in mind. This guy has fallen down to borderline, because people found less importance in undying boards, but is still very viable for a lot of midrange decks, although I would rather play him in a more aggressive deck. Use 2-3 if you intend on using him.
7 MANA SLOT
Mist Of Extinction
This is an amazing removal, if you’re playing against a big board. This isn’t a staple, because it takes space as a costly card. If it was a spell with an enhance, then it would be a guarantee staple. But for now, you should only run 1 if you must, and then again, if it’s in a control-style deck.
10 MANA SLOT
Surprised I bet. This guy is amazing in virtually anything that isn’t aggro. Post-nerf isn’t as good for shadow, than earlier, but is still a viable card. The thing is, is that this card looks odd in such decks. It doesn’t exactly fit in correctly. Therefore, I put it as a borderline.
Budget Deck Guide:
Here we are going to do the same thing with the full-fledged deck, only this time there will be a level of importance when considering spending your small budget. Also, there will be additional considerable cards added that have not been added to the full-fledged considerable because there is simply not that much point in using them, unless you don’t want to spend vials. One more thing: If you have any of the gold or legendary considerable from the full-fledged deck, then I absolutely recommend you use them. If your curve is low on any cards that are mentioned, and you desperately need a good card, but you have no will of spending vials, then you can use any of the basic cards. They are all usable, although some are better than others.
Each card will have its own priority rate, with 5 being must have, 4 being preferably have, 3 being considerably have, 2 being might have, 1 being shouldn’t have and 0 being don’t have. Anything that is priority 3 shouldn’t be considered as a card to buy in your deck.
That being said, here is the budget guide:
This guy is very important for you to have. He acts as one of Shadowcraft’s pushing cards (not a finisher, because him on turn 7 is not enough). His importance in your deck starts from a priority of 5, and gradually falls down to priority 2 for each Immortal Thane you have acquired.
Underworld Ruler Aisha
Now she is the finisher. Very Important for your deck, because she is the ONLY finisher shadow really has (unless you give Abyss Straddler a stretch to call him that). The first copy is priority 4, and the second is priority 2, which makes the third priority 0. The second is only really used as a substitution for the first, and therefore means its unimportant.
An expensive card draw, which means she has many was of being replaced. Has a 5 priority if it’s the only card which will have draw, excluding maybe 1-2 Demon Eaters, priority 4 if you have 3 Demon Eaters, and priority 3 if you have any Purehearted Singers in your deck.
Priority 3, because it’s the only card that does her thing. The second copy is priority 2, and the third is priority 1. As replacements can be any stable 2pp card (doesn’t matter what rarity or if it’s neutral or not) that doesn’t have niche gimmicks, but does something useful (Spartoi Sargent, Happy Pig)
Ceres Of The Night
A good gold card. Must use in any midrange deck, which is why copy 1 and 2 have priority 4. Third copy has priority 2.
Odile, Black Swan
For reasons above has priority 4. Second copy has priority 2, and third has priority 0.
Slightly better than Odile, Black Swan. First two copies priority 4, third copy priority 2.
The cheapest push card you’ll ever get. Priority 5 for the first copy, priority 4 for the second, and priority 1 for the third.
Silver and bronze cards are cheap, and therefore can be purchased easily with slightly saved up vials. The priority for silver and bronze cards (considering the amount from the guide above) are:
Grave Invitation – 4
Zombie Party – 5
Demon Eater – 5
Lurching Corpse – 5
Lyrial, Celestial Archer – 5
Purehearted Singer – 5
Throth’s Curse – 4
Attendant Of Night - 4
Gourmet Emperor Kaiza – 5
Skull Ring – 5
Necroassasin – 5
Prince Catacomb – 5
Dark Bladefiend – 5
Underworld Watchman Khawy – 5
Here are cards that are considerable for any budget deck if the cards have dropped from packs:
Evilisia The Fallen
Well Of Destiny
Angel Of The Word
Snow, Whitecat Mage
Mr. Full Moon
Usher Of Styx
Voices Of Resentment
Corpslelord Of Woe
So, here is an example of a (cheap and good) Mid-Shadowcraft Budget deck:
x3 Zombie Party
x3 Lyrial, Celestial Archer
x3 Demon Eater
x3 Lurching Corpse
x3 Skull Ring
x3 Purehearted Singer
x2 Gourmet Emperor Kaiza
x2 Ceres Of The Night
x2 Dark Bladefiend
x1 Odile, Black Swan
x2 Skeleton Prince
x2 Underworld Watchman Khawy
x2 Immortal Thane
The Deck has a cheap cost of 9,500 vials and contains most of the potential a powerful Mid-Shadow deck in the high ladder has. Decklist:
So, you’ve built your deck, entered ranked for a good meme, and now came to Mulligans. Here is the guide for them (full-fledged and budget):
There are 3 tiers for your priority list:
Tier 1 – Must haves. Keep in any matchup
Tier 2 – Keep, but in specific situations mulligan
Tier 3 – Keep, but only in the specific situations you would want to keep the card
So let’s unravel the tiers:
-Lyrial, Celestial Archer (if you run her, then keep unless you have a Belenus already)
-Andrealphus (mulligan if you have a Andrealphus already, or if you seek a 3pp card)
-Gourmet Emperor Kaiza (isn’t necessary, but you can mulligan him if you have a Skull Ring)
-Purehearted Singer (if you run her, then mulligan if you have a 3pp card or Andrealphus already)
-Demon Eater (keep if you have a Goblin in hand or if you have a 2pp and Skull Ring in hand)
-Lurching Corpse (keep if you’re not playing against bloodcraft/swordcraft)
-Zombie Party (keep if you’re playing against bloodcraft/swordcraft, especially if you’re going second)
-Little Soulsquasher (Keep if you have 2 cards from Tier 1/2 and you are going first)
-Ceres Of The Night (keep if you are playing second and you already have a 1-3 pp card in hand)
-Lyrial, Celestial Archer (the same reasons)
-Gourmet Emperor Kaiza (the same reasons)
-Purehearted Singer (the same reasons)
-Lurching Corpse (the same reasons)
-Demon Eater (the same reasons)
-Zombie Party (the same reasons)
-Ceres Of The Night (the same reasons)
Any other cards kept are only going to have your hand get clunky.
Another thing to consider: you may get a combination of any Tier 1/2/3 cards to mulligan, which makes the mulligan decision hard. I recommend always going for a 1pp drop and a 3pp drop. If you didn’t get either, then having 2 2pp drops is fine, as long as the lower tier cards are in the right situation. The perfect decision you would be making will only come with experience. I am only sharing my opinion of it, which, by the way, I will also share in…
How to play against architypes:
Put control-style play your top priority, because when they extinguish their resources, they will upright lose.
Put board presence a priority when controlling the board. If you are about to play skull ring, but you and your opponent have a 2/2 follower, then control the board before playing the skull ring (this is a small example). Another example is to make sure any trade done by the opponent will kill his follower, like trading a 1/2 with a 1/2 if you have skeletons on board.
Play as passive as possible and keep removals for as long as possible
Play as aggressive as possible, to make sure that your opponent will not make it in time to secure the victory, unless you can predict what kind of OTK the deck is, and prepare for it.
Now, to playing against each craft (this is my experience against them in the current meta):
You are going to usually win against this craft. Make sure removals are with you, and be a glad lad if you get your mulligans right. Be aware of Wood Of Brambles, as it is the most annoying card to deal with. Ceres Of The Night can shine against fairies in such situations. Elephants get really annoying, so try to keep high on health. This is usually the common situation against forest, as this is a combo craft. Remember Beauty And The Beast and other behemoths. Don’t go trading if you can’t kill it. Try and make sure you can survive turn with them on board.
Unlike Mid-Shadow, Mid-Sword has key cards that need to get rid of top priority. Mid-Shadow is stronger this way, because when the board for you is cleared, you can get it filled again with followers that are not expensive to sacrifice (especially when last words make you want to do exactly that). Therefore, kill the more important cards (Bladed Hedgehog while he’s weak, Mars), and stick to the Midrange routine. Aggro – control them. Control sword is also an easy matchup, but unlike usual control, you don’t have to play that passive.
Hard matchup. Against dirt you want to make sure things don’t get out of hand, because Odile, Black Swan isn’t that much of a saviour against them. The problem with dirt is that they can stop you period. Dirt is one of the only matchups that is situational and gives you a hard time (and 90% of my loses, essentially). Don’t put too much effort in killing Magic Illusionist if you can’t kill him easily. Spellboost is also hard if its Daria, Dimentional Witch, because when they manage to play big boards for 0 mana, it turns your game around completely. This doesn’t happen too often too early, but it can always be pulled of, especially when you hear a bang and a boom. Playing against Daria is even more situational than dirt. Combo/OTK is usually something like Giant Chimera, so you would want to either prepare your board before turn 9 (and make sure your health is as high as possible), or go aggro before turn 9 is a thing.
Against Prime Dragon Keeper style decks is to look out for the big girl herself. Zombie party, Lurching Corpse or Necroassasin her asap. Chronos is a big punch to the face when deck cards are low. Don’t try to over-Andrealphus your play unless you know everything is going to be fine. Against old-school ramp is best to play passive for the bigger threats that will come. Make sure cards like Sibyl Of The Waterwyrm and Aiela, Dragon Sword don’t get milked, and make sure you can predict things like Bahamut (even post-windmill buff) or lure the opponent into playing removals (although Conflagiration is a big problem for you).
Playing anti-meta cards is crucial (Odile, Black Swan, Ceres Of The Night and even Mist Of Extinction). You know what your opponent is capable of, because you are doing the same thing. Therefore, you have to predict what comes next to be prepared for it. Make sure the foe doesn’t get the better of the shadows that can activate necromancy.
Against vengeance and control it’s best to play passively. I remember winning against vengeance with Aggro-Mid-Shadow because of Belphegor, but that happened when I could take 2-3 turns into pressure and secure victory. These decks are not like that, and are supposed to play slower and finish with Underworld Ruler Aisha (or something like that). Therefore, you have to make sure that you don’t play cards too much for the opponent to take advantage of. It’s like gambling: don’t waste more money than you are prepared to lose. The only aggro deck in this meta is neutral, but it isn’t as pressure-based as classic aggro (which in rotation is weak compared to unlimited), therefore it won’t be as difficult to stop pressure (unless super board gets super buffed).
The difficulty with haven is knowing when a banish is about to arrive, because banishes, essentially, stop shadow progression. For me Summit Temple has never been a huge threat, because I myself haven’t encountered big threats that abuse the amulet. The only deadly card is Heavenly Knight, but even that isn’t that hard to counter. Aegis is abysmally slow for it to make a huge effect on the game.
Difficult to judge at the moment, because this is a new class. We have Puppet decks, that require Noah, Vengeful Puppeteer to work, which is why be aware that you aren’t going to die to Puppets on that turn. Artifacts are all about them being able to endlessly play cards. This craft is basically rune level of situational, but not as threatening.
My experience may very well differ from yours, and therefore I would be very delighted to know what you have went through.
One that note, this guide ends, and your deck begins. Lower is a version I am currently using. If you think this isn’t ideal, then please let me know by telling me in the Necropolis community.
Thanks for your time.
Author of the guide and decklist:
FIFNAF (@FIFNAF_SV on Twitter)
|GoblinFollower - Standard||1||x 3|
|Lurching CorpseFollower - Rise of Bahamut||2||x 3|
|Little SoulsquasherFollower - Tempest of the Gods||2||x 2|
|Demon EaterFollower - Wonderland Dreams||2||x 3|
|BelenusFollower - Starforged Legends||2||x 3|
|AndrealphusFollower - Starforged Legends||2||x 3|
|Gourmet Emperor KhaizaFollower - Rise of Bahamut||3||x 1|
|NecroassassinFollower - Rise of Bahamut||4||x 3|
|Ceres of the NightFollower - Starforged Legends||4||x 2|
|Underworld Ruler AishaFollower - Chronogenesis||5||x 2|
|Odile, Black SwanFollower - Wonderland Dreams||6||x 2|
|Skeleton PrinceFollower - Chronogenesis||6||x 2|
|Demonlord EachtarFollower - Tempest of the Gods||7||x 3|
|Immortal ThaneFollower - Tempest of the Gods||7||x 2|
|Zombie PartySpell - Tempest of the Gods||2||x 3|
|Skull RingAmulet - Chronogenesis||3||x 3|