The meta in the Unlimited format has not moved for quite some time, and this last week of the Brigade of the Sky season is no exception. Shadowcraft still sees the most play by a far margin, accounting for approximately one-third of all decks played. Dragoncraft, Bloodcraft, and Havencraft has seen a slight increase in play, while the rest has decreased.
Usage Rates by Classes (Entire BotS season)
The two figures above show the change in usage rate for each class in the BotS season. Only nine weeks out of 11 or 12 weeks are shown here, as data for other weeks could not be obtained. Shadowcraft has been the dominating force this season, starting strong with the card adjustment of Demonlord Eachtar. The usage rate then suddenly jumped from the 20s to the 30s when the mini-expansion was released, introducing the powerful Gremory to the scene. Since then, Shadowcraft usage has consistently represented approximately one-third of all used decks, creating a somewhat ‘unhealthy’ environment. What is also interesting about the Unlimited format this season is that usage for other decks have been fairly consistent through the 9 weeks, with the exception of Runecraft and Bloodcraft fighting for second place.
Win Rates by Classes
Last week, Forestcraft fell off of the ‘over 50%’ group, and Shadowcraft has hit an all-time high in win percentage with 59.3%. This week, Forestcraft is back in the elite status, joined by Bloodcraft. Consistent with the rise in these three classes, the win percentage of other classes have dropped considerably.
Win Rates by Classes (Entire BotS season)
Looking back at the change in win percentage over the past three months, it is obvious the Forestcraft and Shadowcraft (especially the latter) has been the most dominant this season. Bloodcraft was also impressive, producing positive statistics in five of the nine weeks presented in the figure. The other classes could not quite make it to this elite status, most likely due to its inability to compete with Midrange Shadowcraft, the dominant deck of the format.
Usage and Win Rates by Archetypes
|Archetypes||# Used||# of Wins||Win %|
|Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft||1285||720||52.0%|
|D. Shift Runecraft||643||259||40.3%|
|Lord Atomy Shadowcraft||314||198||63.1%|
The two decks to highlight this week are Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft and Tenko Havencraft. Both decks have seen a slight increase in popularity since the last week, and they both produced great results, in terms of win percentage. Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft has been doing much better against Midrange Shadowcraft, and it appears that Tenko Havencraft’s increase in win rate corresponds with the relative increase in popularity of this Bloodcraft deck. Dragoncraft this week was represented by a relatively new archetype, Phoenix Dragoncraft, which utilizes Phoenix Roost to summon large Storm followers from the hand or with Jabberwock. Lord Atomy Shadowcraft has joined the leaderboard once again this week, although there is no longer a clear distinction between this archetype and the Midrange type. Therefore, it is likely that many decks in either of these categories are misclassified.
Matchup Data for Top 3 Classes
|Opponent Archetype||Midrange Win %||Atomy Win %|
|Vs. Midrange Shadowcraft||N/A||59.5%|
|Vs. Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft||57.5%||65.0%|
|Vs. OTK Forestcraft||59.5%||84.0%|
|Vs. D. Shift Runecraft||63.2%||46.7%|
|Vs. Tenko Havencraft||53.7%||59.1%|
|Vs. Phoenix Dragoncraft||36.9%||40.0%|
|Vs. Lord Atomy Shadowcraft||40.5%||N/A|
|Vs. Earth Runecraft||59.3%||66.7% (4/6)|
|Vs. Vengeance Bloodcraft||69.1%||66.7%|
Both Midrange and Lord Atomy Shadowcraft has been represented in the meta this week, even though they may be similar decks, just classified incorrectly. Recently, the traditional Midrange Shadowcraft deck has started to include the Lord Atomy strategy, most likely to keep up with the speed of the Darkfeast Bat deck. Both decks have been dominating the scene, only having a poor matchup against Phoenix Dragoncraft. This is most likely due to the fact that the Shadowcraft decks are unable to fully take advantage of Phoenix’s ability, with the only real benefit being an early Eachtar play.
|Opponent Archetype||Darkfeast Win %||Vengeance Win %|
|Vs. Midrange Shadowcraft||42.5%||30.9%|
|Vs. Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft||N/A||45.7%|
|Vs. OTK Forestcraft||38.6%||36.0%|
|Vs. D. Shift Runecraft||78.9%||61.1%|
|Vs. Tenko Havencraft||55.1%||50% (2/4)|
|Vs. Phoenix Dragoncraft||57.8%||37.5%|
|Vs. Lord Atomy Shadowcraft||35.0%||33.3%|
|Vs. Earth Runecraft||69.7%||66.7% (⅔)|
|Vs. Vengeance Bloodcraft||54.3%||N/A|
Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft is still the popular choice over its counterpart, due to the slightly better matchup against Midrange Shadowcraft. Although the numbers do not favor the Darkfeast deck at all, many players argue that this deck is able to fightly evenly with the Shadowcraft deck, as its able to consistently put a 7 or 8 turn clock on the opponent. Vengeance Bloodcraft was quite popular at the beginning of the meta, but has fallen out of favor due to its difficulty beating the Shadowcraft deck. Last week’s data showed that the head-to-head between the Bloodcraft decks favored the Vengeance build, but this week’s data shows the opposite, suggesting that the matchup is close to even.
|Opponent Archetype||D. Shift Win %||Earth Win %|
|Vs. Midrange Shadowcraft||36.8%||40.7%|
|Vs. Darkfeast Bat Bloodcraft||21.1%||30.3%|
|Vs. OTK Forestcraft||20.0%||28.6%|
|Vs. D. Shift Runecraft||N/A||60.0%|
|Vs. Tenko Havencraft||44.4%||18.2%|
|Vs. Phoenix Dragoncraft||34.8%||50.0%|
|Vs. Lord Atomy Shadowcraft||53.3%||33.3% (2/6)|
|Vs. Earth Runecraft||40.0%||N/A|
|Vs. Vengeance Bloodcraft||38.9%||N/A|
Popularity for Dimensional Shift Runecraft seemed to have dropped slightly in the past few weeks, and it is not really surprising since the top decks are all able to produce lethal damage at around turn 7. However, it is likely that these decks will always stay on the radar due to their unique playstyle and its unstoppable plays when all the stars are aligned. With upcoming cards and nerfs, the meta may shift to a slower one, and these decks might just make a huge comeback.