Affordable Competitive Decks for Shadowverse [ToTG]
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Since Tempest of the Gods, decks have gotten more expensive, this is no surprise. That said, there are still plenty of affordable decks out there, and here I’ll list them. Note, however, that these are NOT budget decks. These are not inferior versions of popular and strong decks with replaced legendaries. These are legitimate competitive decks which just happen to be cheap(er) from a collection which I gathered. I do not keep track of the authors of these decks, so feel free to reach out to me if you want to claim your creation.
What is an affordable deck? It’s a deck that costs fewer vials. What’s the cutoff point here? 20000, in my opinion. This cost obviously changes based on one’s own collection, and should not be considered in a vacuum. Why did I choose 20k vials? It was always going to be an arbitrary number, and I feel 20k is a good middle ground that isn’t quite scraping the bottom of the poverty barrel, and can be achieved with some careful planning. I’ve played this game for about a month and a half, and can afford 1 competitive deck per class with minimal monetary investment ($6), and that was the baseline for this article.
Sword Shift (8200) is a newer version of D-Shift, opting to remove the slower and more Spellboost dependent Flame Destroyer for pure fast, proactive, and more offensive options of Blade Mage and Enchanted Sword. Enchanted Sword itself was deemed a bad Blade Mage upon the expansion release, but it turns out redundancy is important enough to run. Freshman Lou also makes an appearance here as a draw engine that’s also a body, something D-Shift has lacked in the past. Merlin was a card, but she uses up precious evolution points that most would rather put on Levi or Flame Destroyers.
Aggro Rune (8750) is a new addition to the Runecraft repertoire. This ditches the D-Shift shell and runs the aggressive Spellboost package of Enchanted Sword and Blade Mage to close out games. The deck runs Mutagenic Bolt to deal with big Shadowcraft boards, while Dance of Death works as the usual big Ward removal. Penguin Wizard makes an appearance here, being a 2PP body with an offensive upside. The deck also features Summon Snow as a board flooder similar to Bloodcraft’s Forest Bats and Shadowcraft’s Skeletons.
Alternative List — 6500 (more tempo-oriented)
Traditional D-Shift (7850) is still very much around. Reactive and prone to bricking, the deck does what it has always done: destroying control decks. The removal of Merlin and addition of Enchanted Library and Ogler helps to make the deck noticeably cheaper to acquire as compared to before.
Daria Runecraft (19100) makes it return. It’s a competitive deck, but its strength and popularity are but a shadow of what they once were, mostly due to its utterly pitiful matchup against Ramp Dragon’s absurd healing and Aggro Shadow’s pressure, with which Runecraft in general has a tough time dealing. Attempts have been made to alleviate this, but results aren’t positive. Nevertheless, it’s here should you want to experience it.
Royal Banner (15450) by u/DiscreteHyena is still an actual deck. It uses 3Alberts as its only legendaries, which is a safe craft either way due to his ubiquity throughout every Sword archetype. The deck remains unaffected by the new expansion, and rely on its tight curve and abundant of redundant Storm followers to close out games.
Frogcraft (15800). Is it a meme or OSFrog? Whatever it is, Frogcraft is taking the hearts and minds of many by storm, pissing off your favourite streamers in a moment’s notice. Utilising the previously underrated (?) Vagabond Frog, the deck revolves around buffing this uninteractable follower to absurd levels and swing at the opponent’s face for a lot of damage. It really doesn’t get simpler than that.
Alternative List — 19,850 by u/CeeWhyEx
Aggro Commander (15650) is a tweaked version of the old Aggro Swordcraft deck, this time abusing the power of the newly released Luminous Mage with Albert, Pompous Princess, and White General along with the ever reliable Alwida’s Command. Its removal of the anti-brick Goblin means it trades for consistent turn 1 play for more midrange reach.
Aggro Blood (5900) is back, as strong as before. This version trades Goblin for more mid-game board presence from the newly released Dark Airjammer. The bat synergy core is as good as is, and need not be changed.
Blood Vengeance (15800) is the new, much more supported take on the Vengeance-based Aggro Blood shenanigans. Belphegor allows the reliability of Vengeance that didn’t possess as much risk as Crazed Executioner. Access to a power version of Dark General, Cursebrand Vampire, and Dark Airjammer is a good enough argument to run this deck, with well-stated Belphegor giving longevity.
Aggro Shadow (18650) is at the top of the meta right now, and for good reasons. The addition of Prince Catacomb to bolster an already powerful Shadow Reaper from the last set means that the deck is back on the tier 1 list. Orthus makes an appearance here as well, with her unrivalled immediate board presence felt, especially on a board always full of tokens to buff. Some lists run Demonlord Eachtar, but results have shown that you’re still plenty successful without him
Storm Haven (13850) is back for another exciting round of mid-game face swinging. The old gang of Garuda + Storm Amulets are back. This deck has an unique good match up against Shadow with Forbidden Ritual activation and Acolyte’s Light, providing the sort of banish utility no other class possess. The rest of the core deck remains largely the same, with the addition of Octobishop as a proactive play.
Alternative List — 11400 (with Vahallen General).
Alternative List — 13600 (with Demonic Strike)
Alternative List — 11850 (lower curve)
OTK Pegasus (9050) is the proof that I may have lied. This deck isn’t actually proven, but it’s so cheap with 6 golds as a maximum, and these cards are all staple for Haven anyway that I feel this deserve a spotlight here. The deck runs off Holy Bowman Kel’s effect coupled with mass healing to hopefully OTK your opponent. Is it good? Honestly can’t tell ya, but if you’re up for some fun might as well bust out those silvers.
Credits to u/FeelNFine: Elena Aegis (18200) is a different take on the dread Aegis Haven on the ladder. It’s a combination of archetypes that plays to Haven’s cheap and plentiful healing options. Note that if you have just a little bit more, a straight up Aegis Haven is available for only 20650.
Aggro Dragon (15100) is both a decent deck and an excuse for me to post Forte again. It’s not a very popular deck for obvious reasons, but its performance certainly is nothing to scoff at, though many people will anyway. A sleeper last expansion as well, the deck now features Phoenix Rider Aina for your honest pleasure, because at least you’re not playing a degenerate deck.
Credits to u/YellowJmsJacket: Aggro Forest (18800) is a new deck archetype made possible by the utter insanity that is Beetle Warrior. This deck runs the proven Forest core of Ancient Elf + EPM to flood the board with cheap minions and utilises Cynthia and Blessed Fairy Dancer. The lack of Crystallia Tia means that it has to fully commit to an aggressive win, as otherwise its mid-game presence is entirely dependent on spare evolution points.
If you have any suggestion, I’m always open. For the most part this will be a maintained list throughout Tempest of the Gods unless there’s a big change in terms of meta, whether due to an introduction of card changes or new innovations.