Luck has no small influence on the outcome of Shadowverse matches and card games in general. Because luck cannot be controlled, it has the biggest impact on one-shot deals and short-term competitions (like tournaments).
One champion even said “Practice is of utmost importance, but it ultimately comes down to luck.” So luck is not something you can eliminate from a card game.
In a card game, luck can give you hope and/or make you sweat – it’s part of the fun. However, the goal of playing ranked matches in Shadowverse is to climb the ranks, and I believe the best way to do this is to improve your win rate. Luck may influence the outcome of each game, but when considering your overall win rate from a long-term perspective, there are additional aspects to consider.
This article will be devoted to covering the luck factor in detail.
There are multiple ways in which luck affects ranked matches, but let’s focus on the following two for the purpose of this article.
Going 1st vs 2nd
Starting Hand and Luck of the Draw
Both factors can heavily influence the short-term outcome of a match, but I believe it is possible to ignore and/or cover for these depending on your deck.
As I stated earlier, luck cannot be controlled. However you can still gain the upper hand by facing this truth head on. And to do that, you must first fully understand what luck is.
Going 1st vs 2nd
Before the August update, it was officially reported that players who went first had a higher win rate. Players who ended up going second were at a clear disadvantage and may have felt frustrated or discouraged. To help even the odds, players who go second are now able to draw 2 cards on the first turn.
When playing ranked matches, it’s important to think in the long term. The chance of going first or second winds up being the same for everyone: around 50%. For example, even if you tend to go first over a series of 10 games, that tendency will diminish over 100 or 1,000 games.
If you change your deck because you “tend to go first (or second)”, you’re making meaningless changes for ranked play.
What’s important is building a balanced deck and keeping a level head regardless of whether you have the initiative. To prove this point, keep track of your games. As the number of games increases, you should gradually approach a 50/50 chance of going first or second.
Starting Hand and Luck of the Draw
If the cards you draw are unplayable, your deck will lose its potential regardless of how good a deck it is. As for the three cards in your starting hand, you can mulligan away any of them, but chances are you’ll still end up with a less-than-perfect starting hand.
In Shadowverse, maximizing the use of play points is pivotal. In particular, the amount of damage an aggressive deck can deal to the enemy leader strongly depends on how proactive it can be from the early game.
If you feel that you often lose because of bad draws, the reason could be the deck itself. Avoid the frustration caused from never drawing the card you need by taking the time to reconsider how your deck is built. The first thing to do is ask yourself what kind of cards you find yourself wanting the most, and search for cards that meet those criteria. If you find yourself lacking low cost followers, consider including commonly overlooked neutral cards such as Goblin and Fighter. If you lack the ability to finish off an opponent in the late game, try including Gilgamesh. The possibilities are endless.
Think about which cards you find yourself needing the least and replace them. Then take your modified deck for a spin.
Tried and true: neutral followers that perform.
Increasing the amount of similar cards in a deck means increasing the possibility of drawing those cards. In our example, having Goblin and Fighter means you have a steady early game, but it also means you have a higher chance to draw them from the midgame and on, diminishing the value of the draw. Take a look at what’s in your deck and decide how many cards of a certain cost will offer the best draws.
If you have three of the same card in your deck, it’s not uncommon to draw the same card multiple times. So another way to improve your draw is to reduce the amount of that card. Incorporating cards that help you draw is another solution. For example, Bellringer Angel has Ward to halt opponent aggression and usually guarantees you a card draw, making it a commonly used neutral follower.
Another thing you need to consider is the synergy (or combo potential) between cards. Combinations can provide very powerful plays, but if you keep drawing only one piece of your combo, it may lead to your defeat. Let’s take a look at Urd. It’s a follower with low stats compared to its cost, but when combined with a follower with Last Words or high defense, it becomes top notch. When putting Urd in a deck, include multiple cards of different costs that have great synergy in order to ensure it doesn’t remain dead in your hand.
Improve the quality of your draws by increasing the amount of cards with synergy.
The above are a couple of ways to improve your draw, but it all comes down to what kind of deck you want to build. Test out various methods and see which ones help you draw better.
As I mentioned before, luck can greatly affect a short term match, but it becomes trivial for ranked matches in the long run. Do not let luck sway you and continue experimenting as you tackle ranked matches. Have faith that your deck will improve and keep moving forward!
You cannot control luck, but luck is trivial in ranked matches. Keep a level head in order to climb the ranks!
In the next article, I’ll recap everything we’ve covered so far. Until then, keep enjoying Shadowverse!