Changes to Cards in the August Release

In the August update, we’re going to be changing four cards: the Runecraft gold follower Falise, Leonardian Mage; the Shadowcraft legendary follower Demonlord Eachtar; the Bloodcraft bronze follower Big Knuckle Bodyguard; and the Bloodcraft silver follower Scarlet Sabreur. This is an explanation of why we’re changing things and what specifically is changing.

Summary of Changes
1. The gold Runecraft follower Falise, Leonardian Mage will no longer have the effect “Enhance (7): Evolve this follower.”
2. The legendary Shadowcraft follower Demonlord Eachtar will now have the effect “Necromancy (8): Summon 2 Zombies. Fanfare: Give all other allied followers +2/+0 and Rush until the end of the turn (whether Necromancy was activated or not).”
3. The bronze Bloodcraft follower Big Knuckle Bodyguard will now cost 5 instead of 4.
4. The silver Bloodcraft follower Scarlet Sabreur will now have the effect “Bane. Fanfare: Deal 2 damage to an enemy follower. Then restore 2 defense to your leader.”

For a limited time after changes are made, these four cards will produce more vials when liquefied.

The Game Environment at a Glance
During the card changes in the July Release, we changed the cost or effects of seven cards. The biggest reason to do so was the dominant win and usage rates of Bloodcraft decks after the release of Wonderland Dreams. Here is a brief look at how these changes affected the current state of the game environment and why we felt changes in August were necessary.

All data was taken from high-ranking matches in mid-August.

Top 4 decks with the highest win rates
1. Neutral Rune (55.7%)
- A Runecraft deck that makes use of low-cost, early game Neutral followers and Alice, Wonderland Explorer
2. Aggro Blood (54.4%)
- An aggressive Bloodcraft deck that primarily uses low-cost cards
3. Midrange Shadow (54.2%)
- A quick Shadowcraft deck that can play both offensively or defensively thanks to Demonlord Eachtar’s placement at the top of the deck’s curve
4. Vengeance Blood (53.9%)
- An offensive Bloodcraft deck, differing from Aggro Blood, that primarily uses cards like Dark General that become more powerful after Vengeance becomes active

Top 5 decks with the highest usage rates
1. Midrange Shadow (16.4%)
2. Ramp Dragon (13%)
- A Dragoncraft deck that “ramps” by increasing its Play Point amount as quickly as possible to continuously play high-cost cards by the mid game
3. Aggro Blood (9.8%)
4. Vengeance Blood (7.3%)
5. Neutral Rune (5.9%)

Compared to high-ranking match data collected in June and July, there isn’t a deck archetype that is completely dominant in either win or usage rate. This is a signal that the game environment is headed in a more balanced direction.

Also according to high-ranking match data, the first-turn advantage has been steadily decreasing toward 50%—from a 54.1% first-turn win rate (measured in early July) to a 52.8% win rate (measured in mid-August). However the top tier Aggro Blood deck archetype retains a 55.5% win rate when playing first. We will monitor the effects this month’s changes have on first-turn advantage, and will consider further changes in the future if necessary.

Looking Forward
Up until now, we’ve tried to balance certain classes or strategies by designing strong cards. Unfortunately some of these cards ended up being stronger and more popular than anticipated. From our next card set (due to release at the end of September), we’ll be reexamining our previous design direction of creating extremely powerful cards to strengthen certain classes and strategies. But we will, however, continue to pursue a design direction of creating an environment for new deck archetypes to emerge.

In anticipation of this new environment, certain staple cards in the current environment need attention.

Falise, Leonardian Mage
(Runecraft, gold)
This card is a staple in Neutral Rune, the archetype with the highest win percentage. Although it runs the Neutral engine common to all Neutral archetypes (early Neutral followers combined with Alice, Wonderland Explorer), Neutral Rune’s higher win rate (55.7% vs. Neutral Swordcraft’s 51.8% win rate) can be attributed to its stronger selection of class-specific cards. But not all Runecraft archetypes have inflated win or usage rates, so we’ve identified Falise, Leonardian Mage as an appropriate target for changes, because it is used only in Neutral Rune. We will be removing its Enhance effect to tone down its power without affecting its synergy with Neutral cards.

Details of the change:
Falise, Leonardian Mage will no longer have an Enhance effect.
Before: Fanfare: Deal X damage to an enemy follower. X equals the number of Neutral cards in your hand.
Enhance (7): Then evolve this follower.
After: Fanfare: Deal X damage to an enemy follower. X equals the number of Neutral cards in your hand.

Demonlord Eachtar
(Shadowcraft, legendary)
A card that has been on our radar for a while, Demonlord Eachtar finds himself the staple card for the most played and third strongest archetype, Midrange Shadow. This card can serve powerful offensive and defensive functions, including providing board development (by creating Zombies with its Necromancy effect), removal (by giving Rush to allied followers), and a strong finishing blow (by increasing the attack of allied followers). These changes will preserve its special role as a game finisher in offensive midrange decks while diminishing its role in defensive decks that would prefer to draw the game out. We are expecting these changes to have a positive effect on the game environment.

Details of the changes:
Demonlord Eachtar’s Necromancy effect will be changed.
Before: Necromancy (3): Summon a Zombie. Repeat for remaining shadows or until your area is full. Fanfare: Give all other allied followers +2/+0 and Rush until the end of the turn (whether Necromancy was activated or not).
After: Necromancy (8): Summon 2 Zombies. Fanfare: Give all other allied followers +2/+0 and Rush until the end of the turn (whether Necromancy was activated or not).

Big Knuckle Bodyguard and Scarlet Sabreur
(Bloodcraft, bronze/Bloodcraft, silver)
We were considering making changes to these cards during the July adjustments. With the advent of Aggro and Vengeance Blood becoming dominant deck archetypes (both in win and usage rates), and the role of these cards in creating first-turn advantage, it’s now time to change them. Big Knuckle Bodyguard provides a lot of value for a low cost, so its cost will be adjusted accordingly. Scarlet Sabreur provides removal, direct damage, and healing all in one package. We’re removing her ability to apply direct damage to the enemy leader in hopes of strengthening her role in defensive deck archetypes.

Details of the changes:
Big Knuckle Bodyguard’s cost will be changed from 4 to 5.
Scarlet Sabreur’s effect will be changed.
Before: Bane. Fanfare: Deal 2 damage to an enemy. Then restore 2 defense to your leader.
After: Bane. Fanfare: Deal 2 damage to an enemy follower. Then restore 2 defense to your leader.

Take Two Runs
These changes will also be applied to all Take Two decks after maintenance, even if the deck is being used in the middle of a five-match run.

Future Changes to Cards
We routinely review match data in the Shadowverse Team. When it’s necessary to create a great game environment, we change card costs and effects and boost the number of vials that are available from liquefying cards. Any future changes to cards’ costs and abilities will be announced on a prespecified date, and then changes will generally be made the next day. See below for the scheduled announcement and change dates.

September 26 (Announcement), September 27 (Change)

These dates are, however, subject to change. Even if there are no changes made to cards, we’ll still announce that things are staying the same.

Temporary Vial Bonus
From the August 29 update until the next major update, the changed cards will produce more vials when liquefied.
- Copies of Big Knuckle Bodyguard will produce 50 vials.
- Copies of Scarlet Sabreur will produce 200 vials.
- Copies of Falise, Leonardian Mage will produce 800 vials.
- Copies of Demonlord Eachtar will produce 3500 vials.

Normal and animated copies of these cards will both produce the same number of vials while the bonus is in effect. Details of when this bonus ends will be announced at a later date.

Shadowverse Team