Changes to Cards in the March 28 Release

In the March 28 (PT) release we'll be making changes to two cards. This is an explanation of what we're changing and why.

OVERVIEW

1. Ambling Wraith will become a 1/1 (3/3 evolved) follower.

2. Queen of the Dread Sea will become a 5/5 (7/7 evolved) follower. Its effect will become "Fanfare: Subtract 5 from the cost of a Neutral card (excluding Queen of the Dread Sea) and a non-Neutral card in your hand. Then discard all other cards in your hand."

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

REASONS FOR THE CHANGES

To begin we'll report on the mid-March Unlimited format and explain how the change to Ambling Wraith is necessary to improve the game environment. We'll then provide some insight into our post-Starforged Legends design philosophy and discuss how changing Queen of the Dread Sea will open up design space for future card effects.

MID-MARCH UNLIMITED PLAY ENVIRONMENT

According to mid-March data from high-ranking players, these were the decks with the five highest win rates in the Unlimited format by deck type:

1. 56.2%: Neutral Forestcraft (decks that create synergy with Neutral followers and Beauty and the Beast)
2. 55.2%: Vengeance Bloodcraft without Dark Airjammer (aggressive decks that create synergy with Belphegor and Vengeance-related cards)
3. 55.2%: Roach Forestcraft (decks that deal major damage with Rhinoceroach combos)
4. 55.1%: Aggro Dragoncraft (aggressive decks that mainly contain lower-cost followers)
5. 54.9%: Vengeance Bloodcraft with Dark Airjammer

In mid-March these were the decks with the five highest use rates by deck type:

1. 11.2%: Vengeance Bloodcraft without Dark Airjammer
2. 10.6%: D-Shift Runecraft (decks that utilize Dimension Shift and other Spellboost cards)
3. 6.2%: Daria Runecraft (decks that utilize Daria, Dimensional Witch and other Spellboost followers)
4. 5.8%: Atomy Shadowcraft (decks that focus on combos to play Lord Atomy early on)
5. 4.7%: Aggro Dragoncraft

A look at these numbers reveals that although Neutral Forestcraft and Roach Forestcraft decks' win rates are high, their use rates aren't. On the other hand, D-Shift Runecraft and Daria Runecraft decks have high use rates but not high win rates.

The win rates and use rates are both high, though, for Vengeance Bloodcraft deck types. The subtype that contains Dark Airjammer has the second-highest win rate, and the subtype that doesn't, the fifth-highest win rate. The version that doesn't contain Dark Airjammer has the highest use rate; the one that does has a 4.3% use rate. Taken together, the two decks have a 15.5% use rate.

We in the Shadowverse Team predict that in the Unlimited play environment, aggressive Bloodcraft decks would still have high win rates and use rates after Dawnbreak, Nightedge is released. Because of this we're bringing Ambling Wraith's defense closer in line to its cost. When considering which cards to change and how, we took into account a) the number of copies in aggressive Bloodcraft deck types and b) those cards' contribution to win rates when played.

POST-STARFORGED LEGENDS DESIGN PHILOSOPHY AND CARD CHANGES

Our team previously discussed how in Wonderland Dreams and earlier card sets, our design philosophy focused on creating powerful cards to help boost underperforming classes and strategies. When those cards turned out to be stronger than anticipated, specific deck types' win rates and play rates jumped too high, and that made it necessary for us to change cards. Since Starforged Legends we've kept creating additional deck types with each new card set; at the same time we've changed our minds regarding the older philosophy of creating powerful cards to help boost underperforming classes and strategies.

This is where changes to Queen of the Dread Sea (released in Wonderland Dreams) come in. The deck type that makes the most use of Queen of the Dread Sea in the Rotation format is Ramp Dragoncraft. (Ramp decks increase a player's play point orbs at the beginning of the match and then use high-cost cards from the middle of the match). Mid-March Rotation match data from high-ranking players reveals that Ramp Dragoncraft decks containing Tilting at Windmills had a win rate of 52.4% (seventh-highest) and a use rate of 6.7% (fourth-highest).

In a Ramp Dragoncraft deck, the combination of Queen of the Dread Sea and Tilting at Windmills can deal enough damage to end a match in a single turn. Because of its unique effect, Queen of the Dread Sea makes it fairly simple to pull off combinations of two high-cost cards, an issue that affects the design space of not just Dragoncraft but other classes as well. To ensure a diverse play environment going forward, we've decided it's more appropriate to change the effect of Queen of the Dread Sea than to design future high-cost cards around it.

DETAILS OF THE CHANGES

1. Ambling Wraith's defense will be lowered from 2 (evolved: 4) to 1 (evolved: 3).

2. Queen of the Dread Sea's attack and defense will be lowered from 7/7 (evolved: 9/9) to 5/5 (evolved: 7/7). Its ability will also change from: "Fanfare: Change the cost of a Neutral card (excluding Queen of the Dread Sea) and a non-Neutral card in your hand to 0. Then discard all other cards in your hand" to "Fanfare: Subtract 5 from the cost of a Neutral card (excluding Queen of the Dread Sea) and a non-Neutral card in your hand. Then discard all other cards in your hand."

TEMPORARY VIAL BONUS

From the March 28 update until the next major update on April 25, the changed cards will produce more vials when liquefied.

- Ambling Wraith will produce 50 vials.
- Queen of the Dread Sea will produce 3500 vials.

Normal and animated copies will both produce the same number of vials while the bonus is in effect.

TAKE TWO RUNS
These changes will also be applied to all Take Two decks after maintenance, even decks that are being used in the middle of a five-match run.

FUTURE CHANGES TO CARDS

We routinely review match data in the Shadowverse Team. In order to maintain a great game environment, we change card costs and effects and boost the number of vials that are available from liquefying cards. This includes both of our constructed formats, Rotation and Unlimited. In addition to the card changes we've made in the past and card changes targeted at Rotation, we will designate cards to have a one-card restriction or card bans for Unlimited.

Any future changes to card costs and effects will be announced in advance, and then changes will generally be made the next day. See below for the scheduled announcement and change dates.

Apr 24 (Announcement), Apr 25 (Change)
May 28 (Announcement), May 29 (Change)
Jun 26 (Announcement), Jun 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. If emergency changes are deemed necessary, we may make changes, specify restrictions, or specify banned cards outside of the above dates.

Shadowverse Team