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Article originally published on Spout360. Written by Jia Jun Tan
After the current July update that saw nerfs to legendary cards and classes (mainly Bloodcraft), there has been a deck that has always been hovering among the top few decks alongside Neutral Bloodcraft and Ramp Dragoncraft. That deck in question, the Midrange Shadowcraft, has risen to the top of the meta and is now an S Tier deck.
Is it considered too overpowered? Let’s find out how it works and how it can be countered.
Strong Core Cards
Demonlord Eachtar Necromancy (3): Summon a Zombie. Repeat for remaining shadows or until your area is full. Then give all other allied followers +2/+0 and Rush until the end of the turn.
The main reason this card is so strong is because of its staple Legendary, Demonlord Eachtar. This card manages to avoid the nerf wave this time round, making it the strongest 7 drop in this deck.
The amount of value it brings to the board is insane; it can refill the board easily and give zombies (and allied followers) +2 and Rush. You can even use it when your board is at 4, to deal lethal damage when all your cards are +2 and end the game, catching your opponent by surprise.
Fanfare: Put Coco and Mimi into your hand. Mimi: Deal 2 damage to an enemy. Coco: Give +2/+0 to an allied follower.
Another staple Legendary in the deck, Cerberus is a solid 5 drop that provides you with Coco and Mimi. These two cards can be used in a variety of situation, be it clearing the board, giving you the extra boost in attack, or dealing face damage directly.
Fanfare: Summon 2 Wights. Last Words: Put a Wight King into your hand and change its cost to 0. Wight: Whenever another allied follower is destroyed, deal 1 damage to the enemy leader. Wight King: Necromancy (4): Gain +1/+1, Ward and Bane.
The other 7 drop in the deck, it wasn’t until the recent patch that Immortal Thane is seen used more and more in Midrange Shadowcraft decks. This card brings a whole new dimension to the deck’s strategy after the 7th orb, effectively filling up half the board with the 2 Wights, and gaining a Wight King after being destroyed. The versatility of this card cannot be overlooked, be it dealing damage via Wight’s effect, or playing the 0 cost Wight King the next turn, that has Bane and Ward by the way, to make the opponent think twice about attacking.
Why Is It So Strong?
The strength of this deck lies in it not just depending on the core cards to succeed, but also the overall deck complementing well with each other. This deck allows you to curve nicely most of the time and is good at clearing your opponent’s board while refilling your own, through cards such as Zombie Party, Necroassasin + Attendant of Night combo.
Prince Catacombs works well in ensuring your board is sticky enough to constantly have drops on it. The deck can also block damage through Death’s Breath.
The ability to clear the opponent’s board is not to be underestimated, through Necroassasin + Lurching Corpse combo, Odile, Black Swan and Cerberus.
Usher of Styx provides another option of reusing any highest-cost followers that are destroyed, depending on the match. Little Soulsquasher is vital in removing opponent’s evolved followers for just a mere 4 shadows.
The overall ability of this deck to face up against other decks is very well rounded, and the fact that not many decks can provide these many options is what makes it scarily strong.
Is There A Counter To This Deck?
Shadowcraft’s natural counter/weakness is Havencraft, where the class’s unique ability to Banish followers, especially those with the Last Word effect, effectively handicaps the deck’s ability. A deck like Aegis Havencraft has formidable defence and stalling tactic to frustrate Midrange Shadowcraft. It is worth noting that Shadowcraft currently holds a 56.2% win rate against Havencraft (class in general). That is a pretty high win rate considering Havencraft is a natural counter!
Aggro Bloodcraft is the 2nd strongest deck in the game right now, that can pressure more than Midrange Shadow can, during the early to mid game. The aggressive nature will hardly give this deck any chance to build up, any board refills can be easily matched up against and cleared. Shadowcraft’s win rate against Bloodcraft (class in general) is 48.9%.
DemonLord Eachtar will most likely see a nerf in the upcoming round of balance changes, but the deck will still function well with the rest of the cards working seamlessly together. That being said, the bottom line is yes, Midrange Shadowcraft is too strong for the current meta and it will still be, even for the next few shakeups in the meta.