Data from a Scrub: Day 4 (Shadowcraft)
We're back to Shadowcraft. Honestly, since I've been making myself play this game more I believe all the hype now. Shadowcraft is...just fucking busted. This is going up on Day 5 because my internet went down for most of the day, but not to worry I'll be doing Day 5 today as well. Enjoy!
Match 1: VS. Dragoncraft:
Opening Hand: Demonlord Eachtar, Orthrus, Immortal Thane
Mulligan: Prince Catacombs, Orthrus, Soul Conversion
Went: 2nd Draw: Orthrus, Immortal Thane (LOL.)
This is supposed to be meta vs. meta, but it just didn't matter. Even when I opened badly enough not to have a 1 or 2 drop and couldn't start making plays until Turn 3 (and neither could he), it just didn't matter. Even when he used Dragon Warrior to destroy two of the three cards I had on field, and was ahead of me on the curve by 2 to 3 points, it just never mattered.
He drew poorly, so he only had a handful of his better cards. He was ahead of me in curve so his last three turns ended up being Sybil, then Bahamut, then back to back Dragonic Fervor, but even though he was over 15 when I got to my last turn, Immortal Thane on my Turn 9 followed by Eachtar on my Turn 10 left him kind of helpless. I ate away his points through Wights then the additional attack Eachtar gave everything just made it easy to wipe out the remainder of his life. This felt so one sided. I know Dragon can do more but it certainly didn't feel like it.
Match 2: VS. Shadowcraft
Opening Hand: Spartoi Sergeant, Prince Catacombs x 2
Mulligan: Spartoi Sergeant, Prince Catacombs, Urd.
Went: 1st. Draw:Death's Breath
A mirror match against another A0 player like myself. This should be a challenge, right? Well...not really. I took the lead early thanks to going first, and they were aggro stuff like Lesser Mummy and weird techs like Skullcradle Widow, so I backed them into a corner by Turn 5. The only time the game felt close is thanks to a Shadow Reaper played he played fairly early on to take advantage of my Prince Catacombs from the turn before. Between the creatures he sacrificed, and Orthrus play, and an evolve I ended up taking nine damage direct to the face.
It left me nervous about winning, but thankfully I'd managed my shadows carefully enough that an Eachtar play on curve left him down to about 10 life or so. He managed to get his own Eachtar play out two turns later, but by that time I had Thane and his Wights out on field, so even when he tried to put a ward up to stop me it was just...too late. He killed one of my creatures and knocked himself down to just over 5 and after that it was just a matter of time before a direct attack killed him, so he left.
Match 3: VS. Havencraft.
Opening Hand: Spartoi Sergeant x 2, Urd.
Mulligan: Spartoi Sergeant x 2, Bone Chimera.
Went: 2nd. Draw: Orthrus, Soul Conversion.
The frustrating thing about this game lately is when I mulligan I either get back the cards I drew the first time in the re-draw, or I get them back when I draw my cards for the turn. Didn't really matter, I guess.
They opened up with two back to back wards in Snake Priestess, Grimnir, and Bellringer Angel but there's not enough ding-dong in the world to stop all these dumb-ass Shadow plays. I feel like an idiot for ever saying this deck wasn't "that" good. Dude had three wards by Turn 4 but all it took was an Orthrus play and an evolve to burn through all three and leave him defenseless. We traded a bit and I exhausted my evolves but eventually it just got to Turn 7 and I just got to start doing stupid shit. He got to play all the stuff you'd think is to stop Shadow--Themis and an Evolved Elta on Turn 8 got countered by a Death's Breath, but he still felt comfortable enough to go into Aegis. But by then I'd gotten him down to 8 life...and he couldn't stall me out between my two Wights, a Bone Chimera, and an Eachtar on Turn 10. I feel like if Haven curves perfect they'll lose, and they actually need to start all their banish stuff really early to stand a chance.
Match 4: VS. Dragoncraft
Opening Hand: Orthrus, Prince Catacomb, Bone Chimera.
Mulligan: Orthrus x 2, Bone Chimera
Went: 2nd. Draw: Skull Beast, Orthrus.
I mean...Orthrus IS my favorite card out of this deck (the VO work is so overblown it becomes humorous!), but...yikes. I guess it likes me back? Anyway, we're back to "meta vs. meta", let's try again!
....And then I have to give up, as by Turn 3 I realize I'm apparently still not up against Wallet Dragon, at least it's my opinion when I start seeing stuff like Imprisoned Dragon and Dragoon Scyther. Despite having a one drop to open I actually don't have a worthy two drop until turn 3, but they have zero worthwhile plays--not even Siegfried and Dragon Warrior. I basically just spend my time building up shadows while they stuff like Wyvern Cavalier on the field. As a result I build up a semi-sizable field until he just plays Conflagration and nukes it. My board isn't sticky enough to generate replacements, but by this time my shadow count is at fucking twelve and he's only got eleven life left.
By his turn 9 (my turn 7), he gets both Ouroboros and Dragoon Scyther so he deals a bunch of face damage for free...but isn't really able to close the deal and so I just respond with a Death's Breath. He wastes his turn playing Breath of the Salamander and Aiela and at this point it's just kinda sad. I play Immortal Thane and use some spare skeletons to chip away at his life a bit faster than he can heal it up, then summon Lurching Corpse on my turn that he....blows up when he re-summons Ouroboros, for some reason? He ends his turn with 10 life and I've still got Thane and both Wights on field, so....
Match 5: VS. Dragoncraft
Opening Hand: Skull Beast, Bone Chimera, Immortal Thane.
Mulligan: Skull Beast, Bone Chimera, Zombie Party.
Went: 2nd. Draw: Skull Beast, Little Soulsquasher
Honestly this time I knew it'd be a wash; they were B3 so they either had a sub-par Wallet Dragon or some other build that wouldn't do nearly as well. Well that, or they spent hella money on this game. So when we got to Turn 5 and they hadn't played a single creature yet, I was unsurprised. They finally placed Dragoon Scythe on the board to get rid of my evolved Skull Beast--I try to put as much damage on the board as possible up against Dragon since you never really know if/when you have game--and even that didn't stay long. On their turn six--Dragonewt Fist and a second Dragon Scythe wiped my Skull Beasts and Bone Chimera away, leaving me with just the two 1/1 skeletons.
I wasn't in a great spot, but then I drew Soul Conversion and attacked with both skeletons to get them down to 11, then popped on skeleton to draw two cards. It got me Shadow Reaper and Catacombs, so I burned my remaining points to play them and wondered if they could clear all my shit so my Turn 7 (and 8, really) wouldn't be too nuts, since I had double Eachtar in hand. Impressively enough, they dropped Forte at 8 and burned their last evolve to deal enough damage to make me have to get rid of it since I didn't have lethal. They turned up near the end though, since their next card was Dark Angel Olivia. Only...well. Eachtar + Shadow Reaper just meant they lost the game with two evolves left.
Match 6: VS. Shadowcraft
Opening Hand: Lurching Corpse, Skull Beast, Shadow Reaper
Went: 2nd. Draw: Soul Conversion, Skull Beast.
Welp. Had a ton of low-cost cards which meant I should've had trouble with this match, but then my opponent wanted to run off-kilter stuff Rabbit Necromancer, so even a not great hand left me a lot of room to work. We just traded a bunch for the first three turns--typical Skull Beast, Spartoi plays, my turn 2 I played Shadow Reaper and he swung over my Skull Beast with Spartoi and summoned Rabbit Necromancer. I responded by summoning Lurching Corpse and popping it with Soul Conversion to draw Zombie Party and Little Soulsquasher.
He got Cerberus on his Turn 5 which meant I was behind a bit, but he also evolved it so I just wiped it with Soulsquasher and kept pressure on board by putting a Lurching Corpse on field. I guess Cerberus was his last plan, because right after that he just quit. Ah well. Six game winning streak!
Match 7: VS. Dragoncraft
Opening Hand: Immortal Thane, Skull Beast, Death's Breath
Mulligan: Skull Beast, Prince Catacombs, Zombie Party.
Went: 1st. Draw: Lurching Corpse.
Welp, one more time against dragon. I was shocked that they actually had a first turn play in Blazing Breath versus my Skull Beast, mostly because I didn't know they still ran it. In any case, I guess this is another case of a massive brick since dude had 8 cards in hand but just tried to keep ramping up while I was punching him in the face up to turn 6. His actual response to this was Breath of the Salamander...which was basically just a an excuse to buff my shadow count as high as possible while I...kept hitting him in the face. He didn't even attempt to do anything until Turn 9 when he summoned Sybil. But by then I'd gotten his HP down to a ridiculous 2 points.
Still, his Turn 10 had Grimnir which wiped my board...followed by a Lightning Bolt so I actually felt semi-threatened with my HP down to just 10 while he started healing with Dragonic Fervors. Unfortunately, 5 HP wasn't enough to wipe out my zombies from Death's Breath, even with an Aiela backing him up, so I just summoned Cerberus and ended things.
Match 8: VS. Swordcraft
Opening Hand: Orthrus, Death's Breath, Soul Conversion
Mulligan: Cerberus, Zombie Party, Skeleton Fighter
Went: 1st. Draw: Orthrus
As a Swordcraft player I knew this would be in the bag. They just can't generate the pressure necessary to wipe your board and deal damage. Having said that by Turn 4 I had already taken a fourth of his health and the best thing he could manage was a pair of Maid Leaders, so I think he bricked pretty hard. And whatever those two gave him, he never got to actually use since for my Turn 6 and 7 I got to play Cerberus twice and spam Coco and Mimi to get him down to 3 life. All he could do his Turn 7 was use Dance of Death, which dealt him the only damage I'd take the entire game...and I followed up with Death's Breath and one more Mimi to reduce him to a single point of health. At that point all he could do was surrender, and I imagine curse the day Cygames made this deck so stupid.
The only sad thing is...I never got that many of the crazy cards Tempest of the Gods cards out in the first place. No Thane, no Eachtar. Just Zombie Party to pop a card on his board, Catacombs to keep my field sticky, and Orthrus. If anything his biggest problem was that he opened trash--your response to Cerberus should not be Dance of Death. I can only wonder what he drew into with twin Maid Leaders.
Match 9: VS. Bloodcraft
Opening Hand: Spartoi Sergeant, Little Soulsquasher, Cerberus
Mulligan: Tried to mulligan Soulsquasher, but got her back again.
Went: 2nd. Draw: Zombie Party, Lurching Corpse
Since I couldn't really get a 1 drop, I fell prey to his second turn Blood Wolf. So even though I could've started things off with a Spartoi Sergeant to start generating shadows, my very first play ended up being Zombie Party. I find with Aggro Blood if you don't get rid of Blood Wolf as soon as possible, they'll just keep going face no matter what you put on the field, and they start eating at your life pretty quick. For instance, the guy followed up with Yurius and I was pretty pissed...until the guy made the huge mistake of playing Soul Dealer, a card I'd never seen before. It cut his life in fucking half, so even though he got to deal a lot of damage to me through Yurius as I placed Skull Beast, Spartoi Sergeant, and eventually Lurching Corpse on board, none of it really mattered.
By Turn 4 he placed Belphegor on the field and evolved it to have some resistance but it was too late. Soulsquasher popped it, and his life was at 6. Someone on r/Shadowverse described Aggro Blood as a "deck that kills itself", and while that isn't always true, that's absolutely what happened here. By Turn 6 he'd tried his Dark Airjammer play chained with a ward and Blood Wolf, but I just wiped it out with an evolved Cerberus and traded my remaining creatures to leave his field cleared. After that, I spent a point knocking him down with Mimi and after that he just conceded.
This match made me A1, by the way.
Opening Hand: Skull Beast x 2, Death's Breath
Mulligan: Skull Beast, Shadow Reaper, Orthrus.
Went: 1st. Draw: Zombie Party.
Yes, this ridiculous win streak finally came to an end at the hands of another Shadowcraft player. It's absurd, and yet that's what ended up happening. My curve was fine, he just outplayed me. We traded back and forth at first and I got the lead in terms of dealing damage, but he got Bone Chimera on his Turn 3 then Shadow Reaper and Skeleton Fighter on Turn 4 combined with it being his evolve turn, and after that it was basically over. I made a mistake in summoning Cerberus over Soulsquasher and Skull Beast, and he capitalized by placing Wind God on the field. I can't lie, that legit surprised me. After that, the +1s that he got from Wind God and the sheer attack his Shadow Reaper took me from 19 to 11 damage in a single turn. All I could do was get Wind God and Shadow Reaper off the field, but that left him with a bunch of creatures still on field. Then he followed up with Cerberus on his turn six and swung for enough damage to get me down to 3 life, and that was all she wrote. I had the shadows, but not the Death's Breath to defend myself, so I had to concede. Great run, though!