[Shadowverse] Analyzing the Piercing Rune and Goblin Mage Nerfs

Shadowverse is finally addressing the oppressive tier 1 decks of the Rage of Bahamut meta with some well-deserved nerfs to Piercing Rune and Goblin Mage. While the original article can be found here, the changes are as follows:

Unevolved Piercing RuneBefore
Deal 2 damage to an enemy follower, then deal 2 damage to the enemy leader. If an allied follower evolves, change the cost of this card to 1.

Deal 2 damage to an enemy follower, then deal 2 damage to the enemy leader. If an allied follower evolves, change the cost of this card to 2.

Unevolved Goblin MageBefore
Fanfare: Put a random 2-play point follower from your deck into your hand.

Fanfare: Put a random follower that costs 2 play points or less from your deck into your hand.

= Piercing Rune =

Unevolved Timeworn Mage Levi

#old as dirt

The Piercing Rune nerf is the larger of the two because it is such a big nerf. A cost increase from 1 to 2 is a big deal in mana based card games. It’s a 100% increase in cost! While the power of the card remains the same, it’ll be a lot harder to throw into a turn’s spell rotation. More importantly, Runecraft decks will be unable to both evolve Levi, play Crimson Sorcery, AND play Piercing Rune for 4 play points. Instead, the Runecraft player will be able to play only a Piercing Rune with an evolved Levi.

This is not only a decrease in damage on turn 4 but also one less Spellboost trigger, delaying the Runecraft board swarm by just a little bit. This gives decks that one extra turn to develop or prepare a board wipe card. Also since Piercing Rune costs 2 instead of 1, it is no longer a free spell to cast when the Runecraft player wants to play Daria. So, it is less likely a Daria swarm will also be accompanied by the damage spell.

At the same time, Levi + Crimson Sorcery + Piercing Rune is still available for a Runecraft player going first, having access to 5 pp with the evolve. I still think there should be further nerfs and Levi should be a 3/3 for consistency sake (every other follower with a non-conditional evolve effect only gets +1/+1 except Levi).

= Goblin Mage =

Unevolved Rhinoceroach


While this change is definitely a nerf, it does not affect the power of the actual Roach OTK combo; it just makes it harder to achieve. I can see Forestcraft decks dropping some 1 drop cards in favor of higher cost fairy generators for the midgame. That way the Goblin Mage can still tutor for mostly Roach. The deck will still have 5+ Goblin Mage searches (3 Goblin Mages and at least 2 Fortunehunter Feena) so odds are likely the deck will still draw all three of the Rhinoceroches. With Daria decks nerfed, the Roach OTK deck can afford to be a little slower, so the Goblin Mage nerf may simply herd the deck naturally in that direction

I don’t think this is a huge nerf to Roach OTK and it will still remain strong. However, with Daria decks weakened, more control oriented late-game decks may create an unsuitable meta for the Roach OTK deck (aka lots of big followers with Ward).

= Top Deck Predictions =

neph sv.jpg

  1. Nephthys Shadowcraft’s hardest matchups are Daria and Roach OTK. With both pegged down a notch, I expect Luna’s undead minions to dominate the meta.
  2. Control Swordcraft is extremely powerful but slow. A slower meta due to these nerfs may allow Control Swordcraft to finally survive consistently to turn 6 or 7 and steamroll weaker decks.
  3. Aggro Bloodcraft is still very fast and deadly. Daria was just as fast with stronger followers, but Aggro Bloodcraft may finally have the edge in speed.


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