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:
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.
Fanfare: Put a random 2-play point follower from your deck into your hand.
= Piercing Rune =
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 =
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 =
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.