Written by – Aya Senpai

Howdy Shadowverse Players!

This will be the first of many articles that I will be writing for Season 2 of the NGE Shadowverse Open! In this article, I wanted to explain the 3 Decks – 1 ban format the NGE Shadowverse Open is currently using and help new players understand the importance of the format in the competitive Shadowverse scene.

I’ll explain the concepts of both the Conquest format and the 3 Deck – 1 Ban Format.


  • Conquest Format: The participant must win with each deck that they have available to them.

Meaning if you win with one deck, you must switch decks and play a different deck.


3 Decks – 1 Ban: Both players show their opponent 3 decks they’ve chosen to play. Their opponent then chooses one deck to ban from play. After the banning phase, play continues using Conquest format rules.

Example: You have a Haven / Shadow / Rune lineup and your opponent has a Dragon / Shadow / Blood lineup. You choose to ban the Blood deck and your opponent chooses to ban your Haven deck. This means that you cannot play Haven and your opponent cannot play Blood for the duration of the match.


In the past, we’ve seen 2 deck Conquest formats with no bans. The problem with that format is that it does not promote deck variety. In Season 1 of the NGE Shadowverse Open, many of the decks we saw being played were Dragon/Shadow since they were the most powerful decks in the game at the time. As a result, players and viewers had to deal with games playing out the same way with little to no deviation in decks, and games play out in the same order. It even got to the point where new players would look at the game and actually believe that Dragon and Shadow were the only classes in the game.

The 3 Deck – 1 Ban format is good for showcasing a much wider variety of decks, and helps promote a healthy metagame. Since the NGE Shadowverse Open has an open deck list format, players can see their opponents decks prior to the match and know exactly which decks they will be playing against.

Let’s take a look at an example of the impact of the 3 Deck – 1 Ban format

Player 1 – Aya Senpai (Go figure!)

  • Vengeance Bloodcraft
  • Midrange Shadowcraft
  • Aegis Havencraft

Player 2 – eXodium (I’m sure he won’t mind me using him in this example)

  • Ramp Dragoncraft
  • Midrange Shadowcraft
  • Dimension Shift Runecraft

Above we have several decks commonly played in the 3 Deck – 1 Ban format. The first thing I have to decide is which matchups are difficult for me to win.

  • Aegis Haven does very well vs Ramp Dragon and can do well vs Midrange Shadow, but has a very poor matchup against Dimension Shift Runecraft.
  • Vengeance Blood is very good against Ramp Dragon and Dimension Shift, but can have problems against midrange Shadowcraft.
  • Midrange Shadowcraft can do well vs each one of my decks.

Here I would consider banning midrange Shadowcraft because it’s an incredibly powerful deck. However, my worst matchup would be against Dimension Shift Runecraft. Since two of my decks are “slower” decks (Midrange Shadowcraft, and Aegis Havencraft), Dimension Shift would feed on those decks.

So instead of banning the Midrange Shadowcraft deck, I would ban the Dimension Shift Runecraft deck, since it would be incredibly difficult for me to win against using my current lineup.

Assuming I hadn’t banned his decks yet, eXodium would probably opt to ban my Vengence Bloodcraft deck. The reason being, Vengence Bloodcraft has a very strong matchup against his Dimension Shift, and Ramp Dragon decks.


  • Aya Senpai bans Dimension Shift
  • eXodium bans Vengeance Blood

By making these selections, we have given ourselves the best chances to win. Of course, the rest comes down to drawing the right cards. But hey, at least you had the chance to stack the odds in your favor as much as possible! Remember, when you are formulating your game plan, consider how many match ups you want to cover and which decks you will want to ban. This is incredibly important to your success as a competitive Shadowverse player!

Aya Senpai is the founder of The Shadow Nexus, and is a caster for Season 2 of the NGE Shadowverse Open. If you want to reach out to him, you can find him on Twitter or on The Shadow Nexus Discord.