Shadowverse is a card game by Cygames available on mobile devices and Steam. Though new, it has received raving reviews and is currently in the process of establishing their second expansion, Rise of Bahamut. Want to try the game out? Check out our Shadowverse Competitive Primer series to learn how to get started in Shadowverse!
On December 10th, Cygames released yet another batch of Rise of Bahamut reveals through their Twitter. These fifteen cards once again seem to follow no rhyme or reason, but they will no doubt affect the Shadowverse metagame in new and interesting ways. This article will attempt to predict how useful these cards will be in ranked once Rise of Bahamut is released for Shadowverse. The first two card reveal analyses for Shadowverse Rise of Bahamut can be found here and here. A one sentence summary of each review can be found at the bottom of the article.
At five points, 3/5 worth of stats is quite average, especially given that all five point followers have additional effects. Albert, Levin Saber brings his own effects, namely Storm. If played as a five drop, he must compete with Aurelia, Regal Saber's defensive capabilities or Avant Blader's powerful deck searching. As he has Storm, Albert, Levin Saber is a far more offensive card than either of them and fits very well in aggressive Swordcraft decks, though he may have his use in establishing board control as well.
Where this card becomes more interesting is its Enhance effect, which only occurs on turn nine and later. Before turn nine, Albert plays like a cheaper Imp Lancer, a strong damage dealer in aggressive Bloodcraft decks. On turn nine and later, Albert serves a different purpose beyond simply dealing three damage (or five if Evolved). Gaining the ability to attack twice is amazing, but considering that Alexander is cheaper by one point, has far more significant stats, and can attack basically until it dies, it may be a mystery why anyone would use Albert. However, Albert comes with two significant advantages over Alexander. Unlike Alexander, Albert can attack the opposing leader, and, for the first turn Albert is on the field under its Enhance effect, it does not take any damage. Additionally, because Albert retains the double attacking ability even after the immunity to damage is over, he becomes a very threatening target, as opposed to Alexander who may be dead or nearly dead on the same turn he is played.
This makes Albert far more versatile than Alexander. While Alexander is solely a card that establishes board control, Albert can be played to deal up to ten damage anywhere on the board, or even as a strong five point follower early on. Albert's damage potential combined with its versatility make it a powerful new legendary to be added to Swordcraft's arsenal, particularly as an aggressive card.
Six points for a 3/6 is a reasonable amount of value, though, like with five point followers, all six point followers come with added abilities. Balor is no exception; outside of Bane, it also gets a powerful Last Words ability that deals three damage to all enemy followers. It is a far more aggressive option than Death's Breath or Ghostly Rider, the two other main six point cards for Shadowcraft. It is less offensive than Deathly Tyrant but that card requires far more support to be used effectively.
Though Balor has a low attack, Bane makes that basically irrelevant. His high defense allows him to avoid being banished by Priest of the Cudgel, Blackened Scripture and even Calamitous Curse without being weakened first. In terms of his Last Words effect, Balor is similar to Necroelementalist but with the strength of a Necromancy upgraded Foul Tempest. Necroelementalist is not a commonly run card, however. Though dealing one damage to all opponents early game is attractive, having that damage in the form of Last Words on a follower means that it is far easier for one's opponent to control when that damage happens, and perhaps avoid it.
Nevertheless, Balor's three damage is far more significant than Necroelementalist's one, and the larger body with the Bane effect provides good value for six points. However, Balor seems to work against itself; though it provides a powerful board clearing effect on death, it has a little too much defense to allow the player to trigger that effect at will. Balor has good stats and a seemingly great effect, but the card provides two contrasting effects, a large body and a good Last Words, which makes it fall short of both.
Three points for a 2/3 is quite reasonable, and even more so when the follower has an effect. Clarke, Arcane Scholar is yet another addition to the Spellboost Runecraft playstyle toolbox. Compared to a card previously revealed and reviewed here at TechRaptor, Craig, Wizard of Mysteria, Clarke seems like a very powerful direct upgrade. Though it is one point more expensive, it has one more defense and Spellboosts all followers in the hand by two as opposed to just one follower.
How good is that really, though? As Craig technically becomes a free 2/2 if it Spellboosts a follower that falls in cost when spellboosted, Clarke would even provide a discount if he hits more than two. In theory, that sounds great, but in practice, it may not be so much. The main Spellboost followers run at higher levels of play are Rune Blade Summoner and Flame Destroyer, so in a forty card deck, Clarke does not have that many targets. Playing this card to discount two Flame Destroyers by two is quite significant, but this must be compared to playing a three point spell, or even two spells of lower cost, given how many cheap spells a Spellboost Runecraft deck runs.
Playing two spells is immediately superior to playing Clarke, as it Spellboosts the entire hand. Even playing a single three point spell may be more effective in providing overall Spellboosts given Spellboost Runecraft's usually full hand, due to its high draw power. While Clarke, like Craig, provides solid value especially if it Spellboosts Flame Destroyers, it usually provides less value than simply playing spells instead.
A 5/4 for six points is a little below average, but the awkward stat distribution means this card is quite easily taken out by cheaper cards. This bad stat line is weighed against the fact that Disaster Witch provides one of the most efficient spells in the game, Crimson Sorcery, usually only obtainable by Evolving Timeworn Mage Levi. Crimson Sorcery can both hurt the opponent directly or help keep the board clear, and, at one point, it is a cheap spell that can stack Spellboosts in the hand.
Timeworn Mage Levi himself is a cheap card as well, however, meaning, assuming Evolutions are available, the Levi and Crimson Sorcery combo is only three points. In contrast, with Disaster Witch, one is technically paying seven points to gain the Crimson Sorcery effect. Though Disaster Witch does not require an Evolution which may be better used with Merlin, its bad statline and high cost mean that a Spellboost Runecraft deck might be using points that it could be better using to cycle cards and Spellboost its hand.
Crimson Sorcery is an amazing card for Spellboost Runecraft to gain; it is the reason that Timeworn Mage Levi is a staple in those kinds of decks. However, Disaster Witch's bad statline and high cost serve to counteract any benefits that its Crimson Sorcery could provide.
The five point cost tier is usually associated with removal cards such as Execution and Dance of Death, though Dragoncraft may choose to run Goblinmount Demon to stall against aggressive decks, or Seabrand Dragon to take an offensive track themselves. Draconic Fervor takes a completely different track; it is a support spell that provides three useful benefits. Drawing cards helps maintain hand advantage, healing for three defense helps versus aggressive decks, and gaining a play point orb enables faster playing of bigger cards.
Additionally, if this card is played by itself on turn five, it immediately triggers Overflow next turn. However, while this card might seem incredible at first, the question is, how useful is it after turn five? It continues to provide full benefits assuming the player does not have a full hand and has taken three defense, but past Overflow, the benefit of gaining an empty play point orb falls drastically. Additionally, three defense is not a lot against an aggressive deck with significant board presence, making this card definitely inferior to Goblinmount Demon if trying to push back. Dragon Oracle provides far cheaper immediate ramp as well as card draw if already past Overflow, while also being three points cheaper. Dragon Counsel is one point cheaper but provides more card cycle.
As a five point card, it can be searched for and discounted by Dragon Emissary, but that also dilutes the effect of Dragon Emissary, especially if one wanted to search for finishers such as Dark Dragoon Forte or Genesis Dragon. A Draconic Fervor played on turn five sounds like a dream, but otherwise this card seems to combine too many effects at once, meaning unless all effects are used to their fullest, the card is just not enough value.
Five points for a 3/4 is quite below average, so Elf of the Gemstones needs an exceptional effect if it wants to see play. Besides the neutral removal cards mentioned above, Forestcraft has many other options for five points: Wind God, Verdant Steward, and Crystalia Tia come to mind, though the last is more of a seven-point or above play unless Elven Princess Mage was played recently. Forestcraft can also repeatedly play low cost combos at five points or above.
Elf of the Gemstones gives any incoming allied followers Rush. With such low stats, it may not survive to see the next turn, but even if it does, it may not be that good. While the main six point follower for Forestcraft, Elf Knight Cynthia, does appreciate Rush, it more appreciates a well established board that can benefit from boosted attack. If, as opposed to playing a single follower after Elf of the Gemstones, the player uses many smaller followers instead, Elf of the Gemstones still seems overwhelming. Flooding the board with fairies and trading into opposing followers seems difficult to justify, as it sacrifices hand advantage and combo potential. Additionally, while this effect may be useful in dealing with opposing aggressive decks, they probably have no trouble in removing Elf of the Gemstones beforehand.
Even if this card is played late or end game, it offers little in the way of effective combos. With no neutral or Forestcraft cards with Bane, the dream of having cheap follower removal is still a dream for Forestcraft. Dark Elf Faure could be used with this to generate fairies to hand, but at eight points for the combo, Forestcraft could do so much more. Elf of the Gemostones is held back not only by an inferior stat line but a bad ability as well.
While some of the other revealed cards are interesting because of their Enhance effect, Entangling Vines basically becomes an inferior Dance of Death or Execution at five points or above. What makes Entangling Vines interesting is its pre-Enhance effect. Applying -10/-0 to a follower will drop nearly any follower to zero attack for the turn, with a few rare exceptions, and none coming before turn five. Even past turn five, this card will nearly neutralize any opposing follower, for the player's turn, at least.
The main use seems to be allowing for free trades, taking out an opposing follower without losing board advantage. While this is useful in keeping Fairies on the board to receive future benefits, it is far more useful in saving a large follower when trading it in to an opponent's large follower. This helps Entangling Vines become a cheap and interesting way to remove opposing followers while maintaining board control.
As a one point spell, it can be used to activate combos, but since Enhance is always used if the player has five or more play points, it cannot combo with Crystalia Tia. The fact that Enhance appears to activate whether or not the player chooses, like Shadowcraft's Necromancy effects, means that cards must be played in a specific order to ensure no waste of points. Despite that small but irritating issue, Entangling Vines definitely opens up many more options to help Forestcraft maintain its already strong hold over board control.
Eyfa, Wyvern Rider is rare in that, if played at below seven points, it is directly inferior to another card, Trinity Dragon, which has an important one higher defense that allows it to avoid being taken down by Angelic Barrage. While aggressive Dragoncraft decks appreciate having yet another follower with the "Can't be attacked" ability, Eyfa's statline leaves much to be desired, at least until turn seven.
If played with seven or more play points, Eyfa gains Storm and becomes a 4/3, while still retaining the "Can't be attacked" effect. Though this helps aggressive Dragoncraft far better than the unenhanced Eyfa, this card still faces competition. Dark Dragoon Forte provides more offensive strength while also being cheaper, though Forte only has one defense. As seven points activates Overflow and allows Forte to avoid attacks, at turn seven and beyond, Forte is offensively superior. Seabrand Dragon is two points cheaper and has similar offensive stats when played at turn seven or later, though it does not have the "Can't be attacked" ability
Both of the above cards can also be searched for and discounted by Dragon Emissary, whereas Eyfa cannot. Eyfa combines some interesting mechanics that aggressive Dragoncraft decks might love, but this card's stats fall far short of what is expected at that cost.
At an eight point cost, Fangblade Slayer's 3/8 stat line does not live up to expectations. However, he comes with the deadly combination of Bane and Rush, matched only by the Lord of the Flies summoned Virulent Hornet or Ruthless Assassin's Storm with a Commander on the board. Having Bane and being able to attack without being evolved means that this card gets a guaranteed one-to-one trade with and opposing follower, though this is complicated if there are Wards in the way. Additionally, with eight defense, Fangblade Slayer will most likely survive the first attack and require at least one more card to remove it.
However, Fangblade Slayer comes with another deadly effect. Whenever he attacks a follower, his attack is dealt in damage to the enemy leader; not only does he remove an opposing follower when he comes into play, he is guaranteed to do three damage to the opposing leader, or five if Evolved. Additionally, as an Officer, Fangblade Slayer recieves +1/+0 from the commonly seen Royal Banner, making his damage yield potentially higher. His high costs prevents him from being comboed with common low cost commanders such as Fencer, however.
With his high immediate damage yield, Fangblade Slayer seems like he would be at home in aggressive Swordcraft deck. For him to deal damage on the first turn, there does need to be a follower on the opponent's board, but that usually isn't an issue. However, purely aggro Swordcraft decks may be leery about running such a big follower, since getting to where they can play it usually means they've run out of steam. Fangblade Slayer will definitely find a place in hybrid, midrange or control based Swordcraft decks, due to its strong immediate direct damage output and powerful ability to almost guarantee a one-to-one trade.
Two points for a 2/2 is, as always, average, but Ghosthound Sexton introduces a new mechanic: it protects fellow followers from being banished, destroying them instead. While for other classes, this may not be important. However, for Shadowcraft, which runs many Last Words like Hell's Unleasher, but is notoriously weak to Havencraft's Blackened Scripture and Priest of the Cudgel, having followers be destroyed rather than banished helps them maintain their play style reliably. Additionally, banishing does not allow for the accumulation of the Shadows that are central to Shadowcraft's playstyle.
The question is, how much does Ghosthound Sexton truly help Shadowcraft overcome this shortfall? With only two defense, this card finds itself easily taken down by both cards it is meant to have countered. Nevertheless, this card is not meant to be played in some sort of massive banish versus non-banish fight between Shadowcraft and Havencraft, but rather, to allow Shadowcraft to get the Last Words benefits from cards that might have been banished otherwise, such as Skullcradle Widow, especially in the early game where Shadowcraft falters versus Havencraft's efficient removal. There, it can help Shadowcraft accumulate Shadows to prepare for a better later game, where it would be crippled by banishes otherwise.
If this card can avoid being removed up until turn four, it can help protect a Hell's Unleasher from being banished and save 4/4 stats worth of value. Beyond that dream scenario, Ghosthound Sexton does help in the early game against Havencraft decks, either by allowing Last Words to trigger or drawing removal towards itself. Though it lacks benefits against other match ups, Ghosthound Sexton is only a little worse than other two point followers but offers a way for Shadowcraft to hold out early game against one of its worst match ups, Havencraft.
Luxhorn Sarissa's 5/5 for seven points falls short of the vanilla Imperial Mammoth, the never-used White Knight and Curate when combined with Elana's Prayer. However, Luxhorn Sarissa's ability allows it to stand out from them. Only taking three damage at a time means that, outside of Bane followers and hard removal cards, this will require at least two cards to take down, or three if it is evolved.
This allows Sarissa to "stick" to the board more effectively than most, reminiscent of Shadowcraft's Mordecai the Duelist. In Havencraft, this is more significant, since Elana's Prayer and cheap healing cards can continually boost the stats of followers to ridiculous levels. Indeed, on turn nine or later, Sarissa can immediately be comboed with a card such as Monastic Holy Water or Healing Angel for immediately increased stats that make her more difficult to take down and ensure that she will continually be buffed. Decks can only run a limited amount of hard removal, and the swift, efficient buff-stacking of Elana's Prayer can quickly overwhelm many opponents, especially with a card as significant and strong as Sarissa.
Outside of Elana-focused Havencraft decks, Sarissa is a little less scary. While it still requires careful trading or hard removal to get rid of, one could compare Sarissa to the somewhat unused Moon Al-Mi'raj. The latter has more immediate presence while the former has higher stats; both of them are very "sticky" presences that draw attention towards themselves. Luxhorn Sarissa is an interesting addition to Havencraft decks and may well find a place in Elana decks due to its ability, but outside of that, it may find itself the way of Moon Al-Mir'aj as standalone card that is difficult to fit in combo decks.
Sahaquiel's 4/4 in stats is definitely weaker than Imperial Mammoth's 6/7 for the same cost, so it comes down to whether the ability is worth it. Because her effect "puts" a neutral follower on the field, it does not trigger Fanfares, and because it is removed at the end of the turn, it should be assumed that end of turn effects do not activate either. Most of neutral followers are not often played unless they have special effects, and the majority of those effects are Fanfare or end of turn.
Already, Sahaquiel seems like a weak card. Ignoring the low cost commonly run neutrals such as Unicorn Dancer Unica, which would be almost useless on turn seven and later with Rush, even the best case scenarios are far from incredible. Pulling out the commonly teched Odin only gives a four attack Rush, and it can not die if the player wants to use it next turn. Similar issues occur with Dark Angel Olivia and Prince of Darkness, who cannot be traded effectively if the player wants to play them later on. Additionally, using this card's effect will reveal that card in the hand, allowing the opponent to attempt and play around it.
There are a few interesting combinations. Lucifer is run as tech in some decks and has a significant enough body that it could be useful; it is also harder to play around since it will probably come in next turn anyways. Gilgamesh does not lose Storm when it comes in and, if evolved, can do seven damage directly to the opposing leader, one of the earliest turns this can happen. Pulling out and Evolving Archangel Reina will evolve the rest of the board as well, including Sahaquiel, giving a 5/5 Rush and buffing the rest of the board. Nevertheless, these three cards are only rarely run , and trying to run them for the sake of Sahaquiel or vice versa will only result in an ineffective deck.
Tribunal of Good and Evil is one of the few hard removal cards that costs less than five. At four points, it has the potential to remove two opposing followers, albeit randomly. This seems like good value, especially if this is first played when there is only one large opposing follower on the board. However, in a metagame that rarely plays Forbidden Ritual, let alone Heretical Inquiry or Death Sentence, this card does not seem promising at all.
Delayed removal is hard to justify. Though the idea is that the removal is coming to counteract opposing future plays, not having immediate benefits leaves the player open to whatever is on the board at the time. Additionally, the random nature of these cards (excepting Forbidden Ritual) and the fact that the opponent can see the effects coming make them unreliable. Though these cards can be combined with amulet cooldown reductions such as Sister Initiate to make their effects immediate, that costs far more than conventional hard removal and suffers from randomness, as well as requiring the player to use more cards.
Tribunal of Good and Evil is arguably worse than the other listed cards. Not only is it the most expensive of them all, it has the longest cooldown. Though the first effect happens instantly and can be used as hard removal against a single follower board, as soon as the randomness of multiple followers is involved, this card's benefit drops drastically. While it tries to be an efficient card only costing four points to eliminate two enemy followers, this card suffers from the same randomness and delayed effect that similar cards do.
Three points for 3/2 in stats is very average, when effects are included. However, 3/2 is also a bad stat distribution, as it can be easily traded into by the plethora of two point 2/2s. Two defense is also very susceptible to being removed by two point cost removal such as Blackened Scripture, Undying Resentment, and Whole Souled Swing. As a three point follower for Bloodcraft, Veight, Vampire Noble must compete with Killer Devil and Mini Soul Devil who boast similar stat distributions with different effects.
Between Ward and his Clash ability, Veight will probably summon one Forest Bat, though, as mentioned above, it is very vulnerable to early game spell removal. If it does summon the bat, it gets the 4/3 stats of value, though delayed. Forest Bat focused Bloodcraft decks tend to focus on being aggressive, so the direct damage from Evolutions around Mini Soul Devil and the immediate summon from Killer Devil triggering Vania,Vampire Princess's ability help pressure the opponent harder. In contrast, Veight is slower but provides more value, stat wise, especially if it is evolved, though most aggressive Bloodcraft decks mainly evolve to deal two extra damage.
This puts Veight at an uncomfortable place. Control decks appreciate the extra stats and options they get from his Forest Bat summon, but dislike the inefficiency of his Ward. Aggressive decks also want the bat but would prefer the faster, immediate, more reliable damage yields from Killer Devil and Mini Soul Devil. Veight is definitely worth experimenting with, especially because he may be far better value if Evolved, but he seems too unspecialized for now.
1/3 is an odd but acceptable stat distribution for a two point follower. In Yurius, Levin Duke's case, it's even better than 2/2. At three defense, it avoids being taken down by all early game removal except Blackened Scripture, and only Fire Lizard or Serpent Charmer can comfortably trade into this as other two point followers. More importantly, Yurius's ability punishes the opponent for playing followers by damaging them for one each time. Because it is difficult to remove this card even on turn three, chances are Yurius will get at least two to three damage in on the opponent's leader.
This is a great card for aggressive Bloodcraft decks, as it not only deals quite a bit of damage to slow decks that can't remove a three defense minion immediately but also punishes an opponent who tries to swarm the field with smaller followers. This card faces competition from Blood Wolf, Razory Claw and Blood Pact as two point plays. It does not offer the direct offensive power of Blood Wolf or Razory Claw but does fill an effective, more control based niche, and will potentially do more damage than Blood Wolf. An important point to note is that this card does not trade one-to-one with turn two Unicorn Dancer Unica plays that often irritate aggressive Bloodcraft players.
Yurius's ability and stats allow it to fit into almost any kind of Bloodcraft deck, whether it's trying to reach for more damage in an aggressive deck or punishing opposing aggressive decks as part of an early-game control stall. Its weird stat distribution works in its favor and almost guarantee that this card will deal some kind of direct damage to the opponent, making it an effective fit.
Albert, Levin Saber: Great, versatile addition to both aggressive and control based Swordcraft decks with a powerful Enhance ability
Balor: Despite having good stats, a good solid ability, and a good Last Words, this follower is hard to imagine using.
Clarke, Arcane Scholar: Though he promises value like a previously revealed similar card Craig, Wizard of Mysteria, he may not be very good given Runecraft's lack of follower use
Disaster Witch: Hard to imagine using her despite how good Crimson Sorcery is, due to bad stat distribution and high cost.
Draconic Favor: An interesting card that does many good things, but it's quite expensive for doing none of them well.
Elf of the Gemstones: Mediocre stats combined with an ineffective ability make this card hard to justify using in any Forestcraft deck.
Entangling Vines: An efficient way to remove enemy followers while still maintaining board control at the cost of using attacks, though ineffective for some combos due to having Enhance (5).
Eyfa, Wyvern Rider: Outclassed by aggressive Dragoncraft's other options, though it may find its way in a budget deck or a truly desperate aggo focused deck.
Fangblade Slayer: A dangerous, powerful late game addition to Swordcraft's arsenal, able to deal direct damage and trade effectively.
Ghosthound Sexton: A card that attempts to save Shadowcraft's early game versus Havencraft, perhaps worth running solely for that reason.
Luxhorn Sarissa: Possibly very good in Elana focused Havencraft decks, comparable to Moon Al-Mir'aj otherwise.
Sahaquiel: Not worth running due to high cost and general lack of quality in most neutral cards.
Tribunal of Good and Evil: Though more immediate than Havencraft's other destroy amulet options, still too unpredictable to be used.
Veight, Vampire Noble: More value than most of Bloodcraft's three point drops, but slower than them as well, so its usefulness is debatable.
Yurius, Levin Duke: A strong early game play for any sort of Bloodcraft deck, almost always guaranteed to damage the opponent.
Like the other reveals, these cards have the potential to shape much of the future metagame. Many of the cards revealed in this particular batch seemed to be geared towards aggressive decks, upping the damage output present in the Shadowverse metagame. While the Shadowverse Twitter has not promised any more new Rise of Bahamut reveals, you can be sure that if any come out, we here at TechRaptor will do our best to keep you updated on what they hold for the future of the Shadowverse ranked metagame.
Rise of Bahamut comes out on December 29th. We hope you are as excited as we are to play Shadowverse then!