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! Additionally, the first four card reveal analyses for Shadowverse Rise of Bahamut can be found here, here, here and here.
As the official Shadowverse Twitter continues to reveal card after card, we here at TechRaptor will do our best to keep up and review them. This particular batch includes a lot of early game cards as well as some very interesting new mechanics to play around with. As always, the future Shadowverse metagame grows even more interesting with these additions, and hopefully new playstyles will evolve to shake up the current meta decks. For a one sentence summary of each review, check out the bottom of the article.
Two points for a 1/2 is slightly below average, but can be excused for a good ability like that of Skullcradle Widow. Outside of that, Shadowcraft has many other solid two point plays, such as Spartoi Sergeant, Dark Conjurer and the neutral tech card, Unicorn Dancer Unica. Besides followers, Shadowcraft commonly runs Undying Resentment, a two point damage dealing spell that has uses both early and late game. Compared to these, Lurching Corpse offers a very unique set of abilities. Like Mastema, a previously revealed Rise of Bahamut card, this follower can only attack Ward followers and the opposing leader. Unlike Mastema, Lurching Corpse's stat line was not built for aggression; Shadowcraft's other two point options offer far better offensive capabilities.
Lurching Corpse's redeeming feature is its Last Words, allowing it to destroy a random enemy follower. At first, this seems quite good, as, in the early game, it will probably do some damage before guaranteeing a trade, and, late game, it may be able to take down a large opposing follower at a low, if delayed cost. However, even overlooking irritating randomness, taking advantage of this card's effect is not easy. Triggering Lurching Corpse's Last Words usually requires the opponent to have a large Ward follower on the board, which is not something all decks run. In the early game, when this card is first able to be played, it may be impossible to trigger the effect predictably. The one attack means that many opponents can choose to ignore the card until they decide they want to activate its effect. Evolving this card makes it a slightly more significant threat with 3/4 stats, but that requires using a valuable Evolution and makes it even harder to trade this card in for the Last Words.
Shadowcraft does have tools to work with Lurching Corpse, however. Soul Conversion and Impious Resurrection both provide great benefits, and coupling them to Lurching Corpse's follower destruction effect definitely provides a lot of value for a small point cost. Additionally, Lurching Corpse can be used with the newly revealed Shadowcraft legendary, Nephthys, to help with clearing the board when she is played. While Lurching Corpse's unusual and difficult to use combination of effects may not fit well with current deck archetypes, it could certainly fit in with a Last Ward themed deck in the future.
A 2/2 for five points is abysmal, stat wise, but Lionel comes with an important Fanfare effect. He offers up to four points in future discounts, meaning he could be considered as efficient as a one point 2/2, or as bad as a four point 2/2. Lionel is really only worth it if he discounts a three or four point drop. In Forestcraft, Ancient Elf serves as the main three point card and Elven Princess Mage as the main four point card. Discounting either of these to zero allows for more successful, reliable combo chains; the turn after this is played, without further set up, Ancient Elf can be played with fairies to become a 6/7 with Ward, for a maximum cost of four points.
However, paying in advance is always a risky proposition. Playing this card on turn five or later takes up a large amount of points, heavily limiting Forestcraft's ability to chain cards that turn. It does not have a very good board presence, unlike other possible plays such as two one point fairies into Ancient Elf, or two zero point fairies from Elven Princess Mage into Crystallia Tia. Forestcraft can also play Wind God or Verdant Steward as five point followers, both of which establish significant board presence, especially given Forestcraft's ability to have many Fairies on the board.
The discount helps facilitate future combos, but at turn six, the earliest turn it can be taken advantage of, most combos can be played already. This card may help strengthen the "For each other card played this turn" mechanic, especially with the most notable user Rhinoceroach. In an extremely optimistic scenario, this card can set up for eight additional attack, if it discounts a four cost card that then allows the player to play four extra one cost cards. Realistically, this requires a lot of set up and luck, making it rather unreliable. Forestcraft appreciates discounts and Lionel offers them, but it is too slow and restrictive and the benefits it provides are not good enough.
Two point 2/2s are common enough. Outside of the neutral Unicorn Dancer Unica, Dragoncraft has Dragonrider, Mushussu and Wildfang Dragonewt. Fire Lizard and Dragonewt Scholar are options with less stats, though good effects, and for spells Dragoncraft can play Dragonewt Fist, Dragon Oracle, or Dragon Emissary. Outside of Dragonewt Fist and Fire Lizard, these cards provide delayed benefits with their effects. Unlike many other leader's two point drops, their effects only really take place after turn two, and, in the case of Mushussu and Dragonrider, turn four and later.
Dragontamer follows the same pattern. While it provides nothing on turn two, when Dragoncraft hits seven play point orbs, which can come as early as turn four or five with optimal ramp, this card effectively becomes a two point 3/3, which is arguably better than Dragonrider as a two point 4/2. The fact that this is a Fanfare as opposed to Dragonrider's base effect is negligible, as it is doubtful that either of these cards played on turn two will survive until seven point orbs are available.
This card seems like it would be especially effective in aggressive Dragoncraft decks. Unlike Dragonrider, it can provide immediate damage for aggressive decks where every damage counts. Its low cost means that under Overflow, it can be comboed with Seabrand Dragon for a five attack Storm follower, and, just one turn later, with Dark Dragoon Forte to output six damage, or eight with an Evolution. The fact that this provides two followers on the board as opposed to one is important as well; even if an opponent removes the larger follower, they still have to deal with a potential two points coming in from this card, which may well determine the game. Early game, Dragontamer is on par with most other two point Dragoncraft followers, but once Overflow is active, it offers a valuable way for aggressive Dragoncraft decks to boost their damage output.
A one point 1/1 is below average but Forestcraft often plays both Water Fairy and Elf Child May, both of which offer hand advantage or board control effects, respectively. Forestcraft can also play Fairy Circle to start the Fairy generating chain early. In contrast to these plays, Felpurr Kitten is not a card meant to be played on turn one or two, but rather, at least turn three or later, to gain benefits. If two cards are played before it, most likely two Fairies, it becomes a one point 2/2, which is quite good.
Is that good enough to be worth running? The most common card with the same mechanic is the extremely powerful Crystalia Tia, and Felpurr Kitten seems rather underwhelming in comparison. However, the one point cost is actually quite significant. Oftentimes, Forestcraft plays many Fairies to trigger other combos anyways. Tossing Felpurr Kitten in as yet another one point drop to add to the chain basically gives an extra one damage, which could be significant if Forestcraft is trying to be aggressive. At worst, Felpurr Kitten is basically another Fairy, capable of being played and cycled cheaply.
In being cycled, however, Elf Child May is almost always better as it can chip away at an opponent's board presence as it goes back and forth from board to hand. While Water Fairy generates the same stats for a higher cost and a slight delay, it helps set up for future chains and Path to Purgatory Forestcraft variants. Felpurr Kitten offers yet another small follower to establish up board presence while chaining combos, but whether Forestcraft really needed another one drop, even one that can be as efficient as this, remains to be seen.
Anne's stats seem horrific at first, but her effect summons a 3/3 that Evolves into a 4/4 on the spot, so it may be more effective to evaluate her as a 7/7 with four points worth of Rush. Grea the Dragonborn, shown below, also gains the ability to attack twice per turn, so she can max out at an effective eight damage to the opponent's followers. On top of this, Anne herself can be Evolved in the same turn to become a 4/4 with a board clearing effect. Runecraft's options for eight point plays are the neutral Odin and Lucifer, though one of their legendaries, Arch Summoner Erasmus, may make a hilarious appearance. It is important to note that, by turn eight, Spellboost Runecraft decks can come close to ending games with Flame Destroyer and Dimensional Shift. Additionally, this card does not seem to fit with Earth Rite archetypes that already have powerful board clears such as Calamitous Curse.
Even without looking at deck archetypes, this card seems somewhat underwhelming. 7/7 worth of stats is passable at an eight point cost, but splitting the stats up makes this card susceptible to being taken down by Blackened Scripture and Undying Resentment as well as many other low defense follower removals. Grea's ability to attack twice may not be as useful as it seems, as, in the late game, many followers have four or higher attack, meaning Grea may only get one attack in. At an eight point cost, Anne's board clearing effect may come too late in the game to actually help against aggro, especially when compared to Angelic Barrage.
If combined with a two point or less cost Dimensional Shift, without Evolving Anne, this card provides up to eleven points of damage, higher than a single Flame Destroyer's seven. On the other hand, Flame Destroyer can be played in multiples if they were spellboosted alongside each other, and two Flame Destroyers is still a two turn win. Anne, Belle of Mysteria has a very interesting effect aimed at board control, but the cost is restrictively high for a somewhat low power effect..
Anne's companion card, for Dragoncraft, shares the same stats as her. Despite Dragoncraft's late game focus, their class specific eight point cards, Inferno Dragon and Zirnitra, rarely see play despite significant stats. Grea summons an Evolved Anne upon play, providing four points of Rush damage to a follower and then one point to all opposing followers. Though this is arguably better than Grea's Evolved ability, it is still difficult to justify such a minor board clear so late in the game.
Grea shares the same weakness with Anne in that playing two, lower stat cards is usually less threatening than one large card. In some situations, it may be beneficial to have two cards, especially when trying to pressure the opponent into lethal, but, in general, two bodies is more susceptible to trades and lower cost removal. As previously mentioned, while Anne does provide an effect similar to Angelic Barrage, having a low damage area of effect so late in the game is hard to justify. Grea herself, even when Evolved, can only output a maximum of eight damage if Evolved on the same turn she is summoned, and, with such a low defense, has to be careful in trades.
Both followers will draw removal to them when Grea is summoned, but they are not particularly difficult followers to take down. Dragoncraft can probably get Grea out before turn eight, given their ramping abilities, but even so they might prefer to play more significant cards around the eight point range, such as Neptune or Polyphonic Roar. Dragoncraft might appreciate the board control options offered by Grea but it already has too many good late game cards for something as underwhelming as Grea to find a place.
Dragoncraft specific amulets have always had significant effects, and Dragonclaw Pendant is no exception. As a five point drop, it competes with Seabrand Dragon and Goblinmount Demon as a five point play. Additionally, it can be drawn and discounted by Dragon Emissary, a very useful trait. Though this card does not have as much immediate presence as the two followers, it provides +1 damage to everything the player uses. This enhances aggressive Dragoncraft archetypes, both straight face and discard and burn ones.
For Aggressive decks, every point of damage counts, and adding one point to all output definitely adds up. With this card played, Dragoncraft has two ways of hitting ten damage anywhere on the board on turn ten: two Seabrand Dragons or an evolved Genesis Dragon. With the effects of Dragon Emissary and Wyvern Cavalier, even more damage is possible. This card truly shines with multiple, small damage hits, however, such as the combination of Dragonewt Scholar and Wildfang Dragonewt, or Wildfang Dragonewt with other discarding cards. Adding in Dracomancer's Rites makes this combination even more effective, regenerating cards while cycling and burning the opponent. The low costs of many cards with discard mechanics is both a blessing and a curse. It allows them to be played repeatedly and chained for constant damage, but those cards are easy to remove and may come before Dragonclaw Pendant is played.
This card offers an amazing amount of interesting synergies. The extra damage is a benefit to any sort of aggressive Dragoncraft deck. However, in decks that run Dracomancer's Rites, having two amulets on the board at the same time may restrict playing. While playing two of these to have their effects stack is even more appealing, again, the problem of board space comes up. There are a few issues with Dragonclaw Amulet but they are far outweighed by the damage benefits this card provides.
Swordcraft spells mostly focus on buffing followers and summoning new ones. Cyclone Blade is unique as a powerful mid-game board clear. Other five point drops for Swordcraft include Avant Blader, Assault Commander, Wind God, and Aurelia, Regal Saber. The current anti-aggression play for mid-range to late-game Swordcraft decks is the Legendary card, Aurelia, but Cyclone Blade offers a cheaper, different alternative.
Because this card's effect damages allied followers as well as opposing ones, it is not a helpful tech card for aggressive Swordcraft decks to try and get past large opposing Ward followers, as it will clear boths ides of the board. Ideally, this card would be played on a single follower against a full board. Versus aggressive decks that mainly push damage towards to face, this card can be a follow up to Aurelia on turn six to establish a massive threat and clear the opposing board. While this card can also be played on turn five on an Evolved Floral Fencer or other turn four plays, this may not provide as much benefit because it could harm one's own board.
Cyclone Blade is somewhat situational as well. While it excels in beating back aggressive decks, it is far less useful against decks that play large minions late game; in those cases, Dance of Death is better. Using this as a follow up to a surviving Leonidas or another large, late game follower to decimate the opposing board is an appealing idea, but if the opponent cannot or chooses not to remove a significant follower, chances are the game is decided already. Cyclone Blade offers a powerful, mid-game board clear to help control based Swordcraft decks turn the tides against aggressive decks, but it is somewhat situational.
The new Runecraft legendary has rather bad 5/5 stats at a nine point cost but with legendary cards, it usually isn't about stats, and Daria, Dimensional Witch is the same. As it is a Spellboost discount card, its actual cost and turn to play is unpredictable, but in terms of pure stats, it falls a little short of Flame Destroyer for being only one point cheaper. Like the previously revealed Nephthys for Shadowcraft, it appears that Daria is made to be a late game finisher with a bit of randomness. Despite her name, she does not synergize with the Dimensional Shift and Flame Destroyer combo, as the cards she banishes and draws cannot be easily controlled. Additionally, only five Spellboosts means Dimensional Shift would be unplayable, while Flame Destroyer is still a little expensive. Playing Dimensional Shifts and Flame Destroyers before this card in order to refresh the hand seems like a good idea, but by that time, the game is probably already won.
In the usual Spellboost Runecraft decks, drawing and maintaining a large hand size is important to ensure board control and a powerful finish, so resetting the hand to five cards is not helpful at all. Path to Purgatory Runecraft variants will not work with this card as it banishes the hand rather than turns the cards into Shadows, so it will not add to the Shadow count. Earth Rite decks may appreciate the draw if their hand size grows small but may find it harder to Spellboost effectively and derive no benefits from the Spellboosts. Though this card does not fit in with established archetypes, it may still hold some benefit for follower based Spellboost decks. If this card is discounted to two points by turn six, which is likely given the number of cheap spells that Runecraft can run, it can be played alongside a drawn Rune Blade Summoner to establish a 5/5 and 6/6 on the board, a very significant mid-game play.
Late game, a discounted-to-zero Daria can be played alongside a 6/7 Mythril Golem to clear the opponent's board. These scenarios seem great but Daria does have quite a few flaws. The unpredictability of her draws and the fact that she discards the entire hand discourages Runecraft from drawing cards, one of the mechanics it takes advantage of the most. In general, the other Runecraft deck types have far more reliable finishes. Daria, Dimensional Witch offers a fun and interesting effect but her unpredictability and lack of synergy make it hard to imagine her in any viable Runecraft archetype.
Five points for a 4/5 is actually reasonable, stat wise, which is surprising as most neutral cards seem just slightly below the mark. More importantly, Fortunehunter Feena distinguishes herself as a five point follower with an Evolve effect, which is rare despite the player who went first only getting their first Evolution at turn five. Fortunehunter Feena has the same +1/+1 as opposed to +2/+2 stats on Evolution that many Evolve effect followers have, but she also adds a 2/2 to the hand and discounts it to zero. Already, in terms of stats, Fortunehunter Feena has provided quite a lot of value, and the card she provides, the previously revealed and reviewed Goblin Mage, has the great effect of searching for a two point follower to add to the hand.
As mentioned from before, Goblin Mage is a very useful card for mid-range decks as it allows them to establish board presence while drawing important two point followers. Fortunehunter Feena comes later than a normal Goblin Mage card but pushes this value to the extreme; on top of searching, it also provides a 5/7 and a 2/2 on the board. In terms of pure stats, this easily competes with many other Evolve plays such as Playful Necromancer, Floral Fencer and Elven Princess Mage. While it does come a turn after they do, it can easily reclaim the board from them.
Some decks may not want their two point drops as much but even then, bringing the two point followers to the hand mid-game means that they will not be drawn later. There are a few turn five Evolve plays that may offer better board presence, but they are either costly, as with Lightning Behemoth and Charon, or require some sort of set up beforehand, as with Wind God. Despite being a neutral card, Fortunehunter Feena offers amazing board presence and a solid search effect for only five points, so she will potentially be a standard to which the future metagame and five point followers are compared.
Lurching Corpse: Has an interesting but difficult-to-control effect for future Last Words Shadowcraft decks to take advantage of.
Lionel, Elf Prince: The discounts it offers for future Forestcraft plays are not significant enough to warrant running such an inefficient follower.
Dragontamer: Provides more value late-game than early game, like other Dragoncraft two point followers, but adds in a little extra damage for aggressive Dragoncraft decks.
Felpurr Kitten: May find its way into some combo-based Forestcraft decks because it plays like an upgraded fairy, but may not warrant using deck space for.
Anne, Belle of Mysteria: Average stats but an underwhelming effect, especially compared to other Runecraft late-game plays.
Grea the Dragonborn: Provides a minor area of effect at too high a cost, especially considering Dragoncraft already has a powerful late-game.
Dragonclaw Pendant: This card will find its way into almost any Dragoncraft deck, as adding one damage to everything is huge for costing only five points.
Cyclone Blade: A situational board clear that's good for mid-range Swordcraft to deal with aggressive decks, but may not be so good in control match ups.
Daria, Dimensional Witch: Provides a very unique effect but unfortunately doesn't seem viable in any sort of Runecraft archetype.
Fortunehunter Feena: An amazing neutral card that gives every class a five point Evolve play when they go first, and offers great stats and a great deck searching effect.
Not all of the unique effects revealed in this Rise of Bahamut set are good, but they certainly are interesting. The Shadowverse Twitter shows no sign of pausing their card reveals so we here at TechRaptor will keep reviewing them to give our best impression of what the future Shdadowverse metagame will look like. Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for the next set of card reviews!