CLERIC’S SHADOWVERSE GUIDE FOR THE ABSOLUTE BEGINNER.
So, you want to play Shadowverse, you installed the app on your phone or the game on your computer, but you’re lost, so lost that you’re now here to get some aid. You don’t know where to start or what to do at the start of the game, I mean people are throwing weird terms: Tempo? Card advantage? Mana Efficiency? What’s an amulet? What is this archetype nonsense that seems to be all the fuzz about? But no worries, we’re here, and we’ll help you start your game in the best way possible, so sit comfortably, go get some coffee, and let’s get started.
WHAT IS SHADOWVERSE?
Shadowverse is a Collectible Card Game made by Cygames, available in Android, iOS and Steam in multiple languages. The game’s card illustrations come from 3 sources: original illustrations, Rage of Bahamut, and Granblue Fantasy, so if you are a fan of any of these games you’ll feel right at home with familiar characters that you may already like.
The game follows a formula similar to Hearthstone, you get mana (here named Play Points or “pp”) that are refilled and increased by 1 each turn, you have a board that can hold up to 5 creatures or amulets, which will be explained later.
OK BUT WHAT MAKES SHADOWVERSE WORTHWILE?
The main selling point of this game is “Evolve”, an effect that is used for powerful effects and uses a special resource called “Evolution Points”. The 1st player gets 2 and the 2nd player gets 3. We will discuss them fully later.
The other selling point is the fact that the game is generous, really generous. You get a whopping 10 packs of each current expansion that is Rotation legal when you finish the tutorial for the first time, also the game has frequent events where you are awarded packs or gold by competing or by simply logging in. Despite the fact that the game has recently gotten a bit more expensive with each passing expansion, if you do your daily missions and log in every day the game is actually not that hard to keep up with.
The last one that is not talked about much but that everyone that plays knows is that the game is fast: since it’s designed for the mobile market first, matches can end quick, the main length of a match is usually between 6 and 9 turns. Of course, matches can go longer than that, but not as commonly. The game has many really powerful cards at the later stages of the game, many of them are intended to end the game if not at the moment they’re dropped then in a small amount of turns after. That means that unlike Hearthstone, tempo is really important in this game, with such a small amount of initial life every turn counts and you can’t usually neglect your defenses for even a turn if you intend to win.
Some of these terms may be new to you, but here is a small list of terminology that is common in Card Games, we’ll mostly focus on terms that are widely used in this game
- AoE/Board Wipe: An effect that either damages or destroys multiple creatures at once, the former mostly refers to effects that only affect one side of the board, while the latter affects all creatures at the same time.
- Board: The main playing field, here is where your followers and amulets are displayed and take effect.
- Bounce: Returning a card to it’s owner’s hand.
- Bricking: Drawing badly; for example drawing only your most expensive cards without ever drawing the cards that are meant for the beginning of the game. This often leads to your defeat because of the luck of your draws.
- Burn: Refers to 2 different things. A Burn effect is one that targets and damages the opponent directly, usually coming from a spell. Burning a card means discarding it because you draw a card when you already have the maximum amount of them allowed in your hand.
- Card Advantage: In simple terms, this means having or drawing more cards than your opponent, which in turn means that you have more options to play at that moment.
- Curve: An esoteric term that refers to your “deck structure”, the distribution of cards that cost a specific number in relationship with your deck, for example a low curve has many 1 and 2 pp costed cards and creates a “downward curve” towards the most expensive parts of your deck, which are few in numbers.
- Curving out: To make an ideal play every single turn, usually enabled by the luck of the draw.
- Cycling: When a card draws another one, which means that it effectively replaces itself with something else.
- Deck: Your entire pile of cards that you’re currently using in that moment.
- Evasion: When a creature card has an ability that makes it hard to remove one way or another.
- Face: Your leader aka you or your opponent, in the usual context it means attacking your opponent directly while ignoring the board state. (SMOrc)
- High Roll: a specific sequence of plays that are almost exclusively available due to the luck of the draw that makes it really difficult, if not downright impossible, for the opponent to respond or recuperate from.
- Jank: Either cards that are not usable in the current environment of the game or not usable at all unless the good cards were somehow invalidated. In the Shadowverse community, these cards are often referred as “Memes”.
- Legacy format: A game mode where all cards are available for play.
- Lethal: Usually said when in one specific moment in the game, usually in a turn, you can go for the win with your current resources.
- Mana Efficiency: Using all your available play points/the biggest amount of play points you possiblly can in any one turn.
- Meme deck: A meme from and almost exclusive to Shadowverse. It means a deck with a strategy that it’s either so suboptimal that it has virtually no real chance of winning or one with an uncommon combo that’s really clunky and inconsistent to pull off yet it’s almost unstoppable when it actually goes off. The term can overlap but should not be confused with “Off-Meta decks”.
- Mulligan: In card games it refers to changing your entire hand for a new one at the very beginning of the game, in Shadowverse you can change individual cards at the start for another random card.
- Netdeck: Running and copying a deck, most often a popular and powerful one, without any alterations.
- Off-Meta deck: A deck that has a strategy that is currently suboptimal in the game environment, having results in a previous game environment may or may not be required to be classified as this. Not to be confused with “Meme deck”. A meme deck can become an off-meta deck but the opposite is not true.
- One Turn Kill/OTK: Usually used for any given strategy that aims to win the game in one single move in the very same turn using a single card or a series of cards, usually without the ability for the opponent to counter it.
- Play Points: Mana; your current available points that let you pay for the cost of each card. They’re used through each turn and refill and increase by 1 at the start of your next turn. You can’t have more than 10 play points at any given time.
- Playset: Having the maximum amount of cards that can be used in a single deck. This number is 3 in Shadowverse.
- Ramp/Mana Acceleration: Forcefully increasing your play points over your current maximum by the use of a specific card. This mechanic is most commonly, if not exclusively, found in Dragoncraft in Shadowverse. In this game you can’t ramp over 10 play points.
- Shadow: A resource exclusive to Shadowverse. Similar to “cards in your graveyard” but not exactly the same. A Shadow is generated for a player when one of their creatures is destroyed, they use a spell, they discard a card, or an effect that generates Shadows is activated. Shadowcraft has the most uses of this resource out of all the available classes.
- Stabilizing: When one of the players manages to reset the match status from unfavourable to neither side having an advantage.
- Standard format: A game mode that has the rule of only having a given number of the most recent expansions from the game.
- Staple: Cards that are commonly used in different strategies and are usually auto-included in almost every deck in a single class. For example: Filene in Dragoncraft.
- Summoning Sickness: In games that follow Magic the Gathering’s summoning rules, creatures can’t attack in the turn they are played, Shadowverse has summoning sickness.
- Tech: A card that is meant to disrupt a specific game plan, usually at the cost of being ineffective against another one.
- Tempo: A really nebulous and hard to describe term. According to Reid Duke form Magic the Gathering, “tempo is, in it’s most basic form, board presence” . Simplifying the term, it refers to how much board presence you’re currently generating; how many creatures in the field are being invoked by you.
- Token: A creature generated from another one or from a spell, amulet or effect, specifically ones that can’t be played in any other way and can’t be directly added to a deck.
- Top Decking: Drawing the exact card that you need in a specific situation.
- Trade: Destroying one of your opponent’s creatures using one of your own, destroying both in the process. In Shadowverse the term is used to simply refer to the action of attacking your opponent’s creatures.
- Tutor: A card that cycles itself into a specific card or a specific type of card.
- Value: Any sort of advantage that a card gives to the player.
- Vanilla: A creature that only has attack and defense; it doesn’t have any keyword or special rules.
- Win Condition: A card or a combination of cards that are meant to win the game.
- X drop: Refers to a a card of a specific pp cost. Here X signifies it’s cost.
Next up, I’ll explain the actual cards.
As in all card games of the type, the cards are your main resource and efficient use of them is your way of winning the game.
CARD ANATOMY AND TYPE
The cards in Shadowverse have the following structure:
- The card’s name
- The play point cost
- The illustration
- It’s attack
- It’s defense
- It’s class identity: White – Neutral, Green – Forestcraft, Bright Yellow – Swordcraft, Dark Blue – Runecraft, Orange – Dragoncraft, Purple – Shadowcraft, Red – Bloodcraft, Muted Yellow/Pearl color – Havencraft, Light Blue – Portalcraft.
They are also divided in 3 categories and each of them can be identified by the frame of the card:
Your creatures, they’re your main sort of threats in the board. Followers are summoned into the board to battle and provide pressure against the opponent. They have attack, how much damage they do, and defense, how much damage they can absorb. When a follower’s defense reaches 0, it is destroyed, generates a Shadow, and is sent into the graveyard.
Spells provide effects when played and, unless the card text specifies it, they don’t leave a follower on the board when played. Such effects include dealing damage, generating followers, healing, drawing cards, etc.
Very similar to MtG’s artifact cards, they come in 2 flavours: permanent amulets that provide either a constant or a 1 use effect on the match, and countdown amulets, some of which provide an effect until their turn countdown reaches 0, and others that have an effect when they are destroyed. Unlike Spells, they require a space in the board to be played, but unlike Followers they don’t directly attack nor can they be attacked.
These cards come in 4 rarities, which are indicated by the colour of the card:
- Fanfare: Fanfare takes effect when the card is played from hand.
- Evolve: Evolve effects activate when a card is evolved manually.
- Rush: The card is able to attack an enemy follower, but not the opponent directly, when played, bypassing summoning sickness. An evolved card gets Rush by default. They can also attack the opponent directly on the following turn.
- Storm: The card can attack either followers or the opponent directly, bypassing summoning sickness.
- Drain: When the card attacks, you gain life equal to that follower’s attack power, note that this won’t take effect on the opponent’s turn.
- Bane: Allows it to destroy an enemy follower through combat regardless of it’s defense.
- Ambush: The card can’t be attacked nor targeted with spells or effects.
- Last Words: This effect is activated when either the follower or amulet is destroyed.
- Banish: Remove a card from play, banished cards neither generate shadows nor have their Last Words effects activated. If a card is immune to destruction it can still be banished unless specified.
- Enhance(X): Cards with enhance can be played by their indicated cost for an additional/different effect.
- Accelerate(X): Kind of like a reverse Enhance. Cards with Accelerate can be played by their indicated cost for the indicated effect and only that indicated effect. An Accelerate effect won’t be activated when the card is played with it’s original cost. Cards that are played with their Accelerate cost are used as spells.
- Choose: Gives you a choice to play one of any given number of cards that are indicated by the effect.
- Invocation: Puts directly into play a card from your deck with the Invocation keyword once you meet its specific requirement. Even if you have more than 1 copy of that card in your deck, only one of them will be put into play
- Countdown(X): Exclusively used by amulets, the countdown starts at the indicated number and it goes down by 1 each turn. When the countdown reaches 0 the amulet is destroyed.
- Aggro.- Focuses on being, as the name hints, as aggressive as possible. This strategy relies on overwhelming the opponent in the early game and winning before they have any chance of stabilizing. The usual aggro deck in the game aims to win on turn 5/6.
- Control.- Aims to control the board as much as possible and deny plays to the opponent, much more slow, deliberate and reactive. Control aims to win the game either by attrition or by powerful win conditions that put the opponent on a clock. They usually win by turn 9/10
- Midrange.- A more well-rounded type of strategy, Midrange uses cards of the biggest value as can be found on curve, and thanks to this it can be both aggressive or defensive depending on the opponent. These decks are almost entirely focused on the board and can neither outrace aggro nor outsustain control. They usually win by turn 7/8.
- Combo.- Wants to stall the game as much as possible, not unlike Control, and focuses on winning in one swift strike when it assembles all its combo pieces, usually with damage by hand. Combo usually aims to win by turn 8 to 10, 7 in some specific scenarios.
- Tempo.- Refers to 2 similar yet different strategies. The former relies on having small creatures that get buffed and protected to constantly harass the opponent until they wear them down. The latter consists more on decks that create boards from apparently nowhere that are almost impossible to deal with. Like midrange they have both aggro and control elements, but unlike midrange they focus less on the overall quality/value of the cards and much more on synergies.
Next is the menu(s)…ugh…, while the UI is good for mobile play, it can be pretty unintuitive when played on PC, which can make it quite tough to navigate for first timers, I’ll explain the menus… this will take a while.
THE MAIN MENU
First things first, at the very centre the game shows you the last deck that you played with. You can toy around with it if you want by spinning it and tilting the cards.
- Your Profile. Here you can see your Rank, current score, and your User ID (which is used to add people to your friends list), also you can change your Name, Emblem, Title, Flag, and your avatars for each class, if you have any extra ones.
- Information that the game considers important.
- Your Gold, officially called Rupies. This is an in-game currency that you earn through the game.
- Your Crystals, the premium currency from the game. They can only be obtained by buying them with real money, from time to time they offer discounts, so be on the lookout for those offers if you’re interested! Important note: Crystals don’t transfer between devices, so if you have a phone and a computer, you have both devices linked and you buy crystals in the former, you won’t be able to use them in the latter, I know it’s frustrating but that’s how it is, you know ‘cuz Japan.
- Your Crate. Here you’ll find any rewards you earn through events or the like. When you start the game for the very first time after completing the tutorial you’ll have a whopping 50 pack tickets waiting for you here to claim and open. I’ll tell you how to open them in a bit.
- Information. Here you’ll be able to access any news from the game.
- Missions. Here you’ll find your daily missions, your achievements, and your score rewards. I’ll cover this more in-depth when I cover the economy.
- Your Friends list. Here you’ll find the people who you’ve added and be able to add them through the User Search function. Bear in mind that at the time of this writing the Friend options is really limited. You can’t even chat with them, only invite them to Private Matches.
- The Evolve button. Almost purely cosmetic without any real meaningful purpose, it evolves the card in the very centre so you can look at the illustration.
- The Home button. It lets you return to this screen.
- The Solo button. It contains the single player modes of play. I’ll discuss them later.
- The Multi button. Contains the multiplayer modes.
- The Arena Button. Has both the Draft mode (Take 2) and, when available, the Grand Prix.
- The Cards button. Here you can build decks and browse through your card collection.
- The Shop Button. You can buy cards, alternate avatars, prebuilt decks, Crystals, sleeves, and other items. I’ll discuss the Shop later because it can be confusing to new players.
- The More button. Here we find miscellaneous options, like your settings, replays, official contacts, and the like.
OPENING AND BUYING PACKS
I’ll make an appendix here because the menu is a bit bloated, not by much but I consider it enough to explain it. So here’s what it is. You access this menu by clicking Shop -> Buy Cards -> Buy Packs. You can only open your packs through this screen.
- The Format switch, this lets you switch between expansions that are available for play in both Rotation and Unlimited (the blue button), and expansions that are only legal in Unlimited (the orange button)
- The Expansion slider. Let’s you select an expansion to buy packs from it, you change the expansion by clicking and dragging the mouse through it.
- Buy with Tickets. Here you can exchange your tickets for any given expansion gotten through any sort of reward, achievement or mission for packs. This is the only use of these tickets, so don’t hoard them if you don’t consider it necessary. You can open up to 10 packs at a time.
- Buy with Rupies. This lets you buy packs with Rupies, pretty self-explanatory.
- Buy with Crystals. Same as above, it lets you buy packs with Crystals.
- Auto-Reveal. Allows you to skip the pack opening animation and opens your packs all at once with a more practical screen.
- Details. Here you can see the exact chance rate to open any specific card from a pack.
Now you can open your packs. I recommend you do this at this very moment, don’t wait any longer because the next section is important. Don’t even link your account just yet.
After you opened your packs, if you don’t like what you got and you’d like to open 50 packs again to try your luck you can do the following. This is where things get interesting and so far, in the sphere of relevant CCGs, this is a thing that can only be done in Shadowverse.
This is a strategy used when you want to try your luck to see if you can get better cards at the start of the game. Bear in mind that for now you can only reroll using an android emulator or an actual Android/iOS phone, but you can link your phone account and your steam one later so they’re both the same and they share the reroll. The simplest yet more time consuming way to reroll is to delete your app (make sure that you didn’t link the account) and reinstall it, skip the tutorial and done! You have a fresh install and you get 50 more packs to try your luck with! The more complicated yet efficient way to do this (which doesn’t require a complete redownload of the game) is detailed in this reddit thread https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowverse/comments/8965gq/rerolling_on_android_without_redownloading_data/?st=jkrxerxr&sh=30cad4d1
Now that you have a collection, I’m afraid it’s not yet the time to use it just yet, but don’t worry, this won’t be boring.
STORY MODE AND CLASS OVERVIEW
Your next stop should be the game’s story mode. Here you can engage in the story involving the leaders of each class and their quests. This is a mix of a Visual Novel and a card game, though the gameplay and storyline don’t really have anything to do with each other. The Story Mode is inside the Solo Menu. Why would you play this first, do you ask? Because the first 7 chapters of The Morning Star act as a tutorial for each class, so it’s a good idea to play it and see what class fits your play style! After clicking you’ll be greeted with the class selection screen. Before you continue I’ll explain each class in more detail than what the select screen provides and also some class specific keywords.
The class based on nature and its inhabitants, Forest’s main gimmicks are Combos, cards played in succession for an effect, and effects that rely on hand size. It also has the Fairy tokens, which are generated by their cards and are put into the hand. Those Fairies can be used to combo with other cards, and the class also has access to ways to buff and protect them. And while not a very effective mechanic, Forest has the biggest number of cards that deny the opportunity for the enemy followers to attack. The class provides some powerful Tempo, Aggro, and Combo decks and is ideal for people searching for a play style that is a bit tricky to fully master yet very rewarding to pull off.
Based on armies, knights, eastern-flavoured combatants, royalty, and maids. Sword’s gimmick is the Commander and Officer tribalism, both have synergistic effects with each other or with themselves. Sword is the class that is most reliant on the board, having a number of cards that put a number of Knight tokens directly into the board, and having one of the easiest times to flood the board with respectably statted followers. It also has the biggest number of Enhance and Ward cards in the game. The class is the most straightforward and easy to play, making some really effective Midrange and Aggro decks, so it’s the most recommended for beginners.
Centred around magic, its practitioners, students, constructs and one or two magic-created abominations. Runecraft has the biggest ratio of spells-to-followers, card advantage, and having the Spellboost keyword to compliment that. The cards in your hand get spellboosted every time you play a spell, so chaining them in quick succession is the key to success. This opens itself up to both Combo decks with heavy Control elements and Tempo game plans in the class. However, that is not the end of it. Rune also has the Earth Rite keyword, which is completely different and often incompatible with Spellboost. Earth Rite effects rely on Earth Sigils, a special kind of amulet that often doesn’t do anything by itself, but when using a card with an ER effect, the sigil is destroyed and the effect is activated. Earth Rite has a bigger emphasis on Midrange, Burn and Control, since it has a bigger emphasis on the board and direct damage spells.
Dragoncraft, as its name implies, is focused mostly around Dragons, with one or two water creatures and birds along with it. Dragon’s main mechanic is Overflow. These effects are activated once it reaches 7 or more play points, but not necessarily on turn 7, which is because Dragon is the only class with the ability to Ramp, so it can cheat its bigger cards early and overwhelm the opponent with pure value. However, this class is kind of slow, since it more often than not only plays one or two cards per turn, which makes it susceptible to faster game plans. The class naturally lends itself to the epitomical Ramp decks and to Control decks.
Focused on things related to death, like the undead and the inhabitants from the Underworld. Shadow lends itself more to Midrange and Control decks thanks to it having access to single target removal effects. Shadow has 3 main mechanics: Necromancy(X), Burial Rite, and Reanimate(X). Necromancy(X) uses X Shadows to activate the indicated effect in the card, Burial Rite puts one of your followers into play, silences it (erases all the text in the card so it’s only played as a vanilla follower), destroys it and puts a copy of the original card (with all it’s original text) into the graveyard. Reanimate(X) summons a copy of a random follower from the graveyard that has a cost of X play points into play, which means that you can summon it again with Reanimate regardless if the follower summoned with this effect was banished or transformed if it was already destroyed once before by any means. As these mechanics imply, Shadow has a lot of ways of destroying its own followers for beneficial effects, and to synergize with that it has the biggest amount of Last Word followers out of all the classes.
Revolving around vampires, demons, and eldritch abominations. Blood centres entirely around the concept of “Power at a Price”, many of its cards are above the curve yet have a drawback to balance them, in fact, unlike other classes, your life points are an actual resource while playing this class, since that is the most common drawback they have. To compensate, Blood has the most number of cards with Drain and cards with drain-like effects, like Vampiric Kiss. Also, to synergize with this, the class has Vengeance, which activates when your leader is at 10 life or lower, providing powerful effects to punish people reckless enough to put you at that threshold without thinking of the consequences. Another aspect of the class is its synergy with the Forest Bat tokens, which are the cornerstone of the most aggressive strategies, and the class as a whole has a high emphasis on burn damage. Thanks to all this, Bloodcraft is probably the most versatile class in the whole game, being able to play everything from Aggro to Control to Combo.
Haven represents faith, more specifically dogma, and all its sides be them positive or negative, it reveres everything divine, it also has a focus on birds and other creatures that inhabit the sky, funnily enough angels aren’t the focus of Haven, since those are more often found in the Neutral cards. The class has a big emphasis on Last Words, Countdown Amulets, and cards that accelerate their destruction (no, not that Accelerate). Because of this, Haven can be a bit tricky to play since that means that they trade current tempo for explosive turns later down the line. To mitigate this and make their life a bit easier, Haven has some of the most effective removal cards in the whole game, including multiple board wipes and a respectable amount of healing cards. Before the introduction of Portalcraft, Haven had a near monopoly on Banish cards (the other being ER Rune). With all of this considered, the class is one of the slower ones in the game and lends itself to some of the most effective Control decks out there, with really scary win conditions that are almost impossible to deal with. But it can also play Tempo decks pretty effectively.
The most recent, and probably last, class introduced, making its way into the game with Chronogenesis. Portal circles around technology, be it completely mechanical or Magitek (technology from magic), and also taps itself into the concept of duality. Its main mechanic is Resonance, which is activated every time your deck has an even number of cards. To elaborate on this, Portal has 2 sides: Artifacts and Puppets. The former are tokens that more often than not are shuffled into your deck thanks to specific cards. To compensate the fact that they dilute your draws, all of them are above the curve in terms of stats and effects. The latter are tokens that are put into your hand by various cards, not unlike fairies, but these are more focused on immediate board control and are used for combo-like win conditions. So far Portal has only being able to form Midrange decks with Combo-like strategies, but that may change soon enough.
With this in mind, you can now pick a class that catches your attention and start to learn its nuances in this safe environment. After picking the class and reading the pre battle chapter, you will battle against the computer. I’ll skip towards the second chapter, because that is where the game is less hand-holding in its tutorial.
THE BATTLE INTERFACE
- The Battle Menu button: See your and your opponent’s data. Change the options, concede, or return to the match.
- The board interactable: Produces an animation when clicked, it’s there just to kill time while you wait for your opponent to end their turn.
- Your and your opponent’s hands: Self-explanatory.
- The Log button: Contains the actions taken in the past turns and shows what followers are in each graveyard.
- The class mechanic indicator: Shows important information relevant to each class’ mechanic.
- Shadow indicator: Remaining cards in the deck and number of cards in the hand. Note that if you’re on mobile you must turn this feature on in the options menu.
- The Evo points indicator: Shows how many Evolution points each player has remaining, and it shows how many turns are left before they become active in the early game.
- The Life Point counter: Indicates how many Life Points you and your opponent have remaining. The player that reduces the opponent’s HP to 0 first wins. IMPORTANT: If both players’ HP reach 0 or less at the same time, the player which has the current turn loses.
- Your Class Leader: Click to see if they have any active leader effects, hold to emote. You can emote up to thrice each turn, you can also turn off the opponent’s emotes entirety in the options menu.
- Your current Play Points.
After completing the first 7 chapters of each branch it’s not advisable that you continue, since the following chapters were added later in the 3rd and 4th expansion of the game, and they expect you to have better decks to play with. Also, a word of advice, if you want to get into the story mode relatively spoiler free, leave Yuwan’s story until the very last, since his chapters happen very late into the Morning Star: Conclusion.
Now we’re ready to move up to seeing how to make your decks and how to see your collection!
THE COLLECTION MENU
Besides the various game modes, this is where you’ll probably end up using most of your time. In Decks you can manage your decks, and in Cards you can see and manage your card collection. Since you probably have duplicates we’ll be going into the card menu first.
The menu is made up of the following:
- The Liquefy Cards button: Here you’ll be able to either liquefy all your duplicates by the press of a button, or cards en masse in a single action.
- The search bar: You can search for a specific card by typing its name here.
- The Filter button: You can filter cards by a specific value here, like its cost or its expansion.
- The navigation arrows: Click left or right to navigate through your collection, alternatively you can swipe your finger/mouse left or right too.
- The Create Cards button: by clicking it you’ll reveal the cards that you don’t have in your collection, they’ll be greyed out.
- Your vial count: How many vials you have available to create cards.
To check a specific card you can click on it. You’ll be greeted with this screen, which contains the following:
- The card count: Shows how many copies of the card you own.
- The Star button: You can star cards this way, which will make you unable to liquefy them in any shape or form.
- The Token button: Click it to see the tokens that the card generates, if any. Note that only some cards have this button.
- The Voice Lines button: Click it to hear the card voice lines, you can click it multiple times to hear different lines.
- The Flair button: This changes the text on the right to the card’s flavour text.
- The Evolve button: Evolves the card to see its evo illustration, it also changes the flavour text
- The Animate button: You can animate 1 copy of the card using this button. This consumes a Seer’s Globe.
- The text box: Lets you read either the mechanics of the card or the flair, depending on if you clicked on the button.
- The Liquefy and Create buttons: Pretty self-explanatory. Note that you can only create up to 3 cards of a specific card since that is the limit in any deck.
First thing first, I’d recommend for you to click Liquefy Cards and then click on Extras, this way you’ll get rid of cards you already have a full playset of. Now we’ll move to the create deck screen for a while, but you’ll return here later. Click back and then the Decks button. Since all of your packs are from Rotation, I’d recommend you to make a Rotation deck first. Click Rotation, New Deck, and New. Pick a class you like or whichever class you think you have enough cards in to make a decent deck. Now to the deck builder.
This is the deck builder screen, here you can, as the name implies, create decks. As you can see, this screen shares many similarities with the collection screen, so I’ll skip the buttons that were already there:
- The Auto button: by clicking this, the game will automatically create a deck for you with your existing collection. This button is rarely used since the decks that it creates are really bad.
- The Save button: Saves your deck into your deck collection.
- Your card limit and the deck curve: Allows you to see how many cards you have added into the deck and the amount of X PP cards you have added.
- The Preview button: Allows you to see your deck so far in a more tidy matter.
Now you can start experimenting with your collection and see what you like. I’ll give you some advices on deck building, nothing in-depth, but hopefully it will help:
- Focus on a win condition/engine: In this game, win conditions are pretty explosive, so you should focus at first on a card that you like that makes a big impact when played and could also win games on the spot. An engine make your following turns much easier for you to win. Examples of Win Conditions are Vengeful Puppeteer Noah and Lindworm, an example of an Engine is Arcus, Ghostly Manager.
- Put 9 to 12 2 drops: As I already said in the beginning, Shadowverse is a game that focuses heavily on tempo, so missing your cards that can be used in the early game (turn 1 to 4) greatly hinders your chances of winning the match.
- If able, use the complete play set of a card when starting out: Consistency is the name of the game, having the maximum of any card increase your chances to draw that card when you most need it.
- Test, test, test: Usually decks will not be perfect from the start, it’s a good idea to test your decks extensively and change cards that you feel are not contributing much to your game plan or that you seem to never actually seem to use in any situation.
With that out of the way, you can start to play in either Practice mode or in Multiplayer. If you’re too impatient to actually want to test decks properly I’ll link some budget decks that are easy on resources to get. I’ll divide them in 2: one section with only 1 set of legendary cards, and another that doesn’t have any legendaries whatsoever. These may not be very good in the higher ranks, but in lower ones they are pretty good to get the hang on things (NOTE THAT MOST OF THESE ARE UNLIMITED, SINCE ROTATION NOWADAYS IS A REALLY EXPENSIVE FORMAT THAT RELIES HEAVILY ON LEGENDARY CARDS).
BUDGET DECKS (Brigade of the Sky Post-Mini expansion) (Note that we’re almost into the next Rotation cycle)
ROTATION – NO LEGENDARY CARDS
ROTATION – WITH 1 LEGENDARY SET
UNLIMITED – NO LEGENDARY CARDS
UNLIMITED – WITH 1 LEGENDARY SET
- Aggro Forest
- Aggro Sword
- DShift Rune
- Daria Rune
- Burn Rune
- Aggro Dragon
- Midrange Shadow
- Aggro Blood
- Vengeance Blood
- Tenko Haven
Now onto testing the decks, and now we’re just in time to talk about something really important:
Currently there are 2 main formats of play in the game.
The “main” mode of play (as in, the most populated format) is the Standard format. It only allows you to pick and play with decks that consist of the 5 most recent sets released.
The Legacy format, it allows you play and pick decks made of cards from all the sets in the game.
The game modes are divided into 3 categories: Solo, Multi, and Arena, and they also divide themselves into either Constructed or Draft.
The main mode of the game, here you’ll be able to bring your own decks into play.
SOLO GAME MODES
- Main Story: Here you can play the main Story Mode, this was already discussed earlier in the guide so I’ll skip it.
- Practice: Allows you to…well…practice against the computer. Here you can select the class and the difficulty setting that you want for the opponent.
MULTIPLAYER GAME MODES
- Play: The unranked game mode. Here you can play at a more relaxed state since this mode doesn’t give or take ranked points from you. Because of this you’ll often find more off-meta and meme decks over here.
- Compete: The ranked game mode. Here you’ll battle opponents of equal footing to climb your way into the ranked ladder. Since this mode is more competitive, expect players to bring the best decks they have.
- Private: The private matches mode. You can create private 1-on-1 lobbies with friends or anyone you give the room code to, join a private lobby, and spectate other private matches if you have the code. You can select them to be either Constructed or Draft.
You can’t bring your decks into this game mode; instead, you’ll create a 30 card deck by randomly selecting cards that the game presents to you.
- Take Two: The main draft game mode. What makes this mode different from most other draft modes in other card games is that, instead of only choosing 1 card at a time when picking your options (like in Hearthstone where you’ll be given an option of picking 1 card out of 3), you’ll instead be given the option to pick between 2 sets of 2 cards, which makes things more interesting, since sometimes you’ll get a really good card paired with a really bad card. I won’t get much into detail on how to properly draft, but I’ll just give you 3 tips for it:
- 2 average cards are more often than not better than 1 good and 1 bad card.
- Don’t pick cards that rely on synergies with other cards as those are bad in the format since you’re not guaranteed to get those.
- 2 drops are important, just like in constructed, try to go for at least 8-9.
- Grand Prix: A timed tournament-like setting. This game mode is only available at specific times and it sometimes has changing rules, but more often than not it’s just a round of matches for either the Rotation or Unlimited formats. Grand Prix is divided into 3 stages and 2 groups: A and B, the first 2 stages consist of 5 matches and the last one depends on what group you qualified for. By default, everyone is put together in Group B, but in the first Stage they can qualify for group A by winning 4 out of 5 matches. Then, at the start of the second round you’ll battle against people of the rank that you qualified for, and depending on if you qualified for either B or A, you’ll have to win 3 or 4 matches, respectively, to pass towards the finals. In the finals, you’ll battle into a 2-step elimination process (as in, 2 losses and you’re out) to get increasing rewards, these can be found in the info page of the mode.
Now you’re ready to play any mode to your liking.
Say you finished some matches and you want to make some changes to your deck, but, surprise surprise, you’re short on resources! No worries, I’ll talk about the game economy now and how to up your game and gain lots of packs as a new player.
As I already touched upon while discussing other sections, the game’s economy is made up from 2 types of currencies: Gold (more accurately Rupies, the same currency that is used in both Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy) and Crystals. The former is the free one and the latter is the premium one. Both of them can be used to buy packs and buy entries to the Arena. Crystals, however, have more applications than Rupies, since while both of them can be used in selected items from the shop, like some alternate leaders, only crystals can be used to buy other specific leaders, card backs, and prebuilt decks.
Now returning to the buying packs section, usually a card pack costs 100 gold to buy, but buying them with crystals work a little differently. While the packs also cost 100 crystals, the first one of the day always costs 50 crystals, which is called a Daily Deal. If you are patient and want to save as much money as possible you should always limit yourself to only buying a pack a day.
Crystals are also sold at a discount on special occasions, so hunt them down and use them to save money!
The game uses a dust system similar to many other CCGs, like Hearthstone, Eternal, and Elder Scrolls Legends. The dust currency in this game is called Vials, they’re obtained from liquefying cards, Story Mode rewards, and Monthly rewards. The vial costs are as follows:
|Type||Create Standard||Create Animated||Liquefy Standard||Liquefy Animated|
|Bronze||50||1 Seer’s Globe||10||30|
|Silver||200||1 Seer’s Globe||50||120|
|Gold||800||1 Seer’s Globe||250||600|
|Legendary||3,500||1 Seer’s Globe||1,000||2,500|
|Seer’s Globe (first time)||5,000||–||–||–|
As you can see, you can’t directly create animated cards from vials, instead you’ll have to use a resource called a Seer’s Globe, these are either very rare or very expensive items that can animate any card of your liking. They’re given by events and by getting to the very top of the ladder every month, so use them wisely!
The ways that you can get gold and packs are: Daily Login rewards, Daily Missions, Achievements and Monthly Rewards. The last 3 can be checked by clicking in the Missions button in the Main Menu.
In Shadowverse, you get small rewards once a day when you log into the game, giving you a small influx of constant resources. You can get gold, packs, and Take Two Tickets. The chart resets itself into the first square once you reach the end of it.
You get a constant influx of missions thrice a day, they mostly come from winning matches, but there are also missions where you have to use your Evolution Points in a match. Daily Missions can be toggled to either multiplayer or solo, the latter giving smaller rewards but being way easier to complete.
The game has a sizable number of achievements, and they usually have the highest rewards since they are 1 time only. Feel free to browse them at your leisure.
Unlike other games where you get small rewards every time you complete a certain amount of matches every day, these are monthly and locked behind a threshold of Ranked Points. Once you reach a certain amount of points that will be unlocked, Monthly rewards also include month-exclusive sleeves. A word of advice, almost no one bothers with the rewards that are above the 12k point range since after a while they get diminishing returns. Also, for people that are already in Masters, if they reach either the top 10k or the top 1k of the ladder each month, they get really juicy rewards in packs and vials.
Want even more rewards? Good, because the game has one of the best new player experiences in the genre.
WHAT TO DO AS A NEW PLAYER
The game offers new players numerous ways of making easy Rupies at the start of your journey through the game, and these are:
- Playing the Story mode: They give the smallest amount of rewards but they also gives you the remaining basic cards, some of which are really good and see play to this day.
- 20 private missions: You play 20 private matches against 20 different people. You don’t need to win them necessarily, as long as the match is completed and neither player quit you’ll get the Rupies. There are multiple places where people are willing to trade wins, like the game’s Subreddit, so don’t be shy, the community is here to help you!
- Playing against all the classes’ Elite 1 and Elite 2 difficulty in the Practice mode: 200 Rupies per win, up to a total of 3,000 if you clear them all!
- Level up rewards: As you play with each class you’ll level them up, every 10 levels or so (you can check the achievements to see what is the next level threshold) you’ll get a nice reward up to level 150 (with the last gold reward coming at 140). This is probably the most time consuming method, but after level 100 you’ll get 400 Rupies just for reaching the next threshold.
SOME OTHER TIPS
These are not specific to getting Rupies, but are some general recommendations that I usually give to new players:
- First and the most important one. DON’T RANK UP TOO FAST!!!!! Unlike other CCGs, Shadowverse’s ladder functions differently: unlike other games where the ladder completely resets once the season is over, here that only happens once you reach the Masters rank. If you’re below that, you won’t be able to rank down from a specific letter EVER. You can only rank down in the sub rank (i.e. ranking down to A1 to A0 is possible, but never from A0 to B3) so this is a way to rank up slowly and focus on getting at least 1 budget/cheap deck for each class so you can complete your daily missions easily. This prevents you from being stuck at a high rank and unable to improve your collection.
- When starting, focus on buying the 2 most recent expansions in the game. These are the ones that will be in Rotation the longest, but you should open the other packs that are Rotation-legal from time to time in a less frequent matter, except the ones that are about to Rotate out. Unless you plan to play Unlimited it’s better that you craft a deck instead of trying to open packs since more often than not the older packs will be cluttered with cards that have been made obsolete by later expansions.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions! The community is here to help if you get stuck with something!
SOME CONTENT CREATORS AND OFFICIAL SITES
OFFICIAL AND REALLY POPULAR COMMUNITIES
Without anything more to add, welcome to Shadowverse! I hope this guide was useful to you, happy playing!