Introduction to Shadowverse – The TCG you should be playing



Today I’m going to take a step back from playing and talking about the VS 2PCG card game and bring to attention a “new” mobile TCG called Shadowverse. It’s entirely likely that the majority of you reading this have never heard of Shadowverse or have any idea what the game is all about. My intentions with this first introductory article isn’t to talk strategy withing the game, deckbuilding, or card evaluations but rather make you aware of this amazing game created by Cygames and let you know just WHY you should be playing it. If you are or have ever been a fan of the WoW TCG, Hearthstone, or Magic: the Gathering then I highly recommend that you give Shadowverse a look and see what the fuss is about.

Okay, so, right off the bat I want to point out that Shadowverse is a mobile TCG – that’s right, you can play a deep TCG not named Hearthstone directly from the pocket of your pants. If mobile card games aren’t your thing, fret not. Cygames recently announced (today, in fact) that Shadowverse will be coming to PC in August alongside their first large update introducing new heroes into the game, among other things. I also want to point out that the company has spectacular customer service and for nearly every instance of downtime they reward the players with free packs. They are very involved within the community, take advice constructively, and value feedback of all kinds. I’ve honestly never seen a company so anxious to ensure that literally everyone is happy.

Next, I want to talk about the game play. In Shadowverse there are 7 classes to choose from. Traditional wisdom of card games allow you to figure out what each class does before really even playing the game – examples are Swordcraft, the class that likes to aggro you out quickly with a swarm of officers and commanders; Bloodcraft – the class that damages itself to trigger powerful abilities; Runecraft, the “wizard” class with lots of spell cards that trigger off of other spells played generating card advantage; Dragoncraft, the class that plays several powerful dragons and once they hit a resource threshold their cards get more powerful; the list goes on and on but every class has at least one “niche” and all of the classes are very playable. Players are represented by an avatar that doesn’t serve any game purpose other than to denote which class the player is and what their life total is. Currently everyone starts at 20 life. The resource system in the game is the same as Hearthstone where at the beginning of each players turn they gain 1 “resource” up to a maximum of 10. Like every other game, cards have a cost in top corner of the card as well as a power and a toughness value for the creature cards.


The card types are nothing revolutionary on their own. There are creatures called Followers, Spells, and Amulets which function as enchantments if you’re a magic player or ongoing plot twists if you’re an old VS player. The bulk of the game is back and forth battles with your Followers, very similar to what would happen in a game of WoW TCG. What puts the game above others that I have played recently is a game mechanic called “evolution.” Every Follower in the game can “evolve” into a more powerful version of itself with better stats and sometimes new abilities. The first player can evolve starting on their 5th turn and gets two evolves per game and the second player can evolve starting on their 4th turn and gets three evolves per game. Evolves per game are represented by diamonds beside your Leader’s portrait and light up when you can use them. Evolved characters gain “speed” (can attack the turn you play them) but cannot attack enemy Leader’s on the turn they are played.


For the competitive player there is a ranked ladder. Players start at the beginners rank and work their way up to the AA rank (Beginner, D0, D1, D2, D3, C0, C1, C2, C3, … AA0, etc. Each rank is approximately 1000 “points” and you earn about 100 points per win (before win streak bonus) and lose about 30 points for each loss. Climbing the ladder is a lot of fun but currently there aren’t any rewards other than bragging rights and your name on a list in game. For their first big update in August they are adding a lot of new things to the game including a PC version. Currently the game has 400 cards for which to build decks with and has over 3 million players worldwide (they recently had a 3 million player promotion giveaway). The game can be downloaded on both Android and iOS and is cross platform between the two (soon to be 3) platforms.


I highly recommend downloading the game, creating an account, playing through the tutorial, and playing around with deckbuilding. The game has a crafting system similar to Hearthstone where every card in the game can be crafted with “Vials” (Disenchant dust). Free packs are given at an alarming rate and while harder to come by Legendary cards do exist in the game, the top tier decks only play a few of them. If you’re worried about a “pay to win” model just note that I haven’t spent 1 dollar on the game yet and am ranked B0 with a deck with no legendary cards.

I know a few other friends of mine who I’ve convinced to play Shadowverse and quickly fell in love with the game. I want others to be aware of its existence so that when the PC launch happens people will have already had a chance to try it. Please note that like other games with a tutorial the cards you play aren’t very powerful. I can assure you that actual constructed decks have more powerful cards than generic 1/2’s. More information about the game can be found at as well as the Shadowverse reddit and a few different community run sites. Thanks for reading and I hope that you have a chance to enjoy Shadowverse as much as I have other the last month.