Shadowverse is a free-to-play digital collectible card video game developed and published by Cygames in Japan. It was released for iOS and Android devices in June 2016, and by July was the most popular mobile collectible card game in Japan. Mac and Windows versions were released in October 2016. It began its overseas promotion in 2017, and there are three major versions by region - Japanese, International (including English, Korean, Traditional Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish), and Simplified Chinese (released by NetEase in China in October 2017).
|Platform(s)||iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS|
May 4, 2018
|Genre(s)||Collectible card game|
Shadowverse employs an anime art style with some illustrations reused from the developer's previous title, Rage of Bahamut, an earlier digital collectible card game released in 2012. The game has been compared favorably with Hearthstone (2014), a difference being that Cygames sought to minimize the impact of randomness on match outcomes. Another difference is Shadowverse's "Evolve" game mechanic which allows players to grant played cards bonus stats and effects at the cost of an evolution point.
An anime television series adaptation by Zexcs premiered on April 7, 2020. An RPG card game based on the anime, Shadowverse: Champion's Battle will be released in Japan on Nintendo Switch on November 5, 2020.
New sets are added to Shadowverse at a regular interval of three months. The game launched with an initial set of Basic cards that were automatically added to new accounts or earned through the story mode, and the Standard set (now called Classic) obtained from card packs. Additionally, a number of promotional cards have been released, which were obtainable through varying methods. These cards are cosmetic replacements for existing cards; they do not have a unique gameplay function. Once every three months, one card set will be out of rotation due to the arrival of a new card set.
With the arrival of the Chronogenesis expansion, a new class was added to the game, Portalcraft; 42 Portalcraft cards were included in the Chronogenesis expansion (more than normal for a single class; each other class only received 12 new cards with the launch of Chronogenesis). From Dawnbreak Nightedge onwards, Portalcraft cards have continued to be added to each expansion at the same rate as that of one of the original classes.
Also from the Dawnbreak Nightedge expansion onwards, Cygames has been releasing additional mini-expansions in between each normal expansion release; these mini-expansions contain a new gold card for all eight classes and a new legendary card for all classes with the exception of Neutral. There has been no official statement on whether these mini-expansions will be a continued addition with each expansion. Once a mini-expansion releases, the cards from that mini-expansion are available to open in the packs of the most recent set that came before them. Just like any other cards from the regular expansions, the mini-expansion cards can also be crafted with vials.
|Card set||Release date|
|Darkness Evolved (DE)||September 29, 2016|
|Rise of Bahamut (RoB)||December 29, 2016|
|Tempest of the Gods (TotG)||March 2017|
|Wonderland Dreams (WLD)||June 2017|
|Starforged Legends (SFL)||September 2017|
|Chronogenesis (CGS)||December 2017|
|Dawnbreak, Nightedge (DBNE)||March 2018 (mini expansion release in May 2018)|
|Brigade of the Sky (BotS)||June 2018 (mini expansion release in August 2018)|
|Omen of the Ten (OotT)||September 2018 (mini expansion release in November 2018)|
|Altersphere||December 2018 (mini expansion release in February 2019)|
|Steel Rebellion (SR)||March 2019 (mini expansion release in May 2019)|
|Rebirth of Glory (RoG)||June 2019 (mini expansion release in August 2019)|
|Verdant Conflict (VC)||September 2019 (mini expansion release in November 2019)|
|Ultimate Colosseum (UC)||December 2019 (mini expansion release in February 2020)|
|World Uprooted (WU)||March 2020 (mini expansion release in May 2020)|
|Fortune's Hand (FH)||June 2020 (mini expansion release in August 2020)|
|Storm Over Rivayle (SOR)||September 2020 (mini expansion release in November 2020)|
Shadowverse matches are structured between two players taking turns playing cards from their deck. Each player is represented by a Leader with 20 defense and a starting hand of three cards. The player going first has two evolution points, and the player going second has three evolution points, can evolve one turn earlier, and draws an extra card at the player's first turn. The objective of the player is to reduce the other player's defense to 0 or attain a win via certain cards (e.g. Enstatued Seraph or a Victory Card by playing Spartacus). You can also win if the opponent must draw from an empty deck
Each player utilizes the Play Point resource to play cards. Both players begin at having zero play point orbs, and gain one play point orb at the beginning of the respective player's turn, up to a limit of 10. Play Point orbs are refilled at the beginning of each player's turn.
In Shadowverse, cards are divided into three basic types:
- Followers – a card that has an attack and defense value. Only Follower cards can be evolved. Once a follower's defense drops below 1, that follower is destroyed. Followers may attack leaders or other followers, in which case the attacked unit will have its defense reduced according to the attack of the follower. When attacking another follower, the attacking follower will have its defense reduced by the attack of the targeted follower. Followers cannot attack the same turn they are played, unless said follower has the Rush or Storm keyword.
- Spells – a card that resolves immediately after it is played.
- Amulets – a card that once played stays in the area, providing effects until it is removed. Amulets cannot be attacked by followers.
All three types of cards come in four rarities: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Legendary. A deck may only contain three or fewer copies of a card, regardless of rarity.
After turn 4 (turn 5 for the player going first), Follower cards can be evolved once per turn, granting them an additional 2 attack and defense (usually), Rush (the ability to attack other followers the turn the follower is played), as well as activating any Evolve effects the card may have. The use of Evolve is crucial to swinging the tide of the game.
There are eight classes, called "crafts" in the English localization. Though the original Japanese class names are English gairaigo, the localization nonetheless uses different names. Each craft has a set of exclusive cards and a unique mechanic.
|Localized name||Gairaigo name||Mechanic|
|Forestcraft||Elf (エルフ, Erufu)||Cards may receive bonuses by playing a number of previous cards on the same turn. Often supported by generating cheap token cards.|
|Swordcraft||Royal (ロイヤル, Roiyaru)||Followers and some amulets have either the Commander or Officer trait and may generate or receive bonuses based on trait interaction.|
|Runecraft||Witch (ウィッチ, Witchi)||Cards in hand with the Spellboost keyword may gain bonuses or cost reductions for every spell cast by the player.|
|Dragoncraft||Dragon (ドラゴン, Doragon)||Cards with the Overflow keyword gain bonuses when the player has 7 or more total play point orbs. Often supported by cards that generate orbs.|
|Shadowcraft||Necromancer (ネクロマンサー, Nekuromansā)||Cards with the Necromancy keyword gain bonuses by consuming shadows, a resource generated by any card when it is removed from the game.(Unless being Banished, another way to remove cards)|
|Bloodcraft||Vampire (ヴァンパイア, Vanpaia)||Cards with the Vengeance keyword gain bonuses when the player has 10 or less defense. Often supported by effects that deal damage to the player.|
|Havencraft||Bishop (ビショップ, Bishoppu)||Countdown amulets may have no effect while on the board, but produce a powerful Last Words effect when the Countdown expires.|
|Portalcraft||Nemesis (ネメシス, Nemeshisu)||Cards with the Resonance keyword gain bonuses when there is an even number of cards in the deck. Supported by effects that add or draw cards.|
Shadowverse has an ongoing anime television series adaptation. The series premiered on April 7, 2020 and will have 48 episodes.
According to Super Data in its 2017 report, Shadowverse has earned $100M in revenue despite having launched halfway through 2016, making it the standout new title for the year.
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