A quick guide to getting started with Shadowverse

Shadowverse is my current card/mobile game flavour of the month. While clearly an iteration on Hearthstone I prefer it to the former for several reasons:

  • The aesthetic: I am very bored with WoW and I play some of Cygames other games so the crossover art is nice (and I think the art is fairly solid as a whole (even if its a bit too prurient in places). The games story mode, while brief, works fairly well and is more intersting to me than yet another WoW re-hash.
  • The gameplay: I found Hearthstone to be too simple, honestly any CCG-esque game without some kind of interrupt style system needs to work pretty hard in other areas to charm me. While this isnt hugely more complex nearly all the deck archetypes rely more on multiple synergetics effects or combo based play and that makes the matches feel more exciting and engaging to me
  • The monetisation: The game gives you a lot of free packs starting out and you earn packs in-game at a very respectable rate. You only pay real money for pre-constructed decks (which all have multiple legendaries and are pretty good value for the initial purchase at least) and for cosmetics. The games seasonal system works on points buy you get rewards every X points which makes the rewards more timely and works as a better incentive than a once a month cosmetic reward.
  • The polish: The game’s very polished and has lots of nice quality of life features, being able to generate deck codes and upload them to the online builder or other accounts is a really cool feature.

I know this reads more as a cons list for Hearthstone than a pros list for Shadowverse, but the games are quite similar so I think its sort of inevitable. Also, in the interests of honesty, I havent played Hearthstone in month so I’m not sure how accurate these complaints even are at this point. Anyhow, this intro paragraph has got away from me. So on to the main point:

Getting started with Shadowverse

Step 1 – Getting the game

You can get the game on Android, iOS or Steam. You want to start on one of the mobile options, even if you have to use an Android emulator. Why? Because you want to re-roll. No I don’t! I hear you cry. Yes you fucking do. Honestly you want to do this on Android (or an emulator) as the iOS account link code function was disabled a few weeks ago so you have to link through Facebook which is a pain in the arse.

Step 2 – Re-Rolling

Why is it worth doing?

Legendary and Gold cards are quite rare, but also essential to most competitive (or fun) decks. They cost a lot of material to craft in-game and as you get a lot of free cards at the beginning of the game its best to try to get them now rather than gamble on getting them later.

What is the goal of re-rolling?

Getting a decent number of legendary and gold cards that you can build your deck around. Specifically you should be aiming for around 4 “good” legendary cards with 6-8 legendary cards in total.

How do I re-roll?

Well first things first, start-up the game and play through the three tutorial missions. As you’ll likely be playing through these a few times pay attention to the button in the top right hand corner “Skip”. When re-rolling you can skip both the story scenes and the tutorial battles.

When you complete the tutorial the game forces you into solo mode, just hit “Solo” as instructed and then “Main story”, once there you can choose “Home”.

On the Home screen you want to select “Crate” in the top right hand corner. This will give you 400 vials (used to craft cards), 100 Rupies (used to buy cards), 3 Take Two tickets (the games draft mode), 10 Standard Card Pack Tickets, 10 Darkness Evolved Card Pack Tickets and 10 Rise of Bahamut Card Pack tickets (if you start today, 05/01/17, you’ll also get another 8 Rise of Bahamut card pack tickets due to compensation for maintenance). You use Card Pack Tickets to buy card packs in the store. But before we go to the store we can quickly earn some more card packs.

Click on “Cards” in the main menu along the bottom of the screen, then select “Decks”, then New Deck, then Auto, select a Leader, the deck will automatically generate, hit “Save” and you just earned another pack. Then select “More” from the main menu, then “Account Link”, then “Link an account”. You can now link with your Facebook account, don’t worry, you can over-write this later if you chose not to keep this account. (If you already have an account linked you will need to choose the “Unlink Account” option and then re-link – but that’ll only be when you start re-rolling). Once you have your account linked you’ll get another three card pack tickets.

So now to spend these tickets, click on “Shop” in the main menu, then “Buy cards” and then finally “Buy Packs”. At this point you will see there are three different card sets, Standard, Darkness Evolved and Rise of Bahamut. You’re going to want cards from each and the “power level” is the same between all three. So to use your tickets you simply select “Buy with tickets”, you can buy one at a time or up to ten at a time. You can also open them one at a time or all at once using “Skip”. Once you’ve used all your Card Tickets you can also use your starting Rupies to buy one more pack.

Step 3 – What am I looking for?

Well there’s two ways to approach this. As mentioned above you can aim for “Getting a decent number of legendary and gold cards that you can build your deck around. Specifically you should be aiming for around 4 “good” legendary cards with 6-8 legendary cards in total.” With this method you’ll be re-rolling to get a random assortment of legendaries and then picking your deck based on that result.

You can also go for more-directed re-rolling i.e. re-rolling until you get either specific legendaries or legendaries of a specific faction. I think in the long run while it might take a little more re-rolling you should go with this method. So how do you decide which faction to go with?

Well that’s up to you, maybe you pick a faction because the leader looks cool or maybe you’d prefer a more informed decision. In which case you should get a feel for each faction by doing the first mission of its story mode. If you select “Solo” and then “Main story” you can try out each faction. While leaders don’t have powers in Shadowverse each deck has its own special mechanics, from Havencraft’s countdown amulets to Dragoncraft’s Overflow system. The first mission of each factions story mode introduces its unique mechanic and is pretty quick to play through (literally a minute or two).

You could also take a look at top Tier decks and aim for legendaries used in those (https://shadowverse.gamepress.gg/tier-list). These tiers will probably shift a fair bit as the Rise of Bahamut set is only out a week or two. (Here’s the most up to date tier list, the caveat being that its in Japanese, https://shadowverse.gamewith.jp/article/show/22277

Here’s an older re-rolling guide https://shadowverse.gamepress.gg/rerolling-guide which has a list of characters to aim for. It’s missing the Rise of Bahamut stuff, nearly all the Rise of Bahamut legendaries seem great but in particular Daria, The Dimensional Witch.

Step 4 – What if I don’t get what I want/need?

Then you shit out of luck homes! Time to re-roll. To do this on iOS you will have to uninstall the app and re-download up (~800MB each time). On Android, go to “Settings”, to go “Apps”, go to “Shadowverse”, select “Force Stop” and then “Clear Data”. Then re-start the app (this is why I recommended re-rolling on Android)

If you think you might want to use the account but want to keep re-rolling anyway you can “save” an account by creating a Device link code. To do this select “More” from the main menu, then “Device Link”, then “Link”, then “Create a link code”. Then you can re-roll. The codes only last 48 hours.

Step 5 – What if I do get what I want?

Then it’s time to start playing the game. You can play Solo through the story mode or practice against the AI. You can play multiplayer, there are two constructed formats, Unranked and Ranked. Ranked has, well, ranks, as well as points that give you various rewards at X points, this resets every month. You can also play Private matches, either Regular constructed or Take Two draft. These cost no resources. You can also try Arena, this requires an arena ticket, or gold or crystals. It’s a draft mode where you chose between pairs of random cards to make your decks and play through five matches.

What you chose to do at this point is up to you but I have some suggestions:

  • Finish the story modes, they give you rupies, vials and unique cards for each faction
  • Beat the elite level of the practice matches, you get 200 gold for each one defeated for a total of 1400 rupies (i.e. 14 packs)
  • Do your daily missions, there are three daily missions, each on their own reset timer
  • Keep an eye on achievements, you’ll probably get these incidentally while doing other stuff but you might want to push for one or the other
  • Try out Take Two in arena, this is fun, but you probably want to have played through story mode to have an idea of what to pick for each deck (or you can waste your tickets like I did)

At this point you’ll want to start putting your decks together. It’s probably worth making one of each faction just for dailies. I’d suggest looking at some netdecks to get some idea of the various deck archetypes for each faction. This glossary is quite good and will get you up to speed so you can follow online discussions/deck lists http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=812528928

The game is certainly eminently playable as F2P, it does however have a premium currency, Crystals. The only way to get these is by paying cash money, you get a one time deal where you can buy 600 crystals for about a fiver. What can you spend crystals on? Two things, cosmetics and pre-constructed decks. You can go to “Shop”->”Customize” to have a look at the cosmetics and “Buy Cards”->”Buy prebuilt decks” to have a look at the pre-constructed decks.

Oh, a quick note about deck-building, you can have three of each card in your deck.

So you can buy each pre-constructed deck three times, the first time costs you 500 crystals, the second time it costs 750 crystals and the third time 900 crystals. Obviously the first purchase is wildly better value than the latter two. I think it can certainly be worth buying one pre-constructed deck to finish/bolster a deck you’re working towards.

While reading about decks online or looking at them in the deck builder. You’ll see a cost associated with them, this is the cost in vials to construct the entire deck.

I think that should be more than enough to get you up and running, if you want to switch to the Japanese voices (and uncensor Isabelle’s cleavage) you can find guides on the Steam forums or sub-reddit. Feel free to add me as a friend in-game and we can bang out some matches (oh which reminds me, at the moment there’s an achievement for fighting 20 individual private matches, which nets you 2000 rupies, you can use a thread like this one https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowverse/comments/5kuzmq/private_match_rupie_bonus_megathread/ to quickly get it done. My friend ID is 792306977.

Vent your spleen