Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Shadowverse

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ogp.jpg
Advertisement:

Shadowverse is a free-to-play Collectible Card Game developed by Cygames. Orginally released in Japan, it was later released in iOS and Android devices in June 17th, 2016 in the U.S., and later in Mac and Windows in October 28, 2016 available at Steam. Shadowverse is very similar to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, but according to Word of God, unlike Hearthstone, Random Number God has a smaller impact in match outcomes.

In retrospect, Shadowverse is considered to be a Spiritual Successor to Rage of Bahamut after the English version failed to be successful in the west (mainly due to numerous Screwed by the Network moments with dropping many events). Regardless, the game still have the anime style graphics and cards, with even English voice acting to boot. Unlike Rage of Bahamut, Shadowverse has succeeded in the U.S., in addition to being one of the top played Collectible Card Games in Japan.

Advertisement:

Players can play using cards from seven different factions (with the eighth added in the Chronogenesis expansion), each with it's own unique playstyle and cards.

    Factions 
  • Forestcraft, represented by the Elf guardian Arisa: Forest focuses in putting out cheap, and low play point cards into the field as quickly as possible. Many of their followers don't hit as hard, nor are they durable, but have low play point cost that can be placed quickly in the field. However, some of her more powerful followers and spells reward the player for playing multiple cards in a single turn and some of her cards reward players cheap Fairies in the deck, thus allowing some form of synergy with her more powerful cards. Her deck has a Nature Hero theme with followers either elves, fairies, or forest-related creatures. Her deck is used as a tutorial deck for newer players.
  • Swordcraft, represented by the Samurai Maid Erika Sumeragi: Sword decks use a "trait" characteristic. Many of their followers have two different "traits," "Officer" and "Commander." The "Officer" followers are low play point cards that encourage early aggression (such as Ambush or Storm effects), while the "Commander" followers have a higher play point cards that boost the "Officer" followers when played or when they are evolved (and vice versa with some "Officer" followers). Some follower cards can deploy another follower card when played in the field, while others can boost the offensive and defensive stats of another follower card. Gameplay wise, Swordcraft encourage a more aggressive playstyle. The "Officer" followers usually tend to hit hard, but usually don't last that long, while the "Commander" cards tend to be a more supportive or defensive in nature. Her followers are themed around ninjas, knights, military officers, and even maids.
    • Chronogenesis introduces some synergy with the Enhance mechanic — a mechanic introduced in Rise of Bahamut that allows a card to be played at an increased cost for additional effects. Swordcraft is the class that has received the most number of cards with this mechanic.
  • Runecraft, represented by the sorceress Isabelle: Rune decks have two significant strategies — Spellboost and Earth Rite. Spellboost is a more combo-focused strategy, playing as many spells as possible to strengthen the Spellboost cards in the hand. Earth Rite instead manages special amulets with the Earth Sigil trait, consuming them to trigger the Earth Rite effects of its cards. Regardless, to make up for lack of good creatures in the early game, both strategies make good use of removal spells or strong followers with ward to hold the line until they can unleash their stronger followers. Their followers are themed around wizards, witches, alchemists, Mad Scientists, golems, and earth-related creatures.
    • Chronogenesis goes on to introduce the Mysteria trait, retroactively adding this trait to any and all characters associated with the Academy of Adventure. Mysteria cards are capable of generating unique spells that also possess this trait, and typically offer bonuses when played alongside other Mysteria cards.
  • Dragoncraft, represented by the knight Rowen Dragspear: Dragon decks specializes in Overflow, which triggers upon reaching 7 or more play points, allowing many of their followers or cards to become stronger in the late game with an additional effect. Most of the cards and followers are very strong, durable, and powerful, but have a high play point cost, thus encouraging a slower playstyle when compared to the other decks. However, to compensate, some cards can reward additional play point orbs in order to play costlier cards sooner and achieve Overflow faster. As the name suggests, the followers are focused around dragons.
  • Shadowcraft, represented by the child necromancer Luna: Shadow decks specialize in Necromancy. Whenever a follower of theirs dies, a spell is used, or a card is discarded, the used cards contribute to a "Shadow" resource. Upon using one of the cards with a "Necromancy" tag in it, the card will consume a set number of "Shadows" to provide an additional effect (i.e. "Necromancy (6)" will consume 6 Shadows). Some cards can be used to destroy other cards or their own followers to provide an additional effect, while many of her cards provide an effect upon death (Last Words). Several of Shadowcraft's cards explicitly generate extra Shadows to quickly access Necromancy effects. Generally speaking, Shadow falls into a Difficult, but Awesome gameplay category, since the player need to make effective use of Shadows and Necromancy to play effectively. The followers are themed around the undead and necromancers.
    • Chronogenesis introduces two new mechanics to Shadowcraft. Reanimate is followed by a number, and it revives the player's highest-cost follower that was destroyed this game, so long as its cost is equal to or lower than that number. For instance, "Reanimate 2" will only revive 2pp followers and no higher. Burial Rite lets the player pick a follower in their hand, after which that follower is immediately summoned and destroyed without triggering Fanfares or Last Words. This puts an expensive follower in an optimal position to be Reanimated.
  • Bloodcraft, represented by the ancient vampire Urias Formonde: Blood focuses around Vengeance, which will activate when the player's health drops down below 50% HP (10 HP or less since each player starts with 20 health). When activated, Vengeance will provide another powerful effect for his cards. Some cards involve damaging oneself in order to get Vengeance activated and Life Drain to keep himself alive. The deck encourages a high-risk, high-reward playstyle. The followers are themed around vampires, demons and eldritch horrors.
  • Havencraft, represented by the priestess Eris Anthule: Haven focuses on Countdown and healing. Instead of placing followers directly into the board, it commonly instead places down amulets in the board with a timer effect. When the timer reaches zero, the amulet is destroyed and a more powerful follower will be summoned. Some of their cards have healing effects, while many other other cards can reduce the countdown timer to help the followers appear sooner. Haven focuses around control and late game dominance, where one needs to play passively and defensively at the start with self-healing, while trying to clear out enemy followers that come into play. The followers are based around priests, nuns, angels, and various Judeo-Christian religious creatures and animals.
  • Portalcraft, represented by the dimension traveler Yuwan: Portal focuses on Resonance, Artifacts, and Puppets, and is the eighth class introduced in Chronogenesis. Resonance activates when the deck currently contains an even number of cards, and some cards have additional effects when Resonance is active. Portal also has cards that generate Artifacts, which are special tokens which can be added to or removed from either the hand or the deck, allowing the player to manipulate when Resonance is active. In addition, Artifacts have better stats and abilities than most other cards of the same cost, making them efficient plays. Puppets are generated by many early-game cards and they can be used as free chip damage to followers, but higher costing cards can enhance their functions. Portalcraft is one of the hardest classes in the game since the player will need to make sure not to bog down their deck with too many Artifacts or manage their Puppets on hand to maximize their payoff without overdrawing, as well as monitor and manipulate whenever Resonance is active in order to utilize effects. The followers are based around machines, enchanted puppets, time, and otherworldly beings.

Shadowverse has expansions every three months, each one released at the end of the quarter, and its devs conduct balance changes at the end of every month, starting from mid-2017. The expansions are as follows:

    Expansions 
  • Darkness Evolved (September 2016): Introduces numerous followers with effects that trigger on evolution, and cards that work differently if the player controls evolved followers. Also expands on the secondary archetypes of the existing classes.
  • Rise of Bahamut (December 2016): Introduces a new mechanic, "Enhance". Cards with Enhance can also be played at their higher Enhance cost for greater effect. Should a card contain multiple Enhance effects, playing it at a higher Enhance cost will also cause its lesser Enhance abilities to trigger.
  • Tempest of the Gods (March 2017): Themed after celestial beings from multiple mythos. This set also establishes a trend of 2 legendaries per craft (and 2 Neutral ones); the previous expansions only had 1 legendary per craft, including neutral ones.
  • Wonderland Dreams (June 2017): Featuring Alice with multiple cards based on numerous fairytales. The set has a focus on Neutral synergies, leading to decks where Neutral cards make up their backbone instead of space-filling utility.
  • Starforged Legends (September 2017): Introduces cards themed on various constellations from multiple mythos. This set also contains special leader cards — alternate art versions of popular cards that won the leader poll. Those alternate-art cards cannot be crafted, and can only be pulled from the set starring them, but getting those cards will also grant the player their respective leader skin and sleeve. Daria and Imperial Dragoon (Aldos) are featured in this set.
  • Chronogenesis (December 2017): Introduces the eighth class, Portalcraft, and adds two new keywords for Shadowcraft — Reanimate and Burial Rite. The introduction of Chronogenesis also heralded the division of constructed play into Rotation and Unlimited formats, with Rotation only accommodating the five latest sets. Several cards in Chronogenesis are also designed to be Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for what the respective crafts would be missing when rotation sets in. This set's leader cards are Albert, Cerberus, and Dark General (Exella).
  • Dawnbreak Nightedge (March 2018): Introduces the "Choose" mechanic, where certain cards can be played in different forms if their conditions are met. This set's leader cards are Aria and Moon Rabbit Al'miraj (Ramina).
    • At the end of May 2017, Dawnbreak Nightedge's card pool received a small expansion, adding 1 more legendary and 1 more gold card for each craft, on top of a single neutral gold card. This mini-expansion was designed to "shake up the metagame" and minimize the Complacent Gaming Syndrome experienced at the third month of every expansion. This practice would be continued for subsequent expansions.
  • Brigade of the Sky (June 2018): An entire set based on Granblue Fantasy, featuring numerous characters as cards. It introduces the "Accelerate" keyword, functioning as a reversed form of Enhance — cards with Accelerate can be played at their lower Accelerate cost, but they will be played as a spell in that case and they may do something different. This set's only leader card is Spinaria, though a whole raft of Granblue characters were added as purchasable leaders.
  • Omen of the Ten (September 2018): A set designed around the Ten Omens, each of which is an Original Generation character based off The Commandments with a Numerological Motif. This expansion introduces a new mechanic called "Invocation", where cards with that mechanic summon a copy of themselves directly from their deck if certain conditions are met. This set's leader cards are Cassiopeia and Medusa.
  • Altersphere (December 2018): A set designed around familiar characters from various classes that have been "altered" into different classes with a similar design, but with a different take of a particular class. For example, Havencraft's Aether of the White Wing is remade into a Swordcraft follower Aether of the Warrior Wing, drawing an expensive follower rather than summoning it. The set also features the guild leaders of Isunia from the game's Story mode as playable characters. This set's leader cards are Orchis and Alexiel.
  • Steel Rebellion (March 2019): A futuristic/sci-fi themed expansion that takes place in the Gears of Rebellion storyline. This set introduces a new trait, Machina, a trait accessible to all classes. Machina cards puts emphasis on specific Machina card synergy and encourages board flooding and creating unique Machina tokens. This set's leader cards are Wizardess of Oz and Filene.

See the Analysis page for more in-depth of the current meta decks in Shadowverse.

Advertisement:


Tropes relating to Shadowverse:

  • Adult Fear: Rowen fears that he might accidentally kill his family if his dragon curse goes into a rampage. He attempts to prevent this from happening by not going home until he can control the curse. Isabelle has also shown signs of this trope in the past – the fear of having your loved one die in the middle of a war.
  • Aerith and Bob: The names of the characters may be categorized into traditional, realistic ones (Arisa, Isabelle, Rowen, Luna, Eris, Erika), while there are those that fit into the fantasy style setting (Urias, Yuwan, Losaria, Nexus, Nerva, Eleanor, Marlone).
  • Alice Allusion: The fourth expansion is named Wonderland Dreams. Naturally, the poster card for this expansion is designed after Alice.
  • Alucard: Available as a Bloodcraft Follower.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite:
    • The playable leaders' in-game sprites will flip when they are fought as opponents.
    • Not to mention that if the characters in the story mode would turn around to face the other side, their sprite also flips this way.
    • A majority of the cards' Evolved Artworks are simply mirrored versions of their Base Artworks, but with added details and aesthetic changes.
  • Animation Bump:
    • In its earlier expansions, Animated cards will generally add a foil effect to selected parts of the card, while the main object will remain static. Later expansions have Animated cards that do more than the foil effect – by having swaying clothes, or implementing a looping animation to the main object. One example of this change is Eggsplosion.
    • An update on June 2018 replaced the Prologue sequence of the game from its usual Visual Novel style to a fully-animated short clip.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The conclusion to the Morning Star story has every character pretty much set out on a new adventure to other worlds to chase after Nexus now that their own world is safe.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • You can replace a daily mission of your choice, but only every after 21 hours. This gives the player a chance to ignore class-based missions for classes in which they do not have any working decks at the moment.
    • The player can liquefy chosen cards for vials (that in turn, would allow the creation of newer cards), allowing excess cards to at least, have some use, and giving the player the freedom to create a preferred card with the right amount.
    • If you replay a chapter that was previously cleared, you will be given an option to skip the battle sequence, allowing you to focus on the Visual Novel story sequences.
    • The player can toggle the ability to receive Solo Daily Missions, which are much easier to complete due to only needing to battle with a much easier AI that has an untuned deck. This lets newer players still earn rupies without needing the best deck on the ladder or for most other players to complete all their Missions without spending too much time. However, Solo Missions yield fewer rupies than normal.
    • If a player fails a Story Chapter multiple times in succession, the game allows the player to temporarily use a preconstructed deck for this one battle. This lets newer players advance Story Mode without necessarily needing access to an extensive collection and better decks, and may even convince them to purchase the preconstructed deck for themselves.
  • Apologetic Attacker: With the emote mechanic, players can use pre-determined lines at any time in their turn, such as saying Sorry just before delivering the killing blow.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: A deck must contain exactly 40 cards in order to be usable in matches. Within the deck, up to 3 copies of a card can only be used (including its animated or promotional versions).
  • Archer Archetype: Arisa happens to be this, in addition, some of the Forestcraft cards are archers themselves.
  • Arc Symbol: That logo behind the title? The icon on the loading screen? The constellation-like group of interconnected stars? That's the Morning Star, the central plot device of the first arc. It is also visible in the default Card Sleeves of each class, appears in the Evolve button, and the default stage for Havencraft has an imitation on the upper right part of the screen.
  • Area of Effect: Some cards can buff multiple followers at once, while there are spells and followers that can either damage, or outright destroy all cards in play upon usage.
  • Art Evolution:
    • In the earlier expansions, the "Evolved" artwork of a card simply has the original artwork mirrored and depict minor changes to the follower's equipment, weaponry, or background. However, there are a few cards where the follower sports an entirely new pose when evolved, and this has been observed with increasing frequency in followers from more recent sets.
    • Starting from the Dawnbreak Nightedge expansion, the main menu's background changes to a unique artwork which reflects the game's current event or latest expansion pack.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Computer-controlled opponents in the lower difficulties of Practice Mode will show signs of this trope. The cards that they play for most of the time will lack synergy, and perfectly-executed combos are rare or even non-existent. They would also prioritize attacking and trading with your own followers other than your leader even if you have no Wards in play.
  • Ascended Extra: Shadowverse has turned select popular (or lucky) follower cards into alternate leaders. But the most "Extra" follower that's been picked would have to be Dark General, who unlike the other alt leaders that are Gold or Legendary cards, is a Basic card.
  • Asteroids Monster: Bone Chimera summons 2 1/1 skeletons on death. Skeleton Prince is an Asteroids Monster that summons another Asteroid Monster.
  • Auto-Revive: There are unique cards that allow a follower to summon a copy of itself after being destroyed. The notable examples belong to the Necromancy-themed Shadowcraft class such as Mordecai, Eternal Duelist and Corpselord of Woe. If they're persistent enough this reaches into Resurrective Immortality territory.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Certain Gold or Legendary cards ultimately prove to be too inefficient for use, often requiring significant deck dedication to function. Bear in mind that what is impractical in constructed can instead be great selections in Take Two, and vice-versa. See here for a list of such cards.
  • Badass Adorable: Luna is the cutest Necromancer to ever exist. Also, some of the lower-cost female follower cards are like this (especially the fairies, elves, maids, ninjas, and even undead creatures).
  • Badass Baritone: A good number of cards (especially from older male Dragoncraft and Swordcraft cards) spot deeper voices. Special mention to Albert, Levin Saber, who is considered to have one of the deepest voices of Swordcraft followers and is pretty badass for a 5 play point follower.
  • Badass Grandpa: Some old men can also be particularly strong followers, as illustrated by cards like Timeworn Mage Levi, Priest of the Cudgel, and Arch Summoner Erasmus.
  • Bad Boss: Various followers with beneficial Last Words effects — which trigger on their death — encourage the player to act as one, though a skilled player would at least send them to their death in order to defeat a strong but damaged enemy follower. Shadowcraft as a whole encourages this playstyle the most, as it has the most followers with Last Words, and in the off chance they don't, their deaths still provide shadows to fuel Necromancy effects.
    • In fact, Nephthys pulls out up to four followers from your deck to your area, only to destroy them immediately afterwards — clearly designed to quickly exploit any Last Word effects within the craft.
    • Building a deck around Fairy Dragon or Burst Shot involves sending a lot of Fairies to their death.
    • From Omen of the Ten, building a deck around Galmieux, Omen of Disdain encourages the player to deliberately damage their own followers to reap the benefits of the Disdain archetype. Building a deck around Lishenne, Omen of Destruction, encourages the player to sacrifice their own cards to discount her signature Destruction amulets.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Several cards exist that transform other cards into weak, powerless followers.
  • Barrier Warrior: Some followers can grant Ward to other followers, summon followers with Ward (i.e. White Paladin), or provide defensive buffs to your other followers or leader (i.e. Vira, Roland, and Alexiel).
  • Battle Aura: Almost every character in the main story has a combat stance accompanied by this trope. And they also have a glowing aura around them (sometimes with a glowing weapon) correspending to the color of their class.
  • Battle Couple:
    • Anne and Grea can call the other into battle when played, even though both cards belong to separate crafts. Even across three games, they're still one of Cygames' greatest yuri battle couples!
    • Also depicted in single cards, such as Beauty and the Beast and Old Man and Old Woman.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Players can "Concede" any time by quitting the match, especially if they feel that they have a very steep chance of winning, at a major disadvantage, or have simply accepted their defeat and not wanting to see their opponent deliver the killing blow. Nonetheless, it allows matches to end quickly.
  • Big "WHAT?!": The standard response on the surprised emote is for the character to proclaim a loud what. Though there are some exceptions, Saber Alter for instance will just produce a smug "Oh?".
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Goblins look exactly as you'd expect of them. Female goblins, though, are more humanoid: Goblin Mage, and Goblin Princess.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Even two years after the game's launch, several basic cards remain as staples in their associated crafts due to their early-game efficiency. For instance, Runecraft has Insight and Magic Missile, which are cheap spells with draw effects; Bloodcraft, Havencraft, and Forestcraft each have an effective 2pp removal spell; Goblin gets used in nearly any aggressive deck due to him being a non-rotating Neutral 1pp follower.
    • Various "vanilla" followers without any additional effects barring self-buffs get glossed over in constructed play, but have fairly reasonable stats that mark the baseline power-cost ratio. The fact that they are commons means that, in the lack of anything better, they will be picked often in Take 2 where individual card quality is favoured over synergy and removal is scarce.
    • Purehearted Singer: A neutral 3pp follower with a mediocre 1/2 statline, but draws a card on Fanfare and Last Words. This follower saw play in many decks due to providing card draw for decks that lacked it.
  • Boss Battle: Closely emulated by the time someone plays Prince of Darkness or Prince of Cocytus — their deck is replaced by a smaller deck of Purposely Overpowered cards, dramatically changing the flow of the game for subsequent turns. It's up to their opponent to either quickly finish the match during their few vulnerable opportunities or Hold the Line until they deck out.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • Some of the game's art was changed for the English release, most notably Isabelle's character portrait, who had the Cleavage Window over her massive breasts covered up.
    • Prince of Darkness is known as Satan in the Japanese versions of the game.
    • Carefully examining card arts between Shadowverse and their originals in Rage of Bahamut reveal several subtle changes to card arts regardless of version. For instance, Carabosse and Rapunzel were given slightly more clothing, and the chains on Harnessed Flame and Harnessed Glass were removed.
    • One of the stranger cases involves Cerberus whose card art is untouched but her leader art shows her wearing shorts instead of her usual bottom wear.
  • Breakout Character: It is quite safe to say that among the English-speaking playerbase, Forte has a lot more fans and gets more spotlight in Shadowverse compared to Rage of Bahamut where she originated, and Granblue Fantasy, one of the most well-known IPs of Cygames. It gets to the point where she gets an alternate card artwork, and that the official English Shadowverse Twitter uses her artwork for such a long time now.
  • Breather Episode: Some chapters after the release of the Morning Star: Conclusion arc do not have enemy encounters, allowing the player to freely focus on the story at hand. This gets carried to the newer story arcs like Guild Wars.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Downplayed; there are several features of the game that can only be bought with real-life currency, but often these are merely cosmetic features (like card backs or alternate leaders) that do not offer any significant gameplay advantage. Monetary investment can allow players to purchase more packs and rapidly expand their collection but the game is already generous enough that this is not necessarily mandatory for success.
    • With the release of Rise of Bahamut, Cygames added preconstructed starter decks that can only be purchased with Crystals that are bought with real money. While the cards in those decks are no different from what can be obtained by playing the game normally (except for an alternate art legendary card), the decks are guaranteed to have a copy each of two different legendary cards, and buying 3 of them can easily allow a player to gather playsets of important gold or legendary cards and put together a competent deck for ranked matches, saving on vials that would otherwise be spent crafting them. The trope gets played with as the content patterns of each subsequent set of decks change to favor either form or function.
  • Brought Down to Normal: A very limited number of cards completely removes every effect from a follower (Last Words, Bane, Drain, anything in the card text) except for changes to done to its Attack and Defense.
  • Cap: Initially, the maximum Class Level for a given faction is 100, but an update later increased it to 150.
  • Cast Herd: A trend for a fully-voiced card game, Shadowverse has hundreds of voiced cards across several languages, so this becomes inevitable.
  • Catch-Phrase: Eventually applies to the lines spoken when a follower is put into play. Some may even count as Badass Boast, others become known for the memes:
    Albert, Levin Saber: Sky Knights, prepare for battle!
  • CCG Importance Dissonance: As it turns out this also becomes inevitable to Shadowverse thanks to the hundreds of available cards, and if you would also count Gameplay and Story Integration for cards and expansions derived from other games' lore.
    • Regarding the cards' Attack/Defense stat-lines, this bounds to happen if one were to compared the followers. Some players had been wondering why the basic loincloth-wearing Goblin card has 2 defense compared to an armor-wearing Quickblader who has only 1 Defense.
    • Some Granblue characters who start out having a rarity of SSR (highest rarity, denoted by a Gold border) from the RPG game became a Silver-rarity card in Shadowverse. One such example is Charlotta.
    • This Reddit post unintentionally makes fun of this trope using a meme.
  • Charged Attack: Cards with Spellboost continue to enjoy the Spellboost benefits so long as they remain in your hand and you continue to cast spells. A Fire Chain that's been sitting in the hand since the start of the game can easily cause a Total Party Kill.
  • Clarke's Third Law: The dimension Yuwan and the Portalcraft cards came from seems to be based on advanced technology (or Magi Tech) rather than outright magic, with a lot of machines and automatons among his followers. However, they still seem to incorporate magic into their operation, particularly the creepy soul-powered puppets.
  • Climax Boss: Nexus in the first half Morning Star Arc, and Eris and her clones in its second half, just before the main cast escapes the dream world.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Rarities of the cards are denoted by their frame - bronze, silver, gold, and legendary. A less noticeable example lies in the gem at the bottom of the frame — its color denotes the craft that card belongs to.
  • Combos: There are various cards and strategies that involves dropping your opponent's health from 20 to 0. Generally speaking, Forestcraft is the class specialize this strategy, as it involves playing multiple cards to setup powerful combo effects (and even have a legendary follower that literally drops your opponent's health to 0 if the attack connects into the opponent's face).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In later missions of the story campaign, the AI is allowed to build blatantly-illegal decks combining cards from multiple different factions, and thoroughly abuses this ability to create brutally unfair combinations of cards that would normally be impossible, such as the Black Dragon of Malediction using Dragonsong Flute to convert Fairies in its hand (generated by Forestcraft cards) into Hellflame Dragons, or the Burglar and Balthazar combining Nephthys with powerful Last Words creatures from Swordcraft, most notably Leonidas and Frontline General, before finishing you off with Forestcraft's Silver Bolt.
    • Some players may suspect the higher-difficulty AI of cheating its draws, from seeing it conveniently being able to play everything on curve without fail.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • Prone to happen when multiple popular, but different, decks belong to the same craft. Haven gets to use this more often between their usual Stone Wall control decks and a stray aggressive tempo deck, and the mulligans for either matchup can vary dramatically.
    • Decks built around Mjerrabaine wield this trope as a byproduct of their deckbuilding restrictions. As the player cannot use multiples of their strongest cards barring Mjerrabaine himself, they have to settle with other cards that normally don't see constructed play to fill out numbers, creating cases where the opponent fails to play around a card they don't expect.
    • Some decks can have so much overlap with other deck archetypes that it's hard to classify them in a specific deck archetype. This is more common with Rotation decks than with Unlimited decks due to a more dynamic meta where cards are rotated out. A good example would be pre-nerf Puppet Portal note  and Arcus Shadow, where both are often played like midrange decks in the early game, yet play more like a combo deck in the lategame. Some other decks that don't fit into the traditional deck classification in card games include most ramp Dragon lists, Giant Chimera Rune note , Darkfeast Bat note , and Holy Mage Haven note 
  • Conspicuous CG: The Shades in the animated prologue have smoother animations and a unique lighting effect which makes them look like 3D rendered entities.
  • Cosmetic Award: You can obtain Leaders, Card Sleeves, Emblems, and Flairs to customize the appearance of your card backs and profile. There are also promotional and non-limited card "reprints" which are basically just alternate arts for chosen cards.
  • Counter Attack: There are spells, and amulets that allow followers to deal damage to the opponent first, even before they can strike back. For instance, Wood of Brambles gives this effect, which grants your followers an extra instance of 1 damage every time they engage in combat with an enemy follower. If done right, your follower may not be damaged at all. Some followers like Rackam also have this by default.
  • Counterspell: There are followers that cannot be targeted by spells or effects, forcing the opponent to use their own followers to deal with them. There are also cards like Elf Girl Liza that can grant this effect to any follower for a limited number of turns.
  • Crossover:
    • With Rage of Bahamut. In fact, some of the characters from Rage Of Bahamut appear in this game as playable cards and you can even use them as "leaders" for any particular craft (Vania being an example).
    • Granblue Fantasy and THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls also have cosmetic cameos in the form of free sleeves.
      • As part of the Granblue Fantasy collaboration, various charactersnote  had sleeves and emblems based on their art from Granblue Fantasy.
      • An entire expansion, named Brigade of the Sky and released June 2018, is themed after Granblue Fantasy and features numerous characters from its cast as cards.
    • Street Fighter characters are available as leaders.
    • Ta-G and Chaos Dragonrider AGRS, the mascot characters of Tomokazu Sugita's radio show "Anigera" appear as limited-time card replacements for Quickblader and Wyvern Cavalier respectively on March 2017.
    • Fate/stay night characters are available as leaders and as alternate art for existing Starforged Legends cards to promote the Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel movies. note 
    • On August 2018, Shadowverse players can obtain Emblems and Sleeves based on Zone of The Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS as a part of promoting the game.
    • On October 2018, Zombie Land Saga Sleeves and Emblems can be purchased from the shop.
    • Mysteria Friends also gave emblems and sleeves via daily log-ins on February 2019.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Although they're not characters within the world of the game per se, there are countless mythological figures from varying different mythologies playable as followers, including Bahamut, Medusa, Gilgamesh, Odin, and a variety of Biblical angels.
  • Crutch Character: Swordcraft aggro is one of the cheapest decks to assemble as a good portion of it consists of cheap bronze, silver, and even some basic cards. It allows a player who may not have had good pulls to easily win many ranked games, until they reach B0 or A0 ranks where they start to see many decks that can easily halt aggro's progress.
    • Although it depends on how long Cygames intends to support the archetype, Mysteria Rune since Omen of the Ten manages to be even cheaper and simpler than Aggro Sword. More than half its core cards are Bronze rarity with zero Legendaries, and their game plan basically boils down to "Play Mysteria cards to draw or generate other Mysteria cards until you can play Anna's Sorcery on turn 10 to hit them for more than half their their health".
  • Damage Reduction: There are cards that subtract the damage dealt by your opponent. Temple Defender subtracts 1 from the damage dealt to that follower, while Durandal and Alexiel allows you to receive only a maximum of 4 damage from any source.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
  • Deader Than Dead: Effects that banish not only get rid of the affected cards but also prevent Last Word abilities from being triggered (which normally do so when the card is destroyed) and also prevents the cards from being converted into shadows. Havencraft has the most cards involved with this.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Some cards that have downsides or situational effects fall into this category:
    • Bloodcraft has a slew of effects that deal damage to your own leader, so you are putting yourself at risk if you cannot heal yourself back.
    • Dimension Witch Daria banishes your hand and replaces it with a new one, but also spellboosted five times. It would turn out disappointing if the next cards do not have spellboost effects, or the player is forced to banish a card which can effective until late-game.
    • Prince of Darkness replaces your entire deck with a predetermined 10-card set. While the new cards are Purposely Overpowered, they are expensive enough that you can only play one or two of them at a time, and if your opponent manages to outlast you, you lose to deck-out.
    • Zooey inflicts HP to 1 on your leader but compensates by making you immune to damage until your next turn. She is designed to help buy time and either deliver or set up lethal. Any opponent who foresees this and sets up Ward followers can blunt her game-ending ability.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: If you concede, or your leader's HP drops to 0 or less, they will explode.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Ghosts normally banish themselves whenever they would be destroyed. They still have a death line programmed, and it can only be heard through a single type of interaction (Ghosthound Sexton, which causes Ghosts to be destroyed instead of being banished at the end of the turn).
    • Every card has a line for summoning, attacking, evolving, and dying. Eidolon of Madness has an effect that prevents it from attacking, and Heavenly Aegis is indestructible. They still have attack and death lines respectively.
    • Every single card has an animated version, even the limited-time reprints of cards that come in base form such as Ta-G, Katana Unsheated and generated card Tokens such as Ghosts. If you use an animated card such as Urd to summon a copy of another follower, that new copy will become animated too. With the release of Seer's Globes, players can now freely animate any card of their choice.
  • Dialogue During Gameplay: The pre-defined emotes serve as a simplistic way for players to communicate with each other. Later story chapters have your playable character exchange unique lines with their opponent at specific turns or after the match.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Occasionally happens if your opponent manages to deliver an effective combo that turns the tide of the battle towards their favor. In the first place, you do not know the cards that your opponent has in their hand, until they play it. An example would happen if a Dragoncraft player plays Phoenix Roost (a card that is beneficial to both players by halving the cost of all cards) only to be followed by a lucky three consecutive attack combo from Zooey, Arbiter of the Skies.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Path to Purgatory is a neutral amulet that continuously deals 6 damage to the opponent and all their followers if you have 30 or more shadows at the end of your turn.note  While impressive, especially with a deck designed to reach 30 shadows as fast as possible, it is also very easy to misplay.
    • Legendary Fighter gains one of three abilities when you play an amulet, play a spell, or evolve another follower. If he's gained all three, at the start of your next turn he's a 10/10 follower that can attack twice, ensuring that he can slaughter a full-health opponent and destroy anything that tries to get in the way. The issue is keeping him alive long enough to execute all three actions, and the opponent is likely to get rid of him before that happens. However, what keeps him from being Awesome, but Impractical is that at the end of the day he still has excellent stats on-curve, and the opponent wasting removal on him is also removal not used on your other more valuable cards.
    • OTK Roach, the most iconic combo deck in Shadowverse, utilize the namesake Rhinoceroach, which is a 2pp 1/1 Storm follower that doesn't do much, but it's attack scales on how many cards were played during the player's turn. Combined with Forest's access to low play point cards and it's return mechanic, it allows the player to potentially drop the enemy leader's defense from 20 to 0. What makes this deck incredibly difficult is that it forgoes any 1 to 2 play point followers so that Goblin Mage can consistently pull the aforementioned Rhinoceroach and Fortunehunter Feena's evolve effect gives a player a 0 pp cost Goblin Mage as well putting consideration on the player's current play points, the opponent's health, board space, and the number of Wards in play. This is why this was given the Fan Nickname "Miracle Roach", due to OTK Roach's similarity with Hearthstone's Rogue's combo deck (as well as Forestcraft's similarity to Hearthstone's Rogue as a class on emphasis of combos). Under the most skillful hands, however, OTK Roach is considered to be one of the most cconsistent and strongest combo decks in Unlimited where it possible to drop your opponent's health down from 20 to 0 around turn 7.
    • Bloodcraft's Vengeance mechanic. This is a playstyle that encourages a "high-risk, high reward" playstyle that involves dropping your own defense to 10 and activate powerful Vengeance effects such as Dark Airjammer, Dark General, Emeralda, Demonic Officer, and Vania, Nightshade Vampire. Put yourself into Vengeance inappropriately, and you can lose to aggro and combo decks easily; heal yourself too much, and you lose out on more Vengeance effects. Played correctly, and Vengeance Blood can make a lot of nasty midgame plays with the aforementioned cards.
      • Trying to build around Girtablilu dramatically amplifies the stakes. Using it as a win condition requires you to last to turn 9, conserve (or recover) an evolve point, get yourself to as low as 2 health without dying, and hope the opponent doesn't have a convenient Ward follower. When all the conditions are met, though, Girtablilu can literally win you the game on the spot.
    • Portalcraft as a class is considered to be the hardest class to play (even harder than Forestcraft during Forest's early days) due to having a small card pool to work with (since it's a recent class introduced in the Chronogenesis expansion, which makes Portalcraft the weakest class in the Unlimited format) and utilization of Resonance effect that involves manipulating the player's deck size. Artifact Portal has a specific mention due to the mechanic of putting Artifacts into the player's deck and manipulating Resonance in order to maximize Deus Ex Machina's effect to get as much advantage without needlessly discarding resources or running out of cards in the deck.
    • Building a deck around Mjerrabaine requires you to run single copies of every other card in your deck. Not only that, but if you fail to draw Mjerrabaine and repeatedly fulfill the conditions of his ability, you're stuck with a pile of single cards with reduced consistency. Since Mjerrabaine is Neutral, any craft can theoretically use him, but the question is which.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • Chapters 5 and 6 of each Story Mode is where the game stops giving itself a handicap. The AI now starts at a full 20 defense, and it begins to play more proficiently and use evolutions more frequently.
    • Once the player hits rank A0, they no longer earn winning streak bonus points, slowing their progression through the ranks.note  It's also the point where they start encountering more competitive decks and competent players, and are forced to bring their best to win consistently.
      • An inversion of the trope happens once the player manages to reach Grand Master. Those who achieve Grand Master rank remain there until the quarterly reset. Until then, the player keeps their rank and has collected their Grand Master rewards, and no longer faces any pressure to succeed except if they want to clear their daily missions quickly (or if they want to climb towards Grand Master in the other format).
    • Grand Prix mode presents one when you qualify for its finals. You only get one shot (as opposed to one free attempt per day and a few more if you can buy into extra attempts) and it's double elimination (formerly single), so losing one too many times, even to a bad matchup, will end your run. And given the stakes (especially in Group A where the rewards are much better), you'll be facing the strongest or most popular decks around.
  • Doppelgänger: Some of the shades that you fight can make exact clones of other characters in the storyline.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: At the end of Chapter 8, the characters are sucked into the light of the Morning Star after Nexus appears.
  • Draw Aggro: If there is a Ward in play, then the followers of the opposing leader can only attack it until it gets destroyed.
  • Dub Name Change: The English version follows the changes made to the character names from Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy in order to maintain consistency. For example, Brodia is changed to Alexiel, and Shirou to Nicholas in the English version.
    • Another notable example is the card featuring Lowain and his bros. It is named with the acronym K.B.S.N. in the Japanese versionnote , while it is named H.P.A. in the English version (which stands for Human Pyramid Attack)
  • Dueling Player Characters: Since the Story mode is interconnected and that different leaders encounter and fight one another, the leader that you are currently playing as can be an AI-controlled opponent if you play the other leaders' storylines.
  • Dynamic Entry: Various legendary followers enter the battlefield with an elaborate and flashy animation. Bahamut takes the cake as its entry is also punctuated with the destruction of everything else already in play.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Every playable character in Story Mode is experiencing despair in one form or another.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: All chapters from the Morning Star arc will always put the character against enemies popping out of nowhere, even in the midst of dialogue. This causes even the shortest conversations to be interrupted by monster attacks. By the second half of the arc, we get to know more of the original characters' backstories as they are trapped in the dream world. The second arc named Guild Wars actually has a better plot, leaves equal opportunities for introducing new characters as well as expanding the Character Development of the originals. Some chapters are no longer interrupted by unnecessary monster attacks. That being said, the Guild Wars chapters of each leader are actually longer than their Morning Star chapters in terms of content.
    • This is also the trend that happened with Granblue Fantasy in its earlier years - Almost every chapter requires the player to participate in a battle. Until this grew old and now, a lot of story and event chapters deal with the plot more than excessive monster encounters.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Certain cards with special lore relationships have a different summon line if the opponent controls the other. For example, true to legend, Siegfried says "Enough of you, vainglorious dragon!" if summoned while the opponent controls a Fafnir. See here for a complete list.
    • For every stage, there is an object on the upper left part that can be interacted with:
      • Dragoncraft (Default): Clicking on the stalactite will cause it to drop.
      • Bloodcraft (Default): Clicking on the coffin several times will remove the sword and let bats fly out.
      • Swordcraft (Default): Clicking on the knight will make it swing its sword.
      • Runecraft (Default): Clicking on the golem statue will make it bump its fists together and raise them towards the camera. Sometimes, the statue will simply spin its floating arms.
      • Shadowcraft (Default): Clicking on the grandfather clock will make paranormal activities occur, such as visible footsteps towards the staircase.
      • Havencraft (Default): Clicking on the Morning Star's replica symbol several times will cause its nodes to glow light-blue, until the symbol eventually glows red.
      • Portalcraft (Default): Clicking on the electric orb will cause it to grow in size.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Various forms of cosmic horrors are present and represented with cards such as Eidolon of Madness and Bloodhungry Matriarch among others.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Legendary cards — the highest tier rarity — are denoted with a rainbow sheen in their card frame.
  • Explosive Overclocking:
    • A player can only have a maximum of 9 Cards in hand. If they attempt to draw new cards from the deck, these cards will be destroyed, much to the player's embarassment.
    • Evolving a Red Ragewyrm lets it go from a harmless 0/5 to a monstrous 10/10. However, it dies at the end of the turn.
  • Fallen Angel: Evelisia the Fallen:
    Why did my wings turn black? Why did they chase me out of the skies? And why... why do the angels have to doubt me?
    Evolved: Whenever I try to find out why, it hurts deep inside my heart. Tell me, someone, am I a fallen angel? Did I do something bad? If that's the case... If that's how it is, then I...
    • Fall from Grace turns anyone and anything into a fallen angel. Bonus points if it transforms Lapis, Glorious Seraph; it's also one of the few neutral cards capable of completely disarming her.
  • Fairytale Motifs: The Wonderland Dreams expansion is heavily focused on characters and stories from numerous classical tales such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Swan Lake and even the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: As with Crossover Cosmology, Shadowverse also combines mythological beasts and creatures thanks to the variety of the crafts (as mentioned in the initial paragraphs) - fairies, elves, knights, angels, nuns, undead, skeletons, vampires, succubi, demons, dragons, golems, robots, wizards, alchemists...
  • Family Theme Naming: Andromeda, is Cassiopeia's daughter, as Andromeda's reaction to Cassiopeia, at least in English, is:
  • Fictional Currency: Like the shared universe of Granblue Fantasy, Shadowverse uses Rupies as its default monetary currency.
  • Fighting Your Friend: The seven original leaders developed a sort of non-antagonistic bond to one another after they drove Nexus in the Morning Star Arc. However, in the Guild Wars chapters, Luna had to fight Isabelle so that the latter would stop attacking Nicola Adel.
  • Finishing Move: Most high-cost cards fall into this trope, particularly spells and followers that can guarantee the victory of the player if properly executed later in the match. Specialized decks are often built around these cards that they may create Combos or synergy even early in the match (such as pulling them from the deck).
  • Flavor Text: Cards have additional descriptions regarding their lore, but most are quotes from the characters involved. These can be viewed on the "Cards" screen and are also shown in loading screens.
  • Foil: Odette and Odile, the White and Black Swans of Swan Lake, have mirrored stats, flavour texts, and voice lines. They even summon their rival under the enemy's control.
  • For Great Justice: Heavenly Knight is all about justice. His attack line even is the trope name word for word.
  • Gag Boobs: Quite a few female followers, but Isabelle the sorceress is the most visible example, even if they had to censor her cleavage for the English release.
  • Gathering Steam:
    • The maximum number of play points increases by 1 per turn (or more if you are playing Dragoncraft) up to the maximum of 10.
    • There are also cards and effects that gradually increase the Attack and Defense of followers per turn if certain conditions are met. For instance, Elana's Prayer provides +1/+1 to all followers every time your leader is healed, even at full health.
  • Giant Woman: Gunnlod, based on the jotunn of Norse myth. Also a Yandere.
  • Glass Cannon: Several cards have incredibly high attack for their cost but terrible defense, which is incredibly common for many "officer" followers for Swordcraft. This is exemplified with Dark Dragoon Forte, a 5/1 with Storm and often the finishing move for aggressive Dragoncraft decks. She can't be attacked once Overflow is active, but she's still vulnerable to medium-strength removal spells.
  • Guide Dang It!: Clicking on card description text boxes provides further information that explains keywords or elaborates on what special cards they create. Not with Prince of Darkness, where the contents of the Apocalypse Deck mentioned in the card is not elaborated on. Want to find out? Look online or experience the deck yourself.note 
  • Horny Devils: Available as a few of Bloodcraft's followers. For instance, Lilith and Succubus.
  • HP to 1:
    • Woodkin Curse and Pegasus Elf apply this to enemy followers, leaving them vulnerable to even a mere 1/1 Fairy.
    • Astaroth's Reckoning, obtained from Prince of Darkness or Tainted Grail, does this to the enemy leader.
    • Zooey, Arbiter of the Skies does this to yourself. Fortunately, you don't take any damage until your next turn so it won't matter if you can finish the job next turn.
  • Idol Singer: Lishenna, the Omen of Destruction dresses up and plays the part of one, which is also lampshaded in her card's Flavor Text.
  • Improbably Female Cast: The winners of the 2nd Birthday Leader Poll are all females. While in the Granblue Leader Set, the only male leader is Percival.
  • Increasingly Lethal Enemy: Several followers are known to rapidly gain stats over time or during the normal course of gameplay, prompting players to quickly answer them before they become too strong to handle.
    • Mushussu played just before evolves become available is magnet for removal, as its +2/+0 buff each time something evolves can result in an unanswered Mushussu hitting for a whopping 8 damage.
    • In a similar vein as Mushussu, Venomous Pucewyrm is a magnet for damage and removal due to it gaining 2 in both attack and defense each turn making him a priority before he snowballs out of control, and unlike Mushussu, Pucewyrm is also pretty beefy right out of the gate making him even harder to answer without hard removal.
    • Bladed Hedgehog, like Mushussu, grows ever stronger whenever the opponent's followers dies, letting it hit very hard if left alone for long enough.
    • Several cards do damage based on the number of times an action is done over the course of the game, meaning that they don't even need to be in your hand to grow stronger, unlike the Spellboost mechanic. Examples of these include Safira and Darkfeast Bat.
  • The Ingenue: Played into an extreme exaggeration with Innocent Princess Prim where she's a sweet, innocent, and adorable princess to the point that she's not allowed to leave her castle note .
  • Instant Runes:
    • A magic circle bearing the symbol of the Morning Star appears every time a Shade is summoned.
    • Every time someone prepares a form of spell, magic, or alchemy in the story mode, runes or sigils will appear near their hands. So far, this applies to Isabelle, Yuwan, Eleanor, and Marlone.
  • Instant-Win Condition:
    • Inverted when a player decks out: Regardless of health counts are or board state, once a player attempts to draw cards when they don't have any left in their deck, they lose immediately.
      • Spartacus flips this into a straight example — playing him exchanges the Reaper card at the bottom of your deck with a Victory card, which makes you win if you try to draw from an empty deck instead.
    • Enstatued Seraph functions as one for Havencraft. Being playable on turn 8 at its earliest, the Haven player must defend themselves for 4 more turns (or less, if they speed the countdown along) before the Seraph takes effect and causes them to win the game. Due to how Countdown and Last Words interact, destroying the Seraph is the last thing one would want to do (although it can be stopped if you can Banish it).
    • Forestcraft have access to the follower Deepwood Anomaly that, when it successfully manages to land a direct attack, will do enough damage to deplete the opponent's health (as long as they don't have damage reduction effects).
  • I Shall Taunt You: Like Hearthstone, Shadowverse has a taunt mechanic by way of using the pre-defined emotes ranging from Hello, Thanks, Sorry, and others.
  • Jack of All Trades:
    • Swordcraft and Bloodcraft cards are noteworthy for their versatility of their cards and variety of gameplay options.
    • An entire deck archetype - the "midrange" deck - is designed to have a balance between early aggression and late-game strength. This makes them very versatile and difficult to counter, but in exchange they do not have an overwhelming advantage in any matchup. They also excel a bit in Confusion Fu due to vaguely resembling either aggro or control and affecting their opponent's early decisions.
    • The introduction of the "Choose" mechanic in Dawnbreak Nightedge expansion is this, giving more versatility and options for various classes and decks for all classes as it allows players to choose more options when playing certain cards. Swordcraft as a class benefited the most with this new mechanic, cementing this trope for the class.
  • Just for Pun: Some cards are named in this manner, such as Eggsplosion.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A lot of the Swordcraft followers wear armor by profession, so do a few knights and warriors from Havencraft and Dragoncraft. But one of those who can take the cake is an animated Heavy Knight - his armor continuously shines every few seconds.
  • Large Ham: Various followers have particularly hammy entrance lines.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Yuwan's story takes place at the same time as "The Morning Star" chapter, which takes place after every other character's story. Naturally, it spoils tons of events that occur. This is especially jarring since the later chapters in each character's stories are meant for veterans with better decks to deal with the illegal decks the AI uses, while Yuwan's story is meant to be a tutorial for Portalcraft like the other characters' early stories. Which means, players may choose to play Portalcraft even if they haven't completed the other leaders yet... only to be welcomed by cutscenes of spoilers later on.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers: Any follower who has Bane will kill the targeted opponent, even if that follower has 0 attack.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Decks focused around certain combos are termed "meme decks" by some of the playerbase due to the inconsistency in getting the combo together. When the stars align, they are near unstoppable, but the rest of the time — and most of the time — they are weaker than others.
    • Deathly Tyrant is a 3/3 with Storm and gains a whopping +10/+10 if you use its Necromancy ability - enough to finish off an opponent at a little above half health. The Necromancy cost? 20 Shadows. This either forces you to completely forsake any other type of Necromancy effect (and give up important tools like Soulsquasher, Death's Breath or Eachtar), overcompensate with token and shadow generation, or supplement with Midnight Haunt, delaying the play to turn 9, or Minthe, offering a more consistent combo but at turn 10.
    • Lord Atomy is an 8/8 that can be summoned for free (though at the cost of the rest of your board) once your area has 4 cards. He can be summoned as early as turn 2, though usually he comes knocking around at turn 4. It is possible to supplement with Frozen Mammoth to summon additional beefy Imperial Mammoths when he drops, creating a board state that is difficult to contest. However, his impressive statline becomes less significant in later turns, and if the deck doesn't draw into Atomy within the first few turns, it is left with weak cards that fill the board while frantically wasting mana trying to draw into Atomy.
    • Phoenix Roost halves the cost of the cards for both player's hands. This means if you play this card as early as possible, your opponent will get to take advantage of this first to set up a very strong board before you can, making it a very risky venture.
    • Harnessed Flame and Harnessed Glass can combine to form a nigh-unstoppable Flame and Glass. Individually, both are rather weak followers and will only combine at the start of your turn, meaning you have to protect them long enough to accomplish this feat.
    • Hamsa seems exceptionally weak at first glance, being a bronze-rarity follower with a 0/2 body for 2pp. However, he is no mere duck as when you play him, his attack changes to match the highest-attack follower on the opponents' side of the field. In extreme cases, he can have in excess of 15 attack if the opponent has an evolved Bahamut or Servant of Darkness on their side of the field. Furthermore, if you use him in Swordcraft, you can combine his effect with Cyclone Blade to almost certainly clear the entirety of your opponent's board while leaving Hamsa, who still has the attack of whichever follower he copied, on the field to threaten face next turn. In Dragoncraft, Tilting at Windmills gives him Storm, allowing him to strike an unprotected player for massive damage. His main weakness is that no matter how much attack Hamsa has, he will always only have 2 health, meaning he is easily cleared by all but the cheapest removal spells.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Dragoncraft's default background stage is set inside a volcano, with a floating island serving as the "board".
  • Level Grinding:
    • Eyeing that Legendary Pack at the end of Score Rewards? Be prepared to grind out about 1000 wins across a month. While the game is generous with Score Rewards at the beginning, the score intervals between subsequent rewards only get wider, reducing motivation to continue. Many players choose to stop grinding after they've gained the unique emblem and card sleeve of the month due to the lowering returns for raising ranked score.
      • Getting all the monthly emblem and card sleeve rewards for August 2018 is a bit of a stretch for casual players. With 4 emblems scattered across the thresholds and their Dragon Knights sleeve at the 20,000 rank score mark, players who only go as far as the 12,000 mark would need to get about 50% more wins if they want to attain the reward.
    • Do you desire the Grand Master sleeve and flair? If you're already at Master rank, be prepared to grind to a Master score of 10000, meaning a net of 100 wins across a month.note  And unlike Score Rewards, this progress can be undone with losing. A bad losing streak, especially in a time when many other Master players are also striving for that rank, can easily undo hours of progress. And once you attain Grand Master, the rank is yours until the end of the quarter, where a new expansion launches and you get reset to Master rank.
    • After reaching Level 100, the gaps between each subsequent level become very wide, and it will take a lot of time and effort to go further. Granted, the rewards for hitting levels 110 to 140 are a whopping 400 rupies per milestone, compared to all earlier level-based rewards.
  • Little Red Fighting Hood: Maisy, Red Riding Hood's flavour text depicts her turning around and killing the wolf after her. Her evolved form emphasizes this with more aggressive voice lines.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Although costly, there are cards with both Storm and a high statline allowing them to hit fast, hit hard and able to take abuse in turn. Genesis Dragon, Zeus and King Elephant are some notable ones.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Or cards. As of the Brigade of the Sky Expansion, there's over 600 fully-voiced cards, some of which represent characters from Rage of Bahamut or Granblue Fantasy.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Several Dragoncraft cards offer great effects in exchange for having to discard your low-cost cards first. However, what isn't immediately noticeable (due to needing to read between the lines in the card text) is that the player doesn't need to have anything to discard to get the effect to work. Crafty Dragon players utilize this quirk to bypass the "costs" of these effects and minimize loss in card advantage.
    • Rulenye has a Fanfare that raises the cost of the opponent's spells in their hand by 3 for their next turn. However, this only affects the base costs of spells they were holding at the time. Alternative costs like Enhance or Accelerate are not affected, so while it can stop that Dimension Shift deck from spamming spells to accelerate its combo, it's not going to save your board from being swept by an Enhanced Force of the Dragonewt, for instance, and anything they just drew is completely exempt from the penalty.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Chapter 9 onward of each storyline reveal that the characters have been sucked into a dream world designed to sate their desires.
  • Low-Level Advantage: You gain slightly more Rank/Score Reward points if you win a duel against a higher-ranked player. Inversely, you are lose fewer points if you lose against a higher-ranked player.
  • Magikarp Power: Some followers, such as Shadow Reaper, start out anywhere between underpowered or adequate for their cost, but can turn into absolute monsters if left alone for long enough. Cards with Spellboost combine this trope with Charged Attack.
    • Holy Lion Crystal initially spawns a 2/2. As you cast more of it, the token it generates slowly upgrades to a 4/4, and then a 4/4 with Storm. Due to the sheer quantity of Crystals you need to cast to reach maximum strength, the Crystal can regenerate itself for 5pp, on top of a slew of other cards automatically putting a Crystal in your hand.
  • The Magnificent: Characters who originate from other games usually have their titles succeeding or preceding their names, such as Mordecai the Duelist, and Dark Dragoon Forte respectively.
  • Master of None: Due to having several important cards lost to rotation, Shadowcraft in Rotation after the Dawnbreak Nightedge update has dropped from a powerful Jack of All Trades class with the best midrange deck to the worst class in the meta to the point where two of its class cards were the first ever instance of card buffs.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Jerva sets your leader's maximum defense to 10, in exchange for bestowing a very potent source of damage each turn. Izudia sets your opponent's leader's maximum defense to 6.
  • Monty Haul: The game is very generous to new players, handing out at least 10 free packs of each expansion to new players in addition to the easily-accomplished achievements with large rupie rewards. Sometimes, bouts of unexpected maintenance or milestone celebrations are followed by free packs.
  • Mook Maker: Some spells and followers can immediately summon other followers into play, such as Neptune summoning a Megalorca. Others have followers summon unique cards into the player's hand, both types of which are known as "Tokens".
  • Mutual Disadvantage: There are "board wipes" like Themis' Decree that destroy all followers in play, cards like Bloodfed Flowerbed that damage both leaders simultaneously, and Demonic Storm which deals 3 damage to all followers and both leaders.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Several of the later Story Mode opponents use decks that blend cards from 2 or more different crafts, creating combos that are not available to the player.
  • Mythology Gag: Cards based from other games reference the lore and abilities of their playable versions from where they initially appeared. As the game makes up a lot of cards that originated from Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy, there would be too many of them to list. But here are a few notable examples:
    • Albert being able to attack twice on Turn 9 references his passive skill in Granblue where he is guaranteed to land double attacks per turn.
    • Lyria being able to survive for one turn, and the added ability of restoring play points both reference her Rousing Wind ability (where damage is avoided for one turn) and Life Link passive (in which the player can use another summon twice). It's also perfect for searching out Proto Bahamut, which was the first summon the player recieved.
    • Ferry's card ability of giving all other followers the ability to attack 3 times at Turn 10 is a clear nod to her Signature Move Hin Lichten from Granblue, where every party member can attack 3 times per turn at the cost of a 100% Charge Attack Bar from the entire party.
    • Zooey's card ability of reducing your Leader's defense to 1 while giving damage immunity is a reference to her Conjunction ability in Granblue.
    • Silva's high stats and Ambush ability is a nod to her ability to deal huge burst damage with her Charge Attack, and her Accelerate effect references her A Shot in the Dark Ability, where she switches with a backline party member and takes potshots when they attack.
    • De La Fille giving the leader a heal at the end of each of their turns references her ability to grant a buff the healed all party members at the end of each turn.
    • Zeta putting Beatrix in the hand references the twosome's friendship. Meanwhile, Beatrix's Storm ability, high attack, low defence, and the ability to bypass wards on Enhance reference her tendency to recklessly charge into dangerous situations.
    • Korwa's card effect references her mechanic in Granblue Fantasy. She had powerful buffs, but in order to utilize them she had to stack up Fils that generated at the end of each turn, and she generated more Fils whenever she was attacked.
    • Vira's evolve effect references her Light version's Aegis Merge (which itself was borrowed from the boss that she's fused with), which drew all attacks towards her and reduced it to scratch damage.
    • Narmaya's evolve effect references her Butterfly Effect skill, which inflicted a defense debuff in exchange for making her more powerful.
    • The Camieux token summoned by Enhancing Cucouroux fires a spray of three 1-damage hits, all targeted randomly among all enemies, including the enemy leader. This references her tendency to attack with a flurry of bullets.
    • Both versions of Anne and Grea have some sort of synergy with each other. Their Rage of Bahamut versions had a Fanfare effect that would summon the other and then evolve them, and they both had new effects when evolved. As for their Omen of the Ten versions, Anne's cost would reduce if a Mysteria card was played while she was in the hand, and she could put a spell in the hand that deals damage for every Mysteria card played in the game, which could win the game if enough Mysteria cards were played. Not only is Grea a Mysteria card, but she's also a decently stated Ward, and on evolution she puts one of two spells (both also Mysteria cards) that deal damage to enemy followers, making her perfect for not only charging up Anne, but also stalling the game long enough to deliver the game-ending blow.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Some of the cards can have a really negative effect that can backfire on you if played inappropriately. Most visible with Bloodcraft's self-damaging cards that can allow the opponent to have lethal damage on you if played at the wrong time. Dire Bond is notable for this if played exactly at Turn 6 - It does nothing but deal 6 damage to your own leader, with the benefits only taking effect at the start of your next turn.
    • Mismanagement of the board (as it can only hold a maximum of 5 cards) can lead to embarrassing misplays. Many a Forestcraft player has to remain aware not to play Crystalia Tia as their fifth card in their area, lest they lose out on the large token she summons.
    • Dark Alice is unkillable, but her revival has a side effect of banishing every Shadowcraft card in your deck, hand, and area. Running her without building your deck correctly can result in your entire deck being obliterated.
    • Two of Dragoncraft legendary followers have unusual "high risk, high reward" mechanics that would normally would be seen in Bloodcraft:
      • Jerva of Draconic Mail is a 5/5 9pp follower that grants the player a permanent Support Cannon like effect that deals 5 damage to an enemy follower or deal 5 damage to the enemy leader if no enemy followers are on board. On the other hand, Jerva permanently set your maximum defense to 10 for the rest of the match, which can be very detrimental against classes that have access to strong Storm followers (for example, Sword) or followers that can potentially kill you in one turn (i.e. Iniquitous Lindworm). On the other hand, Dragon as a class have access to some of the strongest board wipes in the game, which almost guarantee a proc of Jerva's effect into the enemy leader, hence preventing the follower from being Awesome, but Impractical.
      • Zooey, Arbiter of the Skies. She is a follower with 6/5 attack with Storm note . However, she has an effect that deals damage to your leader until your defense drop to 1, but have a shielding effect that negates all damage to your leader until the start of your next turn, meaning your opponent can react appropriately should Zooey fail to close out the game as soon as possible.
  • Nerf: Cards or Deck Archetypes which appear to be overpowered at a certain state of the metagame will not evade Cygames' radar. These are the decks (and their main cards) which have an abnormally high winrate. The decision of Cygames to nerf these cards encourages players to try out other decks and crafts by not just focusing on what is the most popular and most-used.
  • Nosebleed: Nonja, Silent Maid's evolved quote references Innocent Princess Prim:
    Princess Prim's gentle beauty knows no limits. All her splendor's making me... Ah, my nose is bleeding!
  • No-Sell: Heavenly Aegis cannot be damaged by followers or spells, is immune to all other effects (friendly or enemy) that don't change its attack or defense, nor can be destroyed using Bane. If you are up against a Heavenly Aegis, the only way to slow (not stop) it is to use cards that reduce its attack.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Test of Strength when initially released was meant to function as a mechanically unusual way of giving followers temporary Ward, forcing followers to battle before they can hit the enemy leader. This works by applying its effects to followers in the form of a debuff that limits their attacking options. However, one particular control Haven deck utilizes Heavenly Aegis with Test of Strength, resulting in a devious combo — Aegis is immune to any effect that isn't a stat change, so it is unaffected by Test of Strength and can hit the opponent with impunity, while the opponent is forced to attack into the invincible Aegis if they wanted to attack. This was rectified with a change to Test of Strength outright giving followers Ward instead, performing its original purpose in a way that Aegis could not capitalize on.
    • Goblin Mage was intended to give players some sort of card draw that techs into any 2pp followers. However, there were several Forestcraft decks that utilize her due to the fact she always guarantees Rhinoceroach which lead to Forestcraft decks having Rhinoceroach as their only 2pp follower. Combined with Fortunehunter Feena's evolve effect of giving a 0pp Goblin Mage into the player's hand, this gave the Roach combo deck an uncanny consistency, and games would end as soon as turn 7 with an optimal Roach combo. Cygames has taken to note of Goblin Mage's potential with Forestcraft decks that has led to the nerf where Goblin Mage can draw any follower that is 2pp or less, forcing players trying to replicate the Roach deck's consistency to give up more of its early game.
    • Spawn of the Abyss was introduced for control Bloodcraft decks as a source of game-ending burst damage akin to the likes of Albert. However, he is often used in many neutral-oriented midrange and even aggro decks because Baphomet, when played for its enhance cost, draws Spawn of Abyss and reduces its cost to 5, allowing it to be played a good two turns earlier than intended. This has lead to a nerf where Baphomet's Enhance effect was removed and the effect changed where he tutors any Bloodcraft card. Similarly, Spawn of the Abyss's damage when attacking of Ambush and Last Words effect was reduced from 6 to 5 (and remains the same when evolved) which puts Spawn in a reasonable level while it still maintains the card's original purpose.
    • Staircase to Paradise is a 2pp amulet designed to give follower-heavy midrange and control decks like the ones found in Swordcraft a way to draw cards and sustain their hand in a way that is too slow for aggro decks to take advantage of. However, crafty Shadowcraft players have found a way to trigger Staircase's effect much earlier than it normally would be able to. How do they do this? They use Staircase as fodder to summon an early Lord Atomy. As Lord Atomy destroys everything else on your side of the field when he is summoned for 0pp, the very act of summoning him activates the Last Words effect of Staircase, letting the Atomy player refill their hand by drawing three more followers from their deck while putting a massive 8/8 body on the board as early as turn 3 at the same time. This combination has meant that Lord Atomy has graduated from his Lethal Joke Character status in previous expansions to become a legitimate threat to the point that a significant number of players actually brought Atomy decks to tournaments during the early days of the Starforged Legends meta, with one even making as far as the finals of an early JCG tournament, and possibly one of the reasons why it had to have its cost raised from 1pp to 2pp.
    • This trope is actually lampshaded by Cygames themselves when they announced the nerfs to Ceridwen, which she was originally designed to pull followers that are 4 play points or less. However, due to the added consistency of Lord Atomy and the introduction of the Reanimate and Burial Rite mechanics that will allow the player to pull Lightning Bruiser Zeus around turn 5 with Ceridwen, leading to the nerf of her where she only Reanimate followers that are 8 play points or less:
      Ceridwen was first designed for Darkness Evolved when the Burial Rite keyword didn't exist yet. We originally intended for Ceridwen to summon a 4 or lower cost follower into play when evolved on the fifth turn. When Burial Rite was introduced with the release of Chronogenesis, we considered adjusting Ceridwen's evolve effects if it caused balance issues in the game environment. However, during this period Ceridwen Shadowcraft didn't hold a win or usage rate high enough to warrant changes.
      Along with Dawnbreak, Nightedge's release came more cards with Burial Rite effects, giving Ceridwen Shadowcraft even more support and largely increasing its usage rate in Unlimited. Once Brigade of the Sky is released, more high-cost cards will be added to Shadowverse—we can assume that this will only continue to increase Ceridwen Shadowcraft's high usage rate. As such, we will be changing Ceridwen's effect in the upcoming update, giving it a more appropriately balanced Reanimate effect and cost.
  • Numerological Motif: The design theme of the titular Omens in Omen of the Ten. Mjerrabaine, the first Omen, only works if you run single copies of every other card in the deck and control only one follower; Lishenna, the second Omen, sets up a combo around her two statues; Rulenye is a 3pp 3/3 that raises the cost of enemy spells by 3 at the cost of 3 shadows; Marwynn is a 4pp 4/4 that gives four distinct boons to both players; Izudia, the sixth Omen, sets the opponent's maximum health to 6, and so on.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Test of Strength originally prevented followers from attacking the enemy leader as long as there are enemy followers that can be attacked. Heavenly Aegis completely breaks this rule. Not only can it freely attack the enemy leader, it also completely blocked off enemy followers.note  With the release of Wonderland Dreams came a change to Test of Strength, which gave all followers Ward instead. This behaves the exact same way it did except in two cases: Ward-ignoring followers can ignore Test of Strength, but more importantly, Heavenly Aegis could no longer attack through enemy followers, nor can it block off enemy followers.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: The Doppelgangers you encounter in the early chapters of Story Mode have this trait. The Brainwashed and Crazy soldiers of Isunia also have glowing blue eyes.
  • Oculothorax: The Runecraft Card Ogler is a floating eyeball monster.
  • Original Generation: The titular Omens of Omen of the Ten are notable for being poster legendary characters that aren't adapted from any past Cygames franchise.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Followers with Bane will always kill the other follower they're fighting, even if they end up doing zero damage.
    • Medusa's signature ability lets her instantly kill anything she's attacking without worrying about taking damage in return.
    • Deepwood Anomaly can instantly kill the enemy leader when it gets a clear hit on them... as long as they don't have any damage reduction effects like Durandal the Uncorrupted.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Interestingly Averted and Played Straight at the same time in Siegfried's case – Averted as there are two characters both named Siegfried, and both are also dragonslayers lore-wise. Played Straight as they originate from two different games and are placed in different crafts - There is one for Dragoncraft (based from Rage of Bahamut) and another for Swordcraft (based from Granblue Fantasy). True to this trope, they can't be put together on the same Craft.
    • Swordcraft has two cards named Percival, one comes from the Standard expansion pack since the beginning of the game, and another from Granblue Fantasy thanks to the "Brigade of the Sky" expansion pack.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Not only does Dragoncraft run off this trope, but some of the other classes have a dragon card or two of their own as well, with Forestcraft having access to Ancient Forest Dragon, while Havencraft players can choose to use Incandescent Dragons in their decks along with amulets that can summon Holywing Dragons.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: As expected of Power Creep with each expansion.
    • For instance, compare Fafnir with Bahamut and Breath of the Salamander. The former generally outclasses Fafnir with a bigger body and capability of destroying all followers and amulets, with a near-insignificant tradeoff of only costing 1 more play point. The latter does Fafnir's work without hitting your own followers and for cheaper. And this is only within Dragoncraft's cards — other factions have been given options to do 2 damage to an enemy board for less than 9 mana, at a point in the game where it is needed more.
    • Lord of the Flies randomly summons a 4/4 with Ward, a 2/3 with Storm and Drain, or a 3/2 with Rush and Bane, and will continue to do so at the start of your turn as it stays alive. It used to be a popular choice for Midrange Shadowcraft decks during the Darkness Evolved format, but Rise of Bahamut and Tempest of the Gods brought in other 7-cost cards that had better immediate value, like Khawy and Eachtar. Between them, the inconsistency of Lord of the Flies' effect and its subpar 4/4 body, Lord of the Flies has been left generally outclassed.
    • Poor Skullfane. As if getting nerfed from the beta note  wasn't enough, there were other Haven legendary cards being made that did his job better. Eidolon of Madness only costs 5pp but constantly replicates his effect of blowing up allied amulets, and Heresy's Avatar bestows a permanent version that only hits Countdown amulets — i.e. the only amulets you'd willingly destroy.
    • With each expansion, there will typically be a few crafts that fall into this trope, typically because they had dominant decks for the duration of the previous format. Crafts which did fall into this trope during a previous format typically receive more attention in the next expansion, with the devs trying to get them Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Party Scattering: Lampshaded by Yuwan at the end of Morning Star. The seals he gave to the other leaders would ensure that all of them will end up on the same world after crossing portals... That is, not until if some outside force would interfere, causing this trope.
  • Plague Doctor: Mask of the Black Death depicts a portrayal of this character.
  • Play Every Day: Achievements aside, the player's main source of rupie income is via daily missions and login bonuses. There can be up to three daily missions active at a time, and new ones (along with the ability to reroll one of them) come in every 21 hours.
  • Popularity Power: For every anniversary, Cygames conducts a poll to allow players to choose characters who should appear as the next leaders, one for each class.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Anything the Frontguard General says.
  • Punny Name: Lishenna has her name sound like the Japanese pronunciation of "Listen", which is rather fitting for being the Idol Singer among the ten Omens.
  • Purple Prose: Some of the card flavor texts can fall into this. Jabberwock's, however, stands out — it directly quotes Jabberwocky.
    Regular: "Such vociferous jaws and grasping claws! Thy brillig name upon the lips lingereth, and never shall it vade! —Poems of Unbeing"
    Evolved: "Thine eyes of flame so blaze! Let thy name resound, unbeing Jabberwock. And the chaos shall as order seem. —Poems of Unbeing"
  • Pyrrhic Victory: So, The Black Dragon of Malediction is now defeated, but it placed a curse on Rowen, causing him to transform into a dragon whenever he has a strong desire to protect someone. A few moments later, Rowen unknowingly killed Kyle, widowing Isabelle. And because of the curse, Rowen feared that he might not be able to return to his family until the curse is lifted.
  • Random Number God: Downplayed. Word of God said that randomness has lower impact in match outcomes. Nearly any random card effect can be controlled with careful deck construction or proper sequencing of plays, and effects that generate random cards usually draw from a very small pool, resulting in relatively low variance among the results. However, some elements of this trope still comes into play, especially with arena drafts and card packs.
  • Rare Candy: There are unique items called "Seer's Globes" which allow the player to turn any non-animated card to its animated version, regardless of rarity.
  • Rated M for Manly: It's not hard to find any card that falls into this category (since many of the male Swordcraft and Dragoncraft followers usually fall into this), but the most exaggerated example is neutral follower Gruff Mountaineer Captain, which can more or less be seen as a parody of this trope.
  • Resurrective Immortality:
    • Mordecai combines this trope with Auto-Revive — killing him will only cause another of him to appear, and only banishing or transformation can truly get rid of him. Dark Alice is similarly stubborn, but comes with the drawback of banishing other Shadowcraft cards from your area, hand, and deck.
    • Other variations of this trope involve cards that put themselves into your hand after their death.
      • Khaiza creates an Ultimate Carrot, a humble 2/2 that spawns another copy of itself in your hand on death.
      • Ouroboros works in a similar way, replacing itself in your hand whenever it dies, letting you use its Fanfare again.
      • Killing Tsukuyomi or Amaterasu will put the very spell that spawns them into your hand.
      • Killing a Star Phoenix will cause it to return to the hand the next time its owner casts a spell.
      • Nicola Adel finds himself trapped in a loop of death and resurrection, losing a little bit of his humanity each time. His playable card does the same, as it puts itself back into your hand and slowly powering up, bestowing a strong spell past a threshold.
  • Reused Character Design: This game combines a lot of characters from other Cygames franchises such as Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy. They retain their original designs, but may come with alterations or new poses to match the art style of Shadowverse.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Every set, there's at least one cheap follower which qualifies.
    • The Cerberus card grants the player two cute puppy like cards, Mimi and Coco.
    • Runecraft has a Penguin Wizard. That's right, a penguin wizard.
    • The Ivory Dragon from the Dragoncraft deck is pretty cute as well.
    • Blood Wolf staggers between this and Savage Wolf.
    • Hamsa card is basically an adorable duck.
    • Owlcat is a bizarre cross between an owl and cat, but its expressions in both its forms make it widely adored.
    • Bladed Hedgehog is a hedgehog that happens to be insanely adorable despite having dozens of sword-like quills sticking out of its back.
  • Scatting: One of Mordecai's potential thinking lines has him break out is a short scatting tune, clearly getting a little bit impatient.
  • Schmuck Bait: Robin Hood is frequently cited as an example of "why you should read the card", with anecdotes of entire fields of Fairies or Skeletons being annihilated by his effect due to the opponent futilely trying to take him out in combat. Forestcraft has other cards that can employ this trope, usually in the form of things like Man-Eating Mangrove and Wood of Brambles intercepting attacking minions or Beauty and the Beast shrugging off a hard removal.
  • Self-Made Orphan: According to the flavor text, Harnessed Flame killed her own mother in the belief that it would protect Harnessed Glass, who in turn froze their father to protect Flame.
  • She's a Man in Japan: Happens to a few cards with androgynous appearances. For instance, Angel of the Word has a feminine English voice, while the Japanese voice befits a young boy's.
  • Shoot the Mage First/Shoot the Medic First: Sometimes, a follower doesn't need Ward or threatening stats to be able to draw the attention of every enemy attacker or removal spell, because nasty things are prone to happen if the opponent leaves them alive for too long.
    • Unicorn Dancer Unica constantly heals her controller while she's left alive, easily undoing the efforts of an aggro deck. Combine with Elana's Prayer and she can grow tougher with every turn.
    • Bloody Mary is often killed on sight because anyone starting a fresh turn with Bloody Mary in play has the capability of playing all variety of self-damaging cards, sometimes achieving victory in a single turn.
    • Yurius, Levin Duke is only quite durable for a 2-cost follower with 3 toughness (thus making it difficult to remove it as early as possible using cheap spells) and chips the enemy leader for 1 damage each time they summon a follower. If left unanswered, especially against a deck that utilizes Zerg Rush tactics, this damage adds up quick.
    • Damus, Oracle of Iniquity has the capability of destroying any attacking enemy follower at the end of the turn, forcing the opponent to give up an attacker of their own to answer him, lest their entire board gets destroyed by this effect.
    • Eidolon of Madness is a card whose effect practically removes Havencraft's key weakness of having to wait for it's amulets to activate. Pretty much anyone will try to get rid of it as soon as possible, preferably before its effect even activates once since even that can be devastating.
  • Shout-Out: When Father Refinement is killed he will state I'll be back.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Aggro decks in general are like this, as they are not only easy to play in ladder, but many aggro decks are also relatively easy to assemble since most aggro decks usually don't run a lot of expensive Legendary cards and even if they do, they usually run one set of a Legendary card that defines their aggro deck (Albert for aggro Sword and Carabosse for aggro Blood and even so, there are reasonable cheaper alternatives to use on curve). Aggro Forest plays this trope straight, as aggro Forest doesn't run any legendary cards and have very simplistic combos to execute with Elf Song and Beetle Warrior.
  • Situational Damage Attack:
    • Some offensive spells have two damage values, a default one, and an increased value if the player has met specific conditions upon playing the card. Conditions include the class-specific mechanics such as Vengeance, Necromancy, and Resonance. There are others that deal increased damage if the card is of a Neutral class (i.e. Goblinhunter Feena).
    • Other cards can deal damage equal to the attack of a follower in play. Cyclone Blade allows you to select an allied follower and its Area of Effect damage will be equivalent to that of the follower's attack.
  • Situational Sword: Quite a few examples:
    • Several cards that are considered powerful in Take Two are generally considered to be very situational to use in ranked ladder. In fact, some cards that are considered powerful in Take Two are almost never seen played in tournament and ranked ladder because of how situational the card is.
    • Mr. Full Moon is a humble 3/3 6pp Neutral follower where he reduces the attack one of the strongest followers to 1. While it isn't much, Mr. Full Moon is one of the few effective counters for control decks to deal with giant lategame threats with high attack such as Heavenly Aegis and many of Dragon's lategame followers. Across from that, his low stat line is considered to be very bad and is incredibly useless against aggro decks since many aggro decks usually don't run followers with incredibly high attack value and is seen as more of a tech card in Take Two or in tournament play rather than a card that anyone would normally put to climb in ladder.
    • Dark Alice is a 7pp 5/5 legendary Shadowcraft follower where she has a Last Words effect similar to Mordecai the Duelist. However, she also has an extra effect where when her Last Words effect triggers, all of Shadowcraft cards in hand and deck will be banished and all Shadowcraft cards in the board will banish. Normally, banishing your own cards in the player's deck and hand will be considered detrimental. However, by banishing all the Shadowcraft cards, it makes it easier for the player to get powerful neutral cards such as Arriet, Grimnir, and Test of Strength (and sometimes Prince of Darkness to prevent the player from decking out) that makes decks that run Dark Alice incredibly annoying to deal with (especially when Test of Strength is played and Dark Alice becomes a Ward, thus preventing the enemy player from attacking face). On the other hand, Dark Alice still has the same weaknesses to Mordecai, where if she is banished or transformed, it makes using Dark Alice very awkward (especially after all of the Shadowcraft cards are banished via her Last Words effect).
    • Roland the Incorruptable is a 7pp 4/5 legendary Swordcraft follower that has a Ward and spawns Durandal the Incorruptable, an amulet where your leader and all allied followers on board will not take more than 4 damage from all different sources. Roland is primarily used in various control Sword decks to deal with lategame threats with large attack (such as Heavenly Aegis or many of ramp Dragon's lategame followers) or dealing with combo decks such as OTK Roach or Dimension Shift since Durandal negates a huge amount of damage that will prevent any one-turn kill combos. Across from that, Roland and Durandal is generally considered to be useless against decks that don't run a lot of followers with high attack (for example, many midrange lists) since many of these followers won't be dealing more than 4 damage anyways and will just wither the player down with multiple followers. Furthermore, while Durandal serves as a way to stall against defeat, it does not prevent the player from losing as the player will still take a chunk of damage. Not to mention, Sword as a class does not run a lot of healing, making playing Roland on curve relatively useless (generally speaking, a giant Ward that spawns a smaller Ward upon death is considered to be a better curve play for control Sword than Roland).
  • Skill Gate Character:
    • An unusual case with Forestcraft. The deck is used as a tutorial deck and it's meant to be a straightforward and easy to deck to use. However, it also borderline Difficult, but Awesome category as well because while the basic Forestcraft deck is somewhat straightforward to use, Forestcraft in higher levels of play will require careful management of Fairies and play points for best efficiency. Subsequent expansions after Wonderland Dreams push this trope further straight for Forestcraft, as the new cards introduced for Forest significantly reduced the learning curve for the class.
    • When it comes to ranked games, Swordcraft falls more into this category, as it is very easy to construct a good deck at a low vial cost, thus making it accessible to new players wishing to scale the ladder quickly. Even in Take Two, the value of even its low-cost followers make the class a prime choice for trying to succeed there.
  • Something Person: In order of release. Eagle Man Leaf Man, Owl Man and Tart Man.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Rage of Bahamut. In fact, nearly every card in this game uses card art from Rage of Bahamut (not to mention the huge failure of Rage of Bahamut in the west due to Screwed by the Network). The second expansion is even called "Rise of Bahamut".
  • Splash Damage Abuse: One of the common ways to deal with enemy followers having Ambush is to play an Herd-Hitting Attack or Area of Effect spell.
  • Stone Wall: Many Havencraft followers have higher defense than attack, along with a lot of card effects that raise more defense than attack. The plethora of healing effects available to Haven makes it very difficult to defeat quickly.
  • Switch-Out Move: When played, Ancient Elf returns all other followers back to the player's hand, while gaining +1/+1 for every follower returned.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Much like Hearthstone, this trope varies depending on the meta on what cards that are released in the expansions. That being said, the general consensus in the Unlimited format is that combo decks beat control decks, control decks beat aggro decks, and aggro decks beating combo decks. That being said, this trope is mostly subverted because the game is so complex with many variables note  that there are times where certain decks can beat other decks that supposed to counter them.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: There are cards that would allow you to choose a follower and return it to the corresponding player's hand. Naturally, Forescraft makes use of this mechanic in a multitude of ways, thanks to the synergy where most of its spells and followers gaining stronger effects the more cards are played in the current turn (i.e. playing a Fairy, returning it to the hand using Pixie Mischief, and playing that Fairy again would give a 3+ Attack boost to Rhinoceroach when all are executed on the same turn, among many other tactics).
  • Take Our Word for It: Like other Visual Novel-type narratives of Cygames such as Granblue, the movement of characters during dialogue is represented by static images moving around, shaking, or suddenly jumping. There are also cases when a character is mentioned to be lying or sitting down, with their static portraits simply adjusted downwards. The greatest offender would probably be the depiction of combat, where the two character portraits simply "bump" each other, while animated strikes and special effects are included whenever they connect attacks.
  • Takes One to Kill One: Several Neutral hate cards are Neutral themselves. Dragoncraft, being home to many dragon-slaying followers, can also indirectly invoke this trope from time to time.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Averted between players — If both players take lethal damage at the same time, the turn player will always lose, instead of the game ending in a tie.
    • Played straight with Underworld Watchman Khawy. Upon death, he destroys one of the followers with the strongest attack stat then heals the leader based on the attack stat of the destroyed follower. He even quotes the trope verbatim when this happens.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Starting October 2016, the game began issuing special emblems and card sleeves as Score Rewards. Each month, Score Reward progress is reset and these special rewards change, rendering them unavailable past that month unless they are made available through other means, like the in-game shop.
    • Various emblems, card sleeves, alternate leaders, and card reskins are only available during certain events and rendered inaccessible past that point.
    • The Grand Master flair and associated sleeve for any particular card pack can only be acquired by reaching Grand Master rank within the first 3 months after that pack's release.
  • Thanatos Gambit: There are cards with Last Words (effects that trigger if the follower is destroyed) and there are cards that allow you to destroy your own followers. Combine the two and you can actually manipulate and force your followers' deaths for your own benefit. Shadowcraft is good with this kind of synergy.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: Some cards see play in meta decks specifically because they help cover a deck's weakness, or improves the matchup against another very popular deck. For instance, Goblinbreaker Teena was glossed over in her debut format except perhaps as a last-ditch 4-mana tempo swing for classes that lack them, but in the Neutral-infested Wonderland format her increased damage against Neutral followers made her shine.
  • To Be Continued: Appears at the end of every leaders' arcs. Mostly when additional chapters are stated to be added in the future.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Seer's Globes are used to convert cards to their animated art. Each Globe only animates a single card, meaning you'll need up to 3 to animate a full playset, and they are rewarded for having a high Master score at the end of a season or performing very well in Grand Prix, or are available for purchase in extremely limited supply. From the in-game store, though, they are expensive — while the first Globe can be purchased for 5,000 vials, further purchases cost 30,000 vials. note  Their scarcity results in players being unwilling to expend them until they can use it to animate a full playset of their favourite card.
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: The Fate/stay night leaders retained their Japanese voices in the English version and did not have any English voice lines (as opposed to the Street Fighter leaders that kept the English voice lines). This is most likely due to union issues, as the voice acting for the Fate series's dub was done via union while Shadowverse English dub is non-union (this may also be the reason why this trope was averted for Street Fighter leaders since the Street Fighter games' dub was non-union).
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Happens to several deck archetypes after they receive a few new tools to support them, which raises their consistency and can turn them into top-tier decks.
    • Exaggerated with the basic Fighter. This basic neutral 2/2 got a reprint for Brigade of the Sky, and now is a legendary card named, well, Legendary Fighter, with new abilities that can, if given time, utterly destroy the opponent.
  • Total Party Kill: The concept of boardwipes, allowing a player to defend against an opposing large army of followers and punish overextending. Themis's Decree is a classic among boardwipes.
  • Tsundere: Disagreeable Demon is a textbook example of the character archetype, down to the stereotypical voice lines and flavour text.
  • Turn-Based Combat: Players take turns in a duel, and there's also a timer for every turn so that one side won't take too much time in their own turn.
  • Wham Episode: Yuwan's chapter in Isunia not only reveals that the Countersolari are not that malicious, but there is another vessel who can use Nerva's power.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: In the English dub, some cards have very noticeable and hard to pin down accents. Cards such as Cerberus and both versions of Ceridwen are especially noticeable.
  • Yandere:
    • Gunnlod, apparently inspired by the version of her story from the Prose Edda where Odin seduced her in exchange for some of her magic mead then skipped out on her with the lot of it. She ain't taking it well.
    • Vira is one towards Katalina, as evidenced by her voicelines both as a card and as a leader.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Flame and Glass harnessing the powers of fire and ice. You can summon her if you manage to let Harnessed Flame and Harnessed Glass survive a turn together. Though that would be difficult to pull off as your opponent may prioritize on taking them down.
  • Zerg Rush: Some decks focus on putting out many cheap followers quickly one after another, sometimes leading to situations where that no matter how many of them one kills, they just keep coming. Shadowcraft tends to be very good at this by flooding the board with skeletons, zombies, followers that leave behind skeletons or zombies when they die, or ghosts.
Top

Example of:

/

Feedback