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YMMV / Shadowverse

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YMMV for the game:

  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After being reluctant to nerf legendaries for about a year since the beta release, Cygames made an announcement mid-July 2017 that they will consider looking into nerfing legendary cards in the balance patch at the end of the month. Given that the meta at the time was dominated by decks driven entirely by a few legendaries, this announcement was met with sighs of relief.
    • After the super powerful cards of Tempest and Wonderland caused Power Creep and created incredibly strong decks that were difficult to compete with, Cygames noticed the amount of nerfs they needed to check the reigning decks each time and decided, in their patch announcement at the end of August 2017, that they will be reconsidering said design philosophy, dialing back on the power creep, and work towards encouraging a greater variety of deck types.
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    • A week into the 12 million download promotional events, players were not too happy about the randomness of getting bonus chests (see Scrappy Mechanic below). Cygames caught on and ironed out this flaw in a patch note, allowing players who lost their previous chest round to have another guaranteed opportunity on the next match, as opposed to needing to go on another win streak to see the next chest.
    • Based on player feedback, the Grand Prix mode has been tweaked over time:
      • During the first Rotation Grand Prix, those who qualified for Group A Finals would get the unique emblem and card sleeve... if they had at least 1 win in the finals. There was a lot of frustrated finalists who lost their very first match due to unlucky draws or matchupsnote  and only got the emblem. The next Rotation Grand Prix quelled this frustration by ensuring that Group A finalists would get both the emblem and sleeve even if they lost their first match.
      • After the 20 August 2018 patch, all subsequent Grand Prix finals are double-elimination, so that a poor first match will not deny you the chance to strive for greater rewards.
      • The first Rotation Grand Prix in 2019 also changed a rule for qualifying for finals, allowing a player in Group A Round 2 who's gotten at least 3 wins (but not the 4 needed for Group A Finals) to at least proceed to Group B Finals, letting them still have a chance at gaining some of the limited-time prizes instead of being completely screwed out for not qualifying.
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    • As mentioned below, many players were frustrated that the first Granblue Fantasy tie-in event only gave out sleeves and emblems when the Street Fighter collab event had actual leaders for sale. Years later, not only is an entire expansion released dedicated to Granblue Fantasy, but leaders of popular Granblue characters were also released. Also, the emblems and sleeves from the first event return (with new Orchis sleeves and emblems for Portalcraft), and anyone who already got them the first time instead gets a hefty 50 rupies for each quest (which totals up to a potential 9 packs for those who got all the rewards the first time).
    • The Chinese version of Shadowverse under Netease received two exclusive leaders upon release. Some months later, they were imported to the global version.
    • Some of the technical complaints about the game is that it takes so much storage space. From mid-2018 onwards, Cygames has been slowly implementing updates that would optimize the game's disk capacity as well as conserving download bandwidth. In-game updates now show the download size before proceeding, and recorded voice lines for story cutscenes are optional, yet still downloadable on a per-chapter basis.
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    • With the launch of Verdant Conflict comes the Card Pack Point system, which slowly accumulates for each pack the player purchases. After opening a total of 400 packs from a single set, the player can redeem the Pack Points for a legendary of their choice from that set. This includes the coveted and incredibly rare leader skins, ensuring that all that investment will not be for nought.
  • Award Snub:
    • In 2017, a community poll was held to decide the next set of leader skins. Bloodcraft's winner wasn't an iconic gold/legendary card like Emeralda or Beast Dominator, but Dark General, an unremarkable bronze basic. A lot of the Western fanbase realized she won because her Japanese voice actress is the popular Kana Hanazawa, and were dissatisfied with this.
    • The 5th anniversary leader poll in 2021 was already met with a lot of outrage over the nominees, and many are sad to see that Illganeau, one of the most tragic main characters in the Rivayle arc, or Ceres, one of the most well-known Shadowcraft recurring characters, didn't even have the dignity of being nominated. When the results were announced and a majority of the winners were female again for at least the third year in a row (to the exclusion of favorites like Maiser and Iceschillendrig), both Japanese and Western players started pointing fingers at each other for the possible cause of the trend.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Why it was nicknamed Waifuverse at one point.
  • Broken Base:
    • The anime and/or fanservice-laden art style is a touchy subject to bring up among fans. Is there too much sexualization in the character design, or are the people complaining about this just overreacting? Values Dissonance may be brought up in resulting arguments.
      • On that note, the censoring of certain card arts (when compared to their originals in Rage of Bahamut) spawned another debate. Some are completely opposed to any kind of censorship, others don't mind it if the editing wasn't sloppy, another camp doesn't care at all due to the subtlety of the censorship, etc. The argument reached new heights at the end of October 2020, when Cygames included a revision to the artwork of the cards in the first three packs to keep them in line for what would be used in the Switch product.
    • Every time balance changes ensue, there will always be a contention of opinions. Were the right cards hit? Were they nerfed in the right way? Will the reigning deck die or just get off with a slap on the wrist? Problematic cards may get a common consensus, but the less expected nerfs won't. Not helping matters is how many players equate "nerfed" to "rendered completely unplayable" due to how Hearthstone handled balance changes.
    • The Street Fighter leaders. People think they look out of place and want other leaders. It doesn't help that they were released so close to a crossover event with fellow Cygames title Granblue Fantasy and all they seem to be getting are emblems and sleeves.
      • During the Street Fighter collaboration event, players who were looking forward to the new leader skins were dismayed that said skins could only be purchased with real money, as opposed to the Rage of Bahamut leader skins which can be purchased either with real money or in-game currency.
    • The change in Arisa's English voice actress has garnered mixed receptions. Some fans feel that the new voice acting's Cute, but Cacophonic approach makes Arisa sound more childlike and sounded more grating and prefer the older voice actress of Arisa (who sounded older, but maintain the upbeat and serious personality of Arisa). Others find the Arisa's new English voice acting to be appropriate for the Nature Hero and forest guardian theme to the character.
    • The English dub in general garnered mixed receptions from fans. Some of the voice acting (particularly Joe Zieja's take on Rowennote , Tsubaki's second voice prior the reversal back to her old voice, Arisa's new voice acting as mentioned above, and Dream Rabbit's old voice acting) has garnered mixed to less favorable receptions. On the other hand, some of the English voice acting such as Brianna Knickerbocker as Luna note , Sean Chiplock as Belphomet note , Erica Lindbeck's Erika, Albert's Badass Baritone, Owlcat, and Vania are generally well-received and praised by fans.
    • The Wonderland Dreams expansion's push on Neutral cards garnered mixed reception from many players. Some feel that the push of Neutral synergy takes away the unique class identity. Two particular examples are Neutral Sword and Neutral Haven, where their original identities of their respective classes were downplayed mainly because the neutral card synergy they were given does the job better than the class cards they were given note . Even Bloodcraft has lost its identity as a class with the neutral package for a while until the nerfs hit many of Neutral Blood's main cards. Others feel that the neutral package help open up to diverging and unique playstyles based on the neutral cards given, such as Neutral Forest and Neutral Rune. The only two classes that didn't get the bad reputation for their neutral synergy are Dragon and Shadow, but this is mainly because the neutral-related card synergy they were given were flatout bad.
    • Players were excited when Cygames first hosted a poll to determine alternate leaders for each class. They were not amused when they discovered that, as opposed to simply purchasing them like the other leaders, the alternate leaders would be obtained by pulling their respective card from packs, and cannot be crafted. To twist the knife a little more, an alternate leader card has a mere 0.3% chance of being obtained. Some player still maintain this anger towards the gacha mechanic that has plagued Japanese mobile games, while others had come to terms with it and note that it's not Bribing Your Way to Victory if it's purely cosmetic.
    • The concept of mini-expansions introduced at the third month of each expansion was met with mixed reception. At first, players were disgruntled with the fact that the cards introduced will require them to spend more resources on opening packs to acquire them, especially when those cards are Gold and Legendary cards that can become vital to a strong deck. After the first mini-expansion proved itself by providing the right cards for underperforming decks to flourish and shake up the meta, some people warmed up to it as it broke the monotony, while others maintain their dissatisfaction at a diluted card pool. This latter notion would be tempered much later, when the game added modified card packs that are more likely to yield the new cards from the mini-expansion, giving players a better shot at getting new additions without expending vials.
    • From late September to early October 2019, the dev team teased a "big announcement", with a site showing a countdown and updating with silhouettes of never-seen-before figures with each passing day. Many suspected it was new game content, ranging from balance changes to new cards or characters. When it was revealed to be the announcement of an anime adaptation, it's safe to say many were disappointed. The fact that is is meant to center around the card game itself rather than the its in-game plo around it only added more fuel to the fire.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In general, any deck archetype or combo used by tournament-winning players gets copied by a majority of the playerbase, trying to mimic or emulate the same strategies used by the professional players in their games. Players do this for the sake of having high winrates for easier Rank-ups and Daily Missions. It would then get to the point where most players would use that same archetype until "mirror matches" become prevalent. This allows Cygames to determine which deck archetypes are the most played, and judge whether the "win condition" or overpowered cards of these decks need balancing or Nerfs. Attempting to diminish this trope's presence is the justification of the mini-expansions in the third month of the season.
      • The prevalence of competitive decks is most visible whenever a Grand Prix (the game's own tournament mode) is active. Expect to see the game mode be dominated by the few reigning decks of the season, with an occasional rogue list trying to exploit their weaknesses. This issue got exacerbated after the game allowed players to view and copy tournament-winning decklists.
    • Aggro decks are significantly cheaper to build than most midrange or control decks. This accessibility, combined with the rate of quick-and-easy wins they yield, can lead to phases where they utterly dominate the ladder. The first few weeks after a new expansion's launch is most susceptible to this, as aggro can overwhelm experimental builds that are still trying to optimize themselves.
    • Crafting a Rotation deck can cost tens of thousands of vials due to the number of Legendary and Gold cards one needs, so to help ease a new player into ranked play, Cygames gave players the ability to choose a prebuilt deck (out of a few recipes) for free, with the drawback of the deck being entirely temporary cards that vanish once the next set launches. Since everyone gets access to this feature, expect to see the prebuilt lists almost everywhere shortly after the launch of a new set, and doubly so if a variation of a decklist happens to be very successful on the ladder.
  • Demonic Spiders: Several cards can fall into this, and would feature a mixture of some of the following: good on-curve stats, resistance to removal, Storm, or the ability to end a game on their own in general. The reigning deck of any one format is prone to feature at least one such card, and players have to plan to not suddenly lose the game to it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Bellringer Angel's enthusiastic "Ding Dong!" has captured the hearts of Shadowverse players from both the English and Japanese fandoms, despite being So Okay, It's Average and not always warranting a spot in most decks. Later, Shining Bellringer Angel - her older version, was released in the Chronogenesis patch.
    • Among the introduced spotlight characters from the "Omen of the Ten" expansion pack, Galmieux (The Omen of Disdain) has the most online fan-arts than the other nine characters. Her popularity mainly stems from her gorgeous Fanservice design, her voice actors' performance from both the Japanese and English versions, and her lore-wise sadist characterization that seems to turn on many fans. Cygames has then shown signs of noticing her rise of popularity as the first monthly Card Emblem and Sleeve rewards after the expansion was no other than Galmieux. And when the new official Shadowverse trailers were released on June 20, 2019, Galmieux is seen representing the "Omen of the Ten" expansion characters. When the results for the 3rd Birthday Card Popularity Poll were released, Galmieux was indeed voted by fans to be the next Dragoncraft Leader, further cementing her status as a fan-favorite original Shadowverse character.
    • Much like in Granblue Fantasy, Vania is incredibly popular due to her being a loli vampire princess. Not to mention, her card effect is considered to be one of the best cards to use in many aggro Bloodcraft decks. In the English fandom, her English voice acting is considered to be one of the cutest voice acting in the game.
    • Some of the leaders from the first anniversary poll counts:
      • Albert, Levin Saber is relatively popular in both Japanese and English fandoms alike, mainly because of not only is Albert is a relatively strong card in many Swordcraft decks, but Hikaru Midorikawa's voice acting of Albert and the English Badass Baritone voice acting are well-liked within the fandom. In fact, in one of the Japanese popularity polls, Albert is voted the top leader for Swordcraft when Cygames announced that they are introducing new leaders for each class to celebrate the game's 1st anniversary.
      • Fairy Princess and Dark General (who were later given the official names, Aria and Exella respectfully) are happen to be popular due to both of them being voiced by Kana Hanazawa in the Japanese dub (especially in the case of the later which is considered Playing Against Type).
      • Imperial Dragoon happened to be the top picked character for Dragoncraft's leader because he is voiced by the same Japanese voice actor of Seto Kaiba.
    • The 2nd anniversary poll results:
      • Whiteforst Dragonewt Filene, a card released in the Dawnbreak, Nightedge mini-expansion, is voted to be the most popular Dragoncraft leader because of her adorable character design with a cutesy child-like voice from her Japanese voice actress. Her versatility and practicality in terms of gameplay in various Dragoncraft decks also helps in her popularity as well.
      • After a massive tug of war between Toy Soldier and Orchis, Orchis was voted as the top choice for Portalcraft leader anyways thanks to her Sugar-and-Ice Personality, her voice actress, and her cameo appearance in the Granblue Fantasy anime.
      • Similarly, the Shadowcraft leader poll had a tug of war between Ceres and Aisha, both have very well designed in terms of gameplay and artwork. However, Aisha won out over Ceres, mainly due to her sexiness. The same thing can be said with Forestcraft's Cassiopeia due to the sexiness of her design and her also being a generally good card.
      • Darksaber Melissa ended up being the most voted leader for Swordcraft due her strong resemblance to Saber Alter form Fate/stay night, especially among the Fate fans who were disappointed that the Heaven's Feel promotion had Saber as a Dragoncraft leader instead of Swordcraft and wanted a proper "Saber" leader for Swordcraft. note .
      • Venomfang Medusa was voted as the top pick for Bloodcraft leader, mainly due to the cuteness of her design, and Unfortunate Implications with snakes.
  • Fandom Rivalry: It's not unusual to see fans of Shadowverse and Hearthstone clash due to the similarity of the games' base mechanics. It doesn't help that many players of Shadowverse are former Hearthstone players who migrated from Hearthstone for various reasons, while some Hearthstone fans just can't get into the game due to the sheer amount of Fanservice involved.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Quite a few:
    • Due to Cygames various cross promotion crossovers of other works, there are fans of Street Fighter and the Fate series who are fond of Shadowverse, as many of them have been promoted with characters as alternative leaders to several classes.
    • Fans of Rage of Bahamut and Granblue Fantasy also overlap with the Shadowverse fandom due to cards featuring characters from both games and being created by Cygames.
    • Thanks to a collaboration between Nintendo and Cygames with Dragalia Lost, there is also strong overlap with the Shadowverse fandom with Dragalia Lost fandom. In fact, there are fans that are hoping for a crossover event between the two games. And thanks to Nintendo's involvement, it also goes to the extent to other Nintendo's games, with Fire Emblem with being the most common one (due to the franchise featuring several dragons, knights, lords, mages, and priests that fit thematically with Shadowverse, and several of the card art of Fire Emblem Cipher can fit perfectly with Shadowverse's card art should there be a crossover expansion featuring Fire Emblem characters).
  • Game-Breaker: Chances are if a card got nerfed in its past, it was being too good at its job. Many such cards are also Tier-Induced Scrappies — if that page records a nerf, the offending card is likely to classify under this trope too.
    • Of the infamously strong decks that have come and gone in the game, no deck is more absurd than Neutral Blood. It was so strong and popular that a lot of its games ended up being mirror matches. It's telling when one looks at a list of Neutral Blood in its prime and notices that, by the time the next expansion rolled out, half the deck had been subject to nerfs.
    • Some say the strength of Neutral Blood lay in its powerful early game supplemented by the "Alice package," involving playing several good Neutral followers on curve followed by Alice to buff them if they were not answered at every opportunity. After Neutral Blood got nerfed off the ladder, the Alice package became the skeleton of Neutral Rune and then Neutral Haven in the subsequent months of the format before finally dying when Alice got nerfed. The Neutral support theme of Wonderland Dreams was agreed to be a bad move on the developers' part, as nearly every opponent having the same exact same opening plays regardless of what class they were got boring fast with the exception of Shadow and Dragon (mainly because the neutral synergy they have gotten was pretty bad).
    • With the release of World Uprooted, Cygames accidentally pushed the Machina Forest archetype a bit too hard, with Damian, Drillarm Brawler providing both board clear and face damage, Ironglider Elf giving discounts to Machina followers along with a decent body, along with Natur Al'machinus to reduce the costs of Machina cards by 3. Along with Robotic Bagworm, which fits the Machina Forest playstyle perfectly (many Machina cards get bonuses from playing another Machina follower in the same turn), the deck skyrocketed to a staggering 61.2% winrate and a 31.5% usage rate. Cygames had to nerf the deck on the second day after the expansion's launch.
  • Genius Bonus: The non-standard stats of Erntz, Justice being 11/8 and 8/11 while evolved are tied to how the Justice tarot card is assigned to either number 8 or 11 of the major arcana depending on the variant of deck you're using.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Of the main playable leaders available, Bloodcraft's Urias happens to be incredibly popular among the western fanbase due to his charming, charismatic, and polite personality for being a Blood Knight vampire as well as being honorable to the point he even calls out on the main antagonist of the storyline, Nexus. In Japan, he isn't unpopular as per say, but when it comes to Bloodcraft leaders, he's overshadowed by Vania and Exella in terms popularity (due to the former being incredibly adorable and the latter being voiced by a popular Japanese voice actress, Kana Hanazawa).
    • The western fanbase has an incredible fondness of Ridiculously Cute Critters as well. The most prominent example is Swordcraft's Bladed Hedgehog, which during the 2nd anniversary leader poll, is one of the options as a leader for Swordcraft. The Shadowverse subreddit exploded when Bladed Hedgehog is made an option as a leader for Swordcraft due to the uniqueness of having a Ridiculously Cute Critter that only talks with squeaks as a leader. Hedgehog's popularity is also assisted by him being a very practical card to use in midrange Sword. In Japan, however, Bladed Hedgehog's popularity is overshadowed by Darksaber Melissa, due to Melissa's uncanny resemblance to Saber Alter of Fate/stay night (although Bladed Hedgehog comes close to 2nd or 3rd in the Japanese polls).
      • Carbuncle, Immortal Jewel also has won the hearts of many western Shadowverse players or hoping for a Ridiculously Cute Critter as a playable leader in the third anniversary leader poll. Not helping the matter is Carbuncle himself is a relatively useful follower for many control-oriented and combo centric Forestcraft decks. In Japan, Carbuncle's popularity is overshadowed by Izudia, Omen of Unkilling.
  • Goddamned Bats: Some cards are not that powerful on their own, but can become extremely stubborn due to self-resurrection or defense against removal. If ignored, they can get their share of chip damage on the enemy player or their followers.
  • Growing the Beard: Due to fan feedback, Cygames began addressing rebalances to cards by nerfing the overpowered ones and buffing the niche cards in turn. At that point, the overview of the players toward the game became generally positive for having a developer that listens to its customers. Over the past years, more story chapters have also been introduced, with story arcs having better and longer writing compared to the first. Lastly, Shadowverse became open for CCG tournaments and competitions.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • During the game's first year, there had been plenty of fan artworks that depict Mordecai bonding with Luna, showing that even though Mordecai is a Blood Knight, he can get along well with a child. In the Duelist of Eternity crossover event with Granblue, a part of the plot involves Luna accidentally encountering Mordecai. In their first meeting, the two had been genuinely friendly to one another. Mordecai then protects the young Necromancer from soldiers and even holds back the line to help the captain escape with Luna.
    • In relation to what's stated above, the Duelist of Eternity event allows the player to obtain Luna's keepsake doll as a weapon. However, what makes it heartwarming is that Granblue named the weapon "Luna's Friend". And it makes sense - Luna is looking for friends to accompany her on an adventure, and she always brings that doll around, as if to say that there is always something else (other than undead) who accompanies Luna from the start.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Timeworn Mage Levi's quote, "I'm just a mage who's as old as dirt," is made funnier when Master Mage Levi (the younger version of the aforementioned card) was introduced in the Wonderland Dreams expansion, who is designed specifically for Dirt Rune decks. His evolve line, "It's just like back in the old days!" resonates even more considering that Master Mage Levi could do what Timeworn Mage Levi does and more without even needing an evolve.
    • Illya as a Havencraft leader is made hilarious when players notice that Havencraft has access to Tarnished Grail. For those who are familiar with Fate/Zero, the Holy Grail was actually corrupted.
      • Even more hilarious when the player uses Gilgamesh to finish off the Havencraft player using Illya leader. This is because this is exactly what happened to her in Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works with regards to a particular villain with the same namesake as the card.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Urias' flashbacks with Balthazar drip with this along with a hefty dose of Foe Yay, at least from Urias' part.
    • Erika is pretty much a Love Confession away from confirming Official Couple status with the Princess. Her dedication to the Princess obviously extends far beyond a strictly formal relationship, and the way she describes their relationship has strikingly intimate undertones.
  • It Was His Sled: When the "Brigade of the Sky" expansion was released, a lot of Shadowverse players were spoiled with the Gender Reveal that Cagliostro is basically "a man's soul inside a cute girl's body", by the Granblue players no less.
  • Junk Rare: As expected with any Collectible Card Game. In fact, there are some Gold or Legendary cards that are often liquefied for vials on sight simply because they are either too situational or have a debilitating drawback.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The English dub for this game is considered either So Okay, It's Average at best, or really below average when compared to the Japnaese voice acting. Most anime fans would only play the English dub of this game because of Brianna Knickerbocker voicing Luna, which is a case of Playing with Character Type.
  • Les Yay: Both Arisa/Losaria, and Erika/Princess, are relationships dripping with lesbian subtext.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Rowen's English voice makes him sound really awkward. Combined with Dragoncraft's previous track record of being Overshadowed by Awesome and he became the butt of many fans' jokes. This became downplayed with Tempest of the Gods giving Dragoncraft powerful new cards, but then Double Subverted when an update at the end of May nerfed several of Dragons cards to take it down a notch (without completely destroying Dragon's power, mind you), which put Rowen back in this trope. There is no middle ground for him.
    • For all his significance as the Omen of Silence, Rulenye and his archetype is especially bad at locking down the opponent. Every time a new card that removes enemy abilities is revealed, you can bet someone will make a joke at his expense.
    • Illganeau not only gets a tragic storyline in-game, but her representative card gets nerfed so hard she falls out of relevance, she doesn't even make the 5th anniversary leader poll (unlike most of the other Rivayle characters), and even Zecilwensche snatched away hopes of being a Battle Pass leader! Poor girl can't catch a break in-universe and out.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Stop bullying Luna!" Explanation 
    • Hamsa is no mere duck. Explanation 
    • "Cygames' Armpit Fetish"Explanation 
    • Latham's mouth Explanation 
    • *gasp* Explanation 
    • Rowen's smile Explanation 
    • Sky Knights! Prepare for battle! Explanation 
    • Meme deck Explanation 
    • Land of blunders, land of marbles! Explanation 
    • KMR Laugh Explanation 
    • Eachtar's head can't be taken. Explanation 
    • Salaryman Tanaka's 10-minute games Explanation 
    • "What happens when the maintenance is over?" "You didn't know? That's when the maintenance begins." Explanation 
    • Elta, Lord of Misplays Explanation 
    • Legendary Fighter Explanation 
    • ____verse Explanation 
    • "Sled On Cagliosled" Explanation 
      • "____ On Caglio____" Explanation 
    • [Swordcraft card] nerfed from 7pp to 8 Explanation 
    • Anything regarding Zecilwensche Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Multiple:
  • Narm:
    • Latham, one of the alternate Swordcraft leaders, constantly has his mouth open in his idle animation. The goofiness of this did not go unnoticed by the players.
    • The voice acting for several cards, especially in English, can go into So Bad, It's Good territory. For instance, Dream Rabbit had No Indoor Voice until his lines were redone to sound less grating.
    • When Rowen transforms into his Black Dragon form to fight the giant shade near the end of the campaign, they create the sounds of the Black Dragon's roaring by getting his voice actor to simply do his best roar sound. Without any voice modulation, he just ends up sounding ridiculous, especially when compared against the animalistic snarling of the shades. Oddly, they briefly switch to a more convincing monster roar sound as soon as the giant shade is defeated, before going back to the lame impressions again.
  • Narm Charm: Some of the voice acting, especially the English ones, can get pretty silly at times, but that often ends up giving them a lot of their charm. The whooping serving of ham really helps in that regard.
  • Pandering to the Base: Most cards featured in the Brigade of the Sky expansion are the fan-favorite or Breakout Characters from Granblue Fantasy.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Each expansion introduces new cards that may have this effect, pushing underplayed archetypes or entire crafts out of their rut and into the limelight, if only for a few days post-release. Nerfs to oppressive decks and problematic cards can also allow the formerly oppressed decks to contend with the rest.
    • On 25th April 2018, Cygames implemented balance changes that left players confused — including a Balance Buff to the formerly impractical Corpselord of Woe. Formerly a 4/4 that needed 6 Shadows to automatically evolve, Corpselord now stands as a 5/4 that needs 4 Shadows to automatically evolve. While he's still a far cry from a top-tier follower in the likes of Eachtar or Aisha, the changes have certainly nudged him from "useless" to "decent".
  • The Scrappy: Erika got a lot of hate for her actions in the Guild Wars chapter, where she was a combative Jerkass who was all too willing to turn her blade on her former allies as a first resort rather than simply talking to them about why she thinks Countersolari is justified in their actions. (To her credit, she does feel guilty about this in the Seeds of Conflict chapter.)
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Ambush was initially glossed over due to it applying only to weak followers and its protective effects disappearing once the follower attacks. However, later sets printed potent cards protected by Ambush, and players started to complain of their inability to deal with them barring planting Ward followers and hoping it forces a trade.
    • Runecraft's cost-reducing Spellboost mechanics can sometimes lead to them getting away with playing at least 3 followers that have a base pp of 5 or more on turn 5 if they get exceptionally lucky. A quick glance at the hatred for Daria and Dimension Shift easily illustrates how loathed the mechanic is; Runecraft's other archetypes are usually better-received.
    • As part of the 12 million downloads celebration, chests were randomly rewarded for winning matches. However, 1) the chest was announced at the beginning of the match and it's lost if you lose, 2) it's player specific rather than game specific, so players don't fight over the chest, 3) you can only get chests from competitive ranked games, on top of needing to have won some matches prior before even seeing the chest, and 4) chest rewards are randomized. This got many players up in arms about the whole design of the event, ranging from frustration over increased pressure to win in a highly competitive environment, and getting less-desired rewards on the off chance they do win a chest.
      • That said, Cygames went and ironed out one of the causes of frustration in the event, allowing players who have lost a match with a chest to simply try for the same chest again in the following match until they've won it, as opposed to needing to start a new winning streak after losing a chest to an unfortunate loss. A revisit to that event after Christmas in 2018 also allowed the player to have a chance of seeing a chest even if they've been on a losing streak, reducing the effort needed to grind for chests.
    • Few players are fond of the means of getting leader cards. These are alternate arts of popular cards which, when obtained, also unlock themselves as an alternate leader for their class on top of a special emblem and card sleeve. However, they cannot be crafted, and the chance of obtaining one in a pack is incredibly small — lower than that of other legendary cards. Stories abound where players have opened hundreds of packs (even going as far as to spend large amounts of actual money) without getting even a single copy of a leader card they were after. The frustrations have been abated after the introduction of the Pack Point system, but the steep cost of 400 packs to redeem a leader skin means that you still have to work for it — you're only given the solace that such a huge investment will never be for nought.
  • Tear Jerker: The Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel collab introduces alternate art cards based on characters from the anime, complete with new lore flavor text. The lore for Berserker are part of Illya's last words from Unlimited Blade Works after Berserker's ill-fated battle against Gilgamesh, and the evolved text from the start of that same battle.
    • Similarily, the evolved lore for Saber Alter is what Shirou said after the "bring the knife down" choice in the original Visual Novel.
    • In the main story, the entirety of Luna's storyline is a Tear Jerker because her parents were murdered trying to protect her from a burglar.
    • Illganeau's backstory is a terribly tragic one. Born with a weak heart that caused her no end of grief, she learns that her sister's magical talent was the cause of her condition. However, her family remained supportive through all of this, and when she finds her calling, she and her entire family was murdered shortly after. She goes about in her half-Wretch state for a while, seeking revenge on her killer, until she made the connection that her sister gave up her life to sustain Illganeau's, and draws the conclusion that she was her sister's killer. She undergoes a big breakdown at this revelation.
    • The climax of the Fate's Trigger chapters is wrought with tragedy as Zecilwenshe kills Baron and manipulates Maiser to take his own life. Both Bunny and Selena are struck by grief as their reasons to live are taken from them — Bunny at least has Arisa to console her and direct her rage at Icey, but Selena shoots herself after losing Maiser. In a short span of time, three protagonists are killed off, which is a stark contrast to the previous arcs where most of the named characters see their arcs through to the end.
    • The Shadows Over Vellsar set features a lot of returning characters, with twists in their aesthetic and card design as if corrupted into a dark form. Anne and Grea, who have an incredibly strong Romantic Two-Girl Friendship that has been fuelled by Mysteria Friends, make a return, and under the "corrupted" aesthetic of the set, the two strongest individuals within Mysteria Academy are crossing swords, ripping the academy (and your own deck) apart with each blow. If you look into their flavor text, Grea's enacted on a fit of jealousy and betrayed Anna, leaving her completely heartbroken as she renounces their friendship.
  • That One Achievement: A series of permanent missions/achievements require you to get perfect 5-win streaks in Take Two Mode. While it can be possible in theory with proper knowledge of the cards, what actually makes it difficult is that in Take Two, you cannot use your own decks and must randomly choose among 3 given classes, with each card of your deck coming from a draft system - You are given two pairs of cards, choose one pair and discard the other. Do this 15 times to make a deck for that Take Two campaign only. So it's all up to the Random Number God to decide whether you get an excellent deck or a terrible one, while pitting you against opponents who may have better decks and draws than you. A simple defeat can invalidate your current run's attempt. The first of this series requires you to go 5-0 three times, but the challenge does not stop there, as you reveal more of the series that requires you to perform this feat many more times. The last of the rewards is at twenty 5-0 runs.
  • That One Attack: As what is mentioned in the That One Boss entry below, chapters after the Nexus boss fight will have the AI making use of cards from all classes, leading to certain combinations below (which may be fun in theory, but can never be executed by the player)
    • Nephthys summoning copies of Mordecai and Leonidas, activating their Last Words effects, making the unkillable Mordecai even more durable.
    • The Black Dragon of Malediction has a deck which combines Dragonsong Flute with a lot of Fairies, making his hand full of 4-3 followers with Rush – This ensures that your toughest followers can be easily countered, and the Black Dragon's board almost full at all times. Though you can "outplay" him if you manage to destroy the three copies of Dragonsong Flute before he fills his hand with Fairies... or if RNG favors you and he did not draw Dragonsong Flute after plenty of turns.
  • That One Boss:
    • Nexus, the opponent in Chapter 8 of the Forestcraft Story path, uses an illegal deck that has cards from all classes, resulting in otherwise impossible combos that can easily overwhelm the player, especially if they have been going through Story Mode with little modifications from the default deck. And it's just the first of many bosses to use such a deck.
    • Quest Mode is a unique collab event that allows the player to challenge collab-AI opponents to earn rewards. Bonus objectives impose additional restrictions for greater returns. While the standard opponents use low- to mid- strength decks that are reasonable despite being illegal, there is a special opponent who can only be defeated once per day, awards more quest points, but is straight-up overpowered.
      • The first iteration is Omniscient Kaiser, who uses an illegal deck filled with overpowered tokens. While she only has single copies of each card, Kaiser has an uncanny ability to draw the right cards consistently. If that's not enough, from turn 5 onwards, Kaiser gains a random special effect ranging from free card draw to free healing or damage, and if you manage to hold her off until long enough, on turn 10 she will get her own card in her hand and play it, causing a big swing in life totals (provided you don't immediately lose) and creating a monstrous threat you need to deal with. Defeating her normally tends to take a fair bit of luck — but accomplishing the bonus objectives as wellnote  will involve a lot of retries.
      • The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls second iteration of Quest Mode has its Gold Pina Colata which is almost downright unfair. From its third turn it starts getting random amulets or worse yet, Rivayle Maneuver vehicles, which are deadly Tokens that have no right showing up on-board that early. They have great stats, strong effects, and it would take a lot of effort to take them out as soon as turn 4 or 5. But if you hold out the golden cat mascot starts generating never-before-seen amulets — golden versions of the Rivaylan buff amulets that, for instance, give +5/+5 or +4/+0 and Storm. Gold Pina can literally pull lethal on you out of thin air.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: One of the common complaints for the sudden decision since Tempest of the Gods to change the voice actors of many previous cards, especially if the players and fans favored the previous voice acting than the current.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Part and parcel of being a card game. Now has its own subpage.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Some of the visual effects in animated cards, like ripple effects, are simply gorgeous. Other cards have particularly stunning summon or attack animations. A special mention goes to the various trailers for the new expansions that not only have gotten better with each new one released, but are downright gorgeous to behold and especially when taking into consideration that all of it uses the original card art in the animations.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • The Starforged Legends expansion is seen as this. After three months of the dominance of Neutral-oriented decks in Wonderland Dreams, the cards introduced in Starforged Legends expansion is seen as an expansion of re-establishing unique class and traits identities that have long been forgotten (particularly for Swordcraft's Commander/Officer synergy and Forestcraft's identity as a combo class), on top of legendary cards that are not as blatantly overpowered as those in the past couple sets. Combined with the nerf to Alice's buffs to the Neutral package on September 2017, the Starforged Legends expansion was seen as a way to opening up different and diverging playstyles for each class.
    • The introduction to Rotation format in the Chronogenesis expansion is this, mainly because the Rotation format only allows players to use cards from the latest five expansions, thus allowing a more dynamic and diverse meta as well as reinforcing class strengths and new mechanics for existing classes. The Rotation format is seen as a welcoming edition for control players as well, mainly because two combo decks that prey on control decks, Dimension Shift and OTK Roach, will be rotated out in Rotation, along with many aggro cards from Standard and Darkness Evolved expansions that will not be available in Rotation.
    • A portion of the playerbase first learned about Cygames and Shadowverse thanks to the global Steam release. Upon knowing of a highly-popular JRPG called Granblue Fantasy, these players also picked that game up, and some even took a break from Shadowverse so they have more time for Granblue. (The painful metagame of Shadowverse at the time also didn't help matters) During those times, there were a lot of "Returning Player" posts where a former Shadowverse player returns into the game, eager to know the changes to the meta. When Brigade of the Sky launched, many of those who migrated into Granblue returned to the card game, thanks to the shared characters featured by the expansion. It goes to the point where some players admit that they play both games at manageable times.
  • The Woobie:
    • Luna, once her backstory is revealed through the later chapters of her Story Mode.
    • Zoe, Queen of Goldenia sounds like she's on the verge of tears. Her flavour text showing that she has constant bad luck doesn't help.
  • Woolseyism: As expected with any game that depicts skeletons, the Chinese version of the game has many of Shadowcraft's skeletons completely censored or changed.
    • Luna's parents were changed from being ghostly skeletons to hooded ghosts covered in flowers. This actually adds more symbolism to Luna's character, as much of her storyline involves her inability to cope with her parent's deaths and the trauma she endured of witnessing her parents being murdered by a burglar.
    • Shadowcraft's most notable follower, Mordecai the Duelist, gained a Cool Helmet that masks his bony visage and impressed many players.

YMMV for the anime:

  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In episode 27, Alice gets picked up by a group of her fans, is separated from Kai, and is transported to the ruins housing the Shadowcraft legendary card. The fans promptly leave, and no further comment is made about their abrupt appearance and exit.
  • Cliché Storm: The Shadowverse anime draws criticism for playing straight many tropes done by several other card game anime.
  • Shocking Moments: Portalcraft was subject to mockery for not being featured at all in the anime's promotional material. Cut to episode 23, where Leon and his Shadow Knights test the abilities of the main cast using the traditional Artifact Portalcraft archetype. Bear in mind the main cast is using cards with power levels scaled to those of the game's first three expansions; this scenario can easily showcase how decks from the game's early days would contend with Chronogenesis.
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