Shadowverse: Classic Neutrals

Welcome to a look at the classic neutrals of Shadowverse. I half expected that Rotation would not include the Classic set. Since it was called the Classic set I thought it and Basic Set would form the foundation of all Rotation builds. But I was wrong and Classic rotated out.

That being so Basic forms the Baseline. And Classic? Classic is just another expansion.

Still we are going to see how Classic netrals builds on Basic neutrals. Remember, because these are Neutrals they can be used by all classes. When your class deck needs a little something to make it more competitive it's time to open the Neutral toolbox.

There are 24 Classic Neutral cards. Quite a jump from only 8 Basic Neutrals.

We start with Angelic Snipe.

Angelic Snipe is almost, almost the quintessential ping card. But not quite because you can only hit enemies with it. The quintessential ping card would allow both enemies and followers to get hit. Why hit your followers? Well, to activate damage activated abilities of course.

This is the only one-drop in Classic Neutrals. Basic Neutrals also has just one one-drop, the 1/2 Goblin.

In addition to taking out 1 tougness opposition, Angelic Snipe gives Spellboost to Runecraft decks.

The Minotaur.

The Minotaur is a 2/1 with Ward. From Basic Neutrals the earliest ward card is the five-drop Angelic Sword Maiden. The Minotaur allows us to slow down the game as early as turn two, granted that the Minotaur won't stick around for long with it's 1 toughness.

I wish this card wasn't a Minotaur though. Minotaur's are demi-giant man-beasts. They are big and tough. Minotaurs do not have 2/1 bodies although the ward is appropriate. This card should have been a kobold, or armored imp or even skeleton. One of those adversaries you meet when doing level 1-3 modules in Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons. The Minotaur image is too tough for this card.

With Bellringer Angel we get our second two-drop ward card allowing us to stall our opponent as early as turn 2, giving us time to ramp to our stronger cards. This must be why Angelic Sword Maiden never became popular, at turn 5 you should be unleashing heavie rather then wards.

Bellringer Angel also starts the tradition of angel having ward ability. It makes sense; angels are supposed to be protective spirits.

Even more importantly, card draw shows up in Neutrals with Bellringer - barring banishment she effectively guarantees her replacement in your hand.

Basic Neutrals had a buff card in the form of Well of Destiny; an amulet that gave +1/+0 to a random follower at the start of the turn. Classic Neutrals also gives us a buff card but as a one time spell. Keen enchantment removes the randomness by allowing you to pick the follower for a nice +2/+0 buff. Is this a better buff? I think so, cost is the same (2 play points) but you have precision, more power and the spell won't take up precious board space like the amulet.

Trail of Light is the pure card draw offering of the Classic Neutral collection. A logical question. For the two play points Trail of Light will cost Bellringer Angel will give you card draw and ward. So why pick Trail of Light? Pick Trail of Light to draw a card on your turn. Bellringer Angel's card draw is a Last Words effect which means you'll get a card on your opponents turn.

I love Altered Fate, specially for decks where you need a specific set of cards during a particular part of the game. Altered Fate is no assurance you are going to get those cards but it does present a second chance to get them. This card is a reshuffle, letting you get rid of the cards in your hand and draw the same number less one. Don't go overboard though, since the card are discarded Altered Fate is also something that could mill your deck to zero.

Shield Angel is Angelic Shield Maiden junior. Deploying at an earlier turn 3 to the Maiden's turn 5, Shield Angel continues what is becoming an angelic tradition of high toughness low power.

Just as I'm getting used to every angel card coming in with ward along comes Healing Angel with no ward and a more balanced strength and toughness. With this card the Neutral collection introduces healing to the player - also a very 'angelic' preoccupation don't you agree?

I love the art of Lizardman. Like Minotaur, Lizardman is a non-angelic card with ward. So what's the difference between angelic and non-angelic ward cords. Non-angelic ward cards have higher power than tougness. 2/1 for Minotaur and 3/2 for Lizardman.

Continuing the protective theme of angels, Cloud Chorus, an angelic spell card, grants 0/+3 to a follower. This is the counterpartof the Keen Enchantment spell that grants +2/+0. This one cost one play orb more for one more point of toughness. Want one of your early drop followers to keep on fighting? Or do you want to strengthen your ward cards? Cloud Chorus is just the spell.

Classic Neutrals began with an aggressive angel spell, the pinger Angelic Snipe. Here is that card's big brother. Angelic barrage will do one damage to all followers and the opposing player.

As we move past Angelic Barrage we cross the the three play orb threshold that defines cards for fast decks. Four and five play orb cards are the mid-level. You expect this cards to keep you in the lead or help you catch up to your opponent. If you're building a really fast deck you won't even be looking at this cards at all.

Whew! I was beginning to think that every card in Classic Neutrals had an ability (healing, ward, etc.). Where are the vanilla cards? The lineal descendants of the Basic Neutral Goblin, Fighter and Goliath. Are we not doing straightforward cards anymore? Then along comes Desert Rider. No tricks up her sleeve. You get a 4/3 for 4 plain and simple. She's not riding a horse though, that's some kind of bird.

And now we have the first named character in the Neutral set: Urd. What is or who is an Urd? Urd is a character from Norse mythology- one of the Norn Fates. The Norns are goddesses who work a gigantic loom at the base of Yggdrasil the world tree. Each skien or strand of the fabric they are weaving symbolizes a life. Fittingly the Shadowverse Urd also holds a life in her hands. The life of any of your followers. She destroys them and restors them as a Fanfare effect. What use is that? Off the top of my head I would say that if you've got a damaged character you can do a toughness restore or shake off any negative effects by paying Urd's four play orb cost. Plus you get a 3/3 body on the board. Not a bad play if conditions allow.

Demonic Strike is my baseline for evaluating burn speels. 3 damage for 4. Any stats below that is a 'bad' spell. Anything better than that is a 'good' spell.


Apparently the art of Path to Purgatory is welcoming us to Purgatory. Who is that? a demon prince? Lucifer? I don't know. Don't worry about going to purgatory though, you'll probably never see it. Why? It takes 30 shadows to activate this card. Once activated all enemies including the opposing player eats 6 damage. At the higher turns of the game this is by no means a guarantee of victory - your opponent might have more than six life and at 10+ turns chances are the board will have some gigantic creatures that can shrug off 6 points of damage.

Classic Neutrals doesn't have a combo pair like Basic Neutral's Harnessed Glass + Harnessed Flame. Path to Purgatory does share Glass and Flame's highly conditional nature. The effect is great but making it happen is going to take one heck of a deck build.

Amidst the flurry of angels the Neutral set gives us its first demon. And he is a bastard. The first thing Goblinmount Demon does is hit all the followers on your side for three. I for one love the flavor. Now that we've gone over the downside, what's the upside. This five drop is sticky at 7 toughness but that comes at a cost of being on the weak side. He's a great choice when you've got no one on the board. Evolve gives you a 5/9 powerhouse during the mid-game.

Oh yes, 'Goblinmount' as in ridden by a goblin. You can even see the little critter in the art. I wonder why this creature doesn't just eat the Goblin?

Next to Urd, we come across our second Neutral god. Simply named Wind God. I love the art; the evolved version is even better. With a 1/5 body at the five drop slot this card isn't meant to get up close and personal with anything on the board. What this card is, is a Well of Destiny on steriods. Buffing all your followers with +1/+0 as a Fanfare and every turn thereafter.

Just as Demonic Strike is my baseline for 3 damage cards. Execution is my baseline for unconditional removal. Unconditional Removal = 5. Anything costlier is too expensive, anything cheaper is great removal. Take note: you can take out a Follower or an amulet. That is great versatility. The excellent art rounds out a strong all-around card.

The Angel may have a bird wing and a bat wing but it is a demon. The second Neutral demon. The reason I know it is a demon (aside from the name) is because it will make you pay for playing it. Remember the Goblinmount Demon? Hitting everybody on your side for three? Angel Crusher's price for participation is your entire hand. He does convert each discarded card into a +1/+1 for himself but it's still a raw deal. Maybe one of these would be good if you need a six-drop finisher.


The Greek war goddess Athena is the third goddess in Classic Neutrals. The protector of cities and leader of warriors will make all your followers undamageable for the turn she is played. Given that powerful effect (your Followers can attack without taking damage in turn) a 5/4 body for 6 is pretty fair.

At the lone 7-drop slot is our last angel, the Angel Gabriel. She is a very fair card even at 3/4 for 7 because she buffs another ally for 4/3 - that's a huge buff and just enough to justify the 7-drop cost.

It is also the first time we have an angel associated with a buff effect; but it is a very angelic thing to do.

Now we come to the territory of the heavy hitters. The remaining uber-expensive cards are expected to finish the game in your favor. But will they let's check them out.

The topmost ranks of Classic Neutrals are devoid of angels, except fallen ones. Here we have an ancient god and the Lord of Hell himself.

Gilgamesh is a Sumerian hero-king who was eventually considered a god. In terms of being a finisher he's utterly simple. With storm capability, drop him into the board with his 5/4 body and immediately go to face. If you've still got an evolution point then Gilgamesh becomes a fast and scary 7/6.

The next two cards refer to the same being at different stage of his existence. Lucifer or "lightbringer" is an Angel. Reportedly the chief of angels. The Prince of Darkness is also Lucifer, now a fallen angel.

I must say Lucifer is a wonderful two-in-one angel card. The unevolved form restores four health to you at the end fo the turn. The evolved form gives four damage to your opponent. These are enhanced angel abilities previously exhibited by Healing Angel and Angelic Barrage.

This lone 10-drop is the biggest of the big guns for Classic Neutrals. At first glance Prince of Darkness seems like a bad card. Making you pay 10 for a 6/6 body. Not good even though the Fanfare cinematic of this card is a real show. But wait, there's more. This card changes your deck with an Apocalypse Deck. What exactly is that? Here's the card selection

13/13 for five! Hahahaha!

8/8 for 6 with Storm! Hahahaha!

7-point drain. Taken from an opponent of your choice and given to you.

After this spell, your enemy's health is now 1. Boom!

Considering the Apocalypse deck on the left, Prince of Darkness is a fun card with only one drawback: You give up a turn. on that turn you have the Prince at 6/6 with no Storm. You're vulnerable. After that? Unleash apocalypse!

Basic and Classic Neutrals: A Conclusion

Basic set was composed mostly of plain vanilla cards, a combo, a buff amulet and at the very end a ward angel.

With Classic Neutrals we get wards at two and three drops. We get card draw and a card shuffle effect. We get blanket spells a pinger. Unfortunately, the 6-damage blanket card provided is very hard to activate.

We also get our first acquaintance with demons and gods. The former being very reluctant allies.

We get damage and removal spells.

Lastly, we get finishers, including the standout Prince of Darkness.

Neutrals are great because they're a card toolbox useable with any deck. If your deck has a weekpoint maybe a Neutral card can cover that gap. With Classic Neutrals the selection has become quite extensive.