Shadow Elves symbol

Programming Note: There are a large number of cards to preview when you release 8 summoners at once. That means: (a) We are starting the previews before the pre-orders are available. Pre-orders will be up in 1-3 weeks! and (b) Preview Monday will be twice as nice as usual, with TWO previews per day. TWO! Look for 1 on Monday mornings EDT and the other after lunch the same day. In this afternoon's preview, Frank will be featuring Natazga, the Swamp Orcs Second Summoner.

Previews!

Even though the Shadow Elves aren't one of the original Summoner Wars factions, they kind of are, right? Selundar was one of Colby's earliest designs and so many players who started Summoner Wars with the Master Set played as or against the Shadow Elves in their very first game. Even Melundak was a strong starting point for those who jumped in with Alliances last year.

So it's only fitting that this second round of Second Summoners begins its previews with Saturos, the Shadow Elves Second Summoner. And the word we've always used to describe the Shadow Elves is speed, but maybe, at their best, the Shadow Elves' word is more like scary.

Saturos

First, a 3-ranged attack is powerful. Combined with a solid 6 life, Saturos might cost 8 or 9 magic if he were a Champion. And several of Saturos' cards push him into the fray like a true battle champion, starting with his own ability. With Blood Summon, you can get all kinds of units on the board without ever having to spend a magic. Saturos pushes forward and captures prey for himself, and life emerges from the death he creates.

Not unlike Melundak and Selundar at their best, Saturos will have your opponent's summoner cowering in a corner, but the further they retreat, the further you can press your advantage, thanks both to Blood Summon and a couple other cards in this deck.

Blood Summon places a unit on your opponent's side of the Battlefield during the attack phase. The aggressive position of that unit - and the way it can break through your oppoent's defense! - is great, but you'll need a way to leverage that forward position immediately with a common unit that will make your opponent's units dread not just the death that awaits them but the kind of death that awaits them. We bring you the Blood Drake.

Blood Drake

I wonder if that Tundra Orc knew what has happening to him as his final thoughts ran through is head. Come to think of it, what is exactly happening to him?! Whatever it is, it isn't pleasant.

The Blood Drake is a 2/2 for 2 melee unit, which is always a solid summon. Off a typical summon, that's all the Blood Drake gets you, so without Saturos, it is rather ordinary. But off of a Blood Summon?

Imagine a sturdy champion with 3 life left, 3 spaces away from Saturos with the opponent summoner sitting with 2 life left 2 spaces behind that champ, all protected on both sides. Seems like a safe situation for the opponent, right? Suddenly, a 3 for 3 attack from Saturos kills the champ. With Blood Summon, you get a FREE Blood Drake from your hand in the space the champ occupied. That Blood Drake gets a free move, putting in position to roll 3 dice at the opposing summoner.

The Blood Drake is scary, and it becomes a true terror when Saturos plays 1 of his 3 Greater Blood Summon events.

Greater Blood Summon

Now, an event that costs 2 magic to play is rare, and there is good reason for that. Saturos' Blood Summon ability is magic-efficient, but even if it weren't, it would still a major play to replace an opponent's unit with your own. Greater Blood Summon gives this ability to ALL your Shadow Elf units, AND it works not just on your opponent's side of the battlefield, but on your side as well!

So whether you're pressing your advance or your opponent has realized that their best defense is a good offense, Greater Blood Summon will crush all your opponent's dreams. It's even got card draw to help make sure you have the commons you need.

Yes, for Saturos and the Shadow Elves, the key word is scary.

Come back later today for a Swamp Orc preview from Frank. Come back each Monday for TWO Summoner Wars preview articles. And check back soon for 8 Second Summoner decks ready to pre-order on the PlaidHatGames.com store!


Comments


commandercool commented:

Wow! Really awesome! Also illustrations are really cool--I like the Saturos illustration much more than I thought I would from the preview a few weeks back.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

killercactus commented:

Blood Drakes are SIIIIIIICK.

BLOOD SUMMON is one of my favorite abilities in the game. It's so awesome.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

-Sarge- commented:

Niiice. :)

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Lets play a game! commented:

:):):):):) AMAZING

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Markooo commented:

Summoner Wars is turning into Alien vs Predators. Dat Chestburster vibe from the Blood Drake. Maybe it evolves into a champ? @[email protected]

What will they think of next???

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Prelate commented:

This guy is a beast. Maybe my Alliances Faction idea of "Fallen Shadows" isn't far off the mark.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Syurtpiutha commented:

Upon reading Saturos' ability my literal response was "Holy S---... *sits back, reads again* HOLY S---!"

More pause and repeat again. I thought we had seen aggressive summoners... The Cake appears to be taken by Saturos for now.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

jwalker commented:

wow looks great. It's like Glurblub on speed^^

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Sujoah commented:

Question: Will there only be previews on Monday, or will they be multiple days of the week?

Also, Saturos looks awesome! It looks like some factions (especially the Deep Dwarves and Vanguards) may really struggle against him.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

joepinion commented:

Only Mondays. Tuesdays/Thursdays are Ashes. Wednesdays will be Dead of Winter.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Syurtpiutha commented:

Yay! 3 games I'm excited for! AWESOME. Dead of winter previews start this week as well?

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Sujoah commented:

So Mondays won't suck anymore because we'll get two previews. Awesome! Thanks Joe!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

tortugatron commented:

Yup, stuff like this is going to make me get back into SW. Super awesome stuff. I foresee a VASSAL tourney in my future.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

killercactus commented:

That's just the beginning, turtleman. I was sick of these decks that just sit back, and it shows through in a lot of these cards.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

BTBAM commented:

These new decks are bananas. No seriously, just wait for the bananas.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

glenn3e commented:

Yup, Saturos is just a BIG BULLY. He even looks like one. Wait till you see the other stuff he has to help manhandle your opponent.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

prometheuslkr commented:

Yeah, the art looked kind of weird last week but seeing Saturos on his proper background I totally dig it. And the art for blood drake featuring it emerging from the chest of a fallen enemy? Sorry Filth, your stake to the claim of "scariest art" just got demolished.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Colonel_S commented:

Ah yes, I vowed in my anger that I wouldn't post on this website again until Second Summoners came out. It's about freaking time!
Saturos looks awesome. It's nice to see the Shadow Elves getting some love. :)

Posted on 2016-03-14.

CupidsArt commented:

I'm pretty sure a guitar riff from Master Exploder by Tenacious D plays each time Saturos gets a kills

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Oceano Nox commented:

Quick question: if Saturos destroys a JS Shadow, which ability triggers first, Blood Summon or Scatter?


Posted on 2016-03-14.

Skydragon222 commented:

Oceano Nox: The current player always decided which of two effects happen first, unless one of the effects says "Immediately." In a case like this, the JS player would get first dibs because his card says immediately.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Alexandre Limoges commented:

It's only the summoner, one common and an Event, but it feels very powerful. I guess playtesting showed balance with all the other factions... it just seems so powerful as you look at it.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

killercactus commented:

Skydragon is correct.

@Alexander - it is powerful. But there's a couple of things that hold it in check. #1, you have to commit Saturos forward to use BLOOD SUMMON without the event, which costs magic, and that oftentimes puts Saturos in danger. #2, you have to have commons in your hand to use and, as you'll see in the later previews, hand management can become an issue for Saturos.

The other thing is, in order for a really aggressive deck to overcome the inherent advantages defenders have, its gotta be pretty powerful.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

m_glenn commented:

Terrific cards. I've always enjoyed playing Shadow Elves, but they've always felt weak compared to other factions. These guys are going to be super nasty. And you can see how they work with existing cards really well too - Hunters will be handy as you push Saturos forward and Swordsmen with Greater Blood Summon could lead to some super quick games. Well done!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Alexandre Limoges commented:

@Killercactuc
You must be right, I often get the impression that a faction will be very powerful when I look at the previews. This certainly look like a very exciting faction!
Keep up with the previews, I am so glad to see the new Summoners and can't wait to preorder!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Irisches Glueck commented:

m_glenn; Yeah, but after Selundar steals several of Saturos' common's and Champions, he easily shoots up the rankings and becomes a solid top tier deck... it is scary how good he gets!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

Prelate commented:

shhhhh! Don't spoil the surprises!!!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

adalbert commented:

Awesome!!!

Posted on 2016-03-14.

NinjaKnight commented:

Now correct me if I'm wrong KC, but a blood drake brought to the battlefield during the attack phase via greater blood summon has greater blood summon itself yes? So in theory you could summon 3 of them a turn and just have them go rampaging down the ranks of common heavy defensive lines. It kinda makes me think of the crazy jumps one can set up in Chinese checkers. Seems to be just the kind of thing to make goblin and elf factions quake in their boots.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

killercactus commented:

You're correct, NinjaKnight. If GBS is played, any Common Unit placed onto the Battlefied as a result of the BLOOD SUMMON ability will immediately gain BLOOD SUMMON as well.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

CloudBuilder commented:

Well, I guess I found my favorite Summoner.

Posted on 2016-03-14.

ultimobean commented:

Like it was said before finally a summoner who can push...sort of, if your brave enough. Cant wait to play them.

Posted on 2016-03-17.

Aogiri_Maou commented:

I must say I am loving Saturos. I had a pretty high expectations out of SE second summoner and he sure delivered! The only thing I am a bit worried about is the thematic inconsistency, this ability seems much more Fallen Kingdom than SE.. since when do SE have blood magic? I was kind of hoping it would be more crazy shadow shenanigans.. But this seems very potent, too.

Posted on 2016-03-20.

commandercool commented:

Aogiri: Even if there's thematic inconsistency in terms of language (i.e. describing events and unit abilities as blood magic), I don't think there's thematic inconsistency in terms of playstyle.

I think there's thematic consistency in terms of playstyle in the sense of summoning-related tricks. Look at previous Shadow Elves: Into Darkness, Taliya, and Hunters. (And if you want to include the Jungle Shadow, it's more of the same: Shadows, The Child, and Melundak's Shadow Weave.) In yet a different thematic consistency, Blood Summon, etc. is kind of a variation of Rangers' Shadow Arrows.

And if you're to look at the relationship between previous first summoners and second summoners, we've seen that the relationship in terms of playstyle hasn't always been very similar: i.e. Nikuya Na-Abua Shi, Elien-Queen Maldaria, Bolvi-Oldin, etc.

Posted on 2016-03-20.

Aogiri_Maou commented:

commandercool: Yeah, that much is true. I guess I should stop complaining about the details and enjoy having an awesome new summoner for one of my favourite factions in the game.

Blood summon sure does resemble the summoning tricks of SE and Saturos seems to reward aggression highly. Can't wait to bully other summoners with him, haha. I hope he also has a cool champs/Cs for Selundar!

Posted on 2016-03-21.

commandercool commented:

Respectfully, I think you raise a good issue: how thematically similar, and in what ways, should a second summoner be to a first summoner? I guess I think the answer to that is whatever works, whatever is fun, and whatever can help correct (via deck building) underpowered summoners.

Posted on 2016-03-21.

Aogiri_Maou commented:

Those are some solid answers, commandercool. Designing the 2nd summoners is definitely not an easy task to do. There are certain paths that need to be followed and those are of mechanics and theme of the faction. On the other hand, you also need to diverge from those paths just enough to create a new experience. On top of that, the new deck should also offer a new viable possibilities to an already existing summoners of the faction (1st and the possibly the Alliance, too)

I think the designers are doing an excellent job so far and there are very few decks that I do not enjoy playing, and even that may be just a matter of preference. I hope that when there is going to be a storyline for Saturos somewhere in the future, it will explain his affinity for this strange kind of magic. I also hope that some of his events/units will have the more familiar "shadow" keywords and abilities, if only for the consistency of language :D.

Posted on 2016-03-21.

Justantula commented:

So far, everything is looking very vampire with these guys.

Blood, blood everywhere!

I thought the Shadow Elves looked like push overs visually with Selundar, but here you can see they can be more vicious when the time comes. And the end of the war is the perfect time.

Great work!

Posted on 2016-03-21.

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