Welcome back to another Crystal Clans preview! Today we’re taking a look at the second new expansion deck, the Shadow Clan. I’m also super excited to get the opportunity to write this preview since this is my favorite deck to play in Crystal Clans. Most clans excel in battle by first constructing full squads, but Shadow Clan units prefer to work alone. Let's take a look at a few of their units and and their awesome unique ability!
The Element of Surprise
First off, let's familiarize ourselves with Shadow Step. That’s right, for 1 initiative, a single unit with Shadow Step can teleport into any zone containing an enemy squad. This is separate from an activation, so an additional action would still need to be used to start a battle, but still...WOW! This gives Shadow Clan units a very powerful range and the ability to really surprise enemy squads.
Take the Hemlock Rogues for instance. Through their Sneak Attack, they’re able to get the upper hand in battle becoming stronger when their enemy doesn’t detect them. Along with Shadow Step, the Hemlock Rogues and their 8 attack are much, much scarier. Nowhere is safe.
But of course your opponent knows how to deal with high attack units, they just build a full squad able to withstand such a large attack, right? Well, the Shadow Clan is prepared for that.
An enemy squad of three units will let the Shadow Clan gain 4 initiative. And there are 6 copies of this card in the deck. This unit alone can force an opponent to reconsider their strategies for squad construction. And just imagine what happens when they go up against the Blood Clan.
Your opponent is clever, though. Knowing their units can be attacked from anywhere and that they can’t build big squads without giving your spies even more initiative, they might instead try to send out a few lone heroes with powerful abilities and stats. How does the Shadow Clan answer such a threat? You guessed it! The Shadow Clan is prepared for that as well!
For the low, low price of 3 initiative (2 to summon and 1 to Shadow Step), the Shadow Clan gets a powerful tool in eliminating enemy units that are particularly pesky. The Moon-Cult Assassins also excel at cutting down units your opponent tries to protect by placing them at the bottom of a squad. Also, since the Moon-Cult Assassins return to the player’s hand they can do this again and again!
As the decks start to dwindle, players will often begin defending their home zones more closely. (After all, you never want to give up a free crystal because of a reshuffle!) Fortunately, Guild Thieves don’t care if your opponent’s home zone is protected. Their "Steal" ability means they can invade even when there are enemy units in your opponent's home zone. This means you could Shadow Step in, invade, and (for a little extra bonus) even steal one the units that was just discarded!
And now we reach the first hero of the Shadow Clan. By this point, you may have thought that all of the Shadow Clan operate as loners, but sometimes you still need a bigger squad to get the job done. Normally this would mean giving up the ability to Shadow Step, but Atticus is a master of the darkness, and his "Shadow March" ability allows his whole squad to appear out of thin air!
I imagine you can start to see why this is my favorite deck, and I bet you can’t wait to see the rest of what this deck has to offer. However, waiting is what you’ll need to do, as next week we’ll look to the skies and get our first opportunity to explore the Feather Clan! Remember, all four clans are available now for preorder on the Plaid Hat Games Webstore! Also, if you haven't already, be sure to check out the previews for all 6 Clans found in the base game, available now!
Game Page, Announcement Article
Game Basics: The Battlefield, Initiative and Scoring, Squads, Summoning and Activating, Replenishing, Invading, and Reshuffling, Final Crystal
Skull Clan: Part 1, Part 2
Meteor Clan: Part 1, Part 2
Flower Clan: Part 1, Part 2
Blood Clan: Part 1, Part 2
Stone Clan: Part 1, Part 2
Water Clan: Part 1, Part 2
Art Previews: Blood Clan, Flower Clan, Meteor Clan, Skull Clan, Stone Clan, Water Clan