Shadowverse, or any turn-based card game, is like a constant tug-of-war against your opponent, with numerous exchanges of positioning and advantage throughout the match. Therefore, victory is often decided based on how many times a player gained or maintained advantage over the other player. This article aims to discuss the basics of the different ways of gaining advantage in Shadowverse. In reality, things are much more complicated than simple memorization of this list and these types of advantages are often gained by sacrificing advantage in another category.
Card advantage is a type of advantage that is gained when you have more access to playable cards than your opponent. At this most basic definition, you have card advantage over the opponent if you have more cards, in total, in your hand and on the board. Card advantage is often gained by using cards such as those that allow you to draw multiple cards or destroying multiple cards on your opponent’s board.
Hand advantage is a specific type of card advantage that simply compares the number of cards in each players hand. Imagine this: you and your opponent have identical decks and you have more cards in your hand than him/her. Since you have a bigger selection of playable cards, you are at an advantage! You can gain hand advantage in many ways, such as by using cards that allow you to draw multiple cards.
Sometimes, hand advantage can also refer to the ‘quality’ of the cards in your hand. Therefore, utilizing cards that can search for specific, powerful cards is also a type of hand advantage.
Board advantage is similar to hand advantage and is generally determined by the number of cards on the board, in which the player with more followers and/or amulets on the field than the opposing player is said to have board advantage. Board advantage is generally gained by using effects that destroy multiple cards on your opponent’s side of the field!
Tempo advantage refers to the level of control, or momentum, that one player has over the opposing player. Tempo is often concerned with ‘time’ and tempo advantage is gained when a player is able to maximize his/her benefits in a turn, given the limitations of the game. For example, one of such limitations is play points, or PP. The amount of PP in Shadowverse generally only increases by one a turn and does not go over ten. Therefore, utilizing the play points allotted for the turn efficiently while taking over the board is the key!
Life advantage refers to differences in leader defense (life points) during the game. Since both players start off at 20 life and lose when it hits 0, a player has life advantage if his/her life is higher than the opponent’s. Lowering your opponent’s defense forces them to shift focus on survival and limits ability to play their own game! Typically, life advantage is gained and maintained by either lowering the opponent’s defense through attacks and spells or increasing your defense (it cannot go over 20) by using healing cards.
It is important to distinguish between life advantage and card advantage, as one has to constantly compromise between these two types of advantages. Sometimes, you will have to sacrifice some life advantage to gain card advantage over your opponent.
Information advantage refers to any advantage over your opponent based on game knowledge. It is a technique in which information that is typically unknown to the player, such as the contents of the opponent’s deck and cards in hand, is deduced or predicted based on your game knowledge. Although this is not a direct advantage like the other types, this knowledge can give you the edge by predicting deck archetypes early in the game, allowing you to strategically prepare for key cards and big plays by your opponent. Alternatively, information advantage can be gained by withholding key information during the game. For example, you could make plays to make your deck archetype less obvious or even use unconventional cards, so you can catch your opponent by surprise!