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Liam
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Disclaimer: (This is merely a run through of what you get and what I think - to hopefully generate a bit of chat. I'm a big fan of Summoner Wars but would to no degree consider myself a pro. If you spot anything wrong here give me a shout and I'll fix it.

Rules will be paraphrased and so if you're confused check the cards for clarity.)




My favourite faction have long been the Shadow Elves. It's been I dunno 3 years of a roll out for the second summoners and finally here we are.

So what do we know about the Shadow Elves so far:

Fast assassins with glass jaws - one hit wonders. Miss your chance, get unlucky draws or rolls and you had a mountain to climb. Tricky and fun to play with but without the survivability, particularly in commons to go the distance or change strategy mid game. It would be clean and pretty or you'd be dead. One of the more lopsided match ups was Sneeks verses Selundar, where the wave of green death generally wiped you out by turn 5 or if you were lucky turn 7.

Well, throw your ticket out the window, throw your suitcase out there too
throw your troubles out the door you won't need them any more - The Shadow Elves are ending helluva strong.

Summoner:


Satuarous (Santos)



A fairly sinister looking fella... with long ears. Looks like he may have a taste for the whip.

Attack: 3 Health: 6 Ranged

BloodSummon:
When you kill an opponent's common on their side of the board you may replace it with a shadow elf common from your hand.

So Santos is a vampire as are many of his chums. He's a fairly standard summoner stat wise but with a rather funky albeit potentially risky power. Temptation to push him up the battlefield is very tempting.

Champions:


Shiiq (as in she's the Shiiq)



She looks a bit like a cat.

Cost: 6 Attack: 4 Health: 5 Close Combat

Emerge:
At the end of your turn swap places with any Shadow Elf unit.


Shiiq is a standout champion. Simply fantastic in almost every role: from bodyguard, rapid response to outright finisher. Having her on the battlefield provides the Shadow Elf player with a host of possibilities and opponent endless threats.

Uriel (Mr Pricklefingers):



A spidery fella.

Cost: 5 Attacks: 2 Health: 4 Close Combat

Suffocating Darkness:

If at your opponents side of the board and having not moved Uriel can attack any unit.


Uriel is scuttling nightmare. Sitting at the halfway line creating a must solve problem for your opponent. Allowing Uriel to set up camp is dangerous but stopping him is may be deadly.

Zhant:



A punky Nostradamus in a bathrobe.

Cost: 6 Attacks: 2 Health: 5 Ranged

Shadow Puppets:
If Zhant doesn't move you may move 2 Shadow Elf commons who are 2 squares from Zhant.
If Zhant doesn't attack you may attack with 2 Shadow Elf commons, even if they've already attacked this turn, who are 2 squares from Zhant.


A serious playmaker. A serious troublemaker. Another headache for any opponent.

Commons:

Blooddrake (Hydrake's brood)



Popping out of a humanoid. Clearly a fan of Alien.

Cost: 2 Attacks: 2 Health: 2 Close Combat

Bloody Rage:
If summoned via bloodsummon they make immediately move 1 square and if they attack get an additional dice.


Blooddrakes sinicise well with the deck. Getting these fellas at 0 cost is a riot. They also give the Shadow Elves a long wished for meatier common... though I'm not sure I'd often want to pay for them.

Shadow Warrior (Wash Wang?):



Chap breakdancing with a bonny baseball cap.

Cost: 1 Attack: 2 Health: 1 Close Combat

Blood Step:
Can be placed before moving next to any wounded unit.


Shadow warriors give you a get out of jail card when dominating and repelling attacks anywhere on the board. Shadow Warriors' ability also works phenomenally well with Shiiq's ability.

Vindicator:



Arrow moustaches are really in this season.

Cost: 2 Attack: 1 Health: 2 Ranged

Repeating Crossbow:
If he hasn't moved he can attack again.


Another meaty Shadow Elf. If at first you do not succeed...

Events:

Greater Blood Summon:
Spend two magic and draw up to 2 cards. Until the end of your turn when a Shadow Elf unit which destroys an opponent's unit it can be replaced with a Shadow Elf common from your hand.

Really powerful though somewhat expensive event. If you need it it's there.

Relentless Advance:
Move all of your Shadow Elf unit's up to two squares then place a wound on your summoner.

A hugely powerful card if you've got the troop power or are in pursuit.

Revenge:
Played after a Shadow Elf unit is destroyed. Place two wound on the attacking common or champion. (only one allowed per turn).


A no brainer old-school card. Not to be used lightly though, as not necessary sound in all cases.

Vanquish:
Played if your summoner is attacked by an opponents common in the opponent's side of the board. All attacks are counted as misses and unit is returned to opponents hand.

A card to get Santos out of trouble if he takes an advanced satellite position. Very situational.

Conclusion:

A cracking deck; true to its roots of fast and furious, tricky and talented but with novel longevity and a new fangled thing called board dominance. Before the Shadow Elves couldn't stand still, now they have the means and rewarding strategy of setting up advanced positions. An advanced wall can cause chaos when paired with this deck. The Shadow Elves can literally swamp the board with commons but probably shouldn't and shouldn't be allowed to.

The economy may take some getting used to - on the one hand - you can summon a lot of free commons on the other getting trapped with a hand full of chaff waiting for the perfect play is possible and you can't really afford to do all that you can. Keeping it simple and just kill the opponents summoner. Correspondently opposing Santos needs to be about magic denial and interference... you must contest the middle ground.

Summoner war is a game with a delicate balance and I argue each deck has furthered perfected this balance. In the early days. 'Champion' play was too ubiquitous/obvious so many of the early second summoners carefully rewarded and strengthened the use of commons. This deck turn this trend on it's head, you better use champions against Santos and he can send literally everything back at you.

The Shadow Elves are a force to be reckoned with. An amusing match up is Sneeks versus Santos. The green has turned purple.
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Rob Cramer
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Provo
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Glad to see these deck highlights again! This deck is crazy in all the best ways.
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Nicholas
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I love this deck. When I first saw it I thought "woah, this is way overpowered!". Turns out that's not the case, I actually found the deck rather challenging to play well. It's also fun to deckbuild a few of those into the old Shadow Elves deck. Adds some HP.


And who is this Santos you keep talking about?
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Stephen Sanders
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Henderson
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I like those Champions that have 4 power they can put the hurt on your opponent. Even though Shiic is not ranged, she can move around nicely, and only costs 6 power. Seemingly pretty powerful, though haven't played with this deck yet.
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Liam
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Cheers folks,

I was always going to like this deck. I have found that its pretty easy to muck it up by being tempted to do a little bit of everything... then realising that you don't have the magic for the champions you want and your hand is full of commons that you can't bring yourself to turn to magic - as Santos finds himself vulnerable in the centre of the battlefield.

How did this happen... Again!?
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