Shadowfist Shurikens and Six Guns Expansion

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Home > Sets > Shurikens and Six Guns
[posted 25 Jun 2006; updated 13 Feb 2010]

What's in the set? - rarity, distribution by faction, and obligatory statistics
Nitpicker's Guide - errors big, small, and ludicrously small
Storyline summary - the story behind this set, summarized in a couple of paragraphs
Card list - opens in new window
Etc - whatever's left, random thoughts and comments, sometimes my opinions on this set or cards in it, and/or the State of Shadowfist at the time of this expansion

What's in Shurikens and Six Guns?

Shurikens and Six Guns is a booster-only expansion set released in August 2006 at GenCon. This is the first effort from the new production company, Shadowfist Games, that took over from Z-Man Games in January 2006. The expansion is set in the American Wild West in the 1860s juncture. It's the by-now standard size of 128 cards, with rarities divided into Common, Uncommon, and Rare. 1 card, Netherflitter, is an errata of a Z-Man card, and the former promo Lateral Reincarnation is reprinted in this set with its rules text. All cards are black-bordered with a badge Shurikens and Six-Guns in the upper right corner (it even includes the tiny text "U.S. Marshal"). The set symbols are color-coded to indicate rarity: white for rare, grey for uncommon, and black for common. Still not foil.

A new faction, The Shadow Syndicate, premieres in this set. These are the new rulers of the future after the critical shift caused by the Dragons' win in Two-Fisted Tales displaced the Architects. They mix Chi and Tech talents in a cyberpunk-meets-Kung-Fu sort of way. For the curious and uninterested alike, their faction symbol is a tunnel diode [, 19 Feb 2008].

Eleven promo cards (more than any other set so far) were also printed with the run. Shadowfist Games offered a promo card with each box purchased direct from them during the pre-order period, up to 6 different promos (Mars Colonist, Blade Palm alt. art, Scrounging alt. art, Dan Dammer, Jessica Ng, Queen of the Ice Pagoda reprint). Two other promo cards, Military Commandant alt. art and Devil's Rope, were given exclusively to retailers to distribute as they saw fit. The retailer-exclusive cards were made available via Power for Promos when the Critical Shift set was released.

Shurikens and Six Guns booster packBooster packs contain 10 randomly assorted cards (retail $3.49 per pack); each display box contains 24 boosters ($65 direct from Shadowfist Games). The wrappers use the flimsy silvered material like Shaolin Showdown, but with full color printing. Card distribution seems to be similar to the previous 128 card sets: two boxes will get you 3-4 of each uncommon and 5-6 of each common, and you'll be short 3 or 4 rares but have enough extra to trade for the missing ones.

Critical Shift
















I didn't find a secret box or secret booster message. If you noticed one, please let me know.

Here's the breakdown by faction and by card type. The table on the left shows the overall breakdown (for new players), the table on the right shows the breakdown of the new cards only (for not new players). Apologies for the formatting of the table, but it's much smaller to plop an image in than write a table in HTML. Eventually I'll try out the CSS thing and redo all my tables...

Shadowfist Shurikens and Six Guns breakdown by faction and type, including reprints and errata   Shadowfist Shurikens and Six Guns breakdown by faction and type, excluding reprints and errata

Looking at this graphically may or may not help you, but I like it. Click either graph to see a larger version in a new window. These plots include errata and reprints.

  Shadowfist Red Wedding breakdown by factionShadowfist Red Wedding breakdown by card type

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The Nitpicker's Guide: Shurikens and Six Guns


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Storyline Summary: Shurikens and Six Guns

Braz King posted a short summary of the S&SG storyline to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 2 Dec 2009. Read the original in the archive if you're a member.

The storyline for Shurikens and Six-Guns follows two separate stories, both of which involve the King of the Thunder Pagoda.

First, Katie Kincaid assembles a force, including The Seven, The Jackson Gang, Hoosegow Jackson, and many ranchers and farmers, to fight the Thunder King's aggressive presence in the American west and his native American allies. Katie is relentlessly pursued by notorious lawman, Texas Jack Cody, who intends to collect the sizeable bounty on Katie's head. On the Native side, the alliance with the Thunder King divides two brothers, Naikute, who believes the Thunder King will help the natives drive out the white invaders, and Swift Eagle, who is cast out of his tribe for promoting peace.

Second, Jia Baoyu completes a quest to restore the memories of his lover, Jessica Ng, who's memories were erased by the critical Shift.

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Etc: Shurikens and Six Guns

Shurikens and Six Guns is the freshman effort from the Shadowfist Games design team, taking over from Z-Man Games. Z-Man had been planning to release a new core set (including starters) called Critical Shift, but that was put on hold in order to generate some cash flow. They also did a "ransom reprint" of the entire Red Wedding set alongside S&SG ("ransom" meaning that they would not confirm the print run until they had enough pre-paid orders to justify it).

S&SG was the first set subject to the new distribution scheme. Shadowfist Games offers display boxes direct from their website at $65 each. They did not offer the usual steep discounts to get the boxes out to major distributors (who then mark it up further to sell to retailers, who then mark it up further to sell to you). Instead they arranged more favorable deals to sell directly to a much smaller set of retailers. The drawback of course is that Shadowfist is in even fewer stores than it was before, and the complete lack of advertising (other than word-of-mouth) isn't helping. At least it's still in print...

Shadowfist Games premiered some of the new cards on eBay, pre-selling single rares, 3x uncommon batches, and 5x common batches. Interesting idea, and from the final bids it looks like they made some money too.

There were some complaints about another "theme" set like Boom Chaka Laka, but it wasn't very strong complaining. Overall the set seems to have gotten a decent reception - not the most powerful of sets, but not the weakest either. A reasonable start for Shadowfist Games. The Syndicate faction took some heat for not starting out as well as the Seven Masters; I think in this set they end up par with the Jammers of Daedalus' Netherworld. That's not bad, but not good either. There are some interesting and fun cards in here, like Shaolin Hoedown, but there are some very narrow oddities, like Isothermal Zodiac. A single new Seven Masters card appears in this set too - Zev's vow to never reprint them again or add more cards was not binding on the new management, I guess :)

Was it really necessary to create the "Weirder" designator? (Dr. Quentin Higginsbotham) That's just going to be another sore spot, since "Weirder" won't match "Weird". He could have been "Really Weird Scientist" without creating designator angst.

The artwork was overall not quite as good as previous sets. A few pieces stand out as very well done (Two-Headed Horror, for example), but on average they don't seem as well executed. Wild Spirits took a lot of flack on the mailing list, but the art fits the card pretty well in my opinion. Mah-Jongg Parlor uses art done for a card by that name in the Throne War expansion. That title got dropped when Dan Frazier's less-than-impressive art came in; the card was printed as Gambling House since the last-minute replacement art from Stephen Snyder didn't look like much Mah-Jongg was happening. Dan's art was shelved, apparently to be dusted off for S&SG. It's still one of Dan's weakest pieces ever (compare to Dr. John Haynes, done at the same time...). Mike Kimble returns to Shadowfist card art, and continues his trend of using Dan Frazier as a model in his art - now Dan is a Morse Code Poet too.

I really dislike the blitz of promos in this set. Until S&SG, I could reasonably expect to be able to get all the promos (all two or three of them) in a few months and it was nice to know that I had "one of everything". I seriously considered not buying the set because it would be too much effort to get all the promos. I finally relented after I bought some promos on eBay, enough that I felt I could round the others up. The retailer-only promos led me to buy from a distributor rather than direct from Shadowfist Games in order to get the promos, which I guess was the point, but I'd have preferred to give my money to Shadowfist Games.

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