The Magnificent Seven by David Eber

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[posted 22 Jan 2005]

Copyright 2004 by Krause Publishing. This article originally appeared in Scrye Magazine [, 22 Jan 2005] issue #72 (June 2004). All rights reserved. Reprint here is by permission of both David and Krause Publishing. Thanks!

The Magnificent Seven
Seven Cards to Watch in Shadowfist's Seven Masters vs. The Underworld
by David Eber
copyright 2004 by Krause Publications (Scrye Magazine)

Seven Masters Versus The Underworld, the newest expansion for the Shadowfist CCG, hurls players into the world of Hong Kong sword and sorcery movies such as A Chinese Ghost Story, Legend of Zu, and Kung Fu Cult Master. It also introduces the Seven Masters, a new mini-faction of powerful kung-fu masters who use both chi and magic. I had a lot of fun helping to design this set, and so I've picked out seven cards that I think bear watching. They aren't necessarily the most powerful cards in the set, but they are fun and interesting, and they might just shake up your game.

200 Guys With Hatchets And Ladders
The real strength of this Ascended edge isn't so much in what it does, but in how it affects everyone else. With this edge on the table, your opponents have to really think twice about playing Unique characters. Try building a mixed Architect-Ascended deck around this card and BuroMil Grunt. Not only will you likely get a lot of Fighting back, but those Grunts won't self-destruct at the end of your turn, either.

Balanced Harmonies
Another powerful edge, this Seven Masters card offers up all kinds of combo possibilities. Use it to take damage off of a Primeval Forest to keep it running, or to put damage on a Roller Rink get it working. You can use this to move damage off of your characters in between interceptors, and you can use it move damage from your sites onto characters, and then turn those characters to heal. And if you really want to have fun, use this to put damage on Jenaya Ou.

Jade Palace of the Dragon King
At only five body, this card may not look like much, but once it gets rolling, it can be a real headache for your opponents. Not only will this remove damage from your cards, but it'll also let you plow through interceptors, and it makes your opponent's 1 Fighting characters nearly useless against you in combat. Like 200 Guys With Hatchets And Ladders, the real strength of this card is how it forces your opponents to adjust their play to work around this card.

Kunlun Clan Assault
This card is the first foundation event in the game. That's right - it's an event that provides resources, but it doesn't require them. Kunlun Clan Assault allows you to divide three damage among characters and sites (including your own). There are advantages and disadvantages between a foundation event and a character, but right off the bat, 2 for 3 is a better cost to damage ratio than you get out of most characters. Add to this the fact that it provides both magic and chi resources, and you've got an invaluable card for the Seven Masters.

Material Transcendence
With this Purist state, you can turn your fragile utility characters into edges, making them much harder to kill, or you can play it on an opponent's hitter, pretty much taking it out of the game without actually taking it out of play. That means that your opponent won't be able to recycle it or play a new copy. With this kind of power and versatility, you can expect it to show up in a lot of Purist decks.

Underworld Gateway
Underworld Gateway is the first alternate-victory card in Shadowfist. If you can get three of these in play, you'll win the game. Of course, that isn't easy, but this card combos very nicely with Glimpse of the Abyss, allowing you to rack up tons of power without having to worry about your normal victory conditions. It's also reloadable, so you can still win with this card no matter how many times your opponents destroy it.

Unexpected Rescue
One of the most powerful cards available to the Seven Masters, this card gives you a chance to put a hitter into play for free when you're attacked. Since this card will automatically play the first character out of five from the top of your deck (provided you have the right resources), you can increase the chances of drawing something useful by using Kunlun Clan Assault instead of a character foundation in your deck. Granted, the character you play won't stick around, but if you use Wing of the Crane on it before the end of the attack, you can get around that drawback as well.

David Eber, 2004.

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