Shadow Era TCG » Articles » SE Strategy: Card Drawing Engines
Overview of card-draw cards
The following are all the cards in 1.27 that allow you to draw cards. Indicated is whether their drawing effect is one time only or continuous, and the maximum amount of cards you will be able to draw off them. Excluded are cards like Earthen Protector that bring things back to the board, but not to your hand. Throughout, cards marked with an asterisk (*) let you recurse cards from the graveyard rather than draw from your library.
The majority of the cards in the above list are, I believe, amongst the better cards in SE, for the mere fact that they allow you to cycle through your draw deck faster. Generally, the most problematic scenario you can encounter, in this (and any) TCG, is running out of cards. Not having cards in your hand means you cannot respond to the things your opponent does, gives your opponent inevitability, and will likely lose you the game, quickly. This couples back to the card advantage principle. Therefore, cards that let you draw, or deny your opponents their draw, are among the most powerful and are auto-includes in most decks. Even more preferable are cards that do both, like Night Prowler.
Let's now look into the broad types of draw cards listed above.
Cantrips are cards that immediately replace themselves in your hand when they are played. ("When [card] comes into play, draw a card.") The following cards in SE are cantrips:
Normally, when you cast a spell, the cost of that spell is (a) the resources you pay, and (b) the card itself. (If this does not make sense to you, you can read about card advantage here.) So, cantrips are cards that have a discounted cost compared to others, which is why Belladonna and Shadow Knight, for example, are powerful and popular cards. The cards marked with an asterisk (*) have the added bonus that the card comes from your graveyard, and that through timing of your play, you can manipulate what you actually draw, making them even more powerful. Transference (**) is an oddball cantrip in the list since it gives you 1 of your opponent's cards. This adds an element of chance; the hope is, of course, that you draw 1 of your opponent's key pieces, crippling their play, but you may also end up with an utterly useless card. The more you are able to put your opponent's cards to use in your own deck, the better cards like Transference are. Other cards, like Campfire Stories and Here be Monsters, are not worth their cost in the current metagame, because their impact on the game is too small; the game designers revised these cards to add cantrip to them to somewhat fix them by a price reduction.
Cards that allow you to draw, and give card advantage
The definition of card advantage that I use: "A card gives you card advantage if it nets you more cards than you expend. The following cards can give card advantage."
Surprise Attack and Bad Santa are currently the only cards that are guaranteed to provide you with immediate card advantage, provided they are correctly timed when played. Surprise Attack, of course, only gives card advantage if your opponent has at least 2 allies on the field. Bad Santa will let you draw extra cards, but will only actually provide card advantage when your opponent is already holding 6 or 7 cards.
For all others, certain conditions need to be met or a certain cost needs to be paid for the card advantage: you may have to save up shadow energy (the heroes); pay a health point every turn (Blood Frenzy); expend resources (Research); or wait for specific play situations (e.g., Ill-Gotten Gains, Night Prowler, Dimension Ripper). What is stated above for Bad Santa also applies to Bazaar and Dimension Ripper, and all three are therefore indicated with **. In addition, for Dimension Ripper, the above explained for Transference also applies.
Night Prowler is very powerful, because when you attack with it, you instantly have 2 cards advantage (you gain 1, your opponent loses 1), and you may be able to have it stick and repeat your mischief the next turn. This makes Night Prowler a game-changing card when timed well.
Please note that others often use a different definition for card advantage, where it means that you simply draw more cards than your opponent. Under this definition, all cantrip cards would also give you card advantage. Also see this post by sweetgab for more on this.
The best drawing engines
So now that we have done some analysis, on to the beef of this article: which ones are the most powerful drawing engines? This is, of course, subjective to some extent, but, for me, an outstanding drawing engine must meet these conditions:
The cards that I believe meet these conditions are:
The only surprise in here is probably Surprise Attack. (What's in a name?) I believe this may become a powerful card in the new 1.27 meta, that will likely be crawling with weenie decks.
The three cantripping allies (Lily Rosecult, Belladonna, Shadow Knight) are also very powerful cards, in my opinion.
I suggest you now continue reading about draw engines in this article by kamman13.
Please leave corrections or comments and ask questions if you have any!
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