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Shadow Era Starter Guide

Updated on August 17, 2012

Shadow Era is a trading card game similar to Magic the Gathering and the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. The basic concept is that you build a deck of cards that include abilities, weapons, armor, and allies and battle other players or computer generated decks in one on one fashion. Each deck has a hero card which acts as your main character. The object of the game is to bring your opponent's hero down to zero health before they do the same to you.

Where to Play

Shadow Era can be played on multiple platforms and is most popular on mobile devices. The Shadow Era game app is available for free download on the Apple Store and on the Android Marketplace. You can also play at from any Mac or PC connected to the internet. I personally play on my iPhone and on my laptop.

Sign Up

When you first download Shadow Era, you simply sign up for a free account to get started. Once you sign up, verify you e-mail address by clicking on a link that Shadow Era sends you and you are ready to get started.

Choose a A Starter Deck

Once you sign up and log in to the game, you will be taken through a tutorial to get you familiarized with the game. The first step is to choose a hero to base your started deck around. Read through the different heroes and their abilities and find one that sounds like it would be fun to play. Once you choose a hero, you are not stuck with that hero forever. You can always change your hero if you do not like the play style and you can build as many decks as there are heroes in the game. This is a free game to play, but you can purchase packs of cards and additional starter packs if you want to try out several different decks early on in your Shadow Era career.

Choose a Starter Deck
Choose a Starter Deck

Menu Screen

Next, you want to browse around and visit each of the areas of the Shadow Era game. Click on the Dragon's nose at the top of your screen to pull down to main navigation menu. This menu will take you to all of the areas to work on your deck, play against the computer, play against other players, purchase cards, and set your options.


From the Deck screen, you can add and remove cards to your deck and also change to a different deck once you build more than one. When you first start up, you'll have around 32 cards. A standard tournament deck is 40 cards, but you can play against the computer with your starter deck. To remove a card from play, just click on it and then click on the "Remove" button that pops up. Your available cards that you can add to your deck will display below the cards in your deck. To add them, just click on them and then click on the "Add" button that pops up.


On the Merchant screen, you can purchase additional cards for your decks using either Shadow Crystals or gold. You can earn both in the game by playing against the computer and other players, but you can also purchase Shadow Crystals for real money. For about $5, you can put together an awesome, tournament worthy deck right from the start. If you don't want to spend any real money, you can earn your Shadow Crystals by leveling up. You can also sell unwanted cards for gold and then use that gold to buy individual cards to fill out your deck.

You can also earn Shadow Crystals through player run tournaments that are sponsored by Shadow Era. The forums are a great resource to see find these type of tournaments and also get some good insight into the game.


The option screen is pretty self explanatory. You can turn on and off the music and sound, enable chat, increase or decrease the speed in which cards come out in the game speed option, reset your help text (which brings back up the tutorial screens if you need a refresher) and also log off.


The Status screen shows your level, rating, how much experience you need to level up, the amount of gold you have, and the amount of Shadow Crystals that you have.

Play Your First Match

After you choose a starter deck, the next step is to dive right in and play a match against the computer environment. This match will act as a tutorial, taking you through the different phases of the game and outlining what happens in each player's turn. Click on the square icon that looks like a character on the "World" screen to begin your first match.

Earning Experience and Gold

Each time you play a match, you earn experience and have the potential to earn gold. As you collect experience, you level up. When you level up, you gain Shadow Crystals which can be used to purchase starter decks for additional heroes or booster packs of 15 cards to add to your current deck(s). Playing against the computer is a quick way to earn experience and gold to help build up your decks for playing quick games against other players.


The best place to learn about how to play the game is by reading the forums on There is a good community of players willing to help new players and several guides and strategies written up by the community. I would suggest playing a bunch of games with your starter deck to get a feel for the game and then jumping into the forums. There is a bit of a learning curve to make the jump to playing matches against other players, but the rating system keeps things very accurate and competitive. And most importantly, remember to have fun!


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