A close look at the new FFTCG FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers Starter Set

A new two-player starter set for the FINAL FANTASY Trading Card Game is on the way. Take a look at what’s included here.
By Tim Schilder

Dear Warriors of Darkness,

Do you already know about the FINAL FANTASY Trading Card Game (FFTCG)?

It’s been around for over four years now and the release of Opus XII last November brought characters from FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers into the game.

To introduce fans of the MMO to the exciting world of FFTCG, we’ve just released a brand new starter set based on Shadowbringers. It includes two decks of cards, so you can share it with friends and family and start playing right away!

Read on and I’ll tell you all about it. But first…

A quick primer on FINAL FANTASY Trading Card Game

In this tactical duel game, each player builds a deck of 50 cards by choosing from the most emblematic characters, monsters and summons from the FINAL FANTASY franchise. They then utilize each one’s abilities to defeat their opponent.

Each new set expands on the FFTCG's roster even further, with fan favorites spanning over 30 years of FINAL FANTASY history!

The rules are simple: the first person that deals seven points of damage to their opponent wins the game. In order to achieve this, players must spend crystal points across six different elements to summon their characters onto the battlefield.

Does that sound interesting to you? Head over to https://fftcg.square-enix-games.com/en/gameplay#tutorial and let a friendly Moogle guide you through a very easy online tutorial of the game.

We also have a fully illustrated rule-guide for newcomers that you can read and download here.

So what’s new in the world of FFTCG?

Our most recent set - Opus XII Crystal Awakening - introduced multi-element cards for the first time, opening lots of new possibilities and synergies for the game.

The next release will be Opus XIII Crystal Radiance, and as a first taste, we’re pleased to present you the FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers set.

The FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers Starter Set

This new set is a two-player package you can experience right out of the box and it’s available to order now from the Square Enix Store!

The set features two pre-built decks and ten brand new FFTCG cards from the yet to be released Opus XIII so let’s take a closer look at some of these!

(13-133S) The Crystal Exarch

Leading the Crystarium (and also this 50-card deck), The Crystal Exarch is a great addition to any Earth build as he can increase the power of any Forward (attacker) by 2000 every turn he is on the field, even if you only just played him.

With a second ability that unlocks once you have received five points of damage, The Crystal Exarch will reach his full potential and allow you to break a weaker Forward every time he is attacking. He definitely poses a huge threat that your opponent will want to deal with sooner than later.

The big picture: three copies of this card are included in the deck, and one of those comes as a special Full-Art, foil variant for all the collectors out there.

(13-134S) Y’shtola

For six crystal points you can have Y’shtola by your side. She cannot be targeted by any of your opponent’s summons so they will have to find other ways to deal with her.

The best thing is, Y’shtola doesn’t come alone - she allows you to play another Forward from your Break Zone if its cost is equal to or less than the number of Job Scion of the Seventh Dawn under your control!

If you do not count other versions of Y’shtola, there are 11 different Forwards and seven Backups with that Job in the game so plenty of options to choose from.

Pro tip: This card is also great addition to the first FINAL FANTASY XIV Starter Set, which got released with Opus V and used the Earth element and the Job Scion of the Seventh Dawn too.

(13-135S) Urianger

Similar to the first FINAL FANTASY XIV Starter Set we just mentioned, the second element of this deck is Lightning.

When you play Urianger (or when he enters your Damage Zone due to his EX Burst Effect), you can reveal the top two cards of your deck and add one Category XIV character to your hand.

If you have lots of Category XIV characters in your deck, this will allow you to keep momentum and get a new card for playing one. This will often result in playing multiple Forwards in one turn with an aggressive playstyle, for which the Lightning element is well-known.

Pro tip: remember how Y’shtola can bring another Forward to tag along? Well, if your deck comprises other Scions, you could totally pick up Urianger from your Break Zone and play him, which might give you yet another card. What a great synergy!

(13-136S) Thancred

The next Scion of the Seventh Dawn is Thancred who also relies on the Scions synergy.

Every time you play another Scion of the Seventh Dawn, Thancred will gain an additional 2000 Power, Haste and Brave (which allows you to attack in the same turn Thancred was played and have him available to block an attack too).

In addition, Thancred comes with the Special Ability “Blasting Zone” - like in FINAL FANTASY XIV Online. You can use this to quickly deal lots of damage to a single Forward by discarding any other card with the name Thancred from your hand and dulling Thancred.

The more the merrier: Scions of the Seventh Dawn are at their best when in numbers. They’re a powerful archetype so make sure you get the full team on-board!

(13-138S) The Oracle of Light

The Combo-finisher - The Oracle of Light increases the power of all your Job Scion of the Seventh Dawn Forwards by 2000 while she is on the field.

If your opponent manages to break her, rather than putting her into the Break Zone, you can remove her from the game, and bring any Job Scion of the Seventh Dawn in your Break Zone back to the field instead.

This is a great addition to the archetype, and makes the deck a great start for any Scions enthusiast!

Back to the basics: As this is a Light element card, you cannot discard it to gain crystal points, but you can pay for it with crystal points of any element.

But for every hero, there is a villain. For every light, there is shadow. And while you, Warrior of Darkness, fight your way through Norvrandt, some of your enemies also made their way into Opus XIII - Crystal Radiance.

(13-129S) Philia from Holminster Switch is an amazing Fire card to clear the whole board while playing a very strong Forward yourself - and once you fulfill the criteria to cast (13-132S) Titania, she can dull and freeze all your problems away!

Unlike most FFTCG Two Player Starter Sets, where you would see one deck with a Light card, and the other one with a Dark card, this time both decks feature Light element cards - and (13-137S) Innocence fits perfectly into this Fire and Ice playstyle.

(13-130S) Ran’jit

Well, well... The commander of the Eulmoran Army himself. To what do I owe the honour, General Ran'jit?

The more Backups you control, the more Ran’jit’s cost will decrease and the more dangerous he will become to your opponent.

This means that if you have a total of five Backups (which is the maximum number of Backups you’re allowed on the field at any given time), Ran’jit’s cost will go down to three, but he will still inflict 8000 damage to any opposing Forward upon entering the field.

He really is the kind of fellow you don’t want to have enter the field, again, and again.

(13-131S) Emet-Selch

Last but not least, Emet-Selch is a very powerful Ice card that will most likely find a spot in every deck that relies on the Ice element.

When he enters the field, you may pay an additional four crystal points (of any element) to search for an Ice Backup that costs four or less in your deck, and play it into the field. This will allow you to always find the right card at the right time and adapt to the current situation.

This ability offers endless possibilities and even if you already have five Backups on your field, you’re not forced to pay the extra four crystal points and can still play Emet-Selch onto the field normally.

The big picture: Just like The Crystal Exarch, one of the three copies included in this deck comes as a striking, Full-Art foil variant.

We hope this gives you a good overview of the new FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers Starter Set - and what some of the cards included can do.

The set is available to order now on the Square Enix Store:

If you’d like to learn more about FFTCG and its awesome community, head over to https://fftcg.square-enix-games.com/, where you will find news, information on every card, spoilers, and your nearest friendly local game store!

And if you haven’t joined the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online ranks yet, you can see what the MMORPG phenomenon is all about and enjoy mountains of contents at zero cost with our FREE TRIAL.