Each set is centered around particular events in the Secret War. For more on the backstory of each set, check out my Card Sets page.
I don't have card lists here because it's a lot of work and I haven't gotten around to it yet. Besides, others have done that quite well already. Will Wagner's card search database is rather handy and currently lists all of the cards up to Throne War and Year of the Dragon.
Year of the Dragon
There are 12 starter decks with rulebooks per starter box, and 36 Shadowpacks to a booster box.
Note the Very Commons. The starters have 30 of these compared to 20 regular commons. But the disparity is much greater than that alone implies, because there are fewer than half as many very commons. A single starter gives you over 75% of the Very Commons, while it gives you slightly less than 25% of the Commons. Getting this many Very Commons is fairly important, however, as these cards are absolutely necessary for any deck. Unlike most CCGs out there, Shadowfist's rarity scheme is actually geared toward getting you what you need to build a deck as quickly as possible. On average at least, the very commons are cards that you really need 5 of in every deck, while the rares are cards that you typically never want more than 2 of in any given deck. This isn't always true, of course, but is a far cry better than the other card games that I've played.
I have no breakdown of the sheets themselves so I don't know, for example, all of which uncommons are on the sheet twice. I do know that there are some R2s and U2s, but a partial list isn't terribly useful so I won't even bother. I will bother to point out, however, that there are some oddities- Hill of the Turtle appears on both the common sheet and the uncommon sheet.
However, a number of the Operation Killdeer characters have appeared in Standard packs. Supposedly, these are a few that slipped through the process. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense because it implies that some cards were printed from the old Limited sheets and some from the proper Standard sheets. Personally, I'm not convinced that any of these were printed from the right sheets. My guess is that the actual card set and rarity is identical to that of Limited (with the exception of the lack of foil stamp, of course).
Standard Edition cards have the same starter/booster rarity breakdown as Limited. Assuming that the Killdeer characters were removed as they should have been, the overall set breakdown is like Limited but with 8 fewer rares (and 8 existing rares becoming twice as common). Again, I believe that the actual breakdown is identical to Limited Edition- but nobody will likely ever know for sure.
There are 36 boosters per box.
The Netherworld expansion contains a mess of cards that are absolutely essential for competitive duel play. It also enables the Four Monarchs and the Jammers as viable factions. And, of course, it has Ting Ting. She is the most difficult to obtain card in the game, for a number of reasons:
There are 30 Flashpoint boosters (aka "Flashpacks") in a box.
Flashpoint also includes one promo card- the updated White Ninja. This card appears in the rare section of the rare/uncommon sheet. It was separated out during collation, though has been known to appear in packs.
I've never understood the goofy rarity scheme of this set. By looking at the sheets I can see that the rarity as printed is totally different from the rarity as distributed. In other words, the rarity is totally artificial and was created by selectively removing cards before packaging. The uncommon/rare sheet has 100 cards. 80 of them are uncommons, with some being printed twice and the last being the Info Card. There are 20 cards on the bottom two rows which are the rares. Of these, 3 are the unique sites which are each printed twice, 13 are the rare characters which are each printed once, and 1 is the promo White Ninja. This means that the rare sites are as printed twice as common as most of the uncommons. And the rare characters as printed are just as common as most uncommons. Think about the fact that the White Ninja is just as common as the info card...
Instead of a gold foil stamp, as seen on previous sets, these cards feature a printed white symbol in the top right corner. The Throne War symbol is a three-level pagoda.
There are 24 Throne War boosters in a box.
Throne War has 4 promo cards. These appear in a special area of the rare sheet. The White Ninja makes her return here, exactly as she is in Flashpoint except with a white Fist icon instead of the gold foil Blue Spear. There are also two totally new cards, the Monarchs Once and Future Champion and the Dragons Open a Can of Whupass. The 4th promo card is a special version of the Year of the Dragon's Sting of the Scorpion- although she is mechanically the same, she is topless!
There are 2 card sheets. One sheet has 2 copies of each of the 30 commons, 1 copy of each of the 30 uncommons, and 10 blank cards. The other sheet has 3 copies of each of the 20 rares, 10 blank cards, and a 30-card promo/reprint section. This is where the promo cards appear (3 Ninjas and 1 of each of the others). There are also a number of reprinted cards here- these are extra copies of cards that had changed in the new sets. Z-Man had an offer in which you could send in your old cards and they would send you the new versions of those cards. That way you'd always have access to the most recent printing- what a great idea!
These cards feature a white printed dragon's head, facing left, in the top right corner.
I have not provided a rarity breakdown for this set, as the cards in any given deck are totally fixed. If you want 1 of everything, buy one of each deck.
Year of the Dragon is packaged in display boxes of 10 starters (2 copies of each faction's deck).
There are 3 card sheets. Each sheet has the cards to make up 2 decks. The Architects deck and Ascended deck share a sheet, the Dragons and Hand share a sheet, and the Lotus deck is printed 2-up. I would assume that half as many of the Lotus sheets were printed as compared to the other two sheets, thus making all of them equally common.
Each sheet is 100 cards. The rare sheet has 2 copies of each rare (90 cards) plus a row of 10 promo cards across the bottom. These 10 cards have the Shadowfist "fist" symbol in the top right corner. They are The Junkyard, Who Wants Some (x2), Silver Band, Nine Cuts (x2), and The Eastern King (x4). For more info on the promo cards, check out my Promo Cards page.
The uncommon and common sheets are pretty basic- each has 50 cards that each appear twice in random locations on the sheet.
©1999-2001, Tony Hafner