Keywords denote what a card's ability is using terminology largely specific to the Shadowverse game, though the mechanics might be similar or identical to other games, such as Hearthstone. Keywords are typically written in bold in the card's description.
- Accelerate: If you don't have enough play points to play a card, it can be played as a spell instead for its Accelerate cost. Only the Accelerate effects effects will activate when a card is played this way. Introduced in Brigade of Sky.
- Ambush: The follower can't be targeted by enemy followers, spells, or effects. Followers lose ambush if they attack.
- Bane: Automatically destroy any other followers that this follower attacks. Followers that attack them are automatically destroyed. Even when a follower with Bane has 0 attack or the damage is reduced to 0 by an enemy ability, the Bane ability will still activate.
- Clash: Effects activate before damage is dealt, whenever attacking or defending against an enemy follower. It does not activate when attacking leaders.
- Choose: Select 1 or more cards. Different effects will activate depending on the cards chosen.
- Crystallize: If you do not have enough play points to play a card, it an be played as an amulet for its Crystallize cost. Only Crystallize effects will activate when a card is played this way. Introduced in Verdant Conflict.
- Countdown: Refers to the number of turns it takes before the amulet is destroyed and its Last Words effect activates. The Countdown number is reduced by 1 at the start of your turn. When Countdown reaches 0, the amulet is destroyed.
- Drain: Each point of damage the card deals restores your leader's defense by 1. Drain doesn't take effect when defending.
- Enhance: If you have enough play points, they're automatically used to activate Enhance effects of a card when you play it from your hand. Introduced in Rise of Bahamut.
- Evolve: Effects activate when the follower evolves.
- Fanfare: Effects activate when the card is played from your hand.
- Fusion: Cards with Fusion let you fuse specific cards to it in order to gain new and powerful effects. Introduced in World Uprooted.
- Invocation: Allows you to play cards directly from your deck by satisfying certain requirements. Only 1 copy of an Invocation card will activated each turn even if you have multiple copies in your deck. Introduced in Omen of the Ten.
- Last Words: Effects activate when the card is destroyed. They will not activate if the card is banished or transformed.
- Rally: Effects activate when the total number of followers played this match is equal or greater than the Rally value. Followers that have Rally as Fanfare effects do not count towards their own Rally count. Introduced in Fortune's Hand.
- Rush: The follower can attack enemy followers on the same turn they're played.
- Skybound Art: Card effects written as “Skybound Art (10)” will activate when you play the card on your 10th turn or later, while an effect written as “Super Skybound Art (15)” will activate on your 15th turn or later. Furthermore, every time an allied follower evolves, the Skybound Art and Super Skybound Art values of all cards in your hand are reduced by 1, and their effects can be activated 1 turn earlier. Introduced in Eternal Awakening.
- Strike: Effects activate when attacking an enemy. Does not activate when receiving attacks. Includes Follower Strike, in which effects will only activate when attacking enemy followers, not the leader. Introduced in Rebirth of Glory.
- Storm: The follower can attack the enemy leader on the same turn they're played.
- Ward: When your opponent has a follower with Ward in play, you can't attack any other enemies until you have destroyed it.
- Union Burst: Cards with Union Burst will feature "Fanfare: Union Burst (10)" in their skill text; this means that the Union Burst effect activates when you play the card on your 10th turn or later. Furthermore, every time an allied follower evolves when there is a card with Union Burst in your hand, that card's Union Burst count goes down by 1, and its effect can be activated 1 turn earlier. Introduced in Ultimate Colosseum.
Class Specific Keywords
- Earth Rite: Effects activate if an Earth Sigil is in play. This can happen when they're played, evolved using an evolution point, or under other specified conditions. When the effect is activated, the Earth Sigil is destroyed.
- Spellboost: When you play a spell, the Spellboost effects of cards in your hand activate. Effects vary by card.
- Burial Rite: If you have a follower in your hand and an open space in your area, remove the effects of the follower in your hand and put it into play. Then destroy that follower to activate Burial Rite effects.
- Necromancy: If you have enough shadows, they're automatically spent to activate the Necromancy effects of a card. This can happen when they're played, evolved using an evolution point, or under other specified conditions.
- Reanimate: Randomly summon a copy of 1 of the highest cost allied followers that has been destroyed this match and costs less than or equal to the Reanimate value.
- Overflow: Effects activate when you have at least 7 play point orbs.
- Avarice: Effects activate when you have drawn at least 2 cards this turn. This includes cards that are destroyed due to having a full hand. Introduced in World Uprooted.
- Wrath: Effects activate when your leader has taken damage during your turn at least 7 times in a match. Introduced in World Uprooted.
- Vengeance: Effects activate when your leader's defense is 10 or less.
- Resonance: Effects activate when your deck has an even number of remaining cards.
Below are terms used in Shadowverse matches.
- +X / +Y: Refers to the number of stats a follower will gain or lose. X and Y refer to Attack and Defense respectively.
- Banish: Removes followers or amulets from the field. Cards in the hand and deck can also be banished via card effect. Banished cards do not become a shadow and Last Words effects will not be activated.
- Evolving: Followers get stronger when you evolve them. Most followers will gain +2/+2 and can gain additional effects. The first player can start to evolve followers on the 5th turn. The second player can start to evolve followers on the 4th turn.
- Evolution Point: Points needed to evolve followers. The first player receives 2 per battle and the second player receives 3.
- Play Point (PP): Points needed to play cards. At the start of your turn, you gain an additional play point orb, and all empty orbs are refilled. You can have a maximum of 10 PP.
- Restore: Means undoing the damage that other cards have dealt to a leader or follower. Defense can't be restored to a number higher than its maximum.
- Shadows: Once a follower or amulet is destroyed, or a spell is played, it becomes a shadow. It's not possible to see what cards correspond to which shadows.
- Trait: A special card classification like Officer or Commander. Only some cards have traits.
- Transform: Changes a card on the field or hand into a different card. Transformed cards do not become a shadow and Last Words effects will not be activated.
- Token: Cards that appear when activated by the abilities of other cards. They can't be created or viewed on the Cards screen unless the token is a card that has been released in a previous expansion. .
These are terms used outside of matches but still within the confines of the game.
- Challenge Ticket: An item you can use for entering Take-Two or Open 6 game modes in the arena. Obtained via daily log in, score rewards or events. Previously called Arena Tickets.
- Cost Curve: A bar graph that shows how much the cards in your deck cost. It can be viewed on the Edit Deck screen.
- Crate: Where you can claim rewards, though certain rewards are added directly to your inventory. Rewards disappear if they're not claimed before the expiration date.
- Crystals: Currency used to buy in-game items like card packs and arena tickets. They are available on the Shop screen and Home screen. To buy crystals on the Home screen, tap the button next to the number of crystals you have.
- Missions: Specific tasks you can complete to get rewards. There are three types: regular, achievement, and score.
- Rota / Rotation: Game format where only cards from the 5 most recent expansions and basic cards can be used for play.
- Rupies: Currency used to buy in-game items like card packs and arena tickets. They are available as in-game rewards.
- Seer's Globe / Shard: An item used to animate cards. Can be obtained via score rewards, events, or with vials in the Supplies section of the user shop. 5 Seer's Globe Shards can be exchanged for 1 Seer's Globe.
- Unlim / Unlimited: Game format where all cards can be used for play. Some cards may be limited or restricted.
The terminology - i.e. language - players use in Shadowverse are not necessarily particular to the game. Many terms are shared across similar card games, such as the aforementioned Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering. As such, these aren't considered "official".
- Aggro: Deck type focused on aggression and taking out the opponent's defense quickly to win.
- BM: Bad Manners
- Board wipe / clear: Destroy or remove all followers on the board
- Bounce / Juggle: Playing the card by summoning then returning it back to your own hand, usually to reuse the Fanfare effect.
- Burn: Any damage you hold that can be dealt instantly to opponents. Also refers to losing cards via card effects or drawing from your deck when you already have 9 cards in your hand.
- Burst: Damage that is typically short-lived but very high
- Buff: Refers to when a card(s) is changed to make it stronger.
- Combo: Cards played either on the same turn or successive turns that together achieve a greater effect. Also, decks that focus on this theme.
- Control: A deck that tries to shut down your opponent's plays by destroying their cards on the board, and/or prolong the game into a win condition.
- Face: attacking the leader directly, sometimes by ignoring enemy followers on the board
- Lethal / Pushing lethal: Having enough damage on the board + damage in hand to finish off the opponent.
- Meta: Refers to the strongest decks at a specific time in a specific environment
- Midrange: Deck type focused on making good trades to win from out-valuing the opponent. Often, cards in these decks are individually powerful and less combo-reliant.
- Mulligan: Card selection stage occurring at the very start of each match.
- OTK: One Turn Kill, usually referring to dealing a lot of damage in one turn, either with Combo or Burst attack.
- Nerf: Refers to when a card(s) is changed to make it weaker.
- Ramp: Most particular to Dragoncraft decks, where the strategy is to forfeit advantage in the early turns to gain more points to spend at a later time during the game for higher-than-normal followers
- Reroll: Creating a brand new account
- Tech: Adding specific cards to a deck to gain a better winrate in a certain matchup
- Tempo: The 'initiative' in the game. The player with Tempo is the one with control of the board, forcing opponents into a defensive/reacting stance.
- Top Deck / Topdecking: When a player's next draw can change the game in their favor.
- Value trade: using a follower to attack an opponent, such that both cards are destroyed; the value is dependent upon the attack power of the cards involved, i.e. damaged high attack follower taking out a low attack follower (low value); a low-attack follower taking out a damaged high-attack follower (high value); a follower taking out another follower of the same attack (even)
Specific to Shadowverse
- Dshift: Dimension Shift, either the card or a deck centered on it.
- DFB: Darkfeast Bat, either the card or a deck centered on it.
- Roach: Rhinoceroach and/or Whirlwind Rhinoceroach, either the cards or a deck centered on it.
- PtP: Path to Purgatory, either the card or a deck centered on it.
- Vampy: Refers to the Bloodcraft leader, Vania, Vampire Princess, or other vampire followers