Once again, I’ll mention the looming and glorious fact that the lonely Shards of Fate will soon gain a sibling as we get closer and closer to having our Destinies Shattered. With all the cool spoilers still waiting for us ahead of time, I’m nearly hopping out of my seat with anticipation that we’ll soon see powerful shin’hare rolling over the metagame.
I mean… It could happen.
With all that excitement building deep in my heart, I recognize the need to calm down and focus. To be fully prepared for the coming onslaught, I need to go back and take a look at the cards in the first set that have burrowed a deep love of the shin’hare into my heart.
First off let’s talk about the idea behind the shin’hare that makes them so appealing to me and hopefully to other players coming into Hex. Shin’hare are designed to flood the battlefield with as many tiny little baby bunnies as they can before playing an action or troop that pumps the smaller bunnies into an overpowering force; the intended result is allowing the army of runts to rise up and crash over their opponents like a tidal wave of fur and teeth. There are of course other powerful tricks that the shin’hare can get up to, but the base component of what makes them who they are is their ability to swarm! At least in Shards of Fate, that’s true—we’ll see about the future!
So which cards make the best shin’hare decks come together? That really all depends on the kind of deck you want to play. Unfortunately we haven’t witnessed any tier one shin’hare decks rise above the bodies of their fallen foes yet, but we can still have a lot of fun with the fuzzy little creatures.
These two uncommon bunnies hop out onto the battlefield and present an immediate effect that plays into the shin’hare desire to cover your opponent in frenzied furry bodies of death! Bucktooth Commander can change a battlefield where you are representing zero damage into a horde of one-damage attackers, or even buff your other naturally strong shin’hare into being able to push through the damage they need to topple humans, orcs or the other larger races of Entrath. On the other side of the coin we have Rune Ear Commander, whose power is equal to the number of troops on your side of the board including himself. He gathers encouragement from his smaller, weaker friends and throws it all at your opponent in one large chunk! If you can give him crush he becomes even more powerful.
Both of these cards are cheap and on their own can draw out opposing removal cards, which is pretty handy all on its own. Their double-Wild threshold can be a bit of a hinderance, but it’s by no means enough to make them unplayable.
Lore-wise, the shin’hare spread their presence over Entrath in a rather terrifying way: the concubunnies use their mastery of Wild magic to speed their breeding and birthing, then nurse the younger shin’hare to battle-age with that same magic. Okay, maybe that’s not terrifying, but I don’t think there’s a word that encompasses the pure dread that should be invoked. All that aside, this is one of those concubunnies and she has a really powerful effect for a one-drop! Adding an extra shin’hare to any effect you control that generates them can help speed up your master plan of flooding the board with a mass of fuzz.
This effect is mostly used to help you generate extra battle hoppers as oftentimes that’s what most of your actions and troops will be creating. But if you happen to have an effect that creates ANY kind of shin’hare you end up with an extra of that instead. She’s also really powerful in multiples; getting three cards instead of one is always a welcome bonus!
Speaking of the morbid affairs of the concubunnies, here is the GRAND concubunny. She manipulated and murdered her way to the top and—considering how many Shin’hare there were in the way—she’s a force to be reckoned with. Instead of merely adding to the number of shin’hare being created as other concubunnies do, Uzume pumps out a random non-unique shin’hare at the start of your turns on her own. While there are definitely some less-exciting cards that she can create on your side of the field, at the worst you get a 0/1 Battle Hopper and that’s still an extra troop… which is what the bunnies are all about!
The rare concubunnies work really well in tandem with each other, as the Ritualist of the Spring Litter will birth an extra copy of whichever shin’hare troop you that Uzume grants you with. Creating two Bucktooth Commanders, two Rune Ear Commanders, or even two extra Ritualists of the Spring Litter can really help you flood the board and set up for your eventual victory. Unfortunately, as a unique troop herself, you’ll never see her flood the board with clones of Uzume! (which would probably be the scariest thing possible.)
Veering away from the Wild-Magic-infused shin’hare, we shift to a slightly darker part of their nature. Instead of creating and flourishing on the board with their brethren, most of the Blood bunnies thrive when their own are being slaughtered around them. The Eulogist is a perfect example: Instead of the powerful effect of the Rune Ear Commander who is persistently powerful with others around, the Eulogist absorbs the power of fallen shin’hare, growing permanently by +1/+1 whenever a shin’hare you control dies! While he doesn’t have as immediate an effect as some of his Wild brethren, he does punish your opponent for trying to remove troops from your side of the field.
Much like the cheap Wild bunnies, he’s a good vacuum for removal as your opponent is going to want to get rid of the Eulogist before he grows out of control. Deterring your opponent from clearing away your smaller shin’hare is also a fairly beneficial effect on its own!
Here we have a tiny 1/1 shin’hare warrior for one resource. He has a story built in to the card that doesn’t even need flavour text! Whenever a troop is sacrificed around him, he gains a counter—and he also has the power to sacrifice troops on his own to weaken his opponents! When he finally sees enough of his allies fall he gathers that power and becomes more and more powerful. Going from a lowly samurai to an elite and eventually to a warlord, his power to weaken his opponents first gets more potent, then turns into an ability to straight up trade a life of any one his allies for an enemy’s. Who wouldn’t sacrifice a 0/1 Battle Hopper to assassinate Ozawa or King Gabriel?
While he can take some time to get fully transformed, he’s a fun card to play around with and his ability can be devastating if you manage to keep Hop’hiro on the board. Despite the fact that it’s normally hard to find a lot of troops to sacrifice in a TCG… Shin’hare generally have more than enough bodies around to throw into the blood pits!
The shin’hare have spent a long time not only using their Wild and Blood magic to bend nature in grotesque ways, but have also turned it toward enslaving a sentient race of mushroom creatures to be their slaves. Normally I’d feel really bad for the shroomkin, but they have powerful allies of their own to turn the tides.
The Mushwocky can sacrifice any number of Shin’hare when he comes into play to give himself a permanent buff. This particular buff is +3/+3 for each troop sacrificed, and if you take a look at the shin’hare stats down the line you’ll realize that there’s a lot of value in throwing Battle Hoppers down the Mushwocky’s fungi gullet.
The best part is that when you sacrifice those little bunnies to the shroomkin mutant, you’ll be activating counters on Hop’Hiro and giving your Eulogists permanent buffs as well! Synergy!
With just one play of either of these cards, you can activate a tremendous surge in power to your myriad of weaker troops. Onslaught is the traditional action used to give all your troops +3/+3 and crush, which gives as little as five to seven troops lethal damage without blocks and can oftentimes force your opponent to give away valuable troops as they try to block the wave of attackers. Onslaught perfectly fits in with any sort of Wild Shin’hare deck and is right up there with Gore Feast of Kog’Teptl in terms of one-turn-crush-your-opponent power. Unfortunately it’s a basic action that costs six resources so not only should your opponent always see it coming, but it happens to be more expensive than most other Shin’hare-themed cards. On the other side of the coin we have Oath of Valor, a card that doesn’t fit into either Shin’hare shard but provides a constant effect of giving all like-named troops +2/+2 for as long as you can keep it on the board. It can definitely make splashing diamond worthwhile for your long-eared friends!
These certainly aren’t the only cards that can make shin’hare work. They’re a fearsome race just looking for a little love in Shattered Destiny to really push their power into the competitive stage. Meanwhile, if you’re just looking to have fun with their terrifying strategies, put together a decklist and let me know how it goes!
Swarm your opponents, and Stay Lucky!