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Sparksting Archaeologist: Heroes of Shadowverse Expansion Card Reveal


March 21, 2024

Sparksting Archaeologist エナジースティンガー Portalcraft Gold Follower ネメシス  ゴールド  フォロワー
Fanfare: Summon an Ancient Artifact. Put 2 Ancient Artifacts into your deck and change their costs to 0. Evolve: Summon a Keenedge Artifact. Put 2 Keenedge Artifacts into your deck and change their costs to 0.
【ファンファーレ】エンシェントアーティファクト 1体を出す。エンシェントアーティファクト2枚をデッキに加える。それらのコストを0にする。 【進化時】エッジアーティファクト 1体を出す。エッジアーティファクト 2枚をデッキに加える。それらのコストを0にする。

While Ironsting Archaeologist might not play a role in the main story of the Shadowverse universe, it certainly had a presence in the metagame as one of the cards that defined Paradigm Shift Artifact during the World Uprooted expansion back in 2020. In this Heroes of Shadowverse expansion, it will be returning as a Resurgent card, Sparkstring Archaeologist. Its statline and effect look very similar to its past gimmick, and it was designed to help Artifact Portal regain meta relevancy before we move on to Shadowverse: Worlds Beyond.

Card Effects

First of all, this card retains the Machina trait, just as it did in the past. While this trait might not be relevant in the context of supporting the Artifact archetype, it could open up possibilities for its use in other archetypes. Sparksting Archaeologist is a 4-cost follower boasting a decent 4/3 main body statline. Upon Fanfare, it summons an Ancient Artifact on the side, which can be used to trade with enemy followers. Additionally, it adds 2 copies of 0-cost Ancient Artifacts into your deck, contributing to the archetype’s gimmick by assisting in meeting the conditions of cards such as Agyll, Purelight Prototype. However, as times change, paying 4 costs for that Fanfare effect doesn’t seem worth it. Hence, the main power of this card lies in its evolved version. Upon evolving, it summons a Keenedge Artifact, a potent artifact with the Drain ability that aids in recovering leader defense. Additionally, it adds 2 copies of 0-cost Keenedge Artifacts to the deck, potentially providing more recovery options later in the game. In total, this card alone is capable of adding 4 Artifacts to the deck, significantly advancing the quest for big payoff cards such as Dyne, Cannonsword Soldier. This effect is also quite unique compared to other cards in this archetype, as it produces 0-cost followers rather than 1-cost followers.

Realistic approach and downsides

When you consider it, this creates a remarkably powerful board with a ton of value, boasting a total of 22 pure stats for just 4 play points.

Sparksting Archeologist is a really powerful tempo swing follower in a vacuum. However, when examining the current meta environment alongside the established Artifact Portal engine, this card may not be able to make Artifact Portal stronger. In fact, compelling its inclusion in the current Artifact build might actually diminish the deck’s overall quality. Here are two significant reasons for this theoretical doubt:

1. The timing to play this card conflicts with Agyll and Carnelia

The current iteration of Artifact Portal heavily relies on activating Agyll, Purelight Exemplar‘s leader effect. This effect is nearly indispensable for securing victory, as it serves as the primary enabler for most play patterns within the deck. At this point, Agyll is definitely the most crucial evolve target in this deck and no other cards can serve as an alternative. Following the activation of Agyll’s leader effect on the subsequent turn, the optimal play would be to summon as many Artifacts as possible to maximize the deck’s play point cheating capability. This is probably the best window to evolve Sparkstring Archaeologist. Since it will summon 2 Artifacts on the field, we will draw 1 card and recover 1pp as a result which is rather neat. Despite those upsides, evolving Carnelia, Amnesic Attendant might be the more optimal play in an ideal scenario, especially when we already set up Lazuli, Gateway Liberator during an earlier turn. Being aggressive and having a chance to summon Radiant Artifact early is usually more desirable as it gets you closer to the victory with chip damage. Carnelia herself is also an Artifact card which will trigger Agyll’s leader ability which allows us to draw another card.

2. Low quality Artifacts will pollute the deck

The most optimal approach to piloting Artifact Portal is to prioritize quality over quantity when generating Artifacts into the deck. This emphasis is crucial because it maximizes the chances of drawing cards capable of dealing damage, such as Radiant Artifact or Mechamagical Rhino. Even if an Artifact doesn’t directly deal damage, it should ideally possess cycling abilities, like Analyzing Artifact or Mystic Artifact. However, Sparksting Archaeologist generates Artifacts that neither cycle nor deal damage. Consequently, adding these new cards to the deck actually makes it more difficult to draw cards that actively contribute damage to winning the game. While Keenedge Artifact aids in recovery when trailing from behind, it serves no purpose when you are ahead in the game.

Optimistic approach and upsides

Now, let’s explore the positives. While Sparksting Archaeologist may not seamlessly integrate into the current Artifact Portal build, being a strong tempo follower introduces new possibilities previously unavailable. Adapting our mindset and adjusting deck compositions could unlock the full potential of Sparksting Archaeologist. Here are some situations where this card might shine:

  • Aggressive tempo mindset

One strategy for Artifact Portal to secure victory, particularly when Agyll is not drawn, is to adopt an aggressive tempo approach, leveraging its potent early board presence. If we opt to fully embrace this game plan, Sparksting Archaeologist could emerge as one of the most valuable supports. Its evolve ability stands out as one of the strongest patterns with 3 followers on board, making it difficult for the opponent to answer every single follower.

This curve is really threatening especially against a deck that operates on low tempo early game.

  • 0pp Artifacts as a combo enabler
A game plan that focused on ending the game with Dyne might be more reliable with the addition of Sparksting Archaeologist.

Since Sparksting Archaeologist generates four 0-cost cards into the deck, we could strategically reserve these cards for a late-game combo. With Agyll’s effect in play, utilizing 0-cost cards translates to play point recovery whenever they are played as the 2nd, 4th, or 6th Artifact card during a turn. This opens up the potential for an OTK (One Turn Kill) scenario on turn 7 with Dyne. Now, it becomes feasible to summon damage-dealing Artifacts such as 1 Radiant Artifact plus 2 Mechamagical Rhinos within the same turn as Dyne.

  • Can be used outside of Artifact archetype

Due to its toolkit, it’s possible to utilize this card in a more Control-oriented archetype. We can view Sparksting Archaeologist simply as a tempo swing follower, a strong evolve play that is capable of providing multiple Keenedge Artifacts as an additional healing source. Furthermore, its Machina trait allows us to guarantee tutoring this card. Ruins of Aiolon can be used to tutor this card and ensure consistent access to this potent healing option whenever required.

Final Verdict

If Sparksting Archaeologist had been introduced back in 2019, it undoubtedly would have been considered one of the best Artifact cards in the game due to its abundant board value. However, the Shadowverse meta has evolved into a more complex environment where sheer value alone is not sufficient to dominate the game. Perhaps, we have gone too far and that is why the reset in Shadowverse: World Beyond is needed to keep the competitive meta fresh and encourage more players to compete in this wonderful game. This expansion will be the last time for the competitive players to fight in this Shadowverse meta. SVO Masters Cup in June will be the chance to carve your name in history as the Last Champion of Shadowverse. It will be the pinnacle tournament to decide our representative for the World Championship. Perhaps, it will be someone who includes Sparksting Archaeologist in their decklist 🙂

While this card value looks amazing, the current Artifact build is quite tight and it might be difficult to find a slot for him.

Sparksting Archaeologist


  • Strong tempo swing follower on evolve turn
  • Generates Keenedge Artifact which helps a lot with heal
  • Generates 0pp Artifact that might be useful for late game combo
  • Strong effects are locked behind evolve, but it’s hard to find a timing to evolve this card in the current Artifact gameplan.
  • Current Artifact build has more than enough tempo swing tools
  • Pollutes the deck with multiple non-draw and non-damage Artifacts.