Summary: It sounds like Player focused group testing (think of as closed beta) has finally been started. Those who are in the group cannot reveal anything detail about these, but there is first impression by one of the player posted on the official forum.
First impression by PFG-2 member (Raphael Majere)
All I can say is that they are very exciting to play. I call these cards ‘sexy’.
Sexy cards are impt in a tcg. It allows people to create combos or synergistic plays with them, and allows people to create decks/counters to null the combos/plays.
The players are hence challenged to come up with decks that have sufficient counter cards – yet remain at 40+ cards, yet ensuring that their own deck direction and win conditions cards are sufficient in the deck. Deck building skills becomes crucial again; so does actual game skills: “should I sack the sever ties now or save it for later?”
I like cards like portal and VoW. It throws the ‘world’ norms into chaos. Expect some sexiness in the expansion. Most of the top players are already very well versed in the current meta. When the expansion hits, expect everyone to mad scramble again. Lol.
(start of 1.5: rem the ‘gb is tier 0’ thread? Badurruu winning pop-up? Emergence of solo decks? Resurgence of zal?)
Again, nothing detail here but it is exciting here the focus on this set sounds like are on “combo/synergy” with appropriate counter to keep the balance. The question still remains whether they are indeed true combo archetype decks or more of synergy centric. As I do not know well enough about the original poster’s experience in other TCG for use of these terms appropriately or not, I can only hope. If it indeed turns out to be true combo decks, then Shadow Era will definitely going into next level for its complexity of the play. Simple is great for attracting new players. But at this point, I am sure many players are craving for more depth (not that SE is lacking such but certainly no where near some of the other TCGs).
First expansion is coming in September?
Another news/rumor is that one of design team member stated previously they were shooting for July release of first expansion, which they cannot meet (mainly because of the preparation for physical card took their time too much). But they are still aiming (on track?) for September 2012 release i.e. still in the Summer 2012.