Emerald Shield is one of Life's two shields, and one that is more defensive than most other shields. Emerald Shield not only blocks 1|2 damage per attack, but it also comes into play protected, meaning it cannot be removed by the opponent and it also reflects all spells targetted at the user.
Emerald Shield's large cost relegates it to a highly defensive card that can't come out too early. However, the defensive qualities of Emerald Shield are quite large, allowing it to put a stop to damaging spells towards the owner as well as offering protection against damage and starting off enchanted. Emerald Shield finds its use more in defensive decks, especially ones that are able to make use of the healing of Life. Used outside of mono life, Emerald Shield becomes harder to fit in with its cost, but its ability to come in protected is certainly a very handy defensive asset.
With a very defensive and sturdy shield, the best thing to pair with Emerald Shield is some kind of passive healing. Empathic Bond allows for slow passive healing while one is thoroughly protected by Emerald Shield. Empathic Bond also has the added benefit of being in the same element as Emerald Shield, so a defensive combination of those two is very doable and practical.
Aflatoxin swarms one's field with Malignant Cells and often causes a field lock. However, using Aflatoxin to lock down the opponent's field is sometimes a risky strategy because the cells can actually cause quite some damage if a reliable shield is not available. Emerald Shield has enough damage reduction to negate any cells' damage output, but also the benefit of being completely indestructible, guaranteeing a field lock down when paired up with Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin, Emerald Shield, and Empathic Bond also have great synergy together, creating an adaptable deck that can use Aflatoxin and Emerald Shield for lock down and Aflatoxin and Empathic Bond for stalling potential.
Other Cards With Synergy
Heal is another healing Life card that fits in with the defensive theme that Emerald Shield has. Heal also has the benefit of being non-targetting, so it is not reflected by Emerald Shield. Shard of Wisdom is also a viable combo, but that requires three cards, with Quintessence being needed as well, creating a somewhat unwieldy duo complex combo that can net great results if it works. The complex combo works good with Emerald Shield since Life's creatures benefit from the protection of Quintessence and Life's healing can stall until the combo is drawn. Finally, a more overlooked synergy with Emerald Shield is Fire Bolt. The powerful Firestall does not have to depend on Light for stalling potential, but can also use Life as a stall since Life has plenty of healing and benefits the most from Shard of Gratitude. Emerald Shield has more defense than Reflective Shield and it also has the reflective property, allowing a user casted bolt to bypass the enemy's reflective shield.
Emerald Shield is definitely among one of the more powerful damage reductive shields, alongside Ice Shield and Titanium Shield. While more expensive than Reflective Shield, the extra damage reduction of Emerald just might be a game-changer. As a shield, Emerald Shield's greatest asset is the reflective property, assurance that it will not be destroyed by the opponent and nearly completely shutting down decks relying on spells.
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