The Care and Feeding of a Shadow Boss

by Ian Taylor

What even is Tibus?  Nobody knows!  Except us of course.  Tibus is the first solo/co-op challenge for the Hero Realms Deckbuilding Game.  He’s really simple to use, though difficult to beat.  This article will walk you through everything you need to know to get started with Tibus and the other Hero Realms Kickstarter promo cards.  Tibus is a tough fight, and it’s likely that you (or your team) won’t be winning immediately.  It takes a good amount of skill, and a little luck.

The Catacombs of Thandar are a dangerous and dank place.  Rumored within, Tibus sits and weaves his web over the port city.  Some say Tibus doesn’t even exist.  He’s just a myth, and the word “Tibus” is an ancient Elven word meaning “Water Ghost”.



At the water’s edge, just before the River Kamekria joins the Confluence, is one of the few unguarded entrances to the Catacombs.  Many have tried to find the mysterious Guild Lord, and many have disappeared, their bodies often found down river.  As you enter the chilling darkness, you wonder…do you really need gold this badly?

The Guild has no known leader. The secret society comprises a loose conglomeration of cells with no more than a few members each.  The Guild follows a code of honor that is well-known, even by non-members.  They are feared and respected by the merchants of Thandar, and are constantly hunted by Imperial troops.  There is another Guild member whose name is on the people’s lips… the assassin known only as Rake.  While Rake is a real person, his or her legend among the people has outgrown their ability. They have a bizarre following, where all high-profile killings are attributed to Rake.

While nobody knows who Tibus is, popular opinion is that it’s not a real person.  However, somebody rules from the Catacombs of Thandar, and you are determined to find out whom.

First, let’s take a quick look at the cards that came in the Tibus Kickstarter pack.  You’ll notice five Treasure cards (Stone of Seeking, Starsoul Amulet, Book of Secrets, Blade of Conquest, and Bag of Holding).  Those are rewards for achieving certain goals in Campaign version of the game, so you don’t get those just yet.  (If you’re having a bad day and just want to borrow one, I won’t tell.)

The rest of the cards are bonus promo cards that can be safely shuffled into the deck EXCEPT the Zombie and Legionnaire cards.  Those are used by Kasha and Bjorn, so they aren’t shuffled into the Market deck.  Just set them aside.  (If you like, you can play a game with the Zombie and Legionnaire cards.   Basically you order a pizza, and then take turns throwing the cards at each other until the pizza comes.  It’s not a great game, but you get pizza!)








Now let’s get to Tibus himself.  He doesn’t actually make any decisions, rather he lets the Market Deck do the talking.  Players start with a normal game setup. If there are multiple players, the player to the far right starts, with players taking turns clockwise.  On each player’s first turn, that player will draw 3 cards, and every other turn they will draw the usual 5.

Tibus will start at 40 Health times the number of opponents, so two opponents will face a beefy 80-Health Guild Lord.  Five opponents? Try 200 Health!

Your sputtering torch barely holds a flame in the damp caverns.  Shadows reach out for you.  You sense movement.  You hear a faint laughter.  You are not alone…

When it comes to Tibus, reveal the top card of the Market Deck and place it face-up in front of Tibus.  He gains Combat equal to the cost of the revealed card, then the Guild Lord gains the ability that matches the faction symbol on his card:

Imperial: Tibus gains 5 Health.

Guild: Tibus keeps the revealed card and another is revealed.  (If another Guild card is revealed, this ability triggers again.)

Wild: Stun a Champion you control if you have one, otherwise discard two cards.

Necros: Sacrifice every card in the Market Row, and Tibus gains 5 Combat.

After the first player has a turn, Tibus has a turn attacking that player.  Then the second (if any) player has a turn, with Tibus attacking them after.

When Tibus spends his Combat, he will attempt to stun the largest Guard his current opponent has. If he can’t stun that one, he will attempt to stun the next-largest and so on until he is out of Combat or there aren’t any Guards that he can stun. When no Guards remain, he will attack the non-guard champions (highest armor first, random if a tie).  Any remaining Combat will be dealt to the opposing player.

Snarling faces whip past your vision as the pale torchlight fails to illuminate the flickering shadows.  You move quickly, as you are suddenly thrust into a frantic fight for your life!

The Guild Lord’s guards will protect him (they must be dealt with before he or his non-guard champions can be damaged).  You can attack the non-guard champions if you wish.  They do nothing by themselves, but they add to the cards that Tibus accumulates.  If a player forces Tibus to discard a card, instead that player may choose a card controlled by Tibus and put it in the Discard pile. By attacking non-Guards and by using discard effects to deal with non-Champion cards, players can delay Tibus’ master plan.

As soon as Tibus has at least one card of each faction in front of him, immediately sacrifice all of Tibus’ cards, and the Guild Lord gains 15 Combat, which he will direct towards the unlucky player that has earned the attention of the Shadow Boss.

Exhausted from fighting, you sink to your knees expecting yet another wave of minions to swarm from the darkness…but you see nothing, and all you can hear is your own heavy breathing.  You stumble around the room and find a dry torch.  Lighting it reveals the scene of battle.  Whatever presence was here is long gone, possibly retreating deeper into the Catacombs.  You survey the many slain foes at your feet.  Was one of them the fabled Guild Lord?


You are distracted by a familiar glint coming from one of the many passages.  Somebody dropped something in their flight.  It seems…valuable.  At least you have managed to profit some from this foolish venture…

If you managed to defeat the Guild Lord, congratulations!  You are now marked for a coward’s death.  Enjoy your well-won trinket, and may it bring you comfort in the cold, dark nights to come.

I mean…YAY!


Ian Taylor is a writer, comedian, game designer, and a handsome Australian man. He is not the Shadow Boss, but he has strong opinions about cake.