featured spike




Spike is a vampire first introduced in the cult classic TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He became a series regular and even made guest appearances in the spin-off Angel.

The romantic poet William Pratt was known as “William the Bloody” for his bloody awful poetry. That name would earn more credibility once he turned into a vampire and rebranded himself as Spike. He was known for his evil and bloodshed, with a reputation of torturing his victims with railroad spikes, and even managed to kill two slayers over the years. Spike eventually made his way to Sunnydale, California where he became a sinister foe for Buffy and the Scooby Gang. After many battles, he found himself in circumstantial alliances with the Scooby Gang and started to develop feelings toward Buffy. Spike would then become engaged in a struggle to regain his soul after his dark and terrible history. In Unmatched, Spike lures his enemies into the shadows for a quick kill.

Spike is included in the Unmatched: Buffy the Vampire Slayer game set, where he battles against his rival Buffy, the witch Willow, and reformed vampire Angel.

spike card

Hero Stats

Health: 15 / Attack: Melee / Movement: 2

Special Ability

At the start of your turn, you may place a Shadow token in any space adjacent to Spike or Drusilla.

Sidekick: Drusilla

Health: 7 / Attack: Melee / x1

Strategies and Tips


Spike is a hero who primarily relies on controlling the battlefield with his shadow tokens. These shadow tokens are important to activate powerful card effects for Spike and Drusilla. At the start of the game he will be weaker, but as you continue to add shadow tokens throughout the game you will be able to force your opponent where you want them out of their fear to engage you on one of the tokens.

Primary Strengths

Map control

Good value versatile cards

Primary Weaknesses

Early game

Best card effects rely on shadow tokens that opponent can avoid

The following are 3 tips to help you become one with the shadows:

Tip #1: Create the Shadows

spike create the shadows

Immediately when the game starts your job is to cover as much of the battlefield with shadow tokens as you can. Unfortunately, these tokens are limited and using your special ability alone will make this an arduous task, but thankfully Spike has a scheme that will help accomplish this:

Seek the Shadows is a scheme that allows you to place a shadow token in Spike’s space and each space adjacent to it. x4

Move around the battlefield and each time you draw this card position yourself in a space that will allow you to place the most shadow tokens you can. Spike and Drusilla’s most powerful card effects rely on the shadow tokens. Your opponents will know this and attempt to avoid them, hence why you need to spread out and place them everywhere. Never stray too far from the shadows. You want to force your opponent to enter your shadows when making their approach. The only time you should maneuver away is when you are going to play another Seek the Shadows.

Tip #2: Within The Shadows

spike within the shadows

While you cover the battlefield in shadow tokens, you must keep the fighting in these tokens. If your opponent is a ranged fighter this will prove difficult. Force them to have to come to you to engage. This will mean double maneuvering often. If you end up in a position to need to discard cards, use them to boost your maneuver instead to further extend the reach of your shadow tokens. Once you have brought the fight to your shadows, that is when you are the most powerful.

The Rush is a Spike exclusive attack with a value of 3 that becomes a 5 if Spike or the opposing fighter is in a space with a shadow token.

Bloody Hell! Is a Spike exclusive versatile card with a value of 3 that lets you deal 1 damage to the opposing fighter after combat. Then, you may deal an additional 1 damage for each space with a shadow token adjacent to them. If placing shadow tokens correctly, this should become more powerful as the game goes on.

Let’s Dance is a Spike exclusive versatile card with a value of 4 that lets you boost during combat if Spike or the opposing fighter is in a space with a shadow token.

Even Drusilla can benefit from the shadows:

Empathy is a Drusilla exclusive versatile card with a value of 3 that lets you draw 1 card after combat, but if the opposing fighter is in a space with a shadow token, draw 3 cards instead.

Always Surprising is a Drusilla exclusive versatile card that lets you blind boost during combat, but if Drusilla’s space has a shadow token, double the boost value.

The Sight is a Drusilla scheme that allows you to choose an opponent and look at their hand. You can then choose a card for them to discard. If any of their fighters are in a space with a shadow token, then choose 2 cards for them to discard instead.

Keep an eye on which cards rely on you being on a shadow token and which ones rely on your opponent being on them and plan accordingly.

Tip #3: Lure Them Into the Shadows

spike lure them in

If you focus on maneuvering away from your opponent and covering the map in shadow tokens using your special ability and Seek the Shadows, your opponent will eventually be forced to approach you and engage on the shadow tokens. This will make them extremely cautious, ready to Feint whatever you use to attack them with. 

Regroup is a versatile card with a value of 1 and is an excellent card to attack with when they first enter a shadow token. They will likely expect one of your higher value cards with a powerful effect, so use this to bait the Feint. If you lose combat this card lets you draw 1 card, and if you win you can draw 2. You shouldn’t be concerned with the effect. It really just lets you replace this card in your hand once used.

When they manage to reach you and attack, the following are great cards to defend with to give you an advantage:

Leap Away is a versatile card with a value of 4 that allows you to choose one of the fighters in the combat and move them up to 4 spaces after combat so long as you win the combat. This should be primarily used defensively. You can either use this to position yourself on the other side of some shadow tokens to force them into them to approach you, or you can use this to force them into the shadows immediately at the end of their turn.

Skirmish can be used similarly to Leap Away. This is a versatile card with a value of 4 that lets you choose one of the fighters in the combat and move them up to 2 spaces after combat. 

Feint is always reliable. This versatile card has a value of 2 and lets you immediately cancel all effects on your opponent’s card.

Final Thoughts

Spike’s cards are easy to understand and use, but the challenge of using the shadow tokens effectively can be difficult for new players. His gameplay is slow to start, but as you begin covering more of the battlefield in his shadow tokens, the more your opponent will get desperate and have to engage you within them. Spike is very map dependent as some maps will not allow him to place as many shadow tokens as others due to adjacency. He can be difficult to play optimally but is very satisfying when you manage to force your opponent to play the game your way.

We invite you to share your thoughts and questions by leaving a comment below. We love hearing from our readers and would be happy to help in any way we can!

Unmatched: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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