Star Realms Card Tier List COMPLETE! (added Colony Wars)

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr and Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 11/6/2019] 

FINAL UPDATE! [until the next one] 

With this update the Card Tier List includes all expansions available in the digital app as of Nov. 2019 (except Events, Gambits, Missions).  We will add new sets to the Card Tier List as they are released to the digital app.

This update includes one sets:

  • Colony Wars (“W”) by original Tier List author HomerJr

Previous Updates:

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the cards introduced with the Colony Wars expansion.

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Star Realms Card Tier Lists UPDATED (added Y2 Promos & Untied Heroes)

-Original by Scott Heise aka HomerJr
-Recent additions by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 10/30/2019] 

This update includes two sets:

  • Year 2 Promos (“2”)
  • United Heroes (“U”)

Previous Updates:

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the new cards introduced in the Year 2 Promos & United Heroes expansions.

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Star Realms Card Tier Lists UPDATED (added Command and Assault)

-Original by Scott Heise aka HomerJr
-Frontiers, Command, & Assault content by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 9/20/2019] 

This update includes the first two multi-faction sets:

  • United Command
  • United Assault

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the new cards introduced in the Command and Assault expansions.

(If you want to skip to the update Tier Lists, they’re in the chart below)

Command (“K”) and Assault (“A”) Ships and Bases:

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The Reshuffle: A Strategy Guide (2nd Edition)

by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

Why a 2nd Edition?

I wrote an article for the Megahaulin blog in 2015 about strategy considerations surrounding the reshuffle in Star Realms.  “The ‘reshuffle’ in Star Realms,” I wrote, “produces some unique strategy considerations, particularly in the on-line game where you must play all cards in your hand.”

Things changed.

Following the Colony Wars update to the Star Realms app, you no longer had to play all cards in your hand, which is consistent with the physical game rules.  You now have the option to “End Turn” before playing all your cards.

EndTurn

So, while many of the principles in my 2015 article are still relevant, other parts of that article no longer apply.

Finally, after hundreds of requests – mostly from myself – I updated this article given that the app no longer forces you to play all your cards.

Basic Principles

The “reshuffle” in Star Realms produces some unique strategy considerations, particularly when you will reshuffle mid-turn.

For example, playing a draw card (e.g., Corvette) when your draw pile is empty will cause your deck to reshuffle during your turn. Any cards in your current hand will not be included in that reshuffled deck. Instead, the cards in your current hand will sit in your discard pile until the next time your deck reshuffles. In other words, when you reshuffle during your turn, the cards in your hand are essentially “lost” for one deck; you will have to wait until your deck reshuffles again to have access to those cards.

This can be good when you are “losing” starter cards for one deck; for one deck those starter cards aren’t diluting your deck. But this can be a bad thing when “losing” stronger cards. Let me set the stage with two examples.

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Star Realms Card Tier Lists UPDATED (incl Frontiers)

Original by Scott Heise aka HomerJr
Frontiers content by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 8/26/2019] 

Since HomerJr’s last update to the card tier ranking, Star Realms has added several new expansions.  We’re working on updating the card tier list to include all expansions, but we’ll do so one or two expansions at a time; so it will take a few posts.

Our first update will include the most recent expansion to hit the digital app: Frontiers!

For a brief discussion of each card in the Frontiers set, check out Megahaulin podcast Episode 81, where Dustin and Rick discuss Frontiers.

Updated Tier List

The intent of these Tier Lists is to provide a quick reference to help players, especially newer or less experienced players, when deciding which card(s) in the trade row they should buy (or whether to buy a card at all).  Every card included in the V, 1, B, H, F, & R sets is contained within these lists and grouped into one of three tiers based on the overall value of the card relative to the cost of the card.

HomerJr originally wrote the Tier Lists for the V, 1, B, H, & F sets.  I (Darklighter) have not changed any of HomerJr’s original rankings, and have just added rankings for Frontiers (“R”) using HomerJr’s methodology (as best I could).

While every card in the game can be valuable and help you win, not every card will have equal value over the course of the game thus there are separate Tier Lists for different phases of the game (opening buys, mid game, late game).  Furthermore, many cards are highly situational or valuable only in certain decks.  Please note that this is all the personal opinion of the authors, so don’t take anything in here as law.  🙂   We are always open to feedback, criticism, and discussion.

We rank each card into one of three tiers as follows:

  • Tier 1:  Strong value and/or agnostic to situation; beneficial in almost any deck; you almost always want to have it in your deck if you can
  • Tier 2:  Solid value and/or somewhat situational; may rely on ally ability triggers to be effective; generally a good buy if no Tier 1 card available
  • Tier 3:  Weak value and/or highly situational;  may need exactly the right game circumstances to be effective; best to avoid buying except in rare cases
  • Tier 4:  Poor value in nearly all situations;  buying this card will probably worsen your deck;  you’re probably making a mistake if you’re buying this card

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