Written by Brad Elkey aka PanicFire.
This is part of a four-part series in which I compare all ships and bases of the same cost within each faction up to and including Colony Wars. The purpose of this guide is to help make purchasing decisions when similar cards are available and to help think about the function of each card in general. This is my opinion and others may have different thoughts about which cards are better in certain situations, the important thing is to start thinking about how the value of certain cards shift based on the circumstances of the game. I’d also like these articles to be another starting point of conversation where people can share their own thoughts on comparing the cards. Please also note that comparing ships and bases can be like comparing apples and oranges. Typically ships have a more immediate impact on the game while bases’ initially weak output is made up for by the combat it takes to remove them and their ability to potentially stay out for more than one turn. Bases are stronger if the opponent does not have automatic base destruction and if you have other bases since they are more likely to stay out as your opponent spends their combat clearing your other bases. For more information on the distinction between the two see my first article, Bases and Bombs: A Guide to Playing 1B.
This article is on the Blob faction, which are known for their high-powered offense, traderow manipulation (TM), and card draw. Blob cards are almost always used early in a rush strategy and can usually be safely mixed in to most strategies because of their draw abilities and high damage. Due to their lack of defense they are sometimes vulnerable to a counter-rush of other Blob and/or Star Empire cards and ultra-defensive strategies utilizing bases and/or Trade Federation cards that can outlast the initial onslaught of the Blobs as they set up for a more sustained battle, but mixing a little defense into the Blob attack goes a long way. The Blobs both benefit from and counter well against Machine Cult cards since scrapping your deck will help your combat come together and the combat rush from your Blob cards will stop your opponent before they can scrap down into a more potent deck if they’re not careful to pick up some defense to prolong the game. All Blob bases are non-outpost bases so damage dealt to them is optional. This is less optimal if you have no outposts to soak small packets of damage but is preferable if you can hide them behind outposts so they can’t be targeted. Blobs are the only cards that can perform traderow manipulation (TM) which is a powerful ability useful if either the players have a trade imbalance to keep either cheaper or more expensive cards on the row or to keep your opponent from getting a faction you don’t want them to have without having to weaken your deck by hate drafting it away from them.
1: Blob Fighter (V), Spike Pod (F), Swarmer
Best Unallied: Spike Pod
Best Allied: Blob Fighter
Best Early: Spike Pod
Best Mid: Blob Fighter
Best Late: Blob Fighter
Spike Pod is my favorite 1 cost Blob. It scraps two cards instead of one like the Swarmer does and then gets rid of itself when it’s no longer needed in the late game as its damage can’t keep up with the bigger and better cards you’ve purchased. If you can consistently hit the extra two damage from the Swarmer it will outpace the Spike Pod for damage but it’s primary utility, traderow manipulation (TM), is halved. Both the Swarmer and the Blob Fighter cannot take out a 4 strength base on their own whereas Spike Pod can if you scrap it. Blob Fighter shines with other Blob cards though since card draw is a great ability and the card gets better throughout the game the more Blobs you buy. It’s one of the few 1 cost cards you’ll find useful late in the game.
2: Battle Pod (V), Trade Pod (V), Predator (W), Stellar Reef
Best Unallied: Battle Pod
Best Allied: Predator
Best Early: Trade Pod or Battle Pod*
Best Mid: Battle Pod
Best Late: Predator
*Battle Pod is the best cards early if the opponent bought an early 4 strength base, has a trade advantage and there is a card on the row you don’t want them to have, or there are enough cheap combat cards to rush.
Of the three 2 cost ships Battle Pod is my favorite for its TM. TM and damage are the things Blobs do better than anyone and this card has both, although the Blob’s draw ability is up there with Star Empire for best in the game so Predator is a respectable second. The more heavily Blob you go the more Predator will start to outshine the Battle Pod because of its draw ability but even late 6 damage is not bad. Trade Pod is an interesting case in that it gives you economy which is not the Blobs’ biggest strength and so diversifies your deck a little while still providing factioning, however it comes at the cost of not playing towards your faction’s strength and at relying on cards you buy early to make up for the combat disadvantage of having this card late. The Stellar Reef is not a good card since it only takes 3 damage to destroy and can’t soak any hits, however that card may be better than Trade Pod simply because you can get rid of it when it’s not needed. Trade Pod is good when there’s an early bomb on the row or if you feel more comfortable only buying the traditional/conservative trade and scrap cards in your opening hands. For more information on the woes of the Trade Pod see Scott Heise aka Homer Jr’s excellent article And Now For Something Completely Empirical: Opening Hands and Buys.
3: Ram (V), Cargo Pod (W), Ravager (W), Blob Wheel (V), Trade Wheel (B)
Best Unallied: Ravager
Best Allied: Ram
Best Early: Cargo Pod/Ram
Best Mid: Ram/Ravager
Best Late: Ravager
Ok here’s where things start to get interesting. There are a lot of good cards here and depending on the situation almost any of them can be the right play, and I think the Blobs probably have the strongest 3 cost class of any faction in the game. First off, the Ravager is the only card in this class with TM which is always good, however it is also the only card which doesn’t give a mix of trade and damage. With that being said, for only $3 you get two scraps from the row and 6 damage so for only $1 more it’s a Battle Pod that’s already factioned that gives you an extra scrap and has the ability to take out most bases. The huge dip in combat for such little investment and the TM is useful in any stage of the game and just about any deck. Both Ram and Cargo Pod are great because of their flexibility between combat and economy, with the Ram being an aggro card that can scrap itself to become an even better card next deck and the Cargo Pod giving you everything the Trade Pod does with the ability to take itself out of your deck when economy is no longer needed or if you need to take out a pesky base. Blob Wheel is mostly useful to upgrade to a big card early, which may not be as good with Colony Wars since there is more cheap trade available, but Blob bases are nice in general since the Blobs tend to have strong ally abilities and since they have no defense and you’d rather your opponent spend their combat on your base instead of your face. Trade Wheel is therefore more decent than it looks but really only good if you have a Carrier or Destroyer that you really want to faction. Generally though the three ships are better than either of the bases in this class.
4: Blob Destroyer (V), Battle Screecher (1), Breeding Site (1), Bioformer
Best Unallied: Breeding Site
Best Allied: Blob Destroyer
Best Early: Technically Bioformer, but really Breeding Site
Best Mid: Breeding Site
Best Late: Breeding Site
Breeding Site, along with Star Market, is perhaps one of the strongest 4 cost cards in the game. Its 7 defense means it’s very likely to stay in play and if you consistently buy bases you are very likely to get an extra 5 damage a turn out of it plus have a base in play to trigger ally abilities. Its potential downside is that you are forced into a base strategy which relies somewhat on the traderow and your opponent cooperating to give you bases, however if playing with Colony Wars there is a glut of cheap bases to trigger this. While Breeding Site is the true rockstar of this group these are all very solid and respectable cards which are useful in a variety of situations. Blob Destroyer is a great way to counter a base strategy by potentially destroying the base for free, thus rendering it less effective than a ship in most cases, and the 6 damage means it can punch through most bases without the free base kill anyways. Base destruction is the most important ability in the game and the factioned traderow control is just a bonus. Bioformer has a much weaker defense than Breeding Site so is less likely to stay out but 3 damage for the rounds it does stay out is good and the scrap for 3 trade can upgrade this card in a hurry. Generally, it’s technically a better start to a game than Breeding Site if you don’t have any other bases and if there’s a big card you’re racing towards, but honestly Breeding Site is so good I just can’t see myself taking Bioformer over it even though it’s technically better early. Battle Screecher is THE traderow manipulation card. If you want to spend the rest of the game keeping your opponent off cards they want and opening up cards that would benefit your strategy this is the card for you. It’s also the best friend and worst enemy of the Megahauler or a factionable Blob Carrier for that reason. Check out Matt Newburg’s guide The Megahauler In Depth for more information on the importance of traderow manipulation in that regard.
5: The Hive (V), Parasite
Best Unallied: Parasite
Best Allied: Tied
Best Early: Parasite
Best Mid: Parasite
Best Late: The Hive
Parasite is a fantastic card. It can be used for trade or combat and is very effective at both, and unlike a lot of cards that help you ramp up your economy to get a good $6 card it’s useful throughout the rest of the game. I would hesitate to buy most any $5 cards over this card early and it has pretty decent in the mid and late games too. Think about how great the Patrol Mech is. For only $1 more you can acquire a card of cost $6 or less instead of Patrol Mech’s $3 that it gives you, or you can do one more point of damage. The ally ability to draw is almost synonymous with the ally ability to scrap since they are very related concepts, but the draw ability is better late game whereas the scrap ability is better in the early to midgame. I would only take the Hive over Parasite if you are really going for bases but Hive is a really solid card in any Blob deck. It’s best purchased in the mid to late game but Parasite is good in any stage, just use the acquire ability early (if there’s anything of real value that’s not a waste) and use it’s combat later. Both cards faction to draw which is really strong in the mid to late games when you are likely to faction but Hive can potentially stay in play and trigger more often.
6: Battle Blob (V), Blob Carrier (V), Obliterator (B), Plasma Vent
Best Unallied: Obliterator
Best Allied: Blob Carrier
Best Early: Plasma Vent
Best Mid: Obliterator
Best Late: Battle Blob
Ok the rankings for these cards were hard since they all are so good. Let’s start with Plasma Vent since it was my pick for best early. Since these are 6 cost cards none of them will be purchased until your second deck (not counting Events or Gambits) so you won’t see them until your third deck with the possible exception of Plasma Vent since it can go directly into play if you played a Blob that turn. That can be a real game changer. Don’t be afraid to sack it to destroy a base too because sometimes you need to clear enemy bases at all costs. This brings us to Obliterator. This card really shines when playing with the cheap bases of Colony Wars or with the Y1 Promos since those decks are base heavy as a way to get through your opponent’s bases and maybe even discourage them from going for a base strategy (I am not one of those players FYI since I don’t like to leave bases for my opponents, so this will only stop me for going for bases if I have TM to clear bases off the row). The Blob Carrier is really good if you have any Blob bases but a must buy if you are playing Heroes, otherwise I would always take the Obliterator or Battle Blob over it since it’s such a gamble. Between those two cards I choose Obliterator in the midgame to scare my opponent away from bases and late game take Battle Blob if they are not really base heavy, otherwise I take the Obliterator. They both faction to draw and Battle Blob only does 1 damage more so if they leave two or more bases in play one more than 1/6 times you’re making up for the damage lost. The 4 damage from scrapping the Battle Blob only matters in the final shuffle and if they have a lot of bases it’s likely you’ll get the 6 from Obliterator anyways, otherwise take the Battle Blob.
7: Mothership (V), Moonwurm (W), Death World (F)
Best Unallied: Moonwurm
Best Allied: Mothership
Best Early: N/A because of cost but Moonwurm if Gambits and/or Events
Best Mid: Moonwurm
Best Late: Mothership
Death World is a strange card. Scrap is great but it’s limited to the other three factions only so this is best used for thinning your deck as trade is no longer necessary (usually the third and sometimes fourth deck) or just to scrap anything to draw in the final deck. 6 defense is pretty decent but 4 attack is pretty light (decent for a base though). This card is definitely useful and is situationally great but these other two cards are flat out killers. So, Mothership or Moonwurm? In my opinion Moonwurm is usually the better option, unless you are really Blob heavy. It does 2 more damage and while card draw is always a good ally ability putting a card into your hand is more or less equivalent. The limit on the cost 2 or less means it’s usually better sooner in the game rather than later, as your average value of cards go up and you’re more likely to draw something better than a 2 cost card with your Mothership, but even getting a free Explorer in hand for 2 trade and 2 possible damage is pretty good at any stage of the game. Mothership is better late only because your average card value is higher than the 2 cost card you’d add with Moonwurm and the extra chance at a draw can set up more combos.
8: Blob World (V), Leviathan
Best Unallied: Leviathan
Best Allied: Blob World
Best Early: N/A because of cost but Leviathan if Gambits and/or Events
Best Mid: Leviathan
Best Late: Leviathan unless really heavy into Blobs
Leviathan is a serious contender for the best card in the game. At 9 damage it’s already packing a significant punch even for an 8 cost (sorry Fleet HQ), but the free base destruction is amazing, giving you the potential to land a 17 point hit if you take out an 8 butt outpost. It gives you a draw, which is very strong but expected of cards that cost more than $6, and the ally ability to acquire a card of cost 3 or less opens up some really exciting possibilities for combos. For example a Defense Bot when you have two bases lands you an 18 point hit and a free base kill – potentially 26 damage. Quite simply put this card is a game changer – if you acquire this card in the midgame you have now shifted into lategame regardless of authority score, and this card has the ability to turn the tide of almost any battle in your favor. With that being said Blob World is no slouch either. The 5 damage isn’t much but 7 defense means it’s a 12 point swing unless they have free base destruction and the 7 shield means it’s fairly likely to stay in play, especially if you can hide it behind outposts. In any deck that is heavy green where you can realistically use the ability to draw cards instead of the 5 damage this base really starts to shine. Blobs inherent ability to draw cards means it’s quite easy to achieve 4 or 5 Blobs already played so this base can effectively double the draw power of the green cards you’ve already played this turn. Imagine this base’s ability just said “draw 5 cards” and you can start to grasp the potential of this base. In decks that have a lot of green cards this is probably THE card you want.
All in all the Blob faction hits for a ton of damage and draws you a lot of cards, and later additions to the Blobs have really given it a lot of trade that it was lacking in just straight Vanilla as well as mutated it into a faction that can really control the traderow and dictate the game. It has some powerful ally abilities that are possibly the easiest to activate in the game due to the natural draw abilities making your deck come together as well as having non-outpost bases that you can hide behind your outposts that are more likely to stay in play. This faction won’t give you any defense, other than your opponent choosing to take out your bases, but more than makes up for it with having probably the highest-powered offense in the game. When choosing between Blob cards just like any other cards always consider what the cards actual do in the stage of the game you will be playing them in. Usually buying Blob cards early is best reserved for an aggro or rush strategy if you see there is a lot of cheap combat available, however there is more economy available in green than people give it credit for and early damage is always great if your opponent buys bases. Other than perhaps Machine Cult, Blob might be the most likely cards that someone will buy out of faction – either to hate draft away the dreaded Blob armada an opponent is amassing, because they frequently draw and therefore don’t clog up your deck, or to dip into traderow manipulation or damage which are always nice. Remember, the only way to win this game is to reduce your opponent’s authority to zero and Blob cards help any deck achieve that goal.