In the first part of this article I introduced the concept of the Four Card Types. Economy, Combat, Defense, and Card Advantage are types of cards found across all four factions and have different uses throughout the course of the game. Understanding the four types of cards are essential to understanding how they work together to form deck archetypes.
By changing the ways you combine the four different card types you can create different deck archetypes that work as a cohesive whole. If you only buy cards of a single faction they will all work well together since most of them work towards the same goal (and Continue reading →
For better or for worse, Star Realms is not the game it was upon release, and I don’t just mean that there are more ships and bases. The original core set was a fantastic deck-building game, but an inherent feature of its gameplay was a considerable slowness to the feedback loop. What I mean by that is, when you purchase a card, it usually takes at least a turn (if not several) for it to show up and do anything of use. The basic exception would be buying a card and then forcing a shuffle; the only other exceptions in the core set are Freighter, Central Office, and Blob Carrier, and those require some combination of ally effects and card draws to have immediate effect.
These four cards are good in almost any deck, regardless of factions.
Everyone knows factioning is good. If you can stick to buying one or two colors you are more likely to play them together and get their faction bonuses, thereby increasing the efficiency of your cards and the effectiveness of each turn. In an ideal world, you can choose which cards would be available for you to buy ahead of time to maximize this strategy, while keeping your opponent from maximizing theirs. In this world, however, the trade row and your opponent don’t always cooperate with you so you must think more flexibly and adapt to changing circumstances and create cohesive decks not just based around factions but around what the cards actually do and when they will be played. While factioning can provide useful bonuses throughout the game, the real key to victory is purchasing cards for their primary ability in time to be played in the phase of the game where that ability is most useful and by purchasing cards that fit your deck archetype and counter your opponent’s archetype. Continue reading →
A lot has happened since I originally wrote this card tier ranking almost a year and a half ago. Not only have four new expansions containing 16 new ships/bases been released (B&B, Heroes, and F&F), but I played about 5500 more games in that span. Both of these demand a lot of discussion and necessitate an update to my Tier Lists, so let’s get into it!
Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the new cards introduced in the B&B, F&F, and Heroes expansions. I think these cards are still new enough to many players that it’s worth going into each card in a little detail.
(If you want to skip to the update Tier Lists, they’re down below with my original ranking concept description.)
Once players have grasped the basic strategic principles of Star Realms, they understand that the early game is often about building up enough trade/economy in order to purchase the “power” cards that cost 6 or above. But what happens when you finally get to up 6 trade and you have a choice of four different 6-cost cards? Which ones are the best? The worst? Which ones fit into which kinds of decks? When do these cards shine? When are they weakest? Read on to find out…
Star Realms fans spend substantial time staring at trade rows. Which cards are the most efficient? Should I counter-purchase? Am I getting enough bases? What about scrap? We scrutinize, rationalize, and eventually settle on the best purchase. Often we see posts asking, ‘What would you take?’ accompanied by a screenshot. Deck Building offers simple-but-lively discussion about what to take, when, and why.
I will ask you to assess your process. Where are you as a Trade Row Decision Maker?