Here is a regularly updated glossary of Star Realms related terms used on this site and in the game. Until there are enough to sort, we’ll keep these in roughly alphabetical order.

Have a term we haven’t heard yet? Send it to us at or post a comment below.

Updated July 22, 2019

aggro – Short for “aggressive”. A strategy in which you focus on doing damage over the “long game” of economy/life gain, typically by almost exclusively acquiring cards that do damage.
Bacon – Nickname for the Warning Beacon from the Colony Wars set.  “Two strips of bacon” refers to having two Warning Beacons in play at the same time.
Base Set – The three Star Realms sets that can be played stand-alone, i.e., Core Set, Colony Wars, or Frontiers.
Base Wall – Having a large number of bases in play, typically enough that your opponent is unable to do you damage.
“bbygurl” – When you make your opponent discard 4 cards in a turn, you have pulled a “bbygurl”.  [This was coined at WWGF 2017].
BIGDECK – Game format using all expansions available in the digital app.  Also referred to as “MAXDECK”.
Bike – Nickname for the Recycling Station from the Core Set.
Blitz Shift – The point in a Star Realms game where a player shifts out of economy purchases and goes entirely for maximum combat each turn.
Bomb – A very powerful card. Typically Cost 6 or higher.
Bottomdeck – When an important card in your deck ends up in the last draw of your deck, or as part of the last draw when you reshuffle your cards. Example: “Brain World was bottomdecked!”
Butt – a numerical toughness applied to bases and outposts. Example: That’s a 6 butt Outpost!
Cantrip – a card that draws a card (replaces itself) when played.
Cluster Stuck – When your opponent has Union Cluster in play and you are unable to destroy it.
Cycle – Using the “draw to discard” or “discard to draw” ability.
Deck # – Your Deck # refers to the number of times you have gone through your deck.  You start the game with Deck 1 and each time you reshuffle your Deck # increases.  “I got a Deck 1 Ark” means that you acquired Ark before your first reshuffle, which would typically be on your first or second turn.
Dominated – When an opponent has a large number of cards in a specific faction.
Eddy – Nickname for the Emperor’s Dreadnaught from Colony Wars.
Explorer Race (or Bomb Race) –  When both players are drafting only explorers in the hope that they will pick up a valuable card (or cards) first. Often ends in tears and/or the gnashing of teeth.
Fast Deck – A deck that allows you to play well more than 5 cards each turn.  A fast deck typically has many cards with draw abilities and has scrapped away many of the starter cards.
Fishing – Flipping many cards in the trade row in a single turn in the hopes of finding an Event, Hero, or other cards that can help you in a desperate situation.  Fishing is usually accomplished by scrapping cards from the Trade Row with Blob cards, or by buying as many of the cheapest cards in the Trade Row that you can afford.
Flip – To turn up the next card in the Trade Row. Not to be confused with The Flip
Go Green/Blue/Yellow/Red – This “Go” usage indicates that a player is able to acquire several cards of the noted color early in the match. For example, “TheCutter Went Green super fast.”
Grind/Grinding – Playing many games at once for an extended period of time.
Hate Draft – Buying a card you don’t want to keep your opponent from acquiring it.
Haul/Hauled – The action of purchasing a card for free and placing it on the top of your deck. This can be accomplished via cards like Megahauler and Blob Carrier.  See also Topdeck.
Hide/Hiding – When a non-outpost base and outpost base are both in play, the non-outpost base is said to be “hiding” behind the outpost.  See also Protect.
Levi – Nickname for the Leviathan from Colony Wars.  Whether this term is pronounced Lee-vai or Leh-vee is a hotly debated topic.
Overkill – Continuing to play cards and accumulate damage after you already have enough damage to defeat your opponent.
Protect/Protecting – When a non-outpost base and outpost base are both in play, the outpost is said to be “protecting” the non-outpost base.  See also Hide.
Rainbow Deck/Hand – A deck (or hand) with an approximately even number of cards from all factions.
Sacrifice – Wrecking a card permanently from the game in order to get some additional benefit.
Salty – Your emotional state when you lose a game you think you should have won.
“SilentAl” – If you “whiff” two turns in a row, you have pulled a “SilentAl”.  [This was coined at WWGF 2017].
Slow Deck – A deck in which you are often only playing 5 cards per turn.  Slow decks often have most or all of the starting cards and/or have a large number of cards with few draw abilities.
“The Flip” – The First reshuffle of your deck after your second turn.
Topdeck – Putting a card you acquire directly to the top of your deck rather than into your discard pile.  See also Haul.
Trade Row Control – A strategy involving the use of Blob faction cards to selectively scrap cards from the Trade Row in an attempt to “control” what cards are available for purchase.
Tuna slap – A sound trouncing in Star Realms.
Turtle/Turtling – A strategy of building a base wall that your opponent cannot break through a la a turtle retreating into its shell to protect itself.
Vanilla – Star Realms format played with only the Core Set (the original base set) and no other sets or expansions.
whiff – When you have a powerful deck and a chance to win the game, but draw a hand full of your weakest cards and are unable to finish off your opponent.
WWG – White Wizard Games

Expansion Abbreviations

V = Core Set or “Vanilla”
W = Colony Wars
R = Frontiers
G = Gambits
1 = Year 1 Promos
B = Bases & Battleships
E = Events
H = Heroes
F = Fleets & Fortresses
C = Cosmic Gambits
2 = Year 2 Promos
K = United Command
U = United Heroes
A = United Assault
M = United Missions

DISCLAIMER: These are not official WWG abbreviations, but are rather what the fan community generally uses to help organize online leagues.

Older Terms

The terms in this section are kept around for historical reference. They are outmoded and do not apply to the current version of the game.

Full Rack of Ribs – Spending 8 Trade to buy Four Explorers before The Flip. Similarly buying two Explorer before The Flip is referred to as a “Half Rack of Ribs”
Gambos – a combined mode of play in the Star Realms Digital App that includes Gambits and Promo Bases & Ships. The term derives from a mashup of Gambit and Promo.
Type-S – A Mode of Star Realms Play that includes the Base set, plus all the Year One Promo cards, but without Gambits
Type S+G – A Mode of Star Realms Play that includes the Base set, all Year One Promos as well as Gambits.


4 thoughts on “Glossary

  1. Pingback: Card Gallery added and Glossary updated! | Star Realms Strategy!

  2. Daniel

    I was disappointed that “Gambos” didn’t make the cut. 😉

    Also, I’ll submit the following…

    Rave: A game in which the initial trade row contains only expensive cards, causing both players to purchase explorers for the next few turns. (Nothing to do but buy some E and hope for the best).


  3. Pingback: Glossary Update | Star Realms Strategy!

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