Updated: Apr 27, 2020
They can't all be home runs... but these cards aren't even playing the sport!
Written by Carl Woodwiss of Crazy Killing Machine
Reviewed by Kate Dunstone
Announcement at the end of the article.
I know writing a 'these cards are terrible' list is dangerous. People will disagree, or find the one deck which has six cards which supplement one of these cards as part of a strategy which makes it awesome. I'm also not saying that these cards aren't fun to play. Casually, some of these cards are hilarious, especially when the stars align and the card works!
This is a list for cards which range from missing the mark... to being just down right terrible.
A couple of caveats:
- Yes, it may be part of a combo, but this is a list looking at cards out of context. For example, They're Everywhere and/or Whistling Darts might make one of the cards below very playable. On its own and out of any sort of context, the card is toilet.
- This, again, is personal opinion. You may agree or disagree but I would really like to hear your thoughts.
- Even though this is a 'bad card' list... I am not 'negging' on the game. I love the game!
That being said (*deep breath in*)... let's go for it.
20. First Blood
Easing ourselves in gently. Certainly not the worst card on the list but the 'Alpha' makes this a worthy contender squeaking in at number twenty. As far as I am concerned, gaining an Aember is the only thing worthy of note (unless it luckily knocks off a couple of wards).
So this card would have been SIGNIFICANTLY higher on my list if we were still in Age of Ascension territory. Luckily, the introduction of 'wards' has pulled Flamethrower out of the line of fire... just!
Best thing about these cards? The artwork! They are actually really interesting when you look at all of the different art, but that is where the interest disappears. With so much raw damage from hand in the game now, has anybody actually ever used a Plant before they have been pinged off of the board?
17. Swap Widget
This is possibly the first point where people are going to say 'yeah but what about this combo'? See above. An Aember bonus should 100% be on this card to make it at least plausible.
16. Epic Quest
Come on. 'Epic' 'tis not! This card is designed to put you off actually playing the deck and trying to get the stars to align. Yes it COULD work with an archive-heavy deck. But 'could' work... are we satisfied with 'could' work? I certainly am not. Shame on you Sanctum. I hate you.
See Plants. Same concept. Read the box... my first thought is so what? My second thought is she's in Shadows, they all have Elusive anyway. Third thought is then argh, I shouldn't have written the second thought because people are going to tell me that there are two other houses in a deck.
Be 2 power, Lamindra. You would be playable.
14. Hallowed Blaster
Heal 3 damage? Heal 3 WHOLE DAMAGE?
13. Gargantes Scrapper
Now I feel we are moving from the truly useless to the utterly horrible. Compare this to Mighty Tiger. No alpha effect, no requirement to have three Aember, does more damage, has more strength. Hang your head in shame Scrapper.
12. Plague Rat
Another combo card, but hear me out. The card is useless past its play effect. Its play effect is useless as it hits your creatures too. "But what if you have seven in your deck?" I do, and it's still useless. Mainly because it's taking up space for seven decent Shadows cards. Here is my point on rats: think of any other Shadows card you wouldn't rather have seven of in your deck. I can't.
Nice concept, nice to own a rat deck... but a novelty at best.
11. Shard of Strength
Shards were the pre-release gimmick/hype cards for Age of Ascension, and other than one or two of the shard combos, they have been found wanting. In a sea of mediocrity, Shard of Strength is by far the last one across the line. Give a friendly creature a +1 power counter? Grovekeeper just rolled over in his grave!
The Top 10 Hall of Shame
10. Into the Night
This card baffles me.
9. Save the Pack
Remember earlier when I said 'They're Everywhere and/or Whistling Darts might make one of the cards below very playable'? Put your hands up, who didn't know this was the card I was talking about? It was either this or Misery Exploit, but Misery Exploit is not terrible. This card is the worst. It's a board wipe that doesn't wipe the board, then chains you for the pleasure. And just for spite... it doesn't have an Aember bonus. What else? Oh yeah, the art is s**t too. I hate this card. I hate it.
8. Heist Night
Alpha. Thieves don't stay around, and there aren't actually that many of them. Next.
7. Soul Fiddle
Enrage... remember enrage? Me neither. And that's ALL it does?
Action: Enrage the card owner.
6. Wretched Doll
I mean you read this, and with it saying 'destroy all' and you think, Wow, I might be able to clear some stuff here. Then reality hits and it is 'name the same house twice to kill one creature'. It may be the clutch play you need to win a game, but if you are relying on Wretched Doll to win a game... your deck might need re-evaluating.
This is the only card which hurts to put on the list. Poor Toad, look at it. It's a saaaaad toad. Poor guy can only do half the things of other creatures and the one thing he can do he is useless at because he is 1 power. A terrible card (even though it comes with an incredible fighting creature). However, not the worst creature on the list. More to follow.
4. Quantum Fingertrap
Wait, what is this doing on the list? This is a mistake. Quantum Fingertrap is one of the greatest cards in the game!
See what I did there? Yes you COULD put something next to a shadow self, or a Taunt creature blah blah blah. It is one of the least inspiring cards and the butt of many a joke when packs have been opened.
This card has been bounced back and fourth between #1 and #3 about five times whilst writing this article. But, it takes the bronze. For one reason. The Aember bonus. Shadows have been blessed with some spectacular cards over the three sets, unfortunately, their Key Cheats have not been in that group of cards. If you haven't forged a Key, forge at net +3? Only works with The Sting. And The Sting is a dangerous and spicy meatball to be messing around with Nightforge (and the card at #1).
But before number 1... this shower of garbage. Why Grommid? Simple. You play this card at the wrong time against a mediocre to good player, you lose. You lock yourself out of the game with a ridiculously powerful creature. Huh... my opponent has stopped playing creatures for me to run into - what do I do?
You re-evaluate Grommid. You re-evaluate hard! Get back in the box Grommid you turd.
1. Key of Darkness
I could write an article on why this card is so bad on its own. The baseline with no Aember bonus is to forge for twelve. But your opponent has no Aember? Unlikely, but OK, now it's eight. And you couldn't have had enough to forge at the start of the turn. Best case scenario is you had five Aember or you were Miasma'd. Can you start to see all of the 'what ifs' have to be in place for this card to do ANYTHING!? If you have EVER won a game with this card... scratch that... if you have ever USED this card for its intended purpose, you are my hero. You are a pillar of excellence among mere mortals... or you are one lucky sonofabitch!
That's it, now you can go and shower after all of that filth!
As per any matter of opinion, I am certain that some of you may agree and the vast majority will disagree! I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on what I have got right, what I have missed, or if something is higher than you think it should be. Feel free to comment on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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