Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 Overrated Cards

Here's a rundown of my top five overrated Spellfire cards. Please note that some of these cards are good, even great, in Standard. But for the TAV format, they just don't merit their hype.

#5 - Elminster's Intuition (Dungeons chase, 6/25)

Sounds great, right? Name a card in your opponent's draw pile, search for it, and send it directly to the Abyss. Two problems: first, if you don't find it (either because it's not in the deck at all, or because it's in the opponent's hand or discard pile) you're sending your front realm to the Abyss instead. Ouch. So if you don't know your opponent's deck well, this is a very risky card to play. Secondly, this is the TAV format we're talking about. No one card is that valuable. You're not crippling anyone by removing one card from their draw pile. It's just not devastating in 90% of decks to remove one card.
So this dangerous, risky, and underpowered card is going to take up one of your precious ten event slots? Not in my deck.

#4 - Bigby the Great (Runes & Ruins, 28/100)

What? Bigby overrated? I can almost hear the howls of protest. But he is. That doesn't mean he's not a great champion. But Bigby's not a game-breaking card by himself - despite the reputation he seems to have accumulated over the years. Yes, he gives you a free spell turning each turn cycle (use it on anyone's turn but your own). But he's also a huge freaking target with absolutely no immunities when sitting in the pool. Have fun using up all your counters trying to keep this big galoot alive. What a resource hog. And if your opponent isn't running spells (I, for example, have a monster deck, a hero deck, and a thief/regent deck, all with no spells whatsoever), Bigby is a useless wizard taking up champion points in your deck. For being useful only sometimes, and for attracting champion-killing cards like a magnet, Bigby is #4 on this list.

#3 - Creeping Doom (Forgotten Realms, 28/100)

Creeping Doom is not a bad card by any means, but it pales in comparison to other cards that do more. Razing a realm is decent, but placing one in the discard pile or Abyss is so much better. That's why Creeping Doom is overshadowed by Disintegrate, Psionic Disintegration, Estate Transference, and Dissolution. The fact that a holding makes a realm immune to Creeping Doom decreases its worth even more. The biggest indictment of this card I can think of is that I have about 10 decks and Creeping Doom is in none of them. There are just too many better spells.

#2 - Kiri, Avatar of Kiri-Jolith 

Kiri makes this list at #2 because he is just as likely to wreck your game as your opponent's. A deck has to be specially constructed in order for Kiri to be your avatar. As soon as he appears, every champion - including your own - loses its powers. Depending on who is in your deck, this could range from inconvenient to devastating. Sure, your opponents' champions also lose their powers, but at worst this levels the playing field. Plus Kiri has no immunities whatsoever, making him extremely vulnerable to spells. The card would be better if it had some great special power, and was immune to its own power-stripping effect. As it is, Kiri's average at best, yet many Spellfire players still think he's awesome. I enjoy watching them play him against me, only to discover that their Gib Lhadsemlo is now a big, vanilla oaf.              

#1 - Cold Cup of Calamity (Forgotten Realms chase, 2/25)

Here it is, folks, the most overrated card in TAV. Cold Cup of Calamity is an overpriced, overhyped card in all formats, but it's especially useless in the Antigonish Variant. For a similar reason as Elminster's Intuition: it's not like there is a shortage of great cards in a typical deck. So, once during a game, you can take a look at an opponent's hand and discard it down to 5. Good for eliminating a realm or a champion or two. Any great events are going to be used by the opponent before you can get rid of them, while allies and magical items are not going to be game-breakers. You might get rid of a bit of cheese, but I've never seen Cold Cup decide a game. What usually happens is that it sits in your hand for turns on end as you frantically wonder "Do I use it now? No? How 'bout now?!" Meanwhile, one of your event slots is taken up forever by this cardboard clunker. For being great in approximately one out of every five games you draw it in, Cold Cup of Calamity wins the award for most overrated Spellfire card.
Next Time: Five underrated cards for TAV.


  1. Please cold cup is one of the top 5 cards of the game,its devastating
    Iplyed spellfire over 5 years in spain

    1. It's a good card in standard, but in the TAV format it loses a lot of its punch.

  2. damage is more psychological than anything else. well played, your opponent would be blocked to do his game. to decide a game you need more than a only card.

    1. I think I get what you are saying one card can win you a game of Spellfire.

  3. Found this post while reminiscing about Spellfire online. Really fun read. One nit - I always interpreted Kiri's power to only activate while he himself is in combat. So to me he would not be devastating to your own deck, and it mainly makes him an interesting combatant. Still not spectacular, but wouldn't nerf your own Gib Lhadsemlo for instance.

    1. Yes, only while Kiri is in combat. But once he is, you can't use a champion like Cyric to back him up with spellcasting, or a Gib Kcir to back him up with some removal, because both of them suddenly become vanilla!