Oversky Balance (IMHO OP)

IMHO there are some way OP cards.

In order of IMHO OP-ness (most OP at the top).

  • Emerald Salamander: Not sure how this buffs/damage is distributed (either per creature or total), but it seems either slightly OP (total) or insanely OP (per creature). Blazing Salamander is terrible in comparison.

  • Frog Tosser: 4/6 + Fight + 2/2 for 5f. Played a few games with it, really OP. Extremely versatile. The land cost (2L2F2W) is fairly easy to meet. [IMHO 6f]

  • Ulani: A must for 3 Wishes decks. I credit him/her(?) with many wins already. If you have nothing of a certain color you’re guaranteed to draw at least one 3 Wishes card. [IMHO 5f or 1/1]

  • Crystal Flower: If you’re looking to end the game this is as good as Last Nightmare, but it’s 3f - and 4W so most decks can use it easily. [IMHO 6W]

  • Curious Biomancer: With only 2 enemy creatures it’s way better than wisdom. It doesn’t have the event synergy, but it’s so easy to get this to draw 3-4+ cards, plus get a 1/3 creature. [IMHO 4f 3L3W]

  • Grappling Hook: Easy to make this hit for a lot of damage for 3f. Great at the start with opposing harvesters. Even without the grapple movement it’s really powerful. [IMHO 4f 3M3W]

  • Skywhale: Possibly OP - not as bad as others. Similar to flower, it’s OP at ending games. Hard to destroy. 8W does mean you can’t use it for rush or low-land mono decks, but I’d guess most games get close to 8W. [IMHO charge 2, 12W]

  • Gift of the Rakoa: Only slightly OP IMHO. It’s very easy to get 4+ creatures on the board, which makes it usually better than Elderwood Embrace (which is already a very good card). [IMHO 4F]

(D)esert / (L)ake / (F)orest / (M)ountain / (W)ild land / (f)aeria.

I don’t think any of the mechanics are bad, just the values. All could be fixed by only changing numbers - and only occasionally via land costs, as sometimes this has little effect.

The others seem OK to me. Nothing seems UP.


Totally agree with you, @Xaxazak

After a couple of games, I started to get upset. Just because I could not do anything. This is wrong!

Abrakam, If you read this, listen to your players and do not break the game!

I think like you they are some card who will be actually really to strong in the meta, totally destroying some old archétype.
But i don’t think its time to nerf or balance now.
We need a global vision of the new extention set to understand wat is or not OP.
For exemple, everyone (including me) were saying Ruunin is far too strong at the last MC. But regarding the flower and the whale now, there is solution to nulify him !
So, i prefere say Wait and See than GO NERF WTF !!!


The meta is certainly in flux right now, and not all the cards are in play. I think we should give it some time to settle and mature before we take too critical of a look. Until then just enjoy the uncertainty!

I think having all OP cards is to be expected at the beginning of an expansion. I am a strong opponent of power creep, but after having participated in development and balancing of other games, I’ve grown to appreciate this approach.

Basically you almost never want to release a new underpowered card, unless there is something very mechanically unique and interesting about it - even then, better to have it start OP. The reason is that balancing will require people to make broken decks using the new cards. If the new cards are underpowered, no one will use them, and they’ll need to be buffed…at that point they might become overpowered,

Sometimes a perfectly balanced card will still not get used because it takes a lot of playtesting to make a strong deck, and there are already strong decks, so new perfectly balanced cards might seem weak, since they’re being used in untested decks and going up against finely tuned older decks.

Erring on the side of overpowered at the beginning of an expansion means people will be trying actively to break the new cards. The developers get to see how they get broken, and can use that information to balance them in different ways. For example, frog tosser seems like a lot of value on one card, but it’s also really cool - so how should it be nerfed? No fight? No new frog? Weaker stats? Higher land requirements? Higher Faeria cost? The way they nerf it will determine whether it’s viable or not, and they’ll figure that out based on how people are using it (for example, if it’s getting hand buffed a lot, then maybe lower stats would be fine).


Aqua mentioned just now on stream that the crystal flower actually has 6 life since it doesn’t lose life when it’s played on board.

This got me thinking. It’s actually 7 since the swallowed creature is inactive when it’s released. I am going to argue this part of the mechanic is both unfair and uninteresting.

Imagine the situation where the player (B) whose creature was swallowed and B proactively damaged the flower or killed the whale to get his creature back. But all that effort actually does not guarantee the return of the swallowed creature. Player A, his opponent, has another turn to swallow the creature again and there is nothing Player B can do about it. Basically, the swallower has no downside, only faeria and land cost, both are very reasonable now.

Another point I want to make is that the actual release of the creature is just anti-climatic.

Player A (who swallowed): “it’s fine, that creature won’t do anything next turn when it’s released, I can swallow or debuff it next turn. Even if I don’t have an answer straight-away, it’s far from my orb so it’s not immediately threatening.”

Player B (whose creature was swallowed): “yes that one is coming back but it can’t do anything. it’s the same as swallowed anyway so I don’t include it in my gameplan next turn.”

Basically the problem is there is no impending excitement/danger at the swallowed creature’s return to the board due to its inactivity. Player A don’t feel threatened and Player B don’t feel excited about the creature’s return. The unfairness that Player A can alone decide the future of the released creature again, provided he has the cards, is unfair and compounds the anti-climactic nature of the release.

Hope that wasn’t too long or off-topic.

Another idea I had was that the swallowed creature returns stronger compared to before having survived the ordeal. This would make the mechanic more of a double edged sword and more interesting imho.


Too many strong removals in every deck. The game losing its strategic part now. Just pew pew.

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I think it is a tad too early to be claiming gg op on half the expansion when we don’t even know all of the cards yet, let alone have them released. If anyone plays or has played hearthstone when goblins vs gnomes was releasing then you can draw some parallels. Everyone in hs thought that dr boom (the most op card in hs history) believed it was going to be crap on its announcement, and people were all on the Troggzor train all the way up to its release, at which point troggzor was never played or talked about again, whereas dr boom was put in every deck. Lets wait to see if the ship is truly sunk before we hop overboard please.

Only if it’s a friendly swallow AFAICT. I got confused by this and lost a co-op battle because the enemy sky swallower moved immediately after release.

The FAQ says:

So I think that only applies to friendly swallows.

I don’t see this logic in any other games. Most games try to release balanced content. Why increase required balancing hours and add a period of imbalance when you don’t have to. Certainly they often get it a bit wrong, but I’m pretty sure it’s (almost) never deliberate. At least, I’ve never heard of that before - although this is my first CCG/TCG game (IMHO it’s a board game with cards, but whatever).

Are you saying you’ve actually seen it being deliberately done?

If you release it as OP then it’s already broken, by definition. If it’s balanced people will want to play it simply because it’s new. Sure, you might find unusual synergies slightly faster, but I don’t think that’s worth the negatives.

Note, I’m not thinking Abrakam deliberately made them OP. And it’s all IMHO so far. I’m guessing at least some of my current opinions will change in the coming months.

I have seen fairly deliberate examples of imbalance as well, not just for the reason Bobross mentioned but also for the sake of a cash grab at times.
Rise of Mythos is an infamous example of a cash grab card game.

I am sure it’s not only friendly swallow, I was at the receiving end last game.

Corin (dev) on Discord just now:

A creature released from swallow no longer collects faeria that turn (summoning sickness applies)

Good morning Xaxazak!

Some cards are certainly really really REALLY good! But I think it is too early to start nerfing cards. The new cards might help us deal with some of the cards that you feel are too strong at the moment. For example, Grappling Hook might become a really useful tool to deal with Crystal Flower.

  • Emerald Salamander. The effect of Salamander is very powerful, but it requires POSITIONING which is something we all have cried for - we WANT more cards that require really thoughtful creature positing and land placement! I maybe shouldnt compare it to Crackthorn Beast because that card is by many already considered overpowered, but Crackthorn Beast has the ability to clear harvesters on the other side of the board, it can be played on an empty board, it has mobility. Emerald Salmander is certainly a strong card, but it does have downsides aswell. If you manage to hit just one creature with it though its already gona be pretty good. But then again its a 4land requirement card, it should be on similar powerlevel as Forbidden Library etc (or 4x stronger than Library because it cost 4times as much).

  • Frog Tosser. Yeah Frog Tosser has insane value.

  • Ulani. Ulani is a legendary card that also requires 4 different special lands. That alone qualifies her to have powerfull ability. If Ulani was a 0cost 4 (different!) landrequirement 2/2 legendary creature, would you play it? Probably not, its not good enough. Pay 4F extra to draw 4 cards is however defenitely worth it! The fact that it draws a card of each color is most of the time an advantage, but it could also mean that you sometimes draw fewer cards because you have none left. Ulani is a good card, but she is a also a legendary that only works in certain types of decks :slight_smile:

  • Crystal Flower. Its a good card. But as I said, the new cards might help us deal with structures (Grappling Hook for example)

  • Curious Biomancer should be much much much better than wisdom because it requires 4 lands instead of being neutral. I think curious Biomancer is gona be a pretty popular card, it seems to be very solid and at the same time a card you dont really want to play around (unless your opponent plays blue red).

  • Skywhale is a good card but it comes very late and takes 5 damage from punishment.

  • Gift of the Rakoa. I think Elderwood Embrace is strictly better because in Faeria the early game is crucial. Setting up a stronger economy/pressure than your opponent is easier done with Embrace. Gift of Rakoa seems fine to me :slight_smile:

– ofcourse I might not agree with any of what I just posted in a few days :smiley:


I agree that they should try to start out close to balanced, but they can’t expect to get it perfect. For example, it’s hard to predict how good swallow will be, or how much of a hindrance excessive land requirements are without extensive playtesting. Let’s imagine they could expect a spread around the spot that they aim, with some cards starting exactly as balanced as they planned, but many turning out weaker or stronger than they initially hoped. Lets imagine 40% land exactly where they aim. If that initial aim is at balanced, then maybe 30% area underpowered and 30% are overpowered. If instead, the initial aim is at exciting and powerful (although possibly OP), then you may still wind up with 40% balanced cards but you will have 60% OP cards. That leaves you in a better position to start balancing.

They won’t get any playtesting with new cards if they release them and they appear underpowered. Not only that, but people will be disappointed. So releasing cards that appear underpowered hurts their brand and hurts their development timeline. I have seen cards released in other games that get ignored for a year because they’re underpowered, then people demand buffs, they get buffed, then they’re OP, then people want a nerf…I’ve also seen this done with overpowered cards that appeared balanced (easy to do with card interactions), where no one thought to make a deck around the card for a year, and then when they did, everyone quickly saw how broken the card was and then it got nerfed.

The results are far better when the first iteration of a card is slightly OP, as opposed to underpowered, or seemingly underpowered (as many balanced cards might be). So my point is that it’s actually to be expected, and even good practice if the new cards are slightly (and only slightly) OP. A good company will start that way and then balance the cards well before releasing a new set. It’s a problem when they don’t bother to balance the new cards before releasing new and more OP cards - that’s when you get into bad power creep.

If you repeatedly shoot for some point you’ll typically end up with something like a normal distribution centered close to that point. If you aim for something other than the center, you’ll get less results around the center. Even if you add discreteness (eg, rounding stats to whole numbers), you’ll still end up with less around the center (on average). Also, the average distance from the center is higher.

I get your point that the more a card is played the quicker it’s balanced, and the more OP a card is the more it’s played. But the further a card is from being balanced, the larger the change required to make it balanced. Balancing attempts aren’t always perfectly accurate, and I would assume that the resulting error scales somewhat proportionally to the size of the change. So the worse the balance was when you started balancing, the worse it will likely be when you finish - given the same amount of effort.

But I think the larger point is still that you should be attempting to have the game balanced at all times. Having periods where the game isn’t balanced will discourage players, which can end up making them leave and make it harder to attract new players. I’d say having the game contain a number of OP cards that are always being used in OP ways is far more discouraging than getting new UP cards and having the game remain mostly balanced. OP cards break stuff. UP cards can be ignored.

I somewhat disagree. People will want to try out the new ones for a while after release. And while they’ll end up being played less, they’ll still be played occasionally. There are many cards you could consider UP currently. Almost all of them get some playtime. And if a card ends up almost never being played, it’s probably either UP (IMHO eg Tiki Chieftain, Walking Fortress) or very situational (IMHO eg Imperial Engineer, Baron Thulgar). About the only cards I never see are Ruunin’s Shrine, Architect, and the Longhorn and Prairie Yaks (and even then, sometimes they’re in Pandora).

My bad, I was confusing released on the opponent’s turn (via Production) with released by destroying the structure on the same turn. You’re right that it’s unusable on the turn that you destroy the swallower.

It might be an interesting effect. But even if you made the released creature instantly win the game I’m not sure you’d flip the balance. The swallower would still be very useful for ending the game.

One more thing about swallow balance - Swallow creatures also have the advantage of being unswallowable, which is another big plus.

Yes, I agree the swallower still has the initiative, but feature like this would make the player think twice before they swallow. It would also put the swallower under a little pressure if he/she cannot finish the game before the flower disappears.

I think swallowed creatures should be able to act when released - as it stands, even with the perfect answer to swallow, your creature is still stalled for a turn. In base, people would often play a cheap taunt creature like willow just for that effect, and consider it a good trade. If you can answer the swallow, you should also have the ability to make that snowball. Even if flower is answered the turn it’s played, it can still give more value than a well placed willow (teleport the creature out of position, stall it for one turn, absorb opponent resources destroying the flower).

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fair point on the normal distribution. So once you move the center away from balanced, you will have fewer balanced cards to start, but you’ll also have far fewer underpowered cards. I still say this is a desirable place to start. People trying to make an underpowered card work is nice, but it doesn’t give enough info to get it to balanced.

Regarding keeping the game balanced at all times - I think a better goal is to have a diverse meta. Balanced is really elusive, and there will always be stronger/weaker/more situational cards. One overpowered card/deck can kill diversity in a meta-game. So assuming there will always be the potential for that, I don’t think it really matters that much if they initially release 10 overpowered cards or 1. The important thing is that they take quick action to balance things, and the best way we can help is to give feedback on how the cards are being abused, and what specifically feels overpowered about them.

As all the cards are now revealed, I’m updating my opinion. I might throw a poll up later. All this is IMHO.

IMHO the expansion is currently still terribly OP - worse than when I posted the topic. Some cards are unbelievably OP. A 7 health structure that, every turn, gives the green creatures in your hand +7/+7. Yes, those are sevens. And it even does it at the end of your turn, so the opponent doesn’t have a chance to respond. It requires 3F 7W but that’s regularly achievable and doesn’t even slightly make up for its power.

A few new cards directly compare to old cards in ways that suggest either that this Oversky OP-ness is deliberate (maybe bobrossw is right and it was a planned temporary OP-ness, although that seems strange to me), or the analysis did not consider them.

Compare Blazing Salamander to Emerald Salamander. 1f & 2F gets you +2/+2 on every adjacent friendly creature, which isn’t too hard to plan especially if you just summon them on the same turn. Summons on forests, too. It’s well worth it for just 1 friendly creature but in practice it’s easy to get 2 or 3, or even 4,5,6 if you don’t care about hitting the enemy.

Frog Tosser is still quite OP and crazy compared to Firebomb (which is red, the color that’s meant to have the best direct damage).

I could go on for ages with examples. In fact I don’t think I can keep my interest too much longer if things remain this way - I really hope they’re working to significantly address this. If they announced another expansion now without drastically changing things, I’d think twice about getting it.