Over-nerfed cards

Every saddlebag brings us a lot of goodies, some of which go straight into existing decks, while some others form new decks around them, and the rest of them fillers and niche cards.

But every now and then we also get a card that causes mixed feelings: the effect is clearly powerful, and in order to balance it the design team had to put some restrictions on the card, be it a certain condition under which it can be played, a requirement to boot a dude, high ghost rock cost, or an ‘unconvenient’ value. But the end result is so difficult to use or so expensive that in the end, after toying around with that card, you just leave it in the box to gather dust.

Name THREE cards that you think are over-nerfed, started out as a cool concept but became close to unplayable (given the alternatives) due to unnecessary restrictions.

  • Plasma Drill (high cost, high difficulty, boot req.)
  • Teleportation Device (dangerous, doesn’t attach to home)
  • Diable en Boite (gadget, weapon)
  • The Lord Provides (high cost, boot req., discards)
  • Soothe (high difficulty, boot req.)
  • For Such A Time As This (checks for grit, aces itself)
  • Dr. Arden Gilman (high cost, dangerous)
  • Ebenezer Springfield (0 influence)
  • Richard Slavin (ability to difficult to use)
  • Incubation (high cost, low value)
0 voters

These are all from expansions, not from the Core Set. If you feel strongly about another card that I didn’t mention, please comment.


I just dislike the design of For Such a Time As This. It’s very complex and finnicky. We already have Recruitment Drive, which is barely played. FSaTaT adds in a lot of conditions (need a blessed dude, need to make pull, grit checks, aces itself, etc), and while it’s a bit more flexible (can search deck as well as discard), it’s not enough so that it’s worth playing unless there’s a particular dude you absolutely need. Add to this that it’s basically a win-more card since you need to be relatively assured of winning a town square job to make it worth it, so in the case where you really need the dude, you won’t be able to get it. The card is bad and the mechanics of it are ugly.

I don’t understand the design. I guess they wanted to be careful with “tutor” effects, but it’s not like Blessed is a top-tier deck that they need to be super careful about adding a powerful card. They printed something that’s basically unplayable.

The others on your list are weak, but there needs to be weak cards and strong cards; if everything was the same power level, deckbuilding wouldn’t be very fun. That’s one of the cool things about Incubation – yeah, it’s a bad card, but it’s flavorful and does something that no other card in the game does. It’s a fun card, even if it’s not tournament-worthy. Same with Plasma Drill – it does something (deed destruction) that no other card can do, which is what makes it interesting. FSaTaT does something that another card already does; it just does it worse and with more requirements.

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Are you saying deckbuilding is more fun when people play the same set of strong cards and decks don’t differ too much from each other?

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plasma drill: I understand why design doesn’t want to have too much land destruction. ‘famine’ cards slows the game down, and generally make the game less enjoyable. Still, cost 4, bad value, high difficulty, booted mad scientist… then you get to boot again to use, pay 1 more, so that your opponent must pay usually 2 gr, or discard the deed. For this card to work, your opponent already has to be hurting, otherwise they will just pay the cost, or will have the muscle to take out your dude using the plasma drill.

For such a time as this: I really want to like this card, I really do. But as said, compair it to other cards, and just, wow. yeah, it tutors a card, drops the overall cost by up to 3 , and gains 1 influence. But, to succeed, you need to pull at lowest a 7 or 8. If your deck runs dudes in that range, or above, the dudes in your deck will have grit in the 10+ range. Your grit must be less than the total skill check. It just doesn’t add up. The card itself not only gives you no advantage in the chances of succeeding in the job, it costs you the 1 gr, the action of playing it, and the opportunity cost of that card.


Oh jesus, I’ve been reading that as less than or equal to. I shudder at the thought of the card being even worse than I originally thought :frowning:

edit: I guess I’ll put what I voted… I put Diable-en-Boite, Plasma Drill, and The Lord Provides. Personally I have a hard time with gadgets. Most of them, like Auto-Revolver or Mechanical Horse, slow you down at the start but then become really powerful once you have a few out. The risk of the skill check is a one time thing, whereas spells you pull every time you go to use them. That difference is a tough pill for me to swallow, but it makes sense because once you have all of these gadgets out you can be a serious pain in the ass to deal with…

D-e-B and Plasma Drill don’t seem worth booting your dude for a turn just to do what they do. I’m sure D-e-B could be good in some deck, but I don’t know what that deck is and I’m not interested in finding out. Plasma Drill being so difficult and costing 4GR sounds like the perfect storm of failure and being mad about it.

The Lord Provides, on the other hand, is an effect that I just don’t see needing at the moment. Maybe with the Headline events released I could take another look at it… but 2GR and booting your dude to search for an event doesn’t seem that great. I honestly think the only good thing about this card is that it’s an 8 and it discards itself upon usage. 8 is a great value to build a deck for shooting or even an off value, so putting 8’s back into your deck is great for your draw consistency.

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Same here! :frowning:

+1. I think I have to change my vote…

Not necessarily, but there’s more skill testing in being able to tell the bad cards from the good. Here’s the M:TG explanation for it (haven’t played M:TG in years, but about half of these reasons apply to doomtown):


I disagree, in ECG (or LCG) model where card pool is small for a very long time and specifically in a game where deckbuilding is already restricted by values and further by dudes in faction in certain values, bad cards are very detrimental to the quality of the game. I don’t mind cards that are good only in certain decks or strategies/circumstances, but bad cards just shouldn’t exist in this model.


Swider, I agree. The difference should be very clear in LCG format games. We don’t need bad cards to fill out a set.

Also just realized this about For such a time as this, if your deck is packing dudes in the values 9 and up range, and their lowest grit is a 11 like this deck Convert the heathen with firey sword (Nun 'em through). If you your total skill check is a 9, 10, 11, you will have to pull a noon job, and get no benefits from it.

I don’t really understand you guys. What forces you to play FSTAT in decks without any low grit dudes. You can pack it offvalue and offvalue dudes aswell. Win all lowballs in begining of game and in late game when you have tones of deeds and miracles you can improve your structure by pulling offvalue dudes from deck. Pack judge, Alie and Tommy. 3 cards is not that bad to be afraid of failing all your pulls. Get the suitable dude in suitable board position.

Also why not playing Amador and starting job only when you see Queen or King? King with Amador’s 2 skill lets you bring judge expirienced for free.

I don’t say that this card is really powerful, but playing it in decks without any support is pretty stupid. It’s like saying mayfair deck is weak because I don’t have hexes in this build. Yes you should not play maifair in this deck, but this is not the best way to evaluate a card.

PS and this card gets only better as cardpool expands;) Waiting for blessed 4, as well as low value miracle Tyx.


I’d rather play Lucy + Perry instead of Amador in, like, 100% cases. Unless you want two Blessed 2 dudes, or are playing non-LD miracles, I don’t really see him as a starter. His ability is just not good enough to build a deck around it.

And FSATAS only reduces the cost of a dude by 4. Considering that you’re paying 1 for the spell itself, the Judge XP will still cost you 4 gr.

Don’t think that people here are stupid and don’t know how to evaluate cards. The point is that FSATAS doesn’t go into decks as a filler unless you pack off-value dudes, and it’s just not good enough to actually tweak a deck around it.

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Because low grit dudes in the deck generally mean a greater chance for the spell to fail. The spell exists in a weird limbo where high value dudes in the deck can help the spell pull but because of bullets and influence probably can’t be found by the spell, and low value dudes in the deck might be able to be found by the spell but if pulled will cause the spell to fail in the first place (not to mention cause risk for other spell pulls in your deck). Sure, you can put that low-grit original Judge Somerset as a one-of and it won’t affect pulls too often, but if it’s a one-of, then it’s probably not central to your deck, and then it becomes a question of “why am I putting a spell in to grab this guy?”.

Gozik, sarcasm level:Illuminati :wink: