High Impact vs. Low Impact Cards


High Impact vs. Low Impact Cards

Let’s assume that you are at the start of the game. The board is clear. No one has played anything. Player one has played Covenant Marauder.

Player two responds by playing Scouting Party.

Both players have spent one mana, but one player has a creature in each field. In the black and white world of card advantage that states that two cards for one card is better, the player who played Scouting Party is technically ahead.

Now let’s assume that the game has gone on for some time, and the board is once again clear. Player two plays another Scouting Party, while player one responds with a Lumbering Ogrim.

Once again, player two has created a 2:1 card advantage for himself. He has two creatures to show for his one card, whereas his opponent has only one.

However, if asked who has the better board, the answer would clearly be player one. That’s because player one has played a card that demands an answer, or a High Impact card. Player two has played a Low Impact card: a card that provides an advantage, but one that is easily remedied.

If you fill your deck with two drops in the hope of winning the game quickly, as the game goes on you’re going to start hating it when you see your once formidable Murkwater Witch and wishing it was a Tazkad.

So it’s time to start stuffing your deck full of high-value threats, right? Not necessarily. If all you had in your deck are expensive high-impact cards, you would have nothing to float you to the late game so you can play those cards. The opponent would be free to beat your face in, because he’s likely playing a deck with a decent Mana Curve. We’ll get into that shortly.


By now you’re surely ready to adorn the habit of a Priest of Card Advantage and prostrate yourself before the God of Card Advantage in humble supplication. While card advantage is certainly important in card games, it is by no means the only factor.

For instance, if you draw 9 more cards than the opponent but still lose, what good was all your card advantage? The tempo player asks that question, and begs an answer.

If you have a superior board but overextend into a sweeper, all the incremental advantage you have built goes right out the window.

What good are those Scimitars in your hand? Are you waiting to use them to get lethal? What if the game slowly turns on you and you end up in a position where playing them no longer matters? Throwing them all down and punching the opponents face for 7 can wake him up and say “Oh, crap, I’ve really got to deal with that right now” rather than falling into the comfortable habits of his own deck.

Sometimes the cost of the advantage is more than it seems. You can drop your Night Shadow on turn 6 in the hopes of stabilizing, but what about the damage you’re going to take on your opponents turn? What if he removes it? You just spun your wheels. This very concept is what makes a lot of cards in a game like Magic unplayable – they cost too much only for them to be removed. If you’re going to invest heavily in a creature, it better swing the game in your favor or have a way to protect itself. That’s why creatures like Ohdaviing and Nahagliiv are good.

A fantastic card like Burn and Pillage can reset the game, but favors the aggressive player. What good will Burn and Pillage do if you didn’t break enough runes to make it useful? It becomes a dead card — card disadvantage.

This probably presents far more questions than answers. It may put you in a stupor like Dostoevsky’s mouse: burdened by a hyper-sensitivity of consequence to the point of inaction. In the end, like all information, you can pick and choose what’s useful to you. There is no mathematical equation that will tell you how to win. Human error and Lady Luck do not care about all the tactical thinking, careful planning, or tedious calculating in the world. Sometimes you will just lose, not because you played badly, but because your opponent played just as well as you but had better cards.

Thanks DYLVG for the article: https://www.reddit.com/r/elderscrollslegends/comments/581qr4/introductory_ccg_concepts_archetypes_and_game

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