Star Realms Card Tier Lists (incl Frontiers)

BEFORE READING: For the newest version of the Card Tier List, CLICK HERE!

Original by Scott Heise aka HomerJr
Frontiers content by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 8/26/2019] 

Since HomerJr’s last update to the card tier ranking, Star Realms has added several new expansions.  We’re working on updating the card tier list to include all expansions, but we’ll do so one or two expansions at a time; so it will take a few posts.

Our first update will include the most recent expansion to hit the digital app: Frontiers!

For a brief discussion of each card in the Frontiers set, check out Megahaulin podcast Episode 81, where Dustin and Rick discuss Frontiers.

Updated Tier List

The intent of these Tier Lists is to provide a quick reference to help players, especially newer or less experienced players, when deciding which card(s) in the trade row they should buy (or whether to buy a card at all).  Every card included in the V, 1, B, H, F, & R sets is contained within these lists and grouped into one of three tiers based on the overall value of the card relative to the cost of the card.

HomerJr originally wrote the Tier Lists for the V, 1, B, H, & F sets.  I (Darklighter) have not changed any of HomerJr’s original rankings, and have just added rankings for Frontiers (“R”) using HomerJr’s methodology (as best I could).

While every card in the game can be valuable and help you win, not every card will have equal value over the course of the game thus there are separate Tier Lists for different phases of the game (opening buys, mid game, late game).  Furthermore, many cards are highly situational or valuable only in certain decks.  Please note that this is all the personal opinion of the authors, so don’t take anything in here as law.  🙂   We are always open to feedback, criticism, and discussion.

We rank each card into one of three tiers as follows:

  • Tier 1:  Strong value and/or agnostic to situation; beneficial in almost any deck; you almost always want to have it in your deck if you can
  • Tier 2:  Solid value and/or somewhat situational; may rely on ally ability triggers to be effective; generally a good buy if no Tier 1 card available
  • Tier 3:  Weak value and/or highly situational;  may need exactly the right game circumstances to be effective; best to avoid buying except in rare cases
  • Tier 4:  Poor value in nearly all situations;  buying this card will probably worsen your deck;  you’re probably making a mistake if you’re buying this card

Please note that our intent is not for cards in the same tier across cost brackets to be considered equivalent in value.  In general, cards in the next higher cost bracket have a value one tier higher.  For example, a Tier 2 card in the $3-5 cost bracket would have a value on par with a Tier 1 card in the $1-2 cost bracket.  Also, cards are listed within a cell by faction and cost;  the order of cards within a cell is not meant to imply anything about the value of the card relative to the others in the same tier and cost bracket.

($X) = Cost to buy card

[1] = Year 1 Promo/kickstarter card

[B] = Bases & Battleships expansion

[F] = Fleets & Fortresses expansion

[H] = Heroes expansion

[R] = Frontiers expansion

NEW CARDS IN BOLD


Opening Buys (Deck 1)**

I prioritize strong trade and scrapping cards for my opening buys, as well as bases that provide good long-term value.  Combat cards are generally only valuable at this stage for destroying opposing bases, or for all-out rush strategies when the trade row is combat-heavy.

**NOTE: The “Opening Buys” Tier List only ranks cards cost $1-5, which is the typical range of trade a player will have on their opening two turns. With the inclusion of Gambits and Events it may of course be possible, and advisable, to purchase cards that cost $6+ in Deck 1.

Updated 8/26/2019

$1-2

$3-5

Tier 1 – Must Buy

  • Cutter ($2)
  • Trade Bot ($1)
  • Patrol Bot [F] ($2)
  • War Elder [H] ($1)
  • High Priest Lyle [H] ($2)
  • Cargo Launch [F] ($1)
  • Cargo Craft [R] ($2)
  • Frontier Hawk [R] ($1)
  • Blob Miner [R] ($2)
  • Freighter ($4)
  • Starmarket [1] ($4)
  • Mobile Market [R] ($4)
  • Ion Station [R] ($5)
  • Ram ($3)
  • Blob Wheel ($3)
  • Nesting Ground [R] ($4)
  • Pulverizer [R] ($5)
  • Supply Bot ($3)
  • Fortress Oblivion [1] ($3)
  • Battle Mech ($5)
  • Enforcer Mech [R] ($5)
  • Repair Mech [R] ($4)
  • Imperial Trader [B] ($5)
  • Farm Ship [R] ($4)
  • Jamming Terminal [R] ($5)
  • Orbital Gun Platform [R] ($4)

Tier 2 – Good Buy

  • Explorer ($2)
  • Trade Raft [B] ($1)
  • Special Ops Director [H] ($1)
  • CEO Torres [H] ($2)
  • Missile Bot ($2)
  • Patrol Bot [F] ($2)
  • Builder Bot [R] ($1)
  • Integration Port [R] ($3)
  • Plasma Bot [R] ($2)
  • Blob Fighter ($1)
  • Trade Pod ($2)
  • Battle Pod ($2)
  • Ram Pilot [H] ($1)
  • Blob Overlord [H] ($2)
  • Stinger [R] ($1)
  • Admiral Rasmusson [H] ($2)
  • Embassy Yacht ($3)
  • Barter World ($4)
  • Trade Escort ($5)
  • Federation Cruiser [R] ($5)
  • Long Hauler [R] ($4)
  • Outland Station [R] ($3)
  • Blob Destroyer ($4)
  • Breeding Site [1] ($4)
  • Battle Screecher [1] ($4)
  • Burrower [R] ($3)
  • Crusher [R] ($3)
  • Moonwum Hatchling [R] ($4)
  • Patrol Mech ($4)
  • Stealth Needle ($4)
  • Border Fort [F] ($4)
  • Mega Mech [B] ($5)
  • Conversion Yard [R] ($5)
  • Destroyer Bot [R] ($3)
  • Space Station ($4)
  • War World ($5)
  • Captured Outpost [R] ($3)
  • Hammerhead [R] ($5)

Tier 3 – Meh Buy

  • Federation Shuttle ($1)
  • Frontier Runner [R] ($1)
  • Orbital Shuttle [R] ($2)
  • Defense Bot [B] ($2)
  • Corvette ($2)
  • Cunning Captain [H] ($1)
  • Spike Pod [F] ($1)
  • Trading Post ($3)
  • Customs Frigate [F] ($4)
  • Defense Center ($5)
  • Patrol Boat [R] ($3)
  • Trade Wheel [B] ($3)
  • The Hive ($5)
  • Battle Station ($3)
  • Mech World ($5)
  • Defense System [R] ($4)
  • Survey Ship ($3)
  • Imperial Frigate ($3)
  • Fighter Base [B] ($3)
  • Starbase Omega [1] ($4)
  • Battle Barge [1] ($4)
  • Light Cruiser [R] ($3)
Tier 4 – Don’t Buy
  • Imperial Fighter ($1)
  • Spike Cluster [R] ($2)
  • Merc Cruiser [1] ($3)

Mid Game (Deck 2-2.5)

I consider the mid game to be the period after the opening buys where there is still time for trade and scrapping to amortize, and both players have enough authority to survive through at least their opponent’s next shuffle and a full deck thereafter.  During the mid game, I tend to value cards that help buy $6-8 cards (but also have late game value), strong bases, and cards that sow the seeds for big rallies in the late game (card draws, top-decking, etc). But be careful… often the mid game doesn’t last very long!  If you’re not sure if you’re in the mid game or not, it’s usually best to play as if you’ve already progressed to the late game.

 Updated 8/26/2019

 

$1-2

$3-5

$6-8

Tier 1 – Must Buy

  • Cutter ($2)
  • Special Ops Director [H] ($1)
  • CEO Torres [H] ($2)
  • Cargo Craft [R] ($2)
  • Frontier Hawk [R] ($1)
  • Starmarket [1] ($4)
  • Long Hauler [R] ($4)
  • Blob Destroyer ($4)
  • Breeding Site [1] ($4)
  • Pulverizer [R] ($5)
  • Stealth Needle ($4)
  • Battle Mech ($5)
  • Enforcer Mech [R] ($5)
  • Recycling Station ($4)
  • War World ($5)
  • Imperial Trader [B] ($5)
  • Captured Outpost [R] ($3)
  • Farm Ship [R] ($4)
  • Central Office ($7)
  • Megahauler [1] ($7) 
  • Command Ship ($8)
  • Federation Battleship [R] ($7)
  • The Ark [1] ($7)
  • Brain World ($8)
  • Nanobot Swarm [R] ($8)
  • Reclamation Station [R] ($6)
  • Blob Alpha [R] ($6)
  • Imperial Flagship [R] ($8)

Tier 2 – Good Buy

  • Missile Bot ($2)
  • Defense Bot [B] ($2)
  • Patrol Bot [F] ($2)
  • War Elder [H] ($1)
  • High Priest Lyle [H] ($2)
  • Plasma Bot [R] ($2)
  • Blob Fighter ($1)
  • Battle Pod ($2)
  • Ram Pilot [H] ($1)
  • Blob Overlord [H] ($2)
  • Blob Miner [R] ($2)
  • Stinger [R] ($1)
  • Cargo Launch [F] ($1)
  • Corvette ($2)
  • Admiral Rasmusson [H] ($2)
  • Embassy Yacht ($3)
  • Barter World ($4)
  • Customs Frigate [F] ($4)
  • Defense Center ($5)
  • Trade Escort ($5)
  • Federation Cruiser [R] ($5)
  • Ion Station [R] ($5)
  • Mobile Market [R] ($4)
  • Outland Station [R] ($3)
  • Battle Station ($3)
  • Fortress Oblivion [1] ($3)
  • Patrol Mech ($4)
  • Border Fort [F] ($4)
  • Mega Mech [B] ($5)
  • Conversion Yard [R] ($5)
  • Defense System [R] ($4)
  • Destroyer Bot [R] ($3)
  • Repair Mech [R] ($4)
  • Ram ($3)
  • Blob Wheel ($3)
  • Battle Screecher [1] ($4)
  • The Hive ($5)
  • Burrower [R] ($3)
  • Crusher [R] ($3)
  • Nesting Ground [R] ($4)
  • Imperial Frigate ($3)
  • Space Station ($4)
  • Battle Barge [P] ($4)
  • Starbase Omega [1] ($4)
  • Hammerhead [R] ($5)
  • Jamming Terminal [R] ($5)
  • Light Cruiser [R] ($3)
  • Orbital Gun Platform [R] ($4)
  • Flagship ($6)
  • Port of Call ($6)
  • Construction Hauler [B] ($6)
  • Transit Nexus [R] ($8)
  • Battle Blob ($6)
  • Obliterator [B] ($6)
  • Mothership ($7)
  • Blob World ($8)
  • Hive Queen [R] ($7)
  • Infested Moon [R] ($6)
  • Swarm Cluster [R] ($8)
  • Missile Mech ($6)
  • Machine Base ($7)
  • Neural Nexus [R] ($7)
  • Battlecruiser ($6)
  • Dreadnaught ($7)
  • Star Fortress [F] ($7)
  • Siege Fortress [R] ($7)

Tier 3 – Meh Buy

  • Explorer ($2)
  • Trade Raft [B] ($1)
  • Trade Bot ($1)
  • Builder Bot [R] ($1)
  • Spike Pod [F] ($1)
  • Trade Pod ($2)
  • Spike Cluster [R] ($2)
  • Imperial Fighter ($1)
  • Merc Cruiser [1] ($3)
  • Trading Post ($3)
  • Freighter ($4)
  • Patrol Boat [R] ($3)
  • Supply Bot ($3)
  • Integration Port [R] ($3)
  • Trade Wheel [B] ($3)
  • Moonwum Hatchling [R] ($4)
  • Survey Ship ($3)
  • Fighter Base [B] ($3)
  • Capitol World [F] ($8)
  • Blob Carrier ($6)
  • Death World [F] ($7)
  • Royal Redoubt ($6)
  • Warpgate Cruiser [R] ($6)
  • Gateship [R] ($6)

Tier 4 – Don’t Buy

  • Federation Shuttle ($1)
  • Frontier Runner [R] ($1)
  • Orbital Shuttle [R] ($2)
  • Junkyard ($6)
  • Fleet HQ ($8)

Late Game (Decks 4+ or Authority < 30)

I consider the late game to be the point at which trade and scrapping no longer have enough time to provide value, and/or one or both players do not have enough authority to survive the next full play through of their opponent’s deck.  During the late game, I tend to value cards that provide maximum combat in as few cards as possible and help fuel big rallies via card draws.

Updated 8/26/2019

$1-2

$3-5

$6-8

Tier 1 – Must Buy

  • Special Ops Director [H] ($1)
  • CEO Torres [H] ($2)
  • Ram Pilot [H] ($1)
  • Blob Overlord [H] ($2)
  • Admiral Rasmusson [H] ($2)
  • Blob Destroyer ($4)
  • Breeding Site [1] ($4)
  • Pulverizer [R] ($5)
  • Stealth Needle ($4)
  • Mega Mech [B] ($5)
  • Enforcer Mech [R] ($5)
  • Imperial Frigate ($3)
  • Recycling Station ($4)
  • War World ($5)
  • Captured Outpost [R] ($3)
  • Hammerhead [R] ($5)
  • Flagship ($6)
  • Command Ship ($8)
  • Federation Battleship [R] ($7)
  • Missile Mech ($6)
  • The Ark [1] ($7)
  • Brain World ($8)
  • Nanobot Swarm [R] ($8)
  • Reclamation Station [R] ($6)
  • Battle Blob ($6)
  • Obliterator [B] ($6)
  • Mothership ($7)
  • Blob Alpha [R] ($6)
  • Hive Queen [R] ($7)
  • Battlecruiser ($6)
  • Dreadnaught ($7)
  • Imperial Flagship [R] ($8)

Tier 2 – Good Buy

  • Battle Pod ($2)
  • Blob Fighter ($1)
  • Corvette ($2)
  • Frontier Hawk [R] ($1)
  • Barter World ($4)
  • Customs Frigate [F] ($4)
  • Defense Center ($5)
  • Trade Escort ($5)
  • Federation Cruiser [R] ($5)
  • Long Hauler [R] ($4)
  • Mobile Market [R] ($4)
  • Outland Station [R] ($3)
  • Battle Mech ($5)
  • Battle Station ($3)
  • Conversion Yard [R] ($5)
  • Defense System [R] ($4)
  • The Hive ($5)
  • Burrower [R] ($3)
  • Battle Barge [1] ($4)
  • Starbase Omega [1] ($4)
  • Imperial Trader [B] ($5)
  • Farm Ship [R] ($4)
  • Light Cruiser [R] ($3)
  • Central Office ($7)
  • Megahauler [1] ($7)
  • Capitol World [F] ($8)
  • Death World [F] ($7)
  • Blob World ($8)
  • Infested Moon [R] ($6)
  • Swarm Cluster [R] ($8)
  • Star Fortress [F] ($7)
  • Siege Fortress [R] ($7)
  • Neural Nexus [R] ($7)

Tier 3 – Meh Buy

  • Cutter ($2)
  • Missile Bot ($2)
  • Defense Bot [B] ($2)
  • Patrol Bot [F] ($2)
  • War Elder [H] ($1)
  • High Priest Lyle [H] ($2)
  • Plasma Bot [R] ($2)
  • Spike Pod [F] ($1)
  • Blob Miner [R] ($2)
  • Stinger [R] ($1)
  • Cargo Launch [F] ($1)
  • Imperial Fighter ($1)
  • Cargo Craft [R] ($2)
  • Merc Cruiser [1] ($3)
  • Embassy Yacht ($3)
  • Trading Post ($3)
  • Starmarket [1] ($4)
  • Ion Station [R] ($5)
  • Patrol Boat [R] ($3)
  • Patrol Mech ($4)
  • Border Fort [F] ($4)
  • Destroyer Bot [R] ($3)
  • Repair Mech [R] ($4)
  • Ram ($3)
  • Battle Screecher [1] ($4)
  • Crusher [R] ($3)
  • Moonwum Hatchling [R] ($4)
  • Nesting Ground [R] ($4)
  • Survey Ship ($3)
  • Fighter Base [B] ($3)
  • Space Station ($4)
  • Jamming Terminal [R] ($5)
  • Orbital Gun Platform [R] ($4)
  • Port of Call ($6)
  • Gateship [R] ($6)
  • Transit Nexus [R] ($8)
  • Machine Base ($7)
  • Blob Carrier ($6)
  • Royal Redoubt ($6)
  • Warpgate Cruiser [R] ($6)

Tier 4 – Don’t Buy

  • Explorer ($2)
  • Federation Shuttle ($1)
  • Trade Raft [B] ($1)
  • Frontier Runner [R] ($1)
  • Orbital Shuttle [R] ($2)
  • Trade Bot ($1)
  • Builder Bot [R] ($1)
  • Trade Pod ($2)
  • Spike Cluster [R] ($2)
  • Freighter ($4)
  • Supply Bot ($3)
  • Fortress Oblivion [1] ($3)
  • Integration Port [R] ($3)
  • Blob Wheel ($3)
  • Trade Wheel [B] ($3)
  • Junkyard ($6)
  • Fleet HQ ($8)

3 thoughts on “Star Realms Card Tier Lists (incl Frontiers)

  1. Pingback: Star Realms Card Tier Lists UPDATED (added Y2 Promos & Untied Heroes) | Star Realms Strategy!

  2. Pingback: Star Realms Card Tier List COMPLETE! (added Colony Wars) | Star Realms Strategy!

  3. Pingback: Star Realms Card Tier List UPDATE! (added Stellar Allies) | Star Realms Strategy!

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