Tag Archives: HomerJr

Star Realms Card Tier List COMPLETE! (added Frontiers Promos)

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr and Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 9/23/2020] 

With Frontiers Promos being released in the digital app, we have updated the card tier list to include the cards from Frontiers Promos.

For a more detailed discussion of each card, and sortable lists, check out the Card Tier App, which can be accessed HERE.

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Star Realms Card Tier List (added Stellar Allies)

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

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr and Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 12/3/2019] 

With the release of Stellar Allies to the digital app on Dec. 4, 2019; we have updated the card tier list to include the cards from Stellar Allies.

The quick access card tier “app” as also been updated.  That “app” can be accessed here.

This update includes one set:

  • Stellar Allies (“L”)

Previous Updates:

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the cards introduced with the Stellar Allies expansion.

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Star Realms Card Tier List (added Colony Wars)

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

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr and Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 11/6/2019] 

FINAL UPDATE! [until the next one] 

With this update the Card Tier List includes all expansions available in the digital app as of Nov. 2019 (except Events, Gambits, Missions).  We will add new sets to the Card Tier List as they are released to the digital app.

This update includes one sets:

  • Colony Wars (“W”) by original Tier List author HomerJr

Previous Updates:

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the cards introduced with the Colony Wars expansion.

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Star Realms Card Tier Lists (added Y2 Promos & Untied Heroes)

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

-Original by Scott Heise aka HomerJr
-Recent additions by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 10/30/2019] 

This update includes two sets:

  • Year 2 Promos (“2”)
  • United Heroes (“U”)

Previous Updates:

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the new cards introduced in the Year 2 Promos & United Heroes expansions.

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Star Realms Card Tier Lists (added Command and Assault)

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

-Original by Scott Heise aka HomerJr
-Frontiers, Command, & Assault content by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter

[Updated 9/20/2019] 

This update includes the first two multi-faction sets:

  • United Command
  • United Assault

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the new cards introduced in the Command and Assault expansions.

(If you want to skip to the update Tier Lists, they’re in the chart below)

Command (“K”) and Assault (“A”) Ships and Bases:

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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

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Star Realms Card Tier Lists UPDATED (incl B&B, F&F, Heroes expansions)

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

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr

[Updated 1/21/2017] 

A lot has happened since I originally wrote this card tier ranking almost a year and a half ago. Not only have four new expansions containing 16 new ships/bases been released (B&B, Heroes, and F&F), but I played about 5500 more games in that span.  Both of these demand a lot of discussion and necessitate an update to my Tier Lists, so let’s get into it!

Before we get to the updated card tier lists, let’s talk quickly about the new cards introduced in the B&B, F&F, and Heroes expansions.  I think these cards are still new enough to many players that it’s worth going into each card in a little detail.

(If you want to skip to the update Tier Lists, they’re down below with my original ranking concept description.)

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And Now for Something Completely Empirical: Opening Hands and Buys

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr

As fun as it is to debate Star Realms strategy, theory craft factions, and run countless simulations, sometimes there is no substitute for real-world empiricism.  As much as I love playing the Star Realms app (and I do LOVE playing the app), one disappointment is I have is that there there is a gold mine of hundreds or thousands of games worth of data out there with no way to get at it:  which cards do you buy, how many  times have you played each card, opening hand distributions, opening buys, number of turns, number of cards scrapped, bases destroyed, faction preferences, etc.   This kind of post-game summary data is just begging to be mined for correlations to win rate for both the individual player and the entire player community.

Unfortunately, currently the only way to get this kind of data is to keep track of it yourself using a spreadsheet or other tool, which can be quite laborious and difficult to keep error free over a large games .  Nevertheless, my thirst for some kind of empirical data to sink my teeth into drove me to look for an opportunity to collect some meaningful real world data.  Luckily, I was recently a proud participant of the Star Realms Pan-Galactic League s#1 and #2, founded by Remy aka Aweberman and generously run by Brendan aka Carnie. Given the league’s closed player pool, locked league format, and relatively large number of games, what better opportunity would I have to gather some data? 

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The Pace of the Game, Part 2: The Tortoise, the Hare and the Missile Bot

 by Scott Heise aka HomerJr

Star Realms is a race.  To win the race, you need to  build a deck that can reduce your opponent’s authority down to 0 in fewer turns than your opponent can yours.  It doesn’t mean building the biggest, baddest deck.  Nor does mean collecting all of the cards of one faction.  It means finding the quickest way to accumulate 50 damage to your opponent’s authority (the finish line), while also slowing down his rate of damage accumulation if necessary.

In Part 1, “A Game of Four and a Half Decks”, we explored how the average “race” lasts for 25-turns (13 player hands) and the concept of “decks”.  Now we’ll dive deeper into the different ways you can run the race… specifically, is it better to be the Tortoise or the Hare or something in between?  Which strategy accumulates combat in the fewest number of turns?  I assert that both the Tortoise and the Hare are capable of winning races, so knowing how they run a race is important to knowing which will be the winning strategy in a given game.

First, let’s define what I mean by “Tortoise” and “Hare” strategies in Star Realms.  Then, we’ll try running a couple races and see who wins. 🙂

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The Pace of the Game, Part 1: A Game of Four and a Half Decks

by Scott Heise aka HomerJr

The average game of Star Realms lasts 25 turns.  That means each player only gets 12 hands on average with which to reduce their opponent’s authority to zero.  With so few precious turns, it is therefore very important to make the most of each and every hand.  More importantly, these 12-14 hands per player are distributed among the “decks” formed by each reshuffle and each card in your deck can only be played once per shuffle.  Understanding how these decks affect the pace of the game, and thus your decision making, is one of the keys to becoming an advanced player.

Let’s break down a “typical” 25-turn game, and discuss how it should affect your strategy…

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