by Rick DeMille aka Darklighter
Why a 2nd Edition?
I wrote an article for the Megahaulin blog in 2015 about strategy considerations surrounding the reshuffle in Star Realms. “The ‘reshuffle’ in Star Realms,” I wrote, “produces some unique strategy considerations, particularly in the on-line game where you must play all cards in your hand.”
Following the Colony Wars update to the Star Realms app, you no longer had to play all cards in your hand, which is consistent with the physical game rules. You now have the option to “End Turn” before playing all your cards.
So, while many of the principles in my 2015 article are still relevant, other parts of that article no longer apply.
Finally, after hundreds of requests – mostly from myself – I updated this article given that the app no longer forces you to play all your cards.
The “reshuffle” in Star Realms produces some unique strategy considerations, particularly when you will reshuffle mid-turn.
For example, playing a draw card (e.g., Corvette) when your draw pile is empty will cause your deck to reshuffle during your turn. Any cards in your current hand will not be included in that reshuffled deck. Instead, the cards in your current hand will sit in your discard pile until the next time your deck reshuffles. In other words, when you reshuffle during your turn, the cards in your hand are essentially “lost” for one deck; you will have to wait until your deck reshuffles again to have access to those cards.
This can be good when you are “losing” starter cards for one deck; for one deck those starter cards aren’t diluting your deck. But this can be a bad thing when “losing” stronger cards. Let me set the stage with two examples.