Green Cards & Consistency

"Sir, No Sir, I'm not joking. I'm looking at it right now. It's green. Yeah, that green..."


—Luna 2 Miner, More than Meets the Eye #14

First write-up: Jan 17, 2020

First introduced in Wave 2, green cards are our most reliable battle cards. Green icons turn our flips into pseudo, additional draws, and allow us to find our cards consistently, even without the need of playing an entire playsets of them. When they are part of our main deck plan, green cards will always end up in our hand, adding a level of reliability to our strategy that, without further assistance from our characters' abilities, non-green could hardly enable. (Bombing Run, our optics are on you). Besides, as side-boarding strategies become more and more decisive, we expect the relevance of green icons to increase even further, as they represent our most consistent options while choosing our answers.

In the following plots we will start quantifying these statements. Figure 1, acts as a baseline. It shows the average number of a specific green card that we find (i.e. either draw or swap for) within 10 of our turns (green bars), and compares it to the corresponding number we draw of a specific non-green card (orange bars). As 10 of our turns correspond to about 20 turns of the game, this time should be already longer than most of the actual games we play.

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

The same quantities are shown in Figure 2, this time including the effect of a variable number of white cards. In both cases, our deck, hand and discard pile are simulated and kept updated while we draw, attack and defend. Our discard pile is shuffled back into our deck when needed. We are also assuming that we're the first player, and that we always have a card available in hand that we swap with the green card that we flip.

An approximation is introduced by the assumption that we attack as often as we defend, and in future versions of these notes we might show the effect of asymmetric teams and extra attacks on the wheel turn. (An example familiar to Metroplex players will help clarify what we mean. As dangerous as they can get, all the attacks Metroplex is receiving during the first wheel turn are also proving him with a Backup Beam.)

As a final, technical note, all quantities shown in these figures are averages aver 100'000 simulations of their corresponding scenario.

We can summarize the most relevant features shown in these charts as follows:


  • With an average of 1 copy drawn in 10 turns, we're far from certain to draw a non-green card, even if we play a full playset (Figure 1, 3rd panel.) On the contrary, a single copy of a green card is enough to give us similar chances (Figure 1, 1st panel). And, a full playset of a green card means that we will find that card almost every other turn, thanks to an average of 4 cards found in 10 turns.
  • Given this level of consistency, we have limited Figure 2 to just two copies of our green card, and shown how our chances are affected by the presence of white cards. Not surprisingly, we can cut the third copy of our green card without reducing (and sometimes increasing) our chances of finding it when our deck includes about 6-9 white cards.
  • Notice that the orange bars don't change as we increase the number of white cards in Figure 2. While white cards increase our chances of finding green cards, they don't help us find our other cards. We reshuffle our deck more often. But we don't increase our draws. We just increase our flips.

As more specific cases and parameters would start confusing our current picture, we'll save the charts corresponding to the inclusion of Bold, Though, and differences in team sizes for the next installations of these notes. As all these additional effects increase our chances of finding our green cards, we can use Figure 1 and 2 as our benchmark scenarios, and remember that we can increase our odds even further by using Bold, Tough or team size to our advantage.

External Links

WotC — What Are Green Battle Icons and How Do They Work?: Designer’s Cut (Official Facebook page)