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Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle» Forums » Strategy

Subject: What are your 'Do-Not-Buy' cards so far? rss

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Moo Cow
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My son and I just beat Game 2 fairly easily - we lost it the other night with 4 players, but smoked it with 2. It actually seems easier with two because your deck gets better faster. 4 seems to slow it down because you're taking more turns with weaker decks. Instead of two decks getting the good cards, you're going through 4 turns so it feels like it takes a lot longer to get going.

Anyway - so far I see absolutely no reason to ever buy Wingardium LeviOsa.

Where I am in the game, there is no way to remove cards from your deck - and adding more cards to your deck that simply give you a single coin seems like a terrible, terrible idea to me. Even with the ability on the card, it's just a really, really bad card to me. When I only have two coins, I just waste them instead of adding this garbage to my deck. I'm not even sure why they printed the card. I feel like they could have at least made a more useful card out of it. I don't think a game like this should be printed with cards that are never good to buy; they should always have some use in the game. But right now, I cannot see any use to it. Perhaps later there's a way to remove cards from your deck, in which case maybe adding one or two of these isn't too bad for the effect? I don't know.

Anyone else have cards that so far are absolute skip-overs? Or maybe you disagree with Wingardium Leviosa?
 
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jas kent
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There's a good reason for this card. Especially with two players, as you noticed it plays faster, you get to play your hand just one turn away.

If you see an item for sale that is a real good (might even be able to win the game with it), you can play WL, and guarantee that you can get the winning card in your new 5 card hand to play next turn. Not two or three turns away.

Since it costs two, just getting it into your hand, your ROI is just two plays, then it is no less then alhohamora, but can guarantee you get to play a new item immediately. Especially if your characters bonus would get activated by it.

For example: We just finished (about ten minutes ago) a game where I used it to get molly into my hand, playing as neville. Played molly immediately on my next turn, and saved everyone from getting stunned on their next set of turns, ending up with the winning moves to follow in just a few turns, where we would have lost the location otherwise, causing us to expose a location with two dark arts cards per turn. Completely different game because of that bad card that is "never good to buy".

Just my two cents.
Jason
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Jason Webster
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jaxjason wrote:
There's a good reason for this card. Especially with two players, as you noticed it plays faster, you get to play your hand just one turn away.

If you see an item for sale that is a real good (might even be able to win the game with it), you can play WL, and guarantee that you can get the winning card in your new 5 card hand to play next turn. Not two or three turns away.

Since it costs two, just getting it into your hand, your ROI is just two plays, then it is no less then alhohamora, but can guarantee you get to play a new item immediately. Especially if your characters bonus would get activated by it.

For example: We just finished (about ten minutes ago) a game where I used it to get molly into my hand, playing as neville. Played molly immediately on my next turn, and saved everyone from getting stunned on their next set of turns, ending up with the winning moves to follow in just a few turns, where we would have lost the location otherwise, causing us to expose a location with two dark arts cards per turn. Completely different game because of that bad card that is "never good to buy".

Just my two cents.
Jason


Are you saying you used Wingardium Leviosa to put Molly Weasley on top of your draw pile when you bought her? That would be an illegal move since WL only works for Item cards and Molly Weasley is an ally card. You would need the sorting hat to have put Molly Weasley on top of your draw deck.
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jas kent
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You're right, thanks for the catch, we did it right in the game. (My 10 yo keeps us honest and catches when we make a mistake)

I got the two confused, I used both during the game. using the hat for ally's and the WL for the items (butterbeer I think I got).
That was my strategy, have a few of those types cards (get two coins, and move acquired zzz to top of deck) along with some general coin cards to start out.

That way I kept healing everyone as fast as I could, grabbing anything that could give a heart and kick of nevilles skill. By getting a few heart cards extra and those "Put zzz on top of draw deck instead of discard", we kept it up nice almost every turn later on, I was able to heal them enough to counter dementors.

If nothing is for sale, they still generate coins, easily making up for the spend after just a few turns.

Point being... that type of card, "get coins and place acquired item/spell/ally on top of draw deck instead of discard" definitely has a place in the game when played by certain characters and situations.

Thanks for correcting that
Jason
 
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GodRob
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You can even use the card in the middle of your turn to place a bought Item on top of your deck, then play a Draw card to put it into your hand. You get to use it the same turn you bought it!

I usually play four player solitaire and Hermione never passes up Wingardium Leviosa because it feeds her "play four spells per turn" ability as well as giving her the option of buying and possibly using an Item on the same turn. Lumos and Reparo are great cards for her too. The more spells in her deck the better, no matter how cheap and useless they may seem.

Personally, I think all of the cards are useful.
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Moo Cow
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Yeah - you guys do have a point.

However, I'm early in the game: going to play 3 next, and so far I've always wished I'd just drawn another card instead. I have to draw it and find any real use for it to this point. Perhaps as the game gets harder the need for doing this will pop up.
 
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David Jones
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I'm not a fan of Leviosa. Nobody buys coppers in Dominion and the ability to top deck isn't useful enough to justify reducing the overall attack capacity of your deck. (If it were any card, maybe, but the item restriction means you only use it half the time.) When you get into later years, you will have other ways of generating card draw that do a much better job of cycling cards through your deck than Leviosa. Similarly, in year seven you will get to a point in the game where you have a finely tuned deck and you don't want to be buying cards. So Leviosa is not only giving you an ability you don't need, but a coin that you don't want.

You can actually prove the Lockhart is a hindrance. Build any five card deck you want - I don't care what it is. On a normal turn, you would put all five of those cards in your hand. Now put Lockhart on top of that same deck. You have four cards plus Lockhart. You play Lockhard which means you draw and discard. You still only have four cards in your hand, one card less than you would have if Lockhart weren't on top of your deck. He should never be bought. Never Ever. Even the super special abilities that give you bonuses for playing allies are not good enough compensation for shorting yourself a card. He looks good, but if you dig deep down and look at what he really does for you, he's a hindrance. (How thematically appropriate....)

I tend to avoid Chocolate Frogs. In my strategy guide, I do a bit of math and basically prove that one attack token is more valuable that a gain of two health. Frogs are only worth one health which makes them half as effective as the ally in your starting deck. I don't think the coin is strong enough compensation. I'll put them in Neville's deck because his ability actually makes them useful, but otherwise I'm happy to let them sit and go stale in the wrapping.

Polyjuice potion is highly situational. I wouldn't say that is on my "never buy" list, but you do need to have a sufficiently dense concentration of allies for it to be useful. (Case in point, if this is the only other card in your starting deck, there is a greater than 50% chance the four other cards you have are not an ally. You've wasted a card.) There is also something that happens in a later year that triggers when you've played two allies. Polyjuice doesn't count as an ally even though it duplicates the effect of one, so you have to ask yourself if diluting an ally heavy deck with an item is a valuable enough tradeoff. (I'm not saying it isn't, but it is a situational evaluation.)

I am not a big fan of O.W.L.s or Arthur Weasley. As mentioned above, you will eventually get to a point in the game where buying cards can make your deck weaker. A two money card sounds good, but it gets in the way of you being able to attack or heal. I would probably buy these if they came up within the first ten rounds of a game or if you didn't bring Hermione or Charms with you, but otherwise you'll hopefully have other things going that will boost your income.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Moo Cow wrote:
Anyway - so far I see absolutely no reason to ever buy Wingardium LeviOsa.

We've played up to game #3. I have bought them at times, but I'm to the point where the only reason I'll buy one now is to try to unclog the market.

If there were a character who specialized in items, it might become more useful for them. Or, as suggested, if it worked for any type of card.

davypi's post sound pretty sensible to me, although I'm not familiar with parts of the game it mentions yet.
 
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B C Z
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robertg611 wrote:
You can even use the card in the middle of your turn to place a bought Item on top of your deck, then play a Draw card to put it into your hand. You get to use it the same turn you bought it!


This is the reason why we have whomever is ending up with most of the 'draw cards during your turn' cards purchase Wingardium.

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Michael Kefauver
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Lockhart does have a good use; any card that has a discard ability is useful for him, like protego. Helps cycle through your deck faster, but he's only good (rather than bad/meh) in a deck that has a lot of discard effects (crystal ball becomes draw two, discard 1, draw 1 with Lockhart, Protego has the same effect if discarded as if played, etc).

In a deck without any discard effects I'd skip him every time, though.

I skip any card that gives me 1 dollar and not much else (wingardium comes to mind) as well as most cards like finite (as they can be effectively blank if drawn at a bad time). I also tend to shy away from cards that just heal 1 person (Essence of whatever-it-is) since all it does it keep you treading water, if even that. Molly Weasley is far more worth it, particularly for the Ally keyword.
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@TheRustyMeeple
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Not a big fan of the "dice cards". They seem very limited and while I like chucking dice as much as the next guy, they pay out little and are random to boot.

Some cards are better for some characters for sure... Mad Eye for Harry, spells for Hermione and healing for Neville. But much depends on the villain. We steer clear of 'draw cards' when facing a basilisk, etc.
 
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David Jones
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Nessmk2 wrote:
Lockhart does have a good use; any card that has a discard ability is useful for him, like protego.


This is still wrong. If I didn't have Lockhart in my deck, I would have drawn five cards including Protego and played all five cards normally. With Lockhart, I'm only playing four cards and getting the effect of Protego from the discard. I get the same five effects either way. Lockhart hasn't added anything. I can think of two cards where Lockhart's discard ability is worth more than playing the card normally. The benefit you gain from those two cards is not worth the cost of losing a card all the other times he appears in your hand.

Quote:
Helps cycle through your deck faster


No, he doesn't. Go back to the example of the five card deck vs the six card deck above. You've cycled your deck in the same number of turns. If it were draw two then discard one, I would agree with you, but he doesn't, so I don't.

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I skip ... finite (as they can be effectively blank if drawn at a bad time).


Not having a control token to remove is a problem I'm happy to have. Control tokens are your game timer and pushing that timer back is one of the best effects in the game. (Unless I'm thinking of the wrong spell.)

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I also tend to shy away from cards that just heal 1 person (Essence of whatever-it-is)


Depends on your setup. Three healing is generally worth more than one attack so its a good card for Neville. I'm also guessing that you not gotten to year six because something changes. Dittany is powerful card with the right setup.

joelstout wrote:
Not a big fan of the "dice cards". They pay out little


You need to get used to using them. There is something else in the game you obviously haven't gotten to yet (and I won't spoil it). I'm also confused by the payout comment. Most cards that give you a die roll give you another effect as well, so you are getting more than just a die roll. Hogwarts: A History is the only exception to this, but its advantage is that you get to choose the die. Since the reward goes to the whole team, not just the die roller, the payout tends to be pretty good. In a two player game I can agree that maybe you get short changed, but in three player game, what other card gives you three attack or three healing for only four influence? I agree that Molly is better than a die roll, but Molly is also more expensive. On a cost basis, die roll cards tend to have better than average returns. I thought they felt a bit gimmicky when I first played the year four box, but now that I'm deeper into the game, I see their value.
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@TheRustyMeeple
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Thanks for pointing out the dice cards give to all. I was in such a hurry to try out the next episode, I skipped the back page. They are definitely more appealing now...
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GodRob
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When I said "all of the cards are useful", I may have forgotten about Lockhart.

Nevertheless, I'll have Ron buy him. He's good with Allies, even useless ones.
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Moo Cow
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robertg611 wrote:
When I said "all of the cards are useful", I may have forgotten about Lockhart.


I just shake my head when his card comes up. Oy Vey.
 
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Doug Funk

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joelstout wrote:
Not a big fan of the "dice cards". They seem very limited and while I like chucking dice as much as the next guy, they pay out little and are random to boot.

Some cards are better for some characters for sure... Mad Eye for Harry, spells for Hermione and healing for Neville. But much depends on the villain. We steer clear of 'draw cards' when facing a basilisk, etc.


You will see later that these cards are absolutely necessary to beat the game. They are especially useful when there are 4 people playing, not so great when 2 people are playing.

And to answer the OP, I've found that buying all cards possible has allowed more cards to be brought into the game. My original strategy of not watering down the deck has backfired. The more cards you purchase the better. Allows for Item+Ally+Spell combos and allows you to have a discard pile to search through on some Villian rewards.
 
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Doug Funk

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Moo Cow wrote:
robertg611 wrote:
When I said "all of the cards are useful", I may have forgotten about Lockhart.


I just shake my head when his card comes up. Oy Vey.


We actually buy him, he's useful for triggering cards that say " if this card is discarded you still get XXX". If you leave him on the board you're blocking better cards from coming down.
 
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Gregory Baker
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robertg611 wrote:
When I said "all of the cards are useful", I may have forgotten about Lockhart.

Nevertheless, I'll have Ron buy him. He's good with Allies, even useless ones.


Isn't it thematically appropriate for Lockhart to be useless?
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David Jones
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dougfunk wrote:
We actually buy him, he's useful for triggering cards that say " if this card is discarded you still get XXX".


I still don't think discard effect happen often enough that you can guarantee his usefulness. I will backpedal on this slightly now that Andrew has clarified that discard effects trigger when used with proficiencies and Horcruxes. If you have an ability that guarantees you can discard Lockhart whenever you pull him, then he does become a good purchase. But without this, I still maintain that he is a hindrance.

I have similarly come around on my thinking with Chocolate Frogs. If you have an ability that guarantees a discard, they let you gain something rather than waste a card. But I would still avoid them without this kind of guarantee.

Quote:
If you leave him on the board you're blocking better cards from coming down.


This arguement is not good enough. There are five other cards on the board you can buy to unblock Hogwarts and all of them are better than Lockhart.
 
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Eric Phillips
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davypi wrote:
If you have an ability that guarantees you can discard Lockhart whenever you pull him, then he does become a good purchase. But without this, I still maintain that he is a hindrance.

I have similarly come around on my thinking with Chocolate Frogs. If you have an ability that guarantees a discard, they let you gain something rather than waste a card. But I would still avoid them without this kind of guarantee.


Game 5 spoiler
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Are you hinting at Game 5 Voldemort without coming out and saying it because of spoilers? Because Lockhart is a pretty rock solid card in Game 5 mid-late due to the guarantee that he'll be discarded


I'd also like to know the probability of having to discard a card due to DAs cards in various games because I think Lockhart could be good when you start hitting the double dark arts cards locations due to a near guarantee of discard in 4 player games.

That combined with the damage from Bernie Botts I think makes him better than letting the influence go to waste (assuming you can't buy anything else).
 
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David Jones
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Pinewood74 wrote:
Game 5 spoiler...


I don't play the game at year five anymore, so I don't remember what that ability is off the top of my head. I would not put the anchor of Lockhart into my deck at the start of a game just so that it will pay out once or twice during the endgame. If he appeared in late midgame or endgame, then maybe you have case. I mentioned the two specific instances for which a player can have a guaranteed discards every turn (Proficiencies and Horcruxes).

Quote:
I'd also like to know the probability of having to discard a card due to DAs cards in various games...


These are the stats for the year seven DA deck that are in my strategy guide. I won't claim them to be highly accurate as you cannot predict the outcome of cards like Heir of Slytherine, Relashio, or Obliviate. But for a back of the envelope calculation its good enough:

Quick stats about the full DA deck: There are 41 cards, 9 that force another pull, so it really only takes 32 turns to cycle the DA deck. The full deck damages the active hero 34 times and all players 22 times, meaning the expected amount of damage per card is 1 + 0.69 per player. The probability of a control drop is 32% per turn and the odds you will discard a card are 15% per turn.

(For clarification, when I say "per turn" I am talking about location one where you flip only one card. The odds of control drop and discard are based on a 32 turn cycle. When you get to location two, the 32%/15% odds change to 54%/28%)

So going back to Lockhart, even when you are drawing two DA cards, Lockhart is lowering the card count in your hand 2.5 times more often than you are getting the benefit of his discard effect. Unless you've got something else to increase these odds, he hurts more often than he helps.

Quote:
That combined with the damage from Bernie Botts I think makes him better than letting the influence go to waste (assuming you can't buy anything else).


I still don't buy into this. Given all the evidence above of how often he costs you the play of a card, the idea that sometimes he might give one player an extra attack just isn't good enough. The calculations on this get tricky because Lockhart's ability admittedly increases the chances of drawing BB, as does the presences of Charms and Herbology. But I've done enough math to argue my side of the point and the amount of actual math I have gotten in rebuttal has been zero. I've also mentioned in other threads on BGG that I'm not a fan of the Bernie Bott's strategy, so its hard to go along with this as a benefit if you aren't building your deck that way in the first place.
 
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Eric Phillips
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Quote:
I would not put the anchor of Lockhart into my deck at the start of a game just so that it will pay out once or twice during the endgame.


Agreed. That's specifically why I said mid-late game in my post.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
And it's a guarantee as that Voldemort forces the active player to discard a card. Unless you have two Petrificus Totalus's you're going to get use out of Lockhart


Went and looked at the DA cards for Game 7, and there are only 3 cards that make you discard an ally/any card (Poison + 2 Flippendos), so I would agree that Lockhart pretty much sucks unless you pick up a
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Horcrux
or several cards in the "Divination family," those being the ones that allow you to draw X cards and discard Y cards. Like Crystal Balls and Professor Trelawney.
 
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Eric Phillips
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For a two player game, a card I see little benefit in is the Petrficius Totalus. Ignoring a villain's ability for only one turn (plus a damage) just isn't worth 6 influence. There's a lot of better cards that you can get.

There might be some limited situations that it will benefit: if you and/or your ally has a lot of healing cards and Greyback is out, Hermione could "top-deck" it with Time-Turner and draw it immediately with another card so that you can get two turns of solid healing.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
A similar thing could be done with Barty Crouch to play Nagini


But other than situations like that, I spend my influence on other cards in a two player game.
 
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Aaron Cabe
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While Lockhart is a limited card (you can only expect so much for 2 coins), he does have his uses. Although there are relatively few Dark Arts events that cause you to discard cards, the combination of other causes, including Hogwarts cards, proficiencies, villain abilities (Tom Riddle especially), and even getting stunned (in certain cases) means that in the right deck there will often be an opportunity to discard during your turn. Whenever I have a deck with Lockhart or Chocolate Frogs, I probably end up discarding them around 80% of the turns they are in my hand, sometimes more.

I've found it is often useful to have a small amount of "throwaway" cards in most decks--cards you wouldn't mind discarding or even benefit from discarding. Normally these take the form of Alohamora's in mid and late game, but the cards mentioned above can work well too, especially if there's a major item on the board that you need those extra one or two coins to get. There have been instances where I had a great hand that was greatly reduced in effectiveness simply because I had to discard just one of the cards. Having a more "discardable" card instead allows me to maintain or increase my hand's effectiveness rather than decrease it.

I've come to agree that Petrificus Totalus is not quite worth it in 2 player games, unless using it against a villain allows you to use abilities wouldn't have been able to in that same turn (e.g. stunning Barty to remove location control).

Another one of my lesser favorites is Quidditch Gear, perhaps simply for the fact that there are too many of them and they can sometimes clog up the board. One attack and one life (that you can only use yourself) doesn't seem like much of payout in the mid and late games, especially because there are no abilities or cards that give benefits for playing multiple items like there are for spells and allies. Also, if you're already at full life, you're basically only getting one attack, which puts it at not much better than a starter card.
 
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Wilshire1701 wrote:
Another one of my lesser favorites is Quidditch Gear, perhaps simply for the fact that there are too many of them and they can sometimes clog up the board. One attack and one life (that you can only use yourself) doesn't seem like much of payout in the mid and late games, especially because there are no abilities or cards that give benefits for playing multiple items like there are for spells and allies. Also, if you're already at full life, you're basically only getting one attack, which puts it at not much better than a starter card.


I have mixed feelings about this. First, I don't really buy your "full health" argument. When you are playing at year seven, damange is constantly flying out of the DA deck. I would say that less an 1/3rd of my turns have a hero starting Step 3 at full health.

The other thing is that there actually is value in flooding Ron's deck with single attack items. Being able to consistently trigger his healing ability is a big help. A card that provides a single attack ultimately reduces the density of Aloharomas in your deck. Its not a bad item for Neville either as he gets an attack and two health out of it.

I have to admit that it is rarely my first choice of cards that I want to put in my deck and I usually do stop buying them during the last third of the game. But I don't think it deserves a place on the "Do Not Buy" list.
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