A detailed breakdown of all the cards which have made it into my final decks in 1.3.5.
Full Card Tier List
Cards here are broken down into five tiers, as follows:
- S tier - It doesn't matter how many of these there are in your deck, or what your strategy is. You want more of these.
- A tier - Powerful for every deck, but you might not want more than two or three of them.
- B tier - Powerful in a specific kind of deck, but less impressive without support.
- C tier - Playable in most decks, but not that helpful. Use these if the balance of your deck is off and you're struggling to find enough offense/defense, but avoid otherwise.
- D tier - Actively makes your deck worse by playing these. Each of these cards is a Wound in disguise.
Note that this guide is not an exhaustive list of all cards in the game. The gallery in Last Evil only shows scenes, not cards, and this makes it difficult to see what's here and what's missing. I built this guide by using the play records of my previous runs, so if it doesn't show up here, it's because I haven't run into or tested with it yet.
Also, I'm too lazy to manually screenshot, edit and upload images for every single card, especially since the game is in active development, so this guide is going to be pretty text heavy. Sorry if that offends your sensibilities, but oh well. The card text is purposefully going to use the original text from the game, without any spelling or grammar corrections.
No guarantees that this remains updated beyond 1.3.5.
It doesn't matter how many of these there are in your deck, or what your strategy is. You want more of these.
- Amplify (1M: Gains 3 Power. Extinct.)
Amplify is great because every deck uses SOME attacks (see Chill below), even if it's not their main way to win. The upgraded version has a 0M cost, which is very important, and Extinct deletes the card from your deck after use, which means that if you aren't an attack-heavy deck, Amplify won't clog up your draws like Hatred can. You can have a whole bunch of these, and very quickly your deck will be much thinner and every attack spell you play will be that much more potent.
- Chill (0M: Deals 4 damage and inflict 1 Weaken to target.)
Chill is probably the best card in the game, and you get two in your starter deck. Two of these in a 12 card deck means you can keep one enemy permanently weakened at all times, and when you upgrade them you get two stacks per Chill, making it even better. I rarely end a run without three, four, or sometimes even five of these cards, and it's never a bad idea. The 0M cost makes them especially useful if you lack the 4th Mana from the talent trees, as it's a free bonus action and chunk of damage. That Weaken is a percentile-based effect means that its potency scales with the damage enemies deal, so it doesn't gradually become less useful like your default magic missiles and shields do.
- Double Penetration (1M: Gains 1 Double play. Extinct.)
This card is either extremely rare beyond what's normal for uniques or I'm just very unlucky in that I've only seen one of these once, but when you do, make sure you grab it. Doubling the next card you play is, at worst, an extra copy of the best card in your hand that turn, and at best it saves you Mana on top of that. I never got to upgrade this puppy but hoo, boy, when you do.
- Injury (1M: Deals 2 damage and inflict 4 Bleed to target.)
Time for some math on this one: If you play one Injury on a target, and do not Bleed them again so that all four stacks run out, this card deals a total of 2+4+3+2+1 damage, or 12, making it the most effective damage output in the game. Upgraded, it deals 17 damage, making it even better. This assumes that you apply no other sources of bleed, nor any Power boosts on the attack. This would be one of the better cards in the game even without the two damage hit. There are several enemies which start with purity shields to slow down your bleed buildup, and some that can gain more, but only one enemy in the game currently has a way of removing the bleed you've stacked onto them, one of the 2nd floor bosses, and by the time they cleanse themselves it's already too late for them to come back. No matter whether you're being an aggro powerhouse or a defensive turtle, this card is what brings the damage, and the more of them you buy, the better they get. This card should probably not be a common.
- Mana Stream (0M: Gains 1 Mana and draw 2 Spells. Extinct.)
Literally no downside. There is never a reason not to put these in your deck, and rarely a reason not to play it the first time you see it in your hand.
- Quick Shot (0M: Decreases target's HP by 1, and draw 1 Spells. Extinct.)
Firstly, a clarification: This card deals damage and scales with Power, despite the strange wording. Secondly, this is the only S tier card that is basically terrible. It ranks this highly because it is a free card that replaces itself, which makes it S tier by default thanks to the definition I provided. However, it depends on support cards to actually do anything besides replacing itself, and it deletes itself from your deck for no reason on top of that. Play Quick Shot if you got 'em, but the other S tier cards on this list are a good idea to buy every time you see them in the shop. Quick Shot is the maximum price for a card in the shop and has little to no impact in actual gameplay, which makes it generally a waste of Essence. This card is Extinct for no good reason.
Powerful for every deck, but you might not want more than two or three of them.
- Curse (1M: Inflict 3 Bleed and 2 Weaken to target.)
This card keeps your bleed stacks going and keeps your Weaken debuffs going if you lack upgraded Chills. It's like the debuff portions of the two best commons in the game, stapled together. It's not an attack and you only ever need so much Weaken, so there's an upper limit to how many you should be playing, but it's still a good card in general.
- Deterioration (1M: Every attacks cause 1 Bleed to target. Extinct.)
This card adds one stack to each of your Injuries, yes, but it also interacts with your multi-hit moves in the same way that Power does. Deterioration is not quite on the same level as Amplify, but it's still a very good permanent buff that converts all of your standard missiles and multi-hit attacks into Bleed stacks.
- Finger Play (3L: Gains Shield 7 and draw 2 Spells.)
Despite being a common, Finger Play is one of the best Lust cards out there. Drawing two spells without spending any Mana, plus some bonus Shield, means that you have more attacks to dump out all at once and the safety with which to do so. It's stopped from being S tier on account of the 3L cost, which makes it infeasible for many decks to have several copies of.
- Haste (1M: Gains Shield 6 and draw 1 Spells.)
Marginally better for shield than Mana Shield, but the added card draw gives you a chance to find Chills or any other 0 cost cards for increased action economy. Other cards can get you more shields and the +1 draw doesn't always change your plans, so while Haste is certainly an upgrade to your Mana Shields, I hesitate to promote it to S tier.
- Repulsive Power (2M: Gains 8 Shield and deals 8 damage to target.)
This spell is a missile and a shield, both upgraded, and slapped together as one card. It's a pretty good value for mana in general, but the 2 Mana cost makes your turn rather inflexible. These become much more playable after unlocking your 4th Mana from the talent tree.
- Sadism (1M: Deals 7 damage to target and draw 1 Spells.)
Similar to Haste, above, but it replaces Magic Missiles. Which is better depends on personal preference, but both are equivalent enough to be in the same tier.
- Stigma (0L: Gain 3 Shield each time target takes damage this turn.)
Stigma is uncommon, which is unfortunate, because it's very much essential if you want to forego Ice Walls and other big block cards in favor of damage. Even if you aren't stacked to the brim with multi-hit attacks, this is a free spell which nets you a little bit of extra defense, which makes it playable in everything, albeit not in large quantities. Stigma is busted when it's great, and still good when it isn't.
- Magic Arrow (1M: Deals 3 damage to target 3 times.)
Magic arrow is near twice as effective as a Magic Missile, and that's before Power factors into the equation. Over-reliance of these can screw you over against a certain enemy type in the second floor, but in general it's just really good damage for the cost.
- Mana Residue (0M: Deals 1 damage to target for the number of Spells used this turn. Power not affects this spell. Extinct.)
When you play the game for the first time, this is a card that does maybe 3-5 damage for 0 cost, twice that when upgraded, which isn't all that exciting or flashy. It is free damage, but you're already rocking Chills. You don't need it. Once you have 4 Mana to play with, and once you're seeing cards like Stigma or even Deterioration more often, Mana Residue becomes an undeniable powerhouse. The only reason this card doesn't make an unstoppable juggernaut of a deck is because it's Extinct.
- Wall of Ice (1M: Gains Shield 10 but gain 1 Weaken.)
The most shield you can get for 1M, but a downside that slightly decreases your damage output. If you only have one and play it last in the turn, the debuff will usually disappear without doing anything, but if you play multiple copies it does stack up. Since you often don't even need that much shield, Wall of Ice has an upper limit to how many you actually want in your deck.
Powerful in a specific kind of deck, but less impressive without support.
- Attraction (0L: Create 1 Estrus and shuffle it into the grave. Extinct.)
Arguably the best Lust generator, and especially useful with the Clitoris Piercing artifact, but unless you actually have something to spend the Lust on, it takes up a slot in your deck not once but twice.
- Concentration (2M: Deals 10 damage to target. Power affects this spell 4 times.)
Concentration deals a mere 5 damage per Mana, worse than your default missiles. It scales with power better than the uncommon Magic Arrow, sure, and it really shines when upgraded. However, Magic Arrow does 9 damage per Mana, not 5, and two Magic Arrows are the same cost and scale as much as an upgraded Concentration, but with roughly double the base damage. Concentration is only useful in power-heavy decks as a way to deal with Thorns or Rage, two fairly rare enemy effects which counter the multi-hit spells that are better cards otherwise.
- Defensive Posture (1M: Gains 2 Defensive. Extinct.)
Defensive Posture is a minor boost, but a frequently vital one. In the early stages of a fight in which enemies can gain Power, they often start very weak, which gives you free time to play cards like this. The boost to your own stats means that it takes longer and longer for the enemies to catch up to your number output. However, DP remains in B tier because you can't reduce its cost like you can with Amplify. It can 'save' you Mana in the long run by allowing you to play one defensive card where you would have needed two, but so can Ice Wall just by offering more Shield from the start. This spell is good for many decks, but it's not for every deck, and even when you want them, you don't want a lot of them.
- Drain Life (1L: Drain 2 HP.)
You get three of these by paying 12 MHP in the Necromancer staff event. It's worth doing sometimes, if you have Amplifies or other power boosts already and you have more Lust than you know what to do with. Otherwise, don't bother.
- Excessive Bleeding (2M: Target Bleed increase to twice. Extinct.)
This card is on the low end of B tier. That's not because the effect is bad, but because it's totally unnecessary, and unlike other bleed cards, it does nothing by itself.
- Hatred (0M: Gains 3 Morale.)
There are two kinds of deck in which Hatred really shines. The first is a power-centric deck with lots of multi-hit attacks, while the second is a big stack of draw spells and free cards, where Hatred turns your Chills and other small pokes into significantly more damage per turn. It's still just worse than Amplify, and the upgraded version doesn't add enough power to be worth upgrading, but if you don't want to spend a rest site upgrading Amplify for whatever reason, Hatred is free by default, so there's that aspect as well. however, because Hatred doesn't purge itself from your deck, too many can clutter up your hand, and you need to be playing more than one attack to get enough value to justify them.
- Heart Attack (1L: Deals 8 damage to target.)
Heart Attack is really good in decks without other Lust cards, since it's a free resource you aren't using otherwise, and even with no Lust generation whatsoever, it is very rare for you to draw this and not be able to play it. if you are using other, pricier Lust cards, Heart Attack can drain your resources quicker than you might expect, so keep that in mind.
- Ice Storm (2M: Deals 6 damage to random 3 target.)
This card has the same damage/mana ratio as Magic Arrow, and even has the same Power scaling, so why is this card B tier and not A tier? The problem is that this card damages random targets. In fights with only one opponent this isn't a problem, but it doesn't play well with multiple enemies if you're trying to focus fire on one of them, which you almost always are. It also has a drawback if using Temptation, because it can target (and deal no damage) to the enemy you're tempting.
- Infusion (1M: Draw 3 Spells.)
Infusion is great if you have cards which make extra Mana, a plethora of free spells, or a Lust subtheme which allows you to play cards without Mana. If you lack any of these things, Infusion can cycle through your deck faster but hurts your action economy.
- Rapid Missiles (3M: Deals 2 damage to target 5 times. Volatile.)
This card scales better with Power or Deterioration than anything, and combines really well with the always good Stigma. However, by itself, this card does 10 damage for 3 Mana, the actual worst conversion in the game, and is Volatile on top of that. In the right deck, this puppy can really shine, but it's not universally playable like Magic Arrow is.
- Scurvy (1M: At the end of each turn, inflict 2 Bleed to all enemies. Extinct.)
Most bleed cards are good because they stack with themselves each time you play them. Scurvy stacks with itself, but very slowly, as you can only play it once. This buff essentially inverts bleed, so the stack grows by 1/turn instead of shrinks, but you need other cards that create Bleed stacks in order to really take advantage of this card, and once you have those other, faster sources of Bleed, Scurvy gets less and less necessary. This may secretly sit closer to C tier, but I haven't decided yet.
- Tranquility (4L: Gains 2 Mana.)
With natural Lust generation, you can only play this card once every eight turns, assuming you spend lust on nothing else. However, what makes this card fringe playable is that you don't always actually need two extra Mana. Use this card in decks with Insight so you can make use of the extra draws, or give you a cushion with which to play your early buff cards alongside some shields. Just don't take this if your problem is that you have more mana than you do cards in hand as it is, which is an easy thing to do in this game.
- Weak Kness (1M: Gains 1 Defensive and inflict 2 Frail to all enemies. Extinct.)
The relevant bit is Defensive, and +1 Power when upgraded as well. Frail is a good way to clear a stack of Purity from all your enemies at once, but in my experience, the actual Frail debuff is an afterthought which does very little to convert into added damage, if you get anything out of it at all. The buffs you get from Weak Kness are minor, but not totally inconsequential. Spending Mana on them can make for some rocky starts, though, when you have to juggle keeping up your Shields with playing these cards that have little to no immediate value. the longer a fight goes, the more you get from these minor buffs.
It should be noted that in the current 1.3.5, as far as I can tell from my testing, this card is broken in that it will occasionally give more Defensive or Power than it was supposed to. I still don't know for sure what causes it, but as written, I maintain that the minor buffs belong in B tier. When it bugs out and gives you 2-3 each of Power and Defensive, well, then it becomes an A tier card.
- Yearning (0M: Gains 2 Lust. Extinct.)
Strictly better than Desire. Gets bumped up a tier because it doesn't cost you Mana. Still useless without good Lust cards to spend it on, and there aren't many of those.
Playable in most decks, but not that helpful. Use these if the balance of your deck is off and you're struggling to find enough offense/defense, but avoid otherwise.
- Biting Wind (2M: Inflict 3 Bleed to all enemies.)
Useless by itself, and not that good with friends. Biting Wind deals a grand total of 6 damage to each enemy unless they already have bleed stacks on them, making it worse than Lightning Strike. Biting Wind can add to the stacks you've created via Injury, sure, but Injury attacks a target, applies more bleed, and costs half as much. Biting Wind should only be taken if you already committed to a bleed strategy, but haven't been able to find enough Injuries.
- Desire (1M: Gains 2 Lust. Extinct.)
I guess play it if you're accidentally too heavy on Lust, but the big advantage to Lust cards is that you don't need to commit Mana to play them so this card kinda defeats the purpose.
- Echo (1M: At the end of each turn, gain 3 Shield. Extinct.)
The thing with this card is that 3 Shield just is not that much, and it doesn't build up from turn to turn, so most of the time you won't need it and when you do, it's not enough. Play this card if you can't find Ice Walls or Hastes for whatever reason, but Echo is uncommon and both those cards are commons.
- Great Wall (2M: Gains Shield 14. Extinct.)
This card inverts the order of Shield and the value for some reason, but the spell itself functions correctly. It provides a big boost to defense, but only once, and for a hefty cost. There are a couple 2nd floor fights where a big burst of shield really comes in handy, but if your deck depends too much on Mana for other things, or if you have enough defense already, it's okay to skip these. It's more efficient than Magic Shields, but not as much as Ice Wall.
- Lightning Strike (2M: Deals 10 damage to all enemies.)
The damage/Mana ratio is solid if fighting more than one enemy at a time, sure, but that also means you're splitting that damage up against multiple enemies, when you want to focus all damage in one place so that you take an enemy out and reduce the amount of attacks coming your way. Against a single enemy, this is worse than your Magic Missiles. If you've been taking nothing but defensive cards from the start, this isn't the worst thing to have in your deck, but other attacks are better.
- Masochist (2L: Lose 2 HP. gains 1 Mana and draw 2 Spells. Extinct.)
Use this card only when you're about to be hit for more than 2 damage, but the extra mana from Masochist can be spent on a Shield, so you end up getting more health than you lose. You can also just play one of these if you're doing well, since the current game balance is skewed in such a way that Shield surplus is very effective, and your HP doesn't matter that much in the long run. Masochist is strictly worse than Mana Stream in multiple ways, but Mana Stream is just that good that even this card isn't bottom tier.
- Opportunist (2L: Gains Shield 12. Volatile.)
Opportunist would be a lot better if not for Volatile, which forces you to spend 2 Lust or lose it every time it shows up in your hand, whether you need the Shield that turn or not. At least it deletes itself from your deck if it got put there beyond your control.
- Shock Wave (1M: Deals 5 damage to all enemies.)
Mini Lightning Strike, with most of the same problems aside from being easier to play. Does less damage to two targets than Injury deals to one, and both cards are common.
- Time Delation (0M: Decrease 2 Morale of all enemies. Extinct.)
Time Delation's effect is very minimal, but the card makes up for it by being free, and deleting itself from your deck after use. When you first start out in the game and lack the bonus Mana from the talent tree, TD much more useful. Even in matchups where you don't need it, you can just poof the card away and not have to worry about it any more. This is what makes it a C tier card and not a D tier bit of trash stuck in your hand.
- Twisted Love (3L: Gains 3 Thorns. Extinct.)
The Thorns effect is good against enemies that multi-hit, but currently, no bosses multi-hit, and a normal enemy in late game that does multi-hit gets a Power buff every time he takes damage, meaning that you can kill yourself by having Thorns. In most fights, this spell will be a slow stream of constant damage, less reliable than Bleed, and will be a dead card in your hand some fights due to poor matchups.
Actively makes your deck worse by playing these. Each of these cards is a Wound in disguise.
- Chaos Seed (1L: Inflict random effect to target.)
This card can give positive buffs to your enemies, or heal them. It can give minor negative buffs or small amounts of damage as well, but it's a gamble that any of the debuffs actually matter, and most of the time they'll only last one turn anyways. I don't know the exact odds for this thing but I've played with it several times both normal and upgraded, and my concensus is that this card is a waste of Lust, and to play Heart Attack instead.
- Dust of Lust (0M: Get random 2 Lust Spells. Extinct.)
On paper, I like the sound of this card. You might be tempted to take this card if you have more lust than you have lust cards to use it on. In practice, this card appears to be weighted by rarity, and of the three common Lust cards, two of them are here in the bottom tier. There have been many times when I play this and am 'rewarded' with a Chaos Seed and a Temptation. There are other, equally ineffective Lust cards as well, which aren't on the tier list by virtue of they've never made the cut in one of my decks. I generally advise not playing this card.
- Rising from Ashes (5L: Gains 1 Immortal.)
In theory, you can play this card alongside a powerful but temporary buff like Amplify, and assuming you draw RfA before the buff you want, you can keep playing that buff over and over. Sounds like a fun strategy on paper. The problem is that every card in the game which gains Lust for you is Extinct, and this card costs a whopping 5 Lust. 4 when upgraded helps, but even so, you have to play extinct Lust cards to continue using this card, which can only be played so many times, and you need to play no Extinct cards between this and the one you want to copy, and even if you manage to get it to work, you've buffed yourself up for a long game in which you now have this dead card clogging up your draws because you're out of Extinct spells to play. The strategy is interesting, but it's so costly and difficult to get working that you're better off looking elsewhere.
- Temptation (6L: Tempts the target for 2 turns. If it fails, inflict 2 Focusing to target. Extinct.)
In your starter deck, gaining enough Lust to use this is wildly inefficient compared to the Essence you could be gaining. To even play Temptation, you need specific artifacts or other Lust gain cards, often costing you Mana, and then you spend all that effort to play Temptation once, and now it's gone and you can't do it again. Temptation stuns an enemy but it also makes you unable to target them, so by the time you've built up the resources to tempt the enemy, you get an opportunity to play any self buffs that cost Mana, which you probably did already, and otherwise just have to skip your turn until the enemy comes back. Temptation is a one-time card with a high cost and situational effect that you need to design your deck around playing, which leads me to conclude that it's just not worth it.
In fairness, I should note there is a talent tree perk which reduces the cost to 3, which likely makes the card much better, as well as perks which increase the Essence you get from tempting to make it a better economic prospect. These things probably make Temptation much more playable, but you have to invest several levels worth of talents to make it happen.
- Virginity (1L: Remove all Weaken, Focusing, Frail. Extinct.)
If this were a full cleanse with more utility, it would be C tier. getting rid of the built up Incubus Paralyze, for example, would be stellar, as would be cleansing negative Power or Defensive, Morale or Agile. Instead, this affects three debuffs that are temporary anyways, and among them, only Focusing is that potentially scary, and you'll recieve Focusing from only a couple encounters in the entire run. Every other battle, you'll just spend 1 Lust to delete this card from your deck, because you shouldn't have put it there in the first place.