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Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

by jaydabbler

Original Post

What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★★★★ Novice

I know the title seems a bit like a personal attack, which isn't my style, but I'm genuinely interested what the thought was behind Savage Spinach's (SS) buff, and how it ever got past any testing.  It's blatantly unbalanced.  And though it's still not an instant win card, it literally combines multiple cards that cost nearly the same into one fairly cheap card.

Let's look at the cards that it makes obsolete (well, you can still play them for added power, but it's better to just play a spinach if you have that choice) or you can compare it to:

Berry Angry: A 3-cost trick that SS currently just took over in the patch.  For 3 sun you can buff all your plants by 2, or for 4 sun you can do the exact same while having at least a 5/6 plant on the board (among other bonuses).

Onion Rings: A 5-cost 4/4 that sets plants in your hand to 4/4.  Debatably very comparable to the other half of SS's buff.  Though Onion Rings makes most cheaper cards tougher, it can also weaken certain cards.  +2 strength will always work, and both affect all plants in your hand.  Not a straight comparison, but the fact is that just half of SS's ability is pretty much as effective as this 5 card, but you still get a 5/6 plant on the board rather than a 4/4... for 1 less sun.

Dark Matter Dragonfruit: An 8-cost 6/6 legendary that wreaks havoc once it comes out with splash damage and massive cost increase for tricks.  Why did I add this?  As a zombie, I'd rather this come out than the new SS, regardless of the cost.  They are roughly as hard to defeat, with a 5/6 compared to a 6/6, though with the very obvious Pea Patch combo, it's a 7/8 that can come out earlier than a 6/6.  For that aspect, both can be blocked by cheap cards and dealt with.  But once you deal with the Dragonfruit, the effects are done.  With SS, you're dealing with a whole board of more powerful plants, plus the effect lingers for a whole hand afterwards.  If you leave SS the way it is, you may as well change the L50 icon to SS instead of the Dragonfruit.

Intergalactic Warlord: The 5-cost 2/2 zombie version of SS.  OK, so the zombies already have a unit very similar to SS.  It doesn't need a particular type of evolution, and lasts the whole game instead of the remaining cards in 1 hand.  But it costs 1 more sun, and is a 2/2 that only buffs to a 3/3!  Maybe if SS was something around a 2/3 base (4/3 buffed) it would be a closer comparison.  But a 3/3 compared to a 5/6 or potential 7/8?  I don't think anyone has to debate which one is better.  Though it's easier to bounce the Warlord or put it in a grave to get its effect again, I'm mostly pointing out how unbalanced SS is as its own single card.

I haven't mentioned the 'added' cost that evolution cards have, because although they do require 1 other card plus some sun, there are many additional benefits to evolutions that generally outweigh the drawbacks: they 'fully heal' the spot they were on, often used on plants that were already near death; they can be placed on a full board, not needing an extra spot; they can potentially be played in the water; they often have stronger effects earlier in the game, in this case on turn 4 even without extra sun.  So you shouldn't really say that it 'costs' 5 or more sun to compare, unless you're comparing against other evolution cards.

SS is still beatable (for the most part).  But the point of this post is asking why some random super-rare card, not even a legendary, got so unbalanced against other cards.  The only upside of it not being a legendary is that only 1 card can possibly summon them in game rather than 2.  The problem with SS before that made it rarely seen was because other leafy cards were pretty lackluster compared to other synergy options, not that SS was ever inherently weak.  Slightly buffing other leafy cards, or adding new ones, would have been better.

Message 1 of 9 (705 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★★★★★ Guide

ive been playing with a deck built around berries and spinach, and I can tell you - it is NOT a great deck. Spinach is too expensive to really gain enough out of playing it

Message 2 of 9 (697 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★★★★ Novice

Berry decks don't really need it, or benefit from it that much.  Full berry decks rarely even use Berry Angry, since the cards either buff themselves more (HV Currant), or don't want to buff themselves for safety reasons (Strawberrian/Sgt Strongberry).  As I mentioned, it's a beatable card right now, but that doesn't make it balanced.  If they ever add other useful leafy cards (just like the very powerful berry synergies), then it would really be clear how unbalanced the particular card is.

As it is, it should really cost 8 or 9 sun.  Its power and utility is roughly in between a Dragonfruit and Zucchini.  It wouldn't be so bad if it just performed one role well.  Right now, it's a very powerful plant + a very powerful buff... for 4?  If it was a 2/3, that would make it virtually useless without the evolution, but still have its extremely powerful buff which would be pretty well balanced.  It's already an above average blocker even without the evolution, almost on par with a Wing Nut.  It just has way too much utility for the cost.  Most low cost cards just perform 1 task really well, and are sometimes slightly good at something else.

Message 3 of 9 (690 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★★★★★ Guide

8 or 9 ?!?!?! you're joking right? you must be. It's already too expensive at 4 cost to have enough effect.


The reason it doesn't have a large enough effect is because you would need to have a board AND hand full of plants to make it OP, and the odds of having both are roughly NIL. Usually I manage to play it when I have 2 plants out and maybe two more in my hand. But since it replaces a card in play - I often still only have two plants out and i've spent most of my sun for that turn. this card needed the buff badly


conjecture of a "what if / in the future the leafy tribe gets more cards" is a pointless conversation at this stage.

Message 4 of 9 (687 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

Well, you have the option to use it at turn 4, or at 8 or 9... it would be more effective in general later.  The 8 or 9-cost cards can't be played until then, either.  I agree that it's much better as a 4-cost card.  And I don't necessarily mind the new effect buff.  That's why I said the 2/3 with that effect buff would be good.  That would be perfectly fair, and most importantly, balanced.  Either make a card that costs 4 that can reach 5/6 or 7/8 with a minor group or decent self buff (like Jurassic Fossilhead, which only affects itself), which would be a perfectly fine card, or use the current very powerful buff with very weak stats.  You'd still be getting a 1-turn blocker with a really good buff, rather than a 2+ turn blocker that can also deal very hefty damage... with a really good buff.

Message 5 of 9 (681 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★ Guide

Do you question what EA was thinking with Intergalactic Warlord?


Because that is by far the stupidest creation in the game.

Message 6 of 9 (600 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★ Pro

@jaydabbler wrote:

ive been playing with a deck built around berries and spinach, and I can tell you - it is NOT a great deck. Spinach is too expensive to really gain enough out of playing it

I guess you've been using Poison Ivy ? with other leaf type plants but... this ruins the combination a bit, that's why I dont like Spinach very much, practically force you to play with Pottedhouse, Bonk, umbrella leafy... that's already 12  or less cards to add if you want to combine it with another class like kabloom. 

Message 7 of 9 (527 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

[ Edited ]
★ Guide

Actually not at all. Savage Spinach is best used to boost the attack of plants. This gives you some options:


1. Create some fearsome high attack plants

2. Boost the attack of low attack plants


I played around with a SS deck in Casual (never took it into Ranked) using GK and I won 4 straight, got beaten a few times but absolutely bodied some high ranked players.




Nuts with attack.


Nothing wrecks more than a board with high health, team up nuts with attack with for good measure a Mirror-Nut on the board.


The best leafy plants to use in general are: * Choy (edit: it is hilarious the name of a card is filtered), Pea Patch and Cabbage Pult. I would not use Umbrella Leaf as it is too valuable a card against tricky Zombies (but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do).


Of course SS decks are not as simple as Briar Rose decks; you have to plan them properly.


* Choy cannot be used just for removal unless you are holding more than one or if you have a Pea Pod.

Pea Pods are the preferred consumable. Never play it and leave it hanging out there.

You need cards. Lots of cards. Manage your hand. Sometimes it means holding instead of trading. Much like Onion Rings. And it is a god send for Captain Cuke! I invested in 4 Cukes and 4 Spinaches before the buff and I feel like a genius.


I wouldn't call SS unbalanced but I understand why someone would. However, I think there are more cards that need addressing before you would get to nerfing SS (Monument, Intergalactic Warlord, Astro Vera)

Message 8 of 9 (420 Views)

Re: What were you thinking with Savage Spinach?

★ Guide

EA forum killed my entire post and I am too lazy to retype it.


Shortened version:


Use GK.

Use Nuts.

Boost Nuts.

High Health + Team Up + Attack = Win.


SS also really works great with Captain Cuke. Makes it harder to remove do to low attack and makes it so armored zombies in same lane don't neuter it.

Message 9 of 9 (508 Views)
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