Card of the Week
This week we look at two different charms cards that have a "drawing cards" theme. Does Old Sock belong anywhere but the donation bin? Let's take a look!
Revival Card of the Week
Card: Old Sock
Cost: 1 Charms
Set: Heir of Slytherin
Artist: Liam Cleal
Effect: When you play this card, draw a card.
Jimmy: Today we're looking at Photo Album vs Old Sock. This might be one of the biggest differences in good vs bad cards we've ever covered.
I try not to be a hater, but I think Old Sock is quite possibly the worst card. It's an Item that lets you draw a card. That's all it does. There is almost never a time when you'd want to play an Item to do this instead of doing it with an action as per the rules of the game. Situationally, maybe. It's also never good enough to build a combo around even using characters that like items such as Arthur Weasley, Draco, or even Quirinus Quirrell. The flavor is on point.
John: In many card games, cheap cards that replace themselves in your hand are powerful based on their very nature alone – they get you to the next best card in your deck faster and usually have small beneficial effects. In Harry Potter TCG though the game is won through actions, and like I mentioned when talking about Photo Album whenever you use an action to draw a card it is almost like skipping an action on your turn. There are only very specific situations where Old Sock isn’t akin to skipping an action on your turn such as when played alongside Draco Malfoy, Slytherin – but any item can get you that action back and many of them have much more powerful effects that are more unique than drawing one card.
Old Sock doesn’t give us anything we don’t already have – a way to trade one action for a card. With a limited number of actions, you want your actions to be as potent as possible. There is one more resource that we don’t often address that is extremely limited – deck size. When there are only 60 slots in a deck, cards like Old Sock just don’t make the cut. If this card said draw two cards, I still don’t think it would be worth dedicating a slot in your deck to it. Even with Ginny banned in revival, cards like Photo Album, Colin Creevy, Peeves, Endless Sandwiches and many more help you create much more meaningful card advantage over your opponent.
It doesn't even come with a second sock.
classic card of the week
Card: Photo Album
Cost: 5 Charms
Set: Adventure at Hogwarts
Effect: Before each of your turns, draw a card.
Flavor Text: "Smiling and waving at him from every page were his mother and father."
Jimmy: Photo Album isn't great, but for budget players it's probably an underrated gem. For one action now, you'll probably get to draw at least one card later. If you really need the card right away, just skip playing Photo Album and use an action to draw a card. The characters that promote using Items like Arthur Weasley and Draco both can make reasonably good use of this Item. One of the nice things is that you'll be able to continue drawing cards even if you're Adventure locked. There's always a chance that Photo Album causes you to lose, but realistically if you were that close things weren't looking so rosy anyway.
John: Drawing cards is fantastic. Using actions to draw cards is much, much less so. Actions are your most important resource and using an action to draw a card is, in most situations, essentially like skipping an action. When you use an action to draw a card it is almost always because you do not have a viable play in your hand. There are exceptions of course, like trying to make sure that you keep your hand a certain size, but they are rarely relevant. Photo Album helps mitigate the need to ever use actions to draw cards by letting you use one action to draw a second card at the beginning of every turn. Not only does drawing two cards a turn vastly improve the lines of play you have access to but it means that you find answers and combo pieces faster, deal with popular Adventures like Escaping the Dursleys or Letters From No One, and fuel powerful abilities like Seamus Finnigan.
Photo Album as an Item is susceptible to more counter-play than Character draw engines, but requires one less action to get into play and has other benefits with Characters looking to take advantage of items like Draco Malfoy, Slytherin and Arthur Weasley. The risk is often worth the reward in Photo Album’s case, as creating significant card advantage over your opponent will almost always win you the game. When you’re up against other draw engines Photo Album isn’t enough to run away with the game on its own, but it sure will help you take big steps towards a win.