Prove me wrong: Cloud Puff is the most powerful card in the game.


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game General Discussion


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The following will be a discussion based on my belief that Cloud Puff is currently the most powerful card in the game. It isn’t necessarily game-breaking in the sense of infinite loops; however, I will try to highlight how it is significantly stronger than any other card that lets you ignore Before You Act (BYA) and/or After You Act (AYA) abilities. It is difficult to determine value of certain aspects of cards, but I will try to identify which cards are superior in a particular aspect.

For reference, Cloud Puff can be found on the wiki (click here)

Data:
• My sample size is 30 cards from all base sets and class decks. I think I have captured most/all of the “Ignore BYA/AYA” cards. Of these cards there were 10 weapons, 9 spells, 3 armors, 4 items, 3 allies, and 1 cohort.
• For the Visual Learners, here is a chart of all my data
• I used Green to highlight "best in class" in a category. Orange is "above average". No color is "average". and red is "Worst in class"

Availability (Adventure Deck):
• Cloud Puff is an Adventure Deck B card, and has the Basic Trait. Meaning it can be in your deck immediately and never leave.
• There were only 4 other cards that were AD-B, 2 of which were also Basic.
• The average Adventure deck number (counting “B” as “0”) was 3.68.
• Cloud Puff is in the Ultimate Wilderness Deck, which makes it usable for almost any Organized Play character if they combine Ultimate Wilderness with their class deck.
• For Organized Play, one of the other good cards is Python (Hunter cohort). This is more restrictive since it is only available to the Hunter CD and you’re giving up other cohorts to use Python. Ukuja loses less on this decision since he gets to use two cohorts. Regardless, the availability for Python is much narrower than Cloud Puff.

Traits:
• Cloud Puff has the best traits of any other similar card. It has “Plant, Alchemical, and Basic.” I’ve already discussed Basic. Cloud Puff has the Plant trait which effectively means that it does not take up any space in your hand. It also has the Alchemical trait which can be used with many character or card powers.
• Just as important, Cloud Puff does not have bad traits that could make it less useful. Many spells, for example, use the Attack trait, or an element such as Electricity or Fire trait which narrows their usability if a bane is immune.
• Cards that I thought were better than average due to the lack of “bad” traits included Arcana Theft, Blade Lash, Akhentepi's Armor, Blackjacket, Decemvirate Helm, Soul Stimulant, Anesthetizing Slime, Crystalline Carnivore, Sand Elemental, and Python (cohort). Some of these cards also had a good trait, such as “Alchemical” but none also had the Plant trait. There is a Witchhunter's Sword (item) which has Plant and Alchemical traits, but it also has the poison trait which narrows its effectiveness.

Usage:
• Cloud Puff is the only card in the game that lets you use it to ignore BYA and AYA which makes it the clear winner of this category. Never fear an enchantress again!
• Four other cards let you ignore “BYA or AYA” which are Soul Stimulant, Anesthetizing Slime, Crystalline Carnivore, and Python (cohort, after having role card).
• Not including the “BYA and/or AYA” cards, 10 cards let you ignore BYA and 15 cards let you ignore AYA

Action to use:
• This is the only category that I think Cloud Puff lacks in, but only slightly. It is “Bury/Banish” to use with the possibility of a recharge check. This is actually works out quite well because it allows the item to synergize with more power feats, and as we’ll see later, the recharge check is trivial for those that lack the power feat synergy.
• Python (cohort) lets you Display it and then later put Python on top of your deck to ignore BYA or AYA, which prevents it from taking up your hand size.
• Better yet, three of the weapons are “Reveal” to use as part of your combat check, though their usage is more narrow.

Who can it be used on?
• Cloud Puff is the only card that lets you use it on any character to ignore a BYA/AYA power.
• Witchhunter's Sword is the second best card which lets you use it on a local character.
• The remaining 28 cards can only be used on your own encounter.
Also note that Cloud Puff is the only plant-based item that affects non-local characters. This may need to be errata’ed, though even if errata'ed to only apply to local characters Cloud Puff would still win this category.

Type of target:
• Cloud Puff is one of 4 cards that allow you to use it on any bane. Many other cards specify non-villain or non-villain and non-henchman.
• There are 4 other cards that allow you to use it on any monster. The distinction here is that these 4 cards can’t be used on BYA/AYA abilities of barriers, like Rolling Sphere (MM)
• There are 5 cards that let it be used on any non-villain bane which now excludes villains but can at least target henchman barriers.
• The majority of the remaining cards specify non-villain monster, and a few specify non-villain and non-henchman monster.

Recharge check:
• Cloud Puff has a recharge check of Craft 4 / Survival 5 which is the lowest recharge check of any other BYA/AYA card.
• The next lowest recharge check is Anesthetizing Slime which is Craft 7 but then requires you to discard a card with the Alchemical trait.
• Unshakable Chill has an Arcane/Divine 8 check, which is the next lowest without any extra requirements.
• Blade Lash is the 4th lowest recharge check at Arcane/Divine 9.

Other considerations:
• As mentioned previously, Cloud Puff is a plant, so it does not take up space in your hand
• There are a few other cards that have certain requirements, like Shock Bullets require you to play a card that has the firearm trait on your combat check. Blade Lash requires you use a weapon on your combat check.

Caveats:
I did not analyze the strength of other non-BYA/AYA abilities on these cards since that is harder to determine value. Obviously some of these abilities make the cards powerful. An example is Arcana Theft, which can be weaker in the BYA/AYA sense, but it also adds 2 dice to checks against the monster which is quite powerful.

Conclusion:
Speaking strictly of the versatility of BYA/AYA, I don’t see a reason to ever remove Cloud Puff from a deck. While there are some cards that have other useful and worthwhile abilities in addition to the BYA/AYA, Cloud Puff simply is by far the overall strongest BYA/AYA card in the game. It is more versatile than any other card, extremely accessible, and doesn’t take up hand space. For these reasons, I suspect we need to errata it.

Suggestions:
• At a minimum, Cloud Puff should be errata'ed to fit the plant template of applying to a local character.
• We should also consider removing the "BYA and AYA" from Cloud Puff and make it the more standard "BYA or AYA".
• Fix any other category that I've highlighted. For example, Should it apply to non-villain banes or non-henchman/non-villain banes? Should it apply to banes or only monsters? Etc, Etc.

Special Thanks:
Wanted to thank Hawkmoon269, Cartmanbeck, and especially MorkXII for the assistance with some of the data-gathering and discussion points. This mostly started out as a joke that Cloud Puff was overpowered when it was being used in one of our games. Once we started looking at the other cards we realized that that there is some merit to that statement.

Discussion:
Open to thoughts/comments on Cloud Puff. I'm also open to hearing someone's argument for a card that is more powerful in a similar fashion (cards that clearly out-pace other similar type cards in multiple "categories").


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I would argue that it may not be so usefull to keep a card I. The hand that may be usefull... but this card does not count for hand size so I have to agree. It is one very powerfull card indeed.


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The downside of cloud puff is that it takes up an item slot in your deck with an effect that's potentially quite narrow. It also leaves your hand when you use it, possibly for the rest of the game, which is a down side compared to any reveal-to-use card.

I think you've made a great case that for the purpose of ignoring BYA and AYA powers, it's the best card in the game. And by a margin which also might be hard to replicate with a different type of card. But to get the mantle of "most powerful card in the game" you need to make the case for why ignoring BYA and AYA powers is important. Which you haven't even tried to do, you've skirted the question entirely by just declaring any other effect a "different category" of card. But not all categories are created equal.

Here's some evidence that BYA and AYA are a less important category of effect. What percentage of cards have a BYA or AYA power at all? Of those, how many are critical as opposed to just annoying? A BYA or AYA might cost you a few cards, but failing your check against a monster will often wipe your hand (not if you have armour, but good armour also works, often more cheaply, against most BYA/AYA powers as well), while also shuffling a presumably unpleasant monster back into the deck. In fact the time BYA matters most is when it impacts your ability to defeat a monster. Defeating a monster is clearly a more important effect, which is in turn why nothing defeats a monster as hard as Cloud Puff defeats BYA+AYA. Is it better to do an important thing well, or a less important thing perfectly?

The other evidence that it's a small effect is that it's often a rider on other cards. I don't think of Unshakable Chill as an AYA card with a side effect. I think of it as a (bad) attack spell which is barely improved by an almost always irrelevant AYA side-effect. You mention Arcana Theft as being a BYA card that also happens to add two dice. I say adding two dice to a check against a monster is what Arcana Theft does, ignoring BYA is the side effect. If I can get ignore-BYA/AYA from a card that I'm already playing for its other power, then why do I need a card that only ignores BYA/AYA? It's not taking up a slot in my hand (though it is on the turn after I first draw it), but it's still taking up a slot in my deck. Whereas the BYA power on Arcana Theft isn't taking up a slot in either, because it's a rider on a card I was already playing for its other power. If you're only going to do a narrow effect and nothing else, then you need to do that effect well, and at low opportunity-cost, just to catch up to cards that do something more broadly useful.

So I honestly don't think it needs fixing. I think it's at the level a narrow card ought to be in order to be playable. The game is chock-full of cards too narrow to be worth putting in your deck because they don't live up to this standard, and I'm pleased that design is finally catching up by providing narrow cards that are actually worth playing. So please don't let's go back to the old days of narrow cards no-one ever uses other than the once in a blue moon when they just happen to acquire the card and haven't managed to get rid of it before its effect comes up.

My alternative suggestion for most powerful card would be Cure.

Cure is also a basic. Cure has no negative traits, and being divine is an upside for a number of characters, and I think "healing" is a net positive as well. Cure never needs to take up space in your hand either, because you can use it in between drawing it and your next reset (and if you don't it's only because the card is so critical). Cure can't be used on anyone at any time, but since it's not used on a check you still don't need to be in the right place at the right time in order to use it. Using it on whoever most needs it can still be arranged. Cure has a higher recharge check, but one good solution to that is more Cures! Cure is banished without the divine trait, but banished is barely worse than buried for a basic, and Cloud Puff is also buried 3/4 of the time unless you have one of the relevant non-base skills (yes you could spend blessings on the recharge check but, well, let's just say I for one would never choose to). In both cases you can give the card to someone who can recharge it before you need to use it - Cure is slightly ahead there because you're more likely to know whether it's worth doing so. Cure is eventually obsoleted (except for the recharge check) by other cards, but if you want to say those other cards are better feel free, otherwise we can agree that its availability puts it ahead.

So I'd say it's only slightly behind in terms of how "conveniently" it does what it does. But now let's look at what it does. Healing:
* Prevents you from actually dying (admittedly this is the one case where the "at your location" clause can bite you).
* Gets back those cards you lost to a BYA/AYA power.
* Lets you keep exploring at times that would otherwise have been too risky.
* Is worth 1d4+1 additional blessings on other checks that you can afford to play, or alternatively is worth 1d4+1 additional explores.
* Shuffles your deck. Many characters regularly put their best cards on the bottom of the deck. In particular, I'm often pleased to shuffle my previous Cure off the bottom.
* Makes the blessings deck the only thing stopping you from winning.
* Transforms the game to makes cards in hand/hand size more important than cards in deck+hand (i.e. makes draw useful and shrinks the gap between discard and recharge).

Now for some indirect evidence of how important healing and Cure are (at least to me). Cure is the only spell I've put in the deck of the wrong type of caster. In determining whether a party is balanced, the number one question is "does someone have access to Cure?". Cure is the only boon I (always) choose not to remove from the box. Anyone who has access to Cure is given spell card upgrades over anything else, until they can't take any more. Cure is the only card I ever spend cards on the recharge check for. Cure is the only basic card I'm still happy to play in deck 6. Cure is the only card I would visit the basics-trader in MM for. Cure is the only card I actively track the location of. Healing generally is the effect I'm the happiest to find on cards that non-divine characters can use.

Incidentally I'm also a big fan of Blessing of the Starsong. I try to play every check against a bane at over 95%. At that point, unless you can hit actual 100% (which is pretty hard against those 40+ checks you start getting at that stage), the ability to reroll far surpasses any other bonus available. I'd probably swap a Cure for this blessing given the (unlikely) choice, but I'd try pretty hard to get it back afterwards.

PS I'm only arguing because the thread title goaded me into doing it. It's an excellent, well researched and well structured post you've made! Cure is the dullest choice of most powerful card ever, yours is much more interesting. And for all I'm doing what you asked and trying to prove you wrong, I actually honestly think BYA powers (AYA not so much) actually are a huge deal. They're the biggest reason to take armour, and the biggest weakness of almost every party I've ever had.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

For once, I'm not going to go on a huge tangent here, but I'm strongly of the opinion - especially later in the game - that the strongest cards in the game are of "Restoration" style cards (or "Pot of Greed", if you prefer) such as Restoration, Imp, Mastiff or (perhaps most clearly) Basif Iosep. If we count Loot, then Tef-Naju for certain.

For the overwhelming majority of the time, for the overwhelming majority of characters, your critical limit to how much you can achieve in a turn (cards acquired, defeated, explored, closed, etc) is limited by how many cards are in your hand, whether to let you explore more or to let you surpass the things in your way. Very rarely is there an issue that could not be solved by more cards thrown at the issue - including healing.

Healing is pretty cheap and easy in PACG, especially in larger parties, especially later in the game. Cards ending up in your discard pile is a very easily mitigated concern.

With that clarified, any card that draws you additional cards is the greatest card in PACG (something that is true in a great number of card games, incidentally). Imp, Mastiff or Basif Iosep are a card that will replace themselves with 2 more cards - so unless you have a different ally that you consider twice as good as the average quality card in your deck (or to put it another way, a card you'd rather have rather than two other cards from your deck combined) there's no compelling reason to not play these allies, unless your ally slots are important to give you some option or mechanic that you wouldn't otherwise have access to with your character or card feats.

I've demonstrated twice-over that it's draw power (or effective draw power), that is the ultimate limiting factor in PACG. Anything that works against that limit changes the dynamic of how much you can do in a turn more than any other effect in the game will - because by definition it will let you draw more of that "other effect in the game" you presumably have in your deck to draw.

In the context of this forum thread; what's better? Cloud Puff, or the card that replaces itself with 2 Cloud Puffs? :P

EDIT: Well, I suppose any card that buys you turns by shuffling blessings back into the blessings deck is even better, because rather than letting you extend how much you can do in a turn, it adds more turns (and, by extension, more hand resets and explorations - equivalent to huge quantities of more draw power). However, unlike cards that let you draw additional cards, things that buy you time are almost exclusively once-per-scenario-use cards.

...I suppose I could count Book of the Damned as the best card ever, since at least 2 characters (Urgraz and Mother Myrtle) can repeatedly draw/recharge it and therefore buy a team infinite turns to win the game with, though Urgraz technically still has to bury something to do that trick.


Yewstance wrote:
If we count Loot, then Tef-Naju for certain.

I think you mean Tetisurah and Khai-Utef (Loot Allies), not Tef-Naju (a Villain).

Tetisurah is extremely useful, revealing to let you start every turn with a fresh hand of (hand size-1) cards. Definitely my Siwar's favorite Loot card: reveal at the start of the turn, then put it on top of her deck for her 1d4+2 bonus during her turn.

Khai-Utef displays then discards to let you reset your hand at almost any time.

Both are great, barring Curses that mess up hand resets.


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Following Yewstance, the most powerful card is obviously Miracle (as it should be), since it allows you to play any spell from the box, which in the case of WotR includes Time Stop, which lets you draw your complete deck and removes the limit of cards you may play in the encounter it was played in.

That being said, I agree that healing has the best ratio of usefulness and availability, especially in smaller parties.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Irgy wrote:
PS I'm only arguing because the thread title goaded me into doing it. It's an excellent, well researched and well structured post you've made! Cure is the dullest choice of most powerful card ever, yours is much more interesting. And for all I'm doing what you asked and trying to prove you wrong, I actually honestly think BYA powers (AYA not so much) actually are a huge deal. They're the biggest reason to take armour, and the biggest weakness of almost every party I've ever had.

I've been exposed for my clickbait title!! But yes, you're precisely right that I did not make a case for why BYA/AYA matters. That's a huge flaw with my post. I guess I was looking at it from the angle of relative powers. To me Cloud Puff just seems so much stronger compared to related cards.

Regardless, my purpose of this thread was really two-fold:
1. I think Cloud Puff needs errata'ed (if nothing else, the mis-template of local use from plant trait)
2. I'm interested to hear what other people consider the strongest card in the game.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Parody wrote:
I think you mean Tetisurah and Khai-Utef (Loot Allies), not Tef-Naju (a Villain).

Yep, got mixed up with Khai-Utef and Tef-Naju, sorry. Tetisurah is also excellent, same reasons, but is significantly more conditional to being able to (and desiring to) play a series of cards off-turn, whereas Tef Naju is pretty much the closest PACG has to a card that says "Take a bonus turn" by giving you an exploration and hand reset (which, when it comes down to it, is what the game is turn-to-turn).

Lone Shark Games

Cloud Puff was designed to be at your location, so that's clearly an error.

Because of the hand size benefit, I'd agree that it's a highly effective boon that could easily be higher AD or more costly, but I haven't seen it cause any serious problems at the table. That said, much like a few other choice boons like Cure and Brilliance (pick appropriate skill), it has a fair chance to be a semi-permanent staple of a deck it's added to.

It is perhaps worth note that it functions very similar to a displayed armor, in that it protects you from a possible harm without greatly hindering your hand, but you might go many turns or even scenarios without it making a serious impact. When it does, though, woo!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

To me, the "BYA And AYA" effect seems to break the "cards don't have memories" cardinal rule. This could be alleviated by being a Display card instead.


eddiephlash wrote:
To me, the "BYA And AYA" effect seems to break the "cards don't have memories" cardinal rule. This could be alleviated by being a Display card instead.

Cards don't have memories, but you do. "Cards don't have memories" is only about what cards know, not a blanket "you never have to remember anything in the game". Heck even the original RotR had cards that add +1 difficulty to all your checks for the rest of the turn and then could end up shuffled back into the location.

Since I'm posting anyway... just want to comment re Yewstance's argument that card-draw is the most powerful thing. Card draw is only the limiting factor because Cure (with some help from other healing powers) is so good. If you take away card draw, Cure is still good, but take away Cure and card draw is rubbish. I've honestly never got excited about card draw effects, though admittedly they're rare in the first place anyway. Just my opinion though, and I agree they're the key ingredient to breaking things.


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Irgy wrote:
eddiephlash wrote:
To me, the "BYA And AYA" effect seems to break the "cards don't have memories" cardinal rule. This could be alleviated by being a Display card instead.

Cards don't have memories, but you do. "Cards don't have memories" is only about what cards know, not a blanket "you never have to remember anything in the game". Heck even the original RotR had cards that add +1 difficulty to all your checks for the rest of the turn and then could end up shuffled back into the location.

Since I'm posting anyway... just want to comment re Yewstance's argument that card-draw is the most powerful thing. Card draw is only the limiting factor because Cure (with some help from other healing powers) is so good. If you take away card draw, Cure is still good, but take away Cure and card draw is rubbish. I've honestly never got excited about card draw effects, though admittedly they're rare in the first place anyway. Just my opinion though, and I agree they're the key ingredient to breaking things.

Even if you take out every single non-bury card that heals 1d4 or more cards from the game (including a suite of allies, spells and even items) and are just left with cards that heal less than that and character powers, I still don't think healing would be enough of a limit to make draw effects weak; just look at Kasmir, Grazzle or most Clerics, let alone Inquisitors like Varril, Salim or Zelhara. As far as boons go, there's still things like Ring of Regeneration, or Aegis of Recovery, or Hyaenodon, and then there's still also allies that bury to heal for 1d4+2, or draw all allies from your discard pile, and so on.

Start doing a bottom-up change of all methods of healing, including bits to the characters mentioned, and then I start to re-adjust my way of thinking, but in well over 7 complete AP playthroughs (not counting the digital game) and a bunch more partial playthroughs I've never once found (in a party of 4+ people) my deck size to be a limitation, and so I have never felt (except when playing solo) that my deck size is my 'hitpoints', though that may be the intent.

As a player who has never died (outside of the digital game, to bugs/misclicks), I clearly have never been 'taught' to be conservative about card discards, even over a wide array of experiences; precisely because healing is so cheap and easy, and Cure is only the start of it.

(By the way, Doppelschwert makes a compelling point about Miracle and/or Time Stop, albeit they're amazing for very different reasons.)


My experience has been the opposite: Amaryllis was on the verge of death multiple times and even this Tuesday there was a point where two of the four of us had less than a full hand of cards available to draw. Drawing (and getting to keep long enough to use, stupid Curses) Cure/Major Cure/Potion of Healing (for Damiel) was what kept us going.

YMMV.

Like everything else, though, healing has become more available over time. That allows you to focus more on other things if your party is built that way. Not all parties are.


Keith Richmond wrote:
Cloud Puff was designed to be at your location, so that's clearly an error.

Is this going to be official errata?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Dulcee wrote:
Keith Richmond wrote:
Cloud Puff was designed to be at your location, so that's clearly an error.
Is this going to be official errata?

I've been (ab)using this card to pretty good effect in SoTT, and I think it could use it. Combined with Zova's massive hand size and several cards that can pluck it from her deck or discard, I'm often using it multiple times per scenario.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Yep, as much as I hate to recommend a nerf to any card, I agree that Cloud Puff should only work at your own location.


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Yeah, even though it still hasn't been put into the official card errata, we've been playing it as such. Our Zova player was also abusing the heck out of it. He seemed to always have it in his hand any time we encountered any before/after encounter monsters. It trivialized so many encounters that required making a certain check to play spells/weapons or that caused automatic damage. I was actually having less fun because I would have cards in my deck specifically to help me in those situations, and he would just Cloud Puff away every time. (And with Zova's ability to cycle through her deck so easily, it never took long for Cloud Puff to come back.)

After changing Cloud Puff to only affecting his own location, the game seemed to return to normal.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
MorkXII wrote:
Dulcee wrote:
Keith Richmond wrote:
Cloud Puff was designed to be at your location, so that's clearly an error.
Is this going to be official errata?
I've been (ab)using this card to pretty good effect in SoTT, and I think it could use it. Combined with Zova's massive hand size and several cards that can pluck it from her deck or discard, I'm often using it multiple times per scenario.

Would also like to see official errata for at least local-only. Which, TBH, doesn't feel like much of a nerf now since post-core we live in local-centric gameplay

I'm also still of the opinion that it should be "BYA or AYA" for consistency with similar abilities.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Does Cloud Puff (and similar cancellation of BYA/AYA cards) effect location-wide effects? E.g. you come across a monster that says Before you act everyone at this location suffers 1 fire damage. If you play Cloud Puff does it cancel that effect for everyone or just yourself? Does that change if it was someone else who encountered the monster?


Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you ignore something, it has no effect only for you. Everyone else has the full effects, if relevant. In your example, you would take no damage but all other local characters still suffer damage.


What is the timing of Cloud Puff?

For example, pretend there's a BYA effect that says: A random local character must succeed at a dexterity 10 check or be dealt 1d4 damage.

Do I use Cloud Puff immediately after the random character has been selected? Or can I wait until the entire BYA has been resolved, then play Cloud Puff retroactively to ignore it?

E.g., Character B is selected; they fail the dex 10 check and roll 4 damage. Can I play Cloud Puff now to prevent the damage?

Here's a related situation with the actual Shae story bane. Its BYA says:

Before acting, 2 random local characters suffer 1 Force damage.

I assume I can wait to see which characters are selected before using Cloud Puff. Or do I have to guess blindly beforehand who might be affected?

(Side question: Can the same character be selected twice for Shae's BYA ability?)

P.S. It's just been brought to my attention that Cloud Puff can't be used to prevent structural damage, since that affects everyone - not just the active player. Sigh. Then I've seen Cloud Puff used incorrectly many times, and not just by me. That'll change our Tapestry's Tides games, to be sure.


[Sorry, too late to edit original post.]

Or in the BYA examples given above (random character selection), does Cloud Puff have to be played first to prevent a player from being randomly selected in the first place?

Even if Cloud Puff isn't the #1 most powerful card in the game, it gets my vote for the card played incorrectly the most number of times. By me, at least. :)


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Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you are using Cloud Puff to ignore a BA or both a BA and AA power, it is played during the Before Acting step. If you are using it to ignore an AA power only, it is played during the After Acting step.

In your example "A random local character must succeed at a dexterity 10 check or be dealt 1d4 damage." you first select the random local character. If you are selected, you can play Cloud Puff to ignore the power entirely so you do not attempt any checks. Once you decide to attempt the Dexterity 10 check, you are committed to the consequences and can no longer play Cloud Puff to ignore the power.

In your example "Before acting, 2 random local characters suffer 1 Force damage." you first select the 2 random local characters. If you are one of the randomly selected characters, you can play Cloud Puff to ignore the Force damage that you would have otherwise suffered. The other character still suffers their Force damage.

For that second example, you would select 2 different characters. Banes which can select the same character multiple times (such as Demonic Horde in WotR) have different templating.


Awesome, thanks.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Added Cloud Puff to FAQ.

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