Recharge to heal


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Healing pg.9 wrote:
When a power heals you, shuffle the specified number [...] from your discards into your deck. If you're discarding a card to heal yourself, exclude that card [...].

So, I'm a little unclear what we're supposed to be doing when a heal is triggered by an action other than discarding.

Pre-core, some "healing" caused your deck to shuffle, others would just recharge the "healed" cards. Core standardizes this so that all "Healing" effects trigger a deck shuffle.

Pre-core, if a power instructed you "Recharge this card to recharge a card from your discards" it was pretty clear that first you recharged the healing card, then the healed card, and now these two cards would be on the bottom of your deck.

Post-core, doing the same thing would result in first recharging the "Healing" card, then shuffling the healed card in, resulting in the Healing card being effectively shuffled and not recharged. This may be the intended result, but it seems to be at odds with the way the discarded card in the rule inset is specifically excluded from the heal.

There are a few powers that cause this to come up. The most obvious is Kyra's end of turn heal. We've been making her shuffle in her healed card and then recharge the card she used to heal, but that feels like it conflicts with RAW.


I don't think there is much conflict - the quote is about cards that heal you by discarding it (that means, they should be in the discard pile / discards at that moment) and thus need to be excluded from that list.
For recharge/reload a card to heal, the question is about timing - 1) you recharge and THEN heal, 2) you heal and then recharge.
My inclination would be 2), but unfortunately the rulebook is pretty clear:

page 7 wrote:
For example, if a card says “Recharge this card to recharge a card from your discards,” recharge the card you’re playing before recharging the card from your discards.

so unless the intention was opposite, you first recharge a card and then heal (shuffling the card in the deck, if Kyra healed herself).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yes, RAW are "clear", but I'm not sure that was the designers' intent, especially based on the Discard case and prior game-play guidelines.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Jenceslav wrote:

but unfortunately the rulebook is pretty clear:

How is that unfortunate?!

And I'm not sure what exactly rubs OP the wrong way about designer intent:

- Yes, if Kyra heals *herself* (which means she can't also heal another character) - she get's a "free" shuffle of her healing card- which is obviously in line with cards like the (PRESENT IN CORE) Staff of Minor Healing!

- If Kyra heals ANYONE else - she still has her healing card on the bottom of her deck

Is anyone assuming that when designers wrote "recharge to heal local characters" - they DIDN'T anticipate that Kyra would be shuffling the card on self heal ?!? That would always be the result - even by old rules (where it would be worded "recharge a card to allow a character at your location to shuffle a card from their discard pile into their deck"), so I 'm really not seeing the argument how the designers "missed" their intent by somehow not taking into account the "new" rules.

EDIT:
Actually, the "new" rules (about discarded cards not healing themselves) DOESN'T really change anything - it only accounts for the revised Recharge => Recovery mechanics. In "old rules", you would "discard" (but actually "set aside until resolved") a Cure, THEN you would heal 1d4+1 cards from discards, THEN you would attempt the Cure's Recharge check (resolving if it will recharge or be "for reals" discarded).
So bottomline you would never self-heal a Cure by old rules, and the "new rule" has nothing to do with "recharge to heal" cards.
Yes, that means "recharge to heal" cards are a bit more powerful, but I suspect that's a trade-off designer made with both eyes open, in favor of a simpler and more consistent verbiage (and also, when compared with all the other nerfs and "improvements" we got with Core - this doesn't even begin to compensate)

EDIT: I *assume* OP's argument about intent *might* be that if the discarded (higher cost) healing card should be excluded from shuffle - then the recharged (lower cost) card should also be excluded. But this argument doesn't hold water neither from balance perspective, nor when compared with the Curse Staff of Greater Healing - which just *reveals* for its similar effect.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'm with Longshot here. The rules (both pre-Core and post-Core) are very clear that you follow the instructions on a card or power in the sequence they are written. The "you can't heal the card you're discarding to heal with" isn't indicative of a meaningful change - RAI or RAW - to this facet of the rules.

I can't see a meaningful balance concern here either. For one thing, shuffling is not inherently better than recharging.

In fact...:
In fact, if you simplify circumstances down enough, and assume that all cards in a character's deck are equally powerful, shuffling a card into your deck is objectively worse than recharging it, since the latter gives you information about your deck's order and the former does not.

Obviously, in practice dedicated casters (and some other characters) want to see the cards they recharge sooner rather than later, therefore improving the value of 'shuffling', but that's not an argument that applies in all circumstances.


Longshot11 wrote:
Jenceslav wrote:

but unfortunately the rulebook is pretty clear:

How is that unfortunate?!

Well, I played Damiel in Skull & Shackles. Combine his power with two Potions of Healing and you have insane healing machine. He recharged a Potion of Healing AND then could shuffle it back in with the healed cards. Don't you consider that too powerful? That's why I have a healthy respect for healing cards (pun intended) that get shuffled back into your deck.

And in this case, shuffle is really somewhat better than recharge, Yewstance, as you can get to the healing card sooner (on average). I usually do not bother trying to remember the deck order through recharges, so that "advantage" of recharge over shuffling is lost for me :-D

Still miss a second Cure, my Core Seelah could really use two of them ;)


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Jenceslav wrote:


Well, I played Damiel in Skull & Shackles. Combine his power with two Potions of Healing and you have insane healing machine. He recharged a Potion of Healing AND then could shuffle it back in with the healed cards. Don't you consider that too powerful?

Yes, I do consider that too powerful; but I have several responses to that.

  • First: what you have described is no longer possible (at least not nearly as efficiently) due to Recovery rules. Potions of Healing go into Recovery now, so they'd be recharged after the shuffle.

  • Second: I've always been the opinion that healing is too powerful in PACG in general, and has been since the very start, and remains that way. The AD0 card "Cure" is in every set, healing 3.5 cards on average, and quite besides basically undoing the "Discard" cost of 3.5 cards per use it also can be leveraged to greatly increase the quality of cards in your deck.

    However, it's clearly a designer intent that they want parties to include healing and/or have 'healers' to bring them in line with the RPG, but that does mean that at least one healing spell tends to give you more measurable, serious benefits than a non-healing spell in just about all cases (which my card game sensibilities suggest that means something is unbalanced).

    It tells me something that I would advise a pure Arcane caster to start with Cure if one is available and unused, after all. But the power level of healing isn't because of the shuffling component.

  • Third: You don't need to have a healing card shuffle itself to consistently shuffle your deck. Plenty of characters have powers that can be leveraged to shuffle your deck when needed (Kyra was already mentioned), and if you're using 2 healing cards on a turn - or anyone else is using a heal effect on you, no matter how small - you can force shuffles anyway. The timing of the shuffle doesn't matter all that much when it's not a hard goal to accomplish in a myriad of ways without really having to go out of your way to do so.

    What you describe isn't solely powerful because they shuffle themselves back in. Especially since Damiel in S&S is actually so powerful because of Tot Flask, a card that replaces itself with any liquid in your deck (including another Potion of Healing, but also a grenade if you need it) and - once again - shuffles your deck.

  • And more as an aside: If I play with recharge-heavy characters (like MM Mavaro) I just put my recharged cards in a face-up pile, since it's all known information. I then shuffle the pile into my deck if anything causes my deck to shuffle, or start drawing from the bottom of the recharged stack if my regular deck is emptied.

    ====================

    TL;DR: What you have described is really powerful (and I think that applies to most forms of healing in general, as a personal opinion, as well as most Alchemists), but the timing of the shuffle relative to the recharge of the healing cards is not the reason it becomes broken. Plus, you've given an anecdote that no longer functions like you describe as of the new Core Rules, which is the topic of discussion now.


  • I understand that it no longer works that way and I think recovery is a great thing to break such insane combos. I said that as a background story to illustrate why I thought "heal and shuffle the card back" is too powerful in my opinion and why I used the word "unfortunately". With Kyra, it's at least only one card :) and not 1d4. I am very much aware of everything you said, Yewstance ;) but thank you for elaborate description.
    Healing is powerful and I wouldn't like to start a Divine caster without at least Cure, but I'd never consider adding Cure to Arcane caster for RP reasons. Definitely the healing Arcane spells from Core like Life Drain, but not Cure. :-D


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    The Staff of Minor Healing caused a bit of an argument in my game over the weekend, with me saying that the way the text is written means you shuffle to heal after recharging the staff, while the ACG veteran couldn't believe that that was the intent.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Gwaihir Scout wrote:
    The Staff of Minor Healing caused a bit of an argument in my game over the weekend, with me saying that the way the text is written means you shuffle to heal after recharging the staff, while the ACG veteran couldn't believe that that was the intent.

    That surprises me; some older rulebooks even used the old Staff of Minor Healing power (though the card isn't referenced by name) as the literal poster-child of doing things in the sequence they are listed on the card.

    Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 8 wrote:
    Always perform the first action required by a power before performing any other action. For example, if a card says “Recharge this card to recharge a card from your discard pile,” recharge the card you’re playing before recharging the card from your discard pile.

    That rule never changed so a veteran player's historic rule logic should still hold true that you recharge the card and THEN heal yourself.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    "really powerful"? "insane combos"?!?

    ... I realize now that we might be -quite literally- be playing different games :)

    As someone who almost exclusively plays 6-player games, my experience is:

    - I would *extremely generously* guesstimate that healing actually was of *any* importance in about 10% of our games. Tops.
    And I would assume this is *not* an uncommon experience, at least in 6-p, given how designers have endeavored to make the game more and more punishing with every each iteration of the game

    - In those games where it actually healing matters - the *only* way to leverage a healing card more than once is to actually shuffle it. In 6-p, you only have 6 hand draws per character, so it's *extremely* unlikely to see a recharged card twice (bar any pretty much at-will-recharge-oriented characters like Adowyn or Zadim). Even with shuffles, a healing card would only see play 2 or 3 times on average, which -split between 6 characters- is a far cry from "insane combo".

    My point is, a card or a mechanic may have very different "weight" depending on party size or composition in PACG. Which, granted, is nothing new - but is all the more reason not make any spontaneous changes before considering their impact across all possible modes of play :)


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Yewstance wrote:
    Gwaihir Scout wrote:
    The Staff of Minor Healing caused a bit of an argument in my game over the weekend, with me saying that the way the text is written means you shuffle to heal after recharging the staff, while the ACG veteran couldn't believe that that was the intent.

    That surprises me; some older rulebooks even used the old Staff of Minor Healing power (though the card isn't referenced by name) as the literal poster-child of doing things in the sequence they are listed on the card.

    Mummy's Mask Rulebook, Page 8 wrote:
    Always perform the first action required by a power before performing any other action. For example, if a card says “Recharge this card to recharge a card from your discard pile,” recharge the card you’re playing before recharging the card from your discard pile.
    That rule never changed so a veteran player's historic rule logic should still hold true that you recharge the card and THEN heal yourself.

    He wasn't arguing against what the card said; he thought it was an oversight in the writing.


    Longshot11 wrote:

    "really powerful"? "insane combos"?!?

    ... I realize now that we might be -quite literally- be playing different games :)
    As someone who almost exclusively plays 6-player games...

    Well, that might be the difference :-D. I almost always play games with 3, or more often, 4 characters. Then there are quite a few draws more. I'd like to think that the strength of each particular card in that number of players (around the middle of the possible range) represents an average strength of that card. The extremes (1;6) will be clearly the most different :)

    Lone Shark Games

    Without going into any of the other discussion, I can confirm that we knew exactly what we were doing when we had powers recharge cards to heal. It was tested thoroughly and checked on a few times to make sure it was okay.

    That said, sometimes giving someone else who really needs a shuffle the heal is still a good call. Staff of Minor Healing feels _great_ (in fact, there are many who played Rise of the Runelords who thought it was the best card ever then, nevermind with the change to healing), but because it takes up a card slot in your deck and hand, it's not nearly as strong in terms of raw effectiveness at making you have a successful turn and scenario as it sometimes feels. Especially for big groups.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Keith Richmond wrote:
    That said, sometimes giving someone else who really needs a shuffle the heal is still a good call. Staff of Minor Healing feels _great_ (in fact, there are many who played Rise of the Runelords who thought it was the best card ever then, nevermind with the change to healing), but because it takes up a card slot in your deck and hand, it's not nearly as strong in terms of raw effectiveness at making you have a successful turn and scenario as it sometimes feels. Especially for big groups.

    Pre-Core SoMH was indeed considered on our 6-player tables to be one of the most useless cards ever printed .

    On the other hand, I'll be the first to admit that POST-Core SoMH is probably among the best entry level items! The added shuffle alone can be priceless in 6-player, where some characters rarely can get a second use out of a recharged powerful card (exacerbated Post-Core by the "one of a kind" card policy), and the ability to knock out two of the annoying Scourges is just icing on the utility cake! Oh, and it now comes with a sexy new "local" area of effect! Way to go from zero to hero in a single revision!

    For all the grief it gives me, one thing I *love* about Core is that the amount of "dead" filler cards is now almost non-existent. I fully expect our party to keep SoMH into AD6 even if/when we acquire SoGH as well.


    Longshot11 wrote:
    Pre-Core SoMH was indeed considered on our 6-player tables to be one of the most useless cards ever printed.

    :-D And our different experience with this great game reveals itself again. We considered that card to be one of the most useful items, with Seoni using it quite a lot - it depends on how effective is your character in recharging cards from their hands. :)

    From my experience, SoMH is nowhere near as useless as pre-Core Blast Stone or most Basic armors or most RotR potions (without Alchemist) and so on.


    Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

    Thanks for all the input, we've changed our game to comport with everything discussed.

    FWIW, I first noted the "issue" with the healing staves, Kyra just seemed to be a better example because she does it (almost) every turn on her own. A lot of this was just my pre-Core preconceptions poking through, but when spelled out it all makes sense.

    In no small part it seems like deck shuffles in general are coming up much more often, which really affects how many of the characters play (especially, though by no means limited to, casters). I just wanted to be sure we weren't overdoing/abusing this by shuffling cards we shouldn't. I played Seoni on the first DD playthrough, and it felt like she was able to get Embiggen into her hand almost every single turn.


    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
    Jenceslav wrote:
    Longshot11 wrote:
    Pre-Core SoMH was indeed considered on our 6-player tables to be one of the most useless cards ever printed.

    :-D And our different experience with this great game reveals itself again. We considered that card to be one of the most useful items, with Seoni using it quite a lot - it depends on how effective is your character in recharging cards from their hands. :)

    From my experience, SoMH is nowhere near as useless as pre-Core Blast Stone or most Basic armors or most RotR potions (without Alchemist) and so on.

    Just a question: how many players in your party? We usually play 5 or 6p and in that configuration I tend to support Longshot that this isn't such a useful item (think of it: if you only get 5 turns to play and draw it on turn 3, what good would it do to you? The game will end before you even get to get the card you healed back in you hand.)


    See a post above - 3 or 4. RotR Seoni (or, precisely, her player) burned through her deck at prodigious speed and this was extremely useful to her. Along with Masterwork Thieves' Tools, Wand of Enervation and Sihedron Amulet one of our most-liked items.

    Lone Shark Games

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    Remember to also compare the balance against taking a single 1d4+1 heal card that you bury or banish. For instance, if you have ~7 turns (4 person group) and manage to use the staff 3 times, then you healed less on average at the cost of 2 draws that could have been something else. If you manage to use it 4 times (non-trivial in RotR), then you healed slightly above average, but at the cost of 3 draws.

    That said, in a solo game it has been the absolute star of my deck in several scenarios by letting me perform feats of endurance that would have otherwise killed or conceded the scenario for me.

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