Buff and debuff abilities are the most sought abilities in any battle situation and the most easily to mastered. If you aren't familiar with them, they are a type of abilities which able to boost or surge the status parameter of the cards. Currently there are 4 (four) buff abilities, which are:

image.pngStrengthenAdd +1 health to entire formation
image.pngProtectAdd +2 armor to entire formation
image.pngSwiftnessAdd +1 speed to entire formation
image.pngInspireAdd +1 melee damage to entire formation

And then there are 6 (six) debuff abilities currently, which are:

image.pngWeakenSuffer -1 health to entire formation
image.pngRustSuffer -2 armor to entire formation
image.pngSlowSuffer -1 health to entire formation
image.pngDemoralizeSuffer -1 melee damage to entire formation
image.pngHeadwindsSuffer -1 ranged damage to entire formation
image.pngSilenceSuffer -1 magic damage to entire formation

These kind of abilities differ from other abilities since they apply across entire cards in the formation, which means they have very powerful leverage if the affected formation have full cards in all 6 rows. Initially they are easily recognized and attained from the ability possessed by the summoner. Outside from summoner, its pretty difficult to gain these abilities from ordinary monster cards for two reasons. First, several monster cards will only unlock these abilities at later level, so its quite rare to be seen in Bronze or Silver League. Second, these abilities are stackable, meaning the greater the effect will be with multiple abilities being deployed. So it could be a reasonable design to limit its circulation.

Notes: Blind is an ability which work similar to buff/debuff abilities above. But considering Blind affected the attack accuracy rather than the particular status itself, I decided to omit it from this group.

List and Rank of Buff/Debuff Abilities

Not all of the buff/debuff abilities have equal level of importance. In my opinion, each abilities could be ranked according to these orders:

Strengthen, Protect
Demoralize, Headwinds, and Silence

Higher ranking abilities should be prioritized since they bring better benefit and better chances to apply than the lower ranking ability. To understand the ranking consideration, take for example these factors:

  • There's no upper limit for buff addition, but debuff will not substract lower than 1 value (even more to cards without the respective status).
  • Non-damage buff/debuff will universally apply to all type of cards, in contrary damage-based buff/debuff only apply if the card have the respective damage type.

So let's take a more detailed look to each ranking.

  1. Swiftness is the paramount ability of all. Swiftness will apply to any kind of card regardless to their damage type. In addition speed is an absolute value across all mana level; therefore the speed addition will bring equal benefit for either high mana or low mana card.

  2. Strengthen and Protect apply to any kind of card similar to Swiftness. But since health and armor are scaling up with the mana value of the cards; one health or armor addition will be meaningless for cards with for example 10 health or armor. Therefore these abilities will be more effective the lower the initial status of the cards, which most likely to happen on low mana cards. Whether Strengthen or Protect would be more important is also very situational. For example if opponent employ full melee and ranged cards, then having Protect will be advantageous given most of your cards is unarmored.

  3. Slow are similar to and have all the advantages of Swiftness. But there's a few catch which rank this ability to No.3. First, debuff applies to opponent formation, so there's difficulty to entirely sure if opponent will deploy full formation with all 6 cards (less cards will means less effective). Second, debuff won't be effective if the affected cards is already at 1 speed. Imagine now that opponent decided to deploy only single card with only 1 speed.

  4. Although Inspire is a buff ability similar to the first two rank above; their usage are limited by the scaling effect similar to Strengthen and Protect, and also limited by the rare occasion where we would deploy formation entirely made of melee attacker only.

  5. Weaken as a debuff ability are as unpredictable as the case in Slow ability. But more to it, health which affected by the scaling effect will be less effective if the battle is in high mana cap where the formation will likely to deploy high mana cards. Its indecisive if this ability is more important than Inspire, but I decided to rank this ability to No.5 (after Inspire) considering that almost all cards will have higher health value than damage value; therefore one digit movement of health value will have less impact than one digit movement of damage value.

  6. Rust will be the penultimate prior to the last rank. It's the ability with the least predictability since its difficult to predict the number of armored cards that will be deployed by the opponent. Furthermore its even harder with most armored cards only come from melee only and less from ranged and magic cards (see my post about traits mapping analysis to see these profile). Most of the time this ability will be wasted. Although this ability could play the best counter against Protect ability.

  7. Beyond the Rust ability, debuff for damage could be considered an even more difficult abilities to use. But still it depends on our ability to read the opponent formation and battle history. Previously, armor are more general traits which might be owned by any cards regardless of their damage type; but damage debuff have only a fourth chance to applied (the four type of damage are melee, ranged, magic, and none). And again it only effective if opponent card have at least 2 damage.

Now that we have understood the importance of each abilities, we can continue with our planning of which cards should be a priority addition to our collection.

General Overview Of Cards

So now we come to the path mapping for the best way to collect cards with buff and debuff abilities. Some factors to be considered are:

  • the list of type and name of cards owning such ability,
  • the level of which the cards will acquired such abilities, and
  • the level of importance as stated above.

These list consist of cards from editions available for Modern Battle setting (which includes Untamed, Dice, Chaos Legion, Riftwatchers, and Promo / Rewards with Untamed / Chaos Legion frame)

Let's start by viewing the general overview below.


Its clear that buff/debuff abilities are heavily owned by Legendary type card, where all the ten abilities are available there. Rare type also have quite some number with exception to Inspire ability. The total number of Strengthen, Protect, and Swiftness are very limited, which seemed to justify my opinion of their importance in the higher ranking. There's a lot of Demoralize, Headwinds, and Silence. But surprisingly Rust is the most one with a total of 12 abilities available.

Since some of these ability will only be attained in higher level, therefore they will only be available once reaching certain League. I decided to group the abilities based on their Leagues, and the result is fascinating. There's great gap between abilities on Bronze and Silver compared to Gold and Diamond. As if buff/debuff are very precious and meta in the lower league. Swiftness, Inspire, and Weaken are rarely seen in lower league. Even though there's more abilities in Gold and Diamond league, cards will gained higher status from levelling up, and thus the effect of buff/debuff will be less effective in these higher league.with

Now we should continue to see the cards list on each League.





Next one, I will do path analysis and budgeting starting from Bronze League, but I'll save it for the next post rather than put it all under this post. So I can give better and deeper analysis for the Bronze league. Considering I'm currently only reach Silver league, I will save the Gold and Diamond league to much much later post.