Review of 4E Power Cards

2009 April 24
by Stupid Ranger

For my birthday last month, Vanir and his wonderful wife, efreak, gave me a set of 4E Power Cards for my Wizard.  I had been using a some handmade cards for both my wizard and my bard, but writing out the power descriptions on note cards every level was a bit tedious.

The Cards
The set comes with 100 cards, including all the powers in the PHB plus a handful of blank cards to customize.  They are color-coordinated to match the book: Daily powers have a gray border, At-Wills are green, Encounters are red.  Utilities powers have a blue border with a checkbox indicating if it is a Daily, Encounter or At-Will power.
The flavor text is across the top, the keywords are just blow that, then all the details.  The class is listed on the very bottom of the card and on the back, so if you are running multiple characters, you can easily tell which powers belong to which characters.  The cards are easy to read and include all the details you need without having to flip through the book.  They are coated, so they have a pretty durable feeling to them.
My One Regret
The coating on the cards prevents pencil marks.  To really make these versatile, it helps to have your attack and damage stats already included on the power card so you don’t have to figure them out every time.
To combat this deficiency, I grabbed my tape.  By adding a couple of strips of tape to the bottom of the card, I could add my stats in pencil.  I also added notes on bonuses that contributed to my numbers.  I made sure to leave a tab on each strip so I could remove the tape later if necessary. This is what my Flaming Sphere power card looks like:

You can see a close-up of my tape additions here.
Thanks to Martin from Gnome Stew, I have also confirmed that the power cards will fit in Magic-sized sleeves.  This can give an extra level of protection to your power cards, and you could use tape strips on the protector instead of the card itself.
I have found that I cannot stay sane during combat without my hand-made cards.  These new power cards are really nice and a great time-saver.  At about $10 per class, they are a reasonably-priced addition to your gaming bag for your PHB classes.
4 Responses leave one →
  1. Wimwick permalink
    April 24, 2009

    I just don’t get the value of these cards. Only PHB and some blanks, with Martial Powers, Arcane Powers and PHB2 released that’s a lot of missing content.

    Subscribe to DDI and you get power cards with all the relevant attack/damage info printed through the Character Builder. Tack on the content in those books and that’s where the value is for me.

  2. Just Duckie permalink
    April 24, 2009

    My family loves playing a card game called “phase 10.” You use scorecards, so to keep from ruining the cards, we laminated them and used dry erase markers. I think they make the markers in fine tip, so that you can write small. That might work better than the tape.

  3. Stupid Ranger permalink
    April 24, 2009

    @Wimwick: I have seen the DDI cards, and they are much nicer since they include everything. For those not looking to subscribe, these cards are still relatively inexpensive.

    @Just Duckie: Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll keep that in mind!

  4. Lorne permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Greetings, Madam Ranger.

    Have you considered using those trading card pages the sports cards collectors use? They hold nine cards in a sleeve, that fits in a three-ring binder, and they can be scribbled on with wet-erase markers. It seems to work well, from what I’ve seen.

    P.S. : Still working on that draft. I keep getting held up trying to create the daily blog post first, then finish that other thing for advance review. What I need is a few days off…

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