Pro tip: Options add variability and are not necessities
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This where my mentality differs from many others I've read on the forum and I think they are overlooking a fact - you may find a card underpowered or useless but they add variety and options to factions. (Goblins back me up on this? I’m sure you know what I mean and I’m not the best at communicating). I find these undesirable cards do have uses and may be the most suitable card you need when you've already used up your preferred ones. If you think about it, in any CCG, cards variety carries a degree of scarcity. If you don't like a card - don't use it, but cards all have purposes and another player might find them for that card. Other players may be discouraged to use a couple of cards I'm about to mention, but I'll include why I would use them. These are just two mentioned by Quintavarium’s thread ‘favourite factions’ here: http://www.spellcraft-ccg.com/forum.html#nabble-td1585
I see Shimmershoal as also having a wide variety of uses other than than just exchanging for 1 power ie. it is a cheap expendable card that I may use to take 1 attack, or more likely I would include it in my deck for strategies such as absorbing a Magic Missle, or surviving Fire Rain. I would most likely use this card with the primary intention of feeding the opponent's Lost at Sea/Waiting Grave (Traps are so obvious in this game~ due to visibility of their cost and being limited to 2 Factions) or having a cheap Spell Immune minion to help trigger Overflow. It's my playing style - I would carry Shimmershoals for these for these awesome purposes and I usually have a variety of cards to counter/deal with whatever the opponent throws at me.
Another good example is Feral Elementals, sure you could say that they are far inferior to other quick minions. However I see it as a Fire faction Quick card that just may be the card required to finish a deck. If you were making a deck with a Quick oriented Strategy and already used Ruby Hatchling, you may include Feral Elementals for a another Quick minion. It's ability and cost 'Doubletap to destroy itself and do 2 damage to the opposing enemy (2 Power) , I think are very well suited with other Fire Faction cards - if it's facing a 5 Cost 3 HP opponent, combinethe ability with a Fire Rain or Burning World/Volcanic Eruption. If it's facing a 4 HP opponent, combo it up with Detonation/Flamespike. It's a very nice card to have especially if you also have implode. You lose the minion but you are saved from using another card to do 2 damage for 2 power. With all these Fire spells - combo them up with Heart of Fire - not bad sounding. You just need to figure out how to use cards more effectively with others.
There are a lot of other cards that players feel are underpowered for their cost because they don't know how to use utilise them. The cost isn’t critically important if they are the most suitable card you need to complete your deck.
Re: Options give variability and are not necessities
Yes, I agree with this.
Certain cards might only match a particular play styles, or a particular strategy, or even just a particular deck design. Naturally this results in them being valued differently by different people. This is a good thing, and keeps the diversity that was soon lost in so many other CCGs I tried.
There is also an important point to consider: a card that appears weak now may become extremely effective when combined with a future faction. This has already been the case, and I know it will continue to be so.