PowerUp Card Reviews: X-Ray

“Force all opponents to expose one hole card.”

What it does (for you in hands normally):

X-Ray does half as much as you want it to, 100% of the time. The name explains the mechanism, and the outcome is you get to one of see your opponent’s’ hole cards – selected randomly. If you’re playing 3 handed, you get to see one hole card from both opponents. There’s a “good samaritan” balancing act in play too, as both of your opponents will see one of each others hole cards free of charge as well.

From there there’s not much wiggle room. Your opponents know which card you see so they can play perfectly with this information in mind. While this is a good way to snipe some cards from your villain’s before pushing all in, the card has a tendency to make you more bold in the wrong spots, and actually give your opponents an edge at times as well.

Have a middling pocket pair? Say 88 on a K74 board? Use X-Ray to see if your opponents have a King! Duh. Except if you see them holding a J and bust out a raise they simply fold if they have nothing and raise you if they have KJ with the King hidden. It’s a great spot to win small to medium pots and a great spot to levelling yourself in lose big ones if you’re not careful. And how can you be? It’s X-Ray….it lets you see 50% of your opponent’s hole cards ffs. No one is that good.

That’s basically it. X-Ray doesn’t combo with anything, and Cloning it is pointless because it doesn’t work twice in a row anyways. The only saving grace here is that its valued correctly in the game at only 2 mana, so its hard to say that it’s a complete dud. The card tends to just kind of sit around in your PowerUp hand until you get antsy and want another one so you punt it, or you’ve used up so many high value cards you don’t have mana for anything else but still what to get your chips in the middle as safely as possible.

Along with EMP it’s one of the most inert cards currently in the game and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was changed to be more connected to the other PowerUp cards currently included in the game’s starting set. Did I hear someone talking about a ‘Disintegrate Hole Card’ PowerUp option? (Only in my dreams).

Is it good?

It’s alright, the same way getting pocket 8’s in middle position in a full ring game in normal NL is alright. You’re not going to get an adrenaline rush, but its a decent spot regardless. For only 2 mana, you can do worse. (I mean, not really – the only other 2 mana card in Clone and it’s a powerhouse of combo creation, so decide for yourself.)

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