“View the top two cards in the deck; choose whether to discard them.
What it does (for you in hands normally):
Scanner is like Engineer but worse. It’s also like Intel but worse, and yet it costs the average of these two much better cards. The mechanic is simple – you peek at the next to cards about to be dealt, then either keep them, or discard them from the deck.
Sure, you see 2 cards. That’s a plus. Sure it’s a great PowerUp card for removal in case you’re worried about opponents draws coming in or your own draws missing. But that’s about it. It’s the 3rd best option of information gathering before Upgrading or Reloading your hands and that is a major is.
In the world of PowerUp where Intel and Engineer take the RNG out of hole card manipulation – both cards which give you a solid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to using Upgrade or Reload before potentially wasting them, Scanner keeps 50% in the mix. Even if you see the card you want in the Scanner, you may get the other of the two. It’s more limiting and somehow costs more than the hilariously more practical Intel.
Furthermore the old “Scanner then keep the cards you see maneuver” is pretty dangerous. It’s a big sign to opponents you like what you see, either for the flop or the turn AND river. This may que them to sabotage these cards in turn, just so you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too.
Here’s the thing though – you might be saying “well, what if you keep those two cards AS A BLUFF!” – who cares? If you’re bluffing and they change out cards, you have still lost information and if you’re not bluffing things are even worse – you’ve lost your outs. Advanced opponents will change up your Scanner runout just to ensure you stay in the dark or reload their hand with your Scanned cards to help themselves while getting a read on you. Novice opponents will either shut down or disregard your Scan completely other than to know if you continue the runout will be good for you.
Don’t get me wrong. This card DOES have use. It just happens to be in a No Man’s Land where there’s other cards in PowerUp that accomplish what you want to accomplish via Scanner more effectively that are less exploitable. So other than as a window into making your hole cards stronger as part of a combo, don’t overplay your advantage with this PowerUp misfire.
Is it good?
Don’t make this card a mainstay in your PowerUp moves arsenal. There’s better options and a lot of them are cheaper when counting how much various combos cost. We’d make a joke here, but Scanner is too much of a missed opportunity to find funny.