PowerUp Card Reviews: Engineer

“Choose the deck’s next card from three options.”

What it does (for you in hands normally):

Everyone wants to know if their set is coming in or if their suited connectors are going to turn into a draw on the flop. Forgetting its wide range of synergistic effects with PowerUp cards – this dream is what Engineer makes a reality for you. Holding the old 6-7 of spades? Pay the Engineer’s premium 5 mana fee and pick out one card from the next 3. Hearts? Good. 5 or 8 of hearts? Even better! Same goes for literally turning this into a set mining card when you have a pocket pair.

Now if this was a private card – i.e. your opponents are blind to your choices, Engineer would be one of the few runaway winners of the ‘broken PowerUp card” award here at PlayPowerUp.com. Unfortunately that not the case though – players see your choices, so they can play back at you in kind.

Honestly this back and forth dynamic makes Engineer one of the most entertaining cards in the game, and I’d go so far as to say that if PokerStars had a variant of NL that was just Engineer NL – it would be a hit.

You can help your opponents make their hands stronger when you want to get paid off and have their redraw beat. You can create brick turns and rivers to conceal your hand and misdirect the players trying to win against you. Heck, if all else fails you can just give yourself the win and then lock action down with a well timed EMP after you (literally in this case) Engineer your own fortune.

The only real big downside to Engineer we’ve found while playing is that its use case – coupled with the fact that everyone can see your choices when using it, makes the card very exploitable to knowledgeable opponents in position who are holding either an Engineer, Clone, Reload, Scanner or Upgrade card.

With any of those PowerUp cards, opponents can steal whichever card you choose via Engineer, either to possibly hurt you or help themselves as they have gotten a free peek at what the next “random” card they’d get via those cards would be.

As such, Engineer is situational and turns into a bit of a levelling war-enabler in-game. It has the deepest metagame attached to it so the outcomes from use tend to not be an instant action killer, nor an instant win scenario creator. Dare we say……it’s well balanced?

Is it good?

If you’re into deeper gameplay and happy to explore strategy in PowerUp…a strategy game, then yes. This is a GREAT card, and one that is least likely to get broken the second PowerUp jumps into the real money universe on PokerStars. If you just want a win button, look elsewhere – and then look elsewhere from conventional poker afterwards.

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