Even as talented a pair of designers as Christopher and Adam can make mistakes. There are a few cards, out of the thousands in Sentinels, that just shouldn’t be, either in their present form, or perhaps at all. They might have nice art, they might have really meaningful flavor text, they might even be interesting design ideas, but they don’t work right, aren’t fun, or just plain ruin your whole day every time they show up. It is a testament to SOTM’s quality that this will be a pretty short list.
#1 in the “needs fixing” category - Pillars of Hercules. The same general concept as the Atlantean Font of Power in the same deck, just differently executed. The design intent is clear…a source of power that endangers the heroes. Problem is, two villain plays before you even have the option to say no to the Faustian bargain of still more villain plays, but also effectively a double hero turn… there’s not much temptation if the downside is that extreme and that front-loaded. One bonus villain play should be quite sufficient, so I would make it fire only on hero turns, and probably not at all unless the players choose to keep it.
#1 in the “doesn’t work properly” category - I’m tentatively giving this one to the Heroic Infinitor promo. Making a single card that totally changes the function of an associated deck, without changing that deck itself, is certainly a tall order, so I don’t blame C&A too much for this one, but the unfun game states resulting from his weird, schizophrenic functionality have made this variant probably second only to Spite for how little I want to play against him. Ideally I’d like to see some fixes to the entire Infinitor deck (eg making the Eyes trigger off any discard, not just the ones they create when a Mani is destroyed, so they wouldn’t be completely blank in the promo match), but if just one card needs more work, it’s clearly the promo itself. Given that hero decks for former villains are a thing, I’m not even sure fixing the promo villain is the right approach, and certainly I have only a vague sense of how it could be done.
#1 in the “just go away already” category - Surprise Shopping Trip. I basically started this thread just to complain about how much I hate this card, which seriously hampers my enjoyment of the otherwise cool Time Cataclysm environment. This is admittedly mostly a complaint specific to the video game, and in particular to a game I just played against the Vengeful Five. If the Atlantean Throne Room is not in play, Surprise Shopping Trip probably kills the entire party half the time before they have any chance to do anything about it; if the Throne Room is out, then SST generally does nothing, except force you to sit through eight million zero-damage prompts before the game lets you go back to actually playing. While this card is on theme for the Cataclysm’s overall feel, and the problem is arguably almost as much about the Throne Room being one of the most persistent effects in the deck as it is about SST itself, ultimately SST is just about the worst combination of “often does nothing”, “sometimes ruins your game randomly for no reason and you can’t do much about it”, and an overly simplistic card design that doesn’t really lend itself to the feel of a game being a story, not very well at all.
(A lot of my complaints with SST also apply to a similar card, Negative Energy Field in the Realm of Discord, which arguably wastes even more time in some non-VOTM games because it forces you to choose targets among tied HP totals, which become more and more common as it sits out; ultimately that one at least has flavor on its side, as well as being potentially longer lasting and having an inverse version that heals rather than harming.)