Wondering what the best Wingspan Oceania Expansion cards are? After hundreds of hours of gameplay, we list our top 5 Wingspan Oceania Expansion cards below. But first, a little about the expansion itself for those that may be new here…
Fans of the Wingspan board game were pretty excited when its second expansion was released in December of 2020 (us included). This expansion includes another whopping 95 Oceania birds and is a great addition to the European Expansion.
The Oceania Expansion also adds a new food type with all-new playing mats to incorporate it into play.
Adding to the fun, the new mats and food type (Nectar) introduce unique strategies and dynamics that didn’t exist in previous gameplay.
Here’s what you’ll find inside the Oceania Expansion box:
- 95 Oceania Bird Cards with New Abilities
- 7 Automa Cards
- 5 New Bonus Cards
- 4 New End-of-Round Goal Tiles
- 15 Yellow Egg Miniatures
- 69 Nectar Tokens
- 5 Player Mats
- 5 Food Dice
- Colorful New Scorepad: Multi-Player and Single Player Scoring
We highly recommend it!
Here are our Top 5 Wingspan Oceania Expansion Cards
#5. North Island Brown Kiwi
This Wingspan Oceania Expansion bird lets you fix your bonus cards in an unprecedented way. Get rid of that bummer card you started with and look at four new ones. Keep the two that work best. Its star nest and wingspan add flexibility to this bird. Its VP value of 6 is nothing to scoff at. Too bad it can only hold one egg. If you happen to have a decent amount of birds that qualify for the “two points per bird” bonus cards, the Kiwi should probably be an auto pick, as it could gain you a lot of points with the right draw.
#4. Australian Raven
Leave it to a Raven to make a top 5 list. This one doesn’t take the top spot, though.
This Raven is a seven-point bird (nine with Rodentologist or Omnivore Specialist), can live in any habitat, and makes use of those scattered bits of food at the end of the game. If you manage to fill it up with eggs and food, it will be worth 15 points at the end of the game.
#3. Laughing Kookaburra
Flexibility is the name of the game with the bird on the Wingspan Oceania Expansion box. Cheap to play while placing it where you need it most. It resets the birdfeeder and can grab one of three different food types. Each die has a 66% of qualifying. It also qualifies for Falconer and Rodentologist (adding two points each to this bird’s value). This is one of the best cards in Wingspan to have in your opening hand.
#2. Noisy Miner/Galah
This bird breaks the mold for Tuck/Lay birds. It is also worth two more points if you have an Omnivore Specialist. Here’s what I wrote about Noisy Miner in my article Birds of a Feather #4:
While expensive and unable to be played in the Wetlands, the Noisy Miner is a standout due to its flexible food cost (1 Worm/1 Nectar/ 1 Any), huge egg capacity of six, and its ability to score three victory points per activation by laying two eggs after tucking a card. This is balanced by the fact that activating this power also allows your opponents to lay one egg each. The Noisy Miner is the perfect companion to the Raven-Gull/Deer engine but how often are you really going to get all three cards together?
Never-the-less, if you do get them all together, the Miner can tuck a card produced by Gull/Deer and then supply the two eggs needed by the rest of the engine. Gull/Deer takes one egg (one victory point) and turns it into two cards. The Miner takes one card and turns it into three victory points (one tuck and two eggs). This is a combo that shouldn’t be ignored. If you are lucky enough to have Raven-Gull/Deer on the board and Noisy Miner shows up, I would argue that it is an auto-pick. I haven’t put together a top-five list for Oceania yet, but Noisy Miner would probably be on it.
Well, here’s my top 5 list for Wingspan Oceania Expansion birds, and Noisy Miner is my #2 bird.
Update: When I originally wrote this, I had overlooked Galah. Galah is one of the best cards in the Oceania expansion, and I give it its due here: The Power of Tucking Cards in Wingspan: Galah
#1. My Number One Oceania Expansion Bird: Maned Duck
There are a lot of possibilities with this card. It breaks the mold for mass tucking birds and tucking in general. Like the Noisy Miner and Australian Raven, it’s worth two more points with Omnivore Specialist. Here’s what I wrote about Maned Duck in my article Birds of a Feather #4.
Maned Duck is a standout for its moderate yet flexible food cost (two wild), its ability to tuck up to three cards without any other birds on the board, and its ability to produce 1 wheat when it tucks at least one card. Maned Duck becomes obscene when paired with Sandhill Crane, Whistling Duck, or Canada Goose in the Wetlands (and actually helps to get them on the board in the first place without using the Gain Food Action).
When paired with a Tuck/Lay bird, you’ve essentially created a new version of Raven-Gull/Deer. You are drawing cards, laying eggs, producing food, and scoring points with one activation. You are scoring more raw victory points per activation than Raven-Gull/Deer during the same point of the game (three to one).
The potential of this card should not be ignored, and it should probably be an auto pick any time you see it in the early game. I believe it is the most powerful card printed since the core Ravens. I’m surprised more people don’t talk about it.
As an aside, now that I think about it, the community’s biggest gameplay discussions seem to revolve around food and how we acquire it. Raven’s and Nectar have historically dominated these discussions. I wonder if Maned Duck will ever enter into those debates.
Anyway, while a Maned Duck engine won’t produce food as effectively as a Raven, it might not matter because there are a lot of birds that eat wheat and you’ll be drawing enough cards to realistically see some of them. You could also get out of a tight food spot by paying two wheat for one other food type. Tuck To Play birds don’t care about food and you’ll be drawing enough cards to play them if you see them. Birds such as Crested Pigeon, Australian Raven, Common Starling, Eurasian Collard Dove, and House Sparrow all have either Teal or yellow powers that can utilize excess wheat in your supply if all else fails.
That’s our top 5 from the Wingspan Oceania Expansion birds; what are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!