Wingspan Bonus Card Tier List

Wingspan Bonus Card Tier List - Wingsplain

Wingspan Bonus Card Tier List

What are the best bonus cards in Wingspan? As a general rule, bonus cards that require the fewest quantity of birds to score points are the best. Cards like Falconer, Rodentologist, and Omnivore Specialist only need a single bird to score two points. Cards like Viticulturalist and Fishery Manager, only need two birds to score three points on the bottom end and four birds to score seven to eight points on the top end.

It is generally better to amass high point value birds than it is to amass low point value birds when possible. Having superior card drawing capabilities (card advantage) increases you general card quality and improves your chances of seeing birds that qualify for your bonus cards. Bonus cards looking for birds with lower percentages are more likely to score when you are drawing a lot of cards. You are also drawing a higher volume of birds that let you draw more bonus cards themselves.

Definitions

Tier 0: These cards will allow you to consistently/frequently score points. They make efficient bird plays even more valuable. The birds/conditions that qualify tend to be more common and/or higher quality, resulting in more frequent scoring.

Tier 1: These cards are fairly easy to score points with and/or have a lot of strong synergies with other bonus cards that make them a worthy consideration.

Tier 2: These cards can be inconsistent with their points. The birds that qualify may be of lower percentages (often leading to more points scored for fewer birds played) or the scenarios you need to set up require extra considerations to produce points.

Tier 3: Standard, middle-of-the-road cards.

Tier 4: These cards are the most difficult to score points with. They require you to make inefficient gameplay decisions or their conditions are harder to meet.

Tier 0 Wingspan Bonus Cards

Falconer: There are a lot of cheap birds that have the predator tag, making them highly food efficient points with Falconer. Big point predators become even bigger point bombs with this card. Pairs incredibly well with several bonus cards, especially Rodentologist.

Rodentologist: There are a lot of cheap birds that have a single rat in their food cost, making them highly food efficient points with Rodentologist. Big point rodent-eating birds become even bigger point bombs with this card. Pairs incredibly well with several bonus cards, especially Falconer. Chihuahuan Raven and Common Raven qualify too (50% of the Power 4).

Omnivore Specialist: There are many cheap and effective birds that cost a single wild food, making them highly food efficient points with Omnivore Specialist. Core Set Hummingbirds and Crows are some examples of these birds. 75% of the Power 4 (Chihuahuan Raven, Common Raven, and Franklin’s Gull) pick up two more points from this card. There are other choice cards that qualify such as Whooping Crane, Wood Stork, Australian Raven, Black Swan and Mute Swan.

Tier 1 Wingspan Bonus Cards

Oologist: Nine birds shouldn’t be too hard to get on the board and once they are there, it’s not too difficult to get one egg on each. Oologist is especially good to have when you are using Black Redstart or Lesser Whitethroat.

Bird Counter: Tucking engines want this card because it adds two points to every flocking bird. It’s a no-brainer pick when you’re amassing flocking birds. Generally speaking, these birds tend to be lower point value so they need all the help they can get.

Large Bird Specialist: A lot of big point birds have wingspans over 65CM. This card pairs especially well with Falconer, Rodentologist, and/or Platform Builder.

Platform Builder: A lot of big point, rodent-eating predators have platform nests (48.5% of seven to nine point birds have platform nests; plus 11.4% more with star nests). This card pairs especially well with Falconer, Rodentologist, and/or Large Bird Specialist. Here’s another card where 75% of the Power 4 qualify.

Diet Specialist: 94% of birds worth seven to nine points cost three food. This card pairs especially well with Falconer, Rodentologist, Platform Builder, and/or Large Bird Specialist.

Mechanical Engineer: I haven’t gotten to play with this one much myself but it seems fairly easy to score with. If you manage to get the second set of nests you go from three points to a whopping eight points.

Ethologist: It should be fairly easy to pick up four points from this. Six is doable. The more you diversify power colors in a habitat, the more you reduce the capabilities of that habitat to create a high power engine (the strongest engines amass brown powers). The birds you are playing to score for Ethologist go best in your “off habitats,” that is, the habitats that you aren’t focusing on for efficient, high powered engines.

Ecologist: This should probably score you four points every time. With some focus, you should be able to pull down six points.

Bird Bander: A large variety of birds qualify.

Tier 2 Wingspan Bonus Cards

Food Web Expert: Adds two points per qualifying bird but there aren’t many that qualify. Birds must only eat invertebrates.

Historian: Adds two points per qualifying bird but there aren’t many that qualify.

Anatomist: Has a lower barrier to entry and a good payoff on the top end. Pairs well with Photographer.

Cartographer: Has a lower barrier to entry and a good payoff on the top end.

Fishery Manager: Has a lower barrier to entry and a good payoff on the top end.

Prairie Manager: Has a lower barrier to entry and a good payoff on the top end.

Viticulturist: Has a lower barrier to entry and a good payoff on the top end.

Behaviorist: This should be an easy three points. Six points seems realistic. Like Ethologist, dropping non-brown powers in your off habitats is ideal to maintain engine efficiency.

Enclosure Builder: 20% of seven to nine point birds have ground nests; plus 11.4% more with star nests.

Tier 3 Wingspan Bonus Cards

Wetlands Scientist: I don’t know about the rest of you, but most of the time, the majority of the birds that I’m playing into the Wetlands are multi-habitat tucking birds. When I do score with this card its usually by accident.

Forester: Like Wetlands Scientist, scoring with Forester tends to be accidental for me but we’ve all had those games where we stumble into a lot of cheap food caching birds such as Mountain Chickadee, Carolina Chickadee, and Juniper Titmouse.

Nest Box Builder: 8.5% of seven to nine point birds have cavity nests; plus 11.4% more with star nests.

Wildlife Gardener: 11.4% of seven to nine point birds have cup nests; plus 11.4% more with star nests.

Photographer: Pairs well with Anatomist.

Breeding Manager: You probably aren’t going to score a lot of points off this card. One to three seems realistic. You have to first play a qualifying bird (28% isn’t bad) but then you have to lay four eggs on it, which requires extra actions. This card definitely favors egg spam.

Tier 4 Wingspan Bonus Cards

Citizen Scientist: This card is best taken advantage of by dedicated tucking strategies. Four birds with tucked cards should be doable for a mere three points. Seven birds with tucked cards (harder to pull off) are required to score six points, which is low for the top end of a bonus card. Focused tucking engines usually end up comprised of five or less birds low point value birds in the Wetlands. These engines will definitely be looking for “tuck to play” predators (strong) or “play on top” predators (weak) for a cheap way to produce another bird with tucked cards.

Passerine Specialist: Birds with wingspans of 30CM or less are generally worth fewer points. Bonus cards that require you to amass low point value birds are less desirable.

Backyard Birder: Another bonus card that requires you to amass low point value birds, specifically so. You’re going to need a strong engine to climb out of a strategy that creates a bird point deficit like this.

Bird Feeder: Birds that eat seeds are fairly common but a lot of them are worth smaller point values. This bonus card has a high ceiling at both the low end (five birds) and the top end (eight birds), so to score more points on Bird Feeder, you have to amass a lot of birds that are probably worth fewer points. The higher ceilings on this card are likely a balancing factor for the higher volume of seed eating birds in the game.

Visionary Leader: Amassing cards in hand is not usually a viable strategy. Certain tucking engines will have a large volume of cards in hand but more often than not, this card is counter-intuitive pick. You want to play birds, not hoard them.

Site Selection Expert: This may force suboptimal choices in order to score a small amount of points.

Forest Data Analyst: This feels restrictive in actual gameplay. Along with everything else you’re doing, you have to worry about consecutive wingspans, which is new and interesting, don’t get me wrong. This feels like too much work for the points it yields. Its more beneficial to just focus on building the best engines and playing the highest point birds.

Grassland Data Analyst:This feels restrictive in actual gameplay. Along with everything else you’re doing, you have to worry about consecutive wingspans, which is new and interesting, don’t get me wrong. This feels like too much work for the points it yields. Its more beneficial to just focus on building the best engines and playing the highest point birds.

Wetland Data Analyst:This feels restrictive in actual gameplay. Along with everything else you’re doing, you have to worry about consecutive wingspans, which is new and interesting, don’t get me wrong. This feels like too much work for the points it yields. Its more beneficial to just focus on building the best engines and playing the highest point birds.

 

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