|Type(s)||Action - Attack|
|Each player (including you) reveals the top 2 cards of their deck, and discards them or puts them back, your choice (they choose the order). Then, +2 Cards.|
Oracle is an Action-Attack from first edition of Hinterlands. It combines terminal draw, sifting, and a mild attack.
It was removed from the second edition of Hinterlands and replaced with Witch's Hut which also offers draw, sifting, and an attack.
- First, each player, including you, reveals the top two cards of their deck, and either discards both of them or puts both of them back on top, your choice.
- A player putting the cards back puts them back in any order they choose, and without needing to reveal that order.
- Then, you draw two cards.
- So if you put back the cards you revealed, you will draw them.
Other Rules clarifications
- Although in most cases, the order you put your 2 cards back won't matter, it does matter when you aren't drawing 2 cards (either because of your -1 Card token, or Way of the Chameleon).
- Despite what the FAQ says, when players return their 2 cards on top of their deck, that order is public knowledge.
Before it was removed, Oracle was a weak terminal draw card with a sifting effect and a low-impact deck inspection attack. Because it only draws two cards and needs village support, Oracle is very inefficient as a primary source of draw, comparable to Moat. Although its sifting effect can increase the reliability of your deck and allows you to cycle through it more quickly, these bonuses are usually not enough to overcome the fact that Oracle is half as efficient as cards such as Smithy in converting terminal space into hand size: Oracle increases your hand size by only one, while Smithy increases it by two. As such, Oracle is skippable more often than not, though its bonuses combined with its low price can make a copy or two occasionally worth using as a supplement to other sources of draw if you have an excess of terminal space. If terminal space is especially abundant, as may be the case with Champion or Lost Arts, Oracle can be viable as your primary source of draw.
Because of its sifting ability, Oracle can sometimes be a reasonable choice in the opening if your other opening purchase is a card that it can't draw dead, such as Silver or Exorcist. With such an opening, you have a high chance of cycling through your entire deck over the course of turns 3 and 4 and the increased hand size lets you hit price points more easily. However, Oracle is poorly suited to finding key Action cards (such as Travellers or Attacks), as it's likely to either draw them dead or discard them from the shuffle. Therefore, its sifting ability is less relevant outside these specific circumstances and generally functions as more of a small bonus to the draw effect.
There are a few minor considerations to deciding whether or not to discard with Oracle.
- Generally, your two goals are to continue drawing through your deck and to make sure important cards do not miss the shuffle. These goals can conflict, as the former means that you’ll want to discard stop cards and junk in order to find your draw cards, while the latter means you may not want to discard important payload cards if you will not be able to draw back around to them.
- In order to know which cards you might draw instead, it’s a good idea to be deck tracking. Doing so will allow you to judge whether the revealed cards are better or worse than what you might draw otherwise.
- If the cards you would discard and the cards you would draw otherwise are roughly equal, discarding the first two cards gives you some cycling, which is usually a net positive. For example, if your remaining drawpile consists solely of four Coppers, it’s a good idea to discard before drawing.
- These points are inverted when you are deciding whether your opponent should discard. You’ll generally want to topdeck their junk, make their strongest cards miss the shuffle, and avoid giving them free cycling.
Because Oracle can both reveal and discard cards, it synergizes with the on-reveal effect of Patron as well as on-discard Reactions like Village Green and Tunnel. It is worth noting that these can be activated by both your own and your opponent's Oracles, and this may mitigate or invert any harm that Oracle’s attack would have caused.
External strategy articles
Note: Article(s) below are by individual authors and may not represent the community's current views on cards, but may provide more in-depth information or give historical perspective. Caveat emptor.
Each player (including you) reveals the top 2 cards of his deck, and you choose one: either he discards them or he puts them back on top in an order he chooses.+2 Cards
|Each player (including you) reveals the top 2 cards of their deck, and discards them or puts them back, your choice. They choose the order to return them. Afterwards, you draw 2 cards.||Hinterlands (2016 printing)||December 2016|
|Each player (including you) reveals the top 2 cards of their deck, and discards them or puts them back, your choice (they choose the order). Then, +2 Cards.||Hinterlands (2020 printing)||October 2020|
Other language versions
Without your -1 Card token or Way of the Chameleon, it doesn't matter how you put your own 2 cards back. When Donald X. was asked why Oracle still lets you order them, he said:
In 2016, Oracle got changed to "draw 2 cards," and then it got changed back to +2 Cards in 2020.
Donald X. has stopped playtesting with Oracle.
Second Edition removal