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50 thoughts on “Ranking all 24 spirits in spirit island

  1. I apologize for the video being a lot more rambly and less edited than our normal content. With Steph in hospital last week, i decided to make something a lot quicker and easier than a 3 minute recap. And yes, a 45 minute video like this is less work than a normal recap, as weird as that sounds. Stephs feeling a lot better now, so things should be back to normal soon.

  2. It is nice seeing some different thoughts on various spirits. My favorites are Shroud, Shifting Memory, Trickster, and Keeper for my go to plays. I usually try and pick spirits to balance out allies for high success rate. The spirit that I was disappointed by was Burning Plague since I was looking forward to a disease base spirit but the playstyle did not suit me.

  3. The only ranking I really disagree with wholeheartedly is Volcano Looming High. Granted I'm certainly not an expert player, but I've played Volcano enough and with plenty of other Spirit combos to know its potential and usual effectiveness is far greater than D Tier. With Volcano, I've found that if you really master when to erupt and when NOT to, always planning one or sometimes two turns ahead, it could easily be a B or A Tier Spirit on your list.

  4. This list confirms my suspicion that Jagged Earth is excellent. Would love to see a follow-up after getting more comfortable with the crazy looking spirits.

    As per usual…


  5. Have you tried any custom spirits and adversaries yet? on the bgg spirit island variants section. They seem to be really nice done, with great art and creative ideas!

  6. Brilliant. Really enjoyed the discussion and the strategy suggestions too. I wouldn't mind seeing more of those. 🙂

  7. This has made it even harder to hold back on picking up jagged earth.

    I'm rather new to the game, so I want to savour the game by holding back on purchases. (got b&c tough)

    Not sure how much you solo this game, but I would be interested to see a list of favourite solo spirits. (when playing with a single spirit)

    PS. Hope Steph is feeling better. Take care!

  8. I'd be curious to see your thoughts after more playtime with Jagged Earth. Sometimes its a matter of learning the spirit to be able to enjoy it properly. For instance, I don't care for Fangs much – find it too one dimensional and slow – but absolutely love Many Minds and find it absolutely broken at times. I think the most common issue with Many Minds is not prioritizing adding beasts early, which leaves the spirit underpowered and vulnerable mid-late game. Otherwise you can generate stupid amounts of fear/defense in late game, and the mobility makes it as engaging as Oceans or Thunderspeaker.

    It's fascinating how much variation there is in tier lists, even among the best players. Starlight isn't my cup of tea and feels inconsistent, but I see more experienced players (people who almost always play difficulty 10+) carry 6p games with it so I suspect it's my approach that's the issue. My personal tier list has constantly evolved as I keep playing: e.g., Keeper went from being my least favourite to one of my favourites after figuring out its rhythm. I love seeing others experience this same phenomenon.

  9. Bringer and ocean on c.. So different can experiences be. They are a amazing team. Bringer "destroys" something, creates fear and moves it into the ocean to create more fear plus energy for the ocean player.

    But both work great in other combination and ocean is my favorite solo spirit. Though not the easiest to get started with.

  10. Thank you for this! The girlfriend and I never quite 'clicked' with Spirit Island, until we tried it one last time tonight by following your suggestion (Thunderspeaker/River Surges In Sunlight) and we had a BLAST! THANK YOU!

  11. I'm not entirely sure Keeper of the Forbidden Wilds is a good example of a spirit that goes well with a Spread of Rampant Green? If keeper is prepared to sacrifice the first turn by just playing a 1 cost card, then Keeper can get 2 presence out every turn for most of the game, so the extra presence from Green every turn or three isn't that significant (max 25% more presence)? On the other hand, if you're playing with Serpent Slumbers or even better Vital strength of the earth, they are only getting 1 presence out max a turn, so the extra presence is twice as significant (50% more presence – or event up to 100% more if you use it with Earth's gift of strength)?

  12. Great stuff, thanks for sharing your experience with these spirits! Part of the beauty of this game is how different each spirit plays and how every person will experience them differently. My personal top 5 favorite to play are:
    1. Mists: Vanishing things.
    2. Fractured: The master of time.
    3. Trickster: Fun troublemaker!
    4. Finder: Magical portals everywhere.
    5. Ocean: Respect the sea.
    Don't know if they're the strongest but certainly the most fun to me, and we usually play difficulty 9 or 10.

    I know there are already lots of spirits but I wish there were even more! Love this game so much, highly recommended to anyone out there looking for a fun co-op challenge.

  13. This is great thanks! Spirit Island has been our favourite co-op game for near 2 years and we just got jagged earth. Was great seeing how you ranked them all. I just shared the video on the spirit island Facebook page.

  14. Great video. Ocean's Hungry Grasp is my favorite. Such a powerful and thematic spirit. If you can draw into Tsunami it's gg for the invaders.

    Thunderspeaker never clicked well for me so it's cool to see different perspectives on what other people prefer. The rest of my picks would be similar to yours.

  15. Long time listener, first time caller.
    Just got into the game two weeks ago thanks to your recommendation, and it's my favourite cooperative so far. I love the asymmetry and the theme to mechanics melding.
    I wanted to ask you what is the app you use to play it electronically.
    Thanks for your work, love the short reviews and long form content too.

  16. I love ocean's hungry grasp. That they encapsulated the tides into the way it does presence is just some ridiculously tight game design.

    That and thunderspeaker are my current go-tos. Wrap in wings of sunlight + thunderspeaker for a dahan paratrooper squad is some of my funnest times in the game.

  17. Great video! I really need to play more Jagged Earth, have only tried half of the Spirits yet. My favorites are quite different from yours, I like Oceans, Bringer, Volcano & Mists most! What difficulty do you usually play at? With some of the harder Spirits I have a feeling I usually underpreform the first game, which makes it hard to climb in difficulty!

  18. Starlight is my absolute favorite spirit, and that has a lot to do with how it can draw a major power turn 2 and basically play it every turn thereafter due to the flexibility of the growth options. The identity of Starlight becomes that major power for the game, and after some customization it even gets the thresholds with each play. Just look through the major power deck and for each card imagine how awesome it would be to play it each turn for an entire game (it has to be about 5 energy cost or less to work out without help from other spirits).

    I have yet to have it happen, but just imagine Strangling Firewines turn 3 (with threshold) and onwards!

    The initial draw of major powers is indeed horribly random, but part of the fun is using all the spirit's options to adapt to whatever you pick. Just as a few examples, I had a game of playing Unrelenting Growth every turn which led to unprecedented acceleration, and a game with Sea Monsters together with Fangs that was completely nuts. Every game with Starlight is unique, and that is the true strength of the spirit.

  19. My top spirits are Oceans, Fangs, and Volcano!
    Oceans is so fun to drown invaders, I get really into the theme. The oceans must turn red!
    Fangs is so fun to follow the beasts and summon more then see what they do with the event cards.
    Volcano is super fun thematically like oceans for me. I love watching the invaders build up around me, knowing I'm going to erupt in their face!

  20. Great video! I enjoyed the different format, and I adore everything Spirit Island.

    It seems we have pretty differing tastes and opinion about a lot of these Spirits, which I personally find to be awesome; one of the things I love about this game is that there is so much diversity that every person can come at it a totally different way and have a great time all the same.

    While I could probably ramble on for hours and discuss it point by point with you, for both our sakes, I’ll just go with some highlights 😆.

    Thunderspeaker (and to a lesser extent Fangs) I find myself reaching to play with less often because despite being very fun and powerful, the analysis paralysis is massive; I’m pretty guilty of AP in general, but Thunderspeaker brings it out in me the most. Curiously, I experience almost none with Starlight; I usually just go with the flow of the first few power cards I get, it’s a very zen experience I find.

    Even though Ocean is my heart and soul since the first time I opened the box, I can totally understand your hesitation with it and why you might shy away, because the tidal ebb-and-flow gameplay can be tricky to master. I have a similar reaction with Vengeance; I tried and tried and could not get a good game with it, but I had this sneaking feeling it could be really cool in the right hands (so I’m happy to hear that’s the case).

    I’ve found Trickster to consistently feel amazing to play, without being too over-the-edge (*cough Keeper cough*) powerful. Strife is an awesome mechanic because it is by nature not as strong as things like disease, but the fact that you can use it to fix something RIGHT NOW, makes Trickster feel like he’s saving the day in the nick of time pretty consistently (plus his Uniques allow for some interesting planning around strife too).

    I’ll stop there before I go into detail on all of them, but cheers, love Spirit Island content, and thanks for another quality video! 😃

  21. Ocean requires other people to push your stuff. Once they do, you can continually drown invaders with an amazing pace. But by yourself, very very difficult.

  22. I am so glad that I'm not the only person who looked at Unexpected Tigers and immediately thought, "I don't even care what this power does, this is my new favorite card."

  23. I'm playing a lot on the app, and I hope the claws expansion will come out as a DLC (a must buy for me). Unfortunately, I'll have to wait for the physical boardgames for a while! If you have strategy videos, that would be great! I want to break through difficulty 6 consistently…

  24. You list similar to mine. Interesting to hear about different play styles. Sharp fangs is one of my favorites to play, but the weakest spirit in my opinion. Ocean is A tier on my list. Trickster has always been the worst in our games. Volcano is amazing. Clutch victories with the exploding volcano.

  25. Love the list, but I cant help being a little heartbroken to see my favourite spirit Starlight right down the bottom. I feel in love with the concept since before Jagged Earth's release and they've been my go-to pick ever since. I do understand your reasoning, and I agree that they're definitely a handful on the first try, but I have to disagree with them never seeing a starring role. With a little tinkering you can play as fast or as slow as possible, and you can shine at whatever stage of the game you're needed.

    Most importantly, you're never stuck in the dreadful situation of gaining a card and not getting a single element you need. Every element is yours, and you can genuinely consider taking whatever cards you want or need. Granted if you're trying to pick something that will fit a certain role then Starlight is sure to disappoint, but if you're indecisive like me then it's a delight to just be able to gain a ridiculous number of cards and roll with it.

    Not here to say you have a wrong opinion, just wanted share some perspective and give a little love to my favourite stellar speck. Thanks for getting me and many others into this game, and keep up the good work.

  26. Many Minds Move as One is my favorite! Sooo strong when those event cards with Beasts show up (which seems to be all the time). Also coolest theme: a badass swarm of bees and gulls? What's not to like?

  27. Im still not sure if i should get the game. Gameplay, Theme and Design are amazing. But im quite cautious about the difficulty. My "hardest" game i played were Aeons End and Blood Rage. Is the learning/Difficulty curve good or is it way too frustrating for a casual player?
    Keep the good work up. You are amazing!

  28. Great video! I can't say I agree with every decision, but once I got around that personal play style was a factor I got a lot more comfortable.
    I think I just don't have the head for the movement charactors like thunderspeaker and sharp fangs. Glad my favorite (Rampant Spread of Green) made S tier though
    Spirit Island is my favorite board game and this is my favorite review channel (even over SUSD),
    It was a pleasure to watch!

  29. Love how different this list was! Keep up the SI content this was great.

    Also I would suggest trying River and Ocean paired together. Both begin to shine when they team up! And it helps understanding the power OHG can possess.

  30. Is there a reasonable way to acquire the promo packs for those of us who can only afford to buy the game/expansions at retail? Spirit Island is one of my favorite tabletop games, but it feels like a slighted experience without the bonus content.

  31. I really like both Shadows and Bringer because I mostly play solo, and it is super easy to churn through the fear deck before the invaders become a problem. But playing with more spirits makes the fear strategy much harder to pull off (in my experience)

  32. I still have to wait 3 months for the german version! And the promo pack (I call it the Wingspan Expansion) will be even months later. So hyped. I enioy the spirits with either a lot of movement or a balance of risk and potential – Fangs, Thunderspeaker, Wildfire. Looking forward to vengeance and the three birds (well, the two birds and the swarm), but I like all of them. And shadows gives me cool guerilla vibes with their constant small attacks and reach.

  33. I’m lucky this is currently sold out at my flgs so I can’t buy it (yet), after all the mention of this game, which I feel MUST be specifically targeted at me in particular after you got me in to Brass Birmingham. 👻

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