Day of the Dead Strategy: Timing Spirit Effects

In Evan Raisner’s new game Day of the Dead, players should adopt Dr. Logan’s philosophy and train their zombies (preferably for combat against other undead). Unfortunately you do not have a freezer of dead military personal for your army of Bubs to feast on like Popeye with spinach; however, in Evan’s game a team of undead are enhanced each round through three different spirit effects: Double, Power-Up, and Unearth. Power-Up boosts the value of each fighter by two for the purposes of winning fights only. Double activates the power of a fighter twice. Unearth lets the player choose one of his cards (including the spirit card), and unearth it; he looks at the top three cards in the respective deck and replaces the old card with one of them. During the course of the game, each player must play two copies of each of these effects. The effect a player chooses each round will make all the difference.

X + 2 = I Beat You

Don’t underestimate the importance of Power-Up. Yes it’s the most boring effect you can use. Using a card’s game text multiple times and looking at new cards always trumps basic math. But boosting your undead army’s value can result in winning more fights, and winning fights is pretty damn good. You don’t earn points for how many times you activate Spook’s unearth effect. You earn points by turning opposing undead down, and Power-Up does not mess around when it comes to helping out in this department. Opponents find a Power-Up spirit card incredibly infuriating when both players manage to play similar strategies, because the plus two from the Power-Up spirit card will squeak out victories or break ties.

Once is Good, but Twice is Real Nice

The most successful strategies in Day of the Dead work off of undead fighters with synergistic powers. Once a player fills the field with undead that work together, expect him or her to drop a Double into the spirit zone. Nothing hurts more than your opponent scoring ten points off of Twin copying Hoard because of a Double spirit effect. Try saving your Double effects for later in the game, or when you can set up a situation that pays off big with multiple effects. Look for fighters like Mimic, Spook, Hoard, and Greed to take advantage of doubling. Also try to arrange your fighters so the powerful effects happen first in the chain. If the undead fighters you want to double do not activate until the later turns, this could prevent you from switching your fighter from a loss in an earlier fight because it could switch your spirit effect to something other than Double.

Unearth the Phoenix

A smart player knows when to lose. The Unearth spirit effect can help you win a fight, but most of the time it shines when you want to set up for a bigger turn. Unearth also provides the fastest way to change a fighter for a particular battle. Unearth can allow you to switch a losing Gray into something with a higher value. Depending on what you draw off an unearth effect, you could set up great synergistic set ups like placing a Paranoid next to a Forget. Don’t fear switching out an undead for a new one that has a good effect but will lose the fight. Just make sure you choose an undead that has a spirit effect you may want to switch to during the round. Unearth also provides the best way to improve the quality of your hand, since players are not permitted any type of mulligan in this game.

Did I Just Hear You Say “Get a Free Copy?”

Interested in trying Evan Raisner’s Game?

Check out the Kickstarter page here: Day of the Dead.

Don’t forget to watch the video, ask questions, leave comments, or support the game if you’re interested. Your donation could award you with a free copy, some exclusive promos, and or a limited edition playmat.

Let us know what you think.

If you live in the PA, NJ, or DE area, feel free to contact us at Next Level Card Games and we will try to set up a demonstration.


  1. You know, everyone keeps asnikg me how I made those effects but really what it came to was a theory. When I was planning the vid I thought to myself, I wonder if doing this with that would make that effect? Yes WMM sucks but when you’ve used it enough, you find things for it to do that you wouldn’t really expect.

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    • Wow!! Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoy the content here. Hopefully you’ll like what NLCG has in store for the future. If you ever want to contribute to the site with an article of your own, please drop us a line.

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