If I play a Poison card (from the Ninja faction) on a 3 power minion that minion now has 0 as that is the minimum.

Poison: Play on a minion. Destroy any number of actions on it. Ongoing: This minion has -4 power. (Minions have minimum power of 0.)

However if the owner of that card then plays a +1 power to all of their minions does the minion with poison have 0 or 1 power?

One person I play with argues that because the poison only reduced the minion to 0, the +1 therefore makes it 1. However, I think that all of the modifiers are added together, so 3 - 4 + 1 and only then is the 'minion score cannot be less than 0' modifier is applied so the minion is still 0.

2 Answers 2


The Smash Up Rules and FAQ don't seem to address this directly, but I would say the power is still zero for a simple reason - it keeps the power consistent regardless of which effect hit the table first. 3-4+1 = 3+1-4, after all. (Which is why most games do the math that way, IMO).

  • And unless I missed something, the rules don't say that a power can't go below zero actually. May 29, 2014 at 18:34
  • @Charles Boyung, It's right on the Poison card. I've added the text of the card to the question.
    – ikegami
    May 30, 2014 at 1:55

It's not covered by the rules. At times like this, I ask myself what Magic: The Gathering does, just to get an idea. It's a very similar game which has worked out these issues. In MTG, similar continuous effects are applied in the order they were created (played). However, MTG allows for negative power, so MTG gives zero no matter which card is applied first, so there's no good parallel.

In Smash Up, I think it's best to add up all the bonuses and penalties before capping off to zero. In your case, that would give the Minion a Power of zero.

If you did otherwise,

  • You'd have a card bring down a Minion by -3 to 1 even though it's suppose to give -4 on an ongoing basis. That feels weird.

  • It seems to go against the feel of Smash Up to have to remember the order the cards were played in.

  • Worth noting that's it is fairly common for games (beyond MtG) to use the "add it all up and then apply floor" method. (I think Munchkin does it that way, to name a second) May 30, 2014 at 14:24

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