As the current player pulled an epidemic card, we do the following steps: increase, infect, and intensify.

  1. Infect: Draw the bottom card from the deck and put three cubes in that city. Discard that card.

In this case however the bottom card that was drawn was a mutation card.

If the purple disease is not eradicated, draw a card from the bottom of the deck. Place 1 purple disease cube (only) on this city.

How do you proceed in this situation? Does the effect of the epidemic make it so you place three purple cubes in the location drawn for the mutation location? Does the phrase "1 purple disease cube (only)..." supercede the effect of the epidemic? Or is there some other interpretation?

  • 1
    I don't see how this would happen. Did you correctly put the mutation cards into the discard pile when doing the initial game setup?
    – bwarner
    Jan 23, 2015 at 15:40
  • @bwarner You are absolutely correct. That must be what happened. There is a line in the rulebook that reads "Setup: ... Put the 2 mutation cards in the Infection Discard Pile (do not shuffle them into the Infection Deck)." If you would kindly add that as an answer I will be happy to accept it to give credit where credit is due. It stands to reason that as the mutation cards originate from the discard, they are never able to be on the bottom of the deck as they will constantly be returned only to the top of the deck (along with the rest of the discard) after epidemics.
    – JMoravitz
    Jan 23, 2015 at 17:33

2 Answers 2


This situation should never occur. The mutation cards are put into the Infection Discard Pile at the beginning of the game. So they aren't even in the deck until after the first Epidemic, and at that time they will be put on the top of the deck with the rest of the discard pile. The only way for them to be on the bottom is to draw the entire Infection deck without hitting an Epidemic, which shouldn't be possible (at least without fan-based rules.

  • Feel free to cannibalize my post below. Otherwise, I'll leave it there as it is for future SE members to see the screengrab of the rules.
    – JMoravitz
    Jan 23, 2015 at 17:49

--putting this here as a potential template for bwarner's answer to reduce required effort on his part. I encourage bwarner to simply copy/paste my answer or reuse the image file/transcription so I may accept his answer instead.--

According to the Pandemic: On The Brink rulebook, page 4

Setup Put the 12 purple disease cubes near the other cubes as a supply. Put the purple Discovered Cure Indicator and curemarker on the board. Put the 2 Mutation cards in the Infection Discard Pile (do not shuffle them into the Infection Deck).

Pandemic_OTB Rulebook screengrab

With the mutation cards starting in the discard pile, it follows that they do not start on the bottom of the deck. Since those cards in the discard pile only ever get placed back on the top of the deck, it is thus impossible for the bottom card of the deck to ever be a mutation card (barring some house-rule variant allowing either mutation cards to start mixed in the deck, be mixed in later, or allowing the entire deck to be used inbetween epidemics).

As a result, the question of what to do when faced with the original question of how to proceed in the situation of drawing a mutation card during the infect step of an epidemic is moot as it is an impossible scenario.

  • "barring... the entire deck to be used inbetween epidemics" - I started doing some calculations around whether this was possible or not, but it got quite involved! There are complications from the mutation event cards which draw from the bottom of the infection deck, as well as the Resilient Population card. I think if you're playing with the virulent strain card "Rate Effect" then it could happen.
    – tttppp
    Jan 23, 2015 at 18:43

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