Timely Messenger - B. A single hasty point of damage is very strong in the early game, but the impact of spending a card to deal only 1 damage falls off quickly. An excellent vehicle for temporary or global buff effects.
Tenderfoot - B-. Blocks acceptably as squad leader early game, gets Virtuosso bonuses, but isn’t high impact, and can often be worked around.
Older Brother - C. The classic C, he’s just a solid body for a solid cost.
Brick Thief - C-. In many cases, this is worse than Older Brother, but in some cases, especially later in the game, it is better. Overall, he’s just a 2 atk for 2 gold warm body. Brick Thief is better than a normal 2/1 by a lot due to having an Arrives effect and Resist 1.
Helpful Turtle - D. Often does nothing, or is a “win more” effect. If you can maintain board presence after spending 2 on a 1/2, something very strange is going on.
Granfalloon Flagbearer - C-. Key in some matchups, but expensive in all matchups. Often not worth holding in the deck through the late game.
Fruit Ninja - D+. Going first, on turn 1, Fruit Ninja can do some work. The rest of the time, it’s just a worker.
Spark - D+. A nice effect, but usually only useful when your winning. 1 hp patrollers are often in Scavenger or Technician, so you are falling behind in material. Generally worse than Timely Messenger except against Illusions, where it still shines by being a 1 cost targeting spell.
Bloom - B. Very powerful on an early hero, will usually allow you to steal tempo by killing something, and forcing your opponent to attack the bosted guy on their turn. This is card neutral, but usually gold advantage.
Wither - B-. The counterpart to Bloom. This can also help make a good early trade, but doesn’t leave behind a bonus. However, many starter decks have troublesome units that like to hang out behind the patrol zone, and can be hard to attack. Wither reaches back and trades with many “A” level targets, while also taking out 1 hp squad leaders through their armor.
Overall: B-. To get the overall grade, we drop the bottom 4 cards (since you have to worker something) and look at the others. The Neutral starter contributes many cheap and small effects, but doesn’t scale well into the late game. It also has no “A” quality cards, so unless you are planning to abuse Bloom, Timely Messenger, or just want an overall low cost starter deck, there are probably better options.
Nautical Dog - C+. The inverse of Tenderfoot, but he only gets the attack on your own turn. Still good at trading up on gold, but low impact later, and significantly more vulnerable.
Mad Man - B. Everything mentioned about Timely Messenger applies to his alter ego.
Bombaster - B. Also known as Scorch on a stick, Bombaster takes the solid Older Brother stats and adds the significant versatility of being able to gain “haste” for 1 more.
Careless Musketeer - D+. One health is just a killer for what would otherwise be a very solid unit, and limits it to role player status of picking off Prospectors and Illusions.
Bloodrage Ogre - A. 3/2 breaks just about everything early on, and it is very rare that his drawback will ever come into play. Even if it does, it’s only a loss of gold, not cards. This is the unit you always play in your first or second hand, and probably a second time later.
Makeshift Rambaster - C-. Two cost for 1 hasty damage is fine, but not being able to patrol when you need to really hurts. Best use is sniping Graveyards unexpectedly, but often this is the “oh well” worker.
Bloodburn - B-. Expensive for a minor effect on the board and a bit of deck thinning. One damage a turn (that limit: 4 is only there so you can stop tracking after the first turn) is potent, but 3 is a ton to pay for it. This is usually worth fitting in going first to help you keep the pressure on. Going second, you won’t have the time, but it is still worth it against Skeletons, Illusions, and other 1-HP plans.
Scorch - F. Expensive for a minor effect on the board, and you need a hero so it can’t be played in the first cycle. Almost strictly worse than Bombaster, Scorch is one of the first things to get workered unless you are planning for Hotter Fire, or a base race starting turn 1. Being limited to Patrollers is the killer, as you would love to pick off a Tinkerer or other utility unit hiding in the back.
Pillage - D. Everyone plays around Pillage in the first couple of turns, and because you need a hero and a pirate for the “good” effect, it doesn’t come online until turn 2. If you are using Gunpoint Taxman and/or Crash Bomber you can usually find a moment to cash this in for 2 base damage & 1 gold stolen (if the opponent is always spending out, kill a Scavenger before playing this), but that often isn’t worth using a card. For the all-in base race, this is better than Scorch, but in any other gameplan, it’s just a worker.
Charge - A. Attacking or activating a unit the moment it arrives is game changing throughout the midgame. Even at 2 cost, getting an immediate attack with a Flying unit will change the tide of the game. As an extra bonus, it even gets +1 ATK, so all those 4 ATK bodies get to show up and break a tech building immediately.
Overall: B+. Red has lots of solid cheap units, two A-level cards, and a couple of easy Workers. Everything good is cheap enough that you can feel free to tech in expensive Tier I units or Spells, and count on your starter deck to provide acceptable blockers.
Merfolk Prospector - A-. As the only 1-drop in the greens starter, this gets special recognition. It’s also a must-kill unit for the opponent, since otherwise it’s an extra worker at no extra cost. There are games where it doesn’t come out, and late game it might not be worth the card, but the economic gains from an early Prospector will win most games.
Tiger Cub - C. Another vanilla 2/2 for 2. Solid, cute, and this one has in-color synergies with Midori!
Young Treant - B. Provides cycling manipulation early, and an extra chump blocker late. Low impact at all stages of the game, but a nice little tree for many different green strategies. Young Treant remains relevant throughout the game as a deck thinner / tech accelerator.
Playful Panda - B-. 2 for the price of 1. A tiger cub that defends poorly when first summoned, but contributes 2 bodies for various synergies, and just blocks in a pinch. Playful Panda’s 2/2 body eventually gets outclassed, but Growth really just wants more bodies in play, and the Panda delivers that.
Ironbark Treant - C. It looks like a good defender, but going down to 1 ATK means you often spend 3 gold for a Moment’s Peace, offer not valid at Tier II. Sometimes that’s all you need, other times this gets workered.
Spore Shambler - B-. One of the most versatile units in the game. This can be a 5-cost double Fortune’s Favor, a 3 cost 2/3, a way to kill Illusions, or anything in between. The versatility means this will often hang around in the deck longer than the other starter units. Don’t get too excited, however, this guy is still expensive.
Verdant Tree - D-. Don’t sleep on the Healing 1, that can really help. Often, however, the tree will get quickly killed, and strand your higher Tech units in hand. Only usable as a trick-shot with specific builds, or when you are already winning and want to finish things in style. Note that it’s perfectly OK to leave this circulating until you hit 9 workers, and use it just to accelerate Tech III.
Rich Earth - C-. This is functionally a 2 cost extra worker (that also costs a card). You can usually afford that if you expect the game to go long, so make sure whatever your long game is will trump the opponent’s long game before you commit to this. Most games are decided around turn 7 or 8, so this could generate up to that much gold, but often you have to stop making workers at 8, 9, or 10 workers because you’re running out of cards (a dilemma not helped by having spent a card on Rich Earth), and if you aren’t making workers, this does nothing (except thin your deck).
Rampant Growth - A. At every stage of the game, this lets you attack with a similarly sized unit or hero to kill the opponent’s Squad Leader and have your unit or hero survive. A great tempo play at any stage.
Forest’s Favor - B. See Bloom.
Overall: B. Green provides a solid foundation with units that remain relevant through Tech I, and several ways to accelerate gold, along with two very solid spells.