Slay the Spire Biased Cognition: Tips, Benefits, & More

Learn more about "Biased Cognition", one of the best cards for Defect in Slay the Spire

slay the spire biased cognition overview

Biased Cognition is an incredibly strong card for the Defect character in Slay the Spire. When you play this Power card, you gain 4 Focus (or 5 Focus when upgraded) and supercharge the power levels of the Defect’s Orbs.

Let’s dive into more about this incredible Power card:


slay the spire biased cognition
Biased Cognition

Biased Cognition is a rare power card for the Defect class, costing 1 energy to play. When played, it grants you 4 Focus points, which increase the potency of your Lightning, Frost, and Dark Orbs.

The card’s name refers to the cognitive bias that can occur when people rely too heavily on a single piece of information. In the game, this translates into the player focusing too much on their Orbs, at the cost of losing focus on other aspects of the battle.

Upgraded (Biased Cognition+)

slay the spire biased cognition plus
Biased Cognition+

The upgraded version, “Biased Cognition+,” costs 1 energy to play, grants 5 Focus points, and still causes the player to lose 1 Focus at the start of each turn.

With more Focus points granted, the upgraded version offers even greater potential for potent orb combinations, but the downside of decreased focus remains. You should pursue this upgrade as early as possible.


As mentioned earlier, the main benefit of playing Biased Cognition is that it provides the player with a significant increase in Focus points. This can lead to more potent Orbs, which can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes.

In terms of offense, more potent Orbs can deal more damage to enemies via Lightning and Dark Orbs. In terms of defense, more potent Orbs can provide more block via Frost Orbs.

The card’s effect really starts to scale when you can get more Orb slots, like with the Capacitor Power, and either the Inserter Relic (Every 2 turns, gain 1 Orb slot) or Runic Capacitor Relic (Start each combat with 3 additional Orb slots).

Furthermore, Biased Cognition is a relatively low-cost card (1 energy). This makes them easier to include in a deck and can provide a quick power boost when needed.


slay the spire biased cognitive Bias debuff
“Bias” debuff

When you play Biased Cognition, you gain the Bias debuff; lose 1 Focus at the start of your turn.

Biased Cognition’s negative effect is similar to that of Wraith Form, where you need to time when you play it according to the potential time left in the battle.

If you play this too early in a battle, then you will soon lose all of your Focus. Given that most of the Defect’s best builds rely on Focus for both offense and defense, you’re most likely going to die within a few turns.

Also, Focus doesn’t have an impact on Plasma Orbs. So if you are running a deck with a lot of these Orbs, Biased Cognition may not be a strong pickup.

Furthermore, the fact that “Biased Cognition” is a rare card means that it may not be available in every playthrough, which can limit your ability to rely on it as a consistent strategy.

Best Builds

Let’s go over some of the best builds that fit with Biased Cognition:

Lightning Build

This build focuses on generating constant amounts of Lightning Orbs. This combined with a high Focus will deliver massive amounts of damage to enemies.

When building a deck around the Lightning orb in Slay the Spire, it’s important to focus on cards that can channel it easily, such as Ball Lightning. The goal is to build up Focus to deal passive damage, evoke the orb regularly for additional damage, and use any of the plentiful Defect blocking cards to cover yourself on turns when attacked.

Electrodynamics is also a must-pick, as it changes Lightning Orb’s effects to hit all enemies, making multi-enemy fights easier. Tempest is also a great card, make sure you play it when the enemy isn’t attacking to load up on Orbs.

slay the spire biased cognitive orb slots
That’s a lot of damage

Thunder Strike is a trap card. It looks good, but it’s really just too expensive and the payoff is never worth it.

Frost Build

This build for the Defect focuses on generating and utilizing Frost orbs to provide strong defensive capabilities. The general strategy is to channel as many Frost orbs as possible to gain Block each turn and to evoke them for additional Block.

Cards that can help channel Frost orbs, such as Cold Snap, Coolheaded, and Chill, are essential to this build. These are all great cards, given they are cheap to play and channel your Frost orbs.

Defect also has a card that can deal damage based on the total amount of Frost Orbs channeled; Blizzard (and Blizzard+). After spending turns building up your block and cycling through Orbs, you should use this card to deal massive damage to enemies.

Another important aspect of a Frost build is to have a good amount of card draw and energy generation. Cards like Charge Battery can help with energy generation, while cards like Seek and Hologram can help with card draw and recycling important cards.

Is Biased Cognition Good in Slay the Spire?

biased cognition power card in slay the spire

Yes, Biased Cognition is a very powerful card in Slay the Spire, particularly in decks that focus on generating a large amount of Focus. With its effect of gaining 4 Focus (5 Focus for the upgraded version), Biased Cognition can provide a significant boost to damage output, particularly for decks that rely on powerful Orb effects like Lightning or Frost.

However, there are also drawbacks to using Biased Cognition. The loss of 1 Focus at the start of each turn can make it difficult to maintain high levels of Focus throughout a fight, and it can leave the player vulnerable to attacks if they are unable to generate enough Block to defend themselves. Just make sure you don’t play this card too early in a battle.

Should you pick up Biased Cognition in Slay the Spire?

choosing biased cognition in slay the spire

Yes, you should most likely pick up Biased Cognition when given the chance, even if you have one already. Most good builds for the Defect revolve around generating more Focus, so this card will always be useful in some capacity.

The ONLY time I would skip picking up Biased Cognition, is if you are running a build that doesn’t focus on generating Focus (pun intended). I would also maybe pick up a copy of Electrodynamics over Biased Cognition, but only if you already have a copy of Biased Cognition.

Biased Cognition is one of the best cards for the Defect. It can be a powerful addition to decks that focus on generating a large amount of Focus, but players should be wary of when to play it, as you could end up in a bind if you run out of Focus before the battle ends.

For more Slay the Spire content, check out our guide for the Ironclad.

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Ethan is the founder of Shark Games and oversees all site content. He's been a dedicated (mainly PlayStation) gamer for over 15 years, netting him over 4100 Trophies; 27 of which are Platinum. Over these countless hours, he has developed a passion for both digital card games and story-driven adventure games. He's reached the "Legend" rank in both Standard and Wild modes in Hearthstone. God of War Ragnarok is his favorite game of all time, and he's 100% completed every game in the Ratchet and Clank franchise (except for the garbage ones on handhelds). He also sucks at League of Legends.