Tarot Cards are a consumable item the player can find in the game that are based on an actual real life set of cards. Tarot Cards are kept in the Q slot which is also used by pills. As such, you can only carry one pill or Tarot Card at any given time; picking up one of these items while already holding one will cause Isaac to drop his current item.
They appear on the map using the following icon:
There are 22 different Tarot Cards in the vanilla game and an additional 5 cards (that looks like regular deck cards) in the Wrath of the Lamb expansion. Tarot Cards can drop from finishing a room, opening chests, and killing champion monsters. The key difference between Tarot Cards and pills is that the effect of a Tarot Card is always the same.
Below are all the different Tarot Cards and their effects:
Possibly the worst card in the game as it only teleports the player back to the floor's starting room. The only use I can think of when it comes to this card is to get out of un-leavable rooms such as Challenge Rooms or the Mom boss fight.
Gives the player homing shots for the current room. This card has the same effect as the Spoon Bender item.
The High Priestess
Causes Mom's foot to drop down dealing massive damage. This card will target a random enemy in the room, but if no enemies are present it will target Isaac instead. The foot also counts as an explosion and thus will destroy rocks and open secret rooms.
This card is best used against tough bosses.
Turns Isaac into a huge demon, increasing his Attack by 2 and Speed by 1. The effect of this card is exactly the same as that of the Whore of Babylon item.
Teleports the player to the Boss room. If used while fighting the Boss this card will restart the fight. Because of the way champion enemies are picked, this card can be used to "re-roll" the Boss and try to get a champion version. If you stumble upon this card try to save it for the later floors so you can skip all of the hard rooms and go straight to the boss.
Creates two Soul Hearts on the ground. Very useful when playing as ???.
Creates two Red Hearts on the ground.
Makes Isaac invulnerable and allows him to damage enemies by touch for a short duration. This card has the same effect as the My Little Unicorn item.
Spawns one of each type of pickups, ie. will create one random Bomb, one random Key, one random Heart, and one random Coin. Be careful when using this card as the random Bomb can be a Troll Bomb.
Teleports the player to the floor's Item Shop. This is useful for when you want to get into a shop but don't have a key, but be warned that if used on a floor that doesn't have an Item Shop this card will act as a random teleport instead.
Wheel of Fortune
Spawns a Slot Machine. If you have the Wrath of the Lamb expansion installed this card can spawn a Fortune Telling Machine instead.
Makes Isaac bigger, increases Attack by 1, and gives a temporary full Red Heart container. If you are playing as ??? this card will give a permanent Soul Heart instead (this may be unintentional). The best way to use this card is for Boss or Challenge rooms, but it can also be used to get an extra health boost when you are going to die.
The Hanged Man
Removes Isaac's body, leaving a floating head that is considered to be flying. This means that you can fly over pits and spikes without taking damage. Note that this card is useless if you already have a flying item such as The Holy Grail.
Deals massive damage to all enemies in the room. The best way to use this card is in rooms with lots of monsters or against bosses that like to spawn adds. The Death Tarot Card is a single use version of The Necronomicon.
Spawns six Troll Bombs in random locations of the room. Be careful when using this card as the bombs can push themselves into you when they explode. This is basically a one time use of the Anarchist Cookbook item.
Increases Isaac's Damage by 3 for the current room. This card has the same effect as the Book of Belial item.
Spawns a Blood Donation Machine.
Teleports the player to the Treasure Room. In XL floors a random Treasure Room will be chosen. This card is very useful for when you want to access a Treasure Room but don't have a key. If the current floor does not have a Treasure Room this card will act as a random teleport instead.
Teleports the player to the Secret Room. A random wall will be opened inside the Secret Room allowing you to exit even if you don't have any bombs.
The most powerful card available in the game. This card will fully reveal the map including icons (will not reveal the Super Secret Room), damage all enemies in the room, and fully heal the player. The healing effect will do nothing for ???.
Spawns a Beggar. If you have the Wrath of the Lamb expansion installed it may spawn a Devil Beggar instead. The best place to use this card is in an Angel or Devil room since any item gotten from the Beggar will be rolled from the room's possible drops (ie. if used in a Devil Room and you win an item it will be a Devil Room item).
Fully reveals the map including icons (does not reveal the Super Secret Room). This item acts as a combined effect of the Compass and the Treasure Map items, and as such is useless if you already have both.
Wrath of the Lamb
Teleports the player to the current floor's Devil Room. It is important to note that if you use this card and then find the Devil Room normally (by killing the boss), you will still see the same items (or none if you took them on your first visit). As such you should first kill the Boss and see if the Devil Room spawns normally before using this card or you may end up wasting it.
Using this card can still spawn the Krampus mini-boss, so be prepared for a potential fight. Exiting the Devil Room after using this card will take you back to the floor's starting room.
2 of Hearts
When used this card will double your current health. This means that if you have 5 Red Heart containers but only 2 of them are filled, after using this card you will have 4 filled containers. If used and Isaac only has half a heart left it will fill your first two Red Heart containers.
This card does nothing when playing ???.
2 of Spades
Doubles your current amount of Keys or gives you 2 if you have none. This card will remove any Golden Keys you have collected so be careful.
2 of Clubs
Doubles your current amount of Bombs or give you 2 if you don't have any.
2 of Diamonds
Doubles your current money. If you don't have any money this card will give you 2 pennies.
Some items relate directly to the Tarot Cards found in the game. These items are:
- Deck of Cards - Spawns a single Tarot Card when used.
- Magic 8 Ball - Spawns a single Tarot Card when collected.
- Box - Spawns one Tarot Card when collected.
- Ace Of Spades - A trinket that increases the chance of finding deck cards (the Tarot Cards added in the Wrath of the Lamb expansion).