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Dominion => Dominion Articles => Topic started by: Titandrake on December 26, 2017, 05:03:14 am

Title: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Titandrake on December 26, 2017, 05:03:14 am
(http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/images/thumb/5/51/Band_of_Misfits.jpg/200px-Band_of_Misfits.jpg)(http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/images/thumb/5/5e/Overlord.jpg/200px-Overlord.jpg)

The ultimate "depends on the kingdom" cards. Also, the cards with some of the most annoying rule headaches.

For both Band of Misfits and Overlord, you're looking for Actions that are contextually powerful. What does that mean? Some Action cards are usually strong, and other Action cards are usually weak, but some cards are strong / weak depending on context. For example, Noble Brigand is strong if you know they have a Gold in their first 2 cards, and it's weak if no Silvers or Golds are on top of their deck.

Noble Brigand is an extreme example, because it goes between "+$1" and "+$1, opponent trashes a Gold, you gain a Gold", which is a huuuuge shift. However, the power of most Actions depends a bit on context. Consider a classical Village + Smithy deck. Village is contextually strong when your hand has a lot of Smithies and you only have 1 action. Smithy is contextually strong when you have plenty of actions. And, consider a +Buy card - strong when you have a lot of money, weak when you don't.

Band of Misfits and Overlord are especially powerful in games where you expect to run into several contexts where the best Action is different. This is because of an obvious observation: if you always play your Band of Misfits as the same Action, you could have just bought that Action. The only way you can get extra value is if you play your Band of Misfits as different Actions depending on the situation. For example, in a game from Dominion Championship 2017, I played Overlord as Rabble (when I needed draw), Village (when I needed the Actions), Explorer (when I had a Province in my hand), Chariot Race (when a previous Chariot Race revealed a low cost card on top), and Catapult (when I had good ammo for my Catapult). If I had wanted all of those effects, I could have bought an actual Explorer, or an actual Catapult, but it would have been much less consistent. I didn't want an Explorer or Catapult in my deck, because I don't always want to play an Explorer, or play a Catapult, and having the terminal when I don't want to play it is wasted space. But a card that could be an Explorer or a Catapult when I needed it, and a Village / Rabble when I didn't? Sign me up!

There are some trade-offs to this power. It costs more to buy BoM / Overlord, compared to buying the action directly. And, if the pile you want to copy is empty, you can't play BoM / Overlord as that action, which can strand your deck in some situations. In my experience, Band of Misfits is okay, but often has a lot of competition at the $5 cost spot. Overlord, on the other hand, is incredibly strong. Seriously, if you haven't tried it yet: just buy Overlord whenever you'd buy a $5 cost Action, or whenever you want to buy a $5 cost but don't have $5. 8 debt isn't that much more than $5, and the benefits are usually worth it.

Some final points: copying a Reserve card doesn't work, because once BoM / Overlord goes to the Tavern mat, it is no longer a copy of that Reserve card, so you can't call it anymore. Additionally, when Adventures tokens (+1 Card, +1 Action, +$1, +1 Buy) are on the board, BoM and Overlord get the bonus of both the tokens on their pile and the tokens on the Action they copy. If you have a lot of Overlords, consider placing your most important token directly on Overlords, instead of the Action you normally copy. Finally, for Conspirator, BoM / Overlord count as two separate Action plays, since you first play the BoM, then play the action it copies.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Chris is me on December 26, 2017, 06:52:11 am
I would devote a whole paragraph to the mechanic of an empty pile being uncopyable. Itís the most important drawback of the card and ultimately it determines if itís worth going for, so significant time should be spent figuring out what piles it will be able to emulate at which phases of the game, strategic pile emptying, etc.

Otherwise itís dope.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: DG on December 26, 2017, 01:47:40 pm
Another potential problem is playing cost reducers, like highway, so that the Band of Misfits costs zero and there are no cheaper action cards in the supply.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: jonaskoelker on December 27, 2017, 02:19:02 am
Something that's true about Overlord but not Band of Misfits is that you can always open with it. Opening with (effectively) a $5'er is sometimes but not always good. I've heard AdamH suggest that opening Overlord planning to play it as a trasher or junker is more likely to be worth it than if you plan to play it as some kind of economy* card.

It'd be interesting to hear your take on thisóor in general, when is a (very) early Overlord good?

*Note: in the early game, draw is economy because all it draws you is Copper. I define "early game" such that what I just said is true ;)
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Titandrake on December 27, 2017, 03:07:20 am
Something that's true about Overlord but not Band of Misfits is that you can always open with it. Opening with (effectively) a $5'er is sometimes but not always good. I've heard AdamH suggest that opening Overlord planning to play it as a trasher or junker is more likely to be worth it than if you plan to play it as some kind of economy* card.

It'd be interesting to hear your take on thisóor in general, when is a (very) early Overlord good?

*Note: in the early game, draw is economy because all it draws you is Copper. I define "early game" such that what I just said is true ;)

On a 5/2 or 2/5 opening with no $2s I want to open, I'm buying Overlord turn 1 all the time. On a 3/4 opening, if there are powerful $5s (the kind of $5 you go out of your way to buy on the 2nd shuffle), I'll probably buy Overlord turn 2. Powerful $5s include several trashers and junkers, but it also includes cards like Wharf and Margrave.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Chris is me on December 27, 2017, 10:31:23 am
Overlord opening is very rarely not worth it; only if the Debt cripples you and there is a good chance that the ďsafeĒ piles for emulation will run out. So a board with strong 3ís and 4ís that you need to buy every turn to keep up.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Titandrake on December 30, 2017, 06:17:24 pm
Here's an especially nice Band of Misfits board I just played. Game #10114351.

(https://i.imgur.com/vuoo1lc.png)

I opened 5/2, which I was initially disappointed about, but it worked out well. I played BoM as Trader in my first shuffle to trash an Estate, then I played it as an Urchin in my 2nd shuffle to guarantee an Urchin --> Mercenary conversion, then I played it as Patrician until those ran out, then I played it as Urchin instead. Along the way I would occasionally play it as Monument, when I wanted to guarantee hitting $8. In the end game, I played it as Storeroom, to convert dead Provinces and Mercenaries into coins. BoM was the easiest way to get a +Buy into the deck, because there are no Villages in the kingdom. Without Villages, and with Mercenary, you really want a card that can double as either a cantrip or a terminal +Buy, depending on the hand.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: aku_chi on December 30, 2017, 08:07:30 pm
Overlord is one of my favorite cards!  Nice article, Titandrake.

Actions that are contextually powerful.

This is a huge takeaway.  If there is a big difference between an action's best case and its worst case, it can be unsatisfying to purchase, but fantastic to play with Overlord or Band of Misfits.  In my experience, two classes of cards stand out here:

Overlord in the opening:

Opening with an Overlord is usually the best thing to do.  It's an obvious choice to buy Overlord on turn 2 (sometimes turn 1) if you open 3/4 or 4/3 on a board with a power $5.  It's also usually correct to buy Overlord on turn 1 if you open 5/2 or 2/5 without a compelling $2 option.  But also keep an eye out for boards where a turn 2 (or turn 1) Overlord can be beneficial even in the absence of a power $5.  Ambassador + Overlord is usually a strong opening, because it mitigates the damage of collision, you generally don't buy valuable stuff on turns 3-6 in an Ambassador game, and you probably won't want a second Ambassador later in the game.  Overlord as Remake is also an opening I'm fond of, because Remake trashing Estates generally provides enough $3s, and you're in a good position to transition into a stronger deck post-trashing.

Exceptions: Three big reasons to avoid Overlord in the early game are:
Even in games where Overlord isn't a great purchase early, consider picking one or two up later.  If you find yourself with $7+ and a single buy, an Overlord is often going to be the best option.

Here are a couple games where Overlord was extraordinarily strong:

In the first game, vsiewnar uses Overlords to work around Lost City's on-gain drawback, and are used for trashing, draw, and payload.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7xdrVDd_Sk

In the second game, I used Travelling Fair + Overlord to accelerate my deck.  Here, Overlord can also be used as thinning, draw, and payload.
(Skip to 29:46.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RjPIdImPo4&feature=youtu.be&t=1786
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: jonaskoelker on December 31, 2017, 09:44:23 am
Actions that are contextually powerful.

This is a huge takeaway. [...]

Here are a couple games where Overlord was extraordinarily strong: In the first game, vsiewnar uses Overlords to work around Lost City's on-gain drawback, and are used for trashing, draw, and payload. [...] In the second game, I used Travelling Fair + Overlord to accelerate my deck.  Here, Overlord can also be used as thinning, draw, and payload.

Two excellent gamesógreat fun to watch, and they highlight the point about contextual usefulness quite well.

One lesson learned: with strong $5'ers, piling Overlord (http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Overlord)s is a high-cost high-return investment.

A second lesson learned: when you already have Overlord, buying a Lost City (http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/index.php/Lost_City) is a sneaky way of increasing your payload.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: ipofanes on January 02, 2018, 06:57:17 am
then I played it as Patrician until those ran out

You never had two in hand that you could use as Treasure Maps? I was so geared on reading up on TM shenanigans, instead I got Particians.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: aku_chi on January 02, 2018, 08:51:08 am
then I played it as Patrician until those ran out

You never had two in hand that you could use as Treasure Maps? I was so geared on reading up on TM shenanigans, instead I got Particians.

While you can play an Overlord or Band of Misfits as a Treasure Map, you need an actual Treasure Map in your hand to get the payoff.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Titandrake on January 02, 2018, 12:27:08 pm
then I played it as Patrician until those ran out

You never had two in hand that you could use as Treasure Maps? I was so geared on reading up on TM shenanigans, instead I got Particians.

While you can play an Overlord or Band of Misfits as a Treasure Map, you need an actual Treasure Map in your hand to get the payoff.

I also didn't think Treasure Map was worth going for this game, my target was 1 Province a turn because it's hard to increase handsize and Merc attacks are going to keep happening. I could have been wrong on this though.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Polk5440 on February 19, 2018, 02:57:46 pm
Nice article!

I do wonder what the difference between your two bold highlighted phrases are? If the second and third paragraphs were deleted, I think the article would read just fine. That would leave you a little room to take Chris's suggestion:

I would devote a whole paragraph to the mechanic of an empty pile being uncopyable. Itís the most important drawback of the card and ultimately it determines if itís worth going for, so significant time should be spent figuring out what piles it will be able to emulate at which phases of the game, strategic pile emptying, etc.

and maybe talk a little bit about Overlord in the opening or clarifying why Overlord is such a power card when BoM is often just "meh".

Maybe turn the "final points"/rules clarifications into bullets?
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Titandrake on February 19, 2018, 07:28:26 pm
Nice article!

I do wonder what the difference between your two bold highlighted phrases are? If the second and third paragraphs were deleted, I think the article would read just fine. That would leave you a little room to take Chris's suggestion:

I would devote a whole paragraph to the mechanic of an empty pile being uncopyable. Itís the most important drawback of the card and ultimately it determines if itís worth going for, so significant time should be spent figuring out what piles it will be able to emulate at which phases of the game, strategic pile emptying, etc.

and maybe talk a little bit about Overlord in the opening or clarifying why Overlord is such a power card when BoM is often just "meh".

Maybe turn the "final points"/rules clarifications into bullets?

They mean the same thing.

Second and third paragraph = defining what contextually powerful means. 4th paragraph = explaining how this relates to BoM / Overlord. I agree there's a lot of overlap but I'm not sure you can simply remove those paragraphs. Also think some repetitiveness is okay, when it's repeating the core argument for how you should view the "play as another Action" cards.
Title: Re: Band of Misfits and Overlord
Post by: Screwyioux on February 20, 2018, 04:15:33 pm
There are only two points I would add:
Point one:
Overlord (and more rarely BOM) is exceptionally potent when the available kingdom tools are variable in potency depending on the phase of the game.
You could argue this is an extension of "contextually powerful," but more specifically, a single card that helps you get control of your deck in the beginning, establish payload in the mid game and keep a point lead at the end is extremely powerful.
Kingdoms where Overlord can be Chapel, then Butcher, then Groundskeeper in the early, mid and late turns are where the card really thrives.

The other one applies exclusively to Overlord:
The cost of gaining an Overlord not involving coins means you can always open with it, and you can always gain it as long as you aren't in debt.
That's significant when you consider that it makes every card in the kingdom costing less than $5 accessible to all players, immediately.