Dominion Strategy Forum

Dominion => Dominion General Discussion => Topic started by: ehunt on June 23, 2018, 12:27:10 pm

Title: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: ehunt on June 23, 2018, 12:27:10 pm
Or is it rated about right? My vote is for slightly underrated. Topdecking is great.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: werothegreat on June 23, 2018, 12:32:25 pm
Or is it rated about right? My vote is for slightly underrated. Topdecking is great.

It is, but (http://wiki.dominionstrategy.com/images/thumb/7/7d/Coin5.png/16px-Coin5.png) is a pretty steep opportunity cost when you could be grabbing an Attack or gainer or draw card.  It is nice if you can pick it up with Hero or something.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: crj on June 23, 2018, 06:09:56 pm
The price is pretty steep compared with Travelling Fair, Watchtower or Tracker.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Awaclus on June 23, 2018, 06:47:31 pm
It certainly isn't underrated.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Chris is me on June 23, 2018, 07:43:41 pm
Itd be fine at $4.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: popsofctown on June 23, 2018, 10:56:08 pm
Royal Seal brings new meaning to the Silver test.  "If Royal Seal wasn't in the Kingdom, would I buy a 5$ Silver here?"  If you say no, and buy a Royal Seal anyway, you're wrong for doing it far more than 90% of the time.

Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Commodore Chuckles on June 23, 2018, 11:35:18 pm
One of the things that makes the other topdeckers good is how you can gain a card and then immediately draw it and play it in the same turn. Royal Seal is a Treasure so it (almost) can't ever do that, which really deflates the ability. Having it in your hand next turn might not matter at all if you're drawing your deck.

In the end it's the price that's the most terrible thing about it. $5 cards should be your heavy-hitter engine pieces, not things that just provide a helper ability. It has to compete against cards that run rings around it, so it ends up at the bottom of that list.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Jack Rudd on June 24, 2018, 06:45:22 am
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Awaclus on June 24, 2018, 07:09:11 am
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Holunder9 on June 24, 2018, 08:03:59 am
One of the things that makes the other topdeckers good is how you can gain a card and then immediately draw it and play it in the same turn. Royal Seal is a Treasure so it (almost) can't ever do that, which really deflates the ability. Having it in your hand next turn might not matter at all if you're drawing your deck.
While this is technically possible with a gainer and Tracker / Watchtower I doubt that it happens that often. With Watchtower it is more likely as you can use the Watchtower to draw but with Tracker you gotta play 2 villages, play Tracker, play the gainer and then play some card that non-terminally draws to be able to use the topdecked card in the same turn.
And even if you could do that it is not clear that this is always actually best play; it could be better to first draw everything, e.g. gain 2 Cards, topdeck them with Tracker and thus set up your next turn well.

I agree with Chris is me that Royal Seal could get away with costing $4, thus breaking DXV's rule of 'no Silver+ for $4'. As Awaclus has pointed out, that rule has been already broken with Delve anyway as Delve can be interpreted as a Silver+ for $4 whose bonus is the same as that of Port.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: ehunt on June 24, 2018, 09:17:25 am
My motivation for posting this post was a game where I bought one purely to help make magic lamp go off (a bad draw, good trashing type situation), and was delighted to have three wishes on top of my deck.

I buy tracker all the time because the combination of the boon and topdecking usually makes the buy worth it. I agree that topdecking with an action card is way more useful than with a treasure card, though. Would not propose that Royal Seal is good, just underrated. I'm moving it from "cards you just always ignore" to roughly Contraband levels of pay attention.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Jack Rudd on June 24, 2018, 09:46:37 am
Well, Delve is an Event; it doesn't have the same dynamic as a $4 Silver+ kingdom card (where buying it up hastens the end of the game in a way that buying Silver doesn't).
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Awaclus on June 24, 2018, 10:28:38 am
Well, Delve is an Event; it doesn't have the same dynamic as a $4 Silver+ kingdom card (where buying it up hastens the end of the game in a way that buying Silver doesn't).

If you have Delve and any $2 cantrip, that's pretty close to being a $4 Silver+.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Commodore Chuckles on June 24, 2018, 11:54:23 am
I buy tracker all the time because the combination of the boon and topdecking usually makes the buy worth it.

And because it's only $2. A periphery ability like topdecking is rarely worth $5 on its own.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Awaclus on June 24, 2018, 12:02:16 pm
Contraband levels of pay attention.

...so cards you just always ignore.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Donald X. on June 24, 2018, 02:27:20 pm
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Robz888 on June 24, 2018, 08:33:18 pm
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.

I don't know. If Royal Seal cost $4, would players drain the pile in most 2-player games it appeared? I tend to think not. The top-decking is not an ability that stacks, for one thing... i.e., having multiple Royal Seals in play confers no additional benefit.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Titandrake on June 24, 2018, 09:43:38 pm
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.

I don't know. If Royal Seal cost $4, would players drain the pile in most 2-player games it appeared? I tend to think not. The top-decking is not an ability that stacks, for one thing... i.e., having multiple Royal Seals in play confers no additional benefit.

Maybe not in 2-player, but I could see it happening in 4-player pretty quickly. Buying 2 Silvers per player is already 8 cards.

I don't think the argument relies on them stacking well, buying a $4 Silver is just a thing you do sometimes, if they don't stack they don't stack, but it's not like that makes buying it any worse if you were planning to buy a Silver anyways
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: ackmondual on June 25, 2018, 10:34:48 pm
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.
But then it seems that folks avoid buying Silver anyways, as it's another "non-engine piece"
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: jomini on July 06, 2018, 07:17:06 pm
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.

I don't know. If Royal Seal cost $4, would players drain the pile in most 2-player games it appeared? I tend to think not. The top-decking is not an ability that stacks, for one thing... i.e., having multiple Royal Seals in play confers no additional benefit.

They do not need to drain the pile to have an impact. Suppose you had a $4 silver with something like a Survivors effect. On many boards we would open with one each (e.g. boards with the good stuff at >= $5 or boards with a good terminal $3 and no other stuff we want at $4). We both play expensive engines (say Bazaar/Margrave) so we get a $4 hand and $5 hand on the second shuffle (the most likely outcome), so we each get another of the $4 silvers. On the net shuffle we expect one ore $4. Now we pile out the villages and the draw. Than is just 5 buys for a win and $18 - easy territory for engines.

This sort of thing is very common. Sure you might be able to do something with gainers to avoid silver entirely, or cheap cantrips (like Conspirator) ... but most gainers outside of a few like Mine, Tman, and Hermit can get gain the super-silver easily as well. For engine building you normally will buy 1-3 $4 silvers.

And the big hurdle here is actually just buying 4 of them. It is very easy to get to 6 gains - just split a pile of +buys with your opponent. Getting to 8 gains - to pile out the estates, is harder and often telegraphed. This is worse because super-silvers will help you spike more super-silvers. Something like Iw will let you gain & then pay for the better part of another and as treasures you need only worry about dead drawing your gains to play them.

They will be a pretty nice accelerate of end game pile threats on many boards.

Worse whatever bonus you give them is something everyone will get with exceedingly rare exceptions. Say we place +buy on Silver. When would you not get a reasonably useful +buy at $4? Only when you already get it somewhere else. Again, being on a treasure makes it vastly less costly to utilize that bonus than most actions - no need to gain a village, no decisions about how to play the last action on your turn, and no real worry about buying more than your engine can support. Just get more draw and life is good (obviously limited draw like Lib, Wt, Jack, Menage, Diplo, Vassal, etc. are exceptions).

Cards this generally useful diminish the strategy space. It can be fun with something like Chapel that completely warps the game. But any standard bonus on a Silver is not going to play that differently from Silver. So the game loses strategic depth regarding whichever standard element gets put on the card.

Between less time before end game and a loss of strategic depth, $4 super-silvers seem to be less interesting to play than cards that just try more interesting things. I certainly would not give up Quarry or Talisman to get a simple Silver replacement.

I have toyed around with is giving Potion a bonus (we had good fun making it duration w/ +1 action next turn or trash a card next turn). This makes sense to me as Pots are often completely foregone buys on boards - buy exactly zero, one and often trash them after you no longer are buying more Alchemy cards. As a big pile, Pots don't accelerate end game. As something completely different (but useful), Pots are far less likely to be a brain dead buy. Of course I am weird and like the potion mechanic and wish it were more frequently used in Dominion.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: greybirdofprey on July 09, 2018, 09:07:52 am
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.

I don't know. If Royal Seal cost $4, would players drain the pile in most 2-player games it appeared? I tend to think not. The top-decking is not an ability that stacks, for one thing... i.e., having multiple Royal Seals in play confers no additional benefit.

What if the card requires Silver for its bonus? Like Merchant/Feodum/Sauna?
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: crj on July 09, 2018, 09:49:31 am
Intriguing idea!

This is getting into variants territory, but a Royal Otter that gave you top-decking plus "Look through your discard pile. You may reveal a Silver from it and put it into your hand." might work and could potentially be priced at $3 or even lower.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: grrgrrgrr on July 10, 2018, 10:46:53 am
If we were to update cards, I would slap a +buy on this card and call it a day. That would make the card more often usefull, and would also be beneficial for the whole topdecking part.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Holunder9 on July 10, 2018, 11:07:53 am
If we were to update cards, I would slap a +buy on this card and call it a day. That would make the card more often usefull, and would also be beneficial for the whole topdecking part.
That design territoriy is kind of already covered by Tracker/Pouch.

Royal Seal for $4 that requires a Silver in play to topdeck gained cards is the best idea. It is neat in terms of not being strictly better than Silver (the first copy arguably is but when you have one in your deck Silver becomes better than Royal Seal 2.0).

So it deals with the "don't do Silver+ for less than $5" issue and there will also be less piledriving.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: buckets on November 23, 2018, 12:23:21 am
It's helpful in a junky slog.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: terminalCopper on November 23, 2018, 02:43:17 am
Well, Delve is an Event; it doesn't have the same dynamic as a $4 Silver+ kingdom card (where buying it up hastens the end of the game in a way that buying Silver doesn't).

If you have buy Delve twice and any $2 cantrip, that's pretty close to being a $4 Silver+.

FTFY
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Awaclus on November 23, 2018, 04:23:13 am
Well, Delve is an Event; it doesn't have the same dynamic as a $4 Silver+ kingdom card (where buying it up hastens the end of the game in a way that buying Silver doesn't).

If you have buy Patron Delve twice and any $2 cantrip, that's pretty close to being a $4 Silver+.

FTFY

FTFM
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Asper on November 23, 2018, 06:25:21 am
People on these forums tend to play 2P games. 2P games make engines much more valid. Engines make deck drawing much more likely. Deck drawing makes treasures as well as topdecking in your buy phase worse.
Conclusion: People on these forums tend to play a Dominion variant that keeps Royal Seal from being useful. Make of that what you wish.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Sparafucile on November 26, 2018, 09:37:46 am
Itd be fine at $4.
It would, except, as Donald X once said, "look, I can't make a Treasure that gives $2, has some other effect that is always beneficial, and costs $4; that's just better than Silver, and people by Silver for $4 all the time".

And then he made Delve.
The main problem with Silver-with-a-bonus for $4 (for games where people want Silver and aren't gaining it with a Silver-gainer) is that the pile just automatically empties. It's also not great that then you have that bonus in your deck, but didn't care about it at all, weren't making a decision there.

Delve has neither issue; it hits the Silver pile rather than a new 10-card pile, and those Silvers have no other abilities.

What if it cost $4 - but also gained a copper on gain.    That would make it cost less than $5, and wouldnt be an automatic purchase.  The pile may not auto empty.  There are other mechanics that could be used to disincentivize if gain a copper is meh.  $4 plus a debt, $4 but draw one less card at cleanup, $4 plus gain an estate, $4 but also worth -1vp.   
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Holunder9 on November 26, 2018, 10:48:30 am
What if it cost $4 - but also gained a copper on gain.    That would make it cost less than $5, and wouldnt be an automatic purchase.  The pile may not auto empty.  There are other mechanics that could be used to disincentivize if gain a copper is meh.  $4 plus a debt, $4 but draw one less card at cleanup, $4 plus gain an estate, $4 but also worth -1vp.
Any of these suggestions probably makes the card even more unattractive than leaving it overpriced at $5. Also, as already pointed out, there is nothing "automatic" about Silver+ at $4 unless one wants to argue that Delve and Patron are "automatic".

Let's also keep in mind topdecking gained stuff is nice but hardly as important as e.g. the Attacks of Idol or Relic, the trashing of Counterfeit or the Buy of Spices and Charm.
Title: Re: is royal seal underrated?
Post by: Sparafucile on November 26, 2018, 11:08:50 am

Any of these suggestions probably makes the card even more unattractive than leaving it overpriced at $5. Also, as already pointed out, there is nothing "automatic" about Silver+ at $4 unless one wants to argue that Delve and Patron are "automatic".

Let's also keep in mind topdecking gained stuff is nice but hardly as important as e.g. the Attacks of Idol or Relic, the trashing of Counterfeit or the Buy of Spices and Charm.

$4 plus 1 debt has to be better than $5 ... ;)