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Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: May 10, 2019, 01:06:57 pm »
I have my entire deck in play, and all the cards are Actions.  I then buy one card, and trash everything in play.  How?

Hard Mode: Find a way to trash all cards in play, with four Pearl Divers in play in addition to everything else.

Play Black Market, buying Peasant and playing it using Innovation, play another Black Market revealing Villa and buy it, and then buy Mint and double Bonfire, killing 4 Pearl Divers.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Base Set Cards: Mine
« on: May 10, 2019, 10:50:35 am »
I like Mine.

I think giving mine +1 action would be a better way of making it a decent albeit not great card.  As is it really kind of sucks.

We already went down that rabbit hole with Rebuild let's not do that kind of shit willy nilly again

No +Action would make Rebuild completely unplayable.

...why am I defending rebuild again...?

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: May 09, 2019, 11:27:16 am »
1. You have 40+ cards in your deck.
2. You start with a hand of 15 cards.
3. You play Storyteller, and you play 2 Golds and a third card.
4. You draw no cards.

What happened?

There are multiple solutions. How many unique solutions (that are defined as not simply some variation of the same idea, but truly unique ideas) can you find? I have found two so far, which I will spoil below.

1. Capitalized Poor House, of which the 11 cards remaining are all Treasures, reducing the virtual coin to exactly 0.
2. Playing Capitalized Black Market, which reveals Grand Castle. (Could Crown Black Market instead to reveal two cards to buy costing the exact amount)

The third card is Venture, and your remaining deck consists of a combination of Ventures, Faithful Hounds and Inherited Faithful Hounds.


Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: May 09, 2019, 11:10:53 am »
1. You have 40+ cards in your deck.
2. You start with a hand of 15 cards.
3. You play Storyteller, and you play 2 Golds and a third card.
4. You draw no cards.

What happened?

There are multiple solutions. How many unique solutions (that are defined as not simply some variation of the same idea, but truly unique ideas) can you find? I will continue to add solutions as I find them/they get discussed.

1. Capitalized Poor House, of which the 11 cards remaining are all Treasures, reducing the virtual coin to exactly 0. This works with the Infinite Deck.
2. Playing Capitalized Black Market, which reveals Grand Castle. (Could Crown Black Market instead to reveal two cards to buy costing the exact amount) This works for the Infinite Deck.
3. Playing Crowned Black Market, revealing Doctor, and playing a Fortune, overpaying by a billion to trash all of the cards, drawing nothing. This is not an infinite solution.
4. Play Venture/Loan/Crowned Rebuild/Hunting Party with -Card Token/etc., revealing exclusively Hounds. This can be considered an infinite solution.
4a. Variant of Solution 4, but with Library. This can be done with multiple Crown plays, to get the deck size down to below 7 cards. Also infinite.
4b. Venture can reveal exclusively Ventures, in addition to Hounds.

Another clarification: You cannot draw cards in any capacity, meaning that Crowning Storyteller with a -card token in play does not work, as you draw cards. The challenge is not to not draw cards from the first storyteller, but to not draw cards at all.

Additional challenge: Infinite sized deck, bonus points for finding a solution that works in that way. Infinite deck size assumes infinite piles, so feel free to add a billion copies of a card to the deck if you like.

Dominion Articles / Re: Son of Size Distortion
« on: May 06, 2019, 11:10:42 am »
Why is this in Dominion Articles?

Introductions / Re: I'm back
« on: May 06, 2019, 11:09:48 am »
I remember you.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Homage to the Best Card
« on: May 06, 2019, 10:55:28 am »
I think our wiki editors are trying to tell us something:

Yes, I know the verse well.

Capitalism 21:35 says "Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer."

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Homage to the Best Card
« on: May 04, 2019, 11:47:26 am »
Overgorge: 8 Overlords later, the other guy is suddenly ahead.
The Anti-Draw Pact: Who needs draw cards? I sure don't

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Homage to the Best Card
« on: April 26, 2019, 10:10:34 am »

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Homage to the Best Card
« on: April 24, 2019, 03:14:13 pm »

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Homage to the Best Card
« on: April 01, 2019, 06:26:34 pm »

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Dominion song parodies
« on: March 28, 2019, 09:52:23 pm »
As we Watch through the Night
As we played Graverobber right
And before Turn 1
I held Cartographer
She wouldn't Nec with her Mancer
Oooo, I Pawn and purchased Fair

Forum Games /
« on: March 16, 2019, 01:14:07 am »

I found a good site where you can play Mafia in real time with friends. I'm interested in trying it out some time, if there's interest.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: March 16, 2019, 12:09:12 am »
What card can Royal Carriage only call exactly once? (No Enchantress)

Do you mean replay?

And is it Farmer's Market, when the first play puts the fourth VP chip on the pile?

Tragic Hero

Tournaments and Events / Re: Why I didn't attend Nationals in Chicago
« on: March 06, 2019, 02:03:15 am »
Wow. Welcome back. If you ever want to play (online), hit me up.

Dominion Articles / Re: Hermit
« on: February 28, 2019, 03:17:46 pm »
I have my doubts about the strength of Madman and I could be totally wrong, given that it is not easy to play well with Hermit/Madman. And, as others have pointed out, exchanging itself into one-shot is not the only thing that Hermit does. To evaluate the strength of the card correctly you also have to look at the other stuff it does, the trashing and mandatory gaining.

Well it's not easy playing with Hermit/Madman, it's why I wrote this. It's the single best thing Hermit does. You will lose most games ignoring it. If you don't believe me, you can go and try it for yourself.

And okay about the Hermit being useful outside of Madman, nobody disagrees, but what do I say? Hermit gains a $3, and it can trash a card. It's right there on the card. It can turn a junk card into a $3. Nobody has to be a rocket scientist to read what it does. I mention that Hermit is quite fine as a gain and play card in the Madman section, something gainers can do. I don't like wasting needless time writing stuff everyone knows. Do I have to list what Hermit combos with? Like, what do I do here?

Madman it is a powerful one-shot but the claim that you should always get it as soon as possible is wrong.

I didn't say always. I said often.

In Kingdoms with junkers you might want to keep Hermit around longer. As DG has pointed out a huge hand can be pointless early on if you do e.g. hit $7 with no extra buy and all you want is a $4 or a $5. In the very situation in which you might want to exchange Hermit for Madman you hit $5 so you rather buy a Kingdom card instead of nothing. And last but not least, the opportunity cost to get that powerful one-shot is buying a $3 and not buying a card on the turn you exchange it for the one-shot.

You can gain another Hermit as you blow it up, you can gain a Silver and buy a card, you can do whatever you think is correct man, I'm not stopping you. People take articles way too seriously, they're not some strict interpretation, they're a guideline, a way of approaching something. There's always exceptions.

And yes, Madman can be useless if you're not prepared. So uh, prepare for it? I don't get what is being said here. You don't have to play Madman or gain it if you're not ready. But quite often you are.

The question of gaining a $5 or a Madman is not an obvious question, it almost never happens and when it does, it really depends on what the $5 is, or what happens if you don't get the $5 and the Madman instead. It depends on the overall strategy. Should I write about that and basically say "I don't know figure it out" to it? I don't think it's possible to answer that question with any accuracy.

Also, what Chuckles said. In order to constantly play Hermit you are forced to gain $2s/$3s and while there are Kingdoms in which this is brilliant there are also Kingdoms in which that Silver gaining will become self-junking at some point which makes Hermit a not-so-good card in this very Kingdom.

Okay, so you stop gaining or playing Hermit at some point. I guess I could write something about that, that you shouldn't just play all of your cards possible whenever you can.

If you are using Hermit to gain a bunch of Fortune Tellers, why not go and buy them in the first place.


Dominion Articles / Re: Hermit
« on: February 27, 2019, 04:00:44 pm »
Always remember: Hermit is primarily a deck accelerator, and the trash/gain effect is secondary.

I'm not sure this is such good advice. I think it's worth pointing out that the gain is the effect that's mandatory. I often forget this and then end up having to gain a Silver I don't want. You also have to watch out for the cards that can make the gain really valuable, like Fishing Village and Fool's Gold.

Okay, so I write a sentence that Hermit is good at gaining great $3s. What does that accomplish? It's what the card does on first glance.

And that advice, it's the primary reason I wrote the article in the first place! :P It's the single most important thing about Hermit and previous articles did not emphasize this. Take that away, and Hermit isn't very good at all. You'd get it and stuff, but it would be about Workshopish in power.

Dominion Articles / Re: Hermit
« on: February 26, 2019, 09:38:19 am »
I would scrap the whole Hermit/Market Square section, there are already articles about this.

Other than that, the article does not provide a whole lot of value. Nothing about timing (when do I get the Madmen?), nothing about the kind of decks that profit from Madman, the parallel drawn to Tactician does not work at all. Basically the whole article article could be condensed to "Madman is good, especially if you can topdeck it."

Considered the first part. Still not really sure yet, I'll probably end up keeping it.

As to the second part, that seems to just be an issue of clarity (or omission) so I'll go ahead and fix that. You take Madman ASAP a lot of the time, gaining Hermit while doing so. The article does say more than you seem to think it does, which might be another issue of clarity.

I see a lot of players using a madman on turn 5 or 6 without preparing the deck to maximise the big hand with 2 actions. Adding a buy or a card gainer can get extra value from a hand full of copper.

Yes, I'll add something about that if I didn't already. Can't believe I didn't.


I also see plenty of games where hermits are used as a trasher/gainer from start to finish. Hermits have two strings to their bow and both are important.

Yeah and there's not much to say about that, there's only so many ways to say "this card can trash and gain", the focus is more on re-imagining the card primarily as a deck accelerator. Because it does seem to be.

More or less I wasn't happy with my draft, and this confirmed my suspicions.

edit: I made my edits and I feel a lot happier with the article so far.

Dominion Articles / Hermit
« on: February 25, 2019, 07:40:19 pm »

This is a draft, and more or less completed in terms of content. Any questions, areas of clarification, subtractions or additions are helpful. Things that are not helpful are complete reworkings or new structures.


Hermit (and by extension Madman) seems to continue being undervalued. Every month brings a new tale of the exploits of Madmen taking opposing decks from seemingly behind to rapidly ahead. This is because Hermit is seen primarily as a trasher and gainer, but not as a deck accelerator. Itís time to change that outlook.


The single strongest thing about Hermit is the ability to get Madmen. Doubling handsize (after playing Madman of course) with a +Action is one of the strongest effects in the entire game, on par with Donate, City Quarter and Kingís Court. Itís no wonder that Madman is a one shot. The strength of the effect largely depends on the amount of cards in hand. If a hand gets discard attacked to three cards, Madman will only be as good as an Encampment. If a Laboratory is played, the Madman will draw 5 cards. Madman play typically starts with at least a single Hermit open, although Double Hermit isnít uncommon either.

Play continues and once the Hermit is found, it often is the time to gain a Hermit, buy nothing and gain a Madman. Buying a Silver or even a shiny Action card isn't usually worth the deck acceleration Madman provides, which might feel counter-intuitive. The trick is, Madman does a number of things well all at once. Firstly, Madman allows for a multitude of options and ideas with the sheer amount of draw it provides, especially when there are multiple Madmen played. Secondly, it gets the deck closer to the shuffle, allowing for quicker access to those same powerful cards gained on the previous turn. In short, Madman accelerates the deck.

The single greatest gift with Madman is gain and play abuse, and Madman already comes prepackaged with a gainer in Hermit. Abusing gain and play is exactly why combos such as Hermit/Market Square work so well, which will be discussed shortly. Any time Madman is on the board, always look for opportunities to gain and play cards. Even in the absence of gain and play, having things to do on the Madman turn is crucial. Maybe there's some trashing or remodeling to do. Maybe a second buy could be thrown in there. Always have a reason to get Madman.

In addition, the cost to get Madman isnít even that high. Skipping a buy is already what Tactician does. Just be sure to draw Madman at the top of the shuffle. If the Madman bottomdecks and the opposing player draws it at the top of his shuffle, heís way ahead, just because he got to blow up sooner. That is a real risk with Madman, but the alternative is instantly losing. However, there are some ways to mitigate this.

With Watchtower in hand, or buying Traveling Fair, topdecking Madman becomes viable, and a player wonít risk simply losing to Bottomdeck Syndrome. In addition, gainers such as Horn of Plenty and Alms allow for a Madman gain while getting cards like normal. Both of these specific situations quickly lead to some pretty fast game states, and it is often losing to ignore. Scheme works in an interesting way, to where if Scheme topdecks a Hermit after not buying anything, a Madman is gained without losing the Hermit. Events and Projects also combo well with Hermit and Madman gaining, due to Landscapes not being cards.

The next question is a much trickier one, and that is how often is Madman gained? Usually the safe answer is just one, but that isn't always the case. I've built decks with Monastery and Banquet (Monastery killing the Coppers gained in play), getting multiple Madmen and drawing deck where it wasn't ordinarily possible every turn as a result. I didn't keep going until the Hermits were empty. At a certain point, I made the call that buying cards normally was worth more than the one shot of Madman without the flexibility of buys. That call was made way later, but that is the call that has to be made every time a new Madman is considered. Maybe there's a megaturn, or maybe there's just that much stuff to do, or maybe the cost opportunity is low to keep Madmen around. But always have a reason to get Madman. A useless Madman is an expensive one, and inefficiencies lose games.

Hermit/Market Square

The classic combo with Madman is Market Square, and it is very deadly when executed correctly. Playing it well requires precise play, deck tracking knowledge and a good memory. The open is Hermit/Hermit, and the goal is to try to both win the Hermit split and get an odd number of Hermits in the deck. Nine Hermits is the dream, and also impossible to realistically ever pull off in todayís meta. Seven Hermits is a good goal, but also not likely realistic. After all, the opponent is going to try for the same ideas. Also, do not trash every single junk card in the deck. Those are needed for later.

After the Hermit pile is empty or someone has nine/seven Hermits, go for gaining Madmen (sometimes youíll start on this even sooner) and Market Squares. The goal is to get exactly three more Madmen than Hermits, so the dream combination (as an example for 7 Hermits) is five Madmen and two Hermits. After a bunch of Market Squares are gained and the Madman count is where it should be, pull the trigger on the Madmen. It needs to be timed to where you know you will draw deck when you blow the Madman up. The safest way to do this is to not blow up unless there are two in hand, but with deck tracking itís possible to know whatís coming up.

Once the deck is drawn, blow up the junk card with Hermit (and depending on the deck, either gain more junk to blow up with the next hermit or gain something that helps toward winning), react all of the Market Squares, draw back up with a Madman, and repeat over and over until itís not possible to. Usually even if Provinces canít be piled thereís a three pile available, which is something to watch for with the 5/5 Hermit split. Quite often it's Estates, simple enough with two Hermit gains and 6 buys.

All in all, the combo requires a lot of finesse and has a lot of moving parts. It is recommended to practice it multiple times solo before ever trying it in a real scenario. This is also without more complicated aspects, such as dealing with junkers, other $3 trashing cards, and other strange scenarios. As always, if you find something good, look for something even better.


Of course, there are still things Hermit does well enough on its own. After all, it does trash and gain. Paired with a treasure trasher, Hermit does plenty of work killing Estates and replacing them with Hermits, Silvers or whatever $3 cost is desired. Hermit helps with pile control. In the rare instance where it matters, Hermit works really well with cost reduction.

At the end of the day though, the main strength of Hermit lies in Madman, and mastery of that aspect of Hermit will go a long way towards winning games. Always remember: Hermit is primarily a deck accelerator, and the trash/gain effect is secondary.

Dominion Articles / Re: Combo: Seer/Vassal
« on: February 25, 2019, 08:03:07 am »
Seer is like a top 30 card in Dominion, and maybe top 20 depending on who you ask. Chancellor is a dead card now, nobody plays with it online because it got replaced. There are tons of fantastic $2s to $4s out there, which is part of the reason why Seer is so amazing. Erm, the combo with Vassal is pretty obvious, I don't know that it needs five paragraphs to point out. An article on Vassal would do better, which mentions deck inspection, which hey, Seer does. This article reminds me of the old article days, and I imagine that is what inspired this writing. We've all sort of branched out to the particular since then, other than outstanding combos that aren't obvious like Mandarin/Capital.

All that being said, the writing is nice, there's nothing wrong with that at all, and I look forward to your future writing.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: February 23, 2019, 09:11:17 pm »
What card can Royal Carriage only call exactly once? (No Enchantress)

And yes, we still need to try 'ultimate dominion ultimate'; i.e. with all expansions. Of course there is some consideration as to whether you put in Platinum and Colonies or not, but I think this will give a proxy of what the strongest cards in Dominion are.
Ultimate Dominion Ultimate will be over after the first turn.

Is there a RNG-independent t1 win?
This gives a 42% chance, and is pre-second edition. It may well be possible to improve to RNG-independent, especially in an unlimited kingdom. One interesting thing to consider is that you start with all Heirlooms. Pasture/Haunted Mirror/Magic Lamp + OG + Hovel is probably the weakest opening hand (assuming Shelters).

With Silk Merchant and Lackeys, there's no way you can't crank that percentage higher.

Yeah, Recruiter should be first overall and I expect it to be next year.

I fixed the order.  Thanks GendoIkari for doing the work so I just had to copy/paste.

No, now it's broken. Tracer, Chris is me and Xyrix had it that way, why can't they be allowed to display it the way they want to? One person has a problem with it (Gendo) and now it has to change? What?

Silk Merchant is good, it isn't "better than Remake, Tournament, and Bridge" good.

See you next year, it's not even a hot take

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