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Variants and Fan Cards / Re: New Weekly Contest: Fan Card Mechanics
« on: March 11, 2021, 12:19:03 am »

The Goods are a deck of 10 sideways card-shaped objects, like Boons and Hexes. Each time you gain a Foreign Trader, put the next Good face-up in a pile, and its effect remains active until covered. The Goods aren't reshuffled; even if the players somehow manage to gain more than ten total Foreign Traders, the tenth Good remains face-up for the rest of the game.

Thanks for all the feedback on my card. I don't really consider it a junker, the same way Messenger gaining a Curse is not a junker; it applies to all players equally, so it just slows the game down.

It's a terminal gold if used for big money, yes, but so is Smithy on average if your money density is better than $1/card (which it had better be if you're playing money). I don't expect that Mountaineer money will beat a decently-constructed engine. I can test this if people are skeptical.

They're also really hard workers; look at how much they like to Toil.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #102: Unspent
« on: January 24, 2021, 05:56:19 pm »
Since there are only a total of four Events that cost $0 and don't give back +1 Buy*, I don't see this as a big problem...
Well, it's definitely a big problem with Advance + Fortress.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #102: Unspent
« on: January 24, 2021, 12:44:26 pm »

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest #102: Unspent
« on: January 24, 2021, 12:43:49 pm »
Hey, look!  Woodcutter's back!

Woodcutter's back and now he costs $0? The way I'm reading this card, you can spend a Buy and $0 during your Buy phase to gain a Woodsman, which means it basically costs $0. Was that what you intended? I don't think that can exist alongside Woodcutter, even though Woodcutter is removed.

That's too strong IMO: playing a Village and then a Dilemma nonterminally increases your handsize by three, just like playing three Labs. (You just won't use Dilemma's weaker second option if you can help it...)
I mean... Hunting Grounds does the same thing. Dilemma's top option isn't really nonterminal since it always leaves you with fewer actions than you started with.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Roots
« on: January 15, 2021, 11:43:13 pm »
Changes made:
Maniac: "When you gain or trash this, if you have Gullible or Paranoid, flip it over; otherwise, take Paranoid." -> "When you gain or trash this, if you have Gullible or Paranoid, flip it over; otherwise, take Gullible."
Companion: "Exchange this for a Toy. If you did, take Loyal, Friendly, or Naive." -> "Trash this. If you did, take Loyal, Friendly, or Naive."
Toy: Action - $1: +1 Card, +1 Action | While this is in play, when you gain a Companion, you may exchange this for a Companion (This is not in the Supply.)
Elixir: "$2. Gain a Gold." -> "$3, +1 Buy. Gain a Gold."
Hunted: "During your turns, if you do not have an Elixir in play, Treasures are also Actions that have no effect when played in the Buy phase." -> "During your turns, if you do not have an Elixir in play, Treasures are also Actions that give +$1 instead of their instructions when played in the Buy phase."
Knight Errant: "+$3. Each player (including you) reveals and discards the top 2 cards of their deck and gains a copy of a card they revealed costing from $3 to $6 that you choose." -> "+$3. Each player (including you) reveals and discards the top 3 cards of their deck and gains a copy of a card they revealed costing from $3 to $6 that you choose."
Slaughterhouse: "Trash a card from your hand. If it's an Action, +4 Cards and +1 Action. Otherwise, gain a Sheep." -> "Trash a card from your hand. If it's an Action, +4 Cards and +2 Actions. Otherwise, gain a Sheep."
Invade: "Trash any number of Duchies and Provinces from your hand. Gain a Province per card trashed." -> "Once per turn: trash up to 2 Duchies and/orProvinces from your hand. Gain a Province per card trashed."

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Roots
« on: January 15, 2021, 05:32:17 pm »
Is it intentional that there's no way to ever get rid of Paranoid/Gullible and Accursed?
Yeah. With Paranoid/Gullible, you can switch between them relatively easily and hopefully you can pick one that isn't too bad at any given time; with Accursed, it's meant to be a big commitment that you can't reverse.

And regarding Commoner, yeah, having drawn your deck and discarding treasures for extra money is a major use case of that. But there are definitely others.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Roots
« on: January 15, 2021, 04:59:28 pm »
Here are some of the cards that I'm focusing on at the moment:

Lover: I like the concept here a lot, but it feels a little weak. I'm wondering if there's a buff I can give it that wouldn't make it too good. Perhaps I could add +1 Buy; due to Star-Crossed potentially being annoying when gaining certain cards like Province or Gold, it's not strictly better than Woodcutter. I know that as I was going through cards for this set, I noticed I had a ton that gave +buy, but I think I overcompensated and now the set doesn't have enough :P

Maniac: I'm thinking about having this start you on Gullible rather than Paranoid. Gullible isn't so much a downside if you have two Maniacs in your deck; you're probably happy to have the extra food for them. But if you have a single Maniac, Gullible will make it hard to actually trash with it, and if you get a second one then you'll have to deal with the much harsher Paranoid.

Companion: This was designed for a Contest that required exchanging, and it was designed with only one copy of each State in mind, but when I standardized States for this set I changed that. As a result, you only ever want to play Companion three times, and so I think the whole Toy thing is just a distraction. I'm debating nixing Toy entirely and just making Companion trash itself.

Elixir: I like this concept but I don't feel that it's fully fleshed out. Maybe I should change Hunted so that you ignore all $ generated from treasures played in the buy phase-- that way, you can still play Elixir, gain a Gold, and have your other treasures work normally.

Forest: I didn't realize quite how small that text would end up being... I wonder if there's a way to rework it so it's only two lines of text.

Knight Errant: Is this weak? It feels pretty weak. Maybe it should give +$4, since the bottom part can end up being a drawback.

Reform: I feel like this might be crazy good... then again, Donate exists. Maybe it should force you to gain an action card so you can't just turn your Estates into Silvers. That also fits pretty neatly with the set's theme of "the strength of cards is variable depending on the kingdom".

Variants and Fan Cards / Dominion: Roots
« on: January 15, 2021, 04:49:24 pm »
Here's a fan expansion. It's mostly just a compilation of cards that I've made recently and liked. Feedback is appreciated.

Welcome to Dominion: Roots! The theme is something something Dominion has become all about big cities and grand castles and it's time for a return to some nice small-town values. It's pretty weak; I don't care. I'm here for the mechanics, not the theme.

Dominion: Roots reuses a few mechanics from existing expansions, most notably States, of which the set contains eight. All of the States have a copy for each player; Nocturne was inconsistent about this, but Renaissance established that if there's only one copy of it, then it's an Artifact, not a State. The set also contains Sheep, which are non-supply cards similar to Horses.

I've also created a new mechanic, inspired by Way of the Mouse. Some cards and Events set aside Kingdom cards which are treated as non-supply piles for the game, usually with some modification to how the cards play.

(Paranoid/Gullible is one two-sided State)

I was thinking about making a fan expansion recently, and it gave me the idea to go back and review an old one I made, but never posted. This was finished about a year ago; I was still fairly new to Dominion at this time. I'm not going to go easy on inexperienced-me!

This topic is mostly for me, just as a place to organize my thoughts; but if anyone wants to comment on these cards, by all means feel free. Hopefully I'll be posting a new fan expansion soon which will compile my favorite ideas from the past year.

This set is Dominion: Rivalries. It is named as such because it is a loosely-themed set based around disruption, both with attacks that mess with things the opponents are trying to do as well as cards which may be powerful but also interfere with your own plans.

It contains one new mechanic: Harms. Harm is a new card type, of which there are four different cards (Flood, Fire, Drought, and Storm). Whenever any card with the Disaster type is in the kingdom, all four Harm piles (10 cards in each) are added to the Supply. In addition, in any games including Harms, players must reveal their hands at the start of each Clean-up phase; this is because Harms inflict some effect on the player when revealed during the Clean-up phase.

So, unsurprisingly, these are meant to be junk cards. They weren't all meant to be equally bad, as reflected in the cards that give them out, but man I really didn't think very hard about Drought. That's gotta be downright beneficial a lot of the time because you can topdeck a card you bought with it, isn't it.

Setting aside the issues with the individual Harms (I think the others are mostly okay, though Storm is pretty dang nasty), I like this concept, but it's also problematic. For one, it slows the game down a lot, and more importantly, it doesn't really scale with the player count. Since most Disaster cards only distribute a single type of Harm, it would require 30 copies of each to have them scale the same way Curses do. Ruins are a bad enough waste of space; 120 Harms of four kinds, each of which is used by only 2-3 cards, is absurdly inefficient. (Not that I'm ever going to print these, but I still try to think about this stuff nowadays.)

Now, on to the actual Kingdom cards!

Pearl Diver tells me that the floor for a $2 cantrip is pretty low. And this was designed in the same vein; pretty weak, but possibly a useful way to gain some reliability. I think it's weak, but not too weak to exist. Interestingly, I developed the "now or next turn" mechanic for this card before Menagerie used it on Village Green and Barge.

This is the first of eight Structures in the set; Structure is just a meaningless label that serves to underscore the set's theme; Structures are generally powerful Actions that antisynergize with themselves and with other Structures. This one looks pretty nuts, even without being able to chain.

Anachronistic name aside, I think Tourist Village mostly holds up. It's weak, yes, but it definitely has use cases in accelerating your deck early game and ensuring reliability lategame. Nowadays I'd add "non-Duration" to it to fix tracking issues.

This seems pretty reasonable to me; Donald X himself said that Throne Room cost $3 until someone had a massive chain of them. Well, you can't do that with this. It's boring, but I think it's pretty balanced.

Another boring one. This tends to be a theme with the Structures; they're mostly just simple strong cards with a Structure antisynergy clause added. This is fine as far as $3 Peddler variants go, but nothing special.

My intuition says that this is quite weak. But, there are maybe some tricks you can do with being able to play a Treasure in your Action phase? (Quarry?) I don't know. It also kinda plays on the "now or next turn" theme from Dock.

This one I have to single out as my favorite card from the set. I don't think it's especially balanced-- it looks pretty weak to me-- but the effect is so cool and I want to make this work. Specifically, it's important that this bottom part be on a Duration so you have to make the call now for whether you can use the buys next turn.

And now we start getting into the Disaster cards. Disaster cards... well, they live up to their name. The Harm idea might have been decent, but my implementation was pretty bad. I was concerned about games with Disaster cards and no Harm trashing where the Harms would just completely lock you down and prevent you from doing anything (some of them, such as Storm, might feasibly be able to do this) so I made sure to include a way to get rid of Harms in the Disaster cards that gave out the meaner ones. And, well, the result is garbage like this. This is probably pretty strong... but it's not interesting at all as a junker or a trasher. It just tries to do too much.

I like this one. It actually seems quite tricky to build a deck with Undercroft as the main draw; you'd need a lot of cantrips, I'd think. But Smithy for $3 is pretty strong, especially in the opening, so it's a bit of a tough balance.

This seems bonkers with basically any decent $2 card. Estate trashing with no loss of tempo at all, plus easy Curse removal, plus a lot of flexibility with regards to build order? This would be better suited costing $5 (though it would probably be a bit weak-- maybe make the +$1 unconditional in that case).

This is garbage. Why did I think this was good? Who is wasting their time with this crap, except maybe in a Groom rush?

This one's kinda cool. It gives me Cursed Gold vibes. Though, gaining Fire to hand is such an annoying penalty. Probably you use it to topdeck a Copper, but still. I think it's weak overall, but maybe a good opener if you really need to spike $6 or $7 or something.

This is uh really bad. Maaaybe it's worth it with Platinum. Probably worth it with Fortune. Maybe worth it with Philosopher's Stone, interestingly, if the board is weak enough. Not worth it with any other treasure, I don't think.

It's really just a Silver+ for $4, which is a no-no. The downside is minimal unless you're playing with another Structure (though it would get a bit annoying if this is the only +buy and you have a big engine).

What did I do with the vanilla bonuses here. I... don't even know. I just slapped some random crap on. I think the duration effect of this has potential (maybe nerfed a bit); the power varies wildly from game to game. Sometimes preventing your opponent from picking up engine pieces is massive and debilitating; other times you're just giving them free payload or free golds in a money game. Also, uses the "would gain" terminology that was recently obsoleted from Trader; I'd change it to "exchange" nowadays.

I fell into a newb designer trap here, for sure. With a Reaction you definitely want to make sure the top and bottom halves are both potentially useful. The top half of this is strictly worse than Silver... and it's not like the bottom half is great either. I guess it's good as a gainer when you're reacting off of yourself buying a useful Victory card like Mill, but usually the reaction is gonna come far too late to really do much, and the card is just a sad waste of space in the meantime.

This seems kinda nuts with, like, any cantrip that it can gain. It can't go completely crazy because it can't gain itself, but it still is pretty crazy, I think. (Like with Ironworks/Mill, it's usually worth it to rush the Mills even though having a ton of Mills is only moderately useful, just because of how easy it is.)

This is cute, but probably pretty weak except with power combos like draw-to-X. Also, it is missing an "if it's your Buy phase" to prevent shenanigans from playing it on someone else's turn, which is possible now. (I don't think it was when I made this.)

I feel like the only time this has a reasonable chance of being blocked is in the first shuffle. Which I guess is okay as far as it goes, but a $4 Witch that gives out a card that's arguably worse than a Curse (if there's no Estate trashing) is kind of a recipe for disaster. Verdict: busted, and probably highly unpleasant to play with.

Cool concept. Maybe you can get away with it with good gainers or topdecking (because it doesn't do anything if it's the first card you play in a turn). Otherwise, it probably just eats your deck.

I recall that this originally had +$3 instead of +1 Buy. I had the good sense to realize that was insanely good. So I nerfed it into the ground. :-[ It's, uh, okay Estate trashing? Other than that it's pretty terrible. I guess it's not bad with Gold gainers.

Cute, and hard to evaluate. Seems quite good in money, but then, in money the bottom bit probably doesn't even matter as you're hitting $8 otherwise. I think it could have use as combined sifting and payload in an engine with good village support.

How badly do you want that Lost City? It's unclear whether it triggers on itself-- I think it doesn't, which probably means I want exactly two a lot of the time. And if this shows up with other Structures, well probably one of them is getting skipped entirely.

...I don't have words for how terrible this card is. *backs away slowly*

Cute, but weak. Also way too similar to Boomtown. I like the bottom though; I may reuse that on something else.

This is too strong, I think. I like the twist on the vanilla +2 Cards +$2 which is probably too weak to be a $5, but I think this card tries to do too much.

When I first came back to look at this one, I thought it was busted. I actually kinda like it now, though I must admit I had no idea what I was going for with the name (a rock tumbler, maybe? but it's not like those existed way back when). It's about as awkward as Count, and potentially more powerful (especially early on), but less flexible.

This is probably the best Disaster card, and by best I mean least terrible. It's a thinner and a junker, which is pretty good, and the junk can hurt, but there's always at least one way to get rid of it. If there's another trasher, whether to get a Wildfire is an interesting choice; either way, deciding when to take it is important because it doesn't help your economy at all.

Another card that does too much. Discard any number of cards then draw to 6 is a cool effect. It doesn't need all the rest of this crap. Maybe this would be okay if it just let you trash a card from your hand after drawing; it would certainly be a lot simpler.

Remember that I made this before Menagerie came out. Stuck an asterisk on it to indicate that the name probably needs to be changed. As for the effect, this just compares really poorly to Hunting Grounds. You better have a good way to get rid of all those Estates.

This one's got to be the one that most betrays my newbiness. I had not yet learned about the Harbinger Trap (a lot of the time you have no discard pile) and this is just straight-up garbage on almost every board-- if your deck is weak enough to have a sizable discard pile, you want those treasures!

This is kinda cool. A Highway-Village, but it makes itself more expensive. Debt is already a pain to deal with in cost-reduction games, so you probably can't spam these the way you could Highway. Makes for a great combo with Workshop variants, because then you really only need to get one or two.

What? Why? So many questions for my former self. This is just a terribly-designed card, and on top of that it seems really weak. 10D is a lot. Probably more than whatever card you're making your opponent trash, and they get a replacement card whereas you just played a terminal one-shot that did nothing to help you.

I like the idea of this one a lot; it's a trasher you can get early, but you get a significant benefit from not jumping on it at the earliest opportunity. The only change I would make now is to give a flat +1 Buy instead of +1 per card trashed; otherwise you can use it as payload by trashing a bunch of Coppers and repeatedly buying them back, and Donald X has warned of the dangers of going crazy with +buys. 12D is steep, but this is a pretty amazing trasher, so it's probably worth it.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Venus, a fan expansion by Carline
« on: January 08, 2021, 05:25:33 pm »
Blessing - feels a bit weak. + VP is generally not a great benefit early-game (sure, it's better than nothing, but it doesn't help your deck at all). The ability to swap it for a Wish when you're done trashing is useful but slow given that you have to spend a terminal action and don't see the Wish until next shuffle.
Buffoon - seems generally incredibly strong. Almost every action card that's worth having in your deck is strong to play twice for $5. Having to have actions left lest your opponent reveal a terminal is a downside, but probably not that good of one. I don't see myself using the gain option or the junking option often, either.
Circus Camp - seems strong, probably not overpowered, but a Fugitive-Village hybrid is pretty nice a lot of the time.
Crusader - probably a bit weak, the discarding seems more like a consolation prize for dudding than anything. You can use it to turn engine parts into payload like Storeroom but it's a lot less flexible than Storeroom is.
Dangerous Ground - I think this is crazy. As long as you play an even number it's just a consequence-free Hunting Grounds, and even if you do have to take Curses occasionally, your draw is probably strong enough to make up for it.
Golden Spoils - seems like pretty good payload. You get one, it gains you another, and then you keep just the two (gaining one and returning one each turn) and they're effectively Golds with +buy.
Hands of Gold - I don't see the Gold option coming up much. Probably not bad to pick up one of these for the consistency. Having this as the only village would be a major headache; without tons of cantrips you basically have to pitch a turn to activate the first one.
Librarian - it's a weaker Wharf that requires an Estate to activate, mostly. Maybe you use it on Silvers occasionally. Seems like a decent source of duration draw for extra consistency, probably not good as primary draw. Overall probably not that strong.
Madame - We talked about this one a bit in the Discord. This version looks okay, if not very interesting.
Magic Library - seems overpriced at $5. The sifting is nice, but unimpressive. The reaction is also nice, but not that impressive except against discard attacks, plus you have to have it in your hand for it to matter.
Maneuver - seems pretty fine. Not something I'd exactly be thrilled to draw with, but not the worst $5 Smithy variant.
Marketplace - probably not super great. If this is the only village then you're basically buying a Village for $5. If it isn't, then you'd probably be better off just getting a village if you need one or some other kind of payload card if you don't.
Nightmare - a curser with a very mild extra effect (discard one card is not that bad most of the time) whose gimmick is that you can junk them with other cards or use it to empty piles. Probably not very strong; terminal silver for $5 kinda sucks.
Shipmaster - seems very good. It's effectively a Lost City that provides consistency too.
Tavern Nights - the Miser combo has arrived! :P I'm honestly probably never discarding any treasures with this (except on like the last turn). Just using it as Copper thinning. The Coin of the Realm interaction is also funny.
Distant Island - cards with two dividing lines should probably be avoided if at all possible, since they don't look very good and they're often too complicated. Discard from exile bonus is probably not one I'm making use of very often, but I guess it's nice as a faster Island.
Paladin - very good. Probably on par with Hunting Party.
Fruits/Fruit Mix - Fruits is a Silver+ for $4 so I guess you take it whenever you would take Silver with $4. Otherwise I probably wouldn't. On the kind of board where Fruit Mix is uncovered (moneyish), you probably don't want it.

Joy - seems decent. Extraordinarily sad with no +buy.
Lending - very niche. There are very few action cards that are worth taking on 5 extra debt (I can't imagine you ever use this on less than a $5). Maybe if you have an incredible dud (like $1-2).
Burnish - again, seems pointless without +buy (barring Black Market/Storyteller). With +buy, maybe a slight incentive to keep my Coppers, nothing major.
Footbridge - seems incredibly good, not really centralizing though.
Bride Wait - I like this one. I don't particularly see why it costs debt rather than $, but it seems good either way.
Calmness - probably only gonna be bought on weak boards where consistency is a big issue. I think it's decent, though.
Burning - mostly just an expensive Bonfire, I think. Maybe you can use it to get Provinces as well.
Restrain - annoying for both players if it's the only source of +buy. The attack can be debilitating early, but it's kinda debilitating for both players. Potentially brutal when combined with discard attacks or hand inspection (like Cutpurse).
Cursed Land - a more narrow version of Desperation. I think Desperation makes this redundant.
Doubling Power - fine, I guess, if you happen to want the cards that it gives you. Seems not terribly different from Ball, except that it can gain $5's.
Birth of Venus - a more annoying Donate. Seems more luck-based than Donate, too, because if your opening cards don't collide then it will be hard to keep the cards you want.

Way of the Birdwoman - kinda weak, but not awful.
Way of the Centaur - seems like a stronger variant of Way of the Pig, which is already very strong.
Way of the Mermaid - seems pretty weak. Kinda like Way of the Mule, you probably only play it in a collision.
Way of the Werecat - weaker variant of Way of the Pig, but can help with consistency. Decent with gainers.
Way of the Beast - Gargoyle and Sphynx seem like slow attacks of the type that DXV has generally tried to avoid. Sphynx is probably too strong to be on a Way. Medusa is also too strong to be on a Way, Quimera is lol. She-Wolf and Harpy are probably okay.

Veil of Protection - very good attack defense, potentially makes some interesting decisions if you want to buy something but also want to be protected. Maybe this would be better as an Event?
Phoenix - seems incredibly good with any enabler.
Divination - balance-wise it's probably okay, but this seems so slow and annoying to resolve.
Season's Grace - probably a bit weak, but worth getting on boards where drawing is hard. More draw than Sinister Plot, but a lot less flexibility.
Great Cathedral - this seems kind of insane in how easy it is to make a golden deck with it. Can you not just like buy it turn 1, exile all your Estates, buy two Golds and maybe an action card or two, and then start buying Provinces?
Land Grant - this is a super cool idea. It doesn't seem terribly balanced, but it doesn't have to be, because the skill is mostly in knowing when to buy this rather than in knowing which landmark to pick (I feel like usually there will be one or two obvious choices). Of the landmarks themselves, only Yards seems to be clearly stronger than the rest.

Variants and Fan Cards / Re: Dominion: Venus, a fan expansion by Carline
« on: January 08, 2021, 03:00:26 am »
My thoughts:

Healer - seems pretty good, I like the interaction with junking and discarding attacks.
Mirror - possibly confusing to track if you play a Mirror on another Mirror, balance-wise probably a little weak but not too bad as it's only a $2.
Small Village - seems pretty weak, the first one's a cheap village though I suppose, and probably not worth getting more than one of unless it's the only village or the only +buy.
Taverner - pretty reasonable. Given things like Pearl Diver exist the lower bound for $2 cantrips is essentially nothing.
Wanderer - compares poorly to Loan, which is already a pretty bad trasher. I doubt I would go for this in the absence of good Estate trashing like Hermit or Jack.
Flame Keeper - I like this better than the last time I saw it in the discord. It's pretty powerful now, and quite interesting.
Horse Lady - Tracking's a little weird; does the Horse get exiled before its effect takes place? It must, but that's not super clear; I might word it like Kiln ("the next time you play a Horse this turn, first exile it). Balance-wise this looks really strong to spam, probably a bit too strong compared to other Lab-'s for less than $5 (Advisor, Wishing Well, Caravan).
Maid - seems a bit weak but the flexibility might make up for that.
Minstrel - "Topdeck" isn't an official keyword; you should say "put an Action card on top of your deck (if any)". It looks very good, like a Border Guard but with a lower risk of skipping important things.
Morning - I feel like there's probably a simpler way to word this, though I can't think of one off the top of my head. I like the effect, a lot actually; it's not clear whether going for these is right, though it does seem like the right number to get is almost always 0 or 2.
Nurse - Feels kinda weak compared to Cargo Ship. Maybe the topdecking and sifting makes up for it though.
Nymphs - Seems like quite an annoying way to get +buy, but I guess if your engine needs +buy, this will do. Probably on the level of Herbalist in terms of how desperate for +buy I need to be to get it-- and I need to have a good enough engine to reliably play two of them.
Sisterhood - seems pretty fine. DXV doesn't like stuff that can really go crazy with +buys, and this is on the edge of that, but you do need to put in a significant amount of work to get a ton of buys out of this.
Tiara - A way to add payload in a pinch, I guess. I don't see myself trashing a Silver with this often. Like most Silver gainers, probably only useful in money or in a really strong engine.
Valkyries - See "topdeck" comment from before. Seems very weak in the absence of an attack, and even then, it's probably not worth it without a way to reliably make sure you can have it in your hand.
Workers - Villagers are good. Seems pretty strong.
Amazon - Looks kinda nuts. It's a bit slow to get started, but once you have a bunch of these they're all Lost Cities, plus they can enable gain-and-play stuff super easily.
Emissary - A Priest that junks instead of its other hard-to-use bonus? Seems very good.
Faithful Knight - looks quite underwhelming. Neither "+1 Card, +1 Villager" nor "+1 Card, +1 Coffers" would be worth $4 (I doubt I'd buy that second one at any price), and the flexibility in treating your tokens as one or the other is canceled out by only being able to do so when you play a Faithful Knight.
Four Seasons - interesting concept. Looks pretty strong; eventually you get a ton of these, and then they become consistent. Might be a nightmare to track irl; I don't know. But the idea's neat.
Gravedigger - Seems pretty slow, and I'm probably not feeding it anything besides Coppers. The +$2 is nice but as a duration it's going to miss a lot of shuffles (which is a big deal for trashers) so probably not super good.
Guildmaster - Interesting idea. Young Saboteur seems like it will help your opponent most of the time, so I imagine I'm just flipping back and forth between Smith and Trickster. I would definitely recommend making Saboteur stronger. Smith/Trickster dichotomy seems fine.
Hidden Pond - this seems uh quite powerful. It's probably almost trivial to get it to 3 VP-- Copper, Estate, Hidden Pond. At that point, you can just start grabbing them and setting aside whatever, particularly if you have a gainer. If your opponent doesn't stop you, you can probably outscore Provinces fairly easily.
Immolator - looks insanely strong. In terms of tempo, it's maybe a little slower than Masquerade, but it can't draw stuff dead... and it trashes twice as fast.
Jewelry - seems very hard to use effectively. At best, it can gain you one $5 action per turn, if you get lucky and draw it early enough. In rare cases, you might both want Golds from this and be able to get them.
Money Trick - looks like a Market-Baker for cheap if there's any other dual-type engine part on the board. If it wasn't meant to trigger off of your own plays, you should reword it "when any other player plays a card with 2 or more types on their turn, ..."
Sacred Hall - has a similar dynamic to other cards that care about the trash (like Forager and Necromancer). If you take the time to pump up the value of this, both players can benefit from it equally. It seems like a very bad Estate trasher, but with a strong enough engine, I might take it anyway. But I'm almost never going to be trashing other victory cards with this (unless I'm doing some kind of golden deck).
Secret Place - interesting. Extraordinarily slow, but you get to stack your deck to make up for that. It's probably too slow, given that you probably need to put at least 3 cards on there to make sure your turn where you draw them isn't awful, and probably at least one of them needs to not actually cost $5 which makes this less attractive as a $5 gainer.
Warrioresses - this is an exiling attack that's even less threatening than Gatekeeper. Though its vanilla bonuses are a little better than Gatekeeper's, I still think it's extraordinarily weak. Usually the first action card someone is playing on their turn is one that they want a lot of anyway and won't mind gaining another copy of.
Wishing Fountain - Seems quite good-- get a bunch of these, name Treasure and Victory to thin, and then have a bunch of mostly-labs in your deck.
Tale-Teller - I like this. It's really hard to tell how good it is; my first intuition was that it was weak, but now I'm thinking it might be amazing. I might want to test this out, especially with a Silver gainer; if your deck is full of Silvers and Golds, this seems incredibly powerful. Regardless, it's a very cool card.

To be continued.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: January 05, 2021, 12:02:24 am »
Tooth Fairy - Night/Duration, $4 cost
Set aside a card from your hand under this. At the start of your next turn, you may put it into your hand or trash it.  If you trash it, gain a Wish if it costs $5 or more, otherwise gain a Silver.
You might want to take out the "you may". As written, you can choose to neither put it into your hand nor trash it, which causes... I'm not sure what, but I don't think it's intended.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 27, 2020, 01:05:56 am »
I wanted it to be viable as a Copper trasher as well as a Province gainer, and without the buy it compares super poorly to Bonfire.

I don't follow your Fisherman example; the trashed cards need to be differently-named, so you would need to trash Fisherman along with other cards costing $5 or more to get a Province-- if you can repeat that for 5 turns, you had a pretty good deck to begin with.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 26, 2020, 09:20:51 pm »

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 08, 2020, 04:12:08 pm »
Yeah, that was intentional. Given that gaining Barren Region has the alternate effect of uncovering Bountiful Region, I thought it was all right.

I did consider making Barren Region cost $4, which would make the cost of the pile constantly shift which could be weird, but it would also probably fix Barren Region's power level, so maybe that would be better. (It'd still be strictly worse than Cemetery, but the strength of the card isn't just in the card itself but in the timing of revealing Bountiful Region.)

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: November 08, 2020, 03:49:24 pm »
The Regions share a single pile which is like a Split pile but a little bit different. The pile starts with a Barren Region on top and then alternates between the two. So in a 2-player game, there will always be 4 of each Region, and in a 3- or 4-player game, there will always be 6 of each Region.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: October 27, 2020, 01:40:35 pm »

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 09, 2020, 05:59:03 pm »
All right! Sorry this took so long! I got a chance to test most of these (anything that was submitted before like Friday, pretty much).

Contest #86 Results

Litharge by grep
This feels not all that distinct from Nomad Camp to me, except it's even less interesting because you sometimes get Nomad Camp for the +buy and have to suffer through the topdecking. And in the opening it has the same issue Nomad Camp does, which is that you might open it to hit $5... and then not hit $5. In fact on a 4/3 you have only a 40% chance of hitting 5, and the other 60% of the time you've opened silver/$4 and slowed your cycling. Sure, it's marginally better than buying Silver in money, but it is probably just a waste of a landscape most of the time. I'm not sure that I ever actually wanted to buy this in testing.

Migrate by faust
This is quite swingy in the early game. Opening it on turn 1 has a 60% chance of getting you Gold and a 40% chance of getting you nothing (except for stuff like Nobles). Later on, it becomes a slightly cheaper way to add actions if you have multiple buys and are drawing deck, which is... well, it's something, but that's kinda underwhelming. It's nice to get Golds for cheap, but it's not so nice to get nothing and it's especially not nice to see your opponent getting stuff like Goons or Grand Market while you flip Estates and get zip.

Tend by spineflu
This is a really cool idea! It feels wrong to just stick an 11th card in the otherwise nicely-ordered 10-card starting deck, but it's kinda cool. In terms of not messing with openings, making it a cantrip is definitely less irritating than the old version without the +1 Card, since you could be stuck with a 3/3 on a board where the $4's are important. That said... holy crap this thing was already strong, and with the +1 Card, it's now insane. One of the reasons Church is strong is its ability to save green cards across shuffles, and this is like Church on steroids. It's a cantrip so you can spam it, and it costs $2, and you start with one already in your deck, and it has no cap on the number of cards it can set aside, and it gives you economy too? Sign me up! And this came out in testing, too-- Tend just makes engines work, and work really well. Turns out permanently removing all the green cards from your shuffles while also letting you start your turn with a bunch of coin is very good. So while it's a great idea to make a card that starts in your deck, I don't feel like it should be this one. It's just too crazy good.

Highwayman by mandioca15
This is somewhat interesting; it has the Villa effect of being buy-neutral to pick up when you anticipate needing more buys on future turns. But it doesn't really feel like it has a leg up on Villa; it's just far less interesting (aside from needing less cost reduction to autopile, but it sucks way more to autopile). If you think about it, it's really just a Woodcutter for $2 that's also buy-neutral. You get it when you want a Woodcutter, you don't otherwise, it just lets you wait a little longer before getting it. It's nice, but it doesn't feel that impactful to me.

Chancellory by LordBaphomet
Whoa, this is so good! Topdecking is a powerful effect, especially in the early game-- that's why Royal Seal is bad, and Tracker is sometimes a good open. Being able to open Chancellory and take advantage of the topdecking both immediately and consistently is crazy. I was only able to play against bots, and I didn't bother making a bot smart enough to contest this, so I basically got free rein of it. And it feels kinda like the Flag-- you pretty much have to contest it if your opponent goes for it, but there's not nearly as much of a first mover disadvantage since the first mover gets a $4 card onto their deck instead of a garbage terminal silver junking them up. A fun way to spice up the openings for sure, but way too centralizing in my opinion.

Manufacture by Aquila
I didn't get a ton of time to play with this, but it feels underwhelming. The first choice is awkward, since early on it will probably just get you a free $2, which is not all that great. (Unless it's a power $2 like Peasant or Chapel, of course.) The second choice is... also awkward, since you need to already have to have the card you want, and there are not a ton of $5's that you want to spam but that don't help you as much on-play. As a result, you probably already hit $5 that turn, so instead of buying the $5 you can copy the $5 and buy a $3, so this option gets you a free $3, after a few shuffles. Also not that impressive. The third option... well, like I said, I'm not playing against humans, so I can't have intricate endgame dances. But I'd imagine that it's not really all that intricate; as soon as you get into greening, if you haven't cashed your Manufacture yet, you cash it for points asap.

Mausoleum by D782802859
Fun! But as other people have pointed out, overpowered. And also usually not a good source of spirits, because $6 is greater than the cost of an actual Lab and instead I get a worse Lab and a green card, or for $4 I can get a Wisp and a dead card that Wisp can't even draw. Ghost as the only village... maybe, but that seems on the level of awkwardness as Prince as the only village, possibly more because Ghost's effect isn't nearly as good as Prince's. So I'm mostly taking Mausoleum as a cheaper Duchy (and maybe grabbing some free spirits because why not), and in most cases it will be a cheaper Duchy because the condition is so easy to hit.

Sailor by Fragasnap
This is kind of a hard card to evaluate. It seems very good; it's like a slightly worse Caravan Guard/Supplies mashup that has a great on-gain effect (especially with gainers). I noticed that you said it's a net stop card, but it's actually not-- since it draws one card next turn, it's a net Peddler, like Supplies. Its Peddler mode is weaker than Supplies, but the +buy and the on-gain probably more than make up for that. And it has a high chance of hitting $5 for you in the opening (at the expense of triggering a probably-bad shuffle), so it seems pretty good. In testing, it usually felt like a nice supporting card, but never the star of the show, though I never got a board where it was the only +buy.

Lease by LibraryAdventurer
I don't think I ever ended up testing this one, unfortunately. It seems to have little middle ground between useless and centralizing... but now I'm comparing Leasing Witch to Expedition, and I'm realizing that this is actually quite good. Though it still seems to me that Leasing attacks, especially junking attacks, is going to be dominant, and you usually won't be Leasing other things unless either you have nothing better to do or there's a strong synergy (such as Feast). Also, there might be tracking issues on when it "leaves play"-- for instance, I think as written you can Lease Fortresses and then steal them with Improve. Which is funny, I suppose. But overall... it's probably just right to be Leasing cursing attacks most of the time when they're on the board, which is just gonna lead to an infuriating game.

Fold by NoMoreFun
Cute. Powerful in a lot of situations, to cycle around to your better cards faster, or skip hands that you know will be bad. The main disadvantage? It requires constant deck tracking, because unlike Messenger you have the option to do this every turn. But in general, it doesn't REQUIRE deck tracking, since if you can afford it, it will help you shuffle faster and that's something you usually want (assuming your deck is better than it was last shuffle). I don't have much else to say about this. It's reminiscent of Save and Borrow-- not game-warping, but something to constantly be aware of.

Haunted Cruise by silverspawn
I don't think I ever bought this. I can imagine a board where you might... but it would not be pleasant. First, it only even works to hit $5 on a 3/4, so if it is that important, one person can just get screwed. And it's really only important with $5's that are either great junkers or great trashers-- Old Witch, Witch, Mountebank, Recruiter, and Sentry come to mind. Maybe Counterfeit. I guess it's also good with other Exilers, like Camel Train or maybe Stockpile. But it just feels like a sad cross between Borrow and Desperation that really only works in the opening.

Smuggled Goods by artless
Interesting! But probably not too great unless you have something to do with the Smuggled Goods after gaining it. Watchtower does nice double duty. Copper trashers like Spice Merchant or Counterfeit don't mind it... but most other things don't really have much to do with it. And it's a pretty sad hand that can generate $1 with 5 spare cards, but can't generate $5. So it seems like the extra junk is often not going to be worth the gain.

Stud by gambit05
I didn't get a chance to test the new version, but it looks way worse. The old version is a cantrip with a nice on-gain and Peddler potential if you had a Horse in hand, and this is... a really bad village, with a marginally better on-gain. I haven't tested it, but it's hard to imagine buying it, unless the nonterminal draw was REALLY good and I REALLY needed a village. Even the on-gain only has a 50% chance of getting you to $5 on turn 2, which is rarely gonna be worth it (and frustrating if my opponent hits it and I don't).

Navy by mail-mi
This is quite strong. It's hard to see the impact of the attack versus bots, but it's about as strong as Minion's attack (just delayed by one turn), and Minion's attack is good. And this is a weaker Caravan Guard/Supplies, but it makes up for that by being playable on gain. There's a bit of a question of how this interacts with Squirrel/Flag and the like, but that seems like a minor issue. A more major issue is probably just that this attack is on what's effectively a cantrip, so it's very likely going to be inflicted every turn or almost every turn, and it's quite an annoying attack for that, so it probably isn't skippable, and it probably makes games less fun (though it being duration draw does counter its own attack, much like Haunted Woods).

Phoenix by pubby
This is so cool!! However Phoenix itself is pretty, uh, underwhelming. It doesn't look like it can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way :P Single-card trash for no benefit is... not great. One-shot trashing self to grab back a trashed card such as a Mining Village is... a little better, but hard to pull off. So I may never actually buy Phoenix, but still appreciate its presence, like Baker and Fool. That doesn't really feel like something you should be aiming for, though. I get that it's good to have multiple Potion-cost cards together, but one thing that does is always ensure that on the opening turn when you could blow up Gunpowder for Phoenix, you could also blow it up for something else... and that something else is probably going to be better.

Underling by anordinaryman
This is a pretty sad card. It suffers from the same syndrome as Haunted Cruise and Smuggled Goods-- the junk is just not worth the benefit. And one of the hallmarks of bad cards with good on-gain effects (think Skulk) is the ability to feed it to trash-for-benefit... but because this has the debt cost, you can't even do that (barring things like Sacrifice and Zombie Apprentice). So you get a slight speed boost in return for a permanent slowdown. I would definitely be in favor of changing its cost to $3 and adding a clause to prevent autopiling, but I think improving the top would probably be a better way to fix this. I think it would be not too strong if it gave +$2, and probably more interesting.

Brazier by Marpharos
I had to implement this as a Reaction, because it basically is. It's also kinda unintuitive that it works during Clean-up as well? But as written, it does. Anyway, that makes it seem pretty dang strong. It's effectively a +1 Card, since it keeps one junk card out of your shuffle, and on top of that it works both on gain and on discard. And then there's the can of worms of it being strictly better than Woodcutter, which is still a design principle DXV adheres to, even though Woodcutter is removed.

Glamour by chronostrike
I was unimpressed by this at first glance. A weirdly focused attack, along with adding a deliberately OP card to the supply? That just seems bad and unbalanced. It took me about thirty seconds of playing with it to change my mind. The balance might not be completely right... but the design is amazing. Even playing against a dumb bot, I got burned by Glamour a lot-- getting to open the Lure is great, but having to discard it sucks! And gaining Glamour for no reason is bad, but when your opponent starts picking up Lures, you probably want to find time for one, especially if the Lure is an engine piece like a village or a draw card. This is just such a fun and interesting card.

Ancient Settlement by xyz123
This marks the point beyond which I wasn't able to test, sadly. This is kind of a weird one. I think it has enough going for it to be useful, especially on the 3/4 where you can open a $5 and still make out with a coffer. It's annoying as the only village... but sometimes you build Shanty Town engines. When Necropolis is useful, you don't mind hanging onto it. And this gives a buy, so it does serve two purposes, although neither of them well. I do like what the coffers do to the timing-- I wouldn't expect to trigger the coffers more than 2 or 3 times, but it might lead to me buying villages too early or intentionally not playing actions in order to get them. Interesting design.

Vagabond by X-tra
The idea here is neat. I just wish the call condition were a bit... flashier. The combination of +Cards and +$ is particularly ill-suited to a card like this, since you don't know whether you'll need the money after you see what you drew, and you'll probably just use it as a Sinister Plot-esque dud saver, with the money being ancillary. That feels bad. The dead card floating around in my deck ALSO feels bad in the absence of trash for benefit. I like the pure Reserve idea... but I think this was the wrong place to try +2 Cards, +$2.

Negotiate by Fly-Eagles-Fly
This is the kind of thing that would drive me up the wall, which isn't a bad thing per se, but I think this is pretty bad, because of the chance that the coffer gets your opponent to $5. This might legitimately be a second player advantage card, because it can (and should) only be bought by the second player on turn 2, unless the second player buys a $4 on turn 1 in which case the first player can buy this on turn 2. Beyond that... well, it seems to be a mostly desperation play, because unlike Bargain, the benefit to your opponent is immediate, which basically makes this not worth it most of the time. The reason Bargain works is because they need to wait one shuffle to play the Horse, and a second shuffle to play whatever they were able to buy because they had the Horse. Here, if they get a $5 because you got Negotiate, you both see your $5's at the same time, and you're out $1 extra.

Workhouse by Xen3k
This card's on-gain is so bad that I don't really think I would go for it unless it was late and I already had deck control and really needed the buy. I don't really think buying this in the opening helps your odds of hitting $5 much; at best it will put you with 7 Coppers, 2 useful Ruins (Library/Mine), and 1 Estate going into turn 2, which is... bad. You have to wait an entire extra turn to even have a chance of seeing your opens, and then you have more garbage in your deck which it will take a bit for Workhouse to clear out. If Workhouse is the only village... well that can't possibly be worth it. Though it is nice with Fortress, but what isn't.

Metronome by alion8me
Hmm. Interesting. I think I like it. In general, big turns and terrible turns are better than a bunch of mediocre turns, at least early on. And the fact that it makes you discard your two worst cards, and then draws you two random ones, makes it significantly better than just doing nothing. I suspect that this will be unskippable on most boards, like Sinister Plot (though probably not quite as powerful). But it will be a lot of fun to play with. It might be marred by certain attacks like Swamp Hag that are more devastating on the big turn which will cause it to be annoying if one player's big turn is perpetually right after the other's. Maybe it would be better to make the whole thing optional (no drawing or discarding unless you flip), but that would make it even STRONGER, and it's already really good.

Owl Tower by Jonatan Djurachkovitch
I must admit this surprised me; it looked terrible at first glance, like an even sadder version of Harbinger that's already a pretty sad card. But, actually, it plays out closer to Scheme-- it lets you set up any card for your next turn, with the obvious downside of being a duration and not being a cantrip. But the upside is pretty big: you get to pick which card you want after you see your hand. That does a heck of a lot for reliability. It still feels underwhelming in a consistent enough deck, but on sloggier boards where consistency is hard to hit, this can be pretty useful.

Young Smithy by majiponi
Eh. It's a better draw card than Moat? It's pretty bad as the primary draw in an engine, though getting to start with one on top of your deck each turn while building is nice I guess. But the discards really add up, especially if you want to gain and play. I don't think this is a weak card, and it's not a bad design, but it's really not all that exciting. I much prefer the cards that let you topdeck other gains; they do similar things, but a lot more varied in what exactly you can accomplish with them. I get that this was shoehorned to fit the contest, but it definitely leaves the card worse off for it.

Winner: Glamour by chronostrike
Runner-up: Ancient Settlement by xyz123

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 08, 2020, 06:40:04 pm »
Judging will be... soon. I might get to it tonight, sorry if I don't.

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: September 02, 2020, 08:41:35 pm »

Made a few changes here. Just a shot in the dark. Thoughts?
I don't know if it's just me, but I can't see this image. Can you re-upload it or post a text version please?

Weekly Design Contest / Re: Weekly Design Contest Thread
« on: August 30, 2020, 10:04:45 pm »
Also, for official things that qualify, Nomad Camp counts, yeah?
Yep. I'm sure there are other examples as well, just wanted to give a few in case people couldn't think of anything.

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