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Dominion General Discussion / SepRanks for Top Player Rating
« on: August 01, 2018, 10:07:57 pm »

Why should anybody create these lists? Well, the obvious answer is that it's a fun activity, akin to ranking College teams. However, there are also two practical reasons to conduct these lists.

Firstly, the Leaderboard is not entirely accurate. Great players might not play all that often, and their positions might very well be completely wrong. The Leaderboard is biased towards people who play ranked, not all Dominion. For example, Dominion League is almost never played ranked, but nobody will see higher quality Dominion being played than in the A and B tiers. In addition, players game the system all of the time to artificially raise their numbers, further watering down the results. I am not saying the Leaderboard is a useless metric, but some discernment must be used when consulting it.

Secondly, increasing our understanding of who the best players are will help new players and old alike. For the new players, it will give them role models to emulate. For the old players, perhaps they will see some players they never considered before, from simply underrated players to the vibrant and active Japanese community we barely communicate with. This will evolve the metagame in the long run, further increasing our understanding for the game.

Yes, the lists will not be accurate at first. That is okay. Course correction will happen.


Polling will commence about every 6 months, and be open for two weeks. Users will visit the link below, enter their username, and present their list of the top 20 Dominion Players.

This link will lead to the current poll. Before taking the poll, there are some important things to note.

1. I would advise all users consult both the ShuffleIT Leaderboard and the Dominion League standings before finishing their rankings. It's not required, but it may help in accuracy.
2. Keep in mind that fame does not always mean the player is better.
3. As a corollary to the last note, remember that there are other players who do not visit the forums. There are for example, plenty of strong Japanese players out there, among other players. This area is where the Leaderboard is most helpful.

Polling Results

These results are sorted by the most recent.

August 2018


If you aggressively do not care about the polls, then you do not have to participate. Your displeasure does not mean this poll shouldn't exist.
Who voted for whom will not be made public, and this will solve any potential issues. Please be careful when discussing votes. My asking for usernames on the poll is only to ensure that voting is unique and fair.


Cursed Village + Pathfinding

I am going to start a new series on Dominion Combos. Previously, when writing about combos was tried, articles like these were written. Or this. Yikes. It was not optimal, to say the least. And so, I will try my best in this modern age of Dominion to write a comprehensive list of fantastic combos that Dan Brooks could only dream of.

So, this is a fantastic combo. Of course, Pathfinding goes great with a lot of cards. But it pairs with Cursed Village even better than normal. Cursed Village has this problem, that as soon as you draw up to 6, it doesn't draw any more if you play your Smithy, and each $5 you spent into your villages goes into a Necro. That is so sad. Nobles at least gives VP and has the option to draw, for only a coin more in the price point. But Pathfinding fixes that. Now, your Cursed Villages become normal villages when you play them. This effect cannot be understated. When was the last time you played a village, and it drew your draw card you were looking for? Exactly.

And that's not all. The plus card token on Cursed Village also counters a very strong attack: Relic. That's right, you can sacrifice your +card token, and you're still drawing to 6. Relic's $5 opportunity cost will look like a foolish purchasing option versus putting Pathfinding, an amazing event, onto an amazing card, Cursed Village. So be on the lookout for this card combo. (Don't get confused with the card Lookout. Man, that card is bad, it will trash all your provinces and action cards and it's so scary)

I'll maybe write more combos if I feel like it, but I think I had to spread the word about this very strong interaction. Let me know what you guys would like to see next!

Tournaments and Events / Cage Match Tournament #2: Empires
« on: July 01, 2018, 04:51:21 am »
Tracer has unfortunately been unable to do the second Cage Match Tournament at this time. I was originally going to try something else, but why mess with a good thing?

For those who do not know what a Cage Match is, it is a series of games where both players play with a certain card, with the rest of the set random. Each match in this tournament will feature a unique card.

The tournament will run from July 9th to August 6th.

Tournament Structure

The structure will be the same as last tournament. Sixteen players with a single elimination bracket. The seeding will be done by ShuffleIT mu rating on the 8th of July.

Each match should be completed in about a week.

Round of 16: July 9th - July 16th
Quarterfinals: July 16th - July 23rd
Semifinals: July 23rd - July 30th
Finals: July 30th - August 6th

Some overlap between weeks is okay, although not preferable.

Match Structure

The structure here will also be mostly same as the last tournament, with a few differences in tiebreaking.

Each match will be determined by the first player to three points. Starting player alternates, with the first player in the first game being randomly generated. Each game win is worth a point, and each tie is worth 0.5 points. If there is a tie, the next game is set to full Empires random, plus the cage match card. Starting player is random, with the second player having the tie advantage. This means if the game ties, the second player wins the game.

For each match, the cards assigned for that match should be fixed into all games with the remaining cards fully random. This can be done by going to 'Select Kingdom Cards’ and typing the card name into the text box in the lower left hand corner.

Card Selection

Due to the addition of Landmarks, Card selection will be a bit different. In addition to an Empires card (including events), a unique Landmark will be also applied to each match.

Each card will be selected from the results of a poll, which happens to be due on July 8th. People who aren't playing can still fill this in. Please only fill in this poll once.

The poll results are located here:

The top voted card will be assigned to the final, the second to the 1-seed semifinal matchup, the third to the 2-seed semifinal matchup, the fourth to the 1-seed quarterfinal matchup, the fifth to the 2-seed quarterfinal matchup, etc. Tiebreakers in polling will be decided by me, but I will not be voting.

Spectator Friendliness
  • "Players can see Spectator Chat" must be disabled
  • Spectators must be allowed to see the hands of both players
  • All matches should be announced at least an hour in advance on the Dominion Discord, or on the Match Calendar at least twelve hours in advance. Preferably both. Include the assigned card in your description.


The first sixteen players will be admitted, hopefully by July 9th. The signup list, scheduling, brackets and results will be in the next post.

Match Reporting

Please report your matches in this thread. Include both the score of the match, how many games the assigned card for that match was gained, as well as by how many players. If only one player gained the card, did that player win or lose? For Landmarks, mention how crucial it seemed to be in determining the winner.

Have fun!

Dominion Articles / Donate Part 1: The Beginning
« on: May 02, 2018, 12:52:09 am »
Donate is a complex card. There is so much to cover, and thus to make it easier to digest, there is going to be a multi-part series about Donate. I won't be writing every part, and I welcome others to join the Dominion Blog Discord to help with our writing process!

Also, this is a draft. Please feel free to critique or suggest additions.


Donate is the most powerful card in Dominion, and ignoring it is a surefire way to lose games. Precise plays are rewarded and even tiny mistakes are magnified. In addition, such a game warping card is hard to talk about, because there are so many different questions to ask every time it is on the board. What to put into the deck before triggering Donate? When to trigger Donate? Do you buy Donate more than once? Whatís the fastest build path?

This article wonít be able to give you absolute solutions. After all, as the famous saying goes, ďIt depends on the board.Ē However, there are trends and general information available to help you make the right decisions. These trends may not always help you play the most efficiently on the battlefield, but it is a starting point!

General Concepts

Everything that is true in competitive Dominion play becomes even more crucial on Donate boards. Having an incomplete understanding of the gameís meta is easier to get away with on normal boards, but with Donate this becomes much harder to do!

As an addendum, first player advantage is absolutely a real thing normally, but it is even stronger to go first on Donate boards! I donít want you to think the game is already over if you are the second player. The second player is happy to tie if it comes down to it, but there are usually winning chances! Play the outs given and donít give up.

It is hard to have any Donate discussion without starting on deck control, a concept that allows you to play your good cards and to gain things more often. Deck control comes in many forms (such as topdecking), but the most prominent example is trashing. The power of trashing is one of the first things new players learn when entering the competitive scene, but the power of Donateís trashing is shocking, almost liberating even. Any deck imaginable can be built from the ground up, and because the decks are so much thinner, the deck control increases drastically.

Second concept, tempo. With the rapid increase of deck control, the clock shortens. The games may feel longer due to all of the overall thinking time, but the actual turns taken shorten drastically. Because time is of the essence, precision is key. Small mistakes such as building out of order can squander overall deck potential and in the worst cases, waste an entire turn! You have less turns to do what you want to do and the windows are tighter.

Tracking the deck and having an overall plan is the third concept. Donate is very deterministic, and planning entire turns ahead is an absolute requirement. However, any competitive player worth his salt should be doing this anyways on all boards. Sometimes a good player can skate by on intuition and experience. Not so with Donate! In addition to tracking comes the concept of knowing the Kingdomís limits. What are the build paths to victory? How big can the build go? Remember, there is less time available, and the timing on when to green may change as a result! Donít be afraid to build big, but keep an eye out for Kingdom limits.


Overall, I would recommend newer players looking to get good at competitive Dominion play exclusively Donate games for long periods of time, since Donate demands good competitive knowledge and practices to win effectively. Concepts of tempo, deck tracking and having a plan are paramount to victory on any board, but even more so with Donate.

Dominion General Discussion / Dominion Drinking Game
« on: February 22, 2018, 11:25:15 pm »
Dominion getting boring? Time to get creative! Let's come up with the perfect Dominion Drinking Game.

For example: Take a shot every time you dud. Take a shot every time jsh complains about Chariot Race.
take a shot every time someone makes a useless new thread

Dominion Articles / Underrated Cards in 2018
« on: January 23, 2018, 11:50:34 am »
Here is a short list of what I think have been underrated cards based on the 2017 Qvist rankings. Some of them are Nocturnes, others are old past favorites. Feel free to add or dispute anything on this list.


This pile has seen a continuous rise over the years, but it still isn't high enough. Knights are devastating when uncontested, and the person who loses the Knight split is racing against the clock. With Lurker, Graverobber, Necromancer and Rogue, games with Knights are more centralizing and degenerate than ever. Don't forget Throne Room variants either.


I know, I know looks crazy. Just start buying it. You are going to be surprised how useful and consistent it is. The topdeck ability alone is great, much cheaper opportunity cost than a Royal Seal, and Boons are very useful.

Fool's Gold

Yeah, mass FG is bad. But you know what isn't bad? Great payload at the cheap. This is one people are coming around to as well, and I almost didn't put it on the list.


Events in general are still underrated. There is a famous maxim, "wherever you rated the Events, put them 10 spots higher." It's a ludicrous statement at its core, but it shows a truth. Events absolutely dominate games and Borrow is no exception. Think of a game where Borrow is on the board and you never used it. Exactly.

Traveling Fair

Why in the hell is this dropping in rank? It should be going up if anything! Topdecking cards and extra buys for only $2 is insane power. Consistency is the best friend of engines with the exception of the very lucky Tournament deck. If you are not using this Event, you are going to lose every time to someone who does.


This one is understandable, because Druid by itself sucks. Just more of a PSA that Wisps are the most broken thing ever, and that you should basically open Druid any time there is Swamp's Gift set aside. Yes, even forgo trashing if Flames is included. Other reasons to maybe get Druid: Earth's Gift, Flame's Gift, Field's Gift, +buy.


People have gotten too annoyed at Doctor's bullshit to realize just how fast of a trasher Doctor is. I have won games getting Doctor over say, Steward. Not joking. (Speaking of which, if there's an Overrated list ever, throw Steward on there, please.) Just pay attention to your deck contents at all times, swallow the pill, and play with Doctor more. It's really not that bad.


Continuing the theme of misaligned Events. Draw is good, handsize increase at start of turn is good, Den of Sin and Wharf demonstrate this, why is this dropping? Consistency is good for engines, and Expedition provides it. It isn't the most powerful Event ever but with the right Kingdom you can play with Expedition support handily in your deck.


Yeah it's bad, but not basically at the very bottom of the list bad! Fool provides an alternate path to building in the opening over Silver. Most of the Boons Fool provides give economy (Mountain, Field, Forest, Sky), cycling (Sea, River, Wind), or enginey stuff (Swamp, Flame, Earth). The mostly garbage Boons in this sense are Moon, Sun and sometimes Sky. It could go bad but statistically it should be fine. Of course, you get a dead card in Fool if uncontested. If contested, Fool gets a lot better. Time will tell but it doesn't seem to be that close to the very bottom of the $3s.


This is a must open on so many boards, and it gives you payload too. People see this and think Sea Hag. Marauder is so much better than the Hag.


Placed horribly currenty, yeah it's Nocturne but it should see an incredible rise. Estate trashing into Wisps is an incredible tempo booster, Silvers become great draw in Imps and if you need it, more expensive engine parts become Ghosts. And it's a trasher you cannot draw dead. Uh sign me up.


It's actually really good draw on the cheap. Just start buying them en mass. I know I know you lose your best card but soon you stop caring because you're drawing everything.


This has not risen nearly fast enough. Being able to trash your hand and pick up an Engineer is such a HUGE boost to tempo. There are so many cool things you can do with Engineer.


And this has continued to drop because.. why exactly? There also seems to be this pretend rule that you are not allowed to open Bishop. Bullshit, you absolutely can sometimes. Yeah your opponent gets thinner, so what? So do you! And you get VP with it, he doesn't. There are boards where the VP doesn't matter and the trashers are great, but with a dearth of both consider yourself a Bishop opening. Look into the terminal space, the kind of deck needed to be built, etc.


With enough Groundskeepers, you don't need to buy Provinces. You can buy Estates or Duchies, sometimes for even more points! You can prolong the game as long as you like. Engines love this card. At the worst Groundskeeper ends up being a cantrip Duchy or better. It's a heck of a steal.

Den of Sin

New Card Syndrome applies to Den of Sin as it is from Nocturne, but man what a card. While worse than Wharf, Den of Sin can never be played dead, and on buy you get to use it immediately, leading to such an increase in tempo. It is a very strong draw card.


Man, have engines somehow gotten worse in 2018? Why is this dropping? Jsh wrote an article and everything!


I think this one will be forever underrated honestly. I know, it looks like it sucks. Just start picking it up on $5 if you have nothing immediately better to do. You will start winning tons of games like you couldn't believe. It is a consistency machine. Nothing like Warehouse. It's basically draw.


It's a terminal Gold that has one of the most brutal attacks in the game. It's dropping for some dumb reason. I see people skipping it on boards they shouldn't, so maybe that is why.

Council Room

It's just a slightly worse Margrave. Please, start buying this thing...


Overrated for so long, the worm has turned and now it is finally underrated. Basically don't ever fall behind, because Jester favors the player who is ahead. If you are behind, don't pick it up and keep building, although you're probably sunk in the long term.

And that is all that came immediately to my mind. Let's stir this controversy pot and see what we get.

Dominion General Discussion / The Dominion Cards 2017 Edition: Boons
« on: January 22, 2018, 08:26:41 am »
It's the list you've all been waiting for. Boons. The thing you get when you play Fate cards, or as I like to call them, Boonies. This list wasn't too surprising, and a lot of the Boons can be moved around without too much complaint.

My current list for the Boons, in order from best to worst: Swamp, Flame, Earth, Forest, River, Mountain, Sun, Wind, Field, Sea, Sky, Moon.

The Boons

#1 Flame's Gift Weighted Average: 94.75% / Unweighted Average: 89.39% / Median: 90.91% / Standard Deviation: 17.93%

Widely considered to be the overall top Boon by the community, Flameís Gift gives a free trash upon reveal. The inconsistency and randomness of the trashing effect leads me to conclude that it is overrated, although not by much. Flameís Gift will probably retain itís status as the top Boon in the future due to the communityís love for trashing, and frankly there isnít much wrong with that.

#2 Swampís Gift Weighted Average: 83.92% / Unweighted Average: 80.68% / Median: 81.82% / Standard Deviation: 18.43%

My personal pick for best Boon, Swampís Gift gives out a Will-O-Wisp, which is a slightly worse Magpie (only because you cannot spam gain it usually). Also like Magpie, if you get a ton of them into your deck (hint: Druid) you will quickly be put into a great position to win. Wisps draw themselves, and the more you have the better. Without Druid, Wisp is more of an early game Lab which accelerates the deck and is a harmless cantrip with a scouting effect in the late game.

#3 Earthís Gift Weighted Average: 73.87% / Unweighted Average: 72.73% / Median: 81.82% / Standard Deviation: 26.11%

While this Boon only has one guaranteed good target in Blessed Village and one great enabler in Pixie, there is usually some good gaining to do in the Kingdom. At the virtual cost of $1 it is a very potent Boon. It is less consistent than Flameís Gift, so #3 is the probable perfect spot. From here on out, the Boon strength drops off considerably.

#4 Riverís Gift Weighted Average: 68.3% / Unweighted Average: 67.8% / Median: 72.73% / Standard Deviation: 15.96%

Riverís Gift is a guaranteed non-dead draw, albeit delayed until the start of the next turn. Riverís Gift is nice consistency and is virtually never bad to get. Itís not spectacular, but it gets the job done. I am happy to see it with every Boonie, a good sign.

#5 Forestís Gift Weighted Average: 62.5% / Unweighted Average: 60.98% / Median: 63.64% / Standard Deviation: 17.7%

Even with a no +buy board, it is hard to line up Forestís Gift in an engine without the astute help of many Pixies. (The moral of the story seems to be get Pixies whenever you are able, they are very good and flexible) That being said, landing this Boon at the right time just adds a nice potential advantage. Come on, itís +Buy. You fought for Ruined Markets, youíll fight for these too.

#6 Fieldís Gift Weighted Average: 57.91% / Unweighted Average: 57.58% / Median: 54.55% / Standard Deviation: 18.86%

Starting to notice a trend? Generally the further down this list, the more situational the Boon. Fieldís Gift is probably over ranked at #6. Itís only very nice with Druid and Pixie. The randomness lends itself to somewhat suck with the rest of the Boonies due to lack of control. Sometimes a Pixie can be popped for a village effect and sometimes it lets you play a second terminal, but usually it never does more than give a free +coin. Sometimes that is all you really want.

#7 Sunís Gift Weighted Average: 44.01% / Unweighted Average: 45.83% / Median: 45.45% / Standard Deviation: 20.74%

Sunís Gift is a solid Boon to get, increasing consistency with the top of the deck manipulation. I am never really sad to see it (unless it triggers a bad shuffle), but usually doesnít do a whole lot either. You probably wouldnít pop a Pixie for this without a very good reason, but otherwise itís mostly fine.

#8 Seaís Gift Weighted Average: 33.58% / Unweighted Average: 35.23% / Median: 36.36% / Standard Deviation: 22.01%

Could be ranked lower. Seaís Gift is just a second Riverís Gift with Blessed Village, a potential 2 Labs with Pixie, and meh with everything else besides Idol. Sea's Gift is not a bad Boon, but within the context of the Boonies it is really not that good at all. Seaís Gift is mostly mediocre for the same reason that Ruined Library is mediocre, only youíre usually spending your Action on a terminal Boonie instead.

#9 Windís Gift Weighted Average: 32.91% / Unweighted Average: 35.23% / Median: 36.36% / Standard Deviation: 21.53%

Could be a little higher. Ignore all the times you played a Boonie at the end of a shuffle and landed this. It can happen. Itís usually a bit awkward in the same manner that Seaís Gift is, but it also lets you see more cards so itís just better overall.

#10 Skyís Gift Weighted Average: 24.05% / Unweighted Average: 25.76% / Median: 18.18% / Standard Deviation: 19.58%

Probably the second worst Boon, and third worst isnít much better for Skyís Gift. Discarding three cards for a singular Gold is a giant ask, and the sporadic uncontrollable nature of Boons makes it even harder to land at the right time. And the reward is.. a Gold. At least Mountainís Gift just outright gives you a Silver. Skyís Gift is usually and rightly ignored.

#11 Mountainís Gift Weighted Average: 12.81% / Unweighted Average: 12.5% / Median: 9.09% / Standard Deviation: 12.81%

Probably the most criminal under ranking on this list, Mountainís Gift is actually one of the better Boons in the game (I have it at #6). I will fight you on this. Silver hate has gotten out of control. New rule: Buying Silver is bad, but getting free ones is usually fine. It generally gets worse the later the game goes on, but arenít all of the Boons situational? And early game extra economy for free? Yes please. Stop with the Silver hate. Silver isnít Curse+. Mountainís Gift is not the second worst Boon, and I expect itís position to rise in the coming year.

(pssst, popping a Pixie on Mountain's Gift is actually really good, give it a try)

#12 Moonís Gift Weighted Average: 16.29% / Unweighted Average: 12.06% / Median: 9.09% / Standard Deviation: 23.17%

While there is a nice combo with Moonís Gift and Blessed Village, otherwise you are usually sad to reveal this Boon. Remember how inconsequential Harbinger is the majority of the time it is played? Donít expect anything better from Moonís Gift. Dream about all of the times youíll top deck a Goons in a thick deck, Boons just donít work like that with their sporadic nature.

Dominion General Discussion / The Dominion Cards 2017 Edition: Hexes
« on: January 22, 2018, 07:43:32 am »
Here it is, the thing everyone has been waiting for. Hexes. Those bad things your opponent gets when you play Hexers. There were some legitimate surprises on this list, although I now mostly agree with them.

This is my current list for the Hexes, from best to worst: Delusion, Locusts, War, Envy, Poverty, Plague, Misery, Greed, Haunting, Bad Omens, Fear, Famine.

The Hexes

#1 Delusion Weighted Average: 84.56% / Unweighted Average: 81.82% / Median: 100% / Standard Deviation: 22.27%

In a not very close contest, Delusion nabs first place with the vast majority of first place votes. Delusion is a nasty Hex, forcing your opponent to not be able to buy Actions for an entire turn. This can put the opponent into a hole he cannot dig himself out of, and at the right time is absolutely devastating to get hit by.

#2 Locusts Weighted Average: 78.94% / Unweighted Average: 79.22% / Median: 81.82% / Standard Deviation: 16.15%

I had Locusts much lower than this (but seemingly nobody else, I gave it the lowest ranking out of everyone). However, after a discussion Locusts does indeed belong around this spot. Locusts fiddles with your deck in very annoying ways, either trashing a useful card like a Village or giving out a Curse in much the same way as Swindler, but better. Sometimes it can hit Province, and then the tears really start to flow. Locusts is a very swingy hex, so is Swindler or Saboteur.

#3 War Weighted Average: 69.62% / Unweighted Average: 63.64% / Median: 63.64% / Standard Deviation: 23.97%

Another counter-intuitive pick (I had it very low), I find it to be a very situational Hex. Sometimes it will hit a Village and that is very hard to come back from, but then sometimes it will just bounce off a Silver, and that is quite friendly! Overall though, this is a very swingy Hex that can land on the wrong side for one guy, and then it's a tough pitch.

#4 Plague Weighted Average: 66.45% / Unweighted Average: 66.23% / Median: 63.64% / Standard Deviation: 20.45%

Plague is simple. Curse the opponent. Nothing terribly fancy. Sometimes the in hand stuff hurts and sometimes it helps if anything, but overall itís just a Curser in Hex format. Quite good, although maybe not as good as Envy. Probably a bit overranked. Nothing left to say.

#5 Envy Weighted Average: 66.2% / Unweighted Average: 69.7% / Median: 81.82% / Standard Deviation: 28.1%

Envy is a more situational version of Delusion. Either it is quite strong or barely noticeable, and it entirely depends on the choice of payload. With Golds and Silvers, Envy can block an entire turn out and that hurts with the Gains Race most engines are. With Conspirators and other kinds of virtual coin or payload, not so much. Heck, alt Treasures or Platinum are not touched by Envy. Also, if a theoretical card existed where upon playing it Copper gave an extra $1, that would also work. Speaking of that theoretical card, it must feel pretty envious of the cards that still exist.

#6 Poverty Weighted Average: 65.69% / Unweighted Average: 69.26% / Median: 72.73% / Standard Deviation: 14.44%

Poverty is the Militia attack, and the Militia attack is hard to deal with. I am almost always happy to give this attack out to someone. Probably a bit underranked, but people still seem to underestimate just how good of an attack Militia is so it's not terribly surprising. You could also justify this position since it is only played once every twelve times.

#7 Haunting Weighted Average: 42.8% / Unweighted Average: 44.16% / Median: 36.36% / Standard Deviation: 24.98%

Haunting is not very good and is pretty overranked here at #7. Without an Urchin or Fear being played first, this attack is mostly ignorable except in money games, but in breaking news everyone knows to not just play money when attacks are on the board.

#8 Greed Weighted Average: 37.48% / Unweighted Average: 37.23% / Median: 36.36% / Standard Deviation: 19.42%

Probably slightly underranked, Greed is a weak junker attack. Greed doesnít really stop turns from happening unless the turn was pretty much a dud already, and the attack is slow enough that itís not much of a problem to deal with. Plague is miles better because it simply hands out a Curse.

#9 Misery Weighted Average: 35.6% / Unweighted Average: 38.53% / Median: 36.36% / Standard Deviation: 22.95%

Misery is an interesting Hex, albeit mostly on the weaker side. What ends up happening is either Misery means very little to the state of the game unless you get hit twice, or it is absolutely crucial in a single Province game and then you sob. But mostly it is okay to be hit with and isnít nearly as game changing as getting slammed by a Delusion. Despite this, it is still pretty underranked, I would still rather be hit by Haunting or Greed before Misery.

#10 Bad Omens Weighted Average: 26.68% / Unweighted Average: 23.38% / Median: 18.18% / Standard Deviation: 16.5%

Bad Omens is mostly bad. Itís a cute attack in theory but in execution I never really seem to end up caring, again unless my turn was going to be a dud anyways. And if it was, I really donít mind drawing two Coppers with my Smithy instead of some dead Actions, and the Coppers even skip the shuffle if it's not a Moat variant draw card. Fears about triggering bad shuffles are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be.

#11 Fear Weighted Average: 22.89% / Unweighted Average: 23.38% / Median: 18.18% / Standard Deviation: 16.01%

If it wasnít for good olí #12, Fear would easily be the worst Hex. It so rarely hurts to be forced to discard a Copper. The only time this attack really seems to hurt is when it is played before (but not even after, 5 card minimum) Haunting, (which is thematic) or if all you have in hand are Action and Victory cards (afraid of these parentheticals yet?). Well even then youíre mostly not going to care, there is probably still a ton of drawing to be done with the four cards left in hand.

#12 Famine Weighted Average: 3.09% / Unweighted Average: 3.46% / Median: 0% / Standard Deviation: 5.23%

In a not even close contest, Famine is almost universally considered to be the worst Hex, earning the vast majority of 0 ratings. Not only does it barely hurt, it is even kind enough to shuffle the rest of your deck afterwards! Famine is just a much much much worse Rabble.

Dominion Articles / The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« on: November 20, 2017, 09:32:26 pm »
I was originally going to write an incredibly long article on Villa, covering tons of card interactions. And then I discovered the Dan Brooks method of article writing, which is covering specific combos or boards as the article itself. However, there is still room for abstract articles on powerful cards. The goal of this article is to provide a quick reference for less experienced players on what to think about when playing with Villa. So without further ado, here is the Ten Lessons of Villa!

The Ten Lessons of Villa

1. Donít gain Villas without a reason.

Don't just buy Villa because it happens to be a village. Abuse the on-gain! Get it when you need it at that particular moment.

2. Never play fast.

At any point in time, stop and think about what can be done when gaining a Villa, especially with mid-turn gainers.

3. End of Action Phase is a choice.

Itís not natural to think about artificially ending the Action phase with actions left to play, but Villa makes this a possible choice. For example, at the end of a shuffle, purposefully end the Action phase, buy a card and a Villa, and then draw the card to use.

4. Donít be afraid to overterminal.

Villa is always there with the on-gain ability. No need to waste time getting Villages when players could be buying other useful cards. The only thing to be sure of is being able to hit $4 when terminal collisions happen.

5. Get Draw.

Speaking of overterminaling, the very best action cards to pick up tend to be draw cards. Villa supplies +actions and +buy already, it only needs draw. The stronger the draw the better. Without good draw, Villa becomes much weaker.

6. ďThe Turn.Ē

When you draw your entire deck on a Villa board, I like to call that "The Turn." In this state, Villa gains become immensely more powerful and decks grow at exponential rates due to things like gaining cards, buying Villa, and redrawing it all. This is usually the ideal scenario for Villa to be in, and why Villa is weaker without drawing power. Weaker draw and trashing also works well.

7. Rickety, Sustain and Quantum

There are three general types of ways decks can go after the Villas pile, if they do. Knowing how they will go can be helpful, and I have given them cute names instead of names like "Rush" so there's no potential confusion. These are not strategies, they're just trends on how Villa games can go depending on the Kingdom.

Rickety decks dry up and suck once the Villas pile. Usually this is because there is tons of junking or a lack of trashing. Villa hurts the decks a bit more than a traditional village after gaining because it doesnít draw any cards. "The Turn" may or may not happen, and it possibly won't so don't always get your hopes up. Pretty much unreliable.

Sustain decks continue to be good after the Villas pile. Theyíre more consistent, smoother, and usually trashing is involved to prevent them from being Rickety. "The Turn" is more likely to be happening. Pretty much more reliable.

Quantum decks just donít care because the game is over around when the Villas pile. These games have lightning fast acceleration and usually involve power trashing like Donate or Monastery and/or specific card combos such as Procession or cost reduction. Quantum decks can either end up Rickety or Sustain (more often Rickety) if you somehow mess up and don't pile, so obviously try to pile out.

8. Villa Denial

Whoever kicks off "The Turn" first will be in an immense advantage and should cement this lead whenever possible. One way to do this is to consider piling the Villas to choke out anybody else from having The Turn. Having a couple of extra stop cards in the deck is a small price to pay for ensuring the opponent never gets a chance to accelerate.

9. Pileouts

Villa supplies buy and encourages crazy combos, so it logically follows that pile control with Villa is an important consideration. Looking for pileouts is a good habit to have, but a crucial skill to ever succeed with Villa. It can be harder to envision what an opponent can do with his deck since Villa does crazy stuff, but it should be attempted to avoid shooting yourself in the foot.

10. $4 or $3?

A quick note to help with piling and purchasing calculations: Villa secretly costs $3 if you play it after you buy it. The minimum requirement needed is $4 but as long as there is $4 when buying the last Villa itís all good. Suppose thereís 8 Villas and you have $25. Can you pile? 8 Villas by $3 equals $24, and thereís a coin left over for the last Villa buy. You can then play that last Villa and have $2 left in hand.


Villa is not an easy card to play with. The secret is practice. Open a table against a friend (or Lord Rat will do just fine), require Villa and get a feel for playing with it. Watch top Dominion Players use Villa in their videos. In fact, I made a sloppy video where I made tons of mistakes just to highlight some Villa tactics! See if you can catch some of the plays I missed in-game as an exercise!

An update for this video is coming soon, where I play it as optimally as I possibly can.

Dominion: Nocturne Previews / Nocturne Initial Impressions
« on: November 16, 2017, 11:41:30 am »
Okay. Now all of the cards are out. What stands out? What seems bad? Any sleepers? Any duds?

edit: I have given my full Initial Impressions here.

Variants and Fan Cards / Weird Dominion Variants
« on: November 14, 2017, 04:18:26 pm »
Okay, so you all may have heard of Mic Qsenoch's Golf Variant. If not...

Let's come up with some new variants!

1. Warring Warriors

The goal of the game is to be the only player with Warriors left when a Warrior gets trashed. You can buy any cards, but you are not allowed to upgrade into Hero or Champion. And if you have all 5 Warriors in deck, that is another win condition.

2. Knights & Lurkers

The goal of the game is to thin down your deck to only one card. The only cards you are allowed to buy are Knights and Lurkers. This makes Dame Anna really powerful!

I'll post more weird variants when I think of them, and I might try playing some of these later on for fun in a stream or something.

Dominion General Discussion / Seprix's Tier Lists For Every Dominion Set
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:58:38 pm »
Want to complain about useless rankings that have no real basis in actual gameplay? This is the place for you. The cards are roughly tiered in their subcatagories where I would imagine they would be. If Witch being ranked below Artisan is just crazy, well maybe it is. They're pretty similar in dominance, so there. It's a rough estimate. And you can always convince me to move a card up or down.

A special note about Villages: You're always going to get one. You can make an argument about putting them all on A, or even freaking S. You can't build engines without Villages, period. So in order to not make this list completely stupid, I have implemented a special rule with Villages: With any given village on the board, compare it to any sort of other alternate Village on the Kingdom. If you find yourself picking it up less, then it goes lower than A. If you find yourself picking it up more than that random Village, it could very well stay where it is, or go straight to S. That's the standard I am implementing.

Finally, if you're going to complain about rankings being useless, just press Alt-Back arrow. This is a discussion about the tier lists, not on whether tier lists are good or whether ranking systems are even useful. Plenty of threads for that convo. But anyways, on to the lists.

Base Set

Someone complained about Curse being on the same section as Mine, so just think of that more as me being too lazy to make another tier, because that's exactly what happened. Besides, with the advent of Empires I have found myself buying Curse more than Mine at least.

Chapel and Sentry are pretty much some of the top trashers in the game. Some people are more down on Sentry because sometimes it whiffs, but really, try ignoring Sentry and you straight up lose. Witch for some reason has people rating it lower, just because it's not a shiny new card. Cursing is still good in 2017.

Throne Room isn't S because well, it's the spice card of Dominion. If the Kingdom is good, it will be good. If there's absolutely nothing salvagable about the Kingdom, then well Throne Room is terrible. Kingdoms trend heavily towards being strong for Throne Room. Really, you could convince me to make it S.

Oh, you probably just noticed I put Copper, Silver, Estate, and the works on this list. Well they were introduced in the Base, so there you have it. I'll try to do that with all of the Set lists, with the major exception of the Boons/Hexes and maybe the Ruins. Who needs to know those, Qvist will suit you just fine, there's not enough of those to warrant any sort of tier list.

There was some griping about Laboratory, so let me explain that one. It's a nonterminal Moat. It's not exciting, it's probably one of the worst draw cards in the game. But it still draws. It just never feels good straight up buying one. Almost like there's some efficiency lost. Maybe it's just me. It totally could be.


Masquerade is the best overall card in Dominion besides maybe Donate. If you're not opening it, you're probably playing the Kingdom wrong. I have it rated higher than everything besides the very strongest cards, such as Donate and King's Court. It's an "ignore and lose" card. It cycles, it trashes, and it puts psychological pressure on the opponent. It's a potent weapon.

Bridge is busted. An Awaclism: "When Bridge is on the board, build the engine or lose." I can't argue with that. Steward's strength is in its flexibility. It can trash, draw, give economy, all of that. I also really really really wanted to put Swindler into S. It warps games absolutely. But in the end, I was talked off of the cliff.

Lurker was hard to place. It could be in A, really. It's a tough one. I put it in B because people overbuy it, but that's all really. Harem also makes the worst art and the worst rank. What a shock.

I think this will mostly be uncontroversial minus Vineyards being S maybe. Not too much to say. Maybe Golem is a bit low.

Double Lookout opening is very strong. I'm saying it now. People are going to go ballistic that I put it in S. And heck, maybe it belongs in A. But surely it's close to the top of A if so. The fact that Lookout gets a bit awkward later, that's a small price to pay for the amazing combo of trashing and cycling.

(more coming soon...)

Dominion General Discussion / Dominion Nocturne: Night Cards PSA
« on: October 25, 2017, 12:50:39 am »
Attention, f.dsers. Night cards are not Action cards. There are a surprising amount of Dominion cards that deal specifically with Actions and thus do not deal with Night cards. This will lead to a lot of poor decision making and the sooner we get this list going the sooner people will remember and not mess up and lose for it.

The List

Vassal: Only affects Action cards. Night cards will simply be discarded!

Throne Room, King's Court, Procession, Crown, Disciple: Maybe there will be a Throne Room for Night cards, but these are certainly not them.

Library: Night cards are not skippable.

Lurker: Can't gain non-Actions!

Shanty Town: A rare buff! Shanty Town is 100% compatable with Nocturne.

Magpie: Hitting a Night card with the scouting portion of Magpie does nothing.

Ironworks: No benefits upon gaining Night cards.

Replace: You will not hand out Curses or topdeck with a pure Night card.

Tribute: Thought you'd never see this card mentioned again, huh? Anyways, even though it's retconned it still wouldn't be any good with Night cards.

Transmute: And yet another reason to hate Transmute.

Vineyard: Night cards are not Actions!

Scrying Pool: This is another biggie, I forget this all the time.

University: For such idle hands, you can't gain a Devil's Workshop.

Golem: Geez, Alchemy is a big offender. You'd think with Potions and stuff they'd love ghosts.

Quarry: This won't be hard to miss with the online implementation.

Rabble: Another weird interaction. Sometimes you're happy to have Night cards on top, sometimes not. Either way surely they're better to have on top than green cards on average!

Peddler: This will never come into play as far as I know because Night phase is after but there ya go. You don't get a cost decrease for playing a Night card. Also, Night Phase is past the Buy Phase, so you won't be able to gain one with Devil's Workshop.

Farming Village: It will skip every single pure Night card you have.

Inn: Only Actions can be inserted into deck on-gain.

Death Cart: The Black Plague can't touch Night cards. How thematic.

Ironmonger: Ouch, what a nerf.

Wandering Minstrel: Your Night cards might as well be Treasures.

Band of Misfits, Overlord: No, you can't play them as Ghost Town.

Graverobber: You can gain Night cards from the trash, but you cannot trash for benefit them.

Herald: Man, Night cards do not work well with some engine cards.

Ferry: Looks like Raider is going to stay at $6.

Plan: You can make deals with the Devil, but you certainly can't Plan things with him.

Seaway: Not sure why you'd ever want to Seaway a Night card given the Night Phase coming after the Buy phase, but yeah. You can't do it.

Lost Arts, Training, Inheritance, Pathfinding, Teacher and Tokens, etc: You probably guessed this was the case with Plan.

City Quarter: Night cards are dead cards when it comes to drawing.

Emporium: Night cards do not count towards that sweet sweet VP.

Enchantress: Magic doesn't touch Night cards! Huh, maybe the anti-synergy with Alchemy makes sense then...

Sacrifice: No benefit is gained.

Advance: Okay, surely you're getting the point by now.

Arena: Yeah, you get it.

Orchard, Colonnade, Triumphal Arch: Yep, makes sense. You get it. Of course you'll still forget and you know it.

Defiled Shrine: At least you'll have a visual indicator with the Online implementation. Heh, IMPlementation.

Summon: Yep. Still can't do anything with Night cards.

Prince: You can't bring him back from the dead.

Haunted Woods: If you ever want to play your Night cards, you'd better not buy anything with Haunted Woods in play.

And this isn't even including the new stuff like Haunted Mirror, which with the discard only works with Action cards. Anyways hope this helps people!

Dominion General Discussion / Dominion Terms: What Should We Call Things?
« on: October 10, 2017, 01:06:53 pm »
This is something that has spawned much debate as of late, and I don't think it's a topic that deserves to be in an article. I think it's a "everyone says their piece" sort of deal, and whatever sticks will stick. So there's a bunch of things that need to be decided. I am for the record perfectly happy with the squinty fuzzy sorta get it right with the vague word, but a lot of people are not and I want to see if we can agree to call things the same things somewhat consistently.

1. What to call a Village that isn't a traditional Village? You know, when you Summon a cantrip or play two Throne Rooms to play multiple actions. Do we need a meta term to encompass all cards that allow you to play multiple actions? Awaclus has proposed "splitter" which I think is highly confusing but some people like it.

2. What do you call the 2017 Money decks? Some people call them "Good Stuff" decks. Others call them Province Rushes. Moneyish decks. Money Engines. There are so many names for this type of deck. What is it? Let me try to define it.

It's a deck where you play money with a bunch of good cards in your deck. You get a trasher or junker in the opener, play with Trade, Conquest, Borrow, etc. Usually there isn't as much emphasis on draw cards, although those can exist.

I am a fan of calling these decks Province Rushes. But what if there is one and you're competing with Castles? Maybe Province Rush variant?

3. Different types of engines. We all know this one. How many different types of engines are there? How should they be catagorized? A lot of people lean on the WanderingWinder 4 deck types but I do not like those anymore. They're not very useful. Can there be a better system? I think so.

(a note: none of this will help people play better Dominion as much as it will help clarify what people mean whenever they say X or Y.)

I may have missed some things. It's really an open topic. As always be civil, I'm half afraid this will be locked in 3 weeks.

Dominion General Discussion / The Outpost Podcast Viewer Questions
« on: September 19, 2017, 12:53:23 pm »
Hello everyone! Beyond Awesome, a special guest, and myself are all looking to answer some Dominion viewer questions on the all new Podcast! You can ask anything Dominion related at all right here, and we'll try to answer 2-3 good questions a week and make it a regular occurrence. It can be anything from "What are crazy times you open Lurker" to "When is the ideal scenario for Pirate Ship to be good" to "Would you rather give Scout a hug or give Chancellor a couple of tissues". The Podcast is up every Friday but we record it earlier so the sooner the questions are asked the better! It's not a one time deal either, we hope to keep this up every week. Don't be afraid to ask!

Tournaments and Events / World Cup 2018 Interest Thread & Discussion
« on: September 06, 2017, 03:23:28 am »
Hi. This is an announcement I suppose. Amoffett and I (and maybe Breppert) are going to organize a World Cup sometime in early 2018. The date isn't set in stone yet. For now, I am trying to generate interest/come up with ways to potentially improve the WC. For now the rules will be the same as last time around, but that could change. For example, How would teams be grouped? Should there be a second US team/Japan team? Should it be mandatory for each player to own all expansions? Should there be a refugee team for countries that cannot fill a roster? How are team captains decided? There are all sorts of avenues to explore and I think it's worthwhile to generate some civil discussion about it all.

Dominion Articles / On Lurker
« on: September 03, 2017, 10:59:40 am »


Lurker is a combo card, and the thing about them is that they tend to depend on the other nine kingdom cards. It is interesting to note that while Lurker does have many amazing combos with nearly all of Dark Ages, by itself the card is usually underwhelming. The primary problem with Lurker is not the ability, which is a fantastic one, but rather the actual card in your deck. The other nine Kingdom cards may or may not offset this disadvantage. Before anything else, let's talk about a common mistake with Lurker: the opening.

Oftentimes, players from across the experience spectrum open with a Lurker, and more often than not it is the wrong play. Here is a likely familiar example to those who have played a couple of Lurker games.

A Common Hypothetical

Turn 1: Player 1 buys X

Turn 1: Player 2 buys X
T2: P1 buys Lurker
T2: Ö

It is Player 2 to move. Does Player 2 buy Lurker or not?

Usually Player 2 feels obligated to pick one up, just to deny Player 1 from getting his hands on a potential free card. From there, the game devolves into a Lurker game of chicken, where neither player plays the Lurker. Both players feel like they have to justify the Lurker buy, so they pick up other Lurkers. It is understandable that someone would want two Lurkers early on in the game. Two Lurkers go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. But it is also potentially the wrong play. Usually, there is something better to do on the board.

There is a better solution out there that people donít contemplate when playing in this scenario, and that is to delay the Lurker buy. Instead of Lurker on Turn 2, buy a better card. Player 2 can gain the Lurker on the second shuffle, and Player 1 still has to keep in mind the Lurker game of chicken. He may go for it, in which case perhaps he gets a second Lurker to increase his chances of landing it upon the next shuffle. This may or may not work, and Player 2ís deck should be slightly the better for it either way. Player 1ís deck will still have at least one glorified Ruined Village inside no matter what the outcome.

The Main Point

If you are not going to use the Lurker you gained, there had best be a good reason. Think about delaying the Lurker buy. Lurkers in hand make it harder to hit price points early game, and thereís no incentive to play a single Lurker if you do not benefit. A good maxim to remember: Decks that use Lurker are good, but decks that have Lurkers are bad. Picking up a Lurker without a serious plan can be serious trouble. With that being said...

Opening or Pursuing Lurkers Early

There are many times where getting Lurkers early or even opening them is a strong play. Knowing these scenarios will elevate your play. Here are some of the power cards to look for.

The main issue with Lurker early on is connecting two of them. What better way to connect them than to trash down your deck? Donate enables a potential double Lurker opening right out of the gate, and cards like Bonfire and Chapel are some of the fastest trashers in the game. This list is not exhaustive, and other fast trashers like Remake may also be enablers.

King's Court: Lurker with King's Court. Is there really anything else to say?

Hunting Grounds: Any time you see Hunting Grounds with Lurker on the same board, sound the alarm bells. This is a very potent rush. Uncontested, the rush ends the game on a three pile in 11-12 turns with approximately 33 points. Nothing to sneeze at! Open double Lurker, trash Hunting Grounds for a Duchy (or Estates if Duchy pile is empty) and always buy Lurker. When the Duchy and Hunting Grounds pile is out, simply trash with Lurker every time to empty the Lurker pile.

Possession: Possession alone demands a double Lurker opening. Games with Possession and Lurker are bizarre and oppressive. The best general advice is never buy economy, look to buy points right out of the gate and drive piles with Lurker as fast as you can with the points lead.

Cultist/Fortress/Squire: Cultist and Lurker is usually quite bonkers. There are games that end in 7 turns when both of those cards are on the same board! Trashing Fortress into hand builds your deck while also making your Lurker a cantrip for a play, not to mention the massive engine potential. With Squire hitting the trash can comes a free attack card. Just be careful with gaining the Squire back! Both Lurker and Squire do not draw cards.

Tomb: Tomb is a mega Lurker enabler. Each trash by Lurker is a point into your pocket. Trash useless cards when your Lurkers don't connect! Consider aggressive pileouts!

Other Lurker Strengths

Lurker works well with sifters and cyclers, especially top tier ones in Forum and Dungeon. Secret Passage can help connect two Lurkers for maximum benefit. Minion can help enable Lurker gains. Artificer can topdeck a Lurker to connect two on the next turn for a low fee of -2 Cards.

A quick trick for virtually unbounded draw: play Procession on a Hireling, and Lurker the Hireling back. Not only do you get +2 Cards for the rest of the game, but the Procession doesn't even get set aside, letting you perform the same action again next turn!

Trash for benefit loves Lurker. The big stand outs (besides all of them) are Apprentice and Knights. With Apprentice, trash a high cost card to connect Lurkers and then go to town. With Knights, the battles will never end. Lurkers will never die. Other cool tricks: Bishop a Nobles and get it back. Butcher a Nobles and get it back. Process a Nobles and get it back. Graverob a Nobles and get it back. Replace a Nobles and get it back. You get the idea. On the other hand, Lurker can defend against Rogue by trashing multiple Harvests or other terrible cards.

Speaking of trashing terrible cards, sometimes your opponent will take those Pirate Ships if you're feeling generous with superfluous Lurker trashing. Just make sure that your silly pile driving won't give your opponent a potential win in the future! There has already been documentation of a throwaway Lurkered Transmute winning a game later on when regained.

Speaking of Potion cards, Lurker also loves those, if not for potentially skipping a Potion buy. Besides Possession, Scrying Pool worships Lurker. The more Lurkers there are the better. Scrying Pool can draw them all up and Lurker can increasingly gain more actions to draw. Golem likes Lurker as well, albeit perhaps not when the Golem hits two Lurkers.

As the game progresses, Lurker can become less of a gainer and more of a threat for a three pile ending. Always be aware of potential three piles and how many cards your opponent can drain. In particular, Throned or Kinged Lurkers can make games end incredibly quickly, and Kingís Court is one of the potential triggers for aggressive early Lurker openings!

Game Examples

Of course, talking about hypotheticals is fine, but what about actual games? Here are four different boards. Your goal is to analyze the board and assess the use of Lurker (if any).

Example 1:

Playing against multiple Torturers a turn will be a slight nuisance despite Masquerade and Lurker doesnít seem to be doing that many special things here. Thereís nothing to invest in. There are cute tricks with trashing Mining Village and Lurker but Conspirator already provides the money. The game looks primed to end on a three pile with Vineyards being prime VP. Lurker seems to be best here as a cheap action and to threaten piles towards the end of the game.

Example 2:

This game looks to go on much longer. This is a prime Lurker game. There is an amazing sifter in Forum and good cards to gain in Scrying Pool/Baker/Mill. The engine will be double Province a turn in the ideal world and Mills will help provide points and economy. Lurkers will add cards to make Scrying Pool even better. The game will possibly end on some sort of three pile before the engine can be fully realized, mostly due to Lurker.

Example 3:

This is a highly complex board with three different strategies, listed in order of effectiveness:
1. Nobles/Council Room/Lurker/Bishop Engine
2. Lurker/Talisman/Vineyard rush
3. Council Room/Platinum BM
This isn't exactly a board where it is immediately obvious what to do, and that's okay. The rush seems like the most intuitive thing to do on this board, and it's nearly the best thing. Bishoping Nobles and getting them back via Lurkers seems like a good way to score infinite points.

Example 4:

Enchantress is easily the most important card here, as it is the only draw, and a good Courtier target as a fancy bonus. Certainly this is not a board where you will get a Lurker on a buy, but rather a wonky turn where you can only get one from trashing an Estate and Coppers with Forge. Lurkers are not terribly important here, although they are nice to get a University which gets Enchantresses and a Courtier. While Forges and Expands are high cost cards and that is a prerequisite for Lurker investing, Baron/Silver or Baron/Enchantress are fine openings to potentially spike $7 already. The draw/sifting is also subpar, although Wandering Minstrel might help to connect two Lurkers. The endgame here seems to be Expanding/Forging things into Colonies.


Lurker is an incredibly high skill card, and thus correct or incorrect useage will impact your chances more than usual. A suggestion: Play with each of the Lurker combos listed for awhile. Then, queue up random games with Lurker in it, and try to implement it into your strategy every time. Every time it fails, assess why it did. Was the build order wrong? Was the Lurker gained too early, or perhaps too late? The best way to get good with cards is to practice using them, and Lurker is well worth investing in.

Puzzles and Challenges / Possible To Win?
« on: April 05, 2017, 03:55:36 pm »
Dominion Puzzle: Is it possible to win this turn?
Game ID: 2593959
Decision: 287

I've gotten up to $19 and 3 Buys, but I haven't found the win yet.

Game Reports / Use Artificer
« on: February 01, 2017, 12:13:29 pm »

Code: [Select]
Plan, Herbalist, Develop, Oracle, Warehouse, Baron, Artificer, Ghost Ship, Haunted Woods, Mountebank, Relic

Dominion General Discussion / Dominion Opening Training & Predicting
« on: November 24, 2016, 12:41:00 am »
For players looking to improve, it's important to come in with a good opening and a game plan, as well as knowing what will generally happen in any given game. People can present boards and then provide the solutions in spoilers. Like "Forced Wins Training Sessions", this thread will hopefully help some players get better at finding that edge over their opponent.

Here is the first board, admittedly a bit easy:

Code: [Select]
Transmute, Ambassador, Doctor, Lookout, Port, Spice Merchant, Worker's Village, Highway, Mandarin, Fairgrounds
What do you do here on 4/3? 5/2?

How will this game go?

Feel free to submit your own boards. Let the training begin!

Dominion General Discussion / Post Impressions Part 1: Debt Cards
« on: October 22, 2016, 11:36:54 am »
I'm going to do a series covering all of the new Empires and 2nd Edition Dominion cards after playing with them quite a bit. First, I am going over every single Debt card in Empires, whether Events or Kingdom Cards. I have some possible insights to share. Think of this as a "post-initial impression" impression. I'm still forming my thoughts on these cards. If you also have any interesting tidbits with Debt cards or the power of them to add, I'd like to hear them.


First, let's talk about Debt itself, as a concept. Debt is a fascinating mechanic that buffs +Buy. Have an extra +Buy and only $1? You can take a Debt card right there, and your deck is much better for it. Any time there is a Debt Card and +buy, that is just another reason to go for engines over Big Money. Debt cards are Engine cards, with little to no exception. A lot of times, you'll see these high prices for Debt cards, and you'll just freak out. It's worth it to get these and go into debt. They improve your deck in the long run more than if you did not get them.


In case nobody got the memo, all the Debt cards are really really good. Every single one of them. Even that Annex one. Engineer is no exception. Whenever you want Workshop, you want Engineer even more. It's pretty straight forward, but in case someone cannot conceptualize it, Engineer can gain two cards for you and then remove itself from your deck.

I can say it right now though: Engineer Gardens is probably not a 'thing'. Sure, you can get two Gardens with your last pop! Great! However, you cannot gain Engineers with your Engineers, so it's a lot slower than you would first expect. Not that Workshop Gardens is all that good anyways.

The games where Engineer really really shines are Herald-centric games, Ironmonger games, basically any great $4 cost you simply have to have. It's Woodcutter on steroids.

City Quarter

Think about how strong City Quarter is. Just think about it. City Quarter is stronger than that. It is a legitimate top 10 Kingdom Card for me. Yes, I'm serious. King's Court, Goons, Mountebank, Chapel, Cultist, Donate, Save, Bonfire, City Quarter. It belongs there. "But Seprix, it costs $8 Debt!" So? Just pay $4 now, and $4 later. Don't delude yourself into thinking it costs so much. The 8 is a lie. It's cheaper. In addition, the more City Quarters you add, the more your deck explodes, enabling you to pick up more of them per turn. It's incredible.

Do you want to know how good this card is? To sum it up bluntly, IGNORE THIS CARD AND YOU LOSE. You'll just lose. And it won't be close. Always look for ways to incorporate City Quarter into your strategy. It enables awful awful engines and makes them insane. City Quarter encourages you to mass up on Action cards. Any engine you can build can be so much better with City Quarter. I cannot stress enough how insane this card is. Its King's Court levels of good. If you did not get that impression somehow, you know now.

Royal Blacksmith

Everyone likes to be down on Royal Blacksmith. I can understand that for certain. But think of it this way. Rather than thinking about all the Coppers you lose from your hand, think about this. It draws 5 Cards, pulls out all of the Victory Cards, the Action cards, every other kind of card but Copper, and puts that into your hand. With all that crap in your hand, you can draw the rest of the Coppers. It's not a problem for you. Aside from the cool combo of Counting House, it's really not a problem.

All that aside, do not delude yourself into thinking this is anything but an Engine card. Fool's Gold Blacksmith is a fine combo (and it works as long as you're not contested too much!), but that is an exception to a general rule: When you buy Royal Blacksmith, you need an Engine. You just do. The more Coppers you trash, the less you'll miss when drawing all those great cards.

Overall, Royal Blacksmith is probably the weakest Debt card, but that doesn't mean it is bad by any means. On the contrary, it is a very strong draw card that enables you to have more payload in your deck for your Villages over drawing power, simply by the pure size of the drawing. It's cheaper than Hunting Grounds.


If City Quarter is the strongest Debt card, Overlord is the second strongest. It enables T2 bought Mountebanks, Cultists, Junk Dealers, Wharf, Upgrade, Sentry, and every insane opening combo you can think of. It's versatile. It doesn't care if you like chocolate or vanilla. It loves you all the same, and it will do anything costing up to $5 for you. Because you're that awesome.

Overlord is the most Kingdom dependent for certain, except maybe Royal Blacksmith. In a 9 Scout Kingdom, it's not going to win you any games. Anyone remember Band of Misfits, and how cool it seemed? Man, what a great card! And then you realized, it really sucks actually. Overlord is the fixed Band of Misfits you've always hoped and dreamed of. I promise. You won't be sorry. I don't want to say it is a Top 10 card though, and it really really is board dependent.


One of the biggest problems now with all of these new VP Events and Gathering cards and all of these Landmarks is when to take them. The community has not figured it out yet, and either have I. I can guess that the same rules still apply. You don't green until later if it junks you, unless you're threatening a 3-pile. Greening before that is catastrophic. You stop building for a second. Your opponent can suddenly overtake you. Don't let all these shiny VP cards fool you into thinking otherwise.

That being said, think of this card as Alt-VP for gaining. You get 2 VP with a buy right there, because you gain an Estate and the VP with that gain. After that? Buy tons of Coppers, buy out the rest of the Estates to prevent your opponent from getting them, etc. My point is, don't buy this earlier, even when you have trashing, for example. It's not helping you build.


Best card in the game. There is no better card in Dominion. Everyone knew this coming in, and I can confirm it. Donate changes the game in the way Governor does, or Cultist does. It will make you re-imagine the entire concept of Dominion and building engines. There are so many ways, so many options, and I can tell you right now, I have barely scratched the surface of what this card can do. I don't know when best to buy it, or what to buy before getting it. There are so many question marks as to what is slightly better on any given board.

One tip though: Do not fear junking attacks. You can just Donate them away again. It's not a problem for you. You'll be so much thinner after your first Donate, and your average deck worth will have so much more value than before, even with all of that junk.


This is the Event no one understands. And I understand. I also understand why. Nobody knows how to play with Inn. Right now, go open Making Fun and play some Inn Cage Matches. Find out and learn when best to buy Inn. Seriously, go do it. It's a close approximation to how Annex works. Except Annex is even better.

Firstly, Annex gets you a Duchy. For free. Game ends, you've piled out but you have an extra buy left. Heck, buy Annex, grab a free 3VP! Who cares about Debt, the game is over.

Secondly, Annex is better than Inn. It helps your deck maintain consistency. You can put all of your cards except for your 4 Victory Cards and the Copper (the 5 you leave behind) and put the rest in your deck. Wow, you're guaranteed to win now. Again, who cares about Debt? Spend that $5 you were going to on Duchy anyways and buy Annex instead.

That being said, Inn has one thing that Annex does not. Inn is a village, and you want a Village. Annex is something you usually only get at the end game.


And finally, Wedding. If you have a 4/3 opening, you will be very sad. If you have a 3/4 opening, you will be quite happy. Opening Gold is very very good. Skip Silver entirely. Who needs it? Open Steward/Gold. Now the question remains is this: Do you still open Gold on 4/3, skipping Action cards? Probably not, but it will depend on the board of course. Don't be afraid to look at a tactical Wedding buy. It gives +1 VP also, which is a bit cute. It might give you a leg up. It might not.

That is my post "initial impressions" impressions for Empires Debt cards. I hope you all got something out of this, and I'm looking forward to any insights you might have on these cards as well.

Dominion FAQ / Encampment and Black Market
« on: October 11, 2016, 10:28:49 pm »
Two questions for the almighty esteemed Donald.

1. When you buy Encampment from Black Market, and you play Encampment without revealing a Gold/Plunder, does it get set aside forever, or do you put it back into the Black Market deck?

2. At the end of the game, if the Encampment is set aside, do you count it as part of your deck? This matters for Vineyards, Gardens, etc.

Game Reports / Dominion develops terminal cancer
« on: September 23, 2016, 11:39:53 am »

Code: [Select]
Ball, Ratcatcher, Apothecary, Fortune Teller, Menagerie, Tunnel, Advisor, Gardens, Pirate Ship, Laboratory, Stash
Hey, at least you didn't have to play it.

Let's Discuss ... / Let's Discuss Dark Ages: Cultist
« on: September 14, 2016, 06:18:07 pm »

Many cults start off with high ideals that get corrupted by leaders or their board of advisors who become power-hungry and dominate and control members' lives. No group with high ideals starts off as a 'cult'; they become one when their errant ways are exposed.
                          -Philip Zimbardo

The mighty Cultist. One of Dominion's strongest attack cards. I can see Donald X.'s thinking with Cultist. He started out with a noble idea for Cultist. He didn't want it to be eclipsed by Witch, and he wanted it to be different. In so doing, Donald X. created a monster out of a card. Very often when Cultist is on the board, it dominates the board and the attention of both players. To simply ignore Cultist is almost always a losing strategy. Therefore, it is almost always a must play strategy, controlling the play of the players. Cultist is too strong and game warping most of the time, and its errant ways have now been exposed. Now, Cultist's strength is even more apparent with the absolutely busted Pathfinding and Lost Arts interactions.
  • How often do you defy the groupthink and cult-like mentality that often occurs when Cultist is on the board?
  • Would taking away the spam ability of Cultist make it far too weak, or too much like Witch? What are your proposed fixes?
  • What were your coolest interactions with Cultist's on-trash ability?

There is no current additional reading on Cultist. Get cracking on that article, people.

Dominion General Discussion / Forced Wins Training Sessions
« on: September 12, 2016, 06:10:31 pm »
I want to get better at finding forced wins. People, post screenshots of games at scenarios, and let's get training. I will submit the first one. This game comes from Game 5 of Qvist versus Gamesou in DL S17, and it is available on YouTube on Qvist's channel. Now... Is there a forced win? If there is, what is it? The answer is in spoilers below:

Play Stonemason twice, trashing both Silvers for x2 Stonemasons. Play Horse Traders, discard Island. Buy Province + Curse for the three-pile.

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