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Messages - benedettosoxfan

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I opened Ruined Library / Delve + Ruined Market on turns 1/2 and won. Chapel was set aside with way of the mouse and ruined market was the only + buy.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Menagerie Previews 3: Exile
« on: March 04, 2020, 09:41:46 am »
My immediate impression is that I'll be opening Bounty Hunter 99 times out of 100. When Renaissance came out I thought Priest was the ideal $4 cost opener, but Bounty Hunter seems even better than priest at least for the 1st and 2nd shuffles. I also really like the mini game that Coven seems to present. You can ignore it, but you're basically betting that your opponent can't play it 10 times before the game ends. I think this is one of the cooler mechanics to come out in recent Dominion expansions and I'm excited to see how else the Exile mat is used!

What an awesome feature! Thanks to the team for making this possible. I think my favorite part of these lists might be hearing players' explanations for why they like/dislike/ban certain cards. Should make for some great conversation. Having said that, here I go (for now)

Like: I don't have anything on this list because I enjoy the variety and challenge of giving (almost) every card a chance to shine. If I did have cards on this list, I don't know how I could possibly limit it to 5. My instinct is to put Worker's Village just so there's always a source of +actions and +buys, but I prefer the randomness of it all. I might also think about putting Black Market on here, but having it show up more often than usual would probably wear it out and lead to increase swinginess.

Dislikes: These are the cards I could do without, but I wouldn't say that I "never" want to see them again. They belong in Dominion from time to time and I'm glad that they get their occasional chance to shine.

Familiar- It just leads to sloggy and uncomfortable games. You have to dedicate your first 2 turns to hitting $3P, and if you don't hit it on turns 4 and 5, you're probably hosed. Before you know it, you're most likely sitting there with 7 coppers, 3 estates, a potion, a couple silvers, and a bunch of curses.

Pooka- I don't like Cursed Gold. That's all there is to it. I wish it wasn't in the game. I do like Pooka, though. That's what makes it a dislike rather than a ban.

Urchin- I find that it's often a race to get Mercenary and then a money-ish situation after that. I also feel like it's usually the best thing to open urchin/urchin and I'm just not all that excited about that.

Swindler- It's the swinginess. It's a fun card, but one that can absolutely determine the outcome of the game on turn 3. A perfect example of a card I would like to see half as much as the others.

Smugglers- I kind of stink with this card. It's probably all in my head, but it feels like my opponent is always smuggling Golds and Goons and Grand Markets with this thing while I'm either gaining silvers or gaining nothing because my opponent bought an event or a province. However, "I'm bad at playing with it" doesn't seem like a good reason to ban a card outright.

Ban List: A very short list, but these are the cards I'm 100% sure I would be cool with never seeing again. The fact that there are only 4 card shaped things here should speak to how well I believe Dominion is balanced.

Possession- Built in already, but this card does not belong in the game for me.

Knights- The only kingdom card. I've gone into more detail on this before, but Knights take away the balance of fairness. If you have 3 Knights and I have 7, I trash all your Knights and then I'm trashing everything else of value in your deck and there is literally nothing you can do about it. Ghost Ship, Mountebank, and Cultist are nasty, but there's always the opportunity to return the favor for your opponent. Knights can and will take away that opportunity. The only true no-brainer on my personal ban list.

Tax- This is here because of the setup clause. Everything about that is gross. I've never played a game with Tax and been glad that it's there.

Keep- I mean, maybe if it was like 2VP for each treasure, but 5?!?! Holy cow it just turns Dominion into a completely different game, and one that is much less fun than the normal one. Counting silvers and buying coppers (shudders) is just a chore I could do without.

That's what I've got! I expect to see a lot Rebuild, Ambassador, Cultist, etc. on other list, but I don't really mind them as much as others do. Curious to see how my list differs/compares to the majority.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: May 09, 2019, 05:42:35 pm »
Your third card could be a capitalized vassal that sets off a chain of infinite vassals. Technically the final card in your could be any action that doesn't cause you to discard from your hand. You discard and play all the cards in your deck, but never draw them.

Swindler is probably the biggest insta-loss culprit. If you open 5/2 with an important $5 cost on the board, having it turned into a duchy on the first shuffle is probably unrecoverable. Hitting a late traveler such as disciple will do it too. Warrior trashing warrior is a classic.

If I may go full "cool story bro," I had a game once where Forge was the only trashing on an absolutely gross board with tax and cursed gold and my opponent opened 7/2. Pretty sure I had to open nothing/silver and still had debt on turn 3. That was one instance I can remember where there was just no way on Earth I ever had a prayer.

The $5 card list is so tough to determine. Once you get inside the top 20 or so you really can't go wrong. I would be fine with recruiter at #1 since something has to be. I'm also fine with wharf at #1. I would also probably be fine with mountebank or cultist at #1. It's probably better to think of them in tiers.

I think bridge troll should be in the top 10. It's a duration bridge with duration +buy. It needs some help for sure, as a ton of cards do, but it's usually a race to pull off the megaturn. Bridge troll makes it easier than anything else.

Ghost ship inside the top 10 is interesting to see. We're used to seeing the older cards fall in the rankings, except for something like outpost, but I guess there aren't as many good counters for ghost ship. If you're fortunate enough to open with it, your opponent is essentially playing in quicksand. It's such a gross attack. I don't have a problem with it in the top 10 but I think it's interesting to see.

Wow, priest outside the top 20? I thought it was for top 10 for sure, probably even top 5 for my personal preference. It's trashing and payload. A pair of priests is great if you ever need to hit a high price point for something like king's court, pathfinding, or platinum. Fun fact- 2 priests + 2 fortresses + advance + travelling fair = virtually empty the supply. I'll call this the biggest mistake of the list.

I do like villa in the top 5. You can do some downright silly stuff with that card. I am a little surprised to see magpie in the top 10 over things like inventor or herald. It's a good card for sure but I believe it's outclasses by the rest of the top 20.

Bridge at #2? That's awful generous but it's fantastic. The ability to throne it probably makes it a fair ranking although I'm not sure I'd put it over cards like minstrel or tournament.

All in all, a very solid list and enjoyable to read. If someone wants to tell me why I'm wrong about priest I'd be very interested to hear.

Some random takes for whatever it's worth:

Fool should probably be in last place. Masterpiece is a contender as well but it has some clear niche cases where it really shines. Fortune teller I never really buy but it's one of Lord Rattington's favorites and he's annoyed me on several occasions with skipping over opening buys. It's obviously one of the worst of the $3 cards but I wouldn't rate it dead last.

It's still rather new but I feel that acting troupe is terrible. Give me coin of the realm or even crossroads over acting troupe any day of the week. A one shot villager source that also takes an action itself to play. If you're kicking off your turn by playing one of these, you can play 4 terminal actions that turn (5 if you count acting troupe itself) and then it's gone. Coin of the realm and crossroads will allow you to play one fewer terminal action, but at least you don't have to gain one every single turn to keep up. I know we're comparing a $3 card to a $2 one, but I expect the troupe to plummet. Absolutely zero way it's better than leprechaun, night watchman, wishing well, etc. Maybe I'm wrong; who knows.

I actually think expedition is underrated. Hand size attacks make it a sad panda but I feel like $3 is a small price to pay when you want to ensure a great turn or even just have insurance against dud draws.

Dominion Articles / Re: Cathedral
« on: November 11, 2018, 12:54:52 pm »
Welcome to the forum and thanks for starting a discussion on cathedral! I have to admit I'm usually too chicken to buy this and I'm really not sure how to properly play it, so I'm glad that we can get some thoughts and ideas going on. Having said that, the strategy you're describing is probably the last thing you want to do with cathedral. Here are a few things:

1. It's pretty rare that big money is the best thing you can do with any given kingdom, but it does happen. Engines run the world and in games with cathedrals and multiple gains, then I think cathedral can really shine.
2. You say you always have 10 cards, but you kind of only have 9 since you trash a card before you do anything in your turn.When you end the game, you're best case scenario is probably something like 2 golds, 1 silver, and 7 assorted victory cards (preferably provinces of course). If you are fortunate enough to draw all your treasures to afford a province, you're probably looking at a dud turn next in which you'll have to either trash a victory card or trash a treasure and buy a copper (no bueno). I honestly wouldn't be surprised if cathedral +big money is worse than straight up vanilla big money, but I'm sure some simulators can try this out.
3. If your opponent has not bought a province by turn 18 in any given kingdom, they are either building a monster deck that will mop the floor with you, or they have no idea what they're doing. A lot of games don't even get to turn 18, and cathedral seems to favor games that end quickly (like turn 13 or so). You mention that the goal is to empty the provinces quickly before an engine gets up and running, but this really isn't nearly quick enough.
4. I really like how you brought up library and draw to x cards. Cathedral seems to really favor those as long as it's part of a bigger engine. Note that if you do have a card like library or smithy, you already have an important engine piece so big money is even more unlikely to be the winning call.

I don't mean to stomp on your strategy, but I think it's a good starting point to talk about where cathedral fits in with different strategies. In the event that you encounter a big money-centered board, I think it would be interesting to think about buying cathedral at different points in the game. For example, what if you opened double silver and bought cathedral on turn 3 or 4? Your initial economy would be much better and you have more buffer room later on to prevent you from trashing golds and provinces later on.

Either way, it certainly seems to me like cathedral shines brightest in engines with lots of gains. If you are gaining one card per turn, cathedral can basically nullify a past turn if you're forced to trash something important if that makes sense. It's a risky project, but one that deserves discussion. Anyone else have any thoughts or experiences?

Dominion: Renaissance Previews / Re: All Renaissance names revealed
« on: October 20, 2018, 11:36:28 pm »
I'll throw a prediction out there: Lantern will let you be able to look at (at least) the top card of your deck at any time.

Initial observations just by looking at the cards:
1. Treasurer doesn't go with treasure chest and key is basically treasury. This will take a while to get used to.
2. If both players open 4/3, player 2 can guarantee a $5 hand on turn 3  (barring any attacks) by opening flag bearer. Player 1 can do the same thing as long as player 2 doesn't buy flag bearer on turn 1. In games without discard attacks, you HAVE to contest the flag right? We're talking about playing a hireling on turn 1 (!). A terminal silver is nothing special but if you go the whole game with a 6 card hand compared to an opponents 5 card hand, that's a total game changer. I know alchemist is kind of the same thing and there are attacks which will make it less relevant, but this is a significant advantage that you can get as early as turn 1. Interesting little mini-game going on with this card.

These cards seem really powerful at first glance. Priest and fortress is gonna get ridiculous no doubt. Could end up being a crazy payload card. I'm assuming you don't get the $2 for the card that it trashes though. That would be +$4 trash a card from your hand. Either way I'll probably be opening priest a ton. It trashes (just one card but still) and will also help you hit $5 on the first shuffle. Mountain village sounds really good, but now that I think of it the presence of cursers will make it weaker because you'll probably have to put a curse in your hand if it's all that's in your discard pile. I do love the simplicity and can't wait to play with them!

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Most hated attacks?
« on: August 18, 2018, 11:01:11 am »
My least favorite attack by a million miles is the knights pile. Aside from possession, it's the only pile I would ban. I don't have much of a problem with junkers or militia type attacks because they can usually balance each other out. Starting each turn with 3 cards is fine as long as I can do the same to my opponent, same with dealing out a curse. With knights, if you lose the split in certain situations, you eventually won't have any knights of your own to even the playing field. Of course, you might not have any relevant cards at all if you're on the wrong end of the "knightmare" as I've heard it called. Not only do you have no chance of winning, you can't even really do anything at all. You basically can't even play the game if you know everything between 3-6 is going to get trashed. For me personally the knightmare is the least fun thing in the entire game. In all other games, even if you're getting destroyed, you can still buy stuff and pull off the occasional good turn just for some personal satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.

The other thing about knights- some of them are just so much better than all the others the vast majority of the time. In boards without trashing, Dame Anna can easily decide the whole game. Same with Martin in games without plus buy. On the other hand, knights like Natalie or Vander can just end up futile as whatever you gain from them might get trashed anyway. Imagine if there was exactly one witch in the whole pile that made your opponent discard down to 3 or one random militia that would give you 2 actions. That's what knights feel like for me.

I also picked minion just because I suck with it, swindler for the possible early game deciding swinginess, and scrying pool because the turns take too darn long, but those are mostly just me being grumpy. I didn't pick any junkers or anything like that because, like I said, you should be able to construct your deck to the point where the punishment is roughly even. Maybe cultist is the exception, but I don't mind ruins nearly as much as curses. The fact that there's only one attack among the whole set of expansions that I would axe really speaks to the balance of the game though.

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Poor House
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Game ID 16643703
First of all, I couldn't decide to put this in game reports or the challenges so apologies if this is in the wrong section. Also, I don't know how to get the pictures to appear so I apologies for the noobiness there as well. I've always thought that the most hilarious thing you can do in dominion is prince 2 poor houses with no other cards in your deck. It requires a LOT of things to go right (poor house and prince of course) and the stars finally aligned for me. I got a 3/4 opening on a board with donate, poor house, prince, changeling, pouch, and shelters for necropolis. This allows you to do the following:
Turn 1: 3 coppers- buy poor house
Turn 2: 3 coppers, 1 pouch - buy poor house, donate down to 2 poor houses and necro (5 debt remaning)
Turn 3: Pay off debt, buy changeling
Turn 4: Buy prince
Turn 5: Prince first poor house, play second house, buy something if you want, exchange changeling for 2nd prince in night phase
Turn 6: Prince second poor house, buy something if you want.

Boom. 6 turns in and you have a 1 card deck (optional) and you have a guaranteed province every turn. Except for some dumb reason that's not what I did. I got greedy and kept the pouch after donating on turn 2. I worked my way up the peasant line and added some mystics for the card token so I could double province, which I eventually did, and still princed 2 poor houses, but it took probably longer than it should have. So my question/challenge to you is this: Can you come up with a way to beat the 6 turn golden deck? Is it worthwhile to hold on to the pouch after donating? Do you bother with the peasant line? What would you do with this once in a lifetime chance to build one of the silliest decks possible?

I find one of guardian's most clutch abilities is being able to open with a $5 card whenever you open 3/4. If there's an elite $5 trasher or a wharf or something like that on the board, I have no problem adding a delayed copper to my deck to get it before the first shuffle.

I opened with magpie and tracker and drew my magpie dead on the first two shuffles.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Nocturne Cards: Conclave
« on: April 03, 2018, 05:48:57 pm »
I remember thinking this card was going to be a powerhouse for some reason. It seems really complex but really it's a pretty vanilla card that goes:

(conditionally)+2 actions

Of course if the condition isn't met, it's a terminal silver. When the condition is met, you're looking at festival without the buy or a more restricted squire that gives you one more dollar. Really nothing to write home about, but it's a solid village in a kingdom that's loaded with different terminal draw cards in my opinion. I would compare it to festival more than any other card.

Puzzles and Challenges / Re: Easy Puzzles
« on: March 26, 2018, 11:33:07 am »
Play tracker in action phase, (get a boons that doesn't gain you anything), don't buy anything, use exorcist in night phase on an expensive card for ghost, topdeck ghost, play devils workshop for cemetery, trash overgrown estate, draw ghost, play ghost. Right? If there's a way to do it with no on-trash abilities then I have no clue. Unless it's something goofy with possession or masquerade or 22 player noble brigand/messenger/lost city shenanigans

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Lets discuss hinterlands cards:tunnel
« on: March 14, 2018, 11:31:42 am »
"Nobody's opening double Tunnel" is an argument in favor of costing it at $3: it's not so good in the opening that opening with two would be overpowered, so it's not necessary to price it at $4 to prevent people from doing that.
Oh right my bad. Still though 2vp with a bonus would make sense at $4 I would think. Cemetery and island both cost $4 and they're 2vp with a bonus. A vanilla vp card that just gave 2vp would have to cost at least $3 to be between duchy and estate. Still, the difference between costing $3 and $4 is hardly significant unlike the difference between $4 and $5.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Lets discuss hinterlands cards:tunnel
« on: March 14, 2018, 12:29:56 am »
I can totally understand why you might think tunnel should cost 5. I remember back when I was discovering the game, and hinterlands was the 2nd set I ever got, I had a phase where I thought tunnel was AMAZING. It's so satisfying triggering the gold gaining effect kind of like activating a menagerie or forging away all the junk in your deck. You have this vision of activating a couple tunnels over and over again and just loading your deck up with gold after gold after gold. Hinterlands has some great enablers with cartographer, oasis, oracle etc. and it also gives you the last laugh if your opponent plays a militia or minion at the wrong time.

When I first looked online to see what other people thought were the best cards and first stumbled upon the annual rankings here, I was pretty surprised to see tunnel near the bottom. As you learn more and more about the game and how dramatically your strategy can change depending on what's present or not present in a kingdom, it will make sense. The sad truth, and I am a fan of tunnel, is that it's not the powerhouse you think it is. In fact, it's pretty rare that you want a tunnel.

First of all, you need an enabler. As I mentioned before, there's a fair amount of the out there (cartographer, minion, artificer, cellar, etc.). If there isn't one out there, you've got a dead victory card. If there is one, you'll probably want to spend an early buy on a potentially dead victory card when you could be buying other valuable engine pieces. If you do spend an early buy on it, you need to get it to collide with your enabler. If there isn't any great trashing available, you may feel compelled to buy multiple tunnels which, while it can certainly get you more gold, can clog up your deck and make it less reliable.

Another thing that kind of goes against what you might think- you don't always want to flood your deck with gold. A gold here and there is fine as a way of buying expensive action cards which will probably be the ultimate focus of your deck. In an engine, gold is a stop card, and so is the tunnel(s) that you've used to get it, which gets in the way of drawing your deck and leaves you prone to dud turns. In pure big money games with no +buy, sure it's great to have a bunch of gold. Of course the problem is that those kind of games aren't too common anymore with how the game has evolved. There are boards where the absolute best thing you can do in a turn is just buy one province, but usually you can be doing something even better while maintaining better end game control.

So yeah while tunnel seems like it can be uber powerful, it's usually a trap. Which is a shame because during the rare even that it IS an integral part of your plan, it's soooooo satisfying. I do think it's underrated because I think gold is a little underrated and underappreciated these days, but also 2VP for $3 is not bad at all. I'm pretty sure it's the only way you can get 2vp for less than $4. I don't see why it shouldn't cost $4 to be honest. That seems to be the sweet spot for alternate vp and nobody's opening double tunnel.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Best/Craziest Openings
« on: March 11, 2018, 01:22:09 pm »
One thing I've been wondering is what is the best classic 2 card opening these days? No events, no baker or borrow shenanigans, no heirlooms, just the best pure simple 3/4 or 5/2 card combination to open with. I remember getting absolutely annihilated when my opponent opened 5/2 with cultist and lurker. I think I had all the ruins by turn 6. Lurker is basically 3 cards, 1 action by trashing cultists from the supply, and then gives you the option of super lab or gaining another cultist. I don't know if that's the best classic opening, but it's definitely the best I've been on the wrong end of.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Fix the worst cards
« on: March 08, 2018, 01:22:55 pm »
I think pirate ship already has been "fixed" in a way, but it's been done so through 2 cards: miser and noble brigand. Miser keeps the concept of building up to get a formidable terminal payload card, and noble brigand fixes the idea of "I want to trash my opponents treasures without doing them a huge favor." I don't see how noble brigand can be "fixed" any further. I just think that concept of trashing your opponent's good treasures can't really be improved any further without making the game super un-fun.

As for other cards that could maybe use a buff, I think royal seal could be fine as copper instead of a silver and maybe having it cost $3 or $4. Tracker has shown me how useful the topdecking effect can be, but for $5 I would rather just have whatever card I would have been topdecking in the first place.

I like the idea of making bureaucrat a terminal silver. Combined with its attack, that would make a pretty decent counterpart to militia. Time hasn't been good to the old bureaucrat. I don't want to say he's obsolete, but the game has changed too much since the base set days for his effect to really ever be worthwhile.

Adding a simple +$1 to harvest is probably fine as other have said. It's just not a good or exciting card as it is. Something needs to make it tantalizing enough at $5.

As for transmute and p-stone, I've literally never bought either of them so I wouldn't even know lol.

The other cards all have their niche. They might not be great as other cards, but something has to be in last. Just buy 'em when they are useful, and don't buy 'em when they're not useful.

I'll throw in another name that could use a fix more than some of these other bottom tier cards: Rogue. I mentioned this in the rankings thread, but the lack of a choice is so frustrating to me that I almost always avoid the card altogether. It's a really tough fix though. Taking away the choice just makes it a strictly better Dame Sylvia, and anything else I can think of makes it either too powerful, too un-fun, or too similar to either knights or graverobber.

Game Reports / Re: Dear My Opponent: I am Sorry
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:14:45 pm »
Dear my opponent from a couple months ago,

I'm sorry that you hit $7 on turn 3 in a game with inheritance and shepherd and chose to inherit......... storeroom.

I wonder if the perception of border village would change if it were an event instead of a card that read "Gain a village. If you did, gain a card costing up to $5." To me that makes it sound a little stronger. Of course, having an actual card that costs $6 can be highly beneficial when paired with something like salvager or apprentice. I think border village is fine where it is. It deserves to be that high, but everything above it is just ridiculously good so I don't see it going any higher.

Help! / 2 Bold Strategies to Choose From, Which One Would You Go For?
« on: January 17, 2018, 10:48:44 pm »
I had this random kingdom come up against lord rattington and I'm curious about what people think the best strategy might be. I'm not sure how to embed kingdom images so forgive my old school text kingdom here:
Fool (With Lucky Coin)
Landmark: Tower
Event: Pathfinding

There's 2 dramatically different strategies I see that are both a little slow but can net you a ginormous amount of points. We have the silver flood vs. the groundskeeper. You can use lucky coin, bureaucrats, and LITW boons to race to pile out silvers and go for feodums, and get a huge boost from tower if you're able to fully empty silvers. This is risky but should get you well over 100 points if done properly.
You can also try to snag as many groundskeepers as possible and possibly go for castles? With contraband being the only source of buy, and pathfinding being hard to hit at $8, you could probably build an engine, but that too would be difficult. If you could get a ton of groundskeepers going and a contraband or 2, there are enough alt vp sources to pick from to get you probably over 20 points/turn.

I'm just interested to see what people would go for here. Playing against the bot doesn't give you a realistic sense of how viable each strategy is, but I'm assuming that you're going to have to choose between 2 high risk / high reward plays. Of course there's also the question of whether or not either strategy is fast enough to outrace a traditional province pileout. It also seems like a super fun kingdom if you're looking for a fun brain teaser! Thoughts?

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