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Messages - jomini

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Dominion General Discussion / Re: Highest possible score?
« on: May 19, 2020, 07:03:44 pm »
Hm of course...  :-\

You can even generate infinite VP off Ambassador/Grand castle/Champion. Return the Grand castle every turn (it stays in the pile due to Champion) and then buy it back for more VP. Similarly Graverobber/Cost reduction/trashing makes this work as many times as the game lasts.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Is Harvest the New Scout?
« on: May 11, 2020, 09:22:12 am »
I would call Harvest the weakest card in the game, its biggest virtue is that it generates cash, which is always on the board. Mute, at least, has the virtue of being a trasher (e.g. can be used as the only option in a Familiar game to get rid of curses) and a VP gainer which are things that, rarely, can be worth spending a turn to buy if there is no other option on the board and also gets a lot less bad when you are already buying a pot for something like Familiar. Pstone is another very weak card, but it at least can be strong on 3 or 4 player games with lots of junking (e.g. Mountebank, Ambassador) and actually quite good with colonies on those boards.

Where Harvest actually gets useful is where it does something better than two silvers. Notably, it can be the only +$ option for a Lib, Owl, or other limited draw engine. These can be exceptionally powerful with strong attacks or alt-VP (e.g. Temple) allowing you to build for a long time. The discarding can also be helpful in its own right, for instance rare niches can include using it as a B-crat/Fortune teller/Rabble counter or activating Tunnels; in both cases it is normally too weak to bother but can get a lot a stronger with favorable setups (e.g. having a Squire/Lib engine against Rabble, using it with a Remodel/Courtyard/Village engine for enabling Tunnels).

I do think it might have a legitimate synergy with Village green. Search space is the same size as anything that discards from hand at start (e.g. Count), can discard multiples per play, and generates a respectable cash load while discarding. I have definitely used it as the only discarder in the game to good effect.

Ultimately though, a best case scenario for Harvest is discarding 4 cards for $4. This costs you one draw slot and one action for using up a single $5 gain. You can get the same $4 for no action, two draw slots and two $3 gains. On most boards actions are more valuable than draw slots and a single $5 gain is much more valuable than two $3s. Unless there is nothing else at $5 or I really need some specific function like discussed above, Harvest will only be a viable shot when +actions are not limiting and where I need the unreliable cash now more than whatever else is on sale at $5.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Fleet vs Seize the Day
« on: March 25, 2020, 06:06:42 pm »
I am still getting a feel for Carpe diem, but there are a lot of cases where I want Fleet over it.

First is when I just want insurance against a 3-pile next turn. Say my opponent can gain more cheap cards than me. Maybe I can gain 7 cards off Procession/Gainer/Buy and he can gain 9. Next turn he can pile out and win with a single estate buy. I buy Fleet. Now I have insurance for the rest of the game. Maybe my deck can buy more VP (e.g. He has an extra Workshop while I have two more golds so I can hit two provinces to his one) so this is a win for me. If I try to deal with the 3 pile threat by Seizing, then I need to green and maybe start wrecking my engine. Much better to grab Fleet and leave the engine to live another day.

Likewise, I may have a shuffle where I have leftover cash and a not-so-hot next turn lined up. Seizing could well mean that I just buy a duchy and miss out on the chance to use the bonus turn for something with a lot more points (e.g. three duchies). This is particularly true if we are running around with cards like Margrave, Minion, Gov, etc. that could help me have a non-busted turn by letting my opponent go first. A less common option would be if I have a bunch of reactions that I would rather play (e.g. set up a top deck of Black cats, Sheep dogs, and Falconers); you playing first can let me spike a lot of reactions which are particularly strong in this expansion.

And, lest we forget, Fleet lets us do things shift like cards out of VP to end the game and then back next turn to win it. Say I Stonemason two provinces. Burning 12 VP is harsh, but I can gain, say, the last 4 Kc's and end the game. I can then flip two of those Kc's into 4 duchies for a net point wash. Siezing has to keep your VP intact and leave the game in an un-ended state at the end of your first turn, while also leaving you $4 that turn to trigger a game ending turn.

Which is perhaps the biggest difference between the two. Fleet takes any spare $5 most of the time so it is relatively easy to work it into your buys. Seizing becomes a bind. Wait too long and you just get a duchy. Do it too early and you open a lot game-ending threats to the other guy that you have to honor (e.g. he can three-pile with twice as many cards left in deck as you). I suspect that there are a lot of end games where seizing would be the wrong call at $5. As your engine tanks during game end you need to seize sometime, but when is a very different buy calculus than Fleet.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Not enough village in Menagerie?
« on: March 23, 2020, 09:53:20 am »
The other thing to remember is that we have a number of action cards that can now be played without actions. I built a highly effective engine in one game with Displace/Sheep dog/Falconer. I got to use Way of horse, find my Displace to gain either a Sheep dog or a Falconer.

In spite of having exactly one action, I nonetheless, was building a full engine.

Likewise, you can build a surprisingly effective engine off Gamble with the right cards (e.g. I powered up Animal fair, bought plats, and then piled out). It would be even an even stronger option with Delay out as well. Certainly something like ultrathin Goons/Treasure/Gamble would easily crush BM-Goons going for provinces.

Delay also merits special notice. If buys and draw are cheap enough, you can easily set up an engine of something like Council room/Terminal where you begin each turn with 15 cards, play a single terminal and then delay your other 2 Cr to do it again the next turn. Obviously, if you have non-terminals, this gets even easier.

I could be wrong, but I think Menage is going to be more engine friendly than most of the original block of expansions.

Dominion General Discussion / Re: bounty hunter is really good, right?
« on: March 20, 2020, 09:04:53 pm »
it cleans up provinces, it gives huge money spikes when you most need it, even when it doesnt give money spikes it's non-terminal, you can sacrifice a middling action card for money in the end game, you can even get that action card back if you like, etc.

If you can set it up in time, it also support an awesome golden deck - bounty hunter + 2 golds + silver can get you a province every turn.  You start each turn with those four cards plus the Province you bought the previous turn.  Exile that Province, buy a new Province, and start your next hand with the new Province + those four cards!  And in a colony game, you can do this with 2 golds + platinum gaining a Colony each turn!  Bounty Hunter lets you clear out your deck to get there quickly (in fact, you can buy several BH's initially, and then Exile the surplus)

Seems awfully slow. Say you open with 2 via Alms. By T4 you get a gold, exile 2 estates and get a third BH. By T6 you exile another 3 cards and get second Gold. You now have 2 golds, 5 coppers, and 3 Bh. Okay by T8 you exile 3 Coppers. T9 you exile 2 coppers. T10 you exile a Bh and buy a Plat. T11 Exile the other Bh and buy a Colony.

That puts you at turn 14 to get 4 colonies. With some of the best possible shuffle luck with one of the best possible board setups.

More importantly, this is not a lot faster for provinces. Getting 4 provinces in 14 turns loses to most BM-X setups. Absent Alms or some other option to open double Bh, this seems like it would be far too slow on its own.

It depends on the board.

More importantly it depends on the state of your deck and when you can get the token.

For instance, Teacher often has moments were you want to dump it on whatever will let your draw deck that turn and get Teacher shuffle back in sooner. Say Teacher bottom decks and you draw 2 Rats. Putting +cards on Rats can let you play Rats more safely and shuffle through the deck that turn rather than just dropping +cards on your village and forgetting it. Drawing your deck 3 turns in a row rather than having a busted deck that takes three turns to draw is easily a win. More marginal cases are, of course, harder to pin down; but like with Prince Teacher may merit moving the token. And, of course, it goes without saying if the game is ending soon you should just be dumping that sucker on whatever keeps you afloat until next turn (e.g. 1st Teaching is +action on some terminal draw, 2nd is facing a pileout threat from either mass Soldiers or a few Disciples).

Pathfinding can, likewise, have some situational cases. The most obvious is with Villa. Dumping $8 to draw your purchases and play them immediately can be just insanely powerful. I have never done it, but it is not beyond reasonable outcomes to buy Pathfinding twice in a turn allow for a card explosion from Villa drawing into a stocked discard (e.g. something like Processing a bunch of cards, not having more draw cards to get into the discard, buying Pathfinding and Villa to get to the discard and continue the the turn, then Pathfinding something like Scheme for next turn).

I have seen far too many people add +1 card to whatever makes most since in the long term and ignoring the fact that they might not get a long term. Likewise I seen fewer people add +1 card to whatever is drawn on Teacher's first turn and regretting it.

After all, if you lose a card split 7:3, that maybe should not be your Path target even if Village is better than Smithy in general.

Likewise, maybe Oasis is not that hot, but you have Mine/Capitalism out and can turn it into a a very powerful sifter that you can mass gain quickly.

Ignoring all that, the next question is what do I gain out of +1 card. Yeah it increases your search space, but I would argue that going from 7 to 8 (Avanto) is nowhere near as good as 4 to 5 (i.e. my preferred candidate - Tr), particularly as Avanto rarely has trouble with trashing so both raw draw and draw density are not that important in Avanto decks (I can think of a lot of times when I would skip Pathfinding in an Avanto deck). In general, live draw is better than dead (Village over Smithy), and reliable benefit is worth a hefty premium (e.g. Scheme over most anything else). Effects you cannot get otherwise (e.g. any cantrip on a board with no other net positive draw) can be exceedingly powerful (e.g. Path Pearl diver so you can gain a bunch and then play a copper, silver, and gold along with a Necropolis and two Terminals). Some cards get a lot stronger with more deck knowledge - Band of misfits or Overlord work much better when you can pick your action knowing if the 5th card is going to need a village or can be a more useful cantrip.

Ultimately, you want reliability and just to get the +1 card benefit a lot. Sometimes this makes for weird choices (e.g. Fortress is massively strong on a Prssn board, even if you lose the Fort split). Other times it is trivially easy (e.g. your deck has only one action).

Remember, at the end of the day, getting the +1 card token tends not to happen quickly so be sure to account for how many you have of stuff, how many are playable immediately after you get the token down, how many you will add how quickly to your deck in the coming turns, and how many you may lose from your deck (e.g. Swindler) or your opponent gain (e.g. Jester).

Dominion General Discussion / Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« on: January 26, 2020, 02:58:48 pm »
My favorite Changeling shenanigan was playing Tr/Steed and gaining a whopping 16 cards for a quick pile out.

I find a lot of people seriously underestimate the rate at which Changeling can be gained mid-turn and then exchanged after being drawn with a power engine. Changeling can double your gains when going for piles and that is a lot of flexibility for ending the game.

entirely on accident but did two Highways into a Knight and trashed a Province. that felt pretty good.

Fleet, Kc/Swindler.

It is a crap shoot, but you can burn a huge number of provinces with 1.5 turns to burn provinces with every hit. You can sometimes even get by without the Kc, particularly if you can do something like Pool/Swindler and just hunt for Provinces.

It gets really brutal if you both have ultra-thin decks (e.g. trashing/Hop megaturn) where each play of Swindler can be worth an average of 4 VP.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Projects: Fleet
« on: October 10, 2019, 12:02:06 am »
A few times I buy Fleet at different times than strictly as a duchy replacement:
1. Extend my 3-pile options. For instance, I Stonemasoned two provinces into Border villages/draw, bought Fleet & cleared out 3 Smasons for the third pile, and then turned the Bv into 4 duchies during the Fleet turn and bought a Province. Fleet can let you bank the value of green cards as something game ending (e.g. remodel a Colony into a Plat) and use it again in the Fleet turn it back into VP after triggering 3 piles (Remodel Plat back to colony).

2. Build out for a long shot green destruction megaturn. The most obvious here is mass play of Swindler. If I am down 4 Prov, but have Kc/Swindler, I can get a lot of mileage out of emptying the prov pile and then trashing provs into nothing. Similar options can occur with Knights or Giants and if it is a last ditch option, it often is worth skipping a province to be sure to have another turn to trash green. Playing 9 Swindlers with an empty province pile is just brutal and easily worth multiple colonies to get a clean turn at green killing.

3. Be sure to spike something in the deck for a bunch of points without having to carry it in the deck. The obvious case here is Fairgrounds, being able to leave Curse/Estate in the supply while gunning for 8 VP Fairgrounds is worth a lot more than a duchy and hence I often buy it at any point I am unable to buy a Fairground. Likewise, mass gaining Caches for a few Triumph finds Fleet to be worth more than a province often. Bishop likewise can often spike a lot of VP on the Fleet turn and make securing Fleet competitive with buying Provs or Colonies. Likewise, being able to overdraw and use a bunch of newly gained Transmutes can power up Vineyards while destroying the deck. If you can score huge points by sacrificing your deck, Fleet can easily be worth more than a colony.

On the flip side, I have a had a few games where Duchy is better than Fleet. Shepherd/Xroads was pretty obvious, but I have gone for duchy first with Crop Rotation and a few other green enabled options.

I figure you will go right about 85% of the time in two player with the "buy Fleet before your first duchy" option, but there is a nice minority of games where you either want Fleet a lot more than that or where by the time you see Fleet there are no duchies left (Tournament, for instance, makes Fleet often turn into a booby prize that is lucky to generate 2 VP).

Dominion General Discussion / Re: The bad luck thread
« on: September 14, 2019, 10:34:08 am »
The game I just played had the dominant synergy of IGG + Guildhall. I opened 3/4 and my opponent opened 4/3.

4/3 vs 3/4 made all the difference. There was also Baker, so my opponent could buy Guildhall on turn 1 and then get get a Coffer for his turn 2 Silver, whereas I had to get the Silver on turn 1 and Guildhall on turn 2 and got no Coffers. The extra Coffer let him buy 2 IGGs on the next shuffle, whereas I could only buy 1. His advantage snowballed from there, letting him win the IGG split 6-4 and making it almost mathematically impossible for me to win.

Still not as bad as when I had an opponent get 5/2 with Guild hall/Beggar. He now can buy plats for $2. T3 Prov, T4 Beggar. Burnt the entire province pile in something like 12 turns (I had a very outside chance with Colonies).

I have found Guildhall to be underwhelming, but when it hits, it gives huge advantages to the person who gets it running first.

markus has some stats.  If I remember correctly, it wasn't until there was 8 VP on the pile that taking it first is correlated with winning on average.

Sure, but part of that is undoubtedly something I have faced where I just get a crappy shuffle and I have nothing better to buy. For instance not too long ago I had a Bandit fort/Mountebank game. Silver was the only thing to buy at $5. Buying a 5 or so VP curse was the least bad option I had after missing $5 and drawing a T4 $3. Likewise, on board with trashing and no good $5s you may be facing something like a T4 "$0 Distant lands". Your opponent has instead bought a Village/Smithy.

There are many times where the Cursed VP competes against literally buying nothing and those are more often if you get the short end of the shuffle. In those circumstances you may be moving your odds from a 20-80 against to a 30-70 shot. Still correlated with losing, but only because it is confounded with having a crappy early shuffle somewhere.

Sometimes you have to make the best of bad situation and often that means doing something you otherwise wouldn't (e.g. bidding weird on Mountain Pass). Weird things are normally correlated with losing on their own so I can quite easily say that you buying cursed VP is both the move that most increases your odds of winning on some hands, but is also the move that is most correlated with losing.

I think a better comparison for Captain is Prince. We side step the whole issue about how much is it worth to interact with $5s and up (which is obviously the biggest value with Kc compared to Cap), they both give you benefit of playing the card at the turn start (e.g. can draw before Silos), and they both allow you to gain "unique" abilities on boards (e.g. generating >5 card hands with no net draw).

Prince requires you to buy and collide the $4. Prince is turn delayed from when you play it; and worse is a always a dead terminal when you play it. Prince cannot use durations as durations (e.g. Prince of Churches or Gears can work, but has to give up a lot of their utility). Prince is locked into what you put on the mat (e.g. once a village, always a village). Prince costs $8.

What can, and usually does, make Prince better? Prince never gets destroyed by piles emptying. Prince gets the amped version of the card twice as often. Prince never bottom decks once in play. Prince can play multiple terminal on its own.

Cap can introduce a huge weakness into your deck. If using him with cantrips is your only +action, the other guy may be able to tank your deck just by piling the cantrips, which are often cards you want to build up to $6. It is worse if you are using him for your draw. A functional engine vs a tanked one is something like 8V per turn; avoiding that will often be worth double.

Okay, but say you have a board where there are plenty of good Cap/Prince targets, how much is Prince better here? Well for $12 with Cap I get one "normal" version of the card and one free +1 action/+1 card effect. With a $12 Prince setup I get one $4 and one free +1 a/+ 1 card effect. Double Cap is then basically gaining the advantage of having one more $4 in deck. Of course this also means you need to draw your "$4". Of course getting two Caps will often completely offset Princes of penalty of coming online a turn later. Advantage to Cap, but not by all that much. Going to $7, though would likely make me prefer Prince on most boards; after all on most engine boards the majority of my non-VP gains are going to come on >=$8 coin hands or <$6 hands; not to mention that it is vastly easier to sneak in some sort of "gain a $4" than "gain a $6". $14 vs $12 (or $11) is starting to delay my engine by a turn and that is costly.

Bottom decking is utterly huge. Prince of Smithies is an 8 card hand for the rest of the game. Cap of Smithies needs 12.5% of your deck to be Caps. For larger decks, that starts becoming hard to ensure (e.g. needing 3 for 20 cards) and if you clump at deck bottom you may have a lot of really subpar hands in this shuffle and the next. Like Wharf or Fishing village, Cap is going to be more reliable when your deck starts to green than regular villages and draw but when it tanks it tanks hard. At high skill play, you should expect at least a few turns with busted shuffles so paying more for Cap than Prince becomes challenging.

Cap, at best, can manage two terminals without support. This is not enough for a Hop deck. It also means you have trouble managing combos. For instance Bish/Terminal gainer can allow you load up on Silvers and then build out to a very high VP/turn Golden deck (in theory 15 VP/turn but easily 7 VP/turn). On such a pure terminal board these are incredibly strong (e.g. Militia/Masq).

Cap at $6 makes double Cap pretty close to Prince of whatever at "$12". Yeah I will buy Cap often instead of Prince on a lot of boards. More often I will buy Cap and then drop a Prince of whatever might run out and cruise. But fundamentally they are around the same functionality and around the same price.

After all, what are the major effect of increasing price from $6 to $7? Yeah it can make early gain more swingy. But more often it delays the gain a shuffle. It also makes it far harder to build out in the standard $16 engine. Getting to $9 - where you can now buy a Cap and a silver, means drawing the Silvers and a buy. Getting to $10 is likely a full gain later (call it half a turn). Getting to $12 is two golds and three silvers. Getting to $14 means gaining another gold and at least half a turn later. In the late game going to $7 means that you will much more rarely have to choose between a duchy and another Cap. Going to $6 means there are a lot more turns where you are nearing the end of the shuffle and being able to increase your odds of a big turn are worth more than locking in 3 VP this turn.

I would need a very good argument to say that Cap should be $7 when Prince/$4 parallels so nicely with double Cap. I cannot say that double Cap or Prince is generally better, but I would be surprised if I didn't buy a lot fewer Caps/more Princes if Cap went to $7.

Capitalism + Horse Traders
Play all your other Treasures, then play Horse Traders, discarding nothing.

Lot of work for a Gold and a buy, particularly as once you green you will almost always have two greens to discard regardless. Buying two silvers is most cost effective if the buy doesn't matter.

Priest + Watchtower + Extra buys

Basically, Watchtower gives you a 1 Buy --> x coin conversion option in your buy phase, where x is 2 times the number of Priests you've played this turn. You may want to keep some of the Coppers you buy, though, to fuel the Priests for next turn.

In a similar vein, you can convert Loans into very high value cards (e.g. Plats with 2 Priests in play and 2 extra buys). Rarely, I might consider getting a 2nd Loan if I have 2 or more Priest/+buys to play around with, but it is pretty nice way to spike cash in the midgame with a +buy.


Scepter cannot let you generate a giant pile of +action as even Rc can manage if you really need a combo. Imp runs into trouble if you have few non-terminals. However, using Scepter on an Imp lets you play a lot of different terminal cards (e.g. I was running Tormenter/Masq/Bish/Envoy).

You can, of course get similar effects off Throne, Golem, etc. but I was surprised by how versatile Imp/Scepter could be on an all terminal board.

Possession comes to mind. Getting to Possession 1 turn sooner means snowballing where the first there gets an increasing number of turns more than the opponent. E.g. on turn 10, you get 2 turns I get 1. On T11 you get 5 turns, I get 2.

Similarly I would say on a lot of boards, gaining Outpost at the right time from the Bm is just utterly broken. For high level play, most Bm boards have a viable Oupost engine (singleton enablers include Guide, Den of sin, Scheme, Wharf, Enchantress for instance). Once you both have reliable enough engines they get literally double the opportunities you do. There are so very few things can possibly hope to come back from that. Sometimes you can hope for a three pile, sometimes you get an enabler for a Megaturn, sometimes you get so crazy valuable card (e.g. Tournament) ... but facing half as many turns is just insanely overpowered.

Other setups include things like the opponent have two Knights in play to your zero with only one gain per turn with the other 8 Knights in the trash. You might be able to eke out a win here if you are close enough to already winning, but when your deck is going to eventually be decimated you need a VERY strong lead not to inevitably fall behind.

A last one is the opponent building a stronger Golden deck than you. Winning the Fort split 6/4 or 7/3 with Bishop out makes it very hard to compete if there are no other villages. Good luck piling out before they wrack up enough VP to be out of your league. Similar things can happen with Gardener/Amb (particularly with any kingdom green) or some Tomb setups (like winning the village split to run 2 Beggars/3 Chapels when your opponent cannot). Again you need to be far enough from winning that you cannot possibly force game end before they will inevitably surpass you in points.

None of these are all that common, but they all represent states of the game where you are both behind and falling further behind each turn. The sorts of terrible draws your opponent would need to give you a chance are exceedingly far out on the bell curve (e.g. >3 sigma). Worse, many of these setups require very little skill to play optimally so chances of opponent mistakes are very low. 

Thankfully all of this sort of thing tends to be rare.

Hilariously annoying/fun. Castles/Amb/Guardian or Lighthouse or Moat or Champion. Play Amb, other player either does not block (this turn or previously as applicable) which allows a return of Grand castle or they do which allows a one sided junking match. Continuously rebuying for points is strong, and crushingly so if there is any way to gain other cards during the turn. This gets very practical if you can get much more than ~7 VP in hand/play. Champion is just brutal. It becomes trivially easy to draw lots of VP and "not blocking" means basically committing to a much less reliable/efficient engine in the long run even if you can keep something like Wt in hand.

A more convoluted option would be use cost reducers, trash/gain with Graverobber or Rogue, but then you do not have to worry about the other player as much.

Crown, Highway, and Sculptor.  You can easily pile things out QUICKLY.  It didn't take me long in this game to get a Highway in play, then a crowned Sculptor.  From there, you can gain Crown to your hand, gaining a villager, and gain another Sculptor, then use the villager to play your new Crown on your new Sculptor, then rinse and repeat until those piles are empty.  At this point I had a lead so the pile control was nice.

A similar, weaker trick is possible with Scepter. You end up only gaining the entire Scepter pile, but with all the villagers you stock up, you can either gun for 4 Hwy in play and then mass Sculpt/Scept your way into the provinces or you can drain any other pile and then hammer the duchies for a win.

For both this and the Crown variant, your big limitation will likely be draw, so be wary of this if you opponent can pile out with a win in one or two turns. That being said, if you can Sculpt draw (and with Hwy you can even use high cost draw) you can likely pile out pretty quickly.

Capitalism + Mandarin/Mint
In Capitalism, all your Monuments are Plunder. Mandarins love Plunder, while Mints prefer to trash it.

I am not sure I follow you.

Capitalism/Mint allows you to get expensive cards (e.g. $5/6) from playing a single action. Terminal $6 gainer? You mean like Artisan without the top deck penalty? Totally worth it.

Mandarin/Capitalism? Okay so say I use something like Haven or Gear to make a hand of 3 Sacred groves/Silver/Copper. I then buy Mandarin (topping deck them all) and having $8 left for province. Or do 5 Groves for colony. Each turn I top deck all the Groves after buying a Mandarin. There are many, many potential Golden Decks with Capitalism/Mandarin. Things like Haggler/Mandarin or Courtier/Mandarin become easy Golden Decks with Capitalism.

Why exactly do you think these things are bad?

Pretty sure he's talking about the on-gain abilities. When you buy Mint, you trash all your good actions.

Yes, not being a complete idiot, I understand that. How is that worse synergy than with Plat or Bank?

Has anyone ever cared that buying Mint made them trash all their Plats or Banks? I mean seriously, I cannot think of a single game where I thought I would totally buy Mint if only these expensive and high utility treasures weren't on the board.

With Capitalism it is even worse. I can play a few of the "good actions" ... just before I trip Capitalism. At most I have one turn with a dead Mint, but I can still trash coppers, use Mint as "gain a power $5", and win.

And particularly for Mandarin, again how is top decking actions bad? I have the option of spending $5 and top decking all my Bazaars? You mean I get 100% chance of hitting all my villages  and zero chance of whiffing for a shuffle? Yeah, real terrible "on gain" effect. I have a dozen odd setups to make a Golden Mandarin deck. Or another fun option, gain Mandarin, gain Villa, replay all your action coins (or do it off Story or Bm).

It is like the silliness with Nights and Wandering minstrel. Yes there is a blindingly obvious negative to mixing the cards if you play poorly and just look at one interaction. But if you play well, they work amazingly well together. If Capitalism is worth buying, it is a minority of boards where Mint is not also worth buying. Mandarin is far more likely to be worth buying on Capitalism boards, particularly for the interaction between the on-gain effect and the action-treasures.

I mean seriously if Mint/Mandarin don't synergize with Capitalism and good +$ actions ... what exactly do we think they synergize with?

Capitalism + Mandarin/Mint
In Capitalism, all your Monuments are Plunder. Mandarins love Plunder, while Mints prefer to trash it.

I am not sure I follow you.

Capitalism/Mint allows you to get expensive cards (e.g. $5/6) from playing a single action. Terminal $6 gainer? You mean like Artisan without the top deck penalty? Totally worth it.

Mandarin/Capitalism? Okay so say I use something like Haven or Gear to make a hand of 3 Sacred groves/Silver/Copper. I then buy Mandarin (topping deck them all) and having $8 left for province. Or do 5 Groves for colony. Each turn I top deck all the Groves after buying a Mandarin. There are many, many potential Golden Decks with Capitalism/Mandarin. Things like Haggler/Mandarin or Courtier/Mandarin become easy Golden Decks with Capitalism.

Why exactly do you think these things are bad?

Tactician + Merchant

Tactician likes virtual coin, but the silver condition is problematic.

Ehh, sure it stops double Tac barring other enablers, but if you are building any sort of single Tac setup, Merchant can be just fine. Something like Tac/Merchant/Bank can increase buying power without requiring increased drawing.

I mean, I have bought many Tacs knowing that the only $ on the board was treasure. I just make sure that I can get twice as much or more out of the one turn where I get to gain anything.

For example, Tac/Merchant is perfectly fine with Baths. On Tac turns you get 2 VP and a double hand to follow. On post-Tac turns you have double the buying power. If Merchant would be better than Silver in a 5 card hand, it is rarely worse in a 10 card hand.

Apothecary + Mint: Apothecary allows you to get big hands of treasure, but then you don't want to trash the Copper with Mint.

Eh, I've done it several times. Apothecary lets you draw mad coppers, true. But it also makes for extremely reliable engines. With Herald, Wishing well, Mystic, Golem, or even just Village/Smithy Apothecary with zero coppers greatly increases engine reliability.

Ultimately it is the same idea as buying a Guide rather than a Silver. Guide does not give you a lick more buying power, but she drastically decreases your odds of whiffing. The opportunity cost of Guide is losing the $ density that Silver would give. Similarly, nuking 7 coppers is losing a lot of functional cash density ... but on the flip side your odds of whiffing on a deck drawing engine plummet when you have 7 fewer stop cards.

And lastly there are quite unambiguous cases: open something like Fortune teller/Pot. Get the big hand, buy a Plat. Get the big hand again, don't play the Plat, get Mint. Then Mint plats repeatedly. Yeah, you could build up with Silver to Minting Plats ... but if you are doing something even vaguely engine-ish Apothecary -> Mint is far better after you buy the Mint and much easier to effectively trash down.

If you're building a Bishop/Fortress engine, it seems like using the occasional Fortress as a Village makes more sense than messing around with Lost Arts as a way of getting +Action?

Depends. Lost arts is one gain and you are done. This is particularly helpful if you viable draw. Something like 4 Smithies, 5 Forts, 8 Bish becomes viable. This can allow for more total VP to beat out things like a Dominate engine. Likewise, being able to admix draw in becomes vastly better if you are looking at attacks like Militia, Ambassador, or the fake attack of Masq passing you are card and having to send over a Fort. Being able to trash 4 times is awfully hard if you only have actions for trashing.

It is really not much different than buying non-Fort villages. Definitely worth doing some of the time, but may not be possible while you race for key components (e.g. Fort or Bish).

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« on: February 08, 2019, 03:54:41 pm »
The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

No it isn't. Once you have a moat in your deck the opportunity cost of getting a "Lab" is $3 & a gain to get the village.
Only if you're guaranteed to draw them together. There's a reason Village and Smithy are both cheaper than Lab although they're like two Labs when drawn together.
The risk of drawing Lackeys dead is much smaller than for Moat, however.

It is almost like I used quotation marks to imply that the pair of cards was not quite the same though very similar for most instances =)

With a cheap village, Lackeys tends to be much closer in approximation to a Lab than other options. In most settings, the first play of your Lackeys has very high odds of either being a safe dead draw (e.g. no actions drawn) or safely left unplayed (already hit your price point). Say your odds are something like 1/3 of needing a villager. Okay, you have three - six shuffles before you are terribly likely to need the second one. That is a lot of time to gain a village. You can then either use Lackeys + Village as vanishingly close to a Lab by mass gaining, or you can run a slightly higher terminal density to get the engine humming faster (e.g. Open Steward/Silver, gain Lackeys on the Steward hand and Gship on the Silver, and then eke out a shuffle or two without real villages).

Moat is fine as just +2 draw for $2; for a lot of boards you can just spam them and drawing works fine. Lackeys are even more powerful because you have some time to spam them and deal with the odd unlucky shuffle. The same things that make Lackey + village much more Lab-like are exactly the ones that make Lackeys vastly better draw than Moat.

Let's Discuss ... / Re: Let's Discuss Renaissance Cards: Lackeys
« on: February 07, 2019, 05:43:12 am »
The thing you called MEH I'd say is more of a CON. Moat is really friggin bad when the Reaction isn't used.

No it isn't. Once you have a moat in your deck the opportunity cost of getting a "Lab" is $3 & a gain to get the village. This is why Lackeys fits better in most decks than Moat. You have 2 free turns using it to draw live - often something like 3 or 4 shuffles before you have to gain the village.

Some boards are villageless and others have only expensive villages ... but bridging for a few shuffles until you can reliably gain a $5 and a $3 works well.  It works even better as gaining a second set of Lackeys buys you a whole additional shuffle.

Very often Lackeys ends up being like "buy Lab with debt". Getting a $5 effect for $2/$3 or even $2/$4 is good.

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