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Author Topic: The Apothecary Deck That (Almost) Didn't Stall  (Read 982 times)

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Robz888

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The Apothecary Deck That (Almost) Didn't Stall
« on: February 12, 2014, 12:00:35 am »
+1

http://dom.retrobox.eu/?/20140211/log.514cd37de4b0fe3236619906.1392180479451.txt



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Transmute, Apothecary, Develop, Sea Hag, Council Room, Royal Seal, Stables, Fairgrounds, King's Court, Peddler
So, I say to myself, well, Develop isn't good enough trashing to overcome Sea Hag. So I open Sea Hag/Silver. It's possible to pair the Hag with Develop, I think, but... you know I do want to get to $5 for Stables, so I'll pick up Develop later. My opponent opens Develop/Potion. No Hag at all?! Well, then I don't need one. I'll just load up on Stables and Curse his Apothecary deck into oblivion.

Well, that's not what happens. I've only given him 2 Curses by Turn 8, and he's drawing enough of his deck to Develop them away with ease. I suspect this was just good luck on his part and dreadful luck on mine, but I would appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Things quickly go from bad to worse. He is Kinging his Apothecaries and drawing his whole deck with ease. He can Province over and over again. Is this really happening? Is the engine killing the Hag, even without +buy? (Only extra buy is Council Room, which he never buys, although I think he could have considered it and really destroyed me. You have to King something for +actions, though).

My opponent scoops up 5 Provinces in 15 turns. He Develops a King into a Province and a Fairgrounds on Turn 16. The score is now 40-13 and there is 1 Province left.

My only hope is Fairgrounds... but it's such a distant hope. Lack of access to quality +buy limits me, as does the limited number of low cost cards to pick up. But I plug away at it, taking Fairgrounds on all my $6s, grabbing a Duchy on $5. My King continues to fail me... I could Develop it into the last province and a Fairgrounds, and still lose by 20 points, so I don't do that. Eventually I Develop a Silver into a Potion, put that on my deck, and buy an Apothecary next turn. On he next shuffle I can grab a Transmute for 15 uniques... and now, hey, I'm actually in this! I'm only down 5 points! Of course, he could have spoiled this by dipping for points instead, but he's doggedly insistent on building his deck back up for the last Province. Finally, I can Develop the Hag into a Silver and Stables on top of the deck, which gives me a shot. He for some reason doesn't buy a Duchy, keeping me within range. And then I happen to have a good hand and actually make the Province. What a win!

I got insanely lucky to pull it off, but he also closed out the game terribly. Thoughts on whether Hag should actually be skipped here?
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A Drowned Kernel

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Re: The Apothecary Deck That (Almost) Didn't Stall
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 12:50:04 am »
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Develop is a weak trasher but Apothecary and Stables are awesome drawers that work well together, and with KC on the board even crappy trashing is fine for the engine, especially since you don't really have to work too much about getting rid of Copper. I think Hag is skippable here, really I think Hag is skippable a lot of the time.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 12:51:18 am by A Drowned Kernel »
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dondon151

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Re: The Apothecary Deck That (Almost) Didn't Stall
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 04:02:43 am »
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KC is actually a big indicator for Apothecary. Your opponent could have really screwed you up by picking up a Sea Hag in the midgame, too, and he totally ignored the only source of +buy.
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Re: The Apothecary Deck That (Almost) Didn't Stall
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2014, 07:24:08 pm »
+1

This set contains a very strong engine. KC develop with sufficient draw can lead to crazy crazy turns.
Although powerful when running, here the engine has some trouble starting up. Develop isn't great trashing, Sea Hag is annoying.
Still you should go for it 100%. The key card for the engine is Apothecary, and since it costs potion you have to open with that. It's not really that you want to skip Sea Hag, but opening potion is just too important. That sort of automatically leads to Potion-Develop. A mix of stables and apothecaries will get you up to KC.
After you got there, sure - you can add a Sea Hag, Council Room, and all the other goodies. KC them to annoy your opponent a bit more.

Here your opponent sort of goes for the engine (but makes a ton of small tactical errors) and still gets to a powerful deck reasonably fast, until on turn 10 he decides to resignbuy a province.

After that I wouldn't call it luck. You keep your head cool while he blindly storms the green piles. Apothecary decks can look very powerful but completely collapse if you start greening unless you prepare properly (and playing with a bunch of silvers is not proper preparing). He shouldn't green at all. Just keep adding KC until you reach enough power to end it in one big turn (probably in this game that's 2-3 turns after he bought his first province).
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