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Qvist

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The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« on: March 11, 2014, 07:48:45 am »
+21

The Best $3 Cards - Part 1/3

129 votes on this list.

#34 =0 Chancellor (Base) Weighted Average: 8.2% ▲3.8pp / Unweighted Average: 9.7% / Median: 6.1% ▲2.9pp / Standard Deviation: 14.8%

Chancellor stays the worst card in this list, without any doubt as it has the least deviation. It gained a lot of points though, but it's still not enough. It was voted 42 times on the last rank and 3 times above average.

Being in the Base Set, most players (like me) didn't got the use of Chancellor at first. Yes, it costs $3 like Silver and gives also 2 coins, but it costs an action for what? To put your deck into your discard pile? Why do I want to do that? You can get your recently bought great cards faster! Yeah, that sounds great. But those great cards are mostly terminals and then Chancellor becomes a dead card. I think it would be a better card if it wasn't terminal. So it only shines in rare scenarios like Stash or maybe Counting House and can be good in Potion games. But if you want to get your recently bought cards earlier, use cards that put these cards on top of your deck like Royal Seal, Watchtower or Armory.
#33 =0 Woodcutter (Base) Weighted Average: 15.3% ▲1.5pp / Unweighted Average: 16.5% / Median: 9.1% ▼0.6pp / Standard Deviation: 17.0%

We're making a jump of over 7pp and there is the next card from the base set. It's slightly better than last time with a significant worse median, but still second last. It has the fifth least deviation. It was voted 15 times on the last rank and 8 times above average.

It is mostly worse than Silver as its only use is its +Buy. Sure, +Buy can be pretty important, especially in engine games, but still that makes it no power card as you still only buy it when there's no other card that provides that +Buy. There's not really much to say about that simple card.
#32 ▼2 Great Hall (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 16.8% ▼4.6pp / Unweighted Average: 21.9% / Median: 18.2% ▼4.4pp / Standard Deviation: 19.6%

Great Hall lost again some points and is 2 ranks worse than last year. Its unweighted average is clearly higher, so unexperienced players seem to overvalue it. It was voted last 13 times and 12 time above average.

There is not much to say to Great Hall beside how difficult it is to rank. It's often a consolation prize over an Estate as it is 1 point that doesn't hurt your deck (as long as you don't draw it dead), so that's really nice. But it might even sort of hurt with Golem or Wandering Minstrel in your deck. You can buy it early if you have an additional buy and $3 left and don't need another Silver. You can even use Throne Room or King's Court with it for additional benefit if you're really desperate. It can enable Conspirator chains and other rare cases where another cantrip is useful. The best combo might be with Ironworks where you can pick it up and get a cantrip bonus. But it's never a card you use for your strategy, instead you buy it if you have $3 left and don't need more money, then you're glad to pick another VP. And you often buy Estates in the end game, Estates you will may never see in your hand. In those cases it doesn't even matter if you pick up a Great Hall or an Estate.
#31 ▲1 Develop (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 22.9% ▲7.3pp / Unweighted Average: 23.3% / Median: 18.2% ▲8.5pp / Standard Deviation: 17.8%

We're making the next big jump of over 6pp. Develop is still gaining momentum and went up again quite a bit, so it's one rank higher than last time. But it was still voted last 7 times and 11 times above average.

A good trasher mostly has to be a good start buy. Develop can only trash one copper at a time without benefit. You get a Silver for a trashed Estate, which can be put on top of your deck. That's at least really nice. Later in the game you get 2 cards for trashing one. This is something you only want if there are a lot of really good cards in the supply and most important in a specific price range because you have to gain a card which cost exactly one more and one less than the trashed card. Those cases are rare, but when it is one of those cases, Develop can be pretty good. It's good with good $5s and $7s like developing a Gold into a King's Court and a Wharf putting both on top of the deck. In the end of the game you want victory cards. Developing a Silver in an Estate and a Silk Road can be really nice for example. But you have to put them on your deck, really nasty, so be sure to end the game this turn. So it often fails in being a good trasher, you have to see it as a gainer instead. That's something that makes it tricky to play. It's really good in engines with many power cards, but is otherwise often ignorable.
#30 ▲1 Workshop (Base) Weighted Average: 24.5% ▲5.4pp / Unweighted Average: 24.4% / Median: 21.2% ▲5.1pp / Standard Deviation: 18.5%

And there's already the third card from the base set with only one card left to come in this list. It also gained some points and is one rank higher. It was voted 6 times on the last rank and 15 times above average.

You must ask yourself: How many $3 or $4 cards do I want in my deck? With Gardens in the supply, you may answer "as many I can get". Silver, Gardens, Estates and more Workshops are all good cards. But in most situations you want $5 cards and Gold. And in comparism to Ironworks where you get at least a benefit and which isn't terminal if you gain action cards, it's a "wasted" action. The are only a few cards that you want as many you can get, e.g. Tournament, Caravan, Conspirator and any Village + card drawer like Smithy to build your engine. But for all you have to spend your action and you have to be sure there isn't another terminal action you want to play too.
#29 =0 Fortune Teller (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 25.7% ▲2.6pp / Unweighted Average: 28.0% / Median: 28.3% ▲7.9pp / Standard Deviation: 19.6%

Fortune Teller is one of the worst attacks in the game and the first attack of all lists so far. It stays on the same rank and gained a little bit in points. It's a little bit overvalued by newer players. It has 4 last ranks.

In games with trashers you want your Estates in hand and get rid of them, especially with Lookout Fortune Teller is bad. If you've trashed them, Fortune Teller just cycles through your deck, so your opponent mostly profits from your attack. In Tournament and Tunnel games you may help your opponent even more. And in all other occasions there are mostly cards that soft counter top-decked victory cards or get profit from them by discarding. If those cases all don't exist, Fortune Teller might be a good buy, but those cases are very rare too. It gets better in the end game, but in the end game mostly you don't waste your buy for a Fortune Teller. And in comparism to Rabble which can be very nasty, Fortune Teller doesn't even get more benefit if you play twice or more in one turn.
#28 ▼1 Loan (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 29.0% ▲0.2pp / Unweighted Average: 29.3% / Median: 24.2% ▼1.6pp / Standard Deviation: 23.9%

Loan lost again one rank although it has nearly the same average value. It has the fifth highest deviation in this list. It was voted last 8 times.

You can trash without spending an action, that's always great. It also gives at least one coin which is no big deal, but is still better than Trade Route early. And you don't need to trash a card from your hand, so you have still 4 cards in your hand you can play. Seems great so far, right? But this is also a problem: That involves a luck factor as it may find every time your only Silver in your deck which you even can't play in your next turn (and may discard all your good power terminals at the same time). Also it's limited to treasure cards and therefore basically to Copper. So it has advantages and disadvantages and with some powerful trashers for $3 released lately the alternatives are often superior.
#27 ▼2 Trade Route (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 31.2% ▼3.7pp / Unweighted Average: 36.4% / Median: 30.3% ▼5.2pp / Standard Deviation: 25.3%

Trade Route lost 2 ranks with being nearly 4pp worse. It has the third highest deviation in this list. It was voted 3 times last and 19 times below 10%. It's also really overvalued by newer players and would be even three ranks higher in the unweighted list.

It's not a very good trasher as an opening buy as you don't get enough benefit until the end of the game unless you're building an engine with low cost cards and you desperately need the trashing or the +buy. It's better if there are additional victory cards in the supply, especially action/victory cards like Island or Nobles that get bought earlier, but still, as a trasher it's no good opening buy. Buying green cards earlier just to get more benefit is rarely a good decision as your opponent may buy Trade Routes too and get the same benefit without clogging up his own deck. Mostly you buy it if it's the only source of +Buy and you really need that +Buy and later in the game where you're going green and it's really a neck-and-neck-race, so Trade Routes are now worth $3, $4 or even more. Then they can be really powerful. The difference in strength through the game may be the reason for the disagreement in the votes.
#26 ▲2 Smugglers (Seaside) Weighted Average: 33.1% ▲5.6pp / Unweighted Average: 35.9% / Median: 33.3% ▲9.3pp / Standard Deviation: 23.0%

Smugglers is now 2 ranks higher with being over 5pp better. It was voted 4 times last and 15 times below 10%.

Its strenth depends of the board and the luck factor is high. Gainers are valued higher than they used to be, but if your opponent has bought a card which you don't want, it's a dead card, especially later in the game where he buys only Provinces. And with Smugglers in your deck, you have to commit to the strategy of your opponent and have a hard time getting better than him. Smuggle a Gold early or smuggle an additional Duchy (especially with Duke) in the late game is really nice, but with a supply with many terminals, you rather buy the good terminals and money instead of wasting your action for getting another Silver or another terminal you won't be able to play. But if there are many cantrips and you're going to build a neat engine, Smugglers can be a good buy. And if you're not going first you can compensate this disadvantage. King's Courting a Smugglers can also be very strong in a good running engine. We can say, Smugglers is very board-dependant and can be a very good buy on some boards, especially if you're not going first.
#25 ▼5 Sage (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 33.5% ▼13.0pp / Unweighted Average: 36.0% / Median: 33.3% ▼15.1pp / Standard Deviation: 20.5%

Sage is the big loser in this list. 5 ranks lower and 13pp worse, wow! It was voted 14 times below 10% and 7 times above 75%.

Sage can be a great opener, especially with Marauder or Sea Hag where it helps to play the curser basically every turn and also skip over Curses/Ruins later in the game. It helps also to get other key cards like Potion or trashers in your hand that you want to have early. Don't fear to add Silver to your deck because it still helps you to cycle faster. But otherwise it often plays as a weak Scheme because you can't choose the card you want to have in your hand. And it gets worse and worse the longer the game lasts and it soon may put a Province in your hand.
#24 ▲2 Wishing Well (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 36.7% ▲1.9pp / Unweighted Average: 34.2% / Median: 30.3% ▼2.0pp / Standard Deviation: 22.0%

Wishing Well has a slightly better average, but is 2 ranks better. In the unweighted list it would be 3 ranks lower, so newer players undervalue it. It was voted on the last rank twice and even 21 times below 10%.

Wishing Well is both a high skill and a high luck-dependent card. How is that possible? First, it's a cantrip, so it rarely hurts. But if you don't guess correctly it does you no good and you rather buy a Silver. One problem is that you have to guess the second card, so that cards like Spy, Lookout that seem to synergize don't work. But with cards like Apothecary or Cartographer it works really well. Then it can be a guaranteed cheap Laboratory. In Colony games where you don't want to have many Silvers and especially when your money average is higher than $2, Wishing Well is a good choice. And in some decks you only buy a few different cards, so you can maximize your probability. And if you're really good with card counting, this is really a good card if there are few cards left in your draw pile. It's also a very good counter against Ghost Ship.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 07:49:02 am »
+11

The Best $3 Cards - Part 2/3

#23 ▲1 Shanty Town (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 38.3% ▲3.2pp / Unweighted Average: 38.4% / Median: 36.4% ▲4.1pp / Standard Deviation: 23.1%

Shanty Town is over 3pp higher and one rank better. It was voted 12 times below 10% and 9 times above 75%.

Shanty Town is a very problematic village. If you want villages you have many terminals and want to build an engine. Shanty Town is bad as it only gives you +2 Actions and is actually a Necropolis. And if you have multiple Shanty Towns in hand and no terminals, it's even worse. The best use is to minimize bad draw luck, when you have many terminals, but have the bad luck to not draw them with your village. Then you have a second shot to draw them with your +2 Cards. And if you have 2 Shanty Towns and 1 terminal in hand, it's not bad after all. Play your first Shanty Town, then your terminal and then you can play the second one and hopefully draw more terminals. But the raw benefit is in this case the same as you would get out of a "normal" Village. And sometimes it's a neat addition to a deck with very few terminals, then Shanty Town serves like a Laboratory for you.
#22 Masterpiece (Guilds) Weighted Average: 38.6% / Unweighted Average: 39.2% / Median: 33.3% / Standard Deviation: 27.5%

Masterpiece is the first of the two new Guilds cards. It has the highest deviation in this list, with having 5 last ranks and being voted 23 times below 10% on one hand and having 3 first ranks and being voted 17 times above 75% on the other hand.

Masterpiece is the new shiny BM card. Beside the obvious mega-powerful Feodum combo, it's still very useful on BM boards. As the on-play effect is only a Copper, it's a bad card on its own and a great target for Swindler, so you really have to evaluate the overpay effect. You really don't buy it for $3 or $4 as a Silver is the better option. For $5 it's pretty similar to Cache as you get 3 cards with a value of $5 together, but Cache isn't a really strong card either. But with $6 or more Masterpiece really starts to shine. 3 Silvers and a Copper vs. a Gold is often a tough call and depends heavily on your deck, but we all know since Jack of All Trades that silver flood can be a very powerful strategy. If hit $7 or more early in the game and there aren't strong terminals that you still like to play regularly, Masterpiece a great buy.
#21 =0 Lookout (Seaside) Weighted Average: 41.5% ▲1.1pp / Unweighted Average: 42.7% / Median: 42.4% ▲5.7pp / Standard Deviation: 23.0%

We're making a jump of nearly 3pp and there's a card which stayed where it was and also has a similar average value.

The positive part is: It's a non-terminal trasher which is of course very powerful. It can trash a card which is even not in your hand. It also counters top-deck-attacks, especially Sea Hag, very well. And with the support of "spying" cards you are guaranteed trashing a bad card. All this is similar to Loan. But Loan can only trash the first card. With Lookout you can even choose between three cards. But in the late game, it's a dead card in your hand, because it becomes dangerous. Who doesn't fear drawing 3 Provinces or even Colonies and having to trash one? The fear isn't justified mostly, but you have to keep that in mind. But like Loan, Lookout has also the problem of having tough competition as there were strong $3 trashers released lately.
#20 ▼2 Storeroom (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 43.4% ▼7.6pp / Unweighted Average: 45.0% / Median: 45.5% ▼6.1pp / Standard Deviation: 21.5%

Storeroom is the next big Dark Ages loser. It lost 2 ranks and over 7pps. It was voted 17 times below 20% and 10 times above 75%.

Storeroom is generally a weak card, but can shine in a handful of situations. It is more like an upgraded Secret Chamber, than an upgraded Cellar. Its discarding makes it one of the best Tunnel enablers, and it comboes well with Tactician, Scrying Pool and in draw-up-to-X engines or Menagerie. But it works especially well with important treasure cards. Almost every Potion cost card synergizes well with it and Storeroom+Philosopher's Stone might be the best one as it is similar to Herbalist+Philosopher's Stone. But the buy and cycling is also great with Fool's Gold, Quarry and decent with Ill-Gotten-Gains. It also guarantees to get to $4 for sure in games without discarding attacks which is great with Gardens. But in most other games this card isn't worth picking up.
#19 ▲1 Oasis (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 43.7% ▲1.4pp / Unweighted Average: 45.2% / Median: 45.5% ▲0.5pp / Standard Deviation: 20.3%

Oasis is again one rank higher than last year with 17 votes below 20% and only 9 voted above 75%.

At first I read it as "+1 Action $1", basically a Copper. But it's much better as you get money out of your victory cards or curses, like Vault or Secret Chamber do. It's limited to one card, but it is a cantrip. It's not a very strong card, but it is a very nice addition to many strategies, especially if there's no heavy trashing possible and is especially good on cursing boards or on boards with early greening. If there are hand-size reducing attacks on the board, Oasis is on the other side rarely a good buy. It synergizes well with "draw up to" cards like Jack of All Trades.
#18 ▲4 Black Market (Promo) Weighted Average: 45.3% ▲8.3pp / Unweighted Average: 45.9% / Median: 42.4% ▲6.4pp / Standard Deviation: 25.3%

Black Market is a big winner this year. It is 4 ranks higher and over 8pp better. But it has still a high deviation, the fourth highest in this list as it was voted last 5 times and 7 times first. :O

It's hated by many players as it has a very high luck factor. You may draw in turn 3 the only curse-giving attack in the game, but you may also draw Treasure Map, Fool's Gold and Peddler. Or you draw 3 potion cost cards when you don't have a Potion in play or even in your deck. Playing your treasures in the buy phase can lead to many confusing rules questions, but can also lead to the well-known Tactician + Black Market combo where you can discard your hand in a Tactician turn with another Tactician after you've played all your treasures with Black Market. Many Cornucopia cards also benefit from the diversity you add to your deck by buying many cards from Black Market. The most famous combo may be Fairgrounds + Black Market where Fairgrounds can easily be worth 6VP but even 8VP or more are possible. But also cards like Harvest or Menagerie benefit from such diverse decks you can get from Black Market. So when do you really want to buy a Black Market when there's no Fairgrounds or Tactician in the supply? On weak boards it might worth it or you know there are many good attacks in the Black Market pile and don't want your opponent get them or you don't want to win at all costs and just have fun playing with it and your friends and rely on your luck.
#17 ▼4 Tunnel (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 47.0% ▼11.8pp / Unweighted Average: 50.8% / Median: 54.6% ▼5.4pp / Standard Deviation: 21.3%

Tunnel is the next big loser in this list. It lost 4 ranks and nearly 12 percentage points. That's a lot. It would be still 2 ranks higher in the unweighted list.

Tunnels 2VP for only $3 is already very good. You have to pay $2 more for getting one point more. And the Reaction part is really strong. Mostly there is at least one card on the board which can trigger it. It combos great with Vault, Embassy, Warehouse, Cartographer, Storeroom, Young Witch and such. Tunnel can be one of the rare scenarios when buying a victory card as an opening buy can be really good (beside Island). It's also a great defense card against Discarding Attacks like Militia, Goons or Margrave or even Minion. On boards with many discarding synergies, you mostly can observe a rush for Tunnels. And then not only the Tunnels can deplete, the Gold pile can too. But still it's very situational. If there's no action which can discard, Tunnel is nice in the late game if you miss $5, but no game changer.
#16 Doctor (Guilds) Weighted Average: 48.8% / Unweighted Average: 49.7% / Median: 51.5% / Standard Deviation: 26.6%

Doctor is the better rated Guilds card and the card with the second highest deviation in this list.

Doctor is a cross between Chapel and Lookout. It can trash as fast as Chapel but behaves similar as Lookout. What makes the card strong is that you can trash immediately 2 cards on a 5/2 opening and maybe even play it on turn 2 again to trash again, what makes it incredibly fast. Another advantage is that it trashes cards that are not in your hand, so you can trash up to 3 cards and still buy something what can be very powerful. But this can also be a disadvantage when you are down to 5 cards, as you can't trash the last couple of bad cards. Another disadvantage is that you have to name the card you want to trash what makes it weak with Shelters and against Looter attacks and also very swingy after the first few shuffles. Of course another disadvantage in comparism to Lookout is that it is terminal. You can also pick up Doctor mid-game with a huge overpay and as long as you don't use your Coppers to overpay for it, it can be a very powerful move. All the advantages and disadvantages made it end up in the middle of this list.
#15 ▼1 Oracle (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 49.4% ▼4.3pp / Unweighted Average: 47.5% / Median: 48.5% ▼3.1pp / Standard Deviation: 21.8%

Oracle lost over 4pp and one rank. It would be 2 ranks lower in the unweighted list.

A 2 card-drawer with a spy-effect seems so innocent. But sometimes you even prefer it to Smithy which itself is a good $4 card. You can use it very well in Big Money games where the additional attack part comes handy. The problem with the attack is - like Spy - you do little damage with messing up the top cards. But discarding 2 cards to draw the next two helps cycling through your deck in the early game. But you draw still only 2 cards what is still not very good if you use it in an engine. And the luck factor is high and you have to make hard decisions. Do you want to make your opponent discard the Silver and Estate? It really depends on the cards he has in hand, but you don't know that. On the other side, it's great if you can discard two Golds. So, the attack part is weak, mostly you buy it because you need the +2 cards with the minimized draw luck, which is good in Big Money.
#14 ▲1 Village (Base) Weighted Average: 52.5% ▲0.3pp / Unweighted Average: 52.1% / Median: 54.6% ▲6.2pp / Standard Deviation: 20.6%

Village is the first above average card. It has nearly the same average value, but is one rank higher.

Vanilla village is very hard to rank. How do you rank a card that does nothing beside giving an additional action? It's a card that is important for all engines, but is useless if "Big Money" is the dominant strategy. It's no exciting card for sure, when there are all other engine components there you're glad to have it. Its ranking greatly reflects the relevance of engines on an average board.
#13 ▼3 Market Square (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 57.8% ▼4.3pp / Unweighted Average: 57.8% / Median: 60.6% ▼7.1pp / Standard Deviation: 19.3%

We're making a jump of over 5 percentage points. Market Square clearly isn't the best Dark Ages card in this list anymore. It lost over 4 percentage points and even 3 ranks.

Both gold gaining Reaction cards lost a significant amount of points. The Gold gaining is even easier to activate on average than with Tunnel and it's a cantrip, so it doesn't hurt if you don't draw it with a trashing card. Market Square + Masquerade is great because you can convert Coppers into Golds and you can still play Market Square for the cantrip +buy if you want to. Even more powerful is the amazing Hermit/Market Square combo, and Apprentice/Market Square is also great. Speaking of cantrip +Buy. On every board where you want +Buy, a cantrip +Buy alone is even reason enough gaining one Market Square. And Market Square is great as a defense against trashing attacks like Swindler or Knights.
#12 ▼3 Scheme (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 58.2% ▼6.7pp / Unweighted Average: 60.1% / Median: 63.6% ▼0.9pp / Standard Deviation: 19.5%

Just like Market Square, Scheme also lost 3 ranks and even more value, nearly 7 percentage points! It was voted 9 times below 30% and would be one rank higher in the unweighted list.

Scheme is a cantrip and mostly don't hurt in your deck as long as you don't draw it dead. But how big is the benefit? If you're building an engine around a key card (like Hunting Party), Scheme is very handy as you can be sure to have that card in hand nearly every turn. With +Buy you could even buy more Schemes to add to your engine. Even with a simpler strategy, but a strong attack, Scheme is very nice, as is basically replaces the second copy of that strong attack card and you eliminate the possibility of colliding. As Double Ambassador is already a strong opening, on those boards you really want to open Ambassador/Scheme and you can later use the Scheme to top deck another card if you want to. The same applies to other strong attacks like Sea Hag. Be aware of Minion, as Minion could completely destroy your top-decking. Scrying Pool + Scheme is good, Golem + Scheme + strong attack is strong and King's Court + Scheme is just crazy. On the other hand, in big money games or with very thin decks, Scheme is not worth a buy.
#11 ▲5 Urchin (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 60.3% ▲9.3pp / Unweighted Average: 58.0% / Median: 60.6% ▲2.5pp / Standard Deviation: 21.8%

Urchin made a big jump of 5 ranks and over 9pp and is a big winner. It was still voted 16 times below 30%.

Urchin is a weak attack. It hurts rarely, only in really thin decks and is in the beginning at best a cantrip Cutpurse, but often worse because you have mostly an Estate/Shelter in hand. Its best use is to use its ability to convert it into a Mercenary. Mercenary itself is a big deal on many boards, especially if it is the only trasher on the board. You often open triple Urchin, just to be able to get one or two Mercenaries as fast as possible. Later in the game you might run out of fodder for Mercenary, but then your deck is usually in a very good shape, so you don't care anymore.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 04:50:23 am by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2014, 07:49:09 am »
+6

The Best $3 Cards - Part 3/3
#10 ▼3 Warehouse (Seaside) Weighted Average: 65.0% ▼5.8pp / Unweighted Average: 64.3% / Median: 69.7% ▼4.5pp / Standard Deviation: 19.9%

Warehouse is 3 ranks and nearly 6pp lower than last year. It was voted 28 times below average and 3 times first. It would be one rank higher in the unweighted list.

Warehouse is the better Cellar, it is a very useful deck sifter. You can draw 3 cards and discard the most useless ones. It's also a card that works fine with Tunnel and of course with any Attack as it is non-terminal and can draw your terminals more often. It's also great if you want cards together that gain strength when they collide, like Fool's Gold or Treasure Map. Because you have one card less in hand after you played it, it synergizes with "draw up to" cards. And you can even play it if your hand is good and discard the useless cards on top of your deck (which are coincidental there or from any Attack like Rabble). It loses power on boards with discard attacks, but with cursing attacks it's great. It's a great addition to any deck which isn't a terminal draw Big Money deck.
#9 ▲2 Hermit (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 68.0% ▲7.5pp / Unweighted Average: 63.7% / Median: 69.7% ▲5.2pp / Standard Deviation: 22.6%

Hermit is 2 ranks and over 7pp better, but still not the best Dark Ages card. It was voted 34 times below average and 2 times first. It would be one rank lower in the unweighted list.

Some call it already "Jack-of-all-Trades light". Trashing from your discard pile is great, especially in cursing games and therefore even better than JaoT's trashing ability. It can also gain Silver, but also more Hermits or whatever you want for $3 less, the gaining is therefore even more flexible. On the other side it cannot defend against discarding attacks or top-decking attacks like Jack can. But it can transform into a Madmen, a double-your-handsize village which is great on boards with +Buy and also not so great on boards with discarding attacks. It's also part of the amazingly powerful Hermit/Market Square combo. So, alltogether it's a very versatile card.
#8 =0 Watchtower (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 71.6% ▲2.2pp / Unweighted Average: 69.1% / Median: 72.7 ▼1.5pp / Standard Deviation: 19.8%

Watchtower is slightly better, but stayed where it was. It was voted 19 times below average and 3 times first.

Watchtower is still the best of the 3 Reaction cards. Watchtower is very versatile what makes it a great card. At first it can draw up to 6 cards what makes it a worse Library and is great in Hamlet, Fishing Village, Festival and especially University or other decks where the non-terminals draw equal or less cards than you discard. Then it is even an Smithy equivalent. Even if two Watchtowers collide you can use the Reaction part from the second Watchtower for the card you buy. You can put your new card on top of your deck and have it in your hand in the next turn. But Watchtower is even a better defense card. The strongest attacks are Cursing and Discarding Attacks. You can trash the gained Curses immediately and can draw to a more than full hand after discarding. And, with one of the discarding attacks it combos too: Goons / Watchtower is great as you can buy additional Coppers or Curses for VPs and can trash them immediately without clogging up. And with Dark Ages it got a big boost. With a gainer you can trigger all the on-trash effects on gain. This allows crazy stuff like playing a Goons and a Familiar turn 3 with Squire or gain a Fortress with Workshop and put it directly into your hand or remodel into a Cultist just to trash it and draw 3 cards.
#7 ▲6 Forager (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 76.7% ▲19.9pp / Unweighted Average: 72.8% / Median: 78.8% ▲17.5pp / Standard Deviation: 20.7%

Forager is now the best Dark Ages card in this list. And it is THE winner of this list. It's nearly 20pp better and is 6 ranks higher, that's impressive. It was voted 16 times below average and first once.

Non-terminal trashers are always strong and Forager is the best out of the comparable Lookout and Loan in this list. It has also the important buy you often need for engines. It's also a weaker version of Spice Merchant as it both offers the buy and is non-terminal, but it lacks the draw what is the biggest drawback of this card as it decreases the handsize by two (Lookout and Loan don't do that). The variable bonus part makes it similar to Trade Route, but is non-terminal and gets more coins in the beginning what makes it a way better opening. This is also great with trashing attacks or trash for benefit cards where Gold and Silver easily gets in the trash.
#6 ▼2 Menagerie (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 79.3% ▼6.5pp / Unweighted Average: 78.1% / Median: 81.8% ▼5.3pp / Standard Deviation: 17.1%

Menagerie lost over 6pp and 2 ranks. It was voted only 10 times below average and was voted first twice.

Menagerie can be very strong, a double-Laboratory, or only a cantrip. Ok, it only hurts when you draw it dead, but it sill needs enablers like cards that can discard (best: non-terminal like Warehouse or Hamlet) or heavy-trashing (to get rid of your Coppers) to use its full strength. Its best use may be to counter Discarding attacks. After a Militia or Goons attacks, just play Menagerie and you have a 5-card-hand again. Of course it's also good if there are many good cards on the board you want to have, or you buy many good cards out of the Black Market deck, so you can maximize the possibilty to have different cards in the deck. In comparism to Warehouse its not always a good addition to your deck, but when it is, it's so good. You definitely need luck to enable it, but you get different cards so fast and if you get rid of your Coppers, that's often the case.
#5 =0 Swindler (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 80.8% ▼0.1pp / Unweighted Average: 78.7% / Median: 84.9% ▲0.9pp / Standard Deviation: 18.5%

Swindler basically didn't change at all. It was voted 11 times below average and first twice.

Swindler is the second best of the five $3 Attack cards. It's a great opening buy and can turn the Coppers of the opponents into Curses. Later in the game it can turn the new good $5 cards into Duchies. With special cards on the board, the punishing can even be worse, like swindling the only Potion into a Treasure Map or Coppersmith or vice versa, turning the Sea Hag into a Potion. But it's highly luck-dependant. Both players may open Swindler and one can turn the other Swindler into a Chancellor. Or you hit 3 Coppers and turn them into Curses and your opponent hit 3 Estates and turn them into ... Estates. Bad luck! With Dark Ages, Swindler is even more luck-dependant, hitting an Overgrown Estate let your opponent draw a card and trash it without replacement. Of course you can decrease bad luck by adding a Spy-like attack, but most of the time it's not worth it. Beware with Peddler on board. Trashing a Province and turning into a Peddler, great. Hitting a Peddler when the Peddlers are out, bad! And beware in the end game. Hitting a Curse when the Curses are out is suboptimal, but hitting a Province and giving your opponent the last Province, can win or lose you the game.
#4 ▲2 Steward (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 84.5% ▲5.0pp / Unweighted Average: 81.4% / Median: 84.9% ▲1.0pp / Standard Deviation: 15.7%

Steward is now in the Top 5 and is 5pp better. It has the third lowest deviation in this list. It was voted 7 times below average and 3 times first.

Steward's strength is its flexibility. It's one of the rare trashers that are good openers and still good later in the game, in this case for $2 or 2 cards. It leads to very difficult decisions (Steward and 4 Coppers: Trashing or Gold?) but either decision is strong. And it is also rare for a non-attack card that is terminal to say about: "It is usually a good buy", so good that you often want to open double Steward, just to guarantee to trash fast enough.
#3 =0 Fishing Village (Seaside) Weighted Average: 85.8% ▼6.4pp / Unweighted Average: 84.8% / Median: 87.9% ▼5.6pp / Standard Deviation: 15.4%

Fishing Village had quite a lead, so it's still on #3 even though it lost over 6 percentage points. It has the second lowest deviation in this list, was voted 6 times below average and 5 times first.

What makes Fishing Village a good village, one of the best in the game? It hasn't 2 of the biggest problems in combination with villages. 1.) A Smithy-Village chain still may lack the money. FV gives money instead of a card. 2.) You draw 2 terminals with no village in hand. FV gives also an additional action in the following turn and therefore a total of 3 actions, minimizing the chances of not being able to play colliding terminals. So, if you're definitely going to build an unstoppable engine, buy as many FVs as you can. FV / Wharf is so much superior than Smithy / Village and FV / Torturer can hurt so much. You only don't want to buy it if you're going BM.
#2 ▼1 Ambassador (Seaside) Weighted Average: 93.6% ▼3.9pp / Unweighted Average: 89.8% / Median: 97.0% ▼3.0pp / Standard Deviation: 18.0%

We're crossing a gap of nearly 8pp and Ambassador isn't the strongest card in this list anymore. It's underrated by newer players, but it would still be #1 in the unweighted list. It was voted 6 times below average and 36 times on the first rank.

Let's start Ambassador war! In some games the ping-pong of Estates of Coppers is so important that you rather risk open Double-Ambassador and colliding two Ambassadors instead of losing the Ambassador war. Some say it's undercosted and the best attack relative to its cost. You can even buy a curse and turn Ambassador into a Curser. If you lose the Ambassador war badly, there's no good chance to recover and building a good engine. But beware: Don't forget building up your own economy. Your opponent is flooded with Coppers and Estates. But he can buy good cards too, so don't forget that. But the power is undeniable. Tournament / Ambassador used to be the overall second best opening on Councilroom with many other good openings in the Top 100. But it lost a bit in strength since Dark Ages as Shelters weaken it significantly.
#1 ▲1 Masquerade (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 93.6% ▼0.3pp / Unweighted Average: 89.3% / Median: 97.0% ▲0.3pp / Standard Deviation: 15.7%

It was so close. Only 0.02pp was Masquerade better than Ambassador. In the unweighted list Ambassador is rated higher. Masquerade was voted 7 times below average, but 45 times on the first rank (9 more than Ambassador).

At first it seems so harmless (at least to me). Even though it is no attack by definition, it can feel like it is one. I cannot desribe the power of Masquerade better than theory did: "By drawing 2 cards, Masquerade combines solid buying power with its deck-thinning, thus allowing you to improve your deck along two axes at once." It's a hard counter to cursing attacks, so you may even choose not to go for the cursing attack with Masquerade on the board. And if you have a discarding attack and play Masquerade afterwards it's even a harder attack, allowing the (in)famous Masquerade pin. It dominates nearly all games; it's great for simple Big Money and it's great in engines too and it's a defense against cursing what do you want more?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 06:33:11 am by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 09:08:10 am »
+7

This list... I have some major disagreements here.

Pretty sick of seeing Chancellor at the bottom of the $3 pile.  Its ability is much more useful than people give it credit, especially in games where you need to reset your shuffle (Potion games) more often.  I mean, I had it as third worst, but it's the principle of the thing.  I'll admit that Scavenger is what made me see Chancellor is a new light, but I'm glad I did.  Not that Scavenger isn't way better.

Woodcutter is a +buy.  I'm sorry, but that makes it better than a Great Hall to me. 

I could say similar things about Workshop, though I probably had it rated way too highly (#26).

Develop remains the most egregious misrank.  I had it at #18 personally.  It's true that a lot of people don't understand how to play it effectively, but the combination of topdecking and gaining two potentially good cards is a clearly overlooked benefit.  I have found the key to Develop is not to see it as an earlygame trasher but a midgame Remodel variant, which is where it truly shines and proves it's far better than #31 at any rate.

Sage should be even lower than it dropped to, in my opinion.  It has uses, but often does very little for you over other $3 options.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 09:20:53 am »
0

Yea, i think the "oh it doesn't hurt" benefit is a little bit overappreciated. I also had woodcutter over great hall.

aside from that, i think workshop, develop and smugglers are too low. i'd rather have oasis or oracle included in the bottom 10

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 09:35:56 am »
0

Sage is a bit like Feast. It's useful but it provides only a small benefit. Usually Silver is better.

I really think that Wishing Well and Develop should swap places.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 12:48:42 pm »
0

Ehh, I don't have much thoughts so far.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 12:52:20 pm »
+3

This list is fine. Fortune Teller should be higher, though. Higher than Loan. Fortune Teller hurts.

Wishing Well is too low.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 01:35:31 pm »
0

This list is fine. Fortune Teller should be higher, though. Higher than Loan. Fortune Teller hurts.

Wishing Well is too low.
I agree with the Fortune Teller being higher than Loan. For some reason though, I have Wishing Well lower than where it is. I mean, I think it's way better than Great Hall, but my ranking doesn't quite reflect that.

I only card here I don't have in my 24th and lower ranking is Smugglers, which I have at 19. It's really neat in mirror matches. I have Masterpiece at 24th instead.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 01:42:16 pm »
+1

This list is fine. Fortune Teller should be higher, though. Higher than Loan. Fortune Teller hurts.

Wishing Well is too low.
I agree with the Fortune Teller being higher than Loan. For some reason though, I have Wishing Well lower than where it is. I mean, I think it's way better than Great Hall, but my ranking doesn't quite reflect that.

I only card here I don't have in my 24th and lower ranking is Smugglers, which I have at 19. It's really neat in mirror matches. I have Masterpiece at 24th instead.
I had Masterpiece at 5th. I might be biased because I often get games with Masterpiece and Council Room due to the small amount of expansions I own on Goko, though.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 01:44:02 pm »
0

Oh yeah, well Masterpiece belongs down here. Masterpiece got ranked higher than Wishing Well????!!!!

I had Masterpiece at 5th. I might be biased because I often get games with Masterpiece and Council Room due to the small amount of expansions I own on Goko, though.

Um, yeah, absolutely. Masterpiece is good in BM, but BM sucks. It's part of the ridiculously strong Feodum combo, but that's about all.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2014, 01:48:13 pm »
+1

Wishing Well, they done you wrong.  #24, people?  Really?  And to think that represents an improvement.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 01:49:23 pm by jaybeez »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 01:53:31 pm »
0

Um, yeah, absolutely. Masterpiece is good in BM, but BM without Masterpiece sucks.
FTFY
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 01:55:39 pm »
0

I think Wishing Well is terrible. It almost never draws anything except Copper and maybe something better at the end of the shuffle. Yes, it's a cantrip but does being not harmful mean the card is good (scout)?
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2014, 02:02:57 pm »
+7

I think Wishing Well is terrible. It almost never draws anything except Copper and maybe something better at the end of the shuffle. Yes, it's a cantrip but does being not harmful mean the card is good (scout)?

It is a cantrip opening which lets you hit $5 in the early game. Being able to develop your deck quickly without excessive early Silvers is a big deal.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 02:07:04 pm »
0

I think Wishing Well is terrible. It almost never draws anything except Copper and maybe something better at the end of the shuffle. Yes, it's a cantrip but does being not harmful mean the card is good (scout)?
Drawing Copper is pretty good, since not only does it give you an extra $1 this turn, it also replaces a Copper from your next hand with another card. That's as good as Ironmonger hitting a Copper, and that's a powerful $4 card.

And Scout is actually slightly harmful quite often.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2014, 02:13:40 pm »
0

I was expecting Develop to remain underrated, but Workshop? Bigger mis-ranking than anything on the lists so far. Wishing well is a little low, too, but only if you have the skill to know what to guess.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2014, 02:19:13 pm »
0

I was expecting Develop to remain underrated, but Workshop? Bigger mis-ranking than anything on the lists so far. Wishing well is a little low, too, but only if you have the skill to know what to guess.
Workshop is bad because Armory exists...
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2014, 02:25:36 pm »
+2

I was expecting Develop to remain underrated, but Workshop? Bigger mis-ranking than anything on the lists so far. Wishing well is a little low, too, but only if you have the skill to know what to guess.
Workshop is bad because Armory exists...
Cellar is bad because Warehouse exists.
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AHoppy

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2014, 02:51:19 pm »
0

I was expecting Develop to remain underrated, but Workshop? Bigger mis-ranking than anything on the lists so far. Wishing well is a little low, too, but only if you have the skill to know what to guess.
Workshop is bad because Armory exists...
Armory is bad because Ironworks exists

Not that armory is bad, I just prefer Ironworks in more situations...

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2014, 03:02:15 pm »
0

My thoughts on the first part of this list:

- In the ruins-list, people put ruined market on #2 because it might be the only +buy in the game. Here, Woodcutter is second-last. Strange.
- Great Hall is really not a great card, but of course it is still bought in a reasonable number of games because of its dual-type nature, its cantrip nature and because it's better than estate. Thus I don't think it belongs even lower on this list.
- Workshop and Wishing Well seem underrated to me
- Sage's drop is well justified, in my opinion
- very surprised to not see Masterpiece down here. I had it on #27 and thought that was way too high
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Tables

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2014, 03:12:37 pm »
+1

Workshop is bad because Armory exists
Armory is bad because Ironworks exists
Ironworks is bad because Workshop exists.

No I don't actually believe this to be the case.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2014, 03:12:48 pm »
+2

Awaclus, my fellow Masterpiece lover, your partner is here.

I don't understand the Masterpiece hate, it really is the best addition to BM that we've seen since JoaT.  What Masterpiece excels at is greening on Duchies.  While normal BM strategies usually wait until 4 Provinces left to buy Duchies, Masterpiece decks start greening on Duchies with upwards of 6 Provinces left in deck (possibility even 8 if a dud draw is had at the start of a draw deck).  Despite earlier greening, the ability to buy Province is retained.  This constant stream of points puts pressure of an engine player that can't handle as much green.

I wish CR had stats up for Goko, I'm convinced that my Win Rate when Gained for Masterpiece would be extremely high.  Obviously you won't do Masterpiece on every board but it is an extremely strong BM enabler and I think that it has a very large niche wherein it fills that role exceptionally well.

For reference, I had Masterpiece at #13 in my list.

Look at the following reference that I wrote awhile back as to why Masterpiece is under-rated.

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=9376.msg320971#msg320971
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2014, 03:26:30 pm »
+1

masterpiece is most definitely not deserving of a bottom #10 place. I had it at #12. it says it likes it up there.

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $3 cards
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2014, 03:50:27 pm »
+1

Yea, i think the "oh it doesn't hurt" benefit is a little bit overappreciated. I also had woodcutter over great hall.

aside from that, i think workshop, develop and smugglers are too low. i'd rather have oasis or oracle included in the bottom 10

Booooo, Oasis and Oracle are both good cards.  Workshop is not useful often enough and there are usually better alternatives, while Smugglers is just too unreliable most of the time.  Develop definitely deserves better.  Oasis is useful quite often and Oracle is a very decent drawer thanks to the filtering.
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