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Author Topic: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards  (Read 29472 times)

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Qvist

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The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« on: March 22, 2014, 12:38:22 pm »
+14

The Best $4 Cards - Part 1/6

121 votes on this list.

#57 =0 Scout (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 4.5% ▲2.8pp / Unweighted Average: 5.9% / Median: 0% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 11.7%

Scout is the worst $4 card again. There's still no doubt about it as it has the lowest deviation in this list again. But its weighted average is a bit higher than last year. It was voted last 62 times, that's about the half of all votes. But it was also voted above average 2 times.

Scout has its uses. You don't need to spend an action, but it isn't a cantrip, so it really can hurt your deck. If you're massively going green this can be nice as it makes your next turn better, but is still not good. It has a nice synergy with Wishing Well and Mystic and of course it's great with dual-type-victory cards like Harem, Great Hall and Nobles, making Scout a Lab or even better. There might be more edge cases when Scout shines, but what makes Scout really bad is that even when it's good you often do better skipping Scout, because you waste a turn marginally improving your deck.
#56 =0 Thief (Base) Weighted Average: 8.8% ▲5.7pp / Unweighted Average: 10.6% / Median: 3.6% ▲1.7pp / Standard Deviation: 13.2%

So, Thief is still as bad as before. And again, there's no doubt. It has the second lowest deviation again as it was voted last 10 times and only 3 times above average.

An attack on such a low position may seem strange, but Thief has the big problem helping your opponent in the early game. It's a free trasher for your opponent and even later it's so risky hitting the Coppers of your opponent. Its only use may be in thin Chapel decks or if you manage to play it multiple times per turn. And it gets better in 3- or 4-player games, where you can minimize the risk of getting nothing and hitting Coppers. In these games it can be very good with Gardens for example. In theory it can be nice in an Ill-Gotten-Gains rush dealing out curses with it, but it is still swingy and a bad card and you rather buy Silver. You don't want it early and in the later game it's almost never worth a buy.
#55 ▼8 Feast (Base) Weighted Average: 13.1% ▼9.0pp / Unweighted Average: 15.1% / Median: 10.7% ▼8.3pp / Standard Deviation: 13.4%

Feast is a big loser as dropping 8 ranks is quite a lot. It has the third lowest deviation in this list, so there's not really a big doubt about its position. It has no last ranks and was voted above average 3 times.

Feast basically does nothing but being a one-shot balancing bad shuffle luck, especially at the start. If you really want a specific $5 card and have a 4/3 opening you can open with Feast and can be sure to get that $5 card soon. That's especially good if you don't want any Silvers in the first place. It also can be used with Throne Room and King's Court to gain multiple $5 cards. It's only other use is gaining Duchies, especially in Duke games, but Feast is basically never a game-changer.
#54 ▲1 Coppersmith (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 15.3% ▲2.7pp / Unweighted Average: 16.6% / Median: 12.5% ▲2.9pp / Standard Deviation: 15.0%

Coppersmith is now one rank higher as Feast dropped that much. It has a pretty low deviation and won a little bit pointwise. It was voted last 4 times and above average 5 times.

Yes, Coppersmith is very hard to rank, because it's either clearly the worst card on the board or it's very dominating. As a opener you may get to $6 or even $8, but you also can draw only one Copper, so it's very swingy as a opener and gets worse later. On the other hand King's Court + Coppersmith can become brutal and it has some nice synergy with Apothecary, Counting House and Tactician. The cases where it shines may occur more rarely than with any other card, but then it's a must-buy.
#53 ▼1 Treasure Map (Seaside) Weighted Average: 16.2% ▲0.8pp / Unweighted Average: 19.0% / Median: 14.3% ▲0.8pp / Standard Deviation: 16.1%

Even though Treasure Map has a slightly better average value, it lost one rank. It would be one rank higher in the unweighted list. It was voted last 2 times and 9 times above average.

Treasure Map's power is undeniable. An early enabling can already decide a game. But you can hardly call it strategy going for Treasure Map. You really need enablers for that, like Warehouse, Chapel, Tactician or the Watchtower/Talisman combo. If you go for Treasure Map without such enablers, you totally rely on your luck. And losing against a totally luck-based enabling can really be frustrating. Of course it's strong, but it's hard to make it work, what makes it weak in general. With Baker on the board you can now open Double Treasure Map what makes it slightly stronger.
#52 ▼1 Navigator (Seaside) Weighted Average: 17.5% ▲0.4pp / Unweighted Average: 18.3% / Median: 14.3% ▼1.1pp / Standard Deviation: 17.6%

Just like Treasure Map, Navigator lost a rank despite having a slightly better average. It would be one more rank lower in the unweighted list. It was voted last 8 times and 6 times above average.

Scout is at least non-terminal. Top-decking the next 5 cards in a specific order is only nice if you have still an action left to draw a few of them. Because if you don't do that, you draw all 5 cards no matter in what order you put them back. The discarding option is nice to minimize shuffle luck and to get a half Chancellor effect, but still it is terminal and most of the time there are better terminal cards on the board. At least it gives you $2. One of the few good uses may be to enable Tunnel's reaction.
#51 ▲3 Spy (Base) Weighted Average: 17.5% ▲4.6pp / Unweighted Average: 19.1% / Median: 14.3% ▲2.8pp / Standard Deviation: 14.7%

Spy is 3 ranks and nearly 5pp better. It has the fifth lowest deviation in this list and only a small 0.03pp lead over Navigator. It was voted last 2 times and 6 times above average.

An attack that is a cantrip, that seems nice at the first look. But Spy is an attack with a pretty bad attack and little benefit. It's very swingy as you can discard your victory card (or even your Tunnel) and discard the only Witch of your opponent, but you can hit a victory card of your opponent too that you put back. That's no change for your opponent and he even may use that additional info for the next turn. You can add a Spy in your drawing engine if you have a buy and money left and don't want more Silver, but is really rarely worth a buy. It's a cantrip that doesn't hurt your engine and can really shine in an engine with Jester (or any other engine that takes profit from knowing the top card of the opponent's deck), but the benefit it gives you is marginal, similar to Scout. And regarding the benefit of knowing your own top card, you rather have a Cartographer for that.
#50 ▼1 Bureaucrat (Base) Weighted Average: 17.8% ▼2.5pp / Unweighted Average: 20.1% / Median: 19.6% ▲0.4pp / Standard Deviation: 14.6%

Bureaucrat is already the fourth card from the base set in this list. It's one rank worse than last year. It has the fourth lowest deviation in this list. It was voted last twice and 3 times above average.

The attack of Bureaucrat is weak. Your opponent loses one card that he don't need anyway for him getting another 4 card hand in the next turn. And he might even be able to counter that easily by playing Farming Village for example. The attack gets better in multiplayer games, especially if there are dual-type victory cards like Nobles or Harem on the board. The benefit on the other side still isn't good either. Top-decked silvers are nice, especially in the beginning and you can get to $8 with 4 silvers too, but it's not easy. So it seems Bureaucrat is nice where you don't want to get to $8 and Silver is a good card, like in Duke / Silk Road / Feodum and especially Gardens games, but then Bureaucrat is a good counter too. And you can play your Bureaucrat less frequently if your deck is already flooded with silvers. Bureaucrat + Big Money is not bad. On the other side as it doesn't seem to have synergies with other cards.
#49 ▼1 Pirate Ship (Seaside) Weighted Average: 19.3% ▼1.5pp / Unweighted Average: 23.3% / Median: 16.1% ▼0.6pp / Standard Deviation: 21.6%

Pirate Ship dropped one rank and is slightly worse than last year. It's the first card with a significantly higher deviation. It was voted last once and 13 times above average.

There's the next attack that trashes treasures. Again, hitting Coppers even helps your opponent. And when there are cards with virtual coin, you can defend pretty well. The high ranks may result from players mainly playing 3 or 4-player games where Pirate Ships can be devastating because if 3 players go for it in a 4-player game you really are forced to get those too. In 2-player games it's too slow most of the times. And, with Pirate Ship you really want to buy as many as you can, so you can play them multiple times, and with Throne Room or King's Court and +Buy this card can be really great.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 10:05:03 am by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2014, 12:38:35 pm »
+8

The Best $4 Cards - Part 2/6


#48 ▲5 Talisman (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 21.3% ▲8.3pp / Unweighted Average: 23.7% / Median: 17.9% ▲6.4pp / Standard Deviation: 18.9%

Talisman made a big jump of 5 ranks and over 8pp. It was voted 4 times last and 10 times above average.

There are not that many cards for $4, you want in masses. Silk Road and Gardens may be a exception, but Talisman doesn't work with victory cards. So there are even less cards you want for free with Talisman. Fool's Gold, Caravan, Ironmonger and Tournament came to my mind being cards which makes Talisman a good buy, especially as an opener. You can also build a Village + Smithy/Envoy engine quicker too, but it depends if this is worth a Talisman buy. But it shines especially with cost reducers like Quarry, Bridge and especially Highway. Play Highway, play Talisman, buy Highway, get one for free, that's nice. But Talisman also can hurt very badly since the free extra card is not optional, so only buy Talisman if you really want cheap card in masses. And don't forget: if you're buying more expensive cards you've spent $4 for a Copper.
#47 ▲3 Rats (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 23.4% ▲4.7pp / Unweighted Average: 25.2% / Median: 19.6% ▲2.3pp / Standard Deviation: 19.7%

Rats is 3 ranks higher and nearly 5 percentage points better. It was voted last 4 times and 11 times above average.

Rats is DXV's favourite card. It can replace bad cards with... bad cards. So why do you want them? If there are trash for benefit cards, Rats trash the Copper, Estates and Curses while the TfB cards can trash the Rats. But you really have to evaluate if it isn't still better ignoring the Rats and go straight for the Trash-for-Benefit card. But this is still the trap card for Beginners. Just don't play a Rats if you don't want to trash anything!! Rats is also good with cards than benefit from having many action cards, like Scrying Pool, Vineyard and Death Cart.
#46 =0 Nomad Camp (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 28.0% ▲4.4pp / Unweighted Average: 29.9% / Median: 21.4% ▲0.2pp / Standard Deviation: 22.6%

Nomad Camp is on the same rank as before even though it has over 4 percentage points more. It has a pretty high deviation with 3 last ranks and 21 ranks above average.

Woodcutter was the second worst $3 card. Here we have a Woodcutter with an on-buy top-deck ability. Is it worth costing $1 more? And how can it be that it ranks higher than Woodcutter? IMO there are only 2-3 reasons for that. You have a high chance to get a $5 card on turn 2 even with a 4/3 opening. Similar to that it is nice you need the +Buy either way and need multiple cheap cards as fast you can. But the only opening which is strong without $5s is IMO Nomad Camp / Fool's Gold / Fool's Gold. The last reason is if you're really unlucky in the late game and only get $4 and want to maximize the chances to hit $8 in the next turn. Beside of that it's only an expensive Woodcutter.
#45 Taxman (Guilds) Weighted Average: 28.0% / Unweighted Average: 33.5% / Median: 26.8% / Standard Deviation: 23.7%

Taxman is the first Guilds card and only 0.04pp better than Nomad Camp, a close call. It has a way higher unweighted average, it would be 3 ranks higher in the unweighted ranking. It was ranked last twice and 12 times above 70%.

Taxman is slightly worse than Mine, but has an attack as extra benefit. Similar to Mine, Taxman can be powerful in an engine where you draw a big portion of your deck, but where your money has to come from treasure cards. The disadvantage that the gained treasure goes on top of the deck instead of in your hand, isn't that big as you can often draw it right away. And if you play a non-mirror against a BM player, your opponent has a hard time getting to $8 if you keep trashing Silver or even Gold for Gold. Taxman also plays well with IGG as you can upgrade Silvers to IGGs and IGGs later for Gold while preventing that your opponent gets to $5. But other than that, Taxman isn't all that great as there are usually stronger terminals you want to play.
#44 ▼1 Noble Brigand (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 26.1% ▲3.5pp / Unweighted Average: 31.5% / Median: 28.6% ▲9.4pp / Standard Deviation: 20.0%

Noble Brigand has a better average value, but still lost a rank. It is one rank lower in the unweighted ranking. It has 2 last ranks and 5 voted above 70%.

Noble Brigand is the better Thief on many boards. It hasn't the disadvantage of trashing the opponents Coppers, making it a better opener. It even attacks on-buy. It deals out Coppers too, which is nice playing against no-treasure decks. And it gives $1 too, so you have at least an immediate benefit. But it's worse in Colony games as it cannot steal Platinum, it cannot steal Ill-Gotten-Gains like Thief and cannot steal other Kingdom treasure cards, but that doesn't matter most of the times. And most important: it's still too slow and doesn't hurt enough if you can't play one nearly each turn. But Noble Brigand + Big Money is pretty decent on weak boards and a good counter to many strategies.
#43 ▼1 Walled Village (Promo) Weighted Average: 30.4% ▲2.5pp / Unweighted Average: 32.7% / Median: 28.6% ▲2.6pp / Standard Deviation: 22.8%

Walled Village is one rank lower despite having a slightly better average value, just like Noble Brigand. It has one last rank and was voted 10 times above 70%.

It is the worst of the now seven $4 villages. Why? Its only ability is top deck it if you weren't able to use both actions. So this is nice if you have only 2-3 terminal actions and really want to play them each time without taking the risk of colliding. That's especially useful with Torturer and Ambassador. But a lot of the times the bonus doesn't even matter.
#42 ▼5 Feodum (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 31.9% ▼13.6pp / Unweighted Average: 34.3% / Median: 30.0% ▼12.3pp / Standard Deviation: 23.3%

Feodum is another big loser from this list. It's 5 ranks and over 13 percentage points worse. In the unweighted ranking it would be still one rank higher. It has 3 last ranks and was voted 13 times above 70%.

While Gardens rushes want to deplete 3 piles as fast as possible and Silk Road strategies are often rushes too, Feodum games work a bit differently as they have problems to deplete 3 piles because you can't deplete the Silver pile as easy. That makes it weaker. But Trader can easily get 3 Silvers a turn and even trash a Feodum for 7 Silvers and easily deplete the Silver pile. Masterpiece/Feodum is even stronger and can deplete the Silver pile really fast. So it often isn't a rush, but this isn't bad because with that many Silvers you can easily buy Duchies or even Provinces and play a mixed Rush/BM strategy. Big Money games with Silver gainers like Squire, Bureaucrat, Explorer or Jack of All Trades can all also work decently with Feodum where you might prefer it over Duchies. Jack of All Trades also let you trash a Feodum to boost the other Feoda if you want to. You want to do this late in the game if your Feoda are each worth at least one more as the number of Feoda you have in your deck or early to boost your economy. Regarding trashing: Feodum/Chapel is a nice opening just to trash everything down and still have a decent economy of 3 Silvers or if you have a Watchtower in hand and $3-$5. Then you can basically buy 3 Silvers instead of just one. And Graverobber or Rogue can be very strong if you can trash Feoda for a big benefit and get them right back.
#41 ▲3 Armory (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 33.7% ▲8.2pp / Unweighted Average: 32.6% / Median: 30.3% ▲5.3pp / Standard Deviation: 18.6%

Armory is the next Dark Ages card in this list, but it is much better than last year, being 3 ranks higher and over 8pp better. In the unweighted ranking it would be 3 ranks lower. It was voted 6 times above 70%.

Armory is another Workshop/Ironworks variant. It's the weakest one for Gardens rushes, but it's way better in setting up an engine with cheap engine cards than Workshop. It's still hurts that it is terminal which means that Ironworks is mostly preferred. But if there aren't any strong terminals then Armory can even be better. It can also be used to put a Potion on top of your deck which can be great in Vineyard games.
#40 ▼15 Death Cart (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 36.0% ▼22.9pp / Unweighted Average: 40.7% / Median: 35.7% ▼20.1pp / Standard Deviation: 22.8%

Sometimes cards just get misranked by the community. Death Cart seems to fit this case now. It is now ranked 15 ranks lower and over 22 percentage points worse, that's a huge change. In the unweighted ranking it would be still one rank higher. It was voted 16 times above 70%.

A terminal $5 seems very powerful, but is it really? If you take it as one-shot, it's still often a more powerful version of Feast, especially if you use it to get an early Forge or even Platinum. But when you buy it, you gain 2 Ruins. That's something you really don't want. I mean it's not that big of an disadvantage because they are great targets for Death Cart. But still you're not guaranteed to draw it with a Ruin and in the worst case it's a one-shot and has even clogged up your deck. And often that's not worth the risk. So, when does it shine? It does shine if you can gain cheap action cards like Pearl Diver, that you don't mind trashing to Death Cart in engines that draw the whole deck. Action cards that you don't mind trashing are also Fortress and Rats. Death Cart can also be a good "defense" against Marauder or Cultist when the Ruins are gone anyway and you can trash the Ruins you already have. Death Cart loves +Buy because that helps picking up cheap targets for Death Cart and mitigates the effect of overpaying by a lot when you get $5.
#39 Advisor (Guilds) Weighted Average: 38.5% / Unweighted Average: 40.3% / Median: 35.7% / Standard Deviation: 22.7%

Advisor is the second Guilds card in this list. It would be one rank lower in the unweighted ranking and was voted 14 times above 70%.

Advisor shines in games with good trashers because early in the game you don't mind drawing bad cards because you want to trash them and later in the game you have only good cards in the deck so you don't care which ones you draw. But even in games without strong trashing but with gainers where you can amass Advisors and/or other cheap cantrips you can get a high action density where Advisor can be enough to draw you the cards you need. The problem is though that as soon as you green the engine falls apart faster than ususal so that you ususally have to build longer. And in BM games Advisor is just terrible.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2014, 08:16:41 am by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2014, 12:39:16 pm »
+8

The Best $4 Cards - Part 3/6


#38 =0 Trader (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 42.4% ▼2.1pp / Unweighted Average: 43.4% / Median: 41.1% ▼1.2pp / Standard Deviation: 19.1%

We're making a jump of around 4pp. Trader is slightly worse, but still on the same rank. It has 14 votes above 70%.

Trader is - like all Reaction cards - very situational. It's Silver gaining defense is mostly stronger than Watchtower's trashing, so you have to think twice if you really want to play that Curse-giving attack or another card that deals out junk and give your opponent a free Silver, especially with Mountebank on the board for 2 Silvers. Trader is a good opener in non-Colony Big Money games too, so you can trash Estates for 2 Silvers. But it's a real powerhouse with Feodum as it can trash Feoda for 7 Silvers or eventually trashing a Silver to 3 Silvers, easily emptying the Silver pile and give a lot of points. It's also good if you have some extra buys, for example with Squire, to get some extra Silvers. But in many other boards Trader is simply a no-go.
#37 ▼4 Island (Seaside) Weighted Average: 42.5% ▼7.4pp / Unweighted Average: 45.9% / Median: 44.6% ▼3.5pp / Standard Deviation: 18.7%

Island is 0.1pp better than Trader, it was very close. It lost quite a bit in value and also 4 ranks. It would be 2 ranks higher in the unweighted ranking. It was voted 14 times above 70%.

Island does pseudo-trashing with the addition of giving additional points. So you can use it for pseudo-trashing the Estates without losing the points and later in the game you can pick it up and take your Provinces out of your deck. It can really be great with Silk Road on the board. It is rarely a game-changer, but can be a nice addition to some decks to keep them clean, especially if you can buy Province+Island and remove both of the cards in the next turn and then rinse and repeat every turn. And even in cursing games with no trashers, you can take Curses out of your deck for a total net of +1 point. The problem is that you don't build up your economy if you open with it and if there important cards for $5 or $6 you often have to skip Island. Getting Islands with Ironworks can also be very nice because then the Ironworks is a cantrip that gives you 2VP.
#36 ▼7 Baron (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 43.1% ▼9.3pp / Unweighted Average: 43.6% / Median: 41.1% ▼10.8pp / Standard Deviation: 21.8%

Baron lost even more points, over 9pp, and is therefore 7 ranks lower than last year. It would be even one rank lower in the unweighted ranking. It was voted 15 times above 70%.

Baron is very interesting as it gives you a very high probability getting Gold early and even get a very early King's Court or Forge, but is very swingy too. If you cannot draw your Baron with an Estate, this is a dead card in the beginning, because you mostly don't want another Estate (and getting Estate for feeding your Baron is mostly no good idea). But as the game goes on, the probability decreases drawing an Estate with Baron. It has also a nice synergy with Crossroads. In the middle game Baron is most of the time no good card, but later in the game it can you net another point and gives you a +Buy too. If you're going to trash your Estates, don't buy a Baron and if you have a deck that can guarantee an Estate in every hand, like multiple Hunting Parties or Stables or engines with big card draw, Baron can very powerful. In Shelter games Baron is unfortunately mostly pretty much useless.
#35 ▼8 Procession (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 44.5% ▼8.1pp / Unweighted Average: 45.9% / Median: 39.3% ▼14.5pp / Standard Deviation: 24.9%

Procession is the next card that lost quite a lot of ranks and points, 8pp and 8 ranks. It has the second highest deviation in this list. It was voted 24 times above 70%.

Procession is even harder to rank than Throne Room because it's even more board dependant. You want strong Action cards in the kingdom that are worth playing them twice and strong Action cards in a specific consecutive price range so that you can get a bonus out of the trashing. Of course it's best with on-trash benefits. Procession+Fortress is a real powerhouse and to play it on Cultist or Catacombs on the right moment can be really great.
#34 ▲6 Remodel (Base) Weighted Average: 46.1% ▲8.1pp / Unweighted Average: 44.3% / Median: 44.6% ▲8.1pp / Standard Deviation: 20.9%

Remodel on the other hand is way better than last year; it's 8pp and 6 ranks better. It would be 2 ranks worse in the unweighted ranking. It was voted 13 times above 70%.

Remodel introduced us to the cards that trash for a better card. As an opener it has big problems trashing the Coppers, because you need either good $2 cards on the board you want in masses like Fool's Gold (Remodel / Fool's Gold is a great opening) or Lighthouse or you need to remodel in 2 steps (Estate to Silver or another $3-$4 card) which is not really a good idea. But Remodel is good in the later game. Just remodel your money in the respective victory card, that's especially great with Gold gainers like Hoard.
#33 ▼7 Mining Village (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 48.5% ▼4.5pp / Unweighted Average: 48.2% / Median: 48.2% ▼5.6pp / Standard Deviation: 20.2%

Mining Village is now the sixth of seven $4 villages, it was the second best last year. It dropped 7 ranks and over 4pp.

Mining Village is a normal Village with a one-shot Silver possibility and the second best village for $4. If you need a Village you can use that one-shot self-trashing option later in the game when you give up your engine and fully commit on going green or have bad luck late in the game and only hit $6 or $7. And even if you doesn't have a engine and are going basically big money, you can buy this in the mid-game when you miss $6 for a Gold and don't want another Silver in your deck, because this still gives you the additional card and the $2 of a Silver. And if you have enough money and no additional buy you can save the one-shot Silver for later. Mining Village / Ambassador is the #109th ▼33 best opening.
#32 ▲2 Cutpurse (Seaside) Weighted Average: 50.2% ▲0.8pp / Unweighted Average: 49.0% / Median: 48.2% ▼1.8pp / Standard Deviation: 22.2%

Cutpurse is the first card with over 50%. It has nearly the same average value, but is 2 ranks higher than last year.

Cutpurse is a pretty solid opener. It's a terminal Silver that can even hit harder than Militia. In the beginning where every coin is important to get to $5, Cutpurse can be really annoying. And it is even worse in games with more than 2 players where you can lose multiple Coppers in one turn. Yes, later it gets worse and worse and is nothing but a terminal Silver where you can see your opponents hand. It's especially strong against a Stables draw engine.
#31 ▼13 Silk Road (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 52.7% ▼10.1pp / Unweighted Average: 49.9% / Median: 51.8% ▼10.1pp / Standard Deviation: 24.3%

Victory point cards are hard to rank always fluctuate a lot, but Silk Road does drop by quite a lot: 13 ranks and over 10pp. It's this time lower than Gardens. It's the first card in a bunch of cards that are very close together. It has the fifth highest deviation in this list.

Silk Road plays often similarly to Gardens. You can rush them, with support of Workshop/Ironworks and/or additional buys for double Estates in the end game. Baron and Crossroads are great supporting cards, but Silk Road can work in slogs too. While it's mostly easier to make Gardens worth 3VP than Silk Roads, it's much easier to get Silk Roads to 5VP than Gardens, so it scales much better. Silk Road is especially great with a board with dual-type victory cards like Island, Nobles, Great Halls or Harem. With Dark Ages Silk Road loses a bit of power because only one of the Shelters is a Victory card.
#30 ▲1 Fortress (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 52.7% ▲0.5pp / Unweighted Average: 53.3% / Median: 53.6% ▼0.2pp / Standard Deviation: 21.2%

Fortress is 0.01pp better than Silk Road, so it was close. It has nearly the same average value and is one rank higher. It would be 3 ranks higher in the unweighted ranking. Fortress is the fifth best $4 village.

This is the Dark Ages village variant with an on-trash ability that does crazy stuff. The are many trashers that could trigger its ability, but you rather use them to trash junk. But you can use trash-for-benefit cards for it. The best one might be Bishop. 4 Fortesses and 4 Bishops guarantee you 12VP per turn. Procession/Fortress is also crazy as it let you basically draw 3 cards, gives you 5 Actions and a free $5 Action card. Fortress is also a very good defense against trashing attacks like Knights or Swindler and also a decent defense against Governor for free Duchies. So, when there are trashing attacks or trash-for-benefit cards, it really shines, but otherwise it's only an expensive vanilla village.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 02:19:48 pm by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2014, 12:39:22 pm »
+6

The Best $4 Cards - Part 4/6

#29 ▼6 Gardens (Base) Weighted Average: 53.2% ▼6.0pp / Unweighted Average: 52.1% / Median: 53.6% ▼5.9pp / Standard Deviation: 21.2%

Just like Silk Road, Gardens lost a bit in ranks, but is now higher than Silk Road.

Gardens is another card from the base set, introduced us to alternative victory cards. The Gardens rush is still a very good strategy on many boards and there are a lot of supporting cards for it. Gardens is on non-trashing boards easily worth a Duchy and can be worth even more. The Ironworks/Gardens rush is well known and one of the best existing combos, but there are also other great supporting cards like Beggar. Gardens gets even better in cursing games or other slogs where 3-piling gets faster and is harder to get to $8. But you could even transition out of an engine to Gardens, so Gardens is on every board at least worth a consideration and is only weak in Big Money.
#28 ▲4 Farming Village (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 53.3% ▲2.5pp / Unweighted Average: 55.0% / Median: 53.6% ▲3.6pp / Standard Deviation: 19.8%

Farming Village is 0.03pp better than Gardens, very close. It's the fourth best out of seven $4 villages. It's 4 ranks better and would be even 4 ranks higher in the unweighted list.

The additional ability of this village is always useful and a good counter in cursing games and against top-decking attacks like Rabble. And later in the game where you are heavily greening its additional ability is very useful too. You may even pick it up if you don't necessarily need the actions and just want to have its filter ability. But in games without cursers or even good trashing, it's in the beginning often only an expensive "normal" village.
#27 ▼6 Envoy (Promo) Weighted Average: 53.5% ▼7.1pp / Unweighted Average: 55.8% / Median: 55.4% ▼4.2pp / Standard Deviation: 25.6%

Again it's close: Envoy is only 0.28pp better. Envoy is the card with the highest deviation in this list as it has 6 votes on the first rank. But these votes are not enough that it dropped 6 ranks and 7pp. It would be 4 ranks higher in the unweighted list.

Envoy is a very good Big Money card. In a deck full of silver and an Envoy in hand, you're almost guaranteed a Province. In a Envoy Big Money deck you don't necessarily need Gold, as it will get discarded from your opponent either way. Smithy draws 3 cards, of course this is stronger in BM games for drawing 4 cards. In engine games this is usually worse, as your opponent will discard your key card. But if you have a deck with a density of high quality, Envoy can be a very good addition too as you may draw the discarded card later again if you can draw your whole deck. So, while Advisor shines in engines, Envoy shines in Big Money.
#26 ▲2 Moneylender (Base) Weighted Average: 53.6% ▲1.1pp / Unweighted Average: 53.7% / Median: 53.6% ▲1.7pp / Standard Deviation: 19.3%

After a huge drop last year, Moneylender is slightly better this time. Again it was close in this area; it was 0.07pp better than Envoy.

Moneylender is another card that falls into the category "Great opener, bad afterwards". It's like a Silver but with the trash ability at the same time. The comparism to Spice Merchant is obvious. Moneylender is a much better opener with the deficit of not being so flexible later in the game. You mostly only want one of it (maybe only on Mountebank boards you would maybe buy a second), but this one can really fasten the game. It's less important as it used to be, but still great for building an engine with high cost cards.
#25 ▲10 Scavenger (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 53.9% ▲5.6pp / Unweighted Average: 50.5% / Median: 50.0% ▼1.9pp / Standard Deviation: 23.6%

The next card close together; Scavenger is 0.28pp better than Moneylender. It is underrated by newer players as it would be 5 ranks worse in the unweighted ranking.

Chancellor is the worst $3 card and Scavenger is similar, but so much higher ranked. Does its bonus really justify it? In short, yes. It's not the best Big Money card, but even a Big Money - like approach is not that bad; putting back a Gold or even a Platinum is great. But also in engines with cheap villages like Hamlet of Fishing Village where you often have spare Actions, you can - similar to Scheme - setup your next turn or even mid-turn top-deck the card you need what is very strong - and of course you cycle faster. It's also very powerful if you have non-terminal key cards that you like to play every turn, like Hunting Party or Rebuild which you can seed for the next turn. There are still often more powerful terminals, but Scavenger can be pretty effective, don't underestimate it. And it combos even better with Stash. 2 Scavengers and 4 Stashes guarantee you a Province each turn.
#24 ▼2 Horse Traders (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 55.6% ▼3.7pp / Unweighted Average: 57.6% / Median: 57.1% ▼4.4pp / Standard Deviation: 18.1%

Horse Traders is a bit worse than last year, exactly 2 ranks and 3.7pp. It would be 2 ranks higher in the unweighted list.

Horse Traders is one of the few Reaction cards that is useful on many boards. Yes, it is still situational, but the situations occur very often. It's great against discarding attacks, restoring the hand size - especially against Minion for a hand of 6 cards. Especially with weak attacks this card is good, because the benefit from Horse Traders is bigger for the opponent than the benefit for yourself playing a weak attack. But, the action part is very useful too. It's useful in decks full of green cards and curses, so it's a good supporting card for Gardens or Silk Road rushes, or buying Dukes. And it's a good addition to Hunting Party, a good starter for getting $5 early or early Grand Markets and so on... many possibilities. Still, as it is a Reaction card, it's very situational and skippable when there are stronger terminals on the board.
#23 ▲14 Quarry (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 56.2% ▲11.6pp / Unweighted Average: 54.0% / Median: 51.8% ▲11.4pp / Standard Deviation: 24.6%

Quarry is one of the 2 big winners close to each other. It is 14 ranks and over 11pp better, that's a big change. It would be 2 ranks worse in the unweighted list and has the fourth highest deviation.

Quarry is just designed for engines. For action cards, this is basically a Gold you can pick up in the opening turns. So if you want many action cards and have additional buys too, Quarry is a must buy, especially with Goons or Grand Market. It can also be very good to get an early Forge or King's Court. And as long as you're still building this is great, but don't forget that in the later game when you're picking up victory cards, you wish this weren't only a Copper. Yeah, and of course this is horrible for Big Money, no doubt.
#22 ▲17 Ironworks (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 56.8% ▲16.4pp / Unweighted Average: 52.6% / Median: 53.6% ▲17.1pp / Standard Deviation: 20.2%

Ironworks is even a bigger winner than Quarry: 17 ranks and 16pp better, that's quite a change. It's also underrated by newer players as it would be 6 ranks worse in the unweighted list.

Ironworks is the superior Workshop which was pretty low on the $3 list and is better than Armory. Does it deserve a higher rating? The biggest bonus for getting a lot of wanted action cards like Caravan is: Ironworks is non-terminal. So you can get Ironworks with Ironworks and then quickly get Caravans or other $4 cards. Being an Intrigue card it also combos nice with dual-type cards, so getting Great Halls or Islands makes Ironworks a cantrip. And it also works better in Gardens or Silk Road games for getting an additional card and increasing the probability getting to $4. So, it's great in getting cheap engine pieces without having to spend an action, but still the most important cards cost $5 and Ironworks doesn't help you to get to $5 which makes Ironworks still ignorable on many boards.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 02:56:05 pm by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2014, 12:39:29 pm »
+7

The Best $4 Cards - Part 5/6

#21 ▼7 Salvager (Seaside) Weighted Average: 63.8% ▼7.4pp / Unweighted Average: 61.7% / Median: 66.1% ▼10.8pp / Standard Deviation: 22.1%

We're making a jump of over 7pp and Salvager is now the first tier 2 card. It was voted 14 times below 30% and once on the first rank.

Salvager is one of the best trash-for-benefit cards. It's not that a great starter, but still a good card to pick up early. Later in the game you generally want to trash your best card, so you can trash a Gold for an easy Province, maybe even for a double Province. Then you have a significant lead and can salvage your Province for another one, accelerating the game, so that your opponent can't come back. So, it's useful on many boards.
#20 ▼4 Conspirator (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 64.7% ▼0.1pp / Unweighted Average: 63.8% / Median: 64.3% ▼4.7pp / Standard Deviation: 19.3%

Conspirator has basically the same average value, but is still 4 ranks worse than last time. It would be one rank higher in the unweighted list. It was voted 7 times below 30% and on the first rank twice.

Conspirator is so strong, but heavily depends on supporting cards that have to be non-terminal. Cheap action cards like Wishing Well, Pearl Diver or Hamlet that you can pick up in masses, especially with additional buys are great with Conspirator. You want thin decks with high action density. With that big support, this is a Grand Market just without the additional buy. In all other cases, you have to skip over Conspirator, because it's just a terminal Silver then.
#19 ▲1 Smithy (Base) Weighted Average: 65.1% ▲4.3pp / Unweighted Average: 63.4% / Median: 62.5% ▲2.9pp / Standard Deviation: 18.7%

Smithy is only 0.4pp better than Conspirator, but would be worse than it in the unweighted ranking. It's one rank and over 4pp better than last year. It was voted only 4 times below 30% and has one vote on #1.

This is maybe the simplest card when you're learning Dominion. It has so few text, but is yet very powerful. It introduced us to the card drawing mechanism, the key card for Big Money and engines. In the base set Double-Smithy was still good, but the value dropped down. BM-Smithy is still the way to go on many boards, and if you need a card drawer for a good working engine, Smithy is still a good pick.
#18 Herald (Guilds) Weighted Average: 65.3% / Unweighted Average: 63.9% / Median: 67.9% / Standard Deviation: 24.7%

Herald is the second best Guilds card in this list and only 0.2pp better than Smithy. It has the third highest deviation in this list with 4 first ranks and 17 votes below 30%.

Herald digs for Action cards just like Golem, but while Golem is great to find your few key action cards and play them more often, Herald is great when you have a high action density. Herald itself doesn't enable engines, but just makes them stronger because when Herald suceeds in hitting an action cards, it's just like an activated City. The overpay effect only makes it stronger and can be neat sometimes to setup some nice turns or to trigger your Treasure Maps, but the on-play effect is what makes it strong.
#17 ▼1 Throne Room (Base) Weighted Average: 65.7% ▲1.0pp / Unweighted Average: 64.3% / Median: 67.9% ▲2.5pp / Standard Deviation: 22.8%

Throne Room is only 0.4pp better than Herald, is 1pp better than last year, but still lost one rank. It was voted 12 times below 30% and has 2 first ranks.

As already mentioned in the Procession summary Throne Room for itself basically does nothing and is highly dependant on the other cards on the board, so it's hard to rank. It can be so strong, especially with strong attacks and with terminal card drawers too. But nothing is more depressing than drawing Throne Room with no other action card. So you need a high action density and hope to draw it with that card you really want to double. You can also use it as a pseudo-village if there's no-one available and really need one, if you double a cantrip. Throne Room can really be a game-changer, especially if you have the luck and draw it with the right cards, but it can also be a trap if the engine really has no payload that would be worth it to "double play" it.
#16 Plaza (Guilds) Weighted Average: 66.3% / Unweighted Average: 66.1% / Median: 67.9% / Standard Deviation: 17.1%

Plaza is the best ranked Guilds card and the third best village in this list. It would be one rank higher in the unweighted list. It was voted 16 times below average and has one first rank.

Plaza is the new $4 village variant that generates you coin tokens. As coin tokens are very powerful, there is no doubt Plaza is very strong on its own. It's especially strong if you have an engine that draws itself, then you can discard treasure cards and draw them again what makes Plaza stronger than Bazaar. But it also shines in weaker engines where your money has to come from treasure cards to smooth out your buys early on, hit Province regularly later on, and prevent you from stalling while Duchy dancing as you can save tokens for the late Province.
#15 ▲8 Spice Merchant (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 66.8% ▲13.7pp / Unweighted Average: 65.0% / Median: 66.7% ▲14.8pp / Standard Deviation: 19.3%

Spice Merchant was one of the big winners in the last list and is one of the big winners in this list again: It's 8 ranks and over 13pp better, not bad at all! It would be one rank lower in the unweighted list. It was voted 21 times below average and has 2 first ranks.

Spice Merchant is a very flexible trasher and the comparism to Moneylender is obvious. It produces less money for the cost of an additional buy. It can really shine if you want a non-terminal trasher for example in combination with Minions (its option +2 cards, +1 action basically restores the hand size) and if there's no other +Buy and you really need one. It's therefore more flexible (not limited to Copper and two options to choose from) but a slower opener as it's harder to get to $5 early on. It may be still useful later on, but it can lead to very hard decisions if you really want to trash that Silver. Spice Merchant / Ambassador used to be the third best Ambassador opening on Councilroom, because you can trash coppers you get from your opponent and still play your Ambassador with a full hand what is very strong.
#14 ▲3 Worker's Village (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 69.1% ▲6.8pp / Unweighted Average: 66.4% / Median: 69.6% ▲10.0pp / Standard Deviation: 19.7%

Worker's Village is three ranks and nearly 7pp better than last year and the second best village in this list. It was voted 19 times below average and on the first rank once.

If you build an engine, you need villages, draw, money and buys. Fishing Village is good because it is reliable and gives you money. Worker's Village gives you the additional buy - you have it included in your village so you don't need a separate card for that. So, a lot of the times when this is available an engine is possible. It's also great picking up additional Peddlers in masses, comboes great with Highway and is excellent with Goons where you need as many buys as you can get. There is no doubt that it's one of the best villages in this list.
#13 ▼2 Marauder (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 71.6% ▼0.5pp / Unweighted Average: 71.0% / Median: 78.6% ▼2.2pp / Standard Deviation: 22.7%

Marauder is not the best Dark Ages card anymore. It has nearly the same average value, but dropped 2 ranks. It was voted 26 times below average and has 2 first ranks.

Maruder is the Dark Ages variant of Sea Hag. The attack isn't that bad. Curses are worse than Ruins and of course Curses on top of your deck are really nasty. But Marauder gives you Spoils which are very useful to get to a crucial $5 or even a Gold. So, ignoring Marauder can be devastating, but Sea Hag is still the better attack.
#12 ▼4 Caravan (Seaside) Weighted Average: 71.9% ▼3.6pp / Unweighted Average: 72.6% / Median: 75.0% ▼3.8pp / Standard Deviation: 19.9%

Caravan is only 0.3pp better than Marauder, it was close. But it lost a bit in points and is 4 ranks worse than last year. It was voted 13 times below average and has 2 first ranks.

Caravan is the worse Laboratory, because it has a delayed benefit and can miss the reshuffle and therefore you cannot play it that often. But still a bigger hand size from a nonterminal card is great. Only Big Money decks don't necessarily profit from it, so almost all decks can need a Caravan. Getting all Caravans is still not key to win the game, but if you get them quick (e.g. from Talisman or Ironworks), this can really make a huge difference. So this is almost a must-buy for all good engines. And that a slightly weaker Laboratory costs $4 and therefore easy to pick up makes it a great card. Caravan / Ambassador and Caravan / Masquerade used to be high-tier openings on Councilroom and was only beaten by the respective Tournament openings.
#11 ▼2 Bishop (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 72.9% ▼1.8pp / Unweighted Average: 73.9% / Median: 76.8% ▼2.0pp / Standard Deviation: 18.4%

Bishop is slightly worse than last year and dropped 2 ranks. It would be 3 ranks higher in the unweighted ranking. It was voted 14 times below average and 2 times first.

Bishop is very strong, but the problem is the free trashing your opponent gets. So, it's questionable as an opener and really depends on the board. What makes it strong? A trashed Estate nets you already 1 point more without having it in your deck. You can also buy Duchies and trash them for the same VP or Provinces for one point less, but they aren't in your deck anymore which is great. In other scenarios you can trash a Gold late for additional 4VP. That's especially great if you get the Gold for free through Hoard, Tunnel or Market Square (which Bishop itself can activate). There is also a strategy called "Golden Deck" where you trash down to 4 cards (Bishop and 3 Treasures which give at least $7), buy a Province and trash it in the next turn, buying the next province, etc. what gives you 5 VP per turn guaranteed. With 4 Bishops and 4 Fortresses you get even 12 VP per turn without having to buy Provinces. But if you're building an engine, use the free trashing of your opponents and get the Bishop later in the game. And discarding attacks like Militia really hurt Bishop too.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 07:49:54 am by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2014, 12:39:35 pm »
+7

The Best $4 Cards - Part 6/6

#10 =0 Bridge (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 76.4% ▲1.9pp / Unweighted Average: 73.8% / Median: 78.6% ▲1.7pp / Standard Deviation: 20.2%

Bridge stayed on the same rank and is slightly better than last year. It was voted 14 times below average and 5 times on the first rank. It would be one rank higher in the unweighted ranking.

Bridge is a very nice card. If you buy only one card, it's not more than a terminal Silver. If you use both buys, it's a terminal Gold for $4, pretty solid, but still not so exciting. But its power rises the more you can play in one turn. With 2 Bridges and you use all 3 buys, they are worth $8, so $4 per Bridge. Its value increases quadratically. With n Bridges you have nē+2n coins if you use every buy. So if you manage to play 7 Bridges and an additional copper, you can buy all 8 Provinces in one turn. The problem is still how to do that. You need enough actions and/or enough drawing power. You definitely need supporters. With a 5-card hand of 2 King's Courts and 3 Bridges, you can accomplish this easily. But also other cards like Tactician and Native Village are great supporters. If there aren't good supporters for 3-piling or mega-turning, Bridge can be a trap card. But if there are cheap engine components and you have enough Actions available Bridge can still be a very important card.
#9 ▼2 Militia (Base) Weighted Average: 76.6% ▲0.4pp / Unweighted Average: 73.1% / Median: 80.4% ▼0.4pp / Standard Deviation: 21.1%

Militia has nearly the same average value, but still dropped two ranks. It was voted 15 votes below average and on the first rank once. It would be 2 ranks lower in the unweighted list.

Militia is another card from the base set and it's the best in this list. Discarding attacks are really annoying and can really hurt some decks. It's great against decks with trashers as the opponent mostly has to choose between buying a good card and discarding the trasher or trash 1-2 cards and buy nothing. Militia is also a good opener as it is also a terminal silver and stops your opponent getting to $5 or $6 early. And if you can play it each turn, this is great. You can combo this with Council Room / Governor and your opponent doesn't get the benefit of the additional card, or play Militia and Masquerade afterwards what could really hurt. But there are situations when Militia isn't that strong, especially if there are cursers on the board, or if there are effective counters like Watchtower, Horse Traders, Library, Jack of All Trades or Menagerie on the board.
#8 ▼2 Monument (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 76.7% ▼5.6pp / Unweighted Average: 74.8% / Median: 78.6% ▼7.1pp / Standard Deviation: 19.6%

Monument is only 0.07pp better than Militia, very close. It lost 2 ranks as well, but lost significantly more percentage points. It was voted 14 times below average and has 3 first ranks. In the unweighted list it would be one rank higher.

You want to pick up Monument early in the game, because the more you play it, the more it's worth it. It's good in quick games without good additional buys, where it can help you to force your opponent to a 5/3 Province split to win the game. And it's good in decks where you can guarantee to play your Monument regularly. So, one Monument is a great addition to a Hunting Party deck. Monument is also the only infinite VP generating card in the game. With a 5 card hand of 2 King's Courts and 3 Monuments you are guaranteed 9 VP per turn. But as it is terminal and when there are very good attacks on the board, then you have to ignore it.
#7 ▲21 Wandering Minstrel (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 77.1% ▲24.8pp / Unweighted Average: 73.5% / Median: 80.4% ▲30.4pp / Standard Deviation: 20.4%

Wandering Minstrel is now the best $4 village and what a big change to last year! It's 21 ranks and nearly 25 percentage points better, that's a huge change. It was voted 16 times below average and 3 times first. It would be 3 ranks lower in the unweighted list.

Wandering Minstrel is the best village you can get if you want your engine to be reliable. It's great if there is only weak trashing available, so that can still find your key Actions regularly. You might even want to pick it up only for the cycling effect, even if you don't need the actions. True, in games with Cultist or Marauder, it's terrible, but that's one of the few cases where you prefer a different $4 village over it. Also, you might top-deck terminal actions for your next turn without having a village in the next hand, but then that's just a sign that you don't have enough Wandering Minstrels yet. It's great if your money comes from action cards (like a Conspirator chain, even with mediocre trashing) or if your money comes from Treasure cards, because you still want to play your Wharves or other draw cards first before you get the treasure cards in hand. Also Wishing Well or Herald combos very well with it.
#6 ▼1 Young Witch (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 78.1% ▼12.0pp / Unweighted Average: 76.0% / Median: 83.9% ▼8.4pp / Standard Deviation: 22.6%

Young Witch did only lose one rank, but it did lose quite a bit in points as it's 12pp worse than last time. The deviation is also pretty high for a such high ranked card as it was voted 22 times below average and has 4 first ranks at the same time.

Young Witch is a curser which generally is very strong and only costs $4, so this is huge! But you are guaranteed that there's a Moat-like bane card in the setup. If you would have bought this card either way, YW is mostly not worth it and skippable, especially if the bane is Lighthouse (it defends now in hand and in play) or Scheme (just return it again and again). But with a weak bane like Embargo YW is very strong as a curser and has still the draw-and-discard filter advantage. This leads to one of the most-fun synergies: Young Witch and Tunnel. Giving out curses and getting Gold at the same time is great.
#5 ▲8 Ironmonger (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 81.4% ▲15.2pp / Unweighted Average: 78.8% / Median: 83.9% ▲17.9pp / Standard Deviation: 18.9%

Ironmonger is now the best Dark Ages card in this list. It's 8 ranks higher and over 15pp better, not too shabby. It was voted 11 times below average and on the first rank twice.

Ironmonger is good when the top card is a Victory card because you can discard it and draw a new card, in this case a better Laboratory. If you reveal a Treasure card it's also good, then you have a Peddler that even discards Coppers. If you reveal an Action, it's mediocre because then it's a Village. But still this can be neat when there's no village available. You get no bonus with Hovel or Curses, but you can still discard them which is not ignore. So mostly Ironmongers are just great. But it's even better with dual-type cards like Great Hall, Nobles and Harem.
#4 ▼2 Jack of all Trades (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 87.4% ▼4.9pp / Unweighted Average: 85.5% / Median: 92.9% ▼1.3pp / Standard Deviation: 16.6%

Jack of All Trades, a former #1, is now only #4, losing 2 ranks and nearly 5pp. It was voted 8 times below average and 12 times on the first rank. In the unweighted ranking it's one rank higher.

Nobody saw that coming when Hinterlands came out. JoaT seems so weak, but it isn't. It seems he does nothing good, he's slowing in trashing, draws few cards and let you get a Silver and has a Spy effect. But it is so strong because it's a very good counter against nearly all attacks. Just buy 2 JoaT and you can skip the cursing attack while you're going for Big Money. Yes, it's boring, but effective. It's weaker in Colony games because of the Silver and there are still situations where a thin deck with an obvious engine or a rush is stronger, but if you feel unsure, JoaT is always a good buy, if you stick to it. It has also some nice synergies with cards that decrease hand size like Warehouse, Fishing Village, Oasis, Forager, Candlestick Maker, Squire to just name a few and also Copper trashing in Spice Merchant or Lookout are great with Jack. And you even can include it in your engine for your draw and money generation. It's therefore a versatile card that you can rarely ignore.
#3 =0 Remake (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 87.5% ▼3.5pp / Unweighted Average: 81.7% / Median: 92.9% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 23.0%

Remake is on the same rank, but lost a bit in points. It has a pretty high deviation for a card ranked so high. It was voted 13 times below average and also 13 times on the first rank.

If you compare Remake to Chapel, it can only trash 2 cards at a time but at the same time let you get 3 Silvers in your deck. And if there are good $2 cards on the board, you can buy a good card for the last two Copper in your hand too. You can get high quality decks really fast. Later it gets nearly as useless as Chapel, but even sometimes you could do cool tricks later (for example especially with Fortress) and also at that time this doesn't bother you too much. With Shelters and Poor House the interaction changes a little bit and makes it a little bit weaker, but it's still a must buy on many boards.
#2 ▲2 Tournament (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 88.5% ▼2.0pp / Unweighted Average: 86.2% / Median: 91.1% ▼1.2pp / Standard Deviation: 14.9%

Tournament is 2 ranks higher despite having lost a bit in points. It was voted only 4 times below average and 14 times on the first rank.

Many hate Treasure Map for being so luck-based. Tournament is also very luck-based as you have to pair a Province and a Tournament. If you manage to do that you get one of 5 prices that are so strong that Donald X. didn't want to realize these ideas as "normal" cards. So, Tournament is in fact a very good card. The prizes will be part of a different ranking, but how do you manage to get a Tournament and Province in hand? It's the same as with Treasure Map. Either trash down to few cards (e.g. Chapel), get a big hand size (e.g. Tactician), or cycle through your deck with sifters (e.g. Warehouse). Also there is the possibility to spam Tournaments which are at least nonterminal and good cards for themselves - at least until your opponent gets Provinces. It's not surprising that Tournament had 3 spots in the Top 10 with Ambassador, Chapel and Masquerade on the Councilroom best openings list.
#1 =0 Sea Hag (Seaside) Weighted Average: 88.5% ▼9.0pp / Unweighted Average: 87.1% / Median: 94.6% ▼3.5pp / Standard Deviation: 17.1%

Like in the $3 list: What a nail-biter. Sea Hag only won by 0.006pp, basically nothing. But Sea Hag is #1 again. It dropped a lot in points, but it was enough. It was voted 6 times below average and 26 times on the first rank.

Sea Hag is a curser that has a big first-player advantage as you may discard your opponents Sea Hag in turn 3 and because the curse goes on top of the deck, this hurts your opponent even more than all other cursers in the game. Upgrade, Junk Dealer and Lookout trash from the top of the deck and counter Sea Hag well, but if they aren't present the top-decked Curse hurts a lot and makes the game very slow, but you can rarely skip Sea Hag. The biggest problem of Sea Hag is: it hurts your oppenent more, but it doesn't give you any benefit (like most of the other attacks do). So every Sea Hag is later a dead Sea Hag if the Curse pile is empty (and is basically a Curse for itself too), so if your deck can handle the Curses you might be able to ignore it. And don't forget to build up your economy as Sea Hag doesn't help you now to accomplish this. That may be the reason that Sea Hag / Fool's Gold is one of the best Sea Hag openings because you get a lot of $2-$3 hands for more Fool's Gold and with at least 2 Fool's Gold it's even better as Silver.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 10:03:56 am by Qvist »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2014, 01:28:22 pm »
+2

Scout has its uses.

Not sure I agree with this, simulation suggests 0 is almost always the optimal number of Scouts.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2014, 01:38:37 pm »
+1

Wow, how is Taxman not in the bottom?  Really?  I don't think I'm even underestimating it here, it seems actively bad for your deck a lot of the time.  In fairness, a lot of $4 cards are pretty bad on average.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2014, 01:52:51 pm »
+3

Pirate Ship, overrated as always. I'm not even convinced that it is better than Thief.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 02:24:37 pm »
+1

I'm shocked to see treasure map here. I didn't expect that at all. Lower than navigator? Lower than freaking pirate ship? wow, that's... i don't know. it's so much better than either of those. it's also better than some cards who aren't even in this list, like death cart and talisman. it may become most underrated card of the year in my book...
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 02:27:43 pm by silverspawn »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2014, 03:41:35 pm »
+3

Scout has its uses.

Not sure I agree with this, simulation suggests 0 is almost always the optimal number of Scouts.
Simulation doesn't suggest that it's almost always the optimal number of Scouts. Simulation suggests that if you always have the same number of Scouts, that number should be 0. Scout does have its uses, and in specific situations, those uses can be a reason why you want to buy it, but simulators don't take into account specific situations.

Pirate Ship, overrated as always. I'm not even convinced that it is better than Thief.
I agree it's overrated, definitely worse than Bureaucrat. But I'm convinced that it is better than Thief; it functions as an attack and as a payload for an engine in a single stop card, Thief does the same thing but with extra stop cards.

I'm shocked to see treasure map here. I didn't expect that at all. Lower than navigator? Lower than freaking pirate ship? wow, that's... i don't know. it's so much better than either of those. it's also better than some cards who aren't even in this list, like death cart and talisman. it may become most underrated card of the year in my book...
Well, what's the last time you went for Treasure Maps and your opponent didn't and you won?

Then, take into account that it's mostly useful in situations where you probably were winning anyway. Pirate Ship and Death Cart can turn games you would have lost into victories (usually they don't, but at least it's possible), and Talisman is actually worth buying pretty often (for picking up engine pieces faster in the early game, for example). Navigator is very bad, but... it really just is very bad. But it's pretty good with Rebuild, it counters Ghost Ship as long as you have the extra actions available and there's the Magical Royal Seal/Navigator combo that I still can't explain, but somehow it just works.

EDIT: Also, I think Coppersmith is better than Treasure Map or Navigator.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 04:18:44 pm by Awaclus »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2014, 03:42:40 pm »
+2

you forgot to mention feast Procession, it can be very good getting 3 $5 cards
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2014, 06:18:50 pm »
0

Well, what's the last time you went for Treasure Maps and your opponent didn't and you won?

By this standard, Mountebank isn't very good, either. I mean, okay, treasure map is pretty bad. But it can be good, it can be so obviously good that my opponent goes for it, too. I play against good players. Doesn't mean the card wasn't good there. The other thing about treasure map is, while sometimes you boom, go for it right away, generally it's more suited to: Build an engine, get two maps, boom economy. Now this isn't that great, because there's usually some better topper for your deck than 4 golds, but hey, it can work.

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 06:25:30 pm »
0

Wow, how is Taxman not in the bottom?  Really?  I don't think I'm even underestimating it here, it seems actively bad for your deck a lot of the time.  In fairness, a lot of $4 cards are pretty bad on average.

Yeah, I'm really curious why people didn't put it down here.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 08:27:16 pm »
+2

Wow, how is Taxman not in the bottom?  Really?  I don't think I'm even underestimating it here, it seems actively bad for your deck a lot of the time.  In fairness, a lot of $4 cards are pretty bad on average.

There are a lot of cases where Taxman is good. It has its uses on engine boards. It disrupts your opponents turn and also increases your economy while not adding extra treasures to your deck. I admit that it is not much better than Mine, but it still is a little bit better.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2014, 12:30:45 pm »
+1

Wow, how is Taxman not in the bottom?  Really?  I don't think I'm even underestimating it here, it seems actively bad for your deck a lot of the time.  In fairness, a lot of $4 cards are pretty bad on average.

There are a lot of cases where Taxman is good. It has its uses on engine boards. It disrupts your opponents turn and also increases your economy while not adding extra treasures to your deck. I admit that it is not much better than Mine, but it still is a little bit better.

I agree that Taxman is a card you usually rather want to skip, but it certainly has its uses so I understand why it's not in the bottom cards. I'm quite sure it will follow in the next 10 though. Let's compare it to Bureaucrat which is one of the highest cards at the bottom here: In the early game Both have a small attack that will most likely decrease your opponents buying power by 1 at the turn it kicks in. But Bureaucrats attack kicks in one turn later than Taxmans which is a big difference. The second advantage of Taxman is that it also trashes a copper in early game. Both cards then put a silver on top of your deck. The major advantage of Bureaucrat is that it doesn't hurt your current turn as much as Taxman does but i think the trashed copper usually about makes up for that. Later in the game Bureaucrat might oftern fail its attack part completely if estates are thinned out or just the deck size increases without green cards being added, while Taxmans attack can still be a little more stable and you always have the choice which treasure you want to upgrade. Also Taxmans power increases a lot if it is a colony game, where Bureaucrat is usually a really bad card. For those reasons i totally agree that Taxman should be higher than Bureaucrat and therefore not be in those bottom cards.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2014, 12:38:39 pm »
0

Wow, how is Taxman not in the bottom?  Really?  I don't think I'm even underestimating it here, it seems actively bad for your deck a lot of the time.  In fairness, a lot of $4 cards are pretty bad on average.

There are a lot of cases where Taxman is good. It has its uses on engine boards. It disrupts your opponents turn and also increases your economy while not adding extra treasures to your deck. I admit that it is not much better than Mine, but it still is a little bit better.

I agree that Taxman is a card you usually rather want to skip, but it certainly has its uses so I understand why it's not in the bottom cards. I'm quite sure it will follow in the next 10 though. Let's compare it to Bureaucrat which is one of the highest cards at the bottom here: In the early game Both have a small attack that will most likely decrease your opponents buying power by 1 at the turn it kicks in. But Bureaucrats attack kicks in one turn later than Taxmans which is a big difference. The second advantage of Taxman is that it also trashes a copper in early game. Both cards then put a silver on top of your deck. The major advantage of Bureaucrat is that it doesn't hurt your current turn as much as Taxman does but i think the trashed copper usually about makes up for that. Later in the game Bureaucrat might oftern fail its attack part completely if estates are thinned out or just the deck size increases without green cards being added, while Taxmans attack can still be a little more stable and you always have the choice which treasure you want to upgrade. Also Taxmans power increases a lot if it is a colony game, where Bureaucrat is usually a really bad card. For those reasons i totally agree that Taxman should be higher than Bureaucrat and therefore not be in those bottom cards.
Also, Taxman's attack is brutal in engines vs. Big Money if you're drawing your entire deck and the card you topdeck with Taxman anyway.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2014, 05:04:25 pm »
+1

Quote
Well, what's the last time you went for Treasure Maps and your opponent didn't and you won?
today :)

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2014, 06:23:53 pm »
0

Quote
Well, what's the last time you went for Treasure Maps and your opponent didn't and you won?
today :)
Then, take into account that it's mostly useful in situations where you probably were winning anyway.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2014, 06:58:11 pm »
+1

Quote
Well, what's the last time you went for Treasure Maps and your opponent didn't and you won?
today :)
Then, take into account that it's mostly useful in situations where you probably were winning anyway.

i bought it turn 3-.-

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2014, 07:12:47 pm »
0

Coppersmith, Treasure Map, Spy, Bureaucrat and Navigator are all hands-down better than Pirate Ship.  I had PS at #54, ahead of Feast but now that I think about it I should have had PS at #55 and Feast at #54.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2014, 07:28:15 pm »
0

I think there is a big gap between scout and thief, and another big gap between Thief and all the others. Overall, I agree with the list. But besides Scout and Thief, I would agree with any order between the other cards. It's really hard to compare all these, their uses are so much different.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2014, 08:42:11 pm »
0

Pretty much agree with the bottom. I have Pirate Ship at #46 and Feodum at #49, but all the others are in my bottom, as well.

I suspect Taxman won't be too far out of the very bottom..... I have it at #48.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards (Part 2/6)
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2014, 08:19:24 am »
0

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2014 Edition: $4 cards (Part 2/6)
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2014, 08:39:58 am »
0

First !

Even though I didn't post (I didn't even play DA and guilds) I wondered about Advisor and Feodum a lot...
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