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Author Topic: Mulligans in Dominion?  (Read 4793 times)

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Davio

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Mulligans in Dominion?
« on: December 08, 2011, 04:27:19 pm »
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Time for another thought experiment, which can easily be tried in real life if someone wants to.

My last one seemed like a good idea to myself at first, but got discredited quite easily: No Waste Dominion

Mulligans
In Magic, players can mulligan their starting hand and draw a new hand of one less card and go on until they are satisfied. Players start with 7 cards and sometimes go down even until they have just 4! I don't actually play Magic myself, so I don't know if this is 100% correct, but you get the gist of it.

I was wondering if this could be something for Dominion: During clean-up phase, if you are not satisfied with your new 5 card hand, you can discard it and draw 4. You can repeat this process, drawing one less card each time, until you are satisfied.

Apart from the obvious slowdowns this will cause, I wonder if the strategic aspect is interesting to those wanting to make Dominion a more strategic game. The amount of strategy a game has, is directly linked with the number of decisions a player can make. In Dominion, most decisions occur during the buy phase. In a regular game a player doesn't have to make more than ~20 decisions (random number pulled out of thin air).

Of course, the quick cycling is going to be big, primarily in the beginning of the game.

Any thoughts?
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rrenaud

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2011, 04:35:42 pm »
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Library ;).

I think there are some cards that sort of do this already, like warehouse and cellar.
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rinkworks

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011, 04:37:58 pm »
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It sounds like a cool idea, but let's do some math:

5 card starting hand + 4 card replacement hand + 3 card replacement hand + 2 card replacement hand + 1 card replacement hand = 15 cards

So until your hand is >15 cards, you can pretty much guarantee you'll draw your Golem every turn, which means playing your two Torturers every turn, which both slam your opponents and give you at least a six-card hand for your buy phase.  Then, even with >15 cards, you'll still usually get to it.

Of course it takes some time to put that deck together, but you can start out by buying a single Torturer and playing that every turn until you can accumulate the other pieces.  Your opponent, meanwhile, will be returning fire, I suppose, so it's not unfair, just...violent.

With heavy trashing, the game won't change as much.  But you won't need it as much, as you can always skip a bad hand.  So Curses and Coppers won't matter as much, and you can start greening earlier.  Possibly MUCH earlier.

Edit: Tunnel suddenly became even more awesome.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 09:16:58 am by rinkworks »
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ftl

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 05:55:24 pm »
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Other effects - it introduces a difference between a 5/2 start and a 2/5 start.

If I start 5/2, then I buy a 5-cost card, presumably a good one, and then mulligan my 2 coppers and 3 estates, hoping to draw my 5-cost card on the second turn. The other way around, on the other hand, doesn't work - if I start 2/5, I can't mulligan my 2 coppers and 3 estates, because then I'd draw 4 copper and not 5. I still might want to do it, but with the power of 5-cost cards, there's a big difference between starting 5/nothing and 4/nothing. 

Even bigger difference between a 5/2 start and a 3/4 start with an attack on the board. With 5, I open witch, and use mulligans to GUARANTEE that I play it every turn. If I open 5 and go first, then I can get two curses in your deck before the traditional time of your second reshuffle. Whereas you can't afford to mulligan until you also get your witch because you need to draw $5 with 4 cards - not straightforward in the early game.

Sort of scary.
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Davio

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 03:12:28 am »
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Okay, so how about some restrictions?

You can only mulligan after the first reshuffle and you can only mulligan once during clean-up, going down from 5 to 4 cards.

Tunnel doesn't work, because you're still in the Clean-Up phase.
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rinkworks

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 09:17:15 am »
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Tunnel doesn't work, because you're still in the Clean-Up phase.

Ah, right.  Oops.
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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2011, 07:32:37 pm »
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What if you made Mulligans a Duration-Action card? It does something on the turn it is played, then while it is in play, you can mulligan your hand for as many times as you want to.
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popsofctown

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 05:50:32 am »
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There's nothing wrong with this as a ground floor idea but I anticipate responses to the effect of "this or that card is imbalanced because the kingdom cards weren't designed with this rule in mind", and they'll probably be right.
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rinkworks

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 11:14:45 am »
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What if you made Mulligans a Duration-Action card? It does something on the turn it is played, then while it is in play, you can mulligan your hand for as many times as you want to.

Now that's a good idea.  Something like this?

Carey Mulligan
$5 - Action
Now and at the start of your next turn: +1 Buy, +$1.
--
During the clean-up phase of each turn this is in play, you may immediately discard any new hand you draw.  If you do, draw a new hand consisting of one card less than the number of cards in the hand you discarded.


It's sort of a super-Navigator now, I guess.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2011, 05:10:17 pm »
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How about this as a Reaction effect?

When another player plays an Attack card, you may reveal this from your hand. If you do, set aside your hand and draw 5 cards. At the start of your next turn, return the set-aside cards to your discard pile.
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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 01:45:06 am »
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You can only mulligan after the first reshuffle and you can only mulligan once during clean-up, going down from 5 to 4 cards.

It's called Minion.
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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 03:22:51 am »
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You can only mulligan after the first reshuffle and you can only mulligan once during clean-up, going down from 5 to 4 cards.

It's called Minion.

That's a rather shallow way of thinking about mulligans because the only similarity to Minion is in its discard effect. The strength of Minion lies in its ability to both generate money and cycle, letting you get to the other minions for more money. A mulligan won't generate money and will cycle much less than minions will.

It's not even that similar to being attacked by a Minion, because you are forced to discard. A mulligan gives you the choice to discard, which gives you much greater flexibility in determining whether a hand of 4 upcoming cards will be better than the current 5-card hand.
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Kuildeous

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 11:30:19 am »
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That's a rather shallow way of thinking about mulligans because the only similarity to Minion is in its discard effect. The strength of Minion lies in its ability to both generate money and cycle, letting you get to the other minions for more money. A mulligan won't generate money and will cycle much less than minions will.

Another strength of the Minion is that you can play nonterminals before discarding your hand. If you draw four Festivals and a Minion, you can get $8 off the bat before "mulliganing" and getting four new cards. If you draw a hand of four Festivals and choose to mulligan (for some strange reason), you get four new cards and no additional money. So, yeah, comparing the mulligan concept with the Minion card doesn't really work.

I remember mulligans in my Magic days, but there was no diminishing returns. If the first hand had no source of mana (the equivalent of treasure in Dominion), then you could reshuffle and draw a new opening hand. There were no further mulligans. If you couldn't get land in the second attempt, then your deck just sucks. *grin*  Granted, that was more than a decade ago, so things may have changed now.

I think a Dominion mulligan could be tempered by adding a Chancellor effect. If you don't like your hand, you shuffle everything and draw your new four (or three or two) cards. You can't go fishing for your Witch, unless you have a lean enough deck that you stand a good chance of drawing a Witch if you mulligan every time you play it.

That has its own strategy to work with. Cycling decks would no longer be an issue. You wouldn't need Warehouse or Chancellor as much (or maybe even at all). This can be mitigated by shuffling your hand into your deck and not touching the discard pile. So, it's more like an Inn. This means that you're not really improving your game overall. You're just improving that one hand by having those four victory cards spread out through your deck. This would make some mulligans more useful than others. If you have one card left in your deck, then a mulligan will be less useful than if you had 15.
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Elyv

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Re: Mulligans in Dominion?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 11:35:15 am »
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That's a rather shallow way of thinking about mulligans because the only similarity to Minion is in its discard effect. The strength of Minion lies in its ability to both generate money and cycle, letting you get to the other minions for more money. A mulligan won't generate money and will cycle much less than minions will.

Another strength of the Minion is that you can play nonterminals before discarding your hand. If you draw four Festivals and a Minion, you can get $8 off the bat before "mulliganing" and getting four new cards. If you draw a hand of four Festivals and choose to mulligan (for some strange reason), you get four new cards and no additional money. So, yeah, comparing the mulligan concept with the Minion card doesn't really work.

I remember mulligans in my Magic days, but there was no diminishing returns. If the first hand had no source of mana (the equivalent of treasure in Dominion), then you could reshuffle and draw a new opening hand. There were no further mulligans. If you couldn't get land in the second attempt, then your deck just sucks. *grin*  Granted, that was more than a decade ago, so things may have changed now.
The mulligan rules changed quite a while ago. Now you can mulligan any number of times for whatever reason you want, but each time you draw one less card than you did the previous time.
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