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Author Topic: Rank the Promo Cards  (Read 12973 times)

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philosophyguy

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Rank the Promo Cards
« on: December 09, 2011, 05:54:30 pm »
+1

I haven't seen a ranking of the promotional cards yet, so I thought I'd start one.

#5: Walled Village

Yawn. Unlike most of the Village + a bonus cards, the Walled Village's bonus is something you don't want to take advantage of. If you're regularly putting your Walled Village back on top of your deck, you shouldn't have bought a village in the first place. It's nice when you get a bad draw, but most of the time there's no reason to prefer this village over the vanilla version.

#4: Stash

Stash's mechanic is a fun novelty, but in terms of gameplay it's only mediocre. Stash is usually just a Silver with the ability to show up in groups. Masters of deck reshuffles can certainly exploit Stash, and it makes the Chancellor a much stronger card. But, your opponent can also take advantage of your Stashes with deck attacks. Stash, like Silver, is usually not a bad purchase, but you hope for more at the $5 level.

#3: Black Market

Black Market adds a lot of variance to the game. If you're lucky enough to get a curser/VP chip/village when none of those cards are present in the normal kingdom, you're in great shape. But, most of the time Black Market is a terminal Silver, and if your opponent happens to get the King's Court out of the Black Market: gg.

In some Kingdoms, Black Market's ability to play Treasures during your Action phase allows some crazy hijinks. Tactician is the obvious example, but cards like like Quarry/Workshop and Library-type drawing also benefit from Black Market.

Playing Black Market in real life does add the mess of setting up the Black Market deck, but overall Black Market is a fun card and a middle-of-the-road buy.

#2: Envoy

Envoy sets the baseline for Big Money in Province games and shouldn't be overlooked in any setup when it appears. Why does it only get a #2 ranking? Well, Smithy is almost as good in most decks. Envoy provides a little more interaction and can sometimes offer difficult dilemmas (do I let my opponent draw the Province and hope he doesn't have a Tournament, or do I make him discard the Gold?), but there's enough overlap between the two to knock Envoy out of the top spot.

Which leaves…#1: Governor

Governor hits the sweet spot of flexibility and strategic choices. None of its three options are bad, but making the right choice in a particular situation requires not only keeping track of your deck, but also your opponent's deck. Gaining a Gold is powerful; is a Silver going to give your opponent too much of an economic boost or will it clutter his engine cards? The drawing option is a non-terminal Smithy, but giving your opponent an extra card is a steep cost. Finally, the remodel effect can create some insane endgame turns, but it can backfire if your opponent turns $4s into Duchies or takes an early opportunity to trash cards.
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 05:58:03 pm »
0

5 Walled Village => worst village around
4 Black Market => rather random, but mostly a shiny trap
3 Stash => one of the worst Silver variants, but in boring kingdoms still rather strong. I feel it's a bit underrated
2 Governor => very hard to play imo, and very depended on the specific situation. Can be very strong, but also rather weak
1 Envoy => The definite benchmark for BM games.
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yuma

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2011, 06:48:01 pm »
0

I agree wtih Kn1tt3r on the Governor and Envoy swap. Envoy is such a huge card it can be the only action you buy.

However, I would put black market at 3. It is variable but can be brutal depending on what you are able to get out of it, especially if your opponent neglects to buy one. A trap yes, but better than stash which you have to buy multiples of to be useful.
So....
5 - Walled Village
4 - Stash
3- Black Market
2- Governor
1- Envoy
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Jimmmmm

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 08:27:59 pm »
0

I feel like WV is a little underrated. Saying "If you're putting it back you shouldn't have bought it" is akin to saying "If you're putting a Scheme back you shouldn't have bought it." Both cards hang around until they're useful. If you're playing, say, Big Money + two or three key terminals, WV can be excellent at making sure they very rarely conflict - you always have that spare action when you need it. So much better than a regular Village in that situation.

I'm not saying WV is not generally close to the worst Village or the worst promo card, I just don't think it's as bad as people say it is.
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olneyce

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2011, 08:54:14 pm »
0

Like Jimmmmm, I think Walled Village is being underrated.  Which is not to say that it should be somewhere other than #5 - I would also put it there, though I think it's very close to Stash.

Walled Village is good at enabling double plays of important early cards (Ambassador, Masquerade, etc.)  It basically ensures in the early game that you start with a free action.  You play it, and have a 5-card hand with 2 actions now.  In that respect it's similar to Fishing Village, though without the $ bonus which is, of course, a very big deal.  That prevents clashing of terminals. 

As the game progresses, it can also be nice if you have clogged decks and are relying on +actions to work with other moving parts of an engine.  Even if it only happens once, saving your village for a second turn and having it meet up with your Torturer - to successfully reignite the engine - is a pretty big deal.

Yes, it's probably still the worst of the cantrip Villages, but there are plenty of circumstances where I'd buy it over one of the others. 
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Tejayes

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2011, 11:11:34 pm »
0

Here's some CouncilRoom.com data to mull over as we rank these cards:

WIN RATE WITH

5: Stash (0.93)
4: Black Market (0.94)
3: Walled Village (0.97)
2: Envoy (0.99)
1: Governor (1.02)

WIN RATE WITHOUT

5: Black Market (1.13)
4: Walled Village (1.09)
3: Stash (1.02)
2: Envoy (1.01)
1: Governor (0.97)

DIFFERENCE (Win Rate With minus Win Rate Without)

5: Black Market (-0.19)
4: Walled Village (-0.12)
3: Stash (-0.09)
2: Envoy (-0.02)
1: Governor (+0.05)
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Copernicus

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2011, 12:10:55 am »
0

Walled Village, Stash, and Black Market are all usually lousy cards that are valuable based on the lack of cards that surround them.  If the deck desperately needs Villages, the only curser is in the Black Market deck, or the $5 buys are unimpressive -- then those cards become playable and useful.  Most of the time, they aren't.

Envoy and Governor are powerful cards.  Governor is interesting since it can lead to explosive games and has insane power in certain combinations.  It does require an engine to be built around it, but unlike the other three cards it fits into an engine instead of just being the best of bad options.

Envoy by itself can enable a standard big money deck.  It's also a useful tool in a Village/Draw decks, if that can be built on the board.
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2011, 01:27:49 am »
0

I find it is imperative to always check the info button first thing when Black Market is available.  There are several cards that can wreak havoc as a single copy.  Tournament is the prime example, but witch-types and hard trashers also apply.  Now, we can have an argument all day about the likelihood of pulling one of those three powerful cards early enough, but I have lost often enough by dismissing Black Market to know better.
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AJD

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2011, 02:15:48 am »
+3

I'd like to take this in a bit of a different direction and say that Black Market is, if not the best promo card, certainly the best at being a promo card. What I mean by that is just that it's an oddball card with a bizarre effect, so it makes sense for it to be sold separately as a one-off promotional card not part of a regular expansion, for people to add to their Dominion collection if they're interested in having that bizarre effect in some of their games and not if they're not. To a lesser extent, Stash is a good fit as a promo concept as well for the same reason.

Envoy was more unique when it was released than it is now, seeing as how its oddball functionality is echoed by that of Contraband. Walled Village is downright vanilla for a promo card. Not sure what I think about Governor in this respect.
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jonts26

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2011, 02:18:51 am »
0

Yes but how many times have you won because someone didn't get a good draw from the black market? That's harder to know.

Black market is a trap very often. I mean, that mountebank in a no curse game or the chapel in a no trash game can all but ensure your victory, right? Well sure, if you pull it early. But that's basically buying a lottery ticket. And any statistician can tell you why that's a bad idea.

And that's not to say its a terrible card. There are certainly uses for it. Most common being, there's nothing better than a terminal silver so why not, maybe you'll win the jackpot.

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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2011, 04:35:04 am »
0

5. Stash - I'll often buy a Silver with $5 when Stash is out when there are no better $5's. Seriously can't be bothered with the extra clicking for not really much at all.

4. Walled Village - This is the same card as Vanillage to me, it just costs $1 more. We all know the difference between $3 and $4 is negligible after the first shuffle though, and who's going to buy a Village before then?

3. Black Market - It's often a bad choice to buy it, but it's fun.

2. Governor - I believe Wandering Winder said that he was planning to write an article about "Trap Cards in Dominion". I hope this one is on there. Governor is a very powerful card if you know how to use it properly, but you have to consider the benefits to your opponents too. If you're at a high level, this is no problem. If you're at a low level: HUGE TRAP. I'm at a level where sometimes it catches me out, and others I can use it effectively. I fear that WW is too high a level to notice the trappiness of this card. WW, if you are reading, at least include this as an honourable mention.

1. Envoy - Obviously.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2011, 08:19:12 am »
0

2. Governor - I believe Wandering Winder said that he was planning to write an article about "Trap Cards in Dominion". I hope this one is on there. Governor is a very powerful card if you know how to use it properly, but you have to consider the benefits to your opponents too. If you're at a high level, this is no problem. If you're at a low level: HUGE TRAP. I'm at a level where sometimes it catches me out, and others I can use it effectively. I fear that WW is too high a level to notice the trappiness of this card. WW, if you are reading, at least include this as an honourable mention.
I am reading (I believe I've read every post on the forum - well skimmed some of the variants ones, but at least looked at them). And yeah, Governor is getting a spot as a trap. Now it is a lot better than I thought it was early on, but I still think it's not that great.

blackb

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2011, 05:45:08 am »
0

I'm not rating because of winrate thats lame... It's the fun that counts.

5 - Stash
4 - Walled Village
3 - Envoy
2 - black Market
1 - Governor
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brokoli

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2011, 06:35:37 am »
0

I don't understand why envoy is so good... each time I play it, I regret...
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Davio

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2011, 07:10:47 am »
0

I don't understand why envoy is so good... each time I play it, I regret...
Try it with just big money, don't try to incorporate it into a drawing engine.
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Kirian

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 08:41:11 am »
0

I'd like to take this in a bit of a different direction and say that Black Market is, if not the best promo card, certainly the best at being a promo card. What I mean by that is just that it's an oddball card with a bizarre effect, so it makes sense for it to be sold separately as a one-off promotional card not part of a regular expansion, for people to add to their Dominion collection if they're interested in having that bizarre effect in some of their games and not if they're not. To a lesser extent, Stash is a good fit as a promo concept as well for the same reason.

Envoy was more unique when it was released than it is now, seeing as how its oddball functionality is echoed by that of Contraband. Walled Village is downright vanilla for a promo card. Not sure what I think about Governor in this respect.

Both Governor and Walled Village make sense as promos for the specific intent of the promo.  They match Carcassone and Puerto Rico pretty well, theme-wise.

I'm interested to see if they do a promo card for Power Grid at 10 years.
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tlloyd

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2011, 09:35:58 am »
0

I think Stash is, although not great, at least underrated. In general people throw them all on top of the deck (I think there was even a thread once asking why you would ever do something else), and that is obviously the right plan if you are running Chancellor/Stash, but I wonder if that's a mistake in most circumstances.

If you put all your stashes at the bottom of the deck instead, in some ways you can think of Stash as producing an effect similar to purchasing an Inn: a deck that is action-heavy in the front. This is precisely what you want for a draw-engine, since that makes it more likely that you can draw your whole deck (whereas you can't if your first hand has all treasure). A particularly strong example of this tactic is a Tournament game, where grouping Stashes helps you get an early Province and then putting all your stashes at the bottom of your deck gives you a better chance of drawing Province and Tournament together.

Now obviously this effect is quite limited and requires multiple Stashes to be significant, and therein lies the real problem with Stash--since on most boards there are going to be enough good $5 cards that it's hard to see buying lots and lots of Stashes. But Stash may very well be one of those cards like Lab or Minion (though not as strong) where one or two doesn't do much but several can be quite strong.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 11:14:50 am by tlloyd »
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jonts26

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2011, 11:31:00 am »
0

One of the main selling points of stash is that it's usually never going to miss the reshuffle. If you move them to the bottom, you risk losing that. Though I do agree that you might want to move them down some, just probably not all the way down.
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DG

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 12:16:07 pm »
0

There's actually a lot that can be done with a stash once you construct a money engine rather than a pile of unsorted treasures thrown together in a heap. Action engines obviously have more potential and are well liked but treasure management can be the key to many games. I'm surprised that so many people under rate it since when it is good it is worth more than gold costing 6. It's a fair card at cost 5.
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rinkworks

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2011, 02:21:51 pm »
+1

Black Market is #1 for me.  Why?  It's fun.  I agree that it's usually a trap card, but it's a trap I love falling into.  Also, Black Market/Fairgrounds is one of the coolest combos in the game.

Otherwise, the OP's list looks good to me.  Like others here, I'm intrigued by the potential of Walled Village and Stash, but unfortunately I think that potential is limited to corner cases.
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AJD

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2011, 02:35:57 pm »
0

I'd like to take this in a bit of a different direction and say that Black Market is, if not the best promo card, certainly the best at being a promo card. What I mean by that is just that it's an oddball card with a bizarre effect, so it makes sense for it to be sold separately as a one-off promotional card not part of a regular expansion, for people to add to their Dominion collection if they're interested in having that bizarre effect in some of their games and not if they're not. To a lesser extent, Stash is a good fit as a promo concept as well for the same reason.

Envoy was more unique when it was released than it is now, seeing as how its oddball functionality is echoed by that of Contraband. Walled Village is downright vanilla for a promo card. Not sure what I think about Governor in this respect.

Both Governor and Walled Village make sense as promos for the specific intent of the promo.  They match Carcassone and Puerto Rico pretty well, theme-wise.

I'll take your word for it about Puerto Rico, but I'm not that convinced about Carcassonne; I mean, cities in Carcassonne have walls, but they're not called "villages", and they don't particularly seem to have much to do with the gameplay effect of Walled Village either.
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Voltgloss

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2011, 02:56:26 pm »
0

What about combining Stash, Hunting Parties, and terminal draw?

1.  Clump your Stashes at the bottom of your deck.
2.  Play Hunting Parties.  Dig through your deck (getting your terminal draw en route) until you hit your first Stash.
3.  Play your terminal draw, which you know is going to grab you the rest of your Stashes, rather than drawing green or dead actions.
4.  And then after your turn ends, you reshuffle, put your Stashes at the bottom, and do it all again.

For this to work, you'd want to buy exactly X+1 Stashes, where X is the number of cards your terminal draws (so, if you use Smithy, buy 4 Stashes, no more). 

The strength of the combo will depend (1) the quality of your terminal draw card, and (2) an opening that can help you hit $5 consistently to fund multiple Stash/HP buys early on.  Ideal case is #1 and #2 being the same card (e.g., Smithy on a 4/3 opening) so you can get by with fewer HPs. 

This can even work in Colony games as long as your terminal draw is +3 cards or more (Stash x4 + Silver + Copper = Colony).  In fact, a +3 or more draw card is probably better in a Colony game than in a Province Game, unless you also have +buy (Margrave, Council Room) to make use of leftover extra Stash money, either to buy more Hunting Parties (with Council Room, Stash x5 + Silver + Copper = Province + HP) or, of all things, Estates (with Margrave, Stash x4 + Silver + Copper = Province + Estate), given that your HPs are already skipping merrily past your starting three Estates.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2011, 02:59:40 pm »
0

I'll take your word for it about Puerto Rico, but I'm not that convinced about Carcassonne; I mean, cities in Carcassonne have walls, but they're not called "villages", and they don't particularly seem to have much to do with the gameplay effect of Walled Village either.

from the secret history of the promo cards

Walled Village - This is an outtake from the 7th expansion. I replaced it with an on-theme card. A few people were sad to see it go, but all of the Village slots in the other sets were full, so it was dead.

Then Jay wanted a Carcassonne-related promo card. First I looked at designing a card specifically to fit with Carcassonne, and well Carcassonne does not have a lot of ground in common with Dominion. Then I remembered this card, and it seemed plausible to call it Walled Village. Jay went for it and there it is. These stories can't all be interesting.

------------------

Governor - So Jay wanted a Carcassonne-related promo for its anniversary and got Walled Village. Then he wanted another promo. The idea behind this promo was, that Stash had gone up at the BGG store paired with blanks, and well let's not do that again. So we needed another promo so it could be paired with Walled Village.

Jay initially thought, well, Power Grid was coming on its 10th anniversary too, or at least the original German version was (Funkenschlag), so how about something that tied in with Power Grid. He wanted it to be a green card of course. And we sat down and talked with Friedemann Friese about what could possibly be done. It wasn't sounding great. The flavor for Power Grid is not medieval, and then there wasn't an obvious mechanical thing to do that connected the games.

I said, are there any other games with anniversaries coming up? And Jay said, as a matter of fact. Puerto Rico was also having an anniversary. And well simulating Puerto Rico on a Dominion card was easy; the only issue was making the text fit, which I cleverly managed via "you get the version in parentheses." So while the previous promos were expansion outtakes, this one is a new card.

The first version of the card had +1 Card +1 Action, with the first option only giving you +2 Cards, i.e. it worked out the same as now if you wanted the cards, but gave you an extra card if you picked one of the other two things. The idea had been, that the bonus the other players get does not involve them spending a card or using an action, so it would be easier to balance the card if it also didn't cost you a card or an action. But the three options were not sufficiently balanced; the Remodel was especially crazy. So now you still get the same total number of cards if you pick cards, but you don't get a free card with your Gold or Remodel.
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Donald X.

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2011, 03:10:43 pm »
+1

I'll take your word for it about Puerto Rico, but I'm not that convinced about Carcassonne; I mean, cities in Carcassonne have walls, but they're not called "villages", and they don't particularly seem to have much to do with the gameplay effect of Walled Village either.
The card Walled Village does not have any connection with the mechanics of the game Carcassonne. However, Carcassonne takes its name from a real medieval walled village.
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tlloyd

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Re: Rank the Promo Cards
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2011, 03:56:20 pm »
0

What about combining Stash, Hunting Parties, and terminal draw?

1.  Clump your Stashes at the bottom of your deck.
2.  Play Hunting Parties.  Dig through your deck (getting your terminal draw en route) until you hit your first Stash.
3.  Play your terminal draw, which you know is going to grab you the rest of your Stashes, rather than drawing green or dead actions.
4.  And then after your turn ends, you reshuffle, put your Stashes at the bottom, and do it all again.

For this to work, you'd want to buy exactly X+1 Stashes, where X is the number of cards your terminal draws (so, if you use Smithy, buy 4 Stashes, no more). 

The strength of the combo will depend (1) the quality of your terminal draw card, and (2) an opening that can help you hit $5 consistently to fund multiple Stash/HP buys early on.  Ideal case is #1 and #2 being the same card (e.g., Smithy on a 4/3 opening) so you can get by with fewer HPs. 

This can even work in Colony games as long as your terminal draw is +3 cards or more (Stash x4 + Silver + Copper = Colony).  In fact, a +3 or more draw card is probably better in a Colony game than in a Province Game, unless you also have +buy (Margrave, Council Room) to make use of leftover extra Stash money, either to buy more Hunting Parties (with Council Room, Stash x5 + Silver + Copper = Province + HP) or, of all things, Estates (with Margrave, Stash x4 + Silver + Copper = Province + Estate), given that your HPs are already skipping merrily past your starting three Estates.

Problem: if your first Stash gets picked up as the first of two cards drawn by HP, you will skip the rest and trigger a reshuffle.
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