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Author Topic: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward  (Read 10143 times)

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werothegreat

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CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« on: April 22, 2015, 05:04:44 pm »
+5

I'm honestly quite surprised this one doesn't have an article yet, but we're talking about... Steward!


Starting questions:

* How does Steward compare to Remake?
* How does Steward compare to Amulet?
* How often do you use the coins/cards for Steward?
* Open one Steward, or two Stewards?
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 05:23:11 pm »
0

Unrelated: I keep confusing Amulet and Talisman. It takes a while for me to understand why people are talking about either until I understand they are talking about the other one.

On topic: I tend to use +2 cards when I have spare actions, and +2$ when I need the certainty that I will hit some amount of $. Otherwise, it depends on my Treasure density.
I tend to open with only one Steward... not sure if it's the right decision.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2015, 05:52:54 pm »
+1

Unrelated: I keep confusing Amulet and Talisman. It takes a while for me to understand why people are talking about either until I understand they are talking about the other one.

On topic: I tend to use +2 cards when I have spare actions, and +2$ when I need the certainty that I will hit some amount of $. Otherwise, it depends on my Treasure density.
I tend to open with only one Steward... not sure if it's the right decision.

Do you usually use non-English terms for the cards?  I find it easy to distinguish between them because Talisman is an old name and Amulet is new. :P



Steward can trash faster than Remake because it doesn't gain you any cards and it is more useful after you're done trashing.  Remake may be preferable anyway, especially if there are good $3 engine components.

It's hard to compare with Amulet when most of us haven't played with it.  Theoretically, I think Steward will be faster early on and therefore better most of the time.  Amulet will be better for mid-to-late game trashing because it has a better chance of lining up with stray junk and it only trashes one card at a time.

Using Steward for coin/cards comes after trashing.  Frequency depends on the deck.  If actions are limited and I have better terminals to play, I don't play Steward, easy as that.  Like pacovf, I use +$2 when it's enough for what I need.  I may also prefer it if I am worried about drawing actions dead or triggering an unwanted reshuffle.  It really depends.

One or two Stewards, depends on the board... :P
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pacovf

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2015, 06:31:04 pm »
0

Do you usually use non-English terms for the cards?  I find it easy to distinguish between them because Talisman is an old name and Amulet is new. :P

I mean, it's just that both words mean the same and exist in Spanish, plus I tend to ignore Talisman and I have never played with Amulet, so I have trouble distinguishing them. I'm sure I'll get over it eventually.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2015, 07:06:59 pm »
+4

Steward is a very nice card to have in decks that rely on Golem or Herald, because you don't run the risk of going "oops, I auto-played my mandatory trasher".
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2015, 10:47:23 pm »
+2

Steward is still my favourite card in the game.

Steward is less extreme than Chapel on the trashing front, but isn't a dead card afterwards. Whether you're building an engine or an engine-BM hybrid, you'll want to use the +2 cards often in the mid-to-late game. If +2 cards would trigger an unwanted reshuffle, you can just go with +$2 instead. Being able to provide $2 means it's not dead if you draw it at the bottom of your deck, so that's cool too.

Compared to Amulet, well I think Amulet's trashing of 2 cards over 2 turns is bound to be smoother than Steward's 2 card trashing in one turn. However Amulet will miss the second reshuffle if played on turn 4. Also, the +2 cards option from Steward is pretty strong in trim engine decks that it helps create. I expect Amulet to be really good for big money if used to trash Estates when possible and be used for +$1 or a Silver gain otherwise. It can also keep being used for trashing if an engine is desired. I feel that for engines in the midgame it will be easier to line up Amulet with 1 junk card across 2 turns than Steward lining up with 2 junk cards in one turn.

You'll want to open 2 Stewards if you really wish Chapel was in the set. They can be used for +$2, so they're not that much worse than having opened Silver/Chapel after having trashed most of your deck. Unfortunately, the chance of colliding both Stewards is considerable, and there's a higher chance that one of them is in your turn 5 hand than a single Chapel being in your turn 5 hand.

Shelters strengthen a Steward opening a bit I think. Trashing OE can let you draw an extra copper to buy a $3. Also, necro makes opening Steward/terminal a bit safer. That applies to Steward/Steward as well.
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werothegreat

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2015, 10:50:20 pm »
0

Steward is still my favourite card in the game.

Want to write an article?  ;)
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2015, 11:09:51 pm »
+1

About opening 1 or 2 Stewards: As a general guideline I'd say that Steward/Steward is better than Steward/Silver most of the time. The most notable counterexample is if you'll be short on +actions later in the game. Whether Steward/Steward is better than Steward/X depends on the kingdom. I'd typically prefer a strong nonterminal card (such as Tournament or Ironmonger) over a second Steward.
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markusin

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2015, 11:36:58 pm »
+1

Steward is still my favourite card in the game.

Want to write an article?  ;)
Not sure if serious.

Urk, if I had known Steward was missing an article back when I was on the top of my game I might have thought more about it. I'm still not sure I would have been motivated to do so.

See, I remember reading from someone that articles are useful when they discuss strategy considerations that are not immediately apparent from preliminary analysis of the card. They should also not be afraid to make bold claims concerning the topic in question and be clear on how to best use the card in question for card articles. Like, the AI/SCSN Rebuild Mirror article is saying something specific about Rebuild. When I wrote an article on Graverobber, I wanted to make claims that were as specific as possible that I am confident about. I flat out believe trashing Action cards for other Action cards with Graverobber is a poor strategy in itself. You do that when you want to get rid of stuff that has outlived their usefulness like an early Chapel or hey, even a Steward. You shouldn't think "Okay, gain Great Halls with Ironworks, use Graverobber to trash GH into Grand Market. Boom, that's my strategy!" Sorry, Grand Market isn't that great if you're not pairing it up with good trashing or aren't gaining them faster than that, assuming you're lucky enough to pair GH with Graverobber early on at all.

But now, if I wanted to write about Steward, I would want to be able to tell you all that you should open double Steward under circumstances W, X, Y, etc. However, I don't have enough experience to be confident about my knowledge of Steward to want to make such claims. Man, I just feel like Steward does it all for you, staying relevant for the entire game regardless of what deck you're going for. Some people feel like Watchtower is their personal swiss army knife, well for me Steward is my personal swiss army knife. I have similar expectations for Amulet actually.

I think, like you, my hope with these cards of the week threads is to gather tidbits of insight from a whole bunch of players that together paint a good picture as to how the featured card should best be used.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2015, 12:36:31 pm »
+2

Steward is excellent. In any engine with +Actions, there's almost never a time where you'll think "man, I really wish I didn't have that Steward". No matter what, it's going to be a little bit useful.

Really, the best part about it, and what sets it apart from Rebuild and other trashers is that it remains useful even when your deck has been trashed sufficiently, it basically never becomes a dead card. I played a great game earlier today where I could quickly set up Double Tactician using Steward as both my payload and my trashing (and my draw if I had to!). It just does anything you need.

I think the reason it doesn't have an article is really because it's just so simple. It does a little bit of what you need, whenever you need it. It's not the best draw card, not the best virtual coin, not the best Trasher, but it's pretty good at all of them, and as Jack of All Trades goes to show us, versatility is useful.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2015, 03:50:23 pm »
+2

Steward isn't just versatile, it has versatility that lends itself to a specific class of strategies: engines.  It's trashing, draw or payload (virtual coin) as needed.  Add a village and source of +buy and away you go. 

Compare Watchtower, which can similarly do a lot of things, but doesn't usually tilt the board toward a specific strategy (exception is when there's good support for draw-to-6 engine); instead its versatility makes you consider it as part of many different strategies.  Steward on the other hand usually makes me think, "There's likely to be a good engine on this board."
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2015, 04:59:56 pm »
+4

Watchtower tilts the board strongly towards Watchtower-based strategies, at least if you're me.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2015, 06:23:30 pm »
0

So when word of Lost Arts came out, one of the first cool targets for it I thought of was Steward. $3 Labs or strong non-terminal trashing (talking about Watchtower enablers) or a non-terminal Silver for those times when that's just the ticket...seemed pretty nice.
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werothegreat

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2015, 03:39:56 pm »
+1

Which would you say is more useful/powerful: the +2 Cards, or the +$2?  And don't just say "depends on the kingdom."
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2015, 03:41:36 pm »
+3

Which would you say is more useful/powerful: the +2 Cards, or the +$2?  And don't just say "depends on the kingdom."

Eh, it's the choice that's useful.  Often times I take cards, because, well, more cycling is generally more good.  But I'm probably not tracking/thinking things through all the time.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2015, 03:54:20 pm »
+2

Once a deck is adequately built, you expect a card to be worth more than a coin, so in general, if there is an action to spare, the cards is usually better.  Once you have nothing left to draw (or will only draw actions dead) then +$2 becomes the obvious choice.

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2015, 03:55:53 pm »
+2

Once a deck is adequately built, you expect a card to be worth more than a coin, so in general, if there is an action to spare, the cards is usually better.  Once you have nothing left to draw (or will only draw actions dead) then +$2 becomes the obvious choice.

And, well, if you're greening then you may not want to be cycling as much, especially if the +$2 can get you something (like a VP card).
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2015, 08:17:59 pm »
0

Like Remake, Steward gets stronger as a builder when useful $2s are around to pick up on early turns post-trashing. Whether this is generally better than trashing more cards like Chapel is questionable.

I've seen some use the +$2 to spike an early 6 or 7, though the situations in which one would do this seem scarce...thoughts?

Shuffle control can definitely an important factor in the +2 Cards, especially once your deck is thin enough.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2015, 08:13:12 am »
0

Which would you say is more useful/powerful: the +2 Cards, or the +$2?  And don't just say "depends on the kingdom."

The fact that you can do either is a big part of what makes Steward useful. That said, probably the +$2.

It depends less on the kingdom and more on what part of the game you're in. In the early game, the +$2 can help you hit $5/$6/$7 and help you grab that Minion, Hunting Party, Hunting Grounds, King's Court, etc for an early advantage. The terminal draw is unlikely to net you much more than $2 anyway, and there is less risk involved. Once you have your engine going and you have ample extra Actions, the draw tends to become better. Obviously there are exceptions to both rules - the +2 cards option helps manage shuffles in the early game, and the +$2 virtual coin can make a big difference in the late game.

The comparison to Amulet is interesting. I've only played two or three games with Amulet, but I found it was a pretty underwhelming trasher so far - I'd rather have one shitty turn and one decent turn than two bleh turns, and often using the Trash effect would just make me miss $5 twice in a row.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2015, 08:24:35 am »
+1

I don't think the +2 cards is generally more useful than the +$2. Steward lets you trash down pretty quickly, so you can easily draw your entire deck without having to use Steward for +cards, and the dollars are very useful for early economy after you've thinned down. Of course, there are situations where you can build the engine with Steward as your main +cards and then it's super good, but I think I use the +$ option a lot more than the +cards.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2015, 11:39:51 am »
+2

Which would you say is more useful/powerful: the +2 Cards, or the +$2?  And don't just say "depends on the kingdom."
It depends less on the kingdom and more on what part of the game you're in. In the early game, the +$2 can help you hit $5/$6/$7 and help you grab that Minion, Hunting Party, Hunting Grounds, King's Court, etc for an early advantage. The terminal draw is unlikely to net you much more than $2 anyway, and there is less risk involved. Once you have your engine going and you have ample extra Actions, the draw tends to become better. Obviously there are exceptions to both rules - the +2 cards option helps manage shuffles in the early game, and the +$2 virtual coin can make a big difference in the late game.

I think it's the other way around. The trashing is obviously the most useful early, then the +cards, then eventually the +$ (once you can draw enough without using the Steward). Assuming you've trashed even once, the +cards will usually do more than the +$ if you have cards left in your deck.

The other thing that hasn't really been mentioned here is how good Steward is in money decks. It's actually pretty good. You just trash 1-2 times instead of 4-6 times an then start using it as +2 cards. It's better than Masquerade. Now usually this won't be important, since if there's a reasonable engine, it will be better. But you don't have to force yourself to play a slow engine just because Steward is around. You have to make sure it's something that will actually amount to something, not just eventually a Province a turn with no attack. Steward makes *everything* faster. It favors engines because they are more powerful in general if you don't have the slow early game phase, not because it's not good for money decks.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2015, 12:13:18 pm »
0

I've seen some use the +$2 to spike an early 6 or 7, though the situations in which one would do this seem scarce...thoughts?

This is a great question, I'd love to hear thoughts on how good a 6 or 7 (or even 5) would have to be to forgo the trashing early on.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2015, 01:02:06 pm »
+1

5 almost never. It's not hard to hit 5. If there is a really important 5, you probably also got a Silver, and you can buy a 5 with that. 6 can be spent on Gold for a money deck (since the alternative is just trashing Copper -- it's like taking Cache over nothing). It's also good for Altar or Forge in an engine. That trashing will easily make up for the skipped trashing of Steward. And maybe Goons to get the attack going early. Almost anything else is usually a no-go. You should be able to get those cards eventually and having them a little earlier usually isn't worth taking 2 junk cards.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2015, 02:58:27 pm »
+5

The other thing that hasn't really been mentioned here is how good Steward is in money decks. It's actually pretty good. You just trash 1-2 times instead of 4-6 times an then start using it as +2 cards. It's better than Masquerade
Is this actually true? The turns you trash with Steward you can't buy anything. Masquerade on the other hand can trash an estate and buy gold. That seems way better.
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Chris is me

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #5: Steward
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2015, 05:49:51 pm »
0

I think it's the other way around. The trashing is obviously the most useful early, then the +cards, then eventually the +$ (once you can draw enough without using the Steward). Assuming you've trashed even once, the +cards will usually do more than the +$ if you have cards left in your deck.

The assumption is that if you're building an engine, you don't have a huge amount of Silver and Gold, and you don't necessarily have the Actions to spare when drawing cards. The risk of dead drawing a key Action and having it misfire for that shuffle is often too great. In the later stages of the game, you're generally trying to draw your whole deck every turn, so leaving cards in your deck gives your engine more of an opportunity to misfire than if you didn't.

Quote
The other thing that hasn't really been mentioned here is how good Steward is in money decks. It's actually pretty good. You just trash 1-2 times instead of 4-6 times an then start using it as +2 cards. It's better than Masquerade.

I'm very sure this isn't true. Masquerade can let you trash one card and buy an expensive card like Gold in the same turn. Being able to buy stuff early is way more important than trashing a second card for a Big Money deck. Masquerade is clearly the better choice for BM.

Quote
Now usually this won't be important, since if there's a reasonable engine, it will be better. But you don't have to force yourself to play a slow engine just because Steward is around. You have to make sure it's something that will actually amount to something, not just eventually a Province a turn with no attack. Steward makes *everything* faster. It favors engines because they are more powerful in general if you don't have the slow early game phase, not because it's not good for money decks.

None of this advice really has anything to do with Stewart though - yes, building a shitty engine over Big Money is generally a bad idea. Stewart isn't a bad terminal for a big money deck, really, it's just not something I would buy over cards like Masquerade, Ambassador, etc. which provide trashing benefit plus something else (a big hand, an attack, etc).
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