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Author Topic: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone  (Read 12515 times)

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pacovf

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2015, 12:38:02 am »
0

Philosopher's Stone might be alright with Storyteller. Maybe.
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werothegreat

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2015, 12:48:21 am »
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Philosopher's Stone might be alright with Storyteller. Maybe.

Only if they collided in your hand.  Which is rather unlikely in the fat decks PStone likes.
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LastFootnote

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2015, 01:13:25 am »
0

Pstone's big problem is that it is pretty much solely a source of +coin and all sources of +coin have to compete with Gold and Silver. Unlike with say trashing, there are very few times where what Pstone gives is only possible with Pstone so it has to clear a much higher opportunity cost to be useful.



Pstone's ultimate problem is Gold. Gold does most everything Pstone wants to do, better. It is just marginally harder to buy Gold early game and possibly less valuable late game; otherwise pretty much every comparison favors Gold the vast majority of the time.

I think you have an excellent point that, unlike many other Potion-cost cards, P.Stone has nothing unique to offer; it only gives Coins, which are always available in the form of Silver and Gold. But in the kind of deck that wants P.Stone, it surpasses Gold very rapidly. That's without using every spare buy on Coppers, even. It gets to $3 quite rapidly and should be worth from $6 to $8 before game's end.
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Gherald

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2015, 01:17:18 am »
0

Quote from: Gherald
Its greatness or lack thereof really isn't impacted at all by Familiar.  When you see familiar, you worry about winning the curse split and about trashing, not flooding your deck with coppers.  They anti-synergize in this respect.  They synergize slightly in that you can use your potion to buy a P stone after familiars, though at that point you usually don't have the kind of deck where you want to start adding coppers. Overall it's a meaningless wash, Familiar + P stone is not at all relevant, much less "often great"

Other Potion-cost cards lower opportunity cost of PStone because there's more stuff to buy with your Potion.  That's the part of LF's post that you're ignoring.

If there's adequate trashing you shouldn't be going after PStone anyway; that has nothing to do with Familiar.  If there isn't trashing, PStone is good because Familiar is filling your deck with Curses.  PStone is often worthwhile then without you adding Coppers.
I am not ignoring that part of his post; the opportunity cost consideration is right there in what you quoted above from me.  And as I noted, the effect is slight.

Why is it slight? Rarely in a P stone board with a normal curser such as Witch or Sea Hag do you stop and think "omg there is no adequate trashing and my opponent is going to hand me 5-6 curses, I'd better think about going some P stones".  That curser effect is very small in the decision to go for P stones.

Familiar synergizes slightly more than a generic curser because you already want a potion for some familiars, but this additional effect is very rarely something that makes the difference in whether a P stone strategy worthwhile vs. not worthwhile.  Having that potion around is far more likely to lead to the occasional "what the hell, I guess I'll pick up a Philosopher's Stone with my 3P/4P buy" than it is to lead you to intentionally build something around P stones.

So, when someone claims something like:

"Certain other Potion-cost cards make it a no-brainer. Familiar is chief among them. "

They're simply wrong. Familiar/P Stone is not worth any special mention. On some occasions it'll be a good idea, but really very rarely. It's not a thing to any notable degree more than '{generic curser}/P stone' is a thing.
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FishingVillage

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2015, 01:54:08 am »
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Hmmm. How well does Hunting Party interact with PStone? Playing HP increases your hand size, but it's much better at filtering out and finding an individual PStone if you manage to bloat your deck up really fast.
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Awaclus

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2015, 04:43:17 am »
+4

Hmmm. How well does Hunting Party interact with PStone? Playing HP increases your hand size, but it's much better at filtering out and finding an individual PStone if you manage to bloat your deck up really fast.

If there's Hunting Party in the kingdom, you can probably do something a lot better than Philosopher's Stone.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2015, 08:55:51 am »
0

Hmmm. How well does Hunting Party interact with PStone? Playing HP increases your hand size, but it's much better at filtering out and finding an individual PStone if you manage to bloat your deck up really fast.

If there's Hunting Party in the kingdom, you can probably do something a lot better than Philosopher's Stone.
Especially since the potion adds another unique card to your deck.
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eHalcyon

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #57 on: May 12, 2015, 01:42:46 pm »
+2

Quote from: Gherald
Its greatness or lack thereof really isn't impacted at all by Familiar.  When you see familiar, you worry about winning the curse split and about trashing, not flooding your deck with coppers.  They anti-synergize in this respect.  They synergize slightly in that you can use your potion to buy a P stone after familiars, though at that point you usually don't have the kind of deck where you want to start adding coppers. Overall it's a meaningless wash, Familiar + P stone is not at all relevant, much less "often great"

Other Potion-cost cards lower opportunity cost of PStone because there's more stuff to buy with your Potion.  That's the part of LF's post that you're ignoring.

If there's adequate trashing you shouldn't be going after PStone anyway; that has nothing to do with Familiar.  If there isn't trashing, PStone is good because Familiar is filling your deck with Curses.  PStone is often worthwhile then without you adding Coppers.
I am not ignoring that part of his post; the opportunity cost consideration is right there in what you quoted above from me.  And as I noted, the effect is slight.

Why is it slight? Rarely in a P stone board with a normal curser such as Witch or Sea Hag do you stop and think "omg there is no adequate trashing and my opponent is going to hand me 5-6 curses, I'd better think about going some P stones".  That curser effect is very small in the decision to go for P stones.

Familiar synergizes slightly more than a generic curser because you already want a potion for some familiars, but this additional effect is very rarely something that makes the difference in whether a P stone strategy worthwhile vs. not worthwhile.  Having that potion around is far more likely to lead to the occasional "what the hell, I guess I'll pick up a Philosopher's Stone with my 3P/4P buy" than it is to lead you to intentionally build something around P stones.

So, when someone claims something like:

"Certain other Potion-cost cards make it a no-brainer. Familiar is chief among them. "

They're simply wrong. Familiar/P Stone is not worth any special mention. On some occasions it'll be a good idea, but really very rarely. It's not a thing to any notable degree more than '{generic curser}/P stone' is a thing.

You're ignoring it in that you call it slight when having the Potion already removes a large part of the opportunity cost.

To be clear, I'm not saying that PStone becomes something you build around in this case.  I don't think LF was saying that either. It is a no-brainer in that it can often be the obvious best choice when you draw 3P and it's too late for another familiar.  At that point, it is easily worth as much as Gold or better.  That interaction is certainly notable. It's more notable than with other cursers because already having the Potion is significant.
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jomini

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #58 on: May 12, 2015, 01:55:32 pm »
0



I think you have an excellent point that, unlike many other Potion-cost cards, P.Stone has nothing unique to offer; it only gives Coins, which are always available in the form of Silver and Gold. But in the kind of deck that wants P.Stone, it surpasses Gold very rapidly. That's without using every spare buy on Coppers, even. It gets to $3 quite rapidly and should be worth from $6 to $8 before game's end.

Actually Pstone doesn't rapidly surpass gold without a lot of aid. Take a simple game where you buy exactly one card a turn with no drawing (e.g. Scav/Pstone). On T5 Pstone is worth a Silver. on T10 Pstone is worth a gold. On T15 Pstone is finally worth $4 ... right when the game is about to end.

How about Familiar? Well let's say you dish one curse on T6/T7 and two on T8/9/10 and two/three on T11/12/13 and still gain a single card a turn. This means that at most a Pstone has gold value on T13 of just $4. Yes that is better than gold, but that is a lot of busted hands ($2P), overlooks the fact that you may need to play Familiar (dropping card count in deck/discard) to get decent treasure density in hand, and that there are LOT more ways to build up gold in a Familiar deck (e.g. Taxman, Mine straightforwardly or something simple like Smithy), and that even at end game that Pot not being a Silver counts for a decent number of VP.

For any limited gain setup, Pstone only spends a few turns more valuable than gold; with the drag of an early Pot on building money density I'm doubtful that most anything will be able to watch Pstone surpass Gold by game end (barring stuff like I already have a Pot for Familiar).

Of course the actual +coin value is less important than its space efficiency. Consider something like Cache. It is worth 3 and comes with two coppers. Why is this such a weak $5, it has the same in card coin density as gold, but you have to deal with 2 other cards. Sometimes that isn't too hard (hey I've got some Apothecaries). Sometimes you don't care about space efficiency - you have a way to make the space inefficient cards work for you.

Scav is like this, you simply don't see 75% of your junk ever ... but Pstone is slow at beating Gold that it doesn't matter (particularly once you start top decking Scav instead of Silver or Gold). You need something that gains you more than a card a turn (and preferably more than 1.5 cards a turn) to really be competitive with Gold.

But once you have the ability to gain those masses of cards you run into another trouble. Oddly in Dominion, Pstone does not want you play the stuff you buy. Normally if you buy some junk you might want to sift past that crud, but if some of it gets into your hand (say with terminal draw) it doesn't really matter. So you can do things like Madman/Cache where Cache becomes a cheap Plat (hey I'm drawing 25 cards, coppers are bonus). Cache gives you a gold with 2 "junk" cards, Pstone normally needs at least 5 "junk" cards to hit Gold in the early game. If you draw your Cache "junk", it is just gravy (e.g. Madman/Cache makes for cheap "Plats"); if you draw your junk with Pstone you lost Pstone value.

Even just the cards it takes to sift can really slow down Pstone's value gain. Something good, like Warehouse, might be able to churn through 14 cards a turn ... but at the price of lagging a turn or two on the value of Pstone. Cellar engines can churn more ... but each card in play is dead to your Pstone. To beat gold, Pstone needs to have 25 cards in the deck or worse have 22 with Pstone and a single discarder. In order to chain most sifting you need a lot of sifters which normally decrease your buying power (e.g. Cellar or Warehouse) or you need some Sifting Engine. The latter can actually work ... but that is a lot of cards that support a lot of other options better.

If you are looking at game end by say T20, that just isn't a lot of turns with those $8 Pstones (as you know, you hit them on T20 if you gain 2 cards a turn on average).


Fv: Pretty poorly. The only time it is really useful is when you have something that can eliminate your Potion for your (e.g. Apprentice). Even if you have just Coppers/Colonies/Hparties/Pstone and +buy, you need a lot of coppers to make PStone useful (as all your Hparties will be in play reducing Pstone's value), further because you have so many coppers you have really low odds of drawing 2 or more Hparties in your starting hand or with a Hparty play.

Maybe it might work at some point, but you need a decent bit of support.
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LastFootnote

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #59 on: May 12, 2015, 02:10:31 pm »
0

Even just the cards it takes to sift can really slow down Pstone's value gain. Something good, like Warehouse, might be able to churn through 14 cards a turn ... but at the price of lagging a turn or two on the value of Pstone. Cellar engines can churn more ... but each card in play is dead to your Pstone. To beat gold, Pstone needs to have 25 cards in the deck or worse have 22 with Pstone and a single discarder. In order to chain most sifting you need a lot of sifters which normally decrease your buying power (e.g. Cellar or Warehouse) or you need some Sifting Engine. The latter can actually work ... but that is a lot of cards that support a lot of other options better.

If I'm reading this part correctly, it's wrong. Playing a Warehouse or Cellar doesn't ever decrease the value of your PStones (unless they have your +1 Card token, etc.).

The rest all sounds good in theory, and yet doesn't line up with my experience at all. I think the upshot is that yes, you want something that gives you extra gains or +Buy. But you'll have one of those in the majority of games.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 02:37:08 pm by LastFootnote »
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jomini

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #60 on: May 12, 2015, 02:38:27 pm »
0

Even just the cards it takes to sift can really slow down Pstone's value gain. Something good, like Warehouse, might be able to churn through 14 cards a turn ... but at the price of lagging a turn or two on the value of Pstone. Cellar engines can churn more ... but each card in play is dead to your Pstone. To beat gold, Pstone needs to have 25 cards in the deck or worse have 22 with Pstone and a single discarder. In order to chain most sifting you need a lot of sifters which normally decrease your buying power (e.g. Cellar or Warehouse) or you need some Sifting Engine. The latter can actually work ... but that is a lot of cards that support a lot of other options better.

If I'm reading this part correctly, it's wrong. Playing a Warehouse or Cellar doesn't ever decrease the value of your PStones.

The rest all sounds good in theory, and yet doesn't line up with my experience at all. I think the upshot is that yes, you want something that gives you extra gains or +Buy. But you'll have one of those in the majority of games.

We looking at how quickly Pstone becomes more valuable than gold, you need to look at how many gains a turn you can manage. Warehouses in play don't count towards Pstone's value. So say I have 21 Cards. My hand is Pstone/Warehouse/XXX without playing my Warehouse, my Pstone is worth $3, if I play it, my Pstone is worht $2. So then I should only play it when it has good odds of driving my non-Pstone cash up $2. With Pstone decks with copper or other non-$ generating cards for my cheap bulk that isn't the most common thing to happen. If I plan on mass cycling my Pot and Pstones, say with a Warehouse/Candlestick maker combo, then I can churn a lot of cards looking to line up stuff like Pstone X2/Cmaker. However, when I'm figuring my value for Pstone I need to ignore a fraction of my Whouse buys (say I buy 6, I might want to discount my total deck count by 2 as they won't count for Pstone). This is why even big discard setups, like Embassy/Inn/Cellar tend not to quickly pushy Pstone past gold; each engine or combo component that sits in hand or the play area delays the time when Pstone really pays out.


Put another way, the more cards you need to play to:
1. Get to a PStone/Pot
2. Get a +gain

the longer it takes for Pstone to beat Gold.
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eHalcyon

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #61 on: May 12, 2015, 02:43:21 pm »
+1

Warehouse draws 3 but also discards 3, leaving the number of cards in your deck and discard the same.  In your example, PStone is still worth $3 after you play Warehouse.
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LastFootnote

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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2015, 02:54:33 pm »
0

Warehouse draws 3 but also discards 3, leaving the number of cards in your deck and discard the same.  In your example, PStone is still worth $3 after you play Warehouse.

This. Cards in play don't count, but cards in your hand don't count either.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2015, 03:02:36 pm »
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It can make a difference if you go heavy on warehouse, and one warehouse draws another warehouse that you would not have otherwise played. Otherwise, it doesn't.
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Re: CARD OF THE WEEK #7: Philosopher's Stone
« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2015, 03:10:44 pm »
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It can make a difference if you go heavy on warehouse, and one warehouse draws another warehouse that you would not have otherwise played. Otherwise, it doesn't.

No, even then it doesn't make your PStones worth less. Every Warehouse you play puts you down one card in hand, but keeps the number of cards in your deck/discard the same.
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