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Author Topic: key cards in Dominion: a report card.  (Read 22056 times)

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ehunt

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key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« on: August 30, 2015, 07:51:24 am »
+34

This article is for beginning players; I don't expect experienced players to get very much out of it, although I hope it will be fun for them to debate.

Experienced and inexperienced Dominion players alike love arguing about which cards are better than which others. And indeed, if you wander this site, you can find years worth of rankings, and of arguments about what the true definition of rankings should be, etc.

This list is intended to contribute to that discussion, but it is not a ranking. Rather, it's a "report card," which assigns each card a grade.

When you look at a board, one quick skill is to identify key cards and to build a strategy around them. This list grades cards by how likely they are to be "key cards." There are only three grades, and most cards get a B.

A = almost always a key card. May need one or two helpers to be truly dominant, but those helpers arise frequently enough that we always worry about this card a little before the game starts: do we want it, and if we don't, how do we defend against our opponent who will likely buy it? A classic example of a solid A card is Goons.

B = not usually a key card, but likely to be useful. We may well buy one or more of these to support a strategy. Sometimes, this card can be a key card, with the right combination of helpers; however, the first strategies we look for don't revolve around B cards. A classic example of a B card is Laboratory. Almost every deck is improved by Laboratory, but it's not the center piece of any strategy. A different sort of example is Gardens. If we look at a board and there are not a lot of great strategies available, we may consider a Gardens-centered strategy, but we need to find helpers.

C = rarely worth reflecting about. We don't expect to lose too many more games if we simply pretend this pile isn't there. Sometimes a card in this pile can be useful if it is, for instance, the only card on the board that provides +Buy. For example, Woodcutter is a C card. Of course every pile has a purpose, and the best players can and do use C cards to their advantage.

We will use + and - in a category to mean a card is borderline between two categories. A grade of A+ is not given; for the purpose of this list, it doesn't matter which A cards are better than the others. Note that having a higher grade does not necessarily mean being a "better card." For example, Laboratory is almost certainly a better card than Bridge, but is less likely to be a key card and so has a lower grade.

The grades are based on 2-player Dominion; many cards would change grades in multiplayer. This list is obviously my opinion. In particular, the Adventures cards are not graded because I have only played a few games with them.

Warning: Card interaction is 98% of Dominion strategy, and this report card cannot help you with it at all. For example, Chancellor and Stash are both solid C cards, but the combo Chancellor/Stash would be at least an A-. More fundamentally, knowing which cards in a kingdom are good doesn't tell you how to buy them, how to build a deck around them, and how to play them. But it's a start.

Base
2
Cellar B
Chapel A
Moat B-
3
Chancellor C
Village B
Woodcutter C
Workshop B-
4
Bureaucrat C
Feast C
Gardens B
Militia B+
Moneylender B
Remodel B
Smithy B
Spy C
Thief C-
Throne Room B
5
Council Room B
Festival B
Laboratory B
Library B
Market B
Mine B-
Witch A
6
Adventurer C-

Intrigue
2
Courtyard B
Pawn B
Secret Chamber C
3
Great Hall C
Masquerade A
Shanty Town B
Steward A-
Swindler A-
Wishing Well B
4
Baron B
Bridge A-
Conspirator A-
Coppersmith C
Ironworks B
Mining Village B
Scout C-
5
Duke A-
Minion A
Saboteur C
Torturer A-
Trading Post B
Tribute B-
Upgrade A-
6
Harem B
Nobles B

Seaside
2
Embargo C
Haven B
Lighthouse B
Native Village B
Pearl Diver C
3
Ambassador A
Fishing Village A
Lookout B
Smugglers B
Warehouse B
4
Caravan B
Cutpurse B
Island B
Navigator C+
Pirate Ship C+
Salvager B
Sea Hag A
Treasure Map B
5
Bazaar B
Explorer C
Ghost Ship A
Merchant Ship B
Outpost B+
Tactician A-
Treasury B
Wharf A

Alchemy
2
Herbalist C
5
Apprentice B+
P
Transmute C-
Vineyard A
2P
Apothecary B+
Scrying Pool A
University B+
3P
Alchemist B
Familiar A
Philosopher’s Stone C
4P
Golem B
6P
Possession A-

Prosperity
3
Loan B
Trade Route B-
Watchtower B
4
Bishop B
Monument B+
Quarry B+
Talisman B
Worker’s Village B
5
City B
Contraband C+
Counting House C-
Mint B
Mountebank A
Rabble B
Royal Seal C
Vault B
Venture B
6
Goons A
Grand Market A
Hoard B
7
Bank B
Expand B
Forge B+
King’s Court A
8
Peddler A-

Cornucopia
2
Hamlet A-
3
Fortune Teller C
Menagerie A-
4
Farming Village B
Horse Traders B
Remake A-
Tournament A
Young Witch A
5
Harvest C
Horn of Plenty B+
Hunting Party A
Jester B
6
Fairgrounds B+

Hinterlands
2
Crossroads B
Duchess C
Fool’s Gold A-
3
Develop B-
Oasis B
Oracle B
Scheme B
Tunnel B+
4
Jack of All Trades A-
Noble Brigand B-
Nomad Camp C
Silk Road B
Spice Merchant B
Trader B
5
Cache C
Cartographer B+
Embassy B+
Haggler A-
Highway A-
Ill-Gotten Gains A
Inn B
Mandarin  C+
Margrave A-
Stables B
6
Border Village B+
Farmland B

Dark Ages
1
Poor House B-
2
Beggar C
Squire B
Vagrant B-
3
Forager A
Hermit A-
Market Square B
Sage B
Storeroom B
Urchin A
4
Armory B
Death Cart C
Feodum C+
Fortress B
Ironmonger B+
Marauder A-
Procession B
Rats B-
Scavenger B
Wandering Minstrel B+
5
Band of Misfits B-
Bandit Camp B+
Catacombs B
Count A-
Counterfeit A-
Cultist A
Graverobber B
Junk Dealer A-
Knights B
Mystic B
Pillage C
Rebuild A
Rogue B
6
Altar B
Hunting Grounds B

Guilds
2
Candlestick Maker B
Stonemason A-
3
Doctor B
Masterpiece B
4
Advisor B
Herald B
Plaza B
Taxman B-
5
Baker B
Butcher A-
Journeyman B
Merchant Guild B+
Soothsayer A-

Promos
Black Market A-
Envoy B
Walled Village B
Governor A
Stash C
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 03:22:24 am by ehunt »
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liopoil

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2015, 11:02:55 am »
+3

Oh man, Watchtower at B is criminal! Easily B+, IMO A-. Okay, it's rarely 'dominant', but you usually want at least one. The same cannot be said for laboratory, because its opportunity cost is too high. Ok, it's not criminal, I just have to advocate for it.

This is a pretty good list overall. I think you should go all the way down to F though. Scout doesn't deserve a C-.
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jsh357

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2015, 11:25:53 am »
+2

Ghost Ship probably shouldn't be in A. B+ maybe, but it has a lot of counters and the draw it provides is minimal on a lot of boards. I would at least rank it below Torturer, which you put in A-.
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markusin

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2015, 01:10:49 pm »
0

Ghost Ship probably shouldn't be in A. B+ maybe, but it has a lot of counters and the draw it provides is minimal on a lot of boards. I would at least rank it below Torturer, which you put in A-.
But you usually want at least one Ghist Ship in an engine to play it every turn, and playing it every turn is a strong motivation to go engine. And it's devastating when no counters are present, so I'd say at least A- is fitting, at the same level as Torturer. Also Ghost ship often does more damage than Torturer in games with no villages.

Overall a really nice read. I feel like experienced players will have a much easier time understanding these rankings than players who have rarely played with the cards and judge them by their looks. Like, seeing Contraband at C+ and Count at A- makes perfect sense to me, but without any explanation provided for the cards inexperienced players will be all "oookaaaay...?". The rankings are a nice starting point for new players so long as they can discuss them with more experienced players/mentors.
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LastFootnote

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2015, 01:15:05 pm »
+1

Cool idea.

Baker costs $5, not $4.
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TrojH

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2015, 06:42:58 pm »
0

4
Advisor B
Herald B

 :o

I wish I knew how to make those pictures with Advisor whispering something. This is just asking for an "I'm as good as Herald" picture.
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jsh357

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2015, 06:49:54 pm »
+2

4
Advisor B
Herald B

 :o

I wish I knew how to make those pictures with Advisor whispering something. This is just asking for an "I'm as good as Herald" picture.

I don't think he's saying Advisor is 'as good,' just that it's an important engine part a lot of the time, hence being in B. Advisor is an excellent nonterminal draw option; you just need a lot of them for it to pay off.
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 07:05:14 pm »
+2

Why weren't there any a+s?
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liopoil

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2015, 07:09:16 pm »
0

Why weren't there any a+s?
He didn't want to hurt Chapel's feelings.
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2015, 07:17:36 pm »
+1

Why weren't there any a+s?
He didn't want to hurt Chapel's feelings.
Wrong answer! *I cast you into the gorge of eternal peril*
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funkdoc

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2015, 08:06:33 pm »
+1

this sort of thing is where i like the way fighting game players do it

it's similar in that you have A,B,C,D, etc. on downward...but the japanese came up with this wonderful thing called "S rank" to describe the most ridiculously broken thing(s) in a given game.  stuff like chapel, goons, ambassador, cultist would be S

i also agree with lio that you need a "situationally good" tier and a just plain "low" tier for stuff like scout/transmute

really cool idea though, and precisely the sort of thing that could potentially help stream viewers know what's going on a little more


EDIT: is it just me, or is guilds the most "balanced" expansion on the whole?  nothing you'd consider for a hypothetical S tier, but no bottom-feeders either (taxman probably being the closest)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2015, 08:12:38 pm by funkdoc »
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Marcory

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2015, 09:14:29 pm »
+3

I think that C- already represents the 'just plain low' tier. Look at the cards in it:

Thief
Adventurer
Scout
Transmute
Counting House

Each of these has a very narrow range of Kingdoms in which it is decent, and none where it is great. I would probably put Thief in the "C" category, because it is an important counter to Chapel, one of the first "A" cards that new players encounter. None of the other "C-" cards have this kind of effect on power cards.

Thief is also, of course, much better in multiplayer, which is how most new players probably learn the game. The other cards don't scale in power with the the number of players.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2015, 01:15:54 am »
+2

I guess you should add that you ranked those cards for two player games. I guess Thief isn't C- in multiplayer.
Also I disagree about Possession being A-. I guess B is fine. Too often, it's a trap for being A- in my opinion
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ehunt

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2015, 03:29:53 am »
+1

thanks all! Fixed the Baker thing and added the 2player thing.

Yeah, as LF said, having two cards with the same "grade" doesn't mean they are equally good. Even a card with a better grade may not be a "better" card than another. Maybe grades weren't the best metaphor!

I told myself I would wait a couple weeks before changing any grades so that I'm not constantly changing them on a whim, but I am listening. (Also, I think I overrated Grand Market.) Liopoil, I totally knew you would call it out when I graded Watchtower a B.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2015, 03:43:25 am »
+2

Yes, Counting House is never great. Just an empty space on the board, always.

http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20140515/log.5101a6c4e4b02b7235c3860f.1400207171957.txt

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2015, 07:10:56 am »
+4

Nice article, I like the idea.
Only changes I would make are:

Counting house: C- > C or maybe C+
Doesn't happen often, but when it is good it can be the centerpiece of your strategy.

Talisman : B > B- or C+
I very rarely find this to be a key card.

Explorer: C+ > B
Can be a strong card in slogs, especially with alt VP.
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terminalCopper

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2015, 07:48:32 am »
+3

Also I disagree about Possession being A-. I guess B is fine. Too often, it's a trap for being A- in my opinion

There's a subtle difference between "key card" and "strong card". A strong card is a card you should gain, a key card is a card you should think about, because it might totally change the way you approach a kingdom, even if no one buys it.

That's why I agree with Possession in A-.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2015, 07:53:34 am »
+8

I think i disagree on Embargo being a C. It's not strong, but its presence has an effect on the board that can destroy several strategies. For example, Embargo can break IGG rushes and slow down Potion-centered decks. Not saying it's a superimportant key card, but if we make that distinction between strength and relevance to the board, which i understood this to be about, i disagree on Embargo always being "a pile that might as well not be there". At least make it B- or C+.

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2015, 11:25:49 am »
+2

Counting House is so, so much stronger than the other cards in C- it's not even funny. Yes, it's situational, but if it's good, it's really good. It should be at least C+ and maybe even B-.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2015, 11:48:16 am »
+4

While we are all nitpicking on certain rankings, I'd like to say that I disagree strongly with the A- on conspirator. It needs specific support and even if that is given, it is not really a key card usually.
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AdamH

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2015, 03:05:42 pm »
+4

RAWR HOW CAN JACK NOT HAEV AT LEAST 55 PLUSES?!?!?!??!?!?????!?!??!??!?!?!??!?
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iguanaiguana

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2015, 03:10:43 pm »
+1

RAWR HOW CAN JACK NOT HAEV AT LEAST 55 PLUSES?!?!?!??!?!?????!?!??!??!?!?!??!?

I think jack is right where it should be. ( you probably realize this.)

IGG on A?

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2015, 03:32:58 pm »
+3

RAWR HOW CAN JACK NOT HAEV AT LEAST 55 PLUSES?!?!?!??!?!?????!?!??!??!?!?!??!?

I think jack is right where it should be. ( you probably realize this.)

BUT I LIEK JACK SO IT SHOULD BE HIGHER!!!!!111111
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2015, 04:42:45 pm »
+23

Seriously, though. You've put some work into this and I think that it's really good. Allow me to list where I disagree with you by more than one level. Note that there really aren't that many entries here and some of them are pretty close. I think this is really well done.

Conspirator A-   These are so rarely super-broken (meaning that you don't want them at all most of the time) that I would give Conspirator a B
Tribute B-   I'd give this a solid C. I rarely buy this and when I do, I'm rarely happy about it.
Embargo C   This deserves a B, maybe a B-, it's only ever ignorable when there are other Cursers around or with super-strong trashing AND draw.
Fishing Village A   I'm not sure why every other village gets a B and this one gets an A. Yeah it's good, but maybe B+ good, certainly not A
Navigator C+   I'd defo put this in the C- category. Navigator makes most decks worse and when it's good, it's only ever-so-slightly better than Silver.
Sea Hag A   Like, this is a B at best. With any sort of decent trashing around you can safely ignore this lovely lady.
Treasure Map B   I'd give this a C+, you so rarely simultaneously have the means to collide them AND the desire for mass Gold as your payload.
Merchant Ship B   C, maaaaybe C+? I mean, this card is mediocre for Big Money and at the bottom of the barrel for engine payload.
Outpost B+   Outpost is really good, but so many times you just ignore it. B- for me.
Hamlet A-   Again with this super-great village. Hamlet really isn't that much better than other villages for me to even want to give it a B+, so I'd just put this at a B and think about B-.
Hunting Party A   I'm probably in the minority on this, but I feel like Lab is just better than HP so often that I'd give Lab a B+ and put this guy at a solid B. I haven't played a HP+X game in so long.
Tunnel B+   So often slow and unreliable, I'd give this a B-, though I admit I could be off-base here.
Ill-Gotten Gains A   Same reasoning as Sea Hag, only you get the IGG-noreable pun, so B+ :P
Rats B-   Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I'd give Rats a C. You really have to look hard for support to make them worth it.
Knights B   A- on Knights, they're unavoidable so often, which is sad.
Masterpiece B   C+ I think, it's an optimization to strategies that use lots of money, which are sort of rare IMO

EDIT: Hmm, I didn't think this would be so well-received. I just kind of threw it together. I'll edit so that it's more readable
« Last Edit: August 31, 2015, 07:01:18 pm by AdamH »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2015, 05:35:51 pm »
+2

Seriously, though. You've put some work into this and I think that it's really good. Allow me to list where I disagree with you by more than one level. Note that there really aren't that many entries here and some of them are pretty close. I think this is really well done.

Intrigue
Conspirator A-   These are so rarely super-broken (meaning that you don't want them at all most of the time) that I would give Conspirator a B
Tribute B-   I'd give this a solid C. I rarely buy this and when I do, I'm rarely happy about it.

Seaside
Embargo C   This deserves a B, maybe a B-, it's only ever ignorable when there are other Cursers around or with super-strong trashing AND draw.
Fishing Village A   I'm not sure why every other village gets a B and this one gets an A. Yeah it's good, but maybe B+ good, certainly not A
Navigator C+   I'd defo put this in the C- category. Navigator makes most decks worse and when it's good, it's only ever-so-slightly better than Silver.
Sea Hag A   Like, this is a B at best. With any sort of decent trashing around you can safely ignore this lovely lady.
Treasure Map B   I'd give this a C+, you so rarely simultaneously have the means to collide them AND the desire for mass Gold as your payload.
Merchant Ship B   C, maaaaybe C+? I mean, this card is mediocre for Big Money and at the bottom of the barrel for engine payload.
Outpost B+   Outpost is really good, but so many times you just ignore it. B- for me.

Cornucopia
Hamlet A-   Again with this super-great village. Hamlet really isn't that much better than other villages for me to even want to give it a B+, so I'd just put this at a B and think about B-.
Hunting Party A   I'm probably in the minority on this, but I feel like Lab is just better than HP so often that I'd give Lab a B+ and put this guy at a solid B. I haven't played a HP+X game in so long.

Hinterlands
Tunnel B+   So often slow and unreliable, I'd give this a B-, though I admit I could be off-base here.
Ill-Gotten Gains A   Same reasoning as Sea Hag, only you get the IGG-noreable pun, so B+ :P

Dark Ages
Rats B-   Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I'd give Rats a C. You really have to look hard for support to make them worth it.
Knights B   A- on Knights, they're unavoidable so often, which is sad.

Guilds
Masterpiece B   C+ I think, it's an optimization to strategies that use lots of money, which are sort of rare IMO
I don't think there is a single thing here I disagree with. Upvoted for excellent dominion content!
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2015, 05:55:41 pm »
+3

I agree with all of what Adam said except HP vs Lab. I don't think Lab is usually better, but they are often pretty equal. In cases where HP is a better card, like when you want to skip a bunch of Copper you can't trash quickly, it's WAY better than Lab, and the cases where Lab is better (you have a lot of duplicate cards or something) it's usually just slightly better. I would rank them both at B+
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2015, 06:46:30 am »
+2

I also agree with almost all things AdamH said, but I'm not so sure about Sea Hag. It's not the best curser in the game, but it's still a curser, and it's pretty cheap for one as well. It's still stronger than Young Witch because it topdecks the Curse and doesn't have a Bane card, which imo makes up for the sifting. Also, wasn't it voted the best $4 card in the game once or twice? Would be kind of weird to rank it B then.

Cursers tend to have the game revolve around them in general.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2015, 07:19:47 am »
0

I also agree with almost all things AdamH said, but I'm not so sure about Sea Hag. It's not the best curser in the game, but it's still a curser, and it's pretty cheap for one as well. It's still stronger than Young Witch because it topdecks the Curse and doesn't have a Bane card, which imo makes up for the sifting. Also, wasn't it voted the best $4 card in the game once or twice? Would be kind of weird to rank it B then.

Cursers tend to have the game revolve around them in general.

Sea Hag does absolutely nothing for you except take up an Action. If your opponent can get rid of that Curse, then he's better off doing that instead of getting Sea Hag (unless it's something awful like Trade Route). Young Witch does something for you and that's a big deal.

Sea Hag was voted best $4 card in the game at one point, and I'm of the opinion that that was a giant mistake made by the community (myself included, I remember ranking it high at one point). I've said it before and had people reeling, but I stand behind it: Sea Hag is not a very good card. If I'm challenging your basic intuition about these cards, if I'm saying something that feels really off-base to you, then good. That's exactly what I want to do. The "conventional wisdom" surrounding these two cards is wrong. Maybe I should write an article about it? Hmm...

Sea Hag and IGG are the two more ignoreable Cursers. More so than Familiar and Soothsayer; the fact that they hand out purples and can still be ignored as often as they can speaks to how weak they are.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2015, 07:47:41 am »
+1

I also agree with almost all things AdamH said, but I'm not so sure about Sea Hag. It's not the best curser in the game, but it's still a curser, and it's pretty cheap for one as well. It's still stronger than Young Witch because it topdecks the Curse and doesn't have a Bane card, which imo makes up for the sifting. Also, wasn't it voted the best $4 card in the game once or twice? Would be kind of weird to rank it B then.

Cursers tend to have the game revolve around them in general.

Sea Hag does absolutely nothing for you except take up an Action. If your opponent can get rid of that Curse, then he's better off doing that instead of getting Sea Hag (unless it's something awful like Trade Route). Young Witch does something for you and that's a big deal.

Sea Hag was voted best $4 card in the game at one point, and I'm of the opinion that that was a giant mistake made by the community (myself included, I remember ranking it high at one point). I've said it before and had people reeling, but I stand behind it: Sea Hag is not a very good card. If I'm challenging your basic intuition about these cards, if I'm saying something that feels really off-base to you, then good. That's exactly what I want to do. The "conventional wisdom" surrounding these two cards is wrong. Maybe I should write an article about it? Hmm...

Sea Hag and IGG are the two more ignoreable Cursers. More so than Familiar and Soothsayer; the fact that they hand out purples and can still be ignored as often as they can speaks to how weak they are.

Yes, Sea Hag takes up an action, but your opponent also needs to spend an action trashing the Curse he got. That is assuming he was lucky enough to have the Curse and the trasher collide. Your Sea Hag takes up one card slot, but your opponent needs to spend two - both the Curse and the trasher take up a card slot. And it gets worse with multiple plays of the Sea Hag. Of course, this is moot if there is very strong trashing like Chapel on board, in which case Sea Hag isn't too great... but this is only the case in a small number of games.

I do agree IGG is not too great, because it junks you almost as much as your opponent. The only exception is with TFB cards (Apprentice/Salvager or Remodel family), in which case IGG's $5 cost is an asset instead of a liability.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2015, 08:42:25 am »
+4

I think it should be emphasized that the gradings don't directly relate to strength, but how important they tend to be on a board. If you always have to ask "why don't I want this card?", then that card should probably be given an A grade.

With Sea Hag, Hunting Party, and IGG, the though process is "Okay if I get these, then what? What should be my ultimate goal here? Surely there's got be something better than SH/IGG/HP + X right?". These are cards whose value cannot be approximated on a given board at all without considering the rest of the board, but you're bound to consider them at some point.

What I'm trying to say is that those 3 cards would fit well in the B grade. Maybe IGG and HP can make it to B+ since they do have go-to monolithic strategies that players should be aware of and go for on weak boards. Sea Hag doesn't even have that.

Compare with stuff like Witch and Mountebank, where the thought process is "Hey, do I basically win if I play these a lot and win the curse split? What cards work with and against Witch/Mountebank?". These cards are deserving of the A grade.

Edit: spelling
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 08:49:34 am by markusin »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2015, 08:45:13 am »
+3

Yes, Sea Hag takes up an action, but your opponent also needs to spend an action trashing the Curse he got. That is assuming he was lucky enough to have the Curse and the trasher collide. Your Sea Hag takes up one card slot, but your opponent needs to spend two - both the Curse and the trasher take up a card slot. And it gets worse with multiple plays of the Sea Hag. Of course, this is moot if there is very strong trashing like Chapel on board, in which case Sea Hag isn't too great... but this is only the case in a small number of games.

If the trasher is terminal and provides you no benefit, then yeah, the Sea Hag player is on the better end of the deal. So stuff like Stonemason and Develop are no good there.

But let's take Steward or Remake. If you're playing an action every shuffle to give me a Curse, and I'm playing one every shuffle to remove the Curse and another bad card from my deck, then I'm coming out ahead. Anything that trashes more than one card at a time pwns Sea Hag here, like, even Trading Post comes out clearly on top here.

Even the ones that trash one card at a time, you're still doing OK. Forager and Lookout are both really good (Lookout hard-counters Sea Hag and Forager gives you money) and these don't cost an Action so you can load up on these. This includes Upgrade, Junk Dealer, etc.

As for the bolded statement, I think I just plain disagree. I went through that list above (so no Adventures) and listed all of the cards that would, by themselves, make me just ignore Sea Hag (any card where I have any question at all I left off the list). Here it is:

Chapel
Witch
Masquerade
Steward
Trading Post
Upgrade
Lighthouse
Ambassador
Lookout
Mountebank
Remake
Young Witch
Jack
Trader
Forager
Urchin
Count
Cultist
Junk Dealer
Rebuild
Soothsayer

So you need to pick 9 cards from 205 and miss all 21 of these for Sea Hag to have a chance at being worth buying. The odds of that are (if I didn't screw up the math):

Code: [Select]
184*183*182*181*180*179*178*177*176
-----------------------------------
205*204*203*202*201*200*199*198*197

198175675938824263680
--------------------- = 37%
535108662793138896000

This is a conservative estimate, and it implies that 63% of the time you see Sea Hag, you're best off not buying her. This doesn't include the maybes either like Forge, Watchtower, Doctor and those guys who just need a little bit of support and they're in the same ballpark.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 08:48:54 am by AdamH »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2015, 09:14:12 am »
+2

Keep in my mind that this rating wasn't supposed to rate the strength, but the possibility of being a "key card". So we don't average out the strength of the card considering all possible boards, but look at the strongest ones.

So IGG is definitely an A or A- for me. If it is on the board, you'll have to consider your possibilities how to avoid losing to an IGG rush and if you can't, you need to contest them. This is what fits the criteria ehunt used here almot completely. Of course it is bad on lots of boards, but you have to spend a second thinking about that card when you look at the board everytime.

I don't think Hunting Party and Sea Hag fit that criteria, as they don't alter your strategy that much as IGG, a B or B+ seem fitting.

That said, we badly need a new rating of the strongest cards aswell  :)

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2015, 09:17:51 am »
+1

Not so sure about these on your list, Adam:

Trading Post
Young Witch
Trader
Rebuild
Soothsayer

Trading Post: TP feels like the slowest trasher of all. I've never thought about skipping Sea Hag only because of it. With support from Hunting Party that's super good to trash curses. But otherwise... would you get 2 TP here if your opponent goes Sea Hag and you've got no support to play TP more often?

Young Witch: I think this depends heavily on the board the bane card. I guess sometimes you want Sea Hag instead of YW, sometimes both.

Trader: Ugh. I don't know. I think I'd get Sea Hag and Trader.

Rebuild: I'm not sure you don't want Sea Hag at all. You probably don't want to open with it. But maybe you want it over your fourth or fifth Silver.

Soothsayer: This is a tough call for me. I think Soothsayer is "strange", I often can't evaluate its strength well, so I'm not sure about this one. Again, I guess you might want both.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 09:22:10 am by assemble_me »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2015, 09:39:24 am »
+1

I don't know much about Sea Hag, but the fact that IGG rushes are a strategy you must always consider as soon as IGG is on the board to me means that it's an A. It might be that IGG isn't viable sometimes, but the fact that you can't afford to not think about it speaks for itself. I think it changes how you think about the board, and that makes it a key card in my opinion. But maybe i'm thinking about this other than intended.

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2015, 09:53:07 am »
+6

While it's a bad sad to see these silly myths recurring, it's sort of nice that I can just quote my old refutations:

You give me a curse with Sea Hag, I trash it with Forager.

It only ever works that way in your head. In real life it often looks more like this (sorry RTT, it's just such a poignant example).

I actually think strong trashing makes Cursers stronger, because you can play them much more often from a trim deck so that their impact is more devastating and can't be easily countered because the Curses come with such staggering consistency while your own deck only needs to miss one beat to start drowning.

A mistake often made even by strong players is trashing down to a reasonably strong deck and then going all green, completely ignoring the Curser in the kingdom, thus opening themselves up to receive all ten Cursers over the course of a few turns from their more perceptive opponent. Two educational examples:

http://dom.retrobox.eu/?/20130828/log.505d732a51c359e6597efeb8.1377729785165.txt
http://dom.retrobox.eu/?/20140127/log.507e1b8f0cf28ed55d9d85d7.1390824281210.txt

And the follow-up: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=10549.msg350064#msg350064

I don't think Chapel makes Sea Hag ignorable at all. In fact, on most Chapel+Sea Hag boards I'd open Chapel/Sea Hag and on those I don't I'd be keeping Sea Hag in mind for the rest of the game as either a way to quickly kill of my opponent if I get ahead or as a desperation gamble.

The sort of trashers that make you want to not open Hag are either stuff like Amb and Masq or the expensive ones like Count, JD and Upgrade that are very hard to hit after a Hag open, but that still doesn't mean Hag is ignorable on such boards. There was a nice game between wero and I think assemble_meme last season where the board had Sea Hag, Upgrade, Margrave and King's Court. Opening Sea Hag there is a horrendous blunder because you want a ton of Upgrades asap, but once you have your deck under control and a KC or two, Sea Hag becomes an excellent way to destroy your opponent's dreams in just two turns.
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Aleimon Thimble

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2015, 09:57:49 am »
0

That said, we badly need a new rating of the strongest cards aswell  :)

Yeah! Definitely. I'm looking forward to it, it would be the first time that I get to vote ^^

Would the Adventures cards be included already, or is it still too early? And Prince?
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2015, 10:34:37 am »
0

Trading Post: TP feels like the slowest trasher of all. I've never thought about skipping Sea Hag only because of it. With support from Hunting Party that's super good to trash curses. But otherwise... would you get 2 TP here if your opponent goes Sea Hag and you've got no support to play TP more often?

Young Witch: I think this depends heavily on the board the bane card. I guess sometimes you want Sea Hag instead of YW, sometimes both.

Trader: Ugh. I don't know. I think I'd get Sea Hag and Trader.

Rebuild: I'm not sure you don't want Sea Hag at all. You probably don't want to open with it. But maybe you want it over your fourth or fifth Silver.

Soothsayer: This is a tough call for me. I think Soothsayer is "strange", I often can't evaluate its strength well, so I'm not sure about this one. Again, I guess you might want both.

I'll stand behind Trading Post, Trader, and Soothsayer. They're some of the more speculative entries on the list but I still think they belong.

I didn't consider the possibility of Scheme being the bane for YW, maybe that means it's off the list. I didn't put a ton of thought into it, I was just hoping to come up with an approximate number.

Rebuild: hmm, this might be a slight oversimplification. Maybe you usually want both. Hmm.

In any case, if you remove just two things from the list, you're still below 50% for when you want Sea Hag. I'm looking for an approximation here by making a very conservative estimate, I really didn't want people to look too much more into it: obviously optimal play depends very much on the other cards on the board but that isn't what this thread is about, I'm sharing my guts with you and trying to back it up by some quick calculations on a napkin.

I don't know much about Sea Hag, but the fact that IGG rushes are a strategy you must always consider as soon as IGG is on the board to me means that it's an A. It might be that IGG isn't viable sometimes, but the fact that you can't afford to not think about it speaks for itself. I think it changes how you think about the board, and that makes it a key card in my opinion. But maybe i'm thinking about this other than intended.

This is exactly the conventional wisdom I want to challenge. IGG rush is bad enough that I don't think it deserves this kind of consideration. People think it's super-fast and super-unstoppable, but it totally isn't either of those things.


I just want to point something out: I'm the one making simplifications and you're the one putting in more details and thoughtful insight. I'm truly enjoying this moment. <3

You make several good points. If your opponent doesn't go for the trashing that's available (or in any way builds a deck that's vulnerable to Sea Hag) then of course you should pick it up in the midgame once you're thin and you'll be able to wreck them. This goes for almost anything that says "Attack" on it and some things that don't.

On the other hand, for-funsies, since I know you're a fan of this kind of argument (even though it means absolutely nothing), let's try this:

Force Chapel and Sea Hag into a kingdom, randomize the other 8 cards and stuff. Do this, uhh, 55 times. How many of those kingdoms would you say Chapel/Sea Hag is a better opening than Chapel/Silver (or maybe Chapel/some other card) on a 4/3 opening? Without doing this, my guess is that your number is less than 10, and probably less than 5. If I got a Sea Hag, it would be a few turns in, after I'm thin and drawing, AND I see that it's actually going to hurt my opponent more than it hurts me. I'm not any of those things on turn 2.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2015, 10:44:24 am »
+4

Force Chapel and Sea Hag into a kingdom, randomize the other 8 cards and stuff. Do this, uhh, 55 times. How many of those kingdoms would you say Chapel/Sea Hag is a better opening than Chapel/Silver (or maybe Chapel/some other card) on a 4/3 opening? Without doing this, my guess is that your number is less than 10, and probably less than 5. If I got a Sea Hag, it would be a few turns in, after I'm thin and drawing, AND I see that it's actually going to hurt my opponent more than it hurts me. I'm not any of those things on turn 2.

When can I watch that stream of the Sea Hag + Chapel cage match ;)?
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2015, 10:56:28 am »
+2

Force Chapel and Sea Hag into a kingdom, randomize the other 8 cards and stuff. Do this, uhh, 55 times. How many of those kingdoms would you say Chapel/Sea Hag is a better opening than Chapel/Silver (or maybe Chapel/some other card) on a 4/3 opening? Without doing this, my guess is that your number is less than 10, and probably less than 5. If I got a Sea Hag, it would be a few turns in, after I'm thin and drawing, AND I see that it's actually going to hurt my opponent more than it hurts me. I'm not any of those things on turn 2.

Assuming Chapel/Silver and Chapel/Sea Hag are the only available or allowed 4/3 opens, I'd open Sea Hag whenever there is no 5 cost that I quickly want, which I'd loosely guess is on about 25-30 out of 55 boards? I certainly wouldn't wait a few turns when there are no immediately better plans because the whole point of getting it early is to do damage before my opponent has the chance to get his deck under control.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 10:57:59 am by SheCantSayNo »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #39 on: September 01, 2015, 11:01:58 am »
0

Force Chapel and Sea Hag into a kingdom, randomize the other 8 cards and stuff. Do this, uhh, 55 times. How many of those kingdoms would you say Chapel/Sea Hag is a better opening than Chapel/Silver (or maybe Chapel/some other card) on a 4/3 opening? Without doing this, my guess is that your number is less than 10, and probably less than 5. If I got a Sea Hag, it would be a few turns in, after I'm thin and drawing, AND I see that it's actually going to hurt my opponent more than it hurts me. I'm not any of those things on turn 2.

Assuming Chapel/Silver and Chapel/Sea Hag are the only available or allowed 4/3 opens, I'd open Sea Hag whenever there is no 5 cost that I quickly want, which I'd loosely guess is on about 25-30 out of 55 boards? I certainly wouldn't wait a few turns when there are no immediately better plans because the whole point of getting it early is to do damage before my opponent has the chance to get his deck under control.

Why would we assume you can't open anything else? That seems totally silly. That does nothing but bias things in favor of Sea Hag by creating conditions less like an actual game of Dominion.

But even if you could only open with those two things, I'd estimate 15 instead of 25-30.

I agree with the rest of what you said, though. And I would totally do a Chapel/Sea Hag cage match with you. Not instead of our league match, but for-funsies at some point. We'd have to re-roll until we both got 4/3 openings for fairness, I think.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #40 on: September 01, 2015, 11:08:22 am »
+2

I am willing to believe that, with decent Curse-trashing on the board, an Ill-Gotten Gains rush is very seldom the way to go. You might still buy them opportunistically, but probably you're not rushing them.

Without Curse-trashing, getting as many Ill-Gotten Gains as possible is nearly always a priority. The idea that it "junks you almost as much as your opponent" is rubbish (sorry, Aleimon). Copper is worlds better than Curse, and Ill-Gotten Gains is at least slightly better than Copper.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #41 on: September 01, 2015, 11:17:58 am »
+1

I am willing to believe that, with decent Curse-trashing on the board, an Ill-Gotten Gains rush is very seldom the way to go. You might still buy them opportunistically, but probably you're not rushing them.

Without Curse-trashing, getting as many Ill-Gotten Gains as possible is nearly always a priority. The idea that it "junks you almost as much as your opponent" is rubbish (sorry, Aleimon). Copper is worlds better than Curse, and Ill-Gotten Gains is at least slightly better than Copper.

I know, I was exaggerating. Still, IGG is not a card you actually want in your deck, you only buy it for the on-buy effect. I guess it would also be good with Watchtower or Trader. Boards where you cannot trash Curses at all are rare, and even bad trashers make IGG not worth it a lot of the time, especially because of the opportunity cost associated with relatively mediocre $5's.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2015, 11:33:57 am »
+2

I know, I was exaggerating. Still, IGG is not a card you actually want in your deck, you only buy it for the on-buy effect. I guess it would also be good with Watchtower or Trader. Boards where you cannot trash Curses at all are rare, and even bad trashers make IGG not worth it a lot of the time, especially because of the opportunity cost associated with relatively mediocre $5's.

IGG is a card you actually want in your deck in IGG games. It helps you hit $8, and it gains Coppers which help you hit $5.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2015, 11:39:40 am »
0

I know, I was exaggerating. Still, IGG is not a card you actually want in your deck, you only buy it for the on-buy effect. I guess it would also be good with Watchtower or Trader. Boards where you cannot trash Curses at all are rare, and even bad trashers make IGG not worth it a lot of the time, especially because of the opportunity cost associated with relatively mediocre $5's.

IGG is a card you actually want in your deck in IGG games. It helps you hit $8, and it gains Coppers which help you hit $5.

It's worse than Silver for hitting $8, and gaining Coppers in IGG games is only ever good with support like Gardens or Coppersmith. Otherwise it's actually bad.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2015, 11:41:22 am »
+1

Why would we assume you can't open anything else? That seems totally silly. That does nothing but bias things in favor of Sea Hag by creating conditions less like an actual game of Dominion.

But even if you could only open with those two things, I'd estimate 15 instead of 25-30.

I assumed Silver because that was your main suggestion for comparison and it's easier to answer because other cards complicate stuff a lot to the point where you might not even want to open Chapel at all. But to answer the question for general boards I just checked the data:

gokosalvager.com has 15 pro games where I had 4/3 on a board containing both Chapel and Sea Hag, on 7 of those boards did I open Sea Hag, although combining it once with Steward and once with Silver instead of Chapel, both of which decisions I disagree with in hindsight. There was another one where I opened Chapel/Silver against my opponent's Chapel/Sea Hag and got crushed. So based on this data I'd expect to open Sea Hag on about 7-8 out of 15 Sea Hag-Chapel boards, which translates to 25.7-29.3 out of 55.

Quote
I agree with the rest of what you said, though. And I would totally do a Chapel/Sea Hag cage match with you. Not instead of our league match, but for-funsies at some point. We'd have to re-roll until we both got 4/3 openings for fairness, I think.

I dislike cursers in general and Sea Hag in particular so I'm going to have to disappoint you there, as the whole "for-funsies" aspect would be gone.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2015, 12:54:32 pm »
+1

of the discussion above, the only one i really disagree with is fishing village. fishing village is the only village that all by itself makes you go, ok, i am not going to worry about terminals colliding at all this game i am not going to buy silver this game; i am building an engine this game as long as there's card draw at least as good as moat and/or trashing at least as good as trade route. it is an order of magnitude above the other villages (and the one that forces you to look at terminals you would normally just ignore);  and almost always a board-warper, and i think a solid A. i probably overrated hamlet as a mini-version of this; wherever i put hamlet, i should put squire too.

i suspect i systematically overvalue junkers, you see, my heart is in 2011, dont cry for me, i dont miss it, it was always getting hung up on politics news
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #46 on: September 01, 2015, 01:17:23 pm »
0

It's worse than Silver for hitting $8, and gaining Coppers in IGG games is only ever good with support like Gardens or Coppersmith. Otherwise it's actually bad.

Well, gaining Coppers just because you can isn't very good in the early game, but I think it's pretty good to gain Coppers later.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2015, 01:57:35 pm »
0

If this is an article for beginners why not group by grade rather than set?

A grade = cards you need to seriously consider getting unless there is a good reason not.
C grade = cards you need to have a good reason to get.

Simple help for learners in identifying likely key and ignorable cards at the start of the game when they are struggling with all the possible interactions. Just the A and C groups will probably be small enough to remember also.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2015, 02:01:36 pm »
+2

If this is an article for beginners why not group by grade rather than set?

Maybe because beginners are unlikely to own everything. This way they can look at the sets that are pertinent to them.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #49 on: September 03, 2015, 10:31:12 am »
+1

Sea Hag A   Like, this is a B at best. With any sort of decent trashing around you can safely ignore this lovely lady.

Dominion is like a child that has mutated and evolved until I can no longer recognize it, yet I somehow must love it.


Similar to the snarky "Don't buy any Mandarins until you hit iso level 35" rule, I'd probably say "Don't skip Sea Hag until you're iso level 20", unless the curses are getting literally reflected by Ambassador.  It just doesn't do that much damage even when you've bought it and it's not optimal, and it leads into a game that is easier for a beginner to play in general.


I want to say the same thing about leaving Treasure Map with an inflated ranking, but that's kinda like telling beginners to skip learning anything relevant about Dominion for 1 game and to instead buy Warehouses and Treasure Maps that will virtually never dominate the board in a i40 vs. i40 game, which is kinda sad in the personal growth sense.  (Slogs are a legit gametype to learn about, on the other hand)
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #50 on: September 03, 2015, 01:20:14 pm »
+1

Great List!

I completely agree with Adam H's changes too (besides HP and sea hag cough cough

The one I want to emphasize though is navigator.  I never buy this card ever.  Like never ever ever.  Even if you have the actions and draw to make this viable you'd probably just want another village or draw card or silver.  I have played enough games where I have done all sorts of tricks with top deck interaction.  Navigator I have never used to do any of this.  Its terrible in slogs too, why would I want to cycle!

It differs from other C+ cards like pirate ship because you at least have to think about if your opponent goes crazy on PS.  It makes you at least think a little.  Navigator, however has always and always will be a blank spot on the board for me.

Should be C-
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 01:30:04 pm by BraveBear »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #51 on: September 03, 2015, 01:40:02 pm »
0

Great List!

I completely agree with Adam H's changes too (besides HP and sea hag cough cough

The one I want to emphasize though is navigator.  I never buy this card ever.  Like never ever ever.  Even if you have the actions and draw to make this viable you'd probably just want another village or draw card or silver.  I have played enough games where I have done all sorts of tricks with top deck interaction.  Navigator I have never used to do any of this.  Its terrible in slogs too, why would I want to cycle!

It differs from other C+ cards like pirate ship because you at least have to think about if your opponent goes crazy on PS.  It makes you at least think a little.  Navigator, however has always and always will be a blank spot on the board for me.

Should be C-

Navigator isn't strong. But in its defense, its power is mostly invisible. It's definitely not good for reordering the top cards of your deck (though if you can make that work, good on you). It's meant to skip bad hands. You absolutely might want it in a slog because skipping over a $1 hand is well worth the cost of getting to the shuffle one turn sooner. I mean there could be better options in a slog, but it can easily be better than Silver.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2015, 04:43:21 am »
0

I think Navigator is also much similar to Chancellor, and that's probably where we are power level wise, as well.
You can skip those bad hands, you also don't have to track the deck that well to benefit. Reordering doesn't matter most of the time but sometimes it does help slightly.

I guess both have some special synergies of their own (Chancellor with Stash as mentioned, Navigator with Tunnel).

Both aren't great, but they're still clearly better than Silver if you have a terminal slot. Overall, I guess Chancellor and Navigator should have the same rating, so I'd put them both at C.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 04:46:24 am by assemble_me »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2015, 05:03:08 am »
+2

A single Navigator is like a lone Fool's Gold, you need a lot of them to make them shine:

Game Over
SheCantSayNo   cards: 10 Herald, 7 Navigator, 4 Worker's Village, 2 Rogue, ...

http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20140326/log.505d732a51c359e6597efeb8.1395875733087.txt

(Those Rogues should have been Navigators too).
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2015, 10:34:09 pm »
+2

Tentative Adventures rankings:

$2
Coin of the Realm - B
Page - A-
Peasant - A-
Ratcatcher - B
Raze - B-

$3
Amulet - A
Caravan Guard - B-
Dungeon - B
Gear - B+?
Guide - B+

$4
Duplicate - B
Magpie - A
Messenger - B
Miser - B
Port - B
Ranger - B
Transmogrify - B-

$5
Artificer - B
Bridge Troll - B+
Distant Lands - B+
Giant - A
Haunted Woods - B
Lost City - B+
Relic - B
Royal Carriage - B
Storyteller - B-
Swamp Hag - B+
Treasure Trove - B
Wine Merchant - B-

$6
Hireling - B+

Events
Alms - A
Borrow - B+
Quest - C
Save - B
Scouting Party - C
Travelling Fair - B+
Bonfire - B
Expedition - B
Ferry - A
Plan - B-
Mission - B+
Pilgrimage - B-
Ball - B
Raid - C
Seaway - B
Trade - B-
Lost Arts - B
Training - B
Inheritance - B
Pathfinding - B
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2015, 11:06:50 pm »
0

From the first glance, I really like your Adventures ranking. The only stuff I disagree with is Amulet and Giant who should be B (B+) and Swamp Hag deserves an A in my opinion

No idea about the event, I'm still unsure how they'll work out.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #56 on: September 07, 2015, 02:39:26 am »
0

I am by no means an expert on Adventures. I have only played a dozen or so games.

However, I don't think Alms is an A. Yah, it can gain you a $4, and chances are you will open with it, but beyond junking games, I don't think being able to gain a $4 once per turn at the cost of playing treasures is all that great. Decent but great. Probably more or less a B+

Pilgrimage, however, from what I have seen is really strong in most engine decks. Sure, it takes two turns to set up, but man gaining 3 different cards regardless of cost is really good. At the very least, I would think it is an A-, if not an A.

Lost Arts is really good, especially with a lack of villages or if you have a non-terminal that is in your deck a lot, such as Magpie, essentially turning them into villages. Heck, it turns Smithy into non-terminal. I would be very surprised if in most engine games, this event does not get bought almost all the time.

Also, Scouting Party may not seem amazing, but I played an irl game today with it, and I bought its effect many times. There were a couple of bad hands I was saved from drawing because of it. It's not amazing, but not terrible either. Probably a B or B- at worst.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #57 on: September 07, 2015, 11:04:43 am »
0

I do think Alms changes a board quite a lot. "You will basically never have less than $4" is what, basically a different game? I think it really deserves A. Amulet on the other hand might be strong (i don't actually know), but doesn't really change my perception of the board as a whole. I mean, will it change what i want to do or how i do it? Not really. Again, strength vs influence on how you see the board. I felt "key card" means the second.

A on Magpie, Page and Peasant seems justified to me. Probably Wero was a bit generous with the absence of C's among the kingdom cards, though.

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #58 on: September 07, 2015, 04:21:07 pm »
0

Some things I don't agree with:

Caravan Guard - B- - I think Caravan Guard is pretty weak. Its reaction part doesn't really protect against anything and its +$1 is pretty slow normally. It often has trouble enduring the Silver test, which is rare for Adventures cards, and makes it ignorable a lot of the time. C or maybe C+.
Duplicate - B - Duplicate is awesome if you manage to play a lot of them, in which case it gets you lots of cheap Gold/Hirelings/a big pile of Duchies late-game. Ignore it at your own peril. A-.
Messenger - B - It's not really weak, but it's pretty situational. If there's a card you want but your opponent doesn't, then it's strong, but otherwise it's a weird Woodcutter/Chancellor mashup, nothing too exciting. Maybe there are some late-game shenanigans with piling out, but that's also kinda situational. C+ I would say.
Haunted Woods - B - One of the strongest cards in the game imo. +3 Cards on the next turn is HUGE, like a superpowered Wharf, and it has a (somewhat mediocre) attack to boot. Doesn't do anything on the current turn, but still, A or maybe even A+ imo. (Edit: I just noticed A+ doesn't exist. Oops. A it is.)
Storyteller - B- - Storyteller is a pretty cool sifter / card drawer that makes engines more resilient to not trashing Copper. B+ or maybe even A-.
Treasure Trove - B - Only strong on weakish Big Money boards or with stuff like Gardens. Can be used with Magpie or Storyteller but even then, it isn't exactly a power card. C+.

As for Events, I haven't played enough with each of them to really give a clear opinion on them, so I'll leave that to the others.

From the first glance, I really like your Adventures ranking. The only stuff I disagree with is Amulet and Giant who should be B (B+) and Swamp Hag deserves an A in my opinion

No idea about the event, I'm still unsure how they'll work out.

I do think Amulet is good enough for A and Swamp Hag is fine at B+. Giant I'm not completely sure of, sometimes it's insanely strong and other times it seems lackluster. Maybe A-?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 06:26:03 am by Aleimon Thimble »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #59 on: September 07, 2015, 05:41:20 pm »
0

Some things I don't agree with:

Caravan Guard - B- - I think Caravan Guard is pretty weak. Its reaction part doesn't really protect against anything and its +$1 is pretty slow normally. It often has trouble enduring the Silver test, which is rare for Adventures cards, and makes it ignorable a lot of the time. C or maybe C+.
Duplicate - B - Duplicate is awesome if you manage to play a lot of them, in which case it gets you lots of cheap Gold/Hirelings/a big pile of Duchies late-game. Ignore it at your own peril. A-.
Messenger - B - It's not really weak, but it's pretty situational. If there's a card you want but your opponent doesn't, then it's strong, but otherwise it's a weird Woodcutter/Chancellor mashup, nothing too exciting. Maybe there are some late-game shenanigans with piling out, but that's also kinda situational. C+ I would say.
Haunted Woods - B - One of the strongest cards in the game imo. +3 Cards on the next turn is HUGE, like a superpowered Wharf, and it has a (somewhat mediocre) attack to boot. Doesn't do anything on the current turn, but still, A or maybe even A+ imo.
Storyteller - B- - Storyteller is a pretty cool sifter / card drawer that makes engines more resilient to not trashing Copper. B+ or maybe even A-.
Treasure Trove - B - Only strong on weakish Big Money boards or with stuff like Gardens. Can be used with Magpie or Storyteller but even then, it isn't exactly a power card. C+.

As for Events, I haven't played enough with each of them to really give a clear opinion on them, so I'll leave that to the others.

From the first glance, I really like your Adventures ranking. The only stuff I disagree with is Amulet and Giant who should be B (B+) and Swamp Hag deserves an A in my opinion

No idea about the event, I'm still unsure how they'll work out.

I do think Amulet is good enough for A and Swamp Hag is fine at B+. Giant I'm not completely sure of, sometimes it's insanely strong and other times it seems lackluster. Maybe A-?

Caravan Guard: I disagree with you on CG. It's a delayed Peddler for one dollar less than what the vanilla stats are worth which makes it better than nothing most of the time compared to silver, which can actually hurt your deck. I think B- is fair

Messenger: I think Messenger is indeed one of the few cards that deserve a C or C+. Donald X has definitely been getting good at making every card viable this expansion. Treasure Trove, Raze and Miser might be the others.

Haunted Woods: It's surely great. I reconsider my position that it is accurately placed at B. Should be at A- or A, especially since you have consider the attack when you start thinking about greening.

Amulet: Can you explain your reasoning? I'm of the firm opinion that it is close to strictly weaker than Steward considering trashing and definitely afterwards. Also, I don't see it being more than a nice addition to a deck, ever. In other words, there is no deck built around amulet, which is what the key card criteria was.

Swamp Hag This one I'm unsure of. I put it in A because if there are no gainers I think you have to be very careful building your engine that requires multiple buys per turn. Might reconsider this one.



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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #60 on: September 07, 2015, 06:23:25 pm »
+1

Caravan Guard: I disagree with you on CG. It's a delayed Peddler for one dollar less than what the vanilla stats are worth which makes it better than nothing most of the time compared to silver, which can actually hurt your deck. I think B- is fair

Messenger: I think Messenger is indeed one of the few cards that deserve a C or C+. Donald X has definitely been getting good at making every card viable this expansion. Treasure Trove, Raze and Miser might be the others.

Haunted Woods: It's surely great. I reconsider my position that it is accurately placed at B. Should be at A- or A, especially since you have consider the attack when you start thinking about greening.

Amulet: Can you explain your reasoning? I'm of the firm opinion that it is close to strictly weaker than Steward considering trashing and definitely afterwards. Also, I don't see it being more than a nice addition to a deck, ever. In other words, there is no deck built around amulet, which is what the key card criteria was.

Swamp Hag This one I'm unsure of. I put it in A because if there are no gainers I think you have to be very careful building your engine that requires multiple buys per turn. Might reconsider this one.

Caravan Guard: I think it really suffers from opportunity cost, it may not hurt your deck but its benefit is just too marginal to justify buying it a lot of the time. Even at its relatively low cost, there are often too many better options. Silver hurts some of the stronger Engines, that is true, but in cases where it does you are rarely stuck with $3 hands with no other options. Peddler is not the kind of card you can stand to have a delay in.

Amulet: I don't think it's inferior to Steward at all, as it is a lot more flexible. Steward (which is still a pretty good $3 card, mind you) has the unfortunate tendency to be a weaker Chapel early-game, as it leaves you with a two-card hand (usually two Copper) with which you can't do a whole lot. Amulet trashes one card in your current hand and one card in your next, meaning that you can often buy another decent $3 card (maybe another Amulet?) on both turns. And if you decide you don't want to trash a card in your second hand, because you want +$1, that works as well. I do agree that Steward retains some more late-game flexibility with its +2 Cards option, which is often better than Amulet's Silver-gaining. All in all, though, I would say Steward and Amulet are similar in strength/usability. Saying that, Steward got an A- ranking, so maybe Amulet should as well?

Swamp Hag: As opposed to other cursers, you have a lot of flexibility when you are attacked by Swamp Hag. You can decide to use gainers (like you said), or buy Events, or just don't buy too many cards. If it's really late in the game you might not care too much about an extra Curse or two. It's still an okay attack, and +$3 next turn is pretty nice, but it's nowhere near as dominant on most boards as normal cursers like Witch and Mountebank. B+ is fine imo.

Raze: Well, it's not exactly overcentralizing or anything, but it's still a nonterminal trasher. B- looks fine.

Miser: You might be right about this one, actually. It's not nearly as strong as it looks, and most of the time I tried it it's been kind of a dead weight in my deck. It can be useful, but you have to be really careful with it. Maybe C+ is high enough.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 06:28:47 pm by Aleimon Thimble »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #61 on: September 07, 2015, 08:04:45 pm »
+2

Just to clarify, when I'm saying that Swamp Hag is an A does not refer to her strength as a card, but to its impact in the game. Like you said, there are quite a few ways to make her useless, but in my opinion you always have make a plan on how to play against her. That what the thread was originally about
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #62 on: September 08, 2015, 06:13:00 am »
+1

Just to clarify, when I'm saying that Swamp Hag is an A does not refer to her strength as a card, but to its impact in the game. Like you said, there are quite a few ways to make her useless, but in my opinion you always have make a plan on how to play against her. That what the thread was originally about

I know what A means in this context, but in my opinion Swamp Hag does not have as big an impact in the game because it's relatively easy to play around it, compared to other Cursers. I just can't see Swamp Hag as a key card in the way Witch and Mountebank are.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #63 on: September 08, 2015, 06:07:31 pm »
0

To make this post, I grabbed wero's rankings and wrote my ranking and words next to them. I wrote just a few words next to the cards I only thought were off by a little bit, and more words for more drastic changes. Didn't do the Events to save time.

$2
Ratcatcher - B
Raze - B- - B - Raze is a nonterminal trasher for $2, even if it's not a particularly good one. I'd say B just because of how the presence of a viable trasher with low opportunity cost changes the board. Raze can also trash itself which means it can have an impact without sticking around.

$3
Amulet - A - B+ - Maybe it's just me, but I really don't "get" Amulet. Aside from Silver gaining I consider it basically a strictly worse Steward. Its trashing is pretty slow and the money effect is pretty weak. I don't like having to decide between trashing and +$1 at the beginning of a turn as well, so the duration effect is a bit weaker than I expected. I certainly wouldn't say it has as strong of an influence on a kingdom strategy as Chapel, Witch, Goons, or other A cards.
Gear - B+? - A- - Gear is a phenomenal card and has a large impact on the viability of certain BM and engine strategies. As a BM card it is at least as good as Courtyard, letting you set aside terminals for next turn, while increasing your future hand size at that. It's incredibly safe to play in many decks and has all kinds of neat tricks. Set aside Estates before a critical shuffle and you've improved all the hands of that shuffle for example. I think hard about Gear pretty much every game it's on the board.

$4
Duplicate - B - A- - Duplicate is to me like Bridge - maybe it's not better than other B+s but when it matters in a game it has a huge impact. It can really make engines or alt-VP strategies take off.
Miser - B - B- - Miser is just too slow to be viable. Same problem that Pirate Ship has basically. I dont' see it having a huge impact on boards, except in the edge case where you have everything you need for an engine except Copper trashing, at which point it's better than some of the weaker options.
Transmogrify - B- -B+ - Transmogrify in the presence of similar cost engine components completley changes the game. It makes engines far more viable when you can switch your engine pieces as needed before your turn.

$5
Royal Carriage - B - B+ - It's a bit more useful and thus more influencing than Throne Room, since you don't need it to collide and you only decide to use it after resolving the action it duplicates. Maybe the lack of a psuedo village effect (no self stacking) cancels out, I dunno.

$6
Hireling - B+ - A- - I've yet to see a game with anything resembling a viable engine where Hireling didn't play a massive role.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #64 on: September 09, 2015, 09:45:17 pm »
0

I'd like to continue this discussion here. Finally receiving the physical edition, I've played quite a few games today.

My previous judgements seem to prevail so far.

Amulet felt pretty lackluster. It felt almost like junk in my deck after playing it 2 times. In fairness, the games contained raze and ratcatcher respectively, but still. I don't even think it is that strong for a terminal trasher. Definitely a B for me.

Giant was pretty ignorable. The game that contained Giant I ignored it and even got hit quite badly but its lack of frequency makes up for it. Maybe if there is no other payload but otherwise I don't see it among the best attacks. Decent for sure, but that's about it.

Swamp Hag is the card I would still give an A. It's not the best card, but it is the card that made me adjust my playstyle the most.

And I agree with Chris on Transmogrify. It makes your engine a lot more reliable if you have 1 or 2 in your deck.

Also, Duplicate is a lot more fun to play with than I expected.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2015, 11:53:24 pm »
0

Amulet felt pretty lackluster. It felt almost like junk in my deck after playing it 2 times. In fairness, the games contained raze and ratcatcher respectively, but still. I don't even think it is that strong for a terminal trasher. Definitely a B for me.

Giant was pretty ignorable. The game that contained Giant I ignored it and even got hit quite badly but its lack of frequency makes up for it. Maybe if there is no other payload but otherwise I don't see it among the best attacks. Decent for sure, but that's about it.

With both of these cards, you really have to buy two.  Yes, Amulet may seem like a gimped Steward, but the strongest part of it is the trashing.  Trash something now, trash something next turn, hopefully play your other Amulet that turn as well.  And then once you've trashed down, your Amulets are able to rebuild your economy by throwing you Silvers.  With Giant, once you're playing two a turn, it starts to become a constant barrage, particularly in multiplayer.  Sure, the effect only happens every other play, but that effect is huge.  It gives a metric shit-ton of , with an Attack that never misses.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #66 on: September 10, 2015, 12:42:48 am »
0


With both of these cards, you really have to buy two.  Yes, Amulet may seem like a gimped Steward, but the strongest part of it is the trashing.  Trash something now, trash something next turn, hopefully play your other Amulet that turn as well.  And then once you've trashed down, your Amulets are able to rebuild your economy by throwing you Silvers.  With Giant, once you're playing two a turn, it starts to become a constant barrage, particularly in multiplayer.  Sure, the effect only happens every other play, but that effect is huge.  It gives a metric shit-ton of , with an Attack that never misses.

I'll have to gain more experience with this. Like I said, so far I had another trasher to supplement Amulet, it's surely stronger when it's the only trasher. It's just that I don't want Silvers all the time and if I don't it's a duration ruined mine. I'm not saying it's bad I just don't think it's up with the best cards.

Giant is the same for me. I rather play two Mountebanks or one Mountebank and a Knight than two Giants. It'll generate almost the same amount of stats.

I see Giant as an attack thats misses 50% of the time.

But like I said maybe my opinion changes over time, maybe it shines more when it's the only payload in an engine, I haven't experienced that so far.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #67 on: September 10, 2015, 11:59:50 am »
+2

I've played quite a bit with Adventures cards. Perhaps more than most people here? That said, I didn't feel like I had enough experience with them to rate them like this.

So to someone reading this and trying to take some stock in these Adventures ratings, keep that in mind. There are things many people have said that I wildly disagree with (cards rated A that I'd give a C+, for example) but even then, I don't think adding my opinion into things would be constructive, because of the lack of data I have.

Of course that doesn't mean we shouldn't wildly speculate, but I think we should be nice and clear about exactly what we're doing: wildly speculating.

OK OK I guess I can't really say that without posting my own wild speculation, can I? Fine. Here it is, with no justification whatsoever, my wild speculations:


Coin of the Realm - B
Page - A-
Peasant - B
Ratcatcher - B
Raze - B
Amulet - C+
Caravan Guard - C+
Dungeon - B
Gear - A
Guide - B
Duplicate - B-
Magpie - A-
Messenger - B-
Miser - C
Port - B
Ranger - B
Transmogrify - B
Artificer - C+
Bridge Troll - B+
Distant Lands - A-
Giant - C
Haunted Woods - A-
Lost City - B+
Relic - B
Royal Carriage - A-
Storyteller - B-
Swamp Hag - B
Treasure Trove - A-
Wine Merchant - C
Hireling - B

Alms - B
Borrow - A
Quest - C
Save - A
Scouting Party - C+
Travelling Fair - B
Bonfire - B+
Expedition - B
Ferry - A
Plan - B
Mission - B
Pilgrimage - C, maybe C-?
Ball - B
Raid - B-
Seaway - B
Trade - B
Lost Arts - A
Training - B+
Inheritance - A-
Pathfinding - B+


I could go through and see where my opinions differ from the general perception so far, then try and justify why I think my ratings are better, but hey I could be totally wrong so I won't take the effort to do that proactively.

Although if someone wants me to justify a particular rating I'm happy to explain why I gave a card/event a particular rating. Hit me.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #68 on: September 10, 2015, 12:49:44 pm »
0

Thanks for your input. There are indeed some things I would like to see clarified:

Peasant - B: Teacher may be a bit weaker and slower than Champion, but the Peasant line has some other strong options, like Disciple, which is an incredibly strong Throne Room variant. Why do you feel the Peasant line is so much weaker than Page?
Amulet - C+: I guess I could understand it if people found it not strong enough for A-, but C+ is really radical in the other direction. Is there anything we missed?
Treasure Trove - A-: Is Treasure Trove really that dominant? I found it to be pretty underwhelming so far.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #69 on: September 10, 2015, 01:00:35 pm »
+1

Amulet is slightly weaker than Steward, but I'd pretty much always prefer opening Amulet/Steward to double Steward. Its biggest drawback is that it can't draw later on; it's biggest advantage is that it doesn't ruin the turn(s) on which you use it for trashing, which is really important if there are cheap villages.

In the end they are close enough for me to rank them both as A, but Amulet A- seems ok as well. Lower than that strikes me as lunacy.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #70 on: September 10, 2015, 01:33:12 pm »
0

Thanks for your input. There are indeed some things I would like to see clarified:

Peasant - B: Teacher may be a bit weaker and slower than Champion, but the Peasant line has some other strong options, like Disciple, which is an incredibly strong Throne Room variant. Why do you feel the Peasant line is so much weaker than Page?
Amulet - C+: I guess I could understand it if people found it not strong enough for A-, but C+ is really radical in the other direction. Is there anything we missed?
Treasure Trove - A-: Is Treasure Trove really that dominant? I found it to be pretty underwhelming so far.

I agree with all of these, particularly Treasure Trove. It is an extremely underrated card. Think about Cache - when you buy it, you gain a "gold" and 3 coppers. With some mechanism to discard those coppers, or in alt VP decks, this makes Cache a pretty good deal. Treasure Trove, for the same cost, adds a Gold and a Copper to your deck every play. It has no opportunity cost to do so, and it almost certainly improves a BM deck's money density even in the absence of Copper trashing. With moneylender, spice merchant, upgrade, remake, etc. available it becomes a dominant card that heavily skews the game toward BM, in a way I never expected until I lost several games to it. It's a seriously underestimated card.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #71 on: September 10, 2015, 01:50:06 pm »
0

Peasant - B: Teacher may be a bit weaker and slower than Champion, but the Peasant line has some other strong options, like Disciple, which is an incredibly strong Throne Room variant. Why do you feel the Peasant line is so much weaker than Page?

Champion is a ridiculous card. It's like so unbelievably powerful that it's worth all of the trouble you go through to get it. I said that without adding any qualifications based on the kingdom, which I probably should have done, but I can't think of a deck where you wouldn't want a Champion in play given the choice, and the number of decks made viable by the presence of Champion is staggering. But you didn't ask about Champion.

Teacher is slower to get than Champion, so Champion's main weakness is exacerbated in the Peasant line. Yeah it's only slightly slower to actually get in your deck because the cards in the Peasant line cycle less, but I'm more talking about the fact that once you play Champion, you never have to draw it again, you never have to play it again, and you get her full effect right away. With the teacher, you have to draw him, play him, take him to the tavern and wait while he gets drunk (until the start of your next turn) for him to share just one of his lessons with you. That's SO SLOW, man. Then there's the fact that you have to wait at least TWO MORE TURNS to get the next token placed in the best case, and then you can't even get as much use out of that one because it has to go on a different card. The two best tokens are cards and actions, and if you are able to get back to your teacher in "only" two turns, then you are probably doing OK without those tokens, in which case why did you need Teacher?

The decks made viable by Teacher are far less than Champion, because they basically require a wa to slow the game down so you don't get beat by Big Money.

Yes, Disciple is a good card, but given the hoops you have to jump through to get it, it would be tough to rank that any higher than Throne Room.


Amulet is slightly weaker than Steward, but I'd pretty much always prefer opening Amulet/Steward to double Steward.

Who are you and what have you done with SCSN?

Lower than that strikes me as lunacy.

Oh, there you are :)

Amulet - C+: I guess I could understand it if people found it not strong enough for A-, but C+ is really radical in the other direction. Is there anything we missed?

Steward is a really good card. Like, I'd give it an A-. It's so good because it trashes cards lightning fast, and then once that happens, it draws cards instead of doing absolutely nothing. Trashing cards is really, really, really, like super-ultra good. Next to ending the game on a win, trashing cards is like the next best thing you can do in Dominion. It's so good. After that, the next thing is probably drawing cards (those two are very similar anyways). Steward is fast, and it does two awesome things, so it gets an A-.

Amulet doesn't draw cards, that's a big weakness compared to Steward. OK we already knew that. The main reason that it's multiple orders of magnitude worse than Steward is because of the trashing. Amulet is really, really bad at getting your deck thin. If you don't see your Amulet on turn 3, you are so, so, behind compared to like every other trasher you can open with, except for maybe Trade Route.

A double Steward opening is a totally reasonable thing because you get the chance of trashing four cards before you shuffle again. That's way more than three. I literally can't think of any draw where I'd be happy with an Amulet in my hand instead of a Steward if my goal is to get thin as fast as possible (which it almost always is these first few turns). There's this argument that Amulet doesn't ruin your trashing hands like Steward does, but I counter that argument by saying that the fact that it's Amulet by itself ruins those hands, where Steward always gives you the option of taking money and hitting $5 if you decide that's more important than trashing (which you never do, because it isn't, which is why Steward is way better). Amulet lets you get those all-important $3 cards. If $5 cards aren't important enough to slow your trashing for, which $3 cards are?

Maybe I'm being harsh, MAYBE Amulet deserves a B-, but definitely not anything higher. If I disagree with everyone on this, so be it; a year from now they'll call me a visionary, they'll make a Dominion card with my face on the artwork called Visionary. It will do something amazing. Wild speculation is fun!


Treasure Trove - A-: Is Treasure Trove really that dominant? I found it to be pretty underwhelming so far.

It's one of those cards that isn't really all that interactive, but you stick it in a Big Money deck and it's totally bonkers-sauce. It's like what people used to think of Jack -- "oh fiddle sticks! Big Money is too good here!" I dunno. I could be wrong on this one, maybe it's just a B+? Like, terminal draw plus this can get like 7 provinces in 12 turns or something. OK that's an exaggeration but it's pretty ridic.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #72 on: September 10, 2015, 02:43:37 pm »
+3

Amulet is really, really bad at getting your deck thin. If you don't see your Amulet on turn 3, you are so, so, behind compared to like every other trasher you can open with, except for maybe Trade Route.

This is absolute and utter bollocks. How exactly are you behind with a T4 Amulet relative to a T4 Forager or Masq (two other excellent trashers)? You naturally prefer Amulet on T3 because it won't miss the shuffle, but a T4 Amulet is still great.

Quote
I literally can't think of any draw where I'd be happy with an Amulet in my hand instead of a Steward if my goal is to get thin as fast as possible (which it almost always is these first few turns)

T3: Amulet+3xCopper+C/E; trash C/E, buy (Fishing) Village.
T4: Steward, 4xC/E; trash C/E with Amulet, trash 2xC/E with Steward.

Now you've trashed as many cards as you would have done with a double Steward opening, but you have an extra Village to show for it. This puts you almost a whole turn ahead.

Quote
Steward always gives you the option of taking money and hitting $5 if you decide that's more important than trashing (which you never do, because it isn't, which is why Steward is way better).

The point is that you don't have to prioritize either when you can do both.

"Get thin as fast as possible" is educational rhetoric that should continue to be shouted from rooftops across the globe for the benefit of almost everyone. It should not, however, be mistaken for the nuanced truth.

In reality getting thin quickly is never your sole objective, otherwise Mint/Chapel would be a terrific rather than a terrible open. The real aim is always to get to the point of super-linear growth as quickly as possible, which usually requires sacrificing further trashing to expand your economy at some relatively early point. Amulet gives you more early economic flexibility without having to sacrifice much on trashing, whereas Steward is always either/or.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #73 on: September 10, 2015, 03:06:59 pm »
0

The point is that you don't have to prioritize either when you can do both.

And plenty of times you'll draw Steward or Amulet with exactly one card you want to trash. In this case you don't get to trash at all with Steward.

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #74 on: September 10, 2015, 03:16:56 pm »
+2

This is absolute and utter bollocks.

(insert gratuitous insult here)

How exactly are you behind with a T4 Amulet relative to a T4 Forager or Masq (two other excellent trashers)? You naturally prefer Amulet on T3 because it won't miss the shuffle, but a T4 Amulet is still great.

I think you're vastly underestimating the effect of Amulet's missing the shuffle: T3 and the next shuffle are the most important times to play your trasher and you're just giving that up. With Forager you can actually justify putting multiple copies in your deck to accelerate thinning because it's non-terminal, and similarly with Masquerade, if there's a Village you can do the same, not to mention drawing two cards AND trashing is super-amazeballs. What are Amulet's other abilities? Things that aren't good in engines *instead* of trashing.

Quote
I literally can't think of any draw where I'd be happy with an Amulet in my hand instead of a Steward if my goal is to get thin as fast as possible (which it almost always is these first few turns)

T3: Amulet+3xCopper+C/E; trash C/E, buy (Fishing) Village.
T4: Steward, 4xC/E; trash C/E with Amulet, trash 2xC/E with Steward.

Now you've trashed as many cards as you would have done with a double Steward opening, but you have an extra Village to show for it. This puts you almost a whole turn ahead.

Hmm, OK you got me there. There's at least one. Of course, that assumes you'd rather have the Amulet in your deck instead of a second Steward, and it also assumes the presence of a $3 Village, of which there are two plus Shanty Town. I'll soften my statement to "I'd rather open Steward over Amulet in over 95% of cases on any given board" which means I'm never actually opening Amulet.


Quote
Steward always gives you the option of taking money and hitting $5 if you decide that's more important than trashing (which you never do, because it isn't, which is why Steward is way better).

The point is that you don't have to prioritize either when you can do both.

...

Steward is always either/or.

Wait, in what universe are you both hitting $5 and trashing in the same hand with Amulet? That's basically Masquerade/Jack territory. Amulet is so bad at hitting $5 without gaining Silver at some point. Your argument only holds for cards at exactly the $3 price point, so you're only happy on very specific draws in very specific kingdoms where that matters, and you're still thinning at a really slow pace compared to any decent trasher. So Amulet is not a decent trasher. All of these issues where people are saying it's better than Steward are so edge-casey that I'm never ever ever going to put an Amulet in my deck to account for them when I could just have a better card instead.

Amulet is a wonderful slog enabler, it's much better for Big Money than Steward is. But Amulet is not very good at trashing cards because it's super slow.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #75 on: September 10, 2015, 03:42:32 pm »
+3

Different decks have different optimal balances between trashing and gaining. Steward and Amulet are at slightly different places on the spectrum, but are not too far off. Chapel would be at one extreme in the spectrum and Moneylender on the other.

Steward trashing makes the quality of the gains you get early lower compared to Amulet when it trashes. If you can make up for that lost time with great multi-gain potential and/or consistency, go for the Steward. You'll be rewarded with the +2 cards option and +2 coins every turn if you draw your deck as opposed to +1 coin with Amulet. If card gaining potential is more limited, you need to start getting those key cards sooner, and Amulet helps you do that.

I can't imagine these two cards being very far off in lower level or relevance. I'd expect them to have the same letter grade or only off by half a + or -.

If you stubbornly look at each card in super-engine vision, you'll see Steward as being significantly stronger. Contrary to what people will have you believe sometimes a Big-Money-ish deck aiming to buy 1 Province a turn that gets just enough fancy stuff to balance out the green is the winning strategy. Amulet helps towards that kind of deck more than Steward. You have to recognize if such a deck is possible when you analyze a board, because Amulet will boost it's power considerably.

I'd put Amulet and Steward at A- because they are key components to making certain decks viable. B+ is also a reasonable grade.

I will admit that in the increasingly engine-driven environment we seem to be headed in Steward looks like the stronger card on average. That still doesn't mean Amulet isn't a card to carefully consider when seeing it on the board.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #76 on: September 10, 2015, 05:02:32 pm »
+4

Amulet is a wonderful slog enabler, it's much better for Big Money than Steward is. But Amulet is not very good at trashing cards because it's super slow.
Trade Route is super slow. Anything that can trash 2 cards per play (which Amulet can) is strong trashing. Yes it misses more shuffles. I think the ability to trash one card from each of two hands rather than two cards from one hand makes up for that.

I agree with SCSN: C+ is a ridiculously low score for Amulet by any measure.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #77 on: September 10, 2015, 05:07:02 pm »
+3

Amulet rules
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #78 on: September 10, 2015, 05:10:54 pm »
+4

Amulet is not very good at trashing cards because it's super slow.

I disagree with each pixel of every letter you wrote but most strongly with this.

Cards that trash faster than Amulet: Count, Chapel, Steward, Forge, sometimes Doctor and, depending on the board, Remake and Ambassador. Slower: all the others, including elite trashers like Forager, Masq, JD and Upgrade. That doesn't qualify as "super slow" by any reasonable metric.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #79 on: September 10, 2015, 06:45:00 pm »
+2

I feel like wine merchant is pretty low as well.  You can often play multiple of them on a turn and it is a great alternative to gold as a payload because it is an action.  It works well with scrying pool and herald, and the more you can play, the better it becomes.  ok maybe it isn't that great but I think it should be a C+ or B-
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #80 on: September 10, 2015, 07:13:56 pm »
+5

Amulet is not very good at trashing cards because it's super slow.

I disagree with each pixel of every letter you wrote but most strongly with this.

I disagree with each molecule of every cell in your keyboard. And with your face. I disagree with your face.

Amulet can trash at most one card per turn, and you're extremely lucky if you get that. The fact that it's terminal means you have a much more difficult time loading up on them to compensate for that, and this weakness is compounded when it misses shuffles, which is very likely to happen. I am not persuaded by you, and the number of +1s on your post will not change my mind either.

And I don't think I'm going to persuade you right now; I'd be a little scared if I did since we're both just talking out of our hindquarters here anyways. So I'm going to bookmark this moment in my mind and in a year when we've all played several hundred Amulet games online (lol) we'll come back and revisit this and we'll all see how right I am and how correct I am to disagree with all of your keyboard and face molecules. I mean really, how can you disagree with my punctuation in that sentence? It was objectively flawless. You've hurt that apostrophe's feelings!
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #81 on: September 10, 2015, 07:34:20 pm »
+7

Judging Amulet by it trashing at most one card per turn is misleading. It's like saying that because Wharf draws at most 2 cards per turn it's on par with Moat, though I'm sure it's the buy that makes it worth $5.

The proper metric is, of course, how much it does for you per play, and that is trash 2 cards, just like Steward. That it misses early shuffles a bit more often than Steward is what makes it a slightly weaker trasher overall, but in the end it's just a minor disadvantage shared by all duration cards and certainly not something that makes its expected speed "really slow".
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 07:37:08 pm by SheCantSayNo »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #82 on: September 10, 2015, 08:26:49 pm »
0

Generally, i have the feeling Amulets (dis)advantage is that instead of doing one thing fully and another thing another time, it mixes things up. That doesn't only go for the bonuses, but also for the fact that after using it to trash you usually will still be able to buy something, even though it's unlikely to be a strong card you buy. Stewart on the other hand trashes more cards at once, having a few dead turns, and gets to a tight deck faster.

Now we all know that a weak and a strong turn are better than two mediocre turns. But are there situations where this doesn't hold? Maybe there are boards where you actually want to mix up things, that is, clean up your deck and pick up cards at the same time, instead of cleaning up first and getting (stronger?) cards after that. I don't really know, but if i was to make up such a board, i would probably give it a lack of relevant $5 cards and an abundance of good $4s and $3s. Or possibly a lack of +Buy where you can only pick up one part a turn and are grateful for being able to do both things at once. Obviously this still leaves out important things like trashing timing and Silver vs cards, so maybe these will turn my speculations around.

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #83 on: September 10, 2015, 10:23:04 pm »
+2

Now we all know that a weak and a strong turn are better than two mediocre turns. But are there situations where this doesn't hold?

Not only are there situations where it doesn't hold, but there are so many such situations that I don't think this "maxim" even deserves that status. Early on, would you rather have a $2 hand and an $8 hand, or two $5 hands? It's really all dependent on the board and how far along the game is.

Tactician costing $5 is held up as evidence of this rule, but really Tactician is pretty awful without support. It's just that Tactician support is often available. Any time you can do things before playing Tactician (e.g. Minion) or benefit from a very large hand (e.g. Coppersmith), Tactician is good. And of course double-Tactician can be great. But Tactician in Big Money is pretty poor.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #84 on: September 11, 2015, 01:09:22 am »
+1

Amulet can trash at most one card per turn, and you're extremely lucky if you get that. The fact that it's terminal means you have a much more difficult time loading up on them to compensate for that, and this weakness is compounded when it misses shuffles, which is very likely to happen.

...Wait, how does missing shuffles compound that weakness? I think it mitigates it—the reason terminality is a problem is because if two of them collide one is dead, but the fact that it's a Duration card means that if you have two copies they're less likely to collide.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2015, 03:48:40 am »
+1

...Wait, how does missing shuffles compound that weakness? I think it mitigates it—the reason terminality is a problem is because if two of them collide one is dead, but the fact that it's a Duration card means that if you have two copies they're less likely to collide.

Missing shuffles doesn't mitigate getting a ton of copies of a terminal Action. Getting a ton of copies of a terminal Action mitigates missing shuffles.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2015, 08:57:40 am »
+2

Thanks Adam for posting a list polarizing enough to actually inspire the conversation we've hoped for :)

Besides Amulet, which has been discussed enough in my opinion, I have a few other cards that I'd like to adress:

Royal Carriage is an A-? It seems to me that is a bit more convenient and planable than throne room and therefore more expensive. I've not considered a star of a board so far.

Borrow an A? It doesnt seem that good at all to me. Maybe nice for hitting 5 once early or so, but besides that?

Pilgrimage. Is is really that bad? I get that spending 4 and a buy one turn without getting anything is pretty bad, but on the second turn you can gain three cards, which can be easily 15-16 worth in coins. It seems like a decent investment. You probably need a good engine board for it to be worthwhile and it might be completely ignorable on some boards, but putting it on a level of Thief really surprises me.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2015, 09:10:26 am »
+1

Thanks Adam for posting a list polarizing enough to actually inspire the conversation we've hoped for :)

Besides Amulet, which has been discussed enough in my opinion, I have a few other cards that I'd like to adress:

Royal Carriage is an A-? It seems to me that is a bit more convenient and planable than throne room and therefore more expensive. I've not considered a star of a board so far.

Borrow an A? It doesnt seem that good at all to me. Maybe nice for hitting 5 once early or so, but besides that?

Pilgrimage. Is is really that bad? I get that spending 4 and a buy one turn without getting anything is pretty bad, but on the second turn you can gain three cards, which can be easily 15-16 worth in coins. It seems like a decent investment. You probably need a good engine board for it to be worthwhile and it might be completely ignorable on some boards, but putting it on a level of Thief really surprises me.

I think Borrow is a an A. I'm not Adam though, and have not played anywhere near as many Adventures games as him,  but having that extra coin available always helps. It's presence completely changes the game.


However, I am curious about Pilgrimage at C+. I have played just a couple of games with it. But, one game was an insane engine that was made insane by Pilgrimage. Sure, it costs $4 and then $4, but is that really that bad? I don't think so. And, so what if it takes two turns to kick off, you are gaining three cards at once, likely one or two of them are at least $5 costs, and probably a good $4 cost like a Herald or something. I mean, sure, it might not be good for some engines, but I think most engines benefit when Pilgrimage is present, and seeing how the game has turned very engine friendly, I think this Event is good in well, most games. Then again, I could be wrong, and maybe the kingdoms I played with it were anomalies, but I doubt that.

I would also rank Peasant and Page the same. Sure, Champion is crazy insane. But, Peasant is very powerful too. On just about any board where an engine is possible, I would still take Teacher despite its slowness. I mean, that's like saying Urchin is bad because Chapel exists and is the superior trasher. Both are great cards. And, on full random, the odds of having the option of both Page and Peasant come up on the same board are pretty slim. Don't get me wrong. Champion is better than Teacher, but both are power cards.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 09:14:59 am by Beyond Awesome »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #88 on: September 11, 2015, 10:52:01 am »
+2

Also bear in mind the ease of getting to each Traveller end.  Treasure Hunter, Warrior and Hero all make it harder to get to Champion, while Fugitive and Disciple make it easier to get to Teacher.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #89 on: September 11, 2015, 01:37:42 pm »
+2

Thanks Adam for posting a list polarizing enough to actually inspire the conversation we've hoped for :)

Wild speculation is fun!

Royal Carriage is an A-? It seems to me that is a bit more convenient and planable than throne room and therefore more expensive. I've not considered a star of a board so far.

Royal Carriage is actually a much better card than Throne Room, even on top of the fact that you "can never draw it dead" (the quotes meaning I'm talking about drawing it with no actions, and even then that can be edge-cased). Calling multiple Royal Carriages on the same action is really, really, really stinkin' good. It's a little bit arbitrary but I'd give Throne Room a B+ and King's Court an A, so I'd put Royal Carriage in between.

Borrow an A? It doesnt seem that good at all to me. Maybe nice for hitting 5 once early or so, but besides that?

This goes for Save and Borrow: the way I interpret this list, particularly

A = almost always a key card.

I think these are solid As, you should use them several times in any game you see them if you're playing optimally. Their effects may not be super-duper-amazing every time, but ignoring them means you're playing worse over 99% of the time, so that to me falls under A. Maybe the spirit of this list is slightly different? I dunno.

Pilgrimage. Is is really that bad?

...

Putting it on a level of Thief really surprises me.

Yeah, it really is that bad. At least Thief is an attack so it's likely to be relevant more often. It's so rare that this is actually better than nothing, especially because of that once-per-turn thing. I guess you can make an argument for it not being a C-, but I'm quite sure it doesn't deserve a C+. Sometimes Thief is game-breaking too.


I would also rank Peasant and Page the same. Sure, Champion is crazy insane. But, Peasant is very powerful too. On just about any board where an engine is possible, I would still take Teacher despite its slowness. I mean, that's like saying Urchin is bad because Chapel exists and is the superior trasher. Both are great cards. And, on full random, the odds of having the option of both Page and Peasant come up on the same board are pretty slim. Don't get me wrong. Champion is better than Teacher, but both are power cards.

I gave Peasant a B+ I think, right? Hmm, only a B? Keep in mind I haven't thought about these very much and I'm pulling most of them out of my you-know-where (just like we all are). I can see an argument being made for B+, sure. But I wouldn't called Teacher a "power card" like I would call Champion. Like, Prince is a "power card" because its effect is huge, but it's very slow so we gave it, what? Uhh, wait, nobody has actually rated Prince. Ahem,

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Prince: B

That was fun. Teacher is a bit less of an investment, kinda-sorta, OK it's apples and oranges here. Umm, I dunno, uhh, I give Peasant either a B or a B+. OK. That feels about right.

I mean, Peasant went through a LOT of changes during the testing process. Like, huge, significant changes. This card as it is now is a good card to print, but I actually haven't played many games with the final version, not nearly as many as I have with the other cards in the set.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2015, 01:11:05 am »
0

Pilgrimage isn't really that bad.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #91 on: September 12, 2015, 01:23:45 am »
+2

Man I disagree with so much, but it's hard to prove how good or bad some of this stuff is without logs and hundreds of games with a better variety of players. I will say I think Adam is not giving Pilgrimage or Amulet nearly enough credit.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2015, 06:22:58 am »
0

 Let me try my hand here ...

I guess, a year from now, I will laugh about the stupid things I am saying at this highly unexperienced stage about Adventure cards, but meh, the community would be pretty boring if no one posted wrong statements. Only exception: I did not dare to rate these travellers. It's still overwhelming complicated for me.

I also compared my list to weros and Adams, and added where we differ. Most notable exception: Giant gets all three grades. Where will it be in two years?

Coin of the Realm (B+)
Similar to fishing village: less economy, more reliability. Nice price.

Ratcatcher (B+)
Cantrip trashing with the ups and downs of a reserve card. Can’t compete with upgrade, junk dealer, but at $2, it doesn’t have to.

 Raze (B)
Nonterminal trashers can’t be that bad, but both for estates and coppers, there are better trashers.
Nice self-destruction, though.

Amulet (A-) (Adam: C+)
Because of the duration effect it roughly trashes one and a half card per shuffle, which is fine. Great in slogs, nice with feodum.

Caravan Guard C (wero:B-)
Sure it’s a nice-to-have, but opportunity cost makes it a second best choice almost every time. I’d take one for free, but that’s not what key card means.

Dungeon (B+)
Warehousy. Probably better in huge decks, and this is where warehouses shine.


 Gear (B+) (Adam: A)
Great BM enabler. Close to „play moat, play two havens“, which can help engines get off the ground as well.


 Guide (B)
Counters discard attacks, most notably ghost ship. Rarely a dominant card, but always a worthy buy, when you risk to start with a bad hand.

Duplicate (B+) Adam:B-
This is what talisman should have been: Slightly slower, but so much better at gaining those important nonterminal fives, golds, nobles, Alt-VP’s …


Magpie (A)
Either a lab or a cantrip gainer. A-mazing.

Messenger (B-)
Usually, a weak card. But, sometimes you need that woodcutter. Sometimes, a chancellor is worth it. And sometimes, gaining effects can be fancy. Due to these exceptions, not that weak.

Miser (C+) (wero:B)
We all know those jack/Hermit-games where we desperately need a copper trasher. But, not this one. Unless the board doesn’t offer faster strategys, it’s just ts;db (too slow, don’t buy).

 Port (B+) Adam:B (wero:B)
Two villages at 4$, without need of extra buy. That’s a key option in most engines, and so, on most boards.

 Ranger (B+)
Two of them draw a card less than two smithies, but to compensate, every other play is good to bring synergic cards together (Spoils/Counterfeit …). With a +buy to boot.
 
Transmogrify (A-) Adam:B (wero:B-)
It’s not really good at trashing coppers or curses. But due to the „into your hand“-clause it’s the best way to handle estates early on; same holds later for outdated cards, e.g. sea hags after the curse war. This is very strong at $4.
 

Artificer C+ (wero:B)
Seems rather situational to me. Either you have bad cards and want cheap ones, or you have some draw-to-X, or … yeah, sometimes you have 5 and just want a peddler. But at 5$,that’s not impressive.

Bridge Troll A-
Dare I say that the community mostly underestimates cards that do four little favors? Jack, Junk Dealer, Forager, Counterfeit … I guess it’s the same with bridge troll.


Distant Lands B+
Get four VP chips at the price of 5$ plus one play. That’s a good price, compared to e.g. monument, which is a decent card.

Giant B+ Adam:C (wero:A)
+3$ on average, with a strong attack every other play. That’s nice payload.

 Haunted Woods (B+)
The attack forces both players to delay greening, and three cards at the begin of the turn is terrific. On the other hand, it misses a lot of shuffles, and 5$-smithies face a tough benchmark (margrave, torturer …)

 Lost City (A) (Adam:B+) (wero:B+)
If I had to rate the strength of a card, I’d put Lost City on B or B+, as the opponents draw is huge. However, this thread is about key cards, meaning that a card changes the board. Lost City totally does.

Relic (B)
The first one is excellent, the next you play is a silver.

 Royal Carriage (B) Adam:A-
Reliable Throne Room. Reliability is more than sufficient compensation for the duration, but facing the prominent 4$-5$-gap, this is what I expect.

Storyteller (A-) Adam:B- (wero:B-)
A cantrip that turns silvers into labs, Coppers into cantrips and platinum into … 4 labs. Here it is, the BM engine. 

Swamp Hag (A-) Adam:B
It’s not far from an overpowered „+3$, each opponent gains a curse“. Sure, there’s the delay, and the self-cursing isn’t mandatory. That’s why it’s not a clear A.

 Treasure Trove (B+)
Very strong at BM, and in slogs. Still, in those enginey days it looks a little old fashioned. Would have been graded A in the base set.

Wine Merchant (C-) (wero:B-)
A woodcutter that offers you a 2$ credit. Imho, too expensive at $5.

Hireling (A-) Adam:B
Once you draw your deck, it’s just a lab. But it’s much more helpful to get to that stage, lucky is who gets it early. And in a long game, it’s irresistable.




Alms (A) Adam:B
Often terrific: E.g., with 5/2, Stables/Milita outperforms Stables/Nothing by far. Also, alms boosts moneyless engines, and it’s game-changing in slogs.

Borrow (B) Adam:A
In almost every game, there will be a situation you’re glad to use it. But does that fit the definition of a key card? I might be wrong, but I look at boards almost the same way, whether borrow is there or not.

Quest (C+)
Sometimes, even in 2015, you’re happy to grab a gold. But usually, with an attack, or a 6card-hand, that’s not a big deal. Discard two curses is way better, but who wants to have two curses?

Save (B-) Adam:A
I don’t like Haven. And Save can be even worse in the presence of down-to-x-attacks. Sure, it gets bought when cards collide, but I won’t buy much more terminals because of this option.

Scouting Party (C+)
There’s two situations you want this: You tracked your deck, and expect a bad hand, or you have two coins left. Both do occur in most games, and so, Scouting Party is frequently used. But it’s never game changing.

Travelling Fair (B)
Great combo with Counting House. Decent when engines lack +Buy.
 
Bonfire (B)
Burns those coppers at a fair, but not sensational price.

Expedition (C+) Adam:B
Rarely a big deal. And I don’t see how it changes the board. Best when you hit three but don’t want a card at that price.

Pilgrimage (B-) Adam:C
Pay 4$ twice for 3 cards can be a great deal, but it only really works late in the game, when the most work is already done.


,Ferry B+ Adam:A (wero:A)
This is a must-buy if there is a 5$ of which you want to get multiple copies, and also if you want to get multiples of a 4$, and have some source of +buy. Otherwise, it’s skippable.

Plan A- Adam:B (wero:B-)
Trash-on-buy is a very powerful speed-up if you want multiples of a specific card.

Mission B+
Depends on what you can do aside buying: Attacking? Trashing? Remodeling? The more of this stuff you can do, the more it becomes ridiculous to pay only 4$ for a turn.

Ball (C+) Adam:B
Pay 6$ for two 4$-cards? Border Village looks better. However, spammable fours make this deal quite nice. Not more.

 Raid (C) Adam:B-
Weak version of masterpiece, with an attack to compensate. The thing is, silver spamming is rarely the big deal.

Seaway (B-)
Get that +buy on all cards at the price of $5 instead of $4? Quite ok - if you need it.
Like many +buy cards, they work at their best if there is no other + buy available.

Trade (C) Adam:B (wero:B-)
One-Shot-Trading-Post, kind of. The problem is, at the stage where you have both 5$ and two cards you want to trash, you rarely want that many silvers.

Lost Arts (A) (wero:B)
Enables weird engines with terminal draw. But even with nonterminal draw like e.g. Stables, it allows tons of payload without the need of villages.

Training (B)
At the price of $6, add X peddlers to your deck, if you have X copies of the chosen card. Yeah, that can be pretty nice.

Inheritance (A-) (wero:B)
Trash three estates, gain three VP chips, gain three copies of a 4$; and for the rest of the game, you can buy at $2 a VP-chip and the 4$ card you’ve chosen. Sounds powerful? It is: If there’s a useful $4, try to get to 7$ ASAP.

Pathfinding (B+)
With X copies of a card, Pathfinding gets you X labs. That can be bonkers, but 8$ is a challenging price point.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #93 on: September 12, 2015, 07:22:03 am »
0

Well, since everyone else is giving grades to Adventures, I guess I will as well. I won't grade every card, just the cards I feel I have a reasonable grasp of the power level. Some cards also aren't graded if I only played one or two games with them or were never bought in a game I played.

Ratcacther A-
Trashing at $2 is really good and like Raze, it gets ride of itself and is also non-terminal, as well. And, as AdamH pointed out earlier, trashing is really, really good.

Raze A-
See Ratcatcher

Amulet A-

Caravan Guard B-

Dungeon B+

Guide A-
I think a lot of people are underestimating the ability of this card.

Magpie A
Card is crazy good.

Haunted Woods A-

Storyteller A-
You can draw lots of cards with this, lots of cards.

Swamp Hag B+

Wine Merchant C

Hireling B+

Page A
The presence of Champion changes the game completely. Last night, I played a game with Steward, Goons, Inheritance and no villages, and let me say Champion is crazy insane.

Peasant A
Teacher is really good. Yes, Teacher takes time to set up, but man, the card costs $2, plus it gives you what you need. If you lack draw, boom, problem solved. No +buy? No worry. Need some economy? Yah, it can take care of that, as well. Like Champion the presence of this card changes the game.

Alms B+

Borrow A-

Quest C+
Often, I want something other than gold in my engine. In non-engines, the card is sometimes handy.

Scouting Party B
I think like Guide, people are underestimating the sifting ability of this card.

Pilgrimage A-
On most boards with good drawing, I think this is a good two-turn investment.

Plan C+
Usually, there is better trashing available.

Ferry A-
When this is on the board, for me, planning out my strategy is actually more difficult than usual.

Mission B+

Ball B+
Works amazing if there are good fours you want like Ironmonger.

Seaway B

Lost Arts A
Card is crazy powerful.

Trade B-

Training B+

Inheritance B

Most of my grades are based on playing a few games with these cards and seeing these cards make a splashy impact the majority of the time. I'm no expert with Adventures cards by any means.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #94 on: September 13, 2015, 10:37:11 pm »
0

I think a lot of folks are underestimating Wine Merchant. Maybe I've played too many games where it's nonterminal (due to Lost Arts, Champion, or Teacher), but 4 or 5 Wine Merchants is a pretty sweet payload for an engine. And in a sloggier game they're nice too.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #95 on: September 14, 2015, 02:59:22 pm »
0

Haunted Woods (B+)
The attack forces both players to delay greening, and three cards at the begin of the turn is terrific. On the other hand, it misses a lot of shuffles, and 5$-smithies face a tough benchmark (margrave, torturer …)

Haunted Woods is not a $5 Smithy variant like Margrave or Torturer. It is a Wharf variant with an attack.

Starting with an 8-card hand is HUGE. It is the best way to kickstart an engine and can keep it going from there. I still feel Haunted Woods deserves an A.
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Chris is me

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #96 on: September 14, 2015, 05:49:08 pm »
+2

I think a lot of folks are underestimating Wine Merchant. Maybe I've played too many games where it's nonterminal (due to Lost Arts, Champion, or Teacher), but 4 or 5 Wine Merchants is a pretty sweet payload for an engine. And in a sloggier game they're nice too.

I think a lot of people think of Wine Merchant as a card that "costs $2 to get rid of", not realizing that you only need $2 to get rid of all of your Wine Merchants. An engine that hasn't gotten off the ground is likely to underspend to pick up a component at some point without much effort, and once the engine is off the ground, you should be able to produce $2 more Coins consistently enough. It's a neat card. Somewhere in the B range.

Also agreed on Haunted Woods - though the lack of doing anything the turn you play it kinda hurts, the 8 card hand next turn more than makes up for it. It has a big influence on the kingdom when it's present, which is the definition of an A. Maybe an A- if you really wanna be conservative about it.

Also, all of y'all giving Gear less than an A- have no idea how clutch that card is. It's a top ten $3 cost for sure. Almost any kind of deck can benefit from one or two, and I really think it's stronger than Courtyard overall.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 05:50:34 pm by Chris is me »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #97 on: September 14, 2015, 07:24:51 pm »
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I'm not sure about Gear. Maybe it's better than Courtyard, but at $3 Oracle exists, and I would not say it is better than Oracle, and I am pretty sure I don't have Oracle in my top 10. I have played some games with Gear, and when I did buy it, I did not feel it was anything special. Maybe I am playing it wrong.

As for Wine Merchant, most players will be playing full random, so it will be a terminal most of the time. I think really trim engines can run a few of these, but most engines can't, so overall, it is a pretty weak card. At least so far from what I have seen. I mean, sometimes it's a decent payload card, but if you already have a source of +Buy, Gold exists. Sure, this produces $1 more than Gold and a +Buy, but how often do you even want to buy Gold for your deck?
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #98 on: September 14, 2015, 07:30:45 pm »
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I like Gear but the hyperbole about it is strange to me. It's a solid card but being terminal balances it out a lot, I think. On this scale I'd give it a B at best. I also think Haunted Woods should only be in B but I'll admit my opinion on it is flavored from primarily playing it in Adventures-heavy games, where it's often quite easy to counter.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #99 on: September 14, 2015, 07:37:14 pm »
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I'm not sure about Gear. Maybe it's better than Courtyard, but at $3 Oracle exists, and I would not say it is better than Oracle, and I am pretty sure I don't have Oracle in my top 10. I have played some games with Gear, and when I did buy it, I did not feel it was anything special. Maybe I am playing it wrong.

Gear is so much better than Oracle, you (apparently) have no idea.

As for Wine Merchant, most players will be playing full random, so it will be a terminal most of the time. I think really trim engines can run a few of these, but most engines can't, so overall, it is a pretty weak card. At least so far from what I have seen. I mean, sometimes it's a decent payload card, but if you already have a source of +Buy, Gold exists. Sure, this produces $1 more than Gold and a +Buy, but how often do you even want to buy Gold for your deck?

Sure, if you already have +Buy, it's not as good. That's true of every single +Buy card.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #100 on: September 15, 2015, 08:24:02 am »
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I'm not sure about Gear. Maybe it's better than Courtyard, but at $3 Oracle exists, and I would not say it is better than Oracle, and I am pretty sure I don't have Oracle in my top 10. I have played some games with Gear, and when I did buy it, I did not feel it was anything special. Maybe I am playing it wrong.

No way, not even close. I would take a Gear over Oracle in almost any situation. It's hard to explain without playing it with you or showing you logs but it's phenomenal.

Here's just a few basic situations when Gear comes in handy. The most obvious utility is in a BM deck, but it's useful just about anywhere. In BM you can afford to overload on terminals even slightly more than with Courtyard - you just set aside what you collided. Hit $4? Put aside a Copper for next turn. About to shuffle? Just set aside all of your Victory cards (actually, there's very little reason not to always set aside Victory cards if you aren't setting aside something else). Already had a decent hand? Set aside some of your good cards for an awesome $7 turn. Got a hand that's like Village / Smithy / Gear / 3 crap cards? Play Gear, set aside the Village / Smithy, start your next turn with 7 cards and have your engine ready to fire.

Quote
I like Gear but the hyperbole about it is strange to me. It's a solid card but being terminal balances it out a lot, I think. On this scale I'd give it a B at best.

The fact that Gear is a terminal is a bit misleading, because it's more like a card that's either a Wharf, Caravan, or Courtyard depending on what's most convenient for you. The utility is in both what it can do and what options it gives you. It's really quite useful.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 08:25:29 am by Chris is me »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #101 on: September 15, 2015, 08:45:28 am »
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Okay, I can see Gear being better than Oracle in BM games, but I am still pretty sure that Oracle is much better in engines where you can sift through your deck to your key cards and also prevent your opponent from drawing their key cards. And, nowadays, BM games are becoming more and more rare.

Although, like I said, maybe I am just playing the card wrong. Fwiw, I have not had any BM games come up with Gear in it yet.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 08:46:31 am by Beyond Awesome »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #102 on: September 15, 2015, 01:23:27 pm »
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Okay, I can see Gear being better than Oracle in BM games, but I am still pretty sure that Oracle is much better in engines where you can sift through your deck to your key cards and also prevent your opponent from drawing their key cards. And, nowadays, BM games are becoming more and more rare.

Although, like I said, maybe I am just playing the card wrong. Fwiw, I have not had any BM games come up with Gear in it yet.

It's not just BM - I just had an easier time coming up with examples (by the way, Adventures has several cards increasing the viability of BM, such as Relic, Treasure Trove, COTR (really), etc). In engines, it either increases your hand size by 1, increases your hand size next turn by 1, or -1 this turn +2 next turn, and you get to choose which cards those are. Fun tricks include setting aside Cellar with all of your Victory cards, setting aside a Village you don't need now to guarantee one next turn, setting aside a pair of +actions / + cards to be safe for next turn, setting aside a trashing card with junk if this turn is productive, setting aside your good cards if this turn isn't going to be productive (say you have village, gear, and remake). Once it's online it should be a lot more clear since we can share logs.

In engines, you get to play several Gear, leading to ridiculous scenarios where you start your hand with half your deck in it. But since setting aside cards is optional, it's a draw card at worst.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 01:25:39 pm by Chris is me »
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Honkeyfresh

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #103 on: September 16, 2015, 02:29:11 pm »
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Why weren't there any a+s?
]

Chapel and KC are both A+ cards.  Neither can be ignored and both are the key cards to build/execute any engine based strategy.

I kind of think moneylender should be an A- too.  Early TFB helps building any stategy and thinning a deck helps all but quirky weird strategies that involve coppers or estates (ie crossroads).

Overall great list though.


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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #104 on: September 16, 2015, 02:34:53 pm »
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Yes, Counting House is never great. Just an empty space on the board, always.

http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20140515/log.5101a6c4e4b02b7235c3860f.1400207171957.txt

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yeah all it takes is mountabank, scheme , festival and plaza and it's great...  ;)
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #105 on: September 16, 2015, 02:39:32 pm »
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Nice article, I like the idea.
Only changes I would make are:

Counting house: C- > C or maybe C+
Doesn't happen often, but when it is good it can be the centerpiece of your strategy.

Talisman : B > B- or C+
I very rarely find this to be a key card.

Explorer: C+ > B
Can be a strong card in slogs, especially with alt VP.
Talisman can be a key card if there are any 3/4 cost cards people race for (fools gold/menagerie/single villages where other + actions arent available). And can be especially good when used in combination with any cost reducers like bridge/quarry, enabling u to grab 4-6 5 or 6 point cards in one turn.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #106 on: September 16, 2015, 02:51:44 pm »
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I also agree with almost all things AdamH said, but I'm not so sure about Sea Hag. It's not the best curser in the game, but it's still a curser, and it's pretty cheap for one as well. It's still stronger than Young Witch because it topdecks the Curse and doesn't have a Bane card, which imo makes up for the sifting. Also, wasn't it voted the best $4 card in the game once or twice? Would be kind of weird to rank it B then.

Cursers tend to have the game revolve around them in general.

Sea Hag does absolutely nothing for you except take up an Action. If your opponent can get rid of that Curse, then he's better off doing that instead of getting Sea Hag (unless it's something awful like Trade Route). Young Witch does something for you and that's a big deal.

Sea Hag was voted best $4 card in the game at one point, and I'm of the opinion that that was a giant mistake made by the community (myself included, I remember ranking it high at one point). I've said it before and had people reeling, but I stand behind it: Sea Hag is not a very good card. If I'm challenging your basic intuition about these cards, if I'm saying something that feels really off-base to you, then good. That's exactly what I want to do. The "conventional wisdom" surrounding these two cards is wrong. Maybe I should write an article about it? Hmm...

Sea Hag and IGG are the two more ignoreable Cursers. More so than Familiar and Soothsayer; the fact that they hand out purples and can still be ignored as often as they can speaks to how weak they are.
IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #107 on: September 16, 2015, 03:09:07 pm »
+4

IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.

A lot of people think this is true, but it super-isn't true.

Let's say my opponent is going for the Canonical IGG Rush™ -- without some serious help, he's getting one IGG per turn, and then when those are gone, he buys Duchies. Let's say he gets near-perfect draws and can buy an IGG for 10 straight turns, starting at T3, then he can buy a Duchy every single turn after that. So the game is over on T20. That's like forever, and all you have to do is get 5 Provinces and trash most of your Curses and you just win. 20 turns is like an eternity; if there's any decent trashing at all, any respectable engine (or even a good big money strategy) will have no problem with this.

Enablers like Remodel or whatever can potentially speed this up by a couple of turns, sure. Let's be super-generous and say you have 16 turns to do your business. Still more than enough time, just don't help them empty the piles.

Of course a good IGG player will see you not mirroring him and go for Provinces after draining the IGGs, or maybe do something else better than emptying Duchies, but at this point, you're still getting more time, which will favor a player without 10 IGGs in his deck.

A lot of what I said about Sea Hag applies with IGG, if there's any good trashing at all (I'd say the Sea Hag list is a pretty good starting point) you can get away with IGG-noring it. At the very least, you certainly aren't going to do an IGG rush where you try and empty piles like what's being suggested, but rather you might do IGGs with something else -- since IGG isn't a totally dead card that eats up your action like Sea Hag is, it's a little more viable.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #108 on: September 16, 2015, 03:11:24 pm »
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yeah all it takes is mountabank, scheme , festival and plaza and it's great...  ;)

Nah, it just takes any board with great engine payload but no trashing and no other draw (depending on the payload, you might also need something like Cellar or Warehouse to make it work). They aren't super common, but they are there every now and then.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #109 on: September 17, 2015, 10:45:25 am »
+4

IGG is also hurt by other Cursers.  Once Sea Hag or whatever starts handing out Curses as well, IGG can no longer do its pile-emptying job.  You end up with an empty Curse pile, and a few more Coppers left.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #110 on: September 18, 2015, 11:16:35 am »
+4

IGG is also hurt by other Cursers.  Once Sea Hag or whatever starts handing out Curses as well, IGG can no longer do its pile-emptying job.  You end up with an empty Curse pile, and a few more Coppers left.

While your first and last sentence are true; IGG does its pile emptying job as much in a game with Sea Hag as it does in a game without Sea Hag... in both cases, 10 IGGs need to be purchased in order to empty 2 piles. You just are less likely to want to buy an IGG to empty the IGG pile after the Curses are gone.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #111 on: September 18, 2015, 03:50:38 pm »
+1

IGG does its pile emptying job as much in a game with Sea Hag as it does in a game without Sea Hag... in both cases, 10 IGGs need to be purchased in order to empty 2 piles. You just are less likely to want to buy an IGG to empty the IGG pile after the Curses are gone.

Except that since IGG is really a bad card on its own, the implication of gaining one is to distribute curses, and this often has the connotation of the full on IGG-rush that is entirely predicated on the IGG pile and the curse pile running out at the same time.  The very fact that IGGs are left over when curses are gone is a major strike against the myth that IGG is well-used as a rush strategy.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #112 on: September 18, 2015, 04:26:25 pm »
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IGG is also hurt by other Cursers.  Once Sea Hag or whatever starts handing out Curses as well, IGG can no longer do its pile-emptying job.  You end up with an empty Curse pile, and a few more Coppers left.

While your first and last sentence are true; IGG does its pile emptying job as much in a game with Sea Hag as it does in a game without Sea Hag... in both cases, 10 IGGs need to be purchased in order to empty 2 piles. You just are less likely to want to buy an IGG to empty the IGG pile after the Curses are gone.

Its pile emptying job is emptying the curse pile, plain and simple. It can't do this if sea hag has done the job for it. All three of wero's sentences are correct.

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #113 on: September 19, 2015, 02:06:41 pm »
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IGG is also hurt by other Cursers.  Once Sea Hag or whatever starts handing out Curses as well, IGG can no longer do its pile-emptying job.  You end up with an empty Curse pile, and a few more Coppers left.

While your first and last sentence are true; IGG does its pile emptying job as much in a game with Sea Hag as it does in a game without Sea Hag... in both cases, 10 IGGs need to be purchased in order to empty 2 piles. You just are less likely to want to buy an IGG to empty the IGG pile after the Curses are gone.

Its pile emptying job is emptying the curse pile, plain and simple. It can't do this if sea hag has done the job for it. All three of wero's sentences are correct.

The second sentence isn't true, though. In either situation, buying ten Ill-Gotten Gains results in two piles being empty, so the job is done at the purchase of the tenth IGG.  The hang-up of "but my last two IGGs don't do anything" is to some extent psychological.

That isn't to say that IGG isn't made worse by the presence of Sea Hag, but it still works. IGG isn't a bad card to have in hand if you're really rushing just Duchy. I could see a game where I go for IGG even though Swindler or Jester gave out one Curse; whatever.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 02:08:22 pm by Chris is me »
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #114 on: September 24, 2015, 06:58:09 pm »
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IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.

A lot of people think this is true, but it super-isn't true.
...

It always makes me sad when you hate on the IGG Rush, Adam.  I never understood the card at all till you destroyed me with it when we met IRL.  I learned then, and I still find it to be true, without at least ok trashing you will lose if you IGGnore.  Buying apprentices is not gonna deal with all those purples.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #115 on: September 24, 2015, 08:39:01 pm »
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Buying apprentices is not gonna deal with all those purples.

Plus, IGG combos well with TFB cards like Apprentice, since it's rather useless for a $5 card once it's in your deck. Therefore, Apprentice on the board is an extra reason to pursue IGG.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #116 on: September 24, 2015, 08:48:31 pm »
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IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.

A lot of people think this is true, but it super-isn't true.
...

It always makes me sad when you hate on the IGG Rush, Adam.  I never understood the card at all till you destroyed me with it when we met IRL.  I learned then, and I still find it to be true, without at least ok trashing you will lose if you IGGnore.  Buying apprentices is not gonna deal with all those purples.

IGG is pretty good, didn't I give it a B+? That's not bad at all! It's just that people around here seem to think it's much stronger than it actually is. <3
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #117 on: October 01, 2015, 12:54:14 pm »
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I don't think anyone involved thinks it's stronger than it actually is.  It's a non-engine card, and those are the easiest to measure.

I think you're rating it B+ because you're looking at it from the number of exciting, high power level decks it's involved in (like, zero), instead of the proportion of boards where "Oh, I didn't notice we had IGG involved here" is a big mistake (like, 92% or something).

There are people around here, my guess is more than 50% of the people reading this, that think when IGG is on a board, the board is an IGG rush and you just look for the best enabler(s) for it. Like it's on the same level as Rebuild in terms of polarizing. And I'm saying it isn't. I also don't think I've been unclear as to what I've been saying or why, and many people around here don't want to change their opinion on it -- that's OK, many people still disagree with me about Jack but that's fine with me :)

I'm rating it a B+ because I think that's where it belongs. It's a junker, it gives Purples, that's really good, so yeah it's a good grade. But it's below most of the other cards that can do the same thing because it isn't as good at giving Purples and helping you win as other junkers.

IGG is a gainer, and sometimes your high power level decks just need a card that gains other cards: Forager and Spice Merchant say hi. It's rare, it exists, and I don't think that affects the rating I give it here. If I judged it solely on this I'd give it the same grade as Coppersmith or Woodcutter, whatever those are.

But 92% of boards you can't ignore it? I mean, maybe you're saying something different here -- it's tough to win a game where you play like you will be getting zero Purples and your opponent starts giving them to you, so sure you trash a bit more if you see your opponent going for IGGs. Maybe the number were you actually make adjustments to your play because the card is on the table is 92%, but the number of games where I'm playing what I think is the best strategy and I end up gaining an IGG? 55%, give or take like 10-15%. And let's be real, I think the number is really 50% or lower but it was close enough to 55% that I just couldn't resist :P
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #118 on: October 01, 2015, 01:21:57 pm »
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Salvager likes IGG.  More so for turning them into than dealing with Curses.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #119 on: October 01, 2015, 03:05:56 pm »
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I don't think anyone involved thinks it's stronger than it actually is.  It's a non-engine card, and those are the easiest to measure.

I think you're rating it B+ because you're looking at it from the number of exciting, high power level decks it's involved in (like, zero), instead of the proportion of boards where "Oh, I didn't notice we had IGG involved here" is a big mistake (like, 92% or something).

There are people around here, my guess is more than 50% of the people reading this, that think when IGG is on a board, the board is an IGG rush and you just look for the best enabler(s) for it. Like it's on the same level as Rebuild in terms of polarizing. And I'm saying it isn't. I also don't think I've been unclear as to what I've been saying or why, and many people around here don't want to change their opinion on it -- that's OK, many people still disagree with me about Jack but that's fine with me :)

I'm rating it a B+ because I think that's where it belongs. It's a junker, it gives Purples, that's really good, so yeah it's a good grade. But it's below most of the other cards that can do the same thing because it isn't as good at giving Purples and helping you win as other junkers.

IGG is a gainer, and sometimes your high power level decks just need a card that gains other cards: Forager and Spice Merchant say hi. It's rare, it exists, and I don't think that affects the rating I give it here. If I judged it solely on this I'd give it the same grade as Coppersmith or Woodcutter, whatever those are.

But 92% of boards you can't ignore it? I mean, maybe you're saying something different here -- it's tough to win a game where you play like you will be getting zero Purples and your opponent starts giving them to you, so sure you trash a bit more if you see your opponent going for IGGs. Maybe the number were you actually make adjustments to your play because the card is on the table is 92%, but the number of games where I'm playing what I think is the best strategy and I end up gaining an IGG? 55%, give or take like 10-15%. And let's be real, I think the number is really 50% or lower but it was close enough to 55% that I just couldn't resist :P

And could you prove it instead giving big talk but nothing to back that up? Here are games that I found with logsearch, could you say why in majority of these games you would never gain igg with optimal strategy?



2015/10/01 09:40
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
LosChikitos    1st    28    18    
Melody Violine    2nd    24    18    
Provinces / Shelters - Copper, Curse, Doctor, Duchy, Estate, Feodum, Gold, Haggler, Hermit, Ill-Gotten Gains, Merchant Ship, Pillage, Pirate Ship, Province, Silver, Village, Pearl Diver
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2015/10/01 09:27
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
mnip    2nd    36    24    
mikepcoke    1st    39    24    
Provinces / Estates - Bandit Camp, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Expand, Fairgrounds, Gold, Ill-Gotten Gains, JackOfAllTrades, Journeyman, Moneylender, Province, Remodel, Silver, Witch, Beggar
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2015/10/01 09:15
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Qbrick    1st    22    18    
sijurani    2nd    21    18    
Provinces / Estates - Advisor, Baker, Cellar, Copper, Cultist, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Ill-Gotten Gains, Mining Village, Potion, Province, Ruins, Saboteur, Silver, Squire, Wharf, Vineyard
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2015/10/01 09:08
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Trenton Wierenga    1st    38    17    
kiz    2nd    31    18    
Provinces / Estates - Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Governor, Highway, Ill-Gotten Gains, Monument, Navigator, Oasis, Outpost, Province, Remodel, Silver, Stonemason, Lighthouse
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2015/10/01 09:07
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Monsieur X    2nd    37    23    
Hollhis    1st    44    24    
Provinces / Shelters - Bridge, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Ghost Ship, Gold, Hunting Grounds, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ironmonger, Mine, Potion, Province, Silk Road, Silver, Trader, Watchtower, Vineyard
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2015/10/01 09:03
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Signalize    1st    19    18    
honkeyfresh    2nd    6    18    
Colonies, Estates - Armory, Colony, Copper, Counting House, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Feast, Ghost Ship, Gold, Ill-Gotten Gains, Menagerie, Peddler, Platinum, Province, Saboteur, Silver, Trade Route, Cellar
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2015/10/01 08:58
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Death B4 Dishonor    1st    58    27    
lorbrandork    2nd    31    26    
Provinces / Estates - Bureaucrat, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Expand, Gold, Harem, Ill-Gotten Gains, King's Court, Native Village, Pirate Ship, Province, Silver, Trader, Vagrant, Beggar
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2015/10/01 08:55
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Nomad Camps    2nd    34    18    
zeTerror    1st    41    18    
Provinces / Estates - Butcher, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Expand, Gold, Hunting Grounds, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, Merchant Guild, Mining Village, Mint, Province, Silver, Smugglers, Hermit
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2015/10/01 08:54
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Daniela Weber    2nd    31    27    
manos    1st    36    28    
Provinces / Estates - Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Graverobber, Hoard, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Province, Remake, Royal Seal, Silver, Tournament, Trading Post, Workshop, Village
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2015/10/01 08:08
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Joăo Silva    1st    39    20    
Trueblue    2nd    31    21    
Provinces / Estates - Copper, Coppersmith, Curse, Duchy, Embassy, Envoy, Estate, Gardens, Gold, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, Mandarin, Province, Silver, Smugglers, Talisman, Embargo
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2015/10/01 08:02
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Brettanomyces    2nd    0    16    
Bobby Madness    1st    30    15    
Provinces / Estates - Bandit Camp, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, King's Court, Library, Nomad Camp, Province, Remake, Silver, Trading Post, Wharf, Cutpurse
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2015/10/01 07:59
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Gretz    2nd    25    15    
Gordon Ng    1st    36    15    
Provinces / Estates - Copper, Coppersmith, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Familiar, Gold, Ill-Gotten Gains, JackOfAllTrades, Junk Dealer, Mine, Mystic, Potion, Province, Silver, Storeroom, Warehouse, Doctor
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2015/10/01 07:45
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
(V)_°,,,°_(V)    2nd    1    10    
Magnus Bjerkeng    1st    0    10    
Colonies, Estates - Armory, Border Village, Colony, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Highway, Ill-Gotten Gains, Platinum, Plaza, Province, Quarry, Remodel, Silver, Trade Route, Woodcutter, Chapel
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2015/10/01 07:39
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Andylos    2nd    34    25    
tinkerbettina    1st    38    26    
Provinces / Estates - Contraband, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Haggler, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ironmonger, Jester, Mandarin, Minion, Outpost, Province, Silver, Venture, Bridge
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2015/10/01 07:35
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
ドミニオンは糞ゲー    2nd    9    14    
sopianent    1st    36    14    
Provinces / Shelters - Apothecary, Band of Misfits, Copper, Curse, Cutpurse, Duchy, Estate, Expand, Gold, Harem, Ill-Gotten Gains, Potion, Province, Rogue, Scavenger, Silver, Stash, Cellar
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2015/10/01 07:23
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
dsdfs    2nd    -4    18    
Sayanel    1st    1    18    
Provinces / Estates - Chancellor, Copper, Courtyard, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Feast, Gold, Haggler, Ill-Gotten Gains, Margrave, Province, Secret Chamber, Shanty Town, Silver, Workshop, Chapel
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2015/10/01 07:11
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
Victoria Pei    1st    12    20    
Dan823    2nd    -1    19    
Provinces / Shelters - Bureaucrat, Copper, Cultist, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Gold, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ironmonger, Jester, Monument, Province, Ruins, Scout, Silver, Spy, Witch, Poor House
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2015/10/01 07:06
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
ドミニオンは糞ゲー    2nd    9    17    
sopianent    1st    20    17    
Provinces / Estates - Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Expand, Gold, Harvest, Ill-Gotten Gains, Inn, Province, Scout, Sea Hag, Silver, Spy, Taxman, Wharf, Fortune Teller
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2015/10/01 07:00
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
HF    2nd    7    15    
piez    1st    17    15    
Provinces / Shelters - Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Forge, Gold, Horse Traders, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Merchant Ship, Prince, Province, Silver, Storeroom, Tournament, Treasure Map, Menagerie
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2015/10/01 06:59
Player:    Rank:    VPs:    Turns:    Quit?
dhammer    1st    38    25    
sopianent    2nd    31    25    
Provinces / Estates - Cache, Copper, Curse, Duchy, Estate, Forge, Gold, Great Hall, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Mine, Philosopher's Stone, Potion, Province, Rogue, Shanty Town, Silver, Herbalist
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #120 on: October 01, 2015, 03:40:19 pm »
+6

IGG gain percentages for some people (from http://www.2pih.com/cardAnalyzer.php)

Mic Qsenoch - 38%
Stef - 45.7%
Adam - 50.9%
SCSN - 54.5%
lespeutere - 59.4%
WanderingWinder - 60%
hiroki - 70.4%
Aggregate from top 20 players on isotropish leaderboard from some time ago - 57.09% (link)

Nobody has enough games to get a really representative sample. I think I had the highest winrate with IGG in the kingdom. It's clear to me that the card can be ignored successfully, but also that it can be played with successfully as well. It's definitely a card that you have to consider while reading a board. No way numbers like 90% are reasonable though.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 03:50:57 pm by Mic Qsenoch »
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luser

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #121 on: October 01, 2015, 03:55:08 pm »
0

IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.

A lot of people think this is true, but it super-isn't true.

Let's say my opponent is going for the Canonical IGG Rush™ -- without some serious help, he's getting one IGG per turn, and then when those are gone, he buys Duchies. Let's say he gets near-perfect draws and can buy an IGG for 10 straight turns, starting at T3, then he can buy a Duchy every single turn after that. So the game is over on T20. That's like forever, and all you have to do is get 5 Provinces and trash most of your Curses and you just win. 20 turns is like an eternity; if there's any decent trashing at all, any respectable engine (or even a good big money strategy) will have no problem with this.

Enablers like Remodel or whatever can potentially speed this up by a couple of turns, sure. Let's be super-generous and say you have 16 turns to do your business. Still more than enough time, just don't help them empty the piles.

That analysis is nonsense as duchy rush is what happens on mirror where with coppers, five curses and igg you couldn't hope for province. If uncontested it spikes four provinces just fine. Thats quite hard to overcome on simulation following will beat most rspeer's strategies, even double mountebank, double witch, pure rebuild. It could be beaten only with mountebank/witch-chapel, drunk marine students, beggar-gardens, feodum-masterpiece and rebuild+x

{
  name: 'igg bm'
  author: 'luser'
  requires: ["Ill-Gotten Gains"]
  gainPriority: (state, my) -> [
    "Province"
    "Duchy" if state.gainsToEndGame() <= 5
    "Estate" if state.gainsToEndGame() <= 2
    "Ill-Gotten Gains"
    "Gold"
    "Silver"
  ]
}
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AdamH

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #122 on: October 01, 2015, 03:59:03 pm »
0

I'm not sure what exactly this is going to accomplish, since I'm backing up my talk with just more talk, but OK I'll do this for a bit. I can think of quite a few boards that I have videos of where IGG is ignorable, but I don't have the means to go digging for that right now.

PPE: As I'm typing this, MQ has posted actual relevant statistics that are much more valid than anything in this post, but I'm mostly done so I'll just finish it anyways.

1. Doctor, Feodum, Haggler, Hermit, Ill-Gotten Gains, Merchant Ship, Pillage, Pirate Ship, Village, Pearl Diver
This one is pretty close, it's kind of sloggy since there's no draw and Hermit+Feodum with Haggler to help out. I could see Province Hands with a Haggler in play where you choose to Haggle IGGs as a points play in the endgame, but man, I want a million Hermits anyways so I've got better things to do than get IGGs here and I don't care about the Purples. It's likely I don't want IGG here.

2. Bandit Camp, Expand, Fairgrounds, Ill-Gotten Gains, JackOfAllTrades, Journeyman, Moneylender, Remodel, Witch, Beggar
What a wonderful kingdom, Jack-in-an-engine-ish. Anyways, IGG is outclassed by Witch here so this one is definitely a no.

3. Advisor, Baker, Cellar, Cultist, Ill-Gotten Gains, Mining Village, Saboteur, Squire, Wharf, Vineyard
There's a lot going on here, you probably want to build for a minute before rushing for Vineyards, I don't expect to have much time for IGGs here as this will quickly turn into a "slush" for Vineyards where the junk matters less.

4. Governor, Highway, Ill-Gotten Gains, Monument, Navigator, Oasis, Outpost, Remodel, Stonemason, Lighthouse
Tough one here, Governor is a monster and so is Stonemason, so IGG definitely isn't the centerpiece of the game, but I think you gain them here because the Purples are really annoying. I'm not positive on that, but we'll just say you get them here to be conservative.

5. Bridge, Ghost Ship, Hunting Grounds, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ironmonger, Mine, Silk Road, Trader, Watchtower, Vineyard
Trader, Watchtower, huge draw. There are a million things going on here so I'm not wasting my time with IGGs. This is actually a really cool board.

6. Armory, Counting House, Feast, Ghost Ship, Ill-Gotten Gains, Menagerie, Peddler, Saboteur, Trade Route, Cellar
No way around it, the trashing is super-bad so you have to go for IGGs, probably some Counting Houses, maybe? That depends a lot on what your opponent is doing.

7. Bureaucrat, Expand, Harem, Ill-Gotten Gains, King's Court, Native Village, Pirate Ship, Silver, Vagrant, Beggar
I like IGGs here at some point. They aren't the focus, I don't think, but gaining them at some point is good.

8. Butcher, Expand, Hunting Grounds, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, Merchant Guild, Mining Village, Mint, Smugglers, Hermit
Nopearoo, you have to play around the presence of IGG here but gaining them? I don't think so unless we get really edge-casey. Hermit and Mint are really good for getting thin and keeping the Curses out and this draw and payload is bonkers.

9. Graverobber, Hoard, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Remake, Royal Seal, Tournament, Trading Post, Workshop, Village
I don't know what the best thing here is, but with Remake around and lots of shenanigans, I'm pretty sure you're better off with Knights for quite some time than IGG.

10 . Coppersmith, Embassy, Envoy, Gardens, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, Mandarin, Smugglers, Talisman, Embargo
No village, no trashing, two prime IGG enablers (Gardens and Coppersmith). Even with Embargo around, IGG is pretty good here unless Embargoed.

11. Bandit Camp, Hunting Party, Ill-Gotten Gains, King's Court, Library, Nomad Camp, Remake, Trading Post, Wharf, Cutpurse
Remake again, and here's a huge engine with an explosive payload. No IGGs for me, please.

12. Coppersmith, Familiar, Ill-Gotten Gains, JackOfAllTrades, Junk Dealer, Mine, Mystic, Storeroom, Warehouse, Doctor
Jack and Junk Dealer are pretty good here for trashing Curses. It's funny because if Familiar wasn't on this board it would be an easy call for me to IGGnore IGG, but if my opponent goes for Familiar, I can just get a couple of IGGs to even out the Curse split. So that makes it bad to go for Familiar. so that means you don't want IGGs. Isn't Dominion a wonderful game? So the "optimal strategy" to me doesn't involve IGG, but I can easily see where I might end up getting them.

13. Armory, Border Village, Highway, Ill-Gotten Gains, Plaza, Quarry, Remodel, Trade Route, Woodcutter, Chapel
Chapel? Signs are point to no, but I could see some endgame situations where you might get some IGGs if your opponent builds a deck that would be annoyed by them.

14. Contraband, Haggler, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ironmonger, Jester, Mandarin, Minion, Outpost, Venture, Bridge
No trashing. Sadly you have to go for them here.

15. Apothecary, Band of Misfits, Cutpurse, Expand, Harem, Ill-Gotten Gains, Rogue, Scavenger, Stash, Cellar
It's close, but I think you have to go for IGGs here.

16. Chancellor, Courtyard, Feast, Haggler, Ill-Gotten Gains, Margrave, Secret Chamber, Shanty Town, Workshop, Chapel
Chapel and a big engine, I'll pass.

17. Bureaucrat, Cultist, Ill-Gotten Gains, Ironmonger, Jester, Monument, Scout, Spy, Witch, Poor House
Cultist and Witch on the board, so IGG is outclassed (is there anything at all I'd buy other than Cultist?) Hmm, OK maybe if the Duchies are out and you desperately need a point you'd get one? Seems a little strange but let's be generous and give this one a "maybe in some cases"

18. Expand, Harvest, Ill-Gotten Gains, Inn, Scout, Sea Hag, Spy, Taxman, Wharf, Fortune Teller
Ooh, cool board. I'll be getting Sea Hag for my cursing, though. I don't think the Taxman stuff would be best here.

19. Forge, Horse Traders, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Merchant Ship, Prince, Storeroom, Tournament, Treasure Map, Menagerie
Again with Tournament and Knights, I think I'll pass on the IGGs though, because Forge just deals with it and you should be drawing your deck most of the game anyways.

20. Cache, Forge, Great Hall, Ill-Gotten Gains, Knights, Mine, Philosopher's Stone, Rogue, Shanty Town, Herbalist
Ooh, what a cool board (as long as Dame Anna is on the bottom of the pile, as always), looks like Herbalist/Phil Stone might actually be best here. IGG actually supports that, though, so I guess you get them, unless your opponent goes heavy Knights. Maybe you still get them. A lot depends on what your opponent does, but IGGs are good here in some cases.


So let's be super-arbitrary and divide these 20 kingdoms into some categories:

0. Definitely Yes: 5
1. Probably Maybe Yes™: 2
2. Probably Not: 5
3. Defo Nopearoonies™: 8

So on the IGGnoreable scale of 0-3, we have a total of 36 out of a possible 60 points, for 60% IGGnoreable, which is close enough to 55% that I just want to call it 55. I mean, this whole scale was just something I invented that doesn't look immediately awful and gets me close to 55, which is really all I wanted. I should also say that I didn't think about these all that hard, so I may want to revise my opinions on them. Oh well, this was fun. B+ would do again (see what I did there?)
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #123 on: October 01, 2015, 04:03:06 pm »
+4

Thats quite hard to overcome on simulation following will beat most rspeer's strategies, even double mountebank, double witch, pure rebuild. It could be beaten only with mountebank/witch-chapel, drunk marine students, beggar-gardens, feodum-masterpiece and rebuild+x

Fortunately, people playing Dominion who aren't braindead don't have to worry about whatever strategies are included with a simulator because kingdoms have 10 cards.
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AdamH

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #124 on: October 01, 2015, 04:07:09 pm »
+1

IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.

A lot of people think this is true, but it super-isn't true.

Let's say my opponent is going for the Canonical IGG Rush™ -- without some serious help, he's getting one IGG per turn, and then when those are gone, he buys Duchies. Let's say he gets near-perfect draws and can buy an IGG for 10 straight turns, starting at T3, then he can buy a Duchy every single turn after that. So the game is over on T20. That's like forever, and all you have to do is get 5 Provinces and trash most of your Curses and you just win. 20 turns is like an eternity; if there's any decent trashing at all, any respectable engine (or even a good big money strategy) will have no problem with this.

Enablers like Remodel or whatever can potentially speed this up by a couple of turns, sure. Let's be super-generous and say you have 16 turns to do your business. Still more than enough time, just don't help them empty the piles.

That analysis is nonsense as duchy rush is what happens on mirror where with coppers, five curses and igg you couldn't hope for province. If uncontested it spikes four provinces just fine. Thats quite hard to overcome on simulation following will beat most rspeer's strategies, even double mountebank, double witch, pure rebuild. It could be beaten only with mountebank/witch-chapel, drunk marine students, beggar-gardens, feodum-masterpiece and rebuild+x

{
  name: 'igg bm'
  author: 'luser'
  requires: ["Ill-Gotten Gains"]
  gainPriority: (state, my) -> [
    "Province"
    "Duchy" if state.gainsToEndGame() <= 5
    "Estate" if state.gainsToEndGame() <= 2
    "Ill-Gotten Gains"
    "Gold"
    "Silver"
  ]
}

There's a lot wrong with this. I'm going to do my best to try and stay constructive here.

First of all, I'm not talking about a mirror. In a mirror, of course the game will speed up, that's what happens when the same piles are being contested by more than one person. The whole point of my analysis is something that you have missed (because you called it nonsense and started talking about mirrors and other things that don't hold water) -- when not mirrored, it's not hard to overcome IGGs with any sort of reasonable trashing.

Second of all, in a mirror, you don't want to gain Coppers unless it helps you hit an important price point OR there's some enabler like Gardens or Coppersmith or something that gives you a reason. The whole reason behind not wanting extra Coppers is so that you have the best chance to hit Province, which is usually decisive in a mirror. It's also usually decisive in non-mirrors and in lots of other circumstances, but that's a lot more complicated and not really important.

Third of all, simulation results don't mean anything here, because the things you're pairing it against aren't optimized to play assuming they're getting Curses from IGGs. Simulators are good at predicting win-rates of non-interactive strategies, mostly money-based strategies. IGG is interactive so of course you have to play differently.

I don't know what "drunk marine students" is but I know none of those other strategies involve any form of Curse-trashing, which is important for fighting an IGG strategy.
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iguanaiguana

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #125 on: October 01, 2015, 04:08:37 pm »
+1

Luser, the problem with your sims is that you are just comparing an igg rush to a lot of big money variants. Adam is saying that you often iggnore it because you should be building an engine. Since you can't simulate engines well unless you restrict your sim to a single board, simulation isnt very helpful.

SCSN

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #126 on: October 01, 2015, 04:14:54 pm »
+4

I suggest a 20-game IGG cage-match between luser and Mic.
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luser

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #127 on: October 01, 2015, 04:58:50 pm »
0

Luser, the problem with your sims is that you are just comparing an igg rush to a lot of big money variants. Adam is saying that you often iggnore it because you should be building an engine. Since you can't simulate engines well unless you restrict your sim to a single board, simulation isnt very helpful.

No, he also claimed that strong bm will beat igg.
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JW

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #128 on: October 01, 2015, 05:23:23 pm »
+2

Luser, the problem with your sims is that you are just comparing an igg rush to a lot of big money variants. Adam is saying that you often ignore it because you should be building an engine. Since you can't simulate engines well unless you restrict your sim to a single board, simulation isnt very helpful.

No, he also claimed that strong bm will beat igg.

Let's say my opponent is going for the Canonical IGG Rush™ -- without some serious help, he's getting one IGG per turn, and then when those are gone, he buys Duchies. Let's say he gets near-perfect draws and can buy an IGG for 10 straight turns, starting at T3, then he can buy a Duchy every single turn after that. So the game is over on T20. That's like forever, and all you have to do is get 5 Provinces and trash most of your Curses and you just win. 20 turns is like an eternity; if there's any decent trashing at all, any respectable engine (or even a good big money strategy) will have no problem with this.

Noted without comment.
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Mole5000

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #129 on: October 12, 2015, 09:12:44 am »
0

IGG is rarely ignorable. as it rapidly depletes 2 piles, something no other card does.

A lot of people think this is true, but it super-isn't true.

Let's say my opponent is going for the Canonical IGG Rush™ -- without some serious help, he's getting one IGG per turn, and then when those are gone, he buys Duchies. Let's say he gets near-perfect draws and can buy an IGG for 10 straight turns, starting at T3, then he can buy a Duchy every single turn after that. So the game is over on T20. That's like forever, and all you have to do is get 5 Provinces and trash most of your Curses and you just win. 20 turns is like an eternity; if there's any decent trashing at all, any respectable engine (or even a good big money strategy) will have no problem with this.

Why is the perfect drawing Canonical IGG Rush™ buying Duchies?  They are going to snag Provinces to make it super hard to overhaul them.
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Awaclus

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #130 on: October 12, 2015, 09:22:04 am »
0

Why is the perfect drawing Canonical IGG Rush™ buying Duchies?

Because it can't buy a Province every turn, buying a Duchy every turn ends the game faster than a Province every other turn, and the IGG rush needs the game to end as fast as possible while it's still ahead.
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AdamH

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #131 on: October 12, 2015, 09:48:39 am »
+1

Why is the perfect drawing Canonical IGG Rush™ buying Duchies?  They are going to snag Provinces to make it super hard to overhaul them.

Obviously this depends on a lot of things. Usually getting Provinces while going for IGGs is really good, but this example was meant to show that if IGG is just ending the game as fast as possible, it still takes forever when uncontested. I'm trying to disprove the myth that the IGG rush is fast.
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assemble_me

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #132 on: October 13, 2015, 01:22:45 am »
0

It looks like no one has voted Summon yet, right?
I guess I'd give it an A or A-. Still haven't played with it yet, but it looks like something you'd buy during most games.
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drsteelhammer

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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #133 on: October 13, 2015, 07:01:24 am »
0

I played a few IRL games with Summon. While I wasn't able to use its full potential that was attributed by the playtesters in Summon post, I can definitely say it's very strong. You have to consider it in evey buy phase, in my opinion, so I would give it a solid A
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #134 on: October 13, 2015, 10:31:22 am »
+4

Why is the perfect drawing Canonical IGG Rush™ buying Duchies?  They are going to snag Provinces to make it super hard to overhaul them.

Obviously this depends on a lot of things. Usually getting Provinces while going for IGGs is really good, but this example was meant to show that if IGG is just ending the game as fast as possible, it still takes forever when uncontested. I'm trying to disprove the myth that the IGG rush is fast.

Agreed. Here's why the myth exists. I think the IGG rush is a classic example of a strategy of the following type:

1) it's pretty good
2) it's easy to execute, and small deviations from the canonical strategy do not significantly affect win percentages
3) if both players go for it, the one who does less well loses

and this combination often leads to groupthink that it's unbeatable (note that (3) is a tautology, but a psychologically relevant phenomenon).

The mono-Minion deck, especially back when there weren't many expansions, was often like this. But IGG-rush has a fourth phenomenon, which the mono-Minion deck doesn't have:

4) if your opponent plays the IGG rush, and so do you, then the IGG rush gets a lot better.

This can REALLY lead to groupthink that IGG causes boring games where the only thing to do is IGG.

All that said, I still think IGG deserves somewhere B+ or above according to these rankings; I'm inclined to put it to A-. (I don't know where it is now).

I should really go back and revise these rankings like I said I would do, both to incorporate yalls feedback and just because I've flat changed my mind in some cases. I'll set myself a reminder for the next time I get some free time.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #135 on: October 13, 2015, 01:03:15 pm »
0

Why is the perfect drawing Canonical IGG Rush™ buying Duchies?  They are going to snag Provinces to make it super hard to overhaul them.

Obviously this depends on a lot of things. Usually getting Provinces while going for IGGs is really good, but this example was meant to show that if IGG is just ending the game as fast as possible, it still takes forever when uncontested. I'm trying to disprove the myth that the IGG rush is fast.

2) it's easy to execute, and small deviations from the canonical strategy do not significantly affect win percentages


I don't think that's true, unless you're restricting that to non-IGG kingdom cards.  I think the player that understands IGG rush better can get some really great winrate improvements by timing their switch from IGG over to Duchy better, and I think the temptation to beat the weaker player that way rather than beat the weaker player by pulling off the board's engine contributes to the perception that it's always the only answer.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #136 on: August 23, 2016, 11:00:53 pm »
+1

Reviving this thread for empires.

To me it seems like
A = Always consider
B = Depends on the Board
C = Situational, like specific Combos

Of course it may not be worth putting them on a hierarchy. It's hard to say whether "may as well" cards (like Vagrant and Pearl Diver) are better or worse than situationally strong but often useless cards.
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Re: key cards in Dominion: a report card.
« Reply #137 on: September 13, 2017, 06:43:48 pm »
0

Reviving this thread for empires.

To me it seems like
A = Always consider
B = Depends on the Board
C = Situational, like specific Combos

Of course it may not be worth putting them on a hierarchy. It's hard to say whether "may as well" cards (like Vagrant and Pearl Diver) are better or worse than situationally strong but often useless cards.

I wish the OP put in an "S" tier. Cards that will always be "A" tier no matter what and will never hurt the deck. I am not familiar with all the cards throughout all the expansions, but cards like Chapel or Fishing Village would probably fall into this category.
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