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Author Topic: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.1: $3 cards  (Read 28212 times)

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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2012, 09:06:41 pm »
+1

Fortune Teller is the worst attack in the game

I agree with like 95 percent of what you're saying here, but... Fortune Teller is far from the worst attack in the game.  Thief, Noble Brigand, Pirate Ship, Saboteur and possibly Bureaucrat too all say hello.

I think you are wrong. Bereaucrat is just better. Thief, Noble Brigand and Pirate Ship are all very good in 3+ players, so you cannot purely say that they are worse (although I made my lists mainly for 2p game). And Saboteur? Can you imagine Saboteur costing $3?

Thief remains awful in at least 98 percent of setups no matter how many players you add. I can't say the same for sure with Noble Brigand since I'm not sure I've ever actually played it in multiplayer, but it's similar enough to Thief that I can't imagine it improving enough.  Pirate Ship does markedly improve with 3 or 4, but it goes from "absolutely horrid" to "situational"; it's still ignorable over half the time in 4p.

...

The comparison between Bureaucrat and Fortune Teller is actually a really interesting one.  Both of them give you $2 and make your opponent top-deck a Victory card, but they play much differently.  Fortune Teller's attack is essentially a miniature version of Rabble, cycling your opponent's deck and (hopefully) forcing them to miss some of their good cards this reshuffle.  Unlike Rabble, it doesn't stack, but on the other hand it is guaranteed to hit (granted the "hit" can be very soft if hybrid Victory cards, or Tournament, are around).  Bureaucrat is a different beast entirely, as it's instead a miniature Ghost Ship.  Your opponent doesn't miss their cards, but their deck is slowed instead.  Ghost Ship is way nastier than Rabble, so that's a point in the B-crat's favor, but on the other hand it's quite likely to whiff, as a hand with no Victory cards will escape unscathed.

And then the benefit to you works very differently as well.  Fortune Teller is just a terminal Silver, like so many other cards, but the Bureaucrat is a Silver gainer, giving you no benefit this turn (which is a definite minus) and flooding your deck with Treasure, which is sometimes good but also sometimes bad.  On top of deck is better than in the discard, to be sure, but it's also not that great: if it replaces a Copper than you've only improved your next hand by $1 and will still have to deal with that Copper too; the B-crat actually slows progress through your deck as well!

Now, which is better?  It's often hard to make comparisons between cards of different cost, but $3 and $4 are in practical terms more alike than any other two cost tiers, so I feel comfortable putting them side-by-side.  And my verdict is that Fortune Teller is more often a good buy (at least twice as often is my intuition), but the B-crat is likely to be more important to your strategy when you do buy it.  Both attacks are weakest in the midgame, with the B-crat a little more painful (when it hits and it often won't, remember) early on and Fortune Teller better late.  The real difference is what sort of decks you want these cards in: barring some corner cases with Chapel etc., Bureaucrat's Silver flood is deadly to powerful chaining and combos (and Colonies), so if you're going Action-heavy then the Bureaucrat will actively torpedo you, whereas Fortune Teller thrives in an Action-rich environment (and can pull some cute tricks with Jester and Saboteur besides).  But Bureaucrat is of course a great enabler for things like Gardens and Duke, and the attack is relevant against people also going for those cards.

Conclusion?  I'm going to go with "too close to call".
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 11:30:29 pm by chwhite »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2012, 10:36:25 pm »
0

Superior in what way? I have tried and found that it does not beat it heads-up.

In that it wins heads-up.
What bots are you using?
Well back when I did it, I put less time and effort into the oracle bot than you did. But just now, using the ones in geronimoo's simulator (your oracle and my smithy), smithy wins 49-42.


Using this improved bot, I get as close as 44-47 (or 48 depending on the batch):
Code: [Select]
<player name="Oracle"
 author="WW"
 description="The optimized Oracle bot that buys no other actions.">
 <type name="Province"/>
 <type name="Optimized"/>
 <type name="UserCreated"/>
 <type name="BigMoney"/>
 <type name="Generated"/>
 <type name="TwoPlayer"/>
 <type name="Bot"/>
 <type name="SingleCard"/>
   <buy name="Province">
      <condition>
         <left type="getTotalMoney"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="16.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Gold"/>
   <buy name="Duchy">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Oracle">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Oracle"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="1.0"/>
      </condition>
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Treasure"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="6.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Oracle">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Oracle"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="2.0"/>
      </condition>
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Treasure"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="9.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Oracle">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInDeck" attribute="Oracle"/>
         <operator type="smallerThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="3.0"/>
      </condition>
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardTypeInDeck" attribute="Treasure"/>
         <operator type="greaterThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="16.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
   <buy name="Silver"/>
   <buy name="Estate">
      <condition>
         <left type="countCardsInSupply" attribute="Province"/>
         <operator type="smallerOrEqualThan" />
         <right type="constant" attribute="4.0"/>
      </condition>
   </buy>
</player>

But your smithy bot is significantly better than what I'd tested against.

However, seeing as the sim misplays oracle probably much more than it does smithy, who knows which is better?

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2012, 04:15:07 am »
0


Using this improved bot, I get as close as 44-47 (or 48 depending on the batch):
Code: [Select]
<player name="Oracle"
 author="WW"
 description="The optimized Oracle bot that buys no other actions.">

But your smithy bot is significantly better than what I'd tested against.

However, seeing as the sim misplays oracle probably much more than it does smithy, who knows which is better?

Yeah, 47-44 is definitely withing margin of error of the play rules. When Hinterlands first came out, I thought oracle should beat smithy+money, but at this point I'm not really convinced. I think if the smithy player buys the second smithy a bit earlier (before the second shuffle instead of the third), he becomes a little safer from the attack and is probably at an advantage. However, I think oracle openings transitioning into something else most likely beat smithy+money.
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Qvist

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2012, 08:34:01 am »
0

Wow, I'm one day not at home and so many new posts here!

I'm glad you're discussing your different points of views.
Your comments showed that Black Market and Smugglers seem to rank too high and Woodcutter, Oracle and Fortune Teller too low.

I cannot answer to all of your comments, but like to add some quick comments.

I can't help but feel like the blurb about develop has the idea of the card all wrong. You say that a trasher has to be a good beginning game card, but that's just because all previous ones have been. With the top-decking of the two cards you get it feels very much like a mid/late game card. You can trash your $4 into a Duchy if you really feel like you need to, or you can trash it into a Village/Torturer, or a Fishing Village/Wharf, or your $5 into a GM or Goons/Throne Room, or a $6 into KC/Mountebank or Torturer or whatever. I'm not saying that necessarily makes it that good of a card at all, just that that seems to be more of the purpose of it, rather than an early game trasher or a late game victory card getter.
Yeah, Develop may not be designed as a opening trasher. It may have gotten so low because everybody thinks so and compares it to other trashers. The problem with Develop still is the same. There are rare scenarios where Develop shines as there have to be good cards in a specific price range.

Loan had the highest variance and your comments prove that. If anybody likes to do some basic simulations with Loan, I would be glad to read the result.

And a quick note to Oracle: I agree, it looked weak at the beginning and it's a good card in BM games. I think the reason why it ranked to low, it's still not widely used as it is still a relatively new card and may definitely be underrated.

Fortune Teller is the worst attack in the game

I agree with like 95 percent of what you're saying here, but... Fortune Teller is far from the worst attack in the game.  Thief, Noble Brigand, Pirate Ship, Saboteur and possibly Bureaucrat too all say hello.

You're right, of course. When I wrote that I had "As there is no Attack card for $2, look at the worst attack in the game." in my head from the list text. I didn't stop to think that there could be a worse attack at a higher cost, and there are in fact many. Not Bureucrat though. Bureaucrat is a great card. My only other major problem with the list text that I'd suggest changing is the part about Shanty Town where it says you can play one followed by two terminals and then another ST. That's just plain wrong.

Regarding the "worst attack of the game" talk. You confused me with your
As long as you understand Qvist didn't mean it the way you mean it, and no one else means it in that way either, then I think we're clear!

I just want to clarify. All my texts are meant to be objective, or in other words, the reasons why I think you put a specific card on a specific rank.
When I write: "As there is no Attack card for $2, look at the worst attack in the game." This may or may not my personal opinion. Yeah, I didn't even think about cards in a higher price level. I just thought: "Ok, that's the first attack card in the list. It's the worst attack for $3 and there is no attack for $2, so it must be the worst attack in the game." Comparing Fortune Teller with Thief of Bureacrat is difficult. Because of that I didn't make a list of all 157 cards, so we have no decisions in comparing King's Court with Chapel. So I totally agree with TINAS here. I also changed the text of Shanty Town, that was a error of course.

Very nice work, Qvist.  Kudos.
Thank you.

I hope I haven't missed some comments which you wrote directly to me and I'm going to post the second part soon.

One thing I like to add thou:
I can understand the complaining of Black Market, Smugglers and Fortune Teller. But it were you who ranked those cards and it is weighted ranking. I think it is a very good portrayal of your opinion. There were several 40+ players who ranked those cards in the range where it is now. So it would be nice to hear some counter-arguments too.

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Qvist

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2012, 05:45:35 pm »
+3

The Best $3 Cards - Part 2/2
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#11 Lookout (Seaside) Weighted Average: 11.61 / Median: 11 / Mode: 8 / Standard Deviation: 4.5
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #6 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #19 (1x), #20 (1x), #22 (1x)

Now we're making a big jump of 2.5 points and reaching the 11 above-average cards. 4 times it got #8, but the range from #2 to #22 and the high deviation shows the disagreement with this card? Why?

The positive part is: It's a non-terminal trasher which is of course very powerful. It can trash a card which is even not in your hand. It also counters top-deck-attacks, especially Sea Hag (Sea Hag / Lookout is currently the #31 best opening), very well. And with the support of "spying" cards you are guaranteed trashing a bad card. All this is similar to Loan. But Loan can only trash the first card. With Lookout you can even choose between three cards. But: In the late game, it's a dead card in your hand, because it becomes dangerous. Who doesn't fear drawing 3 Provinces or even Colonies and having to trash one? Maybe that fear caused many players to rank it that low. And maybe other players ignored that totally when ranking it that high. The fear isn't justified mostly, but you have to keep that in mind. Especially if you have only 2 or even 1 card in your drawing deck.
#10 Scheme (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 10.99 / Median: 11 / Mode: 11 / Standard Deviation: 5.1
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #3 (1x), #5 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #20 (2x), #23 (1x)

We're reaching the Top 10 and the card with the second highest deviation. It's the first card which got #1, 5 times it got #11, but it even got #23. What a big range!

Scheme is a cantrip and mostly don't hurt in your deck as long as you don't draw it dead. But how big is the benefit? If you're building an engine around a key card (like Hunting Party), Scheme is very handy as you can be sure to have that card in hand nearly every turn. With +Buy you could even buy more Schemes to add to your engine. Even with a simpler strategy, but a strong attack, Scheme is very nice, as is basically replaces the second copy of that strong attack card. Be aware of Minion, as Minion could completely destroy your top-decking. On the other hand, in big money games or with very thin decks, Scheme is not worth a buy and you better buy a Silver. Are here the votings again: BM players vs. Engine builders?
#9 Tunnel (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 10.32 / Median: 9 / Mode: 11 / Standard Deviation: 4.4
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #4 (1x), #5 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #17 (1x), #18 (1x), #20 (1x)

One of the closest battles of all cards was the one between #8 and #9. Tunnel loses very close and is #9. Here we have another Victory card, but this time it ranks really high. 4 times it was #11, but the deviation is still not very low.

That may result from the problem all Victory cards have in common: How do you rank them? It's clear that Tunnel is a good card, especially in Province games, but how high do I want it to sit in the ranking? Its 2VP for only $3 is already very good. You have to pay $2 more for getting one point more. And the Reaction part is really strong. Mostly there is at least one card on the board which can trigger it. It combos great with Vault, Cellar, Inn, Embassy and such. Young Witch / Tunnel is currently the 20th best opening. So Tunnel is one of the rare scenarios when buying a victory card as an opening buy can be really good (beside Island). It's also a great defense card against Discarding Attacks like Militia, Goons or Margrave or even Minion. On boards with many discarding synergies, you mostly can observe a rush for Tunnels. And then not only the Tunnel can deplete, the Gold pile can too.
#8 Watchtower (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 10.32 (10.318) / Median: 10 / Mode: 10 / Standard Deviation: 4.2
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #5 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #18 (1x), #19 (2x)

Watchtower managed to beat Tunnel with a 0.02 lead. Its median is worse, so it may be even worse. With more lists these two positions may have become clearer. The consensus is higher and 4 times it got #10.

The two Reaction cards fought and Watchtower won. Watchtower is very versatile what makes it a great card. At first it can draw up to 6 cards what makes it a worse Library and is great in Hamlet, Festival or other decks where the non-terminals draw equal or less cards than you discard. Then it is even an Smithy equivalent. Even if two Watchtowers collide you can use the Reaction part for the other card too. You can put your new card on top of your deck and have it in your hand in the next turn. But Watchtower is even a better defense card. The strongest attacks are Cursing and Discarding Attacks. You can trash the gained Curses immediately and can draw to a more than full hand after discarding. And, with one of the discarding attacks it combos too: Goons / Watchtower is great as you can buy additional Coppers or Curses for VPs and can trash them immediately without clogging up.
#7 Swindler (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 7.29 / Median: 7 / Mode: 9 / Standard Deviation: 4.6
Highest Rank(s): #4 (5x) / Lowest Rank(s): #12 (3x), #19 (1x), #25 (1x)

Now we make an even bigger jump of 3 points and are now in the Top 7, the 7 good $3 cards. Swindler got #9 six times and has only 5 outliers of ranks below #9, from mostly beginners, therefore the high deviation. But still, no-one ranked it higher than #4, so it's definitely not owerpowered.

Swindler is the third $3 Attack and this time it is a good one. It's a great opening buy and can turn the Coppers of the opponents into Curses. Later in the game it can turn the new good $5 cards into Duchies. With special cards on the board, the punishing can even be worse, like swindling the only Potion into a Treasure Map or Coppersmith or vice versa, turning the Sea Hag into a Potion. Maybe the outliers are punishing it too, for its high luck-dependant attack. Both players may open Swindler and one can turn the other Swindler into a Chancellor. Or you hit 3 Coppers and turn them into Curses and your opponent hit 3 Estates and turn them into ... Estates. Bad luck! Of course you can decrease bad luck by adding a Spy-like attack, but most of the time it's not worth it. Beware with Peddler on board. Trashing a Province and turning into a Peddler, great. Hitting a Peddler when the Peddlers are out, bad! And beware in the end game. Hitting a Curse when the Curses are out is suboptimal, but hitting a Province and giving your opponent the last Province, can win or lose you the game.
#6 Warehouse (Seaside) Weighted Average: 6.22 / Median: 6 / Mode: 4 / Standard Deviation: 2.6
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #3 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #10 (2x), #11 (1x), #13 (1x)

Now we are in the Top 6, the region with high concensus again. No big surprises from now on. Warehouse got #4 6 times, but still has enough lower ranks, so it's still only #6.

Warehouse is the better Cellar (ok, it's the last time with this innuendo). But it is a very useful deck sifter. You can draw 3 cards and discard the most useless ones. It's also a card that works fine with Tunnel and of course with any Attack as it is non-terminal and can draw your terminals more often. And you can even play it if your hand is good and discard the useless cards on top of your deck (which are coincidental there or from any Attack like Rabble). Not much to say here, it's a useful addition to any deck, especially in decks with important key cards which you want to play as often as you can.
#5 Menagerie (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 5.68 / Median: 5 / Mode: 5 / Standard Deviation: 2.8
Highest Rank(s): #1 (2x), #3 (4x) / Lowest Rank(s): #9 (2x), #10 (1x), #14 (1x)

Menagerie managed it to get first 2 times, but still has some outliers in the lower ranks, so it's still #5. The majority voted it exactly there, it got #5 7 times.

Menagerie can be very strong, a double-Laboratory, or only a cantrip. Ok, it never hurts, but it sill needs enablers like cards that can discard (best: non-terminal like Warehouse or Hamlet) or heavy-trashing to use its full strength. Its best use may be to counter Discarding attacks. After a Militia or Goons attacks, just play Menagerie and you have a 5-card-hand again. Of course it's also good if there are many good cards on the board you want to have, or you buy many good cards out of the Black Market deck, so you can maximize the possibilty to have different cards in the deck. In comparism to Warehouse its not always a good addition to your deck, but when it is, it's so good.
#4 Steward (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 5.56 / Median: 6 / Mode: 7 / Standard Deviation: 2.8
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #2 (4x) / Lowest Rank(s): #9 (1x), #11 (1x), #13 (1x)

Again, it was very close, but Steward has beaten Menagerie, even if it has a lower Median and Mode. I got #7 6 times, but at the same time was rarely lower than #7.

Steward's strength is its flexibility. It's one of the rare trashers that are good openers and still good later in the game, in this case for $2 or 2 cards. It leads to very difficult decisions (Steward and 4 Coppers: Trashing or Gold?) but either decision is strong. And it is also rare for a non-attack card that is terminal to say about: "It is usually a good buy" (even though it's the opening buy) Tournament / Steward is currently the best Steward opening at #49.
#3 Fishing Village (Seaside) Weighted Average: 2.99 / Median: 3 / Mode: 2 / Standard Deviation: 1.5
Highest Rank(s): #1 (4x) / Lowest Rank(s): #5 (4x), #6 (1x), #7 (1x)

Next big step and we're in the Top 3. No doubt on this card. It has the lower deviation shared with another card, and got #2 10 times.

What makes Fishing Village a good village, yes, one of the best in the game? It hasn't 2 of the biggest problems in combination with villages. 1.) A Smithy-Village chain still may lack the money. FV gives money instead of a card. 2.) You draw 2 terminals with no village in hand. FV gives also an additional action in the following turn and therefore a total of 3 actions, minimizing the chances of not being able to play colliding terminals. So, if you're definitely going to build an unstoppable engine, buy as many FVs as you can. FV / Wharf is so much superior than Smithy / Village and FV / Torturer can hurt so much. You only don't want to buy it if you're going BM, because then you have basically a Lighthouse if you don't use the +Actions.
#2 Masquerade (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 2.43 / Median: 2 / Mode: 1 / Standard Deviation: 1.5
Highest Rank(s): #1 (8x) / Lowest Rank(s): #5 (1x), #6 (2x)

It was fun to observe the battle for #1. Masquerade lost by very small margin. 8 times #1 wasn't enough to get the top position. But at least it's the other card that got the lowest deviation.

At first it seems so harmless (at least to me). Even though it is no attack by definition, most of the times it feels like it is one. I cannot desribe the power of Masquerade better than theory did: "By drawing 2 cards, Masquerade combines solid buying power with its deck-thinning, thus allowing you to improve your deck along two axes at once." It's a hard counter to cursing attacks, so you may even choose not to go for the cursing attack with Masquerade on the board. And if you have a discarding attack and play Masquerade afterwards it's even a harder attack, allowing the (in)famous Masquerade pin. I still have problems to pass the cards in the right order if I play multiple Masquerades per turn :P but that doesn't decrease its power. It dominates nearly all games. And Tournament / Masquerade is #8 in the best openings list. Double Masquerade is #105 and the second best double opening.
#1 Ambassador (Seaside) Weighted Average: 2.20 / Median: 2 / Mode: 1 / Standard Deviation: 1.9
Highest Rank(s): #1 (14x) / Lowest Rank(s): #5 (2x), #10 (1x)

Ambassador is the best $3 card, it has only one outlier and was voted #1 by nearly the half of all players. I think it deserves the #1 spot.

Let's start Ambassador war! In some games the ping-pong of Estates of Coppers is so important that you rather risk open Double-Ambassador and colliding two Ambassadors instead of losing the Ambassador war. Some say it's undercosted and the best attack relative to its cost. You can even buy a curse and turn Ambassador into a Curser. If you lose Ambassador war badly, there's no good chance to recover and building a good engine. But beware: Don't forget building up your own economy. Your opponent is flooded with Coppers and Estates. But he can buy good cards too, so don't forget that. But the power is undeniable. Tournament / Ambassador is #3, Caravan / Ambassador is #7 and Ambassador / Fool's Gold #17 in the openings list with many other good Ambassador openings to come (Double-Ambassador is #44 and the best double opening).

To the $4 cards
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:16:03 am by Qvist »
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dondon151

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2012, 06:58:34 pm »
0

Minor nitpick: the statistical term is "outliers," not "outliners." Good work nonetheless.
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Robz888

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2012, 08:43:34 pm »
0

I only have a few complaints about the rankings here. Specifically, Steward should be ranked worse, and Tunnel better.

Perhaps it's just me, but Steward keeps losing relevance in most Kingdoms it appears. If I buy it, I'm almost always using it for money, in which case I should just buy Silver. The trashing is nice, but as Qvist noted, the "Should I trash with it or buy Gold?" is a dilemma that similar low-cost trashers like Moneylender, Salvager, and Masquerade just don't face. That said, it's variance still makes Steward good (especially useful in kingdoms with extra +Actions, so that you can use it for +2 cards on occasion), but I don't think it's Top 5 good.

Tunnel, on the other hand, is either Top 5 good or close to it. Rare is the kingdom without any ability to discard cards from your hand. And so many of those discarders are cards you would want even without Tunnel (Cartographer, Vault, Oasis, Warehouse, Minion, etc.) that Tunnel, in the presence of these cards and others, is truly dominating.

But those are small points... on the whole, this ranking and the others were very good. The wisdom of crowds...
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2012, 09:26:50 pm »
0

Tunnel, on the other hand, is either Top 5 good or close to it. Rare is the kingdom without any ability to discard cards from your hand. And so many of those discarders are cards you would want even without Tunnel (Cartographer, Vault, Oasis, Warehouse, Minion, etc.) that Tunnel, in the presence of these cards and others, is truly dominating.

I don't really think that it is dominating. I saw Tunnel lost many times. It is outstanding with Minion and very handy with Vault (because you are discarding it in your turn AND in your opponent's turn), but with Cartographer or Warehouse, it is not superior to anything. It is a very good card, it would still be very good most of the times without the VPs, but it's a bit of trap sometimes ("Okay, so I got 7 Golds in my deck while my opponent has only 2...and 3 Provinces...")  :) I think it should not be higher than it is (I had it as #13).

But there was one much bigger surprise to me:

#8 Watchtower (my rank: #18): Can someone explain this to me please? I really don't know what is so great about Watchtower...I mean - it almost always draws 2 cards (like Moat), it "stops" most of the attacks (like Moat) and it can put a card on top of your deck when you don't play it. It is a solid reaction, but what's to like so much here?
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2012, 09:53:50 pm »
+2


But there was one much bigger surprise to me:

#8 Watchtower (my rank: #18): Can someone explain this to me please? I really don't know what is so great about Watchtower...I mean - it almost always draws 2 cards (like Moat), it "stops" most of the attacks (like Moat) and it can put a card on top of your deck when you don't play it. It is a solid reaction, but what's to like so much here?

Time to defend watchtower's honor!  First, if you're using it for a mere 2 cards, you're probably not using it right and you probably shouldn't have bought it in the first place.  It's a unique defense that covers replenishing your hand size AND the ability to trash incoming junk.  Combined with the fact that it's offensive power allows you to deplete your hand size and then draw back up to 6.  Play some villages (even shanty town and native village are great), play a terminal or 2 and then draw back up to 6 cards!  It's also very rare for a terminal collision to be detrimental because you can make use of the top decking power by keeping it in hand and playing a different action.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2012, 10:33:23 pm »
0

Well, a terminal collision with Watchtower -is- detrimental because that's one card less that you have to, presumably, buy something better, but it's not as bad because you can topdeck whatever you buy. And if you get to $5 or $6 anyway, you're happy both ways.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #60 on: January 08, 2012, 06:59:03 am »
0

Watchtower : I agree with Dr.Hades about this. Watchtower is probably the best defense against attacks. But when there aren't attacks, or when your opponent doesn't attack you, Watchtower is totally useless.
Library is really good, but Watchtower is weak. Even against a militia... it's risky.

Scheme : I put it in #9, but now I think I overrated scheme. Good, but never awesome. Like spy. I don't remember any game where scheme was important. The only exception is with King's court.

Swindler : The most overrated attack in the game, IMO.

Ambassador/Masquerade : Excellent cards, but I'm surprised to see so many high ranks. I find Menagerie, Tunnel, Fishing village, Warehouse and Steward much better !

Lookout : I agree about the rank. But... It's very, very rare, when you draw 3 provinces/colonies with lookout. Never happened for me. Sometimes I trashed a gold, but never a province/colony.
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jotheonah

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #61 on: January 08, 2012, 09:12:12 am »
+1

In a Mountebank/Witch/Saboteur/Possession game without villages, buying a bunch of Schemes and one of the attack is devastating. I remember one game where I chose to ignore Possession. My opponent bought only one and I thought the game would be over before he could ever use it.  He possessed me very turn. I asked in the comments "How are you doing this??" and he typed back "Scheme, yo."  And that is how I learned the power of Scheme.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #62 on: January 08, 2012, 10:21:25 am »
0

This is my first input into these lists--aside from voting--and my biggest complaints are tunnel and scheme as high as they are. I am looking forward to TINAS in depth response to scheme, although I wouldn't rank it quite as low as he. But for me tunnel can be killer it a bad way. Even with self discards I am rare to buy it because of the danger of drawing it to start with and taking up hand slots for the discarding card, money or other actions. I only like using it with cards such as warehouse or young witch were I am drawing and even then I will rarely open with it. It can be a good card if +buy is around, but most of the time it takes way too long for the gold to be obtained and cycled back into my deck to be useful, and in the mean time nondiscarded tunnels are barely more worthwhile estates. Tunnel certainly isn't the worst of the $3, but I don't know if it belongs so high. Oh, and steward is much too high.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2012, 11:19:57 am »
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Tunnel is awesome. Really. I just played a game where I had two tunnels, my opponent had six. He succeed to have a lot of golds (simply by oasis !) and me no (I don't had a good action/draw engine). He won greatly. Tunnel is the new cheap hoard, and it's useful 80% of the time. I put it at #3.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #64 on: January 08, 2012, 12:06:28 pm »
0

Although stuff like scheme/goons and kc/scheme is really great I can't really see it in the top 10.  Too often it just doesn't do enough to make a difference (or spends the whole game going back on top and rarely hitting the card you got it for), and it can be a bad card to have against discard attacks in my experience.  I also wonder if Swindler belongs as high as it is, but that could just be because it never works for me and always works for my opponents.  I think this list is OK for the most part, though, disagreements aside. 
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Kore

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #65 on: January 08, 2012, 01:42:01 pm »
+6

Tunnel is "bad" for the same reason that Cache is bad. You can use it to get gold but you're still diluting your deck with other cards. If you use a tunnel for gold only once, you've increased your $/card by less than buying a silver would have. If you use it twice, it's equal to buying a silver. Tunnels don't even increase your buying power right away, you'll have to go through a reshuffle after activating it before the gold will appear in your deck.

That being said, I don't think tunnels are really bad just overrated currently. If you can discard and cycle your deck to activate tunnels, you're well suited to having a deck with high variance and the 2VP from tunnels shouldn't be overlooked. However, on some boards tunnels + discard is too slow compared to alternate strategies and I see people going for them even when they should be ignored.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #66 on: January 08, 2012, 09:01:02 pm »
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Tunnel is "bad" for the same reason that Cache is bad. You can use it to get gold but you're still diluting your deck with other cards. If you use a tunnel for gold only once, you've increased your $/card by less than buying a silver would have.
The difference being you don't have to reach $6 before you get your Gold.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #67 on: January 08, 2012, 10:14:34 pm »
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Tunnel is "bad" for the same reason that Cache is bad. You can use it to get gold but you're still diluting your deck with other cards. If you use a tunnel for gold only once, you've increased your $/card by less than buying a silver would have. If you use it twice, it's equal to buying a silver. Tunnels don't even increase your buying power right away, you'll have to go through a reshuffle after activating it before the gold will appear in your deck.

That being said, I don't think tunnels are really bad just overrated currently. If you can discard and cycle your deck to activate tunnels, you're well suited to having a deck with high variance and the 2VP from tunnels shouldn't be overlooked. However, on some boards tunnels + discard is too slow compared to alternate strategies and I see people going for them even when they should be ignored.

Certain cheap cards like Warehose, Oasis, Secret Chamber enable Tunnel to trigger very early in the game and multiple times. By the time you would normally reach $6, you may have already gained 3 or 4 golds off of a Tunnel. With more costly discard such as Inn then, yes, normally, you won't get the gold as quick, but you will still have many triggers, anyway. At least, usually. It really depends on what you open Tunnel with. Usually, though, the discard is good enough that it is worth going for a tunnel or two or three.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #68 on: January 08, 2012, 10:18:56 pm »
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Tunnel is "bad" for the same reason that Cache is bad. You can use it to get gold but you're still diluting your deck with other cards. If you use a tunnel for gold only once, you've increased your $/card by less than buying a silver would have.
The difference being you don't have to reach $6 before you get your Gold.

Tunnel gains you gold over and over again at the expense of having more green in your deck. Cache gets you "Gold" once at the expense of having more Copper. So without Trashing you can easily reach a point where you have more Gold than Tunnels, but without Trashing you can never have more Caches than Copper. The comparison is pretty superficial.

Cache shines in situations where $/card is not the most helpful thing, possibly because selective drawing is in play. For instance, Hunting Party might find your Cache and skip your Coppers.  Tunnel is much better in those situations because Tunnel is not a treasure, so if you're working with Venture, Adventurer, Farming Village, Scout, Crossroads, Cartographer it might be totally worth it to have some early Gold at the expense of extra green.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #69 on: January 08, 2012, 10:25:44 pm »
+2

I actually think tunnel is a big-time trap card. It's discard ability is really shiny, and when it connects, it's oh so sweet. But without some premium enablers, it's actually sorta hard to get collided, especially when nowadays there's usually a pretty fast baseline to beat, and you aren't slowing that down if you're going for tunnel (except with the super-powerful Young Witch/Tunnel combo).
Having said that... 2 VP for $3 is quite nice, and it really changes the complexion of the game, giving people who have roaring engines a bigger VP bank to soak up when trying to catch up, and giving endgames a totally different flavor, because you may miss $5 relatively often, but if you can muster just $3 you've got a pretty darn nice consolation. So it's not a bad card either, even though it's a shiny trap.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2012, 11:30:01 pm »
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Cache shines in situations where $/card is not the most helpful thing, possibly because selective drawing is in play. For instance, Hunting Party might find your Cache and skip your Coppers.  Tunnel is much better in those situations because Tunnel is not a treasure, so if you're working with Venture, Adventurer, Farming Village, Scout, Crossroads, Cartographer it might be totally worth it to have some early Gold at the expense of extra green.
You seem to be saying that both Cache and Tunnel are good when selective drawing is in play? But earlier you said the comparison is superficial...
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2012, 08:37:01 am »
0

To clarify: Kore is right that both Tunnel and Cache give you a quick Gold at the expense of clogging your deck, so they both hurt your $/card.  But the way they do that is so different that there's plenty of space for Tunnel to be a much more useful card in more situations.  A few selective drawing situations make Cache good (Hunting Party, Counting House). A lot of selective drawing situations make Tunnel good.  Also, Tunnel is way cheaper.

Superficial was the wrong word.  The comparison is valid, but shallow.
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Kore

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2012, 01:55:08 pm »
+1

I'm not really disagreeing with you Jotheonah, there are boards out there that make tunnel a useful card. Warehouse/Tunnel isn't bad or young witch/Tunnel is pretty good but I've seen people open with tunnel when the only discard was horse traders or cellar. Secret chamber also seems like a poor enabler though I haven't run the simulations. The reaction ability of tunnel seems to lure people in even when they have no good way to ensure they draw their tunnels with their discarders. I might try something with tunnel and a sub-optimal discarder if there was nothing else good on the board but I wouldn't play it over a standard BM + good enabler.

I'm also of the opinion that the golem/tunnel combo is overrated though I've lost to it before. You need to spend 4-5 buys on things like potions, golems and tunnels which don't help you at all until the combo comes together just so you can flood your deck with gold while your opponent should be greening.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2012, 03:31:08 pm »
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Yeah. Having Gold is only half the battle. Not having a ton of other crap is the other half (or at least, being able to draw at least 3 gold together somehow).
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2012, 04:25:53 pm »
0

One note I'd correct on the list: Great Hall has several cards other than IW that it pairs up well with; I doubt it changes rankings a whit, but it can be better than silver pretty early with some of the following combos:
Scrying pool: GH is a free net card, given the shortage of 3 coin self-replacing cards this often the best 3 coin buy in a scrying pool game
Scout: See scrying pool; though scout tends to lack the drawing power to make even GH/Scout viable on its own.
Crossroads: Another free + card, but it can also be used multiple times
Cartographer/Apothecary (Spy/Pearl Diver/etc).: When you know you can control the top of your deck, GH can be a cheap way to draw your next engine card into hand and leave your cartographers and apothecaries to dig deeper into the deck, again most any self replacing card will work here, but again there are very few that are as cheap as GH.

On a larger note, in 2 player GH is a quick pile to empty for your third pile. It's cheap and it only takes 8 buys.
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