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Author Topic: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.1: $4 cards  (Read 38647 times)

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Qvist

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The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.1: $4 cards
« on: January 11, 2012, 12:27:52 pm »
+3

Here comes the first part of the $4 list. I look forward to hear your complains ;)
I think this list will be the most discussed one, even more than the $5 list.
There seemed to be very difficult decisions, especially in the middle ranks you will see in the next part.

The Best $4 Cards - Part 1/3
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#43 Thief (Base) Weighted Average: 41.22 / Median: 42 / Mode: 43 / Standard Deviation: 2.4
Highest Rank(s): #34 (1x), #35 (1x), #38 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #43 (13x)

Thief is without doubt the worst $4 card in the game. The next card has a healthy margin and Thief has by far the lowest deviation of all $4 cards. Nearly the half of all players ranked it last.

An attack on the last position may seem strange, but Thief has the big problem helping your opponent in the early game. Its a free trasher for your opponent and even later it's so risky hitting the Coppers of your opponent. Its only use may be in thin Chapel decks or if you manage to play it multiple times per turn. And it gets better in 3- or 4-player games, where you can minimize the risk of getting nothing and hitting Coppers. It can be a nice counter against a Ill-Gotten-Gains rush dealing out curses with it, but it is still swingy and therefore still a bad card. You don't want it early and in the later game it's almost never worth a buy.
#42 Scout (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 39.12 / Median: 38.5 / Mode: 37 / Standard Deviation: 5.3
Highest Rank(s): #21 (1x), #28 (1x), #29 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #43 (4x)

Although it has a higher median than the next card and a pretty high mode (it got #37 6 times), it still only is second last. Only four cards have a lower deviation, so the consensus is still high and it even got last 4 times and #42 6 times too.

Scout has its uses. You don't need to spend an action, but it isn't a cantrip, so it really can hurt your deck. If you're massively greening this can be nice as it makes your next turn better, but is still not good. The best uses are: making Crossroads way better, it has a nice synergy with Wishing Well (making it a cheap Lab) and of course it's great with dual-type-victory cards like Harem, Great Hall and Nobles, making Scout a Lab or even better. There might be more edge cases when Scout shines, but those cases are rare and most of the times you can win without buying a Scout.
#41 Coppersmith (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 38.27 / Median: 39 / Mode: 41 / Standard Deviation: 6.2
Highest Rank(s): #16 (1x), #22 (1x), #26 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #41 (11x), #43 (2x)

Coppersmith is the third last card with a third of all players ranking it there. It has a below average deviation, but it's really high for such a low ranked card, because it has a few outliers in way higher rank regions.

Yes, Coppersmith is very hard to rank, because it's either clearly the worst card on the board or it's very dominating. As a opener you may get to $6 or even $8, but you also can draw only one Copper, so it's very swingy as a opener and gets worse later. On the other hand King's Court + Coppersmith can become brutal and it has some nice synergy with Apothecary and Counting House. The cases where it shines may occur more rarely than with any other card, but then it's a must-buy.
#40 Talisman (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 37.84 / Median: 38.5 / Mode: 40 / Standard Deviation: 4.2
Highest Rank(s): #28 (1x), #29 (1x), #30 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #42 (4x)

Talisman is the card with the third least deviation, so no surprise here. No-one ranked it last, but 4 people ranked it second last and 5 people ranked it exactly on #40.

There are very few cards for $4, you want in masses. Silk Road and Gardens may be a exception, but Talisman doesn't work with victory cards. So there are even less cards you want for free with Talisman. Caravan and in some cases Throne Room, Conspirator and Tournament came to my mind being the only cards which makes Talisman a good buy, especially as a opener. You can build a Village + Smithy/Envoy quicker too, but this is rarely worth a Talisman buy since you need money too. But it shines especially with cost reducers like Quarry, Bridge and especially Highway. Play Highway, play Talisman, buy Highway, get one for free, that's nice. Talisman is also nice for a quick 3-pile ending. This works well with Bishop for example: get many Talismans and then Bishops, trash Talismans for 3VP and try to three-pile. But Talisman also can hurt very badly since the free extra card is not optional, so only buy Talisman if you really want cheap card in masses. And don't forget: if you're buying more expensive cards you've spent $4 for a Copper.
#39 Bureaucrat (Base) Weighted Average: 35.75 / Median: 37 / Mode: 39 / Standard Deviation: 5.3
Highest Rank(s): #22 (1x), #26 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #42 (4x), #43 (1x)

We make the next big jump and can observe a close battle for not getting into the Bottom 5. Bureaucrat loses, maybe it got bad rankings more often with one last place, so that its high ranks couldn't save it.

The attack of Bureaucrat is weak. Your opponent loses one card that he don't need anyway for him getting another 4 card hand in the next turn. And he might even be able to counter that easily by playing Farming Village of Cartographer for example. The attack gets better in multiplayer games, especially if there are dual-type victory cards like Nobles or Harem on the board. The benefit on the other side still isn't good either. Top-decked silvers are nice, especially in the beginning and you can get to $8 with 4 silvers too, but it's not easy. So it seems Bureaucrat is nice where you don't want to get to $8, like in Duke / Gardens / Silk Road games, but then Bureacrat is a good counter too. And you can play your Bureaucrat less frequently if your deck is already flooded with silvers. Bureacrat + Big Money is not bad on the other side as it doesn't seem to have synergies well with other cards.
#38 Noble Brigand (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 35.71 / Median: 36.5 / Mode: 41 / Standard Deviation: 5.6
Highest Rank(s): #24 (1x), #25 (1x), #26 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #41 (5x), #42 (2x)

Noble Brigand wins against Bureaucrat with a 0.04 point lead. It didn't got any last place, but got third last 5 times in exchange. So the order of these two isn't fixed.

Noble Brigand is the better Thief on many boards. It hasn't the disadvantage of trashing the opponents Coppers, making it a better opener. It even attacks on-buy. It deals out Coppers too which is nice playing against no-treasure decks. And it gives $1 too, so you have at least an immediate benefit. But it's worse in Colony games as it cannot steal Platinum, it cannot steal Ill-Gotten-Gains like Thief and cannot steal other Kingdom treasure cards. And most important: it's still too slow and doesn't hurt enough if you can't play one nearly each turn.
#37 Navigator (Seaside) Weighted Average: 34.56 / Median: 35 / Mode: 32 / Standard Deviation: 5.7
Highest Rank(s): #21 (1x), #22 (1x), #29 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #43 (4x)

Navigator is the card with the second most last places shared with Scout. But Navigator is the first card with a way higher mode with 7 times #32. It also has a worse unweighted average than Noble Brigand, so better players seem to rank Navigator higher than Newbies.

Scout is at least non-terminal and therefore nice for Wishing Well to draw the top-decked cards. Top-decking the next 5 cards in a specific order is only nice if you have still an action left to draw a few of them. Because if you don't do that, you draw all 5 cards no matter in what order you put them back. The discarding option is nice to minimize shuffle luck and to get a half Chancellor effect, but still it is terminal and most of the time there are better terminal cards on the board. At least it gives you $2. The best use still may be to enable Tunnel's reaction.
#36 Nomad Camp (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 33.92 / Median: 33.5 / Mode: 32 / Standard Deviation: 5.3
Highest Rank(s): #21 (1x), #25 (1x), #27 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #41 (2x), #43 (2x)

Nomad Camp has two last places too with 4 last places still to come. It has a pretty low deviation, the fifth least like Scout. With only 4 times #32, the mode has not much significance here.

Woodcutter was the third worst $3 card. Here we have a Woodcutter with a on-buy top-deck ability. Is it worth costing $1 more? And how can it be that it ranks higher than Woodcutter?
IMO there are only 2-3 reasons for that. You have a high chance to get a $5 card on turn 2 even with a 4/3 opening which is nice especially for Hunting Party and Cursers. Similar to that it is nice you need the +Buy either way and need multiple cheap cards as fast you can. But the only opening which is strong is IMO Nomad Camp / Fool's Gold / Fool's Gold. The last reason is  if you're really unlucky in the late game and only get $4 and want to maximize the chances to hit $8 in the next turn. Beside of that it's only an expensive Woodcutter.
#35 Walled Village (Promo) Weighted Average: 32.86 / Median: 32.5 / Mode: 30 / Standard Deviation: 4.7
Highest Rank(s): #27 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #40 (2x), #42 (2x)

Walled Village is the next promo in the list. Its low deviation (fourth least) shows the consensus in its rank. As we get nearer to the middle ranks, the mode gets less significance, it was #30 4 times.

It is the worst of the four $4 villages. Why? Its only ability is top deck it if you weren't able to use both actions. So this is nice if you have only 2-3 terminal actions and really want to play them each time without taking the risk of colliding. The only reason opening with Walled Village could be if there's a $3 key card and you want a second one later too. Because of that Walled Village / Masquerade and Walled Village / Ambassador are Level 4 openings rankings on #91 and #114 on Councilroom respectively. In all other cases it is the same as the normal village.
#34 Pirate Ship (Seaside) Weighted Average: 32.71 / Median: 33 / Mode: 33 / Standard Deviation: 8.6
Highest Rank(s): #6 (1x), #9 (1x), #19 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #40 (4x), #41 (1x), #43 (1x)

Pirate Ship is only 0.15 points higher than Walled Village and has a clearly higher deviation than all cards before, but is still only 14th in the deviation ranking (that shows the big discussion I expect in the next part). It got last once (with three more to come) and is the first card that even got in the Top 10 twice.

There's the third attack that trashes treasures (tongue twister). Pirate Ship is the best one, but still not good. Or is it? The high ranks may result from players mainly playing 3- or 4-player games where Pirate Ships can be devastating. In 2-player games it's too slow most of the times. The advantage over Thief and Noble Brigand is getting virtual money and therefore not clogging your deck so you can play Pirate Ship more often and get the coins more often. So, with Pirate Ship you really want to buy as many as you can, so you can play them multiple times, and with Throne Room or King's Court this card is really great.
#33 Spy (Base) Weighted Average: 32.17 / Median: 32 / Mode: 31 / Standard Deviation: 6.7
Highest Rank(s): #17 (1x), #18 (1x), #23 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #42 (1x), #43 (2x)

Spy got on the last place twice, so there's only one more last place left. It has two outliers in the Top 20. It's unweighted average is lower than Pirate Ship, so higher ranked players seem
to rank Spy higher than Pirate Ship.

An attack that is a cantrip, that seems nice at the first look. But Spy is an attack with a pretty bad attack and little benefit. It's very swingy as you can discard your victory card (or even your Tunnel) and discard the only Witch of your opponent, but you can hit a victory card of your opponent too that you put back. That's no change for your opponent and he even may use that additional info for the next turn. You can add a Spy in your drawing engine if you have a buy and money left, but is really rarely worth a buy. It may have ranked that high, because it's a cantrip and at least don't hurt (or hurts less than a few other cards already mentioned above may hurt). If we already cards with different costs (Warehouse and Cellar), the way better Cartographer comes into my mind.
#32 Treasure Map (Seaside) Weighted Average: 31.57 / Median: 31.5 / Mode: 31 / Standard Deviation: 8.8
Highest Rank(s): #7 (1x), #9 (1x), #14 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #39 (3x), #40 (1x), #42 (1x)

Treasure Map's stats seem similar to the Pirate Ship ones. Two outliers in the Top 10 too, similar high deviation, but no last place this time, only a second last place this time.

I can already here the outcry of a card that ranks that high and is so luck-dependant. Its power is undeniable thou. An early enabling can already decide a game. But you can hardly call it strategy going for Treasure Map. You really need enablers for that, like Warehouse, Chapel, Tactician or the Watchtower/Talisman combo. If you go for Treasure Map without such enablers, you totally rely on your luck. And losing against a totally luck-based enabling can really be frustrating.
#31 Feast (Base) Weighted Average: 30.25 / Median: 31.5 / Mode: 36 / Standard Deviation: 8.2
Highest Rank(s): #7 (1x), #12 (1x), #18 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #38 (1x), #40 (1x), #41 (1x)

Feast is the last card before a big gap. So its the best card of the bad third of the $4 cards. It has two outliers again with one in the Top 10 and very low mode.

Feast basically does nothing but being a one-shot balancing bad shuffle luck, especially at the start. If you really want a specific $5 card and have a 4/3 opening you can open with Feast and can be sure to get that $5 card soon. It also can be used with Throne Room and King's Court to gain multiple $5 cards.

To the second part
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:17:05 am by Qvist »
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2012, 01:02:42 pm »
0

There are some really weird outliers here.  Someone ranked Feast and Treasure Map at #7?  And Pirate Ship at #6??!?  Seriously, #6 for a card that is a mortal lock for Bottom 5 status in 2p and still not any good with 3+ most of the time??

The even weirder thing is that despite all the weird outliers this is a freakishly solid "worst third" in aggregate if not necessarily in the specifics: Spy was the only card in this list that I didn't have ranked #31 or lower... and I had it #30.  And if I was making this list again I'd probably have Spy at #31 instead, since I'm pretty sure I underestimated Baron by a few slots.

The specifics, however, leave a little bit to be desired, mainly in the predictable overrating of Pirate Ship, Treasure Map, and Noble Brigand.  Yes, Noble Brigand was all the way down at #38 and I still think it was horribly overrated by y'all.  (I had the Brigand at #41 and the Ship at #40; excepting Thief, where I had lots of company, those were the only times my ranking was near the highest or lowest.)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 04:23:39 pm by chwhite »
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GendoIkari

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2012, 01:03:51 pm »
+1

Just one note... For Bureaucrat, Farming Village does indeed counter it, but Cartographer does not, as he'll draw that Victory card (instead of whatever he would have) when he plays Cartographer.
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2012, 01:07:39 pm »
0

FWIW I really struggled with the middle third of the #4 cards and I would be disappointed if there *wasn't* a massive range for some of them.  Heck, I struggled with the top third too, after a fairly obvious top 4 the next ten or so were all very hard to tease apart, though there was definitely a break between them and the mid-level cards.

Also:

Woodcutter was the third worst $3 card. Here we have a Woodcutter with a on-buy top-deck ability. Is it worth costing $1 more? And how can it be that it ranks higher than Woodcutter?
IMO there are only 2-3 reasons for that. You have a high chance to get a $5 card on turn 2 even with a 4/3 opening which is nice especially for Hunting Party and Cursers. Similar to that it is nice you need the +Buy either way and need multiple cheap cards as fast you can. But the only opening which is strong is IMO Nomad Camp / Fool's Gold / Fool's Gold. The last reason is  if you're really unlucky in the late game and only get $4 and want to maximize the chances to hit $8 in the next turn. Beside of that it's only an expensive Woodcutter.

There's another reason for that: the bad $4 cards are far worse than the bad $3 cards.  Nomad Camp looks better by comparison because there's just so much more competition on the bottom end.


Oh, one last thing:

Thief is without doubt the worst card in the game.

Fixed that for you. :P

« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 01:12:45 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 #4 on: January 11, 2012, 01:15:35 pm »
+1

FWIW I really struggled with the middle third of the #4 cards and I would be disappointed if there *wasn't* a massive range for some of them.  Heck, I struggled with the top third too, after a fairly obvious top 4 the next ten or so were all very hard to tease apart, though there was definitely a break between them and the mid-level cards.

Also:

Woodcutter was the third worst $3 card. Here we have a Woodcutter with a on-buy top-deck ability. Is it worth costing $1 more? And how can it be that it ranks higher than Woodcutter?
IMO there are only 2-3 reasons for that. You have a high chance to get a $5 card on turn 2 even with a 4/3 opening which is nice especially for Hunting Party and Cursers. Similar to that it is nice you need the +Buy either way and need multiple cheap cards as fast you can. But the only opening which is strong is IMO Nomad Camp / Fool's Gold / Fool's Gold. The last reason is  if you're really unlucky in the late game and only get $4 and want to maximize the chances to hit $8 in the next turn. Beside of that it's only an expensive Woodcutter.

There's another reason for that: the bad $4 cards are far worse than the bad $3 cards.  Nomad Camp looks better by comparison because there's just so much more competition on the bottom end.


Oh, one last thing:

Thief is without doubt not the worst card in the game (though in 2P it's close).

Fixed that for you. :P


Fixed that for you.
Come on, transmute!

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 01:17:24 pm »
0

You know, for the most part, these all belong down here. Pirate ship is far too high, Bureaucrat is too low, but the accuracy of the 4s so far seems closer to me to that of the 2 than of the 3s.

chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 01:22:17 pm »
0

Fixed that for you.
Come on, transmute!

Transmute's one of the worst, sure, but unlike Thief I will willingly buy it and get value out of it a non-zero amount of the time.  If it's a Familiar game and there's no other trashing, Transmute can be a lifesaver.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2012, 01:26:47 pm »
+2

It's maybe a bit unfortunate that the card rankings are basically assuming 2 player games.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2012, 01:28:18 pm »
0

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2012, 01:33:57 pm »
0

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

I would think that in the last scenario, Thief will be more likely to help your opponent than hurt, just by discarding 2 green cards from the top of his deck.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2012, 01:36:57 pm »
+1

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

I would think that in the last scenario, Thief will be more likely to help your opponent than hurt, just by discarding 2 green cards from the top of his deck.
...huh? I mean, sure that CAN happen, but it's only likely if they have so much green they're totally paralyzed anyway....

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2012, 01:37:10 pm »
+1

I would have liked to see Navigator and Spy a little higher up.  I underestimated Navigator for a long time, and while it certainly belongs in the bottom third it can be the difference between winning and losing on slower boards or situations where it is key to dig out that one powerful card that will wreck your opponent or set up a big combo.

Spy fits in most deck types exempting big money terminal draw decks.  Primarily it is a $4 consolation prize in non-terminal engine decks that do not want more than a couple of Silver.  I would not dismiss the cycling or attack portion as too weak.  Consider, in a Sea Hag fight the person who splits 6/4 has a nice advantage, but to really sink the other guy you have to get lucky and force him to discard his most powerful card on turn 3-4.  A network of Spies, gained without a large opportunity loss, is a force that has to be reckoned with in the long game.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 01:40:01 pm by Mean Mr Mustard »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2012, 01:41:53 pm »
0

My rankings were pretty close for the most part.  My two ranks on the low end were Scout (which I put in last) and Noble Brigand, hardly major outliers.  Scout vs. Thief was a toss-up for last, but I went with Scout because I feel it's a much bigger trap card...I see people go for Scout far more often than Thief, even though it's usually a mistake.

On the high side I had spy...23 is almost certainly a bit too high, but I think that card definitely has it's uses...it's a cantrip that improves the consistency of cantrip decks, especially when trashing options are on the weak side.

As a whole, there were only 3 disagreement between my bottom third and this bottom third.  Spy was the only card I put significantly out of that range.  On the flip side, two cards I buried were Throne Room and Quarry.  Quarry because it's too situational...with two copies and +buy it can be amazing, but too often one would be better off with just a silver.  Throne Room probably shouldn't be as low as I put it, but I do think it's not nearly as powerful as it seems at a glance.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 01:42:38 pm »
0

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

I would think that in the last scenario, Thief will be more likely to help your opponent than hurt, just by discarding 2 green cards from the top of his deck.
...huh? I mean, sure that CAN happen, but it's only likely if they have so much green they're totally paralyzed anyway....

I guess when I read "alternate VP cards" I immediately thought of either Duke or Silk Roads, in which case I'd think it's not too uncommon for the top 2 cards to be victory. But I also suppose that hitting a silver would be much more devastating in those games.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 01:50:08 pm »
0

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

I guess I could imagine Thief being worth a buy in a setup with Chapel and Fool's Gold, okay.  But I'm not convinced about the rest.  I mean, sure, it can put the hurt on a Chapel Big Money deck... but Chapel Big Money isn't actually much of an improvement over straight BM; it's not like Thief is countering what would otherwise be an unstoppable strategy.  Rather the presence of Thief would at best discourage me from doing something that's unnecessary to begin with.  I'll grant Fool's Gold and possibly Venture as exceptions.

It's maybe a bit unfortunate that the card rankings are basically assuming 2 player games.

I think Pirate Ship is the only card where it really makes much of a difference.  And even if we assumed people play multiplayer far more often then they actually do, it'd still rank in the bottom third IMO.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 10:32:28 pm by chwhite »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 02:02:31 pm »
0

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

I guess I could imagine Thief being worth a buy in a setup with Chapel and Fool's Gold, okay.  But I'm not convinced about the rest.  I mean, sure, it can put the hurt on a Chapel Big Money deck... but Chapel Big Money isn't actually much of an improvement over straight BM; it's not like Thief is countering what would otherwise be an unstoppable strategy.  Rather the presence of Thief would at best discourage me from doing something that's unnecessary to begin with.  I'll grant Fool's Gold and possibly Venture as exceptions.

It's maybe a bit unfortunate that the card rankings are basically assuming 2 player games.

I think Pirate Ship is the only card where it really makes much of a difference.  And even if we assumed people play multiplayer far more often then they actually do, it'd still in the bottom bottom third IMO.

Thief is pretty strong in 4p gardens games. No, seriously.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 02:02:47 pm »
0

You clearly underestimate thief. And that's really hard to do.
It's nice in trashing games where you have to go money. Heck, it beats big money, so on a board with a bunch of junk...
It's also nice in games with particular treasures you need to get a lead on (yeah, I'm looking at fool's gold here), and probably most importantly, in games with alternate VP cards, where you're really slogged down in a muck of green by the end.

I would think that in the last scenario, Thief will be more likely to help your opponent than hurt, just by discarding 2 green cards from the top of his deck.
...huh? I mean, sure that CAN happen, but it's only likely if they have so much green they're totally paralyzed anyway....

I guess when I read "alternate VP cards" I immediately thought of either Duke or Silk Roads, in which case I'd think it's not too uncommon for the top 2 cards to be victory. But I also suppose that hitting a silver would be much more devastating in those games.
Or copper.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 03:02:45 pm »
0

The cases where it (Coppersmith) shines may occur more rarely than with any other card, but then it's a must-buy.

Maybe they are so rare that I have never seen one :) Also: Coppersmith is NOT great with KC. If you have 2 coppers in hand, KC-ing Coppersmith is worse than KC-ing Navegador. You need to draw lots of stuff, then Coppersmith is good (but I seriously doubt that it is a must-buy).

The only surprise for me was this:

#32 Treasure Map (my rank: #9):

I really don't like TM, but I think it is not a bad card. It is a chance for bad and mediacore players and EVERY time it is on board you need to consider whether it is a bad idea or not. But I must admit I would put it lower if I made the list now...
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2012, 03:14:13 pm »
0

KC + coppersmith + card that draw more than 1 card + action with +buys  is rocking.

I am not sure how rare it is, given KC/coppersmith.  Someone want to do some combinatorics?  I hit the mega combo in about 1/5 of my KC/coppersmith games.

KC + (councilroom or wharf) + coppersmith is the quintessential combo. But you can split the +cards and the +buys card into two and still be okay.  KC + lab + coppersmith + pawn is good enough to go for it.

I've hit a Coppersmith mega turn 3 times, in these sets:

Chancellor, Colony, Coppersmith, Embassy, Feast, Ironworks, Island, King's Court, Loan, Menagerie, Nomad Camp, and Platinum
Coppersmith, Council Room, King's Court, Merchant Ship, Militia, Outpost, Saboteur, Shanty Town, Wharf, and Wishing Well
Cache, Coppersmith, Fishing Village, Great Hall, Hunting Party, King's Court, Library, Possession, Potion, Trader, and Worker's Village
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2012, 03:14:48 pm »
+1

I do think that a chunk of higher level players rate Treasure Map down because they don't like how swingy it is rather than because of it's actual strength.  That said, I think it's rank of this list is pretty close to the mark (I had it at 31).  In many sets Treasure Map is just a trap, and even when it can be pulled off quickly, there are a number of sets where that isn't a decisive blow.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 04:23:22 pm by toaster »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2012, 03:16:50 pm »
0

RE: KC + (councilroom or wharf) + coppersmith...of course, the combo is actually bigger than that...you need a 4th card to pull it off (ideally another KC, or any +2 action card).  The gap between 3 and 4 card combos is often quite significant.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2012, 03:26:20 pm »
+1

Tactician/Coppersmith is the easiest way to abuse Coppersmith, especially if you have Warehouse/Cellar.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2012, 03:26:57 pm »
0

The limiting factor is having stuff in the supply, not making the combo go off conditioned on having the right ingredients. 

To start the combo with a plain drawer requires KC + KC + the drawer in hand, everything else is pretty much irrelevant. 

Wharf is especially forgiving in terms of making the combo go off, if you hit a KC + Wharf one turn, the next one you'll almost surely hit KC + KC + Wharf, since you start with 11 cards, and then the chance that you don't draw the whole deck is basically nil.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2012, 03:31:49 pm »
+1

Tactician is a pretty simple and strong combo with coppersmith. Not bad with apothecary either. And let's not forget Ill Gotten Gains.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2012, 03:38:54 pm »
0

Really surprised to see spy (my rank #43) winning out over situationally useful cards like bureaucrat (my rank #33), thief (#39) and feast (#27). Buying a spy is almost the same as skipping your buy. You haven't made your deck any weaker by adding a spy but you haven't made your deck any stronger either. In fact, if you have any kind of terminal draw, buying a spy hurts you more than it helps. The attack is at best a weaker bureaucrat that can't be chained and buying a catnip for the sake of buying a catnip is almost always a stupid idea. If it let you look at the top card before drawing it, it might have some use but I honestly can't think of a use for spies when vineyards, conspirators or peddlers aren't on the board.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2012, 03:40:27 pm »
+1

Really surprised to see spy (my rank #43) winning out over situationally useful cards like bureaucrat (my rank #33), thief (#39) and feast (#27). Buying a spy is almost the same as skipping your buy. You haven't made your deck any weaker by adding a spy but you haven't made your deck any stronger either. In fact, if you have any kind of terminal draw, buying a spy hurts you more than it helps. The attack is at best a weaker bureaucrat that can't be chained and buying a catnip for the sake of buying a catnip is almost always a stupid idea. If it let you look at the top card before drawing it, it might have some use but I honestly can't think of a use for spies when vineyards, conspirators or peddlers aren't on the board.
It's quite good in TR and KC chains.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2012, 03:43:18 pm »
+1

Well, you've already listed 3 great use cases for spies, but more broadly any cantrip based deck (and there are many variations on this theme) benefits from spy.  It's not generally the "killer card" to any deck, but it's often the best of the 4 or less cards later in the game.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2012, 03:54:22 pm »
0

Really surprised to see spy (my rank #43) winning out over situationally useful cards like bureaucrat (my rank #33), thief (#39) and feast (#27). Buying a spy is almost the same as skipping your buy. You haven't made your deck any weaker by adding a spy but you haven't made your deck any stronger either. In fact, if you have any kind of terminal draw, buying a spy hurts you more than it helps. The attack is at best a weaker bureaucrat that can't be chained and buying a catnip for the sake of buying a catnip is almost always a stupid idea. If it let you look at the top card before drawing it, it might have some use but I honestly can't think of a use for spies when vineyards, conspirators or peddlers aren't on the board.

This seems really harsh.  It may not be a great card, but it gives you a shot at improving your next hand and a shot at hurting your opponents'.  The very real possibility of failing to do any of those things is significant, but not so much that it renders it "almost" useless.  And it can be chained:  it can be chained right up until the first one fails.

Even in the absence of combos, a Spy or two can tip the balance:  note how a Sea Hag discarding your opponent's key opening buy can win the game for you outright.  Why is it strong and swingy when a Sea Hag discards a power card, but weak when a Spy does it?
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2012, 03:57:44 pm »
+1

In trying to optimize Big Money/spy, I find that it's optimal to play... straight up BM. It helps, though, when colonies are involved.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2012, 03:57:55 pm »
0

Really surprised to see spy (my rank #43) winning out over situationally useful cards like bureaucrat (my rank #33), thief (#39) and feast (#27). Buying a spy is almost the same as skipping your buy. You haven't made your deck any weaker by adding a spy but you haven't made your deck any stronger either. In fact, if you have any kind of terminal draw, buying a spy hurts you more than it helps. The attack is at best a weaker bureaucrat that can't be chained and buying a catnip for the sake of buying a catnip is almost always a stupid idea. If it let you look at the top card before drawing it, it might have some use but I honestly can't think of a use for spies when vineyards, conspirators or peddlers aren't on the board.

Did you mean to say catnip instead of cantrip ... twice?

Thief is pretty strong in 4p gardens games. No, seriously.

I tried this in an IRL Gardens game with no +buy and no Workshop variants and I can vouch for this.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2012, 04:19:11 pm »
0

Echoing a few others, this is a very solid list for the bottom $4s.  11 of my bottom 12 are included here, and the only outliers at the top are Spy (which I think is unfairly maligned, and is a solid - though not great - card) and Walled Village, which I had at 29, and probably overrated.

I think Navigator and Bureaucrat are both better than they got ranked here, but neither is really strong enough to raise much of a fuss about. 

It is interesting to look at the outlier rankings and try to figure out why people rate certain cards so differently.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2012, 04:22:44 pm »
0

I think I rated Walled Village dead last.  It's a village you can have back if you didn't use it, pretty much. Well, ok, but when I put villages in my deck it's because I want to use them a lot. A much bigger problem is not drawing a village when I need one than drawing a village when I don't need one. It's already self-replacing so that's not really that much of a problem at all.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2012, 04:25:06 pm »
+2

This is a pretty reasonable bottom third, but I have a few comments:

Ranking bureaucrat or navigator last is pretty crazy. Both belong in the bottom third, but nowhere near last. The strength of bureaucrat has been shown recently in a few threads. In particular, it's good with big money and with cheap VP cards.

Navigator is not a top opener, and it's usually better to open with something that trashes, attacks, or gains VPs, but outside of those cards, you can't do much better than Navigator. There was a thread on the main blog about openers odds of getting you $5+ cards on turns 3-4, but what they don't talk about is the odds of getting and playing those cards by turn 5. Navigator has pretty good odds of letting you play a $5+ card by turn 5, and even a reasonable chance of letting you play it by turn 4. If you liberally use the discard ability, it can let you play a key card earlier and more often than your opponent. For example, in sim, if you take the mountebank bot and add in a navigator to one player and a moneylender to the other, which do you think wins? Navigator 51-44. How about navigator vs feast? Navigator 49-46.

I also don't get how walled village can be ranked significanly worse than farming village. I agree that it is worse, but at least 85% of the time, they are functionally identical. Take any board in which you would go for an engine involving farming village. Now if that card were walled village instead, would that cause you to choose a different strategy? Most of the time, the answer is "no". With that being the case, ranking walled village 5+ spots lower than farming village simply doesn't make sense.

Pirate ship gets a good amount of debate and the variance in ranking is insane, but I think that at the end of the day, it's in about the right place. It isn't as good as it looks when you first read it, so newer players will overbuy it, giving it bad stats on council room, but I think there are still a reasonable number of situations in which the best strategy features pirate ship (even in 2-player). And the simple fact that it exists in a kingdom can affect your strategy even if you aren't going for it.

How feast got a #7 vote blows my mind. It is so rarely better than silver...
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Kore

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2012, 04:27:44 pm »
0

Really surprised to see spy (my rank #43) winning out over situationally useful cards like bureaucrat (my rank #33), thief (#39) and feast (#27). Buying a spy is almost the same as skipping your buy. You haven't made your deck any weaker by adding a spy but you haven't made your deck any stronger either. In fact, if you have any kind of terminal draw, buying a spy hurts you more than it helps. The attack is at best a weaker bureaucrat that can't be chained and buying a catnip for the sake of buying a catnip is almost always a stupid idea. If it let you look at the top card before drawing it, it might have some use but I honestly can't think of a use for spies when vineyards, conspirators or peddlers aren't on the board.

This seems really harsh.  It may not be a great card, but it gives you a shot at improving your next hand and a shot at hurting your opponents'.  The very real possibility of failing to do any of those things is significant, but not so much that it renders it "almost" useless.  And it can be chained:  it can be chained right up until the first one fails.

Even in the absence of combos, a Spy or two can tip the balance:  note how a Sea Hag discarding your opponent's key opening buy can win the game for you outright.  Why is it strong and swingy when a Sea Hag discards a power card, but weak when a Spy does it?


It may be harsh but I think spy deserves it. The value of a spy to your deck is roughly equilivent to ( the # of dead cards in your deck) * (average card value) assuming that you never buy any terminal card draw which is a major assumption. That means that spy improves your starting deck by less than if you had bought a copper! (not 100% certain on my math but it seems right). You might say that this is stupid, we already know that spy is a bad opener but it becomes more valuable later when your ACV increases. But remember that the ratio of dead cards decreases as you buy better cards so the chance of spy hitting something bad in either yours or your opponent's deck also decreases. The fact that it's a cantrip (not catnip ) that sometimes fails when chained doesn't help it either.

I did overlook spy as part of a kings court/terminal drawer combo which it is indeed worthwhile to buy a few spies. Kings Court is a major game changer though and can make alot of cards better than they could be alone.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2012, 04:35:25 pm »
+4

^Of course spy is bad if you ignore the attack. You can do the same thing with any attack card... Sea hag makes your deck worse, does that make it bad card?
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2012, 04:37:01 pm »
+1

Evaluating the usefulness of spy relative to one's opening deck seems silly...of course cycling your deck isn't useful until you have something to cycle it to.  As for your later comment, it should be pointed out that you *want* spy to hit your opponent's good cards...so I'm not quite sure what you're getting at there.
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2012, 04:38:54 pm »
+2

I'll echo HiveMind and olneyce in saying that Bureaucrat and Navigator both belong here, but a couple spots higher than they are; I think both of them were definitely improved by Hinterlands, not just in perception (sifting and Silver getting its day in the sun vs. trashing and chaining) but in specific combos (esp. Tunnel for Navigator and Silk Road for Bureaucrat).  I appear to have ranked Nomad Camp above those two, which I'd probably take back, but perhaps not; those three cards plus Treasure Map are all roughly equal strength in my mind.

There is no way whatsoever Walled Village should be last, or frankly even in the bottom 10 (I had it at #31 FWIW).  Yes, it is usually just an expensive Village, and it compares poorly to other +2 Action cards most of the time.  If you're going BM it's a bad buy, but that's true of nearly every Village.  But if the rest of the kingdom calls for chaining, I'll happily pay the extra $1 more often than I'd try to make a marginal engine work with Native Village or Shanty Town.  And Walled Village is in fact better than plain Village in the specific case of a mostly-money deck with a couple linchpin terminals, Torturer being the prime example.

Spy... Spy is never awesomesauce but it is very often better than Silver after the second reshuffle: not just Vineyards and Conspirators, but Goons and Colonies and Minions and many other decks will prefer Spy to Silver with their midgame $4s.  And the attack is mild, but it can sting a bit when chained.  A mediocre card, sure, but a very far cry from the bottom of this list.

...

As for Thief's usefulness in 4p Gardens games... I'm willing to accept it in the abstract though I've never really seen it; searching Council Room I only have one instance of a multiplayer game where my opponents bought Thief, and I won that one despite losing four Gold.  I see 16 2-player games where one of us bought Thief (out of a few hundred where it was available): 2 times we both bought it (and they were split); 12 times my opponents bought it and I won, once I bought it and lost, and a grand total of once my opponent bought it and won.  Gardens were in fact involved in that one game, but I think the bigger problem was that I let them get an 8-0 lead in Grand Markets.  So I'm not going to credit that loss to Thief. :P

I think that even if you folks are right about this additional niche for Thief (and I guess you probably are), it doesn't change the fact it's still the worst card in the game, because what's second-worst? 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 04:52:20 pm by chwhite »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2012, 04:43:07 pm »
0

If sea hag's attack was a weaker version of fortune teller, it certainly would be a bad card.

To put spy's power into perspective, imagine it was an alternate version of fortune teller that gave you your average card value instead of +2$ and the attack only worked ~%50 of the time. Would you spend more to buy it over fortune teller which is already one of the weaker $3?
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2012, 04:46:59 pm »
+1

If sea hag's attack was a weaker version of fortune teller, it certainly would be a bad card.
I read this as: "If you replace the strongest attack ability in the game with a weak one, it certainly would be a bad card."

Quote
To put spy's power into perspective, imagine it was an alternate version of fortune teller that gave you your average card value instead of +2$ and the attack only worked ~%50 of the time. Would you spend more to buy it over fortune teller which is already one of the weaker $3?
This is a misrepresentation of why spy does. You're leaving out the +1 action, as well as the fact that fortune teller's attack can go very wrong, while spy's is optional, so it can't go terribly wrong.

Spy's attack compares much better to oracle. Spy:Oracle::Familiar:Witch. It's a bit harder to buy, but a cantrip instead of a 2-card drawer.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2012, 04:57:30 pm »
+1

It may be harsh but I think spy deserves it. The value of a spy to your deck is roughly equilivent to ( the # of dead cards in your deck) * (average card value) assuming that you never buy any terminal card draw which is a major assumption. That means that spy improves your starting deck by less than if you had bought a copper! (not 100% certain on my math but it seems right).

This is true of Village and Menagerie as well.  (Actually, it's more true of Village and Menagerie, since you're ignoring the attack portion of Spy, which provides a benefit you're not even considering here.)  Does that make these cards worse than Copper too?

You don't evaluate a card's power by how bad it is when you misuse it.  How bad it is as an opener is not just a minor consideration, it is no consideration.  It's irrelevant, and the fact that it anti-synergizes with terminal draw is fairly irrelevant, too.  You simply don't use the card that way.

Quote
But remember that the ratio of dead cards decreases as you buy better cards so the chance of spy hitting something bad in either yours or your opponent's deck also decreases.

Then Spy retains its utility throughout the game.  You want to hit your opponents' good cards, so you can skip them.  Later on, after you're both choking with green, the Spy's attack stops working as well just in time for it to do a better job helping your own deck out again.

Quote
The fact that it's a cantrip (not catnip ) that sometimes fails when chained doesn't help it either.

I agree, but again, not a persuasive argument:  Menagerie, Apothecary, and Cartographer are all cantrips that can fail, too.  They fail less often, but then again I don't dispute that these are all better cards than Spy.

Quote
I did overlook spy as part of a kings court/terminal drawer combo which it is indeed worthwhile to buy a few spies. Kings Court is a major game changer though and can make alot of cards better than they could be alone.

This, at least, I agree with.  King's Court changes things up in a big way, and Spy is simply one among a great many whose power similarly explodes.

To put spy's power into perspective, imagine it was an alternate version of fortune teller that gave you your average card value instead of +2$ and the attack only worked ~%50 of the time. Would you spend more to buy it over fortune teller which is already one of the weaker $3?

Fortune Teller is a terminal.  That fact is a factor in how good a card it is overall.  Spy a cantrip, which means its attack doesn't have to be as strong for the card to be competitive or even superior as a whole.  So once again, an extremely unfair argument.

Would I spend more money on a version of Fortune Teller that didn't give me +$2 but did give me +1 Card, +1 Action?  Unless I had a lot of spare actions, like in a Fishing Village deck, boy I sure would.  Spy, by contrast, has a (usually) weaker attack in exchange for a little cycling power in your own deck.  Sounds about right to me.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 05:09:16 pm by rinkworks »
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brokoli

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2012, 05:21:03 pm »
0

Coppersmith :  :'( I love this card. Coppersmith is sometimes incredibly good. I know 90% of the times coppersmith is weak, but the last 10%, it's awesome. So awesome, that I think it doesn't deserve this spot. I don't remember, but I think It's me who ranked it at 16.
Pirate ship : In a 4p game, Pirate ship should be the best 4$ card of the list. But even in a 2p game Pirate ship can be often a viable strategy. However, it's annoying...
Treasure map : Firstly, I thought it was excellent. After I realize how swingy it is. But I don't think Treasure map is that bad.
Navigator : The only card of Dominion I never understood. I don't remember any games where he helped. But, as an action silver, seems not so bad.
Talisman : I don't think Talisman help a lot for conspirators chains, but I like talisman. It's a great buy to get villages+, caravans or good 4$ cards you need in quantity. Really, Talisman is quite good.
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rinkworks

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2012, 05:30:11 pm »
+8

In rereading the debate over Spy, it occurs to me that a lot of Kore's objections about Spy are focused on individual pieces of the card, rather than the card overall.  And in realizing that, I am reminded of a lot of the arguments new players have against Masquerade, and also the reaction a lot of us had to Jack of All Trades when Hinterlands first came out.

Cards that do a lot of little things can be grossly underestimated.  They're easy to pick on, too, simply by looking at each effect in turn and explaining -- correctly! -- how weak it is.  Masquerade only draws 2 cards and is terminal.  Just like Moat, which is a bad card!  Masquerade passes cards around the table, which is cute but rarely does more than play hot potato with Estates.  Ineffectual!  Masquerade only trashes one card at a time, twice as slow as Steward and four times as slow as Chapel.  What's there to like?

And yet the combination of these three features make it a power card, a fact borne out by experience and statistics.

Jack of All Trades similarly does four different things, none of them exciting in isolation.  And yet by doing them all in combination, Jack is one of the most powerful cards in the game, a fact also borne out by experience and statistics.

Spy is admittedly not a power card.  It belongs in the bottom third of the $4 card list.  But nowhere near the bottom 5, a fact borne out by experience and statistics.  But it's easy to dissect and pick apart, because it does no individual thing well:  It's a cantrip, but that alone is useful only in specific combos.  It inspects your deck, but fails a lot of the time and only skips one bad card when it succeeds.  It attacks, but fails a lot of the time and only skips a card when it succeeds.

But...the combination of all these things is so much better than any of the individual effects are in isolation.  Often still not worth bothering with, I grant you, but the situations where it's a good buy are greater than a dissection of the card's elements would suggest.  It's a very subtle thing, how a number of small things can add up.
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rinkworks

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2012, 05:40:27 pm »
+5

Talisman : I don't think Talisman help a lot for conspirators chains, but I like talisman. It's a great buy to get villages+, caravans or good 4$ cards you need in quantity. Really, Talisman is quite good.

It has its uses, but the thing about Talisman is that when you bought it, you could have bought whatever card you want to double instead.  And that, to me, is really where its weakness shows.  If we all started out with a Talisman in our starting decks, then yeah, it would be terrific.  But since you have to actually obtain the Talisman before you can use it, it sucks a lot of its power away.  For example:

Shuffle 1: Open Talisman.
Shuffle 2: Use Talisman to get two X's.

Had you gotten an X instead of a Talisman on Shuffle 1, then bought another X on Shuffle 2, then not only would you have the same number of X's in your deck at that point, but you'd have already been able to use an X as well.  So at this point, Talisman is still losing.

To make Talisman work, you have to use it at least twice, and even then it's not necessarily an improvement:  you have one more X than you'd have had if you'd skipped Talisman, but you've paid for it by playing fewer X's in the meantime.  So you probably need to use it three times AND have a legitimate use for six X's (because otherwise using Talisman that many times isn't really an improvement) for Talisman to be a good strategy.  Complicating things is the fact that you have no guarantee that your Talismans will turn up on a turn where you have enough money to buy what you want to duplicate AND not so much that you wouldn't rather buy a single $5+ card instead.

It helps if you're shooting for a megaturn, in which case the delayed plays of X's don't hurt as much.  If the idea is to play your X's early, then Talisman is a bad bet.  All told, Talisman has its place, but its place is a very small one.
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2012, 06:03:13 pm »
+1

I think there is as skill progression that most players go through in regards to reading boards with these lower-tier cards.  In the beginning they look great, then with some research or play experience they seem very bad, and are ignored and written off.  Once the player has progressed this far, perhaps the lvl 20-30 range, they have reached a pretty safe plateau.

To progress further the player must begin experimenting with and using these cards in the situations where they are very good. 
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DG

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2012, 06:10:07 pm »
0

Would it be true to say that when silver is a poor card the spy is generally a good card? This immediately skips a problem faced by a navigator, say, that it always has to be more useful than silver in your deck.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2012, 06:19:23 pm »
0

To progress further the player must begin experimenting with and using these cards in the situations where they are very good.

I think that's an excellent point, and definitely where I am in the development of my game (low to mid 30's).  I've gotten pretty good at identifying "trap" cards and avoiding them, now I need to work on identifying the situations where they're actually good. 

By way of comparison, there are 21(!) cards that I buy in less than 10% of games.  For WanderingWinder, for example, the number is 2 cards.

I should note that among those cards I don't play much, I don't view all as traps...some (like Horn of Plenty and Vineyard), I know are good but haven't figured out how to play well.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2012, 08:32:55 pm »
0

So apparently there's one card not in this bottom third which got a last-place vote, and I am racking my brain trying to think what missing card could conceivably be considered that bad.  I'm kinda hoping someone gave JoaT a last-place rank just for the lulz, but I fear it's going to be something criminally underrated like Cutpurse.
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michaeljb

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2012, 08:37:51 pm »
0

Funny how theory's original worst-of list had Cutpurse at #2, and Ironworks #4.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2012, 09:18:44 pm »
0

So apparently there's one card not in this bottom third which got a last-place vote, and I am racking my brain trying to think what missing card could conceivably be considered that bad.  I'm kinda hoping someone gave JoaT a last-place rank just for the lulz, but I fear it's going to be something criminally underrated like Cutpurse.

Probably Cutpurse or maybe someone really doesn't like green cards so he put Silk Road/Gardens there (that would be badass)...
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Anon79

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2012, 10:34:47 pm »
+1

So apparently there's one card not in this bottom third which got a last-place vote, and I am racking my brain trying to think what missing card could conceivably be considered that bad.  I'm kinda hoping someone gave JoaT a last-place rank just for the lulz, but I fear it's going to be something criminally underrated like Cutpurse.
My guess is Throne Room. Alternatively, I've seen someone repeatedly play Mining Village -> trash -> play 2/3 coppers -> buy a Mining Village, so if he submitted a ranking...
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DStu

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #50 on: January 12, 2012, 03:28:36 am »
+2

Complicating things is the fact that you have no guarantee that your Talismans will turn up on a turn where you have enough money to buy what you want to duplicate AND not so much that you wouldn't rather buy a single $5+ card instead.

+1 from me, but this one is even worse here, because replacing the Talisman with a Silver you would have $5 in your hand.  So it's not that you don't have so much money that you would prefer a $5, but it's you only need the Talisman if you really ever prefer 2x$4 (a couple of times) over 1x$5 (and better even over 1x$6, because, as you said, it might happen that you draw Talisman with $5++ in your hand, which would be $6 if the Talisman was a Silver)

edit: And that is already difficult in the Lab vs. Caravan setting. I think in slim decks I would prefer 1 Lab over 2 Caravans, just because half of the Caravans miss the shuffle anyway, which usually can be avoided with the Labs.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 03:30:59 am by DStu »
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kn1tt3r

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2012, 10:55:39 am »
0

I've just made all the lists for myself (I've not voted for this big list), and the $4 and $5 lists are damn tough, mainly because it's just so many cards.

Biggest deviations up to now:
$2: I have Pawn 3 positions higher (at #5)
$3: Oracle is 8 higher (at #13), and Black Market 7 lower (at #22)

I've found it's quite easy to group the cards in tiers/categories (the top3 for the $4 cards were pretty clear), but among them it's nearly impossible to put them into an order without feeling bad about your decision.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2012, 12:15:31 pm »
0

So far, this list seems pretty similar to my own. The only surprises I've seen are Cutpurse not being here, I think I had that as about 3rd bottom... but then, despite owning Seaside, I still find I rarely actually buy Cutpuse. Maybe I'm underrating it too much. But I'm surprised a majority of people put it out of the bottom third.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
I hereby declare myself the best dominion player in the world. Obviously.

Deadlock39

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2012, 12:20:40 pm »
0

In the early game, Cutpurse is frequently as good as Militia, and it is even better if your opponent is holding two Estates.  It can also get crazy with more players.  It does lose some power as the game progresses, but it is still a strong opening attack.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #54 on: January 12, 2012, 12:41:32 pm »
0

Indeed.  Cutpurse plays a very useful role in openings.  In most boards, you really want to get to $5/$6 quickly, as that's where you're going to find the cards that will really power your deck.  Hitting those numbers early is especially important is giving you a leg up on your opponents.  Sending your opponent from $6 to $5, or even moreso from $5 to $4 early can significantly set back an opponent's deck and give you a decent advantage.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2012, 01:21:21 pm »
0

Hm, I guess. Good as an opening, weaker after. Maybe I should try it sometimes.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
I hereby declare myself the best dominion player in the world. Obviously.

Tahtweasel

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2012, 01:59:41 pm »
+3

Think of Spy as an inferior version of Caravan. It strictly improves 95% of decks, by self-replacing with a couple of small extra benefits. I agree that those benefits are inferior to Caravan's benefit (1 card next turn) but not by nearly as much as people seem to think. They go bonkers for Caravan and hate Spy.

There are some games where no card below $5 improves your deck after a certain point. Cards like Spy, Pearl Diver, Great Hall, Caravan, and the villages can rectify that, and modestly improve your deck without hurting anything.

There's a point to these cards - they're just not openers. They're alternatives to Silver.

Cards that Spy helps out with: Conspirator, Scrying Pool, Vineyards, Peddler, Jester, Swindler, Tunnel.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2012, 06:34:39 am »
0

Just one note... For Bureaucrat, Farming Village does indeed counter it, but Cartographer does not, as he'll draw that Victory card (instead of whatever he would have) when he plays Cartographer.

That's true. I always forget about drawing one card first and then look at the top 5. I'll remove this.

Woodcutter was the third worst $3 card. Here we have a Woodcutter with a on-buy top-deck ability. Is it worth costing $1 more? And how can it be that it ranks higher than Woodcutter?
IMO there are only 2-3 reasons for that. You have a high chance to get a $5 card on turn 2 even with a 4/3 opening which is nice especially for Hunting Party and Cursers. Similar to that it is nice you need the +Buy either way and need multiple cheap cards as fast you can. But the only opening which is strong is IMO Nomad Camp / Fool's Gold / Fool's Gold. The last reason is  if you're really unlucky in the late game and only get $4 and want to maximize the chances to hit $8 in the next turn. Beside of that it's only an expensive Woodcutter.

There's another reason for that: the bad $4 cards are far worse than the bad $3 cards.  Nomad Camp looks better by comparison because there's just so much more competition on the bottom end.


Oh, one last thing:

Thief is without doubt the worst card in the game.

Fixed that for you. :P

Interesting comment about the $3 and $4 cards here. But the $4 cards normally should be better.
My comment about Thief being the worst $4 card is the result of your lists. Your comment is just subjective, even if it's true, another list is needed to prove that.

It's maybe a bit unfortunate that the card rankings are basically assuming 2 player games.

It's true that I haven't specified the number of players for this list, but it was intended. It would make this just more complicated.

Tactician/Coppersmith is the easiest way to abuse Coppersmith, especially if you have Warehouse/Cellar.

I forgot Tactician. I think I'll add this in my article. Thanks for this hint.

I've just made all the lists for myself (I've not voted for this big list), and the $4 and $5 lists are damn tough, mainly because it's just so many cards.

Biggest deviations up to now:
$2: I have Pawn 3 positions higher (at #5)
$3: Oracle is 8 higher (at #13), and Black Market 7 lower (at #22)

I've found it's quite easy to group the cards in tiers/categories (the top3 for the $4 cards were pretty clear), but among them it's nearly impossible to put them into an order without feeling bad about your decision.

Would you mind sending me your list? At least I could use it to get a little bit better result for the difficult $5 list.

@all other comments: The spy discussion was very interesting. And I'm really surprised and glad that you really agree with the bottom part so far. I'm looking forward to hear your comments on the high deviation cards coming in the next part. I'm especially glad that you agree with the high deviation cards (Treasure Map and Pirate Ship) so far. The next part will be posted by tomorrow at the latest.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #58 on: January 13, 2012, 09:53:31 am »
+1

Interesting comment about the $3 and $4 cards here. But the $4 cards normally should be better.
My comment about Thief being the worst $4 card is the result of your lists. Your comment is just subjective, even if it's true, another list is needed to prove that.

Your comment may be a result of the lists, but the lists don't make thief-is-the-worst-$4 an objective statement nor a proven one (though, hey, it is correct ;) ).

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2012, 06:12:58 pm »
0

The Best $4 Cards - Part 2/3
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#30 Ironworks (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 25.92 / Median: 27.5 / Mode: 30 / Standard Deviation: 8.6
Highest Rank(s): #4 (1x), #8 (1x), #9 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #36 (2x), #39 (2x)

Ironworks is the next card after a big 4.3 point gap. This means it's the worst card of the mediocre ones. The average being 4 points higher than the actual rank shows also that the next cards are very close together and perhaps needed more players sending in lists. Ironworks has some really high outliers, with one being on #4.

Ironworks is the superior Workshop which was pretty low on the $3 list. Does it deserve a higher rating on the $4 list? The biggest bonus for getting a lot of wanted action cards like Caravan is: Ironworks is non-terminal. So you can get Ironworks with Ironworks and then quickly get Caravans or other $4 cards. Being an Intrigue card it also combos nice with dual-type cards, so getting Great Halls or Islands makes Ironworks a cantrip. And it also works better in Gardens or Silk Road games for getting an additional card and increasing the probability getting to $4. But it lacks the same problem as Workshop: How many $4 cards do you want? So many times Ironworks is skippable.
#29 Remodel (Base) Weighted Average: 25.08 / Median: 23 / Mode: 22 / Standard Deviation: 9.1
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #8 (1x), #10 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #36 (1x), #39 (1x), #42 (1x)

Remodel is the card with the highest deviation so far. It was even second once, but also second last. What could be the reason? As a side note Remodel would be #26 in the unweighted ranking, so it seems that unexperienced players overrate it.

Remodel introduced us to the cards that trash for a better card. As a opener it has big problems trashing the Coppers, because you need either good $2 cards on the board you want in masses like Fool's Gold or Lighthouse or you need to remodel in 2 steps (Estate to Silver or another $3-$4 card) which is not really a good idea. But Remodel is good in the later game. Just remodel your money in the respective victory card. It seems some of you take the opener qualities more into account while others did it vice versa, maybe therefore the high variance.
#28 Silk Road (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 24.89 / Median: 22.5 / Mode: 17 / Standard Deviation: 9.9
Highest Rank(s): #7 (2x), #15 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #39 (1x), #41 (1x), #42 (1x)

Silk Road now has the same problem as I mentioned already a lot of times. How do you rank Victory cards? It has the fourth highest deviation of all $4 cards. It has also a very high mode with ranking on #17 6 times.

Silk Road plays similarly to Gardens. You have to rush them, with support of Workshop/Ironworks and/or additional buys for double Estates in the end game. You can pick Gardens up in the late game without rushing them and they are mostly worth 3VP like a Duchy. That's mostly not the case with Silk Road, you need a special strategy for them. But Silk Road is great with a board with dual-type victory cards like Island, Nobles or Harem. I think personal preference has played a big role with that card and I think many still have not much experience with this card what may result in this high variance.
#27 Trader (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 24.29 / Median: 25.5 / Mode: 33 / Standard Deviation: 9.1
Highest Rank(s): #6 (1x), #8 (1x), #11 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #37 (1x), #38 (1x), #42 (1x)

Trader has a significant worse Median than the last two cards and the Mode is much worse too. But the ranks of the better players made the small difference.

Trader is - like all Reaction cards - very situational. It's Silver gaining defense is mostly stronger than Watchtower's trashing, so you have to think twice if you really want to play that Curse-giving attack or another card that deals out junk and give your opponent a free Silver, especially with Mountebank on the board for 2 Silvers. Silver is a good opener in non-Colony Big Money games too, so you can trash Estates for 2 Silvers. It's also good with Gardens, eventually trashing a Silver to 3 Silvers. But in all other boards Trader is simply a no-go. So, it deserves this high deviation.
#26 Cutpurse (Seaside) Weighted Average: 23.79 / Median: 25.5 / Mode: 36 / Standard Deviation: 10.2
Highest Rank(s): #10 (2x), #13 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #41 (2x), #43 (1x)

Cutpurse has the second highest deviation of all $4 cards. And it has a even worse Mode and the same bad Median as Trader. And it is the last card with a last place. If we would take the unweighted average into account, Cutpurse would be only on #30, so unexperienced players seem to underrate it.

Cutpurse is a pretty good opener. It's a terminal Silver that can even hit harder than Militia. In the beginning where every coin is important to get to $5, Cutpurse can be really annoying. And it is even worse in games with more than 2 players where you can lose multiple Coppers in one turn. Yes, later it gets worse and worse and is nothing but a terminal Silver where you can see your opponents hand. So this card is of course very difficult to rank and has therefore the second highest deviation like every card, which is pretty good opener and gets worse afterwards, has a high variation.
#25 Baron (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 23.61 / Median: 23.5 / Mode: 30 / Standard Deviation: 7.7
Highest Rank(s): #6 (1x), #7 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #30 (3x), #32 (1x), #36 (1x)

Baron only has a 0.18 point lead over Cutpurse. Baron is the first card which has no rank in the bottom 5 and has some pretty high ranks too.

Baron is very interesting as it gives you a very high probability getting Gold early, but is very swingy too. If you cannot draw your Baron with an Estate, this is dead card in the beginning, because you mostly don't want another Estate (and getting Estate for feeding your Baron is mostly no good idea). But as the game goes on, the probability decreases drawing an Estate with Baron. In the middle game Baron is most of the time no good card, but later in the game it can you net another point and gives you a +Buy too. If you're going to trash your Estates, don't buy a Baron and if you have a deck that can guarantee an Estate in every hand, like multiple Hunting Parties, Baron can very powerful. So, Baron is very situational and a rank in the middle of the $4 cards seems deserved.
#24 Quarry (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 23.42 / Median: 24 / Mode: 24 / Standard Deviation: 7.5
Highest Rank(s): #5 (1x), #8 (1x), #11 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #33 (2x), #37 (1x)

Quarry has only a 0.19 point lead too. With rank #24 and the same Median and Mode, there is no doubt here. The unweighted average is worse than Baron's. So Quarry might be underrated by newer players.

Quarry is very situational too. For action cards, this is basically a Gold you can pick up in the opening turns. So if you want many action cards and have additional buys too, Quarry is your card to go for, for example with Goons. But in the later game when you picking up victory cards, you wish this weren't only a Copper.
#23 Worker's Village (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 21.23 / Median: 19.5 / Mode: 24 / Standard Deviation: 6.6
Highest Rank(s): #10 (1x), #11 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #29 (2x), #30 (1x), #37 (1x)

With Worker's Village we have a card with low deviation for a middle-ranked card. It was only one time below #30, but has on the other side no one-digit rank. And compared to the cards before, it has a really high Medium.

If you build an action engine, you need villages and strong terminals. But then you realize you have a strong engine producing so much money and have no +Buy. With Worker's Village you don't need an additional card for that - you have it included in your village which is great. It's also great picking up additional Peddlers in masses and with Goons where you need as many buys as you can get. But when you just need a simple village and don't plan to get more than $8 or $11 respectively, other villages for $4 are probably better. So this is the third best village out of four in your $4 list.
#22 Spice Merchant (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 21.14 / Median: 20 / Mode: 14 / Standard Deviation: 8.9
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #10 (1x), #11 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #35 (1x), #37 (1x), #38 (1x)

Spice Merchant has only a 0.09 point lead over Worker's Village, a close call. With a really big outlier on #3 and more bad rankings than Worker's Village, its higher deviation is no surprise. Spice Merchant would be #23 in the unweighted ranking.

Spice Merchant is a very flexible trasher and the comparism to Moneylender is obvious. It produces less money for the cost of an additional buy. It can really shine if you want a non-terminal trasher (its option +2 cards, +1 action basically restores the hand size) and if there's no other +Buy and you really need one. It's therefore more flexible (not limited to Copper and two options to choose from) but a slower opener as it's harder to get to $5 early on. It may be still useful later on, but it can lead to very hard decisions if you really want to trash that Silver.
#21 Farming Village (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 20.81 / Median: 20 / Mode: 20 / Standard Deviation: 7.0
Highest Rank(s): #5 (1x), #10 (1x), #11 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #30 (1x), #31 (1x), #34 (1x)

Farming Village's stats are similar to the Worker's Village ones. With a big outlier on #5 it has a slightly higher deviation. It has a slightly worse Median and a better Mode. It would be on #19 taking the unweighted average into account, so it seems overrated by newer players.

Farming Village is the second best $4 Village. The additional ability of this village is always useful and a good counter in cursing games and against top-decking attacks like Rabble. And later in the game where you are heavily greening its additional ability is very useful too. You may even pick it up if you don't necessarily need the actions and just want to have its filter ability.
#20 Island (Seaside) Weighted Average: 20.24 / Median: 21 / Mode: 21 / Standard Deviation: 8.5
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #5 (1x), #10 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #31 (1x), #34 (1x), #35 (1x)

Island has two really high outliers, one even being second. Both the Median and the Mode are lower than Farming Village.

Island does pseudo-trashing with the addition of giving additional points. So you can use it for pseudo-trashing the Estates without losing the points and later in the game you can pick it up and take your Provinces out of your deck. It can really be great with Silk Road on the board. It is rarely a game-changer, but can be a nice addition to some decks to keep them clean. And even in cursing games with no trashers, you can take Curses out of your deck for a total net of +1 point.
#19 Mining Village (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 20.11 / Median: 20 / Mode: 26 / Standard Deviation: 7.0
Highest Rank(s): #6 (1x), #7 (1x), #9 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #28 (3x), #33 (1x), #34 (1x)

Another close call for Mining Village: Only 0.13 point-lead over Island. Comparing this Village with the stats of the last ones, it has clearly higher ranks with 3 times in the Top 10 and similar ranks in the lower regions. It also has the same deviation range as the other Villages.

Mining Village is a normal Village with a one-shot Silver possibility. If you need a Village you can use that one-shot self-trashing option later in the game when you give up your engine and fully commit on going green or have bad luck late in the game and only hit $6 or $7. And even if you doesn't have a engine and are going basically big money, you can buy this in the mid-game when you miss $6 for a Gold and don't want another Silver in your deck, because this still gives you the additional card and the $2 of a Silver. And if you have enough money and no additional buy you can save the one-shot Silver for later.
#18 Throne Room (Base) Weighted Average: 18.72 / Median: 15.5 / Mode: 27 / Standard Deviation: 9.1
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #6 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #32 (1x), #35 (1x), #36 (1x)

A tiny jump to the next two interesting cards. Throne Room has a clearly higher Median with a higher deviation. The high Median shows, that when it got a low ranking, it got a really low ranking.

I was curious how Throne Room was going to perform as Throne Room for itself basically does nothing and is highly dependant on the other cards on the board. It can be so strong, especially with strong attacks and with card drawers too. But nothing is more depressing than drawing Throne Room with no other action card. So you need a high action density and hope to draw it with that card you really want to double. You can also use it as a pseudo-village if there's no-one available and really need one, if you double a cantrip. Throne Room can really be a game-changer, especially if you have the luck and draw it with the right cards.
#17 Conspirator (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 18.34 / Median: 18.5 / Mode: 24 / Standard Deviation: 7.6
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #5 (1x), #7 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #26 (1x), #27 (1x), #33 (1x)

Here's the first card that got first and least once. Its Median is clearly worse than Throne Room's Median, but nearer to its actual ranking.

Conspirator is so strong, but heavily depends on supporting cards that have to be non-terminal. Duration cards also help to activate Conspirator, but cheap action cards like Wishing Well, Pearl Diver or Hamlet that you can pick up in masses, especially with additional buys are great with Conspirator. You want thin decks with high action density. With that big support, this is a Grand Market just without the additional buy. In all other cases, you have to skip over Conspirator, because it's just a terminal Silver then.

To the third part
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:17:51 am by Qvist »
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kn1tt3r

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2012, 06:20:24 pm »
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Wow. Silk Road at 28 seems absolutely ridiculous to me. This is WAY too low.

And Remodel... how can anyone rate it at #2 or #42...? It's so clearly a mediocre $4 card - not super great, but by no means super bad.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 06:25:51 pm by kn1tt3r »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2012, 06:48:05 pm »
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I can't remember my rankings at all (should have written them down) but I'm willing to bet I was one of the ones who put Conspirator in the top 10. It's one of those cards that requires a very specific set-up, but when it shines it really shines. I can see why people would rate it lower, though - so many boards its a dead card, without sufficient cantrips and villages to enable it, or it gets you crazy money but no +buy.

I'd have put Spice Merchant higher. Use it as a lab and it replaces both itself and the copper it trashed, so its essentially trashing a copper without hurting your buying power this turn, much like a loan. Unlike a loan, it doesn't risk skipping your other opening purchase or become a liability later on. In the endgame it often worth it to sacrifice a silver you'll never see again anyway for a much-needed extra buy. It's no power card, but I'd rank it above 22.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2012, 07:12:50 pm »
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Silk Road seems way too low. Also as a quick note, in my experience you don't have to rush them if there's another green kingdom card.

Edit: Silk Road is at 28 and Gardens is at least 16? Seems hard to believe that's the right ranking to me.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 07:20:04 pm by Elyv »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2012, 07:26:15 pm »
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A small quibble on the Conspirator paragraph - duration cards played the previous turn actually don't help activate it. Really interesting lists so far, wish I had voted. Thanks so much for putting this together!

EDIT: Also, I have to agree with Elyv about Silk Road/Gardens. I think they're pretty much equally powerful given the right kingdom. I have no idea where on this list I would place them. They're hard to compare to good $4 actions, they're generally useless in Colony games, and in many games they can be dangerous trap cards. Somewhere around 20, maybe?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2012, 07:39:00 pm by PerdHapley »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2012, 10:26:04 pm »
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A small quibble on the Conspirator paragraph - duration cards played the previous turn actually don't help activate it.

Not directly.  But a Fishing village is certainly helpful if you draw three conspirators with no + action card. And the card draw from Wharf, Caravan or Tactician helps you draw Conspirators with their enablers. The virtual money from Conspirator chains makes double Tactician an enticing strategy. And Haven is hugely helpful in setting up a conspirator turn.  So I would say pretty much every duration card combos well with Conspirators, even if durations played the previous turn don't actually help you activate the chain. I think that's what the OP was getting at.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #65 on: January 14, 2012, 10:48:53 pm »
+1

I have found that the true strength of Trader is using it in a Silver flood strategy on slower boards.  In this way it is similar to Apprentice or Salvager: if you are using it on Coppers you are doing it all wrong.  Next time, try using it on the highest value card it appears with and you'll see what I mean.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #66 on: January 14, 2012, 11:02:38 pm »
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I find the comparison between villages interesting. My personal rating would be

Mining>Worker's>Farming>Walled

In my experience the first two have definite uses in various setups. I haven't found a consistent use for the Farming Village but its ability even triggered only randomly seems to justify its cost. Then, I have way too many bad memories that when I played my 2 Walled Village in hand, I just draw a third one.

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2012, 02:45:27 am »
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I find the comparison between villages interesting. My personal rating would be

Mining>Worker's>Farming>Walled
I agree. Farming Village is way overrated in this list, imo. Worker's is just so much more useful offering a +buy, which is a crucial part of any engine which utilizes villages.

I also think conspirator and throne room are both way too high. I get that conspirator can sometimes be a really key card, but the frequency of this is really not that great. And throne room is even worse.

I am one of the people who put cutpurse at 10. I think I generally have attacks and cards that are good with more than 2 players higher than most people. I do feel like it should be much higher than it is because it can lock people out from 5s, which can be really devastating.

The other real shock for me is that horse traders made it into the top third. Really? A reaction card that's basically only good against handsize reduction (and is basically otherwise just a woodcutter)? Everyone hated on the reactions for the $2 cards, and somehow horse traders is a good $4? Seems really inconsistent...
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olneyce

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2012, 03:36:42 am »
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Baron at 25 seems VERY low.  Baron is a great card.  I probably overrated it in my list, but it's a very powerful opener that has some very solid mid and late game potential.

Count me as another person perplexed by Farming Village finishing where it did.  It's clearly the next-weakest village after Walled.  And I will almost always prefer Worker's Village over Mining, too.

I don't really get the love for Island.  It's a fine card, but it's pretty slow at clearing out your deck.  And it's not worth that much.

I'm enjoying this project quite a bit, in part because it's making me me go back and look at my own lists, and wonder why in the world I made some of the rankings that I did.   There are some where I continue to believe the crowd got it wrong, but there are plenty where I think I probably was wrong, too.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #69 on: January 15, 2012, 03:58:50 am »
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Baron at 25 seems VERY low.  Baron is a great card.  I probably overrated it in my list, but it's a very powerful opener that has some very solid mid and late game potential.
I had Baron that low (though it probably should be a bit higher -- like low 20s). I don't think it's a generally good opener. It's got a good chance of hitting the first time and getting you a gold or forge, but then it can get progressively less likely to hit, turning it into kind of dead weight. It's a good opener when there is something like lab to keep hand size big enough to keep hitting, or if you suspect the game will be really short (i.e. 4-player), or if you really need the +buy early. Otherwise there are a lot of better openers.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2012, 07:17:21 am »
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But nothing is more depressing than drawing Throne Room with no other action card.

Having multiple dead King's Courts in one hand. So... much... potential energy. All fizzling out to nothing. Aaargh!

Anyway, thanks for doing these lists, I'm really enjoying them.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #71 on: January 15, 2012, 12:52:12 pm »
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This list is very interesting while looking at mine. I'd say I've overrated a lot of cards, but it's more accurate to say I underrated a good number. In particular, Horse Traders, Monument, Smithy and Envoy, which seem to be shoving everything else up a good 2-4 places. I was also baffled that I placed Mining Village at #10... I know why I did it (because total accuracy is hard, and I kinda just scanned down and found Bridge and probably went 'Mining Village or Bridge... eh, Bridge is often a trap so they're certainly about the same. Above Bridge' and that was it) but still... it's definitely a good 5-10 places too high.

As for Silk Road being where it was while Gardens is so much higher... WHY? Gardens is generally better, but by that much of an edge? I doubt it.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #72 on: January 15, 2012, 01:18:19 pm »
+1

This list is very interesting while looking at mine. I'd say I've overrated a lot of cards, but it's more accurate to say I underrated a good number. In particular, Horse Traders, Monument, Smithy and Envoy, which seem to be shoving everything else up a good 2-4 places. I was also baffled that I placed Mining Village at #10... I know why I did it (because total accuracy is hard, and I kinda just scanned down and found Bridge and probably went 'Mining Village or Bridge... eh, Bridge is often a trap so they're certainly about the same. Above Bridge' and that was it) but still... it's definitely a good 5-10 places too high.

As for Silk Road being where it was while Gardens is so much higher... WHY? Gardens is generally better, but by that much of an edge? I doubt it.
Silk Road is generally better than Gardens...

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #73 on: January 15, 2012, 01:31:13 pm »
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As for Silk Road being where it was while Gardens is so much higher... WHY? Gardens is generally better, but by that much of an edge? I doubt it.
Silk Road is generally better than Gardens...

Perhaps. Personally I have them right next to each other, and I doubt that'd change, but I'd have thought Gardens, being able to be powered by cards which can help gain more Gardens (treasure & actions) would make up for the fact that Silk Roads require less ammo to use, when that ammo for the most part will cost $4 or more too (there's Estates, Great Hall, Tunnel... any other's at $3 or less?) And building a deck with that many victory cards is going to require a good number of actions and treasures too, as hitting $4 or more consistently isn't too easy.

Of course, you're far more experienced than me and this isn't exactly a rigorous reason. But I'd like to know why you say that - I'd have thought Gardens is better on most boards.
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But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #74 on: January 16, 2012, 06:33:11 am »
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This list is very interesting while looking at mine. I'd say I've overrated a lot of cards, but it's more accurate to say I underrated a good number. In particular, Horse Traders, Monument, Smithy and Envoy, which seem to be shoving everything else up a good 2-4 places. I was also baffled that I placed Mining Village at #10... I know why I did it (because total accuracy is hard, and I kinda just scanned down and found Bridge and probably went 'Mining Village or Bridge... eh, Bridge is often a trap so they're certainly about the same. Above Bridge' and that was it) but still... it's definitely a good 5-10 places too high.

As for Silk Road being where it was while Gardens is so much higher... WHY? Gardens is generally better, but by that much of an edge? I doubt it.
Silk Road is generally better than Gardens...

+1. Silk road is way way too low (and Throne room too high).

Quote from: olneyce
I don't really get the love for Island.  It's a fine card, but it's pretty slow at clearing out your deck.  And it's not worth that much.

Disagree. Island isn't so slow. Island is one of the best openers, I think. I play Island very well and I win often with it (mainly when I buy more than 3 !). In a 4/4 province split, Island make the difference. Second best 4$ card for me.

Baron at 25 seems VERY low.  Baron is a great card.  I probably overrated it in my list, but it's a very powerful opener that has some very solid mid and late game potential.
I had Baron that low (though it probably should be a bit higher -- like low 20s). I don't think it's a generally good opener. It's got a good chance of hitting the first time and getting you a gold or forge, but then it can get progressively less likely to hit, turning it into kind of dead weight. It's a good opener when there is something like lab to keep hand size big enough to keep hitting, or if you suspect the game will be really short (i.e. 4-player), or if you really need the +buy early. Otherwise there are a lot of better openers.

Baron is an excellent opener, and one of the best combo engine I think. Just played a game when I won 84-49. I took laboratories, Throne room, cartographers and menageries. It was a good draw engine, and baron made the difference. I succeed to buy three colonies in one turn, because I played three barons and discarded my estates. In a good draw engine baron is amazing. And there are many way to have a good draw engine.

About villages, I think Worker's village and Farming village are both good. Worker's village is probably the best source of +buy. Farming village is unique, and an excellent defense against top-deck attacks, and really good in cursing games.
I like mining village but it's less useful, IMO.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #75 on: January 16, 2012, 06:52:16 am »
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Disagree. Island isn't so slow. Island is one of the best openers, I think. I play Island very well and I win often with it (mainly when I buy more than 3 !). In a 4/4 province split, Island make the difference. Second best 4$ card for me.

The problem with starting Island is that it does not give money. Starting Island/Silver it's quite hard to come to $5 early. If that nevertheless happens, you are in a good position, when you get $4 for 2 times, what do you do? Buying more Islands keep you away from the $5 for even longer.
So now, if there are no great $5s that might be not such a huge problem, but more often I think it's important to get these $5s (or keep your opponent away from them). And there are better cards for this task at the $4 level.
That said I have a positive effect with and a negative effect without Island, while gaining them at 75% of the games. It's not a bad card, but I wouldn't rank it at #2.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #76 on: January 16, 2012, 09:27:27 am »
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Disagree. Island isn't so slow. Island is one of the best openers, I think. I play Island very well and I win often with it (mainly when I buy more than 3 !). In a 4/4 province split, Island make the difference. Second best 4$ card for me.

The problem with starting Island is that it does not give money. Starting Island/Silver it's quite hard to come to $5 early. If that nevertheless happens, you are in a good position, when you get $4 for 2 times, what do you do? Buying more Islands keep you away from the $5 for even longer.
So now, if there are no great $5s that might be not such a huge problem, but more often I think it's important to get these $5s (or keep your opponent away from them). And there are better cards for this task at the $4 level.
That said I have a positive effect with and a negative effect without Island, while gaining them at 75% of the games. It's not a bad card, but I wouldn't rank it at #2.

Ambassador does not give money, but it's a strong opener. I think they work in the same way, but I prefer Island.
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kn1tt3r

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #77 on: January 16, 2012, 10:03:29 am »
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Disagree. Island isn't so slow. Island is one of the best openers, I think. I play Island very well and I win often with it (mainly when I buy more than 3 !). In a 4/4 province split, Island make the difference. Second best 4$ card for me.

The problem with starting Island is that it does not give money. Starting Island/Silver it's quite hard to come to $5 early. If that nevertheless happens, you are in a good position, when you get $4 for 2 times, what do you do? Buying more Islands keep you away from the $5 for even longer.
So now, if there are no great $5s that might be not such a huge problem, but more often I think it's important to get these $5s (or keep your opponent away from them). And there are better cards for this task at the $4 level.
That said I have a positive effect with and a negative effect without Island, while gaining them at 75% of the games. It's not a bad card, but I wouldn't rank it at #2.

Ambassador does not give money, but it's a strong opener. I think they work in the same way, but I prefer Island.
But with Island you spend 1 buy and 2 turns on getting rid of one single card. That's really slow. I do think Island is a very good card, but it's a medicore opening (in the presence of faster options at least). However, you need to pay attention to what your opponent's doing, because even though you might be faster without Islands, you reallly don't want a 2:6 Islands split.
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dondon151

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #78 on: January 16, 2012, 11:41:00 am »
0

Ambassador does not give money, but it's a strong opener. I think they work in the same way, but I prefer Island.

Ambassador can remove more than 1 card at a time when played and puts a card into your opponent's deck. I don't think they work in the same way.
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play2draw

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #79 on: January 16, 2012, 12:29:31 pm »
0

Rembmer: with Island you're not getting rid of one card; you are getting rid of two :P

Of course it's not a power-trasher like Chapel or Remodel; it's not supposed to be used that way. An Island Mat with two Islands and two Estates is equivalent to one province that doesn't clog your hand. One more Island/Estate and you have a covert Province/Duchy. I'd say that's pretty useful.

While it may not be the best idea to open Island (especially when there are great power $5s you need), I've seen many a game where the match was decided in favor of the player who bothered to grab a few Islands.
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brokoli

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #80 on: January 16, 2012, 02:27:23 pm »
0

Ambassador does not give money, but it's a strong opener. I think they work in the same way, but I prefer Island.

Ambassador can remove more than 1 card at a time when played and puts a card into your opponent's deck. I don't think they work in the same way.

I said they work in the same way because, when you open with it, you have a mediocre turn 3/4. But at same time you are preparing something (with amb you slow down your opponent, and with island you have a VP advantage).

The VP advantage is really, really helpful. Island seems slow, but in a 4/4 province split, the Island player will win.
However, generally you have to take Island early. At the middle-end of the game it's essentially 2 VP for 4$
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 02:30:11 pm by brokoli »
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DStu

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #81 on: January 16, 2012, 04:21:22 pm »
0

I said they work in the same way because, when you open with it, you have a mediocre turn 3/4. But at same time you are preparing something (with amb you slow down your opponent, and with island you have a VP advantage).

The VP advantage is really, really helpful. Island seems slow, but in a 4/4 province split, the Island player will win.
However, generally you have to take Island early. At the middle-end of the game it's essentially 2 VP for 4$

But: Ambassador gets rid of two cards, gives you opponent one, and can do this several times. You hav a slow opening at the cost of slowing you opponent. If they don't mirror you, you can have a real small Chapel-like deck. You can't get this with Island, because...
Island get rid of only one card once. You get the VP-advantage, but this does not matter at the beginning, and usually it's more important to get you economy up. You can buy a Island or Duchy later.

Of course they both slow you for giving you something, but that's all they have in common.
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Qvist

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #82 on: January 17, 2012, 06:50:36 am »
0

Not much discussion going on here. That kind of surprises me, but I'm still glad that you all agree and therefore the list seems to be really a good guide, especially for newer players.

This list is very interesting while looking at mine. I'd say I've overrated a lot of cards, but it's more accurate to say I underrated a good number. In particular, Horse Traders, Monument, Smithy and Envoy, which seem to be shoving everything else up a good 2-4 places. I was also baffled that I placed Mining Village at #10... I know why I did it (because total accuracy is hard, and I kinda just scanned down and found Bridge and probably went 'Mining Village or Bridge... eh, Bridge is often a trap so they're certainly about the same. Above Bridge' and that was it) but still... it's definitely a good 5-10 places too high.

As for Silk Road being where it was while Gardens is so much higher... WHY? Gardens is generally better, but by that much of an edge? I doubt it.
Silk Road is generally better than Gardens...

I've read your article, but I'm still not convinced. I agree that I've underrated it as it came out and your article showed me how to play better with Silk Road on the board. But: Silk Road Rushes are still very board-dependant for me and it's easier to get Gardens to 3-4 points each than Silk Road most of the times. So, can you explain me what leads you to that statement?

I would have put Baron, Trader and Island also a little bit higher as your comments suggested, but for each of those cards you find pros and cons and so it's really not that big deal. But comparing Island with Ambassador isn't appropriate for me. If you do, you totally ignore the attack part. You're not building your econmy, right. But you're stopping your opponent to build one too.

I hope I will post the final $4 part today, but I cannot promise. It's really time-consuming to write these articles, especially as English isn't me native village language.

WanderingWinder

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #83 on: January 17, 2012, 09:22:52 am »
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I've read your article, but I'm still not convinced. I agree that I've underrated it as it came out and your article showed me how to play better with Silk Road on the board. But: Silk Road Rushes are still very board-dependant for me and it's easier to get Gardens to 3-4 points each than Silk Road most of the times. So, can you explain me what leads you to that statement?
Because a)silk road rushes really aren't harder than gardens rushes, so they're not really any more board-dependent than gardens rushes are, and, more importantly, b) it's much easier to get 3 point SR than gardens, 4 point SR than gardens, and... 5+ SR than gardens.

brokoli

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #84 on: January 17, 2012, 09:36:13 am »
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Qvist : Don't forget silk road depends on victory cards, a 4VP silk road is better than a 4VP garden (because with silk road you have more victory cards others than silk road).
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Voltgloss

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 2/3 posted
« Reply #85 on: January 17, 2012, 10:45:05 am »
+1

The other real shock for me is that horse traders made it into the top third. Really? A reaction card that's basically only good against handsize reduction (and is basically otherwise just a woodcutter)? Everyone hated on the reactions for the $2 cards, and somehow horse traders is a good $4? Seems really inconsistent...

Horse Traders is one of the most effective 4/3 openers for guaranteeing a $5 hand in turns 3/4.  If there's a power $5 out there that you absolutely need that quickly, Horse Traders is usually your best bet.  Or if there's a $5 you want to spam (like IGG, or Duchy/Duke - check out the combo article for HT/Duke) Horse Traders will get you there repeatedly and consistently.

Horse Traders also helps counter junkers by allowing you to discard the Curses or whatnot for coin.  The +card you get when the junker is actually played is icing on the cake.

I'd also suggest that Horse Traders synergizes with Gardens and Silk Road by (1) giving +Buy to get that extra Estate or whatever, and (2) letting you put the green filling your deck to good use by discarding it for coin.

The thing to remember about Horse Traders is that it's a discard-for-benefit card without those cards' Achilles' heel:  hand reduction attacks.  Unlike most (all?) discard-for-benfit cards, Horse Traders just gets better when hand reduction attacks are around. 

That's not to say Horse Traders is perfect in all situations.  For example, you probably don't want it in a Big Money-style deck, or a heavily thinned-by-trashing deck.  But I'd say it definitely deserves a spot amongst the top third of $4 cards.

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Qvist

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 3/3 posted
« Reply #86 on: January 17, 2012, 12:49:42 pm »
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The Best $4 Cards - Part 3/3
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#16 Smithy (Base) Weighted Average: 16.63 / Median: 16.5 / Mode: 22 / Standard Deviation: 6.6
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #7 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #24 (1x), #29 (1x), #31 (1x)

After a 1.7 point gap, we're reaching the top third. It was 5 times in the Top 10, but has still many ranks in the Twenties (it was #22 5 times). Nevertheless the deviation is pretty low.

This is maybe the simplest card when you're learning Dominion. It has so few text, but is yet very powerful. It introduced us to the card drawing mechanism, the key card for Big Money engines. In the base set Double-Smithy was still good, but the value dropped down. BM-Smithy is still the way to go on many boards, and if you need a card drawer for a good working engine, Smithy is still a good pick.
#15 Gardens (Base) Weighted Average: 15.83 / Median: 16.5 / Mode: 18 / Standard Deviation: 9.2
Highest Rank(s): #2 (2x), #4 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #31 (1x), #34 (1x), #35 (1x)

Again, an alternative victory card has a high deviation. It has some really high ranks, being second twice and 11 times in the Top 10. But other players seem to rank it way lower. It's very difficult.

Gardens is another card from the base set, introduced us to alternative victory cards. The Gardens rush is still a very good strategy on many boards and in Hinterlands there are more supporting cards for it, so it gained a little more power recently. Gardens is with non-trashing boards easily worth a Duchy and can be worth even more with good supporters like Workshop or Ironworks. It gets even better in cursing games where 3-piling gets faster and is harder to get to $8.
#14 Horse Traders (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 15.57 / Median: 15 / Mode: 16 / Standard Deviation: 8.7
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #2 (1x), #3 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #29 (1x), #32 (1x), #33 (1x)

Here we have the second card which got a first rank. But this time it's no real outlier, there are several second and third places following and it ranks 8 times in the Top 10. With the unweighted average Horse Traders would even be #12, maybe it's overrated by newer players.

Horse Traders is (beside of Watchtower) the only Reaction card that is useful on many boards. Yes, it is still situational, but the situations occur very often. It's geat against discarding attacks, restoring the hand size - especially against Minion for a hand of 6 cards. Especially with weak attacks this card is good, because Horse Traders hurts more than the benefit of playing a weak attack. But, the action part is very useful too. It's useful in decks full of green cards and curses, so it's a good supporting card for Gardens or Silk Road rushes. And it's a good addition to Hunting Party, a good starter for getting $5 early or early Grand Markets and so on... many possibilities. As there are still situations, this card is skippable, it don't climb the rank ladder higher and may have led many players to rank it way lower.
#13 Bridge (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 15.26 / Median: 13 / Mode: 17 / Standard Deviation: 7.6
Highest Rank(s): #4 (1x), #5 (1x), #6 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #27 (1x), #29 (1x), #34 (1x)

Bridge hasn't such high rankings as Horse Traders, but is more often in the Top 10: 11 times. It is also only 7 times #20 or lower.

Bridge is a very nice card. If you buy only one card, it's not more than a terminal Silver. If you use both buys, it's a terminal Gold, but still not so exciting. But its power rises the more you can play in one turn. With 2 Bridges and you use all 3 buys, they are worth $8, so $4 per Bridge. Its value increases quadratically. With n Bridges you have n˛+2n coins if you use every buy. So if you manage to play 7 Bridges and an additional copper, you can buy all 8 Provinces in one turn. The problem is still how to do that. You need enough actions and/or enough drawing power. You definitely need supporters. With a 5-card hand of 2 King's Courts and 3 Bridges, you can accomplish this easily. But also other cards like Tactician and Native Village are great supporters. If there aren't good supporters for 3-piling or mega-turning, Bridge is a trap card for being a terminal Gold in best case.
#12 Envoy (Promo) Weighted Average: 14.44 / Median: 11.5 / Mode: 6 / Standard Deviation: 10.6
Highest Rank(s): #1 (2x), #2 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #31 (1x), #41 (1x), #42 (1x)

This is the card with the highest deviation. It's the first card ranking first twice, but also got 2 big outliers (third and second last). With such a wide range, it's difficult to find a good mode, it got #6 4 times. The unweighted average lists Envoy as #10, newer players seem to overrate it.

Envoy is maybe THE Big Money card. In a deck full of silver and an Envoy in hand, you're almost guaranteed a Province. In a Envoy Big Money deck you don't necessarily need Gold, as it will get discarded from your opponent either way. Smithy is #16 and draws 3 cards, of course this is stronger in BM games for drawing 4 cards. In engine games this is usually worse, as your opponent will discard your key card. But if you have a deck with a density of high quality, Envoy can be a very good addition too as you may draw the discarded card later again if you can draw your whole deck. I can understand a high deviation, as engine builders seem to rank against BM players, but it seems too, that personal preference played a role in ranking this card rather than real strength, otherwise I cannot explain a range from best to second worst (and still being #12 in the end).
#11 Salvager (Seaside) Weighted Average: 13.76 / Median: 12 / Mode: 5 / Standard Deviation: 9.4
Highest Rank(s): #4 (2x), #5 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #31 (1x), #33 (1x), #38 (1x)

Salvager is another card with high deviation and even a higher mode. The Median is lower than Envoy's and the unweighted average lists Salvager at #13. It got lower than #20 7 times.

Salvager is one of the best trash-for-benefit cards. It's not that a great starter, but still a good card to pick up early. Later in the game you generally want to trash your best card, so you can trash a Gold for an easy Province, maybe even for a double Province. Then you have a significant lead and can salvage your Province for another one, accelerating the game, so that your opponent can't come back. So Salvager is one of the first cards in this list, that is useful on most boards. Personally I don't understand the high deviation, but it seems that newer players underrate its power, perhaps not knowing how to play it correctly. Even as a mediocre opener Salvager / Ambassador is in the Top 100 of all openings on #96.
#10 Monument (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 13.00 / Median: 12.5 / Mode: 12 / Standard Deviation: 7.7
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #5 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #26 (2x), #28 (1x), #33 (1x)

Now we're in the Top 10 and the deviation slowly normalizes. Monument's stats are very consistent, but there are still some very low ranks inbetween. It got also 7 times lower than #20.

You want to pick up Monument early in the game, because the more you play it, the more it's worth it. It's good in quick games without good additional buys, where it can help you to force your opponent to a 5/3 Province split to win the game. And it's good in decks where you can guarantee to play your Monument regularly. Monument is the #21 best opening. So one Monument is a great addition to a Hunting Party deck. Monument is also the only infinite VP generating card in the game. With a 5 card hand of 2 King's Courts and 3 Monument you are guaranteed 9 VP per turn. But as it is terminal and when there are very good attacks on the board, then you have to ignore it.
#9 Moneylender (Base) Weighted Average: 12.89 / Median: 12.5 / Mode: 14 / Standard Deviation: 6.8
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #4 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #22 (1x), #29 (2x)

Moneylender is another card that got at least #1 once, so there are only 25 #1 remaining. With only 0.11 point better than Monument, it was a close call. The deviation still decreases. Being only 4 times below #20 proves that.

Moneylender is another card that falls into the category "Great opener, bad afterwards". But you all still agree with relatively high consensus that is a very important card to look at. It's like a Silver but with the trash ability at the same time. Like said earlier, the comparism to Spice Merchant is obvious. Moneylender is a much better opener with the deficit of not being so flexible later in the game. You mostly only want one of it (maybe only on Mountebank boards you would maybe buy a second), but this one can really fasten the game. Moneylender / Ambassador is the #102 best opening.
#8 Militia (Base) Weighted Average: 10.73 / Median: 10 / Mode: 10 / Standard Deviation: 5.8
Highest Rank(s): #4 (1x), #5 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #23 (1x), #24 (2x)

Basically we don't have to talk about a Top 10, instead let's talk about a Top 8 after this big 2.2 point gap. Militia now really has a low deviation. It never was in the Top 3, but there are only 13 lists ranking it lower than #10 with only 5 outliers ranking it lower than #15.

Militia is another card from the base set and it's the second best. Discarding attacks are really annoying and can really hurt some decks. It's great against decks with trashers as the opponent mostly has to choose between buying a good card and discarding the trasher or trash 1-2 cards and buy nothing. Militia is also a good opener  as it is also a terminal silver and stops your opponent getting to $5 or $6 early. And if you can play it each turn, this is great. So Militia / Chapel is the #56 best opening. You can combo this with Council Room / Governor and your opponent doesn't get the benefit of the additional card, or play Militia and Masquerade afterwards what could really hurt. But there situations when Militia isn't that strong, especially if there are cursers on the board, or if there are effective counters like Watchtower, Horse Traders, Library, Jack of All Trades or Menagerie on the board.
#7 Caravan (Seaside) Weighted Average: 10.29 / Median: 9 / Mode: 9 / Standard Deviation: 5.5
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #3 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #19 (2x), #22 (1x), #25 (1x)

Caravan has even a lower deviation than Militia, so it got only below #15 4 times and 13 times below #10 too.

Caravan is the worse Laboratory, because it has a delayed benefit and can miss the reshuffle and therefore you cannot play it that often. But still a bigger hand size from a nonterminal card is great. Only Big Money decks don't necessarily profit from it, so almost all decks can need a Caravan. Getting all Caravans is still not key to win the game, but if you get them quick (e.g. from Talisman or Ironworks), this can really make a huge difference. So this is almost a must-buy for all good engines. Caravan / Ambassador is the #7 best opening and Caravan / Masquerade on #64.
#6 Bishop (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 10.21 / Median: 10 / Mode: 8 / Standard Deviation: 5.3
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #4 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #17 (1x), #23 (1x), #25 (1x)

Bishop has has the lowest deviation spot in the top ranks for now. It was close, only 0.08 points seperate Bishop from Caravan. It has at least one first place and it got 4 times below #15 and 14 times below #10.

Bishop is a good opener too, as it can trash your cards for the benefit of early VPs. So a trashed Estate nets you already 1 point more without having it in your deck. You can also buy Duchies and trash them for the same VP or Provinces for one point less, but they aren't in your deck anymore which is great. In other scenarios you can trash a Gold late for additional 4VP. There is also a strategy called "Golden Deck" where you trash down to 4 cards (Bishop and 3 Treasures which give at least $7), buy a Province and trash it in the next turn, buying the next province, etc. what gives you 5 VP per turn guaranteed. But take into account the benefit your opponent gets. Often it makes more sense to skip Bishop if your opponent opened Bishop. Then you can trash for free and build a better engine than your opponent. As said above, discarding attacks like Militia really hurt Bishop too. Bishop / Ambassador is #93 in the opening list.
#5 Young Witch (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 9.18 / Median: 5 / Mode: 5 / Standard Deviation: 10.1
Highest Rank(s): #2 (2x), #3 (4x) / Lowest Rank(s): #31 (1x), #34 (1x), #37 (1x)

Here is now inbetween another card with really high deviation, especially for a high ranked card. There is no vote between #10 and #19, so this either got really high ranks or really low ones. Young Witch is only #7 in the unweighted ranking.

Wow, that high deviation was really a surprise for me. Young Witch is a curser which generally is very strong and only costs $4, so this has to be huge! But you are guaranteed that there's a Moat-like bane card in the setup. If you would have bought this card either way, YW is mostly not worth it and skippable, especially if the bane is Lighthouse (it defends now in hand and in play) or Scheme (just return it again and again). In all other cases YW is very strong as a curser and has still the draw-and-discard filter advantage. This leads to one of the most-fun synergies: Young Witch and Tunnel. Giving out curses and getting Gold at the same time is great. Young Witch / Tunnel is #18 on the opening list.
#4 Remake (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 7.82 / Median: 6 / Mode: 2 / Standard Deviation: 9.4
Highest Rank(s): #2 (6x) / Lowest Rank(s): #23 (2x), #34 (1x), #37 (1x)

Another one from Cornucopia, and another one with high deviation. The most voted place is also the top position. It failed 6 times to get first. It got 6 times below #15 with 2 really big outliers.

With Moneylender the consensus on a "good opener, but bad afterwards" was really high. Here it comes back to normal. If you compare Remake to Chapel, it can only trash 2 cards at a time but at the same time let you get 3 Silvers in your deck. And if there are good $2 cards on the board, you can buy a good card for the last two Copper in your hand too. Remake is maybe after Chapel the fastest opening trasher in the game. You can get high quality decks really fast. Later it gets nearly as useless as Chapel, but at that time this doesn't bother you too much.
#3 Tournament (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 6.48 / Median: 4.5 / Mode: 4 / Standard Deviation: 5.8
Highest Rank(s): #1 (2x), #2 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #15 (5x), #16 (1x), #22 (1x)

The third one from Cornucopia in a row. But the consensus is back to normal for such a high ranked card. It has two first places, 8 fourth places and ... wow 5 times on #15.

Many hate Treasure Map for being so luck-based. Tournament is also very luck-based as you have to pair a Province and a Tournament. If you manage to do that you get one of 5 prices that are so strong that Donald X. didn't want to realize these ideas as "normal" cards. So, Tournament is in fact a very good card. I will not go in detail into the prizes, but how do you manage to get a Tournament and Province in hand? It's the same as with Treasure Map. Either trash down to few cards (e.g. Chapel), get a big hand size (e.g. Tactician), or cycle through your deck with sifters (e.g. Warehouse). Also there is the possibility to spam Tournaments which are at least nonterminal and good cards for themselves - at least until your opponent gets Provinces. It's not surprising that Tournament has 3 spots in the Top 10 openings with Ambassador (#3), Chapel (#5) and Masquerade (#8)
#2 Sea Hag (Seaside) Weighted Average: 3.77 / Median: 2 / Mode: 2 / Standard Deviation: 7.3
Highest Rank(s): #1 (7x), #2 (9x) / Lowest Rank(s): #11 (1x), #24 (1x), #35 (1x)

We make the last jump to the Top 2. With a lead of 2.7 points over Tournament, the next card is Sea Hag. Again the deviation rises which is surprising for a #2 card. Yes, it has 2 really big outliers, but the consensus was generally high with 7 players ranking it first, half of the players ranking it in the Top 2 and only 7 players ranking it not in the Top 4.

Sea Hag is the next $4 curser. It has a big first-player advantage as you may discard your opponents Sea Hag in turn 3 and because the curse goes on top of the deck. This hurts your opponent even more than all other cursers in the game. At least if he hasn't any good counter, like trashing from top of the deck, like Lookout does. Sea Hag / Lookout is also the #29 best opening (and many other good SH openings between #50 and #100 still to come). The biggest problem of Sea Hag is: it hurts your oppenent more, but it doesn't give you any benefit (like most of the other attacks do). So every Sea Hag is later a dead Sea Hag if the Curse pile is empty (and is basically a Curse for itself too). And don't forget to build up your economy as Sea Hag don't help you now to accomplish this.
#1 Jack of all Trades (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 2.62 / Median: 1.5 / Mode: 1 / Standard Deviation: 3.0
Highest Rank(s): #1 (15x) / Lowest Rank(s): #8 (1x), #9 (1x), #14 (1x)

This is the best $4 card. Exactly the half of all players voted it on the top rank. It has the second least deviation of all $4 cards. So no discussion here.

Nobody saw that coming when Hinterlands came out. JoaT seems so weak, but it isn't. It seems he does nothing good, he's slowing in trashing, draws few cards and let you get a Silver and has a Spy effect. But it is so strong because it's a very good counter against nearly all attacks. Just buy 2 JoaT and you can skip the cursing attack while you're going for Big Money. Yes, it's boring, but effective. It's weaker in Colony games because of the Silver and there are still situations where a thin deck with an obvious engine or a rush is stronger, but if you feel unsure, JoaT is always a good buy, if you stick to it. It combos bad with nearly all other cards. The opening list proves that. Only Fishing Village and Chapel are better openings paired with JoaT than just Silver.

To the $5 cards
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 08:18:29 am by Qvist »
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #87 on: January 17, 2012, 01:48:06 pm »
+5

Wow, lots to say (and holy heck lots of really wacky individual rankings) since I didn't chime in on the middle cards yet.  Guess I'll start at the top:

I'm not surprised that JoaT is #1, but I am disappointed.  The #1 ranking of JoaT is, I think, a symptom of people putting too much faith in the simulators, as the supposedly unstoppable DoubleJack bot is, in my experience, eminently stoppable a lot of the time.  Jack is a good card, it is the most attack-resilient of money deck enablers, but it's a mediocre option on boards with a strong, fast engine: and such boards are way too frequent for Jack to deserve this ranking.  I skip it almost a third of the time, and do very well when I do skip it.  This card is way overrated at the moment.

To be fair, when I say "way overrated" I mean I put it at #3, edging out Sea Hag primarily because it's better head-to-head.  So not actually that overrated.  But my top two- Tournament and Remake (who the HELL ranked this card #37??!?)- are so much better than Jack.  Remake people get; the value it gives for your Estates ensure it's the second-fastest early game trasher.  In fact it's the best at boosting your average card value quickly, and I actually think it's better than Chapel something like half of the time, which is pretty insane.  Tournament, not so much.  I mean, people understand that getting Prizes can break a game open, and racing to get that Followers will very often decide a game.  But then they call it a high-luck card when Tournament is nothing of the sort (hint: there's usually a better opener, get your Tournament later).  There is PLENTY of skill in Tournament games, much more than people realize, and it's also more than just about the Prizes, a cantrip $1 for $4 would be decent even without said Prizes.  I consider Tournament to be something very close to a true must-buy on nearly all boards, excepting only Garden/Silk Road/IGG rushes or mega-Goons engines.

Tournament and Remake are both in my top 5 most-bought cards, along with Fishing Village, Ambassador, and Hunting Party.

...

The rest of the upper echelon I mostly agree with, since when I was making my list I found it was really hard to distinguish between slots 5 through 12 or so.  I think I put Salvager at #5, actually, which would make me one of the outliers, but it's virtually even with Monument/Bishop/Young Witch/Militia/Caravan.  Points in Salvager's favor: the amount of endgame control it gives you is incredibly powerful, and I somewhat like it as an opening too, giving you great value for your Estates while removing them, even if the risk of Salvager/Copper/Copper/Copper/Copper makes it swingier than I would normally prefer.  I admit it's somewhat hypocritical to like Salvager as an opening and rank it especially high while disliking Baron primarily for much the same swinginess, oh well.  I also put Conspirator up in this echelon (about #10 or so), it's not always worth buying but Conspirator engines can be so powerful when they work.

...

Going to the next tier or so... Envoy is quite a bit higher than I had it; I've expressed a particular distate for the card on occasion and think there's often enough a stronger alternative to Envoy-BM that it should be middle of the pack.  But wow, the outliers on both ends just blow my mind.  I had Horse Traders quite a bit lower too, but on reflection I think I underrated it somewhat; it is prety good at defense, getting to $5 early, and providing +Buy in draw-your-deck setups; in general I'd rather trash junk than discard it but it's better than I gave it credit for.

What I don't understand, though, are the huge gaps between Moneylender/Spice Trader and Gardens/Silk Road.  The Hinterlands versions are virtually identical to the base versions in both function and power level, and I really don't get why people ranked them so divergently, I guess this is mostly a function of newer players not having enough Hinterlands experience to see this?  For the record, I tend to prefer the Moneylender/Spice Merchant pair, ranking them both in the high teens around Bridge and Island (another underrated card), while Gardens/Silk Road are both languishing in the mid-20s for my ranks: they've tended to both be horrible trap cards for me, with the rush failing a surprisingly high percentage of the time.  I had Gardens a couple spots higher, pretty much entirely on the strength of its better utility in Curse games.

...

Getting down to the lower end of the middle, the most mis-ranked card here is by far Cutpurse, a strong opener (almost as good as Militia when it's most important) which I had in the mid-teens along with Envoy/Smithy/Farming and Mining Villages (I'm an engine builder, of course I ranked them higher).  How that card got a last-place rank is beyond me, I blame Theory's old "Worst $4s" list, which was the one truly bad decision this blog has made. :P 

I'm sure there's more to say, but this post is getting long enough.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 04:27:33 pm by chwhite »
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kn1tt3r

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #88 on: January 17, 2012, 01:49:18 pm »
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The surprise here is not so much the final ranking, it's some single votings. Young Witch, Remake or Envoy in ranks >30... I mean, what were you thinking?!
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brokoli

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #89 on: January 17, 2012, 01:57:57 pm »
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Wow, checking my list, I've seen how much I learn between when I sent my list and now. Now, I totally disagree about my 4$ card list.
I mainly underrated :

- Remake : The biggest mistake for me. My point of view about remake was a "worse remodel", since you should have 2 cards to trash, and coppers can't be transformed into another card. Now, I really understood this card and I buy it very often.
- Horse traders : People overrate reaction cards. Watchtower is waay too high in the 3$ list. Trader is also too high, I think. But Horse traders is a really great card, and a strong opener. The reaction is better than I thought first.
- Young witch : Seemed so weak, when compared with Witch. But after, I realized how good YW was.

About Moneylender and Spice merchant :

Moneylender is great, I often open with it. But, IMO, Spice merchant is strictly better. Why ? Because a laboratory is better than a terminal gold. Also, you may also choose the woodcutter effect. And you may trash a treasure other than copper, it's useful with loan, but even with silver if you need the +buy... Spice merchant is terribly underrated, really, and more often useful than Moneylender. #22 is too low. It should be at least in the top 10.
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #90 on: January 17, 2012, 02:02:31 pm »
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Moneylender is great, I often open with it. But, IMO, Spice merchant is strictly better. Why ? Because a laboratory is better than a terminal gold. Also, you may also choose the woodcutter effect. And you may trash a treasure other than copper, it's useful with loan, but even with silver if you need the +buy... Spice merchant is terribly underrated, really, and more often useful than Moneylender. #22 is too low. It should be at least in the top 10.

Moneylender is better at getting to $5 and $6 in the early game, which is very often crucial.  Spice Merchant is better at keeping your engine oiled once you've built it up a little bit.  Lab normally > Gold, but only after you have a Gold to draw in the first place.  I agree that #22 is certainly too low, but top 10 would be too high.  I had them both in the 13 to 15 range, and think there's not much separating the two.
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brokoli

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #91 on: January 17, 2012, 02:20:54 pm »
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Wow, lots to say (and holy heck lots of really wacky individual rankings) since I didn't chime in on the middle cards yet.  Guess I'll start at the top:
...

I TOTALLY agree with you (except for gardens/silk road).
"The hell" who put Remake at #37 was me, but, like I said I completely changed my opinion. If I "remake" my list now, I would put it probably at #5 or #6  :o

Moneylender is great, I often open with it. But, IMO, Spice merchant is strictly better. Why ? Because a laboratory is better than a terminal gold. Also, you may also choose the woodcutter effect. And you may trash a treasure other than copper, it's useful with loan, but even with silver if you need the +buy... Spice merchant is terribly underrated, really, and more often useful than Moneylender. #22 is too low. It should be at least in the top 10.

Moneylender is better at getting to $5 and $6 in the early game, which is very often crucial.  Spice Merchant is better at keeping your engine oiled once you've built it up a little bit.  Lab normally > Gold, but only after you have a Gold to draw in the first place.  I agree that #22 is certainly too low, but top 10 would be too high.  I had them both in the 13 to 15 range, and think there's not much separating the two.

It's true, probably Moneylender is better as an opener. Nevertheless, in the absence of trash-for-benefit, and/or when there are good 3-4$ terminal cards, I would take Spice merchant over moneylender.
Spice merchant is a cantrip (for the lab effect), so I prefer open Spice merchant / Masquerade, rather than Moneylender/Masquerade (two terminal actions). Council room think same.
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Fabian

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #92 on: January 17, 2012, 02:38:52 pm »
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I agree with you chwhite that Jack seems overrated at the moment.. and still would probably put it at #1. This might just be our respective preferences speaking though, as I'm probably a pretty dedicated BM/x player at heart, while you're an engine builder.

Caravan at #7 just can't be right, can it? Monument at #10 seems pretty damn weird to me too, at least in Province games. And I'll be the first to admit I still don't really "get" Bishop, but #6? I feel like this card is good a lot less often than a lot of other cards.
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Tahtweasel

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #93 on: January 17, 2012, 03:16:57 pm »
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Wow, checking my list, I've seen how much I learn between when I sent my list and now. Now, I totally disagree about my 4$ card list.
I mainly underrated :

- Remake : The biggest mistake for me. My point of view about remake was a "worse remodel", since you should have 2 cards to trash, and coppers can't be transformed into another card. Now, I really understood this card and I buy it very often.
The fact that coppers can't be transformed into another card is a feature, not a bug.
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Robz888

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #94 on: January 17, 2012, 03:24:20 pm »
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Moneylender is better at getting to $5 and $6 in the early game, which is very often crucial.  Spice Merchant is better at keeping your engine oiled once you've built it up a little bit.  Lab normally > Gold, but only after you have a Gold to draw in the first place.  I agree that #22 is certainly too low, but top 10 would be too high.  I had them both in the 13 to 15 range, and think there's not much separating the two.
When I first played with Spice Merchant, I thought it was a vast improvement over Moneylender. Trash a Copper and then choose whether you want a Laboratory or a Woodcutter? Great! But the more I play with it, the more I prefer Moneylender.

One difference I've noticed is that Moneylender eventually goes dormant, while Spice Merchant eggs you on to make mistakes. When you've destroyed 4-6 Coppers, Moneylender essentially becomes a dead card that you can't use. But you can still use Spice Merchant, unfortunately. You'll see people using it to trash a Silver, taking +2 cards +1 action, and hoping to draw more $ than they just destroyed. It's a losing proposition, in the long run.
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mrdirt73

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #95 on: January 17, 2012, 04:12:37 pm »
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Wow, lots to say (and holy heck lots of really wacky individual rankings) since I didn't chime in on the middle cards yet.  Guess I'll start at the top:
...

I TOTALLY agree with you (except for gardens/silk road).
"The hell" who put Remake at #37 was me, but, like I said I completely changed my opinion. If I "remake" my list now, I would put it probably at #5 or #6  :o

Moneylender is great, I often open with it. But, IMO, Spice merchant is strictly better. Why ? Because a laboratory is better than a terminal gold. Also, you may also choose the woodcutter effect. And you may trash a treasure other than copper, it's useful with loan, but even with silver if you need the +buy... Spice merchant is terribly underrated, really, and more often useful than Moneylender. #22 is too low. It should be at least in the top 10.

Moneylender is better at getting to $5 and $6 in the early game, which is very often crucial.  Spice Merchant is better at keeping your engine oiled once you've built it up a little bit.  Lab normally > Gold, but only after you have a Gold to draw in the first place.  I agree that #22 is certainly too low, but top 10 would be too high.  I had them both in the 13 to 15 range, and think there's not much separating the two.

It's true, probably Moneylender is better as an opener. Nevertheless, in the absence of trash-for-benefit, and/or when there are good 3-4$ terminal cards, I would take Spice merchant over moneylender.
Spice merchant is a cantrip (for the lab effect), so I prefer open Spice merchant / Masquerade, rather than Moneylender/Masquerade (two terminal actions). Council room think same.

You're not alone when it comes to having to "remake" your list.  Reading the rankings here has vastly changed my opinion of several cards, and greatly improved my play over the last couple of weeks.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 3/3 posted
« Reply #96 on: January 17, 2012, 04:35:40 pm »
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Overall, this list is not too bad. Monument and salvager are too low, and Envoy and Horse Traders are too high, but nothing is that far out of place besides Horse Traders.

About Horse Traders:
5 people put Horse Traders in the top 3. That's really unbelievable. I guess the $3 printed on the card looks attractive to newer players (like the $3 on moneylender), but in reality, since it often makes you discard at least one copper, it's really only like $2 (basically a woodcutter that grows worse as the game goes on unless you're going for a early green strategy). Horse Traders/Silver is situationally a good opening, because it gives you a good chance of hitting $5 twice as detailed here. But it's not significantly better at hitting 5 at least once compared to silver/silver, and it forces you to have this terminal action. So it's good when you want to mass a 5, want a buy, can spare a terminal, have some way of drawing it with useless cards, and don't have any better opening options (usually things that trash). That makes it pretty rarely a good buy overall... Councilroom.com shows that HT/Silver is actually a level 0 opening, and that the win rate when purchasing a Horse Traders is sub-1.0 on all turns.

Other stuff in the text:
But as [Monument] is terminal and when there are very good attacks on the board, then you have to ignore it.
I don't think this is true. Monument is actually pretty good when attacks are around, because the game is slower, letting you play it more.

Quote
Moneylender is another card that falls into the category "Great opener, bad afterwards".
I think Moneylender is an "OK" opening, and far from "great". Trashing coppers 1 at a time is nice sometimes, but far from great.

Quote
[Jack] combos bad with nearly all other cards. The opening list proves that. Only Fishing Village and Chapel are better openings paired with JoaT than just Silver.
The opening list not only does not prove that, it doesn't even suggest it. Jack/Silver is a good opening, but that doesn't mean it pairs poorly with other cards. There are plenty of positive openings that, while they may not score as well as silver, can be good depending on the transition. Plus the list of openings says nothing about cards added later on.

And on other comments:
I admit it's somewhat hypocritical to like Salvager as an opening and rank it especially high while disliking Baron primarily for much the same swinginess, oh well.
For me the problem is not in the first draw, it occurs as the game goes on. You'll usually have something to salvage, as later in the game you want to salvage big stuff. but Baron specifically needs estates, which grow increasingly rare.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 05:27:33 pm by HiveMindEmulator »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards Part 3/3 posted
« Reply #97 on: January 18, 2012, 01:55:16 am »
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Councilroom.com shows that HT/Silver is actually a level 0 opening, and that the win rate when purchasing a Horse Traders is sub-1.0 on all turns.
Code: [Select]
5.737 ± 20.714 Horse Traders / Silver / Lighthouse 4/3/2

How did this happen?


edit: Forgot the SOPA-plugin...
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 02:12:14 am by DStu »
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #98 on: January 18, 2012, 02:22:46 am »
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Councilroom.com shows that HT/Silver is actually a level 0 opening, and that the win rate when purchasing a Horse Traders is sub-1.0 on all turns.
Code: [Select]
5.737 ± 20.714 Horse Traders / Silver / Lighthouse 4/3/2

How did this happen?


edit: Forgot the SOPA-plugin...

They're Player 2, and Player 1 bought a Noble Brigand on Turn 1.  Easy.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #99 on: January 18, 2012, 02:43:29 am »
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They're Player 2, and Player 1 bought a Noble Brigand on Turn 1.  Easy.


OK, I for some reason thought that the openings were "before the first shuffling". But they are "just" the first two turns...
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #100 on: January 18, 2012, 10:23:07 am »
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As I said before, I didn't write down or save my rankings, but I think I may have been the person who gave Young Witch its 37. It's by far the curser I am most likely to skip. On boards with no + actions where the bane card is any kind of cantrip (which for 2 - 3 is a lot of the time) I often find it more useful to buy a couple banes than one young Witch. A terminal cellar that occasionally gives a curse? Pass.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #101 on: January 18, 2012, 11:20:50 am »
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As I said before, I didn't write down or save my rankings, but I think I may have been the person who gave Young Witch its 37. It's by far the curser I am most likely to skip. On boards with no + actions where the bane card is any kind of cantrip (which for 2 - 3 is a lot of the time) I often find it more useful to buy a couple banes than one young Witch. A terminal cellar that occasionally gives a curse? Pass.

But when the Bane is a Herbalist or similarly useless card, you've suddenly got a Warehouse-Sea Hag for the price of the Sea Hag alone. It's certainly not the best $4 card in the game but it is by no means one of the worst.
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