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Author Topic: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.1: $4 cards  (Read 26198 times)

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DStu

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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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brokoli

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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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 »
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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.
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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 nČ+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 »
0

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 »
0

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 »
0

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 »
0

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 »
0

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 »
0

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 »
0

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 »
0

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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HiveMindEmulator

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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 »
0

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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DStu

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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 »
0

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 »
0

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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DStu

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s): $4 cards
« Reply #99 on: January 18, 2012, 02:43:29 am »
0

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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