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Author Topic: Deck Archetypes  (Read 29154 times)

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Zakharov

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Deck Archetypes
« on: January 17, 2012, 12:18:01 am »
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Introduction

I think Dominion decks can be classified into a number of basic strategies, or archetypes. A strategy will tend to play similarly to other strategies in its archetype, and significantly differently from strategies in different archetypes. Knowing what kind of deck you're trying to build is an important step in transitioning from a beginner player to an intermediate player.

There are 6 basic archetypes of deck, each with a number of different categories. I'll provide a brief overview of the key features of each archetype.

Basic glossary for terms I'll be using:
Greening - Buying green (victory) cards that don't contribute to your deck.
Fizzling - Running out of things to do on your turn before accomplishing something useful.
Lab - Cards which have an effect similar to Laboratory. Similarly for Market, Village, etc.
Mirror - A match in which both players are going for the same strategy.

1) Big Money

The Big Money deck buys mostly money, with one to three terminal actions. Sometimes it will add nonterminals like Laboratory or Market if it draws a $5, but it will rarely ever buy Villages. Big Money is possible to build every game, and is the correct strategy whenever no other strategies are strong enough. Big Money decks tend to like terminal draw, cards which give silver, and dislike mass trashing. Attacks are often the best terminals for a Big Money deck.

Strong cards:
Jack of All Trades - Big Money likes Silver more than any other deck, and Jack is one of the best Silver granters in the game. 2 Jacks, Silver, Gold, and Provinces is an extremely strong deck.
Envoy - Envoy is best when most cards in your deck are close to average quality (e.g. lots of Silvers), and you don't have many terminals to collide with.
Wharf - Another of the best card drawers in the game, Wharf is close to +4 cards +2 buy in a Big Money deck.
Masquerade - Masquerade lets you get rid of useless estates. Unlike other trashers, it doesn't slow you down on the turn you play it. It can double as a nice attack against heavy-trashing combo or action decks which are forced to pass you good cards.

Counters:
Good decks - Big Money's biggest weakness is that it's simply mediocre, and will usually lose to a well-constructed deck.
Cursing attacks - Curse attacks are extremely strong, and a deck that can play more Witches than Big Money will usually beat it. A Big Money deck with Curses has a hard time reaching $8.
Pirate Ship - Big Money gives the Pirate a lot of juicy targets, and BM benefits less than other decks from losing Coppers.
Discard attacks - Big Money usually needs 4 cards to get a Province.

1a) Big Money + trashing

Chapel, Remake, and Steward all let the BM deck get rid of its coppers and estates, leaving it with only good treasures, and letting it play its terminals more often. The disadvantage of this approach is that it loses steam faster when greening. BM with trashers is usually better than pure, money-only BM, but often worse than BM with strong terminals. Trashing cards usually help action decks more than BM, so be cautious playing BM on a board with good trashers. Trashers make you more resilient to cursing and discard attacks.

Counters:
Thief/Noble Brigand - This is one of the rare times when Thieves are actually good, and combined with a good action engine they can cripple trashing BM.
Deck attacks (Rabble, Spy, etc) - Getting one of the deck's key Golds can really hurt it.


2) Action decks

Action decks buy a whole lot of actions, then try to take big turns where they get a large benefit. There's a huge variety of different kinds of action decks, so I'll list them separately.

Strong cards:
Village effects (especially Fishing Village) - Most action chains do that much using only nonterminals, so cards which give extra actions are great.
Multi-card trashers (Chapel, Remake, Steward, Forge) - Action decks have less use for their coppers than Big Money, so getting rid of them is great.

2a) Deck Draw

Deck draw decks attempt to draw their entire deck every turn, then use all the money to buy a province or two. They tend to start greening later than most other decks, but green faster and suffer less for having the greens. These decks are looking for strong draw cards, nonterminal actions which give money, and at least one +buy. Strong trashers help a lot. Deck draw comes in two flavors. Hunting Parties, Alchemists, Laboratories, Governors, Apothecaries, Caravans and Stables can let you draw your deck without having to worry about being able to play your actions. Alternatively, a combination of +actions cards and +cards cards lets you draw your deck, albeit at higher risk of fizzling out than Labs. Strong Villages (Fishing Village, Farming Village) and Smithies (Torturer, Margrave, Wharf) make this more appealing.

Strong cards:
Forge - Forging an estate and 2 copper into an estate is kind of crap. Forging 3 estates and 5 copper into a gold is great.
Baron - Deck Draw makes him more likely to find an estate.
Shanty Town - In a pure Lab strategy, you can always play Town last as a 3-cost Lab.
Horn of Plenty - Drawing your deck should give you 5 or 6 unique cards, which means Horn can get another 5-cost or gold each turn.
Scrying Pool - With enough trashing to get rid of most of your non-actions, Scrying Pool can be insane.

Sample decks:
4-7 Hunting Party, 1 Gold, 1-3 Silver, 1 Baron, 7 Copper, 3 Estate - Hunting Party lets you draw all the relevant cards in your deck, including Baron and Estate, every turn. You can then buy Province/Party or even Province/Province.
Chapel, 6 Venture, Silver - Venture acts as a pseudo-action in this deck, effectively drawing all the useful cards in your deck and giving you enough money to buy a Province each turn.
Chapel, 6 Festival, 4 Library, 1-2 Gold, 1-2 Silver - Festival gives you actions while depleting cards in hand, Library draws you a whole pile of cards, Chapel makes sure Coppers and Estates don't clog everything up.

2b) Attack

Attack decks attempt to play multiple attacks each turn, or one attack consistently each turn. Attack decks can cripple your opponent, but ironically are themselves quite vulnerable to many attacks. Attack decks require Village effects to work, and combine very well with Village/Smithy style draw engines.

Strong cards:
Card draw attacks (Torturer, Margrave, Witch) - These let you avoid having to buy Smithies for your chain.
Saboteur - Saboteur can be devastating when played 3 times a turn, potentially wrecking an opponent's entire deck.
Possession - Although very difficult to get, Possession has a very strong effect. If you can reliably use 2 or more Possessions each turn, you're in a very good position. Ambassador and Masquerade let Possession decks come back from an otherwise unrecoverable point deficit.
Ambassador - Enough actions and card draw let you Ambassador away all your coppers and estates, leaving you with an efficient trimmed deck that can start Ambassadoring curses and your opponent with a big pile of junk.
Throne Room/King's Court - These are likely to have strong targets in an attack deck.
University - A lot of the strongest attacks, card draw, and villages cost 5, and University gets you these easily while also providing a valuable Village effect.

2c) Market

Market decks like to play lots of actions that cycle while giving money - Market, Grand Market, Peddler, Conspirator, or Highway. These decks tend to need strong trashing and/or Lab effects to stop them from fizzling out when they stop drawing their Markets. Market decks tend to focus on either getting a lot of Conspirators or a lot of Highways, though Highway decks can end up closer to the Combo archetype, and pure Market decks often end up in the Durdle archetype. Vineyard is one of the best reasons for playing a Market deck.

Strong cards:
Quarry - Quarries let you easily buy multiple Market effects on one turn when combined with your free +buys.
Ironworks - Ironworks lets you get Conspirators (or after a Highway, other Market effects).
Vineyard - Market decks buy large numbers of action cards.

Sample decks:
Chapel, 2 Ironworks, 3 Market, 5-10 Conspirator, 4 Silver - Chapel gets rid of the junk, Ironworks builds up the Conspirator count, Conspirators and Markets get the money.
3 Apothecary, 6 Market, 4 Caravan, 3 Farming Village, 3 Militia, 2 Quarry, 3 Silver, 3 Potion, 6 Vineyard, 7 Copper, 3 Estate, 2 Province

Counters:
Rush decks - Decks which aim for a 3-pile ending like it when you buy all the Conspirators
Cursers - Cursing attacks make fizzling more likely.

2d) Minion

The Minion deck is simple - buy as many Minions as possible, then play Minions for money into Minions for cards into etc into Province. Minions is the strongest strategy on a significant majority of boards which contain the card.

Strong cards:
Nonterminal actions which give money (Fishing Village, Festival, Lighthouse) - Don't buy Festival until you have 6 Minions or the pile is exhausted, though
Cellar/Warehouse - The card disadvantage of these cards doesn't matter if you're going to Minions for cards, and they help you keep Minioning after you start greening.
Trashers - Trashers let you play more minions for +$2 and less for cards.

Counters:
Lighthouse/Horse Traders - these stop Minion's attack while not being terrible by themselves.


3) Combo decks

Combo decks build up their decks to an extremely powerful level, and then win shortly after. Although rarely possible to build and highly vulnerable to attacks, they are very powerful when they work.

Strong Cards:
Multi-card trashers, especially Chapel - Combo decks nearly always need to trash all or nearly all of their coppers and estates to work.
King's Court - KC is essential for many combo decks, and useful to build the engine of many others.

3a) Bridge/Highway combo

Bridge decks build up a strong actions/cards engine, then play lots of Bridges and buy up all the Provinces (or Colonies). King's Court is usually involved. Highway/Market is a related deck that has a somewhat smoother setup. Sometimes you can get your mega-turn from Mining Villages or Native Villages.

Sample decks:
2 Steward, 3 King's Court, 3 Bridge, 3 Laboratory, 2 Village, 3 Silver - draw enough cards to play KC/KC/Bridge/Bridge/Bridge, win.
Chapel, 6 Highway, 7 Market, 1 Silver, 2 Quarry - Chapel gets rid of the junk. Quarries, Markets and Highways let you buy more Markets and Highways more cheaply. Eventually you play all your Highways and Markets and buy out the Provinces.
Chapel, 3 Ironworks, 7 Mining Village, 5 Bridge, 1 Smithy, (Nobles) - Play all your Mining Villages and Bridges in one big turn. After 2 Bridges, you can Ironworks for Nobles, which gives you +1 card +1 action.

Horn of Plenty
Adding a Horn of Plenty to a draw deck (2a) lets you get your engine pieces faster. Once you're set up, you can Horn for Horn buying Horn, then use the 3 Horns to get 3 more Horns, then use all 6 Horns for Provinces and win.

3b) Lock

Lock decks aim to prevent your opponent from doing anything useful. Masquerade, Saboteur, Possession+Ambassador, and in some cases Thief/Pirate Ship can all lock your opponent.

Sample decks:
2 King's Court, Goons, Masquerade - The classic Lock deck. Goons forces your opponent down to 3 cards, then Masquerade takes all 3 of those cards and trashes them. The opponent is left with nothing in hand and 3 fewer cards in the deck.
[some actions/cards engine], 2-4 Throne Room, 2-4 Saboteur - The deck Sabotages everything the opponents buy, preventing them from getting anything over $2 unless they're lucky enough to draw it right after buying it.

Counters:
Masquerade - If the combo deck needs every card in their deck, having one Masqueraded really hurts.
Lighthouse/Moat - Stopping your opponent from attacking you makes locking difficult, hopefully giving you enough time to get a Masquerade against 5-card lock or enough useful stuff against Saboteur.

3c) 5-card

5 card decks aim to get down to 5 cards, and get rid of their victory cards for benefit as soon as they get them. They tend to be very fast and consistent.

Sample decks:
Bishop, 2 Gold, Copper, Province - Each turn, Bishop a Province and buy a new one.
(Chapel), Hamlet, 2 Gold, Silver, Native Village, Province - Each turn, Hamlet discarding Province, Native Village setting Province aside, buy Province. It's 6 cards, so sometimes you won't draw the Hamlet. Buying a Lab reduces the odds of this happening.
2 Tactician, Secret Chamber, Spice Merchant, 4 Copper, 3 Estate - Play a Tactician every turn, using Secret Chamber for money. This deck has an extremely fast setup, especially Chamber/Tac off of a 5-2. There's a lot of possible variants to this strategy.

Counters:
Discard attacks - These decks can't function on 3 cards
Cursing attacks - The extra card really messes these decks up

3d) Governor

Governor decks buy a whole pile of Governors thanks to Governor-for-cards and Governor-for-Gold, then spend a turn getting a lot of Golds, then spend the next turn using Governor-for-cards and Governor-as-Remodel to trash all the Golds into Provinces and win.

Counters:
Horse Traders/Baron/Vault + Big Money - the extra cards and Silvers from opposing Governors make getting to $8 fairly easily. Governor decks have a hard time winning if their opponent can get 5 Provinces before they go off.


4) Rush

Rush decks try to win without Provinces before their opponent can get enough Provinces. Rush decks nearly always aim for a 3-pile ending. When playing rush decks, it is important to have a plan for which piles you're trying to empty.

Good cards:
Horse Traders - Rush decks buy lots of green cards and often coppers, and horse traders turns 2 greens and 2 coppers into exactly what you want, with an extra buy on top.
Crossroads - It'll draw you a lot of cards thanks to all your greens, and give you actions to play multiple Workshops or Horse Traders.

4a) Gardens/Silk Road

Decks with Gardens and/or Silk Road want to fill their deck with huge piles of junk. They enjoy +buys and Workshop effects, and are resilient against discard attacks and cursing. A Silk Road rush isn't strong enough by itself; you need another cheap VP card (Gardens, Tunnel, Great Hall) or a pile that's going to empty fast (Curses in a curse game, Fishing Villages in a game with 3+ players).

Good cards:
Workshop/Ironworks
Hamlet - You've got plenty of crap to discard for +buys, and it's a good 3rd pile to deplete after Gardens/Silk Road and Estate.
Woodcutter - A cheap source of +buy is good for Gardens.
Mountebank - Gardens decks don't mind Curses so much, and like the free Copper.
Secret Chamber - Secret Chamber lets you always have enough to buy a Gardens or Silk Road
Baron - You're going to be buying more estates than usual, Baron gaining Estate isn't bad, and the +buy is good.
Thief (4+ players) - Thief can get you a whole lot of copper very quickly, boosting your Gardens points.

Counters:
Buying their rush cards - Gardens/SR decks often have a hard time ending the game. A deck with 8 Gardens can beat a deck with 5 Provinces, but a deck with 5 Gardens will have a hard time beating a deck with 3 Gardens and 3 Provinces.
Combo decks - Rush decks don't buy Provinces, so combo decks don't have to worry about them getting 5 provinces before the combo turn.

4b) Duchy+Duke/Fairgrounds

Both of these strategies aim at getting green cards that are worth less than Provinces, but are easier to get. Their biggest downside is the difficulty in emptying 3 piles.

Good cards:
Discard attacks, especially Militia - Getting $5 from 3 cards is fairly easy, getting $8 is quite difficult.
Vault (especially for Fairgrounds) - Vault lets you guarantee $6.
Copper - Duke decks want an average of $5 per turn, or $1 per card. Copper gives you that.
Black Market (Fairgrounds only)

Counters:
Buying their rush cards - Same as for Gardens
Multiple Rabbles - Filling the top of their deck with green cards is easy against decks that buy a lot of greens, and with fewer useful cards it's harder to buy even cheap victory cards.

4c) Ill-Gotten Gains/Duchy

Buying out the IGGs empties two piles. Buying out Duchies empties the third. Conveniently, IGG makes it easy to buy Duchies because of the extra copper, but hard to buy Provinces because of the curse. In an IGG-Duchy mirror, you should buy a Duchy over the last IGG unless buying the last IGG causes you to win immediately.

Good cards:
Trash-for-benefit cards (Remake, Remodel, Salvager, etc) - the main benefit of IGG is the curse, but it still counts as $5 for trashers.

Counters:
Cursing attacks - If the curse pile empties faster than the IGG pile, buying the last few IGGs becomes entirely unattractive and the strategy falls apart.


5) Durdle

Durdle decks don't do anything useful, then they lose. They're typically built by new players.

Counters:
Big Money, even without any actions, beats all of these decks.

5a) Sampler Pack

The Sampler Pack consists of one of each card, with way too many terminals. They're the classic first-game-of-Dominion deck, and most players learn better quickly.

5b) The Magic Player

The Magic Player looks at Market and says "wow, a card that replaces itself and gives me $1. That's broken, I'll buy as many as possible". By the time he's got all the Markets his opponent has 4 Provinces. Any deck containing lots of nonterminals which don't do much falls into this category (you really don't want to play against a Magic Player who tries to build Pawn/Pearl Diver/Conspirator).

5c) Turbo Remodel

Turbo Remodel is any deck that tries to eventually upgrade a Copper into a Province. A typical Turbo Remodel turn will be "Village, Remodel Copper into Estate, Remodel Remodel into Gold, go". Upgrade, Remake, Expand and Develop are also commonly used. I spent ages when I was new trying to make this deck work, and 97% of the time it's too slow.

5d) The Trasher

The Trasher just realized that Chapel is awesome, and by logical extension, he should chapel everything. He Chapels coppers and estates while buying Silver, he Chapels Silver when buying Gold, runs out of steam after 3 Provinces, and loses to Big Money. This is a trap even experienced players sometimes fall for - just this morning I realized I'd trashed down to only 1 silver and had to embarrassedly buy a copper.


6) Oddball

Oddball decks rely on synergy between a particular set of cards, but don't have the explosive potential (or fragility) of combo decks. They're occasionally good enough to be worth building, but almost never worth transitioning into. Embargo will often hurt these decks a lot.

Ironworks + Great Hall/Island + Transmute
Great Hall's dual typing makes Ironworks work well with it. Alone this isn't very good, but when combined with Scout and/or Transmute you can end up with an interesting deck. Tribute is a good counter.

The Copper Deck
The full Copper Deck is actually a combo deck, consisting of Tactician, Counting House, Cellar, Coppersmith(s), Workers Village(s) and optionally Throne Room. Some combination of these cards, with possible Chancellor, can lead to an interesting non-combo deck.

Good Turbo Remodel
Peddler, Border Village, and Ill-Gotten Gains all have costs higher than their values. Haggler lets you get expensive cards cheaply. Forge lets you make good use of expensive cards. Throne room Develop, developing Border Village into Ill-Gotten Gains and Forge, developing Ill-Gotten Gains into Border Village gaining Ill-Gotten Gains and Throne Room is an amazing turn.

Pirate Ship
Pirate Ship has amazing self-synergy, where each Pirate Ship powers up your other Pirate Ships. Especially good in games with 3+ players, as Pirate Ships have a higher chance of hitting their mark, and in games with Village effects so you can play 2 Ships on one turn. Countered very effectively by strong action decks who love having their coppers trashed.

Two-card Synergy
These decks aim to exploit two cards which work together. They work best when you can reliably get them together thanks to trashing, draw, or simply buying a lot of each card. Examples include Chancellor/Stash and Tunnel/discard.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 03:57:04 am by Zakharov »
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ehunt

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 12:59:25 am »
+1

I love the idea of making a taxonomy! It might need to be a wiki.

I think the "hunting party deck" is about as different from the standard "type 2 deck" as the "minion deck" and should be its own subpoint.

Is there a subpoint for a "buy all the peddlers?" style deck?
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jonts26

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 01:23:08 am »
+1

Overall nice article, though I think there are a few areas which could be expanded and some parts that I would contest.

1. There are a lot of cards that do well with big money. Envoy is a good standard but it loses to a lot of other cards: Wharf and (The Awesome) Courtyard to name a couple.



Counters:
Good decks - Big Money is quite resilient to attacks due to its relatively large deck size and low variance. Its biggest weakness is that it's simply mediocre, and will usually lose to a well-constructed deck.
Cursing attacks - Curse attacks are extremely strong, and a deck that can play more Witches than Big Money will usually beat it. A Big Money deck with Curses has a hard time reaching $8.
Pirate Ship - Big Money gives the Pirate a lot of juicy targets, and BM benefits less than other decks from losing Coppers.
Discard attacks - Big Money usually needs 4 cards to get a Province.
This I don't get. You say Big Money is resilient to attacks and then go on to talk about how its weak to them (which it is). I would actually probably have another subpoint altogether. Big Money + Attacks.

Chapel, Remake, and Steward all let the BM deck get rid of its coppers and estates, leaving it with only good treasures, and letting it play its terminals more often. The disadvantage of this approach is that it loses steam faster when greening. BM with trashers is usually better than pure, money-only BM, but often worse than BM with strong terminals. Trashing cards usually help action decks more than BM, so be cautious playing BM on a board with good trashers. Trashers make you more resilient to cursing and discard attacks.
This is a good point to make. Heavy trashers do ok with Big Money but not great. Usually if you see Chapel or Remake, look for engine possibilities first before resigning yourself to big money.
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Anon79

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 01:44:31 am »
0

Things I don't see inside but I think might be good to include:
(1) Horn of Plenty decks
(2) Goons as example of Bridge?-type deck. I think this category should be renamed somewhat, as the second example doesn't even have a Bridge.
(3) Torturer pin!
(4) Possession (Durdle?)
(5) Fool's Gold is kind of big money, I guess.
(6) HT-Duke mentioned
(7) Deck-draw: No mention of Scrying Pool is funny
(8 ) Transmute decks (definitely Durdle)
(9) Chancellor-Stash
(10) Double tactician decks
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 01:58:56 am by Anon79 »
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Geronimoo

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 02:28:10 am »
+1

It's a good idea for an article, but better split it up:

-one article describing general principles of each deck type: big money, engine, rush, other
-a separate article for each type with sample games included (isotropic logs)

Oh, and you're all wrong about the Big Money interaction with cursing attacks...
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brokoli

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2012, 02:49:50 am »
0

Nice article. I would add :

- Pirate ship strategy (especially in 3-4 player game, Pirate ship can be dominant).
- Copper strategies (Couting house, coppersmith).
- Mega turns (native village, or mining village...)
- KC + Scheme
- Fool's gold
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2012, 03:08:36 am »
+1

I think it's a great idea to have an article like this, but I'm not so sure about the content. If you're going to do a taxonomy, you need to actually give defintions for the stuff. What makes a combo deck different from an action deck? And it would be nice if you had a lot of links to stuff instead of trying to briefly describe examples. It would make it more informative and scalable.

Also, fairgrounds isn't really a "rush" strategy, since it's generally pretty slow. The goal is to get fairground to be worth the same as provinces and basically be buying cheaper provinces, making your deck less sensitive to greening. It usually goes for a 3-pile end, but a late one. Maybe you should call that category "3-pile" or something...
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Zakharov

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2012, 03:59:00 am »
+1

I've edited the post to address most of the issues posted, the others I'm still thinking over. The purpose of this article is more to classify particular decks than provide strategy advice; I thought of it while thinking over ideas for a Dominion AI. I'll try to find sample games for the decks.
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Anon79

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 06:13:12 am »
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Oh, and you're all wrong about the Big Money interaction with cursing attacks...
Go on then, leave us all in suspense. :P
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Geronimoo

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 07:19:37 am »
+2

Very often when there's a Curser, going Big Money after the cursing will be the correct choice. I see people buying Upgrades and Lookouts and whatnot to repair their deck, while I'm just pounding the Silvers and Golds and buy half the VP before their deck is back in shape. Presence of a strong engine + trashing will make the repairing option the right choice, but that combination isn't always present while Silvers and Golds are.

Yesterday I played a game against Exclams (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) where we both Mountebank each other, he goes on to buy Upgrades and Loans while I go mainly Silver/Gold and get most of the VPs before his deck is back in shape. I can't access the Councilroom site right now, but somebody else could post the game log...
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 07:23:49 am by Geronimoo »
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DStu

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2012, 07:33:44 am »
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I can't access the Councilroom site right now, but somebody else could post the game log...
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120116-102133-d79893fa.html
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2012, 09:19:31 am »
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Biggest problem I have with the article is how it treats big money, like BM big draw is the only kind of BM deck, and like that's really weak.
Well, I guess it's not so much a problem for me, more that it's really really misleading because it isn't true!

ackack

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2012, 09:32:56 am »
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I like the idea for this sort of article a lot. I've given some thought to writing up a bunch of notes about Dominion and deck archetypes like this were a major component of what I wanted to discuss/think about.
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chwhite

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2012, 09:38:14 am »
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There should be at least a mention of Menagerie decks, possibly as a part of 2a. 
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LastFootnote

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2012, 10:33:05 am »
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Yesterday I played a game against Exclams (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) where we both Mountebank each other, he goes on to buy Upgrades and Loans while I go mainly Silver/Gold and get most of the VPs before his deck is back in shape. I can't access the Councilroom site right now, but somebody else could post the game log...

I'd say that a King's Court/Mountebank game is pretty different from a normal Curse game. When you're still getting that many Coppers even after the Curses are gone, your deck is never going to be trim.

But let's say you're playing a game where both players buy a Witch or two and split the Curses 5 to 5. Are you really claiming that it's better to buy a Silver every time you hit $5 than to pick up an Upgrade?

EDIT: I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong. I'm just trying to understand your reasoning.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2012, 11:31:23 am »
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Yesterday I played a game against Exclams (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) where we both Mountebank each other, he goes on to buy Upgrades and Loans while I go mainly Silver/Gold and get most of the VPs before his deck is back in shape. I can't access the Councilroom site right now, but somebody else could post the game log...

I'd say that a King's Court/Mountebank game is pretty different from a normal Curse game. When you're still getting that many Coppers even after the Curses are gone, your deck is never going to be trim.

But let's say you're playing a game where both players buy a Witch or two and split the Curses 5 to 5. Are you really claiming that it's better to buy a Silver every time you hit $5 than to pick up an Upgrade?

EDIT: I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong. I'm just trying to understand your reasoning.
Depends on the board, how early it is, etc., but generally yes, silver is better. Upgrade is going to be pretty tough to get with your curses. Upgrading your coppers doesn't help much. You can draw upgrade dead. And while you can upgrade upgrades and witches into golds, that's also not that likely, plus you have to wait another reshuffle to get that gold. And pretty often the silver would've gotten you something at least as good anyway. Further, Witch is terminal card draw, and while +2 cards isn't that great... it's not THAT horrible, especially 'cause your big deck reduces chances at terminal collision. So the silvers will help with that too.

jomini

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2012, 03:19:55 pm »
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Turbo remodel was always fragile and heavily luck dependent. If opening buys collide? You are out of luck. Get it with an attack (any attack really), you are STILL out of luck. It was just too hard to quickly trash everything & burn out the provinces before your opponent could acquire 19 VP.

There are, however new variants on turbo remodel that do indeed work. E.g. KC/Governor is a fine turbo remodel deck. Heavy trashing (chapel/remake) allows you to quickly burn the copper & then mass gold to buy a province & remodel out. Another option is hunting party/expand - you can turn estates into HP, you can expand provinces (or better colonies) to end the game sooner, and you can late game expand a HP into a province. Border village/develop/KC/any useful 5 (like say lab) is also good (buy a border village & a lab; develop a BV into a lab & kc, buy a BV & lab; repeat as needed then develop 3 KC -> provinces). Expand/minion/BV also works quite well. The key is getting cards that are not merely placeholders, and use them to acquire stuff to feed into provinces or move past the provinces.


I'd also include a subset of action decks as "deck control":
In these decks you are NOT trying to draw your entire deck (where trashing is insanely useful), but instead just getting at the key cards by various means. They play quite differently because they don't care so much about thinning the deck, high value treasure (e.g. gold & plat) are far less useful, and you may never draw the green card you just bought.

The simple one is the often mention HP deck (HP, silver, gold, copper & terminal silver), but there are several others notably:

KC/Scheme/power card: This allows you green instantly as soon as you hit the combo - for instance KC/KC/scheme/scheme/remodel gives you a 5 card hand where you can remodel three cards a go. Do you care if all your treasure turns green? No. Without a discard attack, your deck can be solid green and you will still be pumping higher. Or try something like KC/scheme/ghost ship. Every turn you leave your opponent with a 3 card hand and have an effective 6 card hand yourself (with +2 actions). KC/Scheme/council room lets you have effectively a 9 card hand each turn starting with +2 actions and +1 buy.

Golem: you can have whatever crud you want in the way of green (gardens, fairgrounds, whatever) and you can still set off massive action chains. They respond extremely well to deck inspection (apothecary & cartographer), but are not as great for basic draw. Scheme/golem is quite strong as you always be assured of starting your draw chain. Stuff like library/tactician are among the most annoying combos in the game. Tunnel/golem/remodel (exactly one) is laughably efficient as you remodel estates to tunnels and later buy/remodel provinces from the golds.

Scrying pool/deck inspection or inn: scrying pool decks choke on green (particularly without trashing), but actions like cartographer, spy, and even duchess can let you churn up the action cards whilst discarding the coins/green. This also makes some combos quite effective (e.g. transmute/secret chamber becomes rather impressive). Another option is to gain an inn at a timely point before the reshuffle ... and then leave all the green & coin in the discard whilst shuffling up an action heavy draw deck.

Even something simple like mass havens & warehouse can allow you to sift through cards to put out good hands without drawing your deck or trashing all the garbage from a 4 way ambassador war.

Top deck control:
Watchtower/BV/CR is powerful example. Having 8 cards 2 buys and 1 action should be a province and maybe a watchtower.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 03:23:42 pm by jomini »
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2012, 04:52:48 pm »
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Yesterday I played a game against Exclams (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) where we both Mountebank each other, he goes on to buy Upgrades and Loans while I go mainly Silver/Gold and get most of the VPs before his deck is back in shape. I can't access the Councilroom site right now, but somebody else could post the game log...

I'd say that a King's Court/Mountebank game is pretty different from a normal Curse game. When you're still getting that many Coppers even after the Curses are gone, your deck is never going to be trim.

But let's say you're playing a game where both players buy a Witch or two and split the Curses 5 to 5. Are you really claiming that it's better to buy a Silver every time you hit $5 than to pick up an Upgrade?

EDIT: I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong. I'm just trying to understand your reasoning.
A single upgrade I think is worth going for with an early $5 (after you get your witches), because it turns estates into silvers and offers a little cycling benefit to win the curse war, but the big mistake people make is overdoing it. You don't want mass upgrades, you don't want loan. Most of the time, you can't trim your deck to the point where you eliminate all the curses or really set up a strong engine in time.
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vulturesrow

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2012, 05:07:07 pm »
+1

I just want to say as a relatively inexperienced Dominion player this is a very helpful article, even if it needs some tweaking. I think you'd do well to keep it to the deck archetypes and maybe a brief example/explanation of each. If you try to to go any deeper it will quickly become unmanageable. Someone mentioned this being good for a wiki; I completely agree or at least as a springboard to articles on individual deck types. I've had some thoughts of my own on an article on what archetypes certain cards fall into and relative rankings in that archetype. This article definitely helped me with the outline of that. Keep up the good work, it's a great initial effort and you have plenty of very good Dominion players weighing in. Kudos to you!
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Geronimoo

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2012, 05:09:59 pm »
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A Single Upgrade is slightly better than a Silver in the Witch BM case, but you sure don't want it in the Mountebank deck because you won't be able to play it often enough for the investment to pay off.
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Marcus316

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2012, 03:31:47 pm »
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While I like the ideas behind this article, and there is a lot of information to be had here, I agree with the above responders that there is some tweaking to be done, and I think multiple articles would be of benefit, if only to organize the information a little better and make it easier to grasp (I had to come back to the article a couple times to absorb all the key points).
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theory

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 08:05:05 pm »
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I'm wondering about the viability of such an article with less focus on individual cards (e.g., Pirate Ship / Minion) and a more comprehensive approach to cover most of the potential decks.  Feasible?
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ftl

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2012, 08:12:32 pm »
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Feasible. Probably tough to do, though, since there's so many different deck types and they sort of bleed in to each other.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2012, 12:44:57 pm »
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I'm wondering about the viability of such an article with less focus on individual cards (e.g., Pirate Ship / Minion) and a more comprehensive approach to cover most of the potential decks.  Feasible?
I think so. I have a general idea, and I'll give a shot some time in the next week or so.
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Archetype

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Re: Deck Archetypes
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2012, 06:51:18 pm »
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Very good article Zakharov!

I was very confused when I saw the title though.
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