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Author Topic: AdamH's Hermit/Market Square revisited article  (Read 1663 times)

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AdamH's Hermit/Market Square revisited article
« on: March 08, 2016, 03:14:53 pm »

Adam posted this article on Hermit/Market Square revisited on reddit. It's a long article, and I've excerpted the introduction below.

Quote from: Adam H
Hermit/Market Square revisited
Shortly after Dark Ages was released, herowannabe came out of nowhere and blew our minds with the Hermit/Market Square combo. It wasn't long before this combo dominated every game we saw the two cards in -- and with good reason, Hermit/Market Square really is that good and you have to try really stinkin' hard to come up with boards where some form of this combo isn't the best thing available when played correctly.
The article I linked is a pretty good starting point; but it, and the discussion that ensued, only scratched the surface of the strategic depth this combo offers. Some of the advice given doesn't hold up in practice as well as it could, given that you are completely uncontested so rarely. Also, for such a powerful combo, some more in-depth discussion on mirror matches is appropriate. This article aims to be a new starting point on how to play the combo best in all circumstances, and what sorts of interaction you can expect from the rest of the kingdom.

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Re: AdamH's Hermit/Market Square revisited article
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2016, 12:58:51 am »

It's an excellent and much needed update. He also discusses this in his and WW's podcast.


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Re: AdamH's Hermit/Market Square revisited article
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 11:00:00 am »

Well there are a couple of things I think the article has wrong. While most discard attacks are not sufficient to derail the combo, Pillage can. Pillage is brutal in the build up, flipping out Hermits leads to really slow Madman & Mrksqr gain. Once the combo is set, consistent Pillage can destroy your firing options by denying you two Madmen lined up.

Now Pillage is the hardest attack to consistently setup, but it can be done on some boards. An obvious overkill example is Rogue/Chapel/Village/Pillage (another might be Remake/Baker coin/Fortress). I am not sure exactly where the line is, but if you can consistently gain & play a Pillage every turn, particularly before the Madmen start coming too quickly, you can beat the combo. On a much lesser scale, Minion is likely the best of the remaining discard attacks as you cannot just keep Madmen and have one extra.

Oddly enough, Sab shows some promise at killing the combo. Each play of Sab kills either a Hermit, which delays the megaturn by the better part of a turn, a Mrksqr which works similarly or a Gold which is actively bad. Again, you need it up ASAP and unlike with Pillage, there is no economic payout (not even the net $1 from Pillage). On the other hand, Tr/Kc/Rc/Prssn can all allow Sab to just destroy a deck that has nothing but Hermits to hit. I would expect something like Chapel/Squire/Sab/Prssn/any decent $6.

With Adventures, some pins can also be quick enough to take down the combo, but we are now looking at boards with more or less 5 cards on them (even without any of the interchangeable accelerants for the pin) which are exceedingly rare (particularly as there is zero overlap here).

More events are also useful. Mission, for instance is almost certainly superior on a $4 T3. If you had a 4CHerm, you can Madman him and try your luck at another Hermit (which is pretty high; and some of the whiffs would also cost you a Hermit your next turn anyways). If you did not hit a Hermit, then you have exceedingly high odds (20/21) of getting one in the Mission hand and getting a Madman. Bonfire is useful for increasing Madman density when you are gaining Madmen (I would almost never buy it over buying a Hermit and would likely not want to buy it over a MrkSqr).

Ferry can be a decent tactical play when you have nothing else to buy (e.g. 3CHermE -> Hermit (gain X), buy Ferry, trash Herm, gain Madman) it is not like it hurts you and every now and again you can do something amazing (e.g. make Inn cost $3, shuffle up 4 Madmen and a Mrksqr). More mundanely, Ferry can let you make some $4 or $5 trasher Hermit bait and let you Madman away more Hermits; Ferry on Spice merchant, Moneylender, Jack, Taxman, Butcher, etc. all can let you launch with fewer Madmen. In like manner, Ferry can let you get access to more gains with things like Iw, Wshop. Even some big draw options can be worth a Ferry that often literally costs you nothing - Lab, Hparty, Tac, etc.

Now sure, you may well go the whole game without ever having 3(4)CHerm where you want to gain the Madman, but if do hit that setup a LOT of events provide the possibility of improving your hands at no or minimal risk.

Another note is that cards like Haven and Courtyard are very good additions when you are spending a spare $2 (or the odd Hermit gain). Both of these allow you to send Madmen back during your final shuffle and I would hazard save a turn on hitting the go point. In addition to allowing you to save Madmen to increase their effective concentration, Haven gives you an extra card (so you have better odds with deck tracking and single Madmen launches) & lets you better space out Hermits during the gain Madmen/Mrksqr phase while Courtyard can either allow you to get more Mrksqr into hand after the initial Madmen plays or be trashed out.

And on a lighter note, it is hilariously powerful to Inherit Estates into Hermits on the first shuffle (Borrow/Baker/5C). It is pretty much utterly impractical to do it any other way (though it is possible with combinations including Save, Borrow, Baker, Alms). At this point you get to pound down Mrksqr (no shortage of Hermits) and also get a point lead with your Hermit-Estates. Total edge case, but one of the most powerful Inheritances you can manage.

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