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Author Topic: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute  (Read 6289 times)

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jomini

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2017, 08:37:37 pm »
+3

The problem with Transmute has been the opportunity cost of the potion. At best, you can start hitting the Estates on T5 in normal games and T4 in games with very particular setups. If you could buy it for $4, it would be pretty strong as you could open it and have even odds of hitting E-> G on T3/4, yeah you sacrifice some buying that turn ... but you do that with trashers that do not give you gold too (like Steward). As always this means that Transmute is not particularly bad if you are already getting the Pot for other reasons.

I play a lot of sequential games where we vote in/out cards, getting a Mute is definitely better than nothing off a busted $2P and in Familiar games. Kills your curses and lets you increase your buying power, not a bad thing exactly. Even on an Alchemist board it can be worth it to grab a $2P Mute to have the option to cannibalize a late game deck for extra duchies. The very high lag time and opportunity cost really seems to be the biggest issue with Mute.

One option I have wondered about would be Transmute/Donate; if I am right I think this could illustrate just how much of Mute's poor performance is the opportunity cost.

Open Pot/Silver
T3: buy Transmute
T4: Donate (pay say $4 of debt) - trash all but EEETmuteS
T5: Pay $2, E -> G
T6: TmuteEEGS; E -> G; pay $2, buy a $3 (e.g. S)
T7: E -> G; buy a province
T8-T11: buy 3 provinces, maybe a G

I know I am a bit optimistic here, but that seems to be in the ballpark of Tmap/Donate and a good bit faster than building up Silver to Donate. Certainly, a tiny bit of support would work well here (like say Save or Mission). I have not played enough Donate to have a good feel for just how fast I need to build up, but this seems at least plausibly decent.

In like manner, I have had a hilariously good show from using Forge to minimize opportunity cost:
T"1": Forge EE to Pot, draw Pot; buy Mute, Ghall
T"2":Mute (Ghall -> Duchy & Gold) -> draw DG -> Forge DPot to Plat; buy Ghall/Draw
T"3":Mute (Ghall -> Duchy & Gold) -> draw DG -> Forge DG to Colony; buy Ghall/Draw

Gaining a net of $8 value every turn for 2 actions and 5 draw is pretty decent. Forge also allowed a quick gain of Pot and a quick burn of Pot. This avoided carrying around a second dead card and the need to burn two turns on setting up the value gain. A lot more Pot games would have me taking Mute as the only possible way to score > 6VP a turn if it were not for the fact that on such boards it almost invariably (e.g. Mine or Tax collector) means burning two whole turns on the endeavor (i.e. high odds of a 12 VP swing that means I need to gain at least 4 duchies to break even).

The potion cost is just pretty terrible. We tend to think it is worth it for most of the other potion cards because they are so vastly more powerful that than the $2 higher price options (e.g. University vs most any $4 village, Familiar vs $5 cursers, Apothecary vs $4 draw). Mute does its real magic a whole shuffle later so yeah you burn 1 turn on buying the Pot, another buying the Mute, most likely a third trashing E-> G ... and that is just not that great. Things like Donate/Mute or Bonfire/Mute work much better because you simply do not have so many dead turns.
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ConMan

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2017, 11:43:13 pm »
+6

They can't all be the best $P ever.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2017, 02:12:24 am »
0

Transmuted Transmute
Action - $4

Trash a card from your hand. If it is:
An Action, gain a Victory card costing up to $5
A Victory card, gain a Treasure costing up to $6
A Treasure, gain an Action costing up to $4.

I don't like the last line since there might not even be any Action cards costing up to $4 in the kingdom. This is especially true if Alchemy is the only expansion you're using.
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Holger

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2017, 05:23:10 am »
0

Transmuted Transmute
Action - $4

Trash a card from your hand. If it is:
An Action, gain a Victory card costing up to $5
A Victory card, gain a Treasure costing up to $6
A Treasure, gain an Action costing up to $4.

I don't like the last line since there might not even be any Action cards costing up to $4 in the kingdom. This is especially true if Alchemy is the only expansion you're using.

Read again:
Transmuted Transmute
Action - $4
:P
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Jack Rudd

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #29 on: April 28, 2017, 05:47:10 pm »
0

Resurrecting this to point out game #3143840, in which Transmute was vital to my victory.

And the point made earlier was right: Transmute would be good if it had +1 Action.
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Holger

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2017, 12:15:39 pm »
+5

They can't all be the best $P ever.

Actually, transmute is the best $P Action ever. :P
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2017, 12:22:23 pm »
+1

They can't all be the best $P ever.

Actually, transmute is the best $P Action ever. :P

The potion cost is the biggest problem. If it cost $2, it wouldn't be as bad. Basically buy junk to turn junk into slightly better junk.
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Holger

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2017, 10:23:33 am »
+1

They can't all be the best $P ever.

Actually, transmute is the best $P Action ever. :P

The potion cost is the biggest problem. If it cost $2, it wouldn't be as bad. Basically buy junk to turn junk into slightly better junk.

Even at $4, it would probably be fine (or even strong?) as an opener; transmuting Estates is usually much better than remodeling them, and in the absence of good $2 cards, the same is true for transmuting Coppers.
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Omastar68

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2017, 04:25:24 pm »
+2

I get the general dislike of Transmute, but I'm pretty sure I buy it at least half the times it appears, maybe to be contrary, partly cause I feel smarter winning with it.

I still don't think I'd call it good, exactly, but it has plenty of uses. Ruins are a big one, even early you'd rarely prefer a ruin to a Duchy. Ofc it's better to just trash them for nothing rather thb a dead card early, but you can still have some exceptions like Battlefield. Trashing for a Duchy is the main thing I get out of them, nice endgame sometimes. Naturally much weaker with Colonies, but if the game is a bit slow it can be a huge help. Also this'll combo somewhat w/ things like Silk Road and Duke. Potentially Duchess. Groundskeeper to some extent. Also, multi-type cards can help. For instance, Mill to a Gold and a Duchy, and that pair is also probably better than putting your Transmute or another non-junk card on an Island. This could further combo w/ cards that gain from the trash.

Buying Transmute just fer Curses is not worth it usually, since that Potion becomes a bit of a dead card too. But if it's the only trasher this might make sense, particularly if Market Square is on the board for instance.

Buying it early for Estates is bad, I don't think I've tried that, but I'm not inclined to. Quite slow to get 1 Gold, just buy a Silver over that Potion if nothing else. But trashing Victory cards can still be really good, for instance if you'll be getting Estates(Wild Hunt, Ambassador, Triumph, Followers, etc.) Also if you get hit by a Swindler for an early VP card.

The main time for it is w/ +buy and another potion card, I definitely get it more times there. Plus if the Curses run out Familiars become pretty useless, odds are you wouldn't want one then. I suppose on a similar note w/ +buy and stuff you could get a bunch of Transmutes(also by Transmuting treasure) since your opponent might not since it has a bad reputation. That could matter if it's the Obelisk, or possibly for Orchard or even Tower.

I can't think of anything too noteworthy I've done with Transmute, but I generally don't keep track. Might post a game where I use it and they don't for posterity sometime. Still I think it's undervalued.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2017, 01:51:26 pm by Omastar68 »
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smuggler

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2017, 06:39:18 pm »
0

I recall Donald did a "if I had a time machine" rebuff for Scout.  Was there ever such a case here?  If not, any user community buffs to make this... well, not such so much, and actually be worth buying more than 5% or so of the cases?

we are currently trying several versions of this card:

- one is: Transmute +1VP -> so its action victory card; transmuting copper into more transmutes which then get transmuted into gold and duchy
- other is, transmute as a can trip (so it doenst hurt getting more transmutes while trashing copper)
(combination of these two was way too cwazy)

- regarding opportunity cost we tried an on-buy +buy effect like forum has or $4 instead of P

but we are still evaluating if cost need to be adapted

(PS: i rather have a card which is slightly too powerful than one which doesn't get bought at all)
(PPS: sorry for necroing :-D )
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 06:41:32 pm by smuggler »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2017, 10:59:27 pm »
+4

The solution to Transmute is to have it gain e.g. Will-oí-Wisp when you trash a Treasure. That way you get something for trashing that Potion.
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Gazbag

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #36 on: December 23, 2017, 11:43:38 am »
+2

Dismantle is sort of like a fixed Transmute. Well it trashes Estates to gain a Gold at least (yes it gives you a Copper too), which is the main thing Transmute does. It can trash Gold to get Duchies later on too, which is sort of like Transmute as well. I suspect that a "fixed" transmute would end up looking a lot like Dismantle.
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popsofctown

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2017, 07:47:06 pm »
0

Transmute gains gold, which you want in BM, but you don't even want Chapel in BMU so a trasher meant for BM is problematic.

A neat way to close the loop would be, "if it's an action, gain a Duchy, if it's a victory card, gain a Gold, if it's a treasure, gain an action card with equal or lesser cost in coins."
(Might still need more, but I like that style of change)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2017, 07:48:51 pm by popsofctown »
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Chris is me

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2017, 09:18:22 pm »
+1

Transmute gains gold, which you want in BM, but you don't even want Chapel in BMU so a trasher meant for BM is problematic.

I donít agree with the unstated premise of this post - because Chapel is a poor trasher for BM, any trashing in BM is detrimental and problematic. This is a horrible premise thatís not at all true. Generally, if the trashing produces some other benefit (gaining you cards, a little extra coin, even cycling) light trashing can absolutely be beneficial in BM. Chapelís problem is that it does not trash for benefit and always trashes at the expense of another gain that turn, which is fine for engines but bad for BM.

If it didnít require the Potion, Transmute wouldnít be the absolute worst BM card ever, just for that Estate-> Gold interaction. Thus Dismantle is a reasonable if not fantastic BM Card.
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markusin

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2017, 09:24:36 pm »
0

Transmute gains gold, which you want in BM, but you don't even want Chapel in BMU so a trasher meant for BM is problematic.

I donít agree with the unstated premise of this post - because Chapel is a poor trasher for BM, any trashing in BM is detrimental and problematic. This is a horrible premise thatís not at all true. Generally, if the trashing produces some other benefit (gaining you cards, a little extra coin, even cycling) light trashing can absolutely be beneficial in BM. Chapelís problem is that it does not trash for benefit and always trashes at the expense of another gain that turn, which is fine for engines but bad for BM.

If it didnít require the Potion, Transmute wouldnít be the absolute worst BM card ever, just for that Estate-> Gold interaction. Thus Dismantle is a reasonable if not fantastic BM Card.

Strictly speaking, Big Money Ultimate cannot buy any actions.

Masquerade, Junk Dealer, and maybe Upgrade are all good Big Money trashers. Add some sort of way to gain Gold, and the BM with the trashers above become very formidable.
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #40 on: December 26, 2017, 01:09:21 am »
0

Masquerade, Junk Dealer, and maybe Upgrade are all good Big Money trashers. Add some sort of way to gain Gold, and the BM with the trashers above become very formidable.
Actually Junk Dealer is fairly bad as far as big money goes. Amulet and Hermit are much better examples.
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popsofctown

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #41 on: December 26, 2017, 01:51:33 am »
0

Transmute gains gold, which you want in BM, but you don't even want Chapel in BMU so a trasher meant for BM is problematic.

I donít agree with the unstated premise of this post - because Chapel is a poor trasher for BM, any trashing in BM is detrimental and problematic. This is a horrible premise thatís not at all true. Generally, if the trashing produces some other benefit (gaining you cards, a little extra coin, even cycling) light trashing can absolutely be beneficial in BM. Chapelís problem is that it does not trash for benefit and always trashes at the expense of another gain that turn, which is fine for engines but bad for BM.

If it didnít require the Potion, Transmute wouldnít be the absolute worst BM card ever, just for that Estate-> Gold interaction. Thus Dismantle is a reasonable if not fantastic BM Card.
I feel like you are overassuming this unstated premise because all you seem to be doing is agreeing with me.  I agree that if you have a big money deck, and you can choose between a powerful card that is most powerful due to its ability to trash many cards, or a powerful card that is powerful half due to its ability to trash cards, and half due to its ability to gain cards/ make coin / draw cards, you tend to like the second one.  I selected a card that does absolutely nothing but trash cards to emphasize that.

Or maybe you think that I think Moat is as good as Masquerade in BM because BM would prefer to keep its starting cards. Um, I assure you that's not the case, I definitely couldn't hold my current rating and that belief at the same time.  BM benefits from trashing, it just benefits less.

Does the optimized bot for the kingdom: Ratcatcher, skip a silver for a Ratcatcher?  I would expect it to.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2017, 01:52:42 am by popsofctown »
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #42 on: December 26, 2017, 04:37:53 am »
0

The solution to Transmute is to have it gain e.g. Will-oí-Wisp when you trash a Treasure. That way you get something for trashing that Potion.
This might be it.
I'm going to try this with a random Action pile chosen at setup.  :)
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Chris is me

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2017, 08:26:26 am »
0

I was arguing the phrase ďa trasher for BM is problematicĒ - there are plenty of good trashers for BM is all Iím saying. Obviously Masquerade, but Amulet, Jack, Salvager, etc. too.
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markusin

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #44 on: December 26, 2017, 09:56:50 am »
0

Masquerade, Junk Dealer, and maybe Upgrade are all good Big Money trashers. Add some sort of way to gain Gold, and the BM with the trashers above become very formidable.
Actually Junk Dealer is fairly bad as far as big money goes. Amulet and Hermit are much better examples.

Odd, I would think a single Junk Dealer would be better than Silver on the first $5 for BM. In a real game, combining Junk Dealer with something like Hoard should be pretty fast compared to skipping Junk Dealer.
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2017, 01:23:01 pm »
0

JD isnít too bad on the first $5 in BM; itís just not the best BM trasher. Itís best when you have another terminal BM enabler That doesnít draw. Amulet and Hermit take the place of terminal BM enablers at least temporarily - so comparing Amulet BMís improvement over BMU to JDBMís improvement over BMU is obviously gonna favor Amulet since JDís cantripness isnít helping at all.
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2018, 12:35:55 am »
0

transmute is good* in vineyards slogs once the vineyards are gone

*not awful
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #47 on: February 13, 2018, 08:48:39 pm »
+8

You know Transmute is bad when the best thing it has going for it is that it happens to be an Action Card.
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grrgrrgrr

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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #48 on: August 23, 2018, 04:38:42 pm »
0

You know Transmute is bad when the best thing it has going for it is that it happens to be an Action Card.

This. Transmute synergies pretty well in a City Quarter game.
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Re: Let's discuss Alchemy cards: Transmute
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2018, 05:55:42 am »
0

You know Transmute is bad when the best thing it has going for it is that it happens to be an Action Card.

I recently had a deck with Rats as the only trasher, thus no card in the kingdom that cared about the price of Rats. I went for them anyway, partly hoping that a favourable card from Black Market would make them worthwhile, but also because there was a card that cared about it being an Action card: City Quarter.

Later in the game somebody got a curser from Black Market, so the density of Rats increased despite me mostly staying away from Copper.

It worked out for me.
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