|#14 Adventurer (Base) Weighted Average: 13.81 / Median: 14 / Mode: 14 / Standard Deviation: 0.6|
Highest Rank(s): #12 (2x), #13 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #14 (26x)
A nearly "perfect" score for the Adventurer. Only 4 times it wasn't voted last with the best rank being third last.
By all means Adventurer is no bad card. But all $6+ cards have the problem competing with Gold. And Adventurer is only superior to Gold in decks without Copper and even $5 cards like Harvest or Merchant Ship (can) give you $4 easily. The filter effect is nice and finds still 2 treasure cards if you are already heavily greening what is especially good with Platinum. But the same does Venture (you see the name sililarity?) without spending an action and for one coin less. So, most of the time, Adventurer is just overpriced, but can be nice in a chapelled deck with no better alternatives.
|#13 Farmland (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 11.47 / Median: 12 / Mode: 13 / Standard Deviation: 1.8|
Highest Rank(s): #6 (1x), #8 (1x), #9 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (11x)
One third voted it second last, but it still got four votes above #10.
Farmland is definitely no power card, but still should be considered as a good buy in a handful of situations. At first it seems weak as it is more expensive and gives less VP than a Duchy. But the on-buy remodel effect can be very handy. You really have to calculate the benefits. If you have $7, you can remodel a Copper into an Estate, but then it would be better to buy a Duchy for the same VP. For $8 you could buy a Province directly, but if you're behind and there are only few Provinces left, just remodel a Silver into a Duchy for 5VP. For $9 Farmland is like an extra buy, if you remodel a Gold into a Province for 8VP total. In the middle game you even may prefer Farmland over Duchy, because with a Farmland in hand you only need $6 and a Farmland in hand to get a Province. Especially nice is Farmland in cursing games. For $6 and a Curse in hand, Farmland is worth 4VP. There are even more nice situations like getting 2 victory cards in Silk Road games or trashing a Potion to get a Gold.
|#12 Fairgrounds (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 9.93 / Median: 10 / Mode: 10 / Standard Deviation: 2.2|
Highest Rank(s): #6 (2x), #7 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (4x), #14 (1x)
The places #9-#12 were really close. Fairgrounds was 7 times on #10 and 12 times above #10.
Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province and Fairgrounds and you have already 7 different cards. With 3 more cards, every Fairgrounds is already worth more than a Duchy. Especially in cursing and Potion games, this is easy to accomplish. This is still making it a mediocre card. But in games where you have many cantrips and a good source of buy, Fairgrounds can be really strong. Just buy 15 of the 19 different cards and every Fairgrounds is worth 6VP like a Province and this for $2 less. And with Black Market on the board it is even easier to get 15 or even 20 different cards and may be the board determining combo.
|#11 Harem (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 9.82 / Median: 10 / Mode: 10 / Standard Deviation: 2.3|
Highest Rank(s): #6 (2x), #7 (5x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (4x), #14 (1x)
Harem has a lead of 0.11 points and is the third victory card in a row. And no, the stats are no copy&paste error. It has almost the same stats as Fairgrounds. It was 6 times on #10 and 14 times above #10.
$6+ Victory cards obviously have done poorly in this list. Like all cards in this list, Harem is by far no bad card, but it's another card that's not really game dominating. Especially in Big Money games where you rarely need more than 1-2 Golds you can pick easily pick up Harems in the mid-game if you still fall short for Provinces. This gives you -1VP in comparism to Duchies, but you will see this Harem still 2-3 times to make it worth a buy and give you enough money to win the Provinces split or make the 2VP difference to win this game. Harem is also good in Silk Road games and in combination with Hoard (don't buy Gold, just buy a Hoard and Harems), Mine (mine early Silvers into Harems) and Mints (extra money and VP is nice). In Colony games, Harem is really ignorable because neither Silver nor 2VP are worth a buy.
|#10 Forge (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 9.30 / Median: 9 / Mode: 12 / Standard Deviation: 2.7|
Highest Rank(s): #4 (1x), #5 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (3x)
Forge is one of the cards in this list with the highest deviation. It was 7 times on #12.
Forge is really hard to evaluate because it heavily depends from the cards on the board. Forge is like a much better Chapel because you can quickly trash many cards out of your deck and get an additional benefit, but has 3 big drawbacks. 1.) It's too expensive. If you get to $7 you mostly can't heavily trash anymore because you have too many cards in hand you want to keep. But with cards on the board that can give you $7 early like Baron, Apothecary or Tactician, Forge is really strong. 2.) Forge needs big hand sizes to be really worth it (comparing to other trash-for-benefit cards). Cards like Apothecary or Tactician accomplish this too, but if you have good draw engines, a Forge may also worth a buy to trash a few cards for a late Province. But with discarding attacks Forge is weak. 3.) The term "exactly" and the obligatory gain makes Forge swingy. With a Forge in hand heavy calculating goes on. If you just want to get rid of cards like Coppers or Estates you often have to gain at least a Copper or an Estate or another card you basically don't want. Only if you manage to reach $10 where no card exists you get rid of those. And if you want to forge a Province you often draw the wrong cards (e.g. only treasure cards). Summary: You have to really consider if Forge is a trap or worth a buy, like in Torturer engines where you can simply take all Curses in hand to forge them right away.
|#9 Expand (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 9.06 / Median: 8.5 / Mode: 11 / Standard Deviation: 2.6|
Highest Rank(s): #4 (1x), #5 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #12 (1x), #13 (1x), #14 (1x)
It was a close call between the trash-for-benefit cards. Expand has only a lead of 0.24 points. It was #11 6 times.
Expand is a mix between Remodel and Mine, but is another card that has drawback of being too expensive. So if you want to trash treasure cards in the late game for victory cards, Remodel manages that too for $3 less. If you want trash treasure cards for better treasure cards, Mine does it even better for $2 less. Its best use is to trash victory cards for better ones. This is especially nice in Colony games. With 2 Expands you can start greening earlier and even buy Provinces to expand them later into Colonies for a benefit of 4VP. And if you have a good drawing engine this works even better. You only need one copy to expand a card into a (better) victory card each turn. And expanding Peddlers into Colonies may be its strongest combo.
|#8 Nobles (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 8.26 / Median: 9 / Mode: 11 / Standard Deviation: 3.2|
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #4 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (2x), #14 (1x)
Nobles has the by far highest deviation in this list with a range from third to last. It was #11 5 times. Nobles is behind Expand in the unweighted ranking.
I like to call Nobles another trap card what the high deviation shows me too. Yes, Nobles is a self working combo when you use it for +2 Actions and +3 Cards alternating. But 2 Nobles still give you only a +1 Card Bonus what one Laboratory gives you too. So a Big Money player is going to outrace a "Nobles-Engine" player, it's just to slow. You should rather see it as a Village or a Smity with two extra VP just how you need it. Playing Big Money with Nobles instead of Smithy is nice, you just need to get to $6 early. And if you fall short for another Province you can easily buy another Nobles because two Nobles don't collide, you only can draw them dead. Still it is in direct competition with Gold. But after 1-2 Golds you can often easily switch to Nobles. However, in Colony games the 2VP from Nobles are ignorable. Only buy it in those games if you really really need the +2 Actions or the Smithy effect.
|#7 Bank (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 7.84 / Median: 7 / Mode: 7 / Standard Deviation: 2.7|
Highest Rank(s): #3 (2x), #4 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #11 (3x), #13 (1x)
Bank is another card with high deviation. It was #7 5 times and only 4 times below #10.
Bank's value really depends from the board. That may be the reason of the deviation. Bank is dependant from big hand sizes and +Buy. On an average board, especially Big Money games, Bank is mostly worse than Gold. While 3 Golds allow you to buy a Province, 3 Banks don't. So it can really be a trap card. But with a drawer it can be also better than Gold (e.g. 4 Copper + Bank instead of 4 Copper + Gold). And with the addition of +Buy it can get incredibly powerful. Margrave/Wharf Big Money with Bank is great. And in combination with Tactician or Apothecary+Herbalist(or another +Buy) Bank is really powerful. In Colony games Platinum is still stronger in almost every situation, but still Bank is no bad card in Colony games and just depends of above mentioned scenarios.
|#6 Peddler (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 6.57 / Median: 6 / Mode: 5 / Standard Deviation: 2.7|
Highest Rank(s): #4 (6x) / Lowest Rank(s): #11 (2x), #12 (1x), #13 (1x)
The ranks #4-#6 were really close. Peddler has high deviation and loses this fight for #4. It was #5 6 times and 4 times below #10.
Peddler basically don't belongs in this list as its effect is only worth $4. So if you spend $6 or $8 for a Peddler, this was mostly a waste. But in games with many +Buys like Grand Markets, Worker's Villages or Hamlets, you can easily pick up Peddlers for $0 or $2. Peddlers are also good in combination with duration cards as they count for price reduction in both turns. But it is in this list and it is so high in this list because it really shines in combination with trash-for-benefit cards and then its cost shows to advantage, e.g. - like above mentioned - expanding it into a Colony. As it is the only card for $8, its also worth mentioning how it works with Swindler. As long as there are still Peddlers left, there is the danger that it get swindled. But when the Peddlers are gone, you have a great defense against Swindler. Another quick note: Beware of three-piling in Peddler games with +Buy.
|#5 Border Village (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 6.41 / Median: 6 / Mode: 5 / Standard Deviation: 2.0|
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #4 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #9 (4x), #10 (1x), #11 (1x)
It was close, but Border Village is in the Top 5 with a 0.16 lead over Peddler. Nearly a third voted it exactly there, it was #5 9 times.
For every good engine Border Village is great. Especially if you have $6 and there are strong terminal $5 cards on the board and you want the $5 card anyway, you get a Village for free. Do this a few times and you basically are guaranteed to have a Village in each hand. The uses are similar to when you want many Fishing Villages. Border Village + Torturer is maybe the strongest combo. Still this is in strong competition with Gold. It's really a trap in cases where you want a Big Money-like strategy. Especially with the first $6 you often rather buy a Gold than a Border Village in most cases. Border Village also very good on boards with trash-for-benefit cards because for every $6 you have you can buy a Border Village and the trash-for-benefit card. Later you can trash the Border Village for 4VP with Bishop, 6 cards with Apprentice, 6$ with Salvager or remodel it into a Province, etc. And in Gardens games Border Village is just another extra card for you.
|#4 Hoard (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 6.16 / Median: 5 / Mode: 4 / Standard Deviation: 2.6|
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #3 (1x), #4 (10x) / Lowest Rank(s): #11 (2x), #12 (1x)
Hoard wins the battle for #4 very closely. Its 10 4th places still shows it deserves the spot.
Hoard is really good if you play it right. If you use it to buy a Victory card every time you have it in hand, just to get a Gold, this is maybe not the right play because then your money average approximates to ~1.5$ what isn't enough for a Province and is even worse in Colony games. But it's great if you want go green anyway. Your deck doesn't clog up too much and you may keep buying Provinces or at least Duchies until the end of the game. So if you pick up a Hoard after your first Gold in Big Money games you can go green pretty early. Hoard is also good if you use the free Gold for trash-for-benefit cards, especially Apprentice. Just trash a Gold with Apprentice, buy a Province with a Hoard in hand to get another Gold and do the same in the next turns over and over. Hoard works also nice with dual-type victory cards especially Harem and maybe Great Hall. With Nobles it really depends if you not rather buy directly that Gold.
|#3 Goons (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 2.49 / Median: 2.5 / Mode: 3 / Standard Deviation: 1.3|
Highest Rank(s): #1 (6x) / Lowest Rank(s): #4 (2x), #5 (1x), #7 (1x)
This is huge gap: ~3.7 points. So the battle for #1 was another close call. I was really curious who would win. Goons now is only #3 where it was voted 11 times.
Goons is a strong and board dominating card nearly every time. Yes, it gets quadratically (n^2+n) better the more Goons you can play per turn, so it gets big profit from good drawing engines, but is still great if played alone because of the discarding attack. It's also the only attack card that is so strong that it needs to cost more than $5. So you have a Militia that nets you VP for cards you would have bought either way, great! In the later game you can pick additional VP for Coppers (and with a Watchtower in hand you can even immediately trash them). And if you have that needed actions and set up a really nice engine with Goons and manage to play 3 or more Goons per turn, it is so insane powerful: You can achieve easily 100 or more points. Also a Goons engine has more time for setup as you don't necessarily need to buy Provinces/Colonies. Beside Watchtower, Inn+Goons is also a good combo for a turn with at least 2-3 Goons. For clarification: King's Court + Goons doesn't triple the VP gaining effect, but you still get the extra money and buys you can use for more VP, so it isn't a so bad combo after all (especially if you have another King's Court and a Masquerade in hand )
|#2 Grand Market (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 2.15 / Median: 2 / Mode: 2 / Standard Deviation: 0.8|
Highest Rank(s): #1 (8x) / Lowest Rank(s): #3 (8x), #4 (1x)
Grand Market was 13 times second. So it's no surprise that this its final rank. The consensus was really high, only one player ranked it on #4.
Grand Market is basically a $8-$9 card and is the dominating card on many boards. Often it's basically a race to get the first Grand Market faster. And with the first Grand Market you can easily buy more of them. You achieve that at best with Vault or any other Source of virtual coins like Baron or Horse Traders and of course with Gold. Grand Markets are very powerful, but still there are situations where it's just too slow to pick them up and other strategies are just quicker. They are great in nearly all decks, but Grand Markets really shine in thin decks where you can chain them. Then they are even better than Platinum! The same applies in combination with King's Court. But in Colony games with heavy cursing or other thick decks, Platinum is still the stronger card.
|#1 King's Court (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 1.74 / Median: 1 / Mode: 1 / Standard Deviation: 0.9|
Highest Rank(s): #1 (16x) / Lowest Rank(s): #3 (6x), #4 (1x)
King's Court is the best $6+ card. No surprise when you see that more than the half of all players voted it there.
Just like Goons and Grand Market, when King's Court is on the board, there's nearly every time a race who gets it first with cards like Tactician, Baron or Apothecary. Throne Room does nothing for itself and just doubles the action, but still is often skippable, but tripling an action seems like no big difference, but it is a huge boost. If you triple a Curser the game is basically over; if you triple a card drawer like Wharf is really crazy; and with Possession or Saboteur it could get really mad. With King's Court you also need no Village, just triple a Cantrip for a huge benefit. And with King's Courting a King's Court it gets even crazier... Maybe only on Province boards that are already very quick without King's Court or have only terminal non-curse-givers you may skip it. PS: For everyone who has the same problems as I, calculating the actions you may play three times: For every King's Court you play on a King's Court you can play 2 more actions three times - or if you prefer a formula: 2n-1