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Author Topic: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards  (Read 73507 times)

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weety4

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #125 on: January 05, 2017, 08:38:55 am »
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You definitely want it to discard Gold and Platinum. They might not be junk (although it's a little bit arguable for Gold in some cases), but you don't want to draw them before you've drawn all of your Actions, because otherwise you might not draw all of your Actions. Once you've drawn all of your Actions, you can just reshuffle and draw the Golds and Platinums anyway.
This implicitly assumes that you draw your entire deck or a large part of it. In this case you are totally right.
But if your deck only draws a part of itself that discarded Gold is a liability.

It's a reasonably small edge case where you can't draw your whole deck, you want plenty of Village support, and you would rather draw payload stop cards instead of more actions that let you draw those cards later. In most drawing engines you want your payload last. Minstrel isn't the best there, but it's way more often that Minstrel makes your engine substantially more reliable / more likely to draw deck than this outcome.
Well, perhaps you are simply a better player but decks that draw themselves entirely each turn happen rarely or lately in my games.
So in my experience Wandering Ministrel's ability is often a liability when it takes another 1 or 2 turns until you see that Treasure you just discarded again.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #126 on: January 05, 2017, 08:51:44 am »
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I don't really understand this larger discussion of how other cards are the same (or, better?) than WM, because they are also splitters? Yes splitters are strong and have a strong effect. When comparing splitters to each other you are really only comparing the things that make them different.

The thing is, if we just ranked the splitters against each other based on their absolute power level, there would be a significant difference between Wandering Minstrel and Farming Village. However, we're also ranking them against other cards such as Militia and Bishop, and we're only putting them in a specific order, not evaluating how much of a difference in power there is between any two ranks. The fact that they're all splitters (which is an extremely strong effect by the way, it usually makes the difference between being or not being able to go for an engine, which tends to be the strongest strategy whenever it's possible) makes so big of a difference that it mostly obscures whatever other effects the card has in this kind of a ranking Militia and Bishop are definitely not so close to one another in strength that they both fit in between two different splitters.

And I knew Awaclus would pull that "it's a three card combo" "it's an edge case" bullshit if I named any specific example, which is why I didn't before. But it's an argument he can't lose. Either you don't name examples and he doesn't recognize the argument at all, or you do and he dismisses them as things that never happen. It's an EXAMPLE. One of Many. It isn't really even a three card example combo - any combination of Highway, Minstrel, and one of several nonterminal +Buy works. And you can substitute Highway for any cantrip payload! This isn't exactly an exotic uncommon deck that most people don't build.

But you can't claim that it's anywhere near as common as an engine that has splitters and terminal draw, or that Wandering Minstrel is as important in it as splitters are in splitter/terminal draw engines. If you have just Highways and Market Squares, that isn't an amazing strategy on its own but you can still do it, and it doesn't require a card that does what Wandering Minstrel's ability does to make it the best strategy on the board. If you have just terminal draw, you can't build an engine without a splitter.

Well, perhaps you are simply a better player but decks that draw themselves entirely each turn happen rarely or lately in my games.
So in my experience Wandering Ministrel's ability is often a liability when it takes another 1 or 2 turns until you see that Treasure you just discarded again.

That's a self-fulfilling prophecy you have there. Building decks that draw themselves requires not having too many Treasures (or being able to cycle through them), especially in the early game where getting to the next reshuffle as fast as possible is essential. In other words, if you find that your Wandering Minstrel skips over good Treasures often, especially early on, the thing in that whole equation which is the liability is the Treasures, not the fact that they're being skipped.
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markusin

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2017, 08:56:46 am »
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You definitely want it to discard Gold and Platinum. They might not be junk (although it's a little bit arguable for Gold in some cases), but you don't want to draw them before you've drawn all of your Actions, because otherwise you might not draw all of your Actions. Once you've drawn all of your Actions, you can just reshuffle and draw the Golds and Platinums anyway.
This implicitly assumes that you draw your entire deck or a large part of it. In this case you are totally right.
But if your deck only draws a part of itself that discarded Gold is a liability.

It's a reasonably small edge case where you can't draw your whole deck, you want plenty of Village support, and you would rather draw payload stop cards instead of more actions that let you draw those cards later. In most drawing engines you want your payload last. Minstrel isn't the best there, but it's way more often that Minstrel makes your engine substantially more reliable / more likely to draw deck than this outcome.
Well, perhaps you are simply a better player but decks that draw themselves entirely each turn happen rarely or lately in my games.
So in my experience Wandering Ministrel's ability is often a liability when it takes another 1 or 2 turns until you see that Treasure you just discarded again.

It can be a liability if you make the "village idiot" mistake and have very few actions besides Wandering Minstrel compared to treasure. Thinking Wandering Minstrel is Cartographer and using it to get to your Mountebank or whatever sooner will make you miss your Silver and Gold and you won't have an easy time buying the stuff you really need. Make sure to get proper engine components at the right balance as you gain Wandering Minstrel. Small value cantrips like Pearl Diver and Vagrant don't count.
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weety4

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #128 on: January 05, 2017, 09:06:01 am »
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That's a self-fulfilling prophecy you have there. Building decks that draw themselves requires not having too many Treasures (or being able to cycle through them), especially in the early game where getting to the next reshuffle as fast as possible is essential. In other words, if you find that your Wandering Minstrel skips over good Treasures often, especially early on, the thing in that whole equation which is the liability is the Treasures, not the fact that they're being skipped.
Every Kingdom is different and there are very well ample of Kingdoms in which you need some villages but don't end up with a sublime engine that draws the entire deck every turn. Typical psychological bias, we all love these games and thus forget all the mediocre games or the stuff that is somewhere between engine and BM.

Let's take a junking-intensive game with Cultist and some other terminals around. You definitely do want some villages but Wandering Ministrel would be far worse than Village (early on it would of course be better as you'd draw Cultist earlier)
Now this is an extreme case and of course not every Kingdom without trashers and with junkers requires villages. But some do and in this instance Wandering Ministrel is not a powerhouse if it runs over a Silver or Gold you will only see two or three turns later.

Thinking Wandering Minstrel is Cartographer and using it to get to your Mountebank or whatever sooner will make you miss your Silver and Gold and you won't have an easy time buying the stuff you really need.
This is my entire point, that the card is not, as Chris claims, the hyperflexible powerhouse which is supposedly even good when you don't require a village.
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aku_chi

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #129 on: January 05, 2017, 09:10:50 am »
+2

Well, perhaps you are simply a better player but decks that draw themselves entirely each turn happen rarely or lately in my games.
So in my experience Wandering Ministrel's ability is often a liability when it takes another 1 or 2 turns until you see that Treasure you just discarded again.

That's a self-fulfilling prophecy you have there. Building decks that draw themselves requires not having too many Treasures (or being able to cycle through them), especially in the early game where getting to the next reshuffle as fast as possible is essential. In other words, if you find that your Wandering Minstrel skips over good Treasures often, especially early on, the thing in that whole equation which is the liability is the Treasures, not the fact that they're being skipped.

To add onto this: if it is possible to draw your deck, you probably shouldn't gain Gold or Platinum before you are at the point where you're reliably drawing your deck.  You might buy a Silver early if it's the only/best way to hit $5 for a key engine piece.

Moreover, even if it isn't feasible to draw your whole deck, Wandering Minstrel's ability is a benefit so long as the average action in your deck is more valuable than the average non-action.  This is almost always the case (possible exception: you are being junked with Ruins).  Why?  Because you start the game with ten bad non-action cards.  If you can get rid of your starting cards, you should be drawing your deck.  In some particular plays of Wandering Minstrel, you might get a bad outcome (like discarding a Platinum), but the average effect will be positive.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #130 on: January 05, 2017, 09:15:40 am »
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Every Kingdom is different and there are very well ample of Kingdoms in which you need some villages but don't end up with a sublime engine that draws the entire deck every turn. Typical psychological bias, we all love these games and thus forget all the mediocre games or the stuff that is somewhere between engine and BM.

There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". BM might sound like a simple strategy on the surface because of how easy it is to play, but what allows it to function is a set of very complex and delicate interactions between the rules of the game and the very specific cards you buy. If you try to mix it with something else, you lose those interactions and suddenly you have a deck that sucks.
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weety4

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #131 on: January 05, 2017, 09:29:20 am »
+2

Every Kingdom is different and there are very well ample of Kingdoms in which you need some villages but don't end up with a sublime engine that draws the entire deck every turn. Typical psychological bias, we all love these games and thus forget all the mediocre games or the stuff that is somewhere between engine and BM.
There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM".
Yes there is. The density of Actions and Treasures in your deck is different in every game.  Which is e.g. why you might have some Silvers and some Action card in your deck and which is why Wandering Ministrel can be worse than Village in a particular situation.
As I said, everybody loves sublime engines but you seem to willfully ignore those muddy games in which you have a mix of everything or in which one player goes for more Actions and tries to build up an engine while the other bought some Gold early on and is already greening.
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aku_chi

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #132 on: January 05, 2017, 09:30:47 am »
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Every Kingdom is different and there are very well ample of Kingdoms in which you need some villages but don't end up with a sublime engine that draws the entire deck every turn. Typical psychological bias, we all love these games and thus forget all the mediocre games or the stuff that is somewhere between engine and BM.

There is no stuff "somewhere between engine and BM". BM might sound like a simple strategy on the surface because of how easy it is to play, but what allows it to function is a set of very complex and delicate interactions between the rules of the game and the very specific cards you buy. If you try to mix it with something else, you lose those interactions and suddenly you have a deck that sucks.

I believe weety4 is referring to kingdoms in which it is not feasible to draw one's deck, but the best strategy involves some action splitters.  Whether you call those strategies "engines", "BM", "good stuff", or something else: they exist.  But those kingdoms might be less common than weety4 believes.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #133 on: January 05, 2017, 10:33:28 am »
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The kind of BM which involves splitters does exist maybe once every hundred games or so, usually thanks to something like Ironmonger, Border Village, Bandit Camp or Fishing Village (i.e. splitters that you can buy without having to sacrifice a lot of momentum). I don't think there is ever a BM deck where you buy Wandering Minstrels or Farming Villages.
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markusin

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #134 on: January 05, 2017, 01:41:30 pm »
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I think the issue is, when villages are bad, Wandering Minstrel is really bad. Worse than if you bought nothing, which is rarely the case for any other Village. This makes the Wandering Minstrel effect feel like a downside at times. I do feel that it is very rare that you really need a village for your strategy to work, but Wandering Minstrel's topdeck effect hinders its function as a village.

It is really a stretch to come up with a scenario where you want to buy say Farming Village over Wandering Minstrel where buying at least one of them is approximately the correct play, as opposed to just buying another Silver or draw card or nothing. Wandering Minstrel's effect is just so synergistic with its vanilla bonuses.

It can be effective even when the +2 Actions is not needed, but I will admit the occurrence of those cases isn't as frequent as one might believe.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 01:43:51 pm by markusin »
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Witherweaver

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #135 on: January 05, 2017, 01:47:58 pm »
+2

I think the issue is, when villages are bad, Wandering Minstrel is really bad. Worse than if you bought nothing, which is rarely the case for any other Village. This makes the Wandering Minstrel effect feel like a downside at times. I do feel that it is very rare that you really need a village for your strategy to work, but Wandering Minstrel's topdeck effect hinders its function as a village.

It is really a stretch to come up with a scenario where you want to buy say Farming Village over Wandering Minstrel where buying at least one of them is approximately the correct play, as opposed to just buying another Silver or draw card or nothing. Wandering Minstrel's effect is just so synergistic with its vanilla bonuses.

It can be effective even when the +2 Actions is not needed, but I will admit the occurrence of those cases isn't as frequent as one might believe.

Wandering Minstrel + Tunnel.  Your discard pile gets so rich!
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markusin

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #136 on: January 05, 2017, 02:06:47 pm »
+5

I think the issue is, when villages are bad, Wandering Minstrel is really bad. Worse than if you bought nothing, which is rarely the case for any other Village. This makes the Wandering Minstrel effect feel like a downside at times. I do feel that it is very rare that you really need a village for your strategy to work, but Wandering Minstrel's topdeck effect hinders its function as a village.

It is really a stretch to come up with a scenario where you want to buy say Farming Village over Wandering Minstrel where buying at least one of them is approximately the correct play, as opposed to just buying another Silver or draw card or nothing. Wandering Minstrel's effect is just so synergistic with its vanilla bonuses.

It can be effective even when the +2 Actions is not needed, but I will admit the occurrence of those cases isn't as frequent as one might believe.

Wandering Minstrel + Tunnel.  Your discard pile gets so rich!

Wandering Minstrel + Tunnel falls into the category of "always works when someone else does it"
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Bowi

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #137 on: January 05, 2017, 07:03:45 pm »
+2

Seems like this Wandering Minstrel vs Generic $4 Village debate can be broken down into four cases:

Case 1: Bad kingdom for villages
In this case Wandering Minstrel = Generic Village, since you won't be buying either. So this case can be ignored basically.

Case 2: Some villages come in handy
Wandering Minstrel's additional effect can hurt in circumstances by skipping over important treasure (or other non-action?) cards. Also if you cause reshuffles at the wrong time you can create dud turns. An edge case is ruins, which totally screw with the top-of-deck-sifting effect. Wandering Minstrel < Generic Village

Case 3: There wouldn't be an engine unless the village was Wandering Minstrel
Having strong sifting on your village can make an otherwise impossible engine possible. Every deck starts with 10 junky cards that you probably want to skip over until the last draws of your engine. In this case you need to be extra careful to draw up all your junk or you will eat it the next turn (or maybe it's a slogging game and you don't mind having boom-and-bust turns?). Still for this case: Wandering Minstrel > Generic Village

Case 4: Strong engine kingdom
You would buy any village available in this case, but you generally want to get your actions before your non-actions. Wandering Minstrel helps ensure that you draw your whole deck reliably. Wandering Minstrel > Generic Village


So the big question is: How common are cases 2 and 3?

To me case 3 seems far more common. A lot of kingdoms with little to no trashing, junking, or early greening fall into case 3. Case 2 feels more like an edge case. So most games where villages are relevant (most games), Wandering Minstrel is very good while the more vanilla villages (i.e. Farming and Walled) are inferior, or worse, aren't enough to make an engine work.

My overall take? Wandering Minstrel, Villa, and Port are all head and shoulders above the other $4 villages
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #138 on: January 05, 2017, 07:45:29 pm »
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So the big question is: How common are cases 2 and 3?

And the big answer is: not at all common. They practically don't happen. If you can build an engine with Wandering Minstrel, you can build the engine with Farming Village sometimes, it makes more of a difference, sometimes less, but it's not as big of a difference as trying to substitute Bishop for Militia. Thusly, you shouldn't have both Bishop and Militia in between Farming Village and Wandering Minstrel.

>inb4 someone points out that Bishop and Militia do entirely different things (>inb4 someone (correctly) points out that I can't say ">inb4" myself)

Yes, that's precisely why one of them is so much stronger than the other. They, however, fulfill a very similar role in being an engine payload card which specifically helps the engine defeat big money opponents who would otherwise be acquiring points faster than the engine could handle, so the comparison is fair.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #139 on: January 05, 2017, 07:48:18 pm »
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Case 2: Some villages come in handy
Wandering Minstrel's additional effect can hurt in circumstances by skipping over important treasure (or other non-action?) cards. Also if you cause reshuffles at the wrong time you can create dud turns. An edge case is ruins, which totally screw with the top-of-deck-sifting effect. Wandering Minstrel < Generic Village
Actions are almost always better than your average card you will be skipping. So in non ruin cases Wandering Minstrel > Generic Village

The best advantage of wandering minstrel is early when you need to cycle to find your important actions and when you cant trash down.

On the other hand port is better than wandering minstrel in case 4 and maybe case 2.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #140 on: January 05, 2017, 09:08:48 pm »
+7

In non-BM decks money exists to kick off your strategy. Later on, you want to see key cards more frequently which makes WM good. Rarely are treasures a key card so skipping over them is a moot point. This should be obvious. I seriously can't believe some of the debate on here.

WM is super good and better than most villages on a majority of boards. The End.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #141 on: January 07, 2017, 08:12:10 am »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #142 on: January 07, 2017, 09:25:08 am »
+3

Sacrifice is too low.  It is quite good.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #143 on: January 07, 2017, 11:20:14 am »
+2

Responding to Qvist's parting questions in the video:
  • I had Envoy adjacent to Smithy, so I think it deserves to be higher.  I want to push back on it being stronger in a trashed engine, though.  If Envoy is your only draw, the opponent can just discard your Envoys when they are revealed.  So, the extra card draw over Smithy tends not to be an advantage.  Envoy does combine nicely with other sources of draw.  A single Envoy in a thin engine is usually better than a single Smithy.  And, as you said, Envoy is more powerful than Smithy in a money strategy with Trade, Save, Delve, or the like.
  • Ironworks, I had lower, but still higher than Duplicate.  I haven't been too impressed with Duplicate.  It's really awkward because it's terminal and you're almost never going to get a good Duplicate on the turn you play it (until the late game).  Ironworks is a better tempo play.  But, Duplicate does have a higher ceiling, and I probably haven't used it to its fullest potential.
  • Sacrifice vs. Moneylender: I think Sacrifice is better.  You mentioned opening Moneylender on a board with both, and I think I agree, but I would definitely also pick up a Sacrifice on that board if it was the only way to trash Estates.  It can also trash the Moneylender when you're (nearly) out of Copper.  And on boards with a good Estate trasher, but no good way to trash Coppers, Sacrifice is also strong - just not as strong as an opener.  You mentioned Sacrifice's strongest synergies (Rats, Fortress, and Looters), but there are other situations where you might use Sacrifice's action trashing: to get rid of trashers or junkers that have done their job, or to kick off your turn in a pinch (it acts a little like Apprentice here).  Its flexibility is what makes it strong.
  • Monument and Marauder: As I said earlier, sorting these good $4 cards is really hard.  It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that Monument and Marauder are in this list.  Marauder is only a must-buy if there is no way to trash Ruins: and its great here.  It's only sometimes worth it in the presence of Ruins-trashers.  Monument is great in a thin deck with villages, but if terminal space is limited, there are many better single-play payload cards (especially attacks in the $5 list).  By being terminal, Monument often competes against them.

Other reactions: I'm glad to see Fortress, Quarry, and Conspirator rise: well deserved.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #144 on: January 07, 2017, 02:51:41 pm »
+1

I found out with new domion online that weaker players may not overrate gardens but is result of them not buying expansions. I played a lot of 8 base 2 other cards and there engines that aim for gardens are quite strong, if you get 4 workshops to play each turn in endgame.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #145 on: January 08, 2017, 05:46:45 pm »
0

I was unable to check out the forum this week. So I just was able to look over the village discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Walled Village vs. Farming Village question.

However, this discussion did bring up another question for me. When did we start calling villages "splitters" and why?  They give you an extra turn, but what exactly are they splitting?
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #146 on: January 08, 2017, 06:03:05 pm »
+4

what exactly are they splitting?
hairs
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #147 on: January 08, 2017, 06:04:10 pm »
0

When did we start calling villages "splitters" and why?  They give you an extra turn, but what exactly are they splitting?

As I understand the terms, an "action-splitter" (sometimes shortened to "splitter") is any card which let's a player play an additional terminal action.  This encompasses all "villages" (cards that explicitly give +2 actions on play*) and cards like Throne Room, Herald, Prince, and Summon.  I don't know where the term comes from, but it makes the most sense to me when I think about how I play Throne Room chains IRL to keep track of which action cards are being duplicated.  I used to play villages this way, too, but now I just stack them and count actions.

*A more narrow definition of "village" only includes cards that provide +2 actions and +1 card.  This excludes Fishing Village and Native Village, which is odd.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #148 on: January 08, 2017, 06:31:52 pm »
0

I was unable to check out the forum this week. So I just was able to look over the village discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Walled Village vs. Farming Village question.

However, this discussion did bring up another question for me. When did we start calling villages "splitters" and why?  They give you an extra turn, but what exactly are they splitting?

It's a splitter in the way a headphone splitter is a thing that lets you plug 2 sets of headphones in to 1 jack. Basically, think of available actions as available ports. A splitter gives you more ports than you started with.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2016 Edition: $4 Cards
« Reply #149 on: January 08, 2017, 06:39:28 pm »
+4

I was unable to check out the forum this week. So I just was able to look over the village discussion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Walled Village vs. Farming Village question.

However, this discussion did bring up another question for me. When did we start calling villages "splitters" and why?  They give you an extra turn, but what exactly are they splitting?

I and some others (but not most people) started calling splitters splitters in 2012* when onigame posted his Dominion Set Generator which used terminology that he, as a Dominion playtester, had been using, including the word "splitter". The reasons why I call them splitters are that there's no question about the definition of a splitter it's simply anything that lets you split an action and that one definition is also the most strategically relevant thing to discuss. "Village", however, could mean any of the following:

  • The card whose name is just Village
  • Any card with the word "village" in its title (sometimes including Ruined Village)
  • Any card that always does everything that vanilla Village does
  • Any card that always has an effect roughly comparable to Village (e.g. Lost City might not qualify because it's too powerful and Squire might not qualify because it's too weak)
  • Any card that always or through a choice effect explicitly gives +2 actions
  • Any card that is capable of giving +2 actions
  • Any splitter
  • Any combination of these (for example, to include Ruined Village as well as cards such as Squire)

This doesn't necessarily cause too much confusion because usually you can tell from the context what people mean, but it has the potential to be confusing. Most importantly though, the most popular definition is probably "Any card that always or through a choice effect explicitly gives +2 actions", and that categorization is something that everyone has to unlearn during their process of climbing up the leaderboard from the intermediate ranks to the high level ranks. Like, people used to joke about Marin and Throne Room but these days it's not good enough to joke about it, you actually need to be able to pull it off yourself. I'd rather use the kind of terminology that already pushes people to think in ways which will help them improve as players.

*: I couldn't figure out a way to convey the relevant information nicely and accurately, so relevant but inaccurate information conveyed nicely will have to do. To be accurate, I probably didn't start calling them splitters until later when I stumbled upon that thread.


TL;DR: Splitters are splitters because it would be weird to call Summon "a village" and it would also be weird to not group Summon together with Village.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 06:48:06 pm by Awaclus »
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