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Author Topic: Sentry  (Read 2692 times)

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Titandrake

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Sentry
« on: January 28, 2017, 10:57:05 pm »
+6


This is a short article for a simple card.

Sentry is very powerful. Why?
  • Like Masquerade and Junk Dealer, it can trash without hurting your buying power this turn.
  • Because it trashes cards from the top of your deck, you don't lose a draw on drawing a card you don't want in your deck. The extra cycling is deceptively powerful. Compare to Lookout. It doesn't replace itself, but the cycling / filtering aspect makes it a strong $3 cost trasher.

Unlike Masquerade, Junk Dealer, and Lookout, Sentry can trash 2 cards at a time. In exchange for all these upsides, the pool of cards you choose to trash from is only the top 2 cards of your deck, compared to every card in your hand. That can make Sentry a high variance card. The difference between revealing 2 trashable cards and 0 trashable cards is pretty stark. Other trashers don't have this issue as much, because when you get to choose from your entire hand, you'll often have something you want to get rid of.

Because of all these factors, hitting $5 early is especially important in Sentry games. You want Sentry as early as possible, which is true of most trashers, but in Sentry's case it's because your odds of revealing 2 bad cards is highest at the start of the game. Missing $5 doesn't just delay your Sentry by a shuffle, it makes your Sentry materially worse than it could have been. And again, this is true of other trashers, but the trash-only-from-the-top mechanic magnifies how much worse it gets. That warps the opening by a lot - don't disregard the usefulness of opening Silver.

If you can, you want to get 2 Sentries, but because Sentry's power decays as the game goes on, it loses to other $5 costs pretty quickly, and you often run out of time to buy the 2nd.

All the standard Cartographer synergies (Wishing Well, Herald, Mystic, Vassal) continue to apply with Sentry, but the trashing is the most important aspect of the card, and its what you should be keeping in mind when evaluating it.
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Chris is me

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 12:43:58 am »
+5

These are the conclusions I would draw by reading the text of the card, but I really don't think my play experience backs it up... Comparing it favorably with Masquerade and Junk Dealer as a trasher is quite misleading about its power as a trasher, which is decidedly worse than either card.
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Titandrake

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 03:17:02 am »
0

I don't think Sentry is that much worse than Junk Dealer. (And of course, Masquerade is amazing.)

I don't think it's obvious how much the power decays over time, and therefore how much you should care about hitting $5. In my experience, sloppy play with Sentry hurts more than sloppy play with Junk Dealer.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 05:06:55 am »
+1

The deck-inspection effect is not bad. Vassal, for one, really likes this card.
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Re: Sentry
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 10:42:55 am »
+1

Sentry has quite the nice combo with Scout. Play Scout, draw all your Estates, then play Sentry!
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 01:39:46 pm »
+5

Sentry has quite the nice combo with Scout. Play Sentry, trash all your Scouts, then actually do something productive!
FTFY
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Re: Sentry
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 01:52:05 pm »
+2

Sentry has quite the nice combo with Scout. Play Sentry, trash all your Scouts, then actually do something productive!
FTFY

I trash all my Scouts every time I play Sentry.
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Re: Sentry
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 04:59:42 pm »
+1

First real post here.

I bought just the first edition base game(I regret doing so very much) irl, and MF's Dominion didn't have the 2nd edition cards(maybe you could buy them, but that's neither here nor there.) So the new Shuffle IT Dominion is my only experience w/ the 2nd edition cards.

Sentry is really strong, early 5 hands are almost always a big deal, but I think w/ this that's extra true. But it looks like people are just focusing on the trashing aspect, and not the discard part. If it was just the trashing, Sentry wouldn't be all that great imo, and certainly awful later on bar deck inspection combos.

But the discard lets you get rid of dead cards that you shouldn't be trashing, like Province and Gardens(and discarding gives Sentry relevance in Gardens games, where a pure trasher would not be good over another 5.) It can also be good to discard a Terminal if you expect a collision. Then ofc you got Tunnel, wouldn't wanna trash that. I'm sure others(Coppers w/ Gardens, even Fountain which I just learned recently,) but you get the idea.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 04:12:14 am »
+2

Sentry is arguably one of the highest variance cards out there and pretty unfair imo. If your opponent opens 5/2 and you get 3/4, you're opponent can end up having a HUGE trashing advantage over you.
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Chris is me

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 10:05:54 am »
+2

I don't think Sentry is that much worse than Junk Dealer. (And of course, Masquerade is amazing.)

I don't think it's obvious how much the power decays over time, and therefore how much you should care about hitting $5. In my experience, sloppy play with Sentry hurts more than sloppy play with Junk Dealer.

It really is much, much worse. Like it's still good enough to be worth going for, but you basically never clean those last 4 stop cards out of your deck, and it takes essentially the same amount of time on average as JD to get the first 5-6 out. Sentry stays playable while JD doesn't, that's true, but I ultimately think JD is better and it isn't close.

On boards with both I probably get Sentry and then JD just because I'm hoping to be on the right side of the card variance curve.
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Miked

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 11:15:18 am »
+2

It's true that Sentry struggles to trash the last few junk cards, but a lot of the time this doesn't matter so much because there will be another trasher in the kingdom. If not then the fact that Sentry is never a dead card like most other trashers also makes this less of a problem. Along with the fast cycling, power of trashing 2 cards in the early game and the continued utility of Sentry it doesn't seem unreasonable to consider it a stronger card than Junk Dealer.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 10:59:12 am »
0

I made a pretty nice little mega-turn engine yesterday out of Sentry, Herald, Apothecary, and Bridge. It was so satisfying.
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weety4

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 02:47:51 am »
0

Compared to other cantrip trashers Sentry is better in the opening when it can trash 1 or 2 cards without reducing handsize (this is a big deal, Upgrade and Junk Dealer do reduce handsize) and worse in the later part of the game when it can only trash out of a selection of 2 (instead of 5 or more).
But the sifting makes up for that and I think that the card is overall a little bit better than the other cantrip trashers.

Extreme cases are alt-VP where Sentry is, relative to the other cantrip trashers, especially good (it also makes it easier to go for Provinces earlier) and junking-intensive game where Sentry is especially bad as you often have some junk in your hand.
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traces Around

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 03:20:02 am »
+1

Compared to other cantrip trashers Sentry is better in the opening when it can trash 1 or 2 cards without reducing handsize (this is a big deal, Upgrade and Junk Dealer do reduce handsize)

This really isn't a big deal; the only theoretical advantage Sentry has here is that it is able to sometimes trash 2 cards - trashing Estate (or Curse) with either Junk Dealer or Upgrade gives more current-turn benefit than Sentry while trashing a Copper with Junk Dealer is economy neutral whereas with Upgrade ideally by the time you are trashing Copper you are benefiting from whatever you turned your Estates into - there is a reduction in handsize, but it is mostly meaningless.

That said, don't believe people when they tell you that Sentry isn't good - it is a great card, it just looks bad when compared to the other $5 cantrip trashers.

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 03:52:02 am »
0

Compared to other cantrip trashers Sentry is better in the opening when it can trash 1 or 2 cards without reducing handsize (this is a big deal, Upgrade and Junk Dealer do reduce handsize)

This really isn't a big deal; the only theoretical advantage Sentry has here is that it is able to sometimes trash 2 cards - trashing Estate (or Curse) with either Junk Dealer or Upgrade gives more current-turn benefit than Sentry while trashing a Copper with Junk Dealer is economy neutral whereas with Upgrade ideally by the time you are trashing Copper you are benefiting from whatever you turned your Estates into - there is a reduction in handsize, but it is mostly meaningless.
Sure, Junk Dealer is a Peddler and Upgrade can turn Estates into 3s which kinda make up for the reduced handsize. In the case of 5/2 I'd still rather open with Sentry as it will most likely trash 2 cards.
While Sentry is not such a good trasher in the later part of the game Junk Dealer and Upgrade are mandatory trashers which can backfire.
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Awaclus

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2017, 03:59:12 am »
0

Trashing one card with Sentry vs. trashing one card with Junk Dealer is the difference between a vanilla cantrip and an Oasis.
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Re: Sentry
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2017, 08:37:21 am »
+3

Trashing one card with Sentry vs. trashing one card with Junk Dealer is the difference between a vanilla cantrip and an Oasis.
Yeah, and everyone knows that Page is better than Oasis.
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Re: Sentry
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2017, 04:49:27 pm »
+1

She sure is grumpy.
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Re: Sentry
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 10:44:42 am »
+5

Trashing one card with Sentry vs. trashing one card with Junk Dealer is the difference between a vanilla cantrip and an Oasis.
Yeah, and everyone knows that Page is better than Oasis.

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Re: Sentry
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2017, 03:17:42 am »
+2

Trashing two cards from the top of the deck is quite strong and there are few cards I would open over sentry. Mid game, it's generally wise to add some additional trashing to thin the junk that sentry missed. Late game, sentry turns into a mini-cartographer and is always a net positive for the deck.

The power level on sentry openings is quite high. For example, if you open Sentry/X, you have the chance of drawing sentry on turn 3, trashing two cards and triggering a shuffle.

It takes more work that Junk Dealer, but I like it a bit better overall.
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