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Author Topic: What is the worst card in Dominion?  (Read 66656 times)

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ehunt

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What is the worst card in Dominion?
« on: February 08, 2012, 02:00:34 am »
0

Rules:

1. "Worst" means bad at causing you to win, not annoying or unenjoyable.

2. Consider the price of the card as part of its set of advantages/disadvantages.

3. You are not allowed to bring up any standard complaint about card rankings!

4. Polemics and angry defenses encouraged.

5. Kingdom cards only. Leaving a comment saying "curse" is permitted, but not clever.

edit: to be clear - the cards in the poll aren't all even in my bottom twenty, they're just cards I think people will be likely to vote for. If you vote 'other', post your vote, and I'll make it a poll option.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 08:45:31 pm by ehunt »
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ratxt1

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 02:19:13 am »
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I do not belive explorer is that bad a card, sure it isn't that great, and is quite mediocre, and bottom 5 in terms of the 5 cost cards, but i often see Explorer BM being the dominant strategy on poor boards (which happen quite frequently). I kind of equate explorer to beurecrat, doesn't really combo much with anything is pretty weak but on bad boards beurecrat/explorer BM will win, none of these other cards have this trait (though a few have the trait of once in a blue moon they are extremly dominat).

I voted transmute as the worst card since it has neither of these traits and is at best a compliment to some other strategy (like in one of the annotated games whost number i can not remember), and a once in a blue moon compliment to another strategy is just horrible for a card.

Also why isn't chancelor up there? I do not think it is the worst card, but it has quite a legacy of people saying it is horrible, people trying to defend it than realizing it is horrible etc. It is one one of those cards you look at and go. Why would i ever buy this? (since it is infereior to silver most of the time).

« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 02:27:10 am by ratxt1 »
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ehunt

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 02:24:40 am »
+1

I happily added the chancellor - thanks! Sorry I forgot him.
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 02:52:18 am »
+1

Thief's win rate on Isotropic is an amazing 0.71.  Case closed.  I buy that card in, like, at most one percent of my games (most of the time it ends up in my deck, you can thank Swindler), and after several thousand games I have yet to encounter one where I wish I had a Thief.  I've heard tales of it being useful in 4p games where you go for Gardens (but don't have the traditional enablers)... but, man, that's like a corner of a corner of a corner case.  The attack is highly likely to help your opponent early on, and later in the game even if it nabs a good Treasure good luck getting to play that Treasure much.  Worst of all, the same basic treasure-stealing idea was rehashed in Pirate Ship and Noble Brigand, both of which are a) obviously better than Thief, and b) also among the ten worst cards in the game.  (Okay, okay, the Pirates are a little better than that in multiplayer.  I still always lose on the rare occasions I try to make them work.)

A lot of votes for Transmute here, and I do think it's pretty horrible most of the time.  It's certainly the one Potion card that is just about never ever worth going for as your only potion card.  But I've had success using it once in awhile when there's other Potion cards about, and the wacky-Remodel can often be better than nothing as a consolation prize in decks that are swimming in either +Actions or Curses.  There are, like, a couple dozen cards I buy less often than Transmute, and quite a few of them have worse win rates, and/or just as weak effects.

I do think Scout, Adventurer, and possibly Counting House deserve a special honorable mention: these two or three cards are the only ones in the game that, far as I could tell, could straight up cost less than they do without causing any balance problems whatsoever.  An Adventurer at $5 or a Scout at $3 would be perfectly balanced, and Counting House at $4 might be too.  (Would also make it more viable as a counter to Amb/Mountebank, since you can buy it with junkier hands, which is near as I can tell its main use.)  These cards are not necessarily the next worst, but cards like Saboteur (who belongs in this discussion), Noble Brigand, and Thief would screw up games they were in if they cost any less.

Going by my buy% stats, you'd expect me to say Explorer is one of the worst.  But Explorer is a card I know I overlook, and it can be useful on bad BM boards.  So I grudgingly admit it's better than Sab and Counting House among $5s, and doesn't belong in the discussion here.  And neither do any of the $2 or $3 cards.  Even Duchess and Develop have their uses, and Chancellor is much better than its reputation.  (Duchess is a great opening with Lab, for instance, and is good as a free pickup in green-card-rush games; Develop is tricky and narrow but even bad trashing is sometimes better than no trashing, and it can be a great backdoor into Grand Market and stuff like that; Chancellor rocks the house whenever Familiar or Stash are around, and sometimes well there just aren't better terminals.)

If you had to press me for a good #2 choice after Thief, I'd probably go with Adventurer or Counting House.  Scout provides infintesimal value most of the time, but since it's a non-terminal it gets bought too often (say, near the end of Vineyards games); Adventurer and Counting House are expensive terminals that require incredibly specific (and normally awful) situations in which to shine.  Saboteur is probably worse than them more often, and its win rate is also worse given that it is mostly a desperation buy, but the 2 percent of games where it can go nuts with King's Court and/or Minion disqualify it.  Noble Brigand has my worst win rate and I buy it second-least, but it's close enough to a "strictly better Thief" that it's disqualified.  I guess Adventurer has to be my #2, because jeez it costs $6.  Counting House and Scout at least have other cards which cost the same and are just as bad, but Adventurer is simply without peer.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 03:50:13 am by chwhite »
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kn1tt3r

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 03:05:00 am »
+3

2 player games: Thief
In general: Transmute
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MasterAir

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 05:46:43 am »
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Isotropic biases this list towards 2 player games using all expansions.  In that environment thief is the worst card, closely followed by transmute.

I think transmute gets worse rep than it deserves.  Trashing an estate to gain a gold is an awesome power.  If there are no other potion cost cards, then it's bad, you don't want to buy a potion just to pick up a transmute, but otherwise it is ok.  It's not a super card, but it costs just 1 potion, so no one expected it to be.  I would have thought it a reasonable play in a vineyards game, though that might be a trap.

Thief is pretty poor, but gets stronger the more people you play with.  It's neat that it discourages thin decks with high value treasure. Even in the few cases where it's a good idea, it isn't often a great play.  Though I think it's stronger than people give it credit for in multiplayer games with gardens present.

Adventurer stands alone in being almost never a good move at $6 in my opinion.
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timchen

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 06:13:54 am »
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Contraband. True, transmute, thief, and scout are quite horrible. Nevertheless, I have played at least a game for each card mentioned in the list except the contraband, where they have made the key difference. On the other hand, I cannot recall a single game where a contraband causes me to either win or lose.

If pearl diver is in the list, I will vote for it too.
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jsh357

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 06:43:27 am »
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Transmute--too often the opportunity cost is just absurd considering what it accomplishes.
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theory

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 06:54:15 am »
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I think transmute gets worse rep than it deserves.  Trashing an estate to gain a gold is an awesome power.  If there are no other potion cost cards, then it's bad, you don't want to buy a potion just to pick up a transmute, but otherwise it is ok.  It's not a super card, but it costs just 1 potion, so no one expected it to be.  I would have thought it a reasonable play in a vineyards game, though that might be a trap.
The problem is that it's too slow to be an early game trasher.  Buy Potion on Turn 1, buy Transmute on Turn 3, and the absolute earliest you can play it is Turn 5.  With a different choice of $4 you could have had that Gold on Turn 3.
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Davio

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 08:17:49 am »
+1

I voted for Scout.

With Thief, you know what you get: Nothing. Thief doesn't pretend to be anything that it's not. The odds of hitting a Gold or Silver (or Plat) are slim and Thief's not worth it. With that $4 you could've bought an Ironworks to grab Silvers and this even gets you +$1. It can come in handy to attack Chapeled BM decks, but if you're playing Chapel, you're not supposed to play BM anyway.

Scout is somewhat different to me. The opportunity to grab some VP cards to save your next hand from disaster seems terrific. But if you play Scout, find 1 Estate, then that spot is now filled with an Estate instead of a Scout. Net result: zero. And then you might think: Scout + Harems/Nobles = omgwtf amazing, it's not. Once again you're just replacing a spot in your hand more often than not and if your crucial VP cards are dense then you don't need Scout anyway.

Besided, the picture on the real life card is horrendous, look at that guy's hand!
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brokoli

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 08:32:35 am »
+1

I don't understand why counting house is here, because it's a viable strategy at least 10% of the time.

No doubt for me, transmute is the worst.
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MasterAir

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 08:52:24 am »
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I think transmute gets worse rep than it deserves.  Trashing an estate to gain a gold is an awesome power.  If there are no other potion cost cards, then it's bad, you don't want to buy a potion just to pick up a transmute, but otherwise it is ok.  It's not a super card, but it costs just 1 potion, so no one expected it to be.  I would have thought it a reasonable play in a vineyards game, though that might be a trap.
The problem is that it's too slow to be an early game trasher.  Buy Potion on Turn 1, buy Transmute on Turn 3, and the absolute earliest you can play it is Turn 5.  With a different choice of $4 you could have had that Gold on Turn 3.

Transmute isn't an early game trasher.  But it's quite late in the game before I would choose not to trash an estate for a gold.  Especially if later I can trash an action card for a duchy to get that point back.  Like I said, if you are buying a potion to buy a transmute, you're doing it wrong.  If you have a potion in hand, especially if you have +buy, then transmute can be handy.  It isn't the worse card in the game.  I can't think of any strategies that rely on it, but it isn't terrible.  e.g. if familiars are about, it's a (significantly) better than nothing booby prize if you draw P+$2 on the first shuffle.
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Fabian

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 09:05:10 am »
+1

"1. "Worst" means bad at causing you to win, not annoying or unenjoyable."

Supposedly this is a bad definition! I pick Thief because it doesn't combo well with other cards.

As for my non-trolling response, the answer is still Thief.
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Empathy

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 09:13:11 am »
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http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120129-135556-534d8d1a.html

transmute rushes chains can work. (yes, yes, vineyard does all the work... Still, my deck ran without any sort of money source: the money per turn graph is hilarious)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 09:31:19 am by Empathy »
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RisingJaguar

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 09:32:36 am »
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I DEMAND that the "other" voter, and all future voters, to tell us your vote!

Please.
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DStu

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 09:39:17 am »
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I DEMAND that the "other" voter, and all future voters, to tell us your vote!

I'm neither of them, but I voted Transmute, because of multiplayer bonus for Thief and singlePotionCardMalus for Transmute.
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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 09:47:58 am »
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Scout lets you re-order the cards on your deck and keeps you from clogging due to greens.  It gives a minor boost to the next turn, but it can give a major boost to the current turn in the right deck.  It's not a great card, but it has some good uses, for instance with Scrying Pool.

You guys also forget that Thief is one of the best counters to an Ambassador / Ambassador opening.  No, just kidding, Thief is terrible.  Still, I've gotten some use out of it in edge cases.  I even pulled off a pin with it once with KC, Scheme, and a lack of non-treasure coins in the kingdom.

Transmute, though.  No.  I've seen uses for it, but they always seem to fail.  It seems like the ultimate trap card.  Duchy is what you hand someone when you swindle their Wharf.  Gold is what you buy when you didn't just spend 2 turns buying a Potion and a Transmute.  Transmute itself is terminal.

Speaking of cards with high opportunity cost compared to value, Philosopher's Stone deserves an honorable mention on this list.
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Fabian

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 10:33:59 am »
+2

Also it blows my mind that Transmute, a card I see bought in AT LEAST 10-15% (probably more) of all matches where it's available, gets 19 votes, and Counting House, which I've seen bought in fewer than 5 games in 9 months, gets ZERO votes. Transmute, while a boring and bad card, is just not that bad when compared to the real crap that's out there.
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Arya Stark

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 10:51:25 am »
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yeah I don't understand all the hating on transmute at least you're guaranteed something unlike theif where you're more likely helping the other players.. Anyways I threw my vote on the dutchess, love the name hate the card
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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2012, 10:53:01 am »
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yeah I don't understand all the hating on transmute at least you're guaranteed something unlike theif where you're more likely helping the other players.. Anyways I threw my vote on the dutchess, love the name hate the card
Simple. It doesn't matter that if you bought thief, it would often be helping your opponent (actually, that's not even true all that often...), since you aren't buying it then....

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2012, 10:53:29 am »
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Also it blows my mind that Transmute, a card I see bought in AT LEAST 10-15% (probably more) of all matches where it's available, gets 19 votes, and Counting House, which I've seen bought in fewer than 5 games in 9 months, gets ZERO votes. Transmute, while a boring and bad card, is just not that bad when compared to the real crap that's out there.
You misevaluating cards doesn't affect us? Seriously, Counting House is not that bad.

werothegreat

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2012, 11:02:37 am »
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Worst of all, the same basic treasure-stealing idea was rehashed in Pirate Ship and Noble Brigand, both of which are a) obviously better than Thief, and b) also among the ten worst cards in the game.  (Okay, okay, the Pirates are a little better than that in multiplayer.  I still always lose on the rare occasions I try to make them work.)

A lot of votes for Transmute here, and I do think it's pretty horrible most of the time.  It's certainly the one Potion card that is just about never ever worth going for as your only potion card.  But I've had success using it once in awhile when there's other Potion cards about, and the wacky-Remodel can often be better than nothing as a consolation prize in decks that are swimming in either +Actions or Curses.  There are, like, a couple dozen cards I buy less often than Transmute, and quite a few of them have worse win rates, and/or just as weak effects.

Hate not on Pirate Ship!  I love that card.  Sure, it gets rid of your opponent's Coppers for him, but if you do it quickly enough, you can cripple their buying power for a little bit, and turn your Pirate Ships into perfectly hit Harvests (or better).  The key here is speed.

I voted Counting House.  I have a soft spot for Adventurer, and it can be useful (the existence of Venture does NOT make it bad), and Transmute, if there are no other trashers, can be moderately useful as well.  Now, I wouldn't say Thief or Chancellor are that good of cards (I really never buy them), but neither of them are as bad as Counting House.  Let me explain.

1) Counting House is completely dependent on there being Coppers in your discard pile.  So if this is in your first hand after a reshuffle, you're screwed.  True, Chancellor is just silly when there's nothing left in your deck, but it at least gives +$2.

2) Counting House requires an Action.  At the very best, it's a slightly less expensive Bank - but you don't need an Action to play Bank.  You can use that other Action to play a +Buy card.

3) Counting House costs $5.  As the recent poll on this forum confirmed, literally every other $5 card is better than Counting House.  When there are engine parts or other fun terminals on the board costing $5, why would I waste a turn (or even a Border Village/Haggler grab) picking up a Counting House?  Maybe I'll Remodel my Chancellor into a freaking Counting House, and ignore the Margraves sitting there.

4) Counting House is best when you get more Coppers.  If neither IGG, Cache or Goons are on the board, why would I ever gain Coppers?  And if IGG or Goons are on the board, why would I ever buy Counting House?

If there were ever a board with Cache AND Coppersmith AND Vault/Chancellor AND a +Buy AND excessive +Actions THEN I might buy a Counting House.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 11:04:51 am by werothegreat »
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greatexpectations

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2012, 11:19:29 am »
0

1) Counting House is completely dependent on there being Coppers in your discard pile.  So if this is in your first hand after a reshuffle, you're screwed.  True, Chancellor is just silly when there's nothing left in your deck, but it at least gives +$2.

the game has a number of discard for benefit cards which can mitigate that risk.  and it seems a silly argument. you wouldn't argue that witch is bad because it's plus 2 cards could cause you to miss the shuffle. where and when you draw it is a liability for every card.

Quote
3) Counting House costs $5.  As the recent poll on this forum confirmed, literally every other $5 card is better than Counting House.  When there are engine parts or other fun terminals on the board costing $5, why would I waste a turn (or even a Border Village/Haggler grab) picking up a Counting House?  Maybe I'll Remodel my Chancellor into a freaking Counting House, and ignore the Margraves sitting there.

i just played one yesterday where i thought counting house would be useful.  though it is admittedly a corner case.

Quote
4) Counting House is best when you get more Coppers.  If neither IGG, Cache or Goons are on the board, why would I ever gain Coppers?  And if IGG or Goons are on the board, why would I ever buy Counting House?

mountebank?  jester?  ambassador? garden decks? counting house strikes me as a very attractive option on a mountebank colony board. and it can grab help you grab the odd province in a garden deck.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 11:21:31 am by greatexpectations »
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Fabian

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2012, 11:39:51 am »
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I think you misunderstand me WW. Clearly, there exist a decent number of players who think Transmute is good enough to be buying reasonably often (more than (nearly?) any other card on this list), while the opposite is true of Counting House (again, based on my own games). If you had asked me what I thought the results of this poll would be before it started, I'd have said it's a race between Thief and Counting House, and I'd have expected Transmute to receive basically no votes. The fact that Transmute cruises to victory with 19 votes while Counting House is sitting pretty at 0 (at the time), blew my mind.

The above being said, I do think Transmute is a better card than Counting House, so I guess I misevaluate stuff as well. That wasn't my point though.
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werothegreat

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2012, 11:40:41 am »
0

Forgot about Mountebank.  So there are a couple more Copper-gaining cards.  Still, doesn't make Counting House not a terrible card.
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