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Author Topic: What is the worst card in Dominion?  (Read 112191 times)

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mnavratil

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2012, 11:56:51 am »
0

Even then, I have never bought into the argument that counting house is great on Mountebank boards. With $5 I usually want another Mountebank, not a Counting house. Maybe I am just never playing this right? Mountebank on a colony board where you have more time after all the cursing? Maybe. Same thing applies to Jester. I mean the biggest problem with Counting House is not the ability of the card, but the opportunity cost in buying it over absolutley anything else.

That being said, I still think it is better than transmute. Which is terrible.

Also, I am surprised Philosopher's Stone isn't on the list. I gain that least out of all cards. It, also, just doesn't ever seem worth the opportunity cost of buying it.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2012, 11:59:03 am »
0

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.
Yes, I misunderstand you.
How you think transmute is better than counting house is inexplicable to me though. OTOH, it doesn't make much difference, since both are absolutely dreadful, so I'm not buying either one really.
But I do think counting house is both worth buying more often and generally stronger in the situations you do want it.

WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2012, 12:01:11 pm »
0

Even then, I have never bought into the argument that counting house is great on Mountebank boards. With $5 I usually want another Mountebank, not a Counting house. Maybe I am just never playing this right? Mountebank on a colony board where you have more time after all the cursing? Maybe. Same thing applies to Jester. I mean the biggest problem with Counting House is not the ability of the card, but the opportunity cost in buying it over absolutley anything else.

That being said, I still think it is better than transmute. Which is terrible.

Also, I am surprised Philosopher's Stone isn't on the list. I gain that least out of all cards. It, also, just doesn't ever seem worth the opportunity cost of buying it.
You want probably 2 mountebanks before your counting house (maybe 1, very rarely 3, you have to judge a little on board position). And there it isn't that it's like super-stellar great. Just pretty good.

Philosopher's stone needs support to be good. But that support exists on the right boards. Pretty rare, but then, you could actually say the same thing about alchemist (okay, alchemist's a good bit better, but P-Stone is closer to alchemist than transmute).

petrie911

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2012, 12:01:20 pm »
0

Thief is good against any well-trashed deck that has any money in it.  I'll admit its usage is narrow, but said usage can be devastating.

That said, I've never felt the urge to buy Transmute.  Ever.
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AJD

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2012, 12:03:23 pm »
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And if IGG or Goons are on the board, why would I ever buy Counting House?

...Because Counting House costs less than Goons.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2012, 12:09:54 pm »
0

And if IGG or Goons are on the board, why would I ever buy Counting House?

...Because Counting House costs less than Goons.
Or because all the goons are gone? Or a couple other rare situations.
But also, you're comparing it to one of the two cards which might be THE most powerful in the game. That it's almost always worse is no surprise.

jotheonah

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2012, 12:11:19 pm »
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I've played games where Scout and CH have been useful. Thief is pretty sweet in multiplayer Gardens games since it gains you a bunch of cards at once and hurts everyone else's deck size. I'm now convinced Chancellor is good for something, though I'm still not sure what.

Transmute though, I don't know what to do with. I'm sure it has its uses, but it's just ... the fact that it's a potion card makes it even worse because you almost always have to be really intentional about buying it.

As for Philosopher's Stone, I buy it in games that I can see are going to be protracted, whether I like it or not. Heavy cursing, Mountebank, Ambassador, what have you. And then I make my big clunky deck work for me. You can also play it like a Gardens rush, but not as easy to pull off.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2012, 12:25:50 pm »
0

I've played games where Scout and CH have been useful. Thief is pretty sweet in multiplayer Gardens games since it gains you a bunch of cards at once and hurts everyone else's deck size. I'm now convinced Chancellor is good for something, though I'm still not sure what.

Transmute though, I don't know what to do with. I'm sure it has its uses, but it's just ... the fact that it's a potion card makes it even worse because you almost always have to be really intentional about buying it.

As for Philosopher's Stone, I buy it in games that I can see are going to be protracted, whether I like it or not. Heavy cursing, Mountebank, Ambassador, what have you. And then I make my big clunky deck work for me. You can also play it like a Gardens rush, but not as easy to pull off.
The problem with p-stone is that when you have a bloated deck, you don't get the p-stones in your hand that often. And it anti-synergizes with a lot of the other potion-cost cards, for which you tend to be drawing/playing lots of other cards in your deck. It works pretty well with, say, familiar though. And there's some other cards which make you go 'ooh, phil stone'. But pretty rare. If you're already potion though, the stones can be worth more than golds pretty easy, so it's not  so bad. And almost always better than silver. Once you don't want those other cards.

Scout is a strong contender for worst card for me. You need so much green for it to be worth it, or some reason you really need that top of your deck sifted. The former... you don't want that much green. The latter... there's few cards that care. Wishing well, maybe, but hey, those cards are weak enough individually that even the combo is not so great. Yes, scout can be helpful, maybe even pretty nice, but extremely extremely rarely.

greatexpectations

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2012, 12:42:47 pm »
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Forgot about Mountebank.  So there are a couple more Copper-gaining cards.  Still, doesn't make Counting House not a terrible card.

i was not supporting the card so much as pointing out a few holes in your case against it. it is not a good card, but how bad it is depends on your opinion. you led off your post with a defense of pirate ship, a card that i think is a dreadful trap card in 95% of its games. everyone's opinions on a card are directly influenced by your early views on the card and how it fits into your particular play style.  i love huge messy decks, so i don't hate on counting house as much. 

Even then, I have never bought into the argument that counting house is great on Mountebank boards. With $5 I usually want another Mountebank, not a Counting house. Maybe I am just never playing this right? Mountebank on a colony board where you have more time after all the cursing? Maybe. Same thing applies to Jester. I mean the biggest problem with Counting House is not the ability of the card, but the opportunity cost in buying it over absolutley anything else.

not sure if you were referring to me, but i never said it was great.  it is something to think of though. it is an easy way to grab a province or colony in a game that might otherwise end on piles. i am not advocating opening with it early in the game, but 10-12 turns in it might be worth it over another mountebank.  at that point you will only get a few more plays out of your mountebank, and it is becoming less likely that it will even deliver a curse.  at that point a counting house drawing into a province/colony seems like a better option.

i am no fan of counting house, but some of the arguments in this thread are downright silly. personally i voted for scout. but really, it is quite difficult to gauge how awful a card really is.  it is basically a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.  you think a card is bad, and therefore you buy it less.  and because you buy it less and less, you don't figure out how to make proper use of the card.
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RisingJaguar

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2012, 01:03:33 pm »
+1

Why is duchess doing so horribly? Are we only considering BUYING the card? Then yes I'll agree with 8 votes there, but it can't be that bad when its a free card late in the game.  Or am I completely missing the ball here? I've done it before with 60% gain rate of scout :)
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O

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2012, 01:36:29 pm »
0

I'm also kind of shocked that Transmute makes this list. I guess it's because of Isotropic's system: If you play 3-4-3 splits or whatever, transmute is a very acceptable consolation prize. Is it ever, ever worth it when it's the only potion card? No. But thats a narrow evaluation metric.

I voted Explorer, simply because i've never seen a strategy dependant on it, which it kind of more than I can say than for any other cards. It's not "terrible" in most games like other cards are, but it never, never shines.
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ecq

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2012, 01:57:22 pm »
+2

I'm also kind of shocked that Transmute makes this list. I guess it's because of Isotropic's system: If you play 3-4-3 splits or whatever, transmute is a very acceptable consolation prize. Is it ever, ever worth it when it's the only potion card? No. But thats a narrow evaluation metric.

I voted Explorer, simply because i've never seen a strategy dependant on it, which it kind of more than I can say than for any other cards. It's not "terrible" in most games like other cards are, but it never, never shines.

Explorer is a general utility card.  It doesn't do anything particularly exciting, but it does something that's pretty useful in most treasure-based decks.  You can lump it in with cards like Laboratory, Treasury, or Caravan.  Probably not your favorite card to play, but a good buy in a lot of cases.  BM-Explorer beats BM-Laboratory, BM-Treasury, and BM-Caravan, BTW.  I'm not saying it's a better card and it's definitely not as versatile, but it's a good $5 buy.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 01:59:24 pm by ecq »
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tlloyd

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2012, 02:09:25 pm »
0

For what it's worth, Counting House is an integral part of the optimal infinite VP-gaining engine.  :P
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ackack

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2012, 02:21:57 pm »
0

For what it's worth, Counting House is an integral part of the optimal infinite VP-gaining engine.  :P

a) How is optimal defined?

b) No matter how you define it I have a hard time believing that, since any true infinite VP-gaining engine can only be based on Monument, as Bishop and Goons will eventually exhaust piles.
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ehunt

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2012, 02:24:31 pm »
0

I see the debate like this:

Obviously, it's one of scout, transmute, or thief; therefore, obviously, it's transmute.

For the record, the cards in the poll were just the cards I thought people were likely to choose; a couple of these cards (at least duchess and adventurer) aren't even in my bottom ten.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 02:30:31 pm by ehunt »
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mnavratil

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2012, 02:35:37 pm »
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not sure if you were referring to me, but i never said it was great.  it is something to think of though. it is an easy way to grab a province or colony in a game that might otherwise end on piles. i am not advocating opening with it early in the game, but 10-12 turns in it might be worth it over another mountebank.  at that point you will only get a few more plays out of your mountebank, and it is becoming less likely that it will even deliver a curse.  at that point a counting house drawing into a province/colony seems like a better option.

Sort of referring to your earlier post, but it really only reminded me of hearing that counting house was a COUNTER to mountebank, which I (wrongly) thought some people here were arguing.

WanderingWinder above gave some advice on how to play Counting House as a complement to Mountebank. Turns out that getting 2 Mountebanks and then switching to counting house beats straight Mountebanks in the simulator, so I take back what I was saying before.
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2012, 02:36:42 pm »
+2

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.

Contraband is easily the best card named in this poll.  It's great in games with Goons and/or Grand Market (oh, hey, you block Goons I'll just buy that Gold instead!) and games where you're building an engine with cheap parts.  Also great in Gardens games, where the +Buy is gravy.  And if there's trash-for-benefit, you can use it to build your deck, and then cash out with Apprentice/Salvager/etc. when greening.  (Or just don't play it, if you have the kind of engine Contraband is good at building that's not a big deal.)  It's a card you need to have a specific plan for, yes it's easy to play badly, you can't just expect to use it as a cheap Gold.  But there is simply no way in hell it even deserves a mention in this thread.  It's not even among the bottom 5 $5 cards; I'd rank it better than Counting House, Saboteur, Explorer, Stash, Cache, and Mandarin.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 02:41:00 pm by chwhite »
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tlloyd

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2012, 03:04:24 pm »
0

For what it's worth, Counting House is an integral part of the optimal infinite VP-gaining engine.  :P

a) How is optimal defined?

b) No matter how you define it I have a hard time believing that, since any true infinite VP-gaining engine can only be based on Monument, as Bishop and Goons will eventually exhaust piles.

Optimal is defined as "most VP gained per turn." And a Goons engine can gain VP infinitely as long as you return the cards you buy with Ambassador. The deck consists of all action cards and ~60 coppers. Counting house to draw the coppers, scrying pool to draw the rest. Return the coppers with KC'ed Ambassadors, play all the goons and buy them all again. There's more to it, but that's the basic idea.
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Tahtweasel

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2012, 03:06:41 pm »
0

Thief is excellent in certain high-trashing but still money-dependent games. Chapel + Platinum, for example. It's also frequently excellent when Gardens is available, since playing it usually results in a net cards change of +2 for you relative to your opponent. (Better than Ironworks, for example.) It can be excellent when Harem is in the game.

Lastly, as crazy as this sounds, a Kings Court+Engine+Thief strategy can completely lock down a strategy with no virtual money. Easily, even. The only reason you don't hear about it as often as KC-Goons-Masquerade is that the latter combo is based on three power cards everyone always look for.

Even a softer version of the lockdown can totally screw up a greening Big Money player. Sample Game with a victory over a top-ranked player.

I have a win rate of 1.67 with Thief, as high as Followers. It's by no means a good card, which is why I purchase it only in one game out of every 30. But at least it's reasonably acceptable.

I accept Transmute, Counting House, Adventurer, and Scout as the actual worst cards, but I understand that Thief is misplayed worse than any of those.
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toaster

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2012, 03:11:34 pm »
0

The one I'm surprised was in the poll at all was Contraband.  It's no all star, but it's often a good buy in Colony games, and any game that has some good middle-cost cards and a shortage of +buy.
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Robz888

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #45 on: February 08, 2012, 03:12:26 pm »
0

Voted Transmute.

All of these cards are pretty bad, although Contraband and Explorer aren't quite as bad. And as generally useless as Duchess, Secret Chamber, and Moat are, they are so cheap, that I just don't think they're really capable of doing enough damage to your deck. Not like, say, buying Adventurer over Gold.

Adventurer and Scout for me are close to being the worst, simply because they are so wrongly priced. I love what Adventurer does, but its cost makes it almost never worthwhile. I mean, if there is any other $6+ card available, you are probably not buying Adventurer. And Gold is always available! Scout, on the other hand, hasn't ever seemed worthwhile even in its best case scenario decks--Nobles, Harems, Crossroads, Great Halls. It's better then, but not nearly as important as those other cards.

But at the end of the day, Transmute is the most ill-priced card in the game, thanks to its Potion cost. The setup where Transmute is the dominant strategy, or even among the dominant strategies, has to be rarest among all these terrible cards.
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Robz888

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2012, 03:20:29 pm »
0

Thief is excellent in certain high-trashing but still money-dependent games. Chapel + Platinum, for example. It's also frequently excellent when Gardens is available, since playing it usually results in a net cards change of +2 for you relative to your opponent. (Better than Ironworks, for example.) It can be excellent when Harem is in the game.

Lastly, as crazy as this sounds, a Kings Court+Engine+Thief strategy can completely lock down a strategy with no virtual money. Easily, even. The only reason you don't hear about it as often as KC-Goons-Masquerade is that the latter combo is based on three power cards everyone always look for.

Even a softer version of the lockdown can totally screw up a greening Big Money player. Sample Game with a victory over a top-ranked player.

I have a win rate of 1.67 with Thief, as high as Followers. It's by no means a good card, which is why I purchase it only in one game out of every 30. But at least it's reasonably acceptable.

I accept Transmute, Counting House, Adventurer, and Scout as the actual worst cards, but I understand that Thief is misplayed worse than any of those.

Yeah, I pretty much agree. Thief gets a bad wrap. I mean, Thief is usually awful, but it is certainly more useful in more situations than Transmute, Scout, and Adventurer... and maybe Counting House.

I realize Develop is another one I didn't really consider. I think it may just be too new for me to have a good feeling about it. I'm NEVER tempted to buy it.
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2012, 03:20:36 pm »
0

Even a softer version of the lockdown can totally screw up a greening Big Money player. Sample Game with a victory over a top-ranked player.

That's not a demonstration of the power of Thief.  That's a demonstration of the power of Bazaar.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2012, 03:23:12 pm »
+3

Even a softer version of the lockdown can totally screw up a greening Big Money player. Sample Game with a victory over a top-ranked player.

That's not a demonstration of the power of Thief.  That's a demonstration of the power of Bazaar.
That's a demonstration of his opponent being completely idiotic. Top-ranked my foot! Dude's a total moron.


Edit: Thief is nevertheless underrated. And nevertheless quite bad.

chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2012, 03:44:27 pm »
0

Y'all who are voting Transmute over Thief are crazy.  Allow me to demonstrate.

Sample games where Transmute was a key card in my deck, or at the very least a good buy:

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120131-201942-bd1c8c37.html  I've mentioned this game before; it's not common that you buy Potion specifically for the purpose of going Transmute, and take the Mute over Scrying Pool, but I did it here, and it was the right move.  Combined with other head-scratchers like the first-turn Mint, and Super Duchess.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110920-122244-2ec2e62a.html  Familiar, Swindler, Tournament, Fairgrounds... this was a super-messy game with lots of Potion cards and lots of attacking and only one trashing option, the Transmute.  I overcome some bad early luck (though granted my opponent's luck was not the best either), grab the Transmute on one of those inevitable $1P hands you get in Familiar games, and it more than earns its keep by clearing out all my Estates and Curses.  This is much closer to a typical "good board" for Transmute.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110915-224440-915874e2.html  Another example where Transmute is the only way to get rid of Curses, and is also a consolation prize for not hitting the better Potion card (in this case, Golem).  Having it in the deck was also a slight boost to Menagerie.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110301-165927-dd97e9d8.html  Turning Coppers in to Transmutes is obviously the weakest option, even worse than Curse-clearing.  Except, of course, when Vineyards are around!  With Alchemist and +Buy out, the opportunity cost for Transmute is pretty low here.

...

Sample games where Thief was a key card in my deck, or at the very least a good buy:

{crickets}
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