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Author Topic: What is the worst card in Dominion?  (Read 100396 times)

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Tahtweasel

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2012, 03:58:52 pm »
0

chwhite, play a simple base game with Gardens and Thief. I realize that's not a sexy or interesting board, and it's not as cutesy as using Transmute, but you can't possibly believe that Thief is worthless there.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2012, 04:01:12 pm »
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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}
You're the insane one? Mind you, I don't actually think you are. Just that you calling us crazy here is pretty messed up.
Game 1: I'm not sure whether transmute is actually even the right move here, it's gotta be close, but come on - you got a 5/2 split with mint and a money-producing 2, and there wasn't something clearly better to do, and you've got the transmute - yes a 3-4 card combo exists that with a specific opening split, in the absence of another strong strategy, is good. Is there any card that's not true for?
Game 2: This I give you as the one reliable situation transmute is good. Even here, it's not great.
Game 3: Take it or leave it, I don't see a big difference here. I guess it helps a tiny bit. I guess.
Game 4: Again, decent, but it seems pretty insanely lucky to me.

Your lack of thief games demonstrates only your own blindness, not that it's actually a bad card... if I lost all the games where I bought colony, would that make it bad?

ehunt

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2012, 04:02:25 pm »
+1

Games where thief is significant:

1. throne room + thief in chapel game locks out opponent
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110513-074003-ab43698b.html

2. thief in gardens game with no other gardens support (but thief is a very good attack in this game)
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110911-110336-f0be9a3c.html
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2012, 04:08:06 pm »
0

chwhite, play a simple base game with Gardens and Thief. I realize that's not a sexy or interesting board, and it's not as cutesy as using Transmute, but you can't possibly believe that Thief is worthless there.

I do recognize that Thief is possibly good in 4p Gardens games.  In 2p, I would much rather rush with Workshop/Ironworks, or if those cards aren't around, just go for the Provinces instead.  If you're saying I should restrict my thinking to games only using the base cards, in other words only using a set of cards which is particularly weak in the context of the entire Dominion universe, why would I do that?  I'm willing to take multiplayer into account, but if you're comparing cards from all expansions, I think you have to assume you're playing with all expansions.
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2012, 04:30:52 pm »
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You're the insane one? Mind you, I don't actually think you are. Just that you calling us crazy here is pretty messed up.
Game 1: I'm not sure whether transmute is actually even the right move here, it's gotta be close, but come on - you got a 5/2 split with mint and a money-producing 2, and there wasn't something clearly better to do, and you've got the transmute - yes a 3-4 card combo exists that with a specific opening split, in the absence of another strong strategy, is good. Is there any card that's not true for?
Game 2: This I give you as the one reliable situation transmute is good. Even here, it's not great.
Game 3: Take it or leave it, I don't see a big difference here. I guess it helps a tiny bit. I guess.
Game 4: Again, decent, but it seems pretty insanely lucky to me.

Apologies, that was inappropriate hyperbole.  You're not actually crazy.  Just wrong.  :P 

You're right that Game 1 is a really specific, narrow use that's not really applicable 99.99 percent of the time; setups with Familiar and Vineyard are the only *consistent* reasons to go Transmute.  And yes of course Transmute is bottom-10 horrible for sure. But when you look at its gain stats and win stats for the community at large, not just for me, I don't see how it can be ranked below Thief, which is a) bought less often, b) leads to more losses and c) less wins.  Even if it's better than I think it is, there's just so much of a gap.

Personally I think both Adventurer and Counting House are both just as overpriced and even less commonly useful, so they're #2 and #3, and would probably also rank Scout and Noble Brigand below Transmute.  So, sixth-worst?  Though you could place it at second-worst and I wouldn't really raise any objections; they're all pretty close.

Your lack of thief games demonstrates only your own blindness, not that it's actually a bad card... if I lost all the games where I bought colony, would that make it bad?

I hope it's clear that I'm mostly aware of where my blind spots tend to be, and adjust accordingly.  I've bought Explorer less than any card save Thief and Brigand, but I recognize it's better than I give it credit for, and don't think it's the third-worst card at all; it's not even bottom-10.  There was another long stretch where I had never ever won a game with Noble Brigand, but I was aware that it could possibly be used well, since I had lost to it.  For a long time I lost a majority of games where I went Venture, I didn't think it that was reason to call it a particularly bad card, I just misplayed it.  My inability to ever use Thief well is but one data point among many, along with CR stats and a lack of opponents ever using Thief well against me.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 05:04:36 pm by chwhite »
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Fabian

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2012, 04:35:11 pm »
+1

Mr King's Court is better than Goons (that's chwhite to some people),

"But when you look at its gain stats and win stats for the community at large, not just for me, I don't see how it can be ranked below Thief, which is a) bought less often, b) leads to more losses and c) less wins"

The board of Some Arguments Work Only In Some Cases And Not In Others called and wanted to know where to send your membership card. I gave them your number, I expect they'll be in touch soon.

Helpfully,
Fabian
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2012, 04:50:57 pm »
0

Games where thief is significant:

1. throne room + thief in chapel game locks out opponent
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110513-074003-ab43698b.html

2. thief in gardens game with no other gardens support (but thief is a very good attack in this game)
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110911-110336-f0be9a3c.html

First game, your Thief did a good job of punishing your opponent's mistakes... but that's it.  Yes, Thief can wreck a Chapel-Big Money deck, but Chapel-Big Money is hardly better than straight Big Money to begin with, and this board had plenty of options to get cash without Gold.  Fishing Village, Militia, and Vault in particular.  Had your opponent even just bought a Vault instead of a Lab on turn 11, right after you got that Thief, the lockdown doesn't work.  I guess Thief might be relevant on this board, but only as a cautionary tale; the best strategy wouldn't buy it.

Second game... maybe; Moneylender and Venture are additional boosts to Thief, such as it is.  I have to believe that getting Forge and trying to drain Provinces quick that way would have worked as a counter, denying your Gardens the chance to get that large.  I guess if you take Gardens AND copper trashing AND strong Kingdom treasures (Venture) then you get a board where Thief can be worth it, but that strikes me as about as common as my admittedly contrived Mint/Duchess/Transmute example earlier.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 05:08:13 pm by chwhite »
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #57 on: February 08, 2012, 04:52:22 pm »
0

Mr King's Court is better than Goons (that's chwhite to some people),

"But when you look at its gain stats and win stats for the community at large, not just for me, I don't see how it can be ranked below Thief, which is a) bought less often, b) leads to more losses and c) less wins"

The board of Some Arguments Work Only In Some Cases And Not In Others called and wanted to know where to send your membership card. I gave them your number, I expect they'll be in touch soon.

Helpfully,
Fabian

I admitted that you're probably right about Goons being better than King's Court, and your pointing out the CR stats are a big reason why.  So, uh, not as helpful as you think.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 04:55:44 pm by chwhite »
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Fabian

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #58 on: February 08, 2012, 04:56:34 pm »
+1

Mr King's Court is better than Goons (that's chwhite to some people),

"But when you look at its gain stats and win stats for the community at large, not just for me, I don't see how it can be ranked below Thief, which is a) bought less often, b) leads to more losses and c) less wins"

The board of Some Arguments Work Only In Some Cases And Not In Others called and wanted to know where to send your membership card. I gave them your number, I expect they'll be in touch soon.

Helpfully,
Fabian

Dude, I admitted that you're probably right about Goons being better than King's Court, and pointing out the CR stats are a big reason why.  So, uh, no.
Had to go back and reread your posts from that thread, and if you did say I'm probably right, I'm still not seeing it. In any case, it was only a joke, sorry if I offended.
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chwhite

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #59 on: February 08, 2012, 05:03:01 pm »
+1

Had to go back and reread your posts from that thread, and if you did say I'm probably right, I'm still not seeing it. In any case, it was only a joke, sorry if I offended.

Hm, it appears the closest I got was:

But Goons is really incredibly strong too, you make a good case for it deserving the #1 spot, and I'd be very disappointed if it wasn't at least #2.  They're both certainly miles better than Grand Market.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that you were right, I was wrong, and Goons>KC, though I do still think it's pretty close.  I tend to find CR stats pretty convincing in these sorts of discussions, though not necessarily the be-all and end-all.
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rod-

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #60 on: February 08, 2012, 05:18:58 pm »
+1

Counting house can be a power card in ways that few others can:
Admittedly this board had nearly all of the support you can hope for, but there are still very few as lightning-fast as this game.  Buying 3 provinces on turn 12 was an almost-guaranteed game-loser. 

You can't build a kingdom where scout features heavily in a turn 12 endgame.
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120206-180249-25b9fb0d.html
Transmute?  Not a turn 12, but I lost for underestimating it.
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120204-082332-830ab209.html
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Tahtweasel

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #61 on: February 08, 2012, 05:37:54 pm »
+1

 
Had to go back and reread your posts from that thread, and if you did say I'm probably right, I'm still not seeing it. In any case, it was only a joke, sorry if I offended.

Hm, it appears the closest I got was:

But Goons is really incredibly strong too, you make a good case for it deserving the #1 spot, and I'd be very disappointed if it wasn't at least #2.  They're both certainly miles better than Grand Market.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that you were right, I was wrong, and Goons>KC, though I do still think it's pretty close.  I tend to find CR stats pretty convincing in these sorts of discussions, though not necessarily the be-all and end-all.
The problem with CR stats is that there are biases against cards that are used poorly by beginners - such as Coppersmith.

Are we mistaken in leaving Coppersmith off this list?

Not at all.

Anyone who posts here knows exactly when to use Coppersmith. You use him, for example, when there are powerful draw engine cards like Wharf, Village, and King's Court, but no trashing. That's a perfectly reasonable situation for him to be used in, and he's extremely powerful.

He is bought in about 23% of games on isotropic, and his win rate with is miserable (0.80, fifth worst.)

But if you look at elite players, they purchase him a little bit less frequently (4 to 16% of games, maybe) and they do just fine with him, because they're using him correctly. Fabian actually has a 1.56 win rate with Coppersmith.

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ackack

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #62 on: February 08, 2012, 05:44:59 pm »
0

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.

Aha, fair enough.
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Fabian

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #63 on: February 08, 2012, 06:21:39 pm »
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Had to go look to confirm my beautiful 1.56 winrate with Coppersmith, and I find it funny that Coppersmith, Mandarin and Transmute are the (non-prize) cards where my winrate is highest, and Counting House and Thief are the cards where my winrate is lowest.

It should be noted that these numbers mean very little, as the sample size for cards you seldom buy is comparatively very small, and so the winrates of such cards will have a huge variance. I just thought it was amusing that the cards I've been bringing up as the worst ones are in my bottom two (my winrate with Counting House in the deck is 0.00, no wonder I think it's bad!) and the card I'm half-way defending, I apparently do really well with so far!
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Kahryl

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #64 on: February 08, 2012, 07:51:16 pm »
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Transmute's gotta be the worst, given the results of the poll..

Second-place (Thief) is underrated because isotropic is so two-player oriented and thief scales really well.  Not saying it's a good card, just not the worst-worst.

Duchess is unfair because you can get it for free.

Adventurer has come in useful once or twice, as a BM support when better BM supports weren't around.
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Lekkit

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2012, 09:39:42 pm »
0

I voted Develop. Mainly because I haven't really found out a good way to use it besides turning a Gold into a King's Court and a $5.

I think that most players that go hating on Thief needs to play more 3 or 4 player games. Thief can be soo good there. Not saying it always is, but it can be.
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ehunt

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #66 on: February 08, 2012, 10:09:36 pm »
+1

Seriously, why the duchess hate? It's a terminal silver. On a board with no other terminals and no reason to fear a reshuffle (i.e., no hunting party), I'm ALWAYS going to buy one if I'm stuck with two money and I'm GLAD she's on the board if I split 5-2.

That's just a corner case, not even mentioning that sometimes she's free (see comments on winder's duke article - you rarely pass her up in a duke game - but actually I think it's usually a mistake to pass her up, period). There's just no way she's in the bottom ten cards.
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popsofctown

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #67 on: February 08, 2012, 10:28:07 pm »
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It's true.  I couldn't bring myself to vote Transmute because it's cute.  I buy it all the time but even the times I think it might have been justified I'm not too sure.

It's one of several cards I've started vetoing to protect me from myself.
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jotheonah

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #68 on: February 08, 2012, 10:59:55 pm »
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I voted Transmute, but I'm coming around to Develop (as the worst).

It always makes me think of a real life game (for some reason I tend to take those less seriously) where it was five player Pirate Ship madness and I had somehow ended up with really weak ships, no one had any money, and there was no other virtual money on the board.  So I just started desperately trying to use my develop to turn my 3s and 5s into Gardens and try to three-pile it (and incrementally inch up my deck size) before the Pirates finished grabbing the Provinces. Meanwhile, one dude with a Bishop was playing the least effective Golden Deck of all time, buying and trashing a copper every turn, because he couldn't do anything else. He actually went off to watch TV and asked us to just put a token on his mat every turn and trash a copper from the supply.

There wasn't really a point to that story, except that I turned to Develop in a moment of need and it was pretty supremely unhelpful to me, and I've been weary of it ever since.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 11:02:08 pm by jotheonah »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #69 on: February 08, 2012, 11:07:12 pm »
0

I voted Transmute, but I'm coming around to Develop (as the worst).

It always makes me think of a real life game (for some reason I tend to take those less seriously) where it was five player Pirate Ship madness and I had somehow ended up with really weak ships, no one had any money, and there was no other virtual money on the board.  So I just started desperately trying to use my develop to turn my 3s and 5s into Gardens and try to three-pile it (and incrementally inch up my deck size) before the Pirates finished grabbing the Provinces. Meanwhile, one dude with a Bishop was playing the least effective Golden Deck of all time, buying and trashing a copper every turn, because he couldn't do anything else. He actually went off to watch TV and asked us to just put a token on his mat every turn and trash a copper from the supply.

There wasn't really a point to that story, except that I turned to Develop in a moment of need and it was pretty supremely unhelpful to me, and I've been weary of it ever since.
Funnily enough, you don't need to buy the coppers in that bishop+copper deck, though you can get an actual golden deck to buying provinces in 8 turns by waiting a little bit on your trashing. Or trashing a gold every turn for 4 VP just as fast.
Also, don't you need 4 piles with 5+ players?
And you said there's no virtual money, but bishop gives you +$1.
Okay, that last thing is sorta nitpicky, but... golden deck-ish thing should be strong against pirates here.

jotheonah

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #70 on: February 08, 2012, 11:11:17 pm »
0

Well, the problem was he couldn't get more than a few coppers before the Pirate ships got them. As soon as anyone had any money in their deck it vanished.  And you're right I was trying to four-pile, which my made my strategy even more laughably ineffective...

And you're right, planning a Golden Deck from the get-go would have been the way to go. But I was newer to the game and had never heard of such a thing...
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WanderingWinder

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #71 on: February 08, 2012, 11:21:02 pm »
0

Well, the problem was he couldn't get more than a few coppers before the Pirate ships got them. As soon as anyone had any money in their deck it vanished.  And you're right I was trying to four-pile, which my made my strategy even more laughably ineffective...

And you're right, planning a Golden Deck from the get-go would have been the way to go. But I was newer to the game and had never heard of such a thing...
Uh, am I missing something? The 5 cards in your hand are totally immune to being pirated, so you can absolutely set up a golden deck. Actually, you can even do it faster than I said (I apparently couldn't do math earlier).

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #72 on: February 08, 2012, 11:52:26 pm »
0

You know I wasn't playing his hand, so I don't remember exactly what was going on, but you're right. It wouldn't have taken too long to do.
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DrHades

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #73 on: February 09, 2012, 05:25:29 am »
0

If he had just Bishop-Copper, it can be done in 5(6) turns:

1. Buying Copper (BCC)
2. Buying Copper (BCCC)
3. Trashing Copper, buying Silver (BSCC)
4. Buying Silver (BSSCC)
5. Trashing Copper, buying Gold (BGSSC)

From now on you can trash Gold and buy Gold every turn.

6. Trashing Copper, buying Province.

From now on you can trash Province and buy Province every turn.

If he had BCXXX (maybe some greens he didn't want to trash?) it is even 1 turn faster...
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DrHades

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Re: What is the worst card in Dominion?
« Reply #74 on: February 09, 2012, 07:17:08 am »
0

There are 6 cards that has "several" votes. Only 2 of them are imo reasonable choices.

Duchess - Are you kiding? Duchess is for free! Also it could be great as a starter if you have 2/5 split and need some extra money to keep up. It is a bad card, but it is so cheap you cannot bitching about that!

Develop - Grand Market. Border Village. Ill-Gotten Gains. Anything that costs 7$. Gardens (trashing later your parts to Gardens-something). Silk Road (trashing later to Silk Road-Estate). I probably even forgot lots of things...it is a bad card, but it has some situations where it is VERY good and they are not so rare (you really need just one of these cards.

Adventurer - Without other strong terminals on board, Adventurer is good. When you have e.g. Gold, Gold, Silver, Silver and 7 Coppers - Adventurer is stronger than Gold. That is of course still bad, but not worse!

Scout - This is just wrong! Minion, Vault/Secret Chamber, Wishing Well, Scrying Pool, Tactician and many more!!! And of course - Crossroads+Scout. That is one of my favourite combos. Sure, it needs something other to cooperate, but then it is awesome:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120207-123440-03e8a7bc.html
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20111224-161140-0ecc49e9.html

So here comes the 2 only reasonable cards: Thief and Transmute. I choose Transmute, for these reasons:

1. Thief defeats BMU.
2. Thief is at least ok on boring boards with 4+ players.
3. I cannot think of any non-obscure situation, where Transmute would make any difference.
4. Thief is at least good when you are starting with Dominion.

Stats are not very accurate here - when you are behind it is good idea to buy Thief and hope you will be lucky to steal some Golds, which lowers the winrate. And as for Transmute - many times there is something juicy with Potion in cost on board and you pick Transmute rather than buying nothing...and by this lowering your chance to win by 0.1%.
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