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Author Topic: Golden Decks  (Read 967 times)

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JThorne

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Golden Decks
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:32:44 pm »
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Fun exercise: Enumerate every way you can think of to make a deck Golden.

Definition: A Golden Deck is a deck that achieves its intended purpose reliably, every turn, and fundamentally cannot stall.

Worth noting is that any deck that buys VP cards for points must be able to do something about them. Even if an engine can kick off with any one action card, if there is even the remotest possibility of drawing five VP cards to start the next turn, that's not Golden. It's just "reliable."

(The Classic: Bishop/Money/VP, trashing a single VP card for tokens every turn, rebuying.)

Hand reliability techniques:

-- Junking down to a 5-card deck (Chapel/Donate/etc.)

-- Having a deck of any size containing no more than 4 stop cards.

Stop cards include all terminals, treasure, VP, or non-drawing splitters. In addition to cantrips and non-terminal draw, Action-fixers like Champion/Lost Arts/Teacher can turn decks golden in an instant.

-- Starting each turn with a hand size greater than 5

Duration-draw, such as Tactician, Haunted Woods, Enchantress. Prince. Even Summon can do the trick. Also noteworthy are Gear/Archive/Haven. Also Expedition.

-- End-of-turn deck stacking

You may be able to turn a deck golden with topdecking. This includes the classic Scavenger/Stash, but also Secret Passage, Scheme, etc. This could completely and utterly prevent any possibility of stalling even if the deck contained 6 stop cards, for example, by ensuring that the top of the deck was guaranteed to grow your hand to 7 cards with an action to spare.

Points reliability techniques:

What to do about greening so that the deck doesn't turn from gold to lead while you buy VP cards?

-- VP token strategies. (Duh. Goons/Groundskeeper/Watchtower/etc. Multi-Monument, Just about Everything from Empires...)

-- Setting VP cards aside.

Island, Native Village, and arguably, Archive/Gear/Haven if carefully managed.

-- Sifting?

Sort of. If you can guarantee a minimum starting hand size, each sifter in a Golden Deck can "spend" VP cards for extra draw, but you still can't expand your VP cards beyond your guaranteed minimum starting hand size - 1.

Attack vulnerability:

Attacks often destroy Golden Decks, but there may be exceptions. Some can play three-card hands or four-card hands, making Discard attacks irrelevant, possibly including Minion. Some can play trashers every turn, making junking attacks irrelevant. Note that Prince and duration draw resist discard, but Expedition does not. Trashing attacks and/or topdeck attacks can also spoil a Golden Deck, but could possibly be mitigated by gainers.

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Awaclus

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 02:12:03 pm »
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I think you are focusing too much on the superficial aspects of golden decks and failing to see the underlying principles. If you play enough Haunted Woods to draw your deck every turn, that's a very reliable engine (so reliable that it doesn't have a chance of stalling at all), but while there's a superficial distinction from very reliable engines that do have a slight chance of stalling, that's hardly a distinction that anyone needs to care about. You still have the exact same problems that other very reliable engines have as you're gaining victory cards, your deck becomes less reliable so you need to build up to very high payload turns so that you can spend the majority of the time making your deck more reliable and more powerful and only the minority of the time greening, and you might need to continue building the engine as you're greening as well.

A golden deck doesn't have those problems, however; you actually play the exact same turn for the rest of the game once you've set it up and you don't even care about the contents of your deck; either because you're gaining VP without changing the contents of your deck or because you're setting up the same cards on top of your deck every turn so it doesn't matter if there are Provinces in your discard pile since you're never shuffling them in. That means you can start greening much earlier. You also don't build golden decks anywhere near the way you build engines (necessarily); you just want to get the correct cards in your hand one time, and then you're good to go.

faust

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 02:31:45 pm »
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I think there's a signifcant amount of decks that are not quite Golden, but can gain a portion of VP before stalling (quite possibly with the exact same turn) before they need to move on.

I'm thinking about stuff like Wild Hunt, Farmers' Market, Distant Lands. These are probably worth discussing more than "pure" Golden decks as they are more frequent, and also more interesting strategically.
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trivialknot

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 02:53:59 pm »
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Another way to achieve 100% reliability: your worst cards are still good enough.  In the definition of a Golden Deck, there's no restriction that the deck has to be any good, is there?  Here are some really bad Golden Decks:

-Have a deck with nothing but Hireling and treasure.  Buy Copper/Silver/Gold for Palace points.
-Buy a copper every turn when Tower is in play.
-Have a deck full of copper.  Buy IGG every turn.
-Have a deck with Silvers only.  Buy a Harem every turn.  Follow up with Nobles every turn.
-Have a deck with 5 Peddlers.  Buy an Emporium every turn.
-Have a deck full of Actions.  Discard to Arena every turn.

Another thought... Compare the following two decks:
-4 Bishops and a Fortress (3 VP a turn)
-4 Bishops, a Fortress, and Village (3 VP some turns and 6 VP other turns)

Isn't it ironic that only the first one technically qualifies as a Golden Deck?
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trivialknot

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 03:07:56 pm »
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Another absurd example that calls the definition into question: With a Champion out, buy a Haunted Woods and Province every turn, such that you continue to draw deck at the beginning of each turn.
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J Reggie

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 04:36:43 pm »
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I made a very strange golden deck type thing the other day that involved inheriting encampments and playing a bunch of Wild Hunts. It needed some support, but I think it fits the definition of a golden deck.

schadd

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 11:46:47 am »
+3

my favorite one that i made that didn't work was village/mine/mine/IGG
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arishipshape

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 11:22:23 am »
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my favorite one that i made that didn't work was village/mine/mine/IGG
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schadd

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 01:58:20 pm »
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i gave u ur 27th respect


also thanks
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tim17

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2017, 07:53:58 pm »
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Crossroads, Butcher, Mint, Distant Lands, Beggar
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DrHandsomeface

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2017, 10:47:57 pm »
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Five Lurkers with Donate and Tomb
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2017, 10:10:48 am »
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my favorite one that i made that didn't work was village/mine/mine/IGG

What did you want it to do, and why does it fail?  What I see that you can do is mine an IGG into another IGG, twice, yes?  You pile out eventually, though; is that the problem?  Does that violate the definition of "Golden"?

If you make the deck 2xVillage, 3xMine, 1xIGG, you can even do it three times.  (You start with five out of six cards in hand; the last one can't be two villages, so draw the last card off a Village, then play a second Village, then Mine IGG into IGG three times.)  With 2xKing's Court, 2xMine, 1xIGG, you can even do it six times.  (KC a KC, KC'ing 2xMine, doing IGG-to-IGG six times.)

I think 2xKing's Court, 3xWitch is more effective at dealing out curses (9/turn).  Or 10xFamiliar. Or 10xFamiliar, 4xKing's Court. Throw in some double Tactician or Scheme/Scrying Pool stuff to support even more King's Courts, to pile out the curses even more mid-turn ;-)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 10:13:06 am by jonaskoelker »
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Awaclus

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Re: Golden Decks
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 11:50:25 am »
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What did you want it to do, and why does it fail?  What I see that you can do is mine an IGG into another IGG, twice, yes?  You pile out eventually, though; is that the problem?  Does that violate the definition of "Golden"?

There are a bunch of reasons why it doesn't work.

1) If IGG is in the kingdom, your opponent can buy it too and then the deck isn't as golden as you would like.
2) If IGG is relevant in the kingdom, by the time you have finished building a golden deck, there probably aren't that many of them left in the supply.
3) In the best case scenario, you're going to spend 5 turns handing out Curses and buying nothing and then you Mine the IGG to a Gold and then you have a Gold, two dead cards and a Village, there are two empty piles, and your opponent has been buying points all game. That isn't an amazing scenario.
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