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Author Topic: GoodStuff best on Cel/Merch/Harbi/Vil/Mil/TR/MLender/CRoom/Festi/Artisan?  (Read 808 times)

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jonaskoelker

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I recently played several games on the following kingdom:




(Cellar, Merchant, Harbinger, Village, Militia, Throne Room, Moneylender, Council Room, Festival, Artisan)

Here's my analysis: there's Village and Festival for +action, Council Room for +cards and +buy and Moneylender for thinning Coppers, so an engine is definitely possible. Militia (semi-)nullifies the benefit to my opponents of Council Room, and seriously hobbles Big Money.  The only support for Big Money is Council Room, with no good way of following it up with a Militia, so... engine is probably likely to beat BM.

I recall one game going all-out for the engine, and another game going almost-all-out BM (with a few Festivals as a $5 Silver, and perhaps one or two terminals; probably an opening Militia.)  I lost both games.

In the only game I won, my final deck consisted of Throne Room, Harbinger, Artisan, Militia, Moneylender, 2xCouncil Room and 6xFestival, 2xGold, 1xSilver, 1xCopper plus a big bunch of green. I remember playing multiple terminals in a few turns (3 or 4 maybe), drawing many cards in slightly fewer turns (2 or 3), perhaps with a single double-Province turn, but I never got close to drawing deck.

If I understand the "Good Stuff" category correctly, it sounds like my winning deck belongs there.

My questions to the community: which strategy do you think is best in this kingdom, and why?  Is it the Good Stuff deck?  What are the opening 3-6 buys for the best strategy, what's it's final composition, and what are the priorities in building and playing it? Any noteworthy subtleties?

If Good Stuff is best, what's the reason? I guess I know the technically correct answer, "the combined effect of all the variables makes it so", but I would guess there's a lesson which transfers to other kingdoms.  Is it the high cost of the drawer and gainer which makes Good Stuff outperform the engine, and the presence of Militia, and the ability to play it almost reliably, which makes it outperform Big Money?  How important is the +$2 from Festival?

My sense is that packing a lot of Festivals made me able to have a bunch of "play $8, buy Province" turns plus a few "play a lot of actions, Militia you, gain a Festival with Artisan, buy a Province and a Dunchy" turns; playing Big Money only allows for the Province turns, and putting in more villages and terminal draw didn't buy me very much in my experience.  Is that an indication that I misplayed stuff, or is this roughly how you would expect things to play out?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 10:58:43 am by jonaskoelker »
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faust

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The engine is definitely best on this board. It has all necessary components, plus excellent mid-turn gaining and a decent attack you want to play each turn.

Opening should be Silver/Moneylender. (5/2 sucks and should probably be Moneylender/Cellar) Get Artisan ASAP. If you hit another $3 early on, a Harbinger might be good for speeding up Copper trashing. Get Militia soon. Otherwise foucs on Village/Council Room. You can add roughly 1 Throne Room per 3 other actions.

Festival is a stop card; only get it when you need the buy and are already drawing your deck. Your source of income should be Merchants rather than Festivals otherwise. It's poosbible that you want to addd a second Silver to have better odds of triggering Merchants, but you should draw your deck pretty soon.

From your description, I assume that your engine failed because you got too many Festivals. They're not great cards here.
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From your description, I assume that your engine failed because you got too many Festivals. They're not great cards here.

And not enough Council Rooms. Militia mostly mitigates the drawback of Council Room, and you want enough Council Rooms to reliably kick off - if you only have two at the end of the game, that's not enough.

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my final deck consisted of Throne Room, Harbinger, Artisan, Militia, Moneylender, 2xCouncil Room and 6xFestival, 2xGold, 1xSilver, 1xCopper plus a big bunch of green
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4est

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On this board, a deck-drawing engine is absolutely possible and definitely the winning strategy.  It would play very similarly to your standard Smithy-Village engine, and you're right, with a single Militia played at the end of your Council Rooms, you mitigate your opponents extra draws. 

Like others have already said, the 6xFestivals in your final deck is in large part what prevented you from ever drawing your deck.  Festival is nice as +Actions with extra economy and buy, but the fact that it doesn't draw is a huge downside compared to say a normal Village.  In deck-drawing engines, any card that doesn't draw is a "Stop Card."  So in your final deck, you have at least 15 Stop Cards (6xFestivals, Artisan, Militia, Moneylender, plus your treasures and Estates) not to mention other green.  In order to have any hope of drawing your deck, the combined total of your decks drawing power (+Cards) has to be more than the number of Stop Cards in your deck.  Just 2 Council Rooms, even with a Throne Room, will never be enough to cut it--you would need at least three or four more (or more Throne Rooms).  With this in mind, Village should be your primary source of +Actions here, not Festival.  If even 4 of those 6 Festivals had been Villages instead, that's a whole Council Room's worth of drawing since each Village draws another card.  Another key card I'm surprised was overlooked here is Cellar.  Especially in games where you can't trash your Estates, even just one Cellar can provide engines some reliability, to make sure you draw your next Village-Council Room pair. 

You're on the right track with this board--Engine will stomp BM every time here.  You've got all the components for a deck-drawing engine--Moneylender to thin Coppers; Throne Room, Festival, and Village for +Actions; Council Room for draw; Artisan as a flexible gainer to get whichever engine piece you need next; Cellar for some sifting reliability; and Militia to slow your opponent down.  I'd recommend you give the kingdom another try and go a LOT easier on the Festival gaining, and heavier into Council Room, Village, and Throne Rooms and see if you can try drawing your deck.  Focus on getting your total deck draw to outweigh your total number of Stop Cards.  Since Militia is available, don't worry about too many Council Rooms helping your opponent--if you can draw your deck, you'll always be able to play Militia too!  Even without Festival's +$2, there's certainly several other very viable payload choices here for your deck drawing engine--Gold (not more than 2, since Gold is a stop card), or a stack Merchants and a single Silver could be nice here. 

You're well on your way to learning some fundamental Dominion principles!
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jonaskoelker

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Thanks for your responses.

Consensus seems to be that the engine is best; noted. I don't recall whether I included Cellar in my engine attempt, but I'll definitely include it in my next attempt.

I should make clear that the deck I listed was not my attempt at building an engine.  I was deliberately aiming for a deck that sometimes would just "play $8, buy Province" and once in a while have a bigger turn, sprinkled with a Militia attack or a $5 gain here and there.  Does that qualify as the "Good Stuff" archetype?

I'm surprised that people recommend against Festival.  That doesn't mean you're wrong, I just didn't predict that. I'll happily concede that my mix of Festival vs. CR is not the right one for building a deck-drawing engine (which I wasn't trying to). Ideally you want enough +cards to draw your deck, plus any mid-turn gains, minus the initial 5, but plus any cards lost to Militia, and I was nowhere near that.

Let me try and make a case for Festival, though, and then invite counterarguments. First, Festival vs. Village.

Comparing Festival+CR vs. Village+CR, one draws an extra card, the other gives +$2, +1 buy.  If I kick off in the first place I'll have enough +buy from CR, so the main benefit of Festival over Village is the +$2. This means that the extra card from Village should be something better than a Silver; otherwise Festival at $5 and 1 buy looks better to me than Village+Silver at $6 and 2 buys.  (Said another way: using Festival as a village means the village doubles as payload, whereas the extra card from Village is sometimes a payload stop-card.)

So let's say the extra card from Village is a Gold.  Playing 3xFestival+CR is net +0 cards and $6 (and +2 actions) for $20 and 4 buys, whereas Village+CR+3xGold gives $9 for net +0 cards, but costing $26 and 5 buys. 50% more money for less than a 50% price or #buy increase; sure, that's more efficient. It is more sensitive to ordering issues, though: with Village+CR+treasures, you optimally want all your villages first, then draw, then treasures, though any mixture of not too many stop cards first will do.  With Festival+CR, only two kinds of things need to be appropriately ordered. My gut claims (without proof) that this causes higher reliability. Agree, disagree?  (Also, the money from Festival helps you in the early turns much more than the cycling from Village, since your money density is much less than $2/card, yes?)

Is the advantage of Village+Gold vs. Festival that you can have a smaller density of stop cards for equivalent (money) payload?  Couldn't you compensate for that by adding more Council Rooms?

"If even 4 of those 6 Festivals had been Villages instead, that's a whole Council Room's worth of drawing" but $8 less payload.  3xGold makes up for that, so it's only one more card for approximately equivalent payload, but costing more $ and buys: 3 more buys and 3x6-4x(5-3)=10 more money; or $7 more for 2xGold+Silver and equivalent payload. So maybe Village+Gold is better than mass Festival, but slower to build, but still better despite being slower to build?  Is it more reliable for having a smaller proportion of stop cards?  But then, won't the faster buildup of the Festival engine mean it can green sooner, and compensate for its lower reliability by spending more time greening?

I'll try out a game where I focus more on Village+CR, but in the abstract it's not obvious that Festival is the worse choice. Could you pinpoint the reason why?

I read a part of 4est's post as suggesting payloading a Militia and not more than 2 Gold.  In my head that sums to $8, enough to single Province if you successfully kick off. Wouldn't you want to double Province, or at least Province/Duchy at $13? Is that off of 6 Merchants, one Silver, two Gold and a Militia?

Speaking of Merchants, and more math, 2xMerchant adds two (conditional) cantrip coppers at $6 and 2 buys, whereas Festival adds the same money and more terminal space, but costing a card to play, for $5 and 1 buy. 3xFestival+CR adds $6 and net +0 cards, for $20 and 4 buys, versus Merchant adding $6 and net +0 cards, for $18 and 6 buys. Merchant is more conditional, CR wants a Militia finisher (but Merchant likes that as well).

Festival seems much more helpful during the early turns, where I'm much less likely to cycle around to my Silver and where I'm often bit short on +buy, though it's of course easier to get to $3 than it is to get to $5.  (Early dud $3 turns are not wasted, I'll just pick up a Harbinger instead of a Festival if Festival is my plan.) Also, a late-game dud turn with Festival means I play $8 and buy a Province (or $6, Duchy). With Merchant, I either never draw them, or I cycle a bunch of cards but don't find my Silver and have no money.  Is the comparative utility of dud turns outweighed by the comparative (un-)likelihood of those turns happening?

It's once again not obvious that Merchant is better than Festival. What am I missing here?

It seems to me that the limitations of Festival, both as a village and as money payload, can be overcome by adding in an extra Council Room or two, compared to Festival's competitors.  Am I wrong here?  Or is an even CR split the bottleneck which makes this a bad plan? Or... ?

Combining Village over Festival with Merchant for money seems extra counterintuitive to me: either the Merchants become unreliable for not having very many Silvers, or the extra card from Village will often be a Silver, which seems worse than just playing a Festival (more money and buys needed).

On the other hand, a strawman deck consisting of 10xVillage, 10xMerchant, 1xSilver and 4 other stop cards will always be capable of drawing the 4 stop cards and have at least one action (worst case is drawing all five stop cards). So maybe there's something to having a high cantrip density, some of which are villages, plus a small number of stop cards, some of which are Council Rooms. Is that it?

I welcome all your counterarguments :-)

Faust says "You can add roughly 1 Throne Room per 3 other actions"; why 3? To minimize the risk of drawing TR dead? Or is that some "experience has shown this to be best" thing?
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Awaclus

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As far as "good stuff" is concerned, it's the exact same strategy as big money. You buy cards that are good on their own, avoid antisynergies, and green at big money speed. It doesn't really matter whether those cards are Treasures or Actions. The problem with incorporating Festival into that strategy here is that it isn't a very good card on its own.
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jonaskoelker

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["good stuff" exactly equals big money: y]ou buy cards that are good on their own, avoid antisynergies, and green at big money speed. [Treasures vs. Actions: doesn't matter].
Cool, I think you've identified both the elements in common between Good Stuff and Big Money, and the feature that sets them apart: one buys (more) actions, the other buys (more) treasures. Based on the difference, I won't call them exactly the same, but they perhaps have more in common than they have differences.

Also, by that definition I would classify my deck as a Good Stuff deck (matching my intention).  I think it began greening a little later than Smithy/BM would, but in compensation greened a little faster (on average).

The problem with incorporating Festival into that strategy here is that it isn't a very good card on its own.
Okay; why is that?

Here are my thoughts:

Except for the cost, it looks better than Silver to me, mostly for letting me pack more terminals (the +buy is only relevant if I draw more money off of CR, which has its own +buy).  The only way in which Festival isn't strictly better than Silver in this kingdom is that you can draw or gain it dead with Council Room or Artisan, and it doesn't power up Merchant (of which I didn't have any).  With enough of them, the probability of having a Festival conditional on having a Council Room and/or Artisan is pretty good, so the dead Festival issue becomes very marginal.  (And with Artisan I might just gain a Silver instead of Festival, if it's the one terminal I play that turn.)

So except for the cost, Festival seems better than Silver.  Agree/disagree?

In a Good Stuff/BM deck, I take it Gold would be a better payload, but at the cost of limiting the terminal space.  Terminals have anti-synergy in the form of collision, so I would cut down on those too, at which point I should also throw out Throne Room due to the high likelihood of drawing it without any other action.  At which point I'm left with Artisan, Harbinger, Militia, Moneylender and Council Room.  It's not clear what I would want to gain repeatedly with Artisan; Silver, Duchy, Harbinger maybe?  I definitely don't want more than one Moneylender, probably not more than one Militia, maaaaybe two.  And not too many actions that Council Room can draw dead.  And enough draw that I can play lots of treasures to actually grab some provinces.  So chuck almost all the actions and just CR, maybe?

So if I take "don't play Festival in a Good Stuff deck" to heart and follow it to its logical conclusion, I think I end up at BM-CRoom, or something that looks very much like it. Do you agree with this analysis?  If Festival should be taken out, and taking it out leads to BM-CR, the implication seems to be that BM-CR should beat my deck.  Do you think that's the case? (I take it you agree with the consensus that engine beats BM on this board?)

Also, why is the engine best here?  Because it will reliably be able to double-province at least twice while remaining reliable, and because its +buy offers better end-game control, and these outweigh the drawback associated with beginning to green later (than GoodStuff/CR-BM)?
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["good stuff" exactly equals big money: y]ou buy cards that are good on their own, avoid antisynergies, and green at big money speed. [Treasures vs. Actions: doesn't matter].
Cool, I think you've identified both the elements in common between Good Stuff and Big Money, and the feature that sets them apart: one buys (more) actions, the other buys (more) treasures. Based on the difference, I won't call them exactly the same, but they perhaps have more in common than they have differences.

The thing is, the elements they have in common are strategically relevant and the difference they have is superficial. Which is why I do call them exactly the same.

Except for the cost, [Festival] looks better than Silver to me, mostly for letting me pack more terminals (the +buy is only relevant if I draw more money off of CR, which has its own +buy).  The only way in which Festival isn't strictly better than Silver in this kingdom is that you can draw or gain it dead with Council Room or Artisan, and it doesn't power up Merchant (of which I didn't have any).  With enough of them, the probability of having a Festival conditional on having a Council Room and/or Artisan is pretty good, so the dead Festival issue becomes very marginal.  (And with Artisan I might just gain a Silver instead of Festival, if it's the one terminal I play that turn.)

So except for the cost, Festival seems better than Silver.  Agree/disagree?

Well, yeah. But the fact that it does cost $5 and not $3 is super important for big money.

In a Good Stuff/BM deck, I take it Gold would be a better payload, but at the cost of limiting the terminal space.  Terminals have anti-synergy in the form of collision, so I would cut down on those too, at which point I should also throw out Throne Room due to the high likelihood of drawing it without any other action.  At which point I'm left with Artisan, Harbinger, Militia, Moneylender and Council Room.  It's not clear what I would want to gain repeatedly with Artisan; Silver, Duchy, Harbinger maybe?  I definitely don't want more than one Moneylender, probably not more than one Militia, maaaaybe two.  And not too many actions that Council Room can draw dead.  And enough draw that I can play lots of treasures to actually grab some provinces.  So chuck almost all the actions and just CR, maybe?

Just CR sounds pretty good.

So if I take "don't play Festival in a Good Stuff deck" to heart and follow it to its logical conclusion, I think I end up at BM-CRoom, or something that looks very much like it. Do you agree with this analysis?  If Festival should be taken out, and taking it out leads to BM-CR, the implication seems to be that BM-CR should beat my deck.  Do you think that's the case? (I take it you agree with the consensus that engine beats BM on this board?)

Yes to everything.

Also, why is the engine best here?  Because it will reliably be able to double-province at least twice while remaining reliable, and because its +buy offers better end-game control, and these outweigh the drawback associated with beginning to green later (than GoodStuff/CR-BM)?

Mostly because you get to play a Militia every turn and that almost kills big money (or good stuff, if you want to call it that) outright. It's really hard to green with just 3 cards if those 3 cards don't draw more cards. Militia is one of those power cards that immediately change the way you should be approaching a kingdom; kind of like Bridge makes you want to ask the question "is there any way I can build an engine here", Militia makes you want to ask "is there any way I can avoid playing big money here".
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aku_chi

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It's once again not obvious that Merchant is better than Festival. What am I missing here?

It seems to me that the limitations of Festival, both as a village and as money payload, can be overcome by adding in an extra Council Room or two, compared to Festival's competitors.  Am I wrong here?  Or is an even CR split the bottleneck which makes this a bad plan? Or... ?

Combining Village over Festival with Merchant for money seems extra counterintuitive to me: either the Merchants become unreliable for not having very many Silvers, or the extra card from Village will often be a Silver, which seems worse than just playing a Festival (more money and buys needed).

On the other hand, a strawman deck consisting of 10xVillage, 10xMerchant, 1xSilver and 4 other stop cards will always be capable of drawing the 4 stop cards and have at least one action (worst case is drawing all five stop cards). So maybe there's something to having a high cantrip density, some of which are villages, plus a small number of stop cards, some of which are Council Rooms. Is that it?

You're narrowing in on the key insight.  The goal of the engine is to draw your deck, play a Militia, and buy some cards.  With Moneylender and Council Room, it doesn't take much to get to the point where you are capable of drawing your deck.  But adding Festivals can compromise your ability to reliably draw your deck.  Regarding payload, Merchant x2 seems a lot better than Festival.  You already have a Silver in your deck (from the opening).  If you're minimizing the possibility of dudding and not drawing your deck (by not adding any/many Festivals and Golds, adding some excess draw, and adding a Cellar), Merchant x2 provides just as many coins as Festival but also draws two cards and reduces the likelihood of dudding.  Festival does have +buy, but you ought to have sufficient +buy from the Council Rooms.  If not, gaining a Festival with Artisan seems correct.

Throne Room has great versatility.  In the beginning of your turn, a Throne Room can copy a Council Room, and a later Throne Room can copy a payload card (Artisan, Militia, Merchant, or Festival).  However, adding too many Throne Rooms will increase the likelihood of a dud turn.  Adding Throne Rooms is especially problematic with Festival.  Copying a Festival for payload is fine.  However, a starting hand with only Throne Rooms, Festivals, treasures, and green is a dud.  If the Festival was a Village or Merchant, you could at least draw two cards via Throne Room in a pinch.
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jonaskoelker

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A strawman deck consisting of 10xVillage, 10xMerchant, 1xSilver [...] Is that it?
You're narrowing in on the key insight.

Experince suggests that the straw man deck, suitably un-strawed, is more relevant than I thought. I recently played the following board: Chapel, Harbinger, Merchant, Moneylender, Remodel, Throne Room, Council Room, Market, Sentry, Artisan.





After a few losses with me playing CRoom/BM and whatnot, I put together the following winning deck: 10xMerchant, 5xMarket, 5xSentry, 1xArtisan, 3xSilver, 6xProvince, 1xDuchy, 1xEstate.  My experience while playing it suggested to me that Merchant as a source of money is probably a fine idea.  Maybe the reason I discounted it at first was that I underestimated how quickly you can pile up on those when they only cost $3 (and you have some +buy); I probably undervalue cantrip coppers a bit.  IIRC, I added at least one Sentry relatively early, which helped me stay thin and cycle a lot.

Which leads me to think that maybe the right way to go on the titular kingdom is Moneylender/Silver, then get Merchants very aggressively, enough Villages for all my terminals, an Artisan on my first $6 turn, a CR on my first $5, Militia on my first $4 or when drawing deck, then more Merchants, throwing in a Cellar at an opportune moment.  Maybe one extra Village (above my terminal needs) in case I want to Artisan-gain a terminal mid-turn?

I'm not sure I like Harbinger as a trashing accelerator: I need to draw it in the right order vis-a-vis Moneylender, and once I draw deck reliably it becomes a do-nothing cantrip, except it can play tricks with Cellar (discard something useful, then pick it up later), but that seems very marginal.  I think Cellar would be a better trashing accelerator: play all available cantrips, then mulligan if Moneylender is not in hand; I think that would trash Coppers faster.

In the limit, the stop cards should be Moneylender, Militia, Artisan, Silver, 3xEstate, plus whatever greening I have done. Of those, I want to play Silver, Artisan and Militia; the rest can be discarded to Cellar.  Spitballing, that sounds like two Council Rooms should be sufficient in the limit, perhaps with the aid of a Throne Room and 2xCellar?

Comments are more than welcome.

(Discussion about why my deck was suboptimal on this new kingdom is also welcome, if you feel like it.)

However, a starting hand with only Throne Rooms, Festivals, treasures, and green is a dud.
All those plurals means you start with 7+ cards in your opening hand :P in my Good Stuff deck, TR+Festival plus any two treasures other than Copper+Silver (5/6 chance of getting something else) gives me a province.  Hardly a dud turn for a deck which is strategically equivalent to Big Money, I would say  ;)

But of course it doesn't kick off an engine, which is your point, and that I agree with :)

perhaps [they] have more in common than they have differences.
The thing is, the elements they have in common are strategically relevant and the difference they have is superficial.
I like the qualitative distinction (strategic relevance) better than my vague quantitative distinction, "more".

Except for the cost, Festival seems better than Silver.  Agree/disagree?
Well, yeah. But the fact that it does cost $5 and not $3 is super important for big money.
Is that because the opportunity cost of Festival is a Duchy?  If so, it seems like there should be a sweet spot in the mid-game where you still want to build, but it's not so early that $5 is out of reach, where you might get a Festival over Silver and have the price not be an issue.  Except that this window is so narrow that the resulting Festival/terminal-draw ratio will make it likely that you will draw it dead, in which case you should've had a Silver.

Is that approximately it?

Just CR sounds pretty good. [...] Yes to everything.
Cool, I appreciate the confirmation :-)

Also, why is the engine best here?
Mostly because you get to play a Militia every turn and that almost kills big money [...] outright.
 [...] Militia makes you want to ask "is there any way I can avoid playing big money here".
Oh yeah, there's that  ::)

Once again I appreciate everyone's thoughtful responses :-)
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jonaskoelker

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More experience reports:

I recently played on the following kingdom: Cellar, Vassal, Village, Gardens, Militia, Bandit, Council Room, Laboratory, Mine, Artisan.





ISTR losing a few games playing Big Money vs. Big Money; the one time I won, it was with an engine.  I think it had ~4 CRs, one Militia, a few labs, a Mine and almost all the villages (~8 or so).  My opponent played BMish with Bandit, Artisan, a few Labs, a Cellar, a few Villages; nothing that looks too coherent to me.  I ended up with 7 Provinces, 3 Duchies etc.

It took a while before I reliably drew deck, but once I got there I (almost?) never dudded. I could single-province much more reliably than my opponent; I never made it to double-provincing, mainly because I never added any treasure beyond an initial Silver.  With no trashing other than Mine + my opponent's Bandit, I think this was the right call if I were to have any hope of drawing deck.  (Maybe one or two Golds would've been okay, perhaps, but I want the likelihood of having village plus draw in the opening-hand-plus-cantrip-depth to be high.)

Based on this experience, I'm a believer :-)

The delta from OP kingdom to this is: remove Merchant, Harbinger, Throne Room, Moneylender, Festival, add Vassal, Gardens, Bandit, Laboratory, Mine.

So less trashing, no cantrips of note, but Lab is there to supplement Village/CR.  And there's Alt-VP, but I never bought any Gardens.  If the engine works on a board with less trashing, and therefore more stop cards, surely it should work on the OP board, I think.  Wrinkle: if the OP has stronger Money enablers than this board, the conclusion doesn't necessarily follow, but I don't think that's true; Merchant/BM with Moneylender support sounds like... meh; I'll happily contest the Merchants if I think my opponent is going for this, and be happy with my outlook.

So I think my experience with this new kingdom transfers well to the previously listed kingdom; the thinning of Moneylender should make the case for an engine even better.

... Which makes me wonder what I did wrong in the OP-kingdom games for which I don't have my final deck listing available.  ???

Except for the cost, Festival seems better than Silver.  Agree/disagree?
Well, yeah. But the fact that it does cost $5 and not $3 is super important for big money.
Is that because the opportunity cost of Festival is a Duchy?  If so, it seems like there should be a sweet spot in the mid-game where you still want to build, but it's not so early that $5 is out of reach, where you might get a Festival over Silver and have the price not be an issue.  Except that this window is so narrow that the resulting Festival/terminal-draw ratio will make it likely that you will draw it dead, in which case you should've had a Silver.
And I just thought of the possibility that you might be playing BM with no terminal draw.  If so, and if I'm right about why Festival costing $5 is a big deal, the case for Festival on your $5 turns becomes a little stronger, since you won't ever draw them dead.  But maybe I'm wrong.  Comments are always welcome :-)
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Awaclus

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And I just thought of the possibility that you might be playing BM with no terminal draw.  If so, and if I'm right about why Festival costing $5 is a big deal, the case for Festival on your $5 turns becomes a little stronger, since you won't ever draw them dead.  But maybe I'm wrong.  Comments are always welcome :-)

I mean, it's sometimes stronger than Silver for $5. However, hitting exactly $5 is still the worst possible draw you could get (after you have your key $5 terminal(s)), so you definitely shouldn't be building your deck to hit exactly $5 even when Festival is in the kingdom.
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