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Author Topic: Playing Vassal  (Read 13354 times)

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tdellaringa

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Playing Vassal
« on: May 23, 2017, 05:25:21 pm »
+10

Hi there, new to this forum. I'm an average player who just picked up the game again, trying to learn and get better.

I think I see the value of Vassal when you have built up a deck that gives you a decent chance of an action draw. Lately I have seen players buy the card very early, even on first draw. This is usually in a core set game.

I'm just curious if I am missing something here. It seems like an odd choice for a first buy.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 05:42:50 pm »
+5

You're not far off.. but there's a couple reasons I can think of that you might want Vassal early:

1. If there are not other terminal actions that you plan to buy early on, then might as well take Vassal over Silver, because it will end up being better in the long run.

2. Discarding the card from your deck helps your cycling, which is important early on. It will almost always discard a Copper or an Estate, both which are cards that you'd be happy to see discarded.

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markus

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2017, 04:17:37 am »
+4

I'm not very excited about Vassal. At first glance, it might seem similar to Conspirator and Herald, but in practice I'd usually rather have 1 Peddler than a Vassal added to my deck.

It's only worth it, if there are good trashing possibilities, and then you'd rather pick up a trasher in the beginning. It also needs other cards that provide +Draw, +Buy, and +Action, so basically it's a board with a good engine and you add Vassal to it. Having one Vassal doesn't hurt much, but spamming them becomes tricky, because you either need a Village in your opening hand, or pray that Vassal doesn't hit a terminal.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2017, 06:59:24 am »
0

Vassal is just okay. It's not really consistent enough most of the time to rely on, and when it is, you probably don't need it? But it does have some value.

You need the terminal space for it to miss, you need to value cycling, and you need to be eventually building to a deck of mostly Actions. If you can meet all these criteria, a Vassal or two early on isn't bad, it seems better than Silver.
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2017, 09:26:17 am »
0

I more or less concur with everything said so far. You only really want it in very action-dense engines, which requires good trashing, which means you should get a trasher early. Opening Vassal seems a little odd.

In those engines, it adds "+$2" to the next card on your deck (assuming it's an action). It has very nice synergy with deck inspection, but building a Sentry/Vassal/maybe-also-Harbinger engine sounds a bit slow and very wonky. In a more vanilla Village/Smithy engine it probably has a place; it's nice but not super-OMG-awesome. It's a payload silver that most often will (effectively) give back the card and action you spent to play it; sort of like Conspirator. If the engine draws deck, you'll want Vassal early in your turn (so you're not playing the top of an empty deck) where you normally want Silver late (because you want Village/Smithy early so you can continue drawing cards). Although: if you have 5 Vassals in hand and 4 cards left in your deck, discard 4 vassals to Cellar, then play Vassal to make a big Vassal chain, woop! ;-)

1. If there are not other terminal actions that you plan to buy early on, then might as well take Vassal over Silver
Edge case: you want to play Hunting Grounds/BM, or BM with some other expensive terminal draw: you probably won't buy it until late in the opening or in the early mid-game (which for some value of ... is not "early on"), but once you do you definitely want to have silver over vassal. More clearly stated: whether you want Vassal early depends in part on which terminals you want late(r).

Opening Vassal doesn't seems appropriate when there's an engine but no trashing, because then you don't want Vassal at all. It also doesn't seem good in expensive terminal draw/BM, where you want a Silver. It doesn't go into a Workshop/Gardens rush; so it only really seems good in something that smells a lot like BMU. And in that case, you don't probably want Vassal at all, definitely at most one, because the risk of collision vastly outstrips the chance of having one vassal in hand plus one on top of your deck, and the infrequent upside seems like it shouldn't outweigh the frequent upside; just buy silver and gold, man. (Okay, maybe the increased cycling of a single Vassal helps enough in the beginning to outweigh the badness of cycling late, while greening, but that margin is probably very slim; it's probably positive, because you cycle a larger fraction of your deck early, maybe?)

The strongest case for opening Vassal is probably the wonky Sentry/Vassal/cantrip-heavy engine thing; open Silver/Vassal, then get two or maybe even three Sentries ASAP to get thin; the +$2 helps you get to $5 and you also want it later on; also, you won't ever draw the one Vassal dead when all other actions are cantrips. Once you get thin, add more Vassals. Until then, add other cantrips, e.g. some of Harbinger, Merchant, Poacher, Market. Maybe. I think it has to be a weird board for that kind of strategy to be dominant, but hey, weird board sometimes come up, especially in base set only. I remember a game where I played a Sentry/Market/Merchant deck and it worked decently; one or two Vassals probably would've been a fine addition to that deck.
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funkdoc

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2017, 09:56:50 pm »
0

Vassal is just okay. It's not really consistent enough most of the time to rely on, and when it is, you probably don't need it? But it does have some value.

You need the terminal space for it to miss, you need to value cycling, and you need to be eventually building to a deck of mostly Actions. If you can meet all these criteria, a Vassal or two early on isn't bad, it seems better than Silver.

i mostly agree with this.  i will say, however, that vassal is clearly a better opening with chapel than silver is.  both are equally dead if drawn with the chapel, for the most part.

also, to jonaskoelker, hunting grounds-BM is barely any better than BMU according to simulator data.  not the best example =P

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2017, 10:52:41 pm »
0

Vassal is just okay. It's not really consistent enough most of the time to rely on, and when it is, you probably don't need it? But it does have some value.

You need the terminal space for it to miss, you need to value cycling, and you need to be eventually building to a deck of mostly Actions. If you can meet all these criteria, a Vassal or two early on isn't bad, it seems better than Silver.

i mostly agree with this.  i will say, however, that vassal is clearly a better opening with chapel than silver is.  both are equally dead if drawn with the chapel, for the most part.

also, to jonaskoelker, hunting grounds-BM is barely any better than BMU according to simulator data.  not the best example =P


Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 12:09:48 am »
+1

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2017, 12:17:40 am »
0

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.

strong 5s easily outweigh chapelling 3 coppers
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2017, 10:46:32 am »
+5

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.

strong 5s easily outweigh chapelling 3 coppers

wrong. trashing those coppers gets you way more $5s later, since you get to line up estates with chapel much more quickly

Awaclus

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 11:29:20 am »
0

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.

strong 5s easily outweigh chapelling 3 coppers

Chapeling 3 coppers is roughly as good as getting 3 Labs.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2017, 12:30:04 pm »
+4

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.

strong 5s easily outweigh chapelling 3 coppers

Chapeling 3 coppers is roughly as good as getting 3 Labs.

And trashing three Peddlers. And getting -$3 that turn. So, not roughly as good at all, really. Not even close.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 02:11:16 pm »
0

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.

strong 5s easily outweigh chapelling 3 coppers

Chapeling 3 coppers is roughly as good as getting 3 Labs.

And trashing three Peddlers. And getting -$3 that turn. So, not roughly as good at all, really. Not even close.

OK, interesting thought though:

Would you pay $3 to trash three Peddlers and gain three Labs?  Ignore the variable cost on Peddler and consider the "basic" "$4" Peddler.  If my deck is currently thicker than I would like, three Peddlers is worse than three Labs.  So sure, it's not as good as gaining three Labs, but it's definitely better than gaining one Lab.
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traces Around

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2017, 02:58:48 pm »
+6

Coppers aren't Peddlers.

Seprix

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 03:00:13 pm »
0

Coppers aren't Peddlers.

Coppers are just Peddlers without +Action and +Card. Also, they're not Actions. They also always cost $0, instead of just costing potentially $0 during the buy phase.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2017, 03:03:57 pm »
+3

Coppers aren't Peddlers.

No, but a Copper + a Lab is a Peddler. So trashing a Copper is like gaining a Lab but losing a Peddler.
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Seprix

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2017, 03:07:25 pm »
0

Vassal and Tactician: Ever okay, or always a mistake?
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wachsmuth

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2017, 03:09:51 pm »
+1

Vassal and Tactician: Ever okay, or always a mistake?

Playing the card you draw with Vassal is optional, not forced. Vassal + Tactician seems fine.
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Seprix

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2017, 03:11:09 pm »
0

Vassal and Tactician: Ever okay, or always a mistake?

Playing the card you draw with Vassal is optional, not forced. Vassal + Tactician seems fine.

I mean, using Vassal as a ghetto +2 Coin to make a double Tac engine work.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2017, 03:18:55 pm »
0

Vassal and Tactician: Ever okay, or always a mistake?

Playing the card you draw with Vassal is optional, not forced. Vassal + Tactician seems fine.

I mean, using Vassal as a ghetto +2 Coin to make a double Tac engine work.

I'm not seeing how it's interacting with Tactician... at least, not moreso than any non-treasure coin. So if Tactician is not good on a board, it's not going to become good because Vassal is around, and vice-versa.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2017, 04:09:13 pm »
0

trashing copper is much closer to adding a lab to your deck than it is to losing a peddler. peddler has the advantage that it doesn't take up space whereas copper does.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2017, 04:11:41 pm »
+2

trashing copper is much closer to adding a lab to your deck than it is to losing a peddler. peddler has the advantage that it doesn't take up space whereas copper does.

He wasn't saying it is more like losing a Peddler than it is like adding a Lab. He was saying that it is like adding a Lab AND losing a Peddler, which is completely correct.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2017, 05:06:55 pm »
0

Disagree. There are many times that that with say Chapel E E Si C, you'd just chapel the 2 estates and buy another silver, or Chapel C C C Si and you buy a useful 5 cost and take the hit on the chapel. And the use cases of vassal > silver are only for if chapels the 11th card. since vassal drawing a 6th card chapel is just as often a detriment as it is an advantage
If you aren't trashing as many coppers and estates 2nd shuffle, you are probably doing something wrong.
Vassal chapel opening mostly depends on the availability of villages.

strong 5s easily outweigh chapelling 3 coppers

Chapeling 3 coppers is roughly as good as getting 3 Labs.

And trashing three Peddlers. And getting -$3 that turn. So, not roughly as good at all, really. Not even close.

In the early game, cycling is so much more important than economy that they are practically the same and treating them as the same will surely increase your win rate.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2017, 05:56:00 pm »
+5

Are we really at a point in Dominion "discussion" where we can't talk about Copper, the most simple of Dominion cards without bringing up meaningless and obfuscating comparisons to other, totally unrelated, cards? Comparing Copper to Peddler in no way improves my understanding of Dominion.
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Re: Playing Vassal
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2017, 07:06:32 pm »
+2

Are we really at a point in Dominion "discussion" where we can't talk about Copper, the most simple of Dominion cards without bringing up meaningless and obfuscating comparisons to other, totally unrelated, cards? Comparing Copper to Peddler in no way improves my understanding of Dominion.

Hey, don't blame me. Awaclus started these asinine analogies. And I guess only GendoIkari actually understands what I meant. It's grossly misleading to say that I was "comparing Copper to Peddler".

Here's a tip: trashing an Estate from your deck (in the early game) actually is like gaining a Lab because any hand that would have had that Estate has an "extra" card. Hence, trashing Estates is incredibly important. A Trading Post that trashes two Estates is basically "+$2, gain a Silver and 2 Laboratories". Eventually you run out of junk to trash, which is why trashers aren't the only thing you buy every game. THAT's a useful thing to remember, but if you want to call it a meaningless and obfuscating comparison, that's your prerogative.

Trashing a Copper from your hand is not so hot; not nearly as much as trashing Estates and Curses. You're increasing your deck's reliability, but also reducing its total buying power and also your buying power that turn, which may or may not matter depending on what your buying power that turn was. This is why cards that only trash Treasures are so generous with their resources. A Moneylender or Spice Merchant that could trash Estates and other junk would be easily $5 cards; perhaps more.

Yes, often the reliability you gain from trashing Coppers from your hand is worth it, even with e.g. Trade Route. But not always. It's better when you can do a lot of it at once with e.g. Chapel, since then you're basically just giving up one buy to trash four Coppers, rather than making four buys on four later turns worse by trashing them one at a time with Trade Route.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 03:53:51 pm by LastFootnote »
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