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Author Topic: The swingiest card ever  (Read 2646 times)

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singletee

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2017, 05:24:43 pm »
+2

I think 3 relevant things have happened since that data was gathered in 2012:

1. Good players have gotten better: the skill gap between a "good" player and someone who just started playing has grown.
2. Players have gotten better at playing engines.
3. With new card releases, random kingdom selections favor engines more often.

The games in which you can just buy Embassy and win feel pretty rare nowadays.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 05:26:14 pm by singletee »
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2017, 06:35:51 pm »
0

Mountebank is pretty swingy on 5/2. I've lost to much less skilled opponents just because they were able to open MB.

What proportion of that swing was from MB and what was from getting the 5/2 split?

My definition of swingy is something that has a wide range of outcomes given identical, or near-identical start conditions. That's why I feel like Chapel and Swindler are better candidates.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 06:58:46 pm by Cave-o-sapien »
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Awaclus

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2017, 06:52:00 pm »
+2

Swingy in Dominion context means that it's quite luck dependant -> the less skilled player is more likely to win, right?

If so, I think Chapel is one of the least swingy cards in the game. My vote would go to either Swindler or Jack

I'm not sure that's actually a good measure. At least, it doesn't really fit my definition of "swinginess" at all. That definition is more, "is this card both strong and simple to use?" If so, then yeah obviously it's going to favor the less skilled player. Embassy does not seem luck-dependent to me. Quite the opposite, in fact; it sifts as it draws. But it is a card that has a very simple strategy, so sometimes a novice player employing that strategy will beat the more nuanced deck. Ditto Jack of all Trades.
I think there are two metrics to consider here. There's "how much does the presence of this card in the game downplay skill" and there's "how much can one draw of this card vary."

The rrenaud thing I love linking to is of course the first metric. Embassy makes the game more about luck by making skill less relevant; I don't need to do anything clever, I can just buy Embassy. The tricky things you can do may be competitive, but they don't just beat up the Embassy guy. In multiplayer it's magnified; I always remember that game from a few years back where three people had turn one Embassy. My buys went Embassy, nothing, Embassy, Province, Province, Province, Province. I did not learn anything about whatever we were playtesting.

Tournament is an example of the second. Maybe you draw it with Province, maybe you don't; it's a big difference. This makes it feel like it's all about luck, even though the card actually favors the better player.

Well, cards that work in strong simple strategies favor weak players for sure, but in a match-up between two highly skilled players, Embassy doesn't really favor the slightly less skilled player as much as something like Chapel does. It depends on the board of course; if it's just Embassy/BM and there's nothing better either player could do, it's just a matter of luck basically, but more often than not, there's an engine that can beat the BM. For example, maybe on a certain board, I would have a 30% chance of beating Stef with Embassy/BM, which is actually pretty good if you're not very skilled, but being me, I might want to aim for something like 40% so I would mirror his strategy anyway. And if there's Chapel, that's a great opportunity for him to draw badly.

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2017, 09:09:03 pm »
+7

The games in which you can just buy Embassy and win feel pretty rare nowadays.
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tastor

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2017, 12:45:48 am »
+1

Tournament is an example of the second. Maybe you draw it with Province, maybe you don't; it's a big difference. This makes it feel like it's all about luck, even though the card actually favors the better player.

Totally anecdotal but last night I played a game where my opponent opened tournament/silver and then played tournament/silver + 4 coppers to buy inheritance to play on silver, then he bought a Province the next turn and immediately started buying up more provinces and winning prizes.

That doesn't mean I voted Tournament, cause I think it's less about a specific card and more (like in this instance) about combinations that push that swinginess. I've played games where I got Champion first then kept making my opponent discard his with Warrior while doing other attacks, but this is obviously dependent on what attacks/cards are in play that make Champion both worthwhile to pursue and snowball if you get it first and start spamming terminals.
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Titandrake

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2017, 12:50:10 am »
+1

Swingy in Dominion context means that it's quite luck dependant -> the less skilled player is more likely to win, right?

If so, I think Chapel is one of the least swingy cards in the game. My vote would go to either Swindler or Jack

I'm not sure that's actually a good measure. At least, it doesn't really fit my definition of "swinginess" at all. That definition is more, "is this card both strong and simple to use?" If so, then yeah obviously it's going to favor the less skilled player. Embassy does not seem luck-dependent to me. Quite the opposite, in fact; it sifts as it draws. But it is a card that has a very simple strategy, so sometimes a novice player employing that strategy will beat the more nuanced deck. Ditto Jack of all Trades.
I think there are two metrics to consider here. There's "how much does the presence of this card in the game downplay skill" and there's "how much can one draw of this card vary."

The rrenaud thing I love linking to is of course the first metric. Embassy makes the game more about luck by making skill less relevant; I don't need to do anything clever, I can just buy Embassy. The tricky things you can do may be competitive, but they don't just beat up the Embassy guy. In multiplayer it's magnified; I always remember that game from a few years back where three people had turn one Embassy. My buys went Embassy, nothing, Embassy, Province, Province, Province, Province. I did not learn anything about whatever we were playtesting.

Tournament is an example of the second. Maybe you draw it with Province, maybe you don't; it's a big difference. This makes it feel like it's all about luck, even though the card actually favors the better player.

Well, cards that work in strong simple strategies favor weak players for sure, but in a match-up between two highly skilled players, Embassy doesn't really favor the slightly less skilled player as much as something like Chapel does. It depends on the board of course; if it's just Embassy/BM and there's nothing better either player could do, it's just a matter of luck basically, but more often than not, there's an engine that can beat the BM. For example, maybe on a certain board, I would have a 30% chance of beating Stef with Embassy/BM, which is actually pretty good if you're not very skilled, but being me, I might want to aim for something like 40% so I would mirror his strategy anyway. And if there's Chapel, that's a great opportunity for him to draw badly.

I think you're focusing too much on matches between two skilled players.

The whole time, your argument has been, "given two highly skilled players that are reasonably close in skill level, card X makes the less skilled player win more often than they should because of A, B, and C."

rrenaud's chart measures how uncertain a game's outcome is, based on all matches, including games where people aren't close in skill level.

I have played several games where I drew Chapel with 4 Copper, and my opponent drew it with 3 Estates, and I still won because they made mistakes in the mid-game. I've won games in other situations that looked similarly bad, often because of things like my opponent not respecting potential 3-piles, or getting overconfident in their engine and not trashing down as much as they should have. Against a player of similar skill level, those mistakes shouldn't happen that often and I shouldn't be able to make comeback victories.

I've also played games where my Chapel went to turn 5, my opponent autopiloted the engine, and it felt like there was nothing I could do. Those games exist. But by symmetry there are also games where I get dream draws and there's nothing my opponent can do. At a single game level, a bad Chapel draw can really ruin your chances, but on average I find it easy to believe Chapel helps the better player win more often, and rrenaud's numbers back it up.

If you restricted the matches used to only ones that were between players of similar level, and then further restricted it to only matches among people above a certain level threshold, I imagine you'd get different results.

Edit: more to the point, I'm not sure you and Donald actually disagree on anything, I think you're just arguing from different definitions.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 12:53:05 am by Titandrake »
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Skumpy

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2017, 01:30:10 am »
+1

Tournament is an example of the second. Maybe you draw it with Province, maybe you don't; it's a big difference. This makes it feel like it's all about luck, even though the card actually favors the better player.

Totally anecdotal but last night I played a game where my opponent opened tournament/silver and then played tournament/silver + 4 coppers to buy inheritance to play on silver, then he bought a Province the next turn and immediately started buying up more provinces and winning prizes.

This sounds familiar...
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trivialknot

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2017, 01:49:05 am »
+3

In my personal definition of "swingy", it's not just about who wins or loses.  It's about how badly players win or lose, even when they're playing at similar skill levels.  Cultist is swingy because so often it results in 7/3 ruins splits.  In general, high-cost cards (King's Court, Goons, Platinum) are swingy because if you're lucky enough to spike them early, you can gain a snowball advantage.  Tournament is swingy because it relies on a high cost card (Province) followed by a specific collision.  Champion is swingy when you shuffle it into a large deck that takes several turns to draw through.

On the other hand, I don't think of BM+Embassy games as being swingy even if they're very luck-based, because such games are often very close.

Every time I see the title of this thread, I keep on thinking, "They can't all be the swingiest card ever."
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Awaclus

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2017, 05:15:35 am »
0

Edit: more to the point, I'm not sure you and Donald actually disagree on anything, I think you're just arguing from different definitions.

It wasn't really my intention to tell him that he's wrong or anything, just discuss stuff because I was coming from a different point of view.

LastFootnote

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2017, 10:32:33 am »
+2

Totally anecdotal but last night I played a game where my opponent opened tournament/silver and then played tournament/silver + 4 coppers to buy inheritance to play on silver, then he bought a Province the next turn and immediately started buying up more provinces and winning prizes.

You…can't inherit Silver? It's not an Action card. Or am I misunderstanding what happened?
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jsh357

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2017, 10:59:57 am »
+1

I think dominion takes place a little too early for swing. Not that we have the best ever records of street music for the time....
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JW

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2017, 12:01:33 pm »
+3

Totally anecdotal but last night I played a game where my opponent opened tournament/silver and then played tournament/silver + 4 coppers to buy inheritance to play on silver, then he bought a Province the next turn and immediately started buying up more provinces and winning prizes.

You…can't inherit Silver? It's not an Action card. Or am I misunderstanding what happened?

Inheritance was placed on Tournament, it's a typo in the original post. Pretty brutal: Followers even gives you more Estate-Tournaments!
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Omastar68

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2017, 02:05:14 pm »
0

Kinda wanna say Possession. Buying it, but also what kind of turn(s) are you getting?

But even though that's swingy, idk about what would be the most swingy. Most throne room variants will be a bit swingy, except Royal Carriage mostly. Pretty much any attack can be swingy, depending on the board for some. For instance, even plain cursers like Witch can be swingy if Hermit is on the board. Any Village can be swingy, drawing too many when you don't need them or not enough when you do. Most reactions, especially Fool's Gold:)

In my experience I can definitely remember swinginess with Sentry. Had quite a bit with Talisman, drawing it and getting so much money I didn't want 2 4s or less, so it ended up being a copper. Treasure Maps ofc. Any number of reactions, one time my Moat always missed Sea Hags, and all my Hags drowned. Knights for sure. I've hit Warriors w/ my own twice, made a giant difference, but that barely happens. Island is a big one, the TR variants I've had, Swindler, Beggar(often it's the reaction u want and it's a dead card otherwise,) etc. Couldn't pick a swingiest, that seems subjective.
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Chappy7

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2017, 02:26:26 pm »
0

I've had some pretty swingy games with the travelers. Especially Champion.  Whoever goes first gets a sizable advantage and sometimes your traveler gets hit by their warrior, then you're deck is hosed.  That doesn't mean you played bad, it just means that you got unlucky.  Feels pretty swingy to me.
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xyz123

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2017, 02:30:44 pm »
+1

Potion openings. Whether or not you are able to buy the potion cost card on turn 3 or 4 can sometimes make a big difference.

The most ridiculous example of shuffle luck I have seen was in a game where both me and my opponent were going for a Golem/Scheme/Council Room strategy. Tunnel was also on the board so Golds could be gained whilst Golem was searching out the other actions.

My opponent opened Potion/Tunnel then had 4 Copper/Potion and 3 Copper/Estate/Tunnel for their turn 3 and 4 hands gaining them their Golem and Scheme. Their turn 5 hand included Golem, which sailed past their Tunnel gaining a Gold on its way to finding the Scheme.

Mint can also be very swingy if one player gets a 5/2 start and there other cards that support a Mint opening.
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Kirian

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2017, 02:39:53 pm »
0

I voted Swindler.  I had a game in the last couple of days (I can't remember what everything was) where of my first 3 buys, two of them were Swindled into junk before I could play them.  The third buy was Swindler, where I at least hit Copper to Curse... but it could well have been Estate to Estate.

One card off either way and my opponent and I would have been on close to even footing.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2017, 03:56:46 pm »
0

Mint can also be very swingy if one player gets a 5/2 start and there other cards that support a Mint opening.

Similar to the Mountebank argument made earlier, I don't see how this means Mint is swingy. It just means Dominion's rules for starting hands can be swingy. There are many scenarios where 5/2 gives one player a huge advantage. I don't think that makes all of the 5 cards in those scenarios "swingy".
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xyz123

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2017, 04:14:34 pm »
+2

Mint can also be very swingy if one player gets a 5/2 start and there other cards that support a Mint opening.

Similar to the Mountebank argument made earlier, I don't see how this means Mint is swingy. It just means Dominion's rules for starting hands can be swingy. There are many scenarios where 5/2 gives one player a huge advantage. I don't think that makes all of the 5 cards in those scenarios "swingy".

I would argue Mint is an exception to this as how you pay for Mint makes a difference. It is at its best when it is bought using 5 Coppers. The most likely time to see a 5 Copper hand is a 5/2 opening.

It can also be swingy later on. For example after opening Silver/Silver, you would buy a Mint on turn 3 with a 5 Copper hand, you wouldn't with a 2 Silver, Copper, 2 Estate hand. You would buy a Mountebank with either hand.
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2017, 04:24:30 pm »
0

Mint can also be very swingy if one player gets a 5/2 start and there other cards that support a Mint opening.

Similar to the Mountebank argument made earlier, I don't see how this means Mint is swingy. It just means Dominion's rules for starting hands can be swingy. There are many scenarios where 5/2 gives one player a huge advantage. I don't think that makes all of the 5 cards in those scenarios "swingy".

I would argue Mint is an exception to this as how you pay for Mint makes a difference. It is at its best when it is bought using 5 Coppers. The most likely time to see a 5 Copper hand is a 5/2 opening.

It can also be swingy later on. For example after opening Silver/Silver, you would buy a Mint on turn 3 with a 5 Copper hand, you wouldn't with a 2 Silver, Copper, 2 Estate hand. You would buy a Mountebank with either hand.

Fair points.
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Holger

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #44 on: June 28, 2017, 05:46:35 am »
0


Mint can also be very swingy if one player gets a 5/2 start and there other cards that support a Mint opening.

But there are very few cards that do - basically only Fool's Gold and $2- cards that guarantee a $3-4 turn on the second shuffle, i.e. Poor House and Secret Chamber (RIP).
(Baker and Borrow don't count here because they remove the swinginess of the opening.)
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Q

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2017, 05:59:40 am »
0

When a Swindler converts your 5 into a Duchy the game is basically over.
First Tournament "hit" on the other hand is basically an effect spread over several cards so a single Tournament is not that swingy.
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Sharajat

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2017, 09:54:41 am »
+3


Mint can also be very swingy if one player gets a 5/2 start and there other cards that support a Mint opening.

But there are very few cards that do - basically only Fool's Gold and $2- cards that guarantee a $3-4 turn on the second shuffle, i.e. Poor House and Secret Chamber (RIP).
(Baker and Borrow don't count here because they remove the swinginess of the opening.)

Worst of those is definitely Alms.  5/2 Mint/Alms-Remake is a disgusting, disgusting thing. 

Actually Alms is pretty degenerate with 5/2s.
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pingpongsam

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2017, 10:04:30 am »
0

I went with Tournament. The fact that it requires more steps to pull off I think makes it more swingy.

Tournament definitely leads to me resigning more than any other card on this list. Once they get two more Prizes than me, I feel like that's it, game over. (Assuming I was going for Tournament too, which I basically always do.)

All that said, I'm guessing Chapel is actually more swingy, and I voted for that.

Wow, I've won many a game where the opponent took all the prizes completely uncontested.
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LastFootnote

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #48 on: June 28, 2017, 10:17:51 am »
0

I went with Tournament. The fact that it requires more steps to pull off I think makes it more swingy.

Tournament definitely leads to me resigning more than any other card on this list. Once they get two more Prizes than me, I feel like that's it, game over. (Assuming I was going for Tournament too, which I basically always do.)

All that said, I'm guessing Chapel is actually more swingy, and I voted for that.

Wow, I've won many a game where the opponent took all the prizes completely uncontested.

Were you pursuing Tournament in those games, or ignoring it?
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Gherald

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Re: The swingiest card ever
« Reply #49 on: July 01, 2017, 12:25:55 am »
+1

Sentry as the only or best trasher on the board can be more swingy than Chapel, because it's harder to recover from reaching $5 late and having bad luck with it.

To me a more interesting variable than pure swinginess is how much bad luck that ensues can be countered or mitigated with skillful play.

Black Market for example, appears extremely swingy the first few times you play it. "My opponent can do things I can't do!" is a classic newbie feeling. And yet after you become familiar enough with all the cards, you learn to appreciate the many skillful choices it presents you, and don't feel as dismayed the moment your opponent is able to buy a game-defining card from it.

----
My answer is Urchin. The problem with Urchin is that if your opponent gets luckier and starts spamming Mercenary plays sooner than you, there's often too little you can do to catch up. Note that I said often .. not always, not even most of the time, but often enough there's just little you can do to make the most of 3 card hands and the difficulty of lining your own late Mercenary up with your junk.

----
Tournament's swinginess is overrated. The prizes are good, but not as good as people think. You can easily win without any of them.

Honestly, Tournament is most swingy in Engine games without +buy or relevant gainers. That Princess becomes more relevant than Followers.

Followers is best understood as a weaker version of buying the only Goons off the black market.  It has no buy and the net VP effect of curses can be trashed. Good players know how to not be slowed down too much by its Militia attack.
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