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Author Topic: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion  (Read 2161 times)

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Awaclus

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2017, 10:45:28 am »
+2

I mostly agree with Mic, but I think Junk Dealer is usually significantly better than Sentry when you get it on the second shuffle, because it helps you hit $5 so planning to go for JD allows you to prioritize cycling over economy a little during the very early stages of building the deck, which is good for tempo. Obviously you still have to be able to hit $5 at least once because otherwise you won't get the Junk Dealer, but a deck that can hit $5 once is a lot easier to build than a deck that can hit $5 constantly.
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Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

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markusin

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2017, 11:39:43 am »
+2

On the other side of the spectrum, consider Forge. Forge can be a stronger trasher in the mid-game as opposed to the early game (suppose there's Tactician or something like that), but you wouldn't say that it "demonstrates how critical it is to start trashing in the mid-game". It just happens to be when Forge is strongest at trashing (in that case). On the other hand, the particular mechanics of Sentry make it more effective at trashing in the early game, but not just because early trashing is good.

But the fact that early trashing is good in general, combined with Sentry's early peak trashing ability, makes you want Sentry as soon as possible. And there's an obvious power-level disparity between how Sentry works when you get it early vs. later. I mean, you already normally want trashers as soon as possible, but it's perhaps even more important with Sentry when it's the only trasher, and the $5 cost makes this a point worth making. I believe this is somewhat separate from the fact that early trashing is good. And I think because of this, it's not really clear that Sentry itself demonstrates that early trashing is better than mid-game trashing in general. I believe that lesson is much more clear with Chapel, which is also in Base. A more natural progression might be first understanding Chapel and why trashing at all is good, then understanding why especially early game trashing is good when Chapel is available, then building on that to understand Sentry.

I get that Chapel is old and already has plenty written about it, and Sentry is new. It's great to have an article about Sentry especially for new players. Perhaps some more comparison between Sentry and Chapel would be worthwhile, considering they will often appear together in Base-only kingdoms, or at least one of them will be in the kingdom fairly often.

I think the concept of a trasher being much better when gained very early has already been demonstrated by Trading Post from Intrigue. Trading Post is another $5 cost trasher that, like Sentry, is a good deal stronger when gained in the opening turns. A comparison between Sentry and Trading Post might be appropriate.
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crj

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2017, 07:56:48 pm »
+3

On the other side of the spectrum, consider Forge. Forge can be a stronger trasher in the mid-game as opposed to the early game (suppose there's Tactician or something like that)
If I could afford Forge before the first shuffle, I'd buy Forge before the first shuffle. I think the only reason we don't see how great it is as an early trasher is that we never have it to try out.
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markusin

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2017, 11:26:52 pm »
+1

On the other side of the spectrum, consider Forge. Forge can be a stronger trasher in the mid-game as opposed to the early game (suppose there's Tactician or something like that)
If I could afford Forge before the first shuffle, I'd buy Forge before the first shuffle. I think the only reason we don't see how great it is as an early trasher is that we never have it to try out.

Well, I'm already a lot more likely to gain Forge in the mid game than I am Chapel or Sentry despite Forge costing $7. That's got to be a plus for Forge right?
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Awaclus

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 11:33:06 pm »
+1

On the other side of the spectrum, consider Forge. Forge can be a stronger trasher in the mid-game as opposed to the early game (suppose there's Tactician or something like that)
If I could afford Forge before the first shuffle, I'd buy Forge before the first shuffle. I think the only reason we don't see how great it is as an early trasher is that we never have it to try out.

Well, I'm already a lot more likely to gain Forge in the mid game than I am Chapel or Sentry despite Forge costing $7. That's got to be a plus for Forge right?

I'd buy a $7 Chapel over Forge a decent amount of the time.
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Shvegait

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2017, 01:01:44 am »
0

On the other side of the spectrum, consider Forge. Forge can be a stronger trasher in the mid-game as opposed to the early game (suppose there's Tactician or something like that)
If I could afford Forge before the first shuffle, I'd buy Forge before the first shuffle. I think the only reason we don't see how great it is as an early trasher is that we never have it to try out.

This is a fair point, and I agree with you. But I wasn't trying to make an argument about Forge, just about what conclusions you might draw after playing with a card a bit that may or may not generalize. Sometimes, a late Forge can get you thin quickly and that could be the way to go on a particular board, but it would be incorrect to draw the conclusion that later trashing is a good idea in general. Maybe it was a bad example because the conditions are not usually right for Forge, but it was the first thing that came to mind.

The comment in the article was that Sentry demonstrates that early trashing is important more than most other trashers do. I don't think this is true, since most trashers demonstrate this clearly enough. It would be more difficult to find a decent trasher that doesn't demonstrate that. You just often don't see the disparity when both players can always open with the trasher. New players might not do that, but they could eventually learn that an early Steward is good, or an early Remake is good, or an early Chapel is good when their opponents open with them, quickly get lean, efficient decks, and win. Of course, Sentry can be a fast trasher, so it makes this same point. Everyone gets to see this disparity in action on Sentry, because you can't always open with it, and there's a power level difference based on when you get it. But the power level difference of Sentry based on when you get it is not really generalizable to trashing in general, so "early trashing is good" and "early Sentry is good" get muddled a bit, that's all.
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Awaclus

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2017, 01:25:01 am »
0

But the power level difference of Sentry based on when you get it is not really generalizable to trashing in general

Well, it is, to an extent. If your deck consists of 50% stop cards that you don't want to trash and 50% junk, Sentry will only trash one card instead of two and Chapel will only trash two instead of four, on average. The main difference is that Chapel doesn't care about things that aren't stop cards whereas Sentry does.
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Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

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Puk

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2017, 08:59:08 am »
0

I think another advantage of Sentry that isn't mentioned (correct me if i'm wrong), is that it trashes cards that are not in your hand: you get to trash the copper for your next hand, but can still use the copper that's in your hand now to boost your economy.
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Awaclus

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 09:05:26 am »
0

I think another advantage of Sentry that isn't mentioned (correct me if i'm wrong), is that it trashes cards that are not in your hand: you get to trash the copper for your next hand, but can still use the copper that's in your hand now to boost your economy.

And Sentry has the ability to nonterminally trash two cards, without reducing your handsize or buying power the turn you play it.
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4est

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2017, 02:30:53 pm »
+3

Thanks everyone for the feedback and discussion!  Very helpful for picking out key ideas to emphasize and areas to correct or rephrase.

I’ve updated the OP again with a few minor edits and revisions—the biggest change is I’ve removed the “Advanced Techniques” section.  I added this in my first revision to explain how to use sifters to selectively discard trash targets and how to control shuffles with the sifting ability, but given that this article was mainly targeted at new players, I’ve decided that this section feels out of place, adds unnecessary length, and distracts from the main points.  Perhaps such techniques can be described in another article on sifters and shuffle control, but for now I’d rather keep this Sentry article clean and simple wherever possible.

I'll add that it's been a fun process to work on this piece, and I'm excited by much of the renewed discussion, revamped blog, and lots of fresh articles I've seen recently.  Props to Titandrake and many others for encouraging the community to work together in creating and curating valuable content and conversations that can help veterans and new players alike improve their game.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2017, 05:01:12 pm »
+5

This article is now up on the main Dominion Strategy page https://dominionstrategy.com/2017/09/18/sentry-how-to-play-it-and-what-it-teaches-us-about-dominion/. Congrats to 4est for his well-written article.
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Donald X.

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2017, 06:47:27 pm »
0

This article is now up on the main Dominion Strategy page https://dominionstrategy.com/2017/09/18/sentry-how-to-play-it-and-what-it-teaches-us-about-dominion/. Congrats to 4est for his well-written article.
I would use a big byline. Article title, big byline, then your italic paragraph.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Sentry: How to Play it and What it Teaches us about Dominion
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2017, 09:26:17 pm »
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That's a good idea. When I get home, I will fix it.
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Contrary to popular belief, I do not run the wiki all on my own.  There are plenty of other people who are actively editing.  Go bother them!

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