Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]

Author Topic: Self-Synergy  (Read 701 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DG

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3887
  • Respect: +2403
    • View Profile
Self-Synergy
« on: November 14, 2017, 10:10:12 am »
+20

 A Short Article on Self-Synergy

 
What is it?

For the purposes of this article, self-synergy can be any interaction of a card with a copy if itself.

What does it look like?

There's no limit here. It can be a workshop gaining a workshop. It can be a farmland trashing a farmland to gain a province. It can be a mandarin putting treasures on top of the deck so that you can buy another mandarin next turn. It can be repeated plays of an attack, perhaps by different players, that do more damage together.


Why is it important?

If there is one thing to take away from this article it is this: Self-synergy is important because it is always in the kingdom. At one time you could play Base Set Dominion and feel that the synergy between festival and library was important. Nowadays there are so many different Dominion cards that you might never play with festival and library in the same kingdom.

The consequence is that self-synergy should be very high on the list of things to learn when looking at new cards, no matter how exciting the synergy is between different cards.

The more complex concepts found in later expansions have self-synergy as an intrinsic part of the design, as seen with split piles, castles, and traveler cards. These cards require a lot of skill to play but a lot of that skill comes from an understanding of the self-synergy.

Combos

A number of well known combos, such as native village + bridge or ironworks + silk roads, are actually the combination of two strong self-synergies. If you can understand those self-synergies then you can start piecing together alternative combos in random kingdoms using different cards, tokens, and events.

Deck Building

This subject is really far too large to detail so here are a  few things to consider.

How good are the products of using a card on itself? (procession, upgrade)
Does the synergy increase greatly when you add many copies of a card to a deck ? (advisors)
Will adding more copies of a card reduce the effectiveness of each one? (chariot race)
Are completely new strategies created when you use enough copies of a card? (rebuild, horn of plenty)
Is the self-synergy strong enough to make the card a key pile that needs contesting? (minions)
Are there times when self-synergy vanishes entirely? (farmland)
Does self-synergy help some uses of a card and hinder others? (native village)
Can you interfere with an opponent's strategy by having copies of their key card? (wild hunt, lurker)
Logged

Seprix

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5291
  • Shuffle iT Username: Seprix
  • Respect: +2976
    • View Profile
    • The Border Village
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 10:59:42 am »
+6

My mind has been opened. my mint has been opened i have only two coppers left someone help me please
Logged
the weed whackers will return

Bowi

  • Chancellor
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 20
  • Respect: +55
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 01:07:32 pm »
0

This is such a great topic. I've had a fascination recently with cards with self-synergy for a while but never thought to lump them together into one concept. In particular I was looking into soft terminals (mostly trash-for-benefit and BM cards) and multiplicative payload (Bridge, Bridge Troll, Goons, Merchant Guild). Would love to see this topic expanded upon even more.
Logged

dedicateddan

  • 2017 Dominion Online Champion
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 356
  • Shuffle iT Username: dan brooks
  • Respect: +724
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 02:05:43 pm »
0

Nice article.

Although you don't often think about it, if you buy one copy of a card with a high degree of self-synergy, you're likely to buy a lot of them.

Take Silk Road, for example. Silk Road scores more points the more Silk Roads you have. So more often than not, you either want 0 or 8 Silk Roads in your deck. Taking 1 or 2 happens sometimes, but isn't really maximizing the card.

Some other examples of cards with self-synergy include Minion, Sauna/Avanto, Fool's Gold, Urchin, Cultist, Scrying Pool, Hunting Party, Herald, Wishing Well, King's Court and Alchemist. With these cards, more is usually better, particularly for the stronger cards on the list.

On the other hand of the spectrum, there are cards that are best in moderation. Gladiator is a good example of this. It's a strong card, but most decks only want 1. And, since the Fortune doubling is limited at once per turn, you usually want exactly one.

Some other example of these support cards include Outpost, Crossroads, Militia, Counterfeit, Ghost Ship, and Spice Merchant. The first copy of these cards is often good, but subsequent copies have diminishing returns.
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2017, 03:59:30 pm »
+2

The most obvious self-synergy is Treasure Map.

The king of self-synergy is Governor: the first gains you a Gold, the second draws it and the third remodels the Gold into a Province.

No matter how hard I squint, I can't quite make self-synergy a thing that Conspirator does, but getting the first Grand Market makes it easier to buy more of them. Playing Peddler reduces the cost of Peddler and gives you money to buy another Peddler.

If you get swindled into a second Loan, it can trash the first one. Likewise for many other trashers, and sometimes actually relevant when you buy a big Doctor and trash the one you picked up early.

You typically want to play half the copies of each of your duration cards every turn—most pronounced for Tactician—which feels a bit like self-synergy. Journey token cards similarly have sorta'-self-synergy due to the nature of the mechanism.

Play City Quarters, reveal City Quarters, draw City Quarters.

Emptying the City pile, which correlates with having many Cities, has synergy with City.

Baker lets you open Baker.

Navigator can skip your other Navigator and find good cards instead; Mill can discard a Mill; Explorer can fill up your deck with Silver, making it less likely that it will collide with your other Explorer(s)—but I'm not really impressed by any of this. Playing three Devil's Workshops lets you gain an Imp, guaranteed, but that feels like the wrong way of doing it.

Some cards handle self-collision well: Gear, Embassy, Vault, Horse Traders, Remake—but that's compensation for self-anti-synergy, not the addition of positive self-synergy.

Most "it's complicated" self-synergy is Magpie: you want a high treasure density to make them Labs, but you want a high Action/Victory density to gain lots of Magpies (which increases your Action density which makes them not-labs).

A pair of Stashes synergizes well with a second pair of Stashes, in that if you topdeck all 4 when you shuffle, you have a guaranteed Province hand. ("Pair" is not really the right unit of analysis here, but it's fun.)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 04:02:41 pm by jonaskoelker »
Logged

O

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 784
  • Respect: +499
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2017, 04:01:59 pm »
0

I might be OOTL but I'm not sure if this article (and the comments) are just memeing or not.
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2017, 04:06:24 pm »
+1

Logged

crj

  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 339
  • Respect: +432
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2017, 04:37:11 pm »
0

Interesting topic. It feels like it might be worth distinguishing cards that self-synergise from piles that self-synergise, though?

If this is being fleshed out into a full article, it definitely bears mentioning that you should always look for self-synergy when you see a split pile, because it'll be there more often than not.

I don't want this thread to go the way of a certain other thread, but I would say that Nobles was a useful example of a self-synergistic card from Intrigue.
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 06:02:02 pm »
+2

I might be OOTL but I'm not sure if this article (and the comments) are just memeing or not.
The Mint part of Seprix's comment is a Mint joke, that's a meme.

My "Play City Quarters, reveal City Quarters, draw City Quarters" is a reference to "play a Village, draw a Village", see video below. It also makes the serious point that the more CQs you have, the better each of them is—but any action card would make each CQ better to the same degree, so massing CQs is not great. On the other hand, if you have 1 or maybe 2 more than you need, you're more likely to have those you need in hand when you need them. So, while my initial (implicit) analysis is true, a more detailed analysis is more strategically relevant. On average. I think. So maybe that's 60% joke, 40% serious.

Much of my post is a serious attempt at stretching the concept of self-synergy in order to see what happens. I didn't spot much memeing anywhere else. But then again, I don't squint as well as Fry does ;)


Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2017, 06:32:40 pm »
0

One concept that might fit into a discussion of self-synergy is self-opposition.
  • The thinning part of Ambassador defends against the junking part of Ambassador.
  • In Minion mirrors, you should probably assume you get Minion-attacked between your turns, which means you should do shuffle control differently.
  • Your Lurker has synergy with your other Lurker, but anti-synergy with your opponents' Lurkers.
  • Powering down your own Poachers also powers down your opponents' Poachers. (Similarly for powering up Cities.)
  • Governor gives your opponent Silver which they can Governor-remodel into more Governors. It draws your opponents cards, which lets them use more of their own Governors for its other abilities.
  • Oracle can skip your opponents' Oracles.
  • Bandit gains targets for your opponents' Bandits, and regains treasure lost to your opponents' Bandits.
  • The Silver-gain of Bureaucrat lowers your Victory density, rendering you less vulnerable to the attack part of Bureaucrat.
  • Any junker has less junk to deal out if your opponent gives you half the junk.
  • ... But Mountebank lowers your Curse density, making it more likely that your opponent's Mountebank will hit.
Graverobber self-synergizes: it can remodel Graverobber into Province and gain Graverobber back from the trash.
It also self-opposes: your opponents' Graverobbers can gain your Graverobbers back from the trash.

Playing n Torturers (if you have the village support) is different from n times the effect of a single Torturer. It also sorta' self-opposes, in that +3 cards compensates for discarding two cards (once) at the cost of an action.

Not all of these effects are strategically important—but they all deal with how playing a card interacts with your opponents' plays of that same card.
Logged

O

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 784
  • Respect: +499
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2017, 06:39:59 pm »
+7

Well if it's not a meme...

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?

The article approaches things from a high level terminology standpoint and I don't see where someone isn't going to figure out "stacking [minions, city quarters, governors)" is good through simpler means than this article. It seems to be more about categorizing the concept than anything about applying or recognizing the concept. Since how good stacking is ends up being kingdom and case dependent anyways, it's not even clear that discussing that in a broad sense and not in a card specific sense would work in the first place.

And obviously, "will this help someone improve at the game" isn't necessarily the only metric for articles. But if it's about terminology and categorization, well, I thought we had a totally amazing lovely and productive discussion about this in another thread... if only I could remember that threads title.

Logged

Bowi

  • Chancellor
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 20
  • Respect: +55
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2017, 11:00:25 pm »
0

Well if it's not a meme...

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?

The article approaches things from a high level terminology standpoint and I don't see where someone isn't going to figure out "stacking [minions, city quarters, governors)" is good through simpler means than this article. It seems to be more about categorizing the concept than anything about applying or recognizing the concept. Since how good stacking is ends up being kingdom and case dependent anyways, it's not even clear that discussing that in a broad sense and not in a card specific sense would work in the first place.

And obviously, "will this help someone improve at the game" isn't necessarily the only metric for articles. But if it's about terminology and categorization, well, I thought we had a totally amazing lovely and productive discussion about this in another thread... if only I could remember that threads title.

Not every article has to be explicit advice. This article makes an implicit concept explicit. That in itself has value. Rather than just doing something you can know why you do it. Yeah self-synergy is pretty straightforward for some cards (Governor, Minion) or even printed on the card (Treasure Map, Fool's Gold), but sometimes it's a bit more subtle (Gear, Hunting Party). It also is a concept that provides a link between otherwise dissimilar cards.

And yes, all of this does have an effect on how you play, although it is subtle. It comes into effect when you're weighing two options; it might tip the scales ever so slightly in favor of the self-synergy (assuming you were previously unfamiliar with the concept).
Logged

O

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 784
  • Respect: +499
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 11:42:12 pm »
+1

Well if it's not a meme...

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?

The article approaches things from a high level terminology standpoint and I don't see where someone isn't going to figure out "stacking [minions, city quarters, governors)" is good through simpler means than this article. It seems to be more about categorizing the concept than anything about applying or recognizing the concept. Since how good stacking is ends up being kingdom and case dependent anyways, it's not even clear that discussing that in a broad sense and not in a card specific sense would work in the first place.

And obviously, "will this help someone improve at the game" isn't necessarily the only metric for articles. But if it's about terminology and categorization, well, I thought we had a totally amazing lovely and productive discussion about this in another thread... if only I could remember that threads title.

Not every article has to be explicit advice. This article makes an implicit concept explicit. That in itself has value. Rather than just doing something you can know why you do it. Yeah self-synergy is pretty straightforward for some cards (Governor, Minion) or even printed on the card (Treasure Map, Fool's Gold), but sometimes it's a bit more subtle (Gear, Hunting Party). It also is a concept that provides a link between otherwise dissimilar cards.

And yes, all of this does have an effect on how you play, although it is subtle. It comes into effect when you're weighing two options; it might tip the scales ever so slightly in favor of the self-synergy (assuming you were previously unfamiliar with the concept).

Who was previously unfamiliar with the concept that you might want a bunch of one card?
Logged

Bowi

  • Chancellor
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 20
  • Respect: +55
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2017, 12:23:01 am »
0

Well if it's not a meme...

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?

The article approaches things from a high level terminology standpoint and I don't see where someone isn't going to figure out "stacking [minions, city quarters, governors)" is good through simpler means than this article. It seems to be more about categorizing the concept than anything about applying or recognizing the concept. Since how good stacking is ends up being kingdom and case dependent anyways, it's not even clear that discussing that in a broad sense and not in a card specific sense would work in the first place.

And obviously, "will this help someone improve at the game" isn't necessarily the only metric for articles. But if it's about terminology and categorization, well, I thought we had a totally amazing lovely and productive discussion about this in another thread... if only I could remember that threads title.

Not every article has to be explicit advice. This article makes an implicit concept explicit. That in itself has value. Rather than just doing something you can know why you do it. Yeah self-synergy is pretty straightforward for some cards (Governor, Minion) or even printed on the card (Treasure Map, Fool's Gold), but sometimes it's a bit more subtle (Gear, Hunting Party). It also is a concept that provides a link between otherwise dissimilar cards.

And yes, all of this does have an effect on how you play, although it is subtle. It comes into effect when you're weighing two options; it might tip the scales ever so slightly in favor of the self-synergy (assuming you were previously unfamiliar with the concept).

Who was previously unfamiliar with the concept that you might want a bunch of one card?

There's a difference between wanting a bunch of one card and self-synergy that you seem to be missing. Anyway I'm not saying it's a brand new concept, but it's something that's in the back of a lot of players' heads, and it's nice to have it in writing.
Logged

Cuzz

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 424
  • Shuffle iT Username: Cuzz
  • Respect: +668
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2017, 01:19:36 am »
+1

massing CQs is not great.

I kinda think massing CQ is pretty great #livethatCQidiotlife
Logged

Seprix

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5291
  • Shuffle iT Username: Seprix
  • Respect: +2976
    • View Profile
    • The Border Village
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2017, 08:39:18 am »
0

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article?

It's a joke about redundancy. Or at least a joke about something. Maybe this confused speculation is the joke.
Logged
the weed whackers will return

Screwyioux

  • Pawn
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
  • Shuffle iT Username: Screwyioux
  • Respect: +5
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2017, 11:44:06 am »
+5

I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned the ultimate self-synergy card, and indeed possibly the most powerful interaction in Dominion: Rats.

Rats gains Rats which eventually fills your deck with Rats, rendering you invulnerable to the mandatory trashing from Rats.
The first time you pull this combo on an inexperienced player, they'll probably want to read the card a few times to make sure you're not cheating, but I assure you, it works.
Once you've got the entire rats pile in your hand, often your opponent will concede, but sometimes you'll get to play it out and watch your opponent's face drop as you play 20 action cards every turn.

Truly, Rats factors into the winning strategy on any board in which it is present.
Logged

Screwyioux

  • Pawn
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
  • Shuffle iT Username: Screwyioux
  • Respect: +5
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 11:58:17 am »
0

In all seriousness, I do see a legitimate point to this article.

Understanding which cards are capable of adding value to your deck on their own or by interacting with other copies of themselves can be valuable to determining how much support a strategy you're considering actually needs, and how many copies of them you want to pick up.

Governor synergizing with Governor is strong (gains cards which other copies can trash for benefit), meaning that Governor will be strong every time you see it, almost without exception. Likewise, Cultist does the same thing on pretty much every board it appears in.

Jack of all Trades, on the other hand, does not self-synergize, meaning that it's role in your deck can very drastically kingdom-by-kingdom, and that you probably don't want too many copies of it.
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 12:04:22 pm »
+1

To try and put it politely: what is the use case of this article? After taking it in the article and applying it's suggestions for a bunch of games, is there a kingdom + scenario where some player (of any rating of ones choosing) plays the game differently than he does without reading the article?
I listed some terminals that handle self-collision better than most. Having this interaction in mind, when playing BM you might want more e.g. Embassies than you would want Smithies.

Paying attention to self-synergy doesn't tell you which strategy to pursue; it does shine some light on more tactical decisions and mid-level details, such as how many terminals to put in your deck early.

I think the article can provide value by prompting people to think about self-interactions. One aspect of being good at Dominion is understanding the strategic landscape. A different aspect is tactics. The concept of self-interaction is mainly a tactical one. I think, maybe?

So, really the article belongs on forum.dominiontactics.com ;)
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2017, 12:12:56 pm »
0

Jack of all Trades, on the other hand, does not self-synergize, meaning that it's role in your deck can very drastically kingdom-by-kingdom, and that you probably don't want too many copies of it.

Gold doesn't self-synergize—that is, the effect of 2xGold is pretty damn close to exactly twice the effect of a single Gold. Likewise for Village. When playing money I'd take free Gold whenever I get the choice; likewise for Village in an engine.

Jack self-anti-synergizes pretty much the same way all terminals do. It also gains you stop cards which makes your engine less reliable. I think those two features are why fewer Jacks is better than more Jacks on some boards.

</technically-correct-nit-removal-service>
Logged

jonaskoelker

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 155
  • Respect: +192
    • View Profile
Re: Self-Synergy
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2017, 12:23:09 pm »
0

I kinda think massing CQ is pretty great #livethatCQidiotlife
A quick for-realsies: having many CQs is awesome, because CQ is an excellent wheel, but buying many CQs is typically done—to some extent—at the expense of payload, which is bad (when done to excess). Good decks have a mix of wheels and payload. (I'm sure this is news to approximately no one.)
Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.082 seconds with 21 queries.