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Seprix

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The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« on: November 20, 2017, 09:32:26 pm »
+12

I was originally going to write an incredibly long article on Villa, covering tons of card interactions. And then I discovered the Dan Brooks method of article writing, which is covering specific combos or boards as the article itself. However, there is still room for abstract articles on powerful cards. The goal of this article is to provide a quick reference for less experienced players on what to think about when playing with Villa. So without further ado, here is the Ten Lessons of Villa!

The Ten Lessons of Villa

1. Don’t gain Villas without a reason.

Don't just buy Villa because it happens to be a village. Abuse the on-gain! Get it when you need it at that particular moment.

2. Never play fast.

At any point in time, stop and think about what can be done when gaining a Villa, especially with mid-turn gainers.

3. End of Action Phase is a choice.

It’s not natural to think about artificially ending the Action phase with actions left to play, but Villa makes this a possible choice. For example, at the end of a shuffle, purposefully end the Action phase, buy a card and a Villa, and then draw the card to use.

4. Don’t be afraid to overterminal.

Villa is always there with the on-gain ability. No need to waste time getting Villages when players could be buying other useful cards. The only thing to be sure of is being able to hit $4 when terminal collisions happen.

5. Get Draw.

Speaking of overterminaling, the very best action cards to pick up tend to be draw cards. Villa supplies +actions and +buy already, it only needs draw. The stronger the draw the better. Without good draw, Villa becomes much weaker.

6. “The Turn.”

When you draw your entire deck on a Villa board, I like to call that "The Turn." In this state, Villa gains become immensely more powerful and decks grow at exponential rates due to things like gaining cards, buying Villa, and redrawing it all. This is usually the ideal scenario for Villa to be in, and why Villa is weaker without drawing power. Weaker draw and trashing also works well.

7. Rickety, Sustain and Quantum

There are three general types of ways decks can go after the Villas pile, if they do. Knowing how they will go can be helpful, and I have given them cute names instead of names like "Rush" so there's no potential confusion. These are not strategies, they're just trends on how Villa games can go depending on the Kingdom.

Rickety decks dry up and suck once the Villas pile. Usually this is because there is tons of junking or a lack of trashing. Villa hurts the decks a bit more than a traditional village after gaining because it doesn’t draw any cards. "The Turn" may or may not happen, and it possibly won't so don't always get your hopes up. Pretty much unreliable.

Sustain decks continue to be good after the Villas pile. They’re more consistent, smoother, and usually trashing is involved to prevent them from being Rickety. "The Turn" is more likely to be happening. Pretty much more reliable.

Quantum decks just don’t care because the game is over around when the Villas pile. These games have lightning fast acceleration and usually involve power trashing like Donate or Monastery and/or specific card combos such as Procession or cost reduction. Quantum decks can either end up Rickety or Sustain (more often Rickety) if you somehow mess up and don't pile, so obviously try to pile out.

8. Villa Denial

Whoever kicks off "The Turn" first will be in an immense advantage and should cement this lead whenever possible. One way to do this is to consider piling the Villas to choke out anybody else from having The Turn. Having a couple of extra stop cards in the deck is a small price to pay for ensuring the opponent never gets a chance to accelerate.

9. Pileouts

Villa supplies buy and encourages crazy combos, so it logically follows that pile control with Villa is an important consideration. Looking for pileouts is a good habit to have, but a crucial skill to ever succeed with Villa. It can be harder to envision what an opponent can do with his deck since Villa does crazy stuff, but it should be attempted to avoid shooting yourself in the foot.

10. $4 or $3?

A quick note to help with piling and purchasing calculations: Villa secretly costs $3 if you play it after you buy it. The minimum requirement needed is $4 but as long as there is $4 when buying the last Villa it’s all good. Suppose there’s 8 Villas and you have $25. Can you pile? 8 Villas by $3 equals $24, and there’s a coin left over for the last Villa buy. You can then play that last Villa and have $2 left in hand.

Closing

Villa is not an easy card to play with. The secret is practice. Open a table against a friend (or Lord Rat will do just fine), require Villa and get a feel for playing with it. Watch top Dominion Players use Villa in their videos. In fact, I made a sloppy video where I made tons of mistakes just to highlight some Villa tactics! See if you can catch some of the plays I missed in-game as an exercise!



An update for this video is coming soon, where I play it as optimally as I possibly can.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 09:06:59 am by Seprix »
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dedicateddan

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 09:37:03 pm »
+2

I have one rule for Villa, and that is "Buy Villa"
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JW

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2017, 09:43:41 pm »
+1

6. “The Turn.”
When you draw your entire deck on a Villa board, I like to call that "The Turn." In this state, Villa gains become immensely more powerful and decks grow at exponential rates due to things like gaining cards, buying Villa, and redrawing it all. This is usually the ideal scenario for Villa to be in, and why Villa is weaker without drawing power. Weaker draw and trashing also works well.

To be slightly more precise about it, "The Turn" is when you draw your entire deck and have draw remaining and enough economy to purchase a Villa and something else.

Another thing worth mentioning in this article is Villa's amazing synergy with "Draw to X" type cards.
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Seprix

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 09:52:00 pm »
+2

6. “The Turn.”
When you draw your entire deck on a Villa board, I like to call that "The Turn." In this state, Villa gains become immensely more powerful and decks grow at exponential rates due to things like gaining cards, buying Villa, and redrawing it all. This is usually the ideal scenario for Villa to be in, and why Villa is weaker without drawing power. Weaker draw and trashing also works well.

To be slightly more precise about it, "The Turn" is when you draw your entire deck and have draw remaining and enough economy to purchase a Villa and something else.

Another thing worth mentioning in this article is Villa's amazing synergy with "Draw to X" type cards.

I considered it, and then we're getting into the territory of "oh we have to mention Alms" and "oh we have to mention this and that" and then suddenly the elegant ten rules isn't elegant anymore. I'm willing to sacrifice specific combos.

And yes, you have to also be able to gain a Villa on "The Turn" to be able to make it the turn.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 09:53:02 pm by Seprix »
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Titandrake

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2017, 02:52:15 am »
+2

Feedback:

I would shorten the 1st rule to "Don't buy Villa unless you can use the on-gain", the rest feels too much like fluff.

"Villa lets you play Treasures before your turn ends" encompasses a lot of the big effects - draw to X since you get Treasures out of your hand, Horn of Plenty doing crazy things, Menagerie activations, and so on.

Basically Villa is amazing when you buy it and then sucks once it's in your deck so you want to focus on the buy effect more.
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2017, 06:52:37 am »
+2

There’s plenty of times you buy Villa when you can’t use the on-gain effect. In fact you mention the biggest reason to do this later in the article - denying it to your opponent.

It’s certainly not the usual play with Villa, and you shouldn’t do this by default, but it’s far from a “never” situation.
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josh56

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2017, 06:58:33 am »
+1

Basically Villa is amazing when you buy it and then sucks once it's in your deck so you want to focus on the buy effect more.
I disagree. If you need a village even a degenerate village will do the job. And if you need some extra buy Villa is also OK.
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DG

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2017, 09:48:51 am »
+2

I think the "don't gain villas without a reason section" could use more definition. It might be difficult to clarify this succinctly but the article will be a lot better if you can do that.
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ghost_of_jonts

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2017, 10:08:59 am »
+3

I think the "don't gain villas without a reason section" could use more definition. It might be difficult to clarify this succinctly but the article will be a lot better if you can do that.

I think there's a lot of overlap between the points. But basically, I see it as, don't buy villa until you need a villa, which is usually the turn you have more terminals than actions. Unlike other villages, you don't buy it in anticipation of terminal collision, you buy it in response to terminal collision.
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Seprix

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2017, 11:24:22 am »
+1

I think the "don't gain villas without a reason section" could use more definition. It might be difficult to clarify this succinctly but the article will be a lot better if you can do that.

I agree. I revised it again. Hopefully that works better.
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2017, 01:14:58 pm »
0

There's only one thing that Villa does better from inside your deck than from the Supply, and that's providing +Buy.
For all other uses, you can wait till you need it, and get it there and then.
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2017, 06:52:40 pm »
0

And yes, you have to also be able to gain a Villa on "The Turn" to be able to make it the turn.

To be overly pedantic about it (which I understand is what FDS is for) you have to be able to buy a Villa and something else (and then be able to draw the something else) on "The Turn."
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2017, 07:05:53 pm »
+5

And yes, you have to also be able to gain a Villa on "The Turn" to be able to make it the turn.

To be overly pedantic about it (which I understand is what FDS is for) you have to be able to buy a Villa and something else (and then be able to draw the something else) on "The Turn."

I can be even more pedantic! You have to buy something else and then a Villa.
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2017, 07:10:31 pm »
+4

I once had a game where I got the cost of Villa down to $0, piledrove the Villas, and then Pathfound them. Funnily enough, I did rather well in that game.
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2017, 08:07:04 am »
+2

Maybe "plan for the time after the Villa pileout" should be a rule too. I neglected it and got hands full of colliding, potent terminals.
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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 10:43:10 am »
+6

3. End of turn is a choice.

It’s not natural to think about artificially ending the turn with actions left to play, but Villa makes this a possible choice. For example, at the end of a shuffle, purposefully end the turn, buy a card and a Villa, and then draw the card to use.

I think it's confusing to call it "end of turn" (and also not accurate). It initially sounds like you actually mean ending the turn. Why not just call it what it is, ending the Action phase?

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Re: The Ten Lessons Of Villa
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2017, 09:27:14 pm »
0

Haunted Woods counters Villa. Those shiny terminals you drew with terminal draw? It would be a shame if you couldn't play them this turn...
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