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Chris is me

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Cursed Village / Storeroom
« on: November 24, 2017, 11:35:13 am »
+19

So this is a little article about a fairly strong synergy / weak combo between Cursed Village and Storeroom. It's not something so dominant that you ignore everything else on the board every time it's out, but it's a powerful 2 card engine that really churns through junk / most attacks and produces several big turns in a row when played correctly. It's not especially fast, but it's resilient, and probably worth considering on boards where you really don't want to mirror the opponent, or as a part of a larger strategy. This article is a very rough draft, but I just wanted to get thoughts on the synergy. I do ask that you actually try it a few times before dismissing it though.



How does it work?
Essentially, Cursed Village and Storeroom are a complete engine in themselves - Cursed Village provides the actions and the draw, and Storeroom sifts and provides payload in the form of +Buy and economy. You start with a Cursed Village to get a 6 card hand with +2 Actions, then play Storeroom. Discard to draw cards to ensure you have at least a Cursed Village in hand, then discard everything except one Cursed Village (and sometimes also a Storeroom) to get some Coin. Then you can play Cursed Village to draw 5-6 new cards, repeating the cycle until you've got a ton of Buys and money.

On a board with no support, you open Silver / Storeroom, grab CV whenever you can, and then otherwise grab Storeroom, perhaps adding a second Silver if you're having trouble getting CVs into play. With absolutely no support, it does take awhile to set up, though, so don't consider an unsupported strategy against a well supported fast engine like Governor. You basically start greening whenever the game state calls for it, rather than at a specific time (though if you pile the CVs you should probably fire if you haven't already). This strategy is fairly tolerant to extended greening and should do fairly well if your opponent tries to pull a fast one on you by greening earlier than you expect - let them choke while you churn and crawl your way back buying multiple Victory cards a turn!

There are a bunch of small upsides to this combo that make it work reasonably well. First, you don't need to be particularly thin, though modest thinning certainly helps with reliability. Cursed Village followed by Storeroom for full draw can cycle up to 11 cards, making it quite easy to find your next pieces. Discarding your excess CVs and Storerooms for Coin is also not a huge problem because of this - you'll basically shuffle your deck every cycle or two, so discarding those for benefit also helps put them into your next cycle's hand! Another advantage to this strategy is that it is resilient to most attacks. Discard attacks help it out as CV draws more on the first play. Trashing attacks are cushioned by the relatively thick deck of junk. Junking attacks can hurt after awhile, but the deck isn't immediately crippled by a Curse or two. One more small plus is that the Hexes which Cursed Village makes you take are very rarely a big problem - most of them don't really affect you negatively except Deluded, Bad Omens, or War - and these won't totally ruin your game necessarily either.

What are some pitfalls to watch out for?
As emphasized before, this strategy is not the fastest, so you need to make sure you have time to set it up and keep it going. If something else on the board is better supported, particularly fast strategies, you're just not going to have the time to get off the ground. The combo unsupported is just okay, not world-breaking or anything.

The easiest play error to make is to force awful shuffles. Remember that you should expect to shuffle about once every 1-2 cycles. This means discarding components for benefit in order to make sure they are in the next shuffle. Near the end of your big turns, you need to keep CAREFUL count of how many cards are left in the deck and decide when to "bail out" and just wipe the rest of your hand for Coin, in lieu of drawing a couple more cards and leaving yourself with a 5+ card deck full of junk. It's pretty easy to either "bail out" too early, or to go too far and end up with a junky deck for a turn or two. This can be mitigated with some basic deck tracking - remember how many CVs and Storerooms you have to work with, and adjust your decisions as you reach the end of your supply of those cards. All of that said, keep in mind if you're still buying CVs, a few of those Hexes mess with the top of your deck, so don't be afraid to keep a card or two there, particularly if you haven't seen those Hexes yet and the Hex stack is getting low.

How do you support this strategy?
You absolutely do want to support this strategy with the other parts of the kingdom, it is certainly not a monolithic strategy and gets much better with certain kinds of support. Here are a few examples - these aren't meant to be an exhaustive list or even the most important synergies, just something to get you thinking:
Light Trashing, especially nonterminal - Lookout, Loan, Forager, Raze, Ratcatcher... all of these things help. You don't need to get that thin for this to work, so you buy fewer than you normally would, but having fewer opportunities to whiff and a smaller handsize for a CV play are both nice. Even terminal TFB like Butcher or Replace can help.
Summon - Summoning a Storeroom guarantees a $5 hand at least, and if you manage to find a CV in that 10 card search space, you can start off your turn with $4, a Buy, and a CV ready to fire.
Artificer - An early Artificer lets you topdeck a CV (from a six card hand) or Storeroom and then immediately draw it with CV, ensuring you get another cycle.
Tunnel - Get just one on the opening, and you won't have trouble hitting $5 for CVs after a few shuffles. Don't get too many Golds.
Other sources of virtual Coin - Cursed Village works great with other virtual Coin sources, particularly if they also do something better than what a Storeroom cycle would do. Maybe a Swindler or a Mountebank for example.
Other Villages - These can be hard to incorporate as they usually compete at cost with Storeroom or CV, but splashing a Village in or two can help you incorporate other payload, making your engine more well-rounded.

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Jack Rudd

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 12:41:06 pm »
+3

Ah, a specific case of the more general synergy between draw-to-X and discard-for-benefit.
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 12:56:04 pm »
+1

Well-written article.

I imagine CV/SR also play a little bit like a Minion stack: you dump all the money you have in hand, then play another Minion/CV to get a new hand. They're also somewhat different. I assume you've played plenty of Minion stacks; what are the biggest differences?

There's another card that gives +2 actions and draws a bunch, and that's City Quarter. Since CQ is more expensive than CV, I suspect CQ/SR to be even slower; and SR discarding actions anti-synergizes with CQ. Have you tried CQ/SR for comparison? If so, what were your experiences?

As Jack Rudd has pointed out, there's a general synergy between draw-to-x and DfB. The only discard-x-for-x-money I can think of are Vault, Storeroom and Secret Chamber, all of which are terminal. Of these, only Storeroom has +buy. The only village draw-to-x is Cursed Village.

So for any other combination of draw-to-x and DfB you need support cards. That's fine, village and +buy are very common effects, you might say, but it means your deck will be that much slower to put together, and it will be less reliable.
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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 01:00:16 pm »
+3

Ah, a specific case of the more general synergy between draw-to-X and discard-for-benefit.

Sure but how else do you build a full engine of this type with just 2 cards?
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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2017, 01:12:18 pm »
+2

Ah, a specific case of the more general synergy between draw-to-X and discard-for-benefit.

Sure but how else do you build a full engine of this type with just 2 cards?

Agreed. Cursed Village is the first Draw-To-X that is non-terminal (unless you count Minion, and anyway 4 is a lot less than 6), and it gives an extra Action to boot. Similarly, Storeroom is the only Discard-for-Benefit that gives a Buy (Artificer sort of works too, but you are limited to 5$ cards if you want to exploit Cursed Village with it).
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Chris is me

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 07:35:34 am »
+1

Re: comparisons to Minion and a Minion stack: It does sort of play similarly to that, but it is a bit more potent and gives you a bit more flexibility. You get $3-$4 a cycle instead of 0-4 a cycle, you get +Buys, you have the option of keeping cards around, etc. which allows you to more effectively incorporate other payload, even Treasures near the end of the cycle. The greater control and +Buy are the real benefits though.

As Iíve played practice games with this, the build order really matters - I still have to figure out exactly what the right choices tend to be, but you want to thin quickly (not a ton of thinning, just some quickly)  and have little trouble hitting $5. Opening trasher / Silver into this seems like a good start, and you shouldnít be afraid of a second Silver. Storeroom + Silver is usually a guaranteed $5, and once you get two CVs you wonít have much problem getting components every turn.

Sentry seems like an ideal trasher here - nonterminal, great at trashing a little bit early, you donít care that it slows down later, and it helps cycle, plus you can be more confident about discarding everything but CV for money when you know a Storeroom is up next.
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 09:22:52 am »
0

(edit: this is not me trying to correct or nitpick, just add an interesting angle.)

Cursed Village is the first Draw-To-X that is non-terminal[,] unless you count Minion[.]

Here are two characteristics of draw-to-x cards:
  • When playing them, the number of cards you draw is a decreasing function of how many cards you already have.
  • They make using treasures as payload a dubious idea.
Minion only has the second characteristic.

We could get into a semantic argument over whether Minion is or is not an example of draw-to-x. I think a better understanding comes from specifying out the characteristics that are similar and those that are different.

A slightly different way of getting at the difference between Minion and e.g. Watchtower and Cursed Village: Minion makes Gold worse by discarding it; Gold makes Cursed Village worse by making it draw less. Note the direction of the effect. (Cursed Village doesn't make Gold worse, and Gold doesn't make Minion worse, except perhaps by being a stop card.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 09:24:34 am by jonaskoelker »
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Awaclus

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 09:29:01 am »
0

(edit: this is not me trying to correct or nitpick, just add an interesting angle.)

Cursed Village is the first Draw-To-X that is non-terminal[,] unless you count Minion[.]

Here are two characteristics of draw-to-x cards:
  • When playing them, the number of cards you draw is a decreasing function of how many cards you already have.
  • They make using treasures as payload a dubious idea.
Minion only has the second characteristic.

We could get into a semantic argument over whether Minion is or is not an example of draw-to-x. I think a better understanding comes from specifying out the characteristics that are similar and those that are different.

A slightly different way of getting at the difference between Minion and e.g. Watchtower and Cursed Village: Minion makes Gold worse by discarding it; Gold makes Cursed Village worse by making it draw less. Note the direction of the effect. (Cursed Village doesn't make Gold worse, and Gold doesn't make Minion worse, except perhaps by being a stop card.)

Minion is not draw-to-x, it's discard-to-x (where x is 0).
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Chris is me

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 09:46:37 am »
+5

could you guys debate the exact terminology with which to refer to a card I didnít even name in the article at all in some other thread, so that this one can remain for crtiquing the article itself and have some shred of hope of being productive? thanks guys
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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2017, 09:59:06 am »
+4

could you guys debate the exact terminology with which to refer to a card I didnít even name in the article at all in some other thread, so that this one can remain for crtiquing the article itself and have some shred of hope of being productive? thanks guys
Should have added the [Serious] tag.
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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 11:52:02 am »
0

This seems like a really nice, elegant combo. My questions (which you have already touched on):

1) What should you aim to trash down to so you can launch this reliably every turn, but still have enough cards to cycle through? You only need 4 non-engine parts, right?

2) How many parts do you need to achieve double province? Enough for 3 cycles? 4 cycles? I suppose it depends on what other sources of money you will have in your terminal hand.
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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 02:50:55 pm »
0

You may want to note that this synergy is highly resistant to discard attacks, and somewhat resistant to junking attacks (because of the extremely strong sifting).

Another support would be cantrip virtual coin (Market, Conspirator, etc), rather than just all virtual coin.  That way you maximize the actions you can spend on Storeroom.
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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2017, 03:05:41 pm »
0

Another support would be cantrip virtual coin (Market, Conspirator, etc), rather than just all virtual coin.  That way you maximize the actions you can spend on Storeroom.

Sentry seems like an ideal trasher here - nonterminal, great at trashing a little bit early, you donít care that it slows down later, and it helps cycle, plus you can be more confident about discarding everything but CV for money when you know a Storeroom is up next.

How does Junk Dealer compare with Sentry here? You don't get as much cycling, but you get +1 coin and the benefit of trashing from your hand.
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jonaskoelker

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 03:08:29 pm »
+1

I agree with Awaclus' description of Minion, so I'm out of OT things to discuss. Sorry for going OT. If anyone wants to discuss something with me, make a thread (and/or PM me).

2) How many parts do you need to achieve double province? Enough for 3 cycles? 4 cycles? I suppose it depends on what other sources of money you will have in your terminal hand.

Double Province is $16

You get $3-$4 a cycle
In a 6 card hand, optimally you discard everything except the Storeroom you play and the Cursed Village you use to draw your next hand, which is $4. That suggests you need 3 cycles plus $4 in your final hand (of 6), but they could come from a Storeroom.

Note that to gain $4 from a Storeroom n times, you need to play n+1 Cursed Villages: one for the first SR to not end your turn, plus one per fresh hand of cards you're going to discard.

With 2 cycles at $4 each, you need $8 in a 6-card hand. That could be Gold+5xCopper if you can set that up, but you need more money the more partial ($0-$3) cycles you do.

So 3.5 to 4 cycles sounds right. Based on my armchair analysis.

Re: [Minion]: It does sort of play similarly to that, but it is a bit more potent and gives you a bit more flexibility. [...] You get +Buys [; ... that and] the greater control are the real benefits though.
By my above math, you need about 4xCV and 4xSR to double Province.  That costs about the same as 6-7xMinion, which is not enough money to double Province.  Yup, "more potent" checks out.

It's more cards, and hence more buys, but the Storerooms are easier to get than Minions. I guess they build at about the same rate, but the CV/SR end-result is stronger?

What do you mean by flexibility and control?

Sentry seems like an ideal trasher here [because <benefit analysis>]
The benefits sound persuasive. The opportunity cost is a Cursed Village; how big is that effect?


A few armchair hot takes:

Other virtual money that might fit in nicely: Courtier for being non-terminal (with CV) and Poor House for cheaply and reliably giving you $4 (if you have the terminal space)?

Scheme is great for reliability in general. I suspect two of them (topdecking CV+SR) will give you essentially perfect reliability, due to the reach of SR.

Does sifting, e.g. Warehouse, help the engine build up faster? Does it help the engine when up and running? Is Shepherd good here? Is Crossroads... better than usual here?

I'm usually suspicious of Archive and Harbinger in engines; I suspect they can be better than usual in this engine? (If you ignore opportunity costs, maybe.)
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 03:11:58 pm by jonaskoelker »
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Polk5440

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Re: Cursed Village / Storeroom
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2018, 02:03:37 pm »
+1

Here are some suggestions if you are editing:

First paragraph is bloated. The following one sentence could replace it:

Quote
Cursed Village and Storeroom have a strong synergy that can form the backbone of a powerful and resilient engine.

The pitfalls section could be cut in half. There are really only two you mention. For example:

Quote
1) Unsupported, Cursed Village Ė Storeroom may be easily outpaced by faster strategies.

2) You can force a bad shuffle causing your next turn to be a dud. Near the end of a big turn, CAREFULLY count how many cards are left in the deck and decide when to discard the rest of your hand for Coin, in lieu of drawing more cards, shuffling, and leaving at least 5 cards of junk for the start of your next turn. Additionally, a few of those Hexes mess with the top of your deck, so don't be afraid to keep a card or two there, particularly if you haven't seen [[name relevant Hexes]] yet and the Hex stack is getting low.

First paragraph in "support" section can be deleted.

The support section maybe could be cleaned up and made a little more general. For example, Summon and Artificer are really just two examples of cards that help you guarantee you start your next hand with the correct engine pieces. I am not sure Tunnel really deserves a special call out.

Suggestion for re-organization:
  • Intro/thesis
  • How does it work? (First two paragraphs only; unclear whether you really want to lead with the "unsupported" version, though, or even have it at all.)
  • How do you support this strategy? (Then it directly follows the section where talk about the unsupported version of the strategy.)
  • Benefits of Cursed Village -- Storeroom (Last paragraph of How does it work?)
  • What are some pitfalls to watch out for?
  • Concluding sentence (?)

Style:
  • CV -> Cursed Village
  • TFB -> trash-for-benefit cards
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