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Titandrake

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Overdrawing
« on: January 02, 2018, 04:11:51 am »
+25

In this article, I use "actions" to denote the resource that lets you play Action cards, and "Actions" to denote the actual cards.

What is overdrawing?

Your deck is overdrawing if the number of cards you can draw each turn is greater than the number of cards in your deck. As an extreme example, consider a deck of 5 Laboratories, nothing else. Your starting hand will be 5 Labs, and none of them will draw any cards, because there are no cards left in your draw or discard. A less extreme example is a deck with 5 Labs, 3 Coppers, 1 Silver. This deck is guaranteed to play all 5 Labs. The first 2 Labs will draw cards, and the remaining 3 Labs won't draw cards. Both of these decks are overdrawing.

You can calculate overdraw carefully if you want to, but usually you can figure it out on the fly. On a given turn, if you've drawn your deck and have extra drawing Actions left over, you're overdrawing. If you've drawn almost all of your deck and you're out of drawing Actions, you're on the cusp of overdrawing, and can get there if you buy more drawing Actions.

Overdrawing is only possible on boards where it's possible to draw your entire deck each turn, which limits the discussion to strong engine boards.

Is overdrawing good or bad?

Generally, overdrawing is a good thing, but major overdrawing is a bad thing. A deck that overdraws too much is inefficient, because too many buys have been spent on cards that could have been payload. However, a deck that overdraws a bit can do plenty of tricks that a non-overdrawing deck can't do. A big example is mid-turn gaining. An overdrawing deck can play a gainer (like Workshop), draw through the rest of the deck to trigger a reshuffle, then draw the gained card and play it the same turn it was gained. This can help if, say, you really need another $2 this turn. You can Workshop a Silver, then draw it with overdraw to get the $2 you need. I've done this several times in Base-only games.

With the right setup, you can do some explosive things. Here's an example from a game I played about two weeks ago. At the start of my turn, I had 2 Stonemasons, a Bandit, and tons of overdraw and actions thanks to several Lost Cities and Encampments.

  • Played Bandit, gaining a Gold.
  • Drew Gold with overdraw. Stonemason trashed Gold into Bandit and Plunder.
  • Drew Bandit and Plunder with overdraw. Played Bandit to gain Gold.
  • Drew Gold with overdraw. Stonemason trashed Gold into 2 Plunders.
  • Drew Plunders with overdraw.

So, to recap: in a single turn, I gained and played a Bandit and 3 Plunders, which gave me an extra $6 that turn (not to mention 3 VP). From here, I ran away with the game.

The core principle of overdraw tricks is simple: any time you could have drawn a card but didn't, you're wasting a draw. If there's a way to avoid wasting that draw, you can use it to get more out of your turns. Gainers are the easy way to do this, because it adds a new physical card to your deck. However, there are other ways to convert extra card draws into resources.

Consider Plaza. Plaza can convert a draw of a Treasure card into a coin token. If you draw your entire deck, you can repeatedly draw and discard a single Copper to multiple Plazas. letting you get several coin tokens. There's an elegance to this: Plaza both gives the overdraw and gives a way to convert your draws into something else. The same can be done with Baron, where you repeatedly draw and discard the same Estate to multiple Barons. However, you need other Actions to give you the overdraw required.

In a game with Storeroom and Scrying Pool, if you have extra Pools after drawing your deck, you can play Storeroom, discard all your Actions for coins, then play Scrying Pool to redraw all those Actions. Here, Scrying Pool is the source of overdraw, and it gets converted into coins with Storeroom.

Tournament is another big example. With overdraw, a single Province can be discarded to multiple Tournaments, to gain multiple prizes in one turn. It helps that the Prizes you gain can themselves help with triggering the reshuffle needed to get the Province back into your draw pile. I once played a game where it was clear Followers was the most important prize. My opponent got to Province first, and gained Trusty Steed first. I thought this was a mistake, right up to the point where he redrew Province and played a 2nd Tournament to gain Followers too. Gaining Steed first simply minimized the chance he would run out of actions to play the rest of his deck.

I've even had this happen with Castles. Opulent Castle lets you discard Victory cards for $2 each. Grand Castle gives you extra VP on-gain for each Victory card in your hand. So, in one game, I played Opulent Castle, got money out of my Victory cards, then redrew them with overdraw to get more points out of the Grand Castle I was planning to buy.

In these examples, we are not using our overdraw on newly gained cards to our deck. Instead, we are using our extra draws to draw existing cards multiple times, and using other card effects to make this useful. This principle is key to two of the most powerful combos in the game, Hermit + Market Square and Apprentice + Market Square. Heavy overdraw (from Madmen or Apprentice trashing Gold) lets you repeatedly redraw Market Squares, which can be repeatedly discarded to gain more Golds from the Market Square reaction.

I've focused on the flashy examples in this article, but that doesn't make the less flashy examples useless. Whenever you're in a position where you're about to waste card draw, take a moment, and see if you can gain a small edge by doing an overdrawing trick. Trust me: it adds up.

PS: a final exercise. Consider these comments from the reveal thread for the Dismantle promo.

One of the more useful things to do with [Dismantle] is probably "discard a Gold to gain a card costing up to $5".
Woodcutter can also gain $5s in combination with Gold, just not midturn.

Suppose Dismantle only worked with Gold, and it literally read "You may discard a Gold. If you do, gain a card costing up to $5." Is it clear that in some games, you'd still want this Dismantle over Woodcutter?
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Awaclus

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 04:34:19 am »
+8

It's worth noting that overdrawing a little is usually good just for adding more consistency to your deck even when you're not able to utilize the overdraw.
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dedicateddan

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 05:04:46 am »
0

 “Fraction of deck drawn” is greatly correlated with buildup speed. Overdraw with midturn gaining gets that number greater than 1, which is awesome. Having less dud turns is a nice bonus too.
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DG

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 12:47:14 pm »
+1

A good topic and well explained , however I'm not sure I agree with the highlighted sentence (as it is written). When you are playing cards you want to be efficient and take your opportunities to gain and play cards in the same turn. However I don't think there's any idea of gaining stuff just so you don't waste your draw, and there can be times when you want construct your deck with massive overdraw knowing that it will be needed in future turns.

I think you also mention deck design that will always fully draw each turn and always be able to use any overdraw. The two often go together so it's a notable design choice.

Overdraw also gives accelerated deck building, options (as you can choose the cards to gain and play), and three pile endings (such as gaining cards which can be played to gain other cards).

If you want Stef style precision you could talk about gaining a number of cards then using some overdraw to deliberately leave the remaining cards in the draw deck.
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Rinranarin

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 03:26:49 am »
+2

I learned about this after reading it. It's a very good thing for me. 

greybirdofprey

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 03:42:08 am »
0

But where did you take the game?
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GendoIkari

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 04:56:28 pm »
+2

I feel like you're missing some of the more basic points about overdrawing vs not overdrawing; you cover the specific combinations pretty well. Overdrawing means 2 important things for your deck:

1) As Awaclus pointed out, consistency. If you have at least 5 stop cards in your deck; you might fail to draw your deck. The more overdraw you have, the less likely that is to happen. Consider 5 Coppers and 5 Labs vs 5 Coppers and 10 Labs.

2) The ability to add VP to your deck without ruining it. If you aren't overdrawing at all, but you're still drawing your deck, then buying a single Province means you won't draw your deck next turn. Overdrawing allows you to buy Provinces and still draw your deck.
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crj

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 06:37:08 pm »
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If you have at least 5 stop cards in your deck; you might fail to draw your deck.
Is it worth mentioning, in that context, the consistency benefit of cards like Hireling and Caravan which draw at the start of your turn?
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Awaclus

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 01:45:15 am »
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If you have at least 5 stop cards in your deck; you might fail to draw your deck.
Is it worth mentioning, in that context, the consistency benefit of cards like Hireling and Caravan which draw at the start of your turn?

In the context of consistency, that's relevant. In the context of overdrawing, that's pretty tangential.
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crj

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 12:06:08 pm »
+2

What about in the context of consistency of overdrawing?
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luser

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 03:21:56 pm »
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What about in the context of consistency of overdrawing?
It doesn't make sense. Most dud turns happen at start of turn, 90% of times you can't draw deck its because you coudn't play first and second draw card with action left, duds mid turn are rare and not that severe as start of turn.

Hireling helps with consistency lot, caravan is pretty meh unless you have good gainer, getting engine pieces is better.

What is most related with consistency and overdraw is gear. With big overdraw you could save vilage+draw for lot of consistency. After that with enough draw it helps by saving greens/coppers. Without enough draw gear is moat.
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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 03:43:28 pm »
0

What about in the context of consistency of overdrawing?
It doesn't make sense. Most dud turns happen at start of turn, 90% of times you can't draw deck its because you coudn't play first and second draw card with action left, duds mid turn are rare and not that severe as start of turn.

Hireling helps with consistency lot, caravan is pretty meh unless you have good gainer, getting engine pieces is better.

What is most related with consistency and overdraw is gear. With big overdraw you could save vilage+draw for lot of consistency. After that with enough draw it helps by saving greens/coppers. Without enough draw gear is moat.

Scheme is another consistency card that comes to mind.
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Titandrake

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2018, 02:57:41 am »
+5

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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 11:11:04 am »
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Consider Plaza. Plaza can convert a draw of a Treasure card into a coin token. If you draw your entire deck, you can repeatedly draw and discard a single Copper to multiple Plazas. letting you get several coin tokens.

It was just recently when I found how Plaza is the best village to enable a Torturer chain, which often leads to overdrawing when played for maximum effect. My opponent choked on the curses before being able to connect Saunas and Silvers effectively.
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Re: Overdrawing
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2018, 05:57:10 pm »
+4

I think Villa deserves a mention in an Overdrawing article. With Villa, when you can overdraw your deck; don't overdraw it. Buy some cards first, then buy Villa, then keep drawing. Repeat if possible.
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