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Author Topic: The Dominion Card Lists 2017 Edition: Knights  (Read 407 times)

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The Dominion Card Lists 2017 Edition: Knights
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:19:13 am »

Below are the results of the Knights rankings for the 2017 Edition of the Dominion Cards Lists 2017 organized by Qvist. The results are based on votes from 24 people. Keep in mind that these rankings reflect the strength of the Knights relative to each other, and not the strength of Knights overall. Also consider that every Knight only appears in the context of every other Knight being in the kingdom (except when Black Market is involved).

Let's begin.

The Best Knights

#10 =0 Dame Josephine
Weighted Average: 1.4% ▼6.4pp
Unweighted Average: 1.9%
Median: 0% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 6.9%

Things could hardly be worse for Dame Josephine. It was already in last place last year, but it still managed to lose 6.4pp and has the lowest standard deviation among the Knights. Only two people didn't vote it for last place.

The problem with Dame Josephine is that only gives an additional bonus if the game ends without it being trashed, except it's a Knight, meaning it always appears with other Knights and it is likely to find itself trashed in a Knight war. All for a paltry reward of 2VP if it happens to survive, less than Duchy at the same price point. Dame Josephine's existence supports the notion that the additional bonuses on the Knights matter. You are really biting a bullet when you have to gain Dame Josephine as the top-most Knight.
#9 =0 Sir Martin
Weighted Average: 23.2% ▲2.9pp
Unweighted Average: 25.5%
Median: 22.2% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 15.5%

Sir Martin saw a slight increase in its average, but otherwise stays at the same spot as last year. It has no votes for last place oddly enough. The jump in average from Dame Josephine to Sir Martin is also the largest one in the list.

A Knight that gives not one, but two + Buys and it only costs ? How can Sir Martin possibly be this low? Well I'll tell you, the + Buys have trouble lining up with a hand that produces enough coin to make use of it in games that involve Knights, whether that's because the Knights keep trashing your cards or because you bought a whole bunch of Knights instead of economy. If somehow the extra buys do happen to be very powerful on a specific board, you can bet it will get trashed by other Knights at some point. It might as well be a vanilla Knight for the most part, except it costs , so it has that over Dame Josephine.
#8 =0 Sir Vander
Weighted Average: 30.2% ▲8.7pp
Unweighted Average: 29.6%
Median: 22.2% ▲11.1pp
Standard Deviation: 23.1%

Sir Vander saw the second biggest increase in its average, but still stays at the same rank. It has the highest standard deviation among the Knights and has one vote for last place.

Contrary to Dame Josephine, Sir Vander has a bonus that only takes effect if it does get trashed. Gaining a Gold for your efforts doesn't seem like much, but the Gold can do a few nice things for you, like helping you afford another Knight to replace Sir Vander. The Gold saves you a bit of recovery time if you've begun to be bombarded by Knights. Sir Vander works okay for this purpose even if it's one of the first Knights you get. Maybe there is more appreciation for Gold these days that explains the improvement in its average, or for tempo in general.
#7 ▼1 Dame Sylvia
Weighted Average: 36.0% ▼10.8pp
Unweighted Average: 40.7%
Median: 33.3% ▼11.1pp
Standard Deviation: 18.9%

The 2016 Dominion card list saw no change in any placement of the Knights, but this year we have Dame Sylvia as the biggest loser which has resulted in a new ordering for the Knights and upsetting the Knights ranking stagnation. It dropped one rank and 10.8pp.

There is nothing bad to say about Dame Sylvia, really.  The + bonus is useful for when you need to hit important price points, say for buying Province or for buying more Knights. It just so happens that the other Knights above Dame Sylvia in rank also have good bonuses to go along with them.
#6 ▲1 Dame Natalie
Weighted Average: 47.8% ▲16.9pp
Unweighted Average: 42.6%
Median: 44.4% ▲22.2pp
Standard Deviation: 20.5%

Swapping places with Dame Sylvia is Dame Natalie. Dame Natalie is the big winner this year, with a 16.9pp increase in its average. It did get the other last place vote that didn't go to Dame Josephine.

You can conceive of situations where you'd buy a terminal that was just a Workshop but for cards up to . You might imagine the scenario where Dame Natalie acts as an awesome gainer that helps your engine get its pieces just fast enough for it to triumph, but honestly just gaining a Silver with Dame Natalie is already convenient enough to help counteract all the cards you could be losing to opposing Knights.
#5 =0 Sir Destry
Weighted Average: 53.2% ▼0.9pp
Unweighted Average: 50.0%
Median: 55.6% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 17.9%

Sir Destry hasn't moved much. Fun fact, it's unweighted average rounds out to 50.0%.

Playing lots of Knights in a Knights game is kind of a big deal, and Sir Destry's draw helps you find more Knights to do just that. The draw is also handy for helping you find the cards that help you accomplish the thing you wish you could do more easily if it weren't for those dang Knights. Drawing cards tends to be more valued in a deck than generating coin, as people who have built engines with Moat as draw might attest.
#4 =0 Dame Molly
Weighted Average: 59.2% ▼5.8pp
Unweighted Average: 60.7%
Median: 66.7% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 19.2%

Dame Molly saw its average drop a bit, but its lead over Sir Destry is still comfortable enough.

Dame Molly's bonus of giving +2 actions is quite handy. Despite not drawing any cards, Dame Molly can still help prevent whatever engine you might have cobbled together in the face of Knights from stalling too hard. Dame Molly can also help you play more payload cards than you could otherwise. Notably, this includes other Knights. The additional actions it gives might be inconsequential early on when it doesn't collide with any other actions, but often you hope that it will stick around for a bit before getting trashed.
#3 =0 Sir Michael
Weighted Average: 68.4% ▼8.3pp
Unweighted Average: 72.2%
Median: 77.8% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 21.3%

Sir Michael has the second biggest drop in its average, along with the second highest standard deviation of the Knights. To its credit, it is the first Knight to appear on the list with a vote for first place. It has three first place votes in total.

Sir Michael doesn't give any positive benefit to the one playing it, but the discard attack still makes it very desirable. The classic Militia is great for preventing early hands from reaching and for giving money-centric decks a really hard time gaining the last few Provinces and closing out the game. Slap that onto a Knight, whose presence makes the price point critical and the Knight trashing attack that eats through Silver and Gold, and you've got a very scary threat that is difficult to overcome without an engine.
#2 =0 Sir Bailey
Weighted Average: 85.4% ▲5.3pp
Unweighted Average: 82.9%
Median: 88.9% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 13.2%

After a string of averages that dropped, we finally meet Sir Bailey, a Knight in the Top 5 whose average has increased. The jump between Sir Michael and Sir Bailey is also the second biggest one in the list. Sir Bailey has three votes for first place as well.

Sir Bailey's bonus is replacing itself in your hand without costing an action. When you think about it, it's not hard to understand why it has ranked so high. Letting an opponent gain Sir Bailey and doing nothing about it makes it so that you opponent only gives up one turn in order to undo what you gain in several of your turns across the entire game. Sir Bailey is all the more dangerous if its in an engine deck that plays it a bunch. Not attempting to rid an opponent of an early Sir Bailey is a dangerous proposition.
#1 =0 Dame Anna
Weighted Average: 95.3% ▼1.6pp
Unweighted Average: 90.4%
Median: 100% =0pp
Standard Deviation: 13.2%

At the top of the Knights list is the notorious Dame Anna once again, with a convincing lead over Sir Bailey despite a slight drop in average score. It has 18 votes for first place.

Even trashing just a couple of junk cards from one's own deck with Dame Anna's additional bonus before losing it to another Knight can have a dramatic influence on the game. Trashing junk cards is one of the strongest effects in Dominion, and getting to do so early enough with Dame Anna has a cascading effect that results in an effective engine and/or Knight army coming online considerably sooner. The advantage becomes even more pronounced if the available trashing on board is otherwise poor. Having a player open with Dame Anna is especially frustrating.

Thank you Qvist for organizing the Dominion Card List all these years. Writing up this sub-list gives me new appreciation for what you do.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 12:29:10 pm by markusin »
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