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Chris is me

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Monastery
« on: February 11, 2018, 04:28:30 pm »
+26

I've been meaning to write more short and simple articles in order to try and jump start content creation here and hopefully get more good stuff onto the blog (or wiki). Here's an article about Monastery, a trasher that new players seem to underestimate. If you've been itching to write stuff and want to contribute to the online resources, give something like this a try.

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Monastery is a far more powerful trasher than it may appear to be at first glance. An obvious point of comparison is to how Forager plays in the early game. Like Forager, Monastery does not take an Action, trashes Estates for no (other) benefit, and trashes Coppers without hurting your economy for that turn. Where Monastery shines is that it allows you to trash without sacrificing momentum at all - you don’t give up economy, you don’t have to worry about drawing it dead, and it even trashes faster when used in tandem with gainers or +Buy.

Monastery’s properties allow for more aggressive openings than one would typically do with a trasher. Consider an opening of Smithy / trasher. Normally this is a bit risky - the Smithy could dead draw the other trasher, wasting a shuffle’s worth of trashing, but with Monastery, there is no such risk as it is played after the Buy phase. In addition, you get all of the benefits of Smithy’s extra cycling and economy, leading to more frequent trashing and faster gains. This can quickly snowball into a very potent deck that trashes seemingly without effort.

The synergy with gainers such as Ironworks or Engineer are obvious - gain a card, ideally buy another card, use Monastery to trash twice as much as you normally could. But this synergy often enables even weaker cards such as Silver gainers which you may not otherwise consider. Squire is an interesting example, where it can gain Silvers early to give Monastery an extra trash, provide multiple Buys later for a similar purpose, and can even be upgraded into an Attack card if need be.

The main takeaway from this is that you should adjust how you pace your deck when using Monastery instead of other trashers. In games where you need to get very thin very quickly, opening two trashers is often wise, but that is usually incorrect with Monastery as the collision case risks you being unable to gain a desirable card and you sacrifice some momentum. You do often want two Monastery, but you generally want to pair each Monastery with more aggressive enablers such as draw or gainers to keep things moving.
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Awaclus

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 04:56:44 pm »
+2

Great article.

In general, I think a lot of people are playing all trashers as though they were just weaker versions of Chapel, which is super wrong because Chapel interferes with your deckbuilding and gets you into a very awkward position in a way that no other trasher necessarily does (and it's worth it only because Chapel is very strong). If you try to mimic that behavior with other trashers, you're wasting your tempo.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 08:42:51 pm »
+1

The only tempo loss you get with Monastery is a card slot in hand. At its price point, the only deck thinners that compare in terms of tempo are Native Village and maybe Flame's Gift off Pixie (as well as Goat).

The fact that you can't draw it dead also gives it a Counterfeit feel, but without the +buy of extra coins.

Edit: There's also Ratcatcher that maintains high tempo, but has the drawback of being a bit slower than other single-card trashers
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 09:43:39 am by markusin »
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crj

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 08:29:54 am »
+1

Hmm. I've only played with Monastery three or four times so far, but I've tended to find I want two, unless there's a good early gainer available.

Yes, you occasionally draw CCEMM which isn't great unless there's a(nother) good $2 in the kingdom. But But at least that turn you'll be reducing the risk of it happening again, and CCCMM is OK once in a while. Normally, you're trashing two cards per shuffle rather than one, and that feels important enough to be worth the downsides.

Particularly, though, I'd rather have two Monasteries in hand and $1 less to spend than try to line up a single Monastery with gaining/+Buy, then gain/buy something crummy so I can trash two cards.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 08:51:27 am »
+1

Good Article! I also like the idea of just a few paragraphs on a card if, like me, you don't want to sit through a few pages on a card. I'll see if I can right some of these myself.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 11:07:41 am »
+7

I played an IRL game with Watchtower, Mountebank, Monastery, and a source of +Buy.  Got hit hard with Mountebank early on, but eventually I managed, through brute force, to draw my entire deck (King's Courts, Rabbles, and Cities were involved).  I then bought a couple normal things, then ~10 Coppers (Watchtowering them away).  Played two Monasteries and cleansed my deck of 20+ Curses and Coppers.  Easily won after that.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 12:01:08 pm »
+2

Nice! I think the scope of the article and the advice is very good. I have a couple of comments.

I. Maybe just stick with the Forager example in paragraph two for cleaner reading?

Quote
... Consider an opening of Smithy / Forager. Normally this is a bit risky - the Smithy could draw Forager dead, wasting a shuffle’s worth of trashing, but with Monastery, there is no such risk as it is played after the Buy phase....

II. Is the following the right way to read the article?

Intro into thesis: "Where Monastery shines is that it allows you to trash without sacrificing momentum at all - you don’t give up economy, you don’t have to worry about drawing it dead, and it even trashes faster when used in tandem with gainers or +Buy."

Now you tell us how to achieve this magical state of trashing without sacrificing momentum:
1. Open more aggressively.
2. Utilize gainers.
3. Avoid opening with two copies of Monastery.

If this is the intended structure, I would strike the first sentence of the last paragraph (because it seemed like either a thesis or a concluding sentence) and reword the rest a little:

Quote
In games where you need to get very thin very quickly, opening two trashers is often wise, but that is usually incorrect with Monastery because if two copies of Monastery collide, you may not be able to gain a desirable card which sacrifices momentum. You do often want two copies of Monastery, but try to stagger buying each Monastery with buying more aggressive cards that draw or gain to keep things moving.
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Polk5440

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 12:06:03 pm »
0

Hmm. I've only played with Monastery three or four times so far, but I've tended to find I want two, unless there's a good early gainer available.

I do also wonder about this, but I have so little experience with the card.... Anyone with more experience have thoughts on this? 
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William Howard Taft

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 12:24:39 pm »
+1

Opening Monastery + a different trasher can be really useful. Jack of All Trades + Monastery can trash 3 cards right out the gate.
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werothegreat

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 12:33:38 pm »
0

Opening Monastery + a different trasher can be really useful. Jack of All Trades + Monastery can trash 3 cards right out the gate.

Well, Jack just excels with non-terminal Treasure trashers in general (Counterfeit, Bonfire).
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Chris is me

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 03:38:28 pm »
+1

Hmm. I've only played with Monastery three or four times so far, but I've tended to find I want two, unless there's a good early gainer available.

Yes, you occasionally draw CCEMM which isn't great unless there's a(nother) good $2 in the kingdom. But But at least that turn you'll be reducing the risk of it happening again, and CCCMM is OK once in a while. Normally, you're trashing two cards per shuffle rather than one, and that feels important enough to be worth the downsides.

Particularly, though, I'd rather have two Monasteries in hand and $1 less to spend than try to line up a single Monastery with gaining/+Buy, then gain/buy something crummy so I can trash two cards.

You definitely want two a lot, but you almost never open two of them. It’s a horrible way to start with Monastery compared with opening a draw card, or even a gainer. The slightly slower trashing is made up for with the combination of draw cycling and much more useful buys on trash turns.

That said, in the example you show above of collision, you buy a Copper and trash EC. But if you’re playing Monastery like it’s Raze or something, you’re seriously missing the point of the card. It’s still okay, the same way double Forager is, but you may be missing a better move.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 03:41:16 pm by Chris is me »
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Chris is me

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 03:40:19 pm »
+2

Opening Monastery + a different trasher can be really useful. Jack of All Trades + Monastery can trash 3 cards right out the gate.

This is really only the case if the other trasher either cycles or gains, such as Remake, Jack, Apprentice, etc. It can still be the right move, but you really want to exploit Monastery’s ability to trash while cycling / doing something else of value, or else you’re not using it to its full potential. This sort of conception is what I was trying to make the article point out.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 03:55:24 pm »
+1

Opening Monastery + a different trasher can be really useful. Jack of All Trades + Monastery can trash 3 cards right out the gate.

This is really only the case if the other trasher either cycles or gains, such as Remake, Jack, Apprentice, etc. It can still be the right move, but you really want to exploit Monastery’s ability to trash while cycling / doing something else of value, or else you’re not using it to its full potential. This sort of conception is what I was trying to make the article point out.

I think it's pretty common to want to open with Monastery and another trasher.  Some trashers are specialized and can trash either Copper or Estates better than Monastery, but not both.  Some trashers are terminal, so you don't want to open with two of them.  Some trashers cost $4+, so you can't open with two of them.  I'm pretty sure I get Monastery + another trasher more often than two Monasteries.  Sure, Monastery does the tempo trashing thing well, but sometimes the best thing to do is thin faster.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 04:20:05 pm »
+1

Opening Monastery + a different trasher can be really useful. Jack of All Trades + Monastery can trash 3 cards right out the gate.

This is really only the case if the other trasher either cycles or gains, such as Remake, Jack, Apprentice, etc. It can still be the right move, but you really want to exploit Monastery’s ability to trash while cycling / doing something else of value, or else you’re not using it to its full potential. This sort of conception is what I was trying to make the article point out.

Of these top $5 cards, how would you rank them when paired with Monastery in a 5/2?

Wharf
Junk Dealer
Upgrade
Margrave
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 04:25:51 pm »
0

Opening Monastery + a different trasher can be really useful. Jack of All Trades + Monastery can trash 3 cards right out the gate.

This is really only the case if the other trasher either cycles or gains, such as Remake, Jack, Apprentice, etc. It can still be the right move, but you really want to exploit Monastery’s ability to trash while cycling / doing something else of value, or else you’re not using it to its full potential. This sort of conception is what I was trying to make the article point out.

Of these top $5 cards, how would you rank them when paired with Monastery in a 5/2?

Wharf
Junk Dealer
Upgrade
Margrave

They're all super good. Junk Dealer is the one that doesn't really give you the full benefit of Monastery's attributes, but it's still a good card so that opening would still be extremely strong.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 04:26:04 pm »
+3

Technically you do lose some income/momentum when you buy a monastery (compared to buying nothing or an income card) but that loss is generally minimal. You are not recovering that momentum though until the monastery trashes a second card.

Trashing at the end of turn, rather than at the start of turn, will generally give a better choice of card to trash. This is another reason why monastery plays well with big terminal draw. It also allows monastery to clean up a deck better than a ratcatcher or lookout, say.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 11:48:38 pm »
+3

I think Monastery is slightly worse than Forager in the opener (ignoring cost).  With Forager, there's a small probability that opponent will trash a copper, allowing you to trash an Estate for +$1.  With Monastery, there's a small probability that it appears in a hand with $2 or less, and then the best thing to do is buy a copper.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2018, 07:49:23 pm »
0

Monastery is like an okay trasher. How good it is entirely depends on how quickly you can get multiple gain turns happening.
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Chris is me

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Re: Monastery
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 08:58:22 pm »
+1

Monastery is like an okay trasher. How good it is entirely depends on how quickly you can get multiple gain turns happening.

Not entirely. Terminal draw alone is a compelling case for Monastery over another trasher. If you don’t believe me, we should cagematch sometime :P
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2018, 04:45:44 am »
+1

Monastery is like an okay trasher. How good it is entirely depends on how quickly you can get multiple gain turns happening.

Not entirely. Terminal draw alone is a compelling case for Monastery over another trasher. If you don’t believe me, we should cagematch sometime :P

I do believe you, but I also am not as much of a believer in Monastery as you are. I will be happy to play a cage match.
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2018, 01:21:03 pm »
+8

This article has been published to the blog! Hopefully the first of many to be published in a new wave of FDS content. Thanks for all of your input, which did influence the final draft online. (I’ll update the OP of this thread to match sometime soon)
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Re: Monastery
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2018, 10:02:06 pm »
+2

This article has been published to the blog! Hopefully the first of many to be published in a new wave of FDS content. Thanks for all of your input, which did influence the final draft online. (I’ll update the OP of this thread to match sometime soon)

And it is now up on the wiki!
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