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werothegreat

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Leprechaun
« on: February 15, 2018, 10:23:37 pm »
+8


Playing Leprechaun is a lot like being at a casino.  Sometimes you win a little bit, and sometimes you just screw yourself over, but the house always wins in the end.  Unless you cheat by counting cards and make off with a jackpot.

First and foremost, Leprechaun is a Gold gainer, and a cheap one at that.  To compensate for this, the spiteful fairy Hexes you for stealing from it.  Sometimes this does absolutely nothing, like if you get Fear, and Leprechaun was the only Action you played this turn.  Other times you wish you really hadn't played the card, like hitting Locusts.  So what are the odds of getting a good or bad Leprechaun?  Considering purely playing just Leprechaun from a five card hand, we have:

* 1 ignorable Hex (Fear)
* 3 that aren't too bad (Bad Omens, Famine, Greed)
* 4 that swing depending on what else you have in hand (Delusion, Envy, Haunting, Poverty)
* 4 that you want to avoid (Locusts, Misery, Plague, War)

So if you have a hand of Coppers and an Estate, that's 2/3 of the time that you don't really care what the Hex is.  If the rest of your hand is Silvers, maybe just play those instead.  But on average, you're running about a half chance of a good (or at least not that bad) outcome.

But if you're counting cards, none of this matters.  Get Leprechaun down as your 7th card, and you get the pot of gold AND the rainbow, and the mischievous little cobbler even lets you get off scot-free.  A Wish is a powerful thing, and if you have an engine that can reliably play Leprechaun at the right time, it is a worthy addition to your deck.

However, you have to make sure it's your 7th card.  This requires careful planning - if you want to play more Actions after, you have to get in at least one village first.  Prioritize sifting and draw to get to your Leprechaun in time.  If he's already in hand, it's okay to get some terminals down to fulfill the 7th card condition.  The main thing is to just keep track of what you're doing, and not just throw down cards without thinking.

A nice thing to look out for are Throne Room variants - while you can't normally play multiple Leprechauns in a turn for multiple Wishes, Throne Room can!  Though not Royal Carriage.  And maybe stay away from Prince.  And Golem and Ghost.
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Awaclus

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2018, 03:31:53 am »
0

TL;DR don't ever buy Leprechaun unless you're playing the most reliable engine ever.
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2018, 04:11:14 am »
+3

TL;DR don't ever buy Leprechaun unless you're playing the most reliable engine ever.
I find that Leprechaun is still pretty good if you only manage to play it every other turn, and most deck-drawing engines will manage that on average. A better tl;dr is that you should have a use for the Golds you get, not only the Wishes. And don't just play it if you're not getting the Wish, unless you have been super careful about Hex tracking.
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werothegreat

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2018, 08:40:12 am »
+3

TL;DR don't ever buy Leprechaun unless you're playing the most reliable engine ever.

I disagree.  I think enough of the Hexes are usually low impact enough that you can safely play Leprechaun just for the Gold, especially early game.
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Chris is me

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2018, 09:07:19 am »
+2

TL;DR don't ever buy Leprechaun unless you're playing the most reliable engine ever.

Opening Lep is a fine way to get Golds early, as the Hexes are often fine. You generally have better things to be doing, but sometimes you want early economy without wasting time on buying and building up to it.

Activating Lep just twice for the Wishes is enough to make it worthwhile to have done so, in my experience. You can usually do this best after you’ve thinned but before you’ve finished building up, and then this helps you build up! Later when the engine is getting too big to have a reasonable shot of playing it 7th, just trash it for benefit, like you probably will do with the Golds.

This isn’t to say it’s a *good* card, or a buy on Any Given Board, but like many lazy generalizations, dismissing Lep to the realm of only “the most consistent engine ever” is denying its potential.
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Gazbag

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2018, 09:20:13 am »
+8

I don't think you can talk about Leprechaun without talking about durations. You have to be careful with non-drawing durations, earlier in the game they can ramp up the number of actions you have in play and let you get a Wish early. They can be a liability later on though as they are basically giving you less room to work with to find and play your Leprechaun. Card drawing durations can provide a lot of reliability to a Leprechaun deck in my experience and Haven/Gear are useful to save up Leprechauns that miss.

I also disagree with your breakdown of the hexes a little, obviously all the hexes can be okay to get depending on the timing but Greed should definitely be in the "want to avoid" section. It's adding a stop card, which is pretty bad. Like if I've opened Leprechaun for some reason I'm much happier to see Locusts than Greed (unless Locusts hits my other opening buy). I don't think it matters too much though because you shouldn't really be playing Leprechaun for hexes very often.

Also maybe give a special shout out to poverty if you're drawing your deck? I've had opponents discarding their entire hands on a few occasions.

 
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markusin

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2018, 09:30:08 am »
+2

I don't think you can talk about Leprechaun without talking about durations. You have to be careful with non-drawing durations, earlier in the game they can ramp up the number of actions you have in play and let you get a Wish early. They can be a liability later on though as they are basically giving you less room to work with to find and play your Leprechaun. Card drawing durations can provide a lot of reliability to a Leprechaun deck in my experience and Haven/Gear are useful to save up Leprechauns that miss.

I also disagree with your breakdown of the hexes a little, obviously all the hexes can be okay to get depending on the timing but Greed should definitely be in the "want to avoid" section. It's adding a stop card, which is pretty bad. Like if I've opened Leprechaun for some reason I'm much happier to see Locusts than Greed (unless Locusts hits my other opening buy). I don't think it matters too much though because you shouldn't really be playing Leprechaun for hexes very often.

Also maybe give a special shout out to poverty if you're drawing your deck? I've had opponents discarding their entire hands on a few occasions.

Poverty is a big reason why I try my best to get Wish instead of a hex.

You also can't track Hexes all that well with Leprechaun when there are no other hexers. The first few hexing Leprechaun plays can be the most critical, and after that you have so much Gold you likely won't see Leprechaun too much anyway.
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Awaclus

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2018, 09:55:31 am »
0

Opening Lep is a fine way to get Golds early, as the Hexes are often fine. You generally have better things to be doing, but sometimes you want early economy without wasting time on buying and building up to it.

If you want early economy, you should buy some early economy like Silver, not a card that hurts your early economy by being a terminal stop card that doesn't give you a +cards or +coins benefit and instead hexes you.
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Polk5440

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2018, 10:08:21 am »
0

I feel like I am being conned every time I play with Leprechaun...

The strategy comments others are giving are good. I have nothing to add on that front. I have one style comment (though in general the style is good). The last two paragraphs can probably be combined and reordered a little. The sentence

Quote
The main thing is to just keep track of what you're doing, and not just throw down cards without thinking.

would be a good one to end on.
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2018, 10:49:03 am »
0

So far, I've tended to basically always get a Leprechaun eventually if I have an engine that can reliably get Wishes from it.  I've only gotten Leprechaun with the intention of getting Hexed once: in an Apprentice game.
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faust

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2018, 10:54:38 am »
+1

There should also be a section that talks about when Wishes are particularly good. Obviously they are never bad, but what you really want with them is a spammable $5 - $6 that won't be contested in the early-mid game, but provides good benefit for your deck still. I once had a Leprechaun/Groundskeeper board, that is like the ideal card to go with Leprechaun.
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2018, 11:17:01 am »
+2

I think there are two boards you want leprechaun, money and engine. In money, you just go for it and get hexes all the time. In engine, you almost always want to play it as your 7th card and ideally you have something to do with the excess gold. Also, I don't completely agree with your hex assessment. Also, misery is not much of a big deal. A 2vp difference rarely decides a game.
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William Howard Taft

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2018, 11:20:36 am »
+1

A nice thing to look out for are Throne Room variants - while you can't normally play multiple Leprechauns in a turn for multiple Wishes, Throne Room can!  Though not Royal Carriage.  And maybe stay away from Prince.  And Golem and Ghost.

Procession is nice. Get your 2 Golds and 2 Wishes and banish that trickster punk from your deck for the rest of the game.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2018, 11:21:47 am by William Howard Taft »
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2018, 12:37:25 pm »
+2

Nice, to-the-point article on a newer card!  I think this does a great job reminding players that Leprechaun is not a card you can just play mindlessly, as it requires finesse and attention to play well (both for Wish-gaining and Hex-tracking). 

I agree with faust's point that you shouldn't get Leprechaun without having a serious plan for those Golds.  I think the article could spend a bit more time talking what sorts of decks want Gold-gainers.  It might also be good to talk more tactics about the Wish-gaining: reviewing the kingdom to see if playing Leprechaun as your 7th card is reliable (or possible), identifying strong Wish targets before buying Leprechaun, and the value of gaining and then playing Wishes on the same turn, etc.

Also, Leprechaun is not good at all in money decks, at least in my experience.  It's really not a good opener either--you ideally shouldn't get it until your deck is under control, so you can actually activate the Wish gains and make real use of the Golds. 
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 01:21:52 pm »
+5

Is it worth mentioning Storyteller here, or other ways of "cheating" the Wish gain?
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2018, 01:55:34 pm »
+1

Is it worth mentioning Storyteller here, or other ways of "cheating" the Wish gain?

Storyteller might warrant a mention because it's both non-terminal draw, which is pretty good with Leprechaun and it gives a great use for the Golds too. Like normally the Golds make it harder to get Wishes but with Storyteller they make it easier.
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Chris is me

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 03:32:38 pm »
0

Is it worth mentioning Storyteller here, or other ways of "cheating" the Wish gain?

Storyteller is one of the strongest Leprechaun synergies, so yes
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werothegreat

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2018, 03:48:25 pm »
+2

I'm definitely down to modify the article per criticisms, but I do want to keep it on the shorter side.  I want to avoid something long and drawn out and full of edge cases.
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2018, 01:34:44 pm »
+2

Good article on the mechanics of Lep. But I feel like an entire separate article could be written on how to build a deck that can reliably play 7 or more Actions per turn, with at least 1 of them being (an effectively useless) terminal, while managing an influx of Gold. That's in essence all I care about when I see Lep in the kingdom.
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2018, 03:07:22 pm »
+3

Good article on the mechanics of Lep. But I feel like an entire separate article could be written on how to build a deck that can reliably play 7 or more Actions per turn, with at least 1 of them being (an effectively useless) terminal, while managing an influx of Gold. That's in essence all I care about when I see Lep in the kingdom.

Its more than this though. You not only have to consistently play more than 7 cards a turn (well, have in play) , you have to consistently be able to play the leprechaun after 6. A lot of "strong" engines that play more than 7 cards a turn dont hit this bar.
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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2018, 07:19:19 pm »
+4

A nice thing to look out for are Throne Room variants - while you can't normally play multiple Leprechauns in a turn for multiple Wishes, Throne Room can!  Though not Royal Carriage.
Now you've got me thinking about this, however, I realise that having played a Leprechaun and got Hexed, you can call a Royal Carriage for a Gold and a Wish if it becomes your seventh card in play.
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markusin

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2018, 10:44:56 pm »
+1

A nice thing to look out for are Throne Room variants - while you can't normally play multiple Leprechauns in a turn for multiple Wishes, Throne Room can!  Though not Royal Carriage.
Now you've got me thinking about this, however, I realise that having played a Leprechaun and got Hexed, you can call a Royal Carriage for a Gold and a Wish if it becomes your seventh card in play.

Ah, good catch. Yeah, the Royal Carriage has to be the seventh card to come into play to get the Wish, but you still get a Hex for playing Leprechaun to set up the Royal Carriage.
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faust

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2018, 10:31:47 am »
+1

I'm definitely down to modify the article per criticisms, but I do want to keep it on the shorter side.  I want to avoid something long and drawn out and full of edge cases.

I find the article lacking in actual strategy discussion. The only paragraph of actual advice is this:

However, you have to make sure it's your 7th card.  This requires careful planning - if you want to play more Actions after, you have to get in at least one village first.  Prioritize sifting and draw to get to your Leprechaun in time.  If he's already in hand, it's okay to get some terminals down to fulfill the 7th card condition.  The main thing is to just keep track of what you're doing, and not just throw down cards without thinking.

The rest is more worthy of a preview text than a strategy article. Indeed, the actual preview text reads kinda similar:

Leprechaun costs $3 and gains you Gold. What a deal! But unless you’re careful, the Leprecaun will also play a prank on you. Just going by the Hexes previewed today, your Gold might come with a Copper on your deck, or you’ll have to trash a $3-$4 card, or maybe all your Silvers and Golds will be Coppers this turn. Is it worth it? I guess that depends.

If you are careful, you’ll gain a Wish instead of receiving a Hex. And a Wish is pretty sweet, I tell you what. It’s a one-use ticket to gain any card costing $6 or less directly to your hand. Sometimes that will be a Gold, but often there’s something you’d rather have that fits the moment just perfectly. Maybe you’ve got a hand full of Victory cards and need a Shepherd to sort them out. Perhaps you already have one Idol in hand and want another one to give out some Curses. Lots of options there.

Getting that Wish isn’t trivial, though. You have to have exactly 7 cards in play when you play your Leprechaun. This will normally include the Leprechaun itself. It also includes any Duration cards that are still in play from previous turns. It’s something to shoot for in your Leprechaun games, assuming you think you can get that Wish in time to draw it before the game ends.

What must be in the article is advice for when to go for 7th-card-Leprechaun and how to get there. Then there can also be a paragraph on which deck can use a non-activated Leprechaun, but that is less vital as it is rarer.

To me, the important components for a Leprechaun deck are:
- strong draw, preferably nonterminal (so you can get the Leprechaun in hand before you play your 7th card). Duration draw is sort-of nonterminal and works also.
- trashing
- ideally TfB that turns the Golds into something useful.
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ipofanes

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2018, 11:00:52 am »
0

Good article on the mechanics of Lep. But I feel like an entire separate article could be written on how to build a deck that can reliably play 7 or more Actions per turn, with at least 1 of them being (an effectively useless) terminal, while managing an influx of Gold. That's in essence all I care about when I see Lep in the kingdom.

Its more than this though. You not only have to consistently play more than 7 cards a turn (well, have in play) , you have to consistently be able to play the leprechaun after 6. A lot of "strong" engines that play more than 7 cards a turn dont hit this bar.

How effective is buying a Villa mid-turn? I'd expect it would make getting the leper out as 7th a lot easier.
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faust

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Re: Leprechaun
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2018, 11:06:05 am »
0

Good article on the mechanics of Lep. But I feel like an entire separate article could be written on how to build a deck that can reliably play 7 or more Actions per turn, with at least 1 of them being (an effectively useless) terminal, while managing an influx of Gold. That's in essence all I care about when I see Lep in the kingdom.

Its more than this though. You not only have to consistently play more than 7 cards a turn (well, have in play) , you have to consistently be able to play the leprechaun after 6. A lot of "strong" engines that play more than 7 cards a turn dont hit this bar.

How effective is buying a Villa mid-turn? I'd expect it would make getting the leper out as 7th a lot easier.
I actually had a Villa/Lep game recently. The problem is you still have to generate $4 to get the Villa, and then you're usually above your 6 cards played limit.

The main takeaway is that in decks where Leprechaun is worth it, the problem is not to get 6 cards in play before playing Leprechaun, the problem is to not get more than 6 cards in play.
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