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Author Topic: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box  (Read 3258 times)

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crj

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Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« on: June 19, 2018, 10:36:53 am »
+2

A trend I've noticed recently is for people on f.ds to look at, for example, Skulk and say things along the lines of "but you don't want Gold anyway in modern Dominion". The impression I get is that some people have decided Treasure-less engines are now the only game in town and you want virtual coin, VP tokens, gainers, etc. instead.

Once upon a time, Gold was just fine as an engine payload. Once upon a time, a key skill in the game - on a par with choosing when to start greening - was to balance your purchases of Treasure against Actions.

Is Treasure genuinely now playing second fiddle, or is this just groupthink, or hyperbole by a vocal minority?

I can't help noticing that Nocturne contains more kinds of Treasure than any previous set, as well as plenty of Treasure gainers. That suggests to me that Donald X., at least, thinks Treasures are still relevant.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 11:10:10 am »
+5

I get Treasures plenty often, and I don't think that line of reasoning for Skulk is very sound. EDIT: I mean that I think you want Skulk plenty often, and the Gold is a big part of that.

Bear in mind that most of the playtesting that gets done is with at least three players, and often with four or more. You don't always have the time or resources to build the perfect Treasure-less engine in those games. For Nocturne specifically, basically 100% of the testing was done at Donald's IRL table or mine, and I bet you could count the number of 2-player testing games on two hands.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 11:14:16 am by LastFootnote »
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Awaclus

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 11:15:33 am »
+7

Is Treasure genuinely now playing second fiddle, or is this just groupthink, or hyperbole by a vocal minority?

It's a mixture of options 1 and 3, where the vocal minority mostly consists of people who are better at the game than a majority of people.

The important things to understand are how many stop cards your deck can support, how many it needs, how many it doesn't necessarily need but wants anyway, how time-consuming it is to increase the stop card space, how much time you have vs. what your opponent is doing, how fast the payload pays off vs. how costly it is to add it into your deck, how efficiently the payload spends your stop card space, and what's the best compromise between all of that.

Buying basic Treasures from the supply is the worst compromise that you'll ever go for. Obviously you won't ever go for something worse than what's always available. But they're really very inefficient at paying off fast, and they're also very inefficient at spending your stop card space, and a lot of the time, there's something better for the engine. If there isn't, that's one of the most common reasons to consider playing a non-engine strategy even if building an engine is technically possible.

If you can gain basic Treasures for "free" e.g. with Courtier, that's way faster than buying them from the supply, which makes them a lot more attractive as an engine payload option. It still has the problem of spending your stop card space rather inefficiently, but a lot of the time, mostly with trashing or strong draw available, you can accommodate that by building a bigger engine and it'll be worth it because the payload increases fast enough over time.

A lot of kingdom Treasures aren't as inefficient as the basic Treasures, either in terms of stop card efficiency or tempo efficiency, or both. Horn of Plenty and Fortune are both, for example, and they're also great payload options. Treasure Trove is better for tempo but worse for stop cards, so it's rarely ever seen as engine payload. Plunder is better for stop cards but arguably not better for tempo, but it's a very common payload. Fool's Gold is about on-par for stop cards, but better for tempo, and it's sometimes used for payload but not super often, which is also true about Hoard. Royal Seal and a bunch of others are neither, and they suck even more than the basic Treasures do.

A lot of kingdom Treasures also have utility besides just being payload. Coin of the Realm and Crown are anti-terminals, Loan and Counterfeit are trashers, IGG and Relic are attacks*, and Talisman, Quarry, Charm and Capital can help with early/mid game economy better than basic Treasures.

*IGG is not an attack

But yeah, TL;DR: buying Gold really is super bad for engines. Another way to put it is that a long-known fact is that on a board with Village and Smithy, Smithy BM is better than the engine, and another slightly more recently known fact is that on a board with Smithy and Navigator, Nagivator BM is better than Smithy BM so that gives you some perspective into how good basic Treasure only payload is for an engine.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 01:15:56 pm by Awaclus »
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AJD

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 11:22:21 am »
0

I can't help noticing that Nocturne contains more kinds of Treasure than any previous set, as well as plenty of Treasure gainers. That suggests to me that Donald X., at least, thinks Treasures are still relevant.

...Eh?

1. Prosperity contains more different Treasures than Nocturne.
2. Most of the Treasures in Nocturne aren't ones that are competing with other things in the supply for your attention.
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werothegreat

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 11:27:23 am »
+2

I can't help noticing that Nocturne contains more kinds of Treasure than any previous set, as well as plenty of Treasure gainers. That suggests to me that Donald X., at least, thinks Treasures are still relevant.

...Eh?

1. Prosperity contains more different Treasures than Nocturne.
2. Most of the Treasures in Nocturne aren't ones that are competing with other things in the supply for your attention.

I think crj means Heirlooms.
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AJD

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2018, 11:50:29 am »
+1

I can't help noticing that Nocturne contains more kinds of Treasure than any previous set, as well as plenty of Treasure gainers. That suggests to me that Donald X., at least, thinks Treasures are still relevant.

...Eh?

1. Prosperity contains more different Treasures than Nocturne.
2. Most of the Treasures in Nocturne aren't ones that are competing with other things in the supply for your attention.

I think crj means Heirlooms.

Yes, I know.

2. Heirlooms aren't competing with supply Treasures for your gains; they're competing with Copper for your trashing. The presence of Heirlooms doesn't really say to me "the expansion is recognizing the importance of strategies involving Treasure gaining."

1. Nocturne has seven Heirlooms plus Idol.  Prosperity has eight kingdom Treasures plus Platinum.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 12:54:53 pm by AJD »
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crj

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 11:57:37 am »
+1

Drat; miscounted.

OK, the second most different Treasures after the set called "Prosperity".

And Empires (a set apparently targeted at expert players) had seven different Treasures that can appear in the Supply, rather than starting hands.

My point was (and remains) that, if there is indeed a sentiment that Treasures shouldn't be bought by strong players, Donald X. doesn't seem to agree.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 12:29:17 pm »
+2

I think it’s a false dichotomy. The Treasures in recent sets are stronger on average than the ones in older sets. Making something a Treasure doesn’t automatically make it worse. In general it’s far better than the equivalent terminal Action.
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jonts26

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 01:12:34 pm »
+2

Gold and silver aren't bad because they're treasures.
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crj

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 01:19:39 pm »
0

Making something a Treasure doesn’t automatically make it worse.
Personally, I agree with you. But I'm sensing some people don't.

The argument seems to be that cantrip money makes your engine run more smoothly by reducing the risk of drawing a dud hand. But then people seem to gush over non-cantrip virtual coin as well, so... *shrug*
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jonts26

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 01:27:37 pm »
+1

I have literally never heard anyone argue that treasures as a class are inherently worse.
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crj

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2018, 01:29:05 pm »
0

I have literally never heard anyone argue that treasures as a class are worse.
Well, Awaclus did it again ^up there. And isn't the only person doing so on f.ds .
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 01:53:38 pm by crj »
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aku_chi

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2018, 01:31:24 pm »
+8

"Yellow as Purple" is a meme.  It's based in some truth, but it has the potential to mislead, as this thread indicates.  I dislike the meme for this reason.

The constructive takeaway from the "Yellow as Purple" meme:
  • Treasures are stop cards; they make it harder to draw your deck.  If you can draw your deck, add as few stop cards as you can while building to that point.
  • Buying Gold and Silver is inefficient payload; do so only if there's nothing better.
What this does not mean:
  • It's bad to open Silver.
  • Silver and Gold gainers are usually bad.
  • Silver and Gold are bad in non-engine contexts.
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2018, 01:49:00 pm »
0

Is Treasure genuinely now playing second fiddle

The short answer is that yes, it is, and arguably it's been doing that since Intrigue Version 1 gave us Minion and Conspirator.

The longer answer is that yes, Treasures tend to be cards you don't want too many of, but that absolutely does not mean you should never buy them. The main fallacy I seem to see a lot is people assuming that a deck-drawing virtual-coin engine is possible on every board, which is of course ridiculous. Drawing your whole deck will usually beat a money strategy simply because the latter relies much more on the mercy of the pernicious shuffle gods, but sometimes you just can't do that. You can say that this makes most Treasures, especially Silver and Gold, "weak" or "niche," but now that Scout has gotten the boot even weak and niche cards can have their place.
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Awaclus

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2018, 01:52:19 pm »
0

I have literally never heard anyone argue that treasures as a class are worse.
Well, Awaclus did it again ^up there. And isn't the person doing so on f.ds .

I certainly did not do it and I never have. Did you even read the post?
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2018, 02:27:05 pm »
+1

I have literally never heard anyone argue that treasures as a class are inherently worse.
I Inherited Crown once, it was pretty fun
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2018, 03:38:03 pm »
0

I have literally never heard anyone argue that treasures as a class are inherently worse.
I Inherited Crown once, it was pretty fun

Here's something I've been wondering: does inherited Crown online have all three colors? Because no printed card actually has three colors, but I think it would need the white because green + yellow just means Victory-Treasure.
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2018, 04:07:45 pm »
+1

Here's something I've been wondering: does inherited Crown online have all three colors? Because no printed card actually has three colors, but I think it would need the white because green + yellow just means Victory-Treasure.

It's just green/white.
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DG

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2018, 06:46:16 pm »
0

  • Buying Gold and Silver is inefficient payload; do so only if there's nothing better.
I wouldn't say that silver and gold are inefficient if you only look at payload. If you compare them to minion or conspirator, say, they are reliable and have better ratio of income to cost. All the other elements of Dominion can make the actions cards better as long as you can get those action cards played. Even so, there are some interactions such as counterfeit that will favour treasures as payload.
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2018, 07:36:29 pm »
0

Here's something I've been wondering: does inherited Crown online have all three colors? Because no printed card actually has three colors, but I think it would need the white because green + yellow just means Victory-Treasure.

It's just green/white.

Actually, now that I think about it, there are a bunch of cards that would technically need three colors. Caravan Guard definitely comes to mind. I'm pretty sure I've done that one, but I can't remember what colors it had. Also, inheriting an action-reaction creates an interesting problem because green-blue just means Victory-Reaction, so you'd need the white even though neither of the "merged" cards actually has that. Then there's Werewolf, which would need three colors and altogether a whopping five types.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 08:50:13 pm by Commodore Chuckles »
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ConMan

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2018, 07:39:56 pm »
+9

Copper, Silver and Gold are there to ensure that you always have *something* available. Their strength is in their ubiquity, and so they have to be weak (or at least not universally strong) because otherwise the correct strategy in every game would be Big Money No Whammies. As it stands, they're strong enough that on a decent percentage of boards you want to get at least one Silver or Gold at some point.

Treasures in general have the common strength of being spammable, and so they also mostly have the collective weakness of making it harder to fill a hand with them to spam, i.e. they are stop cards. That doesn't make them bad, it just means you have to balance their strength with their weakness like any other card, and like other stop cards you need to decide how many of them you want in your deck.
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werothegreat

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #21 on: June 20, 2018, 12:06:32 am »
+1

Treasures are not Curses, don't be silly.

However, I think Silver and Gold are intentionally meant to be weak, as they're always in the Supply.  They're only there in case there's no other way to make in the Kingdom.  It was a bad thing when Dominion was dominated by Big Money strategies - if Silver is the best thing to buy, what's the point in even putting out a Kingdom?  That's not to say there isn't a place for BM strategies, just that they shouldn't be the Gold (aha) standard.
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crj

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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #22 on: June 20, 2018, 08:37:38 am »
+2

There is a (large) middle ground between a big money strategy and a no-Treasures strategy.

Once upon a time, basic treasures were a common engine payload. And, to me, at least, basic treasures never being a good payload would be almost as boring as them always being a good payload.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2018, 08:51:53 am »
+1

There is a (large) middle ground between a big money strategy and a no-Treasures strategy.
Not that large, actually. You have the case where there's no better payload for the engine. But having that and still an engine that's better than BM is kind of rare. The second case is where you use money for TfB, in which case the only important thing about the Treasures is their price point and the fact that some cards gain them easily. Then there is Platinum, which is enough cash in a single card to usually work in an engine.
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Re: Don't bother getting the yellow cards out of the box
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2018, 09:09:22 am »
+9

Sometimes I wonder if Donald made Bandit Fort as a satire on "modern Dominion."

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