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aku_chi

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The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« on: February 16, 2019, 12:53:52 pm »
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The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)

30-34 votes for each card.  Bottom half by ThetaSigma12.

#47 ▼19 Marauder (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 54.6% ▼10.6pp / Unweighted Average: 58.2% / Median: 59.6% ▼5.8pp / Standard Deviation: 20.5%

Marauder takes a big drop this year, losing 19 ranks and over 10pp!  While Marauder is close to essential when there is no convenient way to trash Ruins, it's a dubious pickup otherwise.  The Spoils are nice, but slow.
#46 ▲2 Cemetery (Nocturne) Weighted Average: 55.9% ▲3.5pp / Unweighted Average: 54.9% / Median: 51.1% ▼0.8pp / Standard Deviation: 23.5%

Cemetery continues to hang out around the center of the list.  Cemetery can be fantastically efficient trashing with a gainer like Workshop or (especially) Alms, but it's slow if you need to buy it.  It's also easily gainable points, which occasionally matters.
#45 ▼16 Young Witch (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 56.6% ▼8.3pp / Unweighted Average: 53.4% / Median: 56.4% ▼12.7pp / Standard Deviation: 23.4%

Young Witch has dropped a few years in a row, and this is the largest drop yet.  Starting with Adventures and especially with the 2nd edition replacements, the Young Witch bane cards have been getting stronger and stronger, making it harder to justify investing in Young Witch.  In games with either no Curse trashing or a weak bane, Young Witch can still play a role.
#44 ▲3 Transmogrify (Adventures) Weighted Average: 56.7% ▲3.8pp / Unweighted Average: 52.5% / Median: 51.1% ▼2.0pp / Standard Deviation: 21.7%

Transmogrify rises a bit this year.  Transmogrify is a flexible card that can turn Estates into Silver or something better, help ensure you kick off, and/or mill Provinces from the supply.  Transmogrify is often a strong opener - especially if you find it on turn 3.
#43 ▲3 Farming Village (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 57.0% ▲0.4pp / Unweighted Average: 56.5% / Median: 53.2% ▼6.1pp / Standard Deviation: 15.7%

Next up in the many $4 villages is Farming Village.  A $4 village is a pretty good card, and Farming Village has a minor effect added on which helps in situations where you can't trash Estates/Curses or in games with extended greening.
#42 ▼5 Mining Village (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 57.5% ▼3.5pp / Unweighted Average: 55.2% / Median: 56.4% ▼5.3pp / Standard Deviation: 16.5%

Mining Village is up next, with a small drop.  Opening Mining Village has rightly fallen out of fashion, but the ability to trash for coin is good for bursting on your last turn, and sometimes in combination with trash gainers (e.g. Lurker).
#41 ▼2 Temple (Empires) Weighted Average: 58.7% ▼2.1pp / Unweighted Average: 57.0% / Median: 52.1% ▼7.9pp / Standard Deviation: 24.8%

After a moderate drop last year, Temple is beginning to stabilize.  I know I thought Temple might be top card quality when it was first revealed, but with experience, many have realized that Temple is often too slow for a trasher that provides no material benefits.  Still, sometimes you can build despite the reduced economy from Temple (in which case it's correct to open) - or Temple is the only way to trash a certain type of card (in which case it's correct to get later).  And in these cases, the VP on the Temple pile is likely to play a minor role later in the game.
#40 ▲1 Advisor (Guilds) Weighted Average: 60.1% ▲0.2pp / Unweighted Average: 58.1% / Median: 58.7% ▲4.4pp / Standard Deviation: 19.6%

Advisor stabilizes after a large jump last year.  Non-terminal draw is strong, but Advisor can certainly be awkward.  It shines brighest with gainers and supplemental draw (including cantrips) and in decks with consistent card quality.  Other times, it gets outclassed by other draw.
#39 ▼6 Devil's Workshop (Nocturne) Weighted Average: 60.5% ▼2.3pp / Unweighted Average: 56.7% / Median: 55.3% ▼2.7pp / Standard Deviation: 19.7%

Devil's Workshop makes a surprise drop in the rankings this year.  Devil's Workshop is very unique.  While it's most common mode is that of a Night-phase Workshop, it also has powerful Gold-gaining and Imp-gaining modes.  It can be difficult to gain Imps when Devil's Workshop is the only source of additional gains, which perhaps partly explains its fall.
#38 ▼4 Sacrifice (Empires) Weighted Average: 60.7% ▼1.5pp / Unweighted Average: 62.2% / Median: 63.8% ▼0.4pp / Standard Deviation: 21.1%

Sacrifice also makes a modest fall.  Sacrifice is rated higher in the unweighted rankings, which perhaps heralds a fall in the future as well.  Sacrifice is certainly better than no trashing at all, and it also works well to fill in gaps for specialized trashers.  Sacrifice is top in class for dealing with Ruins, but its Copper-trashing and Estate-trashing modes are weaker than other options often present in the kingdom.
#37 ▲5 Ironworks (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 60.7% ▲1.0pp / Unweighted Average: 58.3% / Median: 62.0% ▲5.1pp / Standard Deviation: 19.7%

Ironworks makes a modest rise.  Ironworks specializes in gaining $3-$4 actions, can deplete piles rapidly with overdraw, and can power some VP rushes.  For all that, there are kingdoms where the key cards all cost $5+ and Ironworks can't accomplish much.
#36 =0 Salvager (Seaside) Weighted Average: 60.9% ▼1.0pp / Unweighted Average: 60.0% / Median: 62.8% ▲1.1pp / Standard Deviation: 21.5%

Salvager retains its spot in the upper portion of the list.  Salvager is great at trashing starting Estates and can trash Curses and Copper if necessary.  Salvager can also trash cards that have overstayed their welcome, works well with Gold gainers, and can mill Provinces.  Remodel also does most of these things, so I suppose Salvager is higher because people value its cosolation trashing of $0 cards.
#35 ▲15 Mission (Adventures) Weighted Average: 60.1% ▲9.8pp / Unweighted Average: 56.3% / Median: 55.3% ▲19.5pp / Standard Deviation: 26.2%

Mission makes a big rise this year, but retains a high standard deviation.  Mission's value is highly board dependent, but it's strongest when there are ways to gain, attack, and trash on the Mission turn.  Mission also plays nicely with the Page and Peasant lines.
#34 ▲4 Sea Hag (Seaside) Weighted Average: 61.8% ▲0.9pp / Unweighted Average: 61.7% / Median: 59.6% ▼3.4pp / Standard Deviation: 23.6%

Sea Hag makes a slight rise this year after a few years losing ranks.  Once the top rated $4 card, there is still a lot of disagreement about Sea Hag's power level, as it received multiple votes in the top 10% and bottom 30%.  Sea Hag is undoubtedly dominant in games with no way to trash Curses.  But in games where it is convenient to trash Curses, the player who buys and plays Sea Hag might slow themselves down more than their opponent.  Sea Hag is a brutal attack, and is sometimes valuable to cement a deck control advantage.
#33 ▼7 Caravan (Seaside) Weighted Average: 62.1% ▼3.3pp / Unweighted Average: 62.5% / Median: 62.8% ▼5.1pp / Standard Deviation: 16.3%

Caravan's rank has oscillated a bit recently, while staying firmly in the upper portion of the list.  Nonterminal draw is strong, but Caravan is pretty slow.  Still, if it's the only draw, it's often worth getting.  And it also adds consistency to decks with more efficient draw.
#32 ▲12 Envoy (Promos) Weighted Average: 63.4% ▲4.7pp / Unweighted Average: 60.9% / Median: 61.7% ▲6.1pp / Standard Deviation: 17.9%

Envoy makes a large jump this year (though only 4.7pp) to get closer to Smithy.  Envoy is similar to Advisor in that it works best with supplemental draw and decks of consistent quality.  Decks that rely on Envoy for draw can be quite inconsistent.
#31 =0 Jack of All Trades (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 63.9% ▼0.8pp / Unweighted Average: 65.9% / Median: 69.2% ▼7.1pp / Standard Deviation: 20.8%

After a big fall the past two years, Jack of All Trades is closer to stabilizing, though it is rated higher in the unweighted ranking.  Jack of All Trades is a versatile proactive counter to most attacks.  It can be the basis for a decently strong moneyish strategy, or it can be incorporated into an engine that can appreciate (or at least tolerate) the Silvers it provides.
#30 ▼3 Procession (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 65.2% ▼0.2pp / Unweighted Average: 63.6% / Median: 68.1% ▲0.5pp / Standard Deviation: 22.6%

Procession falls ever so slightly after a larger rise last year, but retains a high standard deviation which includes a first place vote.  Procession is one of the most challenging cards to play well.  It offers a whole lot (throne effect + midturn upgrade), but in a total package that is often awkward (often you want to throne cards you can't upgrade into another action).  Procession isn't gained nearly as often as its peers in this list, but how much of that is players being unsure how to incorporate the card?
#29 ▲3 Conspirator (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 65.9% ▲1.0pp / Unweighted Average: 64.1% / Median: 67.0% ▲0.3pp / Standard Deviation: 20.3%

Conspirator has remained pretty stable over the years.  It's one of the most efficient sources of coin payload, but overinvesting reduces consistency.  And, at the end of the day, pure coin payload can only contribute so much.
#28 ▼7 Plaza (Guilds) Weighted Average: 66.1% ▼3.4pp / Unweighted Average: 61.5% / Median: 66.0% ▼3.1pp / Standard Deviation: 18.5%

Plaza falls a bit (and more significantly in the unweighted ranking), but still clearly separates itself from the weaker $4 villages.  It's often worth picking up a Plaza even in the presence of other strong villages, because the flexibility of a few coffers is quite valuable.  There are diminishing returns for Plaza's discard-for-coffers ability, but you'll be happy to keep gaining Plazas if you need the village effect.
#27 ▼5 Fortress (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 67.2% ▼1.5pp / Unweighted Average: 65.4% / Median: 66.0% ▲0.6pp / Standard Deviation: 21.1%

Fortress also takes a small fall.  Fortress's on-trash ability ranges from unusable to board-centralizing with trash for benefit (especially Procession and Develop), and its higher standard deviation reflects disagreement on how to evaluate that ability.
#26 Mountain Village (Renaissance) Weighted Average: 67.2% / Unweighted Average: 66.6% / Median: 66.0% / Standard Deviation: 14.1%

We finally reach the next Renaissance card.  Mountain Village has been initially placed with the other strong $4 villages - and with a lot of agreement.  Mountain Village is best with mid-turn gaining and during the deck-building phase when there might be strong cards in the discard pile.  It becomes worse than vanilla Village in the face of junking or discard attacks.  Mountain Village is sometimes worth picking up in no-draw games even when the village effect is dubious, due to the value of selecting a card from the discard pile.
#25 ▲6 Blessed Village (Nocturne) Weighted Average: 67.8% ▲3.3pp / Unweighted Average: 62.3% / Median: 67.0% ▼2.8pp / Standard Deviation: 18.8%

Blessed Village rises a little to top this group of villages.  Blessed Village is deceptively strong; the choice of when to gain the boon offers a lot of flexibility, and being able to get a small advantage while adding a critical card to your deck speeds up building significantly.  The unweighted average is lagging behind, which suggests that this card might continue to rise.
#24 =0 Smithy (Base) Weighted Average: 68.5% ▲0.9pp / Unweighted Average: 65.8% / Median: 70.2% ▼3.9pp / Standard Deviation: 16.9%

Smithy maintains its place in the upper quartile with a lot of agreement.  The price is right for Smithy, which offers strong terminal draw for only $4.  It's best in the prescence of gainers and, of course, villages.
#23 ▲11 Moneylender (Base) Weighted Average: 68.5% ▲6.5pp / Unweighted Average: 67.3% / Median: 72.3% ▲9.7pp / Standard Deviation: 14.5%

Moneylender makes a shockingly high rise in this year's rankings.  Moneylender is a strong opener that lets you trash Copper and hit $5 at the same time.  Perhaps Moneylender is looked upon more favorably now that there are many other cards that can fill in the gaps that Moneylender can't cover (trashing Estates and Curses).
#22 ▲1 Shepherd (Nocturne) Weighted Average: 69.0% ▲1.4pp / Unweighted Average: 68.1% / Median: 71.3% ▲2.2pp / Standard Deviation: 22.5%

Shepherd retains its position near the top, showing that it isn't a fad.  Decks with Shepherd as the primary draw are quite unique, and can be very strong with Copper trashing and a little extra reliability.
#21 Priest (Renaissance) Weighted Average: 70.1% / Unweighted Average: 68.5% / Median: 71.1% / Standard Deviation: 23.1%

The next Renaissance card clocks in just outside the top 20.  Like Salvager, you can open Priest and hit $5 while trashing Estates.  Unlike Salvager, Priest can continue to trash $0 cards for decent benefit.  Priest also has a payload ability that is hard to utilize in practice.  This card has a lot of disagreement right now, with several votes in the top 10% and the bottom 50%.
#20 Hideout (Renaissance) Weighted Average: 70.6% / Unweighted Average: 68.6% / Median: 73.4% / Standard Deviation: 18.5%

Another Renaissance trasher makes its appearance.  Hideout is a rare trasher that is weaker in the opening.  It works best as supplemental trashing (Curses or Copper, ideally) and supplemental +actions.  As the only source of trashing or +actions, it is awkward but often worth it.
#19 ▲18 Exorcist (Nocturne) Weighted Average: 70.8% ▲10.3pp / Unweighted Average: 66.0% / Median: 64.9% ▲8.1pp / Standard Deviation: 22.1%

Exorcist is one of the big winners in this list, gaining 18 ranks and 10.3pp!  It still has a lot of disagreement with several votes in the bottom half and a first place vote.  Exorcist is great at non-terminally turning Estates into Will-o-Wisps.  It can also trash Curses and Copper if necessary, or trash more expensive cards (that have either overstayed their welcome or were efficiently gained) into Imps or Ghosts.
#18 Silk Merchant (Renaissance) Weighted Average: 71.1% / Unweighted Average: 66.5% / Median: 66.0% / Standard Deviation: 25.2%

The next Renaissance card, Silk Merchant, makes it into the top 20.  Silk Merchant is a deceptively strong card that is especially powerful to open with - and with trash for benefit.  Silk Merchant has a lot of disagreement right now, with stronger players pushing the average upwards.  I fully expect Silk Merchant to rise next year as people get familiar with how strong it is.
#17 ▲2 Quarry (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 71.4% ▲3.2pp / Unweighted Average: 70.8% / Median: 75.0% ▲8.3pp / Standard Deviation: 18.1%

Quarry makes a slight rise this year.  Quarry is especially strong in the presence of +buy, where its cost reduction can be applied multiple times.  In games without +buy, it's hard to get excited about a restrictive Gold.
#16 =0 Militia (Base) Weighted Average: 73.1% ▼1.2pp / Unweighted Average: 73.5% / Median: 77.7% ▼0.1pp / Standard Deviation: 19.2%

Militia stands the test of time and retains its high placement.  Handsize attacks are almost always worth getting at some point in the game, and Militia distinguishes itself from the competition by costing only $4.
#15 Sinister Plot (Renaissance) Weighted Average: 74.4% / Unweighted Average: 73.5% / Median: 71.7% / Standard Deviation: 20.0%

Sinister Plot sneaks into the 15th slot with relatively high agreement (for a Renaissance card).  Sinister Plot is almost always worth picking up at some point, and the sooner the better (usually).  Sinister Plot can help spike a higher pricepoint early, save a dud turn, and/or set up a megaturn.  Very handy.
#14 ▼1 Herald (Guilds) Weighted Average: 75.6% ▼1.1pp / Unweighted Average: 73.5% / Median: 79.8% ▲0.8pp / Standard Deviation: 21.6%

After a fall last year, Herald has started to stabilize.  Herald can provide +actions and +cards all at the same time.  All you need is a deck with a high action density.  Herald is best when it can be efficiently gained in bulk and when you can trash your starting cards.  Herald's forced play is occasionally awkward with mandatory trashers or decks where play order must be carefully controlled.  Sometimes, you can build more reliably without Herald.
#13 ▼1 Worker's Village (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 75.8% ▼2.2pp / Unweighted Average: 72.6% / Median: 77.7% ▼2.7pp / Standard Deviation: 19.0%

Worker's Village can't quite crack the top 10.  Worker's Village looks so unassuming, but getting +buy with your +actions is a huge boon to building an engine.  With the plentiful +buy that a stack of Worker's Villages provide, 3-pile endings become far more likely.
#12 ▼1 Port (Adventures) Weighted Average: 77.4% ▼1.9pp / Unweighted Average: 73.1% / Median: 83.0% ▼1.0pp / Standard Deviation: 22.7%

Port retains its spot just above Worker's Village and Herald.  Getting two Ports for one buy is very efficient.  Port is especially good with Adventures tokens, but works less well with gainers.
#11 Inventor (Renaissance) Weighted Average: 79.8% / Unweighted Average: 78.2% / Median: 87.2% / Standard Deviation: 21.8%

Inventor is the highest rated $4 Renaissance card this year, landing just short of the top 10.  Inventor's cost reduction is definitely the strongest bonus effect of the $4 workshops, but there is some disagreement as to how it compares with strongest $4 cards, including Bridge.  Like Bridge, Inventor gets stronger in multiples - so long as you have the +actions and draw to support them.
#10 ▲3 Magpie (Adventures) Weighted Average: 81.8% ▲6.4pp / Unweighted Average: 79.5% / Median: 87.2% ▲4.5pp / Standard Deviation: 19.2%

Magpie rebounds into the top 10 this year.  A single Magpie is quite innocuous, but leaving the opponent to gain 7+ Magpies efficiently is often a losing move.  Magpie is especially good in decks with a treasure payload, with Adventures tokens, and with trash for benefit.
#9 ▼4 Ironmonger (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 82.5% ▼5.1pp / Unweighted Average: 79.9% / Median: 86.2% ▼2.7pp / Standard Deviation: 21.9%

Ironmonger drop a few places this year, but holds onto a top 10 spot.  Ironmonger is a fantastic opener, and stays strong throughout the game and in any deck.  As the only source of +actions, it's not ideal, but still worth going for.  It gets stronger in games with sustained greening.
#8 =0 Spice Merchant (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 82.7% ▼2.8pp / Unweighted Average: 76.4% / Median: 85.1% ▼3.1pp / Standard Deviation: 20.6%

After last year's rise, Spice Merchant retains its place.  Spice Merchant is one of the most efficient Copper trashers in the game, and an excellent opener.  Spice Merchant is also occasionally the only source of +buy, which is awkward but can be made to work with a treasure gainer.
#7 ▲2 Throne Room (Base) Weighted Average: 83.7% ▲2.5pp / Unweighted Average: 81.3% / Median: 87.2% ▲0.8pp / Standard Deviation: 18.0%

Throne Room makes a small jump into 7th place.  Throne Room is powerful and flexible, amplifying your draw or payload as needed - all the while saving on +actions.  Throne Room is at its best with efficient gainers and terminal draw.  It's weaker when decks are unreliable or payload isn't throneable (e.g. treasures or Bridge Troll).
#6 ▼2 Sauna (Promo) Weighted Average: 85.1% ▼4.2pp / Unweighted Average: 87.1% / Median: 90.4% ▼1.0pp / Standard Deviation: 12.2%

Sauna makes a small drop after last year's high initial placement.  It's even higher in the unweighted rankings, suggesting that weaker players overestimate its strength.  Sauna does have a high amount of agreement, with no votes in the bottom half (which no other card comes close to)!  Sauna + Silver is a decent way to trash; weaker in the beginning, but ramping up in the midgame.  Sauna + Avanto is also a very efficient source of draw.  It can be awkward, however, to get to Avantos if you're the only player getting Saunas - so if there is other trashing and +actions, avoiding Sauna can be correct.
#5 ▲2 Villa (Empires) Weighted Average: 87.2% ▲0.3pp / Unweighted Average: 84.1% / Median: 90.4% ▲2.7pp / Standard Deviation: 17.5%

Villa bumps up into the top 5.  If Villa is the only source of +actions or +buys, it's an essential pickup.  But Villa's true strength lies in how it lets you build in a different way: loading up on terminal draw and payload and getting Villas as needed to keep going.  Villa has additional synergies with cards that benefit from emptying your hand of treasures before playing (e.g. Library).  And while these decks can fall apart when Villas run out, leaving all 10 Villas to the opponent is a sure way to lose.  Villas are also bonkers with cost reduction or other pile-emptying enablers (e.g. Haggler, Talisman) - leading to very quick pileouts.  Villa is a truly game-changing card.
#4 ▼1 Wandering Minstrel (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 89.3% ▼0.4pp / Unweighted Average: 84.3% / Median: 91.5% ▼2.3pp / Standard Deviation: 21.8%

Wandering Minstrel retains its place near the top.  The most highly esteemed of the $4 villages, Wandering Minstrel accelerates your deck towards the cards you most want to play.  Wandering Minstrel also lets you re-order your actions, which provides additional synergy with some cards (e.g. Vassal).  Wandering Minstrel's filtering is so strong that it often allows engines to overcome a bunch of junk cards.
#3 ▼1 Tournament (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 90.9% ▼0.8pp / Unweighted Average: 88.2% / Median: 93.6% ▼2.7pp / Standard Deviation: 18.0%

Tournament loses a position, but has 5 first place votes.  Tournament's prizes are very strong cards; it's often essential to build around gaining them. Tournament acts like a Poacher in the early game, which makes it convenient to incorporate into a build.  Tournament is at its strongest when the Prizes fill a gap in the kingdom; Followers for a handsize attack, Trusty Steed for +actions, Princess for +buy, Followers and Trusty Steed for +cards.
#2 ▲4 Bridge (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 91.4% ▲4.0pp / Unweighted Average: 87.6% / Median: 93.6% ▲3.5pp / Standard Deviation: 18.2%

Bridge continues its climb into 2nd place!  Bridge received two first place votes.  Bridge is one of the strongest payload cards in the game.  Playing 7+ Bridges lets you immediately empty the Province pile, and many Bridge games revolve around being the first person to do so, while dancing around 3-pile endings that Bridge empowers.  Bridge is also a decent opener, often helping to gain the components needed to fuel the megaturn.  Bridge is much weaker in kingdoms that lack +actions or sufficient draw.
#1 =0 Remake (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 95.4% ▲1.2pp / Unweighted Average: 90.0% / Median: 97.9% ▼0.4pp / Standard Deviation: 21.7%

Remake keeps its first place spot and shows no signs of giving it up.  Remake has a clear lead over the other top 5 cards and received 13 first place votes.  Remake is a very strong opener.  Turning Estates into Silver or better is good for tempo.  When trashing two Copper is considered a card's weaker mode, you know you have a strong card.  Remake can also be a powerful gainer later in the game, but it's often awkward in forcing you to upgrade exactly two cards.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 12:30:45 pm by aku_chi »
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Seprix

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2019, 01:34:40 pm »
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Finally, Moneylender gets some respect. Cemetery way too low. Silk Merchant not at 1, so that's kinda sad. My top 5 would be (I think):

1. Silk Merchant
2. Remake
3. Inventor
4. Tournament
5. Bridge
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 02:13:48 pm »
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Wow, priest outside the top 20? I thought it was for top 10 for sure, probably even top 5 for my personal preference. It's trashing and payload. A pair of priests is great if you ever need to hit a high price point for something like king's court, pathfinding, or platinum. Fun fact- 2 priests + 2 fortresses + advance + travelling fair = virtually empty the supply. I'll call this the biggest mistake of the list.

I do like villa in the top 5. You can do some downright silly stuff with that card. I am a little surprised to see magpie in the top 10 over things like inventor or herald. It's a good card for sure but I believe it's outclasses by the rest of the top 20.

Bridge at #2? That's awful generous but it's fantastic. The ability to throne it probably makes it a fair ranking although I'm not sure I'd put it over cards like minstrel or tournament.

All in all, a very solid list and enjoyable to read. If someone wants to tell me why I'm wrong about priest I'd be very interested to hear.
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Titandrake

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2019, 02:51:23 pm »
+3

Finally, Moneylender gets some respect. Cemetery way too low. Silk Merchant not at 1, so that's kinda sad. My top 5 would be (I think):

1. Silk Merchant
2. Remake
3. Inventor
4. Tournament
5. Bridge

Silk Merchant is good, it isn't "better than Remake, Tournament, and Bridge" good.

I'd say Tournament should be #2 and Bridge should be #3 but it's close.

I've found Priest payload is awkward enough that it isn't really payload, unless you meet a specific set of conditions that's rarer than I like. You run out of trash targets too quickly. I feel like the quadratic Priest dream is a trap and it's really more about using Priest with other trashers to get midgame money spikes.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2019, 04:54:49 pm »
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A pair of priests is great if you ever need to hit a high price point for something like king's court, pathfinding, or platinum.

If you want to play a village of some kind then two Priests, you have to have two junk cards in hand, and once you've done that you're left with just one card in hand and no remaining actions. That's only hitting $6, which won't buy you any of the cards you mention.

Yes, you can achieve cute tricks if you also introduce other stuff the Kingdom makes available, but then the question arises: how cute is that cute stuff if you focus on it and ignore Priest?

That's not to say Priest is a bad card, but it seems reasonable that such concerns drop it from the top ten down to #21.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2019, 06:59:28 pm »
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This is the third year in a row that Farming Village's rank has gone up by +3.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 08:23:17 pm »
+6

Fell and should keep falling: Sauna - Sauna didn't fall much but it could be somewhat significantly lower. It is typically a card of last resort, whether for its trashing or village effects, and if you can you would rather be using neither, the former because it is so slow and the latter because it is somewhat awkward. In many cases leaving the Sauna pile untouched until Avantos are revealed is the proper move, so Sauna shouldn't have quite the standing it does here.

Fell and shouldn't be falling: Walled Village - Why Walled Village is so far below cards that do roughly the same thing is puzzling. Sure it costs $4 and plays mostly as a standard village, but that's roughly Farming Village and Mining Village too. Villages are necessary to a lot of decks. Respect that and don't drop them in rank because they're boring.

Rose and shouldn't be rising: Bridge - Bridge is really good. It deserves a high spot on this list. It doesn't deserve that spot though. While often centralizing when a deck can be built for it, Bridge suffers without draw and isn't that special as the only +buy on single-terminal boards. For those reasons it falls short of the other top cards on this list for what they can do for you early, and could settle back to its previous spot behind them and close to Inventor.

Rose and should keep rising: Ranger - With an honorable mention for Exorcist which has less distance to cover to its proper spot, it is a bit stunning that Smithy could be so many spots above Ranger when the first Ranger played in a turn draws as many cards as 2 Smithies and gives +buy on top of that. When building decks with terminal draw this means you typically want a Ranger pair in addition to whatever else you are doing, either for the additional gains on a card that is otherwise useful or for the added consistency of a huge first draw.

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 08:46:15 pm »
+3

Fell and should keep falling: Sauna - Sauna didn't fall much but it could be somewhat significantly lower. It is typically a card of last resort

Uhhhhhh are we looking at the same card here buddy
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 11:05:30 pm »
0

What I disagreed most with:

Ironworks (37 vs my 64): I don't see why this is considered better than Devil's Workshop. Devil's Workshop has a wider range of utility and can't be drawn dead.

Salvager (36 vs my 57): Salvager just isn't that good. Awful at trashing 0s, okay but worse than Remodel at tfb.

Mission (35 vs my 77): I just don't get this thing. Talking about all the clever tricks you can do with the extra turn ignores the fact that it costs a precious $4 to get it.

Conspirator (29 vs my 5): It's loony how underrated this is. It's the most important engine piece in nearly every board I've played.

Mountain Village (26 vs my 49): Not impressed with this. Not any better than Vanillage if your discard is empty... which happens a lot if you have an engine, the main thing Villages enable. Oops. Also, SUCKS if you just discarded some junk.

Blessed Village (25 vs my 44): Not impressed with this either. It has the same problem as Bard in that the randomness of the Boons makes it virtually impossible to build a real strategy around them.

Priest (21 vs my 55): I've yet to succeed at building those super duper Priest engines everyone's talking about. You need so many other things in place: a good supply of things to trash, good Village support, good draw, +Buy...

Silk Merchant (18 vs my 66): Really? It's that good?

Worker's Village (13 vs my 33): Clearly others value the +Buy on this more than I do. Not sure what else to say about this.

I also had Temple, Marauder and Young Witch a lot higher than this list, but I probably did overrate those.

I agree with the fall of Procession, Fortress, Sacrifice and Sauna, as well as the rise of Exorcist and Envoy.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 11:14:33 pm by Commodore Chuckles »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 03:07:45 am »
0

Silk Merchant is good, it isn't "better than Remake, Tournament, and Bridge" good.

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2019, 03:25:10 am »
0

The most underrated cards here are Temple and Plaza. I had Temple #6 and Plaza #14.
Plaza should be easily the third best $4 village behind Minstrel and Port.
Villa is way overrated. It's neat tricks are very fun, but it definitely isn't top 10 material.
I agree with Traces about Walled Village.

Other underrated cards: Cemetery, Marauder

Overrated: Moneylender, Quarry

I really don't understand why Research is so much lower than Exorcist. They're both non-terminal single card trashers. I agree Exorcist is stronger, but I think Research's benefit is underrated. Obviously turning Estates into Will-o-Wisps is great. I'm still figuring out how good it is to trash decent cards for Imps or Golds for Ghosts.

Hardest card to judge: Silk Merchant. I'm still trying to figure it out. It seems great with trash-for benefit, but otherwise I don't know. Seems like those two villagers get used up pretty quickly.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 03:31:54 am by LibraryAdventurer »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2019, 10:49:28 am »
0

A 32.3pp difference between Farming Village 43.5pp difference between Walled Village and Wandering Minstrel is absolutely ridiculous.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 10:51:38 am by Awaclus »
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2019, 06:02:43 pm »
+4

*All stats are from those collected by markus
**I have a lot of disagreements this time.

Major deviations (16+) from my personal list
45: Young Witch (62) - I don't have a super high opinion of Sea Hag or Marauder, but they are generally must-buy cards when there's no way to trash their junk.  Young Witch doesn't even have that going for it.  If the bane is a card you want - which it often is - Young Witch can be a bad investment even if there's no Curse trashing.  It's only gained by the winner 43% of the time.  In Young Witch's defense, it's occasionally decent to open with.

44: Transmogrify (21) - Transmogrify is a really strong opener that speeds up games.  The winner opens it 42% of the time and being the only player to open Transmogrify is strongly associated with winning.  Turning Estates into Silver or better in your hand is almost always great.  Transmogrify can also save a turn down the road, mill Provinces, etc...  But mostly, you should open it and turn those Estates into good cards and immediately play them.

41: Temple (57) - I originally thought Temple would be strong.  Steward and Remake show that trashing two cards from hand is really strong, right?  But I kept losing games when I opened Temple.  The problem with Temple is tempo.  Unless there's a great $2 card, you can't buy anything on the turn you trash with Temple.  And Temple stops trashing two cards pretty fast.  With Remake, you can gain $3s while you trash.  With Steward, your trasher becomes your economy to help you kickstart your building phase.  With Temple, you just trash slowly, can't buy anything, and only have a few VP chips afterwards.  Sometimes a Temple opening can work: economy-generating $2s, Alms, etc...  But usually there's a better way to thin - even if that means getting a Silver or two to save up for a $5 trasher.  Temple is gained by the winner in 58% of games, so maybe I'm being too harsh on it.  But it hasn't worked well for me.

35: Mission (18) - I'm pleased that Mission rose.  It has room to keep rising.  Think of it this way: all you need to do during your Mission turn is play a Workshop to break even.  Everything else is bonus.  Trash a couple starting cards?  I'd do that for $4 and consider myself way ahead.  Play a nasty attack?  Skip a bad turn?  It's pretty rare to find a kingdom with no opportunity for a lucrative Mission.  And the stats support that: the winner buys Mission in 70% of games, and an average of 2.2 times.  The loser buys it significantly less often, suggesting that it is still underbought.  And while the benefit of a Mission can be marginal, sometimes it's almost as good as another full turn - either when you get most of your value through non-buy gains, or there is an Event or Project you can buy.

32: Envoy (53) - One of the more surprising discoveries when perusing the stats markus collected is how infrequently terminal draw cards are gained.  Take Envoy, for instance.  The winner gains Envoy in only 50% of games.  In 50% of games, Envoy does absolutely nothing for the winner.  The top half of $4 cards are filled with cards that are gained 65+% of the time by the winner.  And while Envoy definitely can be impactful sometimes, it's simply beat out by better draw options pretty often.

30: Procession (50) - This is a tough one.  I don't pretend to know how to best play with Procession.  But I do know that lots of good Dominion players (whom we have play stats for) don't gain Procession often: just 49% of the time.  Should I rate Procession higher because it might be better when played by extremely skilled Dominion players we don't have sufficient data on?  Maybe.  But I'm not quite ready to do so.  I freely admit that when Procession is strong, it can be game-warpingly strong.

26: Mountain Village (44) - This is simply in the wrong tier of villages.  Mountain Village is gained about as often as Farming Village and Mining Village (~70%), and significantly less than Plaza and company (80+%).  Mountain Village's effect is minor and occasionally negative.  Fortress (gained by the winner 76% of the time) has an occasionally centralizing ability.

24: Smithy (51) - Same deal as Envoy.  Smithy is only gained by the winner in 54% of games; it often isn't the best source of draw.

23: Moneylender (40) - As my writeup indicated, I'm a bit baffled as to why this was ranked so much higher this year.  In particular, I find the good Estate trashers (Transmogrify, Salvager, Remodel) to be a tier above Moneylender, and the stats support that.  While Salvager is gained by the winner in 67% of games, Moneylender is gained by the winner in only 59% of games and appears to be slightly overgained.  Moneylender is certainly good sometimes; that's why I have it in the top half of $4s.

20: Hideout (43) - Initial stats indicate that Hideout might be slightly overrated.  It's only gained by the winner 72% of the time and seems to be overgained.  This is lower than Transmogrify, and closer to the Mining Village tier of villages.  But maybe I rated it a bit low; it can be more impactful than other villages.

18: Silk Merchant (2) - This card wasn't on my radar when it was first revealed, but I've become a believer.  Take a look at Wander Winder's video on Silk Merchant openings if you haven't yet.  Silk Merchant is a phenomenal opener thanks to the Villager and Coffer.  It's also great with trash for benefit.  And the initial stats speak volumes: Silk Merchant is gained an astounding 94% of the time by the winner, and yet it's still a big advantage to be the only player gaining Silk Merchant.  Even more astonishing, games with Silk Merchant in the kingdom are almost two full turns shorter on average!  This puts Silk Merchant in elite company.  This is top 3 $4 card beyond a doubt.

17: Quarry (42) - This was a surprise to me, but Quarry just isn't gained much: only 59% by the winner.  Quarry is certainly good with cheap +buy, but in many games there isn't a convenient time to work it into a build.

6: Sauna (22) - Sauna is a funny card.  The Sauna + Avanto synergy is strong, and it seems unbeatable when 2+ players pursue it.  But, if there are ways to build without Sauna, it will take a long while for the opponent to get through all 5 Saunas (at least two of which are practically useless) to reveal the Avantos - at which point, you can contest them if they're important draw.  So, I recommend trying to build without Sauna if there's other adequate trashing and +actions in the kingdom.  Sauna is gained by the winner 79% of the time, but I expect this number to drop even further, because - in games where only one player gains Sauna - the only player to gain Sauna performs worse than expected.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 06:05:48 pm by aku_chi »
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Chris is me

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2019, 12:40:09 am »
0

A 32.3pp difference between Farming Village 43.5pp difference between Walled Village and Wandering Minstrel is absolutely ridiculous.

Yup, Wandering Minstrel is barely better than Walled Village. What a sensible, coherent take.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2019, 02:50:21 am »
0

A 32.3pp difference between Farming Village 43.5pp difference between Walled Village and Wandering Minstrel is absolutely ridiculous.

Yup, Wandering Minstrel is barely better than Walled Village. What a sensible, coherent take.

They do largely the same thing, with different minor benefits on top. If you only had access to Walled Village whenever your opponent had access to Wandering Minstrel instead, do you seriously think your winrate would suffer as much as it would from having Ironworks instead of Bridge every time?
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2019, 03:55:35 am »
+1

A 32.3pp difference between Farming Village 43.5pp difference between Walled Village and Wandering Minstrel is absolutely ridiculous.

Yup, Wandering Minstrel is barely better than Walled Village. What a sensible, coherent take.

They do largely the same thing, with different minor benefits on top. If you only had access to Walled Village whenever your opponent had access to Wandering Minstrel instead, do you seriously think your winrate would suffer as much as it would from having Ironworks instead of Bridge every time?

Chris, your take is bad, Awaclus never claimed WM was barely better than Walled Village, at least not until Awaclus replied to you.

Awaclus, your take is bad, Ironworks and Bridge play materially different roles in decks. Bridge is a megaturn card and Ironworks is just a gainer.

Wandering Minstrel should beat Walled Village hands down. When you have a ton of actions, Wandering Minstrel is better because you get reordering benefits, compared to nothing from Walled Village. When you have few actions, the cycling and digging from Minstrel is better than the topdecking from Walled Village. More importantly Minstrel is speeding up your early game and getting your to take-off faster.

I'm not sure Minstrel should be as high as it is, I didn't make a ranking list. It's definitely better. Really it's more that Walled Village should be higher for reasons that Tracer said.

I think the story with Sauna is that Avanto is a fantastic card and Sauna is a good-but-not-amazing card, so if the other player is going hard on emptying Saunas, you can ignore them or snipe 1-2 while preparing a deck that can get more Avantos. Because of this, at sufficiently high-level play, no one wants to buy the first Sauna because it's just not good enough, meaning Avantos never get revealed.

But if both people always open Sauna/Silver, then well, Avantos are going to get revealed pretty fast...
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2019, 04:18:42 am »
0

Awaclus, your take is bad, Ironworks and Bridge play materially different roles in decks. Bridge is a megaturn card and Ironworks is just a gainer.

Bridge is also effectively a gainer, it's just so much stronger than Ironworks that it also allows you to pull off a gamewinning megaturn.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2019, 04:31:52 am »
0

I think the story with Sauna is that Avanto is a fantastic card and Sauna is a good-but-not-amazing card, so if the other player is going hard on emptying Saunas, you can ignore them or snipe 1-2 while preparing a deck that can get more Avantos. Because of this, at sufficiently high-level play, no one wants to buy the first Sauna because it's just not good enough, meaning Avantos never get revealed.
I think Sauna is already pretty good by itself (maybe not quite as good as the rankings suggest). If it is the only trasher or the only source of +actions, then you can't really ignore it, and one of those will be the case on many boards.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2019, 09:30:54 am »
+1

According to markus's stats, games with Wandering Minstrel in the kingdom end a full turn earlier than games with Walled Village in the kingdom.
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Awaclus

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2019, 09:32:56 am »
0

According to markus's stats, games with Wandering Minstrel in the kingdom end a full turn earlier than games with Walled Village in the kingdom.

And that warrants a 43.5pp difference?
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2019, 10:01:05 am »
0

According to markus's stats, games with Wandering Minstrel in the kingdom end a full turn earlier than games with Walled Village in the kingdom.

And that warrants a 43.5pp difference?

It warrants a substantial difference.  Wandering Minstrel is (roughly) in the top 10% of cards with those turn counts, while Walled Village is exactly average.  Gain rates, turn counts, and whatever else you want to look at all support Wandering Minstrel being a substantially stronger card than Walled Village.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2018 Edition: $4 Cards (Top Half)
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2019, 10:43:20 am »
0

43.5pp is not very meaningful. You need to argue which cards that are in between the two cards should be below Walled Village or above Wandering Minstrel.
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