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Author Topic: Changeling's on-gain ability  (Read 916 times)

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GendoIkari

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Changeling's on-gain ability
« on: January 24, 2020, 02:52:13 am »
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Just played a game with Changeling, maybe for the first time. It never actually got bought, but made me realize... what's the point of the on-gain ability? It seems like it would only be useful in somewhat rare edge-cases... The vast majority of the time that you are gaining a card costing or more, it is because you bought it, or because you got to "gain a card costing up to X". In either of those cases though, you could have just gained Changeling directly instead.

So it seems like there are only 2 situations when you would actually use that ability... when there is another card that has an on-buy or on-gain ability that you want, but you actually want Changeling. Or, when you play something that allows you to gain an action, treasure, or victory card specifically; and you would rather have a Changeling.

Are these situations common enough to warrant what amounts to more than half the text on the card? Or is it just that it's very late, and after playing a bunch of games of Dominion in a row after having not played for a while, which is causing me to miss something obvious?
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AJD

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 03:17:34 am »
+12

There's a lot of Silver-gainers.
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aku_chi

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 07:54:41 am »
+2

According to the play stats markus has collected, the winner gains an average of 0.7 Changelings per game, but plays an average of 1.5 Changelings per game, suggesting that at least 0.8 Changelings on average are exchanged for when that player gains a different card (this is a lower bound, because it's possible to gain or exchange for a Changeling without playing it - especially during pileouts).
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Awaclus

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 08:38:34 am »
+3

It also counters the Swindler, Embassy and Governor attacks.
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markusin

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 11:04:44 am »
+1


Are these situations common enough to warrant what amounts to more than half the text on the card?

In short, yes.

I'd go further and say the exchange shenanigans are a more convenient way to get Changelings than actually buying them.

Edit: the other thing is the exchange effect synergizes well with Changeling's on-play effect, allowing you to gain more changelings in an attempt to empty the Changeling pile, since you can exchange the thing you gain with Changeling for another Changeling.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 11:15:52 am by markusin »
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markusin

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 11:09:16 am »
+3

It also counters the Swindler, Embassy and Governor attacks.

On the very rare occasion, it's been known to counter the Ambassador "attack", blocking Ambassador gifting Province to end the game as happened in a particular high profile game.
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Joseph2302

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 12:11:23 pm »
0

Or if Embargo token is on Changeling
Or if you get 2 Magpies but that would end the game, so get a Changeling instead of the 2nd Magpie
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mxdata

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 01:15:08 pm »
+1

It also works nicely with Rats - it effectively transforms Rats into a Changeling-gainer (until the Changeling pile is empty anyways)
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Donald X.

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 04:07:26 pm »
+9

Just played a game with Changeling, maybe for the first time. It never actually got bought, but made me realize... what's the point of the on-gain ability? It seems like it would only be useful in somewhat rare edge-cases... The vast majority of the time that you are gaining a card costing or more, it is because you bought it, or because you got to "gain a card costing up to X". In either of those cases though, you could have just gained Changeling directly instead.

So it seems like there are only 2 situations when you would actually use that ability... when there is another card that has an on-buy or on-gain ability that you want, but you actually want Changeling. Or, when you play something that allows you to gain an action, treasure, or victory card specifically; and you would rather have a Changeling.

Are these situations common enough to warrant what amounts to more than half the text on the card? Or is it just that it's very late, and after playing a bunch of games of Dominion in a row after having not played for a while, which is causing me to miss something obvious?
Changeling started out as just the top, and I liked it. The bottom half gave it more flavor (which comes at a cost in complexity), but also made it way more interesting. It comes up plenty, mostly with ways to gain Silver but certainly with other cards. There's that game Mic won due to taking Changeling instead of an Ambassador'd Province, for example.

Changeling is pretty fun. For people who know the published card, I think any positive feelings they have are due to the bottom half. They can't compare the simple card that doesn't exist, and it can't sound that great. But Nocturne is too complex over all and Changeling does its part there. So, it's really still a question, should it have been the simpler card. It's hard not to go with the more fun thing and Nocturne is full of that decision going that way.
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jomini

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2020, 02:58:48 pm »
+2

My favorite Changeling shenanigan was playing Tr/Steed and gaining a whopping 16 cards for a quick pile out.

I find a lot of people seriously underestimate the rate at which Changeling can be gained mid-turn and then exchanged after being drawn with a power engine. Changeling can double your gains when going for piles and that is a lot of flexibility for ending the game.
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segura

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2020, 06:14:39 pm »
+2

Changeling is Feast done right.
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Honkeyfresh

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Re: Changeling's on-gain ability
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2020, 03:08:32 pm »
0

Also can be useful when there are really expensive cards you want to gain (either in high cost or potion collision)  Being able to grab an extra alchemist/possession/KC for what was basically a silver can be nice.  Obviously especially useful in deck with good ability to draw many cards.
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