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Author Topic: rank the split piles from allies!  (Read 885 times)

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ehunt

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rank the split piles from allies!
« on: April 25, 2022, 01:41:13 am »
+3

Alphabetically: Augurs, Clashes, Forts, Odysseys, Townsfolk, Wizards

I'll start!

6. Townsfolk

These are all fine cards that don't hurt most decks, but the only great one in the bunch is Miller. The Elder combo with the other Townsfolk is fine, but it's harder to set up and not notably better than, say, activated Conspirators. You will find yourself playing Town Crier and Blacksmith for +1 Card +1 Action quite a lot even in a deck with Elders, when you don't draw the Elders at the right time. Often not worth the opportunity cost of getting it set up.

5. Wizards

This is the hardest pile to rank, since Student is situationally a fantastic trasher: the right Ally makes the Favor amazing, and it also depends on the kingdom how long you are willing to have low-quality hands and keep trashing coppers. Conjurer is a bit of a disappointment -- leaping back to your next hand is only good if you have the terminal space for it -- and Sorcerer's failure to stack is rough for a curser that's already tricky to obtain in a timely fashion, on a board where there's always good trashing. Lich is also quite situational, but usually on the weak side-- it can be strong with trash-for-benefit, but its on-play "reverse Tactician" cost is enormous, and the lack of +Buy makes the penalty extra terrifying. Even with trash-for-benefit, tossing your Lich often forces you to gain unwanted garbage.

4. Forts

The problem with this pile is that Tent is a rather clunky card -- good at making you rich when you open it, but gets in the way, and if you get to play it twice on the second shuffle, your other opening had better be non-terminal. Meanwhile, as soon as you expose Garrison, your opponent can get one without a Tent in the way.
Garrison is the stand-out, great for setting up mega-turns, although you need extra actions to play Garrison and then gain more than one or two cards. Hill Fort is great when there are 4s you want (e.g. the ones providing those missing actions), and Stronghold is fine, probably a little worse than Nobles.

3. Clashes

There's enough attacks in this pile that Battle Plan is a semi-lab even without others on the board. Since Warlord is coming, it still can be risky to grab more than two. The ability to rotate any pile in the game is funny, but in practice doesn't do so much. Archer is good, but the attack doesn't stack. Warlord is semi-obnoxious but easy to plan around; the +1 Action and +2 Cards next turn makes it worth picking up at its price point regardless. Territory is OK, but you don't usually have to think about it too much. It's roughly a duchy alternative, better if there are alt VP cards, wild if there are castles. The gold gain is nice but usually happens quite late.


2. Odysseys

My favorite of these piles. Old Map is a good opener as you'll usually have an Estate to discard, but is much worse than a lab by the mid-game. Voyage turns are stackable, but it's hard to do much; better if there's trashing or cursing or other needs. Sunken Treasure is a standout. Distant Shore is better than Nobles, but not by a lot, and you do need to plan around those extra estates.

1. Augurs

Herb Gatherer is a good opener and becomes fabulous as soon as you have a Gold. The Chancellor effect is weak by itself but quite strong when you are rushing to cycle the augurs.
Acolyte is the weakest card in the pile, although you're happy when you draw her with an estate, and she literally turns herself into a better augur for you (something transmute has never done).
Sibyl is perhaps the strongest lab variant in the game, and the combo with Sorceress is straightforward. Even if you have to flat guess on Sorceress, with decent deck-tracking you're right roughly half the time
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Commodore Chuckles

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Re: rank the split piles from allies!
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2022, 10:24:08 pm »
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6. Forts

Tent is one of the better ways to consistently hit $5 early. The main thing that makes it bad is the presence of cheap trashers that collide with it. I'm sure that Garrison can be really good in some situations; I haven't had much success with it though. The main problem with Hill Fort is that you want a Workshop variant as soon as possible, but gaining it is slowed both by both the price and the fact that it's buried. By the time you get it, it's much less useful. Stronghold is really good, I think. Either on-play option would be good for $5; this costs $1 more and adds VP. Overall, this pile seems the most ignorable to me, with the best card being on the bottom.

5. Townsfolk

I think Town Crier is one of the stronger $2s. In the beginning it's a Silver and then it doesn't take up any space later. You should practically always get it instead of Silver if your other opening card is non-terminal. It's also a great thing to pick up with a 5/2 split. The main use of Blacksmith is, of course, drawing up to 6. It's hurt a lot by the fact that there are so few copies of it; if the split is even you'll only get 2. A draw-to-x engine usually needs more draw cards than that. Miller can help you find a Blacksmith when you need it though. I'm not that impressed with the Elder-Town Crier interaction. An activated Conspirator is good but Elder itself decreases your hand size so that takes away a lot of the benefit. The Elder-Blacksmith interaction, though, is amazing. Drawing up to 8 or non-terminal drawing up to 7 are both super good.

4. Wizards

When I first saw this, I thought it was a pile you could never ignore, simply because it had both a trasher and a Curser in it. I was wrong. This pile is often ignorable. Student actually slows you down a lot, because it anti-cycles and doesn't provide economy. Meanwhile, it takes so long to get Sorcerer that by the time you get it your opponent often has an easy time dealing with the Curses. Lich compares very poorly to Tactician; it seems like the only reason it costs $6 is to allow trashing to Provinces more often. Conjurer might actually be the best card here; it's easier to get than Hill Fort and can grab cheap cards very fast.

3. Augurs

This pile stumbles on its top card. Herb Gatherer is an awful thing to open with, it's Chancellor but even worse. If the positions of Herb Gatherer and Acolyte were reversed it would be much less awkward. Sorceress and Sybil are of course good if you can get to them.

2. Odysseys

This pile is better than it looks. Old Map is good to open with, given that it sifts without taking up space. It's beyond frustrating when it forces you to discard a Copper for an Estate, though. It's not true that Voyage is allergic to engines. You can't actually play your engine on a Voyage turn, but you can do lots of things to help it, such as trashing and playing Sunken Treasure. I don't think Distant Shore is better than Nobles, but the Estate gaining hurts much less than I thought it would.

1. Clashes

The least ignorable pile, with two strong Attacks that can build on each other. Archer is NASTY when there's lots of junk and/or little trashing. There are definitely situations where it's weaker than Militia (Alchemist comes to mind) but I think most of the time it might be stronger. Also, you really don't want to lose the Warlord split. You'll only be able to kill your opponent's engine every other turn, giving them a huge advantage.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2022, 11:32:47 pm by Commodore Chuckles »
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faust

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Re: rank the split piles from allies!
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2022, 11:00:55 pm »
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6. Forts
5. Townsfolk
4. Augurs
3. Wizards
2. Odysseys
1. Clashes

Tent is bad and makes the Fort pile inaccessible a lot, and even when it's bought the only really standout card there is Garrison.
Townsfolk is just fine, the cards are cheap so they get bought.
Augurs are decent but suffer from the fact that Herb Gatherer isn't very good early on, so it takes a while to get to the good stuff, and late Cursing is much wore than early Cursing.
Wizards are up there mostly because there's trashing there, and missing out on Student can be game-deciding. Also Conjurer is a very solid card, the terminal space it needs isn't usually an issue because you want Conjurer for gaining Villages anyways.
Odysseys are just good all around.
Clashes have Warlord and just no duds. Nothing is as satisfying as playing a Clash to rotate into Warlord, gaining the Warlord and then rotating the rest away with another Clash.
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trivialknot

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Re: rank the split piles from allies!
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2022, 01:23:11 pm »
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6. Forts.  I've bought Tent just for the heck of it a few times and I feel like it's not too bad really.  If you don't have other uses for that terminal space early on, it's like a couple silvers for cheap, only later on it won't clog your deck as much as 2 silvers would.  Among the other cards, Garrison I feel is the standout, but it does not feel like having the only Tent particularly helps you get more Garrisons than your opponent.  I mean, they don't really synergize, they compete for terminal space.

5. Townsfolk.  There's a decent Townsfolk deck you can build with Elder+Blacksmith.  But since it wants two particular cards to collide, and since there are only 4 copies of each of those available, you can't really build a large deck this way.  Maybe Miller helps you build bigger?  I haven't tried it.

4. Augurs.  Herb Gatherer is at worst a woodcutter, but usually better if you can get a gold or some other treasure.  I didn't realize until I started playing with it that it synergizes with Sybil, because it discards whatever card you bottom-deck.  I just wish the deck flipping were optional, because it introduces so much shuffle luck.  Controlling the rotation of this pile is pretty nice because you control access to the important Sybil/Sorceress synergy.

3. Wizards.  Gosh, Student slows the game down so much.  You can topdeck every turn, or even multiple times in one turn, but it reduces your handsize so much.  And you actually want to do this in many cases, because either trashing or favors are often very important.  I really underrated Conjurer at first, but now I realize that when you're using Student to trash, having a workshop every turn is so valuable.

2. Clashes. I actually haven't been that impressed by Warlord, but maybe that's because we overcorrect for it?  I feel like Archer is the stronger attack.  Archer and Warlord seem to be complementary attacks, with Warlord hurting big engines, and Archer hurting weak engines and money decks.  Battle Plan feels so important because you get control over which attack is available.

1. Odysseys.  I wouldn't have thought Voyage was so good, but important synergies seem to show up fairly often, and we usually run them out.  Sunken Treasure is of course one of those synergies.  My opponent often seems to maneuver to get the only Sunken Treasures and it seems pretty strong.  He's also rotated toward Distant Shore and then gained all the Distant Shores in one turn.  I basically want every card in this pile.

The above are power rankings, but in terms of favorites, I would say: 6. Odysseys, 5. Townsfolk, 4. Augurs, 3. Wizards, 2. Forts, 1. Clashes.  We're not fond of extra turn mechanics, you see.  I like them all though.
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