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Author Topic: Noble Brigand  (Read 24582 times)

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timchen

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Noble Brigand
« on: April 08, 2012, 02:59:30 am »
+2



EDIT: modified as suggested.

Noble Brigand is one of the cards that I grow to like more and more in Hinterlands. I didn't quite realize he is using a bow though.

The initial buzz of the card is basically "Wow! Thief is officially admitted as an under-powered card!" This is quite a sound statement, as Noble Brigand is pretty much better in every way except one:

Thief trashes copper and helps your opponent. Noble Brigand does not; it even stuffs coppers to your opponent. Thief offers no immediate benefit to yourself; there is +1 coin from the Noble Brigand. Thief only works when you reshuffle and draw it, but Noble Brigand acts a full reshuffle earlier, right at when you buy it. The only potential downfall is that he cannot steal kingdom treasure and platinum.

With so many reinforcements, however, the Noble Brigand is still not a power card at $4. It is still a terminal action that does not draw any card. It provide less virtual money than Militia, and does not attack as reliably either. Therefore, it is not a card you will always consider to buy. To put it more directly, it is probably one of those cards that you will never make a fatal mistake by ignoring it.

That being said, in many situations, the Noble Brigand can bring a marginal benefit to your deck, usually just by the on-buy effect. In a BM-ish deck, a middle-to-late-game $4 turn can be better spent on a Noble Brigand than a silver or an estate, simply in the hope of flipping one of your opponent's important gold/silver. It isn't bad at all even to skip over his actions or cause a reshuffle at the wrong time for him. An early Noble brigand, however, when flipped the opponent's coppers, may prove to slow yourself down from that gold or $5 card a bit too much and accelerates your opponent at the same time. (Or according to WanderingWinder, Geronimoo, and the simulator, maybe not?)

There is a niche use of the card as a opener. When you are second player with $4 in hand in your first turn and when the first player have bought a silver, you will have 2/6 chance of getting that silver and trigger a reshuffle with the initial crappy cards at the same time. It is fun to use and see it works, but when it doesn't, you are facing quite an up-hill battle. The situation improves significantly with more players though, and it helps negate the disadvantage of the third or the fourth player quite a bit. They still have to have $4 in their first hand though.

Similar to Thief, the Noble Brigand can be quite important in a chapel game with no virtual money. But it proves to be a lot more dangerous in this case. To an unsuspecting opponent, getting one of his critical silver and gold can be fatal. And you don't need to buy it and use it, so he has no alert prior to the attack. Also the on-buy attack cannot be stopped. In addition, one can allow to buy multiple Noble Brigands to keep the pressure in such game, as extras can be chapeled away. This is one of the rare situations when I would say overlooking this card can be fatal.

That's probably it. There is no magic to make the card suddenly powerful. I like what Donald said about the card though: it is designed to be fun. It is indeed fun to attack when you are buying a card, especially when it does not force a degenerate game like IGG does. For myself, better yet, it is just powerful enough to try to win using it, and still underpowered enough that when I lose with it I won't be mad about my own luck.

Work with: Chapel, Gold, Silver, deck inspection attacks
Work against: powerful terminals, Venture, Platinum, Bank, cards that offer virtual coins
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 07:47:32 pm by timchen »
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ftl

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 03:11:57 am »
0

Also conflicts with: other Kingdom treasures. When your opponent is spending his $7 buys on Bank instead of gold, and his $5 on Royal Seal or Venture instead of Silver, the Noble Brigand will be sort of underpowered. (And, obviously, Platinum).
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Geronimoo

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2012, 04:33:36 am »
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You might want to add some simulation data. A few Noble Brigands and money will beat a Smithy Big Money player who ignores the Brigand 2 out of 3 times. And it becomes a monster in a multi-player game where Silver and Golds are the only source of money (much like Pirate Ship)

And I would remove or reword the last paragraph. All the articles about single cards on the blog are objective observations (no "what I like about the card...")
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DG

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2012, 07:00:55 am »
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Has anyone made use of deliberately giving out coppers to an action deck? This has always failed for me but it looks interesting.
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Schneau

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 09:29:01 am »
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There is a niche use of the card as a opener. When you are second player with $4 in hand in your first turn and when the first player have bought a silver, you will have 2/7 chance of getting that silver and trigger a reshuffle with the initial crappy cards at the same time. It is fun to use and see it works, but when it doesn't, you are facing quite an up-hill battle. The situation improves significantly with more players though, and it helps negate the advantage of the third or the fourth player quite a bit. They still have to have $4 in their first hand though.
If the first player buys a silver on his first turn and the second player buys a Noble Brigand, it triggers a reshuffle with a Silver and 5 Copper / Estate, right? So doesn't that mean there is a 2/6 chance of hitting the Silver, not 2/7?
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ftl

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 03:17:11 pm »
0

Has anyone made use of deliberately giving out coppers to an action deck? This has always failed for me but it looks interesting.

It seems like it would be a pretty weak attack in that way, but could be situationally useful.

I suspect that in a deck that has successfully trashed so much of its treasure that NB is a reliable attack, then that deck won't have too much trouble trashing the one extra treasure NB gives out. On the other hand, a deck that isn't reliable at trashing its treasure, will make NB's attack very unreliable. In a deck where only one-third of the cards are treasures, NB still has a less than 50% chance of hitting and giving out a copper.

I can imagine it being better in colony games, where even weak trashing is good enough because the games are long; then, the slow attack of NB is still worthwhile because it can gum up the deck with weak trashing. Make them buy a second Trade Route to keep up or something. Also, it probably works well against Mint trashing, since in that case you can't reliably re-trash all the treasures that were trashed with Mint.

That's all theorycrafting though, I haven't tried it...
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chwhite

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 04:43:09 pm »
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Has anyone made use of deliberately giving out coppers to an action deck? This has always failed for me but it looks interesting.

Pretty much the only time I've ever used Noble Brigand effectively was a Scrying Pool mirror match with loads of villages, where "+$1, give your opponent a combo-breaking Copper" was actually worth it.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 07:07:58 pm »
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Noble Brigand is stupefyingly powerful in Big Money. Of course, there's quite usually something better than straight money, and the further you get from straight money (i.e. the more actions and special treasures you have), the weaker it gets. But I think it's still quite underrated.

Kuildeous

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2012, 09:58:16 am »
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Also the on-buy attack cannot be stopped.

This may need to be expanded upon a little bit. This has never come up in my group, but I'm pretty sure that at least one person would contest that (there has already been grumbling about how the IGG doesn't count as an attack).

I don't have the rules in front of me, but I suspect that the key point about why this attack cannot be stopped is because Moat and Lighthouse specifically state that they apply when another player plays an attack card. I can see a new player reading this article and going nuts figuring out why buying a Noble Brigand bypasses the Moat and Lighthouse, along with Horse Trader and Secret Chamber. In fact, I believe the only reaction cards that can help you would be Watchtower and Trader. Even then, those only help you if you have to take a Copper. They don't help you when he steals a Treasure card.

In fact, I'd list this as another difference between Thief and Noble Brigand. Thief can always trigger Reaction cards that respond to attacks while Noble Brigand's order of business is to hit the opponent(s) regardless of Reactions (except for Tunnel, which we actually had once, as we jokingly said the Noble Brigand took Silver and Gold but also gave away Copper and Gold).
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Robz888

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 10:58:55 am »
0

I can think of at least one situation where you would prefer Thief to Noble Brigand: your opponent going Gardens/Dukes/Silk Roads. Since you actively want Coppers in those decks, losing them is actually painful. But Noble Brigand steals treasures your opponent doesn't have very many of (Gold, Silver), and gives him Copper, which he wants. The Thief can actually do damage.
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Voltgloss

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 11:15:41 am »
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I can imagine it being better in colony games, where even weak trashing is good enough because the games are long; then, the slow attack of NB is still worthwhile because it can gum up the deck with weak trashing.

I'm skeptical of this.  NB suffers two significant drawbacks in Colony games:  (1) it can't steal Platina; and (2) its stealing Silvers for you may be almost as bad (for you) as a Thief stealing Coppers for you in a Province game.

Where I think NB may have some latent (if mild) synergy is with trash-for-benefit.  Buy the NB to trigger its attack, and then when it shows up in your deck, either convert it into a better card (e.g., Remodel into Gold) or some other benefit (e.g., via Apprentice, Salvager, Bishop...).  The idea being:  a trash-for-benefit deck likes to pick up mid-range fodder for trashing, and Noble Brigand is mid-range fodder that also gives a benefit when you buy it.

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Tables

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 01:24:25 pm »
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Stealing Silvers in a Colony game is still good (assuming you have a BM type deck). Yes, 5 Silvers can't buy a Colony, but how often do you draw 5 Silvers? And how often will a Silver lower your average treasure density (hint: If it's sometimes, you're waiting too long to buy Colonies).
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.

Robz888

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 01:29:28 pm »
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Stealing Silvers in a Colony game is still good (assuming you have a BM type deck). Yes, 5 Silvers can't buy a Colony, but how often do you draw 5 Silvers? And how often will a Silver lower your average treasure density (hint: If it's sometimes, you're waiting too long to buy Colonies).

Sure, but the fact that it can't grab Platina is a huge strike against it in Colony games. Also, Noble Brigand completely drops the ball in the presence of Hoard, Venture, Bank, and Harem.
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Davio

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 01:56:57 pm »
+1

Noble Brigand or: Here's a better Thief, but it still sucks.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 02:12:49 pm »
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Noble Brigand or: Here's a better Thief, but it still sucks in most 2-player games.

Fixed that for you.  :D
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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 03:07:23 pm »
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Stealing Silvers in a Colony game is still good (assuming you have a BM type deck). Yes, 5 Silvers can't buy a Colony, but how often do you draw 5 Silvers? And how often will a Silver lower your average treasure density (hint: If it's sometimes, you're waiting too long to buy Colonies).

Sure, but the fact that it can't grab Platina is a huge strike against it in Colony games. Also, Noble Brigand completely drops the ball in the presence of Hoard, Venture, Bank, and Harem.

I wasn't replying to that point. Volt made two points, and one of them was frankly wrong.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.

ftl

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2012, 03:07:59 pm »
0

I can imagine it being better in colony games, where even weak trashing is good enough because the games are long; then, the slow attack of NB is still worthwhile because it can gum up the deck with weak trashing.

I'm skeptical of this.  NB suffers two significant drawbacks in Colony games:  (1) it can't steal Platina; and (2) its stealing Silvers for you may be almost as bad (for you) as a Thief stealing Coppers for you in a Province game.

Yeah, I agree entirely with that. I should have been more clear - its use as an attack that gives out coppers may find more use in a Colony game. (Though the stealing-treasure part gets clearly weaker.)
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XnFM

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2012, 03:24:40 pm »
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There is a niche use of the card as a opener. When you are second player with $4 in hand in your first turn and when the first player have bought a silver, you will have 2/7 chance of getting that silver and trigger a reshuffle with the initial crappy cards at the same time. It is fun to use and see it works, but when it doesn't, you are facing quite an up-hill battle. The situation improves significantly with more players though, and it helps negate the advantage of the third or the fourth player quite a bit. They still have to have $4 in their first hand though.
If the first player buys a silver on his first turn and the second player buys a Noble Brigand, it triggers a reshuffle with a Silver and 5 Copper / Estate, right? So doesn't that mean there is a 2/6 chance of hitting the Silver, not 2/7?

I think you're correct on the odds there.

Personally I think the flip side of this is worth noting as well. Yes, you have a 1/3 chance of giving your opponent one more turn without any of their opening cards and getting an extra silver for yourself, but at the same time you're accellerating your oppenent's early resuffles, and giving your oppenent a 2/3 chance of essentially knowing his turn three hand before his turn two. Even worse, you'll be giving your oppenent a resuffle every turn for at least the next two turns, and quite easily up until turn eight or nine, depending on when the next time you play your Brigand is (hope it's not turn five), trashing, and whether or not the Brigand hits. That's a huge advantage early on.

NB turn one is bad. It's a cool idea, but the odds are against you, and you run the risk of giving your opponent greater access to his early buys.
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Voltgloss

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2012, 03:43:31 pm »
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Stealing Silvers in a Colony game is still good (assuming you have a BM type deck). Yes, 5 Silvers can't buy a Colony, but how often do you draw 5 Silvers? And how often will a Silver lower your average treasure density (hint: If it's sometimes, you're waiting too long to buy Colonies).

Sure, but the fact that it can't grab Platina is a huge strike against it in Colony games. Also, Noble Brigand completely drops the ball in the presence of Hoard, Venture, Bank, and Harem.

I wasn't replying to that point. Volt made two points, and one of them was frankly wrong.

I said stealing Silver "may" be bad for you, not that it definitely IS bad for you.  Of course it depends on whether your deck can make good use of those Silvers or not.  The point remains, however, that Silvers are of less utility in a Colony game than they are in a Province game, and so NB stealing them for you (and taking them out of your opponent's deck) is a less attractive proposition in a Colony game than in a Province game.  It's the same reason why Embassy is more attractive in Colony games:  giving your opponent a free Silver is much less of an advantage for them, and depending on their type of deck can be almost as good as an attack.
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Asklepios

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2012, 05:32:46 am »
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I think where Noble Brigand really comes into its own is in the very specific situation where your opponent has a high deck density of gold, which is happening more and more with cards like Tunnel and Hoard, but might even work if your opponent is trashing efficiently. It can work nicely against a player that is going Chapel + Money for example (not that Chapel + Money is a great strategy anyway). Of course, things might backfire against a Tunnel player.

Its also a decent card if your opponent is playing a dense deck which relies on a few treasures, like a Bishop Golden Deck just before it reaches its final form.

I can half-recall half a dozen games where a late bought Noble Brigand has tipped the balance by just enough to give victory to an opponent who was otherwise en route to losing.

Of course, I still wouldn't say that its a strong card, and certainly in the above situations its not really much better than thief.
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jomini

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2012, 09:33:51 am »
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Another fun combo is NB/Pirate ship. The NB helps counteract the thinning of the other players' decks, gums up their engines, and eventually can get your PS above 8 (or even 11) coin.
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dondon151

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2012, 12:40:10 pm »
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I think where Noble Brigand really comes into its own is in the very specific situation where your opponent has a high deck density of gold, which is happening more and more with cards like Tunnel and Hoard,

I would be loath to use NB against Tunnel, because you could just as likely give him Golds. Granted, it's a net positive in the long run for the NB player, but it just seems slow and risky.
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Davio

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2012, 12:51:28 pm »
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I'm wondering how viable NB is against Governor.
Governer decks rely on their Golds for their Province rush, so stealing it not only hurts their buying power, but also their Remodeling ability...
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blueblimp

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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2012, 05:29:04 pm »
+1

I think where Noble Brigand really comes into its own is in the very specific situation where your opponent has a high deck density of gold, which is happening more and more with cards like Tunnel and Hoard, but might even work if your opponent is trashing efficiently. It can work nicely against a player that is going Chapel + Money for example (not that Chapel + Money is a great strategy anyway). Of course, things might backfire against a Tunnel player.

Its also a decent card if your opponent is playing a dense deck which relies on a few treasures, like a Bishop Golden Deck just before it reaches its final form.

I can half-recall half a dozen games where a late bought Noble Brigand has tipped the balance by just enough to give victory to an opponent who was otherwise en route to losing.

Of course, I still wouldn't say that its a strong card, and certainly in the above situations its not really much better than thief.

If Noble Brigand is played against a player with a 5 card deck, then automatically he gains a copper, right? So that seems like a pretty good counter to golden deck. To maintain the golden deck, your opponent would need to skip a buy.
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Re: Noble Brigand
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2012, 09:03:16 pm »
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Noble Brigand (like Thief and Pirate Ship) is primarily useful where it hits consistently.  There are two basic situations where they hit consistently--

* 3-4 player games.  Most 4-card or 6-card hands will have treasure in them, so it's the same with multi-player games.
* Big-money games.  If you look at the board and think "I only really want to buy 2-3 actions and the rest is money", then one of the treasure trashers would be useful.

They have other uses based on the individual quirks of the card.  But their basic power comes from being able to hit your opponent frequently.
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