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Author Topic: Should Inn always shuffle your deck, even when you don't put any Actions in?  (Read 31302 times)

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Tejayes

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I just played/rage quit a game using Navigator and Inn (by the way, if my opponents are reading this, I sincerely apologize for my behavior afterward). One turn, I played Navigator, saw that I had Witch among the top five cards of my deck, and decided to keep them. I then bought an Inn, and since I didn't want to shuffle, I opted not to shuffle that Inn into my deck. It was the only card in the discard pile at the time, too. However, I see that my next hand has no Witch in it. I didn't accidentally discard all of my cards, as after one anger-filled turn, my Witch shows up -- just before a reshuffle will force it back another few turns if I decide to play it. That was when I... um, did things I would rather not retell, if you don't mind...

After I calmed down, I took a look at the description of Inn from the Hinterlands rulebook. Here it is in full:

Quote
When you play this, you draw 2 cards, get +2 Actions, then discard 2 cards. The cards you discard can be one that were in your hand and/or ones you just drew. You discard cards if able, even if you were unable to draw 2 cards. When you gain this, you look through your discard pile (something normally not allowed), and shuffle any number of Action cards from it into your deck (leaving the rest of your discard pile in your discard pile). You do not have to shuffle any Action cards into your deck. You can shuffle the Inn you just gained into your deck; it is an Action card in your discard pile. Cards with two types, one of which is Action, are Action cards. You must reveal the Action cards that you choose to shuffle into your deck. It does not matter what order you leave your discard pile in afterwards. This ability functions if you gain Inn due to buying it, or gain Inn some other way.

There is nothing specifically saying that you must shuffle your deck when you gain Inn. The only reasoning I can see for the "shuffle anyway" deal is that "shuffle any number of Action cards into your deck" includes zero as a number (i.e. you are shuffling zero cards into your deck, but you are still shuffling). Still, I don't see why the deck must be shuffled if no discard-pile Action cards are going into it via Inn, especially if it's going to mess with the abilities of cards like Navigator or Courtyard or the like.

What say you, guys? Does the wording of the card require shuffling every time Inn is gained, even if its on-gain ability isn't really used?
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Donald X.

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If you choose zero action cards to shuffle in, you still shuffle.
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Tejayes

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If you choose zero action cards to shuffle in, you still shuffle.

Thanks, Donald. Good to know that it was a rule, not an Isotropic bug. Still a little peeved about that incident, though...
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Morgrim7

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That makes sense...
Off topic: I wonder why iso. only lets you look at the actions in your discard pile, and not all the other cards.
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Grujah

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Same with Counting House.
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LastFootnote

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That makes sense...
Off topic: I wonder why iso. only lets you look at the actions in your discard pile, and not all the other cards.

Yeah, I was thinking about this the other day. Likewise, Philosopher's Stone doesn't let you see what's in your discard pile either.

I think that 'looking through your discard' in order to count it or find specific cards is just a side-effect of Dominion being a real-life card game. DougZ must not have thought it important enough to include. I'm fine with that. Also, I'd be fine with not having to reveal my hand when Bureaucrat or Cutpurse whiff. The computer knows I have no pertinent cards in hand.
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ehunt

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That makes sense...
Off topic: I wonder why iso. only lets you look at the actions in your discard pile, and not all the other cards.

Yeah, I was thinking about this the other day. Likewise, Philosopher's Stone doesn't let you see what's in your discard pile either.

I think that 'looking through your discard' in order to count it or find specific cards is just a side-effect of Dominion being a real-life card game. DougZ must not have thought it important enough to include. I'm fine with that. Also, I'd be fine with not having to reveal my hand when Bureaucrat or Cutpurse whiff. The computer knows I have no pertinent cards in hand.

I'm OK with the P-Stone because it's a corner case (it's come up here before) and it's information that I could know anyway and have literally never cared about, but certainly an (admittedly minor) part of the bureaucrat or cutpurse attack is that I get to see my opponent's hand sometimes.
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LastFootnote

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I'm OK with the P-Stone because it's a corner case (it's come up here before) and it's information that I could know anyway and have literally never cared about, but certainly an (admittedly minor) part of the bureaucrat or cutpurse attack is that I get to see my opponent's hand sometimes.

Sure, but the only reason that's the case is for accountability's sake. If the game were designed to be played electronically from day one, those cards wouldn't need that clause in the first place. Granted, a simulator should generally seek to mimic the game it's simulating as closely as possible, but isotropic already drops the ball on that in several respects. I would argue that not being able to see my opponents' hands when one of these attacks whiffs would be a change on par with not being able to see the top card of their discard pile, which isotropic also doesn't allow me to do.

I'm not arguing for a change in the way isotropic works, I'm just noting minor changes.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 03:36:06 pm by LastFootnote »
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Jack Rudd

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I'm OK with the P-Stone because it's a corner case (it's come up here before) and it's information that I could know anyway and have literally never cared about, but certainly an (admittedly minor) part of the bureaucrat or cutpurse attack is that I get to see my opponent's hand sometimes.
Sure, but the only reason that's the case is for accountability's sake. If the game were designed to be played electronically from day one, those cards wouldn't need that clause in the first place.
That may be the reason they originally got given the clause, but that clause's being in there results in corner cases that make use of being able to see your opponents' hands (Minion, Possession and Masquerade can all use the information, for example).
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LastFootnote

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That may be the reason they originally got given the clause, but that clause's being in there results in corner cases that make use of being able to see your opponents' hands (Minion, Possession and Masquerade can all use the information, for example).

Yes, I'm well aware of that. Likewise, there are corner cases where being able to see the top card of your opponents' discard piles would make a difference.
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GigaKnight

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If you choose zero action cards to shuffle in, you still shuffle.

Hmm... that seems to make IRL games obnoxious and unintuitive when you decide you don't want anything in your deck for some reason.  "No no, you bought it and now you have to shuffle!"  Any particular reason you didn't choose to put "you may" in the card text?  It looks like it'll fit on the English card, at least.  I always appreciate designer insight into stuff like this.
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WanderingWinder

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If you choose zero action cards to shuffle in, you still shuffle.

Hmm... that seems to make IRL games obnoxious and unintuitive when you decide you don't want anything in your deck for some reason.  "No no, you bought it and now you have to shuffle!"  Any particular reason you didn't choose to put "you may" in the card text?  It looks like it'll fit on the English card, at least.  I always appreciate designer insight into stuff like this.
I presume that in most casual IRL games, if you don't want to shuffle anything in you simply pick up your deck, say, 'shuffled', maybe wink, and set it back down, and your friends won't care. Unless there's some reason you know some of where your cards are (pearl diver, navigator, whatever).

Donald X.

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If you choose zero action cards to shuffle in, you still shuffle.

Hmm... that seems to make IRL games obnoxious and unintuitive when you decide you don't want anything in your deck for some reason.  "No no, you bought it and now you have to shuffle!"  Any particular reason you didn't choose to put "you may" in the card text?  It looks like it'll fit on the English card, at least.  I always appreciate designer insight into stuff like this.
I presume that in most casual IRL games, if you don't want to shuffle anything in you simply pick up your deck, say, 'shuffled', maybe wink, and set it back down, and your friends won't care. Unless there's some reason you know some of where your cards are (pearl diver, navigator, whatever).
Yes, if we have no information about the order of your deck, there is no reason to shuffle it; it's shuffled.

I leave out "you may" when I can. Those things add up.
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GigaKnight

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If you choose zero action cards to shuffle in, you still shuffle.

Hmm... that seems to make IRL games obnoxious and unintuitive when you decide you don't want anything in your deck for some reason.  "No no, you bought it and now you have to shuffle!"  Any particular reason you didn't choose to put "you may" in the card text?  It looks like it'll fit on the English card, at least.  I always appreciate designer insight into stuff like this.
I presume that in most casual IRL games, if you don't want to shuffle anything in you simply pick up your deck, say, 'shuffled', maybe wink, and set it back down, and your friends won't care. Unless there's some reason you know some of where your cards are (pearl diver, navigator, whatever).
Yes, if we have no information about the order of your deck, there is no reason to shuffle it; it's shuffled.

I leave out "you may" when I can. Those things add up.

Right, I know.  I agree it makes no practical difference when you don't know the order of your deck.  But, with a pedantic player or tournament, it's either obnoxious ("Ok, shuffling for no reason...") or it starts a fight ("It doesn't matter!" "But the rules say you have to... are you going to forfeit?").  I'm sure we all hate playing with people like that; why even give them the possibility of holding you hostage?

I don't really understand what you mean by "Those things add up".  Do you mean they create analysis paralysis and/or make the game less accessible?  To me, omitting "may" seems like it narrows the strategic space for rarely any benefit.  I would have thought you'd rather err on the side of "you may" to increase the depth unless you have a very specific card balance reason not to (Haggler, Bishop, etc).  It also has the benefit that if a player forgets to leverage an ability, they haven't actually broken the rules and, well, sucks for them.

At the risk of being pedantic myself, isn't this essentially what should have happened with Throne Room?  I though I read a post from you saying something like "I should have made it say 'may', but oh well".  Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting you.

I always feel weird disagreeing with you since, you know, you actually design and publish this game.  I'm also keenly aware of the fact that you have plenty of armchair designers telling you the way they think it should be.  I appreciate that you've already responded.  If you choose to respond and explain in more depth, I'll appreciate that as well. :)

EDIT: Quick fix.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 11:11:07 pm by GigaKnight »
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eHalcyon

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I don't really understand what you mean by "Those things add up".  Do you mean they create analysis paralysis and/or make the game less accessible?  To me, omitting "may" seems like it narrows the strategic space for rarely any benefit.  I would have thought you'd rather err on the side of "you may" to increase the depth unless you have a very specific card balance reason not to (Haggler, Bishop, etc).  It also has the benefit that if a player forgets to leverage an ability, they haven't actually broken the rules and, well, sucks for them.

At the risk of being pedantic myself, isn't this essentially what should have happened with Throne Room?  I though I read a post from you saying something like "I should have made it say 'may', but oh well".  Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting you.

I think the "those things add up" comment is about word count.

TR should have had "you may" because, as currently worded, it forces you to play the action if you have it, but there's no way for your opponent to verify if you have no actions in hand.  The alternative fix is to add "or reveal a hand with no action cards" to the end.

By contrast, it's obvious if you have followed the rules of Inn or not -- did you pick up your deck and shuffle it?
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Donald X.

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Right, I know.  I agree it makes no practical difference when you don't know the order of your deck.  But, with a pedantic player or tournament, it's either obnoxious ("Ok, shuffling for no reason...") or it starts a fight ("It doesn't matter!" "But the rules say you have to... are you going to forfeit?").  I'm sure we all hate playing with people like that; why even give them the possibility of holding you hostage?
Don't play with people you don't like, seems straightforward? And a good move in general, way more likely to pay off in other situations than in this one. In a tournament, man, you may want to rethink your get-Inn-but-don't-shuffle-cards-in strategy. What are the other $5's? And if you have to pointlessly shuffle, get it done quick, these rounds are timed. In an online tournament, the program will do that pointless shuffling for you instantly, np.

I don't really understand what you mean by "Those things add up".  Do you mean they create analysis paralysis and/or make the game less accessible?  To me, omitting "may" seems like it narrows the strategic space for rarely any benefit.  I would have thought you'd rather err on the side of "you may" to increase the depth unless you have a very specific card balance reason not to (Haggler, Bishop, etc).  It also has the benefit that if a player forgets to leverage an ability, they haven't actually broken the rules and, well, sucks for them.
What adds up is complexity.

Every card in Dominion can be made better by making it more complex, provided you ignore complexity when evaluating betterness. But making cards better by adding complexity does not lead to a utopia of all awesome cards, it leads to a dystopia of an unplayably complex game. Complexity matters. Adding "you may" because someone you play with might think, oh you have to shuffle your shuffled deck, man, no question, I was never adding that. The cost is small but nonzero; the benefit might as well be zero. In one of the not-every-game games in which Inn is on the table, during one of the not-so-many turns in which you buy/gain Inn, if it is one of those pretty-rare-don't-you-think situations where you actually don't want to shuffle in any cards even though you did want an Inn, and we have no information about your deck order at this point, and you are playing against stupid unfriendly people, well, watch out. That shuffle, combined with your incredible rage at having to do it, could be what finally pushes you over the edge.

In general the strategic depth of "you may" is only worth it if it's common to pick either option. To give you an example, this was a real decision for Spice Merchant. Do you pick the Woodcutter often enough? Well you do pick it some. But you know, if you were picking it much less often, the card wouldn't give you the option, because options that you don't use just slow turns down and make the game more complex. Spice Merchant fell on the side of "okay let's keep it," but that's how unlikely I am to add "you may" for something that rarely happens - I strongly considered not giving you the Woodcutter on Spice Merchant. "You may" wants to be used where it's really worth something, where both decisions make sense a reasonable amount of the time. Or in special cases where it's the simplest wording (obv. "you may" on Throne Room is simpler than "or reveal a hand with no Actions"). The game does not need to gain tiny amounts of strategy in obscure situations via making all cards more complex.

At the risk of being pedantic myself, isn't this essentially what should have happened with Throne Room?  I though I read a post from you saying something like "I should have made it say 'may', but oh well".  Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting you.
Throne Room should say "you may" because it doesn't keep you honest, and as noted the other solutions are even wordier. Inn has no such problem; you have to shuffle, the end. The fact that you can save time by not shuffling, when you're already shuffled, that's just common sense, but if people miss that it doesn't matter.
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theory

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I once asked Donald X. which of the existing cards could have been improved had there been infinite space and he could add as much wording as he wanted.

He responded "All of them."
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Grujah

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I once asked Donald X. which of the existing cards could have been improved had there been infinite space and he could add as much wording as he wanted.

He responded "All of them."

Even Smithy?
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WanderingWinder

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I once asked Donald X. which of the existing cards could have been improved had there been infinite space and he could add as much wording as he wanted.

He responded "All of them."

Even Smithy?
Of course! I'm sure that there's some block of 4000 words you can add to it to make it .47% better. Except that 4000 words makes it worse of course...

GigaKnight

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Right, I know.  I agree it makes no practical difference when you don't know the order of your deck.  But, with a pedantic player or tournament, it's either obnoxious ("Ok, shuffling for no reason...") or it starts a fight ("It doesn't matter!" "But the rules say you have to... are you going to forfeit?").  I'm sure we all hate playing with people like that; why even give them the possibility of holding you hostage?
Don't play with people you don't like, seems straightforward? And a good move in general, way more likely to pay off in other situations than in this one. In a tournament, man, you may want to rethink your get-Inn-but-don't-shuffle-cards-in strategy. What are the other $5's? And if you have to pointlessly shuffle, get it done quick, these rounds are timed. In an online tournament, the program will do that pointless shuffling for you instantly, np.

I don't really understand what you mean by "Those things add up".  Do you mean they create analysis paralysis and/or make the game less accessible?  To me, omitting "may" seems like it narrows the strategic space for rarely any benefit.  I would have thought you'd rather err on the side of "you may" to increase the depth unless you have a very specific card balance reason not to (Haggler, Bishop, etc).  It also has the benefit that if a player forgets to leverage an ability, they haven't actually broken the rules and, well, sucks for them.
What adds up is complexity.

Every card in Dominion can be made better by making it more complex, provided you ignore complexity when evaluating betterness. But making cards better by adding complexity does not lead to a utopia of all awesome cards, it leads to a dystopia of an unplayably complex game. Complexity matters. Adding "you may" because someone you play with might think, oh you have to shuffle your shuffled deck, man, no question, I was never adding that. The cost is small but nonzero; the benefit might as well be zero. In one of the not-every-game games in which Inn is on the table, during one of the not-so-many turns in which you buy/gain Inn, if it is one of those pretty-rare-don't-you-think situations where you actually don't want to shuffle in any cards even though you did want an Inn, and we have no information about your deck order at this point, and you are playing against stupid unfriendly people, well, watch out. That shuffle, combined with your incredible rage at having to do it, could be what finally pushes you over the edge.

In general the strategic depth of "you may" is only worth it if it's common to pick either option. To give you an example, this was a real decision for Spice Merchant. Do you pick the Woodcutter often enough? Well you do pick it some. But you know, if you were picking it much less often, the card wouldn't give you the option, because options that you don't use just slow turns down and make the game more complex. Spice Merchant fell on the side of "okay let's keep it," but that's how unlikely I am to add "you may" for something that rarely happens - I strongly considered not giving you the Woodcutter on Spice Merchant. "You may" wants to be used where it's really worth something, where both decisions make sense a reasonable amount of the time. Or in special cases where it's the simplest wording (obv. "you may" on Throne Room is simpler than "or reveal a hand with no Actions"). The game does not need to gain tiny amounts of strategy in obscure situations via making all cards more complex.

At the risk of being pedantic myself, isn't this essentially what should have happened with Throne Room?  I though I read a post from you saying something like "I should have made it say 'may', but oh well".  Forgive me if I'm misrepresenting you.
Throne Room should say "you may" because it doesn't keep you honest, and as noted the other solutions are even wordier. Inn has no such problem; you have to shuffle, the end. The fact that you can save time by not shuffling, when you're already shuffled, that's just common sense, but if people miss that it doesn't matter.

Ok, thanks Donald.  Interesting insight.

I was hoping you'd also address this point

Quote
It also has the benefit that if a player forgets to leverage an ability, they haven't actually broken the rules and, well, sucks for them.

but I imagine the response is "doesn't happen often enough to matter."  But, as a player, it irks me when I'm obligated to tell somebody to take the benefit of their card when they'd otherwise forget it, in part because I may be helping them beat me and in part because it just delays the game.

Perhaps my profession alters my perspective on these things.  As a software engineer, I have to take the approach of "if something can happen, it will happen".  It's not OK for the system to go down in that .001% case and, in aggregate, that .001% case is actually pretty common.  So I look for ways and wording and systems that remove any possibility of system failure or putting the system in an undefined state ("he just used a Navigator and bought an Inn and he was supposed to shuffle but he forgot... so what happens?").

I still don't think I agree that adding "you may" adds appreciable complexity, though.  The argument that you could make all cards better by adding complexity seems like a red herring to me; that's not really the issue.  "You may" is a well-understood and common mechanic; it's also two of the shortest words you could meaningfully put on a card.  And it elegantly handles all of the (rare, I agree) awkward situations that I can see.

I think I'd always take the infinitesimal complexity to create a system that unambiguously handles all of the cases, but perhaps that why I'm writing software and you're designing games. :)
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Donald X.

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I was hoping you'd also address this point

Quote
It also has the benefit that if a player forgets to leverage an ability, they haven't actually broken the rules and, well, sucks for them.

but I imagine the response is "doesn't happen often enough to matter."  But, as a player, it irks me when I'm obligated to tell somebody to take the benefit of their card when they'd otherwise forget it, in part because I may be helping them beat me and in part because it just delays the game.
Here's an interesting perspective on this. What you are saying is, I should change something, in such a way that, for certain players, it "sucks for them." Isn't that crazy? I don't want things to suck for anyone. Okay, you don't want to remind someone to gain a benefit; that just isn't as bad as missing out on the benefit.

For a while there was a card, "+$2, put this on your deck." I changed it to "you may" because one player just constantly forgot to do it. For sure I might say "you may" to make it so someone isn't breaking the rules accidentally constantly.

This obv. isn't one of those cases. It is pretty in-your-face when you buy Inn despite not wanting to shuffle in any cards from your discard pile. In general when you want to do something, it does not say "you may" unless you might also want not to (or the Throne Room example). There could be an exception like my hypothetical card, but it would need to really earn that "you may." And the issue you are citing isn't forgetting, it's not wanting to shuffle a shuffled deck when confronted with unfriendly opponents, man.

I still don't think I agree that adding "you may" adds appreciable complexity, though.  The argument that you could make all cards better by adding complexity seems like a red herring to me; that's not really the issue.  "You may" is a well-understood and common mechanic; it's also two of the shortest words you could meaningfully put on a card.  And it elegantly handles all of the (rare, I agree) awkward situations that I can see.
There is no red herring here.

Here are two links to articles by Wizards of the Coast R&D members:
- http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/mm/188
- http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/ld/188

These articles are discussing, which is preferable for Magic: "You draw two cards," or "target player draws two cards?" How could that small of a difference in complexity matter? And yet "you" is currently winning this battle.
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Captain_Frisk

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These articles are discussing, which is preferable for Magic: "You draw two cards," or "target player draws two cards?" How could that small of a difference in complexity matter? And yet "you" is currently winning this battle.

+1 for the insightful commentary, even if I also prefer the "You may".  Of course, I haven't designed a SdJ winning game...
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I support funsockets.... taking as much time as they need to get it right.

theory

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This is also one of those things where each incremental addition of complexity doesn't seem like much ("Just a 'you may' here, what harm can it do?"), but taken as a whole it all adds up. 

For example, you could think of examples where Smithy could be "You may draw 3 cards" and argue about how that's better for Peddler and Menagerie and Horn of Plenty sometimes. 
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O

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This is also one of those things where each incremental addition of complexity doesn't seem like much ("Just a 'you may' here, what harm can it do?"), but taken as a whole it all adds up. 

For example, you could think of examples where Smithy could be "You may draw 3 cards" and argue about how that's better for Peddler and Menagerie and Horn of Plenty sometimes.

I actually can't think of a situation where any of those sound better...
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Captain_Frisk

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This is also one of those things where each incremental addition of complexity doesn't seem like much ("Just a 'you may' here, what harm can it do?"), but taken as a whole it all adds up. 

For example, you could think of examples where Smithy could be "You may draw 3 cards" and argue about how that's better for Peddler and Menagerie and Horn of Plenty sometimes.

I actually can't think of a situation where any of those sound better...

You don't want to trigger a reshuffle, but you want to get boost out of playing the card.

Witch in particular, would be slightly stronger if the card drawing was optional.  Ever had both of your witches in your hand with 1 card left in deck?

RAAAAAAAAAAGE.
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I support funsockets.... taking as much time as they need to get it right.
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