A Favorite Card of Mine
Let's be honest here: Mine is probably most famous for being the card everyone confuses
with Mint. A similar name, similar behavior, and the same $5 price point will do this. Unfortunately, Mine's reputation doesn't get much better past that, considering:
- It comes from the largely bland Base Dominion set, achieving the honor of being arguably the worst trash for benefit card of the set.
- Council Room's Popular Buys ranks it as the 28th worst card by Win Rate With, and the 8th worst at the $5 price point.
- The forum user base ranked it as one of the worst cards at the $5 price point.
Mine is very often an ignorable card, but as with many other middling/bad cards, in the kingdoms where it actually is useful it can be the star of the show. Much of Mine's intrigue is due to its fairly unique ability of gaining a card directly in hand. It is this ability which likely bumps Mine from the $4 to the $5 price point. This allows you the benefit of not only improving your deck but also improving your current hand.Repeated Play
Mine is typically at it's best when it can be played repeatedly. You can achieve this with Caravan/Laboratory stacks, Hunting Party/Golem decks, KC/TR, or conventional large draw decks. Besides the obvious improvements to your deck in the long run, repeated play offers the benefits of not having to waste your buys to improve your economy. Because the upgraded card goes directly into your hand, you can not only improve your economy you can do so immediately. Sifters such as cellar and warehouse are also excellent ways to repeatedly play Mine, and their lower price points and fast cycling can make them more attractive options than HP or Laboratory.Alternate Treasure Cards
Most players experienced with the card will attest to the fact that both Platinum and Potions can give Mine a huge boost. The jump from Gold to Platinum is massive, and because of this Mine will always be more attractive on Colony boards than Province boards. Similarly, as this article
points out, Mine is useful on Alchemy heavy boards because of its flexibility into and out of the race for potion cost cards.
Mine's power can be extended to most other alternate treasure cards as well. Horn of Plenty, Venture, Hoard, and Harem are all very attractive targets for Mine with a silver in hand. Additionally, Hinterlands was very kind to Mine, offering both Ill-Gotten Gains and Fool's Gold. Mine lets you turn silver into IGG, IGG into another IGG, or IGG into gold, all of which are strong options. Mine/Fool's Gold is a pretty solid (+4) opening according to Best/Worst Openings
, allowing Mine to turn your early copper into a Fool's Gold in hand.Other Trash for Benefit Cards
Remodel, Governor, and Apprentice really stand out here. Because you gain the card in hand, you can immediately turn and benefit from the upgraded card. Mine that Silver into a Gold and then Remodel it into a Province, or use Mine on a treasure to net your Apprentice an extra 3 cards. How To Play Mine
Mine can offer some tricky decisions when it comes to choosing what exactly you want to upgrade. Should I swap Copper for Silver, or Silver for Gold? In general, Silver to Gold is probably the better move. Here are a couple
of guidelines for helping to make that decision:
When To Ignore
- If it is a Colony board, you should prioritize upgrading S->G over C->S. Your ultimate target is Platinum, so you will want the best chance of later upgrading Gold->Plat
- If it is a board with discard attacks, you should prioritize S->G over C->S. You will be working with smaller hand sizes and you will want the larger bang for your buck.
- Swindler makes things difficult. You don't want to lose your coppers to curses, but at the same time Gold is often immune to the Swindler attack. This will be board dependent.
- C->S should probably be prioritized on Jester boards. You do not want to be fed more copper, but you also do not want your opponent to grab free gold. A similar suggestion can apply with Smuggler.
Overall, it seems like most players don't have a problem ignoring Mine. It is bought in only 47% of games, right in line with Spy. Even when it is bought, players seldom seem to buy more than 1. However, there are some situations when it seems pretty clear Mine should be ignored. Games with heavy trashing are an easy choice, as A. you will have less cards to feed to Mine and B. you will likely have more attractive targets to trash into. Similarly, Mine is avoidable in many engines, especially engines when most or all of your coin will come from your action cards. A third option is decks with heavy attacks, especially Mountebank and Witch. Not only do you want to avoid terminal collisions, you just won't see a worthwhile benefit because you won't be able to play Mine as often.
Repeated Play (Caravan, Lab, Hunting Party, Golem, sifters)
Alternate Treasure (especially Platinum and IGG)
Other Trash For Benefit
Cursing or Discard Attacks
Other Strong $5 Terminals
Copper Based Strategies