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Davio

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Bank
« on: June 19, 2012, 06:26:36 am »
+3

Bank


Bank is a lovely card, but it can also be a trap for many new players. While it's true that in practice it's often better than Gold in that it needs only 2 other Treasures to give you the same $3 it's also a bit random. If you ever end up drawing your Bank dead it gives you just $1 where Gold would still have given $3. But a hand with just 1 Treasure is often a dead hand anyway so the Bank vs. Gold wouldn't have that much of a difference.

The thing with Bank is that it's often overkill on its own, it needs its biggest friend: +Buy
If you have a hand with 5 Banks you have 1+2+3+4+5 = $15 yet you can still only buy 1 Colony or Province.
And remember that Bank only gives you more than Gold if it's the 4th or higher Treasure played. This means Bank needs hands with lots of Treasures.

So what cards can Bank look to as a partner in crime?

Wharf, Council Room and Margrave
Wharf is awesome and Council Room and Margrave are quite good as they give you not only the needed +Buy, but also a good draw. Drawing cards equals more Treasure cards equals higher worth Banks. Wharf is the best there is. Council Room gives you 4 cards and your opponent 1, while Margrave gives you 1 less card, but your opponent has to drop 2 cards. All in all Margrave may be slightly better because of the attack.

Using rspeer's Dominiate simulator (Geronimoo's doesn't work on my PC with Java 7) it seems Margrave wins about 60% vs. Council Room if we let the sim just buy that card on every $5. Wharf beats both, it beats Council Room with about 65% and Margrave with about 60%.

Other terminal drawers can be good, but then you have to get the +Buy from somewhere else.
You could use cantrips for your +Buy like Market and Worker's Village coupled with non-terminal drawers like Lab and Stables.
Coupling a +Buy with other terminal drawers is risky business and you need quite a bit of luck to really be able to make use of it.
Tactician may work as well.


Trash for Benefit and Cost Advantages
Bank is a $7 card. That means most Trash-for-Benefit cards get a little extra out of it over Gold.
You can Upgrade Bank into a Province or Remake two Banks into two Provinces! Or Develop it into a Province and a Gold.
You can Remodel (or Expand/Farmland) it into a Platinum or Apprentice it for 7 cards.
Salvage it and you get +$7.
When it gets Saboteured you could grab a Duchy and when it gets Swindled there are often no other $7 cards around so you get it back.
Bank is even funnier with Governor, because you could grab a Province on your opponent's turn.

And to boot it even can't be Smuggled!
With Haggler you could buy Bank and a $6 card like Goons or Grand Market.
It can't be stolen with Noble Brigand since that chooses only Silver or Gold.


When Not to Choose Bank over Gold
If your hands are going to be cluttered with terminals and you will hardly ever reach the "4th Treasure" mark, stick with Gold. This can happen very easily. If every hand has exactly one terminal (like BM-Monument), your other cards need to be Treasures for Bank to make it worth your while over Gold and even then it's hardly more effective than Gold.

For example: A hand of Monument ($2) + 3x Copper can buy a Province with both a Gold ($3) and a Bank ($4), so there's really no difference here. Often you will see a hand of Monument + 2x Copper and in this case both Gold and Bank get you to $7 so again there's no real difference.

Using Bank instead of Gold in decks without +Buy is an effort in futility.

In strategies where your deck will green very early (Duchy-Duke), a lucky early Gold may be better than a lucky early Bank.


When Not to Choose Bank
This is pretty easy: Engines that depend on action cards for their money have no business with Bank as they have no business with Treasure cards in general. A long KC-Grand Market chain doesn't want it and double Tactician decks also don't need it. Just like any Treasure can throw a wrench in money from actions based engines, so can Bank.

And obviously your classic rushes don't need Bank and you'll probably never even be able to afford it anyway.


Works with:
- +Buy terminal drawers (and possibly Tactician)
- +Buy form a Market-esque card (possibly even Worker's Village) with non-terminal hand size increasers (Lab, Stables)
- Cost-based Trash for Benefit

Doesn't work with:
- BM+X style decks (no real advantage over Gold)
- Rush strategies
- Engines that rely on money from actions
- No +Buy
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Asklepios

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Re: Bank
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012, 08:47:57 am »
+1

Looks sensible and complete to me. I'd add under Trash for Benefit that Develop can turn a Bank into a Province and a Gold (or even better, a Border Village and Wharf), but that's just because I love Develop way more than I ought to. Still, the presence of a $7 card is a godsend to Develop games.

I'd also observe that in Colony games, Banks can be more worthwhile than Golds, as they sometimes get you over $11 when a Gold wouldn't have, even if you're just playing BM+X where X is just Smithy. I'd need to see this simulated to be sure though, I think.
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brokoli

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Re: Bank
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2012, 08:54:24 am »
0

Nice article, thanks !
I'm glad to see so many articles recently !  ;D
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jomini

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Re: Bank
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 09:13:59 am »
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Another very strong complement to bank is venture. Yes you may end up playing banks out of optimal sequence, but venture will often nab you two two treasure cards making the banks that much stronger. Unlike terminal draw, you can just keep adding in more ventures to power your bank(s) up higher.

Another nice complement is library. The draw gives you bigger hands, but it doesn't lose a card against non-terminal +buy (e.g. pawn, festival, etc.) and you can skip over dead action cards, increasing the odds of hitting more treasures.

One I'm unsure about and would be interested in hearing analysis is contraband. It provides an action-less +buy and is a treasure, and also with bank out they can't just deny you early golds. On the other hand, unless colonies are in play, all the late game big turns of bank/contraband/5 other treasures hands will end just purchasing two duchies. I could maybe see this working with colonies, but again, I'm not sure.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Bank
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 09:36:14 am »
+2

Tactician isn't a maybe. It's a definite.

Qvist

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Re: Bank
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 09:36:57 am »
0

Nice article. Still I have something to add.

Yeah, Bank benefits from big hand sizes and at least an additional buy. You mention terminal draw with integrated buy, but Bank may even be stronger on boards with non-terminal draw and terminal buy (if there's no discard or cursing attack). Apothecary+Bank+any additional buy is great (for example Herbalist to put the Bank on deck). You mention that Tactician+Bank may be strong, I think it's even one of the best combos with Bank. And Apprentice+Bank+Buy is also crazy. I haven't tried it out, but I think non-terminal buy + Counting House + Bank can also be very strong.

Another thing worth mentioning is the comparism to Coppersmith. Its mechanic is very similar and Bank is basically strictly superior, because it makes
1.) every treasure (not only Copper) worth $1 more and gives even an additional +1$
2.) it doesn't take an action to play
Only disadvantage may be that Bank can't be TR'd or KC'd.

Like above mentioned, Bank also is weaker on boards with strong attacks.
1.) Curser, because you have less treasure cards in your deck
2.) Discard attacks because you need big hand size.
So its synergy with Margrave is a little problematic. It only works well, if your opponent can't play Margrave by himself regularly.

And as already mentioned Bank is usually stronger in Colony games (5 copper + Bank = Colony, 5 copper + Platinum != Colony).
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Bank
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 09:39:23 am »
0

Nice article. Still I have something to add.

Yeah, Bank benefits from big hand sizes and at least an additional buy. You mention terminal draw with integrated buy, but Bank may even be stronger on boards with non-terminal draw and terminal buy (if there's no discard or cursing attack). Apothecary+Bank+any additional buy is great (for example Herbalist to put the Bank on deck). You mention that Tactician+Bank may be strong, I think it's even one of the best combos with Bank. And Apprentice+Bank+Buy is also crazy. I haven't tried it out, but I think non-terminal buy + Counting House + Bank can also be very strong.

Another thing worth mentioning is the comparism to Coppersmith. Its mechanic is very similar and Bank is basically strictly superior, because it makes
1.) every treasure (not only Copper) worth $1 more and gives even an additional +1$
2.) it doesn't take an action to play
Only disadvantage may be that Bank can't be TR'd or KC'd.

Like above mentioned, Bank also is weaker on boards with strong attacks.
1.) Curser, because you have less treasure cards in your deck
2.) Discard attacks because you need big hand size.
So its synergy with Margrave is a little problematic. It only works well, if your opponent can't play Margrave by himself regularly.

And as already mentioned Bank is usually stronger in Colony games (5 copper + Bank = Colony, 5 copper + Platinum != Colony).

Agree with what you're saying here, except Bank isn't anywhere close to being strictly superior to coppersmith if for no other reason (well, ok, there are other reasons, but this is by far the biggest one) than it costs 3 more. It is usually superior though.

Davio

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Re: Bank
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 10:55:09 am »
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I will revise my article as more comments - I agree with - come out. I didn't have that much experience with Tact so I put it as a maybe.
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Smartie

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Re: Bank
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 11:15:50 am »
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Nice article! Maybe just add that presence of cursers diminishes the effect of bank, and in these case, gold might be better? Also must add that envoy + bank seems quite effective too  ;)
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lespeutere

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Re: Bank
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 11:44:40 am »
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Nice article! Maybe just add that presence of cursers diminishes the effect of bank, and in these case, gold might be better? Also must add that envoy + bank seems quite effective too  ;)

Not if you happen to be drawing your only bank with envoy every single time.
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ftl

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Re: Bank
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 11:52:20 am »
+1

Well, in that case, it's no different than if it were a gold...
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Jorbles

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Re: Bank
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 02:04:15 pm »
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Tactician isn't a maybe. It's a definite.
To expand upon this for the article, Tactician gives you big hands (which can easily hold 5 or 6 Treasures besides the Bank) and the +Buy. It has everything you would need. A single Bank in a Tactician hand can easily give you enough to Double Province. Look at my Turn 9 in this game that I just played for an example.

It's a bit more of a tossup if there's double Tactician possibilities, but that's board dependent.
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qmech

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Re: Bank
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2012, 03:21:25 pm »
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If the Double Tactician enabler is Black Market then you're happy (but now we're getting specific of course).
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jomini

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Re: Bank
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 03:37:25 pm »
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Also if your double tac enabler is outpost, but I think either of those are remote from talking about the strategies for bank.
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