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Powerman

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Scrying Pool
« on: June 29, 2012, 03:02:58 pm »
+6



Scrying Pool (SP) is a card that can let you draw a lot of actions at one time.  YAY!  It also can allow you to remove a junk card from the top of your deck.  YAY!  SP also allows you to spy the top card of your opponent's deck to either remove a good card or leave a bad one.  YAY!  Lastly, SP always gives a card and an action, so it can't "hurt" your deck.  YAY!  With all of the good SP has going for it, is it always a must buy?  Far from it!

When NOT to buy Scrying Pool

Case 1: Lack of plus actions or many cantrips
Basically without a village (or King's Court!) of some type, Scrying Pool is useless.  Why?  Because it really doesn't matter how many smithies, witches, militias and goons you can get in your hand if you can only play one.  If the board calls for lots of actions to be played, SP will be able to get those actions in to your hand, but that does not mean they can all get played.  Also, many spammable actions helps to increase your action density quickly.

Case 2: Lack of (some) trashing
Your deck starts out with 10 non-actions, plus the potion you have to pick up, so at a minimum you will have at least 11 cards that SP doesn't like (and usually more!).  Without trashing any of them, that means for 1 of your top 2 cards to have a 75% chance of being an action (therefore drawing 2 cards), you need to have 11 actions in addition to the SP already in your hand.  For a 50% chance, you need roughly 6 action cards in your deck.  That means to have a 50% chance of this card being a lab, you need 11 actions in your deck.  That is a slow build up!

Case 3: Curses
This is an obvious counter to SP because more junk means less action density.  Basically for every curse added to your deck, you need to add that many extra actions to compensate.  Needless to say, Mountebank is especially bad because those coppers might as well be an extra curse!

Case 4: Lack of virtual $
Obviously if you want your deck to be mostly actions, you want to keep your treasure count to a minimum.  But you still need to buy cards, so having a way to generate $ from action cards is HUGE for Scrying Pool.  Without anyway to generate coins from actions, you have to add treasures which just further dilutes your action density.

Case 5: Lack of plus buy
This alone is not enough to avoid SP, but it should make you think twice.  Why?  First off, without an extra buy (or gain) you can only add one action to your deck per turn, which means building up to a good density of actions will be slow, especially when you want to get numerous SP's, so your potion turns pretty much are dedicated to that early.  Secondly, a SP engine is often slower than the fastest other options, so you are likely to fall behind to a good opponent.  With a plus buy, this isn't a problem because it is easy to get to 13 or 16.  But without?  It can be awfully difficult to make up the lost time.

Case 6: Very quick games
I'm looking at you JoaT!  The idea behind this being if your opponent is hitting their 4th province by turn 12, SP is just going to be too slow.  So JoaT and Masquerade do not bode very well for the SP player.

With all of these out of the way, what should you look for?  When should you buy a scrying pool?

When to buy Scrying Pool

Case 1: Cheap Cantrips
Scrying Pool basically adds 1 card to all actions, because you draw the actions up until the victory/treasure card, so it adds 1 to your hand size.  This means that your Pearl Divers, Great Halls, and Spies all become Laboratories.  The best ones here are Village (gives +action), Pawn (can give +Buy OR +$), Conspirator (gives +2$ and is trivial to activate) and Haven (can save extra SP's if you draw your whole deck) because they are cheap (easy to mass) and give a fringe benefit.

Case 2: Light Trashing
I say light trashing, because with too quick of trashing you can probably draw your deck sooner without SP, so SP will probably lose if both players go chapel.  However, with slower/lighter trashing, SP should be enhanced more than other strategies.  Good options here are moneylender  and spice merchant (getting rid of your starting coppers should be enough to quickly get through your whole deck), Salvager (although getting rid of your estates might not be enough, the +Buy is a good addition), and Trading Post (Turning your 10 starting cards into 5 silvers helps eliminate enough junk to cycle through your deck, but also gives you enough economy to buy things).

Case 3: Hand Size Reducers
SP is a great counter to militia, goons, etc. because discarding the 2 cards will rarely hurt you if you have a SP in hand, as you will quickly be drawing through your whole deck.  Additionally, because you will be cycling extremely quickly, you can play YOUR militia every turn and make your opponent play 3 card hands.  Good trade off!

Case 4: Vault, Secret Chamber
Vault (or Secret Chamber) and SP are a great combination.  Why?  Assuming you have some +Actions/+Buy, the general strategies is to draw all of your actions with a Scrying Pool, discard them for $, and then play another SP to redraw them all.  This can be repeated a few times, and then your other actions can be played out like normal, leading to huge turns.

Case 5: Vineyards (and Fairgrounds)
The things that make SP bad are it is often slow, it needs to avoid many treasure cards, and you have to buy a potion.  If only a card existed that combined these to give VP to allow for comebacks...
Vineyards are Donald X.'s gifts to Scrying Pool players.  The idea being you can fall behind, but because you will have so many actions, buying vineyards can easily be worth as much or more than provinces.  If you can avoid provinces altogether, it will be very difficult for most strategies to buy all 8 of them.  Fairgrounds deserve an honorable mention, because any time you have a potion cost card it is not too difficult to get them worth 6 VP, and they will almost always be worth 4 VP.

Case 6: Colonies
Colonies mean two things good for SP players: more victory points available, and a longer game.  This means that it will take longer for your opponent to get their strategy together, but it will only take a SP player maybe 1 or 2 turns longer for Colonies than Provinces. 

Playing with Scrying Pool

Case 1: Spying your deck
It's one thing to know when to buy SP, but it's another to know how to use it.  For your deck, always keep an action on top, even if you don't plan to use it.  Out of coppers but have a moneylender on top?  Don't discard it, just draw it instead!  Assuming you show a victory card, discard it.  Those are the easy ones.  Treasures are a little more difficult.  Coppers should almost always be discarded, as your next card should be better.  Silvers/Golds... you probably shouldn't have many of these in your deck, but if you think you ABSOLUTELY need the cash, keep it and buy the card you need.  Potions, if it's early and you need more SP's keep it on top, otherwise discard it as it won't do you any good.

Case 2: Spying your opponent's deck
Obviously, your goal is to both skip a good card from your opponent's deck, and leave a bad one on top.  But what is a bad card?  Well, it depends what strategy they're doing.  If they are doing a SP deck too, ask yourself if you would discard it from your own deck, and you should probably do the opposite.  If they are going more of a Big money deck, try and guess what their average money density, and then get rid of it if is higher.  A good synergy with Scrying Pool is cards (namely other attacks) that benefit from knowing what is on your opponent's deck.  Have a Saboteur in hand?  Keep flipping your opponents cards until a Province is on top.  Have a Jester?  Wait for a card that helps you (ie. a good action) and leave that on top OR put a victory card and give them a curse.

Case 3: How many Scrying Pools to buy?
The easy answer to say would be "as many as possible" and you can't go wrong with getting more.  However, there is an opportunity cost.  With the help of Scheme, or other cards to make sure you start with a SP in hand, you probably are fine with only 2-3 of them.  However, as you start greening, every additional SP limits the chance of your engine stalling.  Plus because it has a relatively low cost of 2P, it is easy on province turns (assuming you have +Buy) to pick one up even late in the game.

Case 4: When to buy Victory Cards
With Scrying Pool, you are almost certain to fall behind a more traditional strategy early.  Hopefully you will be able to set up your engine quickly so that this lead will only be ~2 provinces, but with +Buy, falling behind is not necessarily a big deal.  But when should you jump into the greens?  Well, with alternate victory cards you can wait a little longer as that gives you a bigger pool of points to choose from.  The exceptions being Nobles, Great Hall, and Island, as they still count as actions so buying them early actively helps your deck as well as giving you a VP boost.  But what if there are no alternate VP cards?  The simple answer is there is no perfect time to green -- it depends on the board.  But a rule of thumb can be wait as long as you can.  In general waiting to make your first green turn a double (or triple) province, is a good idea, but obviously if your opponent is going too quickly you might need to simply settle for a 1 province turn. 

Case 5: Other Potion Cards
Obviously buying a Scrying Pool requires you having a potion in your deck, so other Potion cards that are either too weak or slow to buy a potion on their own now become an option.  Possession can easily be played every turn, and the opportunity cost is much lower if you already have a potion in your deck.  Vineyards (as mentioned above) don't require the potion buy - you already have it for the SP!  Even the Transmute can be worth looking at, as without estate trashing turning your starting estates into golds can be a real boost to your economy.  Apothecary can be good in lieu of good copper trashing, as it can clear off your none action cards while building your economy.  Another Alchemy card that can be good with SP is Herbalist -- it provides a +Buy, and it lets you return your potion to your hand early to quickly get SP's.  The Alchemy cards that don't work well with SP are Philosopher's Stone (no deck left!) and Familiar (curses!).  Alchemist and Golem don't hurt SP, but might not be worth the buy if you can already draw your deck.

Example Game Logs
Here I use Remodel (normally very slow) as the only trasher to start drawing my whole deck by about turn 15.  I cash in for 4 provinces on turn 17, and the last 2 (and 2 duchies) on turn 18.  Note how I turned my coppers to Herbalists, as they were easy to draw.

Here I use light trashing from Mint and Expand to counter Witch (and use SP to play my witch very often).  Caravans are useful here to expand hand size to guarantee starting with a SP.

Here I have just enough time to come back from a fairly quick Vault/Tunnel engine.  Using the SP, I am able to pull a bunch of bridges into my hand, and I can use village to play them all.

Here I have a board with Vineyards and Scrying Pool.  With the addition of Wharf for +Buy (and more cards) and Remake for trashing, this board is tailor made for SP.

Here I use a DoubleJack strategy (with disappearing village) to beat a SP strategy on a fairly weak SP board.  Although he makes a mistake ending the game, my VP lead is simply too big to come back from.

Here my opponent goes for SP, and I overwhelm him with Ambassador and Familiar (although, I probably should have picked up some SP's myself)

Here, I go for SP on a board with A) NO trashing (besides Jack, which doesn't really trash), B) NO cheap cantrips to load up on... in fact no cantrips at all, C) JoaT which leads to fast games, and D) NO villages.  How do I dominate here?  Using Throne room, which allows me 2 searches with my SP for actions, and allows me to get the +Actions to play my Goons (and later bridge).

Lastly, here I go Duchy-Duke, and the SP player has no choice but to try and fight me.  Needless to say, his deck clogs and I win easily.

Works with:

Hand Size Reducers
Colonies
Vault
Conspirator, Peddler, and many other cheap actions
Light trashing (Moneylender, Trading Post, etc.)
Vineyards (And to a lesser extent, other VP sources)
Other Deck-Inspection Attacks (Especially Jester)
Outpost
Other Potion Cards

Conflicts with:

Fast games (JoaT, Masq)
Few cheap actions to pick up
No +Buy/ +Actions
Cursers (especially Mountebank!)

(Note:  Some game logs will be added once CR is back up.  Also, any advice is greatly appreciated as this is my first article)
« Last Edit: July 24, 2012, 02:22:41 pm by Powerman »
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shark_bait

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 03:21:54 pm »
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For works with, you can add other deck inspection attacks.  The ability to choose what cards are affected is very helpful.  Whether you're trying to take away their Platinum or destroy their Province, Scrying Pool increases the probability that your other deck inspection attack will be successful. 
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brokoli

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 03:42:45 pm »
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Nice article, but :

Quote
So JoaT, Masquerade, and Chapel do not bode very well for the SP player.

Chapel, really ? Chapel-BM is a very bad strategy and chapel works quite nicely with SP.
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 03:43:56 pm »
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To me the hardest question with Scrying Pool is when to buy the potion (it's first or second shuffle, of course, but when?). I learned a few times the hard way that moneylender + good 3 is often a better open than good 3 + potion in a scrying pool game. Same with remake, though that's probably more obvious. Don't understand the argument that you don't want chapel + scrying pool.

Scrying pool is bff with saboteur.
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Robz888

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 03:52:38 pm »
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Chapel with Scrying Pool is terrific. I think people tend to underestimate how quickly a good Pool deck catches up.
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clb

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 03:54:12 pm »
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Don't understand the argument that you don't want chapel + scrying pool.

I think the argument is if there is chapel + another engine on the board, SP might have a hard time keeping up.
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toaster

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 03:58:49 pm »
+2

A good start, but article does have a few problems.  First of all is your comment about the lack of villages...there are many good cantrip-oriented scrying pool decks out there.  Now if you're missing both a village *and* good cantrip possibilties then you've got a problem, but lack of a village alone is not necessarily a reason to skip SP.

As already mentioned, SP can do very well with chapel as long as there's +buy available.  Certainly fast decks are a problem for SP though.

For completeness, the article should also talk about the combo opportunities presented by the deck-peeking attack.  Since you're often playing a few SPs per turn, you can set up some pretty nasty attacks...jester is probably the strongest among such combos, but swindler and (if your opponent is going with a BM-ish strategy) even pirate ship can be quite good as well.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you *will* fall behind early when playing against a non-SP deck.  If you're going SP, you usually want to wait on greening even if you're starting to get nervous about your opponent...with a good SP deck, once you start getting to the payoff, the payoff is big.  On the other hand, premature greening can easily stop an SP deck from ever getting off the ground.  It can be nerve-wracking, but patience is key to success here.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 04:01:22 pm by toaster »
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Powerman

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 03:59:08 pm »
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Shark_Bait, good mention I'll add it!

And with the chapel, yes if you're going SP anyway you want to add in the chapel, obviously.  The problem, is if there is the potential for an engine with a chapel, you might not need the SP as you will be drawing your whole deck quickly anyway.  But they aren't exactly conflicting either I guess.
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lespeutere

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 07:37:52 am »
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It works very nicely with cartographer if you're deck's not that tight.
And with apothecary (and - uhmm - scout) if you happen to put a single non action card on top, discard it and draw your actions waiting underneath.
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TheMathProf

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 10:33:37 am »
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I'm not entirely sure how to address it in the article, but cards that take advantage of knowing what the top card of the deck can be particularly strong with Scrying Pool (moreso than with Spy).

Have Thieves or Noble Brigands?  Leave that Gold on top of your opponent's deck.

Have Tributes?  Leave cards on top that will allow you to get more actions, dollars, cards, or some combination, depending on the needs of your deck.

Have Jesters?  Leave that victory card to distribute curses, or leave action cards to effectively fill your deck more quickly.

Those are just some examples I came up with on the fly.

[EDIT: I saw the "Other Deck Inspection Attacks" on the works well with list, but thought it was worth exploring in some detail in the article itself.]
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Powerman

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 05:49:45 pm »
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@TheMathProf -- I think what I added should address this.

@lespeutere -- I'm not sure how much synergy there is between these cards.  Apothecary is a competing 2P card, so picking it up would probably be better off with just picking up a SP.  And my gut feeling is scout is still terrible.  Cartographer?  Maybe decent, but if you are going SP it's likely there are better cards to buy.  But if you have any logs (once CR is fixed) I definitely could be wrong.
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DG

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 06:39:10 pm »
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Thrones, Golems, and King's courts are good partner cards for scrying pools as they can generate the extra actions to play all the action cards you're going to draw. Havens can be good as you can reserve a scrying pool to start the next turn, preventing bad draws. Outposts can come into play with a scrying pool, as can vp scoring cards like monument. Universities, workshops, and ironworks can obviously add a lot of fuel to a scrying pool. In fact pretty much every heavy action based strategy can be assisted by scrying pools.

Apothecary isn't a bad partner card for scrying pool. Many types of alchemy decks can develop faster by purchasing an apothecary to speed up the deck in the early game.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 06:47:16 pm by DG »
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Powerman

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2012, 07:39:04 pm »
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Thrones, Golems, and King's courts are good partner cards for scrying pools as they can generate the extra actions to play all the action cards you're going to draw. Havens can be good as you can reserve a scrying pool to start the next turn, preventing bad draws. Outposts can come into play with a scrying pool, as can vp scoring cards like monument. Universities, workshops, and ironworks can obviously add a lot of fuel to a scrying pool. In fact pretty much every heavy action based strategy can be assisted by scrying pools.

Apothecary isn't a bad partner card for scrying pool. Many types of alchemy decks can develop faster by purchasing an apothecary to speed up the deck in the early game.

Good mention of the Outpost, that's a very natural combo and quick way to catch up.  Universities... again the potion cost makes it kind of compete, but the others I can see as a decent option.

I still am not sold on the Apothecary.  I mean it might help very, very early game, and might stay useful in lieu of copper trashing, but it seems almost superfluous to the cause.
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 10:21:01 pm »
+1

On boards where you can't trash Copper (or the only trashing is something like Salvager that you don't want to use on Copper) BUT there are other good reasons to go Pool- cantrips, +buy, non-curse attacks, etc.- getting one Apothecary early then switching to Pools the rest of the way can often be a good idea.
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Powerman

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 12:10:08 am »
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On boards where you can't trash Copper (or the only trashing is something like Salvager that you don't want to use on Copper) BUT there are other good reasons to go Pool- cantrips, +buy, non-curse attacks, etc.- getting one Apothecary early then switching to Pools the rest of the way can often be a good idea.

Edited in section about other Potion cards.  Does it seem in line?
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verikt

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2012, 09:45:03 am »
+4

Quote
I still am not sold on the Apothecary.  I mean it might help very, very early game, and might stay useful in lieu of copper trashing, but it seems almost superfluous to the cause.
You're seriously underestimating apoth. In a game with apoth scrying pool I'd get at least one apoth before the sp. Not only does it draw all the coppers you'd otherwise have to discard one at a time, it also draws your potion to help win the scrying pool race AND lets you order your actions so that scrying pool can draw them all. In a longer game with not much trashing that's a big difference.
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2012, 09:58:55 am »
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In addition, it increases your buying power so quickly that you might have these crucial "buy strong $5 AND scrying pool" turns as early as after the second reshuffle.
Apothecary+scrying pool+plus buy is an extremely strong combo.
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lespeutere

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2012, 01:28:38 pm »
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@TheMathProf -- I think what I added should address this.

@lespeutere -- I'm not sure how much synergy there is between these cards.  Apothecary is a competing 2P card, so picking it up would probably be better off with just picking up a SP.  And my gut feeling is scout is still terrible.  Cartographer?  Maybe decent, but if you are going SP it's likely there are better cards to buy.  But if you have any logs (once CR is fixed) I definitely could be wrong.

I'm not saying scout becomes hilarious, it just may be of some help if you lack decent trashers, as may apothecary be - as others have pointed out. And for cartographer: I'd look at it from the other direction: it may be the card that lets you go SP.
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 10:39:30 am »
+1

Another very strong complement to SP decks are sifting. Take a strong example - warehouse. You can play sifters like normal - play your draw (SP) and then toss the dross (estates, coppers, etc.) or you can sometimes play the opposite - play your sifter - drop all the actions but a SP into the discard and get all your dross into hand - then draw your deck. The former tends to work better if your action balance is low and you have mostly dross outside of your actions. The latter works best when you have high action balance and you have very little dross. Sifting can allow a SP deck to green earlier (particularly if you can control the shuffles well) and to use coin for payout.

This brings up another strong helper to SP decks - transmute. You are already going to get a potion for the SP so the opportunity cost is lower. Mute can turn coppers into actions and estates into golds; both of which are great ways to juice a SP deck. Eventually, SP decks tend to have a hand or two where either they have 1P or they want to use all their coin on something big (like a KC) and have a pot and a +buy left over.

A surprisingly strong complement to SP decks is herbalist. You can top deck the potion so you can run out the pools quickly. Also, when you top deck a treasure it is one less treasure to muck up the SP draw. Of course herbalist comes with the very desirable +buy and a non-trivial + 1 coin action cash.
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2012, 12:38:12 am »
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When NOT to buy Scrying Pool

Case 1: Lack of plus actions or many cantrips

Case 2: Lack of (some) trashing

Case 3: Curses

Case 4: Lack of virtual $

Case 5: Lack of plus buy

Case 6: Very quick games

I play alot of Scrying Pool decks and I really think you're overstating the situations when it's not a good card. Only cases one, three, and six are truely times when you really shouldn't bethinking about Scrying Pool (maybe if Fairgrounds is in play though . . .); the reasoning behind that is just as you stated. However lack of +$, + buy, and trashing can all be made up for by the presence of quality cards in the other categories.

If you don't have + $, and you have some trashing you can clear out your coppers and estates for the bigger denomination coinage. If you lacking buys, well, you really just need to build a very lean decklist, clear your junky cards and play like champ. If you don't have trashing you just build a robust deck and utilize your buys to stock up on the cheap actions. Sometimes you just have to be willing to deviate from the norm. Heck, I played SP, something that gives + buy (Woodcutter I think), and Bank the other day. Once I got going, I was drawing my deck, Banking for $9, buying Colonies, and ninja-ing the third pile for the win.

You really can't not mention how awesome Pawn is with SP. It's + buy, + $, it digs out Scrying Pools when they miss and it helps you set up a 3-pile victory against (when the kingdom is right), and it's cheap so you can quickly build up your action density. There is no card that I like to see more in a SP kingdom than Pawn.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 01:58:02 am by XnFM »
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Davio

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2012, 09:53:58 am »
+5

Scrying Pool

Doesnt work with..... impatient opponents.
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Powerman

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2012, 11:00:21 am »
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When NOT to buy Scrying Pool

Case 1: Lack of plus actions or many cantrips

Case 2: Lack of (some) trashing

Case 3: Curses

Case 4: Lack of virtual $

Case 5: Lack of plus buy

Case 6: Very quick games

I play alot of Scrying Pool decks and I really think you're overstating the situations when it's not a good card. Only cases one, two, and six are truely times when you really shouldn't bethinking about Scrying Pool (maybe if Fairgrounds is in play though . . .); the reasoning behind that is just as you stated. However lack of +$, + buy, and trashing can all be made up for by the presence of quality cards in the other categories.

If you don't have + $, and you have some trashing you can clear out your coppers and estates for the bigger denomination coinage. If you lacking buys, well, you really just need to build a very lean decklist, clear your junky cards and play like champ. If you don't have trashing you just build a robust deck and utilize your buys to stock up on the cheap actions. Sometimes you just have to be willing to deviate from the norm. Heck, I played SP, something that gives + buy (Woodcutter I think), and Bank the other day. Once I got going, I was drawing my deck, Banking for $9, buying Colonies, and ninja-ing the third pile for the win.

You really can't not mention how awesome Pawn is with SP. It's + buy, + $, it digs out Scrying Pools when they miss and it helps you set up a 3-pile victory against (when the kingdom is right), and it's cheap so you can quickly build up your action density. There is no card that I like to see more in a SP kingdom than Pawn.

I think in your initial thing, you mean cases 1, 3 and 6?

But anyway, yes.  Most of the time one of these things will not be enough to make SP a "bad" card.  But I would argue that any 2 (and certainly any 3) of them makes it a less than dominant strategy.  Obviously you are never going to have a "perfect" board, so maybe you do have to sacrifice for one of these things.  But the point is these are the things that can hurt a SP deck, so if you see "Hm, there's no +Buy" you ask yourself "is it worth it"?

For example, cursing.  This might be (and is IMO) the harshest counter to SP.  But if you have enough cheap actions and GOOD trashing (ie. Forge/Chapel/Remake) you can easily handle gaining a curse a turn.

So maybe having any 1 of these isn't enough to bypass SP, but these are definitely the "bad" things to look for.
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XnFM

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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2012, 01:55:56 am »
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I think in your initial thing, you mean cases 1, 3 and 6?

[. . .]

So maybe having any 1 of these isn't enough to bypass SP, but these are definitely the "bad" things to look for.

Yes I did; I sort of rushed out the door to go bowling last night and didn't take the time to do a final proof-read.

What I was trying to get at (and I probably came off to harshly in retrospect) was that "junking" attacks, a lack of cantrips/villages, and quick-game strategies are things that should be making you look at other strategies whereas your other three points should make you think about whether it's still worth playing SP.

They're all present as cases where you should not be buying scrying pool; and while I agree that is true of some of them, other's really just require you to take a couple more minutes to asses the Kingdom, and whether or not SP is worth it.
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2012, 09:09:53 pm »
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Scrying Pool

Doesnt work with..... impatient opponents.
Sure it does. I've had a number of wins from playing SP against impatient opponents.  ;D
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Re: Scrying Pool
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2012, 11:16:41 pm »
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Edited in some Game logs, hopefully they help show some boards where SP is useful or not useful.
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