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Qvist

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The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $2 cards
« on: July 02, 2012, 04:01:45 pm »
+9

The wisdom of the crowds. With exactly 62 65 "Best Cards" lists, we got the double amount of rankings and may also a double as good list ;)

You were waiting for the results, so let's get started. Feel free to comment.
I changed the card texts a little bit, but couldn't update references to the councilroom openings as it is still down. I will update that soon.
I'm sorry for mistakes with the English language as I'm no native speaker.

(For reference, if anybody is wondering: I defined lower deviation as "better" because it means "more agreement")

The Best $2 Cards
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#16 ▼1 Secret Chamber (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 14.89 ▼0.40 / Median: 15 ▼0.5 / Mode: 16 ▼1 / Standard Deviation: 1.6 ▼0.2
Highest Rank(s): #9 (1x), #10 (1x), #11 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #16 (28x)

Secret Chamber is the worst $2 card this time. It lost one rank. But the consensus was high. Nearly the half of all list ranked it on the last place and only the first-ranked card has a lower standard deviation.

The action part seems not so bad. You can discard cards for money and in decks with many victory cards or curses it's guaranteed $4. But first: What do you want to buy with $4? As a opener it's bad, because mostly you want to get to $5 and later in the game you need $5 too to get at least a Duchy. So, basically it's a very bad Vault and you better buy a Silver. But there are rare cases, especially you can use it when you need virtual money like in Tactician turns, or you draw your whole deck with Scrying Pools discard all action cards with Secret Chamber for money just to draw them again, or when you want to buy Grand Markets. It's reaction part is really bad. It has nearly no effect against the best attacks: Cursers and Handsize-Reducers, but you can use it against cards that mess up the top of your deck or trash cards from your deck, like Thief or Pirate Ship.
But Thief is already bad. Why buy a reaction card against Thief? Yes, it's nice against Minion, but that's all.
#15 ▲1 Duchess (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 14.39 ▲0.66 / Median: 15 ▲1 / Mode: 16 =0 / Standard Deviation: 1.6 ▼0.1
Highest Rank(s): #10 (1x), #12 (6x) / Lowest Rank(s): #16 (21x)

Duchess switched places with Secret Chamber, but still only has a lead of half a point because it still has over 20 last places.

It's a terminal silver with a spy-effect that has even a benefit for your opponents. Yeah, it's even so bad that it needs a clause to get it for free when you buy a Duchy.
And mostly that are the only cases you want a Duchess. Rarely you want to spend $2 to buy one. Once in a while you want it for free, especially when you are trying to make a "green card rush" with Duke or Gardens and want to maintain the buying power and emptying the third pile as fast as possible. That may also the be the reason that it went up a rank, because you can get it for free. And a Duchess for free is even better than a Secret Chamber for $2.
#14 =0 Pearl Diver (Seaside) Weighted Average: 13.36 ▲0.30 / Median: 14 =0 / Mode: 15 =0 / Standard Deviation: 2 ▼0.5
Highest Rank(s): #7 (1x), #8 (1x), #10 (5x) / Lowest Rank(s): #16 (6x)

Also no surprise here. Although it has some more outliers in the top ranks, it's still only on #14 with too many bad ranks, at least it went up 0.3 points. It was on #15 14 times. Why is it so bad?

Pearl Diver mostly don't hurt in your deck as it is a cantrip. So, if you got $2 early and you don't want to buy an Estate, you can buy a Pearl Diver. Buying too much Duchesses or Secret Chambers hurts much more than too many Pearl Divers. But the benefit of Pearl Diver is lower than those cards. It's only use is to minimize draw luck a little bit and to let cards shine which interact with the top card of your deck (Native Village comes into my mind). OK, I admit, since Cornucopia it got a little boost as it can add more diversity into your deck and cards like Menagerie, Fairgrounds, Horn of Plenty can profit from it. Pearl Diver never really shines, but it hurts less.
#13 =0 Herbalist (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 12.99 ▼0.28 / Median: 13 =0 / Mode: 12 ▲1 / Standard Deviation: 1.7 ▼0.6
Highest Rank(s): #9 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #15 (13x), #16 (1x)

Last time it was the card with the least deviation. This time it's only on #4. It got even one last place, the first time ever. But its mode on the other side went up one rank as it was on #12 15 times.

If I know correctly it's a card that's widely hated, especially because it's the only non-potion-related card in the Alchemy set (Apprentice references Potion at least) and its bad too. Many liked to see it replaced with another potion-cost card. But I think it's bad reputation is only half-justified. Yeah, it's a terminal copper. How bad is that! So, mostly it hurts. But "scheming" your treasures is really nice. In the beginning you can use your newly buyed Gold twice if you have the luck to draw it with Herbalist. And even putting back a Silver is not so bad in the beginning. But especially if you're going for Potion (because of that it's in Alchemy) you can use it twice early on. The most important combo might be Alchemist+Herbalist. And - mostly forgotten - it's one of three $2 cards that gives the important +Buy and it's the only one which gives the +Buy without taking a disadvantage (either discarding one card or forfeiting an option). This in combination with Philosopher's Stone is therefore also very nice. But if you have no +Actions this card is mostly not worth buying. Its board dependency may be the reason of its higher deviation.
#12 =0 Moat (Base) Weighted Average: 12.43 ▼0.19 / Median: 13 ▼1 / Mode: 13 ▼1 / Standard Deviation: 2.4 ▼0.3
Highest Rank(s): #3 (1x), #7 (1x), #8 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #16 (7x)

Moat now has a definitely higher deviation. With a big outlier on #3, but still seven last places. It lost also one rank in median and mode. What could be the reason?

Moat is very situational. It highly depends on the cards on the board and - more important - on the number of players. If there's Mountebank in the supply and you're playing a 4-player-game, Moat is usually a very good buy. It can prevent getting 3 coppers and 3 curses in one turn. But if you're playing a 2-player game, buying Moat is mostly superfluous. Buying a trasher more against Cursers or Library/Watchtower/Menagerie agains hand-size-reducing is mostly the better alternative. Even worse, if there's no attack card on the board, +2 cards with no other benefit is so weak, because that means a raw benefit of +1 card . Maybe only if your going for Big Money with bad other cards and you're getting unlucky and hit $2 early, this might be worth considering. As most players play 2-player games here, it got that many last places.
#11 ▼1 Cellar (Base) Weighted Average: 10.66 ▼1.35 / Median: 11 ▼1.5 / Mode: 11 =0 / Standard Deviation: 2.5 ▲0.2
Highest Rank(s): #3 (2x), #6 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #14 (4x), #16 (1x)

One of the cards with the highest deviation is Cellar. Last year its worst place was #13, this time we also have a last place. It lost more than one point and therefore lost a rank, it's the biggest loser of the $2 cards. Especially the median heavily went down. It mostly ranked on #11 (16x).

There are many cards that take profit from bad cards like Estate or Curses. Secret Chamber fails - as mentioned earlier - by just getting $1 per card. Cellar let you discard them and get you get your good cards in hand. Of course Warehouse is better in most cases as it let you draw your cards before discarding, but Cellar can even discard more than 3 cards if you wish. If you want compare Cellar with another $2 card, Crossroads comes into your mind. Crossroads also lets you draw more cards for useless cards. But it is limited to green cards, so you get no benefit for Curses and Coppers. But you don't have to discard them and it gives you +3 Actions the first time. So it highly depends which card is better. In cursing games Cellar's great. And of course with Tunnel. The problem is often the opportunity cost; when do you want to spend your money on a $2 mediocre card?
#10 ▲1 Embargo (Seaside) Weighted Average: 9.36 ▲0.87 / Median: 9 ▲1 / Mode: 9 ▲2 / Standard Deviation: 2.4 ▼0.2
Highest Rank(s): #4 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #14 (3x), #15 (1x)

Embargo switched places with Cellar, but also made a big jump with nearly one point more. The median and mode are better and it is the first card in this list without a single last place. Even last time it had a last place. Especially the three lists ranking it on #4 are surprising.

First, it's a terminal silver. Basically that's bad. But it's a one-shot. So if you get unlucky and hit $2 early you can buy it without much thinking as it only interferes once. But Embargo can be a game-changer, especially if you and your opponent(s) are taking different strategies. And it really shines if your opponent buys a Potion and you decide not to go for Potion. Just embargo the Potion-cost card and you are turns ahead. And especially you can shut down strategies that want a lot of a single card, like Hunting Party, Alchemist or alternative victory cards. So, it's nearly never bad, but only shines situation-wise. And it might be the first card in the list that's worth to play with King's Court.
#9 ▼1 Pawn (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 8.58 ▼0.96 / Median: 8 =0 / Mode: 7 ▲2 / Standard Deviation: 2.6 ▼0.9
Highest Rank(s): #2 (1x), #3 (1x), #4 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (2x), #14 (1x), #15 (1x)

Pawn is the card with the highest deviation this time. I can't understand this, because Pawn is THE mediocre card in my opinion. Last time the deviation was really low, but with such big outliers on both sides this year - it was even second - the deviation increases heavily and loses one rank. But the difference between rank #9 and #8 is not big. On the other side its mode increased; it was on #7 16 times.

Pawn is bad if you don't know how to play it and simply use it as a cantrip. But it can be very useful as a cheap source of +Buy and in the beginning it's mostly a cheap Silver if you use it for card + money. It's flexibility makes it good. But it's not great. It can win your game because you picked it up for +Buy but normally it's no game-changer. And if you use it for card + action it at least doesn't hurt. But nothing is more frustrating if you use it for card + money and you draw a Pawn dead.
#8 ▲1 Native Village (Seaside) Weighted Average: 8.28 ▲0.04 / Median: 8 =0 / Mode: 8 =0 / Standard Deviation: 2.5 ▼0.1
Highest Rank(s): #2 (2x), #3 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #13 (4x)

Native Village is a mediocre $2 card with relative high deviation. It's the worst $2 village (with Hamlet and Crossroads to come). It's the most consistent card so far with nearly the same points as last time and similar high deviation. But why ?

The problem with NV is that you get no immediate benefit beside the +2 Actions. If you use it as a cheap village you only draw 1/2 card per play. But that's not the intended use. But you can use it either as a pseudo-trasher by putting bad cards on the mat. But it fails that you cannot choose the card to put there. You need assistence with cards like Spy, Pearl Diver, Wishing Well or Lookout. The best use may be to use it for mega-turn with a lot of buys. NV+Bridge is the most effective combo. It's also neat on boards with heavy cursing to either forge a big hand or to get at least once to $6-$8.
#7 ▼1 Haven (Seaside) Weighted Average: 7.27 ▼0.49 / Median: 7 ▼1 / Mode: 6 =0 / Standard Deviation: 2.2 =0
Highest Rank(s): #2 (4x) / Lowest Rank(s): #11 (4x), #12 (1x)

After Haven lost the battle for #5 very close last year, it is only #7 this year and this although it was voted four times on the second place. It was 15 times on #6. What makes it above-average?

Haven reduces your hand size by one, but your next hand size is bigger, that hurts very rarely. And this ability to minimize draw luck is great. You have $11, just set a Gold aside. You have $7, just set a Copper aside. Two terminal actions in hand, no problem. You get your maximum out of your money and your actions. It's a very good card, but no game-changer what may be the reason why it isn't a tier 1 card. It supports every strategy but isn't a strategy on its own. Still it's one of the best $2 cost cards for a 5/2 opening split. Trading Post / Haven is on #9 and Mountebank / Haven on #15.
#6 ▲1 Crossroads (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 6.79 ▲0.57 / Median: 7 =0 / Mode: 6 ▲1 / Standard Deviation: 2.3 ▲0.1
Highest Rank(s): #2 (2x), #3 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #11 (1x), #12 (2x)

Crossroads is the second Hinterlands card that also went up one rank and the last card in the middle range before the biggest gap in the list. The raw statistics are similar to Haven (same Median, same Mode and nearly identical Top and Worst Ranks). But it was voted 17 times in the Top 5, while Haven was only voted 9 times there.

Crossroads is the only card with +3 Actions which can be very useful. The problem is the luck factor you need with that card. If you buy it early and get a hand with 4 coppers, you wish it were a Silver or one of the above $2 cards. Later you draw it with 3 Estates and you draw now your Vault and you can buy a Province for sure. It combos well with cards that take advantage of big hands. So Crossroads + Vault is very good and of course it's great with your good $5 attacks, especially setting up a Torturer chain. Baron + Crossroads is also nice because it gives you the actions to play multiples and you can much easier connect Estate and Baron together. IMO Crossroads is never a reason to go green earlier, but it helps a lot in the end game and can assure you won't lose your buying power. And sometimes there are so many good terminals that you only want it for its 3 Actions. As mentioned above another problem is that it only synergizes with victory cards not with curses what makes it a worse alternative to Cellar in cursing games. Still it went up one rank, as the community appreciate the flexible use it offers. Drawing without having to discard is often better because you have targets for other cards, for example trash-for-benefit cards. Wharf / Crossroads is the third-best Wharf opening on #67.
#5 =0 Fool's Gold (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 4.52 ▲2.0 / Median: 4 ▲1.5 / Mode: 5 =0 / Standard Deviation: 2.5 ▲0.7
Highest Rank(s): #1 (2x), #2 (11x) / Lowest Rank(s): #10 (3x), #15 (1x)

Fool's Gold is the next Hinterlands card and the biggest winner of the $2 cards. Even though it's still on #5, it went up 2 points and it was a very close battle for #4. It's also the first card that got a first rank and that even twice. And eleven second places is also great. It was on #5 14 times, but it's still one of the cards with the highest deviation (look at the one big outlier on #15), but not that big anymore - compared to last time. Why is it so strong?

Going for Fool's Gold is its own strategy what Haven isn't. If you buy just one or two, it mostly isn't worth it, because the reaction part isn't the strong part. You want FG in masses, in high density. With a card with money and +Buy and/or a card drawer it's really great and you have to go for it. Goal: Get as many FGs as you can. Margrave + FG or Nomad Camp + FG are good combos, Remodel + FG and Mine + FG as well, but you can get even higher density with Mint. Mint + FG is the fifth ▼3 best opening on Councilroom. That may reason enough that FG deserves to be in the Top 5. Connecting at least two FG isn't that hard if you've got lots of them. And then it's better than Silver. But you really have to analyze when to buy it. On boards with strong cursers where it's unlikely to connect them, it's one of the worst cards - on other boards it's the best card. The still high deviation of your rankings proved that.
#4 =0 Lighthouse (Seaside) Weighted Average: 4.46 ▲0.02 / Median: 4 =0 / Mode: 5 ▼1 / Standard Deviation: 2.1 ▼0.1
Highest Rank(s): #1 (2x), #2 (6x) / Lowest Rank(s): #9 (1x), #10 (1x), #12 (1x)

Rank #4 was a really close call. Fool's Gold has way more second places, but with the lower deviation of Lighthouse and only 9 players ranking it below #6, it stayed on #4. With 15 votes on #5 it also lost one point in Mode. It's also one of the most consistent cards compared to last year in the weighted average.

With Lighthouse on the board, you really need to evualate if it's worth buying a attacking engine. It may the best Reaction that isn't even blue. Why? Most important: It's non-terminal. Unlike Moat, it cannot collide with other terminal actions or another copy. Second: It gives you money. It may look like a Copper, but after you play it, you are safe and get even another $1 the next turn. No surprise Mountebank / Lighthouse is the tenth best opening. Without the reaction part it's still nearly as good as Silver, but on boards with heavy attacks, it's clearly superior to Silver. You only have to make sure you play one Lighthouse each turn.
#3 =0 Courtyard (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 3.44 ▲0.02 / Median: 3 =0 / Mode: 3 =0 / Standard Deviation: 1.7 ▲0.6
Highest Rank(s): #1 (1x), #2 (16x) / Lowest Rank(s): #7 (5x), #9 (1x)

Courtyard got only first once, but with 16 second and even 17 third places, there's no doubt about its strength. It nearly got second, it was veeery close. It's also one of the most consistent cards compared to last year in the weighted average, but if you look at the deviation, much more agreement on its placement than last year.

Courtyard is really great with Big Money. Like Haven it minimizes shuffle luck by putting a card on top of the deck, so if you have too much money or a second Courtyard in hand, that's no problem. But you don't get a 6 card hand like with Haven. But the card draw makes it really nice with Big Money and very strong for a $2 card. It's not much worse than Smithy which costs $4. And Smithy itself is by far not the worst $4 card. Its concept is simple but very effective. Don't underestimate the power of Courtyard. Additionally Courtyard is also a good drawer in engines as you can put your strong colliding terminal action also on top of your deck. So it's nearly everytime a very strong card.
#2 =0 Hamlet (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 3.35 ▼0.83 / Median: 3 ▼1 / Mode: 2 =0 / Standard Deviation: 1.8 ▼0.9
Highest Rank(s): #1 (3x) / Lowest Rank(s): #6 (3x), #9 (1x), #11 (1x)

Hamlet got 3 first and 20 second places. But still Hamlet's position is a little disappointing. It lost nearly a point and it was very close between Hamlet and Courtyard. And especially the deviation went down. I can't explain the disagreement right now, but Hamlet seems much less often useful than it used to be.

It's one of the best villages around. Yes, you have to discard one card as "payment" for the second action, but if you really need the +2 Actions there's no problem for you to discard that Copper. And most important: Most engines lack +Buy. Hamlet may provide that for another card as payment. Even if you don't need the +2 Actions for your strategy, a non-terminal card with +Buy is always worth to buy. So, if you use both options, you have a Worker's Village for $2, but you have to "pay" for that options. And when you got your first Hamlet you can easily buy more Hamlets with that additional +Buy. With "draw up to" cards like Watchtower or Library it's brilliant and everybody's favourite for engine building. Of course it's not that useful in Big Money boards what may be the reason for many prefering the more flexible Courtyard over Hamlet.
#1 =0 Chapel (Base) Weighted Average: 1.25 ▼0.07 / Median: 1 =0 / Mode: 1 =0 / Standard Deviation: 0.6 ▼0.1
Highest Rank(s): #1 (57x) / Lowest Rank(s): #3 (4x), #4 (1x)

Really, that's still no surprise. A nearly perfect score, not as perfect as last year, but still uncontested. Is it still that great?

So, what's up with that uber-card? Even Donald X. admitted that Chapel is a little bit overpowered and he won't release another card so strong like Chapel in future expansions. Trashing is important in the beginning, and the cost of Chapel enables everyone to open with Chapel. As Councilroom shows it's veeery strong, but only if you open with it. You even want to start Chapel/Silver with 3/4. It's not every time a must-buy but in most occasions it is. It's so strong that you already can say you lost if your opponent opened Witch/Chapel and you have a 4/3 start. Mountebank/Chapel and Govenor/Chapel are the best two openings on Councilroom and Witch/Chapel (#4) and Tournament/Chapel (#6) are close behind. It is 27 times in the top #100. So, its power is undeniable. I do agree that it's more often skippable than it used to be, especially on Big Money boards or other boards with strong key cards which you want ASAP.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 11:53:25 am by Qvist »
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theory

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 04:11:44 pm »
0

Darn, I haven't had a chance to submit yet.  Can I still do so for the other lists?

I thought Haven was too low at first but damn, the $2's have some strong competition now.  I do think Herbalist is a bit high and Duchess a bit low but otherwise very accurate!
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ftl

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 04:16:45 pm »
0

I'm surprised Duchess is still that low. I mean, it's free! Are people's decks really so trim and lean that taking a terminal silver for free is bad? I ranked it last the first time, but moved it up a lot this time. It's money from actions, which you sometimes want for purely that reason; in a BM-like deck, it lets you pick up a little bit of free cash in late greening; and of course you like it if you're doing any sort of low-cost alt-vp strategy.

Moat's ranking seems like it would be almost entirely determined by whether you play 2p exclusively or whether you're also counting 3p and 4p. It was lower for me, but I was basically only thinking of 2p, it's obviously way better with more players.
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Qvist

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 04:19:12 pm »
0

Darn, I haven't had a chance to submit yet.  Can I still do so for the other lists?

How can I say "No" to you? Feel free to do so...

Thisisnotasmile

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 04:19:29 pm »
+2

So many firsts for Chapel makes me sad. The game has evolved so far since the base game, people.
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DStu

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 04:20:57 pm »
+3

So many firsts for Chapel makes me sad. The game has evolved so far since the base game, people.
... and that's why Chapel is so good ...
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Robz888

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 04:23:20 pm »
0

Here are my rankings:

    Chapel
    Courtyard
    Fool’s Gold
    Hamlet
    Lighthouse
    Crossroads
    Pawn
    Haven
    Native Village
    Duchess
    Embargo
    Moat
    Cellar
    Pearl Diver
    Herbalist
    Secret Chamber

So I mostly-ish agree with the list, but my big point of disagreement is Duchess. I am the person who ranked it highest, #10. I stand by that. It's better than Chamber, Herbalist, Pearl Diver, Cellar, Moat, and Embargo.

Basically, it's such a great addition to decks where you are going to take on Duchies, and there are surprisingly lots of those. Dukes of course, but also Silk Roads and Gardens, and even Vineyards, because you can gain an Action card as you buy some points. The inspection part is fairly useless since it does it for your opponent too, but the +$2 is usually pretty helpful for mid-to-late game decks that are stalling out.

I may be overrating it a bit--it's competetive with Cellar and Moat and Embargo, I guess. But so much better than Pearl Diver and Herbalist, it isn't even funny.

Now I MUST write an article about it!
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jsh357

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 04:24:58 pm »
+1

I'm surprised Duchess is still that low. I mean, it's free! Are people's decks really so trim and lean that taking a terminal silver for free is bad? I ranked it last the first time, but moved it up a lot this time. It's money from actions, which you sometimes want for purely that reason; in a BM-like deck, it lets you pick up a little bit of free cash in late greening; and of course you like it if you're doing any sort of low-cost alt-vp strategy.

Moat's ranking seems like it would be almost entirely determined by whether you play 2p exclusively or whether you're also counting 3p and 4p. It was lower for me, but I was basically only thinking of 2p, it's obviously way better with more players.

I feel the same way about Duchess.  Initially I thought it was pretty bad, but now I get it semi-regularly.  (I ranked it fifth worst)

My general feelings:
- While I do still think Chapel is the best $2 card, I sort of agree with TINAS--it's only slightly above the next few.
- Hamlet is slightly overrated here, though it's top 5 material for sure
- FG should be higher--it's too centralizing for me to think otherwise
- I agree with Moat being up higher, but I'm basing that on its usefulness in multiplayer

This was my list:


Chapel
Courtyard
Fool's Gold
Hamlet
Lighthouse
Haven
Crossroads
Embargo
Native Village
Pawn
Cellar
Duchess
Moat
Herbalist
Pearl Diver
Secret Chamber

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greatexpectations

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 04:27:48 pm »
+2

i'm not super interested in the card list discussion myself, but i must say i really love the formatting and detail of these posts.
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philosophyguy

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 04:29:17 pm »
0

I'm surprised Duchess is still that low. I mean, it's free! Are people's decks really so trim and lean that taking a terminal silver for free is bad? I ranked it last the first time, but moved it up a lot this time. It's money from actions, which you sometimes want for purely that reason; in a BM-like deck, it lets you pick up a little bit of free cash in late greening; and of course you like it if you're doing any sort of low-cost alt-vp strategy.

Duchess has definitely grown on me, but even so it's not that great. From my experience, the spy effect tends to benefit your opponent more than you (because they can improve their next turn if they have any drawing cards, while you generally have to wait a turn). Second, unless you get it from a Duchy, it costs a buy for a terminal Silver. Finally, the fact that it's terminal is a reasonable deterrent in most circumstances; it's easy to get more +Actions than you really need with Border Villages but not in many other situations.
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jonts26

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2012, 04:29:59 pm »
+1

Is no one else bothered by the fact that the Duchess image is crooked?
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2012, 04:33:13 pm »
0

I'm surprised Duchess is still that low. I mean, it's free! Are people's decks really so trim and lean that taking a terminal silver for free is bad? I ranked it last the first time, but moved it up a lot this time. It's money from actions, which you sometimes want for purely that reason; in a BM-like deck, it lets you pick up a little bit of free cash in late greening; and of course you like it if you're doing any sort of low-cost alt-vp strategy.

Duchess has definitely grown on me, but even so it's not that great. From my experience, the spy effect tends to benefit your opponent more than you (because they can improve their next turn if they have any drawing cards, while you generally have to wait a turn). Second, unless you get it from a Duchy, it costs a buy for a terminal Silver. Finally, the fact that it's terminal is a reasonable deterrent in most circumstances; it's easy to get more +Actions than you really need with Border Villages but not in many other situations.

I agree that you should almost never buy Duchess (though it's nice if you get screwed on a 5/2 start and you want something like Hunting Party or Lab as your $5, now, because you have the Duchess to improve your purchasing power right away). But... rare is the deck that never gets around to grabbing Duchies, and taking a Duchess or 2 for free is a good proposition probably just as often as it's not.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2012, 04:33:41 pm »
+1

Native Village is obscenely low. I had it ranked #3 (behind Hamlet and Chapel), but honestly I'd be tempted to give it the top spot next time we do this just because of how versatile it is as an engine enabler, as something that combos with hand-size based drawers, as a big turn creator and as something which has its own strategy dedicated to it (namely shoving all your rubbish on the Native Village mat via things that let you see/reorganise the top of your deck and attacks like Ghost Ship and Rabble). I have built up so, so much love for this card these past few days.

And I'll confess, I do probably overrate Chapel. Chapel was for many players the first time we made a big strategic leap in Dominion, so it leaves quite a strong impression, but I probably don't buy it often enough for it to deserve the #1 position on my list.

The only major difference between this list and my own was the Native Village ranking. Everything else seems fair :)
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2012, 04:34:02 pm »
0

Is no one else bothered by the fact that the Duchess image is crooked?

I wasn't, but now it's driving me crazy
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2012, 04:35:11 pm »
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And yes, this list underrates Fool's Gold, though only by a spot or 2. When FG is good, it's absolutely dominating. And it's good a lot of the time.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2012, 04:37:36 pm »
+1

Is no one else bothered by the fact that the Duchess image is crooked?

I wasn't, but now it's driving me crazy

You're welcome.
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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2012, 04:37:56 pm »
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None of my entries were more than two off: basically I swapped Pearl Diver and Moat, and had Pawn a bit higher, but other than that almost no difference.  My rankings were:

1. Chapel
2. Hamlet
3. Lighthouse
4. Courtyard
5. Crossroads
6. Fool's Gold
7. Pawn
8. Haven
9. Native Village
10. Embargo
11. Cellar
12. Pearl Diver
13. Herbalist
14. Moat
15. Secret Chamber
16. Duchess

Fool's Gold at #6 is probably the rank you will all consider most controversial- but I still think it's outright skippable way too often, even though it can dominate boards.  Basically it is killed dead by cursing and many strong engines in a way that none of the higher cards are.  (It's also hit pretty hard by multiplayer, for what that's worth.)

As for Duchess as dead last: my opinion of it has gone up quite a bit since the last list.  But my opinion of Secret Chamber has gone up even more; it has a surprising amount of combo potential.  I do like Duchess in some 5/2 openings, and yes it's strong in Duke/SR games... but we don't rank Workshop highly because it's good with Gardens.  And when it comes to getting Duchess free with Duchies, well to be perfectly honest the vast majority of the time I'd prefer to not have to buy Duchy in the first place!

EDIT:

But... rare is the deck that never gets around to grabbing Duchies

No, winning is the deck that never gets around to grabbing Duchies.  At least in my experience.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 04:44:49 pm by chwhite »
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2012, 04:42:05 pm »
0

Put me firmly in the Duchess #16 camp. It's not that it's literally never useful, but it's rare, and when it is worth having, it's rarely important. Plus it's basically never worth buying in the early/midgame. Contrast this with Secret Chamber, which can be a very key card for the times when it is useful. Putting it up against any of the other cards is crazy to me.

I think it's pretty close between FG, Courtyard and Hamlet for spots #2-#4. I put Hamlet at 4, when it maybe should be 3 (over Courtyard). They enable kinda different decks, I think it's tough to clearly say which is better.

I put Cellar at #13, which in retrospect is the ranking I have the most problem with. It probably deserves just about the spot it got in this list.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 04:49:10 pm »
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Well, put me in the Secret Chamber firmly dead last camp. It's actually better than I used to think it was, but it's still last. Sure, it's nice for Ambassador, Minion, Scrying Pool, both in partly defending those cards, and if you have those cards. There aren't many more situations than that, though.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2012, 04:55:59 pm »
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I doubt anyone wants to see my list so I will spoiler it to protect everybody's mental heath. You have been warned:


Lighthouse       
Hamlet           
Courtyard     
Chapel         
Pawn             
Fool's Gold       
Native Village   
Embargo           
Crossroads         
Cellar             
Pearl Diver       
Haven           
Moat               
Herbalist         
Secret Chamber
Duchess           


And yeah, I think I've got that pretty much right. Maybe Fool's Gold is one spot too low out of hate-spite, but that's about all.
Duchess while theoretically not a bad card for free, is the kind of card you think "yeah, why not" and then the game ends before you even get to play it, so it doesn't really matter that you chose to take it anyway.
Pearl Diver is just not bad. It often helps save good cards from missing shuffles and otherwise is a cantrip, so what harm does it do? (Yes, I am biased against terminal draw BM. That's just not my style.)
Native Village can just do so much more than Crossroads, and works every time you play it and not just the first. If you're judging Crossroads based on it's abilty to potentially draw cards, then man, there's an article somewhere about that.
And Haven... I want to play my good cards now, not next turn.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2012, 04:58:03 pm »
0

Secret Chamber vs Duchess.. put it this way..

I have never played a game in which Duchess has played a significant role in the outcome. On the other hand, a couple days ago I played a vicious Pirate Ship 3 player game where there was very, very little virtual money available and no trashing available: Secret Chamber was pretty much essential to winning in order that you could protect your money and stop the Pirate Ships from getting too strong (and sacrificing Copper if you knew the other player was likely to be hit this turn anyway because they hadn't revealed a Secret Chamber).

Duchess is occasionally slightly useful, whereas in a few rare scenarios Secret Chamber is good and even rarer almost essential (though yeah, it's a bad card). I count a card that is good 3% of the time as better than a card that is marginally better than meh 15% of the time (making up these stats, but you know what I mean..).
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2012, 05:06:43 pm »
0

Secret Chamber vs Duchess.. put it this way..

I have never played a game in which Duchess has played a significant role in the outcome. On the other hand, a couple days ago I played a vicious Pirate Ship 3 player game where there was very, very little virtual money available and no trashing available: Secret Chamber was pretty much essential to winning in order that you could protect your money and stop the Pirate Ships from getting too strong (and sacrificing Copper if you knew the other player was likely to be hit this turn anyway because they hadn't revealed a Secret Chamber).

Duchess is occasionally slightly useful, whereas in a few rare scenarios Secret Chamber is good and even rarer almost essential (though yeah, it's a bad card). I count a card that is good 3% of the time as better than a card that is marginally better than meh 15% of the time (making up these stats, but you know what I mean..).

I'm pretty sure I've had more games where Duchess had a significant role in the outcome than where Secret Chamber did.
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2012, 05:07:06 pm »
0

I would check, but I think CR is down right?
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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2012, 05:20:22 pm »
0

Secret Chamber vs Duchess.. put it this way..

I have never played a game in which Duchess has played a significant role in the outcome. On the other hand, a couple days ago I played a vicious Pirate Ship 3 player game where there was very, very little virtual money available and no trashing available: Secret Chamber was pretty much essential to winning in order that you could protect your money and stop the Pirate Ships from getting too strong (and sacrificing Copper if you knew the other player was likely to be hit this turn anyway because they hadn't revealed a Secret Chamber).

Duchess is occasionally slightly useful, whereas in a few rare scenarios Secret Chamber is good and even rarer almost essential (though yeah, it's a bad card). I count a card that is good 3% of the time as better than a card that is marginally better than meh 15% of the time (making up these stats, but you know what I mean..).

I'm pretty sure I've had more games where Duchess had a significant role in the outcome than where Secret Chamber did.

+1, duchess is good guys. Not surprised chwhite doesnt see it, given his hate for explorer.. (oh and workshop is a fine card too.)

Courtyard is definitely stronger than smithy and I think it would have deserved 2nd.  I think native village is a tad overrated but man, looking at that top 9.. 2 cost cards are good these days!

The descriptions were nice to read, good job on those.

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chwhite

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Re: THE Dominion Card List(s) 2.0: $2 cards posted
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2012, 05:23:08 pm »
0

Secret Chamber vs Duchess.. put it this way..

I have never played a game in which Duchess has played a significant role in the outcome. On the other hand, a couple days ago I played a vicious Pirate Ship 3 player game where there was very, very little virtual money available and no trashing available: Secret Chamber was pretty much essential to winning in order that you could protect your money and stop the Pirate Ships from getting too strong (and sacrificing Copper if you knew the other player was likely to be hit this turn anyway because they hadn't revealed a Secret Chamber).

Duchess is occasionally slightly useful, whereas in a few rare scenarios Secret Chamber is good and even rarer almost essential (though yeah, it's a bad card). I count a card that is good 3% of the time as better than a card that is marginally better than meh 15% of the time (making up these stats, but you know what I mean..).

I'm pretty sure I've had more games where Duchess had a significant role in the outcome than where Secret Chamber did.

+1, duchess is good guys. Not surprised chwhite doesnt see it, given his hate for explorer.. (oh and workshop is a fine card too.)

Courtyard is definitely stronger than smithy and I think it would have deserved 2nd.  I think native village is a tad overrated but man, looking at that top 9.. 2 cost cards are good these days!

The descriptions were nice to read, good job on those.



It's not my hate for Explorer... it's my hate for Duchy.  I have something like a -7.00 Effect With/+8.00 Effect Without for that card.  When I buy it, I lose; when I avoid it, I win. 

And I don't hate Duchess actually.  I don't hate any of the $2 or $3 cards (actually I do hate Fool's Gold, but that's a different kind of hate :P).  Honestly it's pretty close between those two and Moat (which I only ranked as high as I did because of multiplayer), and any reordering of those three cards is reasonable.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 05:27:40 pm by chwhite »
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