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Author Topic: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards  (Read 62769 times)

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Qvist

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The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« on: July 30, 2012, 03:46:31 pm »
+2

The Best $5 Cards - Part 1/4
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#48 =0 Counting House (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 46.57 ▼0.79 / Median: 48 ▼2 / Mode: 48 ▼2 / Standard Deviation: 2.8 ▼0.3
Highest Rank(s): #33 (1x), #38 (1x), #40 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #48 (34x)

Counting House is the card with the second lowest deviation. With only two times above #40, there's no doubt, this is the worst card of all $5s. More than the half of all players rated it last.

All $5s are really strong cards, but some shine more often than other ones. Counting House is one that shines very rarely. The best use may be countering Mountebank. With massive Copper in your deck, you have a high probability to get many Coppers in hand even if you're only half through the deck. Then you can easily buy a Province or a Colony with the use of this card only. It also has some really nice synergies with Coppersmith (make all Coppers worth a Silver) and Chancellor (discard all Coppers and put them in hand). But then you need a village to play Counting House and one of these cards in one turn and the probabilities to draw these 3 cards together are low in a deck full of Copper. The better alternative and only real combo is Golem. Buy many Golems and only one Counting House. The Golem will always find the Counting House and discard all other cards. With a Golem in hand, you are now guaranteed to get all Coppers. Instead you can buy many Warehouses, cycle through your deck discarding all cards right before the reshuffle and then play your Counting House. It has some other nice synergies, but are very difficult to pull off. For a Bank you need additional buys to be worth it. With no real supporters, this card is mostly not worth the effort.
#47 ▼2 Saboteur (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 43.70 ▼0.61 / Median: 45 ▼1 / Mode: 45 ▲3 / Standard Deviation: 7.5 ▼2.2
Highest Rank(s): #8 (1x), #16 (1x), #23 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #48 (6x)

Saboteur has a 2.9 point lead over Counting House. It didn't lose many points, but nevertheless it loses 2 ranks and is now second last. It was 12 times on #45 and has some really big outliers from newer players, because the unweighted ranking lists it at #45. This may also be the reason for the big drop in the deviation.

Saboteur is the worst $5 attack. Why? There are similar reasons like Thief is bad. It trashes cards from your opponents deck without immediate benefit to you, so it's only destructive. And if you aren't able to play Saboteur in each turn at least one time, your opponent can catch up easily when he just continues and ignores it or re-buys the trashed card if it was essential. But, on the other side, it can lead to big outbursts if you play 1-2 Saboteurs each turn or if you can even play King's Court with it. In games with no mats and chips you are then able to trash the whole deck and all points from your opponent and can easily finish and win. But these cases are so rare, Saboteur is still a bad card for itself.
#46 ▲1 Stash (Promo) Weighted Average: 43.29 ▲0.89 / Median: 44 ▲2 / Mode: 45 ▲1 / Standard Deviation: 4.7 ▼1.0
Highest Rank(s): #24 (1x), #30 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #48 (5x)

Stash is this time nearly one point better, but still in the bottom 3. The deviation is really low as it was above #30 only one time and 5 times last. In the unweighted ranking it is one rank lower.

You need 4 Stashes to get a Province after the reshuffle for sure and in Colony games it's almost useless. But a sure Province that you can get only after a reshuffle needs you to trigger the reshuffle as often as possible. This means you need supporter cards too. The most obvious ones are Golem (with max. one other action) or a few Chancellors, but sifters or other good cyclers can work too. But if the cyclers are good, you probably want more of them and Stashes are losing their value. In all other cases, you probably find stronger cards than Stash, although if you have $5 and want a Silver anyway, you can pick up a Stash unhesitatingly most of the times.
#45 ▲1 Explorer (Seaside) Weighted Average: 42.55 ▲1.23 / Median: 43 ▲2 / Mode: 42 ▲5 / Standard Deviation: 3.8 ▼0.5
Highest Rank(s): #29 (1x), #36 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #48 (5x)

Explorer even went up more than one point. Its deviation is still very low (with only one outlier), although it lost a little bit of consensus. In the unweighted ranking it is one rank lower.

The problem with Explorer is: When you already have 2-3 Provinces and you have $5, you want a Duchy most of the times. When you have one or none, it only nets you a Silver in hand most of the times and then there are still other cards that are better getting you Provinces than just a Silver-generating machine. If you compare it to Jack of All Trades, it's better in the Silver-getting, but just worse on all the other parts. So, it's pretty decent with alternate Victory cards and you want it in thin decks where you can draw it with a Province with high probability. Explorer/Chapel is therefore a #70 ▼5 opening. And I forgot to mention, it's nearly useless in Colony games.
#44 ▼1 Contraband (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 42.34 ▼0.92 / Median: 43 ▼0.5 / Mode: 44 ▲4 / Standard Deviation: 3.9 ▲2.2
Highest Rank(s): #28 (1x), #33 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #47 (8x), #48 (1x)

Contraband dropped nearly one point and one rank, but gained a lot of consensus. It was last only once, but on the other side 8 times on #47.

The next treasure card in this list. Contraband can be very trappy. Buying it can be a nice early Gold and the +Buy is very important for finding a substitution for the prohibited card. If there are many good cards on the board and you want Gold and a card with +Buy anyway this can be very good. But most of the times you embargo yourself. And in the late game this is a dead card because everybody knows you want that Province. If you buy it, buy only one, because two or more can really shut you down. And beware of Venture + Contraband!
#43 ▲1 Cache (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 41.13 ▲1.42 / Median: 42 ▲2 / Mode: 45 =0 / Standard Deviation: 5.0 ▲0.4
Highest Rank(s): #18 (1x), #30 (1x), #33 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #47 (2x), #48 (1x)

With a really big outlier, Cache is still very consistent in the ranks. It has a solid lead of over 1 point over Contraband now.

The third treasure card already in this list. Cache performs differently in different kind of decks. In engine decks with few money (Scrying Pool etc) it's just horrible. In Big Money decks, it's most of the time superior than just a Silver (like Stash, see above). But it only shines in big decks (Gardens) with many green cards (Silk Road), simply said in decks where Copper isn't a so bad card after all. Also nice is Cache in combination with Trader for a Gold and 2 Silvers for only $5. And Cache is like Silver not very good in Colony games.
#42 ▼1 Mine (Base) Weighted Average: 40.66 ▼1.00 / Median: 41 ▼1 / Mode: 42 =0 / Standard Deviation: 6.2 ▲0.1
Highest Rank(s): #11 (1x), #23 (1x), #29 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #47 (6x), #48 (1x)

With exactly one point less than last time, Mine is the next card in this list. This time it has its first last place. It has one really big outlier and would be on #41 in the unweighted ranking.

Mine is one of the first trash-for-benefit card you probably got to know. It has the disadvantage of being limited to treasures, so you cannot trash them later into victory cards. But it has the advantage to get the new card immediately in hand. But Mine is still slow. A Moneylender doesn't get you a card, but is at least worth a Silver in the turn you played it, whereas Mine is only worth a Copper. But in the long term Mine can be better. The more often you play the new treasure card, the more Mine was profitable. So, if you want Mine, you want it early. It gets so much better in Colony games. First, Colony games last longer and you will probably see your treasure card more often and Mine is a Silver if you trash Gold for Platinum. For a 5/2 opening Mine/Fool's Gold is a pretty decent #110 opening. PS: Don't confuse Mine with Mint.
#41 ▲1 Mandarin (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 40.65 ▲0.17 / Median: 40 ▲1 / Mode: 39 ▲6 / Standard Deviation: 5.1 ▲0.6
Highest Rank(s): #18 (1x), #29 (1x), #31 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #47 (3x), #48 (2x)

Mandarin has still 2 last places. And it was one of the closest battles against Mine, only 0.01 points made the difference. It would be behind Mine in the unweighted ranking.

Mandarin is again a cheap Gold, but you need an action to play it. What makes it better than the last cheap Gold-alternatives? The drawback of this card is to put back a card on your deck. But this can be also very nice, because you can prepare your next turn just like Courtyard does it. So, if you have more money than you need or you have colliding terminals, just put back a card. But with colliding terminals, the other card is mostly stronger and you want to play that this turn. The on-buy effect can also be very nice. With a 5/2 opening you can buy the wanted stronger card next turn too and get an additional Mandarin. Mandarin/Hunting Party or Mandarin/Mint are very nice openings and it's not that bad in Double-Tactician games. In the late game where you miss $8 or $11 you can just play one Platinum or two Golds, buy the Mandarin and have a higher chance to reach it in the next turn. That can be very effective. But, still it's a cheap Gold and there are many better alternatives on the board most of the times.
#40 =0 Outpost (Seaside) Weighted Average: 40.25 ▼0.92 / Median: 40 ▼1 / Mode: 40 ▲8 / Standard Deviation: 7.3 ▲1.3
Highest Rank(s): #14 (2x), #21 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #48 (5x)

Outpost was even 5 times last, but has pretty high ranks on the other side. It lost a little bit in deviation, but is still high. It is on #39 in the unweighted ranking.

Outpost seems so nice for getting extra turns. But you only get a 3-card hand. It's like you Militia'd yourself, even worse, you cannot choose the 3 cards you want to keep. If you really need a +Buy Outpost can fulfill this need. But even in those cases it's not better than a Workshop, but it can work in Gardens/Silk Road/Duke games. If you want to use it to attack multiple times per turn, it can work, but still it is another terminal in your deck that can collide. It really can shine, in cases when you can guarantee a good card in your next hand. Treasury, Alchemist and Scheme are probably the best combos. Another case where your 3-card hand isn't that bad, may be with Minion, but this isn't very reliable too, because one of your 3 cards has to be one of your Minions. Another combo is Double Tactician/Outpost where you can get 8 cards. Generally it's pretty good with Duration cards, especially Wharf, Caravan and Haven. In all other cases you better skip Outpost.
#39 =0 Harvest (Cornucopia) Weighted Average: 40.22 ▼2.33 / Median: 40 ▼2 / Mode: 39 ▼1 / Standard Deviation: 5.9 ▼1.3
Highest Rank(s): #12 (1x), #28 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #47 (7x), #48 (1x)

Harvest stayed were it was, but is still one of the big losers. It lost over 2 points and it was a close battle with Outpost which Harvest won with 0.03 points. Also the deviation raised significantly. It has a big outlier on #12 and lost the battle against Outpost in the unweighted ranking.

Harvest is very swingy. In games with very few different cards and a coherent strategy, this is mostly a Silver and rarely a Gold and really no good card. And it can discard all your good cards you wanted to play in the next turn and even trigger an unwanted reshuffle. In games with many attacks, especially Cursers, Harvest can be really a better card. You can then make your Curses to money without having them in hand and Harvest can easily be worth $4. Harvest has also a nice synergy with Tunnel.
#38 =0 Tribute (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 37.8 ▼0.11 / Median: 38 ▲0.5 / Mode: 37 ▲3 / Standard Deviation: 6.2 ▼0.9
Highest Rank(s): #15 (1x), #22 (1x), #25 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #46 (5x), #48 (1x)

We're leaving the really bad cards and making a jump of 2.4 points. Tribute is the last card with a last place. The stats are similar to last time, but it lost a little bit of consensus. It is on #37 in the unweighted ranking.

Tribute is another swingy card and even depends on the opponents' deck. You can really bad luck, revealing the same card. Then Tribute is really bad. In action-heavy decks you get +4 actions what you only want if there isn't another village around (but then you probably don't want many action cards). All other combinations can really be nice, e.g. in BM games, giving you $4 most of the times and later in the game +cards). It only really shines in games with dual-type cards. Hitting a Harem and a Nobles and getting +4 Cards, +2 Actions and $2 with only one card is excellent. But the unreliableness still is Tribute's biggest problem. Forming your strategy around it not only depends on you, your opponent has to cooperate.
#37 =0 Royal Seal (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 37.63 ▼2.53 / Median: 38 ▼2.5 / Mode: 44 ▼12 / Standard Deviation: 5.9 ▲0.3
Highest Rank(s): #19 (1x), #23 (1x), #24 (1x) / Lowest Rank(s): #46 (1x), #47 (2x)

Royal Seal is the next treasure card and another loser. It doesn't lose a rank, but 2.5 points. It was very close between RS and Tribute, in the unweighted ranking RS loses and ranks on #38.

I don't know if there's much to say about Royal Seal. It's another Silver with bonus card. You probably want it early in the game, as it will accelerate your strategy. It's strictly superior to Silver. So if you want a Silver anyway and have $5, you can pick it up unhesitatingly. But still it's very expensive for a $5 card and there are better cards for the same cost around most of the times.
#36 =0 Mint (Prosperity) Weighted Average: 34.72 ▼0.45 / Median: 36 ▼1 / Mode: 36 ▼1 / Standard Deviation: 6.7 ▲1.4
Highest Rank(s): #19 (1x), #20 (2x) / Lowest Rank(s): #43 (2x), #45 (1x), #46 (1x)

Mint is in "Nowhere Land". It has a huge lead over Royal Seal, but there's another big gap to the following middle ranked cards. It gained a lot of consensus, so it's maybe properly ranked.

Mint can duplicate a treasure card in hand. The problem still is, you need that Gold or Platinum in hand, so you really need to draw most of your deck with a good engine or need a small deck to accomplish this regularly. In the first case you probably don't want Mint because you don't want to many treasure cards. But for the latter case, Mint itself helps. Most of the time you buy Mint just to trash most of your Coppers. It really depends if you want Mint with your opening buy as you are now left with only 2 coppers, having no buying power. The only opening which is really powerful is Mint/Fool's Gold, currently #5 ▼3 of all openings, because you have a small deck and get 2 Fool's Gold per turn most of the times. PS: Beware, don't confuse Mint with Mine.

To the second part
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 09:22:50 am by Qvist »
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chwhite

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2012, 04:13:17 pm »
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Hard to argue much with these: I had the exact same cards at #36 or lower, and none of them more than three spots away from the ranking here.  And both Counting House and Mint were exactly as I ranked them.

I guess I could argue that Mine and Outpost are underrated in this list, while Royal Seal and Tribute are overrated (those are the cards I had three away), but honestly that's all pretty much nitpicking.  Good job folks.

I expect there to be more disagreement in the next installment, of course.
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brokoli

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 04:25:20 pm »
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I preferred the other list. Saboteur, Outpost and Mine are slightly underrated (especially Outpost), while contraband, Stash and Mandarin are overrated.

However, glad to see Cache above contraband, it was really the huge mistake of the last year.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 04:26:29 pm by brokoli »
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 04:27:49 pm »
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Yay, more lists! It's always fun to see these. And the 5s are where it gets really tough. Unlike chwhite, I have quite a few major differences with between this list and my own. The good thing is that it's at least mostly the same set of cards, so it probably boils down to what people think makes one bad card worse than another (more of the "how often is it good" vs "how good is it when it's good" debate).

The biggest differences I have:

1. Contraband (38 vs 44) - Not too surprising. This is a pretty easy card to underrate. If you're doing anything other than Big Money, there are usually multiple useful options for what to do with $6 and 2 buys so that the fact that they can just proscribe Gold is not really a big deal.

2. Harvest (48 vs 39) - Maybe I put this a little low, but I'm pretty sure it's one of the bottom 5. This thing is basically a terminal +$3 or +$4, but potentially only +$2 early. Not terrible, but never amazing. Most of the cards around the bottom are not worth getting most of the time. There is very often a stronger option available. So to avoid being at the very bottom, I feel they have to have some situations in which they are really strong. Saboteur and Counting House are often really bad. But sometimes they are dominantly strong. Harvest is at best okay.

3. Tribute (46 vs 38) - So Tribute is okay when your opponent is making a really homogeneous deck, but like Harvest, it's just okay, and it's even okay less often.

4. Royal Seal (44 vs 37) - I don't really know about Royal Seal. Assuming you are buying something good, it compares reasonably to Merchant Ship -- $2 this turn, something good next turn. The "something good next turn" is usually weaker, but it's not an action, so it plays nicer with other actions. The problem is that all benefits go away when you start greening, making it pretty useless for early greening strategies like Big Money. And in non-BM strategies, how often do you want to spend $5 on a treasure?
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Tdog

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2012, 04:28:34 pm »
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Explorer still seems grossly underrated, it is a great card for alternate VP. Otherwise, pretty good. Outpost is a little overrated, I think.
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ehunt

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2012, 04:42:39 pm »
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Sab is too low. It sucks, but it can be a game-changer with king's court, scrying pool, or highway.
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ftl

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2012, 04:56:14 pm »
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Hard to argue with a lot of this list; the main thing is that I think Explorer is too low. Other than that nothing jumps out at me as vastly wrong...
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dondon151

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 04:59:36 pm »
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hey guys ____ is too low

On topic, I definitely do not think that Cache is, on average, more useful than Contraband.
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O

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2012, 05:03:31 pm »
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hey guys ____ is too low

On topic, I definitely do not think that Cache is, on average, more useful than Contraband.

Hey guys ______ is too low, what about (lists two or three uses for it).

Every card has uses broskis. The only disagreement I have is with harvest (its crap, really. It's so bad that people think it's underrated when it's not underrated, and thus overrate it) and with CHwhite's opinion of tribute (it's very very often a decent addition to a deck, and a fine gamble for +actions. Perhaps it suffers from the same hatred of randomness that ST does? random =/= bad).
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Jedit

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2012, 05:09:47 pm »
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Explorer still seems grossly underrated, it is a great card for alternate VP.

I don't see how Explorer works with any alternative VP strategy.  It clashes with all the VP chip cards, does nothing for Silk Road, is almost irrelevant for Fairgrounds, is inferior to Mandarin for Gardens and can be replaced with any better action for Vineyard.  Would you mind explaining your reasoning?
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eHalcyon

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 05:13:12 pm »
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Explorer still seems grossly underrated, it is a great card for alternate VP.

I don't see how Explorer works with any alternative VP strategy.  It clashes with all the VP chip cards, does nothing for Silk Road, is almost irrelevant for Fairgrounds, is inferior to Mandarin for Gardens and can be replaced with any better action for Vineyard.  Would you mind explaining your reasoning?

Probably not so good for Vineyards, but I'd expect Explorer to be decent with SR and Gardens, maybe Duke too.  In alll those cases, Explorer gets you free Silver (possibly Gold, but less likely if you're going for alt VP).  This can do a lot to help you through your greening.  I think it's better than Mandarin for Gardens because gaining cards will boost Gardens.

There are better ways to get extra Silver though.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 05:17:04 pm »
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Explorer still seems grossly underrated, it is a great card for alternate VP.

I don't see how Explorer works with any alternative VP strategy.  It clashes with all the VP chip cards, does nothing for Silk Road, is almost irrelevant for Fairgrounds, is inferior to Mandarin for Gardens and can be replaced with any better action for Vineyard.  Would you mind explaining your reasoning?

I think when people say this they mean that Explorer is decent for early greening strategies. The confusion is due the fact that Gardens, Silk Road, and Duke, which tend to be peoples favorite alt VP strategies are both alt VP and early greening. Also, people often use "great" to mean "decent".
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Tdog

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2012, 05:24:20 pm »
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Explorer still seems grossly underrated, it is a great card for alternate VP.

I don't see how Explorer works with any alternative VP strategy.  It clashes with all the VP chip cards, does nothing for Silk Road, is almost irrelevant for Fairgrounds, is inferior to Mandarin for Gardens and can be replaced with any better action for Vineyard.  Would you mind explaining your reasoning?

I think when people say this they mean that Explorer is decent for early greening strategies. The confusion is due the fact that Gardens, Silk Road, and Duke, which tend to be peoples favorite alt VP strategies are both alt VP and early greening. Also, people often use "great" to mean "decent".

Okay maybe not great. But I think Explorer is useful more often then like Cache and about equal to that of mint and mine.
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chwhite

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2012, 05:43:23 pm »
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Yay, more lists! It's always fun to see these. And the 5s are where it gets really tough. Unlike chwhite, I have quite a few major differences with between this list and my own. The good thing is that it's at least mostly the same set of cards, so it probably boils down to what people think makes one bad card worse than another (more of the "how often is it good" vs "how good is it when it's good" debate).

For sure.  I try to balance the two but tend to lean more on "how often is it good" when I rank stuff.

The biggest differences I have:

1. Contraband (38 vs 44) - Not too surprising. This is a pretty easy card to underrate. If you're doing anything other than Big Money, there are usually multiple useful options for what to do with $6 and 2 buys so that the fact that they can just proscribe Gold is not really a big deal.

I agree that Contraband is a little low- I had it a couple slots above Cache, which I tend to avoid except in very particular combos where you actively want the Copper (Apothecary, Gardens, CH).  Like you, I agree that Contraband is best on engine boards where you want to be picking up a variety of things that are not just Gold.  I had it somewhat lower on the grounds that even when it's useful, it's rarely a must-buy: sure, I'll pick it up T1 if there's a Menagerie engine to make and I get 5/2, but maybe if I get the 3/4 split I'll just start buying parts directly and not bother with the Contraband.  It's not a card I often go out of my way to get.

3. Tribute (46 vs 38) - So Tribute is okay when your opponent is making a really homogeneous deck, but like Harvest, it's just okay, and it's even okay less often.

4. Royal Seal (44 vs 37) - I don't really know about Royal Seal. Assuming you are buying something good, it compares reasonably to Merchant Ship -- $2 this turn, something good next turn. The "something good next turn" is usually weaker, but it's not an action, so it plays nicer with other actions. The problem is that all benefits go away when you start greening, making it pretty useless for early greening strategies like Big Money. And in non-BM strategies, how often do you want to spend $5 on a treasure?

I agree with your thinking on these cards, too, I just wouldn't go quite so far.  I dislike Tribute's randomness, but sometimes it's non-awful in Big Money. and sometimes you're so desperate to get +Actions to play all your Goons that you need to pick one or two up.  (Of course also sometimes its presence is important as a deterrent against dual-type cards, for what little that's worth).  And like Harvest if you can Throne or King it you'll see enough cards that you're bound to get what you need.  Royal Seal is the definition of mediocre, but it's not quite as mediocre as Stash and at least it doesn't have the potential to actively harm you like Contraband can.

The only disagreement I have is with harvest (its crap, really. It's so bad that people think it's underrated when it's not underrated, and thus overrate it) and with CHwhite's opinion of tribute (it's very very often a decent addition to a deck, and a fine gamble for +actions. Perhaps it suffers from the same hatred of randomness that ST does? random =/= bad).

Not all randomness is bad; I don't downgrade Swindler because it can be random.  But Tribute's particular flavor of randomness is bad, because your opponent usually has more control over its outcomes than you do.  That's a particular situation I just about never want to be in.  I agree that sometimes it's necessary as a gamble for +actions (hello Goons), but pretty much any actual Village is preferable in that situation, because the downside of fizzling is just too great.  And even when it doesn't fizzle, many of the outcomes are pretty meh for a $5 card: +4 Actions, +2 Actions/+$2, these are things you will frequently get when adding Tribute to an engine, and they're not that spectacular.  With Harvest, at least you (usually) have control over the contents of your deck, so you have a better shot at making your own luck.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 07:04:28 pm by chwhite »
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chwhite

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2012, 05:53:08 pm »
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Explorer still seems grossly underrated, it is a great card for alternate VP.

I don't see how Explorer works with any alternative VP strategy.  It clashes with all the VP chip cards, does nothing for Silk Road, is almost irrelevant for Fairgrounds, is inferior to Mandarin for Gardens and can be replaced with any better action for Vineyard.  Would you mind explaining your reasoning?

I think when people say this they mean that Explorer is decent for early greening strategies. The confusion is due the fact that Gardens, Silk Road, and Duke, which tend to be peoples favorite alt VP strategies are both alt VP and early greening. Also, people often use "great" to mean "decent".

Yah, Explorer is alright for Gardens, Silk Road, and Dukes (which, as it so happens, are not my favorite alt-VP approaches at all).  I ranked Explorer second-to-last and I recognize this.   But I'm just about never going to prefer Explorer to an alt-VP enabler which costs $4 or less, since the $4/$5 gap is even larger than usual in decks where you're rushing green and other low-value cards.  And while it can provide value to Province-game money decks, the percentage of games where it's the best BM enabler and there is neither an engine nor an attack which is more important to grab is vanishingly low.

Explorer would be pretty good for most money decks if you were capable of opening it more than 1/6 of the time, and thus gaining Silver as quickly as JoaT.  Since you can't, it's not.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 06:23:23 pm by chwhite »
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Graystripe77

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 05:56:13 pm »
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Counting House gets no love.
Mandarin gets way less than it deserves.
Stash is behind Contraband.
What are you people thinking!??
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 05:57:38 pm by Graystripe77 »
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2012, 05:58:43 pm »
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Two short points:

Using tribute as a village requires a very cantrip-heavy kingdom. I've done it maybe once or twice.

Explorer shouldnt be used to try to line it up with a province. Its good when silver is good. And silver is ever only so good.
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2012, 06:08:49 pm »
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@O i disagree - workshop is good with gardens and silk roads and in very rare other circumstances, but that's enough to keep it from being the worst 3.

same for saboteur. you can lose a lot more games ignoring saboteur than you can ignoring stash, contraband, harvest, explorer...
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2012, 06:14:42 pm »
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I played a game on funsockets just recently where I opened Explorer/Chapel. It worked quite well for getting Provinces with Explorer, but also for getting some early Silver.
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2012, 06:43:30 pm »
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Like others, I mostly agree.  These are the same 13 cards I have at the bottom.  None of them are good, but some are slightly better/worse than the consensus. 

I would take Stash/Explorer about 4-5 slots higher.  They're not good, but more useful than some of the others.  Mine is also too low.  By itself, it's a terrible terminal but it integrates with a fair number of engine-ish decks.   Mandarin, on the other hand, is too high.  It's a terrible terrible card.

Other than that, good job crowd!
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2012, 06:57:08 pm »
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Like others, I mostly agree.  These are the same 13 cards I have at the bottom.  None of them are good, but some are slightly better/worse than the consensus. 

I would take Stash/Explorer about 4-5 slots higher.  They're not good, but more useful than some of the others.  Mine is also too low.  By itself, it's a terrible terminal but it integrates with a fair number of engine-ish decks.   Mandarin, on the other hand, is too high.  It's a terrible terrible card.

Other than that, good job crowd!

...

Mandarin. Is. An. Awesome. Card.

Seriously, what makes it so terrible?
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2012, 07:45:21 pm »
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I think [Explorer is] better than Mandarin for Gardens because gaining cards will boost Gardens.

Yes, sorry, I thought Mandarin had +buy for some reason.  Perhaps because that would make it good.
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2012, 07:53:23 pm »
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I agree that Contraband is a little low- I had it a couple slots above Cache, which I tend to avoid except in very particular combos where you actively want the Copper (Apothecary, Gardens, CH).  Like you, I agree that Contraband is best on engine boards where you want to be picking up a variety of things that are not just Gold.  I had it somewhat lower on the grounds that even when it's useful, it's rarely a must-buy: sure, I'll pick it up T1 if there's a Menagerie engine to make and I get 5/2, but maybe if I get the 3/4 split I'll just start buying parts directly and not bother with the Contraband.  It's not a card I often go out of my way to get.
Completely agree. It's not good, just better than a lot of the stuff above it, imo.

Quote
I agree with your thinking on these cards, too, I just wouldn't go quite so far.  I dislike Tribute's randomness, but sometimes it's non-awful in Big Money. and sometimes you're so desperate to get +Actions to play all your Goons that you need to pick one or two up.  (Of course also sometimes its presence is important as a deterrent against dual-type cards, for what little that's worth).  And like Harvest if you can Throne or King it you'll see enough cards that you're bound to get what you need.  Royal Seal is the definition of mediocre, but it's not quite as mediocre as Stash and at least it doesn't have the potential to actively harm you like Contraband can.
I give very little credit for "non-awful". Silver is also non-awful. How much do you really lose by ignoring Tribute all the time? Probably not much. Probably less than ignoring Saboteur or Counting House. It's probably "non-awful" about as often as Counting House and "good" even less often (like only in TR/KC+Nobles games -- I doubt it's actually worth it for Goons unless your opponent is buying a lot of actions. Tribute+Goons should lose to Goons+money, no?).

Royal Seal is more mediocre than Stash because you only use it's ability like 1-2 times in a game. Stash you can use much more than that if you have any cycling whatsoever. And Contraband can only actively harm you if you buy it. If its a situation where it's bad, just don't buy it. Cards can never have negative value, since you always have the option to ignore them.
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chwhite

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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2012, 09:24:54 pm »
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I give very little credit for "non-awful". Silver is also non-awful. How much do you really lose by ignoring Tribute all the time? Probably not much. Probably less than ignoring Saboteur or Counting House. It's probably "non-awful" about as often as Counting House and "good" even less often (like only in TR/KC+Nobles games -- I doubt it's actually worth it for Goons unless your opponent is buying a lot of actions. Tribute+Goons should lose to Goons+money, no?).

Royal Seal is more mediocre than Stash because you only use it's ability like 1-2 times in a game. Stash you can use much more than that if you have any cycling whatsoever. And Contraband can only actively harm you if you buy it. If its a situation where it's bad, just don't buy it. Cards can never have negative value, since you always have the option to ignore them.


Tribute is non-awful significantly more often than Counting House and Saboteur: I've seen it work surprisingly well in BM-esque decks a few times.  I'll grant that Saboteur has a higher ceiling than Tribute, yes, and if I was redoing my list I might actually bump Sab up a spot or two.  As for Goons games, sure I'm only going to actually get that Tribute once I've seen my opponent buying cantrips and stuff, but in my experience that's pretty likely to happen.

Re: Royal Seal and Stash- on average you'll use Stash's ability more often, but it's not really a fair comparison to assume that the Seal is just played twice then green all the way (if you're using Seal to set up an engine, or Colony games, it'll get a couple more top-deckings most likely), whereas Stash gets all the cycling it wants.  But I think the Seal is sufficiently useful (or, rather, Stash is sufficiently mediocre) that it's a bit better than Stash even if you use it less. 
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Re: The Best Dominion Cards List 2012 Ed.2: $5 cards
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2012, 10:43:40 pm »
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The main difference I see from my lists, that I'd actually stick to, is Cache being too low. It's a decent opener, considerably improving your deck for the second shuffle (two coppers which are still actually good AND a(n effective) Gold? Win). It's great with Duke, Silk Road, Gardens, and it's a good $5 to pick up in the shuffle between first hitting Provinces and wanting Duchies with $5. I had it above all of the cards here, and I think I'd stick to that - Cache is a card I'd consider more than probably any card here.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
I hereby declare myself the best dominion player in the world. Obviously.
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