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Author Topic: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game  (Read 26498 times)

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eHalcyon

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2012, 02:33:42 pm »
+3

I am breaking the rule here, but I think everyone should put discussion in the other thread and just keep one post per person here.  Cross-post so that you can continue discussing your initial thoughts.  Otherwise, use your one post here to have all your initial thoughts in one place, so you can look back on it later and laugh. :P
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One Armed Man

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2012, 03:21:02 pm »
0

Graverobber: It will be good in games with Salvager, Apprentice, Upgrade, Expand, Sea Hag, and Peddler. Improved by Colonies. If the only $5, may be used when there are divergent strategies. Pick them up when you noticed that your opponent has overextended in terminal actions. Bad opening.

Poor House: Starts out as a trap card (both in terms of the length of the game and when DA comes out). It gradually finds its place when people buy it late or as part of +buy in games with mucking or without power cards. Obviously helped by Warehouse and his discarding buddies. A remake-village opening makes for very silly games. Bad Opening.

Sage: Just good. It will help smooth out openings and work as a Scheme that is both more reliable and less breakable. Encourages greening a little early in engine games or games where gaining 3 cost cards is easy. Getting Sage with your Sage becomes an annoyance to "Sage-idiots". Good Opening.
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Kirian

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2012, 04:06:35 pm »
+1

OK, I'll toss a post in here, should be fun.

Graverobber:  Looks weak.  It can't get rid of crap, so it needs another trasher to make part of an engine, and it only gets rid of actions, which means without other trashing you have to have actions you're willing to dump.  Sure, it's a cheap Expand, but that's only really good in the late game when you're willing to trade $5s for Provinces.  Best defense is probably to not get one yourself.  Obviously better with power trashers, but then wouldn't you rather have those?

Poor House:  Any hand with PH in it is worth at least $4.  Combos with Upgrade and Remake by getting rid of the cash that would decrease its worth.  Almost certainly good with +Buys and Gardens/SR rushes.  The price makes for interesting strategy.

Sage:  Sickeningly powerful with a major power $4 or $5; better than Scheme in the second shuffle, but doesn't give you the play on two turns ability.  KC-KC-Sage plus any two $5 actions?  Yes please.  Also combos with Tunnel.  Seems on the same power level as Menagerie and Scheme.

---

Feodum:  Crazy synergy with Trader, Bureaucrat, Jack, Explorer.  Otherwise sorta meh.  If no trasher is on board, it can't combo with itself, and its self-combo isn't that great.  Probably combos with Gravedigger, though.

Cultist:  Oh man.  Chain these suckers together and your opponents get stuffed with Ruins.  Get unlucky, and you won't be chaining them, but the ability to play more than one without Villages is priceless.  Probably as powerful as Witch, though a tough call.

Ruined Market:  Little to say.  The Ruins concept should be interesting, though.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 02:54:14 am by Kirian »
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Young Nick

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2012, 04:15:19 pm »
0

Day 1: So Poor House will make engines even better. It requires trashing, actions, and buys, which were already key engine components. It probably can contribute to mega-turns and be easily gained via remake-esque trashers.

Graverobber seems like a decent $5 at best. It is most useful to gaining itself and then trashing itself for Provinces, I guess. Probably very good with Swindler and with games that allow you to play the gained card the turn you gain it.

Sage looks best not as an opener but right after the reshuffle. If you can somehow spike an early Gold, this would be nice. I doubt you want to open with it very often for fear of collision. Generally good in cursing games and especially when Farming Village would be useful.

None of these are that in-depth, but that's a gut-reaction. Poor House is definitely my favorite, but is very niche.

Day 2:
I don't like these Ruinses that much from what I can tell. Just like with Black Market, it's swing-y. Assuming four of the five are +$1, +1 buy, +1 card, and +1 action, some are easily better than others. The fifth might be a lucky +1 VP, who knows. But, if I'm building an engine deck, I'm much happier with the +1 buy than the +1 action. And that I can get one but my opponent, who is mirroring me, gets another, is very frustrating. It introduces more of what I don't like in this game (lack of equal opportunity gaining), joining Tournament and Black Market in that regard.

In terms of power, I'd say that Cultist is about equal to Witch. The chaining and card draw is very nice, but I doubt there will be much chaining before the Ruin pile is gone. The trashing is nice. The Ruins still clog up the deck like the Curses, but the VP difference is non-negligible. I'd put it at moderately worse than Witch given the currently available cards, though if DA has more trashing, it will probably be equal to Witch.

I bet Ruined Market will be one of the better, if not the best, Ruinses.

Feodum seems to make games boring, with lots of money. It likes Trader, Trusty Steed, and boring decks, obviously. I think it will be very good in BM games. Buy 'em early, and then trash them as necessary and buy Silver without remorse if you are too clogged. It's not really rush-worthy because having means of trashing is paramount, and it's not necessary. If you can get five of the eight, and trash two, you'll have late game tempo advantage (from lack of two VP's and six more Silver) and the more valuable Feodums. I'd say it's almost a must-buy in BM games that feature some sort of trashing (Masquerade, Salvager, Apprentice, etc.).

Day 3:
Hermit/Madman: Looks very good. I'd probably purchase it after the first reshuffle or to open. That way the Madman comes up late enough in the game to be useful, but not too late. This card loves Tactician: Play the Hermit before (via +actions, I suppose) and then buy nothing after you discard your hand. Profit in the future with your +9 cards , +2 actions at the start of your Tactician turn after playing Hermit.
I do fear that you have to sacrifice a lot by not buying anything to get the Madman.

Squire seems good, but board-dependent. In a game with trashing and attacks? You need this card. If it is missing one or both of the above, it is still useful as an engine piece. To start off, the actions make it a decent village. Later when your engine is purring, use it for the +buys. It seems like a useful, albeit not shockingly good card. I'd say it's a better $2, but still not as good as Chapel and Lighthouse, at least. I don't remember the other good $2's off of the top of my head, but it's probably better than Hamlet, while serving a very similar role.

Day 4: Rats had trap written all over it. Go for Rats, get flooded with Rats, don't play your Rats for fear of mandatory trashing and then they are dead cards. If there is no trashing besides Rats, they are an easy skip. However, this is a mighty big if. Assuming there is other trashing, this acts as a nice accelerator that helps to be removed from your deck. Having said that, it will destroy your economy faster, and when we start playing with it, I bet a lot of people will over-trash with it. Ultimately, I doubt it will ever be considered a strong $4. I can't see myself using it all that often, even with the on-trash benefit. I am most likely slightly underselling it, but it looks like the worst previewed card yet. I will only buy this if I need to trash all my cards ASAP.

Pillage looks good, especially with Governor. I am worried about it and its politics: In the end game, I make opponent A discard his Gold so he is left with $5 for a Duchy, but let opponent B discard his dead Estate so he can buy a Province. I bet it plays nicely (or else it wouldn't exist), but I am not a huge fan. The Spoils are another great thematic fit. Opening with this could be devastating, assuming you can make your opponent discard an opening buy. Two one-shot Golds will definitely benefit the long-term economy. However, their one-shotted-ness will give people a false sense of economy, probably causing inexperienced Dark Ages players to green earlier than they should, considering they have two Gold less than they think.

Day 5: The Shelters won't come up as often as we think they will. It's not like they are guaranteed to be in with a single DA card. Of them, Necropolis is clearly the most influential, allowing for doubler Terminal openings. Overgrown Estate should not be a Victory card, its subtype should solely be Shelter. Hovel won't do that much because you are unlikely to buy a Victory card that early. They lend themselves to engine potential, but not that much other than Necropolis. Meanwhile their $1-status makes them more interesting than Estates. Swindlers kill them, Remakes don't like them, etc. Ambassador, Hunting Party, and Baron all receive huge nerfs if these are included, obviously. This is definitely good for the game, though. I don't know, these ones aren't all that exciting to me.

Ultimately, Dark Ages will definitely be fun to play, but it will make Dominion's unnecessary power creep a bit too apparent.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 05:23:46 am by Young Nick »
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Piemaster

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2012, 04:43:16 pm »
0

I'll try and keep my premonitions short and punchy to stop the post getting too unwieldy.  This will involve making unsubstantiated claims and sweeping generalisations that will make this post even more likely to be laughed at in six months :)

Graverobber:  This seems like a 5 that will usually be trashy but will sometimes be combotastic depending on the board.

Poor House:  Occasionally you might be able to get enough trashing and +Action to make it good, but more often it will just screw over your Upgrades and Governors, filling your deck with a silly terminal you don't want.

Sage:  I think this could be a real sleeper card.  It will be a great opener powering you through reshuffles in the early stages.

Feodum:  Will be an excellent opener with good trashing on the board, and maybe a viable but unexciting alternate win strategy otherwise.

Cultist:  Potentially game-defining card.  Laboratory-like effect that also ruins (literally) your opponent's deck and can be part of a mega-turn combo if you have trashing.  Awesomeness.

Squire: Boosts your economy in the early game and slots nicely into your engine in the late game.  Seems very good for a 2.

Hermit: All kinds of good.  Trash a card and also gain a card?  And that's not even mentioning that it can turn into a...

Madman: A one-card engine that could get ridiculous.

Rats: A fun but ultimately bad card.  Trashing is good, but not when it fills the deck with more trash that you then need to trash.

Pillage: I am using 5 coins, an action and a card out of my own hand to gain 6 coins and lose my opponent a card.  I'm not sure I believe the hype.

Spoils: Okay I guess, giving you a nice boost of buying power, but I prefer cards that improve my deck in the long term.

Necropolis: Will totally change the opening part of the game leading to some really sick acceleration.

Overgrown Estate: Thoroughly unexciting.  Slightly better than an Estate, but will change strategy very little.

Hovel: This will lead to some interesting forays into early greening, and will make cards like Great Hall, Island and Nobles somewhat more attractive.

Altar: With a powerful spammable 5 on the board, like Minion, Market, Junk Dealer or Highway this will be ridiculously good.  With no good 5s it will be fairly useless.

Mercenary: Potent attack, but obviously you have to get one first and eventually you will run out of ammunition.  Probably a good card to have one of, but no more.

Ruins: Obviously bad, they're supposed to be.  Will not hurt as much as curses, but won't be far off.

Beggar: Great in Gardens and maybe IGG games, virtually useless other times.

Vagrant: One of those cards you will often buy because it's better than buying nothing, but not that useful in all but the most gummed up games.

Forager: If there is no other good trashing on the board then this card could really shine, otherwise it won't be used much.

Market Square: Quite a tricky card to get going, but if you get multiple of these going with something like Upgrade then your deck could get potent very quickly.

Storeroom: Storeroom+Silver will be a great opening, allowing you to get a 5 quickly and reshuffle faster than usual.  Also a good finisher terminal in engine decks.

Urchin: In heavy trashing games this may be good in its own right, otherwise you just want him to get a Mercenary.

Armory: Not good at all

Death Card: A great skill test card, players will often get into trouble buying this when they shouldn't.  Potent in the right engine though.

Fortress: Could be a lot of fun in a trash for benefit game and at worst it's a village, and will often see play just on the strength of that.

Ironmonger: Could be a nice glue card in engines, but like Tribute often you will be frustrated at drawing the wrong thing.

Marauder: A great opener that will accelerate you to gold very quickly while stunting your opponent.

Procession:  Most of the time this will be strictly better than Throne Room, which could make it very dangerous.

Scavenger: Well it's better than the worst card in the game, but it costs 1 more.  Would be a bad board for me to consider this I think.

Knights: I'm not reviewing each one individually.  The attack is decent and the 'gravy' ranges from meh to very good, making most of them at least playable.

Wandering Minstrel: It's a village with some decent gravy.  Very nice in engine decks.

Band of Misfits: Not a bad utility card, but for the magic 5 I am usually wanting something better than a 3 or 4 of my choice.

Bandit Camp: Another Village and it's a nice one.  Could end up being the ultimate 'Village Idiot' card though.

Catacombs: Better than Smithy obviously, but that one extra cost hurts.  I imagine the TFB ability will rarely be used.

Count: Has several niche applications and may be nice in Duke or IGG games where he can be money/trashing early and Duchies late.  Probably bad most of the time though.

Counterfeit: I am struggling to think of many circumstances where this will be good.  You're paying 5 for the privilege of trashing your best treasure.

Junk Dealer: A very nice 'jack of all trades' kind of card which will be godly on boards with no other trashing.

Mystic: Not bad, and may shine in games with no real power cards.  Just seems like a much worse Minion though.

Rebuild: A decent 'end-game' card that could be devastating in multiples.  Allows you to start buying Duchies earlier than you would otherwise.

Rogue: Useless most of the time.  If you want the card just buy it, otherwise the symmetry kills most of the advantage.

Hunting Grounds: A new benchmark for card drawing in engines, but if you can get to 6 soon you will be able to get to 8.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 07:55:08 am by Piemaster »
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popsofctown

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2012, 04:54:19 pm »
0

Graverobber - Weak card that will get skipped many a game and will mainly get used as a last grasp at Provinces.  People will want to Graverobber hitting Market, but they won't want to Graverobber hitting Market, because if they are turning actions into green they probably don't care about actions much anymore.
Poor House - I suspect this will be ignored in many games, a rush strategy in games with sufficient +action +buy support, and a finisher card for thin engines with +buy.
Sage - The penalty for Provinces isn't going to make this that much weaker imo.  I think Sage will see a lot of purchases in games with powerful 5's or 4's.  Very solid supportive card
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DG

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2012, 05:56:00 pm »
0

Silver has become a worse card.

That was day 1. On day 2 and day 3 silver gains many friends.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 07:44:51 am by DG »
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cayvie

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2012, 06:31:09 pm »
0

Graverobber: will usually suck, will occasionally have sick combos

Poor House: Good with Hamlet. Good with Inn. Probably worse than most 2's. I will not always want to buy it if I have $1 and a buy left over.

Sage: not very good. similar to scheme but worse.

Feodum: excellent. best card we've seen so far.

Cultist: wait, this card is amazing too. is it actually better than witch? I think it's close

Ruined Market: well, you don't want to buy them

Squire: AWESOME

Hermit/Madman: Really good.

Rats: If there's anything to combo with it, it looks like it could be very powerful.

Pillage/Spoils: Hard to evaluate; I predict kind of middling.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 07:46:26 pm by cayvie »
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2012, 09:04:20 pm »
0

Graverobber: Requires the correct board, but can be a beast if played properly. Makes Sab a decent card.

PH: Good with the right engine set up and good trashing or discarding like Vault, Inn, Hamlet, SC, etc. Seems like an engine card. Probably good on about half boards or so.

Sage: I have a feeling this card will be a defining card. Reminds me a lot of HP, but without the extra draw, and you always hit the desired card. I think it might be better than Scheme.

Feodum--Great on the right board. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Salvager with this one.
In my opinion works best with Jack, Salvager, Watchtower, and Trader. Jack probably loves it the most because it will make getting Provinces even quicker. Trader would work second best. I know some will disagree, but I still think going for Provinces is the better strategy unless it's a cursing board. Hmm, I don't know. Hard to judge, but it's clear this is a decent Alt. VP card.

Cultist--If Witch and this were on the board, I would pick this and get Witch later. The chaining effect is just too big to ignore. I'm not sure where it ranks among Mountebank and Witch, but I'm sure this is among the top three $5 cards. The best? Perhaps, only time and testing will tell.

Ruins--I'm sure Ruined Market is the best card which is why Donald X. showed that one first. I think the other predictions for +$1, +1 Action, and +1 card are spot on. The fifth one will be interesting. I think the concept is cool and offering an alternative junk option is interesting. Imagine a board with both a looter and a curser!!! Although, that would be a painfully slow game. So, now that I think of it, my predictions are that Shelters cost $2 and are worth 0 or 1 VP and are a reaction that you reveal and prevent getting a ruins. I think this is necessary for games with both curses and Looters on boards. Who knows, maybe shelters can prevent you from getting curses as well.

This is shaping up to be a good set. I think this will add a lot of complexity and strategy like Hinterlands did. This might actually be the most strategic set ever so far.


Squire
is good. On a BM board, it acts as a weaker JoaT. It is a good opener on a 5/2 split for BM. Or, even going silver/Squire sounds good because you will be filling your deck with Silver, and although it doesn't trash those estates like JoaT, it does provide +$1 on top of gaining a silver. Also, the +Buy can come in handy late game with BM.

Sometimes, you will even want to open 2/2 on a 5/2 split if Chapel and Goons are on the board!!!

On boards with a trasher and good attacks like Witch, Mountebank, Goons, Familiar, etc, Squire is great

Also, Squire is great in engine boards, it becomes a FV w/out the duration effect, but also the option of 2 +Buys!!! And, let's face it, FV is way, way under-costed at $3, should probably be $4 or even $5.

Consesus: Squire is a good card to buy on almost most boards.

Hermit: Hmm, now this is interesting. It trashes cards and gains more Hermits which can gain you more Madman. Its effect is interesting. On boards with lots of ruins or cursing, this is good because you gain silver and get junk out of your deck. Also, it can be a good card for triggering other TFB cards like Squire while gaining another Squire!!! Wait, a sec, trash squire, get goons, gain another squire. Hmm, seems nice.

Consensus: Pretty good. Will require some testing. On some boards, Hermit/Madman will be a powerhouse engine enabler.

Rats: This is usually a trap card. Some boards this will be amazing in such as a Scrying Pool engine. If the TFB is good, this might also be worth running like say if Squire and Cultist are both out, opening Squire Rats might be good. It also combos well with Remake and Upgrade and WatchTower turns these into Labs that thin your deck like Upgrade.

Pillage: Seems strong. How strong, I don't know. However, this is a very solid card to get on a 5/2 opening.

With that said, wow! No question now, but Graverobber is going to be a power 5. After seeing all these TFB cards, I think Graverobber will be a powerhouse to be reckoned with on some boards.

Spoils: Gold! What is not to like. Okay, they are one shot, but still.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 02:10:05 pm by Beyond Awesome »
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platykurtic

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2012, 11:32:11 pm »
0

What fun. I've already read a bunch of analysis though so these first thoughts aren't really my own

Graverobber: Definitely a bit weak on its own, trying to use it as a strategy unto itself is like turbo remodel. If the only source of trashed cards is other graverobbers it will take too long for decent cards to start getting into the trash. On most boards it will probably be just a last ditch province grab sort of card.

Trash for benefit cards and self-trashers have the most obvious synergy, but action on gain cards are good too. I suspect Mining village or border village will be an insta-combo with graverobber on most boards since they provide both the actions to play multiple graverobbers and an extra benefit to reviving them. Mining village can be trashed for money over and over, and border village gets you an extra 5$ card when you gain it from the trash. This sounds like a new in-and-out of the trash engine style. You'll be worried about what you leave in the trash at the end of your hand since your opponent might decide to graverob everything and hoard it


Poor House: Super fun. definitely an all or nothing card; without trashing or discarding it's just a high-probability 4-5 hand card with that limited range of use. A bunch of these and silvers might make for a horse-traders type duke duchy engine. To really get the full potential out of each PH, you need to have trashed your coppers or be discarding them reliably. Black market has a neat synergy here since you can play your money early and not have it in your hand when you play your poorhouses. +actions are essential here to play multiple poor houses and facilitating cards

Sage: A really good 4-3 opener. I think the chancellor effect of cycling your deck early is a bit undervalued here, either your sage hits your 4-card and lets you play it early, or it collides and puts your deck in your discard pile, letting you get your next purchase immediately. And while it's useless in the late game, it doesn't hurt your deck much either.

Feodum: Super obvious synergy with Trader and Jack. The fact that you can trash them for one to gain another "point" worth of silver is a tough mechanic to wrap my head around. It seems like you need to predict the number of silvers you'll end up with and calculate a balance based on that. You can also buy one to deny your opponents and then trash it for silvers (although they might be able to graverob it). There are 40 silvers, so in 2 player splitting those would make this worth 6 points, meaning with a good enough silver enabler this strategy seems pretty dominant over provinces. What constitutes a good silver enabler beyond the obvious is a good question that we'll have to figure out. With 6 silvers this becomes a consolation prize for duchy, which might not be an unreasonable way to skew a province deck. All in all a good alternate victory card that makes you think whether or not to go for it

Cultist: Love the theme. I look forwards to all kinds of looters running around destroying stuff. If this were a curser it would be strictly dominant over witch, one of the better cards. The chaining lets you justify getting two of them early, though you'd run out of ruins before this could get too crazy. But with the lab effect with other cultists and the trash for benefit aspect they aren't useless after ruins are gone either. The chaining doesn't seem like a strategy to itself since it will soon get clogged with green in anything but a golden deck of sorts, so the trashing sounds more appealing. Presumably this is all balanced out by the fact that Ruins aren't as bad as curses, although they're nearly as deck clogging. I call this a really good card

Ruined Market: Less harmful and useless curses. They don't have the negative point, and they have a small chance of being useful. Certainly in a game where +buy is desperately needed someone could quite reasonably buy this off the top of the ruins deck. DVX implied that there's also Ruined Smithy (+1 card), Ruined Village (+1 action), and Ruined Something (+1$), along with a weirder one. RMarket sounds like the most useful, which RVillage being particularly useless. RSmithy cycles a bit if you've got the action and the +1$ is a copper if you've got the action. Certainly all this will make fairgrounds and similar better, though presumably they're only put out when something like cultist is on the board. With fairgrounds I'd probably try to buy these up at the last minute with extra buys. With both players going for that at the same time it could get dicey. Games with cursers and looters could turn into a huge slog, but otherwise this sounds like a fun mechanic

Squire: As a regular card it seems like a lackluster engine component. If you're desperate for +actions to build your engine it'll do like any village, and you can accumulate them easily at least. If you need +buy for your engine, this will also do in a pinch. The flexibility is nice though, and nothing else lets you get tons of buys quite as easily. It might also be a good opener paired with a cheap card you're rushing, which right now means fools gold or poor house.
The trashing component is much more interesting. When used as an opener, what are the chances it lets you grab that crucial first attack faster than if you just bought money? 4-cost attacks you can always buy, so this is all about 5-6 and familiar. I have no doubt someone will compute the probabilities of this colliding with your trasher on turn 3, 4 versus being able to buy them but my gut feeling is that it's a bit sketchy. Racing against potion for familiar for example, you need a collision, while they just need their potion to hit with enough money.

Hermit: A mini-jack combined with a mini-one-shot-tactician. Graverobber just got better. The ability makes it probably worth opening with on curser boards, since it's got a better chance of plucking out the curses than other trashers, and you can fill your deck with silvers or cheap engine component in the meantime. You can also choose to buy nothing and get a tacticiany turn sometime later. This is probably worse vs handsize reducers since it increases the chance of being forced to buy something like copper or let this get trashed when you don't want it to (and it makes the madman turn worse). If you let your hermit go mad (great theming by the way) on turn 3/4 you'll have the madman turn 3rd shuffle.

Madman: I think the tactician analogy sums this one up best. You probably sacrificed a turn to get this one. In most cases after playing this you'll end up with an 8 card hand and two actions, which can certainly let you grab some higher cost cards earlier. If your starting hand has been reduced to 3 it just brings you up to 4 though with an extra action, which isn't great. If you've got an engine that draws half your deck and it hits without the madman, you can now draw your whole deck.

Rats: Replicating mandatory trashing. I'm struggling to figure out how to play these. If you just buy one on opening this seems slow to ramp up without some sort of helper like scheme, but once it's going you get a few excellent turns where the rats have stuff to trash, and they're nonterminal so they're not slowing you down. Cursers extend this period, handsize reducers shorten it. Activating on-trash abilities is another reason to keep going. The tipping point is when your rats start showing up with stuff you don't want to trash, at that point they're a dead card. I look forwards to newbies ending up with all rat hands. Assuming they double roughly every few turns, I suspect this will be after the round of turns where you gain 4 rats. At this point it looks like you need to be trashing your rats with some other trasher, or you're in trouble. You probably need to be getting the other trasher early and thin out the rats as you go. Trash for benefit cards will have some great fodder here. If there's no other trasher on the board I'm not sure how this can be a viable strategy, but maybe I'm missing something. Still, it sounds like a whole new game, which is fun.

Pillage: really nasty one shot attack, graverobber just got better. Probably gets a bit better as the game goes on as people have better cards, although even on turn 3 you'll catch some opener cards and cutpurse everyone else. Plus two golds that early, even one shots, is insane. Of course someone else might Pillage your Pillage

Spoils: One shot gold. DVX pretty well summed up the usecases - it's good at the end of the game, and good if you're doing a no-money strategy (minion, poor house, pirate ship) where it can bootstrap you and get out of the way.

Not too much to strategize about the shelters. They're great thematically, but they're effects on the game are harder to gauge. Beyond what DXV listed, trash for benefit takes a hit. I suppose that make rats more appealing with good trash for benefit cards.

Necropolis: makes opening two terminals much more palatable and helps activate conspirator.

Overgrown Estate: incentivizes getting a trasher, any trasher, early, though you'll likely want to do that anyway with a DA set

Hovel: incentivizes you to get a victory card earlier. Buying another useless VP might not be worth it if you weren't going to anyway, but the action/vps are more appealing.

Vagrant - Scout lite, but almost certainly more useful, being nonterminal. at 2 you can buy it on bad draws and extra buys, the opportunity cost is suitably low. Then it's a cantrip in your deck with a chance of being a lab dependin on how muck crud is in your deck. Of course when it is a lab one of the cards is most likely useless. It's better with action ruins, shelters and victories. Overall it's a solid 2, I'd almost always buy it over nothing on a 5-2

Fortress - A village that untrashes itself. If there's no trashers it's an expensive village, but sometimes that's enough. The primary use seems to be trash for benefit cards, since you get the benefit and the village back. Of course you can't play it as a village first, so with a terminal trasher unless you have other +actions first the village is a dead card. Engines could make the best use of this presumably. Unlimited bishop tokens at last! seems a bit specialized, but fun to build strategies around

Ironmonger - Seems a bit weak at first glance. It's randomly either a village, a peddler, or a lab (or just a cantrip if you hit a curse, etc.)  I guess the possibilities synergize with the game phases though. As an opener it's a peddler and sometimes a lab. If you have shelters it seems dramatically worse as an opener. Then as you get more action cards it gives you more actions to play them with. Finally as you green it turns into more of a lab. Since you can discard the second card you draw it's got extra cycling and if you hit a victory card you can get the next card in your deck. And in BM games it's going to stay a peddler. I guess I've kind of talked myself around to it, it will be neat at least.

Procession - Throne room then upgrade. I like it. I'm really curious if it will enable a real turbo-remodel strategy. Certainly it can't go to VPs, but doing two things at once is always surprisingly powerful. Used on any +action card it's a village, so it fits into some crazy upgrading engine I'm imagining. It would really take a good chain to work though. Otherwise it lets you upgrade your actions while feeling like you got some value out of doing so. I'm really looking forward to this one

Scavenger - Chancellor fixed? The only difference is topdecking a card of your choice. If that's the end of your turn, you get the best card in your deck in your hand next turn (unless it's in play or something). That's nice, and certainly more incentive to do so. Rather than knowing that your new cards are more likely to show up in the future, you get one immediately. As part of an engine, you can guarantee what card you get next, including ones you've just gained, which has got to be worth something in the right engine.

Band of Misfits - Wow, I can't even start with this one. Clearly if you're buying this you could have bought any of the cards you might mimmick (barring highway tricks). Actually with highway, after one highway you can start using BoMs as highways. Certainly the flexibility has to be a boon to getting your engine going. I see there's a whole thread about the special cases already, so I won't even speculate. At five though, there's lots of competition, so you really need a good reason to be mocking up lower cost card.

Bandit Camp - Expensive village that gets you one-shot golds. I guess it's effectively like buying a village and gaining a single gold, since you'll be using up your spoils about as fast as you gain them. That's not too shabby in a kingdom where you want both actions and money.

Count - The most complicated card so far? Choose a negative and a positive. Some of the negatives can be positive in some circumstances, like discarding tunnels or topdecking terminal actions. The benefits seem a bit lackluster though. Trash your hand is only likely to be useful in the very early game and may never hit well. A terminal gold for 5 isn't usually worth it. Duchies you don't want until the endgame, unless you're on an alt-vp strat. But flexibility is good and I see this enabling some really weird strategies.

Altar - A deck thinning university minus the actions. You're not getting this in the early game with the 6 cost, and if you have good trashers you'll be out of crud before you get to this card at all. So by the time you get this the cards you really want to trash will be mixed up with better cards and this will be harder to hit. You're not getting gold, so this seems more like an engine acceleraor

« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 03:07:46 am by platykurtic »
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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #60 on: August 07, 2012, 12:58:34 am »
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Combo: poor house/mint on 5/2
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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2012, 01:41:01 am »
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Graverobber: Graverobber's end-game uses are straightforward (Graverob your Minions/HPs/Witches/etc to Provinces), but methinks it has potential to be a mid-game card as well: that is, a card that you can build a deck around.  The tricky part is getting enough actions.  It would be cool to Graverob your Estates to more Graverobbers, for example, but Estates are Victory cards.  Perhaps Shelters are Action cards?  I guess we'll see!

Poor House: I like this card a lot.  One thing that is lacking in Dominion are Thronable cards that give you +Coin more than +$2.  Harvest is the closest thing so far, with an honorable mention to cards like Baron, Mandarin, and Merchant Ship (all of which are underrated, IMHO).  I've played games where my deck was built around KC/Harvest, and I was able to hit $11 for a Colony almost every time my KCs and Harvests collided.  KC/Poor House also has potential, but what really sets Poor House apart from Harvest is that it's so cheap!  You might not even need the KC at all.  Just get some Poor Houses, Villages, and cards that trash or discard treasures (Spice Merchant, Stables, Warehouse, Secret Chamber, etc), and that may be all that you need.  Works with Remake, Upgrade; Conflicts with Trader, IGG, Mountebank.

Sage: It looks to me that Sage will be joining Dominion's crowning combo-putting-together cards, which are so far Haven and Scheme.  Scheme works best in the mid- to end-game, when you have powerful Actions that you want to play every turn (KC, Followers, etc), but it doesn't work to put Treasure Maps together, for example.  Haven suffers for the opposite reason, that you can't play your Haven'd card at all until the next turn.  Sage is unique in that it works exceptionally well in the early game.  If you open Treasure Map/Sage and buy another Treasure Map on turn 3, you could very reasonably match your Treasure Maps on turn 4, something that was all but unheard of before.  Paired with a cheap money card (like Poor House), Sage can also work wonders with Tournament.  Another combo that should be exquisite is Sage/Conspirator; not only will your Sages find your Conspirators, but they will also help activate them for you!  The cycling aspect is nice, but it's not something I would rely on.  Conflicts with early greening.

Feodum: I'm always glad to see alternate VP cards.  This obviously has a useful interaction with Trader; a Trader/Feodum rush could easily break 6 or 7 VP per Feodum.  However, like Silk Road, in the absence of activator cards (like Trader for Feodum and Great Hall for Silk Road), I think Feodum will end up being used mostly for just tie-breaker points.  Using Feodum to gain Silver is overrated.  If you open Feodum/trasher, there's only a 30% that your Feodum will collide with the trasher on our first reshuffle, and if they don't collide, Feodum is as dead as a card can be.

Cultist: It looks like a Witch with some extra gizmos going on.  I'm not sure what to think about the "You may play a Cultist from your hand" part… have we ever seen a card that gives you a virtual +1 Action that can only be used on one type of card?  A Cultist rush could be confusing to keep track of when interfaced with cards like King's Court and even Village.  Cultist chains have the risk of being even more annoying than Minion chains.  Everything on this card except the "+2 Cards" is something unseen to this point in the land of Dominion.  The Trash bonus looks like it could be used in an end-game explosion: Play a Village, Graverob your Cultist to a Province, and then continue with your turn as usual.

Ruined Market: So now we know what 50 of the 113 "mystery" cards in Dark Ages will be (500 total – ~352 kingdom – 35 randomizer).  The other 63 are presumably the Shelters.  Ruins could actually come in handy, though; in a game with King'sCourt/PirateShip but no +Buy, for example, a hand with KC/KC/PS/PS/RuinedMarket would be a whole lot better than KC/KC/PS/PS/Curse.  Ruins can also serve as fuel to your Graverobbers.  And like Donald said, I certainly wouldn't want to be the Cultist player in a Fairgrounds game!

Squire: Nice thematic play on Trusty Steed!  I think this will most likely be used for the "gain an attack card" portion, especially on a 2/5.  Open Graverobber/Squire, then Graverob the Squire to a Graverobber and gain a Familiar.  Only problem is that it might prove difficult to get the squire to collide with a trashing card (except for Hermit).  However, in a Possession game, methinks the Squire will be well-worth the trouble.  If you use it solely for the +Actions, it is inferior in most regards to Crossroads.  However, if you can attain a critical mass of Squires, they could be used to complement either a Poor House (with the actions) or a Feodum (gain the free silver) deck.

Hermit: Huh.  Hermit is the first Dominion card that allows you to trash a card that's not in your hand (excluding Native Village).  Hermit may be the answer to the difficulty of matching benefit-on-trash cards (like Squire, Feodum, and Graverobber) with a trasher, which was most likely going to be one of the trickiest aspects of Dark Ages.  Hermit is terminal, though, so it won't be possible to use multiple Hermits on the same turn in the absence of an action increaser (and it will also require you to waste even more buys to gain your Madmen).  One other interesting thing is that you can Hermit all of your non-Copper junk cards into more Hermits, which you can then use to either continue cleaning your deck, or turn them into a critical mass of Madmen.  Hermit will be a hard card to pass up on most boards.

Madman: My discussion of Hermit brings me to Madman.  The most obvious use here is to gain a critical mass of Madmen, then use them to set off a megaturn.  Heck, even 3 Madmen, assuming relatively lucky shuffle luck, could draw your entire deck: if you start with 5 cards (1 of them being Madman), play the Madman to draw up to 8.  The next Madman would draw to 14, and the next to 26, the size of most well-groomed decks.  It is vulnerable to discard attacks; a hand with 2 cards and a Madman is the same as a hand with 2 cards and a, well, level 2 city that trashes itself.  The fact that gaining Madmen slows down your deck development (by forcing you to lose a buy) is IMO a wise choice by the game architects, because it will make Megaturn strategies more reasonable for opponents to combat.  Madman is a helpful card even in non-Megaturn decks, but the opportunity cost of gaining it is so high that if you don't use it to anything more special than a Tactician, you may as well have bought a Silver instead of that Hermit.

Rats: I've gotta say, this has good thematic flavor.  Other than it being a fast, non-terminal trasher, though, I don't really see the point.  The benefit-on-trash portion is not very impressive; it's basically the same as playing the Rat, except you don't trash a card or gain another rat.  I guess you could have a marginal benefit if you use Hermit to trash the Rat from your discard pile, but Hermit is a terminal action, so it probably wouldn't do much good.  (I'd much rather trash a Cultist and draw 3 cards instead of 1.)  You could also screw yourself up if you draw a hand with, for example, 4 Rats and a Province.  For what it does, I'm not sure why this card costs $4; it seems more like a punishment than anything.  I guess to use it effectively, you'd have to open with it, let it eat your deck, and then purge them away when you're finished using them (which will be quite the feat).  But that just seems like too much trouble.  I must be missing something.

Pillage: Woah, a strong attack with an even stronger benefit-on-play.  This will make games slow down a lot, because you can basically prevent your opponents from buying that last Province.  It can also be Graverobbed and Top-decked to perpetuate the attack.  Heck, if you can Throne the Pillage (or play a Village followed by two Pillages) and if you happen to have a Watchtower in hand, you can basically be guaranteed at least a Province on your next turn (or a Colony barring your opponents from playing Pillages).

Spoils: A one-time-only Gold.  For what it is, seeing that it's only gained as a "prize" from other cards, it's not bad at all.  It looks like fun.

Shelters: The biggest card that will benefit from Shelters is Fairgrounds.  10 Kingdom Cards + Prov/Duchy/Estate/Curse + Gold/Silver/Copper + 3 Shelters = 8 Point Fairgrounds!  Even if Fairgrounds is not present, in most cases, I would choose to start with Shelters rather than Estates for the following reasons: Necropolis will allow for a slightly higher terminal density (although this could be dangerous because you can have only 1 Necropolis); Overgrown Estate has a nice on-trash effect (the same as Rats); and, quite frankly, they look more fun than Estates.  I think Hovel is a red herring for early greening; a deck with 2 Golds and a Hovel is still stronger than a deck with 1 Gold and an early Province.  This isn't to say that I would always choose shelters, of course: in a Remake/Menagerie game, for example, Estates are probably better because they can be remade into Menageries, and in a game with no trashing abilities and a strong big-money enabler (e.g. Embassy), Estates do still have marginal value for tiebreaker points.

I'm looking forward to what Dark Ages's Village (other than Ruined Village) will look like.  Some guesses:

Silver Dollar Village ($3 Action): +2 Actions.  Reveal you hand.  +Cards equal to the number of Silvers.

Roman Village ($4 Action): +2 Actions.  Each other player gains a Ruins.

Squatter Camp ($3 Action): +1 Action, +1 Card.  You may trash a Ruins from your hand.  If you do, +1 Action.

Now that Squire has debuted, I wonder if that will be the only Village in Dark Ages.

Another random card guess:

Plague ($5 Action): +3 Cards.  Each other player gains a Ruins.  When you gain this, gain a Curse.
or maybe
Plague ($5 Action): +1 Card, +1 Action.  Trash a card from your hand.  Each other player gains a Ruins.  When you trash this, gain a Curse.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Altar: So, basically a $6 version of Expand.  I imagine that it costs $6 only so you can't Alter cards into more Altars.  I'm sure Altar has its place, but I don't see myself buying it over Expand on most boards.

Armory: A very straightforward card.  An upgraded Workshop like Ironworks, with Ironworks' distinction being that it is non-terminal for actions, and Armory's distinction being that it topdecks your card rather than discarding it.  This could be especially useful in games that involve thick decks (cursing games, games without trashing, etc).

Band of Misfits: It's interesting how the working says "costing less than it" rather than "costing less than $5"; this prevents any Highway-type gizmos.  I assume that if you use this as an action-victory hybrid card, it will become no longer a victory card after the game ends, since at the end of the game no card is in play (except maybe Durations?).  The main use I see for this is as a highly adaptable card, like Steward (and now Squire, etc).  Early in the game it can be a Chapel or a Cutpurse; in the middle of the game it can be a Bridge or a Militia; and in the late game it can be a Secret Chamber or even a Noble Brigand.  It will also serve well in Village/Smithy-type engines; it can serve as either a Village or a Smithy, depending on what you drew.  I think this will be a very fun card to play with!

Bandit Camp: Now we see one of Dark Age's villages.  It seems very straightforward if you are going for a Spoils-based strategy.  I think I would take a Bandit Camp over a Bazaar in most games: Bazaar is $1 now, but Bandit Camp is $3 later.  (Of course, Bazaar would still be preferable if you have a very high Action density and your average card value exceeds $3.)  Certainly it's a "nice" alternative to Pillage.

Beggar: Have we ever seen a card more suited for a Gardens game?  This is awesome for that purpose!  It also seems to have a nice attack-counter ability, similar in principle to Jack of all Trades.  If you're not going for a Gardens strategy, I don't know if I've ever seen a better activator for a Spice Merchant!  Heck, you could build an entirely sub-$5 engine out of just Spice Merchants, Beggars, and a Village of your choice.  Band of Misfits couldn't hurt, either!

Catacombes: Meh, to be honest I'm not digging this card in general.  It does help cycle your deck, but it's still non-terminal like Smithy, Margrave, and Torturer.  However, unlike Catacombes, Margrave and Turturer have an attack built in, which of course helps a Big Money-type strategy.  One card that Catacombes counters extremely well is, of course, Rabble, as you can now discard all of those disgusting green cards that your opponent kindly top-decked for you.  Catacombes could also be preferable to the other card-drawers in an Engine-based strategy, as it lets you find the action cards you need to continue your chain.  But in general, I still think I would prefer a Warehouse and a Smithy to a Catacombes.

Count: I LOVE this card!  It looks like so much fun to play.  A King's Courted Count would be soooo awesome!  There are so many awesome things about this card that I can't even list them all here!  There's some pretty epic stuff you can do if you play lots of counts in a row (gaining +$3 each time), get a hand full of Count-gained Coppers and some trash-for-benefit cards like Cultist, and then trigger the "trash your hand" option!  Heck, if you chose to top-deck some cards from your hand, you can do some planning so that when you trash your Cultist, you can still continue your turn.  It also has a nice synergy with Spice Merchant, which can trash all those Coppers that Count made you gain.  EDIT: I misread the card, and Count does not actually put the Coppers into your hand.  It therefore will not synergize with Spice Merchant as well.  Count should work especially well with Worker's Village, which provides both the actions and the buys that Count will need to be most successful.  Oooh, I just can't wait to get my hands on a box of Dark Ages now!

Counterfeit: I've come up with treasure-doubling cards in my playgroup before, but never one quite like this.  I guess that after extensive playtesting, Donald X's team concluded that a vanilla "play a Treasure card in your hand twice" type of thing (like a Throne Room for Treasures) was too powerful.  The +Buy is a useful addition.  Counterfeit should be useful both as an early-game Copper trasher and as an end-game Platinum doubler.  One card that combos with Counterfeit is Spoils, since you'd have to return them to the supply anyway after playing them.

Death Cart: I'm so excited that Dark Ages is giving Dominion so many more of the much-needed Thronable Money cards!  First Poor House, then Count, and now Death Cart, all with their own little unique twist.  Death Cart should combo extremely well with Rats, which gives you the mid-to-late-game fuel you need to keep your Death Carts but still generate lots of money.  Heck, the Ruins that Death Cart gains for you are only extra targets for Death Cart to trash!  I'd take a Death Cart with Ruins over a Cache with Coppers almost any day.

Forager: This smells a lot like Trade Route, except it's non-terminal.  It's definitely communal in value; one person will add a Silver and a Gold to the pot, only to see everyone else buy Foragers in response.

Fortress: And we see yet another village!  There are some nifty things you can do with this card.  It's a nice target for Rats if you need one, because not only will Rats replace itself in your hand, but it will not have effectively trashed another card in doing so.  The same would apply to Steward when it asks you to trash 2 cards, but you have only 1 junk card.  You can also do some pretty awesome Upgrading or Remaking here: "Upgrade" your Fortress to a $5 card, and then just gain your Fortress right back again.

Hunting Grounds: So now we finally have an unconditional 4 card draw.  It looks to me like this will be most useful in a Big Money-type game; it gives you the draw power you need, and it can also be cashed in later for VP.  Obviously, it can help in engines too, but the $6 cost may be prohibitive for gaining more than 1 or 2 by mid-game.  It shouldn't bee too much of a problem finding a late-game trasher for Hunting Grounds seeing that trashing is one of the themes of Dark Ages. ;)

Ironmonger: This sounds a lot like Tribute.  I like tribute, but it's not usually a game-changing card.  Unlike Tribute, however, Ironmonger is guaranteed nonterminal, which will help it run engines, set up conspirators, and so on.  Otherwise, I don't think this is a must-buy.

Junk Dealer: Funny name for a $5 card; seems like "Antique Dealer" would have been more suited.  Anyhow, this definitely looks like a Dark Ages-only card.  Without trash-for-benefit cards that Junk Dealer can target, it's strictly worse than a Market after you clean your starting cards out of your deck.  Upgrade, on the other hand, keeps working into the end-game, changing $4's into Duchies, for example.  Upgrade doesn't give +Coin, but in the absence of a handsize increaser, you can't train very many of these together without trashing a card that you don't want to trash, so the +Coin won't be more than $2 or $3.

Marauder: This to me reveals how much weaker of an attack Ruins are than Curses.  We saw earlier that gaining a Spoils is akin to gaining +1 Coin (Bazaar vs. Bandit Camp).  So, if we think of it that way, Maurader would be roughly equivalent to a $4 card that gave +$1 and handed out a ruins.  But wait: Sea Hag, which gives out a Curse, doesn't give you any benefit whatsoever, and Young Witch is a terminal mini-warehouse.  Furthermore, a $4 attack that gives +$1 is Noble Brigand, which is not a very strong attack.  Maurader seems like a pretty good opening to me.

Market Square: Ooh, a card that gains a real Gold, not a Spoils!  This looks like a nifty way to fill up your deck with a bunch of Gold, in many ways similar to Tunnel.  A Market Square/Rats opening might actually be very strong for this reason.  You'd still need a way to get rid of your Rats, of course, but the Rat-powered demolition of your deck can be used to activate Market Square many times.  Other than the Gold-gaining special ability, Market Square is just a Market without the money, and in most cases is equal to something like Hamlet or Pawn.

Mercenary: It looks great, but here's what it just is: a Militia that trashes 2 then draws 2.  The trashing aspect is sometimes convenient, but what if your draw is Gold, Gold, Province, Province, Mercenary?  If your Mercenary were a Militia, you could have gotten that Province, but now you're screwed and have to settle for a Duchy.  It's powerful with a lack of other attacks on the board, but it seems rather underpowered to me for being a card that you have to gain through special means.

Mystic: $5 for a Wishing Well that gives +$2 instead of +1 Card?  Seriously?  I'm not saying that +$2 is bad, it's just that this card doesn't feel that it's worth $5.  It has to be more than $3 since it's better than Silver, so that would put it at $4.  This seems reasonable, seeing that one of its closest relatives, Conspirator, is also $4.  I guess it's more useful when combined with a self-spy card, but it still seems overpriced at $5.

Procession: At first, I thought, "huh? Possession again?"  But it's not possession; it's procession!  It's a Throne Room and an Upgrade all wrapped into one nice package, all for just $4.  Nifty!  (Call while supplies last!)  This is certainly a combo card.  Procession/Graverobber/BorderVillage has got to be an epic.  Also, anything with Procession and Fortress must be pretty solid; it'd be a nice way to build a Cultist or Minion or Count chain, for example.  I look forward to finding combos when this card is on the board.

Rebuild: Remodel, Upgrade, Expand, Remake, Develop, and now… Rebuild!  (They must be running out of synonyms at this point :P )  So, we now have what looks like a Mine for Victory cards.  This could be a nifty way to target your Feodums, but there are unfortunately no more VP cards in Dark Ages, and by the time you get around to buying Rebuilds, you've probably already trashed your Feodums.  IMHO, Rebuild seems like a card better suited for an expansion like Hinterlands or Prosperity, since it has no other interactions with Dark Ages.

Rogue: So now we have a Graverobber variant.  In some ways, Rogues and Graverobbers are sort-of like Masquerades: Masquerade passes cards from one hand to the next directly, and Graverobber/Gue pass cards from one hand to another via the Trash pile.  Unless you end up very lucky, especially in a multiplayer game, you probably won't see whatever it was that you trashed earlier.  One of the most annoying things would be if an opponent's Rogue reveals a junk card and a Rogue from your deck, forcing you to trash your Rogue.

Scavenger: Half Scheme, Half Chancellor.  These are both $3 cards, and so it makes sense that Scavenger costs $4.  It seems like this card would be better if you got to put 2 card on top of your deck instead of 1, especially since it is terminal.  I guess it would be okay if you played two Scavengers together, but again, they're terminal, so this would be hard to do.  In a game with no Villages, if your Necropolis missed the reshuffle, I suppose Scavenger might be useful to get it back in the draw pile faster.  And a Processed Scavenger isn't a horrible deal, either.

Storeroom: Half Cellar, Half Secret Chamber.  These are both $2 cards, and so it makes sense that Storeroom costs $3.  I'm sort-of surprised that it is terminal, but I guess that a non-terminal SC/Vault-like ability would bee too powerful.  Let's do some math.  Suppose that your deck is 50% Silver and 50% Victory, and you have a single Storeroom.  A typical draw that has a Storeroom is therefore 2 Silver, 2 Victory, and 1 Storeroom.  When you play the storeroom, you discard the 2 Victory and draw 1 Victory and 1 Silver.  You then discard that second Victory for +$1.  End result: a $7 hand, not absolutely terrible for a deck with such dilute money.  One nice perk about Storeroom is that you can discard Copper without any fear: if you discard 3 Copper and draw 3 Victory, you can still turn the Victory cards into the value that the Copper would have been, something that you couldn't do with just Cellar.

Urchin: A weak attack that could fit into an Outpost/ThroneRoom/Masquerade pin.  The main benefit of this card I guess is that it is the only way to get Mercenaries.  You can always play an Urchin before playing your stronger attack since Urchin is non-terminal, and when you do, you can replace the Urchin with a Mercenary, which is a stronger attack than Urchin, but still not all that great of a card in the presence of other trashers.  If you use it only for the attack ability and ignore the Mercenaries, since it is cantrip, it should benefit Torturer chains.  It would also work well with Masquerade.  However, it would be dangerous to mix Urchin with Margrave (my favorite +3 Cards card), because then you're basically giving your opponent a free Warehouse before they start their turn.  In short, if you're looking at $3 and you don't want Silver, like Spy, Urchin can't really hurt your deck.

Vagrant: I always like little cute $2 cards.  It looks like a watered-down version of Scout at a more reasonable price.  I would have worded the card "Reveal the top card of your deck. If it's not an Action or Treasure, put it into your hand.", and then it could have even been included in a different expansion, but I'm sure that Donald X has a good reason for including it in Dark Ages.  Like most other lightweight $2's (like Pearl Diver), if you have $2 and an extra buy, there's little reason not to pick up a Vagrant.

Wandering Minstrel: Holy moly!  I don't think we've ever seen a better Scrying Pool activator than Wandering Minstrel.  Not only does it clean non-Action cards off the top of your deck, but it also gives you the +Actions that you need to play all those Action cards!  This should also work in Village/Smithy-type engines and also decks that rely on Poor House.  Unlike Shanty Town, which seems to go out of its way to make sure that your +Actions don't find action card, Wandering Minstrel does just the opposite.  This will certainly be one of the strongest $4 Villages.

Abandoned Mine, Ruined Library, Ruined Village: Nothing terribly surprising here.  Abandoned Mine really isn't all that bad; a hand with Gold, Silver, Copper, Copper, Abandoned Mine is a whole lot better than Gold, Silver, Copper, Copper, Curse.  Ruined Village is a Conspirator and Horn of Plenty enabler.  Ruined Library is probably the weakest of these three Ruins.

Survivors: This is really not all that bad for being a Ruins.  Heck, if this cost $2, it would be a decent purchase, especially if it were non-terminal.  It's a nice card to pair with Native Village, but like most other deck-spying cards that go down more than 1 card (e.g. Navigator), Native Village's +Actions come too late.  On a board with an excess of Villages, I might find myself choosing to get a Survivors with no money and an extra buy.  Also, I will be getting Survivors and Followers mixed up by name for quite a while I think.

Knights: Love it.  This has got to be the most epic Fairgrounds enabler known to Dominion.  No doubt that the attack is strong, certainly better than Swindler and Saboteur in most cases.  I don't yet see the significance behind the knight/knight interaction (the "If a Knight is trashed by this, trash this card" part).  A quick analysis on each of the nights is below.  I have sorted them from best to worst.
  • Sir Michael: Combo attacks are always very powerful.  We haven't seen very many yet, but Followers is an example (half witch, half militia), and of course Followers is a very strong attack.

  • Dame Josephine: VP cards can never hurt, especially in games with no alternate VP.  On 4/4 Province and Duchy splits, the player who would win is the player who bought Dame Josephine.

  • Dame Molly: Extra actions can never hurt, especially in the absence of traditional Villages.  This tastes a lot like Necropolis.

  • Dame Anna: This tastes a lot like Mercenary in terms of the play mechanic.  It's fine, but I wouldn't depend on it for your trashing ability (unless it happens to be on top of the Knights pile in the absence of other trashers and you're the first player to hit $5).

  • Sir Bailey: This is pretty vanilla.  It's basically a cantrip knight, so it won't hurt your deck.

  • Sir Vander: Sir Vander gives you a real gold!  However, I would rather skip Sir Vander and just buy the Gold instead for only $1 more.  It has some edge-case uses, of course, but in general, not that strong.

  • Dame Natalie: Useful for picking up some Sages or Silvers or Menageries, but not much else.

  • Dame Sylvia: Again, very vanilla.  I wouldn't expect Dame Sylvia to be the difference between winning and losing.

  • Sir Destry: Even more vanilla.  I put Dame Destry below Dame Sylvia because I am in general opposed to terminal drawers.

  • Sir Martin: This will only be useful in games without a source of +Buy, but since you will have only one, it's hardly better than Ruined Market.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 08:53:27 pm by sffc »
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Jfrisch

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2012, 03:56:57 am »
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poor-house: it actually looks quite weak to me, a terminal action for 4$ is nice, but it will be quite, quite, hard to pull off. With villages and good copper trashing (and ideally +buys) I'm sure it will be viable, but I suspect a very Niche card.
Grave-Robber, the action is obviously a huge restriction, clearly needs good trash for benefit (or upgradables or whatever) to be truly good, when it is good will probably be quite good. nice combos with dead witch/mountebank/upgrade/trading post, but the expand is still fairly limited. Our experience with gainers shows they tend to be weak, so I really think this one will need to rely on intra-set combos.
Sage, a nice looking engine utitily card, possibly slightly weaker than scheme, but better at finding the card in the first place, will actually be okay with greening the cards you skip are copper and estates which have average value .7, in general probably a good utility sifter, maybe not as good as warehouse but actually probably quite comparable to scheme.
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Silverback

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2012, 06:29:43 am »
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Poor House: (...) Conflicts with Trader

It doesn't. It conflicts only with big hands, that contain treasure and decks with a lack of actions. If you reveal less than three treasure cards, it is at least a terminal Silver. Not so bad for 1$.
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Qvist

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2012, 09:26:22 am »
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Updated.

Lekkit

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kn1tt3r

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2012, 09:43:38 am »
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>>> Update <<<
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blueblimp

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werothegreat

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2012, 12:10:53 pm »
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Updated, though I'm too lazy to do a fancy hyperlink.
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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #69 on: August 08, 2012, 11:29:01 am »
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Squire
So, you either have a half Fishing Village or a Woodcutter that gives an additional buy instead of money or you have a Workshop limited to Silver.
So basically you have a mix of 3 worse $3 cards, but the flexibility is great, especially on boards with no village or no +Buy. Similarities to Pawn are obvious.
Hamlet is great because it gives you actions and buys, so I think that is very useful in engines too.
And then there's this crazy on-trash ability which seams crazy powerful with trashers and attacks on the board. The last two essential parts for engines.
You can now easily gain Familiars or Goons. Every Remodel-like card now gives you 2 cards instead of one and Develop even gives you 3 cards if Poor House is on the board. Seems very powerful.
$1/$2 #4 out of #18

Hermit / Madman
Hermit is like a Reverse Loan. It trashes from your discard pile instead from your deck and is restricted to non-treasure cards instead to treasure cards. As an opener it can trash Estates and gain Silvers. The gain a $3 card part seems very bad (in comparism to Workshop), but really depends on the kingdom. Of course it's helpful against Curser and Looter. The second part just seems crazy. You aren't allowed to buy a card (but gained a $3 card) and then gain a Madman.

Madman is a one-shot village, built for mega-turns. If you play Madman in a Tactician turn, you have 18! cards in hand. Maybe some Bridge combo is possible with this,  it's still blows my mind, hard to evaluate this. It's like a mega one-shot Crossroads.
$3 #9 out of 28

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Lekkit

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #70 on: August 09, 2012, 05:22:57 am »
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Updated yesterday's preview before today's come out.
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Qvist

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #71 on: August 09, 2012, 11:05:53 am »
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Rats
Cool theme, but it seems terrible at first glance. You have to gain a Rats if you trash a card and you can't trash Rats with Rats. So you definitely need another trasher if you want Rats. But with another trasher, why buy Rats in the first place?? I'm still not understanding this card, especially for the high cost of $4. Again there's a combo with Watchtower. You can trash a card with a Laboratory. This will be great.
$4 #43 out of 45

Pillage / Spoils
A one-shot attack for targetted discarding. And you get 2 one-sot Golds from that. That's of course the strongest dicarding attack, but it's only a one-shot. Very hard to evaluate.
I think the attack is weak in the beginning: Basically a one-shot Cutpurse, but it gains you two early Golds. Later in the game the attack gets stronger, but you maybe won't be able to see those Golds again. I think this a decent attack, but no power $5. Maybe a Pillage rush is possible where you pick up Pillages to gain Spoils and buy Provinces as fast as you can.
$5 #26 out of 51

Updated. I boosted Graverobber a little bit because of all those one-shots and trash-for-benefit abilities.

eHalcyon

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #72 on: August 10, 2012, 10:49:47 am »
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Bump.  Updated.
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Vaivraza

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2012, 04:48:23 pm »
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FEODUM.

Feodum is the card you want open with chapel on a game without Colonies. Feodum is the card you want combo with Trader. And Feodum is the card you want if you can wisely trash it for coins.
Let me say that you want open Chapel/Feodum even if you dont want to go Feodums; due you want exterminate all the copper and replace them for something better, or even if you plan go Big Money. Remodel Feodum into Smithy, Wharf or Nobles: You gain extra buy power with the adition of those 3 silvers and the Smithy card! Filling your deck into Silver is a decent deal. With the Trader's aid, you can put 7 silvers on your deck. This is insane! Now you can go not only Feodum, but Gardens too! Also, a hand with 5 silvers allows you to buy a Province or Platinum. Not bad!
So, you can try to go Provs with Feodum + trash, or go Gardens with Feodum + Trader, or even go Feodum with something to trash, extra-buy cards, and Feodums. Even you could Transmute the Feodums in order to gain 3 Silvers and a Gold. With the appropiate trashers on the board, you can easily sustitute your Copper into Silver. Think about trash your Feodum with your Trading Post!

But, what if there are no Trashers?
Still there are few cards you can combo with Feodum. Trusty Steed gives you 4 Silvers! Also other cards give you Silvers, like Burocrat, and with Market you can go for double silver when hitting $6. This way is slower. Still, you can play Feodum as a extra VP when going for Provs instead the classical Duchie; you need only 9 Silver on deck.
Also, on a games without engine cards (+extra actions) and curse givers, you can go for Feodum/States instead Duchies, due on these games, hits $5 should be hardly. Only remind buy Silver when $3.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 04:51:36 pm by Vaivraza »
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gman314

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Re: For when the Dark Ages previews come out - card analysis game
« Reply #74 on: August 11, 2012, 09:31:49 pm »
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My thoughts:

Graverobber: Will have a bit of a "shiny" appeal for a while and will then lose its lustre. It will still shine in certain situations, but won't be too great.

Poor House: The new Menagerie. A card that needs a strategy built around it to be good, but when such a strategy is built, it will be soooooo good.

Sage: Kind of like Golem in the sense that you only want to buy key cards. Will combo well with Fool's Gold; The FGs buy good actions, and the Sage plays them.

Feodum: Probably more valuable for the Silver Pinata than for the points. Unless you have a whole pile of Silver gainers. But, it can probably be quite good in certain cases.

Cultist: WHOAAAAH! A chainable almost-Curser!!!!! If they are your only actions, they're more easily stackable than Familiars, at a more accessible price and at almost the same damage level! And then, once the ruins are gone, you get a bonus for trashing them!

Ruined Market: Just barely better than a curse. Probably some Ruins will be semi-desirable and might lead to fun play as to who gets the next one.

Squire: Strange complement to Steward. The silver gaining option will probably be hardly used. I think it will prove to be almost as good as Hamlet, especially in terms of two-cost villages. I think that the trashing ability will prove most useful to jump to Goons while Trashing or to get Familiars without a Potion.

Hermit/Madman: I think that this guy will prove most useful with other gainers, so that you can trash the Hermit while still gaining stuff. That way you don't waste a whole turn to get a Madman. Then, the Madman will be great for something like triggering your Horn of Plenty mega-turn (With another Hermit to help out).

Rats: I think these will help make TFBs a viable early trasher. Basically, you can use Rats to turn Coppers into rats so that your TFBs can get benefit. I don't think it's $4 to avoid Rats/Rats as an opening but to avoid Rats/Salvager as an opening.

Pillage: I'm not sure what to think about this card. The attack is super-powerful, but I'm not sure how good it is as a one-shot. The point really seems to be to boost your economy with Spoils, but I'm still not sure how great it is. Now, imagine using a Feast to gain a Pillage.

Spoils: These seem fun. Good for an engine.

Shelters: Hinterlands changed up the opening with on gain effects which meant that you didn't always have 4/3 or 5/2. Now, Dark Ages has added complexity if you open with a victory card, and more options on turns 3 and 4 making double terminal openings more appealing and adding cycling and economy to early trashing.
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