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Author Topic: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers  (Read 6401 times)

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Loschmidt

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A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« on: August 13, 2012, 03:08:56 am »
+6

While musing on the differences between Rats and Upgrade I have developed a simple system of classifying the differences between all of the types of Trashers, Gainers and Remodelers. This is not a study of the differences between plain Trashers and Trash for Benefit cards, but merely an attempt to classify cards based on the net add/subtract of cards to your deck.

Disclaimer: I keep editing this as new ideas come to me/are helpfully pointed out :)

I propose a 6 class system; Trashers (<), Remodelers (=), Gainers (>), Upgraders (≤), Jacks (≥), Developers (). The symbol represents the cards net effect on your deck size after you play it.

(For clarification I'm only considering the effect on the single action as you play it, not your entire turn. Also if the card offers you a choice between actions then each action requires a different classification.)

Trashers (<)

Playing these cards will make your deck smaller, regardless of what cards you trash or what other kingdom cards are present

I count 14 pure Trashers in the game, 15 if you count Mint's on buy effect. I won't list them, you all know what they are. But I'll talk about ones I found interesting once I classified them all.

Trading Post

It seems mad that i never really noticed before, but Trading Post leaves you with 1 less card in your deck. This is why it is so much faster than Mine.

Moneylender Variants

By my strict definitions these are all Trashers, but Moneylender, Salvager, Trade Route and Spice Merchant all provide you with cash (and the latter three a +buy), so they do leer suggestively at better cards you can buy to replace the trashed ones and are psuedo-remodelers in my mind.

Remodelers (=)

Playing these cards will neither make your deck smaller or larger, regardless of what cards you trash or what other kingdom cards are present

I only count 6 of these. Remodel, Feast, Mine, Expand, Rats and the first option on Grave Robber. I find it interesting that there are less of these than I imagined.

Rats

It was the realisation that Rats was in fact a net nuetral remodel variant that led me to create these classifications. While I understand that these are exactly the same for some reason it made a big difference in my head to think of Rats as; "remodelling any card into a Rats" instead of "trash a card, gain a Rats".

Transmute

Now some of you are waiting to point out that Transmute falls into this category, and on the most part it does, however it moves over to the ≤ category on the trashing curses loophole.

Gainers (>)

Playing these cards will make your deck larger, regardless of what cards you trash or what other kingdom cards are present

I count 16 in this category, not including either Border Village or Duchess who both theoretically gain you themselves.

A very straightforward category, there's nothing particularly interesting here except the realisation that Treasure Map is the most complex (at least in getting it to work) gainer to date.

Attacks

As a point of interest there are now also attacks with gaining benefits. Beaurocrat, Jester and Pillage. 

Upgraders (≤)

Playing these cards have the potential to make your deck smaller or to keep it the same size depending on what cards you trash or what other kingdom cards are present

Upgrade, Remake, Transmute and Farmland's on buy effect.

Named after the first one I thought of, Upgrade. These are more general than remodelers in that they always trash a card and have the capacity of gaining you a card but not always. For example in the absence of Poor House you can trash coppers/curses with Upgrade/Remake. This is of course a strength and not a weakness.

Jacks (≥)

Playing these cards have the potential to make your deck larger or to keep it the same size depending on what cards you trash or what other kingdom cards are present

If we needed any more evidence that JoaT was special, it turns out that until very recently he was the only card in this category. The new one is Hermit.

These two always gain you something, but optionally let you trash. Given how powerful Jack turned out to be I'm curious about Hermit now. While it doesn't have the drawing power of Jack it has a better trashing capacity and a more general gaining ability. And it can go mad.

Developers ()

Playing these cards have the potential to make your deck smaller, or larger, or to keep it the same size depending on what cards you trash or what other kingdom cards are present

Forge, Develop, Trader.

The most general class of cards these ones can be net negative/positive or completely neutral depending on how you play them.

Forge doesn't really belong here because its usually used as a super-trasher and its gaining effect is a bit of a loop-hole. Trash no cards, gain a copper.

Trader doesn't really belong here either because it usually is used as a super-gainer, helping you megadose on silvers.

Develop is the only one that really sits here, and its probably why it is one of the more difficult cards to play correctly. Playing it heavily depends on what card you trash and on what cards are present in the kingdom. You might start out trashing your coppers (net negative), or remodelling your estates into silvers (net neutral), but then you start gaining and top-decking weird combinations (net positive). This provides the largest range of potential options of all Trash for Benefit cards.

Conclusions

To be honest I'm still thinking this over, but apart from the things I've mentioned above there is one other thing I've noticed; while there are cards that let you trash multiple cards, and cards that let you gain multiple cards, there are no cards that do both. There isn't a trash x cards, gain x cards card for example. Edit: I was totally wrong Treasure Map and Remake are counterexamples there.

Rights, that's all I've got for the moment. Please comment on how much you love/hate this :D
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 02:32:33 am by Loschmidt »
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Qvist

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 04:23:28 am »
+2

I like your attempt to classify Trashers, but I do not agree on your classification.

Generally there are only 2 types of trashers, trash for and without benefit.
Trash for benefit cards where the benefit is another (better) card are the "Remodelers". But I cannot see any differentiation between your categories Remodeler and Upgrader.

Remodelers in the most simplest meaning are IMO Remodel, Mine, Expand, Upgrade, Remake, Governor. You exchange a card for another (better) card and the new card is limited in cost depending on the card trashed.
Then there's Farmland which has a Remodel effect on-buy. You could include it here.
Then there's Transmute, which fits the criteria "trash a card and you get another card for it" but you aren't allowed to choose. So, it depends on your definition.
Then there's Develop, which gives you two card. So at first glance, it is a trasher, but basically you have to see it as gainer, it fits both categories.
Then there's Forge, which is different because you can choose the number of cards trashed.

All cards above can be normal Trashers if there are no cards to gain for that cost, especially Remake, Upgrade, Develop and Forge, but still the effect is a Remodel effect and I wouldn't seperate their abilities.

Then there are Trash-for-Benefit cards where the benefit is all but new cards and the benefit also depends from the card trashed.
Apprentice, Bishop and Salvager for +Cards, +VP and +$ respectively are the simplest.

Then there are Trashers with fixed Benefit.
Moneylender and Spice Merchant are limited to specific cards and the benefit is fixed, so they are basically no TfB cards.
Trading Post has also a fixed benefit.

Then there are simple Trashers, the give you no benefit.
These are Loan, Lookout, Masquerade, Jack of All Trades, Steward and Chapel.
Mint is on-buy, so you can include it here.

Disclaimer: I didn't include Dark Ages cards and they may be cards that I forgot.

Feast doesn't belong to any of these categories, because it can only trash itself like Embargo and Mining Village.
You can add a pseudo-trash category for Island and Native Village, but I think this doesn't belong here.
Gainers are basically a separate classification and I'm not sure if they need one.

Loschmidt

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 05:40:45 am »
0

I like your attempt to classify Trashers, but I do not agree on your classification.

Generally there are only 2 types of trashers, trash for and without benefit.
Trash for benefit cards where the benefit is another (better) card are the "Remodelers". But I cannot see any differentiation between your categories Remodeler and Upgrader.


I understand the well studied difference between plain Trashers and Trash for Benefit cards. My categories were an attempt to classify the differences in net subtraction/addition of cards to your deck. I will edit it in an attempt to make that clearer
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Loschmidt

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 05:54:49 am »
0

I like your attempt to classify Trashers, but I do not agree on your classification.

Generally there are only 2 types of trashers, trash for and without benefit.
Trash for benefit cards where the benefit is another (better) card are the "Remodelers". But I cannot see any differentiation between your categories Remodeler and Upgrader.


The Remodel class of cards will never change the amount of cards in your deck, whereas the Upgrade class of cards have the potential to leave you with less cards in your deck. It was these kinds of interactions I was trying to describe.
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Qvist

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 06:12:51 am »
0

I like your attempt to classify Trashers, but I do not agree on your classification.

Generally there are only 2 types of trashers, trash for and without benefit.
Trash for benefit cards where the benefit is another (better) card are the "Remodelers". But I cannot see any differentiation between your categories Remodeler and Upgrader.


The Remodel class of cards will never change the amount of cards in your deck, whereas the Upgrade class of cards have the potential to leave you with less cards in your deck. It was these kinds of interactions I was trying to describe.

So, Farmland and Governor are Upgrading cards even though they do the same as Remodel? What you are try to differentiate is "Remodel"-type cards with and without the word "exactly", am I right? I agree that this makes a difference. But Rats has to be an Upgrader too then, because there is the possibility that there are no Rats available anymore. And even though this almost never happens, there might be edge-cases when even a up-to Remodel fails, for example if there are no Coppers and Silvers left, Mine fails too.

Loschmidt

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 06:56:52 am »
0

So, Farmland and Governor are Upgrading cards even though they do the same as Remodel? What you are try to differentiate is "Remodel"-type cards with and without the word "exactly", am I right? I agree that this makes a difference. But Rats has to be an Upgrader too then, because there is the possibility that there are no Rats available anymore. And even though this almost never happens, there might be edge-cases when even a up-to Remodel fails, for example if there are no Coppers and Silvers left, Mine fails too.

Farmland and Governor (thank you I missed that one) require and exactly $2 better card, and so don't do quite the same as remodel.

Also yes you're quite right; this is ignoring edge cases for the remodel style cards of running out the coppers and curses.
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thirtyseven

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 09:00:50 am »
0

OP, wouldn't Jester be a Jack as opposed to a Gainer, since you can choose who gets a copy of the revealed card (and if it's a victory card you don't gain anything)?
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eHalcyon

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 12:01:30 pm »
0

So, Farmland and Governor are Upgrading cards even though they do the same as Remodel? What you are try to differentiate is "Remodel"-type cards with and without the word "exactly", am I right? I agree that this makes a difference. But Rats has to be an Upgrader too then, because there is the possibility that there are no Rats available anymore. And even though this almost never happens, there might be edge-cases when even a up-to Remodel fails, for example if there are no Coppers and Silvers left, Mine fails too.

Farmland and Governor (thank you I missed that one) require and exactly $2 better card, and so don't do quite the same as remodel.

Also yes you're quite right; this is ignoring edge cases for the remodel style cards of running out the coppers and curses.

I agree with pretty much everything Qvist has said here, and I wonder at what you consider to be an edge case.  Running out of Rats doesn't seem like that much of an edge case to me, for example.  Trashing no cards with Forge is also an edge case, which would thus disqualify it from your definition for "Developer".

Also, shouldn't Transmute be a Develop by your definitions?  You can gain two cards with it by trashing Great Hall, Island, Nobles or Harem.

In general, looking at whether the card will leave you with more or fewer cards isn't that helpful.  I think Qvist's classes are much more useful.
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Loschmidt

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 08:04:36 pm »
0

OP, wouldn't Jester be a Jack as opposed to a Gainer, since you can choose who gets a copy of the revealed card (and if it's a victory card you don't gain anything)?

Woops, you're totally correct.

So, Farmland and Governor are Upgrading cards even though they do the same as Remodel? What you are try to differentiate is "Remodel"-type cards with and without the word "exactly", am I right? I agree that this makes a difference. But Rats has to be an Upgrader too then, because there is the possibility that there are no Rats available anymore. And even though this almost never happens, there might be edge-cases when even a up-to Remodel fails, for example if there are no Coppers and Silvers left, Mine fails too.

Farmland and Governor (thank you I missed that one) require and exactly $2 better card, and so don't do quite the same as remodel.

Also yes you're quite right; this is ignoring edge cases for the remodel style cards of running out the coppers and curses.

I agree with pretty much everything Qvist has said here, and I wonder at what you consider to be an edge case.  Running out of Rats doesn't seem like that much of an edge case to me, for example.  Trashing no cards with Forge is also an edge case, which would thus disqualify it from your definition for "Developer".

Also, shouldn't Transmute be a Develop by your definitions?  You can gain two cards with it by trashing Great Hall, Island, Nobles or Harem.

In general, looking at whether the card will leave you with more or fewer cards isn't that helpful.  I think Qvist's classes are much more useful.

Yeah I actually agree that Trash for Benefit vs Pure Trash is a very helpful way to think about these cards. I was just trying to look at things in a different sense. More about the trend of total cards in your deck vs the total quality. Basically you're always trying to make your deck better quality right? You can think about your average deck quality (q) as overall quality (Q) divided by the total number of cards (c) q=Q/c. Trashers reduce c thus improving q. Gainers increase Q, thus improving q. Remodels both reduce c and increase Q, thereby increasing q.

I find the middle ground cards interesting. The gainers and sometimes trash, and the trashers that sometimes gain. If you play a lot of Remakes for example your deck size is unlikely to stay exactly the same size, you'll trash some coppers permanently sending it down. So you should think of Remakes in a different category to Remodel. Hermit will gain you silvers, but it will sometimes let you trash; thus you should think of it differently to workshop (and similarly to Jack).

Also you're right about the edge cases. Pilling the rats is quite a common one. I'll need to rethink how I deal with that.
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shMerker

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 02:24:11 pm »
+2

To be honest I'm still thinking this over, but apart from the things I've mentioned above there is one other thing I've noticed; while there are cards that let you trash multiple cards, and cards that let you gain multiple cards, there are no cards that do both.

Treasure Map does.
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WheresMyElephant

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 06:13:56 pm »
+2

I really think it's easier to say "Upgrade acts as either a trasher or a Remodel-type" than to give it its own category. The same goes for Jack and Develop and most of the rest of the cards you've named.

Separating these functions out, in addition to making the framework simple, also seems more powerful. I can say "Develop is a very strong but highly situational remodeler."

I am baffled though that people are comparing this to Qvist's classification which is just a tool for a completely different purpose. Obviously there's a big difference between cards that mostly trash garbage for the sake of doing so and cards that actually reward you for trashing your good stuff. And obviously there's a difference between cards that thin your deck and cards that don't (and gainers although this is a little more nebulous, especially because stuff like +Buy blurs the line). You can't be good at Dominion without understanding both of these things.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 06:19:12 pm by WheresMyElephant »
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rinkworks

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 03:46:41 pm »
+1

Very thoughtful and interesting post.  As WheresMyElephant pointed out, the trash vs. TFB is the more common way to classify these, but they're hardly the only useful way to classify them.  Since deck control is important, and deck size is important especially when you start greening, having a good sense of how these different cards affect deck size is helpful.
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Loschmidt

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 11:11:11 pm »
0

To be honest I'm still thinking this over, but apart from the things I've mentioned above there is one other thing I've noticed; while there are cards that let you trash multiple cards, and cards that let you gain multiple cards, there are no cards that do both.

Treasure Map does.

Nice! Seriously I love this forum. Every time a make a sweeping statement without thinking it through I get shot down :D It's making me a better scientist.

Very thoughtful and interesting post.  As WheresMyElephant pointed out, the trash vs. TFB is the more common way to classify these, but they're hardly the only useful way to classify them.  Since deck control is important, and deck size is important especially when you start greening, having a good sense of how these different cards affect deck size is helpful.

Cheers rinkworks :D

After playing a lot of Dark Ages I think I'll try and work on this idea some more. It's made me realise just how hard it is to make your deck smaller. Most of the time you don't want to give up on your buy for that turn so even cards that net you one less (Moneylender for example) keep your deck the same size on a turn.

I may re-arrange everything into the concept of "average deck quality". Cards that reduce your total size to increase average quality vs cards that increase your overall quality. Basically all of the trash for benefit cards sit somewhere in the middle of those two ideas.
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Jive Junkie

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2012, 11:04:13 pm »
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I also find this post to be quite helpful.

When scanning a set of Kingdom cards, your mind goes through many calculations. One of the things that needs to be spelt out is the number and quality of trashers on board. Sometimes your perspective is just to improve your deck quality, but sometimes your perspective is to achieve a target deck size (usually small, for crazy engine shenanigans). Having a quick and easy classification system in your mind for deck size manipulation cards can let you be a little more clear-headed when figuring out your strategy.

For example, in my mind, I think of Jack of All Trades as a trasher among other things. But clearly, it's never a net negative in number of cards in your deck, and some engines would not really benefit from having that Estate replaced with a Silver. Having it explicitly live in a different category in my mind may make it less likely that I mistakenly count Jack as an actual honest-to-God trasher for an engine.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2012, 01:57:57 am »
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This is an interesting way of classifying deck-size-changers. I would like to see all the cards listed out just to have it there to look at all as a group to see if that helps in thinking about what to do with this classification.

Also, just off the top of my head, Rats can also increase deck size if your hand is all Rats. Not sure if that's worth mentioning.
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Loschmidt

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Re: A classifcation system of trashers, gainers and remodelers
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2012, 02:18:51 am »
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I also find this post to be quite helpful.

When scanning a set of Kingdom cards, your mind goes through many calculations. One of the things that needs to be spelt out is the number and quality of trashers on board. Sometimes your perspective is just to improve your deck quality, but sometimes your perspective is to achieve a target deck size (usually small, for crazy engine shenanigans). Having a quick and easy classification system in your mind for deck size manipulation cards can let you be a little more clear-headed when figuring out your strategy.

For example, in my mind, I think of Jack of All Trades as a trasher among other things. But clearly, it's never a net negative in number of cards in your deck, and some engines would not really benefit from having that Estate replaced with a Silver. Having it explicitly live in a different category in my mind may make it less likely that I mistakenly count Jack as an actual honest-to-God trasher for an engine.

Glad to see someone thinks it's helpful! This means I'll definitely do some more work on it.

What you say about Jack is exactly the kind of insight I was hoping to discover. Despite first appearances Jack really won't help you thin your deck enough for an engine. On the other hand Trading Post, something I would have never considered as an engine enabler may not be such a bad choice.

Having a turn that goes: Trading Post, trash estate/copper, silver in hand, buy an engine piece; means that you have the same size deck before and after your turn! Only you turned a copper into a silver and an estate into an engine piece.
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