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Author Topic: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?  (Read 4133 times)

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jaybeez

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When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« on: September 13, 2012, 01:48:17 pm »
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This was kind of prompted by Powerman's article on Scrying Pool that was posted yesterday (which I enjoyed very much, thanks Powerman!)  When do you think it's appropriate to buy two Potions?

I think you might want to do it when enough of the following criteria are satisfied:
- you have a way of turning the Potions into something useful after you don't need them (Mine, Remodel, Salvager, other trash-for-benefit cards)
- there are cheap Potion-cost cards you want a lot of (mainly Scrying Pool I think, but maybe Transmute in some cases?)
- there's a good source of +Buy available (kind of an adjunct to the above, having +Buy and two Potions gives you the chance of buying two SPs in one turn, which maybe is something you need to go for sometimes?)
- you want to go for Vineyards (+Buy is important here again)
- you want to buy lots of Alchemists and you want to increase your chances of being able to topdeck them every turn.

Are there other scenarios I missed?  How many of the above factors have to converge to make buying more than one Potion worth it?

And another question: would you ever want three (or more?!) Potions?  I would think it's exceedingly rare that you'd need more than two.  And maybe two is even too much, I don't know.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 01:49:36 pm by jaybeez »
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ehunt

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 02:52:25 pm »
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Certainly for something like ironworks/vineyards I'm happy to get up to like 4 potions, just to be sure that when i slog through my junky/slow deck I pick up a bunch of vineyards (my opponent is going to be cycling better, so if he buys even one potion to deny me, he'll see it twice as fast).

I occasionally have gotten two potions for apothecary-heavy games; I don't know if it's right.
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werothegreat

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 04:29:35 pm »
+2

One of the most fun times I ever had was playing some noob who didn't think opening Ambassador would be a good idea.  I opened Potion/Amb (I think) to pick up an early Familiar.  I gave him all the Curses he gave me.  By the end of it, I was handing him multiple Potions every turn.  He couldn't do anything.
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dondon151

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 04:46:52 pm »
+1

I think that, aside from Alch and Vineyards, you are generally far better off with 1 Potion even in the scenarios that you listed, because generally by the time that you can reliably buy 2 cards costing $2P per turn, you'll already have a fair number of those cards, and buying 2 at a time is marginally less helpful than buying your other payload cards.

PStone without Herbalist may want more than 1 Potion. Here's a game today where I got 2 Potions in a Sea Hag + PStone game: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201209/13/game-20120913-115226-3772c109.html

I kind of only got 1 chance to use that second Potion before Developing it into Duchy/Silver, and it was a bust, but if I didn't have that Potion I would have maybe had a 50% chance to not pick up my third PStone, so I guess it was useful? Kind of? I knew that it wouldn't be as much of a problem because I had Develops...
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clb

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 05:37:48 pm »
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I played a deck recently where Armory enabled a very fast draining of the Vineyard pile - the Armories enabled me to top-deck a potion every turn to ensure I could buy a Vineyard each turn. I am not sure how it would stack up against a more serious strategy, but it was fun.
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mDuo13

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 05:57:14 pm »
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I agree with dondon151: 1 Potion only for most cases. It's especially useless late game unless there's a Vineyard on the board. (How're you supposed to turn Potions into VP? Upgrade them into Duchies. ;) Obviously Vineyard needs a lot of Potions.

I find that with Alchemist, usually 2 Potions is the magic number. I rarely want to dilute my deck farther, but with only 1 Potion I don't draw into it often enough to keep stacking the Alchemists.
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ftl

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 06:23:53 pm »
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I had an IRL game recently where two potions were the right way to go, I think. The potion-cost cards were golem and apothecary. There was coppersmith to make coppers crazy, and there was goons for constant attacks and lots of goons points, but there were no villages besides the pseudo-village effect of golem and no cantrips aside from Apothecary (and Grand Market, which was pointless to go for when copper was the obvious source of $ around). I'm pretty sure a second potion helped, being able to pick up golems/apothecaries quicker.
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Loschmidt

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 08:52:44 pm »
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I played a deck recently where Armory enabled a very fast draining of the Vineyard pile - the Armories enabled me to top-deck a potion every turn to ensure I could buy a Vineyard each turn. I am not sure how it would stack up against a more serious strategy, but it was fun.

This.

I assume that was one of the Alchemy/Dark Ages recommended sets? I did the same thing :D Also someone was Cultist-ing me non-stop giving me 10 free actions. I won by quite a bit.

Other than that I don't think I've ever bought 2 potions.
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Davio

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 02:05:54 am »
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Vineyards and Alchemists.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2012, 04:45:39 am »
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I just played a Vineyards game where I bought four potions. Usually Vineyards games are the only times thought that I buy more than one. I know some people buy an extra for Alchemist, but I'm not really sure on that. I feel that card is just too slow most of the time unless KC is on the board or cursing or its a Colony game.
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DG

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2012, 08:14:29 am »
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Take as many potions as you need for the game as played. One potion is ideal but if you need more for a winning strategy then get more. Just make sure it is a winning strategy.
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GendoIkari

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2012, 09:06:12 am »
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One of my favorite things is to build a crazy action-heavy engine that draws a bunch and gets lots of buys... then when some piles are low, buy about 4 Potions on one turn, and get 4 Vineyards each the next 2 turns.
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jomini

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2012, 10:28:33 am »
+1

Another place for multiple potions is with heavy upgrading or similar. For instance, an upgrade/apothecary/hamlet/goons engine can get to the point where it draws every card and upgrading estates -> silvers -> pots gives you double apothecary buys (for more points once the hamlets run out); next turn the pots can be upgraded into upgrades (and then on to goons). Pots are a good way point in a remodel or upgrade chain for apothecary decks - they increase draw. The downside is that a typical province game will be over too quickly to make it worthwhile, goons (or other VP chips) and colonies can change that.

This brings up another point where multiple pots can be useful. Double pots will let you buy more economy each shuffle, but the number of shuffles in the game limits the utility of that economy. With a longer colony game, multiple pots can be vastly more effective. For instance, considering a possession deck. Gaining more than one possession a turn is normally not worth it in a province game, you normally hit possession when he hits his first province and it would be around his third before you'd buy a double possession - there just aren't enough points left in the game to make it competitive with buying a province yourself. In a colony game, you will often be able to hit double possession around his second colony. This leaves you with scads of points to buy (6 colonies and 8 provinces) and a lot more time left to do it. Other engines can build up in like manner. An apothecary deck strong enough to draw the entire deck for a vault, discard it, draw it again, and discard it is normally overkill in a province game. In a colony game, you have a long time to build and getting two pots can allow you to run massive overdraw for something like that. P-stone is another strong example for colonies. On weak colony boards, you can build up P-stones for a long time. Something like Goons (no villages)/Pstone may well want several pots keep buy Pstones.

To a much lesser extent, alt-VP can make double pots worth it. For instance, I could see something like Feodum/Apprentice/Golem/Grave Robber/Apothecary work with multiple potions as you will trash potions for draw and you can expand apothecaries into golems. Foedum will let the game last a long time as you snag mass silver.
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Spiral Architect

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 09:22:29 am »
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Well, I had a game a while ago where we were setting up Alchemist engines with trashing, so I got the extra potion to help keep the stacking going. I later trashed it when it was no longer needed, naturally.
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Davio

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 10:06:47 am »
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Just played a game with Apothecary and Familiar where I bought 2 Potions.
My thought was: I can just draw them with the Apothecaries anyway and it might allow me an early extra Familiar.

I won the Curse split 3-7 or something as my plan worked great, but I'm still not sure...
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ednever

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2012, 10:40:50 am »
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Just played an Alchemist game vs Marin where I believe the right answer was two potions: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201210/09/game-20121009-073751-6a135c77.html

(I only won because he was stuck opening 5/2 - but I still think the double potion call was right. It let me win the Alchemist split 7-3. If I had one potion I likely still would have won it 6-4 but it would have been a lot closer a game)

Ed
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jotheonah

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2012, 11:09:42 am »
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Mine is a weird case too. It can create scenarios where the best move is to turn your Silver into a Potion this particular turn, or your Potion into Gold. So in cases like that the number of Potions in your deck becomes a slightly more fluid statistic.
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Asklepios

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2012, 04:46:00 am »
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Vineyards and Alchemists.

I agree entirely.

2, for Alchemists, if here is a +buy. If there isn't a +buy, I generally won't be playing Alchemists.

For Vineyards, I'll almost certainly get 2 potions, and I might get more than 2 potions, with a slow deck cycling speed. The key factor in Vineyards games seems to be the Vineyard split, and I think most people start getting Vineyards slightly too late, in my experience. The game decider in a Vineyards game is often the turn when you have 2 buys and 2 potions, and get 2 Vineyards. After that, its just a slow grind to the 3-pile
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footsies

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2012, 11:13:24 pm »
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I just played an Alchemist game in which my opponent bought two potions too early and drew them simultaneously, which hurt his ability to buy Alchemists. So without a lot of money and +buy, two potions is going to cripple you early, when that extra potion could have been a silver or useful action letting you get Alchemists or Golems or whatever it is you need.

Even without +buy, an Ambassador/Potion opening allowed me to trim down my deck and consistently top-deck 5 alchemists, drawing $8P every turn and cleaning out anything he was giving me with his own Ambassador. It led to a rare game in which I won with 8 provinces (one on every turn from 14-22 except for turn 18, when I bought a Gold because I felt I needed to offset the green).

Gamelog, just cause I'm usually pretty awful at this game and kind of proud of it: http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201210/24/game-20121024-195702-66362ca4.html
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 11:24:39 pm by footsies »
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Davio

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Re: When do you want to buy more than one Potion?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 03:39:53 am »
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Well, you might not want or need another Potion right away, but without trashing, it's useful eventually.
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