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Author Topic: Taking a $5 card over an early gold  (Read 2460 times)

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HiveMindEmulator

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Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« on: August 25, 2011, 03:02:48 pm »
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So say you draw $6 on turn 3 or 4. You can grab a really fast gold, or you can go for a $5 card. For the most part, youíre going to want gold, but of course there are some exceptions. Obviously, if youíre going for a gold-free strategy (minions, tactician+vault, vault+GM, baron+HP, etc.) then you donít want gold. And of course there are the major attacks you canít afford to fall behind on: mountebank, witch, and torturer.

Ghost ship is a bit questionable to me because Iím not sure the strength of the attack does enough to offset the fact that youíre getting +2 cards instead of +$3 in the early game. Similarly, minion hurts you as much as them if youíre not going for a minion deck. Jesterís attack seems a bit innocuous for the most part, but if theyíre buying cards you want, maybe itís worth it sometimes?

As far as non-attacks go, I like tactician in strategies where you would have bought one with $5. It will basically always get you a gold + more when you play it, and it helps to cycle, which can help make up for the delay in getting your gold. Probably wharf too if you have another source of money (like fishing village) and are going for a wharf chain.

My big question is what to do with the $5 trashers: upgrade, apprentice, trading post, and mint (I guess mine is on this list too, but I have a hard time believing youíd want to go for that). I figure if your $6 came from 4 coppers and a +$2 action, mint is a good call. I donít really think Iíd really want to go for apprentice, because itís not really good for trashing coppers, so you might as well take the gold now and just get your apprentice next shuffle. Iíd also avoid trading post for the most part since it loses value fast due to being terminal and requiring you to have 2 bad cards in your hand; but it may have a place if you need trashing, itís the only source, and you can spare the action. Now upgrade is a really interesting question. Itís clearly very good early on, but can it be better than gold, and if so, when?

What do you guys think? What cards do you sometimes prioritize over gold and when?
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guided

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 03:34:03 pm »
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You mentioned Witch/Mountebank/Torturer, which I will frequently take over Gold early on.

It would be exceedingly rare for me to be tempted to take Ghost Ship over Gold. That goes double for Jester. Tactician? If I was planning a Tactician-based strategy, sure, but only if it were really the keystone of my early strategy.

Trading Post? Maybe at turn 3/4. But probably not, most of the time. I'll happily take Trading Post with exactly $5 in a wide range of circumstances at turn 3/4, but passing on Gold to take it is a high opportunity cost, and Trading Post isn't the overwhelming power card at 3/4 that it is as an opening.

Upgrade? Almost never. Gold is a much stronger early buy in almost every circumstance, I feel. Ditto Apprentice. These cards don't trash quickly enough to be priority early-game buys.

Mint, only if it trashed at least 4 and preferably 5 coppers, no Silver, and I already have some other source of buying power, and I feel like it's a good board for Mint. I don't think it's likely to come up often. Very early Mint buys are flashy but I think not very strong most of the time since you typically leave yourself with this really crappy deck choked with Estates.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 05:15:40 pm »
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I mostly agree with guided, a little less on the torturer if there isn't a possibility to chain, add in minion on many boards (where minion decks are good), and absolutely yes to Ghost Ship on the first 1, possibly 2... depending on the deck you're going for. If there are a good number of other terminals, then no. But if you're playing big money, you want 2-3 ghost ships ASAP, even over gold.

guided

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2011, 05:16:59 pm »
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Oh, I'll never* take Torturer over Gold if I'm not building a Torturer engine, don't worry ;)

Torturer is one of the most underwhelming attacks in the game if you can't chain them.
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DG

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 06:27:25 pm »
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There are a lot of 5 cost cards that can be better than gold. There are some decks where buying treasure is counter productive and will always add inertia to your deck. If you're using an ambassador then you might really prefer a lab or bazaar over a gold for example. Against pirates and thieves the alternative money sources are usually good. A tactician can frequently open up new strategies. A trading post can be fantastic at condensing a deck. Sometimes an apprentice can be a slow burner that takes off strongly by the end game. The list of 5 cost cards that I wouldn't buy for an early 6 is probably just the harvest and very few others. There may even be occasions to get a stash, royal seal, or venture before gold.
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AJD

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 06:38:04 pm »
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I mean, getting Venture over gold can be a no-brainer when you've trashed most or all of your copper.
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 01:24:04 am »
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Thanks for all the responses!

The reason I actually started this thread is that I recently played some relatively high level player (not that high, but like mid-high 30s, so I assume they know what they're doing as much as I do) on isotropic who went upgrade with $6 on turn 3 in a venture kingdom. I thought "interesting, he values trashing copper sooner rather then getting the gold to consistently buy ventures/golds. maybe that makes sense since you can get $5 for ventures often enough without gold..." but when I asked him about it, he said that he generally prefers early upgrade to gold in any situation. It struck me as something that might be ok in this kingdom, though I couldn't see it being good in general. I thought maybe I was missing something big, but I'm glad to see that upgrade > gold on turn 3 is not a prevailing opinion for everyone here.

Specific comments I found particularly interesting:

absolutely yes to Ghost Ship on the first 1, possibly 2... depending on the deck you're going for. If there are a good number of other terminals, then no. But if you're playing big money, you want 2-3 ghost ships ASAP, even over gold.
I wonder about this. If your opponent is doing the same thing, it's important to get an early gold if you can, because if you're under constant ghost ships, you may have a hard time getting to 6 again for a while. But maybe it's more important to get the ghost ships going, because if you delay getting your ghost ships, your opponent will get their gold anyway just a little later? Pure ghost ship big money sounds like something the simulator can solve :)

If you're using an ambassador then you might really prefer a lab or bazaar over a gold for example.
Do other people feel the same way about this? Sure lab can help you apprentice more stuff (and when lab is around I prefer ambassador/silver to double ambassador for the chance to pull $5 for a lab), but gold can enable you to actually *buy* stuff, including more labs. Labs are good and often become better than gold late game, but assuming you need a gold eventually, I don't see the sense in not getting it right away if you can. I find it hard to believe you would ever rather have a lab than a gold at turn 3-4.

Quote
There may even be occasions to get a stash, royal seal, or venture before gold.
Stash of course makes sense if you're going for a stash deck, as you don't want gold at all, but would you ever get it before gold in a deck where you want an eventual gold?
Royal seal does cute stuff by letting you use purchased cards instantly, but at the end of the day, it has the buying power of a silver. At turn 3-4, that extra +$1 from gold is basically always going to be better than being able to play a card sooner, as your deck isn't that big yet anyway. The only kind of situation I can see where you want royal seal is again in a gold-free deck like mass royal seal into counting house or something...
And venture? It seems to me that even though venture eventually gets stronger than gold, it takes too long to get to that point that it doesn't make sense to give up the buying power gold can give early in the game.
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Superdad

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 10:46:12 am »
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For venture it's actually dead-simple... if the average value of treasure in your deck is greater than 2, you buy venture. Always. So if I have 1 copper, 2 silvers, 2 golds in my deck, Venture is a better buy than gold. For the case of this discussion, the probability of that happening on an early $6 is zero. but for midgame, if I have an average treasure value of more than 2, then I'm buying venture over gold. 

/edit: For all cases there are exceptions... some possible exceptions to this would (maaaaybe) be if I already had a Salvager, Apprentice, Expand, Remodel, or other cards that care about the actual cost of the card. I still think it would be close enough that I'd take the venture there though.

/edit2: Ninja'd below by Thisisnotasmile. Another good exception is if you are drawing your entire deck each turn.


For Lab, I would certainly buy Lab over gold if I have something like Montebank in my deck. Heck I'd probably take lab over gold if I have militia in my deck. I value using the attack more frequently to mess up my opponent higher than me having slightly higher buying power. I could see that as being a mistake, most notably with militia, but if it is, it's probably REALLY close. I.e. I'm not giving that much edge away.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 11:00:43 am by Superdad »
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 10:57:22 am »
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For venture it's actually dead-simple... if the average value of treasure in your deck is greater than 2, you buy venture. Always. So if I have 1 copper, 2 silvers, 2 golds in my deck, Venture is a better buy than gold. For the case of this discussion, the probability of that happening on an early $6 is zero. but for midgame, if I have an average treasure value of more than 2, then I'm buying venture over gold.

It's never "dead-simple" in Dominion. If I plan to build an engine that draws my deck every turn, even if the current average treasure value in my deck is $3 (or even higher) and I'm going to buy a treasure, I will buy Gold. In the case that you are drawing your whole deck, Venture is worth as much as a Copper (+ Chancellor effect). Similarly, if my current average treasure is >$2 but I expect to be Mountebanked a lot for the rest of the game, I'm going to prefer Gold over Venture.
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ARTjoMS

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Re: Taking a $5 card over an early gold
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 07:32:01 pm »
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I really think apprentice

I figure if your $6 came from 4 coppers and a +$2 action, mint is a good call. I donít really think Iíd really want to go for apprentice, because itís not really good for trashing coppers, so you might as well take the gold now and just get your apprentice next shuffle.
Exactly.
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