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Graystripe77

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Navigator
« on: September 02, 2011, 01:06:20 pm »
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Navigator seemed like a weak card at first. Then after playing with it in action-dry, large decks, i've noticed that it really speeds up your deck toward reshuffle, and for some reason, i'm just drawn toward buying it. I'm not the guy to write an article, but if anyone would like to, i would appreciate it. And hell, let's turn this into a discussion about when it's good and when it sucks to have navigator.

Edit: and ironically, i am a navigator now.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 01:24:56 pm by Graystripe77 »
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rinkworks

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 01:38:26 pm »
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I've had the same experience as you.  A while back, I contributed to the "nerfs and buffs" thread in Variants and suggested that Navigator would be better priced at $3.  After that, I started experimenting more with it and found it to be a lot more useful than I realized.  It's still not strong at $4, I think -- that would be an overcorrection -- but sometimes it sure is nice to have.  If you can use it to save yourself from a whole bad hand now and again, which is not uncommon, that can have incalculable ramifications on your game as the benefit compounds in subtle ways as you continue to play.

Beyond cold strategy, it's kind of a fun card to play, too, as it's a somewhat unusual effect.  Chancellor, Pearl Diver, Golem, Conspirator, Tribute, and a few others fall into this category for me too.  Whether strong or weak,  smart or ill-advised, their uniqueness makes the playing of them fun.  Which, to me, is more important than the strategy.
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DG

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 01:39:10 pm »
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I played a navigator game today that might fit the bill so I'll give it a go. It's not an exciting game or a power strategy but it might illustrate something of worth.
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cherdano

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2011, 10:31:02 am »
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I think it combines quite well with Trading Post: Open Navigator/Silver, buy trading post at turn 3/4, and use the Navigator to play the Trading Post as often as possible.
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DG

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 09:14:29 am »
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Here's a link to the game I was talking about Navigator/talisman. Unfortunately, it isn't a reliably strong strategy and is more of a curiosity of play style. It would probably have been stronger in a colony game. It does however show some uses of the navigator that can be deciphered from a game log.

Some points of interest are that :
- I'm not using other terminal actions with the navigator
- The navigator skips bad hands, lots of bad hands
- The navigator ensures that the loan trashes copper and not gold
- The navigator places estates on top of the deck making the loan discard them, setting up very strong following turns
- The deck is small enough for the navigator and loan to be drawn together frequently
- The deck cycles very quickly and gets new cards into play due the the navigator, loan, and mining village (compared to silver)
- The talisman restocks the deck quickly to replace the trashed copper
- The talisman can be used without losing opportunity to buy 5 cost cards (none in the kingdom)
- The talisman/loan opening isn't going to miss a 5 cost card on turn three or four (none in the kingdom)
- At the time I thought that the navigator and loan would offer defence against the fortune teller, however since I often played a mining village beforehand this assumption was false. Fortune tellers are probably the strongest cards in the kingdom.
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philosophyguy

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 03:19:44 pm »
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DG's log is interesting. There are definitely some great synergies with Navigator and the cycle-your-deck treasure cards (Loan and Venture too, I would imagine).

If you have a Village-type card, a Navigator, and a drawing card, Navigator is obviously really strong. But, having all three of those things in your hand is tricky, to say the least.

Outside of those two cases, are there big advantages to Navigator? It seems like a weak Chancellor (because it doesn't guarantee that your entire deck will be put in the discard, so you don't necessarily get your new cards shuffled in), and usually there are going to be $4 cards that give better advantages.

Are there other scenarios in which Navigator shines?
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DG

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 08:20:05 pm »
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A big disadvantage to the navigator can be that it forces a reshuffle at the wrong time. Golems, minions, and hunting parties can create ugly discard piles that you don't want on top of your deck, even after discarding 5 cards. The chancellor and navigator effects are similar but different and the navigator's is more versatile.

A navigator can defend against top of deck attacks like sea hags or ghost ships. Quite often though you'd prefer to have the sea hag as your terminal action instead. Buy the navigator after your deck is full of curses and redundant sea hags that you'll frequently want to throw away. It is probably best as a defensive card against rabbles.
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Razzishi

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 10:32:50 pm »
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I usually will buy one early if there's nothing else interesting for $4 and the game looks to have something close to BM as a dominant strategy.  I try not to get cute with it in action chains as I will throw a large percentage of my next 5 cards back and using it to plan the current turn requires many different card types to come together to do something that might not actually provide any benefit compared to another $4.  In BM, the ability to cycle your deck early and throw away an underproducing hand later on is definitely worthwhile.
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tko

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 03:25:11 pm »
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I had a game where my opponent and I were drawing much of our deck thanks to Alchemist, enjoying the benefits of the empty Alchemist pile with City, trashing with Salvager, and we both managed to get 1 King's Court each.  It was a mirror match and I was looking for a small advantage.  I conveniently had an extra buy on Turn 15 and the extra coin, so bought 1 Navigator with the plan of King's Courting it for $6 (which I did on Turn 16 & 17).
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110815-015557-dac29e7b.html#tko-show-turn-15
The way I played Navigator here, it could have been a Chancellor, Swindler, Militia, etc... but they weren't in the set - Navigator was, so it was a corner case use of the card.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 03:29:10 pm »
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i think navigator is useful in garden/duke decks, where you will have a lot of green mucking up your hands and you just need to hit 4/5 each turn.
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Fangz

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 07:23:54 am »
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I don't think so. For Gardens, as a $4 buy, it conflicts with other stuff you can be buying (i.e. Gardens itself, horse traders, ironworks, etc), it doesn't contribute +buy, and with your fat gardens decks it's highly unlikely you will be using it more than once. And in the one time you do use it, it merely potentially skips a turn where you can buy copper anyway. For Duke/duchy... well, I don't really do those very often, but I can't see it being that helpful.
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Davio

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 07:51:57 am »
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I think it's more useful in a draw deck, making sure you can keep drawing.

But if you use it plainly for that purpose you could also use a Scout or Apothecary.
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greatexpectations

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 08:25:44 am »
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I don't think so. For Gardens, as a $4 buy, it conflicts with other stuff you can be buying (i.e. Gardens itself, horse traders, ironworks, etc), it doesn't contribute +buy, and with your fat gardens decks it's highly unlikely you will be using it more than once. And in the one time you do use it, it merely potentially skips a turn where you can buy copper anyway. For Duke/duchy... well, I don't really do those very often, but I can't see it being that helpful.

obviously ironworks or horse traders are preferable.  if we precluded listing all potential uses of a card by other cards that did the job better, we would get ourselves nowhere.  a navigator does however provide half of the cost for buying a gardens in the current turn, and it lets you look at your next hand to help ensure that you can draw $4+ again next turn. as someone who will try a garden strategy 90% of the time i see them, i think that this ability is useful in a deck clogged with green.

i opened navigator in both of these garden games.  it was a useful card each time, though the strategy might not work as well against elite opponents.
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110706-184029-626dfa98.html
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110531-202530-123327d4.html
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Fangz

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Re: Navigator
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 09:52:52 am »
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But if you are playing with cards without ironworks, horse traders, or workshop - all of which are preferable to navigator - I'd say that a gardens based strategy is more or less unworkable anyway.
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