Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1]

Author Topic: When to buy Black Market?  (Read 2661 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

philosophyguy

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 575
  • Respect: +298
    • View Profile
When to buy Black Market?
« on: September 07, 2011, 06:31:54 pm »
0

I can never figure out when to buy a Black Market. It seems like my opponents get great cards out of the BM (VP-token cards in a set without any, trashers, cursers, etc.), but I tend to get boring cards. I know there's a bias in that observation (since when my opponent draws boring cards I tend not to notice), but I don't know how to evaluate it. Even when BM has good cards (e.g., a Chapel in an otherwise no-trashing set), getting to draw that card is so high-variance that I can't figure out when it's worth it and when it's not.

So: how do you decide when to buy a Black Market?
Logged

Epoch

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 420
  • Respect: +37
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 06:53:22 pm »
0

I don't know that my heuristic is any good at all -- like you, I am unsure I'm playing BM well.  But for what it's worth, here's how I approach it:

1.  I look at the other cards.  Is there a strong strategy?  If so, I almost never buy BM.
2.  But if the board is unexciting, I look at the BM deck.  Does it feature cursers when the main board has none?  Does it have a KC when the main board has a power card that can really benefit from one KC?  Does it have a particular power card (probably NOT a trasher, since those lose so much ooomph if you buy them late) when the main board has none?  Does it contain a major enabler that the main board doesn't?  Particularly, if the main board has a non-village engine (like Lab or Hunting Party or Minion or Scrying Pool) and also several strong terminals, but no village, a village (or several) in the BM can be really good.  Does the BM contain +buy when the main board gives you lots of coin but no +buy?
3.  Preferably, does it have more than one of the things I just mentioned in #2?
4.  Or finally, is the main board just so unexciting that I'm happy to buy BM as a terminal silver and just hey, maybe something good comes from it?

If #3 or #4, then I buy BM.  Otherwise, skip it.

Related:  It would be super awesome if there was a simpler way to view just the BM deck on isotropic.  It would be slightly less super, but still awesome, if there was a simple way to view just the BM deck on isotropic already, and I'm just too stupid to know what it is.
Logged

puddleduck

  • Pawn
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 06:56:36 pm »
0

Honestly, I almost always buy it without even looking at what's in the deck.

Its just a fun terminal silver, so I'm sure this isn't optimal.  Generally I would guess that it only truly makes sense when there are a decent density of cards in the BM deck that bring something to the game that is otherwise missing (cursing, trashing, VP tokens, etc ...) or that are powerful enough in combination with your intended deck that playing them just a handful times could be a game changer. 

BM can be much more powerful in decks with string trashing.  Otherwise you get so few opportunities to use anything bought past the first few turns.

And of course, it combos really well with tactician.

Edit: Epoch you can view the contents of the black market deck by clicking the "info" button next to "end turn".  (Sorry for the slightly less super outcome) 
Logged

ackack

  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 302
  • Respect: +19
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 06:57:24 pm »
0

You can indeed view the Black Market deck - click "info."

Unless you have some other terminal you're looking to play a lot (so that you'd end up with clogging), I'd say it's almost always worth one early.
Logged

Epoch

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 420
  • Respect: +37
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 07:02:12 pm »
0

I'm clearly an idiot, but I've clicked info many a time and didn't...  see... anything.  Is there a link on the little pop-up window?
Logged

guided

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 940
  • Respect: +88
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 07:11:03 pm »
0

You should consider Black Market if you see some strong engine that can be easily built with the addition of just one or two of some common card type that is not available on the board (like Village variants, or in some cases trashers). If you do not need some other terminal action instead of BM, it can sometimes be worth a flyer just to see if you can quickly turn up something good (like a Witch or something).

It's a bit easier to plan on isotropic with a small BM deck that you can peruse at your leisure. It's not the info button, it's a different button near the Kingdom cards if I recall.
Logged

Epoch

  • Tactician
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 420
  • Respect: +37
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2011, 07:14:18 pm »
0

It's a bit easier to plan on isotropic with a small BM deck that you can peruse at your leisure. It's not the info button, it's a different button near the Kingdom cards if I recall.

I'm aware of the button that launches a separate window which shows ALL the cards that are potentially available in the game (the BM cards, the normal Kingdom cards, and the always-there-cards like Silver and Gold), but it's kind of annoying to filter down to the like 50% of the entries that are actually in the BM.  Is that what you're talking about, or is there something else?
Logged

guided

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 940
  • Respect: +88
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2011, 07:19:58 pm »
0

That's what I'm talking about.
Logged

chwhite

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1065
  • Respect: +437
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 07:26:48 pm »
0

My thought process for BM is basically identical to Epoch's, and I'm pretty sure that I do play Black Market well: my Effect With and Effect Without are +1.13/+1.14.  I would only add that there are a few cases where Black Market is *itself* part of a strong strategy: mostly in the presence of Tactician or Fairgrounds.  Its ability to play treasures out of turn can also be handy in a Library/Watchtower engine.

Black Market is actually not a good card at all, though I do think it's better than its atrocious win rate on isotropic.
Logged
To discard or not to discard?  That is the question.

play2draw

  • Guest
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 07:40:03 pm »
0

If there's no cursing attack in the kingdom, I prioritize the Black Market it in the hopes of grabbing a Witch, Sea Hag, et al. Otherwise, I'll prioritize the card if there's something missing in the kingdom, such as +buy, +actions, or a decent card-drawer.

Unless there's a really strong terminal I need to play as much as I can (i.e. ambassador, I almost always grab the Black Market. There could be other very useful cards in there (like Hoard or Tournament, for example). In these cases, however, it's not a big priority for me.
Logged

PerdHapley

  • Thief
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 92
  • Respect: +39
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 07:47:02 pm »
0

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned horn of plenty yet. On a board with good trashing and village support, BM can make HOPs worth provinces very quickly, and if colonies are out, well, that's even better, since you'll have even more time to build a diverse deck and hitting 11 different cards shouldn't be too difficult.
Logged

ackack

  • Explorer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 302
  • Respect: +19
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 08:14:41 pm »
0

I'm clearly an idiot, but I've clicked info many a time and didn't...  see... anything.  Is there a link on the little pop-up window?

Fire up a solitaire game requiring Black Market and try clicking "info," the same button with the point tracker when you have it on. I get Black Market deck information at the top of that screen. (Yes, I just checked it.)
Logged

DG

  • Governor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4071
  • Respect: +2611
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 08:24:36 pm »
0

There are many problems with the black market so I'd never buy it on the assumption that it would automatically solve more problems than it creates. Good cards in the black market might not be useful because -

- you don't have enough coins to buy them when they show in the black market
- there's a better card in the supply for the coins you have to spend
- you often won't have the actions to play it (the black market takes actions too)
- it arrives too late in the game and it won't make a difference
- you didn't know you'd buy the card so your deck isn't built to support it
- just one copy of the card isn't enough to change your strategy

Having said that it can be worth looking through the black market either for some game changing cards, enough useful cards to build a strategy (villages usually), or cards that combine with the black market itself: thrones, king's courts, ambassadors, tacticians, curse attacks, banks, quarries, moats, horn of plenty, etc.
Logged

DStu

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2627
  • Respect: +1488
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 03:26:25 am »
0

I think the most time when I buy the BM is for +buy. When there is a strong engine on the board that is likely to explode, but there is no +buy in the Kingdom, then you really want it. And you tend to want it in the end of the game, not in the beginning like the trashers or cursers, so you have time to find it. And one or two of them really matter. A single KC is good, but they only get obscene when you can chain them. Same for Bridges, Goons, Torturers.
A single +buy on a good board that lets you buy Duchy+Province instead of Province the last two turns can really make the difference.

Some kind of village might also be interesting when there are multiple strong terminals and strong trashing, but you can not rely on the few you get out of the BM to build your drawchain around them.
Logged

rinkworks

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1316
  • Respect: +918
    • View Profile
    • RinkWorks
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2011, 10:21:08 am »
0

Not an answer to the original question, but Black Market + Fairgrounds is probably my favorite type of Dominion game.  I'm sure I don't play it well, because I'm having too much fun playing it at all to worry about optimizing strategy.

Throw in Vineyards for even more awesomeness.
Logged

Reyk

  • Young Witch
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 146
  • Respect: +24
    • View Profile
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 11:23:25 am »
0

Not an answer to the original question, but Black Market + Fairgrounds is probably my favorite type of Dominion game.  I'm sure I don't play it well, because I'm having too much fun playing it at all to worry about optimizing strategy.

Throw in Vineyards for even more awesomeness.

Yes, this is really interesting. I thought about it a little. The presence of Colony will change the game again I guess. But the most important question is when to gain the Black Market(s). If there are many terminals in the Kingdom/Black Market Deck it might be a better idea to play a normal game first to got to 6 consistently and gain Faigrounds moderately using Black Market?! But then it might be too late for Black Market to gain many different cards.
Logged

rinkworks

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1316
  • Respect: +918
    • View Profile
    • RinkWorks
Re: When to buy Black Market?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2011, 12:05:53 pm »
0

Not an answer to the original question, but Black Market + Fairgrounds is probably my favorite type of Dominion game.  I'm sure I don't play it well, because I'm having too much fun playing it at all to worry about optimizing strategy.

Throw in Vineyards for even more awesomeness.

Yes, this is really interesting. I thought about it a little. The presence of Colony will change the game again I guess. But the most important question is when to gain the Black Market(s). If there are many terminals in the Kingdom/Black Market Deck it might be a better idea to play a normal game first to got to 6 consistently and gain Faigrounds moderately using Black Market?! But then it might be too late for Black Market to gain many different cards.

I'm sure this is not optimal, but as I play this one just for fun, I open Black Market/Black Market, buy stuff out of the Black Market as much as I can, prioritizing Villages, TR/KC, and VP cards (and +Buy if there isn't any in the kingdom and Vineyards is).  Buy a Silver and a Gold as soon as possible.  If Vineyards is in play, I buy a Potion as soon as it's convenient, though there's probably no rush.  On non-Black Market turns, or turns where the Black Market choices are all bad, I buy a kingdom card I haven't bought yet.  Switch to buying Fairgrounds/Vineyard whenever my deck feels either reliably strong or so irreparably broken I'd better buy VP at every opportunity, because there might not be many.  Alternately, just switch when it looks like your opponents are ready to enter the endgame too.  I also usually pick up one Province when I have $8 and probably a Duchy at some point too, as these also help boost Fairgrounds.

Like I say, this very well may not be competitive, but it sure is a blast to play.  If the opponent(s) let the game go on long enough, you can really rake it in.  I scored 300+ points this way once, with the Fairgrounds worth 18 VP apiece and the Vineyards 12 VP.

By the way, you're probably right about this not working so well if there are lots of terminals in the Black Market, but at home I play with everything from every expansion, so there's always a good mix.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 12:10:30 pm by rinkworks »
Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.1 seconds with 20 queries.