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Qvist

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The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:30:51 pm »
+12

Here's the video link:


For reference, if anybody is wondering: I defined lower deviation as "better" because it means "more agreement" and for difference in percentage I use percentage points (pp). I also removed the mode as it made less sense with percentage values now.

The Best $1-$2 Cards (Part 1/2)
Link to the win rates on Councilroom
Link 2 to the win rates on Councilroom

#20 Secret Chamber (Intrigue) Weighted Average: 9.2% ▲1.8pp / Median: 5.3% ▼1.4pp / Standard Deviation: 13.1% ▼2.4pp
Highest Value(s): 55.6% (1x), 53.3% (1x), 47.4% (1x) / Lowest Value(s): 0% (23x)

Secret Chamber is the worst $2 card again. Nearly the half of all lists ranked it on the last place. But it lost consensus; over 2.4 percentage points worse than last time. This resulted in being 1.8pp better than last time.

The action part seems not so bad. You can discard cards for money and in decks with many victory cards or curses it's guaranteed $4. But first: What do you want to buy with $4? As a opener it's bad, because mostly you want to get to $5 and later in the game you need $5 too to get at least a Duchy. So, basically it's a very bad Vault and you better buy a Silver. But there are rare cases, especially you can use it when you need virtual money like in Tactician turns, or you draw your whole deck with Scrying Pools discard all action cards with Secret Chamber for money just to draw them again, or when you want to buy Grand Markets. It's reaction part is really bad. It has nearly no effect against the best attacks: Cursers and Handsize-Reducers, but you can use it against cards that mess up the top of your deck or trash cards from your deck, like Swindler, Pirate Ship or Knights. But most of them (like Thief) are already bad. Why buy a reaction card against Thief? Yes, it's nice against Minion, but that's all.
#19 Duchess (Hinterlands) Weighted Average: 11.9% ▲1.0pp / Median: 6.7% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 11.4% ▼1.1pp
Highest Value(s): 57.9% (1x), 26.7% (2x) / Lowest Value(s): 0% (14x)

Duchess is second last, the same as last year. About one fourth rated it last. Similar to Secret Chamber it lost a little bit of consensus (and still has the third least), but has a better rating than last year.

It's a terminal silver with a spy-effect that has even a benefit for your opponents. Yeah, it's even so bad that it needs a clause to get it for free when you buy a Duchy.
And mostly that are the only cases you want a Duchess. Rarely you want to spend $2 to buy one. Once in a while you want it for free, especially when you are trying to make a "green card rush" with Duke or Silk Road and want to maintain the buying power and emptying the third pile as fast as possible. Getting it for free is probably the only reason that it isn't ranked last. That means: A Duchess for free is even better than a Secret Chamber for $2.
#18 Pearl Diver (Seaside) Weighted Average: 13.3% ▼4.2pp / Median: 10.5% ▼2.8pp / Standard Deviation: 11.9% ▲1.3pp
Highest Value(s): 47.4% (1x), 40.0% (1x), 36.8% (2x) / Lowest Value(s): 0% (10x)

Pearl Diver lost a lot of percentage points, but is still third last. It was voted last 10 times and even gained consensus.

Pearl Diver mostly don't hurt in your deck as it is a cantrip. So, if you got $2 early and you don't want to buy an Estate, you can buy a Pearl Diver. Buying too much Duchesses or Secret Chambers hurts much more than too many Pearl Divers. But the benefit of Pearl Diver is lower than those cards. It's only use is to minimize draw luck a little bit and to let cards shine which interact with the top card of your deck (Native Village comes into my mind). Since Cornucopia it might got a little boost as it can add more diversity into your deck and cards like Menagerie, Fairgrounds, Horn of Plenty can profit from it. It can also be essential for a Conspirator chain, but Pearl Diver never really shines, it only hurts less.
#17 Herbalist (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 20.8% ▲1.1pp / Median: 20.5% ▲0.5pp / Standard Deviation: 12.7% ▼1.4pp
Highest Value(s): 57.9% (1x), 52.6% (1x), 42.1% (1x) / Lowest Value(s): 0% (3x)

After the last three cards, there is now the first bigger gap in this list. Herbalist is clearly better than the last 3 cards. So it's fourth last, same as last time. It has 2 above average votes and 3 last places.

Herbalist is a terminal copper. How bad is that! So, mostly it hurts. But "scheming" your treasures is really nice. In the beginning you can use your newly bought Gold or even Platinum twice if you have the luck to draw it with Herbalist. And even putting back a Silver is not so bad in the beginning. But especially if you're going for Potion (because of that it's in Alchemy) you can use it twice early on. The most important combo might be Alchemist+Herbalist. And - mostly forgotten - it's one of three $2 cards that gives the important +Buy and it's the only one which gives the +Buy without taking a disadvantage (either discarding one card or forfeiting an option). The +Buy and putting back Treasure cards makes Herbalist + Philosopher's Stone a very powerful combo. But otherwise this card is mostly not worth buying.
#16 Moat (Base) Weighted Average: 23.9% ▼0.1pp / Median: 21.1% ▼2.2pp / Standard Deviation: 17.9% ▼2.3pp
Highest Value(s): 77.8% (1x), 73.7% (1x), 60.0% (1x) / Lowest Value(s): 5.3% (4x), 0% (2x)

Moat has the fourth highest deviation mainly because it has 7 above average votes, but on the other hand 2 last places. The last year it was 5th last too.

Moat is very situational. It highly depends on the cards on the board and - more important - on the number of players. If there's Mountebank in the supply and you're playing a 4-player-game, Moat is generally a must-buy. It can prevent getting 3 coppers and 3 curses in one turn. But if you're playing a 2-player game, buying Moat is mostly superfluous. Buying a trasher more against Cursers or Library/Watchtower/Menagerie against hand-size-reducing is mostly the better alternative. Even worse, if there's no attack card on the board, +2 cards with no other benefit is so weak, because that means a raw benefit of +1 card. Maybe only if your going for Big Money with bad other cards and you're getting unlucky and hit $2 early, this might be worth considering. As most players play 2-player games here, it got last places.
#15 Vagrant (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 26.7% / Median: 21.1% / Standard Deviation: 16.1%
Highest Value(s): 78.9% (1x), 57.9% (1x), 52.6% (1x) / Lowest Value(s): 5.3% (3x), 0% (1x)

Here is the first new Dark Ages card, it's Vagrant. It has only one big outlier and only 3 votes above average, so most agree that's in general no really good $2 card.

Vagrant is the new Scout. It has the advantage over Scout that it is at least a cantrip, so it never hurts as long as you don't draw it dead. Also it can put Shelters, Ruins and Curses in hand while Scout can't. But on the other hand, it's at best only a Laboratory where one of the two cards is dead anyway. You basically just have a chance to make your next hand better. So, in essence it's similar to Pearl Diver, a nice card for engines if you have spare buys which will occasionally help you but is never a real Power House. It can only shine in heavy Curse/Ruins games where you have a lot of $2 hands anyway and in situations where you want those cards in hand, especially dual-type Victory cards like Great Hall, Nobles and Harem. It could also work as a defense against Ghost Ship.
#14 Beggar (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 34.8% / Median: 31.6% / Standard Deviation: 19.8%
Highest Value(s): 89.5% (1x), 73.7% (2x) / Lowest Value(s): 10.5% (5x), 5.6% (1x), 0% (1x)

Now we make the next bigger gap of over 8pp and there's already the next Dark Ages card. It has the highest deviation in this list as it got 10 above average votes, it was even voted at #3 once.

As gaining Coppers is generally bad, this card is very situational as the high deviation suggests. Beggar/Gardens is the new power combo. With Beggar you can green very early and are still likely to hit $4 and gain 4 cards in a turn with Beggar in hand. As Copper is no bad cards for alternative Victory cards in general, it works also decent with Silk Road, Duke and Feodum (if your opponent is going to attack you a lot). Beggar also helps you to get to $5 and then Counting House might be a decent option to buy especially in slogs. It even helps you to get to $6 or $7, but of all the expensive cards Bank might be the only one worth it as Beggar + Bank gives you already $7 guaranteed. It might also work well in decks that like Coppers, like Philosopher's Stone and Apothecary. But in general the 3 Coppers really slow you down and a big disadvantage, but near the end a terminal Gold isn't that bad. The reaction part is not so strong in general and depends on the attack card. It's great against Pillage and is also nice against Jester/Swindler/Saboteur/Knights as they don't want to hit Silver.
#13 Cellar (Base) Weighted Average: 37.0% ▲1.2pp / Median: 36.8% ▲3.5pp / Standard Deviation: 16.2% ▲0.2pp
Highest Value(s): 84.2% (1x), 73.3% (2x) / Lowest Value(s): 13.3% (1x), 10.5% (1x), 5.3% (1x)

Ignoring the new Dark Ages cards it's also on the same rank as last year. It has a little higher value and is the first card which didn't get voted last. And it was voted 10 times above average.

There are many cards that take profit from bad cards like Estate or Curses. Secret Chamber fails - as mentioned earlier - by just getting $1 per card. Cellar let you discard them and get you get your good cards in hand. Of course Warehouse is better in most cases as it let you draw your cards before discarding, but Cellar can even discard more than 3 cards if you wish. If you want compare Cellar with another $2 card, Crossroads comes into your mind. Crossroads also lets you draw more cards for useless cards. But it is limited to green cards, so you get no benefit for Curses and Coppers. But you don't have to discard them and it gives you +3 Actions the first time. So it highly depends which card is better. In cursing games Cellar's great. And of course with Tunnel. The problem is often the opportunity cost; when do you want to spend your money on a $2 mediocre card?
#12 Poor House (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 46.3% / Median: 47.4% / Standard Deviation: 18.1%
Highest Value(s): 78.9% (1x), 73.7% (1x), 68.4% (5x) / Lowest Value(s): 11.1% (1x), 10.5% (1x), 5.3% (1x)

This is the only card costing $1 and it's even that high in this list. It follows Cellar after a big 9pp gap. It was also not voted last and only voted second last once. As it being new and highly board dependant it has the third highest deviation in this list.

Poor House is the new shiny $1 card that let you look different at Remake and Upgrade as you can't trash Coppers without having to gain a card anymore when it's on the board. Poor House looks really complicated, but is similar to Secret Chamber in that manner that it guarantees $4 in a 5-card hand. But it's only useful in treasure-less decks where it is a terminal $4. A hand of 2 Poor Houses and Hamlet basically guarantees a Province. So, it loves engines with virtual coins and of course it loves +buy as you can pick up multiple Poor Houses in one turn. Mint/Poor House might also be a really good opening. But in Big Money decks or Draw Engines without trashing Poor House is horrible. A 2-card hand of King's Court and Poor House even guarantees a Colony.
#11 Embargo (Seaside) Weighted Average: 48.0% ▲3.6pp / Median: 47.4% ▲0.7pp / Standard Deviation: 15.4% ▲0.8pp
Highest Value(s): 80.0% (1x), 73.7% (2x) / Lowest Value(s): 21.1% (1x), 20.0% (1x), 13.3% (1x)

Embargo is also on the same rank as before - ignoring Dark Ages cards, but it has gained points and consensus. Also it's the first card with no rank below 10%.

First, it's a terminal silver. Basically that's bad. But it's a one-shot. So if you get unlucky and hit $2 early you can buy it without much thinking as it only interferes once. But Embargo can be a game-changer, especially if you and your opponent(s) are taking different strategies. And it really shines if your opponent buys a Potion and you decide not to go for Potion. Just embargo the Potion-cost card and you are turns ahead. And especially you can shut down strategies that want a lot of a single card, like Hunting Party, Alchemist or alternative victory cards. So, it's nearly never bad, but only shines situation-wise.

To the second part
« Last Edit: January 10, 2013, 02:24:44 am by Qvist »
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Rabid

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2013, 03:33:40 pm »
+1

Thanks for the videos, I really enjoyed the new format. :)
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Tdog

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2013, 03:52:47 pm »
0

This seems really solid. The three Dark ages cards are fairly ranked.
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ChocophileBenj

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2013, 03:53:29 pm »
0

Yeaaaah, at least !!!

I didn't expect Vagrant to be so low, even lower than Cellar. Actually, when I saw this card, I believed it was even better than Wishing Well. And like with Scout, it's great with Island, the only 4 non-dead victory cards thus far Harem, Nobles, Island, Great Hall (which also leads to weird comboes).
I was curious about how would perform Poor house, which is, like Venture, really situational of course.
And where is the last DA card Squire ? Let's wait !

Anyway, Secret Chamber last, like the first time. It was either that or Duchess, but SC is so wiped out by Storage Room at $3 (and Chancellor by Scavenger at $4).
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Tables

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2013, 03:53:56 pm »
0

Like I predicted, my Dark Ages ratings are very all over the place. I had Poor House at 68.4%, it seems so strong on any board with actions, buys and trashing (i.e. any board with engine possibility). Beggar I had higher as well, can't really defend that one though.

Duchess is a few places too low again,  I'd definitely put it above Pearl Diver and Herbalist. Terminal silver isn't great, but it's alright usually on a 5/2 buy. Better if you're building an engine, where +actions aren't going to be an issue. Plus getting it for free with Duchies is generally good, especially with BM type decks where your terminals are pretty spread apart, as it keeps your buying power up for little downside. Of course it's never a card you'd go out of your way to buy, but, openings and endgame, it's usually worth grabbing in those situations I find.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
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ftl

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 04:01:43 pm »
0

Poorhouse is the ultimate in being situational. If you can build an engine and trash all your treasures and have +buy, poorhouse is absolutely dominant. But in any game where you don't trash your treasures, it's basically worthless. I have no idea how to rank that. I thought it would be a little higher than it is there, but it seems fair.
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D Bo

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 04:02:59 pm »
0

I had most of mine fairly close, within a couple. My biggest differences were actually placing Secret Chamber a bit higher than last and putting Beggar all the way at the bottom. I just can't figure out too many uses for it other than the obvious. Probably (unfairly) fell a bit in my voting due to a lack of experience with it though.
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Grujah

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2013, 04:26:13 pm »
0

Duchess needs more love. Probably cellar too. Now I need to check my ratings cuz I forgot them all :D
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HiveMindEmulator

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 04:34:35 pm »
0

No major complaints from me. As usual Moat and Embargo are a little low, but everything else is mostly reasonable. I don't really see how Moat and Herbalist could get multiple last-place votes. There are enough situations where Herbalist is the only +buy and therefore critical. And Moat, well Moat is just a pretty solid card. If it blocks a Curse, it's as good as a Witch, but for only $2.
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D Bo

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 04:52:03 pm »
0

Good point about Moat - I had it at 11. I realized as I was making the list that I was not giving the Base cards any love, and when i stopped to think about it, I really had to upgrade a few of the cards on my list. Embargo is a card that I used to hate and didn't see any reason to really invest in it. Then I played greatexpectations in the BGG tourney this summer and he embargoed University after I opened Potion. I had Embargo at 8 on this ranking.
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Robz888

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 05:14:55 pm »
0

I would put Duchess higher, and Vagrant and Pearl Diver lower.

Duchess is a free terminal silver, people! Sometimes, that's all you need.

Mostly, though, this list is fine.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 05:17:38 pm »
0

I'd rate Beggar higher, but maybe that's just because I love alt-VP and Counting House.

Quote
Beggar also helps you to get to $5 and then Counting House might be a decent option to buy especially in slogs.

There's no "might" about it. Beggar/Counting House is a sick combo, especially in Colony games.
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Piemaster

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2013, 05:32:54 pm »
0

Well those ten were my bottom ten too, albeit in a slightly different order.  Most notably I had Secret Chamber ranked a couple of places higher and Poor House ranked a few places lower.  PH is obviously good on some boards, but it just seems there needs to be too many pieces present to make it work well (Engine plus good trashing plus lots of spare actions plus probably +Buy).
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Grujah

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2013, 05:34:08 pm »
0

No major complaints from me. As usual Moat and Embargo are a little low, but everything else is mostly reasonable. I don't really see how Moat and Herbalist could get multiple last-place votes. There are enough situations where Herbalist is the only +buy and therefore critical. And Moat, well Moat is just a pretty solid card. If it blocks a Curse, it's as good as a Witch, but for only $2.

Seems like one of them was me!

But I agree, it was an error on my part :P PD, Vagr, and SC should be worse.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 05:51:26 pm »
+2

The list seems fine except Beggar which is highly underrated at the moment. I don't remember where I ranked it, but I believe it was likely in the top 10. Beggar is the ultimate alternate VP card and helps other strategies as well. Also, it's reaction part is pretty decent.

Also, I want to thank Qvist again for putting this together. It seems like a ton of work, so thank you for all that you do. These lists are awesome.
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Qvist

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 06:02:32 pm »
+6

You're welcome.
These lists are awesome.
No, I thought they are beyond awesome.

Warrior

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2013, 06:35:07 pm »
0

Thanks for the lists. Can't wait for part 2 :)

warrior297
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2013, 08:30:03 pm »
0

No major complaints from me. As usual Moat and Embargo are a little low, but everything else is mostly reasonable. I don't really see how Moat and Herbalist could get multiple last-place votes. There are enough situations where Herbalist is the only +buy and therefore critical. And Moat, well Moat is just a pretty solid card. If it blocks a Curse, it's as good as a Witch, but for only $2.

No, moat is only a Witch if you buy your own witch and end up giving the last curse to your opponent.  Otherwise it just caused the curse to miss a reshuffle.

On to the list though.  I'm mainly disappointed not to see Pawn on here.  I get that is flexible, but man... none of the options are that good.  +1 Card / +1 Action (barring edge cases) does nothing, +1 Action / +$1 is a copper, the buy options can be important but are normally worse than Herbalist.  +1 Card / + $1 is decent (and should be used the most), but to really use it well you either need to be BM (and BM - Pawn can't be very good) or an engine with lots of +Actions... and then you almost always will have better terminal options.  I put it at 13, and I definitely (after playing more DA) think Poor House is better than it, and I'm really not sure why I didn't put cellar ahead of it.  It is the $2 card I am least likely to open with on a 5/2, as for most terminal 5's, it is generally as good or better to open with just the 5 than it and a pawn. /end rant

Other than that, I like the list.  I think Embargo deserves top half, but 11 isn't too bad.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2013, 09:00:24 pm »
0

I agree. Pawn is an overhyped card. I don't think it is that good. I would rather take Herbalist over Pawn because Herbalist can at least top deck a useful treasure sometimes. I'm actually pretty sure I ranked Herbalist above Pawn, although I'm not sure what I ranked Pawn.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2013, 09:05:23 pm »
+1

This looks pretty good. That said, I am going to join in with the Pawn haters. It should be here and Embargo should be higher. Pawn I think gets overrated because it does a lot of things, even though it does none of those things very well.
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jonts26

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2013, 09:21:24 pm »
+4

This looks pretty good. That said, I am going to join in with the Pawn haters. It should be here and Embargo should be higher. Pawn I think gets overrated because it does a lot of things, even though it does none of those things very well.

If pawn is overrated, it's not by that much. I think it certainly belongs in the top 10. It's just so very useful in a lot of engine games. First off, it's a source of +buy, which is one of the key things you need for an engine. And it can be non-terminal +buy if you are sparse on villages. Or it can be a card/buy if you have actions to spare. Or if you draw your deck its $1/buy. Or if you have enough actions its card/$1. And it's super cheap. You can use your extra buys to pick them up. And the worst that happens is you have to use a pawn for card/action.

It also really shines in watchtower/library/minion engines as a source of non-terminal disappearing money/buys. So yeah, it doesnt do anything fantastic, but the flexibility is ridiculously good.

Of course, if you are constantly using pawns for card/action, then you are doing it wrong.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2013, 09:36:47 pm »
0

King's courting pawns is also very very nice. Card definitely has it's uses.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2013, 09:42:34 pm »
+1

KC-Pawn isn't that great... You get some flexibility in your choices, but still nothing that great. I'd much rather KC something that can give a bigger single bonus.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.
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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 09:44:07 pm »
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King's courting pawns is also very very nice. Card definitely has it's uses.

KC - Pawn gives you at most a Lab + activated Conspirator.  Considering the great shenanigans of KC-ing about any action, that seems highly bleh.  Though better than KC-Sechamb
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A man on a mission.

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Re: The Dominion Cards Lists 2013 Edition: $1-$2 cards (Part 1/2)
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 10:25:36 pm »
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Reading what some of these DA cards do was pretty cool, and while I admit this is probably not at all the right thread for it, Vagrant seems totally sweet to me, and I don't see why it's ranked so low.
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