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WanderingWinder

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Big Money
« on: January 09, 2013, 08:34:23 pm »
+5

This is the fifth and final article in my series on dominion deck types. It deals with big money, which fits between engines and slogs, completing the deck type wheel.

What characterizes Big Money?
Basically, it gets the bulk of its income from treasures bigger than copper, so silver, gold, platinum, fool's gold, venture, etc. It also doesn't cycle particularly quickly.

Why Big Money?
The type is pretty fast to get to a certain point. This is because it is extremely efficient. You don't underbuy very significantly or very often, and your deck doesn't have any ancillary or support cards. Everything is there directly to get you points or to be points.

How can I play big money?
Like Engines, there are a number of different types of big money deck.

Terminal Draw
http://dominionstrategy.com/2012/06/13/terminal-draw-big-money/

Terminal Non-draw
This is money and a few non-drawing terminal cards - more than you would get in a terminal draw big money deck, because they're less likely to collide. The ancillary benefits the terminals provide improves on straight money, generally significantly enough at some point that you should buy a handful extra terminals, risking some collision. Particularly good cards here include Merchant Ship, Swindler, and Monument.

Engine Hybrid
You can start adding villages (typically you want them to be money-producing) to the terminal non-draw decks, and this doesn't really make them an engine, without draw, but you end up playing a bunch of actions. Also, you will sometimes add a little nonterminal draw to the terminal non-draw money deck, and this can maintain a money feel. Do both, and you are creeping into engine territory. A weak dividing line is how often you will pass up gold for a cheaper component, though this isn't foolproof.

Treasure Flood
Here, you gain a lot of treasure cards, usually silver via Jack of All Trades, Trader, Bureaucrat et al., but occasionally golds through treasure map, tunnel, or hoard.

General Considerations
  • http://dominionstrategy.com/2012/02/27/the-keys-to-big-money-money-density-and-opportunity-cost/
  • Alternate VP is really bad for big money. It helps basically every other kind of deck more, largely by making the game longer.
  • Other than terminal draw (which despises them), these decks readily accept some useful cantrips. Particularly peddler-types.
  • Other than treasure-flood-types, the biggest problem that these decks tend to run into is stalling - they run out of steam pretty readily. Courtyard, with its ability to smooth out draws, Embassy and Vault, with their ability to discard unneeded green without a problem (note that it's the same group of cards that can shrug off terminal collision!) and wharf, because it's wharf (and plays almost like an engine even in BM), are also decently resilient here - unsurprisingly, they also translate to colony games decently well, which isn't true of most any other BM variant. The on-gain ability of Mandarin is a big help against stalling as well.
  • Trashing helps money decks, but not by a lot - unless it gives you some other benefit, it's not worth the opportunity cost
  • Scaling Trash for benefit CAN do this, particularly if you can use it on estate early. But the main point is that in the late game, it helps the stalling problem by for instance turning a province into another province (remodel and salvager can basically do this directly, apprentice usually can as well).
  • Noble brigand usually kills you dead
  • Handsize attacks are particularly brutal (especially against silver-flooders) against big money, moreso than other deck types, as generally a money deck needs most of those cards. Ghost ship is the biggest offender here.

Matchups
Against Slogs
Against a slog, you are generally going to have sustainability issues. Treasure-floods can do well, but otherwise you are going to need to get enough provinces fast enough, and then contest their main VP source afterwards. This will meet with varying success based on the particular versions of each deck you're playing, but in general it's not so hot. On the plus side, this is one of the reasonably rare situations where all the VP chip cards really help you. Sometimes it's also possible to plan ahead and just build a very sustainable deck to piledrive or gain a huge lead on provinces quickly enough. But not often.

Against Rushes
Here, you need to get enough points out of your big VP card before they are able to end the game. This doesn't happen all that often, but for some of the stronger BM versions, it certainly can. This is actually one of the better matchups for Big Money. If they green too early, they won't be able to end, and you can amass enough points to overcome their max (typically this is 8 alt VP cards at 3-4 points each, so 4-5 provinces most often, though with estates, this will rise to 6 in a lot of cases - plan accordingly!). If you do this, you're in good shape. Sometimes you can contest the last one or two of their alt-VP cards; if you can do this, it's really good, as it cuts into their ability to win by hitting a new plateau or switching to slog. However, you need to be REALLY careful, because if you don't have enough of a lead after doing this, you are helping them pile things out, which is their whole game plan.

Against Combo
Basically you usually have to either pre-empt their combo (a province a turn is not so hot if you have the lead and they can't buy provinces because it will end the game) or end the game before it is set up. Whether you can do this is extremely game specific, but in general, it's not a great shot. As always, also watch for three pile ending possibilities.

Against Engine
This is actually the best reason to go big money in a lot of cases. There are a few ways you can win. One is to three pile them - know when you can apply pressure on this, and very often, go for it over smaller VP cards like duchy or especially estate. This is pretty rare if they know what they're doing though, as you can't gain stuff that quickly. The biggest way to win is by getting to 50% of the VP before they can. After this, you might really stall, but it won't matter (unless they can attack it back out of you!). In practice, slightly below 50% is often fine, because you can cruise for the last point or two in a lot of cases, and sometimes even without 50%, they're going to be unable to get enough without triggering a three pile ending first. Of course, the major problems with this approach come when 50% is a LOT of points (or when they can slow you down a lot) - with colonies, 50% is forever. Similarly with those alt-VP cards. Perhaps most important is chips, which are either infinite or so close that it won't matter. In these cases (and a few others), you are forced into pile-driving provinces (or colonies). If they are playing well, they WILL NOT HELP YOU unless absolutely forced to do so, so prepare to buy ALL of them from the start - the same is largely true when going for 50% of the VP, you want to plan your most efficient path to it from the start.

Vs Big Money (mirror)
This is the part of big money which has best been studied, and which most of the stuff that's out there covers. You need to have SOME trump on your opponent - in some cases, this is greater longevity (this is particularly true, for instance, in monument decks). In most cases, it turns into a rush for provinces. It's extremely difficult to get four more duchies than your opponent and THEN get the last province after that, so if you can get to five provinces, you're fairly well golden. The real trick can sometimes come in the race to four. In the mirror, you have to green fast, which means there isn't a lot of longevity (excepting treasure floods), and not a ton of room to duchy dance. But if you can get better longevity than your opponent and they can't blitz out to a 5 provinces early or anything, then you are good to go duchy dancing, and try to win that way.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 11:01:11 pm by WanderingWinder »
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jomini

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2013, 11:20:45 pm »
0

I'm not particularly good at the fiddly bits of BM that can make you good, so I was hoping you might be able to address the following in a manner better than it "depends on the kingdom" but not so specific as to need card by card interactions:

1. +Buy. Great, my Margrave lets me buy a province AND an estate leaving two Provinces, now you are screwed - got it near then end poaching an extra estate is great in BM mirrors ... but when do I want to poach a second estate (i.e. when does 7 coin, 2 buys = duchy + estate and not just duchy)? Likewise, at what point do I want to start adding extra coppers off  spare +buy - just when I'm over 4 provinces and trying to lock down duchies or not even then? I mean I could see sacrificing potential province hands for having more reliable duchy ones ... but when do you make that transition? Never? Lastly, what is it worth sacrificing for a +buy in BM ... when do I want a Woodcutters instead of a Silver, or something more complicated like adding in pawn or hamlet mostly for the +buy potential; when are those worth more than Silver? I've won a lot of games off buying an extra estate at some point, but I don't really have good guidelines for when to get, use, and abuse +buy in BM.

2. Sifting. I know some BM decks love sifting - Cartographer/Hoard is great at lining up Hoard & golds while discarding green to hit province, but aside from obvious cases like that, Warehouse/Tunnel, and the like ... how does sifting play in BM. I generally start taking non-terminal sifting over silver sometime after I have 3 or so golds, but for the life of me I'm not sure how to work that up. Terminal sifting, well if I'm playing simple BM with it, I generally just treat it like Smithy and change play only at a tactical, not strategic level. How does sifting fit into BM in general?

3. Cursing. I'm not even sure if discard attacks are relatively worse for BM than engines when compared to cursing attacks; after all engines often end giving out more curses and have a LOT easier time trashing them. With 5 curses in your deck, you are effectively halfway to being militia'ed a lot of turns anyways. Giving the game more time, making it harder to hit 6/8, and giving out a lot more 2/3/4/5 hands all seem to make cursing great for engine builders and really nasty for slowing down BM. Plus, the discard attacks seem to come with stronger bonuses for BM than the cursing attacks - Sea Hag gains the player with it nothing, while Militia is a terminal Silver; Margrave gives a +buy and one more card ... at the price of letting your opponent have a 6 card discard space compared to Witch. Why are discard attacks relatively worse than cursing attacks for BM when compared to their effects on engines?
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2013, 08:21:59 am »
+1

I'm not particularly good at the fiddly bits of BM that can make you good, so I was hoping you might be able to address the following in a manner better than it "depends on the kingdom" but not so specific as to need card by card interactions:

Quote
1. +Buy. Great, my Margrave lets me buy a province AND an estate leaving two Provinces, now you are screwed - got it near then end poaching an extra estate is great in BM mirrors ... but when do I want to poach a second estate (i.e. when does 7 coin, 2 buys = duchy + estate and not just duchy)? Likewise, at what point do I want to start adding extra coppers off  spare +buy - just when I'm over 4 provinces and trying to lock down duchies or not even then? I mean I could see sacrificing potential province hands for having more reliable duchy ones ... but when do you make that transition? Never? Lastly, what is it worth sacrificing for a +buy in BM ... when do I want a Woodcutters instead of a Silver, or something more complicated like adding in pawn or hamlet mostly for the +buy potential; when are those worth more than Silver? I've won a lot of games off buying an extra estate at some point, but I don't really have good guidelines for when to get, use, and abuse +buy in BM.
Sure. It REALLY depends on your deck, and what your opponent is doing, but I will try to get it down to how exactly it matters on those things. First, unless it's a mirror, you probably don't want that estate, and there's a good chance that you don't want the duchy - unless you're really sure you're in your last shuffle, or if it is bringing you very close to 50% of VP, or you absolutely need this to have a lead. In the mirror, you want it more often - in a treasure flood, you'll take it decently early, maybe with 4 or even 5 provinces left you'll already take a 'free' one, but generally you want to wait decently long, until say 2 or 3 provinces are left. Most importantly, it comes down to general endgame considerations - if the estate won't matter, because there's already a 5-3 split on duchies or something, don't bother; and if you're bringing it to a three pile ending, know whether that helps or hurts you.
You basically never want copper in BM. I'm sure there's a situation (and I will sometimes get some in say a wharf deck where I feel I have too many wharves, but this is probably down to me building wrong really), but generally you don't buy them until you never want another province (or card more expensive), which is next to never for big money.
As for how much to give for +buy in big money... almost nothing. Grabbing an extra estate like this is going to make a difference a very very small amount of the time. The only exception I can think of is for hoard, where the extra buys can mean extra golds. Even there, it's not super amazingly great.
Quote
2. Sifting. I know some BM decks love sifting - Cartographer/Hoard is great at lining up Hoard & golds while discarding green to hit province, but aside from obvious cases like that, Warehouse/Tunnel, and the like ... how does sifting play in BM. I generally start taking non-terminal sifting over silver sometime after I have 3 or so golds, but for the life of me I'm not sure how to work that up. Terminal sifting, well if I'm playing simple BM with it, I generally just treat it like Smithy and change play only at a tactical, not strategic level. How does sifting fit into BM in general?
Tunnel and hoard are special cases, since they give you extra incentive to either discard and/or early green, and they give you big variance in terms of money, i.e. you have more green cards and more gold than normal, where a larger percent are copper and silver. The closer to average your cards are, the less sifting helps. You almost never want sifting with terminal draw. Otherwise, you usually want one sifter, decently early (depends on how important $5 is whether first or second shuffle), but not a second until pretty late - you need the silvers too much. You can get a little more if it's cartographer, cartographer is a better card. I mean, being a cantrip, cartographer is almost always helping, most always more than silver. What's a terminal sifter? All I can think of is young witch, which is a curser way more importantly than a sifter. Anyway, sifting is not super great for most BM.
Quote
3. Cursing. I'm not even sure if discard attacks are relatively worse for BM than engines when compared to cursing attacks; after all engines often end giving out more curses and have a LOT easier time trashing them. With 5 curses in your deck, you are effectively halfway to being militia'ed a lot of turns anyways. Giving the game more time, making it harder to hit 6/8, and giving out a lot more 2/3/4/5 hands all seem to make cursing great for engine builders and really nasty for slowing down BM. Plus, the discard attacks seem to come with stronger bonuses for BM than the cursing attacks - Sea Hag gains the player with it nothing, while Militia is a terminal Silver; Margrave gives a +buy and one more card ... at the price of letting your opponent have a 6 card discard space compared to Witch. Why are discard attacks relatively worse than cursing attacks for BM when compared to their effects on engines?
Well, cursing in general is nastier than handsize attacks. But for BM vs engine... either the engine gets trashing and a big drawing engine up fast, in which case it's going to be able to overcome the cursing or anything else, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, if it prioritizes draw, BM will win the curse war, and engine will have a pretty bad time sticking together. If it prioritizes cursing, it usually won't have time to get an engine up. Well, the big thing here is that the number of curses are limited, so BM usually at least holds its own in a curse war, and the clogging is much worse for an engine than BM. Now, with the strong trashing and getting the draw up fast, yes engine will win.
Discard though, is almost ALWAYS better for engine. Through the midgame, big money usually needs all its cards to get where it wants - one of the appeals of BM is that it doesn't overspend, it doesn't have anything superfluous. So that usually knocks you down something to buy. Engines really just need to be able to get off the ground, to start drawing; usually it can do this with the best 3 cards almost as well as with 5.

GendoIkari

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 08:44:41 am »
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I haven't had a chance to fully read all 5 articles yet, so maybe this has been addressed, but what do you mean when you keep saying that a deck type "fits between" 2 other deck types? What does the whole wheel represent?
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DG

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 09:15:10 am »
+1

Very good but I'll suggest a few points.

It's probably also worth mentioning that once you've started a big money strategy it is difficult to adapt to your opponent's play. The BM deck quickly becomes too large to defend or repair. The only change available is to buy vp earlier or sooner.

Key cards may be worth mentioning as well. A BM deck will be unable to compete for key cards and be unable to deny them to opponents. In multi player games however there can be an advantage in making a deck without scarce key cards.

Quote
Basically, it gets the bulk of its income from treasures bigger than copper

I'm not sure why you mentioned the copper. Spending copper with other treasures is all part of the big money plan, much more so than engine decks.

Quote
Handsize attacks are particularly brutal (especially against silver-flooders) against big money, moreso than other deck types, as generally a money deck needs most of those cards.

It's often copper that's discarded during a militia attack and it's the copper that helps provide the 8 coin hands.

Quote
You don't underbuy very significantly or very often.

I think there's a slightly different take on this. There is usually a gap between silver at cost 3 and gold at cost 6, meaning that you can be forced to underspend frequently rather than take more actions into a BM deck. Kingdom treasures such as stash and venture can be very important at providing added value within this gap.
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jomini

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 10:14:15 am »
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Quote
What's a terminal sifter? All I can think of is young witch, which is a curser way more importantly than a sifter. Anyway, sifting is not super great for most BM.
Well, the obvious one is Embassy, draw 5, discard 3. Yeah it draws, but the bigger thing is it let you choose the best 6 of 9 cards so you can green up earlier. Other examples include: Duchess, Storeroom, Oracle (yeah I know it is best as a deck inspection attack and plays more off that), Navigator, Jack (very small part, but it is there with the deck inspection), Survivors, and Catacombs. Basically, right now, I avoid Navigator and Duchess - and of course only get Survivors when Ruins are being handed out; I treat Oracle mostly like a smithy that happens to attack, I treat Embassy and Catacombs pretty much like overpriced smithies, and I'm really unsure as to the usefulness of Storeroom having only made good on it in BM with Ruins out.

I think, but don't have a really great grasp on it, that you might want to get into duchies sooner with these and the non-terminal sifters. When you are already pitching your weak cards, a few more hurt less. I've played around with things like, not taking a gold first before getting a province in BM-Embassy, but I can't say that this helps or hurts yet.

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dondon151

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 02:13:39 pm »
+1

Well, cursing in general is nastier than handsize attacks. But for BM vs engine... either the engine gets trashing and a big drawing engine up fast, in which case it's going to be able to overcome the cursing or anything else, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, if it prioritizes draw, BM will win the curse war, and engine will have a pretty bad time sticking together. If it prioritizes cursing, it usually won't have time to get an engine up. Well, the big thing here is that the number of curses are limited, so BM usually at least holds its own in a curse war, and the clogging is much worse for an engine than BM. Now, with the strong trashing and getting the draw up fast, yes engine will win.

I don't agree with this as a general rule. Engines choke on Curses if they can't trash them and they rely solely on +actions and terminal +cards for their drawing. Otherwise, they can overcome this with sifting and non-terminal draw to get the parts together before combining +actions and terminal +cards. Something like a well built SP engine can sustain 5 Curses and a fair amount of green before choking. Also, how do you figure that BM necessarily wins the Curse war? The engine cycles faster earlier and should play any given card more than a BM counterpart. The only way that BM will win the Curse war is if engine ignores cursing altogether (which is definitely a bad move, because prolonging the game is extremely advantageous to the engine) or if BM gets 2+ cursers and gets fair luck with no collisions.

Once BM starts greening, it'll get much more difficult to hit $8 in comparison to a deck that's not bogged down with Curses. It's very hard to end the game on Provinces as BM when there's cursing about.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 02:53:49 pm »
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Very good but I'll suggest a few points.

It's probably also worth mentioning that once you've started a big money strategy it is difficult to adapt to your opponent's play. The BM deck quickly becomes too large to defend or repair. The only change available is to buy vp earlier or sooner.

Key cards may be worth mentioning as well. A BM deck will be unable to compete for key cards and be unable to deny them to opponents. In multi player games however there can be an advantage in making a deck without scarce key cards.

Quote
Basically, it gets the bulk of its income from treasures bigger than copper

I'm not sure why you mentioned the copper. Spending copper with other treasures is all part of the big money plan, much more so than engine decks.
Because copper is the slog's game. I'm not comparing only to engines here.

Quote
Quote
Handsize attacks are particularly brutal (especially against silver-flooders) against big money, moreso than other deck types, as generally a money deck needs most of those cards.

It's often copper that's discarded during a militia attack and it's the copper that helps provide the 8 coin hands.
This is true, but I don't think it invalidates my previous point.

Quote
Quote
You don't underbuy very significantly or very often.

I think there's a slightly different take on this. There is usually a gap between silver at cost 3 and gold at cost 6, meaning that you can be forced to underspend frequently rather than take more actions into a BM deck. Kingdom treasures such as stash and venture can be very important at providing added value within this gap.
Well, it's relative. You need to underbuy in other deck types more often - I am really not talking actionless decks here, as they're just not really decks that come up almost ever. You basically NEVER underbuy for more than 2 in a BM game, and usually not more than 1; most often the gap between 3 and 6 has some card in it BM would like more than silver, and even when you do want silver more than any of those cards, you just don't hit 4-5 very often in a BM deck.

WanderingWinder

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 03:00:48 pm »
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I haven't had a chance to fully read all 5 articles yet, so maybe this has been addressed, but what do you mean when you keep saying that a deck type "fits between" 2 other deck types? What does the whole wheel represent?
So let's take you around the wheel, starting here, because it is the big money article. Big money is bounded by slogs and engines. What this means is that at one end of big money (I call it hybrids here), it starts getting pretty similar to engines - you are drawing some, and you are playing a decently high number of actions every turn. On the other end of big money, you are getting close to slogs - the more time you spend buying little green cards, the more important 'little' treasures like copper are to your deck, the more like a slog you are playing, and the quicker you are and more you are going off the bigger treasures, the more you are going BM. There isn't a clear dividing line - they bleed into each other.

Slogs are between BM (as we've seen) and rushes - this is because like a rush, they want to get a big point load off of alt-VP a lot of the time. A rush wants to get to that as soon as can be whereas slogs want to make them as large as can be, but there is some middle-point where the distinction is not so clear.

Rushes are between slogs and combos - like many combos, they are going for a quick run to winning the game off of their particular, highly specialized strategy, not paying tons of attention to what the opponent does save for a three pile ending chance.

And Combos are between rushes and engines - like many engines, a lot of combos look to have a massively massive hand of playing a bunch of cards and buying out everything to end the game, usually in come-from behind, very forceful and stylistic fashion.


I hope that explains things.

WanderingWinder

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 03:04:23 pm »
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Quote
What's a terminal sifter? All I can think of is young witch, which is a curser way more importantly than a sifter. Anyway, sifting is not super great for most BM.
Well, the obvious one is Embassy, draw 5, discard 3. Yeah it draws, but the bigger thing is it let you choose the best 6 of 9 cards so you can green up earlier. Other examples include: Duchess, Storeroom, Oracle (yeah I know it is best as a deck inspection attack and plays more off that), Navigator, Jack (very small part, but it is there with the deck inspection), Survivors, and Catacombs. Basically, right now, I avoid Navigator and Duchess - and of course only get Survivors when Ruins are being handed out; I treat Oracle mostly like a smithy that happens to attack, I treat Embassy and Catacombs pretty much like overpriced smithies, and I'm really unsure as to the usefulness of Storeroom having only made good on it in BM with Ruins out.

I think, but don't have a really great grasp on it, that you might want to get into duchies sooner with these and the non-terminal sifters. When you are already pitching your weak cards, a few more hurt less. I've played around with things like, not taking a gold first before getting a province in BM-Embassy, but I can't say that this helps or hurts yet.


Okay, I don't see oracle as embassy as sifters so much as terminal draw, though obviously both do both. Dark Ages I am largely ignoring because of lack of experience. Jack I view more as a silver-flooder. And Navigator, well there is one for you. It's fine, I mean it's fine, the sifting is pretty decent, but it's not a world-beater or anything. I don't really know that I have much to say here. Oh duchess. Who gets duchess? The sifting tends to help whoever has a higher proportion of non-useful cards in their deck, since it sifts for both of you.

Obviously the combo draw-and-sift ones (embassy, oracle, also vault) tend to have a good bit more longevity than regular draw, which i meant to mention in the article and will put in when I revise.

WanderingWinder

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2013, 03:12:15 pm »
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Well, cursing in general is nastier than handsize attacks. But for BM vs engine... either the engine gets trashing and a big drawing engine up fast, in which case it's going to be able to overcome the cursing or anything else, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, if it prioritizes draw, BM will win the curse war, and engine will have a pretty bad time sticking together. If it prioritizes cursing, it usually won't have time to get an engine up. Well, the big thing here is that the number of curses are limited, so BM usually at least holds its own in a curse war, and the clogging is much worse for an engine than BM. Now, with the strong trashing and getting the draw up fast, yes engine will win.

I don't agree with this as a general rule. Engines choke on Curses if they can't trash them and they rely solely on +actions and terminal +cards for their drawing. Otherwise, they can overcome this with sifting and non-terminal draw to get the parts together before combining +actions and terminal +cards. Something like a well built SP engine can sustain 5 Curses and a fair amount of green before choking. Also, how do you figure that BM necessarily wins the Curse war? The engine cycles faster earlier and should play any given card more than a BM counterpart. The only way that BM will win the Curse war is if engine ignores cursing altogether (which is definitely a bad move, because prolonging the game is extremely advantageous to the engine) or if BM gets 2+ cursers and gets fair luck with no collisions.

Once BM starts greening, it'll get much more difficult to hit $8 in comparison to a deck that's not bogged down with Curses. It's very hard to end the game on Provinces as BM when there's cursing about.
Sure, sure. Except that BM usually DOES win the cursing battle, often because it gets two curses, but also because it gets them faster, in general. It's a very general rule, with a lot of exceptions, which is part of why I don't mention it at all in the article. But witch, mountebank, sea hag, big money will pick up two quick as it can, and if engine is going to be engine, they can't really do the same - either they are getting components to build engine, or they are building up to curser, but they can't really do both and building is USUALLY hard after-the-fact. Familiar can be a little different, and strong trashing kills this like a bug. Scrying pool can often shrug curses off, but other non-terminal draw generally can't without strong trashing. Young witch is its own interesting thing, but I find it usually promotes money, unless the bane is at least pretty good for an engine. Now, the two cursers against one thing, some of this is made up for by the cycling, but generally, without decent trashing, not all of it; so we are looking at 6-4 for money more often than 4-6, though I grant that 5-5 anyway may be most common, and first player is probably more important than what deck you are on in a lot of cases. Again this is all general, and the gap is really not so big on cursing between BM and engine.

The gap on HAND-SIZE attacks, on the other hand, IS big between them - I definitely stand by that one, which was the larger point I wanted to make, and ergo the one in the actual article.

WheresMyElephant

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2013, 04:25:49 pm »
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Are you planning a followup article on "hybrids" (either on your wheel, in general, or the engine-money hybrid in particular)? If not, I'd be very interested in your thoughts on when money/engine hybrids are viable/when they're better than a "real" engine or money deck.

The main factor I can see is you want a +Action component that's easy to get the desired concentration of without going too far out of your way. So FV, Hamlet, and possibly Walled Village (made for this situation, obviously, though this doesn't necessarily mean it's GOOD). Maybe also BV if you have a terminal that's worth passing up Gold, though this is starting to sound more like engine territory?

Obviously you also need Actions that are worth the effort, but maybe not capable of supporting a real engine. Beyond this though, I'm not sure how I'd read a board and decide to play something like this.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 11:06:43 pm »
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Are you planning a followup article on "hybrids" (either on your wheel, in general, or the engine-money hybrid in particular)? If not, I'd be very interested in your thoughts on when money/engine hybrids are viable/when they're better than a "real" engine or money deck.

The main factor I can see is you want a +Action component that's easy to get the desired concentration of without going too far out of your way. So FV, Hamlet, and possibly Walled Village (made for this situation, obviously, though this doesn't necessarily mean it's GOOD). Maybe also BV if you have a terminal that's worth passing up Gold, though this is starting to sound more like engine territory?

Obviously you also need Actions that are worth the effort, but maybe not capable of supporting a real engine. Beyond this though, I'm not sure how I'd read a board and decide to play something like this.
Probably not a whole article, at least not soon. Well, the hybrids - usually you only play them if you want to play an engine but can't get the draw. There are a few, very few, that are just strong in their own right - fishing village with monument or especially merchant ship, and sometimes festival and monument. Border village and Merchant ship can also fit here - these are the rare kind of money decks that will pass up gold repeatedly, but they don't really cycle enough to be engines.
Alternatively, if there's nothing really spiffy to do, or no village at all, you might play with a monument or swindler or two (or even something like cutpurse or fortune teller) and a mix of caravans and labs and such - there isn't enough to warrant prioritizing that draw over gold on 6, but you will take it if you draw that much money. These decks aren't really very strong, but they can be the best thing if the board is weak.

DrFlux

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 04:00:32 pm »
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I agree that hybrids are typically weak, but there are some special cases: hamlet/jack doesn't exactly feel like either an engine or money, but it is very strong, for example. (I can get it to hit 4 provinces consistently in 12 turns)
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flies

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 01:25:39 pm »
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These articles are great.  I would suggest that you add links to the other installments within each.

ftl

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Re: Big Money
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 01:42:36 pm »
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should we like wiki them or something?
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