Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

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

Author Topic: Fortune Teller  (Read 4980 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

HiveMindEmulator

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2222
  • Respect: +2096
    • View Profile
Fortune Teller
« on: March 07, 2013, 01:15:35 am »
+9

Fortune Teller is one of the more underrated attacks in the game. The problem is that itís a deck top attack, which is subtle if youíre not paying much attention (particularly online where you donít actually have to physically discard cards or click anything). You donít have to discard cards from your hand, and you donít get a big purple card in your deck to catch your attention. You may just feel like youíre getting worse draws than usual. But this isnít a matter of draw luck, itís the attack at work.

Attacks are very often the most important cards in a given kingdom. You have to be aware of the type of deck that the attacks thrive against. If your opponentís deck doesnít have much need for treasure, then treasure attacks like Thief, Pirate Ship, and Noble Brigand are not going to be useful, but if theyíre going for a high density of big treasures, then they will be. The big impact of Noble Brigand is not that it is a must-buy attack every time, but rather that it disables big money strategies, which means you have to consider building a deck to avoid it when youíre planning out your strategy.

So what does Fortune Teller do? It skips some of their cards and leaves a (usually) useless one on top of the deck. There are two key parts to the attack: the cards skipped, and the junk left. Leaving junk means that their next hand (or this one if they draw) will have at least one dead card, which is slightly less painful than having them have only a 4-card hand. This doesnít seem like much, but for decks that rely heavily on Silver and Copper, it makes it really hard to hit $8, since you need the average coin value among the 4 cards to be $2. The other part of the attack, the skipping cards, is a little more complicated to understand and causes a lot of confusion. If youíre scared of math, maybe you should skip the next paragraph...

Consider a deck with N cards that sees an average of M cards per turn. Then the probability of seeing any given card on a given turn is M/N. When attacked by Fortune Teller (assuming there is a victory card or Curse to leave on top), the probability of seeing a given card is something like (M-1)/(N-1). Since M<=N, this second quantity is smaller than the first, and the percentage difference is much greater for small ratios M/N. Consider a deck with no drawing (M=5) and N=20 cards. The probability of seeing any given (non-victory or curse) card is 5/20 = 0.25. When attacked by Fortune Teller, it is 4/19 = 0.21. This means you see your good cards (0.04/0.25=)16% less often! On the other hand, if you draw M=10 of your N=15 cards every turn, you go from 10/15 = 0.67 to 9/14 = 0.64, which is a decrease of less than 5%. The impact could greater, since your drawing cards will show up less often, thus decreasing the numerator by more than 1, but this is still a long way from the 16% figure for the larger deck without drawing.

Of course just computing these average doesnít tell the whole story. In reality, you must see each card an integer number of times, your turns are not independent and your deck changes over time. But the main takeaway still holds true. When youíre attacked by a Fortune Teller, even though you shuffling more, you seeing your good cards less often! The benefits of the cycling are generally more than counteracted by the skipping good cards. You also get a sense of the trend in terms of deck size and drawing. In the early game when your deck is small or in situations where you have a good draw engine set up, the attack is only mildly annoying, but it can become very powerful against a slog-type deck. Also note that this analysis doesnít depend on the number of good or bad cards in the deck, just the total number of cards and the average number drawn per turn.

So where does that leave us in terms of strategy? The key idea is that you want to avoid the types of decks that Fortune Teller will be strong against. A heavy drawing strategy utilizing Fortune Teller should dominate a slog-type strategy or a strategy that relies heavily on Silver and Copper. If you canít build an engine to consistently play Fortune Tellers, they can still be useful in slog vs slog. Now the interesting thing is that if youíre both going for the engine strategy, you may not want to bother using a terminal action on a Fortune Teller, since the impact will be small, but the presence of the card in the kingdom is still of importance since it made non-engine strategies less effective.

Counters

In addition to building decks which draw a good percentage of the deck, there are a few other ways to deal with the Fortune Teller attack. If you build a deck with no victory cards or Curses, the attack just discards your deck and canít leave you with a junk card. So you can go for strategies which trash Estates and green late or focus on VP tokens. There are also direct counters to deck top attacks like Jack of all Trades, Farming Village, Scrying Pool, Golem, Sage, Oracle, Native Village, Lookout, Chancellor, Scavenger, Adventurer, Venture, and Scout. It is also important to note that unlike Rabble, the wording of Fortune Teller is such that it does not skip dual-type victory cards. Nobles and Harems can be drawn more often rather than less often since the Fortune Tellers seek them out. You can also go for cards that like to have VP cards in hand like Baron, Crossroads, or Tournament.

Combos

There are a few specific combos that can take advantage of the deck-top attack of Fortune Teller. You can combine it with Jester to give guaranteed Curses, though you lose the normal effect of the attack unless you play a second one. You can also use to to target down VP cards to trash with Saboteur. When followed by a Minion, it essentially forces a 3-card hand. It can also be used to mitigate the potential benefits your opponent could get from your plays of Margrave, Council Room, Vault, or Governor for cards by ensuring the card your opponent draws is junk. Then of course there's the anti-combo with other deck top attacks. You can only make the top of their deck so bad. If your other attack already put a victory card on top, Fortune Teller won't do anything.

Example games

In Obi Wan Bonogi's engine vs my HP+Salvager:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120613-234441-e6aae5cf.html
Here I figure that with Hunting Party and Salvager, this game should go pretty quickly, but Obi Wan has other ideas. He picks up a Fortune Teller which he proceeds to play nearly every turn, slowing me enough that heís able to hold me to 3 Provinces in 16 turns.

Against lespeutereís Silk Roads
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20130123-075538-d2f6ab16.html
Lespeutere goes for Nomad Camps and Silk Roads, which is countered quite strongly by my Apprentice + Fortune Teller. The constant attack delays his collection of Silk Roads and then makes it difficult to afford Duchies.

In a Sea Hag slog with Rabid:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120731-101955-5cbeb2bc.html
With Sea Hag giving Curses and no handsize inceasing other than Moat, this game is bound to be a slog. Rabid opts for a second Hag to win the Curse split while I prefer to get an early Fortune Teller to provide economy while still allowing me to attack. (Note that the immediate impact of both attacks is nearly identical: skip card(s) and leave junk on top.) I do end up losing the Curse split, but my deck builds up much faster, and by the time I take my sixth Curse, itís turn 17 and I already have a Platinum. You will also notice that even before that point, he draws just as many dead cards as I do. I have a little luck hitting one of his Hags with mine on turn 6, but Iím pretty sure the strategy is still better.

Against qmechís Embassy big money:
http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20120716-110717-71cd22f0.html
Nobles + Vineyards probably indicates engine here anyway, but qmech decides to go for Embassy big money. I counter by adding a Fortune Teller which helps to make sure he canít end it too quickly. This one ends up not being close enough that the Fortune Teller really won the game, but if there are Gardens instead of Vineyards or something it might matter.

Good with:
 - lack of drawing (at least in opponents deck)
 - opponents large deck size
 - draw engines that allow repeated play

Not as good with:
 - opponents heavy draw engines
 - opponents decks with no victory cards/Curses
 - dual-type victory cards
 - cards that want victory cards in hand (Baron, Crossroads, Tournament)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 10:37:57 pm by HiveMindEmulator »
Logged

Robz888

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2623
  • Shuffle iT Username: Robz888
  • Respect: +3322
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 01:20:34 am »
+1

Nice article!

Additionally: Two things that stop Fortune Teller pretty well are Farming Village and Oracle.
Logged
I have been forced to accept that lackluster play is a town tell for you.

ftl

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2028
  • Respect: +1295
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 01:47:38 am »
0

IGG/Fortune teller is nice. IGG rushes need a few silvers/terminal silvers, FT fits perfectly into that slot, and there'll always be curses to fortune-tell to the top. Makes it that much harder to do anything against the IGG rush.
Logged

HiveMindEmulator

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2222
  • Respect: +2096
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 02:10:51 am »
+1

Nice article!

Additionally: Two things that stop Fortune Teller pretty well are Farming Village and Oracle.
Thanks. I somehow forgot to write about those. You also forgot to mention Scout!

IGG/Fortune teller is nice. IGG rushes need a few silvers/terminal silvers, FT fits perfectly into that slot, and there'll always be curses to fortune-tell to the top. Makes it that much harder to do anything against the IGG rush.
This type of deck fits the basic mold of things Fortune Teller is good against. Bloated with no draw. It's not that the pair of cards really combos well per se, it's that Fortune Teller is good against this type of deck.
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 02:38:12 am »
0

Consider a deck with no drawing (M=5) and N=20 cards. The probability of seeing any given (non-victory or curse) card is 5/20 = 0.25. When attacked by Fortune Teller, it is 4/19 = 0.21. This means you see your good cards 16% less often! On the other hand, if you draw M=10 of your N=15 cards every turn, you go from 10/15 = 0.67 to 9/14 = 0.64, which is a decrease of less than 5%.

I don't get this.

5/20 = 0.25
4/19 = 0.21

That's a 4% drop, isn't it?

10/15 = 0.67
9/14 = 0.64

Isn't this 3%?

I am probably misinterpreting something.
Logged

lespeutere

  • 2012 German Champion
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 488
  • Respect: +390
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 03:25:31 am »
+1

0.64/0.67=0.95,
so it's a 5% drop
= a drop of 3 percentage points (direct translation from German, not sure whether this term exists).
Logged

brokoli

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1112
  • Respect: +773
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 04:22:48 am »
+1

Quote
Fortune Teller is one of the more underrated attacks in the game. The problem is that itís a deck top attack, which is subtle if youíre not paying much attention.
This. This is the most important thing about fortune teller.

I really like your article, thanks !
Logged

Davio

  • 2012 Dutch Champion
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4733
  • Respect: +3327
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 05:07:45 am »
0

FT is especially nice if you can immediately do something with the bad card you leave on top for your opponent.

If you play FT+Minion, your opponent gets a new hand with 3 random cards and a junk card which is even worse than being Militia'd, since this leaves you with the best 3 out of 5.

With FT+Margrave, the "bonus" for your opponent is nullified as he's going to discard that junk card anyway so it's the best 3 out of 5 instead of the regular best 3 out of 6. FT+Council Room or Governor work the same way and Vault is similar. Caravan is also less helpful.

And of course there are straightforward combos like with Jester and maybe Saboteur, but definitely not Swindling Estates into Estates.
Logged

BSG: Cagprezimal Adama
Mage Knight: Arythea

RTT

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 607
  • Respect: +689
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 08:34:56 am »
0



And of course there are straightforward combos like with Jester and maybe Saboteur, but definitely not Swindling Estates into Estates.

but swindling provinces to peddlers or duchys to 5$ cost cards near the end of the game.
Logged

DG

  • Governor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4070
  • Respect: +2611
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2013, 08:36:14 am »
+1

Golems, chancellor, scavenger, adventurer, venture could be mentioned for clearing the top of the deck.

Fortune tellers have a real impact upon decks where shuffles and deck contents are controlled. This could be minions, counting houses, but the best example is probably against inns. Fortune tellers are also stronger against kingdom cards that require specific non-victory cards in hand, such as bank or throne room
Logged

Davio

  • 2012 Dutch Champion
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4733
  • Respect: +3327
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2013, 09:27:31 am »
0



And of course there are straightforward combos like with Jester and maybe Saboteur, but definitely not Swindling Estates into Estates.

but swindling provinces to peddlers or duchys to 5$ cost cards near the end of the game.
Sure, but overall I've found them to be counterproductive.
Logged

BSG: Cagprezimal Adama
Mage Knight: Arythea

HiveMindEmulator

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2222
  • Respect: +2096
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2013, 10:44:40 am »
0

Consider a deck with no drawing (M=5) and N=20 cards. The probability of seeing any given (non-victory or curse) card is 5/20 = 0.25. When attacked by Fortune Teller, it is 4/19 = 0.21. This means you see your good cards 16% less often! On the other hand, if you draw M=10 of your N=15 cards every turn, you go from 10/15 = 0.67 to 9/14 = 0.64, which is a decrease of less than 5%.

I don't get this.

5/20 = 0.25
4/19 = 0.21

That's a 4% drop, isn't it?

10/15 = 0.67
9/14 = 0.64

Isn't this 3%?

I am probably misinterpreting something.

The fractions are probabilities, not percentages. If the probability drops by 0.04 from 0.25 to 0.21, it's decreased by 0.04/0.25 = 0.16, or 16%.

I knew this read confusingly when I wrote it, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it clearer...
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9156
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2013, 11:55:21 am »
0

Just showing the extra equation would help. Thanks!
Logged

itchiko

  • Baron
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 53
  • Hear me roar
  • Respect: +81
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2013, 12:43:14 pm »
+1

Great article, i would never have guessed that FT could be such an effective attack in the right conditions.

That said i am a little curious about one point you don't talk about in your article:
The case where there is some kind of trashing and no cursers. In those cases FT attack will not find any valid target in the mid game when the estates will be removed from opponent deck and the attack will become an advantage for your opponent in the part of the game.

That doesn't necessarily mean FT is bad anyway in those cases as shown in your game with Obi-Wan Bonogi but it all depend of your opponent greening strategy.

If going for a province split that could mean, FT will only be back in business for a few last turns in the end (of course they are critical turn where a bad hand can mean a lost so it might still be worth it).
If one of you goes for Alt VP then it's a slog and FT will be working for a lot of turns as well explained in your article.
But if your opponent has a either an explosive greening strategy where he will green only during one turn (eg: KT-bridge combo), or a greenless strategy (a golden deck for example) then FT attack is pretty useless.

Maybe they are kind of an edge cases but i feel, kingdom with trashing and no curser are pretty common.

Also what about the interaction between FT and Shelters, in a game with shelters there is pretty good chance than overgrown estate may be in your opponent hand when you play FT once again making the attack accelerating opponent shuffling instead of actually attacking it. Doesn't FT lose a lot of strength as an opener in those cases ?
Logged

DStu

  • Margrave
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2627
  • Respect: +1488
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2013, 12:55:43 pm »
+1

But if your opponent has a either an explosive greening strategy where he will green only during one turn (eg: KT-bridge combo), or a greenless strategy (a golden deck for example) then FT attack is pretty useless.
I think it is pretty common that FT is not a good card, but all these complains is why people consider it a weak card.
- In Big Money, you don't want to buy it in the beginning, in the middle it's hard to get, and you don't see it that often anymore anyways.
- In an Engine, there is usually trashing, so I will have no targets.

That is what makes FT bad, and this all still holds.  But as with every card, there are situations where they are better, maybe even useful cards, even if it's the worst card of all.  And knowing this is important, and exactly what this article tells:

What if the situation is different? What is if this is an engine, but there is no Estate-trashing? What is in Slogs? What is in engines that can't buy out in one or two turns (Maybe because of Alt-vp and higher total victory count)?
Especially pure Cantrip engines really don't like to find stopper cards, and having one of them on top of the deck is exactly what you don't want.  Especially engines also don't have the problem of "I can't pick that up because I Gold is more important", and they can play cards often.  Of course it's pointless if the Estates are trashed and you only expect one turn where there are Provinces in the decks.  But what if not?  Look out for this situations, and there FT is a valuable attack, especially if the draw of the engine is not that strong that every card matters.
Logged

philosophyguy

  • Minion
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 575
  • Respect: +298
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2013, 01:17:52 pm »
0

How much of an impact does the tactical decision to play or not play a Fortune Teller have on the odds of seeing specific cards? For instance, we know that FT/Potion has a huge first player advantage in a Familiar game because of the chance of FT skipping the other player's Potion. Can we generalize this to think about how to analyze the cycling impact vis-a-vis specific key cards?
Logged

HiveMindEmulator

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2222
  • Respect: +2096
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2013, 10:47:23 pm »
0

That said i am a little curious about one point you don't talk about in your article:
The case where there is some kind of trashing and no cursers. In those cases FT attack will not find any valid target in the mid game when the estates will be removed from opponent deck and the attack will become an advantage for your opponent in the part of the game.
I mention it briefly, but maybe I should make more a point of that.
The point about Shelters is also good, but generally Fortune Teller is not a world-beater as an opener anyway.

How much of an impact does the tactical decision to play or not play a Fortune Teller have on the odds of seeing specific cards? For instance, we know that FT/Potion has a huge first player advantage in a Familiar game because of the chance of FT skipping the other player's Potion. Can we generalize this to think about how to analyze the cycling impact vis-a-vis specific key cards?
Practically, I don't think there are too many times where you will choose to not play your FT. I mean, maybe with some serious deck tracking, you could figure out the odds of giving them more plays of a strong card and think of the impact several turns down the line, there could be an advantage. But usually there's not much tactics involved other than maybe the order of play with other attacks.
Logged

jomini

  • Saboteur
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1006
  • Respect: +705
    • View Profile
Re: Fortune Teller
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 02:01:42 pm »
0

On the attacking front, Fteller/Swindler can be really strong. There are three general cases:
1. Turning Alt-VP into something else. Gardens, Silk Roads, Fairgrounds ... just about every alt-VP can be destroyed by this combo. Yeah both Swindler and Fteller are strong against slog decks and decent against rushes here ... but Fteller/Swindler can hammer alt-VP engines (like Black market/Fairgrounds/Tac) as well. Setting up an engine that can play these two is very strong. Provinces -> Peddlers works in similar fashion.
2. Using cost reduction to trash green. You lose the Hwy split 4/6 ... no chance? Well not much of one, but with a quick build up of a strong engine, you can use Fteller/Swindler to turn his 6 provinces into potions. This rarely a strong move to start aiming for, but it can recover a busted game. Another option is Bridge or Princess ... both normally mean there are far better options out there ... but both can give you a small chance to recover the game.
3. Just trashing provinces. This is nasty and people hate it when you do it ... but it can be really strong. So we build engines and you get 6 provinces. On my final turn I gain the final province (e.g. Remodel a gold), I then play Fteller -> Swindler, you flip up a province, you trash it, you gain nothing.I do this two more times. Your 6-2 province lead drops down to 3-2 and that is much easier to make up in duchies. This is even stronger on colony boards as I can build for way longer and it is much easier to dip into the provinces to make up point differentials. If you can't gain the final province on your final turn first ... well you can just swindle a province and use up another Fteller/Swindler combo (e.g. 4 instead of 3). You can use this approach against uniquely priced alt-VP (most notably Vineyards) with much greater ease as you don't have to worry as much about game end.

Yeah all of these are in part mitigated if the starting estates hang around (which makes them stronger in Shelter games) or if the opponent still has curses in deck and  they take a huge amount of draw/action balance to pull off (they suck down 2 actions & 2 draw slots each play) ... lastly you do gamble a huge amount sometimes - whether it is hoping to hit stuff other than estates or drawing 2 Ftellers and 2 Swindlers with no village on the final turn - you will be gambling here. But either the odds against you are already stacked or they are good enough to warrant the risk (e.g. a City deck).

In like manner Fteller/Knights or Rogue can destroy/steal Alt-VP with abandon. Again, estates hurt the combo (but cannot stop it) and it can crack provinces with cost reduction (making Princess potentially the most potent prize). Unlike Swindler, you don't have to worry about depleting piles ... but for a thin deck they can also much easier smack you back with Knights or just keep trashing a silver.

Fteller (this turn) -> Masq (next turn) is also just a bit stronger than either alone. Yeah early on that's a recipe for passing estates ... however later in the game it effectively reduces the passing choices and can greatly increase the odds that you get something else good (e.g. a Gold)

An open question is Fteller -> Tribute. It works surprisingly well in action heavy decks with low village options (e.g. Necro/Xroads and cantrips). After the first Tribute you can just keep setting up more draw/action and chain them as activated conspirators (you gain 2 coin and regenerate your starting action count/hand size). If they are playing dual action type, well this just gets insane. In a standard-ish deck where you have a healthy mix, I'm not sure how good it really is. Yeah, cards tend to be better than action or coin ... but you also help them skip dead cards (inverting the normal Fteller math) and you need lots of village support for yet another double terminal combo.

An anti-synergies of note:
Possession. Fteller is a really nice thing to slip in against a Possession player. He can't use it much or his Possessed hands suck a bit more, you can force him to self-sabotage his next hand (decreasing the odds of a Possession play) or forgo $2 this turn.

Logged
Pages: [1]
 

Page created in 0.129 seconds with 22 queries.