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Hertz_Doughnut

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Dominion Battle Royale
« on: April 01, 2013, 01:28:56 pm »
+6

Here's a variant of Dominion that I like to play, called Battle Royale:

• All available cards are in the kingdom (except those specifically banned below)
• Platinums & Colonies are in the kingdom (if available)
• Players start with Shelters (if available)
• For each 10 Ruins in the game, use 2 from each kind
• The following cards are banned: Band of Misfits, Black Market, Border Village, Chapel, King’s Court, Young Witch
• Players start with identical hands
• Silent VP auction to decide who goes first. (VPs are deducted from point count at the end of the game.) In case of tie, choose randomly.
Card erratas:
Bridge – Replace sentence with “While this is in play, cards cost 1 coin less, but not less than 0 coins”
Coppersmith – Replace text with “While this is in play, Copper produces an extra 1 coin this turn.”
Graverobber – Replace the first two words with “You may choose one:”
Masquerade – After the first sentence, add “(If a player does not have any cards in hand, he takes the card passed to him and passes it to the player on his left.)”
Moneylender – Prepend the text with “You may”
Possession – Append the text with “A player cannot have two consecutive turns under the influence of Possession.”
Scrying Pool – Replace the first sentence with “Reveal the top card of your deck and either discard it or put it back.”
Thief – Replace the second sentence with “If they revealed any treasure cards, you may choose one for them to trash.”
Throne Room – Replace the first sentence with “You may choose and Action card in your hand.”

Here it is in pdf format.

===Discussion===
Black Market and Young Witch were banned due to the mechanics of playing with all the cards ever made.  The rest were banned for the sake of ensuring variety... that is, making sure the same strategy doesn't get played every time by every player.

The banned/errata list could evolve further if something emerges that proves to dominate all other options.

In the preceding games that shaped the current lists:
(a) We learned that the game isn't fun if there's always a run on a certain card... because that just boils down to shuffle-luck... e.g. who gets $7 early and buys the most King's Courts (or $6 and Border Village).  What we want is lots of viable strategies, lots of interesting decisions, and each player buying the right card for the circumstance.  What we don't want is "automatic buys"... that is... playing without thinking because some cards/strategies just dominate that hard.
(b) King's Court was the first auto-buy.  There's just way too much that can be done with it.  Originally, the Bridge-KC full house was the only thing that mattered since it always won.  Hence why Bridge was errata-ed.  But even fixing Bridge (and subsequently, Masquerade) didn't stop KC from still being the supreme card in the game.
(c) No surprise that the power attacks came next.  Mountebank, Witch, & Goons.  (Jury's still out on Sea Hag...  it's a dead card when the curses are gone...)
(d) Everyone always got a Chapel (and I learned that Chapel can't keep up with an opponent using KCed-Mountebanks), but the game is more subtle without Chapel-acceleration.
(e) Also everyone always got a Border Village... which essentially gets your engine two cards in one buy.

==update 4/3/2013==
Removed Ambassador from the banned list after reading that you can't Ambassador away a shelter and this format always plays with shelters.

==update 4/22/2013==
Added Band of Misfits to the banned list.
-Yeah, this is basically a God card in Battle Royale.  Ambassador, Lighthouse, Fishing Village, Sea Hag...  When included it's a race between the players to see who can amass the most... and then about 5 hours of analysis-paralysis on how to best use them each turn.

Added Fortress to the banned list.
-Upgrade + Fortress often wins in 7-8 turns and we couldn't find any counter

Removed Goons, Mountebank, Witch from banned list. 
-Currently, attack decks lose to combo/mega-turn ones.  We decided to bring back the power attacks and see if that changes anything.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2013, 10:34:11 am by Hertz_Doughnut »
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Tables

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 01:49:04 pm »
0

Surprised Fairgrounds hasn't gone, personally... with so much variety, I would expect most strategies to involve that, since it's an easy 6VPs or more.
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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: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 02:49:34 pm »
+1

BTW, the changed wording of Masq makes the KC-militia-masq pin unviable, but is the Masq-Cutpurse pin still workable? I don't actually know whether that's fast enough to matter given everything present.

I'm certainly curious about what optimal strategy in the everything-in-play set is. With KC and chapel and the good cursers off the board, and with Bridge megaturns nerfed, I bet it's like Ironworks/Island/Gardens or something like that, since you can open with ironworks/workshop and empty piles lightning-fast. I seem to remember a puzzles and challenges game where the challenge was to end the game as quickly as possible, and I think that approach was second to the KC/governor stuff, and it's more resilient to not having chapel.
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GiB

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 02:54:27 pm »
0

My guess is that Highway/Market should dominate, or at least be close to rushes in effectiveness (not sure how to set the combo up optimally though).

I am still looking for counters : Possession is not enough as the Highway player will probably grab a Pillage (and a Graverobber or Rogue to collect trashed Pillages) to defend against this.
Swindler or Militia/Masquerade would probably do a lot more damage, but a couple of Lighthouses should be enough to defend.
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liopoil

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 02:59:34 pm »
+3

swindler is really good... you can give them the worst card in the game (for their deck) at each price level.
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popsofctown

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 04:05:15 pm »
+1

I wish I lived near hertzdoughnut because i'd play the heck out of this format
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Asper

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 06:52:08 pm »
0

swindler is really good... you can give them the worst card in the game (for their deck) at each price level.

Let's see...

0$ Curse
1$ Poor House
2$ Estate
3$ Woodcutter/Chancellor/Lookout
4$ Scout
5$ Saboteur/Counting House
6$ Farmland/Hoard
7$ Expand/Forge

By the way, isn't Band of Misfits extremely strong in such a set-up? You can choose ANY card costing upt to 4$!

eHalcyon

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 07:29:05 pm »
+2

Thief – Replace “they trash one” with “they may trash one”

Your intention is probably that you can leave them their Coppers, but that's not what that sentence would mean.  As written, it would mean that your opponent decides whether or not they trash a treasure (and if they decide yes, then you choose which one).  So this would heavily nerf an already weak card. :P
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heron

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 08:06:21 pm »
+1

So, which strategy wins?
Native Village/Bridge?
Hermit/Market Square?
Ironworks/Silk Road?
Ironworks/Fairgrounds?
...
Ironworks/Silk Road probably beats most anything.
But the most fun strategy would be scheme/scrying pool/beggar/masquerade/cutpurse/highway/saboteur. A pin that you haven't banned yet!
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DStu

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 10:31:35 am »
0

Ironworks/Silk Road probably beats most anything.
IW/SR is to slow against a rush on Provinces, if you want to rush you have to rush really fast and go IW/GH/Island maybe with trashing (Steward, Remake?).  See also this sim tournament.  Most bots (including IW/GH/Island) rely on Chapel, but you probably don't lose too much by getting 2 Stewards instead.
And with a clean deck, Quarry/Highway/mass buy will outrace a standard rush quite safely.
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Hertz_Doughnut

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 03:12:52 pm »
+1

Game Report

Just finished a game with my brother, and here's how it went down...

4-3 opening split.  He went first.

His strategy:
Turn 1 - Bridge
Turn 2 - Native Village
Turn 3 - Lookout
Going for multiple Bridges + Native Villages, using the Lookout to clean his deck and assist Native Village in matting the right cards.

My strategy:
Turn 1 - Steward
Turn 2 - Squire
Turn 3 - Trashed Squire + Copper, gained a Familiar (from Squire), bought another Squire
Turn 4 - Bought a Farming Village
My plan was to trash Squires for attacks.

Play:
On subsequent turns, I trashed Squires for a Knight (Sir Vander), 2 Swindlers, and a Minion... in addition to purifying my deck of Coppers and Shelters.  I kept a balance of villages equal to my terminals (I had a Hamlet, a Wandering Minstrel, a Nobles, and then started getting Cities when the Curse pile got low).

He lost control of his deck after turn 6 or so... and had to slog through tons of junk.  Eventually he started getting Masquerades to send the junk my way and receive decent cards from me (Stewards, Wandering Minstrel, etc.).  One time, after pulling back his Native Village mat with like 6 NVs and 3 Bridges, he did a lot of Masq-ing and cleaned his deck pretty decently.  My biggest oversight was at one point giving him Familiar via Masquerade, because he Developed it into a Scrying Pool and Golem... and then had a playable deck.  He also had a few Tacticians.

Altogether he managed to improve his deck significantly, but couldn't catch me.  I was using the Familiar, Knight, 2 Swindlers, and Minion each turn.  On the turn when he finally got enough Bridges to be a threat, I three-piled by buying out the Bridges and Native Villages (Curses were gone early)... winning 30 to -1.

In hindsight, an early Knight really isn't that strong, and I should have gone for the Swinder with my 2nd trashed-Squire (or Ghost Ship?).  I got the knight thinking he would take care of the Bridges before they get moved to the Native Village mat... but instead the knight just kept waving at coppers, shelters, and Native Villages.  Swindler was much more effective, trading out his Native Villages for estates, his Masquerades for Develops, his Bridges for Scouts, and his Tacticians for Dukes.

tl;dr

Trashed Squires are great.  Swindler is effective.  Develop actually isn't that bad with all the options you have (and they're top-decked!).  We played with 3 Potion-cost cards without anyone buying a Potion.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 03:34:30 pm »
0

You got a bit lucky lining up Steward-Squire on turn 3!

The lookout was a mistake, I think.  With NV-Bridge, you probably want nothing else:

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=60.0



Would be interested in hearing about more attempts.  It could be that relentless attacks do interfere too much.  Swindler is interesting as a way to deprive a player of the important NVs.

But I have a hard time believing that, if he were playing NV-Bridge correctly, his deck would be out of control as early as turn 6.  You would have played Familiar, what, once?  Twice maybe?


Also, Golem with multiple Tacticians sounds terrible! ;)
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popsofctown

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 05:36:09 pm »
0

I WANT TO
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Drab Emordnilap

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 05:51:50 pm »
0

It sounds like the NV-Bridge strategy (at least how they had the simulator do it) was to mat the Bridges the whole game until the opponent buys 4 Provinces... then you pick everything up, buy-out the Provinces, and get some Dutchies to put you over the top.

However, Battle Royale always has Colonies... meaning that if your opponent skips Provinces altogether (as I did) and targets Colonies, then you have to get a lot more Bridges on the mat before you can buy-out the Province pile in one turn.  (At least 7 of them for 7 +buys.)  You also need that many Native Villages (for the +actions).  That's 14 turns of just buying the components, and hoping to line them up to get them properly stashed on the mat.  Factor in a few more turns for the times you happen to mat a Copper/Shelter, instead... plus turns spent buying Copper/Silver because Money-In-Deck is too low.  (A hindsight issue that John mentioned... he passed instead of picking up Coppers when he needed money for Bridges.)

That's a lot to do before opponent gets 5 Colonies.  Or sets up a deck to play 2 Swindlers a turn.  Or takes advantage of the short NV and Bridge piles with City or just ends the game on you...

You should come here and play with me. :)

You can play Bridges to get multiple pieces in one turn, especially Native Villages.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 05:56:40 pm »
0

It would be fewer than 14 turns, because sometimes you play Bridge!  A player could also see about using other villages if necessary, and maybe cards like Market Square for extra +Buy (bonus: could get some Gold when you play Swindler, which could be helpful if he doesn't have enough Bridges).  He doesn't have to actually buy the last NV/Bridge so that Cities aren't activated.  If you close out those piles, he could trigger the megaturn to buy out another pile -- it doesn't have to be Provinces.  It could be Duchy or SR or even Estate, depending on how many Colonies you've actually purchased or if you have just been building up an engine.

Honestly, I think that playing this Battle Royale variant would be an interesting exercise in finding Rock-Paper-Scissors strategies.  Probably everything has a counter.  And I believe that would be the case without tweaking cards at all and leaving in KC-Bridge.  :P
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eHalcyon

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 06:08:21 pm »
0

Honestly, I think that playing this Battle Royale variant would be an interesting exercise in finding Rock-Paper-Scissors strategies.  Probably everything has a counter.  And I believe that would be the case without tweaking cards at all and leaving in KC-Bridge.  :P

Very good points. 

Come here and try it with me.  Stay at home and try it with your friends.

Just try it.  Try it without my banned list and erratas... see if you come to my same conclusions...

Stop speculating and start researching! :)

Ha!  Unfortunately I can't go to where you are.  I would love to try it with my friends, but they won't play Dominion with me anyway because I almost always win (not to mention we don't actually own all the sets).  ;D



Seeing how Mountebank and Witch have made it onto your ban list, I am surprised that Band of Misfits and Wharf haven't either.  BoM can act as Sea Hag until Curses run, and Wharf is a top tier $5 that is almost on par with Mountebank and Witch.
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Hertz_Doughnut

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 01:31:54 pm »
+1

Game Report

Just finished another game...

3-4 opening split.  He went first.


His strategy
-Use Ironworks (IW) to get Great Halls (GH), then Gardens
-Use Crossroads (Cr) on the deck of (mostly) GHs for +cards and +actions
-Thought about using Bridge for cheap IW gains

My strategy
-Use Ambassador (Am) and Jack of All Trades (JoT) to clean the Coppers and Shelters from my deck
-Get Band of Misfits (BoM) and use situationally as a Sea Hag/Wandering Minstrel/Smithy
-Junk his deck with Coppers (via Am) and Curses (via BoM), then get Swindlers to mess with his IWs and GHs

His opening
Turn 1 - Cr
Turn 2 - IW
Turn 3 - IW --> GH; Bought Watchtower
Turn 4 - Bought IW
Turn 5 - IW --> GH; Bought Cr
Turn 6 - IW --> GH; Bought Masquerade

My opening
Turn 1 - Am
Turn 2 - JoT
Turn 3 - (drew 5 copper) BoM
Turn 4 - Am 2 coppers away (no buy)
Turn 5 - Played Necropolis, JoT (trash Overgrown Estate), and BoM (as Sea Hag); bought a Wandering Minstrel
Turn 6 - Am 2 coppers away (no buy)


Play
The game started with me turning his deck into junk (and cleaning mine in the process), while John bought/IWed as many GHs as possible.  His Watchtower did a fair job of mitigating the junk coming his way, and on turn 6 he bought a Masquerade just as my deck was getting clean.

I started buying Cities on turn 7 (because the GH pile was getting low) and Swindler on turn 8, while he picked up a BoM, Wharf, and Wandering Minstrel.

With all the junk... he was only pulling about 2 GH/Gardens a turn. The GH pile emptied on turn 11, and I didn't take seriously enough my need to start scoring points.  I got a Ghost Ship and Governor instead, but did manage to pick up 2 Colonies.  (Governor was to remodel my Jot, Am, and Silver into good stuff... but didn't have him long enough to do anything.)

On Turn 14 I used BoM (as a Sea Hag) to give him the last Curse... leaving me vulnerable to a Gardens 3-pile on Turn 15.

Game ended on Turn 15 with him winning 34 to 26.  He had exactly 40 cards in deck... so no only did my Sea Hag end the game (before I wanted it), but also grew his Gardens to put him ahead of me.

Good game.


tl;dr

Ironworks won, but neither of us thought it was dominating.  Swindler was a mistake on my part because he often just swindled junk into different junk (Curses into Ruins the last few turns...).  Band of Misfits is really versatile, but it's hard to commit to more than 1, because the other 5-cost cards are so good.  (City, Wharf, Governor, Ghost Ship).  The 6 and 7-cost cards are not that good, and at least three times, I ended up getting City or Governor when I had 7 to buy with.  (Definitely had no need for Expand, Forge, or Bank.)

Also need to record that John used his BoM as a Scout on turn 10.  (Hoping to catch 4 Great Halls... he got 1.)  Can't believe I lost to that...
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eHalcyon

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 01:41:20 pm »
0

If he was playing Gardens, he should have just accepted all the junk instead of wasting time with a Watchtower.  It also conflicts with Masquerade -- with the latter, he might as well accept the junk so that he can pass Curses/Ruins back to you.  Masquerade is not really useful for a Gardens strategy, though possibly it was good for messing with you, if your deck was really nice at that point.  Nonetheless, SR should be stronger than Gardens, especially with IW->GH, and possibly IW->Island later.

Your strategy didn't seem to have much synergy to it, but perhaps you are not telling the whole story.  You mention wanting the other 5s as well -- which ones were you focusing on?  Was your target Colonies?
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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2013, 02:41:13 pm »
0

Try a quarry/talisman strategy.  If you get a good draw early you can pretty much end the game whenever you want.  You can also abuse mass governer+ ghostship.  No matter how bad they slog your deck, If you Gov-gov-gov-gov-village-ghost ship forge, you have an instantly clean deck and a guaranteed draw-full deck+ worst attack in the game every turn.
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popsofctown

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2013, 03:25:31 pm »
0

Now that you have some banned cards, why not reintroduce Black Market, using the banned cards as the Black Market deck? 
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Awaclus

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2013, 04:07:28 pm »
+2

Now that you have some banned cards, why not reintroduce Black Market, using the banned cards as the Black Market deck?
I don't think that's a good idea.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2013, 04:11:11 pm »
0

Once you've banned King's Court, is it really necessary to change Coppersmith and Bridge wording? I can't imagine that Throne-Rooming those will be an overpowered dominate strategy.

Same with Masquerade. Without King's Court, it's so unlikely that you would ever not be passing a card when you play it anyway, and even if you do, so what? It's only taking 1 card from the players hand, not 3 like KC-Masq.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 11:14:23 pm by GendoIkari »
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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2013, 04:15:22 pm »
0

Surprised Fairgrounds hasn't gone, personally... with so much variety, I would expect most strategies to involve that, since it's an easy 6VPs or more.

6?? With every single Kingdom Card in play, I'm pretty sure that making Fairgrounds that are worth 40 or so would be the way to go.
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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2013, 04:18:20 pm »
0

Thief – Replace “they trash one” with “they may trash one”

Your intention is probably that you can leave them their Coppers, but that's not what that sentence would mean.  As written, it would mean that your opponent decides whether or not they trash a treasure (and if they decide yes, then you choose which one).  So this would heavily nerf an already weak card. :P

Thank you.  I fixed it.

I would further fix it to say "if they reveal any treasure cards, you may choose one for them to trash." Currently there's no Dominion card that ever lets you trash another players' cards. It could cause confusion with stuff like "when you trash a card."
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popsofctown

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Re: Dominion Battle Royale
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2013, 05:54:00 pm »
0

Now that you have some banned cards, why not reintroduce Black Market, using the banned cards as the Black Market deck?
I don't think that's a good idea.
Why?  What card in there is so broken that it would still need to be inaccessible?

If you consider the opportunity cost of buying Black Market over Swindler, then Witch and King's Court could be considered to say, "When you gain this, the player to your left trashes the top card of your deck and chooses a card of the same cost for you to gain".
I'm definitely going to buy Ghost Ship, Trading Post, Band of Misfits, Governor, or Cultist instead of that.
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