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Messages - Earl

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Shouldn't Alchemist and University be swapped?  Alchemist has the higher weighted average.

Fixed. I stole an old post for HTML help. I adjusted the +/- stuff first, and then I forgot to change that number. Thanks for spotting that, Aku Chi.

The Best Cards

For a long time, the only Dominion that I had in my life was the 1E Big Box, so potion cards are near and dear to my heart. Letís talk about them!

This list has lots of disagreement. Except for the obvious two bottom cards, every card got voted #1 by at least one person.

#10 =0 Transmute (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 6.07%▲2.27pp / Unweighted Average: 6.86% / Median: 0% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 9.9%

Transmute is the bottom of this list. Cue the gasps of surprise. This card has been judged the worst potion card every year since the Qvist list was started. Actually, though, itís climbed about 3pp in the last couple of years and the gap between this and PhilStone has narrowed to about half a pp: it was 12.7 in 2013. Maybe one day enough of us will feel the sweet tang of gaining a Gold off of an Estate trash and Transmute will have its day in the sun. Or at least, the relative sun of not being dead last.
#9 =0 Philosopher's Stone (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 6.53% ▼3.07pp / Unweighted Average: 10.52% / Median: 11.1% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 11.11%

This has fallen 6pp in the last two years alone. Weíve always known this card is bad, but weíre starting to think that even the slight credit we gave it back in the day was undeserved (cf. the f.ds article about how PhilStone/Herbalist is a ďpowerful combo.Ē)

I mean, I guess Iíll gain it off a Hero play on a Keep board, and in a real sloggy, bloaty deck, it can start to earn some intimidating amounts of money when you finally draw around to it, but most of the time this card is just bad. 3P is a steep cost, and it slaps you in the face for having a thin, drawable deck, which is the most fun thing in Dominion. Plus, if youíve ever played with this card IRL and sat there while your opponent counts their deck time and time again, well it makes Dominion less of a game and more of a Taoist exercise in patience.

#8 =0 Golem (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 31.97% ▲3.07pp / Unweighted Average: 38.85% / Median: 33.33% ▲11.11pp/ Standard Deviation: 21.65%

Speaking of cards which are annoying to resolve IRL . . . itís Golem! Although this is #8 on the list, weíre in another tier of potion cards altogether, with this landing 25pp higher than the bottom two in the weighted scores. Golem crashed down quite a lot last year, but now itís stabilized. Even gained a couple of pp.

IRL deck flipping notwithstanding, this is a fun card. Diving for actions and playing them is so much of what makes us love Dominion. I mean, watch your shuffles, but sailing past all that junk to a couple of good cards feels amazing. At least in part, this probably accounts for why the unweighted average is so much higher than the weighted average. Careful, folks; it can be a trap! 

Speaking of traps, who can resist that sweet, sweet dream of playing a Tactician and then continuing your turn with a Lab or Ė dare we hope Ė a Library. Your opponentís going to win while you set that all up, but youíll have had more fun, and that makes you the real winner. Thanks, Golem.
#7 =0 Apothecary (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 43.83% ▼5.07pp / Unweighted Average: 42.21% / Median: 37.5% ▼6.94pp / Standard Deviation: 21.69%

Someone voted this card last, which makes me want to sit them down and interview them about their experiences with Transmute and PhilStone.

Apothecary used to sit a lot higher on the list before tumbling down three ranks last year to #7 and staying there this year. Still, itís a pretty brilliant card when you canít trash your coppers. Even when youíre mostly rid of your copper, the deep deck-inspection and rearranging can set up some nice combos. You have to be careful of shuffles, and all the usual opportunity-cost potion considerations apply, but itís definitely never a card that youíre sad to have.

Iíd say that its relatively low spot on the list has more to do with the strength of whatís to come.

#6 ▼2 Alchemist (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 56.9% ▼4.6pp / Unweighted Average: 60.31% / Median: 55.56% ▼11.14pp / Standard Deviation: 17.25%

Non-terminal draw is really good. Topdeckable non-terminal draw is even better. Itís that damn opportunity cost again. There are so many decisions here. Do you buy the potion? When? How much do you cry when it misses the shuffle and you draw it with two coppers and two estates?

Over the years, this card has occupied every spot from #3 to #7 on this ten-card list, and it moves a spot or two almost every year. Heís a tough guy to pin down, the Alchemist.
#5 ▲1University (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 57.05% ▲3.05pp / Unweighted Average: 55.05% / Median: 55.6% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 18.65%

This is the highest ranking of all time for University. Congratulations! Turns out that $5 actions are great to gain. Plus, this gives you +2 Actions to help play all that stuff youíve gained. You definitely need to think before going for Unis. Are they going to be an expensive Necropolis? Are they going to take too long to set up? Are you going to have trouble drawing through these stop cards? Often enough, you answer yes to these questions and skip the Uni. But when the answer is no, you can have a real powerhouse here.
#4 ▼1 Vineyard (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 63.8% ▲0.98pp / Unweighted Average: 62.75% / Median: 66.67% ▼11.07pp / Standard Deviation: 27.84%

This fell a rank despite its weighted average going up 1pp. If I knew more about math, Iíd probably try to explain this to you.

I do know enough math to note that this has the highest standard deviation of any card on the list. Alt-VP is hard to rank, and Vineyard is no exception. This had one last place vote and five first place votes, and it occupied just about every space in between on at least one personís list.

Under the right circumstances, though, this is some of the best Alt-VP in the game. Weíve all had games where Vineyards are easily more valuable than Provinces, maybe even Colonies, and they reward you for having a deck full of actions. Who doesnít love a deck full of actions?

#3 ▼1Familiar (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 70.01% ▼3.99pp / Unweighted Average: 70.12% / Median: 77.78% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 17.08%

Let me tell you a story. About a year ago, I was having a busy week. A friend knew when I had a free hour, and he decided to set up Dominion for me as a ďstress reliever.Ē Well didnít the sadistic bastard include Familiar! And like a maniac he opens Potion/Trade Route. Of course he hits 3P on turn 3, trashes an Estate and buys a silver on turn 4 and proceeds to happily drown me in curses. I open a nice, sensible silver/potion and am immediately rewarded by drawing 2P on TURN 5. Needless to say, I lost badly. My friendís advice: ďYou should have gotten an early Trade Route like me. Trashing is important in Dominion.Ē Stress not relieved.

I think this anecdote sums up most of what there is to say about Familiar. Cantrip cursing is nasty and can turn into an avalanche of purple. Playing the odds of hitting 3P and losing is as frustrating as anything in Dominion. Sure thereís luck everywhere in the game, but itís just so much more apparent and stinging when your potion misses its first shuffle, or you draw it with only two copper, or Ė God forbid Ė both things happen at once.
#2 ▲3 Possession (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 72.28% ▲12.58pp / Unweighted Average: 65.48% / Median: 66.67% ▲11.01pp / Standard Deviation: 26.95%

Youíve probably noticed that the several of the middle cards on this list fell a rank or two, and now we come to the reason why.

Last year this rose three spots from #8 to #5. Incredibly, it has repeated the feat again this year. From essentially the worst potion-cost card other than the complete duds to the second-best in two years: this has got to be one of the biggest changes in thinking weíve seen about any card. Full credit to Gazbag who, in last yearís write-up, correctly predicted that this card would continue to rise. Rise it did, and that in spite of the 2E version restoring the minor VP-chip nerf.

About 1/6 of voters didn't even rank this card. It doesnít exist anymore for a lot of online-only folks. And itís the same for a lot of IRL folks who want to maintain their friendships. Taking an extra turn without any sort of handsize or buy-option limitations is scary-strong. But then again, the card is scary-expensive to make up for that. What really makes this card feel bad is the fact that your opponent gets to use your deck that youíve worked so hard building. Combine this with all kinds of pseudo-attack effects, like calling your opponent's reserve cards, or Borrowing, or triggering terrible shuffles, or the mostly-fantasy ďreturn two Colonies with AmbassadorĒ kind of play, and you have a card that really makes us want to cry. Plus, the potential for an ďenjoy possessing THIS shitty deckĒ stalemates is gross.

Buy hey, every once in a while your opponent cycles a dud hand for you, and thatís nice.

#1 =0 Scrying Pool (Alchemy) Weighted Average: 95.79% ▼2.11pp / Unweighted Average: 90.19% / Median: 100% ▲11.1pp / Standard Deviation: 17.89%

The obvious king of this list, Scrying Pool has been in the top spot since 2014 and has never been lower than second place. Almost two-thirds of voters put this on top, although someone ranked it second from bottom. Iím starting to think that there may be a troll among us. Or someone who submitted their order backwards.

Itís just a monster card. The potential for drawing huge numbers of actions plus a sort-of-tacked-on-but-non-trivial topdeck attack makes this ferocious. Still, though, itís not an autobuy. The potion cost means that you donít always want it if gains are very limited. The action-only draw means that it wonít be amazing on a board without trashing. Itíll be worse if thereís also junking. So even though itís a great card, you still think before you buy.

Dominion General Discussion / The Dominion Cards List 2018 Edition: Ruins
« on: February 23, 2019, 08:13:49 am »
The Best Ruins

Well, ruins are very rarely cards you gain by choice, so their relative rankings donít matter much. Your opponentsí Cultists are going to send them flying your way indiscriminately, regardless of where they are on this list. You have been warned.

There are no changes to these rankings from last year. In fact, there are no changes in standing greater than 3%. Perhaps after years of careful discussion, we have finally settled on a consensus.

#5 =0 Ruined Village (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 1.64% ▼0.16pp / Unweighted Average: 1.04% / Median: 0% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 5%

Except for one voice crying in the wilderness, everyone voted this on the bottom of the pile. And even that person voted it 2nd last. It sure feels great when this disappears to your Cursed Village, activates your Conspirator, or makes the Peddler affordable . . . or at least thatís what I tell myself when Iím drowning in Ruins. Mostly, it does nothing but take up a space in your hand, so to the bottom of the list with it!
#4 =0 Survivors (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 36.72% ▼0.68pp / Unweighted Average: 40.63% / Median: 25% =0pp/ Standard Deviation: 20.17%

So what was it they survived? Why do they only define themselves in relation to their past traumas? I like to think of these guys as Ruined Navigators. Perhaps they survived the Pillage. Sadly, the cardís better for fan-fiction than it is for your deck, so here it is in the next-to-last position. They got the one last place vote that Ruined Village did not.

#3 =0 Ruined Library (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 45.88% ▼0.42pp / Unweighted Average: 43.75% / Median: 50% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 18.04%

If youíre flush with villages, then at least this card replaces itself. But when you consider that terminal +2 cards is fairly weak, then terminal +1 is . . . well, yes, ruinous. Get one for the Museum points???
#2 =0 Abandoned Mine (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 70.67% ▲2.77pp / Unweighted Average: 67.71% / Median: 75% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 18.37%

As with last year, this is a really clear second place: a full 25 points separate it from the cards above and below it on the list. Sometimes itís nice to have a copper, even if it costs you an action. Most of the time, you want $5 more than $4 or $8 more than $7, and Abandoned Mine is there for you. Itís not enough that you want in your deck, but if you line up a couple ruins in a hand with a Goat, maybe feed it the Survivors first. What a way for them to finally go.

#1 =0 Ruined Market (Dark Ages) Weighted Average: 96.6% ▼1.52pp / Unweighted Average: 96.88% / Median: 100% =0 / Standard Deviation: 10.97%

The ghost of Qvist past is here to remind us that, for two years after the release of Dark Ages, Abandoned Mine topped the list. But ever since Ruined Market has held the top slot. And the level of consensus seems to indicate that this wonít change any time soon. Every #1 vote went to Ruined Market except for two Abandoned Mine holdouts. Which is interesting for what was once the Ruin with the most disagreement.

Letís be honest: Most of the time, itís just another piece of junk that you want to trash ASAP, but every once in a while you find that mythical board where Ruined Market is the only +buy and you have a convenient way to gain one, and all of a sudden youíre double-Provincing against an opponent who doesnít have that option. These situations are rare, but memorable, and they feel so damn good.

Dominion League / Re: Season 29 - Signups
« on: June 06, 2018, 09:09:26 pm »
I'd like to be the first to sign up!

Shuffle-IT Username: Earl
Timezone: Canada/Eastern
Name on Discord is also Earl.

Thanks to Ambassador, I managed to buy a Province and trash TWO Hovels. Thereís no way it was the best play and I knew that at the time, but when am I ever going to have a chance like that again?
Hovel doesn't have a pile to be returned to, so you can't actually transfer them using Ambassador. Masquerade would work, though.
OH RIGHT. That's what it was . . .

Thanks to Ambassador, I managed to buy a Province and trash TWO Hovels. Thereís no way it was the best play and I knew that at the time, but when am I ever going to have a chance like that again?

Rules Questions / Re: Royal Carriage and Crown
« on: January 05, 2018, 11:02:32 pm »
The creator of my favourite game just responded to my post . . . what a world!

Thanks, Donald X.

Rules Questions / Royal Carriage and Crown
« on: January 05, 2018, 01:09:11 pm »
I created an account just to post this rules question. That's how confused I am. I searched all the FAQs I could find; my apologies if I missed looking somewhere obvious.

Royal Carriage says that it must be called "directly after you finish" playing an action, but there is some disagreement between myself and an opponent as to what "directly after" means.

If know that if play Crown-[Some Action] I can still call my Royal Carriage on the Crown, allowing me to double-play a second Action card from my hand. Playing [Some Action] doesn't interrupt the "directly after" thing as I understand it.

The question that arose was this. Imagine I have a Royal Carriage on my tavern mat and a three card hand of Crown-[Some Action]-[Some Treasure]. Can I play Crown, play the action in my hand twice, then immediately call Royal Carriage to double the treasure? I think the question boils down to whether or not saying "Hey everyone, it's my buy phase now" ends the portion of the turn that is "directly after" playing the Crown.

My gut says that you can't do this - and Dominion Online seems to agree - but I need help convincing an opponent. Is the first treasure you play "directly after" the last action that you play?

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