Dominion Strategy Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2 3  All

Author Topic: Prince  (Read 33378 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

faust

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3402
  • Shuffle iT Username: faust
  • Respect: +5213
    • View Profile
Prince
« on: December 22, 2014, 02:05:24 pm »
+13


Prince is the shiny new card that got us all excited for a while until the new expansion was announced. The eventual effect being able to play a card every turn without using an action or card slot is super strong, but it's a long way until you get there.

Prince of what?

Let's start with the easy part determining which cards you want Princed. Usually, once you bought a Prince, you want to set it aside as soon as possible. But if you have two potential targets, deciding which one to Prince might be difficult. Plus, if you see a kingdom full of cards you don't want Princed, you probably shouldn't go for Prince. I'll present a list of very bad to very good Prince targets.

The completely useless
Durations, one-shots

These cards just don't work with Prince, for technical reasons.

The very bad
Ambassador, Baron, draw-to-X, Cursers/Looters, trashers

Cards you probably don't want to Prince even if you can. With these, it's often better to Prince a shuffle later. This includes cards that require you to have certain cards in hand to be good, like trashers (require junk cards), but also cards you want to play a lot of early on and that lose value quickly (junkers).

The rather bad
Throne Room, Villages, Menagerie, Reactions

Cards you will probably Prince if you draw your Prince with nothing else, but where the effect just isn't great. Princing reactions means losing the reaction part, if you Prince a Village, you will usually end up with lots of unused actions. Throne Room can end up doing nothing, or even throning a bad card [side note: if you Prince Throne Room and throne a duration with it, you lose the Princing].

The rather good
Cantrips, trashing attacks, gainers, +buy, sifters, +coins

Cards that are almost always nice princed. Cantrips help you avoid terminal collision AND let you start with bigger hand size, which is already two plusses.

The really good
+cards, Discard attacks, Monument, Tournament, Scheme, Prizes

These kinds of cards are exceptionally good. Starting with a bigger handsize each turn is huge. A princed discard is sort of the inverse effect - opponents start with lower hand size each turn. Monument gives 1 VP per turn. Scheme effectively lets you play a more expensive card each turn. On tournament and Prizes, see below.

Note that this list does not imply that you should go for Prince whenever good Princable cards are around. The decision to make if e.g. Tournament is around is much harder than this. The following part tries to give some guidelines for deciding when to go for it.

When to go for Prince

First and foremost, Prince is an engine card. It has no place in big money games or slogs, simply because similar to Throne Room/King's Court you need to line it up with an action to get anything out of it. There are rare circumstances where you might want to use it even in non-engine decks, but the general advice is, ignore it if you're not building an engine.

Even if you are going for the engine, consider carefully if you really want Prince. The main problem about Prince is that it is slow. That Prince could have been a Province, and then you don't get the effect immediately, but instead need to sacrifice on action to set aside the card you want. That puts you behind a Province and roughly half a turn. If you could buy a single Province per turn before and now can buy two Provinces a turn, that may have been worth it; but more often than not, the benefit simply won't be big enough.

The following list gives scenarios where Prince can be good.

1. Colony games

There are two reasons why Prince is better in Colony games: First, Prince is made for long games, and Colony games tend to go longer. The more turns you have, the more will you be able to play your Princed cards. Second, the competition for Prince is weaker. In a Colony game, you usually don't want to go for Provinces except in the endgame, so if you hit $8, you can grab a Prince without that much opportunity cost.

2. Alt-VP

Same as above if you don't want those Provinces anyway, ignoring them becomes easier. This point comes with a caveat though: Most Alt-VP cards (Gardens, Duke, Feodum) support decks that don't want Prince in it. But Prince can be great with Fairgrounds and Vineyard, and there's always the odd engine-into-Duchy/Duke game. The VP token cards also fall in this category: Prince allows you to build better Golden Decks for Bishop, a Prince of Monuments nets you 1 VP per turn, And Prince an help play more Goons per turn.

3. Prince while ahead

If you already have a decent advantage, you may be able to cope with skipping a Province buy. Prince can give your deck additional reliability and prevent you from losing to unlucky draws.

4. 2-card combos

This is a bit of a niche use for Prince, but can be quite good. Some cards combo nicely in theory, but it just isn't worthwile to set them up, because e.g. the one you'd need to play first is terminal. Prince can help with that. Prince a Navigator and your Herald engine will flow smoothly. Prince a Scavenger to get the card you want on top of your deck.

5. Rare components

This is definitely the scenario where Prince shines most. Sometimes, the engine is just not quite powerful enough. There are awesome eninge components, but the only Village is Necropolis? Just crown a Prince of Necropoles (is that the correct plural form?), and you'll start with three actions each turn. Similarly, a Prince of Crossroads can make your engine work.
While +action is what you need to make the engine work most often, there are also other possibilities: Maybe you can't guarantee drawing a +buy every turn set it aside. Princed attacks are also quite nice.

When to play Prince

Usually, you want to Prince your cards as soon as possible. If you have Prince with a decent card in hand, don't wait for a better opportunity! Another mistake that is often made is this: you have Prince and Wishing Well in hand. Unless you can be pretty certain that you can draw a better action, don't play the Wishing Well! It's tempting to try and get more out of your turn, but if your Prince ends up dead, you'll curse your recklessness.

Countering Prince

Not much needs to be said here. If your opponent goes for Prince and you don't, your task is to end the game before his Prince pays off too much. Piledrive these Provinces, go for the three-pile. The longer the game, the better for the Prince player.

Specific interactions

In this last part, I'd like to pick a few special cards that have an interesting interaction with Prince.

Prince and Tournament

Prince and Tournament have a love-hate relationship. You need Provinces to activate your Tournaments, and every Prince could have been a Province. On the other hand, once you've Princed a Tournament, every hand with a Province in it wins. And, even better, once you've got those Prizes, you can Prince them and quickly get your opponent to resign. Getting Province with your first $8 and Prince with your second isn't a bad strategy on many Tournament boards.

Prince and Black Market

No, not what you think... Princing a Black Market is of course horrible. But what Prince really likes is the Black Market deck. Often you get a good card from the Black Market, but it's not enough because you can only ever get one copy. With Prince, you can play that card every turn.

Prince and cost reducers

Prince loves cost reducers because they give the opportunity to set aside better cards. After two Highways, you can set aside a Goons. Just don't spend too much time on such neat tricks. It's often better to set aside Prince this shuffle with a boring 4-cost than to wait another shuffle in hopes of getting that Prince of Hunting Grounds.
One warning: If you Prince a Bridge, keep in mind the effect that has on your TfB cards. You definitely look stupid when you start Upgrading your Coppers into Estates.

Prince of Hermits

This can be great if the kingdom allows for it. If you don't buy anything a turn, Prince sets aside Hermit before it can trash itself. That means, if you can cobble together an engine that doesn't need to buy anything, the Prince of Hermits can give you a constant supply of Madmen.

Other interactions
Outpost: more turns mean more Princed card plays. And Prince is often enough to make those Outpost turns as good as normal turns.
Quarry: Lowers the bar for Prince. Now it doesn't compete with Province anymore.
Swindler: Just like Peddler, the presence of Prince makes Swindler games even swingier than usual. If you manage to turn Province into Prince late-game, this can be a game-changer. And unlike Peddler, Princes will very rarely run out towards the endgame.

Conclusion

Prince is a unique card, but don't let that distract you. It's not that good. It has its uses, but you usually shouldn't just buy it without good reason.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 08:16:16 am by faust »
Logged
You say the ocean's rising, like I give a shit
You say the whole world's ending, honey it already did

Mic Qsenoch

  • 2015 DS Champion
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1709
  • Respect: +4329
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 02:18:13 pm »
+6

I don't know why Villages/Menagerie are in the rather bad category. Menagerie I kind of get, but I don't see Villages at all. And surely +cards should be in the top tier. Getting increased handsize at the start of your turn is so strong. You're also missing +coins in your tiers.

There is a typo "Provinces expect in the endgame" should be except.

I would probably downgrade "not that good" to "pretty bad."
Logged

JW

  • Jester
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 994
  • Shuffle iT Username: JW
  • Respect: +1826
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 02:25:38 pm »
0

Prince is usually not worth getting. Still, Prince of +cards seems much stronger than you make it out to be, with Smithy as the stand-out.

You also don't mention Outpost, which can make Prince much stronger. Sample game where Stef gets a bunch of Princes of cantrips and Outpost and wins even though there's only terminal draw and no villages. http://gokologs.drunkensailor.org/static/logprettifier.html?20141204/log.51201cbee4b04e88c8da4f9a.1417729808871.txt
Logged

Awaclus

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11830
  • Shuffle iT Username: Awaclus
  • (。 ω 。`)
  • Respect: +12910
    • View Profile
    • Birds of Necama
Re: Prince
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 02:59:06 pm »
0

I think that KC could be worth mentioning. If there's a KC in the game, you probably don't want to Prince your Bridges and Monuments.
Logged
Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

The YouTube channel where I make musicDownload my band's Creative Commons albums for free

soulnet

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2142
  • Respect: +1751
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 05:22:41 pm »
+3

I would say Prince of +cards (especially Smitty or Oracle) is the best kind of Prince in most games. Much better than Prince of Attack, because in the deck that wants Prince, you will be playing the Attack yourself if you start with a high-size hand, but if Prince plays your Attack, it does not help you play all your other stuff.

I would mention HoP, which can gain Princes for reliability/explosion without that much op cost as buying them (it is not uncommon you are not ready to trash them for green yet the first time you play 8 uniques). Also, Prince helps ensure there lots of uniques in play for HoP.
Logged

silverspawn

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5362
  • Shuffle iT Username: sty.silver
  • Respect: +3311
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 05:37:51 pm »
+1

the thing is that Action cards have a reliability factor and a strength factor, which combined make their powerlevel. Prince ensures reliability, which is why not only overall powerlevel is important for your target, but also a high strength/reliablity ratio.

For example, sage is super reliable, because you can always play it and it's always good. Smithy is extremely unreliable, because it can collide with other terminals, and even if it doesn't it can still draw cards dead. that's why smithy makes an amazing prince target, and Sage a pretty bad one. okay, sage is also weaker than smithy, but even prince of lab would probably be inferior to prince of smithy most of the time, despite lab being stronger than smithy.

faust

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3402
  • Shuffle iT Username: faust
  • Respect: +5213
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 06:18:50 pm »
0

Okay, addressing some points. +cards probably should move one tier, agreed.

Village is in the "rather bad" category because A) if you just want to ensure enough actions at the start of your turn, cantrips do more for you, and B) in a game with Villages, chances are there are better Prince targets. Villages are only really good when there's a shortage of them; I adress this point later.

Outpost is definitely worth mentioning; I thought about it halfway through, but forgot when I reached the final section.

I will make some changes soon.
Logged
You say the ocean's rising, like I give a shit
You say the whole world's ending, honey it already did

DG

  • Governor
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4074
  • Respect: +2624
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 07:04:03 pm »
+1

Even the cheapest, simplest actions can work well with a Prince. I see the Prince more as a solution card than an efficiency card, so as long an action can fit into your solution it could be worth setting aside with Prince.

Prince with a +2 coins terminal shouldn't be discounted. It might not be stellar but it can be surprisingly effective at the right time.

Prince can work well with decks that can peak early and weaken later. This could certainly be true of an apothecary based deck, for example.

Princes can misfire when setting aside a card that always acts even though you may not want it to, such as a smugglers. Some actions, such as bishop maybe, are often best played at the end of a turn once a better selection of cards are drawn into hand.
Logged

soulnet

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2142
  • Respect: +1751
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 07:11:56 pm »
+2

Princes can misfire when setting aside a card that always acts even though you may not want it to, such as a smugglers. Some actions, such as bishop maybe, are often best played at the end of a turn once a better selection of cards are drawn into hand.

This general statement also shows why +cards is one of the best choices for Prince in an engine: it is usually what you want to play first in your engine, as long as you have actions remaining (unless you want to TR/Procession/KC). Payload cards (like Attacks and Money) you usually want to play last.
Logged

Beyond Awesome

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2941
  • Shuffle iT Username: Beyond Awesome
  • Respect: +2467
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 07:22:11 pm »
0

If Prince and +draw is on the board (smithy, envoy, oracle) then Prince should seriously be considered. I have even played non-engine games where getting Prince with the +draw is huge. Also, Prince with +draw can create an engine where otherwise it would be impossible to have an engine.

I disagree about Tournament though. Those games tend to be fast and over before Prince can really make a difference. At least, usually. It is fun to Prince a prize but usually the game changing factor is getting the right prize in the first place.
Logged

eHalcyon

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8689
  • Respect: +9191
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2014, 09:36:46 pm »
+2

For example, sage is super reliable, because you can always play it and it's always good.

You play Sage, it skips over your only +Buy card (Herbalist, Ruined Market, whatever), draws Province. :P

Also, I just noticed that this isn't your article.  What's going on?  After all that anticipation...
Logged

markusin

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3846
  • Shuffle iT Username: markusin
  • I also switched from Starcraft
  • Respect: +2437
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2014, 11:28:46 pm »
+3

For example, sage is super reliable, because you can always play it and it's always good.

You play Sage, it skips over your only +Buy card (Herbalist, Ruined Market, whatever), draws Province. :P

Also, I just noticed that this isn't your article.  What's going on?  After all that anticipation...
He's supposed to write an article on Island. Faust decided to write one for Prince because it came second in the vote.
Logged

Rubby

  • Moneylender
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 170
  • Respect: +324
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2014, 11:09:13 am »
+1

He's supposed to write an article on Island.

He's also supposed to "rate all official Kingdom cards" (not just the bottom 42!)  :P
Logged

silverspawn

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5362
  • Shuffle iT Username: sty.silver
  • Respect: +3311
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2014, 01:16:41 pm »
0

He's supposed to write an article on Island.

He's also supposed to "rate all official Kingdom cards" (not just the bottom 42!)  :P

hey, it's christmas. I'm on the island article, but I didn't set myself a deadline, so I'm allowed to take more than one weekend. I'll take a while.

qmech

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1918
  • Shuffle iT Username: qmech
  • What year is it?
  • Respect: +2320
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2014, 06:38:41 pm »
0

Logged

Donald X.

  • Dominion Designer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6396
  • Respect: +25805
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2014, 09:31:32 pm »
+2

Logged

faust

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3402
  • Shuffle iT Username: faust
  • Respect: +5213
    • View Profile
Logged
You say the ocean's rising, like I give a shit
You say the whole world's ending, honey it already did

werothegreat

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8172
  • Shuffle iT Username: werothegreat
  • Let me tell you a secret...
  • Respect: +9631
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2014, 11:45:48 am »
0

Let me know once the article is in its final form, and I'll move it over to the wiki!

And just curious, I'm guessing Junkers are so low for Princing because if there's junk flying around, it's a lot harder to connect Prince to the relevant card?  Because I would totally be down for a Prince of Sea Hags or Marauders if I could pull it off.
Logged
Contrary to popular belief, I do not run the wiki all on my own.  There are plenty of other people who are actively editing.  Go bother them!

Check out this fantasy epic adventure novel I wrote, the Broken Globe!  http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Globe-Tyr-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00LR1SZAS/

LastFootnote

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7495
  • Shuffle iT Username: LastFootnote
  • Respect: +10729
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2014, 11:48:17 am »
+7

Let me know once the article is in its final form, and I'll move it over to the wiki!

And just curious, I'm guessing Junkers are so low for Princing because if there's junk flying around, it's a lot harder to connect Prince to the relevant card?  Because I would totally be down for a Prince of Sea Hags or Marauders if I could pull it off.

It's because by the time you Prince a junker, the junk is usually gone. In one of my first playtest games, I pulled a Sea Hag from my (Prince of the) Black Market and proceeded to get a Prince of Sea Hags. But that situation is the exception to the rule.
Logged

Polk5440

  • Torturer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1708
  • Respect: +1788
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2014, 12:00:13 pm »
+2

Let me know once the article is in its final form, and I'll move it over to the wiki!

And just curious, I'm guessing Junkers are so low for Princing because if there's junk flying around, it's a lot harder to connect Prince to the relevant card?  Because I would totally be down for a Prince of Sea Hags or Marauders if I could pull it off.

It's because by the time you Prince a junker, the junk is usually gone. In one of my first playtest games, I pulled a Sea Hag from my (Prince of the) Black Market and proceeded to get a Prince of Sea Hags. But that situation is the exception to the rule.

It would be worth adding a one-sentence explanation of this to the article because it takes a minute to figure out why Sea Hag and Marauder are not usually that great Princed.

Also, there should be some note about Bridge and Highway and Princess allowing a Prince-of-something-that-normally-cost-5-or-more.

Also, very nice article! And quick turnaround. Would order again.
Logged

soulnet

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2142
  • Respect: +1751
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2014, 01:13:45 pm »
0

Besides the arguments already given for junkers in particular, the most important part is that junkers are payload and you want to play payload last, so you want to prioritize Princing your +cards, and then your +actions, not your payload. I would say Princing a junker is an edge case even within the universe of pulling the single junker out of the Black Market.
Logged

LastFootnote

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7495
  • Shuffle iT Username: LastFootnote
  • Respect: +10729
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2014, 01:45:45 pm »
+4

Besides the arguments already given for junkers in particular, the most important part is that junkers are payload and you want to play payload last, so you want to prioritize Princing your +cards, and then your +actions, not your payload. I would say Princing a junker is an edge case even within the universe of pulling the single junker out of the Black Market.

Aren't you putting the cart before the horse, or something? You play payload last because you play your draw first. But Princing a card throws all of that out the window. I'm thrilled with e.g. a Prince of Monuments.
Logged

sudgy

  • Cartographer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3431
  • Shuffle iT Username: sudgy
  • It's pronounced "SOO-jee"
  • Respect: +2709
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2014, 02:33:05 pm »
+1

Noooooooooo I was going to make how write the Prince article on April 1st...
Logged
If you're wondering what my avatar is, watch this.

Check out my logic puzzle blog!

   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

soulnet

  • Mountebank
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2142
  • Respect: +1751
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2014, 03:30:16 pm »
+5

Aren't you putting the cart before the horse, or something? You play payload last because you play your draw first. But Princing a card throws all of that out the window. I'm thrilled with e.g. a Prince of Monuments.

Prince gives you a free action either way and lets you play a card for free. If you are playing an engine, and one that Princes the draw, you can probably play the Monument yourself, with the rest of your payload, at the end. If you Prince part of your payload, it is more likely that your engine stalls and you fail to play the rest of the payload (like, Treasures).

I see Princing payload in engines that fall apart when greening, like Apothecary or Minion. But Prince being their only support is probably way more rare than regular engines that keep work through the whole game.

I can see some strange golden deck-y Prince decks in which you get, for instance, Prince+Monument and set aside Prince+Monument everyturn or something like that, but it would not be the usual case.
Logged

LastFootnote

  • Adventurer
  • ******
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7495
  • Shuffle iT Username: LastFootnote
  • Respect: +10729
    • View Profile
Re: Prince
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2014, 03:50:18 pm »
+1

You make good points. I agree that terminal draw is an ideal target for Prince, since its biggest weakness of possibly drawing dead Action cards is negated. But it's not SO much better that I'll choose not to Prince a terminal Silver given that opportunity.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3  All
 

Page created in 0.055 seconds with 22 queries.