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Author Topic: Spy  (Read 8581 times)

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jsh357

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Spy
« on: March 20, 2015, 07:19:00 pm »
+8


Spy is a card that does a variety of things. In a number of cases you are not putting yourself at any disadvantage by buying the card, as it's a cantrip that can at times remove an unwanted card from the top of the deck.  In fact, as long as you do not use any more risky draw strategies that rely on terminal actions, Spies are only bad purchases in a couple of situations. These situations are only of a certain amount of concern, and potentially the benefit of playing Spy could be far greater.

What can Spy do for me?

I'm glad you asked. Maybe the most relevant thing written on the card is the attack.  With it, you can make your opponent skip past good cards like Platinum or Mountebank, potentially ruining their current shuffle if it's early. You can also guarantee that they'll draw a dead card like an Estate that was already there, though it should be noted that this isn't as cool of a thing since the same result would have happened had you not played the Spy. Still, it never hurts to be sure your opponent will have a 4 card hand, and if you can play multiple Spies to skip past good cards and also leave a bad one, your opponent will be crying at his or her computer chair.

Spy can also filter through your deck much better than other cards like Market or Woodcutter.  You can remove bad cards that you don't want to draw, which gives you a cycling advantage of some value.  Another great benefit of the Spy is that you can leave good cards for your next turn or even your next draw on the top of the deck.  This is a level of useful when hoping to play key cards like Mountebank more often, but also some magnitude of powerful just for smoothing out general draws.  Effectively, this ability is the reverse of Spy's attack played on yourself, but it can be of equivalent power.

Are there any drawbacks?

A number of people would argue that handsize attacks hurt cantrips like Spy.  By increasing the number of cards that do not give money, buys, or +Draw in hand, your options become more limited when hit by cards such as Militia and in other similar cases.  However, one must bear in mind that Spy has the potential of filtering you more quickly toward important cards that are perhaps better than these cards you would have in place of Spy. As such, Spy can arguably overcome this drawback.

Another problem with Spy is that it can trigger bad reshuffles. However, since it's rare to have a deck with so few cards that you are always triggering these, more often than not Spy is benefiting the flow of your deck than it is harming it. As such, this risk is so small that in a number of cases it is negligible.

Perhaps the most common argument against getting a Spy is that it carries an opportunity cost.  The $4 price point must always compete with cards such as Silver and Bureaucrat. It's also difficult to reach hands that have $4 when you are ridden with Curses and Ruins. (but bear in mind that a good Spy can help you get past those bad boys)  However, when considering opportunity cost one must also remember that every card in Dominion carries some opportunity cost, so the opportunity cost in purchasing Spy may be of equal or lesser significance.

What have we learned?

Spy is a card that should be bought in a variety of circumstances when playing Dominion, a game published by Rio Grande Games in America.  It is useful for filtering past bad cards, leaving good cards on the deck, making your opponent skip good cards, and ensuring they have bad cards.  Sometimes it might even trigger a bad reshuffle for them!  You should always spend some amount of time considering purchasing Spies in any given Kingdom.

Works with:
Any deck that can benefit from the general benefits that Spy provides
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 07:26:44 pm by jsh357 »
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werothegreat

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Re: Spy
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 07:27:12 pm »
0

...your opponent will be crying at his or her computer chair.

Nah, this is me after Ghost Ship.
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Burning Skull

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Re: Spy
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 07:42:27 pm »
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Were you writing this during the league champion match?

jsh357

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Re: Spy
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 07:47:18 pm »
0

Were you writing this during the league champion match?

It's possible
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Mic Qsenoch

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Re: Spy
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2015, 08:11:11 pm »
+2

The Trade Route article may never get written now.
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Re: Spy
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2015, 08:45:08 pm »
+1

Works with:
Any deck that can benefit from the general benefits that Spy provides Cards that it works with

Nice
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jsh357

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Re: Spy
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2015, 12:03:13 am »
0

When can I be on the wiki?
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werothegreat

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Re: Spy
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 12:18:12 am »
0

When can I be on the wiki?

Once the community has had the opportunity to peer down their noses at your article.  :)

EDIT: Also, I can't quite tell if you're being sarcastic/flippant about this.

EDIT2: Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're being silly.  Not quite as on the nose as Robz with Scout, but I'm pretty sure you're making fun of me.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 12:22:06 am by werothegreat »
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Re: Spy
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 12:45:42 am »
0

This article is not quite silly enough, IMO.
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jsh357

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Re: Spy
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 12:51:49 am »
+2

When can I be on the wiki?

Once the community has had the opportunity to peer down their noses at your article.  :)

EDIT: Also, I can't quite tell if you're being sarcastic/flippant about this.

EDIT2: Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're being silly.  Not quite as on the nose as Robz with Scout, but I'm pretty sure you're making fun of me.

I'm not making fun of you, but yes, I'm being silly.  Seriously, no harm meant toward anybody.
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Re: Spy
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 01:53:47 am »
+4

Maybe I missed it, but there should be mention of Analysis Paralysis... The last game I played with Spy (IRL, mind you) was 4p and one of the players bought at least 7 of them. His turns were quite painful to sit through.
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werothegreat

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Re: Spy
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2015, 08:54:09 am »
0

When can I be on the wiki?

Once the community has had the opportunity to peer down their noses at your article.  :)

EDIT: Also, I can't quite tell if you're being sarcastic/flippant about this.

EDIT2: Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're being silly.  Not quite as on the nose as Robz with Scout, but I'm pretty sure you're making fun of me.

I'm not making fun of you, but yes, I'm being silly.  Seriously, no harm meant toward anybody.

Okay... but, yeah, I've realized this article is basically "omg use Spy, isn't Spy useful?  It's useful in useful situations" but I think your subconscious wouldn't let you write it without *some* useful information in there, so it *looks* like it's actually sincere.  In parts.
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Re: Spy
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2015, 01:28:55 pm »
0

Maybe I missed it, but there should be mention of Analysis Paralysis... The last game I played with Spy (IRL, mind you) was 4p and one of the players bought at least 7 of them. His turns were quite painful to sit through.

And that's the real reason that—independent of strength—Spy is a bad card.
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Qvist

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Re: Spy
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2015, 01:42:03 pm »
+2

when playing Dominion, a game published by Rio Grande Games in America.

Most important subordinate clause of the article.

CavJes

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Re: Spy
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2015, 02:08:19 pm »
+1

More serious notes: Mystic and Scrying Pool.

A fun one in which I Prince a Spy to enable a thin Mystic deck with a single Woodcutter which amasses 4 Colonies and 2 Provinces by turn 17!:

http://www.gokosalvager.com/static/logprettifier.html?20150111/log.516cd5d8e4b082c74d7a2db6.1421013215080.txt
« Last Edit: March 21, 2015, 02:28:17 pm by CavJes »
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Re: Spy
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2015, 11:22:23 pm »
0

Spy was one of my winningest cards on councilroom even though my gain rate strategy didn't seem to be "ignore spy", which I thought was kind of weird.
I think I attribute it to being a Hinterlands enthusiast and rockin the Noble Brigands trixies
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Re: Spy
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2015, 04:02:05 pm »
+1

Spy by itself I almost never find worth the opportunity cost, unless you got ironworks to gain other cards and now you just need something to gain with it.  I think the article is missing the interaction that leads me to buy spy most often: taking advantage of cards that want to know what upcoming cards are, either in your own deck or the opponent's.  Spy makes Mystic a sure hit, allows you to swindle opponent's mountebank into duchies, lets you know if this would be a good time to play your scrying pool vs some other draw, helps your loan not run into your only gold, etc. 
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Gherald

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Re: Spy
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2015, 04:19:50 pm »
+8

The best thing about Spy is it gives you something cheap to buy that's less bad than more silvers
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Re: Spy
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2015, 09:57:24 pm »
+9

The best thing about Spy is it gives you something cheap to buy that's less bad than more silvers

Yeah.  Spy is the ultimate solution to that awkward $4 that you get around T10
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Re: Spy
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2015, 03:37:26 pm »
0

I played a game where I inheritenced a spy.  When other people are making you discard your estates with their spy's +EV
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Re: Spy
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2015, 11:16:00 am »
+1

Spy is good in many numbers, but the less you have, the worse they are in general. Also, if you're buying Spies when you could be winning the game, that's obviously bad. Spy is better than buying nothing 99% of the time, but the question you need to ask is whether buying Spy is really better than anything else you could buy that turn.

When you have nothing else cool to gain, gaining Spies is pretty neat though.
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