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faust

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Scout 2
« on: November 09, 2015, 05:19:55 pm »
+14

This one is for Roadrunner.


Sadly, Scout is not a good card. In fact, Scout is a bad card. So bad that in most cases you would not even want to take a Scout if you would get it for free, and that is fatal for a card that is not even terminal. Why is it so bad, and are there cases where it's still worth picking one up? Let us find out!

Comboless Scout

First, we want to examine how Scout fares without the presence of cards that synergize with it in a meaningful way. Imagine for simplicity a Big Money deck that has Scout added to it. What Scout does in this case it make your next hand better by removing dead cards from it. However, this comes at the expense of making you're current turn worse. If you play Scout and pick up one green card, then sure one green card is missing from your next hand. But this turn, you are now stuck with a five-card hand that includes this green card. And who is to say that the turn you played Scout isn't the one where you could have needed the extra Copper instead?

So if Scout picks up 1 card on average, it's pretty much the same as not having Scout at all. He does nothing for you, but at least won't hurt you. In order to be actually helpful though, Scout will have to pick up more than one green card on average. For Scout to pick up 2 greens on average however, your deck has to be 50% green. This basically never happens in a normal game.

So Scout without support is bad. Normally, it will pick up less than 1 card on average, thus actively hurting your deck. For Scout to be worth it, we need cards that work well with it. The rest of this article will be spent looking for such interactions.

We can split Scout into three parts: He puts green into your hand, reorders the top of your deck and provides +1 action. Typically cards will combo with one of these abilities.

Getting green

As said before, as long as you put only one card on average into your hand, Scout does not do anything. If you want to utilize this ability, you need ways to ensure you get more green.

Inheritance
We start out with what is probably one of the strongest Scout combos. If you use Inheritance to transform your Estates into useful actions, then Scout actually picks up the good stuff. For maximum effect you want the inherited card to be nonterminal, so that you can really load up on them.
The problem with the combo is that you need to spike $7, and picking up a Scout will certainly not help you do that. So don't pick up Scout before you inherit. But after the Inheritance, inherited Estates themselves compete with Scout for the buy. You should always carefully evaluate whether another Estate is not better for your deck than the Scout.

Hybrid VP
This is what Scout was originally designed for. You still need a LOT of Hybrid VP for this to pay off. Even if you gain 8 Nobles, you would still need a deck with significantly less than 32 cards total to expect being able to draw more than one of them. And if you have such a small deck why did you pick up all those Nobles anyway?
The fact of the matter is, the hybrid VP we have mostly prefer large decks over small ones. The larger the deck, the smaller the green density, the worse the Scout.

Discard for benefit
Remember how good it feels to discard a ton of actions to Storeroom and then redraw them with Scrying Pool? Can we make the same thing work with Scout and green cards?
Unfortunately no. Scout it just too bad at drawing. Even if you draw 4 green cards with Scout, playing a Storeroom afterwards, this will only net you $4. So you just spent $7 and two buys on something that in the best case is a terminal $4? Could have as well bought a Harvest.
I will say that Artificer is a much stronger discard-for-benefit card and might make this combo worth it. It's too early to tell.

Rabble
Rabble is countered by Scout; the Scout puts all the green into your hand. This is only worth it if your opponent plays multiple Rabbles per turn. Even then, you need to have the Scout in hand at the start of your turn. Scheme might make this possible. Wait, we're on a board with a Rabble engine and Scheme? Why are you wasting $4 on a Scout?

Apothecary
A cleverly timed Scout actually helps an Apothecary engine that starts choking on green. Apothecary leaves all the green on top of your deck; your Scout can clean it away. This is actually a decent combo.

Knowing the top of your deck

Sometimes Scout can be worth it even if he never picks up any green. Here are some examples.

Mystic
A Mystic-heavy deck benefits from Scout. Imagine your hand is 4 Mystics, Scout. Playing the Scout lets you draw four new cards. The catch is that 4 Mystics guarantee you to draw 2 cards anyway, so Scout effectively has about the power of a Lab here. It can be even better if you reveal more Mystics (or Scouts), which can continue drawing. For this to work, you only need one Mystic in hand. To pull the combo off, you need a high Mystic density though.
The Wishing Well combo is sadly too weak to ever matter.

Scrying Pool
Scrying Pool does two things with Scout: It effectively turns it into a cantrip because it is one more card that gets drawn with Scrying Pool, and if played before Scrying Pool it allows you to put that one non-action card on top to skip it with Pool.

Ruined Village anyone?

And then there are the oddball games where you just really need this +1 action, and don't have any other nonterminal lying around.

Peddler/Conspirator
Just wanna get a lot of actions in play? Well, Scout at least is nonterminal. This needs a lot of support in order to become a competitive strategy though.

Prince
Scout just may be the only nonterminal, and you really want to start your turn with 2 actions. Very unlikely.

Tokens
Say what you want of Scout, at least it's spammable. Pathfinding actually turns it into a decent card. Of course most of the time you'd rather turn an already-decent card into an awesome card.

Conclusion

What have we learned? There are probably three major Scout combos to keep in mind: Inheritance, Apothecary, Mystic. If you see Scout without any of these cards, chances are you won't be any worse off ignoring it.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 05:09:30 am by faust »
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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 05:41:04 pm »
+1

Mystic
A Mystic-heavy deck benefits from Scout. Imagine your hand is 4 Mystics, Scout. Playing the Scout lets you draw four new cards. The catch is that 4 Mystics guarantee you to draw 3 cards anyway, so Scout effectively never gets better than a Lab here, and getting the Lab effect requires a very high Mystic density. Still, sometimes it is good enough.

Wait, what? 4 Mystics guarantees you draw 2 cards, not 3. Unless there's something I'm missing.
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XerxesPraelor

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 05:41:51 pm »
0

Yeah, it was a typo. Scout still ends up being worth a lab anyways.
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faust

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 05:43:03 pm »
0

Mystic
A Mystic-heavy deck benefits from Scout. Imagine your hand is 4 Mystics, Scout. Playing the Scout lets you draw four new cards. The catch is that 4 Mystics guarantee you to draw 3 cards anyway, so Scout effectively never gets better than a Lab here, and getting the Lab effect requires a very high Mystic density. Still, sometimes it is good enough.

Wait, what? 4 Mystics guarantees you draw 2 cards, not 3. Unless there's something I'm missing.

Yes, it's a typo. Thanks; I'll fix it.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 05:57:29 pm »
+6

Typo or not, it's still misleading. I remember talking about this before and nobody really listening, but I'll give it another shot. Ahem.

You don't need four Mystics in hand with your Scout in order for the combo to pay off, thanks to Scout's reordering. If you have even a single Mystic in hand, you can use Scout to put another Mystic on top of your deck. And then that Mystic that you draw with the first Mystic will also be guaranteed to hit, since you still know the top few cards of your deck (unless you drew a lot of Victory cards with Scout, in which case you already got great value). Or if you don't need the Mystics this hand, you can put a Treasure on top and draw that! Whatever benefits you most at the time.
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faust

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2015, 06:14:39 pm »
+2

Typo or not, it's still misleading. I remember talking about this before and nobody really listening, but I'll give it another shot. Ahem.

You don't need four Mystics in hand with your Scout in order for the combo to pay off, thanks to Scout's reordering. If you have even a single Mystic in hand, you can use Scout to put another Mystic on top of your deck. And then that Mystic that you draw with the first Mystic will also be guaranteed to hit, since you still know the top few cards of your deck (unless you drew a lot of Victory cards with Scout, in which case you already got great value). Or if you don't need the Mystics this hand, you can put a Treasure on top and draw that! Whatever benefits you most at the time.

You are correct and I will incorporate this.
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2015, 07:24:20 pm »
0

This is too mean.

Can't Scout combo with any cards that have +cards?
Play Scout with $7 in hand, put Copper on top instead of a Gold, play Pearl Diver.
This example obviously works if you need a Village/draw card and you have a Scout and a cantrip in your hand.
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Deadlock39

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2015, 08:01:55 pm »
0

This is too mean.

Can't Scout combo with any cards that have +cards?
Play Scout with $7 in hand, put Copper on top instead of a Gold, play Pearl Diver.
This example obviously works if you need a Village/draw card and you have a Scout and a cantrip in your hand.

The problem is those benefits don't nearly make up for the fact that you Minion attacked your starting hand that turn by buying Scout.

Roadrunner7671

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2015, 08:30:33 pm »
0

This is too mean.

Can't Scout combo with any cards that have +cards?
Play Scout with $7 in hand, put Copper on top instead of a Gold, play Pearl Diver.
This example obviously works if you need a Village/draw card and you have a Scout and a cantrip in your hand.

The problem is those benefits don't nearly make up for the fact that you Minion attacked your starting hand that turn by buying Scout.
But you get to save a Gold, or kick off!
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LastFootnote

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2015, 09:14:36 pm »
0

This is too mean.

Can't Scout combo with any cards that have +cards?
Play Scout with $7 in hand, put Copper on top instead of a Gold, play Pearl Diver.
This example obviously works if you need a Village/draw card and you have a Scout and a cantrip in your hand.

Scout absolutely combos with +Cards! Although the more cards you draw from the effect, the less the reordering helps. I mean with Smithy you were going to draw 3 of those cards anyway, and without Scout you'd have the 4th in your hand already. So Scout combos best with cantrips.

As others have pointed out, though, the problem is Scout's overall weakness. Some combo-centric cards (e.g. Market Square) only need one synergy to be worth buying. Scout needs at least two to even be marginal. If I have two of [cantrips; hybrid-VP cards; cards that care about deck order] available, then I'll consider Scout.

Again, the problem is simply one of raw power. If Scout gave +$1 (on top of its +1 Action), for example, it would be a fine card. Similarly, if you took +$1 away from a card (e.g. Bishop), it would become extremely marginal.
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heron

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2015, 10:19:30 pm »
0

In my experience, Apothecary is basically the only card which makes scout useful reasonably often. I am starting to come around to Mystic/Scout too, but Scout seems to improve Mystic so little that I am not really sure how much it is worth.

I haven't played with adventures, so maybe Inheritance makes Scout decent, dunno.
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faust

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2015, 05:06:52 am »
+1

This is too mean.

Can't Scout combo with any cards that have +cards?
Play Scout with $7 in hand, put Copper on top instead of a Gold, play Pearl Diver.
This example obviously works if you need a Village/draw card and you have a Scout and a cantrip in your hand.

And had this Scout been a Silver, I would have gotten to save both the Copper and the Gold.
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terminalCopper

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2015, 07:33:30 am »
+1

I appreciate articles showing the most epic logs with the discussed card. So could someone please post a couple of games where Scout is awesome really good not much worse than a laboratory easily on a regular basis more than once?
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jomini

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2015, 07:37:42 am »
+1

Scout/Herald is also something of a "thing" if you really need it to be a village in a deck that you cannot just trash down to mass Heralds. Ordering your top deck to be copper/action/copper/action can let you play two assured Heralds as long as the actions do not draw. This also has elements of ruined village-ness to it as hitting Scout off a Herald will let you play the terminals already in hand.

Another shot is with Vineyards, unlike with Provinces or Colonies, you basically want to cycle as much as possible (assuming you have just a few pots). Scout both adds VP and clears out green. Having something more or less efficient as a self-spy in a Vineyards game is not a bad go. Likewise if you have any sort of draw, you can do a better job of making sure you hit your gainers/pots without collisions.

While far from complete on its own, Crossroads/Scout can help make an engine where you really do want half your deck to be green.

In like vein, Scout/Venture can get some mileage at conserving Ventures/Actions, but that is already heavily constrained by Venture needing to be a really good buy which is already a very small number of boards.


The real place I have found Scout not to be completely worthless is in the mid-late game engine stage. If I have a big engine that is starting slow down thanks to green, Scout can be a decent $4 gain (e.g. off an IW) if there are no competing engine components left (e.g. we have piled the villages I got the IW to snag). Gaining an estate or silver is likely not worth much before the very end game if I have a classic double province or province/duchy engine. Because the penalty is so huge if my engine completely wiffs (e.g. I play 3 villages, but have no draw), taking out some insurance against that is better than nothing or stuff unlikely to get me more than an estate. With cantrip villages, adding a Scout lets me search 5 deck positions instead of 2 to find my draw. If I anticipate needing to dip heavily into the duchies (or alt-VP), Scout actually can be good to gain during the greening stage.

For instance, I once built an engine with Iw and was grabbing 6 VP Fairgrounds. I anticipated having to carry at least 10 VP cards by game end. Iw was a gimme to spam Mining villages and Smithies. Once those were gone, grabbing Scouts was actually helpful - it would pull garbage off deck top and leave me much better odds of hitting my draw (IIRC I had 6:4 on villages vs 4:6 on Smithies). This is a pretty constrained case - have a spare gain, nothing else that makes your engine more reliable (no Spy, Wishing well, Pawn, etc.), have already run out of components, and likely having a good deal of green to carry, but it is not constrained to just one or two cards as possible combo partners.

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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2015, 09:26:32 am »
+1

Scout, as so many other mediocre cards, suffers from the biggest problem: opportunity cost.

Whenever you voluntarily gain a Scout, you probably could have gained something better.

Sure, Scout could be helpful in particular situations, but that's just assuming there isn't anything better to buy.
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2015, 10:02:10 am »
+4

Under "getting green" and "discard for benefit" I feel like you didn't mention the best synergies here: Warehouse/Dungeon. This seems way better than Storeroom, though still probably not actually viable.

You also don't mention Scout/Crossroads (jomini mentioned this too), which I feel like at least deserves a nod here. My opinion is that Scout/Crossroads is only useful in puzzles where you can assume you get perfect shuffle luck. The problem is that Scout is just as likely to hurt a Crossroads for your next hand as it is to help a Crossroads in your current hand.

I think the "ruined village" section isn't adding anything of value, or at least it's misleading:

The Peddler/Conspirator thing necessarily requires Scout to be the only other non-terminal on the board. In the case of Conspirator, I don't know what deck you can play where Scout and Conspirator are the only non-terminals and you actually want to go for this, it seems way worse than Big Money (edge case me, I dare you!). In the case of Peddler, Silver does almost the same job in cost reduction: since there are no other non-terminals, your +Buy has to be terminal which means only two Peddlers per turn max. I'm having trouble coming up with decks here that beat Big Money as well.

Prince: I'm pretty sure just Princing one of your other terminals is just better in every case.

Tokens: It's better to put them on the already-good card rather than Scout.

I mean, you allude to these, so I think you already know this. But if you know these aren't actually good, then I think you should just say they aren't actually good up-front in the article, rather than try and find some edge-case that doesn't exist. Even if the edge-case existed, I don't think that would belong in the article.


As for Scrying Pool, I think there's an interesting math problem to do with this one: given a deck with A Scrying Pools, B other action cards, C Scouts, D victory cards, and E other cards, I wonder if you can choose A, B, D, and E so that your maximum expected draw on a turn shows up when C is not zero. I'm sure it can be done and I would expect that answer to result in a deck where I ask myself "why am I trying to draw this deck with Scrying Pool?" or "Don't I already have half of the available VP by now?"

In any case, I don't know that anyone knows the answer to this question for sure, and it seems speculative enough to me that I think a little more research should be done before putting that section into an article.

I appreciate articles showing the most epic logs with the discussed card. So could someone please post a couple of games where Scout is awesome really good not much worse than a laboratory easily on a regular basis more than once?

There was a game in Isotropic with Chapel, Sea Hag, University, Scout, Great Hall, and Goons where I effectively used Scout/Great Hall to get a game-winning triple-Goons turn (piling out the Curses like a baws). My two Scouts drew two Great Halls each on this turn. I want to say there was also Cartographer too, I remember having some other help lining up my Scout/Great Halls, but I don't remember what it was. Unfortunately, councilroom was not helpful in finding this log.

I also made a video once, it's a stream highlight somewhere. I Uni-gained Scouts over Uni-gaining nothing a couple of times and managed to convince myself that the Scouts made my deck better. I lost that game anyways. It would not make a compelling addition to this article.

And then there's this game but I've linked that one a lot recently, and Scout/Apothecary is already addressed nicely in the article IMO.
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2015, 12:37:44 pm »
+8

This one is for Roadrunner.


2015: the year in which one newcomer inspires an entire forum of people to have endlessly looping conversations about the most uninteresting topic possible within the passion they all share.

I applaud you, Roadrunner. You've got skillz.
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2015, 01:04:23 pm »
+6

Quote
Inheritance
We start out with what is probably one of the strongest Scout combos. If you use Inheritance to transform your Estates into useful actions, then Scout actually picks up the good stuff. For maximum effect you want the inherited card to be nonterminal, so that you can really load up on them.
The problem with the combo is that you need to spike $7, and picking up a Scout will certainly not help you do that. So don't pick up Scout before you inherit. But after the Inheritance, inherited Estates themselves compete with Scout for the buy. You should always carefully evaluate whether another Estate is not better for your deck than the Scout.

Answer is obvious: Inherit your Scouts. 
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2015, 01:10:26 pm »
0

I think Scout does have some value as a late-game thing when you have started to green.  Maybe you have an extra buy or have a dud turn where you hit $4 and would otherwise buy nothing, or have some gainer.  At this point you're  getting a lot of victory cards and it's getting them out of your next draw so you can hit a higher money value for that turn.

It's still a question of opportunity cost, though.
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2015, 01:31:45 pm »
+3



You also don't mention Scout/Crossroads (jomini mentioned this too), which I feel like at least deserves a nod here. My opinion is that Scout/Crossroads is only useful in puzzles where you can assume you get perfect shuffle luck. The problem is that Scout is just as likely to hurt a Crossroads for your next hand as it is to help a Crossroads in your current hand.

Xroads/Scout is only useful if you are already deck draw. The best option is something like Tr/Xroads/Scout where you load down on green and play a bunch of Xroads to draw deck. This is still not obviously better than big money, but your criticism is only valid if you aren't drawing deck.

Quote
Prince: I'm pretty sure just Princing one of your other terminals is just better in every case.
Absolutely not. Prince can only hit cards that are $4 or under. Often the card you want to mass play costs more than that. The obvious example I have done is something like Prince/Scout/Goons/Catacombs (might have been some other Smithy-variant at $5/$6). Yes, I'd have also Princed Ruined village there, but getting even 3 Goons in play is 12 points, minimum, in the final hand.

Quote
As for Scrying Pool, I think there's an interesting math problem to do with this one: given a deck with A Scrying Pools, B other action cards, C Scouts, D victory cards, and E other cards, I wonder if you can choose A, B, D, and E so that your maximum expected draw on a turn shows up when C is not zero. I'm sure it can be done and I would expect that answer to result in a deck where I ask myself "why am I trying to draw this deck with Scrying Pool?" or "Don't I already have half of the available VP by now?"

In any case, I don't know that anyone knows the answer to this question for sure, and it seems speculative enough to me that I think a little more research should be done before putting that section into an article.
Well the simplest thing is what Davio mentioned - what else are you going to get instead? Pool drastically lowers Scout's opportunity cost because Silver tends to be a net negative for Pool decks. If the big complements to pool all fall at $5 or higher, Scout is better than Silver, Estate, or even a lot of cheap terminals. Say I'm building Pool/Margrave/Bazaar. I absolutely will grab Scout at $4 if it is just competing against Silver.

Scout's main problem is that early game it is almost strictly inferior to Silver. Late game it is almost strictly inferior to engine components (and is most often inferior to $4 engine components in the early game). That is many, many boards where Scout is obviously worse the entire game. The boards that violate this are either ones where some aspect of Scout is actually exceedingly powerful on that board (e.g. Prince/Scout/Goons/all terminals) or where all competing cards are gone (e.g. Smithy/Village/Iw with both the first two piles empty).
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2015, 01:52:08 pm »
0

The 1 thing I'll mention that has been stated elsewhere but not on this thread is that Scout came with Intrigue.  Intrigue has by far the best synergies with Scout than any other set. It's still not good, but it's better.  I've seen an Ironworks/Scout/Great Hall/Conspirator engine (all Intrigue cards) really pay off, especially when uncontested on Great Halls.  Also, remember that Intrigue was the 2nd set released, so even when combined with all other sets at the time (Intrigue + Base), Scout was still way better than it is now.

Don't get me wrong, Scout is terrible.  Just remember the context in which it was created. (I actually wonder if there are other cards that are significantly better or worse now than they were when they were released, hmmmm....)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 02:03:50 pm by Dingan »
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2015, 02:03:49 pm »
+1

How often would you take a Scout if it came for free on every green card purchase, Duchess style?
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2015, 02:06:51 pm »
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You also don't mention Scout/Crossroads (jomini mentioned this too), which I feel like at least deserves a nod here. My opinion is that Scout/Crossroads is only useful in puzzles where you can assume you get perfect shuffle luck. The problem is that Scout is just as likely to hurt a Crossroads for your next hand as it is to help a Crossroads in your current hand.

Xroads/Scout is only useful if you are already deck draw. The best option is something like Tr/Xroads/Scout where you load down on green and play a bunch of Xroads to draw deck. This is still not obviously better than big money, but your criticism is only valid if you aren't drawing deck.

I think we agree here, but I'm not quite sure what exactly you mean by this. If you're already drawing your deck without Scout/Crossroads then why do you want to add more draw to it? Is "Tr" Throne Room? I'm not quite clear on how exactly Throne Room is the best enabler for this.


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Prince: I'm pretty sure just Princing one of your other terminals is just better in every case.
Absolutely not. Prince can only hit cards that are $4 or under. Often the card you want to mass play costs more than that. The obvious example I have done is something like Prince/Scout/Goons/Catacombs (might have been some other Smithy-variant at $5/$6). Yes, I'd have also Princed Ruined village there, but getting even 3 Goons in play is 12 points, minimum, in the final hand.

It would be interesting to see if this beats BM/Goons/Catacombs with whatever trashing I'm assuming you desperately want for this Prince/Scout/Goons/Catacombs deck. My money is on Big Money here (ha ha, money pun) but I'm not certain of that. I'm guessing simulation is off the table here :-\


Well the simplest thing is what Davio mentioned - what else are you going to get instead? Pool drastically lowers Scout's opportunity cost because Silver tends to be a net negative for Pool decks. If the big complements to pool all fall at $5 or higher, Scout is better than Silver, Estate, or even a lot of cheap terminals. Say I'm building Pool/Margrave/Bazaar. I absolutely will grab Scout at $4 if it is just competing against Silver.

Scout's main problem is that early game it is almost strictly inferior to Silver. Late game it is almost strictly inferior to engine components (and is most often inferior to $4 engine components in the early game). That is many, many boards where Scout is obviously worse the entire game.

Uhh, hmm. I see what you're saying. In the context of Scrying Pool, though, the comparison that came to my mind is Candlestick Maker, since I know that has been discussed. I mean, I don't think BM/Scrying Pool beats BM (I could be totally wrong about that, in which case ignore this) but I would think most of the time opportunity cost for Scout here would be measured against some other non-terminal that SP can draw (otherwise you aren't going for SP) so then you have to compare that one to Scout.


The boards that violate this are either ones where some aspect of Scout is actually exceedingly powerful on that board (e.g. Prince/Scout/Goons/all terminals) or where all competing cards are gone (e.g. Smithy/Village/Iw with both the first two piles empty).

I talked about that first example above. If Villages and Smithies are out, I'm hard-pressed to find a reason to not Green like mad and get pile control and end the game on 3 piles/leave piles to where my opponent can't empty them on a win. In this case, I'm buying/gaining green cards and more Ironworks to get me that pile control.
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2015, 02:28:42 pm »
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Scout is worth consideration with hunting parties too.
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Re: Scout 2
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2015, 07:46:04 pm »
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Under "getting green" and "discard for benefit" I feel like you didn't mention the best synergies here: Warehouse/Dungeon. This seems way better than Storeroom, though still probably not actually viable.

You also don't mention Scout/Crossroads (jomini mentioned this too), which I feel like at least deserves a nod here. My opinion is that Scout/Crossroads is only useful in puzzles where you can assume you get perfect shuffle luck. The problem is that Scout is just as likely to hurt a Crossroads for your next hand as it is to help a Crossroads in your current hand.
Also there is problem that you would draw more from another crossroads, assuming that there is some support as pure scout-crossroads is worse than bm.

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I think the "ruined village" section isn't adding anything of value, or at least it's misleading:

The Peddler/Conspirator thing necessarily requires Scout to be the only other non-terminal on the board. In the case of Conspirator, I don't know what deck you can play where Scout and Conspirator are the only non-terminals and you actually want to go for this, it seems way worse than Big Money (edge case me, I dare you!). In the case of Peddler, Silver does almost the same job in cost reduction: since there are no other non-terminals, your +Buy has to be terminal which means only two Peddlers per turn max. I'm having trouble coming up with decks here that beat Big Money as well.

Prince: I'm pretty sure just Princing one of your other terminals is just better in every case.

As conspirator I could imagine edge case of nobles where buying scout on 4 makes sense.

For prince it could actually work when actions you want cost 5+. For example kingdom with prince, tactician, scout, goons chapel its only way to get double-tact goons engine, same with merch guild/ship.

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Tokens: It's better to put them on the already-good card rather than Scout.

I mean, you allude to these, so I think you already know this. But if you know these aren't actually good, then I think you should just say they aren't actually good up-front in the article, rather than try and find some edge-case that doesn't exist. Even if the edge-case existed, I don't think that would belong in the article.


As for Scrying Pool, I think there's an interesting math problem to do with this one: given a deck with A Scrying Pools, B other action cards, C Scouts, D victory cards, and E other cards, I wonder if you can choose A, B, D, and E so that your maximum expected draw on a turn shows up when C is not zero. I'm sure it can be done and I would expect that answer to result in a deck where I ask myself "why am I trying to draw this deck with Scrying Pool?" or "Don't I already have half of the available VP by now?"

A scrying pool was mentioned in previous article, see example games there. A scrying pool-scout works problem is that any cantrip is better. Even 10 coppers and 5 pools would become more reliable by adding scouts.
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