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Chris is me

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Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« on: January 06, 2016, 05:37:16 pm »
+8

Let's Discuss Adventures Cards is a daily(ish) series of forum threads where we discuss a different Adventures card each day. Right now the plan is to just go through all of them alphabetically, with a single thread for each Traveller line.



Card Text: +1 Card, +1 Action, +$1, Discard any number of cards. You may gain a card costing exactly $1 per card discarded, putting it on top of your deck.

Some points of discussion to start with (discussion of anything else related to Amulet is also welcomed):
  • Artificer can gain a card of potentially any cost depending on the size of your hand, which lends itself to strategies that draw you large hands. What types of engines does Artificer benefit? When should an engine player pick up an Artificer?
  • What are some notable combos for Artificer? Tactician has been mentioned before; Artificer can gain 5-cost components to the top of the deck, which also guarantees a Province gain on a double Tactician turn. What other comboes are worth exploring?
  • Artificer is also a Peddler variant; how does this help the card? Would it be of similar strength as a cantrip or terminal?

---

My opinion: Artificer is really good, in a way you wouldn't expect before you've played with it in a heavy draw / light trash engine game. First, the opportunity cost of picking one or two up isn't that high - at worst, you paid $5 for a card that was mostly a Peddler variant and once or twice gained a critical card right ot the top of a deck. That's pretty good! As long as you're not neglecting power $5s to grab an Artificer, it's almost never going to be a burden.

Second, it is incredibly useful in an engine to gain a card to the top of a deck. Say you've drawn about half your deck, you have an Artificer, a Village, and some junk. Just use Artificer to topdeck a Smithy, Village to draw it, and your engine has another shot at success this turn. Depending on how much you over-built your engine, you can even potentially re-draw your discarded cards.

Finally, it retains its usefulness, and even gains some usefulness, during greening. After all, green cards are easy discard fodder, and you could potentially pick up a Duchy or two for free by discarding a few components and Provinces (but be sure you have some way to draw that Duchy off the top of your deck!).
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 06:03:57 pm »
+1

I recently played a great game with Artificer. Highway was also in the kingdom, and an Artificer was worth it as soon as I started greening. I kept gaining Mining Villages with my Artificer to guarantee I'd kick off, which was really nice.

I think Artificer is also notably good in a slog, if Curses/Ruins are flying around or you're doing a Silk Road/Gardens/Feodum slog, Artificer can gain cards like Silver or Cellar, and you get to play them next turn.

Drawing and playing with Artificer is also quite powerful (sort of obvious) but I found that playing it at the end of my turn was best, so I could discard all my Colonies and have a clean shuffle. Artificer isn't the best with anything that lets you play it more than once (Throne Room, Royal Carriage) but it can still be okay in a pinch. All in all, I think Artificer is a lot more powerful than it looks. The first game I played with it, both me and my opponent ignored it, even though Haunted Woods was in the kingdom, and Artificer does synergize with Haunted Woods.
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aku_chi

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 06:20:41 pm »
+6

Artificer is a cool card.  It's a Peddler+, so you're never sad to pick it up.  And sometimes, it's a lot better than Peddler.

Artificer is at its best:
  • When there are inexpensive engine components that you want.
  • With draw-to-X and other cards that benefit from selective discarding (Menagerie, Shanty Town, Tunnel).
  • When it is easy to increase one's handsize.
  • With cost-reducers (especially Highway).
  • With situational or combo cards (e.g. Tournament).

Artificer is less good:
  • When there are other sources of gaining multiple cards per turn.
  • With heavy trashing (excepting Scrying Pool style overdraw).
  • In the presence of handsize attacks.
  • Gaining Alt-VP that you do not want to topdeck.
  • With sifters or other discard-for-benefit cards.
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drsteelhammer

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 06:21:21 pm »
0

I'm one of those sceptics about the card. Next to it's great Synergy with Tactician and good synergy with Menagerie and draw to X, I don't think it is super great.

Also I find you example very, very misleading. What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been), the hand would've been better.

Obviously topdecking the new cards is pretty nice but you need extraordinary draw to make this card make use of its potential. On most boards it's probably rather average.
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convolucid

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 07:39:31 pm »
+1

This card is really good. I would say I've bought at least one in every game I've seen it, and never regretted it. The amount of acceleration you get from gaining an engine part on top of your deck is enormous. If you use the Artficer's extra power once out of 4 plays, I would say you are easily getting your $5 worth.

As a Peddler, Artificer has a generous worst-case. Top decking an Action card can be absolutely nuts, so Artificer has a great best-case. The more I improve at Dominion, the more I value reliability and flexibility, and Artificer has both in spades.

I've also found Artificer self-enables and snowballs a lot like Grand Market. Having Artificers gets you economy for more Artificers (or other engine bits). Then, if you have lots of Artificers, you can get a pretty good read on when to pull the trigger for the gaining, as you play each one. And finally, your last Artificer can pick up the card you top-decked with your second-to-last one if you have no other way to do so. This doesn't mean that Artificer spam is always the way to go, but the self-synergy adds to the card's great baseline.

Additional analysis is extremely Kingdom dependent, unfortunately. The two questions to ask are:
- what price point am I reasonably going to hit?
- what do I want to top-deck at that price?
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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 07:48:11 pm »
+1

Also I find you example very, very misleading. What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been), the hand would've been better.

Did you mean to say something else?  If the Artificer was another Smithy, you have fewer options.  I may be misunderstanding your example.
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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 07:57:59 pm »
+2

I would go as far as to say Artificer is a below-average 5-cost. Cards are worth more than one coin in most decks, so I feel like it needs usually needs too much support to be your payload. There are a few nice combos, but it's still lackluster for me. I've ignored it like 3/4 times I've played with it and it wasn't spectacular the time I did get it. This card is what you get when your engine is too powerful for its own good. I can't see it having much power to convince me to go for an engine which wouldn't otherwise be there.

Apparently vault and storeroom are good though, so who knows.
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drsteelhammer

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2016, 02:34:48 am »
0

Also I find you example very, very misleading. What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been), the hand would've been better.

Did you mean to say something else?  If the Artificer was another Smithy, you have fewer options.  I may be misunderstanding your example.

Not necessarily, you have a 7card hand instead of a 3card hand + a new smithy. I meant exactly what I said: Artificier makes your starting hand only better in this specific situation where you need a specifc card (draw), and artificier could have been draw instead. Artificier is not versatile in making your starting hand better.
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scott_pilgrim

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 03:06:10 am »
+2

Also I find you example very, very misleading. What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been), the hand would've been better.

Did you mean to say something else?  If the Artificer was another Smithy, you have fewer options.  I may be misunderstanding your example.

Without referring to the original example, that quote is indeed very confusing.  The context was, you could have a hand that starts as Village-Artificer, use Artificer to gain a Smithy (top-decked), then draw that Smithy with Village.  Here is what I think he meant:

Quote
What if, instead of Village-Artificer, you had had Smithy-Artificer in hand? Then your hand won't become great, because whatever Artificer gains can't be drawn and played this turn. Going back to the original example, if the Artificer in your hand had been a Smithy (which it could have been) so that your hand started as just Village-Smithy, the hand would've been better.

(For reference, here is how it originally read to me and presumably eHalcyon:)

Quote
What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been) so that your hand is Smithy-Smithy, the hand would've been better.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 03:13:44 am »
0

Also I find you example very, very misleading. What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been), the hand would've been better.

Did you mean to say something else?  If the Artificer was another Smithy, you have fewer options.  I may be misunderstanding your example.

Not necessarily, you have a 7card hand instead of a 3card hand + a new smithy. I meant exactly what I said: Artificier makes your starting hand only better in this specific situation where you need a specifc card (draw), and artificier could have been draw instead. Artificier is not versatile in making your starting hand better.

I must be misreading something.

Smithy-Artificer in hand - so I play Artificer (with the option of discarding to gain), probably followed by Smithy.  Maybe not amazing, but fine.

If the Artificer in my hand was a Smithy instead, the hand is not better as you said.  I have Smithy-Smithy and the second one is dead.  I don't get the cantrip $1 from Artificer and I don't get the option to gain a card.

PPE:  Ahh.  This is a case where quoting the original example would have helped, since there were several intervening posts.  I guess I should have checked back more carefully for the "misleading example".  Thanks for clearing that up, scott.
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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2016, 03:21:04 am »
+3

Artificer seems to be good to take a sabbatical from buying when on-buy penalties are around. In this situation, however, the +coin is of little use.
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Harley_Beckett

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2016, 06:00:31 am »
+1

I've only played with it a few times but it seems strong.  As others have said, worst case, it's a 5-cost peddlar and, well, sometimes you want that.

Best case I can think of would be comboing up a few Artificers with a few Scrying Pools and a very action-rich deck.  Use a SP to fill up your hand, play Artificer, discard 8 cards for a Province, play another SP, rinse, repeat, to gain multiple Provinces in a turn without the need for +buy or cost reduction.  Sure, the Province gets topdecked, but the next SP discards it for you.
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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2016, 06:01:43 am »
0

Artificer is pretty good when the other $5s are crappy and your only other real option is Silver.  ;D
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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2016, 06:27:54 am »
+8

Roadrunner makes first reply and DOESN'T mention the amazing Scout synergy when greening with Artificer in the lategame?

MIND.  BLOWN.
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Roadrunner7671

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2016, 06:33:00 am »
+3

Roadrunner makes first reply and DOESN'T mention the amazing Scout synergy when greening with Artificer in the lategame?

MIND.  BLOWN.
I guess maybe I'm getting older.
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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2016, 07:05:50 am »
+1

I think it's a bit odd how trivial picking up more Artificers becomes once you have one. Play Artificer, discard hand, put Artificer on deck. Not sure that's a good strategy very often, but it's certainly something to consider.
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kn1tt3r

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2016, 07:17:44 am »
0

I guess Artificer is a mediocre card in most cases, and a very good card if the board is right. It should be good in decks that are based on cheapish action cards (usually 3s and 4s) and with no (or few) other competing power 5s. On top of that, if there are ways to play multiple Artificers per turn, and/or you can profit from the decreased handsize (i.e. draw-to-x, menagerie, ...), it can become REALLY good. Of course you need Villages for most of those cases. And sure, it has some endgame potential, but I think you usually don't buy the card because of that.

So yeah, it's quite situational, but in contrary to other situational cards Artificer is almost never really BAD (like Counting House for example). So overall it's a fine card I suppose.
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Chris is me

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2016, 08:01:55 am »
+2

I would go as far as to say Artificer is a below-average 5-cost.


I've ignored it like 3/4 times I've played with it and it wasn't spectacular the time I did get it.

So what you're saying here is that you've played with Artificer a single time. That you ignored Artificer four other times isn't evidence that the card is bad, it's evidence that you thought the card was bad. You really don't have much of any experience with Artificer at all.

I'm pointing this out, because Artificer really is one of those cards you have to just buy a few times to "get it". It's not a card whose value is super obvious from looking at it, but if you just buy it once or twice more you'll understand. I've played probably 30 games with Artificer in it, and for the longest time I thought it was mediocre and kept skipping it, but when I finally did start buying it, it was very good!

Quote
Best case I can think of would be comboing up a few Artificers with a few Scrying Pools and a very action-rich deck.  Use a SP to fill up your hand, play Artificer, discard 8 cards for a Province, play another SP, rinse, repeat, to gain multiple Provinces in a turn without the need for +buy or cost reduction.  Sure, the Province gets topdecked, but the next SP discards it for you.

Artificer / Scrying Pool is a super strong combo, and the only reason I didn't mention it in the OP is that I didn't want to give it away  ;). Once a Scrying Pool deck takes off, you often end up with extra Scrying Pool anyway, so overdrawing isn't a big concern, and you can basically gain one Province per Artificer. Plus if your deck misfires, you can basically always topdeck an Artificer for next turn.

Also I find you example very, very misleading. What if you have Smithy-Artificier in hand? Then your hand won't become great. If the Artificier in your hand was a Smithy (which it could have been), the hand would've been better.

Did you mean to say something else?  If the Artificer was another Smithy, you have fewer options.  I may be misunderstanding your example.

Not necessarily, you have a 7card hand instead of a 3card hand + a new smithy. I meant exactly what I said: Artificier makes your starting hand only better in this specific situation where you need a specifc card (draw), and artificier could have been draw instead. Artificier is not versatile in making your starting hand better.

...or in that specific case, you can just not gain anything from Artificer, and then you have a seven card hand, $1 more money than you otherwise would have, and you've cycled 1 more card through your deck. The discard for benefit is completely optional, so it is definitely better than having two Smithy in that hand. In any case, you're playing Artificer wrong here - because of this reason, it is better to slightly overbuy Villages in an Artificer game so you can gain draw cards rather than the other way around. If you ended up with Smithy / Artificer / dud x3, you had some bad luck or your terminal density is too high. Not to mention, Smithy / Artificer / literally any cantrip at all would let you topdeck a village, draw it, and play it. This doesn't need to be a common scenario.
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Donald X.

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Re: Let's Discuss Adventures Cards: Artificer
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2016, 07:47:21 pm »
+3

I like Artificer a lot. It's a very nice Workshop for cost reduction. Gaining a card directly to the top is huge.

It's also one of those cards that rewards you for overdrawing. You discard some cards to gain something, draw those cards back, discard them again, draw them again.
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