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Author Topic: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold  (Read 4925 times)

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Asklepios

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Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« on: January 20, 2012, 02:35:24 pm »
+1

Hey there: fairly new to dominionstrategy.com, but been on isotropic for a while. I thought I'd share with you one of my favourite Ambassador based combos. As far as I can recall, I've had an excellent success rate pursuing this strategy whenever the cards have come up.

This is more of a strategy and synergy than a direct combo: the goal isn't to draw these two cards together, but to play them in the same deck.

Ambassador / Ambassador is a favourite opening of many, and the traditional way to play it is with Big Money.

It works well with Fool's Gold for the following reasons:

Firstly, Ambassador makes for thinner decks. With two Ambassadors, ideally sending away two cards each time they are used, you'll have a shrinking deck even if you're being Ambassadored back. Clearly, for fool's gold to work, either a thin deck is needed, or drawing power.

Second, because it costs only $2, you can often buy Fool's Gold on the same turn that you activate the Ambassador, so this is a quicker climb than going silver --> gold.

Third, if your opponent goes for the same, and grabs a province before you, you can react with Fool's Gold, trashing them to put gold on your deck. Personally, I don't often use this option, as a turn's delay is too long in most cases. But in the specific circumstance of a hand of less than $8, where your opponent is competing wiht you for fool's gold, and has bought a province, I would take the trash-for-gold. If you REALLY want to, and if you're well ahead, you could even speed the game's conclusion by sending a Province over with Ambassador, and then reacting to turn the Fool's Gold to Gold!

Here's an example of a game where the combo worked well for me. Its a slow finish, but Ambassador/Ambassador always trades speed for control. I had bought 4 provinces by the end of Turn 16.

http://dominion.isotropic.org/gamelog/201201/20/game-20120120-112112-1c88e5e4.html
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 02:40:41 pm by Asklepios »
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chwhite

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Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 03:05:45 pm »
+1

"Ambassador / Ambassador is a favourite opening of many, and the traditional way to play it is with Big Money."

This sentence isn't true.  In general, Ambassador is much more powerful in engine decks than in Big Money, and this is doubly true for Ambassador/Ambassador: if the setup favors regular BM than one Ambassador may very well be enough.  Fool's Gold does admittedly fix one of the big drawbacks of Amb/Amb, as it gives you a useful buy on $2.  But if there are cantrips and villages about, then an Ambassador opening into Action engine will be able to trim faster than Amb into Fool's Gold, and start bloating the FG player's deck pretty quickly.

Ambassador and Fool's Gold are both strong cards, so going for them may often be the right move, but I'm skeptical that they're much better than the sum of their parts.
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Asklepios

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Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 03:16:42 pm »
0

Thats a fair reply... My own experience with trying to go with engine decks after Ambassador/Ambassador is that its hard to get both the +action and the cash at the same time. I admit that if Laboratories or any other excellent non-terminal had been on the board, I'd have got them with $5 rather than a Fool's Gold.

As to whether its greater than the sum of its parts, I'd say that for Province games it definitely seems to work better than going for normal money, or for playing Fool's Gold without trashing.

Does it work better than other trashers? That, I'm not so sure about, but I think that I'd take Ambassador/Ambassador to Fool's Gold over Remodel to Fool's Gold, and definitely over Remake and Fool's Gold. As for Chapel, I think Chapel/BM is probably as good as Chapel/Fool's Gold.

Any thoughts?
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The Adventurer

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Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 04:24:19 pm »
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I personally don't see the "combo" here, as this would mean there is an enhancement of both cards by their synergy.
What I see though is that two good cards are used in the same deck, much like hoard and masquerade could work towards winning a province game together.

So what we have is your deck using ambassador, voted constantly as a very strong card by players and blog-holders all around, and fool's gold, a contested card which is in fact strong, as you said, in dense or draw-all decks.

Ambassador is not the most efficient means to this end (getting a dense or draw-all deck) since you might be stuck only returning one card at a time and keep getting junk back as well, and certainly not the only way to get there. So what your "combo" should be called is "Dense decks/fool's gold", which then becomes a plain fact.

Then, you bring up that fool's gold costing 2$ is an advantage over silver since ambassador leaves you with 2$ quite often. Ambassador leaving you with 2 dollars is not as true as for Remake, which does so on a more consistent basis since Ambassador forces you to return two of the same card, making an estate-copper return impossible (whereas Remake would allow such a trashing). Therefore, Remake/Fool's gold would seem like a stronger "combo" (if one) to achieve this.

Also, you bring up the ambassadoring of provinces as a potential strategy to turn your fool's gold into gold, which you probably don't even need if you're ambassadoring a province to your opponent. This is more of a cute, albeit useless, trick.

You also forget in your analysis to underline that if Ambassador is on the board, your opponent is also Ambassadoring cards over to you, keeping your deck from being as pure as Fool's gold would require. Therefore, Remake, once again, would be a better option in my opinion.

That being said, I do not think there is something more than two good cards being used together here. If it has worked for you it is not surprising in the end, it is just that you recognized the individual strengths of the cards at play.
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Asklepios

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Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 05:21:48 pm »
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Fair points.

The only thing I'd say about Remake though is that while it clears the coppers just as fast, it turns Estates into Silvers for the most part, unless there's a good $3 non-terminal. Plus Remake does nothing to slow down your opposition, whereas double ambassador gives you enough time to get the dense deck.

I think this is going to be a hard sell though... :)
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DG

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Re: Combo: Ambassador / Fool's Gold
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 07:16:25 pm »
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Quote
Ambassador / Ambassador is a favourite opening of many, and the traditional way to play it is with Big Money.

I would be quite worried by playing an ambassador deck with just basic treasures. It seems like one of the least effective ways of exploiting a small deck.
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