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Author Topic: Transmute  (Read 16776 times)

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skrotkanon

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Transmute
« on: July 04, 2011, 05:01:17 pm »
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I peeked at theorys popular buys and saw that Transmute is one of his highest ranked cards in
the "Win rate with column" though he only buys it roughly 30% of the times it's in the kingdom.
So the question is of course, how do you use Transmute effectively?
You need some sort of village and Great Hall is good with it, but what else?
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krawhitham

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 05:25:16 pm »
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I can see it as a defence against Pirate Ship: Transmute coppers into Transmutes and then Transmute Transmutes into Duchy's and aim to win by depleting Piles. This would require some cheap cards to be available for purchase, however.

It would be useful in the absence of any other way to trash cards; converting your estates into golds early on is win-win.

I suspect the reason it's only bought 30% of the time is because if it's the only potion card in the deck you probably don't want to buy a potion just so you can buy a Transmute. Picking up a "free" transmute with a +buy would be useful during the mid game so you can start converting your action cards into Duchy's.
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ackack

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 05:43:34 pm »
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I've had one game where there was no +buy or gainers other than Transmute. In that situation, I think it had potential for endgame positioning.

I could also imagine Transmute as a weird sort of counter to early game Masquerades or Ambassadors. Fill up on Estates, turn them to Gold. But I can't imagine that would work very well. Usually I'll grab one only if I have a Potion for some other purpose anyway or if there is no other trashing possible.
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rod-

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 06:07:52 pm »
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I can see it as a defence against Pirate Ship: Transmute coppers into Transmutes and then Transmute Transmutes into Duchy's and aim to win by depleting Piles. This would require some cheap cards to be available for purchase, however.

It would be useful in the absence of any other way to trash cards; converting your estates into golds early on is win-win.

I just tried out such a game and it went terribly ; maybe my luck was just terrible, but the board had pawns and transmutes, but by the time i'd emptied 20/30 cards in the 3 piles, my opponent's pirate ships were worth 6 and the provinces were gone before i was done.  I will admit that I didn't see 3pile being the clearest route from the get-go and bought ~5 conspirators as well, which may have been enough to be my downfall, but the trashing from transmute seems to be far too slow to beat pirate ships despite that error. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:32:56 pm by rod- »
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 12:38:57 am »
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It's basically just pretty bad most of the time, but it can be useful if there are other potion cards you want to get anyway.
theory also doesn't play with alchemy cards basically as a rule, so that's based on his very very small sampling of games he's played with it. (scurries to look up how many)...60 games, of which he's gotten it 15. Yeah, not many.

chwhite

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 01:00:59 am »
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The problem with Transmute is that it is just so incredibly slow.  It's a terminal action that trashes one, count 'em *one*, card at a time.  And your Coppers don't go away, they become more deck-clogging Transmutes, yay.  *And* it costs a potion, not real money, so you're not going to get to play it until after your second reshuffle- Turn 5 at the very earliest.  And you can only do that if you throw away all the money you drew with your Turn 3/4 potion to buy a frickin' Transmute.  Yeah, it looks cheap, but it's not easy to buy.

If there is absolutely no other trashing but there are other good Alchemy cards I suppose I'd buy one, but I probably wouldn't be happy about it.  It's probably most useful in Action-heavy setups where it can grab a couple Duchies late for the tiebreaker, or horrible 4-player Familiar boards where it's the only way to get rid of all those Curses everyone has, and if it turns that Familiar into a Duchy congrats that's the biggest VP card anyone's ever getting here because nobody's even able to think about Provinces.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 01:49:24 am by chwhite »
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Amaranth

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2011, 03:43:26 am »
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It's fantastic in a Scrying Pool deck. Cards like Remodel and Transmute actually move you towards an all-action deck more quickly than double trashers like Steward.

It probably works very well with Duke, though I've never tried it.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 03:49:49 am by Amaranth »
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PerdHapley

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2011, 05:21:52 am »
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It's fantastic in a Scrying Pool deck. Cards like Remodel and Transmute actually move you towards an all-action deck more quickly than double trashers like Steward.

It probably works very well with Duke, though I've never tried it.

Can you elaborate on this at all? I mean, I kinda get it if there's no other trashing possible, but in those situations a Scrying Pool strategy seems too slow to me, and filling your deck with terminals (more Transmutes) seems counterproductive. This could just be me though, I really doubt I use that card properly anyway.

The ONE time I used Transmute successfully was by opening Chapel/Potion and getting a Transmute turn 3 to convert estates to Gold. It worked pretty well, but doesn't stop me from thinking it's pretty useless in 90% of competitive games.
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Thisisnotasmile

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2011, 05:46:52 am »
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I guess what he means is that trashing coppers -> transmutes increases your action density a lot faster than just trashing coppers, or just buying actions. Your scrying pools will then pick up a load more cards each time you play them. Obviously, you're not going to want to play your transmutes every time you draw them, but with them not being copper, they won't block the scrying pool. Late game you can then transmute your transmutes for extra VP.
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skrotkanon

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 07:08:17 am »
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Thanks for all the replys.
And yes, I know buying Transmute is meaningless in the majority of games but it
apparently has some uses. Converting estates to gold is great but considering
how slow it is to get going you usually jusy ignore it, especially since it's a
terminal. I do remember someone playing a Mint/Transmute-deck with villages,
ramped up lots of golds very quickly.
I'm wondering whether using it in conjunction with say Ironworks (most likely a losing proposition
but work with me here) or some other card that gives transmute fuel is a good idea.
The crazy Great Hall/Ironworks/Transmute is one thing but that'll turn up once in a
blue moon at most.
The point is of course that Transmute isn't a trasher, its a relative of Remodel if anything.

And I'll try out Scrying Pool/Transmute if it shows up!
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Davio

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2011, 08:55:05 am »
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I often find myself going for Transmute if there aren't any other trashers, although I doubt this is a good strategy.

Maybe Transmutes are more viable with other Potion costing cards / combinations, like University, Alchemist, Familiar et al.
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Nitsuj

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 08:47:13 am »
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I played a game yesterday where Transmute was on the table with Chapel.  Inspired by this thread, I decided to make a go at running Transmute...

I bought Chapel/Potion.  Got a Transmute and chapeled all my coppers.  Transmuted my Estates into Gold, and Transmuted my Chapel into a Duchy (which then got transmuted into a Gold).

I had remarkable luck on the early draws, able to trash 4 copper on turn 3, and then 3 copper on turn 5 I think it was.  My deck was super thin, I put a Ghost Ship in it just because I figured i would see it every turn. 

In the end, I don't think this is a very good strategy - it really tapered off a the end, I just couldn't finish the game.  Given my remarkable early luck, and I was slowing down the opponent with Ghost Ships, this game still came down to the last province.

http://councilroom.com/game?game_id=game-20110705-185155-b654a38f.html

Notice how similar our decks are at the end of the game, but we took completely different routes getting there.
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Anon79

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 12:24:00 pm »
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I have to say, to me his deck looks very unlike yours...
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Nitsuj

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 12:29:43 pm »
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lol, i guess i'm just referring to the treasure composition.  sometimes my mind goes faster than my fingers.
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skrotkanon

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 01:56:19 pm »
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Yeah I guess with Chapels you should just do it the usual way.
I recently played a game where I got all the Transmutes with
fishing villages and golems, it was fun but not very efficient either.
I am kinda losing hope in this silly card.
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drg

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 01:31:30 am »
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Transmute is about evaluating the board, if there's no other trashing, and other useful potion cards, it's time to get one.  Another time it's good to get one is when there are great halls and possibly islands in play, because when you transmute those, you get a duchy and a gold, not bad - I've even done it to nobles on my last turn or two.  It also works well with duke strategies, as it can add duchies very quickly.
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Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2011, 08:33:39 am »
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I cannot see this card doing anything worthwhile in a Scrying Pool deck.  First off, I would be buying Pools with every Potion buy, and besides, what benefit is it to fill your deck with terminals (as replacement for coppers) when they are basically useless en masse?  Yes, obviously it is important to clear out the starting cards to make a Pool deck work, but I would require a better trasher to begin with before I went this route.

Personally, I hate this stupid card.  As bad as I think one instance of this card is, I cannot stomach the fact that the dumb thing replicates itself like gremlins in a swimming pool.  With just about any other Potion card on the board I would buy however many of those I would like and then hope to find a way to get rid of the Potion.

As stated above, with Pools I want as many of those as I can afford to spend Buys on.  With Golem the thing is a cancer.  It is counterproductive with Vineyards unless you really want to completely destroy your buying power down the stretch by infesting your deck with a bunch of these.  University?  Okay, it doesn't actively compromise a Uni but you would think there would be better terminals to pick up for free.  I can't see buying Transmute over an Alchemist unless I decided to boost someone else's ladder rating.

By itself?  Great, now I have two crap cards in my deck!

I tried to make this card work on BSW with little success, so I haven't used it on Isotropic in any significant way.  I have found uses for  the Chancellor, Ironworks, Spy, Workshop, Adventurer, Woodcutter, Scout, Mine, Smugglers, the two copper spells, Pirate Ship, and Explorer;  these are all substandard cards and require a just cause to validate buying them.  Bureaucrat, Thief, Pearl Diver, Navigator and Herbalist are all skipped without some half-crazy plan.  Contraband and Transmute?  I don't even see them... it is like playing with nine kingdom cards.
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Nitsuj

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2011, 09:07:41 am »
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I like Contraband on boards with Platinum, Grand Market, and/or Hoard.  But I generally agree that I stay away from that card otherwise, it can be an albatross at the end of the game.
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Reyk

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2011, 09:19:12 am »
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otherwise, it can be an albatross at the end of the game.

off topic:
Thx for the idiom (which is "albatross around one's neck" as I understand). I didn't knew this.
From LEO: "It is from the Rime (Rhyme?) of the Ancient Mariner. Someone gets an albatross hung around his neck as punishment, I think for shooting the bird in the first place."
http://dict.leo.org/forum/viewGeneraldiscussion.php?idThread=528886&idForum=4&lp=ende&lang=de

Always interesting for us non-native speakers to learn something along the way. In German we say "a brick at one's leg" which is more directed to the "millstone".
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DG

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #19 on: July 07, 2011, 09:45:20 am »
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Transmute is one of those cards that can seem repeatedly bad until you see someone play it amazingly well. It's first problem is that it is very limited in its uses compared to a remodel, say. The second problem is that it is so slow: buy potion, buy transmute, use transmute to make a gold, spend gold, game over. It's third problem is that you usually give priority to another terminal card.

Generally you need to make use of at least two transmute abilities during a game to make them effective. Changing estates to gold is clearly good in the early game. Changing excess actions to duchies can be good in the endgame, especially if there is no extra buy in the deck, and this typically features in a good transmute strategy. Changing treasures to transmutes is much more situational and can easily congest a deck, but if you're using scrying pools, vineyards, or ventures it could be just what you need. Also once you find a good transmute strategy, more transmutes might be just what you need. Like most cards that act on another card in hand, it works well with bigger hand size and good hand management.

Alchemy kingdoms are the best homes for a transmute. You do get bad potion draws where buying a transmute is better than buying nothing. It does work well with familiars, scrying pools, vineyards, etc.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #20 on: July 07, 2011, 10:01:07 am »
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I have found uses for  the Chancellor, Ironworks, Spy, Workshop, Adventurer, Woodcutter, Scout, Mine, Smugglers, the two copper spells, Pirate Ship, and Explorer;  these are all substandard cards and require a just cause to validate buying them.  Bureaucrat, Thief, Pearl Diver, Navigator and Herbalist are all skipped without some half-crazy plan.  Contraband and Transmute?  I don't even see them... it is like playing with nine kingdom cards.
Funny, I think Bureaucrat, Pearl Diver, and Navigator are better than about half the cards on your first list...

Mean Mr Mustard

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #21 on: July 07, 2011, 10:29:01 am »
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/shrug

I have lost over a thousand games, but I think they are the bottom tier of playable cards.
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Jack Rudd

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2011, 10:42:06 am »
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As an addendum to the conversation about Navigator, I just played this game. Navigator is certainly not useless in games with Scrying Pool and a Village of some sort.
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lefaiison

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2011, 11:39:38 am »
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I don't think there's a single card that's actually a never-buy...

I actually really like Pearl Diver.  I hate decks where I have $2 or $3 and nothing I really want to buy in the mid-game.  Aside from that, they're good for Conspirator, Horn of Plenty and getting Peddlers if there are +buy cards available.
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rod-

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Re: Transmute
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2011, 03:34:37 pm »
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Pearl diver's fast becoming one of my more favored cards, although it is rarely worth a full turn, in +buy games or slow curse games, it's very much worth it - the card on the bottom of your deck is a card you are only going to see once in the next 2 shuffles (most of the time), and therefore a card you want to ensure is a bad one.

Having mountebank be your last card could cost you the game.  Pearl diver sucking it up to the top is like having good shuffle luck, even when you don't.
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