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Tunnel - (Feedback please) -- UPDATED NOV 9

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Tunnel is a Victory/Reaction card worth 2VP at only 3 coins. But the victory portion of this card isn't the reason to pick up Tunnel(s) the reason you pick up Tunnel(s) is for its reaction. The reaction portion of this card allows you to when discarded gain a Gold from the supply.

When to NOT Tunnel
Probably the most important part of understanding Tunnel is knowing when you DON'T want to Tunnel. Tunnel is an incredibly fun card to play but you don't want to play Tunnel when there isn't discard on the board as you won't be getting any Gold from your Tunnels. Additionally you don't want to over do Tunnel on a board that does support Tunnel, but more on that later. Additionally if there is a strong curse attack or looter on board you'll probably want to ignore Tunnel as it will be another dead card in your deck.

Deciding to Tunnel
Now that you have seen there is some discard on board you have to decide whether Tunnel is a viable option or not. Militia alone as a discarder is NOT incentive to buy Tunnel (as your opponent will simply ignore Militia at which point congratulations on your dead card). However cards like Warehouse, Young Witch and Storeroom are incredibly powerful Tunnel enablers. In other words you want to look for actions that allow YOU to discard and not or cards that force opponents to discard. In essence there are two main reasons you should pick up Tunnel, 1 is for cheap VPs in the end game and the other is for Gold production. For the VP they work well as part of a 3 pile alternate VP strategy with Gardens or Silk Roads or as Late game VP that is worth more than Estate for only 1 coin more.

The reaction part is where you are going to need a few things.
 1. A way of discarding cards as mentioned above.
 2. A way to ensure Tunnel is in the cards you discard, while Oracle may trigger Tunnels the chances of it hitting Tunnel are fairly low especially as your deck continues to grow the longer the game goes on
 3. A way to use the Gold Tunnel provides you with. Because your deck will have more VP (tunnels) and more gold then normal your deck will be high variance, thus sifter cards are the easiest way to ensure you get maximum use of your Gold.

Some Examples of Cards to look for

 - The cream of the crop
   1) Filter cards are the most powerful form of Tunnel enabler, the normal example being Warehouse, it's non terminal, draws 3 up front and discards 3 cards, this means it can activate your Tunnels even if it they aren't in your hand when you play the Warehouse.

   2) Storeroom gets a special mention here as well, as it is a DOUBLE discarder with a +buy. Later in the game the +Buy will be relevant if you manage to draw a bunch of gold into your hand. Early game the first discard will help you dig for your Tunnels that you don't have (and trigger those you already have), while the second discard will give you buying power for the turn and a second chance to trigger Tunnels. This is an incredibly powerful combo and one to keep an eye out for.

- The Bigger picture: These are cards that enable Tunnel but you probably only want to be using one or 2 Tunnels to augment another strategy.
  3) Young Witch - Young Witch enables Tunnel early on while junking up your opponents deck, the reason you want to only have 1 or 2 Tunnels here is because your opponent will likely be also playing young witch which means that you will be getting a junkier deck as well and thus the chance of colliding YW and Tunnel will go down as the game progresses, therefore you want to use Tunnel as a 1 or 2 shot for a bonus VP at the end of the game and an early game accelerant to help you get Gold and hopefully a few Provinces before your deck is terrible.

  4) Tactician - Tactician engines are strong on their own and while a Tunnel won't hurt as a bit of a cute way to add Gold to your deck, any more than 1 will ultimately slow you down and end up causing you to have 9 card Tactician turns occasionally.

  5) Alt VP - In games with silk roads running out the Tunnels is going to be stronger than running out the estates as each Tunnel is worth 2VP as opposed to 1.

  6) Cellar/Hamlet/Secret Chamber - While not particularily strong Tunnel enablers if you have a deck that is already capable of running Tunnels adding some of these to the deck is likely to add some staying power and more gold to your deck, these are sort of mini-enablers.

Combos To Look For
   1. As mentioned above Storeroom/Tunnel

   2. Also mentioned above Warehouse/Tunnel

   3. Golem/Tunnel - Here the plan is to have enough Golems that you consistently draw them and ONE other action card. This means everytime you play a Golem you discard your deck, which in turn means you discard all of your Tunnels, that can be a devastating amount of Gold. In games with one or both players playing this you need to keep an eye on the Gold pile, it can empty. Note: Having multiple Golem target actions can still be powerful but it is more likely you want to be building an engine rather than clogging it up with Tunnel + Gold in this case. (Full article here:

  4. Cartographer/Tunnel - Cartographer looks at the top card of your deck and can discard any number of them there, this means that you get to dig FOUR cards deep to try and trigger your Tunnels, like other sifters this can be incredibly powerful, the downside of this combo is that without a hand discard action you can be stuck with Tunnels in your hand and then that Cartographer looks a bit silly.   (Full article here:

  5. Vault/Tunnel - Vault LOVES Gold, Tunnel makes Gold, these cards love each other. With one Gold in hand a Vault gets you a Province. Vault allows you to discard cards and dig 2 cards so if you pull a Tunnel the chances of hitting a Province on your Vaults stays way up. An interesting counter point to this combo is that Tunnel works AGAINST Vault/Tunnel as well as Vault allows your opponent to discard cards to draw a card so even if you don't pick up a Vault you can trigger Tunnels on your opponents Vault making your hand and deck better. Similarly be wary of an opponent who has already bought Tunnel on a board where you want to play Vault.

  6. Minion/Tunnel - Minion pitches your hand to get a new hand and multiple minions get you money and a new hand the standard minion/minion combo. The upside to this is with a couple Tunnels in your deck (again likely one or two) you can grab some free gold while doing the generic minion combo. The other thing is that because Minion can be so game dominating in boards including Minion, your Tunnels will be triggered by your opponents. Since an opponent's Minion will cause you to discard your Tunnels Tunnel can also be run in a deck alternate to Minion as if you opponent is going for a minion strategy he will almost certainly be giving you Gold this way.

  7. Venture/Loan/Farming Village + Tunnel - All of the first three cards reveal cards until they hit a certain condition (the first 2 stop on money and the latter on a action/money card) Of the three Venture does the most of what you want. All of these cards allow you to discard multiple Tunnels and if you can control the top of your deck at all can occasionally allow you to setup a massive Tunnel trigger. With the former (Venture) it does the best of both worlds skipping and triggering your Tunnels all the while finding and playing the Gold that your Tunnels have produced. Loan will trim the copper out of your deck early should you so wish but will inevitably become weaker once it only finds Gold. Lastly Farming Village has the potential to put the Gold into your hand being like a Venture without +1 but has the problem that it stops on more cards than either of the first 2 making it harder to Trigger your Tunnels with

  8. Embassy - Embassy draws a whopping 5 cards and discards 3. This means that the number of cards you can look at with Embassy is 9 (4 from hand + 5 drawn) and you can discard up to 3 Tunnels. This is a particularily strong Tunnel enabler though will probably require a silver to buy and you don't want to buy too often on the opening shuffle as it will give your opponent a silver boost in his economy as well (while you will be unable to get a Tunnel on that first shuffle and will have to wait till the second shuffle)

  9. Hunting Party - Like all things Hunting Party hates diversity, however if you nab up at least 2 and probably 3 or 4 Tunnels and a big Hunting party stack you will likely be able to Trigger those Tunnels multiple times in the same turn creating for a huge surgence of Gold in your deck and while Hunting party may hate diversity, it loves Gold, in as many copies as you care to have.

Discard Attacks
 You should never rely on an opponent picking up a Militia to be a reason to trigger your Tunnel in fact Tunnel should deter most people from picking up Militia unless they haven't seen Tunnel before. However Tunnel will probably not deter your opponent from picking up a discard attack like Goons or Minion. In these cases (as detailed above for Minion) Tunnel can be a nice way to get Gold into your deck if your opponent is going to be reliably playing these attacks fairly often. However in the case of Goons you probably want to just be playing your Goons more often instead of clogging your deck up with Gold and Tunnels.

In an engine deck you don't want a lot of money or clog. However, sometimes your going to want Gold (especially if there is no action $ on board) In such cases picking up a Tunnel can be a way of doing this. To do this you are going to want cards that allow selective discard, and an engine that can reliably draw your deck. If you can set this up a Tunnel or Two can be an easy way to add Gold to your deck very quickly allowing you to transition into your endgame of multiple Provinces/Colonies a turn. Similarily the Gold can allow you to skip silver if your engine requires expensive engine parts.

Trash For Benefit
In a deck where you can trigger Tunnel to get Golds, Trash for Benefit should be considered as a good addition to your deck. Remodelers for instance can turn that Gold you got from a Tunnel straight into a Province. Apprentice? Draw 6 Cards, Salvager? +$6. In an engine where you draw your deck every turn this can be your method for greening given the right TfB, or it can be an integral part of your draw engine (Apprentice). Even in a big money deck it can help you hit the 2 province turn if you can remodel a Gold and still have G/G/S or G/G/G in hand.

How to play Tunnel
The number of Tunnel you want to pick up is going to vary based on the type of discard you have, if the type of discard you have is non terminal (Warehouse/Cellar), You'll want to pick up a few more Tunnel then with terminal and is probably 4 or 5 at most. You want to make sure that if you are picking up that much Tunnel you are countering it with at least an equal (and probably a greater) number of the discarder.  With a terminal discard you probably want to stop at 2 or 3. I personally like to stop at 3 as 3 Tunnels is worth a Province and allows you to be a tiny bit slower to the end game than your opponent (when your deck is much stronger). You almost never want to pick up just one Tunnel unless you manage to get a collision of your discarder and your Tunnel on your first reshuffle, as with 2-3 Tunnels your chances of colliding Tunnel goes way up.
Misc. Thoughts
When Tunnel is on the board you shouldn't fully ignore it. Even if the board isn't conducive to the reactional portion of Tunnel it is important to remember that Tunnel should be favoured over Estate in the green phase as it is worth 1VP more at only 1 more cost.

Works With
- Card Sifters
- Card Discarders
- Not over doing it

Conflicts With
- Colony Games
- Curse / Loot Attacks
- Super quick silly boards (Jack/Governor).

As the title mentions any and all feedback is welcomed and appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read this article.

I think you have a good solid base here.  One of the main points that I think you are missing is that Tunnel is actually never a dead card on any board.  The reaction can be but those 2 points can still be very important.  Like all alt vp cards the presence of Tunnel can provide engines more time to catch up to BM strategies since there are more points available on the board.  And even in standard BM games when it gets down to duchy dancing and you hit $3-4 do NOT auto grab an estate when Tunnel is sitting there.  I often have this problem  :-[

Perhaps mentioning that while not enough to be a combo on its own, adding a cellar, hamlet or even a secret chamber to a deck that already is running Tunnels can be even more Golden.

You should mention Minion/Tunnel. It's a little better than straight Minion. Oasis is good too.

Maybe talk specifically about how many cards a given sifter "looks through" to discard tunnels - it's not immediately obvious why Oasis (draws only one card!) is a better at activating tunnels than Cartographer (draws one and looks through 4!) but it's because Oasis looks through 5 cards to find the tunnel. YW and Vault look through 6, Cartographer/Harvest examine 4, Warehouse examines 7, Storeroom examines 8(!!), Oracle only examines 2, the spy variants only examine 1, and so on. Cellar 4, Hamlet 5, Secret Chamber 4, etc.

Maybe mention its use as just an alt VP which gives 2 VP. Remember to buy it over estates in the endgame! It's obvious but people forget it.

YW/Tunnel is arguably more powerful than Warehouse/Tunnel and maybe even Storeroom/Tunnel, and I don't think that Golem/Tunnel and Tactician/Tunnel are particularly "good" combos.

Golem/Tunnel takes a long time to get up and running and requires a lot of support: one thing that tends to happen in Tunnel games is that you draw a lot of $7s as Gold/Gold/Copper/2 VP cards and sifting/drawing are required to get to $8 more reliably.

Tactician/Tunnel almost necessarily precludes double Tactician decks: the only cards that synergize with Gold gains are Salvager and Remodel/Expand (which requires villages). You have a reach of 4 when discarding Tunnel with Tactician; that's great, but when you draw your Tactician hands with lots of Golds, you can't use the Tunnels that you draw unless you want to give up your current turn with another Tactician, and if you decide to use the big hand, the Tunnels don't do anything. I mean, you're not going to hit $21+ without support. Even $16 is kind of a stretch.

I think you missed one of the best uses of Tunnel, which is increasing the total Treasure quantity very quickly and with very little cost in a firing engine. Draw your deck, discard 2 Tunnels using something like Oasis or Hamlet or what-have-you, and bam: your deck is $6 richer. With no trashing, you only need 3 Tunnel discards for your deck to make $16. Instead of buying Gold + engine piece, you can buy a $5 + engine piece. It's kind of like Hoard or even Haggler in this purpose, but so much better because 1) it's cheaper, 2) you gain Gold as you build the deck (whereas with Hoard, you're in that stage where your deck is slowly deteriorating), and 3) it's worth 2 VP in the endgame.


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