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Subject: Which card is the best? rss

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Salvador C. Majoral
Andorra
Argentona, Barcelona
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Let’s try to decide which one is the best Mascarade card...
The queen and the peasants get a smaller amount of money than the king, so they can not be the best cards.
The bishop is probably better than the thief, because, although the thief damages two players, the bishop damages the richest player while the thief damages two any players.
We can probably also rule out those cards that cannot make you win when you perform their action (widow, spy, witch and damned).
So we are left as potential candidates to best card with the judge, the bishop, the king, the fool, the cheat, the inquisitor and the usurper.
I think we will all agree that the the fool is not the best card in the game, and that the cheat is equivalent to the king in making you win when you have 10 coins but it doesn’t give you money during the rest of the game, so the cheat is inferior to the king.
Thus the list of candidates gets down to

the judge
the bishop
the king
the inquisitor
the usurper

Can you further narrow the list? Which one do you think is the best character?

 
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Peter Cooper
United Kingdom
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That's a difficult one. I would have gone for the King straight away, but he's obvious, and can be discovered easily. And I wouldn't dismiss the cheat, as you can keep him secret for a while, then win the game unexpectedly. The judge only gets money if people are caught.

(Normally, when someone asks this question, my answer would always be "It depends how you play", but this is just an amusing whimsy.)
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Lance Codarin
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Udine
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from a monetary gain view i could agree with your choices and go with the judge...
but on a general point of view i'd say list can completely change:

My scale of power would go like this from weakest to strongest (considering not only the money gaining but the actual interconnections between players and powers):
- the king: gains 3 coins but he has like a big target marking all over him... you will likely use him only once a game if people around the table are smart

- the queen is usually "safer" than the king but even her will become stale at some point

- the peasants are situational but usually slightly weak

- the widow: depends one the character picked and even then it is quite weak and highly counter able: it comboes well with the cheat though

- the fool his practically a mix between spy and thief... use him only on low number of people if can't put thief or spy in the mix

- the thief depends likely on which character other players have - good character for money and crowd control

- the spy i think is cool to have but usually you will waste turn using his ability in order to search for the card you need most...

- the cheat becomes strong as the game progresses... useless at first one of the strongest in the middle game but then at end game drops his power a bit because players will try to get it in order to win with less money or avoid a early finish... comboes well with witch and widow but with skilled player it his hard to claim victory with him

- the judge is Highly situational and his utility depends from various factors: it is powerful but smart player will try bluffing him in order just to avoid the money on the courthouse to grow and pile too much

- the inquisitor and the usurper are very funny to use and quite powerful but unless you have at least 8 players you won't have those in the game... they are situational...
the inquisitor in particular can become one of the top 3 cards if played by a skilled player

- the bishop: you can basically aim for the player in the lead and control the game length a bit
one of the top 3

- the witch: it is basically a comeback mechanic: you can even lose on purpose at first just for the moment to use the witch and exchange money
one of the top 3 cards IHMO

So my top 3 in the end are these:
first place: witch
second place: bishop
third place: inquisitor
 
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Jorge
Switzerland
Lausanne
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The Inquisitor, just because it's the most funny card in the game. Hilarious artwork, it brings laughs on the table and you actually screw with other people and laugh at their reactions when they're unsure of their character. What else would you want from a card? On the contrary, generating money from the bank is BORING.
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Vladislav Goldakovsky
Ukraine
Kiev
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I never play Mascarade with less than 8 players, so Usurper is my current bet for the most powerful card.
 
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Mike Beiter
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What do you mean by "best" I think this is a very subjective question and will vary from player to player.

I have to say the FOOL is the best.

Every game I play the fool is the card that brings the most fun to the table. The player playing the fool always takes on a humorous persona and announces with untamed gaiety... "IM THE FOOL!" And the laughter ensues.
I would not play a game without them due to the level of fun it adds to the game.
So if "best" means "most fun to play with." Then it is the fool all the way.

Outside of that, the "Best" card shifts from turn to turn. It depends on what your opponents have, and what else is out there. The game is constantly shifting in power and who is leading, so you have to decide what is best for your personal strategy to victory.
 
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Thomas Berton
Canada
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The best card is one where you know where it is and nobody else does. Every card gets worse when people know you have it and every card gets extremely powerful if you're the only player who knows its whereabouts.
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