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Subject: Dragon Draft Strategy Article #1 - Princess/Frog rss

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Joe Hout
United States
North Carolina
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Dragon Draft
Posting a series of Dragon Draft articles, explaining some of the nuances of the cards.

To learn how to play, check out this video first:

Princess and Frog Strategies

Princess: If partner plays or has played a Frog in this trick: +3 Gems for the same suit, +1 Gem for any other suit.
Frog: If partner plays or has played a Princess in this trick: +3 Gems for the same suit, +1 Gem for any other suit.

Never underestimate the Frog! When the Princess/Frog strategy pans out, it is one of the most powerful. These cards are like a minigame during gameplay.

The challenge is getting one player with the Frogs and their partner with the Princesses. The Princesses usually are drafted before the Frogs because of their high number (12). Snagging a Princess that is Trump is a great first pick. Sets you up to potentially go in to this strategy, but still keeps you open as it is a just a high trump on its own.

For however many matching Princess/Frogs you pick up, you should also draft the equal amount of Merchants, so you can pass along your Frogs or Princesses. As well, I like to have an Advisor in there to help give my partner the clue in what I have. If I plan to keep the frogs and pass the princesses, I'll show as many frogs as possible with the Advisor. This gives them the heads up to keep any princesses they have (or that I give them).

A big part of drafting is reading signals. What are the cards the other players are passing? On your 5th pick, you are looking at the same group of cards you started with. If your opening dealt hand had two princesses and you choose one, then when it comes back around the other princess is still there (every other player didn't draft it), that's a good signal to move in on the Princess/Frog. If that Princess you passed is not there anymore, that is also a signal. So much of Dragon Draft is not having a complete strategy come together, but rather eeking out every single gem you can.

As well, snagging any stray Royal Guards during the Draft is good. The Guards put a real damper on this strategy, sometimes completely negating it.

A dream 11 cards drafted for this strategy could be:
4 Frog
3 Princess
3 Merchant
1 Advisor

Leading with a Frog/Princess in the first trick is a strong lead, as you can sneak under a Royal Guard or Dragon before your opponents have the opportunity to make a void in a suit.

Also, trying to play out cards to make a void in a suit for yourself is helpful, as it frees you up to not help to follow suit at times to sneak in that frog/princess.

Final Thoughts
When it comes together and if uncontested (no Guard canceling/Dragon stealing) a team can run away with a game with the Princess/Frog strategy.

What are your thoughts on the Princess/Frog? How has the strategy come together for you? When have you seen successes/failures?

Thanks for reading! You can check out the Dragon Draft Kickstarter Campaign at
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