Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Dominion» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Thoughts On the Individual Cards rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Below are my thoughts on the decks from the base game. I’ve played about 30-40 times now and am starting to pick up on which cards work well in certain circumstances. Your opinions on this subject are most welcome, but please limit your comments to the base game, as I don’t own the expansions (yet).

Adventurer
I still haven’t decided which is better – to pay 6 treasure for a Gold or for an Adventurer. The Adventurer would be better if I have mostly Silvers and some Golds in my deck. Drawing Coppers would make this card worthless compared to just buying a Gold in the first place.

Bureaucrat
This is one of my favorite cards. At 4 treasure, it’s reasonably priced. Using an action to get a Silver in my deck and in my hand next turn is really good. Plus, it can mess with your opponents’ hand management.

Cellar
I have a feeling I should be using this card more often than I do now, which is hardly ever. It works better later in the game as you start to accumulate Victory cards. In a game with lots of attack cards, I’d prefer the Moat.

Chancellor
The 2 treasure is good, but I’m just not seeing the benefit of discarding your draw pile. There are plenty of other cards that provide 2 treasure that I like better.

Chapel
I get the strategy, and I’ve played it a few times, but it’s been very hit or miss. Maybe I don’t have it down yet. Maybe it just doesn’t work as well or as consistent as I assume it should. I’m still not sure how many chapels I should be buying or whether it’s good or bad to throw in another type of action card.

Council Room
At first, I was very turned off by this card. Why would I want to help other players? But then I saw someone use Council Room in a deck that had a bunch of Golds, and the amount of Provinces they were buying was ridiculous.

Feast
So, I’m getting a 5 card for the cost of 4 treasure, but I have to spend an action to do it. The jury’s still out on this one.

Festival
It’s a versatile card, but I’m not a huge action-stringer. I usually bypass this one. Plus, the elf-looking guy weirds me out.

Gardens
This deck always seems to win the crowd over and is completely gone by the end of the game. I often find myself wondering whether I should go for it and make my deck as big as possible or go against the grain and try to end the game quickly.

Laboratory
It’s great for action stringing, but I usually don’t play that strategy, so I pass over this one a lot.

Library
I think it works better in the beginning of the game but then loses its power once you have a bunch of Victory cards. It’s also a good counter-measure if lot of Militias have been purchased.

Market
This is a go-to card when Gardens are in play, but I otherwise ignore it. Other than Gardens, I don’t see the benefit of extra buys. I’d rather buy one really good card instead of 2 decent cards.

Militia
This is my other favorite card. It’s worth the same as a Silver but can really stick it to your opponents.

Mine
I used to think this card was fantastic, but I’ve only been averaging 4 uses per game. Upgrading 4 treasures is good, but is it worth 4 actions plus the spot the card is taking up? Maybe, but it’s not a sure thing in my mind.

Moat
This is a fantastic card for the cost. It really shines when multiple attacks are in play or you get one of those players that focuses on attacks. Even without its defense ability, drawing 2 cards isn’t a bad use of an action.

Moneylender
Okay, so you can trash a Copper and maybe buy a Gold instead of a Silver if you have one buy or replace the Copper with a Silver and then buy something else if you have multiple buys. But, you only start the game with 7 Coppers, and you have to get one in your hand at the same time as the moneylender. I’m just not seeing the value of this card.

Remodel
I always pick up one of these when the Witch is in play. Turning Curses into Coppers or Estates is worth it. It’s also good at the very end of the game to convert actions or treasure into Victory cards. Still, without the Witch in play, I probably won’t pick one up.

Smithy
This is a decent card that works well anytime.

Spy
For some reason, I’m a sucker for the Spy. I rarely chain together actions, but the Spy gets me every time. This is probably because the extra card and extra action combined means that the Spy doesn’t affect your action count or hand count. Still, I think I need to cut back on the number I buy. I probably go overboard with this one.

Thief
This is a true attack card, no bones about it. It works better with more players. I’ve played a few times where everyone buys up the Moats, rendering this card mostly useless. This is one of the cards that will wreck a Chapel deck.

Throne Room
This is great for action-heavy decks but useless if you don’t draw another action card at the same time.

Village
This one reminds me of the Festival. It’s a versatile card, but I’m not a huge action-stringer. I usually bypass this one.

Witch
The Witch is nasty, but I’ve played games where everyone played Witches, and the Curses ran out. Still, the +2 cards is good even when the Curses run out or if the Moat is in play. I’ll buy one or two early, but I’ll pass on them when I see the Curse pile dwindling.

Woodcutter
This is great for Gardens decks, but there are plenty of other cards I like more that get you extra treasure. I usually stay away from the extra buys because I’d rather spend all my treasure on one awesome card, like a Gold or Province.

Workshop
If I see a few 4 cards I like, I’ll pick this up, especially if one of those 4 cards is the Gardens. They’re good for getting Silvers too, but so are a lot of other cards.

Copper
The more I play, the more I realize these are a nuisance.

Silver
It’s a great buy for 3 treasure.

Gold
I’ll always buy one if I have 6 treasure, except for the very end of the game when I might pick up a Duchy instead.

Estate
I’ll only buy them when the end of the game is imminent, and the Duchies and Gardens are gone.

Duchy
I have to remind myself to not buy these too early. The Gardens are always better unless you’re playing the Chapel or other deck-thinning strategy.

Province
I quickly figured out that getting Provinces is the best way to win. My group’s first few games ended when 3 piles were bought up. Now, they almost always end with the Provinces being bought up.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Festival
It’s a versatile card, but I’m not a huge action-stringer. I usually bypass this one. Plus, the elf-looking guy weirds me out.


The +$2 and +Buy are at least as interesting as the actions. Notice there are very few cards that give +$ and +action. There is a reason: that is very powerful. A Festival has nearly absolute advantage over a silver (except if you drew it when having no actions). There are very few cards you can say that about (well, other than Gold).

Quote:
Moneylender
Okay, so you can trash a Copper and maybe buy a Gold instead of a Silver if you have one buy or replace the Copper with a Silver and then buy something else if you have multiple buys. But, you only start the game with 7 Coppers, and you have to get one in your hand at the same time as the moneylender. I’m just not seeing the value of this card.


I think you are underestimating the value of removing the Coppers from your deck. The fact that it can get you an early gold is gravy.

Quote:
Laboratory
It’s great for action stringing, but I usually don’t play that strategy, so I pass over this one a lot.


It's great even by itself. It essentially makes your deck smaller, which is inherent useful. In some card sets, the winning strategy is going to involve action chains. If you ignore those times because "you don't play that way", you are hurting yourself.

Quote:
Smithy
This is a decent card that works well anytime.


One of them does. Two of them usually does. Three less so, etc.

Quote:
Market
This is a go-to card when Gardens are in play, but I otherwise ignore it. Other than Gardens, I don’t see the benefit of extra buys. I’d rather buy one really good card instead of 2 decent cards.


Wow. This is one of the best cards in the game. You literally cannot have too many of them. You don't always use the extra buys, but when you can chain some of these together and have $11-12 in a turn, you'll be glad you do. Also nice to have when there are attack cards about. You can take a 5 buy and pick up Moat-Silver, which is often going to be better for you than a single 5.

Quote:
Mine
I used to think this card was fantastic, but I’ve only been averaging 4 uses per game. Upgrading 4 treasures is good, but is it worth 4 actions plus the spot the card is taking up? Maybe, but it’s not a sure thing in my mind.


Don't forget you put the upgraded treasure directly into your hand. Almost certainly not worth buying more than one, but usually worth buying if you don't have another way to get rid of copper.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Whitney Barnes

California
msg tools
cordeiro wrote:
Below are my thoughts on the decks from the base game. I’ve played about 30-40 times now and am starting to pick up on which cards work well in certain circumstances. Your opinions on this subject are most welcome, but please limit your comments to the base game, as I don’t own the expansions (yet).

Chancellor
The 2 treasure is good, but I’m just not seeing the benefit of discarding your draw pile. There are plenty of other cards that provide 2 treasure that I like better.


Turn 3: Chancellor, Silver, 2 Copper. Play Chancellor, flip your deck, buy Gold

Turn 4: Chancellor, Gold, Copper. Play Chancellor, flip your deck, buy Gold.

Turn 5: Chancellor, Gold, Copper. Play Chancellor, flip your deck, buy Gold.

It happens. I did it last night online.

You only get to see about 16 hands in a well-played Dominion game with no attacks. You need to up the odds of getting as many good cards in your hand as often as you can.

Quote:
Feast
So, I’m getting a 5 card for the cost of 4 treasure, but I have to spend an action to do it. The jury’s still out on this one.


Usually 5-cost cards are markedly better than 4 cost ones. Labs are way better than, say, Spies. Witch is way better than Militia. Feast pretty much guarantees that you will grab one such card soon, even if your draws are unlucky.

Quote:
Laboratory
It’s great for action stringing, but I usually don’t play that strategy, so I pass over this one a lot.


Lab is one of the most flexible, useful cards out there. You really shouldn't pass it up unless you are dying for, say, the buy from Festival.

Quote:
Market
This is a go-to card when Gardens are in play, but I otherwise ignore it. Other than Gardens, I don’t see the benefit of extra buys. I’d rather buy one really good card instead of 2 decent cards.


Don't worry about the extra buy. "1 coin, 1 card, 1 action" is worth 5 coins.

Quote:
Moneylender
Okay, so you can trash a Copper and maybe buy a Gold instead of a Silver if you have one buy or replace the Copper with a Silver and then buy something else if you have multiple buys. But, you only start the game with 7 Coppers, and you have to get one in your hand at the same time as the moneylender. I’m just not seeing the value of this card.


You trash a copper. That's its value.

Quote:
Village
This one reminds me of the Festival. It’s a versatile card, but I’m not a huge action-stringer. I usually bypass this one.


You are usually right to do so.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt E
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree with Chris and Whitney except when it comes to Market. It's a good card for sure, but if there are other self-replacing cards like Laboratory, Bazaar, and Treasury available at that price point, I'll usually only pick up one or two Markets before spending my 5 Coins on the others. I'd say a card that gives +1 Card, +1 Action, +1 Coin is worth at least 4 coins, but not 5 coins unless there's absolutely nothing else that comes close to fitting the same role.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Warlaan .
msg tools
... and in the base game without the expansions there isn't.
This thread comments on that set of cards only.

Regarding the village I have to say that its value really depends on your play style and on the play style of your opponents. If you are competing with someone who used chapel to shrink his deck down to just a few golds or if he already has a few provinces in a very small deck being able to play more than one saboteur / thief in one turn is worth a lot.
The village provides that extra action with the least strings attached. It's the cheapest card of its kind and it lets you draw another card, so it even does not effectively increase your deck size (as long as you don't draw it with no actions left).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Branko K.
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cordeiro wrote:
Below are my thoughts on the decks from the base game. I’ve played about 30-40 times now and am starting to pick up on which cards work well in certain circumstances. Your opinions on this subject are most welcome, but please limit your comments to the base game, as I don’t own the expansions (yet).


You are severely underestimating the Chancellor, Moneylender, Chapel and Laboratory and overappreciating Workshop and Spy.

Chancellor is a hit-and-miss, but when it hits, it can be a game-breaker. The gold example above showcases this nicely.

Moneylender is terrific for siphoning out that pesky Copper - you should usually buy just one very early, and try to get rid of it mid-to-late game.

Chapel is usually a must-buy, especially with no expansions. Buy one early and trash Estates and Copper. If a Lab is also present, then a Lab+Chapel combo is nearly unbeatable barring some specific attacks.

Workshop is a must-buy when Gardens are present, but other then that it's mostly a nuisance.

Finally, Spy is a card I would only buy if I could synergize it with some other card (e.g. Pirates or Thief), other then that I would pass. Remember that cards which provide you with +1 Action, +1 Card aren't really freebies - you can still draw them with your terminal drawing action, and they will be as dead as those green Victory cards.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks to all who have provided feedback. I know I've been missing some key strategic plays, and I'll keep these suggestions in mind going forward.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allen Michaels
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It's hard to disagree with the Market. You get a bunch in your deck, and you get to 8 coin pretty quick. Yes, you might not use the extra buys, but sometimes that's useful...esp if you get to only 7.

I think the Cellar is huge. I discard Copper sometimes, since i know i might get a Festival/Smithy/Market. Great for trying to find your Throne Room +another action.

Oh, and action-chaining is what it's about. True, 8 Villages in a row get you nothing, but Village-Smithy is a nice combo...and soon you'll see a Village-Smithy-Market-Market-Cellar-Throne-Festival...boom, you're killing it!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Anderson
United States
Moorhead
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
al_fredo wrote:
but Village-Smithy is a nice combo...
Didn't someone show through simulation that the optimal number of Villages in a Village-Smithy deck is 0?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allen Michaels
United States
Brooklyn
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Possibly...but my thoughts on Village-Smithy is that +3 cards from the Smithy gets you better cards to play with an action to go...not more Villages and Smithies. Hence my example.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ido Abelman
Israel
Hod Hasharon
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Laboratory
It’s great for action stringing, but I usually don’t play that strategy, so I pass over this one a lot.


Many people say that Laboratory is the best action card in the base game, and there's a reason for that. It's not really related to "action chaining strategy". Think of it like that - you have 5 cards and 1 action. You play Lab. Now you have 6 cards and 1 action. You play another Lab. Now you have 7 cards and 1 action. etc. etc.
In a chapel deck or other relatively slim deck this may get you to drawing your whole deck!

And about +buys. They aren't very good at the base game, but they have their uses. Many times you want a 2-cost card (esp. cellar or moat), but you don't want to overpay for them. So if you get 7 coins with a +buy, and you need a 2-cost, you may buy your 2-cost and a 5-cost, which can be often better than "just" gold. In the late game It's often even more useful - if you get 7 coins (almost province but not quite) you can grab a duchy and an estate. And there are also those times when you get more than 8 coins - why let those extra coins waste? There are even people who try to build a deck to be able to buy two provinces each turn in the last turns of the game. Of course +buys are essential for this type of deck.
And market is good even if you don't think you're going to use the +buy.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Cordeiro
United States
Cumberland
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
CBpegasus wrote:
Many people say that Laboratory is the best action card in the base game, and there's a reason for that.

I played some more this weekend and ended up buying laboratory in 2 of the games. I'm definitely more a fan of this card now. Thanks for the insight.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.