[Navigator - no one bought]
Usual + Potion, Platinum, Colony
We two have played Dominion hundreds of times, but this setup offered truly novel strategical possibilities. We were struck with how many decisions were offered at every turn, both in what to do and how to do it. A sampling:
How do you trash a card? Well, you can Steward it, but then you need a card to go along with it. Ambassador? Then 0-2 is an option (but with curses flying, we always chose 1 or 2, copper or curse). Transmute? Well, THAT has three choices in it, with three very different rewards! And Apprentice has the most powerful reward of all, especially considering three potion-costing cards: once familiar has worn out its usefulness, hello five cards!
What about with Contraband? We had some truly game-theory-esque moments with "does she or doesn't she?" i.e., have enough for a (a) game-ending province...one left or (b) a colony (c) some 20+ combination and a buy or (d) neither. It's quite the sweat-off-your-brow gameplay when your opponent gets two platina once, a duchy and an estate next, with the same visible card. Add two known coins with merchant ship, and it gets even more interesting.
I'd suggest this for advanced players who want to see how Dominion can make you face more acute sacrifices than you had thought possible. It was enjoyable from the potion/+actions buildup, the high-flying middle, to the very unpredictable end.
The result? My fiancé beat me . . . but by just 1!
Hope for a 4/3 and open with Ambassador + Silver. Keep an eye on an early game finish
if when the curses run out. I'd think about getting a 2nd Ambassador and go cash heavy with Apprentice for draws and getting rid of silver.
The deck you want to finish with is probably ambassador, potion(s), some treasure, colonies, as many alchemists as you can get. You might find one or two other things useful to help get you there.
When asking "What would Jesus do?", remember that flipping over tables and using a whip are within the realm of possibilities.
Sounds like it was a great game!