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Dominion: Dark Ages» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategies using rats? rss

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Daniel Westlake
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I played a few games using Rats and bought two cards into my deck during a game. After multiplying and eating through some of my deck I think I ended the game with 7 rats. Towards the end I just wasn't even playing them anymore as actions and they felt like dead weight.

I am positive that there are some creative ways to use rats in your deck. Maybe using a card like Forge? turning rats into provinces? Although it doesnt make sense thematically maybe it works.

iS there anyone who could share some combos or stratgies with this card?

Thanks
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David Goldfarb
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As you found out, Rats all by itself isn't very good because it doesn't thin your deck; it just replaces poor cards such as Copper with cards that are hard to do anything with. (A Copper at least gives you $1; a Rats you can't play doesn't give you anything.)

The main thing that makes Rats good is cards which trash for benefit. Forge is one good example; also Remodel or Remake -- if you can turn a Copper into a Rats and then a Rats into a Gold, that's great. Especially good there are cards which trash for benefit that aren't terminal, such as Upgrade or Apprentice.

If Fortress is in the game, Fortress can mitigate the effects of the Rats. If you have a Fortress in hand, you can play the Rats without having to worry about trashing something you don't want to trash, so it's at least not a dead card.
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Andrew Brooks
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Here's a great article on Rats from Dominion Strategy which gives general advice on when it's worth buying and some cool combos:
http://dominionstrategy.com/2012/11/12/dark-ages-rats/

A good way to get decent use out of Rats is using trashers that care about the cost of the card they're trashing. Use Rats to replace your low cost cards (copper, curse) with Rats and then use the trashers to get rid of your Rats for the improved price. Forge is an example of this but there are cheaper and faster trashers that will deal with your Rats before they get out of control. For an idea, the article references Salvager, Apprentice, and Bishop as being three of the best trashers to pair with Rats.
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Roberta Yang
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On top of the ability to use trash-for-profit effects with Rats, it's also worth remembering that the pile of Rats is finite. In games with many players and/or lots of curses, the 20 available Rats can run out. Once that happens, your Rats will get rid of bad cards without clogging your deck with more Rats. (They're also good against certain attacks, like Swindler, Saboteur, or the Knights.)
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Jeff Wolfe
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One of my favorite Rats games: I bought exactly one Rats. Nobody else bought or gained any. When the game was over, the Rats pile was empty and I had 3 left in my deck. I don't think I even won that game. But it was close and I had fun.

Something Donald once said has been key to my understanding of Rats. Rats is not a trasher. It's an upgrader. It upgrades cards to Rats. You have to want Rats in your deck for some reason in order for it to pay off. Usually, that's a trasher that likes the cost of Rats, but it might also be worth it just for the +1 card on trash. The equation changes somewhat when the Rats pile is empty, but if the Rats pile is nearly empty it's probably too late to make Rats your strategy. Rats-as-trashers is usually just a bonus you get at the end against curse attacks or Looters.

The key to playing a Rats strategy is how fast you trash them. Trash too timidly and your deck is overrun with Rats. Trash too aggressively and you run out of Rats in your deck. If everybody plays Rats, you might not be able to get more and then you have to find a new strategy.
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Joseph
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Ankeny
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I like to use Apprentice.
 
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Mark Judd
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jcaraway wrote:
I like to use Apprentice.

For some reason, the mental image of Mickey Mouse munching on rats keeps popping into my head, and I don't like it.

yuk
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Biodiesel
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Beaveman wrote:
jcaraway wrote:
I like to use Apprentice.

For some reason, the mental image of Mickey Mouse munching on rats keeps popping into my head, and I don't like it.

Cannibal!
 
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Thuru Uma
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It is also helpful to use rats as death cart fodder--they replace the coppers/estates in your hand with action cards that make the death carts roll.
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Confusing Manifestation
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9 times out of 10 you want to use Rats because you have something that cares about the cost of cards (usually a TfB like Apprentice or Forge), and the 10th time because you have something that wants Action cards (so Death Cart, Vineyards, maybe even Transmute in a pinch).
 
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Paul W
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I just played a pretty interesting game on the following board:

Poor House
Pawn
Hermit
Watchtower
Fortress
Nomad Camp
Rats
Library
Stables
Vault

I used Rats to clear out my coppers, which allowed my Poor Houses to be worth $4. Once all my junk was cleared out, I could trash fortresses with my Rats, and reveal Watchtowers to immediately trash to the new Rats I was getting, effectively making them +2 cards, +1 action. Here's the log of the game:

http://dominionlogs.goko.com//20130506/log.50b0c843e4b0c5dcb...



TLDR: Watchtower + Rats = Lab Rats
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