Dark Ages: Procession

This article is written by DG, originally posted on the forum, incorporating analysis from jomini.

Procession

Dominion: Dark Ages

This is the devil’s card. You will see someone play it wonderfully and empty the provinces in 10 turns. You’ll try it out the next game for yourself and it’ll make a complete mess of your deck. I’ll try to explain how that happens.

The Plus Side

Procession is great because you can play it your wonderful action card twice and then trash it to get an even more wonderful action card to replace it. If you can draw through your deck you might be able to play the gained card the same turn as well. You get the benefits of a throne and the benefits of an upgrade put together. Your deck can power through with action cards and accelerate through higher cost action cards. Wonderful indeed.

The Minus Side

So why is it so bad? How about a hand of {Pearl Diver, Copper, Copper, Grand Market, Procession} where you’ll probably play Procession on the Pearl Diver and trash it for something like a Great Hall. Firstly you’re not getting the double play from the Grand Market and you’re probably wasting time with the Pearl Diver and Great Hall.  Secondly, you’re going to get more bad draws with the Procession even than you would with a Throne Room since there are some actions in your deck that you don’t want to process. Let’s remember at this point that Thrones often do draw badly, so get worried about a card that is even more reliant on the draw.

That’s not the end of the problems with Procession. You need a sequence of action cards in the supply at different costs to give yourself card gains. Unfortunately, you actually need a good sequence of action cards in the supply at different costs since you always want to be getting better cards from the trashing rather than just expensive cards. If the action cards are really good though you might also find that your opponents empty a key pile and leave you with nothing useful to gain for processing the Actions already in your deck. This is going to be more of a problem with more players.

Procession can also destroy the balance of your deck if you are repeatedly trashing one card from a combination without taking a similar replacement. A Village/Smithy deck might be working nicely until Procession turns it into a Smithy/Smithy deck. You can buy more Villages but wouldn’t you rather be buying Provinces? Some of the good partners for Procession are likely to be cards that can replace themselves when processed. Bridge, Border Village, Ironworks, and Fortress can do this in different ways.  Ironworks in particular gives you some good combinations: open Chapel/Ironworks, gain a second Ironworks, gain two Procession, then play Procession -> Procession -> Ironworks-> Ironworks to grab an Ironworks, another $4 and three $5′s).  Graverobber also lets you convert other Graverobbers to Provinces or to restock Graverobbers from the trash.  (And of course Graverobber/Rogue lets you reclaim good cards that you previously trashed.)

I should probably also mention the cards that rely on actions being in play, such as Goons, Highways, and Peddlers. These cards all work well (indirectly) with Throne Rooms but have obvious problems with Procession.

Specific Uses

If we get back to the positive, we can find plenty of good situations to trash Action cards. Using Procession to trash Ruins might be worthwhile when you consider the small bonus from the playing the Action twice. You might also be able to tidy up after a Swindler or trash redundant cards like a Chapel, but Procession could easily be the wrong card for the job unless you have controlled/assisted drawing for your deck. You still need a deck that would be suitable for a Throne Room.

Some actions can remove themselves anyway (Island, Mining Village, Death Cart) so Processing them gives the card gain without a trashing penalty. Many Dark Ages cards can give benefits when trashed. Some action cards can provide a lot of benefit from an instant double play but provide less benefit as the game progresses, so it isn’t a disaster for them to be trashed even with no replacement.  This is very true for Cursers, especially the $4 Cursers, but it also holds true for Chapel, Ironworks, Moneylender, Mine, and Swindler. If you’re not going to shuffle your deck again you probably don’t mind which action cards you trash in the search for VP.

In Summary

If you put together the plus points and stay clear of the minus points then we roughly have

- action heavy decks with good drawing to give choice of cards to process
- good sequences of cards through cost 4-5-6-7 to give power and acceleration
- actions cards that are flexible, genuinely useful, and disposable
- ability to regain cards that you process
- tricks in gaining/trashing cards to get extra benefit or limit losses.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Dark Ages and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Dark Ages: Procession

  1. werothegreat says:

    Why does this not mention the very best Procession combo, which is with Fortress?

    • DannyR says:

      Indeed. Today I ended a game with 6 provinces and 4 duchies based on this combo. I used Count to trash my deck down to nothing except a Procession, 2 Fortresses, a Band of Misfits, a Mercenary, and a Poor House, I think. Then every turn I would Procession (or BoM acting as Procession) my Fortress (or a BoM acting as a Fortress), gain a BoM (or Hunting Grounds), repeat as many times as necessary to draw my entire deck, at which point I had dozens of leftover actions. Somewhere in there I would use the Mercenary to trash two Fortresses, thus making my opponent discard down to 3. Then I would play a Poor House (or BoM) or two for my money (no +buy in the game), then play my Count to gain a Duchy, then buy a Province. Even flooding my deck with green it didn’t clog up, because I was gaining so many BoMs and Hunting Grounds that I could still draw what I needed every time. I think I trashed 2 Duchies in the process. A small price to pay for a killer combo.

  2. ackmondual says:

    “”So why is it so bad? How about a hand of {Pearl Diver, Copper, Copper, Grand Market, Procession} where you’ll probably play Procession on the Pearl Diver and trash it for something like a Great Hall. Firstly you’re not getting the double play from the Grand Market and you’re probably wasting time with the Pearl Diver and Great Hall. “”

    Wait, so this passage is saying you’re better off Procession-ing the Grand Market to play it twice, and trashing it, even though there usually isn’t a 7-cost action card available? Isn’t Grand Market a nice enough of a card that you’d want to hold onto it until midgame?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, it’s saying that Pearl Diver is probably the right choice, and this is a bad hand to draw Procession into.

    • I think he’s comparing this hand to the equivalent hand with a Throne Room instead of a Procession. With a Throne Room, you’d obviously double your Grand Market; with a Procession, you’d just be futzing around with the cheap cards and not gaining much benefit.

    • PK9 says:

      I actually don’t think that’s a terrible hand at any point in the game. Sure, it’s not ideal, but you probably bought the Pearl Diver because at some point you didn’t $3 to buy the Great Hall, so paying the Pearl Diver twice and turning it into a Great Hall isn’t a bad thing (the Great Hall is worth a VP, after all). If it’s late in the game (and it could well be if Grand Markets are in your deck), you might actually want to double the Grand Market for the extra money and buy, since you’d have to go through your deck TWICE more to actually start missing your GM.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How does it work with feast?

    • dor says:

      You gain three $5 cards

      • WheresMyElephant says:

        This is right. I’ll go through it step by step.

        1. Play Feast. Feast trashes itself. You gain a card.
        2. Play Feast again. Feast tries to trash itself, but it’s already in the trash so it can’t. You gain a card.
        3. Procession tries to trash Feast, but can’t find it because of the “lose track rule” from the Dark Ages rulebook. (Even without that rule though, it would have failed for the same reason as step 2.)
        4. You gain a card.

        Notice that both Procession and Feast are different from a card like Moneylender, which says, “Trash a Copper from your hand. IF YOU DO, +$3.” This means that if you fail to complete the first step, you don’t do the second step. If Feast were worded this way you wouldn’t get the second card; and if Procession were worded this way, you wouldn’t get the third card.

      • ackmondual says:

        Well, specifically, the first 2 cards can be any card costing up to $5. The 3rd card has to be an action card costing exactly $5.

  4. Thomas says:

    If the card was called “processing”, I would feel more comfortable with the whole processing analogy. The cards aren’t processed, rather they are lost in a procession.

    Good review though.

    • WheresMyElephant says:

      I don’t think he’s making an analogy, he’s just turning “Procession” into a verb. He might well pronounce it with the stress on the second syllable, not the first as in the normal word “process.” The verb form “Processioning” is probably more correct but it’s really too awkward.

      With that said, the analogy of “processing” is really rather appropriate in many cases, so that’s a nice bonus.

  5. ipofanes says:

    > I should probably also mention the cards that rely on actions being in play, such as Goons, Highways, and Peddlers.

    Peddlers has another obvious problem to begin with (no $9 Action card as of now).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s