Prosperity: Monument


Dominion: Prosperity

Despite having one of the most awesome card images, Monument is one of the most boring cards.  It’s not bad: the VP token power is decent, and can really add up.  Certainly if there are no better terminal Actions, then opening Monument/Silver is definitionally better than Silver/Silver.

But the problem is that it competes with so much other stuff.  If there aren’t any +Actions, then it has a pretty bad claim to be one of your terminal Actions.  Even if there are, so many other $4 cards offer more interesting (and more stackable) powers.  Militias and Cutpurses provide nearly the same benefit while crippling your opponents; Salvager/Remodel/Bishop/Island trim your deck; Baron/Bridge/Mining Village can catapult you to $5 and $6 before your opponents.  (Monument is generally better than Scout and Navigator … but then again, what isn’t?)

Its lone unique perk is that it’s the only +VP token card (thus far) that really works well with Throne Room / King’s Court.  A Throned or Kinged Bishop usually just runs out of stuff to trash, whereas Throned and Kinged Goons are a bit of waste, since it only adds to the +Buy and not the +VP.

Naturally, Monument is nicer the earlier you buy it.  It’s probably worth buying in the early game if there aren’t any other good options.  Mid-game, it’s a good pickup if you’re feeling like you have Actions to burn and want to get some tiebreaker points.  Late-game, it might be too late and you might be better off buying Estates/Gardens with your $4.  (Unless, of course, you have a Royal Seal / Watchtower and can play it on the next turn, preferably Kinged or Throned.)  And it works best in thin decks, where you can play it as often as possible.

Works with:

  • Bishop/Goons, if you’re going for a VP tokens strategy
  • Throne Room / King’s Court
  • Chancellor, which lets you play it more often
  • Very long games / thin decks (both being situations where you can play it often)

Conflicts with:

  • The existence of more attractive $4 Actions
  • The existence of more attractive terminal Actions in a set without +Actions
  • Sets that lead to fast games (e.g., Chapel, Gardens, or even Envoy if opponents opened Envoy/Silver)
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6 Responses to Prosperity: Monument

  1. permagoof says:

    First of all, love the blog and I appreciate the thoughtful analysis. It helps to read different perspectives on the cards and also to spark useful discussion.

    In that vein, with Monument, while I agree that it is not always the most effective option, it is one of those cards which you cannot ignore if your opponent(s) pick it up. In an otherwise close contest, a player who manages to play their monument several times over the course of the game will have a VP advantage. I have seen games where players who ignored monuments ended up the equivalent of a province or more down thanks to the disparity in tokens gained by players who picked up an early monument or two. While Monument is a terminal card, it has more use than a VP card insofar as it scores points that do not clog up the deck; it’s terminal disadvantage is thus somewhat mitigated.

    On a side note, I think you are too quick to dismiss Throne Roomed/Kings Courted Goons as a bit of a waste. Since Goons earns a VP token for each buy, a single Kings Courted Goons can earn 4 VP tokens if any extra buys after all coin is spent are used for copper. This is certainly not something one would want to do in the early game, but mid-late it can build up an insurmountable advantage in VPs very quickly.

    • theory says:

      Well, that’s the thing — it’s a bit of a waste in that I’d much rather play two Goons than a Throned Goon, and that’s one of the few cards that behaves like that. In other words, Goons doesn’t scale up as quickly with Throne/King as Monument does.

      Obviously if you have Throne Room and Goons, you should play them together, but if I had 2 Actions, Throne Room, Goons, and Monument, I’d probably play the Goons and Throne the Monument (depending on the game state).

      • permagoof says:

        I suppose all of these combos are highly situational. With extra actions much more becomes possible, and I agree that given the ability to play both Goons and a Monument in a hand with Throne/Court, Throning/Courting the Monument is a better option. If I only have the one action, though, the attack ability makes me lean toward Throning the Goons if I am holding it with Monument.

        If Goons held the throne, would Smugglers, Mountebanks, Cutpurses, Thieves and Pirates become the nobility? It would be a country run by “extra-legal professionals.” 😉

  2. CanisFirebrand says:

    I ran into this card yesterday on the online and in the same game the Worker’s Village card was in play.

    I ended up with a nice combo going at points throughout the game.

    I bought a number of Monuments and Worker’s village.

    At one point in my draw, I drew 3 Monuments, a Gold and a Worker’s Village.

    I played the Worker’s Village and the card I drew was another Worker’s Village.
    That gave me enough actions to play the second Worker’s Village, to which I drew a Silver. I played all 3 Monuments for +6 coins and +3 VP. With the Gold and Silver in my hand, I was able to buy a Province and some $3 card.

  3. sprek says:

    I just discovered a fun and easy 5 card deck combo. I trimmed my deck down using a chapel to the following: 2 King’s Courts, 2 Monuments, and 1 chapel. Each turn I would king’s court my king’s court, and then play monument 6 times, giving me 6 points and $12 each turn.

    I sat on this for a while until my opponent bought his first colony. Then I added a platinum. After that, all you need is a king’s court, monument, and a platinum to get a new colony. I ended the game with about 70 victory points and 5 colonies.

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