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.
- 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)
- 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)