Prosperity: Grand Market

Grand Market

Dominion: Prosperity

Grand Markets are almost always preferable to Golds.  So long as the average card value in your deck is greater than $1, the self-replacing, non-terminal Grand Market is monetarily superior.  The +Buy is always nice, and unlike Golds, Grand Markets are affected by Throne Room and King’s Court.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to buy Grand Market, since only quite strong decks are able to produce $6 without relying on Copper.  There’s several ways to do so before your deck gets to that point.

The first, and most obvious, way is with Actions that give money.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get enough of them together; it normally takes quite a while to draw 3 Festivals in one hand.  Grand Markets themselves are great for grabbing more Grand Markets, though.

A better way is with Secret Chamber or Vault, because it basically lets you use Coppers without having to play them.  Of course, Vault is better than Secret Chamber for this purpose: because it gives +2 Cards, it guarantees at least $6.  In this game, by going Vault/Chapel instead of Torturer/Chapel, I get my Grand Markets out much sooner than he does.

Quarry also helps; it lets you buy the Grand Market when paired with either two Silvers, a Gold, or another Quarry.  (If you use the Black Market trick to play the Quarry during your Action phase, you can use Ironworks to gain it as well.)  And the Copper restriction on Grand Markets doesn’t apply when you gain the card with Remodel/Expand/Upgrade.

Of course, if you trash your Coppers, buying Grand Markets isn’t a problem.  Nor is it a problem if you have a ton of Silvers in your deck, either from Bureaucrat or Trading Post, but having so many Silvers can be a liability, a sign that you’re not ramping up your deck quickly enough.

In all other respects, Grand Markets have the pretty much the same advantages and disadvantages as Peddlers and Markets (though of course beefed up considerably): they are most valuable in dense decks with high average card value, and are vulnerable to small handsizes.

Works with:

  • Secret Chamber/Vault
  • Moneylender/Loan
  • Bureaucrat/other Silver-gaining cards
  • Actions that give +$ (especially Conspirator)
  • Trashing cards (both to clear Coppers and for a denser deck)
  • Remodel/Expand/Upgrade
  • Quarry

Conflicts with:

  • Coppersmith/Counting House
  • Opponents’ Mountebanks
  • Attack-heavy opponents in general
  • Bank, because it depends on large numbers of Treasures, typically Coppers
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13 Responses to Prosperity: Grand Market

  1. Personman says:

    Two things I would add to this:

    1. Quarry is better than you give it credit for, as you can also buy a GM with 2 of them and nothing else.

    2. Also, this card is better than you give it credit for. Being twice as much money as peddler and market makes a huge difference. It might be ‘just’ an extra coin if you swap out one market from your deck for one grand market, but if you’re buying GMs all the time, it’s more like an extra 3-4 coin because of all the times you draw into another one.

  2. Grujah says:

    Another great thing is that when you buy it once, next GM will be much easier to buy once you draw GM into your hand. This applies subsequently to 3rd and 4th GM and so on.
    The main question is usually should you buy a GM or Province (if you have 2 extra Coppers in hand) and this situation isn’t as rare as one might think.

    It works nice with Conspirators also. 🙂

  3. theory says:

    Good points! I’ve incorporated both of your comments into the post above.

  4. RichardMNixon says:

    Grand market also doesn’t work too well with terminal draw cards if there’s no +2 action on the board; it’s worth a lot less than gold if you draw it off council room on your last action. The other side I suppose is that the availability of GM could make CR less desirable; would you generally forgo smithy or council room in favor of grand market in such a case? Or are terminal draws like smithy best avoided without +2 actions in general?

    • theory says:

      Yeah, I try not to get too many terminal Actions when there are no +Actions. Maybe open with Smithy/Silver, and then not get another terminal the rest of the game.

  5. Yariv says:

    Quarry is extremely powerful with GM + reasonable trash.
    I remember a game starting quarry/lookout then another quarry+lookout and a third lookout. Once I drew 2 quarries, bought a GM, then twice as many in every turn, finished the deck in 4 rounds (had 8, I think). Game Over.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seconding this. Even in games without trashing, once you play 1 or 2 GM and 2 Quarries, your GM lead escalates very very quickly, to the point where you have to rush 2 or more Quarries if you want to have a chance of living at all.

  6. ackmondual says:

    Platinum vs. Grand Market… I’m thinking Platinum is overall the better choice? The main advantage of GM over Plat is if you really need the +1 buy, and perhaps you really need to get through your deck a bit quicker

    • ElijahF says:

      Good question, I was going to answer but I couldn’t decide either.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would answer mix it up but by then you probably will have a crazy amount of $ and only need 2 buys to get 2 colonies
      it is better to buy 2 grand markets because that’s 4 coins with no deck space used up

    • Anonymous says:

      I would usually go for platinum. 3 money is almost always better than a card and a buy. That is why gold costs so much more than market square. Reasons to choose grand market include your average card is better than a gold, you desperately need an extra buy or you are playing with cards that like action cards more than treasure cards. (throne room, king’s court, poor house, scrying pool, etc.) King’s court likes extra buys so you defiantly want grand market in King’s court games. Poor house and scrying pool also both happen to like extra buys.

  7. vickidickey says:

    I had an issue come up in a game where I had enough $ to purchase a Grand Market and another card of my choice. I had a mix of Gold, Silver and Copper. I could not make both purchases without using at least 1 Copper. I haven’t found anything anywhere that says whether I could buy the Grand Market first with Gold and Silver (fulfilling the condition, at that point, of not using Copper). However, after that I bought Province, using 3 Copper, a Gold and a Silver. My opponents believed that meant I could no longer have the Grand Market as I now had Copper in play. I conceded and bought a Duchy instead, for the sake of harmony.

    I can’t find anything that covers this kind of scenario and would welcome confirmation either way.

    I am (we are) still learning the intricacies and how the various cards interact.

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