Combo of the Day #17: Chancellor/Stash

This combo is a triumph of two otherwise mediocre cards.  If you can collect four Stashes, then each time you play the Chancellor, trigger a reshuffle and place your Stashes on top of your deck for a guaranteed Province next turn.  Repeat each time you draw your Chancellor.

One major advantage of this combo is that it doesn’t depend on trashing ability like most other combinations.  True, it works better if you have no Estates and Coppers and can be assured of drawing your Chancellor quickly, but the Chancellor takes care of the usual issue of having to get through your deck.  Similarly, it’s quite resistant to Curse-giving attacks, so long as you have enough Chancellors to draw one reasonably early in your deck.

However, the combo gets completely wrecked by handsize-reduction attacks (Militia, Goons, Torturer, Ghost Ship, Minion), as well as Masquerade, if played on your 4x Stash turn.  Likewise, Possession can destroy this deck: either by Possessing your 4x Stash turn (by playing Possession on the turn after you play Chancellor), or by Possessing your Chancellor turn (and then sending your Stashes to the bottom of your deck).  Note that everyone else can tell when you have your Stashes in hand!  (In real life, the Stash cards have a different back; on the Isotropic server, the Stash cards are visible when you click Info.)

Moreover, the combo is incapable of buying Colonies.  And the fact that both Chancellor and Stash are pretty terrible cards means that your engine will be quite weak until the combo is completed.  (Compare to an engine built on Festival/Library: tricky to consummate, but still pays off handsomely even when incomplete.)

A Golem can be substituted for the Chancellor, but it’s more difficult to purchase.  In addition, it’s more inflexible, since it requires that you have no other Actions in your deck.

Sample Game

Demonstrates a “Province rush” strategy on a Colony board.  The Peddler is a decent option for a non-terminal that doesn’t stop you from drawing to your Chancellor, which is by far the most important card in your deck.

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13 Responses to Combo of the Day #17: Chancellor/Stash

  1. adf says:

    The golem works as long as you only have one non-golem action in your deck.

  2. EricTheRed says:

    I would like to hear your take on the Chancellor. Why, exactly, do you consider it to be such a terrible card?

    I mean… it’s a pretty simple 3 coin buy, and more often than not there are better buys – but it can DRAMATICALLY speed up your deck. Chancellor is a card that I originally considered terrible and never purchased, but as I learned the game more – I saw that it can be quite powerful also.

    It provides such quick shuffles early on that I can leap incredibly quick to gold and then have that gold immediately available. Being able to control my discard pile and when I want to see cards is a great ability.

    I simply don’t understand why you dismiss it so easily as a terrible card. Situational, yes. But not terrible.

  3. Keith Grant says:

    I’ve used this strategy twice and won both times (even one game where I was only buying Provences while my opponent was buying Colonies). What I’m curious about now, is what can defeat this strategy? My friends are going to be on the lookout for this combination now, and I don’t want it to become a simple arms race where the luck of the shuffle determines the winner.

    • Keith Grant says:

      Oh, I guess I could re-read the article and see that this exact question has been addressed. Has anybody used these counter-attacks with any success?

    • WanderingWinder says:

      Almost any discard attacks stop this strategy pretty dead. There are very occasionally combos which are faster. And BM/Wharf actually does that by itself. But very little else.

  4. Kn1tt3r says:

    The disadvantage of Golem is that you need quite some time getting it – time you could have better used for buying Stashes.
    In your sample game, don’t you think it’s superior to buy Cellars instead of Peddlers? It cycles faster and lets you play the Chancellor more often. You could also think of going for Duchys earlier since a crappy deck doesn’t really bother you that much.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The best use of Chancellor:

    A deck with Golems, 1 Chancellor, and 1 Counting House.

    Golem picks up the Chancellor, you discard your draw deck, then play counting house which brings all the copper into your hand.

    • thisisnotasmile says:

      This has been discussed extensively on the forums and not only is this combo easier to set up with an additional Copper in place of the Chancellor, but it’s also just a bad combo to start with. The best use of Chancellor currently known is probably the combo outlined in this article.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Just came across this and decided to give it a try solitaire. First time I tried it was able to buy 8 provinces in 20 turns, then 24 turns (luck of the draw, pretty much). I bought a chancellor and one other action card that would help get me to stashes, silvers when I couldn’t buy stashes, and as soon as I had four I bought either chancellors or provinces the rest of the way.

  7. PK9 says:

    Just played a game with Stash/Mint/Loan. It’s fun seeing that golden brick in your deck that means a Province buy is coming up. Also had Vault and Cellar to slightly increase buying power and deck cycling.

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