Dominion: Moneylender



One of the best opening $4’s.  There’s very few occasions where I wouldn’t open with Moneylender; it’s more useful than Baron early on because it trashes (rather than discards) and works with Coppers (which are more plentiful than Estates).  Moneylender even works with Chapel: Moneylender can bootstrap Chapel decks into $5’s and Golds as quickly than a Silver while thinning the deck faster, and if there are no worthwhile $2’s, then drawing Silver/Chapel is just as useless as drawing Moneylender/Chapel.

Unfortunately, there’s not much use for Moneylender outside the early game.  Look for a way to get rid of it, even before it trashes all 7 Coppers; you’re just not as likely to draw it with your Coppers after three or four trashings.  In the midgame, if you can draw your entire deck, then Moneylender can be a decent defense against Mountebank and Ambassador.  And if you feel especially daring, it might be worthwhile to spend some extra Buys on Coppers if you have excess card-drawing capacity.  More often, though, the Moneylender just ends up getting fed to the Salvager, Forge, or even the Chapel.

Works with:

Conflicts with:

  • Mine
  • Loan
  • Coppersmith, Counting House, Gardens, other Copper-dependent strategies (???)
  • Chapel, sometimes
  • Multi-card trashers, like Steward or Trading Post
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12 Responses to Dominion: Moneylender

  1. I would say it conflicts with Mine: you want to use Mine to convert your Coppers to Silvers, but doing that makes them useless for Moneylender. (You could try to do Silver to Gold and Copper to Moneylender, I suppose.)

  2. Edward Montgomery says:

    As an obscure corner case, I have used Moneylender a couple of times in double Tactician decks as a source of coin. It works best if you have enough copper to not have to buy more, so that the purchased victory card takes the place of the copper in your deck.

  3. Zaphod says:

    If you have enough actions to go around, Moneylender and Goons get along nicely. One card profits from buying Coppers and the other profits from trashing Coppers.

  4. I find it to be completely useless next to Remodel. Remodel works with ANY card (including curses?) while Moneylender works just with coppers. It does give you 3$ instead of 2$ but buying it just for a few times when later on it may even go to waste because of the low ratio/chance of copper in your hand, I say it is not worth it.

    • SirReal says:

      Early on, Remodel turns your coppers into $2 cards which you usually don’t want, while Moneylender gives you very useful +$2 to quickly start buying premium cards like Gold or $5 cards. So, while Moneylender and Remodel definitely clash with each other, one cannot be said to be better than the other outright.

      • PK9 says:

        I wouldn’t say they’re a complete clash, other than the fact that they both cost $4 (meaning you’d have to choose to open one or the other). Moneylender chews up the Coppers, Remodel takes out the Estates. Oh, and once the Coppers are mostly gone, Remodel + Moneylender = Gold.

  5. WanderingWinder says:

    Moneylender tends to be way better than Remodel. Of course Remodel works on curses. But it gains you a card costing up to 2 more rather than putting money in your pool of money, which is a big deal because one 6-cost is often going to be better than 2 3-cost, etc. Remodel actually tends to be very slow, as you can’t really use it to trash bad cards effectively on a lot of boards, while with moneylender you can. Specifically, when you remodel a copper, you have to gain a 2 (or a curse or another copper), and you very often don’t want any of those cards. You also have 3 fewer money this turn than if you’d played moneylender, which is a pretty huge deal.

  6. Marsue says:

    If you wrote an article about life we’d all reach enligthnmenet.

  7. contig says:

    I think you should add Ill-Gotten Gains to the “works well with” section. This allows your excess coppers to be even more useful.

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