Counter of the Day #10: Bishop v. Gardens

As discussed in this BGG topic, Bishop is one of the most effective counters to a fast Gardens rush strategy.  Trashing each Garden nets about 3VP chips, and this accumulation of VP chips discourages the Gardens player from ending the game.  Moreover, Bishop’s primary drawback (allowing opponents to trash) is moot against a Gardens opponent.  As a result, a Bishop player who consistently buys Gardens to crunch into VPs can keep ahead of the Gardens player, such that the Gardens player is left with an abysmal deck and unable to end the game in light of the Bishop’s VP chips.

The two primary other trash-for-benefit cards, Salvager and Apprentice, also work well as a counter to Gardens, but neither provides the VP chips that discourage the Gardens player from ending the game.  Remodel might also work, especially if you can Remodel Gardens into Nobles or Harems.  In extreme circumstances, you can simply Chapel the Gardens, but that’s much less of a deterrent to the Gardens player than being able to convert them into 3VP apiece.

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8 Responses to Counter of the Day #10: Bishop v. Gardens

  1. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than trashing Gardens with a Bishop – although the last Gardens vs Bishop match up I played I flubbed (eventually to lose by 2 points) when I bought a 3rd Bishop rather than snagging the first Garden.

  2. Celicath says:

    Right. Bishop should be powerful if your opponent never use the optional trash.

    As some players from the BGG topic suggests, Workshop and Ironworks will be good for a Gardens player. However, they are also good for a Bishop player, gaining 4’s in your deck for a +3 VP later. In a gardens game, the ‘trash for +3VP’ card will be definitely Gardens.

    • ksf says:

      I wouldn’t pick up either under most circumstances. Drawing it with your Bishop is rather bad, especially since you’ll likely get the $4 anyway with the Bishop’s +$1. Better to keep crunching the points so you can stay ahead and thin.

      • Yariv says:

        With bishop I find it best (if possible) to go to a deck of ~5 cards, because there is no need to add victory cards at any point. One especially powerful such deck would be 2 Bishops, 1 Village, 1 Ironworks, and another card. This deck will give you 5 points each turn (the game will end about when 4$ cards run out, with Ironworks and bishop, at worst you continue generating 4vp using the villages), just like 1 Bishop + 3 Gold + 1 Province, but is easier to get (both for the double bishop and no need to get golds). Tried it solitaire (not using any other cards), and managed to break 50VP in turn 20, already in full swing and run on to finish with ~100vp on 30 turns (at this stage I did use a few other 4$ for bishop-trash). Can’t say how effective a combined bishop-green cards will be, but this seems nice. Of course, attacks might make it impossible (mainly hand size reduction. If you’re cursed, simply don’t buy an estate this turn).

  3. Lenoxus says:

    Trashing each Garden nets about 3VP chips

    Why “about”?

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