Cornucopia Spoilers From the Gathering: Initial Thoughts

Today is a happy day for Dominion players around the world… the first leaks of Cornucopia cards have occurred, thanks to Dale Yu over at Opinionated Gamers.

theory and I thought it would be fun / interesting to write down our initial thoughts on the cards after reading them, but before we play, and then revisit the post 30 days after release when we’ve had a chance to play with them. We’ve all been wrong on cards in the past.

Chapel? Why would I want to trash cards if I don’t have any curses?

Saboteur?  Holy crap, I can destroy my opponents deck!

Sea Hag? Another crappy saboteur-like card… attacks but doesn’t help me at all. I’ll pass on that suckers.

Read on for our initial thoughts on the Cornucopia cards, and look forward to an article a few months from now where you all get to laugh at us for being so stupid, as well as score tally of who was right and who was wrong.Dale has requested that people don’t copy the images everywhere, so if you want to see them, did you miss the link above?  Why here it is again!  I don’t know why I’m helping him after he killed me at fantasy football last year.

Disclaimer: theory and I wrote these reactions independently, so I apologize in advance for lack of any witty banter between us, or duplications in our thoughts.

Farming Village: Action, $4
+2 Actions
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal an Action or Treasure card. Put that card into your hand and discard the other cards.

Frisk: This seems like a reasonable card to start buying midway through your deck, and only gets better toward the end as decks start to get clogged. I expect this to be similar in popularity to worker’s village, and given a choice between the two, I’ll take this most days.

theory: The new late-game Mining Village?  Doesn’t seem that great without early trashing since you’re mostly going to hit Coppers, but it’s strictly better than Village.

Fortune Teller: Action – Attack, $3
Each other player reveals cards from the top of his deck until he reveals a Victory or Curse card. He puts it on top and discards the other revealed cards.

Frisk: Probably something I would avoid most days. Stronger toward the end (where reshuffles are bad) than it is in the beginning, where reshuffles are generally good. Can do some serious damage by skipping powerful cards. Feels like on the milder side of attacks to me.

theory: Seems like Rabble; kind of nice in the early game (play turn 3 and force them to skip their turn 1/2 buys ideally).

Hamlet: Action, $2
+1 Card
+1 Action
You may discard a card; if you do, +1 Action.
You may discard a card; if you do, +1 Buy.

Frisk: According to theory, you should start buying this over silver mid game. I expect to see some crazy interactions with this and terminal card drawers.

theory: Man I love this card.  A cheaper Worker’s Village with a cost to it.

Harvest: Action, $5
Reveal the top 4 cards of your deck, then discard them. +$1 per differently named card revealed.

Frisk: First reaction is that this is a little too strong. It should guarantee $2 most of the time, hit $3 sometimes, and $4 rarely. It does accelerate the deck though, which is nice, and has some nice interaction with things like ghost ship as defense. Thinking about it just a little bit more, it feels overcosted @ 5 though. A terminal 5 cost better do some amazing stuff, and capping out @ +$4… sometimes doesn’t seem that awesome .  A torturer can probably draw 2-3 coins as well, with a higher ceiling, and abuses your opponent to boot.

theory: Tribute on yourself?  Can never count on it, but I assume it’d be around $2-$3 each time.

Horn of Plenty: Treasure, $5, worth $0
$0 [large coin]
When you play this, gain a card costing up to $1 per differently named card you have in play, counting this. If it’s a Victory card, trash this.

Frisk: Interesting, but the trashing on victory prevents it from getting out of control.  Probably is not an every time buy.

theory: I think you’d need a good Action chain, since treasure-wise you’ll usually end up only gaining $3 cards.  But if you get 5 cards in play then you can start getting crucial 5’s.  Excellent with lowcost nonterminals (e.g. Caravan)

Horse Traders: Action – Reaction, $4
+1 Buy
Discard 2 cards.
When another player plays an Attack card, you may set this aside from your hand. If you do, then at the start of your next turn, +1 Card and return this to your hand.

Frisk: Feels good enough to open 4/3 to me. Guarantees a $5 cost on turn 3 or 4 unless you don’t draw it until turn 5. Reaction is an added bonus.

theory: Amazing early game!  Probably the first Reaction I’d start going for.

Hunting Party: Action, $5
+1 Card
+1 Action
Reveal your hand. Reveal cards from your deck until you reveal a card that isn’t a duplicate of one in your hand. Put it into your hand and discard the rest.

Frisk: Almost strictly better than a lab. I would buy this ALL day and twice on Sunday.

theory: Obviously draws comparisons to Lab.  I think it’s sometimes worse but usually better.  Gets progressively worse when stacked, I assume.

Jester: Action – Attack, $5 
Each other player discards the top card of his deck. If it’s a Victory card he gains a Curse. Otherwise either he gains a copy of the discarded card or you do, your choice.

Frisk: Feels like something that would be crazy. Probably hits copper way too often. Look forward to buying this card.

theory: What the <REDACTED>.  Incredible.

Menagerie: Action, $3
+1 Action
Reveal your hand. If there are no duplicate cards in it, +3 Cards. Otherwise, +1 Card.

Frisk: Probably hard to use effectively, but easier than conspirator. GREAT interactions with warehouse / cellar.

theory: I don’t know how often I have duplicate cards.  Probably situational?

Remake: Action, $4
Do this twice: Trash a card from your hand; gain a card costing exactly $1 more than the trashed card.

Frisk: Upgrade on crack. Feels like something I will frequently buy.  How often do you dream of drawing 2 estates with one of your opening purchases?

theory: Seems considerably worse than Upgrade, and dies out much faster too.

Tournament: Action, $4
+1 Action
Each player may reveal a Province from his hand.
If you do, discard it and gain a Prize (from the Prize pile) or a Duchy, putting it on top of your deck.
If no-one else does, +1 Card, +$1.

Frisk: Clearly this set’s sexy card. Can’t imagine not playing it every time its there.  Even not knowing what the prizes do, it seems that a 4 cost peddler is pretty sweet, although it does choke off later in the game.

theory: Oh baby.  An early-game Peddler, with potential for late game awesomeness?  Really encourages that fast Province: gogogo Coppersmith!

Young Witch: Action – Attack, $4
+2 Cards
Discard 2 cards. Each other player may reveal a Bane card from his hand. If he doesn’t, he gains a Curse.
Setup: Add an extra Kingdom card pile costing $2 or $3 to the Supply. Cards from that pile are Bane cards.

Frisk: Feels like something I would always buy, although I suppose having a custom moat that might actually be good might tone it down slightly

theory: I guess how awesome this is depends on the Bane card.  I think it’s pretty awesome, since the discard 2 cards probably doesn’t hurt much in a game with lots of early cursing.

Fairgrounds: Victory, $6
Worth 2 for every 5 differently named cards in your deck (round down).

Frisk: Interesting, but I think less dominating than gardens. The max value is 6, barring black market, but probably worth 4?  A nice alternative to Duchy dancing.

theory: Not as important as Gardens?  No idea how good it is right now.

What do you guys think?  Myself, I’m looking forward to King’s Courting my Jesters all over town.

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142 Responses to Cornucopia Spoilers From the Gathering: Initial Thoughts

  1. Personman says:

    My favorite card in my group’s long-running Nomic Dominion game (when you win a game, design a card that gets added to future shuffle piles) was a card called Diversity that was almost the same as Menagerie:

    Action — 4
    +1 Card
    +1 Action
    Reveal your hand. If it contains no duplicates, +1 Action, +1 Card, +$1, +1 Buy

    Pretty happy to finally get to play with it for real 🙂 Building Diversity decks was always so much fun. I think Menagerie is of comparable power, but a little less cool — Diversity felt like the reward matched the hoop — ‘one of everything’ — while 3 cards is just ‘really good’.

    • captainfrisk says:

      I have to say, this concept of Nomic Dominion is amazing. I totally want to play.

    • chesskidnate says:

      so it’s like a fully upped city if you get the no duplicate things right?

    • Personman says:

      @Frisk: Yeah, it’s pretty much the most continued, long-term fun I’ve ever had with a game. It was seriously amazing and I highly recommend it to any group dedicated enough and interested enough in design. We maintained a Google Doc of all our cards (70+ by the end) and copied the text of the ones that came up into a text file that we kept up on my laptop while we played, proxying them with actual cards that were kinda similar. It became quite easy to remember what was what over time, but having to do that is a significant barrier to entry for some people.

      One of us eventually implemented a complete dominion engine in Ruby, and implemented all the nomic cards, so that’s cool, but the interface isn’t that nice so sadly we never really played with it that much. I keep trying to get him to come post here and get in on some of the simulation stuff, but he’s lazy ..

      @chesskid: Yup. It’s really not too good or anything. Making one go off is pretty tricky. The reward used to be smaller, but we upped it once we realized how hard it was to use properly. I definitely think that +1 action, +3 cards for $3 is just as good or better.

  2. Epoch says:

    It seems like they’re really pushing this “differently named cards” theme in this set, and… I’m dubious of it.

    To get the most out of a “differently named cards” card, you have to commit to buying a significant number of Kingdom cards, one presumes. And it conflicts with things like trashing all of your initial Estates (or Coppers, if that’s a reasonable goal with your card-set). How often are there more than three cards in the Kingdom set that REALLY work well together?

    It seems like a lot of the time, the “differently named cards” mechanics will be beaten by decks which ignore them and do the typical “buy all the Minions,” or “buy all the Laboratories,” or “Village/Torturer,” or whatever simple combo is out there deal. Feels kind of like a newbie trap.

    Differently named cards cards are somewhat more valuable in Colony/Platinum games, for obvious reasons.

    Fairgrounds: Really? $6 for that? It’s strictly inferior to Duchies until you have 10 (!) differently named cards in your deck, and only a bit more efficient than Duchies unless you have 15 (!!) differently named cards in your deck. How is that even remotely a good idea?

    • chesskidnate says:

      if you have 15(still quite tough) different cards it is a cheap province if you have 10 then its better than a duchy and costs 1 more

    • Axxle says:

      Fairgrounds: you probably have Province, Duchy, Gold, Silver, Copper, Estate, Fairgrounds. That’s already 6 cards. Maybe a Curse and a Curse-giver, so that’s 8. And it wouldn’t be unlikely to have 2 more kingdom cards, especially if there are plenty of non terminals. This isn’t a card that you’d just put into decks that you’ve built in the past. This is a card you have to alter your deck for, which is what kingdom vp cards do. It doesn’t hurt your deck *that* much to keep one copy of some junk cards like copper, estate, and curse around.

      • Axxle says:

        Province, Duchy, Gold, Silver, Copper, Estate, Fairgrounds. That’s already 6 7 cards. Maybe a Curse and a Curse-giver, so that’s 8 9.

        • captainfrisk says:

          Man – you beat me to it… you’re already @ 7, its not so hard to imagine that you could buy 3 out of the 9 other kingdom cards.

          Unscientific survey, I just went through my last 5 games, and I bought 10 or more cards in 4 of them. The 5th I had 9 differently named, and my opponent quit early.

          I think you’re likely to be on the edge of this in most games that don’t involve heavy trashing.

      • Manto says:

        It seems like a prudent strategy would be to evaluate the board to estimate how many different cards you may end up buying, and then determine if Fairgrounds would be worth it.

        Assuming it’s a Province game and no heavy trashing (chapel), you can be confident you’d have these cards at the end of game:

        Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Province (5) – 6 counting Fairgrounds.

        Looking at rest of the board, what’s the chance of having 4 more other named cards? Count any popular-buys such as Fishing Village, Minion, Laboratory, any Curse giving attacks (and also count Curse with it), etc. If that comes up to 10, I think then you can operate rest of the game assuming Fairgrounds will be worth 4VP. That also means you should buy it over Duchy and Gold past mid-game (say, around Province < 5)

        Lastly, with this calculation, Fairgrounds seem to guarantee worth at least 4VP for potion games (assuming you add potion and at least one card with potion cost)

        Does that analysis sound right?

        • Ryan says:

          It’s worth noting that even in a game with heavy trashing, if there are any +Buy (or Workshop etc.) you can probably pick up a Copper and an Estate at the last minute without seriously interfering with your deck. Even a Curse would be worth buying, pointwise.

          Another thought occurs: Island would allow you to have your cake and eat it too.

    • Epoch says:

      So, in a Province game, without strong trashing, you’ll generally have at minimum 5 differently named cards:

      Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Province

      With a considerable likelihood of getting a Duchy or two in there late game.

      Almost all Kingdom Card sets will have at least one Kingdom card that you want to buy (even in Captain Frisk’s Grand Envoy game, for example), and it’s not uncommon for there to be 2-3 Kingdom cards that you want to buy. So, call a typical deck spread right now 7-10 distinctly named cards.

      A Colonies game probably adds Platinums and, well, Colonies, but it’s less likely that you get Duchies and Provinces and Colonies, since hopefully you’re just getting Duchies or Provinces as tie-breakers. So call a typical Colony game 8-11 distinctly named cards? Maybe a few more.

      Since Fairgrounds only cares about your end-of-game state, you can always buy a card or two in the end-game to kick it past a threshold. As such, it seems pretty easy to make them be worth 4 VP each, but only a rather rare set with lots of good Actions that work together will make them worth 6 VP each. They’re a little better in Curses games, too. Worse if the dominant strategy is some low-Action Big Money variant, and worse if there’s strong enough trashing that you expect to not have Estates. Much worse if there’s strong enough trashing that you expect not to have Estates or Coppers.

      Better if there are +buys that let you stock up on distinctly named cards in the very late game.

      Hmmm. I guess I retract my criticism of it. It feels like it’s something that’s probably a viable alternative to Duchies in most games, occasionally very powerful as a low-cost Province in a rare game, occasionally useless. Which is about normal for a Kingdom card.

    • Keith says:

      I think the fact that they’re “pushing” the differently named cards thing is enough to have a significant impact on the general strategy. If there’s a good enough reward for it, you’ll do it. You could have made similar complaints about most of the expansions before actually seeing them in action–the cards don’t fit our current strategies very well, that’s kind of the point.

    • DG says:

      Prizes will give access to differently named cards too.

  3. Axxle says:

    I’m looking forward to this new set. This will reduce some of the spamming cards, even if just a little. I’m looking forward to seeing if using horn of plenty is viable in a gardens or vineyard deck.

  4. Jonah says:

    Frisk isn’t quite right on the Horse Traders, if you draw it with three estates and a copper. But I do like it a lot, especially for the reaction. Menagerie is a good defense too, as it’s almost sure to fire after a Militia-type attack.

    Is a Fortune Teller-Saboteur combo something I should start worrying about?

    • captainfrisk says:

      Not true! If you draw it with 3 estates and a copper, then your next hand is??? 5 coppers, or 4 coppers and a silver. (Unless you did something crazy like buy a 4th estate?)

    • Ryan says:

      We’ll have to see but I’m actually not too worried about Fortune Teller-Saboteur. In the late game you probably can’t rely on drawing Fortune Teller, Saboteur and a source of +Action in the same turn unless you’ve seriously stacked your deck with them. And a deck like that would be pretty weak, especially when it starts buying Duchies. With very strong trashing and/or Fishing Village it might work, but the problem would get worse once he started buying Duchies (I find it hard to imagine he could afford Provinces).

    • Stephen says:

      I don’t see this as being very strong. At best, this nets you 4 VPs (opponent trashes a colony, gains a province). At worst, you got an estate or curse on top and your saboteur will simply let him discard the card you left on top, without being any more guaranteed at hitting a victory card. Given that this combo requires three cards to pull off, I don’t think it will be the right thing to do most of the time.

  5. chesskidnate says:

    hamlet- menagerie is probably a SWEET combo

  6. tlloyd says:

    Farming Village + strong trashing (Chapel, Forge, etc.) = crazy action chains. In some ways it’s a cheaper Golem.

    • Crystal says:

      I had this thought to — feels a lot like Golem, without a potion cost. Particularly if you’re running an action-heavy, treasure-light deck.

    • rrenaud says:

      I think it’s the opposite. Farming village skips crap. If there is no crap to skip (trim chapel deck), the farming village does exactly the same as a village.

      To the degree that your deck has a lot of junk in it, Farming Village is better than Village.

      • tlloyd says:

        It doesn’t skip all “junk”, just VP and curses. If you’ve got lots of coppers, Farming Village is better than Village but not by much. But if you get rid of your coppers (hence the strong trashing requirement) and have action cards that give you coin, you can feel free to buy lots and lots of victory cards even early on.

      • tlloyd says:

        For example (not that this is some optimal or unbeatable strategy, just an interesting one): Buy remodels, Farming Villages, and Barons. Remodel your coppers into estates, discard them with Baron and buy Provinces/Duchies. You may need another card draw to get the estates (since the Farming Villages will skip over them), but mine always seem to start out in my hand anyway. 😉

  7. LastFootnote says:

    I can see Remake being a poor choice in a lot of situations. Early game, I have to compare it to Steward and Trading Post. As far as its ability to trash Coppers and Estates goes, it’s often better than Steward (because you get something for the Estates you trash), but often worse than Trading Post (because you don’t get to put any gained cards in your hand). I guess that makes sense, since it costs 4 Coins.

    However, if you’re in a game where you don’t want to load up on Silver, and would like Villages/Menageries/Etc. instead, Remake could be a real boon.

    Mid-game, you might have to sacrifice a lot of your turn to use Remake. Unless you’ve got a huge draw engine, trashing two cards from your hand hurts pretty bad. Remodel already has this issue just with trashing one card.

    It seems to me that Remake’s real strength is that it can gain you two different cards on the same turn. I don’t think any other card allows you to increase the variety of cards in your deck quite as quickly and easily. So it seems to work best with other cards from Cornucopia, especially Fairgrounds.

    • DG says:

      I just played a game on Isotropic which threw up university, menagerie, remake, upgrade, king’s court, allowing a massive upgrade chain through to provinces. The menagerie would almost always provide extra draws since I could upgrade away any duplicate cards. King’s court x remake is a very scary proposition! Remake two king’s courts is much better.

  8. gf1024 says:

    Sorry for calling the grammar police, but didn’t you mean to write “who was right” near the beginning of the article?

  9. Bob dole says:

    Remake is a bad version of upgrade, fairground has potential, Jester I want.

    The issue with the different named cards is that it seems hard to pull off, and situational. This feels like Alchemy to me now in that you need certain sets for most of these cards to be worth. The only difference is that it’s not potions but just the right sets. Mainly because it’s going to be luck based otherwise with how useful it is. We’ll see, a decent amount of these cards seem to be integrated into the game seamlessly.

    • Ryan says:

      I’m starting to come around to the idea of Remake. It might be terrible, but on the other hand it might be the first card of its type that’s not too damned slow to completely change your deck composition midgame the way you’ve always secretly dreamed of doing.

      Here’s just one idea. Load up on Caravans to expand your hand, so you’ll always have good cards to Remake. At the end of the game, Remake Caravans into Duchies for big points. Caravan-heavy decks are already quite strong, and this could be a significant boost.

    • toaster says:

      Well, my first experience with remake found it very effective. Venture was in play, and I first used Remake to trash coppers and convert estates to silvers. The silvers allowed me to buy more ventures, and I was then able to remake the silvers to worker’s villages and monuments, leaving only ventures and platinums for treasure in my deck and not slowing down my development.

      • Ryan says:

        Keep in mind the post you’re responding to was written before Cornucopia was playable. At first glance there was reason to be skeptical, but I think Bob Dole and anyone else who’s tried Remake as an opener will agree it’s an extremely strong card. (They’ll probably also agree that Jester isn’t as great as it looks).

        That Venture game sounds insane, though; thanks for sharing!

  10. kn1tt3r says:

    The interesting thing with Jester will be when your opponent reveals mediocre cards like silver or terminals you don’t really want but don’t really want your opponent to have another of them either.
    Young Witch is very nice thematically. It’s still too young to be efficient with Bane cards like Fishing Village, but it’s almost a grown up Witch with Chancellor/Embargo like Banes.

    • tlloyd says:

      There had to be a better name for it than “Young Witch” though, right?

    • Keith says:

      I like this side effect: the strength of the Young Witch seems to be directly related to another card in the supply.

      • tlloyd says:

        This is a general theme I’m seeing in a lot of our comments so far. We see how each of these cards could be used, and maybe we even think of a particularly nice combo for a few of them, but we don’t yet realize how some of these cards will help set up the other cards or combos.

        I think Dominion does a nice job of creating synergy within each expansion. Remember the game description: “The central theme is variety; there are cards that reward you for having a variety of cards in your deck, in your hand, and in play, *as well cards that help you get that variety*.” I think we’ll find out as we start playing with these cards that many of them are stronger than we realize because their best uses are easier to pull off when set up with other Cornucopia cards.

        For example, the Hunting party helps you set up combos by searching for a card you don’t already have. If you’re trying to pull a Fortune Teller/Jester combo, for instance, and you already have +Actions, the Hunting Party gives you a better chance of drawing the two separate cards you need for the combo than Laboratory would.

        • Epoch says:

          That comment about Hunting Party is valid — it does seem like it would help you leverage, for example, the only King’s Court that you currently own.

        • Last Footnote says:

          Yes, very good points. Cards that help you get variety in you deck include Remake (gain two new cards in one turn), Jester (gain copies of your opponents’ cards), and Tournament (gain unique Prize cards).

  11. Chris says:

    6 player game with King’s Court, jester and gardens. Craziness follows. Very Thematic though!

  12. DG says:

    Jesters will probably be loved and hated in the same way as swindlers. Imagine playing a game with both in the supply.

    • Epoch says:

      Jester seems potentially extremely powerful in a mirror-game, where you and your opponent are using the same strategy. In that case, it looks to me like it’s almost pure upside. Either:

      1. Your opponent gets a curse.
      2. Your opponent gets a card that’s not part of their strategy (or a “one only” card in their strategy), probably a copper.
      3. You get a card that’s part of your own strategy, like you played a Smuggler.

      And you get $2 from it.

      If you’re taking highly divergent strategies, on the other hand, it feels somewhat less good, especially in the presence of decent trashing: if they can thin down their coppers and Estates a little, you get the unhappy choice of diluting your deck with a card that’s good for them but not for you, or you give them a free buy of a card that’s useful for them. Still probably a useful card, since conditions 1 and 2 still apply, but less OMG good.

      It’s got kind of a “reverse Montebank” thing going in that it starts off hard to Curse someone with a Jester, but gets easier and easier the more previous Curses you gave them.

      • tlloyd says:

        Yeah, I’m looking forward to pulling off either Fortune Teller/Jester or, even better, Sea Hag/Jester.

      • chwhite says:

        I have to believe that, in most games, hitting Silver is going to be a worst-case scenario for the Jester.

        Which raises the insane question: could Bureaucrat actually be an effective counter to Jester?

        • tlloyd says:

          Bureaucrat is also a great combo with Jester if you’ve got the +Buys. You frustrate the opponent’s Jester by covering your deck with the average-value Silver, while also (hopefully) forcing a Victory card onto his deck so your Jester can dish out a curse. Of course, if your opponent is also playing Bureaucrat/Jester combos, then your Silver may get covered by a Victory card anyway–so it looks like Bureaucrat on net helps a Jester strategy more than it hurts it, at least as far as cursing goes. Who’d have thought there was a card out there that could make Bureaucrat relevant again. 🙂

          • tlloyd says:

            And obviously by +Buys I meant +Actions.

            PS – try typing the word Jester five times and tell me it doesn’t start looking like a really weird word.

          • captainfrisk says:

            Remember that after playing your b-crat, the card you put on top of your deck is drawn on your next turn, so it won’t be frustrating the jester any more than simply buying a silver would.

            Now, if you have enough actions, b-crat + jester will effectively become a curse giving machine, but it won’t work as much as you’d like, because those silvers will make it harder to hit combos, and frankly, the value of the b-crat attack is that it ruins 2 hands. If the end result is that you’ve played 2 attack cards to give the opponent a curse…

            • tlloyd says:

              Yep. You’re absolutely right – the Silver is already in your hand when your opponent plays his Jester. Just goes to show I’m browsing this blog way too late at night. And you’re probably right that Bureaucrat dilutes your deck too much to pull off any combos consistently.

              However, your point about needing a three-card combo just to dish out a curse is only partly right. If there’s a better curse-giver, then sure you’d go with that instead. But if there’s not, it may be worth the complex combo just to make sure that he gets the curses and not you. It does reduce somewhat the sting of Bureaucrat’s attack, but Bureaucrat only ever ruined one hand, not two.

              • Ryan says:

                I’m not sure I buy this plan. Curse-giving attacks are very powerful, but that’s because most of them are more efficient than this. You can buy them early in the game and give a Curse every time they come up. Mountebank’s added nastiness makes up for its reduced reliability, Ambassador cleans up your own deck while doing its damage, and so forth.

                If giving out Curses means you have to wait for a three-card combo, the game might be over before you can significantly damage your opponent’s deck. And, of course, the Jester/Bureaucrat deck is thoroughly mediocre apart from its attacking value.

                In short, it just doesn’t seem practical to design a deck around the hope that once per shuffle, if you’re lucky, you might get a Curse off. Of course a Jester is still worthwhile if it doesn’t hit a Victory card, but I doubt it’s strong enough to salvage this situation.

                • tlloyd says:

                  That’s why my preferred plan was Sea Hag/Jester. Bureaucrat/Jester may not be super-effective, but I’d be more inclined to buy a Bureaucrat at all if Jester was also in the supply.

        • ipofanes says:

          Good counters to Jester are prizes and cards gained on the Black Market.

  13. Saucery says:

    Seems like non terminals became more useful since you can keep playing them until you have no duplicates in your hand.

  14. flamethrower49 says:

    It seems as if Fairgrounds caps at 8 points. 10 kingdom cards, 5 basic treasures (with Platinum and Potion), 4 basic victory cards, and Curse. That adds up to 20. You even get some leeway if Young Witch is in the game.

    Granted, that would be exceedingly rare, and impractical in all but the most non-terminal filled boards. But it is possible.

  15. chwhite says:

    At first blush, this set seems generally less powerful than Seaside, Alchemy, and Prosperity, which I tend to think all pushed the power curve a bit beyond what we saw in base and Intrigue. This is a good thing, actually! It probably means that the benefits to these cards are more subtle and require a different approach than the past couple expansions- expanding the strategy space without just obsoleting old cards (e.g. Venture vs. Adventurer; Bureaucrat’s decline from okay in base-only to useless in just about any mixed setup).

    Some scattered thoughts on some of the individual cards, most of which will probably prove laughably wrong:

    Farming Village- I guess it’s good in the late game when you have Victory cards to bypass, but most of the time it’s really just a $4 Village. If I need a village and this is the only one out, I’d take it, but there aren’t many times I’d prefer it over Mining or Worker’s.

    Harvest- Seems like it would be killer with TR/KC and pretty weak otherwise. Generously assuming it hits $3 most of the time (since if you’re Harvesting you’re going to try and get some diversity), that’s a terminal action for a Gold with some deck cycling as an added bonus. I can’t help but wonder how it compares to Merchant Ship, which gives a total of $4 over two turns but is generally considered one of the weaker $5 cards.

    Horse Traders- I think I have to be missing something here. Yeah, it can guarantee a $5 buy on Turns 3/4 (*if* you draw it one of those turns), but Vault guarantees a $6 and even humble Silver/Silver gives you great odds too. Later on, as your deck improves, the benefit gets really chancy, unless you have massive card draw or lots of dreck. So… awesome with Gardens, useless with Chapel? I’m not convinced that this would be “the first Reaction I’d start going for”- I think instead that, just like Watchtower, it’s sometimes worth going for and sometimes not. Not sure yet what to make of the Reaction itself- compared to the other two “indirect counters” we’ve seen so far, my gut says it’s almost always better than Secret Chamber, but it only really beats Watchtower on deck inspection.

    Hunting Party- Better than Lab if you have one or two, but I have to believe it would get way worse if you tried to spam them. Interesting variation, and quite thematic.

    Jester- An incredibly obvious power $5 Attack. I would be shocked if this isn’t the best card in the set by a wide margin.

    Menagerie: Unlike most of the other “rewards diversity” cards, I would absolutely try to build a deck around Menagerie. Seems to be like Gardens, a card which can be very powerful but requires a totally different play style. Certainly wouldn’t open one, though.

    Remake- Wow, they took Upgrade and made it suck! Seriously, I think this is probably the worst trasher we’ve seen so far. Since you have to trash two cards, that probably kills most Remake turns, unlike Upgrade (which replaces itself, so you have 4 cards to buy stuff with) or TP (which gives you the Silver in hand); and it doesn’t have the flexibility of Steward or the speed of Chapel. I could see it being useful for last-minute Fairground diversity though.

    Tournament- A cost-4 Peddler that can give you Prizes seems like a great deal, but I wonder if this is a trap card- once other players get Provinces, there’s always the risk it’s a dead slot in your hand; and a lot of the value in Peddler is its variable price (buy it for free, Upgrade to Platinum). I guess it depends what the Prizes are; also, obviously stronger in 2p.

    • tlloyd says:

      Re: Tournament

      I think the “gain a Duchy or Prize card” benefit depends only on your revealing a Province–it’s not negated by others’ revealing Provinces. So it’s not really a dead card even if you don’t get the +Card and +Coin.

      • chwhite says:

        Right- it’s only a dead card if other players have Provinces *and you don’t*. I suppose this is unlikely, but I feel it’s also somewhat unlikely that, at least given current strategies, you’d get the Prize early enough to be useful- it’s sort of like Explorer in that regard.

        • tlloyd says:

          That depends greatly on what the prizes are. They could be VP, in which case you’d be happy to grab them even late in the game.

          • chwhite says:

            Well, if you win a Tournament you can get a Prize *or a Duchy*, and I imagine that just taking the Duchy is often going to be a strong move once you are actually in position to win Tournaments. The Duchy does go in the most inconvenient place possible (on your deck), but I wouldn’t be surprised if late-game Duchy rushing is what Tournament ends up being actually good at.

  16. play2draw says:

    Interesting. Conucopia seems to be a child of Intrigue (with all the choice-based cards (and the rage-inducing Jester)) and Alchemy (with the “burrow to the good stuff” cards).

    One thing to note about the Horse Traders is that it is a perfect counter to Ghost Ship, as you’ll just end up drawing your original hand again.

    Hamlet is more or less a better version of pawn. Ain’t anything wrong with that.

    The Jester looks like it will destroy families.

    I suspect that Remake is going to be woefully underestimated. I’m not sure how quite yet, but I just have that feeling. Maybe good for end-game dutchy blitzes?

    Loading one’s deck with Menageries and Shanty Towns seems like a terrible, terrible idea.

    Tournament looks like fun.

  17. Fuu says:

    Since discovering Dominion I’ve been wondering if there would be a card called “Remake”, since every time I read “Remodel” I think of Remake/Remodel by Roxy Music.

  18. Jets says:

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say that I don’t think Jester will be nearly as devastating as everyone seems to think. If you are giving a curse or copper you are slightly helping your opponents next turn by clearing out a useless card that they no longer have to draw immediately. This is strictly worse than Witch and Mountebank (when it hits). If you hit a silver or a 3 or 4ish terminal action then it is likely a wash whether you gain the card or your opponent does. If you hit a card that’s pile has run out or is not in the supply (Black Market/Prize cards) then nothing happens. The best case scenario is hitting a high cost card that works well with your deck. This is both good for you and bad for your opponent since they miss a chance to use it this shuffle. Gold or Platinum would be awesome. Therefore I think Jester will only really shine in games with large amounts of trashing. I feel a Jester is better used to gain quality cards than it is to try and curse your opponent.

    Think about the list of 6 best…I mean 5 best $5 attacks. Where would you place Jester? I would slot it right into honorable mention.

    • chwhite says:

      I’d probably put it at #5, knocking Ghost Ship down to Honorable Mention. It’s definitely not as nasty as Witch/Mountebank; it is also probably a bit worse than Minion and Torturer when those two cards are in setups which trigger their engine qualities (Torturer needs Village-types; Minion needs no cursing and is really helped by trashing). Like GS (which I find somewhat overrated), Jester doesn’t seem to require those triggers; unlike GS, it can actually really help your deck in addition to just hurting your opponents.

      Of course, even honorable mention on that list is really really good.

    • play2draw says:

      Of course, it’s important to remember that not all games are 1 on 1. In games with multiple opponents, its effectiveness may magnify in a similar way as thief’s or pirate ship’s.

      With that said, I don’t think Jester will be dominating so much as it will be absolutely aggrivating.

    • Cave-o-sapien says:

      I think Jester in a 2-player game will be a mediocre attack that fails to do what you’d like it to do a lot of the time.

      In 4-player I think it’ll be very strong. This may be the biggest gap in attack card strength we’ve seen yet between 2- and 4-player games.

  19. DRG says:

    For Fairgrounds, a bane card could bring the total number of cards up to 20 as well. 10+1 kingdom, 4 treasure, 4 victory and curse. Will be difficult to have them all of course. Combine with KC+black market and you can hit pretty disgusting things.

  20. Peloy says:

    Am I misreading “Tournament” or does it say “If no-one ELSE does”.
    So doesn’t it mean that you have to reveal a Province and no-one else does in order to draw a card and have +1$ ?

    • Epoch says:

      I think that most people are reading that as two separate clauses:

      First: everyone has a chance to reveal a province. Anyone who does gets a Prize (or a Duchy).

      Second: the person who played the card gets +$1 and +1 card if none of the other players revealed a Province.

      I could see reading it your way, though.

    • Gus says:

      You might be misreading it.

      If none of your Opponents reveal a Province you get the +1 Card +1$

      • Joel says:

        I think only you (as in the person who plays it) gets the Prize or Duchy.

        • Peloy says:

          ok for the prize/duchy that is gained only by you, that’s right.
          I thought about the last sentence that I think apply only if you have revealed a province (because it’s written “if no-one else does”, ie. you did but none of your opponents did)

  21. Katsue says:

    Hamlet + Watchtower seems like a pretty hilarious combination

  22. Cave-o-sapien says:

    It’s worth noting that with Plat/Colony and either Potions or Young Witch you could get Horn of Plenty up to 8VP.

    Regarding Hunting Party: it may combo well with spamming cards or other action chains where you’ll play cards out of your hand before playing your next Hunting Party, since it doesn’t care what cards you have in play, only what cards you have in your hand. Perhaps something like Fishing Village or Festival + Hunting Party would work well.

  23. Zaphod says:

    In a typical game, you will finish with 10 to 14 differently named cards, which means the Fairgrounds will typically give you 4 VPs. That’s a slightly better VP-to-cost ratio than Duchies provide. Keep close tabs on which cards you have in your deck, and you could push the Fairgrounds value to 6 VPs, which would make it an incredible bargain. I think this card will have its own strategy, much like the Gardens.

    Like many of you, I like to design my own Dominion cards once in awhile. I created a card called the Prospector that was almost exactly the same as the Farming Village. A Village that’s guaranteed not to pick up a useless card should be a bargain at 4 coin.

    The Fortune Teller will naturally be compared to the Rabble, but in practice may be more like the Cutpurse – +2 Coin and an annoying attack that will sometimes leave your opponent just short of being able to buy the card he really wants. Occasionally, this will force a player to discard a powerful card he’s been waiting to use. Obviously, it’s an attack where luck plays a major role.

    Hamlet is obviously a great setup to the Menagerie. I assume that if you discard exactly 1 card, you may choose whether to gain an action or a buy. Is that how everyone reads it?

    Harvest seems overpriced given that it can give, at best, 4 coin, and usually will give about 2. As always, I won’t know for sure until I play a few games with it.

    Since Horn of Plenty’s description says you “gain a card”, the gain probably comes before the actual buy phase, a la Workshop/Ironworks/Black Market/University. The difference is that this is a Treasure card, which means it doesn’t require an action, and it’s still useful even if you draw it with no actions left. It’s really hard to know how useful this card is without playing it.

    Horse Traders is interesting. In some cases, it might make you want to be attacked. Looks like a good card for a Gardens strategy.

    While many cards in this set encourage diversity, the Hunting Party might have the opposite effect; in a very generic deck, one very powerful card is more likely to go into your hand when you play this card. Imagine, for example, a hand where your only actions are Goons and Hunting Party. If you only buy Estates and Coppers with your Goons, the Hunting Party is likely to draw a Goons into your hand most of the time.

    The Jester looks like a game-changer, but then so did the Saboteur, until we played it, and noticed that it usually would hit Silvers instead of Colonies. The “if a Victory card, gain a Curse” rule means you won’t gain any Colonies or Provinces with it, and in fact, that’s probably the reason for the rule. I suspect this card will win many games and be meaningless in other games.

    Menagerie is useless unless you diversify your deck, or discard some of your hand first. Secret Chamber, Vault, Cellar, Warehouse, Hamlet and Horse Traders would help with the second option.

    My initial reaction to the Remake is that it’s less interesting than either Remodel or Upgrade. As a starter, it will clean out some of the clutter and diversify your deck, but it will be annoying when you only want to remodel one card. I hate cards that are often better left unplayed, and this looks like one of them.

    Tournament looks useful, and it will be interesting to see how it changes game strategies. In a Colony game, is it worth getting Provinces earlier to gain Prizes? Well, we don’t know, because we don’t know what a Prize is. I assume the 5 unique cards we heard about are the Prizes, but what do they do? This part of the game hasn’t been revealed yet.

    Young Witch turns a regular Kingdom card into a reaction card, which sounds like a clever idea. For the first time, there will be games with 11 Kingdom cards. Dealing out Curses may interfere with your opponents’ card diversity, but in some cases it may help too.

    Sounds like a fun set of cards. I can’t wait to play them.

    • mischiefmaker says:

      RE: Hamlet, my reading of the card and the game’s general rules (resolve each instruction on the card in order to the best of your ability) results in this interpretation: if you discard 1 card, it’s a village; if you discard two cards, it’s a worker’s village. You can’t discard 1 card to get +1 card +1 action +1 buy; you have to discard two.

      • Ryan says:

        I’m with Zaphod. Think of it this way: imagine the last sentence on the card didn’t exist (i.e. you could discard for +1 Action, but that was it). You would still resolve that instruction to the best of your ability. “Resolving the instruction” means you would choose whether to discard a card for +1 Action.

        Now the real card is exactly the same as what I just discussed, except there’s another instruction after that. Thus you would resolve all the previous instructions (+1 Card, +1 Action, choose whether to discard for +1 Action) and then you would follow the last instruction with no regard to what had come before.

        It seems to me that the last two instructions have been very carefully separated to ensure that they would be resolved separately this way. In fact this is really quite unusual. Off the top of my head, it may be the only card that has two separate instructions to be carried out sequentially, not counting basic instructions like “+1 Card.” More typical would have been a single instruction: “Discard up to two cards. If you discard two cards this way, +1 Action +1 Buy; if you discard one card, +1 Action.” I think they’d have written this if it’s what they wanted.

        • Ryan says:

          I guess my hypothetical “single instruction” is still two instructions for purposes of Dominion rules, but you know what I mean. As a conscious formatting choice, I think this is unprecedented or at least extremely rare.

    • mischiefmaker says:

      Hm, thinking about it some more, there’s a good argument to be made that your resolution is: I can discard a card to get an action, and I choose not to. Now that choice is gone, and I move on to the second option, and now I choose to discard a card to get a buy.

      A $2 card that is +1 action +1 buy (with some variance-smoothing effects) doesn’t seem overpowered, so I’d be willing to believe that’s the right interpretation also.

      • Ryan says:

        And I wrote that whole reply >:0

        • mischiefmaker says:

          I know. My kingdom (or at least a province) for an edit button.

          BGG (and what appears to be a playtester) concurs with you, Zaphod, and my latter view. Choose +1 action, +1 buy, or both.

    • tlloyd says:

      Re: Menagerie

      Remember that this set of cards used to be one big set with Alchemy, and the feature they both share is action-heavy games. The easiest way to use Menagerie is to play it as the last card in your hand–if you don’t have any cards, then you certainly don’t have any duplicates. And the easiest way to do this is to get rid of most of your treasures and play long action chains. Menagerie also combos well with Haven, Hamlet, Cellar, Warehouse, trashing cards, etc.

      • BookS says:

        Menagerie would seem a good choice as an alternative defense to attacks which forces discarding to three (e.g. Militia). It kick-starts the draw / action if you discard to three unique cards (including Menagerie), as it would provide +1 action and +3 cards in such situations.

      • Silverback says:

        and Opponent’s Bishops.

    • tlloyd says:

      Re: Fortune Teller

      Someone over at BGG was trying to come up with a way to pin your opponent (much like KC + Masq) with the Bureaucrat. It seems that Fortune Teller could really help with that. Playing Fortune Teller + KC/TR(Bureaucrat) would slow people down pretty well–even better than Rabble + Bureaucrat.

  24. jonts26 says:

    I really like the horse trader reaction. I think the most fun use of it will be against an opponent with a heavy minion deck. You play minion, I set aside my Horse Trader, I now have a 4 card hand which will not be discarded. On my turn I get the horse trader and a bonus card. I essentially get to play with 6 cards every time I have horse trader in hand.

    • vidicate says:

      When I first read the card descriptions yesterday, the interaction with Minion is the first thing that came to mind (I only own Intrigue) regarding Horse Traders. I’m glad someone mentioned it.

      Oh wait! Having a guaranteed +$3 could also greatly help you to endure extensive Torture(r).

      Oh waits, again! Could this be a viable defense to hold off KC+discard+Masquerade; a literal Combo-Breaker?

      • tlloyd says:

        This only works against the most brutal form of the combo: KC + Goons/Militia + Masq. Since Masq is not an attack card, someone can still pull off the KC + Masq nonsense, but in a much reduced form. Kudos to Donald for coming up with a defense to an attack combo he never saw coming.

      • chesskidnate says:

        also note that a moat would also work against the combo and both of these are unlikely to be able to give you a chance, although if you manage to play a militia bcuz of one of these it might help, and of course with 3 or so horse traders you can probably save yourself.

    • vidicate says:

      Oh, blast it! I did that annoying thing of abusing misusing the word “literal”. Well, I guess it’s okay with a broad definition of the word “break”. Carry on…

    • Jonah says:

      Yeah, Minion seems to be where Horse Traders really shines. I like it against Goons, Militia, and Cutpurse too, at least in a game without heavy trashing: set aside Horse Traders, discard just one card (since you’re at four now), then draw a new one when your turn begins. Assuming you didn’t have an amazing hand to begin with, this is better than the side-effect of Vault!

      The one time I can think of where you might not want to reveal it is against Sea Hag when you’ve got a Lookout in hand. I guess this is also true of Bureaucrat, Fortune Teller, Spy, and Scrying Pool, if you’re using Native Village as a pseudo-trasher.

    • Cave-o-sapien says:

      The Minion reaction was the first thing I thought of as well. It’s an interesting counter to all discard attacks that respect a minimum hand-size.

      Will the game come with a superfluous Horse Trader mat that we can put the card on?

  25. jonts26 says:

    Donald X. has posted the details on the 5 unique prize cards over at BGG.

    • jonts26 says:

      My initial thoughts are that these are some hella powerful cards and well worth any strategic changes that would improve your chances of getting these early.

      Bag of gold seems like a solid card which will greatly accelerate the province buying potential.
      Diadem seems ripe for abuse in any sort of high action draw engine.
      Followers combines the attacks of witch and militia which is just unfair.
      Princess is a bridge on steroids.
      And Trusty Steed … I’m not sure what strategies would be conducive to wanting 4 free silvers, but the alternative is strong and offers a lot of flexibility.

      • tlloyd says:

        Princess is great, but not as good as I thought at first. The card is worded so the discount depends on the card being in play, not on the card being played, which means you can’t TR/KC the effect.

        Trusty Steed is a solid all-around card. As for the 4x Silver, the best use I can think of is for a Gardens strategy, unless they come out with a Silversmith card in the future. 😉

  26. glennchan says:

    Remake: Playing solitaire, I am able to buy a 4th province on turn 13. I think this is a powerful card.

    Its strength is that it can trash 2 estates and turn them into something good like a silver. This can really accelerate the opening and starts to lead into some dirty action chains or small-deck play. It seems to be slightly more powerful if there are 3/4/5-cost cards that are +2actions/+1 cards, as estate –> silver –> etc.

    Menagerie: Should work very well with +actions and any sort of trashing or discard card. With +2actions/+1 card, you have 3 cards that isn’t menagerie or your trasher. Unless all 3 cards are the same, it’s highly likely that the menagerie will go off.

    *And* it defends against discard attacks.

    Synergizes with Hamlet as hamlet is +action and can discard 1 *or* 2 cards.

    Young Witch: Pretty powerful attack because it’s a quasi-warehouse and therefore doesn’t suffer much from action collision.

    Tournament: May change the game a lot from making the early province buy a lot more powerful. Remake/tournament may be a good combination because remake is so fast and the small deck makes the tournament/province collision highly likely.

    • tlloyd says:

      Agree on everything but the “quasi-Warehouse” comment. Warehouse gives you +1 Action, so you basically improve your hand and keep playing. Neither Witch nor Young Witch gives you another action, so if you play them as your last action you run the risk of drawing dead action cards. The fact that Young Witch forces you to discard those dead cards doesn’t make Young Witch any better than Witch.

      Most combos benefit from increasing the size of your hand (which the Witch does slightly), but some less-common combos actually rely on the opposite (e.g., Library). Witch is better for the former, Young Witch for the latter. Young Witch also plays into the general Cornucopia theme of controlling your hand content in order to trigger the best abilities of many Cornucopia action cards.

    • play2draw says:

      Remake is also good for turning your silvers into good $4 cards if you want to go for a treasure-less strategy. I played a game where I Remade all of my silvers into conspirators, eventually leading to my opponent’s resignation. Seems good for setting up a strong minion deck.

  27. Sysp says:

    After a couple of plays on Isotropic, a pattern starts to form:
    These cards are awesome (Harvest plain sucks though) and alters the sets they appear in a lot.

    To anyone bashing Remake: try playing with it, you’ll be quite surprised how speedy it is! And Jester is just as abusive as you think it is.

  28. WanderingWinder says:

    In general, I think that several of these cards work well against discard attacks, and together, some of the ones that make you discard your own cards will actually be good, as it creates diversity in your deck. Also this means they’ll synergise with watchtower/library effects.
    Also, I’m surprised at how many of these things work with counting house strategies. Counting house is still so weak, these probably won’t make it a factor, but it would at least make them interesting.

  29. Saucery says:

    The discard effects and nonterminal actions work really well with menagerie and hunting party, and can also make use of curses and victory cards in your hand. Remake is in fact very strong and can quickly diversify and thin your deck.

  30. Cthulhu's Snack says:

    I am not disappointed by any of these cards. A couple of them have turned out better than I expected, namely Remake and Horn of Plenty. Only two have been weaker than I anticipated, which is Tournament and Harvest. Overall, it is a fun set of cards to play with and there isn’t a single card that I would skip almost always (like I would a chancellor or counting house, for example). Can’t wait to have the real thing.

    • chwhite says:

      Yeah, Remake is a *lot* better than I had expected. Also, Jester is a fair deal worse than I thought- when it hits Copper (and early-game its liable to hit a lot of Copper) that’s just an Ambassador which doesn’t trash for you, which ends up kind of ineffectual for a $5 Attack.

      I find myself playing Tournament a lot even though I was never convinced it’s a world-beater, just because frankly it’s fun.

  31. glennchan says:

    I get the deck diversity theme, but I feel like the only card which really rewards it is horn of plenty. It’s sort of like a treasure that is +$3 to +8, +1 buy (with caveats). It has a nice synergy with hunting party of course. Buy 2, use them to build a +action/+card engine, and use it to VP rush at the very end.

    Harvest feels weak even if you use remake to build deck diversity. In the best case it gives +$4 (with some deck cycling), which compares to Merchant ship ($4 in a different way). But it’s expensive, starts off weak when you have little deck diversity, and doesn’t compare that well to the other 5 cost cards (e.g. Merchant Ship, or anything better than it like Wharf).

    Remake/Pirate Ship is amusing with villages on the board, as Remake can turn the estates into villages or pirate ships and build towards a treasureless deck.

    • I Eat Tables says:

      I think Harvest is being somewhat underrated, from what I’ve seen. It’s almost always +$3, unless you buy it very early, and hits $4 reasonably often. On top of that, it provides a little shuffle acceleration and could counter top deck attacks such as Ghost Ship, Fortune Teller and the like. The comparison to Merchant Ship I don’t think is fair: +$2 over two turns is inferior to $4 in one turn, due to the non-linear increase in power between costs.

      I’d be interested in seeing how Big Money + Harvest compares to other Big Money + X strategies do.

      • Ryan says:

        In my experience you can get a pretty reliable +$4 from Harvest with the right deck. That’s enough to make it a strong addition.

        I can’t name that many $5 terminals which are “worse than Harvest,” but that’s a misleading question. They’re not in direct competition, because Harvest is inherently crappy in a game with no +Action. (In the early game you bought other terminals because Harvest was weak then; now it will crowd them out. And more importantly, it’s going to be hard to get deck variety without colliding terminals, so the Harvest payoff will be poor).

        Then again, I’m biased because I’ve primarily been playing with multiple Cornucopia cards at a time (to accelerate the learning process), and of course cards like Menagerie synergize very well with Harvest. Building a Harvest-friendly deck in a fully randomized game might be harder than I think.

  32. Horse says:

    so, anything with +2 actions into fortune teller into jester = sweet

    • LastFootnote says:

      I guess. If you really want to give your opponent a Curse, though, there are lots of better ways to do it without letting them discard a Victory or Curse card from the top of their deck. I think a lot of Jester’s strength is letting you gain good cards, not just giving your opponents bad ones.

      • Stephen says:

        This combo is still something to keep in mind, though, as there might not be another cursing attack and it’s easier to curse someone with Jester if they already have a few curses.

  33. Titandrake says:

    So, it turns out that Hamlet is pretty nice as expected. Works with minion to give +buy, with terminal card draw to give cheap +action. And it’s just nuts with watchtower/library.

  34. Katsue says:

    Horn of Plenty is strong in a Big Action deck. I’ve played several games where I was able to turn the Horns into Provinces. I really need to aggressively go for a Turbo Horn deck, where I use the first Horn to get a second Horn, use those Horns to get more Horns, and then finish up by converting all the Horns to Provinces.

    Remake is a good bit stronger than I expected. It’s quick trashing with benefits.

    Even in a Big Money style setup, Menagerie can get good once you’ve got a few vps in the deck, because you’ll often get draws where you have Coin + Different Coin + VP + Different VP.

    Farming Village is strong, and is an excellent soft counter to Curse giving strategies.

    • Ryan says:

      Exotic Treasures go nicely with Menagerie too. As posted elsewhere I had some luck with a small deck including one Harem, one Royal Seal, one/two Gold, one/two Silvers, and a Copper. I was able to draw most of these each turn fairly reliably with Menagerie. I’m sure others such as Bank would work nicely.

      And Stash seems tailor-made for this; I’m looking forward to trying it. You could buy two or maybe even three Stashes and rest assured that you’ll never get them both in the same hand unless you’ve already drawn all of your deck (or at least enough for a good turn; whatever your plan might be). In fact, if you ensure that the first new hand you draw post-shuffle contains exactly one Stash, you’re decreasing the opportunity for other duplicates.

      Of course these are strategies for a deck that really runs on Menagerie, rather than just using it as an occasional boost, which might be what you had in mind.

    • Intersect says:

      The key is to embrace deck diversity, as it can make modest cards much more powerful, especially in +Action boards. Horns of Plenty start changing the way you look at cards, particularly if they have that valued +1 action. Simply put, the more variety of them you put in your deck, the better Cornicopia cards work, and the better certain cards get.

      Hunting Party is a great way to suck a diverse set of those +1 actions into your hand. Horn of Plenty is a great way to get these cards free, starting small with something like Pawn and going all the way up to Grand Market. I mean, you may strictly prefer Laboratory over Market at $5, but with Horn of Plenty on the table the small penalty for diversifying your deck with a slightly inferior card is overcome with the extra buying power you get.

  35. I’ve already had a game on isotropic where I managed to play two Horns of Plenty and turn them into Colonies.

  36. Paul D Baxter says:

    FWIW, a game with Farming Village and Torturer can lead to some severe pain. I got spanked pretty bad for picking up a caravan instead of the farm.

  37. Stephen says:

    After playing with these for a bit, it seems that Remake is much stronger than most people thought, and Jester is not as strong. Remake improves your deck very quickly early game, and unlike upgrade you are guaranteed to be able to buy one as one of your opening buys. I think it’s comparable to Steward during the early game; both trash exactly two cards, but Remake gets you Silvers for your Estates. Multiple Remakes don’t conflict that much either; you can always Remake a Remake into a $5 card. The main problem with Remake (that Steward does not have) is that lategame you might not have two targets to trash, but most early game cards have the same problem.

    Jester I think turned out to be a lot worse than I expected (in 2p, anyway). Hitting coppers makes Jester like a crappy Ambassador. Hitting Silver or other mediocre cards doesn’t really help you either way. You really want to either hit Victory cards or valuable cards, but a deck usually has few of these so you’re more likely not to get too much benefit from the attack. Also, if your opponent is taking a diverging strategy, Jester can easily leave you with a card that you don’t want but don’t want to give your opponent either.

    • ipofanes says:

      Remake has late-game potential if $7 cards are in play. Turning that Gold into a Bank doesn’t hurt, and the prospects of getting a Province out of a Bank is not bad either.

      • Ryan says:

        I found Remake+Forge to be an interesting combo. It trims your deck down at lightning speed; then not only can you Remake the Forge into a Province, you can also Forge extra Remakes into a Province: whichever proves convenient.

        To be fair, there was a lot else that went right in this game. I got the Forge early, and had some luck with Menagerie. I also lucked into a Royal Seal from Black Market (I find unusual treasures are very helpful for getting money in a Menagerie deck). Menagerie was really the star here; it shone with Remake and Forge, allowing me to draw my whole deck of strange cards and Remake or Forge them into something useful while buying Provinces with my scant money.

        So, YMMV.

        Here’s the game; by no means did I play perfectly (this whole gameplan was really novel to me, and I stumbled around a lot) but I thought it was really crazy. My final deck was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen: “3 Menageries, 1 Forge, 1 Harem, 1 Royal Seal, 1 Copper, 1 Silver, 1 Gold, 1 Estate, 4 Provinces.”

  38. ilpars says:

    Fairgrounds – Blackmarket can be the next Combo of the day.
    With Black Market one can reach even 20 differently named card in his deck; which will be 8 VP per Fairgrounds.

  39. aestrivex says:

    I’ve had discussions that it’s impossible to get fairgrounds to 8 VP without black market. This is blatantly not correct, though getting it to 8 requires a particular selection of spread cards. In fact under very bizarre circumstances it’s possible to get it to 10 VP but realistically that would not ever happen because it requires you to have at least 4 (but probably 5) of the prizes in your deck in a tournament game, and a basically perfect spread otherwise.

    I argue that in fact, getting fairgrounds to 8 is not that unreasonable in a game with a lot of early cursing and no trashing — if you plan for it and have a favorable spread it should be very possible. The card that seems to lend itself to this type of game the most is young witch, or possibly mountebank just because it makes decks even more cluttered with garbage than young witch.

    The maximum number of total possible differently named cards that I think can possibly exist in a game is 26. If I’m missing something, feel free to point it out. They are as follows:

    10 normal spread piles
    3 normal victory piles
    3 normal treasure piles
    1 normal curse pile
    2 possible prosperity piles (colony + platinum)
    1 possible potion pile
    1 possible bane pile (an extra card added with young witch)
    5 possible prizes (requires tournament)

    Black market (arbitrarily more possible cards, but I refuse to acknowledge the existence of black market in the first place so who cares. What a dumb card.)

  40. Jeremy says:

    Hmm, here’s my initial though on some of these cards

    Fortune Teller – A bit better than B-crat because of the + $2 and a possibility of making an opponent miss a newly bought card early game, but risky because it could cycle an opponent’s deck quicker. I dunno, this seems like it’d be hit or miss.

    Hamlet – Seems okay. I guess the idea is it makes use of terminals (in more than one way), which would encourage buying those a little more (as does the idea of card diversity. Hopefully Hamlet can work really well with non-cornucopia cards, too).

    Horn of plenty – this would seem to be especially good with duration cards, which stay in play through two turns. Also good with exotic treasures. And if I’m not mistaken, having two of these in play would be cool, though it lessens the possible value by 1. But since the value generally won’t be huge, it’s probably worth it.

    Horse Traders – Wow, is this the first action card that gives + $3 straight up like that? Nice. TR/KC with this could be awesome.

    Jester – Regardless of whether it benefits you or your opponent more, this is a crazy card.

    Remake – Sounds amazing.

    Tournament – Okay, a couple of thoughts on this:
    -Why is there only one of each Prize card? I understand that, thematically, it makes sense, but it could be an unfair advantage. Would it be too crazy to just say you can only have one of each prize? That way every player can get to each one once. I’d suggest the differently colored backs idea to help differentiate, but that probably wouldn’t go over well.
    -Hopefully they come out with more prizes, because this is a COOL concept.

    Young Witch – I hope they give a card for a Bane pile like they do for the trash pile. That would be awesome. I imagine I’d try a house rule and not limit the Bane card to costing $2 to $3….Just for the sake of asking, does the wording imply that Alchemy cards with potion in the cost are excluded from being possible Bane cards?

    • Ryan says:

      You should be aware that Cornucopia is already playable at

      I rather doubt they’d come out with any more Prizes, since they’re an extension of the Tournament card. I mean, why would they sell more Prizes with a future expansion that doesn’t come with Tournament? And why would they mess with game balance by effectively changing how Tournament works?

      Yes, cards with Potion in the cost are ineligible to be Banes. You could try this, or 4/5-cost Banes. This would lead to pretty wild games; either the more expensive cards would be very powerful cards you want to have anyhow (making Young Witch weaker) or they’d be useless and buying them on your good turns would be a really big sacrifice.

      The uniqueness of the Prizes is supposed to be in keeping with the “diversity” theme.

      You’d be surprised how high Horn of Plenty can go. I’ve seen people grab Platinum with it.

      It’s pretty rare that Jester benefits your opponent more, since you get your choice of what it does. Occasionally you might hit a card that he’d like to have another copy of, but which doesn’t fit into your strategy. But usually the worst outcome for Jester is that you hit a Silver; then it’s a hard decision but usually only because it doesn’t matter that much either way.

      The idea of KC+Horse Traders is fun. I’m not so sure about TR+Horse Traders, though. It gives you $6, but you could accomplish this just as easily with a hand containing Horse Traders+Silver+Copper. And it discards your whole hand, so this trick is no help in getting you past $6 (although the TR could be one of your discards if necessary). I might consider this an added bonus if I wanted to buy TR to use with a different Action, but that’s about it.

      • Jeremy says:

        Yeah, you’re right about Horns of Plenty. With as action-heavy as these cards can be, I can see the chains getting pretty good.

        As far as tournaments, I’m just thinking it’d be nice if the concept gets extended beyond Cornucopia. Maybe another card that gives you access to more unique cards. The concept is what’s cool about it to me.

    • Last Footnote says:

      Every single one of the 150 cards in Alchemy is accounted for, so there won’t be a card for the Bane pile like there is for the Trash pile. I’m hoping there will be a token that serves a similar purpose, though.

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