Secret Chamber + Cellar – Reaction – 1 Action + Buy = Storeroom … End of Article? No, it’s not that simple. At first glance it seems like a boring straightforward card. But I think it offers more than it seems.
I make no claim that this article is complete, I just wanted to point out some observations that I made about this “seemingly innocent card”.
Storeroom is more like an upgraded Secret Chamber (without its Reaction) than an upgraded Cellar. The lack of +1 Action is what makes Cellar a decent addition to any engine, but in engines with strong terminals Storeroom hurts more than it may help. It’s also bad on boards with discarding attacks because – like all discarders – it needs big handsizes to be really useful.
So, what is it good for?
You discard two times in a row, so cards that profit from discarding combo really good with Storeroom.
That was the most obvious combo after the release of Storeroom. You only need 1 Tunnel in 8 cards if you discard your whole hand with the first discard option. That makes it one of the best Tunnel enablers. The +Buy also makes it possible to pick up 2 Tunnels soon after you got the first few Golds. With 2 Storerooms, a lot of Tunnels, you get a lot of Golds and can easily switch to Provinces afterwards. Also – because of the discard option – the high variance in your deck caused by lots of Golds and lots of green doesn’t really hurt you at all.
That’s not different to Secret Chamber or Vault. It’s also better to find your second Tactician more easily when you discard 9 cards and draw 9 new cards. You can then discard 7 cards for $7, and play your second Tactician. This is not enough to buy a Province and it needs a little support. With a non-terminal drawer (Laboratory, Stables, also Crossroads, …) or cantrip money-generating card (Market, Peddler, Treasury, …) you can buy a Province easily each turn. With support this is one of the most reliable Double-Tactician combos so far. You really don’t need a third Tactician as backup. 2 Tacticians and ~4 Storerooms + support should be enough to guarantee a Province each turn.
1c) Enabling Big Draw
Menagerie needs hands with different cards. Storeroom lets you discard all duplicates and gets even money for them. So you can even discard Coppers for $1 and don’t lose anything. But you need villages to enable this combo, but Storeroom lets you find your villages more reliably and as soon as this gets rolling you also have the needed buy to buy multiple of this cheap engine components. Draw up to X cards like Watchtower and Library can even draw more than 3 cards, but you need more villages to set this up as they are terminal.
2.) Guaranteed $4 each turn
In games where you don’t want to go for Provinces, Storeroom is a good supporting card. In games without discarding attacks you have $4 with every hand containing a Storeroom.
Secret Chamber isn’t the best Gardens enabler, but Storeroom’s +Buy makes it way better. You can even open Double-Storeroom and have a higher chance to have a Storeroom in turn 3 in hand. When those collided, discard all cards for +Cards and in turn 4 you already trigger the reshuffle and will see one Storeroom soon again. If they didn’t collide, discard only for $4 and you probably see the other Storeroom in turn 4. So you can go for Gardens (with Copper buys) very soon and can later 3-pile Gardens, Storerooms and Estates – because each Storeroom also guarantees a Double Estate buy.
2b) Other Alternative VPs
Alternative VP strategies will have many dead cards in your deck. Storeroom really helps here by discarding your dead cards and drawing e.g. Silver. The +Buy allows it to buy extra Coppers on the way. Storeroom isn’t the best supporting card for alternative VPs other than Gardens, but in combination with Silk Road or Duke and few more Silver buys it’s a reliable strategy.
3.) Potion cards
The best use for Storeroom are the combinations with Potion cards. The problem with Potion is that you want to see it often early in the game but don’t want to clog your deck with 2 Potions. Also your Potion(s) are dead cards later in the game. Strategies with Potion cost cards also need +Buy for cases when you hit $5P or better. Your supporting card also should cost less than $4 that you can open Potion+X. All this solves Storeroom. You always want to open Storeroom + Potion and discard all 4 cards when you don’t have a Potion in hand. The probability is high to draw your Potion which guarantees you $3P which is enough for 8 out of 10 Potion cards. If you miss your Potion you should have at least $3 to buy a second Storeroom.
3a) Scrying Pool
Like written above you should easily get a Scrying Pool each turn. In turns where you didn’t get your Potion in hand pick up a cheap village or other cheap cantrips or non-terminal trashers. Your Scrying Pools should give you 6-7 cards hands very soon where you can pick up a Scrying Pool + X to pile up on action cards. Later when you draw your whole deck you can even discard your Action cards with Storeroom for money and draw them all again with Scrying Pool (if you played at least one village). You can then easily buy 2 Provinces. Storeroom + Scrying Pools isn’t good on its own, but with a cheap village and/or non-terminal trashing, this is a really powerhouse.
3b) Philosopher’s Stone
Storeroom may be even better than Herbalist as a supporting card. Both have the much needed + Buy so you can pick up a lot of Storerooms and Coppers on the way and both have a mechanic to see the Potion often early in the game. But Storeroom can mostly discard 2-3 dead cards and Coppers which makes your Philosopher’s Stone 0.5$ worth more on average! When you have your first Philosopher’s Stone in hand, it should already be worth $3 and soon $4. That means: 2 Philosopher’s Stones and you can already buy Provinces.
Like written above a Storeroom and a Potion guarantees you a $3P hand, exactly the amount you need for Familiar. The probability is therefore high you can buy a Familiar in turn 3 or 4 with this opening. Storeroom also triggers the reshuffle more often which you need to play your Familiar as often as you can early in the game. The problem is that you can’t play a drawn Familiar because Storeroom is terminal, so take that into account.
3d) Other Potion cards
Storeroom isn’t a good enabler for University or Vineyard on its own. But on boards where University or Vineyard are an option, Storeroom is also a very good reason to go for them – for reasons written above. Apothecary has often the problem to leave the crap on top of your deck. If you play a Storeroom at the end of your turn you can discard exactly as many Coppers as you need for drawing your crap and discard them again for the same amount of money. This can setup a next good turn. With villages you can even build an engine fast. With 1 Apothecary and 1 Storeroom you can often buy another Apothecary and Storeroom (or village or another engine component) and you can then quickly cycle through your deck as the Apothecaries now leave good cards on your deck which you can draw with your Storeroom.
On boards with good engine potential, where Golem is a good card, Storeroom lets you buy the Golem faster. When you play your Golem you’ll find your Storeroom for the needed buy and deck filtering. This accelerates the engine and mitigates the problem of Potion cards being slow. Seeing your Potion often is especially important with Alchemist. Storeroom lets you buy them faster and can put them more reliably on top of your deck. Storeroom being terminal isn’t a big problem here as you won’t draw Alchemists dead often.
4.) Treasure cards
The are other cases where your key card is a Treasure other than Potion. So the drawback that Storeroom is terminal isn’t a drawback anymore.
With a Storeroom/Silver opening you can quickly reach a level when you hit $5 nearly every turn. Just discard all cards other than Ill-Gotten-Gains and your opening Silver and you should be drawing at least one Ill-Gotten-Gains or Silver because you only need a 1 out of 8 probability. With 2-3 Storerooms you should be able to keep hitting $5 every turn and can then switch to Duchies.
4b) Fool’s Gold
Fool’s Gold is cheap and you want as many as you can get. Therefore you need +Buy. Check. You also want collisions, you want to draw 3 Fool’s Golds in the same hand. Therefore you either need draw or cycling. Check. Like written above, with a Storeroom in hand, you are guaranteed +4$ and 2 Buys, that’s perfect for picking up 2 Fool’s Golds. And with many Fool’s Golds it’s not that hard to have 3 of them in hand as you can either draw 4 when you didn’t have one in hand, 3 when you did have one and even 2 cards when you already had 2 FGs.
Storeroom + Quarry is no strategy on its own. But in games where Quarry is strong, Storeroom + Quarry is a very good opener. With a Storeroom in hand you likely draw them together and then you have $4 and all Action cards cost $2 less. So, you basically have $8 and 2 buys. Perfect for picking up 2 $4 key cards or your $5 key card with a $3 supporting card.
5.) Triggering reshuffles
All of the above combos and other engines where preparing the next turn by triggering or not triggering the reshuffle is important can benefit from Storeroom. Storeroom may be not the best X in Hunting Party + X because it often only gives you $1 instead of $2, but discarding exactly as many Coppers and Estates that you’ll have an empty deck while still getting money out the discarded cards is nice. The probability of having a Hunting Party in the next hand will be much higher. Triggering reshuffles may also come in handy if you want to prepare a good turn with Inn. So let’s say you’re building a Goons engine. So the +Buy from Storeroom is important, the cycling may give you more Double-Goons turns and you can time an empty deck and then buy an Inn for a Mega Goons Turn.
Storeroom isn’t a strong card on its own, but has its uses and can also shine in a few situations. Its strength is the heavy cycling to see the key Treasure cards (Potion, Philosopher’s Stone, Ill-Gotten-Gains, Fool’s Gold) more often, its support for Potion cards in general, its use for big hand sizes (Tactician, Scrying Pool, also Crossroads), the discarding option itself (Tunnel, also Grand Market) and as supporter where you don’t want expensive cards (Fool’s Gold, Alternative Victory cards, especially Gardens). It’s not a great Big Money card, skippable in boards with strong terminals and especially weak against discarding attacks.