Dominion Round Table: Donate

 

donate

Dominion Round Table is a new article discussion format where we have several guests discuss one topic. Today’s discussion is on the Event Donate from Empires. We welcome your feedback and comments. To join the discussion on this month’s Round Table, please click here.

Note: This article has been edited for clarity. Things have been moved around as needed.

Beyond Awesome: Welcome everyone to the first Dominion Round Table. Before we start, we should probably get intros out of the way. I will go first. Hi, I’m Beyond Awesome, and I will be moderating this month’s Round Table. Today’s’ topic is Donate.

Donald X: I’m Donald X., world famous game designer

Dan Brooks:  Hi. I’m Dan Brooks, and I’ve played with Donate in a number of tournaments.

Seprix: Hi. I’m Seprix, and I just had a pizza for dinner.

aku chi: Hi. I’m aku chi. I lost a Donate game in the last Dominion League Championship match!

Limetime: I am limetime and I am pretty bad at giving non-contextualized Dominion advice.

vsiewnar: Hi, vsiewnar here. From the Caribbean.

markusin Well, I am markusin, and I am from Canada. I’ve been playing Dominion since sometime between Hinterlands came out and Dark Ages came out. I’ve been recently playing a lot more Dominion. Like, since a week before the Dominion Championship started.

Beyond Awesome: Thanks everyone.

Donald X: I can introduce Donate.

Beyond Awesome: Go for it!

Donald X: So at one point I tried doing some big effects as events, just, as a way to get new events. They mostly didn’t work out. I will look up some other ones here. Gain the trash; gain all actions from a pile; pick your next hand. Donate worked, with the trick being to give it a Debt cost so you could always get it. It increases the puzzle of the early game; how best do you open, when exactly do you Donate. Donate separates the men from the boys; in my day that expression wasn’t offensive. Just, if you have a better Donate plan than your opponent, you will zoom ahead.

Dan Brooks:   What was the original text?

Donald X: Well I am looking at it and it’s no prize. “After you discard cards from play this turn, put all cards from your deck and discard pile into your hand, trash any number, and shuffle the rest into your deck.”

Dan Brooks:  It would be cool if it could say, “Trash any number of cards in your deck, discard, and hand.” But that probably breaks a lot of things

Donald X: We have to let you look. Are you trashing them blind or what? “Put all of your cards into your hand. Trash any number of them. Shuffle the rest into your deck.” There’s Durations though. Always an issue. And thrones played on Durations.

Dan Brooks:   I like the functionality of the current wording. The one thing that is interesting is that you technically draw two five card hands. So it gets around the -card token and Outpost.

Donald X: Those things are of course never a factor; I mean the cards aren’t tweaked based on that stuff. Communicating the concept clearly and tersely is what I’m after, and if that changes an Outpost interaction, I am cool with that.

Beyond Awesome:  Okay, so, I am going to get the ball rolling on this. First question. Is Donate the most busted card/card-shaped thing in Dominion?

Donald X: What do you even mean by busted? I mean first you have to consider, how could a card be “busted” in Dominion. For me what makes a card “busted” is bad game play – the game is too slow, too random, too many eliminated decisions. Power level is not actually in there, except to the degree that other things are eclipsed so that it eliminates decisions. Well power level could make something too random too but you know.

Donate is powerful. It doesn’t slow the game down, isn’t too random, does not eliminate too many decisions. It does eclipse other trashers but that’s not so bad. Maybe you want to ask, is it the most powerful thing? That won’t be very interesting and even there you can discuss what that means.

Donate is probably the least-skippable thing; by that metric it’s the most “busted.” I don’t think it makes the game worse though, and other things do, so they are the “busted” cards to me.

What’s really interesting in the games is trying to work out how to build up perfectly and it’s different every time, you know. Donate’s reduction of luck in turn reduces the use of general advice. Though, some people will still for sure want to know, oh, do not wait forever to Donate.

Dan Brooks:  Donate and King’s Court are my picks for the two most powerful card-shaped things in Dominion. Donate has the distinction of being perhaps the least skippable thing in Dominion. It’s good in money, great in engines and comes at the low opportunity cost of 8 Debt, and makes Chapel look like child’s play. There’s some debate as to whether Donate is more powerful than game-warping cards like Peasant, Page, and King’s Court, but for now I’ll give the nod to Donate.

Beyond Awesome: Actually, now that I think about it, I am going to rephrase the question for the rest of our participants. Is Donate the single most powerful card/card shaped thing in Dominion?

aku chi: Yes.

Limetime: Yeah probably but knowing this isn’t very relevant to Dominion skills.

Seprix: In terms of warping any given board, absolutely.

Seprix: I don’t see a debate, it’s clearly Donate.

Beyond Awesome: Okay, the next question is actually one Donald X. posted earlier (Donald X. left, but posed some potential questions on the chat. He later reappears in the Round Table.) (DonaldX:) How often do you not trash all Coppers/Estates with it, if ever; what situations if any?

Seprix: Not often. Obvious situations that jump out are Baron and Inheritance for Estates, and spiking a price point a turn sooner with Copper.

aku chi: The only time I don’t trash Estates is if I open with another trasher that can get benefit out of trashing the Estates (e.g. Trader or Bishop).

Limetime: I sometimes trash less than all in the first Donate and clean up later.

Dan Brooks:  If you’re going for a turn 2 or turn 3 Donate, often you keep some Copper around to help pay off the Debt. It’s less common to keep Estates, but sometimes cards like Baron or Remodel want them to stick around.

aku chi: I think keeping some Copper around is correct a good portion of the time. If it’s going to be a moneyish game, keeping the Copper can be good for tempo. And, as Limetime says, you can always Donate later to clean them up.

Limetime: Another situation where you don’t trash all your cards is where you are limited to 1 gain per turn and there is something like forager that lets you get buys for trashing cards.

vsiewnar: There has to be a good reason to not trash all starting cards, Baron maybe for eg. I recently played as 2nd player on a Donate board and I was behind, managed to catch up and win. My opponent held on to 2 Coppers and I am not sure how much that hurt him.

Beyond Awesome: Next question: Another one from Donald X. (Donald X:) How soon do you Donate, what situations vary that?

Limetime: I like to Donate after I have a deck that can pay off Debt in one turn. Of course if you can often think it through more to find a more precise time because there is very little luck in Donate games.

aku chi: It varies a lot (like, turn 1-6). Gainers will encourage Donating earlier.

Limetime: Not turn 1.

aku chi: Windfall.

Seprix: Usually I like Donating T3 or T4, unless there’s tricks like gainers and Feodum and other exceptions.

Dan Brooks:  Deciding when to Donate is probably the most difficult decision with the card. You want to build enough economy to pay off the Debt – but you also want to Donate early to take advantage of your improved deck. I would say turn 3-4 are the most typical, although turn 2, 5 and 6 can also be correct, depending on the board.

aku chi: I think a turn 2 Donate is reasonable on a sizable number of boards. Especially if you open with a $5 or $4 gainer.

vsiewnar: I typically aim for turn 3/4 Donate though I may wait for turn 5 if things are not to my liking. I have lost to turn 2 Donate before so there may be something there.

Beyond Awesome: What about Lurker, when do you Donate? And, how many Lurkers is the optimal amount to have?

Seprix: At least two.

Limetime: It really depends upon what you are gaining with Lurker. If the board contains Possession, Lurker and Donate you will stalemate pretty fast.

Dan Brooks:  Depending on the board, Lurker may or may not be better than Silver. It really depends on the engine that the Lurkers are building up. If you do play with Lurker, you can guarantee an even number with Donate, likely 2

Limetime: Getting 4 Lurkers seems pretty slow when compared to 2.

Beyond Awesome: Okay, onto Donald X.’s last question. (Donald X:) How bad do things get before you Donate a 2nd time?

Dan Brooks:  Junking attacks are the main reason to Donate a second time. A lot of the time, you wait until all of the junk has been passed out before donating a second time. Sometimes it’s better to pick up another trashing card and get rid of the junk that way.

vsiewnar: Slow junkers make me want to Donate twice if there is no other way to deal with it.

Limetime:  It really depends upon how much economy you have and how much thinning will benefit you. On one end of the spectrum you can pay off all the Debt in one turn and the thinning will make you have a deck that does much more than it otherwise would. On the other end of the spectrum, you have a functioning deck that has little economy.

Beyond Awesome: I once Donated 3 or 4 times in a Mountebank game, and was very happy to Donate each of those times.

vsiewnar: Another reason to do a second Donate maybe to end the game by trashing Squires or Catacombs but that seems like a rare thing that would happen.

aku chi: Be careful trying to end the game with Donate. Because it happens between turns, your opponent will get to take another turn even if you empty piles!

vsiewnar: Ah. Thanks.

Dan Brooks:  There are a couple of corner cases where you want to Donate more than once. The Donate/Market Square combo, taking Debt against Possession, and having a 5 card Outpost turn come to mind.

aku chi: Another example of a second Donate that doesn’t involve junking: in my Dominion League championship match against Rabid, there was a board with Donate and Tournament (and other fun stuff). Rabid Donated early (actually on turn 1 due to a Messengered Ironworks) and kept a handful of Coppers. He was able to get a Province on turn 5, I think. It would have been a good idea to Donate a second time at this point – trashing the Copper to guarantee pairing up Tournament with Province.

Beyond Awesome:

2017-10-15 (3)

Donald X: Banquet/Donate is cute

Limetime: 2/5 there is tough. I think you go something like Potion nothing and hope you can pickup a University turn 3 and just try to pickup a bunch of processions eventually going mega Bridge. Rogue can be useful with procession but i am not sure if you have time to pick it up.

markusin: Yeah, I think there you want to enable a Proc/Bridge play to start ramping up the deck, and University can help set this up.

Beyond Awesome: Limetime says on 2/5, you go Potion nothing. What seems the right opening for 3/4 or 4/3

markusin: Possibly Bridge/Potion enabled by Banquet. You want the + buy, so you can buy University and possibly something else.

vsiewnar: I don’t really like the Banquet opening. I want my Uni fast so I can Donate fast. I’ll Banquet later if need be. Maybe Oracle/Potion for me. Getting gainers before incurring Debt is useful. The Oracle is pointless early though. Well, nearly.

markusin: So, you’d rather gain University before Donate?

aku chi: I don’t know if it’s any good, but on 3/4, there is a line to Banquet for Potion and Donate on turn 2, keeping 3 Copper and buying University on turn 4.

markusin: There is also an Interesting line with Messeger gaining Procession. Well, thinking about it more, I think early University should be a high priority. Adding even Messenger can delay you a turn to hit Potion.

aku chi: With the turn 2 Donate, you’re Debt free on turn 4 and can gain Oracle and buy Potion on turn 5. Then gain, like Procession + Oracle, buy University. Turn 6, gain a bunch of stuff including Bridges, Process Orcale. More fun. But you can dud, with the Coppers.

vsiewnar: I guess you just Donate twice then? Once you have enough Unis?

Limetime: Note: Rogue doesn’t work if you play too many Bridges

Donald X: Your best shot at turn 3 University is Oracle/Potion. I don’t know how much that matters but you know, then you Donate turn 4 and can gain a card to pay off Debt with and draw it.

Dan Brooks:  2-5 is a sad opening, since there’s nothing useful to buy turn 1. The Procession autopiles don’t quite work, so playing 7 Bridges in one turn looks like the target deck. One opening sequence is X/Bridge/Bridge/Procession/Procession/Donate down to Procession/Procession/Bridge/Bridge. Then you can Process the Bridges gain 3 cards and build up to some multi-City Bridge thing. There might be a better way to do it, post in the comments in you find one.

aku chi: Why not use Banquet? With Dan’s approach, it’s critical to have no more than 4 Debt after buying Donate, so you can make use of the buys off the Processed Bridges.

markusin: That complicates matters, because hitting $4 for Donate is tricky after buying Processions.

aku chi: Not so much if you’re Banqueting.

Dan Brooks:  Banquet could be a good call. You need at least 3-4 coins on the turn you Donate and Banquet helps with that.

vsiewnar: I mean, you could wait a turn and Donate when you have 4? Not crazy esp if Banquet used?

Beyond Awesome: On what turn would you Donate, assuming a 3/4 opening?

Dan Brooks:  On 3-4, possibly Banquet/Bridge, Banquet/Bridge, Procession, Procession, Donate, so turn 5.

aku chi: So, Dan’s approach with Banquet leads to a turn 5 Donate. On turn 6, 3 $5 gains, 5 buys where $4s are free. Seems stronger than the University things.

vsiewnar: Yea, it does.

Donald X: And it’s more fun, because, you used Banquet.

Dan Brooks:  The Procession route is probably faster than the Potion route, but the Potion route is going to be more stable, since a single Scrying Pool would draw deck. I don’t think I’d buy a Potion though. I’d look to sneak a Messenger on Potion after my opponent picked one up.

markusin: You can also keep a Copper after using Donate if you want to buy Donate with $3.

Limetime: I think you may be able to do some more messy things that might be slightly faster than Proc Proc Bridge Bridge.

aku chi: So, after 25 min, we think we landed on the best Donate play. And I’d still have to think for many minutes to figure out what to gain on turns 6 and beyond. Donate with gainers is hard!

Dan Brooks:  Optimizing build paths with Donate is a lot harder than it looks at first glance!

aku chi: To be fair, Procession is also to blame, here. My eyes gloss over Procession. I rely on Dan to tell me all the things I missed.

Beyond Awesome: Procession is a tricky card to use.

Donald X: Procession is crazy, so, you want to try to use it.

Beyond Awesome:

2017-10-15 (4)

Beyond Awesome: How would you play the above board. What would you do on a 3/4 opening vs. 5/2 opening

 Limetime: The end goal is def play a bunch of Bridge Trolls.

 aku chi: Payload looks like Bridge Trolls with Border Village and Library to support.

 vsiewnar: Looking at Quarry/Silver to start.

 markusin: Also, Tactician.

 Beyond Awesome: Dan loves Tactician.

 aku chi: Quarry is a strong enabler, but it doesn’t help pay off Donate Debt.

 vsiewnar: Merchant/Troll next. Then Donate?

 Limetime: Quarry Silver/ Silver Silver / Wedding/-

 markusin: My thinking is, get Wedding, Pay off the Debt, then get Quarry after Donate.

Donald X: So you mean not trashing everything? I’m a big fan of trashing it all, getting it all good and trashed.

markusin: You can buy Donate the same turn you pay off Wedding Debt is the draws work out.

Donald X: Wedding is $7, you first two turns make $7. Am I missing something?

markusin: You can’t buy Donate for $0 after that?

Donald X: Right you mean, after paying off Donate.

markusin: Yeah, I didn’t make that clear?

Donald X: No, uh, your deck makes $3 then. Unless you keep a Copper. Quarry costs $4. That is my confusion.

markusin: Yeah, I think you’d keep at least one Copper.

Donald X: So as I was saying, I like trashing everything.

Limetime: I think turn 4 Donate may be best by getting Wedding Quarry over the 1st 3 turns. (assumes 4/3) Actually double T-map might actually be fastest.

aku chi: If there was Banquet or some other enabler, TMap would make sense. 

markusin: Or as suggested, you get Quarry first.

Donald X: Yes quarry first I think.

Dan Brooks: The fastest Donate I see is: T1: Quarry T2: Donate to Quarry + 3 Copper T3: Pay off debt T4: Bridge Troll. 

Limetime: You see Dan actually thinks before saying things.

Donald X: Well he kept some coppers, so I mean, how is that “the fastest Donate.” 

markusin: Going Wedding seems to be one turn slower at least, and that’s if keeping three Coppers and Gold.

Beyond Awesome: How long do you have to stare at the board to figure all that out, Dan? Like, what is the best strategy to figuring out how much copper to leave and when to pay off debt?

Dan Brooks: Donating faster is usually better than Donating later, so I check for turn 2-3 Donates first and hope to find one there. Wedding -> Donate turn 2 looked ok, but then Quarry was mentioned in chat and I found that worked a little bit better since you can get rid of 1 more Copper. For deciding on Copper, figure out what you want to buy the turn after Donate, and keep just enough Copper to afford it. There’s single magic trick. I think you have to check the different build paths and keep track of the best one or two.

aku chi: The way I’d work it out is fastest to some good minimal deck state. In this case, the deck state is being able to buy Border Village gaining Bridge Troll, ideally with a Quarry. The deck explodes from there.

Donald X: You can do that turn 3 of course, although then bridge troll isn’t great at paying off the Debt.

markusin: Though, the Bridge Troll attack that early in the game is not nothing

Beyond Awesome: So, in the end though, I think we can agree the goal is to build some sort of Bridge Troll mega turn engine?

Dan Brooks: Treasure Map is a consideration, but I think Bridge Troll just ends up being better.

Donald X: Yes Bridge Trolls somehow. Maybe Library lets you live with not cleaning out the coppers; like I said I like to clean them out

Beyond Awesome:

 2017-10-15 (5)

Beyond Awesome: Next kingdom: Thoughts!

vsiewnar: Sorry. Have to leave now. Thanks for having me.

Beyond Awesome: Thanks vsiwenar. Your input is appreciated.

vsiewnar: Willing to help anytime. Bye for now.

Dan Brooks: Donate/Market Square is a really strong combo – you probably open Market Square/Market Square/Donate and go from there.

Beyond Awesome: You also have Peasant and Black Market. This board looks like a dozy. The Market Square thing is very strong though.

Donald X: Black Market means, who knows what happens.

Beyond Awesome: For the record, the Donate Market Square combo is potentially unintuitive to people who have never seen it before. Can, someone quickly summarize the combo?

Dan Brooks: Luser described Summon/Market Square here: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=17267.0

Limetime: Market Square Donate. Basically whenever you buy Donate you get 1 gold for every Market Square in your deck.

markusin: If I went MS/MS/Donate, I think I’d get Treasure Trove and Amulet next. It’s a steady stream of Gold and either Silver or Gold from Amulet/MS interactions.

Limetime: Donate/Market Square is really fast. If your lucky you can get an extra Market Square on turn 3 before you Donate.

Beyond Awesome: The question is will the engine beat money here.

Limetime: I think you play Donate Market Square. With vault just so you can hit 16.

markusin: Well, there is also Black Market / Market Square as an opening.

Donald X: Probably there isn’t time to do fancy things.

aku chi: Peasant + Black Market are probably too slow.

markusin: Yeah, seeing both Vault and Treasure Trove in there, I think going all out Market Square Donate is likely to win.

aku chi: Summon + Market Square is the best draw, I think.

Limetime: Go something like Turn 1 – MS Turn 2 – MS Turn 3 MS+Donate(if you draw MS turn 3 otherwise just Donate) Turn 4 payoff debt + Donate Turn 5 – payoff debt + vault + Donate Turn 6 and onward – Provinces.

Dan Brooks: After the Donate/Market Square opening, the board can devolve into pure nonsense with Summon. Black Market can play a bunch of Gold and Menagerie can draw a bunch of cards. I think that the engine is certainly favored against the 1 Province deck, but the game is going to be so fast that the single Province deck probably has a shot.

aku chi: Oh. Nice spot, Dan. Summon Black Market and Menagerie for a decent chance to activate the Menagerie. Unlucky if you have multiple Market Squares.

Beyond Awesome: Wow!

Donald X: We are all here to see what Dan says.

Beyond Awesome: That’s quite something though. I think that makes the engine favored.

aku chi:I think a double Donate is the usual Market Square approach. Keep a single Copper on the first Donate, so you can trash it on the second.

Dan Brooks: I think it’s worth noting that we’ve had a number of kingdoms that are likely to end before turn 10. Donate can lead to some really fast games.

aku chi: Buy Market Squares on the Donate turns, if possible. They’ll pay for themselves.

Donald X: Donate takes away a lot of uncertainty, though not all of it; it means having a better plan is everything. Like in one of mic’s videos, he’ll be all, “I guess I’ll open Temple.” And you can’t do that with Donate, you need to really work out what you’re doing.

Limetime: You def should get vault so you can hit double province; Straight ms – Donate can only hit 15.

aku chi: Well, there is Summon, which might be better than Vault.

Beyond Awesome: For the record, I really like the Summon Black Market thing

Beyond Awesome:

 2017-10-15-6.png

Limetime: Did I ever mention I hate Swindler.

Donald X: I do not regret Swindler, I still enjoy it to this day.

Dan Brooks: Swindler is just better at messing up most engines than engines are at building up.

aku chi: So, this board looks more modest.

Limetime: Silver-Swindler-Silver-Donate-gold-Silver-Hireling/Provinces.

Dan Brooks: I’d want to play with Swindler, Gold, Crown and Hireling – the 2-5 opening looks really sad.

aku chi: I can’t see a way to reliably set aside Province with Native Village, which is sometimes possible on Donate boards.

markusin: Well, Courtyard.

aku chi: But then you need to play a Native Village before Courtyard.

markusin: But Native Village is the only nonterminal. So, reliable, no.

Donald X: It would work if it weren’t for Swindler

Dan Brooks: The Native Village trick looks hard to pull off. You’d need to go Crown-Crown-Courtyard-Native Village, and Swindler can turn those cards into Estates and Duchies.
Limetime: You also have to throne the Native Village which sets aside two cards, one unknown.

Donald X: You can have your whole deck in your hand, and play two Native Villages, one that sets aside nothing; you need some hirelings though, and those cards are at risk.

Dan Brooks: Swindler ruins all the fun decks here. Six looks like a good cost here, since Gold and Hireling are both nice.

Donald X: It’s just a fun intellectual exercise, you aren’t going for it.

Limetime: Pretty sure you try to crown a Swindler AMAP (as much as possible) and buy Provinces.

aku chi: It’s easier when you can gain the Province on the turn you set it aside. Like, with Remodel.

Beyond Awesome: So, um, I guess you play some sort of Swindler money deck. Does that sound right?

aku chi: I agree with the consensus.

Limetime: Courtyard is ok if there is a non-terminal there and no Swindler.

Donald X: Well your opponent can defend against Swindler like you can.

markusin: With Hirelings.

aku chi: One Hireling, I think.

Dan Brooks: Don’t worry Aku, if you only want 1, your opponent will give you more!

Limetime: 1-2 isnt that big a differences in win %s probably. 

aku chi: I like taking Provinces early in a Swindler game.

Beyond Awesome:

 2017-10-15.png

Donald X: Bandit and Bandit camp, together at last.

Limetime: Silver Silver-Bandit (hopefully) into some Bandit Replace thing. 

aku chi: Bandit + Replace with Ironmonger and Archive for draw is what I’d build to. 

Donald X: Note that Horse Traders works when you can’t discard

Limetime: Archive doesn’t feel super great given that you will be thin. Horse Traders is rubbish given that you are thin.

Dan Brooks: Bandit is the best card early here. I would open Silver-Silver and Bandit before Donating. Afterwards, I’d probably build up a little with Replace, Bandit Camp and Archive before greening on around 2 Provinces/turn.

markusin: Well, playing Archive after using Replace on Gold to get Province is nice.

Beyond Awesome: You just draw the Province back. You have to draw at least one card off Archive.

Limetime: Well you can draw some spoils

aku chi: Because there’s Archive, I wouldn’t mind keeping some Copper around if it speeds up the critical gains.

Dan Brooks: You could Replace Copper into Candlestick Makers later 

Beyond Awesome: So, this looks like Replace and Bandit for Gold, so you can remodel them. What does the ideal opening looks like. What do you get on a 5 and what do you do on a 3/4.

Donald X: It’s hard to argue with Bandit/Replace. Then everyone gets to decide what to bid on Mountain Pass.

Beyond Awesome: Do you bid 40 potentially?

Limetime: If you are clean and all you are doing is playing Bandits and replace then sure bid 40. Well actually. No. You can get junked with curses and be unable to buy Donate.

aku chi: I’d be temped to Donate turn 2 if I opened with Bandit.

Beyond Awesome: Is 3/4 just Silver/Silver?

markusin: You want Bandit/Replace/Bandit Camp, so, maybe Silver/Silver is the right call. Bandit before Donate at least.

aku chi: Well, Silver + Ironmonger isn’t crazy if you plan to keep some Copper. You’re looking for a turn 3 Bandit.

Beyond Awesome: Be careful opening Ironmonger on Donate boards.

aku chi: If you don’t hit $5 on turn 3, though, you might want to Donate. A sad turn 3 Donate after Silver + Silver can set up a Replace on turn 5, which Replaces the Silvers into Bandit Camp and Bandit on turns 6 and 7. At least, that’s one build path.

Beyond Awesome: Time to wrap up. Closing remarks everyone.

Donald X: You have considered some Donate boards, so, you know, now can you express your feelings well on this exciting Event.

aku chi: Donate is exciting and complicated when gainers are present, which is often.

markusin: Well, this session taught me how difficult it can be to wrap one’s head around the best Donate path.

Beyond Awesome: From what I’ve seen today, it seems Donate is a very complex Event. Every game it’s present is different, and you really need to think out far ahead what you want your deck to look like.

markusin:I think Dan’s point about knowing what you want to buy the turn after you pay off Donate is important.

aku chi: Gold gainers are especially potent on Donate boards.

Beyond Awesome: Most gainers are potent on Donate boards, it seems.

Dan Brooks: Most of the time, you have to do a lot of work to get a nice thin deck. Donate does all the work for you and just gives you whatever thin deck you want. I’m impressed at how interesting Donate are, even with minimal shuffle luck. My one word of advice would be to try really hard to be player 1 on Donate boards, because everything can be over in 8 or 9 turns.

markusin: I’m thinking I need to practice today’s exercise on more Donate boards after this. The subtle interactions are not always easy to spot right away.

Donald X: Now get two players to play all those boards and see what they actually do.

aku chi: Oh, something that didn’t come up in any of the boards we looked at is golden decks. If there isn’t a good way to draw on a Donate board, look for ways to reliably gain points with a consistent, small deck.

markusin: That board with Native Village and Courtyard was close.

aku chi: Yeah, I’ve seen some Native Village golden decks, so it’s something I keep an eye out for. Village, Remodel Gold into Province, set aside Province, buy Gold.

Limetime: Welp we only have one of the two top players here. (I am looking at you Dan)

Donald X: Right we want other people. Mic and Markus, Donate cage match only the boards are provided.

Beyond Awesome: Thank you everyone for participating in this month’s round table. Readers feel free to play out the boards and tell us in the comments how wrong we all were.

Donald X: Well it’s a whole different thing, playing after reading and playing without reading.

aku chi: Thanks for hosting, Beyond Awesome!

Beyond Awesome: Next month, we will discuss the Peasant and Page lines, or at least one of them, both if we have time.

Donald X: Well one obvious thing is to talk about the new set, early no doubt wrong opinions.

Dan Brooks: Oh man.

Beyond Awesome: That’s another possibility.

Dan Brooks: Nocturne would be good to discuss. Thanks for organizing this Beyond Awesome!

Donald X: The teaser is Friday; we’re getting there.

markusin: Yes, this was a lot of fun, and thank you for having me on!

Donald X: gg

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