these are my Dominion opinions. i'm not the best player in the world but i am always right about everything.

all card images from diehrstraits

i will commonly refer to dominionstrategy.com's articles, because they are the only other site that gives a damn about Dominion

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Council Room

This is still one of my absolute favorite cards. It gives such fat draw, and another Buy to use on hookers or whatever you want, cocaine, whatever.

It does let your opponent draw a card, which I also love, because it means I get to draw cards when you play one! This card makes everybody happy.

And you can play Militia to totally negate the card's disadvantage.

The only problem with this card is that it isn't tattooed on my face.

Rating: 5/5
The best card-draw in the game.

Throne Room

Throne Room has some weird effects on the game. For one, it uses one Action to play two action cards, so if the card has +1 Action on it, it suddenly becomes able to give you multiple actions rather than simply replacing its own. It also makes certain actions wickedly powerful and doesn't do much or anything to others.

Throne Room doesn't expand your hand in quite the way that King's Court does; you're taking one card and effectively playing two copies of it, so Throne Room sort of just becomes an extra copy of whatever else you have in hand. In the same sense, King's Court behaves like two copies of that card, giving you three cards in the space of two. Pretty cool.

Anyway, if you have a specific strategy in mind for Throne Room, or there are no true +Actions cards on the board, picking one up is a good idea.

Best cards to use with it: Council Room, Smithy, Torturer, Nobles, Possession, Rabble, and Envoy. All of them draw a ton of cards, except Possession, which... well, that's a bag of shit that we can smell later.

Rating: 3/5
Entirely dependent on the available actions, but potentially devastating


I know two-player games are in vogue thanks to Isotropic, but every game I play with physical cards has three or four players. In those situations, Thief doubles or triples in effectiveness, and it can be a fun way to grab three Golds in one turn.

That said, Thief also has a good chance of helping your opponent by trashing his Copper for him. Also, if Thief is in the game, your opponent might grab one and steal all the shit you stole from him right back... making the whole exercise futile.

It's a gamble, and with most attacks, you don't really want a gamble.

Rating: 1/5, 2/5, or 3/5
It gets better the more opponents you have, but it never becomes great.


Spy is still a pretty useful card. Only Familiar replaces itself in the same way (+1 Card, +1 Action), but Spy also helps you control your upcoming draws. A big Spy-chain can both mess up your opponents and provide you with a juicy hand to play with.

Spy also combos with several other attacks: Thief to find the opponent's big money, Swindler to find the opponent's Copper (or turn his Torturer into a Duchy), and Jester to find something you'd like to have. This covers one of Spy's main disadvantages; it doesn't do all that much to your opponent by itself.

So, a few Spies rarely hurt. I wouldn't buy ten of them; you still need an Action to cycle them out, and if you blow your last Action on a Smithy and draw three Spies, you'll be pretty disappointed.

Rating: 3/5
Gets more useful with each new set, and usually doesn't take up space in your hand.


Even a beginner intuitively understands the value of card-draw. This might have been the first Dominion card I ever bought, and I'm still buying it just as often in games today.

Smithy is one of my favorite cards in the set, even though it's really simple. It's not expensive, it combos well, it fits almost any strategy... there's nothing to dislike about it.


Nothing at all.


Okay, fine. What the fuck are they doing in that picture?

"Hey, Bob, I'm gonna start hammering the fuck out of this double-bucket, why don't you lean way over and put your hand in there for me. That's a lad."

Oh, wait, there's something in the old man's other hand, there. Is he chiseling something? Why? Is he bored of making things out of metal and now he's blacksmithing with fucking stone?

What's the leaning guy wearing? Does he always put a belt on over his bicep that goes behind his back? What is that for, besides making every movement more difficult?

Also he has the longest forearm in the history of forearms.

Christ al-fucking-mighty.

Rating: 3/5
The card draw is good, even if the card's drawing is awful.


Cards are tools. Their purpose is to help you win the game. I know you like drawing a bunch of money every turn, but you can't keep it for its own sake. Remember the real objective.

Remodel will turn your Gold into a Province, or your Platinum into a Colony. It's not always the right move, if it's early in the game and you're still putting your deck together, but you should consider it an attractive option, rather than a last resort.

Aside from that point, Remodel basically improves your control over your deck. The card you gain doesn't have to cost $2 more than the one you trashed; it can be any card below that cost, too. (This is in contrast to Upgrade, which has its own merits and flaws.)

You don't always think about Remodel being part of your deck when you're planning it, but I can tell you that I use it almost every time I draw it.

Rating: 4/5
Always helpful, sometimes critical.


Once upon a time, when I was young and stupid, I read Moneylender and thought to myself, "Why would I want to throw away perfectly good Copper?" (I didn't win many games back then.)

Now, of course, whenever I see it, I usually buy one. At worst, it turns your lonesome Copper right into Silver, and at best it'll help you get Gold or better. It's a very solid card.

Of course, eventually you run out of Copper, and unfortunately the Moneylender doesn't just disappear at that point. If there's other trashing on the board, feel free to buy a few Moneylenders and then trash them when the Coppers are gone. As a 4-cost, Remodel will turn it into a Gold for you, Upgrade will make it whatever 5-cost you want, so on.

So while I do like Moneylender, if Chapel and Moneylender are both out, I'll probably just get the Chapel. It is four times faster at trashing Copper and it works on other shit, too. Cards like Masquerade and Ambassador will also make me think for a minute about what I really want to do with my Copper.

Rating: 3/5
Useful, but limited.