A while ago, I talked about the awesome web site that lets you play Dominion for free online (http://dominion.isotropic.org) and the 10 cards I least liked to use. I should point out that this online version does not yet have the Dark Ages expansion, so I’m only talking about cards released before that expansion.
Today I’ll mention my 10 most favorite cards to play with, the ones that make me giddy whenever they show up in the tableau. I get sad if my opponent vetoes one of these.
10. Grand Market. I love the way this card’s presence changes the incentives of the game. Now, you’re doing everything you can to get non-Copper income, because Grand Market is that good. Once you have a couple, they make it easier to get more. And kudos to you for finding alternate ways of getting them (Remodeling a 4-cost card, for instance). And of course, it’s a lot of fun to play, powering you through your deck with more money and more buys. (The original Market gets an honorable mention here.)
9. Platinum. Playing with big money is cool; simple as that.
8. Spice Merchant. Get rid of Coppers and get a fantastic choice of things to do; what’s not to love? I especially love games where you find yourself trashing Silvers or even Golds near the end of the game in the hope of drawing the awesome cards that you need. I’ll never buy more than one, but it’s just about my favorite opening hand purchase.
7. Steward. I love versatility. Steward is great for getting rid of your Estates and Coppers early in the game or getting you an extra $2 when you need it most. If you have enough extra actions, the card drawing can be potent, too. Interesting choices equals fun.
6. Peddler. With Grand Market / Market showing up earlier on this list, you can understand why I like Peddler. If you’ve played a bunch of cards and you have an extra buy, you get a free Peddler! And if you have a few Peddlers in the deck, it becomes even easier to get more. The fact that it nominally costs $8 also means that you can do cool things with Peddler and Remodel or Apprentice.
5. Alchemist. No, this isn’t here just because of Chaos & Alchemy. I just like the card. This is the one Potion card that I really enjoy (with University getting an honorable mention). There’s something satisfying about lining up your next hand as being five Alchemists, knowing that you’ll basically get to start with a ten-card hand. It can be a little annoying to be on the receiving end of this, admittedly, but that’s lessened with the online version of the game.
4. Bishop. I like cards that let me get Estates out of my deck, especially if they reward me for doing so. I also like that Bishop can be used late in the game to turn expensive cards into points. Again, interesting choices equals fun. And this one even lets your opponent make an interesting choice, too!
3. King’s Court. There was a time when this card just annoyed me because my opponents would do ridiculous things with it and take super-long turns. Then I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. Doing ridiculous things is fun. I wouldn’t want every game to involve King’s Court, but I’m glad the card is out there to use from time to time.
2. Expand. Remodel gets an honorable mention here. Improving your deck is an early “aha” moment for most Dominion players, and Expand is a great way to do it. I also like that it goes from upgrading your money and Estates early in the game to changing your Markets into Provinces late in the game; this can make for some come-from-behind victory stories, which I always love.
1. City. I could put any of the Village variants in this spot (original Village, Mining Village, Worker’s Village, Farming Village, Walled Village, Border Village, even Native Village), but I have a weird thing for City. It starts off as an overpriced original Village, but then it gets really good… and then it gets ridiculous and ends the game. I’ll often find myself buying a City even if I know it’s not the “best” choice, just because the potential to draw eleventy zillion cards with tons of money and buys at the end of the game is so tempting. And it’s still a Village variant, which means you get to do more cool stuff on your turn.
So there you have it – my 10 most favorite Dominion cards. What are your favorites?
– Michael the OnlineDM