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Episode 31: Thinning vs. Junking

In this episode, Adam and Jake discuss whether to go for thinning or junking first in the early game.

Kingdom at the end: Fool's Gold, Moat, Catapult, Exorcist, Marauder, Mining Village, Quarry, Count, Crypt, Nobles, Tower

On the points from the last kingdom, I'm not sure that you really have any evidence behind some of the stuff you're saying. Like, Duchess is really bad for the money deck - as far as I saw, you never really went for it (well, Jake did once in a case he way over-terminaled and pooka-d, but I don't think the Duchess was the cost there). Also Harem you went for it pretty liberally in about every case I saw. My contention is that Harem is often going to be better than Gold, sometimes better than Butcher, but should very rarely actually be gained, because it's not worth the token more than Butcher in the cases it's better than Butcher very often, and you're not hitting exact 6 that often when you already have enough butchers but don't want to/can't province yet. Additionally, I'm not that sure that you want to open silver with $3 there; it wouldn't stun me, but I'd lean against it. Most of all, it remains unclear to me that this 5/4 vs 6/3 thing is the case (7/2 is a bit clearer, I think, though I'm not 100% sure you don't want to skip the Duchess). 5/4 is miles better for Butcher/Money as well, and though I think the difference is even bigger for the potion deck, the outcomes all remain unclear. You did convey well that the variance is high, so I don't actually think you're very far off here - it sounds like a lot given the amount of text I have, but it's all nitpicks, without any large disagreements.

 

 

As for the main topic, I agree almost exactly with your points on what's relevant and how to evaluate (maybe you can add something about the relative value of the deck control vs other stuff vis a vis the eventual deck you want to build otherwise, or that at some point it can become relevant that the junk is finite, but ok, the segment is long enough already). I only wish that you wouldn't have said that thinning is usually better. It's probably true more often than not, but it's so case-by-case, I definitely don't want anyone thinking that going thinning is the fall-back or default. And admittedly, you did make a caveat about that at the beginning, so this is only a minor difference as well.

 

 

 

Finally, the kingdom at the end. I think no matter what you do, you need to get not too beaten on the FG split. So much so that I think it makes sense to look at it in terms of get FG first, then figure out what you want to do once they run out. Either you can power through with cash, or you can try to start drawing stuff. If trying to draw stuff is the way to go, you want to think about thinning from the start pretty early; maybe you just want to do that anyway, because Will o Wisp is pretty hawt. But if you want to do a draw-y thing after, you want to thin more. What I think I'm leaning toward is FG/Exorcist into a couple Marauders only after the FG are gone. (This is assuming opp doesn't go early marauder, in which case more thinning after FG run is probably better). And just play it like money. But I wouldn't sleep on Exorcist/Catapult into FG into Mining Villages and Nobles (maybe with a Marauder as well?). And I wouldn't entirely sleep on running the FG ASAP and only then getting other stuff.

 

My immediate thought on the kingdom at the end was more along the lines of what Jake was saying about skipping FG because of no +buy. I was thinking open quarry/silver to get a turn 3/4 count to thin quickly and transition into a deck that draws with nobles and imp/ghost. You'd probably also need to pick up marauder to try and hurt the FG player, which at that point sounds like it's way too slow. And quarry with no +buy sounds just as bad as FG with no +buy. Thoughts?

So without any +Buy I don't think you want to build with Mining Village and Nobles. There's some discussion in the Discord channel where a lot of highly rated people are saying you go right for Ruined Market and build that deck anyways. I don't think that's very good but it's still not 100% in my mind.

I think Fool's Gold is super-important here of course. A deck with a lot of them just performs so well and it's hard to catch up. That is something I'm pretty certain on at this point.

At first I was thinking Marauder first, because those spoils will help reach Nobles.  But I was persuaded that this is just worse than getting Fool's Gold first.

In the Fool's Gold mirror, could Catapult/Catapult be better than Catapult/Exorcist?  If you get hit by catapult, it would prevent you from getting Will'o'wisp and Fool's Gold on the same turn.

I guess I still struggle with seeing how good FG is with the presence of junking (albeit weak), weak trashing, and no +buy.

Quote from AHoppy on July 5, 2018, 11:45 AM

I guess I still struggle with seeing how good FG is with the presence of junking (albeit weak), weak trashing, and no +buy.

Yeah I did at first too, but there isn't much of an alternative, really. Regular big money with Silvers, Golds and Spoils just gets crushed by the speed and consistency a Fool's Gold player has if they get a lot of them, and FG also cares less about the Catapult attack. Between Will O Wisps, Catapult and Exorcist, the thinning and deck control seems sufficient to enable turns with 3 FGs in hand more often than a vanilla money player can hit $8.

I would have thought the junking would matter more too, but it has yet to do a whole lot when either I or Adam bought it. Maybe we got pretty good draws as the Fool's Gold player in those games though.

Quote from trivialknot on July 5, 2018, 11:44 AM

At first I was thinking Marauder first, because those spoils will help reach Nobles.  But I was persuaded that this is just worse than getting Fool's Gold first.

In the Fool's Gold mirror, could Catapult/Catapult be better than Catapult/Exorcist?  If you get hit by catapult, it would prevent you from getting Will'o'wisp and Fool's Gold on the same turn.

Yeah but not having an Exorcist prevents you from getting Will O Wisps at all, and attacking your opponent with Catapult thins copper, which makes your deck/hand a LOT worse if you aren't thinning the estates at the same time (at least in the beginning where your opening two buys matter).

I am curious whether it's better to go Exorcist Catapult or Exorcist Fool's Gold though.

Quote from trivialknot on July 5, 2018, 11:44 AM

At first I was thinking Marauder first, because those spoils will help reach Nobles.  But I was persuaded that this is just worse than getting Fool's Gold first.

In the Fool's Gold mirror, could Catapult/Catapult be better than Catapult/Exorcist?  If you get hit by catapult, it would prevent you from getting Will'o'wisp and Fool's Gold on the same turn.

I actually think there might be something to this. I kinda want to try it out.

For the record, you don't need +buy to make Fool's Gold good, and that's not a this-board thing, that's a general thing. It's just a good card, generally better than silvers, and in practice often gold (though a lot of that is because it's a card that wants more of itself, such that the split is important). Almost the only time you want Silver more is when you really need to hit 5 ASAP. I think that even if there were no thinning here, it would still behoove you to go for FG (along with your Marauder) rather than silver, though then it would at least be a consideration. Of course being able to get 2 at once is really nice, but it's absolutely not necessary.

 

On this kingdom in particular, I'm not sure about which and how many thinners to get before starting to go FG, and what exactly to do after.

 

Adam, do you have a sense on what to get on sub-$8 hands after the FG are gone? Nobles>Crypt>Marauder>Silver?

Quote from WanderingWinder on July 5, 2018, 5:32 PM

Adam, do you have a sense on what to get on sub-$8 hands after the FG are gone? Nobles>Crypt>Marauder>Silver?

Nobles is great. I'd pick up Nobles unless I had like a billion terminals for some reason. Seems weird to not want it.

I tried to make Crypt work. It seems like it would be good with Fool's Gold but Crypt just didn't have the draw support it needs to make me not regret buying it.

I'm of the belief that you don't want Marauder here. Second Exorcist can be a consideration, as well as second Catapult or even sometimes a Count if you're getting junked. It's much muddier and depends on a lot more after that of course. Also, Mining Village can be a pretty good pickup if it's later on.

It also depends on the FG split. If I lose it I may be inclined to buy a Gold.

Quote from Adam Horton on July 5, 2018, 5:36 PM
Quote from WanderingWinder on July 5, 2018, 5:32 PM

Adam, do you have a sense on what to get on sub-$8 hands after the FG are gone? Nobles>Crypt>Marauder>Silver?

Nobles is great. I'd pick up Nobles unless I had like a billion terminals for some reason. Seems weird to not want it.

I tried to make Crypt work. It seems like it would be good with Fool's Gold but Crypt just didn't have the draw support it needs to make me not regret buying it.

I'm of the belief that you don't want Marauder here. Second Exorcist can be a consideration, as well as second Catapult or even sometimes a Count if you're getting junked. It's much muddier and depends on a lot more after that of course. Also, Mining Village can be a pretty good pickup if it's later on.

It also depends on the FG split. If I lose it I may be inclined to buy a Gold.

Hmm. Seems to me like a third trasher that late would not be good, if you've gotten two in the opening. I'd be much more open to it if you had fewer before that. Mining Village is... fine I guess, but seems pretty darn underwhelming. Nobles obviously seems good, so much so that it's hard for me to imagine Gold is good. I mean, if I've lost the FG split that badly, I find it hard to imagine at all, but the only way I can think is to somehow 'engine up' and junk them out of nowhere to oblivion. Yeah, that seems like a pipe dream, but... well I'm not entirely sure how you're losing the split too badly unless you've trashed a lot, and they've not at all.

My gut was that Crypt wasn't very good, but I wasn't sure. Seems like if you get it with at least 2 FG, you can get a couple duchies into provinces with it, but I guess just other money is getting you to a province once about as often...? Count seems meh-ish, but I guess it's probably better than a duchy if you're shuffling again, at least.

 

 

They all seem not that good, but fine-ish - a bit better than nothing. I guess marauder feels more or less similar to that range to me.