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Making Luck Episode 41: Wharf

In this episode, Adam and Jake discuss Wharf from the Seaside expansion.

Kingdom at the end: Alchemist, Dungeon, Menagerie, Oracle, Temple, Butcher, Cursed Village, Library, Treasury, Wharf

My feeling is that Wharf is generally overrated, and you're doing so here, too. Ok, that's kind of hard to say, since it's also like, one of the best cards still. But I don't know that it's *that* much better than the others. (And I think like... Margrave might be better? It's close; in any game with both you obviously want both so, shrug). Anyway, that's very ephemeral and opiniony and not very helpful or concrete.

 

So here's my main piece of criticism on your coverage of wharf: I don't think the Wharf split is usually all that important, and I think you can get in lots of problems by working too hard to establish a wharf split victory. This is especially true if there's other terminal draw available - if I lose the split 4-6 but add a smithy, I'm not really much behind draw-wise, and presumably I've done something else useful - gotten a village, or a payload card, or something. Strong trashing can also lessen the thing. In fact, I think 'winning the split' is mostly important only when it's the only draw and you need the power, similar to any other card where it's the only X available. I actually think it's reasonably common for people to neglect that you still need to build the rest of your deck well, and have seen people go too far into "RAWR I'M GETTING A WHARF BECAUSE IT'S THE BEST CARD!!!!!1!1!ZZ!"

 

I think you hit really well on the main thing, which is that the draw up front is super super good, and makes you much more reliable than you would be with e.g. Council Room. (The same math actually still applies, but basically every wharf gives you a village/smithy cycle for free, and the first is usually the most likely to fail, unless your draw is totally exact to the number of cards in deck and you have no filtering). But because of this, there's diminishing returns - your second pair of wharves isn't as good as your first, your third pair isn't as good as your second, etc. Of course the first pair is completely amazeballs, so you can be not-as-good and still be excellent, but oh well.

Re-reading what I wrote last night, it looks too critical. This is my biggest disagreement, but I really did quite like the episode a lot, and agree with the big majority of what you say - it is very strong, getting cards at the start is very good, you nailed the duration thing, missing the shuffle is a thing, but Adam rightly points out that nothing misses really when you shuffle every turn, etc. Good jorb!

To be fair, from the few games I've played with the bots so far, it's looking like I might have overrated Wharf in this kingdom at least...