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Dominion: Combos

I've given a lot of advice about how to build good decks in Dominion. The idea of early-game priorities being thinning and junking, then gainers, then draw, then payload, etc. applies to most games of Dominion and most decks you'll want to build. But of course there are exceptions to just about everything in Dominion, and my advice has plenty of those.

This article is about a certain type of exception to these rules, combo decks. Sometimes the synergy between exactly two cards is so incredibly powerful that you throw the rest of the rules of Dominion out the window and now the entire game is focused around those two cards and the different ways you can support or counter them.

What makes a combo? Well it must be two cards and not more. Sure, combinations of cards or types of cards can be powerful, but there are enough cards in Dominion that it seems silly to me to write an article about something more specific than two cards, because you may never actually see it come up. The ones here are already rare enough. Past that, it just needs to be powerful enough to make you change the way you build your deck, so that it revolves around the combo.

I've compiled a list of every known combo deck, with links to articles about each one if you want more detail. They are divided into two tiers: "Tier 1 combos" are so powerful that unless there is a hard counter present (which sometimes doesn't exist), you can expect to lose to the combo basically all of the time. "Tier 2 combos" can have a bit more counterplay, but are still powerful enough that the focus of the game is often completely around the combo deck anyways.

Tier 1 Combos:

Capital/Mandarin
Counting House/Night Watchman
Counting House/Travelling Fair
Hermit/Market Square
Hunting Grounds/Lurker

Tier 2 Combos:

Baths/Salt the Earth
Bridge/Native Village
Bridge/Royal Carriage
Guildhall/[Beggar/Delve/Masterpiece]