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Making Luck Episode 56: Kingdom Design/Temple/Raider

In this episode, Adam and Jake discuss kingdom design tips, Temple from Empires, and Raider from Nocturne.

Kingdom at the end: Courtyard, Experiment, Fortune Teller, Duplicate, Marauder, Necromancer, Temple, Festival, Hireling, Raider, Fair

I wrote up summaries of these two cards and tried to post them a while ago, but either it didn't work or they subsequently fell into a black hole. It appears I didn't save a copy, so I've rewritten them from memory without listening to the episode again. Hopefully I remembered the main points.

I actually thought this was a great episode, especially the discussion of Temple. I was always a bit scared of this card as it seemed complicated, but once you realise that you basically just play it for the trashing it all seems much simpler.

Temple:

  • Temple’s primary purpose is trashing, and it’s pretty decent at doing that as it can trash more than one card per play (albeit with restrictions).
  • Against cursers and (especially) looters it is a particularly strong trasher as it can sometimes trash three cards and the restriction that they have to be different is less significant.
  • In general, you should buy it when you want its trashing ability, which usually means at the start of the game.
  • In general, you should play it when you have cards in hand that you want to trash. The 1VP you score from playing it is a great bonus, but you don’t build your deck around getting a lot of points from playing Temple. You wouldn’t do that with Monument, and Temple is even worse at it because it provides no economy and you have to keep feeding it stuff to trash.
  • If you’re considering getting a Temple that you don’t really want just to pick up the VP on it, you can look at it like a green card that you can trash without losing the points. If it’s late enough in the game that you would buy a green card with that many VP for $4 then by all means get it. For example, if you would otherwise have bought a Duchy then Temple with 3+ points on it is cheaper and generally better.

Raider:

  • Raider has a lot in common with Gold:
    • It costs $6
    • It gives you 3 coins
    • It doesn’t take an action to play it
  • The 3 coins is the bulk of what the card does, so in any situation where you wouldn’t consider buying Gold you probably shouldn’t consider buying Raider either, whereas in any situation where you would consider buying Gold you probably should consider whether Raider would be better.
  • In evaluating Raider against Gold, you have to consider the upside of the attack versus the downside of getting your 3 coins the turn after you play the Raider.
  • The delay in getting the 3 coins is like with any Duration payload card: it can cost you tempo and the card misses more shuffles. This is worst when you’re drawing your deck as you need two Raiders to provide the same economy as one Gold.
  • The attack is usually just a Cutpurse attack that (usually) doesn’t stack. This can be strong at the start of the game, but as Raider costs $6 it’s not a card you can usually get and play very early.
  • If you’ve trashed all your Coppers it can occasionally be a really crippling attack, but if there’s good enough trashing to do this then often your opponent will be drawing his deck by that stage anyway and may well be able to draw back whatever he has to discard.
  • When you and your opponent are both playing decks that cycle slowly, such as money decks and slogs, the weakness of being orange is comparatively small while the value of the Cutpurse attack is comparatively large, so Raider will usually be better than Gold in these types of decks.
  • Conversely, as payload in a deck that is drawing itself, the disadvantage of needing twice as many Raiders as Golds will usually outweigh the benefit of an attack that probably won’t prevent the opponent drawing his deck anyway.