Altar

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Altar
Altar.jpg
Info
Cost $6
Type(s) Action
Kingdom card? Yes
Set Dark AgesDark Ages icon.png
Illustrator(s) Matthias Catrein
Card text
Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card costing up to $5.

Altar is an Action card from Dark Ages. It is a trasher which can trash one card at a time, and a gainer which can gain you cards costing up to $5 - very nice when you can play it often to transform your junk into expensive actions!

Contents

[edit] FAQ

[edit] Official FAQ

  • You trash a card from your hand if you can, and then gain a card whether or not you trashed one.

[edit] Other Rules clarifications

  • Neither step is optional.

[edit] Strategy Article

Altar has been discussed on the forums by DG, RD, and others.

In a way, Altar plays a bit like an ExpandExpand.jpg and a lot like a RemodelRemodel.jpg. Trash out bad cards for good ones. If you can trash out slow cards for fast cards, the Altar will be played more often and can refashion your deck. Cash in at the end by trashing for Victory cards, in this case for a DuchyDuchy.jpg. So how does it differ?

An Altar can be put into quite a poor deck, perhaps one filled with CursesCurse.jpg, and immediately trash out rubbish for good cards. This is different from the stepwise improvement provided by a Remodel or Expand. Whilst a Remodel or Expand can trash mid-cost cards for something better, the altar should always trash out junk and should therefore avoid terminal collision.

The biggest problem for an Altar comes from the high cost of $6. Gaining Duchies in the final turns is handy but not enough to justify buying the Altar and you simply might not be able to afford the Altar in the early game, so it needs to be played repeatedly in the mid game to make a difference. Thankfully $5-cost engine cards often do pay off and can drive the repeated play of key cards like an Altar. This suggests that the Altar needs good action cards at cost 4/5 in the supply to drive an engine deck, and this is indeed one of the best uses for an Altar. Its most effective use is to gain your big $5 engine piece while spending your small amount of coins on the $3-$4 piece until you can consistently draw your deck and play the Altar every turn. Then use it to keep gaining engine pieces while acquiring some source of money to start buying Victory cards. The beauty is that you just need to hit $6 once and then don't really need any money until you can consistently draw your whole deck.

So what helps get you an early $6? Here are a few contenders.

  • BaronBaron.jpg looks fantastic. Use your engine to help connect Baron to EstatesEstate.jpg later even if you start trashing them, and it provides +Buy for your engine.
  • QuarryQuarry.jpg looks strong too. If you want to prioritize engine building over an economy then you might really need some help hitting $5, especially on Altar turns.
  • Mining VillageMining Village.jpg looks plausible enough. It can be an engine piece, and you probably won't feel as bad about trashing your first one to buy the Altar as you would in a game with less card gain.
  • CountCount.jpg and Death CartDeath Cart.jpg look good. These decks will implode pretty quickly on command (especially Death Cart).
  • MandarinMandarin.jpg is an interesting question. It slows your opening down when Altar needs speed. On the other hand it would enjoy an engine game, and if you want Altar it's likely because there's something else interesting at $5 which you might happily buy on turn 2 after Mandarin.

On the flip side, Altar seems to be rather in competition with a card like Horse TradersHorse Traders.jpg, which provides a legitimate alternate road to $5 hands but doesn't really help hit $6. I can't think of many other cards that help you hit $5 but not $6 (well, FeastFeast.jpg and UniversityUniversity.jpg) but I'm sure they exist. Obviously Altar also tends to compete with strategies that don't involve building a strong conventional early economy at all: ChapelChapel.jpg, PotionPotion.jpg, etc.

It is likely to perform worse in slow cycling, Treasure-based Big Money decks where you are probably better served by GoldGold.jpg.

The Altar shares some of the same properties as other actions that gain cards up to a printed cost. It is improved with BridgeBridge.jpg and more notably HighwayHighway.jpg. It can repeatedly gain the same card from the supply each time it is used. This allows it to create extreme decks heavily skewed towards a strategy and the Altar can certainly create extreme action engines - for example, Highway engines. Altar can gain Highways, and with only three Highways in play, Altar can gain Provinces.

[edit] Synergies/Combos

[edit] Antisynergies

[edit] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Altar Altar from Goko/Making Fun Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card costing up to $5. Dark Ages 1st Edition August 2012
Altar Altar from Shuffle iT Trash a card from your hand. Gain a card costing up to $5. Dark Ages 2nd Edition September 2017

[edit] Other language versions

Language Name Print Digital Text Notes
Czech Oltář Czech language Altar
Dutch Altaar
Finnish Alttari
French Autel
German Altar
Japanese 祭壇 (pron. saidan) 手札1枚を廃棄する。コスト$5以下のカード1枚を獲得する。
Korean 제단 (pron. jedan)
Russian Алтарь (pron. altar')
Spanish Altar

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] Secret History

This is identical to the original version from 2007 except for name. Originally it was Foundry, then Tinker. I called it Altar so you could sacrifice Cultists to it. No, don't thank me; it's what I'm here for.


Cards $0 Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) $0star SpoilsSpoils.jpg $1 Poor HousePoor House.jpgShelters (HovelHovel.jpgNecropolisNecropolis.jpgOvergrown EstateOvergrown Estate.jpg) $2 BeggarBeggar.jpgSquireSquire.jpgVagrantVagrant.jpg $3 ForagerForager.jpgHermitHermit.jpg (MadmanMadman.jpg) • Market SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.jpg (MercenaryMercenary.jpg) $4 ArmoryArmory.jpgDeath CartDeath Cart.jpgFeodumFeodum.jpgFortressFortress.jpgIronmongerIronmonger.jpgMarauderMarauder.jpgProcessionProcession.jpgRatsRats.jpgScavengerScavenger.jpgWandering MinstrelWandering Minstrel.jpg $5 Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpgBandit CampBandit Camp.jpgCatacombsCatacombs.jpgCountCount.jpgCounterfeitCounterfeit.jpgCultistCultist.jpgGraverobberGraverobber.jpgJunk DealerJunk Dealer.jpgKnightsKnights.jpg (Dames AnnaDame Anna.jpgJosephineDame Josephine.jpgMollyDame Molly.jpgNatalieDame Natalie.jpgSylviaDame Sylvia.jpg • Sirs BaileySir Bailey.jpgDestrySir Destry.jpgMartinSir Martin.jpgMichaelSir Michael.jpgVanderSir Vander.jpg) • MysticMystic.jpgPillagePillage.jpgRebuildRebuild.jpgRogueRogue.jpg $6 AltarAltar.jpgHunting GroundsHunting Grounds.jpg
Combos and Counters Apprentice/Market SquareBeggar/GardensBishop/FortressDeath Cart/RatsDonate/Market SquareHermit/Market SquareLurker/Hunting GroundsMasterpiece/FeodumProcession/FortressRebuild/TunnelStoreroom/TunnelTrader/FeodumCultist vs JourneymanFortress vs Knights
Other concepts When trashLooter
Dominion Cards
Basic cards $0 CopperCopper.jpgCurseCurse.jpg $2 EstateEstate.jpg $3 SilverSilver.jpg $5 DuchyDuchy.jpg $6 GoldGold.jpg $8 ProvinceProvince.jpg
Dominion $2 CellarCellar.jpgChapelChapel.jpgMoatMoat.jpg $3 HarbingerHarbinger.jpg • MerchantMerchant.jpgVassalVassal.jpgVillageVillage.jpgWorkshopWorkshop.jpg $4 BureaucratBureaucrat.jpgGardensGardens.jpgMilitiaMilitia.jpgMoneylenderMoneylender.jpgPoacherPoacher.jpgRemodelRemodel.jpgSmithySmithy.jpgThrone RoomThrone Room.jpg $5 BanditBandit.jpgCouncil RoomCouncil Room.jpgFestivalFestival.jpgLaboratoryLaboratory.jpgLibraryLibrary.jpgMarketMarket.jpgMineMine.jpgSentrySentry.jpg • WitchWitch.jpg $6 ArtisanArtisan.jpg
Removed cards: $3 ChancellorChancellor.jpgWoodcutterWoodcutter.jpg $4 FeastFeast.jpgSpySpy.jpgThiefThief.jpg $6 AdventurerAdventurer.jpg
Intrigue $2 CourtyardCourtyard.jpgLurkerLurker.jpgPawnPawn.jpg $3 MasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg $4 BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgDiplomatDiplomat.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMillMill.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgSecret PassageSecret Passage.jpg $5 CourtierCourtier.jpgDukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgPatrolPatrol.jpgReplaceReplace.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg $6 HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.jpg
Removed cards: $2 Secret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg $3 Great HallGreat Hall.jpg $4 CoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgScoutScout.jpg $5 SaboteurSaboteur.jpgTributeTribute.jpg
Seaside $2 EmbargoEmbargo.jpgHavenHaven.jpgLighthouseLighthouse.jpgNative VillageNative Village.jpgPearl DiverPearl Diver.jpg $3 AmbassadorAmbassador.jpgFishing VillageFishing Village.jpgLookoutLookout.jpgSmugglersSmugglers.jpgWarehouseWarehouse.jpg $4 CaravanCaravan.jpgCutpurseCutpurse.jpgIslandIsland.jpgNavigatorNavigator.jpgPirate ShipPirate Ship.jpgSalvagerSalvager.jpgSea HagSea Hag.jpgTreasure MapTreasure Map.jpg $5 BazaarBazaar.jpgExplorerExplorer.jpgGhost ShipGhost Ship.jpgMerchant ShipMerchant Ship.jpgOutpostOutpost.jpgTacticianTactician.jpgTreasuryTreasury.jpgWharfWharf.jpg
Alchemy P TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg $2 HerbalistHerbalist.jpg $2P ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg $3P AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg $4 PotionPotion.jpg $4P GolemGolem.jpg $5 ApprenticeApprentice.jpg $6P PossessionPossession.jpg
Prosperity $3 LoanLoan.jpgTrade RouteTrade Route.jpgWatchtowerWatchtower.jpg $4 BishopBishop.jpgMonumentMonument.jpgQuarryQuarry.jpgTalismanTalisman.jpgWorker's VillageWorker's Village.jpg $5 CityCity.jpgContrabandContraband.jpgCounting HouseCounting House.jpgMintMint.jpgMountebankMountebank.jpgRabbleRabble.jpgRoyal SealRoyal Seal.jpgVaultVault.jpgVentureVenture.jpg $6 GoonsGoons.jpgHoardHoard.jpg $6star Grand MarketGrand Market.jpg $7 BankBank.jpgExpandExpand.jpgForgeForge.jpgKing's CourtKing's Court.jpg $8star PeddlerPeddler.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum.jpg $11 ColonyColony.jpg
Cornucopia $2 HamletHamlet.jpg $3 Fortune TellerFortune Teller.jpgMenagerieMenagerie.jpg $4 Farming VillageFarming Village.jpgHorse TradersHorse Traders.jpgRemakeRemake.jpgTournamentTournament.jpg (Prizes: Bag of GoldBag of Gold.jpgDiademDiadem.jpgFollowersFollowers.jpgPrincessPrincess.jpgTrusty SteedTrusty Steed.jpg) • Young WitchYoung Witch.jpg $5 HarvestHarvest.jpgHorn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpgHunting PartyHunting Party.jpgJesterJester.jpg $6 FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg
Hinterlands $2 CrossroadsCrossroads.jpgDuchessDuchess.jpgFool's GoldFool's Gold.jpg $3 DevelopDevelop.jpgOasisOasis.jpgOracleOracle.jpgSchemeScheme.jpgTunnelTunnel.jpg $4 Jack of all TradesJack of All Trades.jpgNoble BrigandNoble Brigand.jpgNomad CampNomad Camp.jpgSilk RoadSilk Road.jpgSpice MerchantSpice Merchant.jpgTraderTrader.jpg $5 CacheCache.jpgCartographerCartographer.jpgEmbassyEmbassy.jpgHagglerHaggler.jpgHighwayHighway.jpgIll-Gotten GainsIll-Gotten Gains.jpgInnInn.jpgMandarinMandarin.jpgMargraveMargrave.jpgStablesStables.jpg $6 Border VillageBorder Village.jpgFarmlandFarmland.jpg
Dark Ages $0 Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) $0star SpoilsSpoils.jpg $1 Poor HousePoor House.jpgShelters (HovelHovel.jpgNecropolisNecropolis.jpgOvergrown EstateOvergrown Estate.jpg) $2 BeggarBeggar.jpgSquireSquire.jpgVagrantVagrant.jpg $3 ForagerForager.jpgHermitHermit.jpg (MadmanMadman.jpg) • Market SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.jpg (MercenaryMercenary.jpg) $4 ArmoryArmory.jpgDeath CartDeath Cart.jpgFeodumFeodum.jpgFortressFortress.jpgIronmongerIronmonger.jpgMarauderMarauder.jpgProcessionProcession.jpgRatsRats.jpgScavengerScavenger.jpgWandering MinstrelWandering Minstrel.jpg $5 Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpgBandit CampBandit Camp.jpgCatacombsCatacombs.jpgCountCount.jpgCounterfeitCounterfeit.jpgCultistCultist.jpgGraverobberGraverobber.jpgJunk DealerJunk Dealer.jpgKnightsKnights.jpg (Dames AnnaDame Anna.jpgJosephineDame Josephine.jpgMollyDame Molly.jpgNatalieDame Natalie.jpgSylviaDame Sylvia.jpg • Sirs BaileySir Bailey.jpgDestrySir Destry.jpgMartinSir Martin.jpgMichaelSir Michael.jpgVanderSir Vander.jpg) • MysticMystic.jpgPillagePillage.jpgRebuildRebuild.jpgRogueRogue.jpg $6 AltarAltar.jpgHunting GroundsHunting Grounds.jpg
Guilds $2 Candlestick MakerCandlestick Maker.jpg $2plus StonemasonStonemason.jpg $3plus DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpg $4 AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpg $4plus HeraldHerald.jpg $5 BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Adventures $2 Coin of the RealmCoin of the Realm.jpgPagePage.jpg (Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpgWarriorWarrior.jpgHeroHero.jpgChampionChampion.jpg) • PeasantPeasant.jpg (SoldierSoldier.jpgFugitiveFugitive.jpgDiscipleDisciple.jpgTeacherTeacher.jpg) • RatcatcherRatcatcher.jpgRazeRaze.jpg $3 AmuletAmulet.jpgCaravan GuardCaravan Guard.jpgDungeonDungeon.jpgGearGear.jpgGuideGuide.jpg $4 DuplicateDuplicate.jpgMagpieMagpie.jpgMessengerMessenger.jpgMiserMiser.jpgPortPort.jpgRangerRanger.jpgTransmogrifyTransmogrify.jpg $5 ArtificerArtificer.jpgBridge TrollBridge Troll.jpgDistant LandsDistant Lands.jpgGiantGiant.jpgHaunted WoodsHaunted Woods.jpgLost CityLost City.jpgRelicRelic.jpgRoyal CarriageRoyal Carriage.jpgStorytellerStoryteller.jpgSwamp HagSwamp Hag.jpgTreasure TroveTreasure Trove.jpgWine MerchantWine Merchant.jpg $6 HirelingHireling.jpg
Events: $0 AlmsAlms.jpgBorrowBorrow.jpgQuestQuest.jpg $1 SaveSave.jpg $2 Scouting PartyScouting Party.jpgTravelling FairTravelling Fair.jpg $3 BonfireBonfire.jpgExpeditionExpedition.jpgFerryFerry.jpgPlanPlan.jpg $4 MissionMission.jpgPilgrimagePilgrimage.jpg $5 BallBall.jpgRaidRaid.jpgSeawaySeaway.jpgTradeTrade.jpg $6 Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpgTrainingTraining.jpg $7 InheritanceInheritance.jpg $8 PathfindingPathfinding.jpg
Empires 4D EngineerEngineer.jpg 8D City QuarterCity Quarter.jpgOverlordOverlord.jpgRoyal BlacksmithRoyal Blacksmith.jpg $2 EncampmentEncampment.jpg/PlunderPlunder.jpgPatricianPatrician.jpg/EmporiumEmporium.jpgSettlersSettlers.jpg/Bustling VillageBustling Village.jpg $3 CastlesCastles.jpg (HumbleHumble Castle.jpgCrumblingCrumbling Castle.jpgSmallSmall Castle.jpgHauntedHaunted Castle.jpgOpulentOpulent Castle.jpgSprawlingSprawling Castle.jpgGrandGrand Castle.jpgKing'sKing's Castle.jpg) • CatapultCatapult.jpg/RocksRocks.jpgChariot RaceChariot Race.jpgEnchantressEnchantress.jpgFarmers' MarketFarmers' Market.jpgGladiatorGladiator.jpg/FortuneFortune.jpg $4 SacrificeSacrifice.jpgTempleTemple.jpgVillaVilla.jpg $5 ArchiveArchive.jpgCapitalCapital.jpgCharmCharm.jpgCrownCrown.jpgForumForum.jpgGroundskeeperGroundskeeper.jpgLegionaryLegionary.jpgWild HuntWild Hunt.jpg
Events: 5D TriumphTriumph.jpg 8D AnnexAnnex.jpgDonateDonate.jpg $0 AdvanceAdvance.jpg $2 DelveDelve.jpgTaxTax.jpg $3 BanquetBanquet.jpg $4 RitualRitual.jpgSalt the EarthSalt the Earth.jpg $43D WeddingWedding.jpg $5 WindfallWindfall.jpg $6 ConquestConquest.jpg $14 DominateDominate.jpg
Landmarks: AqueductAqueduct.jpgArenaArena.jpgBandit FortBandit Fort.jpgBasilicaBasilica.jpgBathsBaths.jpgBattlefieldBattlefield.jpgColonnadeColonnade.jpgDefiled ShrineDefiled Shrine.jpgFountainFountain.jpgKeepKeep.jpgLabyrinthLabyrinth.jpgMountain PassMountain Pass.jpgMuseumMuseum.jpgObeliskObelisk.jpgOrchardOrchard.jpgPalacePalace.jpgTombTomb.jpgTowerTower.jpgTriumphal ArchTriumphal Arch.jpgWallWall.jpgWolf DenWolf Den.jpg
Nocturne $0star Will-o'-WispWill-o'-Wisp.jpgWishWish.jpg $2 DruidDruid.jpgFaithful HoundFaithful Hound.jpgGuardianGuardian.jpgMonasteryMonastery.jpgPixiePixie.jpg (GoatGoat.jpg) • TrackerTracker.jpg (PouchPouch.jpg) $2star ImpImp.jpg $3 ChangelingChangeling.jpgFoolFool.jpg (Lost in the WoodsLost in the Woods.jpgLucky CoinLucky Coin.jpg) • Ghost TownGhost Town.jpgLeprechaunLeprechaun.jpgNight WatchmanNight Watchman.jpgSecret CaveSecret Cave.jpg (Magic LampMagic Lamp.jpg) $4 BardBard.jpgBlessed VillageBlessed Village.jpgCemeteryCemetery.jpg (Haunted MirrorHaunted Mirror.jpg) • ConclaveConclave.jpgDevil's WorkshopDevil's Workshop.jpgExorcistExorcist.jpgNecromancerNecromancer.jpg (Zombies: ApprenticeZombie Apprentice.jpgMasonZombie Mason.jpgSpyZombie Spy.jpg) • ShepherdShepherd.jpg (PasturePasture.jpg) • SkulkSkulk.jpg $4star GhostGhost.jpg $5 CobblerCobbler.jpgCryptCrypt.jpgCursed VillageCursed Village.jpgDen of SinDen of Sin.jpgIdolIdol.jpgPookaPooka.jpg (Cursed GoldCursed Gold.jpg) • Sacred GroveSacred Grove.jpgTormentorTormentor.jpgTragic HeroTragic Hero.jpgVampireVampire.jpg (BatBat.jpg) • WerewolfWerewolf.jpg $6 RaiderRaider.jpg
Boons: The Earth's GiftThe Earth's Gift.jpgThe Field's GiftThe Field's Gift.jpgThe Flame's GiftThe Flame's Gift.jpgThe Forest's GiftThe Forest's Gift.jpgThe Moon's GiftThe Moon's Gift.jpgThe Mountain's GiftThe Mountain's Gift.jpgThe River's GiftThe River's Gift.jpgThe Sea's GiftThe Sea's Gift.jpgThe Sky's GiftThe Sky's Gift.jpgThe Sun's GiftThe Sun's Gift.jpgThe Swamp's GiftThe Swamp's Gift.jpgThe Wind's GiftThe Wind's Gift.jpg
Hexes: Bad OmensBad Omens.jpgDelusionDelusion.jpg (DeludedDeluded.jpg) • EnvyEnvy.jpg (EnviousEnvious.jpg) • FamineFamine.jpgFearFear.jpgGreedGreed.jpgHauntingHaunting.jpgLocustsLocusts.jpgMiseryMisery.jpg (MiserableMiserable.jpg/Twice MiserableTwice Miserable.jpg) • PlaguePlague.jpgPovertyPoverty.jpgWarWar.jpg
Promo $3 Black MarketBlack Market.jpg $4 DismantleDismantle.jpgEnvoyEnvoy.jpgSaunaSauna.jpg/AvantoAvanto.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg $5 GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.jpg $8 PrincePrince.jpg
Events: $5 SummonSummon.jpg
Base Cards $0 CopperCopper-new.jpgCurseCurse-new.jpg $2 EstateEstate-new.jpg $3 SilverSilver-new.jpg $4 PotionPotion-new.jpg $5 DuchyDuchy-new.jpg $6 GoldGold-new.jpg $8 ProvinceProvince-new.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum-new.jpg $11 ColonyColony-new.jpg
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