Band of Misfits
|Band of Misfits|
|Type(s)||Action - Command|
|Play a non-Command Action card from the Supply that costs less than this, leaving it there.|
Band of Misfits is an Action-Command card from Dark Ages. It has no effect of its own; rather, its effect is to imitate the abilities of any cheaper Action card in the Supply. Band of Misfits' versatility is very useful in engine decks where you need to line up certain cards with each other; Band of Misfits can therefore have whichever effects you need it to have. However, Band of Misfits can only imitate relatively cheap cards; buying it means potentially missing out on a powerful Action, whose effects Band of Misfits cannot simulate.
Band of Misfits was one of the main cards affected by the 2019 errata, and as such this page is divided into pre- and post-errata sections.
- This plays a non-Command Action card from the Supply costing less than it.
- Command is a type that appears on cards like this; it has no meaning beyond stopping these cards from playing each other.
- Band of Misfits can only play the top card of a Supply pile.
- The played Action card stays in the Supply; if an effect tries to move it, such as Death Cart trying to trash itself, it will fail to move it. If the card checks to see if it was trashed, like Death Cart does, that part will fail, but if it does not, like Acting Troupe (from Renaissance), the rest of the effect will still happen.
- Since the played card is not in play, "while this is in play" abilities (such as Highway's from Hinterlands) will not do anything.
- Leave Band of Misfits in play until the Clean-up of the turn the card it played would have left play. Normally that means you'll discard it that turn, but if Band of Misfits plays a Duration card (Duration cards are in other expansions), it will stay out like the Duration card would have, and if Band of Misfits plays a card like Throne Room that plays a Duration card twice, it will stay out in the same way the Throne Room would have.
- If you play Band of Misfits multiple times, such as with Throne Room, leave it out until the Clean-up of the turn that the last of the cards it played would have left play.
Other Rules clarifications
Band of Misfits can offer excellent flexibility but also comes at a high opportunity cost if there are more important Action cards costing . You therefore have to weigh the benefits of having all Actions costing or less available in one card against the benefits of a potentially more powerful single card, which means that Band of Misfits is especially appealing if the other cards are comparatively weak and the range of cheaper cards is wide and offers some high-value effects for that price range.
If the right Action cards are available, a copy or two of Band of Misfits can significantly boost the reliability of an engine by offering whatever is needed at the relevant moment, such as a village effect, draw, or payload. The card can be a particularly good choice on a / opening split if it can play a useful card that you would otherwise have opened with. For example, if Ambassador is the card you most want to add to your deck, there is essentially no downside to taking a Band of Misfits instead: you can use it to play Ambassador whenever you have good targets in hand, with the freedom to add more terminals than you might have with Ambassador (perhaps including a copy of Ambassador itself); if you encounter terminal collision or a lack of good targets, you can easily use Band of Misfits as a village, cantrip, or whatever else serves the turn best instead. More generally, Band of Misfits works nicely with cards that provide most of their value in the early game (e.g., thinners such as Moneylender), as it can continue to be useful longer than a copy of that card itself would be. It’s unlikely, however, that you’ll want to keep adding too many copies of Band of Misfits, as they have somewhat diminishing marginal returns, especially once you begin to acquire deck control: if you’ll always end up using one of your Bands of Misfits to play Monument, for example, it may be more cost-effective to just buy the Monument directly.
Certain cards have a strong synergy with Band of Misfits (or other Command cards), because they are usually one-shots but provide their full benefit without that drawback when played from the Supply. This is the case when their effect is not contingent on the card being trashed or returned to the Supply; examples include Acting Troupe and Experiment. Similarly, when Way of the Horse is in the Kingdom, any cheap Action card can effectively be played by Band of Misfits for a powerful Laboratory effect with no downside.
Conversely, other cards lose some or all of their value when you play them with Band of Misfits because they offer effects that only apply while the card is in play (e.g. Sauna) or that are contingent on the card being trashed (e.g. Treasure Map) or otherwise moved out of play (e.g. Transmogrify). Band of Misfits may be a weaker choice than usual if such cards are present in the price range that it can play; similar considerations apply in the presence of cards with strong on-gain effects (such as Lackeys), which Band of Misfits does not provide access to. A final consideration to be aware of is with piles that tend to run out easily, such as Magpie. You cannot play Band of Misfits as a card from an empty pile, which may be problematic if, for example, you were relying on Magpie as the only non-terminal Band of Misfits target.
Because Band of Misfits can only play cards cheaper than itself, it does not interact usefully with most cost reduction effects, since these usually reduce the price of Band of Misfits as well as its potential targets; the same cards are playable by Band of Misfits before or after playing a Bridge, for instance. Excessive cost reduction (e.g. with multiple Bridges) can play particularly poorly with Band of Misfits: if its cost is reduced to , there are no longer any cheaper Action cards in the Supply, rendering the card completely useless.
- When you play this, you pick an Action card from the Supply that costs less than it, and treat this card as if it were the card you chose.
- Normally this will just mean that you follow the instructions on the card you picked.
- For example with Village in the Supply, you could play Band of Misfits as Village and get +1 Card +2 Actions.
- Band of Misfits also gets the chosen card's cost, name, and types, until it leaves play.
- If you play Band of Misfits as a card that moves itself somewhere, Band of Misfits will do that; for example Band of Misfits played as Death Cart, choosing to trash itself, will put Band of Misfits into the trash.
- If you play Band of Misfits as a card that does something when trashed or discarded from play, and that thing happens, Band of Misfits will do that; for example if you play Band of Misfits as Hermit and buy no cards, in Clean-up Band of Misfits will be trashed and you will get a Madman.
- If you play Band of Misfits as a Duration card, or as a Throne Room on a Duration card, Band of Misfits will stay in play the same way the Duration card or Throne Room would.
- If you play Band of Misfits multiple times such as via a Throne Room, you will only pick what to play it as the first time; the other times it will be the same thing.
- Once in play, Band of Misfits is the thing it copied, rather than a Band of Misfits; for example Horn of Plenty (from Cornucopia) will count the Band of Misfits as the card it copied.
- Band of Misfits can only be played as a visible card in the Supply, and the top card of a pile; it cannot be played as a card from an empty pile, or as a card that has not been uncovered (such as Sir Martin when another Knight is on top of him), or as a non-Supply card (like Mercenary).
Other Rules clarifications
- Band of Misfits reverts to being Band of Misfits whenever it is not in play.
- If you Throne Room a Band of Misfits and Band of Misfits is moved after the first time it is played, it goes back to being Band of Misfits, so when you play it the second time, you can pick a different card to play it as (or the same one, if you still can); for example if you Throne Room a Band of Misfits as Death Cart, choosing to trash itself, you put Band of Misfits into the trash and can then play it as Village. After it has moved, Band of Misfits does not move back into play (because it is not where it expects to be) and so "while this is in play" abilities of the card it copies will not do anything.
- If you Procession a Band of Misfits and play it as Fortress, it will move to your hand and you can later play it as Band of Misfits again.
- If you play Band of Misfits as a Reserve card, put Band of Misfits on your Tavern mat; once on your Tavern mat, it is Band of Misfits again, which is not a card that can be called, and it will be there for the rest of the game. Similarly, if you play Band of Misfits as Island, you will have a Band of Misfits on your Island mat at the end of the game, and it will not be worth .
- If Band of Misfits is never moved into play (for example by using Necromancer to play it from the trash), you play it as a cheaper Action in the Supply, then it immediately reverts to being Band of Misfits.
- You first play Band of Misfits, then play it again as a cheaper Action in the Supply. This counts as two Actions played, which matters for Adventures tokens and Conspirator.
- You get the bonuses from vanilla bonus tokens on the Band of Misfits Supply pile since those tokens' effects happen before Band of Misfits turns into something else. If there are any tokens on the Supply pile of the card Band of Misfits copies, those effects also happen, after the effects from any tokens on the Band of Misfits Supply pile.
- If you Throne Room a Band of Misfits, you normally only play Band of Misfits once; if Band of Misfits leaves play or there is no card in the Supply you can pick, then instead of playing the copied card again you will play Band of Misfits again. You get the bonuses from tokens on the Band of Misfits Supply pile each time you play Band of Misfits, and you get the bonuses from tokens on the copied card's Supply pile each time it's played as the copied card. For example, if the +1 Card token is on the Band of Misfits Supply pile and the + token is on the Village Supply pile, and you Throne Room a Band of Misfits as Village, you get +1 Card (from playing Band of Misfits) and + (+ from each play of Village).
- If Band of Misfits is in the trash when you play it as a card that can gain a Band of Misfits from the trash, it can gain itself from the trash; for example if you Throne Room a Band of Misfits and play it the first time as Death Cart, choosing to trash itself, you can choose the second time to play it as Graverobber to gain itself from the trash.
- Procession and Improve check the cost of the trashed Action after they trash it; for example if you Procession a Band of Misfits, you trash Band of Misfits, and since it costs when in the trash, you gain an Action costing exactly .
- If you play Band of Misfits as a card that returns itself to its pile, you return it to the Band of Misfits Supply pile; for example if you play Band of Misfits as Page and there are any copies of Treasure Hunter in their pile, put Band of Misfits back into its pile and if you do, you take a Treasure Hunter.
- You will normally not have a Band of Misfits in play. If you do not play Band of Misfits as another card, for example due to an opponent's Enchantress or if there was no card in the Supply you could pick, then Band of Misfits will be in play.
Strategy Article (Pre-Errata)
Original article on the forum by DG.
Depending upon how you look at it, this is either a very simple or a very complex card. At its simplest it can be a very straightforward card to buy and play. At its most complicated it can provide many options for card play and deck construction.
I think the place to start looking at Band of Misfits is at the card play, which is an unusual place to start. You have the choice to play the Band of Misfits as any cheap card in the supply. This means that when you have two terminal actions in hand with a cheap Village in the supply you can play the Band of Misfits as a Village for the extra actions. When you have no terminal cards in your hand you can use the Band of Misfits as a cheap terminal in the supply, and so on. This flexibility can make deck building quite simple since you can add Band of Misfits to a balanced deck and it will most likely remain a balanced deck, if not better. This is only true however if there is a good selection of cheap Actions cards in the Kingdom: something with + , something with +Actions, maybe something with +Cards or +Buy, etc. Flexibility in providing or using actions is possibly the best feature of the Band of Misfits.
What you gain in flexibility however you could lose in power. Being able to play a Mountebank is generally better than being able to play a Band of Misfits as either a Sea Hag or Nomad Camp. cost cards are usually very strong and the decision to buy them ahead of a Band of Misfits can be simple. If there are no strong cost cards in the Kingdom then the Band of Misfits might again be a simple purchase since you might otherwise have bought one of the cheaper cards instead. In the middle, though, there will be a small number of fiendish purchasing decisions where you are effectively weighing up a strong single card against variations from a choice of weaker cards.
The Band of Misfits doesn't need any specific kingdom cards to work and will behave differently in different kingdoms. The better the variety of cheap cards in the supply however the more chance the Band of Misfits has to provide value. You might draw a hand that could use a Chancellor, or a Bureaucrat, or a Thief, or a Shanty Town, or a Remodel, or a Cellar, so never rule any card out even if you wouldn't purchase it for that particular deck. Even a Feast could even let you gain a Duchy on the last turn. Taking that concept further, the more dependent a card is upon the draw the more benefit you can gain from having Band of Misfits in your deck instead of the card itself. Specific examples might be cards such as Procession, Develop, Treasure Map, or Coppersmith.
I will however single out two Kingdom cards. The option to play the Band of Misfits as a Death Cart will be strong, especially when you don't want to add two Ruins to your deck by gaining a Death Cart. The Band of Misfits will suit Conspirator decks since it can either start or continue the Conspirator chains, reducing the risks of bad draws, and you could well be willing to pay 5 or 6 coins for these engine components anyway. The Conspirator deck does highlight one risk though. Once a card's supply pile is empty the Band of Misfits cannot act as that card. It is also worth remembering that the Band of Misfits cannot act as Silver. Sometimes a simple Silver will be better in hand than a versatile action card, especially if you find yourself repeatedly playing your Band of Misfits as a low reward +action card.
If we return however to the card play we can see where the final complications come from. Band of Misfits increases the potential card plays from a hand, since you not only have to sequence your actions but now also choose what the actions are. Whilst this may perplex artificial intelligence I suspect that human intelligence will enjoy the challenge.
- A variety of Action cards costing -
- Cards whose value are very dependent on what's in your hand (Throne Room) or in play (Conspirator) at the time.
- Cards which will make themselves obsolete over time, such as Moneylender, Sea Hag, and Chapel.
- Cards in the supply granting +Buy or +Actions allow Band of Misfits to function as engine grease when needed.
- Playing it as Death Cart to bypass the on-gain penalty.
- Ferry allows Band of Misfits to emulate a card that normally costs or .
- Powerful cards costing and few cards costing less
- Piles that are likely to run out like Hamlet.
| Play this as if it were an Action card in the Supply costing less than it that you choose.
This is that card until it leaves play.
|Dark Ages||August 2012|
|Play this as if it were a cheaper Action card in the Supply. This is that card until it leaves play.||Dark Ages (2017 printing)||September 2017|
|Play an Action card from the Supply that costs less than this, leaving it there.||Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks||September 24, 2019|
|Play a non-Command Action card from the Supply that costs less than this, leaving it there.||Dark Ages (2020 printing)||2020|
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