Black Market

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Black Market
Black Market.jpg
Cost Coin3.png
Type(s) Action
Kingdom card? Yes
Set PromoBlack Market icon.png
Illustrator(s) Franz Vohwinkel
Card text
Reveal the top 3 cards of the Black Market deck. You may buy one of them immediately. Put the unbought cards on the bottom of the Black Market deck in any order.

(Before the game, make a Black Market deck out of one copy of each Kingdom card not in the supply.)

Black MarketBlack Market.jpg is a promotional Action card that allows players to buy Kingdom cards that are not in the supply for the current game. It has a reputation for leading to swingy and unpredictable games because the Black Market deck contains only one copy of each card and they appear in a random order.

As the only card that can allow Treasure cards to be played during the Action phase of a turn, Black Market can enable some exotic combos. The presence of Black Market in a game can also lead to odd consequences such as an eleventh Kingdom card being in the supply without Young WitchYoung Witch.jpg, or Ruins being in the supply without Looters, since Young Witch or Looters may be in the Black Market deck.


[edit] FAQ

[edit] Official FAQ

  • Black Market allows you to Buy a card during the Action phase.
  • You can use Coin.png provided by other Action cards played earlier in the Action phase and you can also play Treasure cards from your hand to pay the cost of the bought card.
  • The Treasure cards are played to the table in your play area, just as you would during the Buy phase.
  • You may play more Treasure cards than are required for the purchase; the extra Coin.png from Action cards and Treasure cards are available to use during your Buy phase.
  • You may even play Treasure cards without Buying a card.
  • You may not reuse Coin.png already spent during a turn. A card bought during the Action phase does not count as a card bought in your Buy phase, so you do not need an action card giving you +1 Buy to still buy a card during your normal Buy phase.
  • To use the Black Market Kingdom card, you must create a Black Market deck before starting the game. The Black Market deck is made up of Kingdom cards that are not in the Supply of the current game. The players should agree before the game which cards will be used to create the Black Market deck (for example, you could agree to use one of every Kingdom card you own that is not a part of the Supply).
  • It is recommended that the Black Market deck contain at least 15 Kingdom cards, with no duplicates.
  • All players can see which cards are placed in the Black Market deck before the game begins.
  • Take one of each selected Kingdom card, shuffle them together, and place the deck face down on the table where all players can reach it.
  • This deck is not a Supply pile and if it is emptied, it does not count towards the end game conditions.
  • If you play Black Market and the Black Market deck is empty, you cannot buy a card but you still get +Coin2.png.
  • If you play Black Market and choose not to buy one of the three cards from the Black Market deck, you still get +Coin2.png.

[edit] Other Rules clarifications

  • Black Market does NOT give you an extra buy phase, so the cost of Peddler stays at 8, and you may not spend Coin tokens while resolving Black Market.
  • More than one differently-named Knight may not be placed in the Black Market deck.
  • Although Black Market says "each Kingdom card not in the supply", it is not necessary to include every such Kingdom card; you may decide how many cards to include in the Black Market deck, and which ones, in any way. On Isotropic, only a subset of cards not in the game was available in the Black Market deck; Goko creates a deck of up to 25 cards (less if you only have Base and Promo cards). On Goko, if you wish to look at which cards are in the Black Market deck (as is allowable in the FAQ above), you have to click the "all cards" button above the Trash pile and scroll through the next pages. The strategy for playing Black Market may vary depending on how the Black Market deck is set up by your playgroup.
  • If you buy a card from the Black Market deck and then use TraderTrader.jpg to prevent yourself from gaining it, the bought card goes back on top of the Black Market deck.

[edit] Strategy Article

Black Market was discussed at this forum thread.

Often, Dominion cards can be classified into a certain category. You have trashers like ChapelChapel.jpg and RemakeRemake.jpg, +Cards like SmithySmithy.jpg, +Buy from WoodcutterWoodcutter.jpg and HerbalistHerbalist.jpg, and +Actions from villages. Although this is not an exhaustive list, it shows that many Dominion cards can be grouped together into certain general effects.

Black Market throws all of that out the window. It is the only card in the game that allows you to buy cards from outside the game. And because of this, it is one of the most high-variance cards in the game. You can lose a game because one player managed to pick out a power card from the Black Market and you didn't, and there isn't really much you can do about it.

[edit] Downsides

Black Market is terminal. Because of this, it must always be judged in comparison to buying a Silver instead of Black Market.

Black Market is highly likely to give you otherwise strong cards at the wrong time. Let's suppose you buy a Black Market on T1/T2. Then you play it on T3/T4. That means that if you buy Chapel from the Black Market, the earliest you can see that card is on turn 5; that's way too late to start trashing your starting cards. It might give you a curser when you're already greening, or good villages before you've bought any terminals, or terminals when you haven't bought enough villages. It's unpredictable. There is absolutely no guaranteeing that you find the card you want, with the money to pay for it. The most important thing to remember about Black Market is that you should never assume you'll get a specific card. To get the most from the card, you need a variety of cards that you would want to buy, and you need to be flexible in building a plan that can accommodate or benefit from them.

[edit] When to buy Black Market

  • A slow game. This is probably the most important point to keep in mind. Black Market is only useful if you actually get the time to play the action card you bought. Against a fast Big Money strategy, like EmbassyEmbassy.jpg-BM or CourtyardCourtyard.jpg-BM, I would hesitate at picking up Black Market. The fast pace means you play fewer Black Markets, have a smaller chance of obtaining a good card, and an even smaller chance of having that card have a meaningful impact.
  • Villages. Unless you're buying Black Market for variety (see a later point for this), villages are almost essential to Black Market. Because of how the Black Market deck is created, you are going to primarily be buying actions, often terminals. You need villages to ensure you can actually play them.
  • Engine decks. If you can play Black Market every turn, you're bound to find what you want fairly quickly. The problem is that buying Black Market early will probably hurt the speed of your engine deployment. So in these games, you want to do it after you've picked up a few pieces. Throne RoomsThrone Room.jpg and King's CourtsKing's Court.jpg are particularly good with Black Market. They allow you to rapidly churn through the Black Market deck and loot the best cards. The overall deck will become a good match too with many different action cards and some terminal actions for +Coin2.png coins.
  • Strong cards in the BM deck, preferably those strong even when bought late. Remember that when buying from a Black Market, you're getting the card turn 5 at the earliest. So although buying trashers from the Black market is tempting, I would hesitate about it. There's a reason you open Chapel, StewardSteward.jpg, and Remake on T1/T2, and not on turn 5. Even AmbassadorAmbassador.jpg is not an amazing buy from the Black Market. Also, there need to be strong cards. Not one strong card and several weak ones. There should be a couple (at least 3) cards that you really want from the Black Market, as well as some that you would be fine with adding to your deck (generally cantrips).

Cards that like variety can benefit, sometimes hugely, from the extra variety afforded by the Black Market cards. These cards include:

  • FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg. Black Market–Fairgrounds is very strong, and is worth considering even if there are not many villages in the game. I'm honestly not sure how it compares to the top-tier BM decks, like MasqueradeMasquerade.jpg-BM, but you can get very high point-scoring Fairgrounds with Black Market out.
  • Horn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpg. Black Market alone does not make Horn of Plenty a viable strategy, but Black Markets make a great addition to otherwise viable decks based around this card.
  • MenagerieMenagerie.jpg. The synergy between these cards is obvious: Menagerie benefits from the added diversity of Black Market, and in turn provides the Card-drawing power, while being non-terminal, adding two factors that help you get the most of your Black Markets.
  • HarvestHarvest.jpg, while not a power card or game-changer, benefits from the added variety from Black Market. It also provides disappearing Virtual Coin, which can be of use in a Draw-up-to-X engine, which synergize with Black Market as discussed below.

Other cards on the board that synergize with Black Market are:

  • VineyardVineyard.jpg. Vineyard likes slow games as well (ignoring Vineyard rushes with IronworksIronworks.jpg and the like.) So Black Market can be useful in picking up lots of actions, and as a source of virtual +Buy. Ideally, the Black Market will have lots of cantrips, or the board or the Black Market deck will have decently strong attacks to slow down the pace of the game.
  • TacticianTactician.jpg. So Black Market is an amazing way to fuel a Double Tactician deck. Play Black Market, play Tactician, use massive buying power from the Treasure in play. This is discussed at Combo: Black Market and Tactician.
  • Treasures with special abilities. Getting treasures played mid-turn uniquely allows advantages from kingdom Treasures, such as Royal SealRoyal Seal.jpg, and QuarryQuarry.jpg to be available before the buy phase.
  • Draw-up-to-X engines like WatchtowerWatchtower.jpg, LibraryLibrary.jpg, MinionMinion.jpg can draw after you've played your Treasures. (Menagerie also has a similar effect.)

Cards to watch out for in the Black Market deck are:

  • Cursers. Although curse-givers are much stronger early on in the game than later, Curses are still amazingly painful. Still, if there's only one Curser and nothing else, I wouldn't bother unless the board was very slow. The chances of getting it are too slim otherwise.
  • Missing engine components. This should be considered more as a bonus than as an active reason to buy it.
  • Good engines typically have +Actions, +Cards, and +Buys. If one of those categories is missing from the board, you can try to get it from the Black Market. As mentioned before, trying to get missing +Actions from Black Market is usually not worth it. Trying to get that missing +Buy is alright, but don't neglect ProvincesProvince.jpg/ColoniesColony.jpg. Finally, picking up terminal draw can be quite good, but should be considered more as a side goal.
  • TournamentTournament.jpg. Yep, Tournament gets its own section. It's that good. I might be overdoing it, but if I see Tournament in the Black Market, I'd buy Black Market about 80% of the time. If you get the only Tournament in the game, you get exclusive access to all the Prizes. And the prizes are really good. Essentially, Tournament can be considered as a potential Curser, +Buy, get the idea. The best part is that because Tournament is most useful after the first Province, it is relevant over almost the entire game.

[edit] What can mess up a Black Market deck.

One way to misplay Black Market is to buy too many terminal actions. It is very tempting to take terminals offered from the black market stack, since the opportunity might not come again, but this is the classic way to break your deck. This also needs to factor into your decision whether to buy the Black Market or not.

A second way to misplay Black Market is to have a weak deck, expecting the Black Market to rescue it. If the deck is weak then you might not have enough coins in hand to buy the best cards when they are offered. Get the foundations of the deck right and then bring in the Black Market if you need it.

Cards with Potion.png in the cost may sometimes show up in the Black Market deck when there are no Potion.png-cost cards in the supply (or only ones you don't want, like TransmuteTransmute.jpg). Buying a PotionPotion.jpg just to hope you can use it to snatch a PossessionPossession.jpg, GolemGolem.jpg, FamiliarFamiliar.jpg, or whatever from the Black Market deck is usually a mug's game, though: on most turns it'll simply be a dead card in your deck, and there's no guarantee it'll ever be useful to you.

Lastly, if you insist on always buying a card from the Black Market, it will lead to a lot of bad plays. Suppose you open Black Market, and draw your Black Market with three coppers on turn 3. If the market only contains cost Coin2.png-Coin3.png cards, or Coin6.png cards that you can't afford, unless one of the cheaper cards is essential to your strategy, it is usually better to forgo the Black Market buy and instead get a Coin5.png card from the Supply. Always compare your options to what is on the board and consider opportunity cost, only buying cards when you get a distinct advantage from them. Even if you are playing a Variety-driven strategy like Menagerie or Fairgrounds, it is not necessary or beneficial to buy from the Black Market every time you play it.

[edit] Synergies/Combos

  • Black Market/Tactician is a top-notch combo enabling a powerful double Tactician deck, since Black Market allows you to play your Treasures and then play TacticianTactician.jpg.
  • Black Market is a strong enabler for FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg, since Fairgrounds depends on differently-named cards for its value and Black Market greatly increases the number of differently-named cards available in a game.
  • Since most cards in the Black Market deck are Actions, QuarryQuarry.jpg is helpful for buying good cards from the Black Market deck and still having enough money left over to buy another useful card during the Buy phase of the same turn.
  • When the Black Market deck contains powerful terminal Actions, villages are helpful to ensure that cards acquired from it can be regularly played.

[edit] Antisynergies

  • Powerful cards already in the Kingdom make searching the Black Market unnecessary and risky.
  • When an engine depends on cards from the Black Market, it is particularly vulnerable to cards like SwindlerSwindler.jpg, SaboteurSaboteur.jpg, and Knights, which can trash key engine pieces with no good way of replacing them.

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] In other languages

  • Chinese: 黑市 (pron. hēishì)
  • Czech: Černý trh
  • Finnish: Musta pörssi
  • French: Marché noir
  • German: Schwarzmarkt
  • Italian: Mercato Nero
  • Japanese: 闇市場 (pron. yamishijō)
  • Polish: Czarny Rynek
  • Spanish: Mercado Negro (Unreleased)

[edit] Card Art

The expansion symbol is the Spielbox magazine symbol.

[edit] Secret History

This started in Seaside. Seaside involves your next turn; Black Market reaches into the next game. It was adored by some players - a star of the set - and seemed harmless to everyone else. It left the set though, due to the combination of rules wackiness, and the cumbersome set-up. I have never had to do that set-up - I don't have separate randomizer cards, because why print 11 cards each time I change something when 10 will do. I use one card from each pile for the randomizer, putting it into the pile to play and returning one to the randomizer after the game. So Black Market had no set-up at all for me - I already had a pile of unused cards with the proper back right there. But we included a separate randomizer deck in the main set. So there was this set-up. So, wackiness, set-up, it left the set.

Then we needed a promo, Dale said why not Black Market, and I was eager to have it exist after all. Ultimately it's not a great choice for a promo. It still has the set-up and still has the wackiness, only now you don't have a rulebook telling you how it works, you have a slip of paper you lose and then the internet. I'm still glad it exists though, it's a fun card.

[edit] Retrospective

Black Market could be a lot simpler. You make it gain cards directly, to get rid of the buying-during-action-phase thing, and then make a special dedicated deck for it, to simplify set-up. And hey I made that card, it's TournamentTournament.jpg.

Cards Coin3.png Black MarketBlack Market.jpg Coin4.png EnvoyEnvoy.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg Coin5.png GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.jpg Coin8.png PrincePrince.jpg
Combos and Counters Black Market/FairgroundsBlack Market/TacticianChancellor/Stash
Dominion Cards
Basic cards Coin0.png CopperCopper.jpgCurseCurse.jpg Coin2.png EstateEstate.jpg Coin3.png SilverSilver.jpg Coin5.png DuchyDuchy.jpg Coin6.png GoldGold.jpg Coin8.png ProvinceProvince.jpg
Dominion Coin2.png CellarCellar.jpgChapelChapel.jpgMoatMoat.jpg Coin3.png ChancellorChancellor.jpgVillageVillage.jpgWoodcutterWoodcutter.jpgWorkshopWorkshop.jpg Coin4.png BureaucratBureaucrat.jpgFeastFeast.jpgGardensGardens.jpgMilitiaMilitia.jpgMoneylenderMoneylender.jpgRemodelRemodel.jpgSmithySmithy.jpgSpySpy.jpgThiefThief.jpgThrone RoomThrone Room.jpg Coin5.png Council RoomCouncil Room.jpgFestivalFestival.jpgLaboratoryLaboratory.jpgLibraryLibrary.jpgMarketMarket.jpgMineMine.jpgWitchWitch.jpg Coin6.png AdventurerAdventurer.jpg
Intrigue Coin2.png CourtyardCourtyard.jpgPawnPawn.jpgSecret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg Coin3.png Great HallGreat Hall.jpgMasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg Coin4.png BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgCoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgScoutScout.jpg Coin5.png DukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgSaboteurSaboteur.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgTributeTribute.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg Coin6.png HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.jpg
Seaside Coin2.png EmbargoEmbargo.jpgHavenHaven.jpgLighthouseLighthouse.jpgNative VillageNative Village.jpgPearl DiverPearl Diver.jpg Coin3.png AmbassadorAmbassador.jpgFishing VillageFishing Village.jpgLookoutLookout.jpgSmugglersSmugglers.jpgWarehouseWarehouse.jpg Coin4.png CaravanCaravan.jpgCutpurseCutpurse.jpgIslandIsland.jpgNavigatorNavigator.jpgPirate ShipPirate Ship.jpgSalvagerSalvager.jpgSea HagSea Hag.jpgTreasure MapTreasure Map.jpg Coin5.png BazaarBazaar.jpgExplorerExplorer.jpgGhost ShipGhost Ship.jpgMerchant ShipMerchant Ship.jpgOutpostOutpost.jpgTacticianTactician.jpgTreasuryTreasury.jpgWharfWharf.jpg
Alchemy Coin2.png HerbalistHerbalist.jpg Coin4.png PotionPotion.jpg Coin5.png ApprenticeApprentice.jpg Potion.png TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg Coin2.pngPotion.png ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg Coin3.pngPotion.png AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg Coin4.pngPotion.png GolemGolem.jpg Coin6.pngPotion.png PossessionPossession.jpg
Prosperity Coin3.png LoanLoan.jpgTrade RouteTrade Route.jpgWatchtowerWatchtower.jpg Coin4.png BishopBishop.jpgMonumentMonument.jpgQuarryQuarry.jpgTalismanTalisman.jpgWorker's VillageWorker's Village.jpg Coin5.png CityCity.jpgContrabandContraband.jpgCounting HouseCounting House.jpgMintMint.jpgMountebankMountebank.jpgRabbleRabble.jpgRoyal SealRoyal Seal.jpgVaultVault.jpgVentureVenture.jpg Coin6.png GoonsGoons.jpgGrand MarketGrand Market.jpgHoardHoard.jpg Coin7.png BankBank.jpgExpandExpand.jpgForgeForge.jpgKing's CourtKing's Court.jpg Coin8star.png PeddlerPeddler.jpg Coin9.png PlatinumPlatinum.jpg Coin11.png ColonyColony.jpg
Cornucopia Coin0star.png Prizes (Bag of GoldBag of Gold.jpgDiademDiadem.jpgFollowersFollowers.jpgPrincessPrincess.jpgTrusty SteedTrusty Steed.jpg) Coin2.png HamletHamlet.jpg Coin3.png Fortune TellerFortune Teller.jpgMenagerieMenagerie.jpg Coin4.png Farming VillageFarming Village.jpgHorse TradersHorse Traders.jpgRemakeRemake.jpgTournamentTournament.jpgYoung WitchYoung Witch.jpg Coin5.png HarvestHarvest.jpgHorn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpgHunting PartyHunting Party.jpgJesterJester.jpg Coin6.png FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg
Hinterlands Coin2.png CrossroadsCrossroads.jpgDuchessDuchess.jpgFool's GoldFool's Gold.jpg Coin3.png DevelopDevelop.jpgOasisOasis.jpgOracleOracle.jpgSchemeScheme.jpgTunnelTunnel.jpg Coin4.png Jack of all TradesJack of all Trades.jpgNoble BrigandNoble Brigand.jpgNomad CampNomad Camp.jpgSilk RoadSilk Road.jpgSpice MerchantSpice Merchant.jpgTraderTrader.jpg Coin5.png CacheCache.jpgCartographerCartographer.jpgEmbassyEmbassy.jpgHagglerHaggler.jpgHighwayHighway.jpgIll-Gotten GainsIll-Gotten Gains.jpgInnInn.jpgMandarinMandarin.jpgMargraveMargrave.jpgStablesStables.jpg Coin6.png Border VillageBorder Village.jpgFarmlandFarmland.jpg
Dark Ages Coin0star.png SpoilsSpoils.jpg Coin0.png Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) Coin1.png Poor HousePoor House.jpgShelters (HovelHovel.jpgNecropolisNecropolis.jpgOvergrown EstateOvergrown Estate.jpg) Coin2.png BeggarBeggar.jpgSquireSquire.jpgVagrantVagrant.jpg Coin3.png ForagerForager.jpgHermitHermit.jpg (MadmanMadman.jpg) • Market SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.jpg (MercenaryMercenary.jpg) Coin4.png ArmoryArmory.jpgDeath CartDeath Cart.jpgFeodumFeodum.jpgFortressFortress.jpgIronmongerIronmonger.jpgMarauderMarauder.jpgProcessionProcession.jpgRatsRats.jpgScavengerScavenger.jpgWandering MinstrelWandering Minstrel.jpg Coin5.png 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 Coin6.png AltarAltar.jpgHunting GroundsHunting Grounds.jpg
Guilds Coin2.png Candlestick MakerCandlestick Maker.jpgCoin2plus.png StonemasonStonemason.jpgCoin3plus.png DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpgCoin4.png AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpgCoin4plus.png HeraldHerald.jpgCoin5.png BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Adventures TBA
Promo Coin3.png Black MarketBlack Market.jpg Coin4.png EnvoyEnvoy.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg Coin5.png GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.jpg Coin8.png PrincePrince.jpg
Base Cards Coin0.png CopperCopper-new.jpgCurseCurse-new.jpg Coin2.png EstateEstate-new.jpg Coin3.png SilverSilver-new.jpg Coin4.png PotionPotion-new.jpg Coin5.png DuchyDuchy-new.jpg Coin6.png GoldGold-new.jpg Coin8.png ProvinceProvince-new.jpg Coin9.png PlatinumPlatinum-new.jpg Coin11.png ColonyColony-new.jpg
See also: Outtakes (Confusion) • Fan cardsCard storage
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