Counter: Vault vs Ambassador
|Vault vs Ambassador|
|Set(s)||Prosperity / Seaside|
Original article by Jfrisch
Ambassador has two uses. It effectively trashes your deck while simultaneously junking your opponents' decks. The power of the card is in getting both of these uses to activate simultaneously. The trashing offered by Ambassador is too slow to be effective, and the Attack, in general is much weaker than cursers or hard discarders (Torturer/Militia/Ghost Ship), being bloated with extra Coppers and Estates is nowhere near as bad as being stuffed with Curses. Thus in order to fight Ambassador it suffices to counter one of the aspects. Vault does this very effectively by turning a deck filled with junk into one filled with Provinces and Duchies. A single Gold (or 2 Silvers) is all that is necessary for Vault to get a Province. This means that Estates (and, if your opponent uses the Ambassador/Curse combo, late Curses), instead of destroying your buying power, are merely a minor inconvenience. Vault's downside of allowing your opponent to cycle through their own junk with a 2 for 1 discard becomes much more insignificant when your opponent has gotten rid of the mediocre cards in their deck of their own accord.
This combo, is, however, not sufficient reason in and of itself to ignore Ambassador. If a strong counter to Vault (i.e., a discard attack) is present, Ambassador can lead to that counter being played (almost) every turn, turning your Vault deck dead. Similarly if a sufficiently strong engine is present (+Buy is a necessity), Ambassador's pseudo-trashing effect may be worthwhile despite the weakened strength of the attack. However if neither a strong engine nor discard attacks are available Vault is sufficient reason to ignore Ambassador.
When playing this combo, green significantly earlier than you otherwise would. With your deck filled with junk from your opponents Ambassador, as well as Vault to mitigate the damage of the junk, greening hard becomes far less detrimental.
Sample game: in this game against WanderingWinder, we both ignore Sea Hag (due to the presence of Ambassador), and I ignore Ambassador because of the presence of Vault, despite using Ambassador/Curse to get me 9 Curses, my early lead proves insurmountable.