362 (35 sets)
Dark Ages is the seventh Dominion expansion. It was released in August, 2012. It is a large expansion. The box contains 35 sets of Kingdom Cards, with 500 cards, as well as other new types of cards such as Shelters, Ruins, and Spoils. Many cards in Dark Ages have a theme related to trashing and upgrading.
 Basic Supply Cards
- Ruins are included when at least one of the Kingdom cards (or a card in the Black Market deck) has the Looter type.
- The number of Ruins used depends on the number of players--10 for 2 players, 20 for 3 players, and so on.
- The 5 different Ruins are shuffled together, so none of the players know what number of any given Ruins card is in the Ruins pile.
- Only one card from the pile is visible and may be bought or gained at any time.
 Kingdom Cards
Beggar, Squire, Vagrant
Forager, Hermit, Market Square, Sage, Storeroom, Urchin
Armory, Death Cart, Feodum, Fortress, Ironmonger, Marauder, Procession, Rats, Scavenger, Wandering Minstrel
Band of Misfits, Bandit Camp, Catacombs, Count, Counterfeit, Cultist, Graverobber, Junk Dealer, Knights, Mystic, Pillage, Rebuild, Rogue
Altar, Hunting Grounds
- The 10 Knights cards are all different. Only one card from the pile is visible and may be bought or gained at any time.
- The Rats pile has 20 copies of the card instead of the usual 10.
 Additional Materials
- Madman may be gained only through Hermit.
- Mercenary may be gained only through Urchin.
- Spoils may be gained only through Bandit Camp, Marauder, or Pillage (or from another player via Thief).
- The Spoils pile has 15 copies of the card instead of the usual 10.
- Shelters are not used in every game, unless that game includes only Kingdom Cards from Dark Ages. Otherwise, their use should be determined based on the proportion of Dark Ages and non-Dark Ages cards in use.
- When they are used, Shelters replace Estates in each player's starting deck so that the new starting deck consists of 7 Coppers, 1 Hovel, 1 Necropolis, and 1 Overgrown Estate. The rest of the Shelter cards are not included in the game in any way.
 Additional Rules
- Dark Ages includes three Shelters - Hovel, Necropolis, and Overgrown Estate. These cards replace starting Estates in some games, as described under Preparation. Shelters have no corresponding Supply pile; they can never be bought, and Ambassador (from Seaside) cannot return one anywhere.
- Dark Ages has two piles of cards that have a variety of cards in them: the Ruins pile has a mix of five different Ruins, and the Knights pile has ten different Knights. These piles should be shuffled before each game, as explained under Preparation. The only card that may be bought or gained or chosen from one of these piles is the card on top. Players cannot look through the piles, only at the top card; the players turn the top card over any time it is face down. If a card is returned to one of these piles with Ambassador (from Seaside), turn over the current top card and the returned card goes on top, turned face-up. Ruins cards with different names, and Knights with different names, count as differently named cards for cards that care about this. For example if Tribute (from Intrigue) reveals two different Ruins cards, it will give +4 Actions. When Contraband (from Prosperity) is played, a player can name a Ruins or Knight, but that only stops that specific Ruins or Knight from being bought. However an Embargo token (from Seaside) placed on the Ruins or Knight pile will affect any cards bought from it.
- Players can buy Ruins even though they normally will not wish to. Ruins cards are Actions; they may be played in the Action phase, and count as Actions for things that refer to Action cards, such as Procession. The Ruins pile, when used, is in the Supply, and if it is empty that counts towards the normal end condition. Cards that try to get specific cards from the Supply fail to get a Ruins or Knight if the correct one is not the top one. For example if you buy a Ruined Market with Talisman (from Prosperity), you only gain another Ruined Market if that is the top Ruins under the one you bought; if you use Ambassador (from Seaside) to return Sir Martin to the Supply, the next player will gain that Sir Martin, but the player after that will not gain a card, as the next Knight will not be Sir Martin.
- Many cards in Dark Ages do something "when you trash" that card. These abilities function no matter whose turn the card is trashed on. The player that a "when you trash this" ability functions for is the player that had that card, regardless of whose card trashed the card. These abilities happen directly after the card is put into the trash, and can function in the middle of resolving effects for an Action card; for example, if a player plays Graverobber and uses it to trash a Cultist, he first draws three cards for trashing Cultist, then continues with resolving Graverobber and gains a card costing up to . Cards can sometimes leave a player's deck without being trashed, such as by being returned to the Supply with Ambassador (from Seaside) or passed to another player with Masquerade (from Intrigue). When two or more cards are trashed at the same time, as with Count, first trash them all, then pick an order to resolve things that happen due to trashing them. A "when you trash" ability is not itself a way to trash a card; some other card will be needed to actually trash the card and make the ability happen.
- Six cards in Dark Ages are never part of the Supply: Spoils, Madman, Mercenary, and the three Shelters: Hovel, Necropolis, and Overgrown Estate. Keep these cards handy for when they are needed. These cards cannot be bought, and cannot be gained by cards that gain cards from the Supply, such as Armory. They cannot be returned to the Supply with Ambassador (from Seaside). They can end up in the trash if something trashes them. These piles being empty does not count towards the end condition for the game, or towards the count of empty piles for City (from Prosperity).
- In rare circumstances an effect may try to move a card that is not where that effect expects the card to be. In those cases the card does not move - the effect has "lost track" of the card.
- Losing track of a card prevents it from being moved, but does not stop anything else from happening.
- For example, if you Procession a Madman, Procession first puts Madman in play; then you resolve Madman, getting +2 Actions and drawing cards and returning Madman to the Madman pile; then Procession fails to put Madman into play again, because Procession expects to find Madman in play, but it is not there, it's in the Madman pile; then you resolve Madman again, only getting +2 Actions this time, since it says "if you do" before the card-drawing, and you did not actually return it to the Madman pile this time; then Procession fails to trash Madman since Procession again expects to find Madman in play and it is not there; and then you gain an Action costing if you can.
- Cards do not lose track of cards that they move, only cards that other cards move.
- For example when Procession puts Madman into play, that does not cause Procession to lose track of Madman; it is Madman moving itself that causes Procession to lose track of it.
- Things lose track of a card if something moves it, if it is the top card of a deck and gets covered up, or if it is the top card of a discard pile and gets covered up.
- When a card is gained to a location other than a discard pile, it does not "visit" the discard pile - it goes directly to where it was gained. For example Armory gains cards directly to the top of a deck.
In conjunction with the Lose Track rule above, this means that when a card is gained somewhere other than the discard pile, a card that looks for a gained card will not lose track of it.
 Flavor Text
 Cards Gallery
 Basic Cards
 Kingdom Cards
 Non-Supply Cards
 Impact of Dark Ages
Dark Ages introduced several new cards to Dominion that broke previous unwritten (or even written) rules of card structure and gameplay, substantially broadening the scope of the kinds of things possible in Dominion. Dark Ages contains the only cards that cost Poor House and Shelters), the only supply piles that consist of multiple shuffled differently-named cards (Knights and Ruins), the only kingdom card of which there are more than twelve copies (Rats), and more paradigm-breaking effects.(
Dark Ages has been described as a highly advanced set, hard to introduce to new players, not only because of its paradigm-breaking cards, but also because many cards in it require high skill to play optimally and may depend on tricky combos with other cards.
Just prior to the release of Adventures, a poll on the forums found Dark Ages to be the most popular set, narrowly beating Prosperity. Reasons for this included the size of the set (more cards means more things to like), but also the overall quality of the cards, and the interesting new strategies brought to the game with their inclusion.
Shelters games cause many Kingdom cards to work differently, and affects the opening two turns as well.
- Weakened cards:
- Ambassador, since Shelters can't be returned to the supply, and Jester, since Shelters can't be gained from the supply
- Cards that interact with Estates (or Victory cards in general), such as Baron, Silk Road and Inheritance aren't able to interact with them from the start
- Cards whose value as openers depends on the fact that Estates cost , such as Remake and Salvager, get less benefit out of the cost of Shelters
- Cards that dislike junk variety, like Hunting Party and Journeyman
- Magpie is weakened slightly; if Hovel is revealed, it's only a cantrip
- Strengthened cards:
- Cards that like any variety, like Harvest and Fairgrounds
- Engines, in general, are strengthened due to the addition of a Village to your starting cards, and the fact that trashing your starting cards doesn't lose you 3
- Trashers that don't care so much about the cost of the trashed card get a slight boost from Overgrown Estate's when-trash draw
The addition of Looters can lead to games where twice the normal amount of junk cards are being distributed, leading to longer games. Cultist can also distribute Ruins faster than any Curser due to its chaining. With both a Looter and a Curser present in a kingdom, the game slows down considerably, but three-pile endings are much easier to achieve, since the Ruins count as a supply pile.
Given that it is one of the themes of the set, Dark Ages contains some of the strongest trashers in the game.
- Altar - expensive, but incredibly useful - turning bad cards into Actions in the early game, and gaining Duchies in the late game
- Count - although it comes with stipulations, it can still usually trash 2 or 3 cards per use, and transitions into something more useful later in the game
- Counterfeit - one of the best Copper trashers, especially since it continues to be useful after your Coppers are all gone
- Death Cart - it gives the highest non-variable + in the game
- Forager - it has to be built up to get the full benefit, but as a non-terminal trasher, it is typically a good opener
- Graverobber - one of only two cards that can gain from the trash, and the more effective of the two - it can also turn Actions (like itself) into Provinces
- Hermit - the best Curse defense behind only Watchtower, since it can trash cards directly from your discard pile, making it as though the Curser hadn't even been played
- Junk Dealer - the Peddler variant trasher
- Knights - while swingy, they can be quite devestating in large numbers
- Mercenary - trashes very quickly while still giving a benefit and harming your opponent
- Procession - while chiefly best with other Dark Ages cards, it can be quite good in engines, especially on boards with Actions of every cost
- Rats - useless on its own, it is a powerhouse when paired with trashers that care about cost (like Bishop) or card type (like Death Cart)
- Rebuild - perhaps the most powerful card in this set (or even all of Dominion), it forgoes both engine and big money to directly turn Estates and Duchies into Provinces
- Rogue - a weak card, but one of the few capable of stealing non-Treasure cards from other players
There are also several cards that benefit when trashed by other cards, or simply when another card is trashed.
- Catacombs - it gains a cheaper card when trashed, mirroring Border Village
- Cultist - draws 3 cards when trashed
- Feodum - can be trashed as part of a big money strategy, or as a means to get more Silvers to increase your point total from your other Feoda
- Fortress - the only card that can never be removed from your deck via trashing - as it can be infinitely trashed, it does great with cost-caring trashers
- Hunting Grounds - gains a Duchy or three Estates when trashed
- Market Square - the trashing analogue to Tunnel, it is very effective at gaining Gold in heavy trashing games, and then putting that Gold to use with its +Buy
- Rats - though it does trash, its main role is to be trashed, similarly to Fortress
- Overgrown Estate - draws a single card when trashed
- Sir Vander - gains a Gold when trashed
- Squire - can gain any Attack, no matter its cost, when trashed
Because of its minor theme of card combinations, many Dark Ages cards are well suited for engines.
- Bandit Camp - is a Village, and Spoils are practically virtual coin, not clogging up an engine
- Cultist - in high enough density, is almost a Laboratory, and helps slow down your opponent, giving more time to build your engine
- Hunting Grounds - gives the highest card draw in the game without drawback
- Ironmonger - it's a sifter, and can be a Laboratory, Peddler or Village, depending on which card is revealed, all of which are useful to engines
- Mystic - gives non-terminal virtual coin, and in combination with deck inspectors, is an activated Conspirator
- Necropolis - as stated above, the addition of a Village to your starting cards is a boon to engines
- Poor House - engines usually don't have many Treasures, ensuring that Poor House is most effective - it serves as an excellent source of virtual coin in these instances
- Scavenger - helps setup your next turn, similarly to Scheme
- Squire - it is virtual coin, and can alternate between Village and +Buy, the latter of which engines often lack
- Wandering Minstrel - the perfect engine Village, as it ensures you only ever draw Actions
 Weird cards
Some of the cards introduced in Dark Ages were completely unlike anything seen before, and are still regarded as oddities.
- Poor House - the only card to subtract , and the only Kingdom card with a cost of
- Fortress - the only card that can never be removed from your deck through trashing
- Rats - hard to see the point of at first, and the first Action card pile with more than 10 cards
- Band of Misfits - the first card that could emulate other cards without playing a physical copy of them
- Graverobber/Rogue - the first cards that could gain from the trash
 Dark Ages Theme
Game designer Donald X. offered some insight into some themes of the set here.
- 4 Ruins: Marauder, Cultist, Death Cart, Vagrant (Ruined Library, Ruined Market, Ruined Village, Abandoned Mine, Survivors)
- 3 Spoils: Marauder, Pillage, Bandit Camp (Spoils)
- 8 When-trash: Market Square, Fortress, Squire, Hunting Grounds, Feodum, Cultist, Catacombs, Rats (Overgrown Estate, Sir Vander)
- 7 Other upgrade: Hermit, Urchin, Rats, Altar, Graverobber, Procession, Rebuild
- 8 Other trashing: Junk Dealer, Counterfeit, Forager, Death Cart, Count, Knights, Rogue, Pillage (Mercenary, Hovel, Dame Anna)
- 3 Look at trash: Graverobber, Rogue, Forager
- 7 Live with junk: Poor House, Sage, Storeroom, Ironmonger, Scavenger, Wandering Minstrel, Catacombs (Survivors)
- 4 Off-theme: Beggar, Armory, Band of Misfits, Mystic (Madman, Necropolis)
 In other languages
- Dutch: De Donkere Middeleeuwen
- Finnish: Katovuodet (lit. famine years)
- French: L'âge des ténèbres
- German: Dark Ages
- Japanese: 暗黒時代 (pron. ankoku jidai)
- Korean: 암흑의 시대 (pron. amheug-ui sidae)
- Spanish: Edad Oscura
 Secret History
 Recommended Sets of 10
 Dark Ages Only
|Grim Parade [+/-]|
|Armory||Band of Misfits||Catacombs||Cultist||Forager|
|Fortress||Hunting Grounds||Knights||Market Square||Procession|
|Chess With Death [+/-]|
|Bandit Camp||Graverobber||Junk Dealer||Mystic||Pillage|
|High and Low [+/-]|
|Hermit||Hunting Grounds||Mystic||Poor House||Wandering Minstrel|
|Chivalry and Revelry [+/-]|
|Baron||Conspirator||Nobles||Secret Passage||Wishing Well|
|Watery Graves [+/-]|
|Native Village||Pirate Ship||Salvager||Treasure Map||Treasury|
|Death Cart||Feodum||Poor House||Urchin||Vagrant|
|Wandering Minstrel||Apprentice||Scrying Pool||Transmute||Vineyard|
 Dark Ages & Prosperity
|One Man's Trash [+/-]|
|Honor Among Thieves [+/-]|
 Dark Ages & Cornucopia
|Dark Carnival [+/-]|
|Band of Misfits||Cultist||Fortress||Hermit||Junk Dealer|
|Knights||Fairgrounds||Hamlet||Horn of Plenty||Menagerie|
|To the Victor [+/-]|
|Bandit Camp||Counterfeit||Death Cart||Marauder||Pillage|
 Dark Ages & Hinterlands
|Far From Home [+/-]|
 Dark Ages & Adventures
|Cemetery Polka [+/-]|
|Groovy Decay [+/-]|
|Tomb of the Rat King [+/-]|
|Castles||Chariot Race||City Quarter||Legionary||Sacrifice|
|Triumph of the Bandit King [+/-]|
|Bandit Camp||Catacombs||Hunting Grounds||Market Square||Procession|
|The Squire's Ritual [+/-]|