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An emulator allows you to play a card not in your deck—in effect, they allow you to "emulate" the effects of other cards. Many are also Commands. Emulator cards provide extra flexibility and reliability to the deck: when you draw such a card, you get to choose from the effects of whichever other cards would be the most beneficial for you on this particular turn. Because of this flexibility, most emulators restrict what you can play, such as by only playing cards from the Supply up to a certain cost. So if you need expensive cards, you'll have to buy them straight out. Emptying a Supply pile can severely weaken emulators because there's one less card they can copy.


[edit] List of emulators

[edit] Tracking Rules

  • Some cards can play a card that isn't put into play.
  • When you play one of these cards, leave it in play as long as you would have left the card it plays in play.
  • If it plays multiple Duration cards (e.g., you used Throne Room on it), leave it out until the Clean-up of the last turn that one of them still had effects.

[edit] Rules complications with emulators

Early emulators—prior versions of Band of Misfits, Inheritance, and Overlord—acted by actually changing the identity or abilities of the emulating card. Thus when you played a Band of Misfits, for example, it "became" a copy of whatever card it was emulating until it left play, and was counted as such for the purposes of such cards as Horn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpg. Donald X. had expressed dissatisfaction with this state of affairs because it involved "shapeshifting": two copies of the same card in different locations (e.g., a Band of Misfits in play and one in the trash, or an Inherited Estate in your deck and one in an opponent's deck) might have different names and/or abilities. This led to the Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks that altered these to work like the later emulators.

The later emulators (NecromancerNecromancer.jpg and CaptainCaptain.jpg) work in a different way: technically, instead of "becoming" the emulated card, they just cause the emulated card to be played without entering the play area (i.e., "leaving it there"). Certain of these cards are not allowed to emulate Duration cards, to avoid confusion caused by Duration cards being played with nothing left in play to track them. New tracking rules were added to allow some of these later-style emulators to track Duration cards (either playing them or playing a card that plays them multiple times).

Later emulators are more effective at playing one-shots than earlier ones: if you play an ExperimentExperiment.jpg with CaptainCaptain.jpg nothing returns to the Supply, whereas older versions of Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpg that played an ExperimentExperiment.jpg would. On the other hand, earlier emulators are more effective with cards that have a "while this is in play" ability, such as HighwayHighway.jpg, or a "when you discard this from play" ability, like HerbalistHerbalist.jpg; with later emulators, the emulated card is never put into play those abilities are never triggered. For these reasons, certain one-shots were given errata to have some of their effects contingent on trashing.

The Command type was added to certain emulators (Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpg, CaptainCaptain.jpg and OverlordOverlord.jpg) to prevent strange loops that could happen if they could (or were forced to) play each other.

[edit] Gallery

Overlord.jpg Necromancer.jpg Band of Misfits.jpg Captain.jpg


Attacks CurserDeck inspection attackDeck order attackHandsize attackJunking attackTrashing attackTurn-worsening attack
Buy/Money +BuyCost-reducerDisappearing moneyOverpayPeddler variantTerminal silverVirtual coinVirtual +Buy
Cycling Deck discarderDeck inspectorDiggingDiscard for benefitSifter
Terminality CantripNon-terminalNon-terminal drawSoft terminalTerminalTerminal drawThrone Room variantVillage
Other Alt-VPBasic cardsDuration drawEmulatorGainerLuck-basedNon-Attack interactionOne-shotSplit pileTop deckerTrasherVanilla
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