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This page contains a list of common terms and abbreviations used in discussion of the game Dominion.


[edit] Common terms and phrases

[edit] B

  • Base: The original Dominion, with no expansions. For example, “In Base, ChapelChapel.jpg is the best early-game trasher.”
  • Big Money: Strictly speaking, a strategy where no Actions are bought at all, only Treasure and Victory cards. In practice, it is often used to refer to a strategy emphasizing Treasure and Victory cards that is merely supplemented with one or two Action cards. Compare with engine.
  • Board (or set, table, or tableau): The set of cards that make up the game of interest.

[edit] C

  • Cantrip: Any card that gives at least +1 Card, +1 Action; it costs no action to spend it and it replaces itself in the hand. Can technically refer to villages, but in practice usually refers to cards like SpySpy.jpg.
  • Chain: A deck in which the same card(s) are played either multiple times per turn or simply every turn for some powerful cards. For example, “LabLaboratory.jpg chain”.
  • City Trap: Purchasing multiple CitiesCity.jpg in a game in which no piles (other than ProvinceProvince.jpg or ColonyColony.jpg) are likely to be emptied; the Cities are very expensive villages in this case.
  • Clog (or bloat, gum up, etc.): Add cards to a deck (preferably an opponent’s) that interfere with the engine being used. Often happens voluntarily in the endgame.
  • Colony Game: Any game in which ColonyColony.jpg and PlatinumPlatinum.jpg (from Prosperity) are available for purchase.
  • Counter: A card that acts to neutralize another card (usually an Attack), whether directly (like MoatMoat.jpg) or indirectly (like LibraryLibrary.jpg vs. MilitiaMilitia.jpg/GoonsGoons.jpg).
  • Cycling: To move quickly through your deck. ChancellorChancellor.jpg provides an extreme example of cycling, but WarehouseWarehouse.jpg and LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg also cycle your deck effectively.

[edit] D

  • DoubleJack: A strategy involving buying only two copies of Jack of all TradesJack of All Trades.jpg, and otherwise exclusively Treasure and Victory cards.
  • Draw Dead: Generally refers to drawing an Action card when you have no more actions entitling you to play it. In context, it may refer to drawing an Action card that cannot be effectively used (like BaronBaron.jpg without EstateEstate.jpg or MoneylenderMoneylender.jpg without CopperCopper.jpg).
  • Duchy Dancing: A situation toward the end of a game when both players buy DuchiesDuchy.jpg and neither is willing or able to take the final ProvinceProvince.jpg(s).

[edit] E

  • Early Game: Most purchases are low-cost cards; players are defining their overall strategy.
  • Endgame (or Late Game): Players are purchasing almost exclusively Victory cards. Often accompanied by jockeying with lower-value Victory cards, like with PPR (below).
  • End on piles: Force the game to end by emptying three or more Supply piles (four or more with five or more players).
  • Engine: Loosely defined, the Action cards that “drive” one’s deck. An “engine-based” strategy refers to a strategy emphasizing Actions. Compare with Big Money.
  • Envoy/Big Money: Similar strategy to SmithySmithy.jpg/Big Money, but with EnvoyEnvoy.jpg in place of Smithy (see below)
  • Estate tennis: The first phase of an AmbassadorAmbassador.jpg game, in which players pass back and forth their starting EstatesEstate.jpg. This can be said to "sit on" the game, delaying its actual start by several turns.

[edit] G

[edit] I

[edit] L

  • Level X City: A shorthand for referencing the power level of a CityCity.jpg. Typically follows either a 1/2/3 or 0/1/2 (which references the number of empty piles) formatting.

[edit] M

  • Midgame: Most purchases are Action or Treasure cards of value $5 or higher, but rarely with hands above $6 (in ProvinceProvince.jpg games) or $9 (in ColonyColony.jpg games); players are refining their strategies and attempting to tune their engines.
  • Mirror Match: When both players pursue identical or near-identical strategies.

[edit] N

  • Non-Terminal (or Non-Terminal Action, sometimes NT): Any Action card that gives at least one additional action (+1 Action).

[edit] O

  • Opening: Purchases made on the first two turns. Usually clarified as a 4/3 or 5/2 opening.

[edit] P

  • Piles: see end on piles.
  • Province Game (rarely, Non-Colony Game): A standard game in which ColonyColony.jpg and PlatinumPlatinum.jpg are not available.
  • Pseudo-Trash: Remove cards from your deck without trashing them, for example with IslandIsland.jpg.

[edit] S

  • Sift: Filter through your cards by removing unwanted cards. Similar to cycling, but with more finesses. See, for example, WarehouseWarehouse.jpg.
  • Smithy / Big Money: A strategy involving one purchase of a SmithySmithy.jpg and otherwise exclusively Treasure and Victory cards. Reaches four ProvincesProvince.jpg in approximately 14 turns.
  • Split: Coin values of the first two hands (5/2 or 4/3). Tournament and league play often gives players the same split. Can also refer to the split in gaining a key card in the game, such as MinionMinion.jpg or Grand MarketGrand Market.jpg.

[edit] T

  • Terminal (or Terminal Action): Any Action card that does not provide actions when played.
  • Terminal collision: Drawing multiple terminal cards together, such that you can only play one of them.
  • Terminal Silver: Any terminal action that produces $2.
  • Top-Deck: Place a card on top of your deck that would normally go elsewhere (like with AlchemistAlchemist.jpg or Royal SealRoyal Seal.jpg).
  • Trasher (or Deck-thinner): Any card that allows one to remove cards from one’s deck.
  • Trash for Benefit: Any card that gives a benefit at the cost of trashing a card. For example, ApprenticeApprentice.jpg draws additional cards and SalvagerSalvager.jpg produces coins.

[edit] V

[edit] Abbreviations

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