Minion

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Minion
Minion.jpg
Info
Cost Coin5.png
Type(s) Action - Attack
Kingdom card? Yes
Set IntrigueIntrigue icon.png
Illustrator(s) Christof Tisch
Card text
+1 Action
Choose one: +Coin2.png; or discard your hand, +4 Cards, and each other player with at least 5 cards in hand discards their hand and draws 4 cards.

Minion is an ActionAttack card from Intrigue. It can be played either for +Coin2.png or to draw 4 cards; thus, it works great with Action cards which give +Coin.png and +Actions. Since Minion itself is such a card, the self-synergy makes an engine consisting of mostly Minions quite powerful in 2-player games where it's feasible to get 6-8 Minions.

Moreover, Minion is one of very few non-terminal attack cards; stuffing your deck with them makes it fairly easy to hit opponents with a moderately powerful discard attack each turn without worrying about terminal collisions as you might with an Attack like MilitiaMilitia.jpg or MargraveMargrave.jpg.

Contents

[edit] FAQ

[edit] Official FAQ

  • Players wishing to respond with e.g. MoatMoat.jpg or DiplomatDiplomat.jpg do so before you choose your option.
  • A player who Moats this neither discards nor draws.

[edit] Other Rules clarifications

  • You still draw 4 cards if you choose the discard option with no cards left in hand.
  • Horse TradersHorse Traders.jpg normally doesn't actually block an attack, but in the case of Minion it can.

[edit] Strategy Article

Original article by theory
Minion is one of those game-warping cards, whose presence greatly changes the strategic landscape. Though not necessarily a must-buy, its availability forces players to either buy it or give serious thought to how to respond to it.

[edit] Strengths

Minion’s primary strength comes from its glorious self-synergy. Like CaravanCaravan.jpg/LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg/NoblesNobles.jpg, Minion is a card whose best complement is itself. But Minion one-ups those cards: handsize increasers need to pause every so often to pick up Treasures, but Minion is its own source of cash. When full-on into Minion mode, you should not need to stop buying Minions to get pesky Treasures like GoldGold.jpg that you’ll just end up discarding anyway.

Minion works very well with cheap non-terminal actions: e.g., PawnPawn.jpg, ConspiratorConspirator.jpg, Fishing VillageFishing Village.jpg. Pawn is especially valuable to the Minion player because it allows a +Buy, something often missing from many high-money engines. The key is to avoid buying cards that will likely be discarded to the Minion anyway: this rules out Treasure as well as most terminal Actions. One—or at most two—is acceptable if it’s an important terminal Action, like MountebankMountebank.jpg or GoonsGoons.jpg. (Or a RemodelRemodel.jpg/ExpandExpand.jpg, since you’ll probably need one to get rid of your initial ChapelChapel.jpg/other trashing card.) Any more and it’s just a waste, even with +Actions.

Minion’s attack is also a good thing. Sometimes it benefits your opponents, but on average, you’d always prefer your opponents to have 4 cards than 5. The exception is LibraryLibrary.jpg/WatchtowerWatchtower.jpg, and of course, other Minion decks, which respond to Minion quite well.

[edit] Weaknesses

Minion is much less effective when you can’t get rid of non-Minion cards. Without good trashing options, it’s much harder to hit that critical mass of 25% Minion density in your deck. Accordingly, the best way to counter Minions (other than your own Minions) is to load them down with CursesCurse.jpg. SwindlerSwindler.jpg is a good choice too, since you are likely to hit a Minion, which are conveniently priced to be Swindled into DuchiesDuchy.jpg (or even better, DukesDuke.jpg).

Handsize-increasing cards like CaravanCaravan.jpg are a tossup. If your Minion strategy is meant as a hybrid, some Minion/some Treasure, then they aren’t very helpful since you’ll just find yourself discarding more cards to the Minion. But if your deck is hardcore Minion, then Caravans will just give you more Minions. (Though you definitely shouldn’t be buying LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg or other Coin5.png Actions if more Minions are still available to purchase.)

As part of a hybrid strategy, Minion can work pretty well with TacticianTactician.jpg and LibraryLibrary.jpg because of its ability to provide “invisible money”. And its discard/attack power is a good defensive response to GoonsGoons.jpg/MilitiaMilitia.jpg and other Minions.

Minion doesn’t play well with most combos, however. This is because your hand is so often going to be cut in size that you can’t afford the luxury of chaining together complex Action chains without buying them en masse, which of course, defeats the whole purpose of going Minions.

[edit] Miscellaneous

Minion players commonly face dilemmas early in the game. Should I discard my hand, drawing 4 and possibly missing out on Coin5.png to get another all-important Minion? Or should I forsake the attack against my opponents? The answer is probably dependent on what kind of deck; if you and your opponents have been ChapelingChapel.jpg into a thin, high-density deck, then your discard is likely to both hurt your opponents significantly as well as getting you to Coin5.png.

Special note regarding Throne RoomThrone Room.jpg and King's CourtKing's Court.jpg: if you Throne Room a Minion, planning to both take Coin2.png and discard, you should always discard first. This is because if you discard and draw 4 terrible cards, you have a choice of discarding or taking Coin2.png. Taking the Coin2.png first prevents you from being able to make this decision.

On a side note: as powerful as this card is, I can’t get over its non-thematicness. What do Minions have to do with discarding and drawing? Wouldn’t your Goons and Militia be considered your Minions already? Even the picture doesn’t make any sense.

[edit] Synergies/Combos

[edit] Antisynergies

  • Opponents’ CurseCurse.jpg-giving attacks
  • Opponents’ SwindlersSwindler.jpg
  • Lack of good trashing to thin your deck
  • Handsize increasers (usually)
  • Treasure and Treasure-oriented cards, like MineMine.jpg
  • Terminal actions in general

[edit] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Minion Minion from Goko/Making Fun +1 Action. Choose one: +Coin2.png; or discard your hand, +4 Cards, and each other player with at least 5 cards in hand discards his hand and draws 4 cards. Intrigue 1st Edition July 2009
Minion Minion from Shuffle iT +1 Action. Choose one: +Coin2.png; or discard your hand, +4 Cards, and each other player with at least 5 cards in hand discards their hand and draws 4 cards. Intrigue 2nd Edition October 2016

[edit] Other language versions

Print Digital Language Name Text Notes
Chinese 爪牙 (pron. zhǎoyá, lit. lackey)
Czech Služebník (lit. servant)
Dutch Dienaar (lit. servant)
Finnish Kätyri (lit. henchman)
French Larbin (lit. stooge)
German language Minion German Lakai (lit. lackey) + 1 Aktion Wähle eins: +Coin2.png Oder lege alle deine Handkarten ab: + 4 Karten. Jeder Mitspieler, der mindestens 5 Karten auf der Hand hat, muss alle  (HiG) | Handkarten hat, muss alle (ASS) Handkarten ablegen und 4 Karten nachziehen. Error (HiG + ASS) : other players discards always.
Hungarian Udvaronc (lit. gentleman-at-arms)
Italian Tirapiedi
Japanese 寵臣 (pron. chōshin, lit. favored retainer) +1 アクション。 次のうち1つを選ぶ:「+Coin2.png」:「あなたと手札が5枚以上の他のプレイヤーは全員、手札をすべて捨て札にし、4枚カードを引く」。
Korean 하수인 (pron. hasu-in)
Norwegian Lensmann (lit. sheriff)
Polish language Minion Polish Sługus
Russian Приспешник (pron. prispyeshnik, lit. henchman)
Spanish Esbirro

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

The portrait in the card art has a passing resemblance to the DukeDuke.jpg, which was done by the same artist.

[edit] Secret History

The original version of this was a "choose one" card with three messy abilities. It was too messy and also too narrow, and so left. Later on I was looking for an attack to replace another attack that hadn't worked out, and thought of this. Originally the "discard, draw 4" ability only worked on yourself, but it seemed like it would make a cute attack if it hit everybody. The problem was that it was still too narrow - you would not always have a combo that made that exciting enough. The solution, proposed by Chris West, was to have the card be a combo with itself. You can play a couple copies for +Coin2.png, and then play one to get a fresh hand. For simplicity there is no 3rd ability.


During development I had some games where it was clear that this card was too annoying. The "discard, draw 4" ability had no "5 or more cards" clause. So you would sometimes draw your whole deck... and also make everyone else draw their whole deck. So you'd make everyone else shuffle on each of your turns. As an attack it gets no worse if it just hits everyone else once, and it's way less annoying. We tested both and went with the less annoying version.


Cards Coin2.png CourtyardCourtyard.jpgLurkerLurker.jpgPawnPawn.jpg Coin3.png MasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg Coin4.png BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgDiplomatDiplomat.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMillMill.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgSecret PassageSecret Passage.jpg Coin5.png CourtierCourtier.jpgDukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgPatrolPatrol.jpgReplaceReplace.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg Coin6.png HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.jpg
Removed cards Coin2.png Secret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg Coin3.png Great HallGreat Hall.jpg Coin4.png CoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgScoutScout.jpg Coin5.png SaboteurSaboteur.jpgTributeTribute.jpg
Combos and Counters Baron/InheritanceHorse Traders/DukeIronworks/Great HallKing's Court/BridgeLurker/Hunting GroundsMasquerade pinNative Village/BridgeRoyal Carriage/BridgeScheme/ConspiratorMinion vs TreasurySecret Chamber vs Pirate ShipWishing Well vs Ghost Ship
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 HarbingerHarbinger.jpg • MerchantMerchant.jpgVassalVassal.jpgVillageVillage.jpgWorkshopWorkshop.jpg Coin4.png BureaucratBureaucrat.jpgGardensGardens.jpgMilitiaMilitia.jpgMoneylenderMoneylender.jpgPoacherPoacher.jpgRemodelRemodel.jpgSmithySmithy.jpgThrone RoomThrone Room.jpg Coin5.png BanditBandit.jpgCouncil RoomCouncil Room.jpgFestivalFestival.jpgLaboratoryLaboratory.jpgLibraryLibrary.jpgMarketMarket.jpgMineMine.jpgSentrySentry.jpg • WitchWitch.jpg Coin6.png ArtisanArtisan.jpg
Removed cards: Coin3.png ChancellorChancellor.jpgWoodcutterWoodcutter.jpg Coin4.png FeastFeast.jpgSpySpy.jpgThiefThief.jpg Coin6.png AdventurerAdventurer.jpg
Intrigue Coin2.png CourtyardCourtyard.jpgLurkerLurker.jpgPawnPawn.jpg Coin3.png MasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg Coin4.png BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgDiplomatDiplomat.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMillMill.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgSecret PassageSecret Passage.jpg Coin5.png CourtierCourtier.jpgDukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgPatrolPatrol.jpgReplaceReplace.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg Coin6.png HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.jpg
Removed cards: Coin2.png Secret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg Coin3.png Great HallGreat Hall.jpg Coin4.png CoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgScoutScout.jpg Coin5.png SaboteurSaboteur.jpgTributeTribute.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 Potion.png TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg Coin2.png HerbalistHerbalist.jpg Coin2.pngPotion.png ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg Coin3.pngPotion.png AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg Coin4.png PotionPotion.jpg Coin4.pngPotion.png GolemGolem.jpg Coin5.png ApprenticeApprentice.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.jpg Coin2plus.png StonemasonStonemason.jpg Coin3plus.png DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpg Coin4.png AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpg Coin4plus.png HeraldHerald.jpg Coin5.png BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Adventures Coin2.png Coin of the RealmCoin of the Realm.jpgPagePage.jpg (Treasure HunterTreasure Hunter.jpgWarriorWarrior.jpgHeroHero.jpgChampionChampion.jpg) • PeasantPeasant.jpg (SoldierSoldier.jpgFugitiveFugitive.jpgDiscipleDisciple.jpgTeacherTeacher.jpg) • RatcatcherRatcatcher.jpgRazeRaze.jpg Coin3.png AmuletAmulet.jpgCaravan GuardCaravan Guard.jpgDungeonDungeon.jpgGearGear.jpgGuideGuide.jpg Coin4.png DuplicateDuplicate.jpgMagpieMagpie.jpgMessengerMessenger.jpgMiserMiser.jpgPortPort.jpgRangerRanger.jpgTransmogrifyTransmogrify.jpg Coin5.png ArtificerArtificer.jpgBridge TrollBridge Troll.jpgDistant LandsDistant Lands.jpgGiantGiant.jpgHaunted WoodsHaunted Woods.jpgLost CityLost City.jpgRelicRelic.jpgRoyal CarriageRoyal Carriage.jpgStorytellerStoryteller.jpgSwamp HagSwamp Hag.jpgTreasure TroveTreasure Trove.jpgWine MerchantWine Merchant.jpg Coin6.png HirelingHireling.jpg
Events: Coin0.png AlmsAlms.jpgBorrowBorrow.jpgQuestQuest.jpg Coin1.png SaveSave.jpg Coin2.png Scouting PartyScouting Party.jpgTravelling FairTravelling Fair.jpg Coin3.png BonfireBonfire.jpgExpeditionExpedition.jpgFerryFerry.jpgPlanPlan.jpg Coin4.png MissionMission.jpgPilgrimagePilgrimage.jpg Coin5.png BallBall.jpgRaidRaid.jpgSeawaySeaway.jpgTradeTrade.jpg Coin6.png Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpgTrainingTraining.jpg Coin7.png InheritanceInheritance.jpg Coin8.png PathfindingPathfinding.jpg
Empires Debt4.png EngineerEngineer.jpg Debt8.png City QuarterCity Quarter.jpgOverlordOverlord.jpgRoyal BlacksmithRoyal Blacksmith.jpg Coin2.png EncampmentEncampment.jpg/PlunderPlunder.jpgPatricianPatrician.jpg/EmporiumEmporium.jpgSettlersSettlers.jpg/Bustling VillageBustling Village.jpg Coin3.png CastlesCastles.jpg (HumbleHumble Castle.jpgCrumblingCrumbling Castle.jpgSmallSmall Castle.jpgHauntedHaunted Castle.jpgOpulentOpulent Castle.jpgSprawlingSprawling Castle.jpgGrandGrand Castle.jpgKing'sKing's Castle.jpg) • CatapultCatapult.jpg/RocksRocks.jpgChariot RaceChariot Race.jpgEnchantressEnchantress.jpgFarmers' MarketFarmers' Market.jpgGladiatorGladiator.jpg/FortuneFortune.jpg Coin4.png SacrificeSacrifice.jpgTempleTemple.jpgVillaVilla.jpg Coin5.png ArchiveArchive.jpgCapitalCapital.jpgCharmCharm.jpgCrownCrown.jpgForumForum.jpgGroundskeeperGroundskeeper.jpgLegionaryLegionary.jpgWild HuntWild Hunt.jpg
Events: Debt5.png TriumphTriumph.jpg Debt8.png AnnexAnnex.jpgDonateDonate.jpg Coin0.png AdvanceAdvance.jpg Coin2.png DelveDelve.jpgTaxTax.jpg Coin3.png BanquetBanquet.jpg Coin4.png RitualRitual.jpgSalt the EarthSalt the Earth.jpg Coin4.pngDebt3.png WeddingWedding.jpg Coin5.png WindfallWindfall.jpg Coin6.png ConquestConquest.jpg Coin14.png DominateDominate.jpg
Landmarks: AqueductAqueduct.jpgArenaArena.jpgBandit FortBandit Fort.jpgBasilicaBasilica.jpgBathsBaths.jpgBattlefieldBattlefield.jpgColonnadeColonnade.jpgDefiled ShrineDefiled Shrine.jpgFountainFountain.jpgKeepKeep.jpgLabyrinthLabyrinth.jpgMountain PassMountain Pass.jpgMuseumMuseum.jpgObeliskObelisk.jpgOrchardOrchard.jpgPalacePalace.jpgTombTomb.jpgTowerTower.jpgTriumphal ArchTriumphal Arch.jpgWallWall.jpgWolf DenWolf Den.jpg
Nocturne TBA
Promo Coin3.png Black MarketBlack Market.jpg Coin4.png EnvoyEnvoy.jpgSaunaSauna.jpg/AvantoAvanto.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg Coin5.png GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.jpg Coin8.png PrincePrince.jpg
Events: Coin5.png SummonSummon.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
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