Mountebank

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Mountebank
Mountebank.jpg
Info
Cost Coin5.png
Type(s) Action - Attack
Kingdom card? Yes
Set ProsperityProsperity icon.png
Illustrator(s) Kieron O'Gorman
Card text
+Coin2.png
Each other player may discard a Curse. If they don't, they gain a Curse and a Copper.

Mountebank is an ActionAttack card from Prosperity. It is considered one of the strongest cursers because it can hand out two junk cards per play—both a CurseCurse.jpg and an (only slightly less undesirable) CopperCopper.jpg—thus rapidly weakening engines that depend on deck-thinning and fast cycling. Because it also distributes Coppers, unlike other cursers such as WitchWitch.jpg, it can remain an effective attack even after the Curses are depleted. However, it can be more luck-dependent than Witch, and it is less effective against players who have already been hit by it a few times, since an opponent who already has a Curse in hand may discard it to avoid the junk-distribution effects of Mountebank.

Contents

[edit] FAQ

[edit] Official FAQ

  • This hits the other players in turn order, which can matter when the Curse or Copper piles are low.
  • Each of the other players in turn chooses whether or not to discard a Curse card, and the players who do not gain a Curse and a Copper from the Supply, putting them into their discard piles.
  • If either the Curse or Copper pile is empty, players still gain the other card.

[edit] Other Rules clarifications

  • A player hit by Mountebank gains the Curse first, and then the Copper.

[edit] Strategy Article

Mountebank is a very powerful card. It's slightly weaker than WitchWitch.jpg in a head-to-head Big Money game because the CursesCurse.jpg from Mountebank can be blocked and because CopperCopper.jpg does not hurt Big Money that much, but Mountebank is far more devastating to engines because it gives out two junk cards at once. The presence of Mountebank on the board makes some engine-based strategies less attractive, especially in the absence of counters or strong trashers.

The fact that the attack can be blocked by discarding a Curse leads Mountebank to be more of a self-limiting card than other straight-up cursers like WitchWitch.jpg, Sea HagSea Hag.jpg, or FamiliarFamiliar.jpg. It also, however, makes it more of a swingy card. This has several interesting effects and interactions. A Coin5.png/Coin2.png opening is not quite as an overwhelming advantage with Mountebank as with Witch, although it still provides an advantage--this is because a lead in cursing is more likely to equalize after both players get Mountebanks and play them slightly.

Curses tend to run out more slowly in Mountebank games, and—except in 4-player games, where there may be roughly the same number of Coppers as Curses in the supply—the Coppers generally do not run out. This makes Mountebank keep its attack power longer than other cursers. It also leads to an interesting dilemma when trashing cards, especially early in the game. Trashing a Curse may make one more vulnerable to future Mountebank attacks, and it is often preferable to trash an EstateEstate.jpg or even a Copper in these situations. A thinned deck that consistently draws one Curse can actually protect against Mountebank, so if trying to build an engine against the attacks of an opponents' Mountebank, trashing Coppers and Estates is an even better choice.

Because the Curse must be discarded to block the attack, it can be advantageous to play multiple Mountebanks per turn. It is generally stronger to play two Mountebanks in one turn than to play them on two separate turns, but this may not be the best strategy on most boards.

Mountebank is not usually thought of as a discard attack, but the fact that you have to discard to block the Curse-and-Copper gaining can still hurt. Cards that are weakened by small handsize, such as CellarCellar.jpg, can therefore be weakened by Mountebank; and you'll often find yourself planning to UpgradeUpgrade.jpg or ChapelChapel.jpg your Curse only to find yourself discarding it instead so you don't get junked up even worse. By the same token, though, LibraryLibrary.jpg is slightly more useful against Mountebank than against, say, WitchWitch.jpg. There are a few cases where it might be advantageous to decide to gain the Curse and Copper rather than discarding, but such cases are much rarer than they are against TorturerTorturer.jpg—for instance, when you hold VaultVault.jpg, GoldGold.jpg, Curse, and two other cards, hanging onto the Curse in hand will guarantee you a ProvinceProvince.jpg next turn. Once the Curses are depleted, however, it can often be a better choice to gain the Copper and keep the Curse in hand so that you can discard it for benefit or trash it on your turn.

The fact that the attack can be blocked by discarding a Curse makes it less beneficial to trash curses in Mountebank games than in games with WitchWitch.jpg, where there is typically no downside to trashing a curse. Although trashing a curse can still be beneficial, it makes one vulnerable to future attacks, including coppers after the curses run out. For optimal strategy, one must factor this into the decision of whether or not to put resources into trashing curses; Mountebank often makes it more worthwhile to sift through curses, rather than discard them. This is especially true in the presence of cards able to benefit by discarding a card, from sifters like CellarCellar.jpg or WarehouseWarehouse.jpg to cards like HamletHamlet.jpg, OasisOasis.jpg, or VaultVault.jpg.

[edit] Synergies/Combos

[edit] Antisynergies

[edit] Alternate versions

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] In other languages

  • Czech: Mastičkář (lit. quack)
  • Dutch: Charlatan (lit. charlatan)
  • Finnish: Petkuttaja (lit. trickster)
  • French: Charlatan (lit. charlatan)
  • German: Quacksalber (lit. quack)
  • Italian: Ciarlatano (lit. charlatan)
  • Japanese: 香具師 (pron. yashi, lit. charlatan)
  • Polish: Szarlatan (lit. charlatan)
  • Russian: Шаралатан (pron. sharlatan, lit. charlatan)
  • Spanish: Charlatán (lit. charlatan)


Mountebank was originally called Villain, then Trickster. The Germans said, could you rename that? As they'd already used Trickster for Swindler.


[edit] Secret History

Originally it had the MintMint.jpg "penalty" and no discarding clause. It was too powerful and left the set. Later I brought it back without the "penalty" (yes it is not really a penalty), then added the Curse-Moating. Briefly you just revealed the Curse (rather than discard it), but I decided that was more hosing than I wanted.


Cards 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
Combos and Counters Bishop/FortressCounting House/GolemCounting House/Travelling FairGolden deckGoons/WatchtowerKing's Court/BridgeMint/Fool's GoldVault/Grand MarketWarehouse/Counting HouseWorker's Village/PeddlerBishop vs GardensLibrary vs BishopSwamp Hag vs GoonsVault vs Ambassador
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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
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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
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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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