Mountebank

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Mountebank
Mountebank.jpg
Info
Cost $5
Type(s) Action - Attack
Kingdom card? Yes
Set ProsperityProsperity icon.png
Illustrator(s) Kieron O'Gorman
Card text
+$2
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 $5/$2 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] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Mountebank Mountebank from Goko/Making Fun +$2. Each other player may discard a Curse. If he doesn’t, he gains a Curse and a Copper. Prosperity 1st Edition October 2010
Mountebank Mountebank from Shuffle iT +$2. Each other player may discard a Curse. If they don't, they gain a Curse and a Copper. Prosperity 2nd Edition February 2017

[edit] Other language versions

Language Name Print Digital Text
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) +$2。 他のプレイヤーは全員、呪い1枚を捨て札にしてもよく、捨て札にしなかった場合、呪い1枚と銅貨1枚を獲得する。
Polish Szarlatan (lit. charlatan) Polish language Mountebank
Russian Шаралатан (pron. sharlatan, lit. charlatan)
Spanish Charlatán (lit. charlatan)

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] Name

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 $3 LoanLoan.jpgTrade RouteTrade Route.jpgWatchtowerWatchtower.jpg $4 BishopBishop.jpgMonumentMonument.jpgQuarryQuarry.jpgTalismanTalisman.jpgWorker's VillageWorker's Village.jpg $5 CityCity.jpgContrabandContraband.jpgCounting HouseCounting House.jpgMintMint.jpgMountebankMountebank.jpgRabbleRabble.jpgRoyal SealRoyal Seal.jpgVaultVault.jpgVentureVenture.jpg $6 GoonsGoons.jpgHoardHoard.jpg $6star Grand MarketGrand Market.jpg $7 BankBank.jpgExpandExpand.jpgForgeForge.jpgKing's CourtKing's Court.jpg $8star PeddlerPeddler.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum.jpg $11 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
Other concepts Victory tokens
Dominion Cards
Basic cards $0 CopperCopper.jpgCurseCurse.jpg $2 EstateEstate.jpg $3 SilverSilver.jpg $5 DuchyDuchy.jpg $6 GoldGold.jpg $8 ProvinceProvince.jpg
Dominion $2 CellarCellar.jpgChapelChapel.jpgMoatMoat.jpg $3 HarbingerHarbinger.jpg • MerchantMerchant.jpgVassalVassal.jpgVillageVillage.jpgWorkshopWorkshop.jpg $4 BureaucratBureaucrat.jpgGardensGardens.jpgMilitiaMilitia.jpgMoneylenderMoneylender.jpgPoacherPoacher.jpgRemodelRemodel.jpgSmithySmithy.jpgThrone RoomThrone Room.jpg $5 BanditBandit.jpgCouncil RoomCouncil Room.jpgFestivalFestival.jpgLaboratoryLaboratory.jpgLibraryLibrary.jpgMarketMarket.jpgMineMine.jpgSentrySentry.jpg • WitchWitch.jpg $6 ArtisanArtisan.jpg
Removed cards: $3 ChancellorChancellor.jpgWoodcutterWoodcutter.jpg $4 FeastFeast.jpgSpySpy.jpgThiefThief.jpg $6 AdventurerAdventurer.jpg
Intrigue $2 CourtyardCourtyard.jpgLurkerLurker.jpgPawnPawn.jpg $3 MasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg $4 BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgDiplomatDiplomat.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMillMill.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgSecret PassageSecret Passage.jpg $5 CourtierCourtier.jpgDukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgPatrolPatrol.jpgReplaceReplace.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg $6 HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.jpg
Removed cards: $2 Secret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg $3 Great HallGreat Hall.jpg $4 CoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgScoutScout.jpg $5 SaboteurSaboteur.jpgTributeTribute.jpg
Seaside $2 EmbargoEmbargo.jpgHavenHaven.jpgLighthouseLighthouse.jpgNative VillageNative Village.jpgPearl DiverPearl Diver.jpg $3 AmbassadorAmbassador.jpgFishing VillageFishing Village.jpgLookoutLookout.jpgSmugglersSmugglers.jpgWarehouseWarehouse.jpg $4 CaravanCaravan.jpgCutpurseCutpurse.jpgIslandIsland.jpgNavigatorNavigator.jpgPirate ShipPirate Ship.jpgSalvagerSalvager.jpgSea HagSea Hag.jpgTreasure MapTreasure Map.jpg $5 BazaarBazaar.jpgExplorerExplorer.jpgGhost ShipGhost Ship.jpgMerchant ShipMerchant Ship.jpgOutpostOutpost.jpgTacticianTactician.jpgTreasuryTreasury.jpgWharfWharf.jpg
Alchemy P TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg $2 HerbalistHerbalist.jpg $2P ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg $3P AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg $4 PotionPotion.jpg $4P GolemGolem.jpg $5 ApprenticeApprentice.jpg $6P PossessionPossession.jpg
Prosperity $3 LoanLoan.jpgTrade RouteTrade Route.jpgWatchtowerWatchtower.jpg $4 BishopBishop.jpgMonumentMonument.jpgQuarryQuarry.jpgTalismanTalisman.jpgWorker's VillageWorker's Village.jpg $5 CityCity.jpgContrabandContraband.jpgCounting HouseCounting House.jpgMintMint.jpgMountebankMountebank.jpgRabbleRabble.jpgRoyal SealRoyal Seal.jpgVaultVault.jpgVentureVenture.jpg $6 GoonsGoons.jpgHoardHoard.jpg $6star Grand MarketGrand Market.jpg $7 BankBank.jpgExpandExpand.jpgForgeForge.jpgKing's CourtKing's Court.jpg $8star PeddlerPeddler.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum.jpg $11 ColonyColony.jpg
Cornucopia $2 HamletHamlet.jpg $3 Fortune TellerFortune Teller.jpgMenagerieMenagerie.jpg $4 Farming VillageFarming Village.jpgHorse TradersHorse Traders.jpgRemakeRemake.jpgTournamentTournament.jpg (Prizes: Bag of GoldBag of Gold.jpgDiademDiadem.jpgFollowersFollowers.jpgPrincessPrincess.jpgTrusty SteedTrusty Steed.jpg) • Young WitchYoung Witch.jpg $5 HarvestHarvest.jpgHorn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpgHunting PartyHunting Party.jpgJesterJester.jpg $6 FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg
Hinterlands $2 CrossroadsCrossroads.jpgDuchessDuchess.jpgFool's GoldFool's Gold.jpg $3 DevelopDevelop.jpgOasisOasis.jpgOracleOracle.jpgSchemeScheme.jpgTunnelTunnel.jpg $4 Jack of all TradesJack of all Trades.jpgNoble BrigandNoble Brigand.jpgNomad CampNomad Camp.jpgSilk RoadSilk Road.jpgSpice MerchantSpice Merchant.jpgTraderTrader.jpg $5 CacheCache.jpgCartographerCartographer.jpgEmbassyEmbassy.jpgHagglerHaggler.jpgHighwayHighway.jpgIll-Gotten GainsIll-Gotten Gains.jpgInnInn.jpgMandarinMandarin.jpgMargraveMargrave.jpgStablesStables.jpg $6 Border VillageBorder Village.jpgFarmlandFarmland.jpg
Dark Ages $0 Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) $0star SpoilsSpoils.jpg $1 Poor HousePoor House.jpgShelters (HovelHovel.jpgNecropolisNecropolis.jpgOvergrown EstateOvergrown Estate.jpg) $2 BeggarBeggar.jpgSquireSquire.jpgVagrantVagrant.jpg $3 ForagerForager.jpgHermitHermit.jpg (MadmanMadman.jpg) • Market SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.jpg (MercenaryMercenary.jpg) $4 ArmoryArmory.jpgDeath CartDeath Cart.jpgFeodumFeodum.jpgFortressFortress.jpgIronmongerIronmonger.jpgMarauderMarauder.jpgProcessionProcession.jpgRatsRats.jpgScavengerScavenger.jpgWandering MinstrelWandering Minstrel.jpg $5 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 $6 AltarAltar.jpgHunting GroundsHunting Grounds.jpg
Guilds $2 Candlestick MakerCandlestick Maker.jpg $2plus StonemasonStonemason.jpg $3plus DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpg $4 AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpg $4plus HeraldHerald.jpg $5 BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Adventures $2 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 $3 AmuletAmulet.jpgCaravan GuardCaravan Guard.jpgDungeonDungeon.jpgGearGear.jpgGuideGuide.jpg $4 DuplicateDuplicate.jpgMagpieMagpie.jpgMessengerMessenger.jpgMiserMiser.jpgPortPort.jpgRangerRanger.jpgTransmogrifyTransmogrify.jpg $5 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 $6 HirelingHireling.jpg
Events: $0 AlmsAlms.jpgBorrowBorrow.jpgQuestQuest.jpg $1 SaveSave.jpg $2 Scouting PartyScouting Party.jpgTravelling FairTravelling Fair.jpg $3 BonfireBonfire.jpgExpeditionExpedition.jpgFerryFerry.jpgPlanPlan.jpg $4 MissionMission.jpgPilgrimagePilgrimage.jpg $5 BallBall.jpgRaidRaid.jpgSeawaySeaway.jpgTradeTrade.jpg $6 Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpgTrainingTraining.jpg $7 InheritanceInheritance.jpg $8 PathfindingPathfinding.jpg
Empires 4D EngineerEngineer.jpg 8D City QuarterCity Quarter.jpgOverlordOverlord.jpgRoyal BlacksmithRoyal Blacksmith.jpg $2 EncampmentEncampment.jpg/PlunderPlunder.jpgPatricianPatrician.jpg/EmporiumEmporium.jpgSettlersSettlers.jpg/Bustling VillageBustling Village.jpg $3 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 $4 SacrificeSacrifice.jpgTempleTemple.jpgVillaVilla.jpg $5 ArchiveArchive.jpgCapitalCapital.jpgCharmCharm.jpgCrownCrown.jpgForumForum.jpgGroundskeeperGroundskeeper.jpgLegionaryLegionary.jpgWild HuntWild Hunt.jpg
Events: 5D TriumphTriumph.jpg 8D AnnexAnnex.jpgDonateDonate.jpg $0 AdvanceAdvance.jpg $2 DelveDelve.jpgTaxTax.jpg $3 BanquetBanquet.jpg $4 RitualRitual.jpgSalt the EarthSalt the Earth.jpg $43D WeddingWedding.jpg $5 WindfallWindfall.jpg $6 ConquestConquest.jpg $14 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 $0star Will-o'-WispWill-o'-Wisp.jpgWishWish.jpg $2 DruidDruid.jpgFaithful HoundFaithful Hound.jpgGuardianGuardian.jpgMonasteryMonastery.jpgPixiePixie.jpg (GoatGoat.jpg) • TrackerTracker.jpg (PouchPouch.jpg) $2star ImpImp.jpg $3 ChangelingChangeling.jpgFoolFool.jpg (Lost in the WoodsLost in the Woods.jpgLucky CoinLucky Coin.jpg) • Ghost TownGhost Town.jpgLeprechaunLeprechaun.jpgNight WatchmanNight Watchman.jpgSecret CaveSecret Cave.jpg (Magic LampMagic Lamp.jpg) $4 BardBard.jpgBlessed VillageBlessed Village.jpgCemeteryCemetery.jpg (Haunted MirrorHaunted Mirror.jpg) • ConclaveConclave.jpgDevil's WorkshopDevil's Workshop.jpgExorcistExorcist.jpgNecromancerNecromancer.jpg (Zombies: ApprenticeZombie Apprentice.jpgMasonZombie Mason.jpgSpyZombie Spy.jpg) • ShepherdShepherd.jpg (PasturePasture.jpg) • SkulkSkulk.jpg $4star GhostGhost.jpg $5 CobblerCobbler.jpgCryptCrypt.jpgCursed VillageCursed Village.jpgDen of SinDen of Sin.jpgIdolIdol.jpgPookaPooka.jpg (Cursed GoldCursed Gold.jpg) • Sacred GroveSacred Grove.jpgTormentorTormentor.jpgTragic HeroTragic Hero.jpgVampireVampire.jpg (BatBat.jpg) • WerewolfWerewolf.jpg $6 RaiderRaider.jpg
Boons: The Earth's GiftThe Earth's Gift.jpgThe Field's GiftThe Field's Gift.jpgThe Flame's GiftThe Flame's Gift.jpgThe Forest's GiftThe Forest's Gift.jpgThe Moon's GiftThe Moon's Gift.jpgThe Mountain's GiftThe Mountain's Gift.jpgThe River's GiftThe River's Gift.jpgThe Sea's GiftThe Sea's Gift.jpgThe Sky's GiftThe Sky's Gift.jpgThe Sun's GiftThe Sun's Gift.jpgThe Swamp's GiftThe Swamp's Gift.jpgThe Wind's GiftThe Wind's Gift.jpg
Hexes: Bad OmensBad Omens.jpgDelusionDelusion.jpg (DeludedDeluded.jpg) • EnvyEnvy.jpg (EnviousEnvious.jpg) • FamineFamine.jpgFearFear.jpgGreedGreed.jpgHauntingHaunting.jpgLocustsLocusts.jpgMiseryMisery.jpg (MiserableMiserable.jpg/Twice MiserableTwice Miserable.jpg) • PlaguePlague.jpgPovertyPoverty.jpgWarWar.jpg
Promo $3 Black MarketBlack Market.jpg $4 DismantleDismantle.jpgEnvoyEnvoy.jpgSaunaSauna.jpg/AvantoAvanto.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg $5 GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.jpg $8 PrincePrince.jpg
Events: $5 SummonSummon.jpg
Base Cards $0 CopperCopper-new.jpgCurseCurse-new.jpg $2 EstateEstate-new.jpg $3 SilverSilver-new.jpg $4 PotionPotion-new.jpg $5 DuchyDuchy-new.jpg $6 GoldGold-new.jpg $8 ProvinceProvince-new.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum-new.jpg $11 ColonyColony-new.jpg
See also: Second EditionOuttakes (Confusion) • Fan cardsCard storageList of cards (in other languages)
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