Non-terminal draw

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Laboratory, a non-terminal draw card.

Cards that can increase your handsize without depleting your number of available Actions are referred to as non-terminal draw cards. They make a welcome addition to almost any engine strategy, in which large handsizes allow you to find and line up your key engine components. Many of them are helpful in Big Money strategies as well, but to a lesser degree: the +Action is less important in a Treasure-heavy Big Money deck, and they typically provide smaller handsizes than terminal draw cards.

The simplest vanilla non-terminal draw card is LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg; cards that have similar effects are therefore sometimes referred to as Lab variants.

Non-terminal draw is closely related to duration draw: playing a duration-draw card on one turn provides an effect similar to playing a non-terminal draw card on your next turn.

[edit] Lab variants

These usually draw a specified number of cards—typically a total of +2 Cards, occasionally more—and can draw any card. Some are restricted by only being able to increase handsize in certain circumstances—e.g., in the case of Wishing WellWishing Well.jpg, if you correctly guess what card is on top of your deck—and if the condition is not met they will be simple cantrips. Cards in italics have been removed.

City QuarterCity Quarter.jpg (from Empires) and Cursed VillageCursed Village.jpg (from Nocturne) draw different numbers of cards depending on what's in your hand, and can often non-terminally increase your handsize.

CaravanCaravan.jpg (from Seaside), ArchiveArchive.jpg (from Empires), and Den of SinDen of Sin.jpg (from Nocturne) are Duration draw cards that are non-terminal when played and provide a net of 2 or more cards over two or more turns.

[edit] Fringe examples

These cards are not usually considered Lab variants, but can play that role in some decks:

  • TributeTribute.jpg and IronmongerIronmonger.jpg can act as Lab variants depending on what card is on top of your opponent's deck or your deck.
  • Shanty TownShanty Town.jpg acts as a Lab variant if you have no Action cards in hand, but otherwise decreases handsize.
  • DiplomatDiplomat.jpg acts as a Lab variant if your handsize is small, but otherwise is terminal.
  • Secret PassageSecret Passage.jpg is a non-terminal source of +2 Cards, but then you return a card to your deck, so it maintains handsize rather than increasing it.
  • Native VillageNative Village.jpg and CryptCrypt.jpg both hide away cards, rather than drawing them, but can non-terminally add them to your hand.
  • ApprenticeApprentice.jpg provides non-terminal draw if you trash a card costing $3 or more.
  • CityCity.jpg provides non-terminal draw if one or more supply piles are empty.
  • CrossroadsCrossroads.jpg provides non-terminal draw the first time you play it on a turn, if there are multiple Victory cards in your hand.
  • CultistCultist.jpg is technically terminal, but will allow you to play additional Cultists after it.
  • FugitiveFugitive.jpg is a non-terminal source of +2 Cards, but its required discard means it maintains handsize, rather than increasing it.
  • Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpg, when used on a terminal draw pile, turns that card into non-terminal draw.
  • PathfindingPathfinding.jpg, when used on a cantrip pile, turns that card into non-terminal draw.
  • SettlersSettlers.jpg and Bustling VillageBustling Village.jpg provide non-terminal draw if the right cards are in your discard pile.
  • ForumForum.jpg is a non-terminal source of +3 Cards, but its required discard means it maintains handsize, rather than increasing it.
  • ImpImp.jpg allows you to play an Action that you don't yet have a copy of in play, which can make it non-terminal if the other Action you play also is.
  • AvantoAvanto.jpg allows you to play a cantrip SaunaSauna.jpg if you have one in your hand after drawing, giving you back the Action you used to play Avanto.
  • RecruiterRecruiter.jpg gives you Villagers if you trash a card with a non-zero coin cost, allowing you to recover the Action you used to play it if you want to. However, since trashing is mandatory, this doesn't actually increase handsize.

[edit] Specific-card drawers

These non-terminal cards only draw cards of a specific type or other category, and increase handsize if they find such cards.


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