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An opening consists of the cards purchased in the first two turns. The starting deck of each player consists of 7 CoppersCopper.jpg and 3 EstatesEstate.jpg or Shelters. Therefore, under ordinary circumstances, if your first hand has 4 Coppers, your second hand will have 3 Coppers, and vice versa. This is called a Coin4.png/Coin3.png or Coin3.png/Coin4.png split, respectively. A Coin5.png/Coin2.png (or Coin2.png/Coin5.png) split means you have a first hand of 5 Coppers and second hand of 2 Coppers (and vice versa). In an ordinary kingdom, players receive Coin5.png/Coin2.png or Coin2.png/Coin5.png splits 16.67% of the time.


[edit] Openers

An opener is a card that a player buys on his first or second turn. Some cards are better openers than others. Trashers and cursers tend to be good openers, and opening with a SilverSilver.jpg or a terminal Silver is also usually a good idea in order to build up buying power early. Some cards, like MoneylenderMoneylender.jpg, CoppersmithCoppersmith.jpg, or BaronBaron.jpg, are usually either bought as an opener or not at all, due to their interactions with cards in the starting deck. Usually, VillagesVillage.jpg are poor openers because there are no terminal actions in your deck at first.

[edit] Unusual openings

If BakerBaker.jpg, from Guilds, is in the supply, players begin the game with an extra Coin token, allowing openings of Coin6.png/Coin2.png, Coin5.png/Coin3.png, or Coin4.png/Coin4.png if the Coin token is spent immediately. BorrowBorrow.jpg gives a similar effect, by letting you "steal" a card from your next turn for +Coin1.png now. Events in general, particularly in combination with the cards listed below, can produce many weird and varied openings. Debt.png-costing cards also mess with opening strategy.

Some cards with on-buy or on-gain effects can also alter the usual Coin4.png/Coin3.png or Coin5.png/Coin2.png split when bought on the first turn:

  • Noble BrigandNoble Brigand.jpg: When bought by your opponents on their first turn makes you discard the top two cards from your deck, resulting in various possible unusual openings.
  • Nomad CampNomad Camp.jpg: Goes on the top of your deck, which can result in a Nomad Camp/Coin5.png or Nomad Camp/Coin4.png split.
  • InnInn.jpg: Can be shuffled into your deck and if so will likely be drawn next turn, giving you a Coin5.png/Coin3.png split.
  • MandarinMandarin.jpg: Puts the five Coppers you played back on top of your deck, giving you another Coin5.png turn before you reshuffle, turning a Coin5.png/Coin2.png opening into a Coin5.png/Coin5.png/Coin2.png opening.
  • StonemasonStonemason.jpg: Allows you to gain two extra cards if you overpay when you buy it, meaning you can gain more than the usual one card per opening turn.
  • DoctorDoctor.jpg: Allows you to trash or discard cards from the top of your deck on-buy; so buying it on your first turn with Coin4.png or more can change the makeup of your second turn in various ways depending on what is trashed.
  • MessengerMessenger.jpg: Gives each player an effective extra Coin4.png to their opening per player that opens with it, with the caveat that they may not get to choose which card they get, and it may miss their reshuffle.
  • Lost CityLost City.jpg: If another player opens with it, causing you to draw a card, it can completely change your Coin.png output on your opening turns.
  • VillaVilla.jpg: Lets you pick up an additional Coin1.png or Coin2.png with it, depending on your split.
  • ForumForum.jpg: If you open Coin5.png/Coin2.png, you can pick up a Coin0.png card with Forum.

With Baker, Lost City and Borrow in a game, it's possible to field Coin8.png on an opening turn.

[edit] Examples of strong openers

[edit] Examples of strong openings

According to, the top 20 openings (pre-Dark Ages) are as follows:[1]

  1. MountebankMountebank.jpg / ChapelChapel.jpg
  2. TournamentTournament.jpg / AmbassadorAmbassador.jpg
  3. GovernorGovernor.jpg / Chapel
  4. MintMint.jpg / Fool's GoldFool's Gold.jpg
  5. Tournament / Chapel
  6. WitchWitch.jpg / Chapel
  7. CaravanCaravan.jpg / Ambassador
  8. Tournament / MasqueradeMasquerade.jpg
  9. WharfWharf.jpg / Fool's Gold
  10. Witch / Fool's Gold
  11. UpgradeUpgrade.jpg / Chapel
  12. VaultVault.jpg / Chapel
  13. Hunting PartyHunting Party.jpg / Chapel
  14. Trading PostTrading Post.jpg / HavenHaven.jpg
  15. MinionMinion.jpg / Chapel
  16. Witch / CrossroadsCrossroads.jpg
  17. Mountebank / HamletHamlet.jpg
  18. LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg / Chapel
  19. Mountebank / Native VillageNative Village.jpg
  20. Mountebank / Haven
  • Only three openings were Coin3.png/Coin4.png.
  • Most Coin5.png/Coin2.png openings were Curser/Trasher or Booster/Trasher.

[edit] References


Deck archetypes Big MoneyComboEngineRushSlog
Strategic concepts CollisionCounterCyclingDeadDuchy dancingEndgameGreeningMegaturnMirrorOpeningOpportunity costPenultimate Province RulePayloadPinPiledrivingReshuffleSilver testStop cardSplit advantageStrictly betterSynergyTerminalityThree-pile endingTurn advantageVictory pointVillage idiot
Rules Blue dog ruleCostDeckGameplayLose Track ruleMaterialsNo Visiting ruleSupply (Kingdom) • Triggered effectsTurn
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