Potion

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Potion
Potion.jpg
Potion-new.jpg
Info
Cost Coin4.png
Type(s) Treasure
Kingdom card? No
Set AlchemyAlchemy icon.png
Illustrator(s) Matthias Catrein
Claus Stephan
Card text
Potion.png

A Potion is a basic Treasure card from the Alchemy set. It is the only card that produces Potion.png, and therefore Potion is needed to buy cards with Potion.png in the cost.

During setup, Potion is added to the Supply if at least one Kingdom card with Potion.png in the cost is on the board (or in the Black MarketBlack Market.jpg deck).

Potion.png is the only possible component of a card cost other than Coin.png. Potion.png is orthogonal to Coin.png in a cost; thus, although a card with a cost of Coinx.pngPotion.png is considered to cost "more" than a card costing Coinx.png or less with no Potion.png, costs of, e.g., Coin4.png and Coin3.pngPotion.png are incomparable—neither is more or less than the other. Many trash-for-benefit cards whose effects depend on a card's cost only consider the cost in Coin.png and ignore Potion.png; most Workshop variants can't gain cards with Potion.png costs at all.

Contents

[edit] Strategy

Different Potion.png-costing cards call for different strategies, of course. But there are a few general points that apply to most Potion games.

Potion costs Coin4.png to buy—slightly more than SilverSilver.jpg. Thus, cards costing Coinx.pngPotion.png can be thought of as slightly more expensive than cards costing Coinx.png+Coin2.png. This rough guideline works in many cases: for instance, AlchemistAlchemist.jpg is a LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg with a bonus; FamiliarFamiliar.jpg is more powerful than WitchWitch.jpg; PossessionPossession.jpg, the most powerful Action card, competes at Coin6.pngPotion.png with ProvinceProvince.jpg at Coin8.png.

However, there is more to Potion.png costs than just the notion that Coin2.png < Potion.png < Coin3.png; cards costing Coinx.pngPotion.png are in general much harder to gain than cards costing Coinx.png+Coin2.png-and-a-half or so. Since you don't start with a Potion in your deck, you can't open with a Potion.png-costing card and thus usually can't have one in hand till turn 5 at the earliest; since Potion costs Coin4.png you can't open with two Potions, and thus can't even usually gain your second Potion.png-costing card before turn 5. Moreover, having Potion in your deck is itself usually ultimately a liability: the only Victory card Potions can buy is VineyardVineyard.jpg, and when it comes time to buy ProvincesProvince.jpg the Potion is essentially a dead card in your deck.

For this reason, a major component of the strategy of Potion games lies in deciding whether the value of the powerful cards you can buy with Potion is worth the cost of weakening your deck by adding to it a Potion that won't help you buy Provinces, and of the fact that the construction of your deck is delayed by the amount of time it can take to acquire the powerful Potion.png-costing cards.

These drawbacks are compensated for in part by the fact that Potion.png-costing cards are in general very powerful. For instance, VineyardVineyard.jpg and Philosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg can be worth, respectively, insane amounts of VP.png and Coin.png in decks properly constructed around them; and with sufficient trashing, an engine built around Scrying PoolScrying Pool.jpg or AlchemistAlchemist.jpg can regularly draw your whole deck with a high degree of consistency. Moreover, Potion.png-costing cards are generally designed so that decks that benefit from gaining them benefit from gaining multiple copies of them—the majority of them are non-terminal Actions, one is a Treasure, and one is a Victory card—so it is rare that you find yourself buying a Potion that you only want to use once; whenever you draw your Potion, you're usually happy to buy another copy of whatever Potion.png-costing card made you want to buy the Potion in the first place.

The best times to buy Potion are usually either the opening—for cheap Potion.png-costing cards, to enable you to buy as many of the target cards as you can as early as possible—or once you have a smoothly-functioning and rapidly cycling engine assembled—so you don't have to wait too long after buying the Potion to start being able to use it to buy expensive Potion.png-costing cards like GolemGolem.jpg or PossessionPossession.jpg. A common mistake inexperienced players make is to open with Potion when the only Potion.png-costing card in the Kingdom is an expensive one; the early Potion then just acts as a dead card for the early game, making it harder for you to actually buy the GoldGold.jpg you need to be able to afford that Possession.

In games with only one Potion.png-cost card in the supply, it's rarely desirable to buy multiple Potions; one is usually enough to buy all the Potion.png-costing cards you need without slowing down the rest of your deck too much. Exceptions may include Philosopher's Stone slogs, in which you cycle slowly but want to get as many Philosopher's Stones as possible; Vineyard endgames when you want to buy Vineyards every turn (or multiple Vineyards on one turn); and early in Alchemist games when you're not yet drawing your deck each turn and want to make sure you don't miss drawing a Potion on any turn. Even in games using these cards, though, getting only one Potion is still the better strategy as often as not. In many cases HerbalistHerbalist.jpg can substitute for a second Potion buy allowing you to reuse the same Potion on consecutive turns; StonemasonStonemason.jpg and sometimes HagglerHaggler.jpg can also let you gain multiple Potion.png-costing cards with just one Potion.

The Alchemy rulebook suggests that players might prefer to play games containing three to five Potion.png-costing cards in the Kingdom rather than just one, but this is only a suggestion; games with any number of Potion.png-costing cards are legal Dominion games. However, the presence of a few different Potion.png-costing cards in the supply increases the value of Potions.

There are a very small number of ways to gain Potion.png-costing cards without using a Potion. The most important is JesterJester.jpg, which on a lucky draw can gain you a copy of a Potion.png-costing card in your opponent's deck. Also worth noting is SquireSquire.jpg, whose on-trash effect can get you a free FamiliarFamiliar.jpg or Scrying PoolScrying Pool.jpg. MasqueradeMasquerade.jpg can be used to steal Potion.png-cost cards from your opponent without "gaining" them; this is most likely to be effective against an opponent top-decking multiple AlchemistsAlchemist.jpg each turn.

[edit] Synergies

  • Multiple Potion.png-costing cards in the Kingdom.
  • +Buy. When you have a Potion in hand plus more Coin.png than you need to buy the Potion.png-costing card that you want, it's very useful to be able to spend the remaining Coin.png on a Treasure or another engine component.
    • Especially HerbalistHerbalist.jpg, since it also allows you to save your Potion from one turn to the next and thus buy multiple Potion.png-costing cards per reshuffle.
  • Coin3.png-costing terminal silvers. On a 4/3 opening with Potion, cheap terminals can give you a much-needed +Coin2.png and a bonus without risk of early collision with another terminal. Even relatively weak terminal silvers like WoodcutterWoodcutter.jpg and ChancellorChancellor.jpg can be good complements to a Potion opening.
  • ColonyColony.jpg, which tends to favor slow-building engines.
  • MineMine.jpg, which can let you trade in a SilverSilver.jpg for a Potion or a Potion for a Gold, depending on whether you need Coin.png or Potion.png more at the moment.

[edit] Anti-synergies

  • Fast Big Money strategies.
  • EmbargoEmbargo.jpg: once you've bought a Potion, your opponent is free to put an Embargo token on the Potion.png-costing card you want and really cramp your style.

[edit] Trivia

The original Potion card art is by Matthias Catrein, and the art on the Potion card in the Base Cards expansion is by Claus Stephan.

[edit] Secret History

This is the same card as ever. I put it at Coin4.png because none of the cards that are always out cost Coin4.png. Originally the pile was 12 cards. There was room for 16 so there are 16. Twelve is probably enough, but it's nice to have a few extras just in case.


Cards Coin2.png HerbalistHerbalist.jpg Coin4.png PotionPotion.jpg Coin5.png ApprenticeApprentice.jpg Potion.png TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg Coin2.pngPotion.png ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg Coin3.pngPotion.png AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg Coin4.pngPotion.png GolemGolem.jpg Coin6.pngPotion.png PossessionPossession.jpg
Combos and Counters Alchemist/HerbalistCounting House/GolemMine/PotionPhilosopher's Stone/HerbalistStonemason/VineyardPossession vs Ambassador
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 ChancellorChancellor.jpgVillageVillage.jpgWoodcutterWoodcutter.jpgWorkshopWorkshop.jpg Coin4.png BureaucratBureaucrat.jpgFeastFeast.jpgGardensGardens.jpgMilitiaMilitia.jpgMoneylenderMoneylender.jpgRemodelRemodel.jpgSmithySmithy.jpgSpySpy.jpgThiefThief.jpgThrone RoomThrone Room.jpg Coin5.png Council RoomCouncil Room.jpgFestivalFestival.jpgLaboratoryLaboratory.jpgLibraryLibrary.jpgMarketMarket.jpgMineMine.jpgWitchWitch.jpg Coin6.png AdventurerAdventurer.jpg
Intrigue Coin2.png CourtyardCourtyard.jpgPawnPawn.jpgSecret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg Coin3.png Great HallGreat Hall.jpgMasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg Coin4.png BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgCoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgScoutScout.jpg Coin5.png DukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgSaboteurSaboteur.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgTributeTribute.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg Coin6.png HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.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 Coin2.png HerbalistHerbalist.jpg Coin4.png PotionPotion.jpg Coin5.png ApprenticeApprentice.jpg Potion.png TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg Coin2.pngPotion.png ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg Coin3.pngPotion.png AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg Coin4.pngPotion.png GolemGolem.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 MadmanMadman.jpgMercenaryMercenary.jpgSpoilsSpoils.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.jpgMarket SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.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.jpgCoin2plus.png StonemasonStonemason.jpgCoin3plus.png DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpgCoin4.png AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpgCoin4plus.png HeraldHerald.jpgCoin5.png BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Promo Coin3.png Black MarketBlack Market.jpg Coin4.png EnvoyEnvoy.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg Coin5.png GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.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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