Saboteur

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Saboteur
Saboteur.jpg
Info
Cost Coin5.png
Type(s) Action - Attack
Kingdom card? Yes
Set IntrigueIntrigue old icon.png
Illustrator(s) Dennis Lohausen
Card text
Each other player reveals cards from the top of his deck until revealing one costing Coin3.png or more. He trashes that card and may gain a card costing at most Coin2.png less than it. He discards the other revealed cards.

Saboteur is an Action-Attack card from the first edition of Intrigue. When played, it makes all other players reveal cards from their deck until they reveal a card costing Coin3.png or more, and then makes them trash that card; as a consolation, they may gain a card costing up to Coin2.png less; the effect is like a reverse RemodelRemodel.jpg. Unless it can be played every turn reliably, it is fairly weak, since its attack can often hit easy-to-get cards like SilverSilver.jpg and since it gives no direct benefit to the player who plays it.

It was removed from the second edition of Intrigue.

Contents

[edit] FAQ

[edit] Official FAQ

  • Each other player turns over the top cards of his deck until he reveals one costing Coin3.png or more. If a player needs to shuffle to continue revealing cards, he does not shuffle in the already revealed cards.
  • If he goes through all of his cards without finding a card costing Coin3.png or more, he just discards everything revealed and is done.
  • If he does find a card costing Coin3.png or more, he trashes it, and then may choose to gain a card costing at most Coin2.png less than the trashed card. For example, if he trashed a card costing Coin5.png, he may gain a card costing up to Coin3.png.
  • The gained card must be from the Supply and is put into his discard pile, as are his revealed cards.
  • Costs of cards are affected by Bridge.

[edit] Other Rules clarifications

  • Saboteur forces other players to trash their own card; the player who owns the card being trashed is the one who trashes it and gets any on-trash benefits.

[edit] Strategy Article

Original article by theory

The ultimate spite card, and on the surface, seemingly ridiculously powerful. But on a closer look, considering its cost, Saboteur is one of the weakest attacks in the game.

First, Saboteur is one of the three attack cards (along with Sea HagSea Hag.jpg and Sir MichaelSir Michael.jpg) that provides zero benefit to the attacker, which is a much greater liability than it might seem. Coin5.png represents an elite tier of Actions, so buying Saboteur means passing up some very strong alternatives. And the fact that it is terminal means that you can’t exactly load up on Saboteurs without doing even more harm to your own deck.

Second, the attack can benefit your opponents in a way: because it skips all the Coin0.png and Coin2.png cards, it might let them cycle through the junk in their deck. I would be completely fine with my opponent discarding all my Coppers, Curses, and Estates just to trash a Silver.

Third, an opponent can sometimes take advantage of the Saboteur to exchange an expensive card for a card they’d rather have — converting Coin7.png cards into DuchiesDuchy.jpg; GoldsGold.jpg into GardensGardens.jpg or EstatesEstate.jpg. And not being able to buy the winning Duchy because you trashed your opponent’s PeddlerPeddler.jpg into the last Duchy is a pretty painful thing.

Fourth... it’s just not that strong. The best case scenario is hitting an opponent’s ColonyColony.jpg/ProvinceProvince.jpg, which either just gets "un-RemodeledRemodel.jpg" into a PlatinumPlatinum.jpg/GoldGold.jpg, or "un-RebuiltRebuild.jpg" into a Province/Duchy. The possibility of a 3-4VP difference is therefore hardly that much better than buying a Duchy with the Coin5.png. And your opponents can counter Saboteur pretty strongly by filling their deck with cheap, expendable non-terminal Actions (boo hoo, you trashed my Wishing WellWishing Well.jpg), or hiding their valuables with IslandIsland.jpg or Native VillageNative Village.jpg.

Nevertheless, Saboteur is still good in certain situations. If you have an abundance of Actions, there are certainly worse terminals to purchase. (I’m looking at you, ChancellorChancellor.jpg.) It really benefits from gaps in card costs: for instance, a lack of Coin4.png Cards means that a Sabotaged Gold has to drop by Coin3.png instead of Coin2.png. Similarly, Saboteur’s effect is effectively amplified if the only available cards at a certain price level totally suck (how many TalismansTalisman.jpg do you really want or need, past early game?) and/or are terminal and incompatible with the rest of the set.

Like most other attacks, Saboteur is more powerful early on, when discarding Coppers still hurt, and a couple lucky draws can really hamstring your opponent’s upward progress. And also like most other attacks, Saboteur becomes wildly powerful with Throne RoomThrone Room.jpg and King's CourtKing's Court.jpg, which lets you really pore through an opponent’s deck, making it much more likely that you’ll hit a Victory card. (You’ll also be trashing his cards much faster than he can replace them.) It’s also a common last-minute desperation gambit if you have no other realistic way to catch up to someone ahead of you in Provinces.

All in all, though, Saboteur looks much more powerful than it actually is. The best counter to Saboteur is probably not getting one.

[edit] Synergies/Combos

[edit] Antisynergies

  • Opponents that flood their decks with expendable non-terminal Coin3.png/Coin4.pngActions
  • Your other attacks
  • PeddlerPeddler.jpg
  • Opponents’ RemodelRemodel.jpg/ExpandExpand.jpg
  • Opponents’ GardensGardens.jpg decks, since the Saboteur slows you from getting your Provinces before the game ends, while trashing Gardens into Estates accelerates the end of the game and trashing WorkshopsWorkshop.jpg doesn’t really matter
  • Opponents’ junk decks in general (decks that primarily rely on cards costing under Coin3.png: for instance, Counting HouseCounting House.jpg)
  • Opponents that hide their Victory cards with IslandIsland.jpg or Native VillageNative Village.jpg

[edit] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Saboteur Saboteur from Goko/Making Fun Each other player reveals cards from the top of his deck until revealing one costing Coin3.png or more. He trashes that card and may gain a card costing at most Coin2.png less than it. He discards the other revealed cards. Intrigue 1st Edition July 2009

[edit] Other language versions

Language Name Print Digital Text Notes
Chinese 炸彈客 (pron. zhàdàn kè, lit. bomber)
Czech Sabotér
Dutch Saboteur
Finnish Tihulainen (lit. little troublemaker)
French Saboteur
German Saboteur German language Saboteur (HiG :) Jeder Mitspieler muss solange Karten von seinem Nachziehstapel aufdecken, bis er eine Karte aufdeckt, die Coin3.png oder mehr kostet. Er muss diese Karte entsorgen und darf sich eine Karte nehmen, die mindestens Coin2.png weniger kostet. Die übrigen aufgedeckten Karten legt er ab.
(ASS :) Jeder Mitspieler muss solange Karten vom Nachziehstapel aufdecken, bis er eine Karte aufdeckt, die mindestens Coin3.png kostet. Diese Karte muss er entsorgen und darf sich eine andere Karte nehmen, die mindestens Coin2.png weniger kostet. Die anderen aufgedeckten Karten werden abgelegt.
Hungarian Szabotőr
Italian Sabotatore
Japanese 破壊工作員 (pron. hakai kōsaku-in, lit. destruction operative)
Korean 파괴 공작원 (pron. pagoe gongjag-won, lit. destroying agents)
Norwegian Sabotør
Polish Sabotażysta Polish language Saboteur
Russian Саботажник (pron. sabotazhnik)
Spanish Saboteador Error: gain obligatory

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] Secret History

This is one end result in the quest for a working version of "each other player trashes the top card of their deck." That concept, as I have previously mentioned, has three problems: 1) it's often weak, trashing Coppers and Estates; 2) it's too random, sometimes trashing one player's Copper and another's Province; 3) it can lead to a weird game state in which everyone only has 5 cards left and can't get anywhere, which is cool if it just happens once ever, but bad if it happens every time a particular card is on the table.


Saboteur solves all of those problems. It can't hit Coppers or Estates; it has a much more even effect on your opponents; and the weird game state is much harder to achieve. And all it took was lots of tiny text!

[edit] Retrospective

Saboteur is the biggest mistake here. Some people hate it because it can trash ProvincesProvince.jpg, some because it's an attack that doesn't make resources (which was a surprise but there it is), some just don't like it because it's weak. Some people like it, but the kind of person who wants an attack like this deserves one that has fewer strikes against it - like, SwindlerSwindler.jpg, there you go.

[edit] Second Edition Removal

Long ago my pick for worst card relative to its cost. It's got three huge problems: some people hate that it's an attack that doesn't otherwise help you; it's weak; and it's crazy wordy. On top of that some people just don't like trashing attacks, and the set already has Swindler. Some people do like them, but did I mention that the set has Swindler?


Cards 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
Combos and Counters Baron/InheritanceHorse Traders/DukeIronworks/Great HallKing's Court/BridgeLurker/Hunting GroundsMasquerade pinNative Village/BridgeRoyal Carriage/BridgeScheme/ConspiratorMinion vs TreasuryWishing Well vs Ghost Ship
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 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.jpgHoardHoard.jpg Coin6star.png Grand MarketGrand Market.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 Coin0.png Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) Coin0star.png SpoilsSpoils.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
Events: Debt5.png TriumphTriumph.jpg Debt8.png AnnexAnnex.jpgDonateDonate.jpg Coin0.png AdvanceAdvance.jpg Coin2.png DelveDelve.jpgTaxTax.jpg Coin3.png BanquetBanquet.jpg Coin4.png RitualRitual.jpgSalt the EarthSalt the Earth.jpg Coin4.pngDebt3.png WeddingWedding.jpg Coin5.png WindfallWindfall.jpg Coin6.png ConquestConquest.jpg Coin14.png 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 TBA
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
See also: Second EditionOuttakes (Confusion) • Fan cardsCard storageList of cards (in other languages)
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