Discard any number of Victory cards, revealing them. +2 Cards per card discarded.
 Official FAQ
- For example, you could discard three Victory cards to draw six cards.
- In games using Shepherd, replace one of your starting Coppers with a Pasture.
 Other rules clarifications
original article by faust
Shepherd is the strongest card in Nocturne. But its power is subtle, and using it correctly requires some skill.
 The composition of a Shepherd deck
A Shepherd deck runs on green and Shepherds. That means that in order to get started, you want to always start with a Shepherd in hand. In order to expect one Shepherd in a hand of five cards, 20% of your deck should be Shepherds. Note that this also puts a limitation to the total size of your deck: For every Shepherd you have, you can add 4 other cards. The more Shepherds you have, the longer your deck remains stable. If you have ways of manipulating your starting hand (like Scheme or duration draw), your can afford to stretch a bit thinner on Shepherds.
On the other hand, your deck wants to keep on drawing. If you want your second Shepherd to draw at least at much as your first, then you should draw 50% green cards from each Shepherd play. This is a figure to aim for for your deck composition: You should have around 50% green. I would point out however that you should prioritize getting your Shepherds to a 20% density before adding more green.
 How to get there
Well, getting your Shepherd ratio up is simple; just buy or gain more. The tricky part is keeping your green high. There are 2 ways to go: One is to trash your starting Coppers, which automatically increases the share of green you have. The other is to buy or gain a bunch of green. Cantrips are also great in a Shepherd deck as they do not really affect your deck composition at all.
This gives 2 things that go well with Shepherd: light trashing and gain/+Buy. Especially look out for cantrip +buy like Market Square. I say light trashing here because when the trashing is super strong, it tends to boost other strategies on the board more than it boosts the Shepherd deck.
A very simple yet efficient deck for Shepherd is to just add a single Silver, a Shepherd for every 5 cards you have and the best green card available otherwise. This already beats Big Money. However, the real strength of the Shepherd deck is that you draw through your deck in many turns, so any card you add to the deck has a bigger impact as it is played more often.
 So what do I add in otherwise?
We have already seen that light trashing and +buy are good things to have. Since Shepherd is nonterminal draw, you can add in any number of cantrips to your deck as well. What you should avoid is stacking up on terminals and splitters. The issue is that Shepherd decks are unreliable, and adding more unreliable components will often push it over the critical point where it's just no good anymore. Also, every stop card you add also requires you to increase your share of Victory cards. A good question to ask yourself with every buy is "is this better than a victory card for my deck?"
But apart from that, Shepherd decks are flexible and can accomodate a variety of different payload cards: +coin, +buy, attacks, gainers all work well with it.
 Shepherd in non-Shepherd decks
Shepherd is best used in an environment fitted for it, but sometimes you want to add a Shepherd to other deck types. One way to do this are very reliable engines that draw your deck. Here, you can make sure to have all your green in hand before you play Shepherd, and then profit form the extra draw with discard for benefit.
Shepherd can, in theory, also be used as a sifter, though in that function it is inferior to most other sifters as it only works on a very small subset of your cards. But if you know you're going to have some green in your hand anyway (due to e.g. Haunted Woods), then you can also use Shepherd in this capacity.
 When Shepherd is bad
Though a strong card, not every board is a Shepherd board. The hardest counter are handsize attacks. It is so much more difficult to get started if you only have 3 cards available in your hand. Another problem is strong terminal payload. A Shepherd deck can often play only one terminal per turn. If there is stuff like Bridge Troll or Knights, chances are you'd rather want to build that deck. Finally, tokens and strong Landmarks can be reasons to avoid Shepherd.
 Some tactical remarks
A key thing to look out for with Shepherd is reshuffle triggering. It is easy to trigger a reshuffle that just puts 10 Victory cards on top of your deck without a Shepherd to utilize them. Vice versa, if you know you can shuffle in a Shepherd with a lot of green, then that's quite good.
It may seem tempting to add a Shepherd to a priorly Shepherd-less deck once you start greening. The problem is that most of the time, you will not connect the Shepherd with enough green for that to be worth it.
 A word on Pasture
Of course, the Heirloom that goes along with Shepherd should not go unmentioned. Getting an extra 1 from Estates often gives the Shepherd deck the edge to be competitive. It also means that buying 4 Estates for is usually better than buying a Province, if you have the buys. Because Estates are more attractive than normal, Shepherd mirrors can easily end on three-piles with Estates, Shepherds and some other kingdom pile or Duchies gone. Consider this option in your planning.
- Silk Road becomes extremely valuable; expect them to be worth at least 5 if you are the only one pursuing Estate.
- Sources of +Buy. While situational, do not be afraid to spend Estate cards. on two
- Because Shepherd gives +1 Action, Workshop and other terminal gainers are useful in moderation, since you'll likely be playing a modified Gardens strategy. If the other player is pursuing this strategy, consider Smugglers.
- Wild Hunt
- Hunting Grounds
- Tunnel Shepherd likes to discard Victory cards, and Tunnel is a Victory card that likes to be discarded.
- Opponents trashing and junking strategies; despite Shepherd being a sifter, it will be hampered by Curse and other junk. Jester is more likely to be a Junker when you have more Victory cards.
- Colony games, which you simply cannot keep up with despite filling your deck with Estate.
 Example Kingdoms
 Where Shepherd is strong
|Example 1 [images]|
|Landscapes and Additional Cards|
|Hexes||Way of the Rat|
Shepherd is good here because:
- There is no Estate trashing, and Tournament provides extra incentive to put Victory cards into the deck
- The increased handsize from Shepherd provides a way to hit $8 to buy Province and later to connect Province and Tournament
- Shepherd synergizes with cantrip payload (Tournament) and nonterminal draw (Horses from Livery)
 Where Shepherd is weak
|Example 2 [images]|
|Village Green||Council Room||Lost City||Soothsayer||Hireling|
|Landscapes and Additional Cards|
|Way of the Butterfly|
Shepherd is not good here because:
- Mercenary provides an effective Estate trashing option
- Handsize attacks (Urchin and Mercenary) will reduce the reliability of a deck that uses Shepherd significantly
- Strong alternate draw is available in Council Room and Lost City
 English versions
| +1 Action. Discard any number of Victory cards, revealing them. +2 Cards per card discarded.
|Digital version doesn't have yellow Heirloom banner.||Nocturne||November 2017|
 Other language versions
 Secret Historyto .