Silver

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Silver
Silver.jpg
Info
Cost $3
Type(s) Treasure
Kingdom card? No
Set BaseDominion icon.png
Illustrator(s) Ryan Laukat
Card text
$2

Silver is a basic Treasure card included in all games of Dominion. At a cost of $3 and providing $2, Silver sits between GoldGold.jpg and CopperCopper.jpg. Silver often ends up in a clear majority of decks, and it is typically one of the two opening buys a player will make. Each standalone set comes with 40 Silver cards, and therefore a typical game begins with 40 Silvers in the supply; this can be crucial to know in certain games (e.g., with FeodumFeodum.jpg).

Contents

[edit] Strategy

[edit] Big Money

Silver is a very important part of BM strategies and will typically be one of the two cards you open with in a BM strategy. It is necessary for jumping up to GoldGold.jpg or PlatinumPlatinum.jpg to ensure that you are able to purchase ProvincesProvince.jpg or ColoniesColony.jpg. Good Silver density in your deck is often enough to purchase Provinces, especially in Terminal Draw/BM strategies, as 4 Silver is enough to purchase a Province. Having a high density of Silver is especially useful in games which benefit from deck homogeneity, such as games using EnvoyEnvoy.jpg, AdvisorAdvisor.jpg, or PillagePillage.jpg, in which an opponent can choose a card for you to discard.

[edit] Beyond Silver

Original article by theory

[In 2009], Stormparkiet wrote an influential review of base Dominion outlining the “Silver test”: is the card you’re about to purchase really better than a Silver? If it isn’t, you should just stick to buying a Silver. At its core, the review suggested that all you really had to do to succeed in Dominion was to blindly purchase Silvers and Golds.

Regrettably, this now-outdated heuristic continues to exert an undue influence on modern Dominion. While Gold remains a cornerstone of most successful Dominion decks, Silver has silently turned into a liability rather than an asset in most modern decks. Much of Silver’s original appeal stemmed from the fact that base Dominion strongly favored Big Money engines or slight variations thereof, and Big Money engines always benefit from more Silvers. But subsequent expansions have radically upended traditional strategical thinking; Big Money engines (and Silver) are no longer nearly as relevant as they were before, for two reasons:

  • With the advent of Colonies, a deck that can churn $8 per turn for 4-5 turns is no longer sufficient. It’s considerably harder for Big Money to maintain a consistent $11 per turn than $8 per turn; the whole premise of Big Money was that the constant Silvers can keep resupplying your Golds so you can keep getting to $8. But getting to a constant stream of Golds to resupply your Platinums is just too slow, primarily because:
  • Action combinations are much stronger than before (partially due to widespread early trashing cards), and certain combos are so game-warpingly powerful that their benefits dwarf the tempo cost of setting up the combo. (See, e.g., CityCity.jpg/GoonsGoons.jpg/QuarryQuarry.jpg.) Even in the absence of Colonies, they are simply too fast and too strong for Big Money to stand a chance.

What this means is that the ideal deck is no longer made up of just Golds and Silvers with one Smithy thrown in. Instead, it is often a mix of Actions that are good on their own but much more than the sum of their parts when played together. They churn out the Golds and Provinces; they’re what win you the game. As a result, the worth of drawing these cards together now far outweigh the marginal deck benefit of a Silver. A Big Money deck needed Silvers because it had no other way to get to $8; in an Action-driven deck, after you’ve got your combo set up, all Silver does is interfere. What good is its $2 if it stops you from executing a CaravanCaravan.jpg/VaultVault.jpg combo that would net you $10+?

Silver still serves a purpose: to get you to $5 and $6. Silver-based decks can consistently hit that number, but unless you’re shooting for a Duchy/DukeDuke.jpg strategy, that’s just not enough to get into the big leagues. A long-term strategy really lives and dies by its Golds; Silvers are just a way of getting to them. Ideally, in fact, you’d jump to Gold without ever needing to buy a Silver (e.g., drawing MoneylenderMoneylender.jpg-Copper-Copper-Copper-Copper on your third turn); otherwise, you use an opening Silver or two (or three) to get you to Golds, and then buy no more.

Of course, if you’re being brutalized by Curses and attacks, then Silvers play a critical role in your deck even deep into the midgame, since you aren’t yet capable of reaching $5 and $6 without them. And Silvers remain important in the increasingly rare sets where Big Money is the dominant strategy. But in a typical game, after you have your first Gold and a $5 or two, buying Silver will often just weigh you down. This is the time when those “useless” $2 and $3 non-terminals really shine. It’s too slow in the early game to buy Great HallsGreat Hall.jpg and Wishing WellsWishing Well.jpg when you need to get to $5′s and Golds, but once you get those $5′s and Golds, additional Silvers don’t help you on your next objective, which is to get to $8. Better instead to get the non-terminals, netting a token benefit while simultaneously aiding you in setting up your real rainmakers: your Action combos, $5′s, and Golds. (Yes, I would probably take even Pearl DiverPearl Diver.jpg over a Silver given appropriate circumstances.) If no non-terminals are available, then even buying nothing is often better than buying the Silver.

You could interpret this evolution as a sign of power creep, but I think that’s an unfair characterization. Base Dominion took relatively little skill to play optimally, since you really couldn’t hope to do that much better than the Silver baseline. Since then, however, Dominion has become a much deeper and more complex game. Merely meeting the baseline is no longer good enough; with skillful play, you can now reach much greater heights. Like a set of training wheels, Silver provides you with what you need to get going, but to really succeed, you have to learn when to move on.

[edit] Alt-VP Support

While typically not enough to power an Alt-VP strategy on its own (other than FeodumFeodum.jpg), Silver can be quite important as a support card for Alt-VP strategies, especially strategies involving DukeDuke.jpg, FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg, GardensGardens.jpg, and Silk RoadSilk Road.jpg. They benefit from Silver because in a bloated deck, having a single silver in hand helps ensure that you are able to hit the $4, $5, and $6 price points. IronworksIronworks.jpg, ExplorerExplorer.jpg, and HagglerHaggler.jpg are examples of Silver-gaining cards which provide solid support an Alt-VP strategy.

[edit] Cards which interact with silver

Since Silver is available in every game of Dominion, several other cards specifically name and interact with it. Most of these allow players to gain Silver, as a way of providing a decent but not overly-powerful benefit. FeodumFeodum.jpg is a Victory card that rewards players for having Silver in their deck.

[edit] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Silver $2 Dominion 1st Edition October 2008
First edition version, with art never implemented $2 Base Cards June 2012
Silver Silver from Shuffle iT $2 Dominion 2nd Edition October 2016

[edit] Other language versions

Language Name Print Digital Text
Chinese 銀幣 (pron. yínbì)
Czech Stříbrňák
Dutch Zilver
Finnish Hopearaha (lit. silver coin)
French Argent
German Silber German language Silver $2
Greek Ασημένιο (pron. asemenio)
Hungarian Ezüst
Italian Argento
Japanese 銀貨 (pron. ginka, lit. silver coin)
Korean 은 (pron. eun)
Norwegian Sølv
Polish Srebrnik (in first print)
Srebrniki (in second print)
Romanian Argint
Russian Серебро (pron. syeryebro)
Spanish Plata

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] Secret History

These cards are unchanged from day one. You could argue that the actions got tweaked to fit the treasures. The treasure pile sizes changed to match different estimates for the total set size, and ended up generous on all counts. In development the issue of the names for these came up - is it simpler if it's Copper Mine rather than Copper? In the end you can see that Copper won out. It just makes it a lot easier to name action cards if the treasures are treasures rather than mines.


Dominion Cards
Basic cards $0 CopperCopper.jpgCurseCurse.jpg $2 EstateEstate.jpg $3 SilverSilver.jpg $5 DuchyDuchy.jpg $6 GoldGold.jpg $8 ProvinceProvince.jpg
Dominion $2 CellarCellar.jpgChapelChapel.jpgMoatMoat.jpg $3 HarbingerHarbinger.jpg • MerchantMerchant.jpgVassalVassal.jpgVillageVillage.jpgWorkshopWorkshop.jpg $4 BureaucratBureaucrat.jpgGardensGardens.jpgMilitiaMilitia.jpgMoneylenderMoneylender.jpgPoacherPoacher.jpgRemodelRemodel.jpgSmithySmithy.jpgThrone RoomThrone Room.jpg $5 BanditBandit.jpgCouncil RoomCouncil Room.jpgFestivalFestival.jpgLaboratoryLaboratory.jpgLibraryLibrary.jpgMarketMarket.jpgMineMine.jpgSentrySentry.jpg • WitchWitch.jpg $6 ArtisanArtisan.jpg
Removed cards: $3 ChancellorChancellor.jpgWoodcutterWoodcutter.jpg $4 FeastFeast.jpgSpySpy.jpgThiefThief.jpg $6 AdventurerAdventurer.jpg
Intrigue $2 CourtyardCourtyard.jpgLurkerLurker.jpgPawnPawn.jpg $3 MasqueradeMasquerade.jpgShanty TownShanty Town.jpgStewardSteward.jpgSwindlerSwindler.jpgWishing WellWishing Well.jpg $4 BaronBaron.jpgBridgeBridge.jpgConspiratorConspirator.jpgDiplomatDiplomat.jpgIronworksIronworks.jpgMillMill.jpgMining VillageMining Village.jpgSecret PassageSecret Passage.jpg $5 CourtierCourtier.jpgDukeDuke.jpgMinionMinion.jpgPatrolPatrol.jpgReplaceReplace.jpgTorturerTorturer.jpgTrading PostTrading Post.jpgUpgradeUpgrade.jpg $6 HaremHarem.jpgNoblesNobles.jpg
Removed cards: $2 Secret ChamberSecret Chamber.jpg $3 Great HallGreat Hall.jpg $4 CoppersmithCoppersmith.jpgScoutScout.jpg $5 SaboteurSaboteur.jpgTributeTribute.jpg
Seaside $2 EmbargoEmbargo.jpgHavenHaven.jpgLighthouseLighthouse.jpgNative VillageNative Village.jpgPearl DiverPearl Diver.jpg $3 AmbassadorAmbassador.jpgFishing VillageFishing Village.jpgLookoutLookout.jpgSmugglersSmugglers.jpgWarehouseWarehouse.jpg $4 CaravanCaravan.jpgCutpurseCutpurse.jpgIslandIsland.jpgNavigatorNavigator.jpgPirate ShipPirate Ship.jpgSalvagerSalvager.jpgSea HagSea Hag.jpgTreasure MapTreasure Map.jpg $5 BazaarBazaar.jpgExplorerExplorer.jpgGhost ShipGhost Ship.jpgMerchant ShipMerchant Ship.jpgOutpostOutpost.jpgTacticianTactician.jpgTreasuryTreasury.jpgWharfWharf.jpg
Alchemy P TransmuteTransmute.jpgVineyardVineyard.jpg $2 HerbalistHerbalist.jpg $2P ApothecaryApothecary.jpgScrying PoolScrying Pool.jpgUniversityUniversity.jpg $3P AlchemistAlchemist.jpgFamiliarFamiliar.jpgPhilosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.jpg $4 PotionPotion.jpg $4P GolemGolem.jpg $5 ApprenticeApprentice.jpg $6P PossessionPossession.jpg
Prosperity $3 LoanLoan.jpgTrade RouteTrade Route.jpgWatchtowerWatchtower.jpg $4 BishopBishop.jpgMonumentMonument.jpgQuarryQuarry.jpgTalismanTalisman.jpgWorker's VillageWorker's Village.jpg $5 CityCity.jpgContrabandContraband.jpgCounting HouseCounting House.jpgMintMint.jpgMountebankMountebank.jpgRabbleRabble.jpgRoyal SealRoyal Seal.jpgVaultVault.jpgVentureVenture.jpg $6 GoonsGoons.jpgHoardHoard.jpg $6star Grand MarketGrand Market.jpg $7 BankBank.jpgExpandExpand.jpgForgeForge.jpgKing's CourtKing's Court.jpg $8star PeddlerPeddler.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum.jpg $11 ColonyColony.jpg
Cornucopia $2 HamletHamlet.jpg $3 Fortune TellerFortune Teller.jpgMenagerieMenagerie.jpg $4 Farming VillageFarming Village.jpgHorse TradersHorse Traders.jpgRemakeRemake.jpgTournamentTournament.jpg (Prizes: Bag of GoldBag of Gold.jpgDiademDiadem.jpgFollowersFollowers.jpgPrincessPrincess.jpgTrusty SteedTrusty Steed.jpg) • Young WitchYoung Witch.jpg $5 HarvestHarvest.jpgHorn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpgHunting PartyHunting Party.jpgJesterJester.jpg $6 FairgroundsFairgrounds.jpg
Hinterlands $2 CrossroadsCrossroads.jpgDuchessDuchess.jpgFool's GoldFool's Gold.jpg $3 DevelopDevelop.jpgOasisOasis.jpgOracleOracle.jpgSchemeScheme.jpgTunnelTunnel.jpg $4 Jack of all TradesJack of all Trades.jpgNoble BrigandNoble Brigand.jpgNomad CampNomad Camp.jpgSilk RoadSilk Road.jpgSpice MerchantSpice Merchant.jpgTraderTrader.jpg $5 CacheCache.jpgCartographerCartographer.jpgEmbassyEmbassy.jpgHagglerHaggler.jpgHighwayHighway.jpgIll-Gotten GainsIll-Gotten Gains.jpgInnInn.jpgMandarinMandarin.jpgMargraveMargrave.jpgStablesStables.jpg $6 Border VillageBorder Village.jpgFarmlandFarmland.jpg
Dark Ages $0 Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) $0star SpoilsSpoils.jpg $1 Poor HousePoor House.jpgShelters (HovelHovel.jpgNecropolisNecropolis.jpgOvergrown EstateOvergrown Estate.jpg) $2 BeggarBeggar.jpgSquireSquire.jpgVagrantVagrant.jpg $3 ForagerForager.jpgHermitHermit.jpg (MadmanMadman.jpg) • Market SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.jpg (MercenaryMercenary.jpg) $4 ArmoryArmory.jpgDeath CartDeath Cart.jpgFeodumFeodum.jpgFortressFortress.jpgIronmongerIronmonger.jpgMarauderMarauder.jpgProcessionProcession.jpgRatsRats.jpgScavengerScavenger.jpgWandering MinstrelWandering Minstrel.jpg $5 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 $6 AltarAltar.jpgHunting GroundsHunting Grounds.jpg
Guilds $2 Candlestick MakerCandlestick Maker.jpg $2plus StonemasonStonemason.jpg $3plus DoctorDoctor.jpgMasterpieceMasterpiece.jpg $4 AdvisorAdvisor.jpgPlazaPlaza.jpgTaxmanTaxman.jpg $4plus HeraldHerald.jpg $5 BakerBaker.jpgButcherButcher.jpgJourneymanJourneyman.jpgMerchant GuildMerchant Guild.jpgSoothsayerSoothsayer.jpg
Adventures $2 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 $3 AmuletAmulet.jpgCaravan GuardCaravan Guard.jpgDungeonDungeon.jpgGearGear.jpgGuideGuide.jpg $4 DuplicateDuplicate.jpgMagpieMagpie.jpgMessengerMessenger.jpgMiserMiser.jpgPortPort.jpgRangerRanger.jpgTransmogrifyTransmogrify.jpg $5 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 $6 HirelingHireling.jpg
Events: $0 AlmsAlms.jpgBorrowBorrow.jpgQuestQuest.jpg $1 SaveSave.jpg $2 Scouting PartyScouting Party.jpgTravelling FairTravelling Fair.jpg $3 BonfireBonfire.jpgExpeditionExpedition.jpgFerryFerry.jpgPlanPlan.jpg $4 MissionMission.jpgPilgrimagePilgrimage.jpg $5 BallBall.jpgRaidRaid.jpgSeawaySeaway.jpgTradeTrade.jpg $6 Lost ArtsLost Arts.jpgTrainingTraining.jpg $7 InheritanceInheritance.jpg $8 PathfindingPathfinding.jpg
Empires 4D EngineerEngineer.jpg 8D City QuarterCity Quarter.jpgOverlordOverlord.jpgRoyal BlacksmithRoyal Blacksmith.jpg $2 EncampmentEncampment.jpg/PlunderPlunder.jpgPatricianPatrician.jpg/EmporiumEmporium.jpgSettlersSettlers.jpg/Bustling VillageBustling Village.jpg $3 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 $4 SacrificeSacrifice.jpgTempleTemple.jpgVillaVilla.jpg $5 ArchiveArchive.jpgCapitalCapital.jpgCharmCharm.jpgCrownCrown.jpgForumForum.jpgGroundskeeperGroundskeeper.jpgLegionaryLegionary.jpgWild HuntWild Hunt.jpg
Events: 5D TriumphTriumph.jpg 8D AnnexAnnex.jpgDonateDonate.jpg $0 AdvanceAdvance.jpg $2 DelveDelve.jpgTaxTax.jpg $3 BanquetBanquet.jpg $4 RitualRitual.jpgSalt the EarthSalt the Earth.jpg $43D WeddingWedding.jpg $5 WindfallWindfall.jpg $6 ConquestConquest.jpg $14 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 $0star Will-o'-WispWill-o'-Wisp.jpgWishWish.jpg $2 DruidDruid.jpgFaithful HoundFaithful Hound.jpgGuardianGuardian.jpgMonasteryMonastery.jpgPixiePixie.jpg (GoatGoat.jpg) • TrackerTracker.jpg (PouchPouch.jpg) $2star ImpImp.jpg $3 ChangelingChangeling.jpgFoolFool.jpg (Lost in the WoodsLost in the Woods.jpgLucky CoinLucky Coin.jpg) • Ghost TownGhost Town.jpgLeprechaunLeprechaun.jpgNight WatchmanNight Watchman.jpgSecret CaveSecret Cave.jpg (Magic LampMagic Lamp.jpg) $4 BardBard.jpgBlessed VillageBlessed Village.jpgCemeteryCemetery.jpg (Haunted MirrorHaunted Mirror.jpg) • ConclaveConclave.jpgDevil's WorkshopDevil's Workshop.jpgExorcistExorcist.jpgNecromancerNecromancer.jpg (Zombies: ApprenticeZombie Apprentice.jpgMasonZombie Mason.jpgSpyZombie Spy.jpg) • ShepherdShepherd.jpg (PasturePasture.jpg) • SkulkSkulk.jpg $4star GhostGhost.jpg $5 CobblerCobbler.jpgCryptCrypt.jpgCursed VillageCursed Village.jpgDen of SinDen of Sin.jpgIdolIdol.jpgPookaPooka.jpg (Cursed GoldCursed Gold.jpg) • Sacred GroveSacred Grove.jpgTormentorTormentor.jpgTragic HeroTragic Hero.jpgVampireVampire.jpg (BatBat.jpg) • WerewolfWerewolf.jpg $6 RaiderRaider.jpg
Boons: The Earth's GiftThe Earth's Gift.jpgThe Field's GiftThe Field's Gift.jpgThe Flame's GiftThe Flame's Gift.jpgThe Forest's GiftThe Forest's Gift.jpgThe Moon's GiftThe Moon's Gift.jpgThe Mountain's GiftThe Mountain's Gift.jpgThe River's GiftThe River's Gift.jpgThe Sea's GiftThe Sea's Gift.jpgThe Sky's GiftThe Sky's Gift.jpgThe Sun's GiftThe Sun's Gift.jpgThe Swamp's GiftThe Swamp's Gift.jpgThe Wind's GiftThe Wind's Gift.jpg
Hexes: Bad OmensBad Omens.jpgDelusionDelusion.jpg (DeludedDeluded.jpg) • EnvyEnvy.jpg (EnviousEnvious.jpg) • FamineFamine.jpgFearFear.jpgGreedGreed.jpgHauntingHaunting.jpgLocustsLocusts.jpgMiseryMisery.jpg (MiserableMiserable.jpg/Twice MiserableTwice Miserable.jpg) • PlaguePlague.jpgPovertyPoverty.jpgWarWar.jpg
Promo $3 Black MarketBlack Market.jpg $4 DismantleDismantle.jpgEnvoyEnvoy.jpgSaunaSauna.jpg/AvantoAvanto.jpgWalled VillageWalled Village.jpg $5 GovernorGovernor.jpgStashStash.jpg $8 PrincePrince.jpg
Events: $5 SummonSummon.jpg
Base Cards $0 CopperCopper-new.jpgCurseCurse-new.jpg $2 EstateEstate-new.jpg $3 SilverSilver-new.jpg $4 PotionPotion-new.jpg $5 DuchyDuchy-new.jpg $6 GoldGold-new.jpg $8 ProvinceProvince-new.jpg $9 PlatinumPlatinum-new.jpg $11 ColonyColony-new.jpg
See also: Second EditionOuttakes (Confusion) • Fan cardsCard storageList of cards (in other languages)
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