You may trash a Treasure from your hand to choose one:|
+2 Cards and +1 Action;
or +1 Buy and .
Spice Merchant is an Action card from Hinterlands. It is primarily a Copper trasher (though it can trash other Treasure cards too). Spice Merchant can function as essentially a cantrip—once you've trashed your Copper, you can get +2 Cards and +1 Action, to bring you back to the same hand size and action count you had before playing it. Alternatively, Spice Merchant can also function as a source of +Buy of last resort.
- You may trash a Treasure card from your hand.
- This is optional.
- If you did trash a Treasure card, you choose either to get +2 Cards and +1 Action, or + and +1 Buy.
Other Rules clarifications
Spice Merchant is a strong Copper trasher that offers two different bonuses to choose from when trashing a card. The +1 Action, +2 Cards option is generally the more commonly useful one, and allows Spice Merchant to act as a high-tempo early thinner, while the and a +Buy can allow it to act as a source of additional gains in a pinch. Given that it lets you trash Copper and gives some benefit at the same time, it is often a good purchase in the opening for precisely that purpose, though it may be skippable if more efficient general-purpose trashers (like Chapel) are available.
The option of +1 Action, +2 Cards is the primary use case because it has a strong positive effect on your deck control in the long term without sacrificing much in the short term, given that it non-terminally trashes a Copper while maintaining your hand size and cycling through your shuffles. In the very early game, this mode is especially important if you have added an important terminal to your deck that you want to play as early and often as possible, for example an Attack such as Mountebank or a Traveller such as Peasant. Because Spice Merchant cannot trash Estates, it can also pair well with other trashers such as Develop that specialize in doing so.
The alternative option of draw and terminal space from different sources), or if you need to guarantee hitting an important price point. The latter is reasonably likely in the early game, when your money density is less than per stop card and drawing may net you less than . Although this option also offers +Buy, Spice Merchant is a relatively ineffective source of it, as it is a terminal stop card that generates only at the cost of two cards from your hand. Additionally, given that you need to trash a card to get +Buy, Spice Merchant is not a source of net gains per se. However, it can be paired with a Treasure gainer such as Jack of All Trades to create a sustainable source of +Buy. Outside this scenario, it's unusual to use Spice Merchant to trash Treasures other than Copper or Heirlooms, but it may sometimes be useful to do so, for example if you needed a Silver for early payload but later prefer to replace it with Action-based payload.and +Buy is relevant in a few different situations, such as when you do not need the draw option (because you have sufficient
| You may trash a Treasure from your hand. If you do, choose one:
+2 Cards and +1 Action; or + and +1 Buy.
|Hinterlands 1st Edition||October 2011|
| You may trash a Treasure from your hand to choose one:
+2 Cards and +1 Action; or +1 Buy and + .
|Hinterlands 2nd Edition||December 2016|
Other language versions
|Czech||Kořenář (lit. spicer)|
|German||Gewürzhändler (lit. spice trader)|| Du darfst eine Geldkarte aus
deiner Hand entsorgen, um
eins zu wählen:
+2 Karten und +1 Aktion
+1 Kauf und +
|Italian||Mercante di Spezie|
|Japanese||香辛料商人 (pron. kōshinryō shōnin)||次のうち1つを選ぶために、手札の財宝カード1枚を廃棄してもよい:「+2 カードを引く、 +1 アクション」:「+1 購入、 +」。|
|Polish||Zamorski kupiec||Although Polish version is not released, this card is referred to in the Polish version of Empires rulebook|
|Russian||Торговец Специями (pron. torgovyets spyetsiyami)|
|Spanish||Mercader de Especias|
Secret History. That was too strong. Then for a while it was like it is now, and then I tried it without the + +1 Buy option. There had been some worries about power level, but if it was over the top it wasn't very far over, and we were picking the Lab a lot more than the Woodcutter anyway. And remember I wanted simple cards, to make the set a standalone. Well some people were very sad to see the + +1 Buy option go, and it did not appear to make the card too strong after all, so there it is.