Spy

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Spy
Spy.jpg
Info
Cost $4
Type(s) Action - Attack
Kingdom card? Yes
Set BaseDominion old icon.png
Illustrator(s) Michael Menzel
Card text
+1 Card
+1 Action
Each player (including you) reveals the top card of his deck and either discards it or puts it back, your choice.

Spy is an Action-Attack card from the first edition of the Base set. It is a cantrip, meaning it provides +1 Card/+1 Action, and so it doesn't prevent you from drawing or playing other Action cards too. It helps you by allowing you to discard bad cards off of your deck, and hurts your opponents by letting you inspect and discard their good cards (a deck inspection attack). It combos with other cards that care about the top of your opponent's deck, like ThiefThief.jpg.

It was removed from the second edition of Dominion.

Contents

[edit] FAQ

[edit] Official FAQ

  • Spy causes all players, including the one who played it, to reveal the top card of their Deck.
  • Note that you draw your card for playing Spy before any cards are revealed.
  • Anyone who does not have any cards left in their Deck shuffles in order to have something to reveal. Anyone who still has no cards to reveal doesn't reveal one.
  • If players care about the order in which things happen for this, you do yourself first, then each other player in turn order.
  • Revealed cards that aren't discarded are returned to the top of their players' Decks.

[edit] Other Rules clarifications

  • In a strict interpretation of the rules, each player reveals their card and returns it or discards it before the next player does, and for certain cards (such as Chariot RaceChariot Race.jpg), this can matter when it comes to deciding which each player should do. However, in practice, it's usually fine for all players to reveal their cards at the same time for efficiency's sake, provided there's no effect in the game that cares about the order of revealing.

[edit] Strategy Article

Spy is a generally weak card, especially compared to other $4-cost cards, and is usually not worth buying unless there are specific synergies with other cards in your deck. The attack is weak and the benefit to you is also fairly weak. Even though Spy is a cantrip, its opportunity cost often makes it not worth buying. This has particularly become the case as later expansions have introduced new (and better) cantrips. Spy is usually the worst buy in Big Money strategies, especially terminal draw big money. It is usually a slightly better buy in engines.

Sometimes Spy can be a good acquisition if your deck contains gainers such as as IronworksIronworks.jpg or WorkshopWorkshop.jpg.

[edit] Spy's Attack

The attack of Spy is weak, and more notably, on average, becomes weaker with successive plays of the card. This is because once you hit a bad card that you choose to keep on top of the opponent's deck, future attacks are useless. Further attacks only have use if you hit and discard good cards. In the case that you discard a bunch of cards with Spy, however, the strength of the attack is mitigated by the fact that you are cycling your opponent's deck.

Spy's attack becomes much stronger when paired with top-deck attacks. SwindlerSwindler.jpg is probably the strongest synergy; Spy can make it more likely that your Swindler hits a CopperCopper.jpg and not an EstateEstate.jpg, helping reduce the swinginess of Swindler's attack.

[edit] Your deck inspection

On the other hand, the benefit to you from Spy becomes greater with successive plays. A single Spy only lets you set up a card for future draw, but a double Spy lets you set up and then draw a card immediately, and set up a future card. A chain of Spies will let you draw a bunch of cards that are a better than what you would draw on your own.

The deck inspection function of Spy is strongest in decks which have a highly heterogeneous composition. Strong trashing thus makes Spy less useful, but the card becomes more useful in decks with a lot of VP cards, CursesCurse.jpg that cannot be trashed, or other junk cards.

[edit] Synergies/Combos

[edit] Antisynergies

[edit] Versions

[edit] English versions

Print Digital Text Release Date
Spy Spy from Goko/Making Fun +1 Card. +1 Action. Each player (including you) reveals the top card of his deck and either discards it or puts it back, your choice. Dominion 1st Edition October 2008

[edit] Other language versions

Language Name Print Digital Text
Chinese 間諜 (pron. jiàndié)
Czech Špion
Dutch Spion
Finnish Vakooja
French Espion
German Spion German language Spy +1 Karte
+1 Aktion
Alle Spieler (auch du) decken die oberste Karte ihres Nachziehstapels auf. Du entscheidest, wer seine Karte Ablegt und wer sie wieder auf seinen Nachziehstapel zurück tun muss.
Greek Κατάσκοπος (pron. kataskopos)
Hungarian Kém
Italian Spia
Japanese 密偵 (pron. mittei)
Korean 첩자 (pron. cheobja)
Norwegian Spion
Polish Szpieg Polish language Spy
Romanian Spion
Russian Шпион (pron. shpion)
Spanish Espía

[edit] Trivia

Official card art.

[edit] Secret History

I made this for the 4th expansion during development of the main set, and almost immediately stole it for the main set. It was just too perfect; it's an attack that doesn't feel like the other ones, it interacts with a bunch of things, it's hard to evaluate. It's "free" (it has +1 card, +1 action, so playing it doesn't use up your action and it doesn't take up space in your hand), and those cards are hot tickets.

[edit] Retrospective

And finally there's Spy. Spy is slow to resolve, that's the big thing. Over the years I have learned that ideally Spy-type attacks don't have +1 action, or don't involve a decision, or both. RabbleRabble.jpg is exactly what I want. Spy has +1 action and involves a decision, so you potentially make tons of decisions per turn. I like decisions but man Spy is not where to get them. It initially got to interact with two attacks that trashed cards from the top of your deck, and that's cool, but now it only interacts with ThiefThief.jpg (in the main set that is), and that combo just isn't worth the slot.

[edit] Why does Spy cost 4?

It's pretty random. I didn't know as much what I was doing then; I tried it at $4 and people bought it and you didn't have to. These days I wouldn't make it at all - it's too slow for what you get, and charging less doesn't fix that. RabbleRabble.jpg is the way to do Spy.

[edit] Second Edition Removal

This is both weak and slow. Make one decision per player; now play another Spy and make another decision per player. These days I prefer Spies to look more like Rabble and Fortune TellerFortune Teller.jpg: no +1 Action, no decision. I thought I would replace Spy with something like Rabble, but as you can see I didn't. Dominion itself is joining the ranks of the later expansions, that go lighter on attacks and heavier on non-attack interaction.


Cards $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
Combos and Counters Beggar/GardensChancellor/StashGuide vs MilitiaHighway/MarketMine/PotionWorkshop/GardensBishop vs GardensLibrary vs BishopLibrary vs MilitiaLibrary vs RelicMilitia vs Warehouse
Other concepts Vanilla
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
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