|Type(s)||Action - Attack|
Each other player trashes the top card of their deck and gains a card with the same cost that you choose.
Swindler is an Action-Attack card from Intrigue. When played, it makes all opponents trash the top card of their deck, and lets you choose what they gain instead. It can be a curser if it hits opponents' -cost cards, but can also help opponents by skipping their Victory cards. It can be a very high-variance card, since if an opponent gets a / opening, Swindler might turn their -cost card into a Duchy! In the late-game, Swindler can accelerate the end of the game by trashing Provinces and replacing them with Provinces from the supply.
 Official FAQ
- When it matters (such as when piles are low), go in turn order, starting with the player to your left.
- Each other player trashes their top card, and gains a replacement you choose with the same cost.
- The card they gain comes from the Supply and goes to their discard pile.
- For example if a player trashed Copper, you might give them Curse, which costs like Copper does.
- You can give a player back another copy of what they lost.
- If the Supply has no cards with the same cost as the trashed card, the player fails to gain a card.
 Other Rules clarifications
- When-trashed effects trigger before the player who played Swindler has to choose which card the opponent gains. The opponent is the one who trashes the revealed card and resolves any when-trashed effects.
 Strategy Article
Original article by theory
Its attack is most powerful in the early game, since you have the best chance of hitting your opponent’s Coppers. Accordingly, it can be a good idea to open with two Swindlers: in exchange for the chance that they’ll be drawn together, I get to launch double the attacks early on, when the attacks are most likely to succeed and when losing Coppers hurts the most.
It works very poorly with Curse-giving attacks: when the Curses run out, a Swindler that hits a Curse or Copper ends up doing more good than harm. Really, Swindler doesn’t work well with most attacks: Ghost Ship just lets your opponent choose your Swindler target, and Bureaucrat -> Swindler can be a guaranteed way to hit a Victory card, which is ordinarily terrible (though it can sometimes be of value in the endgame — see below). Even discard attacks like Militia are weakened, since forcing your opponent to discard Swindled junk doesn't hurt them much.
Swindler interacts with Peddler in a very odd way. If Peddlers are still available, buying Provinces is very dangerous since they can be so easily trashed into a Peddler. On the other hand, if Peddlers are emptied, then Swindler becomes a serious liability, since you can easily accidentally Swindle your opponents’ Peddlers into Provinces!
Likewise, playing Swindler is dangerous if you are trailing in the endgame. If you want the last Province and you already havein your hand, don’t play the Swindler lest you swindle your opponent’s Province … into the last Province. On the other hand, if you’re leading, Swindling Victory cards can be a great way to run the pile down.
This incidentally suggests that one of the best counters to Swindler is playing for VPs quickly: both because Swindled Provinces help you, and because if Provinces are going to run dry quickly then you want to grab your early share. This is a special case of the more general counter, which is to buy cards that either have no crappy terminals at their cost (i.e., avoid Caravan and Conspirator), or buy cards that have unique costs (e.g., Gold and Alchemy cards).′s, and go for ′s when the only ′s are
- Top-deck inspection attacks like Spy or Scrying Pool
- Bad terminal Actions (I once stuffed an opponent with 9 Workshops)
- Cost reducers (Bridge and Highway) allow you to Swindle higher-cost cards into curses.
- Engines built on City or Minion engines, since you can just Swindle into Duchies) ′s (e.g.,
- Curse-giving attacks
- Engines built on ′s or even or cantrip
- Boards without easy Swindling targets
- Alchemy cards (or, in general, unique card costs)
- Peddler (sort of)
- Tomb gives your opponent every time you play it
- Your opponent's Transmogrify and other remodelers
- Border Village forces you to either swap out your opponent's vanilla village for a cost card or trigger Border Village's on-gain effect and give your opponent a free cost card if you choose to give them their village back.
 English versions
|+. Each other player trashes the top card of his deck and gains a card with the same cost that you choose.||Intrigue 1st Edition||July 2009|
|+. Each other player trashes the top card of their deck and gains a card with the same cost that you choose.||Intrigue 2nd Edition||October 2016|
 Other language versions
 Secret Historydidn't make the grade, and I needed a replacement. This card from the 4th set fit the bill. Originally it was "Each other player trashes the top card of their deck and gains a card costing less that you choose." Hitting Copper all the time made it very weak. I changed it to "a card with the same cost" and that made it a lot better - now Coppers turn into Curses. That's the version that got added to Intrigue, and it was tested a bit like that but was still pretty weak. I made it good enough by adding the + . The attack part is nice but needs that much help.