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Chapel, a trasher card.

Trasher is the generic term for any card with the ability to trash one or more cards from your hand or deck. (Cards which trash another player's cards are considered trashing attacks, while cards that trash themselves are referred to as one-shots).

There are two main uses for trashers. The first is simply to eliminate weak cards from the deck ("deck-thinning"), in order to enable faster cycling and have more concentrated hands of useful cards—this chiefly involves trashing starting cards (CoppersCopper.jpg and EstatesEstate.jpg or Shelters) and CursesCurse.jpg, but can also apply to cards that were purchased for early-game use and have outlived their usefulness, such as cursers after the Curse pile is depleted.

The second is to receive some benefit as a result of trashing a card—either by trashing a card that has an on-trash effect, or because the trasher itself has a useful effect that requires you to trash a card in order to activate it. Trashers in this last category are often referred to under the umbrella term "trash for benefit", though sometimes (as below) the term specifically refers to trashers that give better benefits for trashing more powerful cards.


[edit] Types of trashers

[edit] Multi-card trashers

These cards allow rapid deck-thinning. ChapelChapel.jpg is the multi-card trasher par excellence due to the combination of its cheap price and the large number of cards it lets you trash; other multi-card trashers usually offer benefits in addition to trashing, or alternative effects that keep the card relevant after you've trashed all the cards you want to trash.

BanishBanish.jpg, from MenagerieMenagerie (expansion).jpg, can be used to exile, rather than trash, multiple cards from your hand.

[edit] Trash for benefit

Several cards allow you to trash a card and receive a bonus or benefit that depends on the cost (or occasionally other properties) of the trashed card(s). These are commonly referred to as trash-for-benefit (or "TfB") cards (most trashers give you some benefit to your current turn other than trashing, and the term "trash-for-benefit" is sometimes used more broadly to refer to all such cards). Terminal TfB cards are usually soft terminals; when they collide with an expendable Action, they can use it for fodder, sometimes even to gain or buy a ProvinceProvince.jpg.

[edit] Remodelers

These are cards that allow you to trash one or more cards and gain cards to replace them depending on the cost of the trashed card. Some provide other benefits in addition to the gain. These cards usually improve your deck by trashing weaker cards for stronger cards, without substantially thinning your deck, because you gain in addition to trashing. Some remodelers, however, allow you to trash more cards than you gain (ForgeForge.jpg), or require you to gain cards of a specific cost, allowing you to thin your deck if there are no available cards at that cost (UpgradeUpgrade.jpg and RemakeRemake.jpg are the best examples of this). Some are restricted to trashing or gaining cards of specific types.

Many remodelers have names that are verbs.

TransmuteTransmute.jpg, from Alchemy, gains a card depending on the type of the trashed card, rather than its cost. The Dark Ages cards RatsRats.jpg and AltarAltar.jpg, the Allies card AcolyteAcolyte.jpg, and the Ally Woodworkers' GuildWoodworkers' Guild.jpg resemble remodelers in that they cause you to trash one card and gain another; but the card you trash has no effect on what card you might gain. The Menagerie card DisplaceDisplace.jpg resembles Remodel, but Exiles instead of trashes, and Way of the ButterflyWay of the Butterfly.jpg returns cards to the supply instead of trashing them. SwapSwap.jpg, from Allies, also returns cards to the supply, and the card you gain does not depend on the card you return.

[edit] Other trash-for-benefit cards

These cards provide benefits scaled to the cost of the trashed card, other than gaining cards whose cost depends on that of the trashed card:

[edit] Borderline cases

  • Dark Ages: CounterfeitCounterfeit.jpg provides a benefit scaled to the value of the trashed Treasure, rather than its cost.
  • Empires: CatapultCatapult.jpg has an effect with a cost threshold, but not a scaling one.
  • Empires: SacrificeSacrifice.jpg has an effect that depends on the trashed card's type, rather than its cost.

[edit] Single-card trashers

These trashers have effects that are independent of the properties of the cards being trashed, and most can trash any card. These have a variety of uses: many are deck thinners or improvers; but for Death CartDeath Cart.jpg, for example, which can only trash Action cards, the trashing is in part a penalty to compensate for the strong +$5 effect.

The Menagerie card SanctuarySanctuary.jpg functions like a trasher, but Exiles cards instead of trashing them.

[edit] Copper trashers

These cards are primarily used for trashing CopperCopper.jpg: MoneylenderMoneylender.jpg and DucatDucat.jpg can only trash Copper, while the others can trash other Treasure cards as well, but do not provide better benefits for trashing more useful Treasures.

Trashing Copper is also an important function of CounterfeitCounterfeit.jpg and CatapultCatapult.jpg, though they do give more powerful effects for trashing more valuable (or expensive) Treasures. MiserMiser.jpg removes Coppers from your deck without trashing them.

[edit] Estate trashers

These cards can't trash Treasure cards and don't give better benefits for trashing better cards. Therefore in the early game they're most likely to be used for trashing EstatesEstate.jpg or Shelters specifically; later in the game, they may be used on CursesCurse.jpg, obsolete early-game Actions, and cards with on-trash benefits.

[edit] Pseudo-trashers

These cards offer ways of removing cards from your deck other than trashing them. This can sometimes allow sneaky combos with PossessionPossession.jpg.

Attacks Attack immunityCurserDeck inspection attackDeck order attackHandsize attackJunking attackTrashing attackTurn-worsening attack
Buy/Money +BuyCost-reducerDisappearing moneyOverpayPeddler variantTerminal silverVirtual coinVirtual +Buy
Cycling Deck discarderDeck inspectorDiggingDiscard for benefitSifter
Terminality CantripNon-terminalNon-terminal drawSoft terminalTerminalTerminal drawThrone Room variantVillageConditional non-terminal
Other Alt-VPBasic cardsDuration drawCommand variantGainerLuck-basedNon-Attack interactionOne-shotSplit pileTop deckerTrasherVanilla
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