Reveal the top 3 cards of your deck. The player to your left chooses one of them. Discard that card. Put the other cards into your hand.
It can be a good support card in fairly homogeneous decks, in which the opponent will be choosing between three cards of roughly equal quality and therefore can't hurt you too much. In a deck with some very good cards and some bad cards, on the other hand, Advisor can ensure you skip the good cards and draw the bad cards.
- If there are not three cards in your deck, reveal what you can, then shuffle your discard pile into your deck to get the other cards. If there still are not enough, just reveal what you can.
- No matter how many you revealed, the player to your left chooses one for you to discard, and the remaining cards go into your hand.
The subject of bad advice memes the world over. Advisor is to Lab how Envoy is to Hunting Grounds. But where Envoy gives you the best 4 of 5 cards (20% of your best cards discarded), Advisor gives you only the best 2 of 3 (33% of your best cards discarded). That difference is as important to how Advisor is played as the extra action is. Read on young grasshopper!
So is Advisor a good card?
Like most cards in Dominion (exceptions: Wharf, Cursers, Goons, etc.) "It depends." In Advisor's case it depends more than most. Because you are losing a third of your best cards, one of three things need to be true in order for Advisor to be viable:
- The difference between your best cards and your average/bad cards is low (i.e., you have trashed all your bad cards, so anything you draw is pretty good)
- Your ratio of good to bad cards is high (i.e., you don't have very many bad cards, or you have a LOT of average/good cards so you rarely get stuck with two bad cards in an Advisor draw)
- You have cards that don't care about quality, they just want quantity (i.e., Cellar, Warehouse, Vault, etc.)
Three specific notes worth mentioning:
1. Cantrips are fantastic.
If your three cards drawn are Spy, Pearl Diver and Menagerie, then there isn't much your opponent can do to stop you from getting two average cards (rather than 2/3 of your worst cards). This also means that Advisors are synergistic: If you draw an Advisor with an Advisor, it makes for a tough call on which card for your opponent to discard (if your deck is well set-up for Advisors then they should likely discard the Advisor...)
2. "Key" Cards are a bane
If you have a key power card, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be discarded when you play Advisor. The only way you will get it is if you draw it in your initial hand, or you get it with one of your other draw cards. So Advisor works better with cards you want to SPAM (Minion, cantrips as per above, Lab, Wharf, etc.) than cards you want one or two of (Cursers, Tactician (but see special case below), Militia, etc.)
3. Drawing your deck
One special case to the needing a consistent deck is if you have enough horsepower to draw your whole deck. In this case you play the Advisors first to get as much as you can in your hand, and then finish it off with your other draw cards (you definitely need at least cantrips to make this work). Tactician can help a lot here. If Double Tactician is Kingdom friendly then starting with a ten card hand helps you draw everything a lot easier. Even if your other Tactician is being discarded, it doesn't matter if your other cards can pick it up later.
When to buy Advisor
Usually in the mid game after you've got a deck set up that supports it. At the start of the game you have a bad deck (Coppers and Estates) with a few good cards you have just bought. An early Advisor is a good way to have those key early cards discarded. Wait until you have a high density of valuable cards, or after you've trashed your deck down so the initial coppers and estates are pretty much gone.
The End Game
The other thing Advisor needs is a way to green fast. As soon as you start adding green to your deck Advisor turns into a way to get lots of green in your hand. You need a solution before you start heading down the Advisor path:
- A way to handle the green (Crossroads, Cellar, Warehouse, etc.)
- A way to avoid greening for a long time (Basically being able to end in one or two mega turns)
- Good Trashing
- Cheap Cantrips
- Spamable cards
- Mega turns (including Tokens - see there was a reason Advisor was in the Guilds Expansion)
- The ability to draw your entire deck
- "Key Cards" that are significantly better than your average (including many attacks)
- Cards you only want one or two of in your deck (Sea Hag for example)
This card is the source of the Bad Advisor meme.
In other languages
- Dutch: Adviseur
- Finnish: Neuvonantaja
- French: Conseiller
- German: Berater
- Japanese: 助言者 (pron. jogensha)