Cornucopia is the fifth Dominion expansion, released in June 2011. The basic theme of the set is cards that either create or reward variety in your deck and hand. It is a small expansion. The box contains 13 sets of Kingdom Cards, popular for its focus on engine-friendly cards. It is no longer sold as a separate item, instead being paired with Guilds in a larger box.
Basic Supply Cards
- Cornucopia is only an expansion, so no Basic Supply Cards are included.
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Prizes (1 each): , , , ,
- “In play” - Action cards and Treasure cards played face-up to a play area are in play until they are moved somewhere else—usually until they are discarded during a Clean-up phase. Only played cards are in play; set aside cards, trashed cards, cards in the Supply, and cards in hands, decks, and discard piles are not in play. Prizes that no-one has gained are not in play. Reaction abilities like ' do not put those cards into play. Duration cards (from Dominion: Seaside), once played, remain in play until the turn they are discarded.
- A player may play his Treasure cards in any order and may choose not to play some (or even all) of the Treasure cards he has in his hand. During the Buy phase, a player must play all of the Treasures he wishes to play before he buys any cards, even if he has +Buys; he cannot play more Treasures after Buying a card.
- adds an extra Kingdom card pile to the game. This extra pile is just like the other piles; if it is empty that counts for the game end condition, the cards in it can be bought and can be gained directly via cards like , etc. It is part of the Supply.
- There are five Prizes: , , , , and . These cards are never part of the Supply. That's the only new rule for Prizes, but it has various consequences. If the Prizes run out, that does not count towards the game end condition. The Prizes may not be bought, or gained via cards like Horn of Plenty; they may only be gained via the card , or via cards that gain cards other than from the Supply (such as from Dominion). (from Dominion: Seaside) cannot return Prizes to their pile. Trashed Prizes go to the trash pile, like other cards; they do not return to the Prize pile. When using , do not put Prizes in the Black Market deck. Prizes cannot be bought, but have a cost of , which matters for cards like .
- A number of cards in Cornucopia care about cards being different. "Differently named" cards are simply cards with different names (like the Prizes) - they aren't copies of the same card. "Duplicate" cards are cards that have the same name - two copies of the same card.
Autumn. It seemed like the summer would never end, but that fortune teller was right. It's over. Autumn, the time of the harvest. Agriculture has advanced significantly in recent years, ever since the discovery of the maxim, "leaves of three, let it be." Autumn, a time of celebration. The peasants have spent a hard week scything hay in the fields, but tonight the festivities begin, starting with a sumptuous banquet of roast hay. Then, the annual nose-stealing competition. Then you have two jesters, one who always lies, one who always tells the truth, both hilariously. This celebration will truly have something for everyone.
Impact of Cornucopia
Cornucopia was the first set to introduce special cards that are not in the Supply that can only be gained by the use of a particular Kingdom card (in this case, the Prizes); Dark Ages, Adventures, and Nocturne would later follow up on this theme.
Cornucopia is filled with cards which enable strong engine building. Some of these include:
- - A simple village that always reaps a treasure or action card.
- - A cheap pseudo-village capable of providing extra buys or actions.
- - Provides an easy way to gain cards as well as the capability of producing megaturns.
- - Enables very simple Hunting Party + X engines.
- - A centerpiece of some of the most fun engines to play, Menagerie is a cantrip which serves as a great counter to hand size reduction attacks.
- - The card itself is a useful early game cantrip, and the Prizes are all quite valuable in most engines.
Though overall a well received set, Cornucopia features a "swingy" card which can cause frustration among players.
- - Because of the power of the Tournament prizes, the first player to win a prize is often able to build on that to win further prizes and/or the game. Even skilled play can sometimes be undone by a lucky or well timed draw.
Game designer Donald X. offered some insight into some themes of the set here.
- 5 Care about variety: Menagerie, Harvest, Horn of Plenty, Hunting Party, Fairgrounds
- 4 Provide variety: Remake, Tournament, Young Witch, Jester
- 4 Off-theme: Hamlet, Fortune Teller, Farming Village, Horse Traders
Cornucopia is the only set not to have any artwork done by Matthias Catrein. Alchemy and Guilds both have no kingdom cards illustrated by him, but Catrein did the artwork for the symbol ( ), and the artwork for Guilds' box.
In other languages
- Czech: Roh hojnosti
- Dutch: Overvloed (lit. abundance)
- Finnish: Elonkorjuu (lit. harvest)
- French: Abondance (lit. abundance)
- German: Reiche Ernte (lit. rich harvest)
- Italian: Cornucopia
- Japanese: 収穫祭 (pron. shūkaku-sai, lit. harvest festival)
- Polish: Róg Obfitości (lit. horn of plenty)
- Russian: Изобилие (pron. izobiliye, lit. abundance)
- Spanish: Cornucopia
Alchemy was originally a large set, which when I made it meant it was 20 cards. I didn't count Potion. When Dominion itself was finalized, it stole whatever cards it wanted from future sets, including Gardens and Library and Festival from Alchemy. And some cards got stolen for other sets too, as I worked on them, turning former 20-card sets into 25-card sets and getting rid of dud cards. Whatever; Alchemy was last, I would get around to fixing it up eventually. It still had the Potions stuff, and I penciled in a "hand" theme for what the rest of the set would do. Cards that involved your hand. This fit with some cards that had been pushed back to be fixed up and some other homeless cards that I liked.
Around the time Prosperity was wrapping up and Seaside was getting printed, it turned out the publishers wanted small sets, could I make one please, and also, could it come out next (pushing Prosperity back). The way to get something fastest was to have it already done. Alchemy was ideal, as it had a hunk of the right size to break off of it, and it was in tatters anyway from me never getting around to working on it. I took the Potions stuff and tweaked it into a small expansion. So now there was a list of existing cards, plus untested ideas, waiting to turn into a hand-themed small set for a year after Alchemy.
When I got around to working on Cornucopia, I went with the hand theme, adding more cards that fit it, polishing up what I had, and adding cards that didn't fit it too, because what, they can't all be on-theme. And we started playtesting it.
It turned out that the "hand" theme was invisible. It made the cards play well together, but no-one recognized that it was the theme of the set. It was just not distinct enough.
The set at the time had Fairgrounds and Menagerie in it, and people would incorrectly guess that that was the theme, and that there just wasn't much of it. "Variety" sounded like a good theme, so I ran with it. Some of the hand stuff that wasn't also variety-related left, and I added more variety stuff. This theme was recognizable and worked out and well there it is.
In the end the set has only two cards that are mutated versions of cards originally in the large Alchemy set - Jester and Diadem. Some of the other cards started in other sets, and some are original to Cornucopia.
Those publishers that wanted small expansions presumably wanted them so that people who didn't want to pay the same for an expansion as for the main game could get them. And if such people exist then they don't have the large expansions. Well Alchemy is not ideal as the only expansion you have. I mean it's just so exotic. I felt like these publishers would have preferred something less exotic. Alchemy was all they could have in the time frame it was wanted, but I had plenty of time here, so this expansion tries to be more reasonable as an expansion for someone who doesn't have many expansions.
Well I am pretty pleased with this one, but can probably still find something to poke at.
I guess my top thing is, it would be nice to have another card that really makes you want a variety of cards. Just to push the theme a little more.
Sweet set, no lie.
Recommended Sets of 10
Cornucopia & Guilds
Cornucopia on DS.com and F.DS.com