Cost reduction

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Bridge, a cost-reducing card.

Cost reduction is a recurring mechanic in Dominion. Rather than directly fielding coin, cost-reducers decrease the cost of cards, an effect which becomes more valuable with more buys. Typical cost reduction instructions follow this wording:

[All cards or some subset of cards] (including cards in players' hands) cost $x less this turn, but not less than $0.

However, with the 2019 errata, the "but not less than $0" clause has been dropped, as it is now a general rule that costs can never drop below $0, and that clause was never included in any of the cards of this type in MenagerieMenagerie (expansion).jpg.

Reducing a cost in $ does not reduce a cost in D or P. Reducing the cost of cards does not affect the cost of Events or Projects.

List of cost-reducers

  • BridgeBridge.jpg - the archetypal cost-reducer
  • QuarryQuarry.jpg - reduces Action cards by $2
  • PrincessPrincess.jpg - reduces costs by $2, but only one copy
  • HighwayHighway.jpg - cantrip
  • Bridge TrollBridge Troll.jpg - durational cost-reducer
  • FerryFerry.jpg - reduces a single Supply pile's cost by $2
  • InventorInventor.jpg - gains a card costing up to $4 before its cost reduction kicks in
  • CanalCanal.jpg - reduces costs on your turn for the rest of the game

List of cards whose own price can be reduced

There are currently five cards whose cost is variable. These have a base price which can be changed by something that happens during your turn. Of these, four are in the MenagerieMenagerie (expansion).jpg expansion

  • PeddlerPeddler.jpg - cost is reduced by $2 per Action card in play, but only during your buy phase
  • Animal FairAnimal Fair.jpg - can be gained for no $ during your buy phase, by sacrificing another Action card
  • DestrierDestrier.jpg - cost is reduced by the number of cards you gained on that same turn
  • FishermanFisherman.jpg - cost is reduced by $3 if you have no cards in your discard pile
  • WayfarerWayfarer.jpg - cost is equal to the cost of the last-gained card, and can even become more expensive than its base price

Strategy

Most cards that reference a specific cost in $ do well with cost-reducers, as most such cards use the specific cost as an upper limit. For example, WorkshopWorkshop.jpg can gain any card costing up to $4; without cost reduction, this effect is rather weak, but with four Highways in play, a Workshop can gain Provinces. On the other hand, cards that give a scaling effect per cost in $ of another card (most often trash for benefit cards) will do less well with cost-reducers, as their effect will be diminished, and cards that reference a cheaper card will give no effect if their cost has been reduced to $0. For examples, trashing a SilverSilver.jpg to an ApprenticeApprentice.jpg when you have Princess in play will only draw you one card, and with five Highways in play, Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpg can't do anything.

Since cost reduction affects cards but not Events, it is less useful for strategies that depend heavily on buying Events (or Projects).


Dominion Game Mechanics
Turn Phases ActionBuyNightClean-up
Vanilla Bonuses +Card • +Action+Buy • +Coin
Tokens AdventuresCoin (Coffers, Villager) • DebtVictory
Other mechanics CallCost reductionDiscardExchangeExileGainOverpayPassPayRevealSet asideTrash
Attacks CurserDeck 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 variantVillage
Other Alt-VPBasic cardsDuration drawEmulatorGainerLuck-basedNon-Attack interactionOne-shotSplit pileTop deckerTrasherVanilla
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