Draw-to-x abilities are those that allow you to draw cards until you have a specified number of cards in your hand, regardless of how many cards you have to start with. In decks that rely on draw-to-x cards for draw, it is typically difficult or impossible to increase your handsize beyond a set limit, unlike in decks that rely on traditional draw. Draw-to-x effects come in two types: Those like Library, which draw cards until a set card limit is reached, and those like Minion, which require the player to discard their hand before drawing a set number of new cards. There are also some other draw cards that limit hand size in other ways than drawing to a set number (like Marquis and some cards that give other benefits than draw limited by hand size (for example a village effect in the case of Diplomat.
List of Draw-to-X cards
Cards that draw to a set number
- Library (7 cards),
- Watchtower (6 cards),
- Cursed Village (6 cards),
- Blacksmith (6 cards),
- Way of the Owl (6 cards),
- First Mate (6 cards),
- Jack of All Trades (5 cards)
Siren draws to eight cards, but only as a duration draw effect at the beginning of your turn; this means that many of the common synergies that depend on playing other cards before your draw-to-X don't apply to it.
Cards that discard your hand then draw to X
- Scholar (7 cards),
- Hunting Lodge (5 cards),
- Guide (5 cards)
- Desert Guides (5 cards)
- Minion (4 cards),
- Way of the Mole (3 cards)
Draw that is otherwise limited by handsize
- Marquis (You have to discard down to 10 after drawing)
- Guard Dog (Draws two extra cards if your starting hand size is sufficiently small)
- Tragic Hero (Is trashed if it draws past 7 cards)
- Fellowship of Scribes (Can draw a single card in a sufficiently small handsize)
Effects other than draw limited by handsize
- Diplomat (Can act as village in a sufficiently small handsize)
- Souk ( generation limited by handsize)
Draw-to-x cards are useful counters against handsize attacks, since each card you discard when attacked just means one more card you'll draw when you play your draw-to-x card.
The draw-to-x engine is a deck archetype that relies on reducing handsize and producing in your Action phase, and then playing a draw-to-x card to recover the handsize. Draw-to-x decks require non-drawing Action cards as payload (e.g, Bridge, Coven, Nomad Camp), along with draw-to-x cards, and probably villages to grant you enough terminal space to play all your payload and draw cards. Disappearing money cards—non-terminal payload Actions that don't draw—are especially useful in a draw-to-x deck, since they reduce the amount of terminal space you need to activate your engine. Draw-to-x also pairs well with cards that allow you to discard for a benefit, such as Hamlet, Oasis, and Artificer: discard to get the full benefit, and then redraw to a full hand.
Draw-to-x engines are typically less reliable than ordinary draw engines, as they require both the payload and the draw-to-x card (and sometimes a village) to be in the starting hand. Moreover they do not cope well with non-Action stop cards, even strong Treasures and Night cards, since they can't be played before your draw-to-x card and will remain in your hand reducing the number of cards you can draw.