Look through your discard pile. You may trash a card that is not a Treasure, from your discard pile or your hand.|
Gain a card costing up to .
When you discard this from play, if you didn't buy any cards this turn, trash this and gain a Madman (from the Madman pile).
Hermit is an Action card from Dark Ages. It is a single-card trasher, since it lets you trash a card which is not a Treasure, and a gainer, since it lets you gain a cheap card (often a Silver). However, if you buy nothing on the turn you play a Hermit, you trash the Hermit and instead gain a Madman, a powerful one-shot card.
- When you play this, look through your discard pile, and then you may choose to trash a card that is not a Treasure, from either your hand or your discard pile.
- You do not have to trash a card and cannot trash Treasures.
- A card with multiple types, one of which is Treasure (such as Harem from Intrigue), is a Treasure.
- After trashing or not, you gain a card costing up to .
- The card you gain comes from the Supply and is put into your discard pile.
- Gaining a card is mandatory if it is possible. Then, when you discard Hermit from play--normally, in Clean-up, after playing it in your Action phase--if you did not buy any cards this turn, you trash Hermit and gain a Madman.
- The Madman comes from the Madman pile, which is not in the Supply, and is put into your discard pile.
- It does not matter whether or not you gained cards other ways, only whether or not you bought a card.
- If there are no Madman cards left, you do not gain one.
- If Hermit is not discarded from play during Clean-up--for example, if you put it on your deck with Scheme (from Hinterlands)--then the ability that trashes it will not trigger.
Other Rules clarifications
The example with Scheme is wrong, as Hermit is still discarded from play. In this scenario, two things happen simultaneously, and you get to choose the order :
- (Hermit) Trash the Hermit and gain a Madman
- (Scheme) Hermit goes on top of your deck
- If you resolve (1) then (2), you gain a Madman, the Hermit goes to the Trash, and then (2) doesn't do anything because Scheme lost track of the Hermit.
- If you resolve (2) then (1), you put the Hermit on top of your deck, then Hermit attempts to trash itself but fails because it lost track of it, then you still gain a Madman because you do as much as you can of the Hermit statement.
Since Dark Ages hasn't been around for very long, there isn't a community consensus on how to play Hermit.
In the early game, it can be used to trash Estates and Shelters and gain Silvers. In this role it might seem superficially similar to Jack of all Trades, but it is significantly weaker at this since it does not draw up to 5 cards - just plain Hermit-Big Money probably isn't that great. It can trash cards from your Discard pile, which makes it a tad better trasher, though.
At some point, you can forego your Buy for the turn to transform the Hermit into a Madman. This is sort of like a one-shot Tactician - you forego your buy in exchange for doubling your handsize on a future turn. You're not quite foregoing your whole turn because you did gain a card and lose a Hermit, but you're not quite doubling a future turn because playing a Madman starting from a normal 5-card hand will leave you with 8 cards and 2 actions, not as good as Tactician's 10 cards, 2 actions, 2 Buys. And since Hermit just looks at whether you bought anything, you can't do the equivalent of double Tactician.
If you use Hermit to gain a Hermit and buy nothing, then you've essentially spent your buy on a Madman. Not so bad.
Hermit may see extra use in games with Cursers. This will give the Hermit something useful to trash for much longer - and Hermit is pretty good at trashing Curses in a thick deck, since it can trash from the discard pile. It also might increase the value of Madman turns - it might be harder to reach or for important cards when you're being Sea Hagged all the time, but Madman will get you to your Goons or Forge or just Gold easily.
Hermit may be usable for mega-turns because of how Madman stacks. The first Madman you play in a turn gives you +4 Cards, the second would give you +7 Cards! Even with no other card draw, if you spend your Buys buying Hermits, Villages, Throne Rooms, or Bridges, you might be able to pull off a mega-turn when you get enough of those and a few Madmen.
If you have comments on whether these strategies are viable, or ideas for other Hermit strategies, please feel free to discuss it on the forums!
- Handsize attacks. Although discarders enable Hermit to trash cards originally in your hand, they weaken Madman considerably. A Madman played from a Militia'd hand will only draw 2 cards, making it equivalent to a "level 1" City – better than nothiing, but probably not worth the opportunity cost.