|This article/section needs cleanup. Reason: need higher quality image|
|Type(s)||Action - Attack - Knight|
|Shuffle the Knights pile before each game with it. Keep it face down except for the top card, which is the only one that can be bought or gained.|
Knights are a type of Kingdom card from the Dark Ages expansion. There are 10 differently-named unique Knights with a single randomizer card; when Knights are selected as a Kingdom card for a game, they are shuffled into a single supply pile, of which only the top card can be seen and gained at any given time.
Every Knight costs Sir Martin, who costs .except
Every Knight is an Action–Attack-Knight card (Dame Josephine is also a Victory card) with the same main trashing attack ability—''Each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck, trashes one of them costing from to , and discards the rest. If a Knight is trashed by this, trash this card"—and each Knight has a unique second ability.
The individual Knights (and their second abilities) are:
- Dame Anna - You may trash up to 2 cards from your hand.
- Dame Josephine - 2
- Dame Molly - +2 Actions
- Dame Natalie - You may gain a card costing up to .
- Dame Sylvia - +
- Sir Bailey - +1 Card +1 Action
- Sir Destry - +2 Cards
- Sir Martin - +2 Buys
- Sir Michael - Each other player discards down to 3 cards in hand.
- Sir Vander - When you trash this, gain a Gold.
- This is a pile in which each card is different. There is the same basic ability on each card, but also another ability unique to that card in the pile, and they all have different names.
- Shuffle the Knights pile before playing with it, keeping it face down except for the top one, which is the only card that can be gained from the pile.
- Follow the rules on Knights in order from top to bottom; Sir Michael causes players to discard before it trashes cards.
- The ability they have in common is that each other player reveals the top 2 cards of his deck, trashes one of them that he chooses that costs from to , and discards the rest; then, if a Knight was trashed, you trash the Knight you played that caused this trashing. Resolve this ability in turn order, starting with the player to your left.
- Cards with Potion in the cost (from Alchemy) do not cost from to .
- The player losing a card only gets a choice if both cards revealed cost from to ; if they both do and one is a Knight but the player picks the other card, that will not cause the played Knight to be trashed.
- When Sir Martin is the top card of the pile, it can be gained with an Armory and so on.
- If Sir Vander is trashed, you gain a Gold; this happens whether it is trashed on your turn or someone else's. The player who had Sir Vander is the one who gains the Gold, regardless of who played the card that trashed it.
- The Gold from Sir Vander, and the card gained for Dame Natalie, comes from the Supply and is put into your discard pile.
- When playing Dame Anna, you may choose to trash zero, one, or two cards from your hand.
- Dame Josephine is also a Victory card, worth 2 at the end of the game. The Knight pile is not a Victory pile though, and does not get a counter for Trade Route (from Prosperity) even if Dame Josephine starts on top.
- If you choose to use the Knights with Black Market (a promotional card), put a Knight directly into the Black Market deck, rather than using the randomizer card.
- Sir Martin only costs , though the other Knights all cost .
Other Rules clarifications
The strategy article was originally posted by werothegreat on the forums
And lo, after the release of Cornucopia, Dominionaters rejoiced at the capricious card Tournament, and said unto Donald X: “Oh, great Donald X, we want more like this!” And yea, Donald X bestowed upon his chosen people the Knights.
Obviously I’m being sarcastic here - quite a lot of people detest the “first come, first serve” nature of the Prizes, which seems to undermine the equality of opportunity that, for most, is the defining feature of Dominion, at least when comparing it to games like Magic: The Gathering. But the Knights are at once like and unlike Tournament. Yes, they all have different bonuses, some better than others, but at the end of the day you only get them for one reason - to trash the shit out of your opponent’s deck - and really, they all do this equally well. But some are more equal than others, naturally.
What do Knights do?
Playing a Knight forces each opponent to reveal the top two cards of their deck, and trash a moderately costed card from those two, if there are any. Each Knight also has an individual bonus and a cute unique name. These bonuses vary in usefulness, and the usefulness of each will vary depending on the kingdom. And if a Knight trashes another Knight, the first Knight is also trashed.
How is this different from Saboteur?
Well, if you’ve spent more than five minutes on [forum.dominionstrategy.com f.ds], or read the wiki page for Saboteur, you’re probably aware that Saboteur kind of sucks as a card. It does absolutely nothing for the player, and more often than not will trip on Silvers, and at the very worst will simply give your opponent’s deck a good cycling. Knights fix all of those problems, but at a cost, since we can’t have cards that are strictly better than one another at the same price. Saboteur and Knights have different purposes, and both can shine in certain instances. But let’s look at how they differ.
Each Knight does something for the player, some more actively than others. Knights only flip over two cards, so they won’t turn over your opponent’s entire deck like Saboteur can. So if your opponent has mainly cheap cards, Saboteur can sometimes be better, since it will seek out the expensive cards like a missile. But most decks feature a fair amount of expensive cards, so Saboteur ends up being a lot like Knights a lot of the time. But Knights also don’t let your opponent take a consolation prize - Duchies are no longer un-Rebuilt into Estates - they’re simply destroyed. That can really hurt in the endgame.
So how do I play with Knights?
That really depends on the board, and it depends also on how your opponent plays them. Knights are one of those cards that can force you into a mirror, because allowing your opponent to win the Knights race can be extremely detrimental to you. Compare to other races - if you lose the Fool's Gold race you can still come back by turning your Fool's Golds in to real Golds, or by trying a different strategy. But when you lose the Knights race, you not only are being hurt more severely than you're causing hurt, but inevitably you will lose all your Knights while your opponent retains a few. Such a situation can almost force you into a pin, particularly in the context of an engine, where your opponent can play his four remaining Knights every turn, ensuring you just don't have a deck. But not all Knights games will devolve into this race, and you may often ignore them altogether. Their bonuses can be helpful, but aren't usually game-changing.
Generally you want to go for Knights when a few conditions appear - if you can play them often, if there isn't a viable cheap (or extremely expensive) strategy, and if the top Knight is desirable.
How do I know which Knight is desirable?
That depends on the kingdom, silly. Sir Bailey (+1 Card, +1 Action) is never a bad investment, since he's essentially a zero-space card. Dame Molly (+2 Actions) and Sir Michael (each other player discards down to 3) are usually strong, but with lots of Villages or a better discard Attack (respectively), they're more middling. The others are far more dependent on the Kingdom. Dame Natalie (gain a card costing up to $3) is a good Knight to get if you're losing the Knights race, as she can help fill your deck with Silver, which is usually better to have trashed than a more important card. The two that are least useful are Sir Vander (when trashed, gain a Gold) and Dame Josephine (2 VP), as the former simply gives you a consolation prize when knocked off his horse by another Knight, and the latter might, in rare instances, be a tie-breaker - neither of actually do anything for you when played aside from their Knight Attack, which makes them even more equivalent to Saboteur. Dame Josephine is a little less desirable than Sir Vander, because it's highly likely that your Knights are going to end up trashed to your opponent's Knights, so that 2 VP usually won't even end up added to your total anyway.
But certain of the Knights will be especially useful in different Kingdoms. You should be on the lookout for Knights which complement the rest of the set - if there's a Laboratory engine but no Villages on the board, Dame Molly is amazing; if Dame Anna is the only trasher on the board, or if Sir Martin is the only source of +Buy, they instantly become desirable just for their bonus ability. Dame Natalie is excellent with Feodum, Sir Martin (+2 Buys) can be Workshopped and goes excellently with Fool's Gold. So make sure you take a look at what else is in the kingdom before deciding to pass on the Knights or dive into them pell-mell.
What goes well with Knights?
Highway (and sometimes Bridge). Two Highways means that your Knights can now trash Provinces. Three Highways means that your Knights no longer trash other Knights, so you don’t have to worry about losing them. Just don’t play too many - it’ll look pretty silly when Provinces cost $2, and you’re only cycling your opponent’s deck for him. Bridge can be used for the same purpose, but if you're in a position where you can play multiple Bridges per turn, it might be simpler to just end the game with a megaturn rather than fiddle around with using just a few bridges to help your Knights.
Knights are also best when played often, so any card or combo that allows for that is awesome, whether it be Scheme, Sage, an engine, or whatever else you can come up with.
Saboteur also paradoxically does well on Knights boards, as it can safely trash your opponent’s Knights - even just hitting one with Saboteur makes it worth having bought one. Also, Knights can clear out everything costing from $3-$6 in your opponent’s deck, leaving only more expensive cards, like Provinces, for the Saboteurs to find.
Graverobber (and sometimes Rogue) goes excellently with the Knights. Since they're trashing left and right and sometimes getting trashed themselves, Graverobber can pick them right back up or scoop up their leavings, and in the endgame can turn them into Provinces if necessary.
How do I counter Knights, or, when should I not get them?
Fortress. This card makes Knights not just pointless, but usually helpful to your opponents. Revealing and trashing a Fortress puts it into your opponent’s hand. That’s not something you really ever want to do. Maybe you can combo this with playing multiple Pillages per turn, but I doubt that.
If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve lost the Knights split (or just didn’t go for Knights in the first place), fill your deck with junk. Knights can’t do anything to Coppers and Estates, and trashing superfluous Silvers doesn’t hurt too much. This is one instance where having Dame Natalie would be nice - she can fill you up on Silver, until she inevitably succumbs to your foes.
Tunnel is also a decent deterrent - when it’s revealed with another $3-$6 card, you’ll naturally want to trash the other, discarding the Tunnel for a Gold. Also beware of playing Highway (or Bridge) before a Knight when Tunnel’s around, because then Tunnel automatically gets discarded, even if it’s the only $3-$6 card around. Likewise Market Square is a good deterrent ("Oh, you trashed my Silver? Well, I'll just get three Golds to replace it. Thanks!"). Beggar also does well, as it ensures that Knights will trash a trivial card, and gives you an extra Silver to boot. Or you could reveal a Secret Chamber, so that your opponent just discards your top-decked Estates for you.
Any strategy that revolves around cheap cards will kick chivalric butt. Poor House and Fool's Gold can't be trashed by Knights, and offer up insane amounts of money to recompense the loss of other cards. And once you've gotten Provinces with them, those Provinces aren't effected either. In a similar vein, the $7 and $8* cost cards are also immune, so don't be surprised if your opponent ignores Knights in favor of Banks or Peddlers. Spoils, Madmen, Mercenaries and Prizes are also handily resistant to the Knights' Attack.
Besides direct counters like Lighthouse or Moat, another protection from Knights is to fill the deck with -cost cantrips, such as Pawn, Hamlet, or Pearl Diver. This counter is particularly beneficial in situations where the cards are desirable for other reasons, like Hamlet+Menagerie, which also benefits from the Knights' variety. Lighthouse is particularly useful as it provides the equivalent buying power of a Silver, while occasionally protecting from the Knight, but it cannot be trashed.
It's also noteworthy that-cost cards are never trashed by knights, so an engine based on them is entirely safe.
- Highway (or Bridge)
- Various Cornucopia cards which reward variety will like the different Knights in the pile.
- Fortress engines counter Knights
- Gainers can flood the opponent's deck with cheap cards they don't mind trashing
- junking Attacks
- most Reaction cards
- Strategies based on expensive (>$6), cheap ($3), or -cost cards