When you buy this, you may overpay for it. If you do, gain a Silver per you overpaid.
- This is a Treasure worth , like Copper.
- When you buy it, you gain a Silver for each extra you pay over the cost. For example, if you buy a Masterpiece for , you gain three Silvers.
original article by werothegreat
There's a lot to be said for Silver. For a while, Silver was used as a baseline for moderate-price cards, although the "Silver test" is regarded more with scorn than anything nowadays. Silver is reliable - it adds literal buying power to your deck. Over the expansions, we've seen cards that devalue and revalue Silver - from the highs of the base set where Big Money reigned supreme, to the lows of Prosperity where Silver just couldn't cut it anymore, and back up again with Hinterlands and Dark Ages, the latter of which gave us Feodum, finally giving Silver its place in the sun - no longer just the means to gaining , but potentially the actual itself. Trader, Bureaucrat, Talisman - all great Feodum enablers, but all of them pale in comparison to Masterpiece.
Well, what is it?
Masterpiece is quite simple - perhaps the only simpler kingdom Treasure is Cache. When you buy Masterpiece, the number of coins you overpay is turned into the same number of Silvers for you to gain. Once it's in your deck, it's just an expensive Copper. Unlike other overpay cards which are at least sometimes worth buying for their nominal cost, Masterpiece is an idiotic purchase to make at its stated price. for a Copper? You must be out of your mind. Well, how about ? Now you're getting a Silver with your Copper, but often you'd be happy buying Silver at anyway, so what do you need this extra junk for? - now we're getting somewhere. Two Silvers for less than the price of two, and all I need to do is take a Copper with it? Not a bad deal. At and beyond you are now really starting to get your money's worth. But how often do you want an enormous pile of Silvers? In Big Money strategies, buying Masterpiece for or more can sometimes be superior to Gold, but most engines will sputter and die with that many non-drawing cards in your deck.
So how do I use it?
For BM-Terminal draw, focus on getting one big Masterpiece buy. After getting your Council Room or DoubleJack, purchase a Gold on your first , and then buy one big pile of Silvers. You want the benefit of the Silvers to overpower the single "Copper" you're buying as much as possible, so aim high! Then just reel in the Provinces.
Other than BM kingdoms (or just plain crappy ones), Masterpiece is best in kingdoms that want lots and lots of Silver - in other words, alt-VP kingdoms. Gardens directly benefits, and Silk Road and Duke are much helped by the influx of coin. But Feodum is the superstar here. Paying for a Masterpiece immediately raises the point value of each of your Feoda by 1 . If you take every Masterpiece (at a good price), and take, say, 36 of the 40 Silvers, you're looking at 12 point Feoda. That's DOUBLE Province, and more than Colony. With all 8 Feoda, you're looking at a maximum of 96 points. Obviously, only an idiot (or a bot) would let you take the whole Feodum and Silver piles, but even with half of each, that's still 4 6-point Feoda for a total of 24 points. Not to mention that 20 Silvers in your deck will help buying other Victory cards. A note for this strategy - it's far more important to win the Silver split than the Feodum split - better to ratchet up the Feoda you have (while increasing your buying power) than to crack down hard on the pile.
Outside of alt-VP strategies and Big Money, you probably won't want to buy more than one Masterpiece. Just picking up one for trash for benefit cards, such as Salvager, Apprentice, Bishop, Mine, Counterfeit, Remodel... The Silvers gained with it can also make good targets for these cards. Or you can just pass the Masterpiece to your opponent with Ambassador or Masquerade - the only useful part of the card is its on-buy overpay, which your opponent will not be able to get here. These two cards are also great for trashing away the Estates and Coppers in your starting deck, and along with Chapel, they are great companions to Masterpiece - trash away everything except your pile of Silvers, and you'll be getting Provinces quite quickly.- will dramatically improve your deck. And the Masterpiece itself then makes an excellent target for
Because the Masterpiece itself is just a Copper, if you're going for a TfB or Big Money strategy, you'll want to either find some way to quickly get rid of the Masterpiece, or to never gain it all together. Trader it into one more Silver, or Watchtower it into the trash. Watchtower can then dump the whole pile of Silvers on top of your deck, possibly ensuring a Province buy.
But if you're going for an engine, you may want to ignore Masterpiece entirely, particularly on boards where you're ignoring Silver anyway, such as Colony/Platinum boards, where Silver can actually be just as bad as Copper. Why would you overpay for a Masterpiece when you can get one Platinum that won't clog your Goons engine?
My opponent just bough a huge pile of Silvers with Masterpiece! What do I do?
There are a couple options. You could try to outrace them with a sleek engine that isn't clogged with Silvers. You could wait them out with a Discard Attacks are the obvious route, as 3-card hands aren't very good at buying Provinces in decks with mainly Silver. General discarding Attacks like Militia or Margrave fill this role, but Treasure specific Attacks are also useful - Cutpurse moreso at the beginning, to prevent your opponent from getting the Masterpiece in the first place, whereas Taxman will be useful the whole game. Even Thief is useful against Masterpiece deck, as you are now much more likely to hit a "good" Treasure than to whiff on Copper. And, as usual, Cursers and Looters will make it much harder for your opponent to line up enough Silvers.token or Gardens strategy. You could buy your own Masterpiece! But there are direct ways to combat the pile of Silvers.
So Masterpiece will work in some decks, but not in others. Regardless, there's an elegance to how the card works. There's even a certain elegance to the theme of this card - you get out of it exactly what you put into it, which is the case for actual works of art. The more you put into it, the more you reap.
- Feodum, Gardens
- Other Alt-VP (except perhaps Fairgrounds)
- Any BM strategy
- Trash-for-benefit cards
- Heavy trashing (Chapel, Ambassador, etc)
If you look closely at Candlestick Maker, you'll notice the man depicted is making the candelabra depicted in Masterpiece. The cards' art share the same artist.
Secret Historyor so and said "achievement unlocked." It turned out to be a fine play though.