|Illustrator(s)||Eric J Carter|
|You may set this aside. If you do, set aside an Action card from your hand costing up to. At the start of each of your turns, play that Action, setting it aside again when you discard it from play. (Stop playing it if you fail to set it aside on a turn you play it.)|
The card was leaked on BoardGameGeek after debuting at Origins 2014.
- Prince has you play the same cheap action every turn for the rest of the game.
- The turn you play Prince, you set it aside with an Action from your hand costing or less; then every turn after that you play the Action at the start of the turn, and then set it aside again when you discard it from play.
- If you don't discard the Action then you stop playing it with Prince; Prince at that point is just set aside doing nothing for the rest of the game. That won't normally happen but will happen for example if the Action is a Feast or Mining Village and you trashed it, or if it's a Duration card and so it stayed in play, or if it's a Madman and was returned to its pile, or if it's an Island and was set aside, or if it's a card you put back on your deck with Scheme. In practice you will probably not choose to set aside Prince with a card that won't work well with it, and so will play the Action you set aside every turn from that point on.
- The set aside Action technically goes back and forth from being in play to being set aside each turn, but in practice it's easier to leave it sitting on the Prince and just announce resolving it each turn.
- Prince has to be set aside to do anything; using Throne Room on Prince won't let you set aside two cards.
- The Action card you set aside has to cost up to Highway, then use Prince on a Laboratory. at the time you play Prince, but can normally cost more; for example you could play a
- You do not play the set aside Action the turn you first set it aside with Prince.
- Playing the card each turn doesn't use up your normal Action play, and is mandatory; setting aside the Action when you discard it from play is also mandatory, you only fail to do it if the card isn't in play at that point.
- At the end of the game, Prince and the set aside card are returned to your deck before scoring.
- When you have multiple effects to resolve at the start of the turn - such as multiple Princes and certain Duration cards from Seaside - resolve them in any order, and that order may vary from turn to turn; choose one to resolve, resolve it, then move on to another one, until they are all resolved.
- Cards which cost Mercenary and the Cornucopia Prizes can be set aside with a Prince, as can cards from Guilds that cost or or . such as
- Cards with a in the cost cannot be set aside with Prince.
- Prince plays its Action on extra turns from Outpost and Possession.
- The Action card that Prince plays is in play after it's played each turn, so it will count for things like Peddler; Prince however remains set aside.
Other Rules clarifications
- If the card selected for Prince is Band of Misfits, you may choose a new card for Band of Misfits to emulate each turn.
- Though Island is set aside when played, since it was not Prince setting it aside at the end of your turn, the Lose Track rule dictates that Prince cannot cause Island to be played past the first time.
- Like with Scheme, a Hermit that is set aside again by Prince on a turn where no cards were bought will fail to trash itself, but you will still gain a Madman.
- Although certain Reserve cards can be called back into play from the Tavern mat on the same turn they are put there, Prince cannot set them aside again, even though they are where Prince expects them; when they went to the Tavern mat, Prince lost track of them, and cannot do anything further with them.
- Cards with in the cost cannot be set aside with Prince.
- The start of your turn is considered part of your Action phase. This matters if you use Prince to play Crown (either directly using cost reduction or indirectly through cards like Throne Room or Herald).
original article by faust
Prince is the shiny new card that got us all excited for a while until the new expansion was announced. The eventual effect – being able to play a card every turn without using an action or card slot – is super strong, but it's a long way until you get there.
Prince of what?
Let's start with the easy part – determining which cards you want Princed. Usually, once you bought a Prince, you want to set it aside as soon as possible. But if you have two potential targets, deciding which one to Prince might be difficult. Plus, if you see a kingdom full of cards you don't want Princed, you probably shouldn't go for Prince. I'll present a list of very bad to very good Prince targets.
The completely useless
These cards just don't work with Prince, for technical reasons. The one exception is Gear, which works as long as you never set aside any cards with it (in which case it acts as a vanilla +2 Cards).
The very bad
Cards you probably don't want to Prince even if you can. With these, it's often better to Prince a shuffle later. This includes cards that require you to have certain cards in hand to be good, like trashers (require junk cards), but also cards you want to play a lot of early on and that lose value quickly (junkers).
The rather bad
Cards you will probably Prince if you draw your Prince with nothing else, but where the effect just isn't great. Princing Reactions means losing the Reaction part; if you Prince a Village, you will usually end up with lots of unused actions. Throne Room can end up doing nothing, or even throning a bad card [side note: if you Prince Throne Room and throne a duration with it, you lose the Princing].
The rather good
Cards that are almost always nice Princed. Cantrips help you avoid terminal collision AND let you start with bigger hand size, which is already two plusses.
The really good
These kinds of cards are exceptionally good. Starting with a bigger handsize each turn is huge. A Princed Discard is sort of the inverse effect - opponents start with lower hand size each turn. Monument gives 1per turn. Scheme effectively lets you play a more expensive card each turn. On Tournament and Prizes, see below.
Note that this list does not imply that you should go for Prince whenever good Princable cards are around. The decision to make if e.g. Tournament is around is much harder than this. The following part tries to give some guidelines for deciding when to go for it.
When to go for Prince
First and foremost, Prince is an engine card. It has no place in big money games or slogs, simply because – similar to Throne Room/King's Court – you need to line it up with an action to get anything out of it. There are rare circumstances where you might want to use it even in non-engine decks, but the general advice is, ignore it if you're not building an engine.
Even if you are going for the engine, consider carefully if you really want Prince. The main problem about Prince is that it is slow. That Prince could have been a Province, and then you don't get the effect immediately, but instead need to sacrifice on action to set aside the card you want. That puts you behind a Province and roughly half a turn. If you could buy a single Province per turn before and now can buy two Provinces a turn, that may have been worth it; but more often than not, the benefit simply won't be big enough.
The following list gives scenarios where Prince can be good.
1. Colony games
There are two reasons Prince is better in Colony games: First, Prince is made for long games, and Colony games tend to go longer. The more turns you have, the more will you be able to play your Princed cards. Second, the competition for Prince is weaker. In a Colony game, you usually don't want to go for Provinces except in the endgame, so if you hit, you can grab a Prince without that much opportunity cost.
Same as above – if you don't want those Provinces anyway, ignoring them becomes easier. This point comes with a caveat though: Most Alt-VP cards (Gardens, Duke, Feodum) support decks that don't want Prince in it. But Prince can be great with Fairgrounds and Vineyard, and there's always the odd engine-into-Duchy/Duke game. The token cards also fall in this category: Prince allows you to build better Golden decks for Bishop, a Prince of Monuments nets you 1 per turn, And Prince can help play more Goons per turn.
3. Prince while ahead
If you already have a decent advantage, you may be able to cope with skipping a Province buy. Prince can give your deck additional reliability and prevent you from losing to unlucky draws.
4. 2-card combos
This is a bit of a niche use for Prince, but can be quite good. Some cards combo nicely in theory, but it just isn't worthwhile to set them up, because e.g. the one you'd need to play first is terminal. Prince can help with that. Prince a Navigator and your Herald engine will flow smoothly. Prince a Scavenger to get the card you want on top of your deck.
5. Rare components
This is definitely the scenario where Prince shines most. Sometimes, the engine is just not quite powerful enough. There are awesome engine components, but the only Village is Necropolis? Just crown a Prince of Necropolises, and you'll start with three actions each turn. Similarly, a Prince of Crossroads can make your engine work.
While +action is what you need to make the engine work most often, there are also other possibilities: Maybe you can't guarantee drawing a +buy every turn – set it aside. Princed attacks are also quite nice.
When to play Prince
Usually, you want to Prince your cards as soon as possible. If you have Prince with a decent card in hand, don't wait for a better opportunity! Another mistake that is often made is this: you have Prince and Wishing Well in hand. Unless you can be pretty certain that you can draw a better action, don't play the Wishing Well! It's tempting to try and get more out of your turn, but if your Prince ends up dead, you'll curse your recklessness.
Not much needs to be said here. If your opponent goes for Prince and you don't, your task is to end the game before his Prince pays off too much. Piledrive these Provinces, go for the three-pile. The longer the game, the better for the Prince player.
In this last part, I'd like to pick a few special cards that have an interesting interaction with Prince.
Prince and Tournament
Prince and Tournament have a love-hate relationship. You need Provinces to activate your Tournaments, and every Prince could have been a Province. On the other hand, once you've Princed a Tournament, every hand with a Province in it wins. And, even better, once you've got those Prizes, you can Prince them and quickly get your opponent to resign. Getting Province with your firstand Prince with your second isn't a bad strategy on many Tournament boards.
Prince and Black Market
No, not what you think... Princing a Black Market is of course horrible. But what Prince really likes is the Black Market deck. Often you get a good card from the Black Market, but it's not enough because you can only ever get one copy. With Prince, you can play that card every turn.
Prince and cost reducers
Prince loves cost reducers because they give the opportunity to set aside better cards. After two Highways, you can set aside a Goons. Just don't spend too much time on such neat tricks. It's often better to set aside Prince this shuffle with a boring than to wait another shuffle in hopes of getting that Prince of Hunting Grounds. One warning: If you Prince a Bridge, keep in mind the effect that has on your Trash-for-benefit cards. You definitely look stupid when you start Upgrading your Coppers into Estates.
Prince of Hermits
This can be great if the kingdom allows for it. If you don't buy anything a turn, Prince sets aside Hermit before it can trash itself. That means, if you can cobble together an engine that doesn't need to buy anything, the Prince of Hermits can give you a constant supply of Madmen.
Outpost: more turns mean more Princed card plays. And Prince is often enough to make those Outpost turns as good as normal turns.
Quarry: Lowers the bar for Prince. Now it doesn't compete with Province anymore.
Swindler: Just like Peddler, the presence of Prince makes Swindler games even swingier than usual. If you manage to turn Province into Prince late-game, this can be a game-changer. And unlike Peddler, Princes will very rarely run out towards the endgame.
Prince is a unique card, but don't let that distract you. It's not that good. It has its uses, but you usually shouldn't just buy it without good reason.
- The higher-cost cards assume there's a cost-reducer available to bring them to 4 or less
- Cost-reducing cards (Bridge, Princess, Highway) are very useful with Prince, since they allow you to set aside more expensive cards.
- Chapel is also very useful with Prince since its trashing function is optional - it gets played, and you can choose to trash 0 cards
- Witch and other non-duration terminal draws - Like having a Wharf permanently in play and, in the case of the Witch, gives out curses in the bargain
- For most practical purposes, setting aside Scheme will allow a player to mimic the effect of setting aside a higher cost card with Prince. The Scheme that is played by Prince will provide an extra action and an extra card to play the action while still having one action and five cards in hand afterward, and during cleanup the player can use the Scheme to return that higher cost card to the top of their deck for next turn. However, unlike setting a card aside with Prince directly, this combo with Scheme is vulnerable to Minion attacks and any actions that affect the top of your deck (e.g. Sea Hag, Spy, Bureaucrat etc.) may affect your hand one turn sooner. Scheme can also be used to gain the effects of Prince on an alternating pair of Duration cards (topdecking each as it expires), or even swap out which card you're playing as your needs change. For example, you could start off playing a Witch each turn, and then when the Curses run out, swap it for a Hunting Grounds.
- Sifters like Warehouse help to line Prince up with the card you want, rather than just the card it happens to be drawn with.
- One-shot, Duration (except Gear), Reserve, Reaction
- Province games
- Big Money-like decks
- Draw-up-to-X card such as Library, Watchtower, or Jack of all Trades (if you set aside them, you can draw one less cards)
- Cards no longer useful － like Moneylender, Chapel, cursers (if curses run out), etc…(Island is extremely cheaper than Prince, and gives you 2VP!)
- Trashers whose trashing function is not optional － like Remake
- Opponent's junker makes it difficult to connect Prince with good actions.
- Opponent's Possession－ If you are possessed and set aside harmful action like Remake, Rats, or etc, …
- Selecting Horse Traders in the presence of a discard attack
|You may set this aside. If you do, set aside an Action card from your hand costing up to. At the start of each of your turns, play that Action, setting it aside again when you discard it from play. (Stop playing it if you fail to set it aside on a turn you play it.)||Prince 1st Edition||June 2014|
|You may set this aside. If you do, set aside an Action card from your hand costing up to. At the start of each of your turns, play that Action, setting it aside again when you discard it from play. (Stop playing it if you fail to set it aside on a turn you play it.)||Prince 2nd Edition||February 2017|
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The expansion symbol is the logo for the Origins Game Fair.