Name a card. Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal a Victory card that is not the named card. Discard the other cards. Trash the Victory card and gain a Victory card costing up to more than it.
Rebuild is an Action card from Dark Ages. It is a unique remodeler which trashes only Victory cards and gains you only Victory cards: it can turn Estates into Duchies, Duchies into Provinces, and Provinces into Colonies, thus expanding the value of your Victory cards in the same way that Mine expands the value of your Treasure cards. Despite its simple appearance (and its similarity to Mine, which is regarded as weak for its cost), Rebuild has rapidly developed a reputation as one of the most powerful -cost cards.
- You can name any card, whether or not it is being used this game or is a Victory card.
- Then reveal cards from your deck until you reveal a Victory card that is not what you named.
- If you run out of cards, shuffle your discard pile and continue, without shuffling in the revealed cards.
- If you run out of cards with no cards left in your discard pile, stop there, discard everything, and nothing more happens.
- If you did find a Victory card that was not what you named, you discard the other revealed cards, trash the Victory card, and gain a Victory card costing up to more than the trashed card.
- The card you gain comes from the Supply and is put into your discard pile.
Other Rules clarifications
General Strategy Article
original article by werothegreat, edited by theory.
Rebuild is a powerful card. Some powerful cards make games stretch on, almost interminably, like Goons and Mountebank. Others, like Tournament or Wharf, can make a game go by in a few minutes. Rebuild is one of the latter.
So what does Rebuild do? Like Rats and most other Dark Ages cards, the point of the card is not immediately apparent from its wording. Rebuild essentially upgrades your Victory cards, as long as they are in your deck. Generally, this means going from Estate to Duchy to Province (and sometimes Colony). This process, like that of Rats, tends to be very quick, and a player who can get a couple Rebuilds going before the other will have a marked advantage, barring other game-changing cards.
When should I buy Rebuild?
As soon as possible, and you should probably get two. Since Rebuild gives +1 Action, there’s no need to fear terminal collision (drawing two in one hand and being able to only play one). I like to break cards into two groups: those you should get early, and those you can wait to get. The former group includes Rebuild, along with Mine, Goons, Monument, and most Attack cards – cards whose effect you want as often as possible for as long as possible.
Okay, I’ve got a Rebuild (or two) in my deck - now what?
Rebuild’s wording allows you to name a card that you don’t want to see trashed, and then Rebuild will hunt through your deck for a Victory card that is not that. In many situations, you’ll want to name Province, as you want to upgrade your Estates and Duchies, as doing so will increase your point total. But, like with the Remodel trick, trashing a Province to gain another Province can be quite effective in emptying the pile if you already have a significant lead - in those cases, simply name Estate, to ensure that your Duchies and Provinces are the ones getting trashed, thus emptying the Province pile.
Remember that you only start (normally) with three Victory cards in your deck – if you Rebuild them fully, you’ll only have three Provinces. Therefore, you need to help your Rebuild out by throwing a couple Duchies (or, if you’re having trouble fielding, Estates) its way. Just one or two can help you get the better end of the Province split.
Also note that Rebuild will discard your Actions and Treasures, so don’t develop an attachment to them. Just think of it as express cycling. In fact, Rebuild’s nature means that you won’t need as many Treasures. Most decks are oriented around the need to field (or $11) every turn in order to get Provinces (or Colonies). You’ll be getting Provinces through your Rebuilds, so, like a Duke deck, your deck should be oriented to field , so you can pick up Rebuilds and Duchies.
Is there anything else I can do to help my Rebuild?
You can use Rebuild as a supplement to an engine, or you can make Rebuild the centerpiece of your strategy.
For the latter, remember that your two objectives are:
- Play Rebuild as often as possible, and
- Throw extra Victory cards into the mix.
So you want to look for cards that will help you do that. To further the first objective, look for sifting cards, particularly non-terminal ones, such as Cellar and Warehouse. Sage is moderately useful, but will get caught on Duchies and Provinces too often in the mid/late game. Rebuild is a great target for Throne Room and King's Court. But the very best way to play Rebuild as often as possible is to just buy lots of Rebuilds, which is what you should be doing with your hands when the Duchies run out (and they will run out).
For the second objective, look for cards that either specifically gain Victory cards, like Followers or Count, cards that gain cards of any type, like Workshop or Armory, or cheaper cards that field enough coin to procure Duchies, such as Horse Traders. Cards like Mandarin are too expensive, as you want to focus your buys on Rebuild and then Duchies. Count, on the other hand, works very well with Rebuild because it has the awesome power to just straight up gain Duchies. You’ll be getting your investment back in spades if you pick up a Count on a Rebuild board.
If you elect to have Rebuild complement your engine, be mindful of the order in which you play your cards. In general, you’ll want to play Rebuild first, as cantrips and drawers will bring your Victory cards into your hand, where you don’t want them to be. Sifters, on the other hand, should be played first, as they will let you discard those Victory cards. Embassy is the best of both worlds here, but at , it’s interfering with your Rebuild and Duchy buys.
When should I not go for a Rebuild strategy?
When a more powerful strategy is available, which will be rarely. An Attack that should give you pause with a Rebuild strategy should be Saboteur, which can undo your Rebuilding, or worse, destroy your Rebuilds, but most players ignore that card often enough for you to not worry too much about it. While Rebuild is fast, there are some faster strategies out there. A well-made engine that can buy Provinces outright will outstrip a Rebuilder that has to trash precious Victory points. Mountebank can fill your deck with enough junk to prevent you from seeing your Rebuilds, and you should never ignore it in favor of getting the early Rebuild. A competent Goons player can easily outstrip a Rebuilder; while the discard Attack should not concern the Rebuilder, a Goons player will not be helping the Rebuilder empty the Provinces, and a good Goons player will be able to accrue enough points to be guaranteed a win against a player using Victory cards alone. Now this is not to say that you should ignore Rebuild in these cases; you should instead shift focus to the more powerful card, but feel free to pick up a Rebuild as a supplement.
My opponent is Rebuilding like crazy - what do I do?
Well, typically the best thing to do is mirror the Rebuild, and hope you can get a few more Duchies into your deck than your opponent. If, for some reason, you don’t want to do that, there are a couple things you can do. Attacks are conventionally the easiest way to slow a player down, but Cursing/Looting will do little against a Rebuilder, except possibly make his Rebuilding less frequent. Discard or Top-decking Attacks will usually help the Rebuilder (see below), so don’t try those.
To counter a Rebuilder, you have to keep in mind how the Rebuilding goes down. Rebuild works stepwise – Estate to Duchy to Province. If you remove a step by emptying the Duchy pile, suddenly Rebuild is neutered. Also realize that a Rebuilder is not gaining as many points as a player buying Victory cards outright – Rebuilding a Duchy into a Province only gains you 3 points. Those other points are being thrown into the trash pile, where a Graverobber can handily nick them.
Now, Graverobbing the leavings of a Rebuilder may not be enough; the best way to knock one down is in the literal fashion: with Saboteur or Knights. Rogue would simply be a Graverobber here, as its Attack only activates when there’s nothing in the trash to find. If the trash is full of Duchies, you won’t be Attacking your opponent. Only the first few turns will you be able to – the point when they’re turning Estates into Duchies.
Saboteur is probably the best Attack to use against Rebuild. Why? Saboteur has no upper limit, so it can hit Provinces. Saboteur is doing exactly the opposite of what a Rebuilder is trying to do – downgrading cards. And a Rebuilder’s deck is going to be full of Rebuilds and Victory cards – perfect targets for the typically mediocre Saboteur. This will be most potent when the Duchy pile has run out, making Provinces drop 5 points down to an Estate, or 6 points to a non-Victory card; one such play can win you the game. As such, Saboteur should be a mid-game buy – you’ll want to get your own Rebuilds first while helping to empty the Duchy pile. Now, you won’t want to just pursue Saboteur – even here, you should be trying to Rebuild yourself, but that Saboteur can spell the difference between victory and defeat. And if you can hit your opponent’s Rebuilds, they are now dead in the water without a strategy.
Knights can also be helpful here, but they cannot hit Provinces, and can’t go hunting like Saboteur can, so they may just uselessly discard Coppers. Now be mindful that you need to be a fairly skilled player to pull off Sabotaging a Rebuilder - a novice player would most likely have too much trouble creating an economy while going for Saboteur, which is death when the other player really doesn’t need to add to their economy. The other options are to either fill the Rebuilder's deck with junk quickly enough with either Mountebank or Cultist that they can’t find their Rebuilds often enough, or to pursue a Victory token strategy, typically with Goons, that can amass enough points to have no need of Provinces.
- Rebuild is a very fast card that can dominate boards.
- In general, name Province.
- If going for a pure Rebuild strategy, only spend on Rebuilds and Duchies.
- A skilled player can use Saboteur to counter a Rebuilder.
Now let’s discuss specific interactions with other cards. Bear in mind that if you’re going for a pure Rebuild strategy, any card costingwill get in the way of you buying Rebuilds and Duchies, and should most likely be ignored.
Shelters: According to Donald X, Rebuild was the last card to be added to the Dark Ages set, and, like Ironmonger, seems oddly ill-fitted to the expansion, as both cards suffer when Shelters are used. Using Shelters replaces your starting Estates, leaving your starting deck with a single Victory card in it, and Overgrown Estate only costs – that’s not enough to Rebuild it into a Duchy – thus you have to make an extra step on your way to Provinces (or, happenstance forbid, Colonies). This is not to say that you should ignore Rebuild in a Shelters game – just be mindful that you’ll need to buy a few more Duchies (or Estates) to make it worthwhile.
Colonies: Rebuild, unlike most other cards, takes neither a boost nor a slump when Colonies are used. True, it now requires an extra play of Rebuild to get your Victory cards to their highest potential, but Colony games tend to be longer anyway. Rebuild can even be helpful in Colony games, as you need not outfit your deck with the necessary funds to procure Colonies – just Rebuild up to that. Be aware, however, that although Provinces are now a stepping stone up to Colonies, they still count as an ending condition when they’re all gone, so be mindful of the size of the pile.
Kingdom Victory cards: Rebuild is certainly a convenient way to acquire alternate Victory cards, but don’t look to it as a means to beef up their point totals. Since Rebuild essentially replaces cards, most of the variable point Victory cards will not get any mileage out of Rebuild. Better to just buy them outright, particularly Silk Road, which would prefer to keep your starting Estates.
So does Rebuild actually combo with any kingdom Victory card? Yes, actually.
Tunnel: Just name Tunnel. Your Estates will turn into Tunnels, and then you’ll be swimming in Gold as the Tunnels just fly by.
Feodum: Unlike the other counting kingdom Victory cards, Feodum’s point total will actually increase with Rebuild – when you trash a Feodum, you get three Silvers, increasing every Feodum you have by one Victory point. Just remember to at least hang on to some Feoda.
Duke: Name Duchy or Duke every time. Your Estates will turn into Duchies, allowing you to focus your buys on Dukes, whose pile will quickly empty as your Rebuild finds them. Or let them turn into Dukes, and buy Duchies. Either way. Just be mindful of that emptying, or you’ll start to lose Dukes and/or Duchies. Remember – you don’t have to play a card in your hand.
Other standout interactions:
Baron: Rebuild takes away your Estates, so Baron can’t make money for you (sad face), but then Baron gives you more Estates, which you can turn into Duchies (happy face).
Tournament/Explorer: Rebuild can help you get to those precious Provinces more quickly, allowing you to get the full potential out of these cards. Once you’ve Rebuilt an Estate into a Duchy, make sure to name Estate to ensure your next Rebuild will hit that Duchy.
Trade Route: Don’t you hate that niggling desire to buy an Estate to make your Trade Routes better? Rebuild helps you get around that by quickly getting the token off of Duchies, and usually Provinces as well.
Stash: While you usually want to to spend on Duchies and more Rebuilds, Stash has a rather nice interaction with Rebuild. Since Rebuild shuffles your deck quite often, you'll be replacing Stash quite often as well. This can be used to ensure you can buy a Province at least once a shuffle, particularly in Colony games when, after the Duchies run out, outright buying Provinces can give you more than rebuilding into a Colony.
Rebuild as a defense: Rebuild can be an excellent way to counter a lot of Attacks. Any Attack that forces you to place cards on top of your deck can be countered by putting Victory cards there for Rebuild to hit. And Spying Attacks that like to leave Victory cards on top are very effectively neutered by Rebuild. And while Wandering Minstrel and Farming Village snag on Ruins, and Scrying Pool snags on Curses, Rebuild discards them all (along with everything else).
- Saboteur and maybe Knights
- VP chip cards: Goons, Monument, Bishop
- Fast junkers: Mountebank, Cultist
Mirror Strategy Article
original article by ragingduckd
When Rebuild is on the board, you usually just have to buy it. Other engines have a reasonable shot in games with Colonies or Shelters, but Rebuild is always a force to be reckoned with. When Rebuild has the home-court advantage of a Province game with Estates, there are very few decks that can outrun it.
This means that many of your Rebuild games -- particularly your Province/Estates games -- will be mirror matches. Most of those Rebuild mirrors will follow a fairly consistent script. Playing them well requires first understanding that script and then deciding how and to what extent any particular kingdom demands that you deviate from it.
I assume that you're playing against one opponent, with no Shelters, no Colonies, and no game-breaking combos, and that you and your opponent are both going for Rebuild. I briefly discuss some the major deviations from this setup at the end.
Act I: The Duchy Race
Your main goal in the early game is to win the Duchy split. An empty Duchy pile is a Rebuild roadblock for your Estates, so the Duchies you buy during this phase are the only cards you can productively Rebuild for the rest of the game. Getting more than your share of those Duchies is a huge win.
Your other early-game goal is to clear out those pesky starting Estates. If you manage to win the Duchy split 5-3 while emptying your deck of Estates, you're in an absolutely dominating position. Every Rebuild you play will turn a Duchy into a Province, so five Rebuilds is all you need for five Provinces and a virtual lock.
Buying a Rebuild with your firsthand is a good start on both goals. With your subsequent hands, keep buying either Rebuilds or Duchies. With each hand, ask "if I buy another Rebuild, will I get to use it on an Estate before the Duchies run out?" When the answer is no, it's time to start buying Duchies instead.
Common mistakes to avoid:
- Rebuilding Duchies into Provinces -- Deliberately rebuilding a Duchy instead of an Estate is the biggest early-game mistake you can make. Your opponent will snap up five or six Duchies, leaving you with deck full of small treasures, cards, and nearly-useless Rebuilds, and then rebuild his Duchies into Provinces while you scramble to find an hand.
- Buying Gold or any action besides Rebuild -- Unless you plan to skip Rebuild entirely, your early-game focus should be on Duchies (and Rebuilds that can gain Duchies). Even the game-breaking $5 terminals (see Combos below) should only be purchased after the Duchies are gone.
- Buying surplus Estates -- If your opponent is also rushing Duchies, you probably won't have time to rebuild four Estates. A fourth Estate can be valuable if in you're well ahead or in danger of running out of Rebuild targets, but it should be approached with caution. If that extra Estate wins the Duchy split, it's a hero; if it's the one Estate you get stuck with in a 4-4 split, it's a goat. A fifth or sixth Estate is wildly overoptimistic and almost always a mistake at this point.
Act II: Post-Duchy Strategies
With the Duchy pile, the remaining sources ofare limited. Unless there are alt-VP cards or tokens, it's down to the Provinces and the Estates. Each player wants to Rebuild his Duchies, but he also has extra production to use along the way. He can use that production for of any of of three major post-Duchy strategies:
1. Turbo Rebuild: Add Rebuilds and sifters to rebuild your Duchies quickly
There are 8 Duchies in play and 8 Provinces to be gained. Every time a Province gets bought or trashed by Rebuild, another Duchy's dreams die. With Turbo Rebuild, your goal is to make it the other guy's Duchies that don't get turned into Provinces.
2. Rebuild-BM: Add treasures and productive actions to buy Provinces
It's not easy to start buying Provinces when you have a deck full of Duchies and Rebuilds, but it pays off big. Rebuilding a Duchy into a Province is only +3, but buying one is +6 . Buying one Province can be enough for the win after a 4-4 split, and buying two will more than make up for losing the split 3-5.
3. The Estate Blitz: Buy estates and end the game early by rebuilding your Provinces into other Provinces
With Duchies gone and rebuilt Provinces worth only +3, Estates constitute a respectable form of. In a Blitz, you piledrive Estates and play Rebuild naming Estate to run out the Province pile. If all goes well, your opponent won't have time to buy or rebuild into those last couple Provinces, and your pile of Estates will carry the game.
Some general considerations that should inform your decision:
- The Duchy split -- When you've won the split, Turbo Rebuild is usually the best continuation (assuming you don't also have 2 or 3 surplus Estates for you Rebuilds to trip over). Five Provinces is a near-lock, if you can get there. If you can't, then your Rebuilds will at least be productive right up to the end of the game. If you've lost the split, Turbo Rebuild isn't going to close the gap, so go Rebuild-BM or Estate Blitz instead.
- The kingdom -- Cantrip sifters accelerate your rebuilding, which strengthens Turbo Rebuild and the Estate Blitz. Strong drawing cards strengthen Rebuild BM. Baron allows for a hybrid Estate-BM strategy. A complete list of combos would be difficult to write and painful to read, but you can usually just look at a kingdom and figure out which strategies have good support.
- Your deck -- If you have some extra Silver because you didn't get to on T3 or T4, you're probably in a reasonable position to go Rebuild BM. If you managed to clear out all of your Estates, then Turbo is very attractive. If you got caught with 2 or more Estates, they're going to seriously get in the way of your Rebuilding, so you might avoid Turbo even if you won the Duchy split. On the other hand, you probably have a lead already and the opportunity cost of an Estate Blitz is relatively low.
- Your opponent's strategy -- If the first thing your opponent does after Duchies run out is spend $6 on a Rebuild, he's telling you that he's going either Turbo Rebuild or Estate Blitz. Your time is limited, so responding with Rebuild BM is questionable unless you already have a good start. If he buys a Gold or an Estate instead, that reveals his intentions too. It's hard to give concrete rules here, but try to anticipate how your strategies will interact and choose accordingly. If you respond to Turbo with Turbo, for example, the game will be high-variance and lightning fast.
You only get a few turns to choose your post-Duchy strategy once and for all. Once you start filling up on extra Rebuilds and Warehouses, you'll have a miserable time changing gears to buy Provinces. Similarly, once you start adding Estates, it's awfully hard to use your Rebuilds productively. This why Estates should be approached with caution during the Duchies race -- a deck that gets caught with 2 or more Estates is essentially pre-committed to a Blitz.
Act III: End-Game Tactics
Once the players have committed to their post-Duchy strategies, the game is mostly tactical. But these aren't the usual "do I buy a Duchy or a Gold?" end-game tactics, and they require skills that don't normally get a lot of practice.
Tracking yourcards throughout your shuffle is key. Rebuilding a Duchy is always best, and it's often possible to engineer that. It's also rather embarrassing to name the wrong card and have Rebuild skip your whole deck. If this happens to you, check the log to see exactly what was in the deck that you just discarded; this will get you back on track. The VP counter won't do your job for you, but the counter plus the trash will often let you catch up if you've gotten just a little lost.
Resist the temptation to purchase haphazardly. If you're running an Estate Blitz and some freak shuffle gives you ahand, buy another Rebuild or Estate anyway. Despite this aberrant hand, you're in no position to buy Provinces and adding a Gold isn't going to change that. Stick to the cards that are compatible with your strategy, even if you have to grossly overpay.
Assess your long-term prospects and Rebuild accordingly. Often you have to risk either hitting an Estate or a Province. Hitting an Estate is pretty much a wash, but hitting a Province brings the game closer to its end. Before you play your Rebuild, consider whether shortening the game is good or bad for you.
As a general rule, the player with the better deck wants a longer game. If you have extra Duchies or loads of treasure, you want time to turn that advantage into Provinces. If your deck is full of Estates or you've already rebuilt all your Duchies, you probably want to end the game ASAP. An ordinary end-game is usually a race to gain Provinces (or sometimes to 3-pile), but a Rebuild end-game is often a race between a player who wants to gain Provinces and an opponent who wants to destroy them.
Most Rebuild combos simply strengthen or weaken the various post-Duchy strategies, but there are a few that are simply so powerful that you have to scrap most of the script.
Rogue and Graverobber can regain your trashed Duchies. Turbo Rebuild is the only serious strategy on such a board, since you'll have a continuous flow of Duchies to rebuild. For the same reason, Estates become a huge liability. These guys are mid-to-late game buys, but with Duchies going to the trash constantly and with little else to do with your $5 hands, you'll want to acquire several.
Duke is the only in the game besides Duchy, so it provides Rebuild with the only alternate road from Estate to Province. With Duke on the board, you can flood your deck with Estates and your Rebuilds and they'll continue being productive right up to the end. You'll have some Dukes in your deck at the end of the game, so name Duchy when you play Rebuild and let your Provinces fend for themselves.
Tunnel, as werothegreat has already noted, turns Rebuild into a Gold machine. In a Rebuild game with Tunnel, there's no actual rebuilding into Provinces. Just name Tunnel every time and flood your deck with Gold.
Feodum isn't game-breaking per se, but deserves a mention here, as it's rather strong and it doesn't play like a normal Rebuild mirror.
Other Notable Situations
Colonies weaken Rebuild. It takes several extra turns to go from 4-5 Provinces to 4-5 Colonies, and it's a whole lot easier for an engine to grab 4 Colonies in 19 turns than 4 Provinces in 14 turns. With 4cards instead of 3, you also have a lot less control over what your Rebuilds hit.
Shelters weaken Rebuild because you no longer get a free Duchy with every early-game Rebuild you play. I'd estimate that Rebuild with Shelters is effectively 2-3 turns behind Rebuild with Estates. In the mirror, you should buy fewer early-game Rebuilds and buy more of your Duchies directly.
Nobles, Harem, and Farmland can all be rebuilt into Provinces. Buying these is usually at least as good as buying Duchies, so the Duchy race becomes less important and finding $6 to buy these with becomes more important.
Smaller Alt-VP cards should be added with caution. They can play the same role as Estates in a Blitz, but you can't name both Estate and Great Hall. Every time your Rebuild trips over a Great Hall, your opponent gains time to grab the Province you otherwise would have trashed. Still, Rebuild games are usually close, so all three strategies are happy to grab some extra as the game draws to a close.