Choose one: +2 Actions; or +2 Buys; or gain a Silver.
When you trash this, gain an Attack card.
Squire is an Action card from Dark Ages. It can act as a village (i.e., providing +2 Actions), as a Silver gainer, or as a source of +Buy. In addition, when trashed it can gain you any Attack—you can even gain a Familiar without buying a Potion!
- When you play this, you get + , and your choice of either +2 Actions, +2 Buys, or gaining a Silver.
- The Silver comes from the Supply and is put into your discard pile.
- If Squire is trashed somehow, you gain an Attack card; the Attack card comes from the Supply and is put into your discard pile.
- You can gain any Attack card available in the Supply, but if no Attack card is available, you do not gain one.
Other Rules clarifications
- You cannot gain Mercenary by trashing a Squire, since Mercenary is not in the supply.
Original article by WanderingWinder
Squire is my new favorite card. Its biggest strength lies in its versatility, which makes it a potential contributor in almost any deck, yet it is almost never the star of the show. Let’s take a look at several of its different roles:
Squire in an engine
As Village: Squire-as-village is actually pretty bad as far as villages go, at least as the main village of an engine (somewhat similar to Shanty Town in this way). The reason, of course, is that it doesn’t draw cards. This leads it to having 20% fewer cards in your initial hand to start off a draw chain with. It furthermore hampers the efforts to draw your whole deck, as like a treasure, it counts as a ‘stop’ card. Thus, with a smithy variant, you end up with one more card than you started with rather than two, which is a pretty big deal when you are trying to run chains of actions together, and the just doesn’t make up for this. It can still work if other things set up well, but it is harder to make happen than with most any other village.
But, I hear you ask, what about Fishing Village? Fishing Village also only gives you and 2 Actions on its turns and doesn’t draw cards, and it’s like the best village there is! What gives? Well, Fishing Village gives you the bonus twice, but actually more important, it is effectively a Bazaar on the second turn. Bazaar is a card, and a pretty good one (and note that you have the full 5 to start drawing things with on the second turn). There is a Squire-village tacked on the front to draw it DOWN to (along with it missing the shuffle a bit more and being slightly delayed)! So when you look at it this way, it makes Squire-as-village look pretty bad. And I think it is fairly bad, though not terrible.
Of course, there are other things to do in an engine with Squire. Mostly this is using it as double-Buy. How often do you need that many Buys? Well, not *that* often, but it can often be useful. This is particularly true when you are trying to buy engines off of cheap components – and Squire is one of these, so that is more often than normal. It also has nice synergies with cost reducers, principally Highway, in this sense.
Squire for Big Money
Yup, Squire has a place in the big money deck. Let’s look at it first of all as a Silver-gainer. Against Bureaucrat, it gives you more, but the Silver isn’t top-decked, and you don’t get the Attack. Against Jack, you get for the filtering and drawing and trashing. Against Explorer, you usually end up with less. In general, these are all ‘disadvantage to Squire’. But these cards cost a fair bit more than Squire. Okay, except Jack (which has numerous advantages), they aren’t very strong, either. Actually the best comparison is Ironworks, which is exactly the same upon gaining Silver.
But this isn’t the whole story. Squire once again has versatility. For the big money deck, this usually won’t mean the buys. But the actions option can be pretty useful here. The thing is, the biggest downside of all those cards mentioned above is that they are terminal. But Squire doesn’t have to be. If it collides with one other terminal, it can still be a Copper. And with two, it can be quite a boon. So it plays really well in those BM decks where you’d like to play a decent number of non-terminal-draw actions – decks which feature e.g. Militia, Merchant Ship, Marauder, Monument (what is it with the ‘m’s?), Cutpurse, Swindler, Fortune Teller, or even other Silver-flooders. Generally, in this kind of deck, you can have cantrip-with-bonuses, usually either some Lab or Peddler variant, but while this is still possible here, it tends to be slightly less effective, as this pushes out the Squire’s usefulness. As normal, it’s all opportunity cost here. In any case, such decks with take the Silver-flood-ability of Squire when it doesn’t come with other Actions and use the village-ness when it does.
Perhaps the best use of Squire is in the slog. It looks like there are two good options here: +Buys (and gain lots of Coppers), or gain a Silver. Actually, you almost always want to take the Silvers. I actually must admit, I have gotten this wrong a lot. Okay, first thing’s first: you are generally just trying to maximize your money per hand in a slog, so more or less we can just look at money density. The thought I had was that more Coppers are going to be more resilient than Silvers to the bloating of a deck, because each extra green card has less of an overall impact. This trend is true generally, but 2 Coppers can of course *never* produce a higher money density than 1 Silver – it’s the *same* amount of money but with an extra card. So generally, you want the Silvers. The exceptions to this rule are if you want to run something which cares about Copper (potentially Apothecary, Coppersmith, Counting House), something very unusual with piles running out, if you want to use at least one of the extra Buys on something other than Copper, or for a card like Gardens. With Gardens, isn’t much harder to hit with Coppers than Silvers, and you get an extra card for points at the end.
Why is Squire a particularly good card here, when the other Silver gainers mentioned above aren’t considered magnificent? Well, for one thing, those cards aren’t terrible. For another, it’s cheaper. This helps a lot in comparison to Explorer, which you normally don’t want to spend the time to get many of. It actually helps a fair bit in comparison to the others as well, as it is not unusual to missrelatively often in such decks. And against them, it also provides of cash, which is pretty big in a slog deck. Finally, you can use its own excess buys to pick up something like 3-6 of them really quickly, and this just gets you lots more Silver a lot quicker.
Squire, more than any single card, can empty piles really fast. This is mostly because it has the 2 +Buy option, but the cheapness of the card itself also helps quite a bit. You can singlehandedly run 3 pile in 12-ish turns fairly consistently (though you really don’t want to do this, as most often one of these needs to be curse, and you end up with 1 Ruins in only a couple of turns to end a game in a flash before.…). So you have to watch out for piles chomping down fast. Indeed, I have launched an assault through *all* the
Squire can also be trashed to gain any Attack card in the supply. This actually ends up being not a very useful ability – the thing is, by the time you get the trasher, the squire, and manage to get them together so that you can trash the squire, it usually would have been easier to just buy the thing. But okay, there are still some cases where this can be potent – most notably, if you are wanting to trash *everything* via Chapel, or even more to the point, watchtower, which in hand turns $2 and a buy to any attack in the supply, topdecked. On the attacks side, it can be a quick way to gain Goons and especially Scrying Pool and Familiar. Actually, because you *have* to gain an Attack, it can sometimes (quite rarely) be a downside, as you can’t say Junk Deal Squires on some boards without having to gain Thieves. Mostly, though, this ability is a nice little bonus to a deck where there are Attacks you would like to gain already, trashers you would like to use already, and Squire is relatively useful and a card you at least wouldn’t mind having in your deck already. It’s rarely something you want to go out of your way for.
Terminal draw Big Money Most engines without other villages Usually not a bad card, but can be pushed out if there is something better – opportunity cost.
In other languages
- Finnish: Aseenkantaja
- French: Écuyer
- German: Knappe
- Japanese: 従者 (pron. jūsha, lit. valet)
- Spanish: Escudero