Victory is a card type. Victory cards typically give the player a certain number of victory points. Four Victory cards are basic cards: Estate, Duchy, and Province, which are in the supply in every game; and Colony, which may be added in games using Kingdom cards from Prosperity. One, Overgrown Estate, is a Shelter. The remaining Victory cards are Kingdom cards, collectively referred to as alt-VP, or "alternate victory points". (The "alt-VP" category also often includes cards that give victory points via victory tokens; however, these are not considered Victory cards.)
The majority of Victory cards are dead cards during the game—i.e., although you score victory points by having them in your deck at the end of the game, they have little or no use during gameplay itself; and therefore having them in your deck weakens what you can achieve on each turn. The few victory cards that are not dead in your deck are typically worth relatively few victory points. Therefore the central strategic tension of Dominion is the following: how can you gain the Victory cards that you need in order to win the game, without unduly burdening your deck each turn with dead cards that will prevent you from being able to gain additional Victory cards on future turns?
One of the major ways of resolving this tension is to wait to buy Victory cards until late in the game, once one has built a deck that can withstand the addition of a few dead cards without losing much efficiency. Once the game is nearing an end, players often try to gain victory cards on almost every remaining turn; this process is referred to as "greening" or "going green" because victory cards have green frames. The extreme version of this approach is known as a megaturn, in which players buy no or almost no Victory cards at all until ending the game by buying a large number of Victory cards on a single turn. Many of the alt-VP cards enable an alternative approach by having low costs and therefore being not too hard to buy even in a deck with a lot of dead cards in it. An alternative approach to underlies the rush and slog strategies: if a deck can achieve a winning score via cheap or otherwise easy-to-obtain Victory cards, gaining them early does not very much impair your ability to keep gaining more of them as the game goes on. Only some games of Dominion are amenable to such a strategy, however; most games follow the usual pattern of holding of greening till the end.
Victory card piles in the supply start with 8 cards in 2-player games and 12 cards in larger games. (The Province pile is increased further for games with more than four players.)
Most Victory cards have names referring to areas of land.
List of Victory Cards