Combo: Donate and Market Square

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Market Square / Donate
Market Square.jpg Donate.jpg
Set(s) Empires / Dark Ages
Type Rush

Market SquareMarket Square.jpg and DonateDonate.jpg is a very strong combo that allows you to trim down to a deck of only Market Squares and GoldsGold.jpg.

[edit] How it works

  • Turns 1-3 (ideally): buy Market Square.
  • After turn 3: Donate everything except the Market Squares. In response to the trashing, discard the Market Squares, getting one Gold each; your deck will now be 3x Market Squares, 3x Golds.
  • Turn 4: Repay your debt.
  • Turn 5: Whatever is appropriate to the rest of the board - buy Gold, buy Province, buy Platinum, or start building an engine.

Note that on turns 4 and 5, you are guaranteed to have $9 available, since if you only draw two of the Golds you can just play a Market Square first.

[edit] Details

The combo requires drawing at least $3 in your first few turns. There is a 16.67% chance that you open $5/$2 or $2/$5, and in those cases with strong early $5 cards, it is probably best to open those instead. Assuming you got a $4/$3 or $3/$4 opening and bought 2 Market Squares, there is an 8.33% chance of having only $2 on turn 3, delaying the combo. But there is also a 56.82% chance of a hand with at least one Market Square and at least $3, meaning you could buy a third Market Square and Donate all on the same turn.

Alternatively, you could wait until turn 4, hoping to get at least one Market Square and at least $3, allowing you to buy a fourth Market Square and then Donate, resulting in a 4 Gold gain. Assuming you were able to get 3 Market Squares on turns 1-3, if you didn't draw any Market Squares on turn 3, there is a 97.62% of drawing a Market Square and buying the fourth Market Square and Donate. But if you drew one Market Square on turn 3, the chances of drawing the other in turn 4 drops to 83.33%, making the fourth Market Square a little riskier. And of course, this is not possible if you already drew both Market Squares on turn 3, so in that case, you should stick with the turn 3 Donate.

In a mirror game, it may be beneficial to wait until the turn after your opponent purchases Donate before you purchase your own Donate. This will allow for 4 or even 5 Market Square & Gold pairs. Also, you can trash 1 less Estate than your opponent trashed, securing an early lead.

As noted above, a deck consisting of 3 Market Squares and 3 Gold guarantees $9 on the next two turns after buying Donate. A deck consisting of 4 Market Squares and 4 Gold can still draw the whole deck, but will produce $12, allowing you to pay off debt and still have $4 with 4 buys. Decks with 5 or more Market Square & Gold pairs will not always draw the whole deck, but will produce $15, leaving $7 after debt.

Cards 4D EngineerEngineer.jpg 8D City QuarterCity Quarter.jpgOverlordOverlord.jpgRoyal BlacksmithRoyal Blacksmith.jpg $2 EncampmentEncampment.jpg/PlunderPlunder.jpgPatricianPatrician.jpg/EmporiumEmporium.jpgSettlersSettlers.jpg/Bustling VillageBustling Village.jpg $3 Castles (HumbleHumble Castle.jpgCrumblingCrumbling Castle.jpgSmallSmall Castle.jpgHauntedHaunted Castle.jpgOpulentOpulent Castle.jpgSprawlingSprawling Castle.jpgGrandGrand Castle.jpgKing'sKing's Castle.jpg) • CatapultCatapult.jpg/RocksRocks.jpgChariot RaceChariot Race.jpgEnchantressEnchantress.jpgFarmers' MarketFarmers' Market.jpgGladiatorGladiator.jpg/FortuneFortune.jpg $4 SacrificeSacrifice.jpgTempleTemple.jpgVillaVilla.jpg $5 ArchiveArchive.jpgCapitalCapital.jpgCharmCharm.jpgCrownCrown.jpgForumForum.jpgGroundskeeperGroundskeeper.jpgLegionaryLegionary.jpgWild HuntWild Hunt.jpg
Events 5D TriumphTriumph.jpg 8D AnnexAnnex.jpgDonateDonate.jpg $0 AdvanceAdvance.jpg $2 DelveDelve.jpgTaxTax.jpg $3 BanquetBanquet.jpg $4 RitualRitual.jpgSalt the EarthSalt the Earth.jpg $43D WeddingWedding.jpg $5 WindfallWindfall.jpg $6 ConquestConquest.jpg $14 DominateDominate.jpg
Landmarks AqueductAqueduct.jpgArenaArena.jpgBandit FortBandit Fort.jpgBasilicaBasilica.jpgBathsBaths.jpgBattlefieldBattlefield.jpgColonnadeColonnade.jpgDefiled ShrineDefiled Shrine.jpgFountainFountain.jpgKeepKeep.jpgLabyrinthLabyrinth.jpgMountain PassMountain Pass.jpgMuseumMuseum.jpgObeliskObelisk.jpgOrchardOrchard.jpgPalacePalace.jpgTombTomb.jpgTowerTower.jpgTriumphal ArchTriumphal Arch.jpgWallWall.jpgWolf DenWolf Den.jpg
Combos and Counters Capital/HerbalistCapital/MandarinDonate/Market Square
Other concepts DebtGatheringSplit pilesVictory tokens
Cards $0 Ruins (Abandoned MineAbandoned Mine.jpgRuined LibraryRuined Library.jpgRuined MarketRuined Market.jpgRuined VillageRuined Village.jpgSurvivorsSurvivors.jpg) $0star SpoilsSpoils.jpg $1 Poor HousePoor House.jpgShelters (HovelHovel.jpgNecropolisNecropolis.jpgOvergrown EstateOvergrown Estate.jpg) $2 BeggarBeggar.jpgSquireSquire.jpgVagrantVagrant.jpg $3 ForagerForager.jpgHermitHermit.jpg (MadmanMadman.jpg) • Market SquareMarket Square.jpgSageSage.jpgStoreroomStoreroom.jpgUrchinUrchin.jpg (MercenaryMercenary.jpg) $4 ArmoryArmory.jpgDeath CartDeath Cart.jpgFeodumFeodum.jpgFortressFortress.jpgIronmongerIronmonger.jpgMarauderMarauder.jpgProcessionProcession.jpgRatsRats.jpgScavengerScavenger.jpgWandering MinstrelWandering Minstrel.jpg $5 Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpgBandit CampBandit Camp.jpgCatacombsCatacombs.jpgCountCount.jpgCounterfeitCounterfeit.jpgCultistCultist.jpgGraverobberGraverobber.jpgJunk DealerJunk Dealer.jpgKnightsKnights.jpg (Dames AnnaDame Anna.jpgJosephineDame Josephine.jpgMollyDame Molly.jpgNatalieDame Natalie.jpgSylviaDame Sylvia.jpg • Sirs BaileySir Bailey.jpgDestrySir Destry.jpgMartinSir Martin.jpgMichaelSir Michael.jpgVanderSir Vander.jpg) • MysticMystic.jpgPillagePillage.jpgRebuildRebuild.jpgRogueRogue.jpg $6 AltarAltar.jpgHunting GroundsHunting Grounds.jpg
Combos and Counters Apprentice/Market SquareBeggar/GardensBishop/FortressDonate/Market SquareHermit/Market SquareLurker/Hunting GroundsMasterpiece/FeodumProcession/FortressTrader/Feodum
Other concepts When trashLooter
Dominion Card Combos
Apprentice/Market SquareBeggar/GardensBlack Market/TacticianBishop/FortressCapital/HerbalistCapital/MandarinCounting House/Travelling FairDonate/Market SquareGolden deckHermit/Market SquareLurker/Hunting GroundsMasquerade pinMasterpiece/FeodumNative Village/BridgeProcession/FortressRoyal Carriage/BridgeTrader/FeodumWorkshop/Gardens
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