Command variant

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Band of Misfits, tells the player to play a card from the Supply.

A Command variant allows you to play a card not in your deck, for example a card in the Supply. Many are also Commands. Command variants provide extra flexibility and reliability to the deck: when you draw such a card, you get to choose from the effects of whichever other cards would be the most beneficial for you on this particular turn. Because of this flexibility, most Command variants restrict what you can play, such as by only playing cards from the Supply up to a certain cost. So if you need expensive cards, you'll have to buy them straight out. Emptying a Supply pile can severely weaken Command variants because there's one less card they can copy.


[edit] List of Command variants

  • $5: Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpg—plays a card in the Supply costing less, normally up to $4
  • $8: PrincePrince.jpg—plays a set-aside card costing up to $4 that you first had to collide with Prince, every turn for the rest of the game
  • $7/$2: EstatesEstate.jpg under the influence of InheritanceInheritance.jpg—plays a card costing up to $4 set aside from the supply when you bought InheritanceInheritance.jpg
  • 8D: OverlordOverlord.jpg—plays a card in the Supply costing up to $5
  • $4: NecromancerNecromancer.jpg—plays a card in the trash
  • $6: CaptainCaptain.jpg—plays two cards in the Supply costing up to $4

Way of the MouseWay of the Mouse.jpg's ability mechanically resembles a Command variant, in that its effect is to play a set-aside card, "leaving it there", but unlike a proper Command variant it does not allow the player to choose during the game what that card is.

The card FlagshipFlagship.jpg is a Command card for mechanical reasons, but functionally it is a Throne Room variant rather than a Command variant.

[edit] Tracking Rules

  • Some cards can play a card that isn't put into play.
  • When you play one of these cards, leave it in play as long as you would have left the card it plays in play. So if OverlordOverlord.jpg plays a WharfWharf.jpg, OverlordOverlord.jpg will stay in play, and if OverlordOverlord.jpg plays a Throne RoomThrone Room.jpg that plays a WharfWharf.jpg, OverlordOverlord.jpg will also stay in play.
  • If it plays multiple Duration cards (e.g., you used Throne Room on it), leave it out until the Clean-up of the last turn that one of them still had effects.
  • If you ThroneThrone Room.jpg an OverlordOverlord.jpg, and the OverlordOverlord.jpg plays a WharfWharf.jpg, the Throne RoomThrone Room.jpg will not stay in play.

[edit] Rules complications with Command variants

Early Command variants—prior versions of Band of MisfitsBand of MisfitsOld2.jpg, InheritanceInheritanceOld2.jpg, and OverlordOverlordOld.jpg—acted by actually changing the identity or abilities of the played card. Thus when you played a Band of Misfits, for example, it "became" a copy of whatever card it was playing as until it left play, and was counted as such for the purposes of such cards as Horn of PlentyHorn of Plenty.jpg. Donald X. had expressed dissatisfaction with this state of affairs because it involved "shapeshifting": two copies of the same card in different locations (e.g., a Band of Misfits in play and one in the trash, or an Estate in your deck and one in an opponent's deck) might have different names, types, and/or abilities. This led to the Dominion 2019 Errata and Rules Tweaks that altered these to work like the later Command variants.

The later Command variants (NecromancerNecromancer.jpg and CaptainCaptain.jpg) work in a different way: technically, instead of "becoming" the target card, they just cause the target card to be played without entering the play area (i.e., "leaving it there"). Certain of these cards are not allowed to play Duration cards, to avoid confusion caused by Duration cards being played with nothing left in play to track them. New tracking rules were added to allow some of these later-style Command variants to track Duration cards (either playing them or playing a card that plays them multiple times).

Later Command variants are more effective at playing one-shots than earlier ones: if you play an ExperimentExperiment.jpg with CaptainCaptain.jpg nothing returns to the Supply, whereas pre-errata versions of Band of MisfitsBand of MisfitsOld2.jpg that played an ExperimentExperiment.jpg would. On the other hand, earlier Command variants were more effective with cards that have a "when you discard this from play" ability, like Herbalist (prior version)HerbalistOld2.jpg; with later Command variants, the played card is never put into play, so those abilities are never triggered. For these reasons, certain one-shots were given errata to have some of their effects contingent on trashing.

The Command type was added to certain cards (Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpg, OverlordOverlord.jpg, CaptainCaptain.jpg itself, PrincePrince.jpg and InheritanceInheritance.jpg) to prevent strange loops that could happen if they could (or were forced to) play each other.

[edit] Gallery

Band of Misfits.jpgPrince.jpgOverlord.jpgNecromancer.jpgCaptain.jpg
Inheritance.jpgWay of the Mouse.jpg

[edit] Trivia

[edit] Why aren't Estate and Necromancer Command cards?

Inherited EstateEstate.jpg being a Command card is not bad, the downside is just having to say that on InheritanceInheritance.jpg. Again I can keep thinking about that for when Adventures actually gets reprinted. It doesn't feel urgent. NecromancerNecromancer.jpg being a Command card merely stops you from using e.g. Band of MisfitsBand of Misfits.jpg on it; but that's not some exotic combo that will never happen, it's useful just with those two cards on the board.

[edit] Further thoughts from Donald X.

Sometimes fun cards make it out because of how fun they are, despite issues. There are some examples! Band of Misfits left Dark AgesDark Ages.jpg due to its rules issues; it came back because people missed it. People liked it when it came out, and often it's not tricky. The original versionBand of MisfitsOld2.jpg was a mistake, but I'm not sure that the tweaked versionBand of Misfits.jpg is. It's not the kind of thing I want to do lots of, but it's fun.

Attacks Attack immunityCurserDeck inspection attackDeck order attackHandsize attackJunking attackTrashing attackTurn-worsening attack
Buy/Money +BuyCost-reducerDisappearing moneyOverpayPeddler variantTerminal silverVirtual coinVirtual +Buy
Cycling Deck discarderDeck inspectorDiggingDiscard for benefitSifter
Terminality CantripNon-terminalNon-terminal drawSoft terminalTerminalTerminal drawThrone Room variantVillageConditional non-terminal
Other Alt-VPBasic cardsDuration drawCommand variantGainerLuck-basedNon-Attack interactionOne-shotRemodelerSplit pileTop deckerTrasherVanillaExtra turn
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