Choose one: Discard 2 cards; or put a card from your hand onto your deck; or gain a Copper.Choose one: + ; or trash your hand; or gain a Duchy.
Count is an Action card from Dark Ages. It can be played a total of 9 different ways, with 3 possible benefits and 3 possible penalties. It can act as a trasher, gainer, or terminal payload.
- This card gives you two separate choices: first you either discard two cards, or put a card from your hand on top of your deck, or gain a Copper; after resolving that, you either get + , or trash your hand, or gain a Duchy.
- For example you might choose to discard two cards, then gain a Duchy.
- You can choose an option even if you cannot do it.
- If you trash multiple cards that do something when trashed at once, trash them all, then choose an order to resolve the things that happen due to them being trashed.
Count provides terminal payload or trashing, with a total of nine different modes of play. Managing these choices usually amounts to selecting a benefit and choosing which detrimental effect to accept in return, and the interaction between these abilities often makes Count less flexible in practice than its suite of options might suggest, although sometimes you can make good use of both effects. While the ability to shift from early trashing to payload once you have deck control is a strength, Count is expensive at and is usually somewhat awkward and weak in performing each of these roles, meaning that there are often much better options available for each of these purposes.
Given that Count trashes your entire hand, obtaining and playing it early (i.e., when you are likely to have a hand containing exclusively junk) is often even more important than with other sources of thinning. Therefore, the ability to gain it in the opening (e.g. with a / opening split) may make it significantly more attractive. Additionally, given that starting from a five-card hand, you generally can only thin three cards, Count benefits significantly from effects that increase your hand size, such as Expedition. Outside the early game, Count becomes less practical as a trasher, for two reasons. First, you are more likely to have good cards in hand, and risk having to trash some of them. Second, trashing your entire hand means you almost always cannot play cards (most notably Treasures) in order to buy something. As a result, fully clearing your deck of junk with Count is usually not worth the opportunity cost and tempo loss. A rule of thumb is that if you're using Count as your primary trasher, it's most likely to be worth playing it for that ability about twice; after that point, accepting a few remaining junk cards may be preferable to putting a lot of resources into removing them, although supplementing Count with a single-card trasher is often useful to remove the rest of your starting cards. The best Count option to choose alongside the trashing ability depends on the contents of your hand: if you have cards you do not want to trash, you can save them by using the discarding or topdecking options, whereas gaining a Copper lets you trash four cards from a five-card hand. While this is only equivalent to thinning three cards, it is better for your cycling than choosing to topdeck one of your four junk cards. Less importantly, it may be a small improvement to your deck over the extra junk card it replaces, for example Estate or Curse.
Once you're no longer using Count for trashing, it can be used as payload providing Duchy. The Duchy gaining effect is more likely to be relevant in the endgame, at which point Count may be game-deciding if the Kingdom lacks other sources of gains or +Buy. Given Count's high price and opportunity cost, hand size reduction, and terminal nature, it is generally inefficient as payload, and you will typically only use it as such because it has already completed its job as a thinner. Rarely, the effect of gaining Copper or Duchy may be relevant for other purposes, for example to fuel mandatory trashers or trash-for-benefit effects. While difficult to use, the top-decking effect can occasionally be used to set up your next turn or to activate effects that benefit from having a specific or known card on top of your deck, such as Sorceress or Chariot Race.or a
External strategy articles
Note: Article(s) below are by individual authors and may not represent the community's current views on cards, but may provide more in-depth information or give historical perspective. Caveat emptor.
| Choose one: Discard 2 cards; or put a card from your hand on top of your deck; or gain a Copper.
Choose one: + or trash your hand; or gain a Duchy. ;
|Dark Ages||August 2012|
Choose one: Discard 2 cards; or put a card from your hand onto your deck; or gain a Copper.Choose one: + or trash your hand; or gain a Duchy. ;
|Dark Ages (2017 printing)||September 2017|
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