|Once during each of your turns, when you gain an Action card, you may play it.|
Innovation is a Project from Renaissance. It lets you play a single Action card you gain each turn, even if that is during your Buy phase.
Unofficial FAQ (2022)
- This is optional: you don't have to play any Action cards immediately upon gaining them if you don't want to.
- This ability can only be used at most once each turn. If you choose to use Innovation's ability on one Action card you gain, you can't use it on any other Action card gained later that turn.
- This applies to cards gained due to being bought, or gained other ways.
- If you gain an Action card in your Buy phase, you can play it even though ordinarily you can't play Action cards in your Buy phase.
- If it gives you +Actions, that will not let you play more Action cards in your Buy phase; if it draws you Treasures, you can only play them if you have not bought anything yet.
- Innovation can't play a card unless it can physically put it into play. For example, if you gain a card to your discard pile and use Sleigh to move the card to the top of your deck, the stop-moving rule prevents Innovation from moving the card again from your deck into play, and so it can't be played.
Other rules clarifications
- If you gain a Duplicate and then play it with Innovation, you can call it immediately to gain another Duplicate.
- In 2021, a new general ruling emerged, in this case meaning that Innovation can't play a card unless it can physically put it into play, and so the original mechanism to first set the gained card aside (to check that it was not lost track of) became redundant.
- In 2022, Innovation got reworded so that while it can still be used once a turn, it can play any Action you gain, not just the first one.
Deprecated official FAQ (2021)
Deprecated rules clarifications (2021)
Innovation is a Project that lets you immediately play a single Action card you gain on each of your turns; it's most likely to be powerful when it creates good opportunities for gain-and-play, often with gainers that can be deployed during your Action phase. While these gain-and-play scenarios (and therefore Innovation) are often extremely valuable for accelerating the building of an engine, Innovation can be skippable in Kingdoms where such abilities are not so valuable, most commonly because you’re pursuing a money strategy, or because there are no good gainers.
Certain Action cards are greatly enhanced in value if you can play them straight away after gaining them, even if this is during your Buy phase. This includes many Attacks, which very often benefit from early and frequent play. If a strong Attack (such as Charlatan) is present in the Kingdom, it will usually be preferable to buy a copy as early as possible instead of delaying it until after you’ve bought Innovation; however, it is probably useful to get Innovation before buying additional copies of the Attack card, especially if you have other uses for the Project as well. Similarly, Innovation is highly beneficial when it can provide you with immediate access to the full benefit of a card while avoiding the need to ever spend draw or terminal space on it (e.g. with Hireling or Distant Lands) or help you set up your next turn, as with many Duration and Reserve cards; Tactician is a particularly notable example, as Innovation allows you to play it after putting your Treasures into play.
Additionally, Innovation enhances the value of many gainers. Notably, Horse-gainers such as Cavalry become non-terminal draw cards on their first play each turn (if you use Innovation to play the Horse), which can greatly improve your deck control and occasionally salvage a dud hand. Similar benefits apply to several Workshop variants and other gainers; for example, Ironworks can supply a village effect if you use it to gain and Innovate a non-terminal Action card. These effects can be especially powerful when you can also make use of Innovation to help you collide particular cards. For example, in a Tournament game, you can gain Tournament when you have a Province in hand; or, if you want to use Treasure Map to add payload to your engine, you can gain your second copy when you have the first one in hand. A similar case is with Throne Room and its variants, which may be usefully gained when you have a good target card in hand.
During the Buy phase, Innovation can sometimes be used to micromanage your ratio of Buys to Wine Merchant).. Most usefully, if you have excess but lack +Buy, you can simply buy a card that provides the latter and play it right away, perhaps even recouping some of its cost in the process (e.g. with
Because Innovation only works a single Action card that you gain each turn you need to decide in advance on which card you want to use the effect if you will gain multiple Action cards in one turn. If for example you were to use an Action gainer and also buy an Action card, you would have to weigh the benefits against each other that you would get from playing each of the cards immediately.
|The first time you gain an Action card in each of your turns, you may set it aside. If you do, play it.||Renaissance||November 2018|
|The first time you gain an Action card during each of your turns, you may play it.||Renaissance (2021 printing)|
|Once during each of your turns, when you gain an Action card, you may play it.||June 29, 2022|
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