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Wishing Well, a luck-based card.

Luck-based cards are cards which have an above-average reliance on luck for their effects. Due to the nature of Dominion, there is a certain amount of luck involved with any card - when it comes into your hand, when it is most useful to use - but these cards incorporate luck or randomness as a feature. There are three broad categories.


[edit] Naming cards

Also called "guessing" cards, these cards feature the wording "Name a card." The player is required to say the name of any card, including those not in the game of Dominion, and then the effect of the card proceeds based on the choice the player makes. As a general rule, keeping close track of your deck aids in the use of these cards, but there will always be an element of luck, as the deck is shuffled randomly. As such, cards that either inspect the top of your deck or stack your deck to begin with help immensely.

  • Wishing WellWishing Well.jpg - the archetypal naming card; without a keen knowledge of your deck, this card is essentially gambling - if you win, it's a LaboratoryLaboratory.jpg, if you lose, it's a vanilla cantrip
  • MysticMystic.jpg - a Peddler variant on Wishing Well
  • RebuildRebuild.jpg - the least luck-involved naming card, as it will still always hit a Victory card. On the other hand, the outcome of a single Rebuild play often makes the difference between winning and losing, and Rebuild is thus considered a one of the most luck-based cards.
  • DoctorDoctor.jpg - the trashing Wishing Well variant
  • JourneymanJourneyman.jpg - when you "lose" with this card, you still draw 3 cards, but "winning" can mean skipping over several unwanted cards, netting a much better draw
  • SorcererSorcerer.jpg - A cantrip if your opponents guess the top card of their deck correctly, but if they don't, it becomes a cantrip curser
  • SorceressSorceress.jpg - Also a vanilla cantrip if you guess the top card of your deck incorrectly, but like SorcererSorcerer.jpg becomes a cantrip curser if you guess correctly.

[edit] "Line-'em-up" cards

These cards' sole (or at least primary) effect depends entirely on matching it with a specific other card. In contrast to the naming cards, which have luck built into what they do when played, "line-'em-up" cards have luck built into how they appear in your hand. And unlike the randomness of combos coming together, these cards are essentially dead in the water without this specific other card. As such, strategies with them typically involve sifters or cards that can carry other cards from turn to turn, such as HavenHaven.jpg or SchemeScheme.jpg.

  • BaronBaron.jpg - without an EstateEstate.jpg in hand, this is just an Estate gainer
  • Treasure MapTreasure Map.jpg - the most notorious "line-'em'-up", it is useless without another Treasure Map, and is worded in such a way that Scheme should never be used to help it
  • TournamentTournament.jpg - while not a dud without a Province (until everyone else has one), it can't fulfill its primary function without one: acquiring Prizes
  • UrchinUrchin.jpg - while any Attack will turn it into a MercenaryMercenary.jpg, it usually ends up being another Urchin, particularly if Urchin is the only Attack in the kingdom
  • CultistCultist.jpg - powerful enough when it doesn't line up, hitting a Cultist chain makes this one of the strongest $5 cards
  • EncampmentEncampment.jpg - returns to the Supply if you don't reveal a GoldGold.jpg or PlunderPlunder.jpg
  • LegionaryLegionary.jpg - doesn't Attack if you don't reveal a Gold
  • Magic LampMagic Lamp.jpg - needs 6 unique cards in play to turn into 3 Wishes

[edit] Deck-random cards

These cards reveal cards from your or an opponent's deck, and produce an effect based on what's revealed. This ranges from just determining what card is gained, to determining how much of a vanilla bonus to bestow, if at all. Again, barring deck inspection or stacking, this is rather random, and these cards tend to be on the weak side. Digging cards are not included, as they seek out a specific card or card type, whereas these work with whatever's on top of the deck. Cards in italics have been removed.

  • VassalVassal.jpg - likes Action-heavy decks
  • TributeTribute.jpg - a kinder version of Thief that almost never fails, though certain outcomes are more desirable
  • HarvestHarvest.jpg - with some work, you can stack your deck to maximize your yield, and in general in mid to late game, it gives at least $3 anyway
  • JesterJester.jpg - a Swindler variant that doesn't trash
  • VagrantVagrant.jpg - a Wishing Well variant with a card type clause instead of naming
  • IronmongerIronmonger.jpg - whichever bonus your deck yields is usually welcome
  • DoctorDoctor.jpg - its overpay option
  • HeraldHerald.jpg - likes Action-heavy decks
  • MagpieMagpie.jpg - likes decks with a fair amount of Treasures
  • PatricianPatrician.jpg - likes decks with expensive cards
  • Chariot RaceChariot Race.jpg - whether it gives +$1 and +1VP depends on what is revealed from the decks of you and the player to your left
  • Will-o'-WispWill-o'-Wisp.jpg - likes decks with cheap cards
  • Zombie MasonZombie Mason.jpg - tries to UpgradeUpgrade.jpg the top card of your deck
  • PiazzaPiazza.jpg - likes Action-heavy decks
  • GambleGamble.jpg - likes Action-heavy decks
  • CourierCourier.jpg - can fail to play a card if only Victory or Curse cards are in your discard
  • HunterHunter.jpg - likes decks with equal amounts of Victory, Action, and Treasure cards

All Fate and Doom cards fall into this category, as does Black MarketBlack Market.jpg, though they use separate, special decks of cards, rather than your own deck.

All trashing attacks fall into this category because they randomly trash cards from a player's deck and can have highly variable impact depending on what they trash.

[edit] Reactions

Many Reactions require them to be in your hand during your opponent's turn when you only have access to five cards, typically.

Some cards do not have the Reaction type but have another effect that makes it important to have specific cards in hand at the right time, notably TournamentTournament.jpg and GladiatorGladiator.jpg.

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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