Reveal your hand. If the revealed cards all have different names, +3 Cards. Otherwise, +1 Card.
- You may be looking for the 13th expansion, Menagerie (expansion)
Menagerie is an Action card from Cornucopia. It is one of the banner cards of Cornucopia's theme of diversity, rewarding you with large non-terminal draw if you have no duplicate cards in your hand. In decks that can manage to reliably construct hands of differently-named cards, Menagerie is one of the most powerful cards for its price.
- If there are any two or more cards in your hand with the same name, you only draw one card; if there are no matches, you draw three cards.
- Only the card names matter for this; Copper and Silver are different cards for example, despite both being Treasures.
- If you have no cards in hand at all after playing Menagerie, then you have no matching cards, and so get +3 Cards.
Other Rules clarifications
Menagerie acts either as a cantrip or as powerful non-terminal draw, depending on the conditions under which you play it. In order to activate the latter effect as consistently as possible, the general approaches are to increase the variety of cards in your deck, and/or to reduce your hand size (removing duplicates) before playing Menagerie. Menagerie is one of the strongest draw cards in the game if it can be reliably activated, as it is both more effective and cheaper than other non-terminal draw cards like Laboratory. Even if the Kingdom makes it difficult to reliably achieve this, Menagerie can be a low risk, high reward card as it can still activate if you are lucky enough to draw a hand with no duplicates.
A deck that can reliably activate Menagerie has some features in common with a draw-to-X deck, as both use three general ways to remove cards from your hand.
- One way to reduce hand size and activate Menagerie is to simply play cards. If you have multiple copies of a non-terminal Action card in hand (or terminals with sufficient terminal space), you can easily play them before Menagerie to reach a hand without duplicates, provided these cards don’t themselves draw more copies of a card you already have in hand. Menagerie therefore works especially well in engines relying on payload cards or villages (such as Festival) that do not draw any cards themselves. Less commonly, you can play Treasures before Menagerie, if effects such as Villa or Black Market are present. With Villa, if you enter your Buy phase with a Menagerie in hand, you can play all your Treasures (which are especially likely to include multiple copies of the same card), buy Villa, and return to your Action phase to play the Menagerie with your hand free of duplicates.
- Discarding the offending duplicates is another method, and is especially useful to remove Treasures and Victory cards that you cannot usually play before Menagerie or at all. Discard-for-benefit effects such as Artificer and Hamlet are excellent for this purpose because they are non-terminal, are flexible in the number of cards you can discard, and offer relevant additional effects, while sifting effects such as Forum can be useful to help you find your Menageries at the same time.
- Thinning cards removes them not only from your hand, but also your deck. Thinning a card, most often with a non-terminal thinner such as Forager or Bounty Hunter, has the benefit of not only allowing you to draw now with Menagerie, but also improving the long-term viability of Menagerie.
The variety of cards in your deck is largely determined by two factors: whether you can remove your starting cards, and the duplicate cards you will be adding to your deck.
- The starting cards in your deck are a significant hindrance to Menagerie activation. For this reason, Menagerie is usually not a good choice in the opening, and if you aim to draw this way, thinning your Coppers and Estates is a priority. The presence of Shelters or Heirlooms somewhat alleviates the problem of duplicates among your starting cards, although you are highly unlikely to have more than one or two Heirlooms, so the need to remove Coppers remains. If weak thinning or a strong junker will make it difficult to activate Menagerie, it's likely to be skippable.
- While Menagerie activation is directly dependent on duplicates in your hand, it is more broadly tied to how many duplicate cards are in your deck, and whether or not you can play them before Menagerie. This typically means that adding more than one copy of a terminal, Treasure, or Victory card decreases your odds of activating Menagerie. If ramping your payload or greening necessitates doing so, for example because Gold is the best payload or Provinces are the best way to score, you may need to rely on alternative ways to activate Menagerie or other sources of draw. Some piles are notable for offering many uniques. Black Market is one such example, as it can allow you to build without any worries of adding a duplicate. Castles may also be attractive: since these cards are all different, Menagerie can keep drawing even with a hand full of Victory cards, allowing you to maintain better deck control than usual during greening.
Menagerie’s relationship with other sources of draw is mostly dependent on how easy it is to activate your Menageries, and by extension how well you can control the contents of your hand. If activating it reliably is no problem (e.g., because you have no duplicates in your deck), there may be no need for other sources of draw. If, however, that is less than certain, other sources of draw may be a good supplement. This is likely to be the case if your ability to activate Menageries is dependent on finding specific components at the right time; for example, you may need to find your villages first in order to play your terminal payload, and Laboratory might be able to draw to find those villages when Menagerie cannot.
Menagerie is easy to activate and helpful when you start your turn with a reduced hand size. This allows it to somewhat counteract discarding attacks such as Militia, as these allow you to discard duplicate cards from your hand, activating a copy of Menagerie that may otherwise have played as a cantrip. Menagerie can also help you get more out of your extra turns with Outpost. With a three-card starting hand, it is very likely that you can draw three cards if you have Menagerie in hand. To ensure that you can find a Menagerie on these turns, you may find it useful to use a topdeck effect such as Scheme or a sifter such as Warehouse.
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.
| +1 Action
Reveal your hand.
If there are no duplicate cards in it, +3 Cards.
Otherwise, +1 Card.
|Cornucopia 1st Edition||June 2011|
| +1 Action
Reveal your hand.
If the revealed cards all have different names, +3 Cards.
Otherwise, +1 Card.
|Cornucopia 2nd Edition||March 2018|
Other language versions
Secret Historyper differently named card in your hand. I tried a few versions of that, but it needed to be a threshold instead to work out. It ended up like the printed card, only with +2 cards instead of +3 cards. Then it got squeezed out of Prosperity due to Prosperity's particular requirements for cheap cards. I slotted it right into Cornucopia, and fixed it up by making it twice as good. It helped create the variety theme despite being in the set to support the hand theme.