|Gain one card from each Action Supply pile.|
Populate is an Event from Menagerie. It allows you to get a copy of every Action in the supply with just one Buy for .
- You gain the top card from each Action pile in the Supply; you do not gain non-supply cards like Horse, or non-Action cards like Stockpile.
- If there are different cards in an Action pile, like the Knights (from Dark Ages), you just get the top one.
- If a pile is empty, you do not gain one of those.
- You choose the order to gain the cards, which sometimes matters; normally you can pick up a card from each pile and then choose what order to gain them in.
- For piles with different cards, the pile is an Action pile if the randomizer is an Action; so, Castles (from Empires) are not one.
- If you gain Cavalry or Villa (from Empires) with Populate, you return to your Action phase right then, but still finish gaining cards from Populate before doing more things.
Other rules clarifications
- If you bought Inheritance, Estates will be Action cards, but Populate won't gain an Estate, because the Estate pile is still a Victory Supply pile.
- Populate gains you the top card of an Action Supply pile, even if the current top card isn't an Action (e.g. it's Fortune or Territory). You can check the types of a kingdom pile by checking its randomizer.
- Ruins are an Action Supply pile, which means that Populate will gain you the Ruins on top.
Populate is a somewhat situational Event, for two chief reasons: its prohibitive cost, and the fact that, in some Kingdoms, it could add an intolerable amount of junk to your deck. However, given the right Kingdom, Populate can be a centralizing way to introduce additional payload to an engine, whilst simultaneously providing draw and villages to support it. Populate can be more desirable with particular Ways, or in the presence of trash for benefit. It also has synergy with cards that appreciate multiple gains, effects that topdeck upon gaining, and some forms of alt-VP.
The best case for Populate is when the Kingdom Action cards provide a balanced mix of draw, villages, and payload—the three components of any good engine deck. This is because you want to be able to effectively use all the cards gained; if you’re unable to play them all or if they interfere with your engine’s ability to operate, you’ve effectively junked yourself. Adding terminals stresses your terminal space, while adding stop cards stresses your ability to draw; villages and draw cards help accordingly. For example, if there is only one pile that can increase your terminal space (such as Village), it might not be possible to support an influx of terminals from Populate, at least not without gaining several copies of the village first. Notably, Academy pairs well with Populate, as it mitigates this problem by increasing your terminal space in the form of a Villager for every Action card you gain. Even if there is a balanced mix offered by the Kingdom, a more focused strategy based around a particular kind of stackable payload such as Bridge, rather than a mix of payload cards, may be better.
Assuming that Populate doesn’t actively hurt your engine, you also want it to improve your deck in a cost-effective manner. Although Populate is expensive at, it can still be cost-effective If the cards you want collectively cost more than ; you’re getting a discount, and instead possibly pay the difference by gaining undesirable Action cards. Another factor to consider is that Populate only takes one Buy, so Populate tends to be more important when +Buy is limited or it is the only way to gain more than one card per turn in the Kingdom. If this is the case, Populate might be the fastest way to build an engine, even if you’re forced to gain some undesirable Actions, as the alternative is slowly taking the desirable cards one at a time.
If you decide that you want Populate, affording it is usually a goal that you need to build towards. Typically this means first getting enough deck control and economy in your deck to start generating close to , then tracking your deck and managing your shuffles to decide when best to pull the trigger. Sometimes it’s more useful to try and spike Populate. This may be the case when doing so rapidly improves the quality of your deck, and is typically enabled by strong one-shot effects such as Stampede or Wine Merchant.
Populate can sometimes still have appeal even if the combination of engine components available isn’t ideal. Certain Ways, especially Pig, Butterfly, and Horse, can improve the outcome of buying Populate: the first allows you to effectively thin certain gained cards by playing them as cantrips (mitigating concerns over excess terminals and/or stop cards such as a mid-game Chapel), whilst the other two let you return undesirable cards in exchange for a preferable card or for draw, with the latter often making a particularly strong case for multiple purchases of Populate throughout the game. For a similar reason, trash for benefit cards (e.g. Apprentice and Salvager) also increase Populate’s value by providing a way to make use of gained cards that you don’t want to keep in your deck. In addition, certain cards, such as Livery and Destrier, benefit from the fact that Populate gains many cards at once.
Populate synergizes with alt-VP that cares about having lots of Action cards. This includes Vineyard, Museum, and Fairgrounds, among others. Populate also synergizes well with Triumph, as it allows you to gain many cards at once.
Since Populate only gains cards from Action Supply piles, it’s less attractive if key engine components don’t have this type, e.g. if the best draw is with Den of Sin or Coin of the Realm is an important village. However, because cards without the Action type can be gained if they come from an Action Supply pile, one potentially attractive target for Populate is an uncovered Fortune, a powerful payload card that is otherwise very expensive.
Occasionally, the order in which you gain cards with Populate can be important. This may matter if you’re using a topdecking effect (such as Tracker) to set up your next turn, or if Cavalry is present as there are likely gain and play opportunities available with careful sequencing.
|Gain one card from each Action Supply pile.||Menagerie||March 2020|
Other language versions
|German||Besiedlung||Nimm eine Karte von jedem Aktions-Vorratsstapel.|
|Japanese||植民 (pron. shokumin)|