A Potion is a basic Treasure card from the Alchemy set. It is the only card that produces , and therefore Potion is needed to buy cards with in the cost.
During setup, Potion is added to the Supply if at least one Kingdom card with in the cost is on the board (or in the Black Market deck).
trash-for-benefit cards whose effects depend on a card's cost only consider the cost in and ignore ; most Workshop variants can't gain cards with costs at all.is orthogonal to in a cost; thus, although a card with a cost of is considered to cost "more" than a card costing or less with no , costs of, e.g., and are incomparable—neither is more or less than the other. Many
- This is a basic Treasure card. It costs and produces .
- It is not a Kingdom card; see the Preparation rules.
Potion is a Treasure card that offers a currency completely distinct from . With only a few exceptions, it is the only way to gain cards costing : there are no effects that give Action-based , unlike with , and most gainers are restricted to cards costing only . This means Potion is usually a critical purchase, despite its downsides, when cards costing are important. While the effects of those cards can be very strong (e.g., Possession or Scrying Pool), Potion itself has several issues.
In the opening it is fairly similar to Silver, as a Treasure stop card that can help you hit specific price points early but may not be the most effective long-term payload. Even more so than Silver, its cost can mean that it has a high opportunity cost, i.e. the lost chance to buy or gain something that would have much more immediate benefit than Potion (e.g., a thinner such as Bounty Hunter). Aside from this opportunity cost, Potion is also very narrow and inflexible in its use: in many cases, Potion can only be used to buy one card in the Kingdom, and if you draw a hand that can’t afford that card, your opportunity to obtain that card is lost until the next shuffle and you are less likely to be able to afford something else. More generally, the bottleneck of only being able to buy one cost card per copy of Potion per shuffle limits the strength of many cost cards, as it is slow to acquire them in bulk. Adding more than one Potion is rarely a good idea, as this comes with a heavy additional opportunity cost and negatively impacts your deck control, though it can be worth doing if you are scoring with Vineyard.
Because of this bottleneck, if you want to use cards costing opening; this will especially be the case when playing those cost cards early is especially impactful, for example junking with Familiar or drawing with Apothecary. Conversely, if there are strong cheap cards that will help you initially build more quickly, and the cards costing don’t have as much immediate impact, it may be preferable to delay the Potion slightly. This is more likely to be the case with cost cards, because there is a somewhat small but significant chance of missing the price point when opening with Potion. In other cases, there’s no point in obtaining one until you are ready to afford a more expensive target (notably Possession) or until later still (Vineyard)., you usually need to commit early, which often means buying Potion in the
Certain effects can help solve some of the problems with making effective use of your Potion. Cycling (e.g. Warehouse) can help with the acquisition bottleneck. Effects that can help guarantee you hit a price point (e.g. Coffers from Pageant) can help ensure you do not miss out on buying the card this shuffle. A source of +Buy can also allow you to make use of additional you generate by buying another card, as many cost cards have a low price in , i.e. or . Storeroom is a particularly useful support card for Potion in the early game, as it has all three of these attributes.
Other effects allow you to either acquire Crown or using Stonemason’s overpay effect, or use effects that can gain more copies of a card once you have the first one, for example Changeling, Disciple, or Way of the Rat. For the latter, gainers that do not have a condition such as Lurker or Transport suffice. Notably, Squire can gain any Attack with its on-trash effect, including Scrying Pool and Familiar.cards faster than you otherwise could, or to skip the Potion entirely. In the case of the former, you can stretch a single Potion to two purchases that need it by playing it twice with
Cards with Knights, Smugglers, and Chariot Race). If those effects will be an important part of the Kingdom, likely because they can be played multiple times per turn, cards costing and therefore Potion itself may be slightly more attractive than other alternatives.costs offer some immunity to Attacks and player interaction effects that care about card costs (e.g.,
Given that Potion, as a Treasure, is often a hindrance to your deck control, it may be worth trashing it if you no longer need it: for example, it may no longer be of any use if the Scrying Pools have run out or you if do not need to buy another Familiar because the Curse pile is empty. At , Potion makes a good target for trash-for-benefit effects.
|Alchemy 1st Edition||May 2010|
|never implemented||Base Cards 1st Edition||June 2012|
|Alchemy 2nd Edition||physical set unreleased|
|never implemented||Base Cards 2nd Edition||June 2018|
Other language versions
Is Potion design space limited?
Should Potion give +?