|Type(s)||Action - Attack|
Each player (including you) reveals the top card of their deck and either discards it or puts it back, your choice. Then reveal cards from your deck until revealing one that isn’t an Action. Put all of those revealed cards into your hand.
Scrying Pool is an Action–Attack card from Alchemy. When you play Scrying Pool, you first do a Spy-like attack on your opponents and on your own deck, and then draw all the Action cards off the top of your deck. If all you have is Action cards, a single Scrying Pool will draw your whole deck.
- First each player reveals their top card, and discards it or puts it back, with you choosing separately for each player.
- If people care about the order, go clockwise, starting with yourself.
- After that, reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal a card that is not an Action card.
- If you run out of cards without revealing a [non-]Action card, shuffle your discard pile and keep going. If you have no discard pile left either, stop there.
- Put all of the Action cards you revealed from your deck into your hand, plus that first non-Action card.
Other Rules clarifications
- There is a typo in the official FAQ; it says "Action card" where it should say "non-Action card". That error is corrected above.
- Cards with multiple types, one of which is Action, are Actions.
- The only cards that go into your hand are the ones revealed as part of revealing cards until finding a non-Action; you do not get discarded cards from the first part of what Scrying Pool did, or cards from other players' decks.
Scrying Pool is a powerful card because, in the right Kingdoms, it offers potentially unlimited draw. In decks that are mostly Action cards, Scrying Pool can allow you to draw your entire deck relatively easily, allowing you to reliably play all your stop card payload (such as Coven), enabling gain and play scenarios, and synergizing well with discard for benefit cards such as Artificer. Scrying Pool’s strength, therefore, is largely tied to whether the rest of the Kingdom allows you to get to that kind of deck. Junking Attacks can make that goal nearly impossible, while strong thinners such as Steward often make it feasible. Kingdoms with lots of cheap Actions, especially cantrips such as Harbinger, can also allow you to easily flood your deck with cards that Scrying Pool can draw.
Scrying Pool’s Potion before buying a Scrying Pool. This means you need to plan in advance whether you want Scrying Pools or not. If Scrying Pool is good in a particular Kingdom, you’ll often want to open with a Potion to start getting Scrying Pools as soon as possible. Second, you’ll need to keep the Potion in your deck to get more Scrying Pools. This is an additional non-Action card that may get in the way of Scrying Pool’s draw, and exacerbates Scrying Pool’s struggles in Kingdoms with no thinning. Third, because Potion is useless for affording other non- cards, you’ll usually only have one, limiting you to gaining one Scrying Pool per shuffle.cost has several repercussions. First, you’ll need to buy a
Scrying Pool’s initial reveal and optional discard of the top card of all players’ decks is a relatively small component of the card’s overall strength. Revealing the top card of your own deck is useful sifting, as you can discard non-Action card junk to make it miss the shuffle and increase your odds of drawing more cards, or keep an Action card on top to guarantee you draw at least two cards. As an attack, Scrying Pool is low-impact. It can sometimes cause duds for your opponents if you can leave a junk card such as an Estate on top of their deck, trigger bad shuffles for them, or cause their good cards to miss the shuffle, but oftentimes if you’re able to play enough Scrying Pools to cause that to happen, they will also have Scrying Pools to discard the topdecked junk, or simply draw to their own good cards. Sometimes, Scrying Pool can allow you to more precisely use cards that care about the top of your opponent’s deck, such as Swindler, Chariot Race, and Jester.
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
Each player (including you) reveals the top card of his deck and either discards it or puts it back, your choice. Then reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal one that is not an Action. Put all of your revealed cards into your hand.
|Alchemy 1st Edition||May 2010|
| +1 Action
Each player (including you) reveals the top card of their deck and either discards it or puts it back, your choice. Then reveal cards from your deck until revealing one that isn't an Action. Put all of the revealed cards into your hand.
|Alchemy 2nd Edition||December 2018|
Other language versions
For strumphf's 2022 advent calendar, Donald X. went in-depth on the development of Scrying Pool.