Soft terminal

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Gear, a soft terminal card.

Soft terminal is a subcategory of terminal Actions that Donald X. Vaccarino finds useful to take into account when designing expansions. These are terminals that mitigate collisions by giving a use for other Actions that collide with them, such as discarding or trashing unplayable Action cards for some benefit. They may be contrasted with "hard" terminals, which leave other Actions in your hand dead.

This is not a commonly used term in competitive Dominion discourse, and is more likely to be used in card design discussions.

[edit] Examples

Cards in italics have been removed.

Terminal Durations and Reserves, in general, can fill a similar role to soft terminals, since they can be staggered over more than one turn while still providing their effects.

RenaissanceRenaissance.jpg has fewer soft terminals than other sets because Villagers, one of its primary mechanics, provides an alternative way to mitigate collisions. Similarly, MenagerieMenagerie (expansion).jpg introduces Ways, which let Actions be played in a way that can alter their terminality.

[edit] Trivia

While many players say they had mentally sorted cards into a nameless category similar to this, there had not been a specific name for it until Donald X. revealed in his ongoing interview on the forums that it was a category he explicitly endeavored to make cards for. "Soft terminal" arose as the community favorite title for the category, but other names floated were "self-synergy", "supercollider", and "mitigator". Donald X. himself suggested "spammable terminal".

A category I refer to some that you guys don't so much is Remodel/Vault. I guess I don't have a catchy name for it. The category is, cards that if you draw two of them give you a use for the other one despite being terminal. Sets want a good number of Remodels/Vaults; it's a basic way to deal with the one-action-a-turn rule. To let you build basic different kinds of decks, you have terminals, Villages, cantrips, Remodels/Vaults.

They give you a use for dead actions. They are useful with a copy of themselves but also with other dead actions. You use them on themselves especially often but that's not because they are especially good at that, it just falls out of this being the card you can spam. Spammable terminals, there you go.

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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