Dominion has some of the best designed cards of all deck building games. In this post we share some of our personal favorites.
Black Cat is from the newest expansion Menagerie and it’s my favorite reaction card. Reaction cards add some much needed player interaction to Dominion in my opinion.
I like Black Cat because it really complicates end game situations in which you would normally just be buying victory cards as much as you can. Black Cat is not so strong that you wouldn’t buy Provinces anymore, but it definitely makes you think twice before you buy Duchies or Estates.
Forge is one of my favorite cards because it’s very powerful but also very hard to play. You can’t just buy Forge and hope for the best because of how restrictive its conditions are. If you’re going to buy Forge, you should take that intro account with all of your purchases during the game.
Great players can seem lucky when playing Forge, but they’re actually keeping track of all cards in their deck and their cost. They make sure they have some 4 cost and 5 cost cards early on to combine to Platinum. And they have equally many 5 and 6 cost cards later on to forge those into Colonies in and end game sprint.
Goons is almost not worthy on being in this list because it’s one of the most powerful cards in Dominion. If cards are too powerful and dominate the game, that’s a design flaw. Goons kind of does that, but I still mention it here because of its versatility.
Goons is great because it does many things. It’s a hand size attack, which is one of the less oppressive attack because you can’t repeat it multiple times in one turn.
Further, Goons gives you victory point tokens for each card you buy. That’s well designed, because it makes you want to buy a lot of cheap cards, except that cheap cards are usually very bad in the end game. You can counter that with the Goons and Watchtower combo, which is my favorite card combination in all of Dominion.
Cathedral is lovely, because it backfires so often. In the beginning it’s a great project, because you get to trash your bad cards really quickly. But then you don’t have bad cards left and you’re still forced to trash a card every turn!
With Cathedral you either need to end the game quickly, or you need to start buying cards just so you can trash them. It’s probably the card with the strongest effect in all of Dominion and it’s a tricky one to play right.
There’s two fun things about the Bishop. Firstly, it’s a card that has a strong early game effect for both you and your opponent. This makes it tricky to balance how much you want to play it early on, which is fun.
Secondly, this useful early game card is also one of the strongest late game cards. You can use it to trash Platinum or expensive action cards to gain heaps of points. But obviously you need to balance this carefully too, as you don’t want to trash your powerful cards too soon.