Well, it doesn’t look like it was intentional, but we now have information about three of the cards that will be released in the next expansion for Dominion, called Alchemy. It looks like there will be a new type of treasure card, with a new type of currency to go along with it.
The designer hasn’t said anything more about these cards (since the information wasn’t supposed to be released yet), but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate about how they will work!
The first new card is called Potion. This was one that we probably all expected, given the theme of the new set. From what we can tell, it is simply a treasure card which cost 4 coins, and is worth 1 potion. The potions will be used alongside coins to pay for some of the cards in the new expansion.
It’s not clear whether it will be one of the ten kingdom cards present in a game, or whether it will be available at all times (like Copper, Silver, and Gold). It’s just speculation, but given that some cards would simply be impossible to buy without them, I am guessing it will act like the three basic treasure card types, and be available in all games. Otherwise, there would be too many cases where there are unusable cards in the kingdom card pool, as you’ll see below.
The next card that has been revealed gives us some insight into how the potions will be used.
Cost: 3 coins + 1 potion
When you discard this card and a potion from play, you may put this card on top of your deck instead.
(Note that the card descriptions were posted in German, so what I’ve posted above is just a rough translation. It probably won’t be the final English text.)
It looks like Potions won’t just provide a second form of currency, but will also greatly enhance the effects of some of the cards in this expansion.
For example, compare Alchemist to Laboratory from the base set. Laboratory costs 5 coins, and gives you +2 cards, +1 action. It is generally considered to be one of the better cards in the game.
Now we have Alchemist, which only costs 3 coins, but requires a potion. It provides the same effect as a lab, but also has the potential to act like a Treasury (from Dominion: Seaside) if you draw it with a potion. That’s an awfully powerful card!
Of course, the power is offset by the fact that you have to have a potion to buy the card in the first place, but it definitely seems possible to build a very powerful deck using potions and alchemists, given that you end up with the equivalent of a laboratory in two turns for one card.
Like Alchemist, Scrying Pool will cost a combination of coins and potions to buy. Here’s the text (as best as I can tell):
Cost: 2 coins + 1 potion
Type: Action – Attack
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 your deck until you reveal a card that is not an action. Take all of these revealed cards into your hand.
Again, this looks to be a cheaper (except for the potion), more powerful version of another card – in this case, Spy. The best part about this card, though, is how much it improves upon the Spy effect.
One problem with using Spy is that when you look at the top card of your deck, then even if you keep it on top of your deck, you don’t get to draw until the next turn. With Scrying Pool, you get to set yourself up for the next effect. If the top card is an action, keep it and you know you’ll be drawing at least two cards. If it’s not an action, then discard it in hopes that the next one down is.
So, it looks like the theme for Dominion: Alchemy is going to be using potions to get modified versions of older cards. The cards will be harder to obtain (since you’ll need to draw potions in combination with the right amount of money to get them), but will be much more powerful.
Of course, all of this is based on the assumptions that the translations are accurate, and that potions work the way we think they do. Regardless, it looks like Alchemy is going to provide some interesting new gameplay elements. I know I’m looking forward to seeing what other card are going to be revamped.
Dominion: Alchemy is expected to be released later this year.
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