Alright, this is the last bit of Dominion for ostensibly a while. It’s been a long road, but we’re here. So let’s not waste any time.
Announced at the same time as Dominion Second Edition, Dominion: Intrigue Second Edition was another way to update one of the older pieces of Dominion (depending on how you feel about ~2009 as “old”). How does it change Intrigue, though? Keep reading and find out.
So, I mentioned this already with the first Update Pack, but want to reiterate this for people who are considering picking this up: This is not an expansion or a base game. It is an update pack. You need at least one instance of Dominion’s base cards and likely a base game or an expansion in order to play Dominion. Also, unlike the original Dominion: Intrigue, this is not a standalone expansion. You should buy the base Dominion first, as it comes with the Base Cards. If you, for some unknowable reason, want to play with five or six players, you’ll need another set of Base Cards.
As with all other instances of Dominion, this comes with sets of Kingdom Cards. While Adventures and Empires had a ton, this one has only 7, like the other Update Pack:
Since you need 10 sets of Kingdom Cards to play, I’m adding in a few of the Kingdom Cards from Dominion: Intrigue [First Edition], but I’m removing from the rotation any cards that would have been removed from the Second Edition. Namely, these cards, which are no longer in Dominion: Intrigue as of the Second Edition:
I can’t even feign being sad about losing these, though I kind of liked Great Hall. Anyways. First, you’ll want to give each player 3 Estate cards and 7 Copper cards. They’ll put those together to form their starting deck. Now, set aside the base cards (Copper, Silver, Gold, Estate, Duchy, Province, Curse), and then set them up:
- For 2 players:
- Use 8 Estate, Duchy, Province, and any other Victory (green) cards (such as Mill).
- Use 10 Curse cards.
- For 3 players:
- Use all 12 Estate, Duchy, Province, and any other Victory (green) cards.
- Use 20 Curse cards.
- For 4 Players:
- Use 12 Estate, Duchy, Province, and any other Victory (green) cards.
- Use all 30 Curse cards.
As you’ll note, even dual-type Victory cards (Treasure-Victory or Action-Victory) count as Victory Cards for setup purposes, so make sure you use the correct number. Grab your randomizer cards and choose 10. This review is Second Edition-centric, so I’m going to keep those 7 new sets fixed and choose 3 from the rest of the Dominion: Intrigue set:
Once you’ve set out the Base Cards and the Kingdom Cards, you should have your Supply ready:
And then each player should shuffle their starting deck and draw 5 cards. Once you’ve done that and are ready to start playing, your play area should look like this:
If you still don’t know what a deckbuilder is, please see my Dominion: Intrigue review. The fact of the matter is that this is just seven new cards for Dominion: Intrigue, so it plays roughly the same otherwise. This one plays more to the theme of “cards with choices”, so you’ll see a lot of varied options on cards (and cards that benefit from having cards with multiple types in your deck).
The main changes are the removed cards, which, as with the original Dominion Update Pack, I kind of hate. I vaguely liked Tribute and usually enjoyed Great Hall, but you can’t make a Dominion: Intrigue omelet without breaking a few Dominion: Intrigue eggs. I’ll talk a bit more about the cards in Strategy.
As for the rest of Gameplay, it’s an Update Pack for Dominion: Intrigue, so it plays the same as Dominion: Intrigue does.
Player Count Differences
See Dominion: Intrigue’s player count differences.
Short article since there’s only 7 cards. I’ll talk mostly about their interactions with the rest of Dominion: Intrigue. That said, I can talk about each card, for once, which I can’t do with most of the other sets If you’d like to read more about them, check the Dominion Strategy Wiki, though again I’m going to be pretty light since the cards are pretty new as of time of writing.
- Mill is kind of generic, but still useful. It’s nice to have the cantrip (+1 Card +1 Action) in your deck that’s worth 1VP, and it also interacts nicely with other cards that want more than one type (Courtier, for instance). Furthermore, it lets you turn a mediocre draw (3 Copper, 2 Estates) into 5 money, which is pretty solid. My personal favorite thing to do is to use Replace to trash an Estate, gain this (it goes on top of your deck and it gives every other player a Curse), then trash this with Replace to gain a Gold, then trash that Gold with a Replace to gain a Province. Convoluted? Sure. Worth it? Of course.
- Replace has some nice cards that it synergizes with. As I mentioned, it’s great if you’re going Estate -> Mill (or really any card to any *-Victory card), since you top-deck it and you Curse your opponents. It also lets you turn any “tier” of Treasures to the same tier of Victory Cards (Copper -> Estate -> Silver -> Duchy -> Gold -> Province), or upgrade that Victory card to the next tier of Treasure. It’s neat. Plus, trashing Actions can be pretty good.
- Lurker is fun, especially with Throne Room, but it’s even better if you can get other players to do the work for you. Playing Lurker to snatch someone’s hard-trashed card out of the trash seems pretty satisfying, but if that’s not the life you want to lead, it might be worth playing with a Throne Room to maybe get that high-cost Action card (Peddler? Prince? … King’s Court?) that you couldn’t quite afford otherwise.
- If you play Diplomat with only 4 cards in hand (3 after you play Diplomat), it becomes +2 Cards +2 Actions. I know it says that on the card, but that’s particularly useful. It also lets you get rid of junk in your hand (and preps you for your next turn so you can get that +2 C +2 A. That’s not bad for a Reaction, with pretty much any kind of Attack (other than gaining garbage to your trash). Generally seems worth picking up.
- Courtier loves multitype cards. Having read through the wiki there’s Dame Josephine from Dark Ages that has four types (Action-Victory-Knight-Attack) if you’re looking to blow someone’s mind, but other than that there’re a few cards with three types and many with two, so it’s usually worth having around if you’re going for a diverse deck (or if the Kingdom supports it).
- Secret Passage is a lot of fun. I used it to great effect with Wishing Well to put a card below the top card of my deck and, wouldn’t you know, I managed to guess that card correctly every time with Wishing Well. You can also use it to hide garbage at the bottom of your deck or set yourself up with other cards (trashing the top card of your deck or discarding it to get rid of trash, or hiding a Victory card / Curse in your deck to grab with Patrol). It’s great when it synergizes, but even without it’s still pretty useful.
- Patrol is solid. While I’d love it if it had +Actions in there, it’s great for clearing out Victory cards from your deck. If you’re running a very light deck and you don’t want to draw Provinces once you start buying them it’s very helpful — essentially an Apothecary from Alchemy, but focused on Victory cards so you can get rid of them from future hands. Even better if you can use Secret Passage to bury Victory Cards further down in your deck for Patrol to fish out, as I noted previously.
Pros, Mehs, and Cons
- I like most of these cards, too. As I said with the previous Update Pack, it feels like this set enjoys the benefits of being created after Empires (my favorite expansion) and just feels well-designed. That’s a good thing, and injecting that into an old set makes the whole game better.
- Fits the theme of Intrigue well. These all seem like cards that should have been added to a new Intrigue set, based off the old theme but informed by an extra 7-or-so years of development. It feels polished and well-thought-out, and I appreciate that. Not that the old ones didn’t, but rather that two of my favorite expansions are Adventures and Empires and I assume that’s also because I feel like they’ve benefitted from all the previous expansions. Practice makes perfect and all that.
- I didn’t like most of the cards that got cut. Coppersmith is arguably one of the worst cards in the game unless you draw it and 4 Copper for a turn 3 Province. It’s possible, just unlikely. Saboteur was also irritating, so, good riddance.
- Someone is not going to realize that Dominion: Intrigue is no longer a standalone expansion and it’s going to infuriate them. I can just see it happening already. I can understand for consistency why it makes more sense now that it’s not standalone (mostly that literally no other expansions are, and I would never play Dominion at 5+, personally), but it is definitely a place where someone will get confused and mad, especially since there are only 7 sets of cards in here, just like the previous Update Pack. Then again, if you buy both, that’s essentially a mini-expansion.
- Pour one out for Great Hall and Tribute. They weren’t great cards, but I liked them just fine. Thankfully, there’s no rule that says I can’t play with them anymore.
- The updated rules eliminate the Masquerade Pin. I can’t say I’ve ever used it or wanted to use it, but the option is now gone. Sad. It’s a bit irritating that they changed that but didn’t include updated cards, but, on the other hand, I wouldn’t have wanted to pay extra for what’s essentially a cosmetic change.
- I think I just like Intrigue less than most Dominion expansions. These cards are solid and they work well with the theme, but I think I find the theme rather bland, so there’s not much to be done about it. Oh well. I still like it more than Alchemy, though that’s not saying a whole lot.
- The box is rather small. I had the same problem with the other Second Edition, so it’s not really fair to complain about both because they were made at the same time, but oh well.
- I’m still not terribly enamored with the idea of Second Editions. I would rather see a full expansion, the occasional promo, or nothing than every Dominion set getting a Second Edition, as I’ve mentioned previously. I’m not penalizing this game in particular for that, but I’m a bit miffed about it here, too. I’ll be a lot madder if there’s a Seaside Second Edition, but I also assume there invariably will be.
Overall: 7.5 / 10
Overall, I think this is a solid set for Intrigue’s Second Edition. I like the new cards that are added (surprisingly, I think I like all of them. Probably Courtier the least?) and I think that they’ll add some cool new twists to Intrigue and any set you throw them into. Maybe it’ll be enough for me to dust off Intrigue and start playing with that set more regularly. Maybe.