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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Top 10 Expansions We Own: #4

Everyone loves that tantalizing sound of money in their hands.  Realizing that you’ve prospered from those days when you toiled in the fields wearing your straw hat just struggling to make ends meet.  Now, after years of hard work, you’ve risen to great heights and you’re moving forward to conquer a world that you once feared, but now envy’s you.  Coming in at our number 4 expansion is Dominion: Prosperity.  This is the 4th expansion to the deck-building game, Dominion.  It adds 25 new Kingdom cards to the game, plus 1 new base Treasure card, and 1 new Victory Point card, both of which allow you to build above Gold and Province.  Your central theme is wealth.  There are treasures with abilities, cards that interact with treasures, and powerful expensive cards.  Read on to see more. 
When it comes to any card game deck-building or not, we look at what kind of new cards come with the expansion. After all, it’s the newer cards that make all the difference in the expansion. As mentioned above, most of this expansion will revolve around wealth so that means most of the cards will: 
1) Cost more but do a lot more 
2) Provide more opportunities for gaining more currency 
3) Hoarding treasure in order to trash and discard unwanted cards 
4) More buy opportunities
There is a lot more opportunity for hoarding items and utilizing some of these cards to trash or discard unwanted cards and that hasn’t been as heavily used in its predecessors like Seaside, and Intrigue.  Philosopher's Stone and Harem dealt with areas of the game that we new before (combination cards and simple value adjustments). This set, however, brings a whole new equation to the game: treasures that effectively perform actions during the buy phase without taking up any action slots in your turn.

In addition to the newer cards, another change that Prosperity brings to Dominion are the Platinum Treasure cards, and the Colony Victory Point cards. These cards made a big impact on Dominion, as the option for higher currency and victory points is always a welcome change. The extra victory points could even be used to prolong gameplay if so desired.  Using them in addition to Province cards provides the desire to aim higher which is always better.  In terms of the actions, there are some new concepts and some revisions of old ones. Some of the cards are simply overpowered versions of things that we have seen before: King's Court, Grand Market and Expand are upgraded versions of Remodel, Salvager, Throne Room, and Market, respectively.  These cards in particular, while very expensive, tilt the balance of the game significantly and give the player many more interesting things to do.

Prosperity also introduced the VP tokens! Up until this point, the previous expansions like Seaside introduced the gold tokens, but Prosperity introduces the 1 and 5 player tokens for additional points at the end of the game along with more gold tokens.  The small VP tiles act as a place-holder for VP tokens (the silver shields).  There is a single tile that is only reserved for gold tokens and it directly correlates to the Trade Route card.  The Trade Route card is an action card that trashes a card and gives money proportional to how many different Victory cards have been gained.  As such, it becomes stronger when there are more different types of VP cards in the Kingdom.  Depending on which way you look at it, Trade Route is either a useful card throughout the whole game, or a card that anti-synergizes with itself. The forced trashing ability is quite valuable early but a pain in the late game.  Although, it doesn’t provide any money until the late game, and the +Buy is equally useless unless you have enough money to make it worthwhile.

All of this to say, these are some of the primary reasons why I chose Prosperity as our best expansion for Dominion.  Seaside is a close, very close second and anyone who has played Seaside knows why that is.  Seaside introduced the Duration cards which was huge, but Prosperity introduced the Colony and Platinum cards.  I still maintain that this is one of the most important upgrades to the game.  Intrigue was also essential for a while, but that's primarily because Intrigue is a standalone and expansion.  Prosperity does require either the base game of Dominion or Dominion Intrigue to play.  When I look at Prosperity, I just can't say no to those awesome little metal tokens both the gold and the silver VP tokens.  Its high caliber components and superior diverse strategy speaks for itself.  This particular expansion just carries more quality and multitudes of options during gameplay for me to put it any lower.  It belongs on top. 

Dominion: Prosperity
Overall Meeple Rating: 8/10

New additions:
1) Platinum & Colony Base Cards
2) 25 new Kingdom cards
3) Engraved Metal gold and VP tokens
4) Placeholder VP token tiles

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below.

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