Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Featured Card: Hawker

I received a good deal of feedback from Reddit on my previous post, and the general consensus was that Hawker was too strong.

I want to explain my reasoning behind the card.

The card itself is essentially a combination of Caravan and Market Square, yet cheaper than either. Market Square is a cantrip buy for $3, but it has a powerful reaction that inflates its cost. Its Caravan effect requires  you to pollute your deck with unnecessary buys.

It was actually originally $3, but I found that on too many boards, there was not enough to justify a second buy to get the effect, so I dropped the price to $2 so that they could feed themselves. This is not necessarily a balance issue, but just that it is so much more fun to play with it at the $2 price bracket.

In the Dominion Fan Card Creation Guide, it states that the cost of cards is not linear. The difference between $2 and $3 is near insignificant, but what I want to focus on is the difference between $4 and $6; namely the cost of buying two of them. Hawker is a card you want to mass, by design. That runs contrary to being cost $3, where you have to sacrifice a gold buy in order to buy more than one of them in a turn.

Admittedly, this price only is justifiable if you view the extra buy as a disadvantage. In a game where extra copper is good to have, or the extra buys can get useful cards, it can become a dominant force. In particular, it combines well with:

  • Gardens
  • Duke
  • Silk Road
  • Goons
  • Fools Gold (a cheap, massable card that benefits from large hand size? yes, please)
  • Coppersmith (the increased hand size and extra copper feed him very well)
  • Apothecary (extra buys work well with a low potion cost, especially one that feeds off of coppers)
  • Counting House (helps amass copper and expand your deck, as well as offering a bit of control over your reshuffles by playing them or not)
  • Peddler

The trade off is that in games where it will be powerful, it becomes a matter of skill to know how early to start massing Hawkers. If you open with a Hawker and buy more at every opportunity, you will end up with a fairly weak deck against an opponent that powers ahead.

Much like Chapel, I prefer this card at the $2 price bracket, not because of any particular balance issues, but because it generates more interesting games and decisions when it is cheaper.

1 comment:

  1. Works with: Trader

    Turns it into a powerful BM combo.