Embargo-a-go-go gsa 2016 calendar


• We’re operating under the assumption that Embargo isn’t the best card for your turn (it usually isn’t)– so you make a sub-optimal play to impact a pile equally for both yourself and your opponent. The idea that you gain a crucial card then Embargo the pile for an advantage implies that you gain the card, then draw your Embargo and play it BEFORE your opponent is able to gain a single copy. That’s assuming a lot from your draws (if your plan is to get lucky, you probably need a better plan).

– When you want a silver, but only for like a minute: If there is a card at the $5-$6 price point you want to gain and play as many times as possible as quickly as possible (like Mountebank or Trading Post), you probably need better than coppers to get there. Often, once that card is in your deck, you’d rather not need to draw through a silver again so you can play the power card more often, potentially making Embargo’s disappearing act a benefit over Silver.

Embargo Provinces: A strong play when you see your opponent has built a lower-payload deck, such as one that gains one province per turn, while you’re building to do more than that. Putting the token on Provinces before your opponent gets one can give you some breathing room to build more or outscore with alt VP like Vineyard or Silk Road.

The initial read on the board suggests that Familiar will be somewhat dominant, especially with Obelisk on it. There are thinning options with Dismantle and Exorcist, which also increase the quality of your deck to reward plus buy and draw. However, without Embargo, the ability to thin a single card per turn is normally too weak to pass on Familiar.

Screwyioux opens 2-5 and buys Embargo Exorcist, deciding that Familiar is weaker than his other options so long as he gets fewer curses from it than normal. Screwyioux draws and plays Embargo next turn. Not having gained Potion himself, he Embargoes the Familiar pile. The opponent gains a Familiar and a curse.

By the end of the game, the board looks like this (Screwyioux often picking up an Embargo instead of a Silver): Notable plays in between include Screwyioux Embargoing Shanty Town as soon as the opponent buys a Royal Blacksmith, Opponent Embargoing Farmer’s Market after Screwyioux gains one (debatable whether or not this was a good idea) and Screwyioux Embargoing Duchies once he’d established a province lead.

1. Summon. Say you have a 5/2 and the only useful $3 is Silver and there is a nice $4 you would buy at $5 regardless. Summon an embargo, slap it on the silvers and then your opponent is left in the lurch. More generally a 5/2 has a decent shot of Embargoing the clutch $5 before the opponent gets it.

2. Mid turn gaining. This can either be a singleton (Governor a Copper -> Embargo, draw and embargo Governors) or more fun a double (e.g. Tr -> Iw -> draw -> Embargo Tr and Iw). This often allows you to selectively Embargo when you have a pile advantage.

3. Unilateral trashing. The biggie here is Bm, but a few other options also exist: Dame Anna, unilateral Goat (e.g. they Islanded theirs or you Pirate shipped it away), Sauna/Catapult shortage (e.g. after you’ve Swindled theirs), Lurker/Zombie mason, and short piles on Farmland/Cemetery when you have a second turn coming (Outpost/Mission). If you are the only one who can trash curses this can become something huge.

4. Embargo has a rare, but exceedingly powerful, role of allowing you to multiply your gains for 3-piling. Dropping an Embargo on the curse pile drops the required buys down to 5. Putting two on it drops it to 3 + a gainer. Yeah you have to absorb 10 VP, but that can be quite doable (e.g. Goons board) and of course there is Wt; even without those if the other guy is building to a megaturn you can relatively quickly down two piles by gaining Embargos and embargoing the curses/Embargoes. If you are up two provinces that is more than enough to win. Another option is where you can pile down the Estates and dropping two embargoes (e.g. from Engineer) on the estates lets you double pile for -2 VP. Embargoing the curses, the estates or the embargoes is one of the fastest ways to increase your total gain count.

5. Outside of 3-piling, Embargo is also useful for increasing your gains. For instance Embargo on anything can mean a free silver (or better Changeling) with a Trader in hand. If you are going to get several triumphs to end the game, embargoing coppers can make your curses duchies or better.

Lastly, there is a lot of value at high level play for having a “threat in being”. You buy a respectable $3 on T1, I open Embargo. You now need to decide if it is worth it to go for Potion (I might just embargo it), go silver (and let me get Potion uncontested for a shuffle), or go Embargo yourself. I may have a $5 and have no thought of going Potion or I might be making a run for it and assuming that one copy is sufficient (e.g. Familiar or University). Worse it can force you to take things you really want NOW rather than wait till later (e.g. you hit a $5 on T3 and want to buy a nice Catacombs … but I might embargo the village on T3 and then you are either gaining a curse or going terminal heavy). I can just throw it away by embargoing curses or coppers and you may have just lost half a turn.