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Best Dominion Expansion (Ranked) In 2021 – Review

You’d come across various deck-building board games under the Dominion Expansion collection. It was introduced in 2008 and became popular because it’s easy to learn. You can play it with 2-4 players at once who are above 13 years. The list below would include the best dominion expansions out there, which are perfect, especially for beginners.

List of dominion expansions

Here are the dominion expansion packs you should definitely try out.

Dominion prosperity

Due to the over-the-top features and aspects of this game, it ranks first. It’s meant specifically for influential players who can afford the expense. Everything you must know about it is as follows –

  • Theme – wealth
  • It includes numerous treasure cards, mainly platinum which offers you a Purchasing power (PP) of 5.
  • Action cards are worth 6 or 7 PP.
  • Colonies grant you 10 Victory Points.
  • It adds 25 Kingdom cards along with 2 ordinary cards to aid the players in moving ahead from Gold and Province.
  • The maximum is dominion 6 players, and the minimum is 2.
  • To extend the game and make it more exciting, you can go for colonies or platinum, which helps beginners and experienced players.
  • You can also obtain provinces and end the game quickly by rushing down your enemy.
  • It contains Forgery and Mint trashing cards that can either work favoring the players or against them, depending on how you use it.
  • You can complete the game within 15 minutes, which is the fastest among all the other collections because of the powerful cards.
Dominion prosperity

Renaissance

This second option is an interesting one since it includes projects that can strategically change the game’s course. For instance, if you enable the Citadel project by playing 8, the first action card you use would replay itself by default. Therefore you’d have to move on to a different tactic.

  • It’s meant for 2-4 players.
  • This consists of 300 cards with 25 new Kingdoms.
  • Theme – villagers, projects, coffers and artefacts.
  • Projects adapt well with other games as well.
  • It re-introduces villagers and coffers in the pack. The latter are physical coins you can use in future turns, and the former are action tokens and function similarly.
  • Choose +1 villager than +1 action, or +1 coffer instead of +1 PP because villagers and coffers can be used in future.
  • You also acquire crazy combinations due to the villagers feature.
Renaissance

Empires

The feature that distinguishes it from other similar board games is its incorporation of landscapes. Here is how it works –

  • This is a dominion expansion for 2 players minimum.
  • It has a 30 minutes duration of game.
  • Landmarks influence the scoring mechanisms. For instance, silver and gold counts are beneficial; however, in the case of Bandit Fort, they’d contribute to 2 negative victory points. So you’d have to dump those counts somehow before the game’s end.
  • It initiates the debt mechanic wherein you can purchase some cards as debt and pay them afterwards before buying any other item
Empires

Seaside

Apart from all the other dominion expansion reviews, this one tops the cake. It has received excellent reviews and for all the right reasons.

  • 2-4 players can play it together.
  • Time duration – 30 minutes
  • Theme – next turn
  • You’d require Dominion or Dominion Intrigue expansion beforehand to use Seaside.
  • The durability cards are easy and exciting to navigate and play a role in the next turn. For instance, Wharf offers you +2 cards and +1 buy the turn you play in the current and next turn.
  • There are three new mats incorporated: the native village, the island and the pirate ship mat. Their role isn’t of much significance.
  • The native village provides great combos; however, it takes extra times to complete the game.
  • Another trait of it is that it offers average card quality, such as Treasure Map. Two treasure maps at once equal 4 gold cards
Seaside

Menagerie

Here is every detail you should know before choosing this product.

  • For 2-4 players above 14 years of age.
  • Duration – 30 minutes.
  • It comprises 400 cards and 30 new kingdom cards.
  • One of its attributes is a mechanic, Exile. It employs power strategies that are suitable for advanced players. Exiling a card refers to removing it from your deck, but you can earn it back.
  • The victory points of these exiled cards still add to the VP. The purpose of their removal is to free the deck without any drawbacks. You can also dump them from the supply itself and acquire them back later on. For example, the gold is eliminated directly from the supply in the Way of the Camel.
  • You’d also come across Way cards, which offers more decision points and tips to improve your strategy. To use this card, you must use an action card and then instead of choosing the effect of the action card, go for the way card. They are available to all indefinitely.
  • Another exciting feature of it is Horses. They are single-use cards that get you an extra card. You can either keep storing horses and use them all at once or use them here and there. It also includes reaction cards, which leads to more interaction amongst players.
  • This expansion is quite complex and hard to understand; therefore, it’s recommended to advanced players only.
Menagerie

Adventures

The addition that sets it apart is the traveller cards; they increase their upgrade after every usage. For example, after playing Page, it transforms to Treasure Hunter, then Warrior, Hero and ultimately a Champion.

  • It’s for 2-6 players above 13 years.
  • Time – 30 minutes.
  • They work better in longer games.
  • Another inclusion is Events. Every game is paired with one or two events always available to the players. To trigger events yourself, you must buy them. For instance, for the Expedition event, pay 3 to purchase 2 extra cards for the subsequent turn.
Adventures

Dark ages

If you’re looking for one of the best dominion expansion, then this is it. The grandness of this pack is astounding.

  • It includes 500 new cards along with excellent interactions.
  • Theme – trashing cards
  • As the name suggests, it depicts a dark side by giving bad cards to your enemies as well as trashing and upgrading them.
  • One of the most notorious cards is Rats, wherein you can trash the card and acquire another Rats card. Its characteristic is to backfire in an instant.
Dark ages

Intrigue

This is the only exp. that isn’t a part of Dominion and is considered a standalone base game. Therefore, Dominion base games aren’t a prerequisite here and if you possess this exp. you can access all other games as well.

  • For 2-4 players
  • Duration – 30 minutes
  • Theme – different victory cards
  • It has a collection of exciting cards as compared to Dominion base games.
  • There are more interaction and choices between effects. For instance, the Pawn card offers you to choose two effects from +1 card, +1 action, +1 buy or +1 purchasing power.
Intrigue

Nocturne

It’s pretty popular among gamers because of the numerous additions it possesses as compared to other similar expansions.

  • It consists of 500 cards and 33 new kingdom cards.
  • 2-6 players can play it at once.
  • Playing time – 30 minutes.
  • This exp. grants an extra night phase after the buy phase wherein you can play with unique night cards.
  • Space for micro-adjustments.
  • Hexes, boons and heirlooms provide dimension to your tactics. Hexes and boons grant you good and bad events once, whereas heirlooms replace the estates in your first deck.
Nocturne

Cornucopia and guilds

These two expansions come together because they are small, so it’s a package deal. However, recently they are being sold separately as well.

  • It’s meant for 2-4 players.
  • Time duration – 30 minutes
  • It consists of Coffers, which we discussed earlier are money tokens that you can save for later use.
  • The variety in it is what makes it one of the most sought-after editions. There are specific cards that reward you for having different cards. For instance, Fairgrounds offers you two VPs for every five distinct cards in your deck.
Cornucopia and guilds

Hinterlands

Specifically made for experienced players, this is quite an intriguing exp.

  • 4 players can indulge in it.
  • Theme buy or gain effects.
  • You’d come across cards that begin with “when you gain this card…” wherein you must put your skills at use.
  • The gameplay is somewhat complicated. Here is an example of the same,
  • “Gain a silver.
  • See the top card of your deck; you may discard it.
  • Draw until you have 5 cards in hand.
  • You may trash a non-treasure card from your hand.
Hinterlands

Alchemy

Even though it’s further down the list, it still holds an essential place in this collection.

  • For 2-4 players
  • 150 new cards
  • Time duration – 30 minutes.
  • Potions. That is all we need to hear. However, potions act as currency in this pack, along with money. Some cards require money plus a few potions to purchase it.
  • The cards are pretty powerful in comparison to other exp. They are balanced as you must buy and draw potions before purchasing cards. For instance, University provides you with two actions and a card, which costs five. It effective and you can buy it for 2 money and a potion.
Alchemy

Dominion 2nd edition

The updated version of the first expansion is what was missing from your game. New cards and artworks adds to the charm.

  • 2-4 players can play it.
  • Time – 30-45 minutes.
  • Theme – simplicity
  • It has a trash mat for trash cards.
  • An updated rulebook with easy-to-understand rules.
  • It’s gender-neutral and creates a base for future upgrades as well.
  • Apart from the cards in the original deck, you acquire 7 more new ones.
  • 30 cards in total; however, only 10 cards are used for one play.
Dominion 2nd edition

Intrigue 2nd edition

This new version of dominion expansion intrigue isn’t quite similar to the earlier version. Here’s why –

  • For 5-6 players maximum if you go for base cards.
  • It removes 6 dud cards and adds 7 new cards instead, which are compatible with other packs.
  • 26 latest kingdom cards.
  • It includes Lurker, Courtier, Mill, Patrol, Diplomat, Secret Passage and Replace cards. Removed cards are Saboteur, Coppersmith, Scout, Secret, Great Hall, Tribute and Chamber.
  • It has an addition of copper, silver and gold.
Intrigue 2nd edition

Big box II

A combo of the best aspects of both Dominion 2nd edition and Intrigue 2nd edition expansions makes it the player’s favourite.

  • 2-6 people can enjoy it at once.
  • Duration – 30 minutes.
  • It consists of 500 dominion cards, 300 intrigue cards and 100 cards.
  • An addition of trash mat and a rulebook also.
  • Numerous pre-built setups.
Big box II

Base cards

Unlike the other expansions, it’s not a game per se but a reprinted version of cards used in them with new artwork.

  • 5-6 players can play together.
  • Duration – 30 minutes
  • There are 250 cards: Victory, Treasure and Curse cards combined.
  • A trash card with a relatively new design.
  • Easy to differentiate the four copper, silver, gold and platinum treasure cards.
  • They are compatible with all the packs, and you could get Properties or Hinterlands base game if you don’t have one already.
  • You can use it to replace the worn-out cards.
Base cards

Dominion Expansion details

There are particular things you should understand that would help you while buying these products mentioned above.

  • Action – If you play an action card, you must follow what the card instructs you to do. It could ask you to take more cards, activities, trash a card etc. You can play this card only once until told otherwise.
  • Buy – You can’t hold onto treasure cards, and you must play some or all of them. An action card might also offer you treasure, which you can use. However, if you wish to buy a card from the supply, you must play during the action phase. The cost of the cards is mentioned in their lower-left corner. You can buy a card of equal or lesser value to the amount of treasure you possess. Action cards can also enable you to go for extra buys at times. However, if you don’t have much treasure, you can choose copper as it’s free.
  • Clean-up – The name says it all. You can throw your card in the discard pile after their turn as it’s the clean-up stage. After discarding your card, pick 5 other cards from the draw deck. But if the draw deck is empty, shuffle the discard pile and use it as a new draw deck. In the first two turns, you can’t play due to no action cards, which might continue for the entire game. Therefore, if you encounter such a situation, you can move on to the buy and clean-up part.

The game ends when –

  • The Province pile is empty.
  • While playing Prosperity to Colonies, the colony pile becomes empty.
  • Out of the four supply piles, three of them go empty.

After the game finishes, every player should count their VPs, and the highest scorer wins. In case of a tie, the one who used fewer turns will be the winner.

FAQs about Dominion best expansions

Many people are doubtful about how to proceed with these expansions, and even after dominion expansion ranked in the article, they are clueless as to which one should they choose. So we’ll try to ease your mind by clearing out the se confusions.

Which expansion should I purchase first?

According to the dominion expansion reviews above, you should go for the Seaside pack because it’s user-friendly and easy to navigate. Its features are exciting and influential, making it the perfect beginner’s exp.

Can we enjoy the game with only 2 players?

It’s perfectly alright to play with only 2 people because it helps avoid the chaos regarding the King Maker issue or the time duration. Moreover, you can select Prosperity or any other highly ranked exp. as they’d be much better for 2 players.

Is it possible to play Dominion Intrigue alone?

Since Intrigue is a standalone game, it doesn’t require you to play it with other players. It comes under the category of expansion, where the confusion begins; however, it’s still a standalone pack with Victory point cards and Treasure cards.

Are the expansions beginner-friendly?

No, not all the exp. are beginner-friendly, so it’s better to choose easy-to-understand and straightforward ones.

How exciting are the cards in the Expansion pack?

Almost all the EPs are well-designed and made for the entertainment of the players. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t exp. with dud cards that are too bad or situational while playing.

How well does the Exp. combine with other dominion packs?

One of the selling points of these expansions is their ability to be compatible with every dominion pack. It works best when it’s combined with cards from different expansions and adds a new touch to the gameplay. Their level of compatibility with other sets depends on the cards in it.

What sets apart I, II and Intrigue edition?

Intrigue I is standalone, whereas the 2nd edition is an expansion. It’d be fun to go for the 2nd ed. If you have a base game because it’d reap you benefits. However, Intrigue I is a suitable option for beginners because it contains all the basic cards you’d need. If you want to eliminate the dud cards, the updated version is the way to go.

Does domino’s 2nd edition include everything required to play the game?

Yes, the cards and every other thing you might need is in the box it comes in since it’s a standalone game.

Is it worth it to buy dominion expansion?

It’s worth it for kids above 13 years of age interested in deck-building or medieval theme games. They should definitely try it out.

Conclusion

That is all you must know and absorb before setting off to buy any of these products. Let me tell you, it’s not going to be an easy decision because every single one of them is like the best dominion expansion. So give them a try and choose for yourselves.

About the author

Gattino Gamer

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