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Is the Forager's coin bonus counted during Action Phase or Buy Phase?

I am curious as to whether the Forager's "+ 1 Coin per differently named Treasure in the trash" is counted at the time Forager is played during the Action Phase, or whether it is counted during the Buy Phase.

I usually don't have trouble intuitively figuring out what a Dominion card should do when a weird quirk comes up, but this one has me tricked because cards do exist that depend on what you do during your Action phase (i.e. +1 Coin per card discarded, or + Coin based on cards trashed).

On the other hand, it is cool to be able to increase the value of a Forager if you use a trasher after playing it, but I like to think of Dominion cards as being able to be played from top to bottom while keeping a running total of actions and coin. But coin is often counted at start of Buy Phase anyway, so I am again unsure.

What does everyone think of this? Is it actually obvious?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It gives you the coin when you play it. You just don't use it until the buy phase.

This is really a case of "do what it says on the card, in the order it says it", what you called "top to bottom" in your question. It's true that a lot of people tally up their coin at the start of the buy phase, but that's just because it's when they care about it, not because the coin didn't exist until then. As the original rules say:

+$X -- the player has X number of additional coins to spend in the Buy phase

They're granted immediately, and available to spend later in the Buy phase.

Similarly, if you play a Salvager and trash something costing $4 to get +$4, then play a Bridge, it doesn't retroactively make the Salvager only worth +$3. And if you play a Bank, it only counts the treasures that came before it - you don't get to wait until the end and count everything for them.

You can see hints of this elsewhere, like in the wording of duration cards. For example, Merchant Ship says "Now and at the start of your next turn: +$2." It grants the coin at the start of your next turn, not on your next turn's Buy phase.

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Thanks Jefromi. This was what I originally thought, I just couldn't justify it beyond intuition and "do what it says on the card, in the order it says it". I will now definitely be able to convince my friends I play with using the reference to the original rule and bridge example! Thanks! –  jsjwooowooo Nov 26 '13 at 15:05
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To add to this answer, there's an edge case in which your coin total matters during your Action phase: Poor House. If you have a hand full of Treasure cards, playing Poor House can actually result in having fewer coins available to spend than if you did not Poor House. (The FAQ clarifies that Poor House can't take you below 0 coins, but it can wipe out coins you already had available. For instance, if you have 5 Treasure cards in your hand and 2 coins available prior to playing Poor House, Poor House would take you down to 1 coin (2+4-5). –  philosophyguy Nov 26 '13 at 21:54

The coin is evaluated when it says it is, just after you finish trashing a treasure per the previous sentence. It would say "in the Buy phase, +coin for each differently named treasure in the trash" if it was meant to be evaluated then.

cards do exist that depend on what you do during your Action phase (i.e. +1 Coin per card discarded, or + Coin based on cards trashed).

What cards are you referring to? Secret Chamber and Vault are evaluated as soon as you do the discards that the previous sentence lets you do. Salvager gives you the +coin as soon as the trash happens, as part of that card's text text. You don't wait and see what cards you trash later in the turn, and get more coins for them.

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"Secret Chamber and Vault are evaluated as soon as you do the discards that the previous sentence lets you do". Thus, those are the cards I am referring to, since the discarding is taking place during your Action phase. It probably isn't a very helpful distinction, I will admit. –  jsjwooowooo Nov 27 '13 at 2:12

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