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Possession is easily one of the most controversial and game-changing cards in Dominion, and I've often heard it described with disgust by many players. Most Dominion cards require you to take advantage of the power of your own deck, and thus are relatively easy to come up with a strategy for. But Possession usually requires you to take advantage of your opponent's deck instead! How can I tell if Possession is a good buy and how should I use it?

(Links to the Dominion strategy blog are fine, but please make sure your answer actually contains a good complete answer and not just the link. :) )

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Huh, I just noticed Possession isn't even an Attack –  LittleBobbyTables May 14 '11 at 0:46
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Personally, I rarely design my deck to specifically target Possession, because:

  • 6 coins plus a potion is difficult to get
  • I don't know what my neighbor will have

However, if I do have potions in my deck, and I happen to run across 6 coins and a potion during the game, I'll evaluate at that point. Usually if the person to your left has any kind of reasonable deck (they're buying Golds and such) it will be worth it to get Possession. Sometimes their deck is complete garbage and it's not worthwhile because possessing them will just clutter your deck with more Silver or other low-cost cards.

Remember, by buying Possession you're essentially sacrificing at least one Gold you could have had, so the hands you're possessing need to be of some minimum level of quality to make that tradeoff worthwhile.

Ultimately, I only get Possession in games where the other potion-costing cards make buying a potion worthwhile, and where if I don't happen to put together 6 coins plus a potion in a single hand, there's still a viable strategy.

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If the game is likely to end quickly on piles (e.g., a good Gardens setup), then you may not even have time to purchase a Possession.

If there are attacks that directly hurt your opponent (e.g., cursing or hand-size attacks), then Possession becomes less valuable, especially in a two-player game.

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I specified attacks that directly hurt your opponent to exclude attacks like Pirate Ship, which wouldn't change my Possession strategy significantly. –  philosophyguy May 14 '11 at 16:16
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