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Every now and then, what seems like a golden opportunity comes up: you start the game with five coppers, and the Mint is in play. By purchasing this, you can instantly trash five of your starting copper. However, this leaves you with only two copper in your deck: not enough to purchase a silver.

Say your second buy is the third copper you need for the silver. Now there are seven cards in your deck: three copper, three estates, and a mint. This means there is about a (correct me if my math is off) 30% chance that you'll only draw two coppers on your third draw.

If some 2 cost cards are in play, this is less of a problem. Having a Moat or Cellar, for instance, could draw out coppers, and Secret Chamber or Lighthouse could provide the necessary money to obtain the first silver.

This has already been discussed a bit on Dominion Strategy, but there doesn't seem to be much of a consensus.

When, if ever, is buying a Mint for your first or second buy an optimal move?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Almost never. A first turn Mint wrecks your economy, and being able to buy good cards on turns 3 and 4 is really important in order to not fall behind your opponent.

Mint/Fool's Gold is an elite opening because it allows you to get a massive density of Fool's Gold in your deck quickly.

Mint/Lighthouse is acceptable, especially if there are lots of attacks, but you need a plan to transition your deck into higher value cards quickly.

Every other opening is sub-optimal, according to the Councilroom statistics (which are derived from Isotropic games).

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I can verify this with firsthand experience. I once tried to mint immediately on the first turn. Losing all that copper made the next few rounds useless as I had to regain the coppers. –  Apreche Jan 18 '12 at 13:41
    
You might also be able to pull off a Mint/Secret Chamber opening, since you'll be able to start buying Silvers without needing to waste early buys on Coppers. Your economy shouldn't falter too much and your Mint should help you overtake Big Money in a little time. –  Johno Jun 22 '12 at 8:24

If Mandarin is also available, buying Mandarin/Mint with you turns of 5 buy is sometimes worth it, as the +3coins from the Mandarin mean you can easily get a silver and start minting silver and gold (or other special treasures)

Now dark ages is out there is another good Mint Combo, Mint/Squire. Squire gets you cash and a silver, which is better than any other 2 cost card when you have only 2 coppers left in your deck! If there is a trasher and a good attack card as well then its even better!

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I agree with philosophyguy's answer. Additionally, in rare situations where there are no other trash/upgrade cards, I'd consider opening Mint/Embargo and then embargoing Mint.

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