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I am particularly fond of going through my entire deck each turn. However while I like to do this, are there any actual rules for handling cases like "You just played a smithy, but there are only two cards in your deck which aren't either in play or in your hand"?

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The rule is always that you do as much as you can of the card, in order.

So, if you play a Smithy, you would draw those two cards.

A case that is more illustrative of how the process works is Lookout. Lookout reads: "+1 Action, Look at the top 3 cards of your deck. Trash one of them. Discard one of them. Put the other one on top of your deck." If you only had two cards remaining in your deck, you would do as much of the card as you can, in order:

  1. +1 Action; no problem.
  2. Look at the top 3 cards of your deck. You only have two, so that's what you do.
  3. Trash one of them. You can do this, so you must trash one of those two cards.
  4. Discard one of them. You can also do this, so you must do it.
  5. Put the other one on top of your deck. You can't do this because there is no other one, since you only had two to start with. So, you skip this step.
  • 2
    Be aware that, while Smithy is a "safe" card to play to draw cards, things like Courtyard, Oasis, and Inn still require you to put cards back / discard cards even if you can't draw any. – Powerlord Mar 1 '12 at 19:47
  • A note (much belated): This is all assuming that there are no cards in your deck or discard pile. If you need to draw cards but your deck is empty, you first shuffle your discards, draw the remaining cards, then if there are still not enough cards then all of the above applies. – ConMan Aug 6 '15 at 4:45

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