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I do quite a lot of Agricola drafting, and one thing I've been noticing is that just taking the most powerful Occupations each pick is often not enough - finding synergies is usually better. To give an example, I'm just finishing a game where I took Mason, Architect and Wooden Strongbox inside of the first three picks: individually none of these would be considered especially strong, but as a team they allowed me to pull forward to an unbeatable lead in the late game.

I could give lots more examples of obviously good combos I have seen or managed to draft myself (Bricklayer/Clay Plasterer? Well Builder/Village Well/Water Carrier/Flagon? Renovator/Manservant/Plough Driver?) but what are the strongest combinations that a top player should always be on the lookout for from the moment they sit down to an Agricola draft?

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It would depend on how you are drafting. If it's a passing draft you need to look for which cards are more powerful and probably build a synergy with those. But also notice which weaker cards are likely to come back around.

I can't really go into specifics as there are so many combinations you named a few there.

  • A baking strategy needs some card power to pull off well
  • Anything encouraging you to early renovation would go well with any of the stone house occupations
  • Room builders can get ridiculous
  • Occupations that encourage more occupations
  • Several Day Labour/Travelling Players bonuses

Combinations that probably don't work are Axe and Clay room builders as they are working cross purposes.

Another thing to consider in passing drafts is you can draft for wood cards even if you pass them as they are likely to be played, Church Warden, a bad example would encourage you to draft for plenty of family growth, even late family growth as long as you could ensure five peeps by round 14.

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