Almoner is pretty fun to play with. It generates interesting decisions, and allows you to develop a strategy based on the differences in your decks. I am actually considering reducing the cost to $2; its main effect cannot stack, so it being amassable isn't an issue, and opening it in a 5/2 split shouldn't put that player at an overwhelming advantage. The general philosophy on pricing is to make it as cheap as possible, so this change follows that principle.
I may be judging it harshly, as it was up against Swindler, which is a pretty hard counter. Swindler adds junk and removes coppers. One of Bookkeeper's key weaknesses is the lack of +buy, so amassing coppers is difficult. It also didn't help that on two occasions, it managed to swindle a Bookkeeper for a Moneylender.
It is hard to tell if this card needs significant rework, or is exactly right. It seems too difficult to integrate into a wider strategy, so it may be that the cultist-esque play-from-hand effect is replaced with a generic +1 action, though that may have cascading balance effects.
Additional testing is needed.
As a side note (and not at all related to my testing): this card is basically a counter to Rebuild. It is cheap enough to amass, and will probably be worth at least 4 VP by game end.
I still like the concept though, so I will have to come up with some ways to buff it. I have a few variants in mind; possible additions:
- Give +X cards. This should help it to connect to treasure better, as well as making it useful in a hand without silver or gold.
- Gain 1 or 2 silver when you play it. This helps to propel it along, and ensures a constant supply of silver for it to consume.
- Reduce the cost, possibly in conjunction with some of the other buffs. By having it not compete with the $5 cost cards it is trying to gain, it should help it become a more desirable option. I'd prefer not to go this route though.
- Allow it to trash coppers as well, though for no additional benefit. It helps it fit thematically with Forge, and gives it an alternate use. It pretty sharply shifts the feel of the card, so it isn't something I'd jump in with just yet.
- Remove the no victory cards clause. This is something I'd rather not do, as it makes it too swingy, to potentially cash in your BM deck for several Dutchies in the final rounds on a lucky hand.