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aaronachnid

Is there any to to win as The Xanathar?

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Any way at all?

 

Except for possibly if you are in a two player game and play Reveal Lord, then it doesn't really matter who your masked lord is.

 

In my opinion these are the single most over and under powered cards in the game.

 

Thoughts? Or just any tips on The Xanathar...

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I'm in the same boat as xenzirril, however I did a little snooping around the internet and came across this thread that might help you out: http://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/16664/are-there-any-xanathar-strategies-for-skullport

 

And yes, a game archive would be interesting to have. Perhaps one day this can be a feature we add. :)

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It seems like most people think it's a good idea to aim for a situation where no one else has any corruption, and you have a lot of it.  This runs counter to my experience.  As a disclaimer, I play 2P almost exclusively.

 

What seems to work best for me is to take a lot of corruption early on, which does a few things:

1. It lowers everyone's guard about taking corruption. i.e. They'll take more if someone else has more than them.

2. It sets you up with a lot of money and adventurers that you can use on good plot quests and stuff early, to get the most utility out of them.

 

I actually do this regardless of the lord I draw, because plot quests are hugely important.

 

What I will do specifically with the Xanathar though, is rush taking any quest that allows you to return or remove corruption, and big point quests like the 40 point Undermountain ones.  Look to grab Defame Rival Business, and Delver's Folly, and throw your corruption on high traffic actions, like Waterdeep Harbor (this also discourages the use of Release The Hounds).  If Promenade of the Dark Maiden is up early, look to buy and Demolish/Real Estate Deal it.  It's the worst card in the game for the Xanathar.

 

(As an aside, if Promenade does come out, and you can't make it go away, just use it, because it's better you than them.)

 

The goal is to prevent anyone else from being able to return corruption, and then lowering your level appropriately at the end.  What's appropriate will vary, but generally I try to have around as much as my opponent with the lowest corruption, with the penalty as high as possible (from corruption in people's inventories, not on the board or removed from the game).  Stockpile Expose Corruptions, and pump them out late game.  Remember that your goal isn't to maximize your score, but to have more points than your opponents.  Lowering everyones scores, but lowering yours less, can be better than trying to get as many points as possible for yourself.

 

If a lot of corruption is removed from the game, this won't work, and you're basically screwed.  The Xanathar has no recourse there.  This is an okay way to play him, but at the end of the day, he's a bad character, and is hard countered by Promenade, and Release the Hounds.

 

 

I'll add that general strategy for lords that aren't bound to specific quest types applies.  Look at the opening quests and buildings to see what kinds of quests will be easiest to complete over the course of the game.  If the Librarium is available to buy, grab arcana quests, etc.

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Thanks for that well thought out reply Dave, I must say, I have been playing The Xanathar much as you have. So it's good to know that you, also, have come to the conclusion that it's just a plain bad/hard Lord to win with. I also try to get as many intrigue cards myself so I can stockpile Release the Hounds cards - once I had all of them in my hand at the end of the game. I will have to keep an eye out more for Promenade of the Dark Maiden. Interesting you say near the end of your post to go for the Arcana cards - as above, that's what I've found is best too.

 

Truth: the problem with that is that all other players are also trying to get rid of their corruption. To get to that sweet spot of -4 means that you will have to be as far ahead of them but games end that you have more VP than the difference between their Lord bonus and their corruption - not an easy at unless you get a few nice plot quest cards early on.

 

But thanks for the replies, I was hoping there was some "silver bullet" that I hadn't found yet, but it seems it's just bad luck if that's the Lord card drawn..

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For what it's worth, I don't like Sangalor or Halaster, either.  If you get a bad draw of buildings, there isn't much you can do about it.  It's not like how you can clear quests and draw 4 new ones if you're not seeing the ones you need.  I think it's a major failing in the game's design, because the initial draw of buildings can very strongly benefit one lord.

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Yes and no. People sometimes forget that you don't HAVE to finish quests that give a bonus for your lord. There are plenty of quests that are worth finishing for more than just a five point bonus at the end. two player I almost always win with halaster or sangalor and four player probably half the time. Of course it depends on the skill of opponents. If they cotton on to your lord, they can make it pretty tough, especially with buildings. But just another reason to take other quests..

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There are a bunch of very strong plot quests that I'll grab regardless of my lord, or if they combo with something I got already, and yes, good play will trump bad play.  But at the end of the day, I don't think they're balanced well.  If you're winning almost always with any lord, it's probably not the lord, as much as it's you (Unless it's Danilo Thann).

 

Each quest type has 12 base quests, and 6 per expansion, for a total of 24.

Most lords get a bonus for 2 types, for 48 possible quest bonuses.  Halaster and Sangalor get bonuses for only 30 (6 * 5 types).

 

There are 12 Skullport buildings, and 12 Undermountain ones, so they're both stuck with a total of 42 possible bonuses, with 12 of those stuck in the builder's hall, which has 8 potential uses per game under normal circumstances, regardless of player count, and can only be cycled through purchases.

 

Add to that, everyone's got an interest in corruption reduction, regardless of quest type, adding competition on the Skullport quests, and the Undermountain quests being some of the most appealing in the game, in terms of point yield and plot quest effect (Seriously, look at the Undermountain plot quests.  They're all crazy strong).

 

And the fact that Halaster's quests don't synergize well.  "Establish Wizard Academy" gives you a free purple whenever you take an Arcana quest, which is great if you're focused on Arcana, but crap if you're focused on Undermountain.  One of each type of Undermountain quest is like that, which is 1/6th of Halaster's possible bonuses.  Another sixth is 40 point quests, which have such a small bonus relative to the quest's value and cost it might as well be nothing.

 

The end result is that I don't feel good about my odds when playing someone of equivalent skill if I draw either of those lords.

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