How To Play: Dominion – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Dominion is a highly strategic deck-building game where players compete to build the most powerful deck, amass victory points, and become the ultimate ruler. This comprehensive strategy guide has provided you with essential insights and tactics to help you achieve success in Dominion.

We explored various aspects of the game, including deck building strategies, action card combos, economy management, province rush tactics, and attack card strategies. By mastering these key elements, you can craft a winning strategy and outmaneuver your opponents.

Remember to carefully manage your deck composition, acquire powerful action cards, and seek synergies to optimize your deck's performance. Efficient economy management and timely play of action card combos can provide a decisive advantage. Furthermore, province rush tactics can be utilized to secure quick victories, while deploying attack cards strategically can disrupt your opponents' plans and seize control of the game.

With an understanding of the game rules, key components, and comprehensive strategic approaches, you are well-equipped to embark on exciting Dominion battles. Adapt your strategies to changing circumstances, remain flexible, and continuously refine your tactics as you become an expert Dominion player.

Now, gather your friends, build your dominion, and let your strategic prowess reign supreme in the world of Dominion!


Welcome to our comprehensive Dominion strategy guide! Whether you’re a seasoned player aiming to hone your skills or new to the world of Dominion, this guide is here to provide you with valuable insights and tactics to help you achieve victory.

In this guide, we’ll not only outline the basic rules of the game, but also delve into advanced strategies and techniques that can give you a competitive edge. Dominion is a deck-building game where players compete to build the most powerful deck and amass victory points. It’s a game of strategy, resource management, and tactical decision-making.

We’ll begin by providing an overview of the gameplay mechanics, introducing you to the different card types, and explaining the various actions you can take on your turn. From there, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of winning strategies.

Whether you prefer aggressive province rushing, carefully managing your economy, unleashing devastating action card combos, or tactically deploying attack cards, we have a dedicated section for each strategy. Plus, our guide will cover topics like deck building, economy management, and how to counter opponent moves.

So, if you’re ready to take your Dominion skills to the next level and secure victories against your opponents, let’s jump right into the game rules and explore the most effective strategies that will propel you to success!

What’s in the box

  • 500 cards
  • Tokens

How To Play Dominion: Rules Summary

  1. Each player receives a starting deck consisting of 7 Copper cards and 3 Estate cards.
  2. The Kingdom cards are chosen and arranged as the supply.
  3. Stacks of Victory, Treasure, and Curse cards are placed in their respective slots.
  4. Each player shuffles their starting deck, drawing 5 cards.
  1. Players take turns in clockwise order.
  2. On their turn, a player takes 1 action, performs 1 buy, and may play any number of treasure cards from their hand.
  3. Action cards are played from the hand, following the instructions on the card.
  4. After playing actions, the player can spend coins from the treasure cards to buy cards from the supply.
  5. Purchased cards go to the discard pile, to be shuffled into the deck later.
  6. At the end of a turn, the player discards any remaining cards in their hand and draws a fresh hand of 5 cards.
Gaining Victory Points
  1. The game ends either when 3 piles in the supply are empty or when all Provinces are gone.
  2. Players count their victory points by adding up the values of their Victory, Treasure, and certain Action cards.
  3. The player with the highest score wins the game!
Card Actions and Special Abilities
  1. Action cards contain text explaining their abilities.
  2. Some cards allow additional actions, gaining extra cards, providing buy or coin bonuses, and more.
  3. Pay attention to specific effects mentioned on each card, as they can vary greatly.

With these rules in mind, you are ready to embark on your journey playing Dominion. Over time, you will familiarize yourself with different card combinations and strategies, mastering the art of deck-building!

Best Dominion Strategies

Deck Building Strategies

When it comes to winning in Dominion, your deck is your greatest ally. Here are some effective deck building strategies to give you an edge over your opponents.

Focus on a Core Strategy
  1. Identify a key strategy that aligns with your selected kingdom cards.
  2. Build your deck around this core strategy to maximize its potential.
  3. For example, if you have strong action card combos, ensure your deck is optimized to utilize them effectively.
Balance Your Deck
  1. Avoid having too many terminal action cards that prevent additional actions.
  2. Include a healthy mix of action, treasure, and victory cards.
  3. Strive for efficiency and synergies when selecting cards for your deck.
Deck Thinning
  1. Consider cards or card combos that allow you to remove weak cards from your deck.
  2. Focus on acquiring cards that enhance your overall strategy.
  3. By thinning your deck, you increase the chances of drawing key cards each turn.
Proactive/reactive balance
  1. Avoid solely focusing on attack cards as a means of disruption.
  2. Strike a balance between offensive and defensive options.
  3. Utilize benefitting cards and card combinations while thwarting your opponents’ plans.

Remember that the success of your deck building strategy is reliant on adapting to the changing dynamics of the game. As the game progresses and the available cards in the supply change, be open to adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Action Card Combos

Unlocking powerful action card combos can be a game-changer in Dominion. Here are some strategies to help you leverage these combinations to secure victory.

Identify Synergistic Cards
  1. Examine the cards in your deck and the available supply.
  2. Look for cards that work well together and create synergies.
  3. For example, combined actions that allow for additional card draws, bonus actions, or increased buying power.
Chaining Action Cards
  1. Seize opportunities to chain action cards together for maximum effect.
  2. Play cards that allow you to draw additional cards, then follow up with powerful actions.
  3. Linking cards in succession can create explosive turns and generate game-winning moves.
Consider the cost of actions
  1. Pay attention to the action costs of the cards you want to combo.
  2. Manage your resources to have enough actions available to play your desired combo in a single turn.
  3. Strategically acquire action cards with affordable costs to enable smooth combinations.
Bridge the Gaps
  1. Fill in the gaps between different combo cards to facilitate smoother gameplay.
  2. Include non-combo cards in your deck that provide necessary actions, buying power, or additional cards when needed.
  3. Having a balanced mix of supporting cards enhances the consistency and reliability of executing powerful combos.

Mastering the art of action card combos requires careful planning, observation, and adaptability. Keep an eye out for unique card interactions and unleash your winning combos at opportune moments to take control of the game.

Economy Management

Successfully managing your economy is essential for victory in Dominion. Here are strategic approaches to optimize your resource management and maximize your chances of winning.

Early Game Investments
  1. Focus on acquiring cards that generate income and allow for future deck improvements.
  2. Choose treasure cards such as Silver and Gold to increase your buying power.
  3. Invest in action cards that provide additional buying power or coin tokens as early-game boosts.
Balancing Actions and Treasure
  1. Strive for a healthy balance between playing action cards and amassing treasure cards.
  2. Depending on your current strategy, adjust the ratio of actions to treasures accordingly.
  3. Ensure you have enough treasure cards to afford key cards while maintaining a sufficient number of actions to execute your desired combos.
Focus on Key Purchases
  1. Identify essential cards or combos that align with your strategy.
  2. Allocate resources toward acquiring these key purchases in a timely manner.
  3. Plan your economy management to maximize the efficiency of your purchases.
Efficiency in Resource Generation
  1. Monitor the cards in your deck and their return-on-investment potential.
  2. Avoid diluting your deck with excessive low-value cards that may hinder purchasing power.
  3. Strategically add high-value action or treasure cards to increase the efficiency of your resource generation.

By effectively managing your economy, you gain the advantage of accessing powerful cards and executing game-winning strategies. Careful resource allocation and intelligent purchases will lay a strong foundation for your triumph in Dominion.

Province Rush Tactics

When aiming for a quick victory in Dominion, adopting a Province Rush strategy can be highly effective. Here are key tactics to implement for a successful province rush.

Streamline Your Deck
  1. Ensure your deck has a tight focus on acquiring and playing cards that generate significant buying power.
  2. Chase cards that grant +Buy or increase your overall buying capacity to facilitate province purchases.
  3. Remove cards that contribute little to your rush strategy, enabling more streamlined and efficient turns.
Maximize Your Early Game
  1. Quickly acquire treasure cards like Silver and Gold to strengthen your purchasing potential.
  2. Select action cards that enable quicker deck growth, helping you generate income faster.
  3. Sacrifice long-term deck building goals to prioritize immediate province purchases during the early game.
Expand Actions Mid-Game
  1. Transition from solely focusing on provinces to improving your deck strategy with strong action card combos.
  2. Select cards that provide multiple actions and generate potential bonus buying power.
  3. Combining effective action card play with province rush tactics enhances your overall chances of victory.
Monitor Opponents
  1. Keep a close eye on your opponents’ progress toward their own province rush.
  2. Adjust your strategy if needed, either pivoting toward a province rush rivalry or utilizing alternative victory point acquisition methods.
  3. Fastidious observation allows you to gauge when it is appropriate to increase the pace of your province purchases.

With careful planning and strategic execution, a Province Rush strategy can swiftly lead you to triumph. Stay focused, adapt to changing circumstances, and keep a watchful eye on your opponents to secure your path to victory.

Attack Card Strategies

Mastering the art of utilizing attack cards can greatly enhance your chances of victory in Dominion. Here are some effective strategies to employ when deploying attack cards against your opponents.

Timing is Key
  1. Play your attack cards strategically, aiming to disrupt your opponents’ plans at crucial moments.
  2. Wait for opportune times to maximize the impact of your attacks.
  3. Consider factors such as your opponents’ deck composition, their current hand, and their vulnerability to specific attacks.
Incremental Attacks
  1. Employ attack cards that gradually chip away at your opponents’ resources and deck efficiency.
  2. Choose cards that force your opponents to discard or trash cards, disrupting their overall strategy.
  3. Focus on long-term disruption rather than solely relying on strong single-time attacks.
Counterattack Strategies
  1. Prepare your defenses by acquiring cards that shield you from attacks.
  2. Invest in cards that allow you to react to attacks, such as those granting extra actions or card draw.
  3. Swiftly recover from attacks and retaliate with counterattacks whenever possible.
Wage Psychological Warfare
  1. Attack cards not only inflict direct effects but also sow doubt and uncertainty among your opponents.
  2. Intimidate your opponents by deploying attacks consistently, putting pressure on their decision-making process.
  3. Disrupt their game plans and create distractions, causing them to make suboptimal moves.

Mastering attack card strategies is a powerful tool in Dominion. Understand the game state, outwit your opponents, and seize control of the game through well-timed, calculated attacks.

Conclusion: Mastering Dominion Strategy

Congratulations! You have reached the end of our comprehensive Dominion strategy guide. Armed with a solid understanding of the game rules, along with key tactics and strategies, you now possess the tools to become a formidable Dominion player.

Remember, Dominion is a game that combines strategy, deck-building, and adaptability. It rewards careful planning, keen observation of your opponents, and the ability to adjust your approach based on the ever-changing game dynamics.

By harnessing the power of deck building, action card combos, effective economy management, and astute decision-making, you can secure victory and establish your dominion over the game board.

However, don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different strategies. Each game presents unique opportunities and challenges that can test the limits of your skills. Learn from your victories and defeats, refine your strategies, and always be open to new tactics that can elevate your gameplay.

Now, gather your friends, shuffle your deck, and let the battle for supremacy begin! May your strategies be cunning, your options tactical, and your victories resounding as you become a true master of Dominion. Good luck!

Want to know what we think of Dominion? Read our detailed review of Dominion here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.