Dominion Expansions Ranked: From Hinterlands to Dark Ages

generic board games cards representing various Dominion expansions

You’re on a quest for the ultimate Dominion experience, aren’t you? Dive into this in-depth ranking of the Dominion expansions. We’ve dug deep to critically analyze each set’s merits, challenges, and overall gameplay. Whether you’re a seasoned strategist or a curious newcomer, you’ll find this guide both engaging and enlightening. Buckle up, and it’s time to uncover the best expansions Dominion has to offer.

To know more about the magnificent world of the Dominion, read my Dominion Complete Review!

#12 Hinterlands Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameHinterlands Dominion Expansion
Release Date2011
SummaryThe Hinterlands Dominion Expansion is a fantastic addition to the Dominion series, offering new gameplay elements and strategic depth while maintaining the high-quality standards set by the base game.
Gameplay ChangesThe expansion introduces new concepts like “on-gain” abilities, encouraging players to think more tactically when acquiring cards. This adds a refreshing layer of depth to the game.
StrategyPlayers now have to consider not only the immediate value of a card but also its “on-gain” ability and how it will impact their future turns. Adapting your strategy is crucial.
Artwork & DesignThe artwork maintains the high standard of Dominion, with beautiful illustrations and thematic consistency. The design is clear and user-friendly.

Next up on our list, you’ll encounter the Hinterlands Dominion expansion, a set that’s sure to challenge your strategic skills in remarkable new ways. This expansion introduces unique card mechanics that add a refreshing twist to the game.

  1. The ‘gain’ mechanic: Some cards in Hinterlands offer benefits when gained, making the timing of your purchases crucial.
  2. Hinterlands strategy tips: Embrace variety. A diverse deck allows you to capitalize on these new mechanics.
  3. Hinterlands game balance: While the expansion adds complexity, it maintains a well-balanced gameplay that rewards strategic thinking.
  4. Unique card combinations: The addition of new cards opens up exciting combinations that can turn the tide of the game.

Hinterlands packs a punch, offering seasoned players a fresh yet balanced Dominion experience. We singled out this particular expansion as the worst because the mechanics it adds to the game are, by and large, not unique, while the game balance suffers quite a lot.

card and box from Hinterlands Dominion expansion
Hinterlands: Dominion Expansions

#11 Allies Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameAllies Dominion Expansion
Release Date2022
SummaryThe Allies Dominion Expansion is a welcome addition to the Dominion universe, introducing engaging new gameplay elements and enhancing the overall experience.
StrategyThe expansion promotes a cooperative element as players can form alliances, strategically sharing cards and working together to gain an advantage. It adds a refreshing layer of social interaction to the game, requiring players to balance cooperation with their personal strategy.

In the world of Dominion, you’ll find the Allies expansion quite intriguing, for it introduces a whole new level of interaction and cooperation between players. Allies strategy revolves around leveraging alliances to maximize the power of your deck. Card combinations are particularly pivotal here – the right ally can amplify the effectiveness of your cards exponentially.

However, the game balance can teeter. Some players may be disadvantaged if their ally is more strategic and experienced. It’s a risk that adds another layer of complexity to the game. Nevertheless, the Allies’ Dominion expansion adds excellent depth and fun, making it a worthwhile addition to any Dominion game. You can conquer the Dominion world with careful strategy and judicious choice of allies.

Nevertheless, Allies is the most imbalanced of all Dominion expansions. It breaks the original balance too much to ignore. This expansion brings enough fun to give it a couple of game nights, but it is unlikely to become part of your gaming setup on an ongoing basis.

#10 Intrigue Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameIntrigue Dominion Expansion
Release DateJuly 2009
SummaryThe Intrigue Dominion Expansion offers new layers of player interaction with Intrigue cards and includes additional Kingdom cards. It’s a compelling expansion for those who enjoy diplomacy and strategy.
StrategyThe expansion introduces Intrigue cards that emphasize player interaction, as well as a variety of Kingdom cards. Players must navigate the subtle politics and tactics of Intrigue to succeed in their Dominion games.

You’ve probably played many Dominion games, but let’s dive into what makes the Intrigue expansion uniquely thrilling. This addition introduces intriguing mechanics that force you to rethink your Strategy Development, with unique card effects that alter gameplay dynamics.

The Intrigue expansion isn’t for the faint-hearted; it requires strategic planning and quick adaptation. You’ll encounter cards that allow actions to be taken multiple times, adding a layer of complexity. You must constantly adjust your strategies, making each game a new experience. Critically, the expansion also brings interaction between players to the forefront, creating a more engaging and competitive environment. If you’re seeking a Dominion experience that challenges your strategic prowess, Intrigue should be your next game-night pick.

#9 Seaside Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameProsperity Dominion Expansion
Release DateOctober 2010
SummaryThe Prosperity Dominion Expansion focuses on wealth and grandeur, introducing Platinum and Colony cards, along with strong Treasures. It’s an excellent addition for those who love Dominion and want to ramp up the scale of their games.
StrategyThe expansion offers players the opportunity to go for higher-value cards like Platinum and Colony, adding depth to economic strategies and requiring careful timing and deck-building.

There’s a whole ocean of strategic possibilities waiting for you in the Seaside Dominion Expansion. This expansion integrates seamlessly with the base game, offering nautical themes that add depth to your play. With its unique Seaside strategies, you can navigate your empire to victory in new and challenging ways.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the cards:

Card NameDescription
Fishing VillageProvides +2 actions and +$1 for this and the next turn
NavigatorAllows looking at top 5 cards and either discarding them or putting them back
Pirate ShipAttacks other players by trashing their coins
Sea HagCurses other players by putting a curse card on top of their deck
WharfGives +2 cards and +2 buys for this and the next turn

Master these cards, and you’ll rule the sea!

#8 Prosperity Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameSeaside Dominion Expansion
Release DateOctober 2009
SummaryThe Seaside Dominion Expansion introduces Duration cards and Attack cards, offering new tactical elements. It’s a well-rounded expansion that brings variety and excitement to the game.
StrategyThe expansion adds a time element with Duration cards and elements of player interaction with Attack cards. Players must strategize effectively, considering how their actions will unfold over multiple turns.

Often, you’ll find yourself immersed in an atmosphere of wealth and luxury with the Prosperity Dominion Expansion. This expansion introduces treasures and victory points on a grand scale, enhancing your gaming experience. To excel, follow some Prosperity strategy tips. Firstly, aim to acquire Platinum and Colony cards early to maximize your points. Secondly, card interactions are crucial. Study how cards like King’s Court or Monument can interact with others to create powerful combos.

This expansion’s unique gameplay dynamics revolve around wealth accumulation, so focus on cards that offer more coins. However, be critical of your choices. Not all that glitters is gold. Some valuable-looking cards may not contribute to your victory. Ultimately, Prosperity offers a rich, engaging gameplay that requires strategic thinking.

#7 Adventures Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameAdventures Dominion Expansion
Release DateApril 2015
SummaryThe Adventures Dominion Expansion introduces Travellers, Events, and Reserves, offering dynamic gameplay. It’s a superb expansion that brings a wealth of options to Dominion players.
StrategyThe expansion’s Travellers and Events add a dynamic aspect to gameplay. Players must decide when to use Reserves, which offer powerful abilities, and adapt their strategies accordingly.

You’ll dive right into the Adventures Dominion Expansion and quickly find that it adds a whole new level of intrigue to your gameplay. The Adventure mechanics are:

  • A game-changer.
  • Introducing elements like Reserve cards, which you can set aside for later use.
  • Event cards that offer unique one-time effects.

Card diversity is another vital aspect of Adventures. With various card types, each has its role to play, creating more complex strategic scenarios. The tokens that modify card effects or player abilities add another layer of strategy. However, with this added complexity comes a steeper learning curve. It might be overwhelming for beginners. Yet, Adventures is a thrilling expansion for seasoned Dominion players that challenges your strategy skills and keeps you engaged.

box and cards from Adventures Expansion for Dominion board game
Adventures: Dominion Expansions

#6 Empires Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameEmpires Dominion Expansion
Release DateJune 2016
SummaryThe Empires Dominion Expansion takes Dominion to new heights with its Events, Landmarks, and Debt mechanic. It adds depth and variety to the game, making it a stellar choice for Dominion enthusiasts.
StrategyThe expansion introduces Events and Landmarks, which players can influence, and the Debt mechanic, offering new strategic dimensions. Players must master these to excel in their Dominion adventures.

As you move on to the Empires Dominion Expansion, you’ll discover it’s a set that redefines resource management and scoring systems. This expansion offers a fresh twist, putting a premium on strategic planning with its unique Empires strategy.

  • Unique Cards: Empires introduces Landmark cards that manipulate scoring, adding depth to your strategic choices.
  • Debt tokens: These allow you to buy now and pay later, adding a new layer to resource management.
  • Events: Empires feature events that can be bought instead of cards, offering more tactical options.
  • Score Manipulation: With the Empire’s expansion, the ability to manipulate your score via events and landmarks adds a new strategic layer.
box and cards from Emipres expansion for Dominion tabletop
Empires: Dominion Expansions

#5 Nocturne Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameNocturne Dominion Expansion
Release DateNovember 2017
SummaryThe Nocturne Dominion Expansion offers a fascinating twist with Night cards and Boons/Hexes, bringing a supernatural flavor to the game. It’s a delightful addition for Dominion fans seeking a unique experience.
StrategyThe expansion introduces Night cards, which offer special actions at nightfall, as well as Boons and Hexes. Players must adapt to the unpredictability of Boons and Hexes in their strategic planning.

Next up on the ranking is the Nocturne Dominion Expansion, where you’re plunged into a world of darkness and mystery. This expansion invites you to explore its theme; you’re tasked with navigating through haunted landscapes and dealing with creatures of the night.

The Nocturne mechanics introduce new elements like Night cards and Heirlooms, adding depth and complexity to the gameplay. These mechanics foster a myriad of strategic approaches, challenging you to adapt and innovate. However, this expansion isn’t for everyone.
The complexity can feel overwhelming, detracting from the charm of the base game. While the Nocturne Dominion Expansion is immersive and challenging, it’s best suited for seasoned players looking for a twist in their Dominion experience.

#4 Renaissance Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameRenaissance Dominion Expansion
Release Date2018
SummaryThe Renaissance Dominion Expansion adds a fresh layer of strategy and innovation to the Dominion series, introducing Projects and unique card interactions. It’s a must-own for avid Dominion players looking to expand their horizons.
StrategyThe expansion introduces Projects, which offer long-term strategic advantages. Players must weigh the benefits of different Projects and adapt their tactics accordingly for success.

Where does the Renaissance Dominion Expansion stand in our ranking, and how does it revamp your gameplay experience? This expansion earns a high spot due to its Renaissance innovations and the new dimensions it adds to the gameplay.

  • Renaissance Innovations: The introduction of artifacts and projects offers you more strategic avenues to explore.
  • Card Interactions: Renaissance’s cards interact in intricate ways, demanding careful thought and strategic planning.
  • Renaissance Strategies: Clever use of coffers and villagers could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
  • Depth of Gameplay: Renaissance expands the game’s depth, enriching your experience.

Despite a slight learning curve, Renaissance’s innovations, card interactions, and strategies make it a must-have. It challenges you to think differently about your moves, making games more engaging and rewarding.

#3 Alchemy Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameAlchemy Dominion Expansion
Release DateMay 2010
SummaryThe Alchemy Dominion Expansion introduces a unique potion mechanic and an array of interesting cards, adding complexity to the game. While it’s not for everyone, it’s a must-try for those who appreciate nuanced gameplay.
StrategyThe expansion emphasizes the acquisition of potion cards to unlock powerful abilities. Players must strike a balance between potion cards and standard cards to create effective strategies.

You’ve explored the complexities of the Renaissance expansion, and now it’s time to delve into the mystical world of the Alchemy Dominion Expansion. This set introduces the Potion cards strategy, adding a magical twist to your gaming experience. The Alchemy-themed artistry is captivating, but don’t let it distract you from the strategic gameplay.

Transmutation card usage is a key aspect of this expansion. It allows you to remodel your deck, transforming cards into more valuable ones. However, its usage requires careful planning.

Potion cards strategy7/10Adds depth but can be complex for newbies
Alchemy themed artistry8/10Enhances the gaming atmosphere
Transmutation card usage6/10Requires strategic thinking but rewarding

#2 Menagerie Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameMenagerie Dominion Expansion
Release Date2020
SummaryThe Menagerie Dominion Expansion breathes new life into the Dominion series with its unique cards and exciting interactions, making it a must-have for fans of the game.
StrategyThe expansion introduces hybrid cards that combine two card types, adding a layer of complexity and strategy. Players must adapt their tactics to maximize the potential of these cards.

Let’s jump right into the Menagerie Dominion Expansion, where a world of exotic, wild creatures awaits to add a twist to your game strategy. This expansion introduces unique Menagerie mechanics that truly diversify your gameplay.

  • Menagerie Mechanics: This system enhances your deck-drawing capabilities with an emphasis on variety.
  • Unique Card Interactions: Menagerie introduces a host of new cards, each synergizing uniquely with others, creating a plethora of strategic options.
  • Menagerie Strategy: The emphasis on variety nudges your strategy towards diversification, making every game a unique experience.
  • Replayability: With these new mechanics and card interactions, Menagerie significantly boosts the replayability of Dominion.

Menagerie Dominion Expansion is a dynamic addition to the game, opening up new strategic paths and offering a refreshing take on the classic Dominion gameplay.

#1 Dark Ages Dominion Expansion

Expansion NameDark Ages Dominion Expansion
Release Date2012
SummaryThe Dark Ages Dominion Expansion offers a rich and thematic experience, introducing new cards, mechanics, and strategic depth, making it a fantastic addition to the Dominion series.
StrategyThe expansion brings cards that interact with the trash, allowing players to develop unique strategies centered around trashing and upgrading their decks. It encourages creative and flexible gameplay.

In the Dark Ages Dominion Expansion, you’ll encounter the compound noun ‘ruins stack,’ a new card type that adds a unique layer of complexity to your gameplay. This introduces the Ruins mechanic, where you’ll find yourself grappling with a series of weaker actions that could potentially disrupt your Dark Ages strategy.

  1. Looter cards: This introduces negative interaction, forcing others to gain ruin.
  2. Ruins Stack: These are weaker actions that can disrupt your gameplay.
  3. Upgrading Cards: The ability to upgrade your cards is a game-changer.
  4. Trash-for-Benefit: This mechanic is amplified in the Dark Ages, adding a new layer of strategy.

While the Dark Ages expansion can initially seem overwhelming, understanding these four elements will significantly enhance your gameplay, making it a thrilling addition to your Dominion collection. We thought for a long time about which expansion to call the best and decided to highlight the Dark Ages. This edition introduces many new mechanics to the game that harmoniously complement the gameplay but, at the same time, do not overwhelm the balance. For this harmony and tact, Dark Ages receives first place in our Dominion expansions ranking.

The Bottom Line

Expansions for Dominion can significantly deepen the game’s mechanics and diversify your gameplay, but there is much more to the world of Dominion than just add-ons. Try reading our guide, How to Host Ideal Dominion Game Night, to plan spending some quality time with your friends, or the article on How to Win in Dominion.

To learn more about classic strategy board games, check out our articles Settlers of Catan Full Review and Games Like Catan.

Dominion Expansions FAQ

How Do the Dominion Expansions Differ in Terms of Difficulty Level?

You’ll find each Dominion expansion varies in difficulty, requiring new expansion strategies and rule adaptations. Some expansions interact more complexly, demanding a deeper understanding and strategic consideration of the game’s mechanics.

What Is the Average Playtime for Each Dominion Expansion?

You’ll find that each Dominion expansion varies in playtime. Replayability and game variations influence this. For strategy tips, understanding each expansion’s unique elements can help reduce your average playtime.

Can I Combine Multiple Dominion Expansions for a Single Game Session?

Yes, you can mix multiple Dominion expansions for one game. Consider expansion synergy, cross-expansion strategies, and how expansions’ interplay might impact the game. It’s an exciting way to diversify your gaming experience.

Are There Any Dominion Expansions That Are Recommended for Beginners?

Yes, there are! The base Dominion game’s affordability, appealing artwork, and straightforward theme make it ideal for beginners. As you grow comfortable, consider expanding to Intrigue; it’s user-friendly and adds exciting complexity.

What Are the Unique Features of the Dominion Expansions That Are Not Covered in the Expansions’ Respective Sections?

You’ll find each Dominion expansion offers unique artwork, explores different themes, and boasts varying compatibility with other sets. They’re not just add-ons; they enhance gameplay and deepen the strategic elements of the base game.

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