Dominion is a beloved card game created by Donald X. Vaccarino and published by Rio Grande Games back in 2008. I picked it up not long after it was launched, and it quickly became one of my favourites. Since its release, it has gained immense popularity in the board game community and I’ve seen it on many people’s shelves, as well as being a staple in most games evening (although sadly its get out on the table less and less. but thats not a mark on the games quality)
A side note; I’ve actually started playing lots of Dominion on my phone, as I discovered it (for free) on the Android App Store. Its the full core game, with no adverts and sleek gameplay. The AI is good enough to play repeatably, and I wont lie to say I can beat it on hard! (yet).
Whether you play it at a table or on your phone, in Dominion, players take on the roles of wealthy monarchs that are striving to expand their kingdoms by acquiring more lands, better resources, and greater wealth. Dominion is a deck-building game, and was probably the first proper deck-builder I played. In a deck builder, players start with a basic set of cards and gradually add more powerful ones from a central pool, called the Supply. These new cards represent treasures and victory points, as well as granting you new options to do on future turns.
The gameplay unfolds in turns, during which players utilise whatever cards they’ve drawn, to complete Actions and Buy new cards. The ultimate objective is to construct an efficient deck that generates valuable wealth, which can be used to buy victory point cards, all while minimising inefficiencies and unfavorable draws.
Dominion Android Edition (For free!)
It’s only recently that I’ve learnt how important it is to actually get rid of cards; in fact I would say this has become a key strategy of mine – deck thinning. You can read more about Deck Thinning on this article, Getting Better at Dominion.
Over the years, Dominion has seen the release of numerous expansions, each introducing fresh cards, mechanics, and gameplay elements to enrich the base game experience. Popular expansions include “Intrigue,” “Seaside,” “Prosperity,” and “Empires,” among others. Many of the expansions have a 1st and 2nd edition too, with word tweaks and some cards being axed.
I love classic Dominion, and I know the community cherish it for its strategic depth, replayability, and elegant game mechanics. On BoardGameGeek, the core Dominion game ranks just outside the global top 100, making it a favorite among both casual gamers and enthusiasts of the deck-building genre.
But with the Android Dominion Game causing a resurgence in my love for Dominion, what expansion should I buy? Well thankfully I’ve done quite a bit of digging around online to suss out which of the many Dominion Expansions you should buy next.
How Many Dominion Expansions Are There
Well if you were curious as to how many Dominion expansions there are, truth be told there are loads. Below is a summarised list of MOST of the expansions, however a lot of these also have a 1st and 2nd Edition release.
- Dominion: Intrigue
- Dominion: Seaside
- Dominion: Alchemy (Mini)
- Dominion: Prosperity
- Dominion: Cornucopia (Mini)
- Dominion: Hinterlands
- Dominion: Dark Ages
- Dominion: Guilds
- Dominion: Adventures (Mini)
- Dominion: Empires
- Dominion: Nocturne
- Dominion: Renaissance
- Dominion: Menagerie
- Dominion: Allies
- Dominion: Allies – Campaigns
- Dominion: Allies – Distant Lands
- Dominion: Plunderer
Alchemy, Cornucopia and Guilds are all classed as mini expansions, only adding approximately 150 new cards. The remaining expansions see a whopping 300, 400 or even 500 new cards.
Decks such as the Renaissance, Allies and Prosperity expansions come hundreds of new cards, as well as additional components such as metal or wooden tokens, or even small mats.
Most of the expansions are currently available for about £40-£50 / $50-$65, however Adventures and Plunderer are a bit more expensive.
What Dominion Expansion to get?
So we know its a great core game (but you love Dominion already, why else would you be here) and it has lots of (affordable?) expansions, what one do you get?
Obviously the best bet is to go along to a games cafe, or board games night and try them out. But even if you tried a few different card combos from each game, unless you’re playing daily or weekly gaming sessions, playing ALL the expansions is a year long task.
Thankfully someone called fe_bigdata, over on Reddit, has compiled a decent survey targeting the Dominion crowd. If you want a deep dive into numbers, averages and sampling sizes… take a look here at fe_bigdata’s Reddit post.
A few things to note about the survey and the findings:
- It covered both online and physical games, with the majority of players being the latter, but still a good sample of online players too.
- First editions of the expansions tended to rate lower (poorer) than their 2nd edition releases – so if in doubt, but the newer editions.
- Alchemy, while being only a mini expansions, rated as one of the worst. It’s available, for new at least, for £30 – which isn’t much cheaper than a full expansion, that rates much higher
So lets take a look at the survey results…
What Dominion Expansion Is the Best
So from the surveys it looks like the top 5 Dominion expansions you can currently purchase are:
- Prosperty (2nd Ed’)
I’ve definitely faced the Menagerie and Renaissance decks on the Dominion Android App daily challenge, so these are high on my ‘to buy’ list.
Lets take a closer look at these top five Dominion expansions.
Released in 2020, Dominion: Menagerie introduces new mechanics and card types. This expansion focuses on the theme of animals and their habitats. It includes various cards that interact with the top card of the player’s deck, as well as cards that provide unique benefits when certain conditions are met. Menagerie adds depth and strategic complexity to the Dominion gameplay experience.
BoardGameGeek has this expansion rated at 8.3 / 10.
Currently this is available on Amazon for £45 – try picking it up now on Amazon.
Released in 2016, expands the game with new mechanics and strategies. This expansion introduces split piles, where multiple cards share a single pile with a different card on top, adding a layer of complexity to decision-making.
It also includes landmark cards, which provide players with ongoing bonuses or effects based on specific game conditions. Empires adds a wealth of new possibilities and strategic depth to Dominion gameplay.
BoardGameGeek has this expansion rated at 8.4 / 10.
Currently this is available on Amazon for a hefty £80 – however that may just be down to limited availability when I write this article. If you have any of the other 5 expansions here and don’t mind dropping a few extra pounds of dollars, buy Dominion Empires now.
Dominion Prosperity: Released at the tall end of 2010, this expansion focuses on the theme of wealth and kingdom expansion. This expansion introduces high-cost cards (Expand and Kings Court, both 7 cost) and emphasizes the accumulation of wealth and resources. It includes cards that generate large amounts of treasure (Platinum, 5 wealth), as well as powerful victory point cards (Colony, 10 points).
Prosperity adds a real nice sense of opulence and grandeur to Dominion, offering players new avenues for strategic development and the sense of high-value combos.
BoardGameGeek has this expansion rated at 8.5 / 10; the highest of the five expansions listed here.
Currently this is available on Amazon for £52, the most expensive of the five expansions I’ve listed here. Buy it now on Amazon.
This was was released sometime in 2018 and it explores the themes of cultural and scientific advancement. Which is kinda cool. This expansion introduces projects, which are ongoing effects that players can continue to invest in throughout the game – this giving your turn a short and long term angle.
It also includes cards with unique abilities related to coffers and villagers, adding new dimensions to gameplay strategy. Renaissance offers players innovative mechanics and fresh strategic challenges to overcome.
BoardGameGeek has this expansion rated at 8.3 / 10.
Currently the Renaissance expansion pack is available on Amazon for just £35 – our cheapest of the five expansions. If you haven’t played any of these 5 expansions and want to pick one up, I would highly recommend starting with this one, Dominion Renaissance. Buy it now for just £35 / $42 on Amazon.
This is the most recent of the expansions listed here, being released in 2022. Its centres around plundering (funnily enough), acquiring high value wealth items and attacking other players.
This variant tilts the game to be more aggressive (probably the wrong term) and involves a lot of interactions with other players’ hands and decks. So this expansion may not be what everyone is looking for, despite the fact seasoned players really enjoy it.
This is the largest of the five expansions listed here, giving you 500 new cards (the others are 300 or 400). BoardGameGeek has this expansion rated at 8.4 / 10.
Currently this is available on Amazon for £44 – buy it now.
Dominion Expansions – A Summary
I think its fare to say, Dominion stands as a bit of a classic in the world of board games, captivating players with its strategic depth and replayability since its release some 15 years ago. Whether enjoyed around a table or as I’ve just found out, on a phone, its innovative and simple deck-building mechanics continue to engage enthusiasts worldwide.
With numerous expansions adding layers of complexity and fresh gameplay elements, Dominion offers a vast array of options for players looking to enhance their gaming experience. From the animal-themed Menagerie to the grandeur of Prosperity, each expansion brings its own unique flavor and challenges to the table.
We’ve covered the top five dominion expansions in this article;
- Prosperty (2nd Ed’)
I hope those seeking expansion recommendations have found this article useful. Ultimately, Dominion remains a beloved favorite of mine, as I love its endless possibilities and enduring appeal. As the Dominion universe continues to expand, there’s never been a better time to pick up one of the expansions listed here.
Further Reading into Dominion
If you want to check out all the Dominion expansions, here is another great resource to see all the decks: https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Dominion_series