Dominion is a beloved deck-building game that has captured the hearts of many. Unfortunately, it’s not for everyone. If you love Dominion and want to find more games like it, we’ve got your back! In this blog post, we will talk about 5 other games like Dominion in some way or another. We’ll also give you tips on which versions of these games are best for beginners.
What Is Dominion Board Game?
Dominion is a deck-building card game where players are tasked with building their decks over the course of several turns in order to “buy” more cards. Cards can be bought by either gold or victory points (VP), and VP cards tend to give you special abilities that may help you later on. Dominion was created by Donald X Vaccarino and published by Rio Grande Games.
Dominion can be played with anywhere from two to four players, and it’s also available in an online version if you’re interested in playing with friends who live far away.
The Gameplay of Dominion
The gameplay of Dominion is fairly straightforward. Players start with an identical, very small deck of cards and draw five cards to begin their turn. On a player’s turn, they will play one card from their hand, which might give them more money or victory points (VP), draw another card, then discard down to the maximum number of cards in their hand.
Actions are also available to allow players special abilities or let them manipulate the game state in some way. Players will buy more powerful action cards as their deck grows through the buying phase of the game.
Why Do You Need to Play This Game
Dominion is great because there are many different strategies you can use to play the game. It’s also very easy to learn, so it makes for an excellent board game for large groups of people who might not be familiar with more complicated games like Settlers of Catan. Dominion is one of those games that has a lot of replayability since there are so many different card options. You can play the game over and over again with a fresh set of cards, but you’ll never have exactly the same experience twice.
Games Like Dominion
Dominion is one of the most popular games out there, but not everyone loves it. If you’re looking for similar games to Dominion that are easier or harder than the original game, we’ve got some recommendations below!
Best Dominion Alternatives
Best for Deck Building
Best for Quick Decks
|Ascension: Realms Unraveled|
Best for Big Decisions
|Trains: Rising Sun|
Best for Fans of Magic: The Gathering
1. Aeons End – Best Dominion Alternative
If you enjoy Dominion but want to try something that’s easier, Aeons End is a great alternative since it has pretty simple rules and doesn’t take up as much time as an average session of Dominion. You can play a full game of Aeons End in around 30 minutes, and it’s also available as an online version if you want to try the digital version!
The gameplay of Aeons End is fairly straightforward. Each player starts with a small deck and draws five cards on their turn, just like Dominion. Players will play one card per turn from their hand in order to gain new abilities or use those powers to fight off monsters that come out of portals at the end of every round.
If the monsters aren’t stopped in time, however, they’ll attack and destroy certain aspects of your city which make up its power source. Too many attacks to the power source mean game over for everyone!
- Game Time: 30 Min
- Age: 13+
- Players: 1-4
Aeons End is a fantastic alternative to Dominion because it’s much easier, but still has an incredible theme and unique gameplay. It also plays quickly so you can get through multiple games in one sitting without having too long of breaks between sessions! Give this game a try if you’re looking for something different from your typical deck-building game.
2. Star Realms – Best for Deck Building
You can spend money at any point during your turn in order to buy new ships for your deck, and these ships will either go directly into play or sit in your discard pile until you need them later.
The gameplay of Star Realms is very unique compared to other deck-building games because you don’t spend your action points on buying new cards or using your powers. Instead, you’ll spend your money to attack other players or their bases directly if they’ve built any up in the centre of the table. You can also use cards with defense values to protect yourself from attacks, and this is where strategic planning comes into play because having too many powerful ships sitting at home won’t do you much good when you’re constantly under attack.
- Game Time: 30–60 Min
- Age: 12+
- Players: 2-6
Star Realms is a fantastic deck-building game that’s beautifully designed and offers some unique gameplay. If you enjoy Dominion or Thunderstone, then Star Realms might be the ideal next step for you because it has slightly simpler rules but still retains an incredible amount of strategic depth.
3. Ascension: Realms Unraveled – Best for Quick Decks
You’ll also get a bonus card from the Stone Deck, which is made up of cards that are always available for play if you can afford them or meet their requirements on turning in stones at the end of your round.
Ascension is a deck-building game that focuses on building up your own abilities more than buying new cards. You’ll spend most of the time in Ascension focusing on what powers you have available to buy more powerful cards with or using those same powers as an instant ability during another player’s turn. Players can also discard down to three cards at the end of their turns, and this can be a huge disadvantage if you’re not careful because it limits the number of cards that you’ll draw for your next turn.
This is where the strategy comes in because you can’t just focus on buying powerful cards for your deck without also considering who might be attacking your next round or how much defense you have available to protect yourself from being attacked.
- Game Time: 30–45 Min
- Age: 13+
- Players: 1-4
Ascension is a fantastic deck-building game that requires players to focus on building up their own abilities rather than just trying to buy powerful cards every turn. This makes for some incredibly strategic gameplay where you’ll need to carefully plan ahead and spend your money wisely in order to survive during the game’s final rounds.
The only downside of Ascension is that it can take a while to come back up on cards if you’re playing against some aggressive opponents, but this is where the game’s multiplayer mode shines because players tend to be more careful when they know their opponents will attack them directly. If you enjoy Ascension or competitive deck-building games in general then Realms Unraveled might just be for you.
4. Trains: Rising Sun – Best for Big Decisions
Trains is a deck-building game that has players using their starting cards to gain new powers and buy more powerful, unique cards which they can then use to complete sets of different types. Each card will have its own special ability or bonus power if you’re able to successfully complete the matching set before your opponents do, but this also makes Trains one of the most competitive deck-building games because players can directly attack each other on their turns.
The game is fairly straightforward and simple enough for new players to pick up quickly but it still takes some serious strategy and planning to make the most out of your turns.
- Game Time: 30–45 Min
- Age: 14+
- Players: 2-4
Trains: Rising Sun is easily one of the best deck-building games on the market because it has a lot to offer both new and veteran players. It’s simple enough for newer gamers but still requires some serious strategy so you won’t get bored if you’ve been playing board/card games for years now either.
The only downside is that it can take a while to come back up on cards in the late game if you’re playing against some aggressive opponents, but this is where Trains truly shines because players tend to be more careful when they know their opponent will attack them directly. If you enjoy deck-building games or competitive strategy titles then I would definitely give Trains: Rising Sun a try.
5. Rune Age – Best for Fans of Magic: The Gathering
This also makes Rune Age a very competitive deck-building game because you can directly attack your opponents at nearly any time during their turns. If you enjoy other card games like Magic: The Gathering then it’s definitely worth trying out because the gameplay is fairly similar, but this one has been streamlined into a board/card hybrid that offers just as much depth and strategy as any collectible card game.
Rune Age is a deck-building card game where players need to carefully plan out their strategies and choose how they want to progress through the match.
With the abilities and bonuses that each card as you’ll need to carefully plan out your strategies, but this also makes Rune Age one of the most competitive deck-building games because players can directly attack each other at nearly any time during their turns. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though since it gives both players something to think about when it’s their turn which keeps the game interesting and competitive.
- Game Time: 30–60 Min
- Age: 14+
- Players: 2-4
Rune Age is a deck-building card game with similar gameplay to games like Magic: The Gathering, but it’s been streamlined into a board/card hybrid that offers just as much strategy and depth. It can be fairly competitive so if you don’t enjoy direct player vs player combat then this might not be the best option for you, but this makes it one of the most interesting deck-building games because you’ll need to carefully plan out your strategies and choose how you want to progress through the match.
People Also Ask
What is the deck-building game?
Deck-building games offer a lot of strategy by allowing players to buy new cards for their decks which can either help them or hinder their opponents depending on how they plan out the game. The most popular deck-building games are Dominion and Ascension, but this also offers players more options like Trains: Rising Sun since it's designed for two players instead of five (which makes the board smaller).
What is the best deck-building game?
Dominion and Ascension are probably some of the most well-known (and also fairly expensive) games in this genre, but it's hard to go wrong with any title that offers a lot of depth and allows you to play competitively. If you like Magic: The Gathering then Rune Age might be worth checking out, but this also has an expansion that adds more content and cards to the game if you want even more variety than what's available in the base set.
Are board games similar to card games?
There are a lot of similarities between the board and card-based video/tabletop games since they both offer a lot of strategy by allowing players to carefully plan out their strategies and choose how they want to progress through the match. This is one of the most popular deck-building games because you'll need to buy new cards for both your decks depending on what kind of strategy you're going for which adds an extra layer of depth that keeps everyone engaged until the very end.
Dominion has seen over a dozen expansions in the past decade, including hundreds of new cards and multiple variants to explore! With so much content available it can be difficult to know which one to choose first – that’s why I’ve compiled this list of my top five for your convenience.