Best Dominion Expansions to Buy

The Best Dominion Expansions of 2021 to Breath New Life into this Deck Builder

Find your New Favorite Dominion Expansion with our Dominion What to Buy Guide

Dominion is a great deck building game for both beginning and experienced game players alike. It’s easy to pick up and get playing but can grow stale quickly with just the base game. Fortunately, expansion packs offer so much depth and replayability with the various cards and setups and can breath new life into this deck builder.

If you’ve ever looked into expansions for the game, though, you know it can be overwhelming at first. How do you know which ones are the best Dominion expansions?

There are currently 13 expansions to Dominion and each one brings its own unique cards, mechanics, and strategies with it. If you’re looking to expand and add more depth to your Dominion games, then read on to discover the best Dominion expansions for you to pick up.

If you don’t already own the base game, pick up Dominion today; almost all of these expansions are not playable on their own. It’s helpful to have some knowledge of the Dominion base game when choosing which expansion is right for you, but it isn’t required.

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Overall Best Dominion Expansion: Empires

Sale Rio Grande Games Dominion Empires Game

Best Dominion Expansion to Buy First: Seaside

Rio Grande Games: Dominion Seaside, Expansion, Dominion or Dominion Intriuge Required for Play, 30 Minute Play Time, For 2 to 4 Players

Best Dominion Expansion for Combinations: Adventures

Sale Rio Grande Games Dominion Adventures Game Gold

Make Sure you Have the Dominion Base Game!

Rio Grande Games Dominion 2nd Edition | Deckbuilding Strategy Game for 2-4 Players, Ages 13+ | Updated Cards, Artwork, Streamlined Rules
  • 2nd Edition features updated cards, artwork and streamlined rules
  • Tactical game for 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • Lots of expansions available to add depth and complexity

Table of Contents

13. Alchemy5. Adventures
12. Cornucopia4. Dark Ages
11. Guilds3. Nocturne
10. Hinterlands2. Prosperity
9. Intrigue1. Empires
8. MenagerieDominion Recommended Setups
7. RenaissanceBest Dominion Expansion Combinations
6. SeasideGames Like Dominion

13. Dominion: Alchemy

Rio Grande Games Dominion Alchemy
  • This is an expansion to Dominion, not a standalone game
  • 30 minute playing time
  • 150 new cards
  • Adds depth and complexity
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: Potion Cards and cards that have potions as part of their costs.

Starting our list is Dominion: Alchemy. This pack requires the Dominion base game or Dominion: Intrigue in order to play, as it isn’t playable on its own. It’s considered a small expansion pack and so contains fewer cards than the large expansion packs.

Alchemy is focused around potion cards, which are a new treasure card that factor into the cost of some action cards in the set. Several actions cost a set treasure cost plus a potion, requiring the potion to come up in your hand if you want to buy these cards.

Many of the cards in this expansion lend themselves towards building decks with a lot of actions in them and being able to use many actions on a turn.

Dominion: Alchemy adds some nice depth and exciting new cards to the game, but the addition of the potions definitely can make gameplay more complex and at times frustrating if you are trying to build strategies around cards that have a potion in the cost and can’t seem to get your potions to come up when you need them. Game plans that rely on potions are often more reliant on luck than other strategies.

While having some bright spots, this pack is lowest on our list of the best Dominion expansions. It adds more complexity and some interesting action cards, but there are a lot better expansions out there to add depth and fun to your Dominion games. Pick this one up if you are an avid Dominion fan to complete your collection or if the prospect of action heavy decks appeals to you.

✅ Potions add a new element and new strategies into Dominion? Strategies that involve potions and actions that cost potions can be more reliant on the luck of your potions coming out at the right time
✅ Fun expansion for those who like to use a lot of action cards in their deck? As a small expansion pack it doesn’t add in as many cards as a lot of the others

12. Dominion: Cornucopia

Dominion Cornucopia and Guilds Card Game
  • 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • Expansion: Requires Dominion to play
  • Quick to learn, many ways to win
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: Focus on variety in deck

Another small expansion pack, Cornucopia is the next listing in our best Dominion expansions. This requires the base game or Dominion: Intrigue in order to play; it can’t be played as a standalone. This pack is also currently not sold by itself, but is bundled with Dominion: Guilds. It is another small expansion pack, so contains fewer cards than most of the other expansions.

Dominion: Cornucopia is very much focused around variety. Many of the cards will give you benefits or rewards for having a greater variety of cards in your deck, encouraging you to make a more diverse deck of cards instead of focusing on getting many copies of a small number of cards. There are also cards added in this pack that will help you in your quest to gain a variety of cards.

One of the action cards added in this pack is the Tournament, which can be a very interesting card in the game. The card allows you to gain one of 5 prize cards if you meet the requirements on the card; these prize cards can be extremely strong cards that can turn the tide of the game in your favor. They are difficult to get into your deck, however, so plan accordingly if you are going for this strategy.

Cornucopia has some interesting cards and game elements, but there are plenty of better expansions out there from a pure gameplay perspective. This pack can, however, introduce some very different playstyles as it highly encourages many different cards in your deck instead of getting a few cards that work well together.

This expansion is recommended for more experienced players of the game, since it has more complex mechanics. Pick this one to expand your Dominion strategies or to round out your Dominion collection.

✅ Cornucopia’s focus on variety in the decks really expands playstyles beyond the more traditional ones? A focus on variety means that Cornucopia mixes really well with some other expansions and really poorly with others
✅ Tournament card incentivizes trying to get powerful prize cards that can turn the tide of the game? This expansion has more complex dynamics in it and so is not recommended for beginning Dominion players
✅ It’s a small expansion but is now sold bundled with Guilds, so you get two expansions in one box

11. Dominion: Guilds

Dominion Cornucopia and Guilds Card Game
  • 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • Expansion: Requires Dominion to play
  • Quick to learn, many ways to win
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: Addition of coffers and cards that can be overpaid for to gain benefits

Next up in our tour through the best Dominion expansions is Dominion: Guilds. This is another small expansion and is currently not sold alone but is bundled in a box with Dominion: Cornucopia. This game expansion requires you to have the base game or Dominion: Intrigue to play it, so it can’t be played by itself.

The main addition in Guilds is the coffers. Many cards will allow you to earn coffers, which are represented by coins that you add to your coffers mat (also included in the pack) whenever you earn them. Coffers can then be spent during any of your buy phases and are added to your treasure total for that round. Any coffers that are spent are then put back in the supply.

While each coffer is only a one-time use, these can be very powerful if you can build a deck that regularly earns these, especially if you pair it with additional buys. They can be nice, too, as they don’t weigh down your deck like treasure cards can. It’s also nice to have a few of them on hand for those times when you can’t quite get enough to buy a province just with your treasure cards.

There are also a few cards in Dominion: Guilds that can be overpaid for, represented by a + sign next to the card’s treasure cost. These cards will give you benefits when you overpay for the card, often based on how much you overpay for them, up to a point. These cards can be very beneficial to strategies that tend to have lots of treasure in them, or can be used strategically at points to try and give yourself a quick advantage.

Coffers are a very nice addition to the game and add in a lot of new strategies or combinations for winning in Dominion. For these alone I recommend picking up Dominion: Guilds to add to your collection. If you’re relatively new to Dominion, however, or are looking for an expansion that will really add a lot of depth to your game, then I would wait to add this to your collection until further down the road. Still, Dominion: Guilds is more than worth the money.

✅ The addition of the coffers into the game bolsters many existing strategies and can open up many new strategies for play? Coffers are a one-time use, so must be regularly earned in your deck to really have a positive effect
✅ Players who play big money strategies should enjoy the overpay cards that give you benefits for paying past the listed cost? The overpay cards only give you the benefit when they are bought, and are not overly powerful cards once in your deck
✅ While a small expansion pack, this is bundled and sold with Dominion: Cornucopia, so you get two expansions in one box

10. Dominion: Hinterlands

Rio Grande Games Dominion: Hinterlands, Green
  • 6th expansion of the original Dominion game
  • Adds depth and complexity
  • The mission of Rio Grande Games is to promote the playing of games, which offer the players choices
  • 6th expansion of the original Dominion game
  • Adds depth and complexity

Highlights: Focus on gaining/buying cards and getting effects for doing so

Dominion: Hinterlands is the first big expansion on our list of the best Dominion expansion packs. It still does require the base game or Dominion: Intrigue in order to play the game, but comes with a lot more cards in it than the small expansions.

The main theme of Hinterlands is buying and gaining cards. There are a lot of action cards that allow you to buy or gain cards when you play them, which can make for some nice combinations to really get good cards into your deck. You must be careful, however, as gaining a lot of cards into your deck can weigh it down and make it harder to get your best cards out when you need them.

Well-planned strategies centered around this mechanic can be extremely powerful, but this strategy can also easily lead to a lot of rounds with nothing beneficial for you to do if you aren’t careful.

To aid in the synergy of these buying and gaining abilities, there are also several cards that allow you to draw additional cards, to discard cards, or to move through your deck more quickly. Some cards also allow you to affect other players’ decks, such as making them discard or trash cards from the top of their deck.

Dominion: Hinterlands is a very interesting and enjoyable expansion, one that you’re sure to have lots of fun with. It adds in a lot of attack cards and ways to affect your opponent, making it one of the best Dominion expansions for 2 players, as long as you’re someone who enjoys attacking the other player.

It will reward those people who can find great card synergies and who plan out effective combinations, but may not be the favorite expansion for those players who favor the big money strategies instead of action-heavy plays. The buying and gaining mechanics can be more complex, so we recommend this pack for more experienced Dominion players.

✅ Themed around buying and gaining, which can make for a lot of really cool card combinations and strategies? Be careful planning strategies that buy or gain a lot of cards, as decks can be weighed down and ineffective if not done right
✅ If you enjoy attacks this deck features several cards that let you force opponents to discard or potentially trash cards from their deck? Several mechanics in this pack are more complex and so are recommended for more experienced Dominion players

9. Dominion: Intrigue

Rio Grande Games Dominion: Intrigue 2nd Edition Board Game, Blue
  • 2nd edition features updated cards, artwork and streamlined rules
  • For 2-4 players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • This is an expansion, not standalone
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: An expansion that can stand alone but also expand the game to 5-6 players

Dominion: Intrigue is next up on out Dominion What to Buy guide and it presents a unique expansion in the series. Intrigue is the only expansion pack you can buy for the game that can be played on it’s own without the base game. It can also be combined with any other expansion, like the base game.

Intrigue adds in a lot of fun and interesting new cards to the game and really expands the gameplay from the base game. This expansion is the first to introduce cards with multiple types, such as treasure/victory cards. These can really open up new strategies and paths to victory in the game.

There are also cards in Intrigue that allow you to choose between multiple effects each time you play the card. These can be great cards to have in your deck and allow for hybrid strategies using these cards for several different reasons potentially. There are several attack cards in Intrigue which make it one of the best Dominion expansions for 2 players but also one that combines well with other expansion packs.

Dominion: Intrigue really improves upon the base game and adds a lot of new life into this deck builder. If you have ever felt like the base game starts to get a little stale after several play-throughs then pick up Intrigue to expand the game and make it fun again. It’s also great that it can expand the game to 5-6 players, so you can continue to play this game even with a bigger group.

✅ Intrigue provides a quality expansion to Dominion that can also be played without the base game? If you already have the base game, the inclusion of the base treasures and victory cards doesn’t really do anything for you
✅ The ability to now play Dominion with 5-6 players is a great addition ? Games with 5-6 players definitely play differently than with fewer players, and often take longer
✅ Action cards that give a choice of multiple effects make for fun and interesting strategies

8. Dominion: Menagerie

Rio Grande Games Dominion: Menagerie
  • For 2-4 Players. Ages 14+. 30 minute playing time
  • Dominion, that’s what you’re trying to achieve. This time with animals!
  • This is the 13th expansion to Dominion. It has 400 cards, with 30 new Kingdom cards
  • The mission of Rio Grande Games is to promote the playing of games, which offer the players choices
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: introduces “Ways” cards that allow for greater flexibility in actions choices during your turn

Next up on our list of the Best Dominion Expansion packs is the newest one, Menagerie. This large expansion pack adds in some new mechanics and freshens up some of the existing ones quite nicely. In order for it to be playable you must also have base game or Intrigue.

The big addition here is the Ways cards. There are 20 of them, all a different animal. One of these cards is put into play for the game and offers a unique effect that can be used during the game. Each time you play an action card from your deck you can choose to play it as normal or play it as the way card. This allows for more flexibility in your action choices and can open up a lot of cool new strategies for the game.

Another main part of Menagerie is the act of exiling cards. Several action cards have you exile a card, removing it from your deck or the supply and placing it on your exile mat (included in the pack). Anytime in the game that you gain a card you can choose to take all copies of that card from your exile mat and add them to your discard pile.

Dominion’s most recent expansion pack Menagerie is a top quality addition to the franchise. Ways cards and Exiling add in a variety of strategies you can take on your path to victory. This is a must-buy for any Dominion enthusiast but is not the best Dominion expansion to buy first; wait until you’re a little more experienced with the game before giving this one a go.

✅ Ways cards give a lot of flexibility in what you can do on your turn? Keeping track of actions and the Ways can be more complicated
✅ Exiling ability can be very powerful if used correctly? Be careful when exiling cards; you can only get them into your deck if you can gain another copy of that card
✅ More event cards added to give even more replayability

7. Dominion: Renaissance

Rio Grande Games Dominion: Renaissance
  • For 2-4 Players
  • It has 300 cards, with 25 new Kingdom cards.
  • There are tokens that let you save coins and actions for later, Projects that grant abilities, and Artifacts to fight over.
  • The mission of Rio Grande Games is to promote the playing of games, which offer the players choices

Highlights: store back coffers or villagers on your mat to give yourself extra actions or coin on a turn of your choice and complete projects to earn permanent bonuses

Dominion: Renaissance bring another large expansion to the Dominion franchise and brings a lot of great new content. The pack is centered around the use of tokens that are placed on a mat and can be used for specific purposes throughout the game. You must also own the base game or Intrigue to be able to play this expansion.

Coffers are a big addition with Renaissance. Some action cards allow you to gain coffers when you play or gain them; these are tokens that are placed on your coffers mat when you earn them. Each coffer is a one-time use of +1 coin. Strategies that can regularly accumulate these coffers can be very strong and have the added benefit of them not weighing down your deck like normal treasure cards would.

Villagers are the other type of token used. When you earn a villager token through action cards you place that token on your villager mat. Each of these tokens can be redeemed during any future turn for +1 action. These can be extremely helpful to have for those potentially big rounds when you just need an extra action or two.

Projects are added into the game, which are a one time buy that gives you a permanent bonus for the game. They often are costly but can often be worth it in the game and can really give you the upper hand if purchased early on.

Artifacts are also introduced with Renaissance. These are cards that can be earned through the use of other cards in the game, but there is only one copy of each artifact. While you hold the artifact you benefit from the bonus it gives, but other players can earn the artifact and take it away from you so you must plan carefully.

Renaissance should definitely be up there on your Dominion what to buy list. The many new cards and mechanics added into the game open up so many different possibilities and strategies. This is one of the best Dominion expansion combinations with many of the other packs, as the villagers and coffers can make a lot of other cards even better. Pick this one up today and enjoy lots of new fresh Dominion content.

✅ Villager Tokens give you one-time use actions that can be stored for later? Tokens may not be as powerful as well-built card engines, as they are just a one-time use
✅ Coffers are a great way to have a reserve of coin to use when you need just that little bit extra? Artifacts can be fun but are difficult to build strategies around as they often change hands
✅ Projects are a nice addition that are worth investing in for a permanent bonus

6. Dominion: Seaside

Rio Grande Games: Dominion Seaside, Expansion, Dominion or Dominion Intriuge Required for Play, 30 Minute Play Time, For 2 to 4 Players
  • For 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • This is an expansion - you need Dominion or Dominion Intrigue in order to use it
  • Nautical expansion to the popular Medieval card game Dominion

Highlights: Duration cards that give an immediate effect and then another effect on your next turn

Continuing on through our best Dominion expansion pack list is Dominion: Seaside. With this large expansion pack they add in a lot of variety to the game and they open up a lot of very powerful combinations if you can find them and put them to use in your deck. Make sure you have the base game or Intrigue in order to play this pack.

The main addition for Seaside is the duration cards. These cards give an immediate effect on the turn they are played, and then will give you an additional effect on your next turn. Some of them let you set aside a card to then put into your hand on your next turn, which can help you setup bigger rounds.

Seaside also comes with some embargo tokens and mats that are used with specific cards in the expansion.

The addition of duration cards is a wonderful change to Dominion and they add a great deal of strategy and planning to the game. For this alone I highly recommend picking up Dominion: Seaside for your collection. I think this is the best Dominion expansion to buy first, as it adds a lot of good unique content, increases the strategy of the game, and makes the game more enjoyable overall. Grab it today!

✅ Duration cards give you added benefit at the beginning of your next turn? Duration cards require you to pay attention so you don’t discard the cards and miss out on your added benefit
✅ New cards add more viable strategies and ways to win? Some of the cards are a little more complex than the ones in the base game
✅ Several attack cards allow you to affect your opponents? If you aren’t someone who likes messing with the other players then these cards won’t be for you

5. Dominion: Adventures

Rio Grande Games Dominion Adventures Game Gold
  • Ages: 13+
  • Number of Players: 2-6
  • Playing Time: 30 minutes
  • The mission of Rio Grande Games is to promote the playing of games, which offer the players choices

Highlight: more duration cards, event cards, and card abilities that may give you penalties or bonuses on your turn

Dominion: Adventures is a large expansion that adds in a ton of new and different content. It does still require Intrigue or base game to play. We see more duration cards that were popular in Seaside and the addition of event cards. There are also cards that give you or your opponents tokens that may give them bonuses or penalties to cards, coins, actions, and more on their turn.

A game of Adventures may include 1 or 2 events, which are placed near the supply for the game. Players can “buy” this event to gain its effect, but the card doesn’t enter your deck. A player can buy an event multiple times in a game to gain it’s benefits. These can make for some interesting combinations or playstyles in the game, which I think are great fun.

Adventures also has Reserve cards, which are a new type. These allow you to set aside a card on your tavern mat (included with the expansion) and can then call the card back later in the game to gain it’s effect.

Traveler cards are also in this pack, which upgrade themselves into stronger versions of themselves when you discard them, represented by different cards in the same supply pile.

With all of the new cards and concepts in Adventures, I don’t recommend this pack for those who are brand new to Dominion. This set does, however, make probably the best Dominion expansion combination with a lot of the other expansion sets.

Some of the cards in previous sets that didn’t really stand out can be given new life and become very strong when paired with other cards from Adventures. If you’re a fan of Dominion this should definitely be a part of your next game night.

✅ More duration cards, traveler cards that upgrade when discarded, and the ability to earn or give tokens that can give bonuses or penalties? This set is recommended for more experienced players, since they add in a lot of new concepts
✅ Event cards add a great new element to the game that can be bought and used but don’t add a card to your deck? Care should be taken choosing events so they aren’t useless in your setup or way overpowered
✅ The ability to reserve cards to call back when you need them is a nice addition

4. Dominion: Dark Ages

Rio Grande Games Dominion Dark Ages Expansion, Brown
  • This is an expansion to Dominion, not a standalone game
  • Includes 500 cards
  • Adds depth and complexity
  • This is an expansion to Dominion, it is not a stand-alone game
  • Adds depth and complexity to the game

Highlights: shelters replace starting estates, each with their own effect, and more interaction with the trash pile

Dominion: Dark Ages very much asks you to start from almost nothing and to build yourself up to success. Another large expansion pack requiring Intrigue or the base game to play, we see shelters replace some of the starting estates, each with their own unique effect, and ruins cards that take up an action but do very little past bogging down your deck. These ruins are great when you can send them to your opponents but are less fun when you have a hand full of them on your turn.

Dark Ages also have several cards that will interact with the trash pile more than in other Dominion expansions. This can be very effective when you can pull back strong cards from the trash and add them to your deck. Knights are included in the pack, cards that can be upgraded into more powerful versions over the course of the game.

Dark Ages is a very fun and unique twist on the regular Dominion gameplay. While some packs speed up play or lend themselves to big money strategies, Dark Ages is a much slower, smaller build. Finding strategies and building engines can be very rewarding, but a poorly executed plan may leave you doing very little on your turns and with a deck full of nothing.

While not recommended as much for beginners to Dominion, this is a very well-done and enjoyable expansion pack. Pick this up one today for a different take on the game, one that might force you to find those hidden combinations instead of simply stockpiling treasure cards.

✅ Dark Ages rewards slow built, well-planned engines and combinations? Not all players may like the slower gameplay and the smaller start of this expansion
✅ Ruins cards are great fun when you can flood your opponents’ hand with them? Being on the receiving end of all of the ruins cards is less fun
✅ Shelters that replace starting estates make for different and unique starting strategies

3. Dominion: Nocturne

Rio Grande Games: Dominion: Nocturne, an Expansion, Strategy Board Game, 2 to 4 Players, 30 Minute Play Time, For Ages 14 and up
  • 11th expansion to Dominion
  • 500 cards, 33 new Kingdom cards.
  • For 2-6 players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: Incorporation of a night phase that comes after the buy phase but before cleanup

Here we have Dominion: Nocturne as we edge closer to the top of our best Dominion expansions list. This is a top quality expansion pack, one that does require the base game or Dominion: Intrigue to play, that adds in a lot of great content, from boons and doom cards that can give nice bonuses or harmful penalties, to unique heirloom cards that replace starting coppers, to the addition of the night phase into the game.

Nocturne is the first expansion to feature night cards and the night phase. After your buy phase but before cleanup you can take a night phase and play night cards during that time. You can play as many night cards during the phase as you would like; you aren’t limited by how many actions/buys you have like the other phases.

Since coin, actions, and buys would be useless during the night phase (they’ve already happened), night cards instead focus on gaining or trashing cards, attacks against your opponents, or duration effects that would affect the beginning of your next round of play.

Nocturne is a unique expansion pack in that it is the only one that adds in a new phase of play. Games using this set play very differently than the other expansions, making this an exciting and unique experience. Well-executed strategies using night cards can have you gaining strong cards regularly to your deck or have you ruining your opponents’ strategies through your attacks.

I’m always a big fan of attacks in Dominion and therefore think this is one of the best Dominion expansions for 2 players. It also plays wonderfully with bigger groups. Nocturne is a must buy for it’s unique playstyle and quality cards it adds into the mix.

✅ Night phase is a new phase of play that makes for new and exciting strategies and gameplay? Players who dislike a lot of attacks in the game may not enjoy this expansion as much
✅ Boons and Doom cards add in new life to the game and the ability to gain bonuses or suffer penalties at different times? The randomness of the boons or doom cards add more chance to the game can be frustrating at times
✅ Other fun cards like state cards, heirlooms, and some duration cards

2. Dominion: Prosperity

Rio Grande Games Dominion Prosperity
  • It adds 25 new Kingdom cards to Dominion, plus 2 new Basic cards that let players keep building up past Gold and Province
  • The central theme is wealth, there are treasures with abilities, cards that interact with treasures, and powerful expensive cards
  • 4th addition to the game of Dominion
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: new top end treasure card, Platinum, and victory card, Colonies to fuel big money plays and big rounds

Coming in at number 2 on our top expansions for Dominion is Prosperity. Here is another large expansion that requires you to have base game or Intrigue to play, but this pack is well worth it with all the additions it makes. Get ready to go big with this pack on your way towards earning a new treasure card, Platinum, and in search of the new biggest victory card, the Colony.

Prosperity focuses much less on attacks and instead is about building up your deck to reach vast wealth and to have bigger, more involved turns. The addition of the platinum cards makes accumulating coin easier, as well as other new treasure cards that give additional effects. Many action cards are geared towards gaining cards and coin and some give additional purchases, making it easy to pursue big money strategies.

Some cards in Prosperity also earn you victory tokens, which are worth points at the end of the game but are nice in that they don’t weigh down your deck like victory cards do.

If you’re a fan of having lots of treasure in your deck, this is the best Dominion expansion for you. It also pairs well with several other packs to give new strength to cards that may otherwise not be as exciting. Take care if adding platinum and colonies to setups not using a lot of the Prosperity cards, as they can unbalance the game for some combinations. That being said, I can’t recommend this one highly enough to add to your Dominion collection.

✅ Platinum treasure cards and Colony victory cards take the game to new heights and can really change up gameplay? Certain setups can be heavily unbalanced towards treasure heavy strategies as opposed to engines
✅ Victory tokens can be a great way to accumulate points while keeping your deck working smoothly? Victory token strategies may not always compete with heavy treasure strategies that can buy up top end victory cards

1. Dominion: Empires

Rio Grande Games Dominion Empires Game
  • For 2-4 Players
  • 30 minute playing time
  • This is an expansion - you need Dominion in order to use it
  • The mission of Rio Grande Games is to promote the playing of games, which offer the players choices
  • English (Publication Language)

Highlights: cards that can earn victory point tokens and an added debt mechanic for new playstyles

Topping our list of best Dominion expansions is Empires, a wonderful large expansion that features debt mechanics, landmarks, split kingdom piles, castles, and more. There’s so much to explore and to experience in this pack that you could play many games without it ever getting dull. Just make sure you have the base game or Intrigue to be able to play this one.

The debt mechanic is introduced to Dominion in Empires. Some cards will cost debt instead of coin (or some cost some coin and some debt). You can buy these debt cards on your turn even if you don’t have the coin to pay for them, going into debt to take that card. However, you must pay back all of your debt during your next turn or turns before you can buy any other cards.

These debt cards can be quite powerful and can give you a big leg up if used correctly. If not used well, though, you may find yourself taking multiple rounds just paying off your debt and may fall behind. It really adds in a risk/reward element to the game that can be fascinating.

Empires also features some kingdom piles that are split. Instead of all 10 cards being the same, the first 5 are one type and the last 5 a second type. These latter cards usually utilize the early cards in some way, meaning you can build strong combinations if you can get the cards and get them to line up.

Games of Empires may also feature landmarks, which are setup at the beginning of the game and add in additional unique scoring options for meeting requirements during the game or may give points or penalties in end game based on the makeup of your deck. Use 1 or 2 landmarks in a game setup to add a fun twist to gameplay.

Empires features a lot of great action cards, mechanics, and elements that truly make it a fantastic addition to Dominion. Balance your risk/reward with debt cards, work towards powerful combinations with split piles, and style your play to maximize the use of landmark conditions, all on your way towards victory in Dominion: Empires. If you can only pick up one expansion pack then make it Empires.

✅ Split kingdom card piles incentivize gaining earlier cards to unlock strong combinations with the latter cards? These split piles can be effective is used well and if they line up but can just as easily weigh down your deck and slow you down
✅ Landmarks give you bonuses or penalties for certain conditions, encouraging you to expand your gameplay or alter strategy each and every game? If landmarks aren’t chosen carefully they may be very powerful or totally useless to a particular setup
✅ Introduction of debt mechanic gives an exhilarating risk reward component that can pay off big if used well? Plan carefully or you may end up swimming in debt early on and falling way behind

Recommended Dominion Sets

Anyone who is familiar with Dominion knows that getting a good combination of cards and setup is key to enjoying the game to its fullest. Regular players of the game will have their favorites, but where does one go to find the best setups for the game?

A great place to start is in the instruction manuals for any of the expansion packs. Most, if not all, of the manuals will give Dominion recommended sets using just that expansion pack, and then will often highlight a couple setups using that pack and each of the expansions that came before it. I always enjoy checking out this initial recommendations to get me started. They can also be found through Fandom’s Dominion Pre-set Sets of 10.

There’s a fairly well developed wiki for Dominion which offers a host of great information on specific card types and mechanics, some basic strategies for the game, and includes a significant section on setups. Check out the wiki’s Recommended Kingdoms.

Many people also enjoy using randomizers to create setups for them. Often you can input which expansions you have or want to use and let it randomly pick 10 kingdom cards for you. This can often be a mixed bag, however, as you will sometimes get really great setups and other times will have poor, unbalanced combinations. If you are interested in checking on out I recommend DominionRandomizer. The site does also feature some recommended kingdom setups.

Best Dominion Expansion Combinations

With so many expansion packs on the market, trying to find which sets combine well with others can be a daunting task. Randomly guessing and pairing two packs can work out well but can just as easily leave you with a poorly balanced setup with cards that don’t work at all together. Let’s check out a few of the sets that make the best Dominion expansion combinations.

Seaside is my first and top recommendation for one set that works well with a lot of the others. The duration cards open up so many different strategies and possibilities and can breath new life into cards that may otherwise not be very popular. There’s something extremely satisfied about a strong setup of duration cards carrying you to victory.

Renaissance is another expansion pack that combines really well with a lot of other sets. Projects are a lot of fun and give you a permanent upgrade or bonus to use throughout the game, which can compliment a lot of other strategies and card combinations well.

The artifacts give another way to add more power to a strategy, as long as you can control them reliably. The coffers and the villager tokens are also great accents to other sets, as it can be extremely helpful to have a few coins or actions stored back to break that huge round.

I also highly recommend Dominion: Intrigue to have to pair with other sets. First off it’s great that is can be paired with other expansions without needing to have the base game. It can also be used with the base game cards and other sets to play with up to 6 players, so it’s great to open the game up for larger groups.

Intrigue also introduces some fun and interesting attack cards that can play nicely (or really not nicely depending on your point of view) with other card sets. And the action cards that give choices for what you receive each time you use them can present some hybrid strategies that can be very powerful.

The creators of Dominion did an outstanding job setting this game up to play well together, so you can really find quality setups with pretty much any combination of expansion packs. I usually stick to 2 expansion packs at most when setting up a game, but some people enjoy playing with more, or even all of the sets together at once. There’s so much freedom and flexibility to this game, making it immensely popular and very replayable.

Board Games Similar to Dominion

If you enjoy Dominion and want other great games that are similar to it, check out some of our great choices here!

In Great Western Trail you’re a cattle rancher taking your herd from Text to Kansas City. Manage your cattle, hire staff to help, and effectively utilize stops along the trail as you work to have your most valuable cows with you upon arrival in Kansas City to score the most points. Pick this one up for a western-themed deck builder.

Star Realms pits you in epic space battle in this deck-builder meets trading card game. Trade your cards for better ships and bases, which then can be used either to increase your trade power or to wage war against your opponent. If you can get rid of all your opponent’s Authority then you win the game! One base game will support 2 players, but additional core sets can expand gameplay to 6 players or the Star Realms Colony Wars set supports 4 players.

If you’re a fan of deck builders be sure to check out our collection of the 20 Best Deck Building Games for more great choices! Dominion is on our best 3 player board game list as well, so visit that for more great games if you often play with three people.

Aeon’s End is slightly different in that it’s a cooperative deck builder, but is still great fun. Work together to fight off the masses of the Nameless and to defend Gravehold. Aeon’s End features a variable turn order, which makes things interesting, and a unique mechanic in which you never shuffle your deck, forcing you to think and strategize with each discarded card. Buy Aeon’s End for a deck builder meets dungeon crawler game.

For more great dungeon adventures, check out our Best Dungeon Crawl Board Games for Hours of Entertainment.

Clank! is an adventure deck builder where you must sneak into the mountain to steal gold from the dragon. Will you stick close to the entrance where you can get out safely but not find as good of loot, or will you brave the depths for riches and powerful items, knowing that one false step might send the dragon down on you. Can you accumulate the most points from artifacts to be crowned the greatest thief?

Final Thoughts on Best Dominion Expansions

Dominion is a classic in the board game world and a game that defined the deck builder genre. The game has gone on to publish 13 additional expansion packs, all which bring uniqueness and new fun to the game. While I will say that the base game of Dominion can get old pretty quick, many of these expansions combine to make a deep strategy game that you can keep coming back again and again.

Pick up one or several of these best Dominion expansions for your next game night and see just how truly great the game can be.

Best Dominion Expansion:

Sale Rio Grande Games Dominion Empires Game

Best Dominion Expansion to Buy First: Seaside

Rio Grande Games: Dominion Seaside, Expansion, Dominion or Dominion Intriuge Required for Play, 30 Minute Play Time, For 2 to 4 Players

Best Dominion Expansion for 2 Players: Nocturne

Sale Rio Grande Games: Dominion: Nocturne, an Expansion, Strategy Board Game, 2 to 4 Players, 30 Minute Play Time, For Ages 14 and up

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Pick up a New Favorite Dominion Expansion and Get Playing Today!

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