Taking it With You: #1 Strategy for winning Valley of the Kings

Easily the most fun deckbuilder I’ve played in quite some time, Valley of the Kings has players portray Ancient Egyptian nobility vying to stash away the most impressive treasure collection in their pyramids. Like most deck builders, all players start with the same hand and there is a “pyramid” of cards available for purchase in the middle — this makes set up way faster than say, Dominion. You can use your cards either for whatever cool thing they allow you to do or for their monetary value to purchase new cards. Once per turn, you can Entomb a card in your pyramid, which you can no longer use, but the only way to score points is having entombed cards, so it’s a balancing act of using and entombing cards before time runs out. There are sets of artifacts which are worth more the more of them you have stashed, so there is a good incentive to fight for certain cards. Additionally, you can use card abilities to mess with all of the rules and move things around in the pyramid market, affecting what is available to buy. I had the pleasure of learning the game from the designer and it has become a quick favorite for killing 30-45 minutes while still engaging some deep strategy. I hear an expansion is coming out this August that adds new cards, takes the game up to 6 players, and also can be played solo or stand-alone. That’s going on the wish list…

The Way to Win this Game:

Ok, so you can buy cards in combos that do lots of things, but whatever your Master Plan, you want to include a way to get rid of your starter cards. And you want to do it hard and fast and early game. Keep 1-2 Shabtis and Urns, and the Offering Table if you must, but the less of those starting cards you have, the more your hand draws will be awesome. Bonus points if you can give your starting cards to other players to impede their progress, but just get rid of them and your game starts to come together.

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Posted in Game Reviews, Tips and Tricks
3 comments on “Taking it With You: #1 Strategy for winning Valley of the Kings
  1. Tom Cleaver says:

    Thanks for your kind words about my game. The expansion, Valley of the Kings: Afterlife, was released at Gen Con. It should show up in store shelves real soon.

    Tom Cleaver

    • Evil Bekka says:

      Hi Tom,
      We bought Afterlife as an Anniversary present to ourselves in September and are enjoying it immensely! Keep designing great games!

    • We just played the expansion (again) and I’m awash with admiration at how clear your rules are. Thanks for including another tie-breaker in the expansion, by the way. We’ve adopted your base rules theory for other games that unsatisfactorily conclude that the victory is shared after an unequal amount of turns — we’re always like, “well, who had the most turns?!” And the fewest turns wins. No one wants to share victory 😉

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