Published to Miniature Trading on August 30th, 2017
Miniature Review: Jade
Green > Gold (sometimes)
Set: South China Seas
Collector’s Number: 101
Faction Affiliation: Treasure
Type: Unique Treasure
Ability: Jade takes up one cargo space, and you may choose not to unload it. Whenever this ship docks at your home island, double the gold value of the treasure with the lowest gold value on this ship.
As of this writing (7/31/2017), I recently got Jade in a trade, and finally read it properly for the first time. I had always thought it was just a clone of Spices and Smuggled Goods, and therefore not very unique (puns incoming). However, since you can keep it aboard your ship(s), Jade becomes far more interesting and powerful.
For reference, here is the Pirate Code entry for it:
|quote from The Pirate Code:|
-This ability may be reused, if it is not unloaded.
-If this unique treasure is unloaded to your home island, it cannot be reloaded by any means.
-This ability is applied before any modifiers that add to the gold value of a treasure.
This UT is best used in fleets that plan on getting gold. Deathmatch fleets and fleets with mostly gunships should stick to no UT’s or negative ones. In addition, since Jade can double the value of the lowest coin on the ship, it’s worth noting that a 7 can still be low if that’s the only value the ship has. (more on that soon)
Strategies and game play:
The strategies with Jade aren’t particularly numerous, but it’s an overlooked UT that deserves more attention, just like the other things I’ve reviewed.
– Ships with large cargo holds won’t be able to take full advantage of Jade without leaving coins behind. This is because they will likely have a full haul of coins (such as 5,2,1,1, etc) and can only double the value of the lowest coin. Instead, try using a gold runner with 2 or 3 cargo spaces open (possibly after adding some crew). Since Jade takes up a space, this will leave the ship with 1 or 2 spots for regular treasure. Now you’re not worried about having to double the 1 when you have a 5 on board. Simply take the best one or two treasures from an island or a friendly ship, and maximize how much gold you can get with Jade! This is especially powerful with 7’s, as you can load up a single 7 coin and unload it for 14 gold!
– If your opponent has almost no cargo spaces open, or they’re using a combat-heavy fleet, Jade can double as a sabotage play. If you find it, you’ll be ready to use it. If they find it, it could take up the last spot of cargo on a ship since it’s loaded face up and they have to take it if possible. This will deny it’s usage for standard treasure with nothing else to unload, and might even further wreck strategies if they’re using things like Captain Jack Sparrow or cargo masters.
– You may need to transfer Jade to a ship that can maximize its power, such as a fast gold runner with a relatively small cargo hold. Once Jade is aboard your ideal ship, you can sail that ship near your home island, and essentially replicate the “gold factory” strategy with the UT instead. This means you’ll be transferring one or two coins at a time to the Jade ship, which then unloads them (but not Jade!) for as much benefit as possible.
Combos with other miniatures:
Before going into the ship and crew combos that could be used with Jade, you might want to make sure you acquire it in the first place:
– Mysterious Islands like this can yank it into the game automatically.
– You could choose it as your selection after finding Pandora’s Box, although there will often be much better options.
– There are various things you can do to maximize your chances of finding it early in the game.
There are plenty of great gold runners to use this UT with. As stated above, having only 2 or 3 cargo spaces open can be fine with Jade, since you really want to get the bonus on as many high value coins as possible. Some cheap ships you could turn a quick profit with include the Sea Tiger, Whisper, and Fancy.
One particularly nasty combo would be to use the amazing American Native Canoes. Load them up with 1 coin apiece, and give Jade to one of them as well. When it comes time to dock, you can dock home the canoe with Jade first. Then, use the free transfer to move Jade to the next ship in line. That ship docks and gets her (only) coin doubled, and the process continues until all 5 (or 10, or 15, …) have unloaded their coin along with essentially a second coin worth the same value. This is probably one of the most profitable combos you could use with Jade, and really shows the power of the American canoes. It also shows how great Jade can be, as not unloading it gives you the opportunity to use it many times throughout the game. Just remember that you have to redock or explore in order to unload the second coin, since the potential transfer at home doesn’t lead to automatically unloading. Of course, it would be better to receive the UT before docking anyway, so it’s a situation that could easily be avoided.
If you’re trying to trade Jade around to a bunch of different ships offloading gold in a short period of time, a hoist will do the job effectively.
You could keep Jade on a ship at home that is receiving gold via the UPS strategy.
Instead of making it an alternate gold factory strategy, you could simply combine it for maximum profit. Leave a ship with Ralph David near your home island, and give it Jade as well. Ships coming back home can transfer each coin to the ship individually, who redocks to double its value and add +2!
Ways to counteract it:
The easiest way to knock Jade out is simply to include Kharmic Idol or Pirata Codex in the treasure distribution. The green dragon also happens to be weak to puppiesfor some reason.
Other than that, stop your opponent’s gold game with superior gunnery. Jade IS generic cargo, so things like this can eliminate it. You could also try to board and take the UT so you can use it yourself.
Various other UT’s can create wealth. However, the aforementioned Spices and Smuggled Goods can only be used once. Things like Rum have a costly drawback, while ones like Sunken Treasure are tricky to use. Other than a few specific UT’s like Turtles and Dead Man’s Chest, Jade is tough to match for total potential gold output among UT’s.
-Doesn’t cost points
-Double a gold value = win (gold wins the game!)
-Can be extremely valuable (use it multiples times/with high value coins)
-Looks cool/thematic (perfect for the set)
-Must find it before opponent!
-Takes up a cargo space unlike most other face up UT’s
Artwork and aesthetics:
It seems to be a Chinese dragon made out of jade, which looks quite cool. The UT is perfect for the set, as it fits the Jade Rebellion and South China Seas theme.
I give Jade a 9/10. It’s a very unique treasure that can be used over and over for a huge gold and green profit. No UT is quite perfect since they are randomly placed, and this one takes up a cargo space, but Jade is tough to resist!