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The 7 Best Dominion Expansions

The 7 Best Dominion Expansions

The best expansions and combinations for Dominion, ordered by need.

The Dominion board game stands tall as the first deck builder ever (it’s on our list of the 10 best deck building games you need to know about). It isn’t entirely dependent on luck or strategy alone, but leans heavily on a combination of the two. The experience you get with the base set is going to last you a good number of plays, and that’s great! 

But before long, the inevitable question appears. 

“This game is great,” you say, but “what if they had… horses?”

There are a ton of opinions out there about what the “best Dominion expansions” or the “most essential Dominion expansions” are. Everyone has a favorite “best Dominion expansion!”

So why has no one cracked the Dominion expansion code? The answer: there are different expansions for different players- some tackle variety, some focus on theme and others focus on value. With that knowledge, we present to you our list of the 7 best Dominion expansions.

Our Top Picks – Best Dominion Expansions

Best First Dominion Expansion: Seaside

Pirrrrrrates! Seaside introduces a lot of fun concepts that give you a sense of how life-changing expansions can be for the base Dominion game. 

Best Dominion Expansion for Kids: Menagerie 

Absolutely breathtaking. This expansion is the one to get if you’re at all interested in animals! Chock-full of the cutest, cuddliest and most dangerous animals out there, Menagerie is the best Dominion expansion for the family.

Best Dominion Expansion for Advanced Players: Empires

Advanced players will find a lot to love in Empires as they navigate Debt, Landmarks and handle Victory tokens. Dovetails nicely with Adventures.

Our Top 7 Dominion Expansions

Best Dominion Expansions for Variety

Cornucopia & Guilds

The Cornucopia expansion for Dominion is quite the stunner. She’s one of the best small expansions out there because of the sheer variety of cards included. The obvious benefit here is to gain variety in your deck and give you more diverse options to choose from. 

Cornucopia was once sold by itself, but nowadays it’s bundled with Guilds, another small expansion. The whole thing gives you thirteen new Kingdom cards and five unique cards, along with thirteen coin tokens. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Cornucopia and Guilds Hamlet Card
My hamlet is my safe haven!

It’s obvious why folks love Cornucopia. The expansion brings a fresh breath of air into your games- it gives often overlooked cards, like the Royal Seal, a new sheen of desirability. You receive better bonuses for a diverse deck, so you can actually use Tribute, Moat or Smugglers cards. If you’re clever, you can deftly manage your deck or hand in a way that promotes diversity and thus gives you an advantage. We love the Hamlet card, as that allows you to toss duplicate cards and sets you up for success. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Cornucopia and Guilds Coffers Player Mat Art
Coffers are terrific for snapping up larger bonuses

It’s easy to let Cornucopia overshadow it, but Guilds adds the Coffers mechanic, which is also found in a few other Dominion expansions. This mechanic allows you to “overpay” for certain cards and receive larger bonuses as a boon.  

Cornucopia and Guilds Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitPromotes variety and deck diversity
ThemeImproves on Dominion base theme
Special cardsCornucopia: Hamlet, Fortune Teller, Menagerie, Farming Village, Horse Traders, Remake, Tournament, Young Witch, Harvest, Horn of Plenty, Hunting Party, Jester, Fairgrounds (Prize cards: Bag of Gold, Diadem, Followers, Princess, Trusty Steed)
Guilds: Candlestick Maker, Stonemason, Doctor, Masterpiece, Advisor, Plaza, Taxman, Herald, Baker, Butcher, Journeyman, Merchant Guild, Soothsayer
Other FeaturesCornucopia introduces special cards that are not in the Supply and can only be gained via the Prizes cards
Guilds: Coffers and overpay mechanics

Who This Expansion is For

This expansion is great for Dominion players who want to be rewarded for having a diverse deck. If you’re playing with young gamers, you’ll want this Cornucopia & Guilds expansion because it adds to the fun for younger players!

Buy Cornucopia & Guilds on Amazon


“Dominion, that’s what you’re trying to achieve. This time with animals!”

– The Menagerie Rulebook

Card variety is also the main driving concept behind the Menagerie expansion for Dominion, but this time with animals! An astounding variety of animals enter the Dominion universe through this expansion. As a larger expansion, this one deals out 400 cards, includes 30 sets of Kingdom cards and introduces some never-before-seen Ways. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Menagerie Dominion Expansion Way of the Otter Card Artwork
This Way gives you +2 Cards and +1 Adorable Otter
Best Dominion Expansions - Menagerie Dominion Expansion Sheepdog Card Artwork
If this doesn’t sell you, nothing will

Some of our favorite Menagerie features include Horses (which give you a draw to use later) and Exile mats that hold cards you’ve placed there, with the goal of rescuing them later. Ways are extra special because they give your Actions another option, always a good thing in Dominion.

The Way of the Mole card, for instance, gives you +1 Action and allows you to discard your hand, while gaining +3 cards. There are many other adorable animals that make their appearance as a Way. 

The obvious benefit of Menagerie as one of the best Dominion expansions, bar none, is to gain variety in your deck and give you more diverse options to choose from, but that’s not why you need this expansion. Becoming the ruler of a brand-new Animal Kingdom is! 

Menagerie Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitPromotes variety and deck diversity
ThemeAdds flavor to the Dominion base theme
Special cardsMenagerie Kingdom cards: Black Cat, Sleigh, Supplies, Camel Train, Goatherd, Scrap, Sheepdog, Snowy Village, Stockpile, Bounty Hunter, Cardinal, Cavalry, Groom, Hostelry, Village Green, Barge, Coven, Displace, Falconer, Gatekeeper, Hunting Lodge, Kiln, Livery, Mastermind, Paddock, Sanctuary, Fisherman, Destrier, Wayfarer, Animal Fair
Menagerie Events: Delay, Desperation, Gamble, Pursue, Ride, Toil, Enhance, March, Transport, Banish, Bargain, Invest, Seize the Day, Commerce, Demand, Stampede, Reap, Enclave, Alliance, Populate
Menagerie Ways: Way of the Butterfly, Way of the Camel, Way of the Chameleon, Way of the Frog, Way of the Goat, Way of the Horse, Way of the Mole, Way of the Monkey, Way of the Mouse, Way of the Mule, Way of the Otter, Way of the Owl, Way of the Ox, Way of the Pig, Way of the Rat, Way of the Seal, Way of the Sheep, Way of the Squirrel, Way of the Turtle, Way of the Worm
Menagerie Non-Supply cards: Horse
Other FeaturesMenagerie introduces special Ways as well as Events and Reactions; some cards have unusual costs, like Wayfarer and Animal Fair.
Best Dominion Expansions - Menagerie Dominion Expansion Way of the Turtle Card Artwork
Whoooooooa, go with the flow, dude

Who This Expansion is For

The Menagerie expansion is perfect for 70% of Dominion players. If you want variety, get this. If you want great artwork, get this. If you want to experiment with Ways, get this. Families and casual players will love this one. Tournament players are likely to veer away from this expansion because it doesn’t dole out as many high-powered cards. 

Buy Menagerie on Amazon

Best Dominion Expansion for Variety and Theme


Variety is also the name of the game in Adventures, one of our favorite advanced Dominion expansions. It’s helpful to think of this expansion as a generous bowl of deliciously garlicky mashed potatoes, with sumptuous mushroom gravy slathered on top. 

It’s one of the larger Dominion expansions, with 400 cards included. Thirty sets of Kingdom cards make their appearance, along with 20 Events. Traveller upgrades appear with five each of Treasure Hunters, Warriors, Heroes, Champions, Soldiers, Fugitives, Disciples and Teachers. 

Adventures adds a plethora of unique cards due to its inclusion of Travellers and Events. These cards, in addition to the Reserves and token management, increase the level of difficulty. As one of the larger and more complex Dominion expansions, this one doesn’t work well as your first expansion. You’re better off getting either Cornucopia and Guilds or Menagerie for your first expansion experience. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Adventures Dominion Expansion Treasure Hunter Card Artwork
Go for a money grab with this one

There is a silver lining, though: Adventures also includes fast combo strategies like the widely publicized Royal Carriage / Bridge combo. There’s also a new strategy that uses a Duration card (Gear) or the Treasure Hunter and Hero cards to bring in the big bucks. The fun factor is in key unusual combinations, including the Treasure-Attack, Attack-Duration and Duration-Reaction cards. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Adventures Dominion Expansion Haunted Woods Card Artwork
On your next turn, pick up 3 cards

The real reason to get this expansion is the Durations, Reserves and Events. Durations include more thematic cards like the Bridge Troll and Haunted Woods- spooky! Adventures doubles the number of Duration cards you see when compared to one of its predecessors, Seaside. The twinning abilities of the Reserves (they allow you to “reserve” cards for future use) and Events (they allow you to not use certain Kingdom card slots in the Supply) also improve your strategic options twofold. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Adventures Dominion Expansion Bonfire Card Artwork
Maybe forest management wasn’t a thing back then?
Best Dominion Expansions - Adventures Dominion Expansion Travelling Fair Card Artwork
… Nope, looks like the joke’s on us.

Adventures Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitPromotes variety and deck diversity
ThemeGreatly improves on Dominion base theme
Special cardsAdventures Kingdom cards: Coin of the Realm, Page, Peasant, Ratcatcher, Raze, Amulet, Caravan Guard, Dungeon, Gear, Guide, Duplicate, Magpie, Messenger, Miser, Port, Ranger, Transmogrify, Artificer, Bridge Troll, Distant Lands, Giant, Haunted Woods, Lost City, Relic, Royal Carriage, Storyteller, Swamp Hag, Treasure Trove, Wine Merchant, Hireling
Adventures Travellers: Treasure Hunters, Warriors, Heroes, Champions, Soldiers, Fugitives, Disciples, Teachers
Adventures Events: Alms, Borrow, Quest, Save, Scouting Party, Travelling Fair, Bonfire, Expedition, Ferry, Plan, Mission, Pilgrimage, Ball, Raid, Seaway, Trade, Lost Arts, Training, Inheritance, Pathfinding
Other FeaturesAdventures includes Durations, Reserves and Events

Who This Expansion is For

As one of the best Dominion expansions for both variety and thematic purposes, Adventures is a rollicking journey for intermediate to advanced Dominion players. Since it introduces a new layer of complexity, it shouldn’t be your first expansion. 

Buy Adventures on Amazon

Best Dominion Expansion for Theme


“All you ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by… One day, all the rivers will be yours.”

– the Seaside rulebook

Seaside is one of the most universally loved expansions for Dominion, and it’s got a lot going for it. One of the larger (but not the largest) expansions, it includes 300 cards- 262 of which are Kingdom cards (26 sets), 26 are Randomizers, and twelve are Blank cards. 

We are partial to pirates (who isn’t?) and Seaside knocks it out of the park with the nautical theme. Once you integrate this expansion into your regular play, it’s tough to go back. While it is the second expansion released, it still stands up to the test of time. It’s one of the best Dominion expansions available today!

Best Dominion Expansions - Seaside Dominion Expansion Lighthouse Card Artwork
Lighthouse gives you great protection from Attacks
Best Dominion Expansions - Seaside Dominion Expansion Pirate Ship Card Artwork
Avast, matey! +1 Doubloon for ye!

The artwork in Seaside is oversaturated, but it does give a certain spirit that isn’t found in other expansions, which we love. Only one card stands out as a glaring exception- there’s something incongruous about the Navigator card artwork when compared with the rest of the 300-card set.

This expansion was the first to introduce Durations (orange cards delineated by the word “Duration” on the bottom of the card). Duration cards weren’t reintroduced until Adventures years later, and have appeared here and there since then. 

Some cards in Seaside give you a choice between two or more options. A great example is the Pirate Ship or Native Village, which allows you to choose any action listed on the card, even if you can’t complete them- do as much as you can. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Seaside Dominion Expansion Native Village Card Artwork
Ah, a quaint village by the sea

Seaside Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitIntroduces a good number of thematic cards
ThemeGreatly improves on Dominion base theme
Special cardsSeaside Kingdom cards: Embargo, Haven, Lighthouse, Native Village, Pearl Diver, Ambassador, Fishing Village, Lookout, Smugglers, Warehouse, Caravan, Cutpurse, Island, Navigator, Pirate Ship, Salvager, Sea Hag, Treasure Map, Bazaar, Explorer, Ghost Ship, Merchant Ship, Outpost, Tactician, Treasury, Wharf
Other FeaturesSeaside introduces Durations, includes Coin and Embargo Tokens
Best Dominion Expansions - Seaside Dominion Expansion Sea Hag Card Artwork
She’s a powerful one, that Sea Hag!

Who This Expansion is For

Seaside is an excellent first expansion. It provides a different gameplay experience than what’s found in the Base Set. The inclusion of Duration cards kick up the challenge up a notch. If you like cutthroat competition, you’ll love Seaside– it gives you cards that have powerful attacks. 

As this expansion doesn’t add a lot of strategic complexity, this may not be for advanced Dominion players, unless you want to get the nautical theme dialed in (arr, matey). If you’re interested in picking up cards that provide excellent value (i.e., they’re strong for their cost), try Seaside. Pro tip: try the Sea Hag and Ambassador cards as openers and you’ll see what we mean!

Buy Seaside on Amazon

Best Dominion Expansions for Value


So you’re looking for value. You want the biggest bang you can get for your buck- that means tons of strategic cards- not junk, but good ones that net you riches and treasures beyond your wildest dreams.

Best Dominion Expansions - Empires Dominion Expansion Sacrifice Card Artwork
Great variable bonus trasher card

Enter Empires, one of the largest and best Dominion expansions out there with 300 cards (242 of which are Kingdom cards, 24 Randomizers, 21 Landmarks and 13 Events). Victory point tokens return, along with more Events, and this one includes a good number of Treasure cards, with few Attack cards overall. 

The biggest new concept introduced is the Landmark cards, which add a tremendous amount of variety in the game. You don’t buy Landmarks, but you add them to the game. You can score victory points with Landmarks, either with tokens or at the end of a game. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Empires Dominion Expansion Temple Card Artwork
Squirrel away your Victory tokens

Empires also includes the concept of Debt, which allows you to defer payment of the card you need now. The flip side of that coin is that you can’t buy certain things until you pay off your Debt, so you need to manage that as well. 

Split piles and Gathering cards also make their debut. Split piles allow for two different cards in a pile, thus changing the game in a subtle way. Gathering cards collect tokens on their Supply piles, but they’re a communal resource! The best example of this mechanism is contained within the Temple card, which gathers tokens when played, and gaining a Temple gives you all of the tokens on the pile itself.

Empires Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitAdds great value to your Dominion base set
ThemeAdds an Ancient Roman twist to the Dominion base theme
Special cardsEmpires Kingdom cards: Engineer, City Quarter, Overlord, Royal Blacksmith, Encampment, Plunder, Patrician, Emporium, Settlers, Bustling Village, Castles, Catapult, Rocks, Chariot Race, Enchantress, Farmer’s Market, Gladiator, Fortune, Sacrifice, Temple, Villa, Archive, Capital, Charm, Crown, Forum, Groundskeeper, Legionary, Wild Hunt
Empires Castles: Humble Castle, Crumbling Castle, Small Castle, Haunted Castle, Opulent Castle, Sprawling Castle, Grand Castle, King’s Castle
Empires Events: Triumph, Annex, Donate, Advance, Delve, Tax, Banquet, Ritual, Salt the Earth, Wedding, Windfall, Conquest, Dominate
Empires Landmarks: Aqueduct, Arena, Bandit Fort, Basilica, Baths, Battlefield, Colonnade, Defiled Shrine, Fountain, Keep, Labyrinth, Mountain Pass, Museum, Obelisk, Orchard, Palace, Tomb, Tower, Triumphal Arch, Wall, Wolf Den
Other FeaturesEmpires introduces Debt, Split Piles and Landmarks; reintroduces Victory Tokens

Who This Expansion is For

What makes Empires so enjoyable? It introduces mechanics that help skilled players get ahead via victory point tokens and intros other elements, like Debt, that help make gameplay more complex. Recommended for experienced Dominion players who want to advance their game- there’s a lot going on here. If you’re new to Dominion, work your way up to this expansion. 

Buy Empires on Amazon


“Sure, money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy envy, anger, and also this kind of blank feeling.”

– the Prosperity rulebook

Prosperity is perhaps the most well-known, and the most rich, Dominion expansion out there. An embarrassment of riches, it is best known for adding a whole avalanche of powerful cards. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Prosperity Dominion Expansion Colony Card Artwork
11 coins for 10 Victory Points!

The fourth expansion to join the family, Prosperity adds 300 cards. There are 25 sets of Kingdom cards (totaling 250 cards), 24 Basic cards, 25 Randomizers and exactly one blank card. The new Basic cards make this one of the best Dominion expansions: the Colony and Platinum cards.

Colony cards are basic victory cards, but yowza! They’re the second most expensive card out of the entire Dominion universe (only the Dominate card available in Empires costs more). Colony cards cost a whopping 11 coins- but they provide 10 Victory Points. The only card that gives more VPs is the Fountain (again, only available in Empires), and that one is just a one-time benefit. Depleting the supply pile of Colony cards will end the game. 

Prosperity also includes Platinum cards, which consist of twelve basic Treasure cards. Again, it’s one of the most expensive cards in the game, costing 9 coins, but it does produce 5 coins. Platinum is best thought of as being roughly the same thing as Gold (included in the base set). It’s basically one of the higher value cards you can keep in your deck in order to buy the top Victory card. 

Best Dominion Expansions - Prosperity Dominion Expansion Platinum Card Artwork
Loot this card for +5 Coins

Prosperity Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitAdds value to your Dominion base set
ThemeThe whole theme is focused on wealth
Special cardsProsperity Basic cards: Platinum, Colony
Prosperity Kingdom cards: Loan, Trade Route, Watchtower, Bishop, Monument, Quarry, Talisman, Worker’s Village, City, Contraband, Counting House, Mint, Mountebank, Rabble, Royal Seal, Vault, Venture, Goons, Grand Market, Hoard, Bank, Expand, Forge, King’s Court, Peddler
Other FeaturesProsperity introduces Colony and Platinum cards, includes 8 Victory Token mats and 1 Trade Route mat

Who This Expansion is For

This is a great first expansion because it’s a blast to play. It encourages fancy engines and frequent high-spending turns- you feel as if you’re a high-roller in a casino. This expansion is one of the must-have Dominion board game expansions, although its sheen has reduced a tiny bit in recent years with more polished (and recent) expansions. 

Buy Prosperity on Amazon


The Renaissance was a time of wealth, prosperity and culture. It’s also the twelfth expansion for Dominion. It includes fancy-sounding cards like Ducat, but it also includes some other cards that you typically wouldn’t associate with the Renaissance- like the Swashbuckler. 

Featuring 300 cards (250 of which are Kingdom cards, 25 Randomizers, 20 Projects and 5 Artifacts), this is one of the most polished Dominion board game expansions available today. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Guilds (bundled with Cornucopia). Coffers return! Villager cards protect you! Coffer and Villager cards are helpful for skilled players, as they allow players to keep their edge throughout the game. In a nutshell: you can course-correct after a bad draw.

Best Dominion Expansions - Renaissance Dominion Expansion Cover Box Art
Lantern adds a bit of mystique to the overall game, no?

Be sure to gobble up Projects, as they give you a bonus or special effect that lasts for the remainder of the game. Renaissance provides you with wooden cubes that you can place on Projects you snap up, but decide carefully- you only have two to begin with. Projects are also awesome because they don’t count towards the 10 Kingdom card piles in the Supply. We also enjoyed playing Artifacts (Flag, Horn, Key, Lantern and Treasure Chest).

Unique elements in Renaissance sprinkle a bit of fun throughout. If you reveal a Reaction, it reacts! There are ways to play Actions during the Buy phase! Cards interact with each other via Effects! And you can take a turn after the game is over! 

Renaissance Dominion Expansion in a Nutshell

Overall BenefitAdds value to your Dominion base set
ThemeLayers a sophisticated Italian Renaissance feel onto the Dominion medieval theme
Special cardsRenaissance Kingdom cards: Border Guard, Ducat, Lackeys, Acting Troupe, Cargo Ship, Experiment, Improve, Flag Bearer, Hideout, Inventor, Mountain Village, Patron, Priest, Research, Silk Merchant, Old Witch, Recruiter, Scepter, Scholar, Sculptor, Seer, Spices, Swashbuckler, Treasurer, Villain
Renaissance Artifacts: Flag, Horn, Key, Lantern, Treasure Chest
Renaissance Projects: Cathedral, City Gate, Pageant, Sewers, Star Chart, Exploration, Fair, Silos, Sinister Plot, Academy, Capitalism, Fleet, Guildhall, Piazza, Road Network, Barracks, Crop Rotation, Innovation, Canal, Citadel
Other FeaturesRenaissance includes 8 Coffers / Villagers mats, 35 coin tokens and 12 wooden cubes

Who This Expansion is For

Renaissance is one of the simplest and best Dominion expansions available for the player who wants to add cards, not new mechanisms or strategies. It provides incredible value for the casual, advanced and expert player, as it focuses on stripping things down to a level of well-designed simplicity. While this expansion doesn’t quite have the same level of excitement as Cornucopia, Menagerie, Empires or Prosperity, it is an incredibly well-thought out and well-designed expansion that just works

Buy Renaissance on Amazon

Best Dominion Expansions Ranked

Just for fun, here’s a list of the best Dominion expansions ranked. We’ve reviewed seven expansions above, but here’s where they fit into our general ranking. 

A lot of factors went into this ranking. We ranked them for ease of use (as in, which expansion should you get first?) and personal preference, keeping in mind the three main elements of the best Dominion expansions available today: variety, theme and value.

  1. Prosperity
  2. Seaside
  3. Cornucopia & Guilds
  4. Empires
  5. Menagerie
  6. Adventures
  7. Renaissance

Best Dominion Expansion Combinations

Yes, this is another thing. You want to know what the best Dominion expansions are, but you also wanna know what works well together. For a quick start guide, try these Dominion expansion combinations: 

  1. Prosperity and Empires
  2. Empires and Adventures
  3. Prosperity, Empires and Adventures (definitely complex, don’t do this out of the gate)
  4. Cornucopia and Renaissance
  5. Prosperity and Seaside
  6. Renaissance and Seaside
  7. When playing with younger players, Cornucopia & Guilds along with Menagerie is an excellent choice

That’s A Wrap!

The Best Dominion Randomizer App

If you’re in need of a Randomizer app that helps you set up your game and manage the best Dominion expansions you’ve just picked up, we recommend:

For iPhone

a) DominGen (iPhone, works with Siri)

For Android

a) Jack of all Dominion (Android)

b) Dominion Shuffle (Android)

All of those apps have options to limit sets for each Kingdom- that’s absolutely the way to go, as you should be playing with 2 expansions most of the time (three is the absolute max we recommend). 

Go forth and build your own Dominion

Header photo: Rio Grande Games

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