Ranking Prizes can be misleading because you get whichever one is left that you need most, not whichever is highest on this list. That said, some you need more often than others, and that is the perspective I take when commenting on this list.
There were 26 votes for this list. 5 cards means each rank is 25%. There were no changes in rank from last year and the weighted and unweighted rankings are identical.
Due to the low number of cards, a plot as prepared for the 5 costs and Knights list is a poor way of presenting vote distributions. Instead, the table below gives the counts of each place vote for each of the five prizes.
Bag of Gold
The Best Prizes
#1 =0 Followers Weighted Average: 79.2% ▼3.8pp / Unweighted Average: 82.7% (1) / Median: 75% ▼25pp / Standard Deviation: 19.3%
Followers maintains the top position it has held since the start of these rankings, and I think it has a good claim to that spot. While it is odd to see Followers as a junker since it distributes bad cards to all players, Estate versus Curse is an at least temporary two point swing. More importantly, the discard attack from Followers can not only hurt your opponent’s draw but also hamper your opponent’s ability to buy a Province and compete for Prizes themselves, so can be a snowballing first Prize to gain.
#2 =0 Trusty Steed Weighted Average: 75.6% ▼0.3pp / Unweighted Average: 76.9% (2) / Median: 75% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 19.5%
Trusty Steed also maintains its position that it has held since the start, but I would like to see it drop below Princess. The thing Steed has most going for it is that it can be used to continue your turn and gain another Prize, but in terms of overall importance often falls below both Followers and Princess. While being the only village on a board is often made as a point in favor of Trusty Steed, it is usually difficult to truly take advantage of that still-limited terminal space, and on such boards loading your deck with Silver to rush Provinces is often a more productive move.
#3 =0 Princess Weighted Average: 70.2% ▲4.2pp / Unweighted Average: 65.4% (3) / Median: 50% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 18.5%
Like Followers and Trusty Steed, Princess maintains the position it has held since the start of these rankings, though this year shows a gain in average that I think gets it closer to its proper placement. Princess has a decent case for being first on the list because in decks where you can build it is often the most important prize, either for giving the first extra gain or for being able to better take advantage of other extra gains. While I would still place Followers above it for its ability to snowball such games, Princess should see at least one spot bump up on this list.
#4 =0 Diadem Weighted Average: 13.4% ▲0.2pp / Unweighted Average: 13.5% (4) / Median: 25% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 12.5%
After the top 3 prizes, there is a huge drop-off to the next two, with Diadem in 4th being nearly tied with Bag of Gold in 5th and well below Princess in 3rd. Diadem likely ranks above Bag of Gold because it is seen as a better default gain: a Silver+ in hand is thought to be better than a Gold on top of the deck, although at the point you might gain this a Duchy or nothing at all might be better. Diadem has a few impressive combos with Champion, Villa, and Villagers, but in general is unimpressive compared to the top 3.
#5 =0 Bag of Gold Weighted Average: 11.6%▼0.4pp / Unweighted Average: 11.6% (5) / Median: 0% =0pp / Standard Deviation: 12.5%
Bag of Gold comes in last, and while it is virtually tied with Diadem, I think it should be cleanly above the current second-to-last place card. The difference I see between Bag of Gold and Diadem is that you more often actually want the effect of Bag of Gold, so while it makes a poorer default gain, it should be ranked above Diadem. Gaining treasures is often an effective way to build economy in an engine and is decent in the quick non-drawing Tournament decks that are the alternative, so Bag of Gold can have a meaningful place in a variety of decks.