In Dominion, each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can "buy" as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to the precious victory points by game end.
From the back of the box: "You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner."
"But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn't be proud, but your grandparents would be delighted."
Dominion is not a CCG, but the play of the game is similar to the construction and play of a CCG deck. The game comes with 500 cards. You select 10 of the 25 Kingdom card types to include in any given play -- leading to immense variety.
This is a card-driven game of economy. Each player begins the game with the same deck of cards, and has the same option of cards to buy to add to their deck. There are 4 kind of victory point cards (-1, 1, 3, 6), 3 currency cards, and 10 cards with varying actions. On your turn you may play an action card from your hand, then buy a card with what currency you have in your hand, then discard your hand and re-draw. At the end of the game the player with the most victory points wins.
The game's strategic strength is in deciding how much of which cards to buy. The game has a built-in pacing mechanic: the game ends when any 3 stacks of cards is empty. There are 25 different action cards in the game, and only 10 are used at a time giving it plenty of replay value, and the combination that comes out each time causes players to evaluate their strategy each game.