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Ascension Rise of Vigil Kickstarter Previews

With the new Ascension Online Kickstarter in full swing (but ending Thursday at 9 pm), Stone Blade Entertainment has turned it into a preorder-stravaganza as well! After Rise of Vigil was accidentally leaked, SBE is now previewing the upcoming set – which you can preorder through the campaign!

Rise of Vigil is looking to be a new block that expands Ascension in a different direction. Chronicles of the Godslayer and Return of the Fallen introduced core mechanics, Storm of Souls and Immortal Heroes brought us events, soul gems and trophy monsters. Now Rise of Vigil drops events and soul gems for treasures and energy.

Those probably need some explaining. According to SBE:

Treasures are cards that do not take up space in the center row. Whenever a treasure card enters the center row, you continue to place cards on top of it until you hit a non-treasure card. Whenever a player acquires or defeats a card with treasure under it, that player also acquires all of those treasures.

The Energy Shards are treasures, and they generate a resource called Energy and draw a card whenever you play them.

Energy is a new resource in Rise of Vigil. Unlike Runes or Power, Energy is not spent. Some cards have Energize abilities which turn on when you reach a certain Energy threshold. The Energize text on a Hero, Construct, or Monster reward is active if you have gained energy equal to or greater than its Energize number that turn.

So what does this energy do? Absolutely crazy things!

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Ascension Immortal Heroes Previews: Week 7

Ascension Immortal Heroes finally got released this weekend at Gen Con! But a total of three new cards were shown off to round out the previews on the official Ascension Facebook page.

Hedron Pyromaniac continues the mixed messaging of Mechana doing both power and runes, but the self-destructive take makes for a drastically different play experience over the old method of assembling the great machine. Worst case, this is a Mystic worth double honor for only one extra rune.

Spider Witch really shows how far Eric Sabee’s art has come since Chronicles of the Godslayer. But as a card, my gut reaction is to compare this to Flytrap Witch. On its own, this card doesn’t do enough for me. With some extra Lifebound heroes, it can work but unless your strategy is honor ramp (or consistent uniting), this is a card you can leave for your opponents.

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Dominion Dark Ages Previews: Days 3 & 4

Jesse and Tom are giving you our thoughts on the upcoming Dominion set, Dark Ages. A full game, Dark Ages is all about trashing, looting and temporary gains. Between multiple new card types, it is certainly looking to be a unique experience for Dominion fans old and new.

Jesse: I have a hard time accepting any card named Squire thanks to Magic: the Gathering, but this one impresses me. Early game, this is a great buy that almost puts Jack of All Trades to shame. The option of more buys, more actions or gaining a silver – all while giving 1 coin make me wonder how this could possibly cost only 2! Add in the bonus for trashing it where it upgrades itself to the best attack card in the supply? These will all be purchased very, very quickly.

Tom: I really enjoy cards that give you a bunch of choices. With such a low cost and a guaranteed copper along with extra benefit I don’t see a situation where this isn’t part of someone’s deck. One concern is that if you play this in a set that has no attacks, part of it’s function is rendered useless. Not a big deal, but a consideration.

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Ascension Immortal Heroes Previews Week 6

Last week was the final week of Ascension: Immortal Heroes previews since the expansion is coming out this week with the Gen Con release! Sadly, I won’t be able to go to Gen Con (though that means one less person to compete against in the World Championship). All of the reveals this week came from the official Ascension Facebook page.

Aaron, the Godslayer
The original winner of last year’s World Championship, Aaron Sulla, won not only some great prizes but also got immortalized with his own card! Half of Adayu, the Chosen, Aaron shows that Oziah isn’t quite as peerless as he once thought. The ability to kill any creature is a great power that puts him high on the list of need to acquire cards, especially in Immortal Heroes combat-heavy environment.

I really miss the grand machine design of mechana in the first Ascension block. Repurposer is a solid card, but for seven runes it is expensive to use. In the right deck that focuses on smashing construct after construct, this could be interesting. Then again, P.R.I.M.E. is happy with just about any construct.

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Dominion Dark Ages Previews: Days 1 & 2

It seems like everyone is ramping up for Gen Con, which would explain why we are getting flooded with previews of games that aren’t Magic: the Gathering for once. This news is all about the newest Dominion expansion: Dark Ages!

Like with Hinterlands, Tom and I are both writing up our thoughts on these cards to give you two different viewpoints on what we think of them and the upcoming set as a whole.

From these early six cards it appears that the crux of dark ages is two-fold. First, it involves extra effects when you trash the card. That certainly improves the value of classics like Remodel with this set. Second, and this goes along with that, is that the deck should make for some interesting combos. Anyone who enjoys cycling their deck and putting together really impressive combos (Jesse), this is the set for you.

The set also is introducing ruins, what appears to be another way to give curse like cards to your opponents, but instead of outright Victory Point penalties, the ruins each have different effects

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Ascension Immortal Heroes Previews: Week 5

After the complete madness that was last week, Ascension: Immortal Heroes continues to shape up in interesting ways. Cards are still getting shown off everywhere (including here!) as we get closer and closer to the release at Gen Con!

From Ascension Official Facebook page:

With The Great Eclipse shown off, there is only one Event left to be revealed. While the artwork is oddly surreal (and unlike any eclipse I’ve ever seen), the potential of this card is amazing. Chaining Lifebound heroes is dangerous thanks to unite, but the real scariness of this card is the fact it doesn’t say “once per turn.”

When combined with the Event Trophy, it allows you to acquire any Hero and put them on top of your deck!

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Exclusive – Ascension: Immortal Heroes Soul Gem Preview!

As the days draw closer to the release of Ascension: Immortal Heroes, new cards are getting revealed on a daily basis and Castles and Cooks has an exclusive Soul Gem to reveal!

In the Immortal Heroes expansion, a new deck of cards is included known as Soul Gems. These unique one-shots represent heroes of the past and force you to use them immediately – or lose them! There are 40 Soul Gems in the deck, but some cards appear more than once. For example, Avatar Golem appears twice in the Soul Gems deck.

What is most interesting to me about this version of Avatar Golem is the change to its rules text. Originally it read “Gain 1 honor for each type of Construct you control. (Types are Enlightened, Mechana, Lifebound and Void.) ” and it now is “Gain 1 honor for each faction among Constructs you control.” While this could just be some attempt at unifying the card language, I really wonder if down the road Ascension is going to expand into a new faction or two (or multiple-faction cards). Rampant speculation? Absolutely!

Another thing I love is how vibrant the colors on Avatar Golem are now. The yellows, oranges and purple really pop in comparison to the older card. As Justin Gary’s favorite card, Avatar Golem can become a game ending powerhouse that rewards an eclectic mix of Constructs.

Ascension: Immortal Heroes is scheduled to be released on August 17th at Gencon. Who wants to pick me up a copy?

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Ascension Immortal Heroes Previews: Week 4

Last week was a crazy one for Ascension Immortal Heroes previews. Between the five new cards shown off on the official Ascension Facebook page, the three over at Ascension Fans (I love those guys) and both MTV Geek and Gamehead show off one each, it’s been a lot of fun!

From the official Ascension Facebook page:

Temple Guardian finishes the cycle of Enlightened defeaters alongside Prodigal, Arha Templar, Oziah the Peerless and Adayu, the Chosen. A solid pick, especially being worth 4 honor for 5 runes. And if he cantrips as well, that’s beyond excellent. Acidic Crawler is interesting, but it really is one of those cards you need to play with before getting the best sense of it. The idea of destroying someone’s entire construct arsenal is impressive, but how often will that actually happen? Plus if you have the most, the crawler is just worth 5 honor.

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Ascension Immortal Heroes Previews: Week 3

Like the last two weeks, Gary Games has been updating their Facebook Ascension page every day with a new card from the upcoming expansion: Immortal Heroes! Scheduled to be released at Gencon, Immortal Heroes is shaping up to be a fascinating set that brings new changes to each faction.

Growmites shows off another Ongoing Trophy and a new rarity! The purple symbol means super-common and there are five Growmites in Immortal Heroes. Depending on how they appear in the center row, a chain of Growmites can quickly mean game over as they continue to bring in the honor.

Energy Monk continues the trend of Mechana going into power over runes, while making great use of the smash everything strategy. While 4 runes for 2 power isn’t great, the 3 honor value helps make up for it. An interesting alternative to Brazer Drone.

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Ascension Immortal Heroes Previews Week 2

The second week of Ascension Immortal Heroes previews have happened! All of these cards were originally spoiled over as the official Ascension Facebook page. Having played a lot of Storm of Souls on my iPad over the last few months, these cards are shaping up to be very interesting.

Beast Staff rewards those who are able to banish cards from their deck and would be an fantastic piece in a Void-Mechana self-destruction deck, or it can work just as well with a Honey Siren control deck that is constantly stacking the deck. Recyclicrab is fascinating since it is a card that doesn’t do anything when in play. As a combo engine piece, this will drastically improve the value of cards like Scrap Flinger.

Wandering Askara is a homerun from a flavor standpoint. I love that it is just a Seer of the Forked Path, but the ability to get an extra turn is a pure Enlightened concept. Just be careful because there are only three of them included in the set! Trophy Hunter’s value drastically changes depending on if an Event is out of not. Being able to always snag a Fanatic, the Trophy Hunter will be very dangerous when the opening reveal includes an Event.

Souls Unbound is an interesting event that seems more like a Monster/Enlightened hoser than anything else. But the ability to turn Fanatics into Soul Gems (while pitching a card) makes me very interested to see how one of these early game will shape how people play.

Ascension: Immortal Heroes is scheduled to be released on August 17th at Gencon. You can find last week’s spoilers here.

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