This week for Brigade Basics the updated series is now complete! The final evil brigades are covered: Gray, Black, and Orange.
Editor’s Note: We encourage you to use the Redemption Card Viewer as you read this article: https://thejambi.github.io/RedemptionCCGViewer/. Enter N: followed by the card name into the search to view the cards Zac is talking about.
These articles are meant for beginner players looking for a good place to start deck building or intermediate players looking to broaden their Redemption knowledge. This series of articles is a jumping off point to give less experienced players a manageable list of cards for each brigade and theme out there so they can have a place to start in their own research and experimentation.
There are many powerful cards in Redemption that are staples in most every deck that you won’t see mentioned here. They weren’t forgotten, but are only mentioned in decks that have specific synergy with them, otherwise every article would need to include most every dominant and useful site, artifact, and fortress in the game.
If I missed something, please let me know in the comments below! This article will be updated with each new set, so your comments could very well make it into the next update.
Gray is one of my favorite defenses. It is mostly known for being one of the fastest defenses out there and has 4 main themes, but can also be used as a splash defense to great effect. First, we have the Pharisees. Pharisees have great initiative with the three 1/3 generic Pharisees, The Entrapping Pharisee, and Proud Pharisee, and drawing/searching in The Chief Priests. The Plotting Pharisees can also hit powerful good cards in your opponent’s hand. Useful enhancements include Plot to Kill, Pretension, Just a Hireling, Tenants Kill the Son, Self-Righteous Prayer, Stoning of Stephen, and Seize Him!. A fast defense to be sure, but it hasn’t gotten any love in a few sets, so a bit out of date and under powered.
Next, we have the Romans, who are mostly known for hand control, and therefore pair well with a similar offense. Top characters include Emperor Nero, Emperor Galba, Emperor Otho, The Terrifying Beast, Emperor Vitellius, Emperor Tiberius, Emperor Caius Caligula, Antonius Felix, Drusilla, Emperor Claudius, Roman Spearmen, and Emperor Domitian. There are lots of options, but none are super powerful and most have horrible initiative. Enhancements include Expelling the Jews, Heavy Taxes, Romans Destroy Jerusalem, and Stormy Seas, with support cards in Rome and Denarius. You won’t see straight Romans used often, but you will see a few of them in a grey splash defense.
Syrians is the next Gray defense. This defense focuses a lot on capture and powerful weapons, specifically with King Rezin, The Strong Force, and Naaman. Other top characters include Captain of the Chariots, Syrian Archer, King Cushan-Rishathaim, Syrian Mercenaries, The Syrian Reinforcements, King Hazael, Rezon, Son of Eliada, Syrian Marauders, and Soldiers of Zobah. Support cards include Raiders Camp, Damascus, and House of Rimmon.
The final theme in Grey is Moabites. This is the newest theme to Grey, so it lacks some depth, but it makes up for it with some powerful cards in Moab, King Balak, Balaam, Emim, King Eglon, Orpah, David’s Servants, Moabite Army, Foreign Wives, Men of Moab, Moabite Messengers, Moabite Camp, Land of Moab, and Chemosh Worship. With their powerful search abilities and abilities to underdeck OT Lost Souls, you mostly see them in Type 2 however, and they pair well with a Ruth offense, as they share a few enhancements.
Other notable Gray cards include: Sabbath breaker (keeping in mind you can run 2 of him using the legacy rare version as well), The Lying Prophet, Profane Daughters, The False Prophets, Balaam’s Disobedience, Namaan’s Chariot and Horses, Gold Shield, False Prophecy, Scattered, Sorrow of Mary, Balaam’s Teaching, False Peace, Gamaliel’s Speech, Bearing Bad News, Rain Becomes Dust, Unsuccessful, Night Raid, Hypocrite’s Proselyte, Coliseum Lions, Roman Whip, Arrest in Jerusalem, Paying Taxes, The Frog Demons, Birthing Pains, Stricken, Famine in the Land, Speak Favorably, and Death of Family.
Black, despite getting a decent amount of support in the last sets, hasn’t seen a lot of play. Each theme that sees support sees some play the year it’s support came out, but it has never been top tier. First, we have the Philistines. This revolves around using Philistine Armor Bearer and Philistine Outpost to get out your powerful characters, such as Goliath and King Achish. Other notable characters include Devouring Philistines, Rapha of Gath, Delilah, Saph, Philistine Garrison, Abimelech, King of Gerar, Commander Phicol, The Herdsmen of Gerar, Philistine Commanders, Philistine Invaders, and Servants of Achish. You also have Hebron and Ashkelon for drawing, along with Philistine Chariot and Horses, Bringing Fear, Overrun by Philistines, Goliath’s Armor, Go Away!, Goliath’s Curse, and Foreign Sword.
Next is Canaanites, which tend to be more of a Type 2 deck, using Gibeonite Delegates, The Woman of Thebez, Lot’s Wife, Lot’s Daughters, Doomed Canaanites, Gibeonite Trickery, and Stone of Thebez. In Type 1 you will also see Ahiman son of Anak, Sheshai son of Anak, Talmai son of Anak, and Og King of Bashan, giving some synergy with the Philistine Giants as well. The new King of Tyrus and Prince of Tyrus help out a lot as well. Enhancements include Gibeonite Curse, Gibeonite Trickery, Foreign Sword, Fortify Site, Sisera’s Oppression, Pillar of Salt, Idol Worship and Baal Worship, and support cards in Tower of Thebez, Jericho, Sodom and Gomorrah, Hebron, and Idols of Canaan. As you can see there are a lot of options for Canaanites. They pair well with offenses that use choose the blocker abilities, like Red, Green, and Gold, as they tend to give your opponent your evil characters.
Next, we have Sadducees, who have great initiative characters in the four 1/3 banding Sadducees and Temple Guard, as well as lots of drawing/searching in High Priest Caiaphas, Alexander, and The Chief Priests. Other notable characters include High Priest Ananias, Scribe, Disbelieving Sadducees, and The Sanhedrin. Powerful enhancements would include High Priest’s Plot, Just a Hireling, Tenants Kill the Son, Questioning Christ, Stoning of Stephen, and Seize Him!. Support cards include High Priests Palace/Unholy Writ and Prison. Sadducees mix very well with Pharisees and have lots of speed and searching, but still never made it to many top tables.
Finally, we have Greeks, who are known for punishing your opponent whenever they draw a card with cards like Priests of Zeus and Abomination of Desolation. Many of its cards force your opponent to draw cards, which then allows you to discard cards from their territory. Other notable characters include Alexander the Great, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, The Winged Leopard, The Goat with Horn, Hellenistic Jews, Epicurean Philosophers, Stoic Philosophers, and Demetrius the Silversmith. Greek-specific enhancements include Adjourn, Seized by Rioters, and Worldly Wisdom, and support cards include Shrine to Artemis and Areopagus. Since Shrine to Artemis can hold an idol, you will usually also run a few extra idols in a deck like this, along with things to stop your opponent from searching, such as Hezekiah’s Signet Ring. This defense takes a while to set up, and the offense used with it takes a long time to work, so you will usually end up running Burial Shroud to help buy some time.
Black has tons of powerful non-them specific cards as well, such as Joseph in Prison, Wrath of Satan, Regrets, Betrayal, Bringing Greif, Besieged, Flying Scroll, Stricken, The Lord Delivers!/Am I a Dog?, Hunger, Foolish Advice, Pride of Simon, Simon, Wickedness of Delilah, Abandonment, Paying Taxes, Outsiders, Plot to Kill, Gibeonite Treaty, Prisoner at Gaza, Envy, Darkness, and The Wages of Sin. Black has the tools in multiple themes to make a comeback, so hopefully we will see it on more top tables in the near future.
Orange is all about Demons, and boy does it have some powerful ones, especially as Demons are harder to target than most other evil characters and can’t be converted. The only theme you will see in Orange, other than being able to get cards off the bottom of your deck, is the Revelation theme. There isn’t a ton of depth for this, so just keep in mind if the card is Orange and has a Revelations reference, there are a few cards that can search it out in Orange. Orange has a lot of power, but lacks a lot of the speed and searching needed to run mono, so you will usually see it splashed with something else, such as Pale Green or Brown. Top characters include Red Dragon, Abaddon the Destroyer/Locust from the Pit, King of Tyrus (both versions), The Serpent, Babylon/The Harlot , Damsel with Spirit of Divination and The Diving Damsel, The Fallen Star, Wandering Spirit, Seven Sons of Sceva, The Judean Mediums, Trembling Demon, The god of this World, Messenger of Satan, and Spirit of Fear. You will also see The Deceiver is almost every deck, but probably not as much in mono Orange and it only targets humans.
Mono-orange has seen a renaissance in the current meta due to its ability to block the dangerous large banding chains found in common decks like Throne and Flood. The blocks are centered around Red Dragon and the new King of Tyrus from PoC tied in with The Judean Mediums. The Fallen Star is a great reason to consider mono-Orange as well. Orange enhancements that are often used are The Wages of Sin, Suicidal Swine Stampede, Mark of the Beast, Blindness, War in Heaven, Dragon’s Wrath, Nicolaitans’ Teaching, and Blasphemies. Lurking also works very well here, as it can be very powerful banding in Abaddon for a negate. And don’t forget Gates of Hell, one of the main reasons for running more than just a splash of Orange. Orange can be used with most anything, except maybe decks with Michael, as Red Dragon doesn’t like him, and pairs well with Tabernacle/Temple decks that use The Bronze Laver.
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