Hello everyone! Now that the Cloud of Witnesses expansion has been spoiled in whole, it’s time to consider what this means for Redemption. If you are like me, you are extremely excited yet feeling somewhat overwhelmed right now! Cloud of Witnesses is giving us 129 new cards that we need to incorporate into our thought process as we build our tournament decks. Nationals is less than 3 months away! So where do we start? What do we focus on? What are the implications and considerations needing to be addressed when an expansion is released 2 months before Nationals? That’s what I’ll be discussing in what I plan on being a multi-part “blog-like” series of articles. I’ll just be talking about whatever comes to mind and we’ll see where it leads!
First item of discussion: the 3 ultra-rares. How are they going to affect the game of Redemption over the next 2+ months? What are things to consider about these 3 cards? What is the best way to get ahold of them? All very good questions!
My first thought isn’t even about gameplay, but economics. Any ultra-rares (or even some rares) that prove deck-worthy in tournament decks will probably skyrocket in price (as measured by Three Lions Gaming prices). This will be due to the short time period in which players will have to get the CoW cards they need for tournaments. We’ve already seen what happened with Shipwreck, and that was for a card that actually doesn’t see much play in T1. It was the “new dominant” so everyone had to have a copy.
The Second Coming is going to feel the effects of supply and demand economics for sure. I am quite certain that The Second Coming will see a lot of play in both T1 and T2 so there’s no reason it can’t exceed Shipwreck in price. TLG pricing was just spoiled for the URs – one at $20, one at $30, and one at $40 – so I will make some predictions here. The Second Coming is surely the $40 card. If you plan on just buying individual cards to round out your tournament decks, and The Second Coming is one of the cards you want, I’d fork over the money as fast as possible before the price goes higher. This card could end up proving to be steal even at $50 or $60.
Broken Covenant, I’m not as sure about. Maybe it doesn’t move from its opening price (either $20 or $30, assuming SC is the $40 UR), but who knows? I can see it being awesome in T2, running 2 copies, thinning/drawing your deck and possibly discarding lost souls. Not to mention with all the new multi-color Cloud cards, it will be fantastic in T1 as well. My prediction: BC is the $30 card.
Eternal Inheritance then, would be the $20 card, if my guesses are correct. It could also be a game-changer, simply because you can have 4 copies in T2! I can definitely see T2 decks running 4 copies of this card at Nationals. Eternal Inheritance, being a good Enhancement, will have fewer buyers than more splashable cards like The Second Coming, or even Broken Covenant. However, don’t underestimate the potential for Eternal Inheritance’s price to get squeezed higher as demand quickly outstrips supply. It will all depend on how many T2 players decide to run multiple copies in their decks over the next few months. If TLG starts this card at $20 each, and you want 4 of them, just get 4 of them at that price. It’s got nowhere to go but up, and you would have to buy a lot of CoW boxes to get that many copies.
Now that I’ve mused on the economics of the new URs, let’s talk about their viability in top decks. I’ll start with Eternal Inheritance. Obviously running 4 copies in a T2 deck will be a thing. I’m not a T2 expert – I’ve only dabbled in it, so don’t take my word as gospel here. But I do know the thought process required to try and use a card to its fullest potential. If done correctly, SoG/NJ or The Second Coming/4 Eternal Inheritance = 6 rescues with 6 cards! Here are some ways off the top of my head to make Eternal Inheritance more of a “guaranteed rescue”.
Gentleness/Wasting Disease – Gentleness is Clay, just like Eternal Inheritance, and searchable/recurrable with The Holy Spirit. Wasting Disease is a Brown curse that I bet some of you readers don’t even know what it does. Why do these help? Because they both prevent Eternal Inheritance’s “Play” ability! So if you are losing the battle, you can just die; since you’ve already rescued a lost soul the battle is now a battle challenge. Your opponent won’t ever get the chance to negate Eternal Inheritance. Granted, it will be tougher to have both Wasting Disease and a Covenant active at the same time (since a Covenant needs to be active for Eternal Inheritance to work) – Book of the Covenant is one way, off the top of my head. Gentleness is definitely the easier route to take, due to being Clay, searchable/recurrable with Holy Spirit, and TC.
If you are not losing, you will need help to make sure Eternal Inheritance works, as normal initiative will allow your opponent to negate Eternal Inheritance. Some cards that can help in this regard are Unholy Writ, Magic Charms, Herod’s Treachery, Falling Away (CoW), Christian Martyr, Grapes of Wrath, etc. These are cards that can take away your opponent’s opportunity to negate Eternal Inheritance.
Is Gentleness the only reasonable way to make Eternal Inheritance a near-guaranteed rescue? After all, it has to be a rescue attempt, you have to be opposed, a covenant has to be in play, and Eternal Inheritance gives your opponent a chance to negate itself. If you can’t stop Eternal Inheritance’s Play ability from working, then you really ought to make sure Eternal Inheritance is CBI or CBN when played. Here are some ideas:
Tears for a Friend – Wait, what is this card? An uncommon Green enhancement from Priests? If you are unfamiliar with this card, you need to check it out! It lets you play the next enhancement, and grants CBI to that enhancement. You can see where I’m going with this: There are plenty of Green/Clay heroes that can play both cards. Simply use Philip’s Daughters, Agabus, Barnabas, etc. to play Tears for a Friend, and then play a CBI Eternal Inheritance! Sure, your opponent will be able to play an evil enhancement. But no matter what it is, it won’t be able to negate Eternal Inheritance.
Faith in Our High Priest – Another Priest card, and a UR one at that. This card did see some play a few years ago when White TGT decks were popular, as it allowed a CBN ‘He Is Risen’ or Magnificat to be played, and could be recurred by the Disciples Gabriel (indirectly via Consider the Lilies). Gabriel could be banded in with HiR too. Now we have a Gabriel that can directly recur FiOHP, but that is beside the point. FiOHP makes all enhancements played by NT human heroes CBN. Simply play FiOHP and then play EI, and voila, you have a CBN EI. FiOHP, being multi-colored, can be tutored and recurred by Consider the Lilies and A Soldier’s Prayer, and can be recurred by some heroes as well, like Apollos.
The Sabbath – A near-forgotten UR, also from the Priests expansion. It requires you to set aside all of your human heroes for one turn, and on return, the next one of those heroes that enters battle plays all enhancements CBN. Just play it during your discard phase, and you won’t even sacrifice a rescue while your heroes are set aside. This is riskier, due to Darius’ Decree and Covenant With Death. Also, your opponent will have a better idea of what is coming; when you play Tears for a Friend in battle, your opponent can’t do anything about it at that point, for example.
There are other more difficult methods of making EI CBI or CBN, such as setting aside a Red/Clay hero with Provisions and then choosing Sisera to block. Or using Paul and hoping (praying?) for initiative in battle. Or using Love to convert a hero like Joshua the High Priest to Clay. These are not really worth discussing for a competitive T2 deck, but it is interesting to note that there are a few ways to make EI CBI/CBN that are somewhat hidden.
A few final thoughts on ways to make EI CBI or CBN: First, Coliseum (a new CoW card, and it could be a gamechanger!) will toss FiOHP and The Sabbath, but not Tears for a Friend. Also, you can have 4 copies of Tears for a Friend in a T2 deck; you only get 1 copy of FiOHP or The Sabbath. In my (humble T2) opinion, Tears for a Friend is by far the best option, outside of Gentleness, to play EI successfully.
Next time in Part 2 the remaining ultra rares will be discussed!
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