The best players win games by gaining every advantage possible over an opponent. One way to do that is by finding not so obvious ways to use your cards. Today we’re going to look at some “pro plays” using the most powerful card type in the game – Dominants.

Son of God

Easily the most powerful card in the game, based on the central figure of the Bible, when Son of God was printed in the I & J starter decks it was given a significant upgrade – Negate and rescue a Lost Soul. The ability to negate a Lost Soul at will has many practical uses!

The Dull Lost Soul is really popular right now due to its powerful ability to aid your defense. Purposefully triggering it, even multiple times, can get an opponent to show you their strategy. If you then negate it using Son of God, they are forced to return all the cards they searched out.

Recently I was in a game where I was testing the I Samuel offense. I triggered the Dull Lost Soul and drew several cards. My opponent grabbed Foreign Wives from his deck assuming he had an auto block due to her CBN protection. Normally that’s a wise play. When I played Son of God to negate and rescue Dull, I removed Foreign Wives from play without targeting her, turning Son of God into 2 rescued souls instead of one!

I can’t claim credit for this next example and feel it might be a little “ify”. It comes from another Redemption elder and is a brilliant idea if it’s legit. He tells me you can use Son of God to negate an opponent’s Hopper Lost Soul the phase it’s drawn, causing it to go back to the opponent’s Land of Bondage where it’s a valid target for the rescue ability on Son of God. If you’re soul droughting an opponent that’s a great play!

Evil Removal

Both Christian Martyr and Falling Away (CoW) have the ability to stop a lone Hero in its tracks. But banding, even CBN banding, has become very popular today. If you don’t have a way to take out an entire band with one evil Enhancement, like Scattered, you can use what you have to narrow the field down to one Hero, then use your Christian Martyr or Falling Away to remove the last Hero. Because of the way special initiative works, your opponent will never get a chance to interrupt or negate the removal of their Heroes!

There are a lot of great “pro plays” with the new Falling Away but they’ve already been covered by another author. Be sure to check out Josh’s article for a refresh or for the first time!

Grapes of Wrath

Grapes is not a staple Dominant in most decks, but it’s seeing more play this season in part due to The Second Coming making it more useful and due to its ability to deal with a banding chain. If you’re among the people who include Grapes in your deck, you might appreciate a couple clever ways to use it.

The beautiful thing about Grapes is that it removes all characters from the current battle. Let’s use that to our advantage to rescue a Lost Soul! If you first create a side battle using the Evil Character(s) blocking your Hero, then play Grapes in the side battle, the net result is that all blocking Evil Characters have been removed and your Hero wins a soul!

Grapes is one of my favorite cards in a Philistine defense. Because Goliath kicks all Heroes out of battle and allows the opponent to present a new Hero, if you remove the newly presented Hero via cards like Unholy Writ, Christian Martyr, Falling Away (CoW) and Grapes, the opponent will often run out of Heroes that haven’t entered battle already this turn. Since Goliath can be easily retrieved using Philistine Outpost and Philistine Armor Bearer, this trick can be used several times.

Harvest Time

Here’s a Dominant that’s fallen by the wayside. Ever since the Dominant cap it hasn’t made the cut in competitive decks. There’s a few factors that might change that this season.

There are plenty of decks in which Harvest Time isn’t the right choice for one of the precious Dominant slots. But there are some where it might be. Pulling this card at a strategic time when your opponent isn’t expecting it could make the difference between a win and a loss!

The Holy Spirit

Maybe you’ve caught on to the power of The Throne of Grace by testing it out in one of your decks. Or maybe you’ve faced it an been brutalized by its power. The key is to have a single brigade Enhancement you can discard each turn. Look no further than The Holy Spirit to get those “useless” Fruit of the Spirit cards from the limited set!

In case you haven’t noticed, The Throne of Grace works very well in tandem with Coliseum. Many of the old Fruit of the Spirit Enhancements have 2/2 numbers for toss effects as well!

I’m not recommending that you load your deck full of Limited Edition Fruit of the Spirit. But having one that you can get every turn can have a huge effect on the game!

Mayhem

The versatility of Mayhem is a huge part of what makes it so amazing. Of course there’s the obvious use of reducing your hand size then playing Mayhem at the end of the opponent’s draw step to gain card advantage. But there are so many other powerful ways it can be used as well!

Maybe you rescue with a big band and your opponent blocks small. It’s a safe bet that they have something nasty planned for you like Scattered, Confusion, or Death of Unrighteous. Mayhem! Provided they don’t redraw one of those nasty evil Enhancements you just turned Mayhem into an Angel of the Lord! The same strategy can be applied on defense to use Mayhem for a Christian Martyr type effect.

In the event that your opponent won’t draw Lost Souls, or maybe they just shuffled them with Suicidal Swine Stampede, a Mayhem could cough up a Lost Soul for you to rescue!

How do you Dominate?

There are so many great ways to use your Dominants. I’ve only scratched the surface with some of the “pro plays” I’ve made, or seen other’s make. What are some of the ways your or someone you know has “Dominated”?

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3 thoughts on “Dominate!

  1. Justin Alstad

    In a T2 game against a Panic Demon banding deck, I once used Angel of the Lord on my own blocker. My opponent rescued with Samuel and it was pretty obvious he had a Samuel’s Edict. I blocked with Women as Snares to capture all his demons, and then to avoid having her negated, I used my AotL (which against a huge Panic Demon chain wasn’t that useful anyway) to discard her. Even though it resulted in my opponent getting a Soul, his defense was now crippled. Unfortunately I was too far behind to make an epic comeback, but had I been able to pull that off a couple turns earlier the game probably goes down to the wire.

    1. Josh

      I too have used AotL on my own EC, ironically also against Samuel and a telegraphed Edict. I blocked with one of the 3/3 Babylonian magicians and played Desecrate the Temple to discard my opponent’s SoG. Initiative was going to pass back to my opponent, so I decided to play AotL on my own EC to keep DtT from being negated. After the game, I confirmed with my opponent that he did indeed have Edict.

  2. Ironisaac

    My opponent banding in all of his heroes and all of his teamate’s heroes, then discarding my ec in battle with grapes to shuffle them all. And that is why grapes is my favorite Dom.

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