Throwback Thursday is a common theme on sites and blogs where you hearken back to something interesting or random from the past. On Land of Redemption, our current Throwback Thursday trend is re-posts of preview articles from years and sets past.

This week we complete the Faith of Our Fathers articles. Enjoy!

Originally Posted By: Bryon | Date: 2007

In Samson’s day, the Philistines were exerting much control over certain regions in Israel.  To overcome that enemy, God had gifted Samson with extra strength – supernatural strength – with which to defeat the Philistines and save God’s people.  However, Samson repeatedly sinned.  In addition to his overdeveloped sense of vengeance, Samson loved women more than he loved God.

When we sin, it causes problems.  Aside from the relational issues it causes between each of us and between us and God, it can also cause some physical problems.  Samson found that out the hard way.

Samson awoke, surrounded by Philistines.  They began to subdue him.  He tried to fight free as he had done numerous times before, but to no avail – the Lord had left him.  And with the Lord went the strength Samson had taken for granted.

Now he had the strength of but one man.  His natural strength was not enough to escape.  The last things he saw were his enemies and his betrayer, Delilah, the woman he loved.  But Delilah loved silver more than she loved Samson.  So, Samson was seized, his eyes gouged out, and he was taken to Gaza, a Philistine city where he had previously shown great feats of strength.

He was sent to forced labor, grinding in the prison.  After some time, the Philistines gathered in the Temple of Dagon.  There the Philistines praised Dagon for delivering their enemy Samson into their hands.   They called for Samson, and he was brought out into the Temple.  His hair had grown back, but he still lacked supernatural strength.  As he rested his hands on the pillars, he prayed to God, asking for one last burst of strength.  God answered, and Samson sacrificed himself to kill thousands of leading Philistines.  In his death he killed thousands more than he’d killed in his life.

This is an odd card.  It’s difficult to tell whether it is really very good.  Let’s take a close look, as it has its plusses and minuses.

An 8 for strength is great! However, a -1 for toughness is not so great.  In fact, there has never been a Redemption card with a negative number in the icon box.  When this enhancement is played, the toughness decreases by 1 (or by 2 if played on Samson and you are using name-on-name bonus).  So, do the positives outweigh the negatives?  So far, I’d say yes – especially if you are using Moses or facing evil characters like King of Tyrus or Sapphira.  The name-on-name bonus makes Samson a 28/4 with that one enhancement alone.

The special ability only activates if used by a Judge.  So, if you are using Samson, Othniel, Tola, Gideon, Elon, Deborah or Samuel or one of the two new gold judges in this tin, then it works.  Otherwise, it is “just” an 8/-1 enhancement.

Now for the kicker: The special ability doesn’t result in a rescued soul.  According to the rulebook, heroes win in mutual destruction by numeric comparison.  However, in mutual destruction by mutual removal, no lost soul is rescued.  So, even though you may rid your opponent of a huge amount of evil characters, and perhaps a site or evil fortress, it is really only beneficial in later turns.

Since it is mutual destruction, initiative passes to the opponent, who can respond with an interrupt/negate.  You do not have initiative to interrupt an enhancement if you are winning the battle, but you DO have initiative to interrupt an enhancement if the battle state is mutual destruction and you did not play the last card in battle.  The battle state is mutual destruciton (by mutual removal), and the blocker did not play the last card in battle, so the blocker has initiative.

There are other things about this card that players may come to understand.  There are indirect ways that this helps some traditional gold strategies.  However, it remains to be seen just how beneficial this really becomes.  I know I’m using it in my Judges deck.  Will you?

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