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.

We now continue with more Rock of Ages articles. Enjoy!

Imagine that you are Peter or John, one of Christ’s closest disciples. You just witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus, who you thought was the Messiah. A couple grievous days pass. Early Sunday morning, the women return from their trip to the tomb.

“Everyone… Listen… The tomb…” the women are catching their breath from their quick walk back from Joseph’s garden.

“Yes, we see you’ve been to the tomb, but why do you still have the burial spices?”

“There is no need for spices!” the women exclaim.

“What? Why?” Peter and John ask, bewildered.

“The tomb is empty.” Mary Magdalene answers. Continuing, the women try to explain. “We saw the empty tomb with our own eyes. Then a couple of angels appeared to us. They said that He is risen.”

“…” The rest of the disciples don’t believe it. They think the women are speaking nonsense. But Peter and John wonder if it could be true. They run to the garden tomb to see for themselves. The women were right. It is empty!

The empty tomb gave a glimmer of hope to those who saw it. In Redemption, it gives an ignore ability to all of the heroes that the Bible mentions as having visited the garden tomb. Luke 24:10 lists the women: “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the Mother of James, and the others with them…” We do not know the identities of “the others with them,” except for one mentioned in Mark: Salome (who is not the same person as the crimson evil character). In the Gospel of John, we read that Peter and John ran to the tomb and saw it empty.

How the card works:

If The Garden Tomb is in play, make a rescue attempt with one of the six “Garden Tomb” heroes. If the player you are attacking has at least one redeemed soul, then count the number of evil characters in play in each brigade, including the evil characters in your own territory. List all evil brigades that have fewer than two characters in play. The heroes mentioned on The Garden Tomb ignore those brigades.

Impact:

The threat of a “Garden Tomb” deck might make several top players change their defenses. The top three decks in the Type 1 2-player category at nationals in 2007 had four to six evil brigades, with no more than two evil characters in any one brigade. With The Garden Tomb in play, those defenses will have a very difficult time blocking the six heroes listed on this card, since they will have to draw both characters of that one evil brigade, and then have them both in play. Otherwise, they simply won’t be able to block.

Building a Garden Tomb deck:

You will probably want to include all the heroes mentioned on the card. However, they are in 5 different brigades, so it does spread your offense rather thin. You could add Zaccheus, who can search for The Garden Tomb. But that brings your good brigade count up to 6. Having more than 3 good brigades in play at a time gets rather risky because of a few cards (including a lost soul) in Rock of Ages. One option that brings the good brigade count down to 3 is to include just the four women, and add support cards for those brigades. For half of them, “He is Risen” is very helpful. For all of them, Preaching the Truth is useful.

If you include John, then you might consider adding Ethiopian Treasurer and Authority of Christ to discard evil characters in opponent’s territory before the block. James, son of Zebedee might be helpful since he bands to John.

You will probably want to build your defense in one brigade to minimize the chances that your evil characters will help your opponent be able to block you. For example, if you are playing crimson Babylonians for defense, your opponent might be able to block with the Red Dragon that he splashed into his deck. On the chance that your opponent has an evil character that matches your evil brigade and is able to block you, you might want to include some good cards that can defeat key evil characters of that brigade color. Another option for Type 1 is to not include evil characters for defense, and rely on sites and artifacts to slow your opponent. This is risky, but could work against an unprepared opponent.

To keep your opponent from being able to block, artifact selection is important. Cards like Holy Grail, Crown of Thorns, and Three Nails can be very useful.

Don’t use: Self. I would not use any of the two-color evil characters, either.

Using a Garden Tomb deck:

  • Put The Garden Tomb in play. If you don’t draw it, search for it with Zaccheus or Salome and put it in play next turn.
  • If your opponent has not yet rescued a lost soul, let him rescue one. Remember that The Garden Tomb does nothing unless your opponent has rescued at least one lost soul. Don’t be too quick to give away a lost soul, though, or you will give your opponent too much of a head start. Before giving away a free lost soul, you should probably wait until your opponent has a lost soul out for you to rescue.
  • In your preparation phase, if your opponent has evil characters of */3 or less that can block, activate Crown of Thorns and discard them. If he has demons, activate Three Nails so they can’t block. If he has human evil characters, convert one with Holy Grail.
  • Make a rescue attempt with one of the heroes mentioned on The Garden Tomb. Repeat steps 3 and 4 each turn until victory is achieved.

Beating a Garden Tomb deck:

Here are a few ideas:

  • Play only one evil brigade, or two at the most.
  • Use a protection fortress to protect your evil characters from discard and/or conversion. Use the evil characters that can search for those fortresses. Kingdoms of the World keeps a higher number of evil characters in play.
  • If you want to play a lot of evil brigades, put Self in Kingdoms of the World. Then you can block with any other evil character in your territory.
  • Don’t get stuck with your evil characters in your hand. Keep 3 evil characters in your territory, just to be safe. Or, you could surprise an opponent by keeping Doubt in your hand and one orange evil character in your territory. When your opponent attacks, thinking you won’t be able to block, drop Doubt in your territory and then block with either character.
  • During your own rescue attempt, start a side battle between evil characters, and use a card that can discard The Garden Tomb.
  • Include Unholy Writ. That will stop any of the “Garden Tomb” heroes, though it will hold Peter for only a little while.
  • Don’t rescue anything! While you sit with zero rescued souls, your opponent’s Garden Tomb does nothing. Ha! Wait, that doesn’t really help you win… Hmm. I’m sure some resourceful Redemption players will find other ways to win against The Garden Tomb. Ask on the message board. There are a lot of helpful Redemption experts there.

Reminder:

This card represents one of the bedrock truths of our Faith. “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. (I Corinthians 15:17).”

While seeing the empty tomb must have been overwhelming, it pales in comparison to seeing our risen Lord. Before seeing the resurrected Christ for themselves, most of His disciples were skeptical. But when they saw him, all doubt melted and belief blossomed in its place. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.” While we ourselves have not seen, we can be confident in our faith, knowing that over 500 people saw the risen savior during the forty days between his resurrection and ascension. And Christ, the Rock of Ages, still lives and works today. Believe. Be blessed.

For a much more inspiring treatment of the resurrection story from Peter’s perspective, listen to the song, “He’s Alive” by Don Francisco. Play it loud, close your eyes, and imagine you are Peter.

To buy singles, sealed product, and other gaming supplies mentioned, please visit Three Lions Gaming!

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